Letters to the Editor: March 8


Netanyahu’s Plan

I read with increasing incredulity your recent editorial, “Netanyahu’s Plan – A Good First Step” (March 1). As my friend and colleague, Michael Koplow, astutely explains what is wrong with this “plan” in his column, “How to Ensure That There is No Day After,” reprinted in this week’s edition, there is no need to repeat his excellent analysis here. Suffice it to say that we need look no further than the absolute debacle of the attempted delivery of humanitarian aid in Gaza last Thursday to conclude that the IDF should not be tasked with security and distribution of humanitarian aid, an essential element of Netanyahu’s “plan.” The notion of giving administrative control of Gaza to “local stakeholders with managerial experience” failed spectacularly in its first attempt, which was an IDF-led recruitment of a number of local Palestinian businessmen, not affiliated with Hamas, to deliver food and other supplies to desperate Gazans. While there are different versions of what led to the chaos and the ensuing tragic loss of life, it is abundantly clear that such a fiasco must be prevented at all costs.

Moreover, Netanyahu’s “plan” makes it abundantly clear that this Israeli government has no intention of relinquishing its control over Gaza and the West Bank, a position that is in complete opposition to that of the U.S. Administration, the European Union and the moderate Arab states that will play an essential role in Gaza’s recovery and reconstruction.

I visited Kibbutz Be’eri last Dec. 17 and witnessed firsthand some of the terrible destruction unleashed by Hamas on Oct. 7. I absolutely support Israel’s right to defend itself and remove the threat that Hamas poses to its survival. But as this war grinds on with contradicting goals (continue the military campaign or free the hostages and allow for a pause to provide critical humanitarian assistance), there needs to be credible and strategic thinking about what the “day after” will look like, as that planning impacts the days we are in right now.

Susie Gelman
Member of Mid-Atlantic Media’s ownership group, which publishes Baltimore Jewish Times Immediate Past Chair, Israel Policy Forum

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