Really the only way to guarantee a ceasefire is to wait until your enemy runs out of bullets. So it’s baffling what the nutcake negotiators from Israel and Hamas are trying to achieve with these “temporary” ceasefire proposals.
The latest scoop from Israel’s Haaretz newspaper:
“Hamas’ Gaza spokesman Ayman Taha, meanwhile, has said recently that Israel has offered his Palestinian Islamist group a 10-year cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.
Egypt is also demanding a truce of a number of years’ duration. But Taha said the group would agree to a cease-fire of anywhere between one year and no more than 18 months. Another Hamas spokesman, Ismail Radwan, said a long-term cease-fire “kills” the right to resistance by the Palestinians.”
OK, so Israel wants to sign a 10-year deal, Hamas wants to sign a one year contract with an option for another six months to re-arm. And Egypt wants both sides to go to arbitration?
Sounds like the Manny Ramirez negotiations, although this horrific analogy stops right here, because I don’t think the Red Sox, the Dodgers or the free agent Manny’s next employer deserve to be compared to Hamas.
Haaretz also reports that Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who once dressed like a girl in a daring commando operation, is now ratcheting up his testosterone rhetoric in a way that should send chills to plumbers throughout the Middle East.
“In a bid to gain the vote of the Russian immigrants in the elections, Labor leader and Defense Minister Ehud Barak will quote Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s statement about killing Chechen terrorists “on the toilet.”
“As you people say, they should be wacked when they’re on the toilet,” Barak will say in a radio election broadcast intended for Russian speakers. Labor, which is launching its campaign among the Russian speakers this afternoon, will ask them to support him, as they did when he last ran for prime minister 10 years ago.
The indirect allusion to Putin is Barak’s way of fashioning his image after that of an aggressive leader whom many Russian immigrants see favorably.”
If Barak does win the election over the favored Netanyahu, look for headline writers worldwide to have a blast with “Barack to meet Barak” headlines.
(For more foreign policy insights, contact Darren Garnick at www.cultureschlock.com)