Is it just me or do others notice how the news media and the people in Washington report the latest violence in the Middle East? Why is it when the Israelis attack Palestinians, it’s always reported as “retaliation for attacks on Israelis?” Yet when Palestinians attack, it’s always reported as militant ambushes against unsuspected Israeli soldiers or something similar in nature. Whatever the case, the news media and the people in Washington makes certain that the Palestinians are painted as the aggressors and the Israelis as the victims. How can honest people be allowed to fool the American public in such an obvious manner? Maybe it’s the only way that Washington can justify and legitimize Israel’s slaughter machine, a machine that uses American supplied F16s that launch missile strikes in heavily populated Palestinian areas even when they know that children would be killed.
This is how Washington tries to justify Israel’s violation of the Arms Export Control Act, where it states that “military hardware provided by FMS funds can be used only for defensive purposes or to maintain internal security.” When Palestinians strike back at Israel it is almost invariably after Israel kills 3 or 4 Palestinians, and assassinating 2 or 3 Palestinian political leaders, and demolishes 8 or 10 Palestinian homes. Just look back at last week. Israel killed 6 Palestinian policemen and demolished 8 Palestinian homes before Palestinian suicide bombing and before Palestinian attacks on Israeli soldiers. Yet when the Palestinians retaliated, the news media calls it militant suicide bombers and militant Palestinians attacking Israelis. They never say it was an attack by Palestinians in retaliation for Israel’s killing of 6 Palestinian policemen and the assassination of 2 Political leaders, and for demolishing 8 Palestinian homes. Yet when the Israelis kill 26 Palestinians, as in the case yesterday, all you read about is how the Israelis retaliated after Palestinians attacked Israelis. Sure Palestinians attacked, but look back a day or two and see why the Palestinians attacked. This is the real retaliation. And what about the 4000 homes demolished by the Israelis and the more than 100,000 olive tress uprooted? This can be verified from Amnesty International who listed these numbers in their latest report.
Why haven’t we heard anything from Washington or the news media about this? Can you imagine what would happen if the Palestinians demolished just one Israeli home? You would have Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, and George Bush running so fast, trying to see who could be the first to the microphone at the front lawn of the White House to condemn these savage Palestinians. And what about the 90 assassinations of Palestinian leaders? Where is the press and the White House in condemning these acts? We all know how fast the press and the White House condemned the assassination of the one and only one Israeli political leader, you know, the tourist minister, Zeevi. He’s the one who called for the elimination of all Arabs from Israel. He’s the one who called all Palestinians “leeches.”
We all saw what hell broke loose when this sleazy tourist minister got assassinated. Israel went on another of its infamous killing sprees and killed 32 Palestinians and demolished 134 homes and businesses, 74 of these homes in just one day. Yet we hardly heard a peep from the press or a mumbling from Washington. And lastly, what about the millions of tons of ammunition, weapons, and high tech armory that the United States gives Israel, not just on a one time occasion, but each and every year? But when the Israelis and the United States discover a one-time 50 ton shipment of weapons headed for the Palestinians, the manure hits the fan. I mean, have you ever seen American and Israeli officials go to such extremes? It was as if the Palestinians just nuked Tel Aviv.
How dare those terrible Arabs try and arm themselves? After all, they have plenty of stones at their disposal. The Jews are the “Chosen People” and therefore need all the F16s, 155mm howitzers, chaparral missiles, stinger missiles, sidewinder missiles, M1A1 tanks, bulldozers, M-16s, M-50s, Apache and Cobra helicopters, and plenty of other high tech weapons. So what happens when the Israelis intercept this shipment of weapons? Not only did the Israelis retaliate with a blistering attack that killed dozens of innocent men, women, and especially children, but the United States made it out as the most threatening violation the Palestinians could ever do. Colin Powell would have Arafat clicking heels, and front and center. He would also allow the Israelis to keep Arafat confined to his quarters in Ramallah, with tank muzzles aimed down his throat. Arafat has been sealed up for the past 3 weeks, and yet Sharon and his henchmen continue to blame Arafat for Palestinian revenge. What a bunch of egotistical buffoons! And the most astonishing factor is that George Bush, Colin Powell, and Condoleezza Rice are like puppets to Israeli commands. Yet these 3 Musketeers have the nerve to call this diplomacy a balanced Middle East Policy. With these kind of people controlling our Foreign Policy, is it any wonder we are no closer to peace today in the Middle East than we were 54 years ago?
James J. David is a retired Brigadier General and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College, and the National Security Course, National Defense University, Washington DC. He served nearly 3 years of Army active duty in and around the Middle East from 1967-1969.