(AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)
IDF, Gaza

Only one nation’s soldiers aren’t allowed to defend themselves.

By Hugh Fitzgerald, Front Page Magazine

Many in the political and media arenas are blaming the IDF for the deaths of 104 Gazans at a site where a convoy of aid trucks was trying to make its way to a distribution point: “US blocks Security Council motion blaming Israel for deadly Gaza aid convoy incident,” Times of Israel, March 1, 2024:

Spain’s Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares called the deaths “unacceptable” and said they underlined “the urgency of a ceasefire.”

Which deaths are “unacceptable”? The fewer than ten who were shot by IDF soldiers protecting themselves? Those who were trampled or crushed to death in the stampede? Is it the position of José Manuel Albares that IDF soldiers, who were present only to facilitate the safe arrival of the aid trucks to the point where that aid was supposed to be distributed, had no right to defend themselves from Gazans bent on harming therm? Why is Israel to be subject to a standard imposed on no one else? Would the Spanish Foreign Minister have been less displeased if some Israeli soldiers had been killed?

European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell similarly denounced the deaths as “totally unacceptable.”

Of course. What else would one expect from the virulently anti-Israel Josep Borrell? He says nothing about the Gazans’ stampede and the subsequent crush of bodies being trampled, letting it be assumed that “the deaths” were all the result of IDF fire.

Should the IDF soldiers, who were there, let’s remember, to facilitate the delivery of food and other humanitarian aid to the Gazans, have allowed themselves to be attacked by those hellbent on harming them? Would Borrell be happier with that? Yes, I’m sure he would.

Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro announced his government was suspending purchases of weapons from Israel, describing the deadly incident as “genocide” and blaming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the violence. His statement came months after Israel suspended security exports to Colombia in a diplomatic spat over online messages by Petro comparing Israel’s military response to the Hamas-led October 7 atrocities to the actions of Nazi Germany and calling what is now going on in Gaza as a continuing “genocide.”…

Petro has long been a virulent Israel-hater, so it was to be expected that he would describe the Jewish state’s attempt to wipe out Hamas in Gaza, so that never again would Israelis have to endure the atrocities that took place October 7, as akin to the actions of the Nazis against the Jews.

One would not know, from Petro’s description, that the IDF makes enormous efforts to minimize civilian casualties, just as Hamas makes efforts to maximize them.

To this end, the IDF has dropped a total of 12 million leaflets, made two million prerecorded phone calls and 72,000 personal calls, all to warn people in Gaza to move away from areas — such as “northern Gaza” — that will soon become a battlefield, and also to warn them away from buildings, including apartment buildings, schools, mosques, and hospitals, that are about to be targeted.

Does President Petro know that when Israel held Gaza, between 1967 and 2005, the Strip’s population rose from 400,000 to 1.3 million, or more than tripled? Is that “genocide”? As for ending the purchase of military equipment from Israel, it’s a meaningless gesture, because Israel had already ended all security sales to Colombia several months ago.

Finally, does President Petro know that the ratio of civilian-to-combatant deaths in Gaza is 4:3, an unheard-of low number, almost 1:1, when the closest any other army has come to that ratio is the 3:1 ratio (three civilians killed for each civilian death) achieved by the American military in the Iraq war? No wonder that the commander of British forces in Afghanistan, Colonel Richard Kemp, has described the IDF as “the most moral army in the history of warfare.”

Eventually the truth of what happened in Gaza on February 29 will come out.

Only a very few of those who rushed to judgment to condemn Israel will issue corrections, and even then, none will come out with the shamefaced apologies and mea-maxima-culpas that they should be uttering.

That truth is this: the IDF fired warning shots in the air, and then fired again at about ten individuals who continued to menacingly approach them at the checkpoint where the soldiers stood.

The other 94 Gazans who died that day had either been trampled or crushed to death in a stampede by thousands of Gazans trying to grab food off the aid trucks, or they were run over when they fell under the wheels of those trucks. That is the truth.

One hopes that the Bidenites, who have not been treating America’s most loyal ally with the understanding and support it deserves, will this time do the right thing, and declare its satisfaction with the Jewish state’s version of what happened on February 29 in northern Gaza.