Israeli War Crimes and Propaganda Follow US Blueprint

Yves here. It may seem disheartening to see so many chronicle the deliberate extermination of Palestinians as part of a purported Hamas clearing operation in Gaza yet see no change in its apparent trajectory. But as some observers who are watching the action closely (see for instance Alastair Crooke’s latest talk on Judge Napolitano), various Arab interests are increasing their attacks on Israel. And military experts (Douglas Macgregor, and informed commentators like Larry Johnson) point out, Israel cannot afford a long war, geopolitically or economically, and is not very far along at all with rooting out Hamas. It may be flattening Gaza but has yet to engage meaningfully on the ground, which is necessary to meet the aim of “defeating Hamas.”

This is a long winded way of saying that Israel is turning itself into a world pariah in a war it cannot win on its own terms. Relentlessly focusing on that could save at least some Palestinians by increasing the cost to Israel of continuing the carnage. So the continued documentation and criticism is productive, even if it does not feel like it (and is deeply distressing, to seem so unable to force a halt to the slaughter).

This article focuses on the propaganda war and minimization of Israel’s brazen behavior. I wish it used the word censorship more, because that is a key part of this US/Israel media strategy. Likely due to the editorial choice of making a concise case, it omitted a key point that I believe bears repeating:

And Israel’s pretext for the destruction of the Rantisi hospital comes up short. No Hamas bunkers or weapons caches:

By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies, the authors of War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict, published by OR Books in November 2022. Medea Benjamin is the cofounder of CODEPINK for Peace, and the author of several books, including Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  Nicolas J. S. Davies is an independent journalist, a researcher for CODEPINK and the author of Blood on Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq

We have both been reporting on and protesting against U.S. war crimes for many years, and against identical crimes committed by U.S. allies and proxies like Israel and Saudi Arabia: illegal uses of military force to try to remove enemy governments or “regimes”; hostile military occupations; disproportionate military violence justified by claims of “terrorism”; the bombing and killing of civilians; and the mass destruction of whole cities.

Most Americans share a general aversion to war, but tend to accept this militarized foreign policy because we are tragically susceptible to propaganda, the machinery of public manipulation that works hand in hand with the machinery of killing to justify otherwise unthinkable horrors.

This process of “manufacturing consent” works in a number of ways. One of the most effective forms of propaganda is silence, simply not telling us, and certainly not showing us, what war is really doing to the people whose homes and communities have been turned into America’s latest battlefield.

The most devastating campaign the U.S. military has waged in recent years dropped over 100,000 bombs and missiles on Mosul in Iraq, Raqqa in Syria, and other areas occupied by ISIS or Da’esh. An Iraqi Kurdish intelligence report estimated that more than 40,000 civilians were killed in Mosul, while Raqqa was even more totally destroyed.

The shelling of Raqqa was the heaviest U.S. artillery bombardment since the Vietnam War, yet it was barely reported in the U.S. corporate media. A recent New York Times article about the traumatic brain injuries and PTSD suffered by U.S. artillerymen operating 155 mm howitzers, which each fired up to 10,000 shells into Raqqa, was appropriately titled A Secret War, Strange New Wounds and Silence from the Pentagon.

Shrouding such mass death and destruction in secrecy is a remarkable achievement. When British playwright Harold Pinter was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005, in the midst of the Iraq War, he titled his Nobel speech “Art, Truth and Politics,” and used it to shine a light on this diabolical aspect of U.S. war-making.

After talking about the hundreds of thousands of killings in Indonesia, Greece, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Haiti, Turkey, the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador, Chile and Nicaragua, Pinter asked:  “Did they take place? And are they in all cases attributable to US foreign policy? The answer is yes, they did take place and they are attributable to American foreign policy,”

“But you wouldn’t know it,” he went on.”It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.”

But the wars and the killing go on, day after day, year after year, out of sight and out of mind for most Americans. Did you know that the United States and its allies have dropped more than 350,000 bombs and missiles on 9 countries since 2001 (including 14,000 in the current war on Gaza)? That’s an average of 44 airstrikes per day, day in, day out, for 22 years.

Israel, in its present war on Gaza, with children making up more than 40% of the more than 11,000 people killed to date, would surely like to mimic the extraordinary U.S. ability to hide its brutality. But despite Israel’s efforts to impose a media blackout, the massacre is taking place in a small, enclosed, densely-populated urban area, often called an open-air prison, where the world can see a great deal more than usual of how it impacts real people.

Israel has killed a record number of journalists in Gaza, and this appears to be a deliberate strategy, as when U.S. forces targeted journalists in Iraq. But we are still seeing horrifying video and photos of daily new atrocities: dead and wounded children; hospitals struggling to treat the injured; and desperate people fleeing from one place to another through the rubble of their destroyed homes.

Another reason this war is not so well hidden is because Israel is waging it, not the United States. The U.S. is supplying most of the weapons, has sent aircraft carriers to the region, and dispatched U.S. Marine General James Glynn to provide tactical advice based on his experience conducting similar massacres in Fallujah and Mosul in Iraq. But Israeli leaders seem to have overestimated the extent to which the U.S. information warfare machine would shield them from public scrutiny and political accountability.

