On the fifteenth day of Israel’s 2014 war on Gaza, the United States Department of Defense agreed to resupply the Israeli military with 120 mm mortar rounds and 40 mm grenades. Israel’s own stock had presumably been depleted in the offensive, which at that point had taken almost 700 Palestinian lives. The transfer required the approval of the American president and likely occurred swiftly: the U.S. stores a billion dollars worth of munitions inside Israel for such “emergencies.” By the war’s end, one month and three days later, 2,251 Palestinians had died, nearly two-thirds of them civilians, nearly a quarter of them children. As awful as they are, these numbers bear repeating.

Much has been made of the tension between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu. However much the two men may have found each other’s company unpleasant, Obama proved a faithful friend to...

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