Israeli election ad boasts Gaza bombed back to “stone ages”

Benny Gantz, the former Israeli army chief, is bragging about how much killing and destruction he committed in Gaza in a series of campaign videos for his new political party posted on YouTube and social media over the weekend.

Gantz hopes to replace Benjamin Netanyahu as Israel’s prime minister in elections scheduled for April.

One of the videos, above, shows drone footage of a devastated neighborhood in Gaza in August 2014, following Israel’s 51-day assault on the territory.

The video’s title includes the words “Parts of Gaza were returned to the stone ages.”

Against the swell of dramatic music, captions on screen announce, “6,231 targets destroyed,” and “1,364 terrorists killed.”

The ad then claims that this carnage brought “3.5 years of quiet.”

A second video displays a kill-counter on screen racking up bodies until the number 1,364 is reached. In the background Palestinians are seen conducting funerals.

The video is another depraved celebration of killing.

All the videos contain the words “Only the strong win.”

And they close with Gantz’s campaign slogan “Israel before everything,” which could just as well be translated as the Trumpian “Israel first.”

Admission of war crimes

In fact, the 2014 attack on Gaza, which Gantz commanded, killed 2,251 Palestinians, including 1,462 civilians, among them 551 children, according to an independent investigation commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council.

More than 11,000 Palestinians, including 3,540 women and 3,436 children, were injured with almost 10 percent suffering permanent disabilities.

Thus according to the independent report, fewer than 800, or about a third of those killed, were combatants – far fewer than the 1,364 “terrorists” about whose killing Gantz brags.

This means that Gantz considers Palestinian civilians to be legitimate targets – effectively an admission to war crimes.

That is potentially useful information for the human rights lawyers who are suing Gantz and another top Israeli officer in a Dutch court for slaying six members of the family of Palestinian-Dutch citizen Ismail Ziada.

A key finding of the UN-commissioned report was that the mass destruction and killing inflicted by Israel, often amounting to war crimes, “may have constituted military tactics reflective of a broader policy, approved at least tacitly by decision-makers at the highest levels of the Government of Israel.”

A third video brags about the 2012 extrajudicial execution of Ahmad al-Jabari, a Hamas military leader in Gaza.

The final video, after three others celebrating slaughter, presents Gantz as a statesman who hopes for “peace.”

According to opinion polls, Gantz’s brand new Hosen Le Yisrael (Israel Resilience) party stands to win about 13 of the 120 seats in Israel’s parliament.

Polling also shows that 31 percent of Israelis favor Gantz as prime minister compared with 42 percent who view Netanyahu as more suitable.

Netanyahu’s Likud Party is predicted to come out on top with about 31-32 seats.

Variation on a violent theme

Gantz’s campaign slogan “Only the strong win” is a variation on an infamous tweet from his main rival Netanyahu, who last summer declared that “The weak crumble, are slaughtered and are erased from history while the strong, for good or for ill, survive.”

Miko Peled, activist and author of The General’s Son, said of Gantz’s new ads that it would be “hard to imagine a more violent neo-fascist campaign than this one, by the new kid in Israel’s elections, war criminal general Benny Gantz.”

It is “all about death, destruction, power,” Peled added.

Indeed in that respect Gantz, like Netanyahu, is accurately reflecting the desires and fantasies of an Israeli public that views the willingness to shed the blood of defenseless Palestinians caged in ghettos after decades of expulsion and military occupation as the truest measure of leadership.

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"[H]aaretz, which in normal times might have held the government to account, joined the [2014] war effort. News bulletins on Channel 10, supposedly the most critical of Israel's television networks, reported the terror campaign Gaza had waged against Israel with its rockets, which as on most days inflicted no casualty...There was no mention of the devastation in Gaza. ... Unable to rely on the media to broadcast the Palestinian death toll, an Israeli human rights group, B'Tselem, commissioned an advertisement. The broadcasting authority banned it. Unaware of the destruction Israel had inflicted, a survey reported that 45 percent of Israeli Jews felt Netanyahu had used too little firepower on Gaza; only 6 percent thought he had used too much." h/t https://detailedpoliticalquizz...

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Benny Gantz is a typical Zionist who believes Jews are a super race and Arabs are an inferior race to be murdered by Israelis.

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I wish I could say that this barbaric overture from Benny Gantz to Israeli voters comes as a surprise or that it represents an approach from somewhere outside the main body of opinion there. Neither would be true. I was reminded of the gleeful atrocities memorialised in a certain letter entitled "From Hell", believed to have been written by the perpetrator known to posterity as Jack the Ripper. And, in a further disturbing resemblance, during that reign of terror in 1888 London numerous citizens took it upon themselves to fabricate letters to police and press claiming credit for the most horrific crimes. Israel today presents a similar picture, in which an open competition exists for the electorate's preference as the authentic embodiment of a social system's violent depravity. I'm not even sure Gantz can plausibly be included in the front ranks of so many claimants. Other swaggering psychopaths will be registering their own qualifications with even greater force.

"And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands." 1 Samuel 18:7

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Gantz and Netanyahu`s boasts about Israeli might crushing Gaza, sound just like Adolf Hitler and Himmler boasting about their right to Kill Jews and George W.Bush threatening to Bomb Pakistan "Back to the Stone Age". They have all committed "Crimes Against Humanity".

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Will Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland applaud war criminal general Benny Gantz? Justin will say what ever he's told to say. And Chrystia, she's too busy in Davos with her "The Geopolitical Outlook" or "The Future of the Transatlantic Alliance" with talk about "Shared values and interests" or will she swoon with "A New Architecture for Cyber-Cooperation" with Tzipi Livni. Or maybe Chrystia will be too busy dodging bone saws.

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The Israelis are TERRORISTS they always have been, in fact they were persued by the British in the 1940s for murdering British citizens. The only difference now is that the British, Americans and other so-called “civilised” societies can make masses of money selling them arms. Disgusting.

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The real issue here is not netanyahu nor gantz.......... it is the israeli people for whom this elections propaganda is being directed.............

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What propaganda?? Every Israeli party are "Death to Arabs! Death to Arabs! Death to Arabs!" I see the same in Canada, Quebec. It is not "propaganda" but racism.

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Ali Abunimah

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.