Palestine: Sharon’s Gaza Gambit – Brilliant Move or Tactical Disaster?

November 29, 2012 by David Singer
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The end of the eight day bombardment of Israel’s civilian population by hundreds of rockets indiscriminately fired from the Gaza Strip has caused many respected commentators such as Caroline Glick to roundly criticise former Israeli Prime Minister – Ariel Sharon – for having unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip in 2004 by withdrawing its army and 8000 Israeli citizens – many of whom had lived there for almost 40 years…writes David Singer.

 “Gambit – an act that is calculated to gain an advantage, especially at the outset of a situation” –  Oxford Dictionary

Writing in the Jerusalem Post on 22 November Ms Glick stated:

“As for that withdrawal from Gaza, just like the phony peace process with the PLO and the strategically demented withdrawal from south Lebanon, the withdrawal from Gaza was a self-evidently insane policy. It was obvious that it would lead to the strengthening of Palestinian terrorist groups and so put Israel’s population centers in striking range of their missiles…

… To force this mad initiative through, Sharon had to explicitly disavow the platform he was elected to implement. Sharon won the 2003 elections by pledging never to surrender Gaza.

After he betrayed his voters, Sharon demonized and, when possible, fired everyone in positions of power and influence who opposed him.

He called a referendum of Likud members to vote on his plan, and when his opponents won the vote overwhelmingly, he ignored it. He fired Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya’alon, then IDF chief of General Staff. He fired his cabinet ministers. He castigated as “rebels” his party members who opposed his plan.”

Was Sharon’s decision indeed an “insane policy” or rather a brilliant gambit by Sharon with Israel’s long term national interests uppermost in Sharon’s mind?

Israel has certainly paid an enormous price in deaths, injuries and ongoing trauma  resulting from more than 8000 rockets being indiscriminately lobbed from Gaza into a target area covering one million of  Israel’s civilian population since Sharon’s fateful decision eight years ago. The civilian population of Gaza has also suffered as Israel has responded to protect its civilian population against such attacks.

A bewildering number of terrorist groups has since sprung up in Gaza like mushrooms – all hell bent on indiscriminately terrorising Israeli Jews and Arabs as well as foreign workers in pursuit of their heinous objective of wiping the Jewish state off the map.

The Hamas Government has done nothing to prevent such rocket attacks against the civilian population of Israel – initiated in many instances from schools,mosques, homes and hospitals located within Gaza’s civilian community – all of which actions constitute war crimes under international law.

However Caroline Glick and those other commentators joining her on the Sharon blame game bandwagon all fail to acknowledge the written commitment Sharon obtained from American President George W Bush on 14 April 2004 to enable such Israeli evacuation from Gaza to occur.

President Bush was well aware of the risks Israel’s unilateral disengagement would involve – and yet at the same time he recognized the opportunity such disengagement would offer to progress his Roadmap when he told Prime Minister Sharon:

 “We welcome the disengagement plan you have prepared, under which Israel would withdraw certain military installations and all settlements from Gaza, and withdraw certain military installations and settlements in the West Bank.

These steps described in the plan will mark real progress toward realizing my June 24, 2002 vision, and make a real contribution toward peace. …The United States appreciates the risks such an undertaking represents. I therefore want to reassure you on several points. “

President Bush’s letter then clearly – and unambiguously – pledged American support for the following positions;

  1. The borders of the new Arab State would not encompass the entire West Bank
  2. Jewish towns and villages in the West Bank would be incorporated into the borders of Israel in the light of new realities on the ground including existing major Israeli population centres.
  3. The Palestinian refugees would have to be resettled in the new Palestinian State rather than in Israel
  4. Israel’s security and well being as a Jewish State would be a strong American commitment
  5. The United States would do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any plan other than the Roadmap
  6. As part of a final peace settlement, Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338.

The Bush letter was overwhelmingly endorsed by the United States House of Representatives and Senate on 23 June 2004 when the following Resolution was passed by a vote of 407-9:

“Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress–

(1) strongly endorses the principles articulated by President Bush in his letter datedApril 14, 2004, to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon which will strengthen the security and well-being of the State of Israel; and

(2) supports continuing efforts with others in the international community to build the capacity and will of Palestinian institutions to fight terrorism, dismantle terrorist organizations, and prevent the areas from which Israel has withdrawn from posing a threat to the security of Israel.”

