No, there isn’t one as I write this. But within the last few weeks, Hamas offered a ten-year truce covering the whole region and (separately it seems) a six-month truce covering just Gaza. The next story after that’s headline is “Girl killed in fresh Gaza clashes”, sigh. Seems to me it might be worth a try.
[Update: I got a couple of horrid racist comments, which I responded to, but then lost somehow. I’ll have to get in and clean up the comment status by hand; sorry.]

You don’t have to like Hamas to think this. Let’s stipulate that Hamas is full of medievalist religious crazies on the one hand, and old-fashioned Jew-haters on the other. Let’s acknowledge that they refuse to back away from their theoretical goal of wiping out Israel. (Let’s also acknowledge that the ugliness is not entirely one-sided.) But still, why wouldn’t you publicly accept the truce offer, if only (especially if you think they’ll break it) for public-relations reasons?

There are some not-entirely-insane reasons why one might want to blow off a truce offer; they’re addressed intelligently in a Ha’aretz editorial Instead of doing nothing. But still, a truce... after all, the alternative isn’t working.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Mike Sick (Apr 28 2008, at 09:03)

A 10 year truce isn't really a truce as we recognize it. It is not about peace but resting, resupply, fortification. If you are weak, this is a good policy to build strength. Why would Israel who is strong now accept such a thing? Not sure anyone can see a clear path to pace there but I don't see how a fake peace does anything but set expectations badly and lead to further instability.


From: Tim (Apr 28 2008, at 09:43)

Mike: Well yeah, but in fact the Israelis are currently killing and being killed, while failing to prevent the other side from beefing up militarily. When what you're doing isn't working, try something different.


From: Daniel (Apr 28 2008, at 12:33)

"But still, why wouldn’t you publicly accept the truce offer, if only (especially if you think they’ll break it) for public-relations reasons?"

The way I read it in other media is that Hamas' offer includes some bylaws that go beyond merely a truce, such as Israel ceasing to control Gaza's borders. That would allow Hamas to rearm - which can cause significant damage in the short term that is rather hard to repair later on, and hence is presumably considered a significant downside in Israel. I'm pretty certain Israel is cool with any unconditional truce. After all, that's exactly what their withdrawal from Gaza established in the first place.

(I don't have enough knowledge about the matter to have an informed opinion on taking/not taking the truce, but it seems the exact scope of the Hamas' offer is rather relevant, yet missing in many reports.)


From: ot (Apr 29 2008, at 02:44)

if any nation was in israel's shoes, they would go on an all out war and win the war once and for all. but the israelis are stupid enough to care what the world thinks of them, when their very existence is in danger. Being from africa, i understand these hamas people, we have many of their kind here. they only understand defeat in battle.

exactly why should israel allow their enemies to rearm and fortify?


From: James A. Donald (Apr 29 2008, at 03:21)

The ten year truce offer is that Hamas will reduce the violence of a period no more than ten years, but possibly less, provided Israel gives the Palestinians all of Jerusalem.

The six month truce offer is that Hamas will reduce the violence for a period of no more than six months, but possibly less, provide Israel allows them access to Iran so that they can rearm and re-equip.

You would have to be crazy to agree to such a deal.

There is plenty dumb nasty thuggish racism by Israeli Jews, but this might have something to do with the fact that people keep trying to kill them. It is remarkable self restraint that they have not simply killed everyone in Gaza, and then settled the place with their own people.


From: Tim (Apr 29 2008, at 08:03)

James A Donald: You are incorrect on the facts; go check the details of the offer. There's plenty of racism on both sides. It seems that you would approve of killing everyone in Gaza? And as stated before, they're re-arming and re-equipping right now; the current plan isn't working.

ot: You are a filthy racist creep; people like you (on both sides) are the reason children are dying every week in the Middle East. Go look in the mirror and vomit. Oh, and on the facts, the Palestinians have been defeated in battle regularly for fifty years now. It isn't accomplishing the stated goals. Even bigoted scum like you ought to appreciate that it's now time for Plan B.


From: Jody (May 01 2008, at 09:08)

A Hamas Israel truce would not stop violence. It would just provide another instance of terrorist-three-card-monte.

do {

assert (group != hamas);

group.attack (israel);

} while (israel.show_restraint ());

israel.attack (group);

media.vilify (israel, "violated truce");

hamas.attack (israel);

There is no winning option.


From: Taylor (May 09 2008, at 09:37)

Does this inform your opinion?

To say that things aren't working isn't necessarily accurate. There exists a state called Israel. So it is working, however difficult it may be, it's working. By all means look at the GNP numbers for all middle east countries, and then claim that it's not working.


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