David Walk

A Modest Proposal for Gaza Peace

Now that the negotiations for hostage release have wound down, it’s time to begin the next diplomatic initiative. I propose that the Israeli government immediately begin moving towards a solution to this mess, by, basically declaring: Mission Accomplished!!

Please, O government of mine, make the following announcement: We are contacting the United States, Qatar, Egypt and the EU to immediately sit down with us and any interested Gazans, to negotiate our full withdrawal from the Gaza Zone. The purpose of these discussions is to set up an interim governing body so that we can hand over control of Gaza to this group. Our only condition is that no members of Hamas be allowed to sit on this body. The United Nations and the International Red Cross are invited to be observers.

We do that and we can simultaneously declare: We won!! It will be true because Hamas will no longer rule Gaza.

This group can be called Bureaucrats to Organize Zone Order (or BOZO’s for short). These BOZO’s should be allocated funds from all over the world to begin rebuilding, and a mandate to organize elections within a reasonable amount of time, say six months. Any world leader who opened their mouths about the situation must contribute $1000 for every word said. That should be more than enough money to get the job done.

It’s good for us, it’s good for the Gazans and it’s good for the organizing powers, who get to claim their own victory. It’s a win, win, win. It’s a win for everybody but Hamas.

Those countries I listed have been pontificating to Israel for a while about their concern for the state of the area post bellum. Well, now they can get their hands dirty. These negotiations will take so long that we should have more than enough time to eradicate the Hamas forces in the area. 

The beauty of this proposal is that it allows us to declare victory before total victory has been achieved. Who’s to say we haven’t finished? We can mop up the remnants of Hamas in relative quiet from our detractors. 

There is also precedent for this tactic: there is a famous Midrash about the Amora Abba Yosi, Ish Tzitor (Vayikra Raba, 24:3). In the Midrash, Reb Abba Yosi used to sit and expound Torah by a spring of pure water. But an evil spirit (RUACH BISH) came to contaminate the spring. Reb Abba Yosi asked the spirit how he could end the contamination. The spirit said: Gather all the people who use this spring and have them bring digging and metal tools. They should hit the water with all their might, until their sweat pours into the waters, and they should yell, ‘DIDAN NETZACH, DIDAN NETZACH (We have won! We have won!)!! And that’s what they did and the spirit departed. 

There is also the example of President George W. Bush (George II). With great pomp, he landed on an aircraft carrier adorned with the announcement: Mission Accomplished. But that tactic didn’t work as well as the Midrash.

 Going back to the Midrash, it is true that if we do the bulk of the work and the world believes that we’ve succeeded. Then we have succeeded.  

We have not been doing very well in the propaganda side of this war. Euphemistically, we call that HASBARA, logical exposition. This strategy would flip the narrative. We could then go all around the world saying, ‘We don’t understand why our partners for peace can’t get their BOZO’s working!!’

If you have found any of this humorous, that’s just great. But I am very serious that it is high time that we involve the world in this dilemma, and bring our valiant soldiers and remaining hostages home, declaring: DIDAN NETZACH, DIDAN NETZACH!!

About the Author
Born in Malden, MA, 1950. Graduate of YU, taught for Rabbi Riskin in Riverdale, NY, and then for 18 years in Efrat with R. Riskin and R. Brovender at Yeshivat Hamivtar. Spent 16 years as Educational Director, Cong. Agudath Sholom, Stamford, CT. Now teach at OU Center and Yeshivat Orayta.
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