Shadow behind Israeli Flag(l), Graphic that says Even wars have rules(r)

Ringo Chiu/Shutterstock UNGeneva/Twitter (Licensed)

‘Guilty conscience’: Israel mocked online for replying to UN post about rules of war

'That fact that you automatically assume they are talking about you says a lot.'


Mikael Thalen


Posted on Dec 27, 2023

Israel’s X account was called out on social media after responding – unprompted – to a post by the United Nations in Geneva about the international conventions governing conduct during wartime.

“Even Wars Have Rules,” the UN account posted on Christmas Eve, prompting Israel to quote tweet the post with its own message.

“Tell That To Hamas,” the country’s account responded defensively.

That exchange prompted viral responses from many, who pointed out that the UN account hadn’t mentioned Israel at all in its post.

“That fact that you automatically assume they are talking about you says a lot,” commented @cherubsta.

“Right? ‘tell that to hamas’ – they just did lol you just thought it was about you because of the whole guilty conscience thing,” added @trumpetmatt148.

“As we say in the US South, ‘a hit dog hollers,’ said @loafingcactus.

Non-government organizations like Amnesty International have documented potential war crimes by what they’ve deemed as Israel’s “cataclysmic” military assault in Gaza. Israel’s actions follow the October 7th attack by Hamas, which killed around 1,200 people, including military and civilians.

“Israeli forces have shown a shocking disregard for civilian lives,” Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said in October. “They have pulverized street after street of residential buildings killing civilians on a mass scale and destroying essential infrastructure, while new restrictions mean Gaza is fast running out of water, medicine, fuel and electricity.”

Israel’s military campaign in the Gaza Strip has now killed over 20,000 people as of last Friday, reported the Associated Press, the equivalent of about 1% of the population. Robert Pape, a US military historian, told the Associated Press that with over 33% of buildings in Gaza destroyed by the attack, the IDF “sits comfortably in the top quartile of the most devastating bombing campaigns ever.”

Over the past month, US diplomats have reportedly warned Israel that it has begun losing support due to its conduct in the war. The New York Times reported that President Joe Biden made similar remarks to donors at a recent Washington fundraiser, blaming Israel’s “indiscriminate bombing” for the loss in support.

That sentiment was reflected in posts responding to Israel’s tweet.

“I love how Israel immediately assumed a post saying war crimes are not good was an attack against them,” commented @GoodPoliticGuy.

“I would say ‘guilty conscience,’ but I don’t think they feel guilt about it,” replied @FauxBravo. “They just know what they’re doing is horrendously wrong.”

“They are so bad at spreading propaganda its comical,” added @Adil080_.

Others pointed out that the UN wouldn’t be reminding Hamas of the rules of war due to its status as an internationally recognized terrorist group. Unlike Israel, Hamas is not a UN member state.

“I hate when the ‘Well they aren’t playing fair so we won’t either’ card gets pulled,” said @ad0ge. “It doesn’t matter if Hamas attacks civilians, that NEVER makes it justifiable for the IDF to attack civilians too.”

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*First Published: Dec 27, 2023, 11:17 am CST