Thursday, November 16, 2023

  • Thursday, November 16, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon

From Human Rights Watch:

An unlawful Israeli strike on a family in a car on November 5, 2023, should be investigated as an apparent war crime, Human Rights Watch said today. The attack killed three girls and their grandmother and wounded their mother.

The family had been traveling from south Lebanon to Beirut in the late afternoon, following heavy shelling by Israeli forces in the area earlier that day, Samir Ayoub, the girls’ uncle, said in a televised interview the night of the attack. Ayoub, a journalist, was traveling in a separate car in front of the car that was hit.

“This attack by Israeli military forces that struck a car carrying a family fleeing violence shows a reckless disregard for civilian life,” said Ramzi Kaiss, Lebanon researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Three young girls and their grandmother have lost their lives, our investigations show, as a result of the Israeli military’s failure to distinguish between combatants and civilians. Their killing is a violation of the laws of war, and Israel’s allies, like the US, should respond to this apparent war crime by demanding accountability for this unlawful strike.”

That evening, the Israeli military admitted carrying out the strike, telling the Times of Israel it “struck a vehicle in Lebanese territory that was identified as a suspicious vehicle containing several terrorists […] The claim that there were several uninvolved civilians in the vehicle is being examined. The event is under review.” According to Human Rights Watch research, they have provided no further evidence to justify their claim.

Human Rights Watch found no evidence of a military target in the vicinity. But if there were one, targeting a car carrying civilians, along with the Israeli military’s admission of targeting the car while failing to distinguish between combatants and civilians, makes the strike unlawful.
So where is the antisemitism? It is in what HRW is omitting from the story.

Clearly, the strike was tragic. But mistakes during war are not unlawful. And HRW brings exactly zero evidence that Israel knew or even suspected that the car was civilian.

HRW doesn't try to investigate any possible reasons why Israel would target a car. It say that it finds no evidence of a military target. But what they pointedly don't mention is this incident that happened immediately beforehand:
An Israeli civilian was killed in an anti-tank guided missile attack launched from Lebanon at an area near the northern community of Kibbutz Yiftah on Sunday, said the Israel Defense Forces’ Arabic-language spokesman, Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee.

The Hezbollah terror group claimed responsibility for the missile fire, saying it attacked a group of soldiers.

The IDF said its forces responded by striking the source of the missile fire.
HRW knows about this incident: it links to this same story several paragraphs later, saying "one Israeli civilian was killed by Hezbollah rocket strikes in Kibbutz Yiftah in northern Israel on the same day. " But it doesn't link the two incidents, even though the article says Israel responded to the source of the fire. 

Apparently, immediately after the Israeli was killed, the IDF identified a car rushing away from where it identified the missile location, and assumed it was the terrorists fleeing. This is a tragic error but it is not unlawful. Israel reacted with the best information it had at the moment; decisions must be made in seconds. A lone car rushing away from the vicinity of the missile launcher is, by definition, evidence. Israel doesn't have the luxury that HRW has to spend a week looking at CCTV images to see where the car came from an hour beforehand.

As always, the NGO assumes bad faith from the IDF. It assumes Israel either targets or recklessly shoots at civilians with no evidence - because it cannot be bothered to find the evidence. It doesn't appear that HRW even asked the IDF to respond to the charge, only relying on reports from places like Al Jazeera for its information. 

Making the assumption that Israel is malicious, and that Israeli authorities are liars, is indeed evidence of antisemitism.

This becomes even starker when we notice that HRW also happens to mention this:"Rocket strikes and other attacks into Israel by Hezbollah and Palestinian groups have reportedly killed at least two civilians and six soldiers." It links to an article - from Al Jazeera, not an Israeli source - about an attack that Hezbollah bragged about.

Hezbollah published their own video of that incident the AJ article was about from November 12.  It is obvious from Hezbollah's own cameras that the targets were not uniformed. They knew they were attacking civilians.

But there are no investigations from HRW on Hezbollah. They don't condemn them and they don't accuse them of war crimes. When it comes to Hezbollah, their language changes from direct accusations to generic, both-sidesism of  "Parties to a conflict are obligated to abide by international humanitarian law irrespective of the conduct of the other party." The word "unlawful" is used to refer to Israel four times and not once against Hezbollah. 

This is even though they admit that Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah has said, directly, on November 3, that his group will commit war crimes: that they will target Israeli civilians in retaliation of any Lebanese civilian casualties."

So we have one side that explicitly says they intend to target and murder civilians. One side that has video of them trying to do exactly that. But that isn't the side that HRW investigates and condemns. That isn't the side that they accuse of unlawfulness, that is not the side that they urge the international community to investigate potential war crimes. 

The Jews are assumed to be liars when they say they don't intend to kill civilians. And Hezbollah is assumed to be spouting mere slogans when they say they do intend to murder civilians. 

Yes, that is antisemitism. 

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!




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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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