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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Long live “Proportionality”!

A mathematician looks at the idea of proportionate response, from the ZioNation blog:


Whenever Israel undertakes a more incisive and forceful action to stop terrorist attacks, we hear the angry cries of condemnation for those who only seek to defend themselves and the cries of pity for those who attack, the poor Palestinian massacred.

Among the main charges and condemnations there is a topic that is always touched upon, the lack of proportionality between the Israeli reaction and the action which caused it. It's a cruel joke.

The mathematical concept of proportionality is expressed by the equality between two ratios:

a/b = c/d

Even in everyday language we do not speak of proportionality until after two ratios are compared. When we say, for example, that the weight of a person is (or is not) proportional to its height, it means that the quotient of dividing weight by height is (or is not) equal to that which is regarded as the standard for the people of his or her age. Without this standard it would be impossible to talk about proportionality.

It is obvious that such a standard does not exist when it pertains to the means to put an end to the deadly and systematic attacks. Humanity has not yet come to establish such a standard, despite its long history of conflict and war, international organizations are powerless to stop terrorist attacks. It is necessary to stop their agents, at all costs. The opposite would be to continue to kill until total annihilation. Nobody can demand such a sacrifice of an entire people in the name of preserving an imaginary indefinable proportionality.

But let's see what the Israeli reaction would have to be, in order for it to be proportional to the terrorist attack, as the world demands.

Consider the relationship between the measurements of the intensity of this reaction, we will call it “y”, and the intensity of the terrorist attack, we represent here by “x”. Without a standard to be used as reference to make the comparison, we will compare the ratio to that between the same “x” and “z” defined as the value of the intensity of the Israeli action which, by definition, would have given rise to the terrorist attack. Proportionality would be expressed by the equality between these two ratios:

But as the assault was arbitrary and does not correspond to any action that could be the cause, we have z = 0, from whence we then conclude that .

Or in common language: If we want to maintain proportionality, the intensity of the reaction to an unprovoked assault has no limitations.

Long live “Proportionality”!

Paulo dos Santos Ferreira



The author is a mathematician. Originally published as a letter to the editor in Brazil and translated to French by the author. Translation from French by Israel Bonan.

To put it in plainer language, Israel's response to provocation should be proportional to Hamas' response to provocation. Since Hamas has shot thousands of rockets without any provocation, that means that the amount of Israel's proportionate response is - infinity.

News roundup (UPDATE 2)

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said that "victory is near."

Israel plans to open up Kerem Shalom tomorrow yet again, sending some 90 trucks filled with food and medicine.

A new website called Aid2Gaza is trying to keep track of all aid sent to Gaza; my earlier estimates of the number of tons a truck holds was way low. The trucks that Israel has been sending hold 30 tons each, which means that Israel has sent about 4500 tons of aid so far this week alone. The 3 tons that Free Gaza was trying to bring sure doesn't sound that impressive, does it?

The IDF bombed a mosque that had been used to store weapons and hide terrorists. Before it did so, it gathered data about the mosque for days, checked with international law experts, and got specific permission from the highest levels. Seems a bit...disporportionate.

Here's the video. Although clouds get in the way, you see the explosion from the IAF bomb followed by a secondary explosion and then a HUGE secondary explosion.


Iran announced it is shutting down a newspaper for publishing an article critical of Hamas. Free speech!

Hamas announced it will try to assassinate Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak.

Arabs are disappointed that Hezbollah has not done anything to help Gazans - meaning they expected Hezbollah to open up a second front against Israel. Apparently, Nasrallah responded to this criticism by saying that it is not true that Israel could not fight on two fronts; in fact it has fought on three and four fronts in the past and won them all! Instead he instructed his fighters to be on the lookout for "treacherous plots" and he also criticized Egypt for its anti-Hamas stance.

Firas is reporting that Hamas policemen have stopped wearing their uniforms and khakis, and that Hamas members are all trying to lie low, not using cell phones - even Hamas' leadership in Damascus.

UPDATE: Commenter smoke_and_mirrors notices this from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
Despite ongoing rocket fire, Israel continues with the extensive humanitarian effort in coordination with the international organizations, Palestinian Authority and various donors. Ninety three trucks, with approximately 2500 tons of humanitarian aid, medical supplies and medication were conveyed through Kerem Shalom cargo terminal. The World Food Programme has informed Israel that they will not be resuming shipment of food commodities in to Gaza due to the fact that their warehouses are at full capacity and will last for approximately two weeks.
From starvation to overstuffed in only four days?

Al-Aretz sinks even lower

Well, that didn't take long.

Ha'aretz' Gideon Levy has written another of his predictable, sickening articles where Israel's evil is so taken for granted that he makes Al Jazeera sound like Arutz-7:
Our finest young men...set out to bomb the graduation ceremony for young police officers who had found that rare Gaza commodity, a job, massacring them by the dozen. They bombed a police station, hitting a doctor nearby...They bombed a university that we in Israel call the Palestinian Rafael, the equivalent of Israel's weapons developer, and destroyed student dormitories.
The point is that, according to Levy, there are no legitimate military targets in Gaza; every one is fraught with the possibility of hurting someone innocent nearby. Israel must tell its Sderot residents to go to hell, and that will solve the problem. By not doing that, this is all Israel's fault.
According to reports, about half of the people killed were innocent civilians.
Even the UN - hardly unbiased itself - puts the number at half that amount. So what is Levy's source for this bogus number? Here's my guess:
Hamas says some 200 uniformed members of Hamas security forces have been killed.
So Levy, uncritically believing Hamas' own statistics, goes beyond what Hamas is saying in trying to demonize his country. He doesn't even consider that perhaps Israel managed to kill some members of Islamic Jihad, the PRC or the DFLP, and according to Levy any non-uniformed member of Hamas don't count either - presumably because Hamas is so careful about adhering to international law concerning havng soldiers wearing uniforms.

A hint as to where Levy's, and Ha'aretz', mindset is at comes from an article today about that newspaper from Der Spiegel.
The irreverence of the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz is visible from the first moment a visitor enters the paper's editorial headquarters.<

There in the foyer hangs an open pig's carcass, looking just as it would in a slaughterhouse. This one, however, is reproduced in pieces of candy -- red ones for the muscles, and yellow for the innards. The building's doorman is on hand to help interpret this installation. The sculpture, he says, is like the land of Israel itself: "Beautiful on the outside, rotten on the inside."

