Israel’s Crimes Far Worse Than Hamas’

Netanyahu says any comparison between Israel’s war crimes and those of Hamas is “absurd and false,” writes Jonathan Cook. He’s correct and here’s why. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, April 2021. (DoD, Jack Sanders)

By Jonathan Cook

There is one thing we should all be able to agree with Benjamin Netanyahu on: Any comparison between Israel’s war crimes and those of Hamas is, as the Israeli prime minister put it, “absurd and false” and a “distortion of reality.” 

[The Israeli leader’s remarks came in response to the International Criminal Court prosecutor’s request on Monday for arrest warrants for him as well as leaders of Hamas.] 

Here’s why:

* Israeli war crimes have been ongoing for more than seven decades, long predating Hamas’ creation.

* Israel has kept the Palestinians of Gaza caged into a concentration camp for the past 17 years, denying them connection to the outside world and the essentials of life. Hamas managed to besiege a small part of Israel for one day, on Oct. 7, 2023.

* For every Israeli killed by Hamas on Oct. 7, Israel has slaughtered at least 35 times that number of Palestinians. Similar kill-ratios grossly skewed in Israel’s favour have been true for decades.

* Israel has killed more than 15,000 Palestinian children since October — and many tens of thousands more Palestinian children are missing under rubble, maimed or orphaned. By early April, Israel had killed a further 114 children in the West Bank and injured 725 more. Hamas killed a total of 33 Israeli children on Oct. 7.

Gazans outside Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip, on October 9, 2023, following Israeli airstrikes. (Palestinian News & Information Agency, or Wafa, for APAimages, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

* Israel has laid waste to Gaza’s entire health sector. It has bombed its hospitals, and killed, beaten and kidnapped many hundreds of medical personnel. Hamas has not attacked one Israeli hospital.

* Israel has killed more than 100 journalists in Gaza and more than 250 aid workers. It has also kidnapped a further 40 journalists. Most are presumed to have been taken to a secret detention facility where torture is rife. Hamas is reported to have killed one Israeli journalist on Oct. 7, and no known aid workers.

* Israel is actively starving Gaza’s population by denying it food, water and aid. That is a power — a genocidal one — Hamas could only ever dream of.

* Israel has been forcibly removing Palestinians from their lands for more than 76 years to build illegal Jewish settlements in their place. Hamas has not been able to ethnically cleanse a single Israeli, nor build a single Palestinian settlement on Israeli land.

Israeli military forces arriving to demolish the Palestinian community of Khirbet Ein Karzaliyah on Jan. 8, 2014. (B’Tselem, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

* Some 750,000 Palestinians are reported to have been taken hostage and jailed by Israel since 1967 — an unwelcome rite of passage for Palestinian men and boys and one in which torture is routine and military trials ensure a near-100 percent conviction rate. Until Oct. 7, Hamas had only ever managed to take hostage a handful of the Israeli soldiers whose job is to oppress Palestinians.

* And, while Hamas is designated a terrorist organisation by Western states, those same Western states laud Israel, fund and arm it, and provide it with diplomatic cover, even as the World Court rules that a plausible case has been made it is committing a genocide in Gaza.

Yes, Netanyahu is right. There is no comparison at all.

Jonathan Cook is an award-winning British journalist. He was based in Nazareth, Israel, for 20 years. He returned to the U.K. in 2021.He is the author of three books on the Israel-Palestine conflict: Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish State (2006), Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (2008) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair (2008). If you appreciate his articles, please consider offering your financial support

This article is from the author’s blog, Jonathan  

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

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21 comments for “Israel’s Crimes Far Worse Than Hamas’

  1. M I Farooqui, Sr. ADVOCATE
    May 23, 2024 at 08:00

    Well written narration exposing Israil’s atrocities.

  2. svay
    May 23, 2024 at 05:04

    “[M]ilitary trials ensure a near-100 percent conviction rate” is potentially misleading. Many of the hostages never get a trial.

  3. M I Farooqui, Sr. ADVOCATE
    May 23, 2024 at 02:02

    Concise and well written article. It exposes the myth of war under the International Law. It’s pure and simple Genocide. Could Israel remain in peace by denying the Palestinian right of dignity as a nation with their culture and ethics?

  4. Templar
    May 22, 2024 at 23:43

    The potential ICC charges against senior members of Hamas, for resisting the Israeli military occupation, is as legally, morally and ethically reprehensible as issuing arrest warrants (had the ICC existed immediately after WWII) against members of the French Resistance or Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto both of whom were fighting against the Nazi occupation.

