TEL AVIV – Only the most demented of minds could single out the sole democracy in the Middle East, the country that goes much further than any other nation on earth to protect civilians in the battle field, and accuse said nation of possibly committing “gross violations of human rights.”
Enter from stage far-left Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Rep. André D. Carson and nine other shameful Democratic lawmakers with a letter asking Secretary of State John Kerry to probe claims that Israeli and Egyptian security forces have committed human rights violations.
The letter strongly implies that if the allegations are proven true, U.S. military aid to the countries should be affected.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not go far enough on Wednesday when he replied to the request for a probe by releasing a statement assailing Leahy’s letter: “The IDF and security forces are not murderers.”
“IDF soldiers and Israeli police put their lives on the line to defend themselves and innocent civilians from bloodthirsty terrorists who try to kill them.
“Where is the concern for the violations of the human rights of many Israelis who have been murdered or wounded by criminal killers? This letter should have been addressed to those who incite children to engage in acts of cruel terrorism,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu should have told Leahy and his fellow travelers to go to hell.
Letter signatories Reps. Chellie Pingree, Raul Grijalva and Jim McDermott have long histories of petitioning for normalization with Cuba, and they have nothing to say in their anti-Israel rant to Kerry about their favourite human rights abuser off the coast of the Florida Keys.
Carson, the second Muslim to be elected to Congress, has taken campaign contributions from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, an unindicted co-conspirator in a terror-financing trial in which the federal judge found “ample evidence” of CAIR’s links to Hamas.
And as I first reported, Israel accuser Carson has evidenced a close relationship with the Islamic Society of North America, a group listed by the Muslim Brotherhood as a “like minded” organization that shares the goal of an Islamic nation.
Now let’s get to the specifics of the lawmakers’ loose accusations against Israel.
The letter, dated Feb 17 and reported on Tuesday by Politico, specifically cited four allegations allegedly documented by the anti-Israel, George Soros-funded Amnesty International, which in the past has accused Israel and America of “war crimes,” controversial accusations that were highly disputed.
This smear tactic is akin to the radical gambit of taking extreme cases – usually out of context – of alleged police brutality and using the purported actions of a tiny minority to paint every U.S. police officer with a broad brush.
Only in the case of Israel, the cited examples are far more complex. And the context of these instances is quite unusual. Israel is facing an unprecedented campaign of Palestinian stabbings carried out by individuals wearing civilian clothes and hiding their weapons until the moment of attack.
IDF soldiers and police forces here are operating in a stressful theater, a near constant real-life horror movie playing out with violent Palestinian attacks on an almost daily basis and sometimes several times per day.
The letter asks Kerry to inquire whether Israeli security forces acting against Palestinian attackers took action that would trigger the implementation of Leahy Law, a law authored by Leahy himself that prohibits the State Department and Pentagon from providing military assistance to foreign militaries that violate human tights with impunity.
Leahy asked Kerry to probe the following four deaths:
- Fadi Alloun, a 19-year old resident of East Jerusalem’s Issawiya neighborhood who stabbed a 15-year-old and was shot and killed when he fled and security forces noticed a knife in his hand. Video showed that he was stalking the streets of Jerusalem with the knife when he was shot by Israeli police officers from afar.
Far-left human rights groups have claimed that Israeli forces did not need to shoot Alloun and should have approached the knife-wielding teen to arrest him.
- Sa’ad Al-Atrash, a Palestinian accused of attacking Israeli soldiers with a knife at a checkpoint when he was shot and killed. Atrash’s family claimed without evidence that he was not armed and that he was shot for no apparent reason while quarrelling with an Israeli soldier who had asked for his ID.
- Hadeel al-Hashlamoun, an 18-year old Palestinian girl shot and killed under questionable circumstances while she was at a checkpoint. Amnesty’s own witness, however, says she had a knife, yet the organization still accused Israeli forces of engaging in an “extra judicial execution.”
“Even if al-Hashlamoun did have a knife, Israeli soldiers, who are protected with body armour and heavily equipped with advanced weapons, could have controlled the situation and arrested her without threatening her life. Open fire regulations of the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank allow soldiers to open fire only when their lives are in imminent danger, and Amnesty International concludes that this was not the case in the shooting of al-Hashlamoun, as she was standing still and separated from the soldiers by a metal barrier.”
The IDF carried out its own internal investigation and concluded soldiers should have only arrested her in the case.
- Mutaz Ahmad Uweisat, a 16-year old Palestinian shot and killed while attempting to stab an officer near the West Bank settlement of Armon Hanatziv. Anti-Israel conspiracy theorists have baselessly claimed that Israel planted a knife on Uweisat’s body and that he was shot for no reason.
In these cases, it should be pointed out that there is a threat-to-life to approach and disarm a knife-wielding assailant. I have been taking advanced Krav Maga (Israeli hand-to-hand combat) courses for three years now and somewhat specialize in disarming attackers with knives from many different directions. I have received far more training in the field of knife attacks than most IDF soldiers and police officers. And yet even for me, such a feat is fraught with immediate risk to life. As Krav Maga trainees know, it is more dangerous to disarm a knife-wielding attacker than an assailant with a gun.
Meanwhile, what Leahy, Carson and their comrades conveniently leave out is that, unlike the rest of the Middle East, Israel follows the rule of democratic law; it has its own very active judiciary and independent military investigators and it will take action against any soldier or civilian who commits a crime.
They also neglect to mention that Israel goes beyond what any other country does to protect civilians. When it comes to aerial strikes, for example, the IDF regularly warns civilians of incoming attacks with phone calls and text messages. It further employs “roof knocking” – or firing warning shots before any aerial bombing. If civilians still don’t evacuate, the Israeli army many times makes announcements on loudspeakers. The IDF has called off scores of military raids because civilians were in the way.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.