Patterico's Pontifications

5/6/2024

New Frontier for the Anti-Israel Cabal

Filed under: General — JVW @ 4:17 pm



[guest post by JVW]

If you have been following the developments as the Israeli Defense Forces are poised to enter Rafah (or, as Joe Biden likes to call it, Haifa) the Palestinians are now trying desperately to salvage a ceasefire proposal, brokered by Egypt and Qatar seemingly without involving any input from Israel or the United States. This after a Hamas rocket attack killed four IDF troops yesterday. The deal would give Hamas six weeks to produce somewhere between 20 and 33 hostages — living we presume — who would be exchanged for a disproportionate number of imprisoned Hamas militants. Naturally during this six-week period Israel would be prohibited from attacking Hamas in Rafah during that time. An earlier Egyptian proposal supported by Hamas actually required the IDF to evacuate all of Gaza during this truce, which is an idea so ridiculous that a serious mediator would never have dared to suggest it, though an IDF evacuation has been proposed down the road.

Of course the anti-Israel media here and abroad are already trying to treat the revised Egyptian/Qatari proposal, which Hamas has allegedly accepted, as legitimate. Here is a wretched ABC News piece on the matter where the field reporter in Tel Aviv and a former CIA operative presumably from Washington both insist that Israel must accept this truce to placate the families of the hostages. The former CIA analyst at least recognizes that the deal as offered likely won’t be accepted by Israel, and he acknowledges that this is more of a public relations move by Hamas rather than a legitimate move towards peace, yet in the very next breath he suggests that Israel still must accept it because to do otherwise would be “cruel” to the families of the hostages. It’s small wonder that the CIA has followed failure after failure in the Middle East over the past 30 years, given the apparent mindlessness of its analysts.

CNN isn’t any better. They bring on one of their national security analysts, Beth Sanner, a former Deputy Director for Intelligence during the Trump Administration (replacing Dan Coates) who says that Israel is likely to sign on to the plan given that Israel allegedly agreed to a similar plan earlier. The CNN reporter in Gaza then repeats Ms. Sanner’s assertion that although the Israeli government has not yet agreed to the proposal, the terms had been built around concepts that Israel has allegedly agreed to over the past couple of weeks. These include the six-week truce to facilitate the hostage release, the return of Palestinians to the northern part of the Gaza Strip, and a broader framework beyond six-weeks which would see the remaining hostages and Israel soldiers being swapped for Hamas prisoners. These remarks were given four hours ago, yet ever since then the reports from the Israeli Cabinet are that the terms are unacceptable. This no doubt really bums out the good people at CNN. The reporter acknowledges that Hamas’s last-minute decision to accept the terms proposed by Egypt and Qatari came shortly after Israel dropped flyers throughout Rafah calling upon Palestinians to evacuate the area before hostilities begin, but he apparently never stopped to wonder if this move by Hamas isn’t a giant bluff, hoping to buy more time in which to test Israeli resolve.

NBC is slightly better, pointing out that the comprehensive details of the truce are still unknown, and that current speculation is merely based upon the drafts that were being discussed last week. This lends credence to Israel’s immediate announcement that the Egypt/Qatar proposal needed a great deal more work before Israel would sign on. NBC says that the specific number of Israeli hostages to be released by Hamas is 33, which differs greatly from other reports that the proposal is a general range falling between 20 and 33. One interesting detail in the NBC report that I had not heard elsewhere is that only 93 of the 130 remaining hostages are believed to be alive at this point. NBC also informs us that Israel officials characterize this latest proposal as a ruse, designed to further turn public opinion against Israel.

Meanwhile, CBS tells us that the Israeli Cabinet — recall that this is a unity war cabinet made up of the major parties in the Knesset — has approved the IDF’s incursion into Rafah while Israeli officials attempt to learn more about the ceasefire plan. Their reporter confirms the 33 hostage release requirement and adds the detail that Israel would release 40 prisoners for every soldier released and 20 prisoners for every civilian released, meaning that some 600-1200 Palestinians (many if not most of whom are Hamas) would be headed back to Gaza. This would take place over the next six weeks. Israeli soldiers would also withdraw from “densely populated areas” and Israel would increase humanitarian aid. Upon the successful completion of that six-week plan, there would be an additional six-week ceasefire which would see the return of all remaining hostages in return for additional paroles for Hamas fighters, and also includes a complete withdrawal of IDF troops from the Gaza Strip. If that is successful then dead hostages and combatants on both sides would be exchanged, and both sides would enter into a five-year agreement for the rebuilding of Gaza. He then repeats the talking point that hostage families are excited about the deal, suggesting that there is no way that mean ol’ Netanyahu can reject it. The CBS anchor has the good sense to ask if it is really very likely that Israel could accept an agreement whereby their forces leave the Gaza Strip, and the reporter is forced to admit that may be a step too far for even the unity government.

