Biden says Israel must eliminate Hamas, but occupying Gaza would be ‘big mistake’ – according to a news update from ‘Times of Israel’, dated October 16.
I am very thankful for the immense support that President Biden has shown to Israel in times of need, but please, do not follow this advice. In the end, what President Biden has in mind is that the Israeli Defense Forces should eliminate Hamas … and deliver Gaza to the Palestinian Authority, with the aim to revive the “2-state solution”.
A war to eliminate Hamas (and the Islamic Jihad) will take many thousands of Palestinian civilian lives, will take a long time to achieve – if ever – and its tremendous costs will provoke an immense backlash against Israel in the whole world. And this not counting the many-many lives of Israeli soldiers. Do not get into the fantasy that the Palestinian inhabitants of Gaza are innocent casualties in this war against Hamas and that they will help Israel to get rid of Hamas: They will not. They have been indoctrinated from young age into the Hamas school of thought. The civilian population in Gaza will side with Hamas, and not with Israel.
And as to the 2-state solution: We have been in this movie already many times, since Yasser Arafat rejected president Clinton’s peace parameters in year 2000, because he did not want to give up the irredentist dream of the “right of return” of the Palestinians to Israel proper. The difference between Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank is only in the means but not in the end-result. The PA – having discarded the violent path after the unsuccessful Intifadas launched in 1987 and 2000 – intends to achieve the dissolution of the State of Israel by “non-violent” means in two steps, the first step being the return to the 1967 armistice line in the West Bank, and the creation of an interim (I would say fictitious) Palestinian State there. The second step being the implementation of the sacred “right of return” of millions of Palestinians to Israel proper, within its 1967 borders. All the peace initiatives between the PA and Israel failed because of the refusal of the PA to renounce to the “right of return” of millions of Palestinians to Israel proper. How the Jews will accept this influx of millions of migrants by “non-violent” means is left unexplained.
As for a more rational and feasible alternative to the 2-state solution see my book “The root of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the path to peace”.
Israel’s objectives in this war
The objectives of Israel in this war imposed on it should be limited and, at the same time, effective and consequential. First, what Israel should not do: Israel should not try to reconquer the Gaza strip, neither try to remove Hamas (or the Islamic Jihad) from power.
Hamas and the Islamic Jihad should get punished without mercy – and I trust that air strikes alone by the Israeli Defense Forces will do this. But do not try to replace the rulers of Gaza: It is up to their own people to replace them. No one presently knows when this will happen.
The objective of the Israeli government is to give appropriate, immediate, long-term defense to its civilian population. The response of Israel should be to create a new ceasefire line that will replace the present 1950 armistice line between Gaza and Israel. The new ceasefire line will move the armistice border about 1000 meters (about 3,000 feet) inside the present Gaza Strip, and create a no-man, non-habitable, buffer zone between Gaza and the Israeli border communities (Sderot, Be’eri, and so on). The no-man area will be under Israeli sovereignty. The idea that a “sophisticated” electronic fence could supplant territorial depth collapsed catastrophically on October 7 and cost more than one thousand Israeli civilian lives lost in one day.
The map below makes the author’s proposal clear: the black broken line is the 1950 ceasefire line. The red line should be the 2023 ceasefire line. The no-man zone will provide a defensive buffer against any future land aggression from the Gaza rulers. The Iron Dome will continue providing a defensive air-defense to the Israeli border communities.
Wars should have consequences. The people in Gaza will have to internalize these territorial consequences. When these consequences will sink in their minds, only then they will perhaps redirect their ire and frustration towards Hamas.
And the Israeli government should keep straight working hard on achieving peace with Saudi Arabia. There is now a short window of opportunity to achieve this, when the interests of the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel are aligned. Do not let Hamas and Iran achieve their main goal of their aggression, which was to derail this process. Diplomatic normalization and the establishment of peaceful relations between Israel and the largest and most important Muslim country in the Middle East can only be achieved – but not guaranteed – if the present war between Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and Israel has clear, limited, and tangible achievable objectives, and is short, decisive, and ends in a few weeks-time.
Jaime Kardontchik, “The root of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the path to peace”
The book is available at Amazon, but it can be read and downloaded (pdf) for free by everyone at: