Sunday, August 31, 2014

Past time for Israel to remove the layer of protection and legitimacy it grants to UNRWA

...Even if UNRWA itself does not attack the IDF directly, it ensures that there will always be someone to do so in the future. Under a thin veil of humanitarian activities, UNRWA acts with a clear political agenda, aimed at perpetuating the situation of Palestinian refugees and fostering the dream of their return to Israel. This is how UNRWA builds the ideological foundation for the next generation of fighters against Israel.

Dr. Einat Wilf..
Israel Hayom..
31 August '14..

It was quite ironic that during the fighting in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces was shot at from facilities of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, and had to return fire, as over the years no one defended the existence of UNRWA more than the IDF and the Israeli defense establishment. But now, with the fighting over, it is time for Israel to do what it should have done decades ago -- remove the layer of protection and legitimacy it grants to UNRWA. Israel should recognize UNRWA for what it is -- a hostile Palestinian organization that perpetuates the dream of the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel -- and treat it accordingly.

Israel's policy on UNRWA was set by the defense establishment. It was based on the premise that UNRWA was "the lesser of two evils" -- or as a Defense Ministry official put it to me, "UNRWA is crap, but Hamas is more so." This is a narrow view of the issue. Even if UNRWA itself does not attack the IDF directly, it ensures that there will always be someone to do so in the future. Under a thin veil of humanitarian activities, UNRWA acts with a clear political agenda, aimed at perpetuating the situation of Palestinian refugees and fostering the dream of their return to Israel. This is how UNRWA builds the ideological foundation for the next generation of fighters against Israel.

Officially, UNRWA provides educational, health and social services to the around 5 million Palestinian refugees living in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. In reality, UNRWA is directly responsible for the fact that 5 million people are registered as Palestinian refugees, a large number of whom continue to live in refugee camps. UNRWA works to inflate the number of registered refugees in two ways. First, the descendants of refugees from 1948, already the fifth generation, are automatically "entitled" to refugee status. And second, UNRWA thwarts any attempt to absorb refugees where they currently live or in third countries. If UNRWA operated the same way as the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, which is responsible for all other refugee groups in the world, today there would be only tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees, rather than millions.

Why the death of Daniel Tregerman was an only an afterthought at the NYTimes

...Daniel is not only a heartbreaking story but also a symbol. He is a symbol of Hamas's avowed mission to destroy Israel; of its attacks targeting civilians; of a war Israel had strained to avoid; of cease-fires pointlessly broken by Hamas; of difficult decisions the Israeli government faces in trying to protect its citizens; and of impossible decisions Israeli parents are forced to make in trying to protect their children. It is a part of the story that is no less real than the story of Gaza's suffering, and no less important for those hoping to understand the conflict. But it is not the part of story that tends to stir The New York Times or all too many other journalists.

Gilead Ini..
CAMERA Media Analyses..
26 August '14..

Daniel Tregerman's name does not appear in The New York Times. No headlines refer to the 4-year-old Israeli boy, killed last week by Palestinian mortar fire from Gaza. And the newspaper allotted just a few words, in passing, about the attack that took his life.

It is true that hundreds of civilians have died during the latest round of fighting. It is equally true that, although each death is a tragedy, a newspaper is limited by space constraints and readers' finite tolerance for repetition, and so it cannot focus intently every one of these tragedies.

But still, some symbolic cases have captured the attention of The New York Times. When four Palestinian boys were tragically killed playing at a Gaza beach on July 16, for example, the newspaper briefly mentioned the news in a larger story about Israel's impending ground invasion of the Gaza Strip but also devoted three additional articles and thousands of words to the incident. (The death of the children was also touched upon in at least two subsequent news stories, an editorial, an Op-Ed, a media feature, and a photography feature.)
The reason for the intensive coverage of this particular incident, and not so many of the other casualties of the Operation Protective Edge, is that it symbolized the story of the conflict — or at least the story as The New York Times tends to see it. As a passage from a front-page feature explained,

The four dead boys came quickly to symbolize how the Israeli aerial assaults in Gaza are inevitably killing innocents in this crowded, impoverished sliver of land along the Mediterranean Sea. They stood out because they were inarguably blameless, children who simply wanted to play on their favorite beach, near the fishing port where their large extended family keeps its boats.

