pentagon study gas lebanon ethnic cleansing
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The official U.S. military publication Army University Press published an article written on behalf of the Department of Defense calling for the ethnic cleansing of Gaza and destruction of Lebanon in a November 2023 online exclusive.

This outlet is described on its website as "the US Army's premier multimedia organization", and an "entry point for cutting-edge thought and discussion on topics important to the Army and national defense", which "makes timely and relevant information available to leaders in the military, government, and academia."

While the article notes that "the views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of the U.S. Army, Department of Defense, or any other agency of the U.S. government." the fact that such a radical proposal was published in the top U.S. Army publication, demonstrates that explicit support for ethnic cleansing and genocide is well accepted in its intellectual and policy-making circles.

The article's publication comes amid Israel's unprecedented genocidal assault on the besieged Gaza Strip following the October 7 Hamas attack. Israeli occupation forces have targeted residential buildings, schools, hospitals, ambulances, medical personnel, rescuers and first response teams, journalists, United Nations employees, mosques, churches, infrastructure, and have cut off electricity and of communication services. On November 10, the Gaza Health Ministry announced it had lost the ability to track casualties, with its last official count at 11,078 deaths, including 4,506 children, 27,490 injuries and an additional 2,700 people trapped under the rubble. An estimated 1.7 million people are displaced, including 900,000 in 154 UNRWA shelters, some of which have been bombed by Israel.

The article (archived) was written by Omer Dostri, a former Likud apparatchik who is now a national security strategist at the hawk Jerusalem Institute For Security and Strategy think tank and researcher at the Israel Defense And Security Forum.
Omer Dostri pentagon paper israel gaza lebanon ethnic cleansing
© LinkedInOmer Dostri
Established in 2017 to influence domestic Israeli discourse, and drawing much of its staff from the Likudnik Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, JISS is funded by the Tikvah Fund, a cutout of the U.S. Republican party which seeks to promote a western-style neoliberal capitalist model. A creation of the late New York billionaire mogul Sanford Bernstein (who later changed his first name to Zalman upon taking Israeli citizenship), it is apparently funded today by his estate, along with contributions from American Zionist oligarchs including Rebecca Sugar, a secretive group of Jerusalem businessmen, and Australian venture capitalist Greg Rosshandler. Tikvah is chaired by neoconservative financier Roger Hertog.

"I am pleased to introduce a study I authored on behalf of the US Department of Defense and the US Army's Military Review journal. The research delves into the political, strategic, and tactical aspects of the #Hamas attack on #Israel and the war in #Gaza," Dostri boasted on LinkedIn.

"Well done," commented Miriam Reichman, former political intern at Israel's mission to the UN.

While the U.S. army paper describes October 7 as a terrorist attack, repeating the discredited Israeli government claims about beheadings and rapes, it acknowledges the sophisticated nature of the operation.

dostri pentagon analysis hamas attack
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dostri pentagon analysis gaza hamas war israel
© LinkedIn

"This heinous attack was the work of a terrorist organization, yet it displayed an exceptional military and professional approach akin to the methods employed by special forces in regular armies. This underscores the significant military and intelligence capabilities that Hamas had meticulously developed over the years, specifically in preparation for this devastating event," he wrote.

'The optimal choice for Israel is to occupy the Gaza Strip'

Dostri explains how Israel's "deterrence policy" has collapsed as a result of the attack, and why it must formulate a new strategy to maintain its system of supremacy.

He lists four options to accomplish this. The first three serve as window dressing, described in brief, until he arrives as the preferred choice of ethnic cleansing.

The first two options describe an Israeli military occupation of Gaza for a period several months to two years, followed by the installation of either a "local administration" that has no affiliation with any Palestinian political body, whether Hamas or the Palestinian Authority, or to install the Palestinian Authority as a governing body. The first scenario would see the enclave partitioned into "four distinct self-governing regions, each presided over by a prominent tribal authority."

However, he dismisses these options as impractical because the local administration option "would be too feeble to secure popular support", and the Palestinian Authority's weakness "could potentially lead to a loss of power to radical Islamists upon their resurgence."

The third option, he writes, is for Saudi Arabia, Bahrain or the United Arab Emirates to assume civilian control, while Israel or the United States deploy occupation forces. However, the paper emphasizes that uncertainties of coordination make this idea unrealistic.

The ideal option, and that which Dostri believes will re-establish "deterrence" and provide "security", and achieve victory, is for Israel to re-occupy Gaza for the long term, ethnically cleanse hundreds of thousands of its Palestinian residents, exponentially expand the size of the kill zone, and establish Israeli settlements inside Gaza.

"From a security perspective, the optimal choice for Israel is to occupy the Gaza Strip and establish a lasting military presence," he writes.

