Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Obama's Curious Rage at Israel

...Think about this. Enraged. Not "alarmed" or "concerned" or "irritated" or even "angered." Anger is a feeling. Rage is a frenzy. Anger passes. Rage feeds on itself. Anger is specific. Rage is obsessional, neurotic. And Mr. Obama—No Drama Obama, the president who prides himself on his cool, a man whose emotional detachment is said to explain his intellectual strength—is enraged. With Israel.

Bret Stephens..
Wall Street Journal..
01 September '14..

Barack Obama "has become 'enraged' at the Israeli government, both for its actions and for its treatment of his chief diplomat, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. " So reports the Jerusalem Post, based on the testimony of Martin Indyk, until recently a special Middle East envoy for the president. The war in Gaza, Mr. Indyk adds, has had "a very negative impact" on Jerusalem's relations with Washington.

Think about this. Enraged. Not "alarmed" or "concerned" or "irritated" or even "angered." Anger is a feeling. Rage is a frenzy. Anger passes. Rage feeds on itself. Anger is specific. Rage is obsessional, neurotic.

And Mr. Obama—No Drama Obama, the president who prides himself on his cool, a man whose emotional detachment is said to explain his intellectual strength—is enraged. With Israel. Which has just been hit by several thousand unguided rockets and 30-odd terror tunnels, a 50-day war, the forced closure of its one major airport, accusations of "genocide" by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, anti-Semitic protests throughout Europe, general condemnation across the world. This is the country that is the object of the president's rage.

Think about this some more. In the summer in which Mr. Obama became "enraged" with Israel, Islamic State terrorists seized Mosul and massacred Shiite soldiers in open pits, Russian separatists shot down a civilian jetliner, Hamas executed 18 "collaborators" in broad daylight, Bashar Assad's forces in Syria came close to encircling Aleppo with the aim of starving the city into submission, a brave American journalist had his throat slit on YouTube by a British jihadist, Russian troops openly invaded Ukraine, and Chinese jets harassed U.S. surveillance planes over international waters.

Mr. Obama or his administration responded to these events with varying degrees of concern, censure and indignation. But rage?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

(Video) We Were Like Dreamers - August 2014 NBN Aliyah Flight Highlights

This is what coming home looks like, bringing the dream to fruition by the hundreds and by the thousands.

Nefesh B'Nefesh..
Published on Sep 2, 2014





Relive the excitement and emotions of 338 new Olim arriving at Ben Gurion Airport as new Israeli citizens.



http://www.nbn.org.il

Video produced by The Jerusalem Media Group, http://www.jerusalemmediagroup.com/

Song by: "Phillip Phillips-Raging Fire", sound recording administered by: UMG

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Check-it out!
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Hyperbole, the Israeli “Land Grab” and Hopes for Peace

...Livni didn’t condemn the Etzion announcement because she believes it actually could impact the terms of a peace deal. She knows it won’t. Rather, she thinks that the move will draw attention to the area and encourage Arabs and foreign governments to advocate for Israel to give up even this land that Jews originally owned. But whether or not attention is drawn to the bloc, the Palestinians are no more willing to let the Jews keep it than they are to let them keep any other part of the West Bank or those lands that were inside the pre-67 lines.


Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
01 September '14..

Those intransigent Israelis have done it again. Just when the world was hoping for gestures of peace, they’ve done something making the two-state solution with the Palestinians harder to implement. Or so most of the world is claiming today after Israel’s government declared that 988 acres of vacant land in the Gush Etzion bloc south of Jerusalem is “state land” and therefore might be used for development. But the diplomatic condemnation raining down on the Israelis today is illogical and has very little to do with the terms of what a real peace deal might look like. If the Palestinians really wanted peace, this move wouldn’t affect it in the least.

As the New York Times reported today, the seizure of the vacant land is being considered proof that the Netanyahu government doesn’t want peace. It was condemned by the Palestinian Authority, the United Kingdom, and even criticized by Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. But the way the story is being presented in the mainstream press is highly misleading.

