Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fatah: Abbas presents fighting Israel as religious "war for Allah"

Fatah claims to have killed soldier; 
calls for increased violence

Fatah student movement: 
"Let's turn the land into hell for the enemy"

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik 

[Facebook, "Fatah - The Main Page," July 23, 2014]

This week, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas ended a speech about the current conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza with a quote from the Quran justifying war. His Fatah party interpreted Abbas' statement to mean that fighting against Israel is justified on religious Islamic grounds:

"[PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas] concluded his brief speech with the first verse of the Quran that permits Muslims to wage war for Allah."
[Facebook, "Fatah - The Main Page", July 22, 2014]

Presenting a conflict as a religious war can have dangerous implications. In September 2000, Yasser Arafat said that then-Israeli MP Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount defiled the Al-Aqsa Mosque. He used this claim as a guise to launch the "Al-Aqsa Intifada" (i.e., second Intifada) terror campaign, which led to the deaths of over 1200 Israelis and tourists and 4000 Palestinians. 

In 2012 the PA's highest PA religious leader, the Mufti Muhammad Hussein, presented the killing of Jews by Muslims as a religious Islamic goal.

Fatah also claims to be currently participating in fighting against Israel and announced that they have killed a soldier near Hebron. In addition, Fatah is calling on its members to engage in violence. Palestinian Media Watch documented earlier this week that Fatah glorified nine female terrorists, including eight suicide bombers, who all together killed 75 Israelis.

The U.S.-Israel Alliance: No Apologies Necessary

Lawrence A. Franklin

There is no change in U.S policy toward Israel that will win any true allies in the Middle East, despite what Arab leaders claim. They often assert that if only we would solve the Palestinian-Israeli problem first, relations would improve. This is a tactic. These leaders employ it simply to divert Western officials from making demands on them, instead of on Israel. The reality is that most Arabs view the U.S., its European allies and Israel with ineradicable contempt.
Remember the commentaries after 9/11 that "we should have been expecting something like this"? Some even implied that America was, in part, responsible for the attacks because of our one-sided policy toward the Muslim world, and in particular, "our support for Israel's occupation of Palestinian land."
Remember also, though, the news reports about the cheering and dancing in Palestinian Arab neighborhoods on 9/11? Perhaps these celebrations resembled the high-fives and other macabre gestures of glee made by some Palestinian Arabs following the recent kidnapping and murder of three Jewish teenagers in Gush Etzion, near the ancient Judean city of Hebron.
Guilt-riddled apologies for America's alliance with Israel can only be explained by ignorance, by disingenuous attempts to curry favor with Arabs, or for some, by a darker motivation.
Given the pervasive Orwellian double standard applied to Israel by Western media and the often sanctimonious comments by U.S. and European politicians that Israel should be fearful of being internationally isolated, a reality check might be in order.
First, there is no change in U.S. policy toward Israel that will win any true allies in the Muslim world, no matter what its leaders claim. They often assert that only if we would solve the Palestinian-Israeli problem first, relations would improve. This is a tactic. These leaders employ it simply to divert Western officials from making demands on them instead of on Israel. The reality is that most Arabs view the U.S., its European allies, and Israel with ineradicable contempt.
No Arab state has recognized the legitimacy of a Jewish -- or often even a pluralistic -- state in Palestine. Egypt and Iraq have been persecuting their Christians, only because the Jews were all forced out already; and many Muslim countries cannot even abide each other, as seen every day in the Shia-Sunni conflict, still under way after centuries.
This struggle between Israel and the Palestinians is not about land. If it were, there would have been a two-state solution long ago. Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat would have said yes to the Camp David Plan offered by President Clinton and former Israeli Prime Minister Barak. The current strife between the Hamas terrorist movement and Israel is just another stage in the permanent state of Arab hostility towards the existence of a Jewish state in the region.
While U.S. support for Israel has sometimes been described as a costly diplomatic albatross or a consequence of political influence by American Jews, the truth weighs in quite the opposite direction. The Israeli-American alliance greatly benefits both nations.

Senator Ted Cruz: Did President Obama just launch an economic boycott of Israel?

