A column written by Avi Shlaim, professor emeritus of international relations at St Antony's College, Oxford University takes the absurd position that Israel started the Gaza War because it responded to the killing of three Israeli Boys and the continued rocket attacks by Hamas.
The op-ed called "For Israel, the beginning of wisdom is to admit its mistakes" appearing in Sunday's Guardian condoned the Hamas terrorist attacks because they were "were a response to Israel’s aggressive security measures."
What did Israel gain by unleashing the deadly firepower of the IDF against the caged population of this tiny coastal enclave? Virtually nothing. Israel had in fact provoked this crisis by its violent crackdown against Hamas activists on the West Bank following the murder of the three teenagers. Hamas rocket attacks – the ostensible reason for the war – were a response to Israel’s aggressive security measures. The prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, defined the operation’s objective as “calm in return for calm”. But calm prevailed before Israel initiated the cycle of violence. Hamas was left with a quarter of its pre-war rocket arsenal and many of its tunnels, dubbed “terror tunnels” by Israeli spokesmen, were destroyed. But arsenals can be replenished and tunnels can be rebuilt.
Shlaim makes the self-contradictory statement that calm prevailed before Israel struck back. Assuming he meant that before the most recent Gaza War there were no Hamas rocket attacks, the retired professor is way off. The chart below details Hamas rockets fired at Israel before the start of Operation Protective Edge: