Biden White House tells Israel: ‘Back off war against Hamas’

By Seth Galinsky
April 1, 2024
Food market in Nuseirat, central Gaza, March 18. Joseph Biden White House, liberal media echo exaggerations by Hamas apologists of widespread starvation in Gaza. Responsibility for crisis begins with Hamas Oct. 7 deadly pogrom, breaking years-long cease-fire with Israel.
COGATFood market in Nuseirat, central Gaza, March 18. Joseph Biden White House, liberal media echo exaggerations by Hamas apologists of widespread starvation in Gaza. Responsibility for crisis begins with Hamas Oct. 7 deadly pogrom, breaking years-long cease-fire with Israel.

The Joseph Biden White House and Democratic Party, while claiming to “support” Israel, are stepping up pressure on the Israeli government to end its military operations to dismantle Hamas. Echoing open supporters of Hamas’ Oct. 7 pogrom, they falsely accuse Israel of being responsible for the humanitarian crisis and civilian deaths in Gaza.

They’re especially trying to prevent Israel from launching an offensive on Hamas and its underground bases in Rafah, the reactionary group’s last stronghold in Gaza. Biden said he was drawing a “red line” against any move into Rafah, threatening to cut military supplies.

Biden was caught on a hot mic after his State of the Union address March 7 boasting that he was going to make Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have a “come to Jesus” moment and accede to U.S. demands.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer joined the chorus in a March 14 speech — given with Biden’s approval — blaming the Gaza crisis on Netanyahu. The Democratic Party leader demanded new elections in Israel to remove him from office. Schumer claims Netanyahu has pushed “support for Israel worldwide to historic lows. Israel cannot survive if it becomes a pariah.”

Netanyahu’s Likud Party fired back that “Israel is not a banana republic.”

But it’s Hamas — financed, trained and backed by the reactionary clerical regime in Iran — that is responsible for the crisis in Gaza, not Israel, including the civilian deaths, as well as shortages of food and medicine.

It was Hamas that began the war Oct. 7 by carrying out the largest massacre of Jews since the Nazi Holocaust. Death squads from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the so-called Popular Resistance Committees killed 1,200 people, wounded more than 5,000, took 250 hostages, more than 100 still captive, and raped and mutilated women.

Hamas’ goal — unchanged since its founding covenant in 1988 — is to kill Jews and destroy Israel. It insists it will keep trying until it succeeds.

That’s why Israel’s national unity government has made it clear, whatever the factional disputes among its rival capitalist parties, that it will continue the war until Hamas is defeated or surrenders. That course has overwhelming support in Israel.

A leader of Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades boasted March 8 that “every home in Gaza” has the “great honor” of having a dead, wounded or imprisoned family member as a result of Israel’s counteroffensive. Deliberately putting civilians in harm’s way as human shields, hoping to gain sympathy and funds from U.N. agencies and others around the world, is at the heart of Hamas’ strategy.

Biden, Schumer and the bourgeois media, from the New York Times and the Washington Post to the Wall Street Journal, constantly feature front-page pictures of suffering in Gaza. While their goal isn’t to aid Hamas to destroy Israel, their coverage plays into the hands of the increasingly thuggish Hamas supporters marching through the streets of New York and other cities chanting “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

But the U.S. rulers don’t care about the lives of Jews or Palestinians. Their approach to Israel aims solely to advance U.S. imperialism’s own economic and political interests in the Middle East.

Hamas tells lie after lie: Denying its thugs raped and mutilated scores of women Oct. 7; calling hostages “guests” and claiming they are well-treated; and accusing Israel of causing mass starvation and genocide.

Its lies — no matter how outlandish — are repeated worldwide by middle-class socialists and other radicals. Under the banner of “anti-Zionism” they promote Jew-hatred.

Brink of famine in Gaza?

The liberal press is filled with exaggerated claims from the Hamas-run health ministry or its allies in the U.N. that Gaza is on the “brink” of famine. But in the last few days alone pictures of bustling food markets in Rafah and Nuseirat in central Gaza are graphic proof that these reports are exaggerated.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees — notorious for facilitating Hamas activities — admitted March 17 that an average of 165 aid trucks are now entering Gaza every day. According to the Israeli government, this is some 50% more than before Oct. 7.

Of course, there are serious shortages of food and medicine, especially in Gaza City and other parts of northern Gaza. But that’s because of Hamas, which wants to maintain control over aid distribution, including stealing large amounts for its remaining combatants and selling much of it at sky-high prices beyond the reach of many in Gaza. What it can’t control it tries to disrupt.

Growing opposition to Hamas

When some local clan leaders and businessmen said they were willing to work with Israel to ensure that aid goes to those who need it, Hamas threatened that any “direct collaboration with the occupation … is a betrayal of the nation that we will not tolerate.” Ynet News reported that Hamas executed at least one clan leader.

Hamas’ actions are sparking increased opposition among Palestinians in Gaza. Even before the latest war, “Hamas’ popularity in the Gaza Strip was waning, due to its governance failures [and] misallocation of funds,” Rafaat Naim, a former member of the Palestine Chamber of Commerce, told the Christian Science Monitor.

“Hamas didn’t warn us or give any instructions to protect or help people” after Oct. 7, aid worker Walid, who declined to use his full name, told the paper. “Hamas followed the same old war plan and left the people to the mercy of Israelis.”

“At least provide enough food for the people to not die of hunger,” he said. “Build shelters and safe places for the people to go.”

The more Israeli forces strike blows to Hamas, the greater the opportunities for working people in Gaza to organize independently for a different course. Decisively defeating Hamas is key to further advances, as well as to Israel’s right to exist as a refuge for the Jews.