Israel Lives In A Really Bad Neighborhood

On October 7th, Israel was attacked by Hamas. As a result of that attack, Israel has attempted to eliminate Hamas because it is an organization that foments terrorism against Israel. Israel seems to be doing a pretty good job despite opposition from people who are either unaware of the history and goals of Hamas or choose to ignore them. Unfortunately Hamas is not Israel’s only bad neighbor.

On Monday, The Daily Wire reported the following:

The Israel Defense Forces destroyed what it said were two large weapon depots belonging to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization inside Lebanon.

The strikes reportedly occurred near the coastal city of Sidon, which is roughly thirty miles north of the Israel-Lebanon border.

“IDF fighter jets struck two Hezbollah weapons storage facilities adjacent to the city of Sidon in Lebanon,” the IDF said in a statement. “The strike was carried out in response to the launch of a UAV toward the Lower Galilee in northern Israel.”

“An examination of the incident suggests that the UAV was most likely launched from Lebanon by the Hezbollah terrorist organization earlier today,” the statement continued. “The incident is under review. Furthermore, over the last few hours, IDF fighter jets struck Hezbollah terrorist infrastructure in the areas of Meiss El Jabal and al-Adisa in Lebanon.”

I sincerely believe that we should celebrate the elimination of terrorists regardless of what country they choose to abide in. The article includes video of the IDF blowing up the storage facilities.

The article concludes:

Hezbollah is considered to be the most powerful and well armed terrorist group in the world thanks to receiving roughly $1 billion a year from Iran.

The group has 20,000 to 25,000 full-time fighters with tens of thousands more in reserves, according to the IDF.

How much of that $1 billion comes from American taxpayers?

The Cease-Fire Ended When Hamas Violated It

Israel used to have a policy of not negotiating with terrorists. As much as the hostages pulled at our heartstrings, that was a wise policy and might have been useful here.

On December 1st, CBN News reported the following:

Rockets fired by Hamas triggered the end to a week-long pause in the Gaza fighting in the early hours of Friday morning. The war restarted after Israel accused the terror group of violating the truce agreement.

After Hamas began firing rockets into southern Israel, the Israel Defense Forces resumed bombing in Gaza City. The renewed fighting now puts the release of the remaining hostages on hold. During the halt in the fighting more than 100 hostages were freed.

On Thursday, 10 more Israeli hostages were released. Israel had wanted all the women and children to be set free, yet with the resumption of the fighting and the breakdown in negotiations, the fate of nearly 140 hostages remaining in captivity is unknown.

The article notes:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Blinken Israel’s goals for the war.

“I told him: ‘This is the same Hamas. This is the same Hamas that carried out the terrible massacre on October 7, the same Hamas that tries to murder us everywhere.’ I told him: ‘We swore, and I swore, to eliminate Hamas. Nothing will stop us.’  We will continue this war until we achieve the three goals: to release all our abductees, to eliminate Hamas completely, and to ensure that Gaza will never again face such a threat.”

Blinken repeated the Biden administration’s message that there should be fewer civilian deaths and displacement in operations in southern Gaza than was experienced in northern Gaza. Meanwhile, Israel’s Channel 12 is reporting Blinken gave Israel “weeks” to finish the job of destroying Hamas.

“In my meetings today with the Prime Minister and senior Israeli officials, I made clear that before Israel resumes major military operations, it must put in place humanitarian, civilian protection plans that minimize further casualties of innocent Palestinians,” Blinken stated.

Israel was not the one that started this. The allies in World War II didn’t hesitate to destroy the Nazis, Israel should not hesitate to destroy Hamas.

A Question That Needs To Be Asked

On Monday, The New York Post posted the following headline:

How many aid groups knew Hamas was hiding in a hospital and lied about it?

The article reports:

Hamas used Gaza City’s al-Shifa Hospital as a base of terror operations. That’s the obvious conclusion following Sunday’s discovery of a large terror tunnel under the hospital along with videos of Hamas bringing Israeli hostages inside.

Now comes an important question for Congress: Which US-funded international organizations knew the truth about al-Shifa and helped Hamas conceal its war crimes?

The Israel Defense Forces this weekend discovered a tunnel beneath al-Shifa Hospital that extends 10 meters down and 55 meters across — leading to what might be a booby-trapped door. Special units that specialize in handling explosives have been summoned to break through to the next section.

