Fri,Dec 6,2013 3 Tevet 5774
I think perhaps Gilad Sharon has been spending too much time with his sheep.
This is his solution to the Hamas problem we face, as published in this newspaper:
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. Then they’d really call for a ceasefire.
Were this to happen, the images from Gaza might be unpleasant – but victory would be swift, and the lives of our soldiers and civilians spared.
Even I am aghast.
Either Sharon has no comprehension of his father's legacy, or the changed public diplomacy landscape, or the inappropriateness of his historical references (Nagasaki) or the fact that Israel's military options are still multiple and varied enough to gain the advantage without the unnecessary loss of life.
Yes, we could cut off electricity - for short periods so as to be bothersome.
Yes, we could use commando forces.
Yes, we can continue to fire from the skies and from the seas.
We can destroy tunnels and convoys in faraway lands.
And we could move in troops for a major land operation.
We cannot and we need not follow through on his suggestion.
The unpleasant images will undo all our efforts - political, economic and military. That's the simple fact.
Not only is it immoral and impractical but it is the very worse thing that Israel could do.
For sure we need to point out that Hamas is the democratic government in Gaza, as much as democracy counts. And it endangers its citizens. It holds tham as human shields (by the way, a war crime). It is an anti-Semitic entity. It does not seek peace.
But the reality for Israel is limited, not unlimited.
We are smarter and cleverer than what Sharon proposes. We can do better that what he suggests.
We can win and we can persevere.
And yes, many of us are concerned that our government may not be up to the challenge and we also do not wish any of our soldiers to pay any price.
But Sharon has flattened himself out this time.