In light of a recent letter-to-the-editor published in the Oracle, I feel it is necessary to set the half-truths straight and the lies presented realized for what they are. I felt compelled to respond to Mr. Saleh’s article regarding actress Mayim Bialik and her experiences of anti-semitism in America.
Hamas, the ruthless terrorist organization that serves as the government in Gaza, uses the Palestinian civilians as tools in their war against Israel. They indiscriminately fire rockets into Israeli villages and cities from populated centers, to discourage retaliation by Israeli forces. Operation Protective Edge was the long overdue effect from having more than 11,000 rockets being fired at the civilian population. What nation in the world would not respond to such an onslaught that is in blatant violation of international laws? Does Israel not have the same right as every other nation to protect her citizens?
Israel spends 20,000 dollars per missile for the Iron Dome, a missile defense system that keeps Israelis safe by intercepting terrorist rockets before they can strike civilian targets. On the flip side, Hamas has used their annual humanitarian aid budget of over 2 billion dollars to finance their campaign of terror on the people of Israel and the oppression of their own people. The money has gone to building networks of terror tunnels, thousands of Qassam rockets, supporting radical extremist objectives, and strengthening their stranglehold on the people of Gaza.
The death of any civilian is a tragedy, but the author conveniently leaves out the fact that more than 50% of the Palestinian casualties were active combatants. Israel has done more to safeguard the safety of a civilian population while engaging in armed conflict than any other nation in the history of warfare. While Hamas was stockpiling weapons caches in schools, hospitals, and homes, leaflets were being dropped and calls were being made by the IDF to those civilians in hostile areas in order to give the Palestinians a chance to evacuate out of the blast radius.
In regards to the attack on the Al Aqsa mosque in September, the IDF and Israeli Police entered the Temple Mount Plaza after receiving reports that protesters were stockpiling rocks and firebombs, and had barricaded themselves inside the Al Aqsa Mosque to use to continue to destabilize delicate interfaith relations in the holiest place on Earth and the safety of all who go to pray. It is customary that Israeli forces patrol the Temple Mount due to the frequent protests and clashes between extremist factions. The police used non-lethal methods to incapacitate and arrest several extremists, and thankfully no one was killed.
In Israel, all of her citizens have the right to voice their opinions and have their sentiments shared. A country with Arab Israelis in high ranking seats in their Supreme Court, a country that offers its 2 million Arab citizens complete political and religious rights and protection, when no other country in the region even comes close, is not apartheid. It is a beacon of hope and light that needs to spread through the world. Equating the Jewish homeland with such a hateful idea, after being informed of all the ways it is inaccurate, is quite simply-anti-Semitic.
The ADL states that anti-Semitism is a pillar of Islamic extremist ideology, not of all Islamic ideology as the author originally wrote. Demonizing the Jewish state by presenting misinformation perpetuates Anti-Semitism, a serious problem on other campuses that we do not want here at USF. Intolerance and discrimination is a symptom of any radical extremist ideology, and needs to be identified, acknowledged, and fought at every turn.
This was contributed by University of South Florida CAMERA Fellow Jesse Davidson.