by Matt Duss

Is Biden’s Israel Policy Cynical or Naive?

Today, Isaac Chotiner of The New Yorker interviewed Executive Vice President Matt Duss about the Biden Administration’s Israel policy, and what other options are available.

CHOTINER: Do you think the sense within the Administration is that Israeli behavior would actually change if the United States started imposing consequences? Because you can come up with examples through history of people saying, “Well, there’s nothing we can really do to change the course of events, so we’re just going to stick by and do the best we can.”

DUSS: I think there is and has been a genuine debate within the Administration about the efficacy of some of these tools for leverage. My own view is that we should find out, because even if you are not effective in changing Israeli behavior, the upside is that the United States would no longer be arming a mass atrocity. I think that’s a pretty big upside. I also think the serious analysis is that Israel simply could not sustain this war for a long time if the United States withdrew its military support.

There’s also just a basic sense that—and I say this as a former staffer myself—once the boss has laid down where he or she will not go, what approaches he or she is or is not willing to consider, then you try and find solutions within those bounds. And I think that’s what we’ve been seeing here.

Read the rest of the interview here.