J Street Commends President Biden, Welcomes Israeli Ceasefire Framework, and Urges Immense Pressure on Hamas to Accept The Deal

May 31, 2024

President Biden today outlined a comprehensive ceasefire framework for a durable end to the Israel-Hamas war that would reunite hostages with their families, end the devastation in Gaza, provide guarantees for Israel’s security, surge humanitarian aid to Palestinians, start the process of reconstruction, and ultimately pave the way for a lasting peace agreement to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As the President noted, the framework is supported by Israeli officials. Hamas has since said it is examining the plan.

“This was a powerful display of presidential leadership. We couldn’t agree more: It’s time for this war to end,” said J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami. “The deal President Biden outlined offers a realistic, credible pathway out of this catastrophe. Immense pressure must now be brought to bear on Hamas to accept this deal to stop the war, free the hostages, and end this nightmare for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

President Biden – a lifelong supporter of Israel and the only president to have visited Israel in wartime – made clear that Israelis can make this offer without any further risk to their own security. “[Israel has] devastated Hamas forces over the past 8 months,” he said. “At this point, Hamas is no longer capable of carrying out another October 7.”

“Indefinite war in pursuit of an unidentified notion of ‘total victory’ will only bog down Israel in Gaza, draining economic, military and human resources, and furthering Israel’s isolation in the world,” the President said. “That will not bring hostages home. That will not bring an enduring defeat of Hamas. That will not bring Israel lasting security.”

The President directly addressed the Israeli people, and offered a critique of right-wing leaders who have faced growing criticism from hostage families, Israeli military veterans and Israel’s own security establishment.

“I know there are those in Israel who will not agree with this plan and will call for the war to continue indefinitely – some are even in the government coalition.” he said. “They’ve made it clear: They want to occupy Gaza, they want to keep fighting for years, and the hostages are not a priority. I’ve urged the Israeli government to stand behind this plan, no matter what pressure comes.”

“This is exactly the type of strong, nuanced pro-Israel statecraft that J Street has been calling for and continues to champion,” Ben-Ami said. “We urge leaders in Congress and around the world to rally behind this effort to chart a course out of this horror and toward a better, safer future for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

As we await Hamas’ response – and urge all pressure to be brought to bear on them to accept the deal and end this war – we continue to urge the Biden administration to ensure every measure is taken to adhere to the laws of war, stop the spread of famine in Gaza, and facilitate urgently needed humanitarian aid to families in desperate need.