January 13, 2009
Accusations of "disproportionate" force once again reflect the media's double standard toward Israel
Dear Friend of FLAME:
Viewing the Israeli counter-attack on Gaza through the lens of the international media is more than enough to make an uninformed individual sympathetic to the "plight" of the Palestinians. Even American media sources such as CNN and the NY Times have done their share to show image after image of dead and wounded Palestinians.
This after mostly ignoring and remaining shockingly mute as Israeli towns have suffered more than 6,500 rocket attacks following Israel's withdrawal from Gaza over three years ago. Indeed, no demonstrations were ever mounted by peace groups and no U.N. Security Council resolutions were ever passed protesting Hamas's unprovoked attacks directed specifically at Israeli civilians. Remember, one way we know if it's anti-Semitism is if there's a double standard---one for Jews, a different one for the others.
Once again it's abundantly clear that a majority of the world simply cannot tolerate Jews defending themselves. International law apparently has a different meaning for the residents of Sderot, Beersheba, and Ashkelon---it's neither a crime to attack these civilians nor is it permitted for their state to defend them.
"Disproportionate" is the favorite word of Israel's critics and detractors. In a perverse way they are actually spot on. In response to rockets and suicide attacks and in hope of peace, Israel pulled out of Gaza. In response to the election of Hamas in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections in 2006, followed by countless more rockets, Israel displayed an amazing level of restraint. Last month, in response to repeated Hamas violations of a six-month ceasefire, Israel continued to supply Gaza with 70 percent of its electricity and literally tons of food, supplies, and fuel/heating gas. How disproportionate.
Finally, after the end of the ceasefire culminated with increasingly blatant attacks on Israeli civilians, Israel responded with retaliation on Hamas terrorists and Hamas infrastructure while continuing to send in humanitarian supplies and allow injured Palestinians into Israel for medical treatment. Consider the historical significance of this last statement. What other country in history has responded this kindly to an enemy seeking its utter destruction?
The world should be commending Israel on its superior intelligence allowing for precise attacks on Hamas targets (New York Post columnist Ralph Peters thinks that Israel "may have executed the most accurate wave of airstrikes in history, with a 15-to-1 terrorist-to-civilian kill ratio"). Israel even contacts Palestinian civilians being used as human shields by Hamas (the very group they elected) via text messages to alert them of future attacks. Again, what other country in history has taken such extreme steps to minimize the number of civilian casualties?
On the other hand, Hamas gets away with what Professor Alan Dershowitz calls the "arithmetic of death"---Hamas fires rockets at Israel, which kills Israelis; and when Israel inevitably fires back, Palestinian civilians are then killed. Both benefit Hamas. This sick ideology is best described this way---Hamas wants civilians on both sides to die.
But still, it is Israel that is portrayed as the villain across the world and not Hamas. This double standard clearly demonstrates anti-Semitism, and that the media openly allow this is extremely frightening.
All those who remained silent while Israeli citizens were killed, injured, and forced to suffer from post-traumatic-stress-disorder share some of the blame for the events that have unfolded in Gaza. The many journalists who never hesitate to blame Israel for civilian deaths should point the finger at themselves for having ignored the continued assault on Israeli citizens. According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, 1,176 people have been killed as a result of Palestinian terrorism, including 540 people killed by suicide bombings.
Today's protestors, Jews among them, calling for Israel to "choose peace" are quite simply asking Israel to lay down its weapons while Hamas continues towards its ultimate goal---the extermination of Israel. This is beyond ridiculous. When faced with such an existential threat, how can anything Israel does be labeled as "disproportionate"?
Let us remember that it is the Palestinians celebrating in the streets when Jewish civilians, including women and children, are killed. You never see Israelis doing the same. Yet Israel gets demonized, not the Palestinians. Where is the cry in the media or the Arab streets against the Tamil Tiger terrorists in Sri Lanka, who have killed some 70,000 people and far more Muslims than have been killed in Gaza? Apparently not all terrorist groups get the same international attention that Hamas does.
Please read the article below, by Jonathan Mark, associate editor of the New York Jewish Week, which illuminates what a truly proportionate Israeli response to Hamas terror would look like. Even though this article was written before Israel invaded Gaza on the ground, it still rings true. Israel still continues to be generous and humanitarian in its "disproportionate" response.
Israel's Response Is Disproportionate
I condemn Israel's disproportionate attack on Hamas because, so far, it has only lasted four days and I would like to see a proportionate response that terrifies Hamas for seven years, the years that have filled Sderot and neighboring towns with nightmares, death, amputations and trauma coming from rockets and mortars fired from Gaza.
Perhaps a proportionate response would have Gaza's leaders fearful of being killed every day for the next two years, as Gilad Shalit has been terrified of torture and death every day for the last two years in his solitary Gaza dungeon.
A proportionate response would have Hamas mothers and fathers as fearful for their children's lives as Shalit's mother and father have been fearful for Gilad's life.
A proportionate response would have Gaza's children crying for their mommies and daddies, the way at a Hamas pageant earlier in December a Palestinian actor dressed as Shalit got down on his knees, mock-begging in Hebrew for his Ima and Abba while the Gaza crowds laughed.
A proportionate response would so intimidate Hamas that they will grovel and, as a "gesture," send cocoa and jam into Sderot, the way Israel has groveled in response to rockets from Hamas, sending cocoa and jam into Gaza. Imagine Churchill sending cocoa and jam into Berlin as a humanitarian gesture after - during - the bombing of London.
A proportionate response would be one that will convince Hamas there is no military solution, no solution but surrender. They can then call surrender a "peace process," if they like, just as the mostly unanswered attacks on Jews have convinced some Jews that there is no military solution but surrender to any and all demands. They suggest a euthanasia by the euphemism of "peace process," that Israel become what some are already planning to call "Canaan," a non-Jewish state of all its citizens.
A proportionate response will convince Palestinians that if they insist that the starting point to peace negotiations is that no Jew be allowed to live on the West Bank, the proportionate response will be that Israel's starting point in negotiations is that no Arab be allowed to live in Tel Aviv. Horrible to contemplate? Fine, let there be a proportionate negotiation.
A proportionate response to Hamas, one might gather from the European scolds, would be as if the United States, after Pearl Harbor, would bomb just a few Japanese fishing boats and call it a day, believing the war would have ended with that.
A proportionate response will begin to remind Jews that there is no peace process like victory, just as Israel's decade of disproportionate restraint and self-doubt has convinced young Palestinians that their victory is inevitable, like Aryan youth in 1933 singing "Tomorrow Belongs to Me."
Let it be said to Israelis and Jews everywhere, in the words of Churchill: "You have enemies? Good. It means you've stood up for something." But remember: A war (and Hamas has repeatedly said this is war) is never won if you are disproportionately kind to someone who wants to destroy you and, failing in that, demands with indignation that you not destroy him.
When meeting that enemy, be proportionate.