Ceasefire or Surrender. What’s it Gonna Be?

Many people, including 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.

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.

However, 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. But 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 has been quietly providing Hamas’ Gaza with water and electricity for many years before the October 7 conflict started.

The same attitude needs to be demanded of Hamas. Their 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.

Without demanding a complete and comprehensive change to the Hamas charter (as well as those of other terrorist organizations also under the command of the puppet master, Iran) the time, effort, and money spent on any type of ceasefire is obviously futile.

The question must be asked: 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 populous to not want to kill their neighbor is the correct course of action?

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 any innocent civilians of the area, can begin.

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About the Author
David is a former NYC advertising agency, corporate-side marketing executive, and consultant. Prior to his career in advertising David spent 5 years in the financial arena. David holds a BS and MBA (both in Marketing & Finance) from New York University. He has been an officer/board member/speaker of industry, educational, and community organizations, as well as several new business startups. David is a US Patent Holder and published author (Hey Israel – You’re Perfect. Now Change (free) and How to Run the Business of YOU). See his website for more information and other writings. David is a retired instructor from Rutgers University School of Communication & Information. He lives in Ashkelon, Israel with his wife and is an active volunteer with the Ashkelon Search and Rescue.
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