There will be endless admonitions to Israel from the Obama administration, the United Nations, and so forth, demanding an early end to the Gaza war now underway. Israel’s security needs dictate the opposite: Hamas’ capacity to make war must be crippled.
Tel Aviv last week remained one of the safest cities in the world despite the incessant rocket bombardment. In the bomb shelters at the David Intercontinental, we joked about the lack of drinks and canapes at the hotel’s hastily-improvised guest mixers. The cafe terraces were full every night on Dizengoff Street. But complacency on Israel’s part would be misplaced, perhaps even fatal. For the moment Israeli ingenuity has shifted the advantage in rocketry to the defense. That may not be the case for very long. Iron Dome has been extremely effective in containing the damage from a barrage of about 2,000 unguided rockets launched from Gaza. Most of these explode harmlessly in empty areas; the few that fly towards targets of value have been taken down with a 90% success rate. But the advantage may shift back to the offense some time in the next few years.
Dr. Uzi Rubin, the architect of Israel’s missile defense, warned last January that Iran and Syria already have GPS-guided ballistic missiles. The Jerusalem Post reported:
This is a strategic threat. Even worse news is coming; ballistic missiles are becoming smart,” he said. In the next five to 10 years, Israel’s enemies will inevitably arm themselves with GPS-guided ballistic missiles such as Scuds, [Rubin] said.
“Perhaps Syria already has this capability,” Rubin said. “This can significantly disrupt Israel’s air power. Israel will of course recover. We are talking about escalating a war to quicken it, and end it within three days. They are talking about doing the same. This threat can degrade the IDF’s ground capabilities” via accurate missile strikes on army mobilization and staging grounds, Rubin warned. “It can paralyze Israel’s war economy. And of course, it can inflict massive casualties. I’m not talking about Dresden, but Coventry, perhaps,” he said, referring to cities bombed in World War II.
Iron Dome can defend successfully against a handful of rockets fired simultaneously in the general direction of Israeli cities. At some point Israel’s enemies will acquire the capability to fire large salvos of precision-guided weapons at key military or civilian targets and overwhelm the existing defenses. GPS-guided rockets are not that difficult to make. Iron Dome gives Israel a respite, not relief in the long term.
Israel has an extraordinary opportunity that may not last. It can protect its citizens from retaliation for the time being. Its right to self-defense is so obvious that Western governments usually hostile to Israeli interests must affirm its right to self-defense. Even the German Left Party (“die Linke”) is split, with some of its leaders attending pro-Israel rallies while others join the largely Muslim demonstrators chanting “Jude, Jude, feiges Schwein, Komm heraus und kaempf allein” (“Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come out and fight alone”). It has the tacit (and sometimes not entirely tacit) support of Egypt, not to mention the Gulf States, in its war against Hamas. But it cannot afford a repeat of 2012, after which Hamas rebuilt its weapons capability. Where Hezbollah is concerned, the Chinese proverb applies: Kill the chicken while the monkey watches. The reduction of Hamas has to serve as a deterrent for Hezbollah and Syria, not to mention Iran.
Israel’s leaders know this well, and outsiders should be cautious about offering tactical advice. But Israel’s friends must be clear that a “pinpoint operation,” as Secretary of State Kerry demanded inadvertently before an open microphone last weekend, does not serve Israel’s urgent interests. Hamas must be rooted out in depth.
Op-ed: Islamic organization has a huge reservoir of marionettes waging its PR war in Israel and around the world.
Most of them have good intentions. They want peace and reconciliation and want us all to make love and not war. Hamas loves them.
In October 2013, Ismail Haniyeh delivered a thanksgiving address: “We put our trust in the support of the liberals in the world… Greetings to all the civil society organizations and human rights organizations.”
In that exact speech, he presented the “Palestinian national strategy,” which will include “an armed struggle and a PR struggle in all regional and international arenas.”
The strategy works. Hamas has launched another round in order to play its role in the “armed struggle” front. Only several hours passed before “writers and intellectuals” began filling their own role in the “PR struggle” front. The first petition has already hit the road. No to violence. Not to war. All they want is to “probe the incitement,” Israel’s of course. And they are demanding “an end to the fighting in Gaza.”
The protests around the world have already begun too. In London, streets have already been blocked in a joint protest of the radical left and jihad supporters. In Dortmund, Germany, it was a coalition of Islamists and neo-Nazis.
Once the goal was to portray the Jew as a monster. Today the goal is to portray Israel as a monster.
Sometimes we have to rub our eyes in disbelief, as it is not only neo-Nazis, Islamists and anarchists who participate in these protests. Human rights supporters protest against Israel too, and common sense finds it difficult to digest the foolishness.
Sometimes the underdog is wrong. The ruthlessly brutal regimes of Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, and Idi Amin were all weaker than the forces that ultimately vanquished them.
But for decades the Palestinians have mastered the art of persuading everyone that because they die in greater numbers and have inferior arms, they are more deserving of sympathy and support in their conflict with Israel. Here’s why they’re wrong:
1) Israel’s military edge safeguards its survival in the world’s toughest neighborhood. But if a SWAT team is better armed than a wild gunman they must neutralize, does that mean that they’re at fault when the gunman dies?
2) Israel’s casualty figures are smaller because Israel tries to protect life by investing in anti-missile defense, shelters, and early warning systems to minimize the deaths caused by Palestinian rocket attacks.