Dostri cites public support for establishing settlements in Gaza from "some members of the Knesset, public figures, journalists, and nongovernmental organizations" who maintain the long-standing Zionist belief that stealing land and establishing colonies is the proper response, rather than one that engenders violent reaction from Palestinians.
"The perspective that forms the foundation for those advocating the establishment of Israeli settlements in Gaza is that seizing and securing land constitutes a more substantial blow to radical Islamist terror groups than the elimination of terrorist operatives and high-ranking leaders, surpasses the destruction of buildings and infrastructure, and holds more weight than capturing prisoners. It is seen as the most deterrence means and a clear victory for Israel."

"To them, a robust ground campaign in the Gaza Strip, encompassing the occupation of territories, the creation of new Israeli settlements, and the voluntary relocation of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to Egypt with no option for return will greatly fortify Israeli deterrence and project influence throughout the entire Middle East."
While Dostri presents confiscation of land and creation of settlements as an innovative concept, this has always been the basis of Zionism, ideologically and practically.

In his book Ethnocracy: Land and Identity Politics in Israel/Palestine, Israeli scholar Ofer Yiftachel describes the process of Judaization, in which Zionist authorities expropriate land from Palestinians, transfer it to Jews, restrict Palestinian development while promoting Jewish-only colonies, and Hebraization of Palestinian place names, and redrawing boundaries to ensure Zionist dominance. This has been put into practice in the Galilee and Negev, which are part of modern-day Israel, as well as the occupied territory of the West Bank.

This method has been a constant since the creation of the State of Israel until today.

Ofir Dayan, who works in the Institute for National Security Studies and is the daughter of former Israeli ambassador to the U Dani Dayan, wrote an article in August 2023 titled "The answer to terrorism - the strengthening of settlements in Judea and Samaria [the occupied West Bank]."

The Israeli NGO Kerem Navot noted that "Government decisions on increasing the settler presence in the West Bank, after events in which civilians are murdered or Israeli soldiers are killed, is a routine matter in Israel."

In February, the Israeli government explicitly stated that "In response to the murderous terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, the Security Cabinet decided unanimously to authorize nine communities in Judea and Samaria [the occupied West Bank]."

In Dostri's paper, the ethnic cleansing/settlement option, like the first and second options presented, would involve creating a collaborator regime to rule over the remaining Palestinians of a "central local leadership or partitioning the territory into self-governing districts with distinct leadership in each district."

These population centers would be surrounded by "substantial buffer zones spanning several kilometers to provide strategic depth and enable swift responses to potential future terrorist incursions."

Comment: A disingenous proposal. Israel has already created the bantustans. It wants to make them even smaller.

Israel has long implemented so-called "buffer zones" declaring that land - most of which is for agricultural use - hundreds of meters from the Israeli fence into Palestinian territory must be devoid of any structure, and that Palestinians who set foot into or near this area are shot on site by Israeli snipers and remote controlled machine guns.

Dostri's proposal calls to expand those zones, consuming more land, and further concentrating the Palestinian population in even small amounts of dense urban terrain, much of which is now rubble as a result of Israel's mass-destruction of Gaza. This is the same strategy applied to the occupied West Bank, where Palestinian population centers are surrounded by militarized Israeli settlements strategically located to prevent any contiguous Palestinian territory.

Dostri is even more explicit in opinion pieces published in Israeli media outlets. In a November 19 article in the Jerusalem Post, he calls for Israeli settlements to be established in Gaza - essentially using Israeli civilians as human shields - in order to provide security.
It is essential to recognize the grave and strategic error of artificially segregating "security" rule from "civilian" rule in Gaza. This division is inherently flawed, as genuine security will be elusive without a sustained Israeli civilian presence on the ground.

History demonstrates that in regions devoid of Jewish settlements, Israeli security forces eventually withdrew, resulting in the transformation of those areas into terrorist bases.

This pattern has manifested in various parts of Judea and Samaria, Lebanon, Gaza, and even, albeit to a lesser extent, in Sinai. There's no reason to assume that a similar scenario won't unfold in Gaza once again. Without an Israeli civilian presence, the IDF forces, lacking a military purpose, are likely to depart, providing an opportunity for Palestinian terrorism to resurface.

Moreover, Israeli settlement in Gaza offers advantages such as enhanced freedom of action for security forces, improved protection with the addition of civilian security forces, and the acquisition of a high-quality, long-term intelligence picture.

Strategic architectural planning may involve breaking up the territory into different segments, facilitating better control for security forces. Similar to the situation in Judea and Samaria, settlements in Gaza would provide crucial support and both physical and spiritual assistance to soldiers in the field who understand the purpose behind their presence.
Dostri reiterates his call for ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Gaza, writing that " Israel should resist the return of the hundreds of thousands of Gaza residents who evacuated to the southern Gaza Strip," and calls to make agreements with regional countries to expel Palestinian refugees into the Sinai.

