Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Wars of the Zeitgeist Have Begun

What “corrupts” more: The “occupation,” or Israeli withdrawals and the inevitable wars against Palestinian terrorist enclaves? Should Israel draw more borders and build more fences so that the Palestinians can dig under them and shoot over them; or should Israel erase the Green Line once and for all, and assert new models of autonomous coexistence for a better future?

Fatah is Hamas is the Moslem
Brotherhood is Al Qaeda is
Boko Haram is ISIS is Iran.
They are all out to crush our
way of life and reduce our
state to rubble. None
are “moderates.”
David M. Weinberg..
A Citadel Defending Zion..
29 August '14..

As silence falls over the battlefields of Gaza, wars of Zeitgeist have begun.

Here are four fronts on which the struggle for Israel’s legitimacy and the global mindset will be fought.

First of all, the real story of Hamas has to be told, in UN committees and through every media and community forum.

This includes Hamas executing Fatah members, children digging terror attack tunnels, concrete being redirected to building tunnels rather than hospitals and schools, the affluence of Hamas’ leadership who divert funding from the Palestinian public to their own personal accounts, Iranian weapons shipments, and the 4,500 war crimes (missile attacks) committed by Hamas over the past 50 days.

This also includes a full recounting of the (overly) humanitarian Israeli way at war: Targeting only clearly identifiable military targets, tip-toeing around civilians trapped purposefully by Hamas in the crossfire, supplying electricity and food to the enemy in the midst of battle, treating the enemy’s wounded, and so on.

SECONDLY, a battle must be fought over Western consciousness in understanding the war of civilizations underway between radical Islam and the Judeo-Christian world.

Fatah is Hamas is the Moslem Brotherhood is Al Qaeda is Boko Haram is ISIS is Iran – should be the message. For our purposes, there is little differentiation among these groups. They are all out to crush our way of life and reduce our state to rubble. None are “moderates.”

The fact that ISIS rapes and beheads its opponents by knife doesn’t make the Al Qaeda-associated Jabhat al-Nusra (Support Front for Syria) moderate. The fact that Al-Nusra shoots its enemies with bullets doesn’t make Katibat Ahrar Prat (Battalions for the Freedom of the Euphrates) moderate. That fact that Prat Battalions torture their enemies and then force them into battle against their own people doesn’t make moderates out of Katibat Sawt al-Haq (Battalion of the Voice of Rights/Truth/G-d) and Katibat al-Ahrar al-Sham (Battalion for the Freedom of Greater Syria). The latter only force their captives to convert to Islam; then they are sold as slaves.

The same goes for Palestinian factions. The fact that Hamas digs terror attack tunnels doesn’t make Islamic Jihad into moderates. That fact that Islamic Jihad fires Kassam missiles at Israel doesn’t make the Arafat-founded al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades into moderates. The fact that al Aqsa sponsors suicide bombers doesn’t make the Salahadin Brigades into moderates. The fact Salahadin fellows focus on firebombing and shooting settlers doesn’t make the Izzadin Kassam group moderate. The fact that Izzadin Kassam specializes in kidnappings doesn’t make the Tanzim moderate.

The fact that the Fatah-funded Tanzim organizes violent demonstrations and Molotov-cocktail-throwing confrontations with Israeli troops doesn’t make Fatah moderate. The fact that Fatah broadcasts blood-curdling paens to terrorism on its airwaves and through its newspapers and in its PA-sponsored schools, and glorifies suicide bombers and Kassam manufacturers – doesn’t make Mahmoud Abbas a moderate.

The fact that Abbas denies Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and refuses to renounce the so-called “right” of return doesn’t make Salam Fayyad a moderate. The fact that Fayyad (– remember him?) seeks only to boycott and divest from Israel doesn’t make…. Well, you get the point.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The war in the eyes of our leaders by Dror Eydar

Why was it decided not to topple Hamas' regime in the Gaza Strip? What is Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal's biggest challenge? My conversations with decision makers.

Dror Eydar..
Israel Hayom..
29 August '14..

The following points are the product of conversations I have had over the past week with authorized officials of various ranks and with relevant experts. I amalgamated the disjointed conversations into one article in an effort to provide an all-inclusive view of the way the latest campaign was handled by the different branches of the Israeli leadership, from the points of view of those leaders. It is important to take these things into account in any serious discussion of this military operation and of its implications.

