On March 10, Foreign Policy published its biweekly “It’s Debatable” column featuring Scowcroft Center acting director Matthew Kroenig and Emma Ashford assessing the latest news in international affairs.
In their latest column, they debate the dueling perspectives surrounding responses to the escalating Israeli-Palestinian conflict: should the Biden administration use “sticks” or “carrots” to galvanize change? In their analysis, the pair highlight Netanyahu’s need for Washington’s support, especially in the case of Iran. Kroenig and Ashford also offer insights into the mystery surrounding the perpetrators of the Nord Stream pipeline explosion.
The Israel-Palestine conflict is simply not as important as it used to be. It is a small civil conflict in a small country. Washington is too busy focusing on deterring simultaneous wars with China and Russia to broker Middle East peace… Threatening enemies in public makes sense, but I think disputes with friends are best handled in difficult conversations behind closed doors.
America can’t fix every problem in the world. I doubt it can solve Middle East peace. But it can condition its aid on Israel’s government to prevent atrocities, not create an environment permissive to them… At a certain point, Biden needs to think about sticks, not carrots: withholding military aid, conditioning loans, or even sanctioning organizations associated with illegal settlement building.