Tug-of-War: How the Israel-Hamas war affected Ukraine

April 4, 2024



Over the past two years, the Biden administration in the US has faced significant challenges due to the outbreak of two conflicts: one in Europe and the other in the Middle East. These conflicts emerged in areas where the US holds considerable geopolitical sway, thereby impacting its global standing. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has triggered both internal and external repercussions for the US, exacerbating domestic divisions and prompting shifts in foreign policy towards Russia. This conflict has strained US-Russia relations, with far-reaching consequences globally.

Furthermore, the outbreak of hostilities between Israel and Hamas, following Hamas’s sudden offensive near the Gaza Strip, has further complicated US foreign policy efforts. This has also heightened internal divisions between Republicans and Democrats, impacting external diplomatic engagements.

The outbreak of the Israel-Hamas conflict has diverted US attention away from Ukraine, as Israel holds a primary and significant alliance with the United States. This shift has complicated matters for the US administration, as maximum support is crucial for Ukraine to counter Russian capabilities. Furthermore, the conflict has exacerbated divisions between the Republican and Democrat parties, each advocating for support but differing in their approaches. Consequently, Ukraine has experienced prolonged delays in receiving essential aid packages due to considerations for Israel. Additionally, the Pentagon has encountered challenges in procuring artillery shells and boosting production domestically and among allies, further complicating the situation.

The sway of the US towards Israel over Ukraine can be attributed to several factors, including effective lobbying efforts from Zionist-backed groups like AIPAC. This prioritization raises questions about the comparative importance of Israel and Ukraine in US foreign policy. The deadlock in the Ukraine-Russia conflict has forced the US to reassess its stance, acknowledging Ukraine’s limitations in confronting Russia and hesitating to pursue planned actions, such as joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, due to potential complications and ramifications.

Despite perceived weaknesses in Russia’s army at the start of the conflict, Russia was able to counter challenges, overcome difficulties and hold its position. Another factor of why the US averted attention to Israel is the possibility of an all-out war in the Middle East, which could have detrimental effects for US personnel and bases around the region.

This comes as Iran and AoR proxies like Hezbollah, the Yemeni Houthis, and the Islamic Resistance in Iraq continue to grow and threaten Israel due to the ongoing war. On 28 January 2024, a one-way drone attack took place at a US outpost (Tower 22) in Jordan, resulted in the deaths of three US soldiers and injuries to 47 others. The US administration is considerate of Iran and its proxies’ power in the region and wants no further confrontation. This is particularly why the US continues to be against an Israeli offensive in Rafah as well as an expanded war in the North against Hezbollah.

These conflict dynamics may change soon but what is certain is that the US is more interested in Israel than Ukraine at the present moment. What will change with a new US president is uncertain, but one thing that is certain, Ukraine has lost.