Here’s what I recall seeing in the media about the Gaza negotiations and proposed terms:
- The blockade was being lifted.
- The fishing limit was being extended.
- An airport was to be built.
- A sea port was to be built.
- Gaza was to be rebuilt.
And then came the breakdown, the rocket fire, and we are back on a war footing.
First, it seems as if a lot of the leaks about progress in negotiations were garbage. They did not make sense as it was difficult to see how Israel could give Hamas a meaningful reward for terror.
Second, it also seems that Bibi Netanyahu had a better handle on the situation – long term and short term – than many others. This piece in the Times of Israel says:
At some point, it might be worth internalizing what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been saying since the start of Operation Protective Edge six weeks ago: that Israel should be prepared for a long conflict.
Third, there’s no doubt the defamation of Israel by the international media – which has ceaselessly and uncritically promoted Hamas’ war porn propaganda – along with large, vocal demonstrations by Palestinians and their supporters, has had an effect. Western politicians like David Cameron and Barrack Obama behaved in a cowardly fashion. The UK’s especially craven surrender is reminiscent of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when Britain refused to send military supplies to Israel for fear of incurring an oil embargo. (France behaved likewise then.) This is likely to have two main consequences.
- Whatever arms manufacturing Israel has in the UK – mainly Israeli subsidiaries – will be wound up. Either the manufacturing will come to Israel, or perhaps the USA. It’s unlikely Israel will continue to put its weapons capability at risk of such interference again.
- Whatever actions Israel takes towards Gaza (or indeed, towards Iran) will depend on the extent to which Israel can roll back International condemnation and turn it into support. As David Horovitz says in that TOI piece: “But only if Hamas believes its survival is in danger, its capacity to live to fight Israel another day in doubt, will it call a long-term halt to the fire — the kind of halt that would constitute the attainment of Netanyahu’s sought-after sustained calm. And that would require a far more significant military operation than the Israeli government, mindful of the likely consequent losses, has been prepared to authorize. It would also require a more astute assessment of the conflict from the international community than we have seen to date, providing more dependable support for Israel.“
In short, as matters stand, we are going to have to be patient. And we should ignore the noise and nonsense from those who suggest a material deviation from Bibi’s position. Indeed, Bibi’s position is the common sense one. As I have said before, whatever mistakes the man and the leader may have made, one of the reasons he is so vilified by Israel’s enemies is that he continues to succeed in keeping us largely safe and protected from the murderous intent of some of our neighbors.
Back to David Horovitz:
“Indeed, to the ongoing cost of Gazans and Israelis, it is not about to meekly defer to anybody. Hamas is not in the business of governing Gaza; it’s in the terrorism business, and terrorist groups are not easily deterred.”
I’m backing Bibi to create the deterrence.