The Fern Sidman Commentaries:
August 1st, 2006: "THE RESURGENCE OF ORWELLIAN IDEALS"
When George Orwell originally penned his classic novel "1984", I would venture a guess that neither he nor his
readers ever actually envisaged a world that would embrace these warped and twisted values. Fast forward to the
year 2006 and we are witness to a world that is being taunted with such strikingly similar values. We live in a
world where otherwise educated and civilized people perceive an aggressor as a victim and the victim as the
aggressor. Ideals and organizations that are predicated on a theology of terror and espouse a mantra of hate
have been elevated to a heroic like status. They have garnered sympathy and support, while the world expresses
its unabashed opprobrium towards concepts and countries that espouse justice and respect for life.
We need only look to the current crisis in the Middle East for qualification of the latest version of Orwellian
values. The organization known as Hezbollah, an internationally renowned terrorist organization that is being
sponsored by Iran and Syria, countries that espouse terrorism and the ultimate demise of Israel and the Western
world, staged an unprovoked attack against Israel on July 12th. Since that time, Israel and Hezbollah have been
embroiled in a war that raised the ire of the world. The Lebanese people have been used as human shields by
Hezbollah whose main objective is to transform the fledgling democracy in Lebanon into another fundamentalist
Hezbollah is a well organized and thoroughly trained band of guerilla fighters who fight their battles while
living in civilian populations and blending in with the civilian infrastructure. Since the inception of this
current conflict they have fired thousands of Katyusha rockets into Israel from civilian strongholds and
neighborhoods throughout southern Lebanon and in Beirut. Civilians are warned each and every time Israel
prepares to strike back at Hezbollah terrorists. Thousands of leaflets are disseminated through these civilian
areas, imploring all civilians to leave the area.
The recent incident in Qana, which aroused worldwide condemnation of Israel for the killing of 56 civilians,
mostly women and children, deserves closer examination. According to writer David Horowitz, "Qana, be it noted
was the source of 150 missile attacks on Israeli civilians, and the population of Qana was warned to leave but
chose to stay alongside the terrorists. Like most of Lebanon, the population of Qana is on the side of the
aggressors, and apparently like most Muslims in this part of the world, death for them is a badge of martyrdom
and honor, and a noble pathway to heaven. They are willing instruments of the Islamist jihad."
Further evidence of Hezbollah’s intent to place the Lebanese civilian population at risk has been revealed by
Israel Insider’s Reuven Koret, who filed on a report on 7/31/06 which stated, "On the morning of July 30,
according to the IDF, the air force came in three waves. In the first, between midnight and one in the morning,
there was a strike at or near the building that eventually collapsed. There was a second strike at other targets
far from the collapse building several hours later, and a third strike at around 7:30 in the morning. There too
the nearest hit was some 460 meters away, according to the IDF. But first reports of a building collapse came
only around 8 am."
Thus there was an unexplained 7 to 8 hour gap between the time of the helicopter strike and the building collapse.
Brigadier General Amir Eshel, Head of the Air Force Headquarters, in a press briefing, told journalists that "the
attack on the structure in the Qana village took place between midnight and one in the morning. The gap between
the timing of the collapse of the building and the time of the strike on it is unclear."
Gen. Eshel appeared genuinely mystified by the gap in time. He said, "I’m saying this very carefully, because at
this time I don’t have a clue as to what the explanation could be for this gap," he added.
The army’s only explanation was that somehow there was unexploded Hezbollah ordnance in the building that only
detonated much later.
"It could be that inside the building, things that could eventually cause an explosion were being housed, things
that we could not blow up in the attack, and maybe remained there," Brigadier General Eshel said.
Eshel reported that as recently as two days ago, military intelligence reported the building area had been used
by the terrorists for storage or firing of weapons. It was a bad place to cram dozens of women and children.
There are other mysteries. The roof of the building was intact. Journalist Ben Wedeman of CNN noted that there
was a larger crater next to the building, but observed that the building appeared not to have collapsed as a
result of the Israeli strike.
Why would the civilians who had supposedly taken shelter in the basement of the building not leave after the
post-midnight attack? They just went back to sleep and had the bad luck to wait for the building to collapse in
These are questions that have yet to be answered. Perhaps in the days that follow investigations of this incident
will uncover facts that Hezbollah would prefer to hide from the world. Hezbollah has already won the public
relations battle. They clearly have the United Nations in their corner, an international governmental body that
sits with bated breath at every opportunity to condemn Israel. They have the EU and the Arab countries on their
side. South American and Asian countries have chimed in with their vocal and strident condemnation of Israel as
Hezbollah has won the hearts and minds of the Lebanese people, however, in retrospect that wasn’t an arduous battle.
