And the United States has no ties or influence with Hamas. And we don’t even have a situation where one mediator can work on Israel and party X could mediate with Hamas in a kind of diplomatic tag team. Indeed, the flaws of trying to negotiate a cease-fire by committee were all too apparent in the collapse of the Thursday accord. View my Flipboard Magazine. 4. Expectations, the real problem: Unlike the two previous confrontations or even the second intifada where Israel and Hamas squared off, this crisis is driven by expectations on each side that will be hard, if not impossible, to meet. Even if the two sides wanted to stand down, they have raised the hopes among their respective publics that can only constrain each of them and prove disappointing to Israelis and Palestinians as well. Netanyahu wants to avoid a massive ground incursion, yet he’s identified an endgame — demilitarization of Hamas — that would require the forceful disarming of an organization that isn’t going to agree to give up its weapons voluntarily.
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