Eitan Haber, a former top aide and speechwriter for Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, hit the nail on the head when he suggested that intercepting aid ships to Gaza might not be worth the price of international condemnation that Israel has been subjected to (“Flotilla Crisis Fuels Blockade Controversy,” June 4).
What Israel’s current government — and its fervent supporters in the U.S. — don’t seem to recognize is that the policies behind last week’s tragedy, including Israel’s continued blockade of Gaza, only harm Israel’s international standing, while doing little to enhance Israel’s security and future. While Israel’s actions aim to protect its citizens, they have in fact empowered Hamas, which is stronger and better armed than it was three years ago.
Of course, Israel should never create policy that is detrimental to its safety, simply to satisfy its detractors. However, it could go a long way towards rectifying this situation by lifting the blockade of Gaza and instituting strong security measures in its place. Ultimately, only a serious diplomatic effort to achieve a two-state solution, led by President Barack Obama, can finally end this conflict and avoid further bloodshed and tragedy.