Wednesday, July 28, 2021

From Ian:

Thousands attend Shield of David’s ‘We Are Israel’ rally against antisemitism in El Cajon
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder were among the many high profile people who spoke at the Shield of David’s rally Sunday evening in El Cajon.

Plus, over 4,000 people attended the massive event, that was put on to fight and prevent antisemitism in the community.

The rally was organized after a 2021 survey of American Jewish people conducted by the Anti-Defamation League found that in the past five years, 63% had experienced or witnessed antisemitism, up from 54% in 2020 – and 25%, or one in four American Jews, said they had been targeted by antisemitic comments, slurs or threats. Most alarming, 9% said they had been physically attacked because they are Jewish.

With a rise of recent Jewish hate crimes, the Shield of David group “wants to empower all people to be proud of their heritage and fight for ideals of truth, justice and liberty.” Organizers said their goal was to unite people together for freedom and democracy.

There was a small confrontation when pro-Palestine protesters crashed the rally, but a few bad actors were unable to ruin the enormous event.

Monday evening, El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells joined us in-studio to discuss the historic turnout and successful event.
The price of being a Zionist woman on Twitter
In the pro-Israel world, there are few vocal female voices. This, again, is not a coincidence. Personally attacking and threatening women is a method of silencing their voices, online and in real life, and deterring new ones from speaking up. “With women there are no boundaries … The most common comment I get is sharmuta (“whore” in Arabic),” said TikTok influencer Shai Emanuel Yamin. “I saw men also suffering from hate comments, but it’s never about how they look or what they wear.”

Liora Rez, the founder and executive director of Stop Antisemitism, agreed that the online attacks against women are more personal: “From the most deranged rape threats to the doxxing (publicly revealing private personal information) of my parents’ information, antisemites have no boundaries when it comes to harassing female Jewish activists online.”

To be clear, it’s not just Jewish women being targeted. Yasmine Mohammed, an ex-Muslim and women’s rights activist with over 100,000 Twitter followers, has been the target of gender-based hate comments for years after speaking against antisemitism. In response to the Israeli-Gaza conflict, she tweeted, “I’m normally inundated with death threats, but these past couple of weeks, it’s been more vicious than ever.” In conversation, she told me, “The explosion in the intensity of hate that I receive when I speak up in support of Israel or against antisemitism … no one can ever get used to that.”

We cannot continue to shrug our shoulders and say “Just ignore it,” because the results, as we’ve already seen for Jews, can very rapidly escalate into real-world violence. Harassing women, launching public smear campaigns, levying threats of sexual violence – these are actions with real consequences that should have no place on social media, and every social media platform should have a zero-tolerance policy toward such virulent abuse.

Yet, despite the myriad risks, as Jewish and pro-Israel female voices, we must not back down in the face of cyberbullying. Instead, we must elevate female voices and encourage new voices to join the conversation and help fight back.

As Rez put it, “Antisemites just failed to realise that their hatred and obscenities do nothing but motivate me to continue and amplify what I’m doing.” It’s draining to be on the receiving end of such abuse, but it also reaffirms that what we are fighting for is worthwhile, and more important than ever before.
David Singer: UN discrimination against Jews ensnares Unilever and J Street
J Street gets it very wrong in relying on false and misleading decades-old UN propaganda when making the following claims:

- The battleground is not the “Israeli-Palestinian debate” – it is the “Jewish-Arab conflict” - begun 100 years ago with the 1920 San Remo Conference and Treaty of Sevres and still unresolved - when there were no “Israelis” or “Palestinians” – only “Arabs” and “Jews”.

The “Palestinian people” was not defined until 1964 – a racist and apartheid Arabs-only definition that excludes all non-Arabs and Jews who lived in Palestine after 1917.

- The “rights and freedom of the Palestinian People” specifically excluded any claim by its sole spokesman – the Palestine Liberation Organisation - to sovereignty in “the West Bank of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan” - or the right to establish a separate State there – in addition to Jordan – which occupies 78% of former Palestine.

- “Illegal settlements” are “legal” under article 6 of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the UN Charter.

Words do count.

J Street’s readiness to defend Unilever’s decision is appalling. No self-respecting Jewish organisation espousing “our Jewish values” should ever defend decisions discriminating against Jews.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN – Yehuda Blum –confronted the UN General Assembly and trashed its treatment of the Jewish-Arab conflict on 16 November 1978:

"The history of international conflicts, and particularly those with complex historical origins, can only be properly written by objective historians who enjoy complete academic freedom. The practice of writing and rewriting history according to the transient interests of a political body is of course characteristic of certain regimes. It is regrettable that the United Nations has now been drawn into that pattern.”

Ben and Jerry's and J Street have seemingly swallowed the UN’s pernicious rewriting of history to justify discrimination against Jews because of where they live.

JINSA Podcast: A Legal Analysis of the Ben & Jerry’s Debacle
International lawyer Eugene Kontorovich of George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School joins Erielle to discuss Ben & Jerry’s recent decision to stop selling ice cream products in the West Bank and parts of Jerusalem, as well as the possible opening of a U.S. consulate to the Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem.
Continuing on my excerpts from Eight years in Asia and Africa from 1846-1855 by Jewish explorer Israel Joseph Benjamin, the author summarizes the plight of the Jews of Persia, not withstanding that some of them were very successful in business.

