Solving the Hamas-Israeli Conflict
What was wrong with the Kerry cease-fire plan
by Matthew RJ Brodsky
July 25, 2014
Matthew RJ Brodsky joined former U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, David Mack, to discuss the ongoing crisis in Gaza with Elaine Reyes on CCTV America. Brodsky explained that the reason Israel's security cabinet turned down John Kerry's 7-day cease-fire plan was because unlike like the Egyptian plan previously offered and accepted by Israel and the Arab League, the Kerry plan weighed heavily in Hamas' favor. Specifically, it would allow Hamas to regroup and rearm without demilitarizing Gaza or tackling the offensive tunnels. He described why a quick and long-term cease-fire would only ensure the continuation of the same conflict. "Israel needs to be allowed to win. They need to be allowed to demilitarize the Gaza Strip and tackle the tunnels... The international outcry for a cease-fire never allows Israel to finish the job." Brodsky used Israeli operations in Gaza in 2008/09 and 2012 as examples, as well as Hezbollah in 2006 where a premature cease-fire resulted in that Lebanese-based terrorist group replenishing and surpassing its war-time rocket inventory.
The best option, according to Brodsky, is the removal of Hamas from leadership. Once Israel has demilitarized Gaza and decommissioned the tunnels, the U.S. would then do well to broker a cease-fire that would usher in Fatah and the Palestinian Authority into a leadership role in Gaza - with Mahmoud Abbas dropping Hamas from the unity government. In this scenario, Hamas would be dramatically weakened while Abbas would be strengthened and Israel - along with the U.S. - would then be able to work with the Palestinian security services, which would at least raise the conditions of Gaza to that of the West Bank. It would at least "pave the way toward any kind of future peace agreement."
Asked how the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) has affected the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the regional order, Brodsky noted that Hamas is cut from the same cloth as the Muslim Brotherhood and that the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, and Hamas all share versions of the same vision with Shari'ah as the law. Regionally, "the common thread is the rise of Islamism in the Middle East and the retreat of secularism."