Facing the Constant Accusations Against Israel

Rally for the hostages in front of the UN March 2024 (author's personal photo)

Even before October 7th, Israel had been accused of the worst crimes imaginable, but since October 7th, it has continued at a pace that is incomprehensible.

One wonders why the country that was invaded by a terrorist group intent on murdering as many Israelis as possible, would be constantly accused of war crimes. But I reiterate, this is not new. It’s been going on in academia and in the Progressive circles for years.

My question is, “Why don’t those who know the truth speak up in support of Israel?”

When the haters accuse Israel of genocide, why don’t those who are educated in facts explain what genocide is? Definition: genocide – the intentional destruction of a people in whole or in part. According to the United Nations, “people” is usually defined as an ethnic, national, racial, or religious group.

Hamas was intent on committing genocide. In the 1988 version of their charter, it states explicitly, “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” Hamas was essentially created to destroy a People, the People of Israel.

Israel, on the other hand, was created to establish a homeland for the Jewish People in their historic and biblical homeland. In the Israeli Declaration of Independence, it states:

“WE EXTEND our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land.”

That declaration demonstrates the goal of living together in peace, not annihilating a people. That is not genocide. What is happening in Gaza is a tragedy due to a war that was forced upon Israel by Hamas. It is not genocide.

No other nation would allow a vicious, animalistic massacre to occur on its land and people without a response. Israel is not committing genocide. It would benefit those accusers to face reality and recognize that what is happening in Gaza is due to Hamas not Israel.

But genocide isn’t the only crime of which Israel is being accused. The haters accuse Israel of ethnic cleansing. If Israel was successfully cleansing the land of Arabs, there would be fewer Arabs in Israel and the territories today than there were in 1948. However, there are more. Not just a few more, but millions more.

A generous estimate of the Arab population of Palestine in 1948 was 1.4 million. They claim that about 600,000-700,000 left, either voluntarily or involuntarily. Today, according to the Associated Press, reporting of a census of 2018, there are over 4.8 million Arabs in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. If Israel was intent on ethnic cleansing, there would be fewer Arabs today in Israel and those lands than in 1948. Therefore, it is clear that Israel is not focused on ethnically cleansing the Land of Israel.

Anti-Israel bashers accuse Israel of having an apartheid regime. This totally disrespects what apartheid was for the South African Black community. If Israel was an apartheid regime, there would be no Arabs allowed on the same busses as Jews. There would be no Arabs allowed in the same universities as Jews. There would be no Arabs represented in government. There would be no Arab doctors treating Jewish patients.

The reality in Israel is completely different. Everyone is allowed on all transportation in Israel. There are no cases in which Arabs are forced off busses or trains. Arabs study and teach at all Israeli public universities. An Arab professor was just elected rector of Haifa University. There are Arab parties in the Knesset and there are Arab judges on the Israeli Supreme Court. All Israeli hospitals are mixed. The Hadassah Medical Organization’s Director of the Emergency services is Dr. Ahmad Nama and he has been working at Hadassah his entire career. Claiming that Israel is an apartheid state indicates the haters’ ignorance of reality.

Accusations of war crimes against Israel are laughable when you consider what Hamas did on October 7th. The IDF has a code of conduct. Their soldiers are instructed on how to behave in combat. If they disregard those rules, they are reprimanded and punished. Hamas instructed their fighters to not only kill, but to rape, and mutilate Jews. They were rewarded for bringing body parts back to Gaza. They sold the heads of soldiers they decapitated. Claim after claim is made against Israel and published in various news sources. Then claim after claim is debunked, but the damage is already done.

Recently accusations of Israel treating the Hamas prisoners badly have been made against Israel. I have watched the videos of the Hamas terrorists being interrogated and their proud confessions. None of them look beaten up or in bad condition. I can only imagine what has happened to our innocent hostages, who were pulled from their beds on October 7th.

The cruelty we have heard from the rescued hostages proves that those still in captivity are being mistreated. Since Hamas claims they don’t have 40 living hostages to release in any hostage deal, it seems clear that the hostages are being mistreated.

I could go on, but it’s exhausting… Watching the protests where the chants abound, “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free” makes my blood boil.

At least the United States House of Representatives voted that this phrase is antisemitic. It’s shameful that certain representatives in Congress can’t say the same. They won’t even condemn when pro-Palestinian protestors say, “Death to America”. We know they have been brainwashing their children since a young age, as another representative’s daughter was just suspended from Columbia University for participating in an angry anti-Israel protest. These acts are clearly anti-American.

If our government won’t prosecute those who are anti-Israel, they should at least prosecute those who call for “Death to America.” The First Amendment provides the right to “free speech” but not to “hate speech.”

It is well past time for those who are educated and understand the facts to stand up for the truth. It is well past time for the accusers to be recognized as haters calling for the death of a People. They are advocating for the abolishment of the Jewish State and the genocide of Jews. If they are against genocide, shouldn’t they be against genocide for all? It’s so hypocritical! Especially since their claims are false.

Let’s pray this Passover, as we gather around our seder tables talking about freedom, that we can bring our hostages home. Let’s pray that the people who stand with Israel, our allies, will speak up, tell the truth and call out the accusers. Let’s pray that Iran will keep its missiles at home.

Let’s pray for peace.

About the Author
Stephanie Z. Bonder is a proud Jew and lifelong Zionist. Stephanie studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem for her junior year abroad and is currently pursuing her masters in Jewish Education at the Hebrew University Melton School of Education. In her volunteer hours, she is on the National Board of Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America where she currently serves as Chair of the Speakers Bureau and team member of the Education and Advocacy division. Stephanie teaches teens and adults on Jewish Peoplehood, Zionism and current events in Israel through her involvement with the Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest and her synagogue, Congregation Agudath Israel. All of her blogs are her own personal opinions and do not represent the organizations with which she is affiliated.
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