TOP FIVE LIES ABOUT ISRAEL
and why you don’t know the truth
Jewish settlements are an obstacle to peace.
Even the US has recognised that a settlement freeze will not lead to progress on the core issues, primary of which is Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital. Before 1967 there were no settlements and yet there was no peace. Houses can always be torn down after borders are determined. Or maybe Jews could be allowed in a Palestinian state, as Israel has accepted its 1.4 million Arab citizens.
Israel's claim to its land is not legitimate.
The land of Israel has been occupied continuously by Jews for over 3000 years. Israel is the only country with UN authorization for its existence.
Palestinians have a legitimate claim to Jerusalem as their capital.
Jerusalem was the capital of a Jewish state for 1000 years, and has been the focus of Jewish tradition and prayer ever since. It has never been the capital of an Arab state nor is it mentioned in the Koran. Under Jordanian rule (1948-1967) Jews were killed or expelled, holy places were desecrated and Jewish gravestones were used for urinals. Under Israeli rule, Arab holy places are protected.
Israel's 2009 invasion of Gaza was not ‘proportional’.
Over 7000 rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza. The proper response to attacks that kill and injure children is not to kill an equal number of enemy children, but to try to eliminate the source of the attacks. According to a British expert, Israel ‘did more to safeguard the rights of civilians… than any other army in the history of warfare’ while fighting an enemy that hides among civilians. The Palestinian lies about civilian casualties were refuted by Hamas itself, which admitted in November that 600-700 Hamas men were among the 1300 casualties. A simple gender analysis shows that the ratio was even higher.
Israel's blockade of Gaza is illegal.
According to the UN charter, a blockade is one of the first actions to be taken against an aggressor. Israel's ‘blockade’ is in fact an arms embargo. Goods are shipped daily from Israel to Gaza, where there is much prosperity. Sick Gazans are brought to Israel for treatment.
Those who know these truths understand that:
- Houses are not an obstacle to peace; the real obstacle is the Palestinians' refusal to accept a Jewish state.
- Israel has more right to its land than most other countries.
- Israel's claim to Jerusalem is far stronger than the Palestinian claim.
- Israel's invasion of Gaza was moral and legal.
- Israel's arms embargo of Gaza is moral and legal.
Why don't most people know these truths? Because the news media either ignore them or bury them under a deluge of Palestinian claims.
Advertisement was paid for by Kiwis for Balanced Reporting on the Middle East, who want you to know the whole truth. To support our work go to Feedback at kbrm.org.nz or write to KBRM, PO Box 51133 Pakuranga 2140.
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GAZA Flotilla: The Missing Truths
Although the flotilla raid is past, it offers another example of how the media distorts the truth to make Israel look bad. If you believe Israel was guilty of crimes, please read the following “missing truths.”
Why a blockade? In 2005, Israel withdrew from Gaza , hoping for peace. In 2007, Hamas, which by its very charter is sworn to destroying Israel, took over Gaza . Over 6,000 rockets were launched at civilian targets in Israel, causing 28 deaths and injuring hundreds (BBC). In Siderot, Israel, 90% of the residents have had a missile explode directly on their street or the next. Israel did what the UN says should be done to stop aggression — it imposed a partial blockade on Gaza, just as Britain did to Germany in WWII and to Argentina in the Falklands war.
Is Israel acting alone? No. The Gaza blockade is run jointly by both Egypt and Israel. Egypt, a Muslim country, feels the same need to keep arms away from this terrorist government on its border. Even the Palestinian Authority, fearful of Hamas, pleaded with President Obama to allow the blockade to continue.
Is it a full blockade? No. Medicine, food, and other consumer needs are allowed through. Ambulances are given swift passage through checkpoints into Israeli hospitals. )What other nation tends to the sick from its sworn enemies?) What are disallowed are items that have real or potential military use (guns, gunpowder-making chemicals, timers, fuses, some fertilisers, steel pipes, etc.).
Is there a humanitarian crisis? No. Each week Israel sends Gaza over 13,000 tons of food and medical supplies, one million litres of diesel fuel, and 900 tons of cooking gas. Any poverty in Gaza results from the totalitarian Hamas government, not from a shortage of basic necessities. In fact a luxury shopping mall was opened last month. “There is no starvation in Gaza. No one has died of hunger,” says a senior Hamas official (Daily Telegraph). “The only place where refugees drive Mercedes”, says reporter Tom Gross. Ironically, in Gaza the life expectancy is longer and the infant mortality rate lower than they are in Turkey , where the flotilla originated.
Did Israel "raid" the flotilla? No. The Israeli military asked the six flotilla ships bound for Gaza to dock so their cargos could be inspected for weapons. Only one ship ignored this simple process — the one whose crew was armed with weapons and instructed to resist with force any attempt to divert the vessel. As part of its blockade, Israel could have fired on the vessel, but instead chose to attempt a peaceful boarding, despite the risk to its men. That risk turned out to be very real.
Photo taken from IDF video of the attempted boarding. To see the full video, Google “passengers attacking IDF”.
Did Israel initiate the violence? No. When soldiers rappelled onto the sixth ship from a helicopter, they were met with axes, knives, metal pipes and guns*. Ten Israeli soldiers were wounded. It was only then that Israel responded with armed force, resulting in nine deaths. (The video is a must-see; Google “passengers attacking idf”.) Protecting its troops is what any military would do.
What have other nations done? Other nations, especially Arab ones, have done far, far worse. In 1982 Syria , vexed by terrorism from the Muslim Brotherhood in Hama shelled the insurgents, killing up to 35,000 residents. In 1988, Saddam Hussein gassed Kurds in Halabja, killing 5,000 residents. In both cases the Arab world remained silent. Israel's tolerance and restraint toward enemies that have vowed “to turn the sea red with Jewish blood” stands in marked contrast to these and other actions. Yet the world chooses to condemn Israel , a small country with rocket-firing zealots on its borders who, when given the chance, board city buses and detonate bombs specifically designed to kill civilians.