A. The objective of the confrontation

When we entered into this war, it was clear that we were going to finish it with Hamas' terrorist capabilities weakened and with it militarily deterred, but still in charge, so that it would still be able to enforce a non-fire policy on other Gaza organizations. As complicated as that sounds, this was the conclusion of every Israeli analysis, including cabinet meetings.

Some may say "topple Hamas," but who would arise in its stead? Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas? Can anyone guarantee that? Is he even capable? He can't even control the West Bank without our help. It is only thanks to Israel that he has survived in power as long as he has. He enters Gaza on Israel's sword and that's it, problem solved? And if not him then who? Egypt? They managed to give us Gaza under the 1979 Camp David accords, based on the international border demarcated in 1906. So why would they want this headache now?

In a dry analysis, before the conflict erupted, it was concluded that this should be the objective of any confrontation, big or small: to hit Hamas' military capability, exacting a heavy toll, but keep Hamas in power, deterred but effective.

B. The Egyptian initiative

We could have brought Hamas to this point much earlier than we did, had it not been for the complexity inherent in the fact that Hamas is not the only player. Egypt, which has its own interests, sees Hamas as an enemy and is unwilling to negotiate with it. Egypt uses the Palestinian Authority as the representative of the Palestinians. The word Hamas is not mentioned in any official Egyptian document. As far as Egypt is concerned, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas' parent organization, needs to be eliminated.

That is why we said from the very beginning that there is no viable cease-fire initiative save the Egyptian one. Israel and the Egyptians share a common interest in regard to Hamas. This has been proved over the last year. Unlike the Mubarak era, Egypt is currently preventing weapons and rocket-building materials from being smuggled into Gaza.

It is true that this comes at a price. They are throwing the problem into our laps. Egypt has strangled the Gaza Strip by closing the Rafah border crossing (Gaza's only portal into the world) and blocking the tunnels, imposing a diplomatic and economic stranglehold. At one point the Gazans were able to make money from the smuggling trade.

But now, the only money coming into Gaza is from Israel in the form of tax revenues collected for the Palestinian Authority, which transfers funds to Gaza. The entire independent tunnel industry has been shut down. In addition, the Egyptians are blocking the entry of cement, construction materials, free fuel from Qatar, etc. This has economically devastated Gaza. The devastation of the blockade is not Israel's fault -- Israel has not changed its border crossing policy. It is because of Egypt. The Egyptian initiative was adopted by Israel because, among other reasons, we need Egypt to open the Rafah crossing.

So an entire mechanism was constructed with the Egyptians to bring Hamas to the cease-fire negotiations, with the Palestinian Authority at the forefront, and the condition that the Palestinian Authority oversee the Rafah crossing -- that the money and the reconstruction materials enter Gaza through the Palestinian Authority. In this way, Hamas will be under the supervision of both Israel and Egypt, who share a common interest: to prevent Hamas from gaining power and might, but still keeping Hamas responsible and effectively in control of Gaza.

C. Hamas and Fatah

Does the presence of the Palestinian Authority at the border crossings mean that it is responsible for Hamas? By law, yes. In practice, no chance. Hamas and the authority are a mismatched hybrid. By law, it is expected of Abbas, but there is no way he will succeed. In the complex Middle East reality, the candle has more than two ends, and burning them all takes skill. Israel opposed the establishment of a Fatah-Hamas unity government. Does Israel have any say in the type of government the Palestinians establish? No. Israel's opposition was directed at the world, which could have pressured us to enter into peace talks with the unity government even though Hamas does not meet the Quartet requirements.

The Question - Is the Gaza War Really Over?

...The Egypt-brokered cease-fire may achieve some calm for Israelis and Palestinians in the foreseeable future, particularly in the aftermath of the severe blow Hamas and Islamic Jihad suffered as a result of Israel's massive military operation. Indeed, Hamas and its allies will now be busy rebuilding the damage in the Gaza Strip. But they will also continue to raise new generations of Palestinians on glorification of terrorism and jihad, with the hope of achieving the destruction of Israel, which they view as an alien body planted by colonialist powers in the Middle East.

Khaled Abu Toameh..
Gatestone Institute..
28 August '14..

Statements made by Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders and spokesmen following the announcement of the long-term cease-fire agreement with Israel this week serve as a reminder of their true intentions and strategy.

Over the past two months, the two groups, together with several armed factions in the Gaza Strip, repeatedly announced that their main goal was to end the "siege" on the Gaza Strip and build their own airport and seaport.

During the cease-fire talks in Cairo, the Palestinian groups repeatedly and stubbornly insisted that complying with these demands, along with opening all the border crossings with the Gaza Strip, was the only way to end the violence and achieve a long-term cease-fire with Israel.

However, it is important to note that these cease-fire demands are not part of Hamas's or Islamic Jihad's overall strategy, namely to have Israel wiped off the face of the earth.

Hamas and its allies in the Gaza Strip are not only fighting for an airport and seaport. Nor are they fighting only for the reopening of all border crossings with Israel and Egypt.

During this war, many seem to have forgotten that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are actually fighting to "liberate Jerusalem and all Palestine." The two groups have never recognized Israel's right to exist and continue to oppose any attempt to make peace with the "Zionist entity."

Many foreign journalists who came to cover the war in the Gaza Strip were under the false impression that it was all about improving the living conditions of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by opening border crossings and building an airport and seaport. These journalists really believed that once the demands of Hamas and Islamic Jihad are accepted, this would pave the way for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Yet these journalists, like many others in the international community, failed to look at the bigger picture or take into consideration the context of conflict. Moreover, most of them did not even seem to be listening to what Hamas and Islamic Jihad have been stating before and after the war -- that their real goal is to "liberate all Palestine."

Operation Protective Edge may have ended, but the dream to destroy Israel is still alive. Even if Hamas and Islamic Jihad eventually get their own airport and seaport, it is obvious that the two groups are now more determined than ever to pursue their fight to eliminate Israel, especially in light of the fact that they feel they have emerged from the war triumphant.

The Egypt-brokered cease-fire may achieve some calm for Israelis and Palestinians in the foreseeable future, particularly in the aftermath of the severe blow Hamas and Islamic Jihad suffered as a result of Israel's massive military operation.

Indeed, Hamas and its allies will now be busy rebuilding the damage in the Gaza Strip. But they will also continue to raise new generations of Palestinians on glorification of terrorism and jihad, with the hope of achieving the destruction of Israel, which they view as an alien body planted by colonialist powers in the Middle East.

Should Brits Genuinely Knocked For A Loop?

...Two British Muslims also paid a lethal visit to Israel in April, 2003. Asif Muhammad Hanif, the suicide-bomber who took three innocent lives at Mike’s Place on Tel Aviv’s sea front was a London lad. His absconded accomplice, Omar Khan Sharif, came from Derby, where he attended posh private schools and enjoyed all the best that the UK could offer. But in their case, there was no British shock or shame. Atrocities against Israelis can always be explained away and even forgiven. The ultimate expression of this mindset was enunciated by Cherrie Blair, then-resident at 10 Downing Street, as Tony’s better half. Her husband keeps himself busy after his retirement from the premiership by serving as the Quartet’s special envoy to the Middle East and he serially churns out plans for peace and for Palestinian rights.

The British-bred terrorists
before they set out
to bomb Mike’s Place –
Hanif on the right and
Sharif on the left
Sarah Honig..
Another Tack..
28 August '14..

The heart of any feeling human being must go out to the shaken Brits. They have duly earned our most compassionate commiseration. Out of the blue they were suddenly confronted, most unpleasantly, with the information that American journalist James Foley had been beheaded by a born and bred Londoner. Ouch!

Intelligence analysts at MI5 and MI6 think the decapitator in-the-most-hallowed-name-of-Allah is 23-year-old Abdel-Majed Abdel-Bary, who joined the Islamic State jihad in Syria last year.

The widespread sentiment uttered by the usual politically correct chorus of politicos (whose electoral prospects now to no small measure depend on Muslim votes) was one of utter consternation. It’s a no-no not to chime in with the accepted multicultural babble about the delights of diversity and not to aver that British Muslims are loyal members of British society. It’s jolly de rigueur to claim that they abide by western codes of democracy and decency.

