Ariel Beery
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Here’s why we must embrace UN Security Council Resolution 2728’s ceasefire

Ramadan will be over before we know it, and we can use the time to regroup, train, and buy some international good-will along the way
(From left) US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Algeria's Ambassador to the UN Amar Bendjama and Chinese Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun applaud during a United Nations Security Council meeting demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, at the UN headquarters in New York on March 25, 2024. (Angela Weiss/AFP)

Why Israel would be best served by abiding by the ceasefire resolution, internationally and domestically

It is a strategic mistake for the State of Israel and for those who support it to reject or argue with UN Security Council Resolution 2728, which passed on Monday, March 25, 2024. While the initial reaction by the government and Israel advocates has been nearly uniformly rejectionist, the resolution offers Israel a rare opportunity to seize control of the international narrative and restructure the theater of war.

At the heart of the resolution is the demand for “an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan respected by all parties leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire, and also demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, as well as ensuring humanitarian access to address their medical and other humanitarian needs, and further demands that the parties comply with their obligations under international law in relation to all persons they detain,” and a call to expand humanitarian aid.

It is true, as David Horovitz points out, that the resolution does not condition one on the other, and therefore sets up a dynamic whereby “Israel, a party to the UN Charter, will now be pressured by the international community to heed, while Hamas, a barbaric terrorist organization that regards itself as answerable to nothing but its own Jew-killing genocidal ideology, will blithely ignore the demand to unconditionally free the hostages.” Yet, as my parents told me innumerable times, we can choose to be right, or choose to get what we want.

In this case, the best way of getting what we want — achieving our war aims of returning the hostages and dismantling Hamas’s military and political capacity to rule Gaza — is by adopting and even championing the UN Security Council Resolution for the following reasons: First, Ramadan ends on April 9, exactly two weeks from today. Any ceasefire even unilaterally declared by Israel to abide by the resolution would therefore only need to be two weeks in length.

Given that our preparations for invading Rafah are ongoing as we process intelligence gathered from the brilliant operation in al-Shifa, and given that negotiations to release the hostages have seemed to hit a brick wall, we can use the time to regroup, train, and prepare the troops for the day after Ramadan. If it turns out that Hamas does not immediately and unconditionally return the hostages, Israel should demand full international backing for an invasion of Rafah on the 10th of April. At that point, it will be hard if not impossible for our allies to say no.

Second, because Israel is hurting domestically more than ever since the week following October 7. Everywhere one looks the faces of the hostages stare back. Yes, there is a strong sentiment in Israel that only military operations will free the hostages. But more and more Israelis are holding the government responsible for not doing more to negotiate their release. By accepting the resolution and calling upon the international community to do its part to pressure Hamas and its allies for the immediate release of our loved ones, the government will show it has truly left no rock unturned before returning to the weapons of war.

In the best case, those kidnapped will be returned to their families. As we have seen over the course of more than 170 days of fighting, the chances of releasing hostages alive through a military rescue operation are extremely low. In the worst case, we will be back where we are today: deploying military force to seek what is essentially a diplomatic objective. Yet we will be able to do so with stronger support, greater intelligence, and a more united citizenry.

Lastly, even though the United States has certified that Israel is using its weapons according to the laws of war and not blocking aid, we are losing more and more allies by staying the course of our current strategy. We need to stop the momentum building against us that swept former allies, such as Canada who last week publicly declared the halt of their weapons sales to Israel. We cannot afford this momentum to sweep up other countries upon whom we depend for replenishment, especially given our yet unresolved northern front. Declaring our full support of the Security Council Resolution will enable those countries currently declaring their disengagement from Israel to walk back their positions and redouble their support for Israel if Hamas does not comply in turn.

True, Hamas will use the ceasefire to restructure and rearm. Yet we’ve seen how the previous ceasefire did not stop our ability to make progress on the battlefield, and 14 days is not significantly longer than the previous 10. True, Hamas will seek to provoke us and claim we broke the ceasefire. Yet they are winning on the battlefield of public sentiment already, so this gives us an opportunity to capture lost ground. A ceasefire does not mean letting our defensive guard down. True, the UN has generally ignored our plight and our efforts to protect innocent Gazans from the destruction for which Hamas bears responsibility. But now is not the time to argue about the past, rather, we must position ourselves for victory in the future.

The UN Security Council Resolution 2728 is a rare opportunity for us to restart our relationship with the international community when our reputation has reached a low point. It is a rare opportunity to show that we have the most moral army in the world, and are exercising no more than our right to self-defense, to oppose the genocide of our people. If we want Israel to come out of this war stronger, more supported by our friends around the world, more confident in our right to self-determination, we should accept and champion Resolution 2728 and ceasefire until the end of Ramadan, two weeks from today.

About the Author
Ariel Beery is a strategist and institution builder dedicated to building a better future for Israel, the Jewish People, and humanity. His geopolitical writings - with deeper dives into the topics addressed in singular columns - can be found on his substack, A Lighthouse.
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