The Lebanese people have thrown their support behind Hezbollah as is evidenced in the composition of the Lebanese
parliament. Over 20 percent of the members of this parliament are Hezbollah representatives. The Lebanese people
never demanded that their government implement and enforce United Nations Security Council resolution 1559 issued
in the year 2000, which placed the responsibility of harnessing Hezbollah forces in the hands of the Lebanese
The Lebanese people, particularly the Shiitte population in southern Lebanon, view Hezbollah as a big, warm
and giving social service agency. Hezbollah has adroitly filled the stomachs of its constituents, fattening
them up, metaphorically speaking for the kill. For the beneficiaries of Hezbollah’s outreach and social service
programs are now being called upon to pay the piper. They pay with their lives and the lives of the children
as human shields for those who gained favor in their hearts for all the "goodness" that was bestowed upon them.
It is of no great revelation that we hear that Lebanese president Faud Siniora praised Hezbollah for its efforts
in defeating the Israeli enemy as he attempts to shore up even more support from the Lebanese population for
Hezbollah, thereby encouraging even more of them to die as martyrs to an organization that cares nothing for
them, their lives or the future of their children.
And yet we hear no sounds of outrage and indignation at the murderous policy of Hezbollah directed at the
Lebanese people. We hear of no raucous and explosive demonstrations directed at Hezbollah for placing the
lives of its own people in death’s doorway. Instead, we are deluged with condemnations and denunciations of
Israel’s military actions in Lebanon. We hear the world condemn Israel’s "disproportionate" response to the
constant barrage of Katyusha rockets that have rained down on Israeli cities and towns. We hear admonitions
directed at Israel to exercise self-restraint when attempting to defeat their hardened enemy that seeks its
As Charles Krauthammer stated in his article entitled, "'Disproportionate' in What Moral Universe?'"
(Washington Post, 7/28/06), "When one is wantonly attacked by an aggressor, one has every right — legal and
moral — to carry the fight until the aggressor is disarmed and so disabled that it cannot threaten one’s
Mr. Krauthammer goes on to state that, "The perversity of today’s international outcry lies in the fact that
there is indeed a disproportion in this war, a radical moral asymmetry between Hezbollah and Israel:
Hezbollah is deliberately trying to create civilian casualties on both sides while Israel is deliberately
trying to minimize civilian casualties, also on both sides.
Israeli innocents must die in order for Israel to be terrorized. But Lebanese innocents must also die in order
for Israel to be demonized, which is why Hezbollah hides its fighters, its rockets, its launchers, its entire
infrastructure among civilians. Creating human shields is a war crime. It is also a Hezbollah specialty.
Had Israel wanted to destroy Lebanese civilian infrastructure, it would have turned out the lights in Beirut
in the first hour of the war, destroying the billion-dollar power grid and setting back Lebanon 20 years.
It did not do that. Instead it attacked dual-use infrastructure — bridges, roads, airport runways — and
blockaded Lebanon’s ports to prevent the reinforcement and resupply of Hezbollah. Ten thousand Katyusha
rockets are enough. Israel was not going to allow Hezbollah 10,000 more."
Today the nation of Israel faces even more deadly attacks from the Hezbollah terrorists. Today the nation
of Israel, which represents the values of preserving human life, of upholding the loftiest of moral concepts
has been transformed into the world’s bogeyman. It is viewed as a giant and ruthless murder machine, which
displays a callous disregard for civilian lives. Today the nation of Israel is being raked over the proverbial
coals by a world possessed by Orwellian values. Bad is good, right is wrong, justice is injustice. The aggressor
is now the victim and the victim is now the horrific aggressor.
Mr. Orwell, wherever you are, we send you a message that your ominous vision has manifested itself. It is a
world gone mad, and all vestiges of morality and conscience are slowly and methodically becoming obsolete.
At this most frightening and difficult period in history, those of us left with a modicum of morality, ethics
and values must speak out. We must orchestrate a campaign to challenge the purveyors of Orwellian thoughts and
to neutralize their vitriolic and incendiary rhetoric.
It is indeed a dark moment in the history of the Jewish people and of the nation of Israel. Our values and ethos
must come from our unwavering faith and trust in the Almighty G-d of Israel. Our morals and values must be derived
from our G-d given sources of Torah. Our values must reflect the words of our prayers to G-d. Our morals and
values spring forth from the divine words of King David in the book of Psalms. It is time to rededicate ourselves
to serving our G-d with devotion and passion.
May the Almighty G-d of Israel protect His nation, Israel and may we see a world that can distinguish between
light and darkness and of right and wrong.
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