If you think there is an Israeli occupation of Palestine, you need a primer. If you think both sides are equally culpable in their conflict, you lack information. If you think maybe it’s a good idea to support Israel, maybe for Biblical reason, but you don’t know how to describe your reasons, this might be a good time to get some useful facts.
Back in 2011 I wrote a six-part post on the history of Israel. It’s a pretty good primer.
· Israel, Part I: Ancient History
· Israel, Part II: Zionism and Migration
· Israel, Part III: Conflict and Violence
· Israel, Part IV: Holocaust and Statehood
· Israel, Part V: Refugees and 1967 War
· Israel, Part VI: Continued Unrest
In Part VI I link a video that describes the history with animated maps—about six minutes. Worth seeing. This past week I saw a video by Jewish conservative radio host Dennis Prager, which also gives a brief history, posted on YouTube in June 2014, shortly before the recent missile out of Gaza began. It gives a 5-minute summary of the situation, reminding us that there has never been any state in that region that wasn’t a Jewish state; this is the third Jewish state. There has never been an Arab state, a Palestinian state, a Muslim state, or any other state.
As I mention in my Part VI, the terrorists fighting Israel are more Marxist than religious Muslim. Potential PLO leaders were trained in Moscow, East Germany, and Cuba, where they were specifically trained in subversion, propaganda, explosives, and terror tactics. They continue these tactics still. One of the PLO’s tactics was disinformation—lying propaganda. Repeating the lies over and over, through decades, in schools and in every news broadcast, has left a large part of the world unaware of the truth of events in the Middle East. The PLO is named less in media since the loss of Soviet support in the early 1990s. Now the entity in the forefront—still using those tactics—is the terrorist organization Hamas.
Steven Bucci, former Army Special Forces officer and top Pentagon official, now with The Heritage Foundation, offered perspective in a piece July 17, 2014, “The Moral Difference between Israel and Hamas,” The Daily Signal July 17, 2014:
What most Americans—and the world—hear about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas goes something like this: “125 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed by Israel’s relentless assault on Gaza. No Israelis have yet been killed.” This may be true, but there is absolutely no context to it. One must look at the methodologies of the two sides.
Hamas sets up rocket launchers—as well as supply dumps and command-and-control sites—in the midst of apartment buildings, mosques and schools. From these sites, its fighters launch dozens of rockets in salvos, targeting population centers with no discrimination at all. They have been firing almost continuously of late. But normally, they fire when Israeli school children move from their homes, which have safe shelters, to their schools, which also have shelters. They do this deliberately to try and catch the kids in the open. They don’t seek to minimize collateral damage – they seek to maximize it.
Israel, on the other hand, fires only at specific, intelligence-derived military targets. Since these targets are deliberately intermixed with the civilian population by Hamas, Israel must take steps to minimize the collateral casualties.
Before the Israelis strike a building, every home in it gets a call on its landline phone, as do all the cell phones associated with the inhabitants of the building—the cells additionally get text messages—telling them that in a few minutes the building will be targeted. Finally, to make sure everyone gets the message, Israel drops a dud bomb—one containing no explosives—onto the roof of the structure. Minutes later, the building is destroyed. There is no instance in modern military history where a force has taken greater measures to give the innocents as much chance to get out of the way.
Similar information was shared in interviews with Israeli Ambassador to U.S. Ron Dermer. He was interviewed on Face the Nation July 13th, TheWashington Post July 15th, and CBS News July 18th. Here’s a quote from the Washington Post interview:
As we’re trying to people out of harm’s way, Hamas is telling people to go into harm’s way. They’re actually telling their population to ignore the warnings of our military, as we drop flyers, we make phonecalls, we send text messages. We do things I’m not sure there’s another country in the history of the world, in warfare, that have gone to such great lengths to keep the civilians of the other side’s population out of harm’s way. We’re doing what we have to, to take the action to defend our people.
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was quote this past week, saying, “The difference between us is simple: We develop missile-defense systems to protect our citizens, while they use their citizens to protect their missiles.”
The Prime Minister did an impressive interview on Fox News, with Bret Baier, on July 21st. All six minutes are clear and informative, but here’s a sample:
We asked these civilians before we went in, “Please leave.” We text them on cell phones. We drop leaflets. We tell them where to go. And those who left were safe. Now those who didn’t leave, you know why they didn’t leave? Because Hamas told them to be there. Because Hamas, while we try to avoid Palestinian civilian dead, Hamas wants Palestinian civilian dead. The more the better, so they can give you telegenic fodder. So this is the cruelest, most grotesque war that I’ve ever seen…. Civilian deaths are caused because they want them to be caused.
