Blinken’s peace journey: 8 stages to stop the escalation of the war between Israel and Hamas

Elizabeth Smith

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has begun his fourth visit to the Middle East in three months. His frenetic diplomatic activity in the Middle Eastern crisis, to support Israel and at the same time limit humanitarian tragedies in Gaza and avoid a regional escalation of the conflict, remains an open game with the aim of lowering tensions and seeking a solution also for the management of the post war in the Strip.

Hovering over the trip is what was reported by the Washington Post, namely the fears of officials in the administration of United States President Joe Biden who underline the risk that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could launch an all-out war against the Hezbollah group in Lebanon to stabilize his position internally and save his faltering political career.

The first stop was in Turkey and the trip will culminate in Israel and the Palestinian Territories passing through Greece, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Blinken on political visit to Jordan

In Amman the meeting with King Abdullah II with whom he discussed the problem of humanitarian aid for the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip.

A note from the Jordanian royal palace reports what King Abdullah underlined in the meeting, namely the need to put an end to the “tragic humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip”.

He reaffirmed that “the region will not achieve stability without a just solution to the Palestinian issue and without achieving a just and comprehensive peace based on the two-state solution.”

A possible peace plan

The undersecretary also visited a World Food Program center in Amman and then flew to Qatar which played a mediating role in the truce between Israel and Hamas at the end of November.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said on the eve of the US Secretary of State’s visit that Blinken “should focus on ways to end the occupation” because stability and security will not come “until the Palestinian people have achieved freedom”.

Precisely while waiting for the number one of US diplomacy, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant submitted to the media and to the Netanyahu government, split on the issue and which is facing street demonstrations calling for new elections, a plan for the management of Gaza at end of the war.

The main points of the plan presented by Yoav Gallant are:

  • Israeli military control of the Strip;

  • a Palestinian civil administration with no role for Hamas, or what will remain of it;

  • an international coalition to be entrusted with the reconstruction of Gaza.

Not an easy task for the American undersecretary who in recent months has been trying to carve out the role that Henry Kissinger played for Nixon.

Read also: Conflict in the Gaza Strip, who supports Israel and who Hamas? The major funders of the war

Who is Anthony Blinken

On X he defines himself as: husband, dad, very amateur guitarist. And 71st Secretary of State. And it’s true that on Spotify he was able to boast two songs with his youth band, blues and rock rhythms.

Blinken, 61, has shed, in recent months, the image that saw him, in politics, known as an official and advisor behind the scenes.

The new “version” of the undersecretary, already put to the test by the response to the Russian invasion war in Ukraine, has also been recognized by his opponents. Republican senator Lindsey Graham, always very critical of the Democrats, defined his “shuttle diplomacy” as “a Herculean effort”.

Blinken tries to leverage quality for his role. He is a seasoned expert in international politics with a calm and decidedly sophisticated approach.

He has been very close to Biden for years. And he shows no sign of being eager for personal ambitions and agendas, such as elective positions, which could cause internal discontent and risk putting the president in difficulty. It is a recipe that today makes Blinken listened to abroad and trusted at home.

Despite a very different profile from that of predecessors of both parties, such as Colin Powell or Hillary Clinton, Blinken has a long career behind him in the ranks of international politics.

He was responsible for the speechwriters of the National Security Council under Bill Clinton, then for six years at the helm of Biden’s staff when the latter was a senator in the Foreign Affairs Committee. He then became Biden’s national security advisor and deputy secretary of state under Barack Obama, before returning to be Biden’s right-hand man in the 2020 White House election campaign.

Read also: 2024 is a year of decisive elections: where to look and what to expect

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