Answers to Common Questions about Operation Protective Edge

 

On June 12, 2014, the day that three Israeli teenage boys were kidnapped in the West Bank, Hamas sent a barrage of rocket fire into Israel. Since July 8, 2014, and the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, more than 3,000 rockets have been fired by Hamas from the Gaza Strip toward major Israeli population centers. In response to the continued rocket fire, Israel has launched ground operations in Gaza, in order to locate and destroy Hamas’ tunnels into Israel and weapon stockpiles.

 

Moral Dilemmas of Modern Warfare

 

CIVILIAN CASUALTIES

"Unlike simplistic pronouncements that the death toll is ‘utterly disproportionate,’ a more careful examination of the surrounding data—beyond futile comparisons of Palestinian and Israeli deaths—forces the conclusion, argued by William Saletan at Slate, that ‘either Israel is failing miserably to kill people or, more plausibly, it’s largely trying not to kill them.’”

 

THE ASYMMETRICAL WAR

“The toll of dead Gazans will now skyrocket to the many hundreds, mostly civilians. Dead Israelis can still be counted on the fingers of one hand. Iron Dome will shelter Israelis; nothing will shelter Gazans. Is all this justified, or should Israel be accused of massively over-reacting?

 

MORAL CLARITY

Civilians cannot be used to make just wars impossible and morality will not be used as a tool to disarm. And once we have that principle, the proportionality calculation changes. The deaths of innocents are not simply outweighed by Israelis’ right to live without daily rockets and terrorists tunneling into a kibbutz playground; but by the defense of a world in which terrorists cannot use morality to achieve victory over those who try to fight morally.”

 

PROPORTIONALITY

“The reason that Hamas has not killed more Israelis is not because they haven’t tried.”

 

Gazan Opinions

“As tensions mounted and Hamas and other Gazan factions began to step up rocket fire last month, the people of that territory were heavily in favor of a ceasefire - 70 percent of the poll respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement ‘Hamas should maintain a ceasefire with Israel in both Gaza and the West Bank.’"


Resolution of the Conflict

 

WHAT HAMAS WANTS

“The goal of Hamas—the actual, overarching goal—is to terrorize the Jews of Israel, through mass murder, into abandoning their country. If generations of Palestinians have to be sacrificed to that goal, well, Hamas believes such sacrifices are theologically justified. “

 

INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE ON ISRAEL

“The cease-fire being discussed in Cairo today is the one that Israel embraced last week. But that was before Israel expanded its war goals from ending the rocket fire to eliminating the tunnels and now eliminating Hamas military infrastructure.”

 

US INVOLVEMENT IN CEASEFIRE NEGOTIATIONS

“Oren’s comments followed remarks Sunday by Channel 2′s veteran Arab affairs analyst Ehud Ya’ari, who said that as far as Israel is concerned, the secretary of state’s ceasefire trip was premature ‘and bad for Israel,’ and that he should have left it to the Egyptians to lead the ceasefire effort. Ya’ari said many people, ‘including senior American officials,’ tried to convey this to Kerry.”


Justin Kirschner
Associate Director, Jewish Community Relations Council
513-985-2960
jkirschner@jfedcin.org