One question is where the Biden Administration stands on all of this, and how much input they have had. This proposal was very clearly declared to be an Egyptian and Qatari proposal, with no mention of U.S. involvement in its drafting, even if it was supposedly based at least in part upon ideas that both the U.S. and Israel had supported as recently as last week. Was the U.S. sandbagged by Egypt and Qatar getting Hamas to agree to a draft that the U.S. and Israel had not approved? Did the Biden Administration clandestinely agree to this proposal behind the scenes but did not want its fingerprints all over it in case Israel or Hamas ended up rejecting it? Is there some plausible combination of the two whereby the U.S. stumbled into half-heartedly blessing this agreement without really knowing the full details of it? Because the latter option seems to be the most likely scenario where this President and administration are concerned. One could easily envision our negotiators giving so many mixed signals and vacillating so much based upon domestic considerations that negotiators from the two Arab countries simply heard what they wanted to hear and ran with it.

For the record, the Biden Administration is claiming that the proposal caught them by surprise too, saying that, like Israel, they need more time to fully study all of the fine points, which might also be an indication that they need to see how this polls among likely U.S. voters before coming to a final determination. But I’m not sure I like the idea that we have let other nations back us and our allies into an agreement that we aren’t willing to immediately stand behind. It is Israel’s decision to make and not ours whether they trust all of the participants suitably enough to sign on to this truce, and I hope that if they decide against it that we are willing to hear them out in their reasoning. But the initial media reaction to it suggests that the pressure among the progressive elite is going to overwhelmingly be for Israel to trust the good faith and peaceful aspirations of the Palestinian people without first eradicating the malevolent influence of Hamas.

– JVW

25 Responses to “New Frontier for the Anti-Israel Cabal”

  1. Without checking first, I’m guessing that you guys have been discussing the ceasefire proposal in the Weekend Open Thread. I thought I would focus on how our media was treating it rather than discuss the nuts-and-bolts of the proposal — especially since we don’t seem to fully know them — but please feel free to discuss the proposal in general on this thread if you wish.

    JVW (b02843)

  2. Now it seems that the agreement agreed to by Hamas was not the exact agreement that was discussed last week. It had been modified by Hamas. Who would have thought something like this could happen?

    John Boddie (dcf99c)

  3. …….Israel would release 40 prisoners for every soldier released and 20 prisoners for every civilian released, meaning that some 600-1200 Palestinians (many if not most of whom are Hamas) would be headed back to Gaza.

    Suicide pact.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  4. Marvelous piece, JVW. It can no longer be the case that JVW stands for Junior Varsity Writer.

    norcal (32664e)

  5. no longer be the case that JVW stands for Junior Varsity Writer.

    Very kind of you, norcal. Perhaps I can now be considered Jaded (or Jaundiced?) Verbose Whimsy.

    JVW (b02843)

  6. I like Judicious and Valid Waggery. 😛

    norcal (47e42d)

  7. I thought JVW stood for Jambalaya Volkswagen? 🙂

    qdpsteve again (8aac97)

  8. Just Very Weird

    JVW (b02843)

  9. I like the way that Israel appears to be handling this. They are launching “limited” attacks in Rafah instead of an all-out military assault. Meanwhile, they are telling Egypt and Qatar that they are willing to remain engaged at the negotiations table, but that the current proposal isn’t up to snuff. I think this might be a very shrewd balance: keep the pressure on Hamas to make concessions while continuing to target their leaders and troops, but keep the lines of communication open. I hope Israel can use this to get a much better deal than the one that is currently being discussed.

    JVW (b02843)

  10. The news media job is not to be the bottle deposit crooks public relations department. What Israel and hamas doesn’t want you to know is news. What they want you to know is propaganda!. It is difficult for me to criticize since the destruction of hamas is best for everyone. Also the news media job is to cover biden they way they cover trump ;but it is what it is.

    asset (174194)

  11. The news media job is not to be the bottle deposit crooks public relations department.

    The Executive Editor of the New York Times has an interesting interview with Ben Smith at Semafor which was published yesterday. He does seem to very tentatively acknowledge that the NYT went off the rails in the Trump years as some of the paper’s journalists decided they wanted to instead be activists:

    Ben Smith: Dan Pfeiffer, who used to work for Barack Obama, recently wrote of the Times: “They do not see their job as saving democracy or stopping an authoritarian from taking power.” Why don’t you see your job as: “We’ve got to stop Trump?” What about your job doesn’t let you think that way?

    Joe Kahn: [. . .] It’s also true that Trump could win this election in a popular vote. Given that Trump’s not in office, it will probably be fair. And there’s a very good chance, based on our polling and other independent polling, that he will win that election in a popular vote. So there are people out there in the world who may decide, based on their democratic rights, to elect Donald Trump as president. It is not the job of the news media to prevent that from happening. It’s the job of Biden and the people around Biden to prevent that from happening.

    It’s our job to cover the full range of issues that people have. At the moment, democracy is one of them. But it’s not the top one — immigration happens to be the top [of polls], and the economy and inflation is the second. Should we stop covering those things because they’re favorable to Trump and minimize them? I don’t even know how it’s supposed to work in the view of Dan Pfeiffer or the White House. We become an instrument of the Biden campaign? We turn ourselves into Xinhua News Agency or Pravda and put out a stream of stuff that’s very, very favorable to them and only write negative stories about the other side? And that would accomplish — what?

