A Ceasefire, Maybe, But It’s Iffy

Hunter Biden was found guilty of three federal gun crimes. President Biden says he will respect the verdict. One might think the Right would be holding a victory dance now, but they’re strangely subdued. At least, reaction on the rightie websites is fairly subdued. They don’t seem to know if they’re supposed to celebrate or just continue to be angry about something. Well, moving on …

There’s a lot of contradictory reporting, but something seems to be happening with the cease-fire proposal President Biden announed a few days ago. Yesterday the United Nations Security Coundil approved this plan.. The Associated Press:

The U.S.-sponsored resolution welcomes a cease-fire proposal announced by President Joe Biden that the United States says Israel has accepted. It calls on the militant Palestinian group Hamas to accept the three-phase plan.

The resolution — which was approved with 14 of the 15 Security Council members voting in favor and Russia abstaining — calls on Israel and Hamas “to fully implement its terms without delay and without condition.”

Israel has not accepted this plan, though. Here’s Al Jazeera:

The resolution welcomes a three-phase ceasefire proposal announced by US President Joe Biden last month, which calls for an initial six-week ceasefire and the exchange of some Israeli captives held in Gaza for Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

The second phase would include a permanent ceasefire and the release of the remaining captives. The third phase would involve a reconstruction effort for the devastated Gaza Strip.

The US says Israel has accepted the proposal, although some Israeli officials have since promised to continue the war until the elimination of Hamas, the Palestinian group that governs Gaza.

The resolution calls on Hamas, which initially said it viewed the proposal “positively”, to accept the three-phase plan.

It urges Israel and Hamas “to fully implement its terms without delay and without condition”.

Hamas was quick to welcome the resolution on Monday. In a statement after the vote, Hamas said it was ready to cooperate with mediators and enter indirect negotiations over the implementation of the principles of the agreement.

It seems the official position of the United States that Israel has accepted this plan, even though I’m not seeing such a commitment from Netanyahu. The BBC reported earlier today:

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has “reaffirmed his commitment” to a Gaza ceasefire plan, and that if it does not progress Hamas will be to blame.

Mr Blinken reiterated his call for Hamas to accept the plan as outlined by President Biden 11 days ago. He was speaking a day after holding talks with Mr Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

He said the onus was on “one guy” hiding “ten storeys underground in Gaza” to make the casting vote, referring to Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar.

Mr Netanyahu has not publicly endorsed what Mr Biden outlined nor said whether it matches an Israeli ceasefire proposal on which Mr Biden’s statement was based.

Reuters, but so far no one else, is reporting that Hamas has accepted the ceasefire plan.

Also earlier today, CNN reported that Israel has vowed to press on in Gaza.

Hamas accepts a U.N. resolution backing a plan to end the war with Israel in Gaza and is ready to negotiate details, a senior official of the Palestinian militant group said on Tuesday in what the U.S. Secretary of State called a hopeful sign.
Qatari and Egyptian mediators said they had received a formal reply from Hamas to the U.N.-backed truce proposal, and Hamas and its ally Palestinian Islamic Jihad expressed “readiness to positively” reach a deal to end the war in Gaza in a joint statement on Tuesday.

That’s today. But now let’s look at what Juan Cole wrote yesterday

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, against whom warrants have been requested for war crimes by the International Criminal Court, made the case against him stronger with his massacre of innocent Palestinian civilians during the botched hostage rescue at Gaza’s Nuseirat refugee camp. As I write, the United Nations is reporting from Gaza health authorities that Israel fire killed 270 persons and wounded nearly 700. Netanyahu has deliberately damaged or destroyed all the hospitals in Gaza, so the Nuseirat health facility is woefully unprepared to deal with 600 wounded people, and there is no functioning morgue to hold the 270 corpses.

While it is great good news that the hostages have been rescued, and one’s heart goes out to their families, who have lived through hell since the Hamas war crimes of October 7, these statistics unfortunately suggest that each Israeli life is worth 67.5 Palestinian lives.

The raid is not the political victory for Netanyahu that he was seeking, however, since it was a cynical ploy on his part to justify his rejection of the Biden proposal for an at least temporary halt to the hostilities that would have resulted in the release of all the remaining hostages. Netanyahu was getting pressure not only from Biden but from the Israeli public, which has mounted large demonstrations against him for failing to negotiate the release of the hostages. Even Joe Biden has admitted that it is reasonable to conclude that Netanyahu insists on continuing his total war on Gaza in order to stay in power and avoid the court cases he is facing for corruption, which could send him to jail.

