This morning on "Starting Point," Woodrow Wilson Center's Robin Wright weighs in on the ongoing Israel-Gaza crisis and challenges in negotiating a cease-fire.
"The sequence of events will likely play out for two or three days," Wright says. "And then you have to deal with the core problem, and that's the chicken and egg argument. The Israelis are saying we want a ceasefire and then we'll talk about the political issues. Whereas Hamas is saying, we want a package that includes not just the process of a ceasefire, but the substance, the political substance of what are we going to get out of this. They believe they've lived under an Israeli cordon for years now and the missiles were, in part, an effort to force Israel to kind of recognize that it had to deal with the Hamas government in Gaza. So you have this core problem of what are you even negotiating?"
Wright also addresses how influential residents are in the political and negotiating process.
"Over the last two years, we've seen that the streets are really determining so much of what's happening in the region," Wright says. "Many of the governments that are involved in trying to negotiate, whether it's Egypt or you've seen the Arab League, Tunisian foreign minister has been in Gaza, a lot of them have to respond to the mood in the streets. And the longer this goes on, the angrier the streets are going to get."
Wright argues that the conflict is a indication of shifting political power in the Middle East.
"In many ways, Gaza reflects the kind of rivalry playing out in Syria and elsewhere in the region," Wright adds. "Hamas relies on Iran for military training and its most important weaponry. But there is this tension over Syria. It's in Syria's interest right now to see all the world's attention focused on Gaza rather than on Damascus to take some of the pressure off."
"These relationships in the region are shifting. Part of what we're seeing a little in Gaza, it's important not just for what happens on Arab-Israeli issues but also on the wider dynamics of the shifting sands across the Middle East," she says.