Among the Persian Jews are some who are very rich, and this wealth is the source of so many dangers, that they are obliged to conceal their treasures like crimes. — I comprise their oppressions under the following heads:
1) Throughout Persia the Jews are obliged to live in a part of the town separated from the other inhabitants; for they are considered aa unclean creatures, who bring contamination with their intercourse and presence.
2) They have no right to carry on trade in stuff goods,
3) Even in the streets of their own quarter of the town they are not allowed to keep any open shop. —They may only sell there spices and drugs or carry on the trade of a jeweler, in which they have attained great perfection.
4) Under this pretext of their being unclean they are treated with the greatest severity, and should they enter a street inhabited by Mussulmans, they are pelted by the boys and mob with stones and dirt.
5) For the same reason they are forbidden to go out when it rains; for it is said the rain would wash dirt off them, which would sully the feet of the Mussulmans.
6) If a Jew is recognized as such in the streets, he is subjected to the greatest insults. The passers by-spit in his face, and sometimes beat him so unmercifully, that he falls to the ground, and is obliged to be carried home.
7) If a Persian kills a Jew, and the family of the deceased can bring forward two Mussulmans as witnesses to the fact, the murderer is punished by a fine of 12 tumauns (600 piastres) ; but if two such witnesses cannot be produced, the crime remains unpunished, oven though it has been publicly committed, and is well known.
8) The flesh of the animals slaughtered according to Hebrew custom, but as Trefe declared, must not be sold to any Mussulmans. The slaughterers are compelled to bury the meat, for even the Christians do not venture to buy it, fearing the mockery and insult of the Persians.
9) If a Jew enters a shop to buy anything, he is forbidden to inspect the goods, but must stand at a respectful distance and ask the price. Should his hand incautiously touch the goods, he must take them at any price the seller chooses to ask for them.
10) Sometimes the Persians intrude into the dwellings of the Jews and take possession of whatever pleases them. Should the owner make the least opposition in defence of his property, he incurs the danger of atoning for it with his life.
11) Upon the least dispute between a Jew and a Persian, the former is immediately dragged before the Achund, and, if the complainant can bring forward two witnesses, the Jew is condemned to pay a heavy fine. Is he too poor to pay this penalty in money, he must pay it in his person. He is stripped to the waist, bound to a stake, and receives forty blows with a stick. Should the sufferer utter the least cry of pain during this proceeding, the blows already given are not counted, and the punishment is begun afresh.
12) In the same manner the Jewish children, when they get into a quarrel with those of the MussuImans, are immediately led before the Achund, and punished with blows,
13) A Jew who travels in Persia is taxed in every inn  and every caravanseral he enters. If he hesitates to satisfy any demands that may happen to bc made on him, they fall upon him, and maltreat him until he yields to their terms.
14) If, as already mentioned, a Jew shows himself in the street during the three days of the Katel (feast of mourning for the death of the Persian founder of the religion of Ali) he is sure to be murdered.
15) Daily and hourly new suspicions ore raised against the Jews, in order to obtain excuses for fresh extortions; the desire of gain is always the chief incitement to fanaticism.

As we've seen, the entire book is a damning rebuttal to the Muslim claim that Jews lived in peace among them before Zionism. No, Muslim antisemitism has always been systemic. 

  • Wednesday, July 28, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

Al Jazeera reports:

More than five months since the arrival of the first batch of COVID-19 jabs in the Gaza Strip, the vaccine rollout in the besieged coastal enclave has been met with general distrust and, in many cases, outright refusal.

According to data from Gaza’s health ministry, some 98,000 people – or just less than five percent of the two million population – have so far received a shot.

Some 336,300 vaccine doses have also been donated from various countries, including Russia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as through the global COVAX programme.
So there are at least 140,000 doses in Gaza that are sitting, unused, if all the people who are inoculated received two doses.

For months we were reading articles and op-eds about how terrible it was that Israel wasn't providing vaccines to Gaza - and yet Gazans never wanted the vaccine to begin with.

The article goes on to blame Israel, of course, claiming that Gaza's medical establishment is crippled because of the "siege" (Israel doesn't block medical supplies, but the PA does) or from facilities that were damaged during the war because Hamas placed military equipment nearby. None of that has to do with the fact that Gazans don't want the vaccine, and the ICRC is working to educated Gazans that the shots aren't harmful.

So what happened to all those people who were oh-so-concerned over the lives of Gazans at risk for getting COVID? 

They aren't saying a word. 

They aren't volunteering to make catchy graphics for Palestinians in Gaza to learn the facts about the effectiveness of the vaccines. They aren't donating money to help the education campaign.

Similarly, the world media has lost interest in the issue of vaccines in Gaza.

They all prove, every day, that their supposed interest in the wellbeing of Palestinians is just a mask for their hate for Jews in Israel. 

From Ian:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: America’s spiteful foreign policy
So when did it all go wrong?

On the campaign trail in 2008, Barack Obama set a precedent when he declared his intention to reverse the key foreign policy decisions of the George W. Bush Administration, promising “to remove US combat troops [from Iraq] within 16 months, leaving behind a residual force with limited responsibilities”. The effects of this withdrawal are well-documented — the most serious being the rise of Isis.

Eight years later, Donald Trump responded by resolving to do all he could to “dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran” — the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — which was portrayed by top officials in the Obama Administration as their biggest diplomatic achievement. And four years after that, Joe Biden indicated he would reverse key foreign policy decisions of the Trump Administration, particularly with respect to Iran and Saudi-Arabia. The Biden Administration has also decided to not only pull out of Afghanistan — prioritising haste over competence — but also to resuscitate the Iranian JCPOA deal, despite unrelenting provocations by the Iranian regime.

Indeed, the end of bipartisanship was all but confirmed in May, when White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki delivered a scathing verdict on the Trump Administration’s efforts in the Middle East: “Aside from putting forward a peace proposal that was dead on arrival,” she said, “we don’t think they did anything constructive, really, to bring an end to the long-standing conflict in the Middle East.”

In reality, last August’s Abraham Peace Accords represented an extraordinary step forward for the Middle East. The UAE and Bahrain recognised Israel’s right to exist, and with it the need for Arabs and Jews to join forces against the existential threat posed by Iran.
Republicans Want To Cut Funding for Palestinian Refugee Agency
Legislation filed in the House and Senate on Tuesday would cut off U.S. funding to UNRWA until the agency implements a series of reforms that include cutting ties to terrorist groups and ending its use of anti-Israel educational curricula and consents to a full-scale financial audit, according to a copy of the legislation obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. The bill would also require the Biden administration to certify in writing to Congress that UNRWA has ended its affiliation with all terrorist groups and rooted out anti-Semitism from its ranks.

The legislation comes just months after the Biden administration greenlit $150 million in U.S. taxpayer dollars to UNRWA, which saw its budget cut by the Trump administration in 2018. While it is unlikely that Republicans can pass the bill in a Democrat-controlled House and divided Senate, the measure will send a warning to UNRWA that if it does not reform, it will once again find itself iced out of U.S. aid if the GOP regains control.

