People in Gaza and Israel have spent the past seven weeks engaged in a conflict. This conflict has been going on for over sixty years. Each time the prospect of a peaceful agreement appears possible, the guns begin to fire. This seven week killing rampage began with the horrible murder of three Jewish kids who were hitch hiking. There is NO justification for murdering children. Of course, in response an Israel nut case organized the murder of a Palestinian boy. From that point on, it was bombs, missiles, rockets, tanks blasting away without any regard for who was going to die. Neither side can claim innocence for the death of the innocent. Today, there is supposed to be another cease fire, and Hamas has agreed to work with the Palestinian Authority led by President Mahmoud Abbas. OK, I understand there are those in Israel who will claim there is no reason to trust Hamas. Of course, there are Palestinians who believe there is no prospect of Israel ceasing its murderous campaign.
What must now be done?
1. Israel has to realize that Hamas inside the government of Palestine is the first step toward peace. When asked how he handled enemies, President Lyndon Johnson replied he wanted them inside his tent in order to keep an eye on them.
2. Finally, Israel has to accept the concept of an independent Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem.
3. Finally, Palestinians have to accept reality– refugees are not returning to Israel. HOWEVER, there is no reason they cannot be settled in the West Bank.
FINALLY, both sides have to accept the concept that constant war is NOT a long term foreign policy. Only Peace is a long term foreign policy.