Why Does Hamas fight?
Every time Hamas fights, the West pressures Israel to give them a concession to stop. This encourages Hamas to keep fighting rather than to negotiate, strengthens them in their ability to fight, and harms Israel in the long run. Israel has generally given in.
But not this time. The cost for Israel to continue this game is too high. Any circumstance in which Hamas is strengthened will result in the death of more Israelis and Israel is obligated to prevent that.
The way to bring peace to both peoples and promote prosperity for the people of Gaza is to completely nullify any hope that violence will result in progress. Moves toward peace must be met with improvement for sure. Yet moves toward violence must result in increased suffering, not betterment.
This is why ceasefire talks continue to fail.
In spite of growing antisemitism and the threat of boycotts, Israel will not give in, because it cannot give in. It is that simple. The next flare-up of this conflict may well see rockets strike Ben Gurion Airport, the Towers in Tel Aviv, or Hotels in Jerusalem and terrorism resulting in terrible carnage. It is not an option for Israel to offer concessions and to hope that Hamas decides not to exploit them as they have every other time.
For the US to help bring peace, it must not only avoid pressuring Israel to make concessions, but it must demand of our allies very publicly that they also refrain from pressuring Israel as well. Hamas must see that support for Israel will not be undermined if they continue fighting. Israel’s obligation–not merely its “right”–its obligation to defend itself must not only be defended in public by our President and Secretary of State, but actively supported. Otherwise, the fighting and the suffering will go on.