Saturday, June 23, 2018

From Ian:

Celebrating the ‘Haley Effect’
In many Jewish households on Friday nights, parents bless their daughters in the names of our matriarchs: Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah. We do so to hold out our highest role models to our girls. Lately though, I’ve had the creeping inclination to consider another name to this list of women: US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

Haley represents our country with bold, honorable, and principled leadership. In no forum are these traits more lacking than the United Nations. In no place are they more sorely required. And on no issue does this present itself more clearly than her proud and consistent stand in defense of Israel.

Just this week, Haley announced that the US delegation would withdraw from the UN Human Right Council — in large part because of its history of unfairly targeting and condemning Israel, while turning a blind eye toward human-rights violators like Syria, Iran, and North Korea.

Earlier this year, when mothers and fathers in southern Israel were forced to wake their children and run to bomb shelters as rockets rained down from Gaza, Haley reassured these parents that their fears would be heard. Not only did she condemn these attacks, but she also called for a UN Security Council emergency meeting on Gaza-based terror.

Brooke Goldstein: The United Nations Has A VESTED INTEREST In Keeping Palestinian Arabs In Perpetual Refugee Status
We co-produced a documentary film with the Center for Near East Policy Research, on UNRWA summer camps and their programs that incite terror. In 2014, our staff attorneys met with a number of congressional offices and committees about UNRWA, providing a dossier of evidence, including discussion of potential legal implications of continued unbridled funding of the agency by the U.S. Subsequently, Congress added and continues to include language in the annual Consolidated Appropriations Acts requiring heightened oversight of UNRWA and conditioning funding on Secretary of State certification that the agency is complying with applicable laws.

Substantively reforming UNRWA — and if that proves impossible, shutting down the agency — is a necessary step in the path toward peace. Inflating the number of Palestinian refugees to over 5 million, and then teaching Palestinian youth to embrace terrorism against Israel and Jews, raises current and future generations of Arabs who will never consider coming to the negotiating table and who will never accept Israel’s existence.

The Trump administration is currently questioning whether the U.S. taxpayer should continue to bankroll an organization that permits and encourages hatred towards a U.S. ally.

“We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect,” President Trump tweeted in January. “But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?” he added.

Switzerland’s foreign minister has shown that UNRWA’s role in perpetuating the conflict is beginning to be understood beyond the U.S. and Israel. Foreign ministers, lawmakers, and others in the international community should follow his lead to demand UNRWA’s immediate reform. They must do this for the sake of Palestinian Arab children, at the very least.

UNRWA’s role in keeping the refugee status of Palestinians unresolved while allowing terrorist organizations to incite hatred and recruit Muslim children to violence is an open secret that needs continuous exposure. The international community cannot continue to preach peace on the one hand while it indulges a UN agency that aims to make peace impossible.
THE DEATH OF ABU THURAYA: WHAT REALLY HAPPENED?
In Summary
The IDF investigation concluded that sniper fire had ceased at least an hour before Abu Thuraya was reportedly hit. Two separate videos claim to show the moment Abu Thuraya was “martyred” by Israeli troops. But discrepancies in the time of day the purported event took place, the weather at the time, and the number and identity of participants, suggest two entirely different scenes.

The two videos ostensibly show the injury that caused Abu Thuraya’s death, but only in the second video can the injury be clearly seen. A photo released from the funeral show what appears to be blood still present on the deceased’s face, something that would be in contravention of Muslim practice in preparing the body for a funeral and burial. Moreover, a comparison between the apparent site of the injury in the video and that in the funeral picture – show two different locations.

Questions that are raised inlclude:

- Why were two different videos of the same incident released?
- Why were the two videos filmed at different times of the day (or perhaps not even on the same day) with different people surrounding and carrying Abu Thuraya?
- Why were apparent blood stains allowed to remain on Abu Thuraya’s face at his funeral in contravention of Muslim practice?
- Why do the two photos – in video and in funeral photo – show entirely different locations of injury?
- How and when did Abu Thuraya actually die?

Conclusion
This incident extends beyond the personal case of Abu Thuraya. It demonstrates a propagandist mechanism of staging the injuring and killing of a person who eagerly anticipates his martyrdom and views it positively as his contribution to a campaign against the Jewish state.

A video in which Abu Thuraya climbs on an electric poll to hang the Palestinian flag indicates that he and the riot’s organizers understood the potential impact of this man’s death in affecting public opinion. His death was inevitable. Beyond the question of exactly when and how Abu Thuraya died, is the question of how many other ‘Abu Thurayas’ are out there, and how many others will be sacrificed in the future.

Friday, June 22, 2018

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: The peril of politicized antisemitism
In 2017 Weisman wrote a widely cited book, (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump.

Weisman’s basic argument in his book is that Trump’s populism empowers far-Right antisemites and so threatens the Jewish community in the US.

It isn’t that antisemitism on the far Right is nothing to be concerned about it. To the contrary. There is great reason to be concerned, even alarmed by the Jew-hating rhetoric emanating from the far Right. To their credit, cognizant of the danger, Republican leaders, including Trump have consistently condemned and marginalized these voices and actors in their party.

There is also reason to be concerned with left-wing antisemitism, including when it takes the form of a New York Times journalist singling out for rebuke Jewish members of Congress who oppose an anti-Israel policy. Left-wing antisemitism should be should be fought without prejudice even when it is being propagated by minority groups. Farrakhan should not get a pass, nor should his African-American supporters.

Because the US has a two-party system, marginal forces always seek to use the machinery of the large parties to advance their positions and causes. As a consequence, it is not surprising that antisemites on the Right seek to penetrate the GOP. And it isn’t surprising that their leftist counterparts are seeking to take over the Democratic Party. But again, while the state and national Republican Party condemns and disowns antisemites, the Democrats woo them for their votes and political support and elect them to office. And as they do these things, they libel the Republican Party and Trump accusing them of Nazi sympathies and goals.

It is hard to see a happy end to the story. By attacking Trump, the most pro-Jewish president in living memory, as a Nazi, while ignoring the dangers of the growing power and numbers of antisemites in their own party, Jewish Democrats are doing themselves no favors. So long as Jewish Democrats go along with the rise of antisemitic forces in their party on the one hand, and assault the Republicans as Nazis on the other, the situation will only get more dangerous for them and for the Jewish community in the US as a whole.

Melanie Phillips: Should Jews Flee Europe
The same people who claim to see anti-Semitism in European populism or the political base of Donald Trump regularly accuse Jews of claiming anti-Semitism just to “sanitize the crimes of Israel” or “bring down Jeremy Corbyn.”

This reaction is worse, far worse, than the anti-Semitism itself. It’s worse even than indifference. For it imputes to the Jews malicious intent in claiming that Jewish people are being maliciously targeted. It says they are lying. It blames the Jews for their own victimization.

This reaction is the inescapable evidence that the Jews are being abandoned. Those of us who have loved Britain for its gentleness, its tolerance, its decency, its stoicism, its reasonableness, and the dampness of both its weather and national temperament feel as if we have been orphaned. But maybe we were living all along in a fool’s paradise.

Some people think Europe is over, that the demographics are against it and that it will become a majority-Muslim culture in a few decades. My guess is that Europe won’t go down without a fight. If that happens, the Jews are likely to get it in the neck from all sides. Whichever way it goes, it’s not a pleasant prospect.

So is it time to leave? It’s very personal, and I wouldn’t presume to advise anyone what to do. I can only speak for myself and say that for some years now, I’ve been spending a great deal of my time in Israel. Because even with 150,000 Hezbollah rockets pointing at us from Lebanon, even with Hamas trying every day to murder us, and even with Iran working toward its genocide bomb to wipe us out, Israel is where I feel so much safer and the air is so much sweeter, and it’s where Jews are not on their knees and where no one will ever make me feel I am not entitled to live and don’t properly belong.

Israel is where we have astonishingly renewed ourselves as a nation out of the ashes of the Shoah. Israel is where all those who want us gone meet their nemesis in the political realization of the eternal people. Israel is the ultimate, and ultimately the only, definitive and triumphant repudiation of anti-Semitism and the true vindication of the millions of us who perished in the unspeakable events that we memorialize on Holocaust Memorial Day.
John Podhoretz: Stop cheapening the Holocaust to score political points
In October 1975, the writer and survivor Elie Wiesel wrote these oracular words: “Novelists made free use of it in their work, scholars used it to prove their theories, politicians to win votes. In so doing they cheapened the Holocaust; they drained it of its substance.”

