Archive for January, 2009

Swedish paradise lost

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

A pro-Israel rally in the southern Swedish city of Malmö descended into violent chaos as an illegal counter-demonstration went on the offensive.

What was remarkable was that the illegal counter-demonstration was allowed by the police to come so close to the pro-Israel rally that the attackers were able to slice through the power supply cable to the PA system. They also got close enough to throw rockets, stones, eggs and glass bottles, eventually forcing the rally to abandon its programme at the insistence of the police.

In Malmö, Sweden, in 2009, Jews are running for their lives via back-streets while an insufficiently prepared and/or insufficiently interested police force allow violent attackers to swarm over the Jews’ meeting-place.

Among the rally participants were survivors of the Holocaust. One cannot even begin to imagine the images flying through their minds as they fled under a hail of missiles with the screams of the mob ringing in their ears. “Death to the Jews! Death to the Israelis” intermingled with the increasingly frenzied barks of police dogs, reawakening terrifying recollections from a not too distant past.

This is Sweden, the year is 2009. A Sweden where the mob rules and where people in police uniform bark orders.

The people responsible for this crushing defeat of democracy are not primarily the police, although there may be some reason for questioning their preparedness; the people who are responsible the media, who for years have pursued a virulently anti-Israel and borderline anti-Semitic campaign via the newspapers, radio and TV.

The power base of the mob has shown its power. Now it is up to Parliament to show its power, to demonstrate whether it will return Sweden to the course of democracy.

Or whether it will sit idly by as the country slides towards a situation that was last seen in Europe 70 years ago.

Tuesday January 27 is Sweden’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the murder of six million Jews by other racist anti-democrats not so very long ago. It is to be hoped that Tuesday will not also be hijacked by an anti-democratic, racist mob, while uniformed police protect the “basic human rights” of the violent protesters – the explanation actually given by a police officer as the Jews were removed from their venue and the area was handed over to the jubilant pro-Palestinian and pro-Hizbollah protesters.

Today in Sweden a terrible echo from seventy years ago was heard loud and clear.

The security only an IDF soldier can bring to a Palestinian Arab

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

It is not possible to report first-hand from the war in Gaza. One reason is that Israel does not want to jeopardise the lives of civilian journalists in a war zone. The other is that experience from previous conflicts has shown Israel that many journalists deliberately lie, spin certain events and leave out other events – all so as to fit in with a predetermined view of what they want the public to know. And to assist Israel’s enemies in a time of war. Demonisation of the Jewish state and active aid in bringing about its demise.

Yet the media is filled with reports about Israel’s “disproportionate” response and claims that Israel deliberately targets Palestinian civilians. These “reports” are written by people who are not on location and thus cannot conceivably have anything to “report”.

Here therefore is an eyewitness report from a young Israeli soldier. I know him well. He is my son.

For obvious reasons his text does not describe the ongoing operation in Gaza. Instead, it describes events on the West Bank. He wrote the article a few months ago and sent it to a number of newspapers. Not one agreed to publish.

Read here an honest eyewitness account of how Israel actually prosecutes its wars against its enemies. Then make up your mind about “proportionality” and “targeting of civilians”.

I was born in Israel. As an Israeli you get drafted into the military at the age of 18. I served as a paratrooper. In the spring of 2007 I completed my military service. In the following text I will describe a regular operation, one of those operations we were performing almost every night during my period of service. The following story is based on true events.

Late one night we arrived at a refugee camp, perhaps it was the one in Jenin. Only a couple of hours earlier we had found out, through Military Intelligence, that there was a kid, just turned 16, who was now in the final stages of his preparations to blow himself up on an Israeli school bus. Early the following morning on his way to Tel Aviv he was supposed to pick up his explosive belt. We obviously dropped everything we were doing and learned as much as possible about this kid and the area he was in. He was at his parents’ house together with his 5 younger siblings, of whom the youngest was barely 2 years old. If all went according to our 16 year old’s plans, these youngsters would have no older brother by the end of the day.

We arrived at the house early in the morning and quickly took up our positions. It was about 2 am. The interpreter started speaking into his megaphone, asking everyone in the house to please come out. Not a soul exited the house. Instead, just like on every single night, we came under heavy fire from several different locations. We were being shot at from residential houses, houses with families living in them. Houses with little children sleeping in them. We obviously have no permission to return fire since we are in an urban area with too high a risk of accidentally hitting a civilian. After just a few minutes the entire neighbourhood had awoken. It can’t be a great lot of fun being woken from a deep sleep at 2 am by gunfire, but on the other hand, we hadn’t either slept more than a few hours during the last few days. We carried on waiting, we carried on getting shot at and the interpreter carried on asking the people in the house to exit.

After over an hour the people in the house decided to come out. We checked their IDs, found the kid we were looking for, arrested him and left the scene.

I will never forget the smiles on the boy’s mother and father as they came out of the house, the big smiles they were so desperately trying to hide and their eyes filled with gratitude – gratitude to us. The boy’s mum and dad obviously knew what their son was planning – even if the son never told them; parents aren’t idiots. Thanks to our effort that night their son was arrested, he will spend some time in an Israeli prison where, if he chooses to, he can spend his time studying. Then he will get out. Back to his family his home.

This the family knows, they also know that had we not arrested him he would have died a few hours later on a bus in Israel. Had they tried to stop him they would have been regarded as traitors by their neighbours and the entire family would have been slaughtered. The family knows that we were their only hope for their ever seeing their son again. How Israel’s Military Intelligence works I have no idea, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder if it isn’t the parents themselves who call the army as a last resort, out of sheer distress, hoping that the army will save their son.

At about 6 am we arrive back at our army base, shower and go to sleep with a clean conscience knowing that we saved a boy’s life and the lives of perhaps 20 schoolchildren. Our sleep obviously only lasts a short time because a couple of hours later we have to get up and get dressed, new night same story – just hope that my friends and I make it out alive and in one piece.

Among my first memories from childhood are the songs to which I used to listen, they were always about “shalom”, peace. From the age of zero my parents felt it was an important message to relay to their children. We absorbed the message. But peace will never be achieved until the other side stops teaching their youth songs about “jihad”, holy war, and also starts teaching their children songs of peace.

No serious person can believe that we can achieve peace in our generation; we have already seen bloodshed, but that hope is far from over for our children. If we start today, if the Arabs today start changing the education they give their children, there is no reason why we cannot give our children a better future than the one our Arab neighbours gave us, a future full of hope and of peace. A future where my children will not have to serve in the army. Only together can we transform our dream into reality.