3) By contrast, Palestinian terrorists purposely endanger life by targeting Israeli civilians while using Palestinian civilians as human shields (to maximize the PR benefits of any Israeli reprisals).
4) Israel’s death toll should be adjusted for its tiny population, to feel the true “national pain” of each loss. When Hamas terrorists abducted and murdered three Israeli teenagers last month, that’s like the murder and abduction of about 118 Americans teenagers. How many Taliban would die from a U.S. military response to the Taliban abduction and murder of 118 American teenagers?
5) Gaza-based terrorism is inflicting collective punishment on about 8 million Israelis living under the constant threat of rocket attacks. How much could you focus on anything if blaring sirens regularly compelled you to seek shelter in under a minute? How much sleep could you get? Drivers must get out of their cars, lie on on the pavement face down with their hands over their heads, and wait ten minutes until the danger has ostensibly passed. Many elderly or disabled persons must descend flights of stairs to access the shelter, and the scramble to safety can be as dangerous as staying unprotected (an Israeli woman in her 70s died while trying to take shelter from an incoming rocket in Haifa). How long would the U.S. expect its citizens to live like that before deploying overwhelming firepower to eradicate the threat?
6) In the Middle East, the weak perish quickly, and Israel – the only Jewish state (with 8 million people in a New Jersey-sized territory) surrounded by 22 Arab Muslim states (totaling about 370 million people) – can’t afford to lose a war. So the fact that Israel doesn’t cause far greater casualties to strengthen its deterrence should highlight Israel’s morality and restraint.
Fascism in the 21st Century: Why are so many people waving Hezbollah flags?
The late Christopher Hitchens infamously saw no difference between radical Islamism and European fascism. As he put it, ‘both movements are based on a cult of murderous violence that exalts death and destruction and despises the life of the mind.’
In London, symbols of fascism are brandished in public without any public concern. Our MPs are too busy critiquing ‘Israeli war crimes’ in the comfort of Westminster than they are stopping intimidating displays of racism around the corner.
That man on the bus was not a humanitarian or a pacifist. He was expressing his admiration for an ideology akin to fascism. Fascists are not humanitarian.
This is such an old point, but where are the demonstrations against Assad? Where are the rallies against Putin?
It is only the Jews which fascists are so disturbingly obsessed with.
Hamasholes Operating Near Emergency Room of Al-Shifa Hospital
A new report reveals what we have already known: Hamas is using hospitals for their own, cynical purposes.
The source? A (French) palestinian journalist (hat tip: EoZ).
Correspondent Radjaa Abu Dagga for years divided his time between Paris, where his wife and son live, and Gaza, where his parents live and where he works. On 18 June, when he wanted to cross theRafah border, an officer banned his way and took his passport like all Palestinians trying to cross into Egypt that day.
After four blocked attempts to leave Gaza without explanation over weeks, the Palestinian journalist was summoned by the security services of Hamas on Sunday. “I received a call from a private number. They summoned me to Al-Shifa Hospital in the Gaza City center, ” explains Radjaa. He carried with him his two phones, his press card and a small camera.
A few meters from the emergency room where the injured from bombings are constantly flowing, in the outpatient department, he was received in “a small section of the hospital used as administration” by a band of young fighters. They were all well dressed, which surprised Radjaa, “in civilian clothing with a gun under one’s shirt and some had walkie-talkies .” He was ordered to empty his pockets, removing his shoes and his belt then was taken to a hospital room “which served that day as the command office of three people.”
A man begins his interrogation: “Who are you? Who do you call? What are you doing?” “I was very surprised by the procedure,” admits Radjaa, who showed him his press card in response. Questions came. They asked if he speaks Hebrew, he has relations with Ramallah. Young Hamas supporters insistently ask the question: “Are you a correspondent for Israel?” Radjaa repeated that only works for French media and a chain of Algerian radio.
It was then that the three men deliveed this message: “This is yours to choose. We are an executive administration. We will carry the message of Qassams. You have to stay at home and give us your papers. ” Stunned to be covered by the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, Radjaa tried to defend himself and especially to understand why such a decision was taken against him. In vain. “It is impossible to communicate with these people,” laments the journalist.
He is not the first to undergo this kind of pressure and combatants in front of him did not hide. “They are enraged against the presidency and accused me of collaborating with Mahmoud Abbas,” he says. Reporters Without Bordersconfirms that this is not an isolated case. The organization has indeed been alerted by the threats of Hamas against Palestinian and foreign journalists for their professional activities.
Despite the presence of these terrorists in plain sight, right near the emergency room, this has not merited mention by the plethora of other journalists there. Nor Dr Mads Gilbert. No prizes for guessing why this is the case.
To put it bluntly, they are aiding and abetting Hamas’ war crimes. By hiding these facts, and blaming any civilian deaths on Israel, they serve to embolden Hamas and place pressure on Israel to stop before we can finish the job.
As such, they are also working against the civilians of Gaza, who are being deliberately placed in harms way, and will have to endure life under Hamas for a longer period of time.
Speaking today, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu vowed not to cease Israel’s military operations against Hamas terrorists until his country’s people are “assured of quiet” as they coped with a weeklong rocket barrage from Gaza. But in explaining his position, he raised an important question that transcends the immediate confrontation: does the U.S. really expect Israel to tolerate a situation in which this battle will be duplicated on the West Bank?
