Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Jonathan Edelstein reviews the UN peace proposal. As he notes, the proposal would give Israel everything it wants on the Gaza front, but not the key demand of an armed Hizbullah being moved off the Lebanon border. I'm more optimistic than him about the prospects for being able to hold to it in Gaza, as if Fatah and Hamas were able to build on the cooperation which went into their late June agreement on a joint negotiating position (remember that?), then they could probably bring a great deal of stability to the Strip. Egyptian aid would also be vital on this score. The bigger diplomatic problem is Hizbullah, which would only sign on to a ceasefire if they could claim some sort of victory, either in keeping their two prisoners or obtaining the release of Israel's Lebanese prisoners. Israel, however, doesn't want to give in to what they see as terrorism in the kidnapping of the IDF soldiers. I don't know much about the Lebanese it is holding, but might there be plausible grounds for transferring them to Lebanese custody?