[Make sure to read Joseph Klein’s contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]
Israel is under increasing pressure from the so-called “international community’ to agree to an immediate ceasefire or pauses in fighting with Hamas. The ostensible purpose is to allow humanitarian aid to be delivered to Gaza without any impediment and to bring about the safe release of the hostages held by Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups.
At a White House press briefing on November 2nd, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said, “What we’re trying to do is explore the idea of as many pauses that might be necessary to continue to get aid out and to continue to work to get people out safely, including hostages.” He added that “we advocate pauses by both sides here…That doesn’t mean that we’re calling for a general ceasefire.”
When dealing with a terrorist organization like Hamas, the net result of multiple successive pauses or a single ceasefire will be the same. Israel would come out on the losing end if the Israeli military’s forward momentum in destroying Hamas’ infrastructure, killing its key leaders, and encircling the terrorists in Gaza City is suddenly interrupted, even temporarily.
Every time that Israel has previously agreed to halt its military engagement with Hamas, the terrorist group has broken its word and exploited the suspension of hostilities to regroup, rearm, and plan for its next assault. Hamas followed this same script in planning and preparing for the terrorists’ genocidal massacre of more than 1400 Israelis, mostly civilians including babies, on October 7th. Meanwhile, up until that horrific day, Israel was still observing in good faith the latest ceasefire that it had agreed to under pressure from the same “international community” that is demanding another ceasefire – or pauses – today.
Israel must not fall into this deadly trap again. Israel is already helping to facilitate the daily delivery to humanitarian aid agencies, by trucks crossing from Egypt into Gaza, of food, water, and medical supplies meant for the Gazan people, while continuing its counterattacks against Hamas. But Israel’s operations against Hamas will be crippled if Israel agrees to a “humanitarian” suspension of fighting on a timetable dictated by the United Nations, relief organizations, or the Biden administration for that matter. Moreover, Hamas has a track record of stealing humanitarian aid meant for civilians to support its fighters and war machine instead.
Any brief pause that Israel might consider agreeing to will have to be solely on Israel’s terms. It must be linked specifically to the release of the 240 or so hostages that Hamas and its terrorist comrades in arms are holding. That was the message Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he delivered to Secretary of State Antony Blinken when they met in Israel on November 3rd.
The Jewish State of Israel must relentlessly continue its military operations in defense of its people until Hamas and its terrorist allies in Gaza are wiped out. Otherwise, fortified by Iran’s continued support in the form of money, training, and the supply of sophisticated weapons, Hamas will remain an existential threat to Israel. Hamas’ leadership has made it clear that the savage terrorists are doubling down on trying to fulfill Hamas’ founding mission to annihilate Israel and kill as many Jews as possible.
A senior Hamas official, Ghazi Hamad said, for example, on October 24th during an interview that was translated and published by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI): “Israel is a country that has no place on our land. We must remove it because it constitutes a security, military and political catastrophe to the Arab and Islamic nation.”
Hamad replied, “Yes, of course,” when asked if he meant the complete annihilation of Israel.
“We must teach Israel a lesson, and we will do this again and again,” Hamad added. “The Al-Aqsa Flood [the name Hamas uses for its October 7th genocidal attacks in Israel] is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth.”
Hamas brazenly flouts international law and basic civilized norms in multiple ways. By using civilian residential buildings, infrastructure, hospitals, mosques, and schools for its own military purposes and using civilians as human shields, Hamas has knowingly put thousands of innocent Gazan civilians in harm’s way with deadly consequences. However, the Israelis are the ones who are falsely accused of violating international law even though Israel has done everything it reasonably can to abide by the rules of war.
A building housing or otherwise used by civilians that is also being used by the enemy for military purposes is considered a legitimate target under international law if the civilians are first warned and given the opportunity to evacuate. This is what Israel has done, including by repeatedly urging civilians in northern Gaza to evacuate to the south where the fighting is much less intense via safe corridors that Israel’s military has established. But Hamas has willfully prevented civilians from leaving the main theater of war to safer ground.
Loss of Gazan civilians’ lives in Hamas’ war with Israel does not bother Hamas’ bloodthirsty terrorist leaders one bit. “We are called a nation of martyrs, and we are proud to sacrifice martyrs,” Ghazi Hamad exclaimed.
Indeed, Hamas exploits civilian deaths in Gaza for propaganda purposes. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry releases exaggerated casualty figures that are unverified and do not distinguish between civilians and terrorist fighters in its compilations. Yet the United Nations, so-called “human rights” organizations, government leaders around the world, and left leaning media outlets take the manipulated fatality figures released by this Hamas mouthpiece at face value, which it claims exceeds 9200 dead Gazans.
“Hamas has now been in charge in Gaza for 16 years,” Luke Baker, Reuters’ former bureau chief in Jerusalem posted on X. “It has squeezed the life out of honesty and probity. Any health official stepping out of line and not giving the death tolls that Hamas wants reported to journalists risks serious consequences.”
President Biden started out after Hamas’ October 7th atrocities strongly supporting Israel’s right to defend itself and referring to Hamas’ brutality as sheer evil. However, the president has since blurred whatever moral clarity he originally displayed for crass political reasons. President Biden’s calls for Israel’s military to slow down and even pause its operations are intended to reverse his slipping political support among Israel-bashing Muslim, Arab- American, and young voters in battleground states such as Michigan.
Moreover, the Biden administration announced its plans to provide $100 million in humanitarian assistance for the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank despite the risk that much of the money will land in Hamas’ war coffers. The USAID Office of Inspector General (USAID OIG) issued a Gaza Response Fraud Awareness alert on November 3rd identifying “this area as high-risk for potential diversion and misuse of U.S.-funded assistance.”
The USAID OIG emphasized that its “investigative priority” is “to ensure that assistance does not fall into the hands of foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs) including, but not limited to, Hamas.”
Even U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller admitted that Hamas “may try to divert this assistance and keep it from getting to the civilians who — who it is intended for.” But the Biden administration is providing the additional assistance anyway and wants a supplemental appropriation from Congress to provide more humanitarian aid to Gaza. This is on top of the more than $1 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars that the administration has already lavished on the corrupt United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). UNRWA operates in Gaza, employs Hamas members, and uses materials in its schools that glorify terrorist “martyrs” and teach its students to hate Jews.
This anti-Semitic virus, which is always lurking, has turned into a worldwide pandemic of vitriol, threats, and violence against Jews of historic proportions in sympathy with the Islamist terrorists who want to annihilate Israel and slaughter Jews. This is certainly not the right time for the Biden administration to kick off the new national initiative to combat Islamophobia that it just announced.