Federation Star & L’Chayim -Jewish News of Southwest Florida
June ‘2016 – If you tell a lie big enough ….
Commemorating the 68th anniversary of the founding of the modern State of Israel; we are reminded how important it is to preserve the true history of the Jewish State and the Jewish people. Most readers of this column are well versed in the history of Israel and as such, are challenged on an increasingly more frequent basis to combat the rewriting of history.
The news media around the world must be and is constantly monitored by organizations like Honest Reporting and Camera; who bring awareness to inaccurate and biased reporting about Israel and the Middle East that perpetuates anti-Israel and anti-Jewish prejudice. The news media is not alone in culpability in this process. Entertainment television as the single most influential instrument on society; is a primary source of shaping public opinion.
As an example; the popular ABC series Quantico, demonizes Israel with inaccuracies and outright untruths. Contrary to their presentation, Israel did not bomb greenhouses in Gaza; the greenhouses, purchased by American donors for $14 million dollars and given fully operational to the Arabs, were destroyed by the very same Arab looters and vandals of Gaza. In another story line, Jews were depicted as planning terrorist bombings in New York City, when in fact Muslims actually committed such bombings.
You are probably familiar with the quote from the propaganda minister for the Nazi party whose name should not be printed here; “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” There is another element to this strategy by that same individual; “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.” The single principal is the villainization of Israel; however on a positive note, there is actually more to the quotations above and its originator himself acknowledges; “… the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie.”
The anti-Israel / BDS propaganda machine that is active here in our own quiet corner of Southwest Florida keeps “the big lie” alive through the locally misinformed. Good people, I’m sure, who have the best of intentions, who generously give of their time and write to the local media and repeat the inaccuracies and the falsehoods. They misguidedly justify their belief with what, as one of them recently published; “people of faith are called by our God to work tirelessly for justice and peace throughout the world”. They have been convinced of a “peacemaking strategy that ensures justice and peace for both Israelis and Palestinians”. Last month’s ZOA column here touched on the reality and detriment of their movement. While contrary to the altruist’s intent, these good people have themselves become perpetuators of the “big lie”.
Whenever you see or hear something that you know to be incorrect or even has a ring of anti-Israel bias; there is something you can and should do. You can respond with facts. In the facts are the truth and the “mortal enemy of the lie.” Don’t be afraid to speak up in person or to write to the print media when you read something. The international organizations are extremely effective; however we must all constantly be alert, particularly here on a local level. There is a local cadre of letter-writers who have banded together to exchange writing techniques and become more informed. There are plans for letter writing classes sometime in the upcoming season. Watch for announcements in Federation publications or contact your ZOA chapter (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Last month we commended the politicians who are boldly opposing the BDS movement. This month we acknowledge and support our local activists who write blogs, columns and letters-to-the-editor in support of Israel. Thank you for your good work.
ZOA SWFL Applauds Anti-BDS Supporters
Recently Colorado and Arizona enacted “anti-BDS” bills and joined Illinois (the first in July 2015) and South Carolina. More and more states, 21 at last count, have presented bills to the US Congress as positive action to prevent economic warfare against the Jewish State.
This could not come at a more critical at a time; with the BDS movement so zealously infiltrating the mindset of the uninformed American public. Despite their purported objective; BDS is not about justice for Palestinians. If it were, the BDS movement would also be opposed to the Palestinian Authority, Fatah and Hamas; who actually oppress and impoverish their own people while consuming a huge percentage of international aid for indoctrination of their children to become terrorists, build up illegal armies and offensive weaponry stockpiles and construct “terror tunnels”. Instead; the BDS movement is just another enemy of the Jewish state rooted in traditional anti-Semitism.
In reality; BDS is extinguishing what had remained of peaceful co-existence, by inciting hatred and needlessly damaging the economic well-being of Arab Israelis. The most obvious example is its forced relocation of SodaStream©, costing the loss of 500 well-paying Arab jobs last October.
PLO leadership agreed, in 1993 by signing of the Oslo accords, to cooperate economically with Israel. Instead, PA leadership and anti-Israel hate groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine, Friends of Sabeel-North America and Jewish Voice for Peace have mounted anti-Semitic econo-warfare against Israel and Jews worldwide; including here in the USA.
As recently as February 2016; Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and ten other House members requested that the State Department investigate claims that Israel has committed “gross violations of human rights” with the intent to force cuts in military aid to Israel. Not surprisingly; this investigation was not released until after a frenzied media outbreak about an Israeli soldier shooting a “stabbing” terrorist. Which, at that time, according to MDA’s report of the latest form of intifada tallied 33 Israelis killed and more than 300 wounded in 222 terror attacks.
A number of far left-wing Jewish groups have been actively working to stop the passing of anti-BDS legislation. It is important to know and share this list of groups which includes: Partners for Progressive Israel, J Street (by honoring, featuring, and sponsoring BDS leaders at conferences and college campuses), Jewish Voice for Peace, Open Hillel, Americans for Peace Now, The Third Narrative (subsidiary of Ameinu), and the New Israel Fund (funds BDS groups, including the groups that built BDS infrastructure).
These groups along with Students for Justice in Palestine and Friends of Sabeel-North America are using university campuses as primary indoctrination centers. The ZOA, working with regional partners to monitor and identify extreme anti-Semitism that Jewish and pro-Israel students are facing in light of BDS activities; has developed statements and provided information to Campus Regents to assist them in identifying specific incidents college students have been facing. Campus Regents are beginning to recognize and acknowledge that anti-Israel events and BDS campaigns contribute to an atmosphere of hostility on campus which incites individuals to commit hate crimes against and target Jewish students.
The ZOA applauds Congress and House representatives and college administrators for their efforts to oppose the anti-Semitic econo-warfare of the BDS movement and support the right of Israel to self-determine. The goal of our ZOA chapter, like that of the national organization, is to educate the community, the general public, elected officials, and the media about the truth of the ongoing Arab war against Israel. We invite you to visit our web site at www.zoaswfl.org to learn more, to register to attend our programs and to get involved.
-Gene Sipe, VP SWFL Chapter
Good Guys Wear White Kippot
Commentary from the ZOA Southwest Florida
On the front page of a recent news periodical of one of the Israeli papers were two photographs almost side by side. One photo had the smiling faces of a group of cleanly shaved Israeli soldiers. The other photo was of a group of masked Hamas fighters. The article’s story lines on this day were unrelated; however the visual image portrayed an undeniable contrast.
Growing up in America just after the forming of the State of Israel instilled a belief in the western spirit of integrity; that an honorable man was proud to stand up for what he believed in. If his cause was just, there was no reason to hide his face from the public. The train and bank robbers of the old westerns were the “bad guys” who covered their faces with bandanas.
So now almost 70 years later, the incongruity of criminal investigations into the IDF’s actions on a field of battle is no less disturbing than the contrast of those photos. The absurdity of Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to submit an application to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) in order to bring charges against the State of Israel is equally as incongruous. He along with the other leaders of his party has partnered their Palestine Liberation Organization (PL) terror wing with Hamas, the very terrorists hiding behind black bandanas. Together they are already facing criminal charges levied against them in the US court system for terror attacks committed during the early 2000s.
Has the“goodguy” in the white hat has been replaced by the “terrorist” behind a black balaclava? Let’s see; one current terrorist watch list includes,in Israel alone; Hamas, PL, Hezbollah, Force 17, Comite’ de Blenfaisanceet de Solidarite’ avec la Plestine, Holy Land Foundation, Palestine al-Muslima and Tanzim. The total list includes 163 separate organizations actively in operation worldwide. Of these less than ten are not radical Islamists organizations.
The commonality of all of the various radical Islamist’s agenda is implementation of universal law, Sharia. Sharia is basically a legal system based on the teachings of the Qur’an, the Sunna and the Hadith of Mohammed. Westerners however are generally naive in regard to Sharia and the threat of terror and jihad. The penalty for leaving Islam in all schools of Sharia, whether Sunni or Shiite,is “death”.
Muslims critical of Sharia are intimidated, threatened or killed for expressing independent views. “Fatwas of Death”are commonly issued against is against anyone who deviates from the religious dictates or demand reform.The radicalism in devotion to Sharia law causes things like vigilantes to behead a convert from Islam to Christianity, for women to be legally stoned to death for committing adultery or prostitutes being executed for their activities.
Because Islam promises heavenly rewards to those who take the law into their own hands, individual Muslims are encouraged to become enforcers. When very few are arrested or punished for personally enforcing Sharia crimes, brutality becomes the commonplace under a Sharia governed society. It is understandable that people are often more afraid of their neighbors and family than of the police and hide their faces from public view.
Should radical Islamic terrorists be granted membership, the ICC will be rendered unable to differentiate between human rights abuses and Sharia honor killings. This can hardly be a fair and just organization to determine war crimes violations. The Criminal Courts can only be just when they represent a society where, when a cause is truly just, its supporters are not afraid for the world to see their true face.
Federation Star & L’Chayim
Commentary from the ZOA Southwest Florida
GROWING LEVELS OF ANTI-SEMITISM
“Why, why, why do they hate Us?” asked one of the most genial women I have ever had the privilege to know. This question came after a recent discussion on growing levels of anti-Semitism and from a member of our own community. I was at a loss to provide an answer this question that would console and it has discomforted me since.
Theories to why anti-Semitism exists and is currently on the increase are numerous. My take is that the very discomfort of not being able to provide that woman with an adequate answer provides a good basis to begin to explain the problem. It is the very nature of the Jewish spirit to crave to help others; to lessen their burden whether it is emotionally or materially. Of course we are human with all of the idiosyncrasies that go with it, but that soul or neshamah, while sometimes deeply buried, is there within us.
How can it be that any person could premeditatively derive pleasure from waiting until the most opportune time
while the largest possible gathering of Holy men are deeply engaged in prayer to pounce on them with not the most efficient weapons available, but the most brutal, vicious and violent implements of murder? That is just the point; if you are reading this, you most likely just can’t fathom it.
As people go about the business of their normal daily lives, they do not want to be told that they are not perfect; particularly when it comes to being responsible for their actions and little idiosyncrasies we mentioned earlier. The problem arises with this Jewish concept that professes a person is responsible for their own actions. This precept gets in the way of rationalizing away any act, whether horrendous or minor. In our example above those Rabbis, sitting in synagogue praying, are rationalized to be enemies of all Islam. They are defined by Islamist preacher, Minazur Rahman as combatants under Sharia law – “any adult, mature, capable kaffir (infidel) man.” He goes even farther to say “If he has no covenant of security with the Muslims, he is called a combatant. It’s not ‘did he fight,’ it’s about ‘is he capable to fight?’”.
This type of rationalization allegedly justifies outright barbarism and attempts to erase any trace of remaining morality. The mere existence of Jews is a reminder that maybe, just maybe, you can’t rationalize away your actions whether minor or major matters. Eliminate the Jews; eliminate the conflict of internal turmoil.
As long as societies’ values coincide with the moral precepts of Judaism and the law of the land enforces civilized treatment of its people, anti-Semitism appears to be held in check. While there may be anti-Semitic sentiments below the surface, outright displays are uncommon.
Unfortunately, as the Islamization of the world population grows, those who once were held in check no longer are as they see open and violent displays of anti-Semitic activity from the Muslim community. The pro-Palestinian demonstrations in the UK and France have generated spiked levels of anti-Semitic violence. The headlines testify that the rate is on the increase here in the US and Canada as well.
The Jewish response must be to hold fast to Jewish values and to bond with your community. Jews must display solidarity in purpose and help others who are in need. This has been and will continue to be the way Jews have endured whatever form of anti-Semitism the world spawns.
Federation Star & L’Chayim
Commentary from the ZOA Southwest Florida
THE IMPLICATIONS OF GROWING ANTI-SEMITISM
Anti-Semitism is unquestionably growing around the world. For those who thought that the US was immune; the acceleration of domestic incidents, particularly since the beginning of last Gaza War should evidence an unequivocal reality check. We have current documentation from the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai Brith Report ADL-100 Data on Anti-Semitism, released in September 2014.
This study shows not only a worldwide trend, but a radical shift in Europe where less than a decade ago, they appeared to be on their way to overcoming anti-Semitism! Three quarters (76%) of respondents to the study indicated that anti-Semitism has worsened over the past five years.
France’s Muslim population is at 15% of its total population. Radical Islamist organizations are particularly well established. The Union of Islamic Organizations of France (UOIF), the French branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, attracts tens of thousands of people to their meetings and “peaceful” demonstrations. They openly lend political and financial support to Hamas and organized Anti-Israel demonstrations during the Gaza War. The French police have designated over 750 neighborhoods as “no go zones” to protect their officers. French politicians do nothing about the situation because they do not want a confrontation with the UOIF.
This pattern across Europe is the result of a released suppression of an anti-Semitic sentiment that was dormant from the period immediately after the 2nd world war to the time of the demographic shift toward a significantly measurable Muslim population. Comments and even action that was then socially unacceptable is now shouted in the streets. This fuels public display of hatred toward the Jew, Israel and also the United States.