Though the United States has expressed its support for Israel’s right of self-defense against a ceaseless rain of rockets aimed at its civilian population, the Obama administration remains resolute in refusing to draw any conclusions from these events.
As I noted earlier this week, the administration began the week by issuing a scathing denunciation of Israel’s government delivered by a top White House staffer in person at an Israeli forum. Even as the Islamist group’s rockets were landing all over the Jewish state, Philip Gordon, the White House coordinator for the Middle East praised Hamas’s Fatah partners in the Palestinian unity government and blasted Israel’s leaders for the lack of peace. He urged Israel to give up the West Bank as part of a two-state solution that would end the conflict.
As it happens, most Israelis agree that this would be the best option. But the reason why there isn’t much support for Washington’s suggestions is directly related to this week’s events. As Netanyahu stated, Israel’s current no-win situation vis-à-vis Hamas in Gaza is the result of a decision to take America’s advice about the value of territorial withdrawal. In 2005, then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon pulled every last Israeli soldier, civilian, and settlement out of the strip in a vain effort to make progress toward peace. While few Israelis have any desire to retake Gaza, they understand that Hamas is creating what is, for all intents and purposes, an independent Palestinian state in all but name.
In Gaza, Hamas has not only created a terrorist fortress where they can hide behind a large civilian population. It has dug itself innumerable tunnels where it stores armaments such as the missiles it shoots at Israeli cities as well as more than 1,200 more crisscrossing the border with Egypt.
As Hamas has proved this week, Israel’s attempts to limit the damage that the group can cause are complicated by their ability to increase the range of their rockets while also depending on the Jewish state’s reluctance to engage in an all-out war with its attendant suffering to root out the terrorist threat. But most Israelis assume that sooner or later, Hamas will stop shooting and they can get back to their normal lives.
But unless a sea change in Palestinian opinion happens that would make it possible for their leaders to accept an end to the conflict and a recognition of the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn, it’s difficult to imagine how any Israeli government could possibly agree to the American request that it replicate the Gaza experiment in the far larger and more strategically located West Bank.
Speaking for President Obama, Gordon said that Israel is wrong to deny Palestinians sovereignty over the West Bank as well as security and dignity. But the problem here is not Israeli reluctance to give up territory. They have done it before and, if given any reasonable assurance that it will not come back to haunt them, may do it again. Yet somehow no one in the administration thinks that what happened in Gaza after an Israeli withdrawal should inform their opinion of what would follow if they were to give up control of security in the West Bank. As Netanyahu rightly said, there is every possibility that, despite the administration’s faith in Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’s dedication to peace, all such a withdrawal would mean is the creation of 20 more Gazas.
Hamas, not Israel, is the real enemy of the Palestinians
by Alan Dershowitz
To Gaza’s innocent civilians: Demand a ‘Gaza Spring’ and rid yourself of Hamas’ violent theocrats and kleptocrats, who love Palestinian children less than they hate Israel.
The real enemy of the innocent civilians of Gaza is Hamas, not Israel. Despite the fact that many Gazans voted for Hamas in the last Palestinian election, that terrorist organization has ill-served its constituents.
When Israel disengaged from of Gaza in 2005, it left behind farm equipment and other material capable of feeding the population. Donor countries promised support, both financial and political if Gaza would live up to its potential as a Singapore on the Mediterranean. But instead the leaders of Gaza enriched themselves and used the remaining resources to build rockets instead of plowshares. They fired these rockets at Israeli civilians and devised a strategy of using their own innocent civilians as human shields against Israel’s anticipated responses to the rocket fire. Only after Hamas started firing rockets at Israeli civilians, did Israel impose a painful blockade against Gaza, which contributed to the area’s poor economic situation.
The Hamas human shield strategy—in combination with its refusal to allow its civilians to seek shelter in Gaza’s many tunnels, which are reserved for Hamas terrorists and commanders—has resulted in what appears to be a disproportionate ratio of civilians to combatants among Gazan casualties. Although the international media blames this unfortunate ratio on Israel, the civilian population of Gaza knows the truth: That Hamas deliberately seeks to increase the number of civilian casualties by not providing them shelter, while seeking to decrease the number of terrorist casualties by providing them the safety of tunnels and other secure areas.
Following the publication of the Goldstone Report in 2009, which catalogued the high proportion of civilians to combatant deaths among Gazans, loud complaints were heard from many ordinary citizens of Gaza: Why do you protect Hamas fighters, while exposing civilians? Hamas responded by claiming—quite ironically—that many of those counted as “civilians” by the Goldstone Report, especially among the police, were actually Hamas combatants.
Whatever the facts turn out to be during the current encounter, more and more Gazans are beginning to understand how ill-served they have been by Hamas. And now, media reports are documenting the extraordinary wealth accumulated by Hamas leaders at the expense of ordinary Gazans. As one report put it: “With multi-million-dollar land deals, luxury villas and black market fuel from Egypt, Gaza’s rulers made billions while the rest of the population struggled with 38-percent poverty and 40-percent unemployment.”
The report went on to detail the newly acquired wealth of specific Hamas leaders, strongly suggesting that this violent theocracy has now also become a criminal kleptocracy, at the expense of the people of Gaza.