Unlike in Fallujah, Mosul and Raqqa, people all over the world are seeing video of the unfolding catastrophe on their computers, phones and TVs. Netanyahu, Biden and the corrupt “defense analysts” on cable TV are no longer the ones creating the narrative, as they try to tack self-serving narratives onto the horrifying reality we can all see for ourselves.

With the reality of war and genocide staring the world in the face, people everywhere are challenging the impunity with which Israel is systematically violating international humanitarian law.

Michael Crowley and Edward Wong have reported in the New York Times that Israeli officials are defending their actions in Gaza by pointing to U.S. war crimes, insisting that they are simply interpreting the laws of war the same way that the United States has interpreted them in Iraq and other U.S. war zones. They compare Gaza to Fallujah, Mosul and even Hiroshima.

But copying U.S. war crimes is precisely what makes Israel’s actions illegal. And it is the world’s failure to hold the United States accountable that has emboldened Israel to believe it too can kill with impunity.

The United States systematically violates the UN Charter’s prohibition against the threat or use of force, manufacturing political justifications to suit each case and using its Security Council veto to evade international accountability. Its military lawyers employ unique, exceptional interpretations of the Fourth Geneva Convention, under which the universal protections the Convention guarantees to civilians are treated as secondary to U.S. military objectives.

The United States fiercely resists the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Court (ICC), to ensure that its exceptional interpretations of international law are never subjected to impartial judicial scrutiny.

When the United States did allow the ICJ to rule on its war against Nicaragua in 1986, the ICJ ruled that its deployment of the “Contras” to invade and attack Nicaragua and its mining of Nicaragua’s ports were acts of aggression in violation of international law, and ordered the United States to pay war reparations to Nicaragua. When the United States declared that it would no longer recognize the jurisdiction of the ICJ and failed to pay up, Nicaragua asked the UN Security Council to enforce the reparations, but the U.S. vetoed the resolution.

Atrocities like Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the bombing of German and Japanese cities to “unhouse” the civilian population, as Winston Churchill called it, together with the horrors of Germany’s Nazi holocaust, led to the adoption of the new Fourth Geneva Convention in 1949, to protect civilians in war zones and under military occupation.

On the 50th anniversary of the Convention in 1999, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which is responsible for monitoring international compliance with the Geneva Conventions, conducted a survey to see how well people in different countries understood the protections the Convention provides.

They surveyed people in twelve countries that had been victims of war, in four countries (France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S.) that are permanent members of the UN Security Council, and in Switzerland where the ICRC is based. The ICRC published the results of the survey in 2000, in a report titled, People on War – Civilians in the Line of Fire.

The survey asked people to choose between a correct understanding of the Convention’s civilian protections and a watered-down interpretation of them that closely resembles that of U.S. and Israeli military lawyers.

The correct understanding was defined by a statement that combatants “must attack only other combatants and leave civilians alone.” The weaker, incorrect statement was that “combatants should avoid civilians as much as possible” as they conduct military operations.

Between 72% and 77% of the people in the other UNSC countries and Switzerland agreed with the correct statement, but the United States was an outlier, with only 52% agreeing. In fact 42% of Americans agreed with the weaker statement, twice as many as in the other countries. There were similar disparities between the United States and the others on questions about torture and the treatment of prisoners of war.

In U.S.-occupied Iraq, the United States’ exceptionally weak interpretations of the Geneva Conventions led to endless disputes with the ICRC and the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), which issued damning quarterly human rights reports. UNAMI consistently maintained that U.S. airstrikes in densely populated civilian areas were violations of international law.

For instance, its human rights report for the 2nd quarter of 2007 documented UNAMI’s investigations of 15 incidents in which U.S. occupation forces killed 103 Iraqi civilians, including 27 killed in airstrikes in Khalidiya, near Ramadi, on April 3rd, and 7 children killed in a helicopter attack on an elementary school in Diyala province on May 8th.

UNAMI demanded that “all credible allegations of unlawful killings by MNF (Multi-National Force) forces be thoroughly, promptly and impartially investigated, and appropriate action taken against military personnel found to have used excessive or indiscriminate force.”

A footnote explained, “Customary international humanitarian law demands that, as much as possible, military objectives must not be located within areas densely populated by civilians. The presence of individual combatants among a great number of civilians does not alter the civilian character of an area.”

UNAMI also rejected U.S. claims that its widespread killing of civilians was the result of the Iraqi Resistance using civilians as “human shields,” another U.S. propaganda trope that Israel is mimicking today. Israeli accusations of human shielding are even more absurd in the densely populated, confined space of Gaza, where the whole world can see that it is Israel that is placing civilians in the line of fire as they desperately seek safety from Israeli bombardment.

Calls for a ceasefire in Gaza are echoing around the world: through the halls of the United Nations; from the governments of traditional U.S. allies like France, Spain and Norway; from a newly united front of previously divided Middle Eastern leaders; and in the streets of London and Washington. The world is withdrawing its consent for a genocidal “two-state solution” in which Israel and the United States are the only two states that can settle the fate of Palestine.

