John Brody

We Cease, They Fire

An Israeli Ceasefire

Every time Israel makes any sort of ceasefire with a Palestinian group, a countdown begins, a countdown of “When” When is the ceasefire going to be broken?

In my own lifetime, I’ve lived through a dozen or more broken truces and ceasefires.

I still remember the half-a-dozen ceasefires we had in 2012. One of them didn’t even last 20 minutes.

I am tired of pretending we have a peace partner.

Every ceasefire that was declared served one purpose. To arrange better armaments and more weapons with which to attack Israel. Then, as soon as they felt secure, Hamas breaks the ceasefire, secure in the knowledge that the international community would come and bully Israel into accepting a truce it knew wasn’t worth the ink it was signed with.

The madness that is the Israeli ceasefire led to the creation of a joke about the definition of “An Israeli Ceasefire. It means we cease, and they fire.”

Then suddenly, this year, on October 7th, not 6 weeks ago, Hamas broke its ceasefire with Israel. They fired thousands of rockets into Israel. They killed, raped, tortured, and kidnapped Israeli civilians, including women and children. 

When the IDF counter-attacked, Hamas decided to use innocent Palestinians as human shields and prevented them from fleeing the combat zone. Hamas indiscriminately shoots rockets at Israeli civilian centers. All the while, the Western media (the majority) sits and condemns Israel.

I am tired of pretending that I don’t get frustrated every time I see some ignoramus spout off on a topic he/she definitely doesn’t understand about Israel.

All of these are clear war crimes and morally abhorrent acts and call into question how the international community could expect Hamas to adhere to any type of ceasefire? 

And yet, mere days after the October 7th attack, Hamas said that it wanted to exchange the hostages for the over 6,000 prisoners held in Israeli jails. The terror group has also said it would exchange hostages for fuel.

Israel has rejected delivering fuel to Gaza over concern that Hamas would confiscate and use it for its terror efforts. However, Israel is working on a mechanism to supply hospitals in Gaza with necessary fuel without Hamas getting its hands on it.

A different deal is now on the table: the release of 50 hostages for a 5-day ceasefire.

To quote the Israeli Prime Minister: “Just as the United States would not agree to a ceasefire after the bombing of Pearl Harbor or after the terrorist attack of 9/11, Israel will not agree to a cessation of hostilities with Hamas after the horrific attacks of October 7th,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on October 30th, adding that “calls for a ceasefire are called for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism.”

And yet, it seems that a ceasefire may take place. Due to massive international pressure, Israel seems to be bending towards giving in.

We are surrendering to terrorism.

The current deal would see the release of 50-100 hostages in return for 300 Hamas prisoners. 50-100 out of 240. Such a deal would be a devil’s bargain, forcing Israel to decide which lives it values more than others.

Israel should value all of its citizen’s lives equally.

No deal with Hamas should be allowed to happen.

Hamas has a long history of breaking ceasefire agreements 

If a ceasefire were to be reached, we know from experience that Hamas is unlikely to uphold its end of the deal. 

During the last war in 2014 between Israel and Hamas, a ceasefire was agreed upon between the two sides. However, Hamas broke it, killing two soldiers and kidnapping a third, Hadar Goldin, whose body is still held by Hamas today.

Indeed, Hamas has used Iranian support to launch several wars against Israel from its base in Gaza, including in 2008 Operation Cast Lead, 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense, 2014 Operation Protective Edge, 2021 Operation Guardian of the Walls, and now with the October 7th attacks.

In each of those attacks, Hamas had violated previous ceasefires with Israel, launching thousands of rockets toward Israeli population centers and attempting to infiltrate and murder Israelis. 

Hamas Remains Committed to the Death and Destruction of Israel 

The brutality of the Hamas death squads on October 7th, where babies were beheaded, women were raped and mutilated, and elderly Holocaust survivors were gunned down, illustrates that the terror group is not interested in any accommodation with Israel. Indeed, given the opportunity to rearm and regroup,

Hamas leaders have made clear that they will strike again and carry out their goal of annihilating Israel.

