Tag Archive: Gaza War


Dealing with the reality of the Shalit deal and Hannibal Protocol:

Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 19 October 2011

I received a lot of angry mail when I wrote earlier in the week that thanks to the very lopsided prisoner swaps, the IDF policy today is to do everything possible to kill IDF soldiers who appear to be in the process of being captured by terrorists.  Many couldn’t believe that this was indeed the policy of the IDF.  So I put up a video on YouTube of a Battalion 51 commander briefing his Golani troops on the eve of their entry into Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvlP6yM15ws

“The strategic weapon, the ‘Judgment Day Weapon’ that Hamas wants to acquire, is to capture a soldier. But no soldier in Battalion 51 will be kidnapped at any price. At any price. Under any condition. Even if it means that he blows himself with his own grenade together with those trying to capture him. Also even if it means that now his unit has to fire a barrage at the car that they are trying to take him away in. There is no situation. No situation that they will have this weapon.”

This was not some faked video. I copied from a video report broadcast on Israel Television Channel 2 News 16 October 2011

You can see the full report for yourself:

http://www.mako.co.il/news-military/security/Article-778ae8d014e0331017.htm

Now what does this all mean?  Am I saying that the Hannibal Protocol is wrong?  No. Not under the circumstances.  All I am saying is that we have to address the decisions we make with mature honesty.  The reason that we trade a thousand terrorists for a single soldier is not because of our commitment to do everything in our power to get our soldiers back home alive.  We do it because, as indicated by the polls, we don’t have the stomach to see soldiers as POWs once we know who they are. And since a key element of the equation is that this feeling only goes into play when we see their name, faces, etc., we as a society have a very different attitude about soldiers being killed before we see their name, faces, etc. And that is why we would rather kill a soldier being taken captive then have him sit somewhere being held by terrorists.

That is where we are.

And we have to deal with it.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis) (Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava) Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730 INTERNET ADDRESS: imra@netvision.net.il

Website: http://www.imra.org.il

Shira’s note: Does this mean I’m indifferent, apathetic? It’s very conflicting for me. No, I am not that in my soul. If we understand acts of war and the knowledge that any goodness we have to fight evil is futile in a war of existentialism, then the above applies to us all whether we acknowledge it or not. We as a people have to sacrifice for the good in humanity. As such, if I’m to put myself in that position, as a soldier in the IDF, and if Gd willed, yes, I would be sacrificed for the people, namely, the children of Israel. So it is, if that is what is willed from on High. Reality is what it is…there are no words, actions, or opinions that would deter us from the truth, of which many try to oppress or try to prevaricate, in which the entire of humanity, governments, groups, or religions do to hide from their hypocrisies.

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Shira’s note: Here’s a chance to do some research on the Goldstone’s Report.

 

Goldstone’s Reversal Highlights NGO Deceit

Judge Richard Goldstone’s opinion article in the Washington Post (April 3), reconsidering the accusations contained in the UN report on the Gaza war, marks a major change. He acknowledges that his “fact-finding mission had no evidence” for many of the allegations, particularly the odious claim that Israel intentionally targeted civilians “as a matter of policy.”
Goldstone’s article confirms the analyses documented extensively by NGO Monitor. Our reports demonstrate the degree to which the Goldstone report repeated the false allegations and biases of NGOs such as Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International, B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence, Adalah, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, and Al Haq. Since then, these NGOs have used the Goldstone Report as a basis for legal actions against Israeli officials and campaigns against companies doing business with Israel, as well as lobbying for a referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
 

On the day of the Report’s release in September 2009, NGO Monitor published an initial analysis entitled “575 pages of NGO ‘cut and paste'”. Since then, we have issued numerous substantive and detailed analyses of the NGO component in the Goldstone process; these can be found at http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article/goldstone_and_ngos.

All of these publications were distributed widely, including to journalists, academics that specialize on these issues, diplomats, and also to Judge Goldstone.

His reversal follows the action of Robert Bernstein, the founder of Human Rights Watch, denouncing the organization for its leading role in using moral language to “turn Israel into a pariah state.” The recognition of the need to review and reconsider the morality and validity of the Report reflects the core issues addressed by NGO Monitor and others.

Below is NGO Monitor’s press release in response to Goldstone’s Washington Post article. In it, we call on the NGOs that lobbied for the appointment of Judge Goldstone and were the main sources and advocates for the discredited report withdraw and revise their false allegations.

NGO Monitor’s statement, as well as interviews with Prof. Gerald Steinberg, have been featured in the Jerusalem Post, JTA, Washington Post (Jennifer Rubin’s blog), the New York Times, and elsewhere.