During a recent radio interview, I was asked what I would do if I were a resident of Gaza, suffering from unemployment and Israeli rockets counterattacks? My answer was simple: I would try to overthrow the Hamas regime and make a deal with Israel under which Gaza would give up its rockets in exchange for a “Marshall Plan” that would feed and normalize its residence. Such a plan would require international inspection of imports and the end of the “tunnel economy” that has enriched Hamas leaders and allowed the importation of lethal rockets. The current Hamas leadership is unlikely to accept any plan that takes away their money and weapons, but if the people of Gaza were to demand change—a real “Gaza Spring”—anything is possible.
He did not want to put on tefillin, but he was so soft that I could pull him in anyway. He is from Brazil and had never put on tefillin before. His family moved there from Poland before he was born.
After he read the Shema in English, I showed him how to pray for his family and for the Jews in danger from the current war. He stood there praying for a very long time, and then he waited there even longer just looking at the Kotel and what was happening. When he finished he turned to me, rubbed his chest and stomach and warmly said, “It feels so good inside!”
And this is how we should all feel when we do a mitzvah. If you do not feel good, if you do not experience a warm sense of joy when you do a mitzvah, you did not pay attention. Hashem gave us His Torah to take away our burdens, not to increase them.
“If Israel truly wanted genocide, this would’ve been over decades ago. That’s an uncomfortable truth for a lot of academics and Israel haters, and an even moreso uncomfortable truth for a media that relies on this story being reported as a battle of two sides who equally want to kill, destroy, and eliminate each other. We’re often told about Israel’s nuclear arsenal, their powerful army and airforce, and their overwhelming numbers. What’s not talked about is their clear restraint, even when faced daily with an onslaught of people who cheer when a mall, bus, disco, or pizzeria blows up and kills nothing but innocent people.”—Israel Targeted Again — Medium (via vincenzof)
Throughout progressive-left venues people are screaming to the heavens about the barbarity of the Jews in the Middle East. Israel is portrayed as a vicious, illegitimate entity that wants nothing so much as to eat little Arab babies for lunch.
As soon as this latest round of fighting started we all knew that anti-Semitic anti-Zionists and Israel Haters would come together in order to defame and undermine the lone, sole Jewish state.
However, I am pleased to discover an individual on Daily Kos that is swimming against the current and doing it in a very reasonable and solid manner.
…. of the Jewish people, to insist on a state that was exclusively a Jewish homeland, and that alone. Given the history of the world, it would be justified, it would be just, and it would be right, and it would be necessary.
But instead, the state of Israel provides for the citizenship and the rights, religious and civil, of others (those who are not Jewish) as well.
Many are the countries that are majority Christian and are Christian cultures.
Many are the countries that are majority Muslim and are Muslim cultures. And many are those that are Muslim states.
But there is only ONE country that is majority Jewish, only ONE country that is a predominantly Jewish culture, and that ONE place even recognizes the rights of non-Jews as well.
Is it too much to ask, for there to be just ONE place?
We got the future back. Uh-oh.
by G2geek on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:17:18 PM PDT
Ahh, the refreshing breeze of common sense!
I have read far too many comments in recent days complaining about the fact of Israel’s very existence. Who are these western-leftists who feel that they can just shrug their shoulders and wave their hand and entirely disregard the national aspirations of the Jewish people; a people, by the way, that did more than anyone to advance their very own political movement.
After one particularly heinous schmuck compared Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto, G2geek tell us this:
here’s why that’s offensive: (3+ / 0-)
The Warsaw Ghetto was created by the Nazis as part of their means to their deliberate policy goal of genocide of Jews.
The purpose of the Warsaw ghetto was to starve and exterminate Jews.
NOTHING going on in Palestine even REMOTELY comes close to that.
Israel is not herding Palestinians into gas chambers.
Israel is not putting them in trucks specifically constructed so that the carbon monoxide exhaust fills up the rear compartment to kill the people in it.
Israel is not systematically starving them en masse.
Israel is not using them in “medical experiments.”
The Warsaw Ghetto comparison effectively accuses Israel of attempted systematic genocide. It does that by way of seeking to legitimize ANYthing that anyone calling themselves a representative of the Palestinian people may do by way of fighting Israel or the Israeli government.
There are certainly criticisms to be leveled at the Israeli government in regard to treatment of Palestinians, but there are hundreds, thousands, of historic examples that can be used by way of comparison.
You don’t have to use the ONE thing, Naziism, that is the most incendiary and explosive thing in Jewish history. The ONE thing that is the supreme example of distilled essence of evil in all of human history, even though there were other systematic evils in the 20th century with comparable numbers of casualties.
Using the Warsaw Ghetto in any I/P arguement is execrable, detestable, disgusting, and immoral.
If I was running this site I’d make it a bannable offense after disregarding a warning to stop.
We got the future back. Uh-oh.
by G2geek on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 09:16:18 PM PDT
Here is how it works.
1) Hamas bombs Israel while hiding behind women and children.
2) Israel endures the bombings for years until finally responding as it is doing now.
3) Western-leftists denounce the Jews of the Middle East as cruel warmongers, which was the entire point of Hamas’ bombs to begin with.
They bomb not because they think that they are going to make military gains by doing so, but because they know they can bomb with impunity from criticism on the western-left and as soon as Israel responds those very same people will take the baton from Hamas and denounce the Jews.