The Senate version of the bill is spearheaded by Sen. Jim Risch (R., Idaho), the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and already has 12 cosponsors, including Sens. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), Rob Portman (R., Ohio), and Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.). Risch requested in April that Secretary of State Antony Blinken reconsider U.S. funding to UNRWA, but the Biden administration declined. Rep. Chip Roy (R., Texas) is leading the House version of the bill, which has the early support of 28 members.

The bill also redefines what it means to be a Palestinian refugee. UNRWA claims there are more than five million Palestinian refugees who require its services, a number that has been used to justify UNRWA's skyrocketing budget. A classified report by the U.S. State Department put this number at closer to 20,000, according to reporting by the Free Beacon. Former secretary of state Mike Pompeo put the number at less than 200,000 in a tweet issued shortly before he left office.

Under the legislation, only those individuals displaced by the 1948 Arab-Israeli war would qualify for this status. This change would cut the number of refugees in need of UNRWA's services and set the stage for the embattled agency to be completely phased out—an effort UNRWA officials have pushed back against in recent years.

"When UNRWA was created, its specific purpose was to provide relief for refugees of the 1948 Arab-Israeli Conflict. More than 70 years later, the organization has employed individuals affiliated with Hamas, a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization, and its schools have been used to promote anti-Semitism and store Hamas weapons," Risch told the Free Beacon. "It is unacceptable that U.S. taxpayer dollars are being used to fund this agency."

Roy, in a statement, described UNRWA's definition of a Palestinian refugee as "nonsensical" and accused the agency of being "an obstacle to peace" between Israel and the Palestinians.
Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer: The myth of "Occupied Palestinian Territories" -- Part 1 of 2
Until Arab proto-Nazis liquidated the Jewish presence in Ḥevron in 1929, it was a city where Jews had every right to live — and did.

The Woke argue: “OK, but you can’t turn back the clock. The Arabs took it from the Jews in 1929, and you have to move on.” Then the response is: “If that is your best moral argument stemming from the 1929 Ḥevron massacres, then consider that in 1967 the Jews took it back from the Arabs, and you can’t turn back the clock, and you have to move on.”

If suzerainty is determined by war, then the land is Israel’s. If rights are determined by history, then the land is Israel’s. If rights are determined by the simple principle that, if someone murders you and seizes your home, then your kids have a right to take it back, the land belongs to Israel. If rights are determined by international law, then the land the Romans seized two thousand years ago later was taken from them, ultimately transitioned to the Ottoman Empire, and the Turks then lost it in World War I to the French and British who cut up the Middle East between themselves.

At no point did Arabs ever lay claim to Judea and Samaria as a “Palestine” polity of its own. When the British and French colonialists were driven out of the land by the Irgun, the Lechi, and the Haganah anti-colonialist, anti-imperialist Jewish undergrounds that saw the British hang twelve of their leaders on the gallows and lash others in the underground as they whipped their unruly subjects in Africa and India, Jordan saw an opportunity in 1947 and grabbed Judea and Samaria. However, the Jordanian occupation was not recognized by world bodies. Nor did Jordan make a country of it. No “Palestine” was set up. They simply leveraged their manifestly illegal occupation to ban Jews from visiting the Cave of Machpelah in Ḥevron, barring Jews from climbing above the seventh step of the stairway to visit and worship at the Patriarchs’ and Matriarchs’ tombs. Similarly, Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser grabbed the Gaza Strip.

In 1964, Ahmad el-Shukairy convened a conference at which he created a terror movement called the “Palestine Liberation Organization.” The P.L.O. undertook to perpetrate terror acts against civilians to “liberate Palestine from the Israelis.” Yet, none of their terror was aimed at driving Jordan out of its occupation of Judea and Samaria, nor Egypt out of Gaza. Rather, to liberate the newly fabricated “Palestine,” all P.L.O. terror aimed instead at driving the Jews out of Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ra’anana, and other cities, towns, and villages in pre-1967 Israel and driving the Jews “into the [Mediterranean] sea.”

It always has been Arab Muslim Orthodoxy that “Palestine” actually is the entire country of Israel, not merely Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”). “Seeing is believing”: look at the following flags and logos of the “Palestine” terror groups whose claims Ben & Jerry’s favors over Israel:
The myth of "Occupied Palestinian Territories" -- Part 2 of 2
So it is challenging to convey simple truths in a society where the Woke and their media have a tale to perpetuate, notwithstanding its base falsehood. One example: When murderous Arab youths beat an American Jewish yeshiva student in Israel to a bloody pulp near-death on a side street, his life was saved by the heroic intervention of a non-Jewish Druze policeman who menacingly waved his baton at the thugs just in time. The incident was photographed. Yet the New York Times falsely captioned that it was an Israeli policeman beating innocent “Palestinians” on the Temple Mount. The lie was exposed only because the photo happened to show a gas station in the background. There are no gas stations on Mount Zion, the site of the Holy Temple.

That is what makes this fight for truth so impossible: its many layers, its complexity, and a powerful Woke political and mass-communications infrastructure that suppresses the Zionist message.

When someone murders you and seizes your home, your kids have a right to take it back. Israel does not sit on one inch of “Occupied Palestinian Territory.” But Vermont sits on land that belonged to the Algonquian-speaking Abenaki, the Iroquoian-speaking Mohawk, and the Algonquin Mohican Native American peoples. Ben and Jerry and Bernie Sanders — three Woke Jews from New York who preach about “Occupied Palestinian Territories” — left New York’s rich demographic diversity to occupy that land that has been rendered virtually apartheid. They have made millions there from its soil, its non-GMO cows, and the grass of occupied Native American tribal lands on which they graze. When Ben & Jerry’s sold to Unilever, Ben Cohen came home with $41 million, and Jerry Greenspan $9.5 million.

Multi-millionaire Bernie Sanders owns three houses. They preach shamelessly and, as anti-Semites have achieved successfully for centuries, jealous masses overlook them as resentful eyes get diverted instead at “The Jews,” in this case Israel.

It is a price Israel pays for existing. It is a price that committed Jews pay for existing.
  • Wednesday, July 28, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Palestinians protesting Gaza UNRWA head Matthias Schmale for not being anti-Israel enough

From Senator Rob Portman's page:

Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and his colleagues in the Senate, led by Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-ID), introduced the United Nations Relief and Works Agency Accountability and Transparency Act . This legislation outlines a comprehensive approach to cease U.S. contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), a successor entity, or to the U.N. regular budget for the support of UNRWA unless the Secretary of State certifies every 180 days to Congress that UNRWA meets strict accountability and transparency criteria.

