Israel Is Still Under Attack

On Friday, CBN News posted an article about a recent Israel Defense Force action in southern Israel.

The article reports:

The Israel Defense Forces, in tandem with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), discovered and neutralized an infiltration tunnel dug under the border with the Gaza Strip into southern Israel.

IDF Col. (res.) Atai Shelach, former commander of Yahalom, an elite combat engineering unit that destroys the attack tunnels, told journalists in a phone interview that Hamas has acquired “more ability and capabilities than in past years.”

“They’ve proven their ability [and are] using more technologies,” he said. “This is one of the main tools the terror organizations have in their hands.”

Shelach said the terrorists “could do almost anything with this technology, from kidnapping citizens and soldiers to penetrating Israel with ammunition, booby traps and so on.”

A IDF statement said it was the first tunnel discovered since Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.

The article comments on where the terrorists obtained the money to build the tunnel:

IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said the discovery points to Hamas’ cynical use of funds and material donated to refurbish homes damaged in the IDF’s military response to Hamas rocket fire in the summer of 2014.

“The ugly truth is that Hamas continues to invest millions of dollars to build tunnels of terror and death,” Lerner said in a statement. “The tunnel uncovered in Israel demonstrates once more Hamas’ warped priorities and continued commitment and investment in tools of violence. This tunnel exposes Hamas’ abhorrent intentions to attack men, women and children in southern Israel.”

This is a glaring example of why America and other western countries need to rethink their policies of aid to the Gaza Strip. The money given to the Gaza Strip does not go where America and other countries want it to go–it goes to fund terrorism and build tunnels for terrorists. If we continue funding these activities (knowingly or unknowingly), then we are partially responsible for funding the attacks on Israel. That is not something we want to encourage.

 

Things That Just Make Me Mad

The movement to boycott Israel and Israeli goods is simply stupid. Where is the movement to boycott the Palestinians who are teaching their children to kill Jews and instigating stabbing attacks in Israel? The people behind the boycott are either uninformed, anti-Semetic, or simply stupid. Now their boycott has hurt the very people they claim to support.

Townhall.com posted an Associated Press story about SodaStream, an Israeli company that has been impacted by boycotts against Israel.

In September of 2014, I posted the following:

According to Birnbaum (Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream), SodaStream is the “largest employer of Palestinian people in the world outside of the Palestinian Authority.”

“We employ 500 Palestinians here. Side by side, we have 350 Israeli Arabs and another 300 Israeli Jews. And we get along together. They’re not killing each other! They go to lunch break. We break bread together and we get to know each other,” he said.

SodaStream pays Israeli wages — four times what workers would earn in the Palestinian Authority, where unemployment is 30 percent.  And the workers say they’re happy, too.

Yousef Besharat is a Palestinian Arab who works at the factory. He told CBN News his salary helped him to build a home in just a year. He said there’s no discrimination between Jewish and Arab workers at the plant.

The article at Townhall.com reported today:

The chief executive of SodaStream International Ltd. says he has been forced to lay off hundreds of Palestinian workers after a factory was targeted by an international boycott movement and moved from the West Bank into Israel.

CEO Daniel Birnbaum said the last 74 Palestinian workers left Monday after being denied permits to work inside Israel at the new factory.

The global boycott movement seeks to ostracize Israel by lobbying corporations, artists and academic institutions to sever ties with the Jewish state.

In all, about 500 Palestinians lost their jobs after the factory moved last year following a high-profile boycott campaign against SodaStream.

Birnbaum said Palestinian workers are the main victims of the boycott. But he also criticized the government for not granting the work permits.

Until the stabbing attacks in Israel stop, I think the government is correct in not granting work permits. However, the impact of the boycott is to remove a company where Israelis and Palestinians were working together in harmony. That company was making a good first step toward peace in the region. The boycott also results in economic hardship for the Palestinians that the boycott claims to support. That makes no sense. If the people doing the boycotting were attempting to bring peace to Israel and the surrounding countries, they just shot themselves in the foot.

Wisdom From One Of My Favorite Liberals

As a conservative, there are some liberals whom I truly respect and listen to when they speak. In the past that list included Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Zell Miller, and Bob Casey, Sr. Presently that list includes former Senator Joe Lieberman and Alan Dershowitz. All of these men had principles that they upheld regardless of the political shenanigans going on around them.

In a recent press conference, Jimmy Carter was asked about what he would like to see happen before he dies. This is what he said:

In international affairs I would say peace for Israel and its neighbors. That has been a top priority for my foreign policy projects for the last 30 years. Right now I think the prospects of are more dismal than anytime I remember in the last 50 years. Practically, whole process is practically dormant. The government of Israel has no desire for two-state solution, which is policy of all the other nations in the world. And the United States has practically no influence compared to past years in either Israel or Palestine. So I feel very discouraged about it but that would be my number one foreign policy hope.

With all due respect, President Carter, Israel is not the problem.

Alan Deshowitz recently made some comments about former President Jimmy Carter to NewsMax Magazine that I think are important.

These are excerpts for the article that included those comments:

“[Carter] recommended to Yasser Arafat that Yasser Arafat turn down the deal that … would have resulted in the Palestinian state,” Dershowitz said. “He has blood of thousands of Jews and Palestinians on his hands. He should just stop talking about the Middle East.

“The idea that the International Criminal Court should create moral equivalence between a democracy — which has the most moral army in the world and has fewer civilian casualties than any other army in history — facing comparable threats to a terrorist regime that includes Hamas, that commits multiple war crimes every time it sends a rocket, is so obnoxious and so hypocritical and so typical of Jimmy Carter that the world understands that he has made himself irrelevant and tossed himself into the trash pan of history.”

…”Jimmy Carter has always had a problem with Jews and it borders on anti-Semitism,” he said. “In the midst of this tragedy, in the midst of this serious debate, to again blame it on Israel. He said that the terrorism and the reason the Jews and this anti-Semitism problem (exist) is because of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

…Continuing to create a moral equivalency between Hamas and Israel, as Carter suggests, only encourages Hamas acts of terror, Dershowitz added, feeding right into their hands.

…”Jimmy Carter goes back to the time he was running for governor. He has a long, long history of theological anti-Semitism coupled with virulent anti-Israelism. He never met a terrorist he didn’t like. He loved Yasser Arafat and he hated every Israeli leader he ever met.”

President Carter has made many statements about Israel that show either a total lack of understanding of the Middle East or a rather wide streak of anti-Semitism. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. Israel is not the country lobbing rockets into civilian populations, and Israel is not the one tunneling under the border in order to attack and kill kindergarten children. President Carter’s statement that Israel is the obstacle to peace in the Middle East is simply wrong.

Human Rights?

On Friday, Yahoo News posted a story about  resolution by the United Nation‘s Human Rights Council calling for those responsible for war crimes during last summer’s Gaza conflict to be brought to trial.

Yesterday The Times of India posted an article about the vote. That article reports:

While 41 countries (including most of the European Union) voted in favour of adopting the report, five, including India, abstained. The US was the only country to vote against it. Four other countries who abstained were Kenya, Ethiopia, Paraguay and Macedonia.

Normally I would be in favor of putting anyone on trial who had committed war crimes, but in this case, I think you have to look at the matter carefully.

This is a chart (from Wikipedia) showing the rocket attacks on Israel in 2014 that originated in the Gaza Strip:

rocketattacksonIsrael2014These rockets were not aimed at military targets, they were aimed at civilians. It is also known that Hamas houses rockets in hospitals and other buildings known to house civilians. Hamas is also know to use human shields. I can almost guarantee that the United Nations report will overlook much of this part of the story.

The thing to remember here is that the conflict between Israel and Hamas has more than one dimension. One dimension that should always be considered when listening to stories from the Middle East is the propaganda aspect. In May 2013, I posted a story about the staged death of Muhammad al-Dura, an 11-year old who was used for propaganda purposed after a film was released claiming he had been killed by the Israelis. More details can be found here. Often the propaganda war is more important than actual events on the ground.

Unfortunately, it is very likely that the U.N. investigation will be a sham. The track record on the United Nations in regard to Israel is not good. As of 2015, Israel has been condemned in 62 resolutions by the Council since its creation in 2006—the Council has resolved more resolutions condemning Israel than the rest of the world combined.

We need to stand by Israel. I don’t know why Europe voted for this, but I am glad to see India abstain.

 

The Vatican Signs A Treaty With Palestine

CBN News is reporting today that the Vatican has signed a treaty with the “State of Palestine.” Just for the record, there is, nor has there ever been, a State of Palestine.

As I have previously posted:

As Walid Shoebat stated, “One day during the 1960s I went to bed a Jordanian Muslim, and when I woke up the next morning, I was informed that I was now a Palestinian Muslim, and that I was no longer a Jordanian Muslim.”

The article reports:

Israel‘s Foreign Ministry called the text of the treaty “one-sided” and expressed regret.

“This hasty step damages the prospects for advancing a peace agreement, and harms the international effort to convince the PA (Palestinian Authority) to return to direct negotiations with Israel,” the ministry said in a statement.

“We also regret the one-sided texts in the agreement which ignore the historic rights of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel and to the places holy to Judaism in Jerusalem,” it continued.  “Israel cannot accept the unilateral determinations in the agreement which do not take into account Israel’s essential interests and the special historic status of the Jewish people in Jerusalem.”

The article reminds us:

Vatican officials say the document signed Friday reflects the church’s support of a “two-state solution” to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians

No mention was made about Hamas, the terror group which entered into a unity government with the Palestinian Authority and calls in its charter for Israel’s destruction.

Christians are being martyred in the Middle East as we speak, and the Vatican is making treaties with terrorists. One has to wonder if they have lost their way.

 

Facts Are Very Inconvenient Things

The basis for this article is the recent statement by former Presidential advisor David Axelrod that President Obama considers himself “the closet thing to a Jew that has ever sat in this office.” The statement is quoted in a Breitbart.com article dated June 2. If that is true, then he is a Jew that has no understanding of who he is or what Israel is about.

Let’s look at some of President Obama’s recent and past actions.

Yesterday the Los Angeles Times reported:

In an interview with an Israeli television station, Obama noted that his administration has “up until this point” quashed such efforts at the U.N. while insisting that the Israelis and Palestinians must negotiate a resolution. But he said it is a challenge for the U.S. to keep demanding that the Palestinians negotiate in good faith if no one believes the Israelis are doing the same.

The Israelis have not been the ones launching rockets at civilian targets or building terrorists tunnels with money given to them to help their people. Why does the President want to create another terrorist state?

In May of 2011, the New York Times reported:

A day before the arrival in Washington of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Mr. Obama declared that the prevailing borders before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war — adjusted to some degree to account for Israeli settlements in the West Bank — should be the basis of a deal. While the 1967 borders have long been viewed as the foundation for a peace agreement, Mr. Obama’s formula of land swaps to compensate for disputed territory created a new benchmark for a diplomatic solution.

President Obama, you need a history lesson.  There is no 1967 border–there is only an armistice line created after all of Israel’s neighbors invaded her as soon as she became a nation.  The 1949 armistice line was never internationally recognized as a border.  I have posted this before, but it bears repeating. This is the map of the land given to Israel in the original British Mandate:

Palestine was the name given to Israel at that time.  Transjordan was originally to be given to the Jewish state, but Britain reneged on its promise and gave the land to the Arabs instead.  In 1921, the Arab representative responsible for the above division of the land, Emir Feisal, agreed to abandon all claim of his father to Western Palelstine if he secured Iraq and Eastern Palestine as Arab terrorities.  We saw how well he kept this agreement. These are the borders set up for the nation of Israel.  The 1949 borders were simply an armistice.

After the nation of Israel was declared, the Arabs invaded and took control of the Old City of Jerusalem. During the time the Arabs controlled the Old City, Jews were barred from their holiest sites. Unfortunately, past behavior is often an indication of future behavior.

The Gaza Strip is now a terrorist haven. To cede more land to the Arabs would create additional terrorist havens. Mr. President, either you are misinformed or you do not support the survival of Israel.

This Will Not Help The Peace Process

CBN News is reporting today that the Vatican has officially recognized a Palestinian state. The leaders of Palestine have assumed that this means Israel will go back to the 1967 borders and that Jerusalem will be the capital of the new state. This is not a recipe for peace. Nations of the world have poured billions of dollars into the West Bank, one area the Palestinians are claiming for their new state. The current government of Palestine has used that money to buy weapons and build tunnels to attack Israel. The current government of Palestine has also refused to acknowledge that Israel has the right to exist. This is not a recipe for peace.

The article reports:

“Formal Vatican recognition of Palestine, a state that, in reality, does not yet exist, is a regrettable move and is counterproductive to all who seek true peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” AJC (American Jewish Committee) Executive Director David Harris said.

“There is a reason why the U.S., the European Union and others have long agreed that statehood can only be achieved through direct, bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” he continued.

“Meanwhile, the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] is ruled by the Palestinian Authority, whose leader, Mahmoud Abbas, just marked the tenth anniversary of what was meant to be a four-year term, and Gaza is governed by Hamas, a terror organization. What and where exactly is the ‘State of Palestine’ today?” Harris queried.

“We are fully cognizant of the Pope’s good will and desire to be a voice for peaceful coexistence, which is best served, we believe, by encouraging a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, rather than unilateral gestures outside the framework of the negotiating table,” Harris concluded.

This is not a recipe for peace. It is encouraging a non-democratic government that supports terrorism in its quest to wipe out Israel.

What Does This Accomplish?

Yesterday Israel Today posted a story about Swiss aid that will be sent to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Hamas remains on the terrorist list of the European Union of which Switzerland is not a member.

The article reports:

Switzerland has put together a generous financial package to prop up the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip after billions in promised foreign donations following last summer’s Gaza war failed to materialize.

That according to Palestinian officials who spoke to Israel’s NRG news portal, which reported that as part of the deal, the Swiss government would pay the salaries of thousands of Hamas members – many of whom are known terrorists – thereby propping up Hamas rule.

We saw last summer what Hamas does with foreign aid–weapons, tunnels into Israel, planned terror attacks, etc. What is to be gained by sending them more money? We have all seen pictures of children in the Gaza Strip being trained to hate and kill Jews. We have all seen pictures of civilians used as human shields after Hamas attacks Israel. Hamas is not a group that should be receiving money from anyone.

We need to remember that much of the Arab world (Hamas included) does not want a two-state solution–they want a one-state solution where Israel does not exist and all of the Jews are dead. Until someone is in charge of the ‘Palestinians‘ who is willing to accept the existence of Israel, there will be no peace in that region. Even then, it would have to be a leader that people would be willing to follow–to put aside their hatred and be willing to co-exist in peace. That would be wonderful, but I am not sure it is possible.

Meanwhile, funding Hamas will only lead to more war.

If You Hear A Lie Often Enough, You Think It Is The Truth

There is an organization called CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America). Generally speaking, they write letters to American newspapers when the newspapers misreport something about Israel or the Middle East.

The following is from one of their recent internet posts:

January 23, 2015

There Were No Palestine Borders, And No Palestine, in 1967

A story in today’s New York Times print edition, “Obama Not Planning to Meet With Israeli Premier,” written primarily by the newspaper’s Washington bureau, included erroneous and anachronistic language about Israel’s “1967 borders with Palestine.”

In 1967, of course, there was no country, territory, or entity called Palestine.

And the boundary between Israel and the territory in question, what had been the Jordanian-occupied West Bank, was explicitly not regarded as a border. As the 1949 armistice agreement between Israel and Jordan made clear, “The Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in articles V and VI of this Agreement are agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto.”

This phrasing helps underscore why CAMERA has long called for newspapers to correct inaccurate references to “1967 borders” (even without explicit references to a pre-1967 entity called “Palestine”) and why we’ve often gotten corrections on the topic. The implication — not often spelled out, though it is in this particular piece — is that there was between 1948 and 1967 a sovereign country between the Green Line and the Jordan River, one that had internationally recognized borders, and one that is therefor the legal sovereign of all land east of the Green Line, whether that be the Jewish Quarter, the consensus settlements of the Etzion block, or beyond.

