Smith: Israel must change its approach to war

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) joined the ranks of Democrats pushing for a new approach to Israel’s offensive in Gaza this week, calling for Israel to “change the way they are conducting this war” while opposing tougher calls to cut its military aid entirely.

In an interview with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto Saturday morning, the House Armed Services ranking member emphasized the need for aid to redress the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and stressed that Israel’s current wartime conduct is “not the right approach.”

“We want Israel to change the way they are conducting this war,” Smith said. “Israel has had a very aggressive approach from October 7th forward, and it’s understandable why they reacted that way. It is not working to their advantage, and it is causing a devastating humanitarian crisis in Gaza right now.”

Smith underscored President Joe Biden’s recent calls for a temporary cease-fire, particularly in the wake of the bombing of a World Central Kitchen convoy on Monday that killed seven, and emphasized that a pause in fighting is critical to get aid into the region.

“There are very specific things that Israel could do differently that would make it less likely that this would happen and allow them to still conduct their military operations.”

He added that more pressure needs to be applied to Hamas to achieve a ceasefire agreement.

Pressure from within Biden’s party has intensified in the last week. Smith’s comments come just one day after leading Democratic foreign policy voice Sen. Tim Kaine issued a strong rebuke that the Biden administration’s approach to Israel’s war is “not working.”

While Kaine expressed approval of Biden’s call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week, which precipitated the opening of aid channels into the besieged Gaza strip, the Virginia senator added that “this was an obvious solution that should have happened months ago.”

Gaza’s health ministry estimates that over 32,900 Palestinians have been killed since Oct. 7, while the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification projects that half of Gaza’s population faces imminent threat of famine and the rest are at high risk.

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