Putting aside the fact that the symbolism is exactly the opposite of the stated interpretation (the carcass is ugly on the outside and sweet on the inside), this is the best encapsulation of Ha'aretz' guiding editorial philosophy: Israel is an inherently rotten country, not dissimilar to Ahmadinejad's characterization of it as a "rotting corpse." The elites at Ha'aretz know best, and the 95% of the nation that is to its right are ignorant rubes - too religious or too nationalistic or too Jewish to be taken seriously.

They hate their own country, and they share that hatred with their readers every day.

(h/t EBoZ and Mohammed the Teddy Bear)

More Free Gaza lies

Israel Matzav found the much-anticipated CNN video report on the Free Gaza incident:

video

The inconsistencies/lies in the Free Gaza story keep adding up.

The first Free Gaza communique, to their email list, said:
The Dignity has been surrounded by at least half-a-dozen Israeli warships. They are firing live ammunition around the Dignity, and one of the warships has rammed the civilian craft causing an unknown amount of damage.

Another of their communiques said
The gunboats also fired their machine guns into the water in an attempt to stop the mercy ship from getting to Gaza.
The CNN report again doesn't say a word about gunshots. It says there were two Israeli patrol boats, although the video only shows a single spotlight. The CNN report says "They shadow us for a half hour, and then, with no prior radio warning according to the captain, one of the patrol boats rams the 'Dignity.' "

I cannot find them now, but I have previously seen reports where the captain claimed that the Israelis radioed to the boat and told them they were "terrorists,"

Video equipment is really cheap nowadays, You can get an HD video recorder that can fit in your pocket for about $150. Evry phone and digital camera has lower-resolution video capability as well. It is truly amazing that with a boat full of publicity-seekers and reporters, "shadowed a half hour" by the dreaded Israeli Zionist lying sons of apes and pigs, none of them have any video released that corroborates their fantastic tales of being shot at by six Israeli warships, or even of being rammed by a boat.

Maybe they all ran out of batteries. It couldn't possibly be because they are in fact the "inveterate liars" they accuse all Israelis of being.

Spot the difference!

YNet:
Unknown assailants, believed to be Arab, attacked salespeople at an Israeli-owned stand in Denmark, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday afternoon. Two Israelis reportedly suffered light injuries in the shooting attack.

"Two Israelis working a Dead Sea Products stand in a mall were fired upon," Dan Oryan of the Israeli Embassy in Copenhagen told Ynet. "We don’t know how many people were involved in the shooting, but several individuals were seen fleeing the scene.

Ma'an News Arabic:
Palestinians open fire on Israeli soldiers in Denmark

Israeli sources said that Palestinian youths entered one of the shops that sell Israeli products derived from the Dead Sea near the Denmark's capital Copenhagen opened fire on Israeli soldiers were inside the shop.

You see, if they were just store-owners it is a terror attack; but if they are soldiers than it is Jihad!

Life gets so much easier when you can justify terrorism through linguistics.

UPDATE: Commenter Henrik lives near where the shootings occured, he adds more details in the comments.

When patience is not a virtue

Gaza terrorists have been shooting rockets and mortars at Israel since 2001. Some months saw many attacks and some saw only a few, but the net effect is the same - because the rockets are instruments of terror, not of genocide.

Of course, the terrorists want to kill as many Israelis and Jews as possible. Even so, the main effectiveness of the Qassams is not the deaths that they cause, but the fear that they instill in residents who are in rocket range. This is the very definition of terrorism - to cause civilians to be terrorized. The fact that there were "only" three or ten rockets in a particular month does not lighten the psychological burden in Sderot, because the fear that a rocket is about to slam into your house is always there, constantly hanging over every aspect of the lives of residents of the Negev.

Many voices are being raised now that Israel has reacted disproportionately to the threat of Qassams. They don't kill that many people, goes this argument. They are an annoyance but not an existential threat.

But it is wrong to say that there were relatively few victims of Qassam rockets. The victims aren't only the people who were killed, injured or suffered damage - the victims are every resident of a community that is in rocket range. Their number is not in the dozens but in the tens of thousands - and now hundreds of thousands.

To give a more concrete example, if a terrorist group would explode a "dirty nuke" in a populated area, chances are that the number of casualties would be no higher than from a conventional explosive. The goal of a "dirty nuke," and indeed its very purpose, would be to cause panic out of proportion to its actual potential to damage. Qassam rockets are essentially the same as dirty nukes in their intent and effect. Asking people to live with this threat is not just inconsiderate; it borders on the malicious.

Israel's response has, for years, been to use patience. Israel has told the residents under threat to just wait - wait for the schools to be reinforced and for shelters to be built, wait for an anti-rocket system to be tested and deployed, wait to see what the results of a "cease fire" are, wait until after disengagement (and then we'll really let them have it!), wait to see how assassinating terrorist leaders will affect things, wait for the blockade to take effect and for the Gaza residents to kick Hamas out.

These half-measures have not worked.

More importantly, they might have in some ways backfired.

Counseling patience means that the status quo is, to some extent, acceptable (if not ideal.) Telling Sderot residents to live with their fear and to stop whining so much about it also means that you are telling the world that it is OK to live under the constant fear of your children dying in the school playground.

It is painful to say it, but Israel has been sacrificing Sderot and the other southern Negev communities for years to "patience."

Is it surprising that many otherwise well-meaning critics adopt the same mindset? If living with the rocket threat was considered acceptable to the government of Israel for years, then why should Israel suddenly decide that it is no longer acceptable?

What the critics understand is that even this Israeli government - one that has been trying like no other to make sacrifices for "peace," one that is risk-averse to the point of paralysis, one that will use any unethical and undemocratic methods it can to force Israel to give up strategic depth for an illusion of safety - even this government could no longer stand by and watch the rocket fire intensify yet again.

The price of this historical reticence is that, rather than "just" Qassams, the Israelis now have to deal with Katyushas and Grads; rather than "just" Sderot, there are now a million residents in rocket range.

It would have been painful to solve the problem years ago. Now it will be even worse.

Patience has a price.

Some notable news links

Keeping up with the news is a bit overwhelming. I thank my commenters for linking to interesting stories. Here are a few that caught my eye:

The rocket that hit the school in Beersheba was made in China. Not quite homemade. It was also designed to spread lethal pellets over a large area, which would be considered yet another war crime for anyone who actually bothers to accuse Hamas of war crimes. (h/t busywolf)

Arutz-7 reported that Hamas executed at least 8 Fatah men (accused of"collaboration") trying to escape from prison during Israeli airstrikes on Sunday, quoting Yediot Aharonot. The New York Times mentioned the executions without saying how many deaths there were. I will add 6 to the self-death count to be as conservative as possible (I already had mentioned two.) (h/t henrik)

YNet published an "alert map" showing how many seconds Israelis have to find cover after hearing a Code Red alert. Notice that the range of rockets is now much larger than Gaza itself, which means that "buffer zones" would be meaningless.