The Bush commitment now takes on added importance as the PLO seeks to commit political suicide by embarking on its third unilateral action outside of and in breach of the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap within the past thirteen months – this time to secure recognition of the State of Palestine as a non-member observer state at the United Nations.

It seems to matter little – as was also evidenced at UNESCO – that there is no Palestinian entity meeting the requirements prescribed by international law for statehood – specifically the Montevideo Convention 1933.

The fictitious State of Palestine will be admitted as an observer non- member State at the UN – notwithstanding that such a decision can lead to withdrawal of US financial contributions as happened at UNESCO and risk Israel taking unilateral action of its own in the face of the PLO repudiation of the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap

President Obama has yet to definitively declare that he remains bound by President Bush’s 2004 commitments to Israel.

Congress needs to demand that President Obama honour America’s above assurances. Disavowing the commitments of one President and Congress by another President and Congress would be the height of diplomatic treachery.

Honouring the Bush commitments is crucial in ensuring that the sacrifices made by Israel’s population following Israel’s unilateral disengagement from Gaza in the pursuit of peace have not been in vain.

President Obama and the Congress hold the keys to determining whether Sharon’s decision to disengage from Gaza was a indeed a brilliant move or a tactical disaster.


David Singer is a Sydney Lawyer and Foundation Member of the International Analysts Network


20 Responses to “Palestine: Sharon’s Gaza Gambit – Brilliant Move or Tactical Disaster?”
  1. Ben Eleijah says:

    “Israel offerd 90 per cent of the west Banketc etc. Not a shred of documents to show it and actions speak louder than words. Israel is building settlements to cut of Jerusalem and water sources from Palestine. The closes this claim comes to the truth was in Ehud Barak’s “generous offer”. Which has been exposed in earlier comments.

    As the wrietr said Palestinians lived with Jordanian passports – Israel can follow Jordan’s example and stop the demand for Palestine by giving them Israeli passports. But then that will not suit xenophobia.

  2. Ben Eleijah says:

    The disengagement was as said unilateral – Sharon moved the guard posts and deployed the army in the West Bank to expand settlements, exclusive roads, the barrier and agricultural settlements in the Jordan valley. The two state solution has served as a red herring to distract attention from the continued dispossession of Palestinians. And jerusalem is an issue for final settlement but Israel continues to create facts on the ground separating it from the West Bank and the Palestinians by surrounding it with settlements.

    • david says:


      Remember the good old days when not one Jew lived in the West Bank and East Jerusalem between 1948-1967 after the Jordanians had driven all the Jews out of their homes and tried to erase any traces of the existence Jews ever having lived there? (Also similarly tried after Israel’s disengagement from Gaza in 2005.)

      Can you point to one action by the Palestinian Arabs to do anything during those 19 years to create their own independent state in the West Bank with East Jerusalem as its capital?

      Can you explain why they refused offers in 2000 and 2008 to grant them sovereignty in 90% or more of the West Bank with a capital in East Jerusalem?

      He who tries to eat the whole pie is bound to end up with indigestion.

      Once again the Palestinian Arabs are trying to bite off more than they can chew. Their current behaviour only serves to confirm that they indeed never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

      Repudiating the Oslo Accords was the dumbest action they could have taken.

      That of course is their prerogative and that is why their birth certificate is going to state “Stillborn”.

      Israel and Jordan are now the only parties capable of negotiating and allocating the disposition of sovereignty in the West Bank between their respective states..

      • Ben Eleijah says:

        one reason is they were were left alone. While Israel places them under military occupation, plants armed violent settlers in their mids and builds exclusive settlements, roads, check points, barrier and agricultural settlements in the West Bank.

        Barak’s “generous offer” was to re-name Abu Dis East Jerusalem, keep parts of the future stae under indefenite Israeli control, and allow a state that is de-militarised, has no control over its borders, air space and communications – a bantustan. And Sharon ran a campaign against Barak for this and won an election.

        • david says:


          Sorry to disagree.

