UPDATE POSTED 3:20 PM CST WEDNESDAY
The Guardian reported at 15:57 EST that Israel and Hamas have agreed to end eight days of conflict between the two groups in the Gaza Strip. The conflict has claimed more than 160 lives, three of whom were Israelis. For further details on the ceasefire, click here.
After this stop, the Secretary will fly to Cairo, Egypt, where Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is attempting to negotiate a ceasefire to Israel's "Pillar of Cloud" assault on Gaza's population.
Of course, her first stop would be to set up a photo op with the leader of her government's "best friend" in the Middle East.
Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald, finds this friendship troubling:
"A central premise of US media coverage of the Israeli attack on Gaza -- beyond the claim that Israel is justifiably "defending itself" -- is that this is some endless conflict between two foreign entitles, and Americans can simply sit by helplessly and lament the tragedy of it all.
"The reality is precisely the opposite: Israeli aggression is possible only because of direct, affirmative, unstinting US diplomatic, financial and military support for Israel and everything it does. ... Pretending that the US -- and the Obama administration -- bear no responsibility for what is taking place is sheer self-delusion, total fiction. It has long been the case that the central enabling fact in Israeli lawlessness and aggression is blind US support, and that continues, more than ever, to be the case under the presidency of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner.
"The US is not some neutral, uninvolved party. Whatever side of this conflict you want to defend -- or if you're one of those people who love to announce that you just wish the whole thing would go away -- it's still necessary to take responsibility for the key role played by the American government and this administration in enabling everything that is taking place."
Hillary Clinton is flying into a cauldron of death and destruction which the U.S. enabled to take place. Now she expects to play a role in bringing an end to this latest development in American Middle East policy.
Before the Secretary arrived in the region Tuesday, the New York Times reported:
"Senior Egyptian officials in Cairo said Israel and Hamas were 'very close' to a cease-fire agreement. 'We have not received final approval, but I hope to receive it any moment,' said Essam el-Haddad, President Mohamed Morsi's top foreign affairs adviser.
"Khaled Meshal, the Hamas leader, said in Cairo that Israel needed to end its blockade of Gaza. Israel says the blockade keeps arms from entering the coastal strip."
Israel's rationale for the blockade, of course, is a subterfuge which convinces no one but an American public lulled by a pro-Israel media, and a bought-and-paid-for political leadership, into believing the blockade is a purely defensive measure. The truth is that the blockade is one of Israel's many forms of mass torture of the Palestinian population held down by a brutal military occupation.
Hillary Clinton would not be in the Middle East if she, and President Obama, did not have some assurance from Hamas and Israel that a "ceasefire" would be arranged. The Secretary plans to retire in January, 2013. A failure to halt this current murderous assault from Israel soon, would not be the way she would want to end her diplomatic career.
Clinton and President Obama are sinking considerable political capital into their effort to halt the Israeli assault. Their efforts are badly handicapped by the burden of untruth they carry which pretends that the "conflict" between Israel and Gaza is a battle between equals. It is not. It is, rather, a struggle between jailer and prisoner, with all the power, except that of morally justified protest, on the jailer's side.
Outside the English-speaking nations of the U.S., Canada and Britain, support for Israel is evaporating rapidly with each new demonstration of immoral national conduct. As a notable example, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke in Cairo last week and harshly condemned Israel.