Mon, 18 Nov 2013 - 12:01 AM
Sat, 16 Nov 2013 - 1:01 AM
Sun, 14 Apr 2013 - 6:00 PM
Fri, 05 Apr 2013 - 7:00 PM
IDF BLOG: Captured Hamas Combat Manual Explains Benefits of Human Shields
IDF forces in the Gaza Strip found a Hamas manual on “Urban Warfare,” which belonged to the Shuja’iya Brigade of Hamas’ military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades. The manual explains how the civilian population can be used against IDF forces and reveals that Hamas knows the IDF is committed to minimizing harm to civilians.
Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Hamas has continuously used the civilian population of Gaza as human shields. The discovery of a Hamas “urban warfare” manual by IDF forces reveals that Hamas’ callous use of the Gazan population was intentional and preplanned.
This Hamas urban warfare manual exposes two truths: (1) The terror group knows full well that the IDF will do what it can to limit civilian casualties. (2) The terror group exploits these efforts by using civilians as human shields against advancing IDF forces. (h/t Yenta Press)
CNN Guest Rips Media For Being 'Used As Dupes' By Hamas [slightly different content at the link vs CNN YT clip]
In a surprising segment, CNN’s New Day discussed the role of the media in the Israel-Hamas conflict and whether they are providing proper context regarding the two sides. In an interview with co-host Kate Bolduan, guest Lee Habeeb, columnist for National Review, slammed the media for its biased coverage of the issue, going so far as to suggest that they have acted as “co-conspirators to Hamas.”
When Bolduan asked where Habeeb believed the media was lacking, he argued that “the point of the spear is the media and dead children and dead women...and I don’t believe the media is covering it.” Toward the end of the segment, Bolduan cited Hamas political leader Khaled Mashal, who claimed that the U.S. has now adopted the Israeli narrative. The New Day co-host wondered how it could go both ways. Habeeb blasted the media again: (h/t dabney)Columnist: Media is enabling Hamas
This War Was Supposed to ‘isolate’ Israel. Instead, the opposite happened
It should come as no surprise that this sort of coverage is coming from the same British media that promoted the bogus Jenin “massacre” story when Israel fought a similar campaign against Palestinian terrorists in 2002. One can only expect yet more award-winning cartoons from British cartoonists showing leaders of the Jewish state devouring Palestinian babies and the like. Some things don’t change.
But some things do. Unlike in similar conflicts in 2002, 2006, 2008 and 2012, this time around, the Arab world has been extremely muted in its support for Israel’s battlefield enemies.
“After the military ouster of the Islamist government in Cairo last year, Egypt has led a new coalition of Arab states — including Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — that has effectively lined up with Israel in its fight against Hamas,” The New York Times reported this week. “The dynamic has inverted all expectations of the Arab Spring uprisings … Instead of becoming more isolated, Israel’s government has emerged for the moment as an unexpected beneficiary of the ensuing tumult, now tacitly supported by the leaders of the resurgent conservative order as an ally in their common fight against political Islam. The diatribes against Hamas by at least one popular pro-government talk show host in Egypt were so extreme that the government of Israel broadcast some of them into Gaza.”
This has led to a bizarre situation whereby some Western newspaper editors are more sympathetic to Hamas than Arabs themselves.Gaza: Spare Me Your Sick, Manipulative, Dead Baby Propaganda Photos
What I loathe about it is its mixture of hectoring presumption and manipulative dishonesty.
Presumption: "If you support Israel, then you clearly don't care about dead children," it says. (Is there anyone in the world who isn't moved by the sight of a dead child? I don't think so. The people who are implying otherwise are beneath contempt).
Dishonesty: other than the truism that war is hell, the photograph actually tells us nothing.
We have no idea whether this boy was actually a victim of the fighting in Gaza - or of the far bloodier and uglier civil wars in Syria and Iraq.
If he was indeed a Palestinian, we have no idea whether he was killed by Israeli fire or by Hamas ordinance.
Nor, even if he was killed by Israeli fire, do we know the circumstances. Maybe it was a tragic mistake; maybe, he was one of those innocents that Hamas likes to use as human shields in its rocket launching sites; maybe he was being used as a "tunnel rat"; maybe he'd tried to flee with his family to a shelter only to be driven back to his apartment by Hamas who recognise the propaganda value of dead children.The New Nazism's First Victim: Truth
When the Turkish neighbors of Leah Rabinovitch, a Jewish woman in Amsterdam, adorned their apartment with a Palestinian flag, she did the same with an Israeli flag. Leah lives in a neighborhood where 48% of the population is of non-Western origin – many of them Muslims. Stones were thrown through her windows, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at her balcony and an anonymous letter was put in her letter box. "Hitler will be back. Death to the Jews," it said.
Fifteen different policemen, Rabinovitch says, advised her to remove the flag. She refused. She also received a letter from Rochdale, the Dutch company owning the apartment block. "Rochdale has noticed the Israeli flag on your balcony. This is a provocation," the letter said. The company then urged her to remove the flag and warned that otherwise she would have to cover all costs of vandalism herself. Did the neighbors with the Palestinian flag receive a similar letter? No, they did not. In Europe, displaying the Israeli flag is a provocation, displaying the Palestinian flag is not.
Seraphina Verhofstadt, another Jewish woman in Amsterdam, also reacted to the many Palestinian and Hamas flags in Amsterdam by displaying the Israeli flag. She received threats that her throat would be slit. When she left her apartment, she was assaulted by youths wearing Palestinian shawls and severely beaten.Alan Dershowitz's realization
At the height of Operation Protective Edge, prominent American lawyer and pro-Israel advocate Alan Dershowitz penned a largely overlooked article titled "Has Hamas ended the prospects for a two-state solution?" (Gatestone Institute, July 22.)
His ostensible motive was Hamas' targeting of Ben-Gurion Airport with a rocket that fell some 2 kilometers away, an act which he designated as a war crime.
Overall, Dershowitz's article is an apparent major shift from positions he expounded just over two years ago in a widely cited Wall Street Journal piece, which opened with the sentence, "Now that Israel has a broad and secure national unity government, the time is ripe for that government to make a bold peace offer to the Palestinian Authority."Hamas' crushing defeat
There was a particularly uplifting moment on Sunday. Despite the harrowing tales they told of the protracted fighting against a brutal enemy, despite being covered in dust, Israeli soldiers could be heard lamenting that their mission had been cut short, that they should have been allowed to get the job done.
They saw what death looks like; they lost their brothers in arms; they witnessed ostensibly U.N.-operated schools become Hamas strongholds. Their lamentations echoed what our sages said, that once you begin to perform a mitzvah, you have the duty to see it through.
This sentiment is a positive one. It explains why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's approval ratings, which were 80 percent at the height of the campaign, are now just above 60 percent.
People had high hopes, with expectations that could never materialize. Such is the way of the world. A New Dictionary of the Current Conflict in Gaza
Calculated rhetoric is used in many ways – to support, to oppose, to demonise, to suggest. Some terms are being repeatedly used in the context of this conflict, and I believe they’re being used either out of naivety (at best) or with nefarious and dubious intent (at worst). In the words of the writer Howard Jacobson… “Rhetoric is precisely what has warped report and analysis these past months. I watched demonstrators approach members of the public with their petitions. “Do you want an end to the slaughter in Gaza?” What were those approached expected to reply? – “No, I want it to continue unabated.” ”
So I’ve decided to pick three terms widely used exclusively in the condemnation of Israel, and give an alternative context to how they can be used. Of course, we know that words can have more than one meaning, nobody is denying this, but here goes:NY Times Supports Demilitarization, But Not in Gaza
Traditionally, the New York Times has always been on the side of international disarmament. Even when doing so would have given the Soviet Union military advantages over the United States, the Times could be counted on to hail the glories of demilitarization. But when it comes to choosing between demilitarization and championing the Palestinian cause, well, demilitarization has to give way.
And so the editors at the Times are left flailing their arms in frustration, watching world leaders and prominent newspapers endorsing Israel’s call for the demilitarization of Gaza, while all the Times can do is run misleading headlines and hope to fool those who aren't paying close attention.
Another lesson of the Gaza war: Ignore the New York Times and disarm Hamas. That is the real way to peace.Hypocrisy of the first order
Jews around the world are being blamed for Israel’s actions in Gaza. Despite some 200,000 killed in Syria, no one refuses service to Syrians; no European professors call on people to kill Syrians who support Assad. No doctors, upon hearing someone is an Arab, tell them to “go to Damascus.”
Many commentators are conflating all Jews with Israeli actions and some Jewish commentators have internalized this. Richard Gizbert at Al-Jazeera, formerly of ABC, writes an op-ed titled “Gaza, Israel and the company we keep,” in which he notes, “I’ve tried to figure out how my Jewish friends and any supporter of Israel who has a brain can back this.” In his op-ed he identifies all Jews with Israel’s actions, noting he “asks Canadian Jews” when he wants to critique Israel. His Arab friends are individuals, but Jews are one massive group, conspiring together, all marching in lockstep. No other group is subjected to this view; Italians in America or Argentina are not blamed for Italy’s actions; no one bashes their “Chinese friends” because of Tibet, or some random Indian at a motel for “what are you doing in Kashmir.”Israel Needs A Ceasefire From the United Nations
Watching CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Sunday night was a sickening experience as “Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process”, Robert Serry - as usual - blamed Israel for the violence in the Middle East.
This comes 2 days after America force-fed Israel a cease-fire, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu advised the White House that the Obama administration “not ever second guess me again” regarding Hamas, and the UN continues their drivel.
Serry also issued a statement which called for Israel to negotiate with Hamas – a terrorist organization. What CNN and others ignore is that the most senior leaders of the Israeli Government, including Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman have demanded Serry’s evction from Israel.
Serry has worked to funnel $20 Million Dollars to Hamas prior to this crisis – a crime to provide funds to terrorists.
He has a long history of anti-Israel activities, having expressed “deep concern” over Israel’s arrest of wanted terrorists. Brandis denounces
THE [Australian] Attorney-General, George Brandis, has accused Fairfax Media of publishing anti-Semitic coverage of the Middle East, and denounced a cartoon in The Sydney Morning Herald depicting a Jewish man with an exaggerated nose as comparable to propaganda from Nazi Germany.
In an extraordinary attack, Senator Brandis said coverage in Fairfax papers of the Gaza conflict was “overtly anti-Semitic”.
“I… would have thought that a responsible media organisation would have a very good look at itself when it publishes cartoons (of) the kind we haven’t seen since Germany in the 1930s."…Australian daily apologizes for ‘anti-Semitic’ cartoon
The Sydney Morning Herald apologized “unreservedly” for publishing a cartoon that Jewish leaders called “crudely anti-Semitic.”
Jewish leaders had threatened legal action if the daily did not publish an apology for the July 26 cartoon by Glen Le Lievre.
The cartoon depicted a hook-nosed Jewish man wearing a kippah and sitting on an armchair emblazoned with a Star of David pressing a remote control to detonate buildings, presumably in Gaza.
“The Herald now appreciates that, in using the Star of David and the kippah in the cartoon, the newspaper invoked an inappropriate element of religion, rather than nationhood, and made a serious error of judgment,” its editors wrote in Monday’s edition. “It was wrong to publish the cartoon in its original form. We apologize unreservedly for this lapse, and the anguish and distress that has been caused.”Andrew Bolt: How Mike Carlton writes to a reader accusing him of writing anti-Jewish material
I have avoided calling Mike Carlton an anti-Semite, even after his foul column a week ago, decorated with the disgusting cartoon discussed below. He seems to hate far too many people to accuse him of such particularism.
But then I read this exchange - and note very well Carlton’s final email:
From: Mike Carlton
Date: 28 July 2014 7:17:21 AEST
To: Yury Glikin
Subject: Re: Irrelevant
You’re the one full of hate and bile, sunshine. The classic example of the Jewish bigot. Now f..k off.
Mike Carlton Andrew Bolt: Wake up Labor, smell the threat
Our cultural and political institutions have also surrendered our values, or made them seem no better than some we’ve imported so recklessly.
Just last week, the NSW Community Relations Commission chairman, Vic Alhadeff, a Jew, had to resign for simply noting Palestinian terrorists were firing rockets at Israeli civilians, and Israel would naturally “do whatever is needed to defend its citizens”.
Yes, supporting a Western democracy against an Islamist terrorist tyranny now makes you unfit to foster proper community relations.
Sick, but what undid Alhadeff were the greatest viruses weakening our defence of Western culture — demographics and the cheapest form of democracy.
Import people and you import a culture. You also import voters, and Muslims now outnumber Jews here by five to one.
And look where those voters are — in the lap of a Labor Party now so debased that it will sell out our civilisation for seats.
Labor frontbencher Tony Burke, for instance, represents the Sydney seat of Watson, which now has an astonishing 20 per cent of Muslim voters. In fact, of the 20 seats with the most Muslim voters, many in western Sydney, Labor holds all but one.Anti-Semetic abuse at Perth shopping centre
A visiting Hasidic Jewish leader has been the target of anti-Semitic abuse and threatened with physical violence outside the Morley Galleria.
The Rebbe, who is in Perth on a lecture tour, and his 21-year-old assistant were taunted by a group of six teenagers outside the shopping centre in broad daylight on Monday, a friend of the two men said.
Danny Mayer had come to pick up the pair about 1.30pm when he saw the Rebbe being accosted.
When Mr Mayer ushered the visitors into his car the youths began banging on it.
“They were telling us to ‘F*** off’, that we were killers and they wanted to ‘fix us up’,” Mr Mayer said.
“They literally wanted us to come out and fight with them.Cartoon Implies Israel Targeting Civilians
Although casualty counts published in the media since the start of the conflict have relied heavily on reports from Hamas, some people look at the raw numbers and conclude that Israel is not being careful enough to avoid Palestinian civilians.
But a cartoon by Gary Barker in the Times of London takes the point to an extreme. It shows an Israeli rocket apparently aimed at a Palestinian family that has no way to seek shelter other than under a battered umbrella. The title of the cartoon: The Palestinian Defense Dome, a reference to the Israeli Iron Dome.
The problem is, while Barker tries to build sympathy for the Palestinians, he turns the story on its head. In actual fact, it is Hamas, not Israel, that’s intentionally firing rockets at civilians. And while it’s true that Israelis are under the protection of the Iron Dome while the Palestinians are not, the lesson to learn is the opposite of what the cartoon is depicting.Where is the Hamas Offensive?
We get constant news of the “Israeli offensive” and the “Gaza offensive” but both refer to action by Israel. What about the Hamas offensive?