Meanwhile, Israel also released security footage showing two hostages brought through al-Shifa by Hamas terrorists following the Oct. 7 massacre as hospital workers looked on — suggesting a widespread conspiracy to conceal both the presence of hostages at al-Shifa and Hamas’ terror infrastructure within the compound.

The article notes:

Within days of the Hamas massacre, Fabrizio Carboni, the Middle East regional director for the International Committee of the Red Cross, began spreading Hamas disinformation — telling international media that Gaza “hospitals risk turning into morgues.”

When Carboni said this, he may have already known that hospitals in Gaza were used as terror bases and hostages were being stashed under those hospitals.

…In its 2022 annual report, the ICRC says it received $689 million from the United States last year — roughly one-third of contributions received from all countries combined. That’s a lot of taxpayer money sent to an organization that may have betrayed its most fundamental duty to uphold the Geneva Conventions by covering up Hamas war crimes and abandoning Israeli hostages.

The article concludes:

The ICRC and WHO have strong lobbies in Washington that will fight to protect their flow of taxpayer money. If, as expected, the State Department does nothing to hold these groups accountable, Congress — which holds their purse strings — should intervene. The first step: Investigate. The next: Put a pause on US funding until leadership changes and reforms guarantee that complicity in terrorist war crimes will never happen again.

How much American taxpayer money paid for Hamas headquarters?

Having The Courage To Tell The Truth

On Wednesday, The Conservative Review posted an article about the screening of a film called “Bearing Witness to the October 7th Massacre.” The screenings will be held in Los Angeles and New York City.

The article reports:

Hollywood superstar Gal Gadot will help host uncensored screenings of footage laying bare the atrocities that Hamas committed in its Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

Screenings of the film, which has been titled “Bearing Witness to the October 7th Massacre,” will be held in Los Angeles and New York City, according to the Wrap. Hollywood celebrities, journalists, and other influential figures are being invited to attend the events.

The Israel Defense Forces are providing 47-minutes of footage for the private screenings. The Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee are also helping organize the screenings.

The article notes:

But the backlash against her has been fierce. The Quds News Network, a Palestinian “news” organization with connections to Hamas and Islamic terrorism, posted about the screening on social media, generating more than 50 million views and a ton of reaction.

“When we say these are not harmless opinions or individuals or careers to support, we aren’t exaggerating. Gal Gadot is a former IDF soldier using her access in Hollywood to push propaganda for an ongoing genocide,” said UCLA professor Nour Joudah.

The current spin by the ‘Palestinians’ is that Israel is committing genocide by going into Gaza. Israel is attacking military targets. What was Hamas doing when it went into Israel on October 7?

America’s Actions Are Not Helping End Terrorism

On Wednesday, Hot Air posted an article about Israel’s delay in its attack on the Gaza Strip.

The article reports:

The story about why Israel has yet to make a ground invasion of Gaza is becoming clear, and it is yet another embarrassment for the United States under Joe Biden.

Israel has been prepared to enter Gaza to eliminate Hamas, but the ground invasion keeps getting delayed. The reason why?

The US is unprepared to defend US military installations in the area.

If that is true, then every one of our current military leaders ought to be relieved of command.

On October 23rd, The National Review reported the following:

The IDF is getting antsy that further delaying the ground invasion of Gaza could hinder its goal of destroying Hamas, while the Biden administration is putting pressure on Israel to wait even longer for ongoing hostage negotiations to play out.

A ground invasion of Gaza has been reported as “imminent” for weeks following the October 7 massacre of Israeli civilians, leading to swirling speculation about what the hold-up was; but a clearer picture is starting to emerge.

The Times of Israel on Monday reported that

the Israel Defense Forces believes that in order to attain the objectives of the war against Hamas, laid out by government officials, the military must begin its ground offensive in the Gaza Strip sooner rather than later. . . .

After 16 days of airstrikes, the IDF has told the government that it is fully prepared for a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, and believes it can achieve the goals set out for it, even at the risk of heavy casualties to soldiers, and amid repeated attacks by Hezbollah in the north, The Times of Israel learned.

