This is the only way to end the war quickly, as well as to send a signal to America's adversaries looking on, that the US is prepared to uphold the values of civilization, not the values of terror.

US President Joe Biden will consider conditioning military supplies to Israel if the Israeli army moves forward with a large-scale invasion of the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, according to four US officials.

Biden has also told MSNBC that a Rafah operation would cross a "red line," although he balanced that statement with a commitment to support Israel's right to self-defense.

Israeli security sources have revealed that the Iran-backed Hamas terror group has at least four battalions in Rafah. Many of the Israeli hostages kidnapped by Hamas terrorists and other Palestinians on October 7, 2023, are also believed to be held in Rafah.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have succeeded in destroying most of Hamas's battalions in other areas of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli forces have dismantled 17 of Hamas's 24 combat battalions in the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on February 4.

"The increasing defeat of Hamas in Gaza is an important achievement for the IDF," said Middle East expert Seth Frantzman.

Hamas terrorists have lost control of significant areas in Gaza, enabling the dismantling of the terrorist infrastructure the group built up over previous decades. It is essential the IDF be supported in its efforts to prevent further threats by Hamas and other terrorist groups to Israel and the region.

Biden's reported threat to halt or suspend US military supplies to Israel if the IDF enters Rafah is what encourages Hamas to continue fighting and reject every proposal to release the hostages. When Hamas leaders hear that Biden is threatening Israel to prevent the IDF from entering Rafah, they must say to themselves: "Why should we make any concessions to Israel? America doesn't want the Israelis to destroy the four remaining battalions. The US administration is opposed to Israel's plan to eliminate Hamas, so let's wait!"

Asking Israel not to invade Rafah and destroy the Hamas terrorists holed up in the city is akin to requesting that someone running in a marathon stop before reaching the finish line. There is no alternative to a total defeat of Hamas, especially in the aftermath of its October 7 massacre of 1,200 Israelis. A total defeat means the elimination of all of Hamas's battalions. An Israeli victory will never be complete as long as one, or even half, a Hamas battalion remains intact.

According to Brigadier General (res.) Amir Avivi, Chairman and Founder of Israel Defense and Security Forum:

The Americans should understand the consequences of [Biden's] red line: a guarantee that another October 7 will happen again, that hostages will never come home, that an emboldened Iran will intensify on all fronts and that Hamas-oppressed civilians will suffer indefinitely. One of the reasons for this could be President Biden's willingness to avoid dissent at the Democratic National Convention in August, and he is worried about losing the state of Michigan in the coming election as young people and Arab-Americans defect over his Israel policy. Israel has a right to defend itself, he seems to now be saying, but it should stop the war now. President Biden expressed this dichotomous position in his State of the Union address last week and reiterated this point in the MSNBC interview.

On November 25, 2023, Biden was quoted as saying that Israel's goal of eliminating Hamas was a legitimate but difficult mission. "I don't know how long it will take," Biden told reporters.

My expectation and hope is that as we move forward, the rest of the Arab world and the region is also putting pressure on all sides to slow this down, to bring this to an end as quickly as we can.

Four months later, Biden appears to have changed his mind about obliterating Hamas. His warning to Israel not to enter Rafah implies that the Biden administration actually wants Israel to lose the war against Hamas. This would mean that Hamas will continue to rule the Gaza Strip and plan more October 7-style massacres against Israelis. Hamas official Ghazi Hamad has clearly said that the terror group will repeat the October 7 attack, time and again, until Israel is annihilated.

The most dangerous part of Biden's statements is the threat to suspend or halt US shipments of weapons and ammunition aid to Israel should it proceed with its plans to launch a ground offensive in Rafah, destroy Hamas and release the hostages.

Biden is actually sending a message to Hamas and Iran's other terror proxies, including Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Houthis, that America is about to throw Israel under the bus. Cutting off US weapons supplies to Israel is the ultimate fantasy of the terrorists.

It is no wonder, then, that in their statements, several Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders have been calling for an immediate halt to US weapons shipments to Israel.

The Palestinian terrorists want the Americans to stop supplying Israel with weapons and ammunition because that would facilitate their mission of killing Jews and destroying Israel. The terrorists are angry because they want Israel to be weak and defenseless. Hamas leaders have just one problem with carrying out more October 7-like massacres against Israelis: the US and other Western countries' providing armaments to Israel complicates the terrorists' dream of slaughtering Jews.

"We must teach Israel a lesson," Hamad said.

The Al-Aqsa Flood [Hamas's name for its Oct 7 invasion of Israel] is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth. Will we have to pay a price? Yes, and we are ready to pay it. We are called a nation of martyrs, and we are proud to sacrifice martyrs.

The Biden administration would see more success if it stopped underestimating such threats from a brutal terror group that has shown itself perfectly capable of the mass murder, rape, beheadings, and burning alive of Israeli civilians. The administration could show impressive leadership and in fact "bring this to an end as quickly as we can" -- not just for Israel but for all in the region who are seeking peace -- by encouraging Israel to take out the terrorists in Rafah without delay.

The administration would also do well to stop the talk about punishing Israel by cutting off military supplies. Instead of pressuring Israel, Biden should be pressuring his friends in Qatar to force their Hamas puppets to hand over the Israeli hostages and surrender. Instead of threatening to cut off weapons supplies to Israel, he should be threatening the leaders of Qatar with the withdrawal of US forces from the country's Al Udeid Air Base and to officially designate Qatar as a State Sponsor of Terrorism (for its funding of HamasHizballahISISAl QaedaTalibanAl ShababAl Nusra Front, among others).

This is the way – the only way – to end the war quickly, as well as to send a signal to America's adversaries looking on, that the US is prepared to uphold the values of civilization, not the values of terror.

© Gatestone Institute