Op-Ed: When They Ask for a Ceasefire - Not so Fast
It is a vicious cycle.
Hamas or one of its sister-terrorist organizations initiates a terror attack, launches barrages of rockets. Israel retaliates, most often by bombing empty structures; the terrorists respond with rockets aimed at the Israeli civilian population; Israel retaliates, then threatens critical punishment.
Hamas declares a ceasefire and Israel concurs. And then, following a brief pause—a replay of the same episode.
Something is awfully wrong with this picture. Hamas is the one calling the shots. They initiate, then terminate cycles of violence when the heat rises in their kitchen, making them sweat. And the Israeli government’s policies of retaliations constituting measured responses appear impotently reactive in the face of the Gaza terror machine.
In fact, Israeli passive policies of measured responses, supplemented by empty threats concerning the endgame, provide a strong incentive for another round whenever these blood-thirsty terrorists feel dehydrated.
What’s more, ceasefires declared by Hamas are not genuine ceasefires. They are more like a seemingly-dormant volcano bound to erupt in a massive fireworks show at any given moment, while it keeps on emitting small bursts of ash and lava on a daily basis.
If you reside next to that kind of predictable terror spurts and outbursts you are likely to develop a permanent anxiety disorder. It’s a dismal condition; an intolerable circumstance. No one should be subject to that kind of living, certainly not children.
Israel should end its policy of retaliation. Retaliation is an emotionally satisfying act that under nearly all circumstances serves as grounds for a counter act that fuels a vicious revenge cycle. It is analogous to inflicting a minor injury, a superficial gash, on an adversary, without causing a permanent disabling devastation that would put the bad guys out of business for good.
When wars do not end with the absolute defeat and surrender of the enemy, the peace, or the cease-fire that follows is unstable at best. The Arab Israeli wars are a preeminent example of that point.
As long as the enemy is able to stand up back on their feet and rebound, retaliation only fires up their emotions, energizes them, enhances their popularity among their peers, and transforms their criminal acts into heroic martyrdom.
A ceasefire brings comfort in the short run, but when Hamas is the one controlling its activation and its culmination, it only energizes and emboldens the terrorists. A Hamas-style ceasefire constitutes a wrong exit out of the recent violent flare-up and resulting Operation Protective Edge.
It’s time to think longer term; it’s time to take the initiative out of Hamas’s hands and refuse to concur with their unstable mood.Time has come for abolishing Retaliation and trading it for Eradication.
Israel must put a stop, once and for all, to the constant challenge that the Palestinian terror organizations put it through
History has shown that a lasting peace following a bitter war has a better chance of success when the enemy is forced into an unconditional surrender. World War II, is the most recent example of this point. When wars do not end with the absolute defeat and surrender of the enemy, the peace, or the cease-fire that follows is unstable at best. The Arab Israeli wars are a preeminent example of that point.
Settling on Eradication may yield a transitory resentment by those around the world who label themselves as ‘civilized’. They may complain that such actions are too harsh, that innocent lives get caught in the cross-fire, and that this is not a measured response. But the outcome and its associated benefits would be more permanent, and would last long after the memory of the global fury has been faded away.
The Israeli government should not wait for a disaster before ceasing the Retaliation policy and substituting it for a policy that affects Eradication. It must be a difficult decision for those who believe in measured responses. But the safety and security of Israeli citizens precedes the safety and security of its enemies - who initiated the violence - then the way for taking the vicious revenge cycle to an end is by opting for a policy that would make it happen.