Israel Waging a Heartbreaking, Stupid War
Only 'a Marshall Plan' can bring lasting peace, writes rabbi
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2009 11:37 AM CST

(Newser) – Israel's push to wipe out Hamas via military action "is understandable, but stupid," writes Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of the Jewish progressive magazine Tikkun. While Israel clearly must defend itself, "the kind of response matters"—and the killing of Gazan civilians is "a crime against humanity" as much as Hamas rocket fire. In an op-ed for the Times of London, Lerner calls for an immediate ceasefire and a new path forward.

After a UN-imposed ceasefire, "backed unequivocally by America," Israel must open its border with the Gaza Strip to allow free travel of food, water, and people. Then Israel can take the first steps to peace: "a massive Marshall Plan" for the territories, an absorption of 30,000 refugees annually, and the recognition of an independent Palestine. "This is the only way Israel will ever achieve security," writes Rabbi Lerner, and "the only way to permanently defeat Hamas."