Readers of this blog might immediately recognize that this isn’t at all true; but the average New York Times reader may not, so the newspaper’s references to 1967 “borders” is likely to lead to substantive geopolitical misunderstanding on the part of its audience.

The New York Times has thanked CAMERA for making it aware of the erroneous language, but has not yet published a correction. We’ll hope to update this space soon with information about a correction.

Walid Shoebat, a former PLO terrorist who became a Christian who supports Israel once stated, “In June 1967, I went to be a Jordanian and woke up a ‘Palestinian.'” As we sit idly by and watch ISIS surround Israel, we need to remember that Israel is the ‘little satan’ and we are the ‘big satan.’ We are next on the list. Knowing the correct history of the region is helpful to understanding what is happening.

 

We Need To Stop Sending Money–Period

Breitbart.com reported yesterday that Senator Lindsy Graham has stated that existing U.S. legislation “would cut off aid to the Palestinians if they filed a complaint” against Israel in the International Criminal Court.

There seems to be some basic disagreement as to whether or not the Palestinians have a right to be members of the International Criminal Court.

The article reports:

U.S. President Barack Obama’s Democratic administration has said it does not believe Palestine is a sovereign state and therefore does not qualify to be part of the ICC, but has not explicitly threatened to withhold aid.

Any cut in U.S. funds could make it hard for the Palestinian self-rule authority in the West Bank and Gaza to survive. The U.S. supplies more than $400 million annually to the Palestinian Authority. Israel has frozen a monthly transfer of some $120 million in tax revenues it collects for the Palestinians.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has confirmed the Palestinians will formally become a member of the ICC on April 1, after applying earlier this month.

This is bogus. During the most recent war with Israel, the Palestinians consistently fired rockets into civilian areas in Israel and then used women and children as human shields when Israel fought back. The Palestinians have no right to file charges against Israel–the charges should be filed against the Palestinians.

An Attempt At Lopsided Justice

MyWay News reported yesterday that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is seeking Palestinian admission to the International Criminal Court. The intention is for Palestine to charge Israel with war crimes.

The article reports:

Abbas made the announcement in the West Bank on Wednesday, a day after the U.N. Security Council failed to pass a resolution that had aimed to set a deadline for Israel to end its occupation of territories sought by the Palestinians.

Abbas had warned that if the resolution failed, he would resume a Palestinian campaign to join international organizations to put pressure on Israel.

Abbas’ decision is expected to trigger a harsh response from Israel.

Israel says all disputes should be resolved through peace talks, and such actions are aimed at bypassing negotiations.

This is a very interesting move.

This is a chart showing rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip since 2001. It is from the Israeli Defense Forces blog:

graph

The fact that the originators of these rocket attacks on civilian targets want to charge Israel with war crimes would be laughable except that the International Criminal Court is so anti-Semitic the charges would probably be taken seriously.

As the Palestinians seek to charge Israel with war crimes, we might also remember the tunnels discovered in their recent war with Israel. In July 2014, I reported (rightwinggranny.com) that the Palestinians plan to use the tunnels to hide until schools and kindergartens were occupied. The terrorists would then attempt to kill the children first, and then kill and kidnap as many Israelis as possible.  This plot was set to take place during Jewish New Year, on September 24.

Israel is not the one who should be charged with war crimes.

 

Do We Really Want To Create A Terrorist State?

Yahoo News reported yesterday that the United States is not committed to a veto of the United Nations resolution to set a time frame for its withdrawal from territory Palestinians seek for a state. I don’t think there is anyone who believes that the Palestinian state would be a state that acknowledged the right of Israel to exist or that a Palestinian state would be committed to peace in the Middle East, so why would anyone encourage the existence of such a state?

The article reports:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Rome on Monday to discuss various proposals for a Palestinian state that are circulating at the United Nations.

Later on Monday, Kerry will travel to Paris for talks with European counterparts and then on to London to meet Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and a delegation from the Arab League, who will urge the United States not to use its U.N. Security Council veto to block the proposals.

The hastily-arranged meetings suggested urgency in America’s drive to manage efforts among Security Council members to draft a new proposal before Israeli elections in March. Kerry said on Friday he wanted to defuse tensions during the talks.

Jordan has circulated a draft Palestinian resolution to the 15-member U.N. Security Council calling for Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory to end by November 2016, and the Palestinians said on Monday they could submit it in the coming days.

France, Britain and Germany are discussing another proposal, but a senior U.S. official said there was no consensus among them and the United States had not been asked to take a position.

The push for a Palestinian state is a total rewrite of history. There never has been a Palestinian state. As I have reported before, Walid Shoebat is quoted as saying, “One day during the 1960s I went to bed a Jordanian Muslim, and when I woke up the next morning, I was informed that I was now a Palestinian Muslim, and that I was no longer a Jordanian Muslim.” There was never a cry for a Palestinian state when Jordan controlled the land that is now in question.

This is the map of the land originally given to Israel in the December 1920 Franco-British Boundary Convention:

Later, the boundaries were modified as shown below:

Trans-Jordan was established to be the Palestinian state. However, when the Palestinians attempted to overthrow the government of Jordan, they were thrown out. Under the present government of Gaza, there is no way a Palestinian state can be established without creating a war (possibly nuclear) in the Middle East. The United Nations resolution is not a move toward peace, it is a move toward war.

Why Are We Sending These People Money?

