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Col. Richard Kemp

Cari Dienstman

Col Richard Kemp: Hamas and ISIS- In World Today It's Not Possible For Israel To Withdraw Forces Significantly From West Bank

by Cari Dienstman , September 2, 2014


[Editor's note: On Sept 3, just after this article below was posted former commander of British forces in Afghanistan Col. (res.) Richard Kemp told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, that the
ratio of civilian to military casualties in Operation Protective Edge was only one-fourth of the average in warfare around the world. According to the Jerusalem Post Kemp noted that during the operation, there was approximately one civilian casualty for ever terrorist killed by the IDF, whereas the average in the world is four civilians for every combatant , and that, when taking into consideration Hamas’s use of human shields, this shows how careful the IDF is. “No army in the world acts with as much discretion and great care as the IDF in order to minimize damage. The US and the UK are careful, but not as much as Israel,” he told the committee.]




Col. Richard Kemp, the former commander of British troops in Afghanistan who gave a public lecture in Israel in July at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, has spoken out in support of Israel’s military tactics. He wrote a recent article in the British paper The Jewish Chronicle arguing that the West does not recognize Hamas’s true nature.





“Few seem able to comprehend that the very extremist ethos that drives the barbarians who are subjugating ever-expanding swathes of Iraq and Syria, and who threaten Jordan and Lebanon, also drives Hamas,” he writes. “The difference is not in the depth of religious fanaticism or the extent of bloodlust, it is only in current tactics.






“Consequently, the same political leaders, commentators and human rights groups that demand something must be done to curb the horrific excesses of the Islamic State are fostering its equivalent in Gaza. What Western governments cannot see, many governments in the Middle East can. Countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan understand that Hamas and all it stands for is a threat not just to Israel but also to them.”





“As Hamas continues to break ceasefire after ceasefire by launching rockets at Israel’s civilian population, the Israeli government will continue to respond with military force. It has no alternative – to defend its people and its territory is every government’s inalienable obligation. When civilians die as a result, world leaders should hold to account Hamas, the group that caused and willed these deaths, rather than instinctively pile ill-judged pressure on Israel.”





In a recent interview with David Horowitz, the editor of the Times of Israel, Kemp, who served in the British army for 29 years, and headed the International Terrorism and Iraq Team for the Joint Intelligence Committee of the British Cabinet Office was asked about a possible Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank. He responded. “But as the Gaza lessons show, how could Israel possibly come to any agreement with the Palestinian Authority which would allow them full sovereignty in the West Bank? Maybe in 20, 50 years. But in the world today, it’s not possible for Israel, with its security needs, to withdraw its forces significantly from the West Bank.”





The Allen Plan” — a proposal drawn up by General John Allen for Secretary of State John Kerry to provide security for Israel after a gradual West Bank withdrawal — “is a complete nonstarter and was from the very beginning,” Kemp told the Times of Israel.  He indicated that you cannot expect technology to secure the area or  expect Israel to rely on monitoring perhaps by American forces,  in a world with ISIS [ the Islamic State (terror group)].





Kemp, who in his later years of service, headed the International Terrorism and Iraq Team for the Joint Intelligence Committee of the British Cabinet Office also told the Times of Israel, “Even if your prime minister, any Israeli prime minister, wants to enable the PA to have a state without an internal Israeli military presence, they can’t. And will the PA accept an agreement on sovereignty with an Israeli military presence? Of course not.” So unless there’s a tectonic shift in the region, a political solution is “impossible.” (: A supportive British colonel, and a bleak vision of endless costly military operations | The Times of Israel )




In his lecture in Jerusalem, Kemp who also served as Chairman of the COBRA Intelligence Group and has handled global terrorist attacks, Kemp mentioned “four significant honors” he has received throughout his life. Two of these “honors” were abrasive insults that were addressed to him after he had made testimonials on Israel’s military involvements. The last two “honors” he received were in the form of terrorist threats against his life.



Kemp also addressed the “disgusting spectacle” made in the UN human rights council that took place on July 23rd, and the disgraceful resolution that was decided upon. Several who attended the council abstained from voting on the resolution, including Britain. According to Kemp, Britain’s lack of involvement demonstrates not only lack of empathy, but also stems from desire to avoid the issue altogether as a way to maintain influence over the growing Muslim community in the UK.



“They like to vote together. They don’t have the guts to vote on their own,” said Kemp.



Kemp noted that although many political leaders throughout the world have acknowledged Israel has a right to defend themselves, they also persistently advise Israel to take more care in preventing civilian casualties within Gaza. However, when Hamas strategically places civilians in harm’s way and goes to great lengths to ensure the death of innocent Gaza lives, it leaves Israel without any other options. In fact, the only other measure to take to ensure the least amount of civilian death is to not react at all, which , according to Kemp, may be the political agenda of some of these leaders.


Kemp addressed the suggestion by various media outlets that Israel has committed war crimes against Gaza.

“The concept of proportionality is not related in any way to relative casualty rates.” Kemp said.


In reality, the media should be accusing Hamas of committing perpetual war crimes against Israel, because unlike Israel Hamas targets civilians. Kemp noted there were far fewer deaths in Israel than there otherwise would have been thanks to the accuracy of the Iron Dome and other great efforts Israel has made to prevent civilian casualties.


Kemp said, “I was having a conversation the other day with some pilots that were flying into Gaza. They were saying that they would much rather spend every day aborting missions than having the blood of innocent civilians on my hands.”


Caralyn Dienstman is entering her third year of undergraduate school at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is currently studying Journalism and Hebrew, while being involved in Temple's student-run newscast where she serves as a producer and videographer.  After graduation Caralyn intends to make Aliyah and continue her studies within Israel.





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