A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Groping Towards a Ceasefire?

Most of the buzz today has been centered on a supposedly imminent ceasefire/truce/"cooling-off-period" in Gaza, but now those hopes seem to have faded; the arrival of Hillary Clinton in the region and the efforts for some sort of ceasefire may postpone or prevent an Israeli ground assault, but so long as the fighting continues,  dangers increase; an Israeli soldier was killed today, and an Israeli F-16 attacking the Egypt-Gaza border tunnels hit houses on the Egyptian side of the border.

While I hope that the ceasefire or "cooling-off"  or whatever they may choose to call it does take effect, the fact that Egyptian President Morsi announced it would be coming :"within hours" (and then didn't) is a reminder that Morsi is still finding his way in the job and has little background on the international scene; his Brotherhood background gives him credibility with Hamas, but Israel may be more reluctant to give him an apparent victory.

Others have said this better, but while this crisis seems like so may others over the years, the changes in the Arab world, particularly in Egypt, mean that the old deck has been reshuffled and the exact implications of that are not yet clear.

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