The LA Times Editorial Board Fails to Call for Hamas to Surrender, Release Hostages

The Los Angeles Times editorial board published an editorial yesterday calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. “The world cannot stand by to witness more slaughter of civilians,” the Board declared. It went on to say, “neither Israel nor the U.S. has explained how Hamas can be eradicated or removed from power without an unacceptable level of civilian deaths and casualties.” (“Editorial: Cease-fire now. The killing in Gaza must stop,” November 16, 2023.)

Concerns over civilian casualties in Gaza are valid – though it’s not clear what makes the LA Times Editorial Board the arbiter of what is or is not an “acceptable” number (especially considering the US killed 120,000 people indiscriminately when we bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki). However, all further civilian and military deaths on both sides could be stopped if Hamas surrendered.

A Hamas surrender would end the bloodshed immediately and with more lasting effect. It would also provide the opportunity for Gaza to rebuilt in a way that benefitted its civilian population, rather than its despotic rulers.

Yet the LA Times does not call for Hamas to surrender. Why not? This makes it hard to believe that civilian deaths are their true concern.

Nor does the Editorial Board put forth a plan, in the event of a ceasefire, to guarantee the hostages’ safe return, or any plan to ensure that Hamas does not make good on its openly stated goal of repeating the atrocities of October 7. This, too, makes it hard to believe that loss of civilian life is really what is motivating the Board.

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