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Israel’s National Security Matters Infinitely More Than Its ‘Reputation’ With Radical Democrats

To the leftist foreign policy establishment, a nation’s status within the ‘global community’ matters more than its national security.


As Israel has pursued its righteous war of defense against Hamas aggression, the Biden administration and its allies in the media have become increasingly uncomfortable with its success. After initially supporting Israel in the wake of the Oct. 7 atrocities, they have by and large turned on it entirely.

For the corporate media, this was almost immediate; once Israel shifted — in their minds — from victim to victimizer, the game was up. This occurred before the bodies of the innocents massacred by Hamas were even cold. But the Biden administration, to its credit, stood with Israel for significantly longer. It sent a carrier strike group to the region, provided diplomatic cover at the United Nations, and advocated for a forceful Israeli response to Hamas. Unfortunately, however, the turn has come for the White House as well.

Largely driven by electoral concern over its hardcore leftist base — amplified by like-minded media and Democrat staffers — the administration has significantly pulled back support in the past few months. It has rhetorically attacked the Israeli military for what it claims are “excessive” civilian casualties, despite the fact that Hamas casualty counts are likely invented out of whole cloth and Israel’s tactical urban warfighting has been by and large exemplary. It has worked hand-in-glove with the Qataris — Iranian partners and Hamas backers — to push for a ceasefire deal that would only benefit the Palestinian terrorists who seek time to rearm and regroup.

It has also lambasted Israel for failing to deliver humanitarian aid to Gazans, ignoring the fact that such aid is almost always stolen by Hamas. And it supported the absurd speech by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in which he called for the ouster of Israel’s wartime unity government. These anti-Israel actions have only ramped up as the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) prepares for its final assault on Rafah, Hamas’ last stronghold, on the border with Egypt.

In this process, the Biden team and its media backers have centered the vague notion of Israel’s “reputation” over the concrete reality on the ground. This fits perfectly into the administration’s ruling paradigm of diplomacy über alles — diplomacy above all. The leftist foreign policy establishment, from media pundits and politicians to international institutions and think tanks, completely embraces this fictional universe in which a nation’s status within the so-called “global community” matters more than its national interests or security. As the Rafah operation draws ever closer and Hamas continues to reject generous temporary ceasefire proposals, the White House and its allies in the press have begun an all-out rhetorical blitz focused entirely on this diplomatic realm.

Reputation over Reality

Vice President Kamala Harris went on ABC News and threatened Israel with nebulous consequences if it made the “huge mistake” of undertaking a major military operation in Rafah. The Assistant Secretary of State Bill Russo echoed this approach in a call with his Israeli counterparts in mid-March, saying in a leaked after-action memo, “The Israelis seemed oblivious to the fact that they are facing major, possibly generational damage to their reputation not just in the region but elsewhere in the world. We are concerned that the Israelis are missing the forest for the trees and are making a major strategic error in writing off their reputation damage.” The call was heavily oriented around trying to convince Israel to stop its war effort merely because it is “unpopular” in certain key quarters — namely the progressive base of the Democrat Party and the journalist class the White House takes so seriously.

As the election nears, this war will only become more of a thorn in the Biden team’s side, so they are doing everything possible to end it, even on terms highly unfavorable to Israel. Their cudgel is the threat of reputational damage, which they themselves are working assiduously to inflict.

UN Resolution

To this end, the administration made a total about-face at the United Nations, introducing a ceasefire resolution that Israel opposed as too lenient to Hamas. But the Biden team seemingly can’t even throw its supposed friends under the bus properly, as the resolution was vetoed by Russia and China, who found it too favorable to Israel. Unsurprisingly, the anti-Israel caucus in the UN Security Council put out its own version of the resolution, one that failed to link a ceasefire to the release of hostages, did not condemn the atrocities of Oct. 7, and mentioned Hamas precisely zero times, to a vote.

In a page straight out of the Obama playbook, the U.S. abstained, allowing the resolution to pass and lend the Security Council’s — and, by proxy, the United States’ — imprimatur to a decree that is firmly hostile to Israel. This gives the vehement anti-Israel voices in the vaunted “international community” plenty of bogus ammunition with which to attack our ally. The UN’s clownish Secretary General Antonio Guterres jumped on board in record time, stating, “This resolution must be implemented. Failure would be unforgivable.” Naturally, that only applies to one party in this conflict, the only one targeted by the resolution.

