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

Bea
|
Arkansas, USA
March 2, 2009

Bea in Arkansas writes:

Of course we should talk with Hamas. They are the democratically-elected representatives of all of the Palestinian people, as much as the Democratic administration in this country is elected to represent all of us. How can we expect other countries to respect elective democracy if we refuse to recognize their elected leaders?

We voted for change in this country's foreign and domestic policies. It is disheartening to hear that there will be NO change in U.S. policy towrds Hamas. If we keep doing the same things that never worked before, how can we expect achieve different results? Classic defintion of insanity!

Lynn
|
New Mexico, USA
March 2, 2009

Lynn in New Mexico writes:

To renounce Islamism, to overthrow Hamas and all the other terrorist gangs and criminals that rule Gaza and the West Bank, to quit training their children to be murderers and racists, to renounce violence personally and not support family members who join jihad and gangs, and to take back the enormous amount of aid they have always gotten to use for building and business instead of for destroying Israel and killing Jews. Then they can be called a decent people and have peace.

estelle
|
New York, USA
March 6, 2009

Estelle in New York writes:

Israel has a supremacist government and an apartheid state. U.S. support for Israel is extremely disproportionate. The Palestinians are defending their right to extist on their own land. The British created Israel in 1948 and just shoved the Palestinians aside. The Israelis view the Palestinians as subhuman, which comes from their Talmud which says basically Jews are superior to other human beings and that it's ok to kill gentiles. Most Americans, if they read the Talmud, would be horrified to see how it describes non-Jews. Jews act like the New Nazis and try to suppress free speech all throughout Europe..

radha
|
Virginia, USA
March 2, 2009

Radha in Virginia writes:

It is time for the U.S. to stop blindly supporting Israel, and actually take a neutral position. People think that the Arabs just blindly hate the West, what they hate is how Israel has been treating the Palestinians for decades, and they hate how the U.S. has given blind support to Israel no matter what the Israelis do. It is time for that to stop. It is time for the Palestinians to be given back their dignity, given a chance to have jobs, and be fed, and to have hospitals and schools, all the things that we in the West take for granted. It is time for the Palestinians to be treated like people. Give them back their dignity and they won't be forced to throw rocks or rockets in defense. Give them their own country.

Catherine
|
New York, USA
March 2, 2009

Catherine in New York writes:

This is a complex question I wouldn't attempt to answer but a basic issue is access for humanitarian aid. There are relief trucks with only macaroni in them sitting at the border and not being allowed through. The bottlenecks have got to be eliminated and the help has to get through.

Joe
|
Vermont, USA
March 2, 2009

Joe in Vermont writes:

Dear Madame Secretary:

We have to help the parties overcome the hatred that has developed between them over the past 60 years. It just appears to be "tick for tat" all the time. Rockets go this way and planes bomb the other way. How to stop this? Didn't Churchill say, be magnanimous in victory. Hasn't Iraeli won in hits hyperactive destruction of Gaza? Why should they continue to punish? Until they decide that the better way is to follow Churchill's view, I'm afraid the future is grim for Gaza; its rebuilding; and its people. Maybe, we should help those who want to leave Gaza and emigrate to other countries to do so. At least that would meliorate the suffering of these forgotten people.

Ed
|
Texas, USA
March 2, 2009

Ed in Texas writes:

Sure , all these opinions are good if they were based on real self educated facts , Unfortunately, the News media had a control over the living room for the last 60years .

The Palestinians have been called terrorists, Non existing, uneducated,and animals in some cases . generations grew up to hear this over and over and over. ( Some Israeli religious fanatics that moved to Palestine from the east and the west along with their supports are in control and calling the shots now , they do not want Peace , They want to expel the Palestinians out !! ) .

Although , I love to see peace made between the Israelis and the Palestinians , I am afraid that it is a little too late .

Believe the old man , Past history is a good indicator of what will happen next .

Israel is not serious about creating a Palestinian State or even improve Palestinian daily living conditions . Unfortunately , they do not trust the Palestinians . Why ?? because of what they did to them ( took their land, built settlements, killed men , women and children , because the Palestinians are resisting the Occupation , the road closers and the land confiscation Policies by the Israeli government .

