Chaim Friedman

A Response to Calls for a Ceasefire

We recently marked a month since the October 7th massacre, where over 1,200 Israelis, including women, children, and the elderly, were brutally murdered in their communities.

In response, Israel has vowed to uproot Hamas, a genocidal terrorist organization. Since mid-October, the Israel Defense Forces continue to exercise several targeted strikes and ground operations inside the Gaza Strip.

In response, we’ve seen Hamas apologists emerge from the woodwork, drawing false equivalences between Israel’s response to Hamas’ reign of terror and downplaying the violence and brutality exhibited on October 7th.

prime example of such appeals came from a British trade union, the Union of Colleges and Universities (UCU), in an October 10th statement that called for an “immediate ceasefire and de-escalation.”

Let’s be clear: There is no peace to be made with Hamas, a terrorist organization has proven to the world through its actions that it intends to murder and torture Jews at any cost, even at the expense of the Palestinian people.

The UCU statement places the blame for the entire conflict on Israel, claiming that the massacre by Hamas was the result of “decades of brutal occupation” of Gaza, an absurd claim.

They conveniently fail to mention that Israel entirely withdrew from Gaza in 2005, and that Hamas took over in 2007. Since then, Hamas has continually waged war against Israel.  Hamas officials have refused to take responsibility for the protection or welfare of the Gazan population.

How can the Gaza Strip be “occupied” by Israel, a country with no presence inside its borders?

Furthermore, they also assert that Gaza is under an “Israeli blockade” but do not mention that Hamas does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and routinely launches rocket and ground-based invasions (with October 7th as a prime example). How could Israel possibly have normalized relations with a hostile terror group as neighbors? Would any other country be held to the same standard?

Despite this, Israel has long allowed the movement of humanitarian aid into Gaza and economic opportunities for Palestinians.

Israel has announced that it does not have plans to block aid from reaching the civilian population in Gaza. However, that doesn’t mean that Hamas won’t steal it from their people.

Gazan civilians, who lack basic accommodations, have resorted to looting warehouses, while Hamas stockpiles troves to keep their militants prepared for a long fight.

This is not a new phenomenon. Millions have been invested in the Gazan economy. An example of this is the money donated to UNRWA, which has been used to support Hamas. These resources could have been invested in power and desalination plants, infrastructure, or their population. However, this money either goes toward the Hamas military, their extensive tunnel network, or their well-off leaders. Furthermore, a large amount of resources have originated in Israel, which is now being accused of denying food and water to Gaza.

Of course, one of the most compelling arguments against the notion of an “Israeli blockade” is the fact that Gaza’s southern border isn’t with Israel at all; it is with Egypt. UCU, how does Egypt’s border policy constitute an “Israeli blockade” and not an Egyptian one?

I’m sorry, UCU, but a ceasefire does nothing to bring us closer to a lasting peace. So long as Hamas is in existence, no one, Palestinian or Israeli, will be safe.

Thus, statements calling for an immediate ceasefire do nothing to address the conflict’s root cause; on the contrary, they prolong it. This means that if a ceasefire is declared, Hamas will use this time to rebuild its arsenals while keeping the hostages in their grasp and embezzling resources from its populace.

Hamas has shown a willingness to commit their atrocities over and over again, intending to destroy the State of Israel. Israel, meanwhile, has stated its aim of freeing the hostages while also freeing both Israelis and Palestinians from the tyranny of Hamas. Drawing a moral equivalence serves as a means for Hamas to justify their genocidal claims.

Calls for a ceasefire also leave out the over 200 hostages, amongst them children and older adults, being held against their will in Gaza.

If the UCU were serious about calling for peace, they would have actively distanced themselves from both Hamas and their supporters and refused to draw a false equivalence between the State of Israel and an evil terrorist organization.

About the Author
Currently serving as the CAMERA on Campus fellow for the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, so will be posting topics related to that position Knowledge on topics: As part of the CAMERA fellowship, the topic of responding to misinformation on campuses, especially at the Hebrew University.