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Friday, May 29, 2015

FIFA still voted to call Israel "racist"

The compromise proposal that the PA proposed to the FIFA is not as much of a victory as Israel is pretending.

90% of FIFA members voted for this:
In order to end the suffering and discrimination of our Palestinian football family at the hands of the illegal and racist occupation of our land, we have presented a proposal for a final solution. [A committee to investigate]

(1) The restrictions of Palestinian rights for the freedom of movement. (2) The continued racism and discriminatory behavior of IFA officials and clubs in direct violation of not only the principles of FIFA, (including FIFA’s no-tolerance policy against racism and discrimination) (3) the grave concern over at least five Israeli clubs located in illegal settlements in the occupied State of Palestine.
Saying that they will investigate Israel's "racism" means that they are saying Israel is a priori racist.




05/29 Links Pt2: The depraved indifference of ‘two-statism’; The Holy See’s unholy sanctimony

From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: Universities Should be Unsafe for Political Correctness
The current code word being tossed around to protect political correctness from competition in the marketplace of ideas is “unsafe.”
“I feel unsafe” has become the argument stopper on many university campuses. Efforts have been made to shut down controversial events or speakers, some of which have succeeded, at MIT, the University of Michigan, Northeastern University, Oxford, Hampshire College, Smith College, and other great universities on the grounds that students would feel “unsafe.” Students must, of course, be and feel physically safe in their dorms, classrooms and campuses. That’s what university and city police are for: to protect against physical assaults and threats. But no one on a university campus should be or feel safe or protected when it comes to the never-ending war of ideas.
An important role of the university is to challenge every idea, every truth, every sacred notion, even if challenge makes students (or faculty) feel intellectually uncomfortable, unsettled, or unsafe. There must be no safe spaces in the classroom or auditorium that protect members of the university community from dangerous, disturbing or even emotionally unsettling ideas.
The depraved indifference of ‘two-statism’
Under these conditions, demilitarization is virtually irrelevant. Even lightly armed renegades with improvised weapons could disrupt the socioeconomic routine of the nation at will, with or without the complicity of the incumbent regime, which due to its despotic nature would have little commitment to the welfare of the average citizen.
Definitely depraved indifference
Faced with this grim prospect, any Israeli government would either have to resign itself to recurring paralysis of the economy, mounting civilian casualties and the disruption of life in the country, or respond repeatedly with massive retaliation, with the attendant collateral damage among the non-belligerent Palestinian-Arab population and international condemnation of its use of “disproportionate force.”
It is uncertain – perhaps unlikely – that the fabric of Israeli society could withstand the strain for long...
The fact that other, more palatable, outcomes may be possible is of no real relevance. Unless two-staters can provide some plausible argument as to how such grave consequences can be averted with a significant degree of certainty, it will be increasingly difficult not to have grave doubts as to the nature of their motives. After all, as the introductory citation from Yossi Beilin, arch-architect of the Oslo Accords, demonstrates, two-staters were aware that their policy might be unsuccessful. Yet despite it clearly failing their own “test of blood,” despite the clear and present danger it entails, they persist in it.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to reconcile calls for a Palestinian state with concern for the security and well-being of the Jewish nation-state – and increasingly difficult to deny that “depraved indifference” is becoming an ever-more apt characterization of “two-stater” behavior.
 Sarah Honig: The Holy See’s unholy sanctimony
Despite Israel’s exemplary attributes of sovereignty, the Vatican remained sour, begrudging and glacially aloof – and that again is resorting to understatement.
So whereas a Palestinian state is recognized prematurely – before actual self-determination – it took the Vatican a whopping 45-and-a-half years after the fact to bring itself to officially recognize Jewish self-determination. Egypt – Israel’s bitter foe for decades – beat the Vatican by 14 years.
Only in late December 1993 did the Vatican finally deign to recognize the Israel that was born in mid-May 1948. Moreover, the Vatican’s ultra-belated recognition remained hesitant, as if the ecclesiastical bureaucracy’s gut instincts prevented it from at all stomaching the notion of Jewish sovereignty.
The difference screams to High Heaven and anyone who denies a brazen double standard simply refuses to admit the truth staring us all in the face.
The adjective which most immediately comes to mind to describe the Vatican’s blatant bias is sanctimonious. Its dictionary definitions are “affecting piety, making a display of holiness, showing false righteousness, marked by hypocritical virtue.” All the above fit the Holy See to a tee to say nothing of the fact that sanctimonious originates from the Latin sanctimonia (sanctity) and sanctus (holy).
Galling pontifical predispositions or preconceptions were even abundantly evident during the visit here last year of apparent nice-guy Pope Francis.

