When you live in Israel, you get to view the world through the prism of daily life in a Jewish state. You quickly learn that there is a world war against Israel’s very existence.
You can’t avoid it.
Hamas and Fatah pledge to destroy Israel. Hamas pledges to kill all Jews, everywhere. The 57 Muslim Member-states of the international Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OCI) all pledge to fight Zionists and re-establish ‘the Caliphate’ (“ORGANIZATION OF ISLAMIC COOPERATION (OIC)”, Erkam Koca, academia.edu, no date).
For the entire Arab world, fighting ‘the Zionists’ means one thing: destroy the ‘Zionist entity’.
They’re not alone. Humanitarians, the UN and the EU join them.
Don’t you read the news? Israel is evil.
A new essay by Denis MacEoin, on the Gatestone Institute website, takes a close look at this Israel-is-evil story. It’s entitled, “Is Israel Guilty of War Crimes?” It was published January 29, 2015.
It’s extremely long. But it’s worth your time. It cites sources to prove that this story is false. It’s very thorough.
Here is a heavily edited version of that essay. Changes to the essay reflect my own opinion. Read the full essay yourself.
It begins: On November 4, 2014, Amnesty International published a scathing report on Israeli "war crimes" in Gaza during the 2014 war between Hamas and Israel. Entitled, "Families under the rubble: Israeli attacks on inhabited homes," the report accuses Israel of displaying "callous indifference" in launching attacks on homes in the densely populated coastal strip. It argued that in some cases this conduct amounted to war crimes.
The following day, the recently retired UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, published an article in the New York Times. She called for Europe to allow "Palestine" to be admitted to the International Criminal Court [ICC] (to be able to bring war crimes charges against Israel).
One day later, November 6, 2014, the chief military commander of the U.S., General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a man with lifelong military experience, including senior service in Iraq, flatly contradicted both Amnesty and Pillay. He said, "I actually do think that Israel went to extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and civilian casualties".
Dempsey's remarks are a direct echo of sentiments expressed by a former British commander in Afghanistan, Col. Richard Kemp: "The way that this conflict [Operation Protective Edge] is being portrayed in many, many media outfits by many reporters, by some politicians round the world, is the mirror opposite of reality. Israel has been demonized. Israel has been accused of committing war crimes. The real war crimes have been committed by Hamas" ("The Gaza War in 5 Minutes: Thoughts from Col. Richard Kemp", YouTube, 10 November 2014).
The fundamental issue here is whether any of the accusations against Israel are true. Has Israel been committing terrible crimes in Gaza? Or were the war crimes in this conflict actually committed by Hamas?
There’s another question here: are claims of Israeli war crimes born, not from humanitarian concern, but from a revival of anti-Semitism?
For me, this essay goes a long way to suggest that anti-Semitism plays a far more important role in these accusations than we’ve been led to believe. For example, most people know that Islamist groups such as al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, Hizbullah and Hamas are considered terrorists because they do not abide by the terms of international or domestic law. That, as well as the acts they commit, is what identify them as terrorists rather than "freedom fighters". But with Islamic terror groups, there is another factor at work: religion.
All the norms of the Geneva Conventions, UN resolutions, international treaties, the protection of refugees, and all things that govern military action and aspects of internationally accepted norms of law, are all rejected by Islamic terrorists. They are rejected because these terrorists only recognize one legal system--Islamic Shari'a law.
Shar’ia law is distinct. It doesn’t recognize international law as we define it. It sees only the law of jihad.
The embrace of Islamic law frees Hamas and other such groups from any obligation to abide by any international standards, which they demonize as "Western" or "Christian" and therefore "Satanic." Because of Shar’ia, Hamas is free to break every clause in every Charter ever written for International law.
The Islam of these terrorists is also virulently anti-Semitic.
The West ignores terrorist rejection of international law. It ignores the Jihadi content of Islamic terror. It ignores the Jew-hate. Instead, it criminalizes Israel.
Israel, meanwhile, more than any other nation, understands the need to stay on the right side of the law. It knows that the eyes of the world are on it. That’s why virtually every decision made in the 2014 war had an Israeli lawyer looking at it.
Hamas freely sneers at ethical norms. It rejects the Geneva conventions. It disregards international law in every way.
This disparity leads one to ask a simple question: why would the world condemn Israel, yet give Hamas billions of dollars to build more missiles and tunnels?
Arabs and humanitarians accuse Israel of "indiscriminate" attacks against civilians. But these accusations mock the reality that Israel's military equipment is second to none with regard to its technological sophistication. Given Israel's international reputation as one of the most technically advanced countries in the world, we should expect Israel to hit its target with precision.
Mostly, it did.
Israelis aren’t stupid. They understand the danger of civilian casualties. Every civilian casualty harms Israel's standing in the world. It makes no sense at all for such a technically competent country to fire indiscriminately on civilians.
Is it possible that such an accusation is just more anti-Semitism, designed to criminalize and ‘Satanize’ the Jewish Israel?
Read the essay. Decide for yourself.