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Saturday, June 14th

What not to do in Gaza or anywhere

I have to confess to a grave error of judgment and understanding regarding solutions for the Gaza situation.

I thought that No easy answers for Gaza had explained why there is no easy immediate solution to the problem of Hamas rule in Gaza. I was wrong. Well meaning people continue to offer "solutions" and to wonder why they are not adopted. Similar "solutions" are also offered for the Hezbollah problem, Iraq and Islamist extremism in general. It is evident that a more detailed explanation is needed.


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Ami Isseroff on 06.14.08 @ 05:41 PM CST [link]

Friday, June 13th

No easy answers for Gaza

After I wrote Gaza Monopoly, several people wrote to ask, "OK, what is your solution?"

I had no intention of providing a solution. I only intended to explain some of the reasons why the Israeli government is not rushing to adopt either of the simplistic solutions suggested by pundits of right and left: "wipe 'em out" or "cut a deal." A deal would legitimize Hamas rule and give it a new lease on life. If Israel is willing to abide Hamas rule, it would signal to Europeans and others that it is OK for them to deal with Hamas. A military operation is risky and costly.


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Ami Isseroff on 06.13.08 @ 08:06 PM CST [link]

Thursday, June 12th

Gaza Monopoly

It should have been no surprise that the Israeli security cabinet, after much noise, decided against conducting a full scale operation of Gaza - "just yet." The same conditions that obtained in April, when I explained why no Gaza operation would probably be forthcoming, even after the Israel 60th anniversary carnival is over. The "near future" of last April is now. The carnival is over. The guests went home. But there is still no "exit plan" and there was no "massive provocation" that could justify a large scale attack, and therefore there could be no attack.

A few things did change. An additional reason for not carrying out an attack has crystallized around Egyptian efforts to broker a truce and reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. An Israeli invasion would embarrass and anger Egypt. Another factor that has entered the equation is the inevitability of upcoming elections in Israel.


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Ami Isseroff on 06.12.08 @ 08:14 PM CST [link]

Sunday, June 8th

Israeli Palestinian Negotiations: Deja vu all over again

In 2000 and 2001, Israel, the United States and the Palestinians conducted "secret" negotiations under the principle that nothing is agreed that everything is agreed, and stipulating that no sides are to release any details of the negotiations. As it turned out, the negotiations led nowhere except to the so-called second Intifadah. After the fact, partisans of each side published their own versions and commentary of what was offered and what happened. It is pretty certain that we can know most of what was really offered in 2000 and 2001 according to the account of Dennis Ross. Palestinians were offered a contiguous state in 97% of the West Bank and all of Gaza, free passage between them and sovereignty over a part of the Old City of Jerusalem as well as East Jerusalem suburbs. The status of the Temple Mount was apparently also discussed, but it is not clear what was included in the Israeli offer. In the hands of various anti-Israel publicists from Robert Malley to Jimmy Carter and Tony Klug, this offer was reduced to nonviable "Bantustans" - a fiction that they use to justify the Palestinian violence.


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Ami Isseroff on 06.08.08 @ 02:40 PM CST [link]


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