This phrase does not exist in mainstream media. It doesn’t come up in a Google search. And without the concept of “Hamas offensive,” the fact that Israel is fighting a defensive war stays out of focus.
American and UK media report on IDF soldiers and Palestinian civilians. Hamas fighters are invisible.Piers Morgan Defends Against Charges of Anti-Semitism After Blasting Israel
On Thursday morning Morgan wrote, “Israel’s making a massive mistake with this monstrous child-slaughtering military strategy. Someone needs to rein @netanyahu in… fast.” Minutes later he added, “You deliberately shell a UN facility full of women & children – you lose any moral high ground. Enough, Mr @netanyahu ….ENOUGH.”
Breitbart columnist Ben Shapiro responded on the micro-blogging site charging Morgan with anti-Semitism.
Shapiro wrote, “You have to be intelligent, @PiersMorgan, before you can be patronizing. I hope your forced retirement is going swimmingly.” He added, “Blaming Israel for defending her citizens is anti-Semitic. That’s what you’re doing.”AP Grossly Understates Iron Dome Interceptions
In an Aug. 1 Associated Press article, Bradley Klapper grossly understates the number of Palestinian rockets fired at Israel that have been intercepted by the Iron Dome. He wrote:
"The money will go to restocking Israel's Iron Dome, which has been credited with shooting down dozens of incoming rockets fired by Palestinian militants over three and a half weeks of war."
As of Saturday (Aug. 2), the Iron Dome has shot down 552 rockets, the army reported.French Gaza Reporter Ducks for Cover as Hamas Rocket Interrupts Broadcast
Journalists reporting live on the scene from Gaza face the innumerable challenges of daily life for Palestinians there, including the constant threat of errant rocket fire from the terror group Hamas, which operates deep in the infrastructure of the area. On the news network France 24, reporter Maha Abu Al-Kas had her broadcast interrupted by a shock of white light and the unmistakeable sound of a rocket.
Al-Kas was reporting live on the French television network, updating viewers on the daily developments in Gaza on July 31. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) translated the clip, in which Al-Kas reports, among other updates, the deaths of three journalists who had been injured reporting from the area. Amid detailing the dire state of Gaza's al-Shifa hospital, Al-Kas can be seen ducking as the light of a rocket illuminates the camera frame.Gaza Reporter Startled by Palestinian Rocket Launch during Live Broadcast
‘Don’t Use Me’: Reporter Admits Seeing Rocket Fired from Gaza Hospital, then Blasts Pro-Israel Media for Quoting Her
Following the posting of her report on pro-Israel blogs, Zidan took to Facebook this weekend, writing, “Don’t use me as your propaganda weapon.”
Noting the main purpose of her report was to cover the “Palestinian civilians who were victims of war,” Zidan wrote, “During the night someone launched a rocket somewhere behind the hospital. Now this sentence from my article is spreading in the pro-Israeli medias. I mentioned this in my article because I’m a professional journalist. I try to cover the events truthfully as I see them and I strongly condemn these kind of actions.”
“But I find it very disgusting how this one sentence was taken out context to be used as an excuse to target civilians in Gaza. My story became quickly a tool of propaganda. The people sharing this story are not even trying to understand the situation as a whole. They are just looking for excuses to Israeli actions in Gaza,” she added.
“I refuse to be part of this kind of propaganda,” she concluded.
Shifa Hospital where the rocket was launched is also where a Hamas rocket aimed at Israel fell short last week, slamming into the outpatient clinic, the Israel Defense Forces said, backing up its claim with aerial images showing the launch and impact points of the rocket. Hamas officials did not allow the media to take photographs of the impact area.
Several other reporters including from the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post have noted that the hospital is being used as Hamas’ headquarters, with press briefings and interviews being held there.Did an official Guardian editorial justify Hamas’s use of human shields?
Here are the opening paragraphs of the July 31st Guardian editorial, with the most important sentences emphasized in bold.
"Wars kill people, including teachers in their classrooms, nurses in their hospitals, and farmers in their fields. But when children die in the hail of steel soldiers direct at one another there is a special kind of obscenity. Children have no agency, not even the slightest shred of the responsibility or complicity that adults to one degree or another may possess.
They know nothing of propaganda, they did not cheer in angry rallies, they did not send off their menfolk to fight with a blessing, they did not sit at meetings where the pros and cons of making war were gravely discussed by middle- aged men. No, they just die. Or lose their little legs, their arms, their eyes. The scenes at Jabaliya elementary school had seasoned United Nations officials, who have seen and endured much, in tears. The rapid transference of images to the world soon made this tragedy everybody’s property and everybody’s burden. Then, of course, a familiar game begins. Mournful spokesmen explain that the other side is to blame, because it has hidden its fighters, mortars and rockets in populated areas. They take great care, but mistakes can happen. They do not explain why that other side might be reluctant to put its fighters into, say, the local soccer stadium so that they could be mown down without risk to civilians."
If you read that last underlined sentence carefully, it’s difficult to avoid concluding that the Guardian is essentially acknowledging the Hamas use of civilians as human shields, but then asking: ‘however, given the group’s limited alternatives, who can really blame them?‘!This is what it looks like when the BBC waives its fourth estate role
The first of the BBC’s “disputed” events is the explosion in the Shati area of Gaza on July 28th in which a missile fired by terrorists hit a playground killing ten people including eight children. As readers no doubt recall, soon after the incident took place the IDF stated that it had not been operating in the area at the time and publicized aerial photographs showing the trajectories of that missile and three others fired at the same time as recorded by IDF radars and sensors.
The BBC’s presentation of that incident, however, places data gathered from sophisticated tracking equipment on a par with the unverified verbal claims of assorted bodies all ultimately run by a proscribed terrorist organization.BBC’s Martin Patience tells TV audiences that Israel attacks UN schools
The incident is currently under IDF investigation but already the various BBC claims of an attack “on” or “at” a UN school in Rafah – rather than in the vicinity of that building – are clearly less than accurate and Martin Patience has obviously breached BBC guidelines with his knee-jerk claim of a “third deadly attack on a United Nations school” by Israel. Unless he can prove that this school itself (along with the other two he mentions) was the intended target of an attack – rather than terrorists operating in the area near those UN schools – the BBC should issue a prompt and prominent correction.Exclusive: Palestine Solidarity Campaign complaint to the BBC about its pro-Israel bias (satire)
EXCLUSIVE. Following on from the mass demonstration the Palestine Solidarity Campaign staged three weeks ago outside the BBC in London to complain about its pro-Israel bias, I have managed to get hold of a copy of their latest letter of complaint to the BBC:Tokyo Stands With Israel
UK Israel Activists Stage 'Siren Flash Mob' in Trafalgar Square
Activists in the UK found a creative way to raise awareness for the plight of Israelis, holding a "siren flash mob" in London's Trafalgar Square "to show the public what it's like to live under rocket fire."
A similar demonstration was held in Vienna last month. Both flash mobs sought to draw attention to how many Israelis have as little as 15 seconds to run to bomb shelters as Hamas and other Gazan terrorist groups indiscriminately bombard their communities with rockets.Air Raid Siren "FlashMob" in Trafalgar Square, London
Rio Jews rally for peace in Israel
Some 2,500 people rallied at the Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro for peace in Israel and the Middle East.
Participants of varying ages and types — Jews and non-Jews — marched along the promenade and in the street. They sang Hebrew songs, as well as the Brazilian and Israeli national anthems.
Huge signs in Portuguese and English called for peace in the Middle East and condemned anti-Semitism. The blue and white of the Israeli flag flew alongside the Brazilian flag’s green and yellow, symbolizing the Jewish community’s integration in Brazilian society. Signs, flags and T-shirts carried pro-peace slogans and a rejection of terrorism perpetrated by Hamas.San Francisco: 3,000 Strong in Solidarity with Israel
There was an amazing show of solidarity at todays pro-Israel rally at Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco Thousands gathered to sing, to pray, and to listen to elected officials, community leaders and clergy, who proudly identified, as so many of us do, as pro-peace ZionistsRabbi, congregant attacked in Malmo days after synagogue vandalized
A rabbi from the Swedish city of Malmo was attacked by men who hurled objects at him from a car and used anti-Semitic pejoratives.
Rabbi Shneur Kesselman was assaulted on Saturday night along with a member of his congregation, the Sydsvenskan daily reported Sunday.
The attack, which resulted in no physical injuries, came two days after the southern city’s main synagogue was vandalized, when unidentified individuals smashed three of the building’s windows by hurling objects at them.South Africa: Armed 'Palestinian' Arrested Near Pro-Israel Demo
South African police arrested a "Palestinian" man in possession of several illegal firearms outside a pro-Israel rally in Johannesburg on Sunday, potentially preventing a violent attack on thousands of peaceful protesters.
The event saw more than 12,000 supporters of Israel, ranging from religious and secular Jews to Christians and other South Africans of all persuasions, turn out in support of the Jewish state's efforts to protect itself against Gazan terrorist groups. Participants heard speeches, waved flags and sung songs in a robust demonstration of pro-Israel sentiment in a country often associated with militant anti-Zionism.
But some opponents may have had a less then peaceful response in mind.Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s forced to close stores after pro-Palestine demonstrations
Protesters called on the British firm to boycott goods sourced from Benjamin Netanyahu’s country with some people seen laying down on the floor inside shops.
Once the supermarkets were closed demonstrators were seen gathering outside the stores as they continued their protest.
The activists sparked the closure of Sainsbury’s branches in Birmingham, Brighton, Whitechapel and Brixton.
Speaking about the Birmingham store closure, a Sainsbury’s spokesman said: “On the advice of the police we temporarily closed the store. It was re-opened for customers shortly after and trade was not seriously disrupted”...Anti-Israel attacks by Venezuela could prove dire for Jews, AJC warns
Since the start of Israel’s operation against Gaza in early July, Venezuelan Jewry has been subjected to attacks and intimidation from government officials and the media, according to the AJC.
The Jewish group said President Nicolas Maduro has publicly accused Israel of pursuing “a war of extermination against the Palestinian people” and has compared Gaza to Auschwitz.
“President Maduro is playing with fire and, if left unchecked, his incitement of state-sanctioned hatred against Jewish citizens could easily ignite with profoundly tragic consequences,” AJC Executive Director David Harris warned in a statement issued Sunday. “Ensuring the safety and security of Venezuela’s Jewish citizens should be a government priority, but President Maduro seems intent on outdoing the hostility towards Israel of his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, and that’s saying a lot.”VIDEO: Pro-Israel Marine Corp Vet Harassed by Mob at DC Pro-Palestine Protest
On Saturday, Breitbart News reported on U.S. Marine Corps veteran Manny Vega’s lone counter protest against a pro-Palestine rally in Washington, D.C., and how a protestor tried to light his Israeli flag on fire while he was holding it. However, the dustup between Mr. Vega and the protestors did not end there.
After Breitbart News left, Mr. Vega found himself surrounded by angry pro-Palestine protestors, and was kicked, spat on and punched by the demonstrators. The police finally showed up to stop the situation around a minute and a half into the video.Pro-Israel U.S. Marine Manny Vega Attacked by Pro-Palestinians in Washington, DC - #2DC4Gaza
Calgary pro-Palestinian protesters chant “Heil, Heil Hitler”
You can add this to the growing list of grossly anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi outbursts around the world, as we noted in Just more “pro-Palestinian” protests: Nazi salutes in Paris, “death to all Jews” in the Hague
In Calgary, pro-Palestinian protesters confronted pro-Israel protesters.
After some shouting back and forth, the pro-Palestinian protesters started chanting (at 0:40) “Heil, Heil Hitler.”‘Hail Hitler’ chanted at Israel supporters, media ignores [video]
Calgary Herald reporter Erika Stark failed to mention that Palestinian supporters protesting a pro-Israel rally chanted “All hail Hitler” to the Jewish crowd. Stark apparently heard it but tweeted only that she “shouldn’t tweet” what they were saying.
If Stark included the “Hitler” chant in her article it didn’t make it past Calgary Herald editors.Netherlands Bans ISIS Flag After Anti-Semitism Surge
In anticipation of an anti-Israel rally organized for Sunday in Amsterdam, the government of the Netherlands added the flag of the terrorist group Islamic State to its list of banned political hate paraphernalia. Flying the flag in the nation will be considered a crime.
The Irish Times reports that a police spokesman announced that individuals protesting Israel's Operation Protective Edge against the terrorist group Hamas will be prohibited from displaying the black flag of the jihadist group, which has made significant gains in conquering land in Syria and Iraq. “Nazi symbols, Hitler salutes and burning flags will not be tolerated," the spokesperson said in a statement. "The same applies to the ISIS flag. Demonstrators may not carry it.”
Supporters of the Islamic State has been particularly problematic in the Netherlands after an ostensibly "pro-Palestine" rally in The Hague prominently featured the group's distinctive black flag. The crowd displaying a number of Islamic State flags also reportedly chanted "Death to the Jews" and promoted jihad. Mayim Bialik likes Jon Voight’s letter shaming pro-Hamas celebrities
Plenty of celebrities have taken the side of Hamas in the current conflict in Gaza. Many co-signed a letter with Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem condemning Israel for taking military action against Hamas. Mayim Bialik shared a letter written by Jon Voight, calling on Cruz, Bardem and others to “hang their heads in shame”Sudanese Woman Sentenced To Death For Christian Faith Heads To America
Ibrahim was eight months pregnant when the Sudanese government sentenced her to death for refusing to renounce her Christian faith. She later gave birth in shackles at Omdurman Federal Women’s Prison in North Khartoum, Sudan.
After an appeals court reversed a lower court's death penalty sentence, Ibrahim and her husband traveled to the airport in Khartoum to flee the country. They were arrested at the airport and accused of using forged travel documents. The United States Embassy was their only sanctuary for eight months until they finally reached safety in Italy due to the efforts of pro-life Rep. Chris Smith and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. During her stay in Italy, she had a visit with Pope Francis she described as "very tender."
They will arrive in Philadelphia and be heavily shielded by the FBI and TSA.'Islamism is the Nazism of our time'
Swedish party leaders traditionally hold summer speeches on their home turf during the holiday season and Saturday was the turn of the Sweden Democrats' Jimmie Åkesson.
A crowd of a few hundred people had gathered in Åkesson's home town of Sölvesborg in Sweden's far south to hear the 35-year-old launch the party's push towards the general election in September.
Following a sweeping review of the current global conflict zones, Åkesson shifted focus to Islam.
"Islamism is the Nazism and Communism of our time," he said, prompting the most generous applause of the afternoon. The Palestinians: A nation or a satellite of one?