Hence the declamations of dismay at the nasty surprise that the rapper L Jinny could be “Jihadist John” – the executioner who brought Foley’s life to a cruel end.

Of course all those who now wring their hands in astonishment could have been expected to be just a smidge less trusting. L Jinny’s father after all is, Adel Abdel-Bary, an Egyptian-born terrorist accused of complicity in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya. He was extradited from the UK to the US in 2012.

It’s not too irrational to suspect that the son might be a chip off the old block, but then again our western decency – one that the Abdel-Barys clearly do not share – is that the sins of the father shouldn’t even warrant vigilance about the son.

Even so, could the Brits have genuinely been knocked for a loop? Doubts about their sincerity are awfully thick on the ground and that’s without even mentioning the 7.7. 2005 attacks on London’s public transport.

The fact is that Britain had been exporting jihadist terror for years while pompously upholding its pluralist posture.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Recurring Fantasy That Abbas Can Solve Gaza or Make Peace

...The notion that parachuting Abbas or his PA forces into Gaza will somehow stop Hamas from re-arming or using humanitarian aid to rebuild its bunkers and tunnels is a fantasy. So, too, is the idea that more Western or Israeli support will enable Abbas to govern either the West Bank or Gaza effectively with his corrupt and incompetent Fatah cadres.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
28 August '14..

While both Hamas and Israel’s government have been trying to assert that they both won the war that apparently concluded with a cease-fire agreement yesterday, a third party is attempting to stake his claim as the man who can win the peace. Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas anticipated the announcement of the cease-fire by vowing to go back to the United Nations on Monday to force Israel to withdraw from all of the West Bank as well as Jerusalem. And some in the U.S. and Israel think the best response to the end of the fighting is to further empower Abbas as a counterweight to Hamas. While this sounds logical, it would be a colossal error.

Some critics of the Netanyahu government believe it has erred in recent years by being so critical of Abbas while essentially acquiescing to continued Hamas rule in Gaza. That school of thought holds that the prime minister thinks leaving Gaza in Hamas’s hands makes it impossible for Abbas to make peace and undermines the chances of a two-state solution. There is no doubt that some in the government would prefer the status quo to a peace deal that would give Abbas the West Bank for a Palestinian state. But those who believe that sort of Machiavellian thinking is responsible for the lack of peace are ignoring some hard truths about Abbas and the political culture of the Palestinians.

A rational analysis of the Palestinian predicament would lead one to think that this is Abbas’s moment. Hamas achieved nothing with its decision to launch a war of attrition with Israel after its members kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teenagers. Nothing, that is, except the utter devastation of Gaza, the loss of two thousand dead as well as the destruction of its terror tunnels and the expenditure of much of its rocket arsenal in return for only a few dozen dead Israelis and little damage to the Jewish state. By contrast, Abbas can now stride into Gaza with his PA forces and claim to be the man who can improve conditions for Palestinians and forge a deal that might give them independence. But those assumptions about Abbas’s ability to act decisively now completely ignore the realities of Palestinian politics as well as the utter incompetence of the PA.

The day pigs fly. Hamas trying to sell 'victory' to Gazans by Amira Hass

This takes only little bit of critical reading between the lines but this Amira Hass/Haaretz piece may be one of the most damning critiques of those who wish to promote a Hamas victory, even in the most limited sense of the word. Given the author, one can almost proclaim this as a day that pigs fly.

Hamas trying to sell 'victory' to Gazans
With Egypt and Israel recognizing it, Hamas can claim an achievement. But the question remains: Could it lead to a Palestinian release from the bonds of the Oslo Accords?
By Amira Hass

Israel and Hamas understood that they had arrived at a kind of a draw. Israel's ability to militarily grind the other side will always be greater than that of Hamas, but the Palestinian threshold of suffering and its ability to absorb the blows is greater than that of Israel by an order of magnitude. The Israel Defense Forces and the military wing of Hamas could have continued demonstrating their asymmetrical armed power for a few more weeks, at the expense of the lives and homes of thousands more Palestinians and at the expense of the lives and property of a few Israelis and the worn out nerves of the citizens of Israel.

