While swimming in some of the vileness that counts as debate these days, I came across a video arguing that Israelis were responsible for the massacre of Oct. 7. The case rested on two key points. First, the presented claimed that Hamas only brought over light arms and no explosives (which I doubt). Second, the presenter showed Israeli press reports indicating that helicopters may have killed concertgoers while Israeli soldiers also shelled some homes in the Gaza envelope area.
The second contention is accurate. The Hebrew press has reported that the IDF shelled some homes and that the helicopter gunships might have killed people at the music festival. However, rather than making Israelis look evil, the fact that this happened actually undermines the anti-Israel crowd’s argument that deaths in Gaza are proof that Israel is a European Colonialist State conducting genocide against Palestinians.
The European Colonialist State
In the middle of the battle, Israel deployed helicopters. However, the pilots may have killed some civilians. Why couldn’t they tell who the civilians were? Because this isn’t an apartheid race war. Israelis and Palestinians are often indistinguishable. Visit https://www.idf.il/59780 and you’ll see a diverse mix of fallen Israeli soldiers. Some look Russian, some look Yemini. Some look African. Some look Arab. That’s because they are. A majority of Israelis are either refugees from Muslim countries or the descendants of such refugees. 99.5% of the Jewish population of those countries was simply erased in an ethnic cleansing whose geographic scope exceeds any other in history.
The ‘European settler colonialist’ narrative ought to be put to rest simply by the reality that helicopter pilots couldn’t easily distinguish between concert-goers and terrorists.
In fact, the Palestinian population is far less diverse than the Israeli population. Critically, it is no more ‘brown.’ While Israel has whiter people, we also have darker people. Palestine isn’t so welcoming. Black people in Gaza are called “Abeed” – which means ‘slave’. If you want to make a diversity comparison, visit the Children of Gaza Memorial Page on Facebook.
Collateral Damage = Genocide
The IDF reportedly shelled some homes and almost certainly killed some civilians. However, no country cares more about its own people than Israel – we exchanged 1,000 violent prisoners to get Gilad Schalit back. We’re about to release hundreds of Hamas prisoners to return some of our children. We care deeply. This is a small and very tightly-knit country. And yet Israeli citizens probably suffered as collateral damage from IDF actions on Oct 7.
The video argued that this meant the IDF was culpable for the killing of Israelis. That is where they get it completely wrong. The guilt, even for these collateral deaths, lies entirely with Hamas. If Hamas hadn’t invaded and hadn’t tried to use Israelis as human shields, those deaths never would have happened.
Where the video presenter was essentially saying: “the IDF killed Israelis, so the IDF conducted the massacre,” a more accurate statement would have been: “the IDF probably killed some Israelis while trying to stop Hamas crimes.”
Put another very simple way: the world shouldn’t be surprised when Palestinian civilians aren’t allowed to stop us from shutting down Hamas. After all, Israeli children and hostages weren’t enough either – and nobody cares as deeply about their own people as the Israelis do.
This one vile video arguing that the IDF killed its own civilians is actually tremendous evidence that:
- Israel is not a European Colonialist State
- Deaths in Gaza do not mean that Israel is conducting genocide against Palestinians
May G-d grant us peace.