2010-06-10 / Letters/Opinion

New Path Needed For Gaza Dilemma

Dear Editor:

The deadly confrontation between the Israeli military and activists off of Gaza’s coast should not be turned into another stale debate between “pro” and “anti” Israel activists. Rather, we should use this moment to ask what can be done to improve the situation.

At the root of this disaster is the effort to restrict the flow of people and goods to Gaza. This effort was initiated by Israel (and supported by the Bush administration) after Hamas came to power. This policy failed to improve Israeli security. Nor did it weaken Hamas.

It is time for the Obama administration to show leadership on this issue. It should work with the international community — including Egypt, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority — to create a new security regime for Gaza.

Mechanisms that guarantee Israel’s security needs — like crossing points monitored to prevent arms smuggling by international forces — are possible. What is needed is the political courage to admit failure and to try a new path.

Sincerely, Lucia Stern Manhattan

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