The PLO's strategy to weaponize international organizations (ElderToon)


Abbas may meet Hamas leader Meshal tomorrow at Qatar wedding

Tomorrow, Mahmoud Abbas' grandson, also named Mahmoud, is getting married in Doha, Qatar.

Some Arab newspapers say that it is likely that Abbas will meet with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal. Some sources say Meshal was invited.

Abbas is also expected to meet with the Emir of Qatar to beg for more money.

Abbas will fly there on a private plane with family members and his own security detail.

05/29 Links Pt1: Obama’s anti-Semitism test; Palestinians drop bid to ban Israel from FIFA

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Barack Obama’s anti-Semitism test
By rejecting the policy significance of anti-Semitism for the Iranian regime, Obama exhibited yet another anti-Semitic behavior. Obama asserted that if you fail to recognize the danger that anti-Semitism constitutes for Israel’s survival, then you are an anti-Semite.
Obama’s statements about the Palestinians also indicate that he feels little love for Jews. As has been his consistent practice since assuming office, in his charm offensive last week, Obama continued to ignore the fact that if the Palestinians were primarily interested in a state, rather than in the destruction of the Jewish state, they could have had one at almost any time since the release of the Peel Commission report in 1937 that first suggested partitioning the land west of the Jordan River between a Jewish and an Arab state. His consistent refusal to deal with this simple fact, and his insistence on blaming Israel for the Palestinians’ expressed misery despite Israel’s repeated offers to partition the land in exchange for peace raise serious questions about his intentions toward the Jewish state.
As Obama rightly understands, in the coming months, as he tries to sell his nuclear deal with Iran and his anti-Israel positions at the UN to the American public, the question of whether or not he is an anti-Semite will become more salient than ever before.
Now that he has answered the question, Israel needs to act in accordance with Jewish values, and choose life even at the expense of good relations with the Obama administration.
Melanie Phillips: Israel’s Foreign Ministry moves to be right
Israel’s new deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, has caused a sensation, not least in her own ministry. She has told the truth.
She said Israel must not hesitate to assert that the entire Land of Israel, including the West Bank, belongs to the Jewish people.
That right, she said, came from the Hebrew Bible. She referred to Maimonides, who asserted that Genesis began with the creation of the world in order to provide a riposte to foreign nations accusing the Jews of stealing the Land of Israel.
Israeli diplomats were aghast. “It’s the first time anyone has asked us to use verses from the Torah for public diplomacy abroad,” one was quoted as saying.
It is true that the hostile West (and many Israelis) may write off Hotovely as just another religious zealot who wants to annex the West Bank.
In fact, she also said she is committed to a two-state solution along the lines laid down by Prime Minister Netanyahu: that Israel would support a Palestine state established to live in peace alongside Israel.
Palestinians drop bid to have Israel banned from FIFA
The Palestinian delegation to FIFA on Friday dropped a motion to have the Israeli soccer federation suspended from international football amid pressure from dozens of national delegates.
Palestinian soccer chief Jibril Rajoub submitted a last-minute amendment to the proposal and told the Congress that “a lot of colleagues” asked him not to call for Israel’s suspension.
He said dozens of football presidents called on him to drop the bid, “but it does not mean that I give up the resistance.”
Instead, Rajoub called on international delegates to vote on setting up a monitoring mechanism to oversee three points: the movement of Palestinian soccer players and soccer equipment donated to the Palestinians, monitoring racism and discrimination against Palestinian soccer players, and the issue of Israeli teams from settlements in the West Bank, which he referred to as “five racist clubs which should be banned.”

When Israel-haters attack - each other

Gilad Atzmon, antisemitic jazz musician, wrote a screed against Jewish Voice for Peace, the anti-Zionist organization, for not hating Jews enough.

