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Gaza & Obama's New World Order

Europe supports Israel against Hamas arms smuggling while urging an accelerated peace process with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

IsraCast assessment: Europe has coordinated with US President Elect Obama On Gaza Test Case

IDF troops withdrawing from the Gaza Strip

Key European leaders converged on Jerusalem in a strong show of support for Israel against Hamas arms smuggling into the Gaza Strip. But at the same time, they strongly urged Israel to use the outcome of the war in Gaza to jump-start the peace process with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the West Bank. The IsraCast analysis is that the impressive show of European as well as American backing for Israel against radical Islam is a prelude to a new world order that will be headed by President Barack Obama.

The European show of support for Israel against Hamas arms smuggling into the Gaza Strip is only the prelude. The leaders of the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain as well as a European Union representative told the Israeli people they were willing to provide personnel, ships and technology. However, the European leaders made clear there is also a price tag for this support that flies in the face of demonstrations at home against Israel's operation in Gaza – a campaign that caused over 1200 Palestinian fatalities, many of them innocent civilians. This is but one aspect of the arrangement to block the Hamas arms smuggling that sparked the conflagration.

In light of this it was only natural that Secretary of State Rice would have been in contact with 'Obama's people' before signing the agreement with Israel as well as with the Europeans. It also stands to reason that the European leaders also coordinated with Obama

Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has signed a separate accord with outgoing US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on blocking the arms smuggling; it includes a secret clause on intelligence sharing. So both the Europeans and the U.S. have upgraded their counter-terror cooperation with Israel. All this comes against the background of President Elect Obama's declared intention of adopting a totally different approach to foreign policy to that of the unilateralism of George W. Bush. If Obama is to seek engagement and dialogue, even with Iran, the next president's first task obviously will be to patch up differences with America's European allies, which has been under stress during most of the Bush terms. For their part, the Europeans are looking ahead eagerly to the Obama administration and future cooperation.

Barack Obama

In light of this it was only natural that Secretary of State Rice would have been in contact with 'Obama's people' before signing the agreement with Israel as well as with the Europeans. It also stands to reason that the European leaders also coordinated with Obama. So just before Barack Obama's inauguration, the Europeans and the US have already worked out a new method of coordination on the Israeli- Palestinian issue. It boils down to this: the U.S. and Europe stand firmly behind Israel's right to exist but they also want to see the emergence of a Palestinian state and they insist that Israel must never give up on its readiness to negotiate on this issue. Moreover, if Egypt has finally decided to crack down on the Hamas arms smuggling and is ready to take lead in the Arab world's opposition to Iran, the next step may be close at hand.

President Obama and Co. can also be expected to push the position that 'Compromise Does Pay' and this will require a reciprocal response from the next Israeli government after the February 10th election

After taking office, President Obama and the European Union with Egyptian backing could try to build a new diplomatic effort from the rubble of Gaza. Speaking in Jerusalem, President Sarkozy, Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Brown stressed that now was the opportunity to build momentum for an accelerated peace process with Palestinian President Mohamed Abbas on the West Bank. They referred to the disaster and suffering Europeans had endured as the prime mover to ending their conflicts. Clearly West Bank Palestinians must see the calamity that radical Hamas has brought upon Gaza and that the West Bank could also suffer the same fate as Gaza if the Palestinians there did not choose to follow President Abbas and his policy of compromise with the Jewish state.

Again this may soon be enunciated by President Obama after he enters the White House. But the message of American and European leaders that 'Terrorism does not pay' is only one side of the coin, one that clearly supports Israel. President Obama and Co. can also be expected to push the position that 'Compromise Does Pay' and this will require a reciprocal response from the next Israeli government after the February 10th election. There can be no mistaking the high regard that European leaders showed for Israel's outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

There is circumstantial evidence indicating that on Gaza, Europe and America have embarked on forging a new world order even before Barack Obama's official inauguration

The public expressions and even body language of the European leaders were apparent. This is not necessarily because of Olmert's winning personality. Israel's outgoing PM is perceived as an Israeli leader with whom the Europeans and the US can do business. The fact that the European leadership landed in Jerusalem was a public and political expression of support for a flexible Israeli leader who is ready for wide ranging concessions with the Palestinians and possibly with Syria. The subliminal message was that Europe will also be there for such a successor and could be construed as subtle interference in the current Israeli election campaign, keeping in mind that Likud leader and front runner Binyamin Netanyahu is certainly not perceived in the same light as Olmert or Tzipi Livni or Labor's Ehud Barak.

QED: There is circumstantial evidence indicating that on Gaza, Europe and America have embarked on forging a new world order even before Barack Obama's official inauguration. And with expectations running so high for President  Barack Obama it is not hard to visualize what the impact would have been if the IDF was still battling Hamas deep inside Gaza on the very day that most of the world was celebrating his inauguration. It can also be assumed that Israeli leaders had this in mind when they decided to announce the unilateral cease-fire in Gaza and the readiness to withdraw as soon as it is honored by Hamas.

David Essing

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