The new excuse by the Biden Administration looks utterly pathetic because it is an admission that despite decades of having troops and assets in the region, our military is not prepared to defend our interests.

That is quite the reality if true, and quite the message to our enemies if either true or false.

Do we want Israel to deal with the terrorists in Gaza or do we want more terrorism around the world?

Please follow the link to read the entire article. We need a new President.

Of Course They Do

Breitbart.com posted an article today citing a Times of Israel report stating that Arab leaders support John Kerry’s proposals for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Of course they do. The 1967 borders are indefensible. Kerry’s peace plan is the blueprint for the Arab dream of driving the Israelis into the sea.

The article reports:

Saudi Arabia issued a statement Thursday via an official news agency saying that the kingdom “welcomed the proposals” set forth by Kerry and that they were in accordance “with the majority of the resolutions of international legality and most of the elements of the Arab Peace Initiative” adopted by the Arab League in 2002.

Kerry’s proposals represent “an appropriate basis for achieving a final settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” the Saudi Press Agency reported, citing an unnamed source in the Saudi Foreign Ministry.

This is amazing. If you remember, the concept is called ‘land for peace.’ Israel gave the ‘Palestinians‘ the Gaza Strip in exchange for peace. The Palestinians promptly destroyed all the greenhouses that could have provided income for them and then used the land as a staging area to fire rockets at Israeli civilians. The Palestinians also used the Gaza Strip to build underground tunnels to move troops through to attack Israeli civilians. The Palestinians got the land, but Israel did not get the peace. Shouldn’t we learn from history?

Israel is being asked to give up the Wailing Wall and part of the Golan Heights. The Wailing Wall is Jewish–it doesn’t in any way belong to the Arabs. The Golan Heights is strategic–it is a great place to lob rockets at innocent Israeli civilians–it was used for that purpose before the 1967 War. The 1967 boundaries were never actually boundaries–they were cease-fire lines drawn until a solution could be worked out. They were indefensible at the time, and they are indefensible now. Forcing Israel to give up more land for an illusive peace will only create more war. It is truly a shame that the Obama Administration chooses not to understand this. I am sure Israel, along with those who sincerely want peace in the Middle East, is looking forward to the Trump Administration.

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.

 

We Obviously Need A New Foreign Policy

Jim Geraghty posted an article in The Corner at National Review today about the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq. In the article he reminds us that CNN reported the following:

During a National Security Council meeting held at the Pentagon on Dec. 14, President Barack Obama told top military officials and other officials he wanted to see a better job of having the so-called “narrative” of the war on ISIS communicated to the American people, a senior defense official told CNN.

Communication is not the problem.

The article at The Corner reports:

In Afghanistan, Taliban Controls Most Territory Since 2001; ISIS Preparing ‘Greatest Religious Cleansing in History

The story includes this report from a German journalist:

A German journalist who spent 10 days with Islamic State says that the radical jihadist group that has captured wide swaths of Syria and Iraq is deterred by only one Middle Eastern country – Israel.

In an interview with the British Jewish News, Jurgen Todenhofer recalls his brief time behind enemy lines during which he spoke with ISIS fighters.

“The only country ISIS fears is Israel,” Todenhofer, a former member of the German parliament, told Jewish News. “They told me they know the Israeli army is too strong for them.”

The writer said that ISIS wants to lure British and American forces into Syria and Iraq, areas where it thinks it has an advantage.

“They think they can defeat US and UK ground troops, who they say they have no experience in city guerrilla or terrorist strategies,” he told Jewish News. “But they know the Israelis are very tough as far as fighting against guerrillas and terrorists.

This doesn’t sound as if we are making progress in the War on Terror.

The Pictures Tell The Story

The map below shows the land originally given for the State of Israel in 1920:

The map below shows the changes made to that land in 1922:

As you can see, land was taken away from the land originally promised to Israel and given to the Arabs to form Trans-Jordan. The Jews were left with 23% of the land they were originally promised. They were willing to accept that–the Arabs were not.

The map below appeared on MSNBC this week:

MSNBC maps

This is totally misleading. There never was a country of Palestine–Palestine was the name given by the British to the Jewish land they occupied after the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

The Washington Free Beacon posted a story yesterday about the MSNBC map.

The article states:

MSNBC has admitted that highly controversial graphics aired on the network that depicted Israel as stealing land from the Palestinians were “factually wrong” and that the broadcast would be corrected on Monday, according to a network spokesperson.

The cable news network has been fighting off criticism after it aired the graphics and analysis, including a map linked to conspiracy groups branded as anti-Semitic, that portrayed Israel as existing on territory expropriated from Palestine.

The graphics garnered criticism from pro-Israel advocates and has now prompted the network to acknowledge that the graphics were highly misleading.

“In an attempt to shed light on the geographic context of the Israeli-Palestinian issue, we aired a map that was factually wrong,” the spokesperson said on Sunday.

Two MSNBC broadcasters, Kate Snow and Martin Fletcher, “will address the map in a segmentMonday about agendas and disinformation on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the spokesperson said.

Fletcher, a Middle East analyst, said on Sunday that the map and analyses were “dead wrong.”

If you don’t understand the history of Israel, it is easy to conclude that Israel is in some way responsible for the current wave of violence against Israel. Nothing is further from the truth. The violence is being agitated from the Gaza Strip and probably rooted in orders from Iran. Right now, Iran is pulling the strings in the Arab world. They are quite capable of causing all sorts of distractions from the nuclear agreement that is in the process of going into effect. The nuclear agreement Iran agreed to is not the same nuclear agreement that was signed in Vienna (rightwinggranny). It is quite possible that what is happening in Israel is being done to create a military response from Israel in order to give the Arab world an excuse to attack Israel. Remember, wars in the Middle East are as much about propaganda as they are about the military. That is what makes the showing of the erroneous map by MSNBC so egregious.

How Things Work In The Middle East

Today The Blaze posted an article about the rocket attacks on Israel during the past two weeks. Somehow the media and the international community  have remained silent on the issue. Prime Minister Netanyahu pointed out that there will be a lot of media coverage as soon as Israel retaliated–the United Nations and most of the media would come out against Israel.

The article gives a possible explanation for the recent attacks:

The Times of Israel noted that following a Palestinian rocket attack last week, a spokesman for U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on “all parties to avoid further escalation and prevent incidents that jeopardize the lives of Israeli and Palestinian civilians.”

…The Saturday night launch was the third rocket attack on southern Israeli communities in the past two weeks.

A radical Salafist terrorist group linked to the Islamic State group took responsibility for two of the rocket firings.

The Times of Israel quoted Israeli military sources who said they suspect Omar Brigades, a Salafist group which views the ruling Hamas as a rival, has launched the rockets in order to provoke an Israeli military response against Hamas targets, and thus weaken its rival.

Note that the U.N. statement does not condemn the actions of the group firing the rocket, it just states that things should not escalate. Until the U.N. and the world community begin to condemn the side initiating the rocket attacks, the attacks will continue. Unfortunately, the world community is enabling a bully to continue attacks and condemning the bullied when they defend themselves.

 

Does The Constitution Apply On College Campuses?

Brandeis University was founded in 1948 as a nonsectarian Jewish community-sponsored co-ed university. It is named for Louis Brandeis, the first Jewish Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Justice Brandeis was a champion of free speech and an ardent Zionist. I am sure he would not be pleased with some recent developments at the university that bears his name.

Today’s Wall Street Journal posted a story about Daniel Mael, a senior majoring in business at Brandeis. Mr. Mael is very active on campus–he is a part of Brandeis’s Orthodox Jewish community, and as a student journalist has published articles in national outlets. On October 14, 2013, two pro-Israel campus groups hosted Barak Raz, a former spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Eli Philip, another student, who was the leader of the campus affiliate of J Street, attended the event. A rather unfriendly Facebook exchange followed between Mr. Mael and Mr. Philip. The discussion then moved to articles and petitions.

The story continued:

Mr. Philip interpreted this as harassment, and in a Dec. 9, 2013, complaint to Brandeis administrators, he presented charges under the university code of conduct. Mr. Philip said in his written complaint that at a lunch meeting two days after the IDF event, Mr. Mael “accused me of behavior unfitting a Jewish soul” and of harboring “deep-seated ‘evil inclinations.’ ” Mr. Mael, Mr. Philip went on, “informed me that I damaged the Jewish community, that I should resign from my position as student leader, and that he must take action to restore the Jewish community.”