Apparently, Rebecca Vilkomerson, JVP’s Executive Director, wrote a letter to Alison Weir, another antisemite who described Judaism as “such a ruthless and supremacist faith," saying that they won't work with her any more because she is a bigot, and it doesn't look good for a group that pretends to be liberal and peace-loving to associate with someone who hates Jews:
Dear Ms. Weir,

Jewish Voice for Peace has chosen not to work with you because our central tenet is opposition to racism in all its forms, and you have chosen repeatedly to associate yourself with people who advocate for racism.

You have been a repeat guest of white supremacist Clay Douglas on his hate radio show, the Free American. Clay Douglas is concerned primarily with the survival of the White race and sees malign Jewish influence everywhere. His racist, anti-Jewish, and anti-gay rhetoric can be found across the front pages of his multiple websites.

In the course of your appearance with Clay Douglas on August 25, 2010, for example, you were silent when Douglas invoked the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and engaged in a racist diatribe against Jews. Your repeated appearance on this show (April 23 and August 25, 2010; February 9 and May 18, 2011) show that you knew his extremist views and chose to continue the association.

Your troubling associations and choices further include giving interviews to a range of far-right outlets including The American Free Press, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as a hate group, and the anti-gay, anti-Jewish pastor Mark Dankof. One of your articles appeared in an anthology that was promoted by the infamous Holocaust-denial organization, the Institute for Historical Review. We see no evidence that you have disavowed any of these outlets or institutions.

Our movement must be built on a foundation of love, justice and equality for all people. It should not and cannot win by fueling or endorsing any form of hate, whether against People of Color, gays, Jews, Muslims or anyone else.

At Jewish Voice for Peace, we are particularly sensitive to the long history of anti-Jewish oppression as well as the ways that Palestinian liberation work is frequently tarred with false charges of anti-Semitism. Just as we call out the hateful associations of those who seek to perpetuate injustice against Palestinians, as a movement we must also hold the line against those who promote the false notion that Palestinian liberation can be won at the expense of others.
Atzmon freaks out, saying that JVP is putting Weir in "herem" (excommunication) and calls Weir a "patriot":
JVP’s Herem announcement declares: “our movement must be built on a foundation of love, justice and equality for all people.” This is a beautiful sentiment but unfortunately, it contradicts the purpose of the letter that states in precise terms who should be excluded from ‘love’, ‘justice’ and ‘equality.’ It is astonishing that the ‘anti’ Zionists who lead JVP practice segregation and exceptionalism on a daily basis. Sometimes I wonder what it is about Israel or Zionism that they oppose. Vilkomerson’s rant reveals a deep morbid fear of Whiteness that resembles Bennett and Liebermann’s resentment towards Arabs and Muslims.

For years I have argued that the continuum between Zionism and the so-called Jewish ‘anti’ is undeniable. In its actions, JVP has foolishly confirmed again and again that my observation is correct. The original Protocol OF The Elders Of Zion is considered to be a Tsarist forgery, but the call for a herem was composed by Vilkomerson in the name of her ‘Jews only party’ and is an authentic protocol. It is a revealing glimpse into the racist morbidity that is embedded in the Jewish Left and it sheds light on the corrosive impact of JVP in its current form.
Weir also reacted furiously to JVP's criticism, as Daphne Anson documented in an excellent article here.

Crazy haters attacking other crazy haters for being crazy haters. We real writers of the Protocols couldn't have planned this better!

(h/t Ian)

Palestinians start fight at "Jerusalem Hug" event

No, this isn't satire.

Some starry-eyed peace activists announced the annual Jerusalem Hug:
On Thursday, May 28th 2015 many people will gather around the Old City of Jerusalem. Israelis and Palestinians as well as peace activists from the world will walk hand in hand around the city walls. We will stand shoulder to shoulder, sharing our wish for peace and our love for Jerusalem.

The aim of the “Jerusalem Hug” is to promote a peaceful experience, a life of freedom and joy to all people. The “Jerusalem Hug” focuses on love, respect and unity between all people. With this attitude the participants will spread out around the walls of the Old City, holding hands, singing and praying for peace and respect for all humankind.

The “Jerusalem Hug” symbolizes a different way to achieve peace: the way of the heart. We believe that when we find peace in ourselves. When we are able to forgive and open our heart for our fellow human beings, world peace will come closer. Change begins in one’s heart.
Who can be against hugs?

