Wednesday, August 14, 2013

From Ian:

Their Heroes and Ours…
And so I’ll say it again – I would rather live with the pain and sadness of this day of surrendering to politics and stupidity, than live in a culture where today they celebrate. If, like me, today angers you and hurts you – just look at our heroes, and look at theirs. May God bless the land and people of Israel with the ability to survive the leadership of those who forget that you can’t buy peace, not even with our blood.
There is inside of me a part that thinks our greatest victory, even if the world does not recognize it, is simply that we are not like them.
Prisoner release and the social contract
What would western civilization be like if its military heroes were not Winston Churchill and George Patton, but rather an axe murderer and a man who beat senior citizens to death? There has so far been no public contrition among Palestinians, leaders or otherwise, at the fact that a man whose act of “resistance” was stabbing an old man to death should be considered a hero or “martyr.”
Recently broadcast journalist Ted Koppel claimed that “terrorism is simply the weapon with which the weak engage the strong.” This illustrates that although the West may not make murderers of the elderly into heroes, some understand their actions as resulting from weakness. But we need to ask, if terrorism is the weapon of the weak, why are society’s weakest its most common victims? According to those like Koppel, the terrorist resorts to his actions because he does not have the same weapons as the strong.
A “Peace Process” Where One Side Does All the Giving
Over the last 20 years, Israel has released thousands of Palestinian terrorists, withdrawn from all of Gaza and parts of the West Bank, dismantled dozens of settlements, and thrown thousands of Jewish families out of their homes. In exchange, it has gotten nonstop rocket fire from Gaza, vicious terrorism from the West Bank (the second intifada) that caused more Israeli casualties in four years than all the terrorism of the preceding 53 years combined, and an intensifying campaign of international delegitimization.
A process in which one side does all the giving and the other all the taking has little chance of ever producing peace. Israelis intuitively understand this, even if their leaders seem unable to resist international pressure to continue this travesty. The question is when the rest of the world will finally grasp this obvious truth.
Making a mockery of justice
Those trying to make sense of the decision speak of Israel keeping the US on their side in dealing with Iran – which suggests that Israel has lacked this all along.
The idea that the US needs some Israeli concession to unify its Arab allies against the Iranian nuclear threat is in any case absurd, given the imploring of Arab leaders for Washington to deal with the problem, as revealed by the Wikileaks documents. The Obama administration has made Israel no secret promise of action on Iran, military or otherwise – top Israeli officials have privately told us as much, and it is hard for any country to insist on secret commitments of this type anyway.
Order of prisoner releases ‘a sign of ill will’
“It’s not clear to me what the ministerial committee [which authorized the release] wanted to achieve,” Fares said. “What does it gain by postponing the release of prisoner X or Y by two or three months? It’s a sign of ill will.”
Israel, he said, did not consult the Palestinian Authority when deciding which prisoners to release first, but did choose the names from a list submitted by the PA.
Hamas says it won’t be bound by peace negotiations
Mahmoud Al-Zahar, a Hamas official based in Gaza, told his movement’s daily Al-Resalah that Hamas should act to isolate Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and strip him of any representative capacity over his decision to negotiate with Israel.
“The PA has dealt the final blow to reconciliation talks, and Hamas will never accept the negotiation track and its result,” Al-Zahar said. “We refuse to swap Palestinian principles for politicized money.”
Kerry: U.S. Views All Jewish Communities Beyond Pre-1967 Lines as ‘Illegitimate’
Dore Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, wrote in a November 2011 for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs that the U.S. “has historically backed Israel’s view that UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted in the wake of the Six-Day War on November 22, 1967, does not require a full withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines.” Gold wrote that the U.S. position on Israel’s borders is important because it “directly affects the level of expectation of the Arab side regarding the depth of the Israeli concessions they can obtain.”
Jewish vs Palestinian Refugees

