Is Israel Committing Genocide in Gaza?

Its stated goals and actions don’t fit the description.

Written by Jack Elbaum

What’s happening: Claims that Israel is committing a “genocide” against Palestinians in Gaza have abounded since it declared war with Hamas. This narrative has persisted for years.

Why it matters: The term “genocide” refers to wiping out an entire nation or ethnic group. Israel’s stated goal is to destroy Hamas, not all Palestinians. Its leaders have made this crucial distinction repeatedly, and their military strategy backs it up.

  • Rhetoric: When Israel’s president was construed as saying there are no innocent civilians in Gaza, he quickly rebuked, “No, I didn’t say that.”

The numbers: In 1967, Gaza’s population was 394,000. Today, the population is 2.2 million, an explosion of more than 500 percent. The effects of a real attempted genocide are much different — the number of Jews in the world today is still less than it was prior to the Holocaust.

  • At the same time: It is clear that the war has taken a shocking toll on Gazan civilians, with thousands being killed and over a million displaced. It is a consequence of Israel prioritizing damage over precision and Hamas’s strategy of operating from civilian areas.

  • Worth noting: Most wars with civilian deaths aren’t deemed genocides. In World War II, the Allies killed over a million German civilians. The Israel-Hamas war is nowhere near the same scale.

More: The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has made 20,000 calls to warn of imminent air strikes, dropped 1.5 million leaflets, and sent 6 million voice messages advising civilians to move to the South. During its ground invasion, the IDF has created safe corridors allowing thousands of civilians to leave the North under its protection.

  • The point: Israel would have no reason to do any of this if intended to wipe out all Palestinians, not just Hamas.

What the media ignore: Hamas’s founding charter is explicitly genocidal, calling for the death of “the Jews” as a whole.