The Bidenites keep assuring Israel of their total support. They will not, they say, tell Israel how to conduct its war. The Israelis, they say, “have every right to defend themselves from Hamas.” They agree with the IDF’s stated aim to destroy Hamas as a military force. The Americans can be counted on to veto mischief-making at the UN Security Council, as they did the other day with a resolution that called for a “humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza which, if adopted, would have been disastrous, allowing Hamas to regroup and rearm. They have been sending all sorts of munitions — bunker-busting bombs, laser-guided missiles for Apache gunships, precision Spice bombs, and at the beginning of December, calling it an emergency measure that did not need Congressional approval, the Administration agreed to sell, for $103 million, 13,981 120 mm High Explosive Anti-Tank Multi-Purpose with Tracer tank cartridges, as well as U.S. support, engineering and logistics. The administration has also asked Congress to approve a spending bill still pending, that includes military aid for Israel worth $14.3 billion. So far, so good. But the demands that the Bidenites are now making on Israel will only make the IDF’s task more difficult, take it longer to achieve its goals, and likely lead to greater IDF casualties.
These demands are discussed here: “America Wants to Help, But Is Undermining the War Effort,” by Meir Ben-Shabbat, JNS.org, December 10, 2023:
“We’re determined to help Israel ensure that Oct. 7 never happens again,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated last week.
It was not the first time he made this promise. Similar statements were made during his four solidarity visits to Israel since the Oct. 7 massacre. However, concurrently with his statement, under American pressure, the Israeli war cabinet was forced to discuss an increase in fuel deliveries to the Gaza Strip, essentially supplying oxygen to Hamas terrorists fighting our soldiers through terror tunnels.
As of a week ago, Israel had raised the amount of fuel allowed in from 60,000 liters a day to 120,000 liters, and has promised to soon raise that to 180,000 liters a day, as the Americans requested. There is no doubt that some, possibly most, of that will find its way to Hamas terrorists, who will use that fuel to drive their vehicles, and to run generators, that are used inside their tunnels to provide electricity and — literally — oxygen.
Soon after Blinken’s declaration, a spokesperson for the State Department announced that the United States would oppose the creation of a buffer zone in the Gaza Strip, thus adding more constraints on Israel’s actions, particularly the options at its disposal when it comes to protecting towns near the border.
If the State Department opposes a buffer zone in Gaza, this makes it harder to keep would-be terrorists away from Israel’s border towns. 250,000 Israelis have been evacuated from those towns and kibbutzim, and they will not return until their security is assured. By preventing Israel from establishing a buffer zone, the Bidenites make it much harder for that post-war security to be assured. They would do well to leave it to Israel to decide how best to secure the border, including the creation of a modest buffer zone; it is Israelis, after all, not Americans, whose lives are at stake.
There were also US statements that the duration of the war is not unlimited, along with pressure on Israel before the renewal of hostilities in southern Gaza to reduce the intensity of the fighting and increase humanitarian aid.
The war will take as long as it takes. Who knows where, in what buildings or tunnels, the approximately 20,000 Hamas operatives the IDF has not killed are hiding? From thousands of miles away, how dare the Bidenites pressure Israel to hasten things in a war for its survival, being fought right on its border? Does anyone think Israel wants this war to go on for a long time? Do the Israelis want to keep more than 300,000 reservists away from their regular jobs for much longer, given the terrific economic damage that entails? But the IDF has to do things right. It has to protect its troops. As the IDF soldiers take over neighborhoods, they need to take the time to meticulously search, house by house, room by room, for Hamas gunmen, going slowly so as to avoid ambushes and booby-traps that have killed too many soldiers already. In fact the intensity of the fighting should not decrease, as the Bidenites want, but increase, to hit Hamas hard, and then harder still, with its frantic operatives now constantly on the run, from IDF infantry and tanks on the ground, and airstrikes from above. The momentum in this war is with the IDF; any slowdown will help Hamas. Many of their command-and-control centerswere in buildings now reduced to rubble. More than half of Hamas’ battalion commanders have been killed. Every day there are fewer places for the Hamas operatives to hide; nearly 1,000 of their tunnels have by now been destroyed, and those still intact face the risk of being flooded with seawater. If the IDF slows down, this will remove the elements of surprise, panic, and despair, and provide breathing room for Hamas operatives to regroup and rearm, and lead to more deadly attacks on IDF soldiers. No “friend of Israel” should try to dictate the pace of its war-making.
There is no room to doubt President Joe Biden’s and his officials’ commitment. The administration’s support for Israel is unwavering and deserves much praise. The US has accepted Israel’s right to destroy the military and governance capabilities of Hamas and has provided substantial and vital assistance. But at the same time, the US has been imposing limitations that prevent Israel from achieving these goals without heavy losses.
Moreover, the limitations imposed by the US will undoubtedly prolong the conflict, which is something Washington doesn’t want. The best way to ensure a quick and effective military operation with minimal risk to the uninvolved population is to temporarily relocate this population outside the combat zones. However, there are also objections to this.
This is why the IDF tried to, and succeeded, in warning nearly one million Gazans in the north to move south of the Wadi Gaza, for their own safety, as the IDF was about to unleash its campaign in the north. And for the same reason, when the IDF turned to fighting in the south, especially in and around Khan Younis, Israel warned Gazans in the south, to move to certain specified areas, where Israel would not be bombing. Those areas were indicated on maps that the IDF disseminated through online messaging and with massive leafletting. This has proved to be the surest way to minimize civilian casualties.
The increased pressure on Israel may be related to Biden’s domestic travails ahead of the 2024 elections. It may stem from differences between how Washington sees Gaza and the reality on the ground.
Is it that Biden wants the war to end well before the election season gets underway, because he fears those Democratic voters — the “progressives” supporting the Squad, Muslim Americans, the callow young — who are unsympathetic to Israel, and if the war goes on too long, may abandon him, and either stay home on election day, or vote in protest for Cornel West?