Before we think about the preferred solution for the increasing and recurring "Gaza threat" we should keep in mind some basics:
The "situation" will only get worse with Hamas calling the shots (pun intended) and being allowed to improve their military capabilities and control there. (Our “best–informed leaders" scoffed at the scenario of facing hundreds of thousands of rockets from Gaza once we abandoned it)
The Hamas charter calls for killing all the Jews of the world, and they're educating their young to the murder of Jews; this sends the very clear message that they are in it for the long run - and they mean it.
It reminds me of a question posed to the late Holocaust survivor and author, Eli Weisel. He was asked, "what is your most important lesson from the Holocaust "? He promptly answered, "the next time they say that they want to kill you - believe them".
Can we then assume that winning the hearts and minds of Hamas and its loyal supporters (Hamas was voted into power by a majority of Gaza residents) is not an option?
I think so.
The approach of Shimon Peres (he wrote a book called "The New Middle East"), is that the Arab mindset of refusal to live in peace with us can be altered with economic incentives. Perhaps Peres was projecting his own worship of money, honor and power when he suggested that all people are basically like him, and can be bought?
No amount of economic opportunities or cash payments to date (fifteen million dollars in cash just before the "latest round") has managed to alleviate their hate. The opposite can be argued very easily.
Arafat and Hamas would be the first witnesses for this claim.
Certainly, the Gaza problem is not about land. As recalled, we tried the ultimate solution of the hard Left (carried out by a corrupt "Right-wing" politician) by handing Gaza over to the killers, and we were, of course, promised peace.
So, if it is not about land or economy, how do we eliminate the constant threat to half of Israel (so far)?
Israel's leadership and *elites know that we are in a quandary but do not have what it takes to really tackle it. Most prefer the current abominable situation to a bold lasting solution which for them is probably worse..
It seems that they perceive the "Gaza situation" as they would bad weather or road accidents. You live with it.
Most politicians are happy for the relative quiet between "flare-ups" during their term in office and ignore the growing threat and the sword held over the heads of half of Israel. Get used to it is what they are saying.
Let the next politician deal with it.
Think of Cossacks hordes that have murdered lots of Jews for generations and train their children to do the same. Now imagine that the Jews were able to organize a military force to respond to this threat and attacked the Cossack stronghold to put a stop to the murder once and for all.
Once and for all.
Is that a frightening scenario or a liberating one?
Imagine another scenario. Jews in a ghetto are being slowly killed off by the Germans who live in a nearby town where they teach their children to kill Jews. The Jews managed to organize a military capability to challenge this threat and end it. Should the Jews have calculated that it was not "worth the risk entailed because" things might get better? You never know.
The Hamas and their supporters are no less determined then the latter two.
The Hamas and their supporters educate their young to hate Jews no less than the above Jew haters.
We were not an independent country then and so we could not, in fact, protect our people. The scenarios are fantasy. Today we must decide if it remains a fantasy.
Unlike the two examples, Hamas are killing Jews today and trying their best to destroy the only Jewish country in the world.
So what should be done?
Accept the fact that many rockets will rain down on parts of Israel and prepare well for it. That will not be the first time but hopefully the last.
Plan a detailed campaign of eliminating every key Hamas personality in "targeted attacks" as was once done at the height of the Oslo war, in 2002 though in a very limited scope. At the very same time massively target all known rockets and launching facilities in a well planned preemptive strike. Communicate to the population that they must separate themselves from the rockets and from Hamas personnel if they don't want to be hit.
Target every military and administrative site of the Hamas from the air and artillery bombardment. This round the clock operation should continue until the military is satisfied that the mission has been accomplished as best as possible.
At the same time, or just after (depending on the military's judgment) a massive ground assault will begin dividing the Gaza strip into manageable "bites", destroying all opposition. We will consider our own losses before those of the enemy and their population, just as the allies did in the war against the Nazis and as prescribed in Jewish Torah law.
Once we quell all opposition, military rule is enacted. We demand all weapons be surrendered within in a very short time (hours I would think). All those caught still harboring weapons will be shot on site.
"UNWRA" will be closed.
The Jew-hatred taught in their schools will end.
All known Hamas personnel without known "blood on their hands" will be given a choice: leave – for the Sinai or Egypt or be escorted to Ben Gurion airport to go wherever they like. They must bring their families with them.
If they choose not to leave, they will be tried (think Nuremberg trials) for aiding or membership in a terror organization dedicated to killing Jews and face years in jail. This category will include anyone who has had any active association with Hamas in any manner.
Encourage locals to come forward with information leading to the arrest of the above category.
Any activity, physical or otherwise that threaten Jews or Jewish sovereignty will be grounds for legal steps leading to deportation or other more drastic steps.
Once order is restored, Israel will announce its policy of voluntary emigration. Financial incentives and administrative aid will be employed to encourage emigration as much as possible.
This is a strategic and ongoing goal and operation.
Polls repeatedly show that an overwhelming percentage of Gaza residents (similar but less than Judea and Samaria) would emigrate if they had the chance. We shall give them that chance and encourage it.
Encourage the return of Jews to develop this part of Eretz Yisroel as they have done before the expulsions of 2005. All law abiding and non-Hamas tainted residents will enjoy human and civil rights.
Israeli citizenship will be possible after a careful and prolonged process much like in Japan, Switzerland, the US, and others.
* This is echoed in Meir Ettinger’s latest, "Display Respect From Israel (Ceasefire)"