I have been arguing here that Israel, in its Election-Eve War against Hamas, has abandoned the very group that could bring about a lasting peace and reconciliation – the Palestinian people. The Israeli population and leaders have allowed Hamas and their Iranian sponsors to snooker them into a another Pyrrhic Battle while planting more than a thousand death seeds of hatred among ordinary Palestinians, and at the same time wrecking and destroying the council and support of Palestinian moderates who are seeking permanent reconciliation.
Nowhere is this devastation of the moderates seen more tellingly seen than in the tragic story of Palestinian Dr. Abuelaish who works in Israel but lives in Gaza. He has worked for many years for reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. But in Gaza he lost 3 daughters and a niece to Israeli fire at the tail end of the Election Eve War.
The New York Times brings the utter tragedy of the Doctor to light in the following video. Many Israelis regard the Election Eve War as having mixed results but at least being successful in bloodying the nose of Hamas so they will think twice about launching rockets on Israel. I think the Iraelis have not reckoned properly – with the bulk of the Hamas leadership safely tucked away in Damascus, they are more than happy to to do the bidding of their Iranian sponsors – wage another Battle that shows the Israelis as being as bestial as they, Hamas, can be.
And to think of the opportunities lost is almost as heart-rending as Dr. Abuelaish’s grief. The key for Israelis is allow the legitimate business and economy of Palestine to grow and flourish so 20-40% unemployment among Palestinians is eliminated. Prosperous people and communities have lower inclination for warfare Let legitimate Palestinian economic and social aspirations flourish. Let the ports and terminals to the world be opened.
But don’t be stupid. Be sure to guard vigilantly against some of the Hamas snakes by having international inspectors at the ports and borders. Use sophisticated equipment that allows for arms detection. Bring machines that apply unique tags to metals and other materials so if they are nefariously converted or remanufactured into arms and rockets their debris can be traced back to their suppliers and consumers.
Prosperity for Palestinians is a necessary but not sufficient condition for peace. Resolution of the “Lebens Raum” problems are the real nut to crack.