A large scale Israeli offensive (similar to 2008) against Gaza would bring short-term reprieve fo Israel’s citizens but would also mean:
- Long term strengthening of Al Qaeda and extremist Salafist organizations in Gaza
- Justification for Palestinian drive for statehood in the UN
- Help for the international boycott and divestment movement against Israel
- Hurt Israel’s relations with the EU
- Divert attention away from the conflict Syria thus helping Assad.
- Hurt Israel’s relations with Egypt and Jordan.
The citizens of southern Israel deserve peace and security. The continued attacks against them are intolerable. In the search for finding a short – medium term solution, the current Israeli government should apply smart power. This means a mixture of hard and soft power, meaning involving Israel’s diplomats as well.
Israel also needs to consider what its calls “security measures”.
For example: how is the well-being of Israel’s citizens secured by crippling Gaza’s export capability? How does banning Gazan workers from selling their fruits in Jordan or the West Bank help Israel’s cause?
Does this hurt or help the Palestinian extremists?
Does this hurt or help the 1.5 million people of Gaza?
Making them poor and unemployed with such measures is in Israel’s interest?
These ae some of the questions which those of us in Israel who are looking fo a long-term solution to our security problems in Gaza must ask ourselves.