Tuesday, July 22, 2014
WSJ: Let Israel Decide A premature Gaza cease-fire would help Hamas.
Nations must be militarily strong and determined enough to ensure their own survival. Israelis have long understood this harsh reality of global politics, and it has never been clearer than this week as the world browbeats Israel and the terror group Hamas for a "cease-fire" in Gaza.
President Obama and John Kerry have adopted this ostensibly even-handed trope, and on Tuesday the European Union went further and deplored Israel and Hamas as if they were equal perpetrators. Hamas should stop its "criminal and unjustifiable acts," the EU said, but it added that it was "particularly appalled" at the human cost of the Israel ground offensive. Particularly?
This all may be intended as fine impartiality, but the reality is that a cease-fire now would help Hamas. The terror group rejected Egypt's offer of a cease-fire last week after Israel had accepted it, perhaps figuring that Israel wouldn't risk a ground invasion. Or perhaps it wanted such an invasion figuring the world would condemn Israel for civilian casualties and Hamas would win the propaganda war.
In any case now that it has moved on the ground, Israel will lose if it stops before it achieves its main military objectives. This means blowing up the entire network of tunnels that Hamas uses to infiltrate into Israel and to smuggle weapons into Gaza from Egypt. It also means destroying the stockpiles of rockets and storage sites.
The Israelis are best positioned to judge their progress, and the U.S. should publicly support its military response in a war it didn't start. This is what will bring the most rapid end to the violence.