UPDATE: Success! Following two letters that were published through the Saltwire Network, which both effectively denied Israel’s legitimate security concerns, in regard to the IDF’s recent counter-terrorism operations in Jenin, accusing the Jewish State of harming innocent Palestinian civilians, amongst other things, our Assistant Director, Rob Walker was published on July 27 in the PEI Guardian, and on August 1 in The Telegram (St. John’s), pushing back against these false allegations.
The Saltwire Network, a chain of news media outlets in Atlantic Canada, recently published two letters to the editor which excoriated Israel’s recent counter-terrorism operations in Jenin.
Both letters effectively denied Israel’s legitimate security concerns, as well as the country’s extensive efforts to minimize Palestinian civilian casualties, and failed to mention how Israel says that all the Palestinian deaths were terrorists or combatants.
Carmel Conway’s recent letter published on July 13 in the Saltwire newspaper, The Telegram, entitled: “Shame on Canada for its silence on Palestinians being attacked,” took issue with Canada’s alleged silence following Israel’s counter-terrorism raids in Judea & Samaria (“West Bank”) earlier in July, demanding that Canada condemn Israel’s alleged attack on civilians.
Conway’s anger is justified, but it is directed at entirely the wrong party.
Israel entered the Palestinian area of Jenin in early August, seeking to weaken the many Palestinian terrorist groups operating there. The threat is not minimal: an estimated 50 Palestinian terror attacks targeting innocent Israeli civilians in the last year have originated in Jenin. To date this year, dozens of Israelis have been murdered in Palestinian terror attacks.
In the face of such relentless terrorism, Israel has a right, and indeed a responsibility, to defend its people.
During its 48-hour operation, Israel found a large stockpile of weapons and a hidden terror tunnel underneath a mosque, proof of Palestinian terror groups intentionally embedding themselves in the civilian population.
Despite these heinous actions by Palestinian terrorists, Israel’s actions were pinpoint, with reports saying 12 Palestinians were killed, and with Israel arguing that not a single innocent civilian was killed.
Conway asserted that four Palestinian children were killed. This is untrue. Not a single child was killed; these deaths were adults in their mid-teens, a demographic highly sought after by Palestinian terror groups in their recruitment, and Israel maintains that every single death was a combatant.
Conway is correct to be angered that Palestinian civilians were put in harms way. But the culprit is not Israel, forced to defend its people, but the Palestinian terror groups who intentionally put their own populace in harms way, willing to sacrifice their own civilians for better PR.
As well, in his recent July 10 letter entitled: “Freedom of speech versus the new ‘anti-Semitism”, Frank Holden made multiple false claims about Israel, and the IHRA definition of antisemitism, an important tool for combatting Jew-hatred in society.
Holden asserted that the IHRA definition (which has been adopted by dozens of countries, including Canada, as well as multiple provinces) conflates criticism of Israel with antisemitism. Had he checked the very definition itself, he wouldn’t have made such a claim, as it plainly states that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.”
He continued his letter by accusing Israel of stealing Palestinian land and building “Jews only” highways. Both allegations are similarly without foundation.
Israel did not steal a square inch of Palestinian land. For three thousand years, Jews have lived in Judea & Samaria (renamed the “West Bank” by the news media), and in 1920, the international community recognized this legal claim. Conversely, there has never been any Palestinian state which can claim ownership of these lands.
As for Holden’s outlandish claim of “Jews only” highways, this is utter fiction. Nowhere in Israel, or in Judea & Samaria, are highways for one religion or another. While there may be roads for Israeli citizens, they are fully open to Muslims, given that roughly 20% of Israel’s population practices the Islamic faith, and Israel is well within its rights to have some roads for citizens, and others for non-citizens, regardless of their religion.