Federation addresses calls for ceasefire at town council meetings

Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ serves all Jews in Middlesex and Monmouth Counties, regardless of their politics or ideology, including on Israel.

We mourn the loss of every innocent life. And we want a permanent peace.

Hamas has vowed to repeat attacks like its October 7 massacre again and again… until Israel is no longer. That is the opposite of a permanent ceasefire.

In fact, putting a so-called permanent ceasefire in place at this time, when Hamas still represents the Palestinians in Gaza, is contrary to what Hamas leadership has promised the world – repeated attacks until Israel is gone, from the river to the sea.

A so-called permanent ceasefire at this time would allow Hamas to regroup, replenish weapons, and continue its reign of terror – not least of all against its own people.

Let us remember, Hamas locates its military operations and equipment in residential areas, hospitals, schools, refugee camps, and UN facilities. This guarantees maximum civilian casualties. Hamas refused to allow residents of Gaza to take shelter from fighting in its terror tunnels. Let us remember, Hamas has not only misappropriated billions of dollars in international aid to build its terror infrastructure instead of helping its people build a life for themselves, but Hamas has also taken food from the mouths of its own people when aid has been delivered in this war.

The Jewish community affirms that the suffering of all innocent people, including Palestinians at the hands of Hamas, is very real and tragic. Hamas must be held accountable. 

We would not oppose a pause in fighting to allow more aid to enter Gaza at the discretion of the involved parties. Humanitarian ceasefires, in most cases temporary, are common in modern-day conflicts to ease the suffering of non-combatants.

How can we conceive of a permanent end to this fighting when Hamas has announced very plainly: it will attack Israel again; it seeks the destruction of Israel.

On behalf of the Jewish community, we want nothing more than a permanent end to war. May there be permanent peace when all Israeli hostages are returned, including those killed in captivity, together with the unconditional surrender and dismantling of Hamas.

Given what is true of Hamas, is this the organization we should trust to care for the Palestinians? 


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