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Burns Tries to Rescue Hostage Deal, Rafah

May 5—As this report is being filed, America’s most able diplomat, CIA Director William Burns, is in Doha trying to rescue a ceasefire/hostage deal, and in so doing save the last standing Gazan city, Rafah, from an onslaught by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) already ordered by the bloodthirsty butcher of Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu. Bibi has thus far sabotaged the peace talks with statements that no matter what deal is reached, he intends to attack Hamas positions in Rafah and that he will not end the war until Hamas is annihilated. Sources in Israel report that if Burns’ efforts fail, that attack could commence as soon as tomorrow, which Bibi knows will likely kill all the hostages who are still alive, since they are all thought to be held in Rafah.

Netanyahu knows that his oft stated intention to totally eliminate Hamas, ostensibly as a response to their now-clearly stupid and useless attack on Israel Oct. 7 of last year, that murdered more than 1,200, mostly innocent civilians, including women and children, can and could never be accomplished.

“It was a lot of hot air,” said an intelligence source. “Netanyahu has been told by his own intelligence people and the IDF brass, that the attack on Rafah is not worth it, that it won’t kill all of Hamas, but it will kill potentially a catastrophic number of civilians. So, why is Bibi insisting on this senseless attack? Because he wants to drive Palestinians out of Rafah, out of Gaza, and destroy the place. He wants to do that also with the West Bank. It is not about terrorists. It is about the Palestinian state. If he destroys the Palestinian homelands, renders them uninhabitable, then there will never be a Palestinian state. Netanyahu is not a normal person. He is an insane racist, with a messianic complex. He thinks he is saving Israel, but he will destroy it. As many people in the Israeli political elite realize, Bibi and his cohorts among the religious loonies are the greatest strategic threat to the Israeli state, ever.”

From this and other sources, we are able to piece together what transpired over the course of the week. First, the outlines of a ceasefire/hostage deal were worked out last week in Cairo between Burns and the Egyptians and were presented to both the Israelis and Hamas, both of whom took it under consideration.

There was no specific wording that talked about an end to the war, and no mention of Rafah. Instead, through back channels, it was communicated to Hamas that the U.S. would work toward a full withdrawal of the IDF and that the IDF would cease all operations once all the remaining hostages were released. Also in the deal was the agreement by Israel to release Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti who could become part of a future government in Gaza.

“The agreement had legs,” said a source. “But if Hamas was going to agree to it, it required Bibi and the loonies to simply shut up about not ending the war, and about their ‘right’ to attack Rafah. As envisioned by the U.S., in the process of the deal, with its multiple phases, all these things would be worked out.

“While the Arab partners, Egypt and Qatar worked on the Hamas leadership in Doha, the Biden Administration proceeded to bungle things in Washington in how they handled Bibi. Burns told the President that he needed to be rough with him, that he should tell him that the U.S. would not tolerate any attack on Rafah, that there would be a cutoff of military aid if such an attack did occur, and that he had to get Netanyahu to agree that the war would end, were the terms of the agreement met by Hamas. In the last phase, Hamas would lay down its arms and work on putting together a joint administration of Gaza with Barghouti and Fatah.

“State however proposed a softer approach to the dithering fool Biden that would, he was told, make him look tough, without having to be tough and lose the votes of pro-Israeli Jews, and thereby also counter Republican Party claims that he was giving in to the campus demonstrators, leftists, and socialists in his own Party who were supporting anti-Semitic attacks on Israel. Instead of threatening Bibi, Biden was advised to promise him normalization of relations with the Saudis, as an enticement to take the deal.

“So, that incompetent and weak boob, [Secretary of State] Antony Blinken was dispatched to talk to Bibi and the war cabinet, and to see the Saudis and the U.S.’ other Arab partners. He was milk toast. He stood with Bibi and said that Hamas was the main obstacle for the deal. On Rafah, Bibi was told that while the U.S. did not see the attack as necessary, it would not try to stop it. Blinken urged Israel to pay attention to civilian casualties.”

As soon as Blinken left the scene, word leaked out of the deal: That Hamas had accepted the Egyptian proposal and the final terms would be worked out over the weekend in Cairo. But then Bibi opened his mouth: Israel will never accept a compromise that allows Hamas to exist. We will not end the war, until they are crushed. And, we will be sending the IDF into Rafah.

When the talks reconvened in Cairo, Hamas now wanted specific language on ending the war, and the full pullout of the IDF. And when the negotiations predictably broke down, Bibi doubled down on his insane rant about Israeli principles: “Hamas remains fixed on its extreme positions, primarily the demand to withdraw all our forces from Gaza, end the war, and leave Hamas intact.... Israel cannot accept this.”

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meanwhile said May 5 that Israel is seeing “alarming signs that Hamas actually does not intend to follow any agreement with us. This means action in Rafah and the entire Gaza Strip in the near future.”

“What a joke!” said the source of the Biden Administration strategy. “You’re dealing with a mad dog, frothing at the mouth. Bibi needs to be hit in the head and hard, and instead you offer him a bone. How stupid is that? The blood of Rafah will be on Biden’s hands as well, if Burns fails. What do they call him? ‘Genocide Joe’! Well earned.”

“Netanyahu is fleeing from a hostage deal: The closer it gets, the faster he runs to avoid it,” wrote Yossi Verter in Haaretz May 5. “At least twice in recent months he has sabotaged the sensitive moves toward a deal, whether through public statements or covert messages, or by curbing the mandate of the negotiating team. It was no different this time”

If Burns fails—and there is no reason to believe that he can succeed, especially given his lack of back up from the White House—then the only hope to stop this slaughter lies with the Israeli elite and the Israeli people. They will have to bear the responsibility of ousting their Prime Minister.

On Saturday night, May 4, tens of thousands or more demonstrated in cities across Israel against the government, for an end to the war, and a return of the hostages. This followed the unprecedented call by former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert May 3, in an opinion piece in Haaretz, calling for Israelis to “flood the streets” to stop what he said was an insane, useless, and destructive attack on Rafah.

In that opinion piece, Olmert declared that Hamas has already been defeated and has paid the price for the Oct. 7 attack, but that they cannot and will not ever be eliminated. To attempt such was an insane goal. He called Netanyahu a danger to the future of Israel and that he must be stopped from doing more harm. He urged opposition leaders to stand up to this tyrant. Netanyahu will kill Israel by insanely trying to prevent a Palestinian state, the establishment of which is inevitable. Peace is possible, wrote the former Prime Minister who is known for his prosecution of a bloody war against Hezbollah on the West Bank.

As such, these are amazing words coming from him.

“There will be a Palestinian state,” writes Alon Idan in the May 6 Haaretz. “It’s not up to us and it’s not about us. It’s about reality. The only question is whether we’ll enter reality or continue to live in fantasy; if we’ll come to our senses at the last moment, or if we’ll continue being so utterly stupid.”

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