by Crethi Plethi
You can read this article in Dutch, here.
Yesterday, I read an interesting article from Barry Rubin (NATO kills civilians accidentally) about the double standard the world is showing when it comes to civilian casualties as a result of military interventions by Israeli forces in Gaza or Western forces in Afghanistan.
It reminded me of a discussion I had with a dutch (socialist) parliamentarian, Martijn van Dam, a while ago. He is member of the dutch social-democratic party, PVDA, and PVDA’s spokesman for foreign policy and media. At this moment, the PVDA is part of a coalition government in the Netherlands with two dutch Christian-democratic parties (CDA and ChristenUnie). The PVDA is part of the biased dutch anti-Israel lobby and plays a stimulating role in Israel bashing, spreading anti-Israel bias in the media and supporting the Goldstone report and sanctioning Israeli economy and products. It will not surprise you that traditionally many of the Muslims living in the Netherlands are PVDA voters.
The Associated Press reports: “Twelve Afghans died Sunday when two rockets fired at insurgents missed their targets and struck house during the second day of NATO’s most ambitious effort yet to break the militants’ grip on the country’s dangerous south.”
Rubin writes in his article:
“Those twelve Afghans are, of course, civilians, a word the report omits in the lead, though it is mentioned further down in the story. Those militants are Taliban who could be called terrorists, though in some ways even that designation would be too generous. They brought a regime to Afghanistan which murdered thousands of people, treated women like cattle, and helped make possible the September 11, 2001, attacks that slaughtered 3,000 Americans… Later in the article it is mentioned in passing that the “militants” are firing on the U.S. Marines from civilian houses in the town, which is the kind of thing that leads to civilian deaths. This incident will quickly be forgotten, as have previous similar ones.
The discussion I had with Martijn van Dam was about a similar incident involving a dutch F-16 fighter plane when a precision bomb was dropped on a house where Taliban fighters and civilians were in the same compound, resulting in 13 people killed (4 Taliban fighters) including 3 women and 6 children and injuring 3 other civilians. I asked Martijn van Dam why he remained silent about this incident, when if it is Israel who causes civilian casualties, he (and the rest of the Dutch anti-Israel lobby) immediately condems Israeli actions and start accusing Israel of deliberately targeting civilians or worse, committing war crimes.
“If this incident happened due to Israeli rockets it would bring massive demonstrations, a UN report claiming that this proved Israel was a war criminal state, calls by many governments for sanctions against Israel, proposals by others for an international investigation, and a rationale for Western intellectuals to say that this country has no right to exist.Yet the errancy of these NATO rockets was no doubt an accident, just as happens sometimes (probably with far lower frequency in proportional terms) when Israel is defending itself from Hamas and Hizballah, two groups that seek genocide against its people. Such events are in the nature of warfare, and especially in the type of warfare pursued by Hamas, Hizballah, and the Taliban. Is it really so hard to understand these things?”
So, I ask you again, Martijn van Dam, is it really so hard to understand these things? Or do you have to support the anti-Israel agenda of your party? You don’t want to disappoint your (leftist-Muslim alliance) voters, do you? Honesty is a virtue, Mr. van Dam.
“Why, then, does Israel get such different treatment than this event in Marjah, Afghanistan (or the dutch incident in Helmand, Afghanistan)? There are lots of reasons but the outstanding one is this: the United States is a big powerful country which lots of people don’t want to alienate or attack. Israel is a small country without energetic, powerful defenders. Despite appearances, Israel is still “David,” while Hamas and Hizballah–backed in some manner by Iran, Muslim-majority countries, Arab states, and the Western left–is the “Goliath.”
Maybe Rubin is trying to appease his readers this time, because I’m not sure that the outstanding reason for this double standard is the fact that ‘lots of people don’t want to alienate or attack the US government.’ My impression in Europe is the contrary, lots of people are eager to alienate or attack the US government. I think that the hidden agenda of jew-hatred in the hearts of lots of people (in organizations, in our governments and in Muslim countries) makes them biased and double standard when it comes to Israel and Jews in the first place. I believe that this is the real outstanding reason for the double standard, because the next superpower could be China or Russia as well, but there is (and has been) always one Israel (Jew) to blame and that will never end. It asks a certain kind of courage to acknowledge to yourself that the reasons for the world wide struggle against Israel and Jews are based on progressive, Islamic, extremist or anti-semitic feelings. Our world system is dominated by these prejudices: for example, the UN is dominated by the Islamic countries and the Chinese and Russian veto’s. Fascism, left-wing extremism, nazism, Islamofascism, religious extremism, Islamism and radical socialism, they all share anti-semitic prejudices.