The killings also crystallized the conundrum for the 1.7 million Gazans trapped between Israel's powerful military machine and the militants of Hamas and its affiliates, who fire rockets into Israel with little regard for how the response affects Gazans. Virtually imprisoned by the border controls of Israel and, increasingly, Egypt, most Gazans have nothing to do with the perennial conflict but cannot escape it.

The larger story, in other words, is that Gaza civilians suffer as a result of conflict between Israel and Hamas. Make no mistake: the severe consequences in Gaza of Hamas's decision to start a fight with a stronger adversary is certainly a fair story to tell. But it is only part of the story.

Israelis, too, suffer under "assault" from Gaza rockets. (Though this hasn't stopped the New York Times foreign desk from using that word almost exclusively to describe Israeli military action. Since July 1, there have been over 50 references to Israel's "assault" and fewer than 5 references to Hamas's relentless rocket "assault.") An Israeli child killed by Hamas is also inarguably blameless. And the death of Daniel Tergerman also crystallizes conundrums faced by Israeli citizens — perhaps the most terrible conundrums imaginable.

With a precarious cease-fire in place, do you go back home after days in self-imposed exile, as Gila and Doron Tregerman opted to do, or do you continue to keep your children away from their beds and their toys? How far do you let your children wander from you if your kibbutz is less than a mile from Gaza, a launching pad for thousands of rockets and mortars aimed at Israeli communities like yours? What do you do when the dreaded Code Red siren yet again slices through the illusion of normalcy?

What do you do when you're confronted with the aftermath?

The Real Price of Wasting Time and Energy

...It’s worth asking why this administration – and others before it – wasted so much time and energy for so long on an issue in which, as Indyk acknowledged, America has no “strategic interest.” It’s also worth asking whether, since Indyk is still advising Kerry on the Middle East, his statement means the administration has finally wised up to its mistake, or only that he himself has sobered up. But the most important question is when this realization will finally become accepted foreign-policy wisdom

Evelyn Gordon..
Commentary Magazine..
29 August '14..

Martin Indyk’s interview with Foreign Policy this week contained many interesting nuggets, but one statement in particular shocked me: “It’s very hard to make the argument that America now has a strategic interest in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Indyk said. “It’s just one of many conflicts and it’s not the most important and it’s not the most difficult.” What’s shocking about this statement isn’t that it’s false; indeed, it’s admirably clear-eyed. But it bears no relationship to the policy actually followed either by Indyk himself or the administration he served.

Until he resigned this spring, Indyk was Secretary of State John Kerry’s special envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian talks. In other words, he spent nine months devoting all his time and energy to a problem he himself says America has no “strategic interest” in solving. Moreover, he wasn’t doing so to free up his boss for more strategically important issues; Kerry also devoted more time and energy to this issue – by a large margin – than to anything else on Washington’s foreign policy agenda.

In fact, President Barack Obama and other administration officials repeatedly cited the issue as a top foreign policy priority. In his address to the UN General Assembly last September, for instance, Obama named the Arab-Israeli conflict as one of “two particular issues” American policy in the Middle East and North Africa would focus on, declaring that while it isn’t “the cause of all the region’s problems,” it has “been a major source of instability for far too long,” and resolving it could “help serve as a foundation for a broader peace.” Back in 2010, he went even further, terming Israeli-Palestinian peace “a vital national security interest of the United States.” Susan Rice, then UN ambassador and now Obama’s national security adviser, also termed Israeli-Palestinian peace “a vital U.S. interest,” while Vice President Joe Biden deemed it “fundamentally in the national security interest of the United States.” Kerry himself hyperbolically declared it the most important issue in the world, asserting that no matter what country he traveled to, it was always the first thing he was asked about.

Such statements were always ludicrous. As I wrote more than a year ago, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict wasn’t even the most important in the Middle East; that title belonged to Syria’s civil war – a fact some Westerners belatedly woke up to after ISIS emerged from Syria to gobble up large swathes of Iraq. Since then, a few other unimportant little conflicts have erupted as well, like Russia’s invasion of Crimea and now, apparently, eastern Ukraine.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Wars of the Zeitgeist Have Begun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, August 29, 2014

The war in the eyes of our leaders by Dror Eydar

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

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

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

A. The objective of the confrontation

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

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

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

B. The Egyptian initiative

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

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

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

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

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

C. Hamas and Fatah

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

The Question - Is the Gaza War Really Over?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Should Brits Be Genuinely Knocked For A Loop?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Recurring Fantasy That Abbas Can Solve Gaza or Make Peace

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Surprise? Security Council Resolution Indefinitely Postponed

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

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

Double cross at the UN? Security Council Resolution Indefinitely Postponed

Here's the timeline:

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

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

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

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

Netanyahu, Guerrilla Warfare and Public Opinion

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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When Hamas puts on a victory show

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

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

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

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

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

(Video) Surprise! Shocking Claim by BBC Journalist

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

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

Please contact the BBC and let them know what you think of her absurd statement.