During the first two or three weeks of the war, the Palestinian public in Gaza – including the majority, which is not the Hamas hard-core – supported the Muqawama (resistance, meaning the military wings ) almost in their entirety, despite the heavy civilian losses. Afterwards, however, it lost not only its fortitude to suffer, but also its belief in the political logic of extending the military campaign and in Hamas' negotiating skills. That message certainly got through to the Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists and their leaders.

As expected, Hamas spokesmen were quick to sell the cease-fire as a victory over Israel. If they compromise and, in the coming weeks, speak of "achievements," they have a better chance of persuasion; it will be sufficient to quote some of the Israeli newspapers on the military surprises that Hamas prepared and its ability to find Israeli weak spots.

Surprise? Security Council Resolution Indefinitely Postponed

...A UNSC Resolution that "All missiles and rockets in Gaza must be removed or destroyed" could have been an important move in the right direction. Relegating demilitarization to the status of "long run goal" may leave us with a "dual use goods" import inspection and monitoring system "cat and mouse" game with the bizarre situation that any material Hamas manages to get through the system can be openly used to manufacture missiles since the ceasefire does not prohibit missile manufacturing activities!!! It is not too late.

Dr. Aaron Lerner..
IMRA Weekly Commentary..
27 August '14..





Double cross at the UN? Security Council Resolution Indefinitely Postponed

Here's the timeline:

Immediately before and at the time that the ceasefire was announced, Israelis were talking about a United Nations Security Council Resolution being issued this week, with the help of the United States, that would include a call for the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip.

It was a logical extension of the 15 August Council of the European Union statement that "All terrorist groups in Gaza must disarm".

The idea is to make it absolutely clear that disarmament is a requirement for the Gaza Strip - not some kind of Palestinian concession to be made sometime in the future as part of a package that includes the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state.

Unfortunately, already the morning after the ceasefire was announced there were news reports that the United Nations Security Council Resolution was indefinitely postponed by Washington.

Netanyahu, Guerrilla Warfare and Public Opinion

...That is not satisfying for those who hunger for an idyllic version of war in which the bad guys surrender after being bombed for a few days, but it is line with the complex reality of irregular war as it has been waged over the centuries.

Max Boot..
Commentary Magazine..
27 August '14..

The Israeli public appears to be unhappy with the ceasefire agreement that Prime Minister Netanyahu has reached with Hamas. According to one poll, his public backing for the handling of the Gaza crisis has dropped from 82 percent at the height of the fighting to just 38 percent today. Meanwhile support for more hardline members of the cabinet such as Economy Minister Naftali Bennett has surged. The common cry of critics of the ceasefire is that Netanyahu is making a big mistake by not seeking “victory,” defined as the eradication of Hamas.

But as Jonathan Tobin and other realists have pointed out, the cost of seeking victory is simply too high for the Israeli public to stomach. Sure, Israelis may want to wipe out Hamas; who doesn’t? But once they saw what it actually took to accomplish that objective, they would likely turn against the military operation just as they previously turned against the 1982 invasion of Lebanon which was designed to eradicate the PLO. Or as the American public turned against wars in Vietnam and Iraq and Afghanistan.

As Haviv Rettig Gur argues in the Times of Israel, part of the problem is a mismatch between general Western, including Israeli, conceptions of what war should be like and what war is actually like most of the time. Quoting the great military historian Victor Davis Hanson, Gur notes “that for 2,500 years, democracies have held to a particular view of wars as brief, decisive, winner-takes-all confrontations between like-minded opponents.” Yet the IDF has been denied such a decisive battle with a regular enemy force since the end of the Yom Kippur War. “Defeated on those decisive battlefields,” Gur notes, “Arab opponents of Israel have turned to new arenas, to the very terror, guerrilla and irregular tactics that Israelis consider immoral and cowardly.”

Yet whatever the morality of guerrilla tactics, as a practical matter they are much harder to defeat than a conventional attack–as the U.S. discovered in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq and as Israel has learned in Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip, and as both the governments of Iraq and Syria are now learning. While it’s easy to say that the IDF should “defeat” or “destroy ” Hamas, actually accomplishing this task would involve a painful and protracted occupation of the Gaza Strip that few Israelis want to undertake. Gur writes: “The IDF believes it could take years to ‘pacify’ such a crowded, politically hostile territory, at the cost of hundreds of IDF dead and untold thousands of Palestinian dead, massive international opprobrium, and vast drains on the IDF’s manpower and financial resources that could limit its operational flexibility on other dangerous fronts, especially Syria-Lebanon and Iran.”

