1000 dead Palestinians and 13 dead Israelis.
A bombed school and UN headquarters in Gaza City.
One may ask, “Can Israel succeed at what it is doing?” The stated goal is to destroy Hamas and end rocket fire attacks. The answer is no, because Israel has been there and done that. In the Fifth Arab-Israeli War, Israel invaded Lebanon to destroy the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the umbrella group that represented the Palestinian movement for independence. The PLO included an army, a political party (Fatah), and an assembly and was the undisputed representative of the Palestinian people in those days. To this day, the PLO represents Palestinians at the United Nations. And unknown or unsaid by hotheads saying they do not want to negotiate with Hamas, the fact is that the negotiating partner is and has always been the PLO by the international community.
But Hamas did not exist in 1982. Israel, in fact, promoted Hamas in the late 1980s as an opponent to the PLO (which was Arab nationalist instead of religious). In the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Israel intervened in Lebanon’s civil war on behalf of the conservative Christians and against the left, the Palestinians, and the Muslims. It was a bloody and terrible invasion, killing thousands. It is even said that the bombing of Beirut skyscrapers so shocked Osama bin Laden that he vowed to become a terrorist after hearing that news.
Israel’s invasion was a disaster for the political elite and electorate addicted to war and military means after their almost-divine victory in the Six Day War of 1967. A major urban area (Beirut) was ruined, but the Palestinians have still not stopped their demands for self-determination or disbanded the PLO.
The following links will help understand this background. One explains what is not often said about the fighting in Gaza. The second is a review and backgrounder of the Israeli movie “Waltz with Bashir” made by an Israeli soldier who participated in the invasion of Lebanon and witnessed the infamous Sabra and Shatila massacres of Palestinians by the Lebanese Christians. For those wanting daily news on Gaza, I recommend the prestigious Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz.
Salon.com – “What ‘Waltz with Bashir’ can teach us about Gaza”
New York Times – “What you Don’t know about Gaza”