A month into the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, the achievements of U.S. diplomacy seem minimal, which supporters and opponents of the war agree is at least partly deliberate.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is completing an intensive tour of the crisis, insisted that all the leaders he spoke to demanded an "American leadership role."

Blinken told reporters in the Turkish capital Ankara on Monday that "every country I spoke with looks forward to us playing a leading role through our diplomacy to try to make progress in various aspects of this crisis."

But the United States did not support the position of the leaders of Arab countries and many other countries who called for a ceasefire, and has continued to assert since the beginning of the war Israel's right to defend itself.

Despite the war entering its second month, and the continued heavy Israeli bombardment and massacres committed by the occupation army in the Gaza Strip, America's position has not changed much, except for Blinken's call during his recent tour for a "humanitarian truce" to allow aid to enter the Strip, which the Israeli occupation has imposed a suffocating siege on for 32 days.

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not endorse Blinken's idea, and the White House reported that President Joe Biden again raised the issue of making room for a "tactical truce" during a phone call with Netanyahu on Monday.

Despite the large number of civilian casualties and the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza, the main objectives of the US Secretary of State during his diplomatic tour in the region were to prevent the spread of war and prevent the opening of other fronts, especially with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Some U.S. officials have spoken of some progress in alleviating the suffering of Gazans by trying to persuade Israel to partially restore water and electricity services it has cut off since the start of the war, and to allow more humanitarian aid through the Rafah crossing.

Although U.S. officials have avoided announcing any significant progress on their efforts to prevent the war from spreading, some observers said Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah's speech last Friday suggested the group had no plans to escalate further with Israel.

Deterrence and public opinion

Veteran U.S. diplomat James Jeffrey, who led the fight against Islamic State under former President Donald Trump, said Blinken began his tour with two missions: preventing escalation by pro-Iranian forces and calming public opinion.

Jeffrey, who currently directs the Middle East program at the Wilson Center, said he believes Blinken achieved his goal during his diplomatic tour of the region.

Israel's violent response in Gaza was itself a deterrent to Hizbullah and Iran, he said, sending a message that "we will do the same and more towards you" if there is an escalation.

But he noted that Israel's tactics of war have complicated the second U.S. goal of engaging with public opinion, noting that Blinken is "trying to push the Israelis to make room for other things to be in the news."

Jeffrey said Blinken wanted to "help Arab countries in terms of their populations, and frankly help Biden domestically, by emphasizing that the United States is committed to avoiding civilian casualties, as well as to playing a leading role in terms of humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza."

But the veteran U.S. diplomat says dealing with public opinion is difficult, "because frankly Israelis are not helping as they should."

Reducing the gap

Diana Buttu, a former legal adviser to Palestinian negotiators with Israel, mocked Blinken's failure to reach even humanitarian truces, despite Israel's dependence on Washington.

Noting the meager achievement of Blinken's tour, Buttu said: "If Blinken travels on commercial flights, he earns a lot of miles and that's it."

Blinken "is playing a game of trying to appease the Arab countries and the rest of the world, while at the same time giving the green light to Israel" to continue its war on Gaza, she said.

Downplaying the U.S. role despite the billions of dollars Washington is spending on Israel is unbelievable.

John Alterman, director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the United States has long faced criticism from Arab countries for its support for Israel, something he believes U.S. officials believe cannot be changed.

Alterman concluded that Israel's war on Hamas is distancing Israel "more and more from its neighbors and from most of the world, while the United States tries hard to reduce that gap" through its diplomatic efforts.