18 thoughts on “Gaza: Of the Making of Many Ceasefires There is No End – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Question when was the last time an occupying power successfully fought an asymmetric war? Literally I am having trouble recalling if any country has been successful in the past 100 years..

      1. The blockade is still in place, so yes, the people of Gaza haven’t won, even apart from the horrific loss of life.

      2. As they say about asymmetric warfare, if the guerrillas haven’t lost, they’ve won.

        We’ll have to wait to see who is the real winner.

      3. @ Frank: Not really. The people of Gaza are proud of their fighters’ resistance. The losers are the victims and their families, especially those in Israel who died for nothing in a war fought to preserve the political prerogatives of generals and pols.

        1. It’s too early to judge, of course, but I don’t believe Israel thinks it’s the winner. It’s too aware of the enormous price it’s paid, and will continue to pay, in negative world public opinion. And there’s no doubt Israel was stunned to suffer so many military casualties, all killed in combat. Unlike many of the Palestinian fighters who were killed by remote control, as were all the civilian Palestinian victims. The immediate losers are of course the civilian victims in Gaza. And the poor Thai worker killed in Israel, and the unfortunate Bedouin man who was not entitled to a shelter or even a siren. His village was unrecognized and without services, and he would likely have been ethnically cleansed had he not been killed. The only Jewish civilian killed was the man delivering food packages to IDF troops, and if he were a Palestinian civilian delivering food to the resistance Israel would have called him a terrorist. So there were no Israel civilians killed. Palestine has made many new friends, and it’s clear Israel has lost many and likely gained none. So we must wait and see who really won. I hope it will turn out to be Palestine. Israel must be stopped. It can’t be allowed to invade Gaza every couple of years just to keep the Palestinian people “in their place” which is of course under Israel’s boot.

  2. I do not know how Richard could imagine that Egypt will be “rebuilding” Gaza. If the history will repeat itself, for a few years Israel , with Egyptian help. will allow next to nothing to be brought to Gaza, perhaps some tents. In the milder version, it will tax other countries on the building materials crossing Israeli check points. Gazans, of course, can do it themselves if it will be allowed to give them materials.

    1. Egypt is no position to rebuild Gaza. Egypt is an economic basket case, propped up only by the Persian Gulf States and Saudi Arabian money.

  3. Israel seems to think it has achieved its objectives and there may now be a truce that holds and possibly even some sort of negotiation, though probably not directly with Hamas.

    Peace can only come through the rule of law being applied to both sides, which is the essence of Baroness Warsi’s case.
    What Israel is trying to do, Hamas too, less successfully, is to fight for advantage and then “negotiate” from a position of strength. This can only generate ongoing conflict. Anytime that the law is broken in the course of getting an agreement, you can guarantee that the agreement will be broken too.

    The loss of life is somewhere approaching two thousand, perhaps more if we knew the truth about Hamas fighters buried in tunnels, and the economic cost to Gaza is around £6bn. Hamas regards the dead as martyrs and therefore it can afford one or two thousand dead, but it can’t afford everyone being reduced to hand to mouth poverty, which is what is happening. Hamas will have to use force on the people of Gaza to remain in control.

    Either we are going to see something like Cambodia under Pol Pot, or Hamas are going to have to change, or be got rid of. But this will not be the end of the problem, merely the end of Hamas. You will still have a population living where Israel is unwilling to let them live. What will cause problems for Israel is if Hamas is replaced by something ostensibly less extreme, but actually cleverer than Hamas.

    Hamas has never failed to provide sufficient law-breaking of its own to cover any breaches made by the Israelis in the eyes of the major powers. A cleverer organization might refrain from always rising to every bait, and that would leave Israel exposed, breaking international law on its own with no excuse of rockets or kidnap to get out of jail free each time.

    The international community must cease to allow one wrong to justify others, and impose the rule of law on both sides instead. This will be unpopular with supporters of both sides, but is the only available path to sanity.

  4. RS said, “This is an odd development considering that only two days ago Hamas succeeded in one of its boldest military successes, the ambush of an IDF tunnel unit..”

    Pretending to agree to a ceasefire, and than attacking unsuspecting troops, seems more like a sucker punch than a bold military success. Hamas even tried to cover up their devious diplomacy.

    1. I don’t think they were unsuspecting, just unlucky on the day. They were obviously expecting something to happen like an ambush: it didn’t catch them unawares it just caught them. None of the ambush team survived, it seems, so the surviving IDF soldiers reacted immediately, albeit very harshly as far as their wounded colleague was concerned.

      They were ambushed because their orders required them to secure the tunnel regardless of the dangers, not because they didn’t think it was dangerous to do so.

    2. @ Frank: “Unsuspecting troops?” What are you talkin’ about? These are fully armed troops engaged in an offensive operation on enemy soil. If they were surprised they had only themselves to blame.

      You’re now moderated.

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