Which brings up Moshe Arens' analysis of how to stop the rocket fire - he looks at all the possible alternatives that people suggest and that have been tried, and concludes that there is no alternative but IDF ground forces going in and taking full control of the rocket launching sites.

UPDATE: Commenter Henrik also pointed out an IHT article about executing "collaborators" in Gaza hospitals; I couldn't find his but found this version of it and it appears to be different people than the earlier article. So I am adding 6 more to the self-death count.

PalArab news roundup

Most of the Grad/Katyusha longer-distance rockets are being shot by Hamas, a few from Islamic Jihad. The remaining "older" Qassams are from the PRC. Only a couple have been claimed by Fatah's Al Aqsa Brigades since the start of the war.

By the way, no one can claim that the rockets hitting Beersheba, Ashdod and Netivot are "home-made." They were all smuggled in during the "calm" while the media was fixated on consumer goods being sent from Egypt to Rafah underground.

Lebanese officials promised they would "forensically examine" the Free Gaza boat to figure out whether IDF boats rammed it. The FGM freaks still claim they were fired at, even though none of the journalists on board have stated that. The captain appears to be somewhat of a liar too (he said that the IDF told him on the radio that they suspected "terrorists" were on board, which makes no sense; today he says that the "attack" happened "without any warning, or any provocation.")

The number of wounded people crossing to Egypt to be treated remains a trickle - only 15 yesterday. The PA has stopped blaming Hamas, though, now saying that it is because of a shortage of ambulances. Of course, Israel sent in 10 ambulances a couple of days ago (from the MFA site.)

Qatar and Israel agreed that humanitarian aid will be flown from Qatar directly to Ben Gurion Airport, from where Israel will send it to Gaza. Apparently, Egypt refused to allow the Qatari aircrafts to land at El Arish in the Sinai. Three planes are en route.

Hamas is taking control of the food sent in aid convoys and is selling it for inflated prices. Qatari and Egyptian flour is being sold by Hamas for 140 shekels a bag.

Hamas fighters are waiting for the ground invasion "on pins and needles."

Fatah leaders, possibly from the Al Aqsa Brigades, are demanding that Hamas returntheir weapons to them for the coming ground war.

A Jenin man killed his 28-year old sister in a possible "honor killing," bringing the 2008 PalArab self-death count to 231. I do not have confirmation of rumors that a number of Fatah prisoners were killed while escaping prison on Saturday (besides the two I reported.)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

If the IDF made Hamas-style videos....

Have you ever seen Hamas' jihadist music videos? They are cheesy propaganda with awful music and tacky special effects that would be funny if they weren't advocating genocide.

Anyway, here is my take on how an IDF video would look if it was directed by the same talent that Hamas uses...

December Rocket Calendar

Q=Qassam (may include Katyusha-style rockets)
QS=Qassam landing short in Gaza
M=Mortar
F=Fatality (F=Gazan, F=Israeli)
(G)=Grad (included in Qassam count, not consistent yet)

M*- Apparently upgraded 120mm mortars
MS=Mortar landing short
P - unnamed "projectiles"
(Paren) indicates unconfirmed Palestinian claims

Yellow=day Israel sent aid to Gaza
Blue=day Egypt sent aid to Gaza via Israel, inspected by Israel at Kerem Shalom)
Green=Both Israeli and Arab aid allowed in under Israeli auspices


December 2008

Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa

1
2
3
4
5
6

1Q
3M
2Q
(23M)
3Q
15M
1Q
2M
2Q
(7M)
3Q
(20M)
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
7Q
1QS
1QS
1M
1Q

2Q
1QS
(2M)
1Q
3M

14
15
16
17
18
19
20
1Q
3M
1Q
8Q
24Q
1M
8Q
2QS
3Q
15Q
26M

1QS
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
17Q
3M
1QS
3Q
1QS
8Q
8M
(1P)
41Q
24M
(54M)
7Q
7M

25M
1QS (2F)
2MS
64Q (1F)
16M
28
29
30
31



30Q (5G)
4M
73Q (11G, 2F)
15M (1F)

2QS
55Q (4G)
(3M)
63Q(10G)











Previous calendars here.

Women and children deaths pretty low

According to a report in Firas Press, quoting the "Conscience Foundation for Human Rights" in the Gaza Strip, so far there have been 368 deaths. Of those, 36 have been children and 9 women.

While no one wants civilians to die, these numbers support Israel's claims of precision much more than they support the widespread libel that Israel is reacting with disproportionate and indiscriminate force.

Half of Gazans are 17 or under. The remaining half would in turn be roughly 50% female.

If Israel was indiscriminately firing at Gaza, one would expect 184 children and 92 women to be dead.

For children to be less than 10% of those killed, and adult women roughly 2.5%, indicates a very impressive rate of avoiding civilian casualties. Without knowing how many civilian men have been killed it is hard to know for certain, but these numbers indicate that Israel is doing as much as any nation in wartime has ever done to avoid civilian casualties.

The article goes on to say that children also comprise 10% of those injured, which confirms the IAF's accuracy.

This won't stop the Israel bashers (and so-called "human rights" organizations) from ignorantly saying that Israel deliberately targets civilians. But statistically this is far from a "massacre."

Insane Jew-hatred on Egyptian TV

They aren't even trying to pretend that they don't hate Jews anymore. From MEMRI (which now, unbelievably, requires registration to see their videos):
Following are excerpts from interviews with several Egyptian clerics, which aired on Al-Nas TV and Al-Rahma TV on December 28 and 29, 2008.

One of the clerics, Dr. Salah Sultan, is president of the American Center for Islamic Research (ACIR), a nonprofit organization registered in Ohio and located in Columbus....

Egyptian cleric Sheikh Muhammad Al-Saghir: "I say to the people of Gaza: Take my heart, which has hardened like a stone. Take it, and use it to stone all the Jews. Take my soul, and it will give you shade, for no longer does it fly far away. Take my eye - by Allah, take my eye. Perhaps a handsome youth, who was blinded, could see again. Take my skin, and turn it into a fuse or a slingshot for a child or a newborn baby."

Al-Rahma TV, December 29, 2008

Egyptian cleric Sheikh Muhammad Hassan: "We want to teach our children the truth about the Jews. We want them to know that the [Jews] will never make peace or agree to it. The Jews will never accept any international resolution, from East or West, because they understand nothing but force.

