Sunday, August 3, 2014

Gaza’s Civilian Casualties: The Truth Is Very Different. By Richard Kemp.

Gaza’s Civilian Casualties: The Truth Is Very Different. By Richard Kemp. Gatestone Institute, August 3, 2014.

Colonel Richard Kemp Stresses Israel isn’t a War Criminal. By Rachel Avraham. Jerusalem Online, August 6, 2014.

Avraham with quotes from Kemp: 

Colonel Richard Kemp has developed a reputation as a man who speaks his mind and stands up for the truth, even if it goes against the conventional wisdom. According to Kemp, after making a public stance against the Goldstone Report charade at the UN, a female ambassador from a Muslim majority country told him that he would go to hell for what he stated.  Gerry Adams of the IRA referred to Kemp as bloodthirsty and the Al Shabab terrorist organization has Kemp on their wanted list. He has had rockets fired at him.

Kemp wears all of this opposition as a badge of honor. As former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once stated, “You have enemies? Good! That means that you stood up for something in your life.” Due to such a background and in spite of British public support for the Palestinians, Colonel Kemp doesn’t hesitate to express the reality as he sees it related to Operation Protective Edge.

“I’d like to ask the world, what would Great Britain do if they were in a similar situation? I can tell you what Britain would do and did in 1943, when Nazis sent unguided missiles at British cities. We immediately sent a bombardment and dropped 600 aircrafts full of explosives. 763 civilians died. The most important concern was for British civilians,” Kemp explained.

Colonel Kemp noted that the Nazis only sent 100 missiles per day to Great Britain. To the contrary, Hamas has sent on average 130 missiles to Israel every day since the operation began. While Israel tries to minimize civilian deaths, Great Britain “did not care about the enemy civilians. We would have done that with just one rocket,” Kemp emphasized.

Colonel Kemp stated that a UN panel has decided upon having a Goldstone 2 and the EU abstained “to our shame. Cameron spoke out against Hamas. His actions undermine his words. It’s a travesty. Another UN school was hit and the UN Secretary General called Israel criminal. I don’t know who was killed, but according to international law, if there is reason to believe that there is a rocket launcher or another security threat there, the action is protected under the Geneva Convention.”

“Proportionality doesn’t refer to how many killed,” Kemp stressed. The fact that more Palestinians were killed than Israelis during Operation Protective Edge is irrelevant from an international legal perspective. “One can hit it depending on the threat posed verses the number of civilians killed. How great a threat can a rocket of theirs pose? One cannot assume that it will be thwarted by the Iron Dome. It is left to be an abstract idea from the commander and it is not related to any number. One can kill 100 to save the life of one Israeli.”

“From what I’ve been briefed, the IDF does not deliberately target civilians. The IDF didn’t commit war crimes. If civilians are accidently killed, it’s not a war crime. The IDF has even gone further than the Geneva Convention,” Kemp emphasized. “In one particular incident, 17 missions were aborted to save innocent civilians and in the end, they gave up on the mission. The pilot said he could not live with the fact that innocent civilians were killed on his conscious. Another soldier stated that he would rather die than to kill innocent civilians.” Kemp stressed that these two soldiers are not isolated incidents, but represent routine IDF policy regarding avoiding civilian causalities.

“You don’t find that in many armies. Israeli forces have taken greater steps than anyone else in the history of warfare to save the lives of innocent civilians. The conduct of the IDF is the opposite of its image,” Kemp noted. He also stated that these humane feelings from IDF soldiers exist because Israel has a universal draft that takes every citizen into the army as a “way of life” instead of recruiting people voluntarily that has a natural inclination to fight.

To the contrary, Hamas fires rockets indiscriminately into civilian areas from heavily populated civilian areas, kidnaps and builds tunnels into a foreign country to kidnap more, uses mosques and schools to store rockets and missiles, breaks humanitarian ceasefires, utilizes child soldiers, fires at Israel’s international airport, which according to Kemp, are all war crimes.

While stressing that many people in Great Britain are anti-Israel due to the BBC and Sky News’ coverage of the Gaza conflict, he stressed that “British soldiers are different. We studied the tactics of the IDF and admire them.” In fact, the three militaries that the British military loves the most are the French Foreign Legion, the US Marines, and the IDF. He emphasized that Israeli medical and warfare technology saved the lives of many British soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Additionally, Great Britain’s policy on how to deal with suicide bombings is based on advice given to them by an Israeli expert.

Kemp noted that while UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon calls Israel “criminal” and Obama believes that Israel should do more to prevent civilian deaths, he noted that neither of them have offered Israel any solutions to prevent civilian deaths more than they presently are. “If they know, tell us. They are encouraging Hamas’ policy of human shields because they are reacting the way that Hamas wants them to when civilians die because of the propaganda value. They are also encouraging Hezbollah and extremists worldwide to adopt that method. This is going to lead to the deaths of many innocents.”