Browsing Posts published on January 13, 2009

Consul General had an interview with the Huffington Post last week and gave a good description of the goings-on.  He also cites some facts and figures, about which we have gotten a number of good questions.

A sample:

The United Nations estimates that 25 percent of Palestinian casualties in the present incursion are civilian. Shariv said that as of this Wednesday morning, the IDF estimated the proportion of Palestinian civilians among those killed in the current incursion was “closer to 12 to 13 percent” and emphasized that most of those killed were being used as human shields by Hamas, which wages war from inside schools, hospitals and United Nations facilities.
He added, “When they hit [Israeli] civilians, there’s celebration. When we hit [Palestinian] civilians, there’s an investigation.”

Well, an op-ed in today’s Washington Post puts it quite well. “There are no shortcuts to peace that bypass security.”

That’s what Israel has been saying for the longest time, and it’s the key ingredient of any future agreement.  Since the current operations were caused a continued erosion of Israeli security by Hamas, it only follows that Israel’s confidence in a halt to rockets will be necessary to end the operation.

And a responsible Palestinian security service, like that suggested in the article, is certainly an important ingredient.

Photo: Reuters

Photo: Reuters

Iran has said it might be willing to reevaluate its relationship with Israel and the West under certain conditions.  If pro-Hamas protestors are running over pictures of present (and future) world leaders with their cars, it makes us wonder what exactly those conditions are.

What Does Hamas Want?

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In today’s Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Bret Stephens argues that Hamas supports the “no state solution.”  While it’s pretty obvious that Hamas rejects the existence of the State of Israel, Stephens also points out that it rejects the idea of a future Palestinian state, hoping instead for a larger Islamic caliphate throughout the Middle East.

You can check out the references to Hamas’s charter on our previous post.

Though Hamas has been in the news in recent weeks, Iran’s influence in Gaza has remained out of the public eye.  A news piece in today’s New York Times notes how Iran has been working behind the scenes to use the present conflict for its own ends, essentially by actively presenting itself as the champion of radicalism and of Hamas.

There is always a great deal of speculation as to what Iran actually wants from this conflict (one thing is nearly certain, peace is not one of them).  Some further analysis from Pajamas Media delves a bit deeper into some of the strategic thinking going on in the region.

And finally, some history on the subject, this from Gulf News, which traces the evolution of Iran’s monetary and military support for Hamas.