Ehud Barak, Israel’s Defense Minister said it was time for Israel to make an effort towards reaching some form of agreement with Hamas over the situation in the Gaza Strip. He expressed his concerns that Israel’s government was not able to make decisions without considering political factors and this hindered efforts to move decisively on issues of importance. “This government is incapable of making a decision about Hamas, the Syrians, Lebanon, Iran and the United States. There is a shadow of primaries…all Cabinet discussions are effectively discussions with the media.” Barak’s words reflect frustration at the slow pace followed by the Israel government when there are times in history for rapidity of action.
Barak essentially is asking his nation to take a gamble on peace. He is correct there is no guarantee the cease fire with Hamas will end all problems in the area, but the opportunity for a peaceful resolution of problems must be taken. Perhaps, in addition to agreeing with a cease fire, it is time to engage in serious discussions with all components of the Palestinian Authority, including Hamas, on steps for peace in the region.