 
Sen. Cruz releases statement regarding FAA’s flight suspensions to Israel
 WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today questioned the Obama Administration’s decision to ban flights to Israel while, at the same time, announcing continuing aid that will be funneled to the terrorist organization, Hamas.
Aiding Hamas while simultaneously isolating Israel does two things. One, it helps our enemy. Two, it hurts our ally,” said Sen. Cruz.
He added, “The facts suggest that President Obama has just used a federal regulatory agency to launch an economic boycott on Israel, in order to try to force our ally to comply with his foreign-policy demands.”
Sen. Cruz is asking the Obama Administration to answer five specific questions regarding the FAA’s decision to suspend flights to Israel.
Sen. Cruz’s full statement is below.
“Today, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it was extending its ban on flights by U.S. carriers into Israel. The rationale was that because one Hamas-launch rocket had landed in a field one mile from Ben Gurion International Airport, the ‘potentially hazardous security situation created by the armed conflict between Israel and Gaza’ necessitated this extreme action that has so far cancelled some 160 flights and left tens of thousands stranded.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How to win in Gaza

CAROLINE GLICK 
Israel deployed ground forces in Gaza Thursday night both because Hamas's terror tunnels into Israel have become an unacceptable threat, and because it had to break the deadlock that had developed between it and Hamas.

Until the ground invasion, Israel and Hamas were in a holding pattern. Hamas would not accept a ceasefire deal because Egypt's offers provided the Iranian sponsored, Muslim Brotherhood terror army with no discernible achievements. And absent such achievements, Hamas prefers to keep fighting. Israel for its part is unwilling to make any concessions to Hamas in exchange for its cessation of its criminal terror war that targets innocent civilians in Israel as a matter of course. 

As Hamas sees things, it has three ways of winning.

First, if Israel had agreed to ceasefire terms that left Hamas better off than it was when it started its newest round of indiscriminate missile attacks against Israeli civilian targets, then it could have declared victory.

Hamas's terms for a ceasefire included, among other things, an open border with Egypt, egress to the sea, open access to the border zone with Israel, an airport, a sea port, and the release of terrorists from Israeli prisons. Obviously, if Israel agreed to even a few of these terms, its agreement would have constituted a strategic victory for Hamas.

The second way for Hamas to win is if it able to accuse Israel of killing a large number of Palestinians at one time In that case, Hamas can expect for the US to join with the EU and the UN in forcing Israel to accept ceasefire terms that require it to make significant concessions to the Palestinians in Gaza as well as in Judea and Samaria.

A letter from Israel‏

Shari Goodman
Calabasas-West Valley ACT
http://actforamerica.org 
 

I received the below from my physician, who's wife is an internationally acclaimed artist. Her artist friend from Israel sent her the following.... very sobering..captures a feeling none of the news sources convey.

It has taken me some days to write down something coherent… but this is how I feel tonight. 
I feel like I weigh 500 pounds.
 Everyone I know feels like they are walking through water.
 And sad. We are all so very, very sad.
This is what I know right now, today:
 The ugliness, the venom and sheer, violent hatred you are seeing in Paris, London, Berlin, LA, Boston, Denver…. this is just the beginning.
We Jews are the canaries in the coal mine for all of humanity. Today, they are throwing bricks at synagogues and smashing chairs and saying “Kill the Jews.” 
Tomorrow it will be someone else.
Do the French really think these people will protect and safeguard  the treasures of the Louvre? 
Do Londoners really think these people will cherish the symbols of the British Empire?
Does anyone really think this is only about Israel and the disputed territories? 
Today it is Israel, tomorrow it will be you.
Maybe that is why everyone gets so disproportionately annoyed about this conflict. Because everyone knows after us it gets real personal…

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Media’s Moral Equivalency Game

Joseph Puder On July 22, 2014

Given its previous experiences in war with the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza, Israel must choose between winning the public relations war or the military war. The best Israel can expect from the international, and especially from the western media is moral equivalency.
As the days drag on in operation “Protective Edge,” European and American streets will become focal points for Arab-Muslims and their radical supporters to spew their vile anti-Semitic messages. In Paris, just such a protest led to stones and bricks being hurled at a synagogue. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls issued a statement condemning the attempted synagogue storming “in the strongest possible terms such acts targeting places of worship are unacceptable.”
While the French premier may issue statements against anti-Israel violence in Paris, France 24-TV carried a story on July 13, 2014 which portrayed the suffering of the Palestinians through the lens of a 17-year old Arab-Palestinian boy. The story completely ignored the reasons for Israel’s retaliation. Since Israel’s pullout from Gaza in 2005, the people of Sderot have endured thousands of rocket attacks. However, no comparable human interest story has covered the life of an average Israeli child. In the past 8 days Hamas has fired 1,261 rockets at cities throughout Israel targeting civilians. Each rocket has the potential to kill.