What should Israel have done? It seems that the world expected Israel to ignore the flotilla and allow any munitions to be safely delivered. However Israel refuses to commit suicide and insists on protecting its people. According to the International Court of Justice, this is not only its right, but its duty.
Although no guns were recovered, a bullet in one of the wounded soldiers was not of the calibre used in Israeli weapons.
If Palestinians had accepted the original UN partition plan, we would now be celebrating the 62nd Anniversary of a Palestinian State . Instead we are mired in the current conflict. When the world acknowledges the validity of Israel as a nation whilst also supporting the Palestinians, both financially and peacefully, to change their focus from making conflict to meaningful production, giving them hope - only then will this conflict end and Israelis and Palestinians live together harmoniously.
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A Letter to Gaza
The following letter (abridged) by Nonie Darwish, author of ‘Now they call me infidel’, was written to a Gaza resident who asked ‘how could you become an enemy to the tortured Palestinian people who are still suffering at the hands of Zionists?’
Dear Gaza resident,
I am not the enemy of Arabs and I assure you that I love my original culture and people. What makes me different is that I not only love Arabs, but I also love the Jewish people. I respect their right to live in peace in their tiny homeland, Israel. I understand how that could be puzzling and unbelievable to many Arabs, to love both Jews and Arabs.
We Arabs have suffered from an indoctrination into Islamic supremacy and Jew hatred for over 1400 years. The entire Muslim world is using the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza to justify their jihad against not only Israel, but also all non-Muslim countries. That is why Muslim countries can never abandon the constant hate propaganda, lies and misinformation about Israel and the West. The UN must be constantly bombarded by complaints from Arab countries against Israel. The Arab street must be constantly bombarded with accusations of Zionist conspiracies and the world falls for it every time.
What I, and a few others, are trying to do is bring the truth to both Muslims and non-Muslims to finally face this sick game. We want to encourage Arabs to look at Jews as human beings and not as enemies to conquer.
Arab education never told us the truth about the Israeli people and what Jerusalem means to them. We were told that Jerusalem was a Muslim city simply because Mohammed dreamt one night that he went to the farthest mosque, but he never mentioned Jerusalem. The Koran never mentioned Jerusalem, which is mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible as the heart and soul of the Jewish people. Just imagine if Jews or Christians had built a temple on top of the Kaaba in Mecca. This is how Islam has treated the Jews. It is time for Muslims to seek redemption and forgiveness and to extend the hand of reconciliation and peace to the Jewish people.
The original letter (see frontpagemag.com or google ‘letter to gaza’) was submitted to leading newspapers but not published. Once again Kiwis for Balanced Reporting on the Middle East is paying so you can see another ‘missing truth’. To support our work, visit kbrm.org.nz or write to PO Box 16, Albert Town.
THE REAL WAR CRIMINALS
The Gaza war of 2009 was followed by a deluge of accusations against Israel for ‘war crimes’, based on a UN report known as the Goldstone report. Unfortunately, this report relied solely on Palestinian testimony because Israel, believing that the investigators were biased, refused to cooperate in its own vilification. Instead, Israel undertook its own investigation and released what is known as the Malam report, containing 335 pages filled with photos and other supporting evidence. Surprisingly (or perhaps not surprisingly), there has been no mention of this report in the NZ press. Once again KBRM is paying for an advert so Kiwis can see Israel's response — another ‘missing truth’.
Cause of war. Israel was fighting an enemy that was openly dedicated to its destruction, that had fired 8000 rockets over a period of years, that was (and still is) holding a kidnapped soldier hostage without access to the International Red Cross. All these acts of war were ignored or minimised by the Goldstone report, which claimed that support for the war was because Israel “created a political climate in which dissent is not tolerated.” The notion that the majority of Israelis genuinely supported action to bring years of continuous rocket and missile attacks against Israeli civilians to an end does not appear to have occurred to the members of the Mission. [Would not New Zealanders feel the same way?]
Nature of the war. The Goldstone Report ignored the asymmetric nature of the warfare in a densely-populated environment where terrorist operatives employed civilians as human shields. Aerial photographs show that Hamas' extensive military infrastructure was deployed in residential neighborhoods, including military camps, rocket launching sites, and shooting ranges. Air Force videos show terrorists using groups of children as cover to escape from combat areas. Hamas also used children to transfer rockets to launching sites, employed women carrying children to prevent the IDF from attacking, used ambulances to transfer weapons, and used mosques to store weapons and position snipers. Weapons were also stored in or near hospitals and rockets were fired from locations close to hospitals.
War crimes”. The Goldstone report contained 36 specific allegations of ‘war crimes’. Israel's investigation found that most either had no basis in fact or were legitimate military actions. In cases of actual violations, appropriate punishments have been meted out. Examples of false accusations are: (a) A flour mill was hit by a tank shell because Israeli forces came under intense fire from the mill. (b) A family home was destroyed because it was used to store rockets. (c) The charge that IDF forces killed dozens of civilians at a UN school was contradicted by eyewitnesses who said the school building was not hit, while 9 of the 12 people killed were armed terrorists.
Casualty count. The Goldstone report, relying on Palestinian claims that 80% of the casualties were civilians, said “this raises very serious concerns about the conduct of Israel's military activities”. Israel's report that the civilian casualty rate was less than 40% (a lower rate than for Allied forces in WWII, when the enemy did not hide among civilians) was ignored. (A simple analysis of the Palestinian Human Rights Centre report shows how unreliable the figures are. According to PHRC, in the age range 15-59, 1079 males and 92 females were killed, while among the elderly and young, male and female casualties were about equal. It defies belief that these additional 987 fighting-age males were mostly innocent ‘civilians’ who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.)
