EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Extricating itself from President Clinton’s December 2000 “peace” parameters is a supreme Israeli interest. Ironically, this goal is being made feasible by the crystallizing deal with Hamas over the Gaza Strip.
Both domestic and external opponents of the crystallizing deal between the Israeli government and Hamas view the nascent agreement as antithetical to the two-state solution, and both uphold that all of Gaza’s affairs, including the security issue, must be handled by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA). By contrast, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Lieberman deem the preservation of the decade-long split between the PA-ruled West Bank and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip to be in Israel’s best interest.
Why, then, should the two keep their strategic goal hidden rather than spell it out? Because they wish to exploit to the full the strategic advantages of ambiguity. Astute strategy has always been built on craftiness, its hidden dimensions more important and significant than the overt. Real cunning is often manifested in a deal whose open dimension ostensibly involves unnecessary concessions or even losses, whereas beneath the surface it contains massive gains. In the words of the ancient Jewish Sages, “There is no blessing except for what is hidden from sight.”