Israel Learned the Lessons of Last Gaza War

Despite Critique, Goldstone Report's Suggestions Proved Useful

Lessons Learned: The conflict in Gaza has died down for now. Even harsh critics of Israel recognize that it did a far better job managing the battle this time.
getty images
Lessons Learned: The conflict in Gaza has died down for now. Even harsh critics of Israel recognize that it did a far better job managing the battle this time.

By Nathan Jeffay

Published November 26, 2012, issue of November 30, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

According to Bashi, this is partly due to the different Israeli attitude toward the crossing of goods during its two offensives, and partly due to the fact that Gaza was in better shape at the start of Pillar of Defense. Cast Lead came after a year-and-a-half of Israel severely limiting supplies, while Pillar of Defense took place when Gaza had a network of tunnels bringing goods from Egypt to Gaza. Israel, too, allowed regular, if restricted, flow of goods via its territory.

As far as medical provisions are concerned, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel issued a statement decrying “numerous incidents of harm to Gaza’s health infrastructure” during Pillar of Defense, including damage to hospitals by nearby shelling and aerial attacks. But PHR’s executive director. Ran Cohen, also said that the situation was very different from Cast Lead, because of the fact that supplies went into Gaza and people went out.

Patients seeking treatment they couldn’t get in Gaza were allowed to leave for Egypt, East Jerusalem or the West Bank.

“There are no surgical wars, especially in areas with large civilian populations,” said Cohen. But Israel, he added, learned “some of the lessons” of Cast Lead.

In the public relations sphere, Israel’s message hadn’t changed in the years since Cast Lead, but the government disseminated it with more enthusiasm on social media, and provided journalists with a heavier flow of videos and statements than ever. The biggest difference was that the government barred journalists from entering Gaza in 2008-9, but this time, on the first morning of the conflict, told them they were welcome to cross.

There is speculation that this decision may have stemmed from a desire to reduce the media’s dependence on human rights organizations. Those of the Israeli right were angry at the exposure those reports received during the Cast Lead media lockdown.

“The Israelis realized that there is no way of stopping journalists and if they don’t let them in, they will get information from ‘worse’ sources,” said Gabriel Weimann, professor of communication at the University of Haifa, “local people or stringers, or anyone locally with a mobile phone or camera.”

Contact Nathan Jeffay at jeffay@forward.com


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!
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • 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?
  • 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.