Monday, June 30, 2014

Terrorist murderers: Their message, the outcome and the support that enables them

...We know from painful personal experience how utterly dedicated to the murder of Israeli children the terrorists with "free our prisoners" branded onto their foreheads are, and in particular the former prisoner and convicted murderer who hosts a weekly television program beamed throughout the Arab world and calculated to arouse hateful people to acts of extreme cruelty in the name of the prisoners. But they are not alone. The moral stupidity that their campaigns have encouraged among their people are more than matched by the actions and failures of others located far from Gaza.

Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
30 June '14..

A reminder - at this time of intense pain and anger - of the constant encouragement to engage in acts of terror, abduction and murder emanating from the Hamas terror organization and the men who stand at its head. But not only them.

October 11, 2011: Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal, speaking on the day of the Gilad Shalit Transaction (1,027 imprisoned Palestinian Arab terrorists walked free in two tranches) said it was a "great achievement" to get so many prisoners in exchange for one man. His message to the remaining prisoners: "We will continue our efforts until we release all of you. Someone who agrees to release 1,000 prisoners will agree to release 8,000 in the future... This is a promise. This is our oath."

October 12, 2011: Senior Hamas leader Khalil al-Hayya: “The one and only solution is more resistance against the Israeli oppression, and more abduction of Israeli soldiers and settlers," he told the Al Quds satellite television network.”


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The strength of our people

...This was not an act of Spartan sanctity, or dissociation from pain: They all spoke of their sons with profound longing, promising the children they had birthed that they would never give up, never falter in their efforts to find them. But despite the horrific pain, despite the endless nights of worry, they gave thanks.

Emily Amrousi..
Israel Hayom..
30 June '14..

I found myself, again, wiping away tears on Sunday. Surprisingly, they were not just tears of concern, but also of love. For our people. For these three dear families. For three mothers, who have been turned into public role models against their will. They stood on stage in front of tens of thousands of people, awkwardly trying to get the microphone to work, unsure of when to address the crowd.

Steady applause accompanied Bat-Galim Shaer, Gil-ad's mother, as she took the stage. A careful look at her face revealed that she was struggling. She does not want to stand on any stage, or be the subject of public accolades. She winced when the applause seemingly refused to ebb.

The three women's speeches were different from anything we have ever heard in such rallies. They said nothing about a common enemy, bringing the crowds together with thanks and hope, rather than with hatred.

They had every right to protest and rail -- against the government, against Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, against Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch. They could have lambasted the Palestinians. But instead, each of them chose to offer her thanks.

This was not an act of Spartan sanctity, or dissociation from pain: They all spoke of their sons with profound longing, promising the children they had birthed that they would never give up, never falter in their efforts to find them. But despite the horrific pain, despite the endless nights of worry, they gave thanks.

Can one imagine? A world gone mad — about Jews

...Imagine if the energy that went into hating and trying to destroy Israel could be used for productive purposes. It’s crazy, obsessive, psychotic behavior, and it drains the material and spiritual resources of a world which needs them badly.

Vic Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
29 June '14..

There are numerous international conflicts in play all the time. There are struggles over borders and resources, ethnic and religious intolerance, persecuted minorities and ones that are not persecuted but would like to be persecutors. There are conflicts pursued by military means, by terrorism, by diplomacy and propaganda, and by a combination of all of these. Some of these have been simmering for hundreds of years.

But if we consider the number of players, the different arenas in which it is played out, the absolutely enormous amount of resources dedicated to it, its worldwide scope, the way generations have had their lives entirely circumscribed and defined by it, the fact that it has permeated every aspect of international relations and affected virtually every human on the planet — and if we compare this to the remarkably tiny sliver of land and people at its center — then it’s impossible to see the Muslim/Arab / European war against the Jewish state as anything but completely sui generis (one of a kind). To borrow a phrase from Victor Davis Hanson, it is a war like no other.

Am I exaggerating? Several destructive regional wars have already taken place, another is brewing, and unless Israel is overrun, there will be more after that. Terrorist organizations like the PLO, Hizballah and others which were created as part and parcel of the conflict have defined and developed international terrorism, legitimized it and served as paradigms for conflict by proxy. They have destabilized regimes and caused untold misery for the civilians unlucky enough to reside where they base themselves.

The United Nations, an institution whose charter is to prevent war and help improve the condition of humanity has been infiltrated by the cancer of this conflict, with unnatural organs created at huge expense just for the purpose of assisting one side in the struggle. Institutions of international law and organizations intended to improve health, protect human rights, preserve culture, advance science, provide educational opportunities — all have been grotesquely perverted and twisted in the service of it.

Educational institutions, labor unions, charities, religious groups in every part of the globe have become obsessed with it.

An entire nation has been created — the ‘Palestinians’ — from a disparate group of Arabs that happened to live in the British Mandate of Palestine in 1948, to oppose the Jewish nation’s sovereignty in the tiny state now called Israel. Some Palestinians and their descendents have been kept in the limbo of a unique refugee status for 66 years. Most of them have been systematically indoctrinated into an unprecedented culture of hate, desiring only revenge and to shed the blood of their enemies. A detailed historical narrative has been fabricated to justify this.

The Package Deal of Palestinian Corruption and Terror

...If the Palestinians are to go on shaking down Western governments for contributions to pay their people for no-work or no-show jobs, they at least need to put a halt to terrorism. Sympathy for Palestinian workers is easy. But so long as the Israeli teenagers remain missing—and with each passing day hope for their safe recovery may be dimming—the West needs to refuse to go on doing business as usual with the corrupt Palestinian bureaucracy that turns a blind eye to, and subsidizes, terror.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
26 June '14..

As the second week of the search for the three Israeli teenagers abducted by Hamas terrorists comes to an end, the announcement of the names of two prime suspects in the kidnapping is all that passes for progress in the search. But while these Hamas operatives are still on the loose, the international community is grappling with what it seems to consider a more important problem: how to pay 42,000 Hamas employees in Gaza.

The 42,000 Hamas workers seem to be the big losers in the Fatah-Hamas unity agreement that put an end to Secretary of State John Kerry’s Middle East peace initiative. The unity deal was motivated in large measure by the fact that the Islamist group has run out of money due to its break with its former Iranian sponsors and the shutting down of smuggling tunnels to Egypt by the military government in Cairo. They hoped the shortfall would be resolved by going into business with their Fatah rivals in control of the Palestinian Authority. The PA, which is subsidized via aid from the European Union and the United States, was supposed to pay the salaries of the 42,000 Hamas government employees. But since the Fatah-run kleptocracy has also been paying the salaries of the workers that it employed in Gaza since the Hamas coup in 2007, it has now said that it can’t afford to pay both them and the Hamas staff.

This both exposes the corruption at the heart of Palestinian governance and also raises some serious questions about how and why the U.S. can go on in its relationship with the PA.