Joining Portman and Risch in introducing this legislation were Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Steve Daines (R-MT), Todd Young (R-IN), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Susan Collins (R-ME), Rick Scott (R-FL), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Boozman (R-AR), and John Thune (R-SD). U.S. Representative Chip Roy (R-TX) also led 27 Republican colleagues in introducing companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

“Reform of UNRWA is necessary to ensure the organization does not support terrorism and that they are not endangering the security of Israel or promoting anti-Semitic ideology,” said Portman. “I encourage my colleagues in Congress to pass this bicameral bill so that we can bring much-needed accountability and transparency to the agency.”
While the bill does seek transparency and accountability to ensure that UNRWA does not teach antisemitism and support terror, the very beginning of the bill is the part that is the most important.

It defines what a refugee is in this context, and their definition is far more accurate than UNRWA's working definition:

(a) PALESTINIAN REFUGEE DEFINED.—It shall be the policy of the United States, in matters concerning the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (referred to in this Act as  ‘‘UNRWA’’), which operates in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan,  the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank, to define a Palestinian refugee as a person who—

(1) resided, between June 1946 and May 1948,  in the region controlled by Britain between 1922 and 1948 that was known as Mandatory Palestine; 

(2) was personally displaced as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict; and

(3) has not accepted an offer of legal residency status, citizenship, or other permanent adjustment in status in another country or territory. 


In applying the definition under subsection (a) with respect to refugees receiving assistance from UNRWA, it shall be the policy of the United States, consistent with the definition of refugee in section  101(a)(42) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(42)) and the requirements for eligibility for refugee status under section 207 of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1157), that— 

(1) derivative refugee status may only be extended to the spouse or a minor child of a Palestinian refugee; and 
(2) an alien who is firmly resettled in any country is not eligible to retain refugee status. 
This is a normal definition of refugee - and it would essentially end UNRWA because the number of refugees who are still alive under this definition is probably in the low ten thousands.

I am not sure why the senators' press releases didn't highlight this. Of course the definition of Palestinian refugee should be in line with that of every other refugee. It is a winning argument and it is one that is not used enough.

  • Wednesday, July 28, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
One of the most striking things about reports by Human Rights Watch on Israeli military activities is the almost comical ignorance that they have on IDF procedures, and similarly absurd self confidence that they are experts in military, legal and intelligence matters. 

HRW cherry picks any examples they can find of what they believe are IDF airstrikes that have no military value and they send Gaza-based researchers to confirm their predetermined results. Over and over again, they say that they could find no evidence of any valid military target so therefore none exists. They also make the assumption that Israel's refusal to give them sensitive details on the decision-making for any target is evidence that there is no such reasoning behind the target selection. The underlying assumption that HRW and other NGOs make is that the professional Israeli military acts like a racist and spiteful teenager, making decisions to kill civilians on the spur of the moment and then trying to cover up their mistakes.

Anyone who has ever read a detailed report from Israel's Military Advocate General  (MAG) Corps can see immediately the difference in professionalism between HRW's shallow research and what the IDF does to balance critical security needs with international law. 

I've referred before to the 2015 report by two US legal experts, Michael N. Schmitt and John J. Merriam,  where they actually went to Israel and researched the IDF operations. They issued an 88-page report, plus appendices, that described the IDF legal environment in great detail.

Here, I try to excerpt and condense all the thinking and controls involved before the IDF executes an airstrike against a target. It makes Human Rights Watch reports look like they are written by Mickey Mouse.

The Air Force’s targeting process can roughly be broken down into several discrete steps: Target Development, Target Assessment, Pre-Strike Controls, and Strike Operations. 

Target Development 

Target development is concerned with identifying what to attack. The central feature of the process is the “Target Bank,” a master list of pre-planned targets developed by IDF commanders to achieve desired operational effects it anticipates needing. Like any other advanced military, the IDF is constantly engaged in developing war plans for a variety of future contingencies, even during peacetime. When hostilities break out, additional pre-planned targets are developed in an expedited fashion and added to the Target Bank. 

The target development process begins with a review of a target in light of the mission objectives. In this phase, planners identify the desired effect they need to achieve. For instance, must the target be destroyed or merely degraded to achieve the desired effect? Or, must a line of communication such as a road or airfield be rendered permanently unusable or only taken out of use for a specific period of time? This process also determines the “uncertainty” surrounding the target. How specific is the intelligence in terms of geographic and temporal certainty? What intelligence gaps remain and how may the intelligence taskings be refined to resolve doubt? 

IDF lawyers figure heavily in this process. Once planners identify and propose targets based on anticipated or actual missions and operational goals, lawyers from the International Law Department review each. When hostilities break out, the ILD is augmented by a group of additional LOAC experts, including both active duty and reserve officers; this combined entity is known as the Operational Law Apparatus (OLA) and is commanded by the head of the Department. With sensitivity to policy and operational considerations, members of the OLA first determine whether the proposed target qualifies as a “military objective,” a term defined below. It is during this review, and especially for fixed targets such as command and control nodes, critical lines of communication, arms caches, or fixed military facilities, that possible proportionality concerns (also discussed below) are highlighted. 

MAG officers utilize a detailed checklist to perform the legal review of the proposed strike (Appendix I). Based on this initial assessment, each target is designated as “Approved,” “Conditional,” or “Not Approved.”...

Target Assessment 

Whereas target development is concerned with determining what to attack, target assessment focuses on how and when to attack. The target assessment phase begins when a target enters the Target Bank and continues through the post-strike phase as Battle Damage Assessments (BDA) and debriefings are conducted. Many of the activities described in this phase may have already occurred once, in at least a rudimentary way, during Target Development. In Target Assessment, these steps are re-addressed in a refined way. Therefore, Target Assessment is less a “step” or “phase” in the targeting process than a component in a continuous loop of intelligence collection, analysis, and dissemination. 