Footage from IDF video at

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


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Hyperbole and the "Holocaust in Gaza"

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are some numbers to digest:

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

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

Resigning ourselves to something less

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

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

“Worse and Worser”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And so we must resign ourselves to something less.

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

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Embracing the obvious truth by Caroline Glick

The moral and ideological divide between Israel and Hamas is so self-evident that the only way to ignore it is by embracing and cultivating ignorance.

A BOY stands outside the Ashdod
synagogue yesterday, which was
hit by a rocket in a direct strike
last week 
Caroline Glick..
Our World/JPost..
26 August '14..

It isn’t hard to understand the truth about Israel and Hamas.

Four-year-old Daniel Tragerman was murdered on Friday afternoon in his home in Kibbutz Nahal Oz by Hamas terrorists.

They shot him with a mortar launched from a school in Gaza’s Zeitoun neighborhood. At the time of the launch, the school was filled with civilians who had fled to the school for shelter.

They fled to the school for shelter because they were forced to vacate their homes.

They were forced to vacate their homes because Hamas terrorists were launching mortars and rockets at Israeli civilian sites, like Daniel Tragerman’s home, from their apartment buildings.

The moral and ideological divide between Israel and Hamas is so self-evident that the only way to ignore it is by embracing and cultivating ignorance.

This week Richard Behar published an in-depth investigative report in Forbes documenting how the US media is doing just that. As Behar demonstrated, the media is collaborating with Hamas in its war against Israel.

Behar cited example after example of how the US media, led by the New York Times have systematically ignored, obfuscated and downplayed Hamas’s war crimes while swallowing whole its bogus statistics and accusations against Israel.

The greatest threat to faux reporters like the New York Times Israel bureau chief Jodi Rudoren and her colleagues are people who refuse to accept their distortions and insist that the truth be told.

The most dangerous of the truth tellers are the non- Jews who stand up for Israel.

This week, former British Labour MP Denis MacShane published an op-ed in Haaretz where he spoke to this point. MacShane argued that for Israel to win the information war being waged against it must cultivate non-Jewish defenders.

In his words, “The British media... is awash with defenders of Hamas and Palestinian resistance. Hardly any are Muslims. In contrast, the prominent journalists – Jonathan Freedland, Daniel Finkelstein, Melanie Phillips, David Aaronovich – who support Israel are, well, Jews.”

MacShane argued that because they are Jews, readers dismiss them.

They “shrug their shoulders and think privately: ‘They would say that, wouldn’t they.”

Israel has an enormous reserve of support among non-Jews. But due to the mainstream media’s commitment to dishonesty and deliberate cultivation of public ignorance and moral blindness in their coverage of Israel, for many, the price of defending Israel is becoming prohibitive.

Israel’s enemies in the West do their best to reinforce this perception.

As Expected, All the Anti-Israel News That Fits

...It’s little surprise that Hamas would attempt to produce new Pallywood productions designed to harm Israel’s reputation at a time when the group’s cynical decision to launch a war and to conduct terror operations should be undermining any foreign support for their cause. But it is shocking that professional journalists that take umbrage at even the slightest accusations of bias lobbed in their direction would decide to print a story that is nothing more than a Hamas press release.

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

Bashing the New York Times’s coverage of the Middle East is a full-time occupation for some, but today the grey lady published a story out of Gaza that had to make even its most loyal readers wince. In a summer when much of the press, and in particular the Times Jerusalem Bureau chief Jodi Rudoren, seemed to disgrace themselves by their lack of coverage of Hamas terror activities in Gaza, today’s piece marked a new low that is likely to reinforce the paper’s unfortunate reputation for anti-Israel bias.

