A Few Gaza Notes:

(1) A retired British colonel, on the BBC no less, says that there has been "no time in the history of warfare when an army has made more efforts to reduce civilian casualties and the deaths of innocent people than the IDF" did in Gaza.

UPDATE: I hadn't noticed the typically "neutral" BBC headline at the beginning of the video: "Israel continues offensive despite UN resolution."

(2) I was going to do a post on the media "narrative" of the Gaza fighting, but I don't think I could do a better job than this post at the Huffington Post, of all places.

One thing to emphasize: during the Gaza fighting, I could tell you day by day approximately how many Palestinians had been killed, because the media so emphasized this point. I don't have a clue how many Afghans have been killed by NATO's actions in Afghanistan, or by the U.S. and its allies in Iraq. And in those cases, if the media did report casualty figures, they would never conflate the deaths of noncombatants with those of "the enemy." The media consistently reported that "___ Palestinians have so far been killed," as if the deaths of Hamas terrorists were just as regrettable as the death of a child who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

(FWIW, Hamas claims that only 58 of its fighters were killed, and also claims, absurdly, that it killed dozens of Israeli soldiers. The IDF claims that 3/4 of those killed were "Hamas militants." One difficulty is that besides separating civilians from "militants," one has to separate combatant civilians and non-combatant civilians. A "civilian" who stores Hamas weapons in his house, or goes to the roof of a military target when the IAF warns in advance that they plan to bomb it, may be a "civilian" if he isn't officially a member of the Hamas armed forces, but he is not a "noncombatant.")

(3) Leading NGOs performed as usual, advocating not for human rights or international law, but for their own ideological agendas. As usual, NGO Monitor has the scoop.

Marc Garlasco of Human Rights Watch gave a revealing interview to Ha'aretz columnist Amira Hass (who, I'm sure not coincidentally, is the Israeli reporter least likely to ask him any hard questions). If you read the interview closely, you will notice that Garlasco was happy to pass on speculation, rumor, and innuendo about Israeli actions, but says that Hamas's use of civilians as human shields--which was well-documented prior to the recent fighting, and was documented by a variety of sources during the fighting--is not something he's willing to acknowledge without seeing it with his own eyes. "How," he adds, "can anyone trust the Israeli military?"

Sidenote: Oddly enough, Garlasco claims that the U.S. military sends HRW a list of all the bombs it uses in Afghanistan and Iraq, daily. If so, why? Since when does the U.S. reveal military secrets to outside third parties?