Clifford Rieders

The Truth About Gaza

What is the truth about Gaza? The Gaza Strip is a tiny piece of land part of the indigenous territory of Israel. It was illegally occupied by the Egyptians in 1948, when that country tried to kill all the Jews in the Holy Land. Israel could not hang on to Gaza, the Old City of Jerusalem and a large portion of the country known as the West Bank because the world’s great powers, including the United States, supported the Arab regimes and helped them to militarize. The United States, while recognizing the State of Israel in 1948, prohibited arms shipments to Israel. It is amazing that the country survived at all.

After 1967 when the Arab nations attempted another war of annihilation against the Jews, it was Israel that became the landlord, so to speak, over Gaza. That changed when Ariel Sharon pulled all Israelis out of Gaza in 2005. Gaza thereafter had its first and only election in which it put the terrorist group Hamas in power. Ever since then, Hamas has used the phenomenal amount of foreign aid it has received, including from Israel, to build a terrorist infrastructure mostly underground.

Periodically, Hamas, which is sworn to the destruction of the Jewish state and Christianity in the Middle East, will not “lob” but rather fire thousands of rockets into the Jewish state. Israel’s attempts at self-defense seem to have become controversial. Of course, no nation on earth would sit back and permit terrorists to bomb the World Trade Center, for Al-Qaeda to try to take over the Western world or for Isis to create a Calafat in the Middle East. All people of good conscience fight terrorists and, of course, Israel should do the same.

There are those who say that the latest war in which Hamas launched 4,500 sophisticated missiles against Israel was because of something illegal Israel did in East Jerusalem. That is not the truth. The truth is that there are a number of Arabs in East Jerusalem who have been illegal squatters, refusing to pay rent, for over 20 years. The Israeli courts are so liberal that they are hesitant to issue final orders to remove these people. Compare that to the fact that many Israelis who Israeli courts found to be illegal occupants in one place or another have been forcibly removed. The Jews were forcibly removed from Gaza when the territory was turned over for local control and administration.

Jews have never barred Muslim worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. That is a total fabrication that has made its way known on the internet. Quite to the contrary. When Israel, in 1967, liberated all of Jerusalem from illegal Jordanian control, the Muslim Mosque was turned over to the Arabs for administration. A Jew cannot go there without Muslim permission. I, one time, entered the Mosque to see its fabulous architecture. When Jordan controlled the Mosque area in East Jerusalem, it barred all Jews, most Christians and anyone else whom it did not want in East Jerusalem, the Holy City or the Mosque grounds. Under Israeli administration, Christian and Muslim holy places are respected and are controlled by the religious denominations affiliated with those locations.

I sat down and had lunch with a man who is the highest lay administrator of the Christian Churches in the Holy Land. His wife, a graduate student at the Hebrew University, is an Egyptologist. They are an extremely lovely family. Their daughter, a Christian Arab from Nazareth, went to law school with my daughter in Israel. These very fine people thank the State of Israel for keeping them safe from Arab extremists and appreciate the advantage of living in one of the world’s great democracies.

The question is what Israel should do about terrorist rocket attacks from Gaza and the fact that the Palestinian Authority and the West Bank pays money and supports those who murder Jews? The only answer, as history has taught us, is to fight back aggressively. Democracies are perceived as weak by terrorist groups. The Axis powers in World War II had no confidence that the Western world would fight for its rights. Israel and the world need to show the murderers in Iran, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank,
Syria, and in other awful places that bad behavior will not be tolerated. The Western world cannot give in to terrorism and neither should Israel.

The truth is that Israel can and will win the battle against terrorism whether it comes from Syria, Lebanon, Iran, the West Bank or the Gaza Strip. Israel will continue to be beacon of Democracy in the Middle East and an island of sanity where Muslim, Jew, Bahaist, Christian, Druse and others can and will live together peacefully.

The Oslo Accords of 1993 brokered by Bill Clinton turned over the West Bank of the Jordan River, formally illegally occupied by Jordan, to a group called the Palestinian Authority. They also have had one election. Since then, neither the United States nor anybody within the West Bank has pushed for a second election. The reason is that the dictator, Mohammad Abbas, who runs the Palestinian Authority, is afraid that a Hamas-like group will get elected by his not very peaceful constituency. In other words, the West is afraid of the Democracy in the Arab world. It usually leads to Totalitarianism.

This brings us to the question as to whether the cease fire between Israel and Hamas will hold. The answer is absolutely not. Hamas has not abandoned its stated purpose of the destruction of the State of Israel and the Jews and Christians in the Middle East. Hamas also has no use for differing Muslim groups such as the Jews. Their rocket attacks are indiscriminate. It is now clear that a substantial portion of the casualties in Gaza were from Hamas’ missiles. When the head of Hamas was questioned about the fact that Hamas was bombing Tel Aviv, where his daughter was in the hospital for a non-combat related problem, the terrorist leader extolled the virtues of her being killed. Get the insanity of this: The head of Hamas believed that if his daughter was killed by Hamas’ rocket fire in Tel Aviv, that would bring sympathy to his cause. Hamas and other terrorist groups often use their own population not only as human shield but, more importantly, as victims to deceive the Western world. When the data is looked at closely and the number of casualties in Hamas are reduced to those killed by Hamas’ rocket fire and those who were killed because they were used as human shields at locations where missiles were being launched, it will be demonstrated that the casualties in Gaza were Hamas terrorists themselves. The New York Times, in its recent repulsive front-page story, failed to explain that the children shown in the thumbnail photos were victims of a terrorist enterprise which thrives on Western money, Iranian support and anti-Semitism.

The truth about Gaza is that is a terrorist hellhole dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state and a Christian presence in the Middle East. Those who support Hamas and Gaza do not do the citizens in that enclave a favor but rather perpetuate the rule of the Islamic extremists who control the country.

About the Author
Cliff Rieders is a Board Certified Trial Advocate in Williamsport, is Past President of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association and a past member of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority.