The real deal

In Israel, we wait and watch the results of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz’s meetings with US President Donald Trump.

AN ISRAELI tank on the border of Gaza.  (photo credit: REUTERS)
AN ISRAELI tank on the border of Gaza.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The only achievement that must not be given up in the “Deal of the Century” is bringing our boys home.
In Israel, we wait and watch the results of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz’s meetings with US President Donald Trump. We have many doubts about whether the “Deal of the Century” will be implemented or if it can succeed at all. One critical achievement of the deal is without question – and without it this entire effort is meaningless – the return of our sons held in captivity in the Gaza Strip. This must be a prerequisite for any political agreement concerning Gaza.
For 40 years, Israel has been dealing with the terror that is abducting our citizens and soldiers. Our efforts are largely a great failure and lead to the feeling that “the enemy has won and we have lost.” Consecutive prime ministers have fallen, one after another, for the false dichotomy created by the terrorist organizations who dictate that the liberation of soldiers and civilians must equal the release of terrorists. The height of this mistake came during the days of Netanyahu’s last government that created the mistaken conception, which states: We lost this war, terror won, and we have no choice but to leave the IDF soldiers and the citizens of Israel under a strategic abandonment. This shameful strategy began the day Hadar Goldin and Oron Saul were kidnapped in August 2014, followed by Avera Mengistu and Hisham Al-Sayed.
The American peace plan can accomplish one thing for sure: determining new facts on the ground and creating clear new openings in the Middle East. It starts by returning our boys as a humanitarian trust-building step before a political solution in Gaza.
Hamas, as the ruling power in Gaza, cannot seriously demand a humanitarian solution by constantly committing humanitarian injustices. Humanitarian acts for humanitarian acts and peace for peace. It’s time to declare the political peace solution agreed to by the UN Security Council in Resolution 2474, endorsed by the UN secretary-general in 2019 and approved by the European Union Parliament. Bibi and Gantz must stand next to Trump and declare that any political solution to Gaza begins with the return of our boys.
Only a political agreement will bring the possibility of a new opening: terrorist kidnapping of soldiers and civilians will turn from an asset for Hamas into a burden. Gazan and Israeli civilians win – not the neighborhood bully in Gaza with 30,000 terrorists holding two million civilians hostage. The result of the sons’ return to Israel should be a humanitarian victory for residents, not a victory for Hamas terrorists in prison and Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip. The civilians win and terrorism loses.
The biggest motivation for people in Gaza is the money: “It’s all about the money.” This is the real deal – here lies the key. Employment, investment, new projects – these are the motivation for public opinion in Gaza. This is the real “Deal of the Century” that can lead to change. We should start getting used to this idea – and not continue to manage the current campaign with the tools of the previous one. Gaza 2020 is not Gaza 2005, it is not Gaza 2009  and it is not the 2011 Gaza of Gilad Schalit deal. When we start to think differently, it will be different. The money should be dependent on the boys’ return – all the money. Not like today when all the money is free and in return we get terror. In today’s situation our leaders just don’t know how to do business.
After 40 years of defeat at the hands of the terror of kidnapping, it’s time to start a legacy of triumph over the terror of kidnappings – with initiative, innovation and determination. On the humanitarian level, it is time to step out from the dock of the accused and take place as the prosecutor. On the business level, it’s time to stop offering ransom payments for terror and start making deals that have real opportunity for change and that will bring benefit to both sides. That is a “Deal of the Century” worth the sacrifice of IDF soldiers fallen to protect Israeli families during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014.
Netanyahu was prime minister and Gantz was chief of staff of the IDF in 2014. Both sent my brother to the field to fight, they both left him behind for the last five-and-a-half years. They both have left us families to fend for ourselves. It is their duty to bring the solution now.
The writer is the twin brother of IDF officer Hadar Goldin, whose body has been held by Hamas in  the Gaza Strip since 201