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Perverse Incentives

Rockets are launched towards Israel from Gaza City, controlled by the Palestinian Hamas movement, on May 12, 2021. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP) (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)
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May 12, 2021 9:47 a.m.

As you’ve likely seen, what began as civil disturbances in East Jerusalem has cycled into a full scale military engagement between Israel and the Hamas quasi-state in Gaza. Every level of these issues trace back more than a century, or decades, depending on which dimension of the interlocking stalemates you look at. But we shouldn’t ignore the way this particular conflagration has been spurred and accelerated by the protracted crisis of government within Israel itself. Having helped drive the crisis, Benjamin Netanyahu, now acting as the caretaker Prime Minister, has little incentive to deescalate it.

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