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July 29, 2014

Does John Kerry Read the New York Times?

The Times actually had a good article for a change. Last week, they reported that Hamas started this war with Israel in order to shore up their internal political standing.

GAZA CITY -- When war between Israel and Hamas broke out two weeks ago, the Palestinian militant group was so hamstrung, politically, economically and diplomatically, that its leaders appeared to feel they had nothing to lose.

Hamas took what some here call "option zero," gambling that it could shift the balance with its trump cards: its arms and militants.

Now, this conflict has demonstrated that while Hamas governed over 1.7 million people mired in poverty, its leaders were pouring resources into its military and expanding its ability to fight Israel. If it can turn that improved military prowess into concessions, like opening the border with Egypt, that may boost its standing among the people of Gaza -- although at an extraordinarily high cost in deaths and destruction.

I don't wish to excerpt more than that, but if you read on, you will read of a series of political problems Hamas was/is experiencing.

Unemployment in the Gaza Strip is around fifty percent.

Hamas lacked the funds to even pay its 40,000 government workers.

The blockade of Gaza (by both Israel and Egypt) was of course unpopular with Palestinians, and Hamas seemed weak in its inability to undo that.

They even began talking about forming a unity government with their hated rival Fatah -- but that just provoked a fresh burst of criticism.

So... they began lobbing missiles at Israel, and, get this, sent out fictitious reports about all the Israeli casualties those missiles produced. (Note well: Hamas considers high civilian casualties to be a strong selling point.)

This is why Israel reacted with such vehemence to John Kerry's attempt to cede by treaty what Hamas cannot win by force.

Israel understands that Hamas started this war because Killing Jews is Good Politics in Gaza.

Ergo, Israel will absolutely refuse to permit Hamas to politically profit from this war. They will not concede points to Hamas that will permit it to spin a great and cynical catastrophe for its people as some kind of cunning victory.

They will not announce to Hamas that all they need to do when they're in political trouble is to abduct and murder some Israeli teenagers.

Israel, for reasons which must appear obvious even to John Kerry, wishes Hamas instead to learn the opposite lesson.

John Kerry stumbled, bumbled, and gaffed his way to delivering a cease-fire agreement that gave Hamas much of what it wanted. He did so without consulting the Israelis, the Egyptians, or damn near anyone else besides Hamas' patrons Turkey and Qatar.

With his actions -- either stupid and uninformed, or actively hostile to Israeli lives -- he's announced that he has absolutely no credibility, gravitas, or authority to speak on these matters or to broker any kind of peace.

Eli Lake and Josh Rogan report on Kerry's "meltdown."

[Deputy National Security Advisor Tony] Blinken also insisted that Kerry's plan contained many of the "same elements" as an Egyptian proposal, released July 15 and immediately rejected by Hamas. Cairo's plan called for an immediate halt to violence on both sides and would have provided for the opening of border crossings and the end of rocket fire into Israel.

But the two plans also had key differences. Multiple Israeli officials, lawmakers, and experts told The Daily Beast that Kerry's proposal altered the Egyptian ceasefire in many important ways, and in one case altered longstanding U.S. policy toward the funding of Hamas.

...

The Kerry proposal also stated a commitment would be made to "transfer funds to Gaza for the payment of salaries of public employees." Israeli and U.S. officials said the understanding was that money would be given to Hamas by the government of Qatar. A senior U.S. official said that the American government doesn't like Qatar providing money to Hamas, which is still officially designated as a terrorist organization by the State Department. But Kerry was trying to reach Hamas and he believes this was the best way to influence them.

Again, this is helping Hamas out of problems it itself created -- all because they started murdering people.

And, via @benk84, who remembers all:




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posted by Ace at 02:04 PM

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