A New York Times editorial this morning, “Having to Rebuild Gaza, Again,” begins promisingly, reciting the destructiveness of the Israeli attack on Gaza and then asking what’s the point of rebuilding Gaza through international contributions “just so it can be destroyed in the next war?”
Even more promisingly, the editorial continues: “Even during times of relative peace, Gazans have endured soul-crushing deprivation” as a result of the Israeli and Egyptian “draconic blockade.” While the goal of the blockade is to “squeeze Hamas,” the editorial concedes, “innocent people have paid a much bigger price.”
Surely the Times is about to argue that Israel must end the blockade, end the overall occupation and repression of the Palestinian people, and agree to a two-state settlement? But no: the word “occupation” does not appear and the emphasis in the rest of the editorial is on what Abbas must do: “work much harder to assert leadership in Gaza and present himself to the Palestinians there as a credible political alternative to Hamas” as well as end corruption in the Palestinian Authority.
To be sure, the editorial does conclude that the “only long-term answer to a destructive militant group like Hamas is to empower moderates and give Palestinians hope of a constructive future…[leading to] a comprehensive peace settlement and an independent state.” But as for why this has not yet occurred, the editorial says only that the previous negotiations for such a settlement “collapsed and show no sign of reviving.”
As to which side is responsible for the “collapse,” the editorial is silent. Similarly, as to which side is responsible for the destruction of Gaza, and for the likelihood of it being repeated in “the next war,” the editorial is also silent. It would appear these are simply acts of nature.