We’ve been witness to the same distressing intellectual trend this week, as prominent Americans ranging from former CIA chief Michael Hayden to the cable-TV showrunner Brian Koppelman and many others have made explicit analogies between what has been going on at the Mexican border with the separation of children from their parents that preceded the gassing and murder at Nazi concentration camps.

As Wiesel’s words remind us, there’s nothing new in deploying the Holocaust as a political or aesthetic cudgel.

What’s different about this week’s events is that expressions of concern about the misuse of the Holocaust analogy have been the occasion for heated, even enraged, criticism: No, it is those who object to likening the extremely bad policy of the Trump administration to the worst event in human history who are doing wrong.

In a piece called “Yes, You Should Be Comparing Trump to Hitler,” a self-described “professional journalist” named Adam Roy writes (citing me and Yair Rosenberg of Tablet), “This, to put it mildly, is a load of bunk. We want to believe that the Nazis were a special, exceptional kind of evil, because it’s easier for us. But the reality is that their brutality was just another manifestation of humanity’s worst flaws: our fear of the Other, the unthinking cruelty we unleash upon each other as soon as society gives us license.”

  • Friday, June 22, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Nasser is great, Israel is the aggressor, Arabs want peace, "Zionists" control the media, the UN is a arbiter of all that is moral.

Nothing has changed in the an

From The New Outlook, May 1957:

AN AMERICAN expert on Arab- Israeli affairs has come out with the statement that Israel is directly responsible for the explosive tensions of the Middle East. His views, given at a press conference, were printed in the Los Angeles Times in mid-April. They were promptly challenged by spokesmen for Israel, as was to be expected.

Elmo H. Hutchison is Middle East director of American Friends of the Middle East. He also is a former member of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine and a former chairman of the Israel Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission, so he speaks with a measure of authority.

His most interesting observation was that alleviation of the tension "is within easy access if only Israel wants it."

Arab neighbors are willing to recognize the Jewish state, providing it is a contained state "more in line with the plan originally put forward by the United Nations," he told reporters. Hutchison charged that Americans have a very distorted picture of the Middle East.

This is because, he said, they are up against "the world's greatest propaganda machine—the Zionists." He said that only the Arabs have given in on any of the pressing problems that have arisen in that heated arena. To elucidate his position he made these points:

Some 300,000 Arabs whose people had lived for centuries in Palestine were uprooted and rendered destitute to establish Israel. The Jews of Palestine, he said, constituted 33 per cent of the population and owned only seven per cent of the land before their new state suddenly came into being and they came into possession of 55 per cent of the land.

Israel rejected all of the UN resolutions governing the establishment of its state save that which was favorable to its ambitions. Her present borders violate the UN plan.

Egypt's President Nasser, Hutchison believed, is not the "villain portrayed in this country." He is the child, not the parent, of Arab nationalism. The Arabs, he thought, want only to attain their just place in the sun, and they are going to reach it, one way or another. The Arabs, he said, do not tend toward Communism and Russian overtures to those countries "are making little progress."

He quoted the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem that "the Communists are running after the Arabs. The Arabs are running after the United States. And the United States is being led blindfolded by the Zionists."

Hutchison said that the Eisenhower administration's policies have been effective, in so far as they try to check Communist penetration into the Middle East. But this effort, he thought, should be coupled with stronger attempts to solve the Palestine refugee problem and the rectification of the territorial inequities forced on Arab states.

He termed Israel, "on the basis of UN records," an expansionist, aggressive and militarist power with "a military machine second to none in the world per capita." American policy makers might well keep this in mind, he said.



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From Ian:

Israel then and now shows power of a good defense and a strong wall
What impressed me on this visit was the confidence of the Israeli people. The security was much less oppressive. I barely saw a handful of weapons out in the open during 10 days in the country.

The Israeli military wasn’t present in heavy numbers in the border towns, at least not out in the open. Ashkelon and Sderot were thriving, expanding, growing, with families and lots of children everywhere. No one was concerned about Palestinian terrorists. The walls were working, keeping the killers away from the Israeli people.

I had lunch with a journalist colleague who lives in Jerusalem. He laid out for me the altered facts on the ground in the region over the years and how an effective security wall can rewrite the strategic balance of power.

“The Palestinians are screwed,” he started off. “They have tried suicide vests, car bombs, stabbings, tunnels, rockets, etc. Nothing has worked. They have been opposed by Israeli might at every turn. What do they do now?” he asked.

