Thursday, August 14, 2014

August 14


We’ve gone from ceasing fire at 5pm to a full 5 days. Israel pushed it further than the usual 72 hours to get past Shabbat. Indeed this is becoming routine, what John Oliver called on his show “deja boom.”

What is holding up an accord? The Jerusalem Post blames it on Meshaal, and it is easy to believe that he doesn’t want to introduce himself at dinner parties in his safe host country of Qatar as ex-chief-in-exile. Meshall in Qatar doesn’t skip dessert when Gazan rockets fire, or when Israel retaliates. Appalling.

Meshaal needs a game changer agreement that allows him to stay in power even though Hamas lost the war. The other parties need nothing. For Egypt status quo means Rafah stays closed. Egypt doesn’t need to trade with Hamas but wouldn’t mind, since Hamas likely won’t spread Jihad in Egypt now that Al-Sisi is in charge. “Pinpoint strikes to avoid civilian deaths” is as much in his vocabulary as ISIS can say “let's get the stranded civilians off the mountainside.” It is a tough neighborhood, as Netanyahu says.

Abbas can also stay silent. In fact the less said the better. He has only to gain. Regain, rather, as Hamas stole authority from him in the first place, so this is just desserts. He should lick his lips quietly as he thinks about all the cream he will skim from the rehabilitation money that is about to flow in.

Arabs allegiances shift like the sand except so far for Jordan, who kept its ambassador in place. Jordan’s existence is more fragile than Israel’s. Jordan has Isis on one border, Abbas/Hamas on the other. They more trust Israel’s protective air force to take its side, in honor of the Jordan-Israel peace agreement. Arabs are as faithful in their politiques as … the French.

Israel can stay quiet too, really, although it wants quiet the easy way, by agreement, rather than by force, ie bombing until Hamas cries uncle. Ugly? Yes. For the Israelis that don't want to act like this. What about the world? Won't it cry genocide? Already done. Even by Jordan! Even by the UN!!

Ah, the impartial UN. You could asked George Clooney’s fiancée. She was prematurely named, a first ever, and refuted the call, her reluctance based on the committee’s bias, in her view. Biased? The UN? You can hear for yourself in just the first 4 minutes of this video from October 2012 featuring lead UN investigator: William Schabas.  

In just 4 minutes I laughed out loud twice. First, the introducer pronounced his name, well, “Shabbas” as in Good Shabbas - notice how quickly he was pushed to correct it. Ha! Another, funny-not-ha-ha moment was Schabas used the word genocide to speak about Israel, and later noted the word was first coined in English in 1944 by – you guessed it – a Jew. You can’t make this stuff up. And you probably can’t rely on Mr. anti-shabbas to untangle this knot.

Can the US untangle the knot? First let us see how our soldiers fight ‘fair’ against ISIS. We're back in Iraq. Talk about ‘deja boom’. Obama seems to be trying to distance himself from this, which can’t be fun for our troops to hear.  US presidents make international as well as domestic decisions, as inconvenient as this may be for a grass roots president, and this is either a ‘just’ war, as Operation Protective Edge is perceived to be within Israel, or it’s wrong. Obama must commit.

And so must we all.  As Eric prepares to spend his weekend guarding Ashqelon rather than at home, I thank him, and all who support Israel. As Shabbas - and Schabas - draw near, I find it easy to take a stand with Israel and with the US stopping ISIS. Both are doing the world’s dirty work. Again. And again I will try to keep my nose away from the UN-fair, fishy smell emanating from First Avenue and the 40’s.

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