According to fas.org, last year Americans sent $440 million in regular and supplemental appropriations to the Palestinians in 2014. This aid was sent at a time when America is borrowing 40¢ of every dollar it spends from foreign countries.

Meanwhile, CBN News reported today:

As Israelis mourned the latest murders of four rabbis praying in their synagogue and buried the dead, some Palestinians took to the streets to celebrate the killings.

The terrorists who allegedly carried out the murders were killed in a shootout with Israeli police. Two young men, identified in the Palestinian media as Ghassan Abu Jamal and his cousin Udayy, were reportedly members of the terror group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

PFLP members danced in the streets and waved flags, while a woman threw candies to a crowd of Arabs.

It is horrific that the four rabbis were murdered while they were praying, but the celebration afterward is over the top. American money is financing the hatred toward Israel that is being spewed by Hamas and other such groups. It is time that we pulled the plug on the money flow.

The article states:

Three of the murdered rabbis were Americans with dual American and Israeli citizenship: Moshe Twersky, Aryeh Kupinsky, and Cary William Levene.

The fourth rabbi, Avraham Goldberg, was a dual citizen of Britain and Israel.

Tuesday’s attack was the worst in Jerusalem since eight Jewish students were murdered at their yeshiva in 2008.

It will be interesting to see if America or Britain are willing to change the way they do business with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in response to the killing of their citizens.

Do We Need To Support Terrorists When They Are Running Things?

According to the Congressional Research Service:

Since the establishment of limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in themid-1990s, the U.S. government has committed approximately $5 billion in bilateral assistance to the Palestinians, who are among the world’s largest per capita recipients of international foreign

aid. Successive Administrations have requested aid for the Palestinians in apparent support of at least three major U.S. policy priorities of interest to Congress:

1.  Preventing terrorism against Israel from Hamas and other militant organizations.

2.  Fostering stability, prosperity, and self-governance in the West Bank that inclines Palestinians toward peaceful coexistence with Israel and a “two-state solution.”

3.  Meeting humanitarian needs

Those are noble aims, but what exactly what are we supporting?

CBN News reported today on some recent statements by Mahmoud Abbas, known as Abu Mazen, President of the Palestinian Authority since 2005 and Fathi Hamad:

“It is not enough for us to say that there are defenders. We must all become defenders of al-Aksa [meaning the Temple Mount]. It is not enough for us to say the settlers [Israeli Jews] might come to al-Aqsa mosque. They did come and they must not be allowed into the complex. We must prevent their entrance into the complex by any means possible.”

 Hamas, a partner in the P.A. unity government, was more explicit. Fathi Hamad, a member of the Hamas political bureau, spoke about a vehicular attack in Jerusalem on the group’s al-Aksa TV last week.

“We, the Hamas movement, applaud this operation and encourage anyone who can carry out more [such operations],” Hamad told his interviewer.

“Even he who owns nothing but his faith has a kitchen in his house in which he has a knife. He must grab his knife and confront the Zionist enemy,” he continued. “Another one owns no weapon, but does own a car, he must push down on the gas pedal in order to take a revenge of the settlers who corrupt the land and defile the al-Aqsa Mosque,” he said.

“I say, there must be an uprising now, a raging uprising first of all against the [P.A.’s] security coordination [with Israel] so there should be no restrictions; then, the Islamic Palestinian armies committed to al-Aqsa will set out toward al-Aqsa and Jerusalem until the Jews abandon their intentions,” Hamad said.

America needs answers to some basic questions about our aid to Gaza. Is the money actually going to humanitarian aid or is it going to weapons? Why are we sending money to people who clearly promote violence? With comments like the above, is there any hope for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority?

 

Some Good News From The Middle East

There is not a lot of good news coming out of the Middle East these days, but there is some. CBN News posted a story today about SodaStream, the company that makes a do-it-yourself-at-home soda machine. The company is located in Mishor Adumim Industrial Park, just outside of Jerusalem, in Israel, in the West Bank. in a building that used to be a munitions factory.

The article reports:

According to Birnbaum (Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream), SodaStream is the “largest employer of Palestinian people in the world outside of the Palestinian Authority.”

“We employ 500 Palestinians here. Side by side, we have 350 Israeli Arabs and another 300 Israeli Jews. And we get along together. They’re not killing each other! They go to lunch break. We break bread together and we get to know each other,” he said.

SodaStream pays Israeli wages — four times what workers would earn in the Palestinian Authority, where unemployment is 30 percent.  And the workers say they’re happy, too.

Yousef Besharat is a Palestinian Arab who works at the factory. He told CBN News his salary helped him to build a home in just a year. He said there’s no discrimination between Jewish and Arab workers at the plant.

The article further reports:

Birnbaum gave CBN’s Ross a tour of the factory. He said he calls the room where they assemble the valves “the United Nations.”

“We have people from all over here. You’ll see Palestinians and Israelis. You’ll see Russian immigrants and Ethiopians, Bedouins, women and men. I love this hall,” Birnbaum said.

He introduced CBN News to the shift manager, whom he called “a wonderful Palestinian fellow who started as an entry level and built himself up here at SodaStream in the last few years to shift manager.”

Nabil Besharat is a father of six who has worked at the plant for four years. As shift manager, Besharat is in charge of about 25 people, including Jews and Arabs.

Nabil says he came to the company “for good opportunities, for a good job, for good money,” and he found those things here.

“We work here with Jews, with Christians, with Muslims — all — with Druze,” Nabil told CBN News. They don’t even mention the word conflict, he added.

