Major newspaper fishes for IDF soldiers to corroborate Israeli ‘war crimes’

The Guardian bends over backwards to validate Hamas’s lies about casualties.

By Hugh Fitzgerald, Frontpage Magazine

The Guardian is the most anti-Israel of all major newspapers in the Anglosphere; it far outdoes in its anti-Israel animus even The Washington Post and The New York Times.

Recently its reporters ran a story with interviews of IDF soldiers that they hoped would make Israel look bad; the result was quite the contrary. More on The Guardian’s reporters coming up empty can be found here: “The @Guardian lies to spin IDF soldiers as monsters – but they show that the @IDF remains the most moral army in the world,” Elder of Ziyon, February 9, 2024:

The Guardian really wanted to write a story about IDF abuses resulting in gratuitous civilian deaths. They interviewed many IDF soldiers who spoke under the condition of anonymity because they aren’t supposed to speak to the press.

While the British newspaper tries to spin their statements as proving Israel’s wartime practices are awful, when you read what they actually say, they prove yet again that the IDF is the most moral army in history – and it is The Guardian’s reporting that is immoral.

For example, the newspaper says:

Some had not seen Palestinian civilians at all, passing weeks in Gaza without encountering anyone other than small bands of Hamas militants. Others said they had been in close combat almost every day and considered those civilians who ignored Israeli instructions to flee as complicit with Hamas and thus legitimate targets. Those interviewed also expressed sympathy for civilians and said they had tried to help them.

When you read the details, you see that the “legitimate targets” part was made up by the Guardian:

Some of the soldiers said that they considered any civilian who remained in the combat zone after being warned to leave as complicit, and several described fighting Hamas militants in the upper stories of apartment blocks while families sheltered on the ground floor, or even in the same house.

The IDF soldiers never said it regarded civilians as “legitimate targets.” What they said was that some civilians who had ignored IDF warnings to flee were “complicit.” That did not make them “legitimate targets,” and they were not treated as such by the IDF. The phrase “legitimate targets” was simply inserted by The Guardian’s reporters.

What am I going to think? That they’re not supporters of Hamas? What are they doing there then? We should ship them all to Yemen, if [the Houthis] like them so much,” a special forces soldier said.

The soldier didn’t say that anyone attacked the civilians. He didn’t say that they were legitimate targets. He only said they were complicit – and they almost certainly were. Providing cover for terrorists and seemingly acting as voluntary human shields sure indicates that. But no one they quoted supports the assertion that the IDF considered them legitimate targets. The special forces soldier was frustrated because they were obstacles to achieving a military objective, not as a military objective themselves.

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If they were legitimate targets, they would have called in an airstrike or artillery round to blow up the whole house rather than engage in a dangerous firefight. These soldiers endangered themselves to avoid killing the civilians.

It is a Guardian lie.

In other sections, the Guardian bends over backwards to validate Hamas’s lies about casualties. The newspaper tries to understand why none of the many soldiers they interviewed saw any dead civilians:

Several veterans said they had not personally seen women or children killed or wounded, despite both groups comprising the majority of Gaza’s victims [according, that is, to Hamas], which is possibly a consequence of most of these casualties being inflicted by long-range artillery or airstrikes some distance from most ground troops.

“You do see a lot of dead Hamas fighters, or men anyway. I didn’t see dead children or women and that helped a lot,” the NCO said.

This indicates that Hamas is lying about the majority of the victims being women and children, a claim that has not been corroborated by a single non-Hamas source – yet that claim is reported as fact by anti-Israel media like The Guardian.

The Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health routinely releases figures on casualties in Gaza. It never provides a breakdown between civilian and combatant deaths, but does claim — without offering any evidence — that a majority of those killed “are women and children.”

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The world’s media have taken these assertions on faith, despite Hamas’ long record of greatly exaggerating civilian casualties to make the IDF look bad.

The fact that IDF soldiers report never seeing “dead children or women” does suggest that the massive IDF campaigns to warn civilians away from areas that are about to become battlefields (as when Gazans early on were warned to move from northern Gaza to south of the Wadi Gaza), and to leave buildings — schools, apartment buildings, mosques, offices — that were about to be targeted, have been most effective.

The IDF warns by leafletting, messaging, telephoning, and using the “knock-on-the-roof” technique. In warning civilians, the IDF is unavoidably warning Hamas operatives as well.

As British Colonel Richard Kemp has said, no other army in the world lets its enemies know of impending attacks, in order to minimize harm to civilians, provides warnings that the enemy’s soldiers can routinely take advantage of.