By Ben Cohen
If ever the origins of the latest disaster in the Middle East were in doubt, check out this fascinating interview with Robert Pastor, a senior adviser to the Carter Center. Pastor asserts that not only did Israel break the cease fire in the first place, but had rejected an offer from Hamas days before the invasion.
From Amy Goodman's 'Democracy Now' show:
Robert Pastor is a senior adviser to the Carter Center and a professor
at American University who met with exiled Hamas political leader
Khaled Meshaal in Damascus on Dec. 14, along with former President
Jimmy Carter. Pastor says Meshaal indicated Hamas was willing to go
back to the ceasefire if Israel would lift the siege on Gaza. He says
he passed along the statement to the Israeli military, but he never
heard back. Two weeks later, Israel launched its three-week assault
that left more than 1,300 Palestinians, most of them civilians, at
least a third children, dead.
You can read the transcript of the interview here, but here's the money quote:
On the part of Hamas, they made very clear that they had done what they
could do to try to stop the rockets. And indeed, from the period from
late June to November 4th, when the Israelis intervened in Gaza to
close down a tunnel, they had virtually stopped the rockets. But from
their side, Israel had not complied with the ceasefire. It was supposed
to have lifted all of the border crossings, allowing 750 trucks a day
to go in. That never came close to occurring. In the absence of opening
of those crossings, they said they would not renew the ceasefire.