Our CAMERA Fellow Justin Hayet at SUNY Binghamton was recently published in his campus paper. His letter to the editor can be found here and below. This was one of two letters to the editor published after an anti-Israel piece appeared several days earlier in the BU Pipe Dream. The other letter to the editor is also worth reading; it is written by SUNY Binghamton student Yael Rabin. When students respond immediately to inaccuracies in their campus papers, irresponsible columnists learn that if they spread lies about Israel, they will be challenged, and readers learn the truth.
To the Editor:
In response to Joe Tannenbaum’s recent Letter to the Editor regarding the Civil War and Syria (9/17): When dealing with rather complicated topics and regions such as the Middle East, accuracy is crucial. Joe Tannenbaum’s piece places Israel’s use of Phosphorous Gas against Hezbollah—an organization recognized as a terrorist organization by the United States as well as many European countries—alongside the Assad regime’s heinous crimes against humanity on August 21st. Nowhere in the Chemical Weapons Convention, of which Israel is a member, does it prohibit the use of Phosphorus Gas. Israel’s military, popular to contrary belief, is among the world’s leaders in going out of its way to prevent casualties and deaths of civilians. However, just north of Israel’s borders in the Golan Heights, we see a very different reality.
Assad Sarin gassed his own citizens, and approximately 400 of those murdered were indeed confirmed to be children. In 2006, Israel used Phosphorous powder against a targeted terrorist organization with surgical precision in order to minimize civilian casualties. The differences could not be more stark.
Hezbollah outwardly rejects Israel’s right to exist daily, and publicly boasts of the thousands of rockets it has pointing directly at Israel, ready to be launched at any moment without aim, with the goal of killing innocent Israelis and destroying the Middle East’s only true democracy. But Hezbollah has not only turned to threats and rhetoric. It has viciously attempted, and sometimes succeeded, in harming innocent Israelis abroad. This has consistently been the reality. For example, the 2011 Istanbul bombings against the Israeli Consulate, the 2012 plot in Cyprus to harm Israeli tourists, and, most tragically, the 2012 Burgas attack which killed five Israelis along with the bus driver.
I do not maintain that Israel is a perfect country- no country is perfect. However, the claim that Israel used Sarin Gas is simply not supported by the facts.
The Pro-Israel community on college campuses nationwide strives to be a network of advocates dedicated to the truth about a country that is consistently denied and robbed of this basic luxury of accurate reporting. Tannenbaum tries to juxtapose Israel, one of the United State’s strongest allies, alongside Assad’s brutal Syrian regime. To place Israel’s actions alongside those of Bashar-al Assad’s use of chemicals weapons is blasphemous, and places Israel, her people, and her supporters worldwide alongside the likes of Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein. This creates a reality that could not be farther from the truth.
Class of 2016