It has been a year since the 2009 Gaza “war” by Israel on Palestine.
Critics of the campaign have focused, justifiably, on the high number of civilian casualties and the disproportionate use of force. But the results are indisputable: since the war, the number of rocket attacks from Gaza has dropped by 90 percent.
The stability, in turn, has helped Israel’s economy. While the global recession plunged other countries into crisis in the past year, nearly all of Israel’s indicators have held steady. Tourism, a good gauge of overall welfare, hit a 10-year high in 2008. Astonishingly, the IMF projected recently that Israel’s GDP will grow faster in 2010 than that of most other developed countries.
In short, Israelis are enjoying a peace dividend without a peace agreement. Clearly, that can’t last. Without a resolution to its conflict, Israel will always face the prospect of international isolation and challenges to its very legitimacy. But the tendency toward short-term thinking is reinforced by another somewhat skewed cost-benefit analysis that Israelis are inclined to embrace: while the absence of peace is exacting a very low price, Israeli attempts to forge a peace deal have exacted a very high one.
Guns, bombs, explosives
Tears, from pain, ripped skin
Shredded hearts and minds
Children dead at your feet
Your memories altered forever
Your beliefs altered forever
Because you are better than me.
And my children dead because of you.