Negotiations via Qatar reportedly have produced a Hamas offer of some hostage releases if Israel pauses its offensive in Gaza for three days; the same reports say President Biden has privately pushed Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu for such a cease-fire.
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?
Presumably, he doesn’t expect Hamas to comply, and has no intention of sending in American troops to force the issue.
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.
More, as our own Michael Goodwin suggests, he could declare his opposition to the slightest “pause” unless and until Hamas releases the innocent civilians it seized 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.
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.