Israel, Hamas: U.S. Plays The Middle, Rest Of The World Doesn’t Care

Israel has struck 400 or more targets in Gaza since yesterday in response to rocket attacks by Hamas.

The Obama Administration, predictably, is trying to play the middle and urging both sides to show restraint. For the most part, the rest of the world appears to have other things on its mind.

The Jerusalem Post gives a preview into an op-ed by Barack Obama that will appear in the German publication Die Zeit tomorrow, showing where the American President is on the conflict:

“At this time of danger, everyone involved must protect the innocent and act in a sensible and measured way, not with revenge and retaliation.”

Additionally, a Reuters report quotes U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki on the situation between Hamas and Israel:

“We are concerned about the safety and security of civilians on both sides… the residents of southern Israel who are forced to live under rocket fire in their homes and the civilians in Gaza.”

The closest the U.S. State Department has come to supporting either side was Psaki’s statement:

“Certainly, no country should be expected to stand by while rocket attacks from a terrorist organization are launching into their country and impacting innocent civilians.”

She added that Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed to Benjamin Netanyahu “(his) willingness to engage in helping to stop the rocket fire and restore the 2012 cease-fire as soon as possible.”

For their part, Israel has expressed willingness to stick to military targets if only Hamas will make that a feasible possibility. A report in the Jerusalem Post records Prime Minister Netanyahu’s words to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

“Hamas is committing a double war crime by intentionally trying to hit Israeli citizens, and using the local Gaza population as human shields.”

The Post further quotes Israel’s Prime Minister regarding the conflict with Hamas and what Israel calls ‘Operation Protective Edge’:

“The operation will expand and continue until the rocket firing on our cities stops, and the quiet returns… Hamas will pay a heavy price for firing on Israeli citizens. Our army is strong, the home front is firm, and our people are united. That combination is our answer to the terrorist organizations that want to harm us. We are all united in the aim of hitting the terrorist organizations and restoring the quiet.”

Israel is facing an unprecedented situation in their struggle with Hamas. Not that they’re fighting. That’s been going on for years. What’s new is that the rest of the world (except for the U.S., which is still at least nominally allied with Israel) seems to be focused on other things, with Russia and Ukraine still squabbling in Europe, China and its neighbors staring each other down in Asia, and the Islamic State/ISIS/Caliphate or whatever you want to call them wreaking havoc in the rest of the Middle East.

As this article in The Wire points out, this has the potential of factoring heavily in Israel’s favor because no one seems to have the time or inclination to get involved in the problems Hamas is creating for themselves with Israel. As for those who support Israel (at least in theory), most of them know that Israel isn’t likely to have any serious trouble dealing with Hamas if the rest of the world just stays out of it.