Our View: Cease fire, but for how long?
Posted: November 24, 2012
For Israel, the cease fire tenuously prevailing in Gaza does not resolve a fundamental problem: The Jewish nation remains under severe existential threat — from Hamas in the south, from Hezbollah on its northern border with Lebanon, and from Iran which supplies these two groups with money and arms.
You see, it’s ever been thus: If Israel were to lay down its arms, it would sow the seeds of its own destruction. But if its implacable enemies were to do so, peace would have a real chance of breaking out in this Middle Eastern cauldron.
For years, prevailing wisdom suggested this conflict was all about land. Three times since the turn of the century — at Camp David in 2000, in Gaza (2005) when the Israelis pulled out of this disputed territory, and again in 2008 with then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s peace proposal — Israel has acted on this assumption.
Now, in the wake of hostilities with Hezbollah in 2009 and, just this month, with Hamas in Gaza, Israel must acknowledge — if it hadn’t already — that this is not about land, or a two-state solution, or peace. In truth, it never was.
For the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah, it’s about the eventual eradication of Israel. Hence, while the cease fire brokered this week may (temporarily) stop the bombing, and the bleeding, it does not address this ultimate intent.
As long as Israel’s enemies view this nation as an illegitimate state, as a cancer to be excised, we’ll see a continuing reprise of the same — Israel retaining its military might to protect its right to exist, and Israel’s foes remaining dedicated to its demise.
And to think, in time, Hamas and Hezbollah may be backed by an Iran with nuclear capability. Should that occur, how “emboldened” will these terrorist groups be then?