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

John
|
New York, USA
February 28, 2009

John C. in New York writes:

I am all for a Palestinian State, but not a State run by Hamas. I would like to see some guarantees by the United States, assuring Israel's security.

As for humanitarian aid, I am all for it, if it really gets to the suffering people.

Dustin
|
Missouri, USA
February 28, 2009

Dustin W. in Missouri writes:

I believe the way forward with this crisis, comes through working directly with the people of Palestine and of Israel. I believe their governments and ruling factions are out of touch with the real needs of the people. This conflict has become a childish game of mine vs. yours. If you want real peace in the middle east, you have to move beyond the squabbles of the Israeli government, who have a hard enough time deciding who their leader should be, much less how to get past the conflicts of the past and to focus on new solutions. You must begin to see Hamas as irrelevant. They only come to power through violent means. They only gain support when they provoke violence on the people of Gaza. For out of fear and anger, the Palestinian people turn to Hamas to defend their homes and schools from being bombed, and supplies being stopped from ever reaching them. What choice does that leave them? If tanks rolled through my neighborhood and bombed my home, I'd be wanting revenge as well.

The way forward is through reaching the people. I truly believe after decade after decade of continued violence and continued suffering, that the best way to resolve this conflict is by putting it in the peoples hands. I believe the United States can take a leading role in drafting agreements that both the Palestinian and Israeli voters can decide on, and not their elected officials. Put a 2 state solution with a map of the well-thought out borders, a plan for complete sovereignty for Palestinian people, an agreement that Israel will be a major help in rebuilding Gaza and other areas, while providing humanitarian aid as they begin the transition into self-government. Provide the Israeli people with a guaranteed security agreement, that prevents Palestine from establishing a military for a period of time, and most importantly that any faction of Hamas, will be eradicated and punished and that the United States and the world must provide that guarantee. Put this on a ballot for the people to see and decide. Give the people the choice.

I believe that if the President were to personally go to Gaza, to make a speech to the people. And proclaim to them, "stand against Hamas, and we will stand with you" Along with a demand that Hamas disband and leave for good or face action, will incite the people to rally against the terrorists who rule their land. It puts the power in the hands of the ones who need it. It gives those who are suffering a glimmer of hope to change for the better, and end once and for all, the struggle that has gripped their homeland for so long.

I hope you will listen to what I have to say and perhaps it will make you think about the situation in a new way. Thank you.

Maureen
|
Illinois, USA
February 28, 2009

Maureen in Illinois writes:

- Immediately embargo U.S. arms to Israel (which human rights groups document were used to commit war crimes in Gaza) and make any further shipments conditional on Israel ending the military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

- End the U.S.' collusion in the collective punishment of 1.5 million persons in Gaza and end the boycott of the democratically-elected Hamas government

- Stop using the U.S.' veto at the UN Security Council to shield Israel from accountability for its massive violations of Palestinian rights and its rights abuses against other peoples

- Respect Palestinians' right to self-determination and recognize the right of refugees to return to their land and property in what is now called Israel -- half of the population of the Gaza Strip are refugees.

skip
|
Massachusetts, USA
February 28, 2009

Skip in Massachusetts writes:

Talk with Hamas. Talk with organizations working in Gaza, such as the American Friends Service Committee. Ask whether Israel should share -- perhaps be wholely responsible -- for repairing the damage it did. Inquire about war crimes, by various parties.

Paul C.
|
Indiana, USA
February 28, 2009

Paul C. in Indiana writes:

We saw an end to Apartheid in South Africa and the Berlin Wall fall. It's time for us to demand no less of Israel. The Zionists may have Biblical claims, but that gave them no right to borrow on the whole world's guilt at the end of the Holocaust, which guilt they've banked into bankruptcy, and displace a people from the only land they had known as their home for millenia, whose only guilt lay in where they lived. Israel as the occupier needs to come out to meet the Palestinians, not the other way round, and we as their ally need to make this very strong demand of them. Speaking as a member of the Diaspora.

