Gaza Teens Marry, Cars Run on Fumes — and Isolated Hamas Eyes a Way Out

Israel and World Ignore Historic Opportunity for Peace

Gaza Dreams: A Palestinian teenage couple celebrate their marriage. Could the crushing poverty and growing isolation of the Hamas-ruled enclave offer an opportunity for a peace breakthrough?
getty images
Gaza Dreams: A Palestinian teenage couple celebrate their marriage. Could the crushing poverty and growing isolation of the Hamas-ruled enclave offer an opportunity for a peace breakthrough?

By Jose Vericat

Published November 08, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

The argument that the closure is putting pressure on Hamas to either change its ways—renounce violence and recognize Israel — or force people to make room for an alternative are misguided. It is true that many Palestinians are increasingly frustrated with Hamas’ rule of the strip, however, it is doubtful whether this is anywhere near a critical mass. Beyond the existence of large powerbase of devotees, the lack of a credible enough alternative to Hamas as well as its own physical control over the territory and its people, preclude the possibility of change.

In fact, the toppling of Hamas — only conceivable with external support — would unleash the more uncompromising organizations that Hamas is already struggling to suppress.

As it has been said many times before, the Islamic movement is not going to disappear into thin air and there is no possible solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without it. The dialogue by the US and the EU in Egypt with its intellectual progenitor, the Muslim Brotherhood, in fact provides a model to follow and for Hamas in particular to behave as a political party rather than a militia.

The Brotherhood was once seen as an extremist and violent group, to be suppressed not talked to. Whatever one’s views of Morsi, his brief rule demonstrated that the Brotherhood’s rhetoric did not prevent it from continuing the alliance with the U.S. or taking any steps to undermine the Camp David peace pact with Israel. Hamas need not be any different.

Before such a historic dialogue is launched, the siege of Gaza, must be lifted. The punishment of more than 1.6 million Palestinians cannot be an end in itself. It must be stopped now, in the name of all of our shared humanity.

But what chance is there of that happening when the evocative images the world gets of Gaza is of teens getting married, a story which tells us nothing about their wretched lives and what brought them there? It only serves to further dehumanize Gaza residents and as such stops all of us from searching for ways to attenuate extraordinary suffering — and seek a shared path forward for Palestinians, Israelis and the world.

Jose Vericat is a PhD candidate at Oxford University who has lived and work in the Middle East for more than a decade, as a reporter and a spokesperson for two EU security sector reform missions in the Palestinian territories.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.