He hails the war on Gaza as a "historic and unparalleled opportunity to reshape the threat landscape and "alter the demographic balance in the region."

Finally, he concludes that Israel should deceive the world about its true intentions, writing that "The country's leaders should not let this opportunity slip away, and certainly, they should avoid loudly announcing their renunciation of it to the entire world in advance."

Strategy for war on Gaza

To accomplish these goals, Dostri's Pentagon paper proposes a "a comprehensive and synchronized military operation with the aim of occupying the Gaza Strip" consisting of an aerial bombardment campaign followed by a ground operation. His plan largely follows what the Israeli military is currently implementing, and calls for the ground operation to last two to three months.

He calls for "electronic warfare, electromagnetic warfare, and cyber warfare" and for disruptions to the power supply "resulting from the Israeli government's decision to cut off electricity to Gaza."

Dostri believes this campaign will destroy Hamas' tunnel system, as well as deliver a psychological blow through "'shock and awe" tactics that will "undermine their will to continue fighting."

This campaign of mass-murder and destruction, according to Dostri, will defeat Hamas militarily and force it to give up armed struggle.

"This overall strategy is intended to prompt a swift surrender of the enemy, providing the State of Israel with political maneuverability to make decisions according to its objectives," Dostri writes.

Dostri acknowledges that the mission will come at a "relatively high cost in terms of soldier casualties and resource allocation", however, such sacrifice will ensure its success.

The Hamas attack of October 7, he says, has forced Israel to abandon its hesitance to send soldiers into harm's way, and convinced its leadership that the price in blood is worth it.

"The events of 7 October have irrevocably altered the circumstances, compelling Israel and the IDF to make difficult decisions. As significant as the risks to the lives of IDF personnel are, it is now inescapable that the imperative is to defeat Hamas and assume control of the Gaza Strip for the benefit of future generations," he writes.

'The destruction of Lebanon's national and critical infrastructure'

The paper recognizes that the war in Gaza can easily escalate into a regional war. He calls for Israel to create "the perception that Israel is behaving unpredictably in Gaza" to deter Hezbollah and argues that the more Israel intensifies its attacks on Hamas, with greater and more lethal force, the more likely it is that Hezbollah will be deterred." He believes that Israel's deterrence vis-a-vis Hezbollah is understood "particularly when the United States deploys its most formidable forces to the region and openly and resolutely supports Israel, coupled with explicit U.S threats against Israel's adversaries considering involvement in the conflict."

However, this deterrence policy against Hezbollah is undermined by U.S. pressure on Israel to avoid major escalation in its northern front, which has been expressed in recent days by senior Biden administration officials.

The strategy of maintaining a low-intensity armed conflict for the duration of the war on Gaza will exhaust Hezbollah's military arsenal, he believes, and should be paired with targeted assassinations of Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders in Lebanon.

Comment: Nice piece of wishful thinking there.

Dostri argues that Israel must also maintain the possibility of an all-out war on Lebanon, involving a massive air campaign and ground invasion into the southern part of the country. This option would mean the "complete annihilation of Hezbollah, and the destruction of Lebanon's national and critical infrastructures, which will eventually lead to the country's collapse."

Comment: Because it went so well the last time Israel tried it. Are they counting on American intervention this time?

In any case, Dostri writes, Israel will eventually invade Lebanon to defeat Hezbollah, as it is currently doing with Hamas in Gaza. "The question now is not whether Israel will act to defeat Hezbollah but when."

He also recognizes the ability of the Syrian military, popular militias in Syria and Iraq, and Yemen's Houthis, though he downplays any threat they pose as their missile arsenal "have not yet reached a range that poses a substantial and immediate threat to Israel." (His article was published prior to the Houthi seizure of an Israeli cargo ship.)

Notably, however, Dostri's half-baked analysis does not address the possibility of direct Iranian involvement in a regional war, which is a certainty if Israel were to attempt to militarily defeat Hezbollah and raze Lebanon, as he calls for. This would pose an existential threat to Israel.

Genocide into a regional war

Overall, Dostri's paper amounts to a call to commit crimes against humanity. It adds to the numerous statements that, in the case of a war crimes trial, would serve as clear evidence of intent to carry out genocide, which is notoriously difficult to establish. The fact that this call was published on behalf of the Department of Defense and in the U.S. Army's premiere media arm raises the questions about American culpability in the genocide of Gaza, which is being carried out primarily with bombs and missiles manufactured in the American factories, and what the U.S. government's intentions truly are.

While Dostri writes as if he were a child playing with toys in his sandbox, he ignores the wider geopolitical risks and the likelihood that the escalatory actions he advocates, particularly in Lebanon, would transform Israel's campaign of mass-destruction in Gaza into a devastating regional conflict that could even spark a possible world war involving nuclear weapons.

With Israel's barbaric assault now in its seventh week, only time will tell how far it will go, how many people it will kill, and whose borders the war will reach.