"I remember what the great terrorist Menahem Begin said: We fight, therefore we exist. These are real terrorists. They are extremists. They are blood-suckers. They are shedders of blood. Review the history of the Jews from beginning to end, from the very first moment to the last moment, which is now. They specialize in the shedding of blood, in crime, and in killing - even the killing of prophets."

[...]

Egyptian cleric Sheikh Amin Al-Ansari: "It is told that the Israelites killed more than 70,000 prophets in a single day. It's not the people they want to eradicate, but Revelation itself. They do not want there to be any revelation, purity, religion, or religious law. The secret behind the war between the Jews and non-Jews is that they want to have a monopoly on the spiritual and ideological leadership of the world, and eventually, the physical leadership.

[...]

"By the 'Chosen People,' they mean that they are a people, and all those who are inferior to them are not peoples. In other words, they are human beings, and all others are not. They are people, and all others are not. They are human beings, selected by God to be the leaders of all beings.

"So what about the rest of mankind? They view them as pigs. That's the truth. Pigs! So why do they look like human beings? So that they will be worthy of being servants of the Jews, who could ride on their backs and suck their blood.

"That's why when a Jew kills a Palestinian child, he considers him to be a little pig. What difference is there between the two?! On the contrary, he might show mercy for the pig, as an animal that should not be harmed. The Palestinian child is worth less to him than a pig." [...]

Egyptian cleric Dr. Sallah Sultan: "The arch-murderer who commanded the campaign against Jenin in 2003 went to America a few months later and boarded a NASA space shuttle. The space shuttle was launched by NASA, and a few minutes later, it reached Texas, the land of President Bush. Then this space shuttle shattered to pieces, along with the five top American space scientists, and that commander of the Zionist airforce was on board with them. Where exactly did it shatter and fall? By Allah, Sheikh Mahmoud, although I was living in America, I didn't know that there was a city called 'Palestine' in America. Sheikh Mustafa, the space shuttle fell, of all places, in the city of Palestine, in President Bush's state of Texas.

"The stone which is thrown at the Jews hates these Jews, these Zionists, because Allah foretold, via His Prophet Muhammad, that Judgment Day will not come before the Jew and the Muslim fight. The Jew will hide behind stones and trees, and the stone and the tree will speak, saying: 'Oh Muslim, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.' The only exception will be the Gharqad tree."

TV host: "The Jews know this for sure, that's why they plant Gharqad trees."

Dr. Sallah Sultan: "The stone's self-awareness is such that it can distinguish Muslims from Jews."

TV host: "True, and it will support the Muslims."

Dr. Sallah Sultan: "America, which gave [Israel] everything it needed in these battles, will suffer economic stagnation, ruin, destruction, and crime, which will surpass what is happening in Gaza. One of these days, the U.S. will suffer more deaths than all those killed in this third Gaza holocaust. This will happen soon.

"The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is an attempt to rule and corrupt the entire world. When the world concentrates on its desires and lusts, the [Jews] will be free to implement their plan of controlling the world." [...]

Sheikh Muhammad Al-Gheini: "The truth is that I do not understand why the sons of apes do the things they do to us, especially whenever there is a holiday that may make the nation happy. Let me remind you that it was on the day marking the Prophet's nocturnal journey that Sharon defiled the courtyard of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. This was also on a holy day."

[...]

Sheikh Safwat Higazi: "I take my little son Baraa, who is 10 years old, and make him look at the torn body parts of his Muslim brothers, in order to sow in his heart hatred and loathing for the Zionists, so he will know that these are his enemies.

[...]

"Israeli President Shimon Peres used to fill his helmet with the blood of Egyptian POWs, so that whenever he looked at it, he would be reminded that he had fulfilled his duty to his god."

TV host: "The Bahr Al-Baqr massacre is well known."

This is not simple anti-semitism. This is off the wall, foaming at the mouth craziness. It is unapologetic loathing, broadcast without any qualms by "moderate" Egyptian TV. These people don't just dislike Jews - they hate them with every fiber of their being. They literally want to see all Jews dead, as they unblinkingly claim that Jews are the ones guilty of desiring genocide.

Were there any opposing clerics on TV telling these guys that they went overboard? Were there any protests by moderate Muslims, picketing the TV station for broadcasting such loathsome opinions? Or can this be assumed to be the mainstream opinion of generations of Egyptians, who dare not allow their true thoughts to escape their lips in English for fear of losing billions of dollars of the hated Americans' money?

For news junkies....

I try to find topics that are not being covered well elsewhere, but for the main headlines and inside information about the current Gaza op I recommend these three essential blogs:

Aussie Dave at Israellycool has been liveblogging from the beginning, with a bemused attitude. Lots of links to insightful/interesting/humorous pictures and videos.

Jameel at The Muqata has likewise been liveblogging, a bit straighter than Israellycool but with many links you wouldn't know about otherwise. He also is tweeting on Twitter.

Omri at Mere Rhetoric has been writing posts at a mind-boggling pace. His writing is wonderfully sardonic, amusingly snarky and extraordinarily link-dense. Those links bring up a complete hypertext world of relevant facts that we've all seen and forgotten.

Why would Israel bomb a university? Here's why!

Ma'an (as well as many other pro-Hamas venues) publishes an article from a professor at Islamic University in Gaza that asks, plaintively:
Why would Israel bomb a university? - By Dr Akram Habeeb

As a Fulbright scholar and professor of American literature at the Islamic University of Gaza, I have always preferred to keep silent about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

I always felt that it was my mission to preach love and peaceful coexistence. However, Israel's massive offensive against the Gaza Strip has spurred me to speak out.

When I learned that Israel had bombed my university with American-made F-16s, I realized that its "target bank" had gone bankrupt. Of course Israeli politicians and generals would claim that the Islamic University is a Hamas stronghold and that it preaches terrorism.

As an independent professor not affiliated with any political party, I can say that IUG is an academic institution which embraces a wide spectrum of political affinities. I see it as prestigious university which encourages liberalism and free thought.

This personal point of view might seem to be biased; therefore, I would invite anyone who would doubt my assertions to browse IUG's website and research its history. They would learn about its membership in various international academic institutions, the active role its professors play in scholarly research as well as prizes and research grants they have received.

Why would Israel bomb a university? Israel did not only target my university last night. It also bombed mosques, pharmacies and homes.

...Israel itself chose to wage its wars to eliminate the indigenous people of Palestine.
How heart-rending! A university, dedicated to independent and liberal thought, bombed heartlessly by the Zionists who want nothing less than genocide against all Arabs of Palestine.

A little research shows that Islamic University is not quite as idyllic as the good professor implies.

