Jean Pierre Braun

The world must let Israel decide what is best for Israel

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Israel is under increasing pressure from the “international community”, which is interfering in the governance of our country, and arrogating to itself the competence, the right and even the duty to dictate to Israel what it can and should do during and after the war.

Let’s take a closer look:

Joe Biden is a true friend of Israel. But recently, under the pressure of an election campaign that formally begins in 3 weeks’ time, and in light of a plummeting approval rating, his tone has changed somewhat:

On December 5, he declared: “Israel is losing its international support because of the indiscriminate bombing of civilians in Gaza”. This little phrase in fact constitutes an extremely serious formal accusation against Israel for committing war crimes against the civilian Palestinian population of Gaza. And to further support this accusation, on December 12, CNN relayed a Pentagon memo claiming that of the 29,000 air-to-ground ammunitions that hit Gaza, 40 to 45% were “dumb bombs”, unguided, and therefore highly likely to affect the civilian population of Gaza. These are all very serious but unfounded accusations. It only took a few days for the spokesmen of the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon to re-characterize (i.e. minimize) these accusations, but the damage had been done, and the world press and social networks had disseminated, interpreted and amplified them.

Let’s set the record straight: Israel does not engage in indiscriminate bombing. Our guided bombs are extremely precise, surgical. The trajectories of our unguided bombs are meticulously calculated in real time, and they hit their target precisely. If there are any collateral victims, they are only due to Hamas’s systematic use of human shields.

Still, Biden felt compelled to provide Israel with a complete array of “marching orders”, oblivious to the interference with the emergency functioning of the war cabinet of an independent democratic country and ignoring the totally illegal nature of some of these marching orders. Here are some of them:

– The U.S. will impose an end-of-war timetable, including an end to high-intensity hostilities and the IDF’s exit from Gaza by the end of 2023.

– Israel will have no role in Gaza after the end of the war

– Israel will have no say in who governs Gaza after the war

– Israel must accept the creation of a Palestinian state, and for this to happen, Israel must make unspecified concessions.

– Bibi must change his mentality and become more flexible (to accept all these American demands).

– Bibi must fire several of his ministers (we know who!) to facilitate the implementation of the American plan.

– Etc.

Of course, the USA is constantly supplying Israel with the ammunition and other military supplies we need, but does that give them the right to meddle in our internal affairs, does that allow them to dictate the terms of our future security? An open discussion between allies or partners is one thing, giving orders to said allies or partners is completely different.

Israel’s modus operandi since the start of this war has been exclusively aimed at achieving its two initial objectives: the release of all hostages and the destruction of Hamas. Israel, and only Israel, will dictate the timetable of operations according to its objectives. John Kirby and Jake Sullivan understand this, their latest statements are a little more nuanced than those of Biden. As for the future of Gaza and Judea/Samaria, I’d like to repeat Tsipi Hotoveli’s apt reply (a few days ago on Sky News): “Why are you so obsessed with solutions that have been proven again and again not to work?” or, to quote Albert Einstein’s famous phrase: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” The scheme described in the Oslo Accords died a final death on October 7, 2023: the world now knows that almost no one among the Palestinians wants a state of Israel alongside a Palestinian state. They want it all, “from the river to the sea”. Only the most naive, the most feeble-minded or the most hypocritical fail to see that this means the genocide of the Jewish people and the disappearance of the state of Israel. To this day, the vast majority of Palestinians, wherever they may be, approve of this fateful objective, support Hamas, and justify the October 7th massacres. A separation between the populations will be necessary in the future, but a separation dictated by Israel’s security objectives, a separation which will also consider the repeated and predictable bellicosity of the Palestinians. We will not let Biden or anyone else impose on us the future of our region.

Emanuel Macron sees himself as a leader of the Western world. But while his capacity for influence and means of intervention are very limited, this does not prevent him from giving lessons and even making demands of Israel.

He himself, then his representatives, including Mme Colonna today, demand a total and immediate ceasefire from Israel, demand free movement of people and goods in Gaza, demand the immediate withdrawal of the IDF from Gaza, and demand that Israel “deal with” the Jewish terrorist settlers who are sowing panic in Judea/Samaria. Moreover, not only France, but also the USA, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, all the Arab countries and many others are telling us that they want to ban “guilty settlers” from entering their countries. Some are even saying that they may plan legal proceedings for war crimes before various bodies, including the International Court of Justice, against IDF soldiers, members of the Israeli government, settlers, etc… I suggest that it would be perfectly justified to apply reciprocal measures, i.e. to ban from entering Israel all demonstrators from these countries who call for the genocide of the Jews and the destruction of Israel by chanting “from the river to the sea”.

One more word: the international community’s commiseration for Palestinian “victims” is based on figures supplied by Hamas’s so-called Ministry of Health, figures which, strangely enough, nobody questions or challenges. According to published reports, the death toll in Gaza now stands at over 25,000, almost all of them civilians and therefore innocent, including more than 10,000 children. All these deaths are said to have been caused by the IDF’s bombardments. Similarly, in Judea/Samaria, Jewish settlers are said to have killed 125 innocent Palestinians. I should be clear on this:  I do not believe at all in these figures. Let us not forget that the same so-called Hamas Ministry of Health had put forward the figure of 5,000 dead during the Al Ahli hospital episode, the real figure being less than 20 dead! All this pressure on Israel, all these calls for restraint, ceasefire, and humanity in the actions of the IDF are based on false assumptions, fake news, and misleading numbers.

On the other hand, it would be a good idea for the international community to look after its own affairs as a matter of priority: in the last two months, US bases in the Middle East have suffered more than a hundred aggressions, some causing serious damage and sometimes death. The attackers are always militias armed and financed by Iran. And what has America done? Almost nothing. Symbolic responses to avoid provoking war. Mr. Biden, this is an important task for your troops.

Another example: for several weeks now, the Houthis based in Yemen, another puppet of Iran, have intensified their attacks on merchant ships sailing in the Red Sea towards Israel, Jordan, or the Suez Canal. Is this important? Of course it is: 9% of the world’s oil transits through the Bab El Mandeb strait, which is controlled by the Houtis, and 40% of world trade passes through this same strait. The Houtis have created a de facto blockage situation to such an extent that major shipping companies have decided to stop using this route. The cost to world trade will soon run into millions of dollars, if not much more. It is the responsibility of all developed countries to keep these international shipping lanes open, and to ensure the safety of ships in transit. What are France, Great Britain, the USA and all the others developed countries doing?

Israel is a democratic country that respects international law and strives to live in peace with its neighbors. Israel has always endured a tense security situation, but since October 7, Israel is in crisis. Today, we are fighting an existential struggle, a struggle for the survival of the world’s only Jewish nation. We are fighting a war we did not start; we did not want; we did not provoke. We warmly thank our friends and allies for their support, friendship, and trust. We welcome open discussions with like-minded countries, we value their suggestions.  But it is important for everyone to understand that all decisions regarding the well-being of Israel’s citizens, our present state of war, our security, and our future can only be taken by Israel’s democratically elected government now and hereafter.

About the Author
Jean Pierre Braun is a retired Silicon Valley CEO now living in Jerusalem. Born in Paris, Jean Pierre immigrated to the USA after completing its Electrical Engineering degree in France. Besides being a serial entrepreneur, Jean Pierre was also the founder of a unique, very successful Silicon Valley Synagogue, and upon his return to France became Vice President of a local CRIF branch, and the President of the Rachi community in Grenoble. A father of 3 and grandfather of 10 ב'ה, Jean Pierre and his wife Annie made Aliyah in 2016.
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