Two months ago I was sitting in a Berkeley, California City Council meeting listening to speakers and Council members argue over a proposed resolution to prohibit the City of Berkeley from doing business with Israeli companies or American companies that do business with Israeli companies. The resolution was created in response to the supposed massacre of innocent ‘Palestinian’ civilians that was taking place in the West Bank towns. Seated in the chamber were several spectators that felt the need to hysterically screech “What about Jenin?” at every opportunity.Outside Old City Hall a group of anti-Israeli protestors wailed slogans equating Israel and Jews with the Nazis.
Indeed, on April 24th the world was enraged and enflamed by reportsof atrocities at the hands of the Israeli Defense Force. We kept hearing that thousands of unarmed civilians were being killed (orhad already been killed) as Israel sent its army into West Bank towns. The United Nations was assembling a team of investigators to document the slaughter, and scenes of Jenin apartment buildings being bulldozed were constantly being broadcast over television.
Rumors were rife about Israeli soldiers hurriedly burying bodies – getting rid of the evidence of their foul deeds, and that Israeli soldiers were using ‘Palestinian’ children as human shields.A young Jewish misfit from Brooklyn named Adam Shapiro was playing kissy-face with the besieged Yasser Arafat and helping to lead ambulances into the ‘occupied territories’ because he claimed that Israel was refusing to allow humanitarian aid to reach the injured West Bank Arabs. European leaders were demanding that Israel withdraw its forces, and insisting that the United States order the Jewish State to back off. Yasser Arafat, illuminated solely with flashlights and looking like a grotesque creature from a black and white horror film, used the media to plead for outside military assistance. Other media stories reported how Arafat and his staff were on the brink of starvation. Anti-Semitic violence literally exploded throughout Europe, and angry anti-Israel demonstrations were staged across America.
Eventually the Israelis withdrew their troops and the rhetoric quieted down. Then last week, in response to several particularly gruesome terrorist attacks that left nearly three dozen of itscitizens dead, Israel moved back into several major ‘Palestinian’occupied areas. Early Monday morning scores of Israeli tanks moved into Ramallah, with nearly two dozen surrounding Arafat’s headquarters.
But the whole atmosphere of the news is different. There are no demands from the European Union for immediate withdrawal. CNN has apologized for paying too much attention to the families of thesuicide bombers (as compared to the families of the victims).
Massive violent demonstrations didn’t erupt in cities and on campuses, and instead of organizing a fact-finding investigation of Israel’s latest actions, Kofi Annan was busy this past weekend organizing a photography session with Hollywood celebrities. What happened? Why the dramatic shift? Well, in the intervening time, the world begrudgingly found out the truth. There was no massacre; there were no atrocities. There was simply an appropriate action taken by Israel to defend itself by rooting-out Arab murderers and their confederates. Contrary to false claims of Israeli wrongdoing, it was the ‘Palestinian’ murderers that used women and children as human shields and to lure IDF soldiers into booby-trapped buildings.Instead of Israeli soldiers hurriedly burying bodies to hide the number of dead, the ‘West Bank Arabs’ were taking recently deceased bodies from cemeteries in order to increase the appearance of widespread killing. Ambulances were being stopped from passing between Israel and the Arab towns because explosives were being concealed under the bodies of injured victims to be used in additional terrorist attacks.
The Israelis were supplying Arafat and his goons with food and beverages, so their greatest danger was gaining weight. The photos and videos used to illustrate the number of buildings destroyed became recognizable, because the same visuals were being used over and over. In fact, aerial photos confirmed that the area of damagewas tightly restricted to those buildings known by every one as’bomb-making factories.’ Jenin was intact, and its residents largely unharmed because the Israeli army took extraordinary measures to protect the town and to avoid injuring non-combatants. Israel specifically decided not to use aerial bombardment or missiles on any of the West Bank areas in order to keep the mission contained and casualties light.
In reality, there was nothing simple about it. Nor was the effort without grave peril for Israeli soldiers. In some instances the job of eliminating the killers resulted in the deaths of an equal number, or more, of Israeli soldiers. One infamous booby-trap incident was responsible for the death of 13 soldiers. The only saving grace was that for each Arab murderer and bomb-maker that was stopped, a larger number of Israelis will be safe in the future.The Israeli Defense Force used incredible restraint and even compassion in carrying out their task. And it is for this reason that the IDF should be given the Nobel Peace Prize. Despite the unbelievable conditions and stress that they and their families have been living under for years, it is almost inconceivable that they were able to remain focused and not resort to bloodthirsty revenge.
They are deserving of the highest accolades for their courage and service; accolades equivalent to the well-deserved tributes paid to America’s firefighters and rescue workers after the September 11thattacks. Not only should they get this year’s Nobel Peace Prize,Arafat should be stripped of his share of the award given to him in1994 and have it added to the 2002 award.