“The ratio of civilian to military casualties is the lowest in any conflict that I’m aware of, anywhere in the world.” – Colonel Richard Kemp

The conflict in Gaza has ignited global debates, with many quick to condemn Israel’s military actions as “genocidal”.

However, a closer examination of the facts and context reveals this to be a lie.

Former British army commander Colonel Richard Kemp’s speech last night at the North Shore Synagogue, organized by the Australian Jewish Association, offers a comprehensive insight into why Israel’s actions in Gaza are a justified response to terrorism and not an act of genocide as leftists and Muslim leaders like to portray.

Israel is actually fighting a war on behalf of all civilised people because if Hamas succeeds, they won’t stop with destroying the Jews.

Urban warfare inevitably and regrettably involves civilian casualties, Kemp said.

Every loss of civilian life is a tragedy yet Hamas are not just using them as human shields.

“I would describe them more accurately as human sacrifices,” Kemp said.

But despite the complexities, Israel has shown remarkable restraint and precision. Colonel Kemp said that “the ratio of civilian to military casualties is the lowest in any conflict that I’m aware of, anywhere in the world.”

This ratio stands at 0.8 civilians for every combatant killed, he said.

In contrast, similar conflicts such as the American and British operations in Afghanistan and Iraq had ratios of 5:1 and 3:1, respectively.

The UN reports an average of 9:1 for urban conflicts since World War II.

Yet the media does not report this and worse, has created a narrative that the ratio is unacceptable and that Israel must cease its operations to destroy Hamas.

Colonel Kemp said Israel had gone to great lengths to minimize civilian harm. The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) distributed millions of leaflets, made countless phone calls, and sent text messages to warn civilians to evacuate combat zones.

This level of effort to protect non-combatants is unprecedented and demonstrates a commitment to avoiding unnecessary civilian deaths.

Gaza presents an extraordinarily complex battlefield. According to Kemp, “The Israelis are fighting in the most complex battlefield that any army has ever had to fight in.” Hamas has spent decades preparing Gaza for conflict, with extensive tunnels, booby traps, and fortified positions. These conditions complicate military operations and heighten the risk of civilian casualties, yet the IDF continues to prioritize precision strikes and intelligence-driven operations.

One of the most insidious tactics used by Hamas involves the storage of arms in civilian houses. Colonel Kemp observed, “Almost every house in some parts of Gaza have a stash of weapons. They have explosives, they have grenades, they have rocket launchers, they have machine guns.”

This tactic allows terrorists to walk around unarmed, blending in with the civilian population, and making it extraordinarily difficult for IDF soldiers to identify them. Kemp explained, “Very few terrorists ever wear uniforms...they never carry weapons.”

This strategy forces the IDF to destroy houses suspected of storing weapons, further complicating the conflict and increasing the risk of civilian casualties.

Accusations of genocide against Israel are not only unfounded but also deeply offensive given the historical context.

As Kemp poignantly noted, “That accusation of genocide is nothing short of an obscenity. It accuses a nation built partially on the survivors of a genocide and a nation that is fighting to defend its own population against genocide.”

Hamas, recognised as a terrorist organisation by many countries, explicitly calls for the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews worldwide.

Its charter and the actions of its militants on October 7th and 8th, as described by Kemp, reveal a genocidal intent. Israel’s military response is a necessary measure to ensure its survival against an adversary that seeks its annihilation.

Despite the vocal anti-Israel protests, there is significant support for Israel’s right to defend itself.

Kemp emphasized that “the Arab world supports Israel. Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Saudi Arabia...they want Israel to defeat Hamas.”

This support, although sometimes subtle, underscores a regional desire for stability and a common stance against extremist ideologies being pushed largely by Iran.

Israel’s actions in Gaza are not about genocide but about survival and self-defence in the face of relentless terrorism.

The civilian casualty rate, efforts to minimise harm, the complex nature of urban warfare, and the deceptive tactics of Hamas all illustrate a commitment to ethical conduct in combat.

The world must recognise the truth of the situation: Israel is defending its people and its right to exist, not committing genocide.

Colonel Richard Kemp's extensive military experience, including commanding British forces in Afghanistan, along with his long-standing support and advisory roles with Israeli defence strategies and connections with key Israeli political and military leaders, make him a highly qualified commentator on the Israel-Hamas conflict.