What Israel Needs to Do and Demand Diplomatically about Gaza
Israel seems to have won the war in Gaza militarily. Eventhough the Hamas is still shooting rockets at Israeli cities and the very top Hamas leader, Khaled Mash`al in Damascus, is calling for unending war, Ismail Haniyah the Hamas political leader in Gaza itself sounded like he wanted a cease fire very badly. Hence, what is needed now is to win --not the peace, unlikely in any case, but the cease fire. Israel's military campaign seems to have been excellently conducted by General Gabriel Ashkenazi. But the diplomatic side of the struggle is confused, going in different directions, lacking clear-sighted leadership --and not making the right demands that need to be accepted by the international community, the powers, the West, or whatever it's called.
We need to state several goals. These include what I called for in my post of a few days ago.
1) Israeli troops controlling the Philadelphi Corridor, the border zone between Gaza and Egypt, because international forces cannot be trusted. Or, such forces, whether NATO or EU or UN can be trusted to be hostile to Israel and to serve the interests of their governments or organizations. European observers have watched over the crossing between Egypt and Gaza since the criminal withdrawal from Gaza in August 2005, that is, 3 1/2 years. Whether or not they tried to stop the import of weapons into Gaza through the border crossing, they did not have anything to do with the underground tunnels through which the grad/katyusha rockets were brought into Gaza without interference from either European observers or Egyptians troops/police. Only our own forces can be trusted to stop bringing weapons into Gaza and they must control above ground and under ground.
2) the release of Gilad Shalit. Moreover, Red Cross access to Shalit, required by international law, must precede any negotiations for a cease fire. The scandal of holding Shalit incomunicado --if he is still alive-- for 2 1/2 years must end. If the ICRC is not given access to Shalit, then that is justification for prevention of ICRC access to Gaza and provision of humanitarian services to its population. That is international law.
3) disarmament of Hamas and other Arab terrorist forces in Gaza of all heavy weapons as enumerated in our post of 5 January 2009. This is obviously needed to prevent future attacks from Gaza. Disarmament can be carried out by international observers with Israeli officers together. It will not happen without Israeli officers along.
4) Israel control/censorship of all radio and TV broadcasting from Gaza plus school curriculum and teaching, etc. This is already part of the so-called Road Map that the Euro hypocrites want to force on Israel. But only those parts that help the Arabs and weaken Israel. The Euros and the Quartet seem to have forgotten that vital part of their own Road Map.
In addition, Israel should propose that those who are so concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza [the situation in Sderot did not interest them for the last eight years] who are often those who claim --falsely-- that Gaza is the most crowded place on earth and other such nonsense, relieve the crowding and the poor humanitarian situation in Gaza by letting people there migrate. For a start, Egypt could let several tens of thousands of refugees from Gaza stay in Egypt, if only temporarily. Also, forcing the media, press, schools, etc. in Gaza to be more humane in their teaching could only be humanitarian for the children growing up there. Enough of the genocidal Hamas version of Sesame Street for instance.
Lastly, Israel must clearly state that Hamas ideology is genocidal, Nazi-like. This is part of the answer to the Euro-hypocrites who are so concerned over the Gaza humanitarian state of things. Every one should be urged to read the Hamas Covenant [& commentary]. Further, we ought to remind everyone that there are much severer, much graver humanitarian crises in Africa, in Sudan for example, where genocide and mass murder have been going on for 52 years
on and off.
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UPDATING 1-15-2009 Martin Peretz --of all people-- agrees with me that Hamas does not want to make peace and will not make peace, so the only acceptable outcome [besides destroying Hamas as much as possible] is a permanent cease fire without loop holes allowing Hamas to rearm, etc. See here.
Coming: More on Zbig's schemes, Obama's dishonesty, the "Left's" lies, Jews in Jerusalem, Hebron, archeology, propaganda analysis, peace follies, etc