South Asia Has Few Jews, But Many Anti-Semites

Oct. 22 2014

Jews and Muslims have lived together in the Indian subcontinent for many centuries, and have often had close ties. India’s only Hebrew scribe, for instance, is a Muslim, as is the country’s only tombstone engraver in Hebrew. A devout Muslim is responsible for reviving the study of Hebrew at Indian universities. Elsewhere, however, there has been a rise in anti-Semitism, especially in Pakistan, and violent attacks, though rare, have not been limited to the murder of Daniel Pearl or the 2008 Mumbai attack. Anti-Semitism has also had diplomatic implications, writes Navras Jaat Aafreedi:

The Muslim antagonism toward Jews has also been a major influence on foreign policy in South Asia. It is for this reason that the policy has often been one of having relations with Israel secretly, not publicly, lest it provoke the general Muslim masses. Pakistan and Bangladesh still do not have diplomatic relations with Israel, though the Pakistani state has actually always maintained secret ties with Israel just as India did before the establishment of open diplomatic relations between the two states. While the Muslim factor alone would not suffice to explain Indian policy toward the Middle East, it did play a considerable role in some critical decisions taken by India. . . . It took India two years to recognize Israel and it did so only after both Shiite and Sunni countries had recognized Israel (Iran and Turkey). Former Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh was candid enough to admit during a state visit to Israel in July 2000 that Indian Muslim sentiment against Israel kept India from establishing diplomatic relations with Israel until 1992.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Bangladesh, Indian Jewry, Israel-India relations, Pakistan

No, Israel Hasn’t Used Disproportionate Force against Hamas

Aug. 15 2018

Last week, Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza launched nearly 200 rockets and mortars into Israel, in addition to the ongoing makeshift incendiary devices and sporadic sniper fire. Israel responded with an intensive round of airstrikes, which stopped the rockets. Typically, condemnations of the Jewish state’s use of “disproportionate force” followed; and typically, as Peter Lerner, a former IDF spokesman, explains, these were wholly inaccurate:

The IDF conducted, by its own admission, approximately 180 precision strikes. In the aftermath of those strikes the Hamas Ministry of Health announced that three people had been killed. One of the dead was [identified] as a Hamas terrorist. The two others were reported as civilians: Inas Abu Khmash, a twenty-three-year-old pregnant woman, and her eighteen-month daughter, Bayan. While their deaths are tragic, they are not an indication of a disproportionate response to Hamas’s bombardment of Israel’s southern communities. With . . . 28 Israelis who required medical assistance [and] 30 Iron Dome interceptions, I would argue the heart-rending Palestinian deaths indicate the exact opposite.

The precision strikes on Hamas’s assets with so few deaths show how deep and thorough is the planning process the IDF has put in place. . . . Proportionality in warfare, [however], is not a numbers game, as so many of the journalists I’ve worked with maintain. . . . Proportionality weighs the necessity of a military action against the anguish that the action might cause to civilians in the vicinity. . . . In the case of the last few days, it appears that even intended combatant deaths were [deemed] undesirable, due to their potential to increase the chances of war. . . .

The question that should be repeated is why indiscriminate rocket fire against Israeli civilians from behind Gazan civilians is accepted, underreported, and not condemned.

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More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, IDF, Israel & Zionism, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict