Israel has yet to articulate a long-term strategy for Gaza, but there is a growing consensus that a military operation every few years is not the answer.
Not too many Israelis seem able or willing to articulate a long-term solution for Gaza. But Gilad Sharon, the son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, has offered an unequivocal strategy: Crush the coastal territory with such force that Gaza militants will never again be able to strike Israel.
“There is no justification for the State of Gaza being able to shoot at our towns with impunity,” he wrote in a Nov. 18 Op-Ed for The Jerusalem Post, arguing that the territory has effectively become a sovereign entity under Hamas and thus bears responsibility for attacks on Israel. “We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.
“There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing,” he added. “Then they’d really call for a ceasefire.”
Mr. Sharon’s strong words have caused wincing both in Israel and abroad, as international pressure grows for a truce to end the fighting. But there is a strong strain of thought in Israel that sees military deterrence as the pillar of any long-term strategy. Some compare Gaza militant groups to weeds, arguing that Israel’s military needs to “mow the lawn” every few years to keep the situation under control.
Page 1 of 4