Friday, November 30, 2012

Approved 29 November '12 - The Biggest Lie

Dror Eydar..
Israel Hayom..
30 November '12..

On Thursday, we saw the leader of the so-called moderates in the Palestine Liberation Organization, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, giving a perfectly Hamas-like speech. The keywords in his address came straight out of the world's, and Israel's radical Left dictionary, Holocaust denial circles and anti-Semitic rhetoric: Israel committed "ethnic cleansing," "war crimes," "apartheid," "racism," and, of course, "Nakba" (“Catastrophe”). Abbas repeated the phrase "the Israeli aggression" dozens of times.

Not a word, however, about the constant, murderous terror perpetrated by Palestinians. Not a word about the protection Israel provides to the Palestinian Authority from Hamas, which could easily take over Judea and Samaria in one day if Israel were to withdraw, God forbid. Not a word about the Fatah charter, and the Hamas charter, both of which reject the right of the Jewish people to sustain a Jewish state on any part of the Land of Israel. Abbas didn't mention, not even in once, "the Jewish people" or "a Jewish state."

Abbas stood before the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday playing the part of a Jew after the Holocaust. And for good reason: As representatives of the Arab world, the Palestinians not only seek to take our land, they are also actively trying to erase the Jews' history in this land. They have even commandeered our historical dates. But most importantly, they have become expert at stealing the Jews' identity. The Palestinian collective never gathered around a positive identity, but revolves around the negation of the Jews' right to independent lives in their only state: The Jews' historic homeland of thousands of years.

First, they went for their Jews

 House set on fire during the December 1947 Aden riots,
in which 82 Jews were murdered (via Daphne Anson)
Point of no return..
30 November '12..

Sixty-five years ago almost to the day, as attacks escalated against the Jews of Palestine, the Arab states launched a war against their defenseless Jewish citizens. The Arabs went for their Jews BEFORE a single Palestinian Arab refugee had fled what was to become Israel. I am re-posting extracts from 'November is the cruelest month', a summary of the events that followed the Arab rejection of UN General Assembly resolution 181 on 29 November 1947 partitioning Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state.

Arab-Jewish tensions reached new heights in the autumn of 1947 as the UN debated Palestine. Dr Muhammad Husein Heykal, chairman of the Egyptian delegation warned that one million Jews in Arab countries would be endangered by partition.

A new wave of violence spread following the vote in favour of Partition on 29 November 1947. Demonstrations were called for 2 - 5 December. It was only because the police prevented the mob from attacking the Cairo Jewish quarter that lives were spared.


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UN General Assembly Upgrades PLO Observer Status to "Non-member State"

Genocidal Sudan, whose ruler is wanted for crimes
against humanity by the International Criminal Court,
presented today's U.N. resolution on behalf of the
Arab group. Amb. Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, Nov. 29. 
(UN Photo)
 Norway -- which boasted of its Yes vote today -- treated this as
, in tweets by its UN ambassador and mission.
UN Watch Briefing..
Vol. 395..
29 November '12..

Nov. 29 -- The U.N. General Assembly today voted 138 to 9, with 41 abstaining, to upgrade the PLO's observer status to the same level held by the Vatican, that of a "non-member state."

Although mostly symbolic, the statehood designation, as President Abbas boasted last year in a New York Times op-ed, paves the way for the "internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter," enabling the PLO to pursue claims against Israel in the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In tandem, the U.N. Human Rights Council is planning to relase a massive report in early 2013 -- by a commission of inquiry modeled after the one that produced the notorious Goldstone Report -- which is likely to recommend the ICC prosecution of Israeli officials for "war crimes" in connection with the settlements.

Though today's number of Yes votes may appear large, UN Watch noted that in fact it amounted to the usual automatic majority for any resolution attacking Israel -- and actually won 28 less votes than a pro-Palestinian resolution adopted last week, and than is usually received by such resolutions.

Moreover, as UN Watch also reported -- in a Tweet reposted by Canadian Cabinet Minister Rona Ambrose among many others -- the PLO won 38 less than the 176 votes the U.N. General Assembly gave to genocidal Sudan when recently electing it to a principal U.N. body that oversees human rights.

Also see: Balance? This Year’s Tally: 21 U.N. Resolutions on Israel, 4 on Rest of World Combined

Updates throughout the day at 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.

Honoring the corrupt, undemocratic and discredited as a legitimate sovereign

Jonathan S. Tobin..
29 November '12..

The vote to upgrade the Palestinian Authority’s status at the United Nations today is being conducted on the world body’s annual Day of Solidarity with Palestinians. That is, as PA head Mahmoud Abbas helpfully pointed out in his speech to the General Assembly, the anniversary of the 1947 UN vote to partition Palestine. Along with other anti-Israel speakers during this debate, he noted that the Palestinian people have suffered during the intervening decades and that it was an injustice that they had been denied a state. Yet he and others who spoke on his behalf failed to explain that failure to create a Palestinian Arab state alongside Israel at that time was not due to the intransigence of the Jews, West Bank settlements, or obstruction from the West. It was the Palestinians themselves as well as their allies throughout the Arab and Muslim world that absolutely refused to contemplate a plan that would have created an Arab state next to the new Jewish one.

This is not merely a piece of historical trivia that is irrelevant to the farce that was played out in New York in which a corrupt, undemocratic and discredited Fatah regime was honored as if it were a legitimate sovereign. It is, in fact, crucial to understanding what happened during the last 65 years. The main truth about this conflict has always been guided by one fact: neither the Palestinians nor their backers were willing then to acknowledge the rights of the Jews. It is only now after decades of intransigence that the Arabs say they want a state. But the common thread from 1947 to today’s debate is the willingness of much of the world to delegitimize Jewish rights and to bypass negotiations. Just as the Arabs refused to deal with the Jews then, Abbas, as well as the leaders of Hamas who control the independent Palestinian state in Gaza, won’t negotiate with Israel. Though many of the nations that voted in favor of today’s resolution claimed they were hoping to speed up a two-state solution to the conflict, what they did was to enable a continuation of that same spirit of Arab intransigence of 1947 that made war inevitable.

Of course, few in 1947 or even in the years after that would speak of the need for a Palestinian Arab state. Their goal then was much simpler: to deny the Jews a state no matter how tiny its area or constricted its borders might be. It was that goal that caused the Palestinians to fight their Jewish neighbors and to invite the intervention of five neighboring Arab states that invaded the territory of the former Mandate for Palestine on the day that Israel was born.

Using Journalism as a Cover for War

Stephanie Gutmann..
National Review Online..
29 November '12..

The New York Times ran a column by media critic David Carr earlier this week on Page One, above the fold. The title — provocatively, insinuatingly — was “Using War As Cover to Target Journalists” and Carr’s lead told us that in unspecified parts of the world (he’ll get to it) his profession was “under murderous assault.” Where could this be happening? The first example Carr chose to cite was not Russia, not Syria, not China but, of course, Israel, that great demon of the world which in the last year has been hit by nearly 2,000 rockets fired by Hamas and last week decided to respond by targeting the rocket launchers and the people who operate them.

There is no debate about what happened: Several men were in a car in a Gaza Strip street. According to Carr, the vehicle was clearly marked with the letters “TV.” — albeit, according to the Washington Free Beacon, with spray paint. Everyone in the car was killed by an IDF airstrike. This is an outrage according to Carr because “Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama worked as cameramen for Al-Aqsa TV, which is run by Hamas and whose reporting frequently reflects that affiliation” and thus an example of governments deciding that “shooting the messenger is a viable option.” Carr seems especially peeved that that an IDF spokeswoman (“Rather than suggesting it was a mistake, or denying responsibility”!) issued only the terse rationale that “The targets are people who have relevance to terror activity.”

What’s the “relevance”? The U.S. government has designated a Al Aqsa TV “a terrorist organization because it is a primary Hamas media outlet and airs programs and music videos designed to recruit children to become Hamas armed fighters and suicide bombers upon reaching adulthood.”

What are some of these videos like? According to Palestinian Media Watch, an organization that has been called to testify before Congress many times, a recent video beamed the legend “Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah.” Another video contained the jaunty lyric: “Brigades — we kidnap soldiers, Brigades — we kill Jews . . . Your body parts are scattered everywhere. The cemeteries await you.”

Is this what Carr calls “reporting which reflects an affiliation with Hamas”?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The show at the UN is not about peace

Jonathan S. Tobin..
29 November '12..

With the Palestinian Authority all but certain to have its status at the United Nations upgraded this evening to nonmember observer state, some who call themselves friends of Israel as well as some prominent Israelis are applauding the initiative. In particular, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said he does not oppose the move by his former negotiating partner, PA head Mahmoud Abbas. Olmert says the vote will promote a two-state solution and help Palestinian moderates in their quest to make peace with Israel. But Olmert, whose attempt to give Abbas pretty much everything he had asked for in 2008 resulted in the Palestinian fleeing the U.S.-sponsored talks without even responding to the offer of a state, seems more interested in vainly seeking to undermine his successor Benjamin Netanyahu than drawing conclusions from his own experience.

The show at the UN is about a number of things, but advancing the chances for peace between Israel and the Palestinians isn’t one of them.

The decision of most European countries to line up behind the PA seems to be based on the same reasoning put forward by Olmert. They think that after Hamas’s attention-getting terrorist missile offensive against Israel it is necessary for those who would prefer the PA to lead the Palestinians rather than the Islamists to give Abbas a shot in the arm. The win today in New York will give him that, but the vote shouldn’t be mistaken for anything that will advance peace. In fact, the whole point of the exercise is to help Abbas avoid being cornered into a negotiation like the one he abandoned with Olmert.

Understanding this requires observers to stop their myopic obsession with Israel and to focus on the real obstacle to a two-state solution: the inability of the PA to ever sign an accord that will accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state alongside a Palestinian state no matter where its borders are drawn.

Operation Pillar of Defense - Twenty conclusions

David Bedein..
Times of Israel..
29 November '12..

Last week, while visiting communities struck by Gaza missiles throughout southern Israel, it was easy to discern the all-pervasive anger that Israeli citizens – from all walks of life – vented against the Israeli government for halting the attack on Gaza after only one week.

Civilians under the terror of aerial attacks find it hard to gain perspective on the achievements made during a one-week November 2012 battle with the Hamas regime in Gaza. Indeed, this was merely a battle with Gaza. The war is far from over and it’s important to take stock of what we have gained, lost and learned.

Here are 20 conclusions that can be drawn from Operation Pillar of Defense:

1. Israeli Air Force’s pinpointed “surgical attacks” killed off Hamas leaders and deprived the Hamas regime offices of badly needed tactical and ideological leadership during the confrontation with the IDF – and Israel did so with a minimum cost to civilian casualties on the other side. Meanwhile, massive IDF attacks on the Hamas regime’s munitions tunnels signaled that the tunnel supply game is over.

2. When the IDF held back on a land incursion into Gaza, the other side was deprived of shahid martyrs. Hamas media had prepared professional YouTube videos of pupils in UNRWA schools in Gaza to be screened if they were to become shahid martyrs while attacking IDF troops during any IDF incursion into Gaza. Without available dead children in the form of shahid martyrs, it was hard for Israel’s adversaries to make the case to the world for “Israeli war crimes.”

3. The IDF attack on Hamas TV antennas and the IDF bombing of the Hamas media center signaled that communications could now be an IDF target. The next step might be a cut off of all Gaza radio and TV frequencies, since these frequencies happen to be owned by Israel. These frequencies were leased by Israel to the newly autonomous Palestinian Arab areas in Judea, Samaria and Gaza after the Oslo accords were signed in 1993, to communicate a message of peace….

4. A new unity of purpose swept Israel. Missile attacks on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem will help galvanize opposition in the center of the country to any possibility of a Palestinian Arab state in Judea and Samaria, which would place Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and, indeed, Israel’s only international airport, within ‘Sderot missile distance’ of any quasi-independent Palestinian Authority entity. The Hamas regime in Gaza proved that it could indeed hit the center of the country – Tel Aviv and Rishon Letzion and even Jerusalem. No longer would the people of Israel define the Hamas missile threat as limited or confined to Sderot and the Western Negev.

Why the Non-Member State Will Continue to be a Non-Existent State

Barry Rubin..
Rubin Reports..
29 November '12..

Twenty-four years ago, almost to the day, in 1988, I stood in a large hall in Algeria and saw Yasir Arafat declare the independence of a Palestinian state. It was forty-one years, almost to the day in 1947, when the UN offered a Palestinian state. Twelve years ago Israel and the United States officially offered a Palestinian state as part of a compromise at deal in the Camp David summit of 2000.

Arguably, despite all their errors, the Palestinian movement has made progress since those events, though it is not very impressive progress. Yet in real terms there is no real Palestinian state; the movement is more deeply divided than at any time in its history; and the people aren't doing very well.

Now the UN will probably give Palestine the status of a non-member state. The only thing that will change is to convince people even more that they are following a clever and successful strategy. They aren't.

Perhaps in 24 or 41 years there will actually be a Palestinian state.

