Consider the source
Oct. 28, 2001
The Palestinian movement has recently taken a page from the playbook that Machiavellian politicians here used so well through the 1990s: No matter how illogical it may be, repeatedly characterize your opponents as evil people and yourself as the victim.
Several times in the last few weeks I've heard commentators repeating Palestinian claims that the Israeli troops are terrorists and that the Palestinian
people are the victims of a racist state. Those claims won't stand up to any sort of reasonable analysis.
Terrorists are people who intentionally target and kill civilians in an effort to create panic and achieve their political ends. Terrorists use suicide bombers, car bombs, bullets, and even chemical and
biological weapons to indiscriminately kill women, children, and non-combatants.
People who commit such atrocities are publicly esteemed as heroes and martyrs in the Palestinian community and throughout much of the Arab world.
Israel has had no choice but to defend itself against such attacks. When Palestinians use a building as a base for sniper and mortar attacks against Israeli citizens, the Israelis send in troops, tanks, or missiles and neutralize the threat. Such a military response is reasonable and is not terrorism.
We Americans send our military halfway around the world to fight terrorists, and rightly so. Israel sends their Army two miles to take care of those who terrorize their population and the world condemns them as extremists.
Palestinian terrorists frequently use densely populated neighborhoods as bases of operation to shield themselves with civilians. This immoral practice inevitably leads to civilians being caught in the crossfire.
The key distinction between the two sides of this conflict, however, is that while civilian casualties are unintended collateral damage of Israeli action, they are the expressed intended targets of the Palestinian uprising.
Regardless of how many times the Palestinians may declare Israel a racist state, the facts declare otherwise. It is a melting pot whose citizens include
Arabs, Jews and Christians, all with a right to vote and worship freely as they choose.
Israel has the only democratically elected government in the Middle East. It is the only country in the region where women have the right to vote and choose how they will live.
The nation of Israel rose from the ashes of the Holocaust as a free, modern society. Try building a synagogue or cathedral in a Moslem country and see what happens. How many Jews or women are allowed to vote or participate in government anywhere else in the Middle East?
The adage that if you tell a lie big enough, loud enough and long enough people will believe it needs to be exposed. The next time you hear the words "terrorist" or "racist" applied to the nation of Israel, consider the source, look at the evidence, and think. To defend your citizens from the attacks of terrorists does not make you one yourself.
Craig Ziemba, a pilot, lives in Meridian.