Letter to The Chicago Tribune
by Ivan Rabinowitz

Written to The Chicago Tribune, April 2, 2020 in response to an op-ed piece by Gidon Remba.

Gidon Remba's remarks in his recent op-ed to your paper are breathtakingly hypocritical.  He ignores the fact that as of April 2, 2020 the Israeli "Defense Force" has killed 426 Palestinians and injured 14,000 including 1500 with permanent disabilities.  As for this last category of 1500, many of these victims will die in the medium term while in the meantime their families are supposed to cope emotionally and financially with a slowly dying relative.  Palestinian guerillas with far fewer, cruder and lighter weapons have killed 64 Israeli Jews.  The Israeli embassy website and other sites I searched do not mention number of injured.  I assume the number of injured Israeli Jews is far far lower than the number of Palestinians injured.  I mention this fact not to construct an algebra of homocide and injury but to point out the fact that the Israeli government has an absurdly high level of military advantage relative to Palestinian guerillas.

I and many others who support the struggle of the Palestinian people for self-determination do not support Yasser Arafat's politics vis a vis Hamas or the repression of Palestinian activists under Arafat's Palestinian Authority for that matter.  However, it should also be pointed out that the Israeli government that Mr. Remba worked for, has supported Hamas organizationally while the same Israeli government worked to destroy the PLO, which has advocated a secular democratic state.

In regards to Sharon, he was found to be "indirectly responsible" by the Israeli government's Kahan comission for the mass murders at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps when Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982.  Remba may not remember that Sharon was forced to step down from his position as Defense Minister because the outcry in Israel was so great.

When complaining about Palestinian killings of Israelis, look first at the piles of bodies that have been created by war criminals like Sharon to expand the boundaries of Israel and to ethnically cleanse areas where offending gentiles live.

If Mr. Remba was honest he would admit that the Israeli government has controlled the water resources, borders, economy etc of the occupied territories from 1967 to the present and is now conducting a murderous seige of these territories.  No person, Palestinian or otherwise, is going to let a foreign occupying power grind them down and murder their loved ones without offering resistance, albeit resistance that begins with stones and kalishnikovs against trained snipers, tanks, U.S. manufactured Apache helicopters, etc.  Israel's right to live in peace and security?  Israel has the fifth largest army in the world with nuclear capability, far exceeding any other middle-eastern country in the region.  Give me a break.

Settlements are not Israeli territory.  They are occupied lands stolen from the Palestinians.  Give the territory back, stop bulldozing homes and olive trees, pay reparations and the troubles will greatly diminish.

The land-for-peace formula has been unbalanced.  The formula has created isolated bantustans where Palestinian water is controlled by the Israeli government for the benefit of the settlers to the detriment of the Palestinians.

Remba's final pious mouthings about honoring the rights of Israel and winning the trust of its people is astounding hypocrisy.  Are Palestinians shelling Israeli neighborhoods on a daily basis?  Are the Palestinians pushing Israel to the brink of starvation through use of a seige?  Are the Palestinians using trained snipers on a mass scale to kill, maim and inflict long-term fatal injuries?

Remba's moral foundation is as rotten as the lies that come from his pen.