Gaza Conflict: Who Started It?

With the recent Palestinian attack on innocent Israel that has killed four civilians… wait a minute… four? Only four? Well, Israel is still justified in killing a few Palestinians… 1000? One thousand dead because of four dead Israelis? Oh well, the Palestinians started it…

Or did they?

Below is an article from the Huffington Post, about an MIT study that analyzed who killed who first after a cease fire between Israel and Palestinians.

Some highlights… or lowlights:

“On November 4th, Israel killed a Palestinian, an event that was followed by a volley of mortars fired from Gaza. Immediately after that, an Israeli air strike killed six more Palestinians. Then a massive barrage of rockets was unleashed, leading to the end of the ceasefire. Thus the latest ceasefire ended when Israel first killed Palestinians, and Palestinians then fired rockets into Israel.”

But this can’t be typical–we know that Israel is the innocent victim… ‘cause the news tells us so.

“79% of all conflict pauses were interrupted when Israel killed a Palestinian, while only 8% were interrupted by Palestinian attacks (the remaining 13% were interrupted by both sides on the same day)”

“In addition, we found that this pattern — in which Israel is more likely than Palestine to kill first after a conflict pause — becomes more pronounced for longer conflict pauses. Indeed, of the 25 periods of nonviolence lasting longer than a week, Israel unilaterally interrupted 24, or 96%, and it unilaterally interrupted 100% of the 14 periods of nonviolence lasting longer than 9 days.”


4 responses to “Gaza Conflict: Who Started It?

  1. There are only two things a nation can always depend on, good or bad: its people and its
    Except, of course, in the case of Israel.
    No other country has devoted its entire history to defending against its enemies and, even
    more absurdly, asserting its very right to exist. For such an otherwise tiny nation – a
    democracy with little in the way of natural or strategic resources – Israel has surely
    received a disproportionate share of global condemnation.
    Just imagine if France, England or Iceland or, heaven forbid, rogue nations like Syria and
    Iran, had spent its entire existence justifying its nationhood. No respites or shifts in
    sympathy – nothing but global denunciations around the clock.
    With Israel the situation is actually even worse. The Jewish state has repeatedly been
    denied its history – as brief as these past 60 years have been. Israel’s back-story is
    instantaneously forgotten as soon as the events take place. Whenever the rest of the
    world judges Israel, which is quite often, the factual record of the Middle East is deemed
    irrelevant to the present moment. A new line gets drawn and past history is erased.
    Nothing that happens to Israel can serve as justification for what it must to do in response.
    What every other nation would legitimately regard as its sovereign right and duty if ever
    placed in the same situation is routinely denied to the Jewish state. The three wars
    initiated against it, the threats of annihilation from its neighbors, the suicide bombers that
    have invaded its buses, pizza shops and Passover Seders, the kidnapping and mutilation
    of its soldiers and, most recently, the rocket attacks launched by Hamas during a
    purported cease-fire all totally vanish like a Middle Eastern mirage, as if these murderous
    events never happened.
    The twisted absurdity of this dilemma – the whitewashing of Palestinian crimes in order to
    cast Israel as the aggressor and undermine its moral authority – is that Israel lives in a
    perpetual state of Groundhog Day. Each day begins anew, disconnected from the day
    before, and yet bizarrely repeated. Israel stands isolated, its actions unprovoked and
    without context.
    WE’VE ALL seen this movie: Israel is the occupier; the reasons for the occupation are
    ignored. Israel fires missiles, launches ground attacks, seals borders and erects walls.
    Israel’s military incursions have resulted in the tragic loss of civilian lives. Hamas men are
    not terrorists, but peace lovers, tragically misunderstood humanists and humanitarians. In
    this false parallel universe, the Jewish dead are never remembered as having once been
    The fact that the Palestinian people, historically, have demonstrated little interest in nation
    building and an extreme fondness for terrorist activities has, outrageously, been left out of
    the grand narrative of the Middle East.
    Without historical background and an honest retelling of events, and subject to such a
    patently hypocritical double standard, Israel is an easy and convenient target for
    condemnation whenever it acts in retaliation for the loss of Jewish life.
    In this frustrating and enduring game of bait and switch, Israel is always left holding the
    body bags.
    Retaliation is a legally and morally necessary response to lethal provocation. It’s not
    possible to have one without the other unless a country has no interest in its future and
    there is no pride in its people.
    IT’S QUITE simple: Without rocket attacks from Hamas, Israeli soldiers wouldn’t be in Gaza
    right now. Israel happily abandoned Gaza several years ago. If Israeli citizens were safe
    from Hamas and Hizbullah instead of being its victims, Israel would have no reason to hunt
    down and disable these terrorist operations, and no innocent Palestinian or Lebanese
    would lose his life as a shield for terrorist murder.
    The moral disequilibrium that the world applies to the Middle East is that all Jewish life is
    dispensable and undeserving of tears. Palestinian deaths, meanwhile, are tragic and
    senseless beyond dimension.
    All death is tragic, and each country’s history – the back-story behind its nationhood,
    survival instincts and collective grief – must be respected and valued equally. Indeed, one
    of the reasons why Israelis have embraced the reality of a Palestinian state is, in part,
    because there has been an evolving awareness of Palestinian pain and historical
    When will Palestinians, and a good many nations of the world, grant Israel the same
    The writer is an American novelist, essayist and law professor. He is the author of The
    Golems of Gotham and The Myth of Moral Justice.
    For Israel, every day is Groundhog Day | Op-Ed Contributors | Jerusalem Post

  2. Truth,
    Your comment is laudatory in its defense of Israel. However, it fails in that it shows your lack of education/knowledge of Palestinian-Israeli affairs–and justice.

    Might I suggest that you educate yourself a wee bit more on how Israel has treated the Palestinians over the last 30 to 40 years.

    I suspect that once you’ve viewed the conflict from a purely non-partisan viewpoint, after researching all available date, you will undoubtedly find that Israel has most definitely mistreated all Palestinians, thus leading to ever more violence.

  3. From Human Rights Watch

    It is important to consider how both governments have treated the Palestinian people.

  4. thequantumbuddha

    Anon, I am not a fan of the various governments of the Israelis and Palestinians. Neither are democratic, nor do they act in the best interests of their own people. Opinion polls show that the majority on both sides want a lasting and fair peace.

    I am not sure how the conflict between factions of the Palestinians is important to issue of which side provokes the majority of violence. Your goal is no doubt to discredit the Palestinians.

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