If U.S. and Israeli leaders are hoping that they can squeak through this crisis, and that the public’s habitually short attention span will wash away the world’s horror at the crimes we are all witnessing, that may be yet another serious misjudgment. As Hannah Arendt wrote in 1950 in the preface to The Origins of Totalitarianism.

“We can no longer afford to take that which was good in the past and simply call it our heritage, to discard the bad and simply think of it as a dead load which by itself time will bury in oblivion. The subterranean stream of Western history has finally come to the surface and usurped the dignity of our tradition. This is the reality in which we live. And this is why all efforts to escape from the grimness of the present into nostalgia for a still intact past, or into the anticipated oblivion of a better future, are vain.”

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  1. Lex

    What’s really fascinating to me is how poorly the US playbook is working, both for Israel and the US. To some extent the way that leadership in both countries hasn’t caught on, so continues to attempt the playbook is also fascinating. It seems likely that the power of social media was unaccounted for and the propaganda playbook either not updated or simply assumed that social media could be controlled the way traditional media has been. Modern Israel has shown itself to be particularly bad at social media manipulation. The stuff it’s putting out is bad, literally unbelievable bad.

    The propaganda and public response to it seem to suggest continuation of a broader trend: that the last 30 years of world order are ending. Nobody, but especially not leadership in the west, knows exactly what to do about that or what comes next. But the people in charge of the west are at a complete loss. None of them are equipped to analyze it much less adjust to it. They’re the truest believers in their own propaganda. Their entire self-conception is rooted in it.

    Biden didn’t expect that he might have to leash Israel because he got so much pushback. He’s sure he’s saving democracy from the bad guys. His minions believe the “we make reality” line. Their slow motion impact with reality is fascinating, disturbing and not just a little terrifying.

    1. John Hacker

      … here’s hoping they (‘leadership of the west’) don’t kill off the species. if only we knew the goal…

    2. Hepativore

      I think that US political leadership also assumes that it does not have to care about what its subjects want or do not want, as our elite probably follows the assumption (Perhaps rightly so) that the population of the US is in no position to threaten its leadership class in any meaningful way, as any sort of non-symbolic demonstration or uprising would be quickly brought to heel by our militarized police forces and the military itself. After all, they both get their marching orders from our political and financial elites, and I doubt that our leadership would hesistate to start drone-bombing our own population if it felt that the citizenry was getting ideas above its station.

      We got to this point because the US leadership is not only grossly wrong, but it has also felt for decades that it did not need to be right as the truth does not matter to the people inside the Washington D.C. bubble if you have the weaponry and institutional power to impose your opinion whether people like it or not.

    3. Dave Hansell

      “the people in charge of the west are at a complete loss. None of them are equipped to analyze it much less adjust to it. They’re the truest believers in their own propaganda. Their entire self-conception is rooted in it…….His minions believe the “we make reality” line.”

      In general terms the phenomena described here tends to get limited to the political sphere. Though Andrei Martyanov extends this to the military, academic and educational, and industrial spheres.

      Having experienced first hand over a period of three and half decades the way in which all competence (knowledge + expertise + experience) was deliberately and systematically managed out of the organisational and institutional system in the company I was employed in it seems hardly surprising that the same process has been at work across all organisations and institutions at every level throughout the Collective West.

      In his recent tome ‘The Collapse of Antiquity’ Michael Hudson describes the inevitable result of this Oligarch driven process in which skills and expertise built up over centuries was lost following the similar intransigence of the same Oligarchical mindset after almost a millennium of control of the Roman State.

      Once a society or so called ‘civilisation’ loses that experience, expertise and competency as a result of the processes we are presently living through systemic collapse is inevitable.

  2. Max Z

    > And military experts (Douglas Macgregor, and informed commentators like Larry Johnson) point out, Israel cannot afford a long war, geopolitically or economically, and is not very far along at all with rooting out Hamas.

    I wonder what are Hersh’s sources smoking since in the fresh article they’re talking about the Gaza situation like Hamas is almost done. I’d say Dreizin does that as well, though maybe to a lesser degree.

    1. vao

      “Almost done” is wholly unrealistic.

      On the other hand, the situation of Gaza resembles very much that of fortified cities under siege from the past. Without food and water, with diseases on the verge of spreading unimpeded, and no outside relief army to break the siege, the Palestinians are ultimately doomed.

      A good modern comparison is Raqqa. It took over four months, it involved turning the entire city into ash and rubble with no regard for the civilian population, but Daesh was eventually evicted from it.

    2. JohnnyGL

      I just read Hersh’s report this morning, “Hamas’ Alamo”. These sources are either out of their minds or just full of crap. There’s no way this is going to end well. Such optimism about the ethnic cleansing.

      1. TimH

        Any leagal eagle prepared to comment about the chances of the Center for Constitutional Rights’s lawsuit against Biden accusing him of failing to follow his obligations under international and U.S. law to prevent the genocide in Gaza?

  3. Lexx

    ‘And this is why all efforts to escape from the grimness of the present into nostalgia for a still intact past, or into the anticipated oblivion of a better future, are vain.”’

    A case where in both definitions of the word ‘vain’, one supports the other.

