The objective “Israel must eliminate Hamas” has been embraced by many in Israel. For the sake of Israel: Do not try it. A war to eliminate Hamas (and the Islamic Jihad) will take many thousands of Palestinian civilian lives, will take a long time to achieve – if ever – and its tremendous costs will provoke an immense backlash against Israel in the whole world. And this not counting the many-many lives of Israeli soldiers. Do not get into the fantasy that the Palestinian inhabitants of Gaza are innocent casualties in this war against Hamas and that they will help Israel to get rid of Hamas: They will not. They have been indoctrinated from young age into the Hamas school of thought. The civilian population in Gaza will side with Hamas, and not with Israel.
Wars should have consequences, but Israel should not seek regime change (the recent failed experiences in Afghanistan and Libya should serve as a warning.) It is up to the Palestinians in Gaza to replace their rulers. No one presently knows when this will happen.
Besides this general advice, I leave to the Israelis to define what they want to achieve in the present war. I am going to talk here about the future: What comes after the war.
Israel and the United States should keep straight working hard on achieving peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia. There is now a short window of opportunity to achieve this, when the interests of the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel are aligned. Do not let Hamas and Iran achieve their main goal of their aggression, which was to derail this process. Diplomatic normalization and the establishment of peaceful relations between Israel and the largest and most important Muslim country in the Middle East can only be pursued, and hopefully achieved, if the present war between Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and Israel has clear, limited, and tangible achievable objectives, and is short, decisive, and ends in a few weeks-time.
A long-term vision about the future desired political map replacing the failed “2-state” 1993 Oslo-type approach should be proposed, to give hope for a better future to both Israelis and Palestinians, and give them a path to steer them away from this unending cycle of violence. The future political map should still consist of two states: Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine, the latter including the present Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza. It is, essentially, a return to the original intent of the 242 UN resolution of November 1967.
The following two maps give a glance of this proposal:
A large industrial complex of desalinization plants to be built in Gaza will provide drinkable water to the landlocked Jordan and the West Bank. For comparison, Israel desalinates 75% of its drinking water from the Mediterranean Sea.
An underground tunnel between Gaza and the West Bank (similar in length to the undersea channel between the UK islands and Europe, but easier to build and maintain) will enable the free movement of people and goods between Gaza and the West Bank and Jordan. A port in Gaza will mean for Jordan a direct access to the Mediterranean Sea, providing a great impetus to the Jordanian economy.
Finally, this vision is completed by addressing the refugee problem: Palestinian refugees and Jewish refugees, both victims of the Arab-Israeli conflict. An international aid program – similar to the Marshall Plan for Europe after World War II – should be established, as part of the solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, to develop the economy of Jordan and integrate the Palestinians in the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine. And the international community should also address a just resolution of the claims of the almost one-million Jewish refugees, who were ethnically cleansed from the Arab countries.
For additional details, see my book “The root of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the path to peace” (October 2023 edition.) The book is available at Amazon, but it can be read and downloaded (pdf) for free by everyone at: