There has been a ceasefire since Tuesday. In Cairo, there are attempts to extend it into a long-term truce.
Israel is willing.
Hamas is not.
I would love to be wrong here. I would love for Hamas to prove me wrong here. I would love for my friends to be able to say “I told you so.”
But the other day I said that Hamas will not negotiate. And of the two parties involved here, they are the ones refusing to negotiate or extend the truce.
I wish they would prove me wrong.
I do not approve of what they’re doing. I do not approve of them firing from civilian areas and using civilians as human shields (never mind that it doesn’t meet the UN definition of using people as human shields by force; they fire from civilian areas and thereby make those areas into targets). I do not approve of Israel not trying to find better ways to handle this problem than firing back into civilian areas, but I understand why they’re doing it. I get it that Gaza is a heavily populated area and that civilians have no place to go, but Hamas had the construction materials to create bomb shelters and instead they used that material to create tunnels under the border into Israel. So don’t tell me that they couldn’t have taken care of this. They could have. They chose not to. If they were a legitimate government, they would have built bomb shelters for their population. Instead, they fire off rockets from residential neighborhoods.
As I said, there is no 100% clean place to stand here. But Hamas is not a government. Sure, the Palestinians elected Hamas to run the country, but Hamas is not doing that. They are not providing food, water, shelter, or safety for the citizens of Gaza – quite to the contrary. So don’t tell me that they were legitimately elected and that therefore they are the government of Gaza. They’re not behaving like a government. If they were, they’d provide their citizens with food, water, shelter, jobs, air-raid sirens, and bomb shelters. They’re not doing any of that, now are they? No. They’re behaving like what they are – a terrorist organization propped up by Qatar and other Arabic states that want Israel wiped off the map. They are putting the citizens of Gaza on ground zero and ignoring the real human consequences while exploiting those consequences for political gain around the world.
Also, let’s not forget that the Arabic nations were entirely supportive of Hitler’s efforts to eradicate the Jews. That’s also an issue here. History does not go away just because the current situation is horrible.
Again, the Palestinians are caught in this crossfire. That is horrific and unacceptable. But let’s also be clear here: Hamas has the ability to stop this, and it is refusing to do so.