The New York Times simply refers to the land in its headline as “West Bank Land Near Bethlehem.” That’s true in that the place is in the area taken by Israel in June 1967 and it is near the city of Bethlehem. But savvy readers should have picked up on the mention in the story of the fact that it is “in” a settlement bloc. Though the Peace Now organization condemned the move as one that would “dramatically change the reality” in the area, since it is already inside an area that is heavily populated by Jews and claimed by the Jewish state, it’s hard to see how anything that happens inside it would affect the future of other parts of the West Bank which might theoretically be conceded to the Palestinians as part of an independent state.

But this isn’t just any settlement bloc; it’s Gush Etzion. That may not mean much to Americans, let alone Europeans who can be counted on to condemn anything the Israelis do, but it does put the matter of whether this decision actually affects possible peace negotiations in perspective.

It needs to be remembered that most peace advocates keep telling us that the terms of peace between Israel and the Palestinians are well known and that all that is needed is the will to implement them rather than more discussions about the details. But among those terms is the concept of territorial swaps that was endorsed by President Obama and even approved by the Palestinian participants in the Geneva initiatives. The swaps would allow Israel to keep the blocs of settlements—most of which are adjacent to the 1967 lines—in exchange for other territory to be given to the Palestinians. While there is some dispute as to which blocs are part of this consensus, there is no doubt that one of them is the Etzion bloc.

There are two reasons for the assumption that Gush Etzion stays inside of Israel even if a Palestinian state is created in the West Bank.

Ever wonder how living with terror-minded neighbors works? Some tips here

...It's difficult not to connect these attacks with the ongoing incitement by Arab leaders of their populations in the communities of the West Bank. A clear illustration of the violent and dangerous role played by such men is Jibril Rajoub about whom we have written in the past.

Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
02 September '14..

It's Tuesday morning in Jerusalem, and the sun is shining brightly. Here's what happened here last night.
A three-year-old toddler was lightly wounded on Monday night by Arab terrorists that hurled rocks through the window of the bus she was riding in, as it passed through Uzi Narkis Street in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat. Magen David Adom [ambulance] paramedics rushed to the scene to provide the baby girl with medical treatment, transferring her afterwards to the Hadassah Mount Scopus Medical Center. The toddler was injured while traveling on the Egged 143 bus line from Tel Tzion, located north of Jerusalem in the Binyamin area of Samaria, to the Israeli capital. Police forces were dispatched to scour the area for the attackers. [Israel National News]

Around the same time, also last night, a Molotov cocktail [a fire bomb] was hurled at a bus traveling along Route 505 between Tapuach and Sha'ar Shomron. The bus driver suffered injuries from windscreen glass shards. Yarkon-area Magen David Adom (MDA) ambulance teams treated him at the scene, while IDF troops combed the area for suspects. [Ynet]
It's been a less than pleasant time for some Israelis who come into contact with hostile Arab neighbors. Just in the past week:

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Link: http://thisongoingwar.blogspot.co.il/2014/09/02-sep-14-wondering-how-living-with.html

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He wins the 'Most of his popular tweets are anti-Israel lies contest'. Guess who?

...Interestingly, if you look at Human Rights Watch's most popular tweets, not one of them is about Israel or Gaza. Roth seems to have a singular appetite for targeting Israel - often using sarcasm and condescension that proves his disgusting bias.


Elder of Ziyon..
01 September '14..





From MyTopTweet:

MyTopTweet.com analyzes any Twitter account to show you their most retweeted tweets! We look at the past 3200 tweets sent by the account to show you their top 10 tweets.

I decided to check what the most popular tweets of Human Rights Watch's Ken Roth.

Surprise! Not only are 8 of his top ten tweets anti-Israel, but most of those are lies!