    I just ‘saw’* ‘All The Light We Can Not See’, yet another dramatic series of WW2, this time in France. Then ‘Woman In Gold’ once again streaming on Netflix. Is it my imagination or do we see an increase in these kinds of movies as global war starts to kick up a notch once again? It’s not really entertainment but propaganda. A constant reminder of who the heroes and villains are/were, with the villains even more over-the-top evil than how they were depicted 10 years ago. I suspect war movie production will never end. It will never be ‘over’ over there.

    *I don’t really watch television; I’m doing something else in the room and there’s something playing on the monitor. Most viewing has become a waste of time. Like most of the commentariat, I don’t have the time anymore to waste.

    1. Eclair

      Thanks, Lexx. I have noticed an increase in ‘war’ films on Netflix. My son recommended ‘All the Light ….,’ but it sounded too ‘bittersweet’ for my current mood. My spouse and I tried the colorized documentary ‘They Shall Not Grow Old,’ and I had to leave after about 20 minutes. Simply too many old British soldiers announcing that ‘we were just doing our duty, no big deal,’ over shots of trenches strewn with dismembered corpses. Sounded like a warning to all you millennial sissies out there who will be trying to avoid a draft: just hitch up your pants and get on with it!’ ‘All Quiet on the Western Front,’ bears watching, though.

    2. David in Friday Harbor

      My wife had All the Light… on the telly the other evening. Probably made a cute read as a book, but in a multi-million dollar special-effects extravaganza the historical appropriation of the destruction of Saint-Malo as a backdrop for casual cartoon violence makes my skin crawl. I do think that consuming TV makes us callous to the suffering of others — or perhaps it is simply a reflection of our inherent callousness.

      Reading about U.S. CentCom’s Task Force 9 Operation Talon Anvil and how a hundred poor grunts secretly shelled the city of Raqqa into dust likewise makes my skin crawl. It’s no wonder that the Blinken, Sullivan, and the U.S. Deep State elites lack empathy for the children of Gaza. They seem to want to numb us so that the crisis of empathy experienced by de Gaulle in Algeria and de Klerk in South Africa will not be repeated over Palestine.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Not much in the movies about Iraq, Libya, Afghan, etc., either, except for maybe oorah set pieces showcasing our “special operators” and of course our valiant snipers who pink-mist cartoon Arabs from miles away. Using computer-sighted rifles that take a lot of the skill out of the kill.

        As. Vietnam vet I have a hard time not telling the ordinary dope citizens who spastically and perfunctorily “thank me for my service” just how deaf, dumb and blind they are.

        I wonder how violent the Elites’ storm troopers will be when SHTF. The police seem to attract and harden the worst sorts, a charming selection process. Not so sure how obedient the First Cav and 82nd and 101st are going to be when ordered to shoot their fellow citizens and burn down their homes. The volunteer woke military of today is a different animal from the conscripts of my day, which had pockets of actual mutiny in the late 60s and early 70s. I’m sure the War Department is turning up the fires in the caverns where their future orc and cyborg and drone armies are gestating.

        This sure ain’t the nation I thought I was going off to defend in enlisting in 1966.

        1. vao

          There were several movies about the war in Korea, but cinematographic production about this topic completely ceased already in the late 1950s.

  4. upstater

    Will Bibi get indicted by the ICC? Most probably not… the US has routinely attacked hospitals and then pays $6000 for each death. Kunduz was a pretty egregious attack. No substantive consequences for that one. The US general said the AC 130 couldn’t get email. MSF had earlier provided GPS coordinates and made repeated pleas during the attack.

    Our stuff don’t stink. That could be Biden’s 2024 slogan

    1. Paul Art

      Michael Hudson on the Geopolitical Economy Report on the “Why does American support Israel” show today says it is indeed all about oil and also to keep Israel as a “landed” Aircraft Carrier for the US.

    2. Synoia

      The most fervent Israelis want all the land for God’s (self) chosen people, and wish there there were none but god’s (self) Chosen residing in Israel.

      Read the bible, especially the part after Moses’ death and the treatment of the then locals by the beneficiaries of God’s land.”promptest land” and recognize that there have been at least two evictions by third parties (The Assyrians aka Iranians and the Romans) followed by a return.

      All of this carefully recorded and none of it forgotten or forgiven.

  5. ciroc

    They commit war crimes to protect their right not to be tried for war crimes. Does anyone believe that the world follows the U.S. because it shares its noble ideals of freedom and democracy? Of course not. The reality of Pax Americana is fear of what will happen to you if you oppose the US.

  6. Michael Fiorillo

    “… fear of what will happen to you if you oppose the US.”

    True, and now immeasurably complicated and amplified by the reality that, a la Ukraine, there’s justifiable fear of what will result if you do the Hegemon’s bidding… something the Israeli’s might want to at least game out.

  7. Archie Meedees

    “[W]e are tragically susceptible to propaganda” but whose propaganda has caused one to forget what actual war is?  There is good reason why nations use every resource possible to deter the outbreak of war with a professional military. The risk is existential. So, whose propaganda has caused one to identify with the murderers of Oct 7, who lust for war, who would still be murdering in Israel had they not been stopped with force, and who continue to murder Gazans in commission of ongoing crimes.