The fact is Fatah governs the West Bank largely by the traditional Tammany Hall tactic of spreading around the wealth. The roster of Palestinians with government jobs of the no-work and the no-show variety is so vast that estimates vary. But no matter what the actual number is, the point is that Fatah uses foreign aid money to support large numbers of West Bank Palestinians in this manner. Hamas played the same game in Gaza before the cash ran out. Neither group cares much about actually using their funds to provide even basic services for Palestinians. The point of jobs that are in the gift of either Fatah or Hamas is to secure political loyalty and all that it entails when you are dealing with organizations that have both “political” and “military” wings.

That fact doesn’t come across in the latest sympathetic piece about life in Gaza from the New York Times. In it, the paper profiles two Gazans. One, a Fatah supporter, has been living the Palestinian version of La Dolce Vita since 2007 as he collected his full salary without ever doing a day’s work in the last seven years. The other, the Hamas supporter, made peanuts and was actually forced to perform some duties while his friends were in power. But now that they’ve run out of money, he’s been plunged back into poverty. The upshot of all this is that the international community needs to step up and give him his old salary back even though the tiny, though overpopulated Gaza Strip does not need two bloated sets of civil servants.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The moment of truth is approaching

...For Israeli Arabs, the moment of truth is approaching. They must decide who they are loyal to: the state of which they are citizens or the forces of darkness that have been trying to terrorize Israel for years. There cannot be dual loyalty in this case, as there is a built-in contradiction between the two options.

Dr. Haim Shine..
Israel Hayom..
29 June '14..

The fabric of relations between Israel's Jewish and Arab citizens is still fragile. Over the years, it has been customary to hope that there was a wide fundamental gap between Israeli Arab leaders, who exhibited clear extremism, and the Israeli Arab public, which appeared more moderate. But Friday's violent demonstrations in Umm al-Fahm, along with the malicious and belligerent comments made recently by Balad MKs Hanin Zoabi and Jamal Zahalka, have cast a sad light on the prospects for true coexistence in Israel. Before dealing with two states for two peoples, it is vital that we first clarify the definitions of the peoples.

The demonstrators in Umm al-Fahm on Friday showed unequivocally that they identified with the actions of Hamas, rather than Israel's efforts to find the kidnapped teens and defend its citizens, including Arabs. Keep in mind that, more than once, Israeli Arabs have fallen victim to terror attacks carried out by their Palestinian brothers.

The Umm al-Fahm demonstrators displayed patent ingratitude. Everyone knows that none of them would agree to move to an Arab country or the Palestinian Authority, even for a hefty sum of money. They would lead the battle against including Umm al-Fahm in a Palestinian state. Israeli Arabs enjoy the benefits of Israeli democracy, while at the same time they identify with Israel's most bitter enemies. Israel does not compel its Arab citizens to enlist in the military and take part in the just struggle against terrorism. But Israel does have the right to expect loyalty from its citizens during turbulent times. We will not forget that Israeli Arabs, including MKs, collaborated with the enemy, aiding its plot to harm Israeli soldiers and civilians.

Google is not definitive but still, it is often a lot more honest than the UN

...Notice the person thrown to the ground...and imagine the absolute terror of having a quiet Saturday evening, close to twilight, explode all around you. This was an act of war - nothing less.

Paula M. Stern..
A Soldier's Mother..
29 June '14..

Okay, I accept that the Google search engine is not the definitive way to describe an issue or conflict, but still, it is often a lot more honest than the UN.

If you search for "Rockets from Australia" - you get a bunch of hits about building model rockets.

If you search for "Rockets from Peru" - you get proud announcements of all Peruvian-developed rockets that can reach outer space.

They're very proud of their rockets. If you search for "Rockets from Gaza" or "Rockets from Israel" - you get almost identical results - page after page, millions of websites - and most report about rocket attacks FROM Gaza, hitting Israel.

Yasir Arafat (may his memory be erased and may all that he worked for be damned), once said the rockets being fired at Israel were toys, nothing to worry about, that they never hurt anyone. Lies upon lies spoken by one of the best Palestinian liars ever. Although, to be honest, he has excellent competition from today's Palestinian leaders - including at least one who "serves" in the Israeli Knesset.

What is amazing is that there is a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to "List of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel 2014". Each entry is documented, cited, proven.

(Continue +videos)

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Jordan? Israel and the Tough Choice It's Going to Face by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

...What is happening today in Syria and Iraq - and that may spill over into Jordan - proves to Israel once again the truth of the Arabic saying:" Your back can be scratched only by your own fingernail." In Hebrew that thought is found in a well known saying of our Talmudic sages in Ethics of the Fathers: "If I am not for myself, who is for me".

Dr. Mordechai Kedar..
26 June '14..

Ma'an is a Bedouin village in the southern part of Jordan that has always been a headache for the country's rulers. The population is strongly fundamentalist and includes a significant number of Salafists.

Street demonstrations that ended violently have been held there in the past, once brought on by food prices, once by the price of fuel, and once because the monarchy did not treat village leaders with enough respect. In time, Ma'an became Jordan's baromemter, an indicator of underlying currents of opinion in the country.

On the 2nd of June, in the middle of a Friday afternoon, Ma'an was the scene of a pro-ISIL ("The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant", known as ISIS, but more accurately translated ISIL) demonstration where black flags waved and the signs had an unmistakable message (my additions in parentheses, M.K.).

"Today is Support an Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham Day", "Ma'an is Jordan's Fallujah", "We support an Islamic State", "We congratulate the Islamic people for the conquests of Omar (Be Akhattab, the second Caliph, conqueror of al-Sham) that Allah chose to form an Islamic state in Iraq and al-Sham" were some of them.

Loud and hysterical shouts of "Allah akbar", "To Jihad", "there is none save Allah and the Shiites are his foes", "He who fights for Jihad is loved by Allah", "The Sunnis are Allah's beloved", "Allah is our god and not theirs (the Shiites')", "The Shiite god is Satan", "Death is better than humiliation", "With blood and spirit will we redeem you, Islam", "Jihad is our way", "Jihad state forever", "O Shiite rulers, we are coming for you", were heard at the demonstration and to serve as proof of its serious intentions, shots were fired in the air.

The most important aspect of the protest was that almost all those present did not hide their faces, meaning that they have no fear of the Jordanian government, its police or its secret service. The demonstrators were well aware that they were being photographed by various people and that the photos could be used to identify and apprehend them and they didn't care. And when the fear of the state is no more, anything can happen.

ISIL has never concealed its intentions regarding Jordan, created, as were Iraq and Syria, by European colonialism, and therefore deserving to be eliminated. The name of the organization expresses is goals, because "al-Sham" is the Levant, and that area includes Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel.

In order to make its plans for Jordan obvious, the organization expanded its control in Iraq westward, up to the border between Iraq and Jordan, also conquering the border town of Turayvil. Its successes in Iraq and Syria awaken the "Jihadist adrenaline" in the marginal populations of Jordan and the demonstration in Ma'an expresses what is well-known: ISIS success draws the masses, especially those on the fringes of society, those who want to belong to something successful at last. And if this successful thing brings an end to a suppressive regime, it is an even more worthy group to join.

