OpinionIsrael at War

The global onslaught against Israel

Britain and America are making the Jewish state their scapegoat.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with then-British Prime Minister David Cameron at Cameron's office at 10 Downing Street in London on Sept. 10, 2015. Source: Avi Ohayon/GPO/Flash90
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with then-British Prime Minister David Cameron at Cameron's office at 10 Downing Street in London on Sept. 10, 2015. Source: Avi Ohayon/GPO/Flash90
Melanie Phillips
Melanie Phillips
Melanie Phillips, a British journalist, broadcaster and author, writes a weekly column for JNS. Currently a columnist for The Times of London, her personal and political memoir, Guardian Angel, has been published by Bombardier, which also published her first novel, The Legacy, in 2018. To access her work, go to: melaniephillips.substack.com.

As Israel battles for survival against Iran and its proxies, it is being subjected to a virtual auto-da-fé by its supposed allies.

On Sunday night, Israel made a major and tragic error. It killed seven aid workers when it fired three precision missiles in succession at a three-car convoy belonging to the humanitarian agency World Central Kitchen (WCK) that was on its way to deliver supplies to Gaza civilians.

Although an IDF inquiry has yet to explain what happened, the Israelis have acknowledged a terrible mistake caused by “misidentification.” Bad things happen in war and this was a dreadful tragedy.

But the malice of the response is astonishing. Israel is being accused of having deliberately targeted the aid convoy, which allegedly proves that Israel has no concerns about civilian deaths, no heart and no conscience.

WCK’s response has gone far beyond justifiable anger and horror, defaming Israel with baseless and incendiary charges.

The organization’s chief executive, Erin Gore, accused Israel of a “targeted attack” designed to deter aid agencies working in Gaza and of using food “as a weapon of war.” WCK’s founder, José Andrés, accused Israel of targeting his workers “systematically, car by car.”

But that wasn’t because the IDF wanted to kill humanitarian workers with whom it had previously worked closely to deliver aid to Gaza. It was because the three cars were all “misidentified” in the same awful error.

In the fog of war, “friendly fire” fiascos are unfortunately all too common. Yet this was not acknowledged in the world’s response.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said America was “outraged.” President Joe Biden said he was “heartbroken” and that Israel “has not done enough” to protect civilians.

Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said “far too many aid workers and ordinary civilians have lost their lives in Gaza, and the situation is increasingly intolerable.” The U.K. Foreign Secretary, Lord Cameron, said the aid workers’ deaths were “completely unacceptable.”

This is hypocrisy and selective amnesia. Both the U.S. and the U.K. have caused similar tragic errors in wartime in which many more than seven lives were lost.

In an incident in 2011, during the NATO intervention in Libya about which then-Prime Minister Cameron was extremely gung-ho, 13 civilians including ambulance workers were wiped out.

In 2006, U.S. troops in Iraq mistakenly killed aid workers in Mosul. In 2008, they killed dozens at an Afghan wedding party, including the bride.

Both the Biden administration and the British government have seized on the aid convoy tragedy to buttress their claims that Israel is killing “too many civilians” in Gaza and thwarting supplies of aid.

But these are lies. Even if Hamas’s implausible casualty figures are to be believed, Israel is killing around 1.3 civilians for every combatant—a vastly smaller proportion of civilians killed in warfare than has been achieved by any other army in the world.

As for the aid, figures issued every few days by COGAT, Israel’s coordinator of civilian affairs in Gaza, show hundreds of aid trucks being admitted.

None of this has made any difference to those intent on vilifying Israel. Britain has been especially vicious. Cameron, now backed by several parliamentarians, has been threatening to block arms sales to Israel.

Alicia Kearns, who chairs the House of Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, has suggested that intelligence-sharing with Israel might be “scaled back” if the government’s legal advisers decide that it has broken international humanitarian law.

What world are these politicians living in? Britain receives priceless assistance from Israeli intelligence and military cooperation and buys more arms from Israel than it sells to Israel.

Now, no fewer than 600 senior British lawyers and former judges have joined this witch-hunt with a shocking letter to Sunak that not only parrots malicious anti-Israel propaganda but is constructed around one astonishing, incendiary and demonstrable falsehood.

It states that the International Court of Justice ruling two months ago in a case brought against Israel by South Africa “concluded that there was a plausible risk of genocide in Gaza.”

This is untrue. The court said nothing of the kind. Referring only to the “rights of the Palestinians in Gaza to be protected from acts of genocide” and the “right of South Africa to seek Israel’s compliance” with the Genocide Convention, the ICJ said, “At least some of the rights claimed by South Africa and for which it is seeking protection are plausible.”

The court attached the word “plausible” only to Palestinian and South African rights. Yet even though the letter quoted the ruling accurately on its second page, the British lawyers—among them some of the most distinguished in Britain—nevertheless grossly misrepresented it to commit the blood libel of suggesting that Israel might be committing genocide.

This wasn’t their only blood libel. They repeated claims of “imminent famine” and the “deliberate infliction of starvation.” But there has been no famine and no starvation in Gaza. There are areas where supplies are scarce because Hamas has been stealing them. But many videos on social media show well-stocked food markets and shwarma stalls.

The lawyers also repeated the Hamas claim that more than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, of whom 70% were women and children. But these figures fail to include even one of the 13,000 combatants Israel estimates it has killed, while statisticians have dismissed the Hamas figures as implausible and simply fabricated.

The lawyers claimed that Israel has been deliberately firing upon “starving” Palestinians queuing for food, and cited as one example an incident in February when 118 civilians were killed and 760 were injured around a food truck.

But that disaster was caused by people being trampled in a stampede, a conclusion now reportedly corroborated by testimonials from captured Hamas terrorists who have said the disaster was the result not of IDF fire but of overcrowding.

The U.S. and the U.K. have already abandoned Israel at the U.N. Security Council over its resolution last month calling for an immediate ceasefire, which would entail surrender to Hamas.

Britain and America behave in this malevolent way towards no other country on earth.

Israel is on the front line of the battle against Iran and radical Islam, which have declared war on the West. Israel is doing the West’s dirty work for it—and suffering grievous losses as a result—because America, Britain and the rest of the West aren’t prepared to fight to defend their civilization.

America and Britain refuse to face up to the Islamic war against the free world of which the Palestinian Arabs are the shock troops and whose cause is a key strategy to render the West powerless in the face of the Islamic jihad.

Instead, America and Britain have largely bought into the Palestinian cause. As a result, they are turning on Israel and making it their scapegoat. In so doing, they are tapping into profound prejudices about supposedly diabolical Jewish power and Jewish bloodlust, thus pouring petrol onto the flames of the Jew-hatred now consuming the West.

It seems as if the world has now turned against the Jewish nation and wants it gone. Yet there are many decent people who very clearly see what is happening and are horrified. And the Gulf states and countless other Muslims who recognize Islamist Nazism for what it is and what it means for them are silently cheering Israel on.

The Jewish people has been through persecution, enslavement, pogroms, inquisitions and genocide at different times, and at the hands of disparate groups and states. It has suffered from varying mutations of antisemitism—the desire to wipe out the Jews as a religion, a race and a nation. It has, however, never been subjected to a concerted global onslaught like this.

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