No, said group attacked them from day one. 1948 says hello. And again in 1967. And again and again with the Intifadas. The Palestinians are absolutely the antithesis of innocent. In fact, it is they who have made their own bed.
As for collective punishment, when was the last conventional war? Oh, right, WW2.
As for your "let's say", how about we don't say. There's a reason the US has a top-notch military, and that's so that anyone challenging in a straight up fight gets the crap knocked out of them. Same goes for Israel. When they invaded Lebanon, Beirut fell in a few days. As for your dumb analogy, just to entertain it, guess what?
Let's just go back to the Israeli army: if I'm an Israeli commander and my soldiers are conscripted children no older than I currently am (not even 24 yet) because my country is smaller than New Jersey surrounded by a bunch of misbegotten theocracies run by extremist dumbfucks (whether officially or not), guess what?
I have option A) put those kids in harm's way and have to explain why they died or got grievously injured to their parents.
or option B) blast the damn motherfuckers and get the usual international outcry from a bunch of pansy-ass politicians living in their mansions who have never had a rocket fired at their towns, or have never seen combat. (And probably have some deep-seeded anti-semitism going as well...after all, the Jews do achieve a lot for others to be jealous of--and especially at such a tiny proportion of the world's population)
Sorry, but I'll take option B all the time. Want to fight in the open? Be my guest. Come out and fight. But when I'm outnumbered and commanding a bunch of children, I don't care if they're signed up as soldiers, I'm doing whatever it takes to bring them home safely, because today's soldier is tomorrow's business leader or startup founder after he completes his mandatory army service.
So in truth, I really don't care whose responsibility it is. As an Israeli commander, my biggest responsibility is to my subordinates (at least if I'm a good commander), and frankly, I think that philosophy goes up and down the whole structure of command, all the way up to Bibi "Badass" Netanyahu himself.
As for "certain Israeli political leaders are especially nasty people"...all I have to say is that Bibi Netanyahu is by far my most favorite world leader right now--simply because the man has balls to do what he deems necessary and not pussy-foot around with talking talking talking when talking has shown time and again to do nothing when you're dealing with extremism.
Bibi knows firsthand as a veteran Israeli commando (Israel's equivalent to Navy SEALs mind you) what's up. And he being the badass he is, isn't afraid to take action. But to all the other world leaders these days, what the heck, someone actually having the brass ones to say "screw you" to international opinion and does what's actually best for his people, not what's best for publicity?
This is an outrage!