Peter V.
|
New Hampshire, USA
February 28, 2009

Peter in New Hampshire writes:

If the amount of money spent on the war in Iraq for only two months had been spent on nation building in GAZA and providing for the dignity of the palestinian peoples, I suspect that much of our image problem at least would have vaporized a long time ago in the middle east. At this point, it is hard to find the money for such a venture although the venture is not really dissimilar to the one our president is currently engaging in at home. For me it's a questionn of "pay me now or really pay me later". The best way to disarm Hamas is to make it unattractive to the common people of the zone by giving them an alternative with substance. Do that with real opportunity, not by propping up an impossible situation with Southern Israel. Ultimately, Israel will get what it wants- peaceful coexistence , when the people of palestine have some hope, not before.

Julie
|
Illinois, USA
February 28, 2009

Julie in Illinois writes:

I think responsibility for the borders should be removed from Israeli control. The Palestinian and and Israeli business leaders floated an idea to the Israeli government in 2007 to privatize security at the crossings. It went nowhere. Resurrect that idea. Israel should have control ONLY of people who enter Israel proper (the 1967 borders) not the West Bank. Israel should have NO control over who enters Gaza. If they are not occupying the country, as they say, they should not attempt to control movement. Palestinians should have freedom of movement between Gaza and the West Bank. Yes they must cross over the settlements, but they are illegal, so dismantle them. Problem solved. Israel should have NO control over visas for Gazans or any Palestinians. The country of destination can refuse entry if they so please. Rebuilding Gaza is the perfect opportunity to utilize green technology and get the Palestinians off of dependence on Israel for their energy needs. When the Israelis are planning to attack, they cut off the phones and electricity in the area targeted. They should not have such control. This would solve that. Israel should be required ot give full rights to ALL of its citizens to qualify for US Aid. Their actions in Gaza should be investigated under the terms of the Arms Export Control Act. These actions are doing NOTHING to ensure the security of ordinary Israelis, it actually makes them less secure. Lift the banking restrictions on Palestine. You are punishing the people for democratically electing an unpopular government. So did we for the last 8 years, but no one punished us though Bush was voted the greatest threat to world peace. Let's stop being so hypocritical. If we're going to promote democracy, unpopular people will get elected sometimes. Learn to work with them instead of shunning them. It is counterproductive and accomplishes nothing. If these unpopular people fail as leaders, they will be voted out. That's how democracy works. We must stand up for a people that exercised their newly found democratic rights, not demonize them for their choices. You must include Hamas in negotiations as we included the IRA and UDF in Ulster. They live there, they advocate for their people, they were elected, unlike the IRA and UDF, they won't go away. If given the opportunity and the resources, they may even surprise you. Stop promoting one group over the other to create divisions, it didn't work in El Salvador or Nicaragua and it won't work here.

Joshua
|
Florida, USA
February 28, 2009

Joshua in Florida writes:

It has been said elsewhere, but I think the best solution is one that both sides have a reason to work together towards. If Israel shares a portion of tourism revenue with Gaza, there will be a great amount of pressure on the Palestinians to reduce violence. It's something that would be self enforcing, and it could start working immediately. Every time there is violence tourism suffers greatly, and the Palestinians could use that money to rebuild.

joe
|
Tennessee, USA
February 28, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

It will be like pouring money into a sinking ship and as the last fiscal effort, the monies will be redirected to purchase more arms and rearm.

This problem cannot be solved externally and decades have more then premised this fact; due to the misuse of aid. Without absolute control of some stable force of authority, it will be a wasted effort and another one of Washington DC mentality of the past, noted rather well by Ross Perot: Doing something for the sake of doing something and getting nothing accomplished besides throwing money at the problem to say you did something. ..

They are not stable politically, that is the problem and if Egypt is so concerned, why is it extending it's fence to keep refuges out? Why not provide a safe haven for the citizens to reside until an established peace and government is formed, or at least rout out the fanatical elements?

If the U.S. could simply hand the government FM 3-07 and the International community could provide stable authority to apply what we know will work, only then will any difference be made.

Adil
|
Georgia, USA
February 28, 2009

Adil in Georgia writes:

The United States needs to get fully into competition for the hearts and minds of the Islamic World with the Islamists. This is true in Palestine as it is in Sudan. The issues are one and the same.

The Islamists exploit the lack of government attention to the social needs of the majority impoverished Muslim populations within their societies. They cater to those social needs and endear the poor to themselves.

The need to empower Moderate Muslims in the Islamic World should be the driving agenda in the United States Foreign Policy in the Middle East not only through requesting liberalization of press, education and governance, but also through the provision of critically needed foreign assistance into these highly impoverished societies in the Middle East, such as the one in Gaza - both physiologically and awareness wise through scientific education.

This is where the U.S. foreign policy needs to focus.. Aid provided directly to Gaza need to be administered through the USAID. Even though the USAID in its top echelon should be purely American, its mid management should be chiefly hired from the locals who are best positioned to identify need and administer aid and reconstruction free of any political influences-capital for the Islamists.

Even if some of the assistance funds will need to be given to the PA, hereto from now onwards will mean a Hamas-led one in Gaza, not all the funds need to be channeled through the PA.. Simply because this means that Hamas will now advance its Islamist agenda through Western donation.. A real stupidity in my mind.

Beyond the immediate assumption of a role in the lives of the Palestinians in Gaza in the administering of aid, the U.S. should be clear to insist on the recognition of Israel as a state, as a prerequisite for final settlement negotiations in Palestine/Israel. The question of violence/resistance is one that should be settled as part of the negotiations.

Floria P.
|
California, USA
February 28, 2009

Floria in California writes:

The best ways to stop the misery of the people of Gaza is to stop Israel's atrocities; to stop U.S. military and financial aids to that country, and to stop U.S. hypocritical "friendship" with Israel.

Mary
|
Tennessee, USA
February 28, 2009

Mary in Tennessee writes:

Both sides are committing atrocities, both sides are at fault. I feel that any financial aid given to either side will create more problems than it solves. We need to keep in mind that this is a holy war and if we take a side we will effectively be condoning the actions of a militant religious group. If we involve ourselves it should be as mediators, and we should continue to set an example for others in the separation of church and state. In a good compromise everyone feels like they got a raw deal, and nobody feels like the mediator is their friend.

Marisa
|
Colorado, USA
February 28, 2009

Marisa in Colorado writes:

Confining myself to the question I believe is being asked, as opposed to the broader question of resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, I would hope that some consideration be given to funding projects that have yielded positive results for disadvantaged youth in other areas, such as the classical music initiative in Venezuela and cottage industries in Vietnam and organized volunteer-effort trips by our own very poor kids to even more impoverished parts of the world (similar to those with which Chris Rock's wife is involved). It seems to me that more hopeful, more positive, more "connected" young people are the best path forward everywhere.

Thanks to all of you for your service.

Richard
|
Pennsylvania, USA
February 28, 2009

Richard in Pennsylvania writes:

I think the best way forward is to focus on the people of Gaza instead of Hamas. The recent round of Israeli attacks on Gaza may have destroyed Hamas' ability to fire rockets, but they also (I would imagine) created a lot of anger amongst Gaza residents. I understand fully Israel's desire to stop the attacks, but I think their strategy will only result in more people joining Hamas' cause in the end; it's self-defeating.

What we need to do is stop attacking the people of Gaza and start showing them kindness. Perhaps it's naive, but I feel that the best way forward is to get the people of Gaza to reject Hamas on their own. How? Show them that Israel is not the enemy. Reach out to them. Help them. Show them that Hamas is an impediment to their long term well-being, not an ally. Undermine Hamas in their own land, help reform Fatah so that it's more effective and give the Palestinians fewer reasons to hate.

Unfortunately, that is a long path to peace. I fear the damage has already been done to current generations, so it might take decades of "kindness" before you see a result.

Ward
|
Washington, USA
February 28, 2009

Ward in Washington writes:

The U.S. must engage with Hamas. In principle, its armed resistance to Israel's illegal occupation and now blockade is entirely legitimate. The U.S. must do its best to encourage the political wing of Hamas, the de facto authority in Gaza. Giving oxygen to a political solution including Hamas should, we can hope, make the military wing whither over time (as we saw in Northern Ireland). This will be messy, but the U.S. current policy of effectively unconditional support of Israel's acts of war against Palestine, including Gaza, are not helpful.

