Israelis say thanks, but no thanks to French cease-fire
posted at 10:30 am on December 31, 2008 by Ed Morrissey
What do you get for the terrorist organization that has everything? A French demand for a unilateral cease-fire. The Israelis rejected the proposal from Sarkozy’s government for a 48-hour cease-fire to negotiate a return of the truce that Hamas ended in a volley of mortar and rocket fire over a week ago:
The Security Cabinet on Wednesday rejected a French proposal for a 48-hour suspension of the IDF offensive against Hamas to allow Paris the opportunity to mediate a cease-fire.
“We didn’t initiate the Gaza operation in order to end it while Israeli towns are still under fire, as they were before the operation,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said deliberations that lasted the better part of the day. “Israel has shown restraint for years; she gave the truce a chance; we told ourselves ‘let’s try it,’ but Hamas violated the truce.”
Earlier, Olmert’s spokesman Mark Regev said that “Giving Hamas a respite just to regroup, rearm is a mistake. The pressure on the Hamas military machine must continue.”
The most absurd aspect of this story is that Israel actually gave it consideration. At least as the Jerusalem Post explains it, the French wanted the Israelis to cease military operations for 48 hours while Hamas continued to launch missile and mortar attacks against Israeli civilian populations. They expected Olmert to sit on his hands on the nonexistent chance that Hamas would agree to stop attacking Israel — which is their explicitly-stated raison d’etre.
Fortunately, wiser heads prevailed in Jerusalem. The time to pause will come when Hamas either surrenders or flees Gaza, or gets utterly destroyed. Hamas clearly has no interest in peaceful coexistence with Israel in a two-state solution, or in any other configuration. They and their Iranian paymasters want a war of annihilation, and a unilateral cease-fire at this time will only serve to give Hamas some time to re-arm.
Cease-fires will not bring an end to this war. While Hamas exists and serves as Iran’s proxy army, the Israelis have no choice but to fight them to the end.