A War Crime In Three Acts: The Bombing Of A Hospital

“Large numbers of injured people are brought into Shifa Hospital in Gaza City after an Israeli attack on the courtyard of al-Ahli Arab Hospital. [Abdelhakim Abu Riash/Al Jazeera]” Brought to you by the Israel, the US government and the BBC.

Israel has bombed (another) hospital, killing at least 500 people and doubtless more since they are blocking water, food, medicine, and fuel from getting in at all, not to mention bombing ambulances and first responders. Aid trucks on the other side of the Egyptian border have been blocked for days because Israel gives the Palestinian people only two choices, leave (ethnic cleansing) or die (genocide). Nothing is allowed in except bombs. Don’t take my word for it.

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir literally said, “As long as Hamas does not release the hostages in its hands — the only thing that needs to enter Gaza are hundreds of tons of explosives from the Air Force, not an ounce of humanitarian aid.” Nevermind the fact that Gaza is a civilian population of over 2 million, most of them children. Nevermind the fact that Israel is bombing the hostages, and holding thousands of its own. Israel doesn’t care. They’ve gone full-on genocidal, with the full support of the West, which was built on the concept. This is a battle without honor or humanity and the genocidal Israeli state doesn’t care about anyone, even Joe Biden, whose meetings have all got cancelled now. It’s all war crimes, and bombing a hospital is just the bloody cherry on top.

How did this happen? How does this happen? In three acts. First propaganda, then violence, then blaming the victim. It’s a tragedy quickly turning to farce. See for yourself and weep in rage and horror.

1. Propaganda

The first step to selling all those bombs you’ve manufactured is manufacturing consent. Which the western media is very good at. This isn’t their first racist rodeo. So before the bombs, the bullshit, coming from British state media (which has already purged any remotely balanced voices, including from Ofcom, the supposed regulator).

Here on October 16th, the BBC writes: ‘Does Hamas build tunnels under hospitals and schools?’ The classic western method of spreading lies, by ‘just asking questions’. This was decried at the time, but who cares? The BBC only suspends or fires journalists who don’t toe the genocidal line. Incitement is the party line, and it’s party time.

It has always been thus, it’s been open season on Muslims since 2001, and for hundreds of years besides. Empire’s always been down to kill some ‘savages’ and make it look civilized. In Palestine we can just see it happening all at once. American doesn’t even need state propaganda, like its military, the function has been outsourced and privatized. What I call the White Empire (the US, UK, Europe, they’re all one thing) has built a vast propaganda outlets under a seemingly free press, full of serious journalists (see what I did there). This so-called ‘free’ press (which is actually very expensive) has never found an imperial war they couldn’t gleefully get behind. They embed with imperial troops, reporting whatever imperial sources tell them. They generally don’t even have the people being bombed or invaded on at all.

With the genocide of Gaza, they have reported outright lies and blood libel (babies being beheaded, mass rapes, protestors being terrorists). They sometimes apologize to maintain a veneer of authenticity, but only after spreading the lies far and wide. Then they just return to the usual programming, which is pogromming. In this case, the BBC is manufacturing consent for bombing schools and hospitals. Something that Israel was already doing with abandon, but which they were about to turn into a massacre.

2. Violence

The next day, Israel predictably bombed Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, using American equipment and British propaganda as cover. This particular hospital had been hit with rockets before, injuring four staff, but now it was hit with massive bomb, killing at least 500 people. More are likely dying right now because of lack of medicine and water, and the fact that Israel attacks first responders. People regularly die painfully and slowly under the rubble because Israel attacks the helpers. The hospital, like so many hospitals in Gaza, has been attacked so there is nowhere to take the wounded to and, anyways, the Israelis hit ambulances too.

So far so good, and Hananya Naftali — a media adviser to Israeli PM Netanyahu (now called-up onto the 'digital frontlines') — came out and said the propaganda line planned and coordinated with the BBC. He said (in a since deleted post):

BREAKING: Israeli Air Force struck a Hamas terrorist base inside a hospital in Gaza. A multiple number of terrorists are dead. It’s heartbreaking that Hamas is launching rockets from hospitals, Mosques, schools, and using civilians as human shields. #Hamas_Is_ISIS

Note how it echoes the BBC propaganda. Hamas is launching rockets from hospitals; therefore we have to bomb them. A shot of bullshit followed by a chaser of blood. I don’t know how these ghouls didn’t anticipate a reaction
to bombing a fucking hospital, but a reaction there was.

