With the resumption of fighting in the Gaza Strip, American Secretary of State Blinken has informed Israel of the restrictions under which the US will permit her to operate. No displacement of the civilian population, and fewer civilian casualties (although there are no numbers except those that come directly from Hamas). No bombing hospitals or schools, even when they are in fact sanctuaries for Hamas troops. No cutting off the supply of fuel, which Hamas uses to keep its tunnels lighted and ventilated. Nevertheless, we are told to finish up the war quickly, because our “credit” is running out. And just in case anyone thought that it should someday be possible for Israeli children to sleep peacefully in the communities of the Western Negev, no security zone on the Gazan side of the border, and no Israeli security control of Gaza. The implied threat is that if Israel goes “off the reservation,” the US will not supply her with essential ammunition and spare parts for our American weapons systems, nor veto hostile resolutions in the UN Security Council.
I don’t know how Israel has responded to these demands, made to our war cabinet where Mr. Blinken apparently has the right to sit. But I know how I think we should answer. And so I submit the following:
Dear Secretary Blinken,
We appreciate the support we receive from America in our war against the genocidal Hamas. We appreciate that you seem to understand that these monsters must be removed from power in Gaza, from which they have promised to repeat again and again the atrocities they committed against our people on 7 October, atrocities that were proportionally twenty times greater than those perpetrated against the US on 9/11. But despite your understanding, you insist on placing restrictions on how we may fight; indeed, on micromanaging the war for us.
Let us speak frankly: you are asking us, in the short term, to trade the lives of our soldiers for those of Gazan civilians, and you are measuring our performance in meeting this demand with numbers supplied by Hamas! You are asking us to fight in a way that at best will only partially defeat Hamas. You say you want Hamas removed from power, but the likely outcome of following your instructions will not accomplish that. You are asking us to fight in a way that Americans never have and never would. This is not how you fought in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
In the longer term, you are asking us to give up the entire Western Negev, which will become uninhabitable by Jews unless we retain security control of Gaza and unless we can establish a buffer zone between it and our population. You even aspire to create a unified, sovereign Palestinian state in all of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, something that would shortly bring about the end of the Jewish state.
We do not accept your restrictions and micromanagement of the war, and we will not trade the lives of our soldiers for anyone, not Gazans (who overwhelmingly support murderous violence against Jews, whether by Hamas or other groups), and not the electoral fortunes of the Obama-Biden faction of the Democratic Party.
We insist that when the war ends, appropriate conditions for the security of the Western Negev must be in place. And we must inform you that if you carry out your threat to cut off our supply of ammunition and parts for our modern American weapons, we will be forced to fight in less modern ways, and for much longer. The humanitarian crisis will, as a direct result, be far greater, and you will be responsible for it. Because we will not stop fighting what we see as an essential battle in the war for the survival of our nation and people, even if we have to fight with the most primitive of weapons.
We don’t have a choice. But you do. You can support us, or you can in effect support those who think that murder, torture, and rape are not only acceptable tactics, but praiseworthy. You can help us end the war quickly, or you can extend it, with all the pain and suffering that entails. But know this: either way, Hamas will not escape judgment.
Virtually Everyone in Israel