Israel retains the upper hand

Zalman Shoval

There is no consolation for what happened, but explanations and conclusions, such as the army will raise in its debriefing, must be had. We and the nation of Israel suffered a serious blow, but the basic facts haven't changed -- we set out on a battle against Hamas not on a whim and not because of some politician's irresponsible rhetorical device, to wit, "patriotism," but because the ongoing threat on residents of southern Israel had to stop. This was clearly a no-choice war.
Another thing that hasn't changed: As Operation Protective Edge edges past its second week, Israel has definitely retained the upper hand and is steadily achieving each and every goal it laid out beforehand, namely, maximally reducing Hamas and other terrorist groups' terrorist and offensive capabilities in the Gaza Strip and securing calm for southern Israel. This war won't mark decisive battlefield victories such as in the Six-Day War or Yom Kippur War, and that isn't because either the Israel Defense Forces' might has been reduced or the enemy's bolstered (the opposite is true), but because the nature of war has changed.

| Tighten the siege

Dan Margalit

On October 14, 2013, Israel Hayom published an article that looking back shows how amateur an approach Israel took toward the tunnels in Gaza. It happened that hammering was heard one night at Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha. Some of the kibbutz members thought their neighbors were renovating their homes, but then they met and realized no home improvements were under way. One of them contacted me at the paper while others turned to the defense establishment, causing the tunnel to be exposed. But luck can't play a role every time, and Israel found itself facing a complex web of tunnel openings. If Hamas had managed to carry out its plan, Israel would have fallen victim to a deathly rash of kidnappings.
The murder of the three teenagers Gil-ad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel, and Eyal Yifrach in Halhoul, Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett argued on Monday, served in retrospect to throw Israel into gear to save itself from the threat. Bennett announced on Channel 2 that he would not let any cease-fire go into effect until every one of the Israel Defense Forces' brigade commanders said that he had successfully destroyed the tunnels. But Maj. Gen. (res.) Eitan Ben-Eliyahu said after leaving the studio that this would never happen because none of the brigade commanders would ever be certain that all the tunnels were in fact eliminated.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mowing the Grass in Gaza

Efraim Inbar and Eitan Shamir
BESA Center Perspectives


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Israeli military offensive in Gaza reflects the assumption that Israel is in a protracted intractable conflict. It is unlikely that Israel can purge Hamas from Palestinian society, nor is a political solution likely to be achieved. Instead, Israel is acting in accordance with a "mowing the grass" strategy. After a period of military restraint, Israel is acting to severely punish Hamas for its aggressive behavior and degrade its military capabilities – aiming at achieving a period of quiet.

Hamas left Israel's government no choice but to order the Israel Defense Force (IDF) to start a land incursion. Hamas refused to accept the Israeli government's offer of "calm for calm," rejected the Egyptian cease-fire proposal and violated the humanitarian cease-fire initiated by the UN. It continuously fired over 10 days more than 1,500 missiles towards towns and cities of Israel, hoping to kill as many civilians as possible. Moreover, it uses tunnels in the attempt to kill Israeli civilians and/or kidnap them.
Israel's goal continues to be the establishment of a reality in which Israeli residents can live in safety without constant indiscriminate terror, while striking a significant blow to Hamas' terror infrastructure. The Israeli government wisely has defined limited political and military goals for this offensive, in accordance with what we call a "mowing the grass" strategy.

Finally, a Rare Point of Agreement

Mark Steyn




<img height="1" width="1" border="0" alt="" src="http://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/994187515/?frame=0&random=1405952058311&cv=7&fst=1405952058311&num=1&fmt=1&label=gQZVCJXJ8QQQ-7GI2gM&guid=ON&u_h=900&u_w=1440&u_ah=812&u_aw=1440&u_cd=24&u_his=1&u_tz=-420&u_java=false&u_nplug=4&u_nmime=43&frm=0&url=http%3A//www.jewishworldreview.com/0714/steyn072114.php3" />

