Israel and Gaza Trapped in Tragic Tape Loop

Innocent Casuaties Mount With No Real Solution in Sight

When Will We Learn? There is no military solution to Israel’s fight with Gaza. So why is another futile war looming?
getty images
When Will We Learn? There is no military solution to Israel’s fight with Gaza. So why is another futile war looming?

By Leonard Fein

Published November 20, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

How much collateral damage is too much?

That is a question that should be asked regarding America’ drone operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but it cannot be answered except episodically because nothing about those operations is available for public scrutiny. It is also a question which must be asked of Israel in connection with its futile bombardment of Gaza.

The Israeli army has stated that it is working to reduce as much as possible any harm to Palestinian civilians as part of its operations in Gaza. The IDF has emphasized that people in areas that the army attacks are sent warnings via text message, phone calls and leaflets telling them to stay away from Hamas militants. But that did not help the Jamal Dalu, whose sister, wife, two daughters, daughter-in-law and four grandchildren ages two to six, four children and five women, along with two neighbors, an 18 year-old and his grandmother, were “mistakenly” attacked by Israeli bombs on November 18. [I put “mistakenly” in quotes not because I think that Israel intended the death of a whole family of civilians but because in the course of the kind of attack Israel has mounted against Hamas, mistakes are virtually inevitable. That is what is meant by “collateral damage.”]

According to the Israel Defense Forces, “the IDF mistakenly bombed the home of a Palestinian family, apparently due to a technical error while targeting a senior Hamas militant in charge of the group’s rocket firing teams.” Ha’Aretz reports that according to the IDF, “the source of the error was either the failure to paint the target of the attack on the correct site or that one of the munitions in the strike misfired.”

Which is, of course, the point. These kinds of things happen, no matter the efforts made to avoid them. It is no comfort at all the loved ones and the neighbors of the dead family to explain to them that the deaths were unintentional.

Now some will argue that Israel had no choice, given the barrage of rockets that were launched in Gaza and aimed towards Ashkelon and even Tel Aviv – and yes, even Jerusalem.

The question that must be asked is whether Israel’s attempt at a military solution to the rockets short of a re-occupation of the entire Gaza Strip is a plausible outcome of Israel’s actions.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.