Israel’s justified self-defence: Double standards in the fog of war – Nicholas Woode-Smith

In the face of international criticism, Israel contends that its military actions in self-defence are justified, emphasising efforts to minimise civilian casualties. Allegations against Hamas include using civilians as shields and conducting attacks without warning. Drawing parallels to historical conflicts, Nicholas Woode-Smith argues that a proportionate response is not a strict eye-for-an-eye measure but involves justifiable military objectives. Woode-Smith concludes that for peace to prevail, Hamas must surrender, highlighting Israel’s existential threat and the need for continued self-defence.

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By Nicholas Woode-Smith*

Israel has been levelled with a tidal wave of double standards, hypocrisy and whining from a naïve so-called intelligentsia and host of ignorant policymakers. What the response to Israel’s justified war of self-defense has truly revealed, besides a lingering antisemitism that pervades our society, is how oblivious people truly are to the nature and reality of war.

People die in war. It’s sad. It’s tragic. But it happens. To achieve a military objective, destructive weapons will be used. Buildings will be destroyed; lives will be lost. People will be displaced from their homes. Many of those lost will be combatants, while many others will be people caught in the middle.

What matters, and what truly determines the moral righteousness of an act of war, is sincere intent. The fact that Israel spent weeks before mounting their ground invasion of Gaza, giving civilians time to evacuate and prepare, while also dropping leaflets and evacuation notices prior to bombardments show that Israel does not want to kill civilians.

Hamas gave no such warnings to the civilians it raped and butchered on October 7th.

Frankly, if Israel wanted to kill civilians, the death toll would be far above the 24 000 currently being reported. A number, I might add, that is only corroborated by Hamas itself. A terrorist organization known for lying to enhance global hatred against Israel.

The evidence is inexcusable that Hamas uses civilians as human shields, trapping them inside facilities being used to mount rocket attacks, using hospitals as bases of military operations, and ensuring that Israel has to make itself look bad while tracking down murderous terrorists.

All but the most intentionally controversial and ignorant historians recognize that the Allies were the good guys in World War 2. The Germans were mounting a war of extermination, genocide and unjustifiable conquest and needed to be stopped. The only difference between the Nazis and Hamas, in ideology and intent, is that the Nazis were far more competent in running a state and military.

But in its effort to destroy the Nazis and the Axis, the Allies had to commit many atrocious acts that would now be considered unacceptable acts of genocide by the very same people condemning Israel. The bombing of Dresden, the siege of Berlin, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, just to name a few.

But the Allies’ goal was never to wipe out the Germans, the Italians, or the Japanese. Their goal was to stop the conquests and crimes of the Axis. When the Axis surrendered, the war stopped. The same could be said of the current conflict.

Add to this the fact that over 90% of casualties of modern wars preceding October 7th are predicted to be civilians, and the one-sided condemnations become even more hypocritical.

Israel’s response is far from disproportionate. A proportionate response isn’t a random eye-for-an-eye. It’s using whatever means necessary, and not past that point, to achieve a justified military object. And Israel has been doing all that it can to prevent their methods from spilling over into unnecessary innocent deaths.

All that needs to happen for the war to end is for Hamas to hand over the remaining hostages, and surrender. After that, not a single Gazan civilian would be killed in an act of war. The IDF would cease its operations. The war would end.

But if Israel was to surrender, Hamas would wage a genocidal act of extermination on the people of Israel. They have made it clear in their charter and in their statements that their goal is the eradication of the Jewish people. Israel is surrounded on all sides by enemies, and a single defeat would lead not just to a loss in territory or prestige, but the extermination of the Jewish homeland.

This is something that must not be allowed to happen. And to achieve peace and security, Israel must be allowed to continue its justified war of self-defense.

Pundits must stop running their mouths off about proportionality, while spewing double standards and revealing their ignorance about war. People will die. But Hamas must be destroyed. They started this war. It’s not Israel’s job to let its people go unavenged and undefended.

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*Nicholas Woode-Smith is a policy analyst, economic historian, and author. He has written extensively on the Israeli-Palestine conflict, and global geopolitics.

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