Conservative “Daily Wire Editor Emeritus Ben Shapiro engaged in a heated debate at the University of Oxford, addressing the anti-Israel rhetoric of an activist and discussing the morality of the conflict between Israel and Hamas. The student accused Israel of waging an unjust war against Hamas, claiming that Israel was causing unnecessary Palestinian casualties. Shapiro, in response, emphasized that Hamas bears responsibility for civilian deaths due to its practice of hiding military targets within civilian areas, which often makes it difficult to distinguish combatants from non-combatants. His remarks gained significant attention on social media.
Shapiro pointed out the tragic reality of civilian casualties during wartime, referencing historical examples like World War II, where civilians suffered during bombing campaigns. He argued that while civilian casualties are an unfortunate aspect of war, there’s a stark moral difference between intentionally targeting civilian areas and attempting to eliminate terrorists who hide within these areas.
The student argued that Israel’s actions in Gaza, the world’s most densely populated region, mirrored the same behavior. She claimed that Israel had killed thousands of children in Gaza since the conflict began, citing statistics from the Palestinian Ministry of Health, a source questioned by the U.S. and Israeli governments for its reliability.
Shapiro raised a critical point about the use of civilians as human shields, a violation of the Geneva Conventions, emphasizing the moral distinction between the two sides. The student further contended that the significant disparity in casualties demonstrated Israel’s unjust war, referring to the fact that more Palestinians had died in the conflict since 2005 than Israelis.
Shapiro challenged this argument by drawing an analogy to World War II and the higher number of German casualties than British casualties. The student claimed that Britain wasn’t bombing civilians, leading to disagreement from the audience. Eventually, she asserted that Israel’s war against Hamas was unjust and accused Israel of killing civilians for decades.
Shapiro countered by highlighting the consequences of Palestinian terrorism and their recent attack on Israel. He argued that Israel does not intentionally target civilians, while Palestinian terrorists do. He emphasized the potential for peace if both sides ceased hostilities.
The debate concluded with a question about the occupation of Palestine, to which the student responded by asserting the entirety of Palestine was occupied. Shapiro characterized her response as expressing genocidal intent towards the Jewish people living in the region.”