My daughter, Social Sphere, has a friend she met some years ago, as a teen in Texas, still in touch on social media. Danielle moved to Israel to serve in the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces). Here are some of her recent posts [ID info removed]:
Of the 13 Israeli soldiers killed yesterday, one is a Texas boy—who moved to Israel with two of his best friends to join the IDF, giving him a “lone soldier” status. This means that even though he and his family did not live in Israel and he did not have to serve, he decided at a young age (in his case, 16) to move to Israel by himself so he can serve in the IDF. So he is alone in Israel. According to our friend—“These kids get most respect in Israel.” We are as honored that he came from Texas as Israel is to have received him.
Another day Danielle said, “The indoctrination of hate is one of the primary tactics Hamas uses to teach violence to children. This is child abuse. Hamas is a dangerous terrorist organization for Israelis, but they are toxic for Palestinian children and civilians as well.”
Another of Social Sphere’s Texas friends traveled to Israel recently to learn more about her ancestry. Rachel quoted US Secretary of State John Kerry, saying one of the few things he has said that rang true: “No country could sit by and not take steps to try to deal with people who are sending thousands of rockets your way. The fact is that Hamas uses civilians as shields and they fire from a home and draw the fire into the home.”
Using human shields is a violation of the rules of warfare. So is targeting of civilians, as Hamas does, seeking to kill as many civilians as possible in Israel, while also delighting in any of their own people killed, because they use that in their propaganda.
I was thinking the word was getting out this time, but apparently not much beyond those who already know the truth. Despite the moral clarity between the two sides, the UN just decided to investigate possible crimes against humanity in this conflict—but will ONLY investigate Israel.
Israel deserves the support of the civilized world, not condemnation for keeping itself alive.
There’s one other video you ought to watch, new yesterday, July 23rd, from Bill Whittle: “The Case for Israel.” He compares the two sides, one civilized and one barbaric (in the Spherical Model we use the word savage, but I think we can conclude they have the same meaning). In case you missed it, Hamas recently referred to the Jews as a little bit worse than Hitler. This quote responds to that ironic accusation:
The instant that Hamas or Hezbollah get their hands on a nuclear weapon, they will do with it what they do every day with their rocks and mortars and missiles. They will use it. On Israel. The Israelis have an estimated 500 nuclear weapons and could destroy the Arabs any time they chose. They don’t.
Those are not Nazis. Those are moral, civilized people.
Israel is an island of civilization in a sea of barbarity, and that is why it is being targeted. Uncomfortable with those words, “civilization” and “barbarity?”
He then gives a long list of evidences of Israel’s civilization status. The differences are stark, and ought to be noticeable by any civilized person. But disinformation, over time, has done its dirty business.Anyone who thinks the Israelis keep all the goods and wealth for themselves and deprive their neighbors doesn’t know the history. Also, anyone who claims this attack from Gaza is caused by Israeli “occupation” is buying the propaganda. Israel left Gaza in 2005, leaving behind infrastructure, hospitals, schools, even greenhouses with plants growing. The response was to destroy everything and subject the people to poverty, and then blame the Israelis for their misfortune. Toward the end of the video, Whittle covers this bit of history, and refers to another concept we talk about when striving for civilization—“Thou shalt not covet.”
But you cannot understand Israel’s actions without understanding the pervasive, unrelenting, hate that surrounds that outpost of civilization. From Hezbollah rockets made in Iran, to BDS [boycott, divestment, and sanctions] sanctions made in Berkeley and Santa Monica, the attacks on this country and its people cannot be understood without getting to the bedrock essence of the nasty, petty, small and mean-spirited emotion that drives anti-Semitism.
And that emotion is Envy.
Genesis, Chapter 26, verses 12 through 16:
And Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. The LORD blessed him, and the man became rich, and gained more and more until he became very wealthy. He had possessions of flocks and herds and many servants, so that the Philistines envied him. (Now the Philistines had stopped and filled with earth all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father.) And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.”
That was thousands of years before there was a religion called Islam. And when the Israelis, as a gesture of peace and goodwill, turned over the Gaza Strip in 2005 the first thing these modern-day philistines did was smash the windows of the greenhouses that had been handed to them by other people’s labor. Once again, they filled wells in the desert with sand.
Israel has survived miraculously in the past. I expect it to survive now. I want to be clear that I side with civilization, not savagery. And the differences right now couldn’t be clearer.