So what about my discussion with Martijn van Dam? I asked him if he could “indicate the difference between the Netherlands and Israel in this issue?” I pointed out that the dutch politicians remained silent about the Afghan casualties inflicted by the Dutch F-16 (or other NATO troops). Where Israel immediately and unconditionally is condemned by Dutch politicians, I hear no condemnation now. It sounds like a Palestinian life is of more value to Dutch politicians than an Afghan life? As soon as “our boys” (or NATO troops) are responsible for civilian deaths, “we” always acted carefully and suddenly it is inevitable that civilian casualties will be inflicted in fighting the Taliban… bla bla bla bla …. But not when it comes to Israel. What puzzles me is what people consider different between the Taliban and Hamas in using civilians as human shields in their way of fighting. Furthermore, I asked him to condemn the Dutch action and call it a possible Dutch War crime against humanity and start investigations on it. If not, than be silent about Israel as well.
Do you think he came up with a sufficient and well-thought answer? Think again. He answered as expected, with anti-Israel bias and double standard, hiding behind the anti-Israel lobby (in the UN) who tries to justify its anti-Israel bias by installing committees, missions and producing official documents full with anti-Israel rhetoric:
Martijn van Dam: “What happened is terrible. In the case of Israel we have argued for investigation, we now also ask for investigation. Maybe you can wait for answers, before you use big words. It was also the UN Goldstone mission that has concluded that Israel has committed war crimes, not me. The UN Committee believes that Israel targeted civilians and not selected carefully as you say. On the contrary.”
You may have noticed that an official investigation by the UN or by a Dutch Parliamentary committee or mission for the incident was never asked for or installed.
I reminded him that it’s usually the Dutch anti-Israel lobby who are using big words when Israel is concerned. Israel is the accused party, always and even without investigation. Hamas and the Taliban are not really different in background (Islamic terror groups who are Islamizing societies and impose Shari’a law), fighting in civilian areas and using civilians as human shields, and both are willing to sacrifice its own people and Hamas is seeking the destruction of Israel. I suggested to Martijn van Dam, to ask the UN for an investigation of the Dutch F-16 air strike led by Pakistan, Egypt and Cuba.
Martijn van Dam mentioned that the casualties caused by the Dutch F-16 air strike were an incident, whereas Israel (according to Martijn van Dam) systematically caused civilian deads. Well, calling between the 5,317 and 8,109 Afghan civilian deads (since the start of the war in 2001 by US-led troops and NATO forces) an incident, is quite double standard don’t you think? Next to that, Martijn van Dam pointed out that the Afghan government, the UN (UNAMA) and other organizations (Amnesty, Human Right Watch) always (can) investigate allegations of war crimes. Yes, they (could) do that, and what would the world have to say about the results?
And that’s exactly the point I’m trying to make here. The Afghan government or the UN don’t call for or investigate these incidents in Afghanistan as war crimes as they did after the Gaza war with the Goldstone Committee. Implying that Israel isn’t a democratic country which doesn’t investigates allegations of war crimes and not cooperates with unbiased and independent investigations is willfully trying to demonize Israel. In fact, its the Hamas and the Taliban who are acting besides all International Laws and Geneva Convention. Who is investigating those issues? When are politicians concerned about balanced facts and about civilian lives lost due to insurgent actions by Hamas and the Taliban?
Is Martijn van Dam a politician who hates Jews? No, he isn’t a jew-hater, but he certainly is a mainstream leftist politician who knows how to use political correct answers fitting in the anti-Israel pattern we see in Europe, the UN and the USA. Israel has nothing to gain with these policymakers and Israel has nothing to gain with Martijn van Dam’s party, PVDA.
It takes courage to acknowledge that the world is heading for a new holocaust. Is it really so hard to understand these things?