Jerusalem Post reporter Seth Frantzman reports:
Located between Damascus Gate and New Gate, the event was to begin at 3:30 p.m. at the Mishol Hapninim Garden, under the picturesque trees and walls of the Old City. Arab youngsters were practicing parkour and photographers had gathered to watch them. As if to coincide with the beginning of the event, several young men arrived and spoke to the Arabs who were participating, many of them wearing “Jerusalem Hug” shirts.

They told the Arab participants to leave the “normalization event” and tried to pull a woman and her child.

Arguments broke out and those with cameras were threatened by the Arab anti-normalization youths to delete film of them harassing the participants.

Water was thrown at the people present. One of the young men hit me in the face while his friend tried to prevent me from leaving.

Quds Media, a Palestinian outlet, reported the disruption of the event as “youths trying to prevent the establishment of an effective normalization event near Damascus Gate near Al-Aksa Mosque.” Commentators on social media noted that the activists involved sought to “reject normalization” and called participants “donkeys,” accusing them of leading people “to storm Al-Aksa Mosque.”



US ambassador to Jordan creates international incident for visiting LGBT meeting

Ammon News gives a hint as to what happened in an opinion piece:
On May 24th 2015, events took place in Amman to raise awareness of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) communities in Jordan. These events drew a crowd which consisted of many activists, members, and allies of Jordan’s LGBT community. One of the spokespeople at the events was no other than the United States ambassador to Jordan, Alice G Wells. She was subsequently reported to the public prosecutor for supporting the community.
A Jordanian lawyer was behind the complaint. He says that Wells was violating the Jordanian constitution, which says that Islam is the official religion of Jordan that the family is the basis of society. Therefore, these meetings were against Jordanian law, he says, and formal actions should be taken against Ambassador Wells for participating in an illegal meeting.

Images of Wells at the meeting were leaked to social media, causing an uproar in Jordan. The organizers of the meeting admitted that Wells attended in an unofficial capacity to show solidarity, as did several EU ambassadors.

A number of Arabic newspapers in Jordan have criticized Wells for her apparent pro-gay stance. Assabeel wonders if the Jordanian government was aware of these meetings and decided to turn a blind eye, or if Wells did it secretly.

Addustour sees this incident as part of a series of tactics that the US and Israel are using to pervert Jordanian society with unnatural and ungodly acts.

Astonishingly, even though this international incident occurred five days ago, this story has not made it to the mainstream media. CNN Arabic did cover it but apparently thought that it was not newsworthy enough for CNN outside Arab countries.

The opinion author at Ammon News has his own very interesting theories as to how to handle this issue. Instead of censuring Alice wells, he says, Jordanian officials should eliminate the scourge of homosexuality in Jordan altogether:

From a scientific point of view, I suggest that a person’s hormone levels be tested to see if an imbalance in chemicals is present should their sexuality or gender be suspected of differing from the norm in the early years of their life. Accordingly, perhaps a medical approach could be utilised in this situation to bring hormone levels into balance with the intention of settling their behaviour. Meanwhile, if this imbalance is found at a later stage in life, it should be treated likewise, and doctors should also provide information and advice on the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases which are prevalent in the gay community.
Those darn hormones!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

05/28 Links Pt2: When Baghdad Burned – the June 1941 Farhud Massacre; Palestinian privilege

From Ian:

