Israel's Iron Dome air defense system intercepts Hamas rockets fired from Gaza toward the southern Israeli city of Ashdod.


PHILADELPHIA: The Middle East Forum has released a policy paper challenging Israel's passive "mow the lawn" Gaza policy, instead presenting a path toward Israel Victory. Brigadier General (Res.) Yossi Kuperwasser is former head of the Israel Defense Force's Research Division and former director-general of Israel's Strategic Affairs Ministry; he wrote "Disarmament of Gaza" for the Middle East Forum (click for Hebrew, PDF, and Middle East Quarterly versions).


Gen. Kuperwasser calls on Israel to rid itself of Hamas's threat by disarming it, prohibiting its rearmament, and demonstrating conclusively the cost of threatening Israel. He lays out a series of initiatives, including:


Militarily – operating from the air, sea and ground using "intelligence intensified warfare" (LOCHAMAM is its Hebrew acronym) against the ruling and operational infrastructure in Gaza, as it does in Syria, with no immunity for Hamas leaders.

Economically – conditioning the money and economic assistance on Hamas's ending all efforts to arm itself and attack Israel.

Culturally – completely ending indoctrination of hate and incitement to violence against Jews and Israel, in school textbooks, mosques, media, posters, and beyond.

"Israel has ceded the initiative to the rulers of Gaza, seeking the longest possible intervals of relative calm between major eruptions of violence," said Gen. Kuperwasser. "This permits Hamas continually to improve its capabilities and arm itself with more sophisticated systems. Israel needs a new, decisive strategy forcing Hamas to accept rules that rid Israel of this threat."


Zvi Hauser (former chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee) writes in his introduction that "Some doubt the possibility of disarming Hamas, thinking this either not feasible or that it would exact an intolerable cost to Israel." They are wrong, as Operation Defensive Shield in 2002 proved: "Israel can destroy terror infrastructure in densely populated areas at a much lower human cost than initially feared."


"Because Israel's security establishment relies on Hamas to keep order in Gaza," observes MEF President Daniel Pipes, "it desists from defanging the organization. In contrast, Gen. Kuperwasser boldly calls for disarming and perhaps eliminating Hamas. In the process, he reminds his former colleagues of their mission to win, not passively to preside over a calamity."


The Middle East Forum promotes American interests in the region and protects Western civilization from Islamism. It does so through a combination of original ideas, focused activism, and the funding of allies.

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