To the Middle Eastern tribal mentality, modernity is imperialism at its worst. The US and Israel are the two most powerful countries in their respective realms of influence and represent the force for modernity. Since anti-Semitism has perpetuated the concept that the Jew is at the heart of imperialistic dominance; the hatred of Jews is also directed toward the Jewish state of Israel. Add to this that America, the other imperialistic power is an ally of and allegedly controlled by a conspiracy of Jews; anti-Semitic logic dictates the undisputable hatred toward America.
This study was worldwide and the indications show that an anti-Semitic sentiment is not isolated to Europe and the Middle East. There is a significant anti-Semitic presence in the southern and western hemispheres as well. Globalization and economic realities of today’s world are factors that will inevitably increase worldwide anti-Semitism. Global economic forces have affected immigration patterns and the redistribution of Muslim populations. These population shifts bring with them ties to the Middle East and the current Middle East conflict.
The report uses the term ALARMING in its conclusions. It is most certainly alarming when the world’s Jewish community reports that during the 12 months preceding the survey for this report; a quarter of the respondents (26%) experienced verbal insult or harassment because they are Jewish and 4% percent physical violence or threats of violence. Almost half (46%) of the respondents are concerned about becoming the victim of verbal insult or harassment and one third (33%) feared a physical attack over the course of the next 12 months.
These statistics are the indicators that while we here in southwest Florida are somewhat isolated from the worst face of anti-Semitism, we cannot ignore that a quarter (23 %) of the worldwide Jewish community is afraid to travel to and attend Jewish events or sites and do not feel safe as a Jew. We must support organizations like the ADL and the ZOA and share this information with others so this baseless hatred can be overcome.
Federation Star & L’Chayim
Commentary from the ZOA Southwest Florida
How easily we switch from our IPhone 5 to version 6 without a second thought; and yet already we are wondering “what’s next?” It brings to mind one of Sir Winston Churchill’s famous quotations “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” So when it comes to the Middle East, why is it the goal of the anti-Israel groups to desire to return to the past or at the very least to continue the same strategies?
Let’s consider the concept of tribal rule. One’s first loyalty is to one’s family, then the tribe, then allies of the tribe and lastly coreligionists. Please, note that you did not see “flag and country” in that list because it is a western and “modern” concept. The state part of the Islamic State has no correlation to geographical boundaries or nationalism. The easiest way for the western thinker to come grasp this is to apply the analogy of Prohibition Era USA. Human life only had value if it supported the mob and its goals. Territories are whatever can be taken, exploited and held.
Westerners think of battle fronts in terms of border skirmishes; for example Gaza on the west, Hezbollah on the North, Syria on the northeast, etc. We seldom consider warring seasons. Fighting in the Middle East is traditionally done in the summer. When it is hot in the desert, irritable personalities are easier to motivate against one’s enemies. Note that the most recent wars against Israel have been initiated in the summer.
Because we use western concepts of war we limit our perspective. We must understand that the enemies of Israel are warring on multiple fronts, not only physical. Border disputes are nothing more than a distraction. We are in a period of ceasefire; however Israel’s enemies have simply temporarily redirected their efforts from raining rockets to resupply of armaments, re-digging tunnels and a return to the propaganda campaign to garner world support for the next assault.
To the world they claim need a state because they are denied basic human dignities by the “Zionist oppressors”. They have been quite skillful in marketing their cause to the naive and easily deceived. Any modern “state” would require the western concept of boundaries, in responsibility as well as geographical. Simply put; as these concepts have no value in the Middle Eastern reality, it is merely a tactic in the propaganda war. If it was really about a state, they would have one in 1948 or at the very latest 2000. The reality is that, as it is now (whether we are ready to concede it or not) it is virtually impossible to consider this option.
Their method is not fast but it is effective. They may be losing the bombing war, but winning in the media. Anti-Semitism is rampant throughout Europe and growing steadily in North America. Meanwhile, as the west embraces modernity and all of the benefits that come with it, the Middle East steadily reverts back to a culture that failed two centuries ago. Once again it is the norm for infidels to be captured and held for ransom or beheaded, piracy on merchant shipping and armies of radicals warring through the countryside in the name of the caliphate.
Getting back to our original premise, the simple answer is that Israel’s enemies have no desire to improve. They have no motivation to change. Conversely, Israel’s continued existence depends on her desire to improve. She developed previously unimaginable technology to protect her citizens from rocket fire. She is developing sensors to detect tunneling. She is restructuring the political gambit. She survives because she embraces change. Israel’s future is bright because each change is another step toward perfection.