Jordan, the Jordan Valley and Defensible Borders

...In a region as volatile as the Middle East is today, the idea that Israel should abandon defensible borders in exchange for “peace” with a state that could collapse as suddenly as Syria and Iraq both have is folly. And anyone who thinks U.S.-trained or international forces can replace defensible borders should take a long, hard look at the Iraqi army’s collapse.

Evelyn Gordon..
Commentary Magazine..
27 June '14..

If Israeli-Palestinian peace talks weren't already dead, the Iraqi army’s collapse in the face of the radical Sunni group ISIS might well have killed them. After all, one of the key disagreements that emerged during the nine months of talks was over Israel’s military presence in the Jordan Valley, which Israel insisted on retaining and the Palestinians adamantly opposed.

The Obama administration’s proposed solution was to let Israeli troops remain for a few years and then replace them with U.S.-trained Palestinian forces, perhaps bolstered by international troops. But as Israeli officials bluntly told officials in Washington earlier this week, if U.S.-trained Iraqi soldiers weren’t willing to fight ISIS to protect their own country, why should anyone think U.S.-trained Palestinian soldiers in the Jordan Valley would be willing to fight fellow Arabs to protect Israel? And with a well-armed, well-funded jihadist army having taken over large swathes of Syria and Iraq and now even threatening Jordan (ISIS seized the main Iraq-Jordan border crossing just this week), how can anyone confidently assert such fighting won’t be necessary?

U.S. officials responded by setting up a straw man: They passionately defended General John Allen, the man responsible for both security training in Iraq and drafting U.S. security proposals for Israeli-Palestinian talks, as if Israel’s main concern were Allen’s competence. But Allen’s competence is irrelevant. The real issue is that no matter how competent the trainer is, no amount of training can produce a functional army if soldiers lack the will to fight. U.S.-trained Iraqi Sunnis aren’t willing to fight ISIS to protect their Shi’ite-dominated government. U.S.-trained Palestinian Authority forces weren’t willing to fight Hamas to retain control of Gaza in 2007. And international troops have repeatedly proven unwilling to fight to protect anyone else’s country.

This isn’t exactly news. Prior to the 1967 Six-Day War, when Egypt demanded that UN peacekeepers leave Sinai so Egyptian troops could mass on Israel’s border unimpeded, the UN tamely complied. UN peacekeepers stationed in south Lebanon since 1978 have never lifted a finger to stop Hezbollah’s cross-border attacks. Nor is this problem unique to Israel. As the Washington Post reported in January, the UN has sent record numbers of peacekeepers to Africa in recent years, and African regional groups have contributed additional thousands, yet these troops “have failed to prevent fresh spasms of violence.” Indeed, they are frequently ordered explicitly not to fight unless they themselves are attacked–rendering them useless at protecting the people they’re ostensibly there to protect.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Samy Ofer Fortified Hospital - An underground fortress of healing

...While the storm may indeed be once more gathering around the continuing miracle that Eretz Israel is for all mankind, one thing is for sure: in time the skies will clear overhead, Israelis will emerge battlescarred, but whole, and within the Samy Ofer Fortified Hospital they will have fully met their nation’s invitation to storied heroisms that others will long remember.

Qanta Ahmed..
Times of Israel..
27 June '14..

“A hospital is only a building until you hear the slate hooves of dreams galloping upon its roof. You listen then and know that here is no mere pile of stone and precisely cut timber but an inner space full of pain and relief. Such a place invites mankind to heroism.”

Richard Selzer, Taking the World in for Repairs, 1987

I am again in Haifa, here to explore Israel’s extraordinary Sammy Ofer Fortified Emergency Hospital at Rambam Medical Center- the world’s largest subterranean hospital. I had heard about it during my first visit to the Rambam Medical Center as part of my tour of The Technion’s medical campus last spring, but at the time it was still under construction and it would be almost a full year before I would get to visit it.

Rambam Medical Center is the referring center for twelve district hospitals, as well as the United Nations Forces stationed in the region, the Israeli Defense Forces of the Northern Front and the United States’ Sixth Fleet. It provides what’s known as quaternary level care — advanced levels of highly specialized medicine not widely available. Partly because of location and largely because of expertise, Rambam Medical Center is the largest and most experienced trauma receiving hospital in the whole of Israel. In a battleworn country intimately familiar with trauma, mastery in trauma is a hard-won and hotly contested accolade indeed. Rambam Medical Center’s abilities are measured the way medicine is always judged, by the stark mathematics of survivorship. More victims of trauma survive when treated here than anywhere else in the nation.

Last May, at Rambam Medical Center, I had entered the emergency room through triple sets of steel doors, which were used to seal off the Emergency Room from conventional warfare. This was the emergency room that had functioned full force despite the onslaught of Hezbollah missiles raining onto Haifa during the 2006 Israel Lebanon War.

“We could feel the missiles landing in the Mediterranean…our Emergency room would shake with their impact, but inside we kept treating the patients,” one person explained. I could almost imagine the impact against the hive encompassing acute trauma.

During the Israel Lebanon War, Haifa was under active fire for 34 days. More than sixty rockets struck within a half-mile radius of the hospital alone. The hospital received 792 casualties in that month of war, of whom 254 were soldiers. But life in Haifa, like the rest of Israel. doesn’t stop because of war. Rambam Medical Center still delivered 247 babies, handled 1587 surgeries, received 2000 admissions, dealt with 7000 emergency room visits and conducted 28000 outpatient appointments while managing the fallout of full on battle.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Israel, A believing nation

...Faith is a healthy state of mind on the personal and national levels. Belief in the Rock of Israel is to our credit and is an overwhelming benefit. It is not a danger. May G-d and the powers He invests in the Jewish People bring the kidnapped boys home safe and sound, soon.

David M. Weinberg..
A Citadel Defending Zion..
27 June '14..

As I walked into work yesterday after a two week study trip abroad, a colleague of mine grabbed me to talk about the kidnapped boys: Naftali, Eyal and Gilad. She knew that I live in Nof Ayalon, Naftali Fraenkel’s home neighborhood. Naftali’s parents are my friends.

“The mothers of those three boys are amazing,” she said. “Especially Rachel Fraenkel, who spoke so eloquently and inspiringly at the UN in Geneva this week. It must be easier for them as religious women to handle the situation, since they have faith to rely upon. Oy, sometimes I wish that I had such faith too. I am secular.”

I responded to her philosophically. A world without faith is a harsh and cold world, I said; a world without sustainable hope. Religious people indeed believe that the ultimate reality at the heart of the universe is not blind to our existence, deaf to our prayers, and indifferent to our fate. Faith in G-d’s providence is a central tenet of the Jewish religion; indeed, of all the world’s major religions.

I don’t know that such faith makes the situation any “easier” for the families of the kidnapped boys, I told her, but it certainly provides a framework within which to channel one’s energies, desires, needs and aspirations.

Believers are not blind, and understand that G-d “isn’t our employee” – as Rachel Fraenkel poignantly said this week. But they nevertheless believe that prayer and Torah study, good deeds, and initiatives that promote national unity indeed can have a constructive impact in the Heavens.

