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Israel's Targeted Strikes and Concern for Civilian Safety Undermine the Left's 'Genocide' Accusations

For over a week now, barrage after barrage of artillery missiles have illuminated Israel’s night sky.

Thanks to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, over 3,000 rockets have been reportedly launched at the Jewish state since May 10, according to BBC News.

In response, the Israel Defense Forces have returned fire by specifically targeting Hamas operatives, weapons and military assets. Given Hamas’ repeated insistence to hide behind human shields, this has led to many civilian casualties.

Various left-leaning journalists, activists and politicians responded to the violence by condemning Israel’s actions while — either tacitly or explicitly — excusing their terrorist opposition.

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A report from the GOP blog compiled a list of such statements made by House Democrats.

  • “Democrat Rep. Chuy Garcia claimed that Israel ‘provoked’ the Hamas rocket attacks.”
  • “Democrat Rep. Ayanna Pressley placed the blame on Israel’s ‘systems of oppression.'”
  • “Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar said that Israel used ‘the guise of self-defense’ when defending itself from Hamas’ rocket attacks.”
  • “Democrat Rep. Betty McCollum accused Israel of ‘steal[ing]’ Palestinian land.”
  • “Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez smeared Israel.”

In addition, articles in The New York Times and The Washington Post have even suggested Israel’s retaliatory attacks on Hamas may qualify as war crimes.

Both articles point to the fact that Palestinian civilians are disproportionately killed compared to Israeli citizens.

There is a reason for this, however: Hamas often chooses to operate out of densely populated areas.

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Moreover, the differing approaches between the two sides are often never highlighted.

While Hamas actively targets Israeli citizens with their attacks, the IDF specifically targets Hamas terrorists. Israel’s military often jumps through various hoops to limit Palestinian civilian casualties as much as possible.

One example of this was the Israeli military’s Saturday bombing of a high-rise building in Gaza.

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During an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed the site was home to “an intelligence office for the Palestinian terrorist organization.” The building also housed offices for international media agencies, including The Associated Press and Al Jazeera, which both denounced the attack.

The difference between this attack and those of Hamas, however, was the fact that Israel warned all civilians inside to evacuate in advance.

Unlike Hamas, the IDF often goes out of its way to avoid civilian deaths, if possible — although this is certainly complicated by Hamas’ repeated insistence to hide behind human shields.

“And I can tell you that we took every precaution to make sure that there were no civilian injuries. In fact, no deaths, no injuries whatsoever. Well, I can’t say injuries, I don’t know if somebody received a fragment of a stone. I don’t know that. But no people were killed. Now, imagine ask yourself, how is that possible?” Netanyahu said.

“You see these high-rise towers that are used by Hamas over and over again. They collapse and no one is killed. Why does that happen? Because we, unlike Hamas, take special precautions to tell people, leave the building, leave the premises. We make sure that everyone is gone before we bring down those terrorist facilities.

“And that’s the difference between Israel and Hamas. They deliberately target our cities, deliberately target our civilians. They glorify the death of children and civilians and old people. They are happy with it. I think they’re happy with any deaths that are caused to them.”

In another recent example, the IDF released footage on Sunday allegedly showing it called off an airstrike because children were believed to be present in the area.

In a 2012 Op-Ed for The Washington Post, Israel’s then-ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren explained how one of Hamas’ primary war strategies involves manipulating the media.

Oren made the point that Hamas continually places Palestinian citizens in harm’s way, knowing their deaths will help Hamas and Palestine garner sympathy on the world stage.

“Hamas also has a media strategy. Its purpose is to portray Israel’s unparalleled efforts to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza as indiscriminate firing at women and children, to pervert Israel’s rightful acts of self-defense into war crimes. Its goals are to isolate Israel internationally, to tie its hands from striking back at those trying to kill our citizens and to delegitimize the Jewish State. Hamas knows that it cannot destroy us militarily but believes that it might do so through the media,” Oren wrote.

“In reporting Palestinian deaths, media routinely failed to note that roughly half were terrorists and that such a ratio is exceedingly low by modern military standards — much lower, for example, than the NATO campaign in the Balkans. Media also emphasize the disparity between the number of Palestinian and Israeli deaths, as though Israel should be penalized for investing billions of dollars in civil-defense and early-warning systems and Hamas exonerated for investing in bombs rather than bomb shelters.”

“Hamas is a flagrantly anti-democratic, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-feminist and anti-gay movement dedicated to genocide. The United States, Canada and the European Union all consider it a terrorist organization. Hamas strives to kill the maximum number of Israeli civilians while using its own population as a human shield — under international law, a double war crime. Why, then, would the same free press that Hamas silences help advance its strategy? Media naturally gravitate toward dramatic and highly visual stories … This is precisely what Hamas wants.”

“Hamas strives to replace the tens of thousands of phone calls and text messages Israel sent to Palestinian civilians, warning them to leave combat zones, with lurid images of Palestinian suffering. If Hamas cannot win the war, it wants to win the story of the war.”

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Michael Austin joined The Western Journal as a staff reporter in 2020. Since then, he has authored hundreds of stories, including several original reports. He also co-hosts the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."
Michael Austin joined The Western Journal as a staff reporter in 2020. Since then, he has authored hundreds of stories, including several original reports. He also co-hosts the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."
Birthplace
Ames, Iowa




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