Accusations of “Human Shields”:

Obscene “Rationale” for Israel’s Mass Murder of Civilians

by Alan Goodman | July 28, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


After the massacre of 16 people seeking shelter at a UN school—as well as other massacres that Israel has overtly taken credit for—Israel claimed that these were the Palestinians’ own fault because forces firing rockets at Israel use “civilians as human shields.”

The U.S. government and the media amplify that with a constant stream of statements and coverage that portrays the one-sided slaughter of Palestinians as supposedly morally complex and ultimately justifiable. Headlines, like the one in the New York Times titled “Israel Says That Hamas Uses Civilian Shields, Reviving Debate,” train Americans to turn away from the horrific crimes Israel is committing.

A one-sided, genocidal massacre is presented as hopelessly complicated: “Nothing is ever so clear in the complex and often brutal calculus of urban warfare.” (Headline and quote are from the New York Times July 23, 2014).

A spokesman for an imperialist “think tank” (that develops strategies and excuses for the crimes of the U.S. empire and its agents around the world) declared “Hamas knows that it works to its advantage, politically and diplomatically, as the civilian death toll mounts.”

As if the Palestinians are intentionally getting Israel to slaughter them because it makes Israel look bad.

Here’s the reality:

For eight years Israel has subjected the people of Gaza to constant brutality, drone strikes, assassinations. Israel has cut off almost all contact between Gaza and the outside world. You can’t visit there. Relief ships have been attacked by Israel in international waters and humanitarian activists on board murdered by Israeli troops. Israel has literally starved people in Gaza, restricting imports of food and cutting off people’s ability to grow food, or to fish off Gaza’s Mediterranean coast. Over 13 percent of the children in Gaza suffer from acute malnutrition. Nearly 19 percent suffer from anemia. Unemployment is over 38 percent—far higher than in the U.S. during the Great Depression. People in Gaza do not have access to drinkable water and reliable electric power. (See “Gaza by the Numbers: Who the People are, how They got There” by Juan Cole, Guardian, July 8, 2014.)

And all this is in the context of decades of driving the Palestinian people, as a whole, from their land, and trying to destroy their lives, spirit and culture.

Whenever there is resistance of any kind from any force to all this, Israel strikes at the civilian population. They call the non-combatants they murder “collateral damage” and blame—often without any basis—whatever group they want to target and isolate.

It is Israel that has a policy of mass murder of civilians—often at random—in schools, hospitals, homes and on beaches. In fact, mass murder and collective punishment of civilians is Israel’s main weapon in enforcing the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. Some apologists for Israel openly argue that there is no such thing as a Palestinian civilian!

Now, when ineffective rockets are fired towards Israel from within this densely packed prison, Israel cries that the forces firing the rockets are using civilians as “human shields.” And Israel uses that charge to justify intensifying the genocidal ethnic cleansing of Palestine, including repeatedly bombing UN schools where people gather to seek shelter, killing dozens.

U.S. Backing for Every Crime

The U.S. provides massive financial and technology aid to Israel’s military. Every crime Israel has ever committed has been backed by the U.S.

Over and over again, we hear from the rulers of the U.S., including Barack Obama, about the “shared ideals” of the U.S. and Israel.

That is true: they share the (immoral) ideals of exploiters and violent oppressors that sit atop a world of exploitation, injustice and oppression.

Here’s the basic truth:

All this bullshit about “human shields” from the rulers of the U.S., their mass media, and their Israeli hitmen is an obscene, immoral “rationale” for mass murder.


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