Israel told US it is modeling Gaza attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Man in a suit is seated while audience behind him has their hands raised and painted red

Protesters calling for a ceasefire in Gaza raise their hands covered in red paint as Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies at a Senate appropriations committee hearing to ask for billions more in military aid for Israel, on Capitol Hill, in Washington DC, 31 October.

Graeme Sloan SIPA USA

“It became evident to US officials that Israeli leaders believed mass civilian casualties were an acceptable price in the military campaign,” The New York Times reported on Monday.

“In private conversations with American counterparts, Israeli officials referred to how the United States and other allied powers resorted to devastating bombings in Germany and Japan during World War II – including the dropping of the two atomic warheads in Hiroshima and Nagasaki – to try to defeat those countries,” the newspaper added.

Despite this horrifying knowledge, the Biden administration still adamantly opposes a ceasefire in Israel’s extermination campaign in Gaza.

A visible symbol of that determination to let Israel kill as many Palestinians as it pleases came when Antony Blinken sat stony-faced as anti-war activists repeatedly disrupted the secretary of state as he put forward the case for billions more in military aid for Israel and Ukraine at a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

The Biden administration is asking for $14.3 billion for Israel – on top of the minimum of $3.8 billion it already provides every year.

One by one, members of the audience rose from their seats, calling for a ceasefire and denouncing Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza and the American role in it.

Activists with the anti-war campaign group CODEPINK also called for an end to US military aid to Israel.

Others sat silently with their arms raised, showing their palms covered in red paint.

Security officers removed protestors from the room, while Blinken maintained an indifferent demeanor.

“No red lines”

The United States is drawing “no red lines” for Israel in its genocidal slaughter of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Those were the words of White House national security spokesperson John Kirby last week.

Even as the death toll in Gaza soared above 8,000 Palestinians – almost half children, Kirby asserted on Monday: “We do not believe that a ceasefire is the right answer right now. We believe that a ceasefire right now benefits Hamas.”

Kirby said the Biden administration supports “temporary, localized humanitarian pauses to allow aid to get to specific populations” – though none of that has happened.

The Biden administration continues to talk about getting aid in through Egypt – a tiny trickly that serves as a fig leaf for the ongoing US-backed starvation of the population by Israel, which has cut off water, food, medicine, fuel and other life essentials to the besieged territory.

Kirby reiterated that the US does “not support a ceasefire at this time.”

On Monday, the Pentagon confirmed that Washington is flying more weapons to Israel on an almost daily basis.

“We are not putting any limits on how Israel uses weapons,” deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters. “That is really up to the Israeli Defense Force to use and how they are going to conduct their operations.”

Americans want a ceasefire

Meanwhile, two-thirds of Americans support a ceasefire in Gaza, according to a Data for Progress poll published on 20 October.

Remarkably, that included more than half of all Republicans and 80 percent of supporters of Biden’s Democrat Party.

Only a quarter of all those surveyed said they oppose the US calling for a ceasefire.

Still, that hasn’t stopped the White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre from comparing protesters supporting an end to the carnage with neo-Nazi and white supremacist crowds at a notorious far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia five years ago.

The revelation that Israeli officials are modeling their slaughter on the American dropping of atomic bombs on Japanese cities and the notorious British firebombing of Dresden can leave no doubt about their genocidal intent.

And the fact that US officials continue to arm Israel unconditionally to carry out this slaughter makes them just as culpable in this genocide.

The bomb that the US dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 had the explosive power of 15,000 tons of TNT.

Israel has deployed at least 12,000 tons of explosive on Gaza since 7 October, according to Hamas’ media office in Gaza.

Israel has admitted to dropping more than 6,000 bombs on tiny Gaza in just the first few days of its attack.

But Israel’s modern high explosives are almost certainly more powerful than TNT, so it’s very likely that what it has dropped already matches or exceeds the Hiroshima bomb.

The Israeli army dropped six one-ton bombs on a housing block in the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza on Tuesday, killing and injuring close to 400 people, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

Israeli army spokesperson Richard Hecht, making no apologies for the scale of death and destruction, claimed on CNN that Israel was targeting “a very senior Hamas commander” in the area around the camp.

Even CNN’s notoriously pro-Israel anchor Wolf Blitzer had a hard time stomaching that.

Ali Abunimah contributed reporting.



Tamara Nassar

Tamara Nassar is an assistant editor at The Electronic Intifada.