Despite this, the Goldstone report, and the world, chose to blame Israel, which acted to defend its citizens while trying to minimise civilian casualties, instead of Hamas, which declared war on Israel, fired 8000 rockets at civilian areas, and used civilians as human shields. Col Richard Kemp, a British expert on terrorism warfare, testified to the UN that “The IDF did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.” Now you tell us, who is the real war criminal?
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Ad # Twelve
Jerusalem: The missing truth
Recent news coverage of the Middle East has focused on Arab protests and other criticism of Israel for building or rebuilding Jewish homes and synagogues in Jerusalem. The following article, which presents important facts about this issue, was submitted to this newspaper but not accepted. This tendency of the press to print primarily one side of the story is why Kiwis for Balanced Reporting on the Middle East exists — to supply the “missing truths”.
History. Around 1000 BC, Jerusalem became the capital of the Jewish nation under King David. It remained the capital, with a few interruptions, for a thousand years. The city was subsequently occupied by a number of different groups, including a 400-year period of Arab rule beginning in 638 AD. In 1517 Jerusalem was captured by the Turks and remained part of the Ottoman Empire until WWI, when the British mandate began. At no time in its 3,000 year history has Jerusalem been the capital of any nation or people other than Jews.
Until 1865 Jerusalem consisted of what is now called the Old City . Later it expanded as both Jews and Arabs began to build in areas outside the walls. Throughout, except for the period of the Crusades (1099-1187), there was a continuous Jewish presence. When the first census was taken in 1844 there were 7120 Jews, 5760 Muslims and 3390 Christians, and there has been a Jewish majority since 1890.
When the British mandate ended in 1948 and the UN partition plan was supposed to be implemented, the population of Jerusalem had grown to 165,000, two-thirds of whom were Jews, including a thriving Jewish community in East Jerusalem . Many Arabs had immigrated because of the prosperity brought by the British mandate and by Jewish development. The Old City alone held over 5,000 Jews and dozens of synagogues, as well as sites of fundamental importance to the Jewish religion, such as the City of David , the Temple Mount and the Western (Wailing) Wall. Two major Jewish institutions, Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital , were located on Mount Scopus in Eastern Jerusalem.
The Jordanian invasion. The UN partition plan was accepted by the Jews, but not by the Arabs. Five Arab armies attacked, determined to drive the new nation of Israel into the sea, while Arab snipers in Jerusalem began shooting at Jewish residents. (This was when the refugee problem developed, as many Arabs fled from the war that they had started, most at the urging of Arab leaders who promised a quick victory.) The Arabs lost the war, but Jordan maintained control of East Jerusalem and the Old City , which the UN had intended to be an international city under UN administration.
During this period over a thousand Jewish civilians were killed and others were expelled from homes where their families had lived for hundreds of years. Jews were denied access to the Wailing Wall and other holy sites, 58 of the 59 synagogues in the Old City were destroyed, and headstones from the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives were used to pave walkways to Jordanian army latrines.
Yet there were no international protests or UN resolutions condemning this illegal annexation and ethnic cleansing. One wonders what would happen today if Israel were to expel the non-Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem and dynamite every Arab and Christian holy place! Yet that is precisely what the Jordan Legion did to the Jews of Jerusalem in 1948.
Recapture by Israel. In 1967 Jordanian troops began shelling West Jerusalem from positions in the eastern part of the city, but in the subsequent fighting were again defeated. Once again Jerusalem became the capital of the reborn Jewish state - a unified city with freedom of religion and access to holy sites for all religions, including Islam and Christianity.
Palestinian protests. Building new houses in Jewish areas or rebuilding a synagogue that was destroyed by the Arabs is not oppression. The Palestinian protests arise from their desire to keep out Jews, in marked contrast with Israel's acceptance of 1.4 million Palestinians as full citizens. Ironically, while Palestinians were rioting to protest the building of Jewish houses, a square was being dedicated in the centre of Ramallah, the Palestinian capital, to honour a terrorist who was responsible for the deaths of 38 men, women and children in the deadliest suicide attack in Israel's history.
Root of the conflict. The root cause of the conflict is not Jewish houses, nor is it the status of Jerusalem. Palestinians were offered sovereignty over part of East Jerusalem twice, by PM Barak in 2000 and PM Olmert in 2008, and twice turned it down. The root cause is what it has been for 62 years: the desire of Israel to exist in peace with its neighbours vs. the desire (and actions) of Palestinian militants to destroy it. Palestinian children are taught that their land extends from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, and that Jews have no historical connection with Jerusalem . Peace will come only when the Palestinians accept Israel's right to exist.
This advertisement was paid for by Kiwis for Balanced Reporting on the Middle East. Those who want to support our work can visit the Feedback page at www.kbrm.org.nz
Ad #Twelve A
The letter they didn't want you to read
On Jan 20 and 30 The Press published two letters from someone who attacked and questioned Kiwis for Balanced Reporting on the Middle East and me, its chairman. I was allowed to respond to the first letter without abridgment, but my response to the second letter was not published, even though it was within the guideline — in fact, 44 words shorter than the attacking letter. While KBRM's mission is to correct errors and supply missing truths about Israel, we also want you to know the truth about us. We hope that The Press will return to its earlier policy of fairness and allow equal space to groups or individuals who have been attacked or questioned. In the meantime, here is the (paid) response that The Press wouldn't print.
To answer Alan McRobie's request for informa tion (Jan 30), KBRM has grown in three years to 75 members. Member names are not released because of the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic element in New Zealand (see Bigotry Box at Feedback, kbrm.org.nz). One card I received was so threatening that the Postal Service attached a note suggesting I contact the police.
We have a 17-member Action Group that formulates our articles, appeals, and advertise ments. We do business by email because of the geographical separation. We have no connection with any Zionist lobby. All funds for advertise ments come from Kiwi pockets.
Despite his restated claim, I never said, or repeated, “all that needs to be done to end conflict in the Middle East is for Palestinians to accept the existence of Israel”. What I said was, “If Gaza wants to end the Israeli ‘oppression’ (i.e., the blockade), all it has to do is accept the existence of Israel.” This is a true statement, and I'm happy to repeat it.
Now that Mr McRobie has read our advertise ment, I hope he will let me know if he finds any errors. If there are any, they will be corrected.
Rodney Brooks, Chairman, Kiwis for Balanced Reporting on the Middle East (www.kbrm.org.nz)
Ad # Eleven
ISRAEL IN HAITI
While Saudi Arabia, one of the richest countries in the world, was sending a message of condolence to Haiti, the Israel Defense Force was installing the first field hospital. As of 23 Jan, 739 patients had been treated, 241 life-saving operations performed and 12 babies delivered. The mother shown above named her new-born baby Israel in honour of the people who saved their lives. (To see a CNN video of the hospital, Google “out of control in Haiti”.)
In addition to the field hospital, Israeli search-and-rescue teams have saved many people from the rubble. In one case American and French doctors who were unable to reach a trapped man called upon the Israeli teams who rescued him within half an hour.
Israel's response to this overwhelming tragedy was truly ‘disproportionate’. For its size, Israel did more and did it more quickly than any other nation. Even Arab media carried the story (Google albawaba “Israelis save”). In how many NZ papers have you seen the story?
Paid for by Kiwis for Balanced Reporting on the Middle East, PO Box 16, Albert Town. If you would like to support our work, visit www.kbrm.org.nz and click on Feedback, then ‘Drop us an Email’.
GAZA: One year on
Truths still missing
The following article was submitted to this newspaper but was not accepted. It contains facts essential to a true understanding of the Middle East conflict. KBRM is paying for publication so readers can see the whole story.
The Gaza war that ended on January 18, 2009, was Israel's response to a five-year rocket barrage that had killed 19 citizens and wounded hundreds more. Sderot (population 22,000) alone endured over 7000 rocket attacks and many families had left in terror. With the Hamas government repeatedly declaring its aim to destroy Israel, and the international community refusing to act, Israel felt it had no recourse but to take military action. After the war ended, the PR battle began.
UN report. On September 15, 2009, the UN released what is known as the Goldstone report. This report contained uncorroborated allegations of war crimes against both Israel and Hamas, with the allegations against Israel receiving the most exposure. The question is, are these allegations valid?
Israel's answer. In November 2009, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) began an investigation of the 36 allegations that, according to Judge Goldstone, were ‘the most serious, the highest death toll, the highest injury toll’. The investigation found that 30 of the 36 cases had no basis in fact. Repeat — no basis in fact. The remaining six cases were found to be ‘genuine instances, where operational errors and mistakes were involved.’ (Even in the best of armies, things go wrong. Every soldier is not a saint and every bomb does not hit its target.) At this point many readers are probably thinking ‘Ha-ha. Israel investigated. What did you think they would find?’ This brings up the issue of...
Credibility. Believe it or not, there is a difference in credibility. Most Israeli reports in the past have proven accurate, while there is much evidence of Palestinian manipulation of information. (Google ‘Pallywood’, a term for staged video scenes.) A touch of Pallywood was brought into NZ homes recently by TVNZ: In a Palestinian video of a family being evicted for non-payment of rent, a girl called out in English ‘Don't touch my Mom, don't touch my Mom!’ Apart from the fact that it is impossible to evict people who are actively resisting without touching them, it defies belief that an Arab girl would call out in English -unless it was for show.
Civilian casualties. According to a Palestinian report, 65% of those killed in Gaza were civilians, while an Israeli report said the number was about 30%. In this case an inconsistency in the Palestinian report — a smoking gun, so to speak — tells us which report is accurate. In the Palestinian report, among ages under 12 and over 60 the number of males and females killed were about equal, as would be expected for innocent people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. However among the ‘fighting age’ group (15-59), 1079 males were killed and only 92 females! No reasonable person could believe that these additional 987 men just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. If we make the reasonable assumption that they were either fighters or supporting the fighters, the civilian casualty rate becomes 30% — the same as Israel's report! This is a lower rate than was achieved by Allied forces in WWII — and in WWII the enemy didn't hide among civilians. As an international expert on anti-terrorist operations said, ‘The IDF did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.’
Casualty ratio. Israel has also been criticised because of the 100-to-1 ratio in total casualties. In any war, especially one where you're fighting for your life, the goal is to kill or capture as many enemy as possible and minimise your own casualties. The notion that Israel should kill just one Hamas fighter for every Israeli killed is ludicrous.
The blockade. OK, you say, maybe the Gaza war was justified and moral, but what about the ongoing blockade? Surely that is a sign of oppression. Not true. The UN charter states that a blockade is one of the first actions that should be taken to deter an aggressor. Blockades have been used many times, a notable example being the US blockade of Cuba to stop Russian missiles from being installed. Further, the blockade imposed by Israel (and Egypt) is only partial. About 20,000 truckloads of medical and humanitarian supplies, including diesel fuel, were sent to Gaza in 2009 alone. Most Gazans are neither destitute nor desperate. (See Dec. 14 post at kbrm.org.nz.)
Bottom line. Israel has no desire to oppress Gazans. After withdrawing in 2005, Israel hoped to live in peace with its neighbour. Military action was taken for one reason and one reason only: to defend its citizens against attacks by an enemy that wants to destroy it.
Unanswered question. Around the world, the West is fighting a battle against militant Islam and terrorism. Israel is fighting that same battle — indeed, is on the front lines, fighting for its life. Yet the world blames Israel for its actions and ignores far greater transgressions by Israel's enemies. Why does the world insist on blaming the only Jewish nation in the world, turning the victim into the villain? For this question I don't have an answer.
This advertisement was paid for by Kiwis for Balanced Reporting on the Mideast, PO Box 16, Albert Town. If you would like to support our work, visit kbrm.org.nz and click on Feedback, then Drop us an email.
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Ad # Nine
UN REPORT ON GAZA: THE MISSING TRUTH
The United Nations Human Rights Council, ignoring 26 other conflicts going on in the world, issued a report on the recent Gaza war. Missing from this report was any moral distinction between those who try to destroy a neighbouring country and target civilians (Hamas) and a country that tries to defend its citizens while minimising harm to civilians (Israel). Here is what a top army commander and the retired editor of the Sunday Times had to say. (For links to the full texts and video, see www.kbrm.org, Oct 28 post.)
I am the former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan. I served with NATO and the United Nations; commanded troops in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Macedonia; and participated in the Gulf War.
...based on my knowledge and experience, I can say this: During Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defence Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.
Israel did so while facing an enemy that deliberately positioned its military capa bility behind the human shield of the civilian population. Hamas, like Hizballah, are expert at driving the media agenda. Both will always have people ready to give interviews con demning Israeli forces for war crimes. They are adept at staging and distorting incidents.
The truth is that the IDF took extra ordinary measures... Despite all of this, of course innocent civilians were killed. War is chaos and full of mistakes. There have been mistakes by the British, American and other forces in Afghanistan and in Iraq, many of which can be put down to human error. But mistakes are not war crimes.
...Israel had no choice apart from defending its people, to stop Hamas from attacking them with rockets. And I say this again: the IDF did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.
Col. Richard Kemp
Testimony at the UN, Oct 16 (www.unwatch.org.nz)
…Four years ago [Israel] voluntarily pulled out all its soldiers and uprooted all its settlers. Here was a wonderful chance for Gaza to be the building block of a Palestinian state, and for Hamas to do what the Israelis did — take a piece of land and build a model state. They didn't. Instead of helping the desperate Palestinians, they conducted a religious war.
In signing on for the UN mission — with others who had already condemned Israel — it seems to have escaped [Judge Goldstone] that Hamas is committed not just to fight Israeli soldiers; it is a terrorist organisation hellbent on the destruction of the state of Israel. The terms of reference he accepted validate the torment of Israeli civilians. Hamas launched 7,000 rockets — every one intended to kill as many people as possible — then contemptuously dismissed repeated warnings from Israel to stop or face the consequences.
The rockets were war crimes and ought to have been universally condemned as such. While new rockets hit Israel over many months there was no rush by the world's moralisers — including Britain — to censure Hamas, no urgency as there was in ‘world opinion’ when Israel finally responded. Then Israel was immediately accused of a ‘disproportionate’ response without anyone thinking: ‘What is a ‘proportionate’ attack against an enemy dedicated to exterminating your people?’...
Sir Harold Evans
From the Guardian, Oct 20 (www.guardian.co.uk);
For an update on Israeli doctors helping Palestinian children as described in our last ad, see shevet.org/aseel/
This advertisement was paid for by Kiwis for Balanced Reporting on the Mideast, PO Box 16, Albert Town. If you would like to support KBRM, visit www.kbrm.org.nz and click on ‘Feedback‘, then ‘Drop us an email’.
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Ad # Eight
The following (abridged) article shows a side of Israel seldom seen in the NZ press. It was submitted to this newspaper on May 11 but not published.
A KIWI'S EXPERIENCE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
by Dorothy Finlay
I have spent 34 years in the Middle East and have close friends among Arabs and Jews. I recently re turned from Jerusalem, where I was part of an expat team helping Arab children with congenital heart disease who receive life-saving surgery from Israeli surgeons. Following is an account of a typical day during my recent stay:
Today is another busy day for the team from Shevet Achim, an NGO that coordinates care for children from Iraq, Gaza, and the West Bank who need urgent heart surgery in Israeli hospitals. As I walk through the corridors of Wolfson Children's Hospital near Tel Aviv, I see nearly as many Arab children with their mothers as Israelis. Hebrew, English and Arabic languages are interwoven in the hum everywhere as parents discuss their children with no thought of their origins...
Last night I accompanied six-year-old Hizam and his father back to the Gaza border, twelve days after radical heart surgery. While at the border, the alarm came over the intercom. There was a loud noise and we saw a rocket that had been launched in the direction of S'derot, an Israeli town 10 km from Erez. It fell short and landed in a field. It gave me a small sense of the fear that is felt every time HAMAS fires at Israel, sometimes 10-20 times a day...
Abdullah, a relative of a senior Hamas leader, is waiting to return to Gaza after life-saving surgery. Even as Hamas is raining rockets at Israel, this child received the same loving care as the other children...
What I saw, on this day and all other days, was quite the opposite of the ‘oppression’ and ‘apartheid’ that Israel is so often accused of. The families of these children understand this full well. As the mother of an Iraqi child said, "Israel is a good country. It's a country that has mercy on other people." Yet this same mother could not give her last name for fear of retribution from Islamic militants who reject Israel's existence.
The author is a member of Kiwis for Balanced Reporting on the Mideast, PO Box 16, Albert Town, who paid for this advertisement. To support our work, visit kbrm.org.nz and click on Feedback, then ‘Drop us an email’.
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Ad # Seven
ISRAEL: THE MISSING TRUTH
April 29 marks the 61st anniversary of
Israel's rebirth as a nation
In 1948, the UN proposed two states for two peoples from the British Mandate of Palestine. The division was along demographic lines, with the Jewish portion (most of which was the Negev desert) containing a Jewish majority and the Arab portion an Arab majority. The Jews accepted the partition, the Arabs did not.
