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October 31, 2014 10:24 am

A Challenge to Ed Miliband: Would You Protect Great Britain Against Terrorism?

avatar by Alan Dershowitz

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Ed Miliband. Photo: Wikimedia commons.

Ed Miliband, who is the leader of Great Britain’s Labour Party, wants to become prime minister following the next general election. But recent statements he has made about Israel’s incursion into Gaza raise serious questions about his capacity to govern, and especially about his ability and willingness to protect the citizens of Great Britain against the threats posed by ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups.

Miliband strongly criticized British Prime Minister David Cameron, arguing that he was “wrong not to have opposed Israel’s incursion into Gaza.” It’s not clear whether this ill-advised statement was merely a political cheap shot or whether it reflects Miliband’s actual views regarding a nation’s need to defend its citizens against terrorism.

Recall that Israel’s “incursion” into Gaza occurred only after Hamas had sent death squads into Israeli territory using its network of close to 40 sophisticated terror tunnels illegally dug under the Gaza-Israeli border. According to Israeli intelligence sources, Israel concluded that unless it shut down these tunnels of death Hamas was planning to send hundreds of terrorists into Israel to kill and kidnap civilians and soldiers.

I was in one of those tunnels just before Israel’s incursion into Gaza. A Bedouin tracker who worked for the Israeli Defense Forces discovered an air hole that led Israeli soldiers to finding the hidden exit to the tunnel, which was in close proximity to an Israeli kindergarten with more than 50 children. The purpose of this tunnel was to kill and/or kidnap as many of these children as possible. As soon as I entered the sophisticated tunnel with railroad tracks, communications equipment, and places to store explosives it became clear to me that Israel would have to send troops into Gaza to find their entrances and destroy them.

Israel knew where some of the entrances were because their satellites could track the removal of large amounts of dirt. But even Israel’s most sophisticated devices could not track the direction of the tunnels or their numerous secret exit points. Some of the tunnels had several entrance and exit points—offshoots of the main underground shaft between Gaza and Israel. These tunnels could not be destroyed from the air. Nor could their exit points be found. The only two options were allowing them to continue to exist, thus endangering thousands of Israelis; or ordering an incursion into Gaza, designed to locate and destroy the tunnels from their entrance points.

Israel did not send troops into Gaza in order to stop the thousands of rockets Hamas was firing at its cities, towns and airport. It relied instead on its Iron Dome, which was only 85 percent effective, on its network of shelters located in and around every populated area, and its GPS-guided missile attacks against the rocket launchers. It was the discovery of so large a network of tunnels and the reality that Israel had no technology comparable to Iron Dome to prevent them from being used against its citizens that led Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finally to order the ground incursion.

My challenge to Ed Miliband:  What would you have done if you were the Prime Minister of a country that faced comparable threats? It is easy to criticize the British Prime Minister for not having opposed Israel’s incursion into Gaza but, as the New York Times reported, (10/23/14) Miliband “did not outline an alternative security response.” Now he must. Would he have waited for dozens of death squads with hundreds of terrorists to enter Israel and wreak havoc on cities, towns and kibbutzim near the Gaza border? Would he have tried to attack the tunnel entrances from the air, despite the fact that many of them were located in mosques, schools, hospitals, private homes and densely populated civilian areas?

The question British voters should ask is: What would Prime Minister Ed Miliband have done? What would he do if Britain were faced with comparable threats? His country, unlike tiny Israel, is an island separated from its traditional enemies by bodies of water. But one can imagine Scottish independent radicals digging tunnels into northeastern England. Or Irish radicals firing rockets into English cities on the West Coast? As opposition leader would Miliband criticize the current prime minister for trying to stop these attacks against British civilians? As Prime Minister would he do nothing and simply call for a cease fire and the resumption of talks, as he did with regard to the Israeli-Hamas conflict?

Miliband also rebuked Cameron for his “silence on the killing of innocent Palestinian civilians caused by Israel’s military action.” But Miliband himself has remained silent on Hamas’ deliberate use of human shields that has been the main cause for why Palestinian civilians were killed. As British military expert Richard Kemp said,

“No army in the world acts with as much discretion and great care as the IDF in order to minimize damage. The U.S. and the UK are careful, but not as much as Israel.”

Kemp then provided specific ratios:

“Israel’s ratio to military casualties in Operation Protective Edge was only one-fourth of the average in warfare around the world. [D]uring the operation, there was approximately one civilian casualty for every 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.”

I challenge Ed Miliband to criticize Great British troops for “the killing of innocent…civilians” in their wars against terrorists.

I await answers from the man who would be Great Britain’s next prime minister—answers that assure British voters that he is neither a hypocrite nor a leader unwilling to do what has to be done to protect his countrymen from terrorism.

A shorter version of this article was published in the Times of London.

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  • “Or Irish radicals firing rockets into English cities on the West Coast?”

