Israel Has No Choice but to Fight On

On Saturday, President Biden warned that Benjamin Netanyahu’s approach to the war in Gaza was “hurting Israel more than helping Israel.” The Israeli prime minister replied the next day that Biden was “wrong.” The rift between the two leaders means that Israel risks losing its most important pillar of military and diplomatic support.

I’ve argued that Israel has no choice but to destroy Hamas as an effective fighting force. Here I imagine a conversation with an intelligent critic of that view.

Thousands of Gazan civilians, many of them children, have now been killed, bombed in their homes or out of them. Now they face a humanitarian catastrophe in the form of medicine and food shortages, even starvation.

How can you possibly justify it?

Like all wars, this one is horrible and heartbreaking. But I blame Hamas, not Israel, for the devastation.

Look, Hamas is a terrorist group whose leaders should face justice for the massacres of Oct. 7. But it isn’t Hamas’s bombs, missiles or artillery that have leveled Gaza. It’s Israel’s.

Right. And Hamas, which started the war, could put a halt to that rain of fire tomorrow. It rejected a six-week cease-fire that would have paused the fighting and allowed much more aid in exchange for the release of roughly 40 of the remaining 100 Israeli hostages. It could stop the fighting for good by simply surrendering.

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