The Biden administration has also been facing mounting pressure to halt the atrocities in Gaza.
Israel admitted that it is under growing global pressure to halt its devastating war on Gaza and said it forecasts an increase in such demands within two-to-three weeks.
“From a political point of view, we recognise that Israel has come under more pressure. The pressure is not very high, but it is increasing,” Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Monday, vowing that Israel would continue towards “completing its war mission”.
The top Israeli official suggested “shock from the October 7 massacre is reduced” amid growing coverage on Gaza, where thousands have been killed and millions displaced in the weeks-long brutal aggression on the besieged Strip.
“In conversations I hold with foreign ministers, they emphasise the humanitarian issue [in Gaza], the aspect of their identification and shock from the October 7 massacre is reduced,” he said.
Cohen was referring to Hamas’ ‘Al Aqsa Flood’ operation which saw Palestinian resistance fighters break out of Gaza and infiltrate occupied territories from air, land and sea before then returning with some 242 captives.
The operation marked the biggest Palestinian attack on Israel in modern history and left at least 1,200 Israelis dead. Israel has since used the operation as the pretext for its brutal aggression on Gaza, the most violent war in years, while admitting its security and military failure at the time of the attack.
Since the start of the war, Israeli occupation forces have killed more than 11,200 Palestinians, including 4,600 children, though the numbers are expected to be higher.
The Israeli foreign minister said they have been “privately” receiving requests for a ceasefire and estimated that Israel has a two-to-three week political window before the pressure increases.
Cohen further admitted Israel’s defeat in the media battle, saying that the occupying state has been struggling to push forward its narrative over the past month after initially receiving “air train of solidarity and support visits”.
“We managed to draw the coverage of the massacre and the difficult images for over a month. But in recent days, the world media mainly shows images from Gaza,” Cohen said.
He added: “There were 45 such visits, including 30 foreign ministers and heads of state, including the leaders of the USA, Germany, Great Britain, France and other central countries.”
The Israeli foreign minister’s comments echo findings in recent surveys that have reflected a significant shift in global opinion towards the Israeli occupation of Palestine as well as its war on Gaza.
Data shared by The Economist last week displayed a clear decline in sympathy for Israel online by analysing one million posts from Instagram, X, and YouTube between October 7 and 23.
Using dmr, an ai-technology firm, the Economist gathered posts with hashtags on social media that showed support for Israel and Palestine.
The ai technology found both sides had an equal number of support on October 7, but sharply decreased by October 19 when pro-Palestine support became 3.9 more common than support for Israel.
According to the Washington Post, social media applications like Facebook and Instagram have also shown a gap between Palestinian and Israeli standpoints, despite Meta’s shadow banning tactics.
“On Facebook, the #freepalestine hashtag is found on more than 11 million posts — 39 times more than those with #standwithisrael. On Instagram, the pro-Palestinian hashtag is found on 6 million posts, 26 times more than the pro-Israel hashtag,” the Washington Post report highlights.
Biden administration under pressure
The pressure on Tel Aviv also reflects domestic pressure on its top ally, Washington, which has already been on the receiving end of demands to push for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.
On Monday, a leaked five-page internal State Department memo accused US President Joe Biden of “spreading misinformation” on the war in Gaza while accusing Israel of committing “war crimes”.
The memo, first shared by Axios, was signed by 100 State Department and USAID employees and organised by “a junior diplomat” who told social media that the US support of Israel made him “complicit in genocide” in Gaza.
“Members of the White House and (the National Security Council) displayed a clear disregard for the lives of Palestinians, a documented unwillingness to de-escalate, and, even prior to October 7, a reckless lack of strategic foresight,” the memo read, as cited by Axios.
The signatories called on Biden to “advocate for the release of hostages by both Hamas and (Israel)” while noting that “thousands” of Palestinians” are also “being held in Israel” including some without charge.
There are at least 1,270 administrative detainees and 170 child prisoners behind Israeli bars, per figures shared by Palestine’s Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association. Administrative detention refers to those detained and kept in Israeli prisons without charge and access to legal defence.
The joint US memo also slammed Israel’s siege on Gaza, which has completely cut off its 2.3 million population from water, electricity and basic necessities, leading to a major humanitarian catastrophe.
The diplomats said all those measures “constitute war crimes and/or crimes against humanity under international law” while noting the US’ failure “to reassess our posture towards Israel.”
“We doubled down on our unwavering military assistance to the (Israeli government) without clear or actionable redlines,” the memo added.
There has also been a growing divide between the US and Israeli policies towards the war in Gaza, with Biden now doubling down on calls for a “humanitarian pause” despite being repeatedly rejected by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Biden was asked last week about frustrations over Netanyahu’s delays in implementing a “humanitarian pause”, to which he responded by saying: “It’s taken a little longer than I hoped.”
The US has actively backed the Israeli regime since the start of the war and has repeatedly failed to condemn its atrocities in Gaza.
Last week, the US House passed a Republican bill to provide Israel with $14 billion in aid to bolster Israel’s military capabilities.
It includes $4 billion to boost Israel’s Iron Dome, David’s Sling missile defence systems as well as military equipment transferred from US stocks, Al Jazeera reported at the time.
The occupying state is already getting $3.8 billion per year in military assistance and has received aid from the US worth more than $124 billion since its establishment following the Second World War.
The Biden administration has received warnings from US diplomats in the Arab region that slammed its support for Israel’s operations, CNN reported on Friday, citing a copy of the letter. The diplomats warned the US that it “is losing us Arab publics for a generation.”
“We are losing badly on the messaging battlespace,” the envoys said.