Netanyahu: Biden has given Hamas hope

White House ‘disappointed’ by Israeli reaction, falsely claiming that ‘nothing has changed’ about US policy.

By Ryan Jones | | Topics: Hamas, Biden, America, Gaza
The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 2728 (2024) 14-0, demanding an immediate ceasefire to Israel's war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip during Ramadan and immediate release of all hostages taken from Israel and being held in Gaza, with Washington abstaining, March 25, 2024. Credit: Loey Felipe/UN Photo.
The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 2728 (2024) 14-0, demanding an immediate ceasefire to Israel's war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip during Ramadan and immediate release of all hostages taken from Israel and being held in Gaza, with Washington abstaining, March 25, 2024. Credit: Loey Felipe/UN Photo.

Relations between Israel and the United States are more tense than ever after the administration of President Joe Biden on Monday chose to break with standard US policy by failing to back the Jewish state at the UN Security Council.

A resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza passed by a vote of 14-0 because the US did not veto it as it had all previous such resolutions. The American representative abstained, but the failure to abstain was seen in Jerusalem as support for the motion proposed by Israel’s enemies.

The resolution “demands an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan respected by all parties leading to a lasting ceasefire and also demands the immediate and conditional release of all hostages.”

In other words, this temporary ceasefire is to become permanent, which is in and of itself already a reward for Hamas. In addition, Hamas was not called upon to unconditionally release the Israeli hostages it is holding, No, the resolution says their release will be conditional, meaning Hamas will also get something else in return for that gesture. And what Hamas wants is for Israel to free thousands of jailed terrorists.

Bottom line: The ceasefire is not linked to the release of Israeli hostages.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was clearly incensed.

A statement released by Bibi’s office slammed the Biden administration over its “clear departure from the consistent US position in the Security Council since the beginning of the war.”

Netanyahu went on to warn that Biden had “given Hamas hope that international pressure will force Israel to accept a ceasefire without the release of our hostages, thus harming both the war effort and the effort to release the hostages.”

We, along with others, have been stressing since October 7 that all Hamas needs to do to win is not lose. If the terror group can hold on and survive the IDF offensive, it can and will claim victory, and justifiably so in the eyes of the Arab world. The destruction of Gaza is inconsequential to them.

And now Washington is playing right into the hands of the terrorists’ agenda.

 

Cancelled talks

Netanyahu’s first response to what was seen in Israel as a betrayal by the White House was to cancel a high-level Israeli delegation scheduled to arrive in Washington on Tuesday.

The reason for the trip was to discuss Israel’s looming military operation in the border town of Rafah, the last remaining Hamas stronghold in Gaza.

This outcome might be for the best, as Israelis feared the Americans planned to use the meeting to force undesirable alternatives. Biden has been vocally opposed to the IDF entering Rafah in order to finish off Hamas, arguing that it would create a humanitarian catastrophe.

 

Playing dumb

The Biden administration predictably responded to Israel’s angered response by insisting that it had done nothing out of the ordinary, and suggesting that Netanyahu was overreacting by cancelling the Israeli delegation.

“We’re very disappointed that they won’t be coming to Washington, DC, to allow us to have a fulsome conversation with them about viable alternatives to going in on the ground in Rafah,” White House spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

“Nothing has changed about our policy—nothing,” Kirby added. “We still want to see a ceasefire, and we still want to get hostages out—all of them. And we would still want to see more humanitarian assistance get in to the people of Gaza. The reason we abstained is because this resolution text did not condemn Hamas.”

The savvy observer will note that contrary to the Biden administration’s rhetoric in the immediate aftermath of Oct. 7, it is no longer calling for the dismantling of Hamas and the end of its rule in Gaza as one of the war objectives.

For most Israelis, that is the primary war objective, otherwise the atrocities of Oct. 7 will occur again in the near future.

 

Clear policy shift

Kirby is wrong, and is perhaps deliberately lying, according to experts.

Richard Goldberg, a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, noted in remarks to JNS that just days ago, the White House had insisted on a resolution that clearly linked a ceasefire to the release of the hostages.

Israelis were still displeased with that kind of resolution, as it would still leave Hamas in power and able to carry out future attacks. But at least they could stomach it.

Now, said Goldberg, the Biden administration has effectively supported a resolution that takes the Hamas position of making a ceasefire and the hostages separate issues.

What’s worse, it did so in such a way that looked like submission to Russia and China.

“The United States makes itself look weaker on the world stage by abstaining on a pro-Hamas resolution backed by China and Russia,” explained Goldberg. “The more Washington projects distance from a close ally, the more America’s adversaries take note and get emboldened.”

 

Victory for Hamas

Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress also saw the move at the UN Security Council as a clear shift in American policy, and a dangerous one at that.

“It’s appalling the United States allowed passage of a resolution that fails to condemn Hamas The UN has always been unwilling to condemn this group of terrorists, cowards and rapists. We must stand with Israel and stop pandering to the political fringe or Hamas apologists,” tweeted Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.)

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called the resolution “a capitulation to and victory for Hamas. It reverses what the Biden administration said was its policy linking a ceasefire to the release of hostages, even while Hamas is still holding hostages, including American hostages.”

What’s worse, Cruz pointed out, is that the resolution Biden allowed to pass fails to condemn Hamas for starting this war by torturing, raping and slaughtering thousands of Israelis.

Like most in Israel, Cruz believes the resolution will only embolden Hamas and thus prolong the war.

Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) suggested that Biden was playing to the far-left wing of the Democratic Party in a desperate attempt to ensure his own political survival. Polls currently show he’ll lose to Donald Trump when Americans go to the polls in November.

The far-left wing of the Democratic Party vocally opposed Biden’s early support for Israel’s war on Hamas.

Once again, the fate of Israel will be the central issue of a US presidential election.