    There is no moral high-ground for either side during a war. Hamas declared war on Oct 7. Elimination or surrender are the only two outcomes of a war. Hamas are rank amateurs when it comes to war. And when it comes to terrorism, the IRA could teach them a thing or two.

    40,000 civilians died during the London Blitz, and has far as I’m aware, Churchill had not even resorted to kidnapping families. There were no calls for ceasefire. None would be granted if there were. The threat had to be eliminated. It was, after millions perished.

    There will be no ceasefires without the release of hostages; Israel owes its families that much of a commitment. The kidnapped will not be allowed to languish in captivity.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      No, they won’t be allowed to languish. Israel will just bomb their own citizens instead, as they have already been doing according to multiple Israeli witnesses.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Oh, so you’d rather have Israel kill all the hostages in its razing of Gaza and its planned gassing of the tunnels. My, you have a lot of concern for their welfare.

      You also choose to ignore that it has now come out that most of the people who died at the rave were shot by Israeli helicopter gunships:

      BTW people who have a lot more knowledge of Israel than you do have a different take. Scott Ritter, who worked extensively with the IDF, says the Hamas attack will be studied by military historians as a brilliantly executed raid. Alastair Crooke, who has done hostage negotiations in the Middle East, says the so-called “Resistance” is doing a good job of playing Israel for its Pavlovian reflexes and not doing what Israel expects in response to its moves.

      Finally, did you miss that Israel is an occupier and therefor has no right to self defense in international law, while the occupied have a right to resist? That Israeli leader from its inception have admitted that they are committed to a project of (at best) ethnic cleansing? See here for details:

      I could cite more evidence but regard someone who opposes a ceasefire and therefore supports the extermination of 2.2 million people in Gaza as beneath contempt, intellectually as well as morally.

      1. Susan the other

        The detailed argument Ritter has made about this situation is that there has been an ongoing pursuit of the old idea of Greater Israel “from the river to the sea” and that the coming together of the Saudis and Israel was a step in that direction, now with Israel being a big energy hub, etc. He goes on to make a difficult justification for an attack by “Hamas” – that it was a genius move because it forces Israel to include the statehood of Palestine in this configuration. He fails to elaborate on the virtual genocide going on. Because the situation is so confrontational – existential – it would seem that Israel really does want all the profits from the control of offshore natural gas, within the coastal limit, 5 miles from Gaza. And so do we most likely. It is estimated to be worth trillions. And the reserves contested with Lebanon as well, I’d assume. Statehood for Palestine seems to have become lost in the rubble.

      2. Not Qualified to Comment

        I’m afraid I can’t accept an unsupported claim from George Galloway as conclusive of anything.

        I have heard similar claims from other commentators so don’t dismiss them, it’s certainly possible that a confused over-reaction by the Israelis might well have failed to distinguish friend from foe, and I can’t see what Hammas might have been looking to achieve via a slaughter rather than just seizing hostages for negotiation and a publicity stunt hence yes, it’s credible. But as has been demonstrated too often it’s too easy to be stampeded into taking sides by emotive propaganda so in the absence of at least persuasive evidence I’m keeping an open mind on this.

        1. Polar Socialist

          You should read Haaretz, these stories have been all over the Israel media. Admitted by the helicopter pilots, witnessed by the survivors and raised by the kibbutz security personnel.

          Even I did saw news reports far away from Israel during that day about Israel security forces shooting each other and innocent by-passers in the confusion of the Hamas raid.

          And while it doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things, the settlers are armed to the teeth and there certainly were shootouts between Hamas and the settlers, IDF and the settlers and Hamas and IDF on that day.

        2. Thomas The Obscure

          There is literally footage from one of the helicopters involved where one can see ravers running to a line of cars whilst being gunned down, as well as an interview and clear admission with one of the pilots. Similar has occurred with IDF artillery fire destroying kibbutzes.

          I find it very disappointingly odd and dreary that people wish to form an opinion and comment on the above issue when it is literally big news in Israel and has been well covered in Haaretz, amongst other places. Those in denial seem more attached to the possibility of a contrarian position regarding evidence of IDF wrongdoing than doing the easy google search and reading news outlets in Israel that publish stories in english, such as Haaretz. Many people seem to still believe even the original lies regarding 50 beheaded babies and mass rape despite a complete absence of any evidence. Strange days indeed, witnessing those who remain dutiful to the West’s Ministry of Truth.

        3. Dave Hansell

          “so in the absence of at least persuasive evidence I’m keeping an open mind on this.”

          That only works in legitimate terms when it is applied consistently.

          There is no ‘persuasive’ evidence that the claim by one the belligerents – the Israeli State – that Palestinians in the form of Hamas deliberately murdered 1400 civilians on 7th October. In fact, a perusal of the Haaratz website reveals less than 1200 military, police, rescue services and civilians killed SINCE 7th October.

          Until proper due process has considered all the available evidence – including that from eye witness survivors who witnessed the IDF shooting and shelling indiscriminately along with participants who concede the same any response from both the State of Israel and its Western political and media class sponsors is based on an unproven and very likely false premise.

          Yet all that we are witnessing – the Hobson’s choice of quick or slow genocide – of an entire people designated as ‘untermenschen’ – has proceeded from that less than “persuasive” claim for which contrary evidence exists.

