Michael Shine: It is very difficult, isn’t it, not to have an opinion on what is going on currently in the Middle-East? You would have to be blind, deaf and dumb not to have read media reports, or seen Television reports or heard on the radio, various versions of the rights and wrongs, the attacks and the retaliations going on all around the area.
You would have read about the massacres going on in Syria for instance, about close to 200,000 deaths in that area alone, all as a result of Muslim versus Muslim and different ideological beliefs. You would have heard about the sectarian fighting in Iraq where Muslims are blowing up Muslims, suicide bombs and terror attacks, one side against the other. You cannot have missed the missions that British and U.S. soldiers have carried out against terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq and the tragedy of the collateral damage and casualties to the innocent civilians caught up in the fighting. You would probably have understood what was written in the media about all of these and accepted it for the truth. But maybe you did miss seeing news of these events. Maybe it wasn’t of great concern to you?
And of course you cannot have missed hearing about the terrorist rocket attacks on Israel’s civilian population for the last nine years, carried out by the internationally recognized terrorist organization called Hamas and it’s friendly collaborators, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and backed up by ISIS (also currently now operation from Gaza)? You surely must have heard about the massacre of the Fogel family in 2011, when Islamic terrorists infiltrated their quiet village and slit their throats? (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/8402973/A-family-slaughtered-in-Israel-doesnt-the-BBC-care.html). But maybe you did miss it. Maybe it wasn’t of great concern to you?
You cannot have missed that for the last two years, since the last time that Israel retaliated, in 2012, to stop these daily rocket attacks, Israel has kept quiet and ‘turned the other cheek’ and peacefully tried to find a way to stop it? But maybe you did miss it. Maybe it wasn’t of great concern to you?
You probably did not notice, or maybe the media that you watch or read, didn’t report it, that Israel retaliated but offered a cease-fire on four separate occasions if only the rockets would cease. That Israel’s Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu, has publicly stated on more than one occasion, “When there is quiet from Gaza then there will be quiet to Gaza” (or words to that effect – depends on translations). Even CNN reported it: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/07/20/world/meast/mideast-crisis-blitzer-netanyahu-interview/index.html). But maybe you did miss it. Maybe it wasn’t of great concern to you?
You obviously did not notice that Hamas ignored these requests and continued firing. You obviously were unaware that the IDF (the Israeli army) is recognized as the most ethical army in the world by most Armed forces leaders in the Western World).Or that it warned the people of Gaza of when and where they would be attempting to hit rocket sites and that they should evacuate that area, but the Gazan’s ‘political’ leaders made them stay there to be human shields (which you no doubt vociferously and vocally attacked, in the same way that you did when Saddam Hussain did likewise in Iraq). http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/columnists/article4157114.ece?shareToken=99c8bcd78b5ec425d9203d7635540456But maybe you did miss it. Maybe it wasn’t of great concern to you?
Maybe you noticed that amongst all the hand-wringing people around the world of the misfortunes of the civilians in Syria, only Israel actually physically helped them. You probably did not notice that over 300 casualties of the war between Muslim and Muslim in Syria have been evacuated to and treated in Israeli hospitals. But maybe you did miss it. Maybe it wasn’t of great concern to you?
You no doubt uphold the right of children everywhere to receive a fair education and are aware of what the children of Gaza are taught in their schools. So you saw this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57Q8K5TmivM and thought OK – good education! But maybe you did miss it. Maybe it wasn’t of great concern to you?
But here is one thing that you evidently did notice. There have been casualties in Gaza. More Gazans than Israelis have been hurt and killed and maybe you thought – “Hey! This isn’t fair” as you may have once thought about a school playground argument. The media obviously blame Israel for the casualties. Big bully Israel – poor terrorist in Gaza. You have noticed and believe the media because they always tell you the truth and you always believe the media. Now you are up in arms. You perhaps read this: http://www.timesofisrael.com/the-terrorist-misfire-that-deepened-the-conflict/ But maybe you did miss it. Maybe it wasn’t of great concern to you.
Nobody more than I is more upset and heart-broken at the sight of casualties and fatalities, particularly of innocent children. I am however honest with myself. The world cannot expect Israel to be attacked and not respond. The world cannot expect Israel to turn the other cheek. If you have a better answer to the problem, let us all hear it. Simply attacking Israel for defending itself is no solution to the problem. Telling Israel that it does not have the right to close down tunnels of terror and search out and destroy terrorists is not an answer to the problem. If you are so clever, give me the answer to how there will be peace in the Middle East. One thing that I am certain of is, that there will be no peace in this region between Arabs and Israelis, until the Islamic Jihadists put away their hatred of Jews and until they accept that Israel has the right to exist in secure borders.
One final thought: I refer you to what Hillel Neuer had to say at the United Nations:
“In the past year you did not cry out when thousands of protestors were killed and injured, by Turkey, Egypt and Libya; when more victims than ever were hanged by Iran; when women and children in Afghanistan were bombed; whole communities were massacred in South Sudan; hundreds in Pakistan were killed by jihadist terrorist attacks; 10,000 Iraqis were killed by terrorists.”
“If those who refuse to speak out for Palestinians – 1,800 Palestinians, if not more – who were starved to death and murdered by Assad in Syria, but you only cry out when Israel can be blamed, then you are not pro-human rights, you are only anti-Israel.” http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/ngo-asks-un-rights-council-where-were-you-when-assad-starved-and
Some of us, maybe you included, have to take a look in the mirror and ask ourselves that very question: Am I pro Human Rights or am I solely anti-Israel? Be honest – even if it is only to yourself!