More than a month into Israel’s obligated military response to the barbarism of October 7th, Israel’s friends and foes alike are publicly increasing pressure (not necessarily privately) for a Gaza ceasefire. Of course, no one in Israel wanted this war. It is a war horrifically forced upon the nation at an unbearable cost. As President Biden and others expressed from the outset, it’s a war global leaders know will have repercussions that will impact all of the free world.
If Hamas-ISIS survives with its terror infrastructure and authoritarian ruling capabilities intact, jihadists across the world will be more likely to adopt such barbarism as an effective strategy against the western democracies they despise.
The Iranian axis of evil, with Hamas at the center, will expand with new adherents celebrating their victory over what they refer to as the great Satan and little Satan, America and Israel. Undoubtedly, Russia will also be encouraged by the lack of steadfast western resolve to stand with allies in the face of a brutal, Nazi-like aggression and clear acts of genocide.
The best hope for protecting Gaza’s civilians will come either as a result of an unquestioned Israeli military victory that destroys Hamas-ISIS, frees the hostages, and vanquishes the terrorists from Israel’s borders or a diplomatic solution that accomplishes the same objectives.
That means diplomatic efforts from Cairo, Riyadh, Paris, London, Berlin, Washington and capitals in between must begin with demanding Hamas release the hostages, surrender Gaza, lay down their arms, and leave the territory. There is no other option Israel, or for that matter any nation subjected to such unbridled barbarism, would accept. Arab and Western leaders know Israel, and they themselves, cannot and will not accept anything less. Public pronouncements from Paris, Washington or Arab capitals to the contrary are nothing more than hot air.
American and Israeli diplomats would do well to publicly drive this point home in every discussion with their foreign counterparts: If you care about Gaza’s civilians and bringing an early end to the war, demand Hamas-ISIS release the hostages, lay down their arms, and surrender Gaza.