Answers to questions about ethics in Gaza

These are excerpts from an article by Peter Singer, in the Korea Herald…

Despite calls in some Israeli media for Gaza to be bombed “back to the stone age,” the Israeli government seems to accept that that would be wrong. Israel has taken some steps to minimize civilian casualties by warning Palestinians to evacuate areas that were about to be targeted.

Hamas, by contrast, has shown no interest in avoiding civilian casualties, either in Israel or in Gaza. The whole point of firing rockets at Israeli cities is to inflict civilian casualties, and the fact that the rockets have largely failed to do so is due to their inaccuracy, Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile-defense system, and perhaps some good luck. Hamas’s strategy of launching rockets from residential areas and storing them in schools clearly reflects its leaders’ willingness to put Palestinian civilians in harm’s way in order to confront Israel with the grim choice of killing civilians or allowing the rocket attacks to continue.

So, whatever moral objections to Israel’s actions over the past month there might be, there are even more serious objections to be made against Hamas. In contrast to previous episodes, Arab countries like Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia have been very restrained in their criticism of Israel, though perhaps less for moral reasons and more because they regard militant Islam as a graver threat than Israel to their own regimes.

But to say that Israel’s actions are less clearly wrong than those of Hamas is not to say much. Israel has legitimate military objectives in Gaza: to stop the rockets and destroy the tunnels. It should be pursuing those objectives while showing the utmost concern for Gaza’s trapped civilians...

Some will shrug and say, “War is hell.” But between the untenable extremes of pacifism and the elevation of war to something beyond morality, there is a middle ground that seeks to minimize the unquestionable evil of war. We can acknowledge that Israel has made some efforts to do that, but we must still say: It is not enough.

Peter Singer is professor of bioethics at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne.

Are Australian news journalists reporting on this terrible situation, giving as much thought to the ethics of the situation, as Peter Singer?  Or, do they simply accept the agendas of their media organisation?

If not are they perpetrating a great injustice against the ‘disempowered’ people of Israel and Gaza?

Profile photo of Bob Simpson

About Bob Simpson

Bob is project manager of The Australian Media Engagement Project (AMEP). He believes that ethical and independent journalists are vital to the continuing freedom of Australian citizens. You could argue that In recent decades media organisations have subtly subverted journalism to their own private commercial interests, and away from an integrated sense of fairness, well being and shared prosperity in Australian society, especially for the disempowered. AMEP aims to change general media narratives towards greater fairness, well being and shared prosperity in Australia.
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