What Is the Best Path Forward for Gaza?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
February 27, 2009
Palestinian Man in Northern Gaza Strip

Secretary Clinton will participate in the donor's conference for Gaza recovery hosted by Egypt on March 2. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell and other high-level representatives will be in attendance with the Secretary, and the U.S. has urged the international community to show similar support for the Egyptian initiative.

The March 2 conference is an opportunity to address the immediate humanitarian suffering in Gaza and support the Palestinian Authority's plan for reconstruction of Gaza as an integral part of a future Palestinian state.

What is the best path forward for Gaza?

Comments

Comments

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
February 27, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

I heard the State Department will be sending them 900 Million dollars in aid. I hope this money does not end up in the hands that will only cause more problems. You know as bad as things get in that area of the world, I'm surprised that Egypt or Saudi Arabia hasn't just opened its doors and allow them to move in. This way the fighting would end, the people can be around people they enjoy being around. If they stay in the same place, history will only dictate again, more wars, more deaths. The land then could be used for something else other than a battling ground. Then instead of trying to rebuild Gaza just rebuild on the new location in Peace! This would end the wars and bring upon stability in the region. Besides I seriously doubt they really want to live next to Isreal in the first place. Sometimes moving might be the smart choice.

Gaza strip could be turned into a Monumential grounds with a Museum showing the history for the public.

Godspeed hope it all works out for everyone!

Lindsay
|
Florida, USA
February 27, 2009

Lindsay in Florida writes:

The people of Gaza must stop supporting Hamas terrorism. As long as the people of Gaza support terrorism, support the bombing of Israel, and support the notion of the destruction of Israel, it's hard for me to sympathize.

The Palestinian Authority and the people of Palestine and Gaza must denounce terrorism and those who agitate and perpetrate.

marylander
|
Maryland, USA
February 27, 2009

M. in Maryland writes:

It is a horrible injustice to release $900 million to the UN or any other agency in HOPES it will stay out of the hands of the Hamas or any other terrorist regime. Our country's leaders will fail us if this happens. Our men and women of our U.S. Military are in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting terrorism......all along we will be handing out money to fund them in the Gaza. The Middle East has several countries who support the Palestinians ( so they say ) so get the money to rebuild from them. Stop thinking our country has to be "liked" by everyone! And by the way, Iraq, as most of you either are too young to remember or too blind to understand, needed to be taken out of the hands of Saddam Hussein before we could EVER approach the issue of fighting terrorism in that area of the world. Please give the $900 million to FEMA to protect and comfort our own country during hardships. It would make more sense.

Robert M.
|
California, USA
February 27, 2009

Robert M. in California writes:

I'm reluctant to say it, but Gaza needs to be split between Egypt and Israel; with a sovereign Palestine becoming the West Bank. It is untenable to have a divided Palestinian state; and it would be a near impossible situation to make all of Gaza Israel.

There is what appears to be a dry riverbed north of Nuseirat. Dividing the strip there causes minimal physical disruption to existing structures or populations. This would result in about 2/3 of the area of Gaza going to Egypt, but around half the coastline and 2/3 (or more) of the population reverting to Israel. I fully understand the political issues involved with either the movement of the people living there; but it palls in comparison to the task, and repercussions, of what was done in 1949.

$1 billion to repair what will surely be bombed back into the ground seems to me a waste. A substantial amount of that money would also go toward the same type of behavior that exacerbates the cycle of violence. Send luggage, transportation, food, and money to build only on the West Bank.

I've floated this to friends that are politically left, and those on the right. They both disagree with me. They call this a "never gonna happen". Perhaps, but there's been no sign of Middle East peace since before I was 7, and I'm a year older than the President.

Thank you for the moment of your time,

Bob M.

Jared
|
Oregon, USA
February 27, 2009

Jared in Oregon writes:

Reduce U.S. military aid to Israel. We do not need to sponsor a terrorist regime any longer.

David
|
Texas, USA
February 27, 2009

David in Texas writes:

They should be free to form their own state....but, they need to stop the violence in their own country and against Israel or they need to be completely occupied.

Syrian P.
|
Syria
February 27, 2009

SNP in Syria writes:

QUOTE-Secretary Clinton will participate in the donor's conference for Gaza recovery-END QUOTE

Why the Israeli destroyed Gaza in the first place, what did accomplished other than genocide and war crimes by Israeli and Egyptian leaders with Saudi financing. When will all realize that the Middle East political, economic and social problems are hopeless? When will the 2 millions Palestinians refugee vacate camps in Syria and Lebanon and live happily in a Palestinian State. It has been more than 60 years. When a donor conference for the 3 millions Iraqi refugees be held. Cocktail parties want do, LEADERSHIP DO IT. Obviously none around, just the wannabe leaders.

Andrea M.
|
Florida, USA
February 28, 2009

Andrea M. in Florida writes:

I agree, Gaza needs to be split between Israel and Egypt. It will always be a hot bed for Hamas terrorists and should never be part of a Palestinian State.

Josh
|
Arizona, USA
February 28, 2009

Josh in Arizona writes:

This obviously is a highly complicated and personal, not to mention a highly politicized matter. Concessions from both side, and not just small ones, are required as is some sacrifice.

1) Israel must relinquish control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip as defined by the Wye Accords modified to reflect a 24 month time frame with all Israeli citizens and military units removed from Palestinian areas 2 years from date of approval.

2) The Palestinian Authority (hereto reffered as the PA) will not be able to declare statehood until 24 months and 1 day from the time of implementation begins.

3) The PA must denounce ALL acts of terrorism, arrest and adjudicate any and all citizens of PA lands who has or have committed acts of Terrorism from the time of implementation forward. In addition, the PA/Palestine must extend full diplomatic recognition of the State of Israel and Israel must extend full diplomatic recognition of the PA/Palestine.

4) All members of the Arab league must provide assistance toward the new Palestinian state (whether it be medical, financial or judicial among other types of assistance).

5) All members of the Arab league, if not already, must fully and unconditionally recognize the State of Israel and it's right to exist and extend full diplomatic recognition to Israel. Israel must also extend full Diplomatic Recognition to all Arab League nations. All Arab league nations must also denounce all terrorist groups, cease financial and military aid to said groups and prosecute all persons who commit acts of terrorism pertinent to the laws of the sovereign nation

6) A military peacekeeping force comprised of Arab League nations that have recognized the State of Israel (initially, Egypt and Jordan but other nations will rotate in and out as deemed appropriate) will provide border security for the new Palestinian state for a period of 24 months at which time, unless agreed to by all signatories, the Palestinian government will assume control of all border crossings.

7) Israel will work with the nations of Egypt and Kingdom of Jordan to initially provide Water, Sewer, Natural Gas and Electricity to the PA and assist the PA in development of their own pipelines and non nuclear power plants

8) Israel will release all political prisoners currently being held in Israeli prisons to PA authority within 120 days of time of implementation. Any prisoners who are being held on capitol crimes as determined by international law, will continued to be held, however a task force from the world court will examine each case and make determinations as the disposition of individual cases.

9) In the case of Jerusalem, Western Jerusalem, with the exception of the Old City, will be deeded to the State of Israel. Eastern Jerusalem, with the exception of the Old City, will be deeded to the PA/Palestine. The Old city of Jerusalem will be declared an open city, governed by a troika consisting of an Rabbi, a Mullah and a Priest. Each representative must have 25 years of experience and be accepted by the United Nations, Vatican, Israel and the PA/Palestine. Security will be provided by the Swiss Army or other neutral sovereign nation acting as a police force.

10) Israeli citizens currently living in settlements that are scheduled to be turned over to the PA would be encouraged to leave and return to Israel proper. Any settler who does, would be entitled to compensation as determined by the Knesset. However, any Israeli citizen that does not leave settlements that are to be turned over the PA/Palestine would be subject to Palestinian Laws when the PA/Palestine assumes control of said lands without protection or compensation from the State of Israel except for those provided by International Law. (In other words, the Palestinian Government could seize lands and expel the occupants forthwith and if they refuse or resist they would be held accountable under Palestinian and/or International Laws.

