In addition to the ceasefire announced to allow the hostage and prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas, the Biden administration needs a peace plan for Israel, the Palestinians, and all others concerned with the present conflict in Israel and Gaza.

More importantly, America needs to demonstrate its equal support for the Palestinian people and Israel. The United States should intervene in the conflict, for purely humanitarian purposes, to the benefit of all concerned.

As the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote recently: ”It is time for President Biden to create a moment of truth for everyone. … We are going to lay down the principles of a fair peace plan for the morning after this war – one that reflects our interests and that will also enable us to support Israel and moderate Palestinians and win the support of moderate Arabs for an economic reconstruction of Gaza after the war.”

In view of the imminent ceasefire, the opportunity for American intervention to continue the pause is going to be short-lived. Hamas deceived Israel in its attack on Oct. 7 and created a public relations nightmare for Israel. After an outpouring of sympathy following Hamas’ brutal attack, news stories about the conflict have increasingly focused on IDF-caused carnage in Gaza, leading to a mounting international revulsion.

That successful skewing of global public opinion is costing the Israelis dearly and is not serving American interests – which calls for an immediate and drastic alternative to the current conflict.

U.S. humanitarian intervention should involve the use of our naval forces, initially and principally the U.S. Marine Corps, augmented by naval medical personnel. Our Marines and medical personnel could supply food, water, fuel and generators to restore critical care, stave off starvation and reduce the inevitable diseases that will follow in the absence of intervention.


The Navy-Marine Corps team is capable of rapid mustering and equipping the required units – recognizing they are an amphibious force and humanitarian response is a primary mission for all our forces. From the sea is the only way for this humanitarian intervention to occur without U.S. forces becoming embroiled in land-related dangers.

The forces in the eastern Mediterranean could be augmented by the unparalleled capabilities of U.S. Navy hospital ships, USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort, thereby surpassing any medical facilities available in the immediate area. To many, the concept of intervention, humanitarian or otherwise, will seem severe and alien to our national diplomatic nature, and will recreate images of other foreign interventions. But it is necessary and the time for it is now.

The mission of our intervening humanitarian forces should be limited in scope and duration. That intervention will not require American forces attacking or defending anyone. To be certain, there would be American boots on the ground in Gaza, but those standing guard would be for force protection and no other mission.

U.S. forces do not normally engage in foreign humanitarian assistance without the invitation of the host government. With our leverage and insistence, the Israeli government is not going to object unnecessarily; they need a way out. The Palestinian National Authority could only gain by exercising the wisdom of involving the Americans. Part of the upside of our intervention is that the Israelis, by agreement, would have to suspend barrages and bombing and turn on electricity, water and fuel. They would not have to agree to a ceasefire – an extended de facto one would suffice. The IDF could also support the humanitarian intervention by maintaining order and ensuring that supplies are not going to Hamas.

The proposed humanitarian intervention is not without danger. We are reminded that 40 years ago (Oct. 23, 1983), Hezbollah killed 220 Marines and other U.S. personnel in the bombing of the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, followed by 52 French paratroopers minutes later. That abhorrent attack remains the single deadliest day for the U.S. Marine Corps since the Battle of Iwo Jima. No doubt, other forces may see opportunity in the presence of Americans in Gaza. Hopefully, they be deterred by the U.S. naval forces in the Mediterranean and the Gulf.

The humanitarian upside seems to be worth the risk.

Extreme vigilance, heightened force preparedness and protection will be necessary to ensure success of the humanitarian effort. The next step for Commander-in-Chief Biden, after appropriate consultation with his national security team, is to order immediate planning for execution of the mission.

Continued bold action by Biden can make another extreme difference in the conflict by extending the pause in the conflict, demonstrating American resolve and fairness, and instilling pride in American forces as they accomplish one of the most significant contributions to peace ever.

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