• May 18, 2024

Israel’s So-Called ‘Genocide’ In Gaza

 Israel’s So-Called ‘Genocide’ In Gaza

Israel also made over 70,000 phone calls, sent over 13 million text messages and left more than 15 million pre-recorded voicemails to warn civilians in that region to leave combat zones and to advise on where they should go and how to get there


Israel commits “genocide” in Gaza. That’s what thousands of campus nitwits from sea to shining sea have been claiming. So does Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Khan Younis). So does Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Cambridge). So does the president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, who just announced his government will break diplomatic relations with Israel effective May 2, because, Petro claims, not for the first time, that Israel’s siege in Gaza constitutes “genocide.” Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, will tell anyone who will listen that Israel is “committing genocide” in Gaza. And so do many more, ”too numerous to mention.”

The British journalist Peter Harris takes quite a different view. He reminds us of why the IDF is, in British Colonel Richard Kemp’s view, “the most moral army in the world,” and in the view of West Point Professor John Spencer “has implemented more measures to prevent civilian casualties in urban warfare than any other military in the history of war.”

More on Harris’ rebuttal of the charge of “genocide” now being flung at Israel can be found here: “This Is No Genocide,” by Peter Harris, The Daily Sceptic, April 29, 2024:

As I write, students in universities across the U.S. are occupying their campuses in protest at what they consider to be Israel’s genocide against the Gazan people….

What makes these illegal occupations particularly contemptible is the antisemitism of some of those taking part. Jewish students and university staff have been harassed with taunts of “Go back to Poland” and “October 7th is about to be every day for you”.

These barbs are not only revolting, they also display the monumental moral stupidity of those conducting this harassment. How can a person demonstrate against what they think is a genocide in Gaza whilst calling for the genocide of Jews? But what did we expect – irrationality is integral to extremism.

But there is also the empirical question of whether Israel’s actions in Gaza actually are a genocide. It is time to listen to an expert rather than students who mentally and emotionally are still in nappies. Enter John Spencer, the Chair of Urban Warfare Studies at the Modern War Institute (MWI) at West Point and a former infantry soldier of 25 years’ service.

In an article for Newsweek, Spencer, who studies and advises the American military on the kind of warfare in which Israel is currently engaged, namely urban warfare, argues that no other nation in history has shown as much concern to protect civilians as the Israeli Defence Force has done in Gaza. If the IDF were carrying out a genocide, civilians would be targeted too, but they are not. Yet still the international community does not acknowledge Israel’s concern for non-combatants and continues to scold it for failing to protect them. So exemplary has the IDF been in minimising civilian casualties, it is Spencer’s opinion that the U.S. ought to learn the IDF’s methods.

What is more remarkable, according to Spencer, is that Israel’s concern for Gazan civilians defies military orthodoxy regarding offensives. According to the theory and praxis of manoeuvre warfare, the attacker must smash an enemy morally and physically with surprise, overwhelming force and speed, and destroy political and military centres. Warning civilians to evacuate is forbidden as enemy forces would learn of the coming attack.

Yet this is what the IDF has done before almost every move it has made, thus ceding the advantage of surprise and allowing Hamas to relocate its ununiformed forces inside Gaza’s dense urban spaces where they can mingle with civilians and hide in their labyrinth of tunnels. Spencer confirms that Israel warned civilians in northern Gaza weeks in advance before launching its ground offensive. Israel also made over 70,000 phone calls, sent over 13 million text messages and left more than 15 million pre-recorded voicemails to warn civilians in that region to leave combat zones and to advise on where they should go and how to get there. Additionally, the IDF has used drones with speakers to exhort civilians to leave and has conducted frequent pauses of operations to allow any civilians who have not left battle zones to do so. These efforts resulted in an impressive evacuation of 85% of civilians in northern Gaza….

Along with the 70,000 phone calls, 13 million text messages, and more than 15 million pre-recorded voicemails, the IDF has also dropped 14 million leaflets warning civilians to leave certain areas that are about to become combat zones, instructing first the people in northern Gaza on where they should move to be safe. In this way 85% of those living in northern Gaza left for the safety that the IDF assured them they would have south of the Wadi Gaza during the initial phase of the war. In addition, the IDF also has delivered millions of warnings, by prerecorded calls, text messages, and leaflets, about specific buildings — schools, apartment houses, mosques, and hospitals — where Hamas has embedded both fighters and weapons, and that were soon to be targeted by the IDF. The IDF warns civilians to flee to safe sites, which it clearly indicates on maps it sends both with email messages and on its leaflets.

Does a country hellbent on “genocide” send out millions upon millions of warnings, by leafletting, messaging, and telephoning, to warn away from danger those it supposedly wants to mass murder? Does a country hellbent on “genocide” direct its pilots to call off missions at the last minute if they detect too many civilians at or near their targets? Does a country hellbent on “genocide” let hundreds of trucks enter Gaza daily, each full of hundreds of tons of food and other humanitarian aid? Does a country wanting to commit “genocide” in Gaza allow its population to increase from 400,000 in 1967, when Israel took over the Strip, to 1.3 million in 2005, when Israel pulled all of its civilians and soldiers from Gaza? Does a country determined to commit a “genocide” of the Arabs inside Israel proper allow 160,000 of them in 1949 to grow to 2 million today? Would a country wanting to engage in the “genocide” of Palestinian Arabs let those in the West Bank, who numbered 900,000 in 1967, when Israel took possession of that territory, grow in population to three million today?

There has been a “genocidal” impulse on display recently in the part of Israel that borders Gaza. It was demonstrated not by the IDF, but by Hamas on October 7. It was on that day that 3,000 Hamas operatives smashed into Israel, in cars and on tractors, on motorbikes and on paragliders, and proceeded to murder 1,200 Israeli men, women and children. The victims were not merely murdered, but also tortured, raped, mutilated. Small children were burned alive. Girls were gang-raped, and their rapists then shot or stabbed them in their vaginas. Some of them were raped even after they were dead. Women had their breasts sliced off; they were then used by the Hamas killers in a ghoulish came of catch. Men had their genitalia cut off, and their eyes gouged out. That is what “genocide” looks like. It does not look like those millions of IDF warnings on leaflets, in messages, and in telephone calls to civilians, so as to keep their losses to a minimum.

Remember all that you’ve just read above, and bring it to bear next time someone starts to rant about “Israel’s genocide” in your presence.

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