As I write, the humanitarian “pause” in the Israel-Hamas war is in its sixth day and voices from all sides are in intense debate about extension of the cease-fire. Immediately upon the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7th we have known that civilian casualties would be a Hamas strategy, and I must say that if I had loved ones among the remaining hostages held by Hamas in the tunnels of Gaza there would be no doubt about where the bias in my heart and sentiments would be. But frankly, as heart-rending as the situation is, I would be disqualified as a leader if I relied on that fact if called upon, because the defense of the nation of Israel and its people in deciding strategy should have priority, and in my opinion that priority should be the complete and total destruction of Hamas and its terrorist capabilities. And if this means directly taking on Hezbollah and Iran, the ultimate culprit, so be it. There are no good choices here, but more “pauses” are the wrong ones, morally and strategically, and they essentially are to Hamas’s advantage. Let’s help Israel win this war as soon as possible.
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