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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

December 11, 2002

Judging Israel

John Knox in todays Globe and Mail insists that we must be free to judge Israel. What follows is my letter in response.
Who says we're not. Israel's policies are judged more, and more harshly, then anyones.

Knox misses the point. What we and Knox are not, is free to judge Israel unfairly. And surely it is unfair to base such judgement on false assumptions and lies as opposed to facts.

Knox takes aim at what "in the view of many is an illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza" which he later refers to as Palestinian land. Israel and its supporters are constantly refuting such allegations "on their own grounds" as he demands, but no one is listening. UN SC Res 242 authorized Israel to remain in the territories until they had an agreement for secure and recognized borders. In the absence of such agreement there is no illegal occupation.

To call these disputed territories, "Palestinian lands", is to put the cart before the horse. First the Palestinians have to cut a deal with the Israelis and then what lands they get can rightfully be called Palestinian lands. Until then, they are disputed territories. Knox doesn't bother to debate these underlying facts but proceeds to judge Israel in disregard of them. This he can not do.

Finally he takes Israel to task for its "indefensible failure to protect Palestinian civilians". Israel has a greater duty in which they have failed, namely, to protect Israeli civilians and both these duties are mutually exclusive. Knox doesn't care.

If Israel was truly "vindictive", as he says, and was not acting to minimize Palestinian causualties, as they are, the death toll among Palestinians would be ten fold greater.

Ted Belman tedbel @rogers.com