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Jewish World Review August 10, 2001/ 21 Menachem-Av 5761

Richard Z. Chesnoff

Richard Z. Chesnoff
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Getting it straight

http://www.jewishworldreview.com --
WHAT'S wrong with this picture? After thumbing his nose at a generous Israeli peace offer, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat declares a terrorist war. Ten months later, his intifadeh has degenerated from rock throwing at soldiers to drive-by shootings of Israeli civilians, artillery attacks on Israeli neighborhoods and suicide bombings in Israel's heartland.

So who gets blamed when it defends itself and its people? You guessed it - Israel.

Take Israel's punitive air attacks on Arafat's terror masterminds. Last week, Israeli helicopter gunners pinpointed six honchos from Hamas, the fundamentalist gang behind much of the killing. "Dangerously provocative," chided the State Department. "Excessive force," the European Union cried. "The men the Israelis targeted were political leaders, not military chiefs," claimed Arafat's apologists. That's what's known as a distinction without a difference.

The blame-it-on-Israel syndrome has two mainstreams. One is aimed at delegitimizing Israel and its leaders. The other suggests bending so far backward to be "fair" to the Palestinians that heads get stuck between legs.

The International Herald Tribune - one of the world's most influential newspapers - recently ran a headline calling Palestinian suicide bombers "resistance fighters." Does that mean that the Saudi bombers who killed 29 U.S. servicemen at Khobar in 1996 were resistance fighters because they were "resisting" the American presence in Saudi Arabia?

Europe, which gets enthusiastically outraged about almost anything Israel does to defend itself, has really gone around the bend.

Belgium is pondering a phony war-crimes charge against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon because of his failure to prevent a massacre of Palestinians by fellow Arabs some 20 years ago.

Other nations have hit lower levels of ridiculousness by announcing that Israeli officials involved in "the suppression of Palestinians" are subject to arrest as human rights violators if they step on their soil.

The Danes actually threatened to nab Israel's newly appointed ambassador because he admitted roughing up terrorist bombers to get information from them.

What isn't heard from any of these self-righteous nations is a threat to arrest visiting Palestinian leaders - who have been robbing and suppressing their own people for decades - unless they stop their terror war. And Europe's human rights defenders fail to mention that their governments maintain flourishing commercial and diplomatic relations with such outstanding observers of human rights as Iraq and Iran.

Israel has a full right to go after terrorists. It may not be pretty - but neither are bodies mangled by suicide bombs.

Israel's critics - especially at the State Department - would do well to read what Secretary of State Powell wrote in his autobiography: "Use all the force necessary, and do not apologize for going in big if that is what it takes. Decisive force ends wars quickly and in the long run saves lives."


JWR contributor and veteran journalist Richard Z. Chesnoff is a senior correspondent at US News And World Report and a columnist at the NY Daily News. His latest book, recently updated, is Pack of Thieves: How Hitler & Europe Plundered the Jews and Committed the Greatest Theft in History.

Richard Z. Chesnoff Archives

© 2001, N. Y. Daily News