Gaza’s political difference from the West Bank is telling: Palestinian national expression developed in the West Bank, but not in Gaza. The main factor behind that difference is the neighboring countries’ attitude: Jordan fueled West Bank Palestinian nationalism in the hope of sublimating the energies of its own Palestinians away from fighting the monarchy, while Egypt ruled Gaza rather heavy-handedly until 1967—in fact by the military until 1962. The elusive climate factor might also play a role: just like no desert tribes developed a civilization worthy of mention, so the desert Gaza did not evolve into a center for Palestinian “intellectuals.”

Gazans are neither stupid nor evil, but honestly fight for the land they consider theirs. If only Jews were similarly certain of their right to this land! The fight entails considerable hardships and dangers for the Arabs, but Jews, too, willingly endangered ourselves for 2,000 years instead of abandoning our national idea and converting, say, to Christianity. Israel cannot buy Palestinian acquiescence with welfare programs or political demagoguery about peace settlement. Arabs are honest: they want the land, not the settlement.

Israel cannot achieve a clear-cut victory against the guerillas in strategic terms. Even if Israel kills thousands of Hamas members in Gaza, new ones will soon join Hamas. Since the Battle of Karamah, the lesson is clear: anything short of humiliation is a victory for Arabs. In Karamah, Palestinians lost ten times the number of Jewish casualties, but perceive the battle as a major victory. Palestinians would rally around Jewish casualties in Gaza, not their own losses. In the absence of Israeli casualties, Palestinians enjoy driving Israelis mad with Kassam rocket fire. Arabs are very extroverted, and media coverage of their attacks on Israel is sweet as honey to them. The Israeli conflict with Palestinians falls short of a real war; it is rather a PR confrontation, and so Israel should think of PR measures. Jews need to be creative. Instead of the ultra-expensive and quite useless air raids, we can parade captured Palestinian terrorists before TV cameras naked, covered with tar and feathers; we can burn dead terrorists covered in pig skins, etc. Humiliating the Arab guerrillas irreparably is the easiest way to defeat them.

The world blamed Israel during the short periods when she blockaded Gaza, but Egypt does the very same thing. The Jewish state can somewhat control the flow of illegal Gazan labor, but giant Egypt found it nearly impossible to stem the migration from Gaza. For Egypt, palliative solutions don’t work: it can either seal Gaza off, or suffer the permanent flow of discontent, disloyal, criminal laborers. If Israel were smarter, she would stop pulling Egypt’s hair over some smuggling to Gaza, but mobilize the world’s opinion to push Egypt to open its border with Gaza. That is the surest way to depopulate Gaza within years, first of youngsters, then of working-age Arabs, and gradually of everyone. This is the only practical way to end Gaza’s troublesome existence.

Depopulate Gaza Strip. Real anti-terrorist warfare. PR-friendly antiterror measures.