- Early speculation on the motive behind Israel's slaughter
in Gaza that began on 27 December 2008 and continued till 18 January 2009
centered on the upcoming elections in Israel. The jockeying for votes
was no doubt a factor in this Sparta-like society consumed by "revenge
and the thirst for blood," where killing Arabs is a sure crowd-pleaser.
(Polls during the war showed that 80-90 percent of Israeli Jews supported
it.) But as Israeli journalist Gideon Levy pointed out on Democracy
Now!, "Israel went through a very similar wartwo-and-a-half years
ago [in Lebanon], when there were no elections."
- When crucial state interests are at stake, Israeli ruling
elites seldom launch major operations for narrowly electoral gains. It
is true that Prime Minister Menachem Begin's decision to bomb the Iraqi
OSIRAK reactor in 1981 was an electoral ploy, but the strategic stakes
in the strike on Iraq were puny; contrary to widespread belief, Saddam
Hussein had not embarked on a nuclear weapons program prior to the bombing.
The fundamental motives behind the latest Israeli attack on Gaza lie
elsewhere: (1) in the need to restore Israel's "deterrence capacity,"
and (2) in the threat posed by a new Palestinian "peace offensive."
- Israel's "larger concern" in the current offensive,
New York Times Middle East correspondent Ethan Bronner reported, quoting
Israeli sources, was to "re-establish Israeli deterrence,"
because "its enemies are less afraid of it than they once were, or
should be." Preserving its deterrence capacity has always loomed
large in Israeli strategic doctrine. Indeed, it was the main impetus
behind Israel's first-strike against Egypt in June 1967 that resulted
in Israel's occupation of Gaza (and the West Bank). To justify the onslaught
on Gaza, Israeli historian Benny Morris wrote that "[m]any Israelis
feel that the wallsare closing inmuch as they felt in early June 1967."
Ordinary Israelis no doubt felt threatened in June 1967, but-as Morris
surely knows-the Israeli leadership experienced no such trepidation.
After Israel threatened and laid plans to attack Syria, Egyptian President
Gamal Abdel Nasser declared the Straits of Tiran closed to Israeli shipping,
but Israel made almost no use of the Straits (apart from the passage of
oil, of which Israel then had ample stocks) and, anyhow, Nasser did not
in practice enforce the blockade, vessels passing freely through the
Straits within days of his announcement.
- In addition, multiple U.S. intelligence agencies had
concluded that the Egyptians did not intend to attack Israel and that,
in the improbable case that they did, alone or in concert with other Arab
countries, Israel would-in President Lyndon Johnson's words -"whip
the hell out of them." The head of the Mossad told senior American
officials on 1 June 1967 that "there were no differences between
the U.S. and the Israelis on the military intelligence picture or its
interpretation." The predicament for Israel was rather the growing
perception in the Arab world, spurred by Nasser's radical nationalism
and climaxing in his defiant gestures in May 1967, that it would no longer
have to follow Israeli orders. Thus, Divisional Commander Ariel Sharon
admonished those in the Israeli cabinet hesitant to launch a first-strike
that Israel was losing its "deterrence capabilityour main weapon-the
fear of us." Israel unleashed the June 1967 war "to restore
the credibility of Israeli deterrence" (Israeli strategic analyst
- The expulsion of the Israeli occupying army by Hezbollah
in May 2000
- posed a major new challenge to Israel's deterrence capacity.
The fact that Israel suffered a humiliating defeat, one celebrated throughout
the Arab world, made another war well-nigh inevitable.
- Israel almost immediately began planning for the next
round, and in summer 2006 found a pretext when Hezbollah captured two
Israeli soldiers (several others were killed in the firefight) and demanded
in exchange the release of Lebanese prisoners held by Israel.
- Although Israel unleashed the fury of its air force and
geared up for a ground invasion, it suffered yet another ignominious defeat.
A respected American military analyst despite being partial to Israel
nonetheless concluded, "the IAF, the arm of the Israel military that
had once destroyed whole air forces in a few days, not only proved unable
to stop Hezbollah rocket strikes but even to do enough damage to prevent
Hezbollah's rapid recovery"; that "once ground forces did cross
into Lebanon, they failed to overtake Hezbollah strongholds, even those
close to the border"; that "in terms of Israel's objectives,
the kidnapped Israeli soldiers were neither rescued nor released; Hezbollah's
rocket fire was never suppressed, not even its long-range fire; and Israeli
ground forces were badly shaken and bogged down by a well-equipped and
capable foe"; and that "more troops and a massive ground invasion
would indeed have produced a different outcome, but the notion that somehow
that effort would have resulted in a more decisive victory over Hezbollahhas
no basis in historical example or logic."
