Israel thrives only on war. Twice this year, the leaders of Hamas indicated their readiness to accept a Palestinian State within the 1967 borders. Khaled Meshaal, Hamas leader, informed former president Jimmy Carter of this decision in April 2008. In May 2008, it was revealed that Yves Aubin de La Messuziere, a retired senior French diplomat had held discussions with Ismael Haniyeh and Mahmoud Zahar, two prominent Hamas leaders who confirmed Hamas’ readiness to accept a Palestinian State within the 1967 border, reflecting an unofficial acceptance of Israel.
Of the three politicians who announced this latest military assault on Gaza, perhaps only the outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has little to lose — or gain — from its outcome.
Flanking the Israeli prime minister were two of the main contenders for his job: Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister and the new leader of the centrist party, and Ehud Barak, the defence minister, as they jostle for position against Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing party, Likud, before a general election little more than a month away. All strenuously deny that the election has any bearing on the timing of the Gaza operation.
Observed Michael Warschawski, a founder of the Alternative Information Center in Jerusalem, “all Israeli leaders are competing over who is the toughest and who is ready to kill more.”