I’m saddened to see the latest conflict between the Israelis and Hamas. For starters, I believe Israel has every right to defend itself and that Hamas is a democratically elected terrorist organization. We can argue until we are blue in the face about who started what and when but those discussions are rarely productive. The real question is how to achieve long-term peace and prosperity.
The diplomats will focus on how to carve a 2-state solution based on land appropriations, which I do think can play a part in the peace process but the root problem as I see it is the lack of a decent economy in Palestine. No doubt the hawks in Israel would love to kill every terrorist they can find but that strategy is never-ending. Many at the U.N. scold Israel for disproportionate responses to attacks because they seem unfair. However, my concern with the disproportionate responses is that they are often designed to limit basic resources to the Palestinians so much of their time is spent on basic survival needs.
Tactically, I can understand Israel’s plan, but long-term strategically it simply won’t work. I have a strong biased towards using Capitalism as an ambassador of peace and in this case it would mean allowing the Palestinians to more easily get business permits and not destroying their entire infrastructure. Organizations such as Hamas are often strengthened by Israeli attacks because they end up offering many of the basic services, which in turn assists in recruitment and fundraising. Meanwhile, the Palestinians also have to understand much of their situation is their own doing and blaming others will not change that, so I was happy to hear Abbas squarely putting the blame for the recent violence on Hamas for breaking the truce. Regardless, until the economic situation of everyday Palestinians is improved they will continue to be vulnerable to pay-offs from rich Saudis and other forms of recruitment.
Land is important but paychecks are imperative.