November 22, 2012 | 12:14 am
Elliot Abrams of the Weekly Standard looks at the gains and losses of the parties in the newly ended Gaza conflict.
Israelis have appreciated that Netanyahu avoided bombastic statements, and used the days of conflict to reach out to President Obama and restore a working relationship with him. Israelis realize this conflict did not “solve” the problem of Hamas control of Gaza and that in a few years there may be another round. But they did not expect Netanyahu to pull off a magic act; they wanted sensible, competent leadership, and they got it.
The Egyptian ruling party can do what the U.S. cannot - namely, engage with its Palestinian offshoot Hamas, writes Tony Karon for Time.
Egypt’s Gaza role reflects the emerging contours of a Middle East profoundly changed by the Arab Spring yet still forced to confront decades-old challenges. The essential partnership in tamping down the Gaza violence, notes former U.S. ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk, is the one “between the United States and Egypt — one using its influence with Israel, the other with Hamas — to put together a cease-fire package as the foundation for a wider resolution of the conflict.” Although U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may have played an important part in finessing the deal, Morsy and the Egyptians provide a service Washington cannot in dealing with Gaza.
Writing in the New Statesman, Alan Johnson explains why proportionality is not the same as symmetry when it comes to Israel's response to rocket fire on its civilian population.
Proportionality, then, must be measured in part against the future: What is the value of the end-in-view to be achieved? What is the future threat to be avoided? Israel’s stated end-in-view has been rightful: to protect the citizens of southern Israel by stopping the rocket attacks. The developing threat to Israel from Hamas and other armed groups in the Gaza Strip must be judged by reference to both the power of the weaponry and the nature of the ideology.
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