Federation Star & L’Chayim
Commentary from the ZOA Southwest Florida
When I was a teen, my favorite literary genre was science-fiction. I marveled at the concept of technology that could provide safe environments from the hostile outside world. Well, welcome to life under the dome. Without the Iron Dome, Israel would be in rubble, its population mangled and its continued existence severely in question.In most of those syfi stories, the problem necessitating a dome was environmental. In today’s world, the problem is Jew hatred. There seems to be little doubt that the modern State of Israel came to fruition because of the Jew hatred of the Second World War. While that is a time we would wish were behind us, it is the only logical reason for the growing anti-Semitism we are experiencing around the world today. Europe notwithstanding, from evicting entire communities from their village in Guatemala to murdering unarmed rabbis on their way to synagogue, there is absolutely no other explanation.
Unlike Israel’s neighbors whose populations are under rule of murderous extremists or in the midst of civil war, Israel has an excelling economy that for the most part is providing for her entire population. When you read that the State of Israel is, after three months of investigation and debate, incorporating 4,000 dunams (988 acres) of over 90% unpopulated land into state controlled property to solve their housing crisis, you must wonder why the world is in an uproar.
Subsequently, the population who in the 1960’s began calling themselves Palestinians adopted a violent and relentless land grab with the sole intent to evict the Jews. Under the guise of wanting their own state they proved that that is not their intention at all. This cannot be more exemplified by the situation in Gaza. Today after four engagements by Israel, which were terminated prior to point of reoccupation, Hamas’ approval rating exceeds 60% of the residents of both Gaza and Judea/Samaria. They have no economy to speak of, however they see no problem with receiving billions of dollars funded by outside contributors that are used for weapons and terror tunnels or are stolen by their leaders rather than for the development of social programs and infrastructure. At the same time, they rely upon Israel for their electric, water and sanitation systems.
Jews have been forced from every Arab country and their very existence is threatened in Europe and the eastern bloc. The tiny sliver of real estate known as Israel has and continues to absorb and integrate Jewish refugees from around the world. They are condemned by world leaders and the United Nations, whose purpose is allegedly to “maintaining international peace and security, promoting human rights, fostering social and economic development, protecting the environment, and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict”.
So, let us consider, Israel provides for her citizens (including women and homosexuals) who have equal rights and freedoms, she absorbs Jewish refugees from all around the work and builds a dome of defense to protect its population. However when, Israel builds homes for her residents, she is condemned.
Where the near and middle east is in turmoil, tanks and bombs are crossing borders by the thousands, entire populations are displaced or worse being exterminated, the reality of the world’s position toward Israel has nothing to do with creating a “Palestinian” state. There can be no other explanation than outright anti-Semitism. As such, we as Zionists must preserve Israel as a refuge for Jewish survival. It is more critical now than ever before to find friends and supporters on Capitol Hill, let them know how important it is to support Israel’s sovereignty and ask them to provide financial aid and technological support to defend Jewish existence.
Federation Star & L’Chayim
Commentary from the ZOA Southwest Florida
As the quote attributed to Albert Einstein goes; Insanity, or mishugas for you Yiddish speakers, is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. This simple concept seems to be inconceivable in Gaza, Judea, Samaria and within the halls of the White House, UN and EU when it comes to the State of Israel.
Israelis have a state/homeland. Israel’s Arabs want to have a state too, but they want the same piece of real estate where Israel currently exists. This has been the reality for more than 65 years and for more than 65 years the Arabs have been attempting to evict the Jews from that land. Also, a reality too is that, Israel is not going away.
The Israeli Arab population has been continuously throughout this time been indoctrinated by their leaders and the UN, who has perpetuated the longest running refugee prototype in the history of the world, that they can have their state and on this very same real estate. No-one in their entire population under the age of 65 has any reason to believe differently. Is it any wonder that they cannot conceive of the mishugas in their world precept?
Is it then also not mishuga for the Israelis to continue to deal with this population in the same manor? Israel continues to try to find a peaceful to coexistence with the Arab population through negotiation and the Arabs respond with violence. After the first intifada, Israel enters into peace accords in Oslo to be re-joined with a second intifada. On the Lebanon border, multiple defensive wars have been required to keep rockets from raining on Israeli citizens. Given the opportunity to self-rule, after Israel forcefully evicted its own Jewish residents from Gaza, the Arabs spend billions on weapons and tunnels; forcing Israel to send in ground forces not once, but three times in the course of nine years.
