I’ve probably never heard a stronger, more self-confident presentation from J Street’s head, Jeremy Ben-Ami, than the one above; I wish I had his poise in arguing our common pro-Israel/ pro-peace perspective. Yet Jeremy was mistaken in disregarding Gershon Baskin’s claim that the killing of Hamas military chief Jabari was counterproductive.
According to Baskin, Jabari had been instrumental in working to release Gilad Shalit and was considering a long-term truce on the very day that Israel killed him. Baskin explicitly says that Jabari was not a “moderate,” but that he represented an opening to a more workable future for Gaza and Israel.
And Jeremy is incorrect that there’s no corroboration of this view. At a minimum, it came from Aluf Benn, editor in chief of Ha’aretz who also wrote on this in his column, “Israel killed its subcontractor in Gaza.”
I feel like a killjoy in expressing this one small note of dissent on Jeremy’s otherwise excellent talk. Still, whether or not we accept Baskin’s story completely– and even as we know that Israel has the right and responsibility to defend its citizens against attack– we also know that there’s no ultimate military solution to the problem of Gaza.