The war between Israel and Palestine: Never negotiate during a firefight
Israel’s leadership would do well to read a book by former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss. One of the key guidelines he emphasizes is “Don’t try to negotiate in a firefight”. The book, entitled Never Split the Difference-Negotiating as if your life depended on it, outlines successful strategies for reaching realistic agreements. However, the United States and Israel’s leadership is doing the exact opposite. As of May 20, a “ceasefire truce” is being brokered by Egypt. However, they are forcing a conciliation by Israel’s security cabinet to “unilaterally” stop counter-terror attacks and pressure, on Hamas. All to the exasperation and aggravation of the Israeli Defense Force leadership who know Hamas will regroup and attack again.
“Israel will have to resign itself to wrapping up its Gaza campaign in hope of a few years of uneasy calm, while accepting that whenever its intelligence uncovers a new stockpile of rockets, launchers or weapons production, the air force will have to return to the skies of Gaza and destroy them.”
The government of the United States, under the Biden/Harris administration urged on by a group of rabidly anti-Semitic Democratic members of Congress, is hounding Israel to “de-escalate” i.e., capitulate. Openly hostile and vile calls to “rape and kill” Jews and to “crush Israel” have been heard in many parts of the USA and the world these past weeks. Millions of dollars in “aid” to Palestinians was rushed through even though Hamas openly threatened on the day the truce was being negotiated. The following statement was released May 20, 2021, by Hamas.
“It is true the battle ends today but Netanyahu and the whole world should know that our hands are on the trigger, and we will continue to grow the capabilities of this resistance,” said Ezzat El-Reshiq, a member of the Hamas political bureau.
Hamas is already posting an estimation of “damages” they want to be addressed. By whom?
“The Hamas media office estimated the bombardments had caused $40 million in damage to factories and the strip’s industrial zone and other industrial facilities, in addition to $22 million in damage to the energy sector. Gaza’s agriculture ministry estimated around $27 million in damage that included greenhouses, agricultural lands, and poultry farms.”
Will the Palestinians accept money from Iran, from Hezbollah, Al Nusra, Islamic Jihad, and/or the Taliban? Hamas and other terrorist organizations are trying to elicit sympathy and “contributions” from all over the world. They are seeking financial aid for the attacks they not only started by are continuing. Hamas is endeavoring to leverage negotiations for a cease-fire even whilst they promise future attacks.
Other countries including Turkey (a NATO ally with the largest military in Europe), the Arab countries that started better relations with Israel only a year ago including the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Bahrain, and Morocco, have backstepped in their diplomatic relations with Israel and “condemned” Israel for acting in self-defense. They have not condemned the Palestinians.
“A few interested parties such as Egypt, Jordan, and Qatar have offered to be part of the negotiations. In this sense, Israel is outnumbered since the USA can no longer be relied upon as a loyal ally to Israel. House Democrats overwhelmingly voted on Tuesday afternoon against applying sanctions on Hamas, the Iranian-backed terror group that has fired thousands of missiles at Israel during the past two weeks amid a deepening regional conflict.
In a 217-209 vote, Democrats rejected a bid by House Republicans to hold a vote on Hamas sanctions legislation authored by Rep. Brian Mast (R., Fla.). The bill was supported by every House Democrat in the last Congress but stalled this time around when Democratic members refused to allow the bill to be considered by the legislative body. Republicans wanted to pass the legislation to further express support for Israel as it fights the terror group.”
At present, the United States government is funding and supplying both sides in this conflict.
The USA is pushing Israel not to negotiate but to accept the ceasefire brokered by Arab countries
“Qatar, which bankrolls Hamas in Gaza, has also tried to mediate, with its foreign minister holding talks with both the Hamas leader, Ismail Haniya, and U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.”
Cui bono-who benefits from the money that will pour in?
Not only the terrorist groups which will gain another injection of money, weapons, and political support; but also, Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian National Authority (the Palestinian State) and the Chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) since 2004. Mahmoud Abbas has often wrangled with members of Hamas. The Israeli Defense Force actions took out some of his competition for leadership in point of fact.
“Hamas continues to be able to rule Gaza and reaps the political benefits from being the party of armed resistance to Israeli occupation. Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas appears cowed by Hamas’s power — most analysts believe he canceled the Palestinian election (in 2021) because he thought he would lose — and so is content to let Israel keep his rivals contained in Gaza.”
Soon, Benjamin Netanyahu will not be the Prime Minister and leader of Israel. The situation in East Jerusalem and the West Bank is still volatile, even though more media attention is on Gaza. Hezbollah has become emboldened again. The north of Israel, the Golan Heights, is vulnerable to attack. The world sees the United States weakening in its support of Israel and in other respects.
Another guiding principle from Chris Voss’s book, and other successful negotiators, is: “Try to negotiate from a position of strength.”
It seems the tables have turned after Hamas’s fourth series of attacks on Israel in a decade. They do not yet have the military might the IDF has, but they have moved into a position of strength on the world game board. A dangerous play for the entire region.
About the Author:
Joanne Patti Munisteri lives a ‘different’ life that has taken her around the world. She works as a contractor in the fields of education, health, monitoring and evaluation, research, analysis and training. Joanne is a certified Combat Analyst and Social Scientist. She was part of the Human Terrain System (HTS) with the US Army, training at Ft. Leavenworth. Joanne continues to be rostered on the US Department of State Specialist programs. Her non-fiction book, “Traveling Off the X” will be published by Defiance Press in October 2021.
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