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The Editors

As the Middle East Rages, the U.S. Can’t Stay Distant

American neglect has contributed to the conflict between Israel and Hamas. President Biden must act now to end the fighting.

The perils of American disengagement.

The perils of American disengagement.

Photographer: Qusay Dawud/AFP/Getty Images

Israel and Hamas are once again at war in Gaza. The two sides have been firing missiles and rockets at each other since the start of the week. Israel has now deployed tanks and artillery.

This endless conflict has long defied outsiders’ efforts to mediate. Nonetheless, it falls to those with influence — above all, the U.S. — to try. For understandable reasons, President Joe Biden would have preferred to stand aside. This would be a mistake. The U.S. can’t solve the problem, but it can make a difference.