While it’s hard to see, day-to-day, the movement for a ceasefire in Gaza is changing the tide on public opinion.

by James J. Zogby, Arab American Institute

Despite the Biden administration’s refusal to back a ceasefire that would help end Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza, momentum is growing across the US calling on the administration to reverse course. What is significant is that the opposition to the White House’s position is coming from within the President’s own party.

The administration’s stubborn aversion to even the use of the term ceasefire remains inexplicable. It may be recalled that just a few days after the Israeli bombings that followed the October 7th attacks, the State Department issued a statement calling for a ceasefire that was quickly taken down and followed by a guidance memo to diplomats saying the term was not to be used. As the number of civilian casualties continued to grow, administration officials repeatedly fell back on the line that Israel had the right to defend itself, that Hamas had to be eliminated, and that a ceasefire would only allow Hamas to rebuild its capacity. The administration attempted to absolve itself by coupling this rejection of a ceasefire with appeals to Israel to avoid civilian casualties and with support for humanitarian aid.

ceasefire protest in congressional offices

Those arguments have failed the test of time. The carpet bombing of residential areas of Gaza, the clear intent to demolish housing and infrastructure, the forced evacuation of millions, and more have led to Israel being charged with genocide. And leading analysts in the US and Israel have noted that the “elimination of Hamas” is at best “a fool’s errand.”

As the dimensions of the human tragedy unfolding in Gaza became clearer, the US has found itself virtually isolated in the world community in its rejection of a UAE-sponsored Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire that would allow unimpeded humanitarian aid. Countering this proposal, the US supported increased aid to Gaza but would not consider the reality that without an end to the bombing aid could not be delivered or reach those most in need.

Read More