Thursday, January 01, 2009

Facing Facts on Gaza

Sometimes the best response to a persistent falsehood isn't argument at all, but simple contradiction.

The UK’s Melanie Phillips (Londonistan), effectively contradicts the nonsense being mass-broadcast about what is going on between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. (“Groundhog day for the fifth column of malice”). She responded Tuesday to comments in the UK Guardian by Ed Husain, an Islamist allegedly turning moderate, but who’s piece, “Britain has a duty to Arabs,” shows his willingness to repeat immoderate, and false, statements that the current conflict is “Israel’s massacre of innocent Palestinians.”

Ms. Phillips writes at length, but I quote only two key sections here. In the first, she reacts directly to Husain’s charge over “Israel’s massacre of innocent Palestinians”:

But this is totally untrue. The vast majority of Gazans who have been killed were Hamas terrorists. According to today’s [Tuesday’s] UN figures, 364 have been killed of whom only 62 were civilians. Israel has been targeting only the Hamas infrastructure and its terror-masters, as detailed here. While some civilian casualties are unfortunately inevitable, Israel is clearly attempting to minimise them. It is Hamas which deliberately targets Israeli civilians when it fires its rockets and detonates its human bombs specifically at Israeli civilian targets. It is Hamas which deliberately turns its own civilians into targets by siting its rockets and other military equipment under apartment blocks and in centres of densely crowded population. Hamas tries to kill as many Israeli innocents as possible; Israel’s military operation is conducted solely to defend its people against such attack and is designed to minimise the loss of civilian life in Gaza. To draw an equivalence between the two is obscene.

It is obscene. And as that Supreme Court Justice once cracked, we know it when we see it.

Ms. Phillips also takes a brickbat to the legend of Palestinian displacement from their homeland, which Husain reheats in his article. Ms. Phillips isn't letting him get away with it.

Then there’s [Husain's] lamentable historical illiteracy. He writes:

“I’ve sat in homes of poor, hospitable Palestinians who still yearn
to return to their homeland, taken by force from them in the turmoil after Britain hurriedly left Palestine in 1948...At schools across the Arab world children are taught about the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916. Here in Britain, we might want to forget this imperial past, but ask any Arab and they will reel off these dates and confirm Britain's involvement in creating Israel. As a country, we have a moral duty to right our historical wrongs. We helped create Israel. We must now help create a Palestine.”

For goodness sake! To repeat for the nth time: Israel was never the Palestinians’ ‘homeland’. It was never taken from them ‘by force’. On the contrary, they tried to take the Jews’ homeland from them by force – and are still trying. It was the Jews alone for whom historically ‘Palestine’ was ever their national homeland. On account of that history and the inalienable right to the land that it conferred, Britain was given a mandate to re-establish that national home and establish accordingly ‘close settlement’ of the Jews within the whole of Palestine – which included what is now Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. To appease Arab violence, the Arabs who lived there were offered their own state around the areas where they were concentrated. But they refused and, backed by neighbouring Arab states, went to war to destroy at birth the Jewish state established by the UN under international law – a war that has continued uninterrupted to this day.

There is only one way to de-radicalise people who are being brainwashed by murderous lies, and that is to tell them the truth.

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