The story concerns what the headline says was a teenager’s “ordeal as a captive of Israelis.” In it, 17-year-old Ahmed Jamal Abu Raida claims that he was captured by Israeli forces during the recent fighting in Gaza and then threatened, beaten, tortured, used as a human shield, and then forced to search for terror tunnels. But, as the article, which appears under the bylines of Times stringer Fares Akram and Rudoren, related, there are some problems with his story. Despite the detailed narrative provided by Abu Raida, he has no proof of any of it. The teenager couldn’t so much as show the Times correspondents a single bruise. Nor did his family take pictures of his terrible state when he was returned to them after his release from custody. They also say they disposed of the clothing he wore even though it might have bolstered his story or provided evidence that his story was true.

Oh, and one more thing about his family. Abu Raida is not your stereotypical poor Gazan kid. His father is, in fact, a high-ranking official in the Hamas government of Gaza.

Now it is entirely possible that a young Palestinian with close ties to Hamas who was captured in the area where terror tunnels were found had nothing to do with any terrorist activity and may have been roughly treated by Israeli soldiers. Indeed, the fact that Abu Raida was released after a relatively short time in Israeli hands indicated that the Israelis felt that he was not a combatant.

But the question here is not so much whether we believe the teenager has embellished the story of his time in Israeli hands to appear like a greater victim/hero in the eyes of his family and other Palestinians or if his allegations are a concerted attempt by his father’s colleagues to put forward another false smear of the nation they seek to destroy. The real question is why the publication that still deems itself America’s newspaper of record would choose to go to print with a story that it admits it cannot independently verify and whose source is, to put it mildly, not someone who could be considered an objective or reliable witness where Israel is concerned.

You don’t have to have to be an expert on the Middle East or an experienced journalist to understand the reason why Hamas and a pro-Palestinian NGO brought Abu Raida forward with his tale of wicked Israelis insulting Allah and threatening to let dogs tear him apart. After several weeks of Israelis pointing out that Hamas was using the population of Gaza as human shields, the terror group and its allies were desperate to come up with a counter story that would reverse the narrative and make it appear as if the Israel Defense Forces were using Palestinians in this manner.

Left wing moshavnik under Gaza fire, not a parody

...The reporter declined to ask Keidar to address the disconnect between her policy recommendation that Israel give the Palestinians what they want with her belief that Palestinian society would murder an innocent Palestinian only because they advocate peace and reconciliation with Israel.

Dr. Aaron Lerner..
25 August '14..

Not a parody: Left wing moshavnik under Gaza fire - her Palestinian peacenik friend would die if revealed her views

In a live interview broadcast this morning (Monday) on Israel Radio Reshet Bet, Roni Keidar, resident of Netiv HaAsara, a moshav that borders on the northern edge of the Gaza Strip and has been subject to intensive attacks, explained that Israel should give the Palestinians what they want.

Keidar, who is a member of Other Voice, gave as her proof that Israel should follow her policy recommendation the fact that she engages in dialogue with a woman in Gaza in English who also seeks peace. Keidar even meets this woman periodically when she accompanies a relative to Israel for monthly medical treatment.

"The two sides each have to share rather than take the position that everything is theirs." Keidar noted.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Blood Libels, Bias and the Media’s Race to the Bottom

...Why Time magazine sees its role as the sewage treatment plant for the rotting refuse of anti-Jewish conspiracy theories is another question worth asking.

Seth Mandel..
Commentary Magazine..
25 August '14..

If you are looking for a single headline that best sums up the state of American reporting on Israel, the Algemeiner has provided a good candidate: “TIME Magazine Retracts IDF Organ Theft Claim Following Criticism.” Do Jews kill gentile children to harvest their organs? It’s a question that has echoed throughout the ages, and was asked–and initially answered in the affirmative–by a major institution of American journalism in 2014. That question raises another one: Have the editors at Time magazine completely lost their minds?

The headline is great in part because it shows that Time removed the sick fabrication only “following criticism.” Was the criticism unexpected? But read past the headline, and it only gets worse for Time. Here’s the lede: “Time Magazine retracted a report on Sunday which claimed the Israeli army harvested dead Palestinians’ internal organs after a watchdog group accused the publication of propagating a ‘blood libel.’”

That’s putting it kindly. The watchdog group–HonestReporting–did not so much “accuse” Time of propagating a blood libel as point out that Time was obviously propagating a blood libel. Is there another term for Time’s medieval delusions?

What happened was the following: Time produced a video about the Israel Defense Forces. At one point in the video, the narrator says that the “IDF is not without controversy.” That’s because, according to the video, “in 2009 a Swedish report came out exposing some Israeli troops of selling organs of Palestinians who died in their custody.”

