Ben Dror Yemini was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel in 1954. He studied Humanities and History in Tel Aviv University, and later on he studies Law. After his university studies, he was appointed advisor to the Israeli Minister of Immigration Absorption and then became the spokesman of the Ministry. In 1984, he began his career as a journalist and essayist. He worked as a lawyer and was a partner in a law firm. Since 2003 he is the opinion-editor of the daily newspaper Maariv and also published many articles and essays in other journals.
“We will conquer Rome and then all of Europe. When we are done with Europe, we will conquer both the Americas and we will not give up Eastern Europe either”. The speaker who needs such a large territory went on to say that all the Jews should be annihilated.
Sounds like Hitler, but it’s only a double. These words were spoken by Dr. Yunis Al-Astal, a Hamas member of the Palestinian parliament. Both his and other Hamas leaders’ clear and direct rhetoric regarding Jewish extermination and radical Islam world domination are not kept as a secret. They are recorded on Hamas TV and are available to anyone who is interested, on the MEMRI or PMW websites in Hebrew, English and other languages provided someone who is interested wants to show the true nature of Hamas.
However, official Israel and the elaborate public relations apparatus created, have not found it necessary to show this message, along with many other well documented ones pertaining to Hamas’ ideology. If only this was the only failure. There are many more.
This is what happens in war. It’s sad, it’s unfortunate. Europeans don’t have to look all the way back to the bombing of Dresden. They need look back decade before they preach to Israel. Israel hasn’t reached, and will not reach, even a tenth of the innocent deaths killed by Europeans democracies in just wars.
Experts claim these numbers to be significantly lower than the true numbers. In 2008 the situation escalated and many more thousands were killed. In fact, during these very days European armies are killing innocent civilians and justifying it as an inevitable of the struggle against the Taliban.
Israel owe the Europeans no explanations. They owe us. The Taliban didn’t fire rockets at any European city. Hamas shoots on Israel. The Taliban do not proclaim their desire to kill all Europeans. Hamas encourages Jew killing in its charter and its leaders’ sermons.
Despite this, the Europeans find their stay in Afghanistan justified if only to fight another part of Islamic fanaticism. Just like Israel against the Hamas. In any case, the Hamas’ threat to Israel is far greater than the threat the Taliban poses to Europe.
So why, for god’s sake, Europeans are allowed to fight thousands of miles from their home, kill hundreds or thousands of innocent civilians and claim that their cause is justified but Israel can’t? Where do they get the nerve?
A bit of proportion
Thousands of Taliban fighters die each year versus a few tens of European soldiers. Hundreds or thousands of civilians die in Afghanistan versus no civilian casualties in Europe. So you in Europe want to teach us war ethics and “proportional responses”? Are you joking?
Lebanon, Syria and Jordan can and Israel can’t?
Another bit about proportions. In the begining of the 80's, Hafez Asad, the president of Syria at the time, had to face an Islamist uprising against his regime, conducted by Muslim Broterhood. Asad new only one wat to deal with the problem: the massacre of Hama. No riots in the Arab world or the west can be remembered. Between 20,000 to 40,000 people, kids and women and innocet people were butchered, in the name of defeating the radical Islam.
In 1970 it was King Hussein of Jordan, who had to face a Palestinian uprising. It's called as "The black September". Huge populated areas were bombarded. Between 7,000 to 25,000 people were killed. This was the only way for Hussein to fight the radicl Palestinians of the time.
Let's continue to this time. In May 2007 a conflict broke out between the Lebanese army and a small group, Fatah Al Islam, in the Nahr Al Bared refugee camp in Lebanon. The group itself is yet another cancerous cell of the global Jihad movement. The Lebanese army did not go into urban war fare. They just barraged the city in a way Israel could only dream of doing.
The official number of Lebanese army casualties is 168 and more than 300 were left dead in the camp. Some were militants others civilians. 6 UNIFIL soldiers and two Red Cross workers were killed as well. The refugee camp was in ruins. 33,000 of the 40,000 inhabitants of the camp had nothing to return to. The Lebanese soldiers didn’t want to take unnecessary risks. The number of combatants they were facing was tiny, certainly less than the 16,000 Hamas terrorists hiding in Gaza’s tunnels. If the Lebanese army had to deal with them there wouldn’t be one house standing in Gaza. All of Gaza, not only Jebalya, would be wiped off the face of the earth.
When Lebanon was dealing with this one of many radical Islam menaces, it was the sweetheart of the majority of both the free and Arab worlds. It used means Israel couldn’t dream of using. Most casualties were innocent. The terrible pictures of death and destruction, all available to those interested, didn’t lead to mass protests on the streets of London or Paris. On the contrary. Lebanon was applauded. Arabs can “take care” of Arabs.
Why can Lebanon use brutal measures to uproot this radical Islam growth? Why can Europe go half way around the world to kill thousands of fighters and civilians in the name of the same anti Jihad cause? Why is Israel not allowed to do the same even though she faces a greater threat?
The Turkish leader, the impertinent Erdogan, joined the critics of Israel. Impertinent because he should keep his mouth shut. His country has laws forbidding mentioning of the crimes perpetrated against the Armenians. If Israel would adopt the Turkish model, a third of all lecturers in the faculties of social sciences and humanities in Israeli universities would be imprisoned, because in Israel inflating the “Nakba” (the so called Palestinian holocaust) and other anti-Israel rhetoric actually lead to promotions…
We will remind Erdogan of the tens of thousands of Kurds killed or slaughtered in the campaign to keep them quiet. Let us remind him of Leyla Zana and the short speech she made when elected to the Turkish parliament. She didn’t support terrorism. She didn’t praise the fire of rockets from Kurdish villages to Turkish ones. She didn’t say that the Kurds are Shahids. Not close. She ended her short speech in “I take this oath for the brotherhood between the Turkish people and the Kurdish people”. Her crime was that she said that “terrible” sentence, and only that sentence, in Kurdish. According to Turkish law speaking that language is a crime. She lost her parliamentary immunity and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. When she wrote something from inside jail a further two years were added to her sentence.
Tell this to the Arab members of the Israeli parliament. By you, Mr Erdugan, they would all be rotting in prison. Now they admire you. Hypocrisy was always a popular trait to several of them. Now it’s yours as well.
The importance of the onscreen fight
In the struggle between Israel and Hamas there can be no victory without legitimating the cause. Israel is not Russia in Chechnya, NATO fighting the Taliban or the Lebanese erasing a whole refugee camp and being applaud for it. Israel needs support. Israel can win the truth - only the truth.
Official Israel is trying but not even one message went through to the world. Not the fact that Hamas is an anti-Semitic organization calling for the extermination of Jews. Not the fact the Hamas wants to take over the world. Not the fact that “proportional response” is complete nonsense that Europe hasn’t adhered to in their past conflicts or in their present ones. Not the fact the Hamas is worse than the Taliban. Not the fact that Israel’s impact on innocent people, as tragic as it is, is lower than that of Europe.
This failure has reduced the support Israel had during the first days of the war. But the truth is, that it's not the failure of Israel. If Hamas wins the propaganda war, it might be the failure of the free world. We, conscious people, cannot let ourselves loose. The truth must prevail.