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Elliot BenjaminElliot Benjamin is a philosopher, mathematician, musician, counselor, writer, with Ph.Ds in mathematics and psychology and the author of over 230 published articles in the fields of humanistic and transpersonal psychology, pure mathematics, mathematics education, spirituality & the awareness of cult dangers, art & mental disturbance, and progressive politics. He has also written a number of self-published books, such as: The Creative Artist, Mental Disturbance, and Mental Health. See also:


Israel's War in Gaza

My Current Perspective On
a Permanent Ceasefire - Negotiated

Elliot Benjamin

And this is the crux of why I find myself changing my perspective about a permanent ceasefire.

As the tragedy and horror of Israel's war in Gaza rages on, I find myself rethinking my perspective on a permanent ceasefire. The death toll of innocent Palestinians is soon going to surpass 30,000, many of whom are children, and this needs to stop. For Israel, they apparently have no qualms about innocent Palestinians being killed if there is a chance of freeing a hostage, or reducing the possibility of an Israeli soldier being killed [1]. And this is the crux of why I find myself changing my perspective about a permanent ceasefire.

I initially agreed with United States Senator Bernie Sanders in that a temporary ceasefire made sense, but that a permanent ceasefire would just have the effect of strengthening Hamas and increasing the likelihood of another Hamas massacre of Jews in the future [2]. But as more time passes and the death toll of innocent Palestinians steadily mounts, I am realizing that Israel is not going to change their tactics and risk more of their soldiers getting killed. This means that they will continue to bomb anywhere where they think there may be a Hamas militant hiding out, regardless of how many innocent Palestinians are killed in the process [1]. And Israel's goal of freeing the hostages also takes no account of the numerous innocent Palestinians that are killed in the process of trying to do this [1]. For Israel, a Jewish life is incomparably more valuable than a Palestinian life, and I do not believe that this is ever going to change [3]. Therefore I can no longer support Israel continuing this war any longer.

However, I also think that a permanent ceasefire needs to be negotiated. Along these lines, Saudi Arabia had recently come out with a peace plan that included Arab countries helping out with security for Israel, and I think this is the kind of negotiated ceasefire that needs to happen [4]. I think that Western countries, especially the United States, should have a large role in helping Israel with security to decrease the possibility of a repeated Hamas massacre in the future. And of course for any possibility of peace, Israel would need to recognize Palestine and work out a two-state solution, but in spite of much pressure from the United States on Israel to do this, Israeli prime minister Netanyahu has made it quite clear that this is not something he is willing to do at the present time [5].

I don't think the United States should be giving military aid to Israel unless Israel is open to a two-state solution, and I think any military aid we give to Israel should be contingent on Israel no longer indiscriminately bombing innocent Palestinians [6]. But the bottom line for me is that I do not approve of Israel's priorities of a Jewish life over a Palestinian life, and for this reason I can no longer support this war continuing in any capacity. Through a great deal of pressure on Biden in the United States to end the war, the United States is now calling for a temporary ceasefire, but is holding out against a permanent ceasefire and they were the only country that opposed an immediate ceasefire at the recent G-20 meeting of the chief diplomats of the world's 20 largest economies [7].

As I have previously discussed, for anything to change it may be necessary for Netanyahu to no longer be in power [8], but there is no way of saying how long it would take for this to happen. However, at least I am becoming more clear on my own thoughts about this whole nightmare. To summarize, I think there should be a permanent ceasefire, but that the international community should take concrete steps to help Israel with security to prevent a future Hamas massacre, which should go along with Israel recognizing Palestine as part of a two-state solution.

Notes and References

1) See Aljazeera (February, 2024), Israel's War on Gaza Live: Over 100 Killed in 24 Hours, ICJ Hearing Goes On.; and Najib Jobain, Josef Federman, & Samyu Magdy (February, 2024), Israel Forces Rescue 2 Hostages in Dramatic Gaza Raid that Killed At Least 67 Palestinians.; Elliot Benjamin (January, 2024), Israel's War in Gaza: Genocide or War Crimes?

2) See Elliot Benjamin (December, 2023), The Israel/Hamas War: My Jewish Humanistic/Integrative Perspective.

3) See for example Dahlia Scheindlin (January, 2024), Don't Ask Israelis Right Now About Palestinian Casualties in Gaza.

4) See The Economist (February, 2024), Israel Scorns America's Unprecedented Peace Plan: Arab States Offer Remarkable “Security Guarantees” to Israel.

5) See TOI Staff (February, 2024), Rebuffing Biden, Cabinet Rejects Unilateral Palestinian State as “Reward for Terrorism.”; and Al Jazeera (February, 2024), Palestinian Authority Says Israeli Post-War Gaza Plan “Destined to Fail.”

6) Apparently United States President Biden has made some concrete steps in this direction: see Jennifer Rubin (February, 2024), Biden Delivers Tough Love, Takes Historic Step: Conditioning Aid to Israel.

7) See John Hudson (February, 2024), U.S. Isolated at G-20 as Gaza Crisis Worsens.

8) See Elliot Benjamin (January, 2024), Jews Against Israel's Killing of Innocent Palestinians.; and Elliot Benjamin (January, 2024), Israel's War in Gaza: Genocide or War Crimes?

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