by Isi Leibler
The current global campaign accusing the IDF of "crimes against humanity" and "genocide" exceeds all the obscene libels that have ever been launched against the Jewish state.
It is all the more impressive that such an ethical military code was implemented in Israel, the only country in the world which from its inception has been obliged to defend itself continuously from overt and terrorist onslaughts by neighbors who regard the elimination of Jewish sovereignty in the region as their primary objective.
In fact, in an age when millions of innocent civilians are being butchered during ethnic upheavals in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and
Equally indecent is the adoption of
THE GLOBAL campaign against
When one compares Israeli behavior to that of countries like Russia in Chechnya, the barbaric mass murders in Darfur (recently "justified" by the Islamic Conference), the genocide in the Congo and the brutal killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka, the concerted hatred directed against Israel by Western countries becomes mind boggling. It is as though we had reverted to the Dark Ages, when Jews were blamed for all the woes of mankind, from blood libels to poisoning the wells and spreading plague. This is borne out by the bizarre findings of European opinion polls which view
What makes this situation even more surrealistic is the behavior of a small but highly-vocal group of Israelis who endorse the despicable libels orchestrated by those seeking to defame their country's acts of self-defense. The occasionally abused expression "self-hating Jews" best describes those academics, journalists and NGOs who collaborate with fanatic anti-Israel groups abroad. They have now stooped to even more unconscionable depths by trying to defame the noble youths who are willing to sacrifice their lives to defend their people and homeland.
They replicate the same disgusting behavior displayed a few months ago when Haaretz highlighted allegations accusing the IDF of Cossack-like killing sprees - allegations subsequently proven to have been based entirely on gossip and utterly without foundation. But by the time the fraud was exposed the damage was done, and
WITH MONEY from European governments and other foreign donors, the defamers have formed a new group called Breaking the Silence and once again quote unnamed soldiers who babble on anonymously about "war crimes." They justify the anonymity by making the outrageous claim that whistle-blowers risk being punished, despite common knowledge that if the IDF ever behaved in such a manner the independent Israeli media would have a field day lambasting it. They have the gall to demand an independent investigation of the IDF - something that no country in the world has ever undertaken.
Needless to say, in any war, even with the greatest efforts to maintain moral standards, occasional individual breaches and malpractices are inevitable. The litmus test of a democracy is whether such cases are covered up or prosecuted. IDF Judge Advocate-General Brig-Gen. Avihai Mandelblit has systematically investigated every accusation, and if misconduct was discovered, the offender was punished. To date there has not been a single case of behavior that could be defined as a deliberate intention to kill civilians.
Stealing a credit card or looting an Arab home is despicable and must be severely punished, but neither compares to wanton killing or qualifies as a crime against humanity. Should further examples of individual malpractice be exposed, the parties involved will undoubtedly also be prosecuted.
War involves life-and-death situations; mistakes are made and innocents inevitably die. But in maintaining our moral standards, we are also obliged to ensure that we do not go to the other extreme and endanger the lives of our soldiers by preventing them from defending themselves.
NOT SO long ago, it would have been inconceivable for any sane Israeli to accuse our sons of war crimes. The public outcry would have been deafening and those defaming our soldiers would have been pariahs. There are laws in a democracy which protect an individual from defamation and punish those who besmirch the innocent.
Legislation should be introduced enabling the prosecution of those knowingly disseminating slanders and defaming the nation whilst endeavoring not to curtail freedom of expression and also to oblige groups obtaining funds from foreign governments to register as foreign agents.
The struggle to retain our reputation as a decent and moral people is a major component in our battle for peace. If we fail to clean up our domestic cesspool, we open the door for our enemies and the anti-Semites who seek to destroy us.
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