Blood In The Sand – In Defence Of Palestine

Backbencher March 7, 2013 9
Blood In The Sand – In Defence Of Palestine

Far from being the perennial victim, is Israel actually the world’s biggest terrorist state?

This is not just a war over stolen land, why’d you think little boys are throwing stones at tanks? And we’ll never know how many people are dead – they drop bombs on innocent little girls while they sleep in their bed” Lowkey “Long Live Palestine”

There isn’t anything murkier than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There is no white, no black: both sides are a very deep grey, both have reasonable claims to the area and both have committed horrible acts. I’m not here to win an argument, because it’s unwinnable. Both sides are victims and both sides are monsters.

However I am here to show some things Israel have done in the past decade, actions that have led me to formulate my view that Israel is a terrorist state.

Firstly, I want to clear some things up:

a) I’m not an anti-Semite; I oppose the needless murder of civilians and the constant breaking of international law by the state of Israel. I do not however, despise the Jews, I do not think the Jews are running the world and I am not (as one person put it) a “double agent for Hezbollah”.

b) Israel does not speak for the entire religion of Judaism. There are plenty of Jews that support my point of view. So therefore opposing terrorist actions committed by Israel isn’t an anti-Semitic view, it’s just a word thrown at people to close down debate and no different from when Dianne Abbot calls you a racist.

c) I do not support Hamas. I oppose the terrorism by Hamas and other such groups as well as the terrorism by Israel.

d) I do not agree with what David Laws said for,  as I’ve already stated, Israel does not speak for every single Jewish person in the world. I’ve criticized the Israeli government, not the Jewish people so the sooner people stop screaming anti-Semite at everyone who is supportive of Palestine the quicker we can have an open and honest debate about this issue.

e) I know how this article will go down. The pro-Israeli sections will accuse me of being racist, an anti-Semite supportive of terrorism, writing a poorly sourced article and not attacking Jordan or Egypt for their role in the problems of Palestine. This is just a little disclaimer so I can say I told you so later on!

“Understand, the Jews needed a place after Hitler, but they got about three quarters of Palestinian land. Palestinians had to make refuge, in places like Lebanon, places where none of them had ever gone. Thousands were massacred for not leaving, see I’d do the same kill me I’ll die believing.” Logic “Spectator”

On the 5th October, 2004. Iman Darweesh Al Hams, a 13 year old girl is walking home past an Israeli checkpoint.  The Israeli company commander, only know as ‘Captain R’ speaks into his radio:  “This is commander. Anything that’s mobile,that moves in the zone, even if it’s a three-year-old, needs to be killed. Over.”

Not long after this, Iman was dead, with a total of 17 bullet holes in her. She had been shot in the leg Then Captain R had moved forward and emptied the rest of his clip into the helpless young child. Captain R had even overruled a soldier who had radioed in to say she “was looking scared to death, she’s about ten years old”. At the following trial where Captain R was found not guilty, he claimed that he and his men had come under fire from Palestinian militants; there is no record of this in the radio conversation.

“It would be my greatest sadness to see Zionists do to Palestinian Arabs much of what Nazis did to Jews.” Albert Einstein

Sadly, this isn’t a one off case. In fact, the Israeli ‘Defence’ force has made a hobby of murdering Palestinian children. Faris Odeh, or more commonly known as “The boy who threw the stone”, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers – he was 14. Muhammad al-Durrah – although the footage is often criticized as a “Palestian fake” – Al-Durrah was likely killed along with his father by the Israeli armed forces. In fact, shortly after the shooting Israel claimed the bullets “were likely to have come from Israeli positions”. Muhammed was 12. Khalil al-Mughrabi was murdered from shots fired by an IDF tank after finishing a game of football; he was 11.

“There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people” – Howard Zinn

This is a tip of the iceberg. It is estimated by the “Remember these children” group that since September 29th 2000, 1,516 Palestinian children have been murdered in the West bank & Gaza strip by the IDF. No IDF soldiers have been imprisoned.

Graffiti wallIt is clear there is a lack of discipline in the IDF. Not too long ago an IDF soldier posted a picture of himself aiming his sniper rifle at a Palestinian child. If a British soldier had done the same, he would quickly have found himself in front of a military court and slapped with a dishonourable discharge. Sadly, as proven by captain R, Israel rarely looks into the serious misconducts of its troops, and the sniper’s actions sum up Israel’s view of Palestinians: they’re dehumanized targets, vermin that need to be removed. To see a stupidly long list of other such pictures, including Israeli soldiers standing on Palestinians who are bleeding to death and shirts encouraging the shooting of pregnant women (One shot two kills) click here. But I don’t really recommend it. (Graphic images)

“Israel is a democracy, undeniably. But a democracy that commits war crimes is still a war criminal.“ Sir Gerald Kaufman MP

It doesn’t stop here; in late 2008 Israel forcefully stopped ships bringing food aid to the Gaza strip. Israel claimed the blockade was required to weaken the Hamas position.  Once again we see Israel’s complete and utter disregard for the human rights of the innocent for the ‘greater good’. As long as they get the terrorists, it won’t matter how many innocent Palestinians starved to death. It’s not the first time either – it’s something else Israel is making a hobby of.

