Friday, January 2, 2009

Steven Klein on Conflict Management

One of the editors of Ha'Aretz, Steven Klein, has a very interesting analysis of how to move forward past the current stalemate in Gaza. The key part of his proposal, after a discussion of game theory, is that Israel should implement a unilateral but conditional cease-fire:
In the current situation, Israel should not simply declare a limited cease-fire, but rather an unlimited one, as well as an end to its blockade of Gaza, contingent on subsequent cooperation by Hamas. Reports indicate Hamas is willing to entertain truce offers - and now is the time for one. Simultaneously, Israel must communicate clearly to Hamas what the consequences of continued rocket fire would be: For example, for each rocket fired across the border, Israel would close the border crossings for a day, or destroy a certain number of targets. The advantage of this strategy is that it gives both sides the opportunity to de-escalate the violence and to save face. If the rockets do stop, the Israeli government can tell its citizens that it has secured their safety, while Hamas can tell Gazans it forced Israel to back down and achieved more freedom of movement.
This is a very interesting idea, and one that I've pondered in the past. It's probably what I would do if I were in Israel's shoes.

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