The National Jewish Assembly (NJA) expresses disappointment regarding London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s recent request for Israel to agree to a ceasefire with Hamas amidst the ongoing conflict.
While the NJA respects Mayor Khan’s concerns for peace, the NJA believes there are crucial factors that must be considered:
- Hostage Crisis: Hamas continues to hold over 200 Israeli hostages. Israel’s primary responsibility is the safety and well-being of its citizens. A ceasefire would hinder the IDF’s ability to take necessary actions to rescue these hostages and bring them home.
- Hamas’s Track Record: History has shown that Hamas is an unreliable partner in ceasefire agreements. The organisation has repeatedly violated ceasefires in recent years, eroding trust and credibility in any such agreement. There is no guarantee that Hamas would respect a new ceasefire.
- Hamas’s Resilience: Agreeing to a ceasefire prematurely, without significantly weakening Hamas, could leave the organisation intact and capable of re-arming, rebuilding, and planning further acts of terror against Israel. Israel’s security must remain a top priority.
- Gazans’ Well-being: A ceasefire would allow Hamas to maintain its rule over Gaza, jeopardising the well-being, liberties, and prospects for peace and prosperity of the Gazan population. It is vital to ensure a better future for all in the region.
- Sending the Wrong Message: A ceasefire at this juncture may send the wrong message to the international community. Allowing Hamas to commit acts of violence against Israelis without facing consequences only encourages further aggression. It is crucial to hold those responsible for violence accountable.
It is imperative that any ceasefire agreement takes into account the safety of Israeli hostages, the trustworthiness of the parties involved, and the long-term security of the region.
A ceasefire at this moment, without addressing the fundamental issues that have plagued Gaza for years, would inadvertently perpetuate the status quo and leave the Gazan population in a precarious situation. The people of Gaza deserve more than a temporary halt to hostilities; they deserve a path towards lasting peace and prosperity.
This can only be achieved by addressing the root causes of Gaza’s failings: Hamas. Hamas’ own charter compels it to continue waging antisemitic genocidal Islamist Jihad against Israel, Jews, and the Western world – even if this means putting Gazans in danger.
The NJA calls on Mayor Khan and all stakeholders to consider these critical concerns before simply demanding a ceasefire.