  5. WillD
    May 22, 2024 at 22:50

    Far too much accurate and verifiable information is available that documents the decades since the foundation of Israel where it has committed extreme crimes against the Palestinians – for anyone to credibly deny them.

    If Netanyahu, or any westerner, thinks that their statements and claims of denial have any credibility, they are fooling themselves.

    Anyone who cares to look beyond the MSM can see the horror of the Israeli, US and British crimes.

  6. Jimm
    May 22, 2024 at 12:36

    The reality that this mass terrorism, aka genocide, is approved and supported by the world elite, as represented by the Davos crowd, is telling for the future of mankind.
    Together with the cowardice of the Catholic Church as well as most other Christian groups to speak with force against this anti Christ behavior is telling as well. Sadly, all of this is nothing new. Pre-emptive war, enhanced interrogation, responsibility to protect, rules based order, etc., pure evil wrapped in red, white, and blue. Not to mention a trail of dead and maimed soldiers along the way. Happy Memorial Day everyone.

  7. Robert
    May 22, 2024 at 12:32

    The past two years have undoubtedly created a new group of American citizens who doubt the wisdom or fairness of US foreign policy. Reason # 1 is our involvement in the stupid and unnecessary war in Ukraine. $180 billion dollars added to the Federal debt under the false pretence of saving democracy in Ukraine. Many more people now know that this is a proxy war and that the vain, stupid, naive Zelinsky has one role to play. Provide a continuous supply of Ukrainian men as cannon fodder. # 2 is the unwavering support of the criminal regime in Israel in exchange for mountains of cash flowing into Washington DC . In DC’s desperate attempt to save Western hegemony, DC has showered a group of neo Nazis in Ukraine with cash and weapons. And sent billions of dollars to genocidal maniacs in Israel knowing that a significant amount of those dollars would come back into the pockets of the incumbent politicians who turn a blind eye to the genocide.

  8. Selina Sweet
    May 22, 2024 at 11:21

    Please explain the why are many Western governments – besides arming Israeli – protecting
    Israel (withe endless lies)? Is it money money money? Germany’s twistedness in support of Israel suggests its efforts for atoning for its own Nazi madness must have been shallow enough so as not to have gotten to that depth where atonement transforms into forgiveness . A point of liberation leading to clear sightedness. Of self, other and the transgression.

    • Robert
      May 22, 2024 at 12:42

      As to why so many Western governments support Israel, yes, it always comes down to money, money, money. Israel is part of Western world hegemony and although the US is by far the main beneficiary of the current status, Germany, France, England, etc. also benefit (although that seems to be diminishing). In the big picture, support for the debacle in Ukraine and not acknowledging genocide in Gaza both come back to maintaining Western governments control of the world.

  9. Vera Gottlieb
    May 22, 2024 at 10:32

    This Netan-yahoo guy would even associate with the devil himself if it brought political advantages. This, sadly, is the Ango/Saxon blind spot: totally ignoring 76 years of Palestinian suffering at the hands of the Zionists/israel. As I’ve stated before…there will be a very steep price to pay for this – the question is: when?

  10. Joy
    May 22, 2024 at 10:21

    No comments here? Well someone referred to this article in the comments section of Mondoweiss. I definitely agree that there is no comparison of the level and longstanding duration of the crimes, and perpetrators.

    In another place, maybe Owen Jones’ program, the speaker noted that the prosecutor’s role is not to assess parity between those who commit crimes, but to treat similar crimes, and victims, thereof, equally. I believe this to be a meaningful and important distinction.

    Lastly, it’s time for the US to enforce its own laws, specifically 18 U.S. Code § 1091, the law that brought the genocide convention into US law. At the very least, put this statute in their faces, up front and center at every protest at every meeting, press conference, briefing, commencement, as well as, trips home and abroad.

    They may feel they are immune now, but let’s get them considering what is possible when they leave office, given they have set the precedent of charging former presidents. They should have visions of prison all the days of their lives.

    The propagandists in the Mainstream Media need to be charged as well.

  11. Donna Bubb
    May 22, 2024 at 10:21

    Right on! The true story excellently told. Thank you.

  12. Janet
    May 22, 2024 at 08:43

    Excellent article!

