Gilad Erdan shows the Hamas Charter
Gilad Erdan shows the Hamas Charterצילום:

President Biden, joining pro-Hamas/Palestinian demonstrators, governments, politicians, and the mainstream news media are calling for a ceasefire to the Hamas-Israel war. While Israel and Hamas have been back and forth to the negotiating table, what should be the best outcome to such discussion? Words like “ceasefire,” “permanent ceasefire,” and “comprehensive ceasefire” are being thrown around in addition to total withdrawal, freeing large numbers of terrorists and rebuilding Gaza.

Does anyone take this seriously?

Where are the fervent demands for Hamas to “surrender?” They were the ones who launched a brutal attack on October 7, 2023. During that invasion, and up until today, they are violating nearly every international law and humanitarian convention.

What should really be happening at the negotiating table?

According to the laws of war, a truce, ceasefire, and surrender refer to very different concepts related to halting combat. Let’s define and explain each term:

Truce: A truce is a temporary agreement between warring parties to stop fighting for a certain period or in a specific area. Truces can be used for various reasons, such as allowing humanitarian aid, evacuating civilians, or facilitating negotiations for a longer-term resolution. Unlike a ceasefire, a truce might not necessarily indicate a broader intention to end the conflict, but rather to create a brief pause in hostilities.

Ceasefire: A ceasef­­ire is an agreement to halt fighting, typically as a precursor to peace talks or negotiations. They do not necessarily imply that the conflict has ended. Ceasefires may be indefinite (i.e. permanent) or for a specified duration. They are to be considered broken or violated if one or more parties resume hostilities.

Surrender: Surrender refers to one party in a conflict agreeing to give up its position, weapons, or personnel to another party. This can happen when a nation or military force formally agrees to stop fighting and submit to the authority of the opposing party. Surrender can be unconditional or involve conditions or terms that govern how the surrendering party is treated and what happens afterward, such as disarmament, imprisonment, or replaced governance (Mandate). Surrendering parties are often afforded certain protections under international humanitarian law, such as the Geneva Conventions, to ensure humane treatment.

Ever since Israel retaliated to the horrendous and numerous attacks of October 7, Hamas has been demanding a complete withdrawal by Israel, insisting on a "permanent ceasefire," and a number of other terms usually dictated by a victor to a surrendering enemy. The return of the inhumanly treated hostages are almost a Hamas afterthought.

Unlike a surrender, the term "permanent ceasefire" does not guarantee that fighting will never resume. It merely indicates a commitment by the parties involved to cease hostilities permanently. Such agreements can easily break down due to various factors, including changing political dynamics, breaches of agreement, or resurgence of underlying tensions. While a permanent ceasefire can be seen as a milestone on the path to lasting peace, it requires ongoing commitment, monitoring, and sometimes third-party mediation or peacekeeping to maintain stability.

For any ceasefire to succeed and really be permanent, it requires that the parties involved stop trying to kill each other. That is easy for Israel to agree to as its actions have always been defensive: don’t fire rockets or invade or engage in terrorist activities and we will leave you alone. In fact, Israel had been providing Hamas’ Gaza with water and electricity for many years before the October 7 conflict started.

Hamas' 2017 “policy document” of charter (see Articles 2, 3, 19, 20) all call for the genocide of the Jews and the destruction of the State of Israel. A simple internet search will spell it out in gory detail. Destroying the terrorist organization in Gaza is the only option. The time, effort, and money spent on any type of ceasefire is obviously futile.

The questions must be asked:

Why does it seem that Biden wants Israel to surrender instead of Hamas?

Why are the world powers (especially the United States) pressuring Israel (as evidenced by the US repeatedly trying to weaken Israel’s negotiating hand) to agree to a “ceasefire” of any sort when only “surrender,” including return of hostages, demilitarization, leadership trials for crimes against humanity and international law, and reeducation of the populace to not want to kill their neighbor is the correct course of action?

Only if such a course of action would be taken, then the economic rebuilding of Gaza (like the world has done for the aftermath of conflicts in Vietnam, Germany, and Japan), which is the better solution for civilians of the area, can begin.

David S. Levine (MBA), is a former NYC advertising & marketing executive, retired Rutgers University instructor, and author of Hey Israel – You’re Perfect. Now Change (free) and How to Run the Business of YOU. He is a history buff who is currently working on a book about revolutions and lives in Ashkelon, Israel. He blogs at: X (formerly Twitter): @DavidsLevine