Hill Times Publishes Two Disingenuous Anti-Israel Screeds In One Day

On May 22, The Hill Times ran two opinion pieces about the current Israel-Hamas war. The first commentary entitled, “2024 leaving no wig unsnatched,”, written by Erica Ifill (a frequent disseminator of anti-Israel disinformation) focused on the latest round of anti-Israel activism masquerading as international law at the International Criminal Court (ICC), wherein the head prosecutor has accused Israel (and its leaders) of “starvation of the civilian population as a method of war, murder as a war crime, intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population, and other crimes against humanity.”

With only a passing mention of the charges being concurrently brought against Hamas leaders, Ifill’s ire remains fixed exclusively on Israel.

While on the one hand offering a throwaway line about the fact that Israel “made a commitment to increase [their] humanitarian assistance,” (an assertion that is supported by the fact that more food is entering Gaza now than before the war), Ifill still seems to accept uncritically that there is a starvation (deliberate or not) of the Palestinian people. She focused on the assertions made by the Financial Times that pulling Western financial support from UNRWA, the disgraced United Nations agency with ties to Hamas, removed an important vehicle for assistance, and that it “provided a lifeline for Palestinians in Gaza and further afield, long before this crisis. No UNRWA, no effective humanitarian aid.”

She attempted to place blame for civilian starvation at the feet of, not only Israel, but of every country which cut funding from UNRWA, for what she called Israel’s “[un]substantiated allegations… that staffers working for the body’s agency for Palestinian refugees were members of terror groups.”

Leaving aside the ridiculous suggestion that Israel is deliberately manufacturing a famine in Gaza, were these allegations really unsubstantiated? To suggest that allegations of ties to Hamas, and the use of UNRWA resources in the radicalization of Palestinian youth as ‘unsubstantiated’ is ludicrous. Even if what Ifill (and the ridiculous proceedings at the ICC) contends are true, that there is an ongoing deliberate policy and effort to starve the population of Gaza, the solution to addressing it would not be UNRWA and would revolve removing Hamas from the equation.

The second piece to appear that day entitled: “Canada must act to end cycle of violence in Israel and Palestine,” written by Leah Reesor-Keller, Carmen Landsowne and J. Dorcas Gordon, was a response by several Christian faith leaders who claimed that Israel has not abided by the January International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling that Israel must act to prevent a genocide in Gaza. As evidence for this claim, the authors said that since that time, 9,000 more Gazans have allegedly died due to the ongoing conflict, that humanitarian aid has been blocked, and that aid workers have been killed.

Leaving aside the already strongly suspect casualty numbers (and the fact that at this point, there is no evidence that any estimate can be made with any certainty), the number of deaths is not, in itself, any possible indicator of genocide. For the entirety of the conflict, the anti-Israel rabble has centred its argument of genocide around the supposed disproportionate number of women and children who have been killed. Unfortunately for them, earlier this month the UN quietly walked back those numbers by half, which would provide strong evidence that what Israel has claimed all along is true – that they are targeting Hamas militants and their infrastructure, and doing everything they can to protect civilians. Since the anti-Israel rhetoric can no longer rely on this libel as evidence, they’ve en masse switched their outrage to the supposed starvation being perpetuated allegedly by Israel instead.

After all, the ICC is correct – deliberate starvation of a population as a weapon of war is a war crime. Unfortunately, again, the evidence doesn’t support this as being the case in Israel.

One wonders if people like the three faith leaders who authored this piece simply have a wheel of potential war crimes charges that they spin to decide what baseless claim they’ll lay at the feet of Israel today, and whether the editors of The Hill Times, in choosing what opinion pieces to print have some sort of quota they need to meet for the number of falsehood to be told about the conflict in a single week.

Take action now by sending a letter to the editor to the Hill Times. Send letters to: news@hilltimes.com.

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