Number 1 with nearly 9000 retweets:


This Washington Post graphic helps us visualize the death toll of the current fighting. http://trib.al/hUTddQR 
#5 was the same graphic with the text "Israel precision fire killing 4.9 times as many #Gaza civilians as fighters. Who's the target?"

#10 was again the same graphic, with this text:
Palestinians killed: more kids (129) than militants (86). 4.7x as many civilians as militants.

All of these are lies. The ratio of civilians to fighters is closer to 1:1 than 4.7:1, and Roth's insinuation that the IDF was targeting civilians with their precision weapons is beneath contempt.

His other anti-Israel tweets in the top ten:

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Monday, September 1, 2014

The first conflict in history in which only one side has soldiers

...To shape public opinion, to isolate Israel, all the dead must be civilian dead. As I write, Gaza’s Ministry of Health says that more than 1,600 Palestinians have died in the fighting. The number is repeated uncritically. How many were terrorists? The ministry does not say. Nor would one expect it to say, because the ministry is directed and staffed by a paramilitary organization devoted to the annihilation of the Jewish state. For terrorists, lies are common. The media doesn’t have to repeat them. But it does.

Matthew Continetti..
Commentary Magazine..
01 September '14..

Judging by the images, the war between Israel and Hamas is the first conflict in history in which only one side has soldiers. As I write this, at the beginning of August, I have seen plenty of IDF troops and airstrikes since Operation Protective Edge began in July. But I haven’t seen the terrorists the Israelis are fighting, or the installations from which Hamas fires rockets at civilians. There is photo after photo of Palestinian suffering: rubble, wailing mothers, fathers, and children, and a mess of concrete, barbed wire, and blood. Hamas is there. It’s just invisible.

Israel isn’t bombing in a vacuum. Since 2007, when Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in a coup, the terrorists have used their safe haven to barrage Israel with rockets. Israelis—and the Palestinians opposed to Hamas—have been under threat. Hamas has tunneled under Israel, establishing a labyrinth of passageways and spider-holes that it uses for smuggling, kidnapping, incursion, and infiltration. It has built an army of more than 10,000 men, with an arsenal of thousands of rockets. In June, Hamas kidnapped and murdered three Israeli boys. After the murders were discovered, Hamas launched thousands of rockets at population centers. No country in the world could ignore such barbarism.

The latest media buzzword is “context”: providing readers not just the story of the day but also the facts, background, and color that are necessary to understand the story of the day. And yet context is exactly what is missing from coverage of Israel. There is little analysis of the war’s causes. The differences between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are downplayed. There is hardly any mention that Hamas opposes the two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian dispute. There are few reminders that the United States designated Hamas a terrorist group in 1997.

That Hamas purposely stores weapons in schools, mosques, and UN facilities, that Hamas has a military command center in a hospital basement—these facts are buried under a mountain of propaganda, false equivalence, moral posturing, and parochialism. And the dichotomy between the reality of the conflict and its portrayal in the media is more than irresponsible. It is dangerous.

The reason you never see Hamas fighters is that Hamas won’t allow it. Like any totalitarian party, Hamas controls the flow of information in and out of its territory. For Palestinians living under its yoke, that means indoctrination and incitement. For journalists, that means translators who are Hamas commissars. A line is enforced. Journalists such as NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin, who once worked for Hamas’s patrons at Al Jazeera, are treated well. Journalists who ask impertinent questions are harassed. In 2012, 22 of them were forbidden egress from Gaza during a round of fighting. They become afraid.

The Deadly and Lethal Israeli House Strikes Again

...Like the monster of a horror movie, the peace process always comes back and no matter how many blows the Israeli house delivers to it, a year later there's a sequel where the Israeli house is being stalked by the peace process monster all over again. The army of lethal Israeli houses, which may not be built for another five years, if ever, seem formidable in the black newsprint of the New York Times and in the fulminations of Guardian columnists, but their actual potency is limited to housing Jewish families and infuriating international diplomats and their media coathangers.

Daniel Greenfield..
Sultan Knish..
01 September '14

There are few weapons as deadly as the Israeli house. When its brick and mortar are combined together, the house, whether it is one of those modest one story hilltop affairs or a five floor apartment building complete with hot and cold running water, becomes far more dangerous than anything green and glowing that comes out of the Iranian centrifuges.

Forget the cluster bomb and the mine, the poison gas shell and even tailored viruses. Iran can keep its nuclear bombs. They don't impress anyone in Europe or in Washington. Genocide is a minor matter when in the presence of the fearsome weapon of terror that is an Israeli family of four moving into a new apartment.

Sudan may have built a small mountain of African corpses, but it can't expect to command the full and undivided attention of the world until it does something truly outrageous like building a house and filling it with Jews. Since the Sudanese Jews are as gone as the Jews of Egypt, Iraq, Syria and good old Afghanistan, the chances of Bashir the Butcher pulling off that trick are rather slim.

Due to the Muslim world's shortsightedness in driving out its Jews from Cairo, Aleppo and Baghdad to Jerusalem, the ultimate weapon in international affairs is entirely controlled by the Jewish State. The Jewish State's stockpile of Jews should worry the international community far more than its hypothetical stockpiles of nuclear weapons. No one besides Israel, and possibly Saudi Arabia, cares much about the Iranian bomb. But when Israel builds a house, then the international community tears its clothes, wails, threatens to recall its ambassadors and boycott Israeli peaches.

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(+Video) Yes, History Counts

...The indigenous people of the land of Israel are the Jews, who had an empire there for hundreds of years. They suffered invasions and genocides, and were (partially) dispersed throughout the world by a succession of pagan, Christian and Muslim conquerors. But they never wholly abandoned their land and the Diaspora never gave up its yearning to return. This reality was recognized by the international community when it granted Britain the Palestine Mandate to govern the land in trust for the Jewish people (as we know, Britain betrayed this trust, but that’s another story).

Vic Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
01 September '14..
Link: http://abuyehuda.com/2014/09/history-counts/


Melanie Phillips spoke in Jerusalem last week. In 55 minutes, she dealt with the relationship between anti-Zionism and Jew hatred, media bias, Israel’s poor performance in the global information war, and the future of Europe, and more. Watch and you will agree that it was 55 minutes well spent. And then I want to discuss just one of the things she said.



Phillips pointed out that history is important, particularly in this case, where a massive distortion of Jewish history provides the underpinning to the delegitimization of Israel so rampant in Europe (and to a lesser extent in the US).

The story is told, Phillips explained, that Israel was created to expiate the guilt of Europeans for the Holocaust and to solve the refugee problem it caused. Millions of European Jews were sent to Palestine where they displaced an indigenous ancient ‘Palestinian’ civilization. So no wonder, the story goes, the ‘Palestinians’ are angry. Why should they pay the price for Hitler’s actions (which, by the way, they will praise in a different context)?

I add to this the idea that the Jews are ‘colonists’ who ‘oppress’ the ‘non-white’ Palestinian Arabs, which opens a whole other reservoir of European guilt. Is it surprising that on the basis of this story even the most liberal (in the non-political sense) fair-minded person will think that while perhaps Hamas is a little indiscriminate in its rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, on the whole its behavior is understandable?

The problem is that the story is wholly false.

The indigenous people of the land of Israel are the Jews, who had an empire there for hundreds of years. They suffered invasions and genocides, and were (partially) dispersed throughout the world by a succession of pagan, Christian and Muslim conquerors. But they never wholly abandoned their land and the Diaspora never gave up its yearning to return.

This reality was recognized by the international community when it granted Britain the Palestine Mandate to govern the land in trust for the Jewish people (as we know, Britain betrayed this trust, but that’s another story).

The Moral Emptiness of Those Who Misappropriate the Holocaust to Libel Israel

...Sanctioning such propaganda by stamping it with the moral authority that supposedly belongs to Holocaust survivors does not turn these lies into truth. What it does instead is expose as fraudulent the claims of certain Holocaust survivors and their kin to possessing an enlarged moral and political consciousness.

Stephen Stotsky..
CAMERA Snapshots..
28 August '14..

Alvin Rosenfeld, professor of English and Jewish Studies and director of Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism at Indiana University, addresses the disturbing phenomenon of self-proclaimed Holocaust survivors arrogating moral authority from their status as victims to turn public opinion against Israel. In his piece, "Moral Emptiness of Holocaust Survivors Who Took on Israel," appearing in the Forward, Rosenfeld discusses the recent advertisement in The New York Times by a group of "Holocaust survivors and descendants of survivors" who cast Israelis as the new Nazis, threatening genocide against the Palestinians.

Rosenfeld establishes that "Jews deriding and defaming other Jews" is not new and provides an anecdote about Hitler and his cohorts taking pleasure in observing such a spectacle.

Rosenfeld gets right to the point in exposing what motivated the Times advertisement,

Israel’s war with Hamas has exacted many casualties, but nothing remotely like “genocide” is taking place in Gaza. Why, then, charge Israel with a crime of this kind and magnitude? Those who are on to the rhetoric of “anti-Zionism” will instantly recognize this language for what it is: a collection of familiar political clichés employed time and again by the purveyors of anti-Israel vilification.

It is important to point out that only a portion of the 327 signators to the letter accusing Israel of Nazi-like aggression are actually Holocaust survivors, many more have tenuous connections.

Rosenfeld offers sage advice on how one can be alert to such twisted moral posturing,

Once again misleading 6 to 12 year-olds about Israel at CBBC’s ‘Newsround’

...Incidents such as the recent bout of conflict often prompt increased pondering of the topic of why so many educated people in Western countries exhibit a disturbing lack of factual knowledge with regard to Israel. With CBBC apparently reaching 34% of six to twelve year-olds weekly in the UK and its website having a million unique browsers a month, items such as this inaccurate and misleading ‘Newsround’ guide are clearly aiding to perpetuate that situation whilst failing young audience members and their licence fee-paying parents by neglecting the BBC’s obligation to promote “understanding of international issues”.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
31 August '14..

On August 27th the CBBC website’s ‘Newsround’ section (which is aimed at children between the ages of six and twelve) updated a page titled “Guide: Why are Israel and the Palestinians fighting over Gaza?“.

The page itself is not new; it was originally created in November 2012 and was the subject of a complaint and a ruling by the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit in June 2013. Nevertheless, the item still includes many problematic statements – not least in its title.

Neither the most recent conflict of July/August 2014 nor the one before it in November 2012 was rooted in a dispute “over Gaza”. The idiom ‘to fight over’ means “to fight a battle that decides who gets […] something”. Israel does not – as that title incorrectly suggests – want Gaza. Both those conflicts, like the one before them, began because of escalated attacks on Israel’s civilian population. Neither was either conflict fought against “the Palestinians” but against Hamas and other terrorist organisations based in and acting from the Gaza Strip which perpetrate the attacks on Israeli communities. That same inaccuracy is repeated in the guide’s opening sentence.

“Israelis and Arabs have been fighting over Gaza on and off, for decades. It’s part of the wider Arab Israeli conflict.”

The item continues with an inaccurate description of events leading to the establishment of the State of Israel, erasing from view the Mandate for Palestine which preceded by 25 years the point in time bizarrely chosen by the BBC as the commencement of the story.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Check-it out!
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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Past time for Israel to remove the layer of protection and legitimacy it grants to UNRWA

...Even if UNRWA itself does not attack the IDF directly, it ensures that there will always be someone to do so in the future. Under a thin veil of humanitarian activities, UNRWA acts with a clear political agenda, aimed at perpetuating the situation of Palestinian refugees and fostering the dream of their return to Israel. This is how UNRWA builds the ideological foundation for the next generation of fighters against Israel.

Dr. Einat Wilf..
Israel Hayom..
31 August '14..

