Western governments, including those in America, Britain and across the EU, are being urged to ban their citizens holding dual Israeli nationality from serving in the Israel Defence Forces. The call has been made after it was revealed that an estimated 5,000+ dual-nationality citizens are fighting with the IDF in the war against the people of Gaza.
The figure came to light after Western media reports mourned the death of such servicemen. Positive coverage, alleges the Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR), gives support to the Israeli government, which is the aggressor and occupier in Gaza responsible for the deaths of thousands of Palestinians.
The AOHR said that the IDF has admitted that 4 of its soldiers with US citizenship have been killed and named them as Max Steinberg, 24, from Los Angeles; Sean Carmeli, 21, from Texas; Jordan Bensemhoun, 22, from Lyon; and Guy Boyland from New Zealand. All four were in the feted Golani Brigade. Israel, it is claimed, has been pushing these soldiers to the front line deliberately because their deaths do not cause the same domestic uproar as those soldiers whose parents live in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Apart from the US and EU citizens (of which 100 are British), there are 150 South Africans serving in the IDF at the moment.
According to AOHR, the number of dual-nationality soldiers serving in the Israeli army as announced by a US organisation called Friends of the Israel Defence Forces is inaccurate and contradicts the figures released by Israeli sources. US media quoted the organisation as claiming that more than 750 US citizens serve in the IDF. Friends of the IDF is very active in the US and raises funds to support the Israeli occupation army. In March 2013 alone, it collected more than $27 million tax-free.
Many mercenaries are also recruited by Zionist organisations such as Sar-El, claimed AOHR. They serve in the IDF for short periods of one to six months, especially during holidays. Sar-El has more than 33 branches around the world. It has been pointed out that Western media praise such organisations without condemning the breaches of international laws and conventions committed by the IDF, including alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.
In a report published on the CNN website on 24 July, US soldier Daniel Flesch, 26, said that he joined the Israeli army in 2010. In a Skype interview during the Israeli attack on Gaza, he said that he wanted to actually fight back against those “who think Israel and the Jewish people should not exist.” He added that he joined the army to fight against what he perceived as a growing level of anti-Semitism in America. CNN did not even question the legality of serving in the Israeli army but instead invited all those who travel to serve in the Occupied Lands to “share” their stories with the station. The channel added that the figures of those who served in the Israeli army during the aggression on Gaza was not known for certain but was on the rise.
Britain’s Daily Mail has published very emotive stories and photographs of dual nationality soldiers killed in Israel’s war against civilians in the Gaza Strip. Critics note that they are regarded as heroes instead of soldiers in the service of a rogue state whose army has killed more than 1,300 Palestinian civilians and wounded thousands more, many of them women and children. None of the international reports about the deaths of such soldiers have questioned the morality or legal implications of people serving in an army responsible for alleged war crimes.
The AOHR accused the media of producing articles which encourage recruits to join the IDF. This, it claims, is unprofessional and makes the newspapers complicit in Israeli crimes.
The double standards of such journalism highlights the hypocrisy of governments which prosecute others, particularly Muslims, who go to fight for causes in other countries. The Daily Mail, noted the AOHR, often brands British citizens who go to fight in other countries as terrorists. Their homes are usually searched by security forces and other family members are arrested; some of the fighters have been put on trial upon their return to Britain and sentenced to lengthy prison terms. US citizens who fight for Israel are also treated very differently to those who choose to fight for causes unpopular with the US government. This, claimed the rights organisation, demonstrates that the US government approves of its citizens fighting in the Israeli army. It pointed out that former US peace envoy Martin Indyk actually served in the IDF himself; he is not alone among US officials in doing so.
The AOHR UK called upon the US and EU countries to close down the organisations which recruit citizens for service in the Israeli occupation army and bring back those citizens currently serving there. Should they refuse to return, they should be stripped of their citizenship, it insisted.