The Center for American Progress has now said the word that the Biden administration and most Democrats in Congress have been most unwilling to utter since Israel began to bomb Gaza: ceasefire.
In a significant development, CAP—perhaps the most influential think tank within the Democratic establishment—published an Articles On Friday, I asked the Biden administration and Congress “urge an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.” The article was written by Senior Director for National Security and International Policy Allison McManus and President Patrick Gaspard. Gaspard tweeted later: “We need a ceasefire. Now.”The post outlines five actions the administration and Congress must take immediately.
The call for a ceasefire goes against the administration’s current policy. Biden’s response last week when asked about the possibility of a truce was, “None, no possibility.” The CAP prefers a long-term ceasefire to the short-term pauses that are advocated by Biden’s administration.
With Gaza’s health care system already on the brink of collapse, the current humanitarian catastrophe will worsen exponentially if the conflict continues at the intensity seen over the past few weeks. Congress and the administration must work swiftly to negotiate a humanitarian ceasefire, using all available leverage to ensure that both Israel and—through coordination with Qatar and other regional partners—Hamas comply. A negotiated ceasefire, rather than the short pauses currently in place, would allow for the development of a more clear and long-term strategy against Hamas. It would also help facilitate the safe release of hostages and ease the humanitarian situation.
Israel has been fighting Hamas since the attack on Gaza by Hamas that killed approximately 1,200 people on October 7. More than 11,000, including more than 4 600 childrenAccording to the local ministry of health,. have died during the attack. Israel has at different times severely or completely restricted food, water and fuel access. The United Nations You can estimate the cost by using that 1.4 million people in Gaza—more than half the population—are now internally displaced.
Gaspard and McManus state that Israel’s “collective punishment has brutalized thousands of innocent civilians and only jeopardized prospects for lasting peace.” International law defines collective punishment as a crime of war. In the article, both Hamas as well as Israel are accused of “serious human rights violations.”
During Barack Obama’s presidency, Gaspard served as the executive director of the Democratic National Committee and the United States Ambassador to South Africa. Gaspard was president of Open Society Foundations, founded by George Soros, before joining CAP.
CAP and the administration have sometimes been at odds in the past. Gaspard, despite his current position, has been unusually vocal in regards to the war. Gaspard has criticized Hillary Clinton’s certitude when it comes to rejecting calls for ceasefire earlier this month.
I’m struck by the absolute certitude and hearing yet again there’s an expertise that some have about making war and that those protesting lack. I recall protesting against my Govt’s vote to authorize war in Iraq. We were told that we just didn’t understand. This certainty https://t.co/eRewDFkb7t
— Patrick Gaspard (@patrickgaspard) November 5, 2023
In late October, Gaspard Writer People are using social media to communicate. “keep telling me that the situation in Gaza is ‘complicated.’” He continued: “There’s nothing complicated about being able to say killing innocent people is wrong and needs to stop. We said it when it was Hamas. We can say it now that it’s Israel. This is wrong. This needs to stop.”
Gaspard emphasized the need for a immediate ceasefire after publishing the article Friday. He said, yet again breaking with the Biden Administration, that a ceasefire must be a prerequisite for additional aid to Israel.
I haven’t been unclear about what we’re seeing and what I’ve consistently called for. All the time. We need to stop the fighting. Now. I’m also clear on the fact that there’s going to be a congressional debate on this and so I’m pressing for conditions – including ceasefire on any aid.
— Patrick Gaspard (@patrickgaspard) November 17, 2023
CAP’s published paper goes beyond a ceasefire, as well. The authors’ second priority is supporting Israel’s defense needs. The plan they have for doing this differs from that of the Biden Administration. Gaspard and McManus reject the sending of offensive weapons. “likely to be used unlawfully” Such as 155mm artillery rounds. The administration is not limiting military aid to defensive weapons preferred by the CAP. Instead, the administration has proposed sending Israel $14 billion of mostly military assistance—with no strings attached.
Thirdly, provide humanitarian assistance to Gazans. Gaspard & McManus state that Biden’s administration has been pushing for humanitarian aid, but also point out that current levels are inadequate. “are but a drop in the bucket as the conflict rages on.” Other priorities include ensuring US aid is in line with policies that support human rights and pushing for a solution that is political.