It was quite ironic that during the fighting in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces was shot at from facilities of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, and had to return fire, as over the years no one defended the existence of UNRWA more than the IDF and the Israeli defense establishment. But now, with the fighting over, it is time for Israel to do what it should have done decades ago -- remove the layer of protection and legitimacy it grants to UNRWA. Israel should recognize UNRWA for what it is -- a hostile Palestinian organization that perpetuates the dream of the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel -- and treat it accordingly.

Israel's policy on UNRWA was set by the defense establishment. It was based on the premise that UNRWA was "the lesser of two evils" -- or as a Defense Ministry official put it to me, "UNRWA is crap, but Hamas is more so." This is a narrow view of the issue. Even if UNRWA itself does not attack the IDF directly, it ensures that there will always be someone to do so in the future. Under a thin veil of humanitarian activities, UNRWA acts with a clear political agenda, aimed at perpetuating the situation of Palestinian refugees and fostering the dream of their return to Israel. This is how UNRWA builds the ideological foundation for the next generation of fighters against Israel.

Officially, UNRWA provides educational, health and social services to the around 5 million Palestinian refugees living in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. In reality, UNRWA is directly responsible for the fact that 5 million people are registered as Palestinian refugees, a large number of whom continue to live in refugee camps. UNRWA works to inflate the number of registered refugees in two ways. First, the descendants of refugees from 1948, already the fifth generation, are automatically "entitled" to refugee status. And second, UNRWA thwarts any attempt to absorb refugees where they currently live or in third countries. If UNRWA operated the same way as the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, which is responsible for all other refugee groups in the world, today there would be only tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees, rather than millions.

Why the death of Daniel Tregerman was an only an afterthought at the NYTimes

...Daniel is not only a heartbreaking story but also a symbol. He is a symbol of Hamas's avowed mission to destroy Israel; of its attacks targeting civilians; of a war Israel had strained to avoid; of cease-fires pointlessly broken by Hamas; of difficult decisions the Israeli government faces in trying to protect its citizens; and of impossible decisions Israeli parents are forced to make in trying to protect their children. It is a part of the story that is no less real than the story of Gaza's suffering, and no less important for those hoping to understand the conflict. But it is not the part of story that tends to stir The New York Times or all too many other journalists.

Gilead Ini..
CAMERA Media Analyses..
26 August '14..

Daniel Tregerman's name does not appear in The New York Times. No headlines refer to the 4-year-old Israeli boy, killed last week by Palestinian mortar fire from Gaza. And the newspaper allotted just a few words, in passing, about the attack that took his life.

It is true that hundreds of civilians have died during the latest round of fighting. It is equally true that, although each death is a tragedy, a newspaper is limited by space constraints and readers' finite tolerance for repetition, and so it cannot focus intently every one of these tragedies.

But still, some symbolic cases have captured the attention of The New York Times. When four Palestinian boys were tragically killed playing at a Gaza beach on July 16, for example, the newspaper briefly mentioned the news in a larger story about Israel's impending ground invasion of the Gaza Strip but also devoted three additional articles and thousands of words to the incident. (The death of the children was also touched upon in at least two subsequent news stories, an editorial, an Op-Ed, a media feature, and a photography feature.)
The reason for the intensive coverage of this particular incident, and not so many of the other casualties of the Operation Protective Edge, is that it symbolized the story of the conflict — or at least the story as The New York Times tends to see it. As a passage from a front-page feature explained,

The four dead boys came quickly to symbolize how the Israeli aerial assaults in Gaza are inevitably killing innocents in this crowded, impoverished sliver of land along the Mediterranean Sea. They stood out because they were inarguably blameless, children who simply wanted to play on their favorite beach, near the fishing port where their large extended family keeps its boats.