While standing on the top of a yeshiva in Sderot a few days before I left, I looked out at the Gaza border. This time there were several large plumes of smoke. “Now Hamas is reduced to flying flaming kites to burn Israeli grassland. They are defeated,” my friend said.

Israel will survive this phase of the conflict as well and come out even stronger. In fact, her people will continue to thrive. With President Trump in the White House, the U.S. is once again unambiguously on her side — as it should be.

Take it from one who has just been there: For all the media hand-wringing and pro-Palestinian forces at the U.N. and in Europe, Israel is stronger than ever.

Two months of burning kites from Gaza


  • Friday, June 22, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


The official PA news agency Wafa "reports":

A group of Jewish fanatics harassed on Thursday Palestinian Muslim women worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City as Israeli police, who usually escort the fanatics during their provocative tour of the Muslim holy compound, stood by watching.

A video broadcast on the social media showed the Jewish fanatics sitting near the women in a provocative manner as police stood by.

Normally police would not allow any Palestinian, including security personnel of Al-Aqsa Mosque, from getting close to the fanatics or to follow them when they make their provocative tour of the compound during official visit hours for non-Muslims.

However, this time police allowed the Jewish extremists to closely provoke the Muslim women worshippers, a step that has been seen as an escalation in Jewish provocations in one of Islam's holiest sites.
Can you tell the nature of the "harassment" from the article?

Yes, Jews had the audacity to sit near Muslim women!

The article doesn't claim that the Jews spoke to them, or chanted towards them, or threatened them, or screamed at them, or touched them. Only that they sat - provocatively.

They even have video of the "harassment" - and the Jews are just sitting there. (At one point I see one gesture in a reaction, but in no way can I see anything that can remotely be called "harassment.")









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  • Friday, June 22, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
When the Government of Israel shows the world examples of Palestinian incitement, they have thousands of examples of explicit calls to violence  against Israelis from Palestinian leaders and officials.

The PLO tries to pretend that Israel is just as bad.

Here are some of their examples of "incitement" from May:

Israeli Public Security Minister, Gilad Erdan (Ynet, May 14, 2018)
“It is not about demonstrators, but saboteurs of a terrorist organization that threaten the security of the citizens of Israel. There is no country that allows a terrorist organization to send terrorists to infiltrate its territory, and all responsibility for their blood lies with the Hamas leadership, which, inspired by Nazism, sheds blood to distract people from its failure to run the Strip.”
Is there any threat against civilians there?
 Avigdor Liberman (Twitter, May 15, 2018):       
“Yesterday, tens of thousands of Israelis gathered in the Rabin Square for a music show. In Gaza, however, thousands gathered to infiltrate into Israel for terrorist acts. This is the difference between Israel's life culture and the death culture in Gaza.”
Is this inciting Israelis to attack Gazans? Is it inaccurate?


These are things that Hamas is proud of! And the PA says far worse things about Hamas...

Apparently, whenever an Israeli says something that the PLO doesn't like, it is "incitement." Even if the statements are against the UNHRC:

Prime Minister Netanyahu's Spokesperson, Ofir Gendelman (Twitter, May 18, 2018 )
“PM Netanyahu: There is nothing new under the sun. An organization that calls itself a Human Rights Council once again proved that it is hypocritical and biased and that its goal is to harm Israel and to support terrorism. But is has mostly proven that it is irrelevant.”
Where, exactly, is the incitement?
Ofir Gendelman (Twitter, May 19, 2018 )
“Hamas, the Palestinian ISIS and an internationally recognized terror org, now thanks the UNHRC, its commissioner & voting countries for their resolution.
When a terror org whose goal is to destroy a UN member state THANKS a UN body, you know that this UN body is morally bankrupt
I guess that Israel is inciting against the UN Human Rights Council.

The entire reason that the Negotiations Affairs Department of the PLO has this section of their website is to pretend that Israeli incitement is just like Arab antisemitic incitement. The content doesn't matter; they just point to it and say, "see?" and their fans believe it without question.

But look at the stuff in official PA television and other media every day, based on Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI reports, and you can see what real incitement is.





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  • Friday, June 22, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Here's a photo of Jewish refugees in an Israeli absorption camp in 1950. About 80% of the residents of these camps were Jews who were forced to flee from Arab countries.


The picture symbolizes how Israel took in hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees and integrated them into Israeli society as full citizens.

