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Blinken Returns to Cajole Israel to Extend Ceasefire

If Blinken thinks he can convince Isreal to play nice with Hamas, he should think again.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the Biden administration are not making Israel’s job of ridding the world of Hamas terrorists easy. When the Gaza-based terror group invaded southern Israel on the morning of October 7 – killing, raping, and taking hostages as young as three-years-old – they had to know exactly what they were doing. How could there be any doubt in the minds of Hamas marauders that Israel would retaliate? The only way to protect the killers from immediate annihilation was to gather up bargaining chips: hostages.

Parsing back to Israel in increments of 13 to 20 hostages at a time prolongs the lull in Israel’s destruction of Hamas. It gives the group time to reallocate weapons and fighters as well as depriving Israeli forces of the momentum and battle rhythm. Immediately after the horrendous Hamas attack, the Biden administration was quick to assure Israel America would have its back and provide whatever it needed to remove Hamas. Then, the Biden White House staff started to realize what destroying Hamas would look like and went all wobbly, bowing to the pressure from mobs of terrorist sympathizers rioting in major cities and on university campuses. Now, the Biden party line is that Israel must protect innocent Palestinian civilians as an imperative and allow humanitarian aid to flow to the displaced citizens of Gaza.

Secretary Blinken Goes Back to Israel

During a press availability event while at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, before leaving on his trip Thursday, November 30, Blinken laid out his agenda for his visit to Israel. He explained:

“Looking at the next couple of days, we’ll be focused on making – doing what we can to extend the pause so that we continue to get more hostages out and more humanitarian assistance in. We’ll discuss with Israel how it can achieve its objective of ensuring that the terrorist attacks of October 7th never happen again, while sustaining and increasing humanitarian assistance…We’ll keep our efforts going to prevent the conflict from spreading. And of course, we’ll remain focused on enabling the safe departure of American citizens and other foreign nationals from Gaza.”

New Banner Military AffairsWhat Blinken did not emphasize is that to ensure the “terrorist attacks of October 7th never happen again,” not one member of Hamas can remain. In a more nuanced readout of Blinken’s meeting with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “The Secretary stressed the imperative of accounting for humanitarian and civilian protection needs in southern Gaza before any military operations there and urged immediate steps to hold settler extremists accountable for violence against Palestinians in the West Bank,” State Department spokesman, Matthew Miller reported.

However, the question is whether Biden and his team have the stomach to support what must be done after talking big on October 8. What Blinken is directing is impossible. Hamas uses the Palestinian civilians as shields, guaranteeing there will be civilian casualties. Such rhetoric from the US leadership, supposedly allies, is ludicrous. War is an ugly business, and if Israel doesn’t want to have to come back to deal with a Hamas-like terrorist organization again, eliminating the foot soldiers and Hamas leadership now is a priority. To put a finer point on what Israel faces, while Blinken was schooling Israeli senior leaders, Hamas terrorist gunmen breaking the pause agreement “opened fire at bus stop near Jerusalem, leaving 3 dead, 11 injured,” a Fox News headline reported.

It will be tough for Israel to cut through all the international noise, some of which the Biden administration has started to put in its calculus. “Israeli action has killed some 15,000 people, including terrorists, according to Hamas-run authorities,” The Economist reported. But these “Hamas-run authorities” are the same discredited terrorist officials who provided disinformation to the world, saying an Israeli missile killed 500 innocent civilians at the al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in northern Gaza. The truth was it was a misfire of one of Hamas’ missiles aimed at Israel that landed in a hospital parking lot, killing or wounding less than 50 people.

Biden Wants to Tell Israel How to Fight Its War

However, supporting the necessary level of battle to destroy all of Hamas does not seem to be where Biden is going. The White House national security team is now issuing instructions to the Israel Defense Force (IDF) to be more precise in prosecuting its military combat against Hamas. Michael R. Gordon, Gordon Lubold, and William Mauldin, writing for The Wall Street Journal, explained:

“The US push to have Israel fight a more targeted war signals a shift away from President Biden’s full-throated support at the outset for the campaign to oust Hamas and is the focus of intensive consultations between Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on how to handle the conflict—one that Washington has worked with Arab allies to prevent from broadening beyond Gaza.”

If it’s true that Washington has been working to “prevent from broadening beyond Gaza,” then someone needs to mention to the White House they are late to the party. Iranian proxy forces have already expanded the conflict. Iran surrogates have attacked US military outposts and bases in Syria and Iraq over 120 times since Biden took office. Most recently Yemeni Houthi terrorists launched medium-range missiles and drones at or close to US Naval vessels in the Red Sea. Furthermore, the Iran-backed Houthi terrorists shot down a US MQ-9 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle over international waters. Like it or not, the situation is well past not wanting to expand the fight beyond Gaza.

Whereas Biden and his team may be growing shaky in supporting Israel, there is no such confusion on the part of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “In recent days, I have heard a question: After completing this stage of the return of our hostages, will Israel go back to the fighting? So, my answer is an unequivocally yes. There is no situation in which we do not go back to fighting until the end,” Netanyahu stressed. So, if Blinken thinks he’s going to talk the Israelis into playing nice with Hamas, he should think again.

The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.

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