Holding hostages might be paying off for Hamas terrorists — in Washington more than in Israel.
More than two weeks after the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks that rocked the world with their savagery, the Israel Defense Forces are poised for an invasion of the Gaza territory that Hamas calls its home.
But according to a weekend report in The New York Times, the Biden administration is leaning on Israel to hold off — and that could be hurting the Israelis’ push.
Apparently following up on that report, the Times of Israel reported Monday that IDF commanders are getting restless as days go by without the threatened attack on Gaza, which is basically a 10-mile strip along Israel’s southern coast with the Mediterranean Sea, bordering Egypt.
The headline told the story: “IDF says it is ready for Gaza ground invasion, can’t sit on its thumbs forever.”
Live update: Report: US officials advising Israel to delay ground op to allow hostage negotiations, aid into Gaza https://t.co/iERHMWB6YQ . Click to read
— TOI ALERTS (@TOIAlerts) October 23, 2023
The Hamas terrorist group has been in power in Gaza since the 2006 elections (there haven’t been any since) and has used that time to entrench itself politically and militarily, including a widely reported tunnel network that’s almost certain to make the eventual Israeli ground invasion a nightmare of urban warfare.
Meanwhile, increasing hostility on Israel’s northern border, where the terrorist group Hezbollah holds sway in Lebanon, is creating the possibility of a two-front war for the Jewish state. But the IDF is ready, according to the Time of Israel — and the sooner it gets started, the better.
“After 16 days of airstrikes, the IDF has told the government that it is fully prepared for a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, and believes it can achieve the goals set out for it, even at the risk of heavy casualties to soldiers, and amid repeated attacks by Hezbollah in the north,” the newspaper reported.
“The Israel Defense Forces believes that in order to attain the objectives of the war against Hamas, laid out by government officials, the military must begin its ground offensive in the Gaza Strip sooner rather than later, The Times of Israel has learned,” it said.
But the invasion hasn’t started yet — and one reason for that is 6,000 miles away from where the fighting will take place, at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C.
Every day the IDF delays a ground invasion it gives Hamas a chance to prep. Lay traps. Ambushes. IEDs, etc.
The Biden Administration has been working to delay it, & in doing so they’re making the tactical situation far more deadly for Israel.
Not good. https://t.co/cfYxZT2vsy
— Sean Parnell (@SeanParnellUSA) October 17, 2023
According to The New York Times, President Joe Biden — who spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday — is leaning on the Jerusalem government to hold off on the invasion to allow more time for negotiations to free the hostages taken by the terrorists during the daylong killing spree in Israel that left more than 1,400 people dead.
Officially, there’s no connection between the delay on the Gaza border and the hopes in the Biden administration for hostages being released. The Times quoted an Israeli diplomat specifically saying, “The U.S. is not pressing Israel in regards to the ground operation.”
But that isn’t easy to believe.
The lede paragraph of the NYT piece makes it clear what the perceived priorities in D.C. are: “The Biden administration has advised Israel to delay a ground invasion of Gaza, hoping to buy time for hostage negotiations and to allow more humanitarian aid to reach Palestinians in the sealed-off enclave, according to several U.S. officials.”
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Anyone who even casually follows politics in the U.S. knows that Biden’s increasingly leftist Democratic Party has a base that’s strongly sympathetic to the Palestinian side — including the Palestinians who savagely murder civilians, rape women and take hundreds of hostages to forestall retribution.
Anyone who’s followed Joe Biden’s presidency has known since the disgraceful pullout from Afghanistan eight months into his term that he is a president who projects weakness, bringing instability the world over.
Without Biden’s indefensible “green light,” it’s doubtful Russia’s Vladimir Putin ever would have invaded Ukraine. China’s aggressiveness in the Pacific is certainly only heightened by the knowledge that the United States’ president and its military are unlikely to do anything serious about it.
(The fact that Chinese interests have invested serious money in the Biden family probably has something to do with Beijing’s comfort level, too.)
As National Review editor Phillip Klein noted Monday, there could be good reasons for the U.S. to press for an Israeli delay, primarily to better prepare U.S. forces in the region for the possibility of military blowback, principally from Iran, the world’s No. 1 state sponsor of terrorism. But, as Klein noted, the Biden administration doesn’t like to talk about Iran in an antagonistic way.
(The Tehran regime’s clear involvement in the Oct. 7 attack has been ignored or downplayed by the Biden White House.)
Most cynically seen, the Biden White House is playing both sides of the street, playing up to American sympathies for Israel — a modern democracy and an ally surrounded and vastly outnumbered by murderous regimes that still would be living in the 7th century if there weren’t oil under their feet — while appeasing its leftist base by holding off, for now, Israel’s righteous retaliation.
Only a fool would sell the Israeli military short. It has a 75-year record of success against seemingly impossible odds, so there’s a good chance that what is happening now is well in hand.
Still, it’s hard to see how a prolonged delay in action helps anyone but Hamas.
Keeping a 300,000-man and -woman army on full alert and primed for massive land action would be an effort for any country — and for one the size of Israel, with a population of only about 9 million, it’s got to be draining.
And, the world being what it is, every day that passes from the time of the brutal bloodshed lessens the world’s outrage over the Oct. 7 deaths a little more.
Human lives tend to be cheaply held among a large number of U.N. member nations. Jewish human lives even more so.
Back in 2014, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who served under Republican President George W. Bush as well as Democratic President Barack Obama, made headlines for an observation about Biden in his memoirs that the then-vice president “had been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
Hamas knows that. And the past three years have shown there is not one reason in the world to think that’s changed.
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