Leading article: Gaza: the way forward?

Share
Related Topics

If anything worthwhile can come from the brutal and bloody conflict in Gaza, it will be a restitution of a united Palestinian leadership capable of negotiating seriously with Israel.

One would have to be very optimistic indeed to believe this will be the immediate consequence of this war. For the moment, all the talk is of security and distrust as the Israelis insist on strict border controls to prevent Hamas rearming, while Hamas itself is moving to re-establish its control of security on the streets to show it has "triumphed" through survival. Any talk of peacemaking in this atmosphere smacks of wishful thinking. The opposite is more likely to be true.

And yet the very fact that both sides seem to be dredging some argument of victory out of the carnage points to a possible way forward. Whatever else it has done – and one should never forget that civilians have been the primary victims of the pride of the two battling forces – this conflict has put Gaza firmly centre-stage and with it the position of Hamas as a major force in Palestinian politics. It will surely now be impossible for the world to pursue the policy of blockading the Gaza Strip, which sewed the seeds of this conflict in the first place.

At the same time, a new US President brings with him the possibility of a fresh start in negotiations. The appointment of former Senator George Mitchell as America's envoy to the Middle East is a welcome sign that Barack Obama is determined to get to grips with the issue from the beginning of his presidency. That in turn may effect the tenor of the debate in Israel's elections next month, while the Palestinians are due to hold elections later this year, although their President, Mahmoud Abbas, has indicated that he will not stand again.

For the moment, the Palestinian community remains politically divided and the misery for the inhabitants of Gaza continues as they seek to rebuild their homes.

The first task must be humanitarian relief, but the next job is to ensure security for Israel and encourage the reunification of the Palestinians, then maybe the sides can come back to the negotiating table.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior BI Engineer (BI/MI, Data Mining)

£60000 - £65000 per annum + Bonus & Benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior BI Enginee...

Retail Promotions Manager – TV and Film Catalogue

Up to £171 PAYE per day (equal to 40 – 45K ) : Sauce Recruitment: This is a te...

Nursery Nurse

£7 - £8 per hour: Randstad Education Leeds: Nursery Nurse Level 3 or above Ear...

Special Needs teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Special Need teachers required t...

Day In a Page

 

Naturism criminalised: Why not being able to bare all is a bummer

Simon Usborne
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on