The Palestinians do not trust the Israelis . Why ???, Because the Israelis backed up on most of the promises they made in the Oslo Accord . Hamas came to power by having the backing of the Palestinian people who got sick and tired of the PLO corruption,the Israelis bad treatment and the empty promises of the road map that had no green light at the end of the tunnel .

I am glad to hear that the new Administration is determined to create a Palestinian state to live in peace along with their Israeli neighbors , let us not wait until next inauguration .

I am afraid that if the the two state solution is not implemented immediately , we will find our selves looking at a ONE STATE SOLUTION , where Jews and Arabs have to be equal under the law , why not?? didn't God create us all equal ?

BEST APPROACH ??

1- IMMEDIATELY (2009 ), start building the Governmental agencies to be able to run a state ( USA & EU , May be UN Involvement ) .

2- Conduct a popular vote for all the Palestinians in and out to back the steps of solution and agree to the peace process and timing . This approach will even WIN Hamas approval . when the answer is clear " PEACE" , move to step # 3.

3 - Israeli withdrawal to their 1967 borders ( by DEC,31, 2009 ) to be replaced by a stationary force for five years from USA , EU or UN with all borders open .

"TEAR DOWN THIS WALL"

3- Agreement by the Palestinian to have no Army and no offensive arms .

4- agreement by Israel not to interfere with the Palestinians internal affairs and not to attack them any time they wish .( This crab of controlling the borders, the water ways and the sky must go , leave the Palestinians alone, let them live their life )

With both sides Recognizing each other and being honest about making peace work , it will work . Good luck .

Fred F.
|
Alabama, USA
March 2, 2009

Fred F. in Alabama writes:

Force Israel to recognize the rights of the Palestinian people. Remove sll settlements on the West Bank and begin serious talks to settle the status of refugees.

Recognize Hamas as the democratically elected representatives of the Palestinians.

Doublechin
|
Illinois, USA
March 3, 2009

D.C. in Illinois writes:

let the feds decide

Cindy
|
California, USA
March 3, 2009

Cindy in California writes:

1) Open all border crossing to allow in Humanitarian aid;

2) Immediately stop all settlement activity on the West Bank by the Israelis

3) Stop all arm sales to Israel until they end the occupation of Palestinian lands taken in 1967

4) Real peace talks between Israel, Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority as well as regional talks with other Arab countries

5) Base all negotiations on International law including UN resolutions

6) Hold hearings in the U.S. Congress with regards to violations by Israel of the Arms Export Control act;

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 3, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Hamas has become Gaza's latest slum-lord , and thus gives new meaning in my opinion, to the intentionally (posed) iconic photo above , were it to be appropriately captioned, "Fool on a hill.""Master of all he surveys, he sees not that the destruction wrought upon himself was through years of following a failed, dysfunctional, ideological purpose."

You can fool some of the people some of the time, and you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people unless you're truly fooling yourself first.

Life is hard, but it's harder when you're being stupid.

Terry
|
California, USA
March 3, 2009

Terry in California writes:

To end humanitarian suffering in Gaza, the siege must be ended and the borders with Israel and Egypt opened for normal commerce.

The U.S. and Israel need to negotiate with Hamas.

penny
|
California, USA
March 3, 2009

Penny in California writes:

Please pressure Israel to lift the siege, so that Gaza can rebuild and children can live.

Mitchell also needs to talk to everyone: israel, the PA, AND Hamas (who were democratically elected after all).

Consider using the 2002 Saudi Plan as a basis for negotiations.

Suspend all military aid to israel until the Occupation ends

Charles B.
|
Kentucky, USA
March 3, 2009

Charles B. in Kentucky writes:

Sorry I missed getting my comment in on time for the conference... The newscasters I heard said to rebuild GAZA would cost 900 million dollars. It appears that we are chipping in somewhere between 300 to 900 million dollars. Why are we giving anything at all? The Israelis made this mess, they should be made to pay for the damage they caused. Unless of course we are chipping in because the damage caused was a result of the weapons we sold Israel. Is that why we are chipping in? How else is Israel ever going to learn the wisdom of restraint and diplomacy if the rest of the world picks up the tab for their trangressions?

