President Biden’s latest visit to Israel on October 18, 2023, represented an exceptional demonstration of solidarity during a period of conflict, drawing parallels to his brief trip to Ukraine in February 2023. The visit placed him in a region where there is increasing sorrow and anger not only toward Israel but also toward the United States, which has expressed unwavering support for its primary Middle East ally.
President Biden made a differentiation between the Palestinian civilian population and the extremist Hamas leadership, accusing Hamas of using civilians as shields for concealing weapons and tunnels while expressing sorrow over the loss of innocent lives in Gaza following several days of Israeli airstrikes. While the U.S. government appears to have softened its statements in recent days, emphasizing that Palestinian civilians should not suffer due to Hamas the damage to America’s image in the Middle East is palpable. The U.S. is perceived as a country that lacks moral standing in the region.