Blinken tells Netanyahu: Hamas can’t be beaten using military force
01/24/2024 // Richard Brown // Views

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu point-blank during a recent meeting that a military solution against Hamas would not be effective.

Blinken stressed the importance of Israel recognizing the inevitability of a Palestinian state. However, Netanyahu reportedly remained resistant to this perspective, prompting the Biden administration to explore alternative routes in managing the situation.

Despite Blinken's emphasis on a diplomatic resolution, Israel remains steadfast in its military efforts, with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) making significant progress against Hamas.

Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, the IDF spokesman, provided a comprehensive summary of advancements in the conflict, highlighting the successful destruction of Hamas strongholds in specific regions.

He said Hamas has been weakened in the northern and central regions, adding that Hamas leaders are suspected to be hiding underground in the southern region, utilizing over 100 Israeli hostages as both bargaining chips and human shields.

The Israeli public, once open to the idea of a two-state solution, has undergone a significant shift in perspective.

Recent attacks, notably the October 7 terror incident, and the Palestinian Authority's sympathetic stance toward terrorism have led nearly two-thirds of Israelis to oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state.

This marks a drastic change from a decade ago when the majority supported an independent Palestinian state.

Blinken's approach aligns with the traditional model of Middle East peacemaking, prioritizing the Palestinian issue. The Biden administration seeks to forge new peace agreements, such as a potential deal with Saudi Arabia.

Notably, Blinken is exploring normalized relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, with the condition of securing a Palestinian state. Interestingly, Saudi Arabia had been on the brink of such a deal without these additional conditions before.

The Biden administration's approach, spearheaded by Blinken, stands in contrast to the policies of the previous administration. While President Donald Trump rejected the notion that the Palestinian issue must precede all others, the current administration appears to be revisiting this approach.

Biden's growing frustrations with Netanyahu

Blinken revealed the Biden administration's growing frustrations with Netanyahu's rejection of a proposal for the future of the Gaza Strip.

During an interview at the World Economic Forum's summit in Davos, Blinken emphasized the "profound opportunity for regionalization" in the Middle East. However, Netanyahu's refusal to consider U.S. proposals and his rejection of an Arab-backed deal to rebuild Gaza led to increased tensions.

In the interview, Blinken acknowledged that these decisions ultimately rest with the Israelis but emphasized that this is an "inflection point."

Following his visit to the Middle East, where he sought agreement on Gaza's future, Blinken returned to Washington with Netanyahu rejecting most of the administration's proposals, except for an understanding not to attack Hezbollah in Lebanon.

While Blinken secured commitments from Arab leaders to support Gaza's reconstruction, Netanyahu refused a Saudi offer to normalize relations with Israel.

The Israeli leader insisted on avoiding any deal that could pave the way for a Palestinian state.

The Biden administration, faced with Netanyahu's resistance, is now looking beyond him to lay the groundwork with other Israeli and civil society leaders in anticipation of a post-Netanyahu government. (Related: Only 15% of Israelis want Netanyahu to remain prime minister after the war.)

Despite the challenges, Blinken aims to reshape the Middle East by linking peace agreements, such as a potential Saudi-Israeli deal, to progress on the Palestinian issue. The Biden administration remains committed to the idea of a two-state solution and sees the establishment of a Palestinian state as crucial to achieving lasting regional peace.

As tensions between the U.S. and Israel persist, the future direction of Middle East policy appears contingent on developments within Israel and the broader geopolitical landscape.

Watch Prime Minister Netanyahu claim he's fighting for generations to come.

Video from Cynthia's Pursuit of Truth on

More related stories:

The Palestinians were right all along: Netanyahu wants them completely expelled from the region.

Israeli experts do not believe Netanyahu can destroy Hamas and bring the hostages home.

Netanyahu says Israel will maintain “indefinite security control” over Gaza – Palestinians will forever be held as POWs in a concentration camp.

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