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Correspondent John Reed of the Financial Times declares Hamas a ‘winner’

...To simply state that Reeds’s assessment of Hamas’s achievements ‘does not bear any relation to the facts’ is an understatement of enormous proportions.

Adam Levick..
CiF Watch..
27 August '14..



“Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which do not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie”

This is a quote by George Orwell about news reports during the Spanish Civil War, but, as former AP correspondent Matt Friedman explained in his masterful Tablet essay (An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth), Orwell’s words are just as apt in characterizing the media’s egregiously misleading coverage of Israel and the war in Gaza.

The Orwell quote (cited by Friedman in his article) came to mind when we read the following passages in a report in the London-based Financial Times by John Reed titled ‘War in Gaza: Winners and Losers‘, which happened to overlap with Hamas’s own surreal assessment of the war.

Here’s the relevant passage in Reed’s report:

(Continue)

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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When Hamas puts on a victory show

...Arthur leaves, but not before the amputated knight calls after him, "Running away, eh? You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what's coming to you! I'll bite your legs off!" I also recalled an Arab proverb that Professor Moshe Sharon taught me: "Get off me! My neck is red from the beating I gave you."

Dror Eydar..
Israel Hayom..
27 August '14..

Watching the blood festivities in ravaged Gaza, I was reminded of what I wrote three weeks ago about the image of victory: even if Gaza were completely razed and a single half-dead Hamas fighter remained, he would crawl out of the ruins and make a victory sign. For Hamas, the very war against us is a victory for them, what they live for.

In the movie "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," King Arthur encounters the Black Knight, who doesn't allow him to cross a bridge. During their struggle, Arthur cuts off the knight's arms, but the knight won't admit defeat. Armless, he continues to leap about and declare his certain triumph. When his legs are cut off, too, and his torso is lying on the ground, he mutters, "All right, we'll call it a draw."

Arthur leaves, but not before the amputated knight calls after him, "Running away, eh? You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what's coming to you! I'll bite your legs off!"

(Video) Surprise! Shocking Claim by BBC Journalist

Yarden Frankl..
Honest Reporting..
27 August '14..

The BBC's Orla Guerin makes the claim that there is "no evidence" that Hamas is using human shields. Yet there is overwhelming evidence that Hamas uses schools, hospitals, and residential areas as launching grounds for rockets aimed at Israel.



Please contact the BBC and let them know what you think of her absurd statement. http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/complain-online/

Footage from IDF video at http://www.idfblog.com/blog/2014/08/25/hamas-terrorism-cant-see-uns-maps-gaza/

For more on anti-Israel bias in the media, check out honestreporting.com

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qw6ODM_oCOk

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 and the "Holocaust in Gaza"

...Another way of putting this: African-American residents of many major American cities experience about a 3 to 5 times higher risk of dying from random urban violence than a Palestinian in the West Bank or Gaza from Israeli military responses to terrorism. When was the last time someone - who was taken seriously - invoked incendiary terms like "genocide" "massacre" or "ethnic cleansing" to describe the level of violence visited upon African-Americans in urban America ?

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

According to Yahoo News, "The political chief of Hamas has called on President Barack Obama to intervene with the Israeli government ... to stop a 'holocaust' against the Palestinians."

Meshal's alarming statement might go unrecognized as the moral perversion that it is if one only read the The New York Times, with its flow of news dispatches and Op-Eds devoted to the situation in Gaza. Even the slaughter in Iraq and Syria and numerous seething conflicts from Ukraine to Africa do not slow the deluge of articles and opinion pieces conveying the message that Israel is guilty of reckless destruction and probably war crimes in its response to Hamas's rocket fire.

In such an environment emerged the outrageous paid advertisement appearing in The New York Times National edition on Aug. 23, 2014, bearing the signatures of some 300 individuals wrapping themselves in the mantle of "Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors of the Nazi genocide" and accusing Israel of committing a "massacre" and of ongoing "occupation" and "colonization of historic Palestine."