This is in marked contrast with how Arab nations treated Arab refugees and other Arabs who fled Palestine in 1947 and 1948. Those people were not welcomed, not integrated into their host countries, and are to this day used as political pawns.

Wednesday was World Refugee Day. The viciously anti-Israel Congress of South African Trade Unions, posted on Twitter the photo of the Jews who are no longer refugees to illustrate the fate of Arabs who the world still calls refugees - still using them as pawns for political purposes:


Dozens of people pointed out to COSATU that the photo was not of Palestinian Arabs. They didn't care, because to the people who hate Israel, the truth is not important  - the propaganda is.




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Thursday, June 21, 2018

From Ian:

UK defends calling Jerusalem Old City part of ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories’
The British ambassador to Israel on Thursday defended describing Jerusalem’s Old City as being part of the “Occupied Palestinian Territories” in the itinerary for Prince William’s upcoming visit to Israel and the West Bank.

“All the terminology that was used in the program was consistent with years of practice by British governments. It’s consistent with British government policy,” David Quarrey said.

The royal itinerary, published last week by Kensington Palace, raised some eyebrows in Israel, as it indicates that the palace considers the Old City to be Palestinian territory occupied by the Jewish state.

According to the itinerary for the June 24-28 regional visit, William — also known as the Duke of Cambridge — will travel first to Jordan, followed by Israel on June 25-27.

On June 27, “the program will shift to its next leg – the Occupied Palestinian Territories” and on June 28 Prince William — the second-in-line to the throne — will receive a “short briefing on the history and geography of Jerusalem’s Old City from a viewing point at the Mount of Olives,” Kensington Palace said.

“There’s no political message in this,” Quarrey insisted. “The Duke is not a political figure. He’ll be here to see a little bit of the country and to get to meet some of the people here. And also to get a flavor of Israel, to see what’s happening here, some of the extraordinary successes in technology, some of the great culture here. And he really wants to get under the skin of the country.”
Douglas Murray: Pressured, the Southern Poverty Law Center Admits It Was Wrong
Any free society must expect that a certain number of chancers, hucksters, and shake-down artists will prosper among them. But rarely have they come in so grossly endowed and shameless a guise as the “Southern Poverty Law Center.”

The SPLC was founded in the 1970s, and back then it did some respectable campaigning work to target and shut down — through legal means — actually racist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan. All well and good, and the SPLC can still be applauded for this work. And yet students of non-profits and charities worldwide will be familiar with a certain tendency in this field, which is that such organizations rarely shut themselves down. Or, to put it another way, a charity set up to cure a disease may find a cure for that disease and yet strangely also find some reasons to continue. For of course salaries and pensions are at stake. Comfortable halos have been created. Who would want to divest themselves of the gold and glory that comes from such a sinecure? And so the charity will become, for instance, a charity to help people who once suffered from the disease that has now been cured.

So it is — though in far worse form — with the KKK and the SPLC. Of course as the KKK dwindled to an all but negligible fringe, the SPLC could not afford to bask in its victories. There was still cash to collect. Indeed more cash than ever. And who but a fool, or an honest man, would leave tens of millions of dollars on the table? So it is that in recent years the SPLC reoriented itself. It became an organization that looked into all those things that were not racist but that might be deemed right of center. It decided to look into not terrorism and racism but “extremism.” It decided, in particular, that it should become the self-appointed arbiter of what is acceptable in American life and what is unacceptable. For years the mainstream press, lazy on its memories of the SPLC’s past manifestation, indulged it in its new self-definition. Indeed for a few years the words “whom the SPLC has described as” wormed their way into some of America’s — and the world’s — most otherwise respectable and usually fact-reliant publications.

Yet the SPLC has repeatedly shown itself to be woefully unfit to perform its self-assigned task. For instance in 2015 it “designated” (as though this should have had any standing anywhere other than in the minds of the SPLC’s employees) Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson as an “extremist.” So within the space of only a few decades the SPLC moved from targeting the KKK to targeting a black conservative. Elsewhere it has attempted to anathematize multiple mainstream scholars of a conservative persuasion, including Charles Murray (no relation). About the radical Left it has shown a strange lack of interest.
Ben Shapiro: Trump Opponents Keep Comparing Trump Immigration Policy To Nazi Policy. Read A Damn Book, You Idiots.
In the latest in a spate of nutty posts linking an Obama-era Ninth Circuit court decision to Nazism, former CNN host Soledad O’Brien tweeted that America is on the brink of a Nazi takeover:


O’Brien isn’t alone with this sort of rhetoric. NPR anchor Maria Hinojosa compared the Trump policy to Nazi policy; so did Melania Trump’s former immigration lawyer; General Michael Hayden tweeted out a picture of Auschwitz; Jimmy Kimmel compared Trump’s policy to Sophie’s Choice.

