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!
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • 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.