I am sure there are many many many other issues worth discussing. Please note that I am Jewish and I believe that most American Jews feel that this has gone on long enough and the United States needs to pressure Israel, especially with a right wing government under Mr. Netanyahu seeming more likely. While we are very supportive of Israel, we all want peace and the opportunity for Israel to prosper.

Thank You

Kate
|
Pennsylvania, USA
February 28, 2009

Kate in Pennsylvania writes:

Let's just imagine, for a minute, that the rest of the world decides that America should be given back to the Indian tribes. The nations band together, and fight a war to occupy the United States, during the course of which we are forced into refugee camps in Mexico, along the border, and told that once hostilities end, we'll be able to return to our homes, if we choose to submit to Indian rule, or at the very least, we can pack our things and sell our homes. But they never let us do that. For years, we are kept in the refugee camps, not allowed to become Mexican citizens, not allowed to have our jobs back, while other people move into our homes and take over our land. Certainly not allowed to have our own army. This goes on for more than 50 years, and we become very bitter. A few of us manage to move elsewhere to make new lives. Many of us do not give up hope that one day we can return to our homes and towns. We somehow eke out a living in desert camps. Our children grow up, stateless, helpless, frustrated. From time to time, the new "Americans" shell us, shoot at us, throw those of us who speak out in jail. Sometimes they embargo our food and we begin to starve. Our furious children lash out from time to time in horrible ways, but in the only way they can -- strapping bombs to themselves, sneaking into their homeland, and blowing themselves and others up.

Eventually, other countries help us to hold democratic elections, and we elect a party which refuses to recognize the sovereignty of the new "Americans", and is willing to continue the fight let us go back to our homes. And then those same countries which helped bring about that election reject our choice and refuse to help us further. They turn their backs when one day, the new "America" decides to further punish us by invading our camps, destroying our dwellings and gardens.

THAT IS THE PLIGHT OF THE PEOPLE OF GAZA.

WE MUST UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS THE ISRAELIS WHO ARE THE REAL TERRORISTS, AND WE ARE THE ONES WHO HAVE ALWAYS ARMED THEM!!!

Patrick
|
Virginia, USA
February 28, 2009

Patrick in Virginia writes:

I feel for the innocent victims that have had to deal with a turmultuous situation that they have little to no control over. The actions of the Hamas militants makes it apparent that they have no regard for the Palestinian people, they are only concerned with furthering their personal agenda. The Hamas have also abused and hampered any attempts of helping the citizens of Gaza with their interference of UN operations and the theft of UN supplies.

Because of the way Hamas militants conduct themselves and the support they receive from the Islamic Nation I do not support sending money to Gaza in an attempt to rebuild. Until the Hamas leaders are removed from power and their desire to kill all Israelis is eliminated rebuilding Gaza will be an act of throwing good after bad. The Israelis will rightfully continue to defend themselfs from the cowardly acts of terrorism by launching future attacks on Gaza. With the cowardly acts of hiding behind civilians there will be continued destruction in Gaza. Eventually the Palestinian people will tire of the quality of life the Hamas militants has forced upon them, eventually they will realize that they need to stand against their oppressor if they are to experience a life of peace. At this time I feel it should be the responsibility of the UN, EU, and Islamic Nation to finance the rebuilding of Gaza. The U.S. has financed the majority of the war on terrorism, we should not be apart of rebuilding Gaza. Another reason we should not send $900 million to help rebuild Gaza is a fairly basic concern. Where is the money coming from? This country is broke and going further behind on a daily basis. It is time to let other nations step up to the plate and help the poor, needy, oppressed people of the world.

