Egypt, one of two Israeli allies in the Arab world, has suggested a ceasefire in the current hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza. US President Obama was encouraged about the development and said: “We are encouraged that Egypt has made a proposal to accomplish this goal that we hope can restore the calm that we are seeking.”
A ceasefire at this time would be a mistake.
Israel has already had two engagements in Gaza since it left the area in 2005: Operation Cast Lead in 2008 and Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012. Both of those ceasefires failed to grant any long-term peace to Israeli citizens because they did not address the fundamental cause of the Hamas rocket fire.
Hamas wants Israel destroyed. All ceasefires that Hamas agrees to are simply hiatuses between battles.
There are two basic actions that must occur that world bodies can help facilitate that will ensure a long-term cessation of hostilities:
- the destruction of all missiles in Gaza;
- the dismantling of Hamas
Removing and Destroying all Missiles in Gaza
Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu and Acting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas spent much of the past year in a fruitless exercise of “Peace Negotiations” which had no chance of success. Much of the reason that talks were D.O.A. when they began, was because Abbas had no control (and still has no control) of Gaza. For Netanyahu, negotiating with a party who could not deliver the peace he sought was a fool’s errand – as the world witnessed.
All of the two-state peace negotiations over the years discussed a demilitarized Palestinian state. The action of removing all of the missiles now, would advance a major goal (and remove a major stumbling block) in moving towards a two-state solution. The removal itself would serve as the impetus for bringing the parties back to negotiations.
President Obama recently touted his accomplishment in ridding Syria of all chemical weapons in a peaceful manner. He said: “The fact that we didn’t have to fire a missile to get that accomplished is not a failure to uphold international norms, it’s a success.” Now would be the ideal time to follow that format and identify, remove and destroy all of the missiles in Gaza. It would save the people of Gaza and the soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces many casualties.
Hamas is not simply a political party. It is a rabidly anti-Semitic terrorist organization. It should not be allowed to exist in its current form under any circumstances. It cannot solely give up its weapons nor can it merely modify its charter. The entire entity is a cancer and must be dismantled.
The Hamas charter is beyond an obstacle to peace; it is an instrument of war. While former President Jimmy Carter may have tried to overlook a passing phrase of animosity towards Israel and Jews, the basic fact is that the founding document is an unambiguous call to kill Jews and to destroy the Jewish State again and again.
As echoed by its leaders, the essence of the Hamas philosophy is to kill Jews and destroy Israel. No peace will ever come between the Palestinians and Israel as long as the party exists. The time is now for all world bodies to effectively terminate this vile entity.