By Lee Kaplan
Benjamin Disraeli once said "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” Perhaps this is what attracted PhD candidate Assaf Oron to the Department of Statistics at Washington State University (http://www.stat.washington.edu/assaf/ ).
Oron’s claim to fame as yet another Israeli academic supporting the Palestine revolution abroad against Israel is that he is one of the original 53 “refuseniks” who signed a petition refusing to serve in the IDF because of the “occupation.” Oron likes to write about his refusal to do his reserve duty in the IDF by attacking the entire Israeli army, not just the political aspects of his opinions. Of course, it is doubtful he would be doing his reserve duty anyway as an Israeli expatriate ensconced in an American university in Seattle where he is not subject to jail for his “resistance.”
Assaf Oron also likes to claim that Israeli soldiers beat innocent Arabs for no reason at all
to be macho and describes women in the IDF as tearing open mattresses belonging to
Arabs “with glee” at the checkpoints. One has to wonder if Assaf Oron ever expressed glee when those girls in the IDF found a bomb in a mattress that could have killed his fellow Israelis? As for his claims that IDF soldiers beat Arabs for fun, the IDF is so media conscious that soldiers that engage in abuse are court-martialed and disciplined regularly.
The name “refuseniks” is actually a bastardization of the term used to describe other Israelis like Natan Sharansky who served time in Gulags in Russia as persecuted Jews not allowed to emigrate from the Soviet Union. The radical Left that seeks Israel’s destruction is masterful at using doublespeak to define its movements and efforts. Its members who support and suborn terrorist killers are “peace activists,” its acolytes who support pan-Arab nationalism or Islamic exclusionism against Jews are “against racism” while embracing racism against Jews, and the use of the word “resistance” is the favored euphemism for killing the Jews and keeping the war on Israel roiling forever. To these ends, Assaf Oron functions as a mouthpiece who dedicates himself to denigrating the entire Israeli army for protecting the people of Israel.
The Refuseniks Movement, just like Assaf Oron, always seeks to inflate statistically its activities and numbers for political gain while masquerading as benefiting society.
Indeed, Assaf Oron has written how this movement has “grown,” now totaling about 1,300 signatories to a petition of those refusing to serve in the IDF (the real number is probably 639 as many never really participated in the IDF after high school). One “statistic” that the “refusers” avoid is that Israel’s army, including reservists, stands at about 500,000 men and women. So the entire number of refuseniks is about one tenth of one percent of the IDF as a whole. Their original Combatant’s Letter maintained that the Israeli “occupation of Gaza” was not protecting the people of Israel or their families back home. However, anyone who follows the events since the Israel completely withdrew from Gaza and knows about the thousands of missiles fired into schools and day care centers in Sderot in the Negev, can see the logic of such “refusers” like Assaf Oron. Nevertheless, the Movement still attacks the Israeli government and accuses the IDF of atrocities against the Arabs any time the IDF takes defensive actions.
Israel’s army is an institution where everyone serves, unlike America’s all volunteer force. As such, your average college-based communist, anarchist or general malcontent gets drafted. Once inside the military, it’s not a life threatening issue to refuse to serve
and the uniform can even be used to lend credibility. Assaf Oron bases his attacks on the IDF because as a former member of the Givati Brigade he allegedly saw incidences of hazing of troops by other troops within units he was assigned as a non-commissioned officer. While hazing is common in military-style institutions full of young men (anyone who has endured a high school gym class no doubt has stories) one has to question Oron’s leadership abilities as a sergeant-major who admits he engaged in such activities himself, yet lacked the leadership qualities to prohibit it. In addition, he claims that while serving in the occupied territories he “abused” the Arab population as a normal procedure along with his fellow soldiers. Now he blames the entire IDF for these alleged abuses he admits to participating in.
