J Street’s “Water crisis in Gaza demands our attention” (WJW, Oct. 23) contains obsessive finger-pointing at Israel. Thus, Israel is at fault for not immediately and unconditionally increasing the flow of clean water into Gaza. This, Israel’s J Street critics say, is a “concrete [step] that could be taken to improve the lot of Gaza residents to wean them away from Hamas terrorism.”
J Street’s solicitude for Gazans was not matched by solicitude for Israelis’ safety in 2009, for example, when J Street called for the premature cessation of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, a necessary response to thousands of rockets having been cumulatively fired at Israeli civilians.
J Street would do well to combine the legitimate concern for unconditionally increasing the supply of water into Gaza with a separate demand that no reconstruction aid be provided to Gaza until Hamas is verifiably disarmed – not merely that its remaining arsenal be frozen. While this stance would be inconsistent with J Street’s blame-Israel-first outlook, disarming Hamas would do far more to wean Gazans from Hamas terrorism than opening a third water spigot.
Following WWII, the reconstruction of Germany and Japan was accompanied, if not preceded, by the quick demilitarization of the Nazis and the Japanese war party. While circumstances in Gaza are different, the principle remains valid.
Hamas violently ousted Fatah from Gaza before and is far more adept than its rival at aggrandizing power there. Hamas has engaged in three violent outbreaks against Israel in six years. Shouldn’t those who call themselves pro-Israel and pro-peace demand the international community require disarming this terrorist group before pouring billions of dollars of concrete and other reconstruction aid into Gaza, even as they ask Israel for more water for Gaza?