by Rabbi Ze’ev Smason and Rabbi Yonason Goldson in the St. Louis Jewish Light
No doubt, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen believed sincerely in their own good intentions when they passed their resolution last week calling on President Joe Biden to work toward a cease-fire in Israel’s war with Hamas.
But there is a famous road paved with good intentions. And the distinguished aldermen have already traveled a long way down it.
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The first point they overlooked is that there was a cease-fire on Oct. 6. Hamas violated it when they launched an unprovoked, relentless missile barrage, breached the security barrier, murdered over 1,200 Israelis, committed atrocities against civilians, women, and babies, and took over 200 hostages.
At present, over 100 hostages remain unaccounted for, over 100,000 Israelis remain displaced as Palestinian rockets continue to rain down on Israeli cities, and the Palestinian people support Hamas leadership by an astonishing majority.
The purpose of a cease-fire is to open an avenue toward peace. But Hamas (as well as the Palestinian Authority) has repeatedly and unequivocally rejected one peace proposal after another for decades.
Those who cry out for peace refuse to acknowledge this simple truth: You cannot make peace with people who do not want peace. This is why the only thing a cease-fire will accomplish is to enable and embolden Hamas and its terrorist allies to regroup and renew their crimes against humanity — which include oppression of their own people as well as violence against Israelis. It is also why a two-state solution will never succeed until the Palestinians are willing to live in peace alongside their Jewish neighbors.
By calling for a cease-fire, the St. Louis aldermen make themselves complicit in the ongoing acts of inhumanity perpetrated by Hamas. For all their good intentions, their resolution delays the cause of peace rather than advancing it and perpetuates unconscionable human suffering on both sides.
Rabbi Ze’ev Smason, Chairman, Coalition for Jewish Values, Missouri
Rabbi Yonason Goldson, CJV Missouri Executive Vice President
Originally published in the St. Louis Jewish Light
Photo Credit: United Nations Photo on Flickr