OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
The New York Post editorial board criticized President Joe Biden for refusing to publicly demand that Hamas release Americans the terrorist organization kidnapped last month after its fighters launched a surprise attack against Israel.
In an op-ed published on Tuesday, the board noted that negotiations in the nation of Qatar have led to an offer by Hamas to release some of its captives as long as Israel pauses its offensive in Gaza for three days. The board also said that some of the same reports say that Biden has privately pressured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept those conditions.
“But why hasn’t Biden publicly, repeatedly, and forcefully pushed Hamas for releases—especially of the 10 or more US citizens the terrorists seized amid their other Oct. 7 war crimes?” the board asked.
“Presumably, he doesn’t expect Hamas to comply and has no intention of sending in American troops to force the issue,” the op-ed noted further. “But he could use other means of pressure, such as threatening to revoke the Obama-era commitments that let Hamas’ top leaders feel safe operating openly in Qatar.”
In addition, the board notes, Biden could declare publicly that he opposes even the slightest pause until or unless Hamas releases innocent civilians its fighters nabbed a month ago.
“He could also hammer Hamas’ paymasters in Tehran by, say, restoring the sanctions that had crippled its oil revenues until he took office,” the board wrote.
“Hamas and Iran are responsible for the hostage-taking; you’d expect an American president to hold them responsible—rather than pushing our ally to do the enemy’s will in hopes the war criminals will suddenly play nice,” the op-ed concluded.
Attention has also turned to how the U.S. and Israeli intelligence apparatuses missed the planning phase of the attack.
According to Axios, “Israeli intelligence the night before the Hamas attack picked up signs of irregular activity among Hamas operatives in Gaza but top IDF and Shin Bet leaders decided not to put military forces on the borders of the enclave on high alert,” three Israeli officials told the outlet.
“While the Israeli intelligence failure was much broader and strategic, the events of the night before show how most senior officials in the Israeli defense establishment and intelligence community didn’t understand how bad the situation would become,” Axios noted further.
Former President Donald Trump even criticized his friend and ally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he claimed shared blame for the failure.
“(Netanyahu) has been hurt very badly because of what’s happened here. He was not prepared. He was not prepared, and Israel was not prepared,” Trump told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade this week.
American intelligence also detected unusual activity a few days before the attack but similarly failed to properly assess the scope of it, The New York Times reported.
Biden addressed the attack during remarks to reporters:
You know, there are moments in this life — and I mean this literally — when the pure, unadulterated evil is unleashed on this world.
The people of Israel lived through one such moment this weekend. The bloody hands of the terrorist organization Hamas — a group whose stated purpose for being is to kill Jews.
This was an act of sheer evil.
More than 1,000 civilians slaughtered — not just killed, slaughtered — in Israel. Among them, at least 14 American citizens killed.
Parents butchered using their bodies to try to protect their children.
Stomach-turning reports of being — babies being killed. Entire families slain. Young people massacred while attending a musical festival to celebrate peace — to celebrate peace. Women raped, assaulted, paraded as trophies.
Families hid their fear for hours and hours, desperately trying to keep their children quiet to avoid drawing attention. And thousands of wounded, alive but carrying with them the bullet holes and the shrapnel wounds and the memory of what they endured.
You all know these traumas never go away. There are still so many families desperately waiting to hear the fate of their loved ones, not knowing if they’re alive or dead or hostages. Infants in their mothers’ arms, grandparents in wheelchairs, Holocaust survivors abducted and held hostage — hostages whom Hamas has now threatened to execute in violation of every code of human morality.
It’s abhorrent. The brutality of Hamas — this bloodthirstiness — brings to mind the worst — the worst rampages of ISIS. This is terrorism.