Haaretz writes: "After a year of relative quiet in the south following the cease-fire that ended Operation Cast Lead, there has been a marked escalation in violence along the Israel-Gaza border." In addition, "Incidents involving live fire have aggravated relations between Hamas and Egypt, which is tightening the siege on Gaza." The author concludes: "The time has come to rethink Israeli strategy in Gaza. The economic embargo, which has brought severe distress to the inhabitants of Gaza, has not brought down Hamas, nor has it freed kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. The siege has only damaged Israel’s image and led to accusations that it has shirked its humanitarian responsibilities in Gaza under international law. Instead of erring by invoking the default solution of more force, which does not create long-term security or ease the distress of the Palestinians in Gaza, the crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip should be opened and indirect assistance rendered to rebuild its ruins. The same logic that dictates the government’s actions in the West Bank – creating an economic incentive to prevent terror – can and must work in the Gaza Strip as well."
Yediot Aharonot contends that while the world’s militaries have developed new technologies and tactics to deal with the war on terrorism, the world’s legal systems have not and adds that the latter "are stuck in yesterday’s war, without international cooperation to prevent terrorism and without a system of laws and directives for the new kind of warfare." The author says that Israel is paying the price for attempting to fight a new kind of war but asserts that "the problem is the world’s problem." The paper believes that "Zionist organizations and even thousands of independent Jews need to flood European courts with war crimes suits; every request to investigate an Israeli must be met with dozens of requests to investigate the war crimes of the entire world," in order to clog up European courts. The author believes that only then "will the problem disappear," and cautions that "while official Israel will not be especially popular, in today’s situation, that is the least of our worries."
Yisrael Hayom cautions that the uproar over George Mitchell’s remarks regarding possible disruption of US loan guarantees to Israel could "feed the Palestinian refusal to enter into negotiations without preconditions," even though "It is clear from Secy. of State Hilary Clinton’s comments that the White House, at present, believes that the ball is in the Palestinian court."
Nana10 evaluates the current state of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and suggests that, "The problem is that despite the desire of both sides, whichever more and whichever less, to resume the negotiations, it is not at all clear if they are interested, to the same degree, in achieving a peace agreement between them. After all, there is a total lack of trust between the two sides, as well as great suspicion and skepticism regarding the other’s intentions. Thus, for example, Israel wonders if Abu Mazen wants to, and really can, move a genuine peace process forward. Abu Mazen, for his part, is convinced that all Netanyahu is interested in is political survival and will, therefore, not support any diplomatic move that entails the significant Israeli concessions that the Palestinians are demanding." The author doubts that the resumption of talks will see little beyond the opening photo-op.
The Jerusalem Post comments on the deciphering of an ancient Hebrew inscription testifying to the age-old connection between the people and land of Israel: "It MAY seem obvious that the Jewish connection to this land dates back thousands of years. Yet since the Jewish return under the auspices of the modern Zionist movement, an elaborate industry of denial has sprung up. Many reputable scholars emphasized the lack of contemporary confirmation that Bible figures such as David were anything like their scriptural portraits. All the while, the Palestinian Arab leadership has remained adamant that evidence of an ancient Jewish presence in this land is a figment of the Zionist imagination. The work of a generation of bible scholars and archeologists continues to uplift the Israeli spirit, as ancient Jewish history falls ever more vividly into place, reminding us why we are here."