The Game Changer In The Israeli-Gaza War

This is a picture from Monday’s New York Times:

IsraeliMapTunnels1 The Israeli military said it had uncovered about two dozen tunnels with more than 60 access points, many of them in this Gaza City neighborhood where there has been some of the most intense fighting. 2 In early July, the Israeli Air Force struck a tunnel that led to this kibbutz, near where Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier, was captured in 2006. 3 Hamas gunmen emerged from a tunnel about a mile from this kibbutz last Thursday. Israeli officials cited this as the final straw before the ground invasion. 4 Eight Palestinian militants emerged from a tunnel near here on Saturday, armed with automatic weapons and wearing Israeli military uniforms. 5 A deadly battle ensued between Israeli troops and Hamas militants on Monday after the militants emerged from a tunnel about 500 yards from this community’s homes. 6 Some of the militants tried to make their way here. 7 Residents of this kibbutz were warned to stay inside.

There is no way Israel can stop fighting until all of the tunnel network is destroyed. Any call for a cease fire without the destruction of the tunnels will result in a continued attack on Israeli civilians. The world generally ignored the rocket attacks on Israeli civilians as they continued over the years. We cannot ignore the attacks that would come from the tunnels if the tunnels were left intact.

This video from Palestinian television might explain why peace in the region is so difficult:

The video can be found at YouTube.

Just as America and its allies had to defeat Germany completely to stop Hitler, the Israelis will have to defeat Hamas and other terrorists whose goal is to eliminate Israel completely. Until that happens, Israel will have to defend herself against those who attack settlements and kill civilians.

Thank God For The Israel Defense Forces

The Times of Israel posted an article yesterday about an attempted attack by Hamas terrorists on civilians at Kibbutz Sufa. The terrorists emerged from a tunnel, ready to attack, realized they had been spotted, and attempted to go back into the tunnel. That is the point at which Israeli aircraft bombed the tunnel entrance.

This is the link to the article above to see the YouTube video of the attack:

The article reports:

The tunnel is part of a network of underground channels, laboriously dug, as offensive lanes into Israel. In June 2006 two Israeli soldiers were killed in an ambush that began via a tunnel in the same region, and a third, Gilad Shalit, was captured and taken back to Gaza. His exchange, five and a half years later, for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, is considered one of Hamas’s crowning achievements.

In the years since that assault several complex tunnels have been discovered, including, most recently, one that was found and bombed on the eve of Operation Protective Edge.

Lerner said he did not believe the attack was a significant shift in the tide of the 10-day-old campaign.

During the time that Mohamed Morsi was President of Egypt, terrorists had pretty much free rein in the Sinai Peninsula. I suspect that many of these tunnels were dug during that time. The only way that Israel can be secure is to make sure these tunnels are caved in and there is not underground access to Israel for terrorists.

Do The Rules And Words Of The United Nations Mean Anything ?

United Nations exhibit by OWI at Rockefeller P...

Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

This week Israeli IDF sergeant Gilad Shalit returned home to Israel five years after being taken hostage by Hamas. Sergeant Shalit was kidnapped inside Israel in a cross-border raid via underground tunnels near the border with Gaza.

In June 1983, the United Nations passed the International Convention Against the Taking of Hostages. The Convention states:

CONSIDERING that the taking of hostages is an offence of grave concern to the international community and that, in accordance with the provisions of this Convention, any person committing an act of hostage taking shall either be prosecuted or extradited,

My questions is simple–“Where was the outrage at the United Nations over the kidnapping of this soldier?” To win his freedom, Israel agreed to release 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, including about 400 with “blood on their hands.” That means they were directly linked to the deaths of Israeli Jews in terrorism attacks. If the United Nations were truly dedicated to peacekeeping, shouldn’t they logically be outraged that there are now at least 400 more terrorists loose in the world? At the present time the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), a 56-member group of Islamic nations, is one of the main power blocs in the United Nations. As long as that is the case, the United Nations will not deal with terrorism or brutal dictatorships–in fact, in some cases it will enable and encourage them. It is time the United States took leadership and started a group of peace-loving democracies as a counter-weight to the United Nations. Then, and only then, will there be a world-wide body of nations attempting to work toward peace.


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Some Insight On The Israeli Prisoner Swap

Gilad Shalit Salutes Israel Prime Minister Ben...

Image by Israel Defense Forces via Flickr

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review Online yesterday commenting on the recent prisoner swap in Israel. Please follow the link to read the entire article, Mr. McCarthy is a man who truly understands the Arab culture and what this prisoner exchange will mean for the future. However, I am more interested in posting some of the quotes from the Arabic media he cites in the article:

From Fatah–considered ‘moderate’ (as opposed to Hamas):

This soldier was a waif born in a shelter as a result of the deterioration and disintegration of Israeli society. A Zionist soldier, he became seeped with Zionism to the bone… This monster joined the army of Zionist gangs, to carry on the legacy of his fathers, the apes and pigs of the Haganah, Irgun, Stern, and Palmach organizations, in order to carry out the orders of his fascist masters. That was the Zionist soldier Gilad Shalit, 19 years-old when he was captured by the Palestinian resistance.

This incompetent soldier became the most prized soldier in all the armies of the world. He entered the annals of history through the widest gate, and his name went down in the Guinness Book of World Records…. The world was in turmoil as the Arab leaders, the West, and the monstrous mini-state [Israel] waged a five-year publicity and marketing campaign throughout the world in an attempt to liberate the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit…. He was a focus of interest for journalists and political and military analysts in all the electronic and printed media, while the conscience of those flaccid leaders remained unmoved by the [plight of] our courageous heroes and glorious prisoners hidden away in the dungeons of the enemy’s strongholds.

Might I suggest that peace between Israel and its neighbors might be difficult to obtain while the neighbors of Israel refer to the Jews as apes and pigs.

From Jordan, the words of the Muslim Brotherhood:

The Hamas movement must secure a new prisoner in order to free additional [Palestinian] prisoners from the jails of the occupation, because those who will not be released as part of the Shalit deal now feel and understand that their salvation depends on [the capture of] a new prisoner. This great national duty must be fulfilled, if not by Hamas then by any other organization….

The latest exchange deal was great and magnificent … a victory for the Hamas movement and the entire Palestinian people. It confirms that continuing the resistance is the [right] path and option [to take] until the Palestinian rights are restored in full, without exception…. The freed prisoners will be birds of freedom and torches to light the fire of resistance, and they are the incontrovertible proof that the Palestinian right[s] will only be restored through resistance….

Great–we got all those guys back for one prisoner–let’s go get another one!

From Hamas:

As we say goodbye to Shalit, we hope to welcome a new guest, to capture a new soldier, to hurt the enemy in a way that will humiliate and distress him, to pull his soldiers from their tanks and even shoot down their planes, to destroy their vehicles and to lead them, handcuffed, to our jails. This, in order to … liberate those whom the enemy is [still] holding in his prisons and whom he refuses to free because they have shed his blood, humiliated him, killed the best of his soldiers, rubbed the noses of his crack units in the dirt, and forced his leaders to surrender and accept their terms. Goodbye, Shalit, and hello to the new prisoner who will replace you and by means of whom we will humiliate your army and your leadership. We will not surrender, give up or disdain [our duty] until we get back the last of our prisoners and destroy the last of the detention facilities that the enemy has constructed on our own soil…

Same as previous quote.

From Benjamin Netanyahu in 1995:

Prisoner releases only embolden terrorists by giving them the feeling that even if they are caught, their punishment will be brief. Worse, by leading terrorists to think such demands are likely to be met, they encourage precisely the terrorist blackmail they are supposed to defuse.

It is wonderful that Gilad Shalit is home again. I just wonder what the true long-term cost of this agreement will be.

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Not All Civilizations Are Equal

Benjamin Netanyahu

Image via Wikipedia

This is one of those rambling posts I put up occasionally. If that bothers you, please feel free to stop reading. In a briefing on Islam given to his fellow Army doctors before his shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Nidal Malik Hasan stated, “We love death more than you love life!” We need to think about that for a minute. Western civilization does not have a perfect record on loving life–we treated the American Indians badly, we treated the slaves badly, and we currently allow abortion (which kills the innocent unborn). We’re not perfect. However, generally speaking, we seek to preserve life. Sometimes we’re even a little nutty about it. We value people as individuals and seek to protect them. Unfortunately, that puts us at a disadvantage when dealing with a culture that worships death.

Yesterday Reuters posted an article stating that Israel and the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip have agreed to a prisoner swap. Israeli captive soldier Gilad Shalit will be exchanged for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. Gilad Shalit was kidnapped in 2006.

The article reports:

Announcing to his cabinet, and television cameras, that a deal had been signed earlier in the day, Netanyahu said he feared time was running out for Shalit amid political upheaval in the Arab world.

“I believe we have reached the best agreement possible at this time, when storms are raging in the Middle East. I don’t know if we could have reached a better agreement, or even achieved one at all, in the near future,” he said.

“It’s possible that this window of opportunity would have closed for good and we never would have brought Gilad home.”

What is he saying? There is so much upheaval in the Middle East right now, and the entire area seems to be moving against Israel. As more militant Islamists take over the countries surrounding Israel and exert their power, the chances of getting Gilad back to Israel alive will grow dimmer. Again, kidnapping has proved to be a worthwhile activity on the part of those who are opposing western civilization. Iran has used it consistently to raise money. Lebanon has also used kidnapping as a weapon. In Beirut between 1982 and 1992, 96 foreign hostages of 21 national origins were kidnapped. You think we would have learned by now that this is a prime money-raising activity (and prisoner release activity) of terrorists.

I admire Prime Minister Netanyahu for making this deal. He knows as he signs the paper that he is paving the way for more terrorist attacks in Israel. He also knows that this is the only way to bring Gilad home alive. Terrorists do not play fair, and until the western world stands in unity against them, they will continue to promote death and violence.

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