Mr. Biden, There Can Be No Pause

Mr. Biden, There Can Be No Pause


Leonard Zwelling

If the President of the United States wants the Israelis to pause their bombing of northern Gaza, then he can assist in moving the Arabs from the north to the south, force the opening of the Egyptian border crossing, and provide humanitarian relief to those Arabs and foreigners who have been stuck there. It is not the Israelis preventing those things from happening. It is Hamas.

Frankly, Israel may well have run out of friends if the president does not understand why Israel cannot stop its invasion of Gaza. Perhaps not invading at all would have been a better strategy, but there was never any guarantee that Iran or Hamas would give up the hostages without a fight. And Israel cannot worry about the world’s opinion of its fight for survival.

For 16 years, Israel has tolerated a government in Gaza that has had only one goal—eliminating Israel. Netanyahu’s and all past Israeli governments have been foolish in allowing this to go on. Furthermore, the last time there was an election in Gaza, when Hamas assumed power, was 2006. Hamas has no interest in governing Gaza or caring for the two million Arabs that live there. Hamas just wants to kill Jews as they demonstrated on October 7.

This means Israel has no choice but to eliminate Hamas as a threat to its citizens—now. There can be no pause until Hamas either surrenders unconditionally and leaves Gaza or Israel eradicates Hamas and helps with the development a new governing structure for Gaza and for an independent Palestinian state on the West Bank as well. There simply is no other solution and the western world has been derelict in not assisting Israel in this goal.

Everyone, and I include the Israeli governments under Netanyahu, have been comfortable with the status quo of having a terrorist group next to the country on the west and an inept structure governing the West Bank to the east. This was foolishness. Successive Israeli governments and American ones have not done their job of recreating the balance in this part of the world. The status quo on October 6 was no balance. It was a recipe for disaster.

It was actually Mr. Trump and the Abraham Accords that started a process to make changes in the region. Iran and Hamas couldn’t stand that the Abraham Accords might have included Saudi Arabia soon. Thus, October 7.

And on the subject of leadership not doing its job, what is with the college presidents that coddle the anti-Semitism on their campuses and call it free speech. I wonder what these same people would have done in the universities in Berlin in 1933.

Look, we Jews are under assault. For some reason, violence and hate aimed at us is not as alarming as the same insults aimed at Black people or LGBTQ+ people. I get it. After all, even in America we are only 2.4% of the population. Well, we are not backing down this time and neither are the Israelis.

I saw a piece on the NBC Nightly News featuring an Orthodox Jewish gun store owner in south Florida who runs shooting classes. He was doing one to two a week before October 7. Now he is doing one to two a day and most of his students are Jewish women who would never have dreamed of owning a gun. Now, they feel they need to be armed to protect their homes, their families, and themselves from anti-Semitic violence.

The events of October 7 serve as a reminder. The world hates us. OK, we get it. But we are not rolling over this time. Thus, no pause Mr. Biden unless you want to send US troops to destroy Hamas instead. We know you don’t. The Israelis will have to do it. Now.

And when that is done, the Israelis need to get rid of Mr. Netanyahu and his radical right-wing group of ministers and elect people who have a larger picture of what would constitute peace in the region. That means increasing alliances with the Sunni Arab states, getting their help in the governance of Gaza and the West Bank, and holding real elections in Gaza and the West Bank that include no terrorists on the ballot.

Mr. Biden, I know you consider yourself a foreign policy expert and a friend of Israel, but put yourself in the place of the Israelis now, and I mean the rational ones. Israel cannot become what Ukraine has become since the Russian invasion. It needs to proactively secure its borders and make clear to the world that it will not stand by while its citizens are slaughtered.

No pause.

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