A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
January 22, 2008 Gaza and Arab Public Opinion
The public relations war over the closure of Gaza continued today. Israel allowed the delivery of diesel fuel today to Gaza. Hamas, however, continued to organize demonstrations and denouncements against Israel and the blockade on Gaza. Today they turned their attention in a new direction: towards Egypt. Hamas organized a large scale demonstration against Egypt at the Rafah crossing. Buses were filled with demonstrators and they began a noisy and somewhat violent demonstration.
The Egyptians were ready for the demonstrators and contained them with minimal violence. That did not suite Hamas, so one of its members took out a gun and fired at the Egyptians. At that point the Egyptians opened fire on the demonstrators on live television. Scenes of Egyptian troops firing on ìpoorî Palestinians have been beamed throughout the Arab world. Meanwhile, the US had to threaten to veto a Security Council Resolution that would have condemned Israel for its actions without any references to the Qassam attacks.
Former Chief-of-Staff of the IDF Moshe Yaíalon spoke today at the Herzliya Conference and then gave an interview to the talk show London and Kirshenbaum. He proposes to end the current direction of negotiations with the Palestinians. He claims that without a real change in the political system, rule of law, and educational system, it is absurd to be talking about giving back parts of Jerusalem or final borders.
In a sense Ya'alon's strategy is a little like going back to Barak's view of Camp David. There he effectively tried to call Arafatís bluff. The difference is that Yaíalon is claiming that we know the answer so there is no reason to talk about any of the issues since they really have not shown they want peace. Yaíalon is probably correct. However, world politics being what it is, Israel is not in a position to say it will not negotiate.