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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Proof of Life

Israel calls its unilateral ceasefire, claiming that its goals for the operation have been met.

Hamas fires rockets to belie that claim.

This was always how this would end. Despite their hopes and rhetoric, there is no way for Israel to "win" this conflict and dislodge Hamas from the Gaza strip through force. Like Hezbullah in 2006, Hamas can claim victory simply by surviving.

(Not to draw an ideological parallel, but, "the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night, that our flag was still there....")

That's what these Hamas rockets are, not a violation of a ceasefire so much as a symbol that Hamas survives.

Later: After proving they could still shoot, Hamas announces its own week long ceasefire with the proviso that Israel use that time to withdraw its troops.

Later Still: Olmert floats that Israel doesn't want to stay in Gaza assuming they can get assurance the ceasefire will hold.


  • By what measure could this possibly be considered an Israeli victory? I don't get it.

    From here on it's spin. And with 1,000-plus dead Palestinians and a bunch of bombed out UN buildings, and with world opinion what it is... It's gonna take a lot of turbo-spinning.

    By Blogger -epm, at 10:08 AM  

  • Plus they've strengthened Hamas by negotiating, albeit indirectly.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:27 AM  

  • EPM, Pretty much "body counts." In the first article linked,

    "In announcing the truce late Saturday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel would withhold fire after achieving its goals and more.

    "Hamas was hit hard, in its military arms and in its government institutions. Its leaders are in hiding and many of its men have been killed," Olmert said."


    Anon, agreed. Also strengthened Hamas relative to Fatah in the West Bank.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:42 AM  

  • I think the whole thing has been mainly aimed at Obama.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:27 AM  

  • I see it more like the security "fence." When its apparent you may have to negotiate, create a new reality on the ground that redraws the lines in your favor.

    For instance, if a security arrangement is coming with some sort of limitation on Hamas' arms, push them down as low as you can before the negotiation starts.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 1:16 PM  

  • Right but it also looks like an attempt to lock Obama in. Make it hard for him to deal with Hamas and/or Iran directly.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:46 PM  

  • Okay, I get ya.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 2:00 PM  

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