Stop the War on Gaza Now

The only way to stop famine from devouring tens of thousands of lives is to stop the war now.

Posted on

An official from UNICEF, James Elder, recently surveyed the devastation in Gaza and warned against an assault on Rafah:

“A military offensive in Rafah would be utterly catastrophic. The last remaining water points and hospitals [in Gaza] are there and there is nowhere else to go. Khan Younis, Gaza City barely exist any more,” he said. “Rafah is Gaza’s last hope and it is utterly bewildering that a conversation on a potential military operation is still continuing.”

The continuation of the war is a death sentence for thousands and thousands more Palestinian civilians. The only way to stop famine from devouring tens and possibly hundreds of thousands of lives is to stop the war now. The U.S. has tried to have it both ways by fully backing the war while feigning concern about the humanitarian crisis, but the former is causing the latter and the latter cannot be successfully ended without ending the war.

It is clear that the US is not trying to stop this assault from happening. Instead, according to The Wall Street Journal, the Biden administration is trying to “shape” the attack so that it will supposedly be less dangerous to the 1.4 million civilians that have taken refuge there. It is absurd to think that the US will be able to “shape” an offensive in Rafah so that it effectively protects civilians when Washington absolutely refuses to use any leverage to pressure the Netanyahu government. It is even more ridiculous to think that the Israeli military that has laid waste to Gaza up until now will suddenly restrain itself and not do the same thing to Rafah that it has already done to the other cities. The US has signaled many times that there is nothing that the Israeli government can do that would jeopardize its support, so we should assume that the Israeli government will disregard any US advice that limits its options.

The choice here is between continuing the war and causing large-scale loss of civilian life on the one hand and halting the war and providing at least minimal protection to civilians. There is no scenario where the war continues and the famine does not get significantly worse. If the famine already raging in Gaza is to be contained, there must be an immediate and permanent ceasefire. Jeremy Konyndyk of Refugees International explains that the famine in Gaza is already underway:

Bottom line up front: available evidence strongly indicates that famine is getting underway in Gaza. The window to “avert” it has closed, and the focus must now pivot to containing the damage. As prospects for an enduring cease-fire remain pessimistic, tens of thousands of lives, perhaps more, hang in the balance.

Read the rest of the article at Eunomia

Daniel Larison is a contributing editor for and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.