Israel is one of the few places in the Middle East where people of all faiths are welcome to worship according to their own tradition. It is wonderful to see that they are also willing to encourage Arabs and Jews to work together to manufacture a great product and to build bridges between the two cultures.

There Are Numbers And There Are Numbers

This graph is from an article in Tuesday’s New York Times. It has to do with the reporting of civilian casualties in Gaza.

aaaapalestinian1aaaapalestinain2

The New York Times reminds us that all civilian casualties reported in Gaza are not civilians:

But the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, the Israeli group that analyzed the first Palestinian deaths, accused the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry of “concealment and deception” in order “to create an ostensibly factual infrastructure for a political, propaganda and legal campaign against Israel.”

The Times analysis, looking at 1,431 names, shows that the population most likely to be militants, men ages 20 to 29, is also the most overrepresented in the death toll: They are 9 percent of Gaza’s 1.7 million residents, but 34 percent of those killed whose ages were provided. At the same time, women and children under 15, the least likely to be legitimate targets, were the most underrepresented, making up 71 percent of the population and 33 percent of the known-age casualties.

We need to remember that Hamas soldiers do not always wear uniforms. Those infiltrating Israel through the tunnels wore IDF uniforms. As has been previously stated, Hamas routinely puts rocket launchers in heavily populated civilian areas. That is part of their strategy in the propaganda war. Now that the journalists are leaving Gaza, they are reporting rockets being fired from directly under their hotel rooms and in civilians areas. The world needs to understand the propaganda war being waged by Hamas and not fall prey to the misinformation that is being reported.

A website called Israellycool reports:

Tyler Hicks, the New York Times photographer, begins by telling us that Hamas fighters are hiding in civilian areas, embedded within the civilian population and firing rockets from residential neighborhoods:

I was stationed in Gaza, and covered the Palestinian side of the war where you saw most of the casualties.  One of the reasons for that is because the Hamas fighters are living among the civilian population. . . .  This is a situation where the fighters fire rockets from all over the Gaza Strip, from neighborhoods to cemeteries, from parking lots, from any number of places.

And no, the reason they do this is not because “Gaza is pretty small.”  Hicks next tells us that the fighters seek safety at the expense of the civilian population:

Hamas fighters are not able to expose themselves.  If they were to even step a foot on the street they would be spotted by an Israeli drone and immediately blown up.  We don’t see those fighters.  They are operating out of buildings and homes and at night.

Israel is fighting a terrorist neighbor. The world has a choice. They need to understand that this is a fight against terrorism and for democracy. They can choose to help Israel or they can ignore what is going on. The problem with ignoring what is going on is that the terrorists in Gaza are not a unique entity. They are linked (at least in philosophy) with Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, ISIS in Iraq and Syria, etc. We allow them to continue ruling Gaza at our own peril.

The Logic Of These Statements Escapes Me

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article citing some comments by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Included in the article:

…she (Secretary Albright) conceded that it is hard to dispute that forces loyal to Hamas in the Gaza Strip are using human shields in order to protect their military assets. She implied that this tactic has resulted in an inordinate number of Palestinian causalities over the course of the ongoing conflict with Israel.

…After conceding that Hamas is intentionally making civilian casualties more likely, she said that it was nevertheless the case that those causalities are sapping Israel of its “moral authority.”

Isn;t using human shields a war crime under international law? What about the fact that thousands of rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza aimed at Israeli civilians? This has been going on ever since Israel turned Gaza over to Hamas. The real bottom-line question in this war is simple, “Does Israel have the right to defend itself?”

World opinion will probably force Israel to stop fighting before it cleans up the rocket launchers and tunnels in Gaza. Unfortunately that will result in continuing rocket attacks and the need for Israel to invade Gaza again in the near future. The only way to stop the rocket attacks on Israel and the civilian casualties in Gaza is to allow Israel to destroy Hamas in Gaza. Unfortunately the world has lost its moral clarity and does not have the integrity to allow Israel to do that.

What Israel Is Up Against

This is a video posted on YouTube of a Palestinian pushing a bread wagon that actually disguises a rocket launcher:

 

The Blaze posted an article today featuring the video and also reporting on some of the current events in the Middle East.

The article reports:

Israeli officials have repeatedly decried Hamas for using Palestinian civilians as “human shields.” Just last week, the Hamas Interior Ministry ordered Palestinians to stay in their homes even if they are warned by the IDF to vacate before their neighborhood is bombed.

Israel is working toward a military victory. Hamas is seeking a propaganda victory by using civilians as human shields and then accusing Israel of killing civilians.

There Are Currently No Consequences For Killing An American Citizen Overseas

On June 2 the Washington Post reported that the Palestinians had formed a new unity government with Hamas. Since Hamas is a State Departmentdesignated foreign terrorist organization. U.S. law prohibits dispensing taxpayer money to any Palestinian entity over which Hamas exercises “undue influence.” (Wall Street Journal, June 6, 2014)

The Jewish Journal has reported:

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a State Department official involved in U.S.-Palestinian relations told JTA this week that U.S. intelligence agencies had assessed that none of the new Palestinian Cabinet ministers have any Hamas involvement, and so continued relations would not violate U.S. law banning interactions with designated terrorist groups.

Meanwhile, Fox News reports:

Isreali Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed revenge against Hamas after three teens kidnapped June 12 in the West Bank — including one with U.S. citizenship — were found dead Monday, just north of Hebron.

