When the status quo is untenable, some factor has to yield to accommodate movement toward positive change. The 2012 Gaza offensive is a case in point.
The Palestinians are a divided people with two territories and two governments, Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza. Efforts to unite Palestinians under a single government have evidently failed.
Following the assassination by Israel of Hamas military chief Ahmad Jabari two days ago on 11-14-12, Hamas and Israel have exchanged hundreds of rockets and missiles. Israel states its assassination of Jabari was in response to the sustained assault on southern Israel by Hamas rocket fire for several days prior.
The international community is calling for a cease fire, fearing an escalation of the conflict in a region already beset by turmoil. Syria is embroiled in a civil war. The Arab Spring is young and untested. Iran threatens to export violent Islamic revolution.
The plea for calm falls on deaf ears hardened by years of unfruitful negotiations. The Palestinian people have not realized their aspirations for statehood. More than 1 million Palestinians live in Gaza, the majority subsisting on less than $2 a day and having few better prospects.
If Israel rejects a cease fire, it thereby rejects the status quo. Escalation in Gaza is a calculated risk.
A house divided against itself cannot stand. A reasonable condition for peace with Israel is the unity of the Palestinians under a single government. The Israeli military offensive in Gaza in 2012 may facilitate this and thus be a blessing in disguise.