Tel Aviv University

Tel Aviv University actively supports the Israeli military and its abuse of Palestinian human rights.

The Dahiya Doctrine and Tel Aviv University

      • The Dahiya Doctrine was formally launched at Tel Aviv University’s Institute of National Security Studies. Two months prior to the the 2008/2009 Gaza conflict a Tel Aviv University publication formalised the Dahiya Doctrine in the paper: Disproportionate Force: Israel’s Concept of Response in Light of the Second Lebanon War,  by Gabi Siboni, Institute of National Security Studies, Tel Aviv University, Oct 2008
      • Report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, UN Human Rights Council, Sept 2009: Israeli Major General Gadi Eisenkot, the Israeli Northern Command chief, outlines the doctrine: We will apply disproportionate force on it [civilian areas] and cause great damage and destruction there…This is not a recommendation. This is a plan. And it has been approved. (also see these reports from Reuters  and Ynet)
      • FACT SHEET: The Dahiya Doctrine and Israel’s Use of Disproportionate Force, The Institute for Middle East Understanding, Nov 2012
      • Leaked cable from US Embassy in Israel: IDF regional commanders speak out in press interviews, Oct 2008: The cable reported that for the Israeli military the Dahiya Doctrine “is not a recommendation, but an already approved plan” to deliberately target civilians “causing great damage and destruction” with “disproportionate force”. An archive of the cable is also here.
      • Israel is finding it harder to deny targeting Gaza infrastructure, Ian Black,  The Guardian, July 2014
      • Israel’s “Dahiya Doctrine” comes to Gaza, Jonathan Cook, The Electronic Intifada, Jan 2009
      • The Dahiya Doctrine: Fighting dirty or a knock-out punch?, Yaakov Katz, Jerusalem Post, Jan 2010
      • Israel is deliberately targeting civilians in Gaza, Rania Khalek, The Electronic Intifada, July 2014
      • Report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, UN Human Rights Council, Sept 2009, paragraphs 62-64 and 1883-1884:
        • The tactics used by the Israeli armed forces in the Gaza offensive are consistent with previous practices, most recently during the Lebanon war in 2006. A concept known as the Dahiya doctrine emerged then, involving the application of disproportionate force and the causing of great damage and destruction to civilian property and infrastructure, and suffering to civilian populations. The Mission [that is, the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission investigators] concludes from a review of the facts on the ground that it witnessed for itself that what was prescribed as the best strategy appears to have been precisely what was put into practice (paragraph 62).
        • In the framing of Israeli military objectives with regard to the Gaza operations, the concept of Hamas’ “supporting infrastructure” is particularly worrying as it appears to transform civilians and civilian objects into legitimate targets. Statements by Israeli political and military leaders prior to and during the military operations in Gaza indicate that the Israeli military conception of what was necessary in a war with Hamas viewed disproportionate destruction and creating maximum disruption in the lives of many people as a legitimate means to achieve not only military but also political goals (paragraph 63).
        • Statements by Israeli leaders to the effect that the destruction of civilian objects would be justified as a response to rocket attacks (“destroy 100 homes for every rocket fired”) indicate the possibility of resorting to reprisals. The Mission [that is, the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission investigators] is of the view that reprisals against civilians in armed hostilities are contrary to international humanitarian law (paragraph 64).
        • The [2008-2009] Gaza military operations were, according to the Israeli Government, thoroughly and extensively planned. While the Israeli Government has sought to portray its operations as essentially a response to rocket attacks in the exercise of its right to self-defence, the Mission [that is, the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission investigators] considers the plan to have been directed, at least in part, at a different target: the people of Gaza as a whole. In this respect, the operations were in furtherance of an overall policy aimed at punishing the Gaza population for its resilience and for its apparent support for Hamas, and possibly with the intent of forcing a change in such support. The Mission considers this position to be firmly based in fact, bearing in mind what it saw and heard on the ground, what it read in the accounts of soldiers who served in the campaign, and what it heard and read from current and former military officers and political leaders whom the Mission considers to be representative of the thinking that informed the policy and strategy of the military operations (paragraphs 1883-1884).
      • The rationale behind the Dahiya doctrine has also been promoted by Arnon Soffer, who served as a key advisor to Israel prime minister Ariel Sharon, and is a long time professor at Israel’s National Defense College and head of the National Defense College Research Center: “First of all, the fence is not built like the Berlin Wall. It’s a fence that we will be guarding on either side. Instead of entering Gaza, the way we did last week, we will tell the Palestinians that if a single missile is fired over the fence, we will fire 10 in response. And women and children will be killed, and houses will be destroyed. After the fifth such incident, Palestinian mothers won’t allow their husbands to shoot Kassams, because they will know what’s waiting for them. Second of all, when 2.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, it’s going to be a human catastrophe. Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam. The pressure at the border will be awful. It’s going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day.” (the full interview is available on the ProQuest data base: It’s the demography, stupid: [Up Front Edition] Blum, Ruthie. Jerusalem Post [Jerusalem] 21 May 2004: 08. This quote is also included in the article: The Voices of Sharon’s Little Helpers)
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