Thursday, June 21, 2018

It is both possible and necessary to make clear that Hamas leaders have a lot to lose - by Yair Farjoun

We can't simply dismiss this with, "Oh well, the fires can't annihilate us, can they?"

Yair Farjoun..
Israel Hayom..
21 June '18..
Link: http://www.israelhayom.com/opinions/hamas-needs-to-know-it-has-a-lot-to-lose/

"Humans are the trees of the field; a man seeks to grow upwards like a tree, and it also burns, like a field," so wrote Natan Zach in his famous poem.

These days, the words of Zach carry an extra meaning in light of the ongoing attacks by means of incendiary kites along the Gaza border.

The fields along the Gaza border would normally be yellow at this time of year. But this summer, all one's eyes can see is the color of black soot created by the fires.

When fires are used as terrorism, when Hamas terrorists publicly state that they want to destroy Israel, we cannot just accept this with resignation. We can't simply dismiss this with, "Oh well, the fires can't annihilate us, can they?"

I treat the threat the fires pose with total seriousness. Fires start outside the field and gradually destroy everything in their path. They underscore the fact that Gaza's terrorism has the potential to spread uncontrollably.

Presbyterian Church-USA Stands By While Palestinian Human Rights Activist Harassed by Extremist - by Dexter Van Zile

...Eid reports that acts of intimidation like what he endured outside the PCUA’s General Assembly in St. Louis are routine under the rule of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. This makes him wonder why the Palestinian elites in both the PA and Hamas are so often supported by the PCUSA in its statements about the Israel-Palestine conflict. “How can it be you are supporting my oppressors?” he asked. “This is what God said?”

Dexter Van Zile..
CAMERA Snapshots..
20 June '18..

Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid was harassed and accused of being a “traitor,” a “spy” and a collaborator after criticizing Palestinian elites at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, USA currently being held in St. Louis, Missouri.

These accusations, which, in Palestinian society, could be used to justify violence against Eid, were leveled by Palestinian American activist Bassem Masri, who was attending the proceedings at the invitation of the Israel-Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church, a PCUSA institution with a long history of promoting hostility toward Israel and its Jewish supporters in the United States.

Curiously enough, Masri himself videotaped himself harassing Eid and then posted the videos on Twitter. In the videos, which were posted on Twitter on Monday June 18, 2018, Masri can be heard accusing Eid of betraying the Palestinian people. In one video, Masri calls Eid, “a f-----g collaborator,” a “piece of s—t” and a “sympathizer with the Zionists.” In another video, Masri calls Eid gasus — Arabic for spy. “He speaks on behalf of the Jewish lobby,” Masri said.

These accusations could very well incite people to harm Eid, a regular speaker in the United States, upon his return home. (Eid divides his time between East Jerusalem and Jericho.) “People will watch the video where I am called a traitor. This is a clear call to kill me,” Eid said.

Despite the hostility directed at him by Masri, the videos indicate Eid kept his composure during the confrontations. At one point, Eid asks Masri to stop talking to him. Masri refused.

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Question: How did BBC News report the latest Gaza missile attacks? - by Hadar Sela

...Although Israeli civilians residing in the Western Negev region have been the target of eleven separate incidents of missile attack from the Gaza Strip since the beginning of this year, BBC audiences have not seen or heard even one interview with any of the thousands of the ordinary people affected by that terrorism. This report continued that editorial policy.

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

Visitors to the BBC News website’s main homepage, its ‘World’ page or its ‘Middle East’ page on the morning of June 20th were all informed that the people who had fired forty-five military grade projectiles at Israeli civilian communities in the space of some five hours during the previous night are ‘militants’ rather than terrorists.

In typical ‘last-first’ style, the headline to the BBC News website’s report on that story read “Israeli jets strike Gaza after rocket and mortar fire” and the euphemism ‘militants’ was seen again.

“Israeli jets have hit militant positions in Gaza after Palestinians fired rockets and mortars into Israeli territory, the Israeli military said.

The military said 25 targets linked to the militant Hamas movement were hit, in response to a barrage of about 45 rockets and mortar shells.”