During Target Assessment, planners again identify any specially protected persons or objects under the LOAC, like medical facilities, that are in the target area and assess the likelihood of collateral damage to civilian persons or objects that may result. They also designate “dead-space” near the target that is relatively free of civilians and important civilian property, such as an abandoned building or an open area in a depression. The dead spaces are noted for possible use during execution of the strike as a location towards which a steerable weapon such as a laser-guided missile may be diverted to limit unanticipated collateral damage. IDF lawyers in the OLA provide around-the-clock advice to planners and commanders as they refine target intelligence to ensure compliance with the LOAC. 

This situational understanding informs the weaponeering process, which in the IDF is elaborate and sophisticated. Broadly speaking, “weaponeering” is the selection of the means (weapon) and method (tactic) that will be employed to attack a particular target. Effective weaponeering is as much a military art as it is a military science.

During weaponeering, expert planners adjust the munition, the delivery platform, the angle of attack, and other physical variables in order to best achieve the desired military effect while complying with the LOAC requirement to minimize or eliminate collateral damage to protected persons and property. For instance, the IDF often employs specially configured smaller warheads with reduced explosive material against targets in urban areas to limit collateral damage. Other warheads have been re-engineered to generate lighter fragments upon detonation so that the fragments travel shorter distances from the point of impact. Additionally, pilots and operational planners with training in physics and aerodynamics determine the appropriate angle of attack – the vector upon which munitions will be released from attack platforms—in order to direct the blast away from nearby civilian persons or objects while achieving the desired effect. Of particular note is the fact that, whenever feasible, the IDF uses engineers alongside munitions experts and pilots to better understand the impact of an attack on structures. ...

Pre-Strike Controls 

Targets that have been developed and assessed remain in the Target Bank until the decision is made to strike a target. At that point, additional pre-strike controls are implemented. The target is re-verified – appropriate intelligence assets and other observation platforms confirm the location of the target and that it remains a valid military objective susceptible to attack. Pre-strike controls include reassessment of the initial proportionality review conducted during target development, since changes in the military situation may decrease the military advantage anticipated or the previously unidentified presence of protected persons or objects in the target area might increase expected collateral damage. Proportionality is monitored, to the extent feasible, until the moment of weapons release. If significant new intelligence surfaces, a reassessment all relevant officers involved in the targeting process, including the legal advisor, is required. 

Whenever feasible, the IDF employs various precautions aimed at avoiding, or at least minimizing, the collateral damage expected from the attack. These precautions may include, for example, visual observation by an RPA. This enables movable targets to be tracked and facilitates the identification of civilians and civilian objects that may have come into the target area unexpectedly in order to cancel, divert, or modify a strike if necessary based on legal or rules of engagement concerns. 

When civilians may be affected by an attack and it is militarily feasible to do so, the IDF undertakes extensive measures to warn them....

Strike Operations

Target development, target assessment, and pre-strike controls continue until the moment of attack. The final decision to strike is generally made at a high level in the Air Force Headquarters, where a robust operations center monitors each target through strike execution. Pilots retain the discretion to abort a mission if their own observation of the target indicates that the unanticipated presence of civilians or civilian objects in the target area requires the attack to be cancelled on the basis of a change in proportionality. The IDF stresses this responsibility, and the responsibility to take feasible precautions in attack, to pilots in their training. 

The ultimate measure of control for air operations lies in the senior decision-makers in the air operations center. While the IDF did not consent to public identification of the individuals who exercise this authority, it can be described as a cadre of very senior decision-makers with extensive experience, training, and robust support from intelligence analysts, weaponeering experts and legal advisors. During the Authors’ interviews of senior IDF leaders, it became clear that they are acutely aware of the scrutiny their attacks receive and of their legal obligations. Indeed, in many cases they disapprove of what are clearly lawful strikes on the basis that the advantage likely to be gained is outweighed by potential negative repercussions in the public information and strategic communications arena (the so-called “CNN effect”), or based on broader policy concerns that factor heavily in their decisions. 

Immediately following an attack, the pilot, as well as ground observers and other intelligence sources, conduct an assessment of the strike’s effects, both in terms of Battle Damage Assessment and collateral damage. This assessment feeds a “lessons learned” process in which tactics, munitions, and the effectiveness of various intelligence sources are analyzed and, when necessary, adjusted to facilitate greater precision and better effects, as well as decreased collateral damage, in subsequent attacks. 

This doesn't describe the efforts that go into a more dynamic target, namely a high-ranking terrorist. A person cannot be in a "target bank." But you can be sure that the same levels of oversight and intelligence are used in making the decision to attack such a person or group, a detailed proportionality analysis is done and approved, and the strikes are only done in those cases it is not feasible to warn the innocent civilians who are being used as human shields. 

Beyond this there are other legal layers involved as additional controls - the MAG and the Supreme Court, which has made decisions even during wartime on what military activities are legal - something that is essentially never done in the US or other countries.

In short, if the IDF is targeting a building, it has excellent intelligence that the building is a valid military target. HRW sending their faux experts to look for craters and interview family members is not research - it is an attempt at confirmation of what they have already decided.

The average IDF soldier knows more about the laws of armed conflict than the top experts at Human Rights Watch. Legal issues are baked into every decision the IDF makes.

Human Rights Watch either never read how the IDF actually works, or if they did, their biases and hubris in their reports are off the charts. 

  • Wednesday, July 28, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

Morocco's Hespress reports that tourism professionals are expecting to see some 50,000 Israelis visit that country before the end of the year.

Morocco's tourism industry was hurt badly by COVID-19 and they are hoping that the Jewish visitors will give it a shot in the arm (so to speak.)

The first commercial flight from Israel arrived in Morocco this week.

Zubair Bouhout, a Moroccan tourism expert, said that Morocco was gearing up to provide kosher food for the Israeli tourists. They are creating itineraries that will highlight sites of Jewish interest, like shrines and Jewish neighborhoods. 

"In general, Israeli tourists have already begun to revive the demand for the destinations of Marrakech and Essaouira in increasing numbers," he said.

Of the 50,000 visitors from Israel expected this year, he thinks 38,000 will fly on Israeli airlines and 12,000 on Royal Air Maroc.