There are two ways to respond to the General Assembly’s likely vote to so designate a state of Palestine. One of them is outrage at the absurdity of how the international system behaves. The other would be to dismiss the gesture as meaningless, even more than that, as something that will even further delay the day that a real, functioning state comes into existence.

Certainly, there are threats and dangers, for example the use by Palestine of the International Court. Or one could look at this as another step on the road to a final, I mean comprehensive, solution to the issue. Yet over all, I’ll go for disgusted and cynical as the most accurate responses.

Let’s start with disgusted. In 1993, the PLO made an agreement whose very basis was that a Palestinian state would only come into existence as a result of a deal made with Israel. Instead, the Palestinian side refused to make such a compromise and broke its commitments repeatedly. The ultimate result was Yasir Arafat’s refusal to accept a Palestinian state with its capital in the eastern part of Jerusalem both at the 2000 Camp David meeting and a few months later when President Bill Clinton made a better, and final, offer.

"Palestine" Doesn't Qualify as a State. Where's the Coverage?

"....But then, as Abba Eban said, "If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the Earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions."

29 November '12..

There has been quite a bit of coverage of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas asking the United Nations General Assembly to recognize a Palestinian state. But the media has focused mostly on the political angle: which nations will support this gambit and which nations will not support it. There has been coverage of the fact that the GA will almost certainly vote to approve and likely by a landslide. However, scant attention has been paid to the fact that "Palestine" does not qualify for statehood under international law. Other than CAMERA's backgrounder, we could find only one blog post on the subject.

According to article 4 of the United Nations charter membership is reserved for states (and "peace loving" states at that, but that's a whole other story). But Abbas is asking for "non-member state" status. This would presumably make it easier for "Palestine" to join the International Criminal Court with the intention of bringing cases against Israeli leaders. (This could backfire, of course, since Palestinian leaders would also be subject to the ICC – see "peace loving" above.)

The question remains, however, does "Palestine" qualify as a state? Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of States provides the internationally recognized criteria of statehood:

Rebuilding the stadium in Gaza - FIFA's "Disaster"

Yisrael Medad..
My Right Way..
29 November '12..

FIFA announces:

We see it our mandate to rebuild football infrastructure which has been destroyed. We will also rebuild the stadium in Gaza, which has been destroyed. Football brings people together and we will support any re-construction necessary when football infrastructure is destroyed through disasters.


The place was used as a launching site for missiles against Tel Aviv and Jerusalem!!!

Maybe let FIFA know how you feel about this throwing good money after bad?

I left this comment:

Since the Gaza Stadium was used as a launching site for missiles aimed at civilians, what "disaster" are you referring to in your statement? 

And if you insist upon rebuilding, will you set in place supervision visits to assure that this war crime will not be repeated, so that Israel will have no reason to bomb your headquarters?


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A 'two-state solution'? There is no 'two-state solution'.

Prof. Ron Breiman..
Israel Hayom..
28 November '12..

Three senior ministers are missing from the Likud's new Knesset list, and the media has already declared: The Likud has moved to the Right, it's become more extreme. For the Israeli media, there is only one end of the political spectrum. The extreme Left is never mentioned, and no one has attributed any extremism to Labor's Knesset candidates, let alone those from Meretz.

A deeper look, however, reveals that on the Likud's list, 18 of the top 20 candidates served in the outgoing Knesset, while the two new names come from the Left (Tzachi Hanegbi) and from the Right (Moshe Feiglin). It's the proper balance, more a process of generational change than "extremism."

With that, the Likud, as a Center-Right party with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu squarely in the middle of the political spectrum, represents public trends: Sobering up from the blurry "visions for peace" and from the idea of a "two-state solution." The public isn't becoming more extreme, it is merely sobering up to reality.

It's not surprising that the media, which always criticizes the government from the leftist flank, and which enlisted itself to the cause of "peace" and to the evictions from Gush Katif (Gaza) and northern Judea and Samaria, isn't happy that voters have understood what it refuses to understand: "The two-state solution" isn't a solution. It has already exploded in our faces — with the "Oslo War" (the Second Intifada). Moreover, regarding the matter of public discourse it is right to allow room for other opinions, ones that don't blindly follow false prophets.

The process of sobering up, prevalent among the general public and whose views have been partly represented by the advancement of new candidates on the Likud's list, is extremely slow. If this process was quicker we would see it represented in polls showing large increases for parties to the right of the Likud. In the meantime, this is happening slowly. Even Netanyahu himself needs it. He needs the pressure from his Right flank to help him withstand the heavy pressure from the Left, domestically and from abroad.

But the "investigative" media continues undeterred: It's "the two-state solution" or bust, without having accounted for the risks involved in such a plan before it was unveiled to the world, or without learning the lessons from what has already happened because of it.

Avoiding falling for Hamas’s media manipulation

Michael Oren..
Washington Post Opinion..
29 November '12..

What makes better headlines? Is it numbing figures such as the 8,000 Palestinian rockets fired at Israel since it unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005, and the 42.5 percent of Israeli children living near the Gaza border who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder? Or is it high-resolution images of bombed-out buildings in Gaza and emotional stories of bereaved Palestinians? The last, obviously, as demonstrated by much of the media coverage of Israel’s recent operation against Hamas. But that answer raises a more fundamental question: Which stories best serve the terrorists’ interest?

Hamas has a military strategy to paralyze southern Israel with short- and middle-range rockets while launching Iranian-made missiles at Tel Aviv. With our precision air force, top-notch intelligence and committed citizens army, we can defend ourselves against these dangers. We have invested billions of dollars in bomb shelters and early-warning systems and, together with generous U.S. aid, have developed history’s most advanced, multi-layered anti-missile batteries. For all of its bluster, Hamas does not threaten Israel’s existence.

But Hamas also has a media strategy. Its purpose is to portray Israel’s unparalleled efforts to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza as indiscriminate firing at women and children, to pervert Israel’s rightful acts of self-defense into war crimes. Its goals are to isolate Israel internationally, to tie its hands from striking back at those trying to kill our citizens and to delegitimize the Jewish State. Hamas knows that it cannot destroy us militarily but believes that it might do so through the media.

One reason is the enlarged images of destruction and civilian casualties in Gaza that dominated the front pages of U.S. publications. During this operation, The Post published multiple front-page photographs of Palestinian suffering. The New York Times even juxtaposed a photograph of the funeral of Hamas commander Ahmed Jabari, who was responsible for the slaughter of dozens of innocent Israelis, with that of a pregnant Israeli mother murdered by Hamas. Other photos, supplied by the terrorists and picked up by the press, identified children killed by Syrian forces or even by Hamas itself as victims of Israeli strikes.

In reporting Palestinian deaths, media routinely failed to note that roughly half were terrorists and that such a ratio is exceedingly low by modern military standards — much lower, for example, than the NATO campaign in the Balkans. Media also emphasize the disparity between the number of Palestinian and Israeli deaths, as though Israel should be penalized for investing billions of dollars in civil-defense and early-warning systems and Hamas exonerated for investing in bombs rather than bomb shelters. As in Israel’s last campaign against Hamas in 2008-09, the word “disproportionality” has been frequently used to characterize Israeli military strikes. In fact, during Operation Pillar of Defense this year, Hamas fired more than 1,500 missiles at Israel and the Israeli Air Force responded with 1,500 sorties.

The imbalance is also of language. “Hamas health officials said 45 had been killed and 385 wounded,” the Times’ front page reported. “Three Israeli civilians have died and 63 have been injured.” The subtext is clear: Israel targets Palestinians, and Israelis merely die.

Hamas and the new Middle East, still strikingly similar to the old.

Seth Mandel..
28 November '12..

The New York Times has a hopeful but ultimately unconvincing analysis today proclaiming the rise of a more constructive Sunni “axis” in the Middle East. The theory is that Turkey, Qatar, and Egypt are challenging the hegemonic Iran and the civil war-torn Syria, and that this trio’s closer relationship to the Hamas terrorist gang running the Gaza Strip will prize diplomacy and stability over war while weakening Iran.

Of course this is what Western diplomats have hoped–and continue to hope–will one day become a reality. But at this point, not only is it premature to announce this new Middle East, but the thesis has actually taken quite a beating in the last two weeks. Here’s the Times describing the opportunity for a regional shift:

But uprising, wars and economics have altered the landscape of the region, paving the way for a new axis to emerge, one led by a Sunni Muslim alliance of Egypt, Qatar and Turkey. That triumvirate played a leading role in helping end the eight-day conflict between Israel and Gaza, in large part by embracing Hamas and luring it further away from the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah fold, offering diplomatic clout and promises of hefty aid.

Let’s start with the obvious objection to this theory, which the Times itself offers in the next paragraph, noting that “while these Sunni leaders are willing to work with Washington, unlike the mullahs in Tehran, they also promote a radical religious-based ideology that has fueled anti-Western sentiment around the region.” They certainly do promote this ideology, and this ideology stands at odds with freedom, peace, and human rights–three things needed in the neighborhood much more than guns, missiles and no-strings-attached cash. This ideology prioritizes “resistance”–code for terrorism against Israel–and as such actually spreads support for resorting to violence rather than act as a break on the inclination.

The second problem with this theory is that Hamas never actually “broke with” Iran, which the article claims. Hamas, in fact, gets weapons from Iran. Khaled Meshaal, Hamas’s political chief, went on CNN at the tail end of Operation Pillar of Defense to announce his continuing relationship with Iran. Last night, Palestinians in Gaza put up billboards in four languages thanking Iran for helping them attempt to wage permanent war against Israel.

If Israel killed Yasser Arafat, was it justified?

Did Israel kill Arafat? We may never know, but that is not the critical question. What is important is that Arafat’s role as the terror leader made him no different than the other terrorists who pulled the triggers or detonated suicide belts. The year was 2004. Over 1,000 Israelis had already been murdered under Arafat’s guidance and direction. Arafat wasn’t just a political leader during a conflict; he was leading a terror war that was targeting and murdering civilians at every opportunity.

Itamar Marcus/Nan Jacques Zilberdik..
Op-Ed Contributors/JPost..
26 November '12..

Did Israel kill Yasser Arafat? That is the question being discussed as the Palestinian Authority exhumes his body this week for French prosecutors investigating his death. This follows the announcement by a Swiss institute that they found remnants of the poison polonium on Arafat’s clothes.

However, the more fundamental questions are why would Israel have wanted to kill Arafat and would it have been justified. The assessment must be based on the objective data as to Arafat’s role at the time. Was he just a political leader or was he also an archterrorist leading the most systematic and deadly terror war that Israel ever faced? Yasser Arafat died in November 2004 after four years of a PA terror campaign, also called the second intifada. One thousand Israelis had already been murdered in attacks coming from PA territory under Arafat’s leadership.

Was Arafat directing this terror campaign? If so, he would belong in the same category as terror leaders like Osama bin Laden and Hamas leader Ahmad Yassin, who were killed by the US and Israel respectively, as measures in the war on terror being fought by democracies.

Evidence abounds that Arafat was the force behind the terror war against Israel. First, the PA actively promoted terror and glorified terror through the structures under Arafat’s control.

PA-owned official TV was used repeatedly to call for killing Jews in the name of Islam.

For example, Ahmed Yusuf Abu Halabiah, a Palestinian religious leader, preached on PA TV: “The Jews are the Jews ... it is necessary to slaughter them and murder them, according to the words of Allah ... It is forbidden to have mercy in your hearts for the Jews in any place and in any land ... Any place that you meet them – kill them ... Have no mercy on the Jews, murder them everywhere.” (PA TV, October 13, 2000) Likewise PA cleric Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim Madi preached: “I was delighted when a youth said to me: ‘Oh, Sheikh, I am 14 years old, I have four more years, and then I will blow myself up among Allah’s enemies’ ... We blow them up in Hadera, we blow them up in Tel Aviv and in Netanya ... they will not be deterred except by the color of the blood of their filthy people. They will not be deterred unless we blow ourselves up willingly and voluntarily among them.” (PA TV, August 3, 2001) Then as now, PA TV was the official PA mouthpiece and controlled by the PA leadership.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

1930s Egypt - The beginning of Hamas’ anti-Jewish war

Lyn Julius..
Times of Israel..
26 November '12..

Israel and Hamas have agreed to a ceasefire, but no one is under any illusions. The latest round in the Gaza-Israeli war will end in another extended lull, and the two sides will be no closer to peace.

Well-meaning politicians, opinion-formers and do-gooders talk about the need for peace. The two sides must sit down and talk, they say, and hammer out a political solution.

In spite of the record press and media coverage of the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, rarely are Hamas’s objectives put in historical perspective. Hamas are not Palestinian nationalists but Islamists. Hamas, an acronym for Islamic Resistance Movement, simply does not have a negotiating position, short of the annihilation of Israel and the subjugation of Jews to Muslim rule, as per its Charter.

A Hamas video shown during the recent conflict told viewers: “Oh occupier, we are coming towards you. Leave our land. All of Palestine is ours. There’s nothing here for you but death. There’s nothing here for you but to be killed and to leave.”

