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Letter from David Frankfurter

Dear friends,

I am sure that you are all following the news closely, and so I have not been issuing war bulletins.   But, several media reports of public statements by politicians and opinion leaders around the world pose some questions.

Successive Palestinian governments openly declared that they would ignore signed peace treaties and maintain an "armed struggle" against Israel. After more than 1,000 rockets and other terrorist attacks launched on Israeli civilian targets from Gaza, the Palestinian Authority's ruling party committed an open act of war against Israel's military.  The tunnel it used to enter and attack an army base on Israeli sovereign territory took months of planning and significant finance.  The UN joins the bleating about a "humanitarian crisis" affecting the Palestinians in the "occupied territories" of Gaza, and the world demands Israel limit itself to "proportionate" responses, and expressing concern about a "return to the cycle of violence".

And five years after Israel left Lebanon, Lebanon has consistently ignored UN resolutions requiring it to remove Hezbollah installations and secure its border with Israel.  Since then, Hizbollah has joined the Lebanese government. Missiles, rockets and incursions into Israeli sovereign territory, aimed at harming the civilian population continued at "low-intensity".  And now, an act of war in which, under the cover of rockets at Israeli civilian targets, an Israeli army vehicle was attacked on Israeli sovereign territory, with soldiers killed an abducted.  Again, the world demands Israel limit itself to "proportionate" responses, and expressing concern about a "return to the cycle of violence".  Thousands of rockets have been launched on Israeli civilian targets from Lebanon.

An incomplete list of Israeli cities and towns which have suffered Palestinian and Lebanese attacks on civilians include Ashkelon, Bat-Ami , Beit Jan, Biranit, Haifa, Hatzor Haglilit , Karmiel, Kfar Vradim, Kibbutz Gesher Haziv , Kibbutz Kabri, Kibbutz Karmiya, Kibbutz Nachal Oz, Kibbutz Netiv Ha'asara, Kibbutz Sa'ad, Kibbutz Saar, Kyriat Shmona, Maalot, Matat, Naharia, Ram-on, Safed, Sasa, Sderot.  Hundreds, including men, women and little children, have been killed and injured.

So here are the questions:

Humanitarian crisis
  1. If such a terrible humanitarian crisis looms, why does the Palestinian Authority allow funds to be used for weapons of destruction instead of food and medicines?
  2. If Israel is so intent on creating a humanitarian disaster, why does she supply Gaza with electricity and water? Why is Israel constantly monitoring the situation and taking the risk of opening border crossings whenever Palestinian stocks of food and medicines run low?  Why is Israel coordinating with international aid agencies?
  3. Noting that Hamas has smuggled large sums of cash into their territories from its friendly, supportive Arab neighbours – why has this money not gone to food and medicine?  Where has it gone?
  4. Where are the concerned nations of the world?  Where has the international community been?  Did they really think that throwing billions in taxpayers' money in unsupervised "international aid" was really being used for "institution building"?  Where are those wonderful institutions today?  And will sending more money today really relieve the "humanitarian crisis" … or just free up more money for more rockets, bombs, bloodshed and corruption?
Occupied Gaza
  1. Given that Gaza has been totally Judenrein for almost a year, why do UN agencies, NGOs and governments continue to depict Gaza as occupied territory?  Could it be that recognising the change in status might highlight their own failures?  Or is it a greater concern that if Gaza is no longer classified as occupied, not only would the Palestinians have to take responsibility for their own actions there, but the welfare agency employees may not be able to justify their ongoing employment? 
  2. When will the international community insist that the Palestinians live up to their responsibilities at least in Gaza to collect taxes, set up their own working institutions and live in peace with their neighbours?
  1. Exactly what is the "proportional" response to thousands of rockets launched at a country by its neighbours?
  2. What is disproportionate about deliberate attacks on Israeli civilians being responded to with attacks on military installations and their support infrastructure?
  3. How would France, the UK and others act if civilians in over 20 towns and villages were faced with a constant barrage of rockets on their homes, schools, hospitals, trains, factories, fuel facilities?
Cycle of violence
  1. What is "cyclical" about acts of war by Arabs who have publicly declared their intentions?  Is Israel not entitled to defend its citizens against war?

Anti-Semitism rears its head as Israel is singled out time and again for criticism for real or imagined wrong-doings, when far worse atrocities are ignored around the globe.  Worse is anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian racism.  The world doesn't consider Palestinian Arabs capable of being responsible human beings.  They are not expected to govern themselves, live up to basic democratic values, eradicate hate, keep written agreements, or keep to international standards in the conduct of war.  Excuses are made all the time, and their victims take the blame.

  1. When will the international community stop its racist practices and demand the Palestinian Arabs implement proper governance and impose basic human values on their society? 
  2. Why aren't the Palestinian and Lebanese Arabs expected to conduct war according to the Geneva Conventions?  Why are excuses made when they deliberately attack civilians and launch attacks from their own civilian areas?

Whenever you see a news report, politician or NGO expressing concern about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the occupation, the proportionality of Israel's actions, or the cycle of violence, please write and politely ask for some answers to these questions.

Best wishes,


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