[Our Arab neighbors] have much to give us, they are blessed by what we lack. Great territories, ample for themselves & their children. We do not covet their expanses... But if this region is to expand to the full, there must be reciprocity, there can be mutual aid — economic, political & cultural between Jew & Arab. — David Ben Gurion, 1st PM of Israel 1947
We still call upon the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to return to the ways of peace... We offer peace & neighborliness to all the neighboring states and their peoples. — Israel Declaration of Independence 1948
I enter negotiations with Chairman Arafat, the leader and representative of the Palestinian people, with the purpose of having coexistence between our two entities, Israel as a Jewish state, and a Palestinian state, next to us, living in peace. — Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli PM 1993
The end of Israeli control & responsibility for the Gaza Strip allows the Palestinians, if they so wish, to develop their economy and build a peace seeking society... The most important test the Palestinian leadership will face is in fulfilling their commitment to put an end to terror and its infrastructure... — Ariel Sharon, Israeli PM 2005
Peace is a common and enduring goal for all Israelis and Israeli Governments, mine included — Binyamin Netanyahu, current PM of Israel 2009
Arabs, arise as one man and fight for your sacred rights. Kill Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history, and religion. — Amin al-Husayni, Arab Higher Committee Chairman 1944?
[We intend] to resist by force the implementation of these proposals, and to drown in blood any attempt to create a Zionist entity on a single inch of Palestinian soil. — Arab League 1947
[Our goal is] complete liberation of Palestine and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence... this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished. — PLO Charter 1964
[Israel] is the hated enemy that must be fought.... Our struggle will end only when this entity is obliterated — Programme of Hezbollah 1985
Liberation of Palestine is an individual duty for every Muslim wherever he may be. — Hamas Charter 1988
Peace for us means the destruction of Israel... We plan to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian state... We Palestinians will take over everything, including all of Jerusalem — Yasser Arafat, 1994,1996
We are prepared to accept a Palestinian state in the 1967 boundaries only as a temporary solution, without recognizing the Zionist occupation of any inch of our homeland. — Taher a-Nunu, Hamas spokesman 2009
Citations available on request.
What followed was 61 years of terror, tribulation and tears for all concerned. Perhaps one day the hand of friendship offered by Israel will be grasped and a new era of peace, mutual respect and co-operation will be established for the benefit of all citizens in the region:
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas telephoned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday morning and wished him a happy Passover; Netanyahu reminded Abbas that the two men had cooperated in the past and said he was planning to do so again toward the goal of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. — Jerusalem Post April 13, 2009
This advertisement was paid for by Kiwis for Balanced Reporting on the Mideast, PO Box 16, Albert Town. KBRM neither condones nor condemns Israel's actions, but wants Kiwis to know the whole truth so they can have informed opinions. If you would like to support KBRM, visit www.kbrm.org.nz and click on ‘Feedback‘, then ‘Drop us an email’.
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Ad # Six
The advertisement was in four columns but for ease of reading it is displayed here in one.
‘WAR CRIMES’: THE MISSING TRUTH
Israel bombarded with war crime allegations.
Is there any basis to them?
Charge: The invasion. The invasion of Gaza was alleged to be a war crime in itself, because of the impossibility of distinguishing between military targets and surrounding civilians.
Answer. Every country has the right and duty to protect and defend its citizens. When Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, it was ‘rewarded’ with an unremitting barrage of 7000 rockets. When a partial blockade (the UN's recommended action to stop aggression) didn't work, and when nobody, including the UN, stepped in to help, Israel had to do something. What other country would endure four years of rocket attacks without striking back?
Charge: Civilian casualties. An excessive number of civilian deaths has been alleged, with one cartoonist depicting a 10-to-1 ratio.
Answer. A name-by-name analysis by Israel (Google ‘cast lead casualty’) found that only 25% of the fatalities (1 in 4) were civilians. A Palestinian study (pchrgaza.org) reported a figure of 65%, but 92% of the victims between 16 and 59 were listed as male. Apart from the unreliability of Palestinian reports in the past (Google ‘Pallywood’), it is hard to believe that this predominantly male, fighting-age group was mostly innocent civilians. This is not to say that 25% civilian deaths is good, but it must be remembered that the Hamas terrorists operated from civilian areas and did not wear uniforms. As a British colonel said, ‘I don't think there has ever been a time in the history of warfare when any army has made more efforts to reduce civilian casualties and deaths of innocent people than the IDF is doing today in Gaza’ (Google ‘Kemp discusses IDF’).
Charge: ‘Lop-sided’ ratio. The 100-to-1 ratio of Palestinian deaths to Israeli deaths has also been claimed to be evidence of a war crime.
Answer. If casualty ratios were an indicator of morality, then the Allies in World War 2 would have been guilty of war crimes. In fact, ‘body count’ has nothing to do with who is right and who is wrong.
Charge: UN school ‘massacre’. Israeli troops were alleged to have killed dozens at a UN school used to house civilian refugees.
Answer. Later investigation found that an adjacent street, not the building, was hit and that 12 people outside were killed, of which nine were armed terrorists. (Google ‘hamas claims proven false’.)
Charge: Phosphorus bombs. Israeli troops allegedly used illegal phosphorus bombs.
Answer. The use of phosphorus in flares and smoke-screen bombs is not unusual and is legal, but Israel is investigating further. In the meantime, Palestinians sent an axe-wielding murderer into a play area to kill children (Google ‘axe-wielding Palestinian’).
Israeli charges. Rumours of possible ‘war crimes’ were passed by an officer to the Israeli Chief of Staff for investigation. They were leaked to the press, which reported them as fact, including a charge that a soldier deliberately shot a woman and her two children.
Answer. Investigation found the charges to be false (Google ‘case closed on gaza’). The fact that the Israeli army (and press) took these allegations seriously is an indication of Israel's high standards of morality.
Charge: Obscene T-shirts. Some Israeli soldiers had purchased hateful T-shirts.
Answer. The T-shirts are indefensible, and shocked and outraged Israelis. But what do they show? That Israel, like every country in the world, including New Zealand, has ‘undesirables’. Fortunately, their number is small and they do not reflect or influence official Israeli policy.
Bottom line. No country is perfect, nor is every soldier a saint. Nevertheless, Israel's war record is better than that of most countries, while Hamas flagrantly commits war crimes every day. The following facts are beyond dispute:
Hamas' goal is to destroy Israel
Hamas targets Israeli civilians
If there are civilian casualties, Hamas celebrates
Israel's goal is self-defence
Israel targets Hamas militants
If there are civilian casualties, Israel investigates
The question is, why does the media give so much space to false accusations against Israel and so little to correcting them, or to the war crimes of its enemy? Why is it necessary for KBRM to pay for advertising in order for you to know ‘the missing truth’?
This advertisement was paid for by Kiwis for Balanced Reporting on the Mideast, PO Box 16, Albert Town. KBRM neither condones nor condemns Israel's actions, but wants Kiwis to know the whole truth so they can have an informed opinions. If you would like to support KBRM, visit www.kbrm.org.nz and click on ‘Feedback‘, then ‘Drop us an email’.
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Ad # Five
Today's Nazis: The missing truth
It is not unusual these days to hear Israel compared with Nazi Germany. Given the history of the Jewish people, this is the most heinous charge that could be levelled against them. But let us examine the facts.
Nazism in Germany was marked by three evils. First, Nazi Germany was a dictatorial police state that used propaganda and intimidation to control German life. Second, Germany was committed to territorial expansion, beginning with the negotiated acquisition of Sudetenland and followed by the invasion of most of Europe. The third evil was genocide, as six million Jews were killed along with other ‘undesirables’.
None of these evils exists in Israel. Far from being a police state, Israel is the only true democracy in the Mideast. Nor has there been any territorial expansionism in the Nazi sense. The Jewish state accepted the land given to it by the United Nations. Expansions that occurred in 1948 and 1967 were the result of wars when Israel was forced to fight for its life. Retention or occupation following a defensive war is not unusual (compare WWII). Finally, there is no genocide; in fact 1.4 million Arab Israelis live peacefully within Israel.
Much of the ‘Nazi’ charge is directed at Israel's policy toward Gaza, which has been likened to the Warsaw ghetto. When Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, hoping to trade ‘land for peace’, it was rewarded by a barrage of rocket attacks that increased when Hamas took over the govern ment. As a result, Israel closed its borders and began a partial blockade aimed at bringing down the Hamas regime, which is dedicated to Israel's destruction. Keeping terrorists out is not the same as keeping Jews in. Israel's recent attack on Gaza was not genocide, but a desperate attempt to stop the rocket attacks on Israeli cities. Unlike the Jews of the Warsaw ghetto, Gaza's Palestinian population still exists.
However, there is a culture in the Mideast that bears more than a passing resemblance to Nazism. Hamas is an ideologically-based dictatorship that wants to expand its territory, exterminate Jews, and replace Israel with an Islamist state. One can only wonder why it is Israel that is charged with Nazism and not its Hamas enemy. (To read more, visit kbrm.org.nz and click on March 25 post.)
This advertisement was paid for by Kiwis for Balanced Reporting on the Mideast, PO Box 16, Albert Town 9344. KBRM neither condones nor condemns Israel's actions, but wants Kiwis to know the whole truth so they can have an informed opinion. If you would like to support KBRM, visit www.kbrm.org.nz and click on ‘Feedback‘, then ‘Drop us an email’.
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Ad # Four
Apartheid: The missing truth
The most integrated country in the Mideast is... Israel
Israel has been accused of apartheid by people ranging from New Zealand columnists John Minto and Matt McCarten to US ex-President Jimmy Carter. Before you accept their conclusion, consider the following facts.
Israel. All of the 1.4 million Arab citizens of Israel have equal rights, including the right to vote. There are Arab members of the Knesset (Israel's Parliament), there is an Arab High Court Judge, and Arab judges in the lower courts. Arabs peacefully walk the streets, mingling with Jews and Christians. Arabs enjoy the same governmen tal services as Jewish citizens and attend the same universities. The only ‘right’ that Arabs do not share in full with Jews is that they are exempt from compulsory military service. According to polls, most Israeli Arabs would rather remain in Israel than become part of a Palestinian state.
Gaza. Israel withdrew its forces and evacuated all Jewish villages from Gaza in 2005. With no Israeli presence, there can be no apartheid. When Hamas took over in 2007, with its announced (and demonstrated) intention of destroying Israel, Israel closed its border. How many governments would open their borders to a people who are bent on its destruction? Israel also imposed a partial blockade which, according to the UN charter, is the first measure to be taken to deter aggression, and has been used by other countries without being called apartheid. Even so, humanitarian supplies are permitted.
The West Bank. Since the Oslo Accords of 1993, Palestinians living in cities of the West Bank outside of Jerusalem have been under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, and their laws are made by Palestinians. Again, ipso facto, no apartheid. However there are Israeli-manned checkpoints along some roads and a security fence along the border. While the location of the checkpoints and security barrier is a matter of dispute, the reason for them is not. They are there to stop Palestinians from killing Jews, not to oppress a racial group or to deny them the right to life and liberty. They are not apartheid.
In conclusion, Israel is one of the most integrated, multi-cultural societies in the world, with equal rights for all — despite the hostile circumstances it is in. One can only wonder about the motives of those who, knowing these facts, accuse Israel of apartheid. (To read more, visit www.kbrm.org.nz and click on Feb. 23 post.)
This advertisement was paid for by Kiwis for Balanced Reporting on the Mideast, PO Box 16, Albert Town 9344. KBRM neither condones nor condemns Israel's actions, but wants Kiwis to know the whole truth so they can have an informed opinion. If you would like to support KBRM, visit www.kbrm.org.nz and click on ‘Feedback‘, then ‘Drop us an email’.