Hamas are the local Gaza branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. This organization, founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, a teacher, was directly inspired by the rise of Nazism, and fuses antisemitic Nazi tropes with homegrown Jihadism, based on selected Koranic anti-Jewish verses and Hadith. The German-funded Brotherhood’s membership rose dramatically during the 1930s from 800 to one million in 1945. Its primary target was to roll back modernity and Western influence, to deny women their rights, and to attack Jews and other non-Muslims. From the 1930s onward, it was busy targeting the Jews and Copts of Egypt.

Matthias Kuntzel explains how its campaign against the Jews, which established the Brotherhood as a mass movement, was sparked by the 1936 uprising in Palestine directed against Jewish immigration and initiated by the notorious Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini. Between 1936 and 1938 the Brotherhood organized mass demonstrations in Egyptian cities under the slogans “Down With the Jews!” and “Jews Get Out of Egypt and Palestine!” Leaflets called for a boycott of Jewish goods and shops. The Brotherhood’s newspaper, al-Nadhir, carried a regular column on “The Danger of the Jews of Egypt,” which published the names and addresses of Jewish businessmen and (allegedly) Jewish newspaper publishers all over the world – attributing every evil, from communism to brothels, to the “Jewish danger.” The Jews of Egypt were repeatedly called on to publicly disassociate themselves from Zionism.

Turning achievement into failure - Adopting the enemy's narrative

Dror Eydar..
Israel Hayom..
28 November '12..

We have tired of the choir of the defeated and downtrodden, the voices of the dime-a-dozen strategists who have no real clue what is actually happening in Gaza, Cairo, Washington and Jerusalem, but who nonetheless declare "we lost," "we were dealt a mighty blow" and "oh my, what has befallen us?" Hamas terrorists crawled out of their holes and crevices in which they hid during Operation Pillar of Defense, glanced around them, observed the destruction caused by their arrogance and began to list each and every one of their foundational principles that went up in smoke during the operation. They knew exactly who won and who lost.

But yet they still turned to the cameras and presented their voices of thunder from Gaza; their take on Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's confidence-exuding raves. They distributed sweets to the depressed people of Gaza to soften the images of destruction all around them and forced some of their subjects to participate in their victory celebrations. Anyone who hasn't seen such celebrations before, has not experienced true joy. But veteran Gazans know how to do the math when it comes to gains and losses. From the first Wednesday of the confrontation, until the next Wednesday when it ended, just one week rather than three weeks or 33 days, with many casualties and large-scale structural ruin, thousands of refugees, and an enemy who hardly experienced the same, they truly won.

They remember how the north looked after the Second Lebanon War during which hundreds of rockets rained down on our cities, and how the south looked after Operation Cast Lead. Now the Zionists have developed a machine that has neutralized the sting from their leaders' threats. They know that most Israelis urged the government to launch a ground assault and to strike deeper in Gaza. They also saw the enthusiasm of our reservists as they were called up for a possible ground operation. They know the truth.

But they listen to us and hear the voices of weeping, whining and lamentations, declarations of "we lost" and "we have been utterly humiliated" and they are confused. Wait one moment, they say, if this is what the Israelis are saying, perhaps our own crooked leaders are right?

Who is Hamas Trying to Fool? You and Everyone Else.

Khaled Abu Toameh..
Gatestone Institute..
28 November '12..

Is Hamas really on its way to moderation and pragmatism, as some Western political analysts and diplomats have come to believe? And what do some Hamas leaders mean when they say that they are ready to accept a Palestinian state "only" in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem?

These questions were raised after CNN recently aired an interview with Hamas "political leader" Khaled Mashaal.

Mashaal told CNN's Christiane Amanpour: "I accept a Palestinian state according to 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital, with the right of return [of millions of Palestinians to Israel]."

The Hamas leader's remark has since been misinterpreted by some Westerners as a sign that the radical Islamist movement, which was established 25 years ago with the declared goal of destroying Israel, has now abandoned its ideology and is on its way to endorsing a softer approach.

But while Mashaal was speaking on CNN, several Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip were talking -- in Arabic -- about their intention to pursue the fight against Israel until the "liberation of all our lands, from the sea to the river."

To foist a new, warlike “state” upon Israel?

David M. Weinberg..
A Citadel Defending Freedom..
28 November '12..

The Palestinian bid to have the United Nations recognize a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood (upgrading Palestine to a “non-member state” at the UN, probably tomorrow) should be subject to a simple litmus test: Does it bring the two sides any closer to peace? Unfortunately, the Palestinian leadership’s effort to circumvent direct negotiations and obtain statehood recognition without coordination with Israel is a setback for the cause of peace.

The simple fact is that Palestinian statehood without peace is a recipe for permanent conflict. A unilateral declaration of independence essentially disconnects the objective of peace from the obtainment of Palestinian statehood. This is not simply a new tactic on the part of the Palestinian leadership. It is an effort to turn the established framework for peace upside-down; to grab a prize (statehood) without having to compromise (with Israel); to claim the end result of the much ballyhooed “Middle East peace process” without having to engage in any process.

Until today, the world understood that Palestinian statehood could be feasible, and acceptable to Israel, if it was the result of a peace accord with Israel that settled all claims in the conflict. The current reckless gambit, however, ensures that Palestinian statehood will only sharpen conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and do so with Israel placed at a disadvantage.

That, of course, is exactly Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ purpose: To ratchet up the conflict. To escalate the Palestinian struggle against Israel. He is essentially threatening us with legal and political warfare, that could very well slide into actual conflict.

(Video) Hamas TV spokesman interviewed about Palestinian Media Watch

28 November '12..

Journalist Suroosh Alvi from Vice magazine interviews a spokesman from Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas TV). Alvi tells the spokesman about Palestinian Media Watch, an Israeli organization that monitors channels like Al-Aqsa TV in order to expose "how radical the people in Gaza are." The spokesman responds "They also say to their people that killing a Palestinian is good. So this [is] a different way to see [things]."

Note: Palestinian Media Watch exposes incitement to hatred in order to help eliminate it. PMW welcomes the use of its findings to challenge the propagators of hate incitement, as in this video.

Who Pays the Price for the West's Self-Hatred? Israel

The moral question – "Who began the war and who denies its adversary's right to exist?" – is never asked. The media simply do not tell the truth.

Peter Martino..
Gatestone Institute..
27 November '12..

Last Thursday evening, some 1,500 demonstrators convened in front of the Italian Parliament in Rome, waving Israeli and Italian flags. The demonstration "For the Truth, for Israel" had been organized in barely two days by Fiamma Nirenstein, a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Italy's equivalent of the House of Representatives. The demonstrators listened to messages by over 50 people, including Matteo Renzi, the Mayor of Florence and a prominent leader of the Democratic Party, Angelino Alfano, Italy's former Justice Minister and the president of Berlusconi's party PDL, Gianfranco Fini, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies and the leader of the FLI party, and Renato Schifani, the Speaker of the Senate.

