In the week after the devastating Hamas atrocity, I blogged about an alternate strategy for Israel to the one it is currently pursuing: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/squaring-never-again-with-protection-for-the-civilians-of-gaza-a-useless-armchair-general-presents-another-option/.
It consisted of two main pillars:
- A call for a complete surrender of Hamas as the precondition to avert an invasion of Gaza that would cause huge loss of life on all sides over many months and even apparently in the best case, leave no clear solution for the future governance of Gaza.
- An international coalition similar to the ones mobilized against Al Qaeda and ISIS, on the basis that (a) terrorism of this kind threatens everyone, (b) it is necessary to stand against the particular brutality on display; and (c) it would reduce the risks of regional contagion.
I noted some potential arguments against it but in the end concluded that the upsides massively outweigh the downsides. Circumstances seem to be bearing out this view.
President Macron has now called exactly for this solution, at least item (2) and implicitly item (1).
I believe all Israelis should strongly support this proposal and seize the initiative by demanding the following conditions:
(1) the irreversible combined objective to eliminate Hamas and all other terror groups, with international trials for the political leadership as well as the foot soldiers, and to rescue all Gaza’s hostages;
(2) Israel’s overall operational control;
(3) A second phase which involves the disarmament of Hezbollah and the disengagement of Iran from the countries bordering Israel;
(4) in-principle support for exploring what Rishi Sunak rightly referred to as ‘creative alternatives’ for sustainable peace.