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As we predicted, an Arab effort to arrange a ceasefire in the Middle East took center stage for several days this past week, with countless, well-publicized meetings of Egyptian diplomats, Palestinian Prime Minister Abu Mazen and Hamas leaders. As is now known, that effort, at least for public consumption and at least for the next few days, has failed. Having counted on the worldwide horror over the carnage wreaked by Hamas, and misreading
President Bush – the Rantisi crowd, Abu Mazen and Egypt, as the Arab world’s stalking horse, went through a public charade of seemingly earnestly seeking to stanch the violence. However, they knew full well that it was all simply an effort to work a presumably cowed world community and get through this period of Israeli resolve with Hamas still in possession of its weapons, and the Palestinian terror option preserved for the expected “road map”
negotiations to come.
Sensing an opening when President Bush spoke of being “deeply troubled” by the IDF’s targeting of Rantisi, the Arab side revealed its true colors. They thought Israel’s hands were about to be tied, and proceeded to offer a ceasefire if Israel would agree in advance to halt targeted assassinations, release Palestinian prisoners, and completely withdraw from all Palestinian administered areas in the West Bank. In sum, they were simply negotiating the realization of all of Hamas’ – and the Palestinians’ – short term goals. Of course, the “road map,” which the Arabs made a big thing of accepting, calls for the dismantling of the Hamas infrastructure. And it was the great mistake of Oslo to have surrendered parts of the West Bank to Palestinian autonomy in return for a promise of an end to violence. But this was just the latest example – and harbinger – of Palestinian negotiating methods.
What they did not count on was that Ariel Sharon, no matter how concerned about the attacks on Israelis, was not about to leave the Hamas leadership inviolate and free to plan even further attacks. And he certainly had no intention of negotiating for the end of the attacks against Israelis by throwing away the recent gains against Hamas and by granting Hamas time to regroup.
But by far the most critical miscalculation concerned President Bush. After seeing the encouragement the Palestinians took from his comment on the Rantisi attack that he was poised to clamp down on Prime Minister Sharon – the Jaffa bus bombing immediately followed. The President pointedly spoke of the need for the world community to take “harsh” action against Hamas and declared it and the other terrorist groups to be the impediments to peace. A negotiated ceasefire institutionalizing Hamas’ right to retain its weapons and aggressive capacity was not to be in the cards. Even State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said, “The idea of a cease-fire as a step along the way is a good one, but ultimately it has to lead to that kind of dismantlement that the President talked about, denying them the ability to carry out attacks.” It was not for nothing that Hamas condemned the President’s statement saying it amounted to “a new aggression” on the Palestinians.
But no matter. Count on the Palestinians to keep trying to push their agenda by any means possible – including terror – and to continue to try to exploit any hint of weakness on the part of President Bush. Thus, count on, in the very near future, both a new set of Hamas outrages and a renewed effort to arrange a ceasefire to once again test Mr. Bush’s resolve about allowing Israel to do what has to be done. And don’t think for a moment that, regardless of
what it says about the extent of his authority, Abu Mazen does not salivate at the prospect of Hamas being around with the ability to scare the heck out of the Americans.
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Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive
There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN
Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well
Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.
Kids shouldn’t have “uninstructed” Internet access, better to train them how to use it responsibly
What if years from now, IS were to control substantial territory? What world havoc would that wreak?
Rambam writes the verse’s double term refers to 2 messiahs: first King David; 2nd the final Mashiach
The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi
The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”
“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.
And whereas at the outset the plan was that Iran would have to surrender most of its centrifuges, it will now be able to retain several thousand.
Now oil independent, US no longer needs its former strategic alliances with Gulf States-or Israel
Can adoption agencies limit the placement of children to heterosexual couples only?
It wasn’t too long ago that Mr. Erdogan, in his determination to burnish Turkey’s credentials as an Islamist state at the cost of the secularism that had brought much economic and political success to Turkey, upended his country’s decades-long cooperative relationship with Israel.
Does the pope really believe that Father Dehon’s destructive anti-Jewish calumnies do not disqualify him from the highest honor of the Catholic Church because in his time everyone did it?
There was something else of great importance in play – something we would have liked to see him take into account before deciding to stand with the boycotters.
“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”
Beyond the particulars of this tragic death, however, we should all be concerned about the possibility that a criminal prosecution in a major American city is being driven by fear of mobs in the street.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/a-ceasefire-in-context/2003/07/18/
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