          Anyone genuine in ‘keeping an open mind’ would recognise and accept that the actions of the Israeli State and the Collective West are based on “emotive propaganda” which is deliberately mass murdering civilians.

          It would certainly be useful for ‘Not Qualified to Comment’ to clarify their position on this point?

    3. Alice X

      In April of 1948 the Zionists declared war on the Palestinians, unknown numbers were killed and 700,000 plus were driven off their land and from their homes into refugee camps.

      In June 1967 another 350,000 were driven into refugee camps.

      After 75 years of ethnic cleansing, 56 years of occupation of what wasn’t taken in 1948 and 16 years of a blockade of Gaza, October 7 was another point in a timeline of one tragedy after another, but one point where the Palestinians fought back. It all stems from the original Nakba, the original catastrophe instigated by the Zionists.

      Now we are witnessing the Nakba 2023. This time the world may be taking closer notice, and paying attention to the grim history.

      1. Petter

        Adding – history did not begin on October 7th ( referring to Hamas killing of women and children.)It’s happened many, many times throughout history- one example – Mau mau in Kenya. Another – Ukrainians slughtering Poles in their during WWII Volhynia.
        Not to excuse – but history did not start on October 7th.

    4. Don

      Do you honestly believe that his war began on October 7, 2023?

      When 750,000 Palestinians were driven out of Palestine, many thousands killed, and 500 Palestinian towns and villages razed by, Zionist — what should we call them, militias? terrorists? — seven and a half decades ago, what was that?

      Really, I want an answer, I demand an answer: What was that?

  8. Paul Whittaker

    just a comment about the insertion of a bit of sex between this article on war crimes and the comments which follow?? I guess if it pays the bills….

  9. Amnon Portugaly

    On the war against the Hamas in Gaza

    Never again is NOW
    Free Palestine from Hamas
    Free Gaza from Hamas – ISIS
    Free the World from Hamas – ISIS

    On the shortage in Gaza

    The claims that Israel is responsible for the shortage in Gaza are fake and should be thrown into the history garbage bin.
    Israel is not responsible for the shortage of electricity, water, fuel, food and medicine in Gaza, to the same extent that Egypt, which shares a border crossing with Gaza, is not responsible, and to the same extent that other countries are not obligated to supply electricity and water and fuel and food and medicine to Gaza. The one entity that is responsible for this, for the terrible situation in Gaza, is Hamas/ISIS, which controls Gaza.

    On the price paid by the residents of Gaza for the criminal acts that their government is doing and has done.

    The people of Gaza chose Hamas in the 2006 elections to be their leader.
    The Hamas government preferred not to produce electricity, not to desalinate or import water, not to build suitable stocks of medicine and food and fuel, but to use Gaza’s meager resources to manufacture or import rockets, rifles and ammunition and other weapons of war, to establish and train commando battalions, to build vast maze of underground tunnels, instead of establishing and building education and the economy in Gaza.

    About 90 years ago, German citizens elected the Nazi Party and Hitler as their leader. Hitler brought disaster and death to the world, and especially to the Jews, of unimaginable proportions.
    The Germans who elected him paid a heavy price. About 7.5 million German soldiers and civilians, nearly 10% of Germany’s population, were killed in World War II. About 2.2 million Germans were displaced from Eastern Germany, where they lived for hundreds of years, which was annexed to Poland.

    The people of Gaza are now paying the price for choosing Hamas-ISIS as their leader in the 2006 elections. On this they can complain only on themselves.

    And we must not forget, the residents of Israel are also paying an unbearable price for Hamas’ election as leader of Gaza in the 2006 elections. About 2,000 Israelis, most of them are Israeli civilians from toddlers to the elderly, and soldiers, as well as foreign nationals, were killed or kidnapped in a Hamas raid on Saturday and Sunday, October 7-8.

    About the bombing and destruction in Gaza.

    During World War II, Britain and the United States mercilessly bombed German cities. I will only mention the massive bombing of Hamburg, in which about 45,000 Germans were killed and 250,000 buildings destroyed, and in fact the city was almost completely destroyed, and the massive bombing of Dresden in which, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica, about 25,000 to 35,000 Germans were killed, although there are estimates that increase the number to about 250, 000 dead. About 85% of the city’s buildings over an area of 34 square kilometers in the city center were completely destroyed.
    In August 2014, when the US decided to annihilate ISIS, it destroyed the cities of Mosul and Ar-Raqqa. Many innocent people have paid with their lives, but the world is safer now because ISIS has been defeated.

    This does not mean that Israel should kill the residents of Gaza. This means that Israel and the free world must eliminate Hamas’ military and political power, as was done with ISIS.

    In contrast to the bombing of German cities by Britain and the United States during World War II, in Gaza the Israeli army warns the residents of Gaza in advance and asks them to leave the areas that the army intends to bomb in its war against Hamas.

    And in Israel itself, the IDF announced the evacuation of communities, located up to 7 Km along the northern and Gaza border. Currently, about 200,000 Israelis are outside their homes.