And that is precisely what we are seeing in places like Daily Kos and the Huffington Post and the UK Guardian. And for those of you who constantly say things like, “Oh, Daily Kos is irrelevant. They’re just a few anti-Zionist extremists.” We are also seeing the delegitimization of Israel coming from the EU, itself, not to mention the Obama administration.
If Jewish history tell us anything it is that downplaying threats to the Jewish people, which includes legitimizing Hamas on progressive-left blogs, is always a fundamental mistake.
On Wednesday, Peter Stefanovic of Australia’s Channel Nine News tweeted: “Hamas rockets just launched over our hotel from a site about two hundred metres away. So a missile launch site is basically next door.”
An account called @ThisIsGaza said this was Stefanovic’s fourth time “passing and fabricating information to Israel… from GAZA” and threatened to sue him.
Another account, @longitude0 wrote: “You are a cretin. Are you working for the IDF” and “in WWII spies got shot.”
Financial Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief John Reed reported seeing “two rockets fired toward Israel from near al-Shifa hospital, even as more bombing victims were brought in.”
Shifa, in Gaza City, is the main medical facility in the Strip [and is where the Hamas leadership is hiding out. CiJ].
In response, @Saritah_91 tweeted: “We’ll hold you responsible if Israel uses your tweet to bomb the hospital & then justify it.”
Another twitter user, @ Faysal_FreeGaza, said he’s “subtly justifying and encouraging IDF attacks on hospitals,” and @Maysara_ ara wrote: “Get out of Gaza u informant.”
Harry Fear, a journalist from the UK reporting from Gaza for RT (formerly Russia Today) television, tweeted last week: “Early morning Gaza rockets were fired into Israel. A well-known site in W. Gaza City, near my hotel, was among the origins, confirm locals.”
Fear then took on the critics, tweeting soon after that he rejects “loaded complaints that I ‘informed’ Israel about the specifics of Gaza military sites… These sites are well-known among locals and internationals here.”
“Should a journalist only report the noise and ferocity of Israel’s attacks & not the sounds of Gaza’s rockets? Both terrify people,” he tweeted.
Later that day, Fear tweeted: “Al-Wafa hospital has been hit in the last while; injuries reported – this is the hospital with human shields.”
While a Goldstone 2 is unlikely to be any less biased than the GoldstoneCommission after Operation Cast Lead, these tweets should be filed away for future reference. If a future inquiry (there’s already one in the making - more on that later) is biased against Israel, these tweets can be used to show that Israel acted justifiably.
12:15pm From a Solider at the Front. Original in Hebrew….translated into English with a few comments from me. Having been down there a few times, I can personally vouch for the accuracy of this letter. On a personal note, before going down South last night for a pizza delivery to IDF soldiers, my daughter gave me a stack of letters and pictures from children in our community to distribute to the delivery. After giving the soldiers 60 pies, I said, “Wait, I have to give you the letters from the kids…” A soldier stopped everything and said — “THOSE are the most important…much more than the pizza…and hugged a pile of letters that I gave him.”
Am Yisrael Chai!
A soldier on the border writes:
What’s happening here in the staging area [area where soldiers prepare to enter Gaza] is beyond comprehension, not rationally, not emotionally and beggars the imagination.
Almost every hour a car shows up overflowing with food, snacks, cold drinks, socks, underwear, undershirts, hygiene supplies, wipes, cigarettes, backgammon and more. They’re coming from the North and the Center, from manufacturers, from companies and private businesses, from prisons, Chareidim and Settlers, from Tel Aviv and even Saviyon.
Every intersection on they way down here we get stopped, not by the police, but be residents giving out food. What is amazing is that the entire situation wasn’t organized and everyone is coming on their own without coordination between the folks coming.
They’re writing letters and blessings, how they’re thinking of us all the time. There are those who spent hours making sandwiches, so they’re as perfect and comforting as possible.
Of course representatives of Chabad are here to help soldiers put on Tefillin and distributing Cha’Ta’Ts (Chumash, Tehillim, Tanya) for every troop transport and Breslov are showing up to the border and dancing with the soldiers with great joy.
The Chareidim are coming from their yeshivot to ask the names of the soldiers with their mothers’ names so that the whole yeshiva can pray for them. It should be mentioned that all of this is done under the threat of the terrorist tunnels and rockets in the area. Soroka Hospital (in Be’er Sheva) today looks like a 5 star hotel. A wounded friend who was recently discharged told us how the MasterChef truck is parked outside and is preparing food for the wounded.
It goes without saying the amount of prayer services that are going on. On the religious front as well, there are lectures and Torah classes, all the food is obviously Kosher. Shachrit, Mincha, and Maariv with Sifrei Torah. They’re giving out tzitzit and Tehilim by the hundreds. It’s become the new fashion! The Rabbi of Maglan [Special Forces unit] told me that almost the entire unit has started wearing them, because the Army Rabbinate has been giving out tzitzit that wick away sweat. They’re gaining both a Mitzva and a high quality undershirt. We’ve started calling them “Shachpatzitzti” (a portmanteau of the Hebrew term for body armor and tzitzit). We’re having deep conversations late into the night without arguments, without fights and we find ourselves agreeing on most stuff.
