Israel – Gaza

What follows will serve as my daily blog for the rest of the week.

Biden’s failure to meet the challenge posed by the Gaza – Israel war may have horrific repercussions, including moving in the wrong direction the tipping point, the position of which will determine whether Biden loses or wins the upcoming election.

Hamas decided that they could conduct a surprise brutal attack on Israel and get away with it if they took hundreds of Israelis and two million residents of Gaza hostage, which they were prepared to do, having set things up — with lots of tunnels, for example — so that Israel couldn’t defeat them without killing (thirty thousand plus so far, but heading toward) hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

Hamas leaders are so monstrously evil that they concluded that killing a sizable percentage of their own people and greatly distressing the rest of them is worth it if they can inflict pain on Israel. Netanyahu and Israel’s extreme right-wing colleagues decided in effect: “Hundreds of Israeli hostages and the two million Palestinian hostages in Gaza be damned. We’re going to kill every Hamas fighter and leader in Gaza even if we have to flatten every building and kill every innocent person in the process.”

Within a day or two after this war began last October 7th, New York Times columnist and Middle East expert Tom Friedman expressed his fear that the war would play out this way and warned against precisely the policy Israel’s government has followed. His fear proved to be warranted. Like the U.S., after 9-11, Israel squandered the outpouring of sympathy for it after it had been attacked and has seen much of the world turn against it as a result of its crude and brutal conduct of the war.

U.S. policy (Biden’s policy) has been wholly supportive of Israel, while trying, with predictable futility, to convince Netanyahu to take humanitarian concerns into consideration in conducting the war. The other day I read that the U.S. is going to take sixty days to build a pier in Gaza to facilitate delivery of food and supplies to residents of Gaza, many of whom (perhaps most of whom) are already dead, injured, sick, malnourished, or homeless as a result of relentless Israeli attacks.

Sixty days before our efforts to relieve suffering can even begin is too long. Netanyahu is reportedly about to initiate an offensive in southern Gaza, which is likely to increase death and suffering to an even more appalling degree. The U.S. (Biden) should have, and belatedly should now, put the screws to Netanyahu and offer hope to the Palestinians through liberal dispensation of positive and negative incentives, otherwise known as carrots and sticks.