Friday, July 25, 2014

For Peace To Win, Hamas Must Lose –

For Peace To Win, Hamas Must Lose –
by J.J. Goldberg  // The Jewish Daily Forward
No less troubling is the longer-range prognosis. Israel was saying it would keep fighting until it eliminated Hamas’ rockets and tunnels. Afterwards it will leave Gaza. It’s only a matter of time before Hamas — or some more radical group — will rearm and start again. The prospect leaves Israelis from left to right asking anxiously if periodic warfare with Gaza terrorists is Israel’s fate forever. Is there no solution?

Actually, there is, though it seems implausible right now. When the crisis first erupted, a de facto anti-Hamas alliance emerged uniting Israel with Egypt, the Palestinian Authority and the Arab League. Egypt is insisting that Gaza’s borders be controlled by Abbas, not Hamas’ “international force.” If the world community stands firm and forces Hamas to accept Abbas, it might be the beginning of a new Gaza.

There’s a price, though. To bring Abbas and the Arab League on board, Israel would have to indicate it’s ready to head toward Palestinian statehood along the Arab League’s lines. That’s a tall order right now. Prime Minister Netanyahu says he’s learned that Israel can’t give up security control of the West Bank. But there’s another lesson: territorial depth isn’t what it used to be. You can’t protect yourself from rockets by pushing them farther away — only by removing the other side’s incentive for firing. That starts with reducing Hamas’s support by giving Palestinians hope.

As Henry Kissinger once wrote: “The guerrilla wins if he does not lose. The conventional army loses if it does not win.” It’s important that Hamas loses.

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