Israel Waited Too Long on Gaza Ceasefire, Analysts Warn

Keeping War Going for Another Day Completely Pointless

by Jason Ditz, November 21, 2012

There’s a lot of relief that the Egyptian text for the Gaza ceasefire has finally been approved, but with dozens of Gazans slain in the last 24 hours and a high-profile Tel Aviv bombing wounding 28 shortly before the deal came into effect, analysts are warning the deal came later than it really should have.

At the center of the issue is that the ceasefire is materially the exact same draft that was offered to Israel yesterday. Officials were split on whether continuing the war might get them a better deal, but in the end not only did they not get a better deal, in many ways the political argument got worse.

Though a few dozen more Gazans is likely irrelevant to the overall Israeli political question, the Tel Aviv bombing‘s coincidental timing really hurts the Netanyahu government’s argument for the extra day, and leaves the memory of the war in many Israeli voters’ minds not so much about the major Gaza death toll, but about the Tel Aviv incident.

Indeed the whole point of the war was already pretty nebulous, with many Israelis arguing the Netanyahu government was just cynically trying to shift the vote in their favor before the January election. With hawks questioning peace on general principle, there will also now be questions on why the government waited an extra day for no apparent gain, bringing uncomfortable scrutiny before an election in which the far-right hoped for knee-jerk support mirroring the 2009 vote.

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