Olmert Announces Ceasefire; Mearsheimer on Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has announced a ceasefire in the Israeli assault on the population of the Gaza Strip, beginning at midnight Saturday, Israeli time. He will not withdraw Israeli ground troops, and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni threatened a renewal of attacks if Hamas fired more rockets at Israel. Hamas rockets have killed 4 Israelis during this conflict; Israeli forces have killed some 1205 Palestinians, many of them innocent civilians and others ordinary policemen. On Saturday, AP reports,

‘ A total of 13 Palestinians were killed in battles throughout Gaza Saturday, Palestinian medics said. John Ging, the top U.N. official in Gaza, condemned the attack on Beit Lahiya that killed the two boys — the latest in a series of Israeli shellings that have struck U.N. installations. “The question that has to be asked is for all those children and all those innocent people who have been killed in this conflict. Were they war crimes? Were they war crimes that resulted in the deaths of the innocents during this conflict? That question has to be answered,” he said.’

John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago presents absolutely the clearest and most concise account of the Gaza atrocity in The American Conservative.

Mearsheimer argues that diminishing Hamas or stopping the rockets are subsidiary goals for Olmert to the more central one of controlling all of historical Palestine via an Iron Wall policy that permanently subjugates the Palestinian population and ensures Israeli control of Palestinian land, air and water.

Mearsheimer points out that this goal cannot be achieved, and certainly not by the brutal method of a total war on the Palestinian population. The likely outcome even in the case of relative Israeli success is a permanent Apartheid, which itself will doom Israel.

Also, Jonathan Shainin argues that there will be no real ceasefire without a political settlement and a Palestinian state.

And, M.J. Rosenberg Encourages Obama to buck the Israel lobbies and press full steam ahead for a resolution, underlining that other presidents have succeeded in charting an independent course when they were at the height of their popularity.

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