Caitlin Johnstone: That Can’t Be True About Israel

Israel’s actions are so horrific and depraved I keep thinking I must be misinterpreting what I’m reading or disregarding a claim as over the top, only to find out it’s true, says Caitlin Johnstone.

By Caitlin Johnstone
Caitlin’s Newsletter 

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 Oct. 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.


The bulldozed encampment at Kamal Adwan Hospital in Gaza. (Al Jazeera screenshot)

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.

Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

Caitlin Johnstone’s work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following her on FacebookTwitterSoundcloudYouTube, or throwing some money into her tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy her books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff she publishes is to subscribe to the mailing list at her website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything she publishes.  For more info on who she is, where she stands and what she’s trying to do with her platform, click here. All works are co-authored with her American husband Tim Foley.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

Please DONATE to CN’S Winter Fund Drive


20 comments for “Caitlin Johnstone: That Can’t Be True About Israel

  1. Realist
    December 20, 2023 at 03:24

    Based on their remarks and actions deriving from their last several wars, including all the ongoing wars, I believe that both Israel and the US will never accept defeat no matter how imminent it may be in the real world. I don’t mean merely that both will fight valiantly to the end before giving up. This is not a “to the last Ukrainian” scenario. Long before they have expended their “last bullet” they will quite defiantly and deliberately release the demons of thermonuclear war. All their “enemies” will get a taste large enough to exterminate their civilisation regardless of the danger they may or may not pose to the state of Israel or to the US. Both these societies are steeped too deeply in a culture of unbounded arrogance. Both believe that if they cannot rule the universe, then the universe simply does not deserve to continue existing. Sorry, I know there are a lot of good and righteous but humane Jews and Americans in this world, but sadly not enough to temper the absurd and obscene actions of their governments. Not only Netayahoo is a murderous thug. Crazy Joe Biden is equally both evil and insane. No one who can speak so casually about choosing military actions that would guarantee the end of our species, its long history and many civilisations simply to promote the hegemonic aspirations of his (or her) ruling regime can be considered anything else.

  2. David Otness
    December 18, 2023 at 19:01

    I see a cold calculus behind Israel’s non-stop excesses in Benjamin-Binyamin Neytanyahu’s reading of the American (U.S.) public as easily-bored, readily-distracted, and with the attention spans of gnats who live isolated from real world events across thousands of miles of oceans; and whose main endeavors consist of more immediate gratification. Period.

    He’s playing the odds here heaping on the atrocities vs a known quantity and quality of perceived shallow thinking and its practiticioners’ proven (time and time again) disassociation from its own government’s manipulations and atrocities committed overseas.

    Netanyahu and Co believe they can outlast us and as a bonus make us complicit in their own sadistic dehumanization of Palestinians, making of them the Other. Or any other “Other’ of future convenience. That is to say, an intentional diminishing of our natural state, our collective social mores of hundreds of generations’ inculcation: of and for compassion, especially for the underdog.

    That our own Executive Branch of government especially is in harmony and filial conjunction with the State of Israel’s policies—largely proving themselves immune from humanitarian pleadings based on their own dual citizenship’s priorities—this is the only logical and rational conclusion at which I can arrive. Especially after ‘our’ Secretary of State Antony Blinken upon arriving in Israel early on in the conflict announced to the world at large: “I am here as a Jew.”

  3. Anne
    December 18, 2023 at 11:48

    ry ugly picture.

    My conclusion is they relish shooting, maiming and killing the unarmed. Visceral pleasure from the act of killing for the sake of killing and some unexplainable pleasure of revenge. The

  4. Rudy Haugeneder
    December 18, 2023 at 11:43

    Very bad and very sad. However, there are worse spots on the planet that never seem to get media attention, largely, I suspect, because the people are Black and therefore not very worthy of news coverage. For example, since 1996, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC; Congo) has been embroiled in violence that has killed as many as 6 million people. The conflict has been the world’s bloodiest since World War II.

  5. December 18, 2023 at 11:19

    Israel may not be doing too well in it’s war against Hamas; but it is definitly winning against the babies, children, women and other unarmed and defenceless civilians.

