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Israel Has Faced Little Criticism Over Palestinian Deaths
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Thousands of protesters returned to the border this Friday, burning great heaps of tyres to produce a black smokescreen which they hoped would hide them from Israeli snipers. Gaza’s health ministry has said that five people were killed and 1,070 people were wounded on Friday, including 293 by live fire.

The demonstrators know what to expect. A video from the first day of the march shows a protester being shot in the back by an Israeli sniper as he walks away from the fence separating Gaza from Israel. In other footage, Palestinians are killed or wounded as they pray, walk empty-handed towards the border fence, or simply hold up a Palestinian flag. All who get within 300 yards are labelled “instigators” by the Israeli army, whose soldiers have orders to shoot them.

“Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed,” claimed a tweet from the Israeli military the day after the mass shooting on 30 March at the start of 45 days of what Palestinians call the “Great March of Return” to the homes they had in Israel 70 years ago. The tweet was deleted soon after, possibly because film had emerged of a protester being shot from behind.

The sheer scale of the casualties on the first day of the protest a week ago is striking, with as many as 16 killed and 1,415 injured, of whom 758 were hit by live fire according to Gaza health officials. These figures are contested by Israel, which says that the injured numbered only a few dozen. But Human Rights Watch spoke to doctors at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City who said that they had treated 294 injured demonstrators, mostly “with injuries to the lower limbs from live ammunition”.

Imagine for a moment that it was not the two million Palestinian in Gaza, who are mostly refugees from 1948, but the six million Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan who had staged a march to return to the homes that they have lost in Syria since 2011. Suppose that, as they approach the Syrian border, they were fired on by the Syrian army and hundreds of them were killed or injured. Syria would certainly claim that the demonstrators were armed and dangerous, though this would be contradicted by the absence of casualties among the Syrian military.

The international outcry against the murderous Syrian regime in Washington, London, Paris and Berlin would have echoed around the world. Boris Johnson would have denounced Assad as a butcher and Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, would have held up pictures of the dead and dying before the Security Council.

Of course, Israel would furiously deny that there was any parallel between the two situations. Its government spokesman, David Keyes, rebuked CNN for even using the word “protest” when “what actually happened is that Hamas engineered an event where they wanted thousands of people to swarm into Israel, to crush Israel, to commit acts of terror. Indeed, we have captured on camera pictures of people shooting guns, people placing bombs, people shooting rockets.”

In the event, no pictures of these supposedly well-armed protesters ever emerged. But four days later, Human Rights Watch published a report entitled Israel: Gaza Killings Unlawful, Calculated. Officials Green-Light Shooting of Unarmed Demonstrators, which said that it “could find no evidence of any protester using firearms”. It added that footage published by the Israeli army showing two men shooting at Israeli troops turned out not to have been filmed at the protest.

Israeli ministers are unabashed by the discrediting of claims that the demonstrators pose a military threat to Israel. Defence minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israeli soldiers had “warded off Hamas military branch operatives capably and resolutely … They have my full backing.” The free-fire policy is continuing as before and, as a result, the Israeli human rights organisation, B’Tselem, has launched a campaign called “Sorry Commander I Cannot Shoot”, which encourages soldiers to refuse to shoot unarmed civilians on the grounds that this is illegal.

Why is the surge in Palestinian protests coming now and why is Israel responding so violently? There is nothing new in Palestinian demonstrations about the loss of their land and Israel’s aggressive military response. But there may be particular reasons that a confrontation is happening now, such as Palestinian anger at President Trump’s decision in December to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the move of the US embassy to there from Tel Aviv. This trumpeted Washington’s unconditional support for the Israeli position and the US disregard for the Palestinians and any remaining hopes they might have to win at least some concessions with US support.

Strong support from the Trump administration is reported by the Israeli press to be further reason why the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, feels that bad publicity over the shootings in Gaza will not damage Israel’s position in the US. In the past, controversy over the mass killings of Palestinian or Lebanese by Israel has sometimes provoked a negative US response that has curbed Israel’s use of force.

So far, Israel has faced little criticism from an international media uninterested in the Gaza story, or else is happy to go along with Israel’s interpretation of events. The vocabulary used by news outlets is often revealing: for instance, the BBC website on 31 March had a headline reading “Gaza-Israel border: Clashes ‘leave 16 Palestinians dead and hundreds injured”. The word “clashes” implies combat between two groups capable of fighting each other, though, as Human Rights Watch says, the demonstrators pose no threat to an all-powerful Israeli military machine – a point reinforced by the fact that all the dead and wounded are Palestinian.


