If Ariel Sharon were to formulate his intentions as an military operations order, like he used to do in the army, instead of hiding them behind a host of smoke screens, it would look like this:
To bring the Zionist Revolution to its conclusion, by turning all of Eretz-Israel, from the sea to the Jordan river, into a Jewish state, with a minimum of non-Jewish inhabitants (if any at all).
The 1948 War of Independence was broken off before achieving its aim. The State of Israel was established only on 78% of the land, which brought about the removal of only 64% of the Palestinians. In the 1967 Six-Day War we conquered the remaining 22% of the territories, but successive Israeli governments lacked the necessary willpower to conclude the Zionist revolution by annexing the territories and removing the remaining Arab population.
Now a window of opportunity has opened for concluding the job. Only one super-power (the US) remains; all the other powers (the UN, Europe, Russia and others) have effectively been eliminated.
The US is now lending us unlimited and unqualified support. It is to be hoped that it will continue to do so even when we employ harsh methods in the pursuit of our national aims. Experience shows that even when somebody in the American administration resists the implementation of our aims, this resistance collapses when faced with our determined stand (Operation “Defensive Shield”). Our control over both houses of the Congress and our decisive influence on most of the American media guarantee us freedom of action.
Our task will be achieved by the following methods, to be employed simultaneously:
a. Military operations, to break the armed Palestinian resistance.
b. Economic pressure, to cause mass Arab emigration from the country.
c. Settlement activity, to cut up the territories and prepare them for annexation to Israel.
d. Political action, to break the Palestinian political and social institutions.
(a) Military operations: These will be conducted incessantly, without long pauses. The whole army, including the reserves, will be employed for this task, even if this necessitates a weakening of our preparedness vis-a-vis the Arab states and limiting training.
The IDF will occupy the Palestinian territories as needed, for long and short periods, in order to catch, arrest or execute all Palestinian militants who could organize resistance to our policy. For this purpose there is no difference between terrorists and political leaders, between armed or civil resistance, between Hamas and Fatah. Maximal destruction of property will cause deterrence. This will be a repeated action, in order to eliminate every new set of leaders as it emerges.
Our actions will necessarily increase the motivation for terrorists to execute suicide-bombings in Israel. These will provide us é both in the domestic and the international arena é with reasons for our military action, which will be seen as a response.
The IDF will also assume a central role in exercising economic pressure (as follows).
It must be ensured that no officer who does not wholeheartedly support this task attains a senior position (Chief-of-Staff, officer in charge of regional commands, chief of departments, commander of divisions and brigades). For fulfilling a historic mission, hardness and cruelty are needed; there can be no place for bleeding hearts.
(b) Economic pressure: Mass expulsion, like in 1948, can be effected only in a special situation, such as a fully-fledged war or during an exceptional international event that draws away world attention.
Until this eventuality occurs, Palestinians must be induced to leave the country by economic pressure that makes their life intolerable. Such pressure will be achieved through closures and blockades that will prevent the movement of merchants and workers, teachers and pupils, doctors and patients. The whole economic life in the territories must be gradually brought to a standstill, so that the ability of the heads of families to feed their children is effectively destroyed.
IDF actions will enclose the Palestinians in small enclaves, where they will receive some kind of limited local autonomy, so as to relieve us of any formal responsibility for their situation.
In the prosecution of this policy, international public opinion and international aid agencies must be taken into account. From time to time, exceptions must be made to prevent extreme situations from arising.
(c) Settlement activity: This is a central tool for fulfilling the historic task. In spite of the fact that all Israeli governments since 1967 have understood this and acted accordingly, the tempo was slow. While more than 30% of Judea and Samaria are part of the town planning areas of the settlements, hardly more than 1% is actually settled. This is an intolerable scandal which must be speedily rectified. All ministries must take part in this urgent effort, devoting a considerable part of their resources to it.
Existing settlements must be enlarged and new ones set up by all possible means (takeovers after terrorist attacks, new neighborhoods far from the existing settlements, etc.) The network of bypass roads must be expanded rapidly in order to cut off Palestinians towns and villages, to annex more land to the settlements and strengthen our control on the ground. All this must be done according to the existing strategic plan, which prevents Palestinian territorial continuity and tightens the economic blockade.
For the settlement effort, the economic resources of all ministries must be centralized and all other tasks must take second place. More people, including new immigrants, must be encouraged to join the settlements. If necessary, young couples should be offered villas at zero cost. The flight of the factories from the settlement industrial parks, following threats by the European Community, must be stopped.
The IDF will devote the necessary resources to the protection of the settlements and the roads leading to them, even if this means calling up the reserves and ordering a whole battalion to protect one single isolated settlement.
(d) Political pressure: Breaking the Palestinian leadership is a central component of the whole campaign. In order to destroy the ability of the Palestinians to resist, the central leadership, and especially Yasser Arafat, who is a unifying symbol and a strong leader, must be eliminated. Therefore, the whole propaganda effort must be concentrated on Arafat personally. Every Palestinian factor that is ready to fight against Arafat (including Hamas) must be exploited, as well as anti-Arafat utterances by Israeli left-wing extremists. Arafat will be physically eliminated once the international situation permits.
At the same time, in-fighting between second-row Palestinian leaders must be encouraged, in order to create a leadership vacuum, such as existed in 1948.
All these pressures é military, economic, settlement and political é must be increased, until the situation of the Palestinians becomes so intolerable that they prefer to move to Jordan. If a historical opportunity for mass expulsion should present itself, we shall exploit it rapidly. The apparatus for this must already be prepared now.
The Israeli Arabs are a special problem, as they have been given (by mistake) Israeli citizenship. The problem demands a creative solution, in accordance with our main aims.
[The author has closely followed the career of Sharon for four decades. Over the years, he has written three extensive biographical essays about him, two (1973, 1981) with his cooperation.]