From Ynet News, 18/8/06, by Jonathan Pearl ...
The Middle East 'conflict' boils down to this guiding principle: Jewish/Israeli lives are simply worth less than Muslim/Arab lives
As we witnessed the incessant calls and declarations for “an immediate cease-fire" from Israel's detractors – whether politicians, journalists, religious and community leaders, or the United Nations with its resolution mandating a “cessation of hostilities” – I couldn't help but conclude that for all of these addressing the Middle East “conflict” boils down to this guiding principle: Jewish/Israeli lives are simply worth less than Muslim/Arab lives.
When missiles are blasted into Israel by Muslim/Arab terrorists living in their non-disputed Muslim/Arab territory, resulting in the murder of innocent Israelis/Jews, the world tells Israel to show restraint and refrain from retaliating with targeted responses against the origins of the rocket launches. Why? Because some Muslim/Arab civilians might inadvertently be killed.
And when Muslim/Arab suicide-bombing murderers steal into Israel and blow to smithereens innocent Jewish/Israeli civilians in pizza parlors and discotheques, Israel is admonished to show restraint and refrain from targeting the planners, facilitators, and future perpetrators of suicide-murder actions. Why? Because some Muslim/Arab civilians might inadvertently be killed.
In both these cases, Israel is simply making necessary and desperate attempts to eliminate, or at least diminish, the immediate and existentially dire threat to the very lives of its innocent civilians – and Israel is directed by these critics to not do so. Israel’s innocent citizens are viciously and incessantly targeted for extermination by Muslim/Arab terrorists from Muslim/Arab land with the support of the Muslim/Arab governments who are voted into power by the Muslim/Arab citizenry. Israel determines that it can go in with precision strikes to help destroy the capabilities of its enemies to murder Israeli civilians, thus helping to save their own inhabitants’ lives. And Israel is told not to!
Bottom line: Israel is strongly warned to allow – indeed facilitate – the ongoing murder of its citizens so as not to risk the possible death of an Arab/Muslim civilian. And if these critics “selection” of who should live and who needn’t live is not monstrous enough, there's more.
When Israel attempts to put up a fence solely for the sake of keeping out the murderers who try to infiltrate the border and invade Israel-property for the purpose of blowing up innocent Jewish children savoring an ice-cream cones at a cafe, Israel is rebuked. Israel is told to tear down that (Jewish)-life-saving fence. Why? Because just the mere inconveniences caused to those on the enemy side of the fence is too great a burden to bear, too high a price for them to pay in order to save the life of a Jew.
And now, yet again, we have the “cease fire". But the question must be asked: Why is it that there is never a call for “an immediate cease fire” when Muslin/Arabs attack Israel and murder her citizens – but rather only when Israel responds to defend herself? The answer again seems all too clear – and hauntingly familiar. Israel is told to remove roadblocks and checkpoints, to arm and fund the terror governments who rule within mere meters of the Jewish heartland, to negotiate with the terrorists, to show restraint, to submit to devastatingly premature cease-fires, and above all to avoid civilian (read: Arab/Muslim civilian) casualties and inconveniences at all costs – especially, it seems, if the cost is just some Jewish blood. As the United Nations continues its work to undermine Israel, it would serve the civilized world well to remember that "cease-fires" imposed on Israel and her enemies invariably translate into Israel ceasing and the enemy firing.
It is also true that if the fanatical Muslim/Arabs withhold fire, none will be killed; if the Jews withhold fire, innocent Jews will be murdered. So when Israel is urged again and again to withhold fire while under present or immanent siege, leaving the murderers poised to continue their bloody assault to the bitter end, what is one to think of those who urge Israel’s restraint?
Israel’s critics and detractors, far from advancing the ideological bedrock of civilized goodness and decency – justice, freedom, and equality – are promoting instead a grotesque value-assessment of the lives of Jews/Israelis versus the lives of just about anyone else, and in their scenario the Jews lose. Will it be “never again” or is it “here we go again?"
Jonathan Pearl, Ph.D and a practicing Rabbi, is the co-author of "The Chosen Image: Television’s Portrayals of Jewish Themes and Characters". He is also the founder of the Institute for Wholly Living