Giovanni Giacalone
Eyes everywhere

Biden’s “new deal” is same old and will lead to nowhere

Yahya Sinwar inside a tunnel underneath Gaza. IDF photo, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law.

A new announcement, but nothing new on the table. Biden is once again asking Israel to lose the war against Hamas and he is doing it for his own sake.

Biden said that “it’s time for this war to end” because “Hamas is not capable of another October 7th” and because “too many dead”. The truth is that Biden wants this war to end because he is in trouble with the upcoming presidential elections and he is deeply concerned about losing Michigan and Minnesota, where there is a strong electoral base of radical Dem pro-Hamas voters, like the ones who caused turmoil in US campuses. Biden is also worried about losing the votes of the Jewish Democrats, who strongly criticized his position on Israel and, especially, the withholding of weapons (already paid) by Israel.

President Biden is wrong when he states that “Hamas is not capable of another October 7th”, because, with the systematic restocking coming from the tunnels that lead to Egypt, Hamas will be quickly able to target once again Israeli civilians.

According to Biden “an indefinite war in pursuit of an unidentified notion of total victory will only bog down Israel and Gaza, draining the economic, military and human resources, furthering Israel’s isolation in the world”. And again: “That will bring no hostages home. That will not bring enduring peace. That will not bring Israel lasting security”.

Wrong again. Indeed, the term “total victory” is generic and sounds rhetorical. It would be more appropriate to talk about the “practical objective” which is the eradication of Hamas from Gaza and bringing to justice its leaders, both the ones in Gaza and Doha.

These are feasible objectives that Israel’s armed forces can achieve. In fact, as the IDF took control of the Philadelphi corridor, where Hamas arsenals and stockings were found and destroyed, rocket attacks against Israel drastically decreased.

Biden also seems to not realize that Hamas is not going to release the remaining hostages because that is the only lever they have. The only other possibility would be to grant its leaders immunity and the organization some sort of safe conduct and, why not, a possible inclusion in future Palestinian politics. Would that be tolerable? No.

Biden is wrong about Israel’s “isolation in the world” too. Those who turned against Israel were against Israel in the first place. Masks have simply fallen. Does Israel need them? I don’t think so.

Those who cannot distinguish between Hamas, a terrorist organization that deliberately targets civilians, both Israelis and Palestinians (the latter used as human shields), and the State of Israel responding to a terrorist attack are just like those who, after 9/11, did not distinguish between al-Qaeda and the United States. Unfortunately, the Biden administration seems to have forgotten that.

Of course, some aspects of the military campaign can be criticized, like in any other war. But unfortunately, it is a war, and, like all conflicts, it generates victims. Let’s keep well in mind who started this war on October 7th. Let’s not forget who is using civilians as human shields, who positioned terror control centers, weapons, and rocket launchers inside hospitals, schools, mosques, and Unrwa facilities.

The real issue is that many in the international community do not want to displease the Iranian regime and Qatar, the two main supporters of Hamas (but perhaps we could also include NATO-member Turkey). To understand the alleged “isolation of Israel”, we need to deeply examine the connections between those international actors rowing against Israel, and their links to Iran and Qatar.

This “new deal” will not work, like it previously did not; it will not succeed in bringing the remaining hostages back, it will not end Hamas’ aggression against Israel, and it will not avert another October 7th.

The only “deal” that should have been pushed by the so-called “allied” of Israel is the immediate, unconditioned return of all the remaining hostages and the Hamas leadership surrendering. However, that did not happen.

Many seem not to realize that this is not only a war between Israel and Hamas. This is a war between the civilized democratic world and the Islamists, supported by the Iranian regime and friends. As the Director of the British think tank Islamic Theology of Counter Terrorism, Noor Dahri, said. “Hamas has become a global Islamist ideology” and that is under our eyes.

However, Biden is correct when he says that “it’s a historic opportunity for Hamas”, because this “deal” will almost certainly assure safety for the Palestinian terrorist organization.

In general, the impression is that many among the international community are far more concerned about Hamas surviving the war, rather than about the return of the Israeli hostages. As already said, have you noticed how there is no reference to Hamas giving up arms and surrendering? Why is nobody requesting it?

Isn’t it interesting how Hamas seems to have far more supporters in the West, rather than in the Muslim world? However, Hamas must not survive.

About the Author
Giovanni Giacalone is a senior analyst in Islamist extremism and terrorism at the Italian Team for Security, Terroristic Issues and Managing Emergencies-Catholic University of Milan, at the Europe desk for the UK-based think tank Islamic Theology of Counter-Terrorism, and a researcher for Centro Studi Machiavelli. Since 2021 he is the coordinator for the "Latin America group" at the International Institute for the Study of Security-ITSS. In 2023 Giacalone published the book “The Tablighi Jamaat in Europe”.
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