Israel is under attack. Since last week, Hamas terrorists have fired more than 1000 rockets at our civilian centers, launching those rockets from residential enclaves, kindergartens and hospitals, exposing their own children to harm as they try to kill our children.
There's no ambiguity among our allies as to Israel’s right to defend her citizens. In fact, many Arab voices, in Egypt and elsewhere, have condemned Hamas, blaming it for the tragedy it is bringing on the heads of its own people.
Sadly, the militant, leftist propaganda machine has not changed its tune, looking for every opportunity to make Israel the culprit in a war she did not desire and which she entered reluctantly, after days of increasing provocation. I refer specifically to "Daily Beast" writer Gideon Resnick, who so misrepresented the facts in one of my recent Facebook posts, one has to wonder if his hatred for my country hasn't rendered him outright useless to his website and his readers.
In a story headlined "Israeli Politician Declares War on the Palestinian People," Resnick actually suggested I compared Palestinian children to “little snakes,” and accused me of fomenting Palestinian genocide. This vilification was later picked up by several bloggers and reporters, all of whom were convinced of this frightening notion, without even a scrap of fact or truth.
Let's start with my July 1 Facebook post. It was written some 12 years ago, but never published, by a dear man, the recently departed journalist Uri Elitzur. The gist of his article was that once one side in a war attacks the other side's civilians, they can no longer morally claim a special status for their own civilians.
Go ahead, ask a Hebrew speaking friend to translate it for you, they'll confirm this is what my Facebook post was about. But you'll find not a trace of that in Resnick's account. Perhaps it's his own ignorance of the Hebrew language. After all, he got the text from Electronic Intifada, a website dedicated to daily and hourly vilification of my country.
All Resnick had to do to make Elitzur's sober, legally minded discussion sound like a speech made by Hitler himself, was to cherry pick words out of context. A call for the indiscriminate killing of children is a terrible thing. But what if the statement was that any time you kill our children, you're exposing your own children to the same fate? Still unsettling, but rational when you consider that they purposely use their kids as human shields. It's not a call for indiscriminate murder.
And then Resnick turned to character assassination. He cited an attack on me by Haaretz. They said I was “representative of an ideology unembarrassed by its racism.”
Haaretz, unfortunately, may look like The New York Times, but it is far from being a liberal, curious newspaper in the Anglo Saxon tradition. Expecting Haaretz to write about a political opponent like myself in an honest, informative—if critical—manner, is a little like expecting Gideon Resnick to offer an unbiased, honest citation from a pro-Zionist post.
And so, when Haaretz, read by a mere 30,000 Israelis, give or take, says I'm racist – I'd look for a more reliable source.
Then, in a second article, Resnick also sneaks in the dumb female bit: "the 38-year-old Shaked is also frequently the target of subtle sexism, at best referred to as 'a young and pretty secular woman.'” And the citation is from – you guessed it, Haaretz. In fact, Electronic Intifada and Haaretz are Resnick's only sources, other than his brutalization of the Elitzur piece.
Resnick's distortions aside, the fact is that international pressure on Israel has not yielded peace because Israel is not starting the wars.
1. Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are engaged in terrorism, one overtly, the other in a supportive role. Money is being transferred from the PA to the families of suicide bombers and convicted murderers in Israeli jails. The pay is actually based on the number and severity of the murders committed. The more gruesome the murder, the larger the number of Israeli victims, the higher the monthly reward.
Can anyone deny it?
2. Palestinian education today is based on violence and incitement against Israelis and Jews. Palestinian textbooks and Palestinian media ceaselessly promote Jew hatred. They praise Jew murderers. Their heroes and celebrities are Jew killers. They name streets and traffic circles after killers of Jewish children.
Can anyone deny it?
At the same time, the murder of Jerusalem teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir was immediately condemned by all of Israel's society.
As a Knesset Member, I can assure you his murderers, once convicted for their terrible crime, will remain in prison for the rest of their lives.
We will certainly not name streets after them.
3. In Israel we protect our citizens from incoming Hamas missiles.
Hamas, on the other hand, positions its missile launchers in the midst of civilian enclaves, using women and children as human shields against Israeli raids.
Just the other day, the world watched a Hamas spokesman admitting they instructed civilians not to leave their Gaza homes during air strikes, in order to protect those arsenals of weapons.
Each Palestinian rocket coming out of Gaza represents two separate war crimes: one for purposely targeting a civilian population in Israel, the other for launching from within their own civilian population.
Not many journalists bother to share this information with their readers. It confuses the narrative, messes with the David and Goliath scenario.
Our residents in southern Israel have endured these missiles for more than 14 years. Many children and teens have known only life in a war zone. This past week, all our urban centers were targeted. How would you expect our government to react? How would you want your own government to deal with a similar onslaught on your neighborhood? What do you want us to do? Lie down and die?
The late Uri Elitzur wrote so eloquently in the article I cited on Facebook:
“The laws of war acknowledge that it is impossible to avoid hitting enemy civilians. Those laws did not condemn the British air force for firebombing and completely destroying the German city of Dresden, or US planes for wrecking the cities of Poland and half of Hungary's Budapest, whose residents had never done anything against America. Those sites had to be destroyed in order to win the war against evil.”
Israel's fight against Hamas terrorism is similar to NATO's war on Al-Qaeda terrorism. Moreover, Israel is the only state who is notifying civilians to leave their homes before an attack by texting them.
Israel has no agenda against Arab civilians in Gaza, just as the US has none against Arabs in any of the countries where it's conducting its now 13-year war to preserve civilization from violent barbarism.
We want a good life, with peace and prosperity for all the eight million plus people living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Indeed, if the Arab society enjoys prosperity, so will Jewish society, and vice versa. let me be very clear I condemn any kind of assault against innocent civilians, whether they are Jews or Arabs.
But in order to get there, they must stop firing rockets at us.
The madness of Hamas continued yesterday, after Israel embraced an Egyptian call for a ceasefire. Hamas rejected the offer, and as of now has been shooting at all over Israel with renewed vigor.
Israelis are so used to the scene where we offer our hand in peace and the other side reacts by trying to cut it off, that we're not even surprised. What does surprise us, time and again, are the voices in the West, like Resnick's, which pin the blame for this madness on us. As in that famous quip: "It all started when Israel retaliated."
As an aside, I’ll point out that a week later The Daily Beast finally removed one blatant lie from Resnick’s original article, where he accused me of being the author of statements I never made.
But this correction is too little, too late, the damage has already been done. And so, you must ask yourselves, do you really want to continue getting your news reports about my country from writers who view the truth as little more than a needless inconvenience?
The author is a Member of Knesset for the Bayit Yehudi.