Jeffrey Goldberg has an excellent piece in the NY Times here, which explains why it is impossible to come to any reasonable terms with Hamas, or indeed with any radical state in the Middle East. Someone, on another forum, has asked me why Israel can't work with "moderate" Arabs, and my only answer to this is that there aren't any, or if there are a few, they do not possess any power -- indeed, they are at the complete mercy of the radicals and are silent out of fear.
I don't agree with Goldberg's assessment that Hamas can't be bombed into submission. I think it can; but it isn't practical to do so, since world opinion seems to feel that we must be "humanitarian" (When Hitler was blitzing London, who in Europe told him he must give the Brits food and fuel "to avoid a humanitarian crisis"? Only Israelis get told this, since Jesus, who supposedly advocated pacifism [!!] was a Jew). We know where the Hamas leadership is hiding; but bombing a hospital isn't acceptable (unless it is an Israeli one, when the world then says "tsk, tsk" to the bombers).
Hamas apparently is now willing for a ceasefire -- on its terms, which include the right to resume bombing Israel after a year (I doubt they would stop in the interval, anyway. Only Israel would regard itself as being bound by the ceasefire, and if we retaliated, we would be the "aggressors"), the resumption of food and fuel aid from Israel, and the removal of Israeli troops. No mention of international monitors, which is one of Israel's main demands.
Hamas needs a bit more pounding, unfortunately. It hasn't yet gotten the message that we won't stand for unending shelling from Gaza.
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