From YNet, February 2, 2007:
Kidnapped soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit spent most of his time in captivity imprisoned on the campus of the Islamic University in Gaza, said senior Palestinian sources on Monday.

Shalit was kidnapped on June 25th 2006 and up until three months ago had been held at the university – a prominent Hamas stronghold – but arguments amongst his captors led to his relocation.

The Islamic University is under complete Hamas control, with faculty members and students alike all loyal to the organization.

Palestinian officials have labeled the university a "sanctuary for wanted men" and they note that Hamas mastermind Yahya Ayyash fled from the West Bank to Gaza in 1995 and hid in the Islamic University for several months during the time he was being pursued by Israeli forces for his role in numerous suicide bombings in the 90's.

Ayyash and other wanted Hamas members took advantage of the fact that none but Hamas loyalists set foot in the university.

That changed last Thursday when troops from Fatah's Force 17 raided the university campus, confiscating some 2,000 AK-47 assault rifles, hundreds of RPG launchers and massive amounts of ammunition.

Fatah troops also uncovered a tunnel opening leading all the way to the Palestinian Police headquarters in Gaza City. Estimates suggest Hamas had intended to fill the tunnel with explosives and destroy the police building.

But isn't that normal behavior in prestigious universities which encourage liberalism and free thought?

Dr. Habeeb is also being a little less than honest when he claims he prefers to stay silent about the conflict. Somehow, his quiet opinions made it into the Washington Post in 2006, in the wake of Hamas' election victory:
Akram Habeeb, 50, who teaches American literature at Gaza's Islamic University, was just as optimistic. "Hamas possesses the potential to establish itself as the Palestinians' most reliable political party" in the world's eyes, he said. "Hamas has a clear vision for a stable and corruption-free Palestine. "

Habeeb was adamant in his belief that Hamas would not allow international donors to "blackmail" the Palestinian people. "Palestine's land has been occupied for long and we have nothing but dignity, so we won't sell our land for the donors' funds." If donors continue to insist that Hamas change its position on Israel, he said, the new Palestinian government would have to "find alternatives" -- presumably among wealthy Arab nations. Experience has given us little reason to expect that will happen, but Habeeb insisted: "Increasing local, regional and even international investments in Palestine will certainly have a strong boosting effect on the ailing economy, especially when Hamas duplicates what it did in the municipalities.

"Certainly some groups at the end of the day will try to sabotage Hamas's efforts but they will fail because most Palestinians have already said the word: Hamas is our legitimate and democratically elected representative."

It sure sounds like he favors the side that supports the genocide of all Jews in the Middle East, doesn't it? Perhaps his determination that Hamas never, ever recognize Israel counts as "love and peaceful coexistence" in his eyes.

So we now know that Hamas used Islamic University for storing weapons, for holding hostages, for planning attacks and for acting as a safehouse for terrorists.

The IDF claimed after the bombing that the university was where Hamas did its research and development of rockets and explosives. This is more than plausible - it also was the place where Hamas recruited a young woman to build suicide bomb belts and to teach others how to build bombs.

Does this answer your question, Dr. Habeeb?

Another day, another lying propagandist for Hamas.


Pajamas Media has more about Islamic U.'s research facilities, where it gets funding from and more details on its terror history.

Protests don't reflect reality

The media has a field day covering the many protests against Israel happening worldwide. The protests are colorful; they always have someone photogenic to publish or a gimmick that makes good copy. The impression one gets is that there is a broad-based mass of people who are genuinely concerned about Gazan lives and aghast at Israeli policy.

While there are certainly no shortage of rabid Israel-bashers in this world, the coverage of these protests shows a deceptive picture.

For one thing, the media usually doesn't mention the groups behind the protests. for example, the one pictured on the right, in Jakarta, was sponsored by radical Islamist group Hizb-ut Tahrir. You woldn't know that unless you look carefully at the entire sign, not shown in this picture but visible here. That group wants to create a pan-Muslim nation that would of course include "Palestine" where Jews would not be the most welcome members.

Other groups sponsoring protests include the Communist Party of India and Hezbollah, not to mention the so-called "peace" groups who have nothing bad to say about thousands of Qassam rockets.

Another point to keep in mind about protests is that even the most Zionist is not going to create a rally supporting a war. This is not a war of choice but of necessity, as the alternatives have all been tried and failed.

Once you take away the people who want Israel to be destroyed out of the picture, the number of protesters is not very significant. Almost by definition, these protesters prefer Hamas terrorists living in peace in the Middle East to Jews doing the same.

The fact is that most governments and sober-minded people, even critics of Israel and even Arab leaders, know that Hamas and its ideology is a serious danger to world peace. They either secretly or openly want to see Israel topple Hamas. Fatah isn't going to do it, Gazans aren't going to, and neither is Egypt. They know that only Israel has a chance - and even that is by no means assured.

The media, by spending so much time covering these protests that are little more than photo-ops for people dedicated to hate, is giving the false impression that the world supports Hamas. Over time, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is why it is vitally important to be vigilant about this sort of subtle bias and point it out. So far, media coverage has not been as bad as it has been in the past, but that can change very fast. We have to keep on top of how even innocuous images can effectively become Hamas' best weapon.

Open thread

People have a lot to say, so I will provide a spot for them to say it.

Also, if anyone can find an old-fashioned rendition of Hava Nagila, fast and preferably sung only by a bunch of men, please let me know. I have an idea for a video that should be pretty funny but I need that music. YouTube has a huge number of Hava Nagilas but I couldn't find any that fit the bill, although some of them are mind-blowing.

Saudi family tries to marry off 5 and 11 year old daughters

From Adnkronos (h/t Dhimmi Watch):
A doctor in Saudi Arabia was able to stop the wedding of a five and 11 year-old whose family wanted to marry them to protect financial assets. "Thanks to the law that compels spouses to carry out blood analyses before marriage, we were able to stop a wedding with underage girls, among them a five year-old," said Hani Harsani, the doctor in charge of laboratory analysis in an interview with Saudi daily al-Watan.

"Two sisters came to us accompanied by their parents to undergo pre-marital blood analyses. The first one was five, and the other 11 years-old. When we asked the mother why they wanted to do the tests, she told us that she wanted to marry the girls to cousins to preserve the family's property rights."

During the interview, Harsani remembers an episode when a 10-year-old orphan was brought to do pre-marital blood tests by her brother, who wanted to marry the sister to a 40-year-old friend who already had two other wives.

"We cannot technically impede a marriage with a girl of this age. However, we can delay the process (by refusing to carry out the tests)," said Harsani.
The unanswered question is what stops the family to find a less ethical doctor?

