This column appeared in the Palm Beach Post

The torrent of hatred directed against Israel since the brutal Oct. 7 massacre by Hamas in Israel has been unrelenting.

A common, libelous trope among the haters is that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, as Donna Nevel inaccurately asserted in the Palm Beach Post last week. It is totally beyond the pale – a complete inversion of reality – and it must be condemned. Genocide is defined as violent attacks with the intent to destroy in whole, or in part, a national ethnic, racial or religious group. This in no way describes the facts on the ground in Gaza.

Israel is at war with Hamas, not the Gazans who have also suffered under Hamas’ oppressive rule since 2006.

It is Hamas that attempted a genocide on Oct. 7, breaking the existing ceasefire, invading Israel in the thousands by land, air, and sea. Many of the terrorists recorded their own murder, rape, beheading and mutilation of more than 1,200 innocent civilians, including Americans, with 253 others seized as hostages.

This barbarism should come as no surprise. Genocide is a central component of Hamas’ charter, which calls not only for the annihilation of Israel, but also for the death of all Jews.

Oct. 7 was the deadliest day for the Jewish community since the Holocaust. Israel is defending itself against this savagery that Hamas has declared to repeat over and over again. The only way to ensure it is not repeated is to destroy Hamas.

In doing so, Israel has exercised unprecedented efforts to limit civilian casualties. Since the war’s inception, Israel has warned civilians in advance of impending military action. The army has sent thousands of text messages and dropped leaflets into population centers, advising Gazans to relocate to safer areas.

In contrast, Hamas seeks to maximize casualties—on both sides. While Hamas terrorists hide inside tunnels, they jeopardize thousands of Palestinian lives by firing missiles from schools and hospitals.

This use of human shields reveals Hamas’ utter disregard for Palestinian life and exacerbates the suffering among its own population.

Hamas deliberately targets civilian men, women and children by firing indiscriminately into Israeli towns. Israel, on the other hand, continues to expand efforts to provide humanitarian relief to Gaza even as Hamas steals humanitarian aid from Palestinians and repeatedly attacks aid crossing points.

To date, the Jewish state has facilitated the entry of more than 27,000 trucks, which have carried more than 530,000 tons of water, food, medical supplies, cooking gas, fuel and shelter equipment into Gaza.

There have also been more than 9,000 packages dropped by air, and very shortly, with Israel’s support, a U.S.-built floating pier will further expand humanitarian aid efforts. And still, Israel is accused of genocide?

One must wonder what motivates the twisting of facts to foster a narrative that demonizes Israel. If the sincere desire is to end “the enormous brutality against the people of Gaza,” as Nevel wrote, then one would be far better served by placing blame for the suffering where it lies – with Hamas – and supporting Israel’s efforts to liberate the Gazan population from Hamas’ tyrannical and genocidal rule.

Laurence Milstein is Regional Director of the AJC Palm Beach County office.




Written by

Back to Top