April 4, 2024

Israeli Airstrikes

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday Israel mistakenly killed seven people working for the aid charity World Central Kitchen in a Gaza airstrike… The strike on the World Central Kitchen convoy killed citizens of Australia, Britain and Poland as well as Palestinians and a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. WCK, which was founded by celebrity chef Jose Andres, said its staff were traveling in two armored cars emblazoned with the charity's logo and another vehicle, and had coordinated their movements with the Israeli military.” Reuters

Suspected Israeli warplanes bombed Iran's embassy in Syria on Monday in a strike that Iran said killed seven of its military advisers, including three senior commanders… Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said in a statement that seven Iranian military advisers died in the strike including Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior commander in its Quds Force, which is an elite foreign espionage and paramilitary arm.” Reuters

See past issues

From the Left

The left urges the Biden administration to withhold military aid to Israel due to the large number of civilian deaths in Gaza.

“The air strike on Iran’s consulate in Damascus was remarkable for a number of reasons that go beyond the obvious shock and breach of protocol in hitting a diplomatic facility. One was the attack’s extraordinary precision. The pilots had to hit the building where top commanders of Iran's Al-Quds force were meeting, when they were meeting, and without at the same also destroying the Iranian and Canadian embassies next door.”

Marc Champion, Bloomberg

“Monday illustrated the spectrum of outcomes we have seen from the Israel Defense Forces: astonishing precision in targeting some of Iran’s most toxic commanders at a secret meeting in Damascus and appalling sloppiness in an apparently accidental strike on a humanitarian team in Gaza… Netanyahu described [the latter] as a ‘tragic case of our forces unintentionally hitting innocent people.’…

“Let’s assume Netanyahu’s characterization is accurate. Nations make terrible mistakes in war. Even so, the World Central Kitchen tragedy is part of a much larger pattern of Israel refusing to plan adequately for coordination of humanitarian assistance in Gaza — to make the safety of noncombatants a priority along with its effort to destroy Hamas. Why is Israel only now, in the aftermath of this disaster, agreeing to a joint coordination center to plan humanitarian relief?”

David Ignatius, Washington Post

“Asking Israel to investigate these deaths, as the UK has done, is absurd given Israel’s history of obfuscation in such cases and avoidance of accountability. (It is banning Al Jazeera under a new law allowing ministers to shut down foreign media organisations.)…

“What would it take to turn US lamentation into action and stop Joe Biden greenlighting an $18bn deal for F-15 fighter jets? Where are the lines now? What will it take for Israel’s allies to say: no more – and show they mean it?”

Betsy Reed, The Guardian

"More than 30 percent of children in northern Gaza between 6 and 23 months old now suffer from acute malnutrition… It is past time for the Biden administration to use real pressure — including the threat of withholding weapons — to persuade the Israeli government to do what the International Court of Justice demanded: Allow ‘unhindered provision’ of food, hygiene and medical aid…

“The Biden team’s latest approval of thousands of more bombs for the Israeli army, before Israel complies, sends exactly the wrong signal. If the United States can watch children being starved by its ally, what leg does it have to stand on when it criticizes dictators such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin or Syria’s Bashar al-Assad for using food as a weapon of war? Unless our government does more to relieve the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, it will undermine hope for peace and stability and damage U.S. credibility across the region for decades to come."

Josh Rogin, Washington Post

From the Right

The right argues that Hamas ultimately bears responsibility for the deaths.

The right argues that Hamas ultimately bears responsibility for the deaths.

“Biden demanded ‘accountability’ and further proclaimed that ‘incidents like yesterday's simply should not happen.’ Of course, when a nation is fighting a hot war, incidents like the one that occurred will happen. They are unavoidable. Do you know who should know that better than anyone? That would be one Joseph R. Biden, who droned seven children during his disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan

“At no point following that tragic incident did Biden express even a tenth of the anger he is showing towards Israel in this situation. As for accountability for that strike and the broader deaths that occurred during the evacuation, none was ever delivered. Not a single Biden official lost their job or was disciplined for what turned out to be one of the most botched military operations in modern history… Yet, the president wants to rage against Israel, as if they have the ability to prevent all civilian deaths on a saturated urban battlefield.”

Bonchie, RedState

“Israel has owned up to the mistaken airstrike that killed seven aid workers in Gaza late Monday, but the real blame still falls on Hamas, which started this war and wages it so as to maximize innocent deaths… Some civilian deaths are unavoidable when Hamas purposefully operates in populated areas so as to cause the exact kind of confusion that led to Monday night’s deadly error. The terrorist group wants more innocents dead, to turn the world against Israel.”

Editorial Board, New York Post

Some note that “The WCK says the Israel Defense Forces had been informed of its aid workers’ location. It says that those personnel had just unloaded aid into a warehouse and were then driving south in a three-car convoy along the Gazan coast. At least one of the WCK vehicles was clearly marked with WCK’s name and logo. These identifiers should have been easily visible to Israeli overhead surveillance platforms

“It won’t be enough for Israel to say that this is a terrible mistake that isn’t going to be repeated… With the IDF preparing to launch what will inevitably be a bloody offensive on Hamas’s last major redoubt in Rafah, it needs to retain all the international support it can. [Even] before this incident, the Europeans were openly calling for an immediate, unconditional ceasefire… This accident thus weakens Israel’s ability to pursue its [goals].”

Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

Regarding Iran, “The U.S. Treasury Department ‘sanctioned’ Zahedi all the way back in 2010, it clearly seems to have had little to no effect on his actions. Israel's sanction, delivered at several times the speed of sound, would appear to have been much more effective…

“Zahedi was not in Syria to play tiddlywinks; the Revolutionary Guard Corps commander was known to be a conduit to funnel Iranian weapons to Hezbollah and acted as a liaison between Iran, Hezbollah, and Syria. He was a guy who manifestly deserved to be removed from the game.”

Ward Clark, RedState

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