Palestine, it would seem, was a fluid concept rather than a historical nation aspiring to establish a state for its people. Otherwise, the Palestinians would not have written Article 24. They would have left it in the open or claimed those lands from Jordan and Egypt.
Conveniently, Article 24 vanished in the 1968 version of the charter when Israel took over those areas.
All this points to a false national movement, whose existence has always been, and always will be to obliterate Israel.
The Palestinians would submit to any Arab state’s rule, if an Arab state were to invade Israel.
They are not a nation. They are the satellite of one.Times of Israel removes an unacceptable blog post
The Times of Israel on Friday removed an unacceptable blog post, entitled “When genocide is permissible.”
This blog post, which was described by our Ops & Blogs editor as both damnable and ignorant, blatantly breached The Times of Israel’s editorial guidelines.
We have discontinued the writer’s blog.
The Times of Israel maintains an open blog platform: Once we have accepted bloggers, we allow them to post their own items. This trust has rarely been abused. We are angry and appalled that it was in this case, and will take steps to prevent a recurrence.
We will not countenance blog posts that incite to violence or criminal acts.The Dreams at Camp Koby
The counselor says that he realizes that the bereaved children of Camp Koby are like the paper that was turned over. You can not see anything on the side that is unmarked. They look like everybody else. But when you turn over the paper you get the inner story: one of longing and loss. Bereaved children don’t often share their loss and pain. They keep it hidden.
This summer, when we are in the middle of a war, camp is even more crucial because at least half of our children are from the south and areas that are under constant attack from missiles. A little girl from a moshav on the Egyptian border tells me that a missile fell in the back of her house, that they are constantly under bombardment.
These kids need our help so that they will feel safe, so that they won’t grow up hateful and shattered but rather resilient and hopeful, protected by a community that comforts them, cares for them, and supports them in expressing and realizing their dreams.State Department's Rebuke of Egypt Undermines War on Terror
Last Thursday, during a press briefing in Washington, DC, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf accused Egypt of using military weapons "against their own people." Badr Abdel-Atti, spokesman for Egypt's Foreign Ministry, fired back, describing the comments as "sheer fantasy," noting that they "fall short and are completely ignorant of realities of matters in Egypt."
He asked for specific examples of "the suppression of protestors using U.S. military aid."
Just two weeks ago, 21 Egyptian soldiers were killed by Islamist militants in the western desert region near Libya. Almost everyday there is an attack from militants against the Egyptian security forces. Over 500 Egyptian military and policemen have been killed by Islamist militants since the removal of Morsi. The Egyptian military and security risk their lives everyday to protect the civilians of Egypt. The Egyptian military need the Apaches and military support from the United States to fight an Islamist insurgency-- the same terrorist groups, with the same ideology, as Hamas, ISIS, al Nusra, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda.
A letter was sent to President Obama in July signed by over twenty national security experts asking the President to send the Apaches and support Egypt in their war on terrorism. Egypt has been America's strongest ally in the Arab world for almost 40 years. Ms. Harf's ignorant comments further jeopardize the strategic relationship between the two countries. She should either provide the evidence to back up her remarks or apologize for the mistake.Turkey ‘really wants’ ties with Israeli tech: Entrepreneur
Lavish praise for Israel’s tech sector is coming from an unexpected place — Turkey. Unexpected, because Turkey’s leaders have become among the most vocal and strident critics of Israel during the Gaza conflict. Less unexpected, perhaps, because of the rule that tech people don’t pay attention to politics.
The burgeoning Turkish tech entrepreneurial community admires Israel and sees Tel Aviv as a source of start-up inspiration, according to Gizem Koç, a Turkish entrepreneur with her own industrial design start-up — and a leading force behind Startup Istanbul, set to be the first major event for start-ups, both local and international, in Turkey’s biggest city. IsraAID disaster relief in Pateros, WA
War at home did not stop the Israel-based humanitarian relief agency IsraAID from sending experienced volunteers to help in the wake of a disastrous wildfire on the West Coast of the United States.
“Our team is working hard alongside residents who lost their homes in Pateros, [Washington State], USA,” reported IsraAID Founding Director Shachar Zahavi. “The local community is amazing and receiving us with open arms.”
Upon arrival following what has been dubbed the Carlton Complex — the worst fire in Washington State’s history, destroying some 300 homes — IsraAID joined forces with Team Rubicon to help residents remove debris from the ruins of their homes and sift through the ash to recover personal items. They’ll also help in rehab efforts.50 years of bringing brilliant ideas from lab to market
The many groundbreaking products that came out of the labs of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI) – including the blockbuster drugs Exelon and Doxil, as well as the hardy cherry tomato – may never have moved from academia to market without Yissum Research Development Company, founded in February 1964 to protect and commercialize HUJI’s intellectual property.
Products based on HUJI inventions generate more than $2 billion in annual sales. Yissum has registered more than 8,500 patents and licensed out 700 technologies. The 90 companies spun out from Yissum over the years include many that ISRAEL21c has featured: Mobileye, ClearJet, CollPlant, Avraham Pharmaceuticals, NasVax, BioCancell and Tiltan Pharmaceuticals, to name a few.
In celebration of Yissum’s 50th anniversary, ISRAEL21c spoke with CEO Yaacov Michlin about how this technology-transfer company earned a place among the top 15 globally in terms of income.
Assaulting Gaza by land, air and sea, Israel has destroyed homes and reduced entire city blocks to rubble. It has attacked schools, mosques and hospitals. Tens of thousands of people have fled, although there is nowhere safe for them to go in this wretched strip of land just 40 kilometres long and about 10 kilometres wide. There are desperate shortages of food and water, of medical and surgical supplies.
In an open letter to US President Barack Obama, Dr Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian surgeon working at Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital, writes of “the incomprehensible chaos of bodies, sizes, limbs, walking, not walking, breathing, not breathing, bleeding, not bleeding humans. Humans!
“Ashy grey faces – Oh no! Not one more load of tens of maimed and bleeding. We still have lakes of blood on the floor in the emergency room, piles of dripping, blood-soaked bandages to clear out … the cleaners, everywhere, swiftly shovelling the blood and discarded tissues, hair, clothes, cannulas – the leftovers from death – all taken away… to be prepared again, to be repeated all over.”
The onslaught is indiscriminate and unrelenting, with but one possible conclusion: Israel is not fighting the terrorists of Hamas. In defiance of the laws of war and the norms of civilised behaviour, it is waging its own war of terror on the entire Gaza population of about 1.7 million people. Call it genocide, call it ethnic cleansing: the aim is to kill Arabs.
Yes, Hamas is also trying to kill Israeli civilians, with a barrage of rockets and guerilla border attacks. It, too, is guilty of terror and grave war crimes. But Israeli citizens and their homes and towns have been effectively shielded by the nation’s Iron Dome defence system, and so far only three of its civilians have died in this latest conflict. The Israeli response has been out of all proportion, a monstrous distortion of the much-vaunted right of self defence.
It is a breathtaking irony that these atrocities can be committed by a people with a proud liberal tradition of scholarship and culture, who hold the Warsaw Ghetto and the six million dead of the Holocaust at the centre of their race memory. But this is a new and brutal Israel dominated by the hardline, right-wing Likud Party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition. As one observer puts it: “All the seeds of the incitement of the past few years, all the nationalistic, racist legislation and the incendiary propaganda, the scare campaigns and the subversion of democracy by the right-wing camp – all these have borne fruit, and that fruit is rank and rotten. The nationalist right has now sunk to a new level, with almost the whole country following in its wake. The word ‘fascism’, which I try to use as little as possible, finally has its deserved place in the Israeli political discourse.”
Israeli propaganda is subtle and skillfully put. “If Israel were to lay down its arms tomorrow, she would be destroyed; but if Hamas were to lay down their arms, there would be peace,” goes the line, parroted endlessly
But in all these long and agonising decades, Israel has never offered the Palestinians a just and equitable peace. They would have only a splintered, vassal state, their polity and economy and even their borders and freedom of travel and trade managed and determined by Israel. The occupation of Palestinian lands would remain with the relentless expansion of illegal Israeli settlements on the West Bank of the Jordan and the Dead Sea.
As the Palestine Liberation Organisation official Hanan Ashrawi put it this week in a television interview with the Australian journalist Hamish Macdonald: “No nation can accept being imprisoned, being besieged by land, by air, by sea and deprived of the most basic requirements of a decent life: freedom of movement, clean water. For seven years they have been under a brutal and lethal Israeli siege … You shell them and you bomb them; you destroy homes, you destroy whole neighbourhoods. You obliterate, annihilate, whole families, and then you come and say that this is self defence?”
This piece, was accompanied by the following antisemitic cartoon, leading the Australian Jewish News to call on its readers to boycott Fairfax media.
The Sydney Morning Herald apologized for the cartoon. Kind of.
The cartoon showed an elderly man, with a large nose, sitting alone, with a remote control device in his hand, overseeing explosions in Gaza. The armchair in which he was sitting was emblazoned with the Star of David, and the man was wearing a kippah, a religious skullcap. A strong view was expressed that the cartoon, by Glen Le Lievre, closely resembled illustrations that had circulated in Nazi Germany. These are menacing cartoons that continue to haunt and traumatise generations of Jewish people.
In addressing individual and community concern after the publication of the cartoon on July 26, the Herald looked to the fact that Mr Le Lievre’s distinctive drawing style routinely sees old people depicted with large noses and pronounced facial features. It is the way he draws and his visual archive, dating back many years, confirms this.
It was also significant that the cartoon had its genesis in news photographs of men seated in chairs and lounges, observing the shelling of Gaza from the hills of Sderot. One of those photos depicted an old man, wearing a kippah, reclining casually as part of a group – with Mr Le Lievre seeing comparisons between this and someone watching their television; hence the remote control. Another photo portrayed a lone man on a large couch – and thus the cartoon blended these two images.
The Herald deeply regretted the upset the image had caused, but felt – not least because the cartoonist lacked any intent and that actual photographs influenced the setting and physical depiction of the character in the cartoon – that no racial vilification had occurred.
However, this newspaper accepts that this position was too simplistic and ignored the use of religious symbols
But back to Carlton, who naturally denies being antisemitic, and even has a derivation of the much loved “Some of my best friends..” defense:
The accusations of anti-Semitism are getting a bit tedious. My much-loved son-in-law is actually Jewish. Sorry for that inconvenient truth..
— Mike Carlton (@MikeCarlton01) August 4, 2014
Otherwise known as the Waters Defense.
Perhaps, then, Carlton would like to explain this, in particular his last mail to the reader.
On 27 Jul 2014, at 11:40 pm, Yury Glikin wrote:
It is most likely that you will not reply to this email, which is fine. I suppose engaging in lengthy discourse with you will be pointless as you seem to favour incendiary and grandiose statements, after which you retreat in order to hide behind a generic email address, a twitter handle and, I surmise, some sense of achievement (although I am not too sure of what exactly).
As a man who has been a journalist for decades, to publish an article like the one you did on Saturday about Israel means one of 2 things. You either genuinely believe what you say, which means your understanding of history of the region is sadly lacking. To say things like Israel has never offered the Palestinians a state of their own for example, is such a gross misrepresentation of facts that it really doesn’t deserve further comment. There are so many factually incorrect statements, that it becomes more or less irrelevant, like something one would read on TMZ or a similarly banal and pointless publication.
It may be argued that your commentary is deeply steeped in anti Semitism or general racism, but of course you know this and revel in the attention these statements get .. perhaps a slightly sad attempt of a journalist who was once relevant, to remain so by using inflammatory rhetoric.
Alternatively, you don’t believe what you say, and you write what you write because Fairfax knows that it generates eyeballs and feeds the needs if its (mostly) liberal reader base. Fair enough, we all need to make a buck. But if this is the case, then you have already sold out. I am sure you convince yourself that having 85% of the people respond to your column with positive feedback, gives you some sort of victory. I assure you, it’s a pyrrhic one at best, because your credibility as a journalist, someone that people should listen to, is already dead.
I have no desire to call you names or threaten you, as this feeds your ego and helps you to validate what you do. I also am not misguided enough to say stupid stuff like “we’re the chosen people, deal with it”, as this no doubt gives you some macabre pleasure and allows you to reinforce your belief into you own perceived self-importance.
Sadly, SMH will no doubt continue to give you voice in order to help sell page banner impressions. But I am comfortable knowing that Israel will endure many people like you and will continue, whereas you are already immaterial …. but what’s best of all is that deep inside, just before you fall asleep at night … I know that you already know this.
On 28 Jul 2014, at 5:45, Mike Carlton wrote:
How arrogant and foolish you are.
Sent from my iPad
On 28 Jul 2014, at 6:56 am, Yury Glikin wrote:
But I’ll take that any day over being a sad and irrelevant old man, full of hate and bile.
From: Mike Carlton
Date: 28 July 2014 7:17:21 AEST
To: Yury Glikin
Subject: Re: Irrelevant
You’re the one full of hate and bile, sunshine. The classic example of the Jewish bigot. Now f..k off.
Sent from my iPad
The reason? Because his paternal grandfather was Jewish.
One of the activists wrote, "Does it make sense to think of greeting a singer with Jewish origins in Algeria after all the massacres committed by the Israelis in Palestine our brothers?"
Another wrote, "This is a great shame and we must stand up against this farce immediately."
Even worse, one of them dug up this photo of Sean Paul at "the Wailing Wall in Tel Aviv" back in 2007.
There ya go.
The promoters seemed highly unlikely to cancel the concert, since they already paid for everything.
I wonder if the BDS crowd will support this.
While much of the international media as well as the Obama administration are lambasting Israel for the conduct of its war in Gaza, friends of the Jewish state are also under attack this week. The charge is insufficient sympathy for Palestinians who are being killed and wounded in the conflict. But while all persons of good will should view the pictures of those suffering with horror, the rush to indict the pro-Israel community on the charge of callous indifference is unjustified.
Some of the discussion on this topic is easy to dismiss. In the case of Northeastern University’s Dov Waxman, who writes in the Forward to lament the lack of Jewish empathy for Palestinian casualties, it’s hard not to see his piece as a display of moral preening that tells us little about the situation or even what is motivating the discussion among pro-Israel activists. Of course, we should care about Palestinians. But other than demanding that friends of Israel gnash their teeth about the situation, it’s difficult to understand what he’d like them to do about it especially since he acknowledges that the fault for their plight largely belongs to Hamas. If, as Cynthia Ozick once aptly noted, “universalism is the parochialism of the Jews,” all Waxman here seems to be saying is that it’s necessary for Jews to do more conspicuous wailing about the Palestinians without in any way diminishing their support for Israel’s justified defensive war. Far from being callous, pro-Israel activists are concentrating their efforts on pointing out what the media has failed to about Hamas responsibility for the war and those who have been hurt by it.
