Quite a World
Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.
After a week of bitter fighting in Gaza, it seems that John Kerry may be on the verge of having devised a possible ceasefire agreement for seven days, to allow more substantive understandings between Israel and Hamas to be put in place. After casualties and destruction on both sides and angry rhetoric from all parties, something constructive may be emerging.
The problem from the perspective of the Palestinians was the casualties; although in truth Hamas’s tactic of using its own people as human shields, does not reflect any genuine concern for human life. For Israel beyond its own dead and wounded, it saw precisely how alone it continues to stand in the world. While it is clearly able militarily to handle its own war, Israel is consistently perceived as the nation which needs to be warned to avoid inflicting unnecessary humanitarian losses and civilian casualties, as it is held publically, and unequivocally to a double standard. For Israel’s defenders among world-wide Jews and its few friends, the behavior of many world leaders and public figures continues the age-old world-wide disregard for the plight of the Jewish people—wherever they are.
Anti-Israel behavior is clearly morphing into more traditional forms of anti-Semitism. The West and the U.N. continue to permit a ludicrous double standard to operate. The discussion this week before the U.N. Human Rights Council was preposterous. The fact that the West, except for the U.S., was so cowered into abstaining rather than opposing the call to investigate Israel’s war crimes was absurd and sickening.
Obama and Kerry’s diplomatic niceties are slowly escaping reality. It has enabled them to continue to try to broker the negotiations and to keep the Arab League, especially the Saudis–on the sidelines; but in truth it is more a result of Israel’s military prowess than it is the White House’s brilliance. Israel will not get all the tunnels or a total demilitarization, but the ability to degrade Hamas dramatically and to have Egypt stand along, could permit a ceasefire to evolve. As for Abbas and Hamas, it remains unclear how they will come out, although the PA should not suffer any setbacks. Qatar and Turkey will lose and the Saudis will win. Iran, Syria, and the radical Islamists lose the fight until the next confrontation.