Colonel Bentzi Gruber spreads misinformation at Brooklyn College

By Sky
May 9
th
, 2014

Yesterday afternoon, (May 8th) I attended a lecture by Colonel Bentzi Gruber called
"Ethics in the IDF" hosted by the New York State Israel Public Affairs Committee
(NYSIPAC) an extension of AIPAC, the Israel Club and the Zionist Organization of America
(ZOA), a group that opposes a two state solution.

In this lecture, Colonel Gruber made statements and I quote "The humanitarian crisis in
Gaza is a lie" and "We [the IDF] did never, never use white phosphorus in Operation Cast
Lead, the navy only fired 3 shells" These statements are entirely false and inaccurate.

I want to take this opportunity to state the facts and clear all the misinformation Col.
Gruber presented at the event. I would also like to point out that his PowerPoint
presentation did not include any sources at all. This article on the other hand contains
information from credible sources such as the UN, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty
International and various Israeli and Palestinian NGOs.

On the Humanitarian crisis in Gaza - Israel imposed an illegal blockade on the Gaza Strip
on June 2007. Israel controls what and who goes in and out of the Gaza Strip including
all borders, land, sea and air space, which amounts to collective punishment, a violation
of international law under Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. 44 percent of
Gazans are food-insecure and about 80 percent are aid recipients. 38 percent of the
population lives below the poverty line. 75 percent of households polled by the World
Food Programme in the Gaza Strip received outside aid. 35 percent of Gaza’s farmland
and 85 percent of its fishing waters are totally or partially inaccessible due to Israeli
imposed restrictions. Some 90 million liters of untreated and partially treated sewage
are dumped in the sea each day. Over 90 percent of the water from the Gaza aquifer is
unsafe for human consumption without treatment.

On Operation Cast Lead - On Dec 27, 2008, Israel launched a massive 22-day military
assault on the Gaza Strip. According to investigations by independent Israeli and
Palestinian human rights organizations, between 1,385 and 1,419 Palestinians were
killed during Cast Lead, a majority of them civilians, including at least 308 minors under
the age of 18. More than 5000 more were wounded. Thirteen Israelis were killed,
including 3 civilians. The UN found that 3,540 houses were completely destroyed, and
another 2,870 sustained severe damage. More than 20,000 people, many of them
already refugees from 1948 and 1967 were made homeless. Attacks on Gaza's electrical
plant caused an estimated $10 million in damage. According to the UN Relief Works
Agency (UNRWA), which provides services to Palestinian refugees, the attack damaged
107 UNRWA installations. Eighteen schools, including 8 kindergartens, were destroyed,
and at least 262 others damaged. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch
found that Israeli forces repeatedly targeted ambulances and medical crews, killing
several medical workers while they were attempting to rescue the wounded and
recover the dead. Contrary to Col. Gruber’s statement that the “Israeli navy only fired 3
shells,” Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the Goldstone Report found
that Israel extensively used white phosphorus in densely populated areas.

I am appalled at the fact that while Brooklyn College administration tries to silence SJP
from raising awareness about Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians, they allow an
individual responsible for these crimes to come speak on campus. Not only did he lie
about the reality of the situation in Palestine, he denied the existence of a humanitarian
crisis in Gaza and called all Palestinian students liars. I encourage everyone wanting to
learn about the issue to visit Palestine and see reality for themselves. To read the full
reports of the facts mentioned above, visit www.brooklynsjp.com.You can also find us
on facebook.com/brooklynsjp.