    Seems Mr Dershowitz has never heard of the IRA. Londoners will take no lectures from you about terrorists!

    Even after a bomb killed senior members of the Conservative Government and just missed Margaret Thatcher herself she still didn’t send the Royal Airforce to bomb Londonderry.

  • HaroldT

    Not a word of condemnation when thousands of rockets were fired into Israel from that Quisling Jew Miliband.

  • Fritz Kohlhaas

    Milliband is a moron, pure and simple!

  • Rob

    Milliband has shown time and time again that he is a spineless hypocrite of the worst kind.

  • Yale

    Israel should dig its own set of tunnels connecting the Hamas tunnel network to the Mediterranean Sea. The next time there is any violence, just open the hatches and let nature take its course.

  • From the first British out-post to it’s last, the British have treated the Citizens of Israel like dirt behind their backs. All the while siding with the Muslims in nearly all matters, both Civil & Governmental, I.M.P..
    So to answer the Question, I Would help, Only if the dear Lord told me to, otherwise, Let the dead bury their own! Shalom

  • humus ahla

    “It’s not clear whether this ill-advised statement was merely a political cheap shot or whether it reflects Miliband’s actual views regarding a nation’s need to defend its citizens against terrorism.”
    Yes it was.

    Also, Miliband is Jewish (by origin) and the son of a Marxist, so it is little surprise that he’s more than willing to throw Israel under the bus in order to bolster his non-partisan credentials. A “lite” version of the self-hating Gerald Kaufman, if you will.

  • Stephen Green

    To clear up any misunderstanding my last comment was meant for Mark. I totally agree with you and the last thing we want in this country is another bumbling labour idiot in charge. Miliband is not prime minister material and his policies would only lead this country further into the cess pit that Cameron and Cleggy have got us into. this country is finished as a world player and it is time for Israel to take the stage. Shabbat Shalom to all in Israel

  • Robert Davis

    Of course milliband would have fought his enemies that is not the problem. Problem is he thinks the Israeli PM can be influenced by oppositions which is the impressuin he gives. He would not oppose any other foreign nation because he knows they would NOT care what foreign nation says and would reply in a harsh way not to meddle in its politics. But he thinks Israel cares for the opinions of stupid nations with a cattle people such as sweden whose cows let arabs rape them while their beefs run for cover…No stupid milliband Israel does NOT care for critics of british or other european (cattle)people and Cameron was right opposing to rightful Israeli politics is a disgrace for those who do that and on top of that USELESS and their discredit! Churchill rightly said it :”you will have the war and the discredit”! Let this discredit to the leftard cows and beefs!

  • Alexi

    “Miliband “did not outline an alternative security response.”

    Exactly the point.

    To the best of my knowledge, NOBODY has outlined a better & satisfactory security response. Because there is none!

    This is the aggravation with listening to people chirping about “Israel must act with restraint” and “war crimes tribunals at the ICC” and the “disproportionate use of force”…. It’s all BS.

    If they’d stop treating terrorist entities like little children, perhaps the terror tantrums would cease.

  • Sharon Fearnley

    Miliband himself is a Jew with some relatives living in Israel, therefore a basic question comes to my mind.
    If he cannot be even a little bit loyal to his own roots then how in Gods name can anyone trust him to be a leader in Britain.
    He is a perfect example of a TRAITOR in the making.
    If things carry on in the UK and Europe regarding the sharia law and takeover by the extremists then Miliband as a Jew will be possibly looking to Israel for refuge. And you know what.? Israel will give it to him.
    He is truly an ignoramus and an idiot to boot

  • Steven Kalka

    Like father, like son.

  • goodie

    Milibrand wants to become Britain’s first Jewish prime minister (Disraeli had been converted to Christianity although he freely admitted to his Jewish roots)which is an almost impossible goal. In his grab for power he will do anything to garner votes from the enormous number of Muslims in Britain, and has therefore outwardly become yet another “Jew-hating Jew”….how very sad.

  • Monty Lasovsky

    It’s hard to believe two things about this “man”,Milliband,( a former member of Alexanders ragtime band? ) One, the man is Jewish and can only be one of the Jewish special self hating clique…and,two he is a supporter of Arab terrorism and an ally of Hamas and their hangers-on. What does all this mean? Milliband’s desire to become the next Prime Minister will entail his getting as many Muslim votes as he can and he is going the right way about it. To bad he will not make it to Prime Minister but he may make Imam status in a British caliphate!

  • Ivan Gur-Arie

    I was wondering how Miliband would hope to be PM of Britain as he is Jewish???, I understand that the PM is required to be a member of the Church of England. Has Miliband already converted and is thus polishing up his credentials for the job. I wonder if his brother has more sense.

    • British PMs do not have to belong to the CofE or any other Christian denomination. There are Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Catholic, atheist and other MPs in parliament, and any one of them might end up as his or her party’s leader, and if their party wins an election, that leader will become Prime Minister. Very few people are practising CofE members nowadays. Britain is a democracy, not a semi-theocracy. Where do you people get some of your ideas from?

