An Op-Ed by Gilad Sharon is making the rounds and getting attention for its call to “flatten Gaza.” Gilad Sharon is the son of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and this phrase, like the rest of his article, is empty hyperbole from the man who has admitted being responsible for the current mess we are in.
Gilad Sharon has claimed the credit for coming up with Disengagement which turned Gaza over to Hamas. The origins of this mess began with him. And after all the empty rhetoric, Gilad Sharon’s proposal is to either retake Gaza, which would not have been necessary had his father and his father’s corrupt replacement not pulled out of Gaza in the first place, or to bomb Gaza’s infrastructure hard enough to force Hamas to call for a ceasefire.
The second proposal is the thrust of Gilad Sharon’s Op-Ed and it’s more empty posturing. “There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing. Then they’d really call for a ceasefire,” Sharon says. But why should they? Most of Gaza may not have electricity, but Hamas leaders will be sitting in a hospital basement with generators. And even if they lose power, then so what?
Hamas is an Islamist movement. It has no problem deliberately starting conflicts that kill hundreds of its own people. Its members won’t enjoy sitting in the dark, but they feel little to no responsibility for the civilian population. The entire policy of the terrorist movements in the West Bank and Gaza has been to start conflicts that impact their own people as a publicity ploy.
Nor is Hamas going to be too concerned about financial losses. Not when Qatar and their cousins in Egypt will cover their losses.
But let’s assume that Hamas does call for a ceasefire after the power is turned off? Then we repeat the same process a year or two from now because Hamas does not honor agreements made with non-Muslims.
Israel has two options. Either destroy Hamas by wiping enough of its leaders and fighters in Gaza from the air that the organization ceases to be a viable means of controlling Gaza, or retake control of Gaza in a ground assault and accomplish the same thing the hard way. It’s doubtful that air strikes will be enough to accomplish the former, not unless Israel conducts a prolonged low intensity campaign of strikes on a daily basis. And that means retaking Gaza and undoing Gilad Sharon’s disaster, which it is doubtful that Netanyahu has the stomach for.
Bombing Gaza is not a solution in and of itself, as Gilad Sharon seems to think. Taking control of Gaza is the only answer.