To all these people I say: read a damn book once in awhile.

The policy of separating children from illegal immigrant parents who are detained criminally is the law. It was ruled upon by the Ninth Circuit in 2016, and overturned an Obama-era policy of keeping children with their parents in custody. And to argue that this law is in any way akin to Nazi policy isn’t just stupid, it’s disgusting. The Nazis weren’t particularly concerned with temporarily separating children from parents in order to supposedly protect children from the abuses of detainment (this was the Ninth Circuit’s rationale). Nor was the Nazi policy to keep children with parents in order to alleviate their suffering (the Trump administration’s newly-stated executive policy). The Nazi policy was to murder children and parents.

  • Thursday, June 21, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


From Iran's Tasmin News Agency:

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami ridiculed the remarks by the “fool” prime minister of the Zionist regime who has offered help for Iran in water management, saying people have still not forgotten Israel’s enmities and crimes against the Iranian nation.

In comments at a cultural ceremony in Tehran on Wednesday, the Iranian defense minister said “fools like Netanyahu say things that make everybody laugh”, pointing to the Israeli premier’s offer of help for Iran in addressing water problems.

Enumerating the cases of hostile Zionist measures against Iran, including the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists and support for Saddam Hussein during the Iraqi war on Iran in the 1980s, General Hatami said people of Iran will “give Israel a hard slap in the mouth” in the nearest demonstrations. 
In a video on June 10, Netanyahu said he wants to help the Iranian people solve their water crisis.
Remember, the nation that offers help is the aggressor and the one that threatens is the victim.





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  • Thursday, June 21, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column

It’s impossible to write about anything except the fires.

Foreign media are concerned with other things, but in Israel only the arrest of a former government minister charged with spying for Iran has come close to dislodging the fires from the forefront of our consciousness.

The Arabs of Gaza, with the encouragement of Hamas and the other terrorist factions, are burning our country. They are doing with impunity, launching kites and helium balloons carrying flaming payloads, from far enough back from the border that they are difficult to stop with nonlethal means. Naturally they are doing it from civilian areas in the company of children, so that the IDF believes that the casualties from attacking them from the air would be unacceptable. Various countermeasures using drones have been tried, but they have only been partially effective.

For Israel it is an economic, environmental, and even spiritual catastrophe. Thousands of acres of farmland and nature preserves, crops, plants, and animals have gone up in smoke. Dozens of new fires are set every day, faster than firefighters can put them out. The area is choked from the smoke of the fires and the burning tires that the Arabs ignite in order to hide the operatives who approach the border fence to plant explosives or try to cut through it. It will take decades for the land to return to its previous condition. Some of the wildlife may be gone forever.

Israelis love agriculture and they love nature. These loves are deeply embedded in our culture; look at Israeli music, art, and poetry if you doubt it. Perhaps the only thing we love more is our children. To burn the land is to thrust a dagger into our hearts (something that Palestinians also do regularly in a more literal sense). The damage done by the fires is greater than the cost of the crops that are being destroyed, and even more than the irreparable environmental damage. It is a prolonged assault on the soul of the Jewish state, its reason for being – the love of the land.

The enemy knows this. That’s why they do it. The burning of southern Israel has zero strategic significance, but it is a massive psychological blow. It’s a tribute to their understanding of us and also to their endless hatred that they chose this tactic. Frustrated by their minimal success in killing Jews with rockets and mortars, and unable to overrun the border fence, they have been wildly successful with this low-tech weapon.

The IDF fears the legal consequences of taking serious action against the “civilians” launching kites and balloons, and so far has retaliated by bombing military targets belonging to Hamas. I haven’t heard of any casualties from these attacks, so it’s reasonable to assume that they are being evacuated each night. This seems to be fine with the army, which thinks it can pressure Hamas into stopping the incendiary attacks this way, but does not want to be drawn into a wider confrontation. This tactic was met with a barrage of 45 rockets and mortar shells fired at us from Gaza last night, so it may need rethinking.

