Gaza War 'Unintended'? Nope, Hamas Is Sworn to Destroy Israel

Israeli Diplomat Responds to J.J. Goldberg's Column

getty images

By Gil Lainer

Published July 12, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

I feel the need to respond to a recent column by J.J. Goldberg, “How Politics and Lies Triggered an Unintended War in Gaza.”

There are a series of false assumptions littered throughout the piece, which unfortunately lead Goldberg to imagine a conspiracy theory that does not exist.

Firstly, Goldberg quotes an Israeli military official referring to his orders from civilian leaders in order to insinuate that “politicians” are forcing the military to act against Hamas. This shows a lack of basic understanding of Israel’s decision making apparatus. The Israel Defense Forces is not an autonomous body, and any military decision comes from the Cabinet, which is comprised of the prime minister and several other ministers. The Cabinet is Israel’s Commander-in-Chief.

Just as in the United States, the military’s actions begin with the commander in chief, in Israel, any military decision-making comes from the Cabinet. When Brigadier General Moti Almoz said “We have been instructed by the political echelon,” he was referring to Israel’s standard democratic procedure that has been in place for decades. The author’s claim that what he really meant is that Israeli politicians were nefariously forcing the military’s hand makes no sense. The IDF is not and has never been a policy-making body.

Goldberg then claims that this is a war that, “nobody wanted…not even the enemy, Hamas.” This is dangerously naïve. Hamas is a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of the State of Israel. There has never been a terror attack against Israel that Hamas has not celebrated or endorsed in some fashion. Not only does Hamas want to launch rockets at our civilians, they want Israel’s response. They want to use Palestinians as human shields to drum up international attention.

To claim that Hamas does not want this war is to ignore what Hamas is: the physical and organizational manifestation of a century old Palestinian hatred towards the Jewish people.

Perhaps one reason the author claims Hamas does not desire conflict with Israel is because he is unaware of who has been launching rockets at Israel for years. Goldberg claims that Hamas has not launched a single rocket at Israel since November of 2012. The truth is that from January 2013 through June of this year, there was an average of over 13 rockets fired every month. All of these rockets were launched by Islamic terror groups that, whether they call themselves Hamas or not, espouse the same hatred and are committed to the destruction of the State of Israel. Goldberg’s claim that there was some sort of “détente” between Israel and Palestinian terrorists in Gaza since Operation Pillar of Defense is patently false.

The author continues by claiming that the abduction and murder of our three boys — Eyal, Gilad and Naftali — was not committed by Hamas the organization but rogue Hamas terrorists, essentially a group of “bad apples,” acting without the approval of Hamas leadership. If this is the case, then why did the leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshal, come out with a statement saying “Blessed be the hands of the kidnappers”? If this is not direct approval of Hamas leadership, then what is?

All of these inaccuracies are compounded by the author to spin a tall tale of conspiracy, that Israel hid the deaths of our three boys so that it could crack down on Hamas.

On behalf of the State of Israel and the Israeli government, I will not apologize for not giving up hope that Eyal, Gilad and Naftali would be found alive. Furthermore, whether the kidnappers were holding them for a long period of time or not would not have changed Israel’s response to find those who committed this heinous crime and bring them to justice.

If the author truly believes that “The last seven years have been the most tranquil in Israel’s history,” I invite him to speak to those living in Israel’s south. They could change his mind in 15 seconds with just one “Red Alert.”

Gil Lainer is the consul for public affairs at the Consulate General of Israel in New York.


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!
  • 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.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah: http://jd.fo/g4SIa
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • 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.