The Israeli army has been taking all kinds of steps to minimize Palestinian civilian casualties.
We’re talking about leaflets telling residents to leave neighborhoods, advance phone calls warning people to get out of a building, “knocks on the roof” to scare individuals away before the airstrike hits.
So how can a Daily Telegraph live blog post use the word “genocide” in the reporter’s own voice?
If you’re inclined to go easy on the Telegraph, you might see this as a poorly worded entry written by a reporter with no appreciation or care for nuance.
Or, perhaps there’s an idiotically oversimplified logic behind using a word as loaded as genocide. In a nutshell, the logic is something like this.
- Lots of civilians are dead.
- Israel killed the civilians.
- Therefore, Israel is committing genocide.
The logic omits issues like disputed casualty figures, dubious definitions of who is a civilian, general confusion about what’s a proportionate response, and of course, Hamas culpability for using Palestinians as human shields.
The video embedded in the live blog shows Israelis at a Tel Aviv demonstration cheering for the death of Arab Knesset member Ahmed Tibi and making light of Gaza fatalities. It’s sick incitement and doesn’t represent mainstream Israelis. It’s one thing to be happy about removing a terrorist threat. but it’s inappropriate to celebrate civilian deaths.
But to use this video to casually smear Israel with the charge of genocide is irresponsible.
How does the Telegraph explain this?
Image: CC BY-SA HonestReporting, flickr/Khalid Albaih