Hamas Declares War?

Hamas has called its security forces to attack Israeli forces in Gaza. Given that Hamas is the elected government of the Palestinian terroritories, would that not be tantamount to a declaration of war?

Of course, the reality of the situation is that Israel and the Palestinians have been in a de facto state of war for some time now. Recent years only saw a lull in the fighting as the Israelis made several efforts to make peace, only to see such hopes dashed as Palestinian terror groups continued their campaign of bloody attacks against Israelis.

I used to have some hope that a negotiated settlement for the region was possible – now it appears that the ideologies of hatred and terrorism have so permeated Palestinian society that no negotiated settlement may be possible for generations. You can’t have a settlement with a people who find little wrong with the massacre of innocents.

The strategy of isolating the Palestinians appears to also be failing – walls can’t prevent militants from launcing ever-more-daring rocket attacks from Gaza into Israeli cities. Israel has few options at the moment other than hoping that “security zones” in the Northern Gaza can prevent the attacks – and even those are a temporary solution.

There are no good solutions in this crisis. The Israelis can’t compromise on their security. The Palestinians contine to embrace terrorism and there is almost no civil society left in the West Bank and Gaza. The only people that Hamas and others hate nearly as much as the Israelis are rival factions. The Palestinian territories exist in a state shockingly close to anarchy – and ultimately short of Israel re-occupying and pacifying Palestinian society from the ground up (a strategy that’s politically and military untenable), the only ones who can end this conflict are the Palestinians themselves.

Golda Meir had it right all those years ago – this conflict will not end until the Palestinians love their children more than they hate the Israelis.

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