Friday, July 31, 2009

Israel's Report on the Gaza Operation

Israel has published a report on the Gaza Operation. It's apparently not final, since some of the IDF investigations have yet to be completed, but it deals with a whole plethora of issues, from law and international law to methods of waging war and civilian casualties.

The summary is here; the full report is here.

I intend to read it next week (164 pages), and then I'll come back and comment. I recommend other people join me in doing so. You also might want to see who in the media and blogosphere is relating to it and how.

Since I haven't read it I can't comment on its content. I do however look forward to people relating to its content in a rational way. Statements such as "this is Israeli propaganda, we know that in advance" are not helpful. If anyone reads it and can then explain why it's simply propaganda, I'm listening.


Soccer Dad said...

So far I've seen Elder of Ziyon and Dion Nissenbaum - who wasn't as snarky as he usually is towards the end (though he was plenty skeptical at the beginning.)

David T. said...


Belatedy, I wanted to leave a comment about your excellent Tisha'a be'Av essay, "The End of Israel". I found it to be inspiring.

But it also raised a few questions. In the essay, you consider two possible scenarios for an end to Israel: first, a nuclear attack, and then sanctions.

I'm wondering if you'd be willing to engage in more detail some other possible scenarios that are quite popular among the anti-Israel left.

* A ramp up in frequent, smaller attacks by Arabs inside an outside of Israel that make ordinary life impossible for Jews in Israel. This would amount to an amped-up version of the second intifada, with more active Israeli Arab involvement, and topped off by short- and long-range missile attacks from Lebanon and Gaza. One might imagine such a scenario being portrayed to the rest of the world as "Zionazis" fighting an ethnic cleansing battle against the downtrodden victims of Israeli apartheid. Under such a scenario, assuming Arabs do their usual impressive job of playing victim, there will be little to no sympathy for Israel, least of all from the US under Obama, where the situation will be portrayed as analogous to that of African Americans in the US during the Jim Crow era. Such a situation could result in penalties beyond sanctions and into a blockade, supported by the UN with the US providing the muscle, it in solidarity with the racial victims of Israeli apartheid. It is even imaginable that US Jews will support the Americans/UN in such a situation, against Israelis.

* A non-violent (or mostly non-violent) uprising of the Arabs inside and outside of Green Line Israel, using largely Gandhian tactics, with the goal of highlighting Israel's racist nature. While it may be difficult to imagine Arabs using these tactics, let's play it out. This would include a maximum volume of protest theater and dramatics, including hunger strikes, marches directly into tanks and machine guns, etc. Again, this would serve to unite the entire world, perhaps *starting* with underdog-loving US Jews, against Israel. Buh-bye Security Council veto, hello sanctions, and possibly a blockade.

* Intra-Jewish communal problems. It is possible to imagine scenarios in which seculars, Haredim, settlers and other subsections of the Israeli Jewish population grow sufficiently antagonistic toward each other that the country essentially comes apart at the seams, and is absorbed with internal conflict. Is this in your opinion realistic? The drama in Jerusalem over a parking lot, and the possibility of forcing settlers to abandon their homes, suggests that this is not entirely impossible.

* Some combination of the above forcing mass departures from Israel, in which those who can leave, and who are not sufficiently historically and emotionally bound to Israel, depart for less conflict-ridden locales. This would leave Israel still in existence, but a very different place from it is today. Are the enablers of today's high-tech Israeli economy, for example, sufficiently committed to the idea of a Jewish state that they would give up their chosen careers in the event that the international buyers of their products stop purchasing them, effectively eliminating that portion of the economy? What would be the effect of Israeli researchers being ostracized from the international scientific community? More broadly, what would be the consequences of a serious drop in the standard of living, a reduction in mobility (no travel to the West), etc., have on the Israeli populace? Is this realistic? Under what circumstances, if any, would Israel lose its most economically productive members?

I do not have enough information to personally evaluate whether any of these scenarios are likely. But they are being discussed out there, and have elements of plausibility. What are you thoughts?