Debunking Israeli Arguments

By Diana Buttu

Photo by: Shareef Sarhan. 

In the aftermath of Israel’s month-long assault on Gaza, one is left astonished by the lack of international response to Israel’s killing of more than 1,900 Palestinians, including 448 children, the destruction of thousands of homes, the bombing of mosques, schools, hospitals, and ambulances, and the displacement of thousands within the tiny Gaza Strip. There are a number of reasons for this silence – including the presence of powerful lobby groups, the disdain for Palestinian military resistance, and the decline of global leadership. But one of the reasons that Israel has successfully managed to carry out this massive assault is that Israel’s assaults are accompanied by formidable propaganda campaigns that target international public opinion and politicians. These campaigns aim both to obscure facts and dehumanise Palestinians so as to allow Israel to maintain its military assault with little criticism. Below are some of the myths that Israel continues to perpetuate.

Myth: Israel’s military assault is self-defensive in nature. No other country in the world would tolerate “rockets.”

Reality: No other country has to tolerate rockets because no other country has maintained a long military occupation coupled with siege. Israel’s military assault was not and is not self-defensive. Israel launched air strikes against the Gaza Strip before and after the kidnap of three Israelis in mid-June. It must be noted that Israel initially, and without evidence, blamed Hamas for this kidnap incident, thereby attempting to justify its ransacking and invasion of more than 2,000 homes, its kidnap and arrest of more than 500 Palestinians, including members of Parliament, its killing of 11 Palestinians in the West Bank, and its military assault on the Gaza Strip, killing 2. All this happened before a single rocket was fired from Gaza.

Moreover, given that Israel maintains its military occupation over the Gaza Strip, it cannot claim self-defence. Israel has a choice: either maintain its military occupation and accept the consequences or end its military occupation, declare its borders, and claim it is acting in “self-defence.”


  • Diana Buttu is a lawyer who moved to Palestine from Canada, her place of birth. She served as a legal adviser to the Palestinian negotiating team and later to the Palestinian president. She continues to reside in Palestine.

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