On Oct. 6, a ceasefire was in effect between Israel and Hamas. Hamas breached that ceasefire on Oct. 7 and attacked Israeli civilian communities along the Gaza border. They massacred some 1,200 babies, children, women and men, many after torturing them in the most heinous manner. They took around 240 hostages.
In response, Israel did what every country in the world would do. It took military action to take back its territory and then enter Gaza to rescue its hostages and eliminate the existential threat on its border. Hamas has made it clear that its goal is the destruction of Israel and the extermination of its seven million Jewish inhabitants. It is thus essential for Israel to destroy it.
No war is more just and moral than a war to destroy an existential threat. Hamas, in contrast, could not be waging a more unjust and immoral war. It breaks all international laws by hiding among civilians and firing its weapons next to hospitals, schools and mosques. While Israel tries to avoid civilian casualties, Hamas fires thousands of indiscriminate missiles in order to maximize Israeli civilian casualties.
Hamas came to power by winning an election. According to a recent poll, 75% of its subjects support its genocidal goals. This support was proven by the celebrations on the streets of Gaza at the news of Hamas’s massacre. Many Gazans who were not members of Hamas joined in that massacre.
Nonetheless, Israel is conducting itself in a more moral and ethical manner than any other country that has fought against an enemy embedded within a civilian population. The former supreme commander of British forces in Afghanistan Richard Kemp has testified that, in previous fighting in Gaza, “The Israel Defense Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.”
Israel is doing so again by dropping leaflets and calling and texting Gazans, telling them to leave the combat zone, even though Israel loses the element of surprise by giving such warnings. The IDF has even provided safe passage for those who choose to leave.
The IHRA definition of antisemitism includes, “Applying double standards by requiring of [Israel] a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” The lie that Israeli military action in Gaza has violated international law is unquestionably antisemitism under this definition.
Indeed, it is telling that Israel’s “critics” do not cite a single example of another country in a similar situation that has taken more comprehensive measures to avoid civilian casualties. Nor do they suggest another way that Israel can ensure its security and get back its hostages—because there is none, and they know it.
Given this, it is not surprising that many who criticize Israel eventually cannot contain themselves and proclaim that they support Hamas’s goal of destroying Israel. They don’t want to save civilians; they want Hamas to win.
Much of the media obsesses over a false definition of the term “proportionality.” They compare the number of tortured and massacred Israeli civilians to the number of casualties in Gaza—the latter from Hamas itself. The only list with any moral weight, however, should be between the numbers of civilians who have been intentionally killed. But that list would not be amenable to the media. It would show that the number of civilians intentionally killed by Hamas is 1,200 and counting. The number intentionally killed by Israel is zero.
Israel is fighting a moral and just war for its existence against an enemy committed to its destruction. Anyone who opposes this war is a fool, an enabler or an active supporter of Hamas’s genocidal ambitions. The last of these are clearly antisemites. The others are collaborators with antisemitism, whether they realize it or not.