Gershon Baskin

Some thoughts this morning


Gershon Baskin. Photo: Otmar Steinbicker

The ceasefire proposal being advanced by Shaul Mofaz is gaining traction - and for good reasons. Mofaz proposes adopting an international mechanism, on the basis of the one used by the international community to remove chemical weapons from Syria (which required UNSC approval) to disarm Gaza. In exchange, he proposes an international fund for the reconstruction of Gaza in the amount of $50 billion. That figure comes from a Canadian government report on development needs in Gaza. Mofaz is 100% correct in understanding that we must address the real problems of Gaza where today young people have no reason to hope for a better future.

The main element absent from the Mofaz plan is the political side. The political side is of course renewed genuine negotiations for a two state solution where Gaza is once again part of Palestine and the negotiations lead to an agreement on two-states for two people and ending the Israeli occupation. Without the political side of the plan the other parts will not work. Palestinian political rights for self determination must be treated with respect and must be implemented through a peace agreement.

In the immediate present and after math of this war, it has become clear that the real strategic threat to Israel is not the rockets but the tunnels. According to an American intelligence report Israeli is under-estimating the number of tunnels leading into Israel. These tunnels are a mega-threat to Israel and must be eliminated. (perhaps the Palestinians in Gaza have begun digging the tunnel from Gaza to the West Bank and in a peace treaty could save a lot of money in the eventual connection link between the two parts of the Palestinian state!). The tunnel discovered yesterday leading to Kibbutz Nir Am is 200 meters from the home of my nephew, his wife and two kids, but it is not a personal matter, it impacts the security of the Israeli state.

There can be a ceasefire now and as part of that ceasefire a plan submitted and accepted and imposed if necessary, a plan to deal with the tunnels even after the war is over. A buffer zone of several hundred meters along the Gaza-Israel border could be set for a defined period of time. Internationals led by the US, assisted by Israel and others could use seismic sensors or whatever technology is available to find and destroy the tunnels. If appropriate technology is not available or not successful, they could dig a 30 meters deep line all along the border to find and destroy the tunnels. This must be done and must be part of any ceasefire agreement.

The ceasefire agreement should address all 3 elements that will change life in Gaza and in Israel: the political, security and economic.

It is also important that the national reconciliation government be empowered to act so that new elections can be organized for the Palestinian people to make their choice of who they want to lead them for the years to come. I believe that if there is a process taking place that includes the three elements (political - aimed at ending the occupation. economic - reconstruction and development for Gaza and the West Bank, and security - disarming Gaza, joint Israeli-Palestinian security agreements for peace) the Palestinian people will elect a leadership that will lead them to peace and Hamas will be reduced to a small, insignificant political force in Palestine.

Gershon Baskin is the co-chairman of IPCRI, the Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information, a columnist for The Jerusalem Post and the initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel for the release of Gilad Schalit. His new book, Freeing Gilad: the Secret Back Channel, has been published by Kinneret Zmora Bitan in Hebrew.

Gershon Baskin ist Autor des Aachener Friedensmagazins Seine Beiträge finden Sie hier

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Beiträge von Gershon Baskin

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From Washington to Jerusalem

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Becoming a real, effective democracy requires a real, effective opposition

Only two states – nothing else

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The fatal Israeli-Gaza mistakes

The wisdom to limit our rights

Where to, Israel?

Get out of our lives already!

The authority of the Authority


The state of denial

Settlements, annexation and the death of Zionism

It’s not just the economy

Encountering peace?

Building a shared society

Excuse me for asking

Secret back channels


The Left is right

A moment of opportunity

The worst negotiations, the best negotiations

Palestinian suffering makes no sense for Israel

Creating a compelling vision for peace

It is also in our hands

There is no partner


The partnership challenge

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After Abbas

A bad agreement is better than no agreement

Israel’s strategic choices regarding Gaza


Jerusalem of peace, Jerusalem of war

The Gaza challenge

Is Hamas prepared to end this war with a long-term ceasefire?

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Regional forum for security and stability – Gaza first

After a long phone conversation with a Hamas leader in Gaza

Don’t destroy Gaza, build it!

Framework document for the establishment of permanent peace (part 3 of 3)

Framework document for the establishment of permanent peace (part 2 of 3)

Framework document for the establishment of permanent peace


My Conversation With Hamas

Keine Fortsetzung des Unilateralismus!

Diesen Weg müssen wir einschlagen!


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Mord an der Chance für Ruhe

Das Ende des Raketenbeschusses aus Gaza

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Ist mein zionistischer Traum gestorben?