by Eli Stutz
In an op-ed that appears today in the Wall Street Journal, Deputy Minister Ayalon had harsh words for an international community which berates Israel for its actions, while ignoring similar actions by other countries in a multitude of conflicts.
Vividly describing a brutal attack on a Palestinian refugee camp where 500 people were killed, Ayalon writes, “While most will assume that the events described above took place in the West Bank or Gaza, they actually took place in Lebanon in the summer of 2007, when Palestinian terrorists attacked the Lebanese Army, which struck back with deadly force.”
Ayalon highlights the fact that when Israel is not involved, the world is silent. “At the time, there was little international outcry,” he writes. “No world leader decried the ‘prison camps’ in Lebanon. No demonstrations took place around the world; no U.N. investigation panels were created and little media attention was attracted. In fact, the plight of the Palestinians in Lebanon garners very little attention internationally.”
According to Ayalon, there are more than 400,000 Palestinians in Lebanon, lacking basic resources and deprived of their rights. And therefore, he writes, “It is the height of irony that a Lebanese flotilla is organizing to leave the port of Tripoli in the next few days to bring aid to Palestinians in Gaza.”
Ayalon goes on to expose the truth about Gaza, that instead of being a poverty-stricken region with a major humanitarian crisis, its markets are actually brimming with food. “This is the same Gaza that just opened a sparkling new shopping mall that would not look out of place in any capital in Europe. Gaza, where a new Olympic-sized swimming pool was recently inaugurated and five-star hotels and restaurants offer luxurious fare.”
All this comes to expose the hypocrisy of the flotilla missions, says Ayalon. “Whether it is from Turkey, Ireland or Cyprus, those that participate in these flotillas reek of hypocrisy.”
Ayalon’s senior advisor, Ashley Perry, explained Ayalon’s motivation for the article to Israel National News. “The purpose was to expose the hypocrisy of many of the so-called human rights activists who try single out our conflict and Israel from the many conflicts around the world,” said Perry.
“The flottila exposes something we aways knew, but just makes it more obvious. The Lebanese perpetrated injustices against its own Palestinians, and have left them in second class status. It really exposes the hypocrisy of the whole flotilla exercise.”
Ayalon and Foreign Minister Avigdor Leiberman have stated in recent months that now is the time for Israel to stop being defensive and to go on the offensive when it comes to international PR. Ayalon’s piece in the Wall Street Journal appears to be a step in that direction.