  • Dror Harari

    Mark, what is mind boggling is that you are using 100% of your brain but still can’t think. That strawman argument of ‘anyone who opposes killing children and women can’t govern’ comes only from your delusional mind – you seem to be addicted by the same brain eating desease Milliband got.

    Dershowitz is saying the exact opposite: he who is not willing to protect his children and women (actually citizens) from imminent death is not fit to be a leader.

  • steven L

    Jews or individuals with close connection to Jews, aspiring to significant political roles believe that their aspirations impose on them to be antisemitic. At least that is the believe they want you to believe! See Ashton Kerry and now Miliband. They are all hypocrites who mean well. It is easy to bash or attack IL. As a democracy she will never make you pay back. It is a lot easier to back stab a friend than an enemy. More and more people in the West have no qualms about playing this dirty game.

  • Elliott

    Milliband has proven he’s just another sh-thead politician.

  • Mark

    Yeah anyone opposes killing children and women old can not Govern, do you hear yourself or are you all delusional in Israel , it is mind boggling ,

    • Alexi

      Stopping terrorists from continuing to rocket your general population, pop out of tunnels and commit kidnappings and murders is now defined as “pro death”?

      YOU Sir, have an issue.

    • Stephen Green

      It is stupid comments like yours from ill informed people who fail to research the truth that is the cause of the worlds ills. Crawl back into your hole until you research the true facts about the conflict

    • Robert Davis

      Say that to arabs!One cannot defend oneself without killing this is the definition of war. What makes the difference is who started and HOW you kill the opposer : when El Assad kills 200,000 opposers Israel kills only 2,000 mostly people used as shields by arabs. I made a lapsus I should have said Cameron was right NOT to oppose Isral’s rightful self defence. Anyway what cattle lefter populations and their governments think or say have no importance at all!

    • humus ahla

      Yes, Mark, because that’s exactly what the bloodthirsty Israelis do best – kill women and children out of pure malice. Those blood-sucking Zionists…

      What’s mind-boggling is the sheer intellectual depravity of people like you who are incapable of seeing the world as anything more than a black and white dichotomy of victim and aggressor.

    • miriam

      Virtually all Israelis oppose killing anyone.
      Sometimes, in order to protect Israeli children and old women being deliberately targeted by rockets, infiltrators and the like, the civilians of the enemy are killed as collateral.
      This is an unfortunate but permitted by-product of war.

      It is obvious from the ratio of civilian to combatant casualties and from the fact that the IDF frequently aborts missions if civilians may be affected that Israel goes out of her way to avoid civilian casualties.

    • Kris

      There is an old army saying .
      It is either him or me, Rather him.

      If I am attacked, it is my duty to kill my enemy, and Hamas is the enemy who was trying to kill Israel and Jews.

      Obviously, the Jew haters would have been celebrating if Israel was destroyed and every Jew murdered.
      But those who call themselves Christian and support the enemies of Israel, would be in for a major surprize when ISIS and all the Islam would have ganged up on the Christians and gave them a choice, Convert to Islam or die by the sword.

    • leonard oken

      mark- whats up.hamas decides to take on Israel with rockets and tunnels knowing they have no way to protect their civilians as they hide amongst them and behind them in their win -win strategy and your calling Israel supporters delusional?What did hamas hope to achieve?freeing their ability to import more rockets and tunnel building material to continue to attack Israel with even more unlimited sophisticated weapons.i think you can look in the mirror and it would be more appropriate to say the word delusional.

    • Howard Immanuelson

      Dear Mark,

      Perhaps there is a tiny flaw in your logic. Can you spot it?

      No? Need some help? Let me make it easy for you.

      As amazing as it probably is to you, Jews are people too. And astonishingly, THEY don’t like being slaughtered en masse by commando teams of Hamas terrorists.

      Do YOU hear yourself? Do you know how you appear to others? It truly is mind boggling.

  • D Cripps

    Thank you, Mr Dershowitz. As a citizen of the UK, I regret that we seem to have too many misinformed and unrealistic sentimentalists in positions of power (both politicians and voting populace!)

  • Robert Weintraub

    The Labor Party has a large Moslem constituency. There are ten times as many Moslems in Britain as there are Jews. Therefore, the political bias is all on the Moslem side. In addition, Britain does a great deal of business with the Arab oil states. Similar situations exist in other European countries. Nevertheless Israel and Britain are still doing business together without change.

  • Robert B Geller

    Though Mr. Milliband comes from a people who are supposed to be so smart, he is a blundering idiot. He has only one motivation – not to appear to be too Jewish so that he will get elected. Therefore, his only option is to prove that he can condemn Israel despite the truth. Oh no, another self loathing Jew entering the world stage. Any day, give me a non-Jew who truly supports Israel over a self righteous Jew who must demonstrate how non-Jewish he/she is.