Why Israel Should Not Cease Their Fire

Israeli Tank. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock.Over the past couple of weeks, Israel and Gaza terrorists have engaged in an extensive round of violence. Amid the rising death toll on both sides, the US is now becoming increasingly urgent in calling for a ceasefire. But the US should be ashamed of themselves, and Israel shouldn’t listen to them. Here are three reasons why:1. Hamas Asked for This

Israel already accepted a ceasefire set up by Egypt, a deal that was reportedly backed even by the Arab League. Hamas said no. Why? US Secretary of State John Kerry said in an interview on Sunday Bob Schieffer of CBS’s Face the Nation that Hamas was using the ceasefire discussions as a means of getting concessions from Israel.

“We support the Egyptian effort to have a ceasefire, which Israel joined into, which does not have preconditions, and then there is a promise of sitting down and dealing with those underlying issues that need to be dealt with,” said Kerry, in comments also released by his office.

“But Hamas is trying to insist that as a reward for their terrorist behavior, things be decided ahead of time, and we support Israel and the international community’s right not to be extorted by terrorism.”

Normally, Hamas is ready for a ceasefire. They might extend the conflict by an extra day or two, but after two weeks they often are open to a “calm for calm” type of deal. But this time is different.

Israel should take advantage of this. In no way should Israel make concessions to Hamas—if anything, the ceasefire should score Israel new advantages. So with Hamas talking tough, Israel should keep hitting them in the mouth.

2. The Threat Is Worse

The last couple of wars fought between these two followed a similar pattern: Israel delivered some solid blows to the Hamas rocket program, effectively set the terror group back a year or two, and earned a quiet period of some months with little to no rocket fire.

But this round has shown that Hamas has also grown more dangerous and crafty since the last fight. Israel is now under real threat from a variety of tunnels that stretch from Gaza to Israel. Already, Israeli news reports have covered incidents involving terrorists trying to invade Israel.

Imagine what could happen if Hamas is able to maintain this capability.

Furthermore, Hamas has consistently fired rockets deep into Israel. If the occasional threat to Tel Aviv in 2012 made Hamas look impressive, they have made such phenomena seem normal this round. Time and again the sirens have sounded as rockets enter the range of Tel Aviv and beyond.

Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system has again proven up to the task, but that doesn’t change the fact that Hamas can now reach two-thirds of Israel.

In short, the danger Hamas poses is increasing. Israel can’t just beat them back enough to earn six months to a year of quiet. Israel needs to devastate Hamas’ progress.

This may be their best chance before Hamas is able to truly use their worst tactics and weapons.

3. The US Has No Say

If ever it appeared that the American opinion does not matter in the Middle East, it’s now. Just days after Hamas rejected a ceasefire the US supported, Obama came out calling for it to be reached “immediately.”

In the midst of a disaster in Ukraine, where Russia is openly defying the West and supporting an insurgency in a country allied with the US, Obama has little to no real clout in the world anymore.

His opinion still can make Israel look bad, should he chose to berate them openly. But would he dare? The American public generally sympathizes with Israel in her wars with terrorists, and the next Congressional election is just over three months away.

Furthermore, the US has no right to critique Israel’s campaign. Not when the US bombs terrorists with drones, killing innocents by mistake or as collateral damage, in countries not even at odds with the US. I agree with these tactics, but they still make the US seem hypocritical for calling out Israel.

There, Israel is fighting a brutal terrorist organization that puts their own people in harms way while actively targeting Israeli civilians. Israel may catch innocents in Gaza by accident, but it’s Hamas’ fault.

Comparatively speaking, the US can’t critique Israel without pointing fingers at themselves. And with another election pending, Obama will need to tread carefully in his words.

In short, Israel has the best chance it has had in years to deliver a blow to Hamas that will knock the group off its feet. They won’t be able to defeat Hamas—that would take a full-fledge war that would last months—but they can prevent them from threatening Israel to this degree again for years.

They should take this opportunity while they still can. The US may be calling for a ceasefire to end this round of violence, but Israel should fight long enough to earn a ceasefire that will prevent the next round.

(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, July 21, 2014)

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