“Yeah, but I don’t pray,” my colleague responded. “Alas, I just don’t have that faith.”

I countered: “I bet you have more faith than you credit yourself for. After all, we are a nation of believers. Just about everybody in this country feels part of a grand meta-historic journey. A journey that is connected to spiritual powers and a moral heritage invested in the Jewish People that has sustained us for thousands of years and returned us to the Land of Israel.”

“Of course, not everybody in the country is ‘religious’ in terms of the traditional practice of Judaism. Far from it. But I’m sure that you feel, like me, that there is some guiding hand behind the modern renaissance of Jewish life and peoplehood.”

“Isn’t that why we all participate in the Passover seder; because it encapsulates our faith in Jewish history and destiny? Isn’t that what the State of Israel’s founders meant when they wrote in the Declaration of Independence, ‘With faith in the Rock of Israel…’?”

“Yes, I accept what you’re saying,” admitted my secular colleague. “There is something powerfully evocative and meaningful in Jewish history, and I don’t think that we live here only by chance or on a whim. In any case, I admire the religious families of the kidnapped boys for their faith and noble posture in these terrible days. And perhaps I too will light a candle for their release this Shabbat.”

NGOs, Terrorists and Some Thoughts About the Weak Link

...Anyone who thinks that the prime minister, as powerful as he may be, can withstand such a massive empire built over the course of so many years, is sadly mistaken. A prime minister is the sum average of all the different vectors of the state. We can stop this campaign against Israel's security and our righteous path only if we, as a society, support our government, refuse to yield and erect an iron wall of morality and values to ward off this group before they tear us apart.

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

1. The man destined to become the biggest hero of ancient Greece was just a newborn when his mother, Thetis, baptized him in the River Styx. The water covered the baby's body and made him invulnerable -- except for his heel, by which his mother held him. Indeed, Achilles became a great hero, defeating the legendary Troy. But just before Troy was vanquished, Paris fired a poisoned arrow into Achilles' vulnerable heel, killing him. Since then, the term Achilles' heel has come to mean a point of weakness in any body, whatever it may be.

The Israel Defense Forces are big and strong. That is a well-known fact. But terrorism cannot be combated with conventional army warfare. Terrorism aims to sow fear and make people afraid of everyday tasks. The abduction of three boys while they make their way home from school is not "battle," as serious an incident as it may be. It is a strategic attack that has put an entire country on edge. It was the abduction of only two Israelis that sparked the Second Lebanon War.

It seems that as the years went by, the terror organizations managed to hone in on Israel's Achilles' heel: abductions. More than bombings. A bombing happens, then it is over. An abduction is an ongoing attack. Using psychological warfare and with the help of radical groups and useful idiots they ensure that the wound continues to bleed until the final objective is achieved: surrender and release of murderers. The same murderers who will mastermind the next attack, and, of course, the next abduction.

A successful abduction is the final link in a well-known chain. But the preceding links are not automatically associated with efforts to defeat Israel. Here's how this phenomenon may work:

2. The checkpoints set up in Judea and Samaria are there to catch wanted terrorists, to force terror operatives to take alternate routes and thus limit their freedom to travel from one place to another or to move weapons from one place to another. In other words, checkpoints are there to save Israeli lives. Contrary to the false "apartheid" propaganda, it is the Jews who are forbidden from traveling on certain roads, while the Palestinians are free to use any road they please. In certain places there are checkpoints, but most of them have been removed due to massive pressure applied by Machsom Watch and other leftist groups. The authorities called it a "calculated risk." One of the checkpoints that was removed used to be located on an inner Gush Etzion road linking the Jewish communities. It was from this road that the three boys were kidnapped two weeks ago.

The fewer the checkpoints, the greater the risks. When terrorists attack, a curfew is imposed on a specific area. Immediately the leftist groups cry out against what they describe as collective punishment of innocent people. It won't help to argue that the curfew (or blockade) is actually meant to apprehend the culprits and protect the population from unnecessary harm. After the horrific murder of the Fogel family in Itamar in March, 2011, Raya Yaron of Machsom Watch was filmed helping a woman in the village of Awarta in the northern West Bank. She was there with other left-wing activists to support the residents of the village as they faced IDF operations. The only thing was that the Palestinian woman turned out to be the mother of Hakim Awad, one of the Fogel family murderers.

Breaking the Silence, the Blue and White Version by Shraga Blum

...There are today about 200 countries in the world. Presumably there are as many regular militaries, not to mention thousands of militias and armed groups which sow death and terror without attracting any cameras. And curiously, the army of Israel is probably the only one in the world to enjoy the privilege of being monitored by an organization whose sole goal is to make the world believe that Israeli soldiers are bullies who violate human rights cheerfully and methodically.

Shraga Blum..
i24 News..
26 June '14..

Three years ago, Motti F., the second-in-command of an Israeli Defense Forces infantry division, was on patrol in the Palestinian village of Hawara when his car was blocked by a traffic jam. He ordered his driver to bypass the other vehicles and saw an agitated crowd, crying and screaming. Approaching, the Israeli officer saw a baby of some five or six months lying on the road unconscious. He ordered the onlookers to move and began reviving the child, who regained consciousness a few minutes later. "The Palestinians hugged and kissed me, it was very emotional," he recalls.

Do you get to see such images on your screen? Do you ever see Israeli soldiers sharing a sandwich with Palestinian children? Helping an old man cross the street? Trying to revive a wounded terrorist they shot? These are not isolated cases, but the standard applied by the IDF 99 percent of the time. What you do get to see or hear is the so-called "evidence" provided by a small group of soldiers committed to highly ideological goals, who created an organization called "Breaking the Silence." They travel around the world to denounce actual or alleged violations of human rights committed by Israeli soldiers. This blight on the image of the IDF is always welcome in the climate of political correctness that prevails in the globalized world.

There are today about 200 countries in the world. Presumably there are as many regular militaries, not to mention thousands of militias and armed groups which sow death and terror without attracting any cameras. And curiously, the army of Israel is probably the only one in the world to enjoy the privilege of being monitored by an organization whose sole goal is to make the world believe that Israeli soldiers are bullies who violate human rights cheerfully and methodically.

"Breaking the Silence" has no sister organization around the world; and if such a thing does exist, its activity is restricted to the country in question, which is why we have never heard of it. Proof that the real purpose of this organization is to besmirch Israel abroad is to be found in the fact that it publishes materials in different languages.

The names of the victims by Caroline Glick

...Schalit’s media flacks were right. He is a son of all of Israel. And so are Naftali, Gil-Ad and Eyal who are now captive because of the deal we signed for Gilad. As we pray for their speedy and safe return home, we must take action remove the targets from the backs of every citizen of Israel. Those targets were placed there by our treacherous media, and by successive governments who preferred the cheap perfume scent of appeasement over the blood, sweat and tears required to secure our freedom and security.

Caroline Glick..
26 June '14..

