Sunday, June 17, 2012

Poor Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader performed some valuable service when he was young, but as he's gotten older he seems determined to (a) make Harold Stassen seem normal and (b) spread as much anti-Israel hatred as he can.

One of his anti-Israel op-eds was published in several Litchfield County (Connecticut) newspapers in May, 2012. The following was written in response and submitted as an op-ed, but wasn't published.

Ralph Nader seems almost disappointed so many of the rockets which Gaza terrorists send into Israel miss their targets. "The rockets failed to reach any population centers 99 percent of the time", he says. However, instead of urging Gaza to stop the violence, he jumps in and unjustifiably maligns Israel for everything that has befallen the troubled people of Gaza.

Little more than a week ago, I visited one of the primary targets of those rockets. Sderot, a small city with the misfortune of being situated just a few kilometers from Gaza, has a collection of those Kassam rockets. I even got to hold some and spoke with the mayor, who was clearly frustrated that the Israeli government has not succeeded in stopping the constant bombardment. I also suspect he'd be insulted to find Ralph Nader doesn't consider his beleaguered city to be a population center.

Gaza just didn't happen. There is a history that has led to the current simmering conflict, a history easily accessible to anyone interested. The violent anarchy and repression that roils Gaza is self-inflicted.

There is an obvious solution for the problems about which Nader rails, albeit one that Mr. Nader doesn't want to hear: Hamas merely needs to stop its daily attacks against Israel. If they did that, all hostilities would cease. If Israel, on the other hand, dismantled its defenses and opened its borders, only slaughter and killing would ensue at the hands of Hamas and its subcontractors, including the Islamic Jihad terror group.

Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. She has both ancient and modern claims to that land, but chose to withdraw those claims in the hopes of promoting peace. In the process, Israel evicted and displaced over 9,000 of its own citizens, even though many if not most of them lived on property that had been owned by Jews even back in 1948, when Egypt stole their property and ethnically cleansed Gaza of any Jewish presence.

Instead of seizing the golden opportunity offered by Israel and building a modern society, Hamas and other terrorist gangs intensified their rocketing directed at all the Israeli population centers that they could reach. The number of rockets and missiles fired into Israel since the withdrawal is over 8,000. Imagine what America's reaction would be if one of its neighbors was a terrorist entity and fired even a single rocket at one of our cities!

Amazingly, Israel continues to supply massive amounts of fuel, food and medical supplies to the very people launching Kassam rockets at Israeli civilians. Maybe Nader missed the fact that tons of supplies flow across the border from Israel into Gaza every day. Gaza's GDP grew close to 25 percent in the first 3 quarters of 2011. Gazan residents often cross over to Israel for medical care. In fact, the local Red Cross Office said that "numerous international organizations have said clearly that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza." Sadly, in return for what it provides to Gaza, all that Israel receives is the abduction of its soldiers, cross border violence and more daily rockets and missiles which are growing in effectiveness and numbers.

Contrary to Nader's assertion, there is journalist access to Gaza. Not many, though, choose to go there because of the danger. Those who do enter Gaza are careful not to report anything that Hamas does not want to reveal to the world, since to do otherwise would compromise the journalists’ safety and the safety of their colleagues, some of whom have paid for their honesty with their lives. Much of what happens in Gaza, therefore, remains shrouded in secrecy.

The Arab claim to Gaza and to all of Israel, not just the so-called “occupied territories,” rests on layer upon layer of fabricated “atrocities,” dispossession, and wildly exaggerated reports of civilian casualties on those rare occasions when Israel actually defends itself. Although there is little basis in reality, that doesn’t stop the Arab world and their allies from employing the “big lie.”

Ralph Nader repeats the same “big lies” en masse and wholesale in his column and substantiates them only with third-party quotes and assertions. The actual facts are that the violence and brutality which Gaza residents endure comes mostly from the Hamas gangs and criminal elements that enforce their form of discipline and “justice” on their own population. Their government, as in almost all Arab countries, is administered at the point of a gun.

Ralph Nader's invective against Israel in his column is not new. He's done it many times before. Instead of just accusing and name calling, Nader would serve us all better if he dealt with the facts on the ground and ascribed blame for the violence to the groups that foment it and not to a country which is one of the few actually doing anything to improve in the lives of those that live in Gaza.

Rather than expressing disappointment that most of the terror rockets fired from Gaza miss their intended victims in Israel, Nader ought to encourage the Palestinian Arabs to finally choose peace over their genocidal war against the world's only Jewish state.

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