Mr. Mael says his words were misquoted and taken out of context, but that’s beside the point. Religious-oriented conversations, however passionate, don’t amount to harassment, a principle that the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission has set forth regarding workplaces and one even more relevant on college campuses, where philosophical disputation is supposed to be part of the air students breathe. Nor did the encounter amount to conduct with “the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering” with Mr. Philip’s “education or work performance,” as the Brandeis student code defines harassment. The students, after all, were having lunch.

Mr.Mael was called into the Dean of Students office on December 5, 2013, and instructed to familiarize himself with the Rights and Responsibilities handbook as Mr. Philip was considering certain actions. Mr. Mael was also advised to avoid using social media. Then on October 8, 2014, Mr. Mael was again called to the dean’s office. At that time he was told that there were charges against him of bullying, harassment and religious discrimination. He was given a week to plead guilty or not guilty to the charges. Mr. Mael was not allowed to keep a copy of the complaint.

The story continues:

In a panic after the meeting with Dean Adams, Mr. Mael consulted his friend Noah Pollak, of the Washington-based Emergency Committee for Israel, which retained the Covington & Burling law firm to act on his behalf. Yet when Mr. Mael’s lawyer initially corresponded with university counsel, he was informed that “parties involved in the conduct process are not permitted to engage legal counsel to act or speak on their behalf.”

Covington & Burling paid no heed. With the deadline approaching and still without a copy of the complaint, Mr. Mael opted to plead not guilty and request a full hearing before a jury of his fellow students.

Mr. Mael was provided with a copy of the charges by the end of October.

The article explains:

And Covington & Burling submitted to Brandies two lengthy legal memoranda blasting violations of Mr. Mael’s rights. One letter concluded: “We reserve all rights on behalf of Mr. Mael, including the right to assert claims for the reputational and other harms caused by the baseless allegations at the heart of this proceeding.” In other words: See you in court.

On Oct. 27 Dean Adams informed Mr. Mael via email that the “allegations against you will not be adjudicated through our Student Conduct Board. The accuser has withdrawn from the option to do so and therefore this case should be considered closed and without determination of fault or sanction. . . . Thank you for your cooperation.”

First of all, if Mr. Philip was all that upset about what Mr. Mael was saying on social media, he could easily have blocked him. Second of all, Mr. Philip needs to learn that other people are also entitled to their opinions. Thirdly, I think Justice Brandeis would be turning over in his grave if he know what was going on in the college named after him.

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?

 

The Propaganda Machine Rolls On

On Saturday, Haaretz reported that a Palestinian-American was killed on Friday in the West Bank as he attempted to throw a firebomb.

The story reports:

According to the military, the boy, 14, was about to throw a firebomb towards Route 60; an IDF unit positioned nearby opened fire after he had lit the firebomb’s fuse, and was preparing to hurl it. Palestinian officials denied these claims.

A relative identified the teen as Orwa Abd al-Wahhab Hammad and said he was born in New Orleans and came to the West Bank at age six. Hammad’s cousin Moath said he was among a group of Palestinians who were throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers.

An Israeli army spokesman told Reuters Israeli forces “managed to prevent an attack when they encountered a Palestinian man hurling a molotov cocktail at them on the main road next to Silwad. They opened fire and they confirmed a hit.”

This is the U. S. State Department response:

The United States expresses its deepest condolences to the family of a U.S. citizen minor who was killed by the Israeli Defense Forces during clashes in Silwad on October 24.  Officials from the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem are in contact with the family and are providing all appropriate consular assistance. We call for a speedy and transparent investigation, and will remain closely engaged with the local authorities, who have the lead on this investigation.  We continue to urge all parties to help restore calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of the tragic recent incidents in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

How about telling the Palestinians not to train their children to throw rocks and firebombs at soldiers? This was not a ‘tragic recent incident.’ It is the result of years of indoctrination of hatred toward Israel in the Palestinian educations system.

Below is a picture of some kindergarten children at the graduation in Palestine that I posted in June 2012. Until this sort of training in school stops, there will not be peace between Israel and its so-called Palestinian neighbors.

As usual, the State Department is on the wrong side of this conflict.

There Are Relationships And There Are Relationships

I24 News posted a story today about the deteriorating relationship between Israel and the Obama Administration.