More serious are Ramesh Ponnuru’s comments in his Bloomberg column on Friday. Ponnuru acknowledges that Israel is in the right in this contest and that Hamas and its apologists—especially those who falsely accuse Israel of “genocide”—are in the wrong. But he’s worried about those who go a step further in defense of the Jewish state and claim that there are no “true” civilians in Gaza.
Ponnuru takes particular aim at New York University Law School’s Thane Rosenbaum for writing in the Wall Street Journal that those in Gaza who give not only vocal support to Hamas but actively assist its fighters cannot claim to be mere civilians when they come under Israeli counter-fire. Ponnuru also thinks ill of historian Benny Morris who recently wrote that Israel needed to demonstrate a willingness to “exact a heavy price in blood from Palestinian civilians.”
According to Ponnuru, this is more than callousness. Rather it is, he says, a violation of the rules of war that call upon combatants to attempt at all times to make distinctions between enemy soldiers and civilians in their midst. Rosenbaum asserts that sympathy for Gazans who are active Hamas supporters who place their children in the path of violence in order to further group’s causes is misplaced. Ponnuru derides this as not merely unfeeling but a “disgusting sentiment.”
To the extent that these comments reflect a lack of sympathy for any child caught in the crossfire of even a justified war, he’s right. Children don’t choose to be part of a war any more than they choose their parents. Anyone who can view the suffering of Palestinians as they regard those who have been wounded and maimed and mourn their dead with indifference is wrong. Those who have lost the capacity to realize the common humanity even with an enemy have lost their moral compass.
But the discussion about the wave of empathy for Palestinians as their casualty toll mounts and the accompanying anger at Israel is not as simple as that. Rosenbaum may have overstepped his mark, as did Morris, whose main point was to correctly assert that Hamas could not be left standing if there was to be any hope for peace. But to merely assert, as Ponnuru does, that Palestinians civilians “aren’t the bad guys” in this drama is just as unhelpful.
Strip away some of the overheated rhetoric and what Rosenbaum has written is not merely true but inarguable. Palestinians who voted for Hamas, support their charter that calls for Israel’s eradication and the genocide of its Jewish population, cheer the deaths of Jewish civilians, and provide all possible aid to terrorists are not exactly innocent bystanders in this war.
Ponnuru is correct that American civilians can’t be legally targeted for acts of war conducted by their government overseas even if they happened to vote for that government. In that sense, the mere act of voting for Hamas or cheering their terrorist exploits does not make anyone in Gaza a legitimate target. But the distinction that Rosenbaum is attempting to make here is not one that would legitimize the wholesale slaughter of Hamas voters. Nor is Morris, when taken in context, advocating that. Rather, the point here is that those who actively assist Hamas “military” actions are not mere civilians.
But there is a broader point here that touches on just war theories.
As Ponnuru rightly notes, just war theory demands that we always distinguish between soldiers and civilians. But what we should understand is that as much as compassion should be extended to every human being in difficult situations no matter what their beliefs, the attempt to falsely brand Israel as behaving brutally must also be put in the context of a conflict that is happening specifically because Hamas believes killing more Jews will increase its popularity. One need not forfeit sympathy for injured Palestinian children to realize that if their society honors terrorism and incites hatred for Israel, the ensuing violence will take a terrible toll on its people. Those who point out that many of those decrying Israeli strikes on Gaza are themselves advocates of genocide against Israelis are not being callous. They are merely calling Palestinians to account for the culture of violence they have embraced at a time when much of the world is prepared to give them a pass. The suffering of their people will not abate until they reject that culture. To say so is not immoral. It is merely the truth.
Yvonne Ridley, former-Taliban-captive-turned-Muslim tweeted the following to the world today.
We have a Scottish-wide tour planned, working to make Scotland a Zionist-free zone: http://t.co/98sKaR8Gqa
— yvonneridley (@yvonneridley) August 4, 2014
I shudder to think what she means by “Zionist-free.” Especially considering this is someone who ever-so-casually supports terrorist groups like Hizbullah.
I certainly don’t want to conquer Gaza for the benefit of Abbas. I don’t believe Israel should be an occupier of Gaza long term. Nor do I want to give anything in return for a ceasefire. Hamas shouldn’t be rewarded for inflicting this war on us. It remains to be seen who has the staying powers under the new rules. And what kind of pressure will the Obama administration put Israel under in order to open the borders. Israel should insist on demilitarization including unlimited inspection and access as the precondition for opening borders. In the meantime we should try to sell the idea of the world taking in about 900,000 refugees in
Gaza and leave it to Israel to annex the land and rebuild it at its own expense. Until such time such an option is available, I see no value in occupying Gaza. Sooner or later we will have to end the occupation. The present choice is much better for israel. Ted Belman.
By Sarah Honig
Posted on August 4, 2014This is no wholesale retreat – all options remain open after Hamas was dealt grievous blowsThe rule of thumb in gauging any public’s mood is that the higher the expectations, the deeper the let-down. Put differently, it may be argued that the more unrealistic the expectations, the more groundless the grumbles.
This was all too evident in the reactions of disappointment that followed the purely tactical decision to re-station IDF units at staging areas in and around the Gaza Strip, while keeping others behind to maintain defensive positions that safeguard Israel’s hinterland.
Anyone who bothered paying attention would have understood that this is no wholesale retreat, that all options remain open after Hamas was dealt grievous blows both to its rocket arsenals and tunnel projects.
Sure, Hamas might continue to fire at Israeli civilians, but it keeps depleting its stockpiles, which it would be hard pressed to replenish. All known tunnels were destroyed although this doesn’t rule out a situation in which a tunnel or branch thereof were missed.
But in all, it would serve us to remember that the IDF went in with superior intelligence and wasn’t blindly groping for tunnels in total darkness. Our forces knew where to look, a fact which attests to painstaking prior preparation and which refutes contentions that the tunnel threat was lackadaisically ignored.
There are no guarantees for perfect story lines in combat zones. Where bullets fly, lives are on the line and bad things can happen to the best of soldiers. Reducing nonessential contact with the local population is therefore prudent.
The ground incursion into Gaza was never intended to conquer it and expel Hamas. It was occasioned by the tunnel threat and that was neutralized more efficiently and successfully than might have been envisioned.
The wails of discontent from both Left and Right arise from wishful thinking that has nothing to do with the justifiably limited aims of this phase of the fighting.
Nowhere on our broad mainstream political spectrum are there outright advocates for Hamas but many on the Zionist Left want Hamas replaced with Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah functionaries. The rationale is that we can do business with Abbas, though this hasn’t actually ever worked so far. Moreover, it was to Abbas’s care that Israel relinquished Gaza in the 2005 Disengagement and he was the incompetent who lost it to Hamas.
As things stand, Abbas would be lucky to hang on to Judea and Samaria where he’s entirely reliant on Israel’s support. The notion of paying with the blood of countless Israeli soldiers just to reinstate Abbas in Gaza should be a nonstarter.
The same concerns about the terrible cost in lives ought to preclude calls from the Right to retake Gaza. It‘s true that terrorism can only be controlled by actual Israeli presence or unhindered access, as experience indeed shows in Judea and Samaria. The IDF can take possession of Gaza faster than is assumed but would then have to mop up, which would inflict casualties on all sides.
Deployment flexibility leaves Israel with all operational options, while it enjoys incomparably greater staying power than Hamas, its bluster notwithstanding.
It is tempting to demand radical facile solutions but reality doesn’t always dish these up. It’s easy to demand comprehensive once-and-for-all overhauls of chronically dangerous circumstances but such overhauls can be deceptive, if not altogether unattainable.
It is a true test of leadership to keep a cool head when emotions rage all around. It isn’t easy and it isn’t popular.
Such difficulties are further exacerbated by the unique Israeli psyche. We aren’t merely a democracy but a democracy comprised more than any other comparable society of opinionated second-guessers and vocal armchair generals.
Despite blatantly biased portrayals overseas, Binyamin Netanyahu’s government isn’t gung-ho or trigger-happy. Despite carping protests at home, it isn’t weak or irresolute. It has been adroitly performing a tricky balancing act between the desirable and the doable despite unavoidable battle mishaps, calumnies from implacable foes and insincere slurs from severely injudicious sometimes-allies.
After a month of warfare we should take solace from the fact that official Israel has consistently been doing the right thing. That’s no mean feat.
I bet you remember this like it was yesterday.
Or maybe not.
And I’m wondering if the UN and even a close ally like Israel, condemned America for this massacre of innocent civilians in an outrageous display of disproportionate firepower. Seven kids killed to get “several al-Qa’eda” and two captured. Sounds disproportionate to me.
Note the complete lack of scepticism in the reporting about what a Nato spokesman says. Note the claim that children were told they could not leave the compound: human shields. This is exactly why Col Richard Kemp so clearly says that the vast majority of UK troops who have served in Afghanistan or Iraq understand what Israel faces and back us.
Seven children die as US bombs Afghan school
By Tom Coghlan in Kabul 12:01AM BST 19 Jun 2007
Seven children died when American aircraft bombed a religious school in an attack against the Taliban in the Afghan province of Paktika, the US army said yesterday.
American army spokesmen said several al-Qa’eda insurgents were killed and two captured in the attack on Sunday. It came hours after a suicide bomber killed 35 people in Kabul, the largest single loss of life in a Taliban attack since 2001.
US-led coalition forces, which operate separately from Nato’s command structure, accepted responsibility for the Paktika raid but accused the Taliban of using the children as human shields. “We are saddened by the innocent lives that were lost as a result of militants’ cowardice,” said Major Chris Belcher.
The raid was called in against a residential compound that also contained a mosque and a madrassa in the Zarghun Shah District of Paktika Province.
“Coalition forces confirmed the presence of nefarious activity occurring at the site before getting approval to conduct an air strike on the location,” the statement said.
Coalition troops had “surveillance on the compound all day and saw no indications there were children inside,” said Major Belcher.
He claimed that children who survived told American forces they were prevented from leaving and beaten when they tried to do so.
Western forces have been repeatedly accused of failing to take adequate precaution to protect ordinary Afghans.
Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, warned in March that the patience of the Afghan people for foreign troops in their country was “wearing thin”. At least 120 civilians have been killed by Western forces in the country so far this year, according to government estimates, sparking protests in Afghan cities.
In the most notorious incident, on March 4, the US apologised after a special forces unit shot dead 19 civilians and injured 50 near the city of Jalalabad after their unit was attacked by a suicide bomb which injured one American.
Afghan officials also said yesterday that as many as 75 civilians had been killed or wounded and dozens more Taliban fighters and local police had died in three days of clashes in the southern province of Uruzgan.
A Nato spokesman confirmed that there was a “large engagement” in the area. Dutch troops are reported to be supporting Afghan forces fighting around the town of Chora, which had come under attack from hundreds of Taliban fighters.
Yesterday a Nato soldier was reported killed in the south of the country and three injured. Their nationalities were not disclosed.
Over a week ago, a group of scum and villainy took to the streets of New York, to show their hatred of Israel and support for terrorism.
Not long after they shouted “From the River to the Sea..” did they get drowned out.
Zionist Diamond Dealers of DoomTM, b*tches.
The New Yorker’s David Remnick is an intelligent man and a fine editor and writer. (I just read his excellent 1998 book on Muhammed Ali, King of the World.) But when it comes to politics, his political judgments, especially about Barack Obama, are hopelessly distorted.
Mr. Remnick, it’s worth noting, appeared on the November 7, 2008 broadcast of PBS’s Charlie Rose discussing the election of Obama. Mr. Remnick compared Obama’s rhetorical skills to Lincoln. The campaign, he said, “shows him in a decision-making mold that is very encouraging.” Mr. Obama demonstrated a “receptivity to ideas outside the frame” and possesses a “worldview that allows for complexity.” He “assumes a maturity in the American public” and possesses “great audacity.” Not to believe Obama’s election will have “enormous effect” on the streets of Cairo, or Nairobi, or Jerusalem is “naive.” It continued in this vein until Remnick–who was nearly in tears during portions of the interview, which included historians–finally had to say, “We’ll climb out of the tank soon.”
Such Obama adulation is impossible to sustain these days, with the Obama presidency in ruins. Mr. Remnick has therefore decided the thing to do is to make excuses for Obama. And so on Sunday’s roundtable discussion on ABC’s This Week, Remnick said this:
He’s pretty stifled [legislatively]. It’s frustrating to see his projection of frustration. You want him to suck it up and keep going at it and leading and leading. But I think history is going to show that this presidency has been stifled at every angle.
Actually, for the first two years of his presidency Obama had his way with the stimulus package, the Affordable Care Act, the GM-Chrysler bailouts, “cash for clunkers,” financial regulations, release of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds, credit-card price controls, the extension of jobless benefits, and more. As the Wall Street Journal put it, “Mr. Obama has been the least obstructed president since LBJ in 1965 or FDR in 1933.” Mr. Remnick’s comments, then, are quite misleading.
To be sure, after the epic blowout Democrats suffered in the 2010 midterm elections, the president has been stifled in many areas (though he is getting around that by taking a series of lawless acts). But the crushing defeat of Democrats was precisely because Obama got his way on so many things and the public was unhappy with the results. Since then, they have grown more disenchanted, to the point that Obama’s approval ratings are now among the lowest ever for a president at this juncture in his term and Republicans, right now at least, are favored to take control of the Senate. Since defending Obama isn’t easy these days, expect people like Remnick to train their fury on Republicans, attempting to portray them as nihilistic and all the rest. The thinking here is that while Obama may not be perfect–on second thought, he may not be the equal of Lincoln–Republicans are malicious and malevolent. That is the political narrative that is supposed to save New Yorker-style liberalism.
One other thing: In the context of the discussion about the president sending signals he is going to sign an executive order giving amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, Remnick said this: “The immigration issue, first of all, I think a lot of people at this table are here because of America’s openness to immigration. I think that’s fair to say.”
It also irrelevant to the discussion. As Remnick’s co-panelist William Kristol pointed out, Remnick conflated legal immigration with illegal immigration. They are quite distinct, and our approaches to them should be, too. To treat the debate over illegal immigration as if it’s a debate about legal immigration is once again misleading.
And let’s examine the logic of Remnick’s position. It goes something like this: Most of us are here because somewhere in the past our relatives were legally allowed to immigrate to America, so we should have completely open borders and allow everyone in who wants to settle in America. QED. If the suffering peoples of Latin America, Africa, and other continents want to come to America, on what grounds is Mr. Remnick going to say no? Is there a limit to the number of people we can take in? A million? Ten million? Fifty million? A hundred million? And should we give priority to the people living in, say, Sierra Leone, Burundi, Madagascar, Swaziland, Congo, Zimbabwe, and Haiti? If someone says we have to draw some lines on illegal immigration, will Remnick’s response be, first of all, most of the people making those arguments are here because of America’s openness to immigration and so they have no standing to make their case?
