Dr. Philip BrodieThe author worked at the University of Pittsburgh where he received his doctorate. He made aliya recently with his wife and lives in Maaleh Adumim.
The war to destroy Israel has come to Boston, Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA)—part of Greater Boston’s transit system-- has become a ground-zero in the propaganda war against Israel. Several anti-Israel organizations have been sponsoring anti-Israel ads on the exterior of Transit buses.
Recently, a new ad has labelled Israel as an apartheid state that kills children. It says that , “Since September 2000, Israel’s military has killed one Palestinian child every four days, using US tax dollars.”
In case you didn’t do the math, that’s about 1,400 children. The ad calls for an end of US support for the ‘APARTHEID’ Israel.
As propaganda, this is a stunningly successful ad. It’s brief. It demonizes its enemy. It gets your attention.
Who wants to support state-sanctioned child-murder?
The ad declares Israel is apartheid. Apartheid is state-mandated discrimination. It is very specific. It’s legal code. Its purpose is to disenfranchise. It is pervasive, institutionalized, dehumanizing and vicious.
A state policy to kill the disenfranchised is (literally) the ultimate form of dehumanization—turning a human into a corpse. Accusing Israel of killing children as state policy (that is what apartheid is) may well be the ultimate form of demonizing Israel.
The ad is startling. It pushes Israel-the-evil into your face. It shocks.
The ad is a lie.
And nothing in Israel’s state policies meet apartheid requirements. In fact, Arabs in Israel have more freedom and rights than in any Arab country.
‘Apartheid’ is ugly. In plain English, Israel has no state policy to enforce ethnic cleansing or forced resettlement against the Arab (a mark of apartheid). Israel has no state policy to disenfranchise the Arab (a hallmark of apartheid).
Israel’s state policy is to grant its Arab citizens the right to vote. Israel’s law allows Arabs to live next to Jews. They serve in the Knesset.
In plain English, Israel has no state policy to kill ‘Palestinian’ children. Israel’s legal code makes that illegal. In plain English, it is pure fiction to suggest otherwise.
So did Israel’s IDF kill children? Children have been killed, none purposefully, but it is still a complex question. But then, that complexity is part of the lie against Israel.
According the website, Defence for Children International Palestine, 1,404 Arab children were killed by the IDF and ‘settler presence’ between 2000-2014 (the site doesn’t define ‘death by settler presence’). The number is uncorroborated.
And when you look at their lists, you discover something curious: more than 91 per cent of those deaths occurred in Gaza, and the overwhelming majority of these occurred after 2005.
Gaza is important here because Gaza is at war against Israel.
Israel enforces no state policies in Gaza because Israel’s legal code does not apply to Gaza. Israel withdrew completely from Gaza in 2005. Gaza is 100 per cent Jew-free.
The moral issues here are simple. Israel, as a sovereign state, has the moral right to defend itself. Gaza has the moral obligation to protect its civilians, especially its children.
But while Israel does defend itself, Gaza does not protect its civilians—or its children. Instead, it uses them as human shields.
Here’s the moral question that those who hate Israel won’t discuss: how does Israel defend itself when its enemy fights while deliberately surrounding himself with children?
That’s immoral. It’s illegal. It’s a war crime.
The complication is, no one accuses Gaza of being a killer of children. They accuse Israel.
The truth is, nothing good happens to a child when her neighbour has just fired a rocket at Israel from outside her living room window. Children can die even when Israeli fire kills Gazans in the act of firing rockets.
Here’s the moral question that those who hate Israel won’t discuss: how does Israel defend itself when its enemy fights while deliberately surrounding himself with children? Put another way, if Arabs hide behind children to attack Israel, but Israel is permitted only to kill enemies who wear uniforms while fighting on an open plain, how does Israel defend itself?
Arab combatants in Gaza wear civilian clothing (a war crime).
They use hospitals as ammunition dumps (a war crime).
They use schools as a fighter-base (another war crime).
If children die when Israel defends itself, who should be responsible for those deaths? Do we blame the country (Israel) trying to defend its citizens against rockets, or do we blame the people (Gazan authorities) who purposely put their citizens in harm’s way?
Gazan authorities are responsible for their citizens’ safety. In fact, the UN requires this as a ‘Responsibility to Protect’. If Gazan authorities choose to use their citizens—including children---as human shields, they are culpable when those children die.
It is immoral for those Boston Transit ads to blame the IDF for those deaths. The moral obligation to protect those children is not theirs (or Israel’s). That obligation—and the consequences for the failure to protect--belong to the Arab.
The ‘Palestinian cause’ is not just. It kills its own children. It is immoral. It is evil.
Those Boston Transit ads are not about truth. They are about evil disguised as truth.