Fight Fire With a Cease-Fire

Haim Watzman

by David Grossman

NOW, after the heavy blow that Israel has dealt to the Gaza Strip, we would do best to halt, turn to the leaders of Hamas and tell them: Until last Saturday, we restrained ourselves in responding to the thousands of Qassam rockets fired at us. Now you know how severe the retaliation can be. So as not to add to the death and destruction that has already taken place, we intend, unilaterally and absolutely, to hold our fire for the next 48 hours….

My translation of David Grossman’s call for a cease fire appears in full in today’s New York Times and in The Guardian.

10 thoughts on “Fight Fire With a Cease-Fire”

  1. Perhaps it is becqause of people like David Grossman that Hamas has become so strong.

    Had Israel \’s Defense forces taken striong actio n immediately after the first rocket strikes, they might have been stopped. But they were allowed to continue with but an occasional and limited response and retaliation.

    Hamas is a terrorist organization and must be wiped out or they will succeed in their goal of destroying Israel and driving the Jews into the sea. That is their stated aim – not rhetoric.

    I am old enough to remember that there were Jews who felt the same way about Hitler – don’t get in his way and he’ll leave us alone – but he buried six million, with the support of many of those in the Muslim world.

    Hamas is a cancer and must be excised.

  2. Robert Fisk reminds us of the tragic irony of Ashkelon:

    How easy it is to snap off the history of the Palestinians, to delete the narrative of their tragedy, to avoid a grotesque irony about Gaza which – in any other conflict – journalists would be writing about in their first reports: that the original, legal owners of the Israeli land on which Hamas rockets are detonating live in Gaza.

    That is why Gaza exists: because the Palestinians who lived in Ashkelon and the fields around it – Askalaan in Arabic – were dispossessed from their lands in 1948 when Israel was created and ended up on the beaches of Gaza. They – or their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren – are among the one and a half million Palestinian refugees crammed into the cesspool of Gaza, 80 per cent of whose families once lived in what is now Israel. This, historically, is the real story: most of the people of Gaza don’t come from Gaza.

    But watching the news shows, you’d think that history began yesterday, that a bunch of bearded anti-Semitic Islamist lunatics suddenly popped up in the slums of Gaza – a rubbish dump of destitute people of no origin – and began firing missiles into peace-loving, democratic Israel, only to meet with the righteous vengeance of the Israeli air force. The fact that the five sisters killed in Jabalya camp had grandparents who came from the very land whose more recent owners have now bombed them to death simply does not appear in the story.

  3. I say a ceasefire is OK as soon as Hamas announces that it renounces its goal of destroying Israel and is willing to allow its neighbor to live in peace. Otherwise a ceasefire would simply be a delusional farce.

  4. “we will punish!”- has it ever worked? The Palestinians started out as a demoralized group after the losses by the Arab armies secured the footing of Israel in 1948. From that time forward, the Palestinians have become more and more dedicated and, even though still divided, coalesce whenever force is used against them. Any leader knows that the best way to distract from discord is to hold up the bloody shirt.

    Though militarily orders of magnitude ahead, Israel has yet to quash the attacks and the attacks have changed like a chameleon to find any chink in that armor.

    How can anyone believe that more force will do the trick this time? The Palestinians have no further to fall – they are deprived of just about everything and under either Israeli control or isolation.

    A friend of mine has said that the problem with the Palestinians is they won’t admit they lost. I would add that the Jews over history have been resilient in refusing to admit they had lost. How they lost! People, places, possessions and yet they are still here. Isn’t there something to be learned about this tenacity? It is thought that religion is what kept the Jews going and, lo and behold, here is Islam to aid the Palestinians and it was Israel, correct me if I am wrong, that hoped to undermine Fatah by promotion of the precursors of Hamas!

    With each explosion of violence, I know that the pot and the kettle are once again calling each other black.

  5. I can’t imagine a more uninformed and ludicrous opinion. Hamas has no intentions of a lasting cease-fire nor do they care for the lives of the Palestinian people. The Palestinians could have had peace and prosperity years ago, but they continue to be exploited by the Arab world at large, and a bunch of criminals in their own ranks.
    The only real possibility for peace is for Isreal to continue to hunt down and kill every Hamas militant. It must not stop until every one of these people are killed.
    To stop now will only allow a repeat of history, which would be far more immoral than the wholesale slaughter that must be undertaken.
    There is no negotiating with evil, and the lives of the Palestinians and Israeli depend on this.

  6. Dear Mr. Grossman:

    Rarely have I read a piece reeking of such unbridled idiocy and dhimmitude. Your hands are stained with Jewish Blood. You have no shame.

  7. Those of us who have studied this matter are perfectly aware that all the sound, fury, and superheated steam directed in your direction by the explicitly hard right over your translation of this fairly minor article, Mr Watzman, is strictly for show. We know your games of false ‘moderation’ and ‘protest’ all too well.

  8. I hope you were paid for this, as is your right being a professional translator. But I wouldn’t proud about lending a hand so that Grossman’s illogical ideas should receive a larger audience.

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