December 31, 2012 | 2:25 am
The latest conflict between Israel and Hamas illustrates the businesslike attitude the two sides have adopted, writes Geoffrey Aronson in Al Monitor.
Israel and Hamas are each observing a cease-fire, which according to Israeli officials has resulted in the first period of “absolute quiet” in years. Within days of the end of hostilities Israel doubled to 6.9 kilometers the maritime border for Gaza’s fishermen, not adequate but a welcome improvement nonetheless. The Israeli-imposed 300 meter no-go zone inside Gaza’s 50 km border with Israel — which had placed off limits almost one third of Gaza’s much-needed agricultural land was also reduced. Farmers are already planting these newly “liberated” areas without serious incident and Hamas forces armed only with batons are now patrolling the border opposite unarmored Israeli military vehicles.
Allison Hoffman of Tablet Magazine takes a look Netanyahu's Florida-born aide, as speculation mounts that he will be the next ambassador to the U.S.
[Ron] Dermer’s title is senior adviser to the prime minister, and he’s a jack-of-all-trades—strategist, pollster, and speechwriter for Netanyahu, as well as his chief proxy in foreign affairs. A constant presence in Netanyahu’s meetings in Washington, he has helped shape Israel’s posture in the American capital most notably through Netanyahu’s spring speech to the U.S. Congress, which foiled President Barack Obama’s effort to pressure the prime minister into meaningful negotiations with the Palestinians. “Bibi doesn’t move an inch without talking to him,” said one person who has been in meetings with both men.
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