The Elephant in the Room: Is Israel Committing Genocide in Gaza?

8 March 2024

4.8 MINS

We see images from Gaza of suffering people and particularly children is great distress and are rightly appalled. This raises the most crucial issue regarding Gaza which is genocide. Many say Israel is committing this horrific crime. Let us look at the facts and answer this vexed question.

Definition of Genocide

First, we need a correct definition of the word before we throw it around, like some in the media and social media. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) gives this definition from 1944:

Genocide: (n) The deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group.

The OED definition came from the action of the Nazis in World War II and the killing of more than six million Jews in the Holocaust. This definition has been clear for decades.

We know from the United Nations that genocide is similarly defined as contained in Article II of the Geneva Convention. It describes genocide as a crime committed with the intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group, in whole or in part. This definition was the result of a negotiating process and reflects the compromise reached among United Nations member states while drafting the Convention in 1948.

‘New’ Definitions of Genocide Being Used in the Media

Jamie Paul, in an article on American Dreaming, has analysed thousands of social media comments on the subject. Jamie summaries the ‘new’ definitions of genocide as:

We apparently have a new and improved definition [of genocide]. Things that are genocide now include:

  • Any civilian deaths.
  • Dropping bombs that kill civilians.
  • The use of unguided bombs.
  • “Indiscriminate” bombing (“indiscriminate” has undergone the same hyperinflation).
  • Lopsided casualty ratios (i.e. one side suffers more deaths than the other).
  • Lopsided casualty ratios where one side is a state and the other a non-state actor.
  • A militarily superior force fighting a militarily inferior force.
  • A wealthy country bombing a poorer country or territory.
  • Killing 10,000 or more people (regardless of intent or context).
  • Destroying large numbers of buildings.
  • Destroying infrastructure.
  • Destroying cultural artefacts or culturally important sites.
  • Any war crime.
  • Any violation of international law.
  • Ethnic cleansing (which itself has been redefined as “any time people have to flee from their homes”).
  • Obstructing aid or supplies (i.e. a siege or blockade).
  • Prioritising military victory over maximal avoidance of civilian casualties.
  • Destroying the “concept” of a Palestinian people (i.e. saying Palestine is not a country).
  • Anything a US soldier protests via self-immolation.

It is clear the new definitions are wildly exaggerated and absurd. Truth is the first casualty of war. The fact is Israel has gone out of its way to minimise civilian casualties, even after 7 October, as can be shown by any rational analysis of the actual casualties given:

  • Hamas and other fighters are completely embedded in the Gazan population.
  • Hamas rocket launchers are found in schools, hospitals, and residences.
  • Tens of thousands of rockets have been launched into Israel since 2007, targeting civilians.
  • Incendiary devices launched into Israel.
  • The atrocities of mass murder, rapes, burnings, torture, and kidnapping of civilian hostages on 7 October 2023.
  • Hamas using civilians as human shields.
  • 70% of Gazans support Hamas.
  • Upwards of 450 UN/UNRWA staff actively participated in the horrors of 7 October and other active armed attacks on Israeli forces, yet Israel is accused of targeting UNRWA.
  • UNRWA funding is used for tunnels and other military infrastructure.

Jamie Paul gives a clear example of false accusations regarding Israel that are still perpetuated today under the banner of ‘genocide’:

On October 17th, 2023, in the early days of this conflict, there was an explosion at the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza. Hamas and the Gaza Health Ministry immediately said that Israel had bombed the hospital, killing five hundred.

Third party investigations later uncovered that the rocket had struck the parking lot, not the hospital itself; that the casualty figure was closer to one hundred, not five hundred; and that the rocket was fired from inside the Gaza strip, likely from the Hamas-allied group Islamic Jihad. The Gaza Health Ministry lied about every single aspect of the incident.

Israel’s Military Action

Urban warfare is messy, especially when the defence embeds with the civilian population. For the offensive side (Israel), this makes every door, window, or group of people a potential attack vector. And when you are fighting a force that wears civilian garb, every civilian is also a potential threat. Hamas knows this and uses it to foster anti-Israel sentiment by creating a binary choice of not responding to attacks or killing civilians.

This is exactly the reason why fighting without a uniform, and thus insurgent warfare in general, is considered a war crime that negates other war crimes. If the offensive force can’t tell you from your civilians, then you are intentionally using your civilians as shields and preventing the offensive force from not committing war crimes by accident, and thus, you are the one actually causing their deaths. Therefore, the Hamas military modus operandi is the most immoral warfare strategy possible.

The True Genocide

The accusations of genocide against Israel are incorrect and born of ignorance about history, warfare, and geopolitics. It is clear Israel has not committed genocide and is acting for its own defence and its very existence.

Jamie Paul again writes:

Israel has taken the battle to Hamas, who operate embedded within civilian population centres like hospitals and schools, and in extensive underground tunnel networks that run beneath residential neighbourhoods.

As Palestinian civilians in the thousands have been caught in the crossfire, Israel’s rare public relations honeymoon quickly evaporated. From the moment they started defending themselves, a growing chorus of critics has taken to describing Israel’s retaliatory strikes in the ensuing war as ‘genocide’.

A January 2024 poll found that over a third of US adults and nearly half of 18 to 29-year-olds thought that Israel was perpetrating a Palestinian genocide. In another survey taken a week later, these figures jumped to half of US adults and over two-thirds of young people.

What we are seeing here is a widening disconnect with reality. The problem is not that Israel is committing genocide, but that they are winning the war. Increasingly, people cannot seem to tell the difference between the two, especially when it comes to Israel.

As terror groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, et al. have the stated goal of the annihilation of the state of Israel and all Jews, it is, in fact, these groups that are guilty of genocide according to international law and the correct use of the word.

Israel can and must use all of its military capabilities to remove the scourge of Hamas from Gaza. This is necessary, albeit ugly.  Another example of why this sort of action is sometimes needed is from WWII when, in March 1945, Gen. Curtis LeMay changed bombing tactics to incendiary bombs to stop Japan’s munitions capabilities.

In one night, known as the Night of the Black Snow, more than 100,000 Japanese were killed (more than either of the A-bombs). This ongoing tactic led to Japan’s war-making ability being stifled. While a terrible thing to do, it was necessary as a major step in ending WWII.

We must not forget what started the conflict. Not for the faint-hearted, here is a site using Hamas video and pictures of the 7th October atrocities. (Warning: very graphic.)

These facts need to be made clear and reiterated loudly and often.

Am Yisrael Chai (Hebrew: עַם יִשְׂרָאֵל חַי; lit. ’The people of Israel live’.)

I will provide reports direct from Israel, including from the Gaza region, when we are there in just under a fortnight.


Photo by Alfo Medeiros.

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  1. Richard Nicholls 8 March 2024 at 8:37 am - Reply

    You have written a very clear summary Kym.
    God bless you!
    You have a courage and conviction from God.

    and God bless Australia to have eyes to see and ears to hear and minds that become sound.
    And help us to speak sincerely whenever we can to counter the lying narratives.

    • Kym Farnik 8 March 2024 at 9:16 am - Reply

      Thanks Richard. The truth is the first casualty of war.

  2. Jim Twelves 8 March 2024 at 9:10 am - Reply

    Kym, thank you so much for this piece. It is balanced, forensic and fully researched. DD is honoured to have you on board. I will be praying for your forthcoming visit.

    • Kym Farnik 8 March 2024 at 9:18 am - Reply

      Thanks Jim. This trip is special as we will be visiting the massacre sites etc. I’ll report direct from Israel. We will also report from the northern border.

  3. Trevor Pugh 8 March 2024 at 9:58 am - Reply

    No it is not genocide by Israel.
    Hamas has declared their intent numerous times but now cry for mercy because they triggered the Israelis response.
    For years countries have said don’t negotiate with terrorists, Hamas is a terrorist organization.
    Hamas has opening declared they want all to remove Israel & Jews.(Despite changes in the Muslim Declaration this is a Muslim degree)
    Hamas has attacked Israel for many years and now they don’t like the result when Israel says enough!
    Sadly other countries are now saying, negotiate with the terrorist group, even as other terrorists are attacking shipping.
    Hamas needs to release the hostages they took, no demands, no negotiations as to release Palestinians in custody or a cease fire so they can re-group.
    As to the Palestinians why doesn’t the surrounding Muslim countries take them in? Because they know they will disrupt their country.

    • Jim Twelves 8 March 2024 at 10:30 am - Reply

      Trevor, succinct. It seems to me, public opinion as lost the ability to think, public opinion now turns off the filters of history, critical thinking and personal responsibility. Public opinion seems to go directly to current ideology, no questions asked. In fact we are wrong to ask questions!

    • Kym Farnik 8 March 2024 at 2:38 pm - Reply

      Thanks Trevor. Very good point about not negotiating with terrorists; and this is difficult for some to understand given the suffering that is consequential. But we cannot allow evil to prevail.

  4. Gail Petherick 8 March 2024 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    Thank you Kym for defining genocide and for showing so clearly that Israel is not guilty of this crime. It remains tragic that many youth in our country and elsewhere, have no idea of the true definition of genocide. Also those in the International court of justice in the Haigh also seem to need to re-learn the true meaning of the term and not confuse it with the right of Israel to fight back and defend herself against a very evil enemy – the Hamas terrorists have sworn they must ‘wipe Israel off the map’ and their unprovoked attack on Oct 7 demonstrated ed their brutality and cruelty.
    It’s incredible that the world media has used this misinformation as well, and confused many, and indoctrinated so many in this generation with false news.
    If any country spent 17 yrs building underground tunnels, storing arms and training terrorists how to attack a country till there were no inhabitants left, we would understand that as an attempt to cause genocide, by an evil aggressor. Yet that is what the Hamas have done in Gaza with intent on destroying Israel, and yet many in the world have blamed Israel. It’s beyond absurd.
    I can only conclude there is a spirit of deception over many minds, and manipulation of the media have played a large part in ‘duping’ the population. However, the Holocaust survivors and the people who survived WW 2, and those who know history and the Bible can read the signs of the times and see that Israel is fighting a legitimate war and defending her land and population- in a massive fight for her very existence.
    May God lead Israel in victory and bless the IDF and their ethics. They risk their lives every day in this war in order to free the hostages and to defend innocent citizens in Israel.
    May the true reports prevail in the media.

    • Kym Farnik 8 March 2024 at 2:45 pm - Reply

      Thanks Gail. This is why I believe one of the underlying key prayer strategies is truth and praying His word. Jesus is truth, the Gospel is truth.

  5. Andrew Lothian 8 March 2024 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    Excellent summary, Kym. I agree with you. How about looking at the charge of partied in Israel, or the so- called 2 state solution?

    • Kym Farnik 8 March 2024 at 2:40 pm - Reply

      Thanks Andrew. Great ideas for future articles; in fact if you felt to write one we would be happy to publish for you 🙂

  6. Stephen Lewin 8 March 2024 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    Thanks Kym , great well written article ….as a step son of a survivor off the Armenian Genocide .i see the importance of stating what is true genocide and calling it out.

    • Kym Farnik 8 March 2024 at 11:05 pm - Reply

      Thanks Stephen. The Turks are still in denial of the Armenian genocide.
      As are Hamas and others over 7th October. We must stand and speak.

  7. Constantine Michailidis 8 March 2024 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    A very good and helpful article Kym.
    The new definitions of genocide are almost amusing, but true to what is out there in media land.
    The first definition in that list – any number of civilian deaths- is an astute observation. The mainstream media seem to play on that one constantly when they show injured or dead civilians, especially children. It is a very clever subtle suggestion.
    The other influential and very effective one is the number of Gazan deaths, regardless of the intent or the cause, or who is really responsible.

    • Kym Farnik 8 March 2024 at 11:07 pm - Reply

      Thanks Con. Yes, the list is actually happening and ludicrous at the same time. We live in bizarre times.

  8. Andrew lawson 8 March 2024 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    The very same people who say Israel is committing genocide all support murdering unborn babies and call it women’s rights or family planning.
    They also seem to support sterilising children or teenagers and cutting parts of their bodies off and call it affirming a kids decision to change their gender.
    The ssme people are also quite happy to campaign on the slogan ” from the river to the sea Palestine will be free ” meaning they support the murder of 4 million people in Israel.
    The hypocrisy is astonishing to any honest person.

    • Kym Farnik 9 March 2024 at 6:32 pm - Reply

      Thanks Andrew. I agree. FYI There are over 7 million Jews in Israel now.
      There are about 15.7 million identifying as Jewish globally, ~0.2% of the 8 billion worldwide population

  9. Kym Farnik 9 March 2024 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    Just in.
    “How the Gaza Ministry of Health Fakes Casualty Numbers”

  10. Kym Farnik 11 March 2024 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    The war… further points to consider…

    🟠The Nazis and other genocidal regimes were only stopped after being forced to surrender unconditionally.

    🟠Similarly, Hamas must be completely defeated. Only then can deradicalization take place.

    🟠The world sent Hamas $40 billion in aid, with the mistaken idea it would moderate them. This was disastrous – the funds went to build a jihadist terror state.

    🟠Appeasement doesn’t work with genocidal terrorists like Hamas, Hezbollah, and other Iranian proxies – it emboldens them. They only respond to strength.

    🟠The best way to save civilian lives is to allow emigration. Most Arabs in Gaza previously held Egyptian or Jordanian passports and want to leave.

    🟠Egypt neglected to stop the immense flow of arms into Gaza, a clear breach of the 1978 peace treaty. It would not be unreasonable for Israel to obtain a security buffer in the Sinai to control this. A similar buffer could make sense in Lebanon.

    🟠99.7% of the Middle-East is controlled by one faith group, which has ethnically cleansed the rest. Israel is the only regional area where minorities are free. [Despite the positive influence that Jews brought to the places where they lived, more than 850,000 Jews were forced to leave their homes (their assets and properties were left behind) in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Morocco, and several other Arab countries in the 20 years that followed the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. Another major forced migration took place from Iran in 1979–80, following the Iranian Revolution and the collapse of the Shah’s regime, adding 70,000 more Jewish refugees to this number.]

    🟠The fighter : civilian casualty ratio is 1:1 in Gaza vs a 1:9 global average. This is the lowest civilian casualty rate by far for any similar urban conflict. THIS IS BECAUSE ISRAEL HAS GONE OUT OF ITS WAY TO PROTECT CIVILIANS

    🟠Israel must be allowed to protect itself and the world from the genocidal, jihadist groups surrounding it. Appeasement of Iran and its proxies failed. We must now allow strength and force to be exercised judiciously.

  11. Lynton 13 March 2024 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for this article, Kym, it is so important for me to be reminded by someone with such a clear compass. I pray that your time in Israel will be life-enhancing in all the best possible ways for you and all those you touch. A friend like you, is a FRIEND INDEED. God Bless you.

    • Kym Farnik 13 March 2024 at 8:49 pm - Reply

      Thanks Lynton. The sooner the hostages are free and Hamas destroyed the sooner war ends.

  12. Kym Farnik 13 March 2024 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    On FB the discussion in part asked about Israel right to exist. This explains.

    What is Article 80 of the United Nations Charter?

    Article 80 of UN Charter was the result of their efforts. The Mandate for Palestine was thus duly recognised by the UN. This measure guaranteed that Jews had the unalterable right to live anywhere in Palestine, in the region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

    Aside from the League of Nations signing into international law the undeniable right of Jews to create their own sovereign state in Israel based on historical and ancestral rights, Article 80 of the United Nations (UN) Charter is equally as important to acknowledge. When the League of Nations dissolved, the United Nations was shortly formed afterwards. In 1945, at the San Francisco Conference, Jewish leaders came forth to ensure that the Jewish rights to Israel were secured.

    The Mandate for Palestine was thus duly recognised by the UN. This measure guaranteed that Jews had the unalterable right to live anywhere in Palestine, in the region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Even today, this legal right allows Jews to live anywhere in Jerusalem, Judea & Samaria, and in Gaza.

    The International Court of Justice (ICJ) reaffirmed the meaning and validity of Article 80 in three separate cases; the dates included 1950, 1971, and as recently as 2004.
    Eli M. Hertz, an expert on Israel notes, “Professor Eugene Rostow concurred with the ICJ’s opinion as to the “sacredness” of trusts such as the “Mandate for Palestine”:
    “‘A trust’ – as in Article 80 of the UN Charter – does not end because the trustee dies … the Jewish right of settlement in the whole of western Palestine – the area west of the Jordan – survived the British withdrawal in 1948. … They are parts of the mandate territory, now legally occupied by Israel with the consent of the Security Council.”

    “Under international law, neither Jordan nor the Palestinian Arab ‘people’ of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have a substantial claim to the sovereign possession of the occupied territories.”

    Arabs were never granted political rights under the Mandate for Palestine, only Jews. The reason for that is because Arab political rights were granted in 4 territories: Iraq, Lebanon, Transjordan (later Jordan), and Syria.

  13. Kym in Yerushalayim 25 March 2024 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    10 questions for which I seek answers:

    1- If Israel wanted to commit genocide, why does it send in soldiers on foot and risk their lives instead of just flattening Gaza from the air?

    2- If Israel is an apartheid state, how are there anti Zionist Muslims in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament?

    3- If Israel is ethnically cleansing the Palestinians for 75 years, how has the Palestinian population grown by millions since 1948?

    4- If Israel occupied an Arab Palestinian state, when was this state established and what was its language and currency?

    5- If Israel made up October 7th, who took the GoPro footage of the murders and rapes and why are Hamas boasting about it if it never happened?

    6- If Israel is occupying Gaza; what was the Disengagement in 2005?

    7- If what we are seeing today around the world is anti Zionism and not antisemitism, why are Jewish content creators online who have never stepped foot in Israel being harassed and verbally abused? Why are synagogues being attacked?

    8- If Israel’s occupation is what caused Palestinian terror, why were Arabs massacring Jews before there was any occupation or even any state of Israel? See Hebron 1929.

    9- If the Palestinians want a two state solution, why can’t you find a single leader of theirs who will say that Israel has a right to exist?

    10- If Israel killed 30,000 innocent people in Gaza, if you believe those numbers, then how many terrorists has Israel killed?

    Asking for a friend…

    (Hillel Fuld on X)

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