America Becomes a Devil’s Advocate 

The Biden administration is now officially advocating the suspension of — and then an end to — Israel’s pursuit of the perpetrators of the October 7 massacre.

AP/Adel Hana
The head of Hamas in Gaza, Yehya Sinwar, April 30, 2022. AP/Adel Hana

Why is America advocating for the devil? The original Latin phrase, advocatus diaboli, refers to a priest doing oppo-research on a candidate for sainthood. Today’s devil’s advocates are people who attempt to provoke deeper thinking by arguing a position they don’t believe in. President Biden, in contrast, is helping a war criminal, Gaza’s Hamas leader Yehya Sinwar, escape punishment and maintain his devilish campaign against Israel.         

An American-initiated resolution at the United Nations Security Council urges “both parties” — Israel and Hamas — to implement a diplomatic deal designed to release some hostages. Mostly it seeks ways to end the war and help Gazans rebuild their lives. Is that what Mr. Sinwar wants? A Wall Street Journal examination of his internal communication confirms that he sees Gazans as cannon fodder and pawns in the cause: the elimination of the Jewish state.  

Mr. Biden is seeking to end the war by a diplomatic coup that would release 120 hostages in Hamas’s hands. The world is applauding, but do any of those who voted for yesterday’s UN resolution have influence over Sinwar? “I don’t think anyone other than the Hamas leadership in Gaza actually are the ones who can make — make decisions,” Secretary Blinken said today while visiting Israel. “And that’s what we are waiting on.”

We might wait for a long time. Sinwar’s life was “shaped by bloody conflict with an Israeli state that he says has no right to exist,” the Journal reports. Throughout, “he has stuck to a simple playbook: backed into a corner, he looks to violence for a way out.” When three sons of Hamas’s Qatar-based leader, Ismail Haniyeh were killed in April, Sinwar sent a condolence cable, saying that such deaths “infuse life into the veins of this nation.”

The current Security Council-backed plan, in contrast, calls to infuse actual life into Gaza. It promises an end to deaths, billion dollar reconstruction projects, withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Strip — the lot. To get all these, Sinwar needs to release an unspecified number of hostages. Yet, the Israelis vow to continue hunting him to the end of the earth. His only defense is to surround himself with the abductees in his deeply-dug tunnels.  

All he needs to do is wait till pressure on Israel is too much for its government to continue the war. The American ambassador at the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said yesterday that “Hamas is no longer capable of carrying out another October 7.” That is not how Sinwar sees it. Dismissing a past attempt at ending the war through a diplomatic deal, he wrote to his Hamas colleagues, “we have the Israelis right where we want them,” the Journal reports. 

The leader of Hamas in Gaza likely observed how Mr. Biden, who at first vowed to stand by Israel, is now mostly advocating an end to the war before November. Marshaling the will of the UN’s top organ, America is now officially advocating the suspension, and then an end to Israel’s pursuit of the perpetrators of the October 7 massacres. The Islamic Republic of Iran will then replenish Hamas’s military capabilities, and the devil will get his due.


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