|Photo by: REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah|
A decisive conclusion is necessary
By GILAD SHARON
There is no middle path here – either the Gazans and their infrastructure are made to pay the price, or we reoccupy the entire Gaza Strip.
Anyone who thinks Hamas is going to beg for a cease-fire, that Operation Pillar
of Defense will draw to a close and quiet will reign in the South because we hit
targets in the Gaza Strip, needs to think again.
With the elimination of
a murderous terrorist and the destruction of Hamas’s long-range missile
stockpile, the operation was off to an auspicious start, but what now? This must
not be allowed to end as did Operation Cast Lead: We bomb them, they fire
missiles at us, and then a cease-fire, followed by “showers” – namely sporadic
missile fire and isolated incidents along the fence. Life under such a rain of
death is no life at all, and we cannot allow ourselves to become resigned to
A strong opening isn’t enough, you also have to know how to finish –
and finish decisively. If it isn’t clear whether the ball crossed the goal-line
or not, the goal isn’t decisive. The ball needs to hit the net, visible to all.
What does a decisive victory sound like? A Tarzan-like cry that lets the entire
jungle know in no uncertain terms just who won, and just who was
To accomplish this, you need to achieve what the other side
can’t bear, can’t live with, and our initial bombing campaign isn’t
THE DESIRE to prevent harm to innocent civilians in Gaza will
ultimately lead to harming the truly innocent: the residents of southern Israel.
The residents of Gaza are not innocent, they elected Hamas. The Gazans aren’t
hostages; they chose this freely, and must live with the
The Gaza Strip functions as a state – it has a government
and conducts foreign relations, there are schools, medical facilities, there are
armed forces and all the other trappings of statehood. We have no territorial
conflict with “Gaza State,” and it is not under Israeli siege – it shares a
border with Egypt. Despite this, it fires on our citizens without
Why do our citizens have to live with rocket fire from Gaza
while we fight with our hands tied? Why are the citizens of Gaza immune? If the
Syrians were to open fire on our towns, would we not attack Damascus? If the
Cubans were to fire at Miami, wouldn’t Havana suffer the consequences? That’s
what’s called “deterrence” – if you shoot at me, I’ll shoot at you. There is no
justification for the State of Gaza being able to shoot at our towns with
impunity. 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
IF THE government isn’t prepared to go all the way on
this, it will mean reoccupying the entire Gaza Strip. Not a few neighborhoods in
the suburbs, as with Cast Lead, but the entire Strip, like in Defensive Shield,
so that rockets can no longer be fired.
There is no middle path here –
either the Gazans and their infrastructure are made to pay the price, or we
reoccupy the entire Gaza Strip. Otherwise there will be no decisive victory. And
we’re running out of time – we must achieve victory quickly. The Netanyahu
government is on a short international leash. Soon the pressure will start – and
a million civilians can’t live under fire for long. This needs to end quickly –
with a bang, not a whimper.
The views expressed in this op-ed do not reflect the editorial line of The Jerusalem Post