NYT: Kristof on Gaza

 T. Belman. The authors do a great job of dismantling this article.  They show how ludicous it is. Unfortunately, it is typical of the NYT.

By Alan G. Futerman and Walter E. Block

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, in his important essay “What Does Destroying Gaza Solve?” (October 14, 2023), poses a series of important challenges which must be faced by all those, such as the present authors, who favor the present Israeli bombing of, and then incursion into, that troubled area.

First off he states: “Israel’s demand that more than one million people leave their homes in northern Gaza, when they have nowhere to go, could constitute the war crime of forced removal…”

Well, better the supposed “war crime of forced removal” than that tens, hundreds of thousands of people should be killed. Israel is herein blamed for its very humanitarianism; for its attempt to save lives. This is part and parcel of the IDF practice of first dropping leaflets on people instead of rockets, urging them to vacate their premises, lest they perish in situ. There is no other army on the face of the earth that engages in any such decent, civilized, humanitarian, practice. Of course, this “removal” if removal it was, was not “forced.” Rather, these people were being thrown a life preserver. No one compelled them to take it.

Of course, from Kristof’s perspective, there is yet another possibility that would both save Gazan lives and not “compel” them to move anywhere at all: Israel should not invade Gaza, and not destroy it from the air, either. But to do so would be in effect to invite more depredations of the sort which occurred on October 7, 2023, a nakba for the Jews.

Then there is the issue of why “they have nowhere to go.” Well, why is that? This is due in great part to the fact that none of the members of the Arab League will allow any of them into their countries as refugees. This is not at all the way Israel treated Jews from any of their neighboring states such as Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia whose presence there became untenable after 1948. At that time, instead of integrating Palestinians into their societies and economies, these nations set up refugee camps where they festered in isolation. The Arab League members vociferously call for a cease-fire, but none of them are now willing to accept Gazans even as refugees.

Kristof attempts to explain the hatred the Palestinian have for the Israelis on the basis of “the endless degradation in Gaza that results from Israel’s periodic bombings and from its economic blockade.” He continues: “the suffering and humiliation that can lead desperate, angry people to turn to demagogues.” But which came first, the chicken or the egg? Who started up with whom? It was not the Israelis who began the hostilities. The pogrom of 1929 in Hebron antedated the creation of this country by two decades. No, the Israeli “bombings” were in response to rockets emanating eastward from Gaza. As Bibi Netanyahu said, paraphrase, if Israel disarmed, there would be no more Israel. If the Arabs disarmed, there would be peace. As for the so-called “economic blockade” how do you keep suicide bombers away without fences? Kristof is silent on this issue. Moreover, the “blockade” was of weapons, not of people nor goods. For instance, thousands of Gazans had permits to work in Israel (ultimately benefiting 100,000 people in Gaza). Yet, many of them aided Hamas in the October 7 massacre. Kristof studiously ignores all of that.

In perhaps his strongest challenge to the IDF, Kristof asks: “Everyone expects Israel to hit back. The practical question is how far to go: In the bluntest terms, for Israel, how many dead Gazan children are too many?”

Here, this author fails to distinguish between Israeli army practice and that of Hamas. In the latter case, they particularly and spectacularly, aimed to murder babies (along with their mothers). In the former case, Israel has done everything it could do to save youngsters and others, including trying to get them to move south, objected to by Kristof as a “war crime.” There is all the world of moral difference between collateral damage to children, which, it cannot be denied, Israel engages in as a matter of righteous self-defense, and the purposeful targeting of toddlers, the Hamas practice. Kristof fails to draw any distinction at all between these two very different practices.

November 27, 2023 | 6 Comments »

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  1. It is so tiresome to read people who can only blame Israel and not see any other perspective.

    Does Kristof really believe he is so smart that he has nothing to learn from considering things from say, the Israeli perspective? You have to be pretty indoctrinated, pretty lacking in intellectual curiosity, or pretty limited psychologically to fixate on a victimhood stance in which every geopolitical phenomenon taking place in Gaza is simply Israel’s fault.

    Are there no other political actors involved who might be contributing? Is there no possible contribution from the US government that might be part of the pain Palestinians experience? Could their pain possibly be related to the fact that their leaders don’t care about them? Could some of their pain be due to the fact that they are taught to be professional victims so others like the UN and EU will pay for them to not work or function like adults?

    I believe Kristof is one of those journalists who has lost all credibility due to his unwillingness to look into issues honestly, with an open mind, and do his own research. Instead, he is a continuous font of foolishness instead of wisdom. He just parrots whatever the US government propaganda du jour is. This is what passes for journalism today. It’s an embarrassment.

  2. Kristof is quite obviously one of the “spiritually endowed” people of this world who can sit back and pontificate, while others have to make seriously difficult decisions, like to whether to do barbaric things to people without suffering any consequences.
    Life is very simple for him…
    I would recommend that in Zen fashion he curtails his thinking somewhat and lets others live their lives as best they can.

  3. First giving hell to Gaza’s civvies makes them all the more fed up and perhaps reluctant or even truculent with Hamas which in itself will “cool their heels” as the 2006 Lebanon II War has done despite Nasrallah’s big mouth.
    Second all the Hamas, “We love death more than you love life,” rubbish has suddenly evaporated in the face of real mortality and maybe it will be easier to persuade Gulf states etc to accept Gazan labour – with families. The World seems willing enough to take Gazan doctors.
    Third Israel should do what it can to exclude foreign all NGO personnel; and flood the tunnels. 300 kms of 2 m section is 600 000 cubic metres and a fifty fire engines could pump that in a fortnight – or at least half of it.
    Fourth since 2005 Gaza and useful idiots have complained about being under siege when they have been under a controled blockade that has been porous enough to let them eat without being undernourished and let them go to medicals in Israel and abroad and even leavealtogether. When in the first week of this Shemini Atzereth War a real siege was imposed the fuel and food began runniing out within a fortnight and did they not squeal ?? Continue with tight fuel and food supplies to encourage the young men of the unemployed half to leave – as young men do, and they will send for their families eventually.

    Fifth if Gaza is an ever descending pit of deprivation and slumdom it is not in the least because it has not instituted any form of family planning and perhaps Israel should scatter condoms and Dutch caps about like it drops leaflets. Bright pink wrappers.
    Sixth make an offer the US can not refuse and keep them off Israel’s back: Repeat the times Israel has accepted partition or Two State solutions and invite the PLO? PA to do likewise in principle and come to talks about making it work – that Jews living EAST of the Green Line will continue to live there if they wish – like Arabs living in Israel WEST of the Green Line. Declare the families of the refugees of 1948 NOT refugees and wind up UNWRA passing its estate and staff to the local councils. REUNITE and FUND the MFA – it was a good one. Make it so again.

  4. After the 6 day war, Arabs in the freshly occupied areas fully expected to be raped and pillaged. Since then they have realized that Israelis don’t do that so now they think they can get away with October 7 without consequences. Now is wake-up time.

  5. It would seem that Kristof believes that the most moral thing Israel could do would be to remove themselves from Israel in order not to provoke the Arabs.

    The idea of describing a circumstance that requires correction is to state the problem so an answer can emerge. “Racisim” has no answer. Kristof would have the Jews disappear in just the same way “white” people need to disappear from American history. Very unhelpful. So unhelpful as to constitute its own form of “racisim.”