JADMAG Issue 1.3 "Gaza Revisited"
Edited by Noura Erakat
In November 2012, Israel began an aerial bombing campaign against the Gaza Strip that lasted eight gruesome days. Even in its ﬁrst hours, and before its full magnitude was known, the military campaign sparked urgency amongst observers because of the memory it evoked. In winter 2008/09, Israel conducted a twenty-two day military offensive against the besieged territory. The offensive, infamously known as Operation Cast Lead, killed some 1,300 Palestinians including 280 children, and destroyed twenty-nine schools, sixty police stations, thirty mosques, and 2,400 homes. Thirteen Israelis were killed during the onslaught including three civilians, and four soldiers who were killed by friendly ﬁre. Israel’s military attack unleashed an unprecedented amount of lethal force that raised a slew of moral, political, and legal controversies. Four years later, observers braced themselves for a similar campaign. Operation Pillar of Cloud was not as devastating or long-lasting as its most recent predecessor, but it marked an equally signiﬁcant juncture in the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conﬂict.
This pedagogy publication examines the November 2012 military offensive and unpacks historical legacies, legal questions, media portrayals, and political considerations. In doing so, the publication helps create a context for the attack and considers possibilities for the future of the conﬂict and the balance of power in the Middle East more generally.
The contributions aim to provide context for a conﬂict that becomes acutely narrow during recurring instances of military confrontation. The challenge is to instill this context in policy, media, legal, and popular discourse in order to move beyond the absurd parity ascribed to parties at war. For one, they are not equal. More importantly, the structural violence of occupation, siege, and de-development never ceases to afﬂict Palestinians even when their skies are free of the humming of drones.