TRAGIC BUT TRUE: NOTE THE SMALL DIFFERENCE IN MORALITY BETWEEN ISLAMIC AND ISRAELI FIGHTERS
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From: "Zionsake @ holyland-inc" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "zionsake@holyland-inc" <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, May 06, 2002 9:44 AM
Subject: Israel's restraint against barbaric attack
Raphael Israeli: What cycle of violence?
The Jerusalem Post March, 21 2002
The dynamics of the Palestinian wave of violence have been so manipulated as
to turn the victims into aggressors and the perpetrators into victims.
That the Palestinians and other Arabs should subscribe to such a distortion is nothing out of the ordinary, since this has been their wont for the past half-century, in conformity with the Arab proverb: "He beat me and cried, and was quick to complain" (Darabni wa-baka, sabakni was-ishtaka).
Western media, however, ought to be open-minded to logical and factual argument. It is evident to the media, for example, that since Israel did not declare the present war, and in view of the fact that, prior to its eruption, there were no sieges, no roadblocks, no tanks, no casualties, the media were certainly not interested in all those unpleasant corollaries of hostility.
Moreover, after the Dolphinarium attack, in which 21 teenagers were blown up while making merry, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon refrained from any retaliation for a month, "hoping that restraint meant force"; but the Palestinians decided to pursue violent attacks, and even openly declared their commitment to do so regardless of what the Israelis did or refrained from doing.
When casualties increased to unacceptable levels and the citizenry cried out for protection, Sharon's government had to move, and a policy of systematic retaliation set in, diametrically opposed to Yasser Arafat's. Reporters must see for themselves that, first, while the Palestinian terrorist attacks aim at maximizing the killing of innocent civilians with "Islamikaze" bombers, whose bombs are stuffed with bolts and nails for harrowing maximum effect, Israel retaliated against perpetrators of those acts, when they failed, or their operators who were hiding behind mosques, churches, and schools, or within refugee camps for immunity.
In other words, not only were the criminals themselves targeted, but maximum prudence was given to minimize collateral damage to innocent people.
But the press reported on the Israeli "invasion" of refugee camps, where those murderers hide and stockpile their weapons, as if Israel decided to just attack innocent civilians.
Had Israelis been interested in wanton killing, as they are often accused by the media, they did not have to send their boys into enemy territory and endanger their lives; they could sit placidly behind positions in Israel and bombard Palestinian cities with a fraction of their artillery and air power, without running any risk.
And of course, those weapons captured during the operations should not have been there in the first place, but nothing was done by the Palestinian Authority to seize or capture them; quite the contrary, Arafat has been trying to smuggle in more illegal weapons (Karine A and the tunnels from Egypt). But this is not reported as triggering Israeli actions aimed at seizing those arms, which was done with remarkably little or no casualties to the Palestinians.
Israeli artillery, tanks, and air power are used inside Palestinian territory, but not to maximize casualties; rather, air power is used to destroy Palestinian positions and institutions, usually empty, at night. Tanks are sent in to minimize Israeli casualties in enemy territory, not to inflict casualties on the Palestinians. But for the field reporters, real estate appears to be more important than human life; and the sight of Israeli troops running after the perpetrators of terrorism in order to arrest them, interrogate them, and bring them to justice (not to blow them into pieces), appears unbearable to them.
It is much easier to be critical than to be correct. What would any one of those reporters suggest if his countrymen were subjected to the same horrors day in, day out? Restraint was tried and failed; targeting killers was dubbed "assassination" by those same reporters who now criticize Israel's entrance into the camps in order to capture the killers and bring them to justice; responding to incessant attacks is viewed as a "cycle of violence" by them; destroying empty buildings is condemned as "excess of force." What is "adequate force" in their eyes? Sending undercover troops to blow up innocent Palestinians in the plazas and cafes of Nablus and Hebron as they do in Jerusalem and Kfar Saba? Tit for tat? Is that a civilized response in their eyes?
To act in a civilized manner, amid this persistent, barbarous attack on the Israeli population, means either demanding that the perpetrators and their operators are arrested by the Palestinian Authority, or asking for their extradition so that legal measures could be taken against them in Israel. But the Palestinians refuse to do either.
All that is left is either for Israel to move in by itself, in the process causing painful collateral but involuntary harm, or sit and do nothing, which encourages more terrorism, as we have seen.
