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Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

In the nearly three years since President Joe Biden assumed office, the global perception of the United States has come under scrutiny as the administration aligns itself with Israel in its ongoing conflict with Hamas. Despite professing a commitment to reasserting America’s global standing, the recent backing of Israel has led to diplomatic divergence with key allies.

On Friday, after protracted negotiations, the United States permitted a UN Security Council resolution addressing humanitarian aid for the embattled Gaza Strip. Notably, this move followed the vetoing of two earlier resolutions urging a cessation of hostilities. However, the US found itself isolated as close allies such as Britain, France, and Japan supported the resolution, while the United States abstained alongside Russia.

In a previous General Assembly vote, the United States, joined only by Austria and the Czech Republic, opposed a nonbinding ceasefire resolution. This stance has fueled a narrative that the US is selectively prioritizing its engagements, with Leslie Vinjamuri, Director of the US and Americas Program at Chatham House, emphasizing the perception that the US cares about specific regions over others.

Public sentiment is growing increasingly critical, with a recent survey across six Arab nations revealing that just seven percent believe the United States has played a positive role in the conflict. Munqith Dagher, Middle East Director of Gallup International, notes that Washington’s reputation in the Arab world has suffered, with the Gaza conflict exacerbating long-standing concerns stemming from the Iraq invasion.

Despite openly expressing frustration with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Biden’s administration has continued to provide military provisions and diplomatic support. The administration asserts that its behind-the-scenes efforts have influenced Israel positively, facilitating the entry of fuel, restoring internet access, and opening crossings into Gaza.

However, as images of Gaza’s humanitarian crisis circulate on social media, the narrative of the United States delicately balancing support for Israel with quiet pressure is facing increased skepticism. The perception that Washington exhibits bias toward Israel and disregards the human rights of Palestinians has been amplified through unfiltered media coverage.

Noteworthy geopolitical shifts have emerged, with China, Russia, and surprisingly, Iran, gaining favor in Arab opinion. Brian Katulis, Vice President of Policy at the Middle East Institute, suggests a pragmatic approach by the Biden administration, prioritizing a solution to the Hamas threat over symbolic calls for a ceasefire.

The complex relationship between the US and Arab nations reveals a dichotomy of dependency on US security measures and vocal criticism of its foreign policy, reflecting a nuanced and evolving diplomatic landscape.

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