Leave aside for the time being this grotesque abuse of the historical consciousness of the genocide of the Jewish people in order to promote a new campaign to isolate and demonize Jews and set the stage for a repeat of past horrors. It is also instructive to look at the raw numbers of real campaigns of massacre and genocide and contrast them to the situation in Gaza [and the West Bank] in order to comprehend the deceit, the anti-historical mendacity of those who would use the language of mass murder and victimization to promote a new blood libel against the Jewish state and people.

Here are some numbers to digest:

From June 22, 1941 until May 8, 1945, about five and a half million Jews perished as a result of the German-inspired genocide against the Jews. That calculates to 3,890 Jewish children, women and men put to death every single day for 1414 days. This slaughter was in turn a hot spot within a conflagration driven by German supremacism that took 35 million lives in Europe alone, amounting to nearly 25,000 war-related deaths every single day for 1414 days.

Now if this comparison seems too jarring for New York Times' cultivated readers - let's not forget the Times never gave the Holocaust of European Jewry the sort of front page coverage it gives to Gaza - let's turn the dial down two orders of magnitude and look at the most violent conflict currently raging in the Middle East. In Syria and Iraq over the past three and a half years, at least 250,000 children, women and men have perished in civil conflicts, amounting to nearly 200 human beings per day for 1260 days. Low by World War II standards, but still an alarming number.

Resigning ourselves to something less

...What I had wanted to consider today were possible resolutions in real terms that took into account a variety of different and often painful factors – part-way or not totally satisfactory resolutions, but resolutions that might be considered a gain nonetheless. HOWEVER... we seem to be caught now in a situation that is very far from satisfactory resolution. Too far.

Arlene Kushner..
Arlene From Israel..
26 August '14..




“Worse and Worser”

The truth: There is no entirely satisfactory resolution to our war with Hamas (the war that is not called a war).

Aside, of course, from that “ultimate” resolution in which we would fully retake Gaza and banish all terrorists and jihadis - thereby creating a peaceful situation in Gaza and a situation of deterrence with regard to terrorists in other locales – and then rebuild Gush Katif, helping the former residents to return.

Certainly I am among those who dream of such a thing. And I do believe in the importance of dreams. I know that there would be no Israel without dreams and the courage to act upon them.

But I also know that this vision is not about to be realized. There are a variety of factors that are arrayed against us and render this scenario severely problematic. I’ve covered them before:

[] The fact of the network of tunnels means we would pay a large price in the lives of our young soldiers – a price that would be difficult for the nation to bear. That is not to say our dedicated young soldiers would not go with willingness, for they would – bless them for their dedication and for long life. But many deaths would have a corrosive effective upon the morale of the nation and would cause serious doubts to be raised about the operation.

[] The expense of this war, which would be prolonged, and of then assuming responsibility for the Arabs in Gaza who would remain would create a tremendous fiscal drain on the nation that many would consider unacceptable.

[] As soon as Hamas and related jihadi groups were banished, there would be an incredible international push for Abbas and his “moderate” cohorts to control Gaza as a step towards a Palestinian state. (More on this below.) There are a host of international problems associated with this.

[] Perhaps most significantly, the drain on our military resources might render us ill-equipped to do battle with Hezbollah in Lebanon and radicals in Syria who are at our border in the Golan, should this become necessary. Yes, I just wrote, above, that were we to banish radicals from Gaza, we would have great deterrence power. But what if, while we were in the course of fighting that extended war in Gaza, Hezbollah decided that it would be a great time to attack us from the northern front? It could be that we need a certain portion of our forces and equipment kept at the ready for other attacks and that IDF planners are reluctant to become too enmeshed in Gaza right now. And here I didn’t even mention Iran.

And so we must resign ourselves to something less.

~~~~~~~~~~
Some of my readers have written to me to tell me what the Israeli government “must” or “should” do. They learned that I was sometimes less than receptive to this. For I believe there are many extenuating factors that make it difficult if not impossible for someone from the outside to judge precisely what “must” or “should” be done. In responding to critics, I have tried to give the government reasonable latitude – understanding that there is always much that is going on under the surface.