How Far Away Is a Ceasefire? An Update on the Rafah Invasion | TED Explains the World w/ Ian Bremmer

How Far Away Is a Ceasefire? An Update on the Rafah Invasion | TED Explains the World w/ Ian Bremmer

Israel-Hamas Conflict

  • Israel aims to destroy Hamas' leadership, military capabilities, and fighters, while Hamas seeks to continue fighting and representing their ideology.
  • Despite international pressure and isolation, Israel feels no need to change its approach and has entered Rafa, though not yet fully invaded.
  • Hamas' leaders have suffered personal losses, but their ideology and well-being of their families influence their decisions.
  • The hostages held by Hamas complicate negotiations, as Israel will not accept a bait and switch, and Hamas' leaders rely on tunnels for protection.
  • A full-scale invasion of Rafa is still possible, as Israel considers it unfinished military business, despite American concerns for civilian safety and humanitarian aid.
  • The US is attempting to negotiate a ceasefire and prevent a full-scale invasion by providing guarantees for Palestinian civilians and humanitarian aid, but the conditions have not yet been met.
  • Israel is likely to evacuate more non-military men from Gaza and allow more humanitarian aid if a ceasefire is not reached.
  • The US is pressuring Israel to accept a temporary ceasefire, but the Israeli government is hesitant due to domestic political considerations.
  • Hamas is also reluctant to agree to a ceasefire as it would mean releasing some of the Israeli hostages they are holding.
  • The chances of a successful ceasefire are low, as negotiations are difficult and time-consuming, and the Israeli government is under pressure from right-wing elements.

Israel-Iran Conflict

  • Iran is unlikely to respond directly to the Israeli attack on Rafa, but may retaliate indirectly through its proxies in the region.
  • The recent escalation between Israel and Iran has raised the stakes for future Israeli actions against Iran's nuclear program, increasing the risk of a wider conflict.
  • The Biden administration, the Pentagon, and the White House did not anticipate the scale of Iran's response to Israel's actions.
  • Iran's intention was to breach Israeli defenses and cause significant damage, potentially leading to an escalation and a wider conflict involving the United States.
  • Iran's actions, including sending over 300 drones and targeting Israeli military bases, demonstrated their willingness to risk a limited confrontation with Israel.
  • The potential consequences of a full-scale conflict include disruption in the Straits of Hormuz, a spike in oil prices, and the involvement of the United States in a regional war.
  • Ongoing support from Iran to various militant groups, including Hezbollah, could lead to further strikes against Israel, the US, and the UK.
  • The situation is complicated by the need to evacuate over 100,000 Israelis from the north due to safety concerns, creating pressure for action against Hezbollah.

Global Response and Implications

  • The global response to the conflict has been divided, with criticism of Israel's actions and a rise in anti-Semitism, which has been exacerbated by polarization, misinformation, and social media algorithms.
  • Hamas accepted the peace plan proposed by Egypt and Qatar, but Israel rejected it, leading to almost the entire world supporting Hamas's position.
  • Despite the lack of major terrorist attacks since the conflict, the speaker believes a generational change in support for anti-Israel and anti-US Islamist extremist terror is likely due to the events in Gaza.
  • Key indicators to watch for include the outcome of Bill Burns's trip to Israel, the extent of the Israeli offensive in Rafah, and any significant attacks by the Houthis.
  • The ongoing conflict is damaging President Biden politically, as he appears weak in his support for Israel and has failed to effectively address the issue.
  • Biden should have taken a stronger stance against Netanyahu and in support of Israeli democracy, while also providing military support to Israel and addressing the American hostages.
  • Biden's cautious and indecisive approach has contributed to the current situation, and the ongoing conflict could pose serious challenges for him in the upcoming US election.

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