'We need to reconsider Gaza embargo'
From the Jerusalem Post, Isaac Herzog who is Israel's Labor Party Welfare Minister wants to find "alternatives." The Left in Israel surrenders. Blockade is the least intrusive method of controlling a threat possible. In the meantime the concern for the kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit creates pressure to further surrender to the demands of the terrorists.
To impose a classical allusion on the situation, the Israelis rather than casting themselves as the champions of civilization and Democracy in the region have positioned themselves as the supremely disciplined warrior elite. They are not cast as the Athenians in this drama but rather as the Spartans. By capturing Gilad Schalit the forces of Hamas have placed Israel in the emotional space of the Spartans after their defeat at Sphacteria and the capture of over 100 of their Spartiate elite almost 2,600 years ago. This problem is almost completely self inflicted and emotional. For Sparta the loss of that many would have been a severe blow. While for a nation as small as Israel each soldier is precious the real cost of one captive is less than the damage done by allowing themselves to be blackmailed.
If a democracy is incapable of enduring the pressure of a kidnapping and is incapable of maintaining the pressure of a blockade then it will have to respond to threats with more time focused and indeed more lethal measures. The situation is similar to that of the United States. Obama got into the White House partly by exploiting discomfort with the protracted incarceration of terrorists and unlawful combatants at GITMO. The left wing lawyers of the Democratic Party imposed Miranda rights and domestic constitutional rules into battlefield encounters and prisoner interrogations. For the United States the result has been that the default position is no longer to capture enemies but rather to kill them. This has even happened in the case of a US citizen. Intelligence is forgone in order to avoid the consequences of emotional exhaustion.
If Israel cannot endure having a soldier held captive then it will need to preempt the captors to bring emotional closure to the populace and to eliminate the value of the captive as a bargaining chip. The way to do that is to declare him legally dead and hold a state funeral for Gilad Schalit. Once that is done then his captors will have to either admit the Red Cross to verify his captivity under humane conditions or admit that they have killed him. Either way his value as a captive will be ended.
If the Israelis cannot endure the siege of Gaza then they will have to eliminate Gaza by expelling the population. If they break all links, allow no aid through their border crossing, allow no transit across their border, publish maps with just a gray spot rather than an acknowledged community, then Gaza will cease to be Israel's problem. Gaza was Egypt's before 1967, although the Egyptians mined the roads to prevent residents from crossing Sinai into Egypt proper. If Israel announces that they will have no contact with Gaza except to retaliate for an attack and incrementally scrub territory clean of all habitation, by dividing the land into up to 500 one hundred meter wide strips parallel to the sea that would be dealt with beginning at the strip farthest from Egypt and advancing one slice every two days if provoked, and permanently annex slices in response to provocations then and only then would Israel be freed of the self inflicted claim the inhabitants of Gaza have placed upon her.