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Biden rejects ceasefire calls, threatens Jewish extremists in West Bank


Washington, Nov 19
US President Joe Biden has rejected the growing demands at home and abroad for a ceasefire in Gaza, saying it will be used by Hamas to regroup and rearm itself and perpetuate its dominance.

At the same time, he called for an end to violence by Jewish extremists against Palestinians in the West Bank and threatened that the US could sanction individuals responsible.

In an OpEd in The Washington Post on Saturday, the President likened the Israel-Hamas war to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and together they have brought the world to an inflection point.

He also addressed rising antisemitism and Islamophobia in the US, saying that in recent years “too much hate has been given too much oxygen”.

With the deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza as a result of the continuing military operations by Israel in retaliation for the October 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas, the President has faced mounting calls for ceasefire from within his own Democratic party, the administration and members of the 2020 presidential campaign staff.

Criticism of his unwavering support of Israel in this conflict has come also from allied countries and partners. Biden is not changing his mind.

“As long as Hamas clings to its ideology of destruction, a cease-fire is not peace,” he wrote. “To Hamas’s members, every cease-fire is time they exploit to rebuild their stockpile of rockets, reposition fighters and restart the killing by attacking innocents again. An outcome that leaves Hamas in control of Gaza would once more perpetuate its hate and deny Palestinian civilians the chance to build something better for themselves.”

Biden has offered Israel unwavering support in its pursuit of Hamas although he himself and his officials have publicly called on Israel to not lose sight of international rules and laws. Actually, he had told them to not repeat the mistakes the US made in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks.During the visit to Tel Aviv, he wrote, “I also counseled Israelis against letting their hurt and rage mislead them into making mistakes we ourselves have made in the past.”

While continuing his public embrace of Israel by rejecting demands for ceasefire, the president also reached out to the Palestinian civilians recommitting himself to the two-state solution of Israelis and Palestinians living in two separate states, side by side and in peace.

“In the months ahead, the United States will redouble our efforts to establish a more peaceful, integrated and prosperous Middle East - a region where a day like Oct. 7 is unthinkable,” he wrote.

And he proceeded to put the Israeli leadership on notice as well, for their support of promoting Israelis to live in the captured parts of West Bank, which would be part of Palestine in the final settlement of the dispute, when that happens.

“I have been emphatic with Israel’s leaders that extremist violence against Palestinians in the West Bank must stop and that those committing the violence must be held accountable,” Biden wrote. “The United States is prepared to take our own steps, including issuing visa bans against extremists attacking civilians in the West Bank.”