Of course, it did nothing of the sort. A Swedish report had not only not “exposed” such activity but the author of its blood libel said: “whether it’s true or not – I have no idea, I have no clue.” Time has flirted with turning Jewish stereotypes into “reporting” before–remember Karl Vick’s contention that the Jews were too rich and concerned with their money to care about peace with the Palestinians?–but never quite like this. Why Time magazine sees its role as the sewage treatment plant for the rotting refuse of anti-Jewish conspiracy theories is another question worth asking.

But also key here is the role of rumor–whether of the blood libel variety or simple unsubstantiated terrorist propaganda–in the West’s reporting on Israel’s conflict with Hamas. There is, in fact, real reporting being done. Just not by reporters.

What makes them crazy in Gaza? Israelis tending to sick and injured Gazans

...Just one more small, under-reported and soon-to-be-forgotten story from the war waged by the Islamist terrorists against their own.

Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
25 August '14..

First, the good news.

The Erez Crossing, a passenger and cargo terminal built by the government of Israel to serve the needs of the hapless Palestinian subjects of the dark Hamas regime, is still functioning. People, including those seriously injured or ill and in desperate need of the medical and other care that Israel's modern facilities can provide, are able to pass through it and get to where they want to be in Israel, even in these very difficult days of war.

The less-good news is that Erez came under rocket barrage yesterday (Sunday). Despite this, the cross-over remained open for emergency medical cases thanks to the dedication of the Israelis who operate it.

Some 50 people were scheduled to use the Erez crossing Sunday, but Kamil Abu Rokan, the Director of the Crossings Point Authority of the Defense Ministry, and General Yoav Mordehai, the Coordinator of the Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), closed the crossing to all traffic except for life-saving cases after the barrage... Two Gaza females were evacuated “20 minutes ago” (Sunday) via the crossing for life-saving surgery in Israel... Other taxi-drivers were on hand, “as always,” to transport emergency patients. [Times of Israel]



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 which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Check-it out!

Let Hamas maintain its monopoly on hysteria

...Hamas' strategy rests on rocket weapons and tunnels. They have both failed and been blocked. Hamas also plotted terrorist attacks from the sea and failed. The results it has obtained are comparatively pathetic, and its losses very heavy. Anyone who doubts that is welcome to watch the broadcasts of the hostile television networks: BBC, CNN, and the Palestinian and Hamas-run stations.

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

Who said there is no plan? From the start the plan has been to ensure long-term quiet, based on weakening Hamas. You cannot tack on goals that never existed -- toppling Hamas or renewing the diplomatic process -- and then complain that they were not met.

Israel does not need to involve itself in the question of who should control Gaza. If Hamas wants to continue ruling, it must accept Israel's demands. For now, Gaza is being pummeled and senior Hamas leaders are being killed. Hamas itself is helping demilitarize the Strip by using up its supply of bombs. Despite the nonsense being tossed about, Hamas does not have the initiative; what it has is the choice of whether to continue taking a beating or accede to Israel's demands.

The Europeans, the Americans, and some on the Left want to bring down the Hamas regime -- not out of hate for Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Mashaal, but rather out of love for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and a desire to restart negotiations. Abbas, too, wants to build himself up on the ruins of Hamas. Its desire notwithstanding, it is not a bad thing that Hamas remains weak in Gaza. It would be a living gravestone over the burial of the idea of a Palestinian state within spitting distance of the heart of Israel.

Big heroes have called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz "cowards." Unbelievable. The geniuses also said that "we wrecked the Israeli deterrence." Where did this come from? Do they have enough perspective to make an evaluation like that? Certainly not. So what is this drivel? Dubbing the Israeli leadership "cowardly" is actually a shot in the arm for Hamas.

On Thursday, asked about Israeli policy, Israel Prize laureate Professor Yehezkel Dror responded more or less that because he wasn't familiar with the intelligence, military, international and legal reports, he could not express a serious opinion that would not be considered rubbish.

Israel has fronts besides the southern one, and there, too, our enemies are waiting. Inside Israel, as well. And there is the complex international system: the U.N., Europe, and America, which is why Israel agreed to the multiple cease-fires. Israeli society, with all its different opinions, is also a factor that must be considered. Social unity and steadfastness are strategic assets.

Ms. Livni - Isn't Israel’s primary responsibility to protect its citizens against attack?

