It Appears Hamas and Iran are Asking the U.S. and Israel to "Give Peace a Chance."
Could the various parties all pull back from the brink of all out war and negotiate? The signs are that they are doing just that.
October 18, 2023
Analysis: Last Saturday Hamas committed the worst terrorist attack in the Western world in 20 years. With no warning, Hamas’ Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades slaughtered 1400 people, raped women and beheaded babies in their cribs, just for being Jewish. Hardly partners for peace.
Israeli PM Netanyahu committed his country to total war. “Everyone in Hamas, you are all dead men” he said looking in the camera. The 300,000 men and 600 Merkava tanks the IDF assembled on the border of Gaza backed up his threat. I did not have any doubt at the time that Bibi meant what he said and was saying what he was saying.
But today, things feel different. Consider the following headlines: 1. Israeli Ground Invasion of Gaza Imminent: New York Times at 5 pm PST. 2. "The Israeli ground offensive into Gaza will be delayed by a few days due to heavy rain and clouds” reported the New York Times just 2 hours later. 3. "Iran's Foreign Minister Meets Hamas Leader in Doha, Qatar.”
4. A top U.S. military official confirmed that a group of American warships, including the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, recently left Norfolk, Virginia. They're heading to the Eastern Mediterranean, near Israel and Lebanon, to meet up with other ships from different countries, and they'll be joining another group of American ships led by the USS Gerald R. Ford. “An American aircraft carrier is 100,000 tons of diplomacy,” said former US Ambassador to Russia John Hunstman.
Other evidence that people are talking and a deal could be in the offing: 5. Hezbollah has not entered the fray, despite half a dozen incidents on the border and losses on both sides. 6. The water and power remain out in Gaza and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have heeded Israel’s call to move from Northern to Southern Gaza. 7. Hamas has falsely claimed, that the intent of the incursion was to seize the Southern Israeli Military Command, not to kill 1400 Israelis and others. Hardly an apology, but still an attempt to dial it back.
8. Russia has asked the UN Security Council to vote on a resolution that calls for a humanitarian ceasefire between Gaza and Israel. 9. Israel is setting up safe zones in southern Gaza now with lots of food and supplies for Palestinians. 10. Demonstrations against Israel and in sympathy with Gazans were conducted in major cities throughout the world.
The last headline is included for completeness; no one much cares that immigrants in Paris or London or NYC are upset. And Iran has also repeatedly warned the US and Israel that they are on the edge of Armageddon. But Iran is showing relative restraint, even maturity. They could have told Hezbollah to release 140,000 rockets against the Israeli’s, but they did not.
Why did Iran’s FM fly to Qatar? Qatar is considered a pro-western Arab country, even though Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas, lives in a luxury hotel there. Hamas has tried to show a willingness to negotiate, offering to release the hostages if the water and power are fist turned back on. "Hamas has always stressed that it does not target civilians, old or young", Haniyeh said.
The point is not that Hamas is genuinely singing “Give Peace a Chance;” they aren't. The point is that Hamas' overlords in Teheran are talking to Israel and the US through intermediaries. And Israel is listening. The outcome of this war is certain; Israeli victory and lots more death after complete destruction of Gaza. All parties have a reason to avoid it. Don’t be amazed if they give peace a chance.