Open letter to Geraldo Rivera from a former soldier in the IDF

Mr. Rivera,

If you are going to repeatedly go on the news and quote the Hamas talking points and assert Hamas’s false facts as truth, then I would ask you to please stop referring to your irrelevant Star of David tattoo, saying that you would “die for Israel” and calling yourself a “dyed in the wool Zionist.”

During the fourth week of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, on various Fox News Shows you repeatedly said that Israel had killed 1800 “civilians” and that “most of these [supposed] civilians are women and children.” Where do you get these facts? Since at the time this was the current death total in Gaza, were you really contending that Israel has killed no members of Hamas? That no Hamas or Islamic Jihad terrorists had been killed in the previous 25 days? Do you know that Israel’s military estimates it has killed over 900 Hamas fighters? Also, do you know that in 2008 Hamas and the NGO’s it controls in Gaza claimed back then that more than 85% of the casualties in Gaza were civilian and that barely 30 Hamas fighters were killed? Then, less than two years later it was determined that well over 700 Hamas terrorists had been killed. Do you know any of these facts? And if you are a “dyed in the wool Zionist” or even a dyed in the wool American, then why are you apparently accepting at face value the “facts” put forth by a terrorist organization sworn to the murder of every Jew in the world?

Also, do you know that while 75% of Gaza’s population is women and children, based on Al Jazeera’s own fatality reports for the war in Gaza to date, it appears that men between the ages of 18 and 40 make up the majority of the casualty totals for Gaza? So again, why would someone that is a supposed “dyed in the wool Zionists” (or even a reporter interested in the truth), repeat the Hamas lie that all or even a majority of the casualties are civilian. As someone that must know that America’s military – in very careful military operations – has accidentally and unfortunately killed thousands of civilians in its war on terror, including hundreds in drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan, doesn’t it strike you that if Israel – fighting a terrorist army on its border (not 7000 miles away) with no uniforms in a densely populated urban setting – kills more males age 18-40 than anybody else (despite such males making up less than 20% of the population of Gaza) that Israel is in-fact undergoing Herculean efforts to go after the terrorists and to minimize civilian casualties?

Then, to add to your distortions, you have decided to repeatedly use your platform on Fox News to press the notion that all of Israel’s conflicts with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Fatah, Hezbollah etc. would be solved if Israel simply ended the “occupation.” Do you know that all of these various terrorist organizations consider ALL OF ISRAEL to be “occupied”? Do you also know that in 1995, Israel withdrew from the cities in Judea-Samaria (what “dyed in the wool Zionists” like yourself call the “West Bank”), where 98% of the Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria live? Do you know that for the past 19 years, those Palestinian Arabs have been largely “occupied” and certainly governed by the dictatorship known as the Palestinian Authority, not by Israel? Do you know that in 2005 Israel withdrew every one of its soldiers and citizens from the Gaza Strip and left for the people of Gaza millions of dollars in economic infrastructure that they promptly destroyed and then almost just as promptly turned Gaza into a terror launching pad with a government more totalitarian and radically Islamist than the Taliban was in Afghanistan? Do you know that the Hamas government of Gaza, whose lies you keep parroting on national TV, also publically butchered numerous Fatah members after Hamas’s coup over the Palestinian Authority in Gaza? Do any of these actual facts trouble you? Or is it easier for you, as a “dyed in the wool Zionist” with a Star of David tattoo to think that Israel’s actions will determine whether there is peace in the region? As a real Zionist, who served in the Israeli Army and who has family currently serving in the Israeli Army, I wish that Israel could itself determine whether there is peace in the region and that the actions and wishes of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Fatah, Hezbollah, ISIS, etc. were irrelevant. But wishing for something to be true does not make it reality, and making foreign policy and military decisions on the basis of such wishful thinking is a good way to get genuine Zionists and Jews killed. It will certainly not bring peace, unless the “peace” you are seeking is the one that will set in once the radical Islamist terrorists win.

When you are telling your viewers that Israel’s problems will be solved if it just “ends the occupation,” do you recall that the Palestinian Arabs have turned down – at least five times since 1937 – the option to have an independent Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza because it required them to accept a Jewish state in the rest of Israel? Do you know that Hamas and the PA (and all of the various Palestinian and Lebanese terrorist groups) – according to their respective official charters and ideologies – consider Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beersheba, Eilat and Jerusalem to be “occupied”? Do you understand that when the officials of Hamas and the PA speak in Arabic (and Hamas in every language) they make it clear that they consider all of Israel to be “occupied Palestine”? That they consider Israel’s very existence to be the “root cause” of the conflict, and they will never accept the legitimacy of a Jewish State, which is something the leader of every one of these organizations, including Mahmoud Abbas, has repeatedly said. And when you are telling your viewers that if Israel simply left Judea and Samaria that peace would magically prevail, are you aware that these same Palestinian leaders regularly refer to Jews in terms that would make Hitler and Goebbels proud?

In light of these historical facts, which every “dyed in the wool Zionist” should know, what is your basis for contending that Israel’s conflicts will be solved if only Israel left Judea and Samaria (and presumably, by your logic, ceded to Hamas complete control of Gaza’s borders)? Why should any sane Israeli believe that giving the Palestinian Arabs complete military control over Judea, Samaria and Gaza (including all access by land, air and sea) that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Fatah, etc. would not import ever more sophisticated weapons into those territories and then turn those territories into much more lethal terror launching pads than Gaza already is today? To make good on their oft stated goal to destroy the one Jewish State? Wouldn’t that affect your “dyed in the wool” Zionism? Or are you willing to take that risk from the safety of New York City?

Bottom line, either stop repeating Hamas’s lies or stop referring to yourself as a “dyed in the wool Zionist” that would supposedly “die for Israel.” You cannot do both with any credibility, and at a minimum, if Israel and its survival do not matter to you, then as a reporter your credibility should.

From a genuine “dyed in the wool Zionist.”


About the Author
Micha Danzig is a practicing attorney in San Diego and board member of T.E.A.M. (Training & Education About the Middle East). He is also active with Stand With Us and a former soldier in the IDF.
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