The daily effects of Palestinian privilege
Whilst the idea of ‘privilege’ is intellectually suspect for a host of reasons, it’s troubling that Jews, of all people, are often considered among “the privileged” within this paradigm. Not only has the post-Holocaust taboo against antisemitism been eroded, but Jews, who represent a fraction of 1% of the world’s population, are – in a manner evoking classic tropes – now routinely portrayed by virtue of their relative success in the West, as an elite, monied and dangerously powerful group.
Further, the idea that Jews benefit from instiutional privilege has begun to gain some traction within the mainstream left.
Maital Friedman wrote an op-ed at JTA back in January, on Martin Luther King Day, which asked Jews to be “aware of racial inequality and of the daily privileges we [Jews] enjoy that others cannot”. On April 7th, The New Republic published an article, titled ‘Does the Holocaust discount Jewish white privilege?’, which – though narrowly rejecting the idea of ‘Jewish privilege” as such – argued that even Jews whose relatives were killed in the Holocaust can now be beneficiaries of ‘white privilege’.
Though we’ve responded previously at length to the suggestion that Jews and/or Israelis enjoy unfair advantages, in monitoring media coverage of Israel year after year, we’d argue that Palestinians are – in many respects – uniquely privileged.
Here’s our list of the advantages (privileges) of waking up in the morning as a Palestinian – the daily effects of Palestinian privilege.
Muslim Scholars: Israel Is ‘Root Cause’ of All Islamic Nations’ Failures
Muslim clerics gathered in Beirut on Wednesday to kick off the Khomeinist International Union of Resistance conference, where “scholars” discussed how to stand up against the “cancerous tumor of Israel,” according to reports from Lebanese and Iranian media outlets.
Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem told the audience that Syria’s successes on the battlefield – with the help of Hezbollah and Iran – are “a pure success which will be followed by others, Allah willing.” When asked whether criticism of his terrorist group was legitimate, the Hezbollah leader said that such criticism only “serves the Israeli scheme,” Al Manar reported.
Qassem, as Hezbollah’s second-in-command, has regularly reminded observers that his organization’s chief goal is to seek the destruction of Israel. He has argued that Islamic law allows for Hezbollah jihadists to carry out suicide attacks against Israel.
Iran’s state-run Press TV reports that the Muslim scholars all agreed that Israel is a “root cause of economic, political and cultural problems facing Muslim nations in recent decades.”
The Muslim “academics” unanimously agreed that “confronting the Tel Aviv regime” is a “top priority of Islamic resistance movements.” The clerics promised to support “the resistance” (Hezbollah, Hamas, and other jihadist terrorist groups) in their mission to destroy Israel, according to the report. (h/t NormanF)
How UK taxpayers’ money is funding Palestinian terrorists
Therefore, I have no problem in UK aid money going to Palestinians who really need it, as anything that can give hope to Palestinians lessens the chance of them turning to violence. The problem is though, numerous reports show that is not where the aid money is going. Rather it’s lining the hands of Palestinian terrorists, whose raison d’etre is attempting to destroy everything they touch whether that’s Israeli lives, Palestinian hopes and dreams, as well as Palestinians caught in the crossfire and their ultimate goal the destruction of Israel. Supposedly the Department for International Development gives aid money to the Palestinians to help build Palestinian civil society and encourage peace efforts between Israelis and Palestinians. That’s all very laudable, but perhaps before giving taxpayers’ money away like confetti, it would have been a good idea to do a cursory check on where the money’s actually going. I would have thought that to be a good idea, considering the Palestinian leadership does have a track record of embezzling money or using it to fund terrorists. Yet despite protestations to the contrary nothing of the sort has taken place. I for one object to taxpayers’ money being spent on murderers who would like to see my relatives dead for the crimes of being Jewish and Israeli.
Lest you think this is a rant based on little evidence, I’d like to share some facts with you. In the past five years the Palestinian Authority (PA) has taken £130 million in foreign aid from the Department for International Development. Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) who have done studies into where the money has gone have made credible claims that Britain may have been intentionally misled by the PA, who said they had stopped controversial payments amounting to an estimated £84 million annual wage bill for around 5,500 terrorists locked up in Israel.
In fact there is little proof that this blood money has stopped. I find it gut-wrenching that among those now eligible are Abdullah Barghouti, Hassan Salameh and Jamal Abu Al-Hijja who are serving 122 life sentences between them for planning suicide bombings. The Government talks about fighting extremist terror, yet here they are indirectly rewarding them, with PMW saying that our aid money could be being used to fund the salaries and bonuses of 5,000 terrorists. I thought the UK was committed to fighting terrorism!

Another "nakba" liar

You can find anti-Israel propaganda everywhere.

From a North Dakota news site DL-Online:

There have been many chapters in the life of retired North Dakota State University physics professor Ghazi Hassoun.

“I was born in Palestine, during the British mandate, in 1935,” says Hassoun as he relaxes on a couch in the Pelican Lake summer home he shares with his Fargo-born wife, Linda. Her whose family owned the lakefront property near Cormorant village for decades before the couple bought out Linda’s family and made the home their own.

