Monday, May 5, 2014

Israel Bashing on its Independence Day

The sirens will wail today and the nation will come to a halt. It’s a collective tribute to those heroes who have fallen so that we Israelis may live in freedom. 
Yet as Michael Dickson writes ,   “This year, as Israelis pay tribute to their servicemen and women, a very different event will be taking place on Independence Day in London. Yachad – the British version of lobby group J-Street – together with the New Israel Fund, will be hosting “Breaking the Silence”, a notorious anti-IDF group. No one serious would suggest that Israel is beyond criticism but this is strange yet deliberate timing.

If past experience is anything to go by, the audience will be treated to a flurry of half-truths and accusations (never proven) aimed solely at blackening the name of Israeli soldiers. Indeed, “Breaking the Silence” has made its name by promoting a distorted and unfair portrayal of the IDF via its website and tours.
Breaking the Silence is hypocritical about its aims and even its name. If it wanted to present a true picture of the IDF, it would not blatantly omit
a)    the context of terrorism, the goals of Israel’s enemies, the deadly rockets fired from Gaza.
b)    how the enemy hides behind Palestinian civilians and attacks Israeli civilians.

It would raise awareness about the moral dilemmas the IDF faces. But instead, it omits this vital context in its reports, which often consist of anonymous, unverified testimony. Instead, their representatives embark on worldwide campus tours, meet with political leaders and speak at the UN in order to lobby and punish Israel.”

Conversely, tucked away in the inner pages of the Jerusalem Post this morning was a report of a Palestinian who was illegally attempting to scale the barrier in order to get into Israel to seek work  and fell several metres breaking his leg. He was bleeding profusely when Israeli border policeman St Sgt Maj Hassan Amid (an Israeli? Yes an Israeli!)  rendered first aid to save his life before the Red Crescent ambulance arrived to take him to hospital.

“In cases like this” said Amid “we don’t think twice, we provide the best possible first aid assistance we can”.  This is the true face of Israel.

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