Robert M. Danin
The United States treats Gaza as a pariah, supporting its isolation in an effort to undermine Hamas. This approach is counterproductive. Isolating Gaza only strengthens Hamas’ grip, perpetuates Palestinian political stagnation, and helps preclude the creation of a Palestinian state and peace with Israel. Reconnecting Gaza with the West Bank politically and economically, and reestablishing legitimate nationwide institutions, is necessary for an enduring Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic agreement. The Obama administration should encourage an end to Gaza’s economic isolation, national elections, and the formation of a regional contact group to promote Palestinian reconciliation. This does not mean ending Hamas’ diplomatic isolation, but instead creating conditions to empower Palestinian leaders looking to make peace.