Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Pressure Grows On Israel For A Ceasefire


The diplomats are scuttling..make no mistake. And they'll do their best to save Hamas no matter what.

France, Egypt, the EU and the UN are hammering out a ceasefire that will supposedly end the weapons smuggling into Gaza while ending the blockade:

Mubarak made his ceasefire call at a joint news conference in Egypt with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. He gave little detail, but diplomats have described a process that would focus on bringing in foreign forces to seal the Egypt-Gaza border against Hamas arms smugglers while easing other trade routes.

Sarkozy, winding up a two-day tour of the Middle East, said: "I am confident the Israeli authorities' reaction will make it possible to consider putting an end to the operation in Gaza."

With Washington in a transition period ahead of the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, France and its European partners, with backing from U.S. allies in the Arab world, have been pushing hard for Israel to cease fire.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice endorsed the Mubarak proposal and said a "sustainable" ceasefire should involve both closing off Hamas's ability to rearm through tunnels from Egypt and easing the lives of the 1.5 million people of Gaza by reopening trade routes.

"We need urgently to conclude a ceasefire that can endure and that can bring real security," Rice told the Security Council
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The problem is that according to the terms by which Israel left Gaza originally, this was supposed to have already been done. Did I miss something? Is there a single reason to believe that keeping missiles and heavy weapons out of Gaza is going to work better this time? Especially with those other 'trade routes' reopened?

And Hamas has made it clear that while it might allow a few observers on the Gaza-Egypt border, they're not about to allow the deployment of any peacekeepers. In addition, not only do they want a full Israeli withdrawal, but they haven't actually agreed to stop firing missiles at Israel yet!

Moussa Abu Marzouk, a Damascus-based Hamas official, told the Financial Times that his organisation, which has been under massive Israeli assault, was ready for a ceasefire as long as it involved an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, the end of the blockade of the territory and some “arrangement” for the border crossing with Egypt.

Posting international observers, as some European officials have suggested, could be looked at, said the Hamas leader. But an international force similar to the UN peacekeeping mission that was deployed in Lebanon as part of the 2006 Israeli war against Hizbollah was “not acceptable”
.


If the Israelis accept the sort of ceasefire the Europeans,Egypt and Hamas are likely to cook up,they're fools.

Lebanon may actually have taught them a lesson, however. Amid all the diplo-speak, Israel is still demanding a stop to all the rockets - over 30 hit Israel today and firm guarantees Hamas will not rearm. They're not likely to get that.

Olmert, Livni, Barak and the rest of the Israeli security cabinet are supposed to meet tomorrow to decide whether to order a major assault in Gaza City proper to flush out the main Hamas forces and leadership. I doubt the Israelis would have gone this far unless they had a firm plan to do exactly that, and it may yet happen.I certainly don't see them achieving their strategic goals any other way,and whatever deal they make with Hamas, the Europeans and the Egyptians will be broken almost as soon as the ink is dry on whatever worthless paper gets signed.

They'd be far better off taking care of their own security arrangements and solving the Hamas problem once and for all.Wipe out Hamas' fighters and leadership, transfer most of the rest of the population to the Palestinian occupied areas of Judea and Samaria ( AKA the West Bank)and annex the Gaza Strip to Israel and the problem is solved.

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At the UN, Libya is circulating a brand new UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Middle East soon with a view to putting it to a vote of the 15-member world body by Wednesday.Israel, by the way, is the only country in the UN forbidden to occupy one of the revolving seats on the Security Council.

Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary-general, is vying with Kofi Annan for the title of Most Anti-Israel Secretary general. This puerile functionary made the following statement after the IDF returned mortar fire that came at them from a UN-run school and killed a number of Hamas fighters, as well as the non-combatants they were using as human shields:

“After earlier strikes, the Israeli government was warned that its operations were endangering UN compounds. I am deeply dismayed that, despite these repeated efforts, today’s tragedies have ensued. These attacks by Israeli military forces, which endanger UN facilities acting as places of refuge, are totally unacceptable and must not be repeated.”

'Places of refuge?"' Places of refuge for Hamas fighters,that is. Needless to mention, the UN never bothered to do a single thing to stop Hamas from firing rockets at Israel.


3 comments:

B.Poster said...

I'm confident that the Israeli government will not agree to a cease fire this time around. I don't think they will make the same mistake again. Israel's mational survival depends on Hams being destroyed or at least rendered ineffective as a fighting force.

Israel does not need to worry about any thing the US says or does. The US faces a struggling economy, a massive national debt, and it has a military that is worn down from the continuing operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elswhere in the "war on terror." As such, America is in no position to actually do any thing to pressure Israel. I pray it would never come to this but America's military forces are not as well led as Israli forces, they are not as well trained, and their technology is inferior to the Israelis. As such, American forces are no match for the IDF. Israel does not need to worry about America. It is not a threat.

The EU is Israel's number one trading partner as I understand it. If the EU were to halt trade to Israel, this could be a problem for Israel but I don't think it is an insurmountable one. I'm pretty sure that EU countries need many of the items they are getting from Israel. Also, Israel can manufacture some of the things they are getting from the EU themselves.

The country with the most leverage against Israel is Russia. Israel gets about 80% of its oil from Russia. If Russia cuts this off, this could be a BIG problem for Israel. As the situation with Ukraine shows us, Russia is plenty ruthless enough to do something like this when they percieve they do not get their way. Imagine if America tried to ruthlessly represent its interests in this manner. The world media would howl with outrage at the evil Americans. Russia has the most favorable media coverage on the planet with their lackeys throughout the world news media. I'm sure the Israeli government has thought about this and planned accordingly.

What Israeli leaders really need right now is some back bone. In fact, all Western leaders really need this. I'm optimistic that the Israeli leadership has found some now, as the fight with Hamas is a matter of national survival for Israel. It really is amazing what people can do when their lives are on the line.

I'm also cautiously optimistic that Anerican and other Western leaders will eventually find some back bone. Hamas and other Islamic terrorists pose an existential threat to them to but it may not be as qucikly acute as it is against Israel right now. As it becomes more acute, I look for the leadership in America and Western Europe as well as the populations in Western Europe and America to rise up and deal with this threat. At the same time that the Islamic threat is dealt with, strategies to defeat or at least contain Russia and China need to be formulated.

highlander said...

An elderly couple in the small New England town where I grew up owned an English Mastiff. They were very fond of Boris because of his gentle nature and fierce loyalty, which is typical of the breed.

The lady next door, however, did not feel the same. She feared Boris and was determined to be rid of him. Powerless to do that on her own, she had her son pepper Boris with pebbles every afternoon when he got home from school, while she lurked behind a bush with a camera.

Sure enough, one day Boris finally had had enough. Provoked beyond his limits, he came after he boy. The lady sent a picture to our local newspaper together with a lurid description of the attack.

Those of us who lived in the neighborhood knew the true story behind what had happened, but the hew and cry raised by the paper forced the couple to have Boris put down. Heartbroken, both of them were also gone within the year.

I think of this story often in the midst of the hew and cry raised by the media against Israel.

B.Poster said...

Highlander,

That is a very heartbreaking story. It is also very illuminating. It illustrates just how effective a good public relations campaign can actually be. The "Palestinians" have one of the best p.r. machines on the planet, however, by far and away the country with the most effective p.r. machine is Russia.

To often the efforts at p.r. by America and Israel are disorganized and poorly led. We really must do a better job at getting our point accross.