Saturday, December 19, 2015

Don’t Be Fooled, Open Your Eyes - Thoughts of an IDF Soldier Serving in the West Bank

by Noga Gur-Arieh  Jewish Journal of  Los Angeles




Yoav, a reservist IDF soldier, serves in the West Bank. After seeing sights you don't read about in the news, he sat down to write this for you. His one request is for you to help spread the truth. 
I can honestly say that since then, nothing has really changed. With that being said, there is something interesting that's going on within the borders of Israel.
In the past couple of months we witness a disturbing uprising in Palestinian terrorism within the borders of Israel. Almost every day, still, you hear on the news about yet another brutal attack, usually committed by a young Palestinian with a sharp object, stabbing Israeli civilians. In almost every attack, though, you hear about an Israeli "mob" that was nearby, saved the victim's life, and either wounded or killed the terrorist.
The new generation of Palestinian terrorists are, as I pointed out before, young, and lack experience. But somehow they are the biggest threat to Israel's security, as they are either work here, or live here (some of the terrorists were Israeli-Arabs.) These young men and women, operating the way they do – are the biggest challenge the Israeli Defense Forces now face.
On my last article, I wrote about how the IDF is equipping its units with cameras, so that they can show the real footage (not the one produced and carefully edited by Pallywood) from the field, and to learn from and handle any wrongdoing by our forces.
Now, the foreign press has a problem with such footage, as it's not coming from Pallywood, or from leftist Israeli organizations like "B'Tselem," who equip Palestinians with cameras, asking them to take footage of the IDF in the territories, and usually frame it in whichever way suits them.
So they make stuff of their own… 
Almost every Friday, we witness demonstrations by Palestinians and their supporters, along the Separation Fence and near the Palestinian villages. In many cases, after some Pallywood messengers taunt us soldiers in "demonstrations" things go out of hand, which means stones of Molotov Cocktails are being thrown. At this point, the entire area becomes a closed military zone. Then, we are forced to get things under control, which means using non-lethal riot control tools (tear gas and rubber bullets,) and the mob of "human rights activists" and journalists are required to clear the area. Sadly, in many cases- they refuse to evacuate.
This, right there, is the "money-time," with all cameras pointing at us, the soldiers, eager to track our every move, and catch us slipping up. 
Now imaging something like that happening to your soldiers, your brothers and sisters, your children, your parents. What country in its right mind would not see this situation as intolerable and would take every matter possible to eliminate the threat?! This is where the "when Israel does it- it's wrong" double standards kick in, and this is the moment the cameras just love to catch.
Now stop reading for a second, and let in sink – the cameras there are not meant to capture a reality, but to make a certain reality happen, at all cause.
As terror continues to strike Israel, you hear and read almost daily on the news about a "young Palestinian boy who was beaten or shot by an Israeli mob. You see images of a young man, holding merely a screwdriver or a knife, lying on the ground, bleeding. That's before he is taken away to get treatment at an Israeli hospital, after committing a terror attack. And the "mob" are Israelis who saw a fellow Israeli being attacked, and decided to take a risk and help out. This, by no means, make a terrorist the victim. And no, this can't be called "self-defense" in some cases and "Israel is a terrorist country" in others.
Thanks to the age of "CCTV On Every Smartphone," we can see in the current terror wave, almost instantly, videos of the terrorists during the attack, followed by the response of the public, or the armed forces. The truth is out there, but this doesn't stop the international media from altering it.
Honestly, it hurts me to see it, those big headlines depicting only parts of the truth. I find this very disturbing, knowing that people who read headlines of such, and, like many of us, believe in the integrity of the media, form an opinion about Israel and the IDF accordingly. This happens to us, soldiers, in the Palestinian Territories almost every day, and now it is happening to Israeli civilians as well – we are being framed as the terrorists, instead of the fighters against terror. What's even more disturbing, is that when it comes to any other country – the framing all of a sudden changes. This breaks my heart, as I am fighting, day and night, for my country's safety.  
I hope you keep this in mind the next time you open a newspaper…
Yours, Yoav.