It’s fascinating to see how people’s political biases distort not just their objectivity but their reasoning ability. David Remnick is hardly the worst example of this; in fact, he perfectly represents a certain slice of the political class. He is a man who is intelligent but not wise, who is dogmatic even as he has convinced himself he is a model of objectivity. To be rigidly ideological is bad enough; to be so blind to it is even worse.
As of August 3 at noon, they counted:
1,438 Palestinians killed is as follows:
1) 407 terrorist operatives:
A. 222 Hamas operatives
B. 123 PIJ operatives
C. 62 operatives from other terrorist organizations
2) 452 non-involved Palestinians
3) 589 Palestinians whose identity is not yet known
This comes out to 47% of the known casualties being terrorists, which tracks exactly to what the IDF said yesterday. Chances are these are the same figures the IDF is using, though it may be a coincidence.
At roughly the same time, the UN counted 1,717 Palestinians killed.
The difference in count of over 270 is fairly significant.
The UN doesn't publish a list of the dead (neither does ITIC) so it is not easy to identify the sources of the discrepancies. But we do have a few educated guesses.
During Cast Lead, the number of people who were reported of dying natural deaths in Gaza plummeted. It seems likely that many people who died naturally in Gaza over the past month were moved over to the "martyr" category.
There have been reports of Hamas killing collaborators. Also unverified reports of Hamas killing demonstrators. Beyond that, there are clearly people who were killed by Hamas rockets or explosions.
We have also seen quite few people double-counted, or even triple-counted, although I don't know if the UN list includes those. (The UN count is about fifty fewer than the Hamas Health Ministry count.)
Once the actual names are released, it seems very unlikely that any journalist in Gaza would endanger him- or herself to research the circumstances behind every disputed death. It also seems unlikely that the IDF figures, which have been found to be accurate (as much as could be determined) in the past, will be given the same attention as the UN or Hamas figures.
After writing in the National Review that the Western media are “co-conspirators” who “do Hamas’s bidding by perpetuating the myth that there are two morally competing visions at war in Gaza,” conservative news radio executive Lee Habeeb further elaborated on his point in an interview with CNN’s Kate Bolduan.
“Where are the Hamas soldiers?” Habeeb asked his CNN host. “We don’t see them because they’re hiding. Why do we only see the images of dead women and children, and not the images of Hamas soldiers?”
A portion of the interview can be viewed here:
CNN has now edited out, however, the portion of the interview that proves one of the points that Habeeb was trying to make. In addition to pointing out the lack of images of Hamas fighters, Habeeb complains of the moral equivalency portrayed by the media. Bolduan helpfully provided an example of this very problem in the version of the interview that aired on television this morning. She first noted that Israeli spokesman Mark Regev appears on CNN regularly, and then asserted that when Khaled Meshaal was interviewed, Meshaal complained that “the US has now adopted the Israeli narrative.” Bolduan asked “How can it be both ways? How can the US media be Hamas’s co-conspirators and also be adopting the Israeli narrative?”
The fact that CNN is willing to put statements by Meshaal on the same footing as Regev is the essence of the problem. Israel, like the US, has a vigorous free press that holds its government accountable for both its actions and its statements, and a public that will send corrupt government officials packing. As we’ve seen highlighted in this war, Gaza journalists enjoy no such privileges. Meshaal can make any claim he wants, no matter how far removed such statements are from the truth, without being held accountable to his own public. No matter how outrageous Meshaal’s claims are, his public has no ability to vote him out. Indeed, Hamas executes people who disagree. The problem is that the media equates, on the one hand, statements made by a government that is held accountable by the press, with, on the other hand, statements made by a dictatorial regime, and calls such statements just two sides of the same story. Bolduan unwittingly provided a perfect example of the very moral equivalency Habeeb rightfully decries.
“ISIS now controls a volume of resources and territory unmatched in the history of extremist organizations. It possesses the means to threaten its neighbors on multiple fronts, demonstrating a military effectiveness much greater than many observers expected.”
So wrote my Council on Foreign Relations colleague Janine Davidson on July 24. And that was before this weekend’s reports that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria had routed Kurdish fighters from the town of Sinjar near the Iraq-Syria border–one of the few border posts it did not already control–and that it may have taken control of the Mosul dam, which if blown up could flood much of northern Iraq with a 65-foot wave.
Other reports indicate that ISIS has taken control of a Syrian oil field near Homs. As the Washington Post notes in a very comprehensive round-up of depressing news: “Experts estimate the group is pocketing as much as $3 million per day in oil revenue by selling off resources on black markets in the greater Levant.” Oh and ISIS also just staged an attack in yet another country–Lebanon.
In short, the news is about as bad as it could be. The question that remains is: What is the U.S. doing about it? So far President Obama has dispatched 825 military personnel to Iraq to make a survey of the situation and to conduct some liaison work with the Iraqis in two headquarters. That’s about it, aside from some fiery rhetoric from Washington denouncing ISIS excesses. One wonders if the president is once again assuming that denouncing something is the same thing as doing something about it.
There are no air strikes, no Special Operations raids, no attempts to rally Sunni tribesmen to resist their new overlords. Granted, one should not rush willy-nilly into action before gaining an accurate assessment of the situation and deploying the resources necessary to be successful. That is why, for example, the Bush administration did not start bombing Afghanistan until weeks after the 9/11 attacks. But one fears that this time around the U.S. is not preparing a devastating response–or any meaningful response at all–to the alarming expansion of Islamist terrorist control in Iraq and Syria.
One fears that Washington is busy analyzing while ISIS is altering facts on the ground. And that eventually we will hear about Iraq the same thing we have been hearing about Syria: that the situation is so grim that there is nothing we can do about it. That, of course, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy–the less we do, the worse the situation gets, and the less likely we are to intervene in any form.
If anyone still wonders why Hamas locates its military installations in schools, hospitals, and mosques, the answer comes back in all the headlines being run all over the world: “Israel Bombs Babies” or some variant thereof.
Hamas has presented Israel with a no-win situation: Either the Israel Defense Forces declare Hamas militants and weapons off-limits for attacks (in which case Hamas can continue barraging Israel with its rockets and sending its terrorists to infiltrate via tunnels so they can kidnap and kill Israelis) or Israel attacks Hamas installations and produces inevitable collateral damage which then creates sad but true stories of innocent civilians getting killed.
The world, perversely if expectedly, draws a simple moral from all this: Not that Hamas is guilty of war crimes (which it is) by hiding its military infrastructure in civilian areas but that Israel is guilty of war crimes (which it isn’t) for targeting that infrastructure while doing its level best to avoid civilian casualties.
Even observers who are willing to admit that Israel has a right to self-defense then play the Hamas game by subjecting every single Israeli military operation to the kind of minute scrutiny that no other military in the world–not even the American Armed Forces–must face. For instance, there is this New York Times investigative article which begins: “An examination of an Israeli barrage that put a line of at least 10 shells through a United Nations school sheltering displaced Palestinians here last week suggests that Israeli troops paid little heed to warnings to safeguard such sites and may have unleashed weapons inappropriate for urban areas despite rising alarm over civilian deaths.”
I have no idea precisely what happened during the operation which apparently hit a school in Gaza on July 30–and neither does the New York Times, because its reporters were able to get only one side of the story. That is, they are able to get the story provided by Hamas, which is happy to allow Palestinian civilians to be interviewed as long as they say what they’re supposed to say (namely, to blame all casualties on the Zionist imperialists).
Journalists know they are at risk of violent retribution from Hamas if they report how that terrorist organization is, for example, firing rockets from the parking lot of Al Shifa hospital, something that was only reported by an obscure Finnish TV reporter.
Or as an Italian journalist tweeted after leaving Gaza: “Out of #Gaza far from #Hamas retaliation: misfired rocket killed children yday in Shati. Witness: militants rushed and cleared debris.”
Those journalists who remain in Gaza, whatever their noble intentions, are serving as a mouthpiece, intentional or not, for the story that Hamas–an organization openly dedicated to genocide–wants the world to hear. This is a brilliant use of “information warfare” on the part of the terrorists, but it’s a disgrace that so many well-meaning people fall for the Hamas line without bothering to learn anything about the extraordinary care that Israel takes to avoid civilian casualties including routinely dropping leaflets on buildings before they are targeted.
Does the IDF still make mistakes and kill civilians they shouldn’t have killed? Of course. That’s the nature of war. Especially of a war fought against an enemy that disdains the most basic laws of war, which call for fighters to openly identify themselves and not shelter behind human shields. Is it tragic that Palestinian civilians are being killed? Of course.
But at the end of the day it’s hard to see what more the IDF can do to avoid public opprobrium without simply giving Hamas a free-fire license. As the Israeli novelist Amos Oz (no hawk he) says: “What would you do if your neighbor across the street sits down on the balcony, puts his little boy on his lap and starts shooting machine gun fire into your nursery?”
Unfortunately few people around the world bother to grapple with the moral complexity of his question–or to imagine what their own governments would do if thousands of rockets were raining down on their territory. It’s much easier to simply blame big bad Israel for the supposed “disproportionality” of its response.
Last week, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency posed an interesting question to the New York Times: Why isn’t it publishing any pictures of Hamas fighters in Gaza? The answer from the Times and from other media outlets about the lack of any depictions of Hamas terrorists or rocket launchings speaks volumes about the biased nature of much of the coverage of the war.
The answer from the Times communications shop was candid if not particularly helpful. According to their spokesman, out of the hundreds of images of the fighting filed from Gaza by their photographers, there wasn’t a single clear one of one of the two sides in the conflict. The same appears to be true of all the other major news outlets, not to mention the broadcast networks and cable news channels operating in Gaza in large numbers. How is it that we have yet to see a single photo or video of Hamas personnel launching rockets at Israel even though we know that has happened literally thousands of times in the last few weeks? Is it that the intrepid war correspondents and video teams just happened to miss the chance to take the picture every single time the rockets went up? Or is there some other explanation?
There is simply no way that the battalions of journalists wandering around in the relatively tight confines of Gaza could have possibly missed every time a rocket was launched. Nor are the excuses being put forward by some journalists when asked about this astonishing gap in their coverage credible. We know that Hamas has thousands of armed fighters in Gaza.
It is true that most spend as much time as possible in the underground city of tunnels and bunkers that Hamas has constructed at great expense underneath the narrow strip. But they are not vampires. It is possible to take a picture of them when they emerge from their lairs to launch attacks on their enemies or to indiscriminately shoot rockets at Israeli cities. Indeed, unless the foreign journalists in Gaza are making a concerted effort to avoid doing so it would be hard for them to have contrived not to bump into some of them in the course of their efforts to cover instances of Israeli fire causing Palestinian casualties. Since the Israelis are returning fire at Hamas personnel either launching rockets or conducting other military operations, it would be next to impossible for them not to have noticed their presence.
The answer is fairly obvious: despite denials, foreign journalists in Gaza take great care not to depict Hamas military actions because to do so would be to jeopardize their ability to continue to report from Gaza or, even worse, invite attacks from these terrorists. This is not the first time we’ve seen this sort of thing happening. A generation ago, Thomas Friedman and others wrote about the difficulty of reporting accurately about the Palestine Liberation Organization when Yasir Arafat’s terrorists exercised their reign of terror in southern Lebanon and parts of Beirut. The same was true in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq when CNN defended its exclusive niche in Baghdad by failing to tell the truth about what that evil regime was doing. Subsequent admissions from CNN about making tough decisions after Saddam’s fall make the network’s current disclaimers about its reporters and camera operators being subjected to intimidation ring false.
In saying this, I’m not castigating those reporters who are trying to report on the fighting in Gaza. It’s dangerous work in the best of circumstances and who are we to ask any of them to dare Hamas to kill them by taking pictures that would give the lie to the Islamists’ attempt to have the world believe the only thing going on in the strip is Israeli aggression and cruelty.
But that’s the reason why this is a topic that needs to be honestly addressed by the networks and publications that are helping to spread these talking points. If, as MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough argued last week, the Jewish state is losing friends because of the pictures of horror emanating from Gaza, it’s fair to ask why those depictions are never balanced with footage or stills of the actions of terrorists inviting return fire from the Israelis.
To state this fact is not to deny that the suffering of civilians in Gaza is real. Nor can or should anyone claim that the injuries being inflicted on civilians by fire from Israeli aircraft or troops, including many children, is anything but horrific. There is no doubt that Israeli troops, like those American soldiers and marines operating under similarly restrictive rules of engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan, sometimes make mistakes. But to tell the story of this war without including the photographic and video proof of the way Hamas deliberately endangers Palestinian civilians is a travesty. Those who lecture Israel on the damage done to its image from the pictures of Palestinian children should at least have the guts to demand that those reporters and photographers working in Gaza either start doing their jobs or admit that they are either being intimidated from doing so or are engaging in biased journalism.
Has President Barack Obama ‘got Israel’s back’? When policy is compared to rhetoric, the answer is no. Thus, when Hamas, a terrorist organization which calls in its Charter for the worldwide murder of Jews, launched a new round of rocket assaults on Israel, Obama declared, “We support [Israel’s] military efforts … No nation should accept rockets being fired into its borders or terrorists tunneling into its territory.”
But Obama’s policy is entirely different –– imposing what he calls “an immediate, unconditional humanitarian cease-fire that ends hostilities now.” Moreover, Secretary of State John Kerry informed Hamas via Qatar that Hamas’ demands for weakening the Israeli blockade would be met. In attempting to reach this cease-fire, Obama has bypassed the Palestinian Authority and Egypt –– Hamas antagonists–– and worked closely with Qatar and Turkey –– both munificent Hamas supporters.
In short, the idea that Israel should stop defending its citizens and territory from Hamas assault is not President Obama’s policy position –– merely his policy objective.
It is surely obvious that if one supports a country dealing militarily with terrorist assault, then calling for an immediate cease-fire that preserves the terrorists’ infrastructure and awards them concessions flatly contradicts and nullifies this support.
Other developments in recent weeks also suggest that Obama has Hamas’ back, not Israel’s:
1. He supported the formation of a Hamas/Fatah Palestinian Authority (PA) unity regime, meaning that Hamas, a Nazi-like terrorist organization that calls in its Charter for the worldwide murder of Jews, would be part of the PA.