Next year, officials hope to see the number of Israelis visiting to increase to 200,000.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

From Ian:

Criticism of Israel is not Antisemitic. But ‘Anti-Zionism’ is. This is why
Russell Shalev argues that human rights movements cannot adequately address anti-Jewish discrimination, harassment or violence without recognising the mutual connection between Judaism and Zionism, and therefore between anti-Zionism and antisemitism. Judaism, he points out, is at once a religion and a nation. Since the inception of the Jewish people, Zion, the Land of Israel, and a national covenant have formed a central role in Jewish self-understanding. The modern Zionist movement is merely a reformulation of the ancient Jewish yearning for national renewal in its ancient homeland. Beginning in the Emancipation, Jewish equality was often conditional on the renunciation of these national ties. Contemporary anti-Zionism is an ideological heir to this antisemitic pressure. Anti-Zionist antisemitism demonises Jewish national identity, marginalises Jews, and legitimizes exclusion, hate and even violence against Jews regardless of their political affiliation, and sometimes even regardless of their personal connection or support for Zionism or the State of Israel.

I once called Zionism an infinite ideal, and I truly believe that even after we achieve our land, the land of Israel, it will not cease to be an ideal. Zionism, as I see it, entails not only an aspiration for a piece of land legally ours, but also for moral and spiritual integrity. – Theodore (Binyamin Ze’ev) Herzl

The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.

After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom. – Israeli Declaration of Independence

Liel Leibovitz: No, Jews Aren’t White
IF YOU WERE a completist or a pedant, you could simply insist that viewing the world and its inhabitants through the lens of race is a creepy 19th-century affectation that excited mainly the most feeble-minded of Germans and led to a good bit of savagery. You could marshal Martin Luther King Jr. to your defense and say that you take the line about content of character over color of skin seriously. That kind of talk is earnest, but it won’t get you very far with those for whom race alone—and not, say, poverty, or lack of community, or a debilitating exposure to mind-rotting digital platforms—shapes every thread of the human experience.

Next, you can try and argue that the category itself—“white”—is ridiculous. Go tell Giuseppe, for example, that his granddaughter is now considered a member of the rarified white elite, even though he and his fellow immigrants were pelted with racial insults, discriminated against, and murdered. We got Columbus Day, for example, after 11 Italian Americans were lynched in 1892, leading President Harrison to instate a daylong celebration he thought would never become a tradition. Or inform Paddy that while, back in his day, the Irish were talked about, to quote one sickening periodic refrain, as “negroes turned inside out,” his grandson may now rest assured on the top of the racial-grievance food chain.

And yet, even these objections, solemn as they may be, don’t begin to capture the weight of the argument that Jews are somehow white. Take a moment to acquaint yourself, even in passing, with our stiff-necked people, and it’s the following observation that is likely to register very near the top: We stand out precisely because we don’t fit in. Is Judaism a religion? Sure. Are Jews a nation? Yes. Do we share genetic traits? Offer us dairy and find out. Do we come in all shapes, sizes, and skin colors? Amen selah. This is why I, a ninth-generation Israeli whose ancestors arrived in Jerusalem from the backwaters of the Austrian Empire, can amble into the Slat al-Azama synagogue in Marrakesh, or the Beth Yaakov Synagogue in Geneva, or the Ohel Leah Synagogue in Hong Kong, look around and see faces that vary wildly, and yet rest assured that when services start we will all recite, in more or less the exact same fashion, the ancient words that Jews have spoken in daily prayer for millennia.

If this kind of image—black Jews and white Jews, European Jews and African Jews, educated wealthy Jews and barely literate poor Jews all understanding one another perfectly because they belong to the same strange family—strikes you as too flimsy, consider the criteria put forth by José Martínez Cobo, an anthropologist engaged by the United Nations to serve as special rapporteur on discrimination against indigenous populations, as to what makes a people “indigenous.”

To fit the bill, he argued, peoples and nations should display one or more of the following: occupation of ancestral lands; common ancestry; a shared culture or religion; and a shared language. By any and all metrics at our disposal—archeology, history, theology, even DNA tests—Jews, if anything, are the indigenous people of the Land of Israel, from which they might have been exiled now and then but to which they always return.

Still, to the zealots who shout that Jews are white, all that matters is the following steely argument: that for the last few decades, American Jews have benefited from the rewards that come with being among our society’s most educated and best compensated few.
At CUFI gathering, Christians and Jews alike vow to fight BDS ‘economic anti-Semitism’
If day one of the Christians United for Israel 2021 summit was about honoring Israel, the next day’s focus at the organization’s annual conference held this year in Dallas was a call to action.

The more than 700 invited CUFI leaders and donors at the two-day conference on July 18-19 arrived early in the morning for the start of the marathon conference day that covered every topic from Iran, BDS and anti-Semitism among others.

Rather than the pep rally for Israel last Sunday, Monday offered attendees the nuts and bolts of the U.S.-Israel relationship, which they enthusiastically received, and set the course for the following year of activism.

Like the previous day, the proceedings began with another speech by CUFI founder Pastor John Hagee, who came onto the stage holding a bulging folder.

“I hold in my hand legal documents from 33 states that stops BDS—which is Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions—dead in its tracks in 33 states. BDS is economic anti-Semitism,” he said in a thunderous voice as he lifted the folder for the attendees to see. “Christians United for Israel is not a briefcase toting, paper shuffling, sit around the table and talk about it all day organization. We are a get-it-done group of people.

“I say again, dialogue without action is a waste of time, and I don’t dialogue really long. I want to find out what you’re going to do and then go do it.”

Hagee said that those present were leading the charge and winning the BDS fight in America.

“We will not stop until every state in the union has the policy to stop this economic anti-Semitism against the State of Israel,” Hagee said as the audience, seated at round tables with blue-and-white tablecloths in the Hyatt Regency ballroom, applauded with enthusiasm.

Im Tirtzu: The Zionist Salon – Joseph Cohen
Join us for a fascinating discussion with Joseph Cohen, founder of the Israel Advocacy Movement and one of the most recognizable faces in Israeli advocacy whose videos have been viewed by millions of people across the world.

Joseph and Im Tirtzu's Tamir Baram discuss a range of topics including his personal story, anti-Zionism, Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria, and more.
  • Tuesday, July 27, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Today, Palestinian police closed the offices of "J-Media" in Ramallah.

