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Israeli ‘terror’ propaganda is itself incitement to state-terror

on 12 Comments

In the wake of Israel’s Gaza massacre of last Friday (which continues in slower motion), Israel sought to blame the victims by issuing propaganda about the supposed “terrorist” background of those involved.

A day after the massacre, the Israel Defense Forces spokesperson published photos of 10 out of the 17 killed (on Twitter) – ostensibly in order to exonerate the IDF from shooting indiscriminately and injuring many hundreds with live ammunition.

The heading says: “The terrorists of the violent riots”, and it displays photos of the killed, sometimes in Hamas military fatigues, with subtitles of their “terror” involvement. Nearly all read identical: Name, residence, and the inscription, “active militant of the Hamas terror organization”.

The meme was shared by various Israeli apologia sites such as ‘Legal Insurrection’, ‘IsReally Cool’ ‘Stand With Us’ etc.

The notion that this propaganda entails needs to be analyzed and made plain. The message is, in itself, incitement to terror, as I shall explain.

The whole notion rests upon Hamas being a terror organization. This is in itself a heavily disputed issue, as Hamas is an anti-colonialist resistance organization, with both political and military branches. But let us not delve into this dispute at this time. Let us say that some members of Hamas took part in the protests – as civilians. Can they be?

The answer to that may be seen in a mirror comparison: Say some Israeli men protested somewhere, as civilians – and got massacred. What would be the meaning of publishing their photos with their military IDF record? To show that they cannot qualify as civilians, since they have a military background, past or present?

The next layer of propaganda is to suggest that since most of the killed had a Hamas military background, and that since Hamas is labelled by Israel a terrorist organization, this essentially means that everyone who was shot was somehow affiliated with Hamas, and thus a legitimate terrorist target. 

Ahead of the massacre, Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem warned that “Israeli officials have repeatedly threatened to respond with lethal force” and that they were “framing the demonstrators as terrorists and referring to Gaza as a ‘combat zone'”.

This is a blatant dismissal of the principle of distinction between militants and civilians. One of Israel’s most esteemed legal scholars, Yoram Dinstein, notes in his book ‘Laws of War’, that “from the standpoint of LOIAC [Laws of International Armed Conflict], there is no genuine difference between a premeditated attack against civilians (or civilian objects) and a reckless disregard of the principle of distinction: they are equally forbidden”.  

But lack of distinction is part of Israel’s military doctrine – known as the Dahiya Doctrine, named after a neighborhood in Beirut which Israel pulverized because many Hezbollah members lived there. The doctrine has been applied (as was promised by the current Israeli Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot) in Gaza. Eisenkot said in 2008, “What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on”, and that “We will apply disproportionate force on it and cause great damage and destruction there. From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases.”

Gaza is being punished, ostensibly for electing Hamas. This is why the UN Goldstone Report of 2009 concluded that Israel had conducted a “deliberately disproportionate attack, designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population”.

Make no mistake about it, this is what Israel is doing now: punishing, humiliating and terrorizing a civilian population for daring to protest their incarceration in a “concentration camp“. And Israel is trying to get away with it by sly framing of these protests as “terror”. By doing this, Israel is seeking to manufacture consent for its own state-terror, so that soldiers can continue shooting civilians with impunity. 

Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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12 Responses

  1. ritzl on April 4, 2018, 3:11 pm

    And, as CigarGod has pointed out, the other 1500 wounded? 800(?) shot?

    How did they know to shoot these people dead? With pictures at the ready? Part of the plan? Were these guys unarmed, part of the protest, identified by spotters as Hamas, and shot to provide this deflection to mass murder?

    • Kay24 on April 4, 2018, 9:22 pm

      To your point, among the thousands of protesters, it must take a magician to pinpoint these so called “militants” and kill them, in that fast moving situation. Why were so many killed and injured while they were no threat to the murderous IDF? Palestinians walking, running, and praying must be threatening to the zionists.

