Isolated and Defiant, Israel Vows to ‘Stand Alone’ in War on Hamas

Turkey has suspended trade with Israel. The world’s top court is considering whether Israeli leaders have committed genocide. Protests have overtaken cities and campuses worldwide. Ireland and Spain say they will recognize Palestine as a state by the end of the month.

Even the United States — long Israel’s closest ally and benefactor — is threatening for the first time since the war began to withhold certain arms shipments.

Seven months after much of the world pledged its support to Israel following a Hamas-led terrorist attack, the country finds itself increasingly isolated. With a war that has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians and left Gaza on the verge of famine, any international good will that Israel amassed on Oct. 7 has been all but lost.

Of greatest concern to Israel: splintering relations with the United States. President Biden, once quiet about his expectations that Israel limit civilian deaths and increase access to humanitarian aid, has become more vocal amid partisan political pressure in an election year. This week, Mr. Biden said the United States was withholding delivery of 3,500 high-payload bombs.

His warning on Wednesday that the pause could extend to more weapons was his greatest break yet with Israel’s government. It suggested that the outrage coursing through capitals and campuses would continue to spread, and it has. On Friday, in a largely symbolic gesture, the United Nations General Assembly backed Palestine’s bid for U.N. membership, and thousands of demonstrators in Sweden protested against Israel’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday.

“If we need to stand alone,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said Thursday, both acknowledging and seeking to defy his country’s growing isolation, “we will stand alone.”

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