When the Smoke Clears

So it has been a few weeks and the smoke is settling down.

The facts are being established and the hysteria that captured the world condemning Israel for the massacre in Jenin is giving way to the realization that no massacre actually happened.

“A Time investigation concludes that there was no wanton massacre in Jenin, no deliberate slaughter of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers.”

” Human Rights Watch did not find evidence to support claims that the IDF massacred hundreds of Palestinians in the camp.”

This is not to say that there were no human rights violations – it was a battle in a war and civilians surely died, property was damaged. Nobody denies that.

Israel is a democracy – when there are human rights abuses there are plenty of elements in Israel which bring them to light. They make it to the Israeli Supreme Court. Judgment is rendered and action is taken. Like every country, we do have human rights abuses in Israel – there is no need to fabricate them.

But we should note how the world was ready to believe Arab propaganda with no basis on facts and to act upon it – calling for boycotts, sanctions, etc. We should remember how quickly the US President called on Israel to pull back its forces while we were engaged in a battle with far less innocent lives taken than those in Afghanistan – both operations aimed at the same goal. We should also note how long it took to hear the voices of our friends, American Jews and Congress. Their voices are clear now, but the damage has been done – Israelis feel alone. In our moment of need the voices of lies and propaganda were all that reverberated throughout the world and Israel stood alone doing what it had to do in order to survive.

This was a dress rehearsal.

Peace can not be made with Arafat. Now Sharon has brought this stance to the headlines and already we have seen a shift in the way the US rhetoric describes Arafat or omits him. As long as Arafat is the head of the Palestinian people, a diplomatic solution can not be reached. With no diplomatic address, Israel has use its military to ensure the safety of its citizens.

Last night the IDF began massing forces on the border with the Gaza Strip and preparing to issue additional emergency call-up orders to reservists.

Now that our eyes have been opened to the readiness of the world to believe falsehoods and to rally against Israel, to condemn Israel and to call for sanctions against Israel, let us not hesitate to voice our support of Israel’s actions of self-defense. Israel needs to hear our voices and benefit from our influence, both in support of her actions – but more importantly in an effort to continue towards a diplomatic solution. Now more than ever, we must call on the US and world leaders not to accept Arafat as a legitimate peace partner. Only once he is removed can the military operations cease and the peace process resume.

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