Hold your breath and think of Cairo

As of writing the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas holds. It is now up to the negotiations in Cairo to produce something that allows both sides to save face by going home with 'Wins'. Possible? Sure. Likely? Worth holding your breath for. 

The Obama Administration is reportedly seething at the snook Israel is currently cocking its way.

Already Secretary of State John Kerry has been openly ridiculed by senior members of Benjamin Netanyahu's right wing coalition cabinet.

Kerry's efforts - whether for his own legacy or real peace in the crisis - have seen him mocked, described by politicians as an alien, talked down to, sent packing and strangely 'disconnected' in a phone call with Netanyahu. The call was never resumed.

Cairo is where the talking is going on now.

It is however very difficult to take seriously the diplomatic bruising of the very state that permits Israel's behaviour.

Sure, the US has used words such as "appalling" when children are slaughtered as the IDF blows up UN havens sheltering many of the hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians in Gaza.

What is appalling is the duplicity of the situation because the very administration that professes to be appalled is the enabler-in-chief. The latest release of Snowden documents  http://interc.pt/1o494NI published by Glenn Greenwald expose the "direct involvement of the US government and it's key allies in Israeli aggression against its neighbours".

One analyst Greenwald quotes describes Obama as acting like a "bystander"  and talking " about Gaza as if it were a natural disaster".

Yet, Obama's own spy agency documents make it clear that "Israel's aggression would be impossible without the constant, lavish support and protection of the US Government".

If the world wants to call Israel's behaviour to account, stop sending it weapons and money it clearly does not need.

It is not just the US providing weapons, but in its case it is glaringly duplicitous because it is supposed to be the neutral broker in peace deals between Israel and Palestine. That this arrangement is ridiculous has been known for many years but now the documents are on the table and require real answers....not more platitudes about commitments to peace while knowing exactly what is going on behind the scenes.

Or, let an honest and highly respected broker such as Norway back into the picture. Perhaps then the Oslo Accords could finally be implemented...by BOTH sides.

Despite the US bankrolling Israel's wars, Obama has been told bluntly that Israel will decide when it attacks, what it attacks, who it attacks, why it attacks, how it attacks, and it will decide when to wind down attacks....because they never actually stop. Targeted assassinations are attacks....but Obama knows all about that already.

It would be in interesting to know whether US taxpayers actually understand where billions of their cash goes. It disproportionally arms one side in the conflict it is supposed to be neutral broker to...then it helps pay for the reconstruction of infrastructure and buildings destroyed by its weapons, and it helps in humanitarian aid for the side that is pulverized.

In this latest Israel - Gaza war ( ridiculously named by Israel as Operation Protective Edge), it has become apparent that the US has assisted in the creation of a bull in a china shop (or more appropriately a cement shop). The IDF, trying to fight a guerrilla resistance force, has shown that all it can do with its flash C21st technology is destroy. Bigger bombs and bigger tanks = bigger death toll! And bigger destruction especially when used in civilian neighbourhoods.

It also means bigger resentment from a colonized/occupied/imprisoned people.

But bigger equipment also means bigger defence budgets. Armies like that. Politicians promoting a "poor little democratic us, surrounded by enemies" then justify the budgets to their citizens as 'security requirements' and Presto! more US aid comes their way.

As we learned so clearly during the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, there's truckloads of money to be made in war....just never by the right people.

As of writing the latest ceasefire is still holding. 

Each side has sent representatives to Cairo to try and negotiate a way of avoiding more war.

They have gone to Cairo knowing that neither can defeat the other - Israel is a powerful military state so Hamas can never bring it down by itself.  All it can do is continue to terrorize iIsraeli citizens. Hamas is a militant resistance force of an illegally occupied people determined to secure their right to freedom. You can't bomb Palestinians into submission, all you can do is continue to terrorize them.

Each side needs to produce a 'win' of some sort. Israel needs to reassure its citizens that they will be safe from indiscriminate rockets from Gaza. Hamas needs to secure the opening of Gaza so it's people can function as they have every right to do.

And, while this may be stretching for a planet too far given the turmoil that surrounds these two peoples, the occupation must end.

The alternative is just more of the same with the danger of igniting another tinderbox in the region.

No one in the world, let alone Israel and Palestine, needs a third Intifada.