JewishWorldReview.com | In recent days, Israel has been hit not only from the Gaza end of the Fatah-Hamas pantomime horse but also from Lebanon and Syria.
It's under attack not merely from a terrorist squat but from two sovereign states, all of whom are clients to one degree or another of a third, Iran. Had not General Sisi overthrown Mohammed Morsi and tossed him in jail, there might have been a fourth country happy to make mischief. Meanwhile, across the Allenby Bridge in Jordan, Israel's least insane neighbor has seen its population swollen by 25 per cent from Syria refugees, and at its western frontier now borders the new caliphate of jihadist head-hackers. In the Sunni/Shia regional showdown between ISIS and Teheran's various subsidiaries, the two warring parties agree on little except that dead Jews brighten everyone's day.
Oh, well. The Middle East. It's all very complicated, isn't it? Fatah, Hamas, Hizb'Allah, the Muslim Brothers, ISIS, Alawites... Who can keep track? And why worry your pretty little head about it all when the easy and cool thing to do is blame the Jews? Brendan O'Neill writes:
Why are Western liberals always more offended by Israeli militarism than by any other kind of militarism? It's extraordinary. France can invade Mali and there won't be loud, rowdy protests by peaceniks in Paris. David Cameron, backed by a whopping 557 members of parliament, can order airstrikes on Libya and British leftists won't give over their Twitterfeeds to publishing gruesome pics of the Libyan civilians killed as a consequence. President Obama can resume his drone attacks in Pakistan, killing 13 people in one strike last month, and Washington won't be besieged by angry anti-war folk demanding 'Hands off Pakistan'. But the minute Israel fires a rocket into Gaza, the second Israeli politicians say they're at war again with Hamas, radicals in all these Western nations will take to the streets, wave hyperbolic placards, fulminate on Twitter, publish pictures of dead Palestinian children, publish the names and ages of everyone 'MURDERED BY ISRAEL', and generally scream about Israeli 'bloodletting'. (When the West bombs another country, it's 'war'; when Israel does it, it's 'bloodletting'.)

The Incoherent Excuses for Hating Israel

Bruce Thornton On July 21, 2014

Israel’s military operation to degrade Hamas’ ability to rain rockets down on Israeli cities has stirred up the usual noisy and nasty protests in Europe. We need not dwell on demonstrations by Muslim immigrants, whose genocidal Jew-hatred has been an Islamic tradition for 14 centuries. More revealing is the hatred of Israel by so many Europeans, ranging from leftover leftists and idealizers of the dark-skinned “other,” to far-right xenophobes and morally addled Christians. Whatever its origins, one thing their bitter hatred of Israel does not have is any foundation in coherent principle.
Take the displeasure aroused by the continually publicized disparity in deaths between Gazans and Israelis in the current ground operation to stop the rockets. Many critics seem affronted that Israel has taken great pains to protect its citizens by building bomb shelters and developing the Iron Dome anti-missile defenses, and so have suffered only 2 civilian deaths. They see the videos of dead Palestinian Arab children and blame those deaths on Israel’s “disproportionate response” instead of Hamas’ indifference to their own people’s safety. They ignore Hamas’s tactic of using their own women and children as human shields, ordering them not to flee the fighting, and storing explosives and munitions in tunnels under mosques, hospitals, apartment buildings, and schools, subterranean space that could be used to protect their people. They wink at Hamas’ conscious aim to engineer such casualties in order to create the “propaganda of the deed,” the purpose of which is to elicit precisely the uncritical condemnations of Israel that European useful idiots reflexively provide. They disregard Israel’s unprecedented efforts to warn civilians that bombs are headed their way––phoning them on cell phones and land-lines, sending text messages, scattering leaflets, and dropping warning duds on the roofs of targets. And of course, the Israel-haters don’t care that Israel’s actions are always a defensive response to terrorist aggression.

Bennett: 'Who's Conducting a Disproportionate War?'

In an interview on Sky News, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett gave an interviewer a lesson in what Israelis have been experiencing.
First Publish: 7/21/2014

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Flash 90
In an interview on Sky News, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett was forced into a confrontation with the news correspondent interviewing him. The correspondent attempted to goad Bennett into admitting that the IDF's military campaign in Gaza was “disproportionate” and “was targeting women and children.”
Bennett has been making the rounds of international news outlets in recent days, explaining Israel's position and discussing how Hamas was turning Gaza residents into human shields. The interview on Sky News was supposed to follow the same pattern, but the extremely hostile attitude of the interviewer drove Bennett to toughen his stance – and presentation.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

PA libel: "Children have become the fuel for Israel's Holocaust...

