Thursday, November 22, 2012

Was It Worth It?

This is what 8 days of fighting, and approximately 170 dead, 1000 wounded, $100 million in munitions, and untold millions of economic damage will get you.

Agreement of Understanding For a Ceasefire in the Gaza Strip 
A. Israel should stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land, sea and air including incursions and targeting of individuals. 
B. All Palestinian factions shall stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border. 
C. Opening the crossings and facilitating the movements of people and transfer of goods and refraining from restricting residents' free movements and targeting residents in border areas and procedures of implementation shall be dealt with after 24 hours from the start of the ceasefire 
D. Other matters as may be requested shall be addressed.
2: Implementation mechanisms:
A. Setting up the zero hour for the ceasefire understanding to enter into effect. 
B. Egypt shall receive assurances from each party that the party commits to what was agreed upon. 
C. Each party shall commit itself not to perform any acts that would breach this understanding. In case of any observations Egypt as the sponsor of this understanding shall be informed to follow up.
In the year prior to Nov 13, (the start of this latest war), though 700 rockets had been launched from Gaza to Israel, not  a single Israeli had been killed and only one had been wounded. In the eight days of the war, 6 Israelis were killed and many dozens wounded.

Do you suppose, that if on November 13, the Israeli government had proposed to Hamas that in exchange for a total cessation of rocket fire from Gaza, Israel would being "opening the crossings and facilitating the movements of people and transfer of goods" that Hamas would have agreed?  I'm pretty sure they would have.  It certainly would  have been worth a try. It might have saved 6 Israeli lives, dozens of Israeli wounded, millions of Israeli dollars, and avoided a lot of trauma for Israeli citizens. (And I am deliberately not mentioning the wars effects on Palestinians.)

So, even from the narrowly defined perspective of "Israeli rational self interest", was this war worth it?

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