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IPFS News Link • Israel - Palestine

Are You a 'Legitimate Target'?

•, by Kym Robinson

The fact that men, or boys for that matter, had come together is enough for a drone operator to kill them from afar. Should the footage of their bodies blown to pieces go viral for a few minutes, it would be asked, "what were they doing there?" As though guilt is determined by mere existence itself. Artificial intelligence and automated systems are now being used by the allies of democracy and freedom to hunt and kill human targets, expanding the killing culture of technowar.

When we witnessed the triple tap murder in Gaza, it was also young men walking through the ruins of their homes. They were "legitimate targets." Before the current genocide, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and police would abduct Palestinian boys as young as eight, and torture them or shatter their arms on the spot to prevent them from throwing stones at tanks. This practice went on for decades. Such abuse and violence is legitimate so long as it's committed by certain governments, in those cases, the little boys are assumed guilty and as dangerous as "snakes."

The pogrom against the Palestinians is not new to human history. A century ago much of the world tolerated such injustices against the Jews, Armenians, or Roma people. The Kurds have for decades experienced betrayal and persecution, along with the Karen people in Southeast Asia, West Papuans, and in the Sudan. Any murdered males are assumed to be partisans by default, therefore they were legitimately killed.

Men of great intellect such as A.C. Grayling and Christopher Hitchens used to debate before a crowd with intellectual politeness over the legitimacy of Allied area bombing that saw the destruction of cities (not just German ones) during World War II. The great atheist Hitchens eloquently revealed his true religion, statism, when he made the case for the destruction of suburbs full of families and workers in order to pragmatically end Nazism. We are comfortable with the idea of murdering large amounts of people; it's all rather academic for those of us on the outside. But for the victims, it's horror.

A recent social media post from the Israeli government said, "We need to talk about the elephant in the room. Many Gazan civilians participated in the horrific events of October 7. It is also reported that Gazan civilians held Israeli hostages captive in their homes. The world must condemn this in the strongest terms. There are no innocent civilians there." Therefore all of them, babies included, are "legitimate targets." The parallels from a past national government's irrational disdain and hatred based upon collectivism is apparent.