Hot Posts


More bad news for Biden's new Gaza peace plan

Joe Biden is trying to drum up support for a new peace plan in the Gaza Strip that he insists was the Israelis’ idea. If so, the Israelis don’t seem especially eager to consent to their own terms.

The contours of the agreement Biden promulgated were “not accurate,” one Israeli official told NBC News.  “Israel has not changed its conditions to reach a permanent cease-fire,” the unnamed source continued. “That will only happen after our objectives are met including destroying Hamas’ military and governing capabilities.” Benjamin Netanyahu’s government confirmed in a statement that it would not accept any cease-fire proposal that fails to free “all hostages” and ensures that “Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel.”

The Wall Street Journal’s reporting on Monday indicated that the Israeli version of a cease-fire deal would allow the IDF to “renew hostilities should later-stage talks about a permanent truce fail to progress,” which makes sense. Why would Jerusalem surrender its prerogative to resume the offensive against Hamas if its strategic objectives in its defensive war have gone unmet? Anything less would be tantamount to unilateral surrender.

Nevertheless, Israeli sources insist they’re open to a short-term cessation of hostilities. “It’s not a good deal,” said Netanyahu adviser Ophir Falk over the weekend, “but we dearly want the hostages released, all of them.” As it happens, it’s not the Israeli side that is dragging its feet. Apparently, Hamas’s leadership feels no pressure to accept the terms Biden offered.

The terrorist sect’s foremost strategic objective is to survive, regroup, and resume its campaign of genocidal terrorism against Israel at a time of its choosing. Hamas would never consent to an accord that, in Biden’s words, would “not allow Hamas to rearm” and lead to “a better ‘day after’ in Gaza without Hamas in power.” But Hamas’s leaders seem to believe they can hold out for a better deal:

Also via the WSJ:

Hamas’s chief in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, is in no hurry to end the war, believing that it is drawing Israel into a quagmire that is turning the country into an international pariah while reviving the Palestinian national cause, according to messages Sinwar has sent to mediators from Arab states. Hamas’s political leaders in exile, however, are eager to end the war provided that a deal guarantees the group’s survival and grants it a continued role in governing Gaza.

“Hamas has become increasingly confident that it can outlast Israel’s campaign as international condemnation has grown over the Israeli military’s operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah,” the Journal continued.

It’s hard to fault Sinwar for his recalcitrance. The terrorist leader’s appraisal of Israel’s capabilities may be flawed, but his belief that Jerusalem’s weak-kneed allies are faltering in their resolve to support Hamas’s neutralization is well-founded.

Sinwar has seen the United States evolve from a stalwart proponent of Hamas’s extirpation from the earth into a gelatinous neurotic. They’ve seen how Biden’s resolve melts away when scolded by an unrepresentative contingent of youngish miscreants on college campuses and their allies in Congress. They’ve watched Biden withdraw his support for Israel at the United Nations, harp on Israel’s every battlefield error, and castigate Israel for failing to provide for the Gazan public in ways the Hamas-led regime never did or would. They observed as he established contradictory conditions for the assault on Rafah designed to forestall that operation indefinitely, and they saw that as complementary with the various cease-fire proposals he has retailed. If Sinwar has concluded that Joe Biden’s objective is to put an end to Israel’s war even if that leaves Hamas intact, who is to say that is a misapprehension?

If the Biden administration was ever serious about its intention to support Israel’s post-10/7 project in Gaza, there can be no deal with Hamas for the simple reason that Hamas should not be capable of negotiating with anyone. The organization should cease to exist. The civilian authority that succeeds it, in whatever form it takes, should be the only legitimate entity representing Gaza’s interests in talks aimed at establishing a post-war status for the Strip. The very act of negotiating via proxies with Hamas over potential terms, not for its surrender but its survival in a truncated form, establishes incentives to resist the Israeli onslaught. This back and forth extends the war by giving the terrorist group every reason to believe it can emerge from this existential crisis battered but undefeated.

Joe Biden seeks peace. He’ll be the first to tell you. Indeed, he never lets us forget it. But in his pursuit of peace, he has sacrificed American credibility and conveyed his own irresolution. Sinwar has, therefore, logically concluded that Hamas can still emerge from the war it started last October not just unbroken but victorious — the executor of the worst one-day massacre of Jews since the Holocaust that has survived to promote its achievements and encourage others to follow its lead. Sinwar seems convinced that such an outcome would be acceptable to the American president, and who is to say he’s wrong?

Post a Comment