New article from Germany about the JIDF

People can find it here. While we're somewhat happy that some of the issues are getting out there, we were saddened to see a lot of the point lost through inaccurate quotes (some of which were taken from Facebook groups which might not have been from us,) non-use of the commentary we gave them regarding "thereligionofpeace.com" and also the twisting of our views on the crisis in the Middle East. They also quoted some random Facebook people (a nameless Israeli woman, and a guy named "Johnny") who made nasty comments there, and who are not associated with the JIDF (though the article makes it appear that way).

Here is our original response in full with regard to two turning points (out of five) for the JIDF:

The rise of the 2nd Intifada in September 2000

The catalyst to the creation of the JIDF was the Second Intifada, when Jews were being terrorized daily in Israel. Concurrently, the propaganda and lies of our enemies resulted in reactionary pressure from the U.S. and the international community that forced Israel to enter into unfeasible, unattainable, and impractical concessions of land in exchange for false promises of "peace." This policy, of rewarding terrorism with land concessions (Land for "Peace") only encouraged additional attacks and worsened the security situation in Israel, and resulted in needless loss of life. The JIDF began its email campaigns
The disengagement from Gush Katif (Gaza) in August 2005
By 2003, Sharon's announcement of his plans for "unilateral withdrawal," the JIDF had enough, and a group of us intensified our efforts online. In 2005 many of those involved with the JIDF were outspoken against the disengagement from Gush Katif and rallied Jews and non-Jews around the people who have since been expelled from their homes in Gush Katif and North Samaria. The JIDF launched mass web-based campaigns and JIDF email campaigns continued.
Furthermore, here is the question and answer to Mr. Gunkel's "religionofpeace.com" question and another about our views on the conflict in the Middle East:

FAZ: The JIDF is leading a fight against anti-Israeli hatred. But the JIDF is also linking to anti-Muslim websites like TheReligionofPeace that is not really promoting mutual understanding. One could also argue that this site is spreading hatred to a certain extent. Is this not problematic and a kind of double moral standard?

JIDF: The JIDF is not spreading hatred. We are spreading the understanding of hatred and how far-reaching it actually is. We can either pretend that the anti-Jewish and anti-West violence coming from the Mosques and Islamic leaders of Muslim world is entirely unrelated to Islam and its teaching or we can face reality. Contrary to the promotion of hatred and violence we see online and the actual violence we see all over the world in the name of Islam, the JIDF is a non-violent protest group.

Pointing out the fact that Islamic terrorists have carried out (at the time of the interview) 11,871 deadly terrorist attacks in the name of Islam since 9/11 is promoting mutual understanding.

Understanding that these same problems exist all over the world, including (from the site you mentioned): "Iraq, India, the Sudan, Algeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel, Russia, Chechnya, the Phillippines, Inodonesia, Nigeria, England, Thailand, Spain, Egypt, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Turkey, Morocco, Yemen, Lebanon, France, Uzbekistan, Tunisia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Mauritania, Kenya, Eritrea, Syria, Somalia, Kuwait, Ethiopia, Iran, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Tanzanai, Germany, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, East Timor, Qatar, Tajikstan, the Netherlands, Scotland, Chad, Canada, China, Nepal, the Maldives, Argentina, Angola and ...and pretty much wherever Muslims believe their religion tells them to: "Fight those who do not believe in Allah, ... nor follow the religion of truth... until they pay the tax in acknowledg-ment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection."- Qur'an, Sura 9:29" is very important in understanding the issues.

FAZ: Leaving the web – do you still believe in peaceful solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Or is the hatred on the web an indicator for the real life?

JIDF: At this moment in time, the following factors are preventing peace:
  • Hamas (a terrorist group) won the election
  • Fatah, the group touted as being "moderate," still calls for the complete destruction of Israel through armed struggle in their constitution
  • The terrorist group Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade is part of Fatah
  • Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) wrote his PhD thesis denying the Holocaust and funded the Munich massacre of 11 Jewish athletes (according to the mastermind of the terrorist attack) - he is touted as a "moderate"
  • Children continue to be indoctrinated to hate and kill
However, the current reality is bound to change. "Shalom" (which means "peace") comes from the root "shalem" meaning whole or complete. Lasting peace will only be achieved when the Land of Israel is complete.

We believe in a peaceful solution to the conflict because the same Bible that thousands of years ago somehow predicted that the Jews will return to Israel, also predicted that that there will be peace in the land. As far as predictions go, the Bible has a pretty good track record.

We believe that there has been a colossal failure by regional and world leaders to think outside the box. For many decades the world has been trying to bring peace to the Middle East but has only come up with one solution, which we repeatedly try and which has repeatedly failed. Every peace accord signed in this regard contained the same elements: dividing the land into two secular states. Whether it was called Camp David, Oslo, Wye, Camp David II, Sharm al Sheik, they all are a new attempt at a failed "solution". Unfortunately, this solution has failed for many reasons, too many to list here. It simply does not work.

When there will be peace in the region, and we believe there will be, it will be based on an entirely new proposal not previously attempted. Speaking out against hatred and the promotion of terrorism can make a difference. Thanks to thousands of JIDF members and supporters, many terrorist-supporting groups on the internet have already been removed or are in the process of being taken down. If there ever is to be a chance for genuine peace, good people need to speak out against what is wrong, and stand up for what is right.
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In hindsight, we regret doing the interview and we hope the piece coming out in Ha'aretz will be better (though we are concerned there as well.) It's very sad when journalists have to go to such great lengths in order to stretch and twist the truth to make the good guys look "just as bad" as the bad guys. However, through studying the coverage of the issues in the Middle East for many years, we have grown accustomed to it.
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**UPDATE**

In a followup email exchange, we wrote to Mr. Gunkel:
You could have ended it on a much different note. Unfortunately, in this quest for "balance" you make us both out to look like the bad guy. We don't appreciate being compared to people who celebrate terrorism online. It's the same problem in the Middle East. Terrorists who educate children to hate and blow themselves up are compared to religious settlers.

There are good guys and bad guys in life. We are the good guys here and do not allow any hate speech in any of our groups, yet you have made it appear that way and you made it appear that the JIDF promotes hate sites ourselves.
Although we originally published portions of Mr. Gunkel's response, he seems to have taken issue with us taking quotes out of context (ironically). However, he seemed to indicate that it's not always clear who the good guys are and who are the bad guys and that no one seems to be remaining calm and objective.

We disagree.



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