Beyond Labels

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Possible topic for 13 May

Here’s a link ( to a column by Bret Stephens in the 9 May edition of The New York Times, arguing that Biden was wrong, for many reasons, to pause delivery to Israel of some large bombs and, possibly, other weapons in order to persuade the Netanyahu government not to invade Rafah. And here’s a link ( to a column by Tom Friedman in the 10 May edition of The Times, arguing that Biden made the right decision but taking issue with the way he announced it.

Was Biden right to “pause” (whatever that means) delivery of those bombs to try to encourage Israel not to “invade” (whatever that means) Rafah? How long should the “pause” last? If Israel decides to “invade” Rafah while the “pause” is in effect, what should the US government do then? Is Biden’s decision likely to trigger a wider war, involving Hezbollah, the Houthis, and Iran? Does Biden’s decision affect the role the US could play in future with respect to negotiating a pause in the war, a prisoner-hostage swap, a cease fire, how Gaza and the West Bank will be governed after the fighting ends, and whether and how Palestinian statehood might be achieved? How might Biden’s decision affect domestic politics in Israel or the US?

1 Comment

  • I’m reposting the possible topic I suggested for last Monday. Maybe we could discuss it tomorrow. If we do, we could consider one more question: is there any evidence that Biden’s decision to withhold some heavy bombs from Israel has altered, or is likely to alter, Israel’s strategy or tactics in Gaza?

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