Coby Schoffman

Hostages home, Netanyahu out, Build ‘Gazingpore’

Original Artwork - David Schoffman ( (used with permission)

If the recent reports about the hostage deal are credible, then Israel and the broader MENA region might be facing a radical corporeal transformation that would make Ozempic look like a smoothie boost. Instead of “first Rafah, then Hezbollah, then Iran,” what if we moved to “first hostages, then elections, then build ‘Gazingpore’”?

If Israeli far-right policymakers are true to their word, then the hostage deal will likely lead to the collapse of the nefarious Netanyahu coalition and set the table for new elections. During this transition, true Israeli, and regional, leaders can speed up the sculpting of the post-Swords of Iron future of Gaza, and leverage the pockets, personnel, and policymaking abilities of adults who hold the requisite vision for an alternative reality for the region.

This will take tremendous leadership, imagination, and diplomatic artistry to achieve. However improbable it may seem, there is a world where the peace-builders bingo card wins, and the path towards a prosperous and conflict-free region is seriously explored.

Let’s be clear, if the stars align, this does not mean that the threats from Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas will disappear. It also doesn’t mean that Palestinians will get their act together on a political level and build the trust they need with Israel and the international community to achieve any semi-respectable level of statehood. However, it does mean that Israel will regain some serious diplomatic clout and gain the new ability to counter regional threats with the hechsher and consistent hard power backing of the U.S. and its new potential allies.

Dreaming what seems the impossible has been exceptionally difficult since October 7th. After visiting sites of the Nova festival, and kibbutzim in the south, I regrettably have struggled to hold onto even a floss of hope. It is easy to make the argument that the time is not ripe for these sorts of dreams, and it is easy to understand why Israeli governmental stakeholders and citizens alike are not ready to explore a new regional architecture that will include some form of statehood for the Palestinians. However difficult it may be, it is vital for Israelis to understand that the pre-October 7th security posture of Israel is no more, and what folks thought worked in the past clearly does not.

This new sequencing of the Israeli policy agenda can steer the region toward a place where all parties seeking prosperity can find it.

About the Author
Coby Schoffman is a San Francisco-based serial social entrepreneur and Founder of The Nation Foundation. Schoffman received a MSc in Transnational Security from New York University and has a demonstrated history of working to craft complex, community-driven solutions in high conflict zones. The views in his columns are his own, and do not reflect those of any organization.
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