While nearly all Israelis support the Gaza war, there are individuals and groups speaking out against it. Among the most vocal is veteran columnist for the liberal daily Haaretz, Gideon Levy. He told Al-Jazeera there was “almost wall-to-wall consensus about the justification for this war”. The shock of the October 7th Hamas attack had made Israelis “more nationalistic, more oppressive”, he said.
He wrote in Haaretz that after the brief ceasefire ended on December 1st, “Israel’s resumption of the war is the biggest mistake since October 7th” when the war was launched. Levy quoted former Israeli general and prime minister Moshe Dayan, who spoke of an earlier war as being “heavy in days, heavy in blood”. This war, Levy said, “has become a war that is even heavier in days and blood, with its goals receding and its crimes accumulating”.
The Israeli Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories B’Tselem has claimed: “Life in the Gaza Strip right now is an unimaginable nightmare, as the result of a deliberate Israeli policy. Millions of residents are dangerously overcrowded in inhuman conditions – without water, food, medicine or fuel, and hospitals that have collapsed. All of this under unprecedented and relentless Israeli bombings. The situation is deteriorating, and aid organisations are almost incapable of helping. This reality isn’t the war’s byproduct; it’s the deliberate outcome of Israel’s policy – a manufactured humanitarian catastrophe.”
Breaking the Silence is a movement which collects the testimonies of former Israeli soldiers who have violated Palestinian rights. Its director, Avner Gvaryahu, wrote in an email circulated to acquaintances that the Israeli public has been told “there are no innocents in Gaza”. He described this as a “blank cheque to justify the extensive killing of the men, women and children in Gaza whose only crime is living on the other side of the fence” dividing Gaza from Israel.
Gvaryahu argues that Israel’s offensive is endangering the “lives of the hostages [held by Hamas], just like the lives of countless Palestinian children, women, elderly”.
In an official statement the grassroots Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions (ICAHD) condemned the wanton carnage of the Hamas attack on Israelis but added: “The Palestinians have never been at war with Jews, they have been resisting a unilateral settler colonial project whose declared aim is the takeover of their homeland, the transformation of Palestine into Israel and the erasure of the Palestinian people.”