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The IDF’s propaganda no longer holds any weight

January 7, 2024 at 10:08 am

IDF soldiers walk near military vehicles near the border of Gaza in Southern Israel [Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images]

As footage of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) in Gaza emerged, the hyperbole about the military being the most moral army in the world increased. Yet nothing will erase the images of Palestinian civilians kidnapped, tortured, some summarily executed. Nor will the testimonies of survivors be forgotten. Over 20,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza by the IDF, the population is displaced, facing perils associated with famine and disease. Israel created a catastrophe under the fabrication of going under Hamas, to empty Gaza of Palestinians.

Out of over 22,000 massacred Palestinians, the Times of Israel announced that the IDF’s military police will be investigating a single case of a Palestinian detainee killed by an Israeli soldier in Gaza after the latter allegedly felt threatened. “Following the initial information that was provided, an investigation was opened by the Military Police regarding the circumstances of the shooting,” the IDF stated.

Is this the best propaganda the “most moral army in the world” can concoct?

As on several other occasions, Israel’s focus on individual acts rather than the institutions is predictable. In keeping with the fabricated morality of the IDF, it stands to reason in the Zionist narrative, to pick on a single human rights violation or crime, and attempt to isolate it from the rest of the settler-colonial violent fabric. However, what danger could a detainee, presumably stripped and left vulnerable as seen in videos which the IDF attempted to gloss over by saying all were treated in accordance with international law, have posed to heavily armed Israeli soldiers?

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Thousands of Palestinian lives have been erased by Israel, and the IDF’s military police decided to focus on one single case, as if the only violation that occurred since October 7 was an isolated murder incident. The entire world knows otherwise, though, having seen Palestinians buried in mass graves, the bombing of convoys, the rising death toll from Israel’s bombing, Palestinians dehumanised from the beginning of this aggression, Israeli officials calling for the forced expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza. Individuals within the IDF are trained to carry out state-sanctioned violence; the IDF itself is a relic of past Zionist paramilitary terror groups. Each human rights violation Palestinians suffered since October 7 are a result of colonial violence. Individuals acting under state orders need to be seen as participants in the wider colonial framework. The IDF exhibits no morality, not even with its soldiers. On what grounds is one soldier under investigation and others equally culpable are not? Israel’s designation of Palestinians as “human animals” does not exclude one Palestinian from the definition, to the point that one soldier is being investigated for a crime that the Israel and the IDF is completely complicit in.

If such tactics worked in the past, they are unlikely to work now. South Africa’s International Court of Justice initiative adds scrutiny to Israel’s genocidal actions, making the IDF’s tactic pale in comparison. While Israel still manipulates the international community through its military technology, it has also exhibited weak spots in its narrative, particularly when absurd rhetoric such as calling South Africa “the modern heirs of the Nazis” spectacularly backfires on Israel’s own genocidal actions in Gaza.

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The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.