In nearly every statement and speech U.S. President Joe Biden gave during his brief sojourn in Tel Aviv, he insisted that Hamas does not represent the Palestinians and that the Palestinian Authority is their true representative. The P.A., the president insisted, does not share Hamas’s goal of eradicating the Jewish state and the Jewish people. Biden foresees a future where the P.A. is in charge of the Gaza Strip, and Israel agrees to a Palestinian state in Gaza, as well as in Judea and Samaria.
On Friday morning, the P.A. provided guidance to its mosque preachers ahead of its weekly services. They were told to declare war on Israel and join the jihad whose goal is the annihilation of the Jewish state and people.
As HaKol HaYehudi news service and Regavim’s research department revealed in a joint release, the P.A.’s guidance read:
“We call upon our Palestinian people: The preservation of public and personal property is a religious and moral national duty … our Palestinian people … cannot raise a white flag until the occupation [aka Israel] is removed and the independent Palestinian state is established with Jerusalem as its capital.”
The guidance continued with the passage from the Islamic hadith that calls for genocide of the Jewish people.
“The time will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and the Muslims kill them, until the Jew hides behind the stones and the trees and the stones or the trees say, ‘O Muslim, O Servant of God, this is a Jew behind me. Come and kill him.”
As the hours passed on Friday, Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria added more sandbags and firing positions for Israel Defense Forces to their already reinforced entrances.
Biden’s visit to Israel was a study in cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, he spoke warmly and emotionally about the U.S.’s commitment to Israel’s security. And on the other hand, the goal of his visit—to enable supplies to enter Hamas-controlled Gaza and preserve the open falsehood that the P.A. is a responsible, non-genocidal alternative to Hamas—indicates that his actual policy is deeply hostile towards Israel. As he put it on his way back to Washington in remarks to reporters aboard Air Force One: “My goal was … basically to get humanitarian aid into Gaza and to get as many Americans out who wanted to get out—could get out as possible.”
After noting that he secured Israel’s agreement to his demand, Biden added: “And the second thing was that I wanted to make sure there was a vehicle, a mechanism, that this could happen quickly.”
In other words, it wasn’t enough for Israel to bow to his demand; he wanted to ensure that the acceptance would be followed by action. According to cabinet ministers, Biden also conditioned U.S. military supplies to Israel on Israel’s pledge not to preemptively attack Hezbollah, which has been steadily escalating its aggression against northern Israel through cross-border raids and missile strikes.
Biden reasonably expected that in light of his open, single-minded pursuit of his goal of constraining Israel’s freedom of action, the Arab leaders in surrounding states would treat him as their friend. Yet rather than be greeted with the respect due to the leader of a superpower who is constraining the actions of the Jewish state, he was treated with unprecedented contempt. Jordan’s King Abdullah, P.A. chief Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi abruptly canceled their planned summit with Biden in Amman. They used Hamas’s false accusation that Israel bombed the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City earlier this week, which reportedly killed 500 civilians, to justify their action.
Never mind that within an hour of the initial claims, Israel demonstrated conclusively that it was an errant Palestinian Islamic Jihad missile en route to Israel, which fell short of its target, that caused the damage. As far as the Arab leaders were concerned, Hamas’s libel gave them license to dismiss the president of the United States like a servant.
Rather than respond with anger to the sleight, Biden maintained his single-minded effort to use Israel’s need for U.S. munitions as a means to force Israel to constrain its offensive operation and end its effort to block Hamas’s resupply through Egypt. Biden praised the Arab leaders who insulted him. He upheld Abbas as a peacemaker. And he refused to pressure el-Sisi to allow Palestinians to cross the border into Egypt to escape Hamas’s clutches and seek a safe harbor in a third country.
The West responds on cue
Biden’s insistence that Israel permit humanitarian aid to enter Gaza shows that he is a willing participant in Hamas’s war plan. Hamas, like all the jihadist terror groups targeting Israel, follows a war doctrine with two phases.
In phase one, the jihadists massacre Jews. Their tactics adapt to their circumstances and capabilities. Sometimes, they use axes, knives and rocks. Sometimes, they use suicide bombers. And sometimes, they use assault rifles or RPGs or ballistic missiles. On Oct. 7, they used all that and with Jews under their power, the depths of their sadism were given full expression through the unimaginable atrocities they perpetrated on their victims—men, women, children, even infants.
The second stage of their war begins when Israel launches its retaliatory response. As soon as Israel opens fire, they insist Israel is massacring their “innocent civilians.” They insist that they are experiencing a “humanitarian crisis.” They show canned footage of civilians wailing and bloody. And, when the opportunity arises, they disseminate a blood libel against the Jews, accusing Israel of committing the crimes they just committed against the Jews.
They then sit back and wait for two things to happen—and both inevitably do. First, they wait for their fellow jihadists throughout the Islamic world to join their jihad. Second, they wait for the West to condemn Israel and block it from defeating them.
Hamas’s false claim that Israel killed 500 civilians at the Gaza hospital and the world’s response was a case in point.
As soon as Hamas, operating under the title “Gaza Health Ministry” began disseminating its blood libel, the Islamic world responded on cue. A mob began rioting outside Israel’s embassy in Amman. Crowds in Turkey and Morocco began calling for jihad against the Jews, and Israel promptly dispatched El Al carriers to evacuate Israeli civilians from both countries. Hamas leaders abroad, along with Al-Qaeda and ISIS issued calls for their members to kill Jews worldwide.
In Beirut and Bagdad, jihadist riots incited by Hamas and Iran led thousands to surround the U.S. embassy in Beirut and riot in Baghdad’s central squares. U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq came under repeated drone attacks by Iranian-backed terror militias.
The West also responded on cue and with unbridled eagerness. First, the media jumped into action. Every major and minor media outlet from Paris to New York and Los Angeles blasted the claim that Israel had bombed a hospital in Gaza and killed 500 innocent civilians. All demanded to know when a ceasefire would be established, and when Israel would lift its siege of Gaza and allow humanitarian aid to enter.
All agreed that Israel had lost its moral right to attack Hamas for its one-day Holocaust or for the fact that it is illegally holding hostage 203 Israelis, including 30 children and 10 seniors. No one noticed that the main humanitarian crisis in Gaza is the plight of those hostages—not the terror army and terror-supporting society holding them captive.
When Israel proved that it was Islamic Jihad, Hamas’s partner, and not the Israeli Air Force that was responsible for the assault on the hospital, media organizations from The New York Timesand Washington Post to the BBC insisted that Israel’s proof wasn’t definitive. Even after Biden arrived in Israel on Wednesday and acknowledged that Israel had not bombed the hospital, Sky News maintained that the question of who was behind the bombing remained “shrouded in uncertainty.” And anyway, everyone agreed, the most important thing to do now was secure “humanitarian aid” to Gaza.
The problem with that claim is that there is no such thing as “humanitarian aid.” Since Hamas is in charge of Gaza and controls its border with Egypt, Hamas oversees and controls everything that comes into the area. It will take whatever it wants and give whatever is left to its supporters—the last people in Gaza who need the world’s assistance. So the entry of supplies into Gaza is nothing more than the resupply of Hamas. When questioned by CNN, Biden’s Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer couldn’t explain how the United States can prevent Hamas from taking control of the goods entering Gaza.
Resupply of Hamas is an operational disaster for Israel.
Hamas’s military infrastructure is almost entirely located in a warren of underground tunnels. An estimated 40,000 terrorist fighters and Hamas’s military leadership are living and operating from within the tunnels. To defeat Hamas, Israel needs to fight those forces above ground, not below ground where their tactical advantage is decisive.
Siege of Gaza must remain hermetic
On Thursday night, IDF Maj. General Yitzhak Brick gave an extended interview to Israel’s Channel 14 in which he set out Israel’s operational challenges and imperatives in Gaza and beyond. Brick served for more than a decade as the IDF’s ombudsman, and from his position, he exposed and warned about the major failings of the IDF’s operational readiness. His warnings, published in a series of detailed reports, were roundly dismissed by the IDF General Staff. IDF generals refused to take Brick’s criticism seriously and dismissed the hero of the 1973 Yom Kippur War as a relic who doesn’t understand modern-day warfare or technology.
On Oct. 7, every operational failure Brick warned of manifested itself. Since that catastrophic day, Brick is finally being listened to.
He warned that Hamas is preparing a death trap for IDF forces. To properly execute the offensive, Israel needs a hermetic siege of Gaza. All electricity and water must be cut off from the tunnels. That can only happen if the siege of Gaza remains hermetic. By blocking electricity and water, Israel will force Hamas’s terror army to come aground, where Israel will be able to defeat them. This process, Brick explained, may take several months, and the ground offensive must be delayed until it is completed because it is the only way for Israel to defeat Hamas.
In the meantime, Brick explained, Israel needs to develop a civil guard comprised of civilians, equipped with the weaponry required to defend its civilian population from jihadist attacks from the P.A. in Judea and Samaria, from Hezbollah in northern Israel, and from Arab-Israeli jihadists throughout the country. The P.A.’s declaration of war on Friday is further evidence that Brick must be listened to.
Given the nature of Hamas’s war footing, Biden’s insistence on resupplying Hamas under the guise of “humanitarian aid,” directly undermines Israel’s operational requirements. And it renders the U.S. president Hamas’s greatest defender.
Since Biden departed, cabinet ministers have been stating openly that Israel has no choice but to obey Biden. Otherwise, we will lack the capacity to wage war. But it appears that they have it precisely backwards. If Israel obeys Biden—no matter how many U.S. platforms it receives—it will be unable to win the war. Israel’s only chance of achieving its imperative of destroying Hamas as a military organization and a regime is to reject Biden’s demand and block all resupply to Hamas.
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