A few days after the publication of the report in which the Europeans admit anti-Semitism has worsened there, Europe took another step from which the same stench rises. The European parliament effectively redefined Israel's self-defense against terror as an "act of terror," because Palestinian civilians are hurt in the war.
The background to the decision was the assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin - the person who effectively invented and encouraged the suicide terror, and who recently allowed women to conduct suicide terror missions. Nothing was said, for example, about the latest suicide terror attack in Ashdod port, in which 10 Israelis were killed, and which preceded the Yassin assassination. That is the same self-righteous Europe with air forces that bombed Yugoslavia for 73 days, even though no European state was threatened by any existential danger.
The problem did not begin with Yassin's assassination, about which there is a debate in Israel. From the minute the current round of conflict broke out, there have been waves of criticism of Israeli actions, whether offensively or defensively.
First there was criticism of the use of pinpoint snipers by the Israel Defense Forces. In the critics' eyes, it apparently would have been preferable if the army used machine guns, which later came under criticism. The initial use of combat helicopters prompted a wave of complaints. Then there was the ruckus over Israel using F-16s to drop bombs. The criticism also came from the American side, which a few years later used planes to attack targets in Baghdad, even after the American army was in control of all of Iraq.
When the IDF began bombing, as a punitive action, the homes of Palestinians involved in murder and sending suicide attackers, once again the accusations were directed at Israel. Israel did not know how to deter suicide terrorists whose families received financial grants (including from Saddam Hussein) for the dead Israelis killed by their relative. The idea that the bomber's family be expelled was raised, but even when the proposal was to move the family to Gaza from the West Bank, the hue and cry against Israel rose once again.
"Pinpoint prevention" provoked a tsunami of complaints, as if this wasn't a war in which one side, the Palestinian side, deliberately strikes at civilians - on buses, in restaurants and malls - filling the explosives belts with large amounts of nails to make sure as much human damage as possible takes place. That is targeted killing of Israelis. But in the eyes of the critics, the pursuit of terrorists appeared to be a criminal act, not hostilities during warfare. The criticism was even leveled at the size of the bombs used buy the air force. And there were complaints against the IDF's rules of engagement. What army in the world has better rules of engagement? The Americans? The Egyptians? The Indians? The French? Or the Russians and Turks? All of them could learn from the IDF about how to comply with the orders. But when it comes to Israel, they even complain about the rubber-coated bullets the IDF fires. Nearly every Israeli statement is greeted with mockery. The Israeli legal system has also been mocked.
Lift the blockades and checkpoints, shouted the critics. True, the checkpoints harass the innocent, but the critics did not take into account that the breaches through which the murderers come must be blocked. At first the intent was to prevent car bombs from making their way - including ambulances carrying weapons. And the idea of the separation fence was hated from the start. It was beyond the pale even before it began to go up and its route was determined.
The criticism is also fed from inside Israel. The threats to put IDF officers on trial at the international court of law did not only come from Belgium. Now there are complaints that Israeli representatives are going to newspaper editors to complain about distorted reports.
Presumably if we were to defend ourselves in this war of terror by throwing rocks, the world would still complain. Most critics don't believe Israel has a right to self-defense. Israel, therefore, should in most cases ignore the critics. We should be the ones to criticize what is happening on our side and around us.
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