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Biden Administration Continues to Gaslight Israel Over Civilian Deaths

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Follow Steve Postal: @HebraicMosaic

US President Joe Biden accused Israel of “indiscriminate bombing” of Gaza, after previously telling Israel “…to be careful. The whole world’s public opinion can shift overnight…” US Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer also criticized Israel for not doing enough to protect civilians: “There have been aspects of how the conflict was conducted in the north that we think did not show sufficient care for civilian life and those aspects should be ameliorated in the south.”

Is Israel indiscriminately bombing Gaza as the President claims?

The data suggests otherwise:

  • Israel hit over 22,000 targets in Gaza, which, if you accept Hamas’ quote of 18,000 dead, amounts to less than one fatality per strike;
  • An IDF spokesman estimated earlier in the month that there are two civilians deaths for every Hamas death, meaning 33% of those the IDF have killed are terrorists, which hardly looks indiscriminate given the nature of urban warfare; and
  • Former US ambassador to Israel David Friedman argues that the IDF has killed 8,000 Hamas terrorists. Again taking that 18,000 number from Hamas as fact, this amounts to about 44% of those killed in urban warfare being terrorists.

The “indiscriminate bombing” canard also fails to take into account all the steps Israel has done to minimize civilian casualties. At the expense of telegraphing its attack plans to Hamas, Israel has spent significant resources and energy encouraging civilians to temporarily move to humanitarian safe zones, and dropping flyers, calling, texting, and broadcasting via radio and other means to get civilians out of harm’s way.

The Biden administration fails to account for the extent to which Hamas embeds itself within the civilian population, making it very difficult for Israel to avoid civilian casualties. Just some examples of Hamas’ war crimes include:

Stealing humanitarian aid

Firing from humanitarian zones

  • Hamas fired rockets at Israel from humanitarian zones in Gaza. Hamas fired 116 rockets from one such zone towards Israel, with 38 of them falling within Gaza;

Using hospitals as military sites

Using mosques as military sites

Using schools as military sites

Other

  • Hamas sent a group of 100 women and children to confront the IDF as the IDF was attacking Hamas’s Central Jabaliya Battalion compound; and
  • The IDF found an anti-tank missile under an infant’s bed.

Rather than spending political capital on accusing Israel of indiscriminate bombing to appease Hamas, Qatar and Iran, the Biden administration should unequivocally support Israel’s war to destroy Hamas. The administration should also support Israel in its efforts to document Hamas’ war crimes so that the free world can try Hamas members for such crimes following the war. The complete destruction of Hamas, and the trial of Hamas members that remain after the war, will yield the best chance for peace

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Israel

In Wake of Abraham Accords, Saudi Arabia Revises Textbooks

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Follow Steve Postal: @HebraicMosaic

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In the aftermath of the 2020 Abraham Accords, which Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman helped to broker behind the scenes, Saudi Arabia continues to slowly tilt towards reform. Most noticeably, it is continuing to improve its textbooks, previously a source of glorification of terrorism and anti-Jewish and anti-Christian hatred. According to a recent report analyzing the kingdom’s textbooks from 2022-2023, key reforms include the following:

Praise for jihad continues to be removed. The report notes that most problematic passages glorifying martyrdom and jihad had been removed from Saudi textbooks by 2021-2022, but this trend continues. Passages removed include a reference that “all sins of the martyr will be forgiven, except debt,” that jihad is “the climax of Islam” and that jihad means “fighting the enemies for the protection of religion, land, and worshipers.”

Problematic opinions on Jews and Christians removed. According to the report, Saudi Arabia has removed “almost all” defamatory anti-Jewish and anti-Christian textbook passages. Passages removed include: references that some Jews and Christians worship Satan and idols; that Allah turned some Jews into pigs and apes; that some Jews and Christians falsified Allah’s word; that Jews and Christians lied about prophets in the Torah and the New Testament; negative opinions of how Jews and Christians portray Jesus; implicit references of Jews and Christians as enemies of Islam; and that Jews and Christians are polytheists.

New criticism of the Muslim Brotherhood. In contrast to Qatar, who supports the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas, who is the Muslim Brotherhood branch that many Palestinians support, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates have all recognized the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. In line with that stance, Saudi Arabia’s textbooks become increasingly critical of the Islamist movement. One textbook stated that groups formed under the Muslim Brotherhood “wreaked havoc in the country and among the people, as known and evident in crimes of violence and terrorism around the world.” Further, that textbook comments that the Muslim Brotherhood is a “deviant group based on arguing with rulers, rebelling against leaders, stirring up strife in countries, destabilizing coexistence in the unified nation, and describing Islamic societies as ignorant.” A second textbook warns that the Muslim Brotherhood “instigate(s) civil wars in countries” and is “a terrorist group.”

New criticism of other “deviant groups.” Further, one Saudi textbook labelled “Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, ISIS, the Tablighi Jamaat, and other parties and sects” are “deviant groups” and “terrorist sects and parties” that “seek to divide societies, incite them, and exploit religion for their interests.” Another textbook labelled “The Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, Hezbollah, the Houthis, the Sururiyya” as “errant groups” that are “purportedly religious but are in fact the opposite.”

“Slight” reforms on opinions on Israel and Zionism. The report qualifies that reforms on the portrayal of Israel and Zionism are “slight” but that those reforms are “are an encouraging sign that progress may include attitudes toward Israel and Zionism [in the future].” Saudi textbooks removed a libel falsely accusing Israel of the 1969 arson of the al-Aqsa mosque (which was carried out by an Australian Christian fundamentalist), an excerpt defining “patriotic poetry” to include that which “oppos[es] the Jewish settlement of Palestine,” and passages glorifying the First Intifada at Israel’s expense. However, textbooks continue to not recognize Israel, not include it in maps, and refer to it as an “occupying” power.

While Saudi Arabia still has room for improvement in reforming its textbooks, it has made significant headway in its education about jihad, Jews and Christians in recent years. These reforms, coupled with increased religious tolerance from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco, is a direct outgrowth of the Abraham Accords. The Biden administration should capitalize on this opening by formally bringing the kingdom into the Abraham Accords. Saudi Arabia’s ascension into the Accords would serve as a powerful check on Iranian and other Islamist forces, and advance American interests in the region.

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