Israel Public Toughens Stand Against Hamas

Several years ago Israel had an active and vibrant Peace Now movement, but in the aftermath of turbulence, rockets, inept leadership, public opinion has moved toward a hard stance view of relations with Arab nations. Although the nation is divided on ways of responding to the Kassam rockets from Gaza, it is quite clear a 71% majority says Israel should not accept the Hamas offer of a cease fire and favors military solutions to issues of peace. In a new poll, 25% want to reoccupy Gaza while one-third wanted a more limited military action. There was also strong feeling the nation needs a national government and many Israelis believe there is less interest in southern regions of their country than in major urban centers.

It is understandable why many Israelis are moving toward military solutions after so many years of failed peace negotiations. However, the history of every successful peace agreement between those who had been engaged in violence against one another suggests the importance of never giving up the flag of peace. The current Israel military solution has been anything but a solution. Every time a Hamas leader is killed, violence increases, it does not go down. Israel, like the Palestinians, suffers from lack of visionary leaders who can transcend the present and focus on ways to move into a peaceful future.

Perhaps, Israel might borrow the talents of a Nelson Mandela to help negotiate peace. Its current crop of leaders lack the expertise of developing plans for peace.