Palestinian Authority blames Hamas for Gaza deaths

From MEMRI (h/t It bears repeating that at the exact same time that Gaza was going downhill under Hamas rule, the West Bank has been economically booming - as the PA started to take responsibility for its own people, Israel has been easing restrictions, and the result has been that West Bank residents' quality of life has been improving dramatically. This proves that Israel is not a racist entity hell-bent on enslaving Palestinian Arabs but a pragmatic country that yearns to live in peace with its Arab neighbors and takes its security seriously.

And it underlines that Hamas is indeed the party responsible for what a hellhole Gaza has become.

I'm nominated for the 2008 Weblog Awards

Elder of Ziyon has been nominated for the 2008 Weblog Award for Best Middle Eastern or Africa Blog. And I am in very good company.

I was similarly nominated in 2006 and was roundly destroyed in the final round, getting less than 10% of the vote of the winner. So to make it interesting I announced my goal to beat The Sudanese Thinker for a distant fourth place, which I managed to get at the last minute.

This year I expect to do about the same as I did then. The category includes some serious heavyweights:

Michael J. Totten - Excellent professional journalist who ran away with the award last year
Martin Kramer on the Middle East - A prolific author, professor and noted Middle East expert. Oh, great.
Fundamentally Freund - Writer who blogs for Israel National News
My Marrakesh - The adventures of an American family in Morocco
Informed Comment - Juan Cole's site. I would love to beat him just to prove how irrelevant he really is. Unfortunately, he'll get 100% of the moonbat vote.
The Sudanese Thinker - my old nemesis. We meet again!
Muslimah Media Watch - I don't know it, but it looks interesting.
Days of My Life - An articulate teenage girl in Iraq.
Israellycool - Popular and essential Israeli blog where I contribute posts as well
Elder of Ziyon - um, who? Some anonymous guy who doesn't even live in the Middle East! What's he doing here?

There were some 23 nominations, so it is a great honor to have been chosen to even compete in this category. I'll let you all know when the voting begins.

Other Israel-themed blogs that were nominated in other categories include Daled Amos, Israel Matzav, and Snapped Shot. Congratulations!

UN Lies

I caught the statement from UNRWA head Karen Abu Zayd and was going to spend some time showing that it was false, but Omri and Meryl Yourish did it first, and better.

Meryl's synopsis:
Here’s what Omri caught:

“What we understood here (was) that there was a 48-hour lull to be called, and this was called by the Israelis,” Abu Zayd said. “They said they would wait 48 hours. That was on Friday morning, I believe, until Sunday morning, and that they were going to evaluate.”

There was only one rocket that went out on Friday, so it was obvious that Hamas was trying, again, to observe that truce to get this back under control,” she said.

“Then, everything got loose on Saturday morning at 11:30 a.m. We were all at work and very much surprised by this,” Abu Zayd said.

Here’s what’s wrong with Abu Zayd’s facts: Everything. She is lying through her teeth. Hamas was not “trying, again, to observe that truce.” Hamas was firing rockets and mortars at will.

Dozens of mortar shells and Qassams have been fired at Israel since Thursday night. Several mortar shells were launched while Israel opened border crossings to allow humanitarian aid into the Strip, but all of them landed within Palestinian territory.

Heads of the Gaza vicinity communities were outraged Friday by Israel’s decision to allow 40 trucks carrying humanitarian aid to enter the Gaza Strip, despite the incessant rocket and mortar fire at the western Negev.

The AP could easily fact-check this article by looking in their own archives.

The militants kept up their fire on Israeli border areas despite Israel’s agreement to open its crossings Friday. In all, 13 rockets and mortars were fired toward Israel by Friday evening, the military said. One home was struck but no injuries were reported.

And yet, the AP is passing along Abu Zayd’s lies, uncritically.

There was a time that the UNRWA actually had scruples and morals, and tried to do the right thing. That time passed over fifty years ago, as it transformed from an organization that tried to end the Arab refugee problem into one that was dedicated to prolonging it.

Free Gaza freaks turned away

Israel wisely decided not to allow the Free Gaza publicity hounds to arrive in a war zone. The FGM claims that the Israeli Navy rammed and fired on their boat; Israel says that they told the ship to stop and it kept going and rammed into the Israeli boat.

The Free Gaza mailing list quotes a Ha'aretz article about the incident but prefixes it with "We all know the Israelis are inveterate liars, so I wouldn't assume any of it is actually true."

Since there were journalists on board, I am sure that a video will soon be available showing whether Israel fired at them. The CNN video report interviewing a CNN reporter on board says nothing about any shooting, only that the Israeli boat "rammed" the "Dignity." No doubt if there was any live fire, the CNN reporter would have mentioned it. Showing who the "inveterate liars" are.

The FGM freaks explicitly said yesterday in a press release that they will refuse to stop, no matter what:
We are not asking Israel for "permission" to go, and we will not stop until the DIGNITY lands in Gaza.

Just for context: The Free Gaza boat was supposed to have 3 tons of medical aid. During the past three days, Israel has sent 186 trucks filled with aid to Gaza - plus ten ambulances. Each truck, from past experience, holds between 10 and 20 tons of material.

Which means that for all the noise the FGM makes about how necessary their trip is to help Gazans, their "aid" equates to roughly 0.1% of what the hated, lying Zionist enemy has given while under direct attack from Gaza. Proving yet again that the off-key moonbats' purpose is not to help Gazans (they could coordinate sending aid through Israel, as Jordan does, or through Egypt, which sent 72 trucks of its own) but to hurt Israel through PR.

(I'm pretty sure that Israel's tractor trailers filled with aid are far larger than Egypt's.)
(h/t Humanitarian Aid commenter.)

UPDATE: Al Jazeera's report here.

UPDATE 2 - More proof of Free Gaza's lies.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Gleeful Hamas press release on 4 Israeli deaths

From Hamas' Al-Qassam website (autotranslated):
The Brigades of the Martyr Izz el-Deen al-Qassam, the military wing of the "Hamas" movement bombed on Monday (29/12) the port of Ashdod with "Grad" rockets and the settlement of Nahal Oz with three mortar shells. The Zionist enemy admitted the deaths of four rapists, including an officer, and injuries to more than 20 others wounded by the Qassam rockets.

The group said in its "The Mujahduha bombed the Ashdod port, which lies 40 km north of the Gaza Strip, Grad rockets at 9:15 "which led to the death of Zionist rapists and injuring more than 20 others, three of them seriously.

The Mujahduha battalions have also shelled the settlement of Nahal Oz with three mortar shells at 9:40 and the Zionist enemy admitted the killing of two soldiers, one officer and wounding four others.

