columnIsrael at War

America’s abstention gives hope to Hamas

The U.S. refusal to veto Monday’s UNSC ceasefire resolution shows that Israel has to go it alone.

The Security Council Chamber's door of the U.N. headquarters building with the U.N. flag. Credit:
The Security Council Chamber's door of the U.N. headquarters building with the U.N. flag. Credit:
Ruthie Blum. Credit: Courtesy.
Ruthie Blum
Ruthie Blum, an author and award-winning columnist, is a former adviser at the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

All one needs to know about U.N. Security Council Resolution 2728 is that Hamas was pleased with its passage. Following Monday’s near-unanimous vote—from which the United States disgracefully abstained—the terrorist organization that openly aims to annihilate the Jewish state praised the UNSC for its decision.  

In an online statement, the murderous regime that rules the Gaza Strip called on the United Nations to “pressure the occupation [its name for Israel] to adhere to the ceasefire and stop the war of genocide and ethnic cleansing against our people.”

Never mind that Hamas carefully planned and proudly executed the Oct. 7 massacre, committing the worst atrocities against Jews since the Holocaust. Forget that its foot soldiers chose the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, which fell on the Sabbath, to go on a sadistic spree of sexual abuse, torture, arson and abduction of innocent men, women and children.

Ignore the fact that it still holds 134 hapless victims of its carefully planned rampage in brutal captivity. The simple truth, which Hamas grasps and uses as an additional weapon in its now-shrinking arsenal, is that the world cannot bear to see Israel fight back; certainly not against Palestinians or their Islamist backers in Tehran.

Imagine Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar’s dismay, then, when the Obama-cloned White House and State Department not only paid lip service to “Israel’s right to defend itself,” but put its money where its mouth was with a supply of arms to assist in the war effort.

He must not have taken into account the cost of going too far. You know, with the perpetrators of gang rapes, baby-burning and other horrific acts gleefully taping and posting their heinous crimes on social media.

He had to have been buoyed, however, by the widespread denial that such abominations had taken place. He was undoubtedly delighted that #MeToo Western feminists remained mostly silent, at best, if not downright dubious.

Both served as the perfect tailwind to the Palestinians’ default propaganda campaign: portraying Israeli retaliation as aggression. Not hard to do when abetted by Al Jazeera journalists” and stringers for such outlets as CNN and Reuters (some of whom were discovered to have been active participants on Oct. 7).

Indeed, images of destruction in Gaza, along with “Pallywood” productions of wounded “civilians,” quickly superseded footage from Oct. 7 in the bleeding hearts and brainwashed minds of Israel-detractors everywhere. And though this didn’t cause Washington to rescind its alliance with Jerusalem, it led to a crescendo of U.S. administration admonitions.

These have included finger-wagging about the kind of bombs employed by the Israel Defense Forces to strike Hamas strongholds and tongue-clucking about the insufficient entry into Gaza of humanitarian goods. Today, the focus is on preventing the IDF from conducting a ground operation in Rafah.

To this end, President Joe Biden last week asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to send a “senior inter-agency team” to Washington to discuss alternatives. Out of respect for Biden, and despite being adamant that Israel cannot defeat Hamas without going into Rafah, Netanyahu agreed.

He then announced that he would dispatch a delegation led by Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and National Security Council head Tzachi Hanegbi in the near future. Yet, shortly before the UNSC vote, he warned that if the United States did not veto the resolution, he would nix the trip.

Thankfully, he made good on the threat. Dermer and Hanegbi are staying home, which is just as well, since the sole motive behind Biden’s invitation was to try to keep Israel from doing what is necessary to win the war. Doing so entails destroying Hamas’s remaining battalions—in Rafah—and hopefully locating the hostages in the process.

This brings us to the latest talks in Doha. According to unconfirmed Hebrew media reports, Israel consented over the weekend to a six-week truce, during the first phase of which it would release 700-800 Palestinian terrorists in exchange for 40 hostages.

Seeing that intransigence always enables it to up its ante, Hamas didn’t give an immediate answer. It waited until after America allowed Resolution 2728 to pass with flying colors before responding—in the negative. Naturally.

Not that there was any hope to begin with that Sinwar would soften his negotiating stance. After all, his ultimate aim is to get the IDF out of Gaza and retain the power his bloodthirsty goons possessed on Oct. 6.

He knows that Israel is refusing to let that happen, whether or not Washington stays on board. But the U.S. move gave him more than mere hope. It enhanced his incentive to stick to his literal and figurative guns.

During a meeting on Friday in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu told U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Israel was prepared to go it alone—to enter Rafah with or without American support. Clearly, that time has arrived.

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