    1. Thomas The Obscure

      I don’t understand why you people bother to comment when you are not even aware that the Zionist occupier legally forbids any Gazan local production of either electricity or water. The IDF for many years has destroyed ANY wells or large rainwater tanks in Gaza, including gutter systems on roofs if it appears that such systems may be used to gather water. Just as the Israeli colonial occupiers have long controlled ALL food that is allowed into Gaza and the West Bank. Stunning that you were not aware of this fact.

      Regarding Hamas, have you not read any of the well documented history of Bibi supporting Hamas’ rise to power, including financial payments? Again, stunning that one thinks they may comment without seeming to have any awareness of this history. Or are you being intentionally dissimulatory?

      If you have at all been engaged with this present ethnic cleansing, you must also be aware that many civilians were murdered by IDF ‘friendly fire’ – indeed, the last images of the IDF oct 7th propaganda atrocity-footage-for-journalists seems in accord with the effects of an Apache helicopter attack – and that 200 ‘formerly assumed dead’ Israelis were this week made somehow ‘undead’ and removed from the list of the deceased.
      Which means that now IDF and Police Make up a larger proportion of those killed in the Oct 7th prison break and offensive.

  10. Jams O'Donnell

    “The one entity that is responsible for this, for the terrible situation in Gaza, is Hamas/ISIS, which controls Gaza.”

    A transparent lie, like the rest of your hasbara. Israel has complete control of all utilities, people, food, and supplies of all kinds going into Gaza, and can, as it just has, eliminate them at will. Israel maintains as it has done since it evacuated its settlers from Gaza, a complete and comprehensive blockade which has left the citizens of Gaza with no alternative but to embark on this desperate attempt to focus the worlds attention on their Israeli imposed plight. Plus ‘Hamas’ is not ‘ISIS’ – for example, one difference is that Israel treated ISIS fighter wounded in Syria in Israeli hospitals. For another, ISIS is not fighting in Gaza.

  11. Ruby

    I came to your site after reading an entry about ageism.
    I’ll be out in public, maybe ordering coffee, and someone I don’t know will address me as “sweetie.” I’m a 60-year-old woman, and I look my age. Because people haven’t called me “sweetie” since I was about 5, I’m thinking this is an age thing. That seems more obvious when a stranger ironically addresses me as “young lady” in situations where “excuse me,” “hello,” “hey, you,” or “pardon me, ma’am” would do just fine.’
    I wasn’t clear on who wrote it, but it resonated with me 100%, and I was grateful for it. I still work full-time at 71, apparently to the marvel of many. My workplace, a public library, never once addressed ageism in all the required ‘compliance training’ videos and presentations we are subjected to yearly. Or, it’s mentioned only in passing.

    Thanks, too, for your truth on the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians

  12. Feral Finster

    Of course Israel intends a campaign of ethnic cleansing, and, barring that, genocide. Of course that was in the cards before October 7.

    Of course, the United States not only actively assists, but is threatening more direct participation and also strongarms its lackeys that dare peep up into silence. Of course European politicians have less self-respect than whipped dogs.

    So what does anyone propose to do about it? Moral arguments are lost on sociopaths. Force is the only language they understand.

    Quote Bible verses to an armed robber and he will laugh, delighted in your impotence. Hold a loaded .357 to that robber’s head, sure as ice that you will pull that trigger without hesitation or warning and he will behave very differently. As long as he knows that you are ready, willing and able to end his life, then and there.

    1. John Wright

      Yes, forget about moral arguments.

      The world could borrow a 100 year old idea from WW I, that being monetary “reparations” required by aggressing nations.

      Whenever I visit LA, I see TV ads and billboards for personal injury lawyers.

      Why not have countries who prosecute illegal/unjust wars be on the hook for deaths/destruction in the wars they perform?

      By some estimates 1 million Iraqis died directly or as a consequence of the USA’s war on Iraq, a war justified by the USA because Iraq MIGHT do something to the USA in the future because Iraq allegedly had “weapons of mass destruction”.

      The USA war also caused tremendous destruction of infrastructure and cultural sites, much of which can’t possibly be recovered.

      The average payout from the USA 9/11 victims’ fund was $250K.

      Assuming the average Iraqi family is awarded a similar amount as a USA 9/11 victim was awarded.

      1million x 0.25million = 250 billion = about what Biden recently wanted for Ukraine and Israel support combined (200+ billion).

      Then how much should be charged for Iraqi infrastructure/cultural destruction?

      Maybe another 250 Billion?

      But were is the pressure to compensate foreign citizens for damages done by the USA to foreign citizens/counties?

      Complete silence from the USA left/right/op-ed writers/talking heads and USA religious leaders.

      1. Anthony Noel

        Nice idea but who’s going to enforce it. Weregild only works when there is a legitimate force that can make the offending party pay it. There are already plenty of laws and treaties the should prevent these things from happening, but if you’re the big bad on the block you can ignore them. Having some form of international state level blood money would just be another tool the powerful use on the weak, just like the UN or the ICC.

  13. Savita

    We need a Hall of Shame for all those supporting the atrocities.
    A list of names, and the comments they have made. So voters can remember, forever.

    Here’s a contribution.
    Australia. Shadow Minister for Defence (Liberal Party)
    Andrew Hastie. Of a couple days ago.

