Let’s begin with how not to fix Gaza.
What won’t work is what’s being done now.
What will work is what’s not being done now.
Israel should allow unrestricted free flow of goods and services into the Gaza Strip minus of course the obvious – nuclear materials, jets, weapons and so forth.
They should allow those Palestinians who wish to return to their homes within Israel proper the opportunity.
A small percentage of Palestinians will desire to do so. Many I suspect will remain where they grew up – in the Gaza Strip.
Should the Palestinians fire rockets, the Israelis should take a bunch for the greater good.
A good leader has to take a little blowback.
By not retaliating excessively, the Israelis give peace a chance.
What passes in Gaza can be a model for the West Bank.
Tear down the ugly, ugly checkpoints and barriers and allow people to live where they want to live.
Permit Palestinians free access and free rights to travel.
Will there be more bombings and stabbings?
Yes, but every society has problems. It takes time to heal wounds.
Instead of creating new enemies, try doing what you know is counterintuitive, unjustified yet workable – patience, understanding and kindness.
Reparations would be a good step.
Yes, but will an olive branch or an offer of kindness be slapped away?
Initially, yes. People are upset.
In time, the violence will fade.
Long before people were Palestinians and Jews they were people.
And what people want is a happy life, a chance to make a few bucks and the opportunity to contribute.
Give them that, and they’ll be on their way peacefully.
As for the knuckleheads and hardliners who refuse to adjust, well, every society has those.
Treat those people as common criminals not as representatives of Palestinians who desire to annihilate the state of Israel.
Sometimes you have to try to not look too hard. A little benign neglect might help.
Yes, but won’t Israel cease to become a Jewish state?
No, because elections, like elsewhere, are a joke, a ruse to pacify the masses.
As Mark Twain once said: If elections mattered, they’d never let us vote.
So too in Israel.
Which is why Israel has no fear of Muslims who, until the creation of the state of Israel, lived peacefully with Jews for centuries.
So live peacefully together again.
Arabs and Jews live across the street from each other in the United States.
Do what we do in America: Romanticize your past with lies that never happened. Create heroes who perform impossible feats like throwing a shekel across the Jordan River.
People eat that up.
The alternative to doing business as usual will be far worse.
As a former soccer player, Bibi should understand that it’s never good policy to underestimate your opponent.
The player who has the upper hand and thinks that he has the game all wrapped up soon finds himself on the losing end.
So, assuming that Bibi, President for Life, decides to have a change of heart, can what is suggested here be implemented?
Not over night, that’s for sure. There has been too much suffering.
Changing everything overnight would be disastrous. It would be like asking a hard-core heroin addict to go cold turkey.
It’s not like the people are being asked to give up chocolate, which by the way was relatively unavailable to the people of Gaza prior to 2007 thanks to restrictions.
Hatred like heroin is powerfully addicting.
But if a reasonable but not ridiculous goal of twenty years was set, there is no reason why change can not occur at 5% per annum.
It sounds like it’s worth a try.