False Allegations by NGOs Rejected by Judge Goldstone

HRW, B’Tselem and other Goldstone promoters must immediately retract their statements on Gaza

JERUSALEM
In response to Judge Richard Goldstone’s landmark article in the Washington Post, in which he retracted the main allegations of the “Goldstone Report,” watchdog group NGO Monitor calls on the NGOs that were his main sources to withdraw and revise their discredited claims.  NGO Monitor also notes that the Goldstone Report, published under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council in September 2009, has been used to justify a widespread campaign of demonizing Israel with false accusations of “war crimes” and demands for BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions).

“With Goldstone’s admission that ‘our fact-finding mission had no evidence’ and that ‘civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy,’ the politicized NGOs that supplied these allegations have been exposed again as biased and lacking credibility,” said  Professor Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. “Goldstone was misled by an orchestrated campaign led by powerful NGOs, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence, Adalah, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, and Al Haq. As NGO Monitor demonstrated when the report was released, the so-called ‘evidence’ provided by these groups was at the core of the political war against Israel. Goldstone was taken in by crude manipulation.”

Goldstone’s reversal is further evidence of the central role played by Human Rights Watch (HRW) in the exploitation of human rights and in promoting the bogus conclusions of the Goldstone Report. HRW employed Marc Garlasco, an obsessive collector of Nazi memorabilia, as its “senior military analyst” on the Gaza war. Officials also held a fundraiser with Saudi elites in Riyadh – not to expose the daily human rights violations in Saudi Arabia – but to bolster Garlasco’s “findings” on the conflict. Similarly, HRW embraced the Qaddafi regime and its supposed “Tripoli spring.”

Steinberg continues, “HRW has been at the forefront of demonization and distortions since the infamous 2001 Durban conference, and used its influence to promote Goldstone, who was on HRW’s board. The leaders of this organization’s Middle East division have a long history of involvement in hard-core anti-Israel advocacy. This immoral behavior led HRW’s founder, Robert Bernstein, to denounce his own organization, presaging Richard Goldstone’s reconsideration.”

Steinberg further notes, “Israeli NGOs funded by European governments and the New Israel Fund have also played a central role in advancing the one-sided agenda of repressive regimes at the UN Human Rights Council. They have continued to lobby at the U.S. Congress, European Parliament, and the Knesset. Goldstone’s Washington Post article has exposed these campaigns as nothing more than anti-Israel propaganda.”

For more information on NGOs and the Goldstone Report, see NGO Monitor’s extensive coverage at http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article/goldstone_and_ngos.


What Israel Learned by Taking Risks for Peace – Jeremy Sharon (The Australian)

  • Two years ago this week, Israel launched a military incursion into Gaza in an operation that marked the breaking point of its patience after having absorbed more than 6,000 rocket and mortar attacks on its towns and cities since withdrawing from Gaza in August 2005.
  • More importantly, the conflict marked for many Israelis the point at which they lost faith in the notion of land for peace. For them, ceding land had led not to peace but simply to more war. At a time when the international community is trying to revive the moribund peace process, primarily by pressuring Israel, it is important this sentiment is taken into account.
  • When considering the manner in which Hizbullah filled the power-vacuum left by Israel in the wake of its withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, the calculation for Israelis became clear. Two territorial withdrawals in five years had significantly and irrevocably damaged their security, and another pull-back, this time from the West Bank, might well be suicidal.
  • The current Israeli insistence on the deployment of Israeli troops on both the western and eastern borders of any future Palestinian state is regarded as of critical importance to Israel’s long-term security. This is seen as one of the inviolable lessons of the Gaza withdrawal and the 2008 Gaza conflict.
  • The other lesson Israel learned from the Gaza operation is that the country can in no way rely on the international community to support its right to self-defense. The torrent of condemnations, denunciations, diplomatic attacks and media outrage that was directed at Israel for having the temerity to defend its own citizens culminated with the publication of the Goldstone report that, were it to be enforced, would essentially prevent the Israeli armed forces from protecting its citizens in the future.
  • World leaders such as French President Sarkozy and German Chancellor Merkel talked of the necessity of stopping Hamas from smuggling arms into Gaza. But these and other international actors have failed to prevent Hamas from comprehensively rearming and today this guerilla proxy of Iran possesses more advanced weapons and rockets than it did before the Gaza operation.
  • The lesson for Israel is obvious; it can rely on no one to protect its citizens and stand up for its right to self-defense other than itself. Those who wish to see a Palestinian state established must contend with this accumulated sentiment, because Israelis cannot be expected to trust external forces with their security.

Shira’s note: I feel the need to share this information with you, as for much of the media that most people watch do not have this information. It is through these blogs that my intention is to inform and bring more of a balance to this Middle East conflict. Please feel free to leave a comment on this issue in the hopes of a dialogue to bring an awareness between each other on the facts and figures of this conflict.