As I write this amid yet another ceasefire, Israel again searches for a negotiated peace. Unfortunately the Arab leadership, both parties of the “unified” government, blatantly declare to their citizens and the world that they have no intention of disarming. So how long will it be before the tunnels are rebuilt and the stockpiles replenished?
To Israel’s credit, they were willing to attempt trying to allow their Arabs the opportunity to self-govern with the Unilateral 2005 Gaza Experiment. It didn’t work. The result increased violent aggression and further reinforced the Arab’s belief that violence furthers their cause.
All of the well-intended (and not-so-much) countries and organizations inserting themselves into negotiations continue to perpetuate the myth that negotiation is viable. Peace through negotiation is only possible after a sworn enemy no longer has the ability or desire to wage war. This Arab population with more than 65 years of continuously reinforced hatred has no reason or impetus whatsoever to maintain a peaceful existence with Israel.
Weapons capabilities now reaching into the center and heavily populated portions of Israel, causes the number of Israeli citizens who are no longer content with “doing the same thing over and over again” is growing. The percentage of Israelis in support of their administration is at an all-time high. For the first time since the founding of the state, a 3/4 majority of Israelis support disarming and preventing regrowth of the terrorists’ infrastructure.
Zionism is about Jewish homeland and sovereignty. Israel must be allowed to resolve this problem and have US support to do so. As Zionists in the diaspora, we must be diligent in support of our leaders who support Israel and encourage them to stand firm on Capitol Hill against those who wish to continue the mishagas of the “same thing” again.
Israel must be allowed to handle own affairs
Ft Myers News Press
Guest Opinion: Gene Sipe
Re: “Extremists stand in way of Israeli-Palestinian peace,” Laurence Rosenberg, July 16. Mr. Rosenberg, please do not paint all Jewish-Americans with your idealistic, Western perspective unconditional belief in President Barack Obama, his administration and the U.S. state department.
There are those among us who lay a large portion of the blame for the current status of this war directly at the doorstep of the president.
Precisely because Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have placed Israel’s higher need for peace at the top of the agenda, as you state, Hamas and Fatah (the so-called Unity Government), whose primary common interest is the destruction of Israel, have been encouraged to believe that they have state status rather than being labeled the terrorist murderers that they truly are.
In so doing, this administration has aided in the propagation of what amounts to a civil war within the borders of Israel.
As you rightly correlate; just as there are many Israelis who believe in a two-state solution, there are also a growing number who see the futility of this aspiration. Before labeling them rejectionists, let us consider the rejectionists.
The British mandate was accepted by the Jews and the state of Israel was founded. And the same mandate for an Arab state was rejected by the Arab world. The five bordering neighbors so rejected the Jews having their own state that they have continuously attempted to push them to the sea since that forming in 1948.
There have been numerous opportunities for peaceful resolution. Just to recall a few; in 2000, Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, offered the Arabs 95 percent of their demands. The response/rejection took the form of the first Intifada war, which lasted five years. In 2005, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon unilaterally handed over the entire Gaza Strip, forcefully evacuating its Jewish residents. This rejection of peace took the form of destruction of the infrastructure left behind and the election of the terrorist Hamas by 75 percent of the Arab residents.
Given the opportunity for as little as secession in bombing in this current conflict, the Arabs choose to reject by increasing the barrage of bombs and massing supposedly innocent civilians atop Hamas’ bunkers and supply depots. After Israel has announced that these areas will be targeted, voluntarily remaining on these sites constitutes change of status from “innocent” to “enemy combatant.” Regardless, countless IDF pilots have aborted bombing runs to minimize civilian losses. Yes, Israeli pilots have the authority and do call off missions if they deem it necessary.
Israel has and continues to approach this conflict as the most humane army in the history of warfare. However, peace treaties will only work with an enemy only after they no longer have the ability or desire to wage war. At this time, neither Hamas nor Fatah have any impetus to give up on their ultimate goal of the elimination of the Jewish state.
If there is any hope for peaceful existence in Israel, Israel and Israel alone must be allowed to resolve this problem. They cannot be hamstrung by the U.S. and world pressure to discontinue rooting out and eliminating these criminal murderers.
The misguided, misinformed or simply naive do not understand the nature of the Middle East mindset. If peace is truly the outcome desired, then Israel must be allowed to resolve this situation on her own terms.