“They were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by animals,” Haaretz quoted Netanyahu saying at a hastily arranged security cabinet meeting. “In the name of the whole of Israel, I ask to tell the dear families – to the mothers, the fathers, the grandmothers and the grandfathers, the brothers and sisters – our hearts are bleeding, the whole nation is crying with them.”

The leader’s angry words came hours after the search for Eyal Yifrach, 19; Gilad Shaar, 16; and Naftali Frenkel, also 16, who were snatched while hitchhiking, ended in the West Bank, where Hamas operates. Sources said the bodies were found in a shallow grave in an open field in the West Bank village of Halhul, just north of Hebron.

Why are we sending money to a government that includes a terrorist organization that routinely kills innocent civilians, including Americans?

I Thought Diplomats Were Supposed To Be Diplomatic

The U.K. Telegraph posted an article today about Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent remarks about Israel.

Yesterday the Washington Times reported on John Kerry’s remarks:

Mr. Kerry told senior officials during a closed meeting on Friday that a two-state solution is the “only real alternative” for Israel and the Palestinian territories, “because a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens, or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state,” The Daily Beast first reported.

It might be a good idea to mention at this point that Arabs who live or work in Israel have more freedom than their brothers anywhere else in the Middle East.

The U.K. Telegraph explains the problem with Secretary Kerry‘s remarks:

The use of such undiplomatic language also distracts from the very real difficulties the Israelis face in trying to reach an agreement. From the outset, Israel’s security concerns have dominated the discussions, with their negotiators offering to make painful territorial concessions in return for cast-iron guarantees concerning the future safety of Israeli citizens. But Mr Abbas’s refusal to allow Israel to maintain a limited military presence in any future independent Palestinian territory, together with his recent accord with Hamas, has meant that no such pledges have been forthcoming, thereby causing the talks to stall. Israel argues, with some justification, that there is little likelihood of reaching an agreement with an organisation such as Hamas, which remains committed to the destruction of the Jewish state. If Mr Kerry still wants his bold peace initiative to succeed, then he would be better advised to address these and other concerns than to use language that is guaranteed to cause offence to Israel.

Secretary Kerry says that he wants peace in the Middle East. What he does not seem to understand is that only one of his negotiating partners shares that goal. Before accepting the Palestinians as good-faith negotiators, Secretary Kerry needs to take a close look at their educational system. The Palestinian schools include terrorist training for kindergartners, maps without Israel, and teaching anti-Semitism. In a rational world, that would disqualify them as acceptable negotiators for peace. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration does not live in the rational world.

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Does Workers’ Compensation Cover This?

The Blaze is reporting today that a Hamas Field Commander was killed in a work-related accident.

The article reports:

A field commander for Hamas’ military wing was killed Saturday and nine others were injured during a training session on building bombs, Israeli and Palestinian media reported.

The military wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, released a statement saying its operative was killed in an accidental “internal explosion” in Gaza.

On its English-language website, the militant group wrote that the man, identified as Ibrahim al-Ghoul, 30, “was martyred after a long bright path of jihad, hard work, struggle and sacrifice.”

About a month ago, there was a similar event in Iraq. I think the terrorists need better instructors.

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This May Make The Peace Process Rather Difficult

Yesterday The Times of Israel posted a story quoting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The article states:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said there is “no way” he will recognize Israel as a Jewish state and accept a Palestinian capital in just a portion of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, rebuffing what Palestinians fear will be key elements of a US peace proposal.

…Speaking to youth activists of his Fatah party, he suggested he would stand firm again, particularly over the demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

“They are pressing and saying, ‘no peace without the Jewish state,’” he said, though not spelling out who is applying the pressure. “There is no way. We will not accept.”

I may be missing something here, but it seems to me that if Palestine is demanding to recognized as a state that they should also be willing to recognize Israel as a state. I have seen the maps drawn by various Arab countries that do not include Israel, and it seems to me that if we are ever going to have peace in the Middle East that kind of foolishness has to stop. If the Palestinian government is going to demand recognition as a Palestinian state, they should be willing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

In case you are new to reading this blog, I am going to end this article with something I have quoted before. To me, this quote sums up the history of the Palestinians. It is a quote by Walid Shoebat: “Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian?” There has never been a Palestinian state (unless you consider Jordan, which is made up of land promised to Israel and then given to the Arabs to form a Palestinian state and then given to the Hashemites when they were driven out of Mecca). The whole argument for a Palestinian state is a rewriting of history. The land has never belonged to the Palestinians–the British called it Palestine as an affront to the Jews.

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With Friends Like These…

Regardless of what has been said by the White House, the Obama Administration has not been a friend of Israel. Under President Obama, America  has tried to force Israel into a peace deal that would mean the end of Israel.

Breitbart.com reported today on Israel’s response to the Obama Administration’s latest threat to her security.

The article reports the American Secretary of State John Kerry suggested that Israel could face “delegitimization” and “boycott” campaigns without a peace deal with the Palestinians. I need to mention at this point that Secretary Kerry‘s peace plan includes the dividing of Jerusalem and a return to the 1967 borders.

There is a video posted at YouTube that helps explain why that peace plan would not bring peace:

Please understand that Israel needs to defend its small piece of land. It would be nice if America chose to be part of that defense instead of refusing to acknowledge that reverting back to the 1967 borders would bring war–not peace.

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The Rocky Road To An Impossible Peace

As Secretary of State John Kerry prepares to bring peace to the Middle East, he would do well to look at some of the history of the people and countries involved.

