This question is prompted by a question that I recently answered.

Israel in Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09 broke a ceasefire by a cross border raid into Gaza to destroy a tunnel that they alleged was to be used in an attack on Israel. This quickly escalated in an all out attack on Gaza beginning with air raids and then developing into a ground offensive.

Roughly 1200 Gazans died, half of them civilians. In contrast about 10 or 15 Israeli soldiers died.

International opinion condemned the attack by Israel and which culminated in the Goldstone Report which accused Israel of war crimes.

Given the sustained line up of western politicians and commentators calling on Palestinian politicians to condemn the attack by Hamas, Piers Morgan being a prominent example, I am curious whether there was also a sustained campaign by western politicians asking that Israeli leaders condemn Operation Cast Lead.

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    This is still considered a 'push question'. Notice that you spent most of the question writing your opinion instead of asking the question. If you delete all that, and just ask whether any Israeli politicians comdemn the barbarities of Operation Cast Lead, I think it's okay. Jan 8 at 7:30
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    The main place your opinion shines through is in the reporting of the "facts" - the initial attack by Israel to destroy the tunnel only killed Hamas militants. Hamas then responded with a renewed barrage of rocket fire (a fact you leave out). There were then attempts to renew peace and, when unsuccessful, Israel responded to Hamas' continued rocket fire with operation cast lead. The goldstone report accused both sides of war crimes. You say the background is useful because few people know about it but only tell half the story - to be objective either write it in full or not at all. Jan 8 at 8:58
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    a brief reading on operation Cast Lead presents facts you omit. it seems this question is more propaganda than anything else. VTC. Jan 8 at 9:23
  • @For Shani Nicole Louk: The question is not "propaganda' as you put it. For evidence see the top answer below. May 7 at 10:43

2 Answers 2


Israel is a democracy with a strong left-wing, including as the Palestinian Israeli citizens, as well as many Jewish Israelis (see also my answer to How prevalent is profound criticism of Israel among Israelis?). While Israelis are not likely to advocate for extreme solutions promoted by the extreme Palestinian factions - like exterminating the Jews or establishing a Muslim state from the Jordan river to Mediterranean Sea, many do support the two-state solution or even the one-state solution, and regularly denounce what they consider as the excessive and/or unnecessary violence by the IDF. Notable examples are organizations like B'Tselem - committed to documenting abuse by the Israeli military, and Breaking the silence - composed of the veterans of the IDF, denouncing the practices in which they had participated.

In particular, during the operation Cast Lead there had been protests University students against the operation, including Arab and Jewish students:

At the University of Haifa, Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jewish leftist and Arab students staged anti-war demonstrations, which were met with pro-war counter-demonstrations. Some confrontations occurred despite police keeping protesters apart.

If there were no protests in Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva, it is because during this war Hamas for the first time used Grad rockets, capable of reaching this town. (The range of the rockets have increased thereafter with every conflict - they now routinely reach Tel-AViv, Jerusalem and other towns in the central Israel, their range overlapping with that of the Lebanese Hezbollah - see Palestinian Rocket Arsenal.)

As far as high-profile condemnations go, Meretz, the party of left-wing Jewish intellectuals, explicitly demanded inquiry into IDF actions after publication of Goldstone report:

Meretz head Haim Oron became the first MK from a non-Arab party on Thursday to call for the government to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the IDF's behavior during Operation Cast Lead. Responding to the UN Human Rights Council report on the operation, Oron said "there is no diplomatic wisdom in merely attacking the report and its writers." The government's decision to not cooperate with South African Constitutional Court judge Richard Goldstone's commission was a "big mistake," and "the best way to fix the storm that has erupted in the wake of the report is to form an organized committee of inquiry," Oron said. Leftist organizations in Israel have also called for a commission of inquiry, as did an editorial in the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper. "The cloud of Cast Lead will not dissipate on its own," the editorial said. "Instead of a futile attempt to reject the report and undermine the legitimacy of the Goldstone Commission, the government would do better to establish a state commission of inquiry to thoroughly investigate the serious accusations that were placed this week on Israel's doorstep. Such a step could prevent a more severe entanglement."

Some party members adopted even more pro-Palestinian positions. Notably, Zehava Galon, who blamed teh Meretz' equivocal response to Cast Lead for its losses in the subsequent elections (she woudl later become the party chairman):

Galon volunteered her third spot on the Meretz list for the 2009 elections as a gesture of respect for Nitzan Horowitz, but lost her seat when the party was reduced to three seats. She attributed the party's failure to its uncertain response to Israel's Operation Cast Lead, and said: "My opinion was different than that of most party members. Because Meretz is an ideological party, it must have a clear statement even in such a situation". In March 2011 she returned to the Knesset after Haim Oron retired.

Hadash, the far left Jewish-Arab party, was clear in its denunciations:

The findings of an IDF probe into Operation Cast Lead "throw sand in the eyes of the truth about the war crimes that Israel committed in Gaza," Hadash chair Muhammed Barakei said Wednesday evening. He went on to say that the military officials involved in the investigation were unfit to do so, as they were "part of the system that committed the crimes." "There will be no refuge for those responsible- from the head of the pyramid to the last soldier," Barakei added.

The IDF was obviously condemned by the Arab Israeli parties, like Ta'al - this party was suspended from 2009 parliamentary elections, which its leaders blamed on the party positions during the Operation Cast Lead.

It is necessary to point out that United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, known as the Goldstone Report, condemned both IDF and the Palestinian Militias of committing war crimes:

The Goldstone Report accused both the Israel Defense Forces and the Palestinian militants of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity. It recommended that each side openly investigate its own conduct, and to bring the allegations to the International Criminal Court if they failed to do so.


After relatively minor (six militants killed) clash around tunnel that Israel wanted to destroy, Hamas started rocket attacks against Israel. Between 2001 and 2009 the rockets have killed 28 people and injured hundreds more (source).

From the view point of Israel, its following actions were caused by the need to stop these rocket attacks. Palestinian medical sources say that more than 1,000 people have been killed. This does not look really proportional but may explain Israel not condemning much the own attempt to stop rockets raining on them.


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