Possibly, the Israelis are miscalculating the impact of excessive use of force on public opinion: in the age of wifi and the internet, graphic images of the victims of violence are immediately broadcast to the world, often with devastating effect. As in Syria and Iraq, the political price of besieging or blockading urban areas like Gaza or Eastern Ghouta is rising because it is impossible to prevent information about the sufferings of those trapped inside such an enclaves becoming public, though this may have no impact on the course of events.

Contrary to Keyes’ claims, the idea of a mass march against the fence seems to have first emerged in social media in Gaza and was only later adopted by Hamas. It is the only strategy likely to show results for the Palestinians because they have no military option, no powerful allies and their leadership is moribund and corrupt. But they do have numbers: a recent report to the Israeli Knesset saying that there are roughly 6.5 million Palestinian Arabs and an equal number of Jewish Israeli citizens in Israel and the West Bank, not counting those in East Jerusalem and Gaza. Israel has usually had more difficulty in dealing with non-violent civil rights type mass movements among Palestinians than it has had fighting armed insurgencies.

Keyes claims that the demonstrations are orchestrated by Hamas, but here again he is mistaken on an important point because witnesses on the spot say that the impetus for the protests is coming from non-party groups and individuals. They voice frustration with the failed, divided and self-seeking Palestinian leaders of both Hamas and Fatah. The most dangerous aspect of the situation in terms of its potential for violence may be that nobody is really in charge.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Gaza, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine 
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  1. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says: • Website

    eight young Jews were arrested for saying the killings go against the spirit of Passover

    But isn’t Passover about the killing of Egyptian children while sparing the Jewish ones?

  2. llloyd says: • Website

    The MSM pull rank when the security of a State recognised as legitimate is threatened. If the Palestinians really were able to cross over the Gaza border, that would be the start of the end of Israel. However the sudden muteness of MSM and Western political leaders over Israel atrocities in the last few months is disturbing. That seemed to start after exposure by Australian whistle blower Brendon of Talpiot Program.

    • Replies: @Wally
  3. You offer harm and get harmed you have no complaint: it is like living by the sword.

    They had the land by right of conquest and lost it in the same manner.

    Who cares?

    • Replies: @Abdul
  4. Wally says:

    It’s a simple issue. Just ask ‘who runs Hollywood & the media?’

    • Replies: @yep
    , @anarchyst
  5. llloyd says: • Website

    Dogs run sheep. They don’t control every movement of the sheep but manipulate them in the right direction. The Talpiot program may be the most sinister new development. Sheep into mutton as it were. The silence on Gaza now is quite unique.

  6. Abdul says:

    Biblical law says kill your neighbour and take his/her land. Modern law says land cannot change owners even by conquest or defeat.

    • Replies: @Anonymouse
    , @rec1man
  7. unit472 says:

    Israel is just setting a useful precedent. Nations can defend their borders against both hostile armies or hostile populations. There is no good reason Italy or Greece should have to allow migrants from another nation land on their shores. If they won’t turn back they should be shot.

  8. @Abdul

    Dear Brother Abdul,

    What modern law is that?


  9. rec1man says:

    Medina / Yathrib was a Jewish city and must be returned to the jews

    All muslims must return to Arabia, because they expanded by conquest

    • Replies: @Johnny Canuck
  10. Israel did Sept 11 2001 bombings and killed 3000 innocent Americans, After 18 years not one Israelie or American has been convicted.
    If they can get away with such senseless murder–they can kill millions and still America will protect vipers.

    • Agree: anarchyst
  11. yep says:

    couldn’t be that america is owed by the israel clowns…..that is why it is so silent

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  12. Svigor says:

    Medina / Yathrib was a Jewish city and must be returned to the jews

    All muslims must return to Arabia, because they expanded by conquest

    A quick lesson in the linearity of time, dumbed-down version for Jews:

    1. Right of conquest is the reigning law.
    2. Right of conquest abolished.
    3. Jews conquered Palestine.

    Jews may want to argue the merits of ex post facto law, but that would just make them look even more racist.

  13. Svigor says:

    Israel is just setting a useful precedent. Nations can defend their borders against both hostile armies or hostile populations. There is no good reason Italy or Greece should have to allow migrants from another nation land on their shores. If they won’t turn back they should be shot.

    Jews: “we’re just defending our borders.”
    Also Jews: “Whites don’t get to defend their borders.”

  14. The Zionazis and the cowardly IDF have once again proven what slimey, lying scum they really are.

    Those pukes may call me ‘Antisemite’ but that is a joke. The real Semites are being Genocided and coldly murdered by these usurpers of the Jewish Faith. These are the decendents of the “Jewish” Bolsheviks that murdered, tortured, enslaved tens of millions of the Russian Populace for 7 decades.

    They can no longer fool us even with the propaganda from their lying ‘Jewish’-owned media.

