Monday, November 19, 2012

Letter to Britain's "The Independent"

To the Editor:

Mr. Robert Fisk, in his article of Sunday, November 18, correctly observes that the rockets sent by Hamas into civilian towns are intended to kill as many men, women and children as possible. He then claims that the same is true of the Israeli attacks on Gaza.

As of the time of writing, the IDF has carried out over 1300 attacks on the densely-populated Gaza, with fighter planes, heavy artillery boats, and the world's most sophisticated weaponry. Yet only 81 Palestinians, and only half of them civilians, have been killed. Assuming that the world's most advanced and powerful weaponry is not completely useless, the conclusion is obvious. Not only is Israel not trying to kill as many men, women and children as possible; it is exerting extraordinary effort to minimize the loss of civilians. And not only is this true; it is very obviously true, by looking at the power of the IDF and the results of its efforts.

Mr. Fisk laments that there are those who would call him an antisemite for his charge. What, then, is the correct term for someone who issues an obviously false and extraordinarily defamatory libel against the Jewish State?

Sincerely,
Natan Slifkin
Bet Shemesh, Israel

13 comments:

  1. Reminder to those submitting anonymous comments: ANONYMOUS COMMENTS WILL NOT BE POSTED - please use either your real name or a pseudonym.

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  2. (Quoted by the Street Journal)

    Columnist Douglas Murray writing online for the Spectator, Nov. 15:

    "The papers and media are full of the news that Israel has killed a Hamas leader in the Gaza. Why did this happen? Where did it come from? Is it not yet another example of the blood-thirsty Zionists doing their worst?

    If you read most of the British media that may well be what you think. After all there has been barely any previous mention in the British papers of the massive escalation in rocket fire into Israel in the last month or the even swifter escalation this week. Certainly no British paper or broadcaster has come close to giving these attacks the front-page publicity they grant to Israel's response today.

    Nobody much bothered to report that in October alone, 116 rockets and 55 mortar shells were launched against Israel in 92 separate attacks. . . .

    Since last Saturday, when Hamas terrorists fired an anti-tank missile into an army jeep [in] Israel, injuring four Israeli soldiers, more than 120 missiles have been fired at Israeli civilians by terrorists in Gaza. Israel has now responded to random targeting of civilians with the targeted killing of a terrorist.

    Yet because of the way in which this is reported, many decent people will once again come away with the idea that it is the Israelis who have started this latest round of blood-letting. Whatever atrocity Hamas carries out next will be portrayed as a response, regrettable or otherwise, to Israeli provocation. Thus the British media ends up legitimising terrorism and demonising an ally which is behaving with more restraint than this country would in the face of such barbarism."

    The scary thing is the Britain is relatively pro-Israel for a European country.

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  3. The IDF actually has a page on its site dedicated to this point which I thought was well done.

    http://www.idfblog.com/2012/11/15/how-does-the-idf-minimize-harm-to-palestinian-civilians/

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  4. if Israel was trying to kill as many Palestinians in Gaza as possible, they would all be dead in a matter of minutes.

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  5. "Mr. Fisk laments that there are those who would call him an antisemite for his charge. What, then, is the correct term for someone who issues an obviously false and extraordinarily defamatory libel against the Jewish State?"

    איו אדם חוטא ולא לו. מדחציף כולי האי שמה מינה רשיעא הוא!

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  6. Natan Slifkin's letter to the editor is based on a couple of misreadings of Fisk's article, which renders his complaint irrelevant.

    For Fisk didn't state that "the rockets sent by Hamas into civilian towns are intended to kill as many men, women and children as possible." What he actually pointed out was that the rockets "are meant to murder Israelis – any Israelis, man woman or child." "Any" does not necessarily mean "as many as possible." In this case, Fisk's point was that the rockets are not intended to hit precise targets; they are random.

    Nor is it accurate that Fisk "then claims that the same is true of the Israeli attacks on Gaza." Rather, by describing "the new exchange rate in Gaza for Palestinian and Israeli deaths," Fisk points out that Israel's attack is much larger and much more devastating. He is not saying that the Israeli rockets are "intended to kill as many as possible," but that they kill far more Palestinians than Hamas' rockets kill Israelis. He doesn't explain why, as this should be self-evident. Israel has decided to launch more frequent attacks, and has the capacity to hit cities and towns at will. The military has access to far more powerful, numerous and varied weaponry, has many more options for delivery systems, such as American F16's and Apache helicopters, tanks, and so on.

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  7. What he actually pointed out was that the rockets "are meant to murder Israelis – any Israelis, man woman or child."

    I realized this after writing the post, and so I sent a different version to the Independent. It read:

    "Mr. Robert Fisk, in his article of Sunday, November 22, correctly observes that the rockets sent by Hamas into civilian towns are intended to kill men, women and children. He then claims that the same is true of the Israeli attacks on Gaza.... Not only is Israel not trying to kill men, women and children; it is exerting extraordinary effort to minimize the loss of civilians."

    It makes no difference to the point. The Hamas rockets are intended to hit anyone and everyone. The Israeli attacks, contrary to Fisk's claims, are not.

    Nor is it accurate that Fisk "then claims that the same is true of the Israeli attacks on Gaza."

    That's exactly what he claims. I quote: "At least Hamas, with their Godzilla rockets, don’t claim anything “surgical” about them. They are meant to murder Israelis – any Israelis, man woman or child. As, in truth, are the Israeli attacks on Gaza."

    Thus, my critique was accurate.

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  8. There's a good reason why "Fisking" was named after Robert Fisk.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisking

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  9. "The scary thing is the Britain is relatively pro-Israel for a European country."

    I dont think that's accurate. Britain has always had a strong Arabist bent, romanticized by Lawrence of Arabia, and not helped by the work of the Irgun and Lechi during the mandate. It's still prevalent today. Whereas catholic countries like Poland, formerly full of anti-semites, have become staunch allies of Israel.

    As for Fisk - Israels controls most of the electical supply in Gaza. If it wanted to, all it needs to do, in essence, is run off a switch and the whole area is in the dark. (That it does not do so is because of a hodge-podge of reasons, some humanitarian, some because of US/UN concerns, some because they dont want to provoke Egypt too much.) But you will never convince Fisk, a proven anti-semite and leftist, of this. As I've writen here before, when one's paradigms are set, there is almost nothing you can show or point out to someone to get him to change his mind. He is simply not going to see it.

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  10. Dear Natan,

    Please could you write a response to the following vile article in the British newspaper 'The Guardian':

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/20/palestinians-have-right-defend-themselves?CMP=twt_gu

    I really would like to write a response myself but I think that you could write a much more eloquent response than I.

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  11. Even with all the explaining away of Fisk's article by one of his defenders here: The people who "compare death tolls" are certainly nazis. There is no other reason to do that other than to portray Jews as bloodthirsty murderers. There is no logic behind demanding that the death tolls on two sides of a war be equal or in claiming that the higher number of deaths will reflect negatively on one side. There is no other people judged on this criteria. Do you believe that America made sure to only kill a number of Iraqis commensurate with how many US troops were killed by iraqis and insurgents? Wow that is funny. So anyone making this kind of comparison is obviously a nefarious piece of filth.

    Seriously, think about how evil these Jew-hating nazis are to talk about us in this manner.

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  12. Two people call this kfira????

    You must have some Neturei Karta members reading your blog!!!!

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  13. Once a high Church official pointed out to Rav Yonatan Eybeschutz that they were the majority. Rav Eybeschutz responded that we only go like the majority when there is a doubt.We, of course, have no doubt that the bloood libels are false. On hte other hand, scientific theories can be subject to doubt.

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