Israel's Borders: The Partition Plan and Beyond VIDEO

Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians Being Slaughtered, Displaced Where are the "Pro-Palestinians"?
As Israeli authorities issued permits last week to hundreds of thousands of West Bank Palestinians to visit Israel, the Lebanese government decided to ban Palestinian refugees fleeing the war in Syria from entering Lebanon.
So while Palestinians are being slaughtered and forced out of their homes in Syria, the Lebanese government is preventing them from entering Lebanon.
The Israeli permits, which were issued on the occasion of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr, enabled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to visit shopping malls, restaurants and beaches in Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Haifa, Jerusalem and Acre.
But as the West Bank Palestinians were celebrating the feast in Israel, thousands of their brethren found themselves stranded along the border between Syria and Lebanon.
Jewish Empire? The Guardian refers to communities in Jerusalem as “colonies”.
To refer even to Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) as “colonies” is ahistorical, given the historical Jewish connection to these ancient lands, but to impute such a pejorative status to such neighborhoods in Jerusalem is nothing more than extremist agitprop – denying Jews’ religious and historical connection to the city (literally the epicenter of the faith), as well as Jews’ continuous presence there for thousands of years.
The only time of course that “Arab East Jerusalem” was indeed completely Arab (without any Jews) was after the Arab-Israeli War in 1948-49 during which they were forcefully expelled by the Jordanians – a Judenfrei status which only ended in 1967.
To refer to neighborhoods in Jerusalem where Israelis live as “colonies” not only grotesquely distorts history and ordinary language, but also echoes the hateful anti-Zionist rhetoric of Mondoweiss, Electronic Intifada and Ben White - those who continually attempt to undermine not only the legitimacy of the “settlements” but the very right of the Jewish state to exist within any borders.
Misleading Indy scare headline: Israel to build “900 MORE SETTLEMENTS”
Finally, given that the homes (in existing Jerusalem neighborhoods) will likely “not be ready for habitation for another couple of years”, and the current round of peace talks are scheduled to last 9 months, it’s questionable how – per the Indy headline and accompanying text – such planned construction can reasonably be characterized as undermining hopes for a final agreement.
But, of course, such loaded headlines, whatever their motivation, are clearly not meant to contextualize news in a manner which will provide readers with an accurate understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
IDF launches airstrike after Gaza rockets target Israel
The air force targeted concealed rocket launchers in the northern Gaza Strip. Direct hits were confirmed.
Peter Lerner, an IDF spokesman, said the air force was safeguarding Israeli civilians and targeting terror cells. “The IDF air strikes were conducted in response to the rocket launched at the civilians living in the Sha’ar HaNegev regional council yesterday (Tuesday) evening,” Lerner said in the statement. “This is an absurd situation that would not be tolerated anywhere else in the world. The IDF is charged with, and will continue to operate in order to safeguard Israel’s civilians, and combat terror and its infrastructure the in the Gaza Strip.”
In About Face, PA’s Abbas Asks Officially-Resigned PM Hamdallah to Form New Government
Hamdallah resigned on June 23, after just over two weeks on the job over disagreements with the PA president, but, in agreeing now to form the new government he may be signalling that his differences with Abbas are a thing of the past, Reuters reported. Hamdallah had been incensed by Abbas’ decision to appoint two deputies under him in newly created positions, Ma’an reported, citing sources in his office.
According to Reuters, the move undermines any chance at reconciliation between terror group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, and Abbas’s Fatah political party, which governs the Palestinian controlled areas of the West Bank. The two sides, which have been locked in a bitter dispute since 2007, agreed earlier this year to form a unity government made up of technocrats by a self-imposed deadline that expires tomorrow.
Egypt: Dozens Reported Dead in Crackdown on Islamists
At least 32 people were reportedly killed on Wednesday morning, according to Al Jazeera, as Egyptian police began a crackdown on supporters of the deposed president and Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohammed Morsi. Islamists told CNN the dead number 200 with thousands injured, but the government said only seven had been killed and the network was not able to confirm either claim.
The killing took place when police swooped down on protesters camping out in support of the Islamist leader at Rabaa al-Adawiya, eyewitnesses told Al Arabiya. The Nahda Square camp near Cairo University has now been completely cleared, according to Egyptian authorities cited by the BBC, which says security forces are searching for Muslim Brotherhood supporters who may be hiding in a nearby zoo, among other places.
EU and Turkey call for end to anti-protester violence in Egypt
There were vastly conflicting reports on the death toll, with Egypt’s Interior Ministry saying 15 had been killed and the Muslim Brotherhood putting the figure at over 2,200, with thousands injured, according to al-Ahram. AFP put the figure at 124, but said it would likely rise.
Among those killed was Jerusalem-based Sky News cameraman Mick Deane.
Gunman Kills 10-year-old Christian Girl in Egypt
Amid ongoing sectarian violence in Egypt, 10-year-old Jessica Boulous was murdered last Tuesday after walking home from her Bible lesson with her teacher. She was gunned down on the street between Ahmed Esmat Street Evangelical Church and a market while walking home, Morning Star News reports.
A report by Egyptian rights activists claim that Jessica’s teacher stepped into a market and while her back was turned, Jessica was shot in the chest, the bullet pierced her heart and she died instantly.
Egypt's Islamist Rage Targets Christians
In Fayoum, in Upper Egypt, pro-Morsi supporters set fire to a Christian youth center located next to the Muslim youth center where they had been protesting, according to a report on Ahram Arabic cited by the BBC.
Ahram Arabic also reported that pro-Morsi supporters threw fire bombs at the Al-Raey Al-Saleh Church and set three military vehicles on fire. Clashes are ongoing between protesters and military forces.
Turkey Warns Lebanon to Free Kidnapped Pilots
Turkey has warned Lebanon, that if the two Turkish Airline pilots kidnapped last week aren’t released, it will damage the ties between the two countries, according to a report in the Lebanese Daily Star.
The Turkish pilot and copilot were kidnapped near the Rafik Hariri International Airport from the bus they were riding in from the airport. The group that kidnapped them are demanding the release of 9 Lebanese citizens kidnapped by the Syrian rebels. Turkey is a backer of the Syrian rebels.

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