Could Israel (and the US) have really been so short of information?

Could Israel (and the US) have really been so short of information?
Theodore Holman

Oh yes. Israel claims to have found command center at Al Shifa hospital and displayed war equipment. Al Jazeera claims nothing and that Israel fabricated the evidence.

Could Israel (and the US) have really been so short of information?

Kill only the seriously ill, children and the elderly?

Assume no tunnels. For that matter, Hamas is very stupid. You don’t have to be a great war strategist to realize that tunnels under hospitals and preschools have advantages. Your enemy should think twice (maybe three, four or five times) before bombing or invading you. Think of the risk the Israeli army is taking by entering that tunnel. Consider the considerations of the Israeli generals.

Martin van Creveld, an influential Dutch-born Israeli military historian, said in a 2009 interview. Green Amsterdam: “War is often not well understood by strategists. A war is not about killing, but about the will to be killed. That is essential. If you want to kill others and don’t accept that you can be killed, that’s not war, it’s extermination. That’s Auschwitz.”

Willingness to be killed – the object at stake here. That will is very much in Hamas. To die there is the highest honor. For Israelis – not to celebrate death but to celebrate life, individuality and self-realization – the choice to be killed must be made very carefully. And then some think that Israeli soldiers are simply walking such a tunnel out of revenge.

The question remains unanswered: What if Israel had not allowed itself to occupy Gaza with such force? Proportionate punishment? An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth? Should Israel have not only accidentally killed Palestinians, but also raped women and killed children? Is it proportional? The challenge for Israel seems to be: find a brigade that will rub its hands and stick to the calculus of proportions.

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That of course contrasts with retaliatory intent: it must always be (much) bigger than the event to be retaliated against, otherwise you get nothing out of it, because you don’t actually prevent anyone from doing something. And brutal.

Theodore Holman (1953) is a columnist, author, television and radio producer. You can read his article here every day except Sunday. Read all of Theodore Holman’s columns.

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