Israel’s decision-makers are considering the economic and strategic costs, not the spiritual damage and psychological cost. They know that a wider war would be expensive, and would take our attention away from the objectively greater danger from Hezbollah and Iran in Lebanon and Syria. They don’t want to be accused of fighting another war without intending to win, but they also don’t want to conquer Gaza and become responsible for it. So they do nothing and look for a technological answer.

But if you always ignore provocations, if you allow them to turn into attrition, if you time and time repress your natural desire to retaliate, if you allow the enemy to take greater and greater liberties, eventually you find that you have allowed your honor, and more practically, your deterrence, to dribble away. Sometimes restraint is not a viable option.

This is one of those times. We should not be afraid to admit that they have wounded us. But on the other hand, we must not – we can’t afford to – allow them to deepen the wound.

So here is what we do. We issue an ultimatum to Hamas that the arson attacks must stop within 24 hours, or we will destroy every Hamas installation, we will turn their tunnel city into an inferno with bunker busters, and we’ll personally target their leadership and as many officials as we have Hellfire missiles for. For good measure, we’ll do the same to Islamic Jihad and any other terrorist faction there.

At the same time, we send a copy to the UN and the European Union. We explain to them that we will not allow the Gaza Arabs to burn any more of our country. We explain that we recognize that the UN and EU have made major investments – directly and via UNRWA – in creating and nurturing an entity that will hate and oppose the Jewish state, and that therefore we expect that they will be able to influence it to change its behavior. But if not, and if we have to crush it, we expect that the UN and EU will pick up the pieces, because we certainly won’t.

We publicize our offer in multiple languages, throughout the world. We emphasize that the outcome is up to Hamas, and the responsibility for casualties if they don’t comply is entirely theirs.

Would they take our offer? I have no idea.





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From Ian:

Caroline Glick: The Road to Peace Does Not Run Through Ramallah
Last week, hundreds of Palestinians in PA-controlled Ramallah took to the streets to demand that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas end his economic war against Gaza. Rather than bow to the public’s demand, Abbas declared the protests illegal. His security forces attacked protesters with truncheons and tear gas.

To date, then, not only has the PA done nothing to help the people of Gaza, but the same regime that also uses every international stage to condemn Israel for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, has taken active measures to deepen the suffering and poverty of the population.

Monday, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman released a statement responding to the Trump administration’s reported plan to help the people of Hamas-controlled Gaza. Promising that the Kushner-Greenblatt regional tour would end in abject failure, the PA spokesman insisted that the U.S. is trying to “divide the Gaza Strip from the West Bank under humanitarian pretexts.”

His statement also accused the U.S. of using the cause of “humanitarian aid or rehabilitation” as a means to defeat the Palestinian war against Israel by transforming the suffering of the people of Gaza into a “humanitarian issue rather than a political one.”

In other words, as far as the PA is concerned, Gaza’s humanitarian crisis is not something that is supposed to be dealt with on a practical level. No one is actually supposed to improve the lot of the residents of the Hamas-controlled enclave. Rather, Gaza is nothing more than a launching pad for human cannon fodder in the war against Israel. The purpose of the Palestinians’ existence in Gaza is to suffer and die to advance the cause of Israel’s annihilation. Anyone who treats the people of Gaza as human beings is harming the Palestinian cause.
Khaled Abu Toameh: The Palestinian Authority’s Policy of Denormalization
Conclusion
The Palestinian leadership and its NGO partners and supporters have distracted the international focus from addressing Palestinian economic development, liberalization, and infrastructural development. Instead, they have focused international attention on boycott and denormalization campaigns against Israel. Unlike much of the developing world, which has sought stronger economic relations in an age of technology, globalization, and economic integration, the Palestinian leadership has refused to develop its economy in conjunction with its economically thriving Israeli neighbor, who is potentially the prospective Palestinian state’s strongest trading partner.

Following the Oslo Accords, the Palestinians had the unique advantage of receiving aid from Israel, unlike other newly formed states. However, under the pretext of refusing to bolster Israel’s “occupation economy,” the Palestinian leadership has publicly declined to cooperate on joint projects with the Israeli government or the Israeli private sector that would benefit both economies.

