Well, there is an “understanding” towards a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza presumably negotiated by Egyptian President Morsi with an assist from the United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, so the question is now what? Before we get to what to expect, it might be a good idea to mention one of the most vital items rumored to have helped influence the accepting of the ceasefire by Israel and mention a feeling we have had here at BTC as to why Hamas et al accepting the ceasefire. The rumor was that President Morsi threatened that should Israel continue and implement any form of ground invasion that both Egypt and Jordan were prepared to declare war upon Israel in order to assist Hamas and the Gaza Palestinians. Our suspicion is that Egypt has made certain assurances which will allow continued supplies from the Sinai Peninsula into Gaza even if initially such imports will be solely through the expansive tunnel networks under the border to be enhanced when feasible by simply allowing items to be trucked across the border and likely some implication of an Egyptian Hamas alliance on mutual defense being possible. So, Israel was likely coerced, actually threatened, while Hamas and friends were likely made some offer that was sufficient or too good to refuse to accept a ceasefire.
What we can expect is in many ways exactly what has been the usual series of events that have led to the collapse of every earlier ceasefire, accord, peace treaty, or any other acceptance of terms under other names, namely a quick series of rockets fired across the border from Gaza into Israel which then slow over the next week and then a possible lull for a few weeks before the slow escalation ending in a final ramp-up which will trigger the next crisis. Unfortunately, as we saw earlier in Tel Aviv and also Jerusalem, the real next challenge is going to be a return to bombings and attacks on cars, busses and all forms of transit within Israel’s Green Line and within Judea and Samaria. This will be a challenge for the Israeli intelligence and security personnel which have shown apparent increased success and wider coverage and other abilities in the past few years. The Israelis may take comfort in this but must also remember that the very first line of defense against terrorism and the largest number of eyes belong to the people themselves and as has been proven over and over in the past, it is the Israelis themselves who make the difference.
The biggest question is what will happen once the rockets begin to rain down on the south of Israel once again? With the rumor that Egypt and Jordan having threatened to ally with Hamas and the plethora of terror organizations in Gaza may make the decision to apply a large defensive push more difficult, especially deciding to put troops into Gaza. This threat will only become worse should the monarchy in Jordan be overthrown and replaced by a Muslim Brotherhood backed government such as exists in Egypt. This is especially true as currently the loyalties of Hamas and the other terror groups are all being contested between Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, the traditional Islamic contest between Sunni vs. Shiite. Unfortunately, this situation might just lead a contest between the different sides as to which one is able to supply the most weaponry into Gaza. The only sure thing is that within a few months the rockets will start being launched over the border and the clock will start ticking towards the next Israel Gaza crisis. The one slight glimmer of hope was the fact that for the first time Israel received what could almost be seen as backing from Europe and definitely was backed by the United States for as far as they had taken it. The Europeans had already spoken and were to condemn any ground attack by Israel while the United States had avoided making any definitive statement regarding a ground offensive.
As a final thought, we wish to offer a prayer that the hatreds and violence find a path to resolutions, peace and eventual cooperation. May harsh words, deeds, acts and plans give way to cooperation and assistance between the whole of the families of Abraham. We pray for agreement and accord to replace acrimony and discordance. And in our defense, without hope and expectations the human race will not last much longer into the future as the instruments we have designed through which our animosities can be transmitted have reached a level of destructions from which society may not recover.
Beyond the Cusp