Nicholas Kristof: Too Many Children Are Dying in Gaza

'New York Times' columnist writes that Israel's indiscriminate bombing is wrong on all counts
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2023 2:40 PM CST
Nicholas Kristof: Too Many Children Are Dying in Gaza
A Palestinian woman is seen following Israeli airstrikes in the Khan Younis refugee camp, in the southern Gaza Strip, on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Mohammed Dahman)

"We can and should despise Hamas," writes Nicholas Kristof, who describes the Oct. 7 assault on Israeli civilians as pure "savagery." What's more, Hamas is now using Palestinian civilians, including children, as human shields. But in a New York Times essay, Kristof makes the case that "just because Hamas is indifferent to the lives of Palestinian children does not mean that Israel or the United States should be reckless as well." Authorities with the Hamas-run Health Ministry say more than 16,000 people have been killed in Gaza since Oct. 7, with about 70% of the victims women or children. Human rights monitors view the estimates as credible. "If those figures are right, that means that a woman or child has been killed on average about every seven minutes around the clock since the war began," writes Kristof.

Yes, there's a distinction, he adds: Hamas deliberately killed children, while Israel is indiscriminately bombing neighborhoods. "There is a moral difference there, but I wouldn't want to try to explain it to grieving parents in Gaza," writes Kristof, who faults the US for not more forcefully condemning the Israeli military strategy. The onslaught has only "modestly degraded" Hamas' forces while generating worldwide condemnation of Benjamin Netanyahu's tactics and sympathy for Palestinians. "Has this made Israel safer?" wonders Kristof. "Enough to justify killing a woman or child every seven minutes around the clock?" Debates on the Mideast usually turn volatile. "But the side we should be on is that of children dying pointlessly in Israel and Gaza alike without advancing anyone's security," writes Kristof. Read his full essay. (More Israel-Hamas war stories.)

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