We’re making lots of jokes at Hamas’s expensive and without politics. There’s lots more to add but my battery is running low and the staff has been requesting someone give a class on Likutei MoharaN (Breslov).
Following our previous Gazan casualties analysis - which was deliberately based on the Al Jazeera list (itself based on data from the Gaza Health Ministry) to prove a point – our reader noticed that the list itself is replete with duplicate names. In fact, there are at least 33, as I have attempted to show below. Note there could actually be way more.
(click on images to enlarge).
I noticed that another website showing the list of casualties – Gazadeaths.com – also contains duplicate names (for example, 4 year old Mona Rami al-Kharwat/Mona Rami Al Kharwat).
I have no doubt this is a deliberate ploy on the part of the Gaza Health Ministry, to inflate the number of dead for propaganda purposes.
Which also begs the question. How many of these named people died from rockets launched by Hamas (which misfired and landed in Gaza), or in traffic accidents, honor killings or even natural causes?
"Dude what about the constant oppression Gaza has faced from Israel consistently through history, and have you forgotten 3 years ago when Israel put a blockade on Gaza not allowing any supplies or humanitarian aid into the strip... In the process storming a humanitarian aid ship In international waters and killing 9 activists delivering 10,000 tons of supplies to aid the people for survival... How can you believe what mainstream media spits at you..." - anon friend How would you respond to this
Well it’s based on a false premise. Tons (actual tons) of humanitarian aid is let in daily, even while they’re rocketing Israel.
As for the Mavi Marmara, I can’t believe something with video proof is still being misrepresented.
That ship had no humanitarian aid onboard. Israelis landed on the ship after issuing multiple warnings (armed with paintball guns) and were immediately attacked with pipes, handguns, and stun grenades.
Show your friend the video and see if he/she thinks that’s how peace activists normally behave.
Do you realize that Arabs are Semites? - and so if anyone is anti-Semitic, it's the Zionists who chant 'death to Arabs' in the streets of occupied Palestine. The Israelis that cheer when bombs strike Gaza. The Israeli officials who state that mothers of all Palestinians should be killed. Zionist filth like you make me ashamed to be Jewish.
Please show me sources of this, because I have plenty of the exact opposite.
Hi, I come to you to humbly ask a question. I understand Israel's right and duty to protect its people. Sincere question here, I'm just trying to understand: does the Israeli army try to avoid Hamas' human shield? If no, why? Thank you for your time.
Many operations are actually called off at the last second (literally second) because a civilian risk is discovered.
Unfortunately, we’ve had wounded soldiers bring back some pretty horrific stories about what they had to deal with.
One instance was a man attacked them holding an infant in one hand while firing a rifle in the other hand.
Others have seen Hamas insurgents dressed as women.
Also, attacks from schools and hospitals are commonplace.
To answer your question, yes Israel tries to avoid civilian casualties but usually these decisions must be made within seconds and sometimes mistakes are made. In other instances, there’s no “good” choice.
4. Another report by Washington Post correspondents from 17 July recounts:
During the lull, a group of men at a mosque in northern Gaza said they had returned to clean up the green glass from windows shattered in the previous day’s bombardment. But they could be seen moving small rockets into the mosque.
Hamas criticizes that “Israel massacres civilians”. On the other hand, it tries to use evacuating civilians and journalists by stopping them and turning them into “human shields”, counteracting thoroughly with its guerrilla tactics…
Hamas’s “Human Shield” strategy is also aimed at foreign journalists…During the current battle, Hamas’s checkpoint was bombarded, and there was temporary checkpoint at another location. To some 20 journalists who wished to leave, Hamas staff member suddenly told, “Israel closed the checkpoint… However, when I called IDF personnel at the checkpoint, he said that “We haven’t got attacked and we are open as usual…”. While were discussing what to do, the same Hamas staff member shouted, “in 5 minutes Israel seems to conduct an airstrike on here. Return immediately to Gaza!” All the journalists returned to Gaza by car. But we remembered that Hamas, during the conflict with Israel in November 2012, also closed checkpoints to block outflow.
You really have to question the judgment of Daily Mail editors in not only publishing the following selectively edited anti-Israel propaganda video released by the pro-terror group, International Solidarity Movement (ISM), but in featuring it in a story on their home page yesterday:
Mail Online, July 22
Here’s the ISM film which represents the sole piece of evidence supporting the wild claim that an Israeli sniper killed a Palestinian civilian during recent fighting between the IDF and Hamas. VIDEO
As Dexter Van Zile of CAMERA noted, ISM has refused requests to release the full (unedited) video.
Though there is much to fisk, we received permission to post the following superb analysis of the ISM clip by the blogger Thomas Wictor
This is what the International Solidarity Movement says about the young man “killed.”
In the video, however, we first see him at 0:24, transporting an uninjured man on a stretcher to…somewhere. He’s going in the opposite direction as the “rescuers.”
When he realizes he’s being filmed, he turns away from the camera. For some reason he didn’t change his distinctive shirt when he played his next role. Still, he has a beard with no mustache…
Now to the meat of the video. At :59 there’s a crack. This is a squib, an electrically detonated firecracker. I’ll explain more about that later. They set it off to make you think they’re being shot at. Then at 1:30 the subtitles say, “I don’t know. The tanks are surrounding us.”
