kohenari asked: While I agree that the blockade is ridiculous and terrible, why do you think that opening up all the crossings would result in less terrorism rather than more, given Hamas' control of Gaza and its militant wing's stated purpose of liberating all of Palestine?
First, I do not in any way think Hamas presents an existential threat to the State of Israel. The power gap is too large. Not US v al Qaeda large, but still enormous. (Note: some of this is borrowed from a long discussion I’ve been having on Facebook.)
Second, like it or not, the people of Gaza think of Hamas as the legitimate government for their territory. Hamas, after all, is more than a military organization: it’s social support, schools, hospitals … a full service government in the place of a state (money provided courtesy of Iran and Qatar, of course). Gazans know this: they see no other prospects — it’s Hamas, starvation, or Israeli bombs. They choose what most would choose in such a circumstance. As history also shows. If you change that sense of legitimacy, however, then there is a prospect for change. Until then, all bombing does is solidify support. (WWII research for example shows that the British, the Russians AND the Germans all supported the war as the bombing got worse.)
You cannot win this war against a government that is perceived as legitimate by its people short of something close to genocide, which of course none but the most extreme of anyone anywhere wants. You certainly cannot win it with heavy weapons, which only reinforce support for the regime.
Thus, third, just in Gaza I’d throw the border open and invite every Palestinian who wants a job to come work (like before the first intifada). That alone would strip Hamas of much of its power since it uses its Iranian and Qatari money to provide food and education and shelter and healthcare to the Gaza population that otherwise faces 60%+ unemployment. I’d open the never-allowed open Gaza airport and port. I’d invite Arab forces in from Egypt and Jordan to play police roles. I’d go after the politics on which Hamas rests not the military annoyance that are its horrible but virtually ineffective rocket attacks.
That seems to me the beginning of a plan that might dent an otherwise perfect death spiral.
Are there risks with such a strategy? Sure. How’s the old one working? Is Hamas (or Hezbollah in southern Lebanon) stronger or weaker due to Israeli policy over the last 20+ years?
It’s time for something else.
Something to think about a bit more.