It’s not the economy, stupid

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sits down with U.S. President Barack Obama tomorrow, the economic plight of the Palestinian citizens of Gaza will be near the top of the agenda. The United States hopes to follow up on Israel’s decision to ease its blockade of Gaza, working with the Israeli leadership on further steps ...

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sits down with U.S. President Barack Obama tomorrow, the economic plight of the Palestinian citizens of Gaza will be near the top of the agenda. The United States hopes to follow up on Israel's decision to ease its blockade of Gaza, working with the Israeli leadership on further steps that could be taken to allow more goods into the area. Netanyahu, for his part, will no doubt remind the president of the security threat posed by the militant group Hamas, and Israel's need to restrict the flow of any goods that could be used for military purposes.

Although the situation in Gaza is dire, we should not view this dispute solely or even primarily through the prism of economics. The flawed policies of the United States, Israel, and the international community toward Gaza -- and indeed toward the entire Israeli-Palestinian issue -- go far beyond the failure to allow cement and other construction materials into the strip. Without reconciliation between Palestinian factions and the political reunification of the West Bank and Gaza, not only a better future for Gaza but the two-state solution itself will remain out of reach.

Read more.

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sits down with U.S. President Barack Obama tomorrow, the economic plight of the Palestinian citizens of Gaza will be near the top of the agenda. The United States hopes to follow up on Israel’s decision to ease its blockade of Gaza, working with the Israeli leadership on further steps that could be taken to allow more goods into the area. Netanyahu, for his part, will no doubt remind the president of the security threat posed by the militant group Hamas, and Israel’s need to restrict the flow of any goods that could be used for military purposes.

Although the situation in Gaza is dire, we should not view this dispute solely or even primarily through the prism of economics. The flawed policies of the United States, Israel, and the international community toward Gaza — and indeed toward the entire Israeli-Palestinian issue — go far beyond the failure to allow cement and other construction materials into the strip. Without reconciliation between Palestinian factions and the political reunification of the West Bank and Gaza, not only a better future for Gaza but the two-state solution itself will remain out of reach.

Read more.

Michele Dunne is a senior associate in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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