Wednesday, November 21, 2012

BREAKING: Gaza Ceasefire To Take Effect Tonight ( And The Back Story)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Egyptian equivalent Mohamed Kamel Amr held a joint press conference today announcing a ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel with Egypt as a mediating partner.

The deal basically takes effect at 8 PM local time. Both sides are to cease attacks on each other, Israel is to cease targeting Hamas leaders, and to take some undefined steps to ease its sea blockade of Gaza after a 24-hour period.

Now,here's what actually happened.

According to a couple of my notorious lil' birdies who are very much in a position to know, the Israelis fully intended to go into Gaza and eradicate Hamas. A country like Israel doesn't call up that many reserves and affect its economy unless they were serious about the matter.

But then the Obama Administration intervened.

They were perfectly happy for Israel to go in to Gaza and take out Hamas, but insisted that they then turn Gaza over to the Palestinian Authority. This was supposed to strengthen PA President Mahmoud Abbas as 'Palestine's savior' . As as a kicker, President Obama insisted that Israel immediately declare a Palestinian State in Gaza and most of Judea and Samaria, including areas currently under Israeli sovereignty from which the Jewish residents would then be removed. These were also to be turned over to Abbas.

If the Israelis were unwilling to have the IDF do Mahmoud Abbas' dirty work for him and then give up large areas populated by Jews, then the Obama Administration told the Israelis the U.S. would not back an IDF ground assault in Gaza.

So they Israelis took the ceasefire, essentially meaning that Hamas is going to be left in place to regroup and fight another day. And can claim a victory.

That's way Israel appeared to be delaying their ground operation for so long..the real back and forth was between the Obama Administration and Israel.

As a sop for being cooperative, President Obama said in a statement that he congratulated PM Netanyahu for accepting the truce and that the US would use the opportunity offered by a ceasefire to intensify efforts to help Israel address its security needs, especially the issue of the smuggling of weapons and explosives into Gaza.

How that is going to happen is, shall we say, problematical. Apparently - wait for it- The White House expects the new Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt to take charge of policing Hamas.After all, that approach worked so well in keeping Hezbollah in Lebanon from rearming after the 2006 war, even with a UN peacekeeping force on the ground.

The President also said that he was committed to seeking additional funding for Iron Dome and other US-Israel missile defense programs.

What's really behind this, of course, is an effort to strengthen Egypt's Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government as a regional player and improve ties between the Islamists and the U.S.

It also takes the heat off Morsi since had Israel gone into Gaza, there would have been widespread agitating for Egypt to send 'volunteers' to fight the Jews.

We'll see if this takes hold. I'd be surprised if it didn't, since it's mostly on Hamas' terms.


independent patriot said...

Sorry this sounds a little too far fetched even for Obama. Expecting Israel to die for Abbas and then ethnically cleanse Judea and Samaria of Jews? Even Obama isn't that stupid. Besides who is to say that Obama didn't tell Abbas he can go to the UN and declare a state in Gaza and Judea and Samaria anyway? This way if Abbas does, he is left alone to fight Hamas for the territory.

Yes I do think Israel was planning to go into Gaza, but I think the war would have been devastating and horrendous.I also think Hamas would have survived much like the PLO did after Lebanon.

That Egypt is a winner here..we will see. If Morsi can't control Hamas, Morsi loses and so does Obama since the ceasefire agreement has his name stamped on it.

I still think in the long run Israel will come out the winner. She will get her ground game under better control, get a handle on her neighbors and figure out how to fight a multi-prong war which this would have turned into in the longrun anyway.

Rob said...

Hello IP,
Far fetched it might seem, but I got this from two sources who are very much in a position to know.

The Obama Administration saw this as an opportunity to either strengthen Abbas and force a Palestinian State on Israel or to strengthen the Administration's BFF in Egypt,The Muslim Brotherhood, who aren't going to stop Hamas from rearming anyway.Any more than the Lebanese government or UNFIL stopped Hezbollah, as they were supposed to under UNSCR 1701.

BTW, the gambit of conquering Hamas with the IDF and turning it over to Abbas was tried before under similar circumstances during Cast Lead by Condi Rice, also no great friend of Israel. The Israelis decided on a ceasefire then too.

Also, IMO your comparison of the PLO and the situation with Hamas is not equivalent. In the case of the PLO, Israel was specifically told by the US to let them out of Beirut to an already prepared asylum in Tunis and not to kill Arafat, in order to to avoid angering the Saudis and the rest of the Arab League.

