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I wonder if your suggestion is already under discussion with the Biden Administration and certain Arab countries. Recently, President Biden spoke of rendering Hamas politically irrelevant (I’m paraphrasing) and that might mean it follows the PLO Lebanon resolution. It is disarmed and forced out. He also spoke of a “revitalized” Palestinian Authority, which means something other than what currently exists. Hamas will only accept this resolution if its back is against the wall. One way to accomplish that is to put the screws to Qatar. Prime Minister Netanyahu has pledged that Mossad will not assassinate any Hamas officials in country, so Qatar should force Haniyeh & Co. to agree to this demand in exchange for their immunity from extradition to the US for conspiracy to commit terror acts against US citizens. Or maybe Qatar just makes them the proverbial offer they can’t refuse.

Another option would be to offer a political solution: in exchange for demilitarizing, Hamas can join the political fray. The analogy (which would kill the pro-Palestinian side) would be to Menachem Begin, prior to Netanyahu he was the Left’s favorite punching bag. Let’s put them to the test and see if they believe their own rhetoric about terrorists turning into statesmen.

What I would also have liked to see, but it just hasn’t’ happened, is a united Western demand that Hamas surrender as the quickest way to solve the humanitarian crisis it initiated. Any demand for a ceasefire is a demand that Hamas remain in power in Gaza, which is to say that Hamas is the public face of Palestinian “resistance” with all that entails about losing any high moral ground.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, when all these options are offered and Hamas rejects them, Egypt must be required to allow the Gazans penned up in the South to relocate temporarily into refugee camps set up in Egypt. Even if it doesn’t, the war will have to resume. In the end, antisemitism (linked with ill-informed “allies”) will continue to supercharge some, if not many, of the protests. Israel will have to ignore them as best it can, while the Biden Administration continues to hold the line and most other Western states keep a low profile to avoid violence from certain sections of their population. Destroying Hamas - thereby weakening Iran - is in the West’s and Sunni states best interests. They all know this. So, for no particular reason, I remain optimistic overall even if mindful of the terrible losses incurred on the way to the goal.

As a postscript, I read that Hamas is bargaining now for another four day pause in exchange for only 20 hostages. The US and Israel need to stand firm.

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Nov 27, 2023·edited Nov 27, 2023

It's a great idea, but I doubt Hamas would accept exile to another Arab country. Unfortunately, based on previous experience, they know we will choose saving our hostages over destroying them. I hope they are wrong.

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Islamism has become hydra-like;more offshoots springing up,aided by resurgent Islam's absolutism and seduction of so many of the wests's bien -pensants,especially in the MSM.

Western governments are dithering,while Israel fights on, torn between two options.

So many of us want Israel to win comprehensively, to crush the evil of Hamas and to rescue the remaining hostages, but can Israeli verve, commitment, determination and its humanitarian norms ever triumph completely when dealing with such an accomplished,cynical manipulator of opinion and realpolitik?

The marches here in the UK continue unabashed, the demands grow louder and yes, we had the wonderfully inspiring and decent march against anti-Semitism yesterday, but the Islamic lobby is increasingly entitled, domineering and demanding.

Would any other Arab or Islamic state accommodate Hamas : their reluctance to accept any refugees is notable ;would they therefore provide a refuge for this death cult?

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Your suggestion was tried already in the early 1980's after the Lebanon war. Yasser Arafat ended up leaving war torn Lebanon for safety in Tunisia. And then what happened? More terrorism all over the world. Why would we let Hamas terrorists a passage to escape to live another day for future attacks on Israel or Jews worldwide. We must learn our lesson and continue to battle these terrorists whenever and wherever found. Today they are holed up in Gaza. Destroy them there.

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I am no expert in Israeli politics or military strategy, and thus I struggle to understand how Israel could have permitted enemies dedicated to Israel's destruction to grow stronger for so long on its borders. Sadly, that mistake now appears to have led directly to the current tragic "choice".

Israel may have had reason to be optimistic upon the withdrawal from Gaza, but how was it anything but folly to allow Hamas to assume control shortly thereafter? Without hostages in Gaza, and before the building of an enormous terror infrastructure, the IDF could have resolved that issue. And given the persistent targeting of Israeli citizens with rockets from Gaza -- outrages no other country would tolerate -- Israel surely had, multiple times over, an inarguable moral basis to act.

I hope in the coming months the Israelis don't make the same mistake in the North vis-a-vis Hezbollah. The thought that Israel would wait for another atrocity before taking action to protect its citizens from this maniacal group is horrifying.

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Magnificent, Michael. The legitimacy of Israel's military and governing institutions comes directly from choosing life. Hamas' barbarity is a twisted medieval Koranic concept of "lesser jihad" that imposes death on "infidels", a grotesque concept that's been further hijacked by leaders who don't care about religious piety at all ("greater jihad" is conventional religious piety)--they want to gain power and money by using their own people as tools. Israel rises as an example by fighting Amelek with light and life.

There will be time to track down Hamas' leaders, and there will always be more: Hezbollah in the North, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the still terror-underwriting PA in Judea & Samaria and dozens of others. History may record this as the redemptive moment when Israel and Jewish values inspire civilized peoples to definitively end the scourge of Islamist terror everywhere.

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Israel must learn to say “No!” No to US and European pressure that prevents it from defeating its enemies. Israel must not repeat the mistake of allowing an implacable enemy to escape and then return to wage war against Israel again. It would be one thing if the world rewarded Israel for following this path, but it doesn’t. It uses the weakness that attaches to Israel for letting its enemies get away with their crimes to tighten the noose around Israel’s neck, inch by inch. If Israel does let Hamas escape, it had better find a way to communicate its strength and the world’s weakness in allowing the terror war against Israel to continue. Turning the other cheek may seem noble, but Jesus was eventually crucified.

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Why not? Worth a try. But it's never going to happen, and you know it Michael. This whole hostage scene is an attempt to fix the unfixable. It is time for Israel to be cruel and ruthless. It is time for our Arab enemies to shake with fear when they hear the IDF is coming.

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What I think is missing from the equation is the element of time. Time is not on Israel’s side. The US is lead by weak leadership who believes that you can buy peace with Iran. The US will continue to demand concessions from Israel and Israel needs the US missile defense systems. The more time that IDF waits for the Hamas hostage games to play out the more pressure the US will assert over Israel to stop its war with Hamas. It is after all a presidential election year and Biden is desperate to appease the radical left. The element of time needs to be part of this calculation with the foundational assumption that more delays equal less US and other allies support.

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I am certain many could object to these choices, primarily because the choices of Palestinians aren't included. But they are. Just as early colonies in America created a government, Palestinians could create an alternative government dedicated to expelling Hamas, which promises to live side by side with Egypt and Israel and Jordan in peace, which does not teach hatred of Jews or others in their children's schools. Since 1948, on multiple occasions Israelis have offered and Palestinians have rejected the two-state solution. Do Palestinians genuinely want a functioning country that takes care of its own citizens? If they do, now is the time for Palestinians to accept and improve the lives of all in the region. It will require vast investments from many countries, time to raise a generation dedicated to peace, time to prove good intentions. It could be done. No sane person wants the other choice.

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Dear God I hope you are right Ambassador. And may He grant our leaders moral clarity such they make the correct decisions.

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