Politics

Hamas Has Strategy of Getting Civilians Killed to Put Pressure on Israel, I’m Glad Biden Pressured Israel

On Friday’s “PBS NewsHour,” New York Times columnist David Brooks stated that Hamas’ “chief strategy is to generate as many civilian deaths as they can to get world pressure to force Israel to desist.” But there’s “a growing callousness toward Palestinian lives in the Israeli population.” And he was glad to see President Joe Biden pressuring Israel.

Brooks said, “I think some sort of conditions on aid are — if Israel’s not going to provide the million to leave and into safe zones in the north, then we should do what we can to pressure them to do that, because it would be against Israel’s self-interest to do that, and it would certainly be against America’s interest. I was cheered by the readout on the Biden-Netanyahu call. I had feared that Netanyahu would want to run for re-election as running against the U.S., say, I’m the guy who can protect you from the pressure from those craven Americans. But he did not in the call, apparently. He accepted the conditions that President Biden laid before him. He’s already complied with a few of them, and he’s promised to [comply with] more. And so, this pressure may be working, which Biden wants, to pressure Netanyahu without cutting them off or putting on conditions.”

He added, “I think there are two things to be said, contradictory: The first is, this is a war unlike any other. Sometimes, people compare this to our — the U.S.-Iraqi assault on Mosul and other cities. But I’ve never heard of another war where the enemy is in 500 miles of tunnels underground, and the enemy’s chief strategy is to generate as many civilian deaths as they can to get world pressure to force Israel to desist. So, this is just a much harder deal. Having said that, I’ve been covering the Middle East for a little while, and one has certainly discerned a growing callousness toward Palestinian lives in the Israeli population. I’m not sure how split Netanyahu is from a lot of the people within Israel itself. They’re — they think, why should we risk Israeli soldiers for — to protect people who want to kill us? But it has to be explained to them that this is in your own self-interest. It’s just — a humanitarian disaster, aside from being a moral atrocity, is in Israel’s self-interest to present — to protect. So I think there’s both just the horrific conditions that Israel is fighting under, but also overaggressive…and a growing callousness toward Palestinian suffering.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett



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