Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hamas and the Election Dilemma


Mike Packer

Well Ehud Barak’s half baked war against Hamas has just jumped up and bit him, again.

DebkaFile reports that the Hamas negotiations for a cease fire were a red herring. Hamas spread rumors that an agreement was imminent for an 18 month cease fire and the release of Gilad Shalit. Israel agreed to allow Hamas leader Mahmud A-Zahar to travel to Cairo and points east to try and override hardliner Khaled Meshaal and sign an extended truce deal.
Instead of signing Hamas has used the time to reorganize and rearm after their wrist slap from Ehud Barak. What motivated that man to cease attacking Hamas when he had the upper hand? I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt and say the reason was not political but I have serious reservations. If it was political reasoning then that blew up in his face too because he lost the elections big time.

This organization called Hamas is purported to be a religious, social organization that was elected under the banner of social reform and total hatred of Israel. The hatred part I can live with, the social part leaves everything to be desired. The millions of for aid but for destruction. The money was used to purchase arms and ammunition for the fight against Israel and the population of Gaza be damned. Humanitarian aid in the form of blankets and food for the “poor oppressed, starving Arabs” is constantly being stolen by Hamas strongmen from UNRWA warehouses or straight off the backs of the trucks that bring it in. The situation has become so dire that the UNRWA representatives in the Gaza Strip have ceased to bring in more supplies thus creating a “Humanitarian situation” with, of course, not a word of protest from all our neighborhood, bleeding heart liberals because this time it wasn’t Israel’s fault (although the blame will be put on Israel….have no fear).

So now is brass tack time, Hamas can no longer be considered, even remotely, as a negotiating partner. The next smallest provocation which, without the slightest doubt, will occur within the next 2 to 3 days must be answered forcefully and taken to the end. Hamas must be struck so hard that no remnant remains and that includes their political and military leaders.

Now the question that needs to be asked is “who is going to be the next Minister of Defense in Israel?”

If (G-d forbid) Tsipora Livni forms the next government (chances for that look pretty slim) then we are stuck with limp wrested Ehud again. This means a total capitulation in Gaza and the formation of an Iranian state in the Strip. Tsipora is committed to a two-state solution and we can expect a rise in Arab demands for more and more concessions which will be met with smiles and a positive reaction from the government and a huge pat on the back from President Obama.

On the other hand if Bibi gets to form a government we have a number of scenarios;

A. He entices Tsipora Livni and Ehud Barak to from a broad based coalition government and bring in a few of the right wing religious splinter parties,

B. He forms a government consisting of the Lieberman Gang and the right wing National Camp.

If he chooses A we are stuck with Ehud again and Bibi will have reneged on his campaign promises again. The Labor/Likud/Kadima coalition will be a left wing coalition that will not allow Netanyahu to pursue his campaign promises or allow him to resist American/EU pressure to allow more concessions to the Arabs. Political Pundits are saying that Israel needs a left wing government to legitimize its dealings with the EU and prevent any tension between them if things come to a head with Hamas and Iran. But history shows that no matter what government is in power in Israel we can be sure that EU and American rhetoric will be against us no matter what we do.

So we come to plan B. Here Netanyahu will have the full support of his coalition vis-à-vis Likud’s treatment of the PA and Arab nations in the area. He will have full support for an action against Iran if it is needed and his coalition partners won’t allow a cease fire like the last one to happen. The question arises as to whom the Department of Defense will fall to. Moshe Yaalon seems to be the front runner for this job and as a former Chief of Staff he certainly has the credentials.

The main thought that must go through Bibi’s mind as he tries to arrange a coalition is the fact that the Israeli population has made a majority decision in the last elections that it no longer wishes a left wing government. He has an obligation to his voters to accede to their wishes, so plan B is the only legitimate option he has if he wants to survive on the Israeli political field.

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