Eric
|
Illinois, USA
March 3, 2009

Eric in Illinois writes:

In September 2004, Ariel Sharon originally intended to turn over the Gaza strip territory over to the Palestinian authority to be governed by a lawful state within the PLO. However, a year later the Hamas's leadership basically took control over the Gaza territory and developed a weak, incompetent and untrustworthy environment in their governing body. This unfortunate swift of power in the wrong hands eventually led to widespread corruption and violence. In fact, one of Hamas's main goals was to eliminate the state of Israel totally without seeking a consistent peace plan for both the state of Israel and the Palestinian people. Finally, his-story has taught us biblical lessons that the Gaza strip " land from King David to the Greeks and back to modern day Israel (i.e., 6th Day War of 1967) that peace in Gaza land must be done by force.

Hyun-Joo
|
South Korea
March 3, 2009

Hyun-Joo in South Korea writes:

Dear to Secretary.

(before saying, my stupid opinion. i want forgive to Secretary. i said to Sec Hillary, i lessen to your debt,
but, i do not anything. however, it`s very burden to me. write to here. i`m very shame to you. please forgive me. i just want to excuse
i don`t know the reason, happened and now`s.
sorry, my promise is fast to doing. if, Secretary readed my promise, please forgive me. please.)

to my opinion of this.
now and before, Gaza looks hot potato to our. but, i believe this is will fixing. why? i believe Secretary Hillary will solving this. why? Gaza is world`s and Hillary`s ability,(smart)power is also.
above all,(i`m very tiny and my thinking is also)
my thinking "solution" is
(at first)remove the shortage of water in this field(it`s needing of Israel`s approve).
water is always their`s problem and dispute(before a thousand). if, this problem were diminished, approach is very easily to world- just my`s thinking. and methods-
how about, develope like a GMR (Great Man-Made River Project) or Sea water desalination and etc.

Gaza...... so many thinking is passing to my memories.
so many.
but, how about you, we do small step and do step by step.
and get the..............................................

please don`t misunderstand my words.
i believe Secretary`s. at any condition, any time.
(if, it`s my last chance to write, i want to say this,your glasses is very good to you (looks very smart) -- i see the TV. yes, just TV)

Hyun-Joo
|
South Korea
March 3, 2009

Hyun-Joo in South Korea writes:

how about build like a GMR (Great Man-Made River Project), Sea water desalination and etc. for get ris of this area`s water-shortrage. (Israel approve`s needing) for big`s................

Mark
|
Tennessee, USA
March 3, 2009

Mark in Tennessee writes:

I don't think we should give aid to the enemies of peace, those sworn to destroy Israel and the U.S.A. They target civilians over and over again. with our tax dollars they promote suicide bombers in their school systems. Their childrens tv shows have puppets that tell children it's okay tohate jews, to kill jews. They wish to destroy us, they cheered in their streets on 9-11. Have you forgotten?

Dan
|
Alabama, USA
March 3, 2009

Dan in Alabama writes:

For years -- Every. Single. Year. BILLIONS from the world are given to "Palestinians" with no return for the buck. America is facing monstrous budget defecit -- a hole is currently being dug so deep our great grandkids won't be able to dig us out of it. Yet our leaders feel free to throw taxpayer money at a failed welfare state called Palestine.

(Note to Hillary: it's NOT your money to be giving away -- it's NOT "government" money -- it's the taxpayers money)

It's not just the U.S. giving them money either it's the world giving them money year after year. Throwing money into a bottomless black hole of need. Doing the same thing over and over and looking for different results each time. We see no return for the money. If it were a business someone would've been fired a long time ago beginning with Jimmy Carter and then the whole "Palestinian" project scrubbed years ago.

That's what we'd do if common sense prevailed in Washington, but we can't say it prevails in Washington can we?