2. He had Secretary of State John Kerry announce last week $47 million in additional aid to Gaza, which, as Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has observed, “is in effect $47 million for Hamas … Aiding Hamas while simultaneously isolating Israel does two things. One, it helps our enemy. Two, it hurts our ally.”
3. He had the the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) impose, not merely a warning, but an astonishing ban on flight to Israel –– something not see on far more hazardous destinations like Iraq, Pakistan or Ukraine –– creating the suspicion that it was a form of pressure on Israel to agree to his ceasefire.
More troubling still is that this fits a pre-existing pattern. Consider the following:
Egypt: When in June 2009, Obama addressed the Muslim world in Cairo, he insisted on inviting members of the (then-banned) radical Muslim Brotherhood over the objections of U.S. ally, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak – though the Obama administration later denied that it did so. (A furious Mubarak refused to attend.)
When a groundswell of opposition to Mubarak’s rule arose in February 2011, Obama called for Mubarak to step down “now” while his spokesman called for early elections involving “non-secular actors” –– despite the near certainty that radical Muslim groups would triumph in elections.
When the Muslim Brotherhood senior leader and candidate for president Mohamed Morsi was, unsurprisingly, elected president, Obama did not discontinue arming the regime. Conversely, when in July 2013 Morsi was ousted by the Egyptian military under Field Marshal Abdul el-Sisi, Obama suspended military aid.
Iran: In 2009, when Iranians were brutalized on Tehran’s streets for protesting the rigged re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Obama did not call for Ahmadinejad to step down and back democracy protesters –– he pointedly refused to get involved.
Last year, following somewhat tightened UN Security Council sanctions on Iran, Obama agreed to weaken them, granting Iran some $20 billion in sanctions relief over 6 months (not merely $6-7 billion, as the Administration initially claimed) under the terms of the Geneva interim agreement. This permitted Iran to retain intact all the essential elements of its nuclear weapons program – its Arak plutonium plant; continued uranium enrichment; intercontinental ballistic missile programs, even its enriched uranium stocks. (Iran was simply required to reduce these to an oxide, which can be restored in weeks to weapons-grade uranium.)
Afghanistan: Last month, President Obama freed five senior Taliban terrorist commanders in exchange for an American serviceman who may have been a deserter.
This record speaks for itself. Obama favors accommodation with and empowerment of radical Islam. He has less interest in traditional U.S. allies and is willing to pick fights with them or abandon them. This now appears to be true in respect of his policy toward Israel and Hamas.
Indeed, Obama already assisted Hamas’ current aggression at the last Israel/Hamas cease-fire in 2012: he pressured Israel then into allowing Hamas to import into Gaza previously prohibited cement and steel. With these, Hamas has spent over $1 billion on constructing, not schools or hospitals, but a sophisticated terror tunnel network that we now know was designed to enable Hamas to dispatch 200 jihadists to carry out mass casualty terror attacks and kidnappings inside Israel on Rosh Hashanah.
And yet Obama wants Israel’s operation to destroy the Hamas tunnels and rocket launchers to end now, ensuring that Hamas can resume its offensive at any moment of its choosing. This is a prescription for renewed and intensified bloodshed. It certainly not a matter of having Israel’s back. Given Obama’s record, we shouldn’t be surprised.
Morton A. Klein is National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). Dr. Daniel Mandel is Director of the ZOA’ s Center for Middle East Policy and author of H.V. Evatt & the Creation of Israel (Routledge, London, 2004). This article was originally published by the San Diego Jewish Journal.
Joods Actueel reports that Ducat has just written another similar poem for what is happening in Gaza, and is being criticized by another popular Belgian poet:
Benno Barnard picks up on the derogatory way his colleague Charles Ducal writes about Jews. Below is a poem of Ducal's that appeared in in the newspaper De Morgen and on the website of the Labour Party. According to Barnard, the content is not only "offensive and hurtful" but involves "aestheticized hatred".
"This poem hurts me deeply, and I'm not even a Jew, let alone religious. It is unacceptable that a Poet Laureate, which basically is the poet of all Belgians, in such a fashion antagonize thousands of compatriots, and then even in a newspaper that is read by most Antwerp Jews," writes Barnard.
"Ducal may not understand well how deeply insulting this poem is for every ordinary Belgian Jew , even a Jew who is possibly an opponent of Netanyahu. He probably doesn't understand how humiliating it is to hear Jews as thinking they are "better", which is not the meaning of that infamous word "chosen" (forgive me, Charles, but I know a little Hebrew, and "chosen" means "designated volunteer ", which equates approximately to 'chose to be damned.')
"Why doesn't Ducal write a poem against young Muslims in our streets, who wave ISIS flags in a frenzy against Israel?
"I quote Leon de Winter: "Since 1950, eleven million Muslims were killed, excluding "ordinary" murders. Slightly more than 0.3 percent of them died in the conflict with Israel, or 1 in 315 Muslim fatalities. . 90 percent of the total number of fatalities died in conflicts with other Muslims (...)
"'Every death is one too many - especially when it comes to children,' we hear enlightened and developed Westerners saying.
But there are many Muslims, especially those living in the Arab world) who think differently. In their tribal honor-shame culture the extermination of the enemy and his family is an accepted principle. The young fighters of Isis proudly show the severed heads of their victims.
Here is the poem, translated by a couple of email correspondents:
You're now better. It's written
in The Book. It can be seen in your eye
when you see them approaching: in fanatical clothes,
dusty, their IDs ready in their hand
You look at them as a creator of water
in a world of sand. They live [here] by chance
without promise, can be swept away
like withered leaves. This is your land.
You have learned to keep the fear of persecution
alive without fear, arrogant as the man who chose his enemy for himself.
You knock him down. You are threatened, the outstanding debt gives every bulldozer,
every tank the right to safety
without borders. Your eyes saw the Temple
destroyed, the paving stones bleed under the hooves
of the Crusaders. You're two thousand years old
was there in Treblinka, Schirmeck and Dachau
Though you have stolen their water, shot their children, trapped
them behind barbed wire, you are simply God's people, chosen exactly on
[this ground/these grounds]. Those who still hear the old village screaming
under your woods, your roads, your cities , get ashes in their mouth.In short: You Jews have become your oppressors because you think you are hot stuff. We liked you better when you were being slaughtered. Boo, Jew.
Not only is it offensive - it is unoriginal, as these motifs have already been covered by Ducal in his earlier antisemitic poetry.
Ducat was offended when I called him an antisemite in January. So I will couch my criticism of him as a poem, since who can be offended by a poem?
Hidden behind his pseudonym
as if he is ashamedof his sickness
yet he conceals itwith sanctimonya facade of pietythat none other can approach
his target is chosenhis pen at the readyto mask his own depravity
the choicereveals the ugliness hiddenwithin his heartwithin his "art"
- Amos Yadlin (Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University)
- Israel chose an alternative that, at least in the short term, places Hamas in a difficult strategic position. Israel regained international legitimacy for its actions; Hamas was again cast as a terrorist organization lacking all credibility that for the sixth time violated a cease-fire that Egypt and the international community initiated and Israel accepted.
- Israel decided to deny Hamas veto power over cease-fires and took the initiative back into its own hands, clarifying that it was not negotiating with Hamas and not granting it any achievement, neither in terms of a cease-fire nor in terms of an agreement.
- By its action, Israel establishes four premises that present Hamas with a new strategic situation:
- The demands for which Hamas went to war are no longer on the table. Hamas is left without the siege being lifted, without an airport or seaport, without salaries, without prisoner releases, and without the reconstruction of Gaza.
- Hamas is left with a Gaza in ruins, a humanitarian crisis, hundreds of dead, thousands of wounded, one-quarter of a million refugees – and no way to deal with it.
- If Hamas continues to fire at Israel, despite Israel’s vastly superior firepower, Israel will continue to pummel Hamas. Its political and military leadership will continue to live in underground bunkers.
- Unlike in previous rounds of fighting, Israel and Egypt will ensure that Hamas will be unable to rebuild its force – Egypt by continuing to prevent smuggling and Israel by the freedom of action it has reserved for itself to prevent Hamas’ force build-up.
Brendan O’Neill: This anti-Israel hysteria is the opposite of a peace movement
There is nothing remotely progressive in today’s myopic, disproportionate Western fury with Israel. On the contrary, it is a profoundly ugly phenomenon, masquerading as a peace movement but actually devoting its energies to drumming up hatred, sanctions and possibly even intervention against a state that it has found guilty in the kangaroo court of liberal opinion of being a ‘rogue’. It is always concerning when Western activists and institutions try to have foreign states written off as ‘criminal’ and ‘insane’, for such judgements further moralise and destabilise international affairs, resurrecting the divide between the civilised nations and the savage nations and making war more rather than less likely. But it’s particularly concerning to see Israel branded a ‘rogue state’. For whether you like it or not, Israel is intimately bound up with the Jewish people. Recent outbursts of anti-Semitism in Europe suggest it could be a short step indeed from labelling Israel a rogue state to looking upon the Jews themselves as rogues.Douglas Murray: Hamas censors British journalists. Why don’t we care?
Before the 2003 war in Iraq, for instance, reporters broadcasting for television or radio from inside Iraq nearly always made reference to the fact that they were reporting under restrictions imposed on them by Saddam Hussein’s government. This often meant a Hussein goon was standing nearby checking that nothing untoward was said.
In the same way, Hamas takes great care to ensure that the ‘wrong’ message does not come out. Indeed they recently expelled a reporter from the Putin propaganda channel Russia Today because he mentioned that Hamas were launching rockets from Gaza.
Yet I can think of no example during this conflict when reporters for any major broadcaster have told the truth – which is that if they stay in Gaza they are only able to tell Hamas’s account of this conflict (complete with ‘deliberate’ Israeli targetting and only ever ‘innocent’, never ‘guilty’ victims). There will be those who think this a small technical point. But I suspect this is one major reason why some surprising Western observers seem to have become so rancidly pro-Hamas during this conflict.Times of Israel Blog: Man killed in J’lem tractor attack; soldier shot near Mount Scopus
A unilateral humanitarian window declared by Israel takes hold Monday morning. The IDF death toll stands at 64, as it partially redeployed in and around Gaza, nearing the end of its work demolishing Hamas tunnels. A Palestinian delegation held talks on ceasefire arrangements in Egypt. Israel was condemned for hitting a UN school, killing 10, and said it was looking into the incident. Gazan health officials put the death toll there at some 1,800. Israel says many of those are Hamas fighters.The Bolt Report - Gaza
Isi Leibler: Will Obama keep shielding Hamas barbarians at our gates?
The cabinet must speedily decide on one of two options. It can expand the ground campaign and conquer Gaza, which the majority of the nation would probably initially endorse but which would likely entail massive casualties and provoke concerted international pressure that would probably force us to withdraw unilaterally or face sanctions. It would appear that without ruling out this option, Prime Minister Netanyahu – at least in the short term – intends to continue degrading the rocket launchers and attacking Hamas from the air, thereby limiting Israeli casualties and providing greater leverage to achieve demilitarization.
The outcome rests largely with the US. If it rewards Hamas for its aggression by seeking to “lift the blockade” or provide them with funds without demilitarization, it will be betraying us. The US will thus have destroyed whatever little global credibility it retains and will be seen as abandoning its long standing-ally and groveling to those who support fanatical Islamic terrorism.
Will the US support Israel’s just cause against genocidal terrorism or act as a shield to protect the Hamas barbarians at our gates, effectively paving the way for a far more brutal war in the near future?Pornography of Pain: Why the Heartbreaking Images Out of Gaza Are Hurting the Palestinians
Perhaps the press' duty is indeed to bring death to our living rooms multiple times a day lest we become immune to the savagery of armed conflict. But if the media's role is to wound as much as to educate us, then we need to ask why some victims merit so much more affection than others. Why did the western press embed itself with troops rather than their victims when it was American soldiers doing the killing in Iraq? Why so few heartbreaking testimonies out of Libya? Why doesn't the media make the pain of Yemenite victims of US drones into ours as well? And what about those dying next door to Israel, right now? It may be customary to hold Israelis to an impossible ethical standard while holding Arabs to none, but why is Gaza's suffering more important than that of Christians expelled, raped and murdered in Mosul at this very moment? 1000 have died in three weeks of urban fighting in Gaza and the world pauses and mourns. Meanwhile, over 2000 have been killed in Syria and yet they remain anonymous. Why are only Palestinian losses systematically made taxing to the whole planet?
When victims of atrocities all over the world are systematically ignored by the media while incomparably fewer Palestinian casualties of war are painfully lionized, the Palestinians inevitably come to be perceived as unique victims. This effect is compounded by Palestinian propaganda's thorough exploitation of potent emotional triggers ("ethnic cleansing", "occupation," "apartheid," "genocide," etc.). Yasser Arafat, who understood the power of televised victimhood, once cynically asked: "The Palestinian child holding a stone, facing a tank, is that not the greatest message to the world, when that hero becomes a 'martyr'?" (i.e., when that child is killed and his death is reported).Journalists Threatened, Given Talking Points About How To Talk About Hamas, Gaza
Freedom of the Press is certainly not the reality for journalists in Gaza covering the Hamas – Israeli conflict. Reporters have been given specific guidelines of what they may or may not cover or photograph. Then, Hamas spells out precisely how they are to spin the stories.
In other words, the world is being played by Hamas.
How many photographs have come out of the Gaza strip of Hamas militants or jihadists who have been injured or killed in the war? It is difficult, if not impossible, to find even one. The photos are all of “civilians,” but that is not because no militants have been killed. It is a calculated move by Hamas to gain public sympathy in the propaganda war, a war that is every bit as real as the battle with rockets and gunfire.
This is in keeping with a specific guideline from the Hamas interior ministry, reports the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). Investigative journalists are forbidden to do their job and ascertain whether a person killed in Gaza is a civilian or a Hamas militant. All deaths are to be reported as “innocent civilian” deaths:Protocols of the Elders of Hamas
The UN Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay went further and said that Israel deliberately targeted civilians.
That’s quite an accusation. And she better be right. Because if she’s wrong, she is guilty of yet another blood libel against the Jewish people.
The facts, of course, are otherwise. To Hamas, Palestinian children are nothing but bullet proof vests to be donned by cowardly terrorists, human missile silos to protect their rockets.Seven-hour humanitarian window begins
However, the Israeli military said the ceasefire, which started at 10 a.m., would not apply to areas where troops were still operating, and that they would respond to any attacks.
Palestinian sources claimed that there were firefights in the Shati refugee camp that is located near Gaza City.
Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said that any violation of the truce would be met with immediate retaliation at the source of the fire.Rockets Strike 2 Hours After Unilateral Ceasefire Begins
Rockets fell in open areas near Ashkelon at roughly 12:05 pm Monday, just two hours after Israel began observing a unilateral cease-fire. No injuries or damage were reported.
Israel began the truce at 10:00 am Monday, following a late-night decision by the Security Cabinet and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
The seven-hour truce will last until 5:00 pm Monday, and excludes the Rafah area, where ongoing clashes have raged since Friday. Hamas: We Don't Trust Israeli Ceasefire
Hamas on Sunday night rejected the seven-hour humanitarian ceasefire announced by Israel and scheduled to begin Monday morning at 10:00 a.m.
In a statement quoted by AFP, the group’s spokesman said that the terrorist group “does not trust” the ceasefire.
"The unilateral ceasefire announced by Israel is an attempt to divert the attention from Israeli massacres," the spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri.
"We do not trust this ceasefire, and call on our people to be very cautious," he said, according to AFP.Gunman on motorbike shoots soldier in Jerusalem
The shooting took place on Hanadiv Street, which separates the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz from Hebrew University. The soldier, 20, was rushed to nearby Hadassah Medical Center, where he was listed in serious condition.
Security forces chased the gunman, who had reportedly escaped into Wadi al-Joz. A security guard opened fire on the gunman, police said.
Jerusalem police chief Yossi Pariente said the soldier was “shot at close range by a man dressed in black,” adding that the shooting was with “very, very high likelihood,” a terror attack.Pedestrian killed in excavator terror attack in Jerusalem
A male pedestrian approximately 30 years old was run over by the tractor as it headed toward the bus and was killed. The tractor driver, identified as East Jerusalem resident Muhammed Naif El-Ja’abis, turned the bus over onto its side during the attack, making several efforts to do so before he succeeded. The bus driver as well as five others were lightly hurt.
Police said the attack, which took place at the end of Shmuel Hanavi Street, near the Olive Tree Hotel, was nationalistically motivated.
A police officer and Prisons Service official who realized what was happening ran up to the tractor and fired a volley of shots at the terrorist as he sat in the cab and killed him, Jerusalem police chief Yossi Pariente said.Terrorist being shot in Jerusalem 04/08/2014
One Killed in Tractor Terror Attack in Jerusalem, Rogue Driver Shot Dead (GRAPHIC VIDEO)
Hamas officials in Gaza praised the attack, calling it “a brave and natural response to the massacre being perpetrated in Gaza.” The Islamist group called on Palestinians in the West Bank to “increase their resistance, in all its forms, throughout Palestine,” Israel Radio said.
Arabs perpetrated three similar attacks in 2008 and 2009, killing three and wounding dozens of others in the first attack, which took place during construction of the light rail line, near the Central Bus Station.
The second attack took place near the city’s King David Hotel. Security officials shot the driver to death before he could do any damage in his rampage.Netanyahu: The Operation Continues Until its Goals Are Reached
Netanyahu’s declaration came after a security assessment he held with Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) chief Yoram Cohen.
"Operation Protective Edge continues until its goals are achieved - restoring quiet and security to Israeli citizens for an extended period, with significant damage to the terrorist infrastructure. It will take as long as it takes, using as much force as needed," Netanyahu said after the assessment.
"After completing its action against the tunnels, the IDF will prepare to continue the operation according to Israel’s security needs, until we achieve the goals of the operation," he stressed.IDF Blog: New Map Exposes Hamas’ Fortress in Shuja’iya
Hamas uses the residential neighborhood of Shuja’iya as a terrorist stronghold for its weapons, rockets, tunnels and command centers. This is why the IDF targeted multiple sites in Shuja’iya.
Shuja’iya is a densely populated neighborhood, close to the Karni Crossing and just over the border fence from the Israeli community of Kibbutz Nahal Oz. Shuja’iya is saturated with Hamas observation points and is home to a vast network of tunnels used for attacking Israel.Hamas Fires Rockets from Everywhere in Gaza
During Operation Protective Edge, Hamas has used populated areas of Gaza to launch attacks against Israel. The terrorist organization knows that rocket launching sites may be the targets of IDF counterstrikes. Nevertheless, Hamas has never stopped firing rockets from mosques, school, hospitals and other civilian areas.
Hamas is responsible for the destruction in civilian areas in Gaza. Not only did Hamas draw the IDF into a battle by refusing to cease its indiscriminate rocket fire on Israelis, Hamas also brought the battle right into the heart of Gaza’s civilian areas.IDF Naval Forces Strike Long Range Rocket Launcher
Motorcycles and Weapons Found Inside a Tunnel from Gaza
Watch: IDF Transfers Truckloads of Goods into Gaza
Even as Hamas continues its terrorist actions and fires rockets towards Israel, the IDF continues to transfer goods to Gazans.
On Sunday, the IDF transferred 186 truckloads of food, medical supplies, fuel and other goods into Gaza via the Kerem Shalom border crossing.
Hamas has for years claimed that Israel is imposing a “siege” on Gaza, yet Israel consistently allows humanitarian aid and other materials into the coastal territory. IsraellyCool: Hamas Wants To Blockade Gaza
But the IDF and Israel are determined not to let them.
I’ve noticed something. Almost every day without fail Kerem Shalom gets shot at by Hamas. Kerem Shalom is the ONLY goods crossing point into Gaza. Israel operates the crossing to control what goes in and exclude all the stuff that Hamas would like to get, like more rockets or weapons.
In fact I tried to get Matt Lee at the AP to ask at the State Department briefing about this crossing a few days ago:IDF Transfers Truckloads of Goods into Gaza
ANALYSIS: Israel and Sunni powers finally display convergent interests
Two-and-a-half sentences stuck out from all the others in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s comments to the nation Saturday night when he said Operation Protective Edge would continue, albeit with the troops deployed differently.
Tucked in among his well-worn comments about the operation – that its goals were to restore quiet and hit Hamas hard, that the IDF had hit thousands of terrorists targets, that the country was demonstrating remarkable resilience – were the following lines that constituted something new and different: “We are enlisting the international community to support this goal of linking the rehabilitation and development of Gaza to its demilitarization but no less important – this may surprise many, but not us – is the unique link which has been forged with the states of the region,” he said. “This as well is a very important asset for the State of Israel. With the cessation of the fighting and the conclusion of the campaign, this will open new possibilities for us.”
This immediately set off speculation about just whom Netanyahu had in mind, and what new possibilities would open up.US, UK ‘appalled’ by shelling near UNRWA school
US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki delivered an unusually strong condemnation of an Israeli strike near a Gaza school being used as a shelter in Rafah, saying that the US was “appalled” by the “disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school.”
The shelling, which left 10 people dead according to Palestinian reports, drew harsh condemnations worldwide, including from the United Nations, London and elsewhere, amid growing international criticism of the 27-day-long operation.
The IDF issued a statement saying that forces had targeted three Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists on board a motorcycle in vicinity of an UNRWA school in Rafah, and added that “the IDF is reviewing the consequences of this strike.”
However, the US said that the presence of combatants did not justify targeting areas near the school.Not Your Average Motorcycle Gang
These motorcycles were found inside Hamas terror tunnels leading into Israeli towns.
Hamas planned to enter the towns, kidnap women and children, and use the motorcycles to zoom safely back to Gaza via the tunnels with their hostages.Palestinians present Egypt with draft of Gaza truce demands
A Palestinian delegation including Hamas presented its joint demands on Sunday to Egyptian mediators in Cairo for a truce with Israel, including an end to the Gaza blockade, officials said.
The delegation, which included members of president Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority and Gaza’s Hamas rulers, met the Egyptian mediators late in the day even as Israel began pulling some of it forces out of Gaza.
Cairo is to relay the demands to Israel, which balked at sending negotiators after accusing Hamas of breaching a 72-hour truce soon after it began on Friday.US, Qatar again working on alternative ceasefire
Palestinian sources in Cairo revealed on Monday that the United States and Qatar have again renewed their attempts to reach an understanding on a ceasefire in Gaza, even as Palestinian factions meet Egyptian officials in Cairo to forge their own proposal.
Representatives of the US administration are in Cairo at the same time as a Palestinian delegation that includes senior officials from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Fatah.
The Palestinian sources suggested that the US-Qatari initiative slows and undermines the Egyptian efforts.Yishai’s Opponent Goes Apoplectic on Al Jazeera [video]
OK, unfortunately you have to listen to Al Jazeera’s skewed bias and nonsense for a bit and a lot of ranting as well, and it is obviously unfair that the talking-time distribution is so uneven, but stay to the end and watch Yishai Fleisher not only mop the floor with them, but as his opponent goes apoplectic as he is unable to counter Yishai’s arguments.Can diplomacy still end the Gaza crisis? [should work in the US now (h/t Alexi)]
‘We could have taken Gaza in a week, but that wasn’t our mission,’ says senior IDF source
“Had we been ordered to defeat Hamas, we would have done it. We would have drafted four divisions, evacuated the Gazan population from battlegrounds, conquered the area and scanned it thoroughly.
It would take a week to take Gaza, and up to two years to destroy terrorist infrastructure,” the source said.
In such a scenario, “A guerrilla war would have started. This was not the mission given to the IDF, and rightfully so,” the source said. “The IDF divided up Gaza dozens of times, most recently in Operation Cast Lead [in 2009]. Every brigade can do it. The question is, what is the aim?” The goal of the offensive was not to topple Hamas, but to create a better security environment for Israel, the source continued.Sa’ar: The lesson we can learn from Gaza is not to allow a Palestinian state
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu faced a challenge Sunday from his No. 2 in Likud, Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, who warned him that Hamas’s attack on Israel proved the danger of creating a Palestinian state.
Sa’ar, who is considered a future candidate for prime minister, spoke at a conference marking the nine-year anniversary of Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip at Jerusalem’s Menachem Begin Heritage Center.
“After withdrawing from Lebanon brought Hezbollah to power and withdrawing from Gaza brought Hamas to power, the lesson must be not to form a terrorist state in the heart of our land,” Sa’ar said.
“A Palestinian state would endanger Israel’s future.”Livni Slams Naysayers, Praises Success of Gaza Operation
Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni (HaTnua) had harsh words for the “sour spin”, as she put it, of the Israeli media on Operation Protective Edge.
"Take a look at the current situation and what we have achieved thus far," said Livni in an interview with IDF Radio Monday. "Their leadership is still burrowed in, and they don’t dare show their heads above ground ...they have 1,800 dead and have not attained even one of their goals."
"With them, there will always be the one who will stick his head out of his bunker to say ‘We won!’, and with us, there will always be someone who will rush to cry out, 'We lost!'" she added. Goldin’s fiancee at funeral: I thought we’d be together forever
Tens of thousands of people paid their last respects to Lt. Hadar Goldin in Kfar Saba, and thousands more said farewell to other soldiers killed late last week in a series of funerals around the country Sunday.
Givati Brigade officer Goldin, 23, was laid to rest in the local cemetery of Kfar Saba, the town where he and his family lived. The officer was killed, along with two others, in a Hamas attack on IDF troops last Friday during a period when a ceasefire agreement was supposed to be in effect.
In the hours after the attack, the IDF believed he may have been kidnapped, driving intense public interest regarding his fate. However, on Saturday night the IDF told his family that Goldin was declared dead.
“I didn’t expect you to leave me so quickly,” Goldin’s fiancee Edna Sarusi said at the funeral, her voice choked with emotion. “I relied only on you. I don’t know what to do.”IDF Officer Led From The Front: ‘If Anyone Dies, It’ll Be Me, First’
An IDF infantry officer who fell in battle in Gaza on Friday, once said, “I always made sure I was first in to sweep structures – before my soldiers, so, if anyone was going to die – it would be me,” Israel’s NRG daily reported.
On Sunday, thousands of mourners attended the funeral of Givati Brigade Ranger commander, Cap. Benaya Sarel, 26, of Kiryat Arba.
Sarel left behind a fiancee, Gali, who he was to wed in three weeks. His parents, and seven brothers and sisters are veterans of the Hebron-area town.JNF Raises $4 Million for Emergency War Help
As Israeli Jews have been descending on the south with donations, food, clothing, and everything else they can fit in the trunks of their cars, Jews in the diaspora have been marshaling resources to help the IDF and Israelis cope with Operation Protective Edge. On Sunday, the Jewish National Fund said it had raised $4 million in just the past several days from Jews and supporters of Israel in North America.
Among other things, the money will be used to buy 160 mini-shelters, to be placed in Israeli towns in the south. The shelters will allow residents to move about town and remain prepared for a rocket attack; they will be placed close enough together so that an individuals walking down the street will be able to get to the shelter within just a few moments.IDF Soldier Adopts Mutt, Abandoned in Gaza Fighting
During a bout of fighting in Gaza last week, an IDF soldier adopted a starving, weak dog he found wandering among the rubble.
St.-Sgt. Roee Cohen (res), 25, was part of front-line forces tasked with safely evacuating wounded soldiers out of battle.
Leading the pitiful creature into their armored vehicle, Cohen brought the animal out of the area with him, for a few days away from the fighting.
Adopting his “new best friend,” Roee named the dog “Tzuk” (Cliff), for the Hebrew name for Operation Protective Edge – Tzuk Eitan, and treated the mutt to field rations and lots of attention, according to Channel 2 News.Meet a Hero
When Lt. Eitan realized that Lt. Hadar Goldin was kidnapped and pulled into a Hamas terror tunnel in Rafah during the cease fire, he grabbed his soldiers and jumped into the tunnels to chase after them and try to save Lt. Hadar Goldin.
The chase led them into a maze of tunnels 20 meters underground. It was there that they found the personal effects of Lt. Goldin from which the IDF was able to determine that Goldin had not survived the attack. He and his soldiers, with no radio contact with above, searched hundreds of meters of the tunnel maze for Goldin.
Lt. Eitan (24) serves as Deputy Commander of a Pulsar Givati reconnaissance unit.MK Says Haaretz's Levy Is a Traitor
Coalition Chairman MK Yariv Levin (Likud) wants Haaretz journalist Gideon Levy put on trial for treason, following articles he wrote in the course of Operation Protective Edge.
"Gideon Levy is the lowest kind of provocateur,” Levin told Channel 2 Saturday evening. “When someone who lives among you turns himself into an enemy mouthpiece, while spreading lies, out of the hope that this will undermine your ability to wage war – this is called, in simple Hebrew, 'treason'.
"Levy writes the enemy's lies in an Israeli newspaper, and then these writings are quoted all over the entire world as if they were written by Israelis, and as if they reflect a reality that is supposedly objective,” he explained.Israeli Karateka Fends Off Iranian Attackers in Germany
Israeli karate trainer Shai Hai was attacked by a group of Iranians and Germans in Frankfurt, Germany, at an international karate seminar last week.
