Harold Ohayon
A Wandering New Yorker

Breaking the Cycle of Gaza Violence

Every few years, it seems, a drastic escalation between Israel and Gaza occurs. And every few years the situation becomes so dire that a short term war breaks out. As hundreds of missiles land indiscriminately across the southern part of the country, there is little doubt that the Israeli populace will demand action. It is high time for the government to make a final stand against Hamas and their associated terror organizations, as the reality on the ground has become intolerable and unbearable. But it would be advisable to calm this situation first and then strike the decapitating blow at a time of Israel’s choosing. Escalating the conflict at this point will play right into the hands of Hamas, and so Israel must be sturdy in her resolve and take this time to plan an assault that will end the tyranny emanating from Gaza once and for all.

The undeniable fact that we are all faced with is that there will never be a peaceful solution to the Gaza situation. While peace may be possible with the PA and the West Bank, Hamas will never agree to any sort of coexistence with Israel. Time and again, the terrorists based in the Gaza Strip have sapped the territory’s resources to continue its failed war against Israel. Despite always losing these fights, Hamas refuses to stand down. And, it appears, it no longer fears Israel and her might. During the last several flare ups, Israel has bent the knee to international pressure and has failed to deal a fatal blow to Hamas. This, in turn, has allowed the group to continuously restock their weapon supplies and prepare for the inevitable next round in the conflict. This has created a disastrous cycle of violence that has left the civilian populations in both Israel and Gaza perpetually living on the metaphorical edge. It is time to break this cycle for good.

The timing of this flare up is no mistake. In a few days, Israel is due to host the Eurovision Song Contest. Islamic Jihad has already vowed to disrupt this event, and their intent has become more apparent with this current barrage emanating from the Gaza Strip. The goal now is to give Israel a PR disaster, something that all terror groups would relish. It is therefore important to deny them this treat. Israel must do what she must do to end this barrage in the short term, and restrain herself from going into a full fledged war. Such a conflict would cancel the Eurovision, and would ultimately be a victory for Hamas, Islamic Jihad and all their ilk. Israel must not grant them this privilege. Instead, Israel should find a way to cease this current barrage and then draw back. This is by no means a call to stand down, not at all. It is a call for Israel to step back, plan and then ultimately strike at the heart of the snake.

There was a time when Arab armies and terror groups feared Israel. The defeat of 1973 pushed Egypt and Jordan to sign peace tries with Israel. The targeted assassination campaign against Hamas leaders in the early 2000s shook the group to the core. But now, it seems, these groups no longer fear Israel. These groups know that Palestinian apologists pull the heartstrings of the international community anytime a conflict arises. And they know that Israel eventually buckles under international pressure and stops before total victory. It is time for Israel to change this pattern. But this must happened after this current spat of violence ceases. If Israel acts with full force now, Hamas will be the one in control. Israel must think calmly, strategically and plan for a decisive victory. And this should be done on Israel’s terms, not Hamas’. If Israel wants to enter a new phase of her history, one where she is feared and respected once more, it is time to act decisively against the threats pulsating in the Gaza Strip. Doing so would end the ceaseless missile attacks against Israeli civilians. It will help end the reign of tyranny of Hamas. And it could, quite possibly, make peace between the Palestinians and Israelis ever more possible. While this last statement may only exist in the realm of possibilities, it is plain for all to see that Hamas and her allies must be totally and completely defeated in the Gaza Strip if any sense of normalcy is to return to southern Israel. Failure to deal this fatal blow will all but guarantee countless more years of missile barrages, bombed out houses and dashes for bomb shelters. This madness must stop.

About the Author
Expat New Yorker living in the Land of the Rising Sun: Trekking to random parts of the globe, debating countless things under the sun, and attempting to learn to cook Korean food.
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