The statement said "We declare jihad on the work of shelling Zionist settlements with Grad rockets and mortar shells, which resulted in the recognition of the Zionist enemy of the killing of four rapists and wounding more than 20 others, three of them seriously.

The group said the bombing was a response to the continued Zionist aggression against our people in Gaza and the West Bank, in response to the Zionist massacre in Gaza, which led to the deaths of more than 350 people and injured hundreds, and on the continuing unjust siege on our people.
Of course, one of the victims was a 39-year old mother of four, another was an Israeli Arab and a third was a 58-year old man sitting at home. Only one of these attacks hit a military target, and a career officer was killed - who was a Druse.

Hamas knows this quite well, and celebrates the murder of innocent civilians even as it pretends that it targets only soldiers.

In English, however, Hamas has not yet published this press release. Instead, it aims straight at the heartstrings of the useful idiot crowd, with this graphic. It is pretty much the talking points of the pro-terror "peace" crowd in one convenient picture

It is also the exact antithesis of how Hamas sounds on the Arabic website. In Arabic, death is glorified; in English, it is tragic. In Arabic, martyrdom is the highest achievement; in English it is barely mentioned.

Rocket fire after the disengagement.

Many terror-apologists are playing loose with the facts about what happened after Israel voluntarily evacuated all Jews from Gaza, so here is a short time-line of rocket attacks from Gaza in the aftermath of disengagement:

September 12, 2005: The Israeli flag is lowered in Gaza and disengagement is over.
September 12: Rocket attack on Sderot.
September 12: Rocket attack on Yad Mordechai.
9/23: Islamic Jihad attacks Kfar Aza
9/24: Hamas attacks Sderot, 11 injured
9/25, 26, 27, 30 - At least six separate rocket attacks - followed by more...
October 2005: At least 7 rocket attacks
November 2005: At least 11 rocket attacks
December 2005: At least 34 separate rocket attacks, causing numerous injuries and much damage
January 2006: At least 27 separate attacks (most with multiple rockets)

January 25, 2006: Hamas wins the PLC elections.

February 2006: At least 55 rocket attacks
March 2006: At least 47 attacks, with injuries
April 2006: At least 53 separate rocket attacks


..and on and on. (Statistics from the Worldwide Incidents Tracking System.)

Rocket attacks occurred before, during and after disengagement; before, during and after Hamas elections; before, during and after the Hamas/Fatah unity government; through the Hamas coup, through the worldwide blockade of Gaza, through the 2007 "truce" and through the 2008 "truce." They happened while Gazans were happily employed at the Erez Industrial Park in Gaza as well as when it was shut down, they happened while Jews lived in Gush Katif and when they didn't, when the crossings were opened and when they were shut.

Qassam rockets have been shot at Israeli areas since October, 2001, and their numbers have only increased over time. To say that somehow Israeli actions are forcing the terrorists to shoot Qassams and mortars at Israel and to dismiss Israeli justifications for finally saying that enough is enough is the height of arrogance.

Nice shooting

Some videos released by the IAF and IDF:


Fatah militant accidentally kills another in WB

It is not easy to understand the Arabic Ma'an news story, but it appears that a Fatah Presidential Guard member "accidentally" killed a colleague - and wounded two others.

I can understand a single accidental bullet, but three?

It seems that a woman threw something out of her window that might have caused the soldier to fire. So she was arrested.

The 2008 PalArab self-death count is now 230.

Quick, call Juan Cole! (again!)

Once again, Iran makes it explicitly clear that it wants to destroy Israel, despite the claims of its apologists.

Iran's Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar (R) stands under a banner as he takes part in an anti-Israel rally in Tehran in support of Palestinians in Gaza, December 29, 2008.


Maybe those words translate into Persian as "We love flowers and cute cuddly animals." You can't really be sure, can you?

Islamic Jihad claims to have shot IDF soldiers in West Bank

I have not seen this confirmed anywhere. From Palestine Today:
Saraya al Quds, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, stated that it shot at Israeli occupation soldiers in the Jenin province, on Thursday evening, and confirmed casualties among the soldiers.
There is no doubt that Islamic Jihad and Hamas would love to see this conflict expand to the West Bank, so this is an arena that needs to be watched.

On the other hand, this could be from a slingshot, as was so artfully photographed by an AP photographer.

There are more Gazans alive today than on Saturday morning

The word "genocide" is being bandied about a lot in the Arab world and far left-wing media outlets to describe Israeli actions in Gaza.

One editorial in the Gulf News that caught my eye doesn't use the word explicitly but implies it, as it castigates Arab governments for not doing anything:
While Gaza is burning, Arab officials are busy working the phones in an attempt to arrange an Arab emergency meeting. The earliest date possible, we are being told, is Friday.

By then though, there will be fewer Gazans in Gaza.
Putting aside all issues about how many of the dead are terrorists or civilians, let's examine this statement.

According to the CIA World Factbook, there are 1,500,202 people living in Gaza as of July 2008. The population growth rate is 3.422%, with the birth rate outpacing the death rate by more than ten to one.

This means that some 51,000 Gazans are born every year - and that translates to 141 more Gazans every day than the day before.

So, while on Saturday night there were indeed fewer Gazans than there were in the morning, that gap has been made up by Sunday night.

This also means that Saturday was the only day - ever - that Israel killed more people in Gaza than were born.

The Zionists can't even do genocide right!

To Israel's critics who pretend to want "peace"

There has been no shortage of criticism of Israel for finally deciding to do something about incessant rocket attacks against its citizens. From the U.N. Secretary-General calling Israel's actions "excessive" to French President Nicolas Sarkozy saying that Israel is using a "disproportionate use of force" to the EU's Javier Solana saying "There is no military solution" to the situation in Gaza, down to the more reliably anti-Israel crowd from the "progressive" Left who decry the deaths of civilians, a large segment of the world seems to agree that israel has no right to act as it has been for the past few days.

Certainly, no one wants to see innocent people die in a massive military operation. But before you criticize Israel you need to answer a simple question:

What is the alternative?


It is easy to mindlessly repeat the comforting words "peace" and "truce" and "practice utmost restraint." Mantras require no thought. They are just soothing, comforting sounds with no meaning and no depth.

But calling for "peace" without a plan is not only shortsighted; it is counterproductive to the idea of peace itself. Certainly terrorists are not subject to international pressure nor to criticism by peace activists; their goals are inherently antithetical to peace. By calling on "both sides" to halt "hostilities" you are equating terror with self-defense, you are legitimizing terrorism and you are calling on the terrorized side to turn the other cheek and become the passive recipient of death and destruction - because the terrorists are unlikely to be swayed by your arguments. A vague desire for "peace" is not only meaningless, but it helps embolden terror.

