credibility gap

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    Credibility Gap
    Bruce S. Ticker
    02 July 2003

    They actually think we should take them seriously.

    First, that would be the “peace activists” for the International Solidarity Movement. An ISM spokesman on Thursday pretty much accused the Israeli military of lying about the death of Rachel Corrie.

    Then, there are representatives of the European community, who this week actually tried to justify European funding of Hamas.

    They should collaborate on a book, which could be titled How to Utter Distortions About Terrorism With a Straight Face.

    The Associated Press reported that Israeli soldiers were exonerated Thursday by a military prosecutor in the 23-year-old Corrie’s death. The Olympia, Washington, resident died on March 16, when she was crushed by an army bulldozer in Gaza. She was trying to block the demolition of the house of a doctor in the Rafah refugee camp by standing in front of a bulldozer.

    ISM members immediately claimed the bulldozer driver deliberately ran her over. Whatever happened to the concept of presumed innocent until proven guilty?

    The group had said in a statement, “When the bulldozer refused to stop or turn aside, (Corrie) climbed up onto the mound of dirt and rubble being gathered in front of it… to look directly at the driver, who kept on advancing.”

    The army said in its ruling that the driver did not see Corrie as she was standing behind a mound of earth. Military police investigating the case found the soldiers operating the bulldozer did not intend to hurt her, the army said in a statement, according to the AP.

    In response, Ghassan Andoni of the ISM said, “We have received so many negative signals from them. Their only concern is to protect their people and not arrive at the truth.”

    Maybe Andoni is right. Maybe the Israeli military is covering up. Maybe the bulldozer operator lied to military police and they simply could not prove malice. I sense that the death was accidental, but no matter what chance there is of intent, there is a catch:

    I don’t believe a word Adoni says, nor do I believe anything that other ISM members would say.

    These are people who deliberately disrupt military activities, which could easily intensify situations that are already dangerous. They call themselves “peace activists,” yet they dedicate themselves solely to helping people on one side. When have they ever done anything to help Israeli victims of terrorism?

    No matter what the truth is, how can troublemakers like these be believed on their word alone?

    The day before the soldiers were exonerated, U.S. President George W. Bush called on European leaders to seal off the financial lifeline to Hamas, the leading terrorist group that kills people in Israel. This begs the question: Why are Europeans handing Hamas any money at all?

    According to a New York Times account, the political wing of Hamas is not on the European Union’s terrorist list, so it therefore can receive money. The murder wing… er, military wing… of Hamas is on the EU’s terrorist list. A European official, anonymously quoted in the Times, declared, “We don’t want to target the school director when it’s the terrorists we’re after.”

    First, that school director probably teaches these kids to hate Israel and murder all Jews. More importantly, how do we know that money is not being diverted to that murder… sorry, I mean military… wing of Hamas?

    How do they make sure that this money is properly accounted for?

    Also anonymously quoted in the Times is a French diplomat, who said, “We want to push them (Hamas) in the right direction.”

    That begs yet another question: How many Jews and others must die until they “push them in the right direction”?

    So much for credibility.
    Bruce Ticker is a freelance writer and former journalist living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He can be reached at [email protected]

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