Muhammed
|
Florida, USA
February 28, 2009

Muhammed in Florida writes:

President Obama laid out a vision for America -- as we recover from a recession we are also investing in our future. We should use the same principle in Gaza. The funds should not go to the PA or Hamas. Significant amount should be spent on education, infrastructure and health care. The young in Gaza must see there is a future for them, that even though they were born in a refugee camp, ruled by gunmen, and occupied by a foreign enemy; they must be given hope that one day they too will enjoy freedom, and self rule; that their lives matter, that they will grow up and be doctors, engineers, scientists or actors. We must not let them fall into despair. Please build schools, libraries, museums, and parks and roads. Do Not give any funds to PA. Let NGOs distribute or manage the projects. Hire local professionals. Like the president says, treat them with 'respect'.

Terry
|
Connecticut, USA
February 28, 2009

Terry in Connecticut writes:

Ok guys. I am ready to follow another one of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's travels like you all. The Mideast is a dicey bogged down problem. I think Secretary Clinton will show more even handed approach to the Isreali/Palinstine issue than the Bush Administration.

Tony T.
|
Australia
February 28, 2009

Tony T. in Australia writes:

The perception outside the U.S. is that both Republicans and Democrats place good relations with Israel before the welfare of what remains of the Palestinian people. Hillary Clinton has only one chance to show that the new aministration is even handed. Israel has committed war crimes with the aid of U.S. weapons, a fact that is obvious to all who have followed the latest conflict in Gaza. The failure to grasp this fact and deal with it will further lower U.S. standing in the eyes of the World. The eyes of the world are upon you.

Peter
|
Netherlands
February 28, 2009

Peter in the Netherlands writes:

My idea is to make a peace plan for all the Palestinians in the Middle East, in Gaza, West Bank but also in Lebanon. All the Palestinians must live as normal people with normal rights. When the rights are not regular there won't come peace in the middle east.

My plan is based on the plan of Jimmy Carter from 2006, after the war in Lebanon.

Lots of succes with it.

With Regards,

Peter R.

Albert
|
Pennsylvania, USA
February 28, 2009

Albert in Pennsylvania writes:

Egypt created the refugees and the Gaza strip. Returning the Sinai without the Gaza strip to Egypt was Begin biggest mistake. Let Gaza get all of it's electricity, water fuel, work from Egypt. Egypt then will not be able to let Hamas lob Kassams on Israeli schools.

Khãrt W.
February 28, 2009

Khurt W. writes:

Stop the fighting. Heal the wounds. Create one country with Palestinians and Isreali's as full citizens.

Caleb
|
Ohio, USA
February 28, 2009

Caleb in Ohio writes:

I think the most efficient way to help both Israelis and Palestinians acheive the peace that most of their people want is to incentivize peace.

Take the amount of money we would give to both sides for arms or humanitarian aid and pool it. Whenever one side attacks the other, the attacked side gets a portion of the money put aside for them and the dollar amounts go up so escalating violence only helps the "enemy". Everything gets paid in one lump sum at the end of the fiscal year.

If they cross a threshold of violence we support neither side financially and if they co-exist peacefully for the whole year they get paid out equally.

Nina K.
|
Indiana, USA
February 28, 2009

Nina K. in Indiana writes:

I feel that a balanced approach to the situation in Gaza is best for everyone concerned. By balanced, I mean the recognition that both sides have the right to exist, and to basic human liberties. I also mean that both sides have done wrong. In the case of hamas, I refer specifically to the their intractable position on the right of Israel to exist and the rocket attacks. In the case of Israel, the blockage of Gaza, the failure to pursue the extension of the ceasefire, and the incursion of troops most recently causing so many civilians deaths and human misery. I think that the U.S.A. should stop giving military aid to Israel. As a taxpayer, I am stunned that my tax dollars are going to fund the asymmetrical warfare conducted by the state of Israel. I think humanitarian aid to Gaza is okay, but we should definitely sit down and talk to Hamas about their rhetoric and their position on the state of Israel. Recognizing that Israel has acted in violation of the 1967 accords by allowing settlers to establish settlements in Palestine would be a big step towards peace.

