Monday, March 25, 2024

Biden's terrible turn

(Originally published in The Times of Israel)

President Biden’s initial responses to Hamas’ atrocities demonstrated moral clarity, strategic acumen, and clear support for the victim of the attack, Israel.

Now, either from strategic errors or out of political concerns, or both, Biden is making some very serious mistakes, both on policy and politics.

The Biden Administration is wrong to pressure Israel not to pursue and eliminate Hamas in Rafah, the last refuge of the surviving four or five Hamas battalions.

Anything short of the total elimination of Hamas militarily will be claimed as a victory by Hamas, and it will be seen that way in the region.  Israel will have lost its most essential defensive tool: deterrence.

The attacks, which went on long before the October 7th attack and which momentarily got the world’s attention on October 7th, will resume.  Israelis will lose faith in the army’s ability to protect them.

The south as well as the north of the country will be uninhabitable.  It will be the start of the end of the Zionist enterprise.  That is why some have referred to Hamas and the October 7th attack as a “slow-motion existential threat.”

The Middle East nations that Israel has established relations with and those that are candidates for the future, all of whom look to Israel as a bulwark against terrorism and Iran, will view it as ineffective, a paper tiger.  They will start making their accommodations with Iran.

The more the Biden Administration pressures Israel not to invade Rafah, the more Hamas leaders Sinwar and Haniyeh and their fellow murderers think they can outlast the Israelis and survive as a force, and the more they will demand in exchange for the hostages.