  6. Vera Gottlieb
    December 18, 2023 at 11:07

    The goal of depopulating Palestine of Palestinians goes back to the 1930s….when the Zionists were forging plans about a future state of israel…sans Palestinians. And the putrid West looking the other way for fear of being branded ‘anti Semite’. Sooner or later israel will pay a very steep price for this depraved behaviour. Reap as you sow…

    • David Otness
      December 18, 2023 at 19:09

      Oh, much further back than the 1930s, Vera. Perhaps even to the first US news report from a Baltimore newspaper regarding Jewish aspirations for a “return to Israel” recorded in 1832. But for a fact, this from Theodore Herzl’s own diary much later in that century:

      ““Spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it employment… Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.” Theodore Herzl, founder of the World Zionist Organization, speaking of the Arabs of Palestine, Complete Diaries, June 12, 1895 entry.”

  7. George Rudman
    December 17, 2023 at 19:51

    Isn’t thats whats called “mowing the lawn” jokingly by the israelies..

    • robert e williamson jr
      December 17, 2023 at 23:31

      Your example is the perfect example of who these people are. I agree, it’s like I said earlier, the psych0logy exhibited speaks for itself.

      I am well aware that many others, their many in the US and Israel that are not in agreement with Netanyahu’s government. This does not explain the seven decades of the same behavior exhibited by previous administrations there. Same as many U.S. right wing groups, whose antisocial, vicious behaviors are dangerous to healthy societies and assaults on the rule of law. Which is why U.S. domestic, heavily armed police training and approval of civilian deaths is so alarming.

      You must remember what Madeleine Albright said May 12, 1996, about the deaths of 500K dead children, when asked by Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes. She later defended herself by claiming that it was a stupid thing to say and she didn’t mean it.

      I think her statement eerily resembles the death statistics military policies of Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, the U.S., Israel, the Saudis, Russia, of WTFE they are a, Putin. And I have probably missed a good half dozen others.

      She was Bill Clinton’s Ambassador to the U.N. at the time. and latter became Secretary of State. Apparently not much has changed with respect to quality of some of our State Department employees, but then lying and denying works well for DOJ,especially SCOTUS, NSA, and that entire cluster of perfunctory idiot enablers of the Deep State agenda. Just stop for one second and think about the numbers of dead children over the last 70 years by civil unrest and the warring nature of all nations great and small.

      But I am a little biased, that “acting like a human being thing”, you know “the mammal with the greatly developed brain.

      Thanks CN

  8. Taras77
    December 17, 2023 at 19:27

    Israel is a nation of hate, arrogance, lies, psychopaths. How does anyone attempt to discuss anything with such creatures? And yet, they are successful in dragging the us govt and citizens around by the nose with the hoax of antisemitism.

    How does any willful nation attempt to conduct a rational discussion in attempts to find solutions? It is like someone attempting to approach a wild rabid animal.

    • Rebecca
      December 18, 2023 at 04:08

      Your comment is strikingly similar in language to the boilerplate rhetoric used against the Palestinian people by Zionists. No doubt some Zionists are psychopaths but the evidence is that most of the millions of Zionists and Israel-supporters around the world rationalise their delusion. Cognitive dissonance is the case for Zionists who sincerely believe that Israel is a peaceable state surrounded by “wild rabid animals” who, for the sake of that peace, must be humanely put down.

      • robert e williamson jr
        December 19, 2023 at 14:58

        Rebecca, cognitive dissonance, rationalization, psychopathy and your last sentence.

        Depending on one’s interpretation, rationalization used in the psychological sense or vernacular is a defense mechanism in which people justify difficult or unacceptable with seemingly logical reasons and explanations.

        Is this not the mechanism of “denial” at work?

        Cognitive dissonance, again based on the psychological sense, is or can be the state of discomfort when two or more modes of thought contradict each other.

        Psychopathy is a condition characterized by the absence of empathy and the blunting of other effective states.