- The juxtaposition of several figures further highlights
the magnitude of the setback: Israel deployed 30,000 troops as against
2,000 regular Hezbollah fighters and 4,000 irregular Hezbollah and non-
Hezbollah fighters; Israel delivered and fired 162,000 weapons whereas
Hezbollah fired 5,000 weapons (4,000 rockets and projectiles at Israel
and 1,000 antitank missiles inside Lebanon). Moreover, "the vast
majority of the fighters who defended villages such as Ayta ash Shab,
Bint Jbeil, and Maroun al-Ras were not, in fact, regular Hezbollah fighters
and in some cases were not even members of Hezbollah," and "many
of Hezbollah's best and most skilled fighters never saw action, lying
in wait along the Litani River with the expectation that the IDF assault
would be much deeper and arrive much faster than it did." Yet another
indication of Israel's reversal of fortune was that, unlike any of its
previous armed conflicts, in the final stages of the 2006 war it fought
not in defiance of a U.N. ceasefire resolution but in the hope of a U.N.
resolution to rescue it.
- After the 2006 Lebanon war Israel was itching to take
on Hezbollah again, but did not yet have a military option against it.
In mid-2008 Israel desperately sought to conscript the U.S. for an attack
on Iran, which would also decapitate Hezbollah, and thereby humble the
main challengers to its regional hegemony. Israel and its quasi-official
emissaries such as Benny Morris threatened that if the U.S. did not go
along "then non-conventional weaponry will have to be used,"
and "many innocent Iranians will die." To Israel's chagrin
and humiliation, the attack never materialized and Iran has gone its merry
way, while the credibility of Israel's capacity to terrorize slipped another
notch. It was high time to find a defenseless target to annihilate.
Enter Gaza, Israel's favorite shooting gallery. Even there the feebly
armed Islamic movement Hamas had defiantly resisted Israeli diktat, in
June 2008 even compelling Israel to agree to a ceasefire.
- During the 2006 Lebanon war Israel flattened the southern
suburb of Beirut known as the Dahiya, where Hezbollah commanded much popular
support. In the war's aftermath Israeli military officers began referring
to the "Dahiya strategy": "We shall pulverize the 160 Shiite
villages [in Lebanon] that have turned into Shiite army bases," the
IDF Northern Command Chief explained, "and we shall not show mercy
when it comes to hitting the national infrastructure of a state that,
in practice, is controlled by Hezbollah." In the event of hostilities,
a reserve Colonel at the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies
chimed in, Israel needs "to act immediately, decisively, and with
force that is disproportionate.Such a response aims at inflicting damage
and meting out punishment to an extent that will demand long and expensive
- The new strategy was to be used against all of Israel's
regional adversaries who had waxed defiant-"the Palestinians in Gaza
are all Khaled Mashaal, the Lebanese are all Nasrallah, and the Iranians
are all Ahmadinejad"-but Gaza was the prime target for this blitzkrieg-cum-bloodbath
strategy. "Too bad it did not take hold immediately after the 'disengagement'
from Gaza and the first rocket barrages," a respected Israeli columnist
lamented. "Had we immediately adopted the Dahiya strategy, we would
have likely spared ourselves much trouble." After a Palestinian
rocket attack, Israel's Interior Minister urged in late September 2008,
"the IDF shoulddecide on a neighborhood in Gaza and level it."
And, insofar as the Dahiya strategy could not be inflicted just yet
on Lebanon and Iran, it was predictably pre-tested in Gaza.
- The operative plan for the Gaza bloodbath can be gleaned
from authoritative statements after the war got underway: "What we
have to do is act systematically with the aim of punishing all the organizations
that are firing the rockets and mortars, as well as the civilians who
are enabling them to fire and hide" (reserve Major- General); "After
this operation there will not be one Hamas building left standing in Gaza"
(Deputy IDF Chief of Staff); "Anything affiliated with Hamas is a
legitimate target" (IDF Spokesperson's Office). Whereas Israel
killed a mere 55 Lebanese during the first two days of the 2006 war, the
Israeli media exulted at Israel's "shock and awe" (Maariv) as
it killed more than 300 Palestinians in the first two days of the attack
- Several days into the slaughter an informed Israeli strategic
analyst observed, "The IDF, which planned to attack buildings and
sites populated by hundreds of people, did not warn them in advance to
leave, but intended to kill a great many of them, and succeeded."