Although Nirenstein is Jewish, many of the demonstrators were not. In a statement released after the event, Nirenstein wrote that the demonstration showed how important "the existence of Israel and its safeguard is to the Italian people and its representatives." She said it also showed that "people are more and more capable of identifying the lies disguised as criticism to the Israeli government." Nirenstein, chairperson of the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians, expressed her satisfaction that the Italians and their political leaders understand that Israel is "a bastion of human rights and democracy in the Middle East."

Unfortunately, Italy is exceptional in the European context. It is doubtful whether in other countries a similar pro-Israeli demonstration, openly supported by the Speakers of both houses of parliament, would be possible. The contrary, a demonstration in support of the Palestinians, is probably much more likely to attract broad political support. The Italians' awareness of Israel's plight is proof of the importance that a single person can have; it is to a large extent the result of the writings of one woman, the journalist Oriana Fallaci (1929-2006).

The Washington Post or The Hamas Gazette?

Leo Rennert..
American Thinker..
27 November '12..

Exhibit A in the case against one-sided reporting can be found in the November 27 edition of the Washington Post in a dispatch reporting that Israel and Hamas have opened indirect talks in Cairo on various understandings that are supposed to undergird their cease-fire. ("Hamas, Israel pursue talks -- Top Gaza official says fighting will resume if negotiations fail" by Abigail Hauslohner and Michael Birnbaum, page A8.)

Since these are going to be crucial negotiations to resolve major issues on both sides, one might expect that the Post would pay equal attention to each side's agenda and demands. But unfortunately, this isn't the case. From start to finish, Hauslohner and Birnbaum limit their reporting to Hamas's demands. And for good measure, they even toss in some pro-Hamas spin of their own.

Readers are introduced to Mousa Abu Marzook, Hamas's deputy political leader, who unfurls a series of Israeli concessions that Hamas will insist on obtaining. If Israel balks, he warns, Hamas is prepared to resume rocket attacks on Israel.

In specific terms, Marzook says that Hamas will insist on unfettered continuation of arms smuggling into Gaza. Plus the lifting of Israel's blockade of Gaza. Plus unchallenged access to a buffer zone along the Gaza-Israel border. And so on. It's all about what Marzook wants.

United Nations Bid Won’t Undermine Hamas

Jonathan S. Tobin..
27 November '12..

While there is some debate as to who emerged as the real winner from the recent fighting between Hamas and Israel, there’s little doubt that the big loser was the Palestinian Authority. The PA’s head, Mahmoud Abbas, and his Fatah party were shown to be irrelevant to the Middle East conflict as Hamas demonstrated once again that it is running an independent Palestinian state in all but name. The firing of hundreds of rockets at Israel boosted Hamas’s popularity among Palestinians who still view violence as the only credential that brings political credibility. But Abbas still has one card to play: his attempt to get the United Nations General Assembly to upgrade the PA’s status at the world body to nonmember observer status. The proposed resolution would recognize “the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to independence in their state of Palestine on the basis of the pre-1967 borders.”

There’s little doubt that a majority of UN member states will vote for the resolution, but the value of this move was enhanced by the announcement today that France will vote for it. This gives Abbas a much-needed shot in the arm, as it appears that the West will be split with the French being joined by some other European nations while the U.S. and Germany will oppose it. But any expectation that this vote will ensure that Abbas will hold onto the West Bank, let alone lead a state of Palestine some day, is unfounded. Though the vote might make some mischief for Israel at the UN and at the International Criminal Court, most Palestinians understand this is about symbolism, not power. Since Abbas can’t or won’t pay the price of genuine independence — making peace with Israel — his UN gambit remains nothing more than posturing intended to help him avoid the negotiations that could actually help him get something Hamas can’t achieve. Until that changes, any effort to help Abbas via the UN won’t do a thing to undermine Hamas.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Coexistence of the blind

Seth J. Frantzman..
Terra Incognita/JPost..
27 November '12..

In Israel almost every person who talks about coexistence presents a false and ill-conceived plan whose results will produce no change whatsoever. The reason that almost all coexistence programs are doomed to fail is that they are often predicated on creating a false reality for one half of the coexistence pie. This usually takes the form of mandating that Jewish people in Israel embrace coexistence, a rosy picture of the “other,” the Arabs, that rarely involves any immersion in the other’s society.

Consider Roger Cohen’s description of Parent’s Circle, which “brings together Israelis and Palestinians who have lost family in the conflict.” Israeli Robi Damelin’s son, who was a soldier at the time, was killed by a Palestinian sniper in 2002. Her reaction was to say that Israel “may not kill anybody in the name of my son” and become involved in Parent’s Circle. According to Cohen, “Damelin has written to the imprisoned killer of her son...she plans to meet him through a mediator one day.” Parent’s Circle “gives talks to high school students, mainly Israelis. In general these Israeli kids have never met a Palestinian. They have no way to know the conflict is a two-sided story.”

A similar story was related by Douglas Alexander, the British Shadow Foreign Secretary for Labor in the UK. He writes about visiting the Eshkol regional council bordering the Gaza Strip and meeting a Jewish teacher who educates for coexistence.

“She told me that her job was to teach [Jewish] children the curriculum, but she felt impelled to try and teach them something else...her ambition was that no child leave her classroom believing that the Palestinian children on the other side of the border were the enemy.”

See, these Israeli children get the wrong idea from the missiles that fall on their kibbutzim – they feel Gaza is a place that breeds hatred and murder. But in fact, as the Israeli coexistence-monger wants to show, those on the other side are not enemies.

The Worship of Power - Sanitising Hamas

Melanie Phillips..
27 November '12..

Real News bulletin about the Middle East

During the recent war between Hamas and Israel, it became a commonplace to hear people either promoting the idea of ‘engaging’ with Hamas (former UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband, former UK ambassador to the UN Sir Jeremy Greenstock, journalist Jackson Diehl and the Washington Post plus sundry EU diplomats and of course the UN) on the basis that there could be no peace between Israel and the Palestinians without it and Hamas was really quite moderate; or actually providing a platform for Hamas itself (see the Guardian’s record here). And of course, most of the media coverage of the war was based on the noxious premise that there was a moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas, regardless of the fact that the latter is a proscribed terrorist organisation which seeks to achieve the extermination of Israel and every Jew.

This is what the Hamas put up on the screen during a music video last week on its al Aqsa TV station:

‘Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah’.