Quoting “Gaza’s health ministry” without informing readers that it is run by the same terror organisation which co-organises, funds and facilitates the ‘Great Return March’ agitprop, the report went on:

“The strikes follow weeks of confrontation along the Gaza border.

More than 120 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and thousands more wounded since a protest campaign began on 30 March, Gaza’s health ministry says.”

Readers were not informed that over 80% of those killed during the violent riots have been shown to be linked to assorted terror groups or that Hamas itself admitted that the vast majority of those killed on May 14th belonged to its organisation.

The report went on to give a context-free portrayal of the Palestinian demand for ‘right of return’ with no effort made by the BBC to explain to readers what Hamas freely admits: that the aim of that demand is the eradication of the Jewish state.

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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 20, 2018

Hamas praises both Human Rights Watch as well as shooting rockets to Israel. No contradiction there. - by Elder of Ziyon

Human Rights Watch proved to Hamas that it has little to lose by escalating things, because major western "human rights" organizations will support Arab violence against Jews but not Israelis defending themselves.

Elder of Ziyon..
20 June '18..

On Sunday, Hamas issued a press release praising Human Rights Watch's latest report blaming Israel for responding to violent Gaza riots:

The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) received great satisfaction and high appreciation of Human Rights Watch's report regarding the violations of the occupation against the residents of the Gaza Strip and the demand for the protection of the Palestinians, which revealed the facts that confirm the involvement of the Israeli occupation in what appeared to be war crimes against Palestinian demonstrators As well as the use by the occupation of policies, laws, arguments and pretexts to justify and cover their deliberate killing and harm to Palestinians by using live and lethal bullets.

The findings of the report reflect a part of the reality of the suffering and injustice inflicted on the Palestinians by the unjust siege imposed on Gaza and its inhabitants twelve years ago. The suffering continues and escalates. As a flagrant form of Israeli violence threatening Palestinian life and rights through a long series of killings, sniping, starvation and siege, which constitute a flagrant and serious violation of international law and international humanitarian law that amounts to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Today, it issued another statement, supporting the barrage of rockets into Israel last night:

All praise for the valiant resistance that responded to the Israeli shelling of its positions in Gaza. This is a legitimate right. The message of shelling is to confirm that the resistance is the one who determines the rules of engagement in its own way and will not allow the enemy to unite our people or impose any new equations .

On the one hand, Hamas pretends to care about humanitarian issues and to be against violence that targets civilians. On the other, Hamas praises shooting rockets at civilians.

And there is no contradiction. Because Human Rights Watch, like Hamas, doesn't really care about human rights of Jews.

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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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Really? A ‘BBC Minute’ backgrounder really misleads on Palestinian refugees - by Hadar Sela

...Readers can judge for themselves whether BBC World Service funding (supplied by the British public both directly to the BBC and via the Foreign Office) could in fact be better employed to provide young people with news of the standard that they actually deserve, rather than content that is superficial, serially inaccurate, politically partial and dumbed down to the point of being irrelevant.

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

Yesterday we saw how a backgrounder on Jerusalem produced by the BBC World Service’s ‘BBC Minute’ misled its target audience of “young people” with regard to the 1949 armistice lines.

Last month BBC Minute produced two more of the items that it portrays as “making sense of the news” – this time relating to the Gaza Strip. In those two items – still available online – once again a BBC Arabic journalist misled audiences with inaccurate information and presented context-free portrayals.

The first item is titled “BBC Minute: On Gaza clashes” and was published on May 16th.

“Gaza witnessed what’s described as the deadliest day of violence since 2014. Some 58 Palestinians were killed and Palestinian officials say around 2,700 were wounded during clashes with Israeli troops. It comes amid weeks of rising tension. We hear from the BBC’s Nida Ibrahim, who is in Gaza.”

BBC audiences around the world hear the following:

Ibrahim: “I’m Nida Ibrahim from BBC Arabic reporting from Gaza.”

Presenter: “This is BBC Minute on Gaza. For the last few weeks Palestinians have been protesting at Gaza’s border with Israel. It’s seen some of the deadliest clashes since the 2014 war.”

