Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response to the Gaza crisis, saying, Our enemy is our enemy‘ ‘The United States does not want to do that”
The humanitarian crisis in Gaza resulted in a change in tone and substance, as well as an outrage in the United States and around the world, said administration officials.
In the first hours after Hamas slaughtered and kidnapped Israelis, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel made it clear he had no mercy in sight for Gaza. “All of the places which Hamas is deployed, hiding and operating in, that wicked city, we will turn them into rubble,” he said.
“I told him if the United States experienced what Israel is experiencing, our response would be swift, decisive and overwhelming,” Mr. Biden recalled saying during a call between the two leaders on Oct. 10.
The president has changed his message significantly over the last three weeks, from his strong commitment to the mourning that was sweeping through Israel. While Mr. Biden continues to state his unambiguous support for Israel, he has become more critical of Israel since the recent terrorist attacks.
The president and his senior aides still cling to the hope that the new war between Israel and Hamas might eventually give way to a resumption of talks about normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and could even offer some leverage for a return to negotiations over a two-state solution in which Israel and Palestine exist side by side. Mr. Netanyahu has long resisted such a move.
Recently, a former permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations told Britain’s Sky News that he was very puzzled by the constant concern in the world about the Palestinians. He said that the U.S. actions after Sept. 11 gave Israel a model for what it should do in response to Hamas.
“While Israel has the right — indeed, the obligation — to defend itself, the way it does so matters,” Mr. Blinken said, adding that “it means food, water, medicine and other essential humanitarian assistance must be able to flow into Gaza and to the people who need them.”
On Sunday, just a day after Israeli military leaders said Hamas terrorists were using a hospital in Gaza as a command center, Jake Sullivan, the president’s national security adviser, was more blunt. Mr. Sullivan said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Hamas’s use of civilians as human shields “creates an added burden for the Israeli Defense Forces.”
Israel gets money from us to buy weapons. Then we give Palestinians money to pay for the damage done by those weapons. We keep doing the same things, repeating the same lines, but the violence just gets worse.
I have Been Under Bombardment. There Must Be a Cease-Fire in Gaza. I know what happened in Lebanon, but what happened when Israel wasn’t
We are pretending to believe that the cycle might have different results this time. It’s just a game with not impossible odds.
The images from Gaza bring back memories that I usually don’t. The smell of blood and shards of glass mixed with the dust from houses and shops that once stood in the area, when the bombs were still flying. The bodies were very small and old. The rage of a funeral under bombs in Lebanon, a hospital truck and a trench for a mass grave, planes still in the sky, women keening, praying for souls and revenge.
I can still feel the rage that surged — in the people who were around me and within my own mind — against a powerful nation that would kill like that, from a distance.
It might be easier to tell yourself that the killing of their children is unavoidable because of a nation’s righteous pursuit of self-defense.
We should have learned this lesson many, many times as Americans. All the military might of the United States could not defeat the ragtag bands of Taliban or force a nation of conquered Iraqis to accept a U.S. occupation. Maybe we don’t want to understand.
The Hamas Attack on Gaza, and Israel’s War with Gaza, as a Case Study for Human Bodies in the Non-Abelian Regime
Getting bombed from the sky is a particular horror: The sense that death hangs quite literally over your head, invisible until it’s too late, and maybe it will hit you. Perhaps this is the moment. Or this. Or this. Every heartbeat hammering through your skull.
I watched the U.S. attack Afghanistan, and barely escaped a strike from a Russian fighter plane, and lived through Israel’s bombardment of Lebanon.
But having spent time under bombardment, and having reported in Gaza, I have no time for these explanations. What is the purpose of international relations if they are involved in this kind of war? What would this strategy do to prevent a worse outcome than the one it already created?
The death toll in the hospital blast is believed to be hundreds, yet the family disagrees over the exact number.
I think we should believe the Israeli political and military leadership’s own words about the attack on Gaza, because of how straightforward it was.
“You wanted hell, you will get hell,” Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian of the Israeli Defense Forces warned the residents of Gaza, whom he referred to as “human beasts.”
Generations of Palestinians who have lived through military occupation have had political grievances that have led to Palestinian violence. They don’t have a state to call their own, their rights are limited, and the world doesn’t give them much reason to expect better days. The death toll of Palestinian political violence in Palestine is greater than the death toll of Hamas, and will continue to be so even if there is a political solution.
Israel knows this. Israel has bombed Gaza pitilessly before, but Hamas is still there. Israel turned parts of southern Lebanon to rubble, but Hezbollah is still there.
His pained voice turned to anger when he recounted encountering disbelief that Hamas committed terrible atrocities when it attacked Israel. Lavi seemed especially bewildered by people “arguing over the semantics” of whether people were beheaded or their heads fell off, or even whether there were hostages in Gaza.
