Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced this week that on February 15, 2015, Major General Gadi Eisenkott (right) will be sworn in as Chief of Staff of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces).
General Eisenkott is well-known in Israel as the author of Israel’s military Dahiya Doctrine, which he first enunciated in October 2008 while serving as commander of the IDF’s northern front.
The Doctrine is not well-known outside of Israel, as a cursory glance at even recent Western media reveals. For the West, General Eisenkott is just another Israeli military leader.
Within Israel, the right-wing Times of Israel omitted the Dahiya Doctrine from its announcement story. Dahiya? Already well entrenched in Israel’s military strategic structure. Look at the record.
The record is unmistakable and distressing. Israel deals with its Palestinian and Lebanese neighbors in terms of total annihilation, a reality known to those Western political leaders who rushed to support Israel’s 2014 Gaza invasion with a mantra dictated from Tel Aviv, “Israel has a right to defend itself”.
American leaders, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and virtually every politician facing future reelection campaigns, will have to confront whatever ultimate judgment awaits them, knowing the words, “Israel has a right to defend itself” are inscribed on their eternal ledgers.
Grandchildren and great-grandchildren will ask the soon-to-be deceased, “What did you do for the least of these?”
I do not know what Obama, Clinton, and the other politicians with the power to help, will say.
But I do know I will have to respond, “Not nearly enough”.
Thanks to a posting from my Hebrew reading/speaking ever-reliable Jewish Seattle blogger colleague, Richard Silverstein‘s background on General Eisenkott, I was led to do my own research far away from the mainline media. Here is what I found on the record:
Dahiya takes its name from a Lebanese suburb destroyed by the IDF in 2006. This doctrine was operational in three successive IDF invasions of Gaza in 2008, 2012 and, most recently, in July and August of this past summer.
Based on recent history, there is no reason to doubt that future invasions are already being planned.
Wikipedia describes the Dahiya doctrine as a military strategy “that pertains to asymmetric warfare in an urban setting, in which the army targets civilian infrastructure, as a means of establishing deterrence against militant use of that infrastructure”.
General Eisenkott elaborated on the doctrine in his own bellicose blood-chilling words, according to Wikipedia, that promises what happened to Dahiya in 2006, would be repeated over and over again by Israel’s occupying army:
“in every village from which shots were fired in the direction of Israel, we will wield disproportionate power against [them] and cause immense damage and destruction. From our perspective, these are military bases. […] This isn’t a suggestion. It’s a plan that has already been authorized. Harming the population is the only means of restraining [Hezbollah leader] Nasrallah .”
The Doctrine is a reality and so long as Western leaders refuse to shake off the chains of Zionist control, it will continue as a reality. Three times, 2008, 2012, and 2014, the Doctrine has operated in Gaza, leading once again to the destruction of civilian life and structure.
What follows such total warfare are the homeless and the suffering, grieving survivors of the latest Israeli application of the Dahiya Doctrine.
“Israel has a right to defend itself?” Israel’s performance and its imposition of its sophisticated military equipment this past summer, were not acts of defense.They were intentional acts of wanton destruction, clearly fitting the definition of war crimes.
To those who are paying attention, these acts of wanton destruction continue. Israel’s leaders pay no heed to agreements. They live only by their Dahiya Doctrine.
My good friend, New York City-based and Presbyterian activist, Noushin Framke, posted her “Advent Sermon” on Facebook this week. She entitles her “sermon”, the picture below, Sumud in Gaza. Steadfast Hope.
Noushin’s “sermon” is testimony to her continued activism on behalf of oppressed people everywhere who yearn for, and fully deserve, freedom.
The picture was taken in Gaza this summer. The children are Palestinians. The destruction is from Israel.
May God have mercy on us all for sustaining, by our ineptitude and indifference, the on-going merciless Dahiya Doctrine.
The smaller picture above of families fleeing Rafah, Gaza, was taken this summer. The picture at top of General Gadi Eisenkott is from Ha’aretz. It was taken by Haron Kaminsky.