          The reason is they decided to unify the West Bank with Transjordan to form the state of Jordan in 1950 and become Jordanian citizens with Jordanian passports and accepted the rule of Jordanian law in the West Bank.

          Had Jordan not entered the Six Day War against Israel’s urgings then that would have still been the position today.

          There was no talk of a Palestinian state between Israel and Jordan between 1948-1967. Indeed the PLO – formed in 1964 – did not claim sovereignty in the West Bank and Gaza in opposition to Jordan’s occupation over the previous 14 years. .

          Now Israel’s refusal to meet the PLO’s demand to sovereignty in every square metre of these areas has become a “threat to world peace” and “the most intractable problem in international diplomacy.”

          Give us a break.

          The position as it existed in 1967 cannot possibly be replicated in 2012.

          However Jordan and Israel can negotiate to return as much of the West Bank to Jordanian control as is possible given the current realities on the ground and having regard to Israel’s security situation.

          That is the only possible path to even beginning to resolve the Jewish-Arab conflict.

          • Ben Eleijah says:

            The position cannot be replicated because israel has built settlements and cornered the water resources there. It will not leave as seen from the latest plan to surround Jerusalem with Israeli settlements.

          • David says:


            Since Israel has already offered to leave more than 90% of the West Bank – your remarks are a load of nonsense.

            Believe it or not Jrws lived in the West Bank before they were kicked out in the 1948 War.

            The Arabs seemingly never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.Their insistence on all or nothing at all has been their downfall in 1937, 1947, 1948-1967, 2000 and 2008. They never seem to learn – and apparently neither do you.

  3. David says:


    I think you miss the point.

    There was not only an exchange of letters. The President’s action was endorsed by a vote of the Congress. In democracies such action binds succeeding Governments to honour such obligations.

    You state Obama has repudiated the Bush pledge.

    What facts are you aware of that allow you to make this claim?

    Trying to play down the significance of the agreement Sharon obtained from Bush is a sure signal to Obama that he can treat it in a similar fashion.

    Too much Jewish suffering has occurred because of the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza to allow him any opportunity to back out of a binding American commitment made to Israel on 14 April 2004.

    You should also note that Israel never ceded its territorial claims when it withdrew from Gaza. The withdrawal was described as a disengagement and an evacuation.

    Words count and no one should be in doubt as to their meaning.

    Sovereignty between competing claims of both Jews and Arabs in Gaza remains undetermined and unallocated.

    • Paul Winter says:

      Sorry ro differ David, but I address the points that elude you.

      True, the Memorada of Understandings were endorsed by both US Houses of Congress, but these still did not become a binding treaty. You ignore that Obama showed his contempt for the MoU by demanding that the ’67 armstice lines form the basis for negotiations and demanded exchanges of territory.

      In other words, Obama REPUDIATED (!!!) the MoU and went against the position taken by previous US presidents. In the MoU there was no reference to territorial exchanges.

      An even more egregious instance of contempt for the MoU was the pressure put of Israel with regard to Jerusalem, which is a final issue subject for Obama. This was underscored by spokesperson Nuland’s refusal to name Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the repeated refusal by successive US presidents to transfer the US embassy to Jerusalem.

      What is even more galling is that the MoU stated that the first thing that the Arabs had to do was to cease violence and incitement. They not for a second adhered to those conditions and Sharon was a fool for not going back into Gaza, or at least retaking the Philadelphi Corridor.

      The MoU is significant only if its terms are respected and it it ignored by both sides, especially the USA.

      It is almost laughable that you should write that too much Jewish suffering has occurred for him (presumably Obama) to back out of a binding commitment. Jewish suffering does not worry Obama, nor for that matter too many people other than Jews. And the MoU is an intention not a treaty. How many more examples must I provide to make my point?

      That Israel never ceded its territorial claims and what the world regards and demands that Israel cede are not the same things. As another example to strengthen my point is the 14 Israeli objections to the Road Map. Every nation treats the objections as though they were never made, points to Israeli violations of its commitments and completely ignores the failures of the Arabs to fulfill their commitments.