Hai was the headline speaker at the seminar, which was attended by about 90 people and supposedly dedicated to advancing world peace and unity. He was the only Israeli at the international event.
When he got up to speak, members of the Iranian delegation and about 15 Germans began shouting at him, he told IDF Radio Monday. “They called me a murderer, said I had blood on my hands, that I came from a nation of murderers, that I had gained his position in the karate world by stepping on the bodies of Palestinians, that it is unthinkable to learn martial arts from a person who hails from a nation of murderers, ugly things like that,” he recalled.
A female attacker tried unsuccessfully to spill red paint on his clothes, Hai added. Another man tried to approach him physically. He responded with the self defense techniques he is trained in: “In a matter of seconds, he had flown halfway across the auditorium,” he said.5 police officers injured during riot on Temple Mount
At least five police officers were lightly injured Monday morning on the Temple Mount when hundreds of masked Muslims rioted and erected roadblocks in an attempt to block reinforcements from dispersing the mob.
According to police, at approximately 7:30 a.m. officers charged with opening Mughrabi Gate for Jewish and Christian visitors were pelted with rocks and fire crackers.
Border Police reinforcements who were called in were initially impeded from entering the scene by road blocks placed at Rambam Gate, but were able to get through after dismantling them. Meanwhile, 12 Arabs were arrested for rioting in east Jerusalem overnight. Police said that over the past 30 days, 430 Arabs have been arrested for rioting throughout the capital.Expert Says Terror Tunnels a Threat in the Galilee
For a long time he spoke to every official, every minister, and every IDF Chief of Staff over the threat of terror tunnels - in Gaza and elsewhere - but the system preferred to silence him.
Now, Geologist and res. Col. Yossi Langotsky speaks to Arutz Sheva for the first time since Operation Protective Edge began 28 days ago about his perspective on the current conflict, and on how war tunnels may continue to threaten Israel despite the operation.
Col. Langotsky commanded for five years in Operational Intelligence and won the Israel Security Prize twice. Despite his expertise, however, his warnings about terror tunnels were apparently ignored. JCPA: The Hamas Threat to the West Is No Different from ISIS
Hamas and ISIS differ on only two important issues: the alliance Hamas has forged with Shiite Iran, which has outraged Egypt and Saudi Arabia who view Iran as a strategic threat, and secondly, Hamas’ willingness to play the political and diplomatic game within its ideological boundaries. Unlike ISIS, Hamas is prepared to cooperate with human rights organizations in pursuit of its own objectives, particularly, at this stage, constraining the IDF in attacking targets in Gaza, which would grant Hamas a “license to kill” Israelis while hiding behind human shields.
In sum, the threat Hamas poses to the West is not fundamentally different from the threat posed by ISIS and its branches. Both organizations seek to overthrow the pro-Western regimes in the Middle East, eject Western influence from the region, and establish an Islamic caliphate to wage holy war (jihad) against the West and Christianity, which are considered the cardinal enemies of Islam. The rise of radical Islam in the Middle East, and the creation of the caliphate and other Islamic “emirates” (official and de facto) along with the toppling of existing governments, could gradually foster the conditions leading to a jihad front against Western interests and allies.Liberman: Topple Hamas and give UN control over Gaza
Speaking to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Liberman said asking the UN to become the custodian of Gaza was one of several ways Israel could proceed after nearly four weeks of fighting in the Strip.
“One idea is an international mandate of the United Nations. A UN mandate is not only part of the history of the land of Israel, we also saw it nowadays at least several times, for example in the cases of East Timor and Kosovo. We saw UN mandates working, and they worked not bad. And therefore here, too, we need to consider returning control over Gaza to the UN. I certainly don’t rule out this option.”
An aide to Liberman told The Times of Israel the idea was “a serious possible consideration,” when asked whether the suggestion was meant as a trial balloon.World should impose solution on Israel, France says
As Israel observes a unilateral, seven-hour cease-fire - which Palestinians say was broken immediately after it went into effect when a house was bombed, leaving a Palestinian child dead and others wounded - French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius made a statement, addressing the ongoing fighting.
Fabius said on Monday that world powers should impose a political solution to halt the conflict between Israel and Hamas that has claimed hundreds of lives in the Gaza Strip, and dozens on the Israeli side. Keith Ellison explains his vote against Iron Dome
You may recall that on Friday, in what would have been a Christmas Miracle were it not several months early, Congress actually got something done. It was the passage of a bill approving $225M in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome defensive missile system. It was quite the bipartisan effort in retrospect, garnering an overwhelming 395 votes in the House with only eight in opposition. One of those eight was Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, and as The Corner reports, he went out on the weekend gab circuit to explain why he didn’t support the measure.
“Because a cease-fire is what we should prioritize now,” he said when asked to explain his vote on Meet the Press. “A cease-fire protects civilians on both sides — it doesn’t just say, ‘We’re only concerned about people on one side.’”
He pointed to the devastation he witnessed during his trips to Gaza. (h/t MtTB)China's Foreign Minister Calls for Truce, End of Gaza Blockade
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on Israel and the Islamist terrorist group Hamas on Sunday to stop fighting and urged the Jewish state to lift its blockade of Gaza.
Wang made his comments at a press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukri, whose government is hosting a Palestinian delegation for ceasefire talks snubbed by Israel after Hamas broke a series of previous truces.Saudi Grand Mufti Issues Fatwa against Solidarity Marches with Gaza
The fatwa was issued by Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti and General President for Scientific Researches and Fatwa, Abdul Aziz Al Ash-Sheikh.
This comes at a time after which several demonstrations have been organized in Arab and non-Arabs countries alike in solidarity with the Gaza Strip. These demonstrations have taken place since the Zionist aggression on Palestinians starting, July 8.
According to Al Ghadeer TV, Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti said that the pro-Gaza demonstrations “are just useless demagogic actions, that won’t help Palestinians.” “Demagoguery does not work. It is just an exaggeration,” he added.Hamas Demands UN 'Apologize' for Demanding Soldier's Release
Hamas officials called on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to "formally apologize before the Palestinian people" for "accepting Israel's version of events" regarding their breaking a humanitarian ceasefire on Friday, claiming that the fact that IDF soldier Hadar Goldin (hy"d) was killed and not abducted proves that Israel lied to international community on being attacked by Hamas.
Hamas spokesman in Gaza, Sami Abu-Zuhri, called Ban a "partner in slaughter" to Israel in his remarks and demanded an apology. 'We Don't Target Israeli Civilians', Claims Hamas
In a statement on Sunday, the group’s “military wing”, the Izz A-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, threatened to fire rockets at all the cities in Israel that are within the ranges of its rockets.
At the same time, the statement claimed, Hamas is not trying to harm Israelis with its rocket attacks, only military personnel and installations.
"During the campaign we tried as much as possible to focus on targeting military personnel, soldiers and officers of the enemy, its military bases and airports, and avoided as much as possible targeting someone who is not a military person,” Hamas claimed.Abd Al-Bari Atwan: Arafat Ignited Second Intifada; Why Don't We Do the Same in West Bank?
IRGC Deputy Commander: We Will Hunt the Zionists Down from House to House
Dog! Traitor! - Islamists' Debate on ISIS and Hamas Turns into Exchange of Insults
VIDEO: Hamas releases footage said to show sniper attacks targeting IDF forces
On Monday, Hamas's armed wing released video said to show a sniper targeting IDF soldiers operating in Gaza.
In the video released by Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, which cannot be independently verified by Reuters, a masked militant is seen loading a long rifle. The video also shows a compilation of moments in which gunshots are heard and what appears to be soldiers being shot in the distance.
In information released with the video, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam wrote that they had built the rifle and that it had a range of 2 kilometers (1.25 miles).Iran Accuses Israel of 'Genocide' in Gaza
His comments came at a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement's (NAM) committee for Palestine, with several foreign ministers among officials from Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Venezuela, Bangladesh, Sudan, Uganda and other member states.
"The savage aggression by the army of this child-killer regime (Israel), continues with a deliberate policy to commit genocide and massacre civilians and destroy infrastructure, houses, hospitals, schools and mosques," Rouhani said in Tehran.
"The inaction of international bodies, in particular the Security Council, to prevent the crimes against humanity of the Zionist regime" is to be condemned, he added.Erdogan: Israel Deliberately Killing Palestinian Mothers
Addressing hundreds of thousands of supporters at his biggest rally so far ahead of the August 10 election, Erdogan again likened Israel's actions to those of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
"Just like Hitler, who sought to establish a race free of all faults, Israel is chasing after the same target," Erdogan told the sea of cheering supporters at an Istanbul arena, according to Reuters.
"They kill women so that they will not give birth to Palestinians; they kill babies so that they won't grow up; they kill men so they can't defend their country ... They will drown in the blood they shed," he charged. (h/t Bob Knot)Arab TV Host Pulls Out Sword During Broadcast: Let the Real Men Fight in Gaza
New footage provided by MEMRI shows a Jordanian TV host pull out a large sword on TV and demand that real men be allowed to fight in Gaza.
Husam Al-Abdalet, irritated by the perceived collaboration between Arab countries, Israel and America, opened by declaring "All the disgrace-afflicted Arabs, whose honor has been defiled, and who have been kissing the boots of the Zionists and the Americans, are collaborating in the killing of Hamas, in the killing of the people in Gaza, in the killing of Islamic Jihad, and in the crushing of the Al-Qassam Brigades."IsraellyCool: Hamas On Helium
I am all for mocking Hamas, but at the same time educating people about their genocidal nature.HamasOnHelium
Study: More Photographs Of Bigfoot Than Of Hamas Fighters (satire)
Cryptozoologists – whose field of endeavor involves finding creatures rumored to exist but of which no convincing evidence has surfaced – noticed over the last several weeks that Western photographers were transmitting hundreds of photos of wounded women and children, but not a single image of the hundreds, if not more than a thousand, casualties from among the Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters. The lack of such photographs emanating from the fighting in Gaza has made those devotees consider expanding their effort to include proving the existence of such entities.
“This could be a way to scoop the mainstream media,” says Bebe See, who has spent fifteen years pursuing the Himalayan Yeti, also known as the Abominable Snowman. “They’re constantly focused on toeing the company line and not taking any journalistic risks, so of course they’re ignoring this story, which doesn’t fit the mainstream corporate narrative.” He suspects it would take maybe two weeks on the ground in Gaza to obtain irrefutable photographic evidence that Hamas fighters exist.
“There are indications beyond the mere photographic,” agreed Bigfoot enthusiast Emma Sensbisi. “Statistically, the ages and sexes of the casualties are disproportionately males between the ages of 20 and 40, but those aren’t the photos any of the major outlets are showing,” she noted. “The mainstream media would have you believe these creatures do not exist, and the public is swallowing that. We have the opportunity to blow the lid off MSM complicity in concealing some of the biggest zoological conspiracies of all time.”
Old and busted: Real men don’t eat quiche
New hotness: Real men carry big swords to use against the Zionists.
I would love to see this tough guy bring his sword and fight us in Gaza. I suspect it will go something like this:
Last week, I noted that Israel’s unilateral pullout from Gaza has cost the lives of more Israeli soldiers than remaining in Gaza would have. But no less significant is the fact that Israel’s pullout has cost the lives of far more Palestinians than remaining in Gaza would have.
Here, too, a comparison to the second intifada is instructive. According to B’Tselem’s statistics, 1,727 Palestinians were killed in Gaza between September 2000, when the intifada began, and the August 2005 pullout. Since then, the numbers have soared. Another 1,271 Palestinians were killed between the pullout and December 2008, when the first Israel-Hamas war in Gaza began; 1,391 were killed during that war, and 481 between then and the start of the current war. That’s 3,143 Palestinian fatalities in total, and Palestinians claim another 1,600 or so have been killed during this war. So even if you assume, which I do, that B’Tselem’s numbers are exaggerated (it tends to believe Palestinian reports far too uncritically), the trend is undeniable: Since the pullout, Israeli-Palestinian fighting has produced more than twice as many Palestinian fatalities as the peak years of the second intifada did.
Moreover, as in the case of Israeli fatalities, this increase represents a sharp contrast to the trend in the West Bank, which the Israel Defense Forces still control: There, Palestinian fatalities have fallen from 1,491 between September 2000 and August 2005 to 395 in the nine years since August 2005, meaning annual fatalities have fallen by more than 85 percent (they haven’t dropped to zero because neither has Palestinian terror; terror attacks still kill Israelis every year, but the level is dramatically lower than at the height of the intifada).
The question is why Palestinian fatalities in Gaza have risen so sharply. The anti-Israel crowd will doubtless cite this fact as “proof” that recent Israeli premiers are even more bloodthirsty than “the butcher of Beirut,” as they fondly dubbed Ariel Sharon, the prime minister during the second intifada. But anyone not convinced that Ehud Olmert and Benjamin Netanyahu are simply monsters who like eating Palestinian children for breakfast will have to consider the obvious alternative: Palestinian casualties have soared because the IDF’s departure from Gaza allowed terrorist organizations to entrench their rockets, tunnels, and explosives among the civilian population in a way that simply wasn’t possible before.
In the current war, Palestinians have stored rockets in schools and launched them from hospitals and from amid civilian houses. They have built cross-border tunnels to attack Israel that pass under civilian houses and emerge straight into a mosque. They have booby-trapped civilian houses and even health clinics. In short, by embedding their war material among the civilian population, Hamas and other terrorist organizations have made it impossible for the IDF to target them without also hitting civilians.
This Hamas strategy increases Palestinian casualties in another way as well: by magnifying the impact of any Israeli strike. Precision bombs can sometimes take out a building without touching the ones next to it. But precision strikes don’t work when the building they hit is booby-trapped or serves as a rocket warehouse; in that case, secondary explosions will create a much broader swathe of destruction. And Israel has no way of knowing when a target has been booby-trapped; Hamas doesn’t provide it with maps.
Problems like this didn’t arise when the IDF still controlled Gaza, because it could take preventive action to keep Hamas from entrenching war material in civilian areas to begin with. And that’s precisely why counterterrorism operations in the IDF-controlled West Bank have produced vastly lower Palestinian casualties.
Hamas certainly isn’t going to abandon its “dead baby strategy” voluntarily; conducting operations from amid a civilian population so as to maximize civilian casualties has proven wildly successful in turning the world against Israel. The conclusion is thus inescapable: Should the IDF ever leave the West Bank, the pullout won’t just result in more dead Israelis. It will certainly result in more dead Palestinians as well.