Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Israel's Mistaken Gaza Approach

Israel is considering a power cut in Gaza in retaliation for a rocket attack that almost hit a kindergarten in a town called Sderot. This may not be the best option, but considering Israel’s current strategy, it could be the best option.

Israel’s current strategy

Israel has been attempting to isolate Hamas and make their government in Gaza look like a failure. Israel, the U.S., and other western powers have been bolstering Mahmoud Abbas’s (semi-)democratic government in the West Bank to solidify this image.

It hasn’t been going so well. Gaza hasn’t been a failure, but it hasn’t been a success either. But because of an international boycott of trade with Gaza, it will be a failure soon. Gaza isn’t getting basic supplies, and Gaza is being torn apart by it.

A power cut would hasten Gaza’s downfall, but it would help to continue to alienate the one group of Palestinians that support’s Israel: the merchants. More on this later.

But if Israel is to continue its current policy, cutting power would be the best choice.
The mistake of the strategy

Israel has been making life in Gaza miserable for Gazans, and life will only become exponentially worse in the following weeks and months.

Basic aid and food is making it into the Palestinian territory, but that’s just about it. Not a lot’s getting in, and less is getting out. An international boycott is preventing trade with Gaza.

By increasing poverty, unemployment, and general dissatisfaction in Gaza, the West is creating the perfect situation for terrorism to grow. Terrorism is like a disease: it grows on dissatisfaction.

The international boycott is hitting Gazan merchants the hardest. They were content (or more content than the majority of Palestinians) selling their goods in Israel. Now, they can’t sell their goods in Israel, or anywhere at all. The one group that once stood by Israel is now receiving the brunt of Israel’s approach. Does that sound smart?