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Cease-Fire

By Matthew Yglesias on January 12, 2009 at 9:33 am

"Cease-Fire"

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It seems that this is what the endgame in Gaza is supposed to look like:

Israel and the United States are trying to secure agreement on a deal brokered by Egypt that would mean a Hamas commitment to stop all rocket firing into Israel and an Egyptian commitment to block smuggling tunnels into Gaza, to stop the resupplying of Hamas with weaponry and cash. In return, Israel would agree to a cease-fire and the opening of its crossings into Gaza for goods and fuel and the opening of the Rafah crossing into Egypt, with European Union supervision.

Interestingly enough, this is exactly the shape of a deal that the peace camp has been saying the United States ought to push for since before the fighting started. The Gaza ceasefire made neither side happy because Hamas felt Israel was violating its terms by continuing its blockade while Israel was unhappy that Hamas’ rocketfire never genuinely fell to zero. The win-win, positive-sum compromise was fairly obvious. But instead of going for it, we got this incursion which has killed hundreds of people and inflicted serious suffering on 1.5 million. And at the end, we’re getting a push for the deal that would be obvious all along. But if a deal gets done post-fighting, then Kadima and Labor get to count it as the fruits of military victory rather than if they’d shown weakness by trying to achieve the same result without the same volume of bloodshed.

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