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@hamas We are bombing you.

Matt Buchanan of Buzzfeed hasnoticed something unusual about the Israeli Defense Forces Twitter feed. This morning it announced a major assault on Gaza and has been regularly updating followers on the operation.

That came at 9:29 a.m. Two minutes later, the IDF tweeted:

That link takes you to the IDF's liveblog of the assault, where you can watch a video of the IDF bombing a car carrying Al-Jabari, along with a poster listing his offenses and announcing that he has been "ELIMINATED." And if you missed that on the liveblog, you could catch it onTwitter:

As the day wore on, the IDF continued livetweeting the operation. It began uploading photos to its Flickr account. It reminded followers of Hamas's crimes. It offered free advice to members of Hamas:

Slate'sFruzsina Erdgh says this is good propaganda. And no doubt she's right. But it's also bad for the soul.Read the Reuters report on "Operation Pillar of Defence" here.

About the Author

Grant Gallicho is an associate editor of Commonweal. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.



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The chance of the lions and lambs lying down together in that part of the world seem to be slim to none.

My first thought about this was that dotCommonweal had been hi-jacked by some spammer. Is it possible to reduce it all in size?

Your wish...

The Israelis had demonstrated enormous patience in containing their response to new rocket fire from Garza. The usual mantra is already underway: those damnable Jews must be wiped off the face of the earth for having the gall to defend themselves.

Who started this round of attacks? Hamas?

yes, Israel's attack was in response to Palestinian rocket fire ....

Hello? See that Reuters story I linked to at the end?

The Reuters story says the operation began with the assassination of Jabari, but as to why it was instituted in the first place - seems to be a response to Palestinian rocket fire beforehand, at least according to the NYT article I linked to above ..."Southern Israel has been struck by more than 750 rockets fired from Gaza this year that have hit homes and caused injuries .... On Saturday, Gaza militants fired an antitank missile at an Israeli military jeep patrolling the Gaza border, injuring four soldiers. Both the rocket fire and the buildup of advanced weaponry in Gaza have increasingly tested Israeli officials and prompted such an intense response, according to military experts in Israel. "

From the Reuters report:"The onslaught shattered hopes that a truce mediated on Tuesday by Egypt could pull the two sides back from the brink of war after five days of escalating Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli strikes at militant targets."

Also, Jack: watch your mouth. No one has damned the Jews here. story takes us back 5 days, when Israel bombed a ste in Gaza from which rockets were being fired, and alludes to an altercation that killed an 18 year old Palestinian two days earlier as possibly sparking that rocket attack.It is a typical escalation where it is hard to place blame IMO. I's "surgical strike"/assassination follow P's escalation of rocket attacks follows I's....

Surgical strikes???More military claptrap. Whether from Israel, or the US drone war and the American continued policy of targetted assisnation.Result in this latest "surgical strike" eight civilians killed at least 2 children.Not excusing the Hamas "terrorists".As far as US foreign policy, where is Ron Paul when you need him!!

It has often been noted that the nature of war has changed. ISTM that the morality of "surgical strikes" needs to be developed. I'm not so sure they are always wrong.

OK, Grant - I didn't read the Reuters article closely enough.I don't know about the morality of drone warfare but I think it's inevitable because it saves lives on the side that is using it against others. Maybe part of what seems odd about the Israelis live blogging a war is that we aren't used to such pragmatism?

The question of who started what in that part of the world reminds me of one of my namesake's line in Airplane II:McCroskey: Jacobs, I want to know absolutely everything that's happened up till now. Jacobs: Well, let's see. First the earth cooled. And then the dinosaurs came, but they got too big and fat, so they all died and they turned into oil. And then the Arabs came and they bought Mercedes Benzes. And Prince Charles started wearing all of Lady Di's clothes. I couldn't believe it...

Morality in warfare? Even in the much vaunted "self defense" the best we can hope for is "Father forgive them for they know not what they do?"Disclosure: I spent a wee bit of time in the SE Asian garden spot called Viet Nam back in the days.

The Twitter post is repugnant and revolting. (what does it say that both repugnant and revolting are violent words at their base?) It is hard not to blame the Israelis. They have more resources with which they can be more creative for peace and unity. General Marshall (of the great Marshall Plan) told Truman not to allow the state of Israel to happen. Now that it happened can't we devise a Marshall plan there? After all the Dutch may be coming to New York to block the floods. Not without remuneration and active pitchmen. Will it be called New Amsterdam again?

" It is hard not to blame the Israelis"I guess I don't want to blame them for a number of reasons, partly that we as Catholics made their lives miserable for centuries, because they were almost exterminated by the Germans, because they have no other friends than us, and because if we were in their shoes I think we would be doing pretty much the same things they are. That's not to say that what they're doing is 100% right, but there's plenty of blame to go around in this conflict.

The NYT has a discussion of "targeted killings" by 5 debaters. Very interesting. I didn't know, for instance, that it is sometimes allowable by some international law. The writers set up some criteria for when it would be justified -- and wise. There is also a chilling comment by Jessica Snapper, "... the only unethical action you can take in warfare is the failure to act in the best interest of your people." Sheesh.

I guess I dont want to blame them for a number of reasons, partly that we as Catholics made their lives miserable for centuries, because they were almost exterminated by the Germans, because they have no other friends than us, and because if we were in their shoes I think we would be doing pretty much the same things they are. Thats not to say that what theyre doing is 100% right, but theres plenty of blame to go around in this conflict.Thank you Crystal, and God bless you.

Thank you Crystal and Bob, and God bless you. I understand up to 800 rockets have been fired into Israel this year alone.

Approximately 200 rockets from Gaza struck Israel in 2010. Over 600 rockets struck in 2011. Over 800 rockets struck Israel in 2012 before Israel acted on November 14. In the 4 days before November 14, that is, from November 10-13, 121 rockets struck Israel from Gaza. As the rocket attacks escalated in the last few months, Israel repeatedly warned Gaza that there would be consequences if it did not stop. Israel has the same right of self defense as any other country and Gaza has the same duty as any other country to refrain from its acts of aggression. No one can fight an urban war without inflicting unintended casualties on civilian populations. Not Israel. Not the United States. Not NATO in Libya. Not the opposition to Assad in Syria. No one ever has and no one ever will. If Israel is to avoid such casualties, then it must not fight back. And that is the real aim of some who accuse Israel of war crimes whenever a Palestinian civilian is killed to make it morally unacceptable for Israel to defend itself. The difference between Israel and Gaza is that every rocket aimed at Israel is intended to kill civilians. Civilians are the acknowledged and undeniable target. Gaza deliberately stores weapons in schools and hospitals and mosques. Under the Geneva Convention, it is a war crime to do so. And although Israel has refrained from attacking such sites, under international law, it is permitted to attack civilian sites that are being used for military purposes.

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