      The zionists have a very ugly habit of killing and justifying it as the killing of Hamas or militants.
      Whether it is sending precision bombs into homes, UN refugee centers, flotillas, or check points, it seems the armed and trained IDF see militants everywhere. They kill and lie about it.

  2. Maghlawatan on April 4, 2018, 4:03 pm

    The Israeli terror narrative is exhausted. Israel cannot continue to deny rights to the people of Gaza even if Israelis are brainwashed to consider them as vermin. Israel should have cut a deal with the Palestinians after 1948 because they will never escape from the consequences.

  3. JLewisDickerson on April 4, 2018, 8:22 pm

    RE: [T]his is what Israel is doing now: punishing, humiliating and terrorizing a civilian population for daring to protest their incarceration in a “concentration camp“. And Israel is trying to get away with it by sly framing of these protests as “terror”. By doing this, Israel is seeking to manufacture consent for its own state-terror, so that soldiers can continue shooting civilians with impunity. ~ Jonathan Ofir


    “The aggression committed by Israel must be condemned, not only because no state has the right to annexe foreign territory, but because every expansion is an experiment to discover how much more aggression the world will tolerate.

    “The refugees who surround Palestine in their hundreds of thousands were described recently by the Washington journalist I.F. Stone as “the moral millstone around the necks of world Jewry. . . ”

    ” . . . All who want to see an end to the bloodshed on the Middle East must ensure that any settlement does not contain the seeds of future conflict. Justice requires that the first step toward a settlement must be an Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied in June, 1967. ~~~ from Yours Faithfully, Bertrand Russell: A Lifelong Fight for Peace, Justice, and Truth in Letters to the Editor, By Bertrand Russell, Ray Perkins (Jr.), pages 411 – 412


    • JLewisDickerson on April 4, 2018, 8:30 pm

      ALSO SEE: Netanyahu: “We Will Forever Live By The Sword”, Indefinitely Control All Palestinian Territory | By IMEMC News | October 27, 2015

      [EXCERPT] Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced his plan to control “all of the territory” and “live forever by the sword.”

      The remarks were reported in Haa’retz newspaper, according to PNN, in an article by journalist Barak Ravid.

      Mr Ravid wrote: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that although he doesn’t want a binational state, “at this time we need to control all of the territory for the foreseeable future.”

      MKs who took part in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting – today (Monday) – reportedly told Mr Ravid that Netanyahu had turned to the politicians present and said: “You think there is a magic wand here, but I disagree. I’m asked if we will forever live by the sword – yes.” . . .

      SOURCE –

    • JLewisDickerson on April 4, 2018, 9:39 pm



      In my defense, this keyboard is in petty bad shape and sometimes you really have to pound the keys (which worsens its condition). I probably have twenty or so used PS2 and USB keyboards, but they are probably even worse. Perhaps sometime I’ll break down and buy me a mechanical keyboard to see how long it lasts. –
      Actually, the Havit HV-KB390L is pretty reasonably priced. If it only had a rotary volume control knob like the pricey Das! Of couse, I suppose I could move the speaker with the volume control closer in and get used to using it. Do you see what I have to contend with? It’s insane!
      SPOKEN WITH AN UPPER-CLASS ENGLISH MALE’S ACCENT (having “a slightly lispy quality”, to borrow from Pauline Kael):
      “I just think things should work PROPERLY!”

  4. Misterioso on April 5, 2018, 11:24 am

    “Debunking Israel’s Talking Points on Deadly Gaza Protests”

    If Americans Knew Blog, April 1/18

    “Even before the protest began, Israeli spokespeople framed it preemptively as a Hamas production, even though it was supported by Gaza civil society organizations and all political parties. Civilian Gazans’ willingness to walk to that fence measures their yearning to express themselves as humans and claim their freedom, even at immediate risk.”
    By Marilyn Garson, Ha’aretz

    “In 1988 at the gates of Jerusalem’s Old City, I watched Palestinian youths face down Israeli soldiers. The soldiers held rifles, while the Palestinians held stones. That asymmetry sent the Judaism of my childhood crashing headlong into my sense of justice. The stones demanded that I ask, ‘What could make a young man risk his life this way?’

