In canceling the planned trip to Washington by his top aides Ron Dermer and Tzachi Hanegbi, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu struck just the right note in response to the Biden Administration’s abstention in the vote on a UN Security Council resolution on the Gaza war, thus allowing it to pass. The two officials were to meet with their American counterparts to discuss and try to massage the dispute between Israel and the U.S. over Israel’s plans to invade Rafah to root out Hamas’s presence there.

While the resolution “demands an immediate ceasefire [in the Gaza war] for the month of Ramadan respected by all parties leading to a lasting and sustainable ceasefire, and also demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages,” it does not make the former contingent on the latter as the U.S. had proposed and previously insisted upon.


The resolution also, in a pointed rebuke of Israel, “emphasizes the urgent need to expand the flow of humanitarian assistance to, and reinforce the protection of civilians, in the entire Gaza Strip.” But the resolution does not condemn Hamas for the atrocities of October 7, which the UN has never done.

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement which says that the abstention not only harms the war effort, but also efforts to free the hostages.: “[I]t is a clear retreat from the consistent U.S. position in the Security Council since the beginning of the war and one that gives Hamas hope that international pressure will allow them to get a ceasefire without releasing our hostages.”

In fact, we continue to be dismayed that the Biden Administration would countenance the blatant human trafficking implicit in a debate that treats human beings as bargaining chips.

Actually, it should not be all that unexpected. Secretary of State Tony Blinken telegraphed a remarkable Biden Gaza calculus a bare two weeks ago in a press conference after a meeting with the foreign ministers of Britain, Cyprus, the European Union, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. As the Jerusalem Post reported, Blinken said “job number one” for Israel in the Gaza War” was “protecting and aiding civilians.” “It is not a secondary consideration… That has to be job number one… even as they do what is necessary to defend the country and to deal with the threat posed by Hamas.”

He can’t be serious. Is Israel’s military defense of its homeland from the mortal threats and savagery posed by its Palestinian neighbors supposed to take second seat to the protection of Palestinian civilians exploited by Hamas as human shields and placed in harm’s way?

Is it the Blinken Doctrine that Israel must compromise necessary military action in order to avoid unintentional, collateral harm to civilians put in motion by Hamas?

We hope not.


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