Mondoweiss / August 15, 2022
Lawrence Wilkerson says Israel has adopted a policy of terrorizing the Palestinian population so that it will accept apartheid.
Israel’s policy toward Palestinians now is “eradication,” the regular slaughter of Palestinians so as to deter them from seeking rights, says retired Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, the former chief of staff to the late Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Asked on August 11 by Zain Raza of AcTVism Munich, a grassroots media network, what Israel’s goals are in Gaza and the West Bank, Wilkerson said:
I had a student at George Washington University who was in the IDF. He participated in Operation Cast Lead, you may remember, one of the first [attacks on Gaza, 2008-2009]. At a briefing of his battalion he was told that the object of that operation was to kill every Palestinian in sight, it didn’t matter who they were or what they were. They needed to teach the Palestinians in Gaza a lesson.
That was the standard operating procedure– that’s what they’ve been doing ever since. Every time you shoot a rocket at us, we will kill 1300 of you, men, women and children it doesn’t matter. And you will kill two or three of us. OK? We will live with those odds.
And we will eventually eradicate you. I’m convinced that’s their ultimate goal, eradication and/or apartheid. Now they’re very, very close to apartheid in the entire region. They’re already at apartheid in the West Bank. To a certain extent in Jerusalem.
In Gaza it’s a special kind of apartheid. You own it all, we will just keep you there, and we won’t let you do anything and we will come in periodically and kill you. Especially if you let the more active agents in Hamas do something to us, or the Islamic Jihad or whatever.
That’s Israeli’s policy, and eradication is not too strong word.
It should be noted that the Goldstone report in 2009 said that Israel had adopted an official plan of terrorizing the civilian population in Gaza, and that Israel had done the same to parts of Beirut, Lebanon, in 2006, a policy called the Dahiya doctrine.
Wilkerson said the U.S. gave the green light to that policy when the peace process was abandoned under the administration in which he served, Bush 2.
When George W. Bush met with… Ariel Sharon who was then prime minister in the Oval Office [in 2001 or 2002]… he essentially told him that the policy that had been in effect for 40 years had been a total failure, so what did he recommend replacing it. Sharon was kind of taken aback because he realized he’d just been given carte blanche. But he didn’t remain taken aback for very long. [Laughing] He quickly flowed into that gap and essentially said This is what we would like to do and George W. Bush said, Well the past has not worked, So do it.
I’m really condensing that conversation, but that’s really what happened. Colin Powell as secretary of state didn’t like that at all and got the president to at least agree that he could keep working on the Road Map and go to Ramallah and meet with Arafat, but every time Powell would try anything [V.P] Dick Cheney would cut the limb that Powell had crawled out on off right at the root.
Wilkerson also said Israel has behaved as a predatory state toward neighbors, including Lebanon.
Lebanon, they are a basket case, and no fault of their own and in reality the people having orchestrated this situation live in Jerusalem and elsewhere. They don’t want an economic competitor. Why did they bomb the targets they bombed in the last conflict with Lebanon? They bombed economic targets. Because they saw Lebanon coming back to a certain extent, and they don’t want any competition and they want the oil and gas that might belong to the Palestinians, might belong to the Lebanese. This is Israel’s current predatory state, militarily, economically and otherwise.
Wilkerson has long independent standing on this issue, as a realist writer and former policymaker. He recently gave the Intercept an important interview about the how’s and why’s of the abandonment of Rachel Corrie and her family by the Bush administration.
Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005-2006