The most common plan is never stated but it is implied by "peace activists." This plan is for Israel to do nothing - to accept rockets in the Negev as an ugly but permanent fact, perhaps to move residents further north for their own protection; to continue to provide Gaza with aid and to medically treat Gazans, to open the borders for unlimited trade with Gaza, to allow Hamas to import as many weapons as it wishes - because anything less than that is still considered "occupation." These so-called peace activists are nothing of the sort - they just want Israel to be destroyed as much as the Arab terrorists do. Their real plan is to replace the Jewish state with another Arab state where terror attacks against Jews can again become a daily occurrence in Tel Aviv and Haifa and Jerusalem. If this describes you, sorry for wasting your time - I suggest that you volunteer as a human shield for Qassam rocket launchers.

Some have called for another "truce." The idea seems appealing - let both sides stop attacks and bring things back to the status quo.

However, the status quo was completely unacceptable. Let's look at the last "truce." While Israel sent hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid, building materials, food, fuel, clothing and many trucks full of other essentials, Hamas eliminated any vestiges of freedom, arrested scores of Fatah members who survived the coup, imported Katyusha rockets and tons of weapons and explosives, built hundreds of Qassams, built up its cash reserves by indirectly using money that the international community sent to build up the PA, and started building tunnels for the express purpose of kidnapping Israelis. Even the rocket fire didn't halt until September and it restarted only two months later.

It is a well-established rule that it costs much less to solve a problem earlier rather than later. The "truce" - as well as the one that preceded it in late 2006 and early 2007, when Israel likewise refrained from military actions while Gaza terrorists continued to shoot rockets and arm themselves - is not a solution to any problem; it is a postponement of a much bloodier clash that is inevitable when we are dealing with one side that wants no less than the utter destruction of the other.

Another alternative that peace activists like to trot out is "end the occupation." Somehow, it is hoped, Israel's giving up land will magically make Hamas and Islamic Jihad and the PFLP and DFLP and PRC and Al Aqsa Brigades and Free Galilee Brigades and all the other terror groups put down their arms and happily accept Israel's existence.

Not only is this wishful thinking, but all evidence proves the exact opposite. Israel quit Gaza and it only emboldened terrorists to do more. What can explain thousands of rockets towards Sderot if you think that Arab terrorists do not have any land ambitions beyond the "territories"? In Arabic, they call Sderot and Ashkelon and Netivot "settlements," which means that the careful distinction that the world laboriously makes between "Israel proper" and the "territories" is completely meaningless to one side of this conflict.

Some say they understand Israel's motivation, but call for Israel's response to be "proportionate." What they don't recall is that Israel has had that policy for years now. Rather than respond immediately and devastatingly to rocket attacks, Israel has counseled its Negev residents to grin and bear it; it built shelters and installed sirens; it occasionally responded with targeted attacks against rocket launchers or terrorist leaders. This did not stop the rocket fire - rockets that have no purpose other than to terrorize civilians. For Israel to slowly increase the level of response is the guaranteed way to start the dreaded "cycle of violence."

A single attack by Israel to shut down the kidnap tunnel in November resulted in hundreds of rockets in response. A massive attack is meant to stop the "cycle of violence," and it has a much better chance of doing so.

Of course Israel needs to ensure that a minimum of civilians are hurt - and it is doing so. If you have any suggestions of how Israel can do a better job in that respect, I'm sure that the IDF is more than willing to listen. But keeping Hamas in power, unchecked, is not a formula for peace.

Criticizing is easy. Solving a problem is much harder. If those who say they want peace can offer better and realistic alternatives, where Israeli citizens as well as Gazans can both be safe and secure, please offer them.

Becuase if you can't, then the best advice is the crude but effective STFU.

Hamas, PIJ playing games with Gaza lives

Despite the fact that Egypt offered to take in as many injured people as it could, Hamas has been forcibly blocking Gazans from getting medical help. So far, only 8 people were allowed through Rafah to get medical treatment.

Meanwhile, Islamic Jihad took credit for shooting mortars at Nahal Oz this morning. Nahal Oz is where Israel transfers fuel to Gaza, so by bombing the crossing Islamic Jihad is consciously trying to stop any fuel from reaching Gaza.

Once again we see that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are more interested in politics than in the people they pretend to be defending.

Anti-Israel and anti-semitic propaganda in overdrive

The Free Gaza terror supporters are going nuts over Operation Cast Lead, furiously writing pro-Hamas spin in their website and sending another clown boat to Gaza to bring "aid" - which comprises less than 1% of the aid that Israel itself has sent to Gaza in the past two days.

They are unabashedly to make statements like "On Saturday, December 27, Israel began Operation "Cast Lead," a military onslaught against the civilian population of the Gaza Strip that has - so far - massacred more than three-hundred men, women, and children, and seriously injured over a thousand."

The Free Gaza website is almost completely devoid of the mention of Qassam rockets. (The only mentions are when they say that "Israel claims that they are responsind to rockets" or when they quote B'Tselem, which for all its bias at least has a tiny understanding of context.) To read the rantings of the Free Gaza terror-supporters - people who smilingly meet with Hamas leaders while they pull no stops in blaming Israel foir "genocide" - one would assume that Israel is just a regime that has nothing better to do than to torture small animals and kill Palestinian Arab children for fun.

They are beneath contempt.

Their political bedfellows are also fuming, spinning and lying. An editorial in Pakistan Daily says "Israeli F-16 bombers have unleashed their full fury at innocent Palestinians and over 280 civilians have been reported dead" and concludes with "May God damn these Zionist forces to hell."

And a Greek newspaper blames the Gaza situation squarely on "the Jews" - and adds helpfully that Jews are also responsible for the worldwide recession.

The anti-Zionist and anti-semitic continuum is unbroken, and there is really no difference between the naked Jew-hatred that we see in message boards and videos and the absurdly one-sided anti-Israel rantings of the so-called "progressive" supporters of terror against Jewish women and children.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Latest disinformation: "Shalit wounded in airstrike"

The Islamic Jihad-linked Palestine Today website reports that "informed sources said that the Israeli soldier captive in Gaza, Gilad Shalit, was wounded in a raid by Israeli planes."

Further reading shows that these "informed sources" was some website called Islam Today (not sure which of those it was), and there is no confirmation by anyone who would know the truth.

It is pretty obvious that this is just a disinformation campaign to try to get Israel to stop attacking terrorist targets, but it is one that at least some Palestinian Arab journalists are eager to be a part of.

UPDATE: It looks like the IDF predicted such a scheme.