Children have become a target 
hunted by the Israeli warplanes"

PA leader Jibril Rajoub:
Israel is carrying out a "mass extermination
as the Nazis did in Europe in the 1940s"

PA and Fatah ignore
Hamas' use of civilians as human shields,
claiming Israel's evacuation warnings are "false"

Fatah Central Committee member Mahmoud Al-Aloul:
"The occupation government 
is continuing to step up its crimes
against the Palestinian people, 
the most barbaric being the sending of messages 
to residents of entire neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip, ordering them to evacuate their homes 
in order to destroy them."

 by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

During the current conflict between terror organization Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Israel, Israel has been warning Palestinian civilians ahead of Israeli bombings to evacuate their homes in order to minimize civilian casualties.

Hamas has continuously instructed Palestinians to ignore the warnings and stay in their homes, in order that they may act as human shields to protect Hamas terrorists, their weapons and tunnel systems. Palestinian Media Watch has documented that Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party expresses support and unity with Hamas in its war against Israel.

Fatah Central Committee member Mahmoud Al-Aloul recently described the Israeli warnings (delivered by phone or fliers distributed from planes) as one of the "most barbaric" Israeli "crimes" and part of an Israeli "plan to expel a larger number of Gaza Strip residents":

"Al-Aloul said that the occupation government is continuing to step up its crimes against the Palestinian people, the most barbaric being the sending of messages to residents of entire neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip, ordering them to evacuate their homes in order to destroy them. The Commissioner of the [Fatah] Mobilization and Organization [Commission] said that the occupation government is seeking to carry out a plan to expel a larger number of Gaza Strip residents, and to repeat the expulsion it has been carrying out against the Palestinian people from the Nakba to this day." 
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 17, 2014]

Gaza-Israel: it doesn’t add up

Paris 16 July 2014 (anniversary of the rafle du Vel d’Hiv)
[My English version of an article I originally wrote in French]
Nidra Poller
Israel, they say, harumph, has the right to defend itself, but…  But not entirely. Both sides are asked to act with restraint. Not exactly both. Because the conflict is lopsided: 37 then 58, 102, and now more than 200 Palestinians killed. The vast majority, according to Palestinian sources, are civilians. Women, children and the elderly, to say nothing of the thousands of wounded. On the other side, zilch. That’s it, the stage is set, the lethal narrative has wheels and it’s going to be fueled daily, automatically, unapologetically. 

How might Hamas act with restraint? Its goal is to kill all the Jews and occupy all the territory from the Jordan to the sea. Whereas the Israelis want zero dead, zero wounded, and the pursuit of a productive life in an intact nation.  So what would restraint amount to? Hamas would kill half the Jewish Israelis? There is no justification for this cooking-the-books vision of a confrontation with worldwide ramifications: The frontier between civilization and savagery runs along the Gaza-Israel border. 

“Who is Like Our Nation?”

The question is rhetorical. For there is no nation like Israel. 
 
Said Prime Minister Netanyahu on Friday (emphasis added):
“I have met with the commanders who are leading the IDF operation, uncommonly brave, determined and motivated commanders, with strong values. I am impressed by the motivation of our soldiers, both conscripts and reservists, and their desire to take part in the campaign. They understand that their mission is to defend Israel’s citizens.”
“Our fighters all know that they are fighting for the most just of goals – the defense of our shared home.”
http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/07/18/netanyahu-says-international-coalition-supporting-israel-to-take-systematic-and-strong-action-against-hamas/
~~~~~~~~~~
Meet here one uncommonly brave commander with strong values:
Col. Rassan Alian, a Golani Brigade battalion commander, was moderately injured last night when he was hit by shrapnel.  Doctors where he was hospitalized insisted it wasn’t time for him to leave the hospital yet. But the colonel objected: "I have a lot of soldiers over there and I need to get back to them."
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4546862,00.html
Col. Alian is not some extraordinary exception.  He represents a norm for Israeli commanders.
~~~~~~~~~~
Overnight, our operations in Gaza increased further.  That this should be necessary at all is painful, but since it IS necessary, it is possible to view the new clear-eyed determination of our political and military echelon with great satisfaction and relief.  This time we are going to do what needs to be done.
IDF Armed Pesonnel Carriers seen crossing through a field near the border with Gaza in Southern Israel on July 18, 2014 (Photo credit: Yossi Aloni/Flash90)
Credit: Yossi Aloni/Flash90
 
What Netanyahu also said was: The IDF is a moral military without peer; it does not aspire to harm any innocent person. We are operating only against terrorist targets and we regret any inadvertent civilian casualties.

Analysis Of Gazans Killed So Far In Operation Protective Edge

July 20, 2014
Some of the claims I am seeing online include how the vast majority of Gazans killed are civilians, and how Israel is deliberately targeting them.
Regarding the latter, we all know this is nonsense – if Israel wanted to kill civilians it would carpet bomb Gaza. It is precisely because we want to avoid civilian casualties, that we opt for pinpoint strikes and ground operations, at risk to our soldiers’ lives.
But what about the first claim? Are the vast majority civilians?
Without having all of the terrorist obituaries or intel to prove who was a terrorist, this is hard to analyze. But what we do have is a list of the names and ages of those killed so far, which does provide us with some insights.
An anonymous Israellycool reader and her family spent countless hours going over this list from Al Jazeera – a media outlet that can’t be accused of slanting things Israel’s way. Their main findings regarding the casualties to date are as follows:

Heavy IAF Shelling in Shejaiya


Tova Dvorin

Over 30 IDF soldiers have reportedly been injured in Sheijaya, Walla! News reports Sunday, after the IDF carried out heavy shelling in the city east of Gaza City. 

The strike reportedly involved huge forces in tanks and artillery. 

Since starting the ground phase of the operation on Thursday night, the IDF has killed 130 terrorists and wounded 800, a senior official updated Sunday morning.

Palestinian Arab networks claim that "dozens" have been killed in the shelling, which extended from Saturday night to Sunday morning.

Among the dead are the family members of senior Hamas leader Khalil al-Haya, according to multiple sources, after their house was shelled in Gaza City itself. 

Now is the time for unity

Nadav Shragai

Hey, people are shooting here! We're talking, arguing, discussing, and wrangling 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Could we ask for a little radio silence? Just for the near future. At this stage, when our sons are fighting in the Gaza Strip for their homes and their country, could we maybe stick to practical analysis and facts? After the war we'll have plenty of time to revisit to the old arguments and fights that have followed us since 1967. They won't let us be, anyway, and we won't let up on them.
Only a month ago we drew so much from the great spirit of three mothers and fathers after their children -- Gil-ad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel, and Eyal Yifrach -- were kidnapped. The wind in our sails steered our ship on a straight course, in unity and strong faith. Now we have all the reasons in the world to keep praying. Together -- observant and secular, Left and Right, in different languages -- but with a single heart, like we did then.
That spirit made slogans and cliches tangible. It made us acknowledge good and brought out the best in us: the ability to give thanks, love for soldiers and for the state, togetherness and what bring us together and concern for each other and a shared fate. That spirit shoved evil and cynicism and disagreements and divisiveness aside.

Like a rudderless ship in a stormy sea

MARTIN SHERMAN

Just as Hamas uses its civilians as human shields against Israeli military attacks, so the Israeli government uses its civilians as human shields to fend off diplomatic attacks from the international community.

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu speaks at the Knesset on Monday Photo: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST
The most righteous of men cannot live in peace if his evil neighbor will not let him be.
Wilhelm Tell, Act IV, Scene III, by Friedrich von Schiller, 1804

The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other guy die for his.
– Gen. George S. Patton Jr.

There is always a cost to defeat an evil. It never comes free, unfortunately. But the cost of failure to defeat a great evil is far higher.
– Jamie Shea, NATO spokesman, BBC News, May 31, 1999, on civilian casualties inflicted by NATO in the Balkans.

As Operation Protective Edge – which could have been dubbed “Pillar of Defensive II” or “Cast Lead III” – drags on, it is becoming increasingly clear that the government is misconstruing its role..

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Friday Afternoon Roundup -

Sultan Knish


HAMAS IS A 7TH CENTURY PROBLEM


To understand why, let’s step into a time machine and go back to the spring of 632. The Byzantine Emperor Heraclius is engaged in the first of a series of wars with Mohammed’s maddened followers. England is divided into seven quarreling kingdoms. Across the water, the Merovingians are killing each other in ways that would give George R.R. Martin nightmares. Meanwhile in a more civilized part of the world, China’s fading Sui Dynasty fields an army of over a million men in a failed effort to invade Korea.

Back in Medina, Mohammed had come down with the sniffles. He had a fever and a headache and there wasn’t any Tylenol around for miles. Mohammed hadn’t been a very good man and he made a very bad patient. Upon being told that he had pleurisy, he claimed that only people possessed by Satan came down with that disease so he couldn’t possibly have it and instead blamed the Jews for poisoning him.

