This war with Hamas, like virtually any other conflict between Israel and terrorists, reveals international hypocrisy and the eagerness to blame Israel. It also highlights an ongoing refusal to condemn terrorist organisations like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad for intentionally targeting Israeli civilians, and intentionally placing Palestinian civilians in the firing line.
A recurring accusation is that Israel targets Palestinian civilians in Gaza, and is committing some sort of genocide.
Israel targets terrorists
In Israel’s strikes on Gaza, the IDF targets terrorist infrastructure such as rocket launch sites, weapons manufacturing facilities, munitions supplies, terrorists launching attacks on Israel, terror tunnels used to launch attacks … basically the IDF targets Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and other terrorists and their capabilities to launch attacks on Israel.
Are Palestinian civilians hurt or killed in the process? Unfortunately, yes. This is not because the IDF is specifically targeting them. This is because these terrorists specifically launch rockets from within civilian areas near schools, hospitals, and out of homes. They store their weapons in civilian areas. They have their command and control facilities in civilian buildings. They have even stored weapons in schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.
Why do they do this? Because they know that the IDF will target that infrastructure, and because they want to see civilian casualties in international media. These terrorists don’t care about the civilian population. They use them as human shields because their suffering is a powerful weapon in the terrorists’ propaganda war.
Terrorists target Israeli civilians
By contrast terrorist organisations like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad specifically target Israeli civilians with fairly indiscriminate rocket fire every time they launch attacks on Israel. They don’t target Israeli military institutions. This is partly because they build lower quality, although very deadly, rockets that seem to be mostly point-and-shoot. Their barrages are aimed at Israeli towns, rural communities, and large cities. In other words, these terrorists target Israeli civilians.
These terrorists literally fire thousands of rockets into Israeli civilian areas hoping to break through our Iron Dome defence system that, fortunately, intercepts most of the rockets fired into Israel. This has been going on for years, and the communities in Southern Israel, the ones that temporarily came under the brutal control of Hamas and other terrorists on 7 October, have borne the brunt of these attacks.
If Israel didn’t have the Iron Dome system, you would see thousands of rocket strikes in Israeli civilian areas, and massive Israeli casualties.
Protecting or endangering civilians
This brings me to my next point. Terrorists in Gaza actively endanger Palestinian citizens.
Hamas intentionally endangers Palestinian civilians
Hamas, PIJ, and other terrorist groups have no regard for the civilian population they rule over. And, yes, they rule over the Palestinians. There has been one set of elections in Gaza in 2006. Hamas was initially elected and formed a national unity government with the Fatah party until violence between Hamas and Fatah led to Hamas essentially murdering Fatah officials, and taking over Gaza. Hamas established its government in 2007.
Since then, Palestinians have been subject to brutal, autocratic rule by Hamas. Not only does Hamas intentionally place Palestinians at risk due to where they locate their terror infrastructure, and where they operate from, they don’t seem to have done anything to protect the civilian population from the inevitable strikes in retaliation for terrorist activities.
Hamas has received billions of dollars of aid from its benefactors in Iran, Qatar, and elsewhere. Instead of using that aid to improve the lives of the Palestinian population, they have funnelled that money into building tunnels, buying weapons, building increasingly lethal rockets, and indoctrinating a new generation of terrorists who have no other prospects because of the damage Hamas does to the Palestinian economy, either intentionally or through neglect
When the IDF warned Palestinians to evacuate to the south of Gaza (this is how the IDF urged Palestinians to evacuate) ahead of its expected ground incursion, Hamas told Palestinians not to. It actively obstructed Palestinians trying to evacuate to safer areas in the south, going so far as to set up roadblocks to prevent civilians from moving south, and even took away their car keys. Hamas even seems to have gone so far as to strike a Palestinian convoy heading south and then blaming this on the IDF (which wasn’t operating in the area at the time).
Going even further, Hamas stole vital fuel and medical supplies from an UNWRA facility in Gaza.
Israel protects its citizens
By contrast, Israel mandates that Israelis have access to reinforced shelters in or near their homes to protect us from rocket and other attacks. Even those safe rooms are not impervious to attacks, as we saw on 7 October when terrorists were able to overcome those defences through brute force and various weapons. Still, when we’re “just” dealing with rockets, these shelters are literally life-savers.
Israel has also developed the Iron Dome system at a tremendous cost to protect us from repeated rocket barrages sent into Israel. The IDF and its partners are constantly working on improved systems to better protect the civilian population while Hamas intentionally keeps their population exposed to danger resulting from their attacks on Israel.
Israel has also evacuated communities along both the southern border with Gaza and our northern border with Lebanon (we’re expecting more intense attacks from Hezbollah and Hamas in Lebanon) to hotels and guest houses elsewhere in Israel to keep them out of the way of the fighting we expect as this war continues.
Quick to blame
Another recurring theme is how quick terrorists, and much of the world, are to blame Israel for the consequences of terrorist actions in Gaza, but are silent when these consequences affect Israelis.
The recent botched rocket strike on the Al-Ahli Hospital was immediately blamed on Israel. Hamas claimed that hundreds were killed in the hospital strike. The world immediately accepted this nonsense and condemned Israel for the attack. The IDF investigated this, and released its report a few hours later that shows that the most likely cause was a malfunctioning rocket fired by PIJ as part of a larger barrage aimed at Israel. The IDF released its evidence here: Hamas – Israel War Al-Ahli (Al-Ma’amadani) Hospital: Initial IDF Aftermath Report (October 18, 2023) | The Israel Defense Forces (I.D.F) Official Website.
What is distressing about this event is how quickly international media accepted Hamas’ lies, and published its reports before having to retract their allegations when the evidence of PIJ’s involvement was revealed. Curiously, that international condemnation seems to have fizzled out and wasn’t directed at the terrorists who caused the incident in the first place.
I saw a post on Threads that seems to sum up why I feel like we see so much hypocrisy whenever Israel is involved:
The fact (and it seems pretty clear that this is a fact, not just my opinion) is that if Israel is involved, we are to blame. Memories are short, and the world outside Israel quickly forgets that Jews have been targeted by Arab and Palestinian extremists for generations (literally), going back to the early 1900s when Jews started moving to this land, and even long before that.
At the same time, Israel doesn’t –
- raid civilian communities,
- murder civilians who are taking shelter,
- set fire to homes to smoke civilians out only to murder them,
- specifically murder babies (whether by shooting them multiple times and/or slashing and decapitating them),
- round up and murder unarmed party goers at a party promoting peace,
- take women, children, the elderly, and desperately injured hostage to use as bargaining chips later (or, as a bonus, to expose to our attacks on Hamas and use their bodies to further traumatise Israelis), and/or
- launch indiscriminate attacks with the goal of killing civilians.
In this conflict, as in virtually every conflict with Hamas and other terrorist organisations in Gaza (and elsewhere), there is a big difference between the actions Israel takes to defend itself and its citizens, and the actions terrorists take to harm Israelis (and Jews generally, quite frankly), and place Palestinians at risk because it means better news coverage.