It is his journey from life as a self-professed “happy-go-lucky” youth in the then-Palestinian city of Haifa, to his family’s struggles as refugees in Lebanon, and eventually to the University of Minnesota, where he met first wife Virginia, earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, and went on to teach physics at NDSU for nearly four decades, that formed the basis of Hassoun’s first book, “Walking Out Into the Sunshine.”

“I had a story to tell,” he said. “I knew this was something that should be written down, on paper.”

Even as a young boy, “I was aware that there was a lot of conflict over whose country Palestine was,” Hassoun says.

There were the Palestinian Arabs, who wanted to reclaim their homeland from the British and assert their independence, and there were the Zionist Jews who, displaced and all but wiped out by the Holocaust during World War II, yearned to reclaim the “Holy Land” of their ancestors and resurrect the nation of Israel — though, as Hassoun pointed out, the Jews had abandoned their Middle Eastern roots for the more modernized comforts of Europe hundreds of years ago.

Nevertheless, the Zionist movement had the backing of some powerful political allies — including the United States — and by the time Hassoun was 13, in 1948, the state of Israel had been formed by splitting the territory formerly known as Palestine into two (hostile) nations.

That decision has had a profound effect on Middle Eastern politics and culture that continues to the present day — and made an indelible impression on a young Ghazi Hassoun.

Unfortunately, the home owned by Ghazi’s family fell on the wrong side of the dividing line between Israel and Palestine, and they were forced to flee to Lebanon, as refugees.

“I grew up very fast,” Hassoun says. “My family lost their homes and businesses in Palestine as a result of the conflict.”
"Jews had abandoned their Middle Eastern roots for the more modernized comforts of Europe"?

Yeah, the Crusades and pogroms and expulsions and blood libels and Holocaust were so comfortable!

Now, what were the circumstances of Hasoun's family's being "forced to flee" to Lebanon?

His book gives the answer. His father saw some Arabs who were killed in an attack at a morgue, and started having nightmares and delusions:




No one was forced out. His family panicked and chose very consciously to go, and they had time to scout out places to live in Lebanon and they even shipped some of their furniture out in a process that took weeks. No expulsions, no massacres, nothing. A reasonable choice to leave a potential battle zone on their own terms, knowing very well that their house will remain in the territory of the Jewish state - but they didn't plan on the Jewish state surviving more than a few weeks.

Moreover, the nightmares that Hasoun's father had of Jews coming to slaughter his family came from mental illness, not from anything rational. The book mentions (p. 69)  that his father kept these delusions even after leaving Palestine in Tyre, Lebanon; he would stop people on the street and tell them what the Jews were planning to do to them. The family had to place him into a psychiatric hospital where he died shortly thereafter.

This is typical of Nakba "eye-witnesses" - in the end, they witnessed nothing but their own families' often irrational decisions to leave the land they claim they love.

Unlike the Palestinian Jews, these witnesses had the option of leaving.

West will share responsibility for devastation of south Lebanon (Vic Rosenthal)



Vic Rosenthal's weekly column:


Recently we’ve been hearing — both from Hezbollah and Israel — about the massive installations the terrorist group has been building just across the Lebanese border with Israel, and what will happen when war breaks out.

Omri Ceren of The Israel Project explains:
They’ve taken their arsenal – 100,000+ rockets including Burkan rockets with half-ton warheads, ballistic missiles including Scud-Ds that can hit all of Israel, supersonic advanced anti-ship cruise missiles, anti-aircraft assets, drones and mini drones, tunnels, etc. – and embedded it across hundreds of villages and probably thousands of homes. …

The Israelis can’t afford a war of attrition with Hezbollah. The Iran-backed terror group has the ability to saturation bomb Israeli civilians with 1,500 projectiles a day, every day, for over two months. They will try to bring down Tel Aviv’s skyscrapers with ballistic missiles. They will try to fly suicide drones into Israel’s nuclear reactor. They will try to detonate Israel’s off-shore energy infrastructure. They will try to destroy Israeli military and civilian runways. And – mainly but not exclusively through their tunnels – they will try to overrun Israeli towns and drag away women and children as hostages. Israeli casualties would range in the thousands to tens of thousands.

