by Ari Bussel
It is said that our enemies never fail to miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. How sad when the same is applicable toward us.
I was sitting with the top brass of COGAT, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, a unit in the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Water has become a big issue, both because of the April 2010 issue of National Geographic and because Israel is accused of stealing the water from the Palestinians.
The issue has become such a hot button topic, that the BDS movement has taken upon itself the added task of alerting the world to yet another atrocity by the Jewish state: “Thirsting the Palestinians.” It was the start of a global campaign, not one reflecting the truth and highlighting Israel’s many accomplishments and contributions in the field of water conservation and reclamation, but rather to spread lies.
COGAT had an event in “Area A” of Judea and Samaria, the one completely under Palestinian control (or maybe it was in “Area B” or “Area C” – does it even matter, the West Bank is apparently all Occupied) to which foreign journalists were invited. It was indeed “Area C,” which highlighted the cooperation and helping hand Israel extends even to areas completely under Palestinian control.
The spokesperson for COGAT was so busy (as is typical with army spokespersons) that he did not even bother to call back or reply to the e-mails he received.
Thus, I took the opportunity sitting with the top brass of COGAT to extend an invitation: An all expense paid trip to the USA for a Lieutenant Colonel or Colonel to come and brief about water in Judea and Samaria and Gaza. [Although Israel had unilaterally disengaged from Gaza five years ago, COGAT is still responsible for the very active borderline with Gaza, from allowing hundreds of truckloads into Gaza to allowing tens of thousands of Gazans into Israel for medical treatment.]
Israelis usually fight for the chance to travel overseas, and the higher the rank, or the position in the political realm, the feistier the fight. “Why is he going and not me?” is normally at the back of one’s mind. Thus, I thought to myself, an all expense paid trip will be welcome, not to mention the important topic of discussion to Israel’s public diplomacy efforts.
How mistaken I was. Even the booklet I promised, printed at taxpayer expense, was never sent or made available. I could possibly find the information on the internet, but why would a foreign journalist in Israel try to uncover the truth, when there is so much dirt thrown around and when the Palestinian extremely-well-oil propaganda machine is constantly active on overdrive?
Compare for yourself: Why lift a finger (even if the result is undoubtedly good for Israel), when the other side is proactive, supplying (doctored) pictures, (made-up) stories that become fancier and more imaginative with time, and even filming live, on location (a shooting of a father protecting his son by Israeli soldiers, apprehension of harmless farm workers, setting groves on fire or the brutality of yarmulke-wearing fathers and mothers driving in Jerusalem and hitting Palestinian pedestrians for fun).
Israelis, for some reason, do not like to listen to those on the front line, to reports from the field. They seem above it all, immune, unconquerable and indivisible.
Thus, when Judge Goldstone came to Israel to conduct his UN-sanctioned inquiry into Operation Cast Lead, Israeli officials and elites refused to meet with him as a matter of policy. Thus, the only information he amassed, other than his preconceived unshakable ideas, was what he was fed by Israel haters. Whether by her enemies from outside as the Palestinians from Fatah to Hamas, or from within as many Israeli organizations, specifically those sponsored by the New Israel Fund.
Israel was dumbfounded to read Judge Goldstone Report. Since its publication, Israel has already submitted three subsequent reports in rebuttal, but the damage was already done. Has anyone paid attention to Israel’s reply? Too little, too late, and even Israelis themselves no longer care about the details. Judge Goldstone, the Jew-Hater Jew has become the symbol of self-hate.
Then came the Turkish Terrorist Flotilla of Lies, a convoy of vessels with either expired or unwanted and unneeded “humanitarian aid” that was designed to do one thing: Break the naval blockade around Gaza.
The fact there was never a maritime route into Gaza was irrelevant. The goal of the Turkish terrorists from the IHH (a “humanitarian relief fund” with radical Islamic agenda) was clear: damage Israel either by reaching Gaza thus “freeing it,” or by sacrificing those on the ships and blaming Israel for being cruel and evil, and responsible for any injured and dead.
American anti-terrorism expert Steve Emerson warned about the composition of those participating in the convoy. His research, based in large part on open / public sources, indicated what may happen. It was published and readily available weeks prior to the convoy’s approach to Israeli territorial waters.
The end result is well known: Israel was unprepared. As its Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi admitted during testimony, he would do things differently when faced with future such convoys. Seven elite commandos were critically injured after the “peaceful activists” threw them off board, lynched them and were about to murder those taken under deck.
Nine terrorists died, and Israel is blamed for their deaths. The wheel has been reversed and the perpetrators are hailed as peaceful angels seeking the betterment of mankind. Israel, cast as the Oppressor and Colonialist Power, was accused of the cold-blooded murder of these nine terrorists.
Has Israel learned the lesson? There is still a Commission headed by Judge Tirkel and including foreign members studying the May 31st 2010 Maritime Incident. In the meantime, a UN commission convened by the international community has already concluded its painstakingly evidence gathering stage. It has managed to even wrap up and reach the conclusions stage pronouncing Israel’s absolute guilt.
If only Israel and those entrusted with her security bothered to read Steve Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism dispatches, let alone do the research on their own.
The youngest member of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) is in the USA on a tour. She is one of 23 women serving in the Knesset (of 120 members) and a member of the Likud ruling party. She is also a member of Foreign Affairs and Security, the preeminent committee of the Knesset.
In a private briefing in Beverly Hills, the MK was asked what Israel intends to do in response to this week’s PA plea to the UN to declare all settlements illegal. The person raising the question is a very well respected Jewish reporter in Los Angeles.
Is Israel going to bring her top guns to the UN, people like Prime Minister Netanyahu, her best spokesperson, Ambassador to the US Prof. Michael Oren, or even the MK herself, who is going to be in NY on her way back to Israel at the very same time? Or maybe Israel may enlist the assistance of Eli Hertz, publisher of Myths and Facts, who specializes in the legal aspects of Israel’s creation as a modern state?
The MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) is expected to do little, for her hundreds of diplomats and support staffs have been embroiled for almost a year in a labor dispute, demanding a very substantial raise, to equate their salaries to those of Israel’s Intelligence services like the Mossad. They claim they risk their lives at the same level, being at the forefront of the delegitimization campaign against Israel and to doing such a phenomenal job as to actually be deserving of a raise.
I realize the MK is a junior MK and as impressed as the others and I were with her, it would be an error to assign full responsibility on her shoulders. Nor does she have the experience in this particular field, the fight for Israel in the international public diplomacy court.
But is it not in Israel’s best interest to have her best and brightest already in NY working without sleep before the Wednesday hearing?
How about the September General Assembly of the UN in when the PA is going to request global recognition as a country in the 1967 borders? This is just a step toward complete recognition for the 1947 borders and the completion of the Jewish Israel task force to wipe the Zionist entity off the map and rid the world of this nuisance. But it is an important step nonetheless.
One day soon Israel will be looking back at these incidents and lament or blame others, so let us say in advance: It is Israel that in recent history seems to never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity to defend herself.
Israel must learn from her own military war doctrine: The best defense is a good offense. Sitting idly by and doing nothing is tantamount to handing your defeat into the your enemy’s hands.
It cannot be stupidity. So what can it be: complacency or arrogance?
Either one will produce the same result: the destruction of the Jewish State.