Let’s take a preliminary look at the advantages and disadvantages of the cease fire agreement, from an Israeli and traditional pro-Western perspective. There are two big advantages. First, the agreement puts an end, at least for now, to the bombardment of Israel. I suspect that Hamas was approaching the end of its ability effectively to bombard and, for this reason, was willing to agree to the cease fire. Even so, Hamas probably would still have killed a more Israelis, and inflicted additional property damage and sheer terror, had the agreement not been reached.
Second, the agreement means that Israel will not undertake, at least for now, an invasion of Gaza. Such an invasion would have been bloody. Now, that bloodshed is avoided.
A third advantage exists to the extent that the U.S. made secret promises to Israel in exchange for its agreement to the cease fire (one hopes that Israel demanded some). Abstract promises and guarantees from Obama regarding Israel’s security are meaningless. But let’s hope that Israel received concrete promises pertaining to weaponry and the like.
Now to the disadvantages. First, Hamas won. Why? Because it bombarded Israel and was not crushed for it. And because Israel reportedly agreed to an easing of its blockade of the Gaza Strip. The easing may be substantial or it may be minor. In either case, it means that, as a result of its rocket attacks on Israel, Hamas comes away not just largely in one piece, but also in a better position than it would be in had it not bombarded Israel. So Hamas’ aggression has been rewarded.
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