On Gaza, an Israeli Scribe Holds Up a Harsh Mirror

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In an unusual step, Ynet has published an English translation of Nahum Barnea’s weekly Friday column from the August 28 Yediot Ahronot weekend supplement. It’s a powerful indictment of the way the Gaza war was managed, its costs to Israel’s long-term security and political integrity. He talks to the soldiers and officers as well as the cabinet ministers and shows you not just what was done wrong but also what was done very right.

It’s in two parts: Part 1 and Part 2.

Barnea is always among the best political writers in Israel, but this week he outdid himself.

Here’s a taste:


And this:

But don’t stop here. Read the whole thing. Part 1 and Part 2.

By the way, the second half of Barnea’s very long column, which wasn’t translated, is a powerful interview with former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi. A legendary commander, once one of Israel’s most beloved public figures and a presumed future Labor Party leader, he’s been under police investigation for several years for his alleged role in the mysterious Harpaz Affair, involving an apparently forged document (by one Boaz Harpaz) that ended up exposing the seamy, intolerable, dysfunctional bureaucratic warfare between Ashkenazi’s bureau and the Israeli defense ministry under then-defense minister Ehud Barak. Israel’s national police recommended to the attorney general this week that Ashkenazi be indicted. I’ll have more on that in a few days.

Written by

J.J. Goldberg

J.J. Goldberg

Jonathan Jeremy “J.J.” Goldberg is editor-at-large of the Forward, where he served as editor in chief for seven years (2000-2007).

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On Gaza, an Israeli Scribe Holds Up a Harsh Mirror

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