While people have got used to Israel’s slow genocide of the Palestinian people — denying medical care and even calories — this was fast and brutal. All across the world, people revolted at Israels revolting behavior. The reaction has been vehement across not just the global majority (the south), even Israeli’s genocidal allies in the west were like ‘that’s a bit much.’ The genocidal west likes to look good while doing evil, and it was really hard to spin this one. But, always up for a challenge, they spun.

3. Blame The Victim

The evolving headlines of the degenerate New York Times (via). As Sana Saeed said "The Palestinian blood on the hands of American journalism will never wash away."

The genius idea — rehearsed after saying that Russia blew up their own pipeline — was to say that the Palestinians bombed themselves. Israel wants people to believe that Hamas/Islamic Jihad/insert-scary-Muslim-name-here is both hiding in hospitals and also bombing themselves there. As Joe Kassabian said, “A mystery for the ages: either the country that has been carpet bombing Gaza for a week blew up a hospital or Hamas suddenly developed the most powerful rocket in their arsenal, previously unknown to the world, and then dropped it on themselves.”

These are the damned lies deeply propagandized people in the West are expected to believe. And they do, because they have centuries of conditioning to hate and kill savages. It’s just a bit weird to hear now, in an age where the savages have smartphones.

You can see the mask come off in this bit by Anderson Cooper on CNN. An obvious Israeli war crime is first given the ‘bothsides’ treatment, to scrub off any concept of objective reality. The chyron says ‘Hamas said, Israel said’, and the audience at home knows full well which side they’re on. Americans have been relentless propagandized to think Hamas is bad, despite knowing nothing about the organization. The White Empire just says Hamas=ISIS=Al Qaeda and well-conditioned dogs salivate on command. It’s all code for killing Muslims, which they’ve been conditioned to support for decades now.

To drive the dehumanization home, it has to be clear that these civilians are not civilians, but in fact swarthy-Muslim terrorists hiding in hospital beds, making weapons out of mammography machines. But this is where Anderson Cooper lets the mask slip. He says, “it seems to be a huge loss of civilian li…uhh a huge loss of life.” Did you catch it? He almost said ‘civilians’, but had to catch himself. When you’re inciting a pogrom, the programming has to be consistent.

The Israeli media adviser/Stormtrooper was even more clumsy than the professional warmonger Cooper. Naftali deleted his original tweet and came out with this gem of incoherence:

Earlier today I shared a report that was published on @reuters about the bombing at the hospital in Gaza which falsely stated Israel struck the hospital. I mistakenly shared this information in a since deleted post in which I referenced Hamas’ routine use of hospitals to store weapons caches and conduct terrorist activity. I apologize for this error. As the IDF does not bomb hospitals, I assumed Israel was targeting one of the Hamas bases in Gaza. It is known that Hamas is using civilians as human shields, it is a war crime and a crime against humanity. This should be the focus.

Naftali goes from cheering the bombing of a hospital to saying Israel never bombs hospitals at all. If you’re going to lie, might as well make it a big one. Israel regularly calls in bomb threats to hospitals, tells them to move (how?), and then bombs them. Via ReliefWeb: “In the occupied Palestinian territories where 90 incidents were recorded, at least 15 incidents reported health facilities being extensively damaged, 28 health workers killed and 23 injured by explosive weapons used by Israeli forces in Gaza. In addition, in the West Bank at least 24 health workers have been detained while responding to health emergencies and ambulances frequently obstructed from reaching patients.”

But who gives a shit about truth when you’re in the middle of a pogrom? It actually gets in the way. Naftali is logically incoherent, but emotionally consistent in that Palestinians are bad and deserve to be bombed. Unmoored from facts, he can in fact say two contradictory lies, that Israel never bombs hospitals, and that hospitals deserve to be bombed. He says, “Hamas’ routine use of hospitals to store weapons caches and conduct terrorist activity,” even though ‘we definitely didn’t bomb that hospital.’ Indeed, even the US Pentagon spokesperson went on to say that Hamas 'put command and control units' inside the hospital (with no proof). The old propaganda line is still running, even though the results are too embarassing to own.

