Netanyahu: Israel will fight this war 'until the elimination of Hamas'

Before we get to this direct rejection of the Biden/Blinken ‘credit’ argument, let’s go over the background that led to it. Under pressure from progressive anti-Semites in his party, Joe Biden growled yesterday about Israel’s supposedly “indiscriminate” bombing campaign in Gaza. His comments at a campaign event yesterday sent shock waves through the US media.

“Israel’s security can rest on the United States,” Biden stated during a campaign event Tuesday, as he touted his government’s strong support of Israel. …

“But they’re starting to lose that support by the indiscriminate bombing that takes place” in Gaza, Biden said, in a statement that implied Israel was needlessly targeting civilians.

The context of the event mattered in this case. Biden was in campaign mode, and as such, Biden apparently felt compelled to pander to his progressive wing on Israel. While agreeing that Hamas are “animals” and need to be held “accountable,” Biden then compared Israel’s campaign in Gaza to World War II, and claimed “Bibi” made the comparison.


It was pointed out to me — I’m being very blunt with you all — it was pointed out to me that — by Bibi — that “Well, you carpet-bombed Germany. You dropped the atom bomb. A lot of civilians died.”

I said, “Yeah, that’s why all these institutions were set up after World War Two to see to it that it didn’t happen again — it didn’t happen again. Don’t make the same mistakes we made at 9/11. There was no reason why we had to be in a war in Afghanistan at 9/11. There was no reason why we had to do some of the things we did.”

I’m not sure what point Biden thinks he was making. Is he criticizing the Allied war actions of World War II, which destroyed the Nazis and liberated half a continent? Would he have recommended cutting a deal with Hitler instead and leaving the Nazis in place? Is he criticizing Truman for dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Does Biden think we “carpet-bombed” Afghanistan? If the answer to any of these is “yes,” then Biden is far more ignorant than even we assumed.

At any rate, it seems unlikely that Netanyahu actually made an argument based on “carpet-bombing,” because that is clearly not what the IDF is doing in Gaza. (That part smells like Biden’s typical self-serving fabulism.) The IDF has chosen to use ground troops and narrow targeting of Hamas-infiltrated infrastructure rather than use bunker-busters that would eliminate some of the risk to its own soldiers. Even the New York Times tacitly acknowledged the falsity of Biden’s claim in a rather useful deep-dive analysis of “proportionality” today. Steven Erlanger debunks the idea that “proportionality” has anything to do with equating body counts, as well as that “symmetry” is a legal requirement in wars, especially when one side starts it as part of an annihilation effort.

As for “symmetry,” the Israelis have something to say about that too.

From the NY Times:

Officials recognize the reputational damage the war is causing and the public pressure that allied governments are feeling to bring the killing to a rapid close. But they claim they are being held to a higher standard than Hamas. Hamas, they say, has breached numerous laws of war, including using civilians as human shields, using civilian infrastructure for military purposes and using rape as a weapon.

Hamas, too, is obligated to respect the rules of war, said Cordula Droege, the chief legal officer for the International Committee of the Red Cross.

“Whatever your reason, if you choose to wage war, you still need to respect the exact same rules of international humanitarian law as a party to the conflict, and it makes no difference whether you act in self-defense or call yourself a liberation movement,” she said. “International humanitarian law protects the victims of the armed conflict, and they will be victims no matter what side they’re on.”

In other words, it’s deeply stupid to cluck about “indiscriminate” use of force by the Israelis in a war Hamas started with a wholesale slaughter of unarmed men, women, and children two months ago. It’s even more deeply stupid to assign responsibility for civilian deaths in Gaza to the IDF, which works within international rules for war, rather than the terrorists that hide among civilians and use them as shields, in a war the terrorist “animals” started by massacring, raping, and kidnapping civilians, including Americans. (Even the Red Cross understands that much.) And it’s downright idiotic to demand that the Israelis end the conflict with Hamas in place, just to do this all over. Again.

Today, Netanyahu and Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen rejected Biden’s threat to withdraw support. Israel will fight this war to a conclusion, both promised in separate statements, whether Biden approves or not.

From the Times of Israel:

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu gets a briefing about the unit’s work and the interrogation procedures.

He then tells the unit’s soldiers that “we are continuing until the end, until victory, until the elimination of Hamas” — even in the face of international pressure. “Nothing will stop us,” he says. …

“Israel will continue the war against Hamas with or without international support. A ceasefire at the current stage is a gift to the terrorist organization Hamas, and will allow it to return and threaten the residents of Israel,” Cohen tells a visiting diplomat, according to a statement issued by his ministry.

Hamas has started to figure out that they’re about to lose Gaza as a result. That may be why their leadership has begun to disappear. Ismail Haniyeh made an appearance today, but only by video, with an offer to end the war with Hamas firmly remaining in place.

From the Times of Israel:

“Any arrangement in Gaza or in the Palestinian cause without Hamas or the resistance factions is a delusion,” says Haniyeh in a televised speech.

Haniyeh says he is open to talks for ending the ongoing war and “putting the Palestinian house in order both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”

He says Hamas is ready for talks that could lead to a “political path that secures the right of the Palestinian people to their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.”

Clearly, Haniyeh wants to play on the West’s desire to end the conflict on any terms it can get. This probably would work on Biden too, even with the demand for Jerusalem as the capital of a “Palestinian” state, a very clear sign that Hamas still intends to annihilate Israel no matter what negotiations take place. Other Hamas officials, notably Ghazi Hamad, have made that overtly clear all along.

Before October 7, Israel might have played along with the West and their continued footsie with Hamas and Hamas’ sponsors in Tehran. This time, however, the Israelis are not playing at all. No amount of denial will make them forget the atrocities Hamas inflicted two months ago and their public pledges to repeat them ad nauseam. Israel’s famously fractious polity has finally united on this point, and nothing Biden says or does will deflect them from the path of actual victory rather than frozen conflict with Hamas.

Because the Israelis aren’t idiots. Even if some of their friends are.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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