I’m pretty sure we’re all familiar with the carrot-and-stick model of human motivation, but it’s worth rehashing because I don’t necessarily believe some liberals — particularly those in residence at or in the employ of those at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. — quite understand it.
This metaphor for motivation provides both an incentive to act a certain way and a disincentive to act in an opposite manner. If an individual or entity behaves as you wish, they get a “carrot” as a reward. Should they act contrariwise, they get a solid thwack with the proverbial “stick.”
This metaphorical model is essentially a first principle of human behavior: It’s irreducibly, self-evidently true. Yet, when it comes to the anti-Israel governments in Tehran, Riyadh and Doha, President Joe Biden’s administration has been feeding them nothing but carrots with the stick held far, far in the background.
According to The Times of Israel, at least 600 are dead after an invasion launched by Hamas forces on Saturday. Additionally, per Fox News, the terror group claimed to have fired at least 5,000 rockets in the attack and a senior Hamas military commander called it “the day of the greatest battle to end the last occupation on earth.”
In a video message released in the early hours of Saturday morning, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the state of Israel was “at war” with Hamas — which is the governing party in the Gaza Strip.
“Citizens of Israel, we are at war — not in an operation, not in rounds — at war,” Netanyahu said.
Israel, of course, is supposed to be one of our closest allies. Yet, when President Biden took to the podium to briefly address the attacks and invasion of southern Israel by Hamas on Saturday afternoon, he seemed oblivious to the governments he promised to work with to put an end to the conflict.
“Let me say this as clearly as I can: This is not a moment for any party hostile to Israel to exploit these attacks to seek advantage. The world is watching,” Biden said.
Fair enough. And then he let it be known that he’d be working with a number of nations that have explicitly used these attacks to seek diplomatic advantage.
“I have also been in contact with the King of Jordan, spoken with members of Congress, directed my national security team
to engage with their Israeli counterparts — military to military, intelligence to intelligence, diplomat to diplomat — to make sure Israel has what it needs,” Biden said.
“I’ve also directed my team to remain in constant contact with leaders throughout the region, including Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, the [United Arab Emirates], as well as with our European partners and the Palestinian Authority.”
Tune in as I deliver remarks on the terrorist attacks in Israel. https://t.co/eKm9KtF68U
— President Biden (@POTUS) October 7, 2023
The problem is that 1) part of the Palestinian Authority — namely Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip politically — launched the attack and invasion, 2) two of the governments he said he would be working with praised the attack and 3) another Middle Eastern nation the Biden administration has been actively courting and just gave $6 billion to is one of Hamas’ major financial backers.
As The Hill noted, both Qatar and Saudi Arabia — two nations the administration promised to be in “constant contact” with — said Israel was to blame for the wanton act of war on the part of Hamas.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs holds Israel alone responsible for the current escalation due to this ongoing violations of the rights of the Palestinian people, the latest of which is the repeated raids on the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque under of the protection of Israeli police,” the Qatari Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
This refers to an April raid after a group of Palestinians barricaded themselves inside the mosque in East Jerusalem “amid reports that Jewish extremists wanted to try to sacrifice a goat at the site for Passover,” according to the BBC.
Despite the fact that both Israeli political and law enforcement authorities promised that, even if those extremists tried to sacrifice the goat, they would be prevented from doing so, the Palestinian agitators refused to budge. The subsequent raid injured roughly 50 but ended with no deaths.
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, said in a statement that the government there “is closely following the developments of the unprecedented situation between a number of Palestinian factions and the Israeli occupation forces, which has resulted in a high level of violence on several fronts there.”
“The Kingdom recalls its repeated warnings of the dangers of the explosion of the situation as a result of the continued occupation, and deprivation of the Palestinian people of their legitimate rights, and the repetition of systematic provocations against its sanctities,” the statement added.
And, while Biden didn’t mention Iran in his speech, let’s not forget that his administration has fawned over Tehran to get it back into the suicidal nuclear pact signed under former President Barack Obama and released $6 billion in frozen Iranian assets just months before the attack as part of a prisoner swap, as Fox News noted.
Unlike Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Iran’s government engaged in active Hamas boosterism — little surprise when you consider that Tehran has been one of the terrorist organization’s geopolitical sugar daddies.
“We congratulate the Palestinian fighters,” said senior Iranian government advisor Yahya Rahim Safavi via state media, as per Reuters. “We will stand by the Palestinian fighters until the liberation of Palestine and Jerusalem.”
According to U.S.-based outlet Iran International, he also went as far as to dub the attack Operation al-Aqsa Storm.
“We support the commendable operation of al-Aqsa Storm,” he said. In that version of Safavi’s statement, he also used the Arabic name of Jerusalem — “al-Quds” — to describe the “liberation” of the city. Reuters, apparently, was willing to clean up his language in ways Mr. Safavi probably wouldn’t approve of.
The same outlet also published a story titled “Iran Regime Holding Celebrations For ‘Palestinian Victory,’” in which video of celebratory demonstrations — including the requisite video of people chanting “death to America! Death to Israel!” in Arabic — was linked.
Dozens of Iran’s regime supporters gathered outside the Palestinian embassy in downtown Tehran Saturday night to celebrate the attacks launched by Iran-backed Palestinian groups against Israel. A video of the gathering shows the speaker is speaking in Arabic.
Iran’s state-run… pic.twitter.com/NrtVxT29L4
— Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) October 7, 2023
— خبرگزاری ایرنا (@IRNA_1313) October 7, 2023
In that story, Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani described the attack as “a turning point and a new chapter in the continuing resistance and armed operations” against Israel and said the military action showed the terror organization was “confidently capable of conducting hybrid and multilateral operations against the occupiers.”
These are, more or less, the same governments that the Biden administration is treating as partners or potential partners. As far as they’re concerned, there’s nothing but carrots in store for these governments if they can get Hamas under control, despite the fact two of them have said, flat out, they have no intention of trying to get Hamas under control, and a third remains a key funder of the terror group.
When there is no stick, the carrot doesn’t work. Biden and his enablers didn’t learn this in Afghanistan, they haven’t learned it with Russia and they certainly aren’t learning it with Qatar, Saudi Arabia or Iran.
If the current inhabitants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue can’t figure out an essential first principle of international diplomacy — that a carrot without a stick is thoroughly useless — it’s time for new inhabitants, and not just for Israel’s sake.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.