Saturday, June 18, 2011

Colonel Richard Kemp: A True Friend

From Honest Reporting, June 13, 2011, by Simon Plosker:

Richard Kemp
Today, Israel faces a conspiracy of delegitimization, which aims to give validity and justification to attacks on Israel by groups such as Iran’s proxies Hamas and Hezbollah, allowing them to strike at Israel with impunity, and encouraging the view that any retaliatory or defensive measures by Israel are by definition disproportionate and should be criminalized.

The more traction this idea is allowed to gain, the greater the instability between Israel and its neighbors. This lessens the chances of any lasting peace, and consequently increases the blood that will be shed on all sides in the region.

The most powerful weapons in this conspiracy are legal, diplomatic and media. Fundamentally, we are talking about a war of words, words that are given unprecedented potency by the internet, by the globalization of the 21st century.

If this is a war of words, we must also use words to counter attack.

On June 12 I had the privilege to hear retired British Army Colonel Richard Kemp speaking in Tel Aviv. To recall, Kemp was an almost lone voice in defending the actions of the IDF during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead. He testified before the UN, opposing the Goldstone Report, saying that no army in the history of warfare had done as much as the IDF to avoid civilian casualties. (See video below.)

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I had the opportunity to ask Col. Kemp about the personal cost he has paid for standing up for Israel. He said that there was no longer any neutral opinion concerning Israel in the UK. You were either anti-Zionist or treated as a nutcase and with considerable contempt.

However, despite the vitriol to which he has been exposed, he declared that he supported Israel because it was the decent and right thing to do and that he was proud to be criticized by those who wished Israel harm.

He mentioned other incidents where Western armies have made mistakes resulting in large numbers of civilian casualties or examples of naval blockades enforced by other navies in similar fashion to the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Yet, in none of those cases did the media react in the same manner as they do when Israel is involved.

Kemp also referred to an international conspiracy to delegitimize Israel as her enemies were in no position to defeat Israel on the battlefield.

Colonel Kemp – I salute you. As a respected former member of Britain’s armed forces with over thirty years experience, including commanding British forces in Afghanistan, you have no need to stick your neck out on Israel’s behalf. But you have and that is the sign of a true friend.

Read Kemp’s full speech here
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