    God help us if these are “God’s Chosen People”. Boycott anything made in ISISrael.

  15. @rec1man

    Uh, I believe the Palestinian People were on that land in the Biblical times. it was the so-called ‘Jews’ that went messing around and waging wars.

    Besides, most of the ‘Jews’ are decendents of the Khazars who had an empire in what is basically Ukraine now. They were very warlike and savage and finally one of their Rulers decided to opt out for a new Religion to replace the Penis-worshipping Pagan Cult that they adhered to, so as to make his people look more civilized. The conversion to Judaism occurred in the 9th Century AD, I beleive.

    Anyhow, other Kingdoms tired of these Pirates and murders and the Khazarian Empire was destroyed by the Russians. Many of these people fled to Europe where they wreaked havoc everwhere they went, resulting in Laws forbidding these people from holding office and such. Yes, they were kicked out of just about every country in Europe at one time or another because of the problems they created wherever they went.

    With the rise of the Ratchild, er I mean Rothschild Family, Zionism was established and through much ruthless manipulations, the Illegal State of Israel was born out of sheer Terrorism.

    That is the legacy and the real Jews do not recognize nor support this Israel, which has proven to be the most cowardly, deceptive and back-stabbing Country one could imagine.

    My heart goes out to the Palestinian People, real Semites and the loss of their Homeland to the Terrorist invaders from Europe.

  16. @yep

    I would disagree that these people have dual loyalty; they will have primary loyalty to the country to which they are bound by religious and/or ethnocultural links… and secondary loyalty to the country that pays their exorbitant salaries out of its tax collections. Put another way: they will have primary loyalty to the country whose citizenship they applied for, and secondary loyalty to the country they were born in.

    Bear in mind that voluntarily adopting a second citizenship while continuing to reside in your country of birth-citzenship, implies quite a serious affection for the country of ‘adopted’ citzenship.

    I was a dual national for a while – New Zealander by birth, Australian by naturalisation; I’ve lived in Australia since 1972 (with short intervals – a year in the 70s in NZ; three years in the ’00s in France).

    Now, consider if the story had been slightly different: consider if I had lived in NZ my whole life, but for some reason I took out Australian citizenship. What would that say about my relative ‘loyalty’ to the two political entities? If I had done that and then obtained a seat in the NZ parliament, and did not recuse myself from political decisions that related to NZ/Oz relationships, whose side would I be presumed to be on?

    As it stands, I was ‘Australianated’ solely because it became mandatory for Defence personnel after I joined the Australian military in the 80s. The law was retroactive with respect to already-enlisted military, but the dual-citizenship aspect was relaxed: not so for anyone who joined after the law was passed.

    Its effect is unambiguous: you cannot be a dual citizen in the Australian military, public service, or political system.

    The bit about the political system is of long date – it’s s44 of the Australian Constitution, which requires political officeholders to have no entitlement to citizenship benefits bestowed by a country other than Australia. Note: this ‘entitlement’ does not require the political aspirant to have actually taken advantage of the citizenship benefits in question – quite the opposite: if an entitlement exists, they must have taken all possible steps to repudiate it.

    There has been something of a crisis in political circles in Australia recently, whereby about a dozen politicians have breached s44; half a dozen politicians have had their careers stalled (they had to bring their citizenship into line with s44, and then re-contest their seats), and one or two have ended outright. Interestingly, when scrutiny was turned onto a government minister known to be Jewish, there was a ‘full court press’ about how his mother was a Holocaust survivor (which somehow is relevant, and which somehow terminated all discussion about the guy).

    FWIW I repudiated Australian citizenship after its political leadership decided to join the US in its war crime in Afghanistan and Iraq.

  17. Svigor says:


    Uh, I believe the Palestinian People were on that land in the Biblical times. it was the so-called ‘Jews’ that went messing around and waging wars.

    What’s really funny is that Jews stole the land of Israel in the first place, if you go by Jews’ current mode of thinking (leftism); they announced that their god gave them the land, then they moved in and stole it. That sounds great if you adhere to one of the currently popular flavors of Christian heresy, but pretty bad if you worship at the altar of leftism.

    • Replies: @anarchyst
  18. anarchyst says:

    “God is not a real estate agent”…get’s ’em every time…

  19. wealstarr says:

    What ? Criticism ? for what ? killing terrorists ? defending borders ? ridding the world of the savages ?

  20. anarchyst says:

    Of course jews run the media…
    A prime example is the lack of news coverage of the 50th anniversary of the June 8, 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty (GTR-5).
    Normally, the 50th anniversary of ANY notable historical event receives at least SOME media attention and coverage.
    Not so with the USS Liberty.

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