And so the Israelis will have to mobilize massive force to shorten the duration of a future war. One of the things they’ll do is immediately is move to eliminate as much of Hezbollah’s vast arsenal as possible. Hezbollah is counting on the resulting deaths of their human shields – and they’ve guaranteed to that the body count will be significant – to turn Israel into an international pariah.
Hezbollah has adopted the most extreme form of the human shield strategy pioneered by Hamas in Gaza. The IDF will be forced to choose between killing thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of Lebanese civilians and seeing its own country laid waste.

Until recently, a strategy like Hezbollah’s would have been considered ludicrous. When the RAF Bomber Command and the USAAF devastated Germany toward the end of WWII, it wasn’t even a question of collateral damage — civilians were a large part of the target. Sir Charles Portal of the RAF issued a directive in 1943 to combined British and US air forces that
Your primary object will be the progressive destruction and dislocation of the German military, industrial, and economic system and the undermining of the morale of the German people to a point where their capacity for armed resistance is fatally weakened.
But times have changed. Although I do not think that the legalities involved have changed much since then, such “morale bombing” would be considered morally indefensible by most people today. So we can expect that when the next war does start, and when Israel bombs Hezbollah installations in South Lebanon with an unavoidably great loss of civilian life, there will be outcries against Israel for its brutality. There are a few things we should keep in mind:

First, the IDF response to a Hezbollah rocket attack — and it will be a response, not a preemptive attack — will have as its objective the neutralization of rocket launchers, attack tunnels, and other military targets. Unlike the allied air raids over Germany and Japan, civilian casualties will be entirely collateral damage, not part of the objective.

This means that the requirement of proportionality found in the international law of war, that the use of force that could cause collateral damage be limited to what is necessary to achieve a military objective, will be met as long as the IDF attacks military targets rather than bombing indiscriminately, doesn’t use WMD, etc.

But even if it’s legal, isn’t it wrong to kill innocent civilians, women and children who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?

There is certainly a moral evil here, but even though the immediate cause of the catastrophe will be the IDF, what Aristotle called the “final cause” — the ‘for what’ that an event occurs — is Hezbollah’s intention to deter Israel from defending herself.  The civilians who will be hurt are deliberately intermingled with military targets, just in order to act as human shields.

In a 2013 article, Ron Ben-Yishai described one way Hezbollah implemented its strategy after its 2006 war with Israel:
…the Shiite terror group launched a major social/real-estate project that bolstered its political standing: It purchased lands on the outskirts of the villages, built homes on these lands and offered them to poor Shiite families at bargain prices (to rent or buy), one the condition that at least one rocket launcher would be placed in one of the house’s rooms or in the basement, along with a number of rockets, which will be fired at predetermined targets in Israel when the order is given.
There can be no doubt of Hezbollah’s intentions, and thus no doubt of its responsibility if these families suffer. Israel’s reaction, on the other hand, is morally justified as an application of the principle of self-defense. That is, it is because of their actions that we are forced to choose between causing massive civilian casualties or suicide.

The use of human shields is not only morally reprehensible, it is illegal according to the 1949 Geneva Conventions and other statutes of international law. Of course, the asymmetric warfare strategies used by terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, Hamas, ISIS, etc. deliberately contravene international law, which gives them an advantage over nations like Israel that are bound by these principles.

This leads to the absurd consequence that the more a nation tries to behave morally and legally, the more of its advantage it gives up. Further, the more technologically advanced a nation is, the more it is expected to use its technology to protect the enemy population. Quite a change from the past, when military technology was only used to kill and terrorize.

It has also created a de facto alliance between the barbarians of Hezbollah and Hamas and sophisticated, supposedly morally conscious Western leaders.

Israel has been fighting an information war in parallel with its military conflicts. Its enemies in this non-violent but ultimately deadly struggle include not only the Arabs and Iranians, but Europe, the UN and the Obama Administration (usually through intermediates such as “human rights” NGOs). Their objective has been to promulgate the idea that the IDF deliberately targets civilians, acts disproportionately and with unnecessary brutality.

Once implanted, this false perception can be rolled out at the time of military conflict and deployed in international fora and by governments (e.g., the arms embargo applied by the US during last year’s Gaza conflict) to justify actions that limit Israel’s ability to defend herself. The EU and Mr. Obama will not launch any rockets against Israel, but they will do what they can to force her to absorb those fired by the terrorists.

