Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:44 PM
Purveyor (22,623 posts)
The state ceremony on Tuesday memory of Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, at his Negev kibbutz of Sde Boker was different from those of previous years. For perhaps the first time, the event was held under a media blackout. The reason was concern that Hamas in Gaza would try to target the gravesite where the event was held while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and other senior Israeli officials were on the scene.
This may seem an insignificant anecdote, but it says something about the situation in which Israel finds itself at the end of a week of hostilities in the Gaza Strip and on the cusp of a potential cease-fire. When dozens of kilometers from Gaza, the prime minister of Israel was unable to speak live on Israeli television, it's difficult to convince the Israeli public that the Israeli military operation, Pillar of Defense, had been replete with success.
Netanyahu understands that not much remains of the euphoria of the first day of the operation. A million Israelis in the south, who have sustained a barrage of 1,500 rockets, and the residents of Tel Aviv, who also ran to shelters on an almost daily basis, no longer remember Ahmed Jabari, the Hamas military commander targeted by Israel a week ago at the beginning of the operation. Pillar of Defense, which initially looked like Netanyahu's version of the assassination of Osama bin Laden, will in all probability end as the sequel to former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Operation Cast Lead, launched in Gaza at the end of 2008.
As in 2008, Israel is again trying to see how it can exit this military campaign with a reasonable cease-fire arrangement. Ultimately, Netanyahu and his foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman have also understood, even if a bit late, what then-Foreign minister Tzipi Livni and the then-and-current defense minister, Ehud Barak, realized on the third day of Cast Lead. Again the talk is about "quiet in exchange for quiet" and the hope that sufficient deterrence has been achieved to prevent a resumption of rocket fire.
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