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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Washington Post Editorial, "The U.S. should push for the disarming of Hamas in Gaza-Israel cease-fire": Bravo!

The John Kerry comedy show? After failing to reach agreement with Iran in Vienna two weeks ago (see: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/john-kerry-in-vienna-extension-of-nuclear-talks-likely-108845.html), Kerry handed Khamenei sanctions relief totaling $2.8 billion in exchange for a 4-month extension of the meaningless P5 +1 talks. This way, Obama, currently AWOL from the Oval Office, was not forced to acknowledge failure.


Next, Kerry was off to Cairo to try his hand at fostering a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Prior to meeting with Egyptian President Sisi at the presidential palace, Kerry and his aides were forced to undergo a humiliating metal detector test (see: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-28444187), amounting to yet another sign of international contempt for the embattled Obama administration.


Yesterday evening, Kerry left Israel following a frosty photo-op session with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu (see: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.606915).


Where will Kerry land next? Maybe it's time for more Botox injections.


Meanwhile, no IDF fatalities overnight. As mentioned yesterday, Israel is learning how to effectively conduct ground operations in built-up areas by means of enhanced ground-air coordination. Last night, more than 150 Hamas militants surrendered to the IDF in Khan Yunis and Rafiyah (see: http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-150-hamas-terrorists-surrender-to-idf-1000957726).


Also, the FAA has cancelled its ban on flights to Israel after it "carefully reviewed both significant new information and measures the Government of Israel is taking to mitigate potential risks to civil aviation." Senator Ted Cruz had suggested that the Obama administration was responsible for the FAA action "in order to try to force our ally to comply with his foreign-policy demands"  (see: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/ted-cruz-barack-obama-israel-faa-109294.html).


In addition, Israel has received some important backing from The Washington Post. In an editorial entitled "The U.S. should push for the disarming of Hamas in Gaza-Israel cease-fire" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-us-should-push-for-the-disarming-of-hamas-in-gaza-israel-cease-fire/2014/07/23/7c2d1d9e-1284-11e4-8936-26932bcfd6ed_story.html?hpid=z4), WaPo provides the moral clarity that has been absent from Andrew Rosenthal's New York Times op-ed page:

"THE DISTINGUISHING feature of the latest war between Israel and Hamas is 'offensive tunnels,' as the Israeli army calls them. As of early Wednesday, 28 [now 31 - JG Caesarea] had been uncovered in Gaza, and nearly half extend into Israel, according to Israeli officials.

. . . .

The newly discovered structures have only one conceivable purpose: to launch attacks inside Israel. Three times in recent days, Hamas fighters emerged from the tunnels in the vicinity of Israeli civilian communities, which they clearly aimed to attack. The ­concrete-lined structures are stocked with materials, such as handcuffs and tranquilizers, that could be used on hostages. Other tunnels in northern Gaza are designed for the storage and firing of missiles at Israeli cities.

. . . .

By design, many of the tunnels have entrances in the heavily populated Shijaiyah district, where the Israeli offensive has been concentrated. One was found underneath al-Wafa hospital, where Hamas also located a command post and stored weapons, according to Israeli officials."

Indeed, Israel's only option is to eliminate these tunnels and thereby prevent future massacres of civilians in the agricultural communities adjoining the Gaza Strip. Wars are ugly, but this is a war of necessity. Moreover, I cannot think of another country capable of facing such a missile onslaught - more than 2,000 rockets fired from Gaza at Israel since the renewal of hostilities - with such stoic forbearance.

* * *

By the way, do you remember how Obama once named Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan as one of his top five international friends? Well, Erdoğan is no longer talking with America's president (see: http://rt.com/usa/174700-erdogan-talk-obama-syria/).

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