Same thing happened in Defensive Shield, when the IDF had that AIDs ridden little murderer cornered in the Muqata. Bush personally told Sharon not to kill him.

Hamas is a different story. No Sunni Arab nation wants them around because of their ties with Iran except Egypt - and Egypt is broke and needs US $$$.

Morsi will talk a good game, but in the end Hamas will rearm.

The only way to end this would be for Israel to reoccupy Gaza, send a lot of its inhabitants over the border to Egypt and annex it..


B.Poster said...

If this is so, this is truly sad. Unfortunately it is hardly surprising. Israel had a chance to cripple Hamas for good and to take out the PA as well. Both Hamas and the PA are bitter enemies of America as well. Having them destroyed or at least weakened would have been good for us. The best approach for us would have been to stay out of it and not interefere with Israel as they do what needs to be done.

When Israel agress to cease fires like this, they cut the legs out from under their allies in the US. Who are we to disagree with the decisions of a soverign nation who is allied with us. In my opinion, Israel should have politely refused to agree to such a thing as this that would allow Hamas to rearm adn should have continued to do what needed to be doen in destroying or at least crippling Hamas and the PA.

Of course Israel would not want their warriors to die for the PA. We had ours die for Iran in Iraq so its hardly surprising the American government would be that stupid but surely Israel is not. Again, they should have politely refused to the terms of the cease fire.

Essentially Mr. Sharon should have disobeyed Mr. Bush just as the Israelis should disobey any thing America or anyone else tells them today. Had Mr. Sharon disobeyed both Israel and America would be better off today than they are currently.

I think a reoccupation of Gaza is the way to go and sending the inhabitants elsewhere is the right approach. Its amazing that the myth of the US as pro-Israel continues. On balance, the US is anti-Israel. Frankly, the current "special relationship" benefits the citizens of neither country right now and likely never has. Perhaps it continues because certain elites in both countries benefti from it.

"Egypt is brok and needs US$$$" The US also needs Egyptian cooperatin as bad or not worse than Egypt needs US funds. At least this will be so until the US redeploys away from the ME to positions that are in line with its national interests and fundamentally restructures its economy. The needed fundamental restructing of the economy will take time and serious rationing of certain items will probably be required for quite some time.

As for the Iron Dome, this is well and good but it is defensive only. Can't win a war playing only defense. The US and Israel both despartely need new offensive weapons and new offensive capabilities. The US is especailly weak in this area right now.

In summary, Israel is a soverign nation and should make what ever decisions it feels it needs to make that serve its national interests. Not being an Israeli I am unable to speak for Israel nor would I presume to. As an American, I recognize Hamas is a dangerous enemy and wish Israel would have taken this enemy out. For our part, if any, in this, truly disgraceful on the part of the American government. It seems we've undercut an ally and emboldened an implacable enemy all in the same motion. Truly disgusting. How do nation states survive with leadership that stupid. God help us all!!

I sure wish Israel would have refused to go along. They'd be better off and so would we. At least, we would be.

B.Poster said...

I was a bit angry and still am angry when learning of the cease fire. It makes me even angries to hear of the Palestinians celebrating. After all these rather they be Hamas, the PA, or whatever flag they identify with are unified as enemies of America. Since I was a bit angry, the post was likely a bit rambling and may not have made sense.

The bottom line is, if Israel was going to take on Hamas and if they felf they needed Aemrican politcal cover to do so, all parties would have needed to be willing to commit to an operation that would last longer than 8 days!! To defeat or even seriously hurt an enemy as powerful as Hamas will take a minimum of 8 months, not 8 days and that's IF every thing goes perfectly!! Those engaging this enemy would likely need to allocate more than a year of intense combat to defeat this enemy. To think this could be done in only 8 days seems to be the height of insanity. Perhaps I'm missing something here.

Juniper in the Desert said...

I read, Daniel Greenfield I think, that Abbas rejected this as he has no desire to "run" a Hamas infested Gaza. He has never visited since he was ejected from there.

Bibi will have to keep quite for a bit and keep O busy with other stuff, then do a surprise attack and smash the whole place

independent patriot said...

Hi Rob,

Honestly what is Israel going to do with Gaza? Reoccupy another over 1 million Palestinians? Who is going to run Gaza if Israel gets rid of Hamas and Y should Israel do anything for Abbas? The reality is that right now it is better to have Abbas and Hamas at each others throats. let them fight and kill each other in the end.