Israel’s official denial was even more lazy and ham-handed than the freelancer Naftali. They said:

“This tweet was just edited to remove video presented as evidence that Gaza hospital was struck in an outgoing barrage fired by militants — likely because NYT reporter @AricToler had already noted the clip was recorded about 8pm local time, 40 minutes after hospital strike.” (Robert Mackey)

In this first (now edited) tweet, Israel openly lied about Palestine hitting themselves, and added a video as ‘proof’. But the time stamp on the video shows 19:59 on the Gaza City feed (top left). 40 minutes after the hospital strike. Israel can’t even lie competently, but it’s luckily irrelevant, because their western allies don’t give a shit.

In truth, the truth doesn’t matter, because the White Empire making the bombs, making the warplanes, and making the propaganda doesn’t care. The US, UK, and Europe all made their fortunes on genocide, and that’s the franchise they’ve extended to their latest colony, Israel.

So today in America, they simply bury the bodies in the passive voice. President Joe Biden said, “I am outraged and deeply saddened by the explosion at the Al Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza,” and Senator Elizabeth Warren said The blast killing hundreds at a hospital in Gaza is deeply wrong.” As if these people just died from some naturally occurring ‘explosions’, and not imperial bombs dropped from imperial warcraft, with full imperial support and sanction. They have blood on their hands and try to scrub it off with bullshit, leaving an ungodly stench all around.

War Crimes Upon War Crimes

The sad fact is that Israel is not just committing war crimes, Israel is a war crime. From its founding to the present day, the country has been built on genocide and ethnic cleansing. It’s the last, most absurd colony. Europeans told Jews they weren’t welcome there, the Nazis themselves signed a deal with Zionists to send people to Palestine, and the British finished the job. America inherited this hate crime and uses it as a fortified parking spot near the gas station. While local Arab satraps might turn on the Empire, Israel will always be loyal. So America lets them into the colonial genocide club. Which is what we’re seeing in stark relief now.

This fundamentally racist idea — that Jews are ‘other’ and don’t belong in Europe or America — leads to the paradox of Nazi behavior from an ostensibly Jewish state. Many Jews opposed Zionism then and now, because it’s a bad idea. As we’re seeing now. Israel just is a war crime by constitution. It can’t realistically do anything else without collapsing into endless contradiction.

Everything we’re seeing now is just a faster version of the ethnic cleansing, genocide, and apartheid that Israel is founded on. If there’s a ceasefire, Israel would just go back to its regular siege of Gaza, which is still a war crime. For decades now, Israel has bureaucratically denied medical care to Palestinians, and even calculated and restricted their caloric intake. Bombing a hospital just speeds up the process of killing people. And yet seeing the process sped up is horrifying. At least 500 people die at once, while more die slowly under rubble, or from most cruel dehydration and starvation. Imperial ghouls can no longer hide behind their words and delays, their bombs and bullshit are on full display, in front of the horrified world.

We have all been forced to watch this wretched play in three acts, The Bombing of A Hospital. First the build up, the bombing, and then the bullshit that follows. How quickly it goes from farce to tragedy to farce again. As the Palestinian Mohammed El-Kurd said, “Yesterday, the BBC insinuated that ‘Hamas builds tunnels under hospitals’ Today, the Israelis bombed a hospital in Gaza City & killed 500 — FIVE HUNDRED — of the doctors, patients, and refugees inside of it. This is journalism ushering in genocide. We won’t forgive.”

We should not forgive indeed, nor forget. The West has shown its whole genocidal ass and, once remembered, we should never forget the centuries of this colonial wickedness, now with a visible, burning epicenter in Gaza. As the Colombian President Gustavo Petro said, “What we see in Palestine will also be the suffering in the world of all the peoples of the south… We are going to barbarism if we do not change power... Gaza is just the first experiment in considering us all disposable.”

In truth we are all the children of Gaza, buried under mountains of bullshit and rubble, a planet’s worth of colonial greed now igniting into an ungodly global collapse. As the Prime Minister of Israel said in another deleted tweet, “This is a struggle between the children of light and the children of darkness, between humanity and the law of the jungle.” Well, my children are dark and we’re from the jungle. Do our children not have a right to live? Do the creatures of the jungle we depend on mean nothing? These colonial fuckers have been destroying the world since they ‘discovered it, and they’re hell-bent on destroying people and planet, most obviously in Palestine, right now. I have no great conclusion to this piece, just an inchoate rage. They bombed a fucking hospital.