- Morris could barely contain his pride at "Israel's
highly efficient air assault on Hamas." The Israeli columnist B.
Michael was less impressed by the dispatch of helicopter gunships and
jet planes "over a giant prison and firing at its people" -for
example, "70traffic cops at their graduation ceremony, young men
in desperate search of a livelihood who thought they'd found it in the
police and instead found death from the skies."
- As Israel targeted schools, mosques, hospitals, ambulances,
and U.N. sanctuaries, as it slaughtered and incinerated Gaza's defenseless
civilian population (one-third of the 1,200 reported casualties were
children), Israeli commentators gloated that "Gaza is to Lebanon as
the second sitting for an exam is to the first-a second chance to get
it right," and that this time around Israel had "hurled [Gaza]
back," not 20 years as it promised to do in Lebanon, but "into
the 1940s. Electricity is available only for a few hours a day";
that "Israel regained its deterrence capabilities" because "the
war in Gaza has compensated for the shortcomings of the  Second
Lebanon War"; and that "There is no doubt that Hezbollah leader
Hassan Nasrallah is upset these days.There will no longer be anyone in
the Arab world who can claim that Israel is weak."
- New York Times foreign affairs expert Thomas Friedman
joined in the chorus of hallelujahs. Israel in fact won the 2006 Lebanon
war, according to Friedman, because it had inflicted "substantial
property damage and collateral casualties on Lebanon at large,"
thereby administering an "education" to Hezbollah: fearing the
Lebanese people's wrath, Hezbollah would "think three times next
time" before defying Israel. He expressed hope that Israel was
likewise "trying to 'educate' Hamas by inflicting a heavy death toll
on Hamas militants and heavy pain on the Gaza population." To justify
the targeting of Lebanese civilians and civilian infrastructure Friedman
asserted that Israel had no other option because "Hezbollah created
a very 'flat' military network deeply embedded in the local towns and villages,"
and that because "Hezbollah nested among civilians, the only long-term
source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civiliansto restrain
Hezbollah in the future."
- Leaving aside Friedman's hollow coinages-what does "flat"
mean?-and leaving aside that he alleged that the killing of civilians
was unavoidable but also recommends targeting civilians as a "deterrence"
strategy: is it even true that Hezbollah was "embedded in,"
"nested among," and "intertwined" with the Lebanese
- Here's what Human Rights Watch concluded after an exhaustive
investigation: "we found strong evidence that Hezbollah stored most
of its rockets in bunkers and weapon storage facilities located in uninhabited
fields and valleys, that in the vast majority of cases Hezbollah fighters
left populated civilian areas as soon as the fighting started, and that
Hezbollah fired the vast majority of its rockets from pre-prepared positions
outside villages." And again, "in all but a few of the cases
of civilian deaths we investigated, Hezbollah fighters had not mixed with
the civilian population or taken other actions to contribute to the targeting
of a particular home or vehicle by Israeli forces." Indeed, "Israel's
own firing patterns in Lebanon support the conclusion that Hezbollah
fired large numbers of its rockets from tobacco fields, banana, olive
and citrus groves, and more remote, unpopulated valleys."
- A U.S. Army War College study based largely on interviews
with Israeli participants in the Lebanon war similarly found that "the
key battlefields in the land campaign south of the Litani River were
mostly devoid of civilians, and IDF participants consistently report little
or no meaningful intermingling of Hezbollah fighters and noncombatants.
Nor is there any systematic reporting of Hezbollah using civilians in
the combat zone as shields." On a related note, the authors report
that "the great majority of Hezbollah's fighters wore uniforms.
In fact, their equipment and clothing were remarkably similar to many
state militaries'-desert or green fatigues, helmets, web vests, body armor,
dog tags, and rank insignia."
- Friedman further asserted that, "rather than confronting
Israel's Army head-on," Hezbollah fired rockets at Israel's civilian
population to provoke Israeli retaliatory strikes, inevitably killing
Lebanese civilians and "inflaming the Arab-Muslim street."
