President Barack Obama urged Israel to open all Gaza crossings in order to facilitate the flow of commerce and goods into the devastated region. “Now we must extend a hand of opportunity to those who seek peace, as part or a lasting ceasefire, Gaza’s border crossings should be open to allow the flow of aid and commerce.” He also emphasized the importance of providing relief to “reach innocent Palestinians” who desperately need medical assistance, food and other necessities of life. He expressed his concern over the extensive loss of life during the recent Israel invasion of Gaza.
Many Israelis will most probably react in negative ways to the Obama plea and will cite rocket attacks from Gaza into their nation. Israel has a right to defend itself, but when 1,300 are killed in an operation that witnessed the death of 13 Israelis, the world will judge Israel as the aggressor, not Hamas. Obama is placing the issue on the head of Hamas. If Israel opens the crossings and Hamas fires rockets into Israel, then the world will condemn Hamas. If Hamas continues to extend the fighting, even the Arab world will move away from this organization.
Many times in the past has witnessed Israel reaching out to Palestinians, and in many cases, their efforts came to nil. It is important for Israel to allow President Obama an opportunity to achieve a peace settlement. This means Israel must hold back, and allow the process of peace to unfold. Peace is always a gamble, but give it one more chance.