Partners for Progressive Israel calls on the United States and the international community to push for an immediate ceasefire in Israel and the Gaza Strip. Despite its repeated use of massive force, Israel has been unable to permanently prevent Hamas from firing thousands of rockets and mortar shells against its people.
Yet Israel’s blockade against the Hamas government and other hostile elements in Gaza has severely constricted the lives of all Gazans and has galvanized support for Hamas belligerence. The refusal of Israel’s leadership to comprehensively address this problem during times of quiet has contributed to a cycle of violence that inevitably leads to the death of hundreds of Palestinians and the terrorizing of millions on both sides.
Partners for Progressive Israel supported Meretz chair Zehava Gal-On in her call for Israel to unilaterally end Operation Protective Edge; we especially oppose its expansion into a ground invasion. We also agree with Meretz that Netanyahu’s government, by continuously undermining the moderate Palestinian Authority, has strengthened support for Hamas “armed struggle” as an alternative to the P.A.’s commitment to non-violence. However, with I.D.F. forces already on the ground in Gaza, the situation has become more dire. Only global pressure can interrupt the violence long enough for a ceasefire to take hold, as it did in November 2012.
Once a ceasefire is in place, the parties (including Israel and the Palestinian Authority) must seriously negotiate a different reality for Gaza, and create a system of communication-whether direct or indirect-between Israel and Hamas so that these operations, and the attacks on Israel that sparked them, are never repeated.