Recently, conservative radio personality Mark Levin went to X to voice his opinion on the ongoing war in Gaza. He linked to an article written by D.W. Wilber, whose background is in U.S. intelligence. In the article, and repeated by Levin, Wilber claims, “So let’s get a few things clear. First of all, there are no ‘innocent Palestinians.’”
This take is fundamentally inhumane when considering that many of whom that have lost their lives in this war have been children.
As of October 31, 133 babies under the age of one have been killed thanks to Israeli bombs. This represents just a portion of the 444 babies that have been killed. These are the numbers published by the Palestinian Health Ministry.
On November 29, two Palestinian boys were shot and killed by Israeli forces in Jenin in the West Bank. This came after Israel raided the camp. Adam Samer al-Ghoul, 8, was shot in the head while Abu al-Wafa, 15, was shot in the chest.
While they were sleeping, a Palestinian family was hit by an Israeli bomb. When Khaled Nabhan woke up, he immediately began to call out to his children and grandchildren. His daughter’s survived, but his 3- and 5-year-old grandchildren sadly did not. They were buried under the rubble.
All in all, the number of children who have died in Gaza because of Israel’s airstrikes is damning. According to the BBC, more than 7,000 children died since the outbreak of war out of a total of 17,500 civilians.
As heartbreaking as this is, Levin and Wilber would argue that none were “innocent Palestinians.” To them, they represent terrorism and are nothing more than terrorist sympathizers at best.
Wilber even acknowledged the number of civilians who have died in the conflict. Sadly, he downplays them by writing, “Palestinians should have thought about that before they elected terrorists to govern them.”
Well, only about 44% of Palestinians voted for Hamas in 2006. As I have shared, many children have died, and they certainly did not vote for them way back in 2006. In fact, about a majority of those living in Palestine did not vote for Hamas in 2006.
Today, only 11% of Palestinians align themselves as Hamas supporters. The only reason they won in 2006 over Fatah was because Fatah was divided and because they had given up on a peace resolution with Israel. 70% said that they would have voted for Fatah if they believed whoever won the election would make peace with Israel.
Furthermore, dehumanizing them in this manner is beyond cruel. When antisemites do the same, they are rightfully called out for their dehumanizing of all Jews. When we look at what the Nazis said in their attempts to justify the Holocaust, we rightfully view their reasoning as that of genocidal maniacs. But why is it not wrong to dehumanize all Palestinians because of the actions of Hamas?
This argument of collective punishment was used even more recently than World War II, and should hit closer to home for Americans. As Jack Hunter wrote,
“This is EXACTLY part of Osama Bin Laden’s logic in carrying out 9/11. Al-Qaeda believed Americans elected their government and so anyone who perished on the day of their attacks was worse than just collateral damage—they deserved it.”
Bin Laden using this logic is evil, but according to Levin it is not evil for Wilber to do the same. How does this make any kind of sense?
The notion that there are no innocent Palestinians is evil and should be rejected out of hand. The arguments used by Wilber are the same that bin Laden used to justify murdering American civilians in 9/11 and worse. This is the first step to supporting a genocide and it deserves to be called out and shamed.