    When asked if he was 100% confident in the way Israel has ‘attacked’ the conflict, he responded;
    ‘I think Israel has shown great restraint’.
    And went on to applaud Israel for notifying civilians they needed to evacuate.

    I don’t see much mention of the following enigma. How are the people of Palestine supposed to learn of these ‘evacuations’, broadcast via social media?

    Oh, and I’m careful not to use the word ‘war’ to describe these events.

  14. Even keel

    I’m sorry i don’t get it. Hamas started this particular war by invading Israel. Hamas is the government of Gaza. They were elected in the last elections in like 12 or 14 or whatever. And have been the effective government ever since.

    What did they expect? That’s war. War is terrible. There are not really any rules in war. There is no way to tame it. If you don’t want your people to be slaughtered, don’t invade a much stronger neighbor.

    And that leaves to the side the hamas mission statement to eradicate Israel.

    Want to argue hamas had no other choice? Of course they did. Everyone does.

    And my other question is: where was the material and economic support to rescue the people of this “open air prison” during the last decade? Which Arab country was dedicating substantial portions of their oil money on Palestinian support and up building instead of buying European soccer teams or building fantastic skyscrapers in the desert? Which Arab country will actually take these people in and help them, rather than try to broaden the war? Any of them? (Is that just what about ism?)

    1. Even keel

      Just to be clear, I’m not saying this is the correct view, just my current understanding of the situation. I’ve not heard anyone address these topics.

    2. The Rev Kev

      ‘Hamas started this particular war by invading Israel.’

      For that to be true, you would have to pretend that the previous thirty odd years never happened. Only then does that sentence make sense.

      1. Even keel

        But there has to be a distinction between rounds of violence. The two countries were at peace (ie not actively killing each other militarily). And one side decided to escalate, ie start this particular war.

        I mean going back in history each side has claims. But people have to act in the present.

        And in the present, in September 2023, nobody was shooting at each other, and then thousands of hamas fighters went across the border, and killed and kidnapped 1,000+ people. Thus starting this particular war.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Did it ever strike you that Nazi concentration camps were on the whole mostly peaceful in operations except for occasional bouts of violence? remember when all those Palestinians were being shot in their ankles and knees? That was during one of the “peaceful times.”

        2. David in Friday Harbor

          What “two countries” is that? Gaza is not a “country.” Are you that ignorant or just a troll?

          The Gaza Strip on the coast of Palestine was occupied by Egypt in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War after European settlers declared a “Jewish state” in British-administered Palestine, and 25 percent of the territory’s non-Jewish population sought protection there from Zionist terrorist attacks. Israel later occupied the territory in the 1967 war and did not relinquish it when the Sinai was returned to Egypt in 1977.

          Israel eventually withdrew its troops and razed its settlements in Gaza in 2005, but set up a crippling land, air, and sea blockade that turned Gaza into a virtual concentration camp for its 2.5 million Palestinian inhabitants, most of whom claim a Right of Return to the territories they had been forcibly driven from in 1948. There have been ongoing demonstrations and violent incursions on a continuous basis ever since.

          In the summer of 2023 groups of right-wing religious fundamentalist Israelis began a series of escalating provocations at the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, third holiest site in Islam. The hostage-taking incursion of “Operation Al Aqsa Flood” was intended as a response when it became evident that the recent provocations were being sanctioned by the current right-wing Israeli government.

    3. NN Cassandra

      “What did they expect? That’s war. War is terrible. There are not really any rules in war. There is no way to tame it.” vs. Want to argue hamas had no other choice? Of course they did. Everyone does.

      So Palestinians have plenty of options because everyone does, except for Israel, who seems to have only one predetermined course of path. They are the stronger party so it’s only logical they are actually constrained by the weaker party, which can easily wag them. After all that’s why you want to be strong, right? Just so beggars can push you around.

      If you don’t want your people to be slaughtered, don’t invade a much stronger neighbor.

      Again, does this advice apply to Israel too? Or is the catch with “much stronger neighbor”, so you think as long as you attack the weak, there will be no consequences for you? And if there are, it’s against the rules?

  15. Victor Sciamarelli

    Netanyahu is shooting Israel in its other foot, too. Jewish emigration from Israel was not at a critical level but is was significant.
    From the Jerusalem Post, “More Israeli citizens are comfortable leaving the Promised Land – opinion, Apr 9, 2023,
    “On average, however, the Israeli émigrés are a selective group: highly educated young people who are concentrated in white-collar occupations such as hi-tech, science, and business.” “Their emigration not only diminishes the size of the population of Israel but also, and mainly, undermines the country’s human capital and wealth. Had they not emigrated, Israel might be an even more significant start-up nation than it is.”
    “Others [émigrés] are native-born Israelis who exploited the ease of obtaining a European passport in recent years to settle in one of nearly 30 countries on the continent that became accessible for study, work, and living.”
    “Many Israelis who move away have strong professional skills and are embraced by the host countries, especially the US, Canada, and Australia.”
    This was back in April. My guess is the events on Oct 7, and the Israeli reaction, as well as the growth and influence of Israel’s ultra-orthodox community, will likely induce more emigration by more secular Israeli Jews who wish to live in peace.


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