April 9, 2024
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Hamas and its allies would significantly benefit from a ceasefire and a return to the pre-October 7 status quo.

Friends and family mourn Smadar Edan and Roy Edan, who were murdered by Hamas terrorists from the Gaza Strip on October 7, at their funeral in Kfar Harif, Israel, October 20, 2023.
(Credit: REUTERS/VIOLETA SANTOS MOURA)

It has been nearly three months since Israel and the global Jewish community were forever changed. Unlike the aftermath of many tragedies, Jews were never granted the overwhelming show of support many have grown accustomed to following a terrorist attack. Instead, while Israelis still fought for their lives at music festivals and in their homes, a campaign to blame the Jews was already in motion. The result of this campaign is a rapid legitimization of the forces behind the October 7 attacks. We cannot allow anyone responsible for that day to remain in power or to find comfort under a single rock.

Hamas and its allies would significantly benefit from a ceasefire and a return to the pre-October 7 status quo. Hamas forces would rearm and cauterize their structural wounds. Meanwhile, Israel would face international pressure not to resume its military campaign to wipe Hamas off the face of the earth. During the short-lived ceasefire, we saw that Hamas could not be trusted.

“Palestinian leadership” knows they are clinging to power through their use of violence and hostages. This is why their chain of command refused Egyptian and United Arab Emirates reported calls for a complete change in leadership.

Hamas has approached international powers to legitimize them on the political stage. Hamas is taking steps to survive this war in a new iteration if they have to. This is precisely why the terror organization has to be pulled out, root and stem, ensuring there is no way it can survive.

Overhauling all worker and security agreements with the Palestinian Authority is at the forefront, and the Knesset must investigate if individuals who benefit from these agreements aided in the carrying out of attacks.

There is also a duty to grant no quarter to our intellectual institutions. Donors should pull their funding from any supposed bastion of higher learning that promotes rape and slaughter of civilians as a legitimate political stance. Pressure should be put on such institutions to pull faculties that teach antisemitic tropes as coursework. At the same time, we should praise institutions such as the University of Arizona, Stanford and the University of Florida, which have made it abundantly clear that pro-Hamas rhetoric has no space on their campuses. Calls to support those who take infants hostage and mock grieving mothers deserve ostracization and isolation from civil discourse.

With any war, there is always a risk that those not directly impacted will move on. Whether it be due to desensitization or attention span, the wider public will abandon us if they are allowed to. The Jewish community is all too familiar with the willingness to ignore antisemitism. We must be ever vigilant, reminding all who will listen that these movements never stop with the Jews. We are merely the canary in the coal mine, exposing the larger movement of hate that never ceases to follow.

 

We May Be Exhausted, But We Can’t Let Up

I understand that many feel exhausted constantly defending their existence, but we cannot let up. Antisemitism is at heights not seen since the Holocaust. People must realize that they are not protecting themselves by being silent. Jewish businesses are facing vandalism and protests, regardless of any public statements. Groups claiming to oppose genocide are organizing opposition rallies outside the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, an action that is too absurd to believe. To let your guard down is to welcome your own ruin.

International powers know that Israel and global Jewry have no interest in returning to the status quo of October 6. Out of convenience, that is still the course of action those outside of the war in Gaza will pursue. They hope that by freezing the concerned parties in a moment in time, tensions will cool. In reality, however, they are only perpetuating those exact conditions that left over 1,200 Israelis murdered and hundreds taken hostage. There is no return to the day before everything changed; we must all make that known.


The writer was granted the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Activist of the Year Award in 2020 and 2021. He is an Arizona State University-Watts College of Public Service master of public policy graduate.

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