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The Next 24 Hours: Ceasefire or Ground Invasion

The fulcrum pivot of Operation Pillar of Defense is fast approaching

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IDF Soldiers Near a Base by Gaza(Reuters)

By tomorrow evening in Israel, it will most likely be determined whether Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense will end in an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Hamas or if it will expand into a ground invasion of Gaza.

Over at Ha’aretz, Ari Shavit makes a good case for Israel stopping now:

If the operation had ended four days ago, the message that would have been received in Gaza, Beirut, Damascus and Tehran would have been clear and sharp: Israel has excellent intelligence, decisive aerial capabilities, resolute leaders, brave citizens and surprising international support. It’s not worth messing with Israel. You’d be better off letting it live its life without provoking the country or awakening it again from its slumber.

But just as in 2006 and again in 2008, Israel did not stop in time. Israel did not quit while it was ahead. And so, over the past three days, the impressive achievements of Operation Pillar of Defense have faded away while the operation’s negative consequences have become more clear-cut.

To this, I’d add that many have noted that there is no military solution to this problem. Hamas cannot be surgically removed from Gaza. They are rooted in the divots left by Israel’s unilateral withdrawal.

As Egypt, yes, the post-Mubarak Egypt, works to broker a ceasefire, a ground invasion would undermine Israel’s relationship with Egypt as it hangs most in the balance. Negotiations are continuing through the night in Cairo. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will travel from there to Israel tomorrow, where he is set to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. He will also travel to Ramallah to hang out with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas–which might be the first meeting Abbas has had all week. Let’s hope that favorable enough terms can be reached through negotiations.

The alternative to the ceasefire is, of course, a ground invasion with its high risks to IDF soldiers, civilians in Gaza, and the specter of broad  international condemnation. Add that to very unclear benchmarks for what success in Gaza would look like and you’ve got more trouble than it’s worth.

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jacob_arnon says:

I disagree.

Toppling Hamas from power is a worthy goal. No one knows how much support it really has in Gaza. We all thought that Communist parties in Russia had very strong support of the people till it fell from power.

If Hamas is defeated and taken out it will weaken not just that organization but the Islamic movement in general.

It will give people in Gaza a chance ot live under a secular and not a fanatical religious regime.

fred capio says:

I am sure that hamas leaders have read Chandlers article (or similar ones) with great interest and will fine-tune its strategy accordingly. It may cost some Jewish lives, but what the hell, freedom of the press is more important

Poupic says:

You are defining yourself by continually quoting Haaretz, a paper with no known source of income since it has no readership to speak off. Tablet is by any definition another enemy of the Jewish state.

    jacob_arnon says:

    Yevka is an old Stalinist Yenta. who can’t seem to present an original idea. He learned his lessons well in Stalinist Russia. All he or she has to do is quote antisemitic sources or quote them in such a way to make their article seem antisemitic.

i don’t believe that there is no military solution. On the contrary there is not nor will there ever be a diplomatic solution. There is no way to honestly negotiate with someone whose only long term goal is your elimination. The author is far too concerned with what people think of Israel. What they ought to think is that Israel will not take abuse. The citizens of Gaza should understand what their leadership brings to them.


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The Next 24 Hours: Ceasefire or Ground Invasion

The fulcrum pivot of Operation Pillar of Defense is fast approaching

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