Obviously, one of the main things gained by last night’s cease-fire between Israel and Hamas is that at least for the moment no one is getting attacked by rockets or suicide bombers. That is a good thing, but what is the price of this cease-fire?
Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article yesterday listing the pros and cons of the agreement.
Some of the pros:
First, the agreement puts an end, at least for now, to the bombardment of Israel.
...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.
Mr. Mirengoff points out that Hamas might have made the agreement because it was running out of rockets.
Unfortunately, there are also some problems with the cease-fire.
The article reports:
First, Hamas won. Why? Because it bombarded Israel and was not crushed for it.
…Second, because Hamas wins, Israel loses. There is no such thing as a win-win deal with an enemy whose goal is your destruction.
…A third disadvantage is that Israel reportedly has agreed to cease the targeting of terrorists like Ahmed al-Jabari, who was killed by an Israeli air strike at the outset of this conflict. This means that Hamas operatives can kill Israelis, or cause them to be killed, and then walk the streets of Gaza without fear of Israeli retaliation.
The article also notes some of the effect this conflict and truce will have on Iran‘s view of America‘s role in the Middle East. It appears that America acted as a neutral party rather than a supporter of Israel. We have told Israel that they could not target terrorists as we ourselves are targeting terrorist with drone strikes.
The article reaches some troubling conclusions:
More broadly, the fact that Hamas came out ahead — a bombing campaign against Israel produced Israeli concessions — will strengthen Israel’s many enemies. It will confirm their view that the Arab spring has turned the tide against Israel, and that history is on their side. The importance of this kind of cosmic confidence cannot be overstated.
The fact that Egypt is credited with brokering the deal will be part of the narrative. For one thing, of course, the radical Islamist government that brokered the deal is a creation — indeed, the flower — of the Arab Spring. For another, the fact (or even the perception) that Israel needed a radical Islamist government to bail it out of conflict it didn’t win militarily is a huge victory for the Muslim Brotherhood and, by extension, to Israel’s Islamist enemies everywhere.
This bring us to Iran. What will the mullahs think of this saga? One takeaway is that Israel did not defeat the weakest of its enemies. This follows Israel’s failure to defeat Hezbollah in the last Lebanon war. Iran will believe that, increasingly, Israel is a paper tiger that has lost the will to fight. This, in turn, will embolden Iran and its allies/puppets.