Yet, numerous studies have shown, and Israeli officials themselves conceded
that, during its guerrilla war against the Israeli occupying army, Hezbollah
only targeted Israeli civilians after Israel targeted Lebanese civilians.
In conformity with past practice Hezbollah started firing rockets toward
Israeli civilian concentrations during the 2006 war only after Israel
inflicted heavy casualties on Lebanese civilians, while Hezbollah leader
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah avowed that it would target Israeli civilians
"as long as the enemy undertakes its aggression without limits or
- If Israel targeted the Lebanese civilian population and
infrastructure during the 2006 war, it was not because it had no choice,
and not because Hezbollah had provoked it, but because terrorizing the
civilian population was a relatively cost-free method of "education,"
much to be preferred over fighting a real foe and suffering heavy casualties,
although Hezbollah's unexpectedly fierce resistance prevented Israel from
achieving a victory on the battlefield.
- In the case of Gaza it was able both to "educate"
the population and achieve a military victory because-in the words of
Gideon Levy- the "fighting in Gaza" was "war deluxe."
Compared with previous wars, it is child's play-pilots bombing unimpeded
as if on practice runs, tank and artillery soldiers shelling houses and
civilians from their armored vehicles, combat engineering troops destroying
entire streets in their ominous protected vehicles without facing serious
opposition. A large, broad army is fighting against a helpless population
and a weak, ragged organization that has fled the conflict zones and is
barely putting up a fight.
- The justification put forth by Friedman in the pages
of the Times for targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure amounted
to apologetics for state terrorism. It might be recalled that although
Hitler had stripped Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher of all his political
power by 1940, and his newspaper Der St?rmer had a circulation of only
some 15,000 during the war, the International Tribunal at Nuremberg nonetheless
sentenced him to death for his murderous incitement.
- Beyond restoring its deterrence capacity, Israel's main
goal in the Gaza slaughter was to fend off the latest threat posed by
Palestinian moderation. For the past three decades the international
community has consistently supported a settlement of the Israel-Palestine
conflict that calls for two states based on a full Israeli withdrawal
to its June 1967 border, and a "just resolution" of the refugee
question based on the right of return and compensation. The vote on
the annual U.N. General Assembly resolution, "Peaceful Settlement
of the Question of Palestine," supporting these terms for resolving
the conflict in 2008 was 164 in favor, 7 against (Israel, United States,
Australia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau), and 3 abstentions.
At the regional level the Arab League in March 2002 unanimously put forth
a peace initiative on this basis, which it has subsequently reaffirmed.
In recent times Hamas has repeatedly signaled its own acceptance of such
a settlement. For example, in March 2008 Khalid Mishal, head of Hamas's
Political Bureau, stated in an interview:
- There is an opportunity to deal with this conflict in
a manner different than Israel and, behind it, the U.S. is dealing with
it today. There is an opportunity to achieve a Palestinian national
consensus on a political program based on the 1967 borders, and this is
an exceptional circumstance, in which most Palestinian forces, including
Hamas, accept a state on the 1967 borders.There is also an Arab consensus
on this demand, and this is a historic situation.
- But no one is taking advantage of this opportunity.
No one is moving to cooperate with this opportunity. Even this minimum
that has been accepted by the Palestinians and the Arabs has been rejected
by Israel and by the U.S.
- Israel is fully cognizant that the Hamas Charter is not
an insurmountable obstacle to a two-state settlement on the June 1967
border. "[T]he Hamas leadership has recognized that its ideological
goal is not attainable and will not be in the foreseeable future,"
a former Mossad head recently observed. "[T]hey are ready and willing
to see the establishment of a Palestinian state in the temporary borders
of 1967.They know that the moment a Palestinian state is established with
their cooperation, they will be obligated to change the rules of the game:
They will have to adopt a path that could lead them far from their original
- In addition, Hamas was "careful to maintain the
ceasefire" it entered into with Israel in June 2008, according to
an official Israeli publication, despite Israel's reneging on the crucial
component of the truce that it ease the economic siege of Gaza.
- "The lull was sporadically violated by rocket and
mortar shell fire, carried out by rogue terrorist organizations,"
the source continues. "At the same time, the [Hamas] movement tried
to enforce the terms of the arrangement on the other terrorist organizations
and to prevent them from violating it." Moreover, Hamas was "interested
in renewing the relative calm with Israel" (Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin).
