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Caitlin Johnstone

Dec 17, 2023

Friendly fire during October 7, friendly fire on the battlefield in Gaza, friendly fire executions of Israeli prisoners. The IDF are so good at killing Israelis they should start making GoPro videos with red triangles about it.

Israeli forces reportedly drove bulldozers over hospital patients in tents and buried people alive. Palestinian officials are seeking an urgent probe into allegations of an IDF bulldozer attack on patients at the Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza, killing some twenty people.

That’s one of those things where even after everything that’s happened you still look at it and go “I must be reading this wrong.” You’d be considered a monster if you killed livestock in that way.

IDF troops killed escaped Israeli hostages who were holding up a white flag, apparently because they mistook them for Palestinian civilians holding up a white flag (Israeli forces have a long and well-documented history of killing Gazans while they are waving white flags). The only reason they bothered to check if the abductees might be people whose lives they care about was reportedly because one of them had a “western appearance”, i.e. looked white.

Imagine being held hostage by Hamas for months, finally escaping, trying to make your way back home, and then getting killed by your own military forces because they mistook you for Palestinian civilians.

Israel supporters always say “Hamas just needs to surrender and everything will be fine.” 

Surrender? You mean wave a white flag?

Friendly fire during October 7, friendly fire on the battlefield in Gaza, friendly fire executions of Israeli prisoners. The IDF are so good at killing Israelis they should start making GoPro videos with red triangles about it.

“Mossad discovers sinister Hamas plot to just sit back and wait for the IDF to destroy Israel via friendly fire.”

It’s not the Israel-Hamas War, it’s the Israel-Babies and Children And Women And Journalists and Healthcare Workers and UN Staff and Hospital Patients and Civilian Infrastructure and Israeli Hostages and Sometimes Occasionally Hamas War.

It’s interesting how outside the IDF Israel and its supporters are predominantly all about freeing the hostages, but within the IDF the attitude toward the hostages seems at best to be depraved indifference and at worst outright hostility.

Some weeks ago I saw a Hamas claim being circulated on Twitter that Hamas fighters had been luring IDF troops into ambushes by playing recordings of the sounds of children, and it was working because Israeli troops reliably go after kids. I didn’t pay much attention to the claim at the time, thinking “No way, that one can’t be true,” but now the IDF is indignantly complaining that “In an attempt to ambush our troops, Hamas terrorists connected dolls to speakers playing crying sounds and set them up in an area rigged with explosives.”

This keeps happening. Israel’s actions are so horrific and depraved that I keep thinking I must be misinterpreting what I’m reading or disregarding a claim as too implausibly over the top, only to find out that no, that’s exactly what happened. As bad as I know Israel is, it keeps finding new ways to show me I still don’t know the half of it.

It’s so hard to say who’s in the right in this conflict. On one side you’ve got facts and evidence and a nonstop deluge of raw video footage documenting massacres of civilians day after day after day, but on the other side you’ve got people calling you an anti-semite if you disagree with them. It’s very complicated.

It is not a coincidence that (A) video documentation of Israeli atrocities in Gaza has been extremely damaging to Israeli information interests and (B) journalists in Gaza are being killed by Israeli attacks at a rate which has no historical precedent.

If you follow the “They started it!”, “No they started it!” arguments of the Israel-Palestine conflict back to their source at the beginning, you come to “Palestinians should have laid down and accepted their violent mass displacement and theft of their homes by Israel in 1948.”

People are still yelling about “From the river to the sea” chants at pro-Palestine demonstrations, but you know if a different pro-Palestine chant becomes ubiquitous it will with 100% certainty be attacked as evil and anti-semitic too. Pro-Palestine slogans aren’t opposed because anyone sincerely believes they support genocide, they’re opposed because they are pro-Palestine.

Biden’s presidency has turned out to be everything anti-imperialists feared it would be, and so much worse.


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