Monday, June 26, 2017

Another UN SC resolution violation ignored, goes unreported by the BBC - by Hadar Sela

...Predictably – given its already poor record of informing audiences about Hizballah violations of that UN SC resolution – the BBC has to date not found this story newsworthy.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
26 June '17..

As has been noted here on numerous occasions in the past, the BBC not only routinely ignores the topic of Hizballah’s continuous violations of UN Security Council resolution 1701, but has even whitewashed them.

In April of this year BBC News chose to ignore the story of Hizballah conducting press tours in an area in which, according to that resolution, it is not supposed to operate and another story that emerged last week looks likely to get the same treatment.

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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. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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Hard Data About A Hard Problem: What Gazans Really Want - by David Pollock

...What could account for this striking dichotomy, in which Gazans are personally more moderate long-term than West Bankers, yet also more likely to attribute maximalist intentions to the PA? The answer almost certainly lies in the differing direct experiences of these two Palestinian populations. Gazans are much more familiar with the devastating consequences of endless war against Israel. And West Bankers are much more familiar with the equivocal policies of the PA.

David Pollock..
Washingtoninstitute.org..
20 June '17..
Link: http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/fikraforum/view/what-gazans-really-want-hard-data-about-a-hard-problem

This month marks the tenth anniversary of the violent Hamas coup that took control over the 1.9 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. There is still no end in sight to their predicament – but this is most certainly not because Hamas enjoys popular support among the local population. In fact, reliable data from a new survey conducted there May 16-25 by a professional, independent Palestinian pollster demonstrate that only 14 percent of Gazans self-identify as Hamas supporters. That is far behind the popularity of Fatah, which runs the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA), which garners 41 percent of Gazans’ self-professed affiliation. Indeed, the large majority of Gazans – 77 percent, including 41 percent who feel strongly about it – agree that “the PA should send officials and security officers to Gaza, to take over the administration there.”

So why, despite this popular will, does nothing change in Gaza? It is because the PA has refused to assert its role in that territory, while Hamas has refused to risk its rule by holding any elections there for the past decade. The result is continued Hamas rule, by force of arms. And the people of Gaza know it; three-quarters, up sharply from 35 percent in the previous June 2015 poll, now say that elections should require Hamas to “give up its separate armed units.” Since Hamas has no intention of doing that, there are no elections, and the people of Gaza are left with no choice in the matter.

Moreover, key Hamas policies are also highly unpopular in Gaza. Hamas rockets started a disastrous war against Israel in July 2014; but then as now, the overwhelming majority of Gazans (80 percent today) want Hamas to “preserve a cease-fire with Israel.” And more surprisingly, on the political level, the majority of Gazans (62 percent) also say that “Hamas should stop calling for Israel’s destruction, and instead accept a permanent two-state solution based on the 1967 borders.”

Gaza as the Ultimate Indictment of ‘Two-Statism’ - by Martin Sherman

The real humanitarian solution to the plight of Gaza lies not in its reconstruction, but in its deconstruction.

Martin Sherman..
Algemeiner.com..
23 June '17..

“…the prospective Palestinian state is bound to be a failed and repressive entity, and a permanent danger to its Israeli and Jordanian neighbors.”

— Elliott Abrams, briefing to the Middle East Forum, June 15, 2017.

“Hamas wants Israel to supply it with electricity ‘or else,’ but there is no reason why Israel should submit to Hamas extortion. It is not Israel’s obligation to satisfy the needs of a population that continues, through its ongoing support of Hamas, to pursue Israel’s destruction.”

— Efraim Inbar, “Gaza in the Dark Is Not So Terrible,” June 18, 2017.

“What is the point of raising and spending many millions of dollars to rebuild the Gaza Strip just so it can be destroyed in the next war? It’s a harsh question. Given the region’s tragic history, it is also inevitable.”

New York Times Editorial, October 10, 2014.

Once again Gaza is in the news.

Once again the specter of “humanitarian disaster” hovers over the population on the coastal enclave, the hapless victims of the hopelessly ill-conceived endeavor to foist statehood on the Palestinian Arabs.

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Israel, Newsweek and a Laundry List of Lies - by Daniel Pomerantz

...Consider this: if you must misstate reality in order to support your claims, isn’t it possible that you’re just plain wrong? More disturbingly: why did a magazine as high profile as Newsweek give an anti-Israel activist a platform to broadcast his agenda-driven tirade under the guise of legitimate, mainstream “journalism?”

Daniel Pomerantz..
Honest Reporting..
25 June '17..

An article in Newsweek twists a quote by Israel’s Minister of Defense, Avigdor Lieberman, into an entire diatribe against Israel. In his fantasy driven tirade, journalist Tom O’Connor comes to the astounding conclusion that all of Israel…isn’t Israel.

The quote by Lieberman:

We will not agree to the return of a single refugee to within the ‘67 borders.

The statement is an apparent rejection of the Palestinian Authority’s negotiating demand: that even after a Palestinian state is formed, they would hold the right to settle Palestinians outside of their own state, and inside Israel instead. Though Minister Lieberman does not control government policy on this issue, his statement is nonetheless newsworthy as one, potentially influential, voice within Israel’s government.

