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Friday, August 15, 2014

A 'win-win'... for Hamas

Although largely defeated militarily, Hamas has succeeded in attacking Israel and using it to drive an even deeper wedge between the Jewish state and its 'most trusted ally.' This is David Horovitz.
It becomes ever harder to understand what the US administration thinks it is doing in the Middle East. Its influence is waning across the region. It appears insufficiently robust — to put it mildly — when dealing with the region’s most dangerous regimes, notably Iran. Its ill-judged lack of enthusiasm for Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi — apparently blamed by Washington for ending an elected Muslim Brotherhood presidency, even though president Mohammed Morsi would likely have ensured no further elections — is pushing Egypt ever closer to Russia. And now ties with the region’s only democracy are fraying.
Some in the administration appear to labor under the delusion that if only Benjamin Netanyahu — described by some US officials in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal as “reckless and untrustworthy” — could be weakened and eased aside, Israelis might elect a leadership more inclined to follow its thinking and consider territorial compromise in the cause of a rejuvenated peace process with the Palestinians. The fact is, of course, that an Israel attempting to de-fang Hamas, concerned at the possibility of rising tensions in the West Bank, aware that Hezbollah in Lebanon is many times more powerful than Hamas is, and watching Iran working to outwit the West on its route to nuclear weapons, is as likely to veer left as Hamas is to voluntarily disarm. Far from being the most obdurate prime minister, Netanyahu is the most moderate that Israel can be expected to choose in the foreseeable future.
It is frankly astounding to the overwhelming majority of Israelis that Israel is being blamed for and pressured to end a war it manifestly sought to avoid — against a terrorist-government sworn to its destruction that repeatedly breaches the ceasefire efforts Israel consistently accepts. That the conflict is widely misrepresented, and that hostile governments are critical, is bad enough for Israel. Far, far graver is that key allies, to one degree or another, are turning upon it.
Rather than criticizing Israel for seeking to protect its civilians from Hamas, and moving now to limit its capacity to do so, the US, UK and the rest of the international community should be emphatically backing Israel in its struggle against the cynical Hamas — for the sake, too, of the civilians of Gaza. They should be insisting that Hamas disarm. And they should be making clear that they share Israel’s and Egypt’s concern that lifting the blockade is not tenable so long as any easing of restrictions would be exploited by Hamas.
They would thus be underlining the message to Gazans that Hamas is not fighting for their freedom, as it claims, but is, through its pursuit of war against Israel, denying them their freedom.
They would also be giving Israel reason to believe that when it finds itself in crisis — in good part, it can be argued, because it undertook a territorial withdrawal widely urged by the international community — the world will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with it. Right now, the sense in Israel is quite the reverse — not support, but abandonment.
From Hamas’s point of view, it must be a source of immense delight to witness the strains, and practical fallout, in the relationship between Washington and Jerusalem. It wins an election in which the US insisted it be allowed to take part, even though it has never renounced terrorism. It murders its way to control of Gaza. It diverts Gaza’s resources to turn the Strip into one great big terrorist bunker. It hits Israel, over and over and over again. It intimidates international journalists to not report on and film its attack methods. And the international community condemns Israel, the UN sets up inquiries into Israeli war crimes, and Israel’s allies limit its arms supplies.
All it needs to do, Hamas can only conclude, is keep firing at Israel’s towns and villages, forcing Israel to respond, confident that this will bring still more criticism down on Israel as well as growing restrictions on Israel’s ability to defend itself. Wow, the Hamas leaders must be thinking, the free world is just so dumb.
John Podhoretz adds regarding the US block on Hellfire missiles to Israel:
Simply put: It’s a gigantic hissy fit, an expression of rage against Bibi Netanyahu, by whom the administration feels dissed. The  quotes in this article are almost beyond belief. In the annals of American foreign policy, no ally has ever been talked about in this way.
EXAMPLE: A senior U.S. official said the U.S. and Israel clashed mainly because the U.S. wanted a cease-fire before Mr. Netanyahu was ready to accept one. “Now we both want one,” one of the officials said.
This is also transparently absurd. Netanyahu didn’t want this war, and is transparently eager for any way to extricate Israel from a long struggle. What he can’t accept is a cease-fire that leaves Hamas with sufficient firepower and with intact tunnels—which is something you’d think the United States would similarly support.
EXAMPLE: “It’s become very personal,” an official tells the Wall Street Journal. Yeah, no kidding. That’s a great way to make policy.
For five and a half years now, some Israel advocates have been attempting to make the case to others that there is something new and dark in the Obama administration’s perspective on Israel—that there is an animus as pronounced as the one during the administration of the Elder George Bush, which was so self-evident the Jewish vote for Bush in the 1992 reelection was a staggeringly low 11 percent.
This Wall Street Journal article should now leave no illusions. In its transparent hostility—not to mention the cowardice of hiding behind anonymity to issue its repugnant bitch-slaps—the Obama administration is worse than the Bush 41 administration. It’s the worst since Eisenhower. Were it not for Iron Dome, it would be the worst ever. And given the decision to hold up weaponry during wartime, it may yet surpass Eisenhower.
 And Eisenhower came around to support Israel in his second term.

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