". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


As Hamas Abandons Negotiations with Israel, Biden Admin Sends Mixed Messages

March 7, 2024

News broke on Thursday that the delegation of the terrorist organization Hamas had left Cairo in the midst of ongoing negotiations with Israel for a ceasefire in the wake of the terror group’s October 7 atrocities, with no deal struck. The news comes amid seemingly contradictory demands from the Biden administration that Israel both arrange a hasty ceasefire while simultaneously “defend[ing] itself.”

On Sunday, Vice President Kamala Harris declared that “there must be an immediate ceasefire” between Israel and Hamas. The next day, she stated that “Israel has a right to defend itself.” Experts like former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman say that the inconsistencies being displayed by the administration show that Hamas’s manipulation tactics are working.

“I think this was always Hamas’s strategy, that in the aftermath of the attack, there would be great sympathy for Israel. But over time, as Hamas would continue to throw civilians into harm’s way and as the American political situation would adjust, Biden would get softer,” he observed on “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” Wednesday.

Friedman continued, “[T]hey were right, unfortunately, in that strategy, because look how we started. … [O]n October 7th, 8th, and 9th, the messages were very simple. ‘Hamas, you need to release all the hostages and you need to surrender, and then there’ll be a ceasefire.’ … Now we’re talking about, ‘We want a ceasefire, we want the hostages released, we want the civilians protected, we want humanitarian aid brought in.’ [This] laundry list … enables Hamas to continue to resist. … They’re watching Biden and Harris closer than anybody. And as they see them grow soft, they recalibrate their bargaining positions … Their latest demands are essentially that they win the war, that Israel leaves Gaza, and that’s it.”

The former ambassador went on to contend that there remains much that needs to occur before Israel would consider ending the conflict.

“[Y]ou need to get the hostages out,” Friedman underscored. “You need information in the first place on how many hostages are left. Israel doesn’t even know what they’re negotiating for. Normally, under these circumstances, the International Red Cross comes in and does an inventory and talks to people and brings them medicine. The Red Cross has completely fallen down on the job here. … And you need to get Hamas out of the Gaza Strip. And you need to create a transitional period for Israel to be in charge, and perhaps under the right circumstances, share responsibility with others.”

Friedman further warned that anything short of a full defeat of Hamas in Gaza would be disastrous for Israel and the world. “[I]f Hamas leaves this battle intact in some way … and if they can negotiate for the release of some of their premier criminals that are sitting in Israeli jails, they’ll book this as a win. And that’s dangerous for Israel. It’s dangerous for the entire world. It shows that terrorism wins, and that message will resonate throughout the world, including the enemies of America as well.”

In the aftermath of October 7, President Joe Biden has continually called for a two-state solution. Friedman made it clear that this scenario will never work.

“[T]he Palestinian people were given all of Gaza,” he explained. “Not a single Jew lives there and not a single Israeli soldier operates within there. They had the whole thing. And it’s this beautiful strip of land, western view on the Mediterranean Sea. You get to watch the sunset on the Mediterranean. They were given tons of money by the U.N., by the United States, by the European Union, by Qatar, by other countries. They took all that money and all that opportunity, and they used it to build the most complex and sophisticated network of terror tunnels and rockets anywhere in the world. They gave themselves the greatest home court advantage in the world for hand-to-hand, house-to-house combat. … So we know now with certainty … that a Palestinian state is a terrorist state, is an existential threat to the state of Israel. And why the United States government, the State Department continues to advocate for this outcome is beyond me. It will just get us back to the same place.”

Meanwhile, recent reports indicate that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are continuing to make inroads in ridding Gaza of Hamas fighters and other terrorists. On Wednesday, news broke that “250 Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad fighters surrendered to [IDF] soldiers during its ongoing raid of houses in Khan Yunis.” According to the IDF, some of those who were captured participated in the atrocities that took place against Israeli civilians on October 7.

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.