A Question for pro-Palestine Activists

Posted: October 25, 2009 by Jonathan Boyko in Anti-Israel, Cast Lead, Hamas, Human Rights, Israel, Own Articles, Terrorism
Tags: , , , , , ,

FROM THE GET-GO, please allow me to make a statement – a sort of disclaimer, if you will. I believe in freedom of speech. I believe being an activist on behalf of the Palestinians is a good thing (unless taken to the extreme). I do believe that eventually the two peoples will live in peace (even though it would probably take a horrifying war for both to reach that conclusion). What I do not believe in, however, is hypocrisy.

Now, that is not to say I believe Israel is blameless. No doubt, Israeli politicians and generals could do far a better job – at both protecting their own people and the ones on the other side. Constructive criticism should be upheld at any opportunity – without it, we cannot move forward as establishing ourselves as a good society. That is, of course, when the criticism is constructive, based on facts and address the issues in context.

Perfect example would the IDF operation Cast Lead, during last December and January (2008-2009). The operation took significant toll on Palestinian civilian population. Demolished houses, killed civilians and destroyed infrastructure in no way makes lives of Palestinians better – and I believe it is mostly fair for pro-Palestine activists to address those issues. Their tactics are usually flawed however, as they misguide their readers and fellow activists by missing on the context. For example, it is true that Israel attacked Gaza on December 27, 2008. It is also true, that the attack did not come out of nothing.

On its website, Amnesty International publishes a report named: “Operation "Cast Lead": 22 days of death and destruction”. The short introduction to the document manages to falsely state Israel did not warn Hamas of the attack (while in fact, Israel issued warnings several times prior to the offensive), falsely make the impression that all of stated 1,400 Gazan victims were civilians, and demands “a thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the conduct of all parties in the conflict”.

One would doubt Amnesty’s impartiality as it – as well as most Palestinian Rights Groups – looks at the micro, while ignoring the macro (later, Richard Goldstone and the UNHRC team followed suit). While the operation certainly should be investigated, why not launch an investigation into the entire process that led to the attacks? After all, the “stated aim was to end rocket attacks into Israel by armed groups affiliated with Hamas and other Palestinian factions”, so why shouldn’t an investigation take the “stated aim” into account? Since when Jewish children suffering years of sleepless nights thanks are cast aside? Further doubt would be cast on Amnesty’s impartiality if one reads the actual report: while the document goes into great detail to investigate IDF’s actions (titles include: “Air strikes targeting people”, “Close-range Shootings”, “Attacking and obstructing medical workers”, “Ineffective warnings”, “Public buildings destroyed without justification”, et cetera), Amnesty went to no lengths to similarly investigate actions by Gazans (“Widening circle of fear”, “Armed groups’ rationale for rocket attacks”, “Israeli allegations about use of “human shields””).

One can certainly notice separate approaches taken by Amnesty – and other Palestinian Rights Groups – to the investigation. Such groups certainly do not represent the issue fairly – in the aforementioned report, for example, Gazans are given a full two pages (including an image) to explain their “rationale” for attacking Israelis. Sadly, Amnesty is far from being a single example of hypocritical attitude towards the conflict.

So I have a question to Palestinian Rights Groups, Palestinian Rights Activists, pro-Palestine activists, Human Rights Activists and the liberal crows: Where were you almost nine years ago, when first Qassam rockets started landing without Israel? Oh, right: you used the excuse that Israel was occupying Gaza, so it was okay. After all, Qassam rockets are “crude” and “seldom do much damage”, so it is okay to fire them at Israelis.

Then Israel left Gaza. Some argue that Israel did not fully withdraw, and I will agree. Israel left Gaza’s land, while keeping control of the skies and seas. The plan was to see if Hamas actually stops its genocidal rhetoric and starts building a prosperous society, instead of pledging to murder some more Jews. Well, we all know how that ended. Now imagine if Israel would completely leave Gaza, allowing steady flow of high-tech weapons from Iran and Syria. Would any of you, dear Peace Activists care if rockets would rain on Jerusalem and Tel Aviv? What would your actions be then? Which excuse would you come up then to justify the murderous intent of Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh? You do not keep all your doors unlocked in a bad neighborhood.

And then comes the blockade excuse. “Israel blockades Gaza”, so it is fair to fight Israel. This statement – constantly used by Hamas advocates – is for simple-minded people. Lest forget the primary reason for the blockade wasn’t even Hamas’ terror activity – it was the fact that Haniyeh’s henchmen started forcing opposition out of Gaza. Firefights between Hamas and Fatah took place daily for over a month. Mashaal’s minions rounded up Fatah men, executing them on the street, injuring women and children in the process. The situation actually got so bad, some Gazans started complaining they had better times under Israeli rule. Well, now that Hamas is in control, they won’t have their say anyway.

And then there is a matter of Egypt. While we could unquestionably understand Israel’s reason for blockading Gaza (they are just evil, children-murdering Jews), what is Egypt’s reasoning? Why is Egypt – an Arab, Muslim country – leaving their brothers behind, rarely opening crossing, letting in less humanitarian aid than Israel does? Is there anything Egyptians know that Amnesty doesn’t? Of course there is. The Egyptians know that Hamas is a terrorist organization, fueled by fundamentalist principles. Hamas uses great force to reach it’s goal (as we demonstrated in previous paragraph), no matter the cost.

So let us ask, now: where were you, Amnesty International, when thousands of rockets poured on Israeli towns and cities? Certainly, the rarity of fatalities in Israel is no thanks to you, but instead thanks to Israel building fortified bunkers every 100 yards (something Hamas builds only for its own fighters). Where are you, Human Rights Watch, when Hamas official pledges in its charter to murder Jews? Where were you, Twitter activists, when Palestinians shot their own people, fighting for power (fight that took lives of 98 civilians)? Where are you, human rights activists and liberals, when Hamas teaches its people murder, and incites them to “slaughter” Jews?

You, my dear activists, might want to disregard all of the above statements. In fact, you probably will. Certainly, you will lose sleep at night. But not over Jewish victims. Those are okay.

Criticizing Israel is not a negative thing (even though, unlike Palestinians, Israel has quite a few Palestinians’ Rights Groups of its own). But if you want the truth – you have to examine the both sides. There is no black and white in the Middle East.

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