The article reports:

Relations between Israel and the US are so bad now that the Obama administration has seen fit to tighten its control over wartime weapons shipments, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday morning. According to the report, citing unnamed senior officials, the White house had requested that the Pentagon put on hold a shipment of ‘Hellfire’ missiles Israel had requested and instructed them to “consult with policy makers at the White House and the State Department before approving any additional requests.”

The change in policy was related to the fact that a UN school was struck by an IDF missile.

This is a bit one-way. We are continuing aid to Hamas as they use human shields and deliberately target civilians. Secretary of State Kerry wanted the blockade of Gaza lifted so that Hamas could receive more concrete to build tunnels to attack Israel. And there has been no decrease in American aid to Hamas even after it became obvious that the aid was being used for weapons and tunnels–not to build hospitals, schools, and homes for the people of Gaza.

The article further reports:

US policymakers, were apparently fine with equipping the IDF with defensive equipment, especially the jointly funded and widely touted Iron Dome, but were concerned about the transfer of weapons of a more offensive nature. They were reportedly particularly worried by the IDF’s widespread use of artillery that provided cover for Israel’s ground incursion into Gaza, because of its less precise nature and higher risk of hurting innocent civilians.

The report quoted a senior Obama administration official saying that the weapons transfers shouldn’t have been a routine “check-the-box approval” process, given the context. “The official said the decision to scrutinize future transfers at the highest levels amounted to the United States saying ‘The buck stops here. Wait a second…It’s not OK anymore.’ “

“They decided to require White House and State Department approval for even routine munitions requests by Israel,” the article reads, citing officials. “Instead of being handled as a military-to-military matter, each case is now subject to review—slowing the approval process and signaling to Israel that military assistance once taken for granted is now under closer scrutiny.”

The Wall Street Journal report paints the weapons issue as part of a widening gulf between the Netanayahu and Obama administrations, which has reached “the lowest point” since Obama took office.

Note to White House–Hamas is a terrorist organization. Sending them money is supporting terrorism. Their charter includes the destruction of Israel. They are not the good guys. If Palestinians want their own state, they should not elect terrorists to run it.

A Hospital, A Mosque, A University, and An UNRWA Ambulance

What do a hospital, a mosque, a university and an UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees) ambulance have in common? According to Breitbart.com, they were all part of the killing of IDF Officer LT Hadar Goldin, 23.

The article reports:

An unnamed Israeli military source spoke to Breitbart News about the story of how Hamas used an UNRWA ambulance, a mosque, and the Islamic University to carry out the attack that killed the three IDF soldiers.

The officer explained how, after the suicide bombing that killed Lt. Goldin, a second kidnapping team of Hamas terrorists grabbed parts of his body and ran back into the tunnel from which the terrorists emerged. The tunnel led back into a mosque. From the mosque, they escaped in a clearly marked UNRWA ambulance. The terrorists then made contact with high-ranking Hamas officials hiding in the Islamic University. 

As a result Abu Marzook, a senior member of Hamas, announced in Cairo that Hamas had kidnapped an Israeli soldier. Israeli intelligence intercepted a conversation between the kidnappers and the Hamas officials at the Islamic University and thus got all the particulars regarding the hiding place of the kidnappers. Within minutes, the IAF attacked both the kidnappers’ location and the Islamic University.

So what can we learn from this? Hamas has no problem using hospitals, universities and mosques to hide its activities and its tunnel network. Hamas has no problem using a clearly-marked UNRWA ambulance as part of a battle plan. I think it is time we stopped giving money to the United Nations to fund UNRWA. They seem to have forgotten their mission (as has the United Nations–we should stop funding them also).

The war in Gaza began with the constant rocket attacks on Israel and the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli students. We need to keep that in mind as the Palestinian propaganda machine ramps up its charges of crimes against humanity against Israel. War is actually supposed to conducted according to rules. Hamas and its cousin ISIS have broken every rule of civilized warfare in their attacks on Israel and on non-Muslims in other countries. There needs to be some outrage by the World Court, the United Nations, and other organizations that are always blaming Israel for war crimes. These organizations need to either speak out against what ISIS and Hamas or doing or they need to disband as useless. There really is no other option.

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.

