Today’s suggested actions to support Israel in your local community:
- Learn to combat disinformation about the legality of Israel’s operations in Gaza on a webinar at 1 pm ET on January 24 with one of the world’s leading urban warfare experts Major John Spencer and expert in law of armed conflict Lieutenant Colonel Geoffrey S. Corn, who have nearly five decades of combined military experience.
- Invite your civic leaders and community influencers to tune into the webinar to educate themselves on the myths around the war.
- Read this article by Major John Spencer on Hamas’s underground tunnel network and why its strategy is key to understanding the challenges the IDF is facing in Gaza.
- Share this social media post on Instagram about major IDF operational achievements since October 7.
- Watch and Share the story of 38-year-old Tal Maman, wife to Anat, father of Yonatan, Yuval and Maya and son of Orli and Menachem. A resident of Kibbutz Mivtahim, Tal was a third-generation farmer who worked the land with “quality” and “love” and donated to poor families who could not afford food. Tal and Anat had been together since high school. On October 7, Tal left his home to protect his family and community from Hamas terrorists who invaded the kibbutz. He was killed in defense of his home, loved ones and country.
At the International Court of Justice (ICJ), South Africa claimed that the IDF routinely targets civilians and is intentionally, and even willingly, killing non-combatants with “genocidal intent.” In reality and consistent with facts on the ground, IDF policy is designed with the opposite intent: to attack military targets only and to minimize civilian harm. Its military tactics and operations are carried out according to these principles. Jewish Federations, together with a host of other major Jewish organizations, have expressed their outrage over South Africa’s baseless accusations in a letter sent to Secretary Antony Blinken.
- In line with statements repeatedly stressed by Israel’s political leadership from the onset of the war that the battle is being waged against Hamas and not the Palestinian people, on January 9 IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari provided an in-depth explanation of efforts made by the military to prevent civilian casualties and promote the humanitarian welfare of the Palestinian people. He emphasized, “Hamas sees civilian deaths as a strategy. We see it as a tragedy.”
- Chief of Staff of the Israeli Air Force (IAF) Omer Tischler also addressed claims by demonstrating how the IAF has conducted “a precise, focused and process-based campaign.” He stressed that evacuation of civilians prior to attacks allows the IAF to strike and maneuver in areas with minimal civilian presence. He also explained that in war “mistakes can happen,” and the IAF works to study them and learn from them.
- The IDF has revealed numerous examples of strikes that were aborted due to a heavy presence of civilians in proximity to the target.
- The IDF operates a ‘Civilian Harm Mitigation Unit’ made up of senior IDF commanders, intelligence officers, Arabic-speaking soldiers, legal advisors and other professionals. They monitor the implementation of evacuation recommendations, including by using open-source tools and intelligence sources in real-time. According to the IDF, “updated data is continuously fed to IDF air, naval and ground forces operating in Gaza to increase their awareness of the civilian environment in areas of operation. While it is impossible to completely avoid civilian harm for the reasons detailed above, this mechanism has proven effective in the current hostilities and has saved many lives.”
- In addition, all military operations carried out by the IDF are coordinated in accordance with the Military Advocate General (MAG) Corps, which is responsible for implementing the rules of war within the IDF. Within the MAG, an International Law Department acts “to assist the IDF to achieve its objectives in accordance with the law, and specifically international law.” Furthermore, IDF military lawyers are involved in advising commanders on the legal aspects of warfare.
- Professor Malcolm Shaw, the legal counsel who defended Israel’s case before the ICJ, explained that in contrast to arguments advanced by South Africa, the operations directorate of the IDF issues a daily operational directive that is binding on all IDF forces and instructs that: “Attacks will be solely directed towards military targets while adhering to the principles of distinction, proportionality and the obligation taking precautions in attacks in order to reduce collateral damage. The laws of armed conflict allow destruction to civilian property only when there is a military necessity to do so and prohibit harm to property for deterrence purposes only or for the purpose of punishment, individual or collective. It is necessary to treat enemy civilians with respect. They should not be treated in a humiliating manner and civilians should not be used for the purpose of performing activities that might put them under risk to their life or their body.”
- He also gave examples demonstrating the IDF’s compliance with international law in attacking military personnel in a proportionate manner and in mitigating civilian harm, such as by forewarning civilians of impending action, by the extensive use of telephone calls, leafletting and so forth, coupled with the facilitation of humanitarian assistance and the establishment of safe zones.
The Community Mobilization Center is monitoring major developments in Israel and North America related to Israel’s war against Hamas. The Community Mobilization Center will rapidly disseminate resources to help mobilize and support our local communities as they build and sustain civic and political support for Israel in this conflict. The work of the Community Mobilization Center will continue as long as it takes Israel to eradicate the terrorist threat and restore security to the country.