After the attack of October 7, Israel had every right to defend itself and to work towards eradicating the threat posed by the increasingly ISIS-like Hamas. And over the past few days, we’ve gotten reports of many Hamas bases and military outposts being destroyed. But on the way to getting to the right people, Israel killed way too many of the wrong people; innocent civilians who themselves have long been victims of Hamas’ rule. That’s my take as an American Jewish son of Holocaust survivors with relatives in Israel. And that’s the take of Israel’s most steadfast ally. From Antony Blinken: “Far too many Palestinians have been killed. Far too many who suffered these past weeks, and we want to do everything possible to prevent harm to them and to maximise the assistance that gets to them.” Yes, it’s true that the barbaric massacre of October 7th would have baited any democracy into a fierce response, and yes, Hamas’ heinous use of civilians as human shields plays a key role in the death numbers, but there’s still a problem. Omer Bartov, a professor of Holocaust and genocide studies at Brown University, lays out the case in the NYT (Gift Article): What I Believe as a Historian of Genocide. Regardless of the way it’s thrown around, genocide is the wrong word for what’s taking place. But Israeli leaders are using a lot of wrong words to describe what’s happening as well.

+ These criticisms of Israel can’t happen in a vacuum. Hamas’ evil use of civilians and homes, schools, and hospitals, as shields is almost unprecedented. And beneath it all, are the tunnels. And the tunnels aren’t for protecting civilians. Very interesting piece in NYT (Gift Article): The Tunnels of Gaza: How the subterranean maze below the Gaza Strip works. “One 85-year-old Israeli woman who was held hostage for 17 days in the tunnels after being kidnapped on Oct. 7 described being marched through a ‘spider web’ of wet and humid tunnels. She eventually reached a large hall where two dozen other hostages were being held.” And from The Times of Israel: Inside a Gaza bedroom, beneath a child’s bed, soldiers searching for tunnels find how low Hamas can go.

+ Here’s the latest from CNN, NBC, BBC, and Times of Israel.