Israel Rains Terror Across Gaza; U.S. Spokesmen Tell Them To Do So CautiouslyBy Dennis Small
Dec. 3—On Sunday Dec. 3, Israel’s AI-designed bombing raids continued in Gaza, with their deadly toll of over 700 Palestinians killed in the last 24 hours. AP reported Dec. 3 that the area of Khan Younis and the southern city of Rafah were hit especially hard. “On Sunday, the Israeli military widened evacuation orders in and around Khan Younis, telling residents of at least five more areas and neighborhoods to leave.” Noting that most residents have nowhere to go, AP commented that UN monitors reported that those who were told to leave were from about one-quarter of the territory of Gaza—home to nearly 800,000 people before the war.
Additionally, a senior adviser to Netanyahu said on Dec. 2 that Israel will seek a “security envelope” or buffer zone between Gaza and Israel after the war. According to the Times of Israel, Netanyahu had informed U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken about this on Nov. 30, saying “that the Israel Defense Forces will establish a buffer zone ‘deep’ into Gaza after the war.” The City of London’s Financial Times on Dec. 1 ran a lengthy article, citing a source familiar with the Israeli war plans, who said that “This will be a very long war…. We’re currently not near halfway to achieving our objectives.”
Washington’s response to the renewed carnage and ethnic cleansing by the Netanyahu government has been to urge caution in carrying out their campaign. The National Security Council’s Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby summed it up Sunday on NBC News: “I want to make two things clear. One is we’re going to continue to support Israel as they go after Hamas—the security assistance continues to flow. That’s not going to change,” he said. “We’re also going to do everything we can to make sure that they are properly accounting for the civilian population and minimizing the damage and the casualties as much as possible.”
Fox News’ Shannon Bream asked this morning about proposals that the U.S. place restrictions on aid to Israel. Kirby replied: “Israel is a sovereign country.” It has a “right and responsibility” to respond to a terrorist attack. “We would do the same thing. Any nation would.”
Over the last 24 hours, the major Western media have featured comments by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Vice President Kamala Harris, also urging Israel’s Netanyahu government to show restraint, now that it has resumed its bombing attacks in Gaza. Austin told an audience at the Reagan National Defense Forum that “the lesson is not that you can win in urban warfare by protecting civilians. The lesson is that you can only win in urban warfare by protecting civilians.” (Emphasis in original.) Vice President Kamala Harris told reporters on Dec. 2 during the COP28 climate conference in Dubai that “too many innocent Palestinians have been killed. Frankly, the scale of civilian suffering and the images and videos coming from Gaza are devastating.” She also assured Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in a meeting that “under no circumstances” would the U.S. allow the borders of Palestine to be redrawn or for there to be forced relocation of Palestinians to Egypt or elsewhere.
Whether sincere or meant simply as publicity stunts during a presidential election season, these comments have had little or no effect of reining Israel in. There is little doubt in most world capitals that, if the U.S. government truly wanted to stop the slaughter, they could do so immediately by delivering the necessary ultimatum to Netanyahu.
It is our job to mobilize the population to deliver the necessary political ultimatum to Washington.