- The Islamic movement could thus be trusted to stand by
its word, making it a credible negotiating partner, while its apparent
ability to extract concessions from Israel, unlike the hapless Palestinian
Authority doing Israel's bidding but getting no returns, enhanced Hamas's
stature among Palestinians. For Israel these developments constituted
a veritable disaster. It could no longer justify shunning Hamas, and
it would be only a matter of time before international pressure in particular
from the Europeans would be exerted on it to negotiate.
- The prospect of an incoming U.S. administration negotiating
with Iran and Hamas, and moving closer to the international consensus
for settling the Israel-Palestine conflict, which some U.S. policymakers
now advocate, would have further highlighted Israel's intransigence.
In an alternative scenario, speculated on by Nasrallah, the incoming
American administration plans to convene an international peace conference
of "Americans, Israelis, Europeans and so-called Arab moderates"
to impose a settlement. The one obstacle is "Palestinian resistance
and the Hamas government in Gaza," and "getting rid of this
stumbling block isthe true goal of the war."
- In either case, Israel needed to provoke Hamas into breaking
the truce, and then radicalize or destroy it, thereby eliminating it as
a legitimate negotiating partner. It is not the first time Israel confronted
such a diabolical threat-an Arab League peace initiative, Palestinian
support for a two-state settlement and a Palestinian ceasefire-and not
the first time it embarked on provocation and war to overcome it.
- In the mid-1970s the PLO mainstream began supporting
a two-state settlement on the June 1967 border. In addition, the PLO,
headquartered in Lebanon, was strictly adhering to a truce with Israel
that had been negotiated in July 1981. In August 1981 Saudi Arabia unveiled,
and the Arab League subsequently approved, a peace plan based on the two-state
settlement. Israel reacted in September 1981 by stepping up preparations
to destroy the PLO. In his analysis of the buildup to the 1982 Lebanon
war, Israeli strategic analyst Avner Yaniv reported that Yasser Arafat
was contemplating a historic compromise with the "Zionist state,"
whereas "all Israeli cabinets since 1967" as well as "leading
mainstream doves" opposed a Palestinian state.
- Fearing diplomatic pressures, Israel maneuvered to sabotage
the two- state settlement. It conducted punitive military raids "deliberately
out of proportion" against "Palestinian and Lebanese civilians"
in order to weaken "PLO moderates," strengthen the hand of Arafat's
"radical rivals," and guarantee the PLO's "inflexibility."
However, Israel eventually had to choose between a pair of stark options:
"a political move leading to a historic compromise with the PLO,
or preemptive military action against it."
- To fend off Arafat's "peace offensive"-Yaniv's
telling phrase-Israel embarked on military action in June 1982. The Israeli
invasion "had been preceded by more than a year of effective ceasefire
with the PLO," but after murderous Israeli provocations, the last
of which left as many as 200 civilians dead (including 60 occupants of
a Palestinian children's hospital), the PLO finally retaliated, causing
a single Israeli casualty. Although Israel used the PLO's resumption
of attacks as the pretext for its invasion, Yaniv concluded that the "raison
d'être of the entire operation" was "destroying the PLO
as a political force capable of claiming a Palestinian state on the West
Bank." It deserves passing notice that in his new history of the
"peace process," Martin Indyk, former U.S. ambassador to Israel,
provides this capsule summary of the sequence of events just narrated:
"In 1982, Arafat's terrorist activities eventually provoked the Israeli
government of Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon into a full-scale invasion
- Fast forward to 2008. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi
Livni stated in early December 2008 that although Israel wanted to create
a temporary period of calm with Hamas, an extended truce "harms the
Israeli strategic goal, empowers Hamas, and gives the impression that
Israel recognizes the movement." Translation: a protracted ceasefire
that enhanced Hamas's credibility would have undermined Israel's strategic
goal of retaining control of the West Bank.
