February 22, 2024

Gaza

“President Joe Biden spent months wanting a ‘pause’ in the fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. But with Israel preparing for a ground offensive in Rafah, his rhetoric is shifting to emphasize the need for a ‘temporary ceasefire’…

The U.S. has vetoed three draft U.N. Security Council resolutions on the Israel-Hamas war. The most recent two vetoes blocked language demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. But Washington has now proposed its own draft resolution enshrining the word ‘ceasefire’. The draft calls for a temporary ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war linked to the release of hostages held by Hamas and opposes a major ground offensive by its ally Israel in Rafah.” Reuters

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From the Left

The left supports a ceasefire, arguing that it is necessary to prevent ongoing harm to civilians.

“The U.S. [had been] attempting with other nations to broker a cease-fire that would permit the return of the more than 100 hostages still held by Hamas and a road map toward a more far-reaching settlement that would secure Palestinian statehood… But Netanyahu has reportedly pulled out of the talks, continuing to humiliate Biden and mock U.S. power to influence his actions. That leaves Biden in a bind…

“Netanyahu not only insists on continued destruction of Gaza; he rejects Palestinian nationhood, and any postwar future that includes a reasonable prospect of self-determination for Gaza’s people. That makes Biden and the U.S. parties to the unfolding disaster…

“In defense against terrorism and support for allies, there must be a line. Israel has now crossed it repeatedly. It’s time for the U.S. to say ‘no’ to arming and funding the destruction of Gaza, and to use its muscle to bring Israel to the table.”

Editorial Board, Los Angeles Times

“Nearly 12,000 children have died in the Israeli military campaign against Gaza, and the number rises daily. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) spokesperson James Elder says, ‘The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child.’ UNICEF’s statistics show that at least one Gazan child is killed every 15 minutes…

“People who would no doubt risk their lives to save a child from drowning look away when bombs fall on children in Gaza… No Americans need risk their lives to save children in Gaza. No one has to dig in the battered ruins of houses and schools. No one has to share the hunger, malnutrition and danger of Gaza. It is much easier and safer than that to prevent the deaths of more children: All we have to do is stop sending the weapons that kill them.”

Charles Glass, The Nation

“Israel has killed or captured somewhere around one-third of Hamas’s fighting force, destroyed at least half of its rocket stockpile, and demolished somewhere between 20 and 40 percent of its tunnel network under Gaza. The more the war goes on, the higher those numbers will become. But as significant as these achievements are, ‘none of them come close to eliminating Hamas,’ says Dan Byman, a professor at Georgetown…

“The group, he explains, has ‘very deep roots in Gaza’ — ones that could only be permanently removed if Israel had a good plan for a postwar political arrangement in Gaza. Yet at present, Israel still has no plan at all. With support for Hamas rising in reaction to Israeli brutality, Israel runs a real risk of actually strengthening the terrorist group’s political position in the long run… By inflicting mass suffering on Palestinians without a long-term plan for addressing the political consequences of their misery, Israel is playing right into Hamas’s hands.”

Zack Beauchamp, Vox

From the Right

The right opposes a ceasefire, arguing that Hamas must be destroyed in order to ensure Israel’s security.

The right opposes a ceasefire, arguing that Hamas must be destroyed in order to ensure Israel’s security.

“Israel has come too far and made too much progress in the laudable goal of dismantling Hamas to stop now. Before Hamas massacred innocent Israelis on Oct. 7, there were 24 Hamas regional battalions in Gaza. These have been reduced to six, and they are in Rafah. The city must be taken. Hamas must not be allowed to survive…

“War is horrific, and this Israel campaign against Hamas in Gaza has been no exception. But as brutal as armed conflict is, Israel has gone to extreme efforts to minimize civilian casualties. It has done a remarkably good job. Hamas claims that 29,000 Gazans have died since Israel began its counterattack following the terrorist invasion. Israel says 12,000 of those deaths are Hamas fighters. If one takes both sides’ numbers as accurate… that would be near a historic low in the ratio of combatants killed to civilians…

“Israel’s success in minimizing civilian deaths is all the more impressive when considering that it is Hamas’s goal to maximize them. That is why Hamas fighters hide underground in tunnels and use civilians as human shields. Every civilian death is a public relations victory for Hamas and a setback for Israel. It is only the Israelis who have any incentive to minimize civilian deaths.”

Editorial Board, Washington Examiner

“Allowing Hamas to survive will do nothing to further the prospects of peace for anyone in the region. If Israel stops now, the war against Hamas will have been for naught, since a large contingent of the terror army has retreated into Rafah to hide among civilians…

“It also needs to be stressed, however, that what Biden demands isn’t really a ‘ceasefire.’ It is Israel unilaterally yielding its advantage, since Hamas hasn’t agreed to any cessation of the conflict — and even if it did, its assurances wouldn’t be worth anything. Lest anyone forget, there was a ceasefire in place on Oct 7, 2023.”

David Harsanyi, The Federalist

“The awkward, unsayable fact is that a new peace cannot now be found… The idea of a sovereign Arab state right next to the heart of Israel, governed by Hamas or something like it, and separated from the Jewish state by no more than a fence and a raked strip, is so absurd that it is amazing anyone suggests it. But who do the advocates of this ‘solution’ think will govern such a state?…

“Is your concern for some fanciful golden dawn, accompanied by Nobel Prizes all round? Or do you wish to improve the actual conditions of the people who live in the region, so that each man shall live under his own vine and his own fig tree and none shall make him afraid?… If you desire peace in the Middle East, stop seeking a vast general solution and instead work to improve the lives of those who must live in the midst of this intractable, inherited, diplomatic mess.”

Peter Hitchens, American Conservative

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