Policy Digest: Foreign Policy Edition

  • By one reckoning, the cease-fire deal between Hamas and Israel might seem like an even stalemate. But in fact it’s lopsided in Hamas’s favor. Leaving aside the Israeli concession of easing the import of aid and materials for reconstruction, the fact that Hamas continues to exist as an organization ruling Gaza is an undeserved win.

  • A glimpse into Gaza City. Following the cease-fire, officials there reported that a nineteen-year-old “had been killed and 45 others wounded by the mass firing of gunshots skyward as many residents rushed to celebrate.” (Firing guns into the air is a customary gesture of rejoicing, by the way.)

  • Polls can be problematic, so standard caveats apply, but this item caught my eye: Question posed to 1000 randomly selected Gazans: “Would you please tell us your opinion about the issue of firing rockets at Israel?” 60.3 percent said “I strongly support that”; 28.6 percent “I support that”; 7.0 percent were undecided; 1.4 percent said “I oppose that”; 1.0 percent; “I strongly oppose that”; and 1.7 percent said “I don’t know.”

  • In Iraq, America and Iran are apparently cooperating to oppose the march of the ISIS jihadists. Yes, the selfsame Iran that funded and trained Iraqi insurgents who murdered American troops; that outsources attacks on American and Western targets to its own jihadist proxies (Hezbollah); that equipped the jihadists of Hamas with rockets; that is itself a jihadist regime seeking nuclear capability. And so on. To pick one of the many problematic aspects here: the collaboration with Iran illustrates that what we call our foreign policy in the Middle East is a non-policy, a confused mess.