President Obama and John Kerry have adopted this ostensibly even-handed trope [that both Israel and the Palestinian Authority must agree to a cease fire], and on Tuesday the European Union went further and deplored Israel and Hamas as if they were equal perpetrators. Hamas should stop its “criminal and unjustifiable acts,” the EU said, but it added that it was “particularly appalled” at the human cost of the Israel ground offensive.
No. There is no equivalence between a nation that is protecting its citizens from terrorist assault and an entity that only rains rockets on that nation for the purpose of killing as many civilians, including children, as it can; there is no equivalence between a nation that is protecting its citizens and an entity that shoots rockets at a nuclear power plant in that nation for the purpose of destroying the plant and scattering as much radioactivity as widely as possible; there is no equivalence between a nation that is protecting its citizens and an entity that uses its own civilians, including its own children, as shields for the purpose of running up the Palestinian body count for PR purposes.
The US and the EU each must put aside this despicable assumption of an equivalence of morality between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (“particularly appalled!?” Maybe the EU isn’t assuming so much equivalence…) and exert such pressure as they have left on the PA to stop its assault and to forswear terrorism.
If there is to be a legitimate cease fire, it can come about in one of only two ways. The PA must stop its attacks on Israel and allow verification of that cessation. Alternatively, Israel must continue in Gaza until the PA’s ability to continue its attacks is destroyed completely and the PA terrorists are dead or captured. Given the integrity of the PA, though, the former alternative is likely only to provide a brief respite before the PA resumes its terrorism.