Ron
|
New Mexico, USA
March 3, 2009

Ron in New Mexico writes:

Let me get this straight. We arm Israel to the teeth and give the country several billion a year and have been doing it for years. Israel blows up Gaza and kills hundreds and now we pledge 900 million to rebuild. How much did Israel pledge? In fact, after 40 year of occupation has Israel done anything that would move peace forward? I think not and we need to stop rewarding bad behavior.

Ann
|
Colorado, USA
March 3, 2009

Ann in Colorado writes:

Madame Secretary:

Your recent negative comments regarding a unitary government for the Palestinians are more than a little disappointing. Your pursuit of the same old policies that have failed for the last two years is astounding given that the Obama administration has vowed to get serious about finding a workable solution to the conflict. There is a small window to do something different, yet your "Fatah first, ignore Hamas" comments indicate that you are in danger of missing the opportunity. The new hard-right government in Israel will build yet more settlements in the West Bank and continue the road blocks. Hamas will not accept the aid as long as you continue to insist on the "Quartet of Four" pre-conditions and the new right-wing hardliners in Israel will continue to maintain a tight strangulation hold on Gaza's borders. Have you learned nothing from the recent failures of the previous administration? This is not change, this is more of the same worn, unworkable failed policy.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 3, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Ann in Colorado, Yes, I think it is time that things are done differently.

Instead of putting up with Hamas and its crimes against humanity, Hamas should be removed from the political sectrum by the entire armed forces of NATO and Russia (without so much as an Israeli boot on the ground in Gaza).

There actually is a military solution to the problem, but folks have been vainly persuing a diplomatic solution that is flat unattainable while Hamas, and Iran stand as roadblocks to the Palestinian people's legitimate aspirations for a state of their own.

Let's take a hypothetical methodology ( were nations to have the guts to try somethng different), and let's just say for the sake of argment that NATO and Russia formed a combned task force of up to a quarter millon men and equiment, landed and disembarked upon Gaza's beach.

How long would it take to secure Gaza, and restore the PA's legitmate authority over the area?

Well, it could take a week, or a month or two, but in the end, folks can finally get down to some serious nation building, without distractions.

If nations had the guts to do this, they should also have the guts to house any and all civilians who may wish to leave Gaza and out of harm's way on a temp basis until such time as the PA's authority and securiy has been established.

To do otherwise would simply allow Hamas to use the non-combattant civilian populaton of Gaza as human shields, which is "modus operandi" of the Hamas military school of thought.

There is a way (politically as well as legally) for the international community to end this problem once and for all in the above hypothetical manner.

It requires no new UN Sec. Council resolution, because the legal basis and precedent has already been established in prior resolutions and deeds regarding international terrorism, state sponsors of terror, and actions needed to effectively eliminate this threat to international peace and security.

Yes, let's try something completely different, for a change we Americans can live with, not just believe in.

In the process, Palestinians and Israelis will see change they can live with as well as eventually living in peace with each other ( imposed as reqired to begin with, due to lack of peaceful will and intent on the part of the ursurpers of the Palestinian people's destiny as a nation).

On a related side note having my eyes "wide open" on Iran for many years, I am constantly amazed by Amerca's diplomatic patience with violent extremism.

To illustrate this point, I take note here of what Yuri Andrepov (former Soviet Priemier) said 'round 1980 shortly before he died, to the effect that had Iran taken over the Soviet embassy and held Russians hostage, "Tehran would have become a smoking crater the next day."

30 years on and we're still dealing wih idiots chanting "Death to America" like they mean it.

They should be careful what they wish for I think, as it can be returned to Iran in spades, with interest added...

philip
|
California, USA
March 3, 2009

Philip in California writes:

Education for its children/teens.

Green collar jobs for adults.

Paul
|
Virginia, USA
March 3, 2009

Paul in Virginia writes:

I agree with Ann in Colorado. To keep trying the same hardline pro-Israel policies that didn't work for Bush (or previous adminsitrations either) and expect better results borders on insanity. The best path forward is to support true justice, democracy, and self-determination for the Palestinians. We must insist on a complete end to the blockade and an end to the military occupation.

