Jul 25, 2005

London, from an Israeli perspective

Londoners got a taste last week of daily life in Israel, says Tom Gross, but you wouldn't know that by reading British newspapers.
CONTRARY TO the absolute lies told in British media in recent days, the Israel Defense Forces have not instituted a shoot-to-kill policy, or trained the British to carry out one. For example, on Friday, at the very time British police were shooting the man in the Tube, the IDF caught and disarmed a terrorist from Fatah already inside Israel en route to carrying out a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. Israeli forces didn't injure the terrorist at all in apprehending him and disarming him of the 5-kg. explosive belt he was wearing.

And yet, for taking the bare minimum steps necessary to save the lives of its citizens in recent years Israel has been mercilessly berated by virtually the entire world.

Had Israeli police shot dead an innocent foreigner on one of its buses or trains, confirming the kill with a barrage of bullets at close range in a mistaken effort to thwart a bombing, the UN would probably have been sitting in emergency session by late afternoon to unanimously denounce the Jewish state.


As for London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who is in overall control of transport in the city, including the train where the man was shot, and who strongly defended the shoot-to-kill policy as a legitimate way to prevent suicide bombings, he was not yet facing war crimes charges – as Livingstone himself has demanded Israeli political leaders should be.


ONE OF the London terrorists responsible for the bombings on July 7, Muhammad Sidique Khan, traveled to Israel in February 2003. He stayed in Israel for just one day, and we can surmise that he wasn't there to volunteer on a kibbutz or visit Yad Vashem.

Two months later, on April 30, 2003, two other Britons of Pakistani origin (whom Hamas has since admitted training) were involved in the suicide attack on Mike's Place, a popular bar in Tel Aviv, killing or wounding 58 people.

Khan's visit to Israel was the main international headline in The Washington Post last Tuesday. Yet most British papers have completely ignored it. The Independent and The Daily Telegraph didn't mention it at all; the Scotsman, the Times and Sun newspapers only very briefly.

There seems to be little interest in Britain in the murder of Israelis by British citizens. Many British journalists evidently have difficulty in admitting that people murdered on buses in Israel are as much victims as those murdered on London buses. Another British citizen, Richard Reid, who became known as the "shoe-bomber," also visited Israel and the Gaza strip for 10 days in July 2001.

If people in Britain want to stop terrorists they need to recognize the inspiration, and quite possibly training, that Hamas, the masters of the suicide attack, have given to would-be British and other terrorists, such as Reid. Instead British officials continue to embrace Hamas, and hold talks with them.

Britons will also need to stop listening to the lies propagated by large sections of their media. For example, the cover story of this week's New Statesman, the favored publication of many in Britain's ruling Labour party, says: "There were no suicide bombers in Palestine until Ariel Sharon, an accredited war criminal, sponsored by Bush and Blair, came to power."

You begin to wonder whose side some in Britain's media are on.

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