Tuesday, September 16, 2014
The San Francisco Chronicle recently published a letter that I wrote, which read as follows: A permanent resolution of the conflict between Israel and Gaza will not be acceptable to Israel if Gaza can import weapons. It will not be acceptable to Gaza if the compete blockade remains in force. Surely the reasonable solution is to allow the import of non-lethal goods, controlled by a neutral party. This could be Egypt, or perhaps reliable monitors established by the United Nations. Undoubtedly there would be complex negotiations to arrange this, but wouldn't the positive result of such an arrangement be worth the time and trouble? For the purposes of publication, this was necessarily brief. A friend pointed out that what I was suggesting was essentially an idea brought out at the unsuccessful meeting in Cairo, and he informed me that this common-sense idea was rejected by the Israeli's. When I see pictures of the devastation the Israeli bombing has caused in Gaza, it disturbs me. It was a response totally out of scale by comparison to the ineffective but relentless firing of rockets into Israel. It is hard to see how this conflict can ever be resolved without each side making concessions. It would be humiliating for the Palestinian's to have to accept control over the imports by a third party, but it would certainly be preferable to the complete Israeli blockade, which stifles peaceful economic activity.