Alan Edelstein

Is the world upside down?

Country A is viciously attacked by Terrorist Group B, which rapes and tortures women, mutilates bodies, kidnaps and holds hostage children and women and the elderly, fires thousands of missiles at civilians, and pledges to do it all again.

Country A, with hundreds of thousands of displaced citizens, demanding that the release of the hostages, says it cannot live with the threat of Terrorist Group B doing it again. It attacks the territory controlled by Terrorist Group B, its objective being to eliminate the threat and to get the hostages released.

Because terrorist Group B has used funds and materials intended for the people of the territory to build a tunnel system larger than the New York subway system, to embed its terrorist infrastructure under and in hospitals, mosques, and schools, and to build and fire missiles aimed at Country A’s civilians. Hundreds of thousands of the residents of Terrorist Group B’s citizens are displaced, killed, and injured.

In response, Failing Country C, a country thousands of miles away, a beautiful country with tremendous resources, beautiful landscapes, and wonderful people that is quickly going down the drain because of massive corruption and incompetence, a country that cannot reliably provide water and electricity to its people, files a complaint alleging genocide against. . . .Country A, the victim. The Jew.

The UN International Court, and much of the world, see nothing odd about this.

Kafka couldn’t do better. Brett Stephens described well just how morally obscene the situation is:

Hitler was right about the Big Lie. He asserted in Mein Kampf that people would believe outrageous lies because they could not believe that anyone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.”

Hitler and the Nazis utilized the Big Lie to murderous effect, and Jew-haters continue to use the tactic. Jew-haters that would delegitimize and destroy the only Jewish majority nation in the world continue to use it.

The Soviet Union, carrying on the Russian Empire’s tradition of Jew-hatred and using it to advance its cold-war aims, promoted the 1975 UN resolution “Zionism is racism,” whose adverse impacts we continue to live with.

Jew-haters aiming to eliminate Israel very deliberately decided to falsely attach the word “Apartheid” to Israel in the early 2000’s. With constant repetition, the lie has stuck.

Now, those Jew-hating Hamas sympathizers and their useful idiots are intensively working on attaching the libels “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide.” The libels are patently false, just as are the charges that Israel violates the laws of war and the doctrine of proportionality in war.

But, just as with “Zionism is Racism” and “Apartheid,” one can expect that 20 years from now, it will be accepted wisdom amongst many in the chattering classes, those whose bigotry or ideology predisposes them to believe libels against Jews, and the just plain stupid that Israel is guilty of ethnic cleansing and genocide.

There are some bitter ironies. Ethnic cleansing is exactly what happened to the Jews of the Arab world who, along with their children and grandchildren make up about half of Israel’s population.

Ethnic cleansing and genocide are exactly what Hamas and its supporters are expressly committed to doing to the Jews of Israel, who represent about half of the Jews in the world.

And to add even further irony and to put the world’s hypocrisy on vivid display, the word “genocide” was coined by a Polish Jew to describe what the Nazis did to the Jews while the world stood silent.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, along with many others, some well-intentioned, some malicious, concede that Israel has the “right to defend itself” but demand that it do so without killing so many civilians and doing such damage.

They accuse Israel of violating international law and the laws of war. They advocate withholding aid if Israel does not fight without the toll on civilians. But they do not say how to do it.

The media increasingly report as fact the Hamas-controlled Gaza health department’s report of 24,000 deaths. These are the same authorities that claimed Israel targeted a hospital when it was their misguided missile that hit the hospital, and this is the same media that reported it as truth.

The 24,000 figure has not been verified. It does not make a distinction between Hamas members and their supporters and truly “innocent civilians.” It does not identify those killed by misguided Hamas weapons, and it does not indicate the number killed by Hamas locating its terrorist infrastructure among civilians, a violation of international law.

It does not indicate that the ratio of civilian-to-combatant fatalities in this war is below the norm. All of these are details that the media and Israel’s critics apparently cannot be troubled with.

Sanders and his allies put the burden and the blame on Israel. Shouldn’t the blame be put on Hamas for entrenching itself among civilians, deliberately putting them at risk to achieve this very result of having the world blame Israel and not destroy Hamas?

Should the blame be put on the victims for defending themselves or on the perpetrators of the crimes against Israelis and against the Palestinians? Is the world upside down?

Real experts, people with actual experience in war, know that Israel is conducting the war ethically and in compliance with the laws of war.

For example, Biden Administration spokesman and former admiral John Kirby asserted that Israel has taken steps to protect civilians that the U.S. would not have taken.  Commenting on Israel’s distribution of maps indicating where it would attack, he stated: “That’s basically telegraphing your punches. There are very few modern militaries in the world that would do that. I don’t know that we would do that,”

John Spencer, chair of urban warfare studies at the Modern War Institute (MWI) at West Point and co-director of MWI’s Urban Warfare Project, an actual expert in the laws of war, has made it clear that Israel complies with the laws of war.

The Hamas leadership must be very satisfied as they watch many supposedly bright people follow the script just as planned. The only question is which of the players are aware and happy to be colluding with terrorists and which are useful idiots.

Israel has responded to the misplaced cries for restraint and low-intensity fighting with less bombing, less preparation prior to sending young soldiers into dense urban areas and tunnels. The result is inevitably more young Israeli soldiers being killed and wounded.

What other country puts its own kids at risk to try to spare the enemy? What other country is expected to do so?

Making the rounds on the Internet:

“Imagine if on October 8, 2023 the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to condemn Hamas for war crimes, demanded the immediate return of all hostages, and ordered Qatar to extradite Hamas leadership to the International Court in the Hague, where they could have been tried for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

Had that occurred, think of how many people in Gaza would be alive today.

Then ask yourself why that didn’t happen.”

About the Author
Alan Edelstein made Aliyah in 2011 and lives in Jerusalem. He was the founding partner of a well-respected California government affairs firm and was involved in California government and politics as a lobbyist and consultant for 30 years. He blogs at He can be reached at