In the face of mounting pressure for a ceasefire in Gaza, US President Joe Biden has firmly rejected such calls, asserting that a pause in the conflict would only allow Hamas to regroup and rearm, perpetuating its dominance.
Addressing the situation in an OpEd for The Washington Post, Biden drew parallels between the Israel-Hamas conflict and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, emphasizing their global impact.
“Both Putin and Hamas are fighting to wipe a neighboring democracy off the map. And both Putin and Hamas hope to collapse broader regional stability and integration and take advantage of the ensuing disorder. America cannot, and will not, let that happen. For our own national security interests — and for the good of the entire world,” Biden said.
Despite internal and external calls for a ceasefire, President Biden remains steadfast in his support for Israel's actions against Hamas, citing the militant group's commitment to destruction as a barrier to achieving lasting peace. He highlighted that any ceasefire would only provide Hamas with an opportunity to rebuild its arsenal and resume attacks on innocent civilians.
While maintaining his support for Israel, Biden condemned acts of violence by Jewish extremists against Palestinians in the West Bank. He warned of potential sanctions against individuals responsible for such actions, underscoring the need for adherence to international rules and laws.
Biden acknowledged the deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza resulting from Israel's military operations following the October 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas. Despite criticism, he insisted that as long as Hamas clings to its destructive ideology, a ceasefire alone would not bring about genuine peace.
“As long as Hamas clings to its ideology of destruction, a cease-fire is not peace. To Hamas’s members, every cease-fire is time they exploit to rebuild their stockpile of rockets, reposition fighters and restart the killing by attacking innocents again,” he said.
The President also addressed the rise of antisemitism and Islamophobia in the United States, expressing concern about the prevalence of hate in recent years. He emphasized the need to combat these forms of discrimination.
Reiterating his commitment to a two-state solution, Biden reached out to Palestinian civilians, envisioning Israelis and Palestinians living in separate states side by side in peace. He pledged the United States to redouble efforts to create a more peaceful and prosperous Middle East, aiming to prevent future incidents like the October 7 attacks.
In a warning to Israel's leadership, Biden emphasized the need to halt extremist violence against Palestinians in the West Bank. He indicated that the United States was prepared to take action, including issuing visa bans against those responsible for attacks on civilians in the region.