Dershowitz: Western Morality Is Weaponized Against Israel

AP Photo/Francisco Seco

As Palestinian terrorists are up to their usual tactics of brutalizing Israeli civilians while whining at the deaths of the Palestinian civilians they themselves use as human shields, the West is once again applying double standards to Israel. Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz is calling out the use of Western morality as a weapon against Israel.


Dershowitz began his Oct. 16 Substack post by noting that Israel told Gazan citizens to evacuate farther away from military targets, which is far more warning than any of the Allied powers did before bombing civilian areas in World War II.

“Hamas has told the civilians to stay and serve as human shields. It is actually blocking the egress roads to safety so as to assure that civilians who want to leave cannot do so,” Dershowitz added.

He went on to slam the UN — whose schools Palestinian terrorists have previously used to store weapons — for telling Gaza civilians that evacuation is impossible. According to Dershowitz, “logistically difficult and imperfect” is entirely different from impossible. But then again, the terrorists who control the Gaza Strip don’t want their civilians evacuating.

As Dershowitz noted, “Hamas wants these human shields—especially children, women, and the elderly—to remain in harm’s way. It is not enough for them that the more than 100 Israeli hostages already serve the same purpose.”

This is hardly a new phenomenon. The Palestinian terrorists have long hidden their weapons and military targets in and around mosques, schools, residential high-rises, and hospitals. It is established Hamas practice to use human shields. Dershowitz included a quote that he said was from a Hamas leader in 2008, “For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry… The elderly excel at this, and so do… the children. This is why they have formed human shields of the women and children.” There’s also the Hamas slogan, “We love death as our enemy loves life.”


Related: Hamas Told Gaza Civilians to Ignore IDF Warnings to Evacuate

Dershowitz continued, “Israel is generally held to a higher standard of morality by other governments, the media, and academia. Hamas knows this and exploits it as a weapon of war.” Because Westerners usually see killing civilians as tragic and/or wrong, Hamas exploits that view, and the distinction is rarely made between deliberate targeting of civilians (as Hamas does) and “collateral” deaths from hitting military targets (as Israel causes).

“Hamas takes advantage of this psychological reality. Hamas has even come up with a name—‘The CNN strategy’—for this misuse of morality,” Dershowitz claimed.

I described It several years ago: “The strategy is as simple as it is cynical: Provoke Israel by playing Russian roulette with its children, firing rockets at kindergartens, playgrounds and hospitals; hide behind its own civilians when firing at Israeli civilians; refuse to build bunkers for its own civilians; have TV cameras ready to transmit every image of dead Palestinians, especially children; exaggerate the number of civilians killed by including as “children” Hamas fighters who are 16 or 17 years old and as “women,” female terrorists.”

Israel must not permit itself to be limited in its preventive military actions by the double standard of morality imposed upon it by many and taken advantage of by Hamas. It is an all-out war against Hamas-controlled Gaza, and Israel is entitled, by any fair reading of international law, to do to Gaza City what the U.S. did to Berlin and Tokyo in 1945. It has warned civilians to leave, and if they choose to remain, as many have, or if they are prevented from leaving by Hamas, this cannot be allowed to stop Israel from accomplishing its legitimate preventive goals. The collateral deaths of Palestinian civilians, caused directly by the Hamas decision to use them as human shields, would be the moral, political, and legal responsibility of Hamas.


Israel has spent years hanging back from taking “necessary” military actions because of its fear of “violating the double standards imposed on it by friends and foes alike.” While Israel vacillates and attempts to please ignorant or Hamas-sympathizing Westerners, Hamas has again and again re-armed and reorganized. It all culminated in the ongoing war that has killed over 1,400 Israelis with atrocities that shocked the world.

“These brutal attacks against Israeli civilians must change all that,” Dershowitz insisted. “Israel should apply its own very high standards of morality in deciding how to balance the collateral deaths of Palestinian civilians against the need to prevent the intended deaths of its own civilians at the hands of Hamas. It should resolve doubts in favor of its civilians, as all nations throughout history have.” Palestinian terrorists have made it clear that they want to wipe Israel off the map, and Palestinians/Arabs have been refusing a two-state solution for decades.

America dropped the atomic bombs on Japan to save up to a million Americans’ lives (we’re still using the Purple Heart awards manufactured in anticipation of a U.S. invasion of Japan). Now Israel has to make a similar choice — to save its own people and survive as a nation or allow itself to be pressured into suicidal “mercy” toward terrorists.




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