Why Israel Can't Win ....
The siege of Gaza may punish Hamas, but it won't make Israel safe. Why it is in peril like never before - by Tim McGirk
Israel's leaders need to recognize that if Hamas cannot be beaten militarily, then it must be engaged politically. That means accepting the idea of dealing with some kind of Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas. A coalition between Hamas and Abbas is essential for the future of a Palestinian state and for moderating Hamas' extremism. Hamas, which 18 months ago chased Abbas' men from Gaza, says it will pair up with Abbas if he, along with the international community, recognizes that the Islamic militants legitimately came to power in the January 2006 elections. Israelis rightly view such claims with skepticism, and yet all Palestinians and their Arab backers reject the current situation, where the meager land set aside for a future state is chopped into two, Gaza and the West Bank, ruled by rivals.
A new Administration in Washington has a chance to be both supportive of Israel and honest with it. Over the past three years, many Israelis have told me that President George W. Bush was too good a friend of theirs. He gave Israelis all they wanted but didn't rein them in when they needed it. Israel eventually will have to pull back to the 1967 borders and dismantle many of the settlements on the Palestinian side, no matter how loudly its ultra-religious parties protest. Only then will the Palestinians and the other Arab states agree to a durable peace. It's as simple as that. But for 60 years, in the Holy Land, there has been a yawning gap between what was simple and what could be achieved.
Click here to read Can Israel Survive It's Assault on Gaza?
Also at NowPublic:
Eyewitness accounts from Sameh Habeeb, trapped in the Gaza Strip and Palestinian Territories, who has been at risk as he has courageously provided reports to NowPublic during the latest offensive against the 1.5 million Palestinian inhabitants, 45% of whom are children, as the bombing has continued for 15 days.
As of January 12, 2009, close to 1,000 Palestinian civilians, men, women and children have been killed, with close to 4,000 Palestinian injuries. Humanitarian aid workers have also been fired upon by the Israeli Army killing two workers, forcing the halt of humanitarian service to the area for a time. The UN stated that the Israeli Army was aware of the humanitarian convoy's planned delivery.
It has been reported there have been 13 Israeli deaths since this latest campaign of retaliatory attacks implemented by Israel, with Israel reporting that dozens of rockets have been fired by Hamas, landing deeper in Israeli territory every day since the campaign began on December 26, 2008.
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