      Yes indeed, words count. But they count a lot less for the Jewish state than for than for other nation on earth. If words counted then Iran would have been before the World Court for violating the Genocide Convention for calling for genocide/politicide, ditto for Hamas which calls for a war on Jews everywhere and the recent demonstration in civilised (???) Brussels where the call went up of “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas”.

      The legal position and the moral postion is clearly on the side of Jews and the Jewish state. Getting justice in a world where primitive genocidal antisemitic totalitarians dominate and most civilised nations play a cynical game of self interest, is a very different matter.

      • david says:

        To Paul

        Calling the Congress endorsed letter from President Bush to PM Sharon a “Memorandum of Understanding” and calling it “an intention not a treaty” is misleading and seeks to downplay the significance of what that commitment entails.

        You are apparently unaware of the following report in August 2011 – which totally contradicts your claim that President Obama has repudiated the Bush commitment.

        “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday that he had reached a written agreement with the Obama administration according to which Israel would not be required to return to the 1967 borders in any future peace deal with the Palestinians. In addition, any future peace talks would take into account established “realities on the ground” – a term generally used in reference to Israel’s large settlement blocs of Ariel, Maale Adumim and Gush Etzion.

        Netanyahu’s statements would mean an effective American ratification of a letter sent in 2004 by former U.S. President George W. Bush to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon which guaranteed that the settlement blocs would remain a part of Israel in any future peace agreement with the Palestinians. The current administration, under President Barack Obama, has not publicly endorsed Bush’s letter to Sharon. In 2009, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said there was no acknowledgment of any such agreement in the official negotiating record between Israel and the Bush administration. “There is no memorialization of any informal and oral agreements. If they did occur, which of course people say they did, they did not become part of the official position of the U.S. government,” Clinton said.

        The current U.S. administration has recently made it clear to Israel that Obama’s position is in line with the second speech he delivered at the AIPAC conference in May 2011 — in which he clarified that the U.S. believes negotiations should be based on 1967 borders with mutually agreed land swaps and not the borders that existed on June 4, 1967 — and not his first speech, to which Netanyahu reacted angrily.

        The Prime Minister’s Office now views the agreement with the Obama Administration as an achievement.”


        I prefer to accept the opinion of the Prime Minister of Israel to your opinion on whether President Obama has repudiated the commitments made by President Bush.

        Perhaps you should have another rethink and bear in mind the following words written in
        2010 by Haaretz journalist Ari Shavit:

        “When it emerges that an incumbent American president is denying a commitment given by a previous American president and adopted by a large majority of the two houses of Congress, Israel will pass from a state of moral inferiority to one of moral superiority.

        This is not merely a tactical matter. To make peace with the Palestinians Israel will have to take on itself almost survival-threatening risks. For Israel to take such risks it will need solid American guarantees. If the U.S. tears to shreds its previous guarantees, there is no value to future guarantees it might provide. So the matter of American credibility is fundamental.”

        Maintaining the integrity and continuity of the Bush commitment remains a vital plank of Israel’s foreign policy following Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza.

        Rather than trying to knock it – you should be out there supporting it. and not trying to downplay its significance at this critical juncture.

        • Paul Winter says:

          David, the Israel HaYom article to which you quote to support you thesis that Sharon was wise, actually proves the opposite. The way you presented Bibi’s letter to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee stating that Obama no longer was firm in his May 2011 demand that Israell return to the 1967 “borders” is misleading. All of the papers wrote that Bibi had caved in to the May demand. What Bibi had achieved was Obama’s gracious concession to allow dunam for dunam exchanges of land. Moreover, there is no evidence of the existence of actual letter referred to. In all the exchanges of words said or not said, the actual point of Sharon being an arrogant old fool and a liar is being obfuscated. Obama’s speech before AIPAC reinforces the point about land swaps that I makd. But it must also be remembered that Obama stated the Jerusalem was Israel’s capital during his election campaign only to reverse his positin the following day.

          The item you kindly referred to reinforces my assertion that the Obama administration REPUDIATED (!!!) the Bush/Sharon understandings. I quote: ‘In 2009, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said there was no acknowledgment of any such agreement in the official negotiating record between Israel and the Bush administration. “There is no memorialization of any informal and oral agreements. If they did occur, which of course people say they did, they did not become part of the official position of the U.S. government.” ‘

          Items must be read in full and cherry picking of supportive material must be avoided. Further, context must not be omitted and counter examples must not be ignored. We are discussing an issue of great concern to both of us on a web-site, not in a court of law.

