What he should be calling for is the end of Hamas.
Obama wanders into Gaza conflict, calls for ‘cessation of hostilities’
[See first portion at link]… Hamas isn’t giving up this time: isn’t retreating behind a strategic ceasefire agreement with one eye on the future. As I wrote 10 days ago, Hamas is going for broke. The Hamas leadership knows it has lost importance in the post-Arab Spring environment. Too many alternatives are possible now: scenarios in which there will be other ways for radical Islamists to come at Israel besides supporting Hamas, Fatah, Hezbollah, or some combination of them. Hamas needs to get something started now, if the terrorist group is to remain relevant.
So as ceasefire after ceasefire is proposed, Israel agrees to consider them and Hamas does not. Critics of the Obama administration will justifiably ask if the president also urged Hamas’s leaders to cease hostilities today – or if his appeal was only to Israel. The critics would point out that Israel has started a job that needs to be finished, if there is to be a basis for a lasting truce of some kind.
And none of these criticisms is unfair. But there’s a bigger picture to consider: one that may actually cause Netanyahu to seek a negotiated ceasefire earlier, and after accomplishing less, than Israel’s well-wishers might prefer.
That bigger picture can be outlined very simply. The whole reality of the Middle East has changed in the last three years, and no one knows what comes next. Hamas can’t just be destroyed. That would create a vacuum in Gaza, and there’s no one who is ready with a plan to fill it.
Each interested party knows two things: first, that there is no plan ready to be implemented for any follow-on arrangement; and second, that any obvious proposal would be unacceptable to other important parties. Now isn’t the time to hash this out: to try to implement a sustainable