[guest post by Dana]
A warning to the President from the National Muslim Democratic Council, wherein they demand President Biden commit to a ceasefire now:
The National Muslim Democratic Council (NMDC), Democratic Party activists, and voters from across the nation and pivotal battleground states write to express our deep concern regarding the ongoing massacre in Gaza. The massacre of over eight thousand Palestinians and the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza are unacceptable. We call on the White House to urgently advocate for an immediate ceasefire. Your administration’s unconditional support, encompassing funding and armaments, has played a significant role in perpetuating the violence that is causing civilian casualties and has eroded trust in voters who previously put their faith in you.
The situation in Gaza has reached a critical juncture, nearing a complete humanitarian catastrophe, and we implore you to take immediate action to secure a ceasefire by Tuesday, October 31st at 5 p.m. EST.
We pledge to mobilize Muslim, Arab, and allied voters to withhold endorsement, support, or votes for any candidate who did not advocate for a ceasefire and endorse the Israeli offensive against the Palestinian people. We will mobilize increased voter turnout to make our voices heard. The State of Michigan, in the 2020 election, was decided by a mere 2.6 percent margin of victory and holds 16 crucial electoral votes. We emphasize the significance of Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee, where many of our voters reside. We hereby demand an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, the establishment of a humanitarian aid corridor to assist the people of Gaza, and the lifting of the siege that has deprived innocent men, women, and children of basic necessities like food and water. The inhumane weaponization of water and the dehydration of children as a military strategy must cease immediately, and all communication channels must be reinstated.
(Gosh, it’s as if the 200+ hostages held by Hamas in the tunnels under Gaza don’t even exist, let alone matter. And it’s as if the devastation of the terror attack by Hamas on Oct. 7 didn’t even happen either.)
Anyway, as with Ukraine, Israel cannot agree to a ceasefire. If they did, it would be a gift to the terrorists. Consider:
Why the Gaza ground invasion is necessary:
What people need to understand from Israel’s perspective is that this is a cost calculation.
Until October 7th, the calculation in Israel was that Israel was that the country was better off putting up with occasional attacks and rocket volleys. That they were better off trying to encourage a better situation in Gaza with work visas, providing electricity, providing water etc. Even if the actual government of Gaza was doing nothing to help the situation and often undermining it. Those were efforts to avoid war.
Having kids grow up running to bomb shelters or fearing a random shooting or knife attack isn’t a small price, but it was better than a full war.
That equation changed on October 7th. When thousands of your people are tortured, raped, taking hostage or murdered by the group you allowed to stock up on weapons and plan because you avoided taking action for years, that choice is no longer available. Hamas took it away. War is here.
At the time of the attack, Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza were still technically in a ceasefire from the last attack earlier in 2023. Those calling for Israel to just abandon their hostages and allow Hamas to continue to restock weapons and prepare another attack are vounteering for Israelis to pay the price without asking them.
No country would ever accept such an attack without taking out the group responsible and ensuring it can’t happen again. No other country would be expected to do so. There is no doubt that Israel’s actions in Gaza will have costs for years to come, but there is no choice now. Hamas cannot be allowed to continue to stock up weapons, plan attacks, and terrorize Israelis. So the only choice now is victory or surrender.
We should pray for a swift victory with as little collateral damage as is possible.
Just two days ago, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby reiterated the White House position that a ceasefire would only serve to benefit Hamas:
“We do not believe that a ceasefire is the right answer right now. We believe that a ceasefire right now benefits Hamas.”
Kirby added that “temporary localized humanitarian pauses,” however, should be considered to get aid to Palestinian civilians.
“What we have said should be considered and explored are temporary localized humanitarian pauses to allow aid to get to specific populations and maybe even to help with the evacuation of people that want to get out,” he said.
And as for Benjamin Netanyahu, he is, of course, adamantly against a ceasefire:
“Just as the U.S. wouldn’t have agreed to a cease-fire after the bombing of Pearl Harbor or after the terrorist attack on 9/11, Israel will not agree to a cessation of hostilities with Hamas after the horrific attacks of Oct. 7…Calls for a cease-fire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism, to surrender to barbarism. That will not happen.”
In the meantime, President Biden has to navigate the complicated waters of not losing the Jewish or Muslim vote. This especially as Democratic members of Congress are voicing their disapproval of the President’s views on a ceasefire.