SHOW YOUR SUPPORT AND VOICE THE TRUTH

BY KAYLENE RUDY
SPECIAL FOR THE AJT

We can all agree that one of the most frustrating issues of this conflict in Gaza is the one-sided media coverage. Our communities do not understand or hear the truth. The number of causalities climb and the terror from Hamas grows. Hamas is benefiting politically and financially from the world by using their own civilians as sacrifices, in order to get their sympathy and financial aid.

Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, called CNN’s coverage of the conflict in Gaza, “irresponsible and one-sided.” During an interview with CNN, he pointed out that the civilians were called in advance and given days to evacuate the premise prior to the strike on the U.N. shelter in Gaza. It is also unclear as to the circumstances surrounding the combat and is likely that Hamas caused the damage while firing their rockets. As such, it is irresponsible to broadcast photos and stories about these incidents without reporting the entire truth.

Hamas rocket fired from heavily civilian populated area.

There is little or no mention of Hamas’ directive to ignore Israel’s warning to leave homes in areas where the rockets have been placed among civilians. The Hamas strategy is to parade the bodies of the dead before TV cameras to demonstrate Israel’s “cruelty” and uncaring attitude toward innocent lives. The IDF soldiers took this fight on the ground and put their lives in a very dangerous position to minimize the number of Gazan causalities by rocket fire. They are doing everything they can to disarm Hamas and to keep the citizens of Israel and Gaza safe.

According to the Congressional Research Service, “Since the establishment of limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the mid-1990s, the U.S. government has committed approximately $5 billion in bilateral assistance to the Palestinians, who are among the largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid.” Where is the money going? The people of Gaza starve while Hamas gets rich.

As of July 23rd, “offensive tunnels” have been uncovered in Gaza, and nearly half extend into Israel. The tunnels have only one conceivable purpose: to launch attacks inside Israel. Hamas fighters emerged from the tunnels in the vicinity of Israeli civilian communities, which they clearly aimed to attack. The concrete-lined structures are stocked with materials, such as handcuffs and tranquilizers, which could be used on hostages. Other tunnels in northern Gaza are designed for the storage and firing of missiles at Israeli cities. The resources devoted by Hamas to this project are staggering, particularly in view of Gaza’s extreme poverty. By one account, the typical tunnel costs $1 million to build over the course of several years, using tons of concrete desperately needed for civilian housing. With such bleak economic conditions in Gaza, a report on Ynet revealed that while millions of Gazan’s struggle to make ends meet and put food in their mouths, Hamas leaders and their associates have been wheeling and dealing in multi-million dollar deals, lining their already fattened pockets.

Hamas offensive tunnels.

The U.N. Security Council met on July 28th, expressing concern over the situation in Gaza. The Presidential Statement recorded seven main points including more humanitarian funding for Gaza, which will ultimately end up in Hamas’ hands. “The Security Council calls for the full implementation of resolution 1860 (2009) and stressed the need for immediate provision of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, including through urgent additional contribution to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East). The Security Council recognizes and commends the vital role played by the Agency, along with other United Nations agencies and humanitarian organizations, in addressing the critical humanitarian needs in Gaza.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke with U.N. Secretary General Ban Kimoon and said, “The Security Council Presidential Statement relates to the needs of a murderous terrorist organization that is attacking Israeli civilians and does not address Israel’s security needs, including the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip according to the principle laid down in the interim agreements with the Palestinians. The statement does not refer to attacks on Israeli civilians, or to the fact that Hamas has turned the residents of Gaza into human shields and uses U.N. facilities to attack Israeli civilians. Israel accepted three U.N. proposals for humanitarian truces, and Hamas violated them all. Even now, they are continuing to fire at Israeli civilians. Israel will continue to deal with the terrorist tunnels, and this is only the first step in the demilitarization. Instead of the funds of the international community serving the construction of terrorist tunnels for perpetrating large-scale attacks against Israeli civilians, the international community needs to act toward the demilitarization of Gaza.”

I know it has been heartbreaking to see the news coverage of the people of Gaza and the suffering that they are enduring. Those in the world that are angry at Israel do not understand the truth. The people of Gaza allow Hamas terrorists to lead their communities. Israel has agreed to a ceasefire on numerous occasions, but Hamas simply wants war. If the people of Gaza want to blame and protest their conditions, Hamas is the group to confront, not the Israelis.

I challenge all of you that stand for Israel to “show your support and voice the truth” every opportunity you get. Do not be afraid to engage in a discussion about the Israel-Gaza conflict. I have spoken with many people that are confused and upset, as they should be. They should be upset with Hamas for the murder, terror and treatment of their own people.

Editor’s note: Kaylene Rudy is President and Founder of Americans United with Israel and Business Manager at the Atlanta Jewish Times. www. americansunitedwithisrael.org