Thursday, July 26, 2018

#1 A Gaza problem without a solution - by Jonathan Tobin - #2 Should We Carpet Bomb Gaza? - by Varda Meyers Epstein

Two pieces, both thoughtful reads, addressing the seemingly endless arson, rocket and shooting attacks coming from Hamas controlled Gaza, with no relief in sight being suggested by either the political or military sectors. On the other hand, if Hamas's Iron Dome should fail and rockets one time do get through to a crowded parking lot or schoolyard, it's "Game On" and all that comes in its tow.

#1 A Gaza problem without a solution - by Jonathan Tobin

Jonathan Tobin
25 July '18

U.S. President Donald Trump’s belief in his negotiating skills was so great that at one point, he claimed that achieving peace in the Middle East wouldn’t “be as difficult as people have thought.” It was with that same sense of optimism that Jared Kushner—Trump’s son-in-law, senior adviser and White House official tasked with overseeing the peace process—approached the problem.

Kushner has been rightly criticized for being an amateur without qualifications for his job. But after more than a year of preliminary discussions, he may now have a more realistic understanding of the situation.

Though Kushner may have helped draw up a new U.S. peace proposal, the Palestinians have already announced that it will be dead on arrival. Thinking only of protecting his legacy as Yasser Arafat’s heir, aging Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas won’t do anything to end the century-old war on Zionism.

Yet Kushner also had a “Plan B,” which would involve a massive U.S. investment in improving conditions in Gaza so as to both lessen the suffering of the people trapped under Hamas rule there and to ensure that another round of fighting with Israel won’t break out.

But as an op-ed in The Washington Post published last week under the byline of Kushner, U.S. special negotiator Jason Greenblatt and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman made clear, the Trump foreign-policy team seems to understand that even their alternative is a non-starter. As long as the terror group is in charge in Gaza, any hopes for peace or economic development there remain blocked.

The Trump administration isn’t the only one that still has a lot to learn about Hamas.

For the last four years, many Israeli security experts claimed that the country’s Gaza dilemma was fixed in 2014.

(Continue to Full Column)

#2 Should We Carpet Bomb Gaza? - by Varda Meyers Epstein

Varda Meyers Epstein
Elder of Ziyon
25 July '18

“Spray the suckers. Carpet bomb the whole damn place,” someone is bound to say in every conversation regarding the relentless terror emanating from Gaza toward Israel. After all, we’ve already been accused of carpet bombing Gaza. So why not actually do so?

I’ll tell you why. It’s too brutal. It’s not like us. The thought of bombing innocent civilians is too horrible to contemplate.

But it’s difficult to say that out loud. It makes you look suspicious, or like you’re rooting for the wrong side. So I stay quiet, or refrain from clicking “like” on Facebook comments suggesting Israel carpet bomb Gaza. I let my non “like” express my lack of approval for these sentiments.

Sometimes, I’ll ask the other party to imagine what would happen to Israel were it to contemplate such a move. The world outcry would be enormous. The response, of course, is that the outcry is already enormous. Furthermore, say the wannabe carpet bombers, public sentiment would blow over in no time, in accordance with the fast-changing news cycle.

My gut says otherwise.

(Continue to Full Post)

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