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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A meaningless 'acceptance'

French President Nicolai Sarcozy discovered on Wednesday that it's very difficult to force your views on other countries in the international arena, especially where one of the two parties on whom you wish to impose your will has good reason to mistrust your intentions.

Sarcozy announced in the afternoon that Israel and the 'Palestinian Authority' had 'accepted' his 'cease fire' plan. That was already a meaningless statement: Israel's interlocutor in Gaza is Hamas, not the 'Palestinian Authority.'

Sarcozy has apparently convinced the Egyptians that they have to 'monitor' the smuggling on the Gaza - Egypt border. Since there is no longer any love lost between Egypt and Hamas, he even got the Egyptians to agree to 'international monitors.'

But Israel didn't go into Gaza to get the Fwench to try to impose a 'cease fire,' and certainly not one that would re-open all of the border crossings between Gaza and Israel with no guarantees of Israeli security. This afternoon, Israel clarified that
when the cabinet stated it viewed French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's offer "favorably" earlier in the day, it did not mean Israel wholeheartedly accepted it.

Sources in the Prime Minister's Office said that Israel was ready to accept parts of the offer which were in line with its own interests - a complete cessation in terror activity and a halt to weapons smuggling through the Gaza-Egypt border.
Two hours after the 'acceptance,' the cabinet gave the IDF an okay to continue with Operation Cast Lead. This may mean that we are approaching the rumored third phase of the plan, which would put the IDF in control of Rafah and Khan Yunis - and maybe even Gaza City - the same way the IDF now controls the northern Gaza Strip. Israel did make one small concession to the international pressure that has resulted from yesterday's strike on a Gaza school: It agreed to a three-hour break in the fighting to allow civilians to re-stock. The break, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, will likely happen every day so long as the 'Palestinians' behave themselves during those hours.

Meanwhile, Hamas has no interest in a 'cease fire,' and has shot more than twenty rockets into Israel today. Speaking from the relative safety of Damascus, Moussa Abu Marzouk, the deputy head of Hamas' political bureau, said that Hamas will never accept a permanent 'cease fire' so long as Israel continues its 'occupation.' And he doesn't just mean so long as we are in Judea and Samaria.
He said that Hamas stood by its demand for Israel to immediately halt its offensive, to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and to open all of the border crossings.


Marzouk said, however, that Hamas was studying the various initiatives coming from France, Turkey, Syria and Egypt to bring about a cease-fire.
This war is not over yet. I'd look for it to continue for the rest of the week.

By the way, thanks to all of you, I am currently leading in the 2008 Weblog Awards competition for Best Midsize Blog. But the blog that has emerged in second place called today's 'acceptance' of the French 'cease fire' plan 'welcome news' for the 'beleaguered Palestinians.' That's yet another reason why if you have not done so in the last 24 hours, please vote for my blog, Israel Matzav, as Best Midsize blog in the 2008 Weblog Awards by going here.

If you don't vote, I can do a bunch of moronic posts that say "Vote for me, vote for me!" That will thrill the people who get an email every time I post.

I also have pictures of Lauren Booth to inflict on people in case I need them....


At 8:36 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Agreed. The importance of the French-Egyptian proposal lies in the fact that Israel has politically isolated Hamas. That is no small achievement to get France and Egypt on Israel's side. Israel did not pay a big price for saying she "looked on it positively" and the Hamas fanatics are fighting a war they now cannot win. Let's hope they keep it up.

At 8:47 PM, Blogger Naftali2 said...

I said this the other day in my little blog, that Abbas met with Sarkozy to cut a deal--how much will it cost for Abbas to act like a statesman instead of a feckless terrorist leader. Abbas is ready for such a deal because he can feel Hamas' knife at his throat.

In the meantime, Hamas has turned Gaza into an ant farm with weapons and rocket caches everywhere. Israel has to find these caches and destroy them. I do believe the task of destroying Hamas itself will enthusiastically be taken up by Fatah, albeit very quietly.

At 3:17 PM, Blogger The Lone Cabbage said...

far be it from me to suggest anything positive about the french. But generally Sarkozy is considered pro-Israel.

Perhaps, much of the fwench protest is just for show. In the last conflict Israel immediately ran to the fwench and the UN, for a cease fire. The image that Israel caves to international pressure has been an achilies heel in our "deterrence" factor. Were Sarkozy playing a straw-man for Israel to rebuff (without any real consequences since he's in on it); Israel would benefit tremendously.

Assuming the IDF can bring home some real victories, like stopping the rockets, or the head of Hamas impaled on a pike; the recent attacks on mosques and UN buildings will actually increase the deterrence factor, demonstrably showing that Israel will not hold it's self to such limitations in the 'next' conflict.


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