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(June 3, 2024 / JNS)

Imagine it is August 1942, eight months after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Isolationists from the rapidly growing “America First Committee” have surpassed 800,000 members, claiming that nothing can imperil America’s national security interests. Sympathetic members of the Nazi party of the German-American Bund march down major streets of Manhattan. Students at Columbia, Berkely and at Yale hold massive demonstrations against the war. Father Edward Coghlin’s highly antisemitic radio broadcast reaches tens of millions of followers, asking, “Must the entire world go to war for 600,000 Jews who are neither American, nor French nor English citizens, but citizens of Germany?”

Feeling immune from the jihadist hatred that has been so ardently displayed towards Israel first, but not exclusively, many strong elements within the democratic party are behaving thusly. This was reflected in President Biden’s June 1st speech.

Although President Biden opened his remarks claiming that his negotiators are focused “not just on a ceasefire….That would inevitably be fragile and temporary, but a durable end to the war.”

The devil, of course, is in the details.

The deal on the table has 3 phases. The first states “a full and complete ceasefire”, in which there is “a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from all areas of Gaza.” This would, essentially ensure a victory for Hamas after 8 months of fighting. What is to prevent Hamas, or another Hamas affiliate group from emerging?

In the first phase, the President  also declares that “Palestinians-civilians-would return to their homes and neighborhoods in all areas of Gaza, including in the north.” In an asymmetrical war, in which Hamas combatants do not wear uniforms and do not carry dog tags or army ID cards, (contrary to the Geneva Convention), how does one distinguish between a Palestinian civilian and a Hamas terrorist?

Again, the formula for hostage release versus a terrorist prisoner exchange is totally asymmetrical. President Biden stated “a release of a number of hostages-including women, the elderly, the wounded-in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.”

Note that there is the phrase “a number of hostages”, rather than “all remaining hostages”, What does a number entail?  125? Two? One? Why not one Palestinian prisoner for one hostage? Haven’t  we learned the lesson from the 2011 deal after returning 1,027 prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit, including the Hamas mastermind Yahya Sinwar?

The President also said that “Humanitarian assistance would surge with 600 trucks carrying aid into Gaza every single day.” However, a study by a group of highly esteemed public health officials and academics have found that the amount of calories coming into Gaza from Israel is 40 per cent higher than the humanitarian standard for daily calorie intake.  The problem has never been the efforts made by Israel to deliver the food. The problem has always been Hamas’ plundering and looting of the food, as has been reported by Reuters.

Magnanimous promises are in store for us in Phase Two, such as “the cessation of hostilities, permanently.”  How long is “permanent?” Until Hamas is able to regroup and re-establish its hold on Gaza?  Until the international community runs out of the will to negotiate ad nauseum with Hamas?

And if we are dealing with an entity that is expected to live in peace and security just a few meters away from Israel, why must it be  necessary to state, there will be “an exchange for the release of all remaining living hostages, including male soldiers.”

Therin lies the rub. The entire civilized world knows exactly what Hamas is. They themselves videotaped their sadistic atrocities on October 7th.  We all witnessed the serial use of sexual violence against women and men; the burning of children in front of their parents; the massive slaughter of parents in front of their children; the holding of sex slaves for 8 months. We all heard the blood-curdling phone call of a child, triumphantly bragging to his parents, “Open What’s App. I killed 10 Jews with my own hands!” And the mother responding, “Oh my son. May God bless you!”

Stage 3 might sound  at first blush like a wonderful “kumbaya moment”  except for the minor fact that Israel would not allowed to ensure the survival of its own borders or the security of its own people. This would most likely fall into the hands of Egypt-who allowed the conduction of hundreds of miles of terror tunnels running from beneath Gaza into its own territory which has been used to smuggle weapons into Gaza; and Qatar, which magnanimously hosts the strongmen of Qatar in Doha and poisons the minds of the Arab speaking world through Al Jazeera-Arabic.  And that would be after the United States pours billions of taxpayer dollars into Gaza to rebuild it.

Never willing to acknowledge that Oslo was a failed paradigm from the start, the U.S  State Department might well attempt to replace the Hamas leadership with a “revitalized Palestinian Authority”. They may well try to pluck the arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti out of prison, where he has been convicted of being the leader of the Tanzim Terrorist group, which killed over a thousand Israeli civilians during the second intifada. However according to recent polls taken by  the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, there is minimal support for the P.A., with 71 per cent claiming that Hamas’ decision to launch its atrocities of October 7th was the correct one.

It is also noteworthy that President Biden, towards the beginning of this address declared that “Israel has offered a comprehensive new proposal.”

Yet, that same day, Prime Minister Netanyahu wrote on X, “Israel’s conditions for ending the war have not changed. The destruction of Hamas military and governing capabilities, the freeing of all hostages and ensuring that Gaza do longer poses a threat to Israel.” And: Under the proposal, Israel will continue to insist these conditions are met before a permanent ceasefire is put in place. The notion that Israel will agree to a permanent ceasefire before these conditions are fulfilled is a non-starter.”

What of the assurances from the President that:  “The people of Israel should know they can make this offer without any further risk to their own security because they’ve devastated Hamas form- — forces over the past eight months. At this point, Hamas no longer is capable of carrying out another October 7th, which — one of the Israelis’ main objectives in this war and, quite frankly, a righteous one.”

Hamas, whether  or not it is called by that name-is a theological-nationalistic autocracy. The people of Gaza, and much of Judea and Samaria have been indoctrinated from age 2 to believe in it. The only way to defeat it is the way the allies defeated the Nazis, complete and total victory. Or else we will see countless October 7ths.

Please remember the assurances laid out before the Gaza withdrawal,  in the April 14, 2004 letter from President George W. Bush to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon:

  • Palestinians must undertake an immediate cessation of armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere, and all official Palestinian institutions must end incitement against Israel.
  • There will be no security for Israelis or Palestinians until they and all states in the region and beyond, join together to fight terrorism and dismantle terrorist organizations.
  • Israel will retain its right to defend against terrorism, including to take action against terrorist organizations.

In such an insane, isolationist world, with an impending election in the United States, assurances from this, or any other administration regarding Israel’s survival remain meager and paltry.

Israel, the Jew among nations, has no one to depend upon, but itself.

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About the Author

Sarah Stern
Sarah Stern is founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).

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