Israel’s Isolation

This line of argument has been taken up with gusto by the media and reinforced by think tanks and other influential figures in the international relations field. The story of Israel’s purported international “isolation” has served as the repeated motif of the campaign to preclude a victory in Gaza. It was the recent cover story of The Economist magazine, titled “Israel Alone,” which couched its anti-Israel attitude with rhetoric claiming it only wants America to help Jerusalem “find a better strategy.” The leaked State Department memo — which somehow found its way to NPR — was picked up by The Washington Post and other outlets.

The Post, which has been perhaps the most staunchly pro-Palestine voice in corporate media, argued that the growing “rift” between the U.S. and Israel is driven by “an increasingly isolated, unpopular Israeli government” that is courting “growing global frustration” with its “insistence on prolonging the war to fully eradicate militant group Hamas.” The piece quotes several scolding speeches from international anti-Zionist stalwarts such as Guterres and the former Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, as well as an anonymous White House adviser who said that the Israel-created “humanitarian situation is literally intolerable — it’s a blight on the consciousness of humanity.”

The isolation narrative was reinforced by the American abstention at the UN, which was reported by The Guardian in those exact terms. American leftists supported the resolution as “a start,” but stressed that left-wing voters must push for the Biden administration to use its “unparalleled leverage to change Israeli behavior.

In this opinion, they were joined wholeheartedly by Hamas itself. The terrorist group’s leader, Ismail Haniyeh, argued that, although the UN resolution “came late” and left “some gaps that need to be filled,” it still indicated that “the Israeli occupation is experiencing unprecedented political isolation.” He made this statement during an official visit to kiss the ring in Tehran, showing exactly who is being rewarded by this attempt to stifle Israeli victory.

The American think tank world has glommed onto the argument as well, with the Council on Foreign Relations — the voice of the foreign policy blob — pushing for the White House to “demand that Israel cease” its just war and “resume funding of UNRWA, which is essential to the humanitarian response.” Of course, both of these are key Hamas (and American leftist) goals.

It wouldn’t be a true foreign policy blob moment without the inclusion of President Joe Biden’s favorite columnist, Tom Friedman. In a piece titled “Israel Is Losing Its Greatest Asset: Acceptance,” Friedman says he has “an urgent message to deliver to President Biden and the Israeli people,” that of “the increasingly rapid erosion of Israel’s standing” that was “painstakingly built up over decades.” The whole piece launders a deeply anti-Israel view through the mouths of foreigners, blaming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the damage done to Jerusalem’s reputation.

How Wars Are Won

The problem with this whole narrative, however, is that wars are not won and borders secured on the basis of international reputation or approval. The role of a nation-state is not to gain acceptance or sympathy, but to protect its citizens’ lives and property and create the conditions under which they can prosper.

If Israel cannot destroy Hamas entirely by going full-bore into Rafah, it will have lost the war. And the consequence of that would be a constant repetition of Oct. 7-style attacks until Israel itself is eliminated — the stated goal of Hamas and its Iranian backers. That is unacceptable to the vast majority of the Israeli public, represented by the unity government that comprises a supermajority of the Knesset. Israel can exist as a temporarily isolated entity. It cannot exist with an Iranian-backed terrorist army staging for repeated attacks on its border. And if the war continues the way it has been going, Israel won’t have to.

Jerusalem has laid out clear war aims: the total annihilation of Hamas as a political and military entity, the destruction of its terrorist infrastructure, and the pacification of Gaza so as to avoid future attacks like those on Oct. 7. As Israel proceeds into Rafah, these aims are being steadily and methodically achieved. It has already crushed most of Hamas’ military force, clearing the Gaza Strip from the north to the south, block by block and mile by mile.

The remainder of the terrorist army is holed up in Rafah, along with more than 100 hostages — including at least six Americans — that Hamas took several months ago. The IDF is preparing for what will be a difficult, but necessary, operation to root Hamas out once and for all. Victory in Gaza is in sight. Which is precisely why the Biden administration and its media lackeys are trying desperately to halt Israeli progress.

If the foreign policy blob is allergic to anything, it’s victory; it has steadfastly refused to do what it takes to prosecute a conflict to a successful end over and over again. From Afghanistan and Iraq to Libya and Syria, these leftist elites have been unable to stomach the reputational costs of winning and have failed to achieve any sort of lasting security objective. They would rather sacrifice national interests than fail to gain the plaudits of the international community, a position that is being ostentatiously rejected by Jerusalem. Israel is fighting for its very existence as a nation. Without that basic security, what does “reputation” matter?

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