Tough Love Or Smart Love In Gaza-Israel Dilemma

The debate continues within Israel as to whether or not to impose a tough line approach in dealing with rocket attacks from Gaza. Vie Premier Haim Ramon said “it was a grave mistake for Israel to uphold the absurd situation whereas it continues to supply water, electricity and fuel to an entity that has a terrorists organization at its helm.” He argued it was legitimate to cut off supplies and since there was no “partner that can bring results, thee will be no choice but to take unilateral steps in Judea and Samaria as well.” In response, Meretz Chairman Yossi Belin said cutting off these essential items was not the best way to halt rocket attacks. He urged that Israel must arrive “at a cease fire agreement with Hamas. Meanwhile in Gaza, Mahmoud Khozuder, a spokesperson for Gaza’s fuel companies said without restoration in fuel supplies, “You will have no bakery, no water, no sewage treatment and no transportation.”

The people of Israel are frustrated at continued rocket attacks and many of its leaders are convinced the best way to end those attacks is to adopt a tough, hard line approach. Toughness often provides people the appearance of action, but unless that attitude results in changes, it is a failed policy. Is there any evidence being tough and cutting off supplies will end rocket attacks? Mr. Beilin offers a quiet non-tough approach which most probably stands a better chance of solving the problem– negotiate with Hamas. For some israelis, negotiation is a cowardly reaction and lacks the aura of macho man displays of toughness, but, as of this date, how has the tough love approach actually achieved any success?

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