Sun 16 Jun 2024 1:43 pm - Jerusalem Time

Washington Post: Biden has two options after Hamas’ response to the ceasefire proposal

The American newspaper, The Washington Post, shed light on President Joe Biden’s options after the Hamas movement’s response to the recent proposal regarding a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and a prisoner exchange deal.

The newspaper said in an article written by Jason Wellick entitled: “After Hamas’s recent reservations about the ceasefire, there are two options before Biden,” saying, “Biden must refrain from plugging the gaps during the negotiations and forcing Israel or Hamas to submit to the American will.”

It continued by saying: “Hamas’ recent reservations about Biden’s proposal for a truce and the prisoner agreement supported by the United States should not be a surprise to everyone,” considering that “Sinwar knows that stopping the fighting will not prevent Israel from resuming its efforts to eliminate Hamas after the prisoner exchange deal.”

It added, "Even if Sinwar obtains asylum in another country, the Israeli intelligence services are able to pursue him, and at the present time, Hamas does not have much incentive to withdraw from the scene."

The writer confirms that what is surprising is that the Biden administration has made diligent efforts in formulating a diplomacy that is doomed to failure, and that so far it seems committed to the same path, which prompted US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, to ask during a press conference whether Hamas was “in good faith.” But at the same time, he said that he was “determined to try to bridge the gaps” in the negotiations.

The writer points out that “Israel has a political and strategic need to eliminate Hamas as a fighting force in Gaza, and Hamas also has an existential need to survive so that it can continue fighting later.” The writer believes that the Biden administration has been working for months on the assumption that this can be overcome. "The contradiction was accompanied by complex diplomacy, and the result was an expected failure to reach a truce."

The writer adds, "It is time for Biden to stop closing gaps and using his power to force one side or another to submit to the American will. This means either providing full support for the Israeli military goal of eliminating Hamas, or explicitly demanding an end to the war that leaves Hamas in power." .

The writer asserts that "the first option would be the natural one, as Biden could announce that his administration spent months working with Israel to reach generous ceasefire offers, and that he was hoping for good faith on the part of the Hamas leadership, which would justify him announcing that Israel has... With full American support for its military goal of destroying Hamas’ military capabilities, eliminating its leaders, and completely disarming the Gaza Strip, whatever the cost.”

The second option, according to the writer’s opinion, is “an attempt to impose a permanent ceasefire on Israel with Hamas remaining as the ruling force in Gaza, which justifies Biden declaring that this war lasted for a very long period and caused the death of a very large number of innocent people, and Hamas rejected the agreement.” Stopping the fighting, because it believes that Israel will resume the war after it stops, so Hamas can be pledged not to allow Israel to resume the war, and if it does so, it will cut off its military supplies and diplomatic support.

Writer Jason Wellick concludes his article by noting that either of these two options, namely “resorting to completely eliminating Hamas or forcing Israel to accept the continued power of Hamas, will be politically difficult for Biden, as the first would increase the anger of his vocal critics on the anti-Israel left.” The second would lead to a more severe bipartisan backlash compared to what happened when he threatened to cut off the supply of weapons to Israel if it entered Rafah. It is time for Biden to make a choice and defend it politically: Israel’s terms, or Sinwar’s terms.


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Washington Post: Biden has two options after Hamas’ response to the ceasefire proposal