Susan Heitler
Clinical psychologist, popular book author, and blogger

After winning the war, how do we win the peace?

(c) isoga/fotosearch

Israel has a long history of winning wars without winning the peace.  Here’s a five-point plan for how Israel could win both.

  1. Accomplish total victory.  Let the IDF do all it needs to in order to totally decimate Hamas’s weaponry, its leaders, its ability to rebuild, its pride, and its credibility.
  2. Declare Gaza’s liberation.   Announce to Gazan citizens and to the world that the IDF has liberated the people of  Gaza from the corrupt and tyrannical rule of Hamas. Blanket the country in leaflets congratulating the people on having been liberated.  Announce that the IDF and all of Israel are on their side.  That they deserve a country free of corruption and filled instead with freedom, financial success, and fairness.  Take over the airwaves and the press and hammer this message again and again.  In my field of psychology, we refer to this kind of intervention as a reframe.  Reframe how all of us, around the globe as well as within Gaza, view Israeli’s military successes in the Strip.
  3. Instate new leadership.  Son of Hamas could be ideal. Also known as “the green prince,” the son of a longtime leader of the Hamas religious wing has been living in the US.  He is brilliant, an inspirational speaker, and a longtime friend of Israel.  If not this specific person, there are many intelligent, honest, and strong potential leaders in the Palestinian world.  Bring one to the fore, supported by the IDF and Israel, to lead the rebuilding of the country.
  4. Flood Gazans with help, including financial aid, in the manner of Europe’s post-World War II Marshal Plan.  This initiative could block Iran from getting a new foothold in Gaza.  In addition, support organized and overseen by Israel—with financial aid contributed also by the US, Europe, plus Israel’s new friends from the Abraham Accords — could clarify that Israel has become the Palestinians’ best friend.
  5. Spread the word.  You can help.  if this plan appeals to you, please disseminate it widely.  Forward this post to friends, newspapers, and politicians.  Thank you.
About the Author
Susan Heitler, PhD, a clinical psychologist formerly from Denver, has recently made aliyah to Israel. Dr. Heitler's popular blog—Resolution, Not Conflict—has received more than 25 million reads. Her Power of Two book and workbook, teaching communication and conflict resolution skills, has been published in six foreign languages including Hebrew. For her techniques for relieving depression, anger, and anxiety, see her website at
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