Seymour Hersh has curious view of the Israeli invasion and bombing of Gaza.1
‘The Israelis had mapped the system and thus were able to assassinate many Hamas brigade commanders and their families, in their beds ….’ It seems indisputable that their families were not combattants but were nevertheless deliberately targetted without any need from an operational point of view. This was merely an act of terror.
‘Israeli intelligence, which has mapped the tunnel system, understood early on that many of the Hamas’s hostages were at some point hidden in the underground floors of some of the hospital buildings in the Al-Shifa complex…’
If Israel believed that hostages were being held at Al-Shifa then why deny it electricity or other supplies? Why attack it or bomb any where near it? Or is this an immediate admission that no central command was under the hospital in the first place. If the hostage were held there then an attempt to storm the area would be more likely to lead to the hostages death.
He then claims “They also learned that at some point the hostages, like the citizens of Gaza City, were moved south in the forced migration that Israel imposed as it continued its citywide bombing of homes,”
If the Israelis knew their hostages had been moved out of Gaza City then continuing to bomb Gaza City cannot be said to be aimed at seeking to release the hostages.
Hersh states: ‘In addition, he said, “DNA from blood on the floors where the Israeli-made items were found was matched to DNA samples taken from family members of the hostages.” This is ridiculous. If there was blood on items, it strongly suggests that the hostages were in need of medical attention and were being given it otherwise, why should there be blood on these items?
Hersh also reports: ‘The forced migration from Gaza City to the south also included untold thousands of Hamas fighters and their leaders.’ If this was so, what was the point of bombing Gaza City flat? In an earlier article, he had said the point of the bombing was to trap the Hamas soldiers underground, but he now admits that the migration of people gave them cover to flee. Was this not obvious?
In an earlier article2 Hersh wrote :
‘“Israel, ruthlessly,” I was told, “is going after the families, wives, kids, brothers, sisters, parents of Hamas political and military leaders.” He said fourteen members of the family of Ismail Haniya, the political leader of Hamas based in Qatar, had already been killed. Within two days of the October 7 raid, he said, the widow of Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, a Hamas co-founder who was assassinated in 2004, was killed.”
Also, Hersh claimed on 1 Nov23: ‘Many of the tunnels are believed to have collapsed as a result of the heavy bombing, and it is not clear how long the Hamas fighters can survive, despite its heavy stockpiling of food and water. I also have been told that there is no power throughout the underground tunnel system and all the fighters and hostages are living in the dark.’
Lacking ventilation or light, one would be puzzled why Hamas’s fighters have not all died after two weeks!
According to Hersh, Israel no longer distinguishes between civilians and combatants. One wonders what their complaint against Hamas was. What is their objection if they are doing and have been doing the same thing with full state support?
Seymour Hersh reads like someone so desperate to defend Israel from genocide that he convicts Israel of endless war crimes. However, once he admits that there never was any command and control centre under Al-Shifa and that Israel was not expecting to find any hostages, the hint of genocide returns with full force.
Here is by no means the only blind spot in Hersh’s view of the world. In one interview, Hersh stated that he supported the US Government’s Covid policy because his wife is a doctor, and he knows there is nothing to investigate. The implication is that anti-vaccers are uninformed, not medically trained etc. Clearly, he is not aware of the Great Barrington Declaration by leading medical professors at Harvard, Oxford and Stanford. 3
But more important is to note that the reason the US and Israel were confident that the furore would go away is that in the past, they always have. Genocide against native Americans, Tasmanians, Argentine Blacks, brutal torture of Kenyan prisoners etc, are all yesterday’s news. Western academics and journalists, by and large, come on board. Secondly, there was confidence that in subsequent years, history could be rewritten. In particular, Netanyahu would have known how successful Israel had been in rewriting even recent history, as Ilan Pappe has shown. Between Biden and Netanyahu, there was confidence that the storm of protest could be ridden over and that subsequently history could be rewritten. Western academia and mainstream media could be relied upon to play their servile role. However, it did not go as planned.
1. (Hersh, 2023b)
2. (Hersh, 2023a)
3. (Kulldorff et al., 2020)
Hersh, S. (2023a, November 1). THE LABYRINTH WAR [Substack newsletter]. Seymour Hersh. https://seymourhersh.substack.com/p/the-labyrinth-war
Hersh, S. (2023b, November 17). AFTER AL-SHIFA [Substack newsletter]. Seymour Hersh. https://seymourhersh.substack.com/p/after-al-shifa
Kulldorff, D. M., Gupta, D. S., & Bhattacharya, D. J. (2020, October 4). Great Barrington Declaration and Petition. Great Barrington Declaration. https://gbdeclaration.org/