by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Over the weekend, Israel began initial ground operations in Gaza, which its leaders have indicated was the start of a protracted campaign with the ultimate goal of destroying Hamas. We wish Israelis Godspeed in their righteous mission to protect their people from a repeat of the barbaric acts the terrorist group unleashed on October 7. Unfortunately, as difficult as the military task ahead is, Israelis face an even bigger challenge when it comes to sustaining operations for as long as needed in the face of international pressure for them to stop for “humanitarian” reasons.
On Friday, before Israel had even entered Gaza, and while rejecting a resolution condemning Hamas and calling for the release of all of its hostages, the United Nations overwhelmingly passed a Jordanian resolution calling for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce,” with 120 countries voting in favor and 14 countries, including the United States, voting against. Calling for a truce, on the cusp of Israel’s response to the worst single-day massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, would be akin to offering a truce to Nazi Germany on the eve of D-Day. Even as the U.S. voted against the U.N. resolution, and despite President Biden’s vow on a trip to Israel that “we’re going to stand with you,” the Washington Post reported that the administration is “fully in favor” of so-called humanitarian pauses and is pressuring Israel behind the scenes to agree to them. Keep in mind that Hamas killed more than 30 Americans and still is holding as many as ten more hostage.
Though there are undeniably humanitarian concerns facing the population of Gaza, the framing of the conversation by the U.N. and, sadly, increasingly the Biden administration is that shortages of food, water, fuel, and electricity, and the general lack of infrastructure, are completely Israel’s responsibility.
This is wrong.