Feel Free to Say Yes, Hamas

Some days are better than others; some mornings worse. I don’t know what the formula is only that what I remember from last time is happening again, this steady sinking feeling. It’s happening earlier this time than last time – almost in anticipation of what I know is to come (or, to be more honest, in anticipation of what happened last time).

This is a whole new war – it could go the same as the last one; it could go differently. I have no idea what will happen in the next hour or two, let alone the next few days or weeks. Hamas has offered a ceasefire – if Israel agrees to open all the borders. Yeah, sure, I think to myself, maybe they ARE running low on missiles and have no doubt the first thing they’d bring in would be more weapons.

For once, it seems, Israel has responded back brilliantly – we too are willing to offer for a ceasefire – on the condition six key points are agreed upon. I read them and smiled for the first time in hours. A few weeks ago, dear friends had to go to the States for a very sad reason. My oldest daughter is in her final year at Hebrew University and with a (beautiful, amazingly cute) young son, she needs to use every spare minute she has to study and bus rides are wasted time or valuable time, depending on how it is used.

Amira decided to buy a tablet computer – much, much cheaper in the US than here. So she asked, with much hesitation, if this couple would mind bringing it back with them when they came. She didn’t want them to feel obligated and so she said, “feel free to say ‘yes'” – what she meant, of course, was that they should feel free to say NO…but of course they didn’t and she has her computer. Unfortunately for her, the “feel free to say yes” has become a part of our family dialog now, each time bringing a laugh or a smile. She’s great about accepting it, still a bit embarrassed but finding the humor in it. I thought of her and that phrase. So, here are our demands, Hamas – feel free to say yes.

  1. A lull for a period of more than 15 years.
  2. An immediate cessation of arms smuggling and the transfer of weapons to Gaza.
  3. Cessation of rocket fire on the part of all armed Palestinian factions and an end to attacks on soldiers near the Gaza border.
  4. Israel has the right to hunt down terrorists in the event of an attack or if it obtains information on an imminent attack.
  5. The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt will remain open, but the crossings on the Gaza-Israel border will remain closed.
  6. Egypt’s politicians, headed by President Mohammed Morsi, will be the guarantors of any ceasefire agreement. Meaning, the agreement will be backed by Egypt’s political echelon rather than by its security establishment.

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