Do you hear any tanks? This is what it sounds like inside an Israeli Merkava main battle tank (MBT), insulated by inches of steel, carbon fiber, and ceramic.
An MBT is unbelievably LOUD. The engine, the turret, the treads, the drive sprockets, the wheels, and the suspension make it sound like a house being demolished. The actor pretending to be talking on the phone in the fake atrocity video says they’re surrounded by Israeli tanks. How come we don’t hear them? Why is there nothing but DEAD SILENCE?
At 2:01 in the International Solidarity Movement’s video is another screwup. Green Shirt admits, “There are no injuries here.” That’s because the Israeli Defense Forces warn civilians to leave the area before they attack. Yet the same people also shoot civilians with sniper rifles?
At 2:23 the first “sniper shot” hits Green Shirt. Suddenly he goes from being beside the cameraman to lying in the only cleared-out space in the rubble.
At 2:28 [they] ACTUALLY FILM HIM APPLYING [what appears to be] FAKE BLOOD TO HIS LEFT HAND. You can clearly see the plastic squirt-tube here in his right hand.
He puts his left hand on his butt and then holds it up so we can see the “blood.”
(Note, that one CiF Watch reader who saw the video said that the tube of “fake blood” may actually be his cell phone)
At 2:38 another squib is detonated: crack!
At 2:48 the really horrible actress of the International Solidarity Movement listlessly recites her lines: “Tell them to stop. Tell them to stop.” No urgency whatsoever.
At 2:54 another squib is detonated. You can see the smoke and hear the crack at the same time.
Now, according to the International Solidarity Movement, the kid was shot three times, including twice as he was lying on the ground. He was shot from the right, from down an ally. This is the trajectory.
You just saw that Lapua blowing the hell out of those cinder blocks. Where are the kid’s wounds? Is the Israeli sniper actually lying beneath him, firing upward?
I could post photos of what people look like after they’ve been hit with high-powered sniper bullets. However, because this worthless propaganda video is so amateurish, it’s not necessary for me to inflict images of mangled corpses on you.
After Green Shirt was “dead,” he opened his eyes.
Notice how calm everybody is? It’s because there were no Israelis within miles of where they filmed this clown act. And you know why the International Solidarity Movement never told us the kid’s name? The reason is that the Israelis keep records of every Palestinian who dies in the wars they have with Gaza. If Green Shirt’s name were revealed, the Israelis would’ve informed us that he isn’t dead and that he’s a Hamas operative.
But we already know that, because of the beard, the non-shelled ambulances, the squibs, the terrible acting, the absence of gunshot wounds, and the tube of [what appears to be] fake blood.
When you lie it means you know you’re wrong. And for everybody else, don’t believe what you see and hear on the Internet. You may think something must be true, but it can still be fake.
If a lone blogger was able to recognize the amateurish nature of the film, certainly editors at the Daily Mail should have, at the very least, refrained from promoting it until a thorough examination was conducted.
However, this is more than simply a case of a tabloid posting a sensational viral video. Those – such as ISM and their extremist allies – who advance the narrative of Israeli snipers firing at innocent Palestinian civilians feed into calumnies about Jews which, as we’ve seen in recent antisemitic outbursts in the UK and across Europe, often have extremely dangerous consequences.
You’d think that, at the very least, Daily Mail editors’ would be cautious about peddling such toxic visual agitprop peddled by a decidedly reactionary movement – cognizant, perhaps, of their unfortunateeditorial decisions of the past.
The IDF announced on Sunday that it was setting up a field hospital at the Erez border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
The field hospital was set to begin functioning at 8 p.m. on Sunday.
The IDF said that it will serve mainly women and children and will include a delivery room.
So how is this working out?
Walla reports that Hamas has actively prevented injured Gazans from going to the hospital to be treated by Israel. Even worse, on Wednesday Hamas shot ten mortars at the hospital!
Yes, Hamas is targeting a hospital, something that the “human rights” community seems not to care much about in this case.
During Cast Lead, the IDF set up a similar field hospital but Hamas didn’t allow patients to go then either.
I explained why back in 2009, and the same reasons apply today, perhaps more so:
Why are Gazans not coming to the clinic? One would think that with thousands of injured civilians, including women and children, people would want to have the best care possible. No one would have any doubt that the Israeli doctors would do an excellent job and would have higher medical standards than those in Gaza. So why is it a failure so far?
The major reason is clearly Hamas. As the WHO official said, Hamas leaders would simply not allow Gazans to be treated there. A little thought would show why.
First of all, Hamas engineered the entire battle to maximize the number of Gazans who would die or be injured. Every day there are new deaths from injuries suffered during the fighting, and each time the number of dead tick up, Hamas has a new propaganda victory. It is not cynical to notice that Hamas values PR more than human lives; it is merely recognizing the cynicism of the terrorists.
The second reason is the flip-side of the first: Hamas does not want any news media to report that Israelis are selflessly treating Gazans. The contrast with the selfishness of Hamas, where they confiscated medical aid to treat terrorists at the expense of Gaza civilians, would not be flattering. Hamas needs to be looked upon as caring more about civilians than Israel is, and will go to any lengths to ensure that Israel does not appear humane.
Thirdly, there are more terrorists injured than Hamas is willing to admit, and they cannot go to Israel to risk capture.