Imree
|
Oregon, USA
February 28, 2009

Imree in Oregon writes:

Reunite families in Gaza with extended family members in neighboring Arab countries and provide a stipend for relocation to said Arab states. Let Israel extend its borders by purchasing the land/homes of families moving out of Gaza. The people of Gaza were deliberately cut off from their extended families when the Arab countries closed their borders to fellow Arabs when Israel became a state.

Justin W.
|
New Jersey, USA
February 28, 2009

Justin W. in New Jersey writes:

The best path forward for Gaza would be to talk with the Hamas dominated government along with international donors, Business groups, and Labor groups in order to build up investment in Gaza and along with using the social programs that Hamas already provides to its people along with Non-Profit NGO's and micro credit from around the world. The fact is Hamas is a democratically elected government of Gaza and we must recognize that. Also we should push Israel to talk directly with Hamas and allow them to open the corridors to allow goods and services to go through under U.N. peacekeepers watch. The Israelis must not be allowed to control the corridors and airspace of a soverign Gaza along with military incursions like we saw 4 months ago. If Israel will not comply, the we must have the courage and political will to stop sending them U.S. foreign and military aid, and worse comes to worse maybe implement sanctions.

henry
|
California, USA
February 28, 2009

Henry in California writes:

i wish you luck solving this intractable problem. one thing that may help is a more even-handed approach. currently it seems the official/media position is that israel can do no wrong & the palestinians can do no right. that can't be correct. plus look where it has gotten us.

George B.
|
New York, USA
February 28, 2009

George B. in New York writes:

I would like to see an effort to work with Hamas toward a long-term truce which brackets the Israel recognition issue in order to find common ground. This would allow exploration of Hamas's interest in peaceful coexistence. Such an agreement could in it self open new possibilities for future exploration of common interest and, perhaps, change the dynamic.

In addition, I believe it's necessary to seak common ground on the issue with both Iran and Syria.

Without these considerations real progress is a deceitful mirage.

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
February 28, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

Gentlemen and Ladies

When you have two parties not even willing to discuss peace living at each others doorsteps, both are angry, unhappy, unrestful to even consider about growing business between them. That is like if President George W. Bush lived next door to Saddam Hussain anyone have any clue what would of happened?

I think the best foot foward is to start over only move the people of Gaza and build a brand new State Government for them so they can conduct business and live in peace.

Otherwise all the good intentions you might have will be washed away with the current disagreements between the two parties. Should the people of Gaza have a new State Goverment, sure they should. The problem is having it right next to Isreal, bad choice for both sides.

I hope this new Administration can speak with the Egyptian Prime Minister, King of Arabia and all the other Arab Leaders to discuss a brand new home for the Palestinians and Hamas. If Syria is so concerned about the people of Palestine then allow them to build in that country then move all the refugees from Gaza to Syria. This would ease tensions and then the Arab families would be all in one place surrounded by its own people.

Problem solved and this would help end the violence between the two once and for all.

Godspeed!!!!

emman
|
Illinois, USA
February 28, 2009

Emman in Illinois writes:

The best path forward for Gaza has long been overdue. First and foremost, the Israeli seige, merciless and inhumane in nature must end. Israel has purposefully choked Gaza, starving its inhabitants and making life miserable for the 1.5 million Palestinians living in this open air prison. As important is Israel's illegal occupation of the West Bank. Israel must leave the West Bank, take their crazed settlers with them so that Palestinians can have a viable contiguous, autonomous Palestinian state. So many U.N. Resolutions have been issued demanding that Israel go back to the 1967 borders, and in response Israel continues to speed settlement building. It has now built an apartheid wall, caging in Palestinians, choking them with ridiculous checkpoints that serve only to harass and humiliate the Palestinian population. Enough is enough.

Sue
|
United States
February 28, 2009

Sue in U.S.A. writes:

The best path would be a form of truth and reconciliation as has been done in other places with a long history of mutual violence and mistrust. The leaders of Hamas need to be pressured to think about the future of Palestinian children and the leaders of Israel need to be pressured to think about the future of Israeli children- if they can't act like grown ups, then the children of Israel and Palestine need to demand that their parents elect new leadership. The U.S. needs to stop giving Israel American tax dollars which are then used for weapons, bombs, and military invasions and the nations of the middle East need to stop giving Hamas funding for weapons, bombs and rockets-as long as weapons are being funded by outside interests who don't have to suffer the consequences of seeing their own children killed, their schools and hospitals bombed, etc, then the conflict will continue. Any nation, including the U.S. that funds weapons is not an honest broker in this situation.