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
February 28, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

@ SNP in Syria -- It's obvious to myself the reason why there will be no peace for either side is because it's like mixing apples and oranges. They will only continue to fight for a piece of land for nothing. When our country has spent millions already on both sides its quite pathetic.

I know this is probably one of the hardest things to recongize but maybe the best move for Gaza Strip is to be MOVED from it's current location to a brand new area where they can build, live and breed in peace, quiet and without wars. I don't think anyone on this earth wants to see two neighbors continue to duke it out over a piece of land. When the solution is right in front of them. Pack up and move out to an area where they can have security, and build on new lands. Besides even if they created the new state, it will also be in turmoil and yes more fighting will exist, so in the end what has been truly accomplished, NOTHING! Think Smarter for the people. If you truly care about helping people, help them in the right way! Otherwise, they will only continue destroying each other and yes more money will be provided in aid, but that doesn't solve the problem. The root of the problem has not been addressed, "How can Jews and Arabs live together without war?" What can both sides do in future to prevent war? How can they live together if there not prepared to make the first steps towards peace? Because someone doesn't want peace. Think about that? Just like when Prime Minister Sadot was killed in Egypt? Some people on earth just do not want PEACE!

Godspeed and let's hope this can all be worked out for everyone!

Dirk
|
Belgium
February 28, 2009

Dirk in Belgium writes:

Thank you for the efforts already undertaken.

Would it not be more practical to have one nation, in one area for the Palistinian people?

I know this would be a difficult task to complete, but adding a Gaza size pice of land to the West Bank, would allow all Palistinians to have one country, not one split in two ...

It would probable also help for them to feel as a nation, ans not as a region in another country.

With sincere appreciation of all the good and constructive steps already undertaken by the President and Secretary Clinton,

Dirk

Diane
|
Illinois, USA
February 28, 2009

Diane in Illinois writes:

Until the U.S. concedes that Hamas is more realistically representative of the Palestinian people, we won't make any progress in the quest to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Israeli leadership is showing a militancy equal to or greater than that of Hamas. They should be personae non grata rather than receive encouragement from our leadership.

Cain
|
United States
February 28, 2009

Cain in U.S.A. writes:

You both should continue to pay lip service to the occupants of Gaza. Please, continue talking about a two-state solution which will probably never come. Considering that the likud is coming into power, just tell Netanyahu not to get too trigger happy. Let us be honest and serious, nobody really cares about the Palestinian people.

Lisa
|
Kentucky, USA
February 28, 2009

Lisa in Kentucky writes:

I don't think anyone knows the best path for Gaza. The U.S. should ONLY support a solution (not a country or regime). How can we expect either side to change if no one wants compromise? They're going to have to learn to respect each other because at the end of the day it has to be about saving lives, not who is right or wrong.

andrea
February 28, 2009

Andrea writes:

the way to fix gaza is to educate the people that israel has a right to exist and stop hating jewish people. jews have suffered long enough. you must make it clear to the plo and hamas jerusalem will never be divided and they are lucky to have gotten gaza land in the first place. in 1948 the israeli arabs would not take the land annexed for them by the british they wanted it all and started a war that continues today. with a shift to the right in parliment the israelis will never give up anymore land nor should they. israel is smaller than rhode island now. anti semitism has increased and escalated as of today. did you read what is going on in canada at the universities? it is appalling. growing up in america i have always had to pretend i was not a jew. this was ingrained into me by my mother. as a result i feel i have never felt a part of anything in this world much less the united states. this is what it is like for being a jew in america.

Rebecca
|
Indonesia
February 28, 2009

Rebecca in Indonesia writes:

There are some things that are really clear:

1) We need a well-financed education campaign, supported by and pursued by our very own government, to teach Americans how the modern state of Israel came into being and to give our population as a whole a more nuanced understanding of this amazingly complicated puzzle. A majority of Americans need to understand that this is a situation where neither side is ever categorically in the right or categorically in the wrong. When you ask the question whose land is it, the answer is, it is the land of all of the people currently living on it, just as is the case in Zimbabwe, just as in the case of Lebanon, just as in the case of post-Apartheid South Africa. Once this is understood, our ability to mediate with neutrality based on a mandate grounded in understanding, rather than the current overweening ignorance, will increase exponentially....we will stop implicitly teaching large swathes of our population that every Palestinian is a "gunman" (why are they NEVER referred to as freedom fighters) and that every Israeli is divinely inspired, pure, and blameless for any of the violence that occurs. This in turn will make it slightly less easy for lobbying groups from either side to hold any immense political sway (as the pro-Israel lobby currently does).