          Your quasi-religious belief in the sagacity of Shamir is best summarised by your Ari Shavit Ha’aretz item which reads on part “To make peace with the Palestinians Israel will have to take on itself almost survival-threatening risks. For Israel to take such risks it will need solid American guarantees. If the U.S. tears to shreds its previous guarantees, there is no value to future guarantees it might provide.” You clearly believe that for peace Israel must PROVE to the world that it is desparate for peace and it must do so by taking survival-threatening risks. What imbecilic naive rot, particularly as the risks it has taken have blown up in its face.

          Do you and Shavit ever recall Oslo and the Oslo war. The withdrawal from Lebanon and from Gaza? The withdrawal from Judea and Samaria only to have to retake it to stop the terrror? What sort of friend, or rational human being would demand more and more risk taking by Israel for a peace that has been serially rejected by its enemy? And why accept the assurances of the USA which has repudiated – yes repudiated as I showed above – the congress endorsed MoU. The “honest broker” in the last few days demonstrated its perfidy: the USA criticised the PA for its illegal UN gambit where it ignored UNSC 242 and Oslo and to be “even handed”, it criticised Israel’s retaliation against the PA’s unilateral UN action. With friends like that …

          And what have the Pals done for peace? What risks have they taken? It is all one sided and the Jews are being pressured to commit national suicide to make life easy for the West and the oil flowing. Well, Israel will get gas soon and sacrificing the Jewish state will not make life any better in Eurabia.

          It is precisely because the Jewish state is at a critical juncture that we should refrain from worshipping at the blood drenched altar of peace. Jordan is Palestine and has been since 1923. Israel must take no further risks for anything or any “friend” until the Arabs have returned to the negotiating table, abandoned incitment and violence, brought Gaza under control, abandoned the right of return and recognised Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. We must not treat our Jewish brothers and sisters as third class barely tolerated sub-humans who must risk everything for a peace the world demands but its enemies reject and as people with no right to hope or to any consideratoin, without any right to request anything from others. Been there, done to us. Never again.

          • david says:


            You state:

            “Items must be read in full and cherry picking of supportive material must be avoided. Further, context must not be omitted and counter examples must not be ignored. We are discussing an issue of great concern to both of us on a web-site, not in a court of law.”

            How come then you omitted to mention this excerpt from Shavit’s article in relation to Bush’s letter:

            “As opposition leader, Netanyahu used to belittle the letter. As prime minister, he understood its importance and has demanded that Obama honor it. Obama refused.”

            That article was written by Shavit in October 2010.

            By the time of the Hayom article in August 2011 Netanyahu believed he had received Obama’s ratification of the Bush letter – despite earlier attempts by Clinton to try and get out from under.

            This doesn’t sound like repudiation to me but a concerted effort by Israel to prevent that happening – which Israel had succeeded in doing by August 2011..

            I hope Obama will continue to be held to the terms of Bush’s commitments to Israel.

            Netanyahu came to recognise the significance of the Bush letter belatedly. Maybe you will also now be belatedly persuaded to understand its importance as well.

            The Bush letter was the focus of my article and comments made by you in relation to other matters are really extraneous to that central issue. For that reason I do not propose to respond to them.

          • Paul Winter says:

            David, Shavit’s comment about Bibi’s reversal regarding the exchange of letters is irrelevant. What is relevant is that the letters were repudiated, repeat REPUDIATED, by the Obama adminstration. The letters were meaningless when they were written to justify a cruel and catastrophic decision and they were criticised because Sharon abandoned any principled position in succumbing to blackmail from the left wing attorney’s office which was prepared to indict him and his sons for corruption. The letters were important after the event had they not first been repudiated and subsequently had pressure not been placed on Israel to retreat to the Green Line. In other words, the letters were a shocking mask for a bad and dishonest action, but they could have salvaged something from an evolving worsening of the situation, had they not been repudiated.

