Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Rosh Hashanna, Yom Kippur--and Arab accusations

On September 26, 2014—the first day of the Jewish Rosh Hashanna (New Year)--Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas walked into Man’s Temple of Peace (the UN). He went there to speak before the nations of the world. He went with a message in his pocket.

In the ‘hallowed’ General Assembly Meeting Hall (sanctuary?), he had an opportunity to talk of peace and security for his region. He had the opportunity to lay the groundwork for accepting the world’s only Jewish State. He had the chance to break away from his history of hate. He did not do any of that.

He did not bring an offering of peace to Man’s Temple of Peace. He did not speak of the UN’s Mission to develop world peace. He did not speak of being inspired by the UN’s commitment to peace.

Instead, he ignored the UN. He ignored the Temple of Peace. He ignored peace altogether.

He stood before the world, before G-d, and rejected peace. He declared that he would never forget or forgive Israel for defending itself in a war Abbas’ own Hamas-Fatah unity government had started.

He walked into Man’s holiest secular sanctuary and desecrated it. No one condemned him. No one criticized him.

He did not place an offering of peace before the nations. He placed before the nations reasons for war. He accused a Member State (Israel) of genocide against his ‘people’.

Then, just three days later, the Palestinian Authority’s chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, demonstrated how truly insane the Arab anti-Israel war machine has become. He didn’t just accuse Israel of war crimes. For the Arab propaganda machine, that would have been too ordinary.

He upped the ante. He made two new accusations against Israel. 

First, despite the fact that the UN—and everyone else in the world--claims that app 2,100 Gazans died in the 50-day war with Israel that ended on August 26, 2014, Erekat now claimed that that number was wrong. Israel hadn’t killed 2,100 Gazans. Israel, he said, had killed 12,000 Gazans—and wounded another 12,000 (“PA’s Erekat claims 96% of Gaza dead were civilians”, Times of Israel, September 29, 2014). 

His claim is completely false. In fact, it’s slanderous.

But Erekat didn’t stop there. In the same radio interview, he made a second claim. He said that 96 per cent of those killed in Gaza were civilians (ibid).  

Even the UN doesn’t believe that. Using numbers given to the UN by Hamas Health Ministry officials (which, we now know, were not objective), the UN believes that 72 per cent of Gazan casualties were civilian (“Report: The Gaza Crisis: The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, August 21, 2014).

Since the early stages of the war, Israel has claimed that only 53 per cent of Gazan casualties were civilians, not 72 per cent. But, given an almost universal rejection of anything Israel claimed during that 50-day fight, no one accepted that number. Instead, everyone—including the UN--accepted Hamas’ numbers. Everyone chose to believe the terrorist (Hamas) over the democracy (Israel).

As of October 1, 2014, the only serious study of Gazan casualties has been done by the Israeli Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (“Examination of the names of Palestinians killed in Operation Protective Edge - Part Five”, September 22, 2014). This group took the trouble of actually reviewing in detail the list of casualty names Hamas has issued. Using public records, information publicly available, and lists of the dead provided by the Hamas Health Ministry, the Palestinian Health Ministry and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) currently estimates that only 51 per cent of the casualties were civilian—not 72 per cent, and certainly not 96 per cent.

The ITIC hasn’t finished its analysis. But its findings to date have consistently suggested that only 51-54 per cent of Gazans killed were civilian.

In this war, Hamas actively used human shields (“Hamas again uses Gazan civilians as human shields to prevent the Israeli Air Force from attacking operatives' houses”, Amit Meir Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, July 10, 2014). Hamas actively told Gazan civilians not to heed Israeli warnings to vacate their homes (ibid). In such a war, any Gazan civilian casualty numbers below 60 per cent of total casualties would mean that Israel had taken extraordinary steps to reduce civilian casualties. That would mean that Israel was unique in the history of war for the care it took to protect civilians.

Apparently, the world doesn’t want to hear that. It certainly doesn’t seem to find anything particularly wrong with Erekat’s claim that civilians represented 96 per cent of casualties in the Gazan war of 2014.   

Today, we are between the Jewish Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur holidays. Judaism teaches that these interim days are days of judgment. Everyone is being held accountable.
The nations of the world don't care what Judaism teaches. Why should they? 

Perhaps they should care. The G-d of Israel has a very Jewish Story to tell the world. It’s the Story of the Final Jewish Redemption. Abbas’ accusations before the UN are destined to become part of that Story. Erekat’s outrageous accusations are destined to become part of that Story. The UN's behaviour is destined to become part of that Story.

Will Abbas, Erekat and the UN become vehicles to fulfil Biblical prophecy? Stay tuned.

The G-d of Israel will not disappoint you.

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