IN THE MEDIA

We need a ceasefire based on reality, not fantasy

Feb 28, 2024 | Justin Amler

Hamas fighters in the southern Gaza Strip (Image: Abed Rahim Khatib/ Shutterstock)
Hamas fighters in the southern Gaza Strip (Image: Abed Rahim Khatib/ Shutterstock)

Algemeiner – 27 February 2024

The prime ministers of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada have issued a joint statement calling on Israel not to enter Rafah, saying the “military operation would be devastating.” Instead, they are pushing for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire.” In doing so, they have joined many other international voices calling for Israel to stop its defensive actions against Hamas, arguing that Israel “must listen to the international community.”

While their statement does eventually call for Hamas to “lay down its arms and release all hostages immediately,” this part only appears in the fifth paragraph, making Israel the focus of opprobrium and criticism.

This statement — and the similar calls for a ceasefire made by so many over the past few weeks — betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the situation in Israel, and blames Israel for the actions it is taking to defend its people from murder and mass destruction.

This war only came about because Hamas broke the “ceasefire” that existed on October 6, when it launched a genocidal attack on Israel on October 7 that included rape, mutilation, torture, and the murder of 1,200 men, women, and children as well as kidnapping more than 240 people.

Every single death that has occurred since that day in Gaza is directly attributable to Hamas’ actions.

Yet, despite the abundance of evidence, including interviews with Hamas officials, testimonies of survivors, and video of the atrocities taken by the terrorists themselves, much of the world still quite inexplicably fails to understand and accept the true nature of Hamas and its intentions.

The very idea that a genocidal terror organization can sit down with a democratic, free country and negotiate some kind of lasting truce — leading to a peaceful outcome — is so preposterous and ludicrous that it defies common sense.

There is zero chance that Hamas will listen to Western governments and lay down its arms permanently. And there is zero chance that Hamas will free all the hostages, unless faced with overwhelming coercion.

Hamas’ very existence is predicated on the condition that Israel and its Jewish residents must be annihilated, as stated clearly in its founding document. Hamas’ fundamentalist and extremist ideology doesn’t allow for long-term compromise, and those who think it does are kidding themselves.

Yet those who call for ceasefires ignore this reality, effectively placing the onus on Israel alone to halt its activities and initiate an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in order to save lives — knowing that Hamas will never do the same.

Israel is implored to “listen” to the international community. Yet that same international community refuses to listen to Hamas itself, which has shown quite unequivocally through its human shield strategy, and genocidal actions against Israel, that it does not care about saving civilian lives.

Israel does indeed want a ceasefire, but one that is based on the reality of the threat it faces, not the fantasy of those whose “virtuous” calls for peace actually invite and encourage more conflict and death — both in Israel and in Gaza.

It is shameful and morally repugnant that Israel is expected to stop defending its citizens and abandon its hostages, allowing Hamas to survive to commit genocidal acts again and again, as it has promised it will do.

The world can be extremely generous with Jewish lives. But Israel cannot.

For Israel, every civilian death is a tragedy, but for Hamas, every civilian death is a strategy. The world cannot be allowed to ignore the fact Hamas has turned Gaza into the largest terror state in history, where so many buildings, schools, and hospitals are terror structures designed to wage war on Israel. What the world refuses to acknowledge is that a structure of terrorism has been embedded into all aspects of Gazan society and infrastructure. And Hamas did this right under the nose of the international community, which continued to pump money into the terror enclave through corrupt United Nations organizations and others.

Israel is on the front lines of the global battle for peaceful coexistence, human rights, and the sanctity of life. Just as the Nazis and ISIS had to be destroyed, so too must Hamas. The future of Israel — and the free world — depends on it.

Justin Amler is a Policy Analyst at the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC).

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