            Let me clarify the issue again. It is whether or not Sharon was right or wrong to give away Gaza. Neither the nobility of an aspiration nor the sagacity of a course of action are defensible when the consequences of those are disastrous. In the case of Gaza, as with all Israeli withdrawals they have been disasters for two reasons: more and more Israelis have come under threat and with inconclusive campaigns resulting in ever more consessions, they are an invitation to renewed terror.

            The lives of tens of thousands of Israelis in Sderot and surrounds have been made miserable and, whenever Hamas chooses, half of all Israelis are endangered by rocket fire. If in view of those facts you can still maintain that Sharon was right to withdraw from Gaza, you are a much braver man than I ever hope to be.

          • david says:


            We do indeed seem to be going around in circles:

            You state:

            “What is relevant is that the letters were repudiated, repeat REPUDIATED, by the Obama adminstration.”

            Please give me the following information:

            1. By whom was such repudiation made?

            2. On what date was such repudiation made?

          • Paul Winter says:

            A quick search reveals that Clinton and her boss repudiated the Bush/Sharon letters.

            See: Israelnationalnews 6.6.09
            The Algemainer 3.3.12 interview of Eugene Kontorovich
            Commentary 12.6.10

            The issue is whether Sharon did the right thing in withdrawing from Gaza. Hamas attacks against which he was warned show he was wrong. The repudiation of the letters confirms that.

            Could you please refer me to an item which verifies your assertion that Netanyahu stated that the Bush/Sharon letters had not been repudiated.

        • Paul Winter says:

          The article from which you quoted and which I used for my quote answers your questions:
          1) Hillary Rodham Clinton was the repudiator
          2) the repudiation of the letters is stated to have occurred in 2009.

          Game,set and match!

          Sharon’s gambit failed because he refused to let facts and past history sway him. New gambits will also fail because facts and past history refuse to sway people wedded to their GREAT IDEA. Not going into now Gaza was the latest failure. Easing the blockade was an invitation for renewed jihad. People will die as a result of those political and diplomatic brilliancies.

          • david says:


            If you are right then why did Netanyahu claim that Obama had ratified the letter in August 2011?

          • Paul Winter says:

            I am right.

            I cannot speak for Netanyahu.

          • david says:


            What then would have made Netanyahu make the statement he did to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee in August 2011 confirming Obama had in effect ratified the terms of Bush’s letter?

            Netanyahu has plenty of political enemies. I have been unable to find any of them accusing him of lying or misleading the Knesset Committee or any denials from the State Department on what surely must be a very sensitive issue.

            Would appreciate your directing me to any sources to support your view.

  4. Paul Winter says:

    While David’s setting out and explanations of legal issues are much to be admired, his strategic analyses leave much to be desired.

    Sharon should not have reversed the policy on which he was elected without facing the voters. Keeping in mind the USA’s reneging on its commitment to keep the Straits of Tiran open, he should not have accepted Bush’s promise without room for alternatives like reoccupying Gaza or at least the Philadelphi Corridor. In any case Bush’s promise was repudiated by Obama and an exchange of letters about an understanding is technically not binding; Sharon was a fool not to make it formal. An understanding, say about intelligence sharing, can be ignored as Jonathan Pollard found.

    Sharon was a fool like so many IDF generals who with age, political ambitions or left-wing idealism forget that the role of the military is defend a nation and to carry out missions – politics by other means according to Bismark – on the direction of the political heads of the country. Other notable fools are Rabin who persevered with Oslo when it already was shown to be a failure and other generals notably Ashkenazi who advocated giving back the Golan as another brilliant gambit that would have cut Syria’s ties to Iran.

    No, the brilliant commander who crossed the Suez canal and trapped the Egyptian 2nd army (saved on the orders of the USA) and who went to Beirut to clean out the PLO (again saved by the USA), was an arrogant fool who spilled rivers of blood by his overweaning confidence that he could stop wars with the help of his great American friend.

    The ME will always have wars because that is the way of the Arab and of islam. Israel can only minimise the spilling of Jewish blood by beating its enemies so severely that even the most delusional among them cannot claim victory for the drubbing they get. And for that, Israel must observe the laws of war and not the rubbish of its purity of arms doctrine.

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