Israel’s 50-day conflict with Hamas last year led to images of death, destruction and fear on both sides.
Much fairer reporting meant that, for once, the world saw that Israel was not an arbitrary aggressor.
Still, the horrendous death toll only made the world more thirsty for a new solution – one that opened up the territory to trade, wealth and interdependency, as opposed to keeping it locked in its own little bubble of bombs, radicalisation and desperation.
Among those championing new thinking is a new candidate from Yesh Atid.
Chaim Yellin is the head of the Eshkol regional council, which is situated on the border with the Gaza Strip. He has been in the line of fire for years, and is well-known, having regularly appeared on Israeli media to highlight the suffering in his communities owing to the continuous barrages of rocket and mortar attacks.
He is also popular, as the only leader of the Eshkol council to ever win re-election.
Yet he is also a huge critic of today’s model for Gaza, recently giving evidence to the Schabas Committee, despite the Israeli establishment formally boycotting the committee owing to its biased make-up and mandate.
Since last summer, he has continued his criticism, saying: “Anyone who thought that IDF-manufactured deterrence is the solution for achieving quiet in the Gaza periphery doesn’t understand that wars are won by statesmen, who achieve quiet and security with courage.”
As if that weren’t damning enough, he adds: “After Operation Protective Edge, the country had an exceptional opportunity to bring about a long-term arrangement. Instead, we find ourselves with a clock ticking down to the next escalation and war.” It is a sentiment, alas, that many people share.