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Israelis Are The Victims

Published: Thursday, March 14, 2002
A very ignorant student wrote yesterday that Israel has decided to fight terrorism with terrorism. He called the Israeli government racist and claimed it stole land from Egypt, Jordan and Syria. People like this make me sick, because they damage the reputation of Israel, the ONLY democracy in the Middle East, and they do so with lies. I will give this student the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is not simply making these facts up, as it would appear. I will instead assume that he is INCREDIBLY naive and uninformed about the history of this conflict.

The state of Israel was created in 1948, and immediately after its birth, every surrounding Arab nation attacked it. This was a completely unprovoked attack, fueled by anti-Semitism. The Arab League of Nations told the Arabs living in Israel at the time to leave, because a war was coming. Some of these Arabs left and moved to the areas now known as the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. They only expected to stay there long enough for the Arab nations to "drive the Jews into the sea." Unfortunately for them, Israel won the war. The territories that Israel "stole" [in 1967] from Egypt, Syria, and Jordan were actually the spoils of a war that those countries started.

So what of the "refugees" stuck in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank? Israel invited them back to live in the country after they had fled. The Arab leaders told these people not to go, because they did not recognize the Jewish state. Did Jordan or Syria take in these "refugees?" No, in fact, they closed their borders to them. In fact, the word "refugee" does not apply here. These people were not driven from their homes, they left intentionally so the Jews could be killed off and they could move back. To recap: the Arabs started a war with Israel, then abandoned their own people. So, who is the bad guy here?

The Palestinian Liberation Organization was then formed. The PLO is a group that confuses a lot of people because it sounds as if it would try to liberate some enslaved people. The word liberate in the PLO stands for the liberation of Israel from the Jews. This organization's goal, very clearly stated in the 1970s, was the destruction of the Jewish people and the capturing of Israel. They used the plight of the "refugees" to gain world sympathy. The world seems to have forgotten who abandoned these people in the first place.

The Palestinians living in these camps are now the descendants of the original Arabs who fled Israel before the War of Independence. Having lived there for over fifty years now, does it seem odd that they still have no infrastructure to speak of? If the PLO is the ruling body that governs over these people, why have they not constructed sewers and hospitals for these people? Money perhaps? Nope. Israel gives millions in aid to the "refugees" every year, but no one ever reads about that. Saudi Arabia gives Yasir Arafat money as well, but do the people actually see any of it? Where does it go? Maybe to fund the fifty tons of weapons that were found on the Karine A, a smuggling vessel that Arafat himself ordered. The problem is with the Arab leadership, which has always preferred violence to peace.

Many students believe that since more Palestinians have been killed during the intifadah, they must be the victims. Are we really that naÔve? First of all, how many Americans have been killed compared to the number of Afghans killed? Does this tell us who the bad guy is? Also, the numbers are incredibly misleading. The Palestinian death count includes suicide bombers, shooters who are killed after firing upon soldiers and civilians and known terrorists who are assassinated. One line in the letter yesterday really caught my eye: "... The suicide bombers, though not acting in a humane or productive manner, have a respect for human life." Are you joking? These people walk into a disco filled with 15- and 16-year-old children, and blow themselves up. Yep, sounds like a lot of respect to me. On the other hand, when Israel fired missiles into a factory that was believed to contain weapons, they called ahead to warn the Palestinians to leave because the helicopters were coming.

I could go on for pages about this. The facts all point to the leaders of the Palestinians as the true criminals here. They teach their children to hate and to kill, and they celebrate the destruction of life brought on by suicide bombers. Israel must defend itself, and they should not be chastised for killing the terrorists who shoot at their children and blow up their buses. I urge everyone to be informed before they write ridiculous propaganda letters. Israel is our friend. Ignorance will not change that.

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