  13. Bill Todd
    May 22, 2024 at 08:27

    Then again, the comparison between Israel’s behavior toward the Palestinians and Germany’s toward the Jews eight-plus decades ago is entirely appropriate with somewhat similar support (beyond mere acquiescence) from much of the western world. The Zionists learned from the best in such matters and paid little attention (as for many decades now has much of the western world) to the decent Israelis who reminded them that the phrase ‘never again’ applied not only to Jews.

  14. Tim N
    May 22, 2024 at 07:14

    My thoughts exactly when I heard that idiot Netanyahu babbling crazy lies again. Keep digging, Bibi!

  15. Francis (Frank) Lee
    May 22, 2024 at 05:22

    It hardly needs pointing out that Israel is a rogue state – for now – and protected from any serious external harm by the ‘big daddy’ US hegemon. Moreover, this political blanket is extended to the ever-pliant euro bloc, both political and financial. But nothing lasts forever, empires come and go, and this one is going to be no exception. Europe in particular is totally in hoc to the US both financial and ideological. There is nothing and nowhere left for them to go. Just imagine present nonentities such as Sunak, Stoltenberg, (and the archetypal Tusk), Scholz, and Macron, calling the shots! Mediocre or what?! The great titanic movements of the geopolitical bloc is moving who knows where, but it is not going to be stopped by the present day political pigmies.

  16. Drew Hunkins
    May 22, 2024 at 00:05

    Charging Hamas is disgusting. Israeli leaders rightfully deserve to be hanged on the nearest light pole.

    Goes to show the ICC is of course not infallible.

    Amal Clooney needs to maintain respectability at the cocktail parties — she very well couldn’t do the 100% right thing, now could she?

    • Linda, in California
      May 22, 2024 at 19:51

      … but this gives Hamas its opportunity to plead its case before the world! I root for that.

  17. anon
    May 21, 2024 at 22:24

    There is no difference, none whatsoever, between the crimes and atrocities of the Third Reich and those of the Zionist Regime, except perhaps that the latter have been going on far longer.

  18. Donald Goodman
    May 21, 2024 at 22:00

    The worst war crime is Hamas not wearing uniforms. According to the Geneva conventions, soldiers are required to wear uniforms to differentiate themselves from innocent civilians.

    Not wearing uniforms means Israel soldiers will needlessly kill more innocent civilians because they cannot tell who is innocent and who is a Hamas militant. In other words, not wearing uniforms means that Israel soldiers will shoot anybody and everybody they suspect might belong to Hamas.

    Estimates of the number of Hamas militants vary from 25,000 to 50,000, so Hamas is committing somewhere around 25,000 to 50,000 war crimes every single day. Over to course the war that adds up to millions of war crimes that are actually hurts their own friends and families.

    In the history of warfare, there are very few instances of an army warning people to evacuate so they don’t get killed.

    Of course the Palestinians don’t like having to evacuate over and over and over, but it certainly beats getting killed.

    The only instance I can recall was during the American Civil War when General Sherman warned the residents of Atlanta to evacuate because he was going have his army burn Atlanta to the ground.

    The United States did not warn the people in Nagasaki or Hiroshima that nuclear bombs were going to kill them.

    The United States did not warn the people in Hamburg or Dresden that incendiary bombs were going to kill them.

    The nastiest part those bombing was that the young men were already gone fighting WWII so it was mostly women, children and old men who were killed.

    In that context, Israel looks like a white knight in shining armor compared to most other wars.

    BTW, the correct name of this war is the Gaza/Palestinian/Hamas War on Israel because the Gaza Palestinians voted Hamas into power and the Hamas attacked Israel.

    The fact that the war did not go the way Gaza Palestinians wanted it to does not change the fact that they started the war on Israel.

    In fact every Arab/Muslim/Palestinian war versus Israel was started by the Arabs, Muslims, and/or Palestinians.

    Except maybe for the 1967 6-Day War. Israel found out that Egypt, Jordan and Syria were massing their military power to attack and destroy Israel (like they failed to do in 1948), so technically Israel fired the first shot and beat them to the punch.

    But also technically, in reality for Israel, it was self defense…. again.

  19. Em
    May 21, 2024 at 21:52

    Netanyahu may in fact be an exceptonally competent idiot-savant; extremely savvy in the area of political manipulation, yet utterly emotionally irrational, when it comes to areas where personal conscience is of utmost importance.
    Relatively speaking, he reminds one as being an offshoot of the extended family of all the ‘Hitlers’ of the world.
    A brazen, in-your-face, paradoxical pied piper of human nature?

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