The killings also crystallized the conundrum for the 1.7 million Gazans trapped between Israel's powerful military machine and the militants of Hamas and its affiliates, who fire rockets into Israel with little regard for how the response affects Gazans. Virtually imprisoned by the border controls of Israel and, increasingly, Egypt, most Gazans have nothing to do with the perennial conflict but cannot escape it.

The larger story, in other words, is that Gaza civilians suffer as a result of conflict between Israel and Hamas. Make no mistake: the severe consequences in Gaza of Hamas's decision to start a fight with a stronger adversary is certainly a fair story to tell. But it is only part of the story.

Israelis, too, suffer under "assault" from Gaza rockets. (Though this hasn't stopped the New York Times foreign desk from using that word almost exclusively to describe Israeli military action. Since July 1, there have been over 50 references to Israel's "assault" and fewer than 5 references to Hamas's relentless rocket "assault.") An Israeli child killed by Hamas is also inarguably blameless. And the death of Daniel Tergerman also crystallizes conundrums faced by Israeli citizens — perhaps the most terrible conundrums imaginable.

With a precarious cease-fire in place, do you go back home after days in self-imposed exile, as Gila and Doron Tregerman opted to do, or do you continue to keep your children away from their beds and their toys? How far do you let your children wander from you if your kibbutz is less than a mile from Gaza, a launching pad for thousands of rockets and mortars aimed at Israeli communities like yours? What do you do when the dreaded Code Red siren yet again slices through the illusion of normalcy?

What do you do when you're confronted with the aftermath?

The Real Price of Wasting Time and Energy

...It’s worth asking why this administration – and others before it – wasted so much time and energy for so long on an issue in which, as Indyk acknowledged, America has no “strategic interest.” It’s also worth asking whether, since Indyk is still advising Kerry on the Middle East, his statement means the administration has finally wised up to its mistake, or only that he himself has sobered up. But the most important question is when this realization will finally become accepted foreign-policy wisdom

Evelyn Gordon..
Commentary Magazine..
29 August '14..

Martin Indyk’s interview with Foreign Policy this week contained many interesting nuggets, but one statement in particular shocked me: “It’s very hard to make the argument that America now has a strategic interest in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Indyk said. “It’s just one of many conflicts and it’s not the most important and it’s not the most difficult.” What’s shocking about this statement isn’t that it’s false; indeed, it’s admirably clear-eyed. But it bears no relationship to the policy actually followed either by Indyk himself or the administration he served.

Until he resigned this spring, Indyk was Secretary of State John Kerry’s special envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian talks. In other words, he spent nine months devoting all his time and energy to a problem he himself says America has no “strategic interest” in solving. Moreover, he wasn’t doing so to free up his boss for more strategically important issues; Kerry also devoted more time and energy to this issue – by a large margin – than to anything else on Washington’s foreign policy agenda.

In fact, President Barack Obama and other administration officials repeatedly cited the issue as a top foreign policy priority. In his address to the UN General Assembly last September, for instance, Obama named the Arab-Israeli conflict as one of “two particular issues” American policy in the Middle East and North Africa would focus on, declaring that while it isn’t “the cause of all the region’s problems,” it has “been a major source of instability for far too long,” and resolving it could “help serve as a foundation for a broader peace.” Back in 2010, he went even further, terming Israeli-Palestinian peace “a vital national security interest of the United States.” Susan Rice, then UN ambassador and now Obama’s national security adviser, also termed Israeli-Palestinian peace “a vital U.S. interest,” while Vice President Joe Biden deemed it “fundamentally in the national security interest of the United States.” Kerry himself hyperbolically declared it the most important issue in the world, asserting that no matter what country he traveled to, it was always the first thing he was asked about.

Such statements were always ludicrous. As I wrote more than a year ago, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict wasn’t even the most important in the Middle East; that title belonged to Syria’s civil war – a fact some Westerners belatedly woke up to after ISIS emerged from Syria to gobble up large swathes of Iraq. Since then, a few other unimportant little conflicts have erupted as well, like Russia’s invasion of Crimea and now, apparently, eastern Ukraine.