Friday's edition of Haaretz had a fascinating reportage by Gideon Levy, in his "Twilight Zone" series, from Nablus. Unfortunately, it's not available in English. (The original Hebrew travesty is here - and maybe, given it's viciousness, it's better for the world that it hasn't been translated).
However, his editors were so pleased with Levy's reportage that they gave him a spot to republish his story, admittedly in an abridged version, on the top of page 1 of the op-ed section - very choice publishing real estate. You can read the English version here.
A recap of the event: Levy is reporting from the so-called refugee camp near Nablus where an entire brigade of IDF infantry, hundreds of fighters, spent almost a week carefully identifying, fighting, and eventually arresting a very active cell of Hamas terrorists who had already smuggled a belt of explosives into Tev Aviv, had already designated the murderer who was to set it off, and were about to dispatch him; the soldiers also found and destroyed a weapons laboratory. All this took place during a battle: Palestinians were shooting at the Israelis, Israelis were shooting at the Palestinian fighters. The neighborhood was hostile to the Israelis. At the end of it all there were three dead Palestinians, and one dead Israeli (Benzion Hanemann, see my post about him here).
There is no other army on the planet capable of such a surgical operation, with such full operational success with such minimal loss of life. No, not the Americans nor the British in Iraq or Afghanistan. Nor is there any other army with such a determination to get its job done without collateral damage. And there never has been such an army in the past either - feel free to correct me in the comments and I'll retract my statement if needed, but I won't have to.
So, what does Levy do with this? He tells us about the physical damage. A building was destroyed. Was it the building with the weapons workshop? We don't know, because he forgets to mention that particular aspect of the operation. He tells about the pain in the faces of two children whose bicycles were destroyed in the battle, without telling us if the father or brother of the children had perhaps put the bicycles in the way of damage, say, by building a weapons lab in the same building, or perhaps shooting from its windows. The IDF didn't go to all the effort, and demolish one sole building in the entire area, just because it had bicycles parked in it. Finally, Levy warns us that by destroying the bicycles we have planted the seed of hate in the minds of two children, and this may one day come to haunt us, as happened also to the children of all the other 11 families whose apartments were in the same building. You see, if the IDF hadn't come by to stop those murderers, it would never have occurred to the children to hate Israel. Never.
I really am sorry Haaretz didn't put up the longer version of the report, which was far more damning, but you get the general picture.