There has been an uproar over whether or not Hamas beheaded babies after President Biden made a claim that was thrown back by the White House.
The Israel War and Its Implications for Hamas and the Global Warfare of the Middle East and the Israeli-Semi-American War
One key reason for some of the incidents of doubt is the suspicion that horrendous but false or exaggerated claims are being used as a rationale for war — and there are many such historical examples, most notably the Iraq war.
After the attacks, the United States received deep global sympathy. Many Muslims around the world were furious about this blemish upon Islam, even if they opposed U.S. policies: Citizens held vigils, politicians condemned the attacks and clerics repudiated them in mosque sermons. There is an idea that Muslims celebrated the attacks and it has been proven to be false many times.
The United States chose to wage a destructive war in Iraq instead of putting pressure on the extremists because of the desire to get revenge on the Iraqi people and the false claims about weapons of mass destruction.
The Bush administration’s lies in the lead-up to the war, the fiasco of its occupation, and the chaos, violence and death that the invasion set off have deeply and indelibly damaged the standing and credibility of the United States and its allies.
People also saw how occupation policies, like the quick and thoughtless disbanding of the Iraqi Army, contributed to the creation of ISIS a decade later.
The Israeli government has a history of making false statements and denying responsibility for atrocities it has been found to have committed.
Some years ago, four children under the age of 13 were killed by Israeli bombing at a beach, three of them hit by a second blast while trying to escape the first blast.
Israel investigated and cleared itself of any wrongdoing. Peter Lerner, then a spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces, said that it had targeted a “compound belonging to Hamas’s Naval Police and Naval Force (including naval commandos), and which was utilized exclusively by militants.”
But The Telegraph, whose correspondent also witnessed the incident, reported that some of the journalists who had seen the bombing said there had been “no attempt to interview them.”
One can see how this history plays out in the global upheaval over the Hamas claim two weeks ago that an Israeli missile struck a hospital courtyard in Gaza. Israeli and American officials denied this, and asserted that the missile came from within Gaza. There were also initial claims that 500 people were killed in the hospital blast, leading to headlines and global condemnations. Then the number was challenged, leading to another round of uproar and back-and-forth.
It’s possible that the hospital was hit by a missile accidentally, as has happened in the past. But Israel bombardment has also caused large civilian casualties. The evidence isn’t conclusive either way, and the truth remains unknown.
How Saddam Hussein and I’m the Last Unicorns: The Case for a Better Understanding of the War in the United States
But there’s still the fact that fabricating or exaggerating atrocities is done to influence the calculus of what the public will accept — including what costs are justified to impose on civilians.
The United States resisted a new war after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990 because it felt like it was best to avoid large military engagements in other countries.
It was in this context that a teenager testified before Congress in 1990 that she had seen Iraqi soldiers take premature babies out of incubators and left them to die on the cold floor, a shocking assertion repeated by many high-level officials. The claim was repeated by officials and the media.
Kept secret was the fact that the witness was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States, and her false testimony had likely been organized by a public relations firm working for the Kuwaiti government.
The shocking fabrication played a key role in the effort to sell the war to the reluctant American public. It wasn’t necessary to make sure that oil fields stayed in the hands of the rulers of the tiny country created in the early 20th century. It’s a more convincing appeal to oppose an army that commits the most unthinkable crimes.
The terrible outcome of all this history is widespread distrust and dehumanization, as ordinary people’s loss and pain are viewed suspiciously as a potential cudgel that will cause further loss and pain for others.
There are plenty of echoes of this on social media. One person said, ” Saddam Hussein has WMD and I’m the last unicorns.”
I was touched to see that Human Rights Watch verified some of the videos of the horror, which they called deliberate killings. Similarly, Amnesty International’s independent investigation led the group to condemn the attacks as “cruel and brutal crimes including mass summary killings, hostage-taking.” Both organizations have called for the attacks to be investigated as war crimes.
Both organizations have documented Israeli wrongdoings including its treatment of civilians in the Gaza and West Bank, and have been lambasted for doing so by the government of Israel and some NGOs.
Yet these are the kind of independent voices that need to be heard. President Biden may consider elevating independent human rights voices rather than embracing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he is thinking about elevating the United States’ support of Israel.
The Palestinians and the Palestinians: War crimes, hostages, and the right treatment for civilians – Amnesty International and the Gaza Strip
As Amnesty International states, kidnapping civilians is a war crime and the hostages should be released, unharmed. Their families shouldn’t be forced to endure the suspicion on top of their pain.
But to credibly demand that war crimes be stopped and lives respected requires equal concern extended to all victims, including the two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.