Proportionately, Israel has suffered more casualties from this violence than the US did on September 11 (350, which in the US would be equivalent to 17,000). Nevertheless, and in spite of the fact that it is a struggle for our existence, something that the Americans have never even remotely experienced, Israel has caused much less damage and casualties than have the Americans in Afghanistan.
But the same European media condemns Israel constantly, while turning a blind eye to the Americans. Unless the European media proclaim that it is not the killing and destruction that are important but who causes them, they better have another look at their unfair treatment of Israel.
(The writer is a professor of Islam and the Middle East at Hebrew University, Jerusalem.)
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From: "Zionsake @ holyland-inc" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "zionsake@holyland-inc" <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, May 06, 2002 9:46 AM
Subject: IDF nobility, compassion in Jenin
Dr. David Zangen: "I Couldn't Stand [Larsen's] Lies" - Ma'ariv, 22 Apr 2002
"I Couldn't Stand the Lies"
By Asaf Haim - "Ma'ariv", 22 April 2002
(Translated from the Hebrew by Information Division, Israel Foreign Ministry )
Dr. David Zangen, a senior pediatrician at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, who received his mobilization order for army service in Jenin, did not think that he would also be recruited for Israel's information campaign. Normally, he is a calm person, but the accusations made by the UN Special Envoy to the Middle East, Terje Larsen, regarding a "massacre" supposedly carried out by Israel in Jenin have infuriated him. Dr. Zangen could not restrain himself, and called the Israel Army Radio service, to protest Larsen's charges. Dr. Zangen's comments are particularly significant, because he treated both wounded Israelis and Palestinians with great dedication. In this way, Dr. Zangen became a spokesman for the IDF, for one day. His account sheds a little light on what really happened in the refugee camp.
"I was incensed by Larsen's remarks. He must not be allowed to continue with these lies", stated Dr. Zangen to Maariv. "I was there during the fighting, and I saw close up what was happening. I know that the IDF did everything it could to prevent civilian casualties. It is clear to everyone that if the IDF had resorted to aerial bombardment or heavy artillery, we would have completed [our mission] in the refugee camp within half a day, without suffering any casualties on our side. We did not adopt that policy, and we took risks in the fighting, in an attempt to rescue those innocent civilians that were caught up in the battles. Anyone who says that Israel carried out a massacre is lying and inciting the Arabs. Instead of acting to bring about reconciliation and peace, Larsen is creating hatred."
Dr. Zangen continued, "IDF soldiers did not enter the Jenin hospital, and ensured that the hospital could operate without disruption. No IDF soldier set foot in the hospital. The Palestinians hid there in the knowledge that we would not enter. Everyone knows this, and anyone who says otherwise is lying and inciting. The descriptions of the smell of the bodies in the refugee camp are also exaggerated out of all proportion. A week after the fighting, I walked around the camp without a mask, with journalists from all over the world, and there was no smell. The journalists knew this, but all of a sudden, they claimed that there was a stench in the camp from bodies that had not been evacuated. Twenty-five bodies were found altogether, and most of the bodies were those of the terrorists. There may have been one area in the entire camp in which there were a number of bodies buried under the rubble, and this would explain the smell. However, aside from this case, there was no smell in the refugee camp - this is just a crude lie."
Dr. Zangen, who found himself in the eye of the storm, is appalled at the attempt to portray the IDF as an immoral army. "There are those who say that the events in Jenin were like a holocaust. However, if you were to enter the camp, you would find that only a few dozen homes were destroyed. These were homes that were booby-trapped for the purpose of killing soldiers. This was a fortress of terrorism. 200 terrorists wired up the camp with booby-traps, they took control of it and recruited suicide bombers at every opportunity. In recent years, a third of the suicide bombers have come from the Jenin refugee camp. We found photo albums with pictures of children wearing explosive belts; studio photographs of future shahidim [martyrs], children aged between 16 and 18, who want to kill Israelis in suicide attacks. All the homes in the refugee camp are covered with wall-to-wall pictures of martyrs. It is unbelievable. These [martyrs] are their heroes.
Their aim was to carry out suicide attacks against the IDF soldiers. If there were innocent civilians in the area, they were either the hostages of the terrorists or collaborators. In any case, during each stage of the fighting, we called out to all those who did not want to fight - to leave the homes. The terrorists exploited the departure of these people, and they were shooting at us."
Dr. Zangen is a doctor of the brigade that fought in Jenin, and treated many of the wounded. "The soldiers fought without harming civilians", he stated. "This was noticeable in every place and on every level. I was moved by the sight of soldiers conducting themselves in such a dignified and moral manner. Most of us are reserve soldiers; we are not hotheaded people, and we were all very careful. I was impressed by the great care exercised by the IDF in avoiding civilian casualties - especially with regard to children. The resolve and volunteering spirit also impressed me. They were all ready to fight, and no one shirked their duties. The Unit and Divisional Commanders who fought there are the creme de la creme of the Israeli people, and it is thanks to them that we are still alive. They did not lose their humanity."
"I am infuriated by the claims of a massacre in Jenin, for another reason. The paramedics and I risked our lives to treat the wounded Palestinians. As well as the wounded, we also treated the sick. The Palestinian doctors did not come to their aid, and we could not leave them without medical treatment. The Palestinian doctors were unable to reach a girl who had an attack of appendicitis. The soldiers brought the girl over to us and we treated her. In another case, a youngster came to us with a neck wound. We saved his life, in spite of his Islamic Jihad tattoo. We tried to provide full treatment for every Palestinian, and I am proud of it. I am in no doubt: the Americans would not have taken such risks, and would have acted differently. We acted in this way, simply to avoid civilian casualties."
Hodi Broker from Haifa, a thirty-year-old teaching assistant from Technion university, who served as a paramedic in a field hospital, also talks about the treatment of the Palestinians: "an elderly person who was wounded in the refugee camp came to us. We treated him, and we wanted to send him back to Jenin, but there was nowhere for him [to receive treatment]. The 'Red Crescent' refused to take him. We took pity on him and we transported him to a hospital in Israel. I hope he is well."
Dr. Zangen, the father of four children, fought in Lebanon, and this is the first time that he is on the battlefield serving as a doctor. "When you are serving as a doctor, your perspective is completely different. It was difficult for me to witness soldiers being hit by mass murderers who have no red lines, and who are even prepared to exploit children. I saw pictures of children who were ready to carry out suicide attacks. As a pediatrician, it was terrible to see such a thing, and I am appalled by the very thought of a killing machine that exploits innocent children. For instance, soldiers encountered a six year-old boy who ran into the street with a bag. They wanted to check the contents of the bag, and he threw the bag at them. There were three pipe bombs in the bag. One other difficult problem is the treatment of wounded fellow-soldiers from the unit. It is a traumatic experience."
As the senior doctor on the ground, Zangen was forced to make difficult decisions - who should be treated on the ground? Who should be evacuated? When should treatment be abandoned, and be provided to another wounded [soldier]? "These are difficult moments, in which the fate of friends is determined. All the time, you are also aware that these people are reservists, with families, who were among the living, and all of a sudden, they are killed or wounded. And then, you are not only thinking about them, but also thinking about the widow and the orphaned children left at home."
Dr. Zangen has returned to Hadassah hospital, but the images of the battlefield are still fresh in his mind. He talks of the courage and the steadfastness of the wounded soldiers. "Some of these wounds were so severe, that I thought that they would be unable to withstand the pain. The soldiers suffered in silence, displaying true courage. They knew why they were fighting. I remember a soldier who was hit by a bullet in the stomach, and who suffered excruciating pain. Yet he wanted to know when he was going back into battle. The Israeli people need to know that we have a noble generation that we can all rely upon."
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis. Website: www.imra.org.il
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By Daniel Pipes. Jewish World Review August 7, 2002
For one piece of proof, note this reversal a few weeks ago: Yasir Arafat announced his belated acceptance of a generous Israeli offer that he had spurned two years earlier. This time, however, the Israelis responded with disdain.
To be sure, the Palestinian campaign of terror continues apace, with frequent, bloody successes. But it has failed to have the intended effect of demoralizing Israelis. Quite the contrary, the violence has promoted a sense of resolve and unity the likes of which Israel has not enjoyed for decades. "Rather than undermine our morale, the terrorist attacks only strengthen our resolve," observes JWR's Yossi Klein Halevi. A "notoriously fractious society has rediscovered its commonality," he concludes.
In contrast, consider three ways in which the Palestinians' own violence is causing them to suffer, lose ground, and have doubts:
Palestinian impoverishment. Two years of terrorism has brought on huge economic losses to Palestinians. Unemployment is variously estimated between 40 and 70 percent. Underemployment is no less dramatic: "University graduates, architects and engineers, men who once wore suits, now hawk flavored water, fruit, paper napkins and chewing gum alongside street children with their hands for alms," reports the Chicago Tribune.
