Richard Kemp on Biden’s Obsession with Rafah

Biden has been trying desperately to prevent the IDF’s planned incursion into Rafah. Right now, the IDF has been fighting around the city’s perimeter, with some airstrikes on targets further toward the center, but still no major invasion, as it waits for more Gazan civilians to flee; so far, half a million have done so in about a week. Whatever Biden and Blinken may insist upon, the IDF does not plan to turn back. It will slowly but inexorably envelop the whole city.

British Colonel Richard Kemp notes Biden’s obsession with Rafah, and his attempt to prevent the IDF from continuing to take over ever larger parts of the city. His observations can be found here: “Biden’s cynical Rafah obsession only strengthens Hamas,” by Richard Kemp, Ynet News, May 

…Most damningly of all is Biden’s withholding supplies of some armaments to Israel, including precision-guided munitions. This from a man who said in 2019 that any such action would be “absolutely preposterous” and “beyond comprehension”.

Biden has so far withheld delivery of 500-pound and 2000-pound bombs, which are apparently the “precision-guided munitions” to which Colonel Kemp alludes. He has also withheld artillery shells and tank shells. This is being done in an attempt to persuade Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to proceed further into Rafah. It won’t work. Netanyahu, the entire War Cabinet, the Knesset, and the people of Israel are convinced that Hamas can only be dismantled by destroying the last four intact battalions of fighters known to still be in Rafah. If they are not destroyed, Hamas will present itself, plausibly, as having withstood the worst that the IDF could do, and those battalions will be a major part of Hamas’ regrouping, both in Rafah and in the north, in Gaza City and Jabaliya, where the remnants of two battalions have now returned to fight the IDF. Many Arabs and Muslims worldwide will make heroes of Hamas, and if those four battalions are not dismantled in Rafah in the next month or two, Hamas should be able within a year to inflict more attacks on Israel like that carried out on October 7, “again and again and again.”

Biden hopes that this [the withholding of weapons that Israel needs] will all win back the anti-Israel elements of his support base. In his calculation that clearly trumps any and all damage inflicted on an ally that is fighting for its life on multiple fronts. The damage will be profound.

Biden wants to win back the disaffected Arab and Muslim voters in the battleground state of Michigan, whose importance has been greatly exaggerated. Those voters have noisily declared their willingness to refrain from voting for Biden even if it means that Trump wins, so angry are they with Biden for failing to stop the IDF’s campaign in Gaza. Now he is trying to win those voters back by his public breaking with Jerusalem, continuing to demand that before the IDF goes deeply into Rafah, Israel must present a comprehensive plan for how it intends to protect civilians in the city. As Israel has not done so, and continues to tighten the noose around Rafah, Biden has chosen to withhold “guided” bombs, as well as tank and artillery shells.

It may not have a decisive effect on a military offensive in Rafah. The IDF has sufficient stocks of munitions to complete that mission, although some ammunition may have to be rationed, potentially costing Israeli soldiers’ lives; and any shortage of precision weapons may have to be compensated by unguided bombs, which could cost some Gazan civilian lives.
But Biden’s actions will certainly strengthen Hamas. Its survival depends on Israel being stopped from its advance into Rafah. The growing U.S.-led international pressure on Israel can only encourage Hamas to fight harder and longer.

Ninety-four retired American generals and admirals have just signed a letter deploring the Biden administration’s distancing itself from Israel by publicly criticizing its conduct of the war and by withholding weapons the IDF may not need immediately, but will certainly need in the near future, especially if Hezbollah continues its near-daily barrage of rockets into the northern Galilee, forcing the IDF to fight on a second front.

The terrorists’ only incentive to consider releasing hostages is a pause in hostilities to buy time and potentially lead to a full cessation. If those objectives can be achieved as a result of U.S. pressure, that incentive melts away and thus Biden’s policies reduce the prospects of getting the surviving hostages back, including American citizens, or at least raise the price of any who are released….

Only maximum military pressure on Hamas, not negotiations that go nowhere but are used as a stalling tactic by the terror group, will persuade it to surrender the hostages in a swap for Palestinian prisoners. But American pressure is now being exerted not on Hamas, but on the Israeli government to agree to a long — six-week — ceasefire, which might turn into a permanent cessation. In that case, why would Hamas any longer be interested in releasing any of the hostages? Fortunately, Prime Minister Netanyahu has shown his mettle more attractive; he is prepared to press forward with the IDF campaign in Rafah, no matter what pressure the Bidenites apply.

Israel and its American supporters will not forget that Biden tried to prevent the IDF from entering Rafah and crushing the last four intact battalions of Hamas fighters. Furthermore, his withholding of weapons for Israel will both prolong the war, and raise Hamas’ morale. If the Bidenites continue to withhold precision-guided munitions from the IDF, then less precise munitions will have to be used, resulting in more civilian casualties. Is that what the Bidenites want? And what impression do they think they are making on other American allies, such as Taiwan, who look with alarm at how this administration is treating its most loyal and most valuable ally?

The Bidenites should think again, release all the weapons they have been withholding, explain to the American people that the administration is now satisfied with how Israel is conducting its campaign in Rafah, and that it is now persuaded that the IDF has a workable plan to minimize civilian casualties “as it has done elsewhere in Gaza.” Biden may lose Michigan, even though those Arab and Muslim voters make up less than 3% of the population and less than 10% of the Democratic voters in that state. But even if he does lose in that state, there are 49 other states where support for Israel remains strong. Would he want to risk losing some of those voters, including many Jews and most of the 100 million of Evangelical Christians, for whom a candidate’s support for Israel remains a major concern?



UK, of all places, revokes visa of pro-Hamas ‘Palestinian’ student who cheered Oct. 7 massacre

Egypt: Muslim kidnaps Christian woman, sends her father certificate of her conversion to Islam

Anti-Israel Jewish Group Accuses Israel of Timing Independence Day to Obscure ‘Nakba Day’

Malaysia: Police called in after customer mocks ‘stupid Islam’ in online order

Bangladesh: Hindu woman gets five years prison for insulting Muhammad on Facebook, she says her account was hacked

Afghanistan: Taliban extorts money on false charges of moral corruption

Egypt Blocks Aid to Gaza, the Media Blames Israel

India: Muslim murders his 18-year-old daughter by slicing her neck for having a boyfriend

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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