Piers Morgan: 'Most decent people back Israel’s right to defend itself. But, this war is starting to look more retribution than strategy'

Monday 18 December 2023

By TalkTV's Piers Morgan

Throughout the long and deadly history of Israel's wars with Palestine, it has usually been Israel’s friends who tell it when it’s time to stop.

That time may be fast-approaching again, even as Israel insists it needs more time to eradicate Hamas.And it can only have itself to blame.

This weekend the IDF admitted to killing three of its own hostages in Gaza. The men were waving a white flag of surrender.

They’d used scraps of food to scrawl SOS, desperately pleading for help.

Regardless of whether they were Israeli or Palestinian, there is no justification under international law for killing them. It is a clear breach of the rules of engagement.

What does that tragedy tell us about the way Israeli soldiers are treating Palestinian civilians?

How seriously should we now take Israel’s insistence that it’s doing everything it can to keep innocent people alive?

An injured man is rescued as residents conduct search and rescue operation under the rubble following an Israeli attack on a building in Gaza.

A young Palestinian child injured in Israeli airstrikes arrives to be treated at Nasser Medical Hospital in Khan Yunis, Gaza.

A man sits with children by a fire outside one of the tents housing Palestinians displaced by the conflict in Gaza in the southern Gaza Strip on December 18, 2023.

Now two innocent women have reportedly been shot dead by sniper fire at a Catholic Church in Gaza. One of them was leaving the church shelter to go to the toilet.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the archbishop of Westminster, one Britain’s most senior spiritual leaders, was scathing.

The British Government is shifting its position too. Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron, in a joint statement with his German counterpart, said he backs a “sustainable ceasefire” and that “too many civilians are being killed.”

Ben Wallace, the influential former defence secretary, said: “If [Benjamin Netanyahu] thinks a killing rage will rectify matters, then he is very wrong.

"His methods will not solve the problem. In fact, I believe his tactics will fuel the conflict for another 50 years. His actions are radicalising Muslim youth across the globe.”

He’s right.

All this after President Biden accused Israel of “indiscriminate bombing”; his starkest warning yet that America’s backing is not unconditional.

News reports about the war in Gaza today will state that “18,000 Palestinians have been killed so far, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry.”

And the key point about that often-quoted sentence is not the debate about whether Hamas exaggerates those figures; it’s that Hamas is still in charge.

After two months of war, endless atrocities and the full might of Israel’s army unleashed on this tiny strip of land, the very people they’re supposed to be eradicating are still in power.

Most civilised countries and decent people back Israel’s right to exist, and its duty to defend itself.But the war is now starting to look more like retribution than strategy.

That suspicion is fuelled by hard-liners in Netanyahu’s government, and by Israeli commentators making appalling remarks like this.

“I support the war crimes,” he says, as the presenters laugh along. Well, the rest of the world doesn’t.

And if Israel does have a plan - and proof it’s working - it needs to start showing the evidence of that soon.