Does Israel Deliberately Target Civilians?

In the comments section, Dano points out some of the Israeli crimes in the Gaza attack, including targeting the UN building and the use of white phosphorus.
I am convinced that Israel was directly targeting civilians in this Gaza incursion and that they do so regularly. The UN seems to agree with me.
Why?
The reason is to make the civilian population pay for supporting Hamas, the PLO, Hezbollah or whoever. Are they trying to kill every civilian in sight? No way. If they were even halfway trying that, there would be 13,000 dead in Gaza in 2 weeks and not 1,300.
So it’s complicated.
They shoot at civilians, ambulances, journalists, hospitals, UN buildings, etc. sometimes, but not all the time.
The message for targeting the places where the refugees were huddled is that “no place is safe.” This is what will happen if you support Hamas, Hezbollah or whoever. This is what happens if you let Hamas, Hezbollah or whoever shoot rockets at us or attack our troops.
The message, as Marty Peretz says in The New Republic, is “don’t fuck with the Jews.” Peretz’ comment set off a lot of criticism, even amongst progressive Jews. If you let these armed groups attack Israel, we are going to invade you. Don’t think you are get away by being a civilian and hiding in the UN building and letting the armed guys take the heat.
Forget that. There will be no mercy for civilians. As a civilian, you will be attacked, in any place you hide, no matter how safe or secure. So keep these damned armed groups on a reign or this will be your punishment.
It sort of works, as you can see – Hezbollah has engaged in few, if any, attacks on Israel since the Lebanon invasion.
For a long time, I did not believe that Israel was deliberately targeting civilians. Their whole thing is we are White and Western and most civilized army on Earth, so we don’t do that shit.
But if you dig around, you find that they definitely do, but it’s in pretty judicial amounts. Do a lot of digging into the attack on the Qana Base in Lebanon in 1996 and it’s obvious that Israel deliberately hit it. There were no Palestinian fighters shooting from the UN school, the UN relief agency, the Islamic University, or lots of other places.
In the case of the UN school where 40 civilians were killed, there were fighters, but they were a couple of streets away, not firing from the building. So, did Israel target the UN school? I’m not sure, but I am starting to think that maybe they did.
There was no firing whatsoever from the UN relief agency either.
It’s well known that Israel and its supporters despise the UN as anti-Semitic. This is a tragic statement. The UN is nothing more than all of the nations on Earth. If these Jews really think that almost all the nations on Earth hate them, then that’s sad and it’s getting into psychopathology, notably paranoia. Is it true? Does nearly every nation on Earth hate Jews? That’s an incredibly dubious proposition.
But keep in mind that the Israelis lie like maniacs, too. First we never used White Phosphorus, now we did use it, but only to light things up. I doubt it. They used it to terrorize the civilian population into knocking off the rockets. Amnesty International has accused Israel of a war crime in using white phosphorus in a heavily built-up area such as Gaza. Amnesty International is a pretty subdued organization, so if they accuse you of war crimes, that’s pretty hard-hitting stuff.
As far as DIME and depleted uranium, Palestinian physicians are saying that they are finding it in victims. I think it’s quite possible that Israel is using DU in Gaza. After all, their munitions come from the US, and many US munitions now include DU, because it is one kickass weapon.
We have a lot of reports that civilians were shot as they were waving white flags and fleeing, that IDF troops stood there and shot civilians over and over as they stood near them.
The response of Israel is always, “These Arabs are lying.” But I’m quite sure that these stories are true.
Once that argument is demolished, the Israelis always say that “they missed.” In general, that doesn’t seem to be the case either.
It’s classic counterinsurgency doctrine that you always arrest, beat, torture, shoot and kill the civilian supporters of any insurgency. Just about every counterinsurgency in the last 100 years has been fought this way. It’s never enough to get just the armed guys. You go after their civilian support base too. It’s called “draining the sea to kill the fish,” and it’s taught at US military schools, for sure at the School of the Americas.
What does a state have the right to do in a counterinsurgency? They can pass laws that outlaw supporting the guerrillas. You can arrest people, take them to court and try to prove that they are supporting the armed group in some way or another. But that never seems to be enough.
States almost always end up committing mass murder of civilians in any counterinsurgency. An exception is Spain’s war against the ETA, but that was not a very hot war anyway.
What can a state do with fighters? Well, try to arrest them, if you catch them in civilian clothes and you think they are a guerrilla. Take them to court, charge them with terrorism, rebellion or whatever, and try to convict them. Typically, states just kill anyone suspected of being a guerrilla. Or they arrest them, take them into custody, and kill them.
Typically, they utilize “non-state actors” like death squads to do this sort of nasty business. Death squads are typically state security forces in civilian clothes. Problem is it’s often hard to prove in court that someone was a guerrilla.
So the rule of law usually gets suspended in a counterinsurgency, and lots of folks just get socked away on “no charges” for God knows how long, or “disappeared.” Sometimes the disappeared turn up alive, but mostly they are killed. When states do go the legal route and try to convict guerrillas in court, it’s not helpful that insurgents often threaten judges and witnesses in the cases.
Peru is a recent example of a state that somewhat went the legal route (at the same time they were committing mass murder against civilians) in its war against the Shining Path. The legal route was not working, so Fujimori came in, created a dictatorship, abolished the rule of law, and crushed the insurgency. He arrested an incredible 15% of the population over the next 1 1/2 years, but he dealt a serious blow to Sendero.
If you strike enough terror into the civilian population, they won’t support the insurgency anymore. Tragically, this does work. Terror works. Nevertheless, it’s terrorism.
You can make just as good of an argument for Al Qaeda’s attacking British, Spanish, Australian and US civilians in the London bus bombings, the Spanish train bombings, the Bali bombings and 9-11. Al Qaeda, as bin Laden has made clear, is attacking the civilian support base of the enemy forces. This is just as moral or immoral as any counterinsurgency on Earth attacking and killing the civilian support base any non-state armed group.
Supporters of counterinsurgency, prove me wrong here! Show me you’re not just as bad as any terrorists out there?
I will point out that Hezbollah, Hamas and the rest are obviously committing war crimes too. They’re deliberately targeting Israeli civilians, right?
I would also note that hardly any armies fight fair in war anymore. Show me an army that is fighting a war or fought a recent war which fought fair and did not commit war crimes? We include counteringencies here. Pretty hard to find, huh?

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2 thoughts on “Does Israel Deliberately Target Civilians?”

  1. ” it sort of works, as you can see – Hezbollah has engaged in few, if any, attacks on Israel since the Lebanon invasion. ”
    Hezbollah has engaged in few, if any, attacks on Israel before the Lebanon invasion. Hezbullah is/was purely a national resistance movement and only operates on Lebanese soil. Sure, they fired some rockets at Israeli military targets in Israel, during the last Israeli mass terror attack, but that is out of the pattern. I have read some convincing accounts that place the 2 child molesters, who provided the excuse for the terrorism, on Lebanese soil at the time of their arrest.
    Does Israel target civilians? No, all untermensch, including you and me, are terrorist/nazi reservists.

  2. Hezbollah shoots at all Israelis, not just military targets. They do shoot at military targets sometimes, but they also shoot at towns and cities and just about anything. Further, their rockets are so damned inaccurate that it’s practically terrorism to even shoot them in the first place.
    Ut is definitely the case that the Israeli soldiers were on Israeli soil and not on Lebanese soil, when they were attacked.

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