Clifford Rieders

Understanding the Reality

For one to begin a discussion by asserting a concern about “alienating” those who are “fellow Jews” is a statement that separates Jew and non-Jew. It very directly suggests that the current problems in the world are somehow the fault of the Jewish community. Jewish people disagree with one another but creating deliberate misconceptions is never useful. The terror wrought by Islamic Jihadism does not affect the Jewish community alone, but is a worldwide threat which manifests itself in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Islamic Jihadists have killed hundreds of thousands of Black Christians in North Africa, “unacceptable” Muslim groups in the Middle East, and others throughout the world community.

Hamas was never “originally favored” by the Israeli government as a legitimate entity. The Hamas predecessor, Yasser Arafat Palestine Liberation Organization was also a terrorist group. Israel has always sought to establish reasonable and peaceful partners.

What about another Arab state with a knife in Israel’s belly? Israel can never agree to another Arab state, without knowing with absolute certainty that it will not become yet another base for terrorism. What is unreasonable about that?

Whether Israeli intelligence should have known more before October 7th, is not something for which the victims can be blamed. Blaming the victim is an age-old trick, that has no place in the lexicon of human relations.

Every respected organization that has investigated the fact of Hamas using human shields; the United States, the United Nations, and others have found this to be absolutely true. There is no question among reasonable and fair-minded people that Hamas has weaponized its own people, and has done so very successfully.

Gaza is and was totally independent, and not a refugee camp. The claim that it is a refugee camp is false. Gaza, prior to 1948, was occupied happily by Jews and Muslims alike. In 1948 through 1967, Gaza was illegally occupied by Egypt, when Egypt attempted to destroy Israel. The Egyptians ran a tight totalitarian society in Gaza. When Israel liberated Gaza in 1967, they were looked upon as heroes.

The claim that Palestinians were forced to move to Gaza because of Israel has no support in reality. Refugee camps were set up in the Middle East because the Arab nations who promised they would destroy Israel, created refugee camps for their future soldiers and to stoke the fires of hate for the Jewish State. The Arab world has very effectively created an army in those camps. When the Jews were kicked out of Africa and the Middle East, almost a million of them, they were resettled. When the Arabs left cities and towns in pre-1948 Israel, they were promised by the Arab regimes that they would destroy Israel. Jordan, originally to be part of Israel, was created as a Palestinian State. However, the majority Palestinian-Arab population in Jordan will not let their people into the country and will not resettle them.

Relating the death of people in Gaza to two atomic bombs is untruthful, and is intended to raise the ugly specter of murderous Jews running amuck and out of control. This is very much an ancient antisemitic image. Only the US has used atomic weapons against civilian populations of Japan as a wedge to end WWII and to save the lives of US soldiers.

Israel, concerned about its own security, did its best to keep military weaponry out of the hands of Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian Authority. Israel has not been totally successful in this regard, although more dangerous weapons would have come into the hands of Islamic Jihadists, had Israel not been diligent.

Those who criticize Christianity, totally misunderstand that Christianity has changed. It is no longer the religion of the Crusader. Islam, likewise, in many places is a peaceful and loving religion. It is the Islamic Jihadists who are not only undermining the ability of the West to survive, but have the long-term goal of destroying those in the Muslim world who do not support Jihad.

Some further claim that the Middle East has been shaped by wars of England and France against Islamic people! England and France fought a powerful enemy in the Middle East, the Ottoman Empire, which controlled the Middle East and the peoples in it. It was not England and France that waged war, but rather the Ottoman Turks and their fascist allies. In World War II the Arabs forged an alliance with Adolf Hitler. He promised the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, long before 1948, that the Jews of the Middle East would all die.

The claim of the number of people who have died in Gaza’s war against Israel is undocumented, and the history of Hamas is to totally lie about its casualties and the cause. The ratio of civilian deaths to that of soldiers in Gaza is one of the lowest in the history of wars. No nation makes an effort to reduce civilian casualties as Israel does.

Finally, it is often claimed that Israel was brought into being by Jews who escaped the Nazi genocide in World War II. If that were only true! In fact, when the Jews were being gassed alive in Europe, the gates to the Holy Land were closed. In 1948, when Harry Truman recognized Israel, weapons were embargoed. Israel fought in 1948 without any modern weaponry, and certainly without adequate guns and airplanes. Had Britain, when it left the Jewish land of Palestine in 1948, not turned over its arms and weaponry to the Arabs, Israel would have had a fighting chance and we would not have the problems which exist today.

No one in Israel wants revenge. My family and friends in Israel would clearly explain that the last thing Israelis want is pain, suffering or death. It is for that reason that Israel’s south was essentially demilitarized on October 7th, and that most of the farms and villages in the south were occupied by people who were peace activists.  Their reward? To be murdered, raped, beheaded, burned alive, and have all of their property and possessions destroyed.

Why do we not hear more demands for a Hamas surrender or at least release the hostages who are total innocents? Everyone knows the war would be over instantaneously, if the hostages were released. The hostages are hard currency for terrorists. Those who refuse to speak out against the holding of hostages are accomplices to the crime.

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.
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