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Even as we welcome the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, we worry that President Joe Biden’s premature pressure on Jerusalem to stand down bodes ill for the future.
Despite his public comments backing the Jewish state’s right to defend itself and blocking of a UN resolution demanding a cease-fire, Biden in a call Wednesday “conveyed to [Israeli] Prime Minister [Benjamin Netanyahu] that he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a cease-fire,” spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said.
It’s a clear sign the prez is eagerly looking to appease far-left Democrats and the global diplomatic establishment — who are naïve, hypocritical in holding Israel to an impossible standard or downright anti-Semitic.
To protect itself and deter future strikes, the Jewish state needed to inflict a sufficient price for Hamas’ unilateral attacks — and drastically weaken, if not eliminate, its ability to attack again.
Even after firing some 4,000 rockets these past 11 days, Hamas and its allies have a stash of 30,000 rockets and mortar rounds, Israeli intelligence believes.
And many, quite possibly most, Palestinian civilian deaths were the result of Hamas’ own rockets landing in Gaza and its use of its own civilians as human shields (which, by the way, is a war crime — unlike Israel’s self-defense). Even so, Israel went to extraordinary lengths to limit casualties, even issuing evacuation warnings before strikes.
We expect Netanyahu stuck to the line he drew after rejecting Biden’s request Wednesday, “to continue this operation until its goal is achieved: to bring the quiet and security back” to Israel’s citizens.
But it’s still tough for Jerusalem to say no to Washington for long, even as (as Jonathan Schanzer notes) Team Biden is cozying up to Iran (which supplies Hamas with money and weapons), pooh-poohing the Abraham Accords and resuming hundreds of millions in aid to the West Bank and Gaza.
If Biden truly backs Israel’s right to self-defense, he should quit appeasing the forces bent on Israel’s destruction.
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