a Palestinian-Israeli deal may be impossible for the time being. But Israel could freeze all settlements and take other steps that would make a deal more likely. We already know what the final deal would look like — a two-state solution and terms resembling the “Clinton parameters” that Bill Clinton proposed in 2000.
One necessary step is a major investigation of what happened. Another is a quick end to the blockade of Gaza, by Egypt as well as Israel. The blockade has failed to topple Hamas, failed to recover the captured soldier Gilad Shalit, and failed to keep rockets out of Gaza. When you visit Gaza, you see that the siege has accomplished nothing — except to devastate the lives of 1.5 million ordinary Gazans.
President Obama needs to find his voice and push hard for an end to the Gaza blockade. He needs to talk sense to Israel and encourage it to back away from its plans to intercept other flotillas now headed for Gaza — that would be a catastrophe for Israel and America alike.
Above all, he needs to nudge Israel away from its tendency to shoot itself in the foot, and us along with it.