I applaud the almost half-day old cease fire between Israel and Hamas brokered by Egypt.
While I am doubtful that it will last six months (yet alone the years we need to restore trust and cooperation), it is a hopeful sign. Hamas is agreeing because it needs more than a few trucks of humanitarian aid to keep its people happy. In that sense, Israel's policy worked (although it took a lot longer than Israel expected). There have been reports about releasing Gilad Shalit (held captive by Hamas) or the two captives held in Lebanon (or elsewhere) by Hezbollah.
Still, I see some discouraging signs: 30 missiles were shot into Israel the day before the ceasefire. That d0es not bode well for the future--they had to know a ceasefire was coming. I actually never understood agreeing when to stop something when you could just stop something. (Once, an Israel roommate came to tell me he was having a party because he and his girlfriend decided to get engaged. Why didn't they just get engaged?) I understand that unilateral action has not worked well for Israel (ie. Lebanon and Gaza withdrawals and the resulting attacks on Israel from those areas that have led to the recent fighting) but if you are about to stop, stop and then say you stopped. Don't say we will stop and then stop.
I will probably not blog too much the next few months--I know that is not much of a change from the last few months but it is a realistic prediction. Peace or release of the hostages would obviously lead to some posting.
Visit me this month at Camp Ramah New England.
If you are coming to Smith or Amherst this fall as new students, Facebook me!