Israeli defense minister promises to kill more civilians and threatens to nuke Iran

Still from the live stream of Moshe Yaalon speaking at the 2015 Shurat HaDin conference.

Israeli defense minister Moshe Yaalon on Tuesday said Israel would attack entire civilian neighborhoods during any future assault on Gaza or Lebanon.

Speaking at a conference in Jerusalem, Yaalon threatened that “we are going to hurt Lebanese civilians to include kids of the family. We went through a very long deep discussion … we did it then, we did it in [the] Gaza Strip, we are going to do it in any round of hostilities in the future.”

The Israeli official also appeared to threaten to drop a nuclear bomb on Iran, although he said “we are not there yet.”

In response to a question about Iran, Yaalon said that “in certain cases” when “we feel like we don’t have the answer by surgical operations” Israel might take “certain steps” such as the Americans did in “Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end the fatalities of 200,000.”

Relating a July 2013 meeting with UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, Yaalon recalled promising Israel would bomb the entire Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaiya.

He showed Ban photos of villages in Lebanon and of “certain neighborhoods in Gaza, to include well-known Shujaiya, with many red spots” which he claimed were “terror assets in the densely populated urban area. And I said – July 2013 – we are going to hit it.”

Yaalon was true to his word. The Shujaiya massacre was among the most brutal examples of Israeli war crimes during last summer’s attack on the Gaza Strip.

Israel killed 2,257 Palestinians during the 51-day assault, according to the United Nations monitoring group OCHA. Of that number, OCHA says 70 percent were civilians, including 563 children (Defence for Children International–Palestine has documented 547 child deaths).

The 20 July 2014 attack on Shujaiya was the most bloody day of the war, when Israel bombed the entire neighborhood indiscriminately. Initial reports on the day said 60 bodies had been brought out of the rubble. Later reports suggested death tolls of 90 or 120.

Threat of BDS

The conference was titled “Towards a new law of war” and was intended to help Israel use “lawfare” to defend its crimes in courts around the world.

Update, 13 May: Shurat HaDin yesterday uploaded video of the full Yaalon speech to their YouTube channel.

The other main theme of Yaalon’s speech, which closed the conference, was the “challenge” of BDS, boycott, divestment and sanctions. The Palestinian-led global movement aims to hold Israel accountable for its crimes.

Yaalon sought to cast the grassroots activist movement as a kind of military front. He said that “delegitimization, BDS and lawfare” were just “another tool” in the war of Israel’s enemies.

He complained that he had been unable to visit European countries because of the possibility he could have been arrested for suspected war crimes under universal jurisdiction law: “I prefer not to go to [the] UK, to London for about 10 years, or to Spain for a while.”

“Collateral damage”

In 2011, under Israeli pressure, the UK government changed its laws to make it easier for Israeli war crimes suspects to visit the country. Although the changes have meant that several high-level Israeli politicians and military officers have been able to visit since, in 2013 retired Major-General Doron Almog canceled a visit to London because of an outstanding warrant for his arrest related to war crimes committed in the Gaza Strip.

Yaalon lamented that Israeli soldiers now have to be taught that “we should be ready to give up a visit to London … but it’s not fair, it is not just.”

But, apparently referring to the law changes, he said they “found the common language to discuss these issues with our friends, with our allies.”

He also described criticism of Israel in international bodies such as the UN Human Rights Council as a “war after the war” and advocated that “we should fight them back.”

He said there should be no investigations of Israeli soldiers just because of “collateral damage” – a euphemism for the killing of civilians.

“Lawfare” conference

The conference was organized by Shurat HaDin, a group of Israeli lawyers which is at the forefront of using courts around the world to defend Israeli war crimes, and attack Palestine solidarity groups.

In 2013, as I reported for The Electronic Intifada at the time, it was revealed that the group has extremely close ties to the Israeli security establishment, to the extent of acting as a proxy group for the Mossad, Israel’s deadly overseas spy agency.

Shurat HaDin’s leader Nitsana Darshan-Leitner introduced Yaalon to the conference.

During his speech Yaalon heaped effusive praise on Shurat HaDin and its leader Nitsana Darshan-Leitner. He thanked the group “for the activities of Shurat HaDin fighting one of Israel’s challenges of today, the lawfare, BDS, delegitimzation of the state of Israel … Nitsana thank you very much for what you are doing for the state of Israel.”

He said Israel and its supporters should use courts around the world “to fight them back,” meaning critics of Israel, and that this is exactly what Shurat HaDin does.

Hasbara is not the right term,” he continued in the question and answer session, “it’s a war … Each of us can become to be a warrior in this war. By talkbacking, by blogging, by disseminating articles, by raising our case.”

Hasbara (literally “explanation” in Hebrew) is the Israeli term for propaganda.

Justifying Israeli attacks on civilians was the main theme of the conference. Speaker after speaker lined up to reinterpret international law so that it would, supposedly, allow the killing of Palestinian and other Arab civilians.

This was justified with familiar canards about the supposed use by Palestinian resistance factions of “human shields,” which then inevitably results in Palestinian civilian dead. In other words, Israel was being forced to kill civilians.

Yaalon did similar by saying that the civilian neighborhoods Israel had bombed had contained “rocket rooms.”

The New York Times reported Wednesday that Yaalon is likely to continue as defense minister in the newly-agreed government headed by his Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu, in coalition with the Jewish Home and other ultra-right-wing parties.

The Electronic Intifada watched the entire conference by livestream and will be reporting more detail soon.




This won't be reported on the mainstream media, but it should. It is shocking and repulsive. And gthey want to nuke iran. If iran had a afew nukes it could protect itself, that's what isral and the US doesn't want.

Israel lives in a world of overwhelming entitlement. Only Iran does not bow down before it. even the US does.



It is tiresome to keep returning to the word "fascist". But the expressions of
warlike criminality expressed by these Ministers and officials can leave
no doubt in the mind of anyone of any faith in the character of Israeli
behavior. Many of us well knew the hate we have ourselves permitted to
blossom in Israel. We have permitted it by our failure to condemn it outright seeking cover in our belief perhaps. Or in political necessity.

The world and more specifically the UN and international law should never
permit the expression of such views. More than supposedly "shocked"
expressions are called for. Israel should be put under sanctions and embargo
and expelled from participation all UN procedures. No one, no US politician,
no Senator, no Congressman, no President ought to countenance such views and
behavior. All aid, tax deductions, weapons sales and the like must cease

Failure to do this is like saying nothing when the Nazi's were in power but
that, after al,l one must "dialogue" with those of all beliefs and of
course there is "the German vote" and funds for election campaigns.

There can never be any "political" solution with such a warlike
nation. That is like an invitation to a thief to make himself comfortable in
your home. To do this would be absurd.

To those who continue to remain blind to this hate, one can only admit that
they have sided with it against anything tolerable to mankind. We can never
forget such cowardice should you continue to excuse it.

---Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA


I can't seem to find this story anywhere. There were only a few quotes in a J post article but it didn't include the quote about targeting Lebanese civilians.

Is anyone else covering this story?


There should be an international law against politicians threatening to kill people, how come they can do it and get away with it?, but if a civilian threatens another they can be prosecuted


“we are going to hurt Lebanese civilians to include kids of the family. We went through a very long deep discussion … we did it then, we did it in [the] Gaza Strip, we are going to do it in any round of hostilities in the future.”

First of all, the quotes should not be around "we are going to hurt" because those words were never said.

Basic English lesson for the author of this article, when he says "we did it then," the word "it" refers to "doing what we had to do" but since you decided to not provide the full quote your readers would never know that (intentional?). Also if you had the whole quote included, it would be obvious that "doing what we had to" is not a euphemism for bombing people, but a decision regarding what action will be taken in response to what is essentially a cost benefit analysis. If they're just going to bomb people, why would they waste their time weighing the pros and cons?

Given how polarized the ideas are of people who follow this website, I'm sure there will be a plethora of people responding to this trying to discredit my name and slander me as opposed to actually refuting my comments. If you actually want to refute my comments, you can start by providing the actual quote verbatim. Anything else is just an attempt to silence a dissenting viewpoint.


If you are certain what appears here is incorrect, please provide us with the correct quote. You must have the full quote--why not put that in your comment?

Also please provide the full quote on the question of "Hiroshima" Is this also an innocent reference?


Spoken like a true zionist or are you one of their brainwashed victims?
Have a look at the websites of Israeli organisations Breaking the Silence and B'tselem
and educate yourself about the inhuman activities of the Israeli state.



Listen to the speech yourself. The quote is accurate:

I'm just intrigued who they discussed killing innocents with. Where were the infamous letter drops warning innocents to get out of the way? - no mention of them in this speech. Probably another lie. They want maximum civilian deaths. They are not interested in peace. There would not be an uprising to deal with if they were.

If anything, this guy reminds me a little of Adolf Hitler.


To "think for yourself" and those who twist and turn:

I remain "polarized" to use your honors debate label. It gets more real when it is your house, your family that is killed and so forth. Poor little "victim" Israel whose
coin of the realm is hate and terror pure and simple. Like the Nazis it is all typically well-planned. How many calories are needed per person for those in a ghetto for survival? Are children useful in ghettos? If not, liquidate them! Today's
Zionists have learned so much from the Nazi's with whom they so closely collaborated during World War Two (See Lenni Brenner's ZIONISM IN THE AGE OF THE NAZI's and other works).

The saying above ("Thou Shallt Not Stand Idly By") is hung in my little apartment with some Hebrew above. I am not a Hebrew-speaker. I can only assume it is from someplace in Scripture. It hangs on my wall not for its origin but because
it is painfully relevant. Along with a fabricated narrator in poetry, "i see life from
the underside." (Don Marquis: THE LIVES AND TIMES OF ARCHY AND

This is not an honors society debate. Israel is killing, murdering, NOW..TODAY!

Israel is SETTLER COLONIZATION and never ever was "entitled" to anything at
all. It has repeated the horrors of settler colonization as documented in

It is those who claim that they are "thinking for themselves" who are being thought for and they are trading in any sense of their own moral values and standing idly by. There are a number of hate groups which would welcome such legalistic nonsense as presented by someone calling him/herself "Think for yourself".

----Peter Loeb, Boston.MA, USA


You give none, "Think for yourself". I give you mine with the opinion that Yaalon is a "master of war", to refer to the song by Bob Dylan. He risks bringing all hell to pay on the people in Israel who need to quickly distance themselves from Shurat HaDIn.


if israel did attack iran , with nukes, israel would be history, gone, no more, israel would be nothing but sand


This is completely wrong. The minister was in fact discussing the difficult situations he faced in prior hostilities, where he and his cabinet were wary to use force against civilian neighborhoods. He was talking about the past, not the future. Don’t believe me? Watch for yourself:

At minute 8:30, he says that in 2005, the IDF realized that Hezbollah positioned Iranian rockets in 69 civilian homes aimed at Israeli villages. The IDF decided to intercept those rockets in the first minute of any military operation commenced by Hezbollah, not before. This is what the quote was referring to, and it was distorted.

Asa Winstanley's picture


“… we are going to hurt Lebanese civilians to include kids of the family. We went through a very long deep discussion…” Timecode 10:21:

“… we did it then, we did it in [the] Gaza Strip, we are going to do it in any round of hostilities in the future.” Timecode 11:00:

This is all from your own video. In the interests of full disclosure, “Gabriella,” are you affiliated with Shurat HaDin or the Israeli government in any way at all?

Dress bombings of civilians up with all the propaganda about “interceptions” and “rocket rooms” all you want: Yaalon’s words speak for themselves.


Why are you including half sentences? Why don't you include the beginning of the sentence? You are doing your readers an injustice by including half-truths. Which is why people should watch the video for themselves.

“… we are going to hurt Lebanese civilians to include kids of the family. We went through a very long deep discussion…” Yes, they were discussing the possibility of hurting civilians if they attacked the Hezbollah rocket launchers in civilian homes in 2005.

“… we did it then, we did it in [the] Gaza Strip, we are going to do it in any round of hostilities in the future.”

"It" here refers to a policy decision they made that they would not attack the rocket launchers hidden in civilian homes until after Hezbollah first attacked them, "on the first minute of any military operation." Timeline: 10:43

Asa Winstanley's picture

Not a very convincing “explanation,” but keep going, knock yourself out. People are increasingly unconvinced by your lies and bullshit about ”human shields.” Yes, really, I’m sure 2,200 Palestinians in Gaza in summer 2014 (70% civilian, inc. 500 kids) were all killed by Israel only because of “rocket rooms”. No one believes this any more. But please do keep kidding yourself, go ahead, remain clueless.

And I notice you don’t answer my question. It’s a simple one: are you with Shurat HaDin or the Israeli govt. in any way?

Asa Winstanley

Asa Winstanley's picture

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist who lives in London. He is an associate editor of The Electronic Intifada and co-host of our podcast.

He is author of the bestselling book Weaponising Anti-Semitism: How the Israel Lobby Brought Down Jeremy Corbyn (OR Books, 2023).