One of Israel’s greatest obstacles has been the ambivalence and at times outright negative attitude of our principal ally. At one stage, U.S. President Barack Obama demanded that Israel open Gaza’s borders prior to demilitarization, thus presenting Hamas with an outright victory. His moral equivalence, support for the involvement of pro-Hamas Qatar and Turkey in the mediation process, and — even in the midst of a war — his threats to limit arms shipments, were incompatible with repeated assertions of “having Israel’s back”. This behavior encouraged Hamas to believe that with western media support there would be increasing global pressure on Israel to give in to its demands.
On the positive side, for the first time, the bulk of Arabs states are snubbing and even condemning Hamas. Egypt may play a crucial role in the future and could be the key to the ultimate demilitarization of Gaza. It is apparent that Netanyahu’s contentious willingness to engage in indirect negotiations with Hamas was motivated by a desire to work in tandem with Egypt.
The most complex aspect of the problem is the role of the corrupt Palestinian Authority. Israel has learned from this Gaza experience that it can only agree to a Palestinian state that is totally demilitarized and in which Israel retains defensible borders. Otherwise, Tel Aviv could wake up with terrorist tunnels emerging into Habima Theater
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