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Ad # Three
Civilian casualties: The missing truth
123 Israeli children murdered by Palestinians
Headlines about civilian casualties in Gaza have created much anti-Israel feeling in New Zealand. No one likes to see innocent people, especially children, killed or injured in a war.
Yet little attention was paid to the 123 Israeli children murdered during the last eight years by Palestinian terrorists. Those who want to see both sides of the story should watch youtube.com/watch?v=HX9mAQWQ4UI, or google ‘123 children murdered’. And remember, these Israeli children were deliberately targeted, while Israel's action was aimed at militants, with every effort made to minimise civilian damage.
It should also be noted that the reports of civilian casualties during the Gaza war and the headlines screaming ‘massacre’ have turned out to be erroneous. The Israeli Defence Force just completed an analysis of 1200 Palestinian fatalities in which the names, identity numbers, circumstances of death, and affiliated terrorist group, if any, were examined. The report concluded that two-thirds of the fatalities were militants, or a ratio of two militants for each civilian- the reverse of the impression created by Palestinian reports. Military experts consider even this ratio remarkable for an enemy that operates from civilian areas and uses civilians as human shields. (For more information, visit www.kbrm.org.nz and click on the Feb. 21 post.)
This advertisement was paid for by Kiwis for Balanced Reporting on the Mideast, PO Box 16, Albert Town 9344. KBRM neither condones nor condemns Israel's actions, but wants Kiwis to know the whole truth so they can have an informed opinion. If you would like to support us, visit www.kbrm.org.nz and click on ‘Feedback‘, then ‘Drop us an email’.
The video recommended in the above advertisement is linked here
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Ad # Two
Right to exist: The missing truth
Israel's founding was more legal and more moral than many other nations’
Israel's right to exist has sometimes been questioned, with the implication that its founding was somehow immoral or illegal. Here are some facts, missing from such accounts, that may change your mind.
Background. There has been a continuous Jewish presence for 3000 years in the land now known as Israel, beginning in Biblical times. In 1948 when Israel was cre ated there were already some 650,000 Jews living there. This is quite different from nations created when an out side power came from afar and conquered the land.
Partition. On Nov. 29, 1947, the UN voted to partition the land according to the demographic distributions, with a Jewish majority existing within the Jewish portion. Par ti tioning land between two resident groups is not unusual (e.g., India/Pakistan), but few nations can claim the authority of the United Nations as a basis for their existence.
War. The partition was accepted by the Jews, but not by the Arabs, who intended ‘to resist by force the implementation of these proposals, and to drown in blood any attempt to create a Zionist entity on a single inch of Palestinian soil.’ The war started a few hours later when Arabs fired at a Jewish ambulance, attacked Jewish buses, and fired on Jewish residential areas. Later five Arab armies arrived, and 6000 Jews eventually died in the ‘War for Independence’.
Ethnic cleansing. All the Jewish communities captured by the Arabs, without exception, were razed to the ground and the Jewish inhabitants murdered, taken captive or escaped. There were no Jews left in the Old City of Jerusalem, the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, which were taken over by Jordan and Egypt (thereby depriving Palestinians of their intended state). At the same time many Arabs fled from the war that they (the Arabs) had started. Today the 1.4 million Arabs living in Israel with full citizenship give the lie to accusations that it was the Jews who committed ‘ethnic cleansing’.
The UN. While this was happening, the world and the United Nations did nothing to protect the young Jewish nation it had created or to stop the ethnic cleansing by Arabs. Israel was left to fend for itself, and fend it did. One can only wonder about the motives of those who, given these facts, accuse the only Jewish nation in the world of being illegally and immorally based. (To read more, visit www.kbrm.org.nz and click on Feb. 4 post.)
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Ad # One
The actual advertisement measured 11 x 18 cm. but for the purposes of legibility it is reproduced in normal print size below.
Gaza: The Missing Truth
Israel's actions, founded on
self-defence, are both legal and moral
Newspaper photos of dead Palestinian children and head lines screaming ‘massacre’ have dominated the Mideast news and led many Kiwis to see Israel as an evil nation killing innocent people. Here are some facts, missing from most accounts, that may change your minds.
Background. Four years ago Israel pulled out of Gaza with the hope and expectation of living in peace with its neighbour. Hamas had other plans and began rain ing rockets on Israel. As Barack Obama said, ‘If some body was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I'm going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.’ They finally did.
Casualties. In Israel's initial precision bombing, 15% of those killed were civilians; during the ground offensive, the number rose to 30-40%. These numbers are quite remarkable, given that Hamas operates from civilian buildings and uses civilians for support — even children, as scouts and couriers — and then displays their bodies for TV cameras while crying ‘massacre’.
Because of the heavy casual ties, Israel has been accused
of a ‘disproportionate’ response. However, trying to destroy your enemy while minimising civilian casual ties is not, by international law, disproportionate. It is the target ing of civilians as done by Hamas that is dispro portionate.
The blockade. When Hamas took over Gaza, given its stated goal of destroying Israel and its many attacks and suicide bombings, Israel imposed a partial blockade. According to the UN charter, a blockade is one of the first actions that should be taken to stop an aggressor. Yet Israel was careful to see that humanitarian needs were met, and even during the present crisis has offered to allow wounded Gazans to enter Israel for medical treatment.
What would NZ do? If New Zealand were in Israel's shoes, how many rockets would have to fall, how many Kiwi children would have to be maimed, before we took action? Instead of condemning Israel for defending itself, if New Zealand and other nations of the world would stand up to Hamas and say ‘We will never let you destroy your neighbour, nor will we tolerate continued attacks on it’, that's when peace might be possible.
This advertisement was paid for by Kiwis for Balanced Reporting on the Mideast. To read more, visit kbrm.org.nz and click on Jan. 7 post. KBRM neither condones nor condemns Israel's actions, but wants Kiwis to know the whole truth so they can make up their own minds. If you would like to support KBRM, click on ‘Contact Us’ and ‘Drop us a line’.
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