Flush from its victory in the Persian Gulf War, the George H.W. Bush administration immediately turned its attention to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, organizing the Madrid conference, which would eventually lead to the Oslo Accords. To Michael Doran, this decision was symptomatic of Washington’s inability to formulate its strategic priorities in the Middle East following the end of the cold war. He explains the development and consequences of this inability in a trenchant analysis of the policies of the subsequent three administrations. (Video, 87 minutes.)
Does the U.S. Have a Middle East Strategy?
Hamas Wants a Renewed Ceasefire, but Doesn’t Understand Israel’s Changed Attitude
Yohanan Tzoreff, writing yesterday, believes that Hamas still wishes to return to the truce that it ended Friday morning with renewed rocket attacks on Israel, but hopes it can do so on better terms—raising the price, so to speak, of each hostage released. Examining recent statements from the terrorist group’s leaders, he tries to make sense of what it is thinking:
These [Hamas] senior officials do not reflect any awareness of the changed attitude in Israel toward Hamas following the October 7 massacre carried out by the organization in the western Negev communities. They continue to estimate that as before, Israel will be willing to pay high prices for its people and that time is working in their favor. In their opinion, Israel’s interest in the release of its people, the pressure of the hostages’ families, and the public’s broad support for these families will ultimately be decisive in favor of a deal that will meet the new conditions set by Hamas.
In other words, the culture of summud (steadfastness), still guides Hamas. Its [rhetoric] does not show at all that it has internalized or recognized the change in the attitude of the Israeli public toward it—which makes it clear that Israel still has a lot of work to do.