Toni
|
Minnesota, USA
March 3, 2009

Toni in Minnesota writes:

The immediate need is, of course, aid to the Palestinians in Gaza affected by the recent attacks. However, the war on terror is and should be the prime directive. All war claims civilian casualties; especially when the tactics of the extremeists are to sheild themselves with civilians. The world's reaction to civilian casualties is usually harsh, however, if there is success in the war on terror, then these civilians gave up their lives for a great cause, and they should be honored.

Communities harboring extremists accept the risk of civilian casualties. There should be some avenue for these communities to free themselves of these extremists. Possibly some form of communication avenue to report the appearance of these extremists. The people of these communities also have the option of leaving the area if the whereabouts of extrimists are known.

The people in these communities, if they are not a part of the extremists, need to do something to oust them. Otherwise they have voluntarily put themselves at risk of harm from those whose want to rightfully eradicate the extremists.

It is unlikely that Isreal's intention with regard to this attack was more than an attempt to eradicate extremists. It is unlikely that this was an attack against the Palestinian people or furtherance of the continuing conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis, but merely a furtherance of the war on terror.

This war on terror is completely necessary, and, until these communities discontinue harboring these extremists groups there will continue to be civilian casualties.

America's involvment on the war on terror should not be limited to Afhganistan, but all countries who aid and harbor extremists; countries such as Syria and Iran.

Another huge issue for Gaza, is, of course, the refugees. Something has to be done to help these people acquire a place to live and work and raise their families in peace. Unfortunately, my brain isn't big enough to offer any suggestions in this area, given the issues of Right of Return and the other Arab nations that refuse to offer these poor people a place to live, in addition to their being used a tool to further the conflict between Israel and her neighbors with the ridiculous notion that Israel should not exist.

Jean
|
Arizona, USA
March 3, 2009

Jean in Arizona writes:

In my opinion the giving of billions in international aid to Gaza only reinforces Israel's behavior. Bomb schools, medical centers, hospitals, ambulances, power plants, sewage plants, roads, bridges, civilian homes, and even UN buildings and UN schools, and then let the international community come in and pay for the "clean up".

Whether the Israeli people (or those in the international community) consider the Israeli government's behavior to be an offensive or defensive stance, the Israel people need to feel the financial burden for rebuilding the infrastructure damage that their own government has caused.

I suggest that the taxpayers of the countries that offer aid to Gaza join the growing movement to boycott Israeli goods. There should also be divestment in the companies that provide the Israeli military with equipment and services in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. After all, economic boycotts are a tool of international diplomacy. Grassroots boycotts can be an equally effective.

Though my suggestion might sound counter intuitive to helping the people of Gaza, the Israel citizens that do want a two-state solution also have a responsibility to put pressure on their own government. If there were goods coming out of Gaza, I would recommend a boycott of their products as well. It is impossible to produce, however, when there is no infrastructure.

Bill
|
California, USA
March 3, 2009

Bill in California writes:

Treat the Palestinians with at least the level of political and financial support that we provide to Israel, even if that means reducing the level to Israel to provide an equitable level to the Palestinians. Promote a separate Palestinian State with land donated by all surrounding Arab States AND Israel. The land must be contiguous for a true separate state to succeed.

joe
|
Tennessee, USA
March 3, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

Find a new religion which is premissed on peaceful existence and leaders who can take control of their citizens.

Sofia
|
Portugal
March 3, 2009

Sofia in Portugal writes:

The best path to Gaza is to open the borders and respect the right of circulation of the Palestinians. Help the region to emprove it's quality of life through humanitarian aida and help to rebuilt the structures needed to it. The right of palestinians to have their State finally recognized. After this, i am sure Hamas will certainly stop lauching rockets and respect the right to live in peace of the israelis. Until then they will keep resisting inside the prision Gaza.

Patricia
|
New York, USA
March 3, 2009

Patricia in New York writes:

I fear that spending $900M will not get any one closer to peace today, tomorrow, months or years from now. I pray for peace, and am somewhat hopeful, but only because of Secretary of State Clinton is on the scene and therefore, the world stage.

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