Shame on you, Netanwho?victory' this morning.
"We were victorious in the negotiation phase,” said Liran Dan, Head of the National Information Directorate in the Prime Minister's Office, in an interview with IDF Radio Wednesday. “The military blow that the IDF dealt Hamas – the hardest it has experienced since it was founded – was heavy and meaningful. What we saw is that in a prolonged and well executed campaign, Hamas suffered a harsh military blow and damage to the most heavily constructed arrays it built.”
Idan said that Hamas built up networks of rockets, attack tunnels and terror forces over years with the intent of using them against Israel, and these have been smashed by the IDF.
"We should ask the opposite question,” Dan said. “What has Hamas achieved with this campaign? It set out with a very clear goal and did not achieve it.” Hamas wanted sea and air ports, it wanted funding allowed into Gaza, it wanted the blockade of Gaza lifted, it wanted the terrorists who were released in the Schalit deal and recently rearrested released, it wanted Turkey and Qatar to mediate in the negotiations, and received none of these things, he noted.
Hamas thought that the Israeli public's spirit would break after one week's fighting, and was proved wrong, he insisted.Really? Guess what's on the agenda next week in Cairo.... Air and sea ports? Check. Funding? Check. Lifting blockade? Check. Terrorist release? Check. 12-mile fishing limit? Check. The only thing that might not be on the agenda is replacing Egypt with Turkey and Qatar. So just what did Israel achieve by agreeing to a cease fire when it had Hamas reeling?
Haaretz's Barak Ravid got it right last night.
The same Benjamin Netanyahu who ran for election five years ago, after Operation Cast Lead, on the platform that the mission had not been accomplished, that Hamas rule had to be destroyed and that he was the only one who could do it.
Netanyahu's conduct during the 50 days of fighting in Gaza highlighted the gap between his statements and promises and the reality. The prime minister, who was the most strident in his statement against Hamas, ended the confrontation with the organization in the weakest position. All he wanted was to achieve a cease-fire at just about any price. When the opportunity came, he simply grabbed it and ran.
The Egyptian cease-fire proposal that Israel accepted on Tuesday did not deliver a single achievement. The only thing that the prime minister's spokesmen could boast about on Tuesday was the denial of achievements to Hamas, such as the dissolution of its demands for a sea port, an airport and salary payments. But all those demands will be raised during the negotiations with Hamas that will resume in Cairo next week.
In return for unlimited quiet, Israel agreed to immediately open the border crossings with Gaza to humanitarian aid and to extend the fishing zone to a distance of six nautical miles. Israel also agreed to the immediate entry of construction materials for the rebuilding of Gaza, without any guarantee from either Egypt or Hamas for the establishment of a monitoring mechanism to ensure that the cement and concrete is not used for the rehabilitation of the tunnels project.
The Egyptian proposal didn't include any statement, not even a hint, regarding Israel's security demands. There was nothing about the demilitarization of the strip, the re-arming or the issue of the tunnels. When reading the thin Egyptian document to which Benjamin Netanyahu agreed, John Kerry's draft – which was rejected by the cabinet with a disdain that bordered on humiliation of the secretary of state – suddenly looks like the proposal of the year.
So just what has Netanyahu achieved? An audience with King Barack after the November elections that will bring nothing but more demands?The third agreement that Netanyahu has signed with Hamas since he entered office in 2009 does not even return Israel to the starting point with Gaza. Netanyahu just wanted to return to the status quo that has become a personal ideology, but the reality is that Israel has regressed.