Sunday, February 18, 2024

Israel may have the least ‘moral army’ in the world


Israel IDF immorality genocide ethnic cleansing dehumanization violence crime ICJ ruling Gaza evil impunity lawlessness

The rate of civilian death during Israel’s assault on Gaza has few precedents this century

Perhaps the most astonishing response Israel has offered to South Africa’s genocide case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that Israel has the “most moral army in the world” and that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) make every effort to avoid harming non-combatants. Two weeks before Netanyahu made this statement, the Switzerland-based Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor reported that Israel had killed 29,124 people in Gaza. Of these, 26,706, a shocking 92 percent, were civilians. This suggests that it is not just a matter of Israel failing to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants; it is that it increasingly appears as though Israel is deliberately trying to kill as many civilians as possible, with an added bonus if Hamas fighters are eliminated along the way. According to a US doctor in Gaza, Israeli snipers are routinely executing Palestinian children with single shots to their heads. Medical workers, patients, and displaced civilians have endured similar fates.

Netanyahu is not the only one to have tragicomically invoked the ‘moral superiority’ of the IDF since Israel launched its devastating retaliatory assault on October 7. Journalist Avi Garfinkel made the same argument in Haaretz, as did University of Chicago professor emeritus Charles Lipson in the UK’s Telegraph. Both say Israel “still” has the “most moral” army but do not address how the IDF’s repeated failure to comply with the laws of war totally undermine its claim to morality.

Bizarrely, Lipson rests his case on Israel’s treatment of Palestinian hospitals—specifically the Indonesian hospital, Al-Shifa, and Al-Rantisi—and puts forth the fanciful claim that “Israel has serious moral reservations about attacking civilian facilities and risking harm to innocents.” He goes on to assert that, “It is Israel, not Hamas, which has tried to minimize the loss of innocent lives. Intention matters here.” Of course, there is a mountain of evidence proving exactly the opposite. Israel in fact deliberately targeted the Indonesian hospital in northern Gaza. The assault killed 12 people, including patients and their companions. Video verified by the New York Times shows “devastation in a ward of the hospital… with bodies and wreckage sprawled across the floor.”

Similarly, Ann Taylor, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Head of Mission in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, described the situation in Al-Shifa as “truly catastrophic” and said that MSF “call[ed] on the Israeli government to cease [its] unrelenting assault on Gaza’s health system.” The group “denounce[d] the death warrant for civilians currently trapped in Al-Shifa hospital signed by the Israeli military.” Israel also reportedly struck Al-Rantisi Children’s Hospital, home to Gaza’s only pediatric oncology department, killing eight.  (more...)

Israel may have the least ‘moral army’ in the world

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