Yet Newsweek’s Tom O’Connor was not content to simply report this news. He had to weave a tale of fiction instead.

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Iran’s Real Missile Target? It Wasn’t Syria - by Michael Rubin

...Iran’s immediate target might have been the Islamic State, but its ideological goal remains eradication of Israel. That the former commander of the Revolutionary Guards tweeted acknowledgment of such goal should not be as easily erased as his tweet. After all, Iran deal or not, it is the Revolutionary Guards and not Zarif who are in charge of the military applications of Iran’s nuclear program.

Michael Rubin..
Commentary magazine..
20 June '17..
Link: https://www.commentarymagazine.com/foreign-policy/middle-east/iran/irans-real-missile-target-wasnt-syria/

On June 18, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps launched missiles into Syria in retaliation for a terrorist attack on Iran’s parliament and Ayatollah Khomeini’s tomb the previous week. While these missiles appear to have caused no casualties, Iranian officials were clear that their target went far beyond the Islamic State. According to the Tehran Times:

Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC aerospace unit, hailed the missile raids, saying any more evil act against Iran will result in “costly consequences.” “Our enemies should know that Tehran is not London or Paris,” Hajizadeh stated, a reference to the European capitals coming under numerous terrorist attacks over the past years. Iran vowed quick revenge after ISIS suicide bombers and gunmen stormed the parliament and the mausoleum of Imam Khomeini on June 7, killing 18 and injuring at least 56. In a statement released after the attacks, the IRGC vowed avenge, saying, “The spilling of any pure blood will not go unanswered.” Also, Major General Mohammad Baqeri, head of the Iranian armed forces, pledged “unforgettable lessons” to terrorists and their backers after the Tehran assault. Former IRGC chief Mohsen Rezaei tweeted, “This was just the beginning of the revenge. Harsher slap is underway.” Rezaei also called the missile attacks “the message of Iran’s authority” to “the supporters of terrorism.”

Ahmad Majidyar, an Iran analyst at the Middle East Institute and a talented Iran-watcher, noted that Rezaei tweeted, “Mr. Netanyahu, this was just the message of Zolfiqar (missile); the message of Shahab and Zelzal is much stronger!” before erasing his tweet.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry has recently been making the rounds lobbying for a Nobel Peace Prize. Last week, for example, he traveled to Norway where he sat on a podium with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. There, both criticized the Gulf Arab state and the current U.S. administration. In Kerry’s quest for the prize, he either lied about U.S. allies or leaked highly classified intelligence by detailing the (still-classified) contents of conversations. Either way, he sought to depict himself as a peacemaker when, in reality, he emboldened and resourced the main source of instability in the region. In his quest to secure an accord and to cement his own personal legacy at any strategic cost, he watered down language about Iran’s ballistic missile program. This provided Iran with cover, or at least enough legal ambiguity, to pursue its ballistic missile program.

Fishman's Gaza Water Libel Actually Unsupported By Gazan Academics - by Sheri Oz

...I guess Alex Fishman ran out of topics to write about because this month he raised the old issue of Gaza’s dire water straits.

Sheri Oz..
Israel Diaries..
24 June '17..

Even as two engineers from Gaza tells the true story, Ynetnews publishes a water libel fable on behalf of Hamas .

I guess Alex Fishman ran out of topics to write about because this month he raised the old issue of Gaza’s dire water straits. According to Fishman the problem is because Israel is not willing to continue providing Gaza with free electricity:

The . . . large and modern wastewater treatment facility built by the World Bank in the northern strip in 2013 has yet to be activated because there is no electricity, and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman is telling Hamas: Stop digging tunnels and you’ll get everything—electricity, a port, etc. That makes sense. But it’s exactly how Israel’s governments have been brainwashing us over the years with axioms aimed at preserving the status quo and serving political needs. [emphasis mine]

Pardon me for my stupidity but I do not understand what brainwashing is going on here nor how it is relevant to the fact that the World Bank actually built a “large and modern wastewater treatment facility” in Gaza that is going to waste because the Palestinian Authority (PA) refuses to pay for the electricity needed to run it (and to run everything else modern and essential). Is it not possible that the PA is refusing to pay for electricity as a way to make Israel look bad and preserve “the status quo and serve the[ir] political needs” to make Israel look like the demon and keep up the farce of everything is Israel’s fault?

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Murder by social media (is anyone at Twitter reading this?) - by Arnold Roth

..."We live at a time when the media are stronger than guns". Given how jihad-minded killers have been emerging, ready for murderous action, in practically every corner of the world in the past handful of years, how can anyone doubt that this cold-blooded savage is right? Meanwhile her Twitter account is alive and active. Is anyone at Twitter paying any attention?

Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
23 June '17..

Update: We're pleased to see that Twitter last night (Saturday) shut down the hateful account of the FBI fugitive who masterminded the bombing of the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem. Our daughter Malki, 15, was one of her many victims.


Our very sincere thanks to all the good people who helped us in publicizing the existence of the account and in bringing it to the attention of Twitter.

Ahlam Tamimi, our daughter Malki's confessed murderer, has a Twitter account.

She has had one for years. Actually more than one. The latest Tamimi Twitter account replaces the one about which we - and many other people responding to a campaign we spearheaded in April 2017 - complained to Twitter. After an intense effort, that Twitter account was shut down. So too was her Facebook page.