Three families in Israel are in agony. On June 12, when their sons Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrah and Gil-Ad Shaer were kidnapped by Islamic savages, the Fraenkels, Yifrahs and Shaers entered a new world where every breath they take is filled with devastating guilt – that they breathe free while their sons suffer unknown miseries.

Every moment that passes is filled with crushed hope that they will get word that their sons are free, and then the word doesn’t come. And it doesn’t come the next moment, or the next.

And so they will live, in agony, until this ordeal has ended.

Our hearts go out to these families. Our prayers are continuously directed towards them. And in a profound sense that is uniquely Israeli, the people of Israel share their pain. With this pain comes a sincere and overpowering desire to do something to bring the captive teenagers home.

What can be done?

There are only two ways for Israel to free hostages.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Israeli Media, the Met and the Murder of Leon Klinghoffer

...Attempts to rewrite history are ubiquitous, but here arguably the most important opera house in the world is participating in this anti-Semitic distortion...At the end of the day, though, perhaps we should thank the Met. Its actions serve as another warning bell to all as to what we should be doing to defend our country and our people.

Eli Pollak/Yisrael Medad..
Media Comment/JPost..
25 June '14..

On May 30, 2014, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting (CAMERA), informed us of a rather disturbing story – disturbing, that is, for anyone who worries about the resurrection of blatant anti-Semitism.

It was based on an open letter published on the JNS website written by Myron Kaplan, a CAMERA senior research analyst.

The Achille Lauro, a Greek cruise ship, was hijacked on October 7, 1985, by terrorists, members of the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), affiliated with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Reem al-Nimer, widow of PLF leader Muhammed Zaidan, testified in 2013 that the hijacking was planned 11 months in advance. The goal was to hijack the ship, run it to Ashdod port and then kill Israelis.

Surprised by a crew member, the terrorists were forced to alter their plans. They then set out for Syria, demanding the release of 50 Arab terrorists held in Israeli prisons in exchange for the hostages held on the Achille Lauro. The Syrians did not allow them to take refuge in the Syrian harbor in Tartus. The hijackers then murdered an American citizen: wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer.

He was shot twice and the ship’s crew were forced to throw the body and the wheelchair overboard.

The PLO’s Faruq Qadummi denied responsibility and claimed that Klinghoffer’s widow, Marilyn, killed her husband in order to collect life insurance payments. It took over 10 years until Muhammad Zaidan, who eventually died in 2003 in American custody, finally admitted responsibility and the PLO reached a financial settlement with the family.

But this is only the background to our “story.”

In 1991, the librettist Alice Goodman, together with musician John Adams, created an opera titled The Death of Klinghoffer. It was backed by theater director Peter Sellars and choreographer Mark Morris. One of its five commissioners was the Brooklyn Academy of Music. John Rockwell, in a special report to The New York Times on March 21, 1991, gave it a rather positive review, predicting that the opera might reach greatness.

Indeed, the opera has finally reached the world scene. The New York Metropolitan Opera decided to present it to the public, not only as an opera at the Met but also to simulcast it in high definition to over 2,000 locations in 66 countries, all over the world.

So, what is so disturbing? The title of the Opera already says it all – the “death” of Klinghoffer. He did not “die,” he was murdered in cold blood. Adams’ libretto portrays the terrorists in a positive light, as idealistic freedom fighters. The opera includes blatant anti-Semitic statements as detailed by the Zionist Organization of America on its website.

It is an inglorious attempt to rewrite history, portraying the “bad guys” as the “good guys.”

First and above all, we must secure our families and our communities

...If we could reach the audiences whom Parents Circle addresses, we would tell people about our daughter Malki and her beautiful life. We would tell them that Malki did not die because of the “occupation” or a disagreement on narratives. She was murdered for being Jewish by unrepentant Palestinian terrorists who declare proudly that they meant it and are glad they did it.

Arnold Roth..
Times of Israel..
26 June '14..

Robi Damelin of Parents Circle, a terror victim organization, cries out for sanity and the curbing of what she refers to as “the repeated call for vengeance” (“Break the cycle, we beg of you”, Times of Israel, June 24, 2014). She asks for more reconciliation, more dignity, more respect, less hatred and greater understanding of what prisoners mean to the Palestinians. She calls for human rights, a life of dignity and safety for all, and freedom from violence.

Her passion is tangible as she begs for support of an organization bringing together the families of terror victims from among Palestinians and Israelis who “have chosen a path to reconciliation”.

Can you be a caring person and still oppose what Parents Circle represents?

Yes, and a year ago we expressed our sense of the divergence between their rhetoric and reality in “Behind the facade at Parents Circle, messages that are deeply disturbing to bereaved families”.

We noted than, and repeat now, that Damelin’s call appears to be addressed to Israelis alone. Her “cycle” is a singularly Israeli responsibility – the Palestinian Arab and Israeli Jewish members of Parents Circle are united in endorsing Palestinian victimhood and telling Israelis that the conflict is our fault. The Palestinians were left out when Robi Damelin wrote: “Israel is fast becoming the pariah of the world… we are losing our moral fiber”. In her worldview, the moral burden is entirely on one side.

No Israeli needs to be reminded of where our collective concerns are right now: three boys, snatched by unknown people pursuing a malevolent strategy.

For decades, Palestinians have turned hostage-takers and the murderers of Israeli civilians into heroes and legends. The demand of the Palestinian political leadership, echoed in Robi Damelin’s cry, is that the terrorists now in prison ought to be walking free. She and they improbably suggest this is how peace is made.

More Like "From the River, to the Sea"

...This is not what those who have made a career out of blaming Israel for every problem in the Middle East, if not the world, want to hear. But if they want to know what’s really going on, they should listen to the Palestinians. If they do, they will understand that there is nothing Israel can do to end this conflict so long as Palestinians are committed to their destruction.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
26 June '14..

For more than 20 years since the Oslo process began, those urging Israel to make more and more concessions to the Palestinians have based their views on the belief that both peoples supported a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict. But a new poll of Palestinian public opinion shows that an overwhelming majority opposes any goal other than eliminating the State of Israel.

The poll, conducted by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, showed some interesting and, in part, contradictory results. Only 27.3 percent of Palestinians support a two-state solution. By contrast, more than two-thirds see the restoration of all of historic Palestine to Arab control as the only legitimate national goal for their people. Interestingly, of those who back the elimination of Israel, only one out of seven and 10.1 percent overall think it ought to be replaced by a single democratic state in which Jews and Arabs would have equal rights. What the other 60.3 percent who say that “reclaiming” all land from the river to the sea for the Arabs would do with the six million Jews who live there is left unclear.

Just as interesting is the answer to the question as to what Palestinians should do if a two-state solution were somehow to be achieved by their leadership. Only 31.6 percent say that should mean the end of the conflict while 64 percent believe that even after that the struggle against Israel “should continue until all of historic Palestine is liberated.” Asked the same question in a slightly different way, 65.2 percent of the Palestinians think that if their leadership were to negotiate a two-state deal, “that would be part of a ‘program of stages’ to liberate all of historic Palestine later.”

