According to Sarkozy. It looks like the Israeli’s have accepted the French sponsored peace plan that has been signed off on by Egypt, the US and most significantly the Palestinian Authority.

However one very important party doesn’t accept it; Hamas, per Israellycool and Ynet:

Osama Hamdan, a Hamas representative in Lebanon, said that the Egyptian-French Gaza Strip ceasefire initiative is unacceptable and that new ideas should be discussed

This looks like another crazy like a fox move:

Next, the French and Egyptians appear to have gotten the message about Hamas. The communique appears to go out of its way to exclude Hamas, and the truce principles agreement comes from Hamas’ political opponents/enemies in Fatah. They may want to smooth the path to restore the authority of the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in Gaza after three years of Hamas rule, at a time when Gazans may finally welcome the change.

Unless the Israelis want to reoccupy Gaza, they need some sort of political resolution to the conflict. Their biggest worry is the Iranian proxy Hamas. If they can get Hamas out of Gaza and the West Bank, that will be a huge victory for Israel and for the Palestinians in the long run. It will be an even bigger defeat for Iran, which is why the French and Egyptians want to make these arrangements.

Knocking Iran out of Gaza however wouldn’t solve everything as and soccerdad reminds us:

Fatah is moderate relative to Hamas. It wasn’t Hamas that rejected the peace deal at Camp David in 2000. Abbas didn’t object to Arafat’s rejection either. A few months of dong what they should have been doing for 15 years, doesn’t mean that they’ve changed.

One might say that Fatah’s primary goal is theft and secondary goal is the destruction of Israel, Hamas has it the other way around. People forget that one of the reasons why Hamas managed to win that election was the massive corruption of the PA under Fatah. There is no reason to believe that would change if they took over in Gaza but it would be at least a relative improvement and depending on if Fatah has learned anything a significant improvement.

For the US the focus off of Gaza and back on Iran would be very good. The president elect wouldn’t mind having this stop before the 20th either.

Accepting this gives Israel a huge propaganda advantage. As long as Hamas doesn’t accept the plan they can smash them up Phil Sheridan style (well maybe not Sheridan style) citing Hamas’ failure to go along. If Hamas does eventually agree it can’t be seen as anything but a defeat that will discredit them with other Arabs.

Why this isn’t touted on the IDF Spokesperson’s blog is beyond me.

Morning Joe has reported as breaking news an agreement in principle to a cease fire that stops rockets and prevents smuggled weapons.

I’m not seeing it anywhere else yet.

People not getting killed is always a big plus, but if true I can’t see how it will work. The international force in Lebanon is a farce. Any such force that is in Gaza that did not enforce bans on arms smuggling or stop rocket launches would just become human shields. Any such force that was willing to actively stop either would be a target for Hamas and their Iranian allies. They would have to go in ready to fight.

Anyways we will see.

Christopher Hitchens is worth reading today.

This is a sentience that can be written any day of any week of any year. I can’t help but like him, when he is right he is right on and when he is wrong he is wrong honest. He is one of the best writers out there.

Although he would resent it I can’t help but pray for him.

Isreallycool links to this message at the “Free Gaza” (quotes are mine) site:

Israel is hereby put on notice that we are coming. We will announce our exact departure date, time and route, traveling from Cypriot waters, into international waters, directly into Gaza territorial waters, never nearing Israeli waters. The Israeli Navy, Ministry of Defense, and Foreign Ministry will all receive a copy of this notice. Any attack on our vessel will be premeditated and any harm inflicted on the 30 civilians on board will be the result of a deliberate attack on unarmed civilians.

I can only think of this notice:


I took the liberty of doing a search for the word “rockets” on their site, other than describing them as “modest homemade rockets”. I’m curious if they would consider them modest and homemade if they were fired at them. Of course there is no condemnation of those attacks, illustrating the moral bankruptcy of these guys.

In my opinion Israel should seize the vessel, and repatriate the people on board to either their starting location or to their individual countries of origin. These guys are very lucky that Israel is not the bunch of barbarians that these guys claim. If they actually thought they were, they’d stay home.

Rich Lowry makes a strong point concerning Gaza:

we shouldn’t fool ourselves that this operation is going to “discredit” Hamas, as some conservatives hope, much or at all. Yes, Hamas ultimately is responsible for the conflict. But when an Israeli shell kills your family or your neighbor’s family, most people aren’t going to think it through enough to blame Hamas, they are going to direct their hatred and their desire for revenge at Israel. That’s why probably the most that realistically can be hoped for from this operation is a diminishment of Hamas’ capabilities. Achieving more than that would require holding territory and engaging in classic counter-insurgency operations, including providing services to win over the population. Israel’s not going to do that, and it doesn’t seem the PA is capable of it.

He has a really good point, Germany and Japan wouldn’t be what they are today if it hadn’t been for the post WW II occupation.

Headlines like this suggest that he might be wrong at least in one sense:

At least some of them know the identity of their tormentors. A New York Times dispatch captured an excruciating moment that took place in a hospital morgue, where a mother had just found half of the body of her 17-year-old daughter.

“May God exterminate Hamas!” screamed the woman in crystal-clear understanding that the terrorist band’s reckless, inhuman actions had brought death to her child.

This is not the only example of this type of talk.

This suggests that Gazans either feel Hamas is incapable to retaliate or they are just too angry to care. It is a seminal change.

This doesn’t mean that these people aren’t going to blame Israel as well, people who have lost friends and loved ones will have plenty of grief and anger to go around. Hatred of Hamas is not the same as tolerance for Israel.

Played a game called Descent Journey’s in the Dark last night. We didn’t finish as we started late (my fault) but it was better than I thought it would be. I would feel pretty good about recommending it to other gamers.

Then again for a price of $90 it oughta be good.

The subject of the Gaza operation came up. All agreed that Hamas are a bunch of bastards. My hesitation on the ground offensive wasn’t shared by anyone but 60% of the table criticized Israel for settlement activity on the west bank for giving Hamas an excuse. Barbara Lerner would take exception to that.

Speaking of gamers one of the guys saw The Gamers 2 recently and kept going on and on about it. It would have to be really funny to be better than the first one.

Joe is really hitting the Sanjay Gupta appointment as a gag. I don’t see the problem with it. A lot of it is just communication and he certainly qualifies as a communicator and as a doctor.

Have you noticed that it is apparently no longer racist to say Barack Hussein Obama? I personally don’t think it ever was.

I’m not a huge fan of Al Franken for the senate and I do have a soft spot for him due to his works with the USO, but I don’t see the point of hitting him for comedy clips that he did. He is a comedian what do you expect?

Update: Apparently on the Today Show this isn’t true.

7:38 a.m. The NBC middle east reporter seemed tongue tied when Joe questioned the anti-Israel line.

7:42 a.m Joe just asked Dan Rather why the press doesn’t care or get involved when the rockets are firing but only when Israel hits back. Rather agreed saying that for some reason it doesn’t rate a story and said he doesn’t understand why. Barnicle correctly pointed out that this is used as a distraction by dictators.

Is it just me or is Mika kind of quiet today?

8:07 a.m. When Martin Indyk was asked why Hamas fired rockets at Israel, the subject of Hamas calling for the destruction of Israel never came up in his reasoning. Hamas has never needed a reason to kill Jews.

You know after schools that were closed from the 11th-the 23rd last month the last thing we needed was more ice.

However we will be getting ice all day today. Lets see if the replacement power lines hold up.

The only bright side is that presumably all the trees that were not going to make it have already come down with the last storm.

Until didn’t cover itself with glory last month, lets see what happens.

At this rate the kids will be in school till July.