In the dying days of 2008, the Israeli government ordered an invasion of the Gaza strip to cut down on “Hamas terrorist attacks”. The result was a bloodbath. Some of the effects  are still being felt today. There was no difference in the eyes of the Israeli army between the legitimate targets of Hamas militant fighters and that of innocent Palestinian civilians. The UN report into the war found that places such as schools and hospitals were deliberately targeted to “Increase the difficulty of civilian life” and in some cases deliberately attacked unarmed civilians for no apparent reason. It isn’t just the UN that has done reports that concluded that Israel had most likely committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity. Israel’s reply to this damning 575 page document? Accuse it of lying.

“Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves … politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves… The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country.” David Ben Gurion, first prime minster of Israel.

It gets worse. The report also found that Israel had used white phosphorus shells on built up civilian areas. For those that don’t know, white phosphorus is a chemical weapon used to create smoke screens: it does so by releasing chemicals intoIsraeli tower the air which burn as long as it is in contact with oxygen. However, white phosphorus becomes incredibly dangerous when it comes into contact with skin. Those who survive the terrible burns are likely to develop cancer in later life.

Surely that’s it, I thought, the IDF couldn’t do anything worse I thought. Nope. There are hundreds of reports that the IDF used children as human shields, shelling buildings they knew to contain civilians, shooting Palestinian children even stretching to bulldozing a building with a Palestinian family inside.

“The children walking over the bricks of their destroyed homes, their mother putting up a tent, their father in jail… in tears and confusion looking at the tanks coming down the street, the men holding metre-long machine guns… they stare… need I say more …just imagine how it would feel to be a Palestinian….” Unknown

One last thing, the peace deals are far from friendly towards Palestine: would you accept a deal which bends you and your nation over the barrel?

The most horrible thing about this piece was I started with a list of 25 odd things that Israel has done and slowly whittled it down, these unforgivable actions I’ve written about are merely a tip of the iceberg for a terrorist state that has no care for the lives and rights of non-Israelis.

What we’re seeing is the bully complex slowly acted out through history, the small child that is bullied, grows up to become a bully himself. Being a victim today is no excuse for being an oppressor tomorrow. The Jewish people have been oppressed throughout history, in some horrible and unforgivable ways, but this is not an excuse for Israel to be repeating the same actions on the people of Palestine.

Everything I read, everything I’ve researched, everything points towards Israel being a terrorist state.

For those who accused me of being supportive of Palestinian terrorism, after reading this, who’s the terrorist supporter now?

Gareth Shanks is the current chairman of Friends of Palestine in UKIP. He writes about military matters, Palestine and things that make society tick. He’s a self-described Neville Rebel and tweets as @Garethshanks

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  • EdinburghEye

    Sadly, you’re right. I read B’Tselem – the record of casualties in the internal war – and the number of children killed by the IDF is now larger than the total number of Israeli civilian casualties. The disregard of the IDF for civilian lives is only matched by the hypocrisy of the media reporting which regards hundreds of Palestinians killed as no news but one Israeli killed as a tragedy.

    I was once a supporter of the “two-state solution”. I’ve since come to the conclusion that the only possible long-term solution, given the Israeli government’s clear lack of interest in any equitable division of land, is the one-state solution: Israel’s defacto borders include the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, therefore all inhabitants must become Israeli citizens, with all the rights of Israeli citizenship, including the obligation – and benefits – of joining the military.

    This would be a revolution as huge as South Africa’s in 1994 – but it is Israel’s choice if they go for a democratic revolution in which the people they have despised and slaughtered become full citizens, or if they continue the lethal apartheid policies that bring shame on them as a nation.

    • http://twitter.com/mendingtheworld Cranky Notions

      Ah, but the breakdown of the civilian/combatant deaths is a contentious subject. However, you may be interested in this overview of the casualties of the Second Intifada, which indicates that 95% of the Arab casualties in the conflict were male, the good majority in their late teens/early twenties, so we can assume fewer civilians were killed on their side as opposed to Israel’s, where the gender ratio is around 60:40. The image the Human Rights Industry, the media,and academia like to promote – of the IDF killing women and children willy-nilly – is in fact a false one.

      http://212.150.54.123/articles/articledet.cfm?articleid=440

      On the ‘one-state solution’: erm… has anything gotten better in South Africa since the ANC took power? Post-Apartheid South Africa is an utter basket case. Why do people keep promoting it as a good example? Is it political correctness?