I still think the scenario you say occurred with Obama is far fetched.Obama is not that stupid to think Israel would agree to your scenario. As far as Condi Rice is concerned, it is well known her antipathy for Israel. Where it comes from I would like to know since she doesn't seem to be on any particular payroll other than Standford.

Actually I also have a huge issue with people who sit in the comfort of their homes and are willing to sacrifice other people's children. I am sorry, despite the so-callled polls, that an average Israeli parent is not right now highly relieved that their children are not dieing in Gaza. Hamas is not the first foe that Israel has faced and quite frankly there has to be a coordination of technology, military and whether anyone likes it or not, international will at this point to go after the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza. This isn't 1967. Israel's is an interdependent nation and she needs to act accordingly. Do I think there will be another "war" with Hamas. Sadly I do, but now was not the time.

Read my post;

B.Poster said...

"Sadly I do, but now is not the time." You may be correct. If you are correct about the interdependence among nation states, then there is no time like the present to work on getting un interdependent!!

At least in the case of the US, that will take some time, effort, and very likely some major sacrfices. In the end though for our economic and security interests it would be well worth it!! This is very likely the case for Israel as well.

If coordination is needed, it does seem to be true that the US can and has from time to time run diplomatic interference for Israel. This comes at extreme costs for America to do this. As such, the parties may need to coordinate on just how much America is able to do in this regard.

Clearly, if America was only going to be able to do this for 8 days in the recent activities, this was not going to be enough time. To defeat an enemy as powerful, well armed, well led, and well trained as Hamas was going to take at least 8 months and this is if every thing goes perfectly!! It was and is ludicrous to think this could be done in only 8 days. As such, it seems as if someone may not have communicated properly.

When America pressures Israel, America is being intensely pressured as well. For example, OPEC can snap our economic neck at a time and place of their choosing by cutting off the oil supplies or raising the price of oil. China can snap our economic neck by refusing to supply us with the industrial goods that make America go. In contrast, America does not have similar leverage against either OPEC or China at this time, at least not against OPEC.

Its long been my considered opinion that Israel would be much better off without America. What ever it takes to sever the current relationship sshould be undertaken by Israel forthwith. In the mid to long term a change in the relationship between the two nations would be good for America as well. If managed properly, America would have a stalwart ally in a vital region of the world who be acting independently of America and would be acting as a buffer between us and very powerful enemies. In any event, it is and would be vitally important for America to remain on good terms with the state of Israel.

Rob said...

Hello Y'all, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Hi Juniper,

Abbas would certainly take Gaza as a gift if the IDF did the dirty work. And don't forget the other part of the deal Obama wanted, turning over large parts of Judea and Samaria (AKA the West Bank)and announcing Israel's support for a Pal state in those areas. Had Bibi done that, he wouldn't have been able to get elected dog catcher, let alone PM.

Hello IP,

Sometimes, a nation is faced with bad choices because of previous mistakes, so you take the best option you have.

In Israel's case, the bad choices date back to Camp David, when they could have either given Gaza back to Egypt or even better, insisted on annexing Gaza as part of Israel and insisting the Egyptians take the Arab population as Egyptians.

The disengagement from Gaza, the acceptance of 'security guarantees' from America, Egypt, the PA and the EU and the ethnic cleansing of the Jews there by Israel was another bad decision.

At this point, the best scenario would be for Israel to destroy Hamas, force at least a large part of the population back into Egypt (they're mainly Egyptians anyway) annexing Gaza to Israel and repopulating it with Jews.

It would ensure a lasting peace.

The second best option is simply to destroy Hamas and the threat to Israel and retain at least the outlying areas to Gaza City, as before.

The reason most Israelis are disappointed is not because they crave bloodshed, but because they realize that what happened here is just going to ensure that it happens again once Hamas rearms - and they will.

Many of them also sense that Israel, once again, was manipulated to do something not in its best interest by its American ally.

As for this being a 'scenario', it isn't. A scenario is a story, an imagined script. This is not a story or supposition. It is what I was told by two sources that definitely are in a position to know. And it fits with all the facts.

Looking around the net, I'm seeing that bits and pieces of this are starting to leak out elsewhere.

If you have an issue with me reporting it and analyzing it because, as you put it, I'm willing to sit in comfort and 'sacrifice other people's children' that is certainly your prerogative. The fact that you have absolutely no idea of whom I know in Israel, what friends or family I might have there or whom I might know that's been called up might just have given some people a moment of pause before uttering that kind of insult, but you are certainly entitled.

I might in turn say that you're willing to see even more of other people's children killed for a temporary quiet...but let's pretend I just thought it for a second and didn't.

