You are here

Automated Genocide: How Israel’s ‘The Gospel’ is a ‘mass assassination factory’

Rohit Revi

December 18, 2023

On Nov 2nd, the IDF issued a statement which revealed that much of the military ‘intelligence’ that guides their operations in 2023 are based upon an Artificial Intelligence tool called Hasbora or The Gospel. While details regarding the creation and operation of this tool currently remain obscure, investigative journalists at +972 magazine and Local Call have put together a shocking reportbased on revelations from insider sources which include those working at IDF. This report provides insights into just how inhuman the Israeli war-machine is, how it’s very technological design is built to enable indiscriminate targeting and bombing of Palestinian civilians, and just how extensive the ongoing violations of human rights, international law, and the 1949 Geneva Convention are.

War Crimes of The Gospel

As to be expected, the statement by the IDF itself reveals very little about Hasbora, other than its name and the fact that it is an AI tool that generates targets to attack based on mass extraction and sorting of data, likely using probabilistic models. This information, by itself, is sickening. 

On the very outset, the deliberate choice of naming this tool as Hasbora (The Gospel in Hebrew), or the infallible Word of God, already reveals more than it hides. It is clear that the IDF places absolute trust in the ‘truth value’ of results that are generated by a tool that is, by definition, offering results that are likely but not confirmed. If Hasbora is the word of God, that God can hardly be trusted.
Scholars on military technology have been warning for many years about the ethical risks underlying military dependency and trust on evolving Autonomous Weapons Systems. The level of complex and contextual intelligence that is required to reliably generate, verify, and ascertain a something or someone as ‘military target’ in the real world, while also remaining cognizant of international legal imperatives such as the 1949 Geneva Convention, is simply a non-existent capacity for any AI tool that exists today. Let alone in the realm of war, even within the relatively safer commercial realm of AI tools, the extensive risks of ‘misinformation’ that underly digital intelligence has been a major focal point of discussions recently, with even the so-called ‘Godfather of Artificial Intelligence’, Dr Geoffrey Hinton, resigningfrom Google citing the severity of ‘existential risk’ posed by unfettered deployment of AI tools. It is upon this unstable, untrustworthy technological domain of probabilistic AI, that Israel is basing its entire military decisions of which ‘targets’ to bomb and decimate in Gaza.

Regardless of what combination of real-world data is possibly made available to The Gospel, or at what depth the machine learning happens, it is impossible for the tool to generate accurate results with any reliable degree of certainty.
Black scholars of surveillance technologies, such as Simone Browne, have demonstratedjust how inherently racist the technological design of identity-verification machines are which make inferences based on biometric or visual data-points, and how they regularly mistake identities and provide inaccurate results, when distinguishing people with darker skin tones and other non-European features. The tool is based largely on pattern identification and matching. That is to say, if two people look or dress similar, behave similarly, or frequent similar localities, they are probabilistically quite likely to be identified in place of each other by a tool, even if they appear radically distinct to the human eye. This is particularly common when the datasets that are used to ‘train’ machines are largely drawn from Euro-centric data. These machines would have far less success rate in being able to distinguish between two people from a different ethnicity or locality, and are more likely to make incorrect identifications. Even in our everyday world of commercial tools for identity recognition, many Black, Arab or Asian people who may have ‘face-lock’ enabled on a smartphone and a sibling who looks similar to them, can testify just how imprecise and inaccurate the results often are, even up close. 

While Israel might argue that there are human determinations of the AI-generated targets that precede any action being carried out, this does not diminish the problem at all. An IDF spokesperson proudly comparesThe Gospel to the war-mongering machine overlords in the movie The Matrix, and he is not far from the truth. The inhumane genocidal powers that are currently being unleashed by The Gospel are very similar. The Gospel is said to be generating around 100 military targets a day (compared to 50 targets a year that was possible to human analysts), ranking them based on threat-levels and extent of civilian casualties to be expected, and at least around 50% of those targets are bombed by the IDF on a daily-basis. This means that what is called ‘the human determination’ is a pure rubber-stamp on what is essentially flawed ‘intelligence’ that is rapidly generated by the tool. In the +972 report, an insider source tells the journalists that the idea behind The Gospel is to go for ‘quantity rather than quality’ of sites to target. Another source called The Gospel a ‘mass assassination factory’.  
This also means that with each school, hospital, and residential building that is bombed by Israel in supposed search of a single Hamas operative, they already had a precise knowledge of the likely numbers of Palestinian civilians that would be killed too. Needless to say, this is a blatant and unabashed violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, that is being sanctioned also by the United States.

The report by +972 magazine also reveals that the extent of targets that are being rapidly and daily generated make no sense, when compared with past operations by Israel in Gaza. For example, during 3 weeks in 2014 or 10 days in 2021, when the Israeli Air Force struck around 100 targets per day, they were soon left with no targets of ‘military value’ and the operation was stopped. How is possible then, that after 2 months of non-stop bombing, Israel is still able to generate 100 new targets every day? This is where the genocidal insanity of the targeting systems based on artificial intelligence truly becomes visible. 
One can assert with certainty today, that The Gospel only works to rapidly create indiscriminate targets all across Gaza, and they are being decimated by the IDF as evidenced by the magnitude of Palestinian deaths we have seen. 
The machine logic of The Gospel is precisely the same dehumanizing, genocidal logic that was expressed by the Israeli defense minister who calledPalestinians ‘human animals’. We are witnessing the transformation of Artificial Intelligence as a tool for genocide, and the very existence of something like The Gospel in our world, is a question upon our humanity. 

What does it mean to remain human?
The Gospel exists not so that Israel can target Hamas operatives with more precision, or any other propaganda points that might be served up by the Israeli state.
Instead, this AI tool exists only so that Israel can displace the moral culpability of knowingly killing innocent people away from itself and project it onto a directive from all-knowing, supposedly infallible Other. With the continued existence of a whole wing of the IDF dedicated to AI-based target creation called the ‘Targeting Directorate’, what we are witnessing is an appalling genocide that is increasingly automated. In this utterly sickening gameification of war, the only thing that remains is a destroyed Gaza and its children.

In our times, for us to remain human, and for us to be able to rescue what it means to be that for our future generations, we have to bring permanent justice at the face of this inhumanity and we must reclaim our own morality from the hands of machine logic. 
For socialists across the world, this means at least two things. One, we must uncompromisingly and unconditionally continue to struggle with the Palestinians for their right to self-determination. Two, we must, with courage, continue to expose the genocidal war-crimes that are being committed by Israel under the watchful protection of US Imperialism.

Featured Event



Visit our YouTube Channel for more videos: Our Youtube Channel
Visit our UStream Channel for live videos: Our Ustream Channel