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Israel goes out of its way to avoid civilian casualties

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OBLIVIOUS to the threat Israel is under, no longer just from terrorist  Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) combat troops in Gaza,  Hezbollah in Lebanon and Palestinian terrorist forces in the West Bank, but also now direct ballistic attack from Iran, the pearl-clutching commentariat and our cowardly elites insist that Israel is not doing enough to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza. Apparently more than 30,000 civilians are dead, the majority of whom are women and children. To some, these distressing figures, fabricated by Hamas and enthusiastically announced by their cheerleaders in the Western media, most notably the BBC, are evidence of a genocidal assault by the Israeli military and, by extension, the Jewish people. The immanent bloodlust of the Jews is well documented, didn’t you know?

Hamas’s genocidal attack on the citizens of Israel on October 7 is presumably beside the point. Jews are there to be slaughtered. The fact that Hamas hides within the Gazan population, using them as human shields and thereby maximising the number of civilian deaths, is also beside the point. Jews aren’t allowed to fight back. That’s against the rules.

Okay, I know the first casualty of every war is the truth but this is a mockery. It’s back to front, upside down and lost in a labyrinthine web of deceit covered in a thick fog of disinformation disseminated by ‘fact-checkers’ in the offices of our broadcast media.

Israel is doing all it can to avoid civilian casualties. According to John Spencer, one of the world’s foremost authorities in urban warfare, Israel’s civilian-to-combatant casualty ratio in Gaza is lower than in any comparable conflict. Indeed, it is 1 combatant to 1.5 civilians, compared with a global average of 1 combatant to 9 civilians. (In Mosul, Iraq, in 2016-17, when US and UK forces destroyed ISIS, it was 1:2.5.) Spencer says that Israel protects civilians more effectively than anyone else in the history of warfare. It is the only nation that, through phone calls, text messages and voicemails, warns civilians of any planned assault in an effort save life, even though such forewarnings give Hamas a military advantage. 

Yet facts don’t seem to matter. Even though three distinguished academics recently debunked Hamas’s casualty figures, pointing out in particular that those concerning women and children are ‘statistically impossible’, the UN, BBC and MSM continue to libel the Jewish state with bogus numbers that incite hatred against not only Israel but the Jewish people.

What about the deaths of seven World Central Kitchen aid workers last week? Surely this is proof of Israel’s deliberate targeting of not only civilians, but those selfless enough to help them? No, it’s not. It’s proof that war is hell. Innocent people die and mistakes happen. And this was a mistake, a bad one, for which two senior officers were dismissed.

Such instances are not unique to the current conflict. Despite Lord Cameron’s nauseating expositions of north London dinner-party groupthink, he was responsible for the accidental deaths of large numbers of civilians during his 2011 Libyan misadventure. Obama’s drone strike that hit a wedding party in Afghanistan, killing 47 innocents, also springs to mind – exposing Biden, the then Vice-President who now, as President, berates what he inaccurately and outrageously calls Israel’s indiscriminate bombing, to charges of hypocrisy. The evidence is clear: Israel does not deliberately target civilians. In fact, it goes above and beyond to avoid civilian casualties. But the fog of war leads to mistakes, and such mistakes are rightly investigated and punished, as they have been in this case.

The objectionable behaviour of some aid agencies, moreover, thickens the fog and makes mistakes and therefore civilian casualties more likely. Look at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).The UK and US, among others, have suspended funding after 13 of the agency’s employees were found to have participated in the October 7 terrorist attacks. Nine have been sacked. 

Many UNRWA employees are indistinguishable from Hamas terrorists. Sara A-Dirawi, an UNRWA teacher in Gaza, celebrated the rapes, murders and mutilations on social media. Suhail al-Hindi, the headmaster of an UNRWA-run school and chairman of the UNRWA Gaza Workers’ Union, was elected to the Hamas politburo in 2017. The Hamas minister responsible for the economy, Jawad Abu Shamala, worked as a teacher in an UNRWA school in Khan Younis. 

A former long-serving UNRWA staffer lamented that finding neutral employees is very difficult. Well, clearly. UNRWA’s collusion with Hamas adds another layer of complexity to the conflict in Gaza. How can Israel trust UN aid convoys when they know that they could be working for Hamas? And when one considers what Janice Davis refers to in TCW as the ‘quasi-militarisation’ of aid agencies – armed security personnel making agency workers more vulnerable to friendly fire – one instantly realises the difficulties faced by Israeli operatives trying to distinguish friend from foe. 

The UN is indeed deeply hostile to the only democracy in the Middle East. After October 7, the UN’s women’s rights body took nearly two months to condemn Hamas’s use of sexual violence. The UN Security Council is yet to condemn the atrocities. To add insult to injury, a Hamas intelligence centre was found beneath a UN headquarters in Gaza City. It’s worth repeating: how can the Israelis trust UN aid convoys when they know that the organisation is deeply antithetical to the Israeli state and, as a result, could be colluding with Hamas?

The same dilemma is caused by the Red Cross’s anti-Israel stance. The Palestinian Red Cross Society (affiliated to the International Committee of the Red Cross) is widely known to have transported Hamas terrorists in its ambulances. Many Israelis, including Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, founder of Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Centre, scold the Red Cross not only for this, but also for not doing enough to help the Jewish hostages still being held in Gaza, many of whom now look to have been killed.In a letter signed by 1,200 solicitors, Darshan-Leitner said that it’s a ‘decades-old pattern with the Red Cross’, before highlighting their failure to assist Jews in the Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War.

Amnesty International has revealed its deranged partiality when it comes to the conflict. In a tweet, it described the recent death in an Israeli prison of a convicted Palestinian torturer and murderer as ‘a cruel reminder of Israel’s disregard for Palestinians’ right to life’. The man tortured and castrated his 19-year-old victim.

It appears that many aid agencies and human rights organisations have imbibed Israelophobic narratives rooted in identity politics, anti-Semitism and the dissemination of misinformation and disinformation. They have renounced impartiality and ceased to be neutral dispensers of aid. In some cases they have become active Hamas terrorists wearing agency insignia. This adds a terrifying level of complexity to Israel’s mission to destroy Hamas and minimise civilian suffering. 

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Joe Baron
Joe Baron
Joe Baron (pseudonym) is a history teacher from London.

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