Averting Another Gaza

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New York Times: June 10, 2010

The whole world was shocked by the tragic consequences of the Israeli military operation conducted in international waters against the “Peace Flotilla” convoy of ships. The human cost is unacceptable. Nothing can justify the use of such violence, and our countries immediately condemned it.

Following these dramatic events, the time must come for analysis and reflection on the root reasons of the tragedy. The cause of the boarding of the Mavi Marmara can be summarized in a single word, one that is very familiar to us: Gaza.

It was Israel’s unbending determination to force compliance with the blockade put in place in 2007 after the coup d’état by Hamas against the Palestinian Authority that is the origin of this event, just as Operation Cast Lead and its trail of intolerable pain were triggered by the constant firing of rockets into southern Israel. Last year, as it did on the night of May 30-31, Israel decided to use force to achieve its political and security objectives.

That logic must now be abandoned, because if it is not, more tragedies will occur that can only strengthen Hamas and Israel’s other enemies in the region, destabilize moderates in both camps and deepen Israel’s political isolation.

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