Ibrahim: “We’re talking about 60 people who were shot dead and 2,000 people who were injured. Some people are saying that the authorities here are not interested in any more protests. Things were supposed to culminate because it is considered Nakba or catastrophe which is the day Palestinians commemorate as the 70th anniversary for the creation of Israel and their being forced off their lands in 1948.” [emphasis added]

Presenter: “Gaza has been one of the key issues in the conflict between Israel and Palestinians. Israel accuses Hamas, that controls Gaza, of perpetrating attacks on its soil and have imposed barriers to reduce infiltration from the region.”

Ibrahim: “So I’ll say what one protester said to me the other day: he said life in Gaza equals death. One of the biggest barriers is actually having no future.”

Obviously that account does nothing to explain the real background to the pre-planned violence that has been taking place along the Gaza Strip-Israel border since the end of March. Neither does it contribute anything to audience understanding of the context to the situation in the Gaza Strip. But in that one-minute item Nida Ibrahim did find the time to misinform the BBC’s young audiences by inaccurately claiming that the sole reason Palestinians left their homes was because they were “forced off their lands”.

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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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Every day there is another story that upsets the crowd that wants Israel destroyed in the name of "peace." - by Elder of Ziyon

...These are the sorts of things to be celebrated by anyone who wants peace. The fact that they aren't celebrating means that peace is not really the goal for the "pro-peace" and "pro-justice" movements.

Elder of Ziyon..
19 June '18..

One of the more bizarre contradictions from supposedly pro-Palestinian groups like "Jewish Voice for Peace" and the International Solidarity Movement and others is that while they all pretend to want peace, when something that resembles actual peace occurs, they are either silent (J-Street) or upset (SJP.)

Over the past week there have been visits to Israel from a group of professionals from Morocco and from a major Muslim leader from Indonesia. Having the Muslim world accept Israel as a permanent part of the Middle East and as a nation to be cooperated with is exactly what should be the goal of any group that pretends to want peace.

Obviously, Israel wants to have peaceful and normal relations with the Arab and Muslim world, which is far beyond the "cold peace" it has with Egypt and Jordan but which would include cultural exchanges, Israel offering expertise in medicine and environmental issues, and free visits between Israel and the Muslim world.

Somehow, that is not what the "pro-peace" groups seem to want.

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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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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Sovereignty and the need for a decisive response - by Maj. Gen. (ret.) Gershon Hacohen

Although the kites are portrayed as harmless, their scope amplifies their impact. Does a country have the right to safeguard its assets and its sovereignty only in life-threatening situations?

Maj. Gen. (ret.) Gershon Hacohen..
Israel Hayom..
19 June '18..
Link: http://www.israelhayom.com/opinions/needed-a-clear-military-response/

The enemy that has been setting our fields ablaze with incendiary kites has created a clear challenge for Israeli policymakers. The cumulative damage inflicted by the kites has turned the Gaza-Israel border area into barren land and has challenged the notion that the Israeli government can provide security for its citizens.

The kibbutzim in the area are right in demanding that the government put an end to this. Yes, the Israel Defense Forces' rules of engagement are decided by the chief of general staff, and should not be formulated by a public debate. That said, in pleading with the government, the kibbutzim are true to their historical pioneering role. This further underscores the fact that the struggle we are facing is a struggle over sovereignty, especially in that area. Nothing is stronger than civilians who refuse to give up and stay on their land.

In 1951, Israel forfeited an area it had sovereignty over, the El Hama area east of the Sea of Galilee. This happened after an IDF force that had been patrolling the area was ambushed, killing seven. Had there been a civilian presence there, this decision may very well have been met with widespread protest by Israelis who would have demanded a more forceful response.

Hamas has been creative and adept at waging this campaign against Israel on the border. On the one hand, it seeks to avoid a full-fledged war, as this would not serve its interests, but on the other hand, it feels compelled to keep the struggle alive. The "kite terrorism" fits perfectly with its strategic rationale.

The kites are a form of attrition that overwhelms the troops and first responders. Moreover, by sending teens to do its bidding, Hamas has forced Israel to deal with a PR challenge and a legal headache.

The question of the hour for many citizens of Israel: Why don’t we defend ourselves? - by Vic Rosenthal

The legal and diplomatic decks are stacked against us today, partly because of our own actions. We need to get over it and defend ourselves.


Vic Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
18 June '18..
Link: http://abuyehuda.com/2018/06/why-dont-we-defend-ourselves/

Great swaths of land in the Negev desert near the Gaza strip, agricultural land and nature preserves formerly the habitats of numerous endangered plant and animal species, have been reduced to ash and smoke by Palestinian fire-kites and balloon-borne incendiary devices during the past few weeks. The entire area is blackened with the smoke from fires that are being set faster than Israeli firefighters can put them out.

Our powerful army dithers, ever pursuing its apparent goal of fighting wars without hurting anyone. Today I understand that a car belonging to one of the leaders of the bombing campaign was destroyed by an “airstrike,” probably a drone-launched missile. The car was parked and empty. That’ll teach him.

Israeli officials are afraid of the legal consequences of taking effective action against those who are launching the kites and balloons. They are afraid that they will be dragged into the International Criminal Court (even though Israel did not sign the treaty creating it and does not consider itself bound by its decisions), if the army kills any of the “civilians” that are burning our country. Those under the age of 18 are counted as “children,” and as you know one of the themes of anti-IDF propaganda is the false claim that we deliberately target children.

Purposely burning agricultural land is a war crime. Attacking from heavily populated civilian areas and employing child soldiers are war crimes. Hamas and PIJ (Palestinian Islamic Jihad) don’t care, of course. Their whole strategic plan is to take advantage of the fact that Israel considers herself bound by the laws of war, the Geneva Conventions and other treaties, while they permit themselves to do anything that will kill Jews.

They don’t do it by themselves. They have help.

Israel is always required to fight an n+1 front war, with n representing the enemies that are shooting at us, Hamas, PIJ, Hezbollah, and the rest. The additional one is the international diplomatic and legal system, led by our “friends” in the European Union.

Racist Demographics and ‘Peace Now’ - by Sheri Oz

So what do you call an organization that gives those “bad Jews” over there the label “settlers,” thereby taking away both their identity and their humanity?

Sheri Oz..
Israel Diaries..
18 June '18..

When ‘Peace Now’ began decades ago, I was among those who thought they had the right idea. Working for peace. Who could be against that? Maybe they were not racist back then, but I think they are now.

I will show you some material from their website and what came to my mind when I saw it. Let us start with this graphic representation of the population of the so-called West Bank (Judea & Samaria) as it appears on the Peace Now website:


Now, this is what I saw in my mind’s eye:



When Peace Now refers to “settlers” versus “Palestinians” they are actually referring to Jews versus Arabs. But if they put it in those terms, it would look a bit racist, no?

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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 18, 2018

Revisiting "Mowing the Grass in Gaza" - by Prof. Efraim Inbar/Eitan Shamir

With new kite-arson fires raging daily, thousands of acres of farmland destroyed and no end in sight to Gazan attacks on the surrounding area, it may benefit all of us to revisit some of the assumptions from 4 years ago that allow this to continue.

Those who forlornly ask “when is this going to end?” and use the cliché term “cycle of violence” have psychological difficulties digesting the facts that there is no solution in sight.

Prof. Efraim Inbar/Eitan Shamir..
Opinion/JPost..
First posted 22 July '14..
Link: https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Mowing-the-grass-in-Gaza-368516

The Israeli military offensive in Gaza reflects the assumption that Israel is in a protracted intractable conflict.

It is unlikely that Israel can purge Hamas from Palestinian society, nor is a political solution likely to be achieved.

Instead, Israel is acting in accordance with a “mowing the grass” strategy. After a period of military restraint, Israel is acting to severely punish Hamas for its aggressive behavior, and degrading its military capabilities – aiming at achieving a period of quiet.

Hamas left Israel’s government no choice but to order the Israel Defense Force (IDF) to launch a land incursion.

Hamas refused to accept Israel’s government offer of “calm for calm,” rejected the Egyptian cease-fire proposal, and violated the humanitarian cease-fire initiated by the UN. It fired over 10 days more than 1,500 missiles towards towns and cities of Israel, hoping to kill as many as possible Israeli civilians. Moreover, it uses tunnels in the attempt to kill Israeli civilians and/or kidnap them.

Israel’s goal continues to be the establishment of a reality in which Israeli residents can live in safety without constant indiscriminate terror, while striking a significant blow to Hamas’ terror infrastructure.

The Israeli government wisely has defined limited political and military goals for this offensive.

Israel’s current strategy against hostile non-state actors such as Hamas reflects the assumption that Israel finds itself in a protracted intractable conflict. The use of force in such a conflict is not intended to attain impossible political goals, but rather is a long-term strategy of attrition designed primarily to debilitate the enemy capabilities. Only after showing much restraint in its military responses does Israel act forcefully to destroy the capabilities of its foes as much as possible, hoping that occasional large-scale operations also have a temporary deterrent effect in order to create periods of quiet along Israel’s borders.

As the ground phase of Operation Protective Edge progresses, Israel must be realistic about what can be achieved.

Destroying the terror tunnels along the fence around Gaza is an attainable military goal. In the process terrorists can be killed and a part of the terrorist infrastructure demolished. The Israeli ground advance might create unrest within the Hamas organization, causing some of its military leadership to move around and make mistakes that could result in better intelligence and opportunities for targeted killings from the air.

An expansion of the ground operation might exact an even higher price from Hamas. Continuous shelling of Israel by Hamas may inevitably lead to Israel’s conquest of all of Gaza. Yet, the strategic calculus should always focus on cost-effectiveness.

Despite the calls from the political Right in Israel, the demise of Hamas rule in Gaza is not an attainable military objective. Hamas is well-rooted in Palestinian society, particularly in Gaza. A recent Pew poll shows 35 percent of the Palestinians view Hamas favorably, and in Gaza the level of support is always higher. Eradicating Hamas and the subsequent political engineering of Palestinian society is not something outsiders can do. Even if Hamas rule can be terminated, the alternatives are Israeli rule, the rule of more radical groups, or chaos.

None are good options.

Palestinians Violate International Law? Let Us Count the Many Ways. - by Amb. Alan Baker

...After the UN General Assembly on June 14, 2018, voted to condemn Israel for its handling of the Gaza border fence violence, it is all the more curious to observe the deliberate disregard of the serious and flagrant international humanitarian, environmental, and ecological crimes committed by Hamas and the Palestinians. Since the Palestinian Authority is utilizing the events in Gaza to conduct its own political and legal campaign against Israel in international bodies, this renders the Palestinian leadership an accessory to Hamas in the commission of these crimes.

Amb. Alan Baker..
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs..
Vol. 18, No. 18..
17 June '18..

Introduction

The international community unleashed a new round of Israel-bashing at the UN General Assembly on June 14, 2018, on the issue of the Hamas-generated riots and demonstrations along the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

The Hamas terror organization governing Gaza, with the willing support and cooperation of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority/PLO, has reached the conclusion that it is a worthwhile endeavor to pollute the air with burning tires, fly exploding kites towards Israel, and incite civilian residents of the Gaza Strip, especially women and children, to participate in a weekly ritual of charging toward the Israel-Gaza border fence.

While ostensibly conducting a “Grand March of Return,” Hamas’ real motive, as admitted by Hamas leaders, is to utilize the civilians as human shields for Hamas operatives to attach explosive devices to the border fence, lob explosive devices at Israeli border guards, ultimately destroy and breach the fence, penetrate into Israel, attack Israelis, and “liberate Jerusalem.”

This asymmetrical warfare goes on at the same time as the more conventional war via rockets, attack tunnels, and special forces such as naval commandos. The tunnels are just meters below the ground protests.

The two offensive operations are conducted simultaneously, and one complements the other.

Manipulation of the International Community

Evidently, as seen by the international outcry against Israel for reacting to these hostile demonstrations, images of fatalities and injured Palestinians guarantee immediate and maximal media coverage and automatic condemnation of Israel by EU Foreign Affairs Representative Federica Mogherini, European leaders, the UN Human Rights Council, the UN, and others.

In this context, the Palestinian leadership has “jumped onto the Hamas bandwagon.” It is actively engaged in its own diplomatic warfare through an aggressive public relations campaign to have Israel accused, in the international media and various UN bodies, of war crimes and violations of the Geneva conventions, and in its handling of the Gaza border fence violence.

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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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