As we wrote in a blog post here about ten weeks ago:

We think this means the many requests we and our followers... filed with Twitter were heard. Whatever the case, the world is a better and safer place with Ahlam Tamimi's voice lowered by several notches... 

But now, as we said a moment ago, she has another Twitter account. For now, we're not publicizing its address. We don't want to contribute to her gaining any more followers; not even one more. She created it in May.

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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. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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PS. to the BBC’s coverage of the Jerusalem terror attack - by Hadar Sela

...The BBC will not of course produce any follow-up reporting on that or any other Palestinian Authority or Fatah glorification of terrorism. That means that when the next attack comes around, the corporation can once again tell its funding public that “Israel says” that incitement fuels terrorism while continuing to sidestep any real accurate and impartial journalism on the issue.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
21 June '17..

As readers no doubt recall, the BBC’s report on the terror attack that took place in Jerusalem on June 16th failed to tell audiences that ISIS had claimed the attack or that Hamas had rejected that claim of responsibility, saying that one of the terrorists was its own operative and that the other two belonged to the PFLP.

“Early on Saturday morning, Hamas rejected IS’s claim of responsibility, saying the three belonged to Palestinian terrorist organizations.

“The claim by the Islamic State group is an attempt to muddy the waters,” said Sami Abou Zouhri, spokesman for the terrorist group which runs the Gaza strip.

The attack was carried out by “two Palestinians from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and a third from Hamas,” he said.”

Moreover, in the final version of the BBC’s report readers found the following distorted portrayal of a statement from Israeli officials saying that there was no indication that the terrorists were connected to ISIS:

“Police said there was “no indication” of a link between the suspects and a terror group.”

As far as BBC audiences are concerned, therefore, the attack was perpetrated by three people unconnected to any organisation.

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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. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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The Conviction Rate in IDF Military Court Tribunals: Is it Too High? - by Karen Bekker

What does a commonly cited statistic about Israeli military courts really tell us?

Karen Bekker..
CAMERA Middle East Issues..
21 June '17..


One anti-Israel talking point that has been cropping up recently is the claim that nearly 100 percent of trials of Palestinians in Israeli military courts in the West Bank end in convictions. This statistic has been repeated in Newsweek and in the Washington Post.

The main source for this claim is a 2011 report from Haaretz, which cites “data in the military courts' annual report, which has been obtained by Haaretz.” There is no link to the report, nor any title given to identify it, and it does not appear to be publicly available.

Haaretz tells us that

According to the report, 9,542 cases were wrapped up in 2010, of which 2,016 involved hostile terror activity, 763 disorderly conduct and the rest Palestinians staying illegally in Israel, traffic offenses and criminal activity.

The report states that 25 cases ended in full acquittal, meaning that the conviction rate is 99.74 percent.

The implication of those who repeat the statistic in the context of anti-Israel articles is that the high conviction rate is evidence that the Israeli military courts are lacking in due process, and that the Palestinian defendants who are tried in them are not being treated fairly. A closer look at the facts, however, reveals that this is not so.

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Concerning Palestinians, It’s Lights Out at the Washington Post - by Sean Durns

...In a June 5, 2017, interview live streamed on Facebook, Post Jerusalem bureau chief William Booth claimed that the paper seeks to detail how “ordinary Palestinians… conduct their daily lives.” If so, it is failing — horribly.

Sean Durns..
Algemeiner.com..
22 June '17..

In recent months, the Washington Post has put the phrase “democracy dies in darkness” on its masthead — the first time that the paper has ever officially adopted a slogan. Yet, when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict, Post readers have been left in the dark about critical information and events.

The Post seems incapable of reporting on the Palestinians, unless the stories can somehow be connected to Israel. A look at recent coverage offers some examples.

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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. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Drama and Palestinian lies. Will the West notice that the curtain has gone down on the show? - by Bassam Tawil

...The PA leadership has indeed softened its tone against Trump and his advisors since they won the election. Yet this modified tone has one goal: for the PA to avoid accusations of being anti-peace. In fact, the PA leadership has changed its tone, not its tune. We are witnessing a tactical and temporary move on the part of the Palestinians. This play-acting will end soon enough. The question remains, will the West notice that the curtain has gone down on the show?

Bassam Tawil..
Gatestone Institute..
22 June '17..

US envoys Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner, who met this week in Jerusalem and Ramallah with Israeli and Palestinian Authority (PA) officials to discuss reviving the peace process, have discovered what previous US Middle East envoys learned in the past two decades -- that the PA has not, cannot, and will not change.

During their meeting in Ramallah with PA President Mahmoud Abbas, the two US emissaries were told that the Palestinians will not accept anything less than an independent state along on the pre-1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Abbas also made it clear that he has no intention to make concessions on the "right of return" for Palestinian "refugees." This means he wants a Palestinian state next to Israel while flooding Israel with millions of Palestinian "refugees" and turning it, too, into another Palestinian state.

At the meeting, Abbas also reiterated his demand that Israel release all Palestinian prisoners, including convicted murderers with Jewish blood on their hands, as part of any peace agreement. The release of terrorists in the past has only resulted in increased terrorism against Israel.