The Palestinian Authority says that this was because the outlet was not licensed appropriately, but the director of the news site was arrested a few weeks ago and one of its reporters had their mobile phone confiscated during the riots in response to the death of Nizar Banat.

Media freedom, Palestinian style.

Meanwhile, in Hebron, a man named Basil Fakhri Al-Jabari, was shot and killed. Nothing to do with Israel.

People got very upset and started rioting, burning down several stores, torching cars and shooting guns.

Hey, they are under occupation, of course they need to blow off some steam once in a while!

  • Tuesday, July 27, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
One emerging meme from the Ben and Jerry's decision is that Israel's reaction proves that Israelis don't distinguish between both sides of the Green Line (also, that there is some link to the NSO spyware.)

A (VERY biased) NYT op-ed:
The uniformity of official reaction in Israel to the Ben & Jerry’s decision reflects an Israeli political consensus — unlike that of the international community — that does not distinguish between Israeli territory within its internationally recognized 1948 borders and the territories it occupied in 1967.

A similarly biased Washington Post column:

 The whole episode reveals a fundamental tension in Israel’s posture about its role in the Palestinian territories. On one hand, Israeli officials vehemently reject the charge that their government is perpetuating the crime of apartheid in the West Bank and East Jerusalem — where Palestinians are subordinate to Israeli security imperatives and denied the same political rights as their neighbors — by drawing a line between Israeli policies in the occupied territories and in Israel proper. Palestinians there are under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, a weak and unpopular institution that the Israelis claim is accountable for Palestinian grievances.

Yet when Ben & Jerry’s makes a business decision based on conditions specifically beyond the Green Line, it is read as an “anti-Israel” move writ large and even deemed antisemitic. This, some analysts argue, is untenable, and also illustrates the extent to which the Israeli establishment resists being held to account on the world stage.

“Ben & Jerry’s just did the same thing that Israel itself does, and even employed the exact same argument that Israel wields to fend off charges of apartheid — that there is a distinction between official Israeli territory inside the Green Line and disputed Israeli territory beyond the Green Line, and thus treating the territory and the people who live on it in different ways makes sense as a matter of policy,” wrote Michael Koplow of the Israel Policy Forum. “It is not credible to argue that the Green Line should exist when it is convenient and that it should be erased when it is convenient, and that it is outrageously anti-Israel, antisemitic, or even a form of terrorism to maintain the same distinction that Israel itself makes in all manner of ways.”

Mehdi Hasan on his show makes a similar point:

The arguments are flawed to begin with, because the head of Ben and Jerry's board said that the ice cream company never said they wanted to continue to sell in Israel. Unilever - without consulting them - added the section in their press release saying that the ban is only against the territories. NBC News reported a week ago:
The Ben & Jerry's board had been pushing to withdraw ice cream sales from the occupied territories for years, said the board's chair, Anuradha Mittal. However, it wanted to release a different statement, reviewed by NBC News, that made no reference to continued sales in Israel — a decision that Mittal said would require board approval — and highlighted the company's commitment to social justice.

Unilever released the statement against the wishes of the board and in violation of a legal agreement made when it bought Ben & Jerry's in 2000, Mittal said.

So anyone who says that Ben and Jerry's only wanted to block sales to the territories and continue to sell in Israel is lying or misinformed.

But there is a larger point.

Many Israelis who are proudly Zionist are ambivalent about or against the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. Yet even they are upset at Ben and Jerry's even without knowing the machinations of the B&J board mentioned above.

The reason is that most Israelis instinctively know that even if they are against building in the territories, that is no reason why Jews who choose to live there should be discriminated against. They are Israeli citizens, and they deserve to live their lives normally without the world dictating the terms of what they are allowed to do in their everyday lives.

Saying that the international community should dictate which products are allowed in stores in Efrat or Ramat Shlomo is thoroughly offensive to nearly all Israelis.

If Palestinian leaders accept a real peace with Israel as a permanent Jewish state, then some settlements would probably be dismantled. Most would stay. Perhaps some would become Palestinian villages with Jewish citizens. But the people who live there today are upstanding citizens - they are passionate Zionists who believe that they are doing the right thing, and they shouldn't be treated like criminals.

And treating them as criminals is exactly what the editorialists and pundits - and Palestinians - demand.

This is not politics anymore - this is an attempt to punish human beings because of their beliefs and their decisions. It is treating 650,000 Israelis as not deserving of the same rights as others. 

Moreover, it is a decision that says that all Israelis, even within the Green Line, do not have the right to do business with their fellow Israelis depending on where they live. It is saying that the world will punish Israeli businesses for selling to other Jews, but not for selling to Arabs who live in the next town. It is world-approved antisemitism.

The issue isn't ice cream, but an assault on Israelis and their rights. The reaction might seem over the top over a mediocre dessert, but buckling under to that is giving up Israelis' own freedom to make their own choices. Any proud citizen of any country would be rightly offended at this.

The lesson is not what these anti-Israel idiots claim, that all Israelis are somehow racist. The lesson is that there is an entire huge community of Israel haters who want to control the lives of every Israeli Jew, limit their choices, label them as guilty of apartheid and racism and every social crime there is, punish them according to arbitrary criteria, put limits on their lives that no other citizens of any country in the world are subject to, and demonize them as criminals. 

Only the Jews, though.

It is not an assault on Israel but on Israelis. The people who pretend to care so much about human rights, about collective punishment, about equal rights, about being against racism and bigotry, are singling out Israeli Jews for particular public punishment. They want to divide Israel, and Jews worldwide, into "good Jews" and "bad Jews," and turn each against the other. It is all part of a campaign that will not end until the Jewish state is eradicated and Jews have no national protection. And the supporters of this boycott admit this themselves when they speak candidly.

Yes, the anger over an ice cream seems over the top. But all Israelis - including most of the leftists - understand that this is not only about ice cream. 

From Ian:

NGO Monitor: See No Evil: NGOs Turn Terrorists into Civilians in 2021 Gaza Conflict
A major element of NGO propaganda consists of accusing Israel of targeting and killing civilians in Gaza. NGO Monitor has examined the use of this subterfuge during the May 2021 Gaza conflict, as well as in previous confrontations.

