Israel unfairly attacked in push for peace


Nadav Hod, Contributing Writer

Israel, more than any other nation in the world, has been wrongly targeted, antagonized and condemned. Nowadays, fragmented and often false portrayal of Israel in the media and the press only strengthens the erroneous accusations against the state. Unjustifiable claims condemn the Israeli Defense Forces for violating international humanitarian law by committing unethical war crimes. Others wrongly argue that Israel qualifies as an apartheid state.

Typical warfare throughout history features armies working to completely wipe out their enemies. The IDF is different. Operating under a code of morality, it aspires to limit civilian casualties while in the midst of a war against terror.

Hamas is a fascist, Jihadist, terrorist organization active in the Gaza Strip, and it strives to obliterate the state of Israel–the embodiment of western civilization in the Middle East. It uses the people of Gaza as human shields, forcing them into vicinities of launching bases targeted by the Israeli military. IDF troops are then lured into killing these civilians, whom are located near bases that pose a threat to Israeli territory.

However, these deaths are not war crimes, and are often publicized as a means of discrediting the IDF. It is sad to note that by victimizing Gaza civilians and violating moral codes of warfare, Hamas is able to achieve its success in the propaganda war.  

To minimize civilian casualties, the IDF implemented an intricate system of checks and balances which forbids Israeli soldiers from taking action without authorization. The single presence of a Palestinian civilian in the vicinity of a qassam launching base could be the determining factor of the cancellation of a plan to demilitarize that base. A cancellation of such operation allows of potential flow of qassams into Israeli territory, by forfeiting an opportunity to strike the enemy,

During operations in 2009-2010 and 2014, IDF pilots were notified of cancellation of missions as late as ten seconds before bomb release simply because the vicinity of the target was not civilian free. A pilot who was involved in Operation Cast Lead said at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in 2010 was told, “you need to attack within a minute, and you need to notify headquarters again thirty seconds before you release the bomb and then again ten seconds, because someone has to visually look at the target and be able to say: the target is civilian free.”

No other military in the history of organized warfare has aborted as many operations as the Israeli military. Aborting these missions prevents enemy civilian casualties while leaving enemy combatants alive. In addition, Israel warns Palestinians of impending attacks by dropping leaflets written in Arabic, broadcasting radio warnings and making thousands of warning phone calls. The IDF has taken unprecedented measures regarding its moral standing, going above and beyond any other military force in the world to prevent civilian casualties.

Another allegation that has gained popularity in recent years denounces the Israeli government for upholding apartheid policy in occupied territories. In Apartheid South Africa, 9 percent of the country’s population, the privileged white class, held political power. The other 91 percent, which consisted of the non-white population, was obstructed from voting. Israel is frequently equated with this oppressive regime. Yet unlike South Africa during the 20th century in which racial segregation had evolved into national policies, legislation in present-day Israel applies equally to every citizen of the state and by no means pertains to the universal definition of apartheid.

“If the apartheid accusation is correct,” wrote Benjamin Pogrund in Drawing Fire: Investigating The Accusations of Apartheid in Israel, “then Israel merits harsh condemnation. For to be an apartheid state would be a betrayal of the Jewish ethics which underpin its existence.” On May 14, 1948 David Ben-Gurion stated as a part of Israel’s Declaration of Independence: “The State of Israel will uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of race, creed or sex; will guarantee full freedom of conscience, worship, education and culture.”

As was stated in 1948, all citizens, whether Muslim Arabs, Christians or Israeli Jews, have equal suffrage rights. Other Israeli residents, many of whom are Arabs who deny Israel’s right to exist and thus refuse to become its citizens, are entitled to municipal services and suffrage.

Like any other country, the state of Israel has its own shortcomings and is far from being a utopia. Israel has been an independent nation for less than seventy years, during which time it has been surrounded by enemies and under unabating assault. And yet it has evolved into a large-scale high-technology exporter, a flourishing tourist center and the sole westernized democracy in the Middle East.

From negotiating ceasefires to composing peace treaties, Israel has made countless concessions attempting to satisfy its bordering nations and the terror organizations seeking to demolish it. Each one a step in the road to peace, because peace is what Israel seeks.

Nevertheless, accusations have reached bizarre standards. Rarely do they emerge from a moral standpoint, but out of a larger effort to delegitimize the state and confiscate its claim to sovereignty. Yet, Israel will stop at nothing to fight of terror and defend its unvarnished right to exist. As its American allies, we must stand where lies the morality and grant Israel the support it rightfully merits.