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Truce now, brings no peace

John Dunkelgrün

By John Dunkelgrün

Life in Gaza is hell, as everyone will agree. The daily images of devastation, dead and hungry children, crying parents, and entire destroyed neighborhoods cannot leave any decent person unfazed. Staff from international organizations, and in particular from the United Nations, are warning of a humanitarian disaster and calling for an immediate ceasefire. The call for the immediate release of hostages is heard less. It seems forgotten, or even condoned, that it was Hamas that deliberately provoked this misery among the residents of Gaza.

Israel and Egypt closed off Gaza’s borders in 2007 after Hamas, an organization known internationally as a terrorist group, took power there. Hamas had as its goal the destruction of Israel and was also a mortal threat to Gaza residents who disagreed with it. Hamas waged a murderous reign of terror in Gaza all this time. There have now been five wars between Hamas and Israel, all in response to unprovoked Hamas attacks on Israel. Hamas has announced that the October 7 action will be repeated over and over again. That means, time after time, there will be counterattacks by Israel, and time after time, the people of Gaza will be the victims. No wonder Israel does not want to stop until Hamas is rendered toothless. No other country would accept such a neighbor, and no other country has proposed an alternative to Israel’s actions.

Whatever the situation becomes on the morning after, Hamas must be disempowered. This is as good for the people of Gaza as it is for the people of Israel. Perhaps Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States should form a transitional government until a working and peaceful Palestinian state is possible.

Hamas must go so that Gazans can live and finally start building a future of peace and prosperity.

Having said that, I don’t understand why Israel doesn’t allow more relief goods in. Yes, it will include dual-use products and perhaps some weaponry. That will make it more difficult for the Israeli military, but the damage Israel now incurs in the court of public opinion and in its ties with its allies is many times greater.

I understand and feel the pain and anger in Israel after the deliberately horrific events on Oct. 7, but starving over two million people is morally and strategically indefensible and goes against everything I know of Jewish tradition and law.

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