President Obama’s inaugural speech included a warm call for reconciliation with the Muslim world, based on “mutual interest and mutual respect,” but also a hard-edged message to terrorists and destructive regimes, “we will defeat you.” Thus, an opportunity is being offered for the regional players to decide whether to present the U.S. with an open palm or a clenched fist.
"Should the IDF now find an appropriate point to declare victory and turn the stage over to the political and diplomatic efforts? Crucial to that decision is the question of preventing not only future rocket campaigns, but also the “resupply” of weapons to Hamas."
“Equally sensitized are the battlefield commanders, at the brigade level, who spent years fighting terror in the West Bank while consciously working to reduce or avoid civilian losses and collateral damage. They are trying to apply the same conceptual framework at the outskirts of Gaza.”
“Moreover, the resolution does not blame Israel. It equates the civilian losses on both sides and condemns all ‘violence and hostilities directed against civilians.’ Almost explicitly, it does blame Hamas for the resulting heavy civilian casualties since the refusal to extend the period of calm. None of this is palatable from Hamas’ point of view – and thus, they cannot be expected to abide by 1860 as a whole.”
“Endgames are indeed notoriously slippery, and one wrong move can undo a great diplomatic effort. It is at this stage that Israeli diplomats as well as Israel’s friends should hammer home the message: unless the three realist goals – no rockets, no resupply, no radical victory narrative – are met, the region may well witness even sadder sights soon.”