Israel’s Strategy

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta (L) gives Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak a picture of the two in front of the Iron Dome missile system, after presenting him the US Medal for Distinguished Public Service during a news conference at the Pentagon, on 29 November 2012 in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo: AFP -Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By: Rami Zurayk

Published Sunday, December 2, 2012

Whenever Israel wages war against the Arabs, it is usually seeking to achieve a certain set of goals. First and foremost, they seek to expand their area of occupation. They also aim to kill anyone who resists them, whether fighter or civilian. They do so in an attempt to plant fear in people’s hearts and control them psychologically.

Their long term aims, however, always come back to economics. This involves destroying infrastructure and production facilities. In its war on Lebanon in 2006, Israel followed this strategy, bombing bridges, roads, and commercial factories. According to their own political and military leaders, their aim was to turn back the clock of development.

In its war on Palestine, our enemy again follows this strategy. They started in 1948 when they seized control of land and water, the fundamental bases for food production and the most important economic resources at the time. The Palestinians who remained resolute and refused to flee were turned into refugees in their own country.

Israel continued to practice this policy even after the Oslo Agreements were signed. In the West Bank and Gaza, it destroyed factories and tourist resorts which had been built using billions of dollars donated by the “international community.” But the very same international community never uttered one word of protest or reprimand.

During Operation Cast Lead in 2008, Israel bombed areas devoted to food production such as farms, water wells, and packing plants. Their aim was to strangle Gaza and destroy what remained of its agricultural livelihood. They tightened their stranglehold by controlling food sources, an essential element in their blockade on Gaza.

In its latest attack, Israel deliberately destroyed the infrastructure of agricultural production. Losses in this sector were estimated to have reached over 50 million dollars in the first few days of the attacks. The number of families who lack food security and need relief was estimated to be over 75 percent of the population.

The military arm of the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine has been able to achieve major victories on the ground. However, we have to remember that victory will not be complete unless we break the bonds of food dependency.

Rami Zurayk is Al-Akhbar's environment columnist and author of the blog Land and People.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

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