EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: As long as the historic debate about the two-state solution remains unresolved, the future of Gaza in general, and of Hamas’s continued rule of the Strip in particular, will remain open.
The criticism attending the swift and inconclusive ending of the last round of fighting in Gaza is hardly new. In a way, it recalls the disappointment with a boxing match that failed to produce a clear knockout. Yet for all the disappointment with the IDF’s failure to deal Hamas a crushing blow, one must ask whether such a result would have been in Israel’s best interest at the moment. Unlike in the boxing ring, the answer to this question must be judged in a wider strategic context.
On the morning of May 30, before it transpired that the latest round of hostilities was over, the road from the Yad Mordechai junction to the towns of Sderot, Ofakim, and Beersheba was bustling with the usual morning traffic of cars and trucks. Daily activities in all walks of life – from business, to agriculture, to industry, to construction, to education – continued apace in defiance of the barrage of rockets and mortars.
On the other side of the borderline, the Hamas leadership similarly strove for a swift end to the fighting, but the impetus for this did not stem from a desire to return to normalcy, for the advent of civil society and socioeconomic progress and prosperity in the Gaza Strip has long been stymied. As early as the summer of 2006, some six months after Hamas’s sweeping victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections, Ghazi Hamad, spokesman of the Hamas-controlled Gaza government lamented: “What has become of Gaza? A sad and miserable place, its blood flowing, its tears streaming, its polluted streets smell of despair. We have been infected with the idiocy virus, so much so that we roam the streets without looking right and left.” Hamad continued to lament the Strip’s destruction and despair for years, but his persistent criticism had no impact on either his fellow Hamas leaders or the Gaza population at large, repressed and indoctrinated for over a decade with Hamas’s malignant propaganda.
via Gaza Can Wait