In an op-ed sure to infuriate pro-Hamas progressives, the President vowed to fight the forces of terrorism and war from Russia to Gaza.
“The U.S. won’t back down from the challenge of Putin and Hamas,” promised U.S. President Joe Biden in an op-ed published by the Washington Post on Sunday.
“Both Putin and Hamas are fighting to wipe a neighboring democracy off the map,” wrote President Biden. “And both Putin and Hamas hope to collapse broader regional stability and integration and take advantage of the ensuing disorder. America cannot, and will not, let that happen. For our own national security interests — and for the good of the entire world.”
It must have certainly irked some progressives — and even some progressives working in the Biden Administration — to see Hamas mentioned in the same breath as Russian president Vladimir Putin, but not everyone fails to see parallels between the two.
After assuring the citizens of the world, world leaders, and NATO powers for ten years that Russia had no plans or intentions to invade Ukraine — none whatsoever — Vladimir Putin broke the post-WWII peace in Europe by invading Ukraine in 2022.
On October 7, 2023, Hamas broke the relative peace of a long cease-fire to launch such a barbaric and terrible attack on Israeli men, women, and children as to invoke comparisons to Hitler and the Holocaust — from many Jewish quarters.
Comparisons to Hitler and the Holocaust are generally avoided on principle by Jewish historians and religious authorities. Adherents to such fields of scholarship do not take such comparisons at all lightly.
But after what Hamas did on October 7, Holocaust comparisons made themselves. Mass murder, rape, torture, and the execution of innocent children, including infants; Hamas terrorists killed parents in front of children, children in front of parents. Hamas kidnapped children, executed the elderly, and bludgeoned farm workers to death.
It was “The End of Israel’s Gaza Illusions,” as Assaf Orion observed for Foreign Policy magazine on November 2, 2023.
“On the morning of October 7, the last day of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, Israel woke up to a double catastrophe,” began Assaf. “The attack by about 3,000 Hamas terrorists against Israel’s southern communities and defense forces was utterly devastating for the Israeli population, leaving at least 1,200 Israelis dead and more than 240 kidnapped in Gaza.”
“We stand firmly with the Israeli people as they defend themselves against the murderous nihilism of Hamas,” wrote President Biden today. “On Oct. 7, Hamas slaughtered 1,200 people, including 35 American citizens, in the worst atrocity committed against the Jewish people in a single day since the Holocaust.
“Infants and toddlers, mothers and fathers, grandparents, people with disabilities, even Holocaust survivors were maimed and murdered,” Biden pointed out. “Entire families were massacred in their homes. Young people were gunned down at a music festival. Bodies riddled with bullets and burned beyond recognition.”
“And for over a month, the families of more than 200 hostages taken by Hamas, including babies and Americans, have been living in hell, anxiously waiting to discover whether their loved ones are alive or dead,” Biden raged. “At the time of this writing, my team and I are working hour by hour, doing everything we can to get the hostages released.”
There may be encouraging news on that point. Some of President Biden’s efforts might be coming to fruition.
“U.S. close to deal with Israel and Hamas to pause conflict, free some hostages,” reported Karen DeYoung for the Washington Post yesterday. “A five-day pause in fighting, monitored by aerial surveillance, could see dozens of women and children freed from captivity in Gaza, according to people familiar with the terms of an emerging agreement.”
“The release, which could begin within the next several days — barring last-minute hitches — could lead to the first sustained pause in conflict in Gaza,” DeYoung projected. “A detailed, six-page set of written terms would require all parties to the conflict to freeze combat operations for at least five days while an initial 50 or more hostages are released in smaller batches every 24 hours. It was not immediately clear how many of the 239 people believed to be in captivity in Gaza would be released under the deal.”
But while some are encouraged by this pause and potential recovery of hostages, others are concerned it will give Hamas time to rearm and regroup and serve to drag the conflict out further.
Israel’s government is under intense twin pressures at the moment: Rescue the hostages and destroy Hamas. The prospect is made more difficult by the fact that Hamas took hostages to exert this kind of leverage in the first place and shield Hamas leaders from Israel’s counterattack.
And the situation couldn’t be more urgent. While Hamas may be prepared to release some of the innocent Israeli women and children being held hostage, this in no way should be construed as a willingness to make peace with Israel.
“And while Israelis are still in shock and suffering the trauma of this attack, Hamas has promised that it will relentlessly try to repeat Oct. 7,” President Biden reminded readers of the Washington Post only this morning. “It has said very clearly that it will not stop.”
On the far side of October 7, many former proponents of the elusive Two-State solution have abandoned it — though not President Biden.
But Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have rejected many attempts to broker a two-state deal over the decades. Now the reason why seems obvious to many; Hamas didn’t agree to a two-state solution because Hamas doesn’t want a two-state solution.
Hamas wants to eradicate Israel — and all the Jewish people living in Israel — from the “River to the Sea.”
October 7 was a loud, unequivocal message: Hamas wants it all and is prepared to rid Israel of Jewish people by any means necessary.
“From the very beginning, my administration has called for respecting international humanitarian law, minimizing the loss of innocent lives, and prioritizing the protection of civilians,” wrote President Biden in the WP.
“This stands in stark opposition to Hamas’s terrorist strategy: hide among Palestinian civilians,” Mr. Biden pointed out. “Use children and innocents as human shields. Position terrorist tunnels beneath hospitals, schools, mosques, and residential buildings. Maximize the death and suffering of innocent people — Israeli and Palestinian. If Hamas cared at all for Palestinian lives, it would release all the hostages, give up arms, and surrender the leaders and those responsible for Oct. 7.”
“As long as Hamas clings to its ideology of destruction, a cease-fire is not peace,” Biden reminded his fellow progressives. “To Hamas’s members, every cease-fire is time they exploit to rebuild their stockpile of rockets, reposition fighters, and restart the killing by attacking innocents again. An outcome that leaves Hamas in control of Gaza would once more perpetuate its hate and deny Palestinian civilians the chance to build something better for themselves.”
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)