According to Abbas's spokesperson, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, the PA president told Kushner and Greenblatt that a "just and comprehensive peace should be based on all United Nations resolutions (pertaining to the Israeli-Arab conflict) and the (2002) Arab Peace Initiative." Translation: Israel must withdraw to the indefensible pre-1967 lines and allow armed Palestinian factions to sit on the hilltops overlooking Ben Gurion Airport and Tel Aviv.

Abbas's position reflects accurately the policy of the PA leadership over the past two decades -- a policy that has been regularly relayed to all previous US administrations, successive Israeli governments and the international community.

To his credit, Abbas has been nothing short of consistent.

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To be humanitarian means disarming Hamas, pure and simple - by Prof. Hillel Frisch

One of the most widespread myths about Gaza is that it is wallowing in poverty and forever on the verge of a humanitarian crisis as a result of the Israeli and Egyptian blockade. But indicators such as life expectancy, growth in imports, and electricity demand suggest that the Gazan standard of living is rising, not declining. If a genuine humanitarian crisis were to loom, the solution would be simple: disarm Hamas and divert its considerable expenditures on terrorism to the improvement of the welfare of Gaza’s inhabitants.


Prof. Hillel Frisch..
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 503..
20 June '17..
Link: https://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/gazas-humanitarian-crisis-fake-news/

The internet and social media have made the creation, rapid dissemination, and perpetuation of myths a feature of political life. One of the most widespread is the myth that Gaza is wallowing in poverty and forever on the verge of a humanitarian crisis as a result of the Israeli and Egyptian blockade.

There is no shortage of compelling evidence to dispel this myth. Life expectancy, for example, is highly correlated with the good life. Japan, Singapore, and Norway lead the world in life expectancy. The bottom of the list contains countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, for example Bangladesh.

The myth-makers would like you to think Gaza is also towards the bottom of the list, but it isn’t. Quite the opposite, in fact. Gaza’s life expectancy of 74 is above both the world average (68 in 2010) and the average in the Arab states. This means that more than 3.8 billion people are living shorter, and probably harsher, lives than Gazans.

The difference in life expectancy between Gaza and those at the bottom of the list is in fact quite staggering. Life expectancy in Angola, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Cote D’Ivoire, and other countries ranges from 50.1 to 55 years, according to the World Health Organization.

Were Gaza on the list, it would rank 86th out of 189 countries. That would place it alongside Paraguay and Samoa, hardly states that conjure images of abject poverty. But why resort to facts?

Perhaps, one might argue, life expectancy in Gaza is a quirk of fate. Or perhaps it is declining because of the blockade imposed on Gaza. The blockade was put in place because Hamas, the murderous terrorist organization that took over Gaza ten years ago, specializes in bombing buses full of Israeli citizens, fires missiles from hospitals (as the United Arab Emirates Red Crescent Society accused Hamas of doing), and launches assaults against Israeli civilian neighborhoods.

Reality check: life expectancy in Gaza has not declined, and the blockade no longer exists. Before the brief curtailment of goods into Gaza from Israel in 2007, 10,400 trucks laden with goods entered Gaza monthly from Israel (these figures are from OCHA, the bitterly anti-Israeli UN agency). In 2016, 14,460 trucks of produce crossed from Israel into Gaza per month, a 34.6% increase from before the imposition of the so-called blockade. This means the purchasing power of Gazans has not declined (taking into account demographic growth).

NY Times Publishes ‘Correction’ With Two Errors on Jerusalem Terror Attack - by Ira Stoll

...Whatever else can be said for this episode, it’s not an example of Times journalism at its best. And if you think you might file a complaint with the newspaper’s public editor about it, forget it; the Times has eliminated the job.

Ira Stoll..
Algemeiner.com..
21 June '17..

The New York Times has published a correction emphasizing that it doesn’t consider Jerusalem’s Old City part of Israel — and highlighting the newspaper’s own double standards and failures to grasp basic geography.

The correction, in the June 21 print edition of the Times, reads as follows:

Because of an editing error, an article on Saturday about knife attacks in the Old City section of East Jerusalem referred incorrectly to a claim of responsibility for the attacks by the Islamic State. It was not the group’s first for attacks on territory internationally recognized as part of Israel; the status of East Jerusalem is disputed.

What the Times doesn’t report, but is disclosed by the website Newsdiffs.org, which tracks the stealth changes to Times articles published online, is that this Times correction is itself a correction of an earlier version of the correction.

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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. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Rabbo or Haaretz? Who compares payments to terrorists to Israeli social welfare programs? - by Elder of Ziyon

...This drivel that does not distinguish between normal social programs and specific programs to deliberately pay and honor terrorists was republished in Ma'an, Al Quds al Arabi and elsewhere. Not surprisingly, Bisharat's justifications for supporting terror are partially supported by the New Israel Fund.

Elder of Ziyon..
20 June '17..

The pressure is certainly on the Palestinians for paying prisoners - which is the most sacred part of the Palestinian Authority budget, and the one that has been under international scrutiny for the past month or two.

Hassan Abed Rabbo, media adviser for the Palestinian Prisoners Affairs, wrote an article rejecting any effort by any party to reduce the PA budget so it cannot pay terrorists and their families. He says that the West is informed that changing the salaries of "prisoners and martyrs would lead to the collapse of the PA, and the people would protest in the streets."

