HomeWorldBiden's Mideast Strategy Disrupted as Israel-Hamas Conflict Alters Course, Reuters Analysis Reveals

Biden’s Mideast Strategy Disrupted as Israel-Hamas Conflict Alters Course, Reuters Analysis Reveals

Analysis: Israel-Hamas Conflict Tests Biden’s Middle East Strategy

A New Challenge for Biden

The Biden administration had hoped for a relatively calm Middle East while it pursued its policy goals of brokering Israeli-Saudi detente and containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions. However, the recent escalation of violence between Israel and Hamas has shattered those hopes. Now, President Joe Biden finds himself thrust into a crisis that will likely reshape his Middle East policy.

An Uneasy Alliance

President Biden is now faced with an uneasy alliance with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he dispatches Secretary of State Antony Blinken to meet with Israeli leaders. This crisis presents a politically risky situation for President Biden, who is seeking re-election in 2024.

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Implications for Policy and Priorities

The conflict between Israel and Hamas could have significant implications for world oil prices and divert U.S. resources and attention away from other foreign policy challenges, such as Russia’s war in Ukraine. It also complicates Washington’s approach toward Iran, which has long been a benefactor of Hamas.

Normalization Efforts on Hold

Efforts to establish ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, seen as a way to counter Iran’s influence, are now on hold. Experts believe that all efforts at normalization will be paused for the foreseeable future due to the ongoing conflict.

Criticism of Neglecting the Palestinians

The Biden administration’s diplomatic effort to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia has faced criticism for neglecting the Palestinians’ quest for statehood. The Hamas attack can be seen as a message that the Palestinians cannot be ignored if Israel wants security.

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The Role of Iran

While there is no direct evidence implicating Iran in the Hamas attack, it is believed that Iran’s support for the group makes it complicit. The conflict could embolden Iran to step up its regional activities and target U.S. interests in the region.

A Deepening Engagement in the Middle East

The Biden administration is now more deeply engaged in the Middle East as it rushes additional military assistance to Israel and works to prevent the conflict from escalating further. The immediate challenge is to prevent the war from spiraling into a regional conflict.

The Way Forward

The Biden administration may try to keep alive the option of Palestinian statehood while assisting Israel in its battle against Hamas. However, concessions from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu may be unlikely given the rising death toll and hostage crisis.


The Israel-Hamas conflict has thrown President Biden’s Middle East strategy into turmoil. It has forced him to confront the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and navigate an uneasy alliance with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. The outcome of this crisis will have significant implications for the region and for President Biden’s foreign policy priorities.

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