January 4, 2009

The Israeli Way of War

Two years ago I interviewed Yaacov Lozowick, then-chief archivist at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, and he characterized Israel’s 2006 war in Lebanon as stupid and indefensible. I agreed with him at the time, and I still do, as least about that war being stupid. (I do not believe Israel has no right to hit back at Hezbollah.)

Despite Lozowick’s criticism of the 2006 war, he is hardly a pacifist or an Israel-hater. He’s the author, after all, of Right to Exist: A Moral Defense of Israel's Wars.

If you’re following the current war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, you might want to bookmark his site where you can read short sharp analysis like the following:

In the week of air-attacks, the IDF proved it had excellent intelligence, and in many cases targets hit from the air kept on exploding for a number of minutes after they were hit, as the ordinance stored there exploded. More significant, the IDF has figured out how to separate the civilians from the weapons: call the neighbors and give them ten minutes warning. The numbers prove how efficient this has been: prior to the ground invasion, more than 600 targets had been destroyed, fewer than 500 Palestinians killed, and fewer than 100 of those were civilians even by Palestinian and UN reckoning. Of course, there remain the pictures of civilians surrounded by devastation, but they're alive, and it wasn't Israel that stacked bombs in their cellars. [Emphasis added.]

Think about those numbers. Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on the face of the earth. If Israeli Air Force pilots were trying to kill civilians -- if they were the war criminals they're accused of being all over the world -- they'd kill a lot more than 0.8 people per air strike.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at January 4, 2009 10:54 PM

Nice analysis -- I was looking for those kinds of numbers. thx.

btw, it has been correctly pointed out that Tel Aviv is as densely populated as Gaza. The 'mdppoE' line IS a bit treacly, as with so many descriptors trotted out on behalf of the helpless Palestinians. Hong Kong, Tokyo, Taiwan, Mexico City, Delhi, Shanghai... and many, many other places could put in a bid for the crammed-cheek-by-jowl title.

I recall in 2006 Michael Ware was in Beirut for CNN and showed how one tall narrow building had been destroyed to rubble by IAF while the two apartment bldgs butted up on either side were totally untouched. He was (excuse) blown away by the precision and care, and then showed shots of large boulevards and areas of the city utterly untouched -- as he was being firmly escorted out of Lebanon by Hezbollah.

Posted by: AZZenny Author Profile Page at January 4, 2009 11:59 PM

What I don't understand is this: Nobody ever said
why Palestinians don't realy want a pease. They
do not have any agriculture, don't have any manu-
facturing etc... They live from the other nations
handouts, because this is easier than going to work for living. THIS IS THE TRUTH!!!!

Posted by: toney peternel Author Profile Page at January 5, 2009 2:58 PM
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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