Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Israel should drop its double standard on terrorism

Quote from Mr Phil Orenstein: on stopthemadrassah

“actively supports the terrorist groups, Hezbollah and Hamas, opposes Israel’s right to exist and openly demonstrates to promote boycott, divestment and the destruction of Israel in street rallies and academic conference”

Dear Mr Orenstein;

I very much sympathise with your indignation against Hamas and its ilk, which came to my attention when reading stopthemadrassah -- a truly inspiring cause. By calling Hamas anti-Semitic terrorists with genocidal impulses – did YOU say that or did I say that? -- you are telling nothing but the unvarnished truth.

However I would like to chide you regarding some of the items you so roundly defend/condemn. I find your thinking on the Middle East is shallow and unhistorical – although I'll grant you it's probably much less so than Hamas’ thinking on the same subject. This circumstance leads you to ignore certain issues that are without a doubt of the greatest importance, but don't seem to have made it onto your agenda.

Please understand that by broaching certain issues that friends of Israel find distressful I am not attacking Israel or the Jews. Rather I wish to remind you folks that no matter how much we sympathise with Israel’s cause, Israel too has overreached, been more cruel than necessary. And furthermore Israel is constantly hemming in the Palestinians ever more tightly, seizing their land and other resources on unfair terms or simply by force. That simply isn’t cricket.

I don't support boycotts against Israel, but the creeping and unacknowledged annexation of Judea and Samaria and occasional needless brutality have doubtless helped to arouse world public indignation against Israel.

I would be the last to question Israels right to defend itself. But this right does not entitle Israel to commit acts of injustice and unnecessary cruelty as incessantly happens, according to Haaretz and other reliable sources. Why on earth did the IDF commit so many needless killings of civilians during Operation Cast Lead, why such a multitude of bomblets covering southern Lebanon?

And numbah two, it does seem to demand some kind of explanation when a stalwart foe of terrorism such as yourself blithely ignore the historical fact that it was the Zionists who first brought terrorism to Palestine. There were Israeli terrorists long before there were Palestinian terrorists. Yitzhak Shamir, the Zionist terror boss who gave the green light for the assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte -- never regretted his terrorist past, even when he later governed Israel.

Moreover, Israel was the founder and promoter of the terrorist Hamas you so rightly condemn. Shin Bet created Hamas as competition for Al Fatah.

Please note that I do not seek to seize on these unpleasant facts to question Israel-s existence. Every country has episodes in its history it would rather forget. But I think Israel will have to face up to these facts sooner or later, so why not right now.

Friendly greetings from Igor Slamoff