As a result, over 50 percent of residents on the West Bank and some 80 percent in Gaza live below the poverty line, according to one recent survey. Just getting food is a problem. "I've been confined to my home for more than a month. I have eight children, we've eaten all we have," laments a falafel seller in Nablus.
He is hardly alone: preliminary results of a survey conducted in the Palestinian areas by Johns Hopkins University finds 30 percent of children suffering from chronic malnutrition and another 21 percent from acute malnutrition. (This said, even the Palestinians acknowledge that no one has died of starvation.)
The Palestinian Authority itself is nearly bankrupt, unable to pay salaries or other expenses.
Palestinian depression. Palestinian violence has ended normal life in the West Bank and Gaza, where the population labors under curfews, transportation barely moves, schools are mostly shut, and hospitals hardly function.
The result is severe depression. "Today is my wedding day and I want to die," exclaimed a bride who had few guests at her marriage, no food to serve them, and hardly any presents from them.
Misery leads some Palestinians to even contemplate the unmentionable; "I don't say [Israeli] occupation would be better," said a farmer in Jericho who let his peppers wilt on the vine. "But if they were occupying us, at least the city might be open," permitting his produce to get to market.
More broadly, fifty-five Palestinian intellectuals and public figures signed a petition in June condemning the continuation of suicide bombings in Israel. Ehud Ya'ari of the Jerusalem Report notes that "instead of automatic applause for the attacks, there is now a readiness to allow expressions of doubtfulness and dissent."
Palestinian recruitment woes. The unremitting Palestinian campaign of violence has prompted what appear to be effective Israeli countermeasures. Destroying the houses of suicide bombers' families, for example, dissuaded at least two would-be suicide bombers in recent days from carrying out their operations. Israel's Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, for one, detects in this particular development "the initial signs of deterrence" at work.
The highly trained cadres of the war's opening months have been replaced by hastily recruited volunteers or in some cases (such as the planted bomb at the Hebrew University cafeteria) different means entirely.
Hamas publicly acknowledges that it needs to find new methods against Israel, suggesting that the 70 suicide attacks of the past two years cannot be sustained.
The unwillingness of Hamas leaders to dispatch their own children to their deaths adds piquancy to this evolution. Israeli media have widely played recordings of a Hamas leader's wife as she is entreated to allow her son to become "one of the martyrs." To this she stiffly replies that the boy "is not involved in any of that ... my son is busy with his studies."
In brief, terrorism is not working. It takes a toll on the Palestinians without having the intended effect on Israel. Barring a major change, the Palestinians will wear themselves out fairly soon, probably by the year's end.
JWR contributor Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and the
author of several books. Comment by clicking:
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Terrorist's car hit by missile
Lechi soldiers did not carry out a massacre in Dir Yassin in 1948
|The IDF has decided that former Lechi fighter Ezra Yachin will no longer be allowed to lecture to soldiers as part of the army's educational seminars. Arutz-7 News: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2002
[ULTRA-LEFTIST] Meretz MK Naomi Chazan complained
that Yachin tells his audiences that Lechi soldiers did not carry out
a massacre in Dir Yassin in 1948. Yachin himself, who took part
in the Dir Yassin battle, says that the decision to keep him away from soldiers
"astonishes" him. He says that just as there
was no massacre in Jenin (2002), there was none in Dir
(Picture: Jordanian soldier)
The study finds that Dir Yassin was actually
a legitimate military target overlooking the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway,
from where Jewish traffic was regularly attacked. The pamphlet can
be read at
Arutz-7's Nissan Ratzlav-Katz reports that Hazen Nusseibeh, an editor for the Palestine Broadcasting Service's Arabic news in 1948, once told BBC the true origins of the "Dir Yassin massacre." Nusseibeh said that in consultation with Hussein Khalidi, then-Secretary of the Arab Higher Committee, "we wrote a press release stating that at Dir Yassin children were murdered, pregnant women were raped. All sorts of atrocities." When residents of the village protested this portrayal of events, Nusseibeh said, they were told that the lies were necessary to incite Arab armies to help fight the Jews, and that Khalidi said outright, "We have to say this so the Arab armies will come to liberate Palestine from the Jews."
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Picture: Jordanian bunker on Samuel's mountain outside Jerusalem on the way to Pisgat Zeev. See http://samuels-mountain-il.tripod.com