The fourth reason is more insidious. Hamas has now enlisted an army of doctors who are willing to testify - really lie - about alleged Israeli use of white phosphorus, depleted uranium and DIME weapons. These doctors are happy to do so in order to be part of Hamas’ jihad against Israel (or, in the case of the European doctors, to simply demonize Israel.)
Israeli doctors treating the same patients would see that these doctors are lying, and would have the physical proof.
A related thought is behind the fifth reason Hamas would never allow Israeli doctors to treat Gazans: because a percentage of Gazan civilian injuries are the direct result of Hamas and its allies’ rockets, mortars and guns, as well as secondary explosions. We will never know how many of the innocent civilians who died or were injured were hurt from Hamas fire, but it is reasonable to assume that the numbers are significant.
There were reports from Israel that the tragic death of three daughters and a niece of a Palestinian doctor came not from Israel but from a Grad rocket, as determined by shrapnel removed by Israeli doctors who treated them.
We know that a percentage of mortars and Grad rockets fall short, and we know that these have sometimes fatal results. Shooting rockets hurriedly would increase the number of misfires. There was also at least one IDF video of the bombing of a weapons depot where a rocket shot out of the targeted area and flew a few hundred feet before landing.
In addition, there were some firefights in Gaza between the IDF and various groups, and one would not expect the terror groups to be as careful as the IDF in where they were firing.
How many civilians were killed by Hamas, or by secondary explosions of Hamas ordnance? We will never know. Most of the evidence is buried. But we can be sure that the number is higher than zero, and that Hamas will do everything necessary - including forcing Gazans to forego quality medical care - to ensure that this information never sees the light of day.
Concern in New York: Riots might break out in a moment
Jewish community leaders in New York and England met with authorities against tensions and anti-Israeli demonstrations in the West.
Yesterday (Tuesday), vandals managed to reach the heights of Brooklyn Bridge and paint the American flags atop the bridge, in white. NYPD suppose that the act was intended to protest against American support for Israel. It held an emergency meeting to prepare for the outbreak of violence against Jews in the region. Berish Freilich, Haredi activist veteran who serves as the link between police and the Haredi community in Brooklyn, was invited to attend the meeting.
"Boro Park which is one of the largest Orthodox neighborhoods," says Freilich, "is surrounded by Arabs. Corny Island Street which separates the ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods of Boro Park and Flatbush, is a commercial and residential center for thousands of Muslims. It’s only a matter of time before riots break out here.
"Today there was to be a joint press conference of Orthodox activists and leaders of Muslim organizations in Brooklyn, where they were to call on the public to avoid hostile acts, but the event of coloring the flags, lit up red lights with military officials who saw a warning for possible terrorist attack," he says.
The tension between Jews and Muslims bothers Haredi activists in the Jewish neighborhood of Stamford Hill in London, too. Yesterday Chaim Hochauzer - executive director of Hashomrim organization of London, met with the leaders of Islamic organizations who live nearby Jewish neighborhoods, to agree on ways to maintain the continued co-existence and relaxing the atmosphere.
The U.N. secretary-general on Wednesday said he was “alarmed” to hear that rockets were placed in a U.N.-run school in Gaza and now “have gone missing,” and he demanded a full review of such incidents.
A statement by the spokesman for Ban Ki-moon expressed the U.N. chief’s “outrage and regret” at the placement of weapons at a site run by the global organization. The U.N. says that has happened at least twice so far in the current fighting.
"Those responsible are turning schools into potential military targets, and endangering the lives of innocent children," U.N. staff and anyone seeking shelter, the statement said.
The rockets had been placed at one of the schools run by the U.N. refugee agency for Palestinians, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza.
Once they were found, “in accordance with standard practice, UNRWA handed them over to the local authorities. Since then, they have gone missing,” Ban’s deputy spokesman, Farhan Haq, said in an e-mail Wednesday evening.
The Islamic militant group Hamas controls Gaza. The U.S., Israel and the European Union all consider Hamas a terrorist organization, but the U.N. does not.
A week ago, UNRWA said that during a routine check it discovered about 20 rockets hidden in one of its vacant Gaza schools and called on militants to respect the “sanctity and integrity” of U.N. property. It said the incident was “the first of its kind in Gaza.”
On Tuesday, UNRWA reported a second incident, saying it found rockets hidden at a vacant school during a regular inspection. “UNRWA staff were withdrawn from the premises, and so we are unable to confirm the precise number of rockets,” its statement said. “The school is situated between two other UNRWA schools that currently each accommodate 1,500 internally displaced persons.”
The statement said UNRWA was looking at all possible ways to safely remove the rockets and would investigate the incident.
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in a statement late Wednesday that he was appalled to hear reports of the stockpiling of rockets in U.N. facilities. He called on the U.N. to launch an immediate independent investigation.
"Even more alarming were reports that in the first case, officials with the United Nations returned these weapons to Hamas, a listed terrorist organization, once Israeli officials discovered their location," he said.
The U.N. statement Wednesday said Ban has asked for the immediate development of a plan to safely handle any weapons found on U.N. premises, and he told the U.N. Mine Action Service to immediately send people to deal with the situation of the missing rockets.
"The United Nations is taking concerted action to increase its vigilance in preventing such episodes from happening again," the statement said.
The statement also demanded that militant groups stop such actions and be held accountable for endangering civilians.