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'The Killing Zone'
Last uploaded : Thursday 22nd May 2003 at 23:26
Contributed by : The Editor



There has been a steady stream of anti-American and anti-Israel programmes peppering the screens of Europe but none in recent months has so enraged me as ?The Killing Zone? on Channel Four in the UK this week.

Here I am, a long-time supporter of Oslo and of the aims of Peace Now who has moved with steady pace to the right of this view since the slaughter of Josef Avrahami and Vadim Norzich in Ramallah on 12 October 2000, and I am reacting to the Channel Four special as if I am follower of Baruch Goldstein.

It is said that nothing brings a people together like massive attack. We saw this manifested in the United States after September 11, 2001, when I was reduced to childlike sobbing at the sight of Harlem schoolchildren singing ?God Bless America.? Likewise, the alAqsa Intifadah has inspired some of the most vicious and unfair rhetoric I have ever seen written about Israel in my lifetime, and this has only served to unite Jewish people around the world to the threat of burgeoning anti-Semitism, revival of ?Zionist conspiracy? theories and of unprecedented terrorism.

Still, as was depicted in ?The Killing Zone,? Jewish activists associated with the International Solidarity Movement are taking up the cudgel for the Palestinians. What is wrong with this? Nothing, say my non-Jewish British friends, colleagues and neighbours. Nothing, say my Jewish friends who detest the Sharon regime. However, the sight of an English Jewish activist swearing and generally being a rather ineffectual hysteric after the shooting of British activist Tom Hurndall during a gun battle in Gaza aroused my ire, to be polite. (What are these people doing there? Would they have lasted one minute in Saddam?s Iraq, Cuba or in North Korea?)

The blurb about the programme


states that American activist Rachel Corrie was crushed by an Israeli bulldozer. Other reports claim she was hit by a piece of falling concrete. Again, why was she there at all? If Israel is the barbaric, demonic nation the Left wishes to portray in specials such as these, why are these young people allowed to wander around Gaza? (Since the broadcast it has been reported that Israel is cracking down on the ISM and deporting activists. Good. And lucky them: in Iraq they would be tongue-less or worse.)

The film follows the activists on a sojourn in Gaza as the IDF tries to take on terror cells. The narrator, Sandra Jordan, in a breathless tone, tells us that a well-known Palestinian ?fighter? has been tracked down by the Israelis. Throughout the programme Israel comes across as a force worse than Robert Mugabe?s death squads. In the entire hour minuscule time is spent on Israel?s fight for survival but when a beleaguered IDF officer is interviewed he comes across as exhausted and gentle. I found this the only redeeming feature of the programme.

My moment of ?absolute rage? came when Sandra Jordan asserted that Palestinians shot in situations like that just suffered by Tom Hurndall will not be afforded treatment by Israel. She looks into the camera and in her semi-hysterical style gives the impression to viewers that Israel?s hospitals will not treat Palestinians.

It is to me just short of obscene to suggest that the Jewish State would refuse treatment of any person in a life-threatening condition. Yes, there have been instances in which roadblocks have led to tragedies but nowhere in the world is there a country so constantly under the threat of terror and military attack from her neighbours who still treats anyone in its hospitals.

When Joni Jesner was murdered by a suicide bomber last year, his family donated his organs, and an Arab life was saved. ORT, the Israeli charity, has for decades given millions ion aid to the Third World and does not differentiate amongst Muslim, Christian or other recipients.

With Great Britain under heightened Terror Alert it is iniquitous that Channel Four should air a programme that is, in our view, insightful and deeply biased. Never does the script mention the $300 million alleged to be held by Yasser Arafat in European banks. Never does the programme mention that the reason why Israel has suffered fewer fatalities in the Intifadah is because Israel?s strapped economy devotes a staggering sum to security protection. It is sickening that dinner companions in London love to spit at me the fact that ?so few Jews have died in this conflict? --- as if it is such an affront to them that not more Jew-baddies are slaughtered on a daily basis. If Israel drops its 24/7, 365-day-a year guard one minute you can bet there will be ten times as many dead Jews as Palestinians.

When I last visited Israel, suicide bombings were happening all over the country. However, I was reminded by my hosts that the ?big event of the year? was about to take place. What was it? A parade of young Israelis strapped with explosives? Jewish Girls marching and calling for Holy War? No, it was the annual Book Fair! I went, looking over my shoulder all the time. (The folks who lament that not more Jews are killed might like to know that if bombs aren?t killing us, the stress of constant fear will. Happy now?) The Book Far in Tel Aviv was teeming with kids. Some were toppling over from the weight of books. Little ones shouted ?Imma! Abba! ? as they piled book after book upon their tiny hands and parents scowled as they pulled out credit cards.

Here is a nation under siege -- and please, Channel Four, don?t try to make me believe that Israel is NOT under siege -- and yet its children from coast to coast burden themselves with books, not explosive belts.

It is time the major broadcasters began to examine the origins of Palestinian pain and stop blaming Israel for every woe suffered in the refugee camps. Throughout history when a Jew has been in need, our aid agencies have mobilised and done what they can to rescue us. It is appalling that Palestinians are allowed to live as they do with so little help from the mega-wealthy Muslim nations that surround Arafat?s empire.

Six million Jews have been annihilated once before but it will never happen again. Programmes like this, however, do make one feel that malice towards the Jew is at such a heightened state that we must be extra-vigilant, wherever we are in the world. That a television network can allow a programme to go out with questionable material espoused that can be used to enrage British terror cells leads one to believe that there is a sinister agenda afoot. Britain has given the world David Irving and Lady Birdwood. It has also given us George Galloway, Tom Paulin, Will Self, AN Wilson, Robert Fisk and Brian Sewell. Writers who do not criticise Israel but who rail against the tiny state with rhetoric that sends chills up my spine and who continue to draw salaries for such work unchecked make me wonder what direction Britain is taking.


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