Public Comment

Commentary: Criticizing Israel = Anti-Semitism

By Howard Glickman
Tuesday August 08, 2006

I should not be surprised that the Daily Planet joins in the Arab-European “blame Israel first” school of journalism, but after reading Becky O’Malley’s diatribe against the State of Israel in Tuesday’s edition, I was startled that the paper would publish such an obviously incorrect editorial, so viciously slanted in favor of those who wish to destroy a sovereign nation and its inhabitants. Before throwing her sympathies to the murderers and terrorists, Ms. O’Malley should check the Israel Defense Forces policies regarding military operations in areas with civilian populations, which are the strictest, most moral in the world. She should consider that when the IDF accidentally kills civilians in a military operation, the operation is considered a failure, and everyone in Israel mourns the loss of innocent life. When Hezbollah kills civilians, the operation is considered a success and a cause for celebration. Instead of doing a web search for “dead children,” perhaps Ms. O’Malley should do web search for the IDF Code of Ethics, which includes the doctrine that “[T]he IDF servicemen and women will use their weapons and force only for the purpose of their mission, only to the necessary extent and will maintain their humanity even during combat. IDF soldiers will not use their weapons and force to harm human beings who are not combatants or prisoners of war, and will do all in their power to avoid causing harm to their lives, bodies, dignity and property.” Would Hezbollah or Hamas make the same commitment? 

Ms. O’Malley should also check her facts. The bombing of a Hezbollah artillery position in Qana did not kill 37 children as the author claims, but 19 (which is still no less a tragedy), and she does not stop to consider why the building did not collapse for eight hours after the operation. Could it possibly have been the result of exploding munitions stored in the building by Hezbollah? Obviously not, because Israel is presumed guilty, while the terrorists and their supporters are innocents. And why were the “innocent civilians” not evacuated from the building during the eight hours before it collapsed? She might also want to ask why the same two individuals are in each and every photograph of the ”rescue operation” and why these same two individuals in the same clothing and helmets are in similar photos from an incident in 1996? Is there not even a shadow of doubt in Ms. O’Malley’s mind that these atrocities may have been created, magnified, or exaggerated by those who do not value human life to provoke exactly the kind of reaction that Ms. O’Malley had to these terrible events? It is unfortunate that Ms. O’Malley and the Daily Planet have been duped by the Hezbollah PR machine. 

Even worse than Ms O’Malley’s incomplete, one-sided view of Mideast politics and history, she seems unaware of American history when she writes, “During the American revolution the revolutionary army hid among civilians, but the British army didn’t retaliate by shelling cities.” Has she forgotten the Boston Massacre? Or the fact that the British burned Charlestown, Mass. to the ground during the Battle of Bunker Hill? Or the British bombardment of New York City? There are many more examples but again, even the most cursory search for anything but an inflammatory term such as “dead children” might have revealed to her these facts that every sixth grader knows. 

In light of the tone of her editorial and these disheartening inaccuracies, I must ask, has the Daily Planet ever run an editorial condemning Hezbollah for launching rockets into Israel for six years after they pulled out under the auspices of UN Resolution 1559, while Hezbollah refused to disarm as called for in the same resolution? Has the Daily Planet ever run an editorial condemning the citizens of the Gaza Strip for electing a terrorist organization, Hamas, as its government and proceeding to launch rockets and raids over Israel’s borders? Has the Daily Planet ever condemned the killing of innocent Israeli woman and children by suicide bombers in the marketplaces of Tel Aviv? Israel must defend itself, and terrorists must learn that free nations will not accept terrorists on its borders or within its society. If we do not stand with Israel in its mission to disarm Hezbollah, if the disease of terrorism is allowed to continue to spread, past Haifa, past Cairo, London, Madrid, past New York City, the next suicide bombing at an outdoor market may not be half a world away, it might be one sunny Saturday morning on Center Street, and then who will stand with us, and who will Ms. O’Malley blame then? 


Howard Glickman is a Berkeley resident.