I haven’t seen a better analysis of the cease-fire agreement that ended, for now, the conflict between Israel and Hamas than this one by David Goldman in FrontPage Magazine. Here are excerpts:
Hamas fires 275 rockets at Israel and is rewarded with de facto acceptance as a legitimate negotiating partner in the Middle East peace process, as well as with a relaxation of the Israeli blockade of the Gaza coast. Israel is prevented from exacting a price for Hamas’ actions sufficient to deter future attacks or degrade Hamas’ capabilities. In one stroke, the Obama administration has overturned thirty years of American policy, which rejected negotiations with Hamas and other terrorist organizations. . . .
When Hamas cranked up its rocket barrage against Israel ten days ago, numerous analysts asked: Why now? In retrospect, the answer appears obvious: Because Barack Obama had been re-elected and had a free hand. From February 2011, when National Intelligence Director James Clapper praised the Muslim Brotherhood as a “largely secular” organization, the White House has made clear that it believes that the Brotherhood represents the wave of the future in the Middle East. . . .
Morsi read the American political landscape accurately. He perceived that the White House was so deeply invested in the success of the Muslim Brotherhood that it would respond to a crisis provoked by Hamas by splitting the result down the middle, giving Hamas sufficient concessions to allow the terrorist group to declare victory. . . .
Presuming that Morsi’s ceasefire holds, the absence of rocket fire from Gaza during the next several months holds little comfort for Israel. Hamas will have more opportunity to stockpile the longer-range Iranian Fajr rockets that struck near Tel Aviv and Jerusalem last week. Iran has boasted that it has transferred the technology to Hamas to quickly produce the rockets in Gaza. Whenever the ceasefire breaks down, Hamas will have far greater capacity to kill Israelis in the future. If Israel were to strike Iran’s nuclear capabilities, the price it would pay in rocket attacks from Hamas as well as Hezbollah in the north would be substantially greater than it is now. . . .
Nothing that happens in Gaza will decide the future of the region. Israel still must decide whether to attack Iran’s nuclear program in the face of adamant opposition from the Obama administration. It is not clear how long the window of opportunity will last for Israel to pre-empt Iranian nuclear weapons deployment, but it is measured in months, not years.
I am particularly intrigued by Goldman’s statement that President Obama perceives the Muslim Brotherhood as representing “the wave of the future in Middle East.” To Obama, the perception that something is “the wave of the future” goes a long way. Like most hard-core leftists, Obama craves to ride the wave of the future and possesses the intellectual arrogance to believe he can unerringly discern that wave.
But we shouldn’t overlook the strong possibility that Obama wants the Muslim Brotherhood to be the wave of the future in the Middle East. Perhaps it is that wish that causes him to conclude, for example, that Morsi’s rather unimpressive electoral victory in Egypt is evidence of a wave that will sweep away more moderate, pro-democratic, and pro-American elements.