His own homemade cures, such as bathing in seven skins of water from seven different wells, didn’t help. But before he died, he managed to make the Middle East an even worse place by ordering the ethnic cleansing of Jews and Christians.

Mowing the grass in Gaza – and beyond

DAVID M. WEINBERG

The war with Hamas, unreliability of Abbas and regional instability have forced a shift in Netanyahu’s thinking.

PRIME MINISTER Binyamin Netanyahu speaks at a press conference in Tel Aviv on Friday
PRIME MINISTER Binyamin Netanyahu speaks at a press conference in Tel Aviv on Friday Photo: HAIM ZACH/GPO
Israel’s protracted conflict with Hamas in Gaza, the feebleness and fecklessness of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and the gains made by radical Islamists in Arab civil wars raging across the region call for a reassessment of Israel’s strategic posture.

In a situation of multiple threats from implacable, non-state enemies such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaida and the Islamic State (ex-ISIS), and in an environment where all Arab and Islamic states from Marrakesh to Bangladesh are beset by instability, Israel must figure out how to best guarantee its security for the long term.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has begun to give us a window into his updated strategic thinking on this question. In a little noticed speech in Tel Aviv two weeks ago, and in a press conference last Friday, Netanyahu laid out the essentials of an updated defense doctrine.

Friday, July 18, 2014

A tale of tunnels

Dan Gordon
The Government of the state of Israel has declared in the clearest possible manner that the purpose of the ground incursion which began last night and continues today, is  first of all to deal with the “ homicide tunnels” which the Terrorist Army Hamas, has burrowed beneath the borders of, and well into  the pre 1967 territory of the state of Israel.  The only people who could possibly think of this area as being “ occupied territory” are the same ones who think of Tel Aviv as “ Occupied territory” , or for that matter any square inch of land in this part of the world ,where Israel has the effrontery to declare it’s sovereignty under international law.

In other words, contrary to the perception of some, that the core reason behind this conflict is Israel’s occupation of lands conquered in the defensive war of 1967, Hamas could not, and does not, give a tinker’s damn about “ Occupied territory” . This is so because Hamas regards ANY territory on which there is a sovereignJewish state  as, “ Occupied territory”.

Moreover, Hamas  believes that any such Jewish state has no right to exist.

How to Win in Gaza

Caroline Glick On July 18, 2014 

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post
Israel deployed ground forces in Gaza Thursday night both because Hamas’s terror tunnels into Israel have become an unacceptable threat, and because it had to break the deadlock that had developed between it and Hamas.

Until the ground invasion, Israel and Hamas were in a holding pattern. Hamas would not accept a ceasefire deal because Egypt’s offers provided the Iranian sponsored, Muslim Brotherhood terror army with no discernible achievements. And absent such achievements, Hamas prefers to keep fighting. Israel for its part is unwilling to make any concessions to Hamas in exchange for its cessation of its criminal terror war that targets innocent civilians in Israel as a matter of course. As Hamas sees things, it has three ways of winning.

First, if Israel had agreed to ceasefire terms that left Hamas better off than it was when it started its newest round of indiscriminate missile attacks against Israeli civilian targets, then it could have declared victory.

Hamas’s terms for a ceasefire included, among other things, an open border with Egypt, egress to the sea, open access to the border zone with Israel, an airport, a sea port, and the release of terrorists from Israeli prisons. Obviously, if Israel agreed to even a few of these terms, its agreement would have constituted a strategic victory for Hamas.

He gave his life to the soldiers

The death of Dror Hanin, the first Israeli killed in Operation Protective Edge, left an enormous void • "Daddy is gone, so I won't be happy," says Dror's daughter, two weeks before her birthday • "Dror had a huge heart, full of giving," says his friend.

Dror Hanin poses with soldiers moments before his death

Hamas' punishment: The plagues of Egypt

Hamas leaders made a grave mistake this week: they rejected Egypt's cease-fire proposal, spitting in the face of the one powerful nation on which they are completely dependent • But Israel must ensure that Hamas, though weakened, remains on the scene.

