Daniel GreenfieldThe writer is a popular New York City based freelance commentator and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He blogs at sultanknish.blogspot.com
The ceasefire began the way that the war did; with a flight of rockets falling from the sky over Israel's battered south where working class families wait to learn if they will have to spend the night in safe rooms and shelters.
There is no ceasefire, despite declarations from the international community to the contrary, just as there has been no peace for the past twenty years despite peace accords being signed.
In the language of diplomacy, ceasefire does not mean that the rockets will stop falling and peace does not mean an end to the violence. They mean only that Israel is not allowed to fight back when the rockets fall and the bombs go off. Peace does not mean an absence of killing; what it means is that the terrorists are the only ones allowed to kill.
The ceasefire means that diplomacy has succeeded and the goal of diplomacy in the Middle East is not to make it possible for Israeli children to sleep safely at night, but to pull back Israel from finishing a war.
Diplomacy salvaged Cairo and Damascus after their Arab Socialist regimes began and lost two wars. It saved Arafat in Lebanon and plenty of times afterward. Diplomacy has protected Hamas nearly as many times as it saved the greasy thug of Ramallah. And that same onslaught of diplomacy has made Israel's existence perilous and unstable, as its armed forces gather to reply to an attack only to be pulled back when there is any danger of them actually winning.
Middle Eastern diplomacy is the pro leagues of international diplomacy. There are almost as many diplomats in the region as there are camels and both of them do nothing all day except waddle around consuming large quantities of water and spitting at everyone they don't like. To be appointed a special mediator or titled peacemaker of some kind is the ultimate dove feather in the cap of every diplomat, professional or amateur, who then flies off on a first class ticket to find a way to convince the Israelis to stop shooting back when they are shot at. And the diplomats usually get their way.
The diplomats got their way with the ceasefire, as they got their way in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982 and 1991; and countless other dates since that great triumph of diplomacy filled Israel to the brim with terrorists in the name of a peace that has never been a peace.
On September 13, 1993, Rabin and Arafat shook hands in the Rose Garden under the beaming gaze of Bill Clinton, eager to inaugurate a new era of peace. Eleven days after the onset of peace, terrorists murdered their first Israeli. He was not the last to die in the era of the peace that was not a peace.
Like Clinton before him, Obama has dragged Israel into signing a peace agreement that will tie its hands, while encouraging its attackers to go on about their bloody work. The fiction of this latest round of peace will be preserved until such a time as enough Israelis have been killed that Israel is forced to retaliate. And then the headlines will blare of war, editorials writers will condemn Israel for breaking the peace and the flocks of diplomats will fly from Cairo to Jerusalem to Amman to talk the Jewish State out of defending itself one more time.
What Israel wants is not to be shot at. What the terrorists want is to shoot at Israel. And the peace negotiations always conclude with the terrorists getting what they want, while the Israelis get bullet holes in their cars, stab wounds in their necks and blast debris in their ceilings.
Israelis accepted Oslo because it was supposed to mean an end to the violence. Instead the violence became permanent. And now peace isn't even on the table anymore, only temporary ceasefires that mean the enemy has taken enough damage that it would like an opportunity to rearm and regroup. After giving up its security, Israel has traded in the promise of permanent peace for the offer of a temporary ceasefire that does not even pretend to do anything except benefit the enemies who are determined to destroy it.
Any ceasefire with Hamas, even in the best of all possible worlds, is only a temporary affair, a lull in the fighting, not an ideal to strive for, and even the lull part will be missing here. Ceasefires do not bring peace; they only unnecessarily prolong the war. I
srael has signed on to peace accords to show that it wants peace. Now it signs on to ceasefires in order to show that it would rather not fight.
Obama has played his game well, saying one thing, while doing another, mouthing his support while driving Israel back into the bloody peace of the ceasefire.
The international community, a diffuse entity consisting of packs of roving diplomats, does not particularly care what Israel wants or does not want. The world wants peace and expects the Jewish State to deliver it.
When Jewish farmers are stabbed and rural families shot to death in their sleep, when rockets rain down on Sderot, then there is peace. But when Israeli planes take out a Hamas commander, then the great behemoth of the international community bestirs itself from the deep and demands to know who is disturbing the peace.
Now that Israeli planes are no longer bombing terrorist hideouts, but terrorist rockets still continue falling on Israel, the behemoth may take on water and sink once again into the depths of the sea where the cries of Jewish children cannot be heard, but the roars of Hamas commanders can, enjoying the quiet sounds of peace.
Obama has played his game well, saying one thing, while doing another, mouthing his support while driving Israel back into the bloody peace of the ceasefire. And so there is peace again. The peace of the rocket aimed at a school and the peace of the bus bombing. The peace of television programs teaching children to kill Jews and the peace of rockets being smuggled through tunnels. The peace of knives in the dark and bullets fired at cars on lonely roads. The peace of mosques that cry, "Death to the Jews" and the peace of terrorists going about their industry of death.
This is the peace that Obama has given Israel with his ceasefire. The peace of victimhood. The peace of death.
There is no ceasefire in Israel tonight or tomorrow night or every night. Only peace.