Author: Yedioth Ahronoth (Israel) Posted June 30, 2012
The time-out between the last round of fire and the one that will come afterward gives us an opportunity to conduct a strategic examination of our policy regarding Gaza. Since the Cast Lead military operation, and more intensely in the recent months, we have been conducting the struggle by using only tactical tools. Each time, we ascertain which organization shot at us and then attempt to pinpoint and hit the relevant rocket launchers. This approach simply perpetuates the situation of rounds of fire every few weeks — and it is doubtful that such a cycle is right for the State of Israel.
Israeli policy should be based on the understanding that Gaza is a de-facto state for all intents and purposes. It has clear geographic borders, a stable government that was elected democratically and an independent foreign policy. Our self-righteous refusal to recognize the Hamas regime is folly. The fact that Gaza is a state, even if it is ruled by “evil people,” is preferable to chaos or even the situation that existed in 2007, when the rulership was formally in the hands of the Palestinian Authority but, in effect, its main military power was Hamas.
We derive three conclusions from this point of view:
Our policy regarding Gaza should be based on five principles:
This policy is more correct than the two other alternatives, those being continuation of the existing condition, in which Israeli deterrence is undergoing progressive erosion, or a military land campaign (“Cast Lead 2”).
A word about Egypt in the Gaza context: There is an advantage to the Egyptian president being a Muslim Brotherhood member, because he can wield more influence on Gaza than could the previous regime. Morsi will also need a great deal of American aid; in addition to military assistance, the United States also provides wheat to Egypt, and its discontinuation would bring the country to real famine. No Egyptian president at the beginning of his tenure would risk that. Thus, American leverage over Egypt is very great. American economic aid should also be linked to vigorous activity on the part of the Egyptian president to curb aggression from Gaza and improve security in the Sinai Peninsula.
Read More: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2012/06/if-they-shoot-they-should-pay.html
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