Overview | History | Innovations | Opposition | Accusations | Controversial Issues
Many things have been said about Israel over the years; inevitably, most of the information circulating the web and in other media is not entirely accurate. Some of the most popular examples are disassembled here.
- Genocide / Ethnic Cleansing
- War Crimes in Gaza
- Violent Oppression
- Forced Sterilization of Ethiopian Women
One of the most commonly believed accusations is that Israel is committing genocide on the Palestinian population. However, the population statistics collected by the Palestinian government itself contradict this claim entirely. As shown in the graph below, the population of both the West Bank and Gaza has steadily increased over the years; this is not indicative of ongoing mass murder or displacement out of the territories.
Population data from Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
In addition, wholesale slaughter as great as that being insinuated would leave evidence behind. None has been found; no mass graves exist and no video or photos have recorded any such events. All claims are based on unsubstantiated eyewitness accounts which cannot be independently verified, or are disproven outright.
During the 2014 war in Gaza, world media was saturated with coverage depicting apparent Israeli war crimes on the population of Gaza. The IDF was accused of indiscriminately targeting civilians during Operation Protective Edge, with both air and ground forces; however, these stories all failed to take into account several factors which negate these claims.
- The death tolls published by authorities in Gaza (Hamas) do not differentiate between combatants and non-combatants. Terrorist casualties are not distinguished from civilian ones, giving the impression all casualties were innocent bystanders. The figures also do not take into account Palestinians killed by their own people.
- The IDF took careful measures to avoid civilians casualties, including giving warnings before a strike, and calling off planned strikes if too many people were in harm’s way.
- Hamas committed double war crimes throughout the war, first by firing rockets at Israeli population centers indiscriminately, and then compounding this by putting their own people in the path of enemy fire.
- Hamas uses civilian buildings from which to stage terror attacks, including schools, hospitals, mosques, and family homes, which is itself a war crime.
Reports of Israeli soldiers beating or shooting apparently innocent Palestinians regularly surface on mainstream media outlets. These stories are often generated by actual incidents in which Israeli police or soldiers have had to use deadly force to stop a terrorist attack in progress.
Violent attacks on Israelis and general rioting are a common occurrence, especially in Jerusalem; Palestinians are encouraged to engage in these activities by all sectors of their society. The attacks are usually provoked by the government and media making incendiary claims against Israel, in order to anger the people.
The normal response by Israeli security personnel to unrest is to use non-lethal means of dispersal. Live bullets are only used when lives are endangered, and the threat has to be neutralized quickly. However, there have been incidents where one or more soldiers have opened fire when circumstances did not permit it; these are isolated incidents and are in violation of the IDF’s code of ethics. Such incidents are always investigated, and the perpetrators punished accordingly. These incidents are rare though, since the IDF performs rigorous psychological and background tests on all conscripts.
It is the Palestinians’ own governments which are truly oppressive; extra-judicial killings, arrests without cause, and imprisonment without trial are common occurrences under both the PA and Hamas governments.