However, just because the Palestinians don’t want to make peace with Israel or live beside it in a separate, independent state doesn’t mean that most of them want to fight it, at least not right now. More than 60 percent think that Hamas should maintain a cease-fire with Israel in the West Bank and Gaza. Although Gaza is home to the Islamist terror movement, not surprisingly more Gazans (70 percent) support the cease-fire than West Bankers (55 percent).

As to whether Hamas should abide by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’s statement that it should recognize Israel and abide by past peace agreements (something that his own Fatah hasn’t done), opinion is divided. Overall, a bare majority—50.7 percent—agrees with that position. But there is a clear split between the West Bank and Gaza. Gazans, who clearly want an end to the violence, support the demand by a margin of 57.3 to 37.6 percent. But on the West Bank, where Abbas’s supposedly more moderate Fatah Party dominates, Palestinians are split down the middle with 46.8 percent opposing forcing Hamas to stand down while 45.7 percent support the idea.

Other questions show that while Palestinians are leery of another terrorist war of attrition against Israel, they want “popular resistance” against the Jewish state to continue. While that phrase might be interpreted as support for non-violent means of protest, in the Palestinian lexicon it appears to represent something different. In this context, popular resistance means mass protests conducted by violent means with rock throwing and firebombs rather than peaceful sit-ins or demonstrations.

Israeli response to kidnapping: Baal Habayit Lo Hishtagea but...

...Not having the tremendous responsibility of the decision makers it is easy to suggest a "shot from the hip" idea. But one thing is clear: baal habayit lo hishtagea. And I can't help but wonder if that sends the wrong message to our enemies.

Dr. Aaron Lerner..
IMRA Weekly Commentary..
25 June '14..

I don't envy Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the others on his team as they struggle to address the kidnapping of three Israeli boys.

It's a tremendous responsibility.

Viewing the situation from the outside and without the benefit of the information they have, it appears that "baal habayit lo hishtagea" (the person in charge hasn't gone crazy) in reaction to the kidnapping.

Because if baal habayit hishtagea (the person in charge has gone crazy) there would be special forces teams grabbing people in Gaza in the middle of the night for questioning. Special forces teams with instructions that in the event of resistance they should opt to use whatever force necessary to insure that Israeli casualties are kept to an absolute minimum.

If baal habayit hishtagea there would be Israeli reports each morning of who was "detained" for questioning from Gaza and Palestinians reports of who died resisting detention.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

(+Video) In the den of wolves and hyenas

...One after the other, the representatives of the enlightened states, known for their impassioned fight for freedom of man and human rights, stood up to attack the three Israeli women. The representatives of Syria, Iran, Qatar, Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, Russia, China, Cuba, and of course Palestine, stood up to accuse Israel of every possible – and impossible – crime against the rights of the Arabs in general and the Palestinian people in particular.

Noah Klieger..
Israel Opinion/Ynet..
25 June '14..

The Geneva-based United Nations committee is called for some reason the Human Rights Council, although a more suitable name would be "the anti-Israel incitement council."

Throughout the decades this body has been active, it has failed to adopt a single resolution in favor of Israel, but has passed dozens – if not hundreds – of resolutions against the Jewish state.

The three mothers of the kidnapped Israeli teens entered this den of wolves and hyenas on Tuesday in a desperate attempt to explain to the world that Palestinian terrorists had not kidnapped soldiers or fighters, but three young students – a criminal act which blatantly contradicts every rule of human rights and humanity.

"Human rights"? Don't make the members of this committee laugh. Not only did they not support the miserable mothers, but most of them even attacked them with lies in the most blatant manner.


One after the other, the representatives of the enlightened states, known for their impassioned fight for freedom of man and human rights, stood up to attack the three Israeli women. The representatives of Syria, Iran, Qatar, Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, Russia, China, Cuba, and of course Palestine, stood up to accuse Israel of every possible – and impossible – crime against the rights of the Arabs in general and the Palestinian people in particular.

Once Again in Germany, Nothing New Under the Sun

...Reading about incidents like the violent attack in Hamburg it is difficult not to wonder whether many Germans still have an unhealthy relationship with Jewish matters. Europeans in general, and Germans in particular, have been all too quick to rush to condemn the Jewish state. Perhaps there really is no better way for distracting from past guilt than framing your victims for a similar crime.

Former left-wing conscience of
Germany, with Nazi past.
Tom Wilson..
Commentary Magazine..
24 June '14..

Amidst the stream of hate directed against Israel it is easy to become desensitized to the daily incidents of bigotry, particularly the many that emanate from Europe. But when an elderly Jewish man and his daughter are attacked and hospitalized while attending a pro-Israel vigil in Hamburg one can’t help but feel a shiver. The rally in question was being held in solidarity with the three Israeli teenagers that have been kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists. But apparently even that was too much for some to tolerate and before long an aggressive counter-demonstration had gathered. What was it that they were seeking to counter exactly–the rescue of the boys?

One of the organizers of the vigil—who I will avoid naming here as he has previously had to receive police protection—recounted how the demonstrators knocked the 83-year-old man to the ground before then beginning to kick his daughter who was attempting to protect her father. A press release from the Hamburg for Israel network tells how the victim of the assault had to receive surgery for a head wound and is still recovering in Hospital. Reportedly the attackers came from the somewhat appropriately named anti-globalization group ATTAC (Association for the Taxation of financial Transactions and Aid to Citizens), but what does any of that have to do with three Jewish boys kidnapped by Hamas?

Perhaps some of those on the demonstration would say that they oppose the IDF’s “heavy handed” efforts to rescue the boys, for some days now such agenda-driven complaints have been coming from the international NGO scene (the German ones among them included). Yet when Syria and Iraq are engulfed in one of the most brutal civil wars imaginable, when Egypt is locking away journalists and executing opponents of the military government en masse, it is simply grotesque that Europeans would point an accusatory finger at Israel, the one place where a stable liberal democracy is being held together, no thanks to the NGOs that seek to undermine it relentlessly.

In the case of Germany it seems memories must fade fast—or perhaps not. Given the prevalence of anti-Israel feeling in Germany one can’t help but wonder if this is part of some perverse attempt to turn the tables back on the Jews. After all in a survey from 2011 47 percent of Germans said that Israel is carrying out a war of extermination against the Palestinians. Can they actually believe this, or is it just convenient for some Germans to believe such things?

(+Video) Just another violent night from Gaza

At least one 3 year old will no longer have the good fortune to grow-up nourished on a diet of Hamas TV entertaining children with rocket sounds. But the rest of Gazan children?

25 June '14..

From This Ongoing War:

It's been a violent night. Ynet says four rockets were fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip. Two (at least) were intercepted en route by the IDF's Iron Dome missile defense system. Another rocket "misfired" and fell short as so many do, exploding on the Arab side and in this case killing a Palestinian baby and injuring four members of her family, at least one of whom is critically hurt. This is confirmed by a Hamas regime official. (continue)

From Palestinian Media Watch:

Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas) June 20, 2014

At least one 3 year old will no longer have the good fortune to grow-up nourished on a diet of Hamas TV entertaining children with rocket sounds. But the rest of Gazan children?

