President Joe Biden departed from the Israeli conflict zone after a seven-hour visit, leaving behind an increasingly tense Middle East that appeared in worse shape than when he arrived.
On Air Force One, Biden expressed satisfaction with his achievements during the trip, particularly in addressing the issue of unblocking humanitarian aid to Gaza, which had been under heavy Israeli bombardment following the Hamas terror attacks on October 7.
However, his mission also highlighted the limitations of U.S. influence in a region teetering on the edge of broader violence. The conflicting narratives between Israel and Arab states regarding an explosion at a Gaza City hospital, which was believed to have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people, deepened the crisis.
One key accomplishment of the president’s mission was his expression of deep respect for Israel, his heartfelt acknowledgment of the country’s trauma and grief, and his commitment to standing with the Jewish people, invoking Holocaust analogies.
Yet, he also implored Israeli leaders not to let anger over the deaths of their loved ones cloud their objectives in combating Hamas. However, as protests over the hospital blast spread across the region, the ominous prospect of Israel’s conflict with Hamas expanding beyond its borders loomed even larger when Biden departed on Air Force One. The president acknowledged that his emergency mission carried risks but maintained that it had been a success.
Nevertheless, given the significant political investment of American prestige and influence involved in a sudden presidential trip, questions may arise about the exact outcomes of Biden’s visit.