        Your last sentence here. Did you miss something here? To, wit, “Cognitive dissonance is the case for Zionists who sincerely believe that Israel is a peaceable state surrounded by “wild animals” who, for the sake if that peace, must be humanely put down. ”

        Prior to this statement you write, ” . . .millions of Zionists and Israel-supporters around the world rationalize their delusion.” I am certain that most Zionists suffer from rationalization, as you say, this process helps create their delusion, i.e., a false belief or judgement about external reality, held despite incontrovertible evidence to the contrary especially in mental conditions.

        Now for the incontrovertible evidence, for decades I have heard nothing but the continued demagoguery espoused by supporters of which ever Israeli government was in power. The same decades reveal a history of horrific behavior on both sides of the issue here, while Israel was portrayed as the victim and the other the “wild animal”.

        The incontrovertible evidence is the terror and blood letting Israel has unleashed on anybody and everybody “they see as the enemy” and the torture they used on all their prisoners, including those in Gaza. Not once have I seen one victim “put down humanely, that is unless you judge the shooting of the unarmed victim as a “Coup de graux”.

        So I ask just what are you trying to tell me?

        I’m simply saying that the thing, it speaks for itself!

        Thanks CN

    • Share
      December 19, 2023 at 09:35

      “Savage” has always been in the eye of the beholder. I would not insult animals by attributing all-too-human behavior to them. These people are cultists, something I doubt other animals would fall prey to.

  9. firstpersoninfinite
    December 17, 2023 at 16:21

    We’re all anti-Semites now until further notice, except for the Palestinians – who actually are Semites. In all our recent wars, and this is undoubtedly our war also or else we would not be funding it, it’s never about just who is doing the actual killing, but only about the nature of those doing most of the actual dying. Our media has baked this reality into the system of their reporting. I call it whistling past the graveyard, only it’s a graveyard that didn’t exist before we began filling it up. I can’t help but expect public executions and Stalinist purges at the next POTUS State of the Union address. I mean, really, no amount of rhetoric can be used to cover up these crimes. The only way forward is an enforced silence upon the subject for all. Good luck on dropping the “greatest nation in history” canard when the Ellipse has been turned into a fireworks show, featuring “certified” domestic extremists doing their best renditions of Roman Candles. What does the United Corporations of America have left to lose? They already own the world. Now it’s only a matter of deciding which chess pieces are on the wrong-colored squares.

  10. irina
    December 17, 2023 at 15:29

    Driving over people with bulldozers has been an IDF tactic for a long time.
    That’s what happened to Rachel Corrie back in 2003.

    • Rafael
      December 17, 2023 at 18:55

      In that case, if I recall correctly, they were pursuing their long-time policy of demolishing people’s homes and uprooting their olive trees. They didn’t even pretend that Rachel was “collateral damage” in an armed conflict.

    • Rafael
      December 17, 2023 at 20:05

      In that case, if I recall correctly, they were pursuing their long-time policy of demolishing people’s homes and uprooting their olive trees. They didn’t even bother to pretend that Rachel was “collateral damage” in an armed conflict.

  11. Rafael
    December 17, 2023 at 13:10

    In explaining his yes vote in the UN General Assembly, the Russian delegate correctly said that the siege of Gaza reminded him of the Nazi siege of Leningrad which lasted 900 days and killed 1 million people. (It’s at the end of the session that was linked to in a CN article a few days back.)

  12. robert e williamson jr
    December 17, 2023 at 12:41

    The IDF have a long history of celebrating death to the other. They have for decades shot, wounding civilians, many children, most all, 99.99% unarmed , lying about the events and/or celebrating showing the V- for victory sign.

    Many times the acts are videoed and they continue to lie. The result, as I see it is than one must consider the psychology involved. It does nothing but paint a very ugly picture.

    My conclusion is they relish shooting, maiming and killing the unarmed. Visceral pleasure from the act of killing for the sake of killing and some unexplainable pleasure of revenge. These people are not my allies.

    • irina
      December 18, 2023 at 11:28

      The IDF atrocities when Gazans peacefully protested at The Wall were well documented.
      Many protesters were deliberately shot in the legs, resulting in crippling, amputations
      and deaths. Yet there was little coverage in the US of this travesty. For obvious reasons.

Comments are closed.