Washington, D.C. — The United States must support Israel’s defense as it combats Hamas, but that support is not a blank check for collective punishment that brutalizes innocent civilians, according to a new column from the Center for American Progress.
The column calls on the Biden administration to urge an immediate humanitarian ceasefire that can help alleviate the dire humanitarian situation for the people of Gaza and clear the way for the return of Israeli hostages kidnapped during the October 7 terror attack.
“U.S. policymakers must be clear about their own goals as America will be seen to have partial ownership of the circumstances on the ground, as Israel’s ultimate guarantor,” the column says. “It is simply not enough to ‘encourage’ humanitarian relief while still supporting indiscriminate bombing with an undetermined endpoint.”
The column urges Congress and the Biden administration to pursue the following five priorities:
- Work toward a humanitarian ceasefire that lets critical aid reach civilians in Gaza and allows for time to develop a clearer long-term strategy to combat Hamas.
- Center U.S. diplomacy to advance a political solution that can deliver lasting peace in the region.
- Support Israel’s defense needs while making clear that continued collective punishment against Palestinians jeopardizes long-term plans for peace.
- Protect humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza and commit to funding robust and long-term efforts to rebuild Gaza.
- Require that security assistance to Israel comply with U.S. laws and policies on civilian protection and human rights.
“The United States has an unshakeable obligation to Israel,” said Patrick Gaspard, president and CEO of CAP and co-author of the column. “But being tethered to Israel is not the same as granting absolute proxy to a discredited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to conduct wide-scale warfare, in the midst of a shattered civilian population, with U.S. military resources.”
Read the column: “Israel-Hamas Conflict: 5 Actions Washington Should Prioritize Now” by Patrick Gaspard and Allison McManus
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