B’Tselem: History Starts on October 17, 2018

It depends on when you start history. Had history started February 12, 1945, the British Bombing of Dresden on the 13th would have been an Act of War with no antecedent, or started August 6 1945, then the US bombing of Hiroshima would also have been with no antecedent. By timing the date that history begins, any defensive act in a war can be stated to be an initial and terrible atrocity.

B’Tselem, at the UN Security Council, condemns Israel for its actions in the West Bank. Palestinians living there are inconvenienced and subject to scrutiny, sometimes harsh. By selecting the date to start history, prior atrocities of instigations and murders can be ignored. The history of how Israel finds itself in the West Bank (actually I prefer Samaria-Judea) does not exist. The Peel commission recommendations never existed, the 1948, 1967 wars did not exist. The failure of Oslo, with the subsequent Arafat-driven incitements, does not exist. The ongoing terror murders of Israelis, the Gaza riots purposed to overwhelm Israel, Abbas calls to “defend” the Old City from the Jews…none of this exists.

Of course B’Tselem knows better and this is what makes such unilateral charges monstrous: treason, really, if you think that Gaza is at war and if you agree with the US Constitution’s definition of treason as in effect, giving comfort to the enemy in wartime.

From here in the USA, I think the fault of such a monstrous distortion is shared by Israel. In some crazy notion of free speech, Israel, still struggling for recognition and security after 70 years, permits native Israelis to get salaried and benefited via non-Israeli donors if those natives are willing to agree to unilateral legalistic distortions of reality for the purpose of advancing or satisfying those donors’ goals for the State.

Such speeches as given by Hagai El-Ad should not be tolerated by anyone living in the security and privilege he enjoys in Israel. If El-Ad is sincere, he should leave the country, move to a more receptive locus, and continue his critique from there. But perhaps a requirement of his employment is that he launch his remarks from within the state.

About the Author
Arnold L. Flick was born 1930 of secular, Zionist, Russian-Jewish immigrant parents. He has followed events in Israel since age seven when he first solicited for the “Jews of Palestine” on the streets of Los Angeles as a young member of Habonim. He was in Israel for four months 1990-91 and for two months 2002. He is active in the House of Israel Balboa park, a non-profit museum in Balboa Park, San Diego, that provides information about Israel to its 15,000 annual visitors.