Abed Rabbo staunchly defends the institution of paying prisoners as part of Palestinian resistance. (Which we all agree with!) he ends off by calling for Palestinians to unify and come up with alternative methods of paying terrorist salaries in case the West cuts them off.

Odeh Bisharat, writing in Haaretz, advances a much more bizarre argument supporting salaries to terrorists:

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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. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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No surprises at BBC Culture website, audiences told Palestinians built Jerusalem - by Hadar Sela

...It is of course not in the least bit surprising to find veteran anti-Israel activist Ahdaf Soueif exploiting the wrapping of a literary festival for political ends...However, the text accompanying this specifically selected clip does not include any factual information that would relieve audiences of those inaccurate impressions created by Soueif and it fails to adhere to existing BBC guidance on the use of terminology when describing Temple Mount and ‘Palestine‘.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
21 June '17..

As British readers may know, for the past three years the BBC has been in “global partnership” with the Hay Festival. That means that BBC audiences see and hear coverage of that literary event across a variety of platforms and this year that included an episode of the programme ‘Talking Books’ which was broadcast on both the BBC News Channel and BBC World News on various dates during June.

“George Alagiah meets renowned writer and political commentator Ahdaf Soueif at Hay Festival. Her latest book, ‘This Is Not A Border: Reportage and Reflection from the Palestine Festival of Literature’ is an anthology celebrating the tenth anniversary of her own extraordinary literary festival.”

The Palestine Festival of Literature – more commonly known as ‘PalFest’ – is of course an annual exercise in delegitimisation of Israel and promotion of the BDS campaign.

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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. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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The lone wolves of incitement - by Dr. Reuven Berko

...Facing off against the culture of death, fallen Border Police fighters Malka and Cohen and their comrades -- may their devotion and our prayers see them live a long life -- were deployed to defend Jerusalem, the temples to life, and protect us from death in the name of Allah in its earthbound form of a merciless knife-wielder.


Dr. Reuven Berko..
Israel Hayom..
20 June '17..
Link: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=19267

The most recent terrorist attack in Jerusalem took the life of young Border Policewoman Hadas Malka, who was stabbed by a Palestinian jihadi.

Her stabbing, like the murder of Hadar Cohen before her, raises suspicions that these lowest of the low are specifically targeting female soldiers. Every time a Palestinian terrorist grabs a machine gun or a knife and kills a Jew, the murderer is dubbed a "dog" or a "lone wolf," as if he acted without instruction. Nothing could be more insulting to the animal world, and nothing is more false than the claim that the three murderers set out to commit a multiple-casualty attack last Friday without being guided by anyone.

The latest attack, which coincided with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in honor of which the Jerusalem Municipality had made an unprecedented investment in holiday lights and cultural and sports events, was executed in the spirit of the Muslim Brotherhood's slogan: "Allah is our goal, the Prophet [Muhammad] is our leader, the Quran is our constitution, jihad is our way and death for Allah is our most exalted wish." This is the command hierarchy the killers follow.

Let us be clear: Terrorist attacks by individuals have a method and intent. This is an Islamic religious belief that is used as a political and operative tool that both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas use to fight Israel. Both these organizations, which perpetuate martyrdom, fund terrorism and incite the masses to carry out attacks as an act of "legitimate resistance to the occupation," reject the legitimacy of Israel's existence and sovereignty over Jerusalem. So they encourage serial murder through messages of religious incitement, the magic words of an evil sorcerer. As a result, a collection of glassy-eyed automatons head out to commit murder.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Dirty Little Secret: Palestinian Environmental Destruction - by Stephen M. Flatow

...Palestinian advocates in the news media and “peace” groups never talk about the charcoal factory in Ya’bad, or the olive oil factories in Nablus, or the quarrying in the Judean Desert. They know that the dirty little secret of Palestinian environmental destruction would raise serious questions about the cause of Palestinian statehood—questions they would prefer not to answer.

Stephen M. Flatow..
JNS.org..
20 June '17..

The Israeli authorities last week confiscated two tractors, a hydraulic excavator and other equipment used by Palestinians to carry out illegal quarrying that has been damaging a rare nature reserve in the Judean Desert.

If major American newspapers reported the story, the headline would probably read: “Israel Confiscates Palestinians’ Tractors.”

I say “if,” because there’s really not much chance The New York Times or Washington Post would ever covering a story that reflects badly on the Palestinian cause. That would undermine their drive to promote the creation of a Palestinian state.

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Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in a Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.

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. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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Britain 2017 - Marching with (and stopping!) terrorist supporters in London - by David Collier

...The 18th June was Fathers day in the UK. Seeing the Hezbollah flag waved in London was a direct insult to all the absent fathers that were ripped from their families through Islamic terrorism. How sickening, that on a day that would know mourning in hundreds of households in the UK, Hezbollah should be honoured in the UK capital. The politicians had left it so the victims of terror were not remembered on the streets of London, their killers were. How fortunate that some people took to the streets to remind everyone of the truth.

David Collier..
Across the Great Divide..
19 June '17..

It is 3pm on June 18th 2017. I am in disguise, wearing a keffiyeh that is necessary to cover my face. I want to infiltrate the Al Quds Day march and the only way I can participate is to remain unrecognised. I stand next to the terrorist flag of Hezbollah. The stewards are on the lookout for people like me, and although I am quickly questioned, their suspicions do not allow them to remove the keffiyeh. They could not know who was behind the mask. I stare them down. I remain unidentified and I am in.

Fifteen days ago, just three miles from where I stand, eight people were killed and 48 were injured in a radical Islamic terror attack. In Manchester just a few weeks before, an Islamic terrorist attacked an Ariana Grande concert, deliberately targeting British children. Twenty-two people died in that attack. A few weeks before this, five were killed when an Islamic terrorist attacked people in Westminster. That attack was less than two miles from where I stand. Today, I will walk down Oxford Street with hundreds of people, all marching in support of a radical Islamic terror group. Proudly waving the flag of the Hezbollah. Welcome to the Twilight Zone.

Al Quds day is an Islamic invention, that was introduced into the calendar by the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 in ‘opposition to the existence of Israel’. The London branch of the Islamic hate festival is organised by the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC). Every year flags in support of Hezbollah are flown. This year the IHRC have even encouraged people to bring them.

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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. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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Some Thoughts Concerning Moral Relativism and Ethical Inversion in Gaza - by Shimona Tzukernik

...In the words of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee: “Not one of the Palestinians would have died if Hamas didn’t insist on firing rockets into Israel and then using civilians as human shields. … I’m not saying this because I’m a Jew. … I’m not a Jew. I believe there’s a difference however between good and evil. And I would never tell good to restrain itself. Nor would I ever treat evil as if it were the same as good.”

Shimona Tzukernik..
Algemeiner.com..
19 June '17..

I remember the day that I made a decision to invest my energies in spiritual rather than political activism. I was on an anti-apartheid march at the University of Witwatersrand, and as we emerged from the campus into Braamfontein, I noticed that some demonstrators had joined with a broad banner at the head of the procession. Painted in quick, broad strokes, it screamed “Zionism = Apartheid.”

Since that moment, the thrust of my life has been to seek change through spiritual rather than political activism.

I think that all anti-Zionism has a spiritual root of antisemitism. But the moral relativism and ethical inversion that is rampant in the global perception about Israel is so widespread, so deep and so intense, that it strikes me as having extra-ordinary spiritual implications.

Someone I very much respect once videographed the Dalai Lama, and asked him for a message to the Israeli and Palestinian people. The summarized, distilled version of the Dalai Lama’s message was this: “Regardless of your past history, the current reality is that you have to live side by side.”

At first glance, these words seemed innocuous. But when I thought about them more, I realized that the Dalai Lama was taking no position on who was right, and who was wrong; he acknowledged the historical narratives of both people, and pointed no fingers at who was primarily to blame for the conflict.

I disagree. I believe that the need to acknowledge everyone’s narrative as equally valid has stuck us in the muck of moral relativity, and worse — ethical inversion.

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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. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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Monday, June 19, 2017

Review of 'Kingdom of Olives and Ash': Immoral Equivalence, Distortions and Half-truths

...There’s one glimmer of hope in the book, in an essay called “Occupied Words,” by the Norwegian novelist Lars Saabye Christensen. Christensen reflects on a sad reality: “You can talk matter-of-factly about ISIS…but as soon as you talk about Israel, the tone is different, implacable, loud. Comparisons are made with South Africa. Comparisons are made with the Nazis. Anything can be said about Israel. And there’s a lack of proportion or a blind spot, in this increasingly hateful language, in which anti-Semitism appears as a shadow, a trace, a rumor being spread.” His fellow essayists in Kingdom of Olives and Ash prove Christensen right. Even—or maybe especially—in intellectual circles, anything can be said about Israel. Horrified readers should break their silence.

Daniella J. Greenbaum..
Commentary Magazine..
14 June '17..

In March 2004, a group of Israel Defense Force soldiers founded Breaking the Silence, a nongovernmental organization ostensibly seeking to hold the military to its own stated standards of warfighting conduct. In theory, such a group could serve an important role in checking abuses. In practice, however, Breaking the Silence is something different. It has dubious sources of funding, pursues explicitly leftist political aims, and routinely misrepresents facts to paint Israel in the worst possible light.

Kingdom of Olives and Ash, a new collection of essays edited by Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman, features 26 different writers—all of whom visited Israel on delegations organized by Breaking the Silence. The book is a latticework of propaganda, pieced together by distortions and half-truths. The writers are talented, so there are no misplaced commas even though there are plenty of misguided ideas. The felicitous, compelling prose that makes this collection so readable is precisely what makes it so dangerous.

In their introduction, the married novelists Chabon and Waldman explain that they had long avoided the conflict: “Horrified and bewildered by the blur of violence and destruction, of reprisal and counter-reprisal and counter-counter-reprisal, put off by the dehumanizing rhetoric prevalent on both sides; we did what so many others in the ambivalent middle have done: we averted our gaze.” This claim is belied by the fact that Chabon wrote a novel 10 years ago featuring an entire counter-history of the Jewish state, while Waldman, the daughter of a Sabra émigré, has spent a decade fulminating about Israel’s misdeeds on social media.

No, Chabon and Waldman are neither ambivalent nor in the middle.

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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. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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Rock & Roll Zionism: A Melody of Service to Our People - by Michael Freund

...So as much as I enjoyed listening to Phil Collins or Bruce Springsteen while attending college in America, I'm glad that my sons, and the generations that come after them, will spend their formative years in a far more consequential pursuit. They too will one day look back and recall the music of their youth. But it will be accompanied by a melody of service to our people that will resonate until the end of time.

Michael Freund..
Pundicity/JPost..
18 June '17..
Link: http://www.michaelfreund.org/19980/rock-roll-zionism

Of all the places in the world to experience a Zionist rite of passage, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland would appear to be the most unlikely of locations.

Walking the halls adorned by memorabilia such as Elvis Presley's golden jacket, David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust suit and John Cougar Mellencamp's motorcycle, it is remarkably easy to get pulled into a vortex of American nostalgia inspired by some of the most dazzling musical hits of the past half-century.

As someone whose pop music tastes are largely confined to that greatest of decades, the 1980s, I suddenly found myself drifting, wistfully carried back in time by familiar melodies to a world that once was.

But as Albert Einstein pointed out, "The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion," and before I could bask too much in lustrous reminiscences, the familiar sound that accompanies the arrival of a text message roused me from my stupor.

It was my son's phone that had intoned, signifying that the message he had anxiously been awaiting had at last arrived.

With military precision, at exactly 11:00 Eastern Standard Time, the IDF had informed him, much to his relief, that he was being drafted into the combat unit that he had dreamed of joining.

The smile on his face was matched only by the sense of pride that surged within me as he read me the text in flawless Hebrew.

The message was written in typical, stilted bureaucratic style, but even the dryness of the words could not cloak the momentousness of the milestone that it portended.

Like his older brothers before him, my son would soon enter the ranks of the Jewish army, spending nearly three years of his life in defense of the Land and people of Israel.

After wishing him a hearty "Mazel Tov," we embraced, while a number of aging rock 'n' roll fans observed the scene with unconcealed curiosity, undoubtedly wondering why two Jews at a tourist site in Cleveland were celebrating the contents of an iPhone message which to them must have sounded like it had been written in Greek or even Klingon.

Politicising food to promote a narrative at BBC Travel - by Hadar Sela

...Shawarma is of course Turkish in origin and some consider falafel to have been invented by Egyptian Copts and hummus to also have originated in Egypt. Regardless of their actual origins, to describe those foods as “Palestinian dishes” is inaccurate. But of course the purpose of that inaccuracy is to serve a transparent attempt to promote a blatantly politicised narrative of ‘indigenous’ Palestinians and “European implants” – and obviously BBC Travel had no problem with that.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
18 June '17..

Visitors to the BBC News and BBC Travel websites on June 14th were no doubt rather surprised to learn that “…you can’t get Jewish food in Israel”.

The article to which that link leads is headlined “Why isn’t there more ‘Jewish food’ in Israel?” and its by-line makes the unsupported claim that:

“One of the biggest shocks for many foreign visitors to Israel is the lack of familiar Jewish cuisine.”

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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. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Actually Gaza in the Dark Is Not So Terrible - By Prof. Efraim Inbar

Hamas wants Israel to supply it with electricity “or else”, but there is no reason why Israel should submit to Hamas extortion. It is not Israel’s obligation to satisfy the needs of a population that continues, through its ongoing support of Hamas, to pursue Israel’s destruction.

Prof. Efraim Inbar..
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 501..
18 June '17
Link: https://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/gaza-dark-not-terrible/

The Hamas leadership in Gaza has threatened Israel with “an explosion” if it does not supply electricity to Gaza at the expense of Israeli taxpayers.

Blackmail is, of course, part of the Hamas repertoire. One of the main reasons why Hamas launched thousands of rockets and sent terrorists into Israel via tunnel in the summer of 2014 was to solve its dire economic problem. Hamas needs electricity to build terror tunnels and produce weapons.

Voices in Israel and abroad are advocating “moderation” – meaning capitulation – and insisting that Israel has no interest in an escalation. While Israel naturally prefers quiet along its borders, giving in to Hamas demands and granting it a victory will only lead to further demands. Supplying electricity to Gaza in exchange for a promise that Gazans refrain from shooting at Israeli civilians is no different from paying protection money to the Mafia.

There is no strategic or moral reason why Israel should supply free electricity to Gaza.

While Israel does not desire escalation, it has no reason to fear it. Israel is the stronger side. Moreover, the essence of war is a competition to inflict pain on the opponent in order to change patterns of behavior. Pain has a positive value in that it affects the learning curves of the warring sides. Israel has made use of force to teach the Palestinians that aggression against Israel does not pay, and that continued support for Hamas can be costly.

Another round of violence – one that exacts a high cost from Hamas and the Gazans – may lead them to more peaceful behavior. It is true that it is difficult to influence the learning processes of large collectives, but it is by no means unprecedented. For example, it took much suffering in WWI and WWII to transform Germany into a less militaristic and belligerent society. While not politically correct, such treatment might help turn the Palestinians into peaceful neighbors in the long run.

Israel and the indications that we have finally moved past Obama’s legacy - by Caroline Glick

Where we are going is still unknown. But what is certain is that by going after the sources of the continued malignancy of the conflict and pushing back against the lies that informed Obama’s policies, both Israel and the US have abandoned them.

Caroline Glick..
Carolineglick.com..
17 June '17..
Link: http://carolineglick.com/burying-saddams-legacy/

It may very well be that this week was the week that Israel and the US put to rest former president Barack Obama’s policies and positions on Israel and the Palestinians.

If so, the move was made despite the best efforts of Obama’s team to convince the Trump administration to maintain them.

The details of Obama’s policies and positions have been revealed in recent weeks in a series of articles published in Haaretz regarding Obama’s secretary of state John Kerry’s failed peacemaking efforts, which ended in 2014.

The articles reported segments of two drafts of a US framework for a final peace treaty between the PLO and Israel. The drafts were created in February and March 2014.

The article series is predicated on the assumption that Kerry and his team were on the precipice of a historic breakthrough between PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. But a close reading of the documents shows that the opposite was the case.

There are two reasons that Kerry had no prospects for reaching a deal.

First, he, Obama and their advisers were too hostile to Israel and its citizens to ever convince Netanyahu that Israel’s interests would be secured.

A February 2014 draft framework agreement, which was based on conversations Kerry and his team held with Netanyahu and his advisers, makes this clear. The draft includes Netanyahu’s demand that Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria not annexed to Israel would remain “in place” after the implementation of a peace deal, and presumably, become towns in the future Palestinian state.

In other words, Netanyahu demanded that the Israelis in Judea and Samaria whose towns would be located in the territory of “Palestine” would enjoy the same rights and protections as Israel’s Arab citizens enjoy.

Kerry and his team would have none of it. The February draft agreement notes, “[US] negotiators need to check with PM [Netanyahu] on whether he wants to [maintain this position]… They believe that if so, he will push strongly for ‘in place.’ ‘In place’ is inconsistent with US policy and therefore unacceptable to us as well as the Palestinians.”

In other words, the position of the Obama administration was that all Israelis living in areas that would become part of the Palestinian state must be forcibly removed from their homes and communities.

Haaretz reporters Barak Ravid and Amir Tibon recalled that in previous rounds of negotiations, the Palestinians – unlike the Obama administration – had not rejected this Israeli position out of hand. That is, in demanding the mass expulsion of Israeli Jews from their homes, the administration adopted a policy more extreme than the PLO.

Marking a decade of a de facto Hamas state rule in Gaza - by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

...Furthermore, the State of Gaza has succeeded in forcing Israel, its arch-enemy, to provide it with food, fuel, medicine and building materials, some used to dig attack tunnels against Israel itself. There is no other country in the world that has succeeded in getting another state - for whose destruction it continues to call - to provide it with goods.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar..
Israelnationalnews.com..
16 June '17..
Link: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/20638

Characteristiclally, writing that appears in the media tends to be negative and critical, because journalists generally deal with disasters, wars, disputes, problems and all kinds of trouble - and not with, let's say, the dedications of new kindergartens or cornerstone laying ceremonies for new neighborhoods.

Sadly enough, the Arab world provides a good deal of depressing subject matter, especially since the last months of 2010. Late 2010 is when the terrible tempest known at first as the Arab Spring began, leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of injured and over 10 million refugees, mostly Syrian. No one has any idea when - or if - this horrible tragedy will come to an end.

In this article, I want to deal with something that has some positive sides to it, even though my country, the State of Israel, suffers not a little from it - and that is Gaza, the state established exactly a decade ago during June 2007 by Hamas. I am certainly not a supporter of Hamas, since one of its main goals is to eliminate me, my family and my country. Still, one must salute this movement which, against all predictions, managed to establish a state, administer it, defend it and turn it into a fait accompli on the political map of the Middle East.

I consider Gaza a state, because what has been established in that geographical strip over the past decade is, for all intents and purposes, a state. It is a governmental entity with a leader, law enforcement agency, army, military industry, internal secuirty and intelligence agencies, legal system, media, tax structure, legislature, education and health ministries, infrastructure - and every other institution a state needs. The State of Gaza even has marked borders, as well as border crossings to Israel and Egypt, its surrounding states, and it has reached agreements with those countries and others that allow for the management of daily life.

The establishment of a state, however, does not change the fact that Hamas is a terror organization through and through, not only because of its acts of terror against Israel and its Jewish population, but because of the terrible means it employs against its own residents in order to maintain its rule over them. Israel is well aware of this, but its political echelons have no intentions of bringing down the Hamas government, and even countries like Egypt which is conducting an all-out war against the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas' birth mother, conducts negotiations with Gaza State representatives who arrive as official guests to its capital city.

Furthermore, the State of Gaza has succeeded in forcing Israel, its arch-enemy, to provide it with food, fuel, medicine and building materials, some used to dig attack tunnels against Israel itself. There is no other country in the world that has succeeded in getting another state - for whose destruction it continues to call - to provide it with goods. Can anyone imagine the United Kingdom, France of the USA sending so much as an overripe banana to a country which has vowed to destroy them? Israel does. it sends hundreds of tons of perfectly edible bananas to Gaza every day, despite the fact that the Islamic Covenant of Hamas - its founding document - calls in no uncertain terms for Israel's destruction.