Instead, the Palestinian leadership has been complicit in its own economic stagnation, due to questionable business ventures and investments that have largely failed to benefit the Palestinian people, and instead have denormalized relations with Israel.

The BDS movement and the Palestinian and foreign NGOs that subscribe to its destructive doctrine have also worsened the economic situation for Palestinian workers, by limiting access to Israel, the largest labor market for Palestinians. Instead of allowing its own people to find well-paying jobs, including salaries that could be taxed by the Palestinian Authority, and encouraging disposable incomes that could be reinvested in Palestinian services, the Palestinian leadership has operated not as a developing state, but a corrupt and even failing regime. This fact has long been evident to large sectors of Palestinian society. They recognize that the Palestinian leadership’s failure on the economic and political fronts has resulted in their attempts to refocus the debate on attacking Israel as an illegitimate, apartheid, colonial implant that is the source of all Palestinian ills.
Nikki Haley Blames Human Rights Orgs for Undermining Efforts to Reform U.N. Human Rights Council
The New York Times reports that Haley criticized the groups for opposing her efforts to garner support in the U.N. to reform the council. One of the groups Haley sent the letter to, Human Rights Watch, opposed Haley's push for a U.N. General Assembly vote on the reforms.

"The risk was that it would have opened a Pandora’s box of even worse problems," Human Rights Watch U.N. director Louis Charbonneau said.

Haley told the groups that they have aligned themselves on the side of Russia and China, which possess a murky record on human rights.

"You put yourself on the side of Russia and China, and opposite the United States, on a key human rights issue," she wrote. "You should know that your efforts to block negotiations and thwart reform were a contributing factor in the U.S. decision to withdraw from the council."

The Times reports that Haley grew frustrated with the groups after they sent a joint letter to member states of the U.N., asking them to oppose Haley's resolution.

  • Thursday, June 21, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the Washington Post:
Fathi Harb wanted to commit suicide by soldier. So he went to a protest this spring along Gaza’s border, hoping ­Israeli snipers would shoot him, his grandfather recalled. When they didn’t, Harb, 22, tried again, returning to another protest soon after, and again he survived.

Then, last month, he set himself on fire on a busy street in Gaza City, later succumbing to his injuries.

“He called his father right before he did it and told him of his plans,” his grandfather Saeed said.

Harb had been chronically jobless. He shared a single apartment with 12 family members, including his pregnant wife. It was too hard, he told his father, explaining his wish to die.
The WaPo is still spinning this as if Gazans who want to commit suicide is Israel's fault, rather than the responsiblity of the terror group that runs their lives and of the other terror group in Ramallah that actively denies them fuel, medical supplies and electricity.

Notice that Harb didn't succeed in getting the IDF to shoot him, which must be a remarkable thing to read when the media makes it sound like Israel is randomly shooting protesters.

So think about the next example in the story:
By the time Israeli forces killed 14-year-old Mohammad Ayyoub at a protest in Gaza this April, the sprightly but troubled youth had lived through three wars. They had left him deeply traumatized. He was treated for anxiety and a violent temper, his parents said.

Upset over the U.S. decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem, which Israelis and Palestinians both claim as their capital, Mohammad told his mother he would be willing to give his life for the city. On April 20, he slipped away to a demonstration on the Israel-Gaza border, where an ­Israeli sniper shot him through the head.

Now, see how a "witness" described Ayyoub's death:
A Palestinian photographer who took the picture of Ayoub after he was killed said the incident happened a fair distance from the fence.

Abed Alhakeem Abu Rish on Saturday told The Associated Press he saw the teen standing about 150 meters (164 yards) from the fence. He says Ayyoub was about to take cover behind a low sand berm when he was shot and fell to the ground.

Abu Rish’s photographs show Ayoub as he collapses head first and then lies motionless in the same spot.

In fact he had already passed through the inside barbed wire fence and was headed towards the border fence. The IDF says that Ayyoub was actually trying to damage the fence when he was shot.

Now that we know that Ayyoub went to the riots specifically to get killed, can you believe that he was about to take cover when he was shot and that he was so far away? The number of people killed by the IDF who were not members of terror groups is quite small; Ayyoub must have been acting quite aggressively to attract sniper fire to kill him.

We have seen "suicide by IDF" before, and the "martyr" families are guaranteed large payments. Yet the media does not automatically ask whether these "victims" wanted to be killed and provoked their own deaths.

(h/t Irene)



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