    And then later on in the interview:

    Ben: You told The Wall Street Journal that there’s not a robust culture of open-mindedness coming off of campuses. Do you feel like that means you can’t hire those kids, or that you have to reprogram them?

    Joe: Some of the things that I’ve seen in terms of the way campus journalists are covering this is really encouraging. [. . .]

    [But] I don’t think that this generation of college grads has been fully prepared for what we are asking our people to do, which is to commit themselves to the idea of independent journalism.

    Ben: Does that make you more likely to hire kids from state schools, outside that elite group, or kids who didn’t go to college?

    Joe: I’d be open to it. And I’m open to graduates from whatever school who understand what they need to commit to being in an independent news environment. But I don’t think we can assume that they’ve been trained for that, if they’ve been trained for safe spaces. The newsroom is not a safe space. It’s a space where you’re being exposed to lots of journalism, some of which you are not going to like.

    Don’t you feel like there was a generation of students who came out of school saying you should only work at places that align completely with your values?

    Ben: Don’t you think we all sort of said that to them?

    Joe: I don’t think we said it explicitly. I think there was a period [where] we implied it. And I think that the early days of Trump in particular, were, “join us for the mission.”

    Ben: Was it a mistake to say that — even to think it?

    Joe: I think it went too far. It was overly simplistic. And I think the big push that you’re seeing us make and reestablish our norms and emphasize independent journalism and build a more resilient culture comes out of some of the excesses of that period.

    I may or may not blog on this later in the week, but in the meantime here’s the link to the entire piece which is generally pretty interesting. It’s clear that at least some of the upper-management at the NYT understands what an unrelenting echo chamber their newsroom has become.

    JVW (b02843)

  12. @11 The media treats trump the way he should be treated like msDNC. The problem is except for fox and talk radio biden is treated with kid gloves to the detriment of the country and even the democrat party. MsDNC pushing russian/trump collusion lies of adam schiff is par for the course ;but not confronting his lies that he had evidence makes a joke about their phony claim of unbiased reporting.

    asset (174194)

  13. At some point, the process of returning 30 Palestinian prisoners for every released Israeli hostage has to stop. It only gives the terrorists the perverse incentive to take more hostages.
    On to Rafah. Clean it out. Hamas needs to be destroyed.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  14. It only gives the terrorists the perverse incentive to take more hostages.

    I agree, but apparently it’s been pretty much standard operating procedure in Israel for quite some time now. It’s a testament to how much Israeli society reveres the life of its own citizens that they will exchange dozens of wretched terrorists for just one Israeli.

    JVW (b02843)

  15. …….Israel would release 40 prisoners for every soldier released and 20 prisoners for every civilian released, meaning that some 600-1200 Palestinians (many if not most of whom are Hamas) would be headed back to Gaza.

    I see no point in restocking Hamas. Keep razing Gaza until they decide to release the hostages unilaterally.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  16. The news media job is not to be the bottle deposit crooks public relations department

    You need a new shtick.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  17. It’s clear that at least some of the upper-management at the NYT understands what an unrelenting echo chamber their newsroom has become.

    I suspect part of the concern is that they will make their paper unappealing to a lot of folks. It already is to some, but if they spend the next Trump administration as the voice of the DNC, it will diminish them.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  18. @16 why? It worked for cato. Carthage must be destroyed and netanyahu in prison. Maybe trump too?

    asset (174194)

  19. @17 NYT did not cover AOC’s primary campaign against joe crowley in 2018 who out spent her 18 to 1. They push the democrat corporate establishment as does msDNC. They now realize the left is the democratic parties future not biden/clinton wing as younger voters loathe them.

    asset (174194)

  20. @17 NYT did not cover AOC’s primary campaign against joe crowley in 2018 who out spent her 18 to 1. They push the democrat corporate establishment as does msDNC. They now realize the left is the democratic parties future not biden/clinton wing as younger voters loathe them.
    asset (174194) — 5/6/2024 @ 11:16 pm

    “Why oh why won’t NYT cover everything and then some about super-cutie AOC and how incredibly awesome she is?!? They must be a bunch of right-wing nazi shills!! Can’t wait until I get to date her someday…” 😀

    qdpsteve again (8aac97)

  21. Kevin M:
    every day, asset reminds me more and more of Arte Johnson and the tricycle, on Laugh-In. 🙂

    qdpsteve again (8aac97)

  22. This is the main headline (far right side front page column) in the print edition of the New York Times today:

    ISRAELI MILITARY
    ORDERS 110,000
    TO LEAVE RAFAH
    —————

    FEARS OF INVASION
    —————-

    Hamas Claims to Have
    Accepted a Proposal
    for a Cease-Fire

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  23. There’s another story next to it about 4 injured children (out of 100 people evacuated) taken for medical treatment in the USA.,

    An airport employee shouted at “people” to disperse and put away their cameras.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  24. every day, asset reminds me more and more of Arte Johnson and the tricycle, on Laugh-In.

    Very interesting!

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  25. Kevin M: but hopefully, not stupid. 🙂

    (Apparently you are either a late boomer, or early Gen X like me.)

    qdpsteve again (782c5b)

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