Gaza, Israel and ‘Human Shields’

The only people killing innocent people are the Israelis. (

By Sarah Gillespie

What does it mean to use human shields? Employed by the Germans and Japanese in the second word war, the tactic is premised on an underlying trust in your enemy’s humanity. It appeals to the compassion and mercy of the combatant that they not slaughter the innocent in order to avenge their target. The ‘shield’ is not the human bodies surrounding the ‘guilty’ party, the shield is the clemency that mankind instinctively affords the innocent. The shield evaporates only when confronted by an enemy who is not merely a fellow soldier locked in a power battle, but a psychopath unconcerned with the pain of others. Such is the case with the Hamas. They are faced with an enemy who is willing to obliterate pregnant women, babies, kids, handicapped people, schools and crowded hospitals in order to smash their target. The Israelis repeatedly demonstrate a pathological disregard for any life that is not a Jewish life, and it is for this reason alone, that the Hamas are utterly incapable of ever using ‘human shields.’

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pro Israeli media and Zionist supporters can’t resist endlessly recycling their trope that the Hamas use civilians to guard their rockets. They are clearly flummoxed as to why this assertion does nothing to quell the snowballing international outrage at the massacres they are committing. Their argument attempts to plant in our minds the notion that the Hamas actively invite the Israeli military to slaughter and maim innocents and, in doing so, prove that their savagery deserves to be annihilated. Paradoxically therefore, according to the twisted logic of Zionists, the more innocent Palestinians that die, the worse the Palestinians are. As a collective they are guilty of being innocent.

But this propaganda ploy doesn’t work. Not only does it not work, it boomerangs completely. Every time a Zionist apologist repeats their ‘human shield’ accusations they merely advertise their own deficit of basic humanity. They tell us ‘the Hamas think we have empathy for our fellow human beings, but if you look at the casualty figures, you’ll see how mistaken they are.’

The other issues at play here are the rights of the Palestinians to defend themselves and the pragmatics of warfare in a refugee camp. Israel is extremely fond of telling the world that they have the right to defend themselves. They enjoy a nuclear arsenal, cutting edge American weaponry and the formidable Iron Dome technology. Yet, although Israel constantly brags about its own egalitarian credentials, for some reason Israel refuses to grant the Palestinian people this same intrinsic right to defense that it demands for itself. Palestinians are not allowed to protect themselves. They are not allowed to fight. Instead we are invited to imagine that it is somehow acceptable for the Palestinians to have no weaponry whatsoever, no army, no soldiers, no rights. We are lead to believe that the only way for Palestinians to prove their integrity, is to lie down like lambs and quietly live out the unspeakably miserable lives of squalor, poverty and despair that Israel has designed for them. In short, Israel wishes the Palestinians were suicidal but, inconveniently, they keep proving to us that they are not.

Obviously asking a people to passively embrace their own ethnic cleansing is implausible. One would hope that the Jews, more than anyone, might be capable of grasping such a fundamental truth – but sadly not. Given that, that the people of Gaza, like any other human beings, have right to defense, where exactly should they store their weapons? In the rolling valleys and tumbling hills of Haraat al-Daraj? Amid the fauna-filled acres of Shuja’iyya? Gaza is home to approximately 1.8 million people, it is 25 miles long by 5 to 7 miles wide and sealed by both an Egyptian and Israeli blockade. It is the most crowded open air prison on earth. The only place to feasibly store weapons is inevitably in the proximity of the people forced to live there cheek by jowl. Israel has now ordered some 43% of the territory to be evacuated. But where to? The Kafka-esque request to insist people go, knowing there is nowhere to go to, is clearly there to benefit Israeli PR, not save lives. And it doesn’t fool anyone. There are currently hundreds of thousands of displaced. The schools that have opened to receive those fleeing are already overflowing and Palestinians that endured the bombings of schools during Operation cast Lead, know that even a so called ‘refuge’ can not guarantee safety. Lets be clear: the only people putting the Palestinians in danger are the Israelis. The only people killing innocent people are the Israelis. The Hamas may not be the party that the chattering classes of the West would want to govern them, but they are democratically elected and they have as much right as Israel, Britain, France and America to fight against an oppressor that quite literally wants to ‘wipe them off the map.’ They face a tough job, but one thing they can’t do is use human shields against an enemy that doesn’t recognize them as human.

– Sarah Gillespie is a singer songwriter living in London. She contributed this article to Visit

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  1. actually, the hamas has been known to be suicidal – unfortunately they are murder-suicidal.

  2. Alas Israel is the suicidal entity here. Supremacist regimes though out history, including Nazi Germany and the British Empire, are invariably curtailed in the end. Read Hegel. Israel’s days are numbered, shame they failed to ‘love thy neighbour’.

  3. This article is actually dishonest to the Palestinians and their representatives Hamas. –her efforts to focus almost exclusively on Israeli ‘titanic’ capability in fact expose not only fake humanitarian concern but utter ignorance about the psychology of Hamas,and the Palestinians– but then what does that matter if you subscribe to the oldest hatred in the world

  4. Quote from the article:
    “..Hamas actively invite the Israeli military to slaughter and maim innocents and, in doing so, prove that their (Hamas’) savagery deserves to be annihilated.

  5. Well put article describing th truly evil and deplorable acts of the zionist s and their army. They would be happy to kill single gazans given the opportunity and then wipe them of the map.

    In regards to human shields, it is a ploy and propoganda from israeli PR machine. Hamas has categorically denied this. Where is the evidence of this. They have drones and technology of this why not show the evidence..dozens of journalists are in Gaza, but they have failed to find these ambulances and buildings where human shields are being used.another myth to justify the mass killing and genocide by this evil demonic army. Where in the world is population punished for punitive attacks like the gazans

  6. Are you kidding me? Just because Israel is winning in her bid to Dave herself again YOUR unprovoked aggression, you have the nerve to say that they are immoral. Iseal left the land you now occupy. What did you do in response. Fire in thousands of rockets. That is why there are calls for “palestinians” to disarm. They continually lob bombs into neighboring territories.

    And your whole human shield argument is just embarrassing and not worth a response.

  7. Israel is long dead. Problem is it keeps killing.
    This Israel zombie is primarily a Jewish problem and Israel harms Jews more than it harms those it kills.
    But then Jews are our brothers. This means they harm not only Jews everywhere but us too.
    As long as we allow them to continue we are also to blame.

  8. Israël’s propaganda, about human shields, their own “humanity” when sending sms a few minutes before a bombing to people who have to leave their all-life house and with nowhere to go but the middle of the streets, propaganda taken up again by West’s mainstream medias, seems to be part of a larger plan that consists of putting down the people of Gaza but also and above all to silence the colonial policy on the West Bank, outlaw, vicious (as seen in a video that shows Netanyahu telling how he managed to distort peace agreements), and spitting at UN resolutions as they do at entire world’s free and lucid people…

  9. Beautifully explained.
    Each time that I hear the statement that Israel has a right to defend itself, I wonder why no comensurate right exists for those in the Occupied Territories.

    I firmly believe that any nation has a right to protect itself under attack. However, attack does not simply take the form of physical attack. To trap 1.8 million people in 200 square miles is an attack. To eliminate hope and the possibility of prosperity is an attack. These actions are inhuman. It seems to become an question of the chicken or the egg.

    Attacks on Israel by the Occupied territories are cause for oppressive action and oppressive treatment prompts attacks…

  10. If theres any race of peoples who know what it is to be exterminated its the jew , iam disgusted with their blatant ethnic cleansing.
    Shame eternal on israel.
    D fraser, scotland.

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