It is a sign of Western moral weakness and reality inversion that instead of taking the difficult path of preventing the Hezbollah buildup after 2006, as promised, it joined the infowar against Israel. In a real sense, the West will share responsibility with the terrorists for the devastation of southern Lebanon that is sure to come.

Israel will take the actions it must to survive, despite the hypocritical cries that will be heard from those that have been building the case for the terrorists all along. And, to paraphrase Naftali Bennett, there will be no reason to apologize.

05/28 Links Pt1: PA sports: Prohibiting peace and glorifying terror; NYTs Deserves a Red Card

From Ian:

PMW: PA sports: Prohibiting peace building and glorifying terror
This week, the Palestinian Authority is asking FIFA to suspend Israel's participation in FIFA sports activities. It is ironic that the PA is making such an aggressive request, when in fact it is the PA and Fatah who routinely disrespect the basic values of international sportsmanship, and the spirit upon which Olympic sports are founded.
The Palestinian Authority's abuse of sports is a concrete example of how the PA chooses to further entrench the conflict rather than work to resolve it. The Palestinian Authority uses sports to send the message that murdering Israeli civilians is honorable and heroic, that all of Israel is "Palestine," and that peace building or "normalization" with Israel is prohibited and even criminal.
Jibril Rajoub, Head of the PA Olympic Committee, has organized and is promoting the request to FIFA. He is also one of the driving forces behind this abuse of sports and continues to promote terror himself. Even the terrorists responsible for the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes in the Munich Olympics in 1972 continue to be glorified by the PA and Fatah.
PMW documentation clearly shows the irony of the PA's request. If any sports association should be suspended from FIFA for fundamental violations of the spirit of sports, it is the Palestinian Authority.
International community must hold Hamas accountable, says Col. Kemp
“The laws of armed conflict require them [Hamas] to evacuate civilians if they are using an area as a military position,” explained Col. Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, on a recent trip to Israel.
As the governing power in Gaza, Hamas is responsible for actions emanating from its territory.
“Hamas is not blamed for using human shields. [According to the laws of war] they are not allowed to coerce civilians to come to where an attack might take place or where weapons are stored,” Kemp said.
Last summer’s war exposed Hamas operating from within civilian environments, firing rockets next to buildings and mingling with the civilian population in Gaza. The rocket fired Tuesday was similarly fired from an area proximate to civilians.
Kemp, who gave testimony to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s probe into 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, asserts that it is time for Israel to work with Western governments to apply pressure on the Palestinians in regards to Gaza.
“They must not finance UN schools that demonize Israel, not finance the tunnels [Hamas builds], not finance people who bring in weapons,” he said.
Israelis Try Realism; Obama and the Palestinians Don’t Like It.
The problem with much of Israeli diplomacy during the last 20 years has not been due to a lack of effort given to promoting the peace process. Rather, Israel’s diplomats have often been so heavily invested in the notion of peace that they failed to treat the conflict as one in which both sides, and not just the Palestinians, had rights. This has been a particular problem for Likud governments, which has often handed the foreign ministry over to coalition allies or saddled with leaders like Avigdor Lieberman, Netanyahu’s former partner and now rival who was clearly unsuited to the task and wound up doing little to change the culture of the ministry.
Contrary to the criticisms of left-wing politicians quoted in the New York Times who want Netanyahu to surround himself with people who agree with Obama about the Middle East, the prime minister did well to name a sober thinker like Gold who doesn’t try to imagine the Middle East as he’d like it to be but instead sees it as it really is.
Instead of cravenly bowing to U.S. dictates, Netanyahu wants his diplomats to stand up for its country and to speak truth to an American government whose view of the region is distorted by their fantasies about both the Palestinians and their new Iranian negotiating partners. Israel must continue to thread the needle between the need to be open to the possibility of peace, however unlikely, and avoiding being sucked down the rabbit hole into talks that are set up to fail and for which it will always be blamed for the failure no matter what the Palestinians do. Rather than seeking to demonize Gold, Netanyahu’s critics should give him credit for seeking to align his country’s diplomatic corps with a strategy based in the reality of Palestinian intransigence. In the long run, truth is always a better foundation for foreign policy than fiction.