'Time For This War To End': Biden's Gaza Speech Aimed At Israeli Hardliners

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, May 31, 2024 - 07:20 PM

President Joe Biden's Friday afternoon speech was all about pressuring Israel to end the war. He unveiled and endorsed the terms of an Israeli-led proposal that features a three-part roadmap which would result in release of all the hostages and a cessation of hostilities.

"After intensive diplomacy carried out by my team, my many conversations with leaders of Israel, Qatar and Egypt, and other Middle Eastern countries, Israel has offered a comprehensive new proposal. It’s a road map to an enduring cease-fire and the release of all hostages," Biden said

"This is truly a decisive moment. Israel has made their proposal. Hamas says it wants a cease-fire. This deal is an opportunity to prove whether they really mean it. Hamas needs to take the deal," he added, but cautioned Hamas had yet to accept it. Below is an outline of the three phases:

  • phase 1: six-week ceasefire, withdrawal of military, hostages-prisoners swap
  • phase 2: return all hostages
  • phase 3: major reconstruction plan of Gaza

He pleaded with Israeli leadership and the public to get fully behind the deal, saying "The people of Israel should know, they can make this offer without any further risk to their own security because they’ve devastated Hamas… for the past eight months." He's essentially urging Tel Aviv to declare victory and end major operations.

But that's when he said something which is sure to prove divisive, especially among Israeli hardliners at a moment Hamas has yet to be eradicated:

"At this point, Hamas no longer is capable of carrying out another Oct. 7, which is one of Israel’s main objective of this war and quite frankly a righteous one," the president said.

His appeal was for the avoidance of indefinite war, coming at a moment his Gaza policies are deeply unpopular among many Democrats. The intractable conflict and his handling of it has threatened to sink his chances going up against Trump as both campaigns kick into high gear.

"I know there are those in Israel who will not agree with this plan and will call for the war to continue indefinitely. Some are even in the government coalition. They’ve made it clear they want to occupy Gaza, they want to keep fighting for years, the hostages are not a priority for them," he said, mounting an usually strong attack against the most hawkish elements represented by officials like Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich.

"I urge Israel to stand behind this deal, despite whatever pressure comes," he emphasized.

But it is the IDF military withdrawal part that Israel has been most resistant to. Hamas has long demanded it, but Prime Minister Netanyahu has remained committed to his vow not to leave the Gaza Strip until Hamas and Islamic Jihad are completely eradicated.

Meanwhile at the close of the Friday afternoon speech...