In 1979, under the leadership of Anwar el-Sadat, Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel. In 1981, Sadat was assassinated by the Muslim Brotherhood, who felt that he had betrayed them by signing that treaty. In 2000, Yassar Arafat rejected a peace offer by Ehud Barak (with the encouragement of President Clinton) at Camp David that would have given the Palestinians parts of the Old City of Jerusalem and 91 percent of the West Bank. Arafat rejected that offer because he knew that if he accepted it he would be assassinated. Being the leader of a terrorist group is not unlike being a Mafia Don–it is a powerful, dangerous job with a lot of unwritten rules that must be followed very carefully.

So where are we now? Last week Breitbart.com reported that in preliminary negotiations for a peace treaty between Israel and her Palestinian neighbors, Secretary of State John Kerry has successfully negotiated the release of 82 Palestinian terrorists, all of whom have been serving life sentences since 1993. Sounds like a great step forward for peace–release people who kill people they don’t like.

The article reports:

Additionally, the Palestinian delegation in the disputed West Bank has rejected the notion that the release of terrorists is enough to get them to the negotiating table. They would like to see Israel unilaterally withdraw from its present sovereign borders and return to where the state’s territorial boundaries were before 1967. 

The fact that Israel’s territorial gains post-1967 ultimately came from defending its nation from its genocidal neighbors seems to have, time and time again with both the Obama Administration and the Palestinian leadership, fallen upon deaf ears.

Peace in the Middle East is a wonderful idea. Peace everywhere is a wonderful idea, but at some point you have to face reality. The fact that Israel exists is a fantastic recruiting tool for every Arab extremist on the planet. Peace is NOT a goal of Islam–a world-wide caliphate is.

The Hamas Charter states:

Article Thirteen: Peaceful Solutions, [Peace] Initiatives and International Conferences

[Peace] initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement. For renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion; the nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its faith, the movement educates its members to adhere to its principles and to raise the banner of Allah over their homeland as they fight their Jihad: “Allah is the all-powerful, but most people are not aware.” From time to time a clamoring is voiced, to hold an International Conference in search for a solution to the problem. Some accept the idea, others reject it, for one reason or another, demanding the implementation of this or that condition, as a prerequisite for agreeing to convene the Conference or for participating in it. But the Islamic Resistance Movement, which is aware of the [prospective] parties to this conference, and of their past and present positions towards the problems of the Muslims, does not believe that those conferences are capable of responding to demands, or of restoring rights or doing justice to the oppressed. Those conferences are no more than a means to appoint the nonbelievers as arbitrators in the lands of Islam. Since when did the Unbelievers do justice to the Believers? “And the Jews will not be pleased with thee, nor will the Christians, till thou follow their creed. Say: Lo! the guidance of Allah [himself] is the Guidance. And if you should follow their desires after the knowledge which has come unto thee, then you would have from Allah no protecting friend nor helper.” Sura 2 (the Cow), verse 120 There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. The initiatives, proposals and International Conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility. The Palestinian people are too noble to have their future, their right and their destiny submitted to a vain game. As the hadith has it: “The people of Syria are Allah’s whip on this land; He takes revenge by their intermediary from whoever he wished among his worshipers. The Hypocrites among them are forbidden from vanquishing the true believers, and they will die in anxiety and sorrow.” (Told by Tabarani, who is traceable in ascending order of traditionaries to Muhammad, and by Ahmed whose chain of transmission is incomplete. But it is bound to be a true hadith, for both story tellers are reliable. Allah knows best.)

The goal of the ‘peace process’ for the Palestinians is to drive Israel into the sea and destroy the country forever.

For those of us who believe in the Bible, we would do well to remember Genesis 12 :3 (Good News Translation):

I will bless those who bless you, But I will curse those who curse you. And through you I will bless all the nations.

America needs to be very careful about undermining the existence of Israel.

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Separating The Facts From The Propaganda

Scott Johnson posted an article at Power Line today about the death of Omar al-Masharawi, the 11-month-old son of BBC stringer Jihad al-Masharawi. The baby was killed in Gaza City during fighting in the Hamas-ruled territory last November. Admittedly, it is tragic when an innocent child is killed in a war, but it is also tragic when the death of that child is exploited with little regard to the facts.

On November 23, Patrick Pexton, the ombudsman for the Washington Post, posted an article about the death of Masharawi.

The article at the Washington Post states:

That the man is Palestinian — not a terrorist but a journalist — and that the bomb was dropped by Israelis, to my mind, is almost beside the point. This photo depicted loss and pain, the horrific cost to innocents on both sides of the violence in the Middle East.

Yes, the photo does show the horrific cost to innocents on both sides of the Middle East. However, the ombudsman seems to have jumped to a conclusion that has since been proven false.

On March 11, the Washington Post reported:

A U.N. report indicates an errant Palestinian rocket, not an Israeli airstrike, likely killed the baby of a BBC reporter during fighting in the Hamas-ruled territory last November.

The death of Omar al-Masharawi, the 11-month-old son of BBC stringer Jihad al-Masharawi, became a symbol of what Palestinians see as Israeli aggression during eight days of fighting that killed more than 160 Palestinians and six Israelis. A woman was killed alongside the baby.

In a way it really doesn’t matter to the child’s family which side is responsible for the death of the child–they have still lost a child, but it is disturbing that the initial reports along with the heart-wrenching picture blamed Israel before the facts were known. It is also unfortunate that the Washington Post ombudsman immediately assumed that the reports blaming Israel were accurate.

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