Sunday, July 20, 2014

Y. Levy on Israel's casualty aversion

The latest headline from Gaza -- 60 Palestinians, 13 Israeli soldiers killed in the latest clash -- reminded me that I'd seen reviews of this book by Yagil Levy. A glance at the introduction confirms that the book was the author's dissertation. One of his arguments is that increased sensitivity to military casualties among the Israeli middle class helps explain the use of "excessive force" (the phrase is Levy's) in the 2009 Gaza offensive (Operation Cast Lead).

8 comments:

thusbloggedanderson said...

The exchange rate seems to be 150 dead Palestinians = 1 dead Israeli. That seems consistent with Likud's thinking, anyway.

LFC said...

I'm actually a little surprised that as many Israeli soldiers have been killed in this operation as have been so far, though of course the Palestinian casualties are far higher. (As Levy reminds the reader in the intro I linked, several hundred IDF soldiers were killed in the inconclusive July '06 war w Hezbollah, a considerably higher rate.)
I caught Netanyahu yesterday on the radio in an interview w W Blitzer and N's line was this time Gaza must be 'demilitarized'. (I'm not sure that's possible, actually, short of a reoccupation. But I don't really know.)

thusbloggedanderson said...

It's the old "I think you need to be more specific in step two ..." cartoon, in garish color.

I don't have any particular use for Hamas, but it seems Israel can (and does) do more harm, where "harm" is defined as killing people.

LFC said...

No expert on this, but I think the best way to have 'dealt w' the prob of Hamas wd have been a 2-state deal w the PA, even one that Israel had to compromise a lot on various desiderata for. But it wouldn't do that, and the U.S. wouldn't pressure it to do that (in any real way). What's tragic is not only the situation, but that one senses it cd have been avoided, w more decent, visionary leadership on both sides. After the failure of the Barak/Arafat negs. and the 2nd intifida, it seems that Israeli political elites, or many of them, lost interest in trying to reach a deal. And Fayyad's (the previous Palestinian p.m.'s) efforts on the West Bank, rather than culminating in a Palestinian state as they shd have, lowered the costs of the occupation for Israel, as J. Western (at Duck of Minerva) and others have pointed out. So they had an unintended consequence of reinforcing the status quo.

LFC said...

correction:
intifada

good liberal said...

Howl at Pluto readers: Please comment on Krauthammer's take in WaPo. Can he be wrong ALL the time?

LFC said...

@"good liberal":

Thank you for the comment.

The number of Howl at Pluto readers is quite small, hence your appeal will not fall on very many ears (or eyes).

As for Krauthammer, I have used up my free WaPo articles for the month, so I didn't read him on this. I might have skipped it anyway. He is fairly despicable; in fact, I'll drop "fairly" and just go with despicable. But if you would like to comment on his column, please free to do so.

LFC said...

correction:
please feel free to do so