Let me make clear the views of this blog concerning war in Gaza.
1. No nation can allow rockets from any source to land on its soil. That is a given.
2. No nation or group can place the lives of civilians at risk if it can in any way be avoided.
We begin with the above premises. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raises a key issue when saying, “Following Hamas’ incessant rocket fire ..which was agreed upon for the welfare of the civilian population of Gaza, the IDF will now resume its aerial, naval and ground activities in the Gaza Strip.” The Israel prime minister is raising a key point, but he also fails to raise other key points.
1. Israel shells and missiles ARE killing the innocent. Which, if any, steps can be taken to reduce this situation?
2. Are there other political steps which can be taken that would lessen the influence of Hamas among Palestinians?
I am not a military expert, but certainly steps could be taken to reduce(note, I say, “reduce,” not “end.”) the killing of civilians. Netanyahu has a responsibility to those civilians just as he has a responsibility for his fighting men. Throughout the history of this human race, the innocent have always died in wars. All one can do is REDUCE the numbers of innocent people who die.
Political: This is my main complaint about Prime Minister Netanyahu. His failure to engage in meaningful negotiations with President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority set the stage for growth of power in Gaza of Hamas.(Actually, there is now considerable evidence if an honest election was held in Gaza, Hamas would lose it). So, what can Prime Minister Netanyahu do at this moment?
1. Announce a freeze on any construction of new settlements on the West Bank.
2. Announce that Israel recognizes creation of a Palestinian nation.
3. Urge creation of a Middle Eastern “Marshall Plan” funded by the regions’ oil states and Israel which would be used to improve living standards within Palestine, Egypt and Syria.
4. Announce that eastern Jerusalem could become the capital of Palestine.
5. Agree to discussions concerning the ongoing refugee problem. Israel has a legitimate right to note over 700,000 Jewish refugees had to flee Arab nations. There are both a Palestinian refugee issue and a Jewish refugee issue. Thus, there is a basis for compromise.
NEGOTIATE IN GOOD FAITH. That is the best way to reduce power of Hamas!