Lyrics of songs on this video included these little ditties:

‘[Oh] lovers of the trigger: Killing the occupiers [Israelis] is worship that Allah made into law...’

‘Brigades - we kidnap soldiers, Brigades - we kill Jews’


‘Repeat in the name of your Jihad: Death to Israel!’

These are the people whose ‘deployment of longer-range rockets that have now been shown to reach Tel Aviv and Jerusalem’ is applauded by Seumas Milne in the Guardian; who David Miliband said ‘we can no longer ignore’; who Sir Jeremy Greenstock said have been, for the past four years, ‘mainly passive and containing the militants in Gaza’; with whom the UN envoy to the Middle East has ‘maintained quiet contacts for years’; and who Jackson Diehl hoped would work out with Israel ‘a modus vivendi that benefits both sides’.

Such positions sound to me suspiciously like sanitising, mainstreaming or even endorsing those who are committed to genocide. Yet these positions are being promoted by politicians, diplomats and establishment newspapers.

Israel's Iron Dome Battle to Get Off the Ground

Charles Levinson/Adam Entous
Wall Street Journal..
26 November '12..

TEL AVIV—Israel's Iron Dome rocket-defense system spent the past two weeks successfully blasting Hamas rockets out of the sky—many in dramatic nighttime explosions—helping to end the recent hostilities between Israel and Hamas in just seven days.

The battle to build Iron Dome, however, lasted years and provided fireworks of its own.

Before Wednesday's cease-fire, Iron Dome knocked down 421 rockets launched from Gaza and bound for Israeli cities, an 84% success rate, according to the Israeli military. The system limited Israeli casualties to six during the seven days of bombardment. As a result, there was markedly less political pressure on Israel's decision makers to invade Gaza.

"If it was not for Iron Dome, for sure you would have seen a more aggressive action in Gaza by air and ground," said an Israel general and member of Israel's joint chiefs of staff.

For Israel's primary foes Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, their weapon of choice—rockets and missiles—could soon prove nearly obsolete. That could alter the strategic calculation for Israel and its enemies alike. Despite initial Pentagon misgivings, President Barack Obama has given $275 million to the project since 2010 with the aim of reducing the rocket threat and eventually bolstering chances of a peace deal by making Israel feel more secure to agree to territorial concessions.

For years, Pentagon experts dismissed Iron Dome as doomed to fail and urged Israel to instead try a cheaper U.S. approach. Iron Dome faced similar skepticism at home. But an Israeli mathematician-general, along with a labor-organizer-turned-defense-minister, pushed the project through, overcoming the opposition of some of Israel's most powerful military voices.

In 2004, then-Brig. Gen. Daniel Gold was named director of the Ministry of Defense's Research and Development department, responsible for overseeing the development of new weapons systems. Mr. Gold, who also has a Ph.D. in mathematics, took up the rocket challenge with a zealot's gusto, according to people involved in the project.

That August, he put out a call to defense companies for proposed antirocket systems. Few took notice within the defense establishment.

Israel's Hezbollah foes in Lebanon first turned to short-range rockets in the mid-1990s. The first Hamas-fired Palestinian rocket hit Israel in early 2001. The crude projectiles rarely hit their intended targets, yet over the years they rained down by the thousands—some 4,000 by 2008.

Almost no one in Israel's military brass believed rocket defense could work. Palestinian rockets from Gaza fly erratically and can hit Israeli communities within seconds. Most are just a few feet long and a few inches wide.

Gen. Gold and his team, deep in the bowels of the Defense Ministry in central Tel Aviv, reviewed the options. They considered lasers and giant shotguns. In March 2005, they agreed on a patched-together concept for the system that would become Iron Dome, drawing on technologies from three Israeli defense companies.

He called up Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., an Israeli weapons maker, and asked the company to head the project. A 2008 audit by the Israeli state comptroller, an independent government-oversight office, criticized this step, saying he bypassed required approvals from the military's general staff, the defense minister and the Israeli government.

A Palestinian state?

Accepting Israel means ending the Palestinian revolution, a national betrayal and an Islamic heresy. In this context, for Palestinians and their supporters, the “peace process” is a metaphor for defeat.

Moshe Dann..
Op-Ed Contributor/JPost..
26 November '12..

The Palestinian Authority’s moves at the United Nations for recognition of a Palestinian state have raised objections.

Since many support the idea, however, including some Israeli politicians, and with little hope for successful negotiations, the PA’s move seems logical. They can continue to attack Israel diplomatically and legally, continue incitement, raise their stature, and avoid recognizing Israel.

However, Egypt and Jordan signed peace treaties with Israel, why can’t the Palestinians? Simply put, because Israel’s existence contradicts theirs.

Pushing a “peace process” that requires Palestinian Arabs to give up their opposition to a Jewish state, the international community can’t figure out why it doesn’t work. The answer is that the dispute is not over territory; it’s about ideology.

Palestinianism, the basis of the Arab/Muslim war against Zionism, the State of Israel as the national historic homeland of the Jewish People, is part of a broad Islamist revolution throughout the world against non-Muslim infidels.

Understanding the mission of Islamism explains why efforts to impose a Palestinian state, the “two-state” proposal and the “peace process” are doomed to fail. Palestinians don’t want a state alongside Israel, but one that replaces Israel. The primary goal of Palestinian nationalism is to wipe out the State of Israel, not to permit its existence.

Any form of Palestinian statehood, therefore, that accepts Israeli sovereignty in what Muslims believe is their land stolen by Jews, is, by their definition, heretical.

That is clear in both the PLO and Hamas Charters and the position of Arab leaders (in Arabic).

Latest Gazan Baby Names

Pesach Benson..
Honest Reporting/Backspin..
26 November '12..

YNet says the latest craze in Gaza is to name babies Fajr and Ahmad Jabari.

It doesn’t say much for the chances of peace when you name your kids after missiles and terror commanders.

We’ll know we’ve turned a corner when the Palestinians start giving their children names like Human Shield, Cannon Fodder, and Brainwashed.


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Thousands of Rockets Rain on Israel, but ...

"...During and after Israel's counterterrorism offensive, the father is beset by questions from his children. "Like so many people here, Mr. Khoudari said the most difficult thing was trying to explain the situation to his children," Rudoren writes. "All of them have one question: why? Why Israel attack us, why Israel tries to make our life more complicated. You cannot give the direct answer."

Leo Rennert..
American Thinker..
26 November '12..

While in Gaza, New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren took some time to interview Jawdat Khoudary, one of the wealthiest men in the coastal enclave, who presides over a major construction company. Khoudary, 52, is a well-traveled lover of antiquities whose family has lived in Gaza for more than two hundred years. And Rudoren also tells readers that he cultivates thousands of cactuses in his 100,000-square-foot compound ("As Bombs Fell in Gaza, a Rich Cactus Lover Could Cultivate Only Patience" page A10).

This idyllic picture is interrupted by eight days of Israeli bombardments, which left Khoudary a bit shaken but otherwise OK.

So much for background. The most interesting part of Rudoren's article focuses on discussions Khoudary has with his five children -- two girls who studied at American University in Cairo, two older boys working toward engineering degrees at the Islamic University in Gaza, and the youngest boy, who loves to travel.

During and after Israel's counterterrorism offensive, the father is beset by questions from his children. "Like so many people here, Mr. Khoudari said the most difficult thing was trying to explain the situation to his children," Rudoren writes. "All of them have one question: why? Why Israel attack us, why Israel tries to make our life more complicated. You cannot give the direct answer."

At this point, any reporter worth his/her salt would ask Khoudary the obvious question: Why, Mr. Khoudary, won't you give them a direct answer? Why won't you tell them that Israel's eight-day bombardment was a response to years of thousands of rockets fired at civilian populations in southern Israel from Gaza? Why, Mr. Khoudary, won't you point a finger at terrorist groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad that are making your family's life so complicated?

Another day. Just another anti-Zionist at Amnesty?

Petra Marquadt-Bigman..
The Warped Mirror..
27 November '12..

As the Jerusalem Post reported last week, an employee of Amnesty International in London has attracted much criticism for a tweet that, disguised as a joke, suggested that three Jewish members of the British parliament supported a massive bombing campaign of Gaza.

The offensive tweet was soon deleted, and as of this writing, the Amnesty employee in question, Kristyan Benedict, has refrained from posting new tweets; Amnesty also has reportedly “distanced itself from the tweet and said the matter has been referred to its internal, and confidential, processes.”

While it is certainly welcome that Amnesty seems to be taking this incident serious, it is also clear that Benedict has a long record of rhetoric and conduct that reflects a deep hostility to Israel. Indeed, media reports on this incident note that “Benedict’s Twitter feed is a litany of [one-sided] criticism of Israel” and that there have been previous incidents that caused controversy and resulted in disciplinary action.

Benedict’s recent tweets offer a large choice of examples that illustrate his hostility to Israel, and his re-tweet of the view of an American-Syrian activist who claimed that “Assad and the IDF fear nonviolent resistance more than anything” on November 20 provides just one indication of this deep-seated resentment.

Unsurprisingly, Benedict also has a long record of organizing Amnesty events that provide a platform for anti-Israel activists like Ben White. One should imagine that it was inconceivable that Amnesty would repeatedly promote an activist who started his “career” by declaring that he could understand why some people are antisemitic and who has single-mindedly devoted all his adult life to delegitimizing Israel – an activity that most antisemites will enthusiastically applaud – but unfortunately, one would be wrong.

Inevitably, Amnesty has often been criticized for the “ideological bias and double standards” that are all too often revealed in the organization’s work on Israel. Kristyan Benedict seems to have been doing his share to maintain Amnesty’s well-deserved reputation of a bias against Israel, and apparently, Amnesty sees no problem with employing a person who seems to believe that the world would be a better place if there was one Jewish state less.

A Clever Way to Target Israel? Using Journalism as a Cover .

Alana Goodman..
26 November '12..

In the New York Times today, David Carr claims that Israel is “using war as cover to target journalists” in Gaza. Of course Carr fails to mention that the “journalists” in question were terrorists:

On the same day as the Waldorf event, three employees of news organizations were killed in Gaza by Israeli missiles. Rather than suggesting it was a mistake, or denying responsibility, an Israeli Defense Forces spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, told The Associated Press, “The targets are people who have relevance to terror activity.”

So it has come to this: killing members of the news media can be justified by a phrase as amorphous as “relevance to terror activity.” …

Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama worked as cameramen for Al-Aqsa TV, which is run by Hamas and whose reporting frequently reflects that affiliation. They were covering events in central Gaza when a missile struck their car, which, according to Al-Aqsa, was clearly marked with the letters “TV.” (The car just in front of them was carrying a translator and driver for The New York Times, so the execution hit close to our organization.) And Mohamed Abu Aisha, director of the private Al-Quds Educational Radio, was also in a car when it was hit by a missile.

As Carr notes, Al-Aqsa is a Hamas-owned TV station. What he leaves out is that Al-Aqsa TV has also been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. Treasury Department. So we already know these “cameramen” were working for a terrorist group.

In addition, the Free Beacon reports that “Hussam Salama,” one of the alleged cameramen mentioned in Carr’s article, is actually Muhammed Shamalah, a Hamas commander and head of its military training programs. In a November 20 blog post, the Israel Defense Forces recounted its successful attack against Shamalah, who had spray-painted “TV” on his car hood:

The strange case of who killed Omar Masharawi
27 November '12..

The article that follows was published on a blog called Harry’s Place. But at least for now it is unavailable as a result of a denial-of-service attack probably launched by anti-Israel hackers. I am presenting it here in full. I encourage other bloggers interested in the truth to copy it and do the same. Note: the associated photo and video are linked to the site under attack and so are not available. I’ve replaced them with similar illustrations.

Who Killed Jihad Masharawi’s Son, Omar?

Alan A, November 25th 2012, 7:30 pm

On the 14th of November, the son of BBC video editor Jihad Masharawi died. Here is his account of what happened:
Interviewer: “Our condolences, Jihad. Tell me what happened with you.”
JM: “Shrapnel hit our house.”
Interviewer: “Shrapnel?”
JM: “Yes. My sister-in-law was killed along with my son and my brother and my other son were wounded [the brother has since died -- ed.].
Interviewer: “In which area?”
JM: “In al Zeitoun.”
Zeitoun is a district of Gaza which hosted Iranian Fajr 5 missile sites, ready for launching into Israel. Here is a photograph of one such site:

It is, as you can see, situated within a civilian area.

As you can see by looking at aerial photographs of the Gaza Strip, the area contains a large amount of open and agricultural land. It would be entirely possible for Hamas and its allies to store their missiles in and fire them from somewhere other than residential and civilian areas: near mosques, hospitals, playgrounds, football fields, and private homes. However, they choose instead to situate them in locations where they know that, if they are hit by even the most precise of surgical airstrikes, the secondary explosions will quite possibly cause destruction and death in their area.

I’ve posted below a short video which shows what happens when Israel hits an ammunition cache. These are precisely the consequences that Hamas intends. It is often said that this tactic amounts to sheltering behind skirts and prams as it seeks to kill Israeli civilians. I think that’s precisely what it is.