These aims were reiterated by a senior Hamas leader in Lebanon, Ghazi Hamad, who praised the systematic slaughter of civilians and vowed that the terror group would repeat similar assaults many times in the future.

“We must teach Israel a lesson, and we will do it twice and thrice. The Al-Aqsa Deluge [the name Hamas gave its October 7th onslaught] is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth,” said Hamad.

If we agree to a ceasefire, we will be setting a price for an event like October 7th. We will be setting a value on our citizen’s lives. Such a thing cannot be allowed to happen, as it will only create attacks of ever-increasing severity.

Hamas Will Use the Ceasefire to Regroup and Rearm  

Israel has made extensive progress in disarming and uprooting Hamas from northern Gaza, often fighting in door-to-door combat to eradicate Hamas’s military presence. Any elongated pause in the fighting would give Hamas time to reorganize, regroup, and rearm, further extending the war. Giving Hamas this valuable time will allow it to restock its arsenal of rockets, repair its communications systems, reorganize its scattered forces, and assess damage to its underground tunnel network. 

People who are calling for a ceasefire now don’t understand Hamas… It would be such a gift to Hamas because they would spend whatever time [that] there was a ceasefire in effect rebuilding their armaments… to be able to fend off an eventual assault by the Israelis.”

In this context, any new ceasefire would be little more than appeasement, affording Hamas yet another opportunity to regroup, rearm, and resume its malign activities.

I am tired of being afraid. I am tired of wondering when the next terror attack is going to come. I am tired of running to the bomb shelter and of seeing my nephews and nieces afraid to leave home out of fear of being far from the bomb shelter when a siren goes off.

I am tired of opening the paper, seeing photos, and feeling my heart freeze as I scan to see if any of my loved ones are among the dead.

A Ceasefire May Delay the Possibility of Returning the Hostages Home

Over 240 Israelis and other foreign nationals were taken hostage in the Gaza Strip by Hamas during the October 7th attack. Israel has been firm that there will be no ceasefire without the return of the hostages, and for good reason. 

A ceasefire would allow Hamas to move the hostages without fear of an Israeli raid to rescue them, ruining any intelligence Israel might have on the hostages’ current whereabouts.

I am tired of Israel settling for winning a battle and letting the war continue. If Israel stops now, Hamas wins. It survives, knowing that Israel does not have the backbone to carry its threat of destroying Hamas in retaliation for October 7th.

The Shalit Deal

Hamas has a long history of using hostages as bargaining chips to further its war against Israel. In 2007, Hamas took Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, hostage. Shalit was released five years later in a prisoner exchange, releasing over 1,000 prisoners, many of whom went on to carry out future terror attacks and kill Israelis, including involvement in the October 7th massacre. 

Israeli leaders believe military pressure on Hamas will help negotiations progress and force the terror group to release the hostages or be rescued by Israeli forces in Gaza, and I am inclined to support them. 

The International Facade

If a ceasefire occurs, any progress achieved in Gaza will be nullified. The onset of a ceasefire will invite the international press into Gaza, triggering a media storm. Gaza could potentially face a situation akin to the historical bombing of Dresden, with widespread international outrage directed at Israel from all corners of the globe.

We all know the lengths Hamas will go to to create the image that they are the injured party. Do we want to give the international community even more ammunition to use against us when we need to start the mission again?

The Only Conditions on which an Exchange Should be Made

I believe that the only conditions under which any discussion of ceasefire is discussed should include:

  1. The freeing of all civilian hostages.
  2. An unconditional surrender of the terrorists who took part in the October 7th massacre.
  3. The complete dismantling of Hamas as a terror group.
  4. The placement of an interim international governing body.
About the Author
John Brody is an avid amateur historian based in central Israel. He is deeply interested in history, both Jewish history and World history, literature, theology, and political science.
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