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Maybe It's Enough Already?

...The terrorists understand how Israelis feel about their children — and please don’t tell me that Palestinians feel the same way, because they place their kids in harm’s way for the sake of the struggle on a regular basis — and they know that Israelis will make enormous sacrifices to protect them. So naturally they target them, they kidnap them, they use them for leverage. And then they do their best to twist the knife. When you apply extreme pressure to a person or a group, they can react in different ways.

Vic Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
24 June '14..

Just a few moments ago, a barrage of rockets fired from Gaza landed in southern Israel, as far north as Ashkelon. This has been a regular phenomenon lately, like the weather. Most often the rockets strike uninhabited areas or are intercepted by the Iron Dome system. There is a warning system and there are shelters, so it is a rare occasion that someone is hurt or killed. But the intent is there.

Just the other day, a 14-year old Israeli boy went to work with his father, who was driving a water truck near the Syrian border. He was murdered when an antitank missile fired from the Syrian side struck the truck.

If you live in Israel, you know all this. Here in the US, you most likely won’t hear about it on the news; and if it appears in the newspaper, it will be a small item on an inside page. If it is in the New York Times it will have a headline like this:

Israel Strikes Syria After Youth Is Killed

as if the story is about Israel’s reaction rather than the cold-blooded murder of a child.

But the terrorist kidnapping of three boys on their way home from school has shaken Israelis, who by now have seen almost everything. Maybe you’ve seen some of the pictures of Palestinian children making the “three finger salute” or other examples of Palestinian glee at the success of their ‘operation’, like this:

Candy wrapper with faces of kidnapped boys produced by Palestinians (courtesy Tom Gross Media)

The Presbyterian Church (USA) and others would like you to think that Zionism is the cause of all of this: that is, if the Jewish people would only give up their strange idea that they, too, are allowed to live in peace in their state, then all the violence would disappear. Of course, what would disappear would be the Jewish people. We know that, and those of them who aren’t totally ignorant know it too.

And we know that the cause of it all is not Zionism, but the rejection of it: the fact that Arabs and Muslims can’t abide an enclave of Jewish sovereignty in ‘their’ region.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Kerry’s Peace Negotiations, Jew-Hatred and the Lethality of the Hamas-Fatah Unity Pact

...If Secretary Kerry wonders why the negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis suddenly went “poof,” as he put it, it might be useful for him to consider whether the problem lies with the building of some apartments for Jews in the capital of the Jewish state or with a genocidal ideology which is already intent on inculcating a new generation of shahids dedicated to slaughtering the residents of those new apartments simply because they are, in fact, Jews.

Richard Cravatts..
Times of Israel..
24 June '14..

The disheartening, though not entirely surprising, breakdown of talks between Israel and the Palestinians marked yet another failure by the two sides to come closer to an agreement that would usher the way for a Palestinian state. Yet, no sooner had the talks collapsed than blame was being assigned by both Secretary of State John Kerry and chief U.S. negotiator Martin Indyk—and naturally it was Israel that bore the brunt of their criticism. Echoing the sentiments of Palestinian leadership itself, Kerry and Indyk pointed to the dreaded settlements as the principal sticking point of the talks, with Indyk suggesting that Israel’s approval of new housing units in the Gilo neighborhood Jerusalem would, as he put it, “drive Israel into an irreversible binational reality.”

Secretary Kerry had the same complaint, insisting that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s refusal to release the final third of Palestinian prisoners, coupled with the provocative new building plans, were the Israeli actions that blew up the nine months of negotiations.

On one development even the State Department was less than enthusiastic: the reconciliation agreement reached by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, announced at the end of April, which State’s spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, deemed “disappointing” and the timing “troubling.” Even diplomats have to face certain truths, and Ms. Psaki had to begrudgingly admit that, in her words uttered with breathtaking understatement, “It’s hard to see how Israel can be expected to negotiate with a government that does not believe in its right to exist.”

Diplomacy involving Israel and the Palestinians invariably reaches this point—the thorny and slippery intersection of the politically possible and the diplomatically desired, with the inevitable result being that it is Israel made to be seen as the guilty party in having talks collapse, regardless of the actual events leading up to such a failure. Without even the barest amount of self awareness of how the inability to hold the Palestinians responsible for any major acts of concessions for strategic negotiation, U.S. diplomacy is continually based on the assumption that it is Israel—and only Israel—that is going to make negotiation move forward, and that it is Israel, and only Israel, that has the will and ability to make changes in policy and any concessions necessary to satisfy the Palestinian’s maximalist demands.

As a result, and as the Palestinians have cleverly figured out, Israel is made to release terrorist prisoners, agreed to land swaps, or to deliver any number of other painful concessions, just to further engage the Palestinians and keep them at the bargaining table.

While it may be comforting and diplomatically expedient for Secretary Kerry to insist that it is Israel’s fault when things go awry, or that Israel alone has the ability to do things and make concessions for peace, the idea that it is the settlements, or the number of murderers released to the Palestinians, or any other of the various issues of which Israel is always accused that is actually causing the logjam in the peace talks is simply naive and overlooks some far more lethal, pernicious, and ideologically-driven, far more intractable issues underlying negotiations between the Jewish state and its Palestinian foes.

What any honest observer of the history of conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors knows well, the Palestinians have been strident and inflexible in their maximalist demands, not to mention their intractability on such non-starters as the so-called “right of return,” the division of Jerusalem, and the proclaimed requirement that the Palestinian state will be judenrein, that, as Mahmoud Abbas himself has repeated, not one Jew will be allowed to live in the new Palestinian state.

But the unity pact between Fatah and Hamas brings to the surface a far more pernicious aspect, something that neither Prime Minister Netanyahu, Secretary Kerry, nor any other diplomat is likely to finesse in negotiations in Jerusalem, Ramallah, or Washington. While the State Department is quick to condemn the building of new apartments in Gilo, or hector the Israelis for not releasing Arab murderers in exchange for the possibility of continued talks, its seems to have been wilfully blind in not recognizing that the foundational document by which Hamas was established—the 1988 Hamas Charter—is animated with genocidal Jew-hatred, replete with a global strategy to extirpate Israel and murderous tactics based on millennial dreams of apocalyptic jihad.

Puts Kidnapping Victims on Par with 'Martyrdom' of Violent Palestinians. Guess Who?

...For some reason, she is singularly uninterested in getting and transmitting a rounded picture of these incidents. What matters to her is to put the death of Palestinians on the same scale as the abduction of three Israeli teens -- drawing a highly artificial and misleading equivalence between innocence and guilt.

Leo Rennert..
American Thinker..
24 June '14..