2) If we are going to go on providing monies to the region (and arguments could be made that we ought not), we should do so in equal measure. Anything less weakens our ability to be an honest broker of peace.

3) We should build a "coalition of the willing" (oh, sorry Mr. President, but the phrase applies here) to pursue a one-state solution across the territory currently inhabited by "Israelis" and "Palestinians". I think the Europeans would agree and we might convince some of the moderate Arab regimes, with work. The two-state solution JUST WILL NEVER WORK. Unification is really the holy grail of a lasting peace, whether the world is ready to recognize that or not. There is also a fair chance that the extremely weary people of the region (not the governments) would actually welcome and support such a modest proposal. And can you imagine the look on the faces of the Al Qaeda leadership if we ever ACTUALLY pulled such a thing off? I mean, what poster child would they then find to hide behind to continue their worldwide terrorism plotting?

4) We need to support and move to signature a UN treaty on the sale and traffic of arms...and once it's ready for signature, we need to sign it. All of this slaughter is making someone a pretty penny somewhere and we need to put whatever it takes internationally in motion to make all of the bickering a good deal less lucrative.

Rebecca
|
Indonesia
February 28, 2009

Rebecca in Indonesia writes:

1) Educate the U.S. public about the complexities of this problem. Stop calling all Palestinians "gunmen" in the press and describe the "Israeli Defense Force" as what it is: an occupying army

2) Stop funding the IDF

3) Begin to rebuild support for a ONE state solution. Only unity can solve this. There was momentum for this at one time, and you might find large numbers of ordinary citizens on both sides would be in favor. But the powers that be in both factions have succeeded in pulling the wool over everyone's eyes as the on-going conflict with the chimera of the two-state solution (wouldn't it have happened already if it were going to) serves their egos and pocketbooks better.

Patricia
|
New York, USA
February 28, 2009

Patricia in New York writes:

$900 Million - money already ill spent - the only thing certain will be more loss of life - on both sides.

Susan J.
|
Illinois, USA
February 28, 2009

Susan J. in Illinois writes:

We need a two state solution. The current situation is untenable and will lead to an unending cycle of violence, fear, and strife. Gaza should be returned to the Palestinians and the Israelis should end their blockade which prevents people in Gaza from getting to their jobs in Israel or elsewhere, blocks much needed humanitarian aid, and allows Israeli settlers to effectively steal the land of Palestinians and set up illegal settlements.

The people of Israel have a lot to fear. Having the living memory of the holocaust as an example, it is understandable that they fear giving an inch and believe that violence is the solution to most, if not all, of their problems. However, in trying to avoid a repeat of the holocaust they have turned Gaza and the West Bank into Palestinian ghettos and the only way forward is to end this.

My family suffered during the holocaust -- we lost family members and my father's family was only able to seek safety in the U.S. because my grandfather was a renowned scientist so he, and his family, were invited to come -- instead of being turned away as were so many others. I tell this story to say that I feel I do understand the fears the Israelis confront every day. But whatever the past, the only way forward is the way of peace.

John
|
California, USA
February 28, 2009

John in California writes:

I think the people of Gaza have been terribly abused by Israel. As much as I hope a fatah/hamas unity coalition will help moderate the more radical side of hamas, I would think that there needs to be incentive to show that violent action will not help, and a way to be sure that any aid really helps the people there. I hope Israel is pressed to concede on settlements and will take real action to dismantle them.

With the recent Israeli elections, I'm not hearing that any peace process interests them. They have to be pushed to the table

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