VP Harris’s adviser: Rejecting Gaza deal would drain Israeli resources, increase isolation

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Vice President Kamala Harris's National Security Adviser Philip Gordon, in May 2024. (YouTube screenshot)
Vice President Kamala Harris's National Security Adviser Philip Gordon, in May 2024. (YouTube screenshot)

Speaking in Herzliya, Vice President Kamala Harris’s national security adviser urges Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept the terms of the deal laid out by President Joe Biden last month, though Netanyahu said yesterday he wants only a “partial” accord.

“A rejection of this deal would not bring about some undefined notion of total victory,” says Philip Gordon at Reichman University’s Herzliya Conference, “but it would lead to endless conflict, draining Israel’s resources, contributing to its isolation on the world stage, and preventing the hostages from being reunited with their families.”

On the other hand, says Gordon, the deal Biden presented is “the path to that more hopeful future (that) starts with the ceasefire bill.”

“That proposal offers the opportunity to end the war in Gaza in a way such that Israel is secure, the hostages come home, Hamas no longer governs Gaza, and the Palestinian people have a hopeful political horizon to freedom, security, and an eventual state, living side by side in peace with Israel,” he continues.

Gordon stresses that the US “is certainly not asking Israel to sacrifice its security or immediately to come to a negotiated agreement on two states.”

He also places blame on Hamas: “It is now time for Hamas to accept the deal. Let’s be clear, by refusing to do so, Hamas is responsible for ongoing suffering of so many Palestinians. The deal Israel offered at the end of May was almost identical to what Hamas proposed on May 6th. In many ways, Hamas is walking away from its own proposal.”

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