Publicly insulted by Hamas. Egyptian President Abed Fattah el-Sissi
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Photo credit: EPA

Place Hamas in a vise

Yoav Limor

Operation Protective Edge entered a new phase on Thursday night, one meant to break the operational patterns that have become prevalent in the interaction between the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas since the onset of the campaign in Gaza Strip. The IDF has launched a limited ground operation, meant to achieve specific tactical goals while increasing the pressure on Hamas so that it will agree to the Egyptian cease-fire proposal.
The decision to launch a ground operation was made 10 days into the Gaza campaign. The cabinet sought to avoid it, fearing it might become overly complicated and thinking that the operation could come to a conclusion -- via cease-fire -- sooner rather than later.
This premise, however proved false, and the change in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon's position on the matter came following the foiled terror attack near Kibbutz Sufa, and the scope of Hamas fire on Israel following the five-hour humanitarian cease-fire both parties had agreed to uphold Thursday morning.
These two events made it clear to Israel that Hamas is determined to take its pound of flesh during the fighting and that opting for defensive tactics only endangers Israel, as it makes it appear weak in the eyes of Hamas.

'Proportionality' in Israel and Gaza?

Paul Austin Murphy
Many people may think that the death toll in Israel is low compared to the 180 or so Palestinians who have been killed in Gaza in the last few weeks. Leftists will no doubt quote the UN's ratio of civilian-to-military casualties, which is said to be 70% civilian.
(Where have these percentages come from? From Hamas. So it's not a surprise that Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman, Lt-Col Peter Lerner, has disputed the figures. Indeed where else could the figures come from? Hamas rules Gaza. The BBC has also just been reprimanded for supplying fake pictures from Pallywood... or Gaza as it is also sometimes known.)
There's a simple reason for that “lack of proportionality” (as academics in the West often put it) which seems to have been overlooked by Manuel Hassassian (a Palestinian Authority envoy in the UK) when he said:
“There are no shelters, no bunkers, no place to go, except their homes.”
Israel has built many air-raid shelters and other means of protection for its citizens. It also employs air-raid warnings in response to Hamas rocket attacks. Hamas, on the other hand, doesn't provide its people with either of these things. (See this article on Gaza's lack of bomb shelters.)
The other thing is that Hamas deliberately places its fighters amongst the Gaza civilian population -- as is now both well-known and well-documented. Again, for the same reasons just described.
What is the reason for Hamas's suicidal policies?
It's primarily because this Muslim Brotherhood political party wants some -- or even many -- of its people to be killed.
So why does Hamas want that?

How Congress Can Help Israel Against Hamas

Malcolm Lowe

What the Congressional resolutions overlook is that Hamas has officially renounced its responsibility for governing Gaza, while the Palestinian unity government has already begun the process of taking over the administration of Gaza. Consequently, the Palestinian Authority – not Hamas – should be the primary addressee of Congressional resolutions. Congress has the power to impose that demand upon the PA as a condition of further financial support for the PA.
The Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, evidently has on his payroll tens of thousands of idle Gazans who are available to root out and destroy those rockets and tunnels.
Last Friday, July 11, the US House of Representatives unanimously passed Resolution 657 in support of Israel's right to defend itself against the rockets fired from the Gaza strip. A similar resolution has also been submitted to the US Senate. This reaffirmation of American support will be deeply appreciated in Israel. To make that support effective, however, a little more will be needed.
The House version "(1) reaffirms its support for Israel's right to defend its citizens and ensure the survival of the State of Israel; (2) condemns the unprovoked rocket fire at Israel; and (3) calls on Hamas to immediately cease all rocket and other attacks against Israel." The Senate version repeats those three demands in almost identical wording and adds a fourth: "Calls on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to dissolve the unity governing arrangement with Hamas and condemn the attacks on Israel."
What the Congressional resolutions overlook is that Hamas has officially renounced its responsibility for governing Gaza, while the Palestinian unity government has already begun the process of taking over the administration of Gaza. Over a week ago (July 5/6), a senior Hamas official, Ahmad Yousef, was "asked about increased rocket fire on Israel in recent weeks" in an interview with Palestinian news agency Ma'an. His answer: "From a political point of view, (Prime Minister) Rami Hamdallah is responsible and he can give orders to security services to intervene. Hamas is not ruling the Gaza Strip and so it's not responsible for protecting borders"
Anyone paying due attention to recent Palestinian developments should know that this is correct. The unity government was formed because Hamas no longer had the funds to pay its own administration of 40,000 employees in Gaza. This was because the new Egyptian regime closed the tunnels connecting Egypt with Gaza and removed Hamas's two chief sources of income: money smuggled through the tunnels and taxes imposed upon the operators of the tunnels.