...Livni’s enterprise to be so beyond reproach that the world won’t “get tired of us” may be impossible. It’s a Sisyphean task, and not only because “the world” seems to have a natural tendency toward being fed up with the Jews no matter what they do, but also because our enemies understand the dynamic very well and constantly work to provoke us.

The Sisyphean task of the
Oslo Syndrome sufferer
Vic Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
24 August '14..

Tzipi Livni, Israel’s Justice Minister and the one who more or less carries the flag of the Left in the government, was quoted today saying something like “we need to end this soon, or the world will get tired of the violence and end it in a way that will not be good for Israel” (sorry, I don’t have the exact quote, but this is close).

Why do I mention this? Because it illustrates a certain mindset that we need to leave behind.

It places Israel in the position of supplicant toward “the world.” It suggests that we need to make “the world” like us, or more accurately, not dislike us enough to take action against us. How do we do this? By acting even more ‘morally’ than the US and Europe, by living up to the standards set by the world for Israel alone, standards that no other country comes close to meeting, but that we are expected to exceed.

Do the US and NATO kill 3 civilians per combatant in urban warfare, in wars of choice? Then even if we maintain a 1:1 ratio in a defensive war we have to try harder, or be accused of ‘disproportionate’ actions.

We are expected to provide water, electricity and humanitarian goods to an entity with which we are at war, one that initiated the war and more or less commits continuous war crimes by attacking our civilian population, firing from within its own population. Would even Canada do this?

In our negotiations with the Palestinian authority, we are expected to make greater and greater concessions “to build trust” when the PA has not softened any of its demands since its creation in 1993, and when it continues to incite its population to hate and murder Jewish Israelis.

Today we are enjoined to stop the war while Hamas still has the ability to bombard Israel with rockets at will. We are expected to take our losses but eschew victory, because war is bad.

Livni’s enterprise to be so beyond reproach that the world won’t “get tired of us” may be impossible. It’s a Sisyphean task, and not only because “the world” seems to have a natural tendency toward being fed up with the Jews no matter what they do, but also because our enemies understand the dynamic very well and constantly work to provoke us.

Why Would You Back a Group Committed to Murder?

...These actions were not related to or motivated by specific Israeli policies or settlements but a desire to fulfill Hamas’s genocidal covenant that calls for the destruction of Israel and the massacre and/or eviction of its Jewish population. Those are cold hard facts that those seeking to support “Free Gaza” on the streets and in the media should think about.

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

In the wake of the horrifying filmed murder of journalist James Foley, the international community seems to be united behind efforts, however disjointed and perhaps insufficient, to stop ISIS. Yet at the same time, many of the same voices as well as much of the Western diplomatic corps seems intent on saving another terror group in Hamas which revolves as much around murder as does that of ISIS.

It must be conceded that a lot of the protests and the diplomatic efforts aimed at propping up Hamas are generated by sympathy for the people of Gaza. The residents of the strip ruled by the Islamist group have suffered terribly as a result of the war that Hamas launched this summer and still refuses to end as they reject and violate each cease-fire deal offered them.

But the agitation to “Free Gaza” being heard on the streets of Western cities and in the media isn’t focused on freeing Gaza from Hamas but in support of the group’s demands that the international blockade of the strip. While that might make it a little easier for humanitarian assistance to reach the Palestinians (though it is often forgotten that Israel has sent convoys with such aid across the border and evacuated the wounded from Gaza every day during the conflict), everyone knows the main impact of easing the restrictions on the strip would be to help Hamas replenish its arsenal and to rebuild its command centers, bunkers and terror tunnels.

Thus, the American initiative to re-start the stalled cease-fire talks in Gaza by involving Hamas allies Turkey and Qatar can have only one possible outcome: a new deal that would allow the terror group to exact concessions from Israel and Egypt. Those pressuring Israel to cease defending its people against the incessant rocket fire on its cities from Gaza aren’t so much helping the Palestinian people as they are empowering Hamas to go on shooting and killing.

This is a key point for those expressing anger at Israel counter-attacks on Hamas should remember. Hamas’s goal isn’t to force Israel to leave the West Bank or to negotiate a peace deal offering the Palestinians an independent state. Israel has already offered the Palestinians such deals a number of times only to have the more moderate Fatah and the Palestinian Authority turned them down.

Rather, as recent events have made clear, Hamas’s only strategy now is to kill as many Jews as possible.