Ramallah report unjustly vilifies Israelis

As an Israeli citizen, I am alarmed by the Palestinian propaganda machine, which has even made its way into the Daily in the form of Tzaporah Ryter’s “Eyewitness Report from Ramallah” (April 5).

Just like the Nazi party in World War II, the Palestinians have an office of propaganda. The office is responsible for covering up actions taken by Palestinians and directing foreign media toward Israeli Defense Force action. Examples of this include the hundreds of Palestinians executed by Yasser Arafat and his government when he came into office in order to destroy any opposition, and the foreign media members who have had their lives threatened if they show certain photographs.

Western nations know that in war with any Muslim nation, the governments of these countries crowd children and women inside weapons bunkers and hide weapons in hospitals. This is because if those buildings are attacked, CNN can take pictures of the damage and death and the West can be blamed. Palestinians deliver weapons from place to place in ambulances and usually send their children in front of their gunmen, just so Israeli soldiers are not able to shoot back.

These tactics are familiar to the West because of the Gulf War and the current war on terrorism in Afghanistan. Many United States and NATO missiles have hit civilians since these civilians were put in places where weapons are normally stored.

I was a soldier in the Israeli Air Force. The standard procedure for attacking any building from the air if civilians are present is as follows: First, the aircraft must fly at 5,000 feet above the target 3 times before engaging it. Second, the aircraft must shoot its cannon in the air to scare anybody away from the area. Third, only after the area has been cleared and reports from the ground have been reviewed, can the aircraft fire on the target.

This procedure is true for the ground forces as well. What Ryter describes is a violation of everything Israel holds dear. The Jewish people of Israel would never inflict the horrors of the Holocaust upon anyone else. Israel is built upon the principles of human rights.

What Ryter describes is most likely the writing of some government official or some other member of the propaganda office just doing his or her job.

Ryter starts many of her sentences with “A reportÖ” Where is this information coming from? An eyewitness reports what he or she sees, not what he or she hears from others. The fact is, Yasser Arafat is still alive – the Osama bin Laden of the Middle East has not been killed by Israel – even though he is the most dangerous.

In order for Israel to pull out of Palestinian-controlled areas, terrorism must stop. The killing of innocent children and women must stop. Why should Israel pull out when we are experiencing Sept. 11 on a daily basis? These Palestinians are the same ones who were dancing in the streets when the towers in New York came down.

I am asking you to take everything that is said in perspective. Watch the news, read the reports and form your opinion not only from what you see on television, but also from the history of the conflict. Most of all, consider the fact there is an office of propaganda trying to make the war on terrorism seem like a battle against innocent people.

Misinformation is one way for them to continue blowing themselves up and killing women and children.

Omri Fine is a business and psychology major in the Inter-College Program. Send comments to [email protected]