In the IDF, officers are responsible for leading their men in battle and as a unit. In combat officers are expected to be out in front of their troops and due to this policy Israeli officers usually have the highest rates of casualties in battle unlike in the American and other militaries. Assaf Oron exhibits the narcissism of anti-Israel Israelis who will accuse the Jewish state of alleged (and in many cases fabricated) human rights abuses totally ignoring Arab atrocities against Israelis or even criticizing the same.
For Assaf Oron, “abusing” Arabs and his fellow soldiers while he was in the IDF was acceptable because he felt it was OK then, something he could have “refused” to do while in the IDF as a leader. He chose not to. Once he decided to no longer serve to protect the people of Israel, it became equally acceptable for him to voice the rhetoric of Arab propaganda and claim the IDF is rotten to the core, despite the fact that, given the obligations of inexperienced 18 year-olds to control borders and checkpoints where jihadist serial killers seek to enter Israel, the IDF’s behavior has actually been exemplary.
The checkpoints have to deal with ambulances that transport explosives and terrorists that the other side likes to claim are pregnant women miscarrying due to delays. It is just this type of misrepresentation that Oron is glad to present on a US college campus where being against Israel is now considered to be “progressive” and can also advance one’s academic opportunities in an atmosphere dominated by anti-Israel rhetoric fueled by anti-Semitism and Arab petrodollars.
This is the real face of Assaf Oron. He wasn’t about to try and change the IDF to make it a superior force, but must embrace those who the IDF seeks to stop killing Israelis by claiming the entire IDF is made up of bad apples like himself who were “forced” to be bad apples but bear no personal responsibility. On top of this, he profits from it both professionally and socially at Washington State University and in the Leftist media (he posts a column at the virulently anti-Israel Daily Kos where he claims to fight racism while supporting Arab irredentists and their racism against Jews in Israel).
One has to wonder why Assaf Oron mentions on his personal website he began his career with Intel at Qiryat-Gat in Israel. According to the Qiryat Gat community’s website (http://www.intel.com/jobs/israel/sites/qiryat-gat.htm), it was “founded in 1955 as the capital of the Lakhish region, is the heart of an extraordinarily successful settlement. The population has grown to about 48,000. Qiryat Gat's industrial expansion includes major enterprises such as textiles, cotton and sugar processing. Qiryat Gat is located near the Ben-Gurion University.”
Qiryat-Gat is really no different than any Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) that Assaf Oron thinks are not deserving of protection by the IDF.
Meanwhile, Palestinian propaganda falsely claims that that community was “stolen” by Jews and ethnically cleansed in 1948, being originally the Arab village of Al-Faluja (http://www.palestineremembered.com/Gaza/al-Faluja/index.html). While Al-Faluja was a nearby village in 1948 to Qiryat-Gat (not in the same spot) with an alleged population of 5,400 Arabs, the Palestinian Arabs now claim there are over 33,000 Arab “refugees” from Qiryat-Gat that really belongs to the Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed!!! Qiryat-Gat was set up by the UN as part of the state of Israel .
Of course, such claims by the Palestinian Arabs are what are used to justify Arab terrorism against Israelis, something the people of Israel rely on the IDF to protect them from.
One has to wonder at Assaf Oron’s lack of concern for the community he came from. It’s OK to mention Intel’s presence there as a reference to advance his background and career, but he doesn’t mind attacking the IDF that protects that community from Arabs who would gladly fire missiles into it from Gaza. While he served in the Givati Brigade, he seems to have never served in serious combat and sought to avoid service at checkpoints where he was at risk of being killed by bombs or terrorists to protect others, yet likens himself to the young Chinese man who faced down a tank at Tiananmen Square (who was executed as a result). Such comparisons with Israel’s democracy and the Chinese dictatorship while Assaf Oron defends the totalitarians in the Palestinian Authority are extremely self-serving and scholastically bankrupt.
As such, such comparisons reveal the truth about the sensitive “human rights” morals of Assaf Oron. Can anyone seriously believe that Assaf Oron would run to Israel to fight as a reservist if the Arabs invaded his hometown from Gaza to inside the Green Line from 1948? Not likely.
Talk about narcissism.