The operation did not dissuade opposition politician Benny Gantz from resigning Sunday from the war cabinet, the national unity government that was formed after Hamas’s October 7 atrocities. Gantz said that it had been a painful decision, which he took because Netanyahu stood in the way of attaining a genuine victory in Gaza. He said Netanyahu had obstructed essential strategic decisions, and called upon him to call an early election: “it is necessary to have a Zionist, nationalist, genuine unity government.”

Implicitly slamming the enormous human cost and limited benefits of the Nuseirat raid, he said, “I support the deal presented by Biden, which he asked the prime minister to have the courage to achieve it.”

“I say to the families of the kidnapped that we failed the test, and we were not able to return your children.”

I confess I do not have a depth of insight into the nuances of Israeli politics, but it seems to me Netanyahu’s poisition is increasingly untenable.

The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, appears to be reporting that Hamas is not going to accept the deal and believes it can outlast Israel. I say “appears” because I don’t have a subscription and can’t see past the headline. But this story was filed yesterday, and the Reuters report that Hamas has accepted the ceasefire plan is dated today. And that’s as much as I know.

5 thoughts on “A Ceasefire, Maybe, But It’s Iffy

  1. "A Ceasefire, Maybe, But It’s Iffy"

    There is never going to be a cease fire until after the election. In fact every time there is talk of a cease fire the IDF kills more civilians. Last week after Biden went on national tee-vee and announced a real “hope” for cease fire Bibi and his goons decided to kill a few hundred civilians to get 4 hostages. Israel has no interest in a cease fire not today not tomorrow and certainly not before they get their Stooge Stump back in office.


    • There is never going to be a cease fire until after the election.

      Probably, especially if Netanyahu can hang on. But if he loses any more support the situation could change very rapidly.

  2. If there is a cease fire it will be broken within days by Bibi, he'll claim this or that and the fighting will resume. Sorry that's just the way I see it.

    I heard some of the Alito-Roberts recordings today. I don't really see it as that big of a deal. Sure Alito trends toward Christian Nationalism but he seemed careful to not cross a line. GW Bush (with help from Nicole Wallace) put him on the court because he is a right-wing Catholic a reliable vote against any rights that the Pope don't like. His wife on the other hand is a complete loon but that is not against the law. His wife said something that most pass by, she said she would defer to Alito about the flags (to me this confirms Alito's story about the flags at his houses) and also indicated that Alito would be leaving the court soon "“I won’t do that because I’m deferring to you,” Alito said she told her husband. “But when you are free of this nonsense, I’m putting it up". So another very good reason not to vote for the GQP this November! Two comments in a row, like Doug says "sue me".


  3. IMO… Netenyahu is committed to the destruction of the Palestinians,  including Hamas. On the other hand, Hamas is committed to the extermination of Jews in Israel. The prospect of success for either side can be enhanced or thwarted by global opinion. The UN voted almost unanimously for a cease-fire that might lead to an international force that would keep the combatants apart. Which neither side wants.

    Mind you, in the previous paragraph, I was talking about leadership, not the civilians at risk. I have no direct information or access to the conversations of hungry Palestinians or frightened Jews in Israel. But I think they mostly want security that neither side has.

    Maybe the UN can offer that security to both sides. 

    But the problem this week is getting the leadership of both sides to accept an ENFORCED cease-fire and the presence of a peacekeeping force that means business about keeping the peace. 

    • "Netenyahu is committed to the destruction of the Palestinians, including Hamas. On the other hand, Hamas is committed to the extermination of Jews in Israel"

      I have no use for Hama's they are worse for the Palestinians than Bibi and the IDF. That said the Palestinians have been living under occupation for 75 years they don't really have a chance to establish effective governance so terror groups like Hama's have flourished and seized power. Israel is in the business of taking land, Palestinians are trying to hold land that they had for centuries. There is no equivalence here, what Bibi is doing is a war crime. Getting rid of Hama's doesn't end the problem as long as Israel keeps electing leaders that want an Apartheid State. To me the only solution is to have one Country where all citizens Jews and Arabs have equal rights, until that happens they are where they are.

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