Catastrophe of a 'Ceasefire'

Only the obliteration of Hamas can secure a lasting peace.

The recent "ceasefire" between the terrorist organization, Hamas, that rules Gaza, and the ethical state of Israel is a recipe for future disaster. There is one winner, which is Hamas. The loser in this pitiful surrender is Israel.

What does Hamas have to gain by a ceasefire? An awful lot. It claims an indefinite time frame in which to rebuild its arsenal of destruction that will be levied against Israel in a relatively short space of time. It has a chance to showcase to the world the destruction of its infrastructures and civilian habitats. A great segment of the anti-Semitic world will refuse to acknowledge that Hamas is literally responsible for all these civilian deaths -- as it is the only army in human history that uses the lives of its civilian population as weapons of war by using hospitals, infant nurseries, schools, civilian homes, and mosques as launch pads for its rockets. Hamas also refuses to allow its citizens to evacuate buildings and targeted areas of attack announced well in advance of any military strikes by the IDF.

Hamas has the infernal impertinence -- after initiating an unprovoked war against Israel -- to occupy the moral high ground by claiming that it will agree to a ceasefire with Israel on two conditions: that Israeli forces must stop incursions into the Al-Aqsa compound and respect the site. And second, that Israel must stop the forced evacuation of the Palestinian residents in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Where does some primordial and savage terrorist organization that has already evicted itself from the ambit of rights and that, as a retrogressive tribe, exists way outside the historical process, dare to dictate domestic policy inside Israel? In doing so, it appeals to some mawkishly sentimental sense of brotherhood with the war refugees existing in Judea and Samaria and, by default, it wins a popularity contest with the equally execrable, racist, thuggish, and anti-Semitic United Nations and many European countries, that, while paying unconscionable lip service to Israel’s right to exist, secretly hope for Israel’s demise.

A terrorist organization that starts a war, one that is not bombed into oblivion but is altruistically allowed to remain in existence and lectures to Israel the terms of a ceasefire which it intends to use to simply recoup losses and re-strengthen its moral stranglehold over Israel, is so obscene a phenomenon in human history, that Israel, one of the most moral nations on earth, should be ashamed of itself. Israel should be ashamed of itself for allowing such a ghastly enemy that, even in the absence of a war, spews rockets into its country as a way of openly showing its contempt and intention to one day, perhaps visit a nuclear Holocaust on it by coupling with another well-known enemy who wishes Israel obliterated from the earth.

In fundamental terms, what exactly does Israel have to gain from a ceasefire with Hamas? The delay of a final showdown in which Hamas lines up all of its own women and children and fires rockets from behind them and dares Israel to respond -- while the world looks on in self-righteous judgment of Israel to make a so-called false move? Will Israel ever realize that, contrary to what the world thinks, it is not and can never be responsible for one civilian casualty in Gaza? No country that is attacked can altruistically bear the responsibility for protecting the lives of the citizens of the aggressor country. That country has abrogated the rights of its citizens. That country is the conferrer of justice and the protector of rights. Israel is no more responsible for the rights of the civilians than you would be for the life of the child of a gunman who uses his child as a shield while shooting at you to gain access to your house. The child’s life cannot and should not supersede your right to your life. The moral responsibility for the child’s life lies entirely with the gunman. You cannot be morally blamed for protecting your life because your bodily integrity is violated by being put in harm’s way.

Israel is simply buying time. Let’s face it, Hamas is a malignant cancer. Gaza is the host in which that cancer grows. It exists because the people there, by a democratic vote, granted it the power to rule. No distinction can legitimately be made between the citizens and the terrorist overlords who rule that strip of desolation, putrefaction, and destruction. That the citizens have allowed themselves to be used as cannon fodder is not Israel’s problem. When our Drone President, Barak Obama, was indiscriminately dropping missiles on Afghanistan in a war on terror that killed countless civilians, much of the world remained silent. His Nobel Peace Prize was not rescinded.

What is the ultimate solution for Israel when and if it stops capitulating to world condemnation and public opinion, and when it refrains from playing altruistic skirmishes with Gaza? Here is something to ponder:

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on January 7, 1941, killing more than 2,300 Americans, the United States knew that the response would have to be decisive and lethal. The purpose of war is to vanquish one’s enemy; to obliterate it completely -- and further: to inflict generational damage. The response was the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and a series of firebombing air raids of Tokyo. The ultimate defeat of Hitler included the bombing of Dresden. There was a time in history when real men who oversaw wars knew how to fight them, and to win them. There was a decisiveness, a deliberateness, and dignity in how these men fought such wars. The bombings of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo, and Dresden were proper. They were moral, and they were inevitable. They defended the right to an unassailable right to self-defense, and they secured a lasting peace. They sent an ominous message, too, on the order of: If you try to kill us -- we will destroy you.

When Israel decides who and what it wants to be as the only moral and noble state in that section of the world, it will realize that no lasting civilization has ever survived without having a Manifest Destiny. Perhaps then it will gaze out at the decrepit wasteland of Gaza that exists solely to destroy it, and it will remember the flourishing agricultural Mecca it once was under Israeli stewardship. There will be no moral paralysis, no lugubrious memories; just a burning pride and, perhaps, some enduring moral inspiration of how her moral alter-ego, the United States of America, defeated her enemies when they dared question her supremacy.

In those moments when attacked, something sacred happened: the fourth angel did indeed pour out his vial upon the sun, and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.

Jason D. Hill is professor of philosophy at DePaul University in Chicago, and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center. His areas of specialization include ethics, social and political philosophy, American foreign policy and American politics. He is the author of several books, including We Have Overcome: An Immigrant’s Letter to the American People (Bombardier Books/Post Hill Press). His new forthcoming book is What Do White Americans Owe Black People: Racial Justice in the Age of Post Oppression. Follow him on Twitter @JasonDhill6.

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