    “My work with war-affected communities later brought me to the Gaza Strip. Living there from 2011 to 2015, I confronted Israel’s power from the ground.

    “On Friday, Land Day, unarmed Gazans confronted this power once more; they were commemorating the six unarmed protesters who were killed 42 years ago in 1976 as they protested the expropriation of Arab-owned land in northern Israel. Organizers in Gaza had called for a season of nonviolent protest lasting until the day of the so-called Nakba, when Palestinians mourn the losses of 1948, asserting the rights of refugees who comprise the majority of Gaza’s population.

    “Tens of thousands of Gazans walked toward the border facing a heavily armed Israeli line. They walked toward rifles and drones. Israel had announced its deployment of a hundred snipers authorized to use live ammunition. And fire they did; the United Nations reports 15 dead and 1,416 wounded, including 750 hit by live ammunition, of whom 20 are in critical condition.

    “Gazans walked into all that, demanding that we ask, ‘What is happening in Gaza to make them risk their lives?’ That is the bedrock question. Layers of language are being heaped upon it, to obscure it.”

  5. lonely rico on April 5, 2018, 12:31 pm

    Copy of letter to Canadian PM J. Trudeau.

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
    Last Friday, March 30, thousands of Palestinians marched peacefully in Gaza to demand an end to the occupation, an end to the cruel siege of Gaza, and recognition of the right of Palestinians to return to their homes and their land in accordance with UNGA Resolution 194 (1948) and multiple guarantees of International law, the Geneva Conventions, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
    Israel reacted to these calls of the imprisoned Palestinians with lethal force, murdering and maiming unarmed protesters without compunction or humanity. Eighteen were killed, and thousands injured, many with life-threatening injuries. Many of the injured may die as the hospitals in Gaza are overwhelmed by the crisis, in part because of the shortage of medical equipment and supplies, a consequence of Israel’s cruel blockade of the Gaza strip for over a decade.
    Israeli aggression and its illegal occupation of Palestinian land in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza offends all standards of decency and international law.
    The government of Canada must demand –
    1. That Israel immediately cease attacking the Palestinians in Gaza (and the West Bank while they’re at it).
    2. That Israel allow the Canadian government to ship emergency medical supplies to the hospitals in Gaza, without which many of the injured Palestinians may die from the grievous wounds inflicted on them by the Israeli military.
    3. That Israel immediately initiate steps to end the cruel illegal blockade of Gaza which has impoverished the imprisoned population, deprived them of their fundamental rights to clean water, health, homes and work; the blockade which according to UN studies will render Gaza uninhabitable by the year 2020.

    Failure by Israel to take these steps must result in the suspension of the Canada/Israel Free Trade Agreement and the recall of Canada’s ambassador to Israel to allow the government of Canada to reconsider its diplomatic and economic ties with Israel.

    • eljay on April 5, 2018, 1:46 pm

      That’s a good letter. I hope it is taken to heart…but I fear it will be ignored.

  6. Ossinev on April 5, 2018, 1:06 pm

    So if the PLO had assassinated Begin and or Shamir it would have been fully justifiable as they were designated terrorists before they sprouted wings of angels and became civilian Prime Ministers of the most moral nation in the history of nations.

  7. gamal on April 5, 2018, 5:24 pm

    “punishing, humiliating and terrorizing a civilian population for daring to protest their incarceration”

    hey Ofir did you hear gaza, they have only bullets against Gaza, but we Muslims feel nothing but shame when it comes to Palestine, to Iraq and Libya and Syria, we are a worthless rabble we look to Palestine…for help

  8. zaid on April 6, 2018, 2:30 am

    Out of the ten names published only 4 are Hamas militant and they died while participating in a peaceful protest and they were unarmed.

    The rest are all civilians (one of them civil member of Hamas).

    Total number of those killed are 20 (one is a teenager who died of his wounds yesterday).

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