Another thing you're mistaken about is Hamas and Fatah being 'at each other's throats' . You seem to forget the unity agreement, and the fact that Abbas and the Fatah Old Guard know they're on the way out. They already have Jordanian passports and their bank accounts filled with the money they stole are sitting in the EU and the Emirates, ready and waiting. Sources for this are all over my site.Anything Israel give up to the PA will end up in Hamas' hands.

I'm afraid, based on your comment, you also didn't get the main point of this article..Netanyahu was given a choice between finishing off Hamas with Obama's backing and handing Gaza over to Abbas along with most of Judea and Samaria or making Morsi's Islamist government look good by accepting a meaningless ceasefire that Bibi knew would be seen as an Israeli defeat by Hamas and the Arabs.

Netanyahu isn't stupid. He knows that all Israel gained from this was the destruction of a good part of Hamas' Iranian missile arsenal and a temporary period of relative quiet, along with a possible rationale to go into Gaza if the truce doesn't hold. He chose the best available out of two bad options forced on him by Obama.

You, of course, can believe whatever you like.

B.Poster said...

It's really quite simple or so it seems. Simply say no to any pressure by Obama or anyone else. Mr. Obama is not so tough.

Israel does not have to deal with him. We do. We should be so lucky.

Btw, even a Romney or Republican Administration would be no different in its treatment to Israel. US politicians and political leaders always talk a good game with regards to Israel but their actions always tell a different story.

If Israel feels "manipulated" then this would suggest they may be ready to do what they should have done years ago. Change the nature of the relationship with America. Don't accept any more aid from America. Sure there might be a downside to this but what Israel would gain in freedom of operation would more than outweigh what they lost. In time, this would likely lead to a much more fruitful relationship between the two countries.

Far from being at each others throats Hamas and Fatah are unified in their hatred of both Israel and America. Perhaps America was "manipulated" by its European and Arab "allies." Then, in turn, Israel was manipulated.

Truly sickening to see a bitter enemy of America celebrating what is percieved by all as victory on their part. Apparently our Presidential Aministration and Congress have no shame in utterly failing the people they are supposed to be representing.

It does seem that Israel cuts the legs out of the supporters in America when they agree to these ridiculous cease fires. As you correctly point out though, a nation is often faced with bad choices because of prior decisions it made. This is especailly true of America. If it wishes to survive at this point, its only real option is a complete redeployment away from the ME. Once its forces are properly deployed, it will at least have a fighting chance to defend itself. That and much prayer will be needed. Really no good choices available for America at this point.

Pressuing a stalwart ally to do something contrary to its just interests is definitely no way to go. Seeing how Mubarak was treated, how Israel is being treated, how the government of Tunisa was treated, how Libya was treated after they had reached a deal with us it seems likely others would take notice and act accordingly to us. Might this at least partially expalin why America is the most universally despised nation on earth? I think to a large extent it does.

Of course in the cases of Libya or Egypt, it is unlikely those governments could have been saved even if we wished to save them. I suppose this comes back to bad choices made previously by nations leading to only bad choices today. The least bad choice in this situation would have been to stay out of these things entirely.

B.Poster said...


I agree. Israelis do not crave bloodshed. They realize as you say that this does not solve the problem and Hamas will simply rearm and this will happen all over again. If Americans truly understood the stakes in this war, they would be disappointed in this outcome too. Hamas and Fatah are bitter enemies of America, as well and will harm us or destroy us at any opportunity they get. Israel had a golden opportunity to crush Hamas once and for all and it was allowed to slip away yet again.

Unfortunately destroying Hamas was never going to be quick and easy. Best case scenario it would take a year or more of military action to do the job. There was and is simply no way this could be done in eight days or even a few months. We need to carefully count the costs and benefits of these things before undertaking them.

Israelis and informed Americans are not disappointed at this outcome because they or we crave bloodshed or are monsters. It is because they and we understand the nature of the existential threat that Hamas is to our nations. As it is, hey will have to be fought again in the future and it will likely be even more difficult next time.

Dick Stanley said...

Your lil birdy's song sounds perfectly plausible to me. Fits our Muslim-lovin prez to a T. I'm glad someone in Jerusalem is tattling on him. Bibi should do it publically. It's the best way to back Barry down. He is a coward. Although I still wonder whether Hamas could not be taken down by simply cutting off Gaza's electricity? Would take longer, maybe, than a ground battle, but there'd be fewer IDF casualties.