We often hear accusations and denunciation of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) claiming the Israeli military uses undue force, excessive force, disproportional force, and cause unnecessary injury, death, damage and destruction while breaking universal codes and laws amounting to crimes against humanity and war crimes and uses methods which can only be termed as collective punishment in order to maximize the pain and suffering of the Arab Palestinians. Such a litany of offenses such that one can only have nightmares when thinking of any Military operations conducted by the IDF would have to be the conclusion reached by any objective research or analysis of IDF operations. So, what have been the results of actual investigations of these alleged criminal offensives committed by Israeli soldiers and forces? Let us look back and see exactly what have been the conclusions of exactly one of these reviews, the most famous, Jenin. But first let us allow an IDF soldier describe the type of soldier serves in an IDF combat unit, and some would say any unit, us included, as he talks to some supporters of Israel visiting the holy lands.
What makes the Israeli soldier the best in the world?
Colonel Sharon Gat
One of the supposed famous uses of overt and undue force was the attack on the Jenin Refugee Camp often referred to as the Jenin massacre or the battle for Jenin. The operation took place as part of Operation Defensive Shield which was in response to and in order to bring to an end the Second Intifada after almost two thousand Israelis, mostly civilians, had lost their lives being murdered in suicide bombings, ambushes, shootings, stabbings and many other assaults and terror attacks. Ten times as many suffered injuries of which many were horrific crippling and permanently scarring injuries as a result of explosive devices laced with nuts, bolts, broken glass, screws, metal shards and other projectile some of which had been tainted with rat poison and even with human blood assumed to have carried pathogens such as AIDS infected blood. The use of human blood, even infected with AIDS or other pathogens would be largely ineffectual as the explosive heat would serve to disinfect the blood and break it down making it simply another foreign substance. The Second Intifada was planned to be executed by Yasser Arafat even before his supposed historic visit to Washington D.C. to shake hands with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, thus beginning the Camp David Summit, and work towards a peace with Israel. The Camp David Summit finally collapsed with the end of President Bill Clinton’s term in office after the Taba Initiative in January 2001. The Second Intifada began September 28, 2000 escalating through February 8, 2005 with Operation Defensive Shield executed from March 29 through May 3, 2002 presumably to, according to WikipediA “to catch and arrest terrorists and, primarily, their dispatchers and those who finance and support them; to confiscate weapons intended to be used against Israeli citizens; to expose and destroy facilities and explosives, laboratories, weapons production factories and secret installations. The orders are clear: target and paralyze anyone who takes up weapons and tries to oppose our troops, resists them or endangers them – and to avoid harming the civilian population.” The Arab Palestinian leadership complained to their echo chamber known as the United Nations General Assembly which also allowed the European and rest of the western media, especially left leaning news sources such as Haaretz, the New York Times, the Guardian, France Channel 2, the BBC and so many more, to fill their front pages with horror stories and place large block print headlines to match the hyperventilating verbiage of IDF atrocities of which the largest and most famous was the Battle for Jenin. This is where we start.
The claims about the Battle for Jenin grew as the days wore on even after the fight was concluded. The actual battle began on April 1, 2002, April Fool’s Day; so appropriate, as what followed could be the biggest and most destructive intended April Fool’s Day lie, prank, ever perpetrated, and continued until April 11, 2002, and the IDF pulled out from the area on April 18, 2002, after making sure that all explosives, traps and other dangerous items assuring that it would be safe when the people, the Arab Palestinians, returned to rebuild the area, a relatively small area, especially when compared to the reports and media exaggerations. The Arab Palestinian representative and assistants kept their echo chamber filled with ever progressively grim and horrific updates about the events in the Jenin Refugee Camp and the echo chamber, better known as the United Nations General Assembly, reverberated each claim assuring that it would ring around the globe repeated in every newspaper and broadcast. They were especially and dutifully reported in the left leaning media such as Haaretz in Israel, the New York Times (the grey lady) from which others get their marching orders, amongst those the Washington Post, and also France 24, the BBC and a host of others where headlines and too serious reporters on screen told of the daily, hourly reports of civilian massacres, torture and all sorts of depravities presumably committed while the few but determined Fatah and PLO warriors attempted in vain to rescue the unfortunate refugees being subjected by the IDF. Not too much later the United Nations sent its investigators team to prove the allegations that the IDF was a marred and all too human and depraved military oppressing and rampaging in the Palestinian camp. Finally, on April 19, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1405 to send a fact-finding mission to Jenin.
Abed Rabbo claimed about the mission that it was to be, “the first step toward making Sharon stand trial before an international tribunal.” That was just another of the accumulating charges being barked by the Arab Palestinians from top to bottom. The refugees were the prime players telling the media horror stories about how the bulldozers were collapsing houses on entire families intentionally preventing them from escaping, torturing, shipping bodies out in trucks, mass graves and every other conceivable horror imaginable. The reporting made some wild conjecture over what horrors were to be reported and how Israel was finally going to be found out as finally the United Nations, backed by the Security Council, nothing would stop the truth this time, the reckoning was upon Sharon and the Israelis and their infernal IDF. The moment came and passed anticlimactically as only fifty-two Palestinians died, the majority combatants.
After the rumors rampant before the report continued, despite knowing they would soon be proven a lie, continue claiming that upwards of 16,000 killed and the entire camp all but destroyed. The media in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv reported these claims often as facts. The end result was an area the size of a football pitch was destroyed and less than 100 casualties were suffered combined. The entire build-up crashed in a single hour when the truth cut it to the bone, to the marrow. But the lie of Jenin refuses to die as it is still referred to as the Jenin massacre. Reality rarely shines on the Jenin story as the only thing still massacred in Jenin is the truth and the truth is further wounded every time the lies seep forth being used to rile hatreds.
Beyond the Cusp