Rosemary
|
New Jersey, USA
February 28, 2009

Rosemary in New Jersey writes:

Rebecca in Indonesia's 4-point plan: The One State Solution. I echo her question: Can you imagine if we pulled that off? It would change everything!

But the One State Solution can work only if all citizens are treated as equals in all ways. There can be no second-class citizens.

Redda
|
Texas, USA
February 28, 2009

Redda in Texas writes:

I have a good deal of 'distaste' for Hamas and its 'Muslim Brotherhood organization' based mentality. I can't see why they should be shooting rockets at civilian complexes, when there are plenty of military targets available to them.

That said, starving the people of Gaza to death because they chose Hamas as their governing party is not a solution that 'encourages democracy' or rewards the people for speakkng their mind. The Zionists don't need a 'peace treaty' with Hamas, they don't need Hamas to 'recognize their right to exist', all they need is a 'cease fire' agreement like they had -- which they violated 156 plus times' and both parties can continue to agree to disagree and the people can 'go on with their lives'. Why starve the people out because they chose Hamas to represent them. You / we want peace, it doesn't have to be by way of a peace treaty. We have a DMZ of almost 50 years of peace with the North Koreans in the Korean penninsula. We can have the same in Palestine and all its occupied territories.

Shirley
|
California, USA
February 28, 2009

Shirley in California writes:

Negotiate for the allowance of the Palestinians to complete the rebuilding with NO VIOLANCE

With the thousands of Palistinians and Israelites that work and live together, it is time for a lasting peace.

Stacey
|
Louisiana, USA
February 28, 2009

Stacey in Louisiana writes:

The best hope in resolving this age-old conflict is the education of Israel's and Palestine's children. The international community should support and help fund independent, non-partisan, non-governmental programs that bring Israeli and Palestinian children together. Two examples include Kids with Cameras and Summer Camps for Sport and Peace.

Paul
|
California, USA
February 28, 2009

Paul in California writes:

The people in the area have to commite to peaace. People must not tollerate violence from anyone. Evil will be replaced with more evil, Hatred with more haterd. The people in Gaza need to take a lesson from Ireland. When the people stop pointing the finger and demand the killing stops, that is when they will have peace.

Leo
|
Missouri, USA
February 28, 2009

Leo in Missouri writes:

I hope the Obama Administration and the State Dept. will take a more even-handed approach to Middle East problems. The U.S. must insist that Israel honor its commitments to the peace process, i.e. abandoning the settlement construction on the West Bank, refraining from dehumanizing actions against both their indidengous and neighboring Arab citizens, and questioning their 100-to-one-eyes-for-an-eye military policy in the region. Additionally, the U.S. should insist that other Arab nations back U.S. efforts, which are clearly in their own interests, to insure peace in the Middle East. Good luck!

Mary
|
Michigan, USA
February 28, 2009

Mary in Michigan writes:

Dear Secretary Clinton,

The borders need to be opened to begin the process of providing for the Palestinians needs. They have been abused and neglected too long. Money needs to be brought in to Gaza for a multitude of reasons. Nations need to lend support to rebuild Gaza. Israel killed thousands of innocent suvillions including children. It is very sad. Please help the Palestinian people work toward peace.

anne
February 28, 2009

Anne writes:

donate as are not via hamas. do much more with fatah so is stronger. get nehatanyu not to be in the way and "slap" his face as needed. get more true aid from saudi arabia and see if way to get rest in middle east to grant citzenship to their palestenians. think about 1 state solution. i don't believe hamas will/wants to help so ignore them, as far as can diplomatically. can UN do anything about their hate-filled education system?

Pages

.

Latest Stories

October 22, 2014

Attacks in Ottawa

In the wake of the tragic shooting incident in Ottawa, Secretary of State John Kerry said, "We condemn today's heinous… more

Pages