Question asked of Jerusalem Post columnists: "While many argue that the cease-fire in Gaza has no chance of holding, some believe it can, arguing that it is in the best interests of all sides involved (Israel, Abbas, Hamas) to reach a more comprehensive deal that would include the release of Gilad Shalit and hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. What's your position?" For all replies, see "Burning Issues #14: Gaza cease-fire"
Until Arabs give up their effort to eliminate Israel, a cease-fire is all that Israelis can hope for. From the Rhodes Armistice to the Egypt-Israel treaty to the Oslo accords to the 2003 hudna, each respite in warfare has been temporary.
Cease-fires benefit Israel in two main ways. They end the killing and they offer the time for Israel to improve its war-making abilities.
But these cease-fires invariably come to an end, warfare resumes, and Israel must again fight and win before a new cessation of hostilities begins. Each cease-fire, in other words, contains the seeds of its own demise, each war contains the premise for the next lull.
All that said, the instant and multiple violations of the most recent cease-fire makes it unlikely to have much staying power. (November 28, 2006)