- As far back as March 2007 Israel had decided on attacking
Hamas, and only negotiated the June truce because "the Israeli army
needed time to prepare." Once all the pieces were in place, Israel
only lacked a pretext. On 4 November, while the American media were riveted
on election day, Israel broke the ceasefire by killing seven Palestinian
militants, on the flimsy excuse that Hamas was digging a tunnel to abduct
Israeli soldiers, and knowing full well that its operation would provoke
Hamas into hitting back. "Last week's 'ticking tunnel,' dug ostensibly
to facilitate the abduction of Israeli soldiers," Haaretz reported
in mid-November was not a clear and present danger: Its existence was always
known and its use could have been prevented on the Israeli side, or at
least the soldiers stationed beside it removed from harm's way.
- It is impossible to claim that those who decided to blow
up the tunnel were simply being thoughtless. The military establishment
was aware of the immediate implications of the measure, as well as of
the fact that the policy of "controlled entry" into a narrow
area of the Strip leads to the same place: an end to the lull. That is
policy-not a tactical decision by a commander on the ground.
- After Hamas predictably resumed its rocket attacks "[i]n
retaliation" (Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center),
Israel could embark on yet another murderous invasion in order to foil
yet another Palestinian peace offensive.
- Norman Finkelstein is author of five books, including
Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict, Beyond Chutzpah and
The Holocaust Industry, which have been translated into more than 40
foreign editions. He is the son of Holocaust survivors. This article is
an edited extract of the views of Finkelstein given at DemocracyNow.org.
His website is www.NormanFinkelstein.com
- Gideon Levy, "The Time of the Righteous," Haaretz
(9 January 2009).
- Ethan Bronner, "In Israel, A Consensus That Gaza
War Is a Just One," New York Times (13 January 2009).
- 29 December 2008; www.democracynow.org/2008/12/29/ israeli_attacks_kill_over_310_in.
- Richard Wilson, "Incomplete or Inaccurate Information
Can Lead to Tragically Incorrect Decisions to Preempt: The example of
OSIRAK," paper presented at Erice, Sicily (18 May 2007; updated 9
February 2008; www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=1589).
- Ethan Bronner, "Israel Reminds Foes That It Has
Teeth," New York Times (29 December 2008).
- Benny Morris, "Why Israel Feels Threatened,"
New York Times (30 December 2008).
- "Memorandum for the Record" (1 June 1967),
Foreign Relations of the United States, vol. XIX, Arab-Israeli Crisis
and War, 1967 (Washington, DC: 2004).
- Tom Segev, 1967: Israel, the war, and the year that transformed
the Middle East (New York: 2007), p. 293, my emphasis.
- Zeev Maoz, Defending the Holy Land: A critical analysis
of Israel's security and foreign policy (Ann Arbor: 2006), p. 89.
- William Arkin, Divining Victory: Airpower in the 2006
Israel- Hezbollah war (Maxwell Air Force Base, AL: 2007), pp. xxi, xxv-xxvi,
25, 54, 64, 135, 147-48.
- Andrew Exum, Hizballah at War: A military assessment
(Washington Institute for Near East Policy: December 2006), pp. 9, 11-12.
- Benny Morris, "A Second Holocaust? The Threat to
Israel" (2 May 2008; www.mideastfreedomforum.org/de/node/66).
- Yaron London, "The Dahiya Strategy" (6 October
2008; www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3605863,00.html); Gabriel Siboni,
"Disproportionate Force: Israel's concept of response in light of
the Second Lebanon War," Institute for National Security Studies
(INSS), 2 October 2008. Attila Somfalvi, "Sheetrit: We should level
Gaza neighborhoods" (2 October 2008; www.ynetnews.com/articles/ 0,7340,L-3504922,00.html).
- "Israeli General Says Hamas Must Not Be the Only
Target in Gaza," IDF Radio, Tel Aviv, in Hebrew 0600 gmt (26 December
2008), BBC Monitoring Middle East; Tova Dadon, "Deputy Chief of Staff:
Worst still ahead" (29 December 2008; http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/
0,7340,L-36466558,00.html); www.btselem.org/English/Gaza_Strip/ 20081231_Gaza_Letter_to_Mazuz.asp.
- Seumas Milne, "Israel's Onslaught on Gaza is a Crime
That Cannot Succeed," Guardian (30 December 2008).
- Reuven Pedatzur, "The Mistakes of Cast Lead,"
Haaretz (8 January 2009).
- Morris, "Why Israel Feels Threatened."
- B. Michael, "Déjà Vu in Gaza"
(29 December 2008; www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3646558,00.html).
- Gideon Levy, "Twilight Zone/Trumpeting for War,"
Haaretz (2 January 2009).
- Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, "Israel and Hamas
Are Both Paying a Steep Price in Gaza," Haaretz (10 January 2009);
Ari Shavit, "Analysis: Israel's victories in Gaza make up for its
failures in Lebanon," Haaretz (12 January 2009); Guy Bechor, "A
Dangerous Victory" (12 January 2009; www.ynetnews.com/articles/ 0,7340,L-3654505,00.html).
- Thomas L. Friedman, "Israel's Goals in Gaza?,"
New York Times (14 January 2009).
- Human Rights Watch, Why They Died: Civilian casualties
in Lebanon during the 2006 war (New York: 2007), pp. 5, 14, 40-41, 45-46,
48, 51, 53.
- Stephen Biddle and Jeffrey A. Friedman, The 2006 Lebanon
Campaign and the Future of Warfare: Implications for army and defense
policy (Carlisle, PA: 2008), pp. 43-44, 45.
- Human Rights Watch, Civilian Pawns: Laws of war violations
and the use of weapons on the Israel-Lebanon border (New York: 1996);
Maoz, Defending the Holy Land, pp. 213-14, 224-25, 252; Augustus Richard
Norton, Hezbollah: A short history (Princeton: 2007), pp. 77, 86.
- Judith Palmer Harik, Hezbollah: The changing face of
terrorism (London: 2004), pp. 167-68.
- Human Rights Watch, Civilians Under Attack: Hezbollah's
rocket assault on Israel in the 2006 war (New York: 2007), p. 100. HRW
asserts that Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israeli civilians were not retaliatory
but provides no supporting evidence.
- Gideon Levy, "The IDF Has No Mercy for the Children
in Gaza Nursery Schools," Haaretz (15 January 2009).
- Glenn Greenwald, "Tom Friedman Offers a Perfect
Definition of 'Terrorism'" (14 January 2009; www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/
- Mouin Rabbani, "A Hamas Perspective on the Movement's
Evolving Role: An interview with Khalid Mishal, Part II," Journal
of Palestine Studies (Summer 2008).
- "What Hamas Wants," Mideast Mirror (22 December
- Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the
Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center, The Six Months
of the Lull Arrangement (December 2008), pp. 2, 6, 7.
- "Hamas Wants Better Terms for Truce," Jerusalem
Post (21 December 2008). Diskin told the Israeli cabinet that Hamas would
renew the truce if Israel lifted the siege of Gaza, stopped military attacks
and extended the truce to the West Bank.
- Richard N. Haass and Martin Indyk, "Beyond Iraq:
A new U.S. strategy for the Middle East," and Walter Russell Mead,
"Change They Can Believe In: To make Israel safe, give Palestinians
their due," in Foreign Affairs, January-February 2009.
- Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's
Speech Delivered at the Central Ashura Council, 31 December 2008.
- Noam Chomsky, The Fateful Triangle: the United States,
Israel and the Palestinians (Boston: 1983), chaps. 3, 5.
- Yehuda Lukacs (ed), The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict:
a documentary record, 1967-1990 (Cambridge: 1992), pp. 477-79.
- Yehoshaphat Harkabi, Israel's Fateful Hour (New York:
1988), p. 101.
- Robert Fisk, Pity the Nation: The abduction of Lebanon
(New York: 1990), pp. 197, 232.
- Avner Yaniv, Dilemmas of Security: Politics, strategy
and the Israeli experience in Lebanon (Oxford: 1987), pp. 20-23, 50-54,
67-70, 87-89, 100-1, 105-6, 113, 143.
- Martin Indyk, Innocent Abroad: An intimate account of
American peace diplomacy in the Middle East (New York: 2009), p. 75.
- Saed Bannoura, "Livni Calls for a Large Scale Military
Offensive in Gaza," IMEMC & Agencies (10 December 2008; www.imemc.org/article/
- Uri Blau, "IDF Sources: Conditions not yet optimal
for Gaza exit," Haaretz (8 January 2009); Barak Ravid, "Disinformation,
Secrecy, and Lies: How the Gaza offensive came about," Haaretz (28
- Zvi Bar'el, "Crushing the Tahadiyeh," Haaretz
(16 November 2008). Cf. Uri Avnery, "The Calculations behind Israel's
Slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza" (2 January 2009; www.redress.cc/
- The Six Months of the Lull Arrangement, p. 3.