Biden's Gaza port gamble seems ill thought through and risks drawing US into war – and putting Americans in harm's way

By John Mercury March 8, 2024

Israel has continued insisting there isn’t a huge need for more aid in Gaza – enough is getting in, say its officials, with more food than before the war, they’ve even claimed.

It’s all the UN’s fault for not distributing it properly, they add.

Well, President Joe Biden‘s stunning Gaza port announcement is clearly a sign that the US is not buying any of that.

This is the American government saying it’s going to have to send its military potentially into harm’s way to make up for the failure of its own ally.

The Israelis have said they welcome the decision and will fully cooperate with it.

And apart from the fact it shows up some glaring shortcomings in its handling of the war, this is good news for Israel. The aid will all be screened in Cyprus – so there’s no worry about weapons being smuggled in.

It relieves Israel of its responsibilities to meet the humanitarian needs of the civilian population whose land they are occupying.

And it draws America into this war – which means when it’s over maybe the US will take more of a role in Gaza -something the Israelis would love to see.

But there are so many questions.

What other mission creep will this lead to?

How will the Americans guarantee their own safety? There are plenty of groups supported by Iran in Gaza who would love to strike a blow at US forces and cover themselves in Islamist glory.

Analysis from the US:
Biden’s decision shows his desperation

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Israel insists no limits on aid entering Gaza

Or what happens if a stray Hamas rocket or Israeli missile hits a group of US engineers and kills a few in an election year? The jeopardy for Joe Biden is obvious.

And why is this necessary?

The Erez crossing on Gaza’s northern border lies idle.

It could be opened tomorrow to allow aid to be funnelled in and landed from the Israeli ports of Ashdod and Ashkelon, also from Cyprus. That would be a lot safer and easier to pull off.

Read more:
US to build Gaza port as Palestinians starve – war latest

Is famine about to be declared in Gaza?
Israel completes construction of road which cuts across Gaza Strip

The decision seems desperate and ill thought through.

It is without doubt quite a gamble for the American president who will be running against a man who sees votes in American isolation and withdrawal from foreign places.

Then, of course, the tragically obvious point – Americans are good at building military infrastructure but not quickly.

It will take weeks and the poor starving people of Gaza cannot wait that long.


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