Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant

Gallant’s Bloody Tautology: With their deaths we were decreed more and more death

The stated goals of the war are deliberately vague and contradictory, in order to disguise the real goals: vengeance, the rehabilitation of the army’s ego, and Netanyahu’s political survival. To this end, tens of thousands of innocent people in Gaza and the Abductees have already been sacrificed, and now, with the same chilling indifference, soldiers as well.

The Palestine Project
5 min readJan 24, 2024


By Orly Noy • Translated by Sol Salbe

It is doubtful whether the most basic AI text generator could have produced such a generic, impervious, heartless and mindless response as the one published by Defence Minister Yoav Gallant following the killing of 21 reservists in Gaza on Monday.

After paying hollow lip service to “the beloved families in their most difficult hour of all,” Gallant added that “the fall of the fighters is an imperative to achieve the goals of war.” In a war whose sole purpose has long been its very existence, Gallant articulates the bloody tautology according to which the unnecessary deaths of the 21 reservists are the imperative to continue the bloodletting.

This is the man whose dismissal brought tens of thousands of angry people to the streets, who sought to protect him from Netanyahu’s whims. Now, in one fell swoop, he is leveraging the deaths of the reservists to continue the battle for survival of the man who threw him out of the government in revulsion. After all, if the dead “decree” us something, then their death takes on significance (for the President of the State they have already become the historical “silver platter” [an allusion to a poem about Israel’s War of Independence], no less), and if the decree is to achieve the “goals of war”, it is obvious that this war has goals, and they are achievable.

Gallant may still be counting on the Israeli public’s thought process still being affected by the operation separating the community collective brain lobes from each other, a surgery that took place on the first day of the war. The surgery enabled the government to peddle two goals that are not only incompatible with each other, but clearly contradict each other, as the goals of the war: the toppling of Hamas and the release of the abductees.

Hamas, as the recent calamity proves, has not collapsed even after three and a half months in which the military rained fire and brimstone on Gaza, not even in areas near the border. The success of releasing the abductees through war can be testified to by their mentally shattered families, who continue to cry out in the face of a despicable impervious leadership, in vain.

This blatant lie about releasing abductees under military pressure was debunked in the first days of the war. But political and military leadership continued to peddle it to the public, the media has not cast doubts about it, and the public continued to believe it.

But if we continue with Minister Galant’s line that the fallen soldiers of this unnecessary and futile war leave behind a will of action whose contents he alone knows how to decipher, perhaps he should explain to the public what imperative Ron Sherman, Nick Beiser and Ilya Toledano left behind them? Their bodies were recovered from a tunnel in Gaza and according to the army’s statement, “it is impossible to rule out or confirm that they were killed as a result of suffocation, strangulation, poisoning or the consequences of an IDF attack or a Hamas operation”.

What imperative did Sherman leave behind, the one whose grief-stricken mother needed quarrel with the Ministry of Defence over the stone she wanted to lay on her son’s grave, on which she described her pain in her heart’s blood? What imperative did Itai Swirsky leave behind, who in a video released by Hamas is seen begging Netanyahu for his life and urging him to secure the release of the abductees, before it became known that he, too, had been killed in Gaza? What command did Yotam Chaim, Alon Shamriz and Samer Tlalka leave behind, the three abductees who were shot dead by soldiers while they were carrying a white flag?

And what about the Palestinian dead? Were their mutilated bodies also engraved with imperatives that only Minister Gallant can decipher? What command did baby Amira-Aisha leave (the one who was born in the midst of the Israeli bombings and lived only 17 days before she was killed, along with her two-year-old brother Ahmad)?

Israel embarked on a war whose stated goals are deliberately vague and contradictory, in order to disguise its true goals: vengeance, the rehabilitation of the army’s ego, and Netanyahu’s political survival. These are the only goals that have been advanced since its inception, and it must be said, with considerable success.

Vengeance has already claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Gazans, and brought us to the International Court of Justice in The Hague on charges of committing the crime of genocide. The battered army, which in an unprecedented failure abandoned the Gaza surrounding communities, has once again become the “people’s army” which everyone worships. And Netanyahu, the most failed, destructive and dangerous leader Israel has ever known, continues to sit on his throne and from there he promises us an interminable war that has no “day after,” at least not one that the prime minister can present. And in order to achieve these goals, Israel sacrificed, first and foremost, tens of thousands of innocent people in the Gaza Strip, the lives of its abducted citizens, and now, with the same chilling indifference, the lives of its soldiers as well.

Gallant’s response is the most refined expression of the Orwellian reality in which we live: war is peace (and security), freedom is slavery, ignorance is power. So far, with the exception of very small pockets of resistance, the Israeli public has agreed to accept all these paradoxes as definitive truths, provided that images of destruction and devastation continue to flow from Gaza.

It remains to be seen whether yesterday’s calamity of the deaths of the 21 reservists will shake the public enough to awaken it from the alternative reality it has been trapped in and establish a broad resistance movement to the war, as the helicopters collision disaster did in 1997. If this terrible death succeeds in extricating us as a society from the Orwellian delusion of Netanyahu and Gantz, perhaps their imperative will be life after all.