By Larry Gordon

What is it with this number seventy-two that has peace or at least ceasefire negotiators so obsessed?  I mean if Hamas could not maintain a ceasefire for two hours of a 72 hour ceasefire proposal perhaps the negotiators would have had better luck with a 24 or 48 hour ceasefire.  After all, if you violate one of those after an hour or two you have achieved a greater proportion of success than with one of those multiple failed seventy two hour varieties.

Whether it was Ban-Ki moon at the UN or Secretary of State John Kerry, the Egyptians or anyone else who tried to get involved, all they ever talked about was a 72 hour ceasefire and nothing more.  The conventional, diplomatic and perhaps the psychological wisdom out there is that if you can get someone to commit to doing something or for that matter refrain from doing something for a full three days that item or habit can become integrated into their regular routine.

And that was and is the hope here.  If quiet in Gaza could be achieved for three days, the belief is, there is then a good chance that it might even hold for a longer period.  So everyone seems to be on the same page for now on these three day experimental ceasefires.

Of course there is an innate feeling that has been expressed by some about why the IDF could not be more decisive in the handling of the terror groups in Hamas.  And oddly enough military commanders have been anonymously quoted as saying that they could have done away with the Hamas threat in less than ten days but believe it or not it is not in Israel’s interest to do so.

As we have seen these last few weeks diplomacy is a strange endeavor in a category all by itself.  In addition when it comes to Israel there is a strict double standard that the so called international community applies to Israel and to no one else.  As Brett Stephens pointed out in the Wall Street Journal this week, the Pakistan government has been cracking down on terrorism in their country and since mid-June 1500 Pakistani civilians have been killed.  Not a sound from the UN.

In Iraq over 1600 civilians were killed in the month of July and there was not even a peep from the UN.  In Syria over 1800 civilians have been killed in the last ten days alone and there is no sound emanating from the UN.  But when Israel may have bombed a UN School (still under investigation) from where rockets were being fired into population centers in Israel, the Secretary General said that the bombing “is a moral outrage and a criminal act.”

Where is there any one entity or individual interested in standing up and protesting?  More in this week’s 5TJT.


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