May 17, 2010
Israel Uses Senior Military Officers to Justify Killing
Charles E. Carlson
An event at Denver University on May 11, 2010---
I was fortunate to attend a speech Tuesday by a senior military officer of the Israeli Defense Force, Col. Bentzion Gruber, speaking at Denver University on May 11, about the "morality and restraint" of the IDF in dealing with their "terrorist" neighbors... fortunate because this is the first time I have seen an Israeli propagandist lambasted for lying to his audience. Col. Gruber looked like he had been run over by his own bulldozers when a few knowledgeable members of the audience refused to sit quietly and have their intelligence insulted.
The meeting was sponsored by the Institute for Study of Israel in Middle East and the DU chapter of Hillel, a Jewish fraternity on campus. Gruber's lecture was called, "The Most Rigorous Military Code of Ethics in the World." Gruber is a Deputy Commander of the Reserve Division that served in Operation Cast Lead, the Christmas 2008 one month massacre in Gaza, which has, in fact, been followed by a blockade. He is now a reserve officer, but he also served during the Second Intifada (1998-02) during which Israeli forces killed 4789 Palestinians.
Gruber was interrupted constantly by individuals one-by- one who constantly challenged his facts. The resistance resulted from the efforts of eight to ten people who called a Mother's day strategy meeting in a Denver park. They know the only way to refute Gruber was not to allow one lie to pass unchallenged. It worked.
Gruber became unnerved and struggled unsuccessfully to finish his speech, limping through his allotted time with the aid of police, who ushered out one by one those who spoke clearly from the floor. Later Gruber was to be roundly challenged by his general audience, including a professor and some of the students, during a Q & A period. Most attacked Gruber's facts and his country's credibility.
Angered, the flustered Colonel stated, "Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims," causing shouts from the stunned audience to bring the meeting to a temporary halt. Gruber was forced to apologize, but he stuck to his guns in referring to every Palestinian who resists Israel as a "terrorist."
Gruber's lecture made the same points that are made in every Israeli propaganda speech: Israel is the victim, not the aggressor. For evidence, the Colonel cited suicide bombers, rockets and missiles, and the evil Hamas hiding behind civilians. He used an IDF propaganda film to attempt to show how careful Israel is to avoid killing civilians. The film contained obviously misleading statements about the Gazans and Hamas, including alleging Gazans used over three thousand "rockets" and "mortars" against Israelis.
His challengers cited the now famous Goldstone Report, which states otherwise. He was told the Gazans have no missiles, their rockets are the homemade kind that don't explode, and only four Israelis were killed by rocket fire in all the history of it. Mortar rounds are so scarce they are rarely used on rural Israel that surrounds Gaza, and are saved to fight off invasions.
The IDF also showed footage of a human bomber attacking a bus that he insisted was carrying women and children. But the movie was clearly faked, with dubbed in gunfire much too loud for the long range and grainy film. A questionable close-up of the grinning "suicide bomber" was offered to prove how happy Palestinian terrorists are just before they blow themselves up. Gruber was asked why he did not tell the audience that Palestinian's homemade rockets do not explode and that Israeli buses carry on-duty military and are therefore military targets. The audience of students did not buy the film once some of Gruber's misstatements were exposed.
Some challenged Gruber and the IDF film on its claims of humanitarian restraint in battle by citing the Goldstone Report, which documented the massacre 16 months ago. The Colonel's response was that Goldstone was "full of lies," and Israel "never used white phosphorus bombs."
He ended his much contested speech by reciting a sad but irrelevant story of his family being "holocaust" survivors sixty years ago and one of his family members being raped by a German, springing from this to the defense of Israel with no explanation as to what this had to do with the IDF's slaughter of the Gazans. The final questioner asked why he did this, and Gruber did not say how the Palestinians were involved in Germany's acts sixty years ago.
We in the United States are increasingly subjected to the influence of military personal on our payroll, used by politicians to tell us why this war or that war is needed. A generation ago it was a violation of the military code. General Douglas Mac Arthur, American five-star hero of World War II, was fired and ousted from the military for making statements about the Korean War.
Today it is commonplace for retired and even active duty officers to give interviews and public statements about the progress of the war, apparently deemed necessary by our political leaders to support the war effort. A recent example is found in a story by retired General Paul Vallaly whose claims go beyond fantasy.
Vallaly is listed in Wikipedia as a senior military analyst for Fox News. He claims tiny Lebanon has "50-60,000 missiles and rockets" hidden in houses and orchards aimed at Israel, that Iran already has nuclear bombs and is getting ready to mount them on "Scud" missiles from Russia, and that surrounding Islamic countries are planning a chemical attack on Israel. This war propagandist general repeatedly suggests he has privileged information. His final words: "We cannot allow Israel to stand alone in this." Endnote 1.
Israel, not unlike the USA, uses their military, like Colonel Gruber, to sell the false idea that it is the victim, and is a humane, surgically clean eliminator of "terrorists". The response at Denver University was an encouraging surprise and another sign of a "turning" in our time that is finally beginning to happen in the minds of those who think about what they are being told, especially students.
1.) "General (Vallaly) Warns of Chemical Attacks against Israel" <http://www.pjtv.com/v/3505>http://www.pjtv.com/v/3505