The New York Times runs a front-page article in its June 23 edition about the aftermath of the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers. The article is highly critical of Israel’s all-out search to find them. When Palestinians resort to stone-throwing and other violent tactics in clashes with Israeli military forces on the lookout for the abducted Israelis, and some get killed by Israeli return fire, the Times is quick to depict them as also meriting a badge of innocence... (“Fate of 3 Israelis Raises Tensions On Many Fronts” by Jodi Rudoren)

The lead paragraph of Jerusalem bureau chief Rudoren’s report is a perfect example of this kind of misplaced equivalence. Here is the paragraph in its entirety:

“Three Israeli teenagers kidnapped from the West Bank have been missing for more than 10 days now, their names – Naftali, Gilad, Eyal – becoming staples of synagogue prayers and café chatter across this tiny country. Four Palestinians, one of them 15, have been killed by Israeli troops, their photos hoisted at mass funerals as martyrs in the liberation struggle.”

Palestinians using lethal tactics rate the same moral standing as peaceful Yeshiva students at the Times.

To accomplish this feat, Rudoren does her best to camouflage the extent of provocative violence in Palestinian clashes with Israeli security forces. While quick to quote Palestinian officials, Rudoren never bothers to check with the Israeli military about life-threatening attacks on IDF troops that may have led to the “martyrdom” of the four Palestinians.

Is it wise to ignore voices of hatred and aggression from our neighbors?

...The only acceptable criticism of this way of looking at things is fierce denunciation of Maqboul in the Arabic-language media. Again, we're not holding our breath.

Mr. Maqboul [Image Source]
Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
23 June '14..

Here's a quote from an item in the Jerusalem Post today:

Amin Maqboul, member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, said that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians support the abductions, if the goal is to exchange them for Palestinians held in Israeli prisons...

Source: "Senior Fatah official: Most Palestinians support kidnapping of three teens" | The Jerusalem Post

He's either right or not.

If he's right, are we Israelis who literally rub shoulders with Palestinian Arabs every day entitled (obliged?) to take this into account in our dealings with them? Because you don't have to delve too deeply into the consequences to understand what this means for us and our families' welfare.

If he's wrong, this is a good time to repeat our call for peace-seeking voices in the Arabic-speaking world to make themselves heard.

Maqboul and others of his stripe are either the legitimate voices of the Palestinian Arabs - and we can (must) decide how to react based on their claims and threats. Or they are hatred-driven, dangerous terrorists and/or advocates of terror who lay illegitimate claim to being the voices of their people.


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Long past time to shut the revolving door for terrorist murderers

...Ziad Awad was originally imprisoned for murdering Palestinians that he suspected of “collaborating” with Israel. Had he received the death penalty for those crimes, Baruch Mizrachi would be alive today. Unfortunately, this is likely only part of the ultimate price of the Shalit deal.

Vic Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
23 June '14..

News item:

Israel Police have arrested Ziad Awad, one of the 1,027 terrorists released two-and-a-half years ago in exchange for IDF hostage Gilad Shalit, on suspicion that Awad was responsible for the murder of Baruch Mizrahi on Passover eve near Hebron.

Mizrahi, a senior police officer, was on his way to a holiday Seder meal when he was ambushed and murdered, reportedly by Awad, a resident of Idna, an Arab village near Hebron.

Mizrahi’s wife was also wounded in the attack.

The IDF blog reports that Awad, a member of Hamas, was indicted today and will stand trial for the murder.

I wrote about Mizrachi’s murder here:

It still isn’t clear whether Baruch Mizrachi, a man who had devoted his life to protecting the Jewish people in their land, was targeted because of his job, or simply murdered because he was a Jew. It doesn’t matter. The question is, when is enough enough? When does the State of Israel decide that the Palestinian Arabs are a hostile enemy and start treating them as such (my guess is that the people of Israel already understand this)?

It’s not surprising that some of those released as ransom for Shalit continued on the path of murder. They were treated like heroes on their return:

Ziad Awad receives a hero’s welcome after his release in the
Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in 2011 (courtesy Jewish Press)

Last week, I argued that the tactic of kidnapping Israelis and holding them as bargaining chips to force the release of prisoners has removed all of the deterrent effect of imprisonment as a penalty for terrorism. Further, I said, it encourages terrorists to kidnap Israelis, especially children.

An Intifada with a Twist?

...If Hamas can cause the downfall of Abbas in the West Bank before elections can be held, they can avoid the trouble of pretending to be on the outside for those elections and can simply rule directly. The Obama administration officials who thought this was a good idea were pretty clearly outsmarted–but they probably thought they had more time before that became clear. Hamas seems to have other ideas.

Seth Mandel..
Commentary Magazine..
23 June '14..

During the earlier, more hopeful days of the Arab Spring it was common for people to wonder aloud if the revolutionary momentum would reach the Palestinians. One major difference between the Palestinians and Egyptians or Syrians was that the Palestinians have a degree of self-rule. Any uprising in the Palestinian territories might therefore target the Palestinian Authority or Hamas before Israel, and would likely result in less, not more Palestinian freedom because of it: Hamas would crackdown brutally in Gaza, and if the PA fell in the West Bank it would be replaced by a more authoritarian ruler (probably Hamas).

In part that was the folly of having elections in the territories that included Hamas back in 2006: if you gave the Palestinians a chance to punish the ruling party when Hamas was the only alternative, you would get Hamas in government. In the end, that’s exactly what happened. And it’s why many were warning against the United States giving its blessing to a Hamas-Fatah unity government that would soon call for elections. Mahmoud Abbas has been in office twice as long as his legal term; given the corruption of Fatah and the pent-up desire to register their discontent, the Palestinians could be expected to once again empower Hamas.

But now we’re seeing the possibility of Hamas gaining the upper hand without having to wait for an election. Both Haaretz and Khaled Abu Toameh are reporting the rumblings of a new intifada in the West Bank–only this time aimed at Abbas. As Jonathan mentioned earlier, the unrest is tied to Abbas’s criticism of the kidnapping of Israeli teenagers and the Israeli army’s West Bank operation to track them down. Here’s Toameh:

The attack on the Palestinian police station came amid growing Palestinian discontent with PA President Mahmoud Abbas over his opposition to the kidnapping of the three Israeli youths.

Palestinians representing various Palestinian factions, including Abbas’s own Fatah, have resorted to social media to denounce Abbas and his security forces as “traitors” for helping Israel in its efforts to locate the three youths.

One campaign on Facebook entitled, “I’m Palestinian and Abbas doesn’t represent me” has drawn hundreds of supporters.

Palestinian protests against Abbas and security coordination with Israel have recently become a daily occurrence in the West Bank, where Palestinian protesters are no longer afraid to express their views in public.

The Palestinian Authority has begun to feel the heat and that is why its security forces have been instructed to use an iron-fist policy not only against its critics, but also against Palestinian and Western journalists in the West Bank.

On June 20, Palestinian policemen broke up a protest in Hebron by families of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, and beat a number of journalists, including a CNN reporter who had his camera smashed.

But the Haaretz piece gets right to the point. Its subheadline, echoed in the article as well, is: “The Palestinian president will soon have to decide whether he’s in favor of Israel or his own people.”