Norman Finkelstein , 4/04/24

Let’s cut to the chase: of course Israel deliberately targeted the WCK relief convoy. Not only do all the material facts point to this conclusion. There also aren’t any grounds to doubt it; the heavy burden of proof falls on Israel to demonstrate that it was not a premeditated strike.

On October 8, 2023, Israel announced a total blockade of Gaza: no food, fuel, water, or electricity would be allowed in. The rationale behind this order was laid out by former Israeli National Security Council head Giora Eiland: “Israel should not allow any economic assistance. The people should be told that they have two choices: to stay and to starve, or to leave.” For the next two weeks, Israel blocked the entry of any aid into Gaza. Flagrant mass murder not being a good look, President Biden counseled Prime Minister Netanyahu to lighten up a bit. Israel tweaked its murder plan so as to pass muster with its enablers in Washington. But it did not alter the essence of its game-plan.

Human Rights Watch documented in December that Israel was “using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare.” Normally reticent senior international and humanitarian officials have in recent weeks openly charged that “Starvation is used as a weapon of war. Israel is provoking famine.” (Josop Borrell, EU foreign policy chief) If—as everyone seems to agree—Israel’s declared objective is to starve Gaza’s civilian population, then: HOW COULD IT NOT PLUG THE HOLES IN ITS MURDER PLAN BY TARGETING INTERNATIONAL RELIEF ORGANIZATIONS. And in fact it’s mission accomplished: international aid operations in Gaza have largely ceased “as a result of recent attacks on humanitarian workers by the IDF.” (“Letter to the White House and National Security Council,” April 4, 2024) But it might be wondered: Wasn’t it foolhardy for Israel to risk international opprobrium? Not at all. Israel has targeted by various metrics an historically unprecedented number of hospitals, medics, journalists, and aid workers; it has killed an unprecedented number of women and children. It is ever testing the limits of the permissible. So far, it’s successfully crossed every downward threshold into barbarism with impunity. It’s impossible to predict in advance which story will be picked up by the fickle international media and which story will just get passing notice.

The latest atrocity could just as easily have been subsumed in a paragraph on the inside pages under the title “Aid workers killed in Gaza.” The only error Israel might have—it’s too soon to tell—committed was anticipating that it would get another free pass. Indeed, Israel’s news bureau in the US, the New York Times, is already spinning the story to exonerate Israel: “botched operation … mistakes and misjudgments … accidental killing.” (“Back-to-Back Israeli Strikes Show Tragic Gaps in Choosing Targets,” April 4, 2024) It’s also being said that it’s not senior Israeli officials but on the contrary IDF field commanders and soldiers who are out of control, or that Israel’s resort to AI is behind the hecatomb in Gaza. That’s all bullshit.

During its periodic “mowing-the-lawn” hi-tech murder sprees in Gaza (Operation Cast Lead, Operation Protective Edge), Israel has always used DISCRIMINATELY INDISCRIMINATE firepower to terrorize Gaza’s civilian population into submission. The nub of the problem is neither disciplinary nor technical. It’s Israel’s murder plan: to make Gaza unlivable and to force its people to decide—starve or leave


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Youth's poetry ignites my quest, Against oppression, I protest. In Palestine's struggle, voices rise, For freedom, peace, justice, my cries.
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