Listening to Joe Biden’s press conference, one would think he played an integral role in the cease-fire that is now in effect between Israel and Hamas. He even thanked Egypt for the “role” they played in brokering it. But the White House and American mainstream media are the only ones giving kudos to the President for anything other than a supporting role in the negotiations. According to Israel, Hamas, and Egypt, it was the United States that was the support player in the negotiations.
Biden’s press conference continuously referenced calls that he had made — half-a-dozen — with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But word from the Israeli government quietly indicates that Biden was trying to broker concessions for the Palestinians and was terse with Netanyahu over the latter’s unwillingness to give in to demands from a force that provoked the conflict in the first place. The final agreement, brokered by the Egyptians, was an unconditional cease-fire.
As Fox News reported, “Biden tries to claim credit for cease-fire between Israel and Hamas“:
President Biden sought to take credit for a cease-fire Thursday between Israel and Hamas, despite reports that it was Egypt that brokered the peace.
Biden, who spoke at the White House, included a sentence in his remarks commending Egyptian officials for their “critical role” in ending the fighting. But he repeatedly emphasized the intensive work he said was done by his own administration.
“Over the last 11 days, I spoke with the prime minister six times. I’ve also spoken with President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority more the once and part of our intense diplomatic engagement,” Biden said, “And I want to also thank secretary of state, the secretary of defense, our national security adviser, and everyone on our team for their incredible efforts to bring this about, this outcome that we’re about to see.
“You know, we’ve held intensive, high-level discussions, hour by hour, literally, Egypt, the Palestinian Authority and other Middle Eastern countries, with an aim of avoiding this sort of prolonged conflict we’ve seen in previous years when the hostilities have broken out.”
Based on Israel’s actions, it’s clear they knew who had actually brokered the cease-fire. According to the Jewish news channel Arutz Sheva, Israel thanked Egypt first before announcing the cease-fire to the press. Calls to the White House were made after the agreement was announced to the world.
The Qatari-based Al Jazeera network reports that Israel has informed the Egyptian government of its intention to end Operation Guardian of the walls and reach a cease-fire with the Hamas terrorist organization.
Despite Biden’s limited role in negotiations, American mainstream media is already trying to portray him as a master statesman and crucial negotiator whose mere presence on the phone was enough to bring the sides together. According to a gushing NBC News:
As the first rocket fire was exchanged between Israel and Hamas, President Joe Biden settled on a strategy. And as he had throughout the 2020 campaign, Biden adhered to it despite mounting criticism from Republicans and even his own Democratic Party.
His approach was stylistically muted and substantively more hard-line than some of his allies had expected. It was driven by a singular goal: to end the violence as soon as possible so he could train his focus back onto his domestic agenda.
To accomplish that, Biden chose not to publicly lay bare disagreements with his Israeli counterpart, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, although the two have their differences. He said little publicly about the issue and entertained few questions about the topic. During a trip to Michigan this week, Biden even joked about running over a reporter who wanted to ask him a question about Israel. And he backed Netanyahu’s assault on Gaza to an extent that surprised some fellow Democrats and angered others.
. . .
Biden, a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a key player on national security issues for eight years as vice president, has extensive knowledge of the Israeli-Palestinian dynamics and knows the leaders involved well.
Throughout the conflict, he has found himself navigating territory that was both very familiar and somewhat uncharted. The decisions were his to make, and he was in the leading role, not a supporting one. The outcome would reflect solely on him.
Some White House officials, who initially thought the violence would subside after a few days, held off on a presidential phone call to Netanyahu because it was a card they thought they’d get to play only once. In the end, Biden said Thursday that he had spoken with Netanyahu six times over less than two weeks and twice with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority.
Initially, Biden asked: “Where is this going? What is your objective?”
After their calls Monday and Wednesday, the White House was privately conveying that the conversations had become more tense. The shift coincided with an increase in the number of civilian casualties among Palestinians and widespread outrage over Israel’s striking a building that housed journalists, although no deaths were reported. Administration officials saw the strike as a “strategic blunder” by Israel even if it was tactically advantageous.
To be clear and contrary to American mainstream media’s propaganda, literally nobody outside of the White House and U.S. newsrooms is heralding the role Biden or anyone in the White House played in the negotiations. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Thursday night thanked Biden for his role in making an Egyptian initiative for a ceasefire in Gaza succeed, Reuters reported. It was the equivalent of a pat on the back for giving it his best shot, but also a quiet reminder that he wasn’t really necessary.
U.S. mainstream media is giving exponentially more kudos to Biden for his minor roll in the cease-fire Egypt brokered than they gave the Trump White House for three full-blown Middle East peace agreements.