Colonel Kemp: “The IDF is the World’s Most Moral Army”


Retired Colonel Richard KempAfter Amiram Levin stressed in an interview with Channel 2 News that the IDF needs criticism and spoke out in favor of the radical left wing extremist group Breaking the Silence, it is critical to note that not everyone agrees with Levin’s assessment about the IDF and that one of the people that disagrees with his point of view is a famous British colonel. British Colonel Richard Kemp hinted recently in a youtube clip that the IDF does not deserve the criticism that it is presently getting from organizations like Breaking the Silence: “There are two views on the Israeli military, what you hear in most of the media and the truth. I am going to tell you the truth. I was the commander of British Forces in Afghanistan. I have fought in combat zones across the world including in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Macedonia and Iraq. I was also present throughout the conflict in Gaza in 2014. Based on my experience and my observations, the IDF does more to safeguard the rights of civilians in combat zones than any other army in the history of warfare.”

According to Colonel Kemp, the IDF does more to preserve the lives of civilians in Gaza than the US and Great Britain did in Afghanistan and Iraq. He lists a number of reasons for this: “Firstly, Israel is a decent country with Western values run on democratic principles. Israel has no more interest in war than Belgium does. In fact, Israel has never started a war. The only reason that it ever goes to war is in order to defend itself. And it has to defend itself because unlike Belgium, it is surrounded by countries and armed groups that want to destroy it. Secondly, Judaism, with its unsurpassed moral standards, remains a major influence upon the citizens of Israel. I say this as a non-Jew. Thirdly, the army is composed overwhelmingly by citizen soldiers. Israel is a small country with a small professional army. To fight a war, it depends upon its conscripts and reservists. These are ordinary citizens. From professors to plumbers, they are called upon to defend their homes. They don’t want to be fighting and they don’t want to harm others.”

Kemp believes that there was no conflict that proved this to be the case better than Operation Protective Edge: “If ever there was a purely defensive war, this was it. The war was started by Hamas, the terror organization designated as such by the US State Department that runs the Gaza Strip. In the first six months of 2014, Hamas launched hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilians after repeated warnings from Israel to stop. The Israeli Air Force finally conducted precision strikes to halt the rocket fire and the IDF advanced into Gaza in order to destroy a network of terror tunnels that Hamas had constructed to attack Israeli communities near the Gaza border. The IDF took extraordinary measures to give Gazan citizens notice of targeted areas, dropping millions of leaflets, broadcasting aerial messages, sending texts, and making tens of thousands of phone calls. Let me repeat that. The Israelis called Gazans on their cellphones and told them to leave their residences and move to safety. Never in the history of warfare has an army phoned its enemy and told them where they were going to drop their bombs. Many IDF missions that could have taken out mass military capabilities were aborted to prevent civilian causalities, increasing the risk to Israeli citizens and soldiers.”

While noting that there were still civilians killed in that conflict like in all other wars, Kemp believes that these instances were mistakes and not the war crimes that organizations like Breaking the Silence claim that they were: “Mistakes are not war crimes. Hamas on the other hand committed war crimes as official government policy. Hamas deliberately positioned its military assets among the civilian population, hiding weapons in schools and hospitals and placing rocket launchers alongside apartment buildings. They then forced those civilians to stay in areas that they knew would be attacked. They told their people to report the lie that every Gazan killed was a civilian even if they were actually fighters. Even if there were no civilian deaths, Hamas made them up. Numerous websites showed Palestinians elaborating staging sniper victims and smashed ambulances among other phony horrors. It is so common that there is even a term for it: Pallywood as in Palestinian Hollywood.”

“Ironically, it is the leaders of Hamas itself who best understand the extraordinary measures the IDF will take to protect civilians,” Kemp related. “They take full advantage of Israel’s decency and adherence to the laws of war. No army takes such risks in order to protect civilians as the Israeli Army does. I say this as a professional soldier. I say it because it is true.”

Jerusalem Online

{ Israel}