Dan Cohen, an independent journalist who until about two and a half weeks ago was based in Gaza, made one of his first appearances back in the U.S. at a Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) meeting on Thursday night, Feb. 5. Cohen was there to present his views about what he believes truly happened during Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli military operation in Gaza last summer. Cohen started off by giving a cursory account of his time in the West Bank before the conflict began, followed by an account of his experiences in Gaza during and after the military operation.
Cohen made very clear to his audience that we shouldn’t actually call Operation Protective Edge by that name. In Hebrew, he explained, the name for the operation is Tzuk Eitan, which actually translates roughly as “firm cliff” or “resolute cliff.” Cohen claimed that this difference in semantics has drastic importance for how one sees the purpose of the operation by Israel. While Operation Protective Edge has a very self-defensive sound to it, and for Cohen makes Israel look like it is defending itself, the more accurate translation reveals that Israel allegedly wanted to present a “firm cliff” to the people of Gaza and push them out, crushing them completely in order to discourage further attacks.