OpinionIsrael at War

Calls for Gaza ceasefire ignore the most promising option

Why does no world leader, international body or mainstream media outlet demand Hamas’s unconditional surrender, especially since this would solve every problem a ceasefire does not?

Israeli forces on patrol in the Gaza Strip, Feb. 6, 2024. Credit: IDF.
Israeli forces on patrol in the Gaza Strip, Feb. 6, 2024. Credit: IDF.
James Sinkinson
James Sinkinson
James Sinkinson is president of Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME), which publishes educational messages to correct lies and misperceptions about Israel and its relationship to the United States.

The clamor for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war is reaching a crescendo—from world leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden, and a recently failed U.N. Security Council resolution to ordinary people demonstrating around the globe. But a ceasefire now offers virtually no benefits and would have disastrous consequences—satisfying only the insidious goals of Hamas.

A permanent ceasefire would not liberate Gaza, and it would not stop Hamas’s war against Israel—nor would it stop the deaths of innocent Palestinians. Above all, it would fail to meet Israel’s paramount goals: Return all remaining hostages and ensure security for Israel’s citizens.

Indeed, forcing a ceasefire would create a nightmare in which Hamas terrorists remain in power in Gaza. Hamas would be free to—and no doubt would—rebuild its terrorist infrastructure, as it has after every ceasefire in the past.

Hamas would be unfettered in carrying out its promise to repeat the Oct. 7 massacre over and over again—thus inevitably provoking an Israeli defense response and endangering more innocent Palestinians, the human shields behind whom Hamas invariably hides. 

No country on Earth—particularly the United States or any of the 13 hypocritical U.N. Security Council members who voted for an unconditional ceasefire last week—would ever tolerate such frightening conditions. A ceasefire is certainly out of the question for most Israelis, who suffered the savage consequences of Oct. 7.

Perhaps the most astounding about the U.N.’s impractical ceasefire option is that it totally ignores the most obvious solution: surrender by Hamas and freeing of the hostages. Why does no world leader, international body or mainstream media outlet demand Hamas’s unconditional surrender, especially since this would solve every problem a ceasefire does not?

A surrender would end the bloody war and stop the killing. It would non-violently meet Israel’s goals. It would allow humanitarian aid to flow without limits. It would allow Gazans and the international community to start building a free society based on peace with its neighbors. 

Finally, surrender would be a huge step toward stabilizing the Middle East—by eliminating one of Iran’s most vicious proxies.

In fact, there’s no downside to an unconditional surrender by Hamas, yet the benefits are manifold and compelling: 

Cessation of death and destruction in Gaza. No more bombs dropped, no more bullets fired, no more terrorists hiding in hospitals and schools, and no more false accusations of Israel targeting innocent Palestinians.

Fulfillment of Israel’s two primary war goals. Hostages would immediately be returned, and Israel could ensure its security on its Gaza border. Hamas’s stated mission to destroy the Jewish state by killing Jews would be permanently thwarted, ending this existential threat to Israel. Rocket barrages on the Jewish state from the enclave would cease. No more terrorists would cross from Gaza to rape, torture, kill, or take captive Israelis as Hamas did on Oct. 7. In short, Hamas’s unconditional surrender would mark an end to a long history of murderous terror attacks on Israel’s citizens.

Moreover, survivors of the massacre in southern Israel forced to evacuate due to the conflict could return to their peaceful villages and kibbutzim and rebuild their lives. The Israeli economy would begin to recover. Above all, Israeli society could begin to heal the physical and psychological wounds inflicted by Hamas’s genocidal rampage. 

Elimination of a major jihadi threat from the Middle East. No more Hamas means one less Islamist Iranian proxy for Israel, the United States and our allies to worry about—though sadly still leaving Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, and numerous other proxy terror groups in Syria and Iran. Nonetheless, the loss of Hamas in Gaza would deal a serious blow to the Islamic Republic’s imperialist ambitions and disrupt its plan to expel Jews from their homeland and create a global Islamic caliphate. 

Gratifyingly, Hamas’s leadership could be brought to justice and punished for the heinous crimes they have committed against both Israelis and Palestinians. Hamas leaders like Yahya Sinwar and Mohammed Deif could be put on trial, just as Nazi leaders were after World War II. 

Gaza could be rebuilt and rehabilitated based on a model of peace and prosperity. Humanitarian aid could flow into the territory almost unrestricted. During the current conflict, Israel has had to severely restrict aid to Gaza because it serves as a lifeline for Hamas, which steals 66% of it according to Israeli intelligence. But if Hamas no longer exists, it can no longer steal aid meant for ordinary Gazans.

Early estimates suggest that it could take up to $50 billion to rebuild Gaza. Only with Hamas’s removal would countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who have financed reconstruction in Gaza in the past, agree to do so again. 

Deradicalization of Gazan society could begin. Hamas’s indoctrination of its people has been violent and pervasive, imposing its radical Islamist and antisemitic doctrines on both adult Palestinians and a full generation of youth. The taking over of Gazan social management—first by Israel and later by peaceful Gazans—presents an opportunity to revamp Gaza’s education system to weed out support for terrorism, jihadism and Jew-hatred. 

Organizations like UNRWA, now responsible for spreading anti-Israel hate, would be dismantled. A new civilian government could be created with a Palestinian leadership committed to economic development and peace with Israel.

Potential rebirth of the movement for resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If Palestinians in Gaza apply themselves to creating a responsible government and building a prosperous, productive society—without threatening Israel—it could serve as a model for Palestinians under the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank). At least this vision offers a realistic possibility that a two-state solution—fantasized about by so many in the international community—could someday be implemented. 

Instead of demanding a ceasefire that would resolve nothing, the international community and major media should forcefully, unequivocally demand Hamas’s unconditional surrender. No Hamas in the Gaza Strip means no more conflict and a better future for Palestinians, Israel and the entire Middle East.

Originally published by Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME).

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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