      Anybody who keeps claiming South Africa is a success has to explain why they like the fact that 10% of Boer farmers have been murdered, one on five whites have left, unemployment is twice as high as it used to be, and black life expectancy is down.

      The notion of placing two national groups under one state in the name of humanitarianism is quite possibly the most stupid idea around. The ‘one-state solution’ appears to have failed even in highly-developed countries like Belgium. It may fail in the United Kingdom with the process of ‘devolution’. That approach seems to be swimming against the tide of history. See, for example, the breakup of Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, etc.

      • EdinburghEye

        “has anything gotten better in South Africa since the ANC took power?”

        Yes. Several things. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is widely acknowledged as an inspirational success in dealing with decades of brutal injustice.

        South Africa is the only country in Africa, and one of only 11 in the world, which has equal marriage.

        And most important of all, poverty and inequality have gone down in South Africa since 1993. Not as much as people hoped and wanted. But in the right direction since apartheid came to an end.

        • http://twitter.com/mendingtheworld Cranky Notions

          For some reason, I doubt you have ever set foot in South Africa or know a thing about the country.

          The Truth and Reconciliation Commission? The one that forgave the perpetrators of the Saint James Church massacre? The one that forgave ANC bombers but kept the assassins of ANC bomber Chris Hani in jail?

          On the economy: Unemployment is twice as high in South Africa as it was at the end of apartheid. Black life expectancy has actually fallen. The Johannesberg Stock Exchange, once the tenth largest in the world, has actually left the Central Business District for the safer suburb of Sandtown. This is an embarrassment. The country’s main synagogue, by the way, also once sat proudly in the centre of Johannesberg. Now its in a gated suburb for safety, and the Jewish population has declined by almost half since 1994.

          Today, interest groups in South Africa are fighting viciously and desperately for a bigger slice of a constantly shrinking pie. This is what leads to tragic events such as the killings at the Lonmin mine strike.

          The South African economy is chugging along at less than 2% growth (if you believe the official figures, and I doubt them). There are places elsewhere in Africa nearing double percentage-point growth.

          But that’s O.K., at least they have equal marriage.

          • EdinburghEye

            “For some reason, I doubt you have ever set foot in South Africa or know a thing about the country.”

            And you are a 23-year-old law student living in London whose international expertise comes from … er… you read the Drudge Report?

  • Christopher Stewart

    Gareth, i am not quite sure where to begin and unfortunately i dont have too much time at teh momnet. You have taken time and effort in your piece, which is commendable

    The IDF is a national army fighting terrorists. Whilst the army may use at times tactics that are just wrong and disgusting they use far more restraint than you have acknowledged. It has been proven ( even the UN admit it) that Hamas and Hezbollah fire rockets from schools and Mosques knowing that the IDF will retaliate eventually. They do this knowing the world outcry and how it will even sway a reasonable peron liek yourself into believing what they want you to believe. Let us not Forget that All the Arab brother of the Palestinian have rarely ever lifted a finger to help them. As you know until 67 Gaza was Egyptian and the West Bank was rued by the British installed state of Jordan. Why do Egypt still close the border to Gaza and block the tunnels> Because they are pro Israeli? I Thought not. Hamas train up children and indoctrinate youngsters that Jews are evil. The Hamas Charter states that Israel must be destroyed. We have a country that loves life fighting against a movement that love death. It was the Palestinians and Arab Nation that rejected UN resolution 242 not ISRAEL. Israel wanted to swap the land they gained in 67 for peace. That didn’t happen. There are over 1 million Arabs living freely in Israel, who can vote,drink, become politicians and be successful.FREEDOM they are not entitled to under Hamas. No i am not suggesting the IDF have not committed some major crimes but they are far less than those perpetrated by Hamas and previously Fatah. I mean it is nearly impossible to get the two main Palestinian factions to agree on anything. Hundreds of Palestinians have killed themselves on buses, in hotels etc in the name of Allah.. yet they are perceived as heroes?? How does on tackle this.. apparently not very well hence the IDF cannot be perfect all the time and sometimes the outcome (To them) justifies the means. It is all very easy to point fingers at the IDF but when you fail to explain all the other methods they have tried, what they are up against and the many failures of the other side, it is a bit of a rant more than a scholarly article.

    • EdinburghEye

      “The IDF is a national army fighting terrorists.”

      You could begin by explaining how this justifies, in your view, soldiers of the IDF killing unarmed Palestinian children.

      • Christopher Stewart

        The IDF do not target innocents directly. On the other hand Hamas and Hezbollah do target innocent Israelis. Hamas encourage children to kill themselves in the name of Allah., whilst killing as many Jews as possible. You seem to be living in denial and I suggest you read some factual books for a change.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.hoffman2 Stephen Hoffman

    If you want to check out the other side of the argument have a read of my blog in response to Gareth here: http://thebackbencher.co.uk/its-absurd-to-call-israel-a-terrorist-state/.

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