Tuvia Book
Author, educator, Tour-Guide, artist

Revisionism TIME Style

Once again Karl Vick of TIME magazine loses his thin veneer of journalistic credibility with his story, “The Accidental War” (August 25, 2014), which is replete with half-truths, misinformation, shoddy reporting, blatant bias and outright historical revisionism. I find Vick’s complete lack of journalistic objectivity highly disturbing.

His statement referring to “the sandy Soil of Gaza,” implying poverty is one of the prime causes of Hamas anger, is just incorrect. The article goes downhill from there. In fact the thousands of Israeli citizens who were unilaterally withdrawn from every millimeter of the Gaza strip by the Democratic government of Israel in order to, “give peace a chance” left a veritable treasure of agricultural infrastructure for the Gazan population to utilize. That infrastructure, coupled with extremely generous donations from the international community, should have allowed the Gazans to build a “brave new world,” a Singapore on the Mediterranean. Instead, as we all know, they choose the path of the gun by electing the terrorist organization Hamas.

Vick refers to the fact that, “Hamas prevailed” in the resulting brief but violent civil war after the unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. What he does not explain is that during the civil war Hamas promptly killed or expelled their Fatah rivals and subsequently imposed a sharia inspired campaign of terror on the local population and set about, with generous help from Iran, North Korea and Qatar trying to realize the aim of their founding charter to violently conquer “all of Palestine.”

Steven Emerson, the Executive Director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism (JWR, August 18, 2014) notes that since violently gaining control of the Gaza Strip,

Hamas illegally siphoned thousands of tons of cement and steel shipments it received from international donors and Israel that it had committed to use the build the civilian infrastructure in Gaza for hospitals, schools and apartment buildings; instead it spent upwards of $500 million of these humanitarian shipments to covertly build numerous tunnels buried deep underground into Israel in order to carry out murderous raids on Israeli civilian communities intended to kill tens of thousands of Israelis.”

Vick, similarly to the BBC, never uses the “T” word (“Terrorist”) but consistently insists on referring to those who indiscriminately target civilians as “Militants.” This lends them a semblance of legitimacy.   In his statement, “the number of deaths approached 2,000, almost all of them Palestinians,” he does not differentiate between terrorists who were killed whilst deliberately targeting Israel’s civilian population, Palestinian “collaborators” who were summarily and barbarously executed, without trial, by their own people, or the civilians who were killed collaterally, but not deliberately by the IDF. In fact, the Hamas regime was committing a double-war crime, both deliberately targeting Israeli civilians and using their own civilians as human shields. Colonel Richard Kemp, CBE, who was Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan stated:

I don’t think there has ever been a time in the history of warfare when any army has made more efforts to reduce civilian casualties and deaths of innocent people than the IDF is doing today in Gaza. Hamas, the enemy they have been fighting, has been trained extensively by Iran and by Hezbollah, to fight among the people, to use the civilian population in Gaza as a human shield.”

Vick falsely claims that the national identity of the Palestinians was forged when “Palestinians fled during the 1948 war that established Israel as a state.” He neglects to mention that UN Resolution 181 passed on November 29 1947 called for the partition of Mandatory Palestine into two states: A Palestinian Jewish State living side by side with a Palestinian Arab State. Had the Arabs accepted that resolution, as the Jews did, there would have been no conflict.

The tragedy of the Middle East is that the Arab countries summarily rejected the UN Partition plan and tried to finish Hitler’s job and drive all of the Jews into the sea and conquer the entire mandatory territory. The “tragedy” (naqba) for them is that the Jews fought back and managed to create a State of their own, at the huge cost of 1% of the Jewish population. Those are the inconvertible historical facts. Similarly, in his reference to the fact that, “successive cease-fires came, expired then came again,” Vick fails to clarify that it was the Hamas that violated nine cease-fire agreements, including agreements brokered by Egypt, the International Red Cross, the UN, the USA and two of its own. Israel accepted all of the cease-fire agreements.

It is fascinating how Vick finds plenty of time to interview numerous Palestinian “human rights” activists (one with his eyes “flashing in rage”) for his article. The question that begs to be asked is, where are the traumatized Israeli children and millions of civilians from Sederot to Tel Aviv in his “objective” reporting?

Finally Vick neglects to mention that whilst the both sides suffered deaths during the recent conflict, there is a palpable difference:

  • Hamas publically rejoices at civilian casualties, whilst Israel grieves at civilian casualties.
  • Hamas deliberately attempt to murder civilians, whilst Israel surgically targets known terrorists and terror infrastructure.
  • Hamas educates their children to sanctify death, whilst the Israelis educate their children to sanctify life.

As Golda Meir observed:

We will have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”

About the Author
Dr. Tuvia Book was born in London and raised in both the UK and South Africa. After making Aliya at the age of 17 and studying in Yeshiva he volunteered for the IDF, where he served in an elite combat unit. Upon his discharge he completed his BA at Bar-Ilan University, as well as certification in graphic design. He then served as the Information Officer at the Israeli Consulate of Philadelphia, while earning a graduate degree in Jewish Studies. Upon his return to Israel, Dr. Book graduated from a course of study with the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, and is a licensed tour guide. Tuvia has been working in the field of Jewish Education, both formal and informal, for many years. He has guided and taught Jewish students and educators from around the English-speaking world for some of Israel’s premier educational institutions and programs. Tuvia has been guiding groups for Birthright Israel since its inception and, in addition, has lectured throughout North America, Australia, Europe and South Africa. Tuvia served as a Shaliach (emissary) for the Jewish Agency for Israel as the Director of Israel and Zionist Education at the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York (Jewish Education Project). He was a lecturer/educational guide at the Alexander Muss Institute for Israel Education (AMIIE) in Israel for a decade. Tuvia has lectured at both Bar Ilan University and Hebrew University. He was a Senior Editor and Teaching Fellow at the Tikvah Fund. He is a research associate at the Hudson Institute. Tuvia is the author and illustrator the internationally acclaimed Israel education curriculum; "For the Sake of Zion; A Curriculum of Israel Studies" (Fifth edition, Koren 2017), and "Moral Dilemmas of the Modern Israeli Soldier" (Rama, 2011) and has a doctorate in Israel Education. His latest book, "Jewish Journeys, The Second Temple Period to the Bar Kokhba Revolt – 536 BCE-136 CE," was published by Koren this year. To order:
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