Booby Traps In An UNRWA Health Clinic

UNRWA is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. They have hospitals, schools, and clinics in Gaza. Today the Times of Israel is reporting that three IDF soldiers were killed in a booby-trapped UNRWA health clinic that housed the opening of a tunnel. The soldiers were taking precautionary measures to limit the damage to the building while blowing up the tunnel when the explosives rigged by the Hamas fighters detonated, collapsing the building and killing the soldiers.

On July 20, I reported the following (rightwinggranny.com):

Here is the UNRWA’s “apology” for allowing rockets to be stored in one of their schools in Gaza and here is a follow-up article stating that they did not turn said weapons over for destruction to UN forces or some other legal body that respects human rights but rather gave them back to Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization that has to date committed numerous war crimes and various human rights violations according to the fourth Geneva Conventions.

UNRWA apologized for the incident, but obviously did not change its actions. The article at the Times of Israel reports that many of the buildings that house the tunnels have been booby trapped.

The Times of Israel also reports:

Turgeman ( IDF Southern Command head Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman) said the IDF is “days away” from completing the military goal of destroying all of the tunnels, though the process is complex. Four tunnels have been destroyed in the past 24 hours, he added.

Turgeman revealed that the IDF expanded its operation on Tuesday night, targeting new sites in the north and center of the coastal enclave.

With the amount of concrete Hamas poured into the tunnel project, two hospitals, 20 schools, 20 healthcare centers, and 100 kindergartens could have been built, he said.

It is a shame that the United Nations did not supervise Gaza to make sure that hospitals, schools, and healthcare centers were built instead of the tunnels used to attack Israel. I truly believe that with the building of these tunnels, Gaza has given up its right to be an independent state.

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.

Israel Did Not Hit The Hospital And The Playground

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article today about the hospital in Gaza that was supposedly attacked.

The article quotes The Algemenier:

The Israeli army said it was not operating in the vicinity of Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza on Monday, where an explosion reportedly killed and wounded dozens of Palestinians.

“A short while ago Al-Shifa Hospital and Al-Shati Refugee Camp were struck by failed rocket attacks launched by Gaza terrorists,” the army said in a statement sent to reporters.

The failed attempt to fire the projectile apparently hit a car near the center, according to Israel’s Channel 2 News, causing the casualties.

The station said that a “Hamas Fajr-5 rocket aimed at central Israel, which was fired from a playground outside the Shifa hospital and exploded on the site causing casualties, had at least a 100 kg (220 lbs) warhead,” according to The Times of Israel.

The article at Power Line includes a photo with the comment:

The Algemeiner performs the service of running the suggestive photograph below with the caption: “Nick Casey, The Wall Street Journal’s Middle East Correspondent, posted a photo to Twitter of a Hamas spokesman being interviewed on camera at Gaza’s Al Shifa Hospital, which Hamas uses as a base. The photo has since been removed. Photo: Nick Casey / Twitter.”

The fact that Hamas uses a hospital as a base of operations and fires rockets from a playground tells us all we need to know about how Hamas feels about protecting civilians.

A Brief Primer On Israel And Gaza

Israel turned Gaza over to the Palestinians (there has never actually been a Palestinian state) in 2005. Just to refresh your memory, there was no cry for a Palestinian state until after the 1967 war. 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.” That is a part of the history of the Middle East that is often ignored.

So what is this current war about? This is a chart from the IDF blog:

graph

This is a picture of a playground in Sderot, Israel:

This cute little piece of playground equipment is actually a bomb shelter. Children is Sderot have 15 seconds to get to a bomb shelter when the sirens go off. The reason we have not seen massive civilian casualties in Israel caused by the Hamas rocket attacks is that Israel uses the Iron Dome to keep the rockets from hitting the ground and the Israeli population has been spending a lot of time in bomb shelters. (There is also the ‘God thing.’ Israel has a Biblical relationship to God that includes ownership of the land they now possess. The Bible clearly says that the person who blesses Israel will be blessed and the person who curses Israel will be cursed. History bears that out.)

Please remember when you hear the hysterical cries of Palestinian casualties that those casualties are planned by the Palestinian government. When Israel tells people to leave an area they are about to attack, the Palestinian government orders the civilians to stay there–the Palestinian government understands the optics of Palestinian civilian casualties in the propaganda war. Israel is not targeting civilians–the government of Gaza has targeted Israeli civilians for years. Don’t believe the current propaganda.

The Planning For The Hamas Attack On Israel Must Have Gone On For Some Time

CBN News posted an article today about the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The article mentioned the tunnels going from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

The article reports:

The tunnels are designed to infiltrate communities close to the border. Gaza is about a mile away and some of these tunnels are more than a mile long and 60 feet deep with multiple exits. It proves Hamas has been planning this for a very long time.

The article explains the strategy of Hamas being used in the war:

Meanwhile on Sunday, 13 IDF soldiers died in an attack on one Hamas stronghold in Shejaiya. More than 100 Palestinians were killed in the incident, both terrorists and civilians. 

For three days, Israel warned residents by phone calls and leaflets to get out of harms’ way, while the Hamas interior minister told them to stay there. 

“Hamas is effectively conducting self-genocide,” Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said. “They’re placing their women and children around missile launchers, shooting rockets at Israel [and] waiting for us to retaliate in order for them to kill their own, and that’s what’s happening.”   

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said using civilians as human shields is part of Hamas’ strategy.

“They have a strategy designed to force Israel to kill their own civilians so the rest of the world will condemn them,” he said.

Middle Eastern terrorists have long used the media to aid them in their cause. The thing to remember when hearing stories of the war between Israel and Hamas is that Israel is using the Iron Dome to protect its citizens and its military. Hamas is using civilians to protect its military and its weapons. That alone illustrates the values of the two sides.

Positive Unintended Consequences In The Middle East

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article today about the Israeli invasion of Gaza. He mentions in the article that Israel did not go into Gaza until the latest attempt to broker a diplomatic settlement broke down.

The article reports:

According to Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, spokesman for the IDF, the ground offensive began at 10 p.m. Israeli time. It involves dozens of infantry, armed core, and artillery units, as well as air and naval support. Israel plans to call up additional reservist troops to bolster the 50,000 called up already.

Perhaps the most interesting part of Lerner’s statement is that the IDF’s activities along the southern part of the Gaza Strip are being coordinated with Egypt. Lerner did not elaborate on the extent of the cooperation.

As I suggested here, Egyptian cooperation is one reason why this Israeli offensive may produce more thorough and lasting results than previous ones.

If Obama had gotten his way, the Muslim Brotherhood would still run Egypt, and Israeli-Egyptian cooperation against Hamas would be out of the question.

Because the Egyptian military stood up to the Muslim Brotherhood, the people in Israel may eventually be safer from Hamas.

 

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.

Israel Under Attack And Fighting Back

Late last night The Jerusalem Post reported that Tel Aviv and Jerusalem were under rocket attack from Gaza. Jerusalem has opened its public bomb shelters. The Iron Dome has been effective in stopping many of the rockets, but the attacks on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem represent an increase in the Gazan rockets’ range.

The article reports:

Iron Dome intercepted 23 rockets, shooting down rockets over Ashdod, Ashkelon and Gaza border communities.

The army began calling up the 40,000 reserve soldiers the cabinet approved for Operation Protective Edge, launched the previous night to stop the rocket fire from Gaza. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz asked for the 40,000 soldiers in order to replace conscripted forces in the West Bank, thereby enabling their deployment to the Gaza border.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon brought the request to the cabinet, and the ministers approved it. By Tuesday afternoon, the IDF had begun issuing reserve notices.

Following high-level security deliberations on Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu decided to expand the military operation in the Gaza Strip, including beginning preparations for a ground offensive. No time limit was put on the operation, but senior political officials said it could be “for a long time.”

The objective, according to the officials, is to return quiet to the South, but the equation that “quiet would be met with quiet” was no longer the operative principle.

Hamas became part of the Palestinian government recently. What is happening now is one result of that partnership. The truly disturbing fact in what is currently happening in Israel is that Hamas has obtained better rockets with a longer range. Peace in the Middle East will not be possible until the rockets stop flying. It is a credit to Israel that Gaza has not been totally destroyed–Israel’s first response has been to use the Iron Dome to protect itself rather than to obliterate the country launching the rockets. I don’t know how much longer we can expect Israel to be patient–if America were under rocket attack from another country, I don’t think that country would last long.