One method used by NGOs to inflate civilian casualty numbers, accompanied by allegations of “war crimes,” is to obscure or omit essential details about specific incidents – thereby erasing the role of terrorist groups. NGOs falsely classify Palestinian terrorists as civilians and ignore evidence that implicates terror groups in the deaths of Gazan civilians.

NGO Monitor research has identified 50 incidents in which Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives killed in Gaza were falsely labeled by NGOs as civilian casualties, or in which civilians killed by Hamas were implicitly attributed to Israel. (Approximately 15 percent of the 4,300 missiles fired towards Israel fell short and impacted in Gaza.)

In failing to report accurately, Palestinian NGOs amplify the demonization strategy, ignore the commission of war crimes by Palestinians, and distort the reality of Israeli efforts to limit civilian casualties during the fighting. These manipulated NGO accounts also serve as the basis of inflammatory media projects, such as the infamous New York Times front page story with pictures of children, and for international “investigations”, such as a forthcoming UN Human Rights Council commission of inquiry.

Emily Schrader: Iran must be banned from Olympics - opinion
Iran’s alarming abuse of athletes is not new. It’s been occurring since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. For example, in 1981, wrestler Hooshang Montazeralzohoor was executed for his anti-government stance. In 1988, the regime executed volleyball player Fouzan Abdi and football player Mahshid Razaghi – both political dissidents. In 1984, they executed football player Habib Khabiri for the same reasons. In 2012, they executed kickboxer Majid Jamali-Fashi, accusing him of being an Israeli spy. In 2021, after the execution of Afkari, they executed a second champion wrestler, Mehdi Ali Hosseini as well as a champion boxer and prominent sports coach, Ali Mutairi.

How many athletes have to die under this regime for the IOC to take action? It’s not as if Iran conducts its business in a sportsmanlike fashion in any case – Iran has been throwing matches to avoid Israelis for years, repeatedly forcing athletes to resign rather than face Israeli athletes. In one of the most famous cases, Iranian wrestler Saeed Mollaei threw a match in judo to avoid facing an Israeli, only to defect later and compete for another country after fleeing to Berlin.

He is not alone. Dozens of Iranian athletes have fled the oppression of the regime which destroys their hard work and dreams. One Iranian ex-athlete who fled to the United States confessed to CNN that Iranian intelligence watches the teams 24/7 and they are punished if they do anything wrong while abroad. “I want to ask [the] IOC, are you aware of this? You talk about gender equality and race equality. Are you aware that one of your members is violating the charter all the time? You have been silent about this... This is sport, it has to be about peace and friendship, but they teach you to hate,” he said.

The IOC has no excuse. It is well known and documented – by both international human rights organizations as well as refugee athletes who have fled Iran for their lives – that the state of Iran violates every principle the Olympic Games represent. Iran has no place in the Olympics and the IOC cannot continue to allow these egregious violations of human rights to occur right in front of their faces. The IOC must ban Iran from the Olympic Games.
The international Olympics Committee's Jewish problem
The Berlin Olympics reinforced Brundage’s admiration of Nazi Germany. During a speech at Madison Square Garden, he praised Nazi Germany as “60 million people believing in themselves and their country... we can learn so much from Germany.”

Two years later in 1938, Germany awarded his construction company the contract to build a new embassy in the United States.

Brundage probably never changed his anti-Jewish animosity. Just as he was dismissive of Jewish athletes' expulsions from German sports, his attitude of disdain towards Jewish athletes continued with “the games must go on,” following the murder of the Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.

His dismissal of Jewish sporting achievements was made hollow by swimmer Mark Spitz two days after the massacre, who won seven gold medals for America. This record was finally beaten by American swimmer Michael Phelps at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The IOC still “does not get it,”- in July 2020 it used promotional material taken from Hitler’s 1936 Olympics using the slogan “stronger together,” which was deleted after protests.

Notwithstanding the persistence of Israeli athlete widows Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano to have the massacre commemorated with a minute’s silence, IOC presidents always turned a deaf ear until the current president, Thomas Bach agreed.

The IOC has awarded itself a behavioral medal 49 years later.

Finally the right thing, but certainly not gold.
  • Tuesday, July 27, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
I just took apart Human Rights Watch's absurd report on the May Gaza war, but I wanted to step back a little and describe biased, unfounded and ridiculous assumptions that HRW makes in order to reach its conclusions.

1. Gaza eyewitnesses are reliable. 
  • Even when they say things like "I saw a high speed Israeli missile coming gradually from a great distance and explode one meter above the ground but I didn't run away."

  • Even when they would be arrested if they say anything that Hamas doesn't want them to say, like we saw armed militants come into our building all the time.

2. HRW researchers in Gaza are objective.

  • Even when they would be arrested if they say anything that Hamas doesn't want them to say.
3. Israeli statements are unreliable. 
  • Even though they have much more to lose by being proven wrong than anyone else. 
4. Israel drops one ton bombs on residential areas without any military reason or targets that HRW "experts" can find.

5. Israel flattens buildings with people inside without warning for no reason - and possibly just because they want to kill civilians out of pure malice and criminal intent.

  • The fact that half of those killed in an urban war were militants - a record unmatched in the history of warfare - is utterly irrelevant to HRW.

6. Israel always starts the fighting, somehow. When Hamas shoots rockets from Gaza, it is to defend Palestinians in Jerusalem from Jewish settlers. This reasoning is not questioned.

7. Absence of evidence is evidence of absence. If HRW cannot find any trace of a Hamas presence, then Israel just bombed the building based on no evidence whatsoever.

8. The IDF is not a professional army with multiple layers of approvals for every airstrike, but it acts like a toddler who lashes out indiscriminately at any and everything that upsets it.

9. International law has nothing to say about how an army may make decisions on attacking military targets hidden among civilians. 

10. Israeli attacks that kill civilians while targeting terrorists are assumed to be unlawful; Hamas attacks where they brag about directly targeting civilians are just something that needs to be investigated and do not cause any casualties worth mentioning.

11. It is critical to say that the entire conflict between Israel and Palestinians is completely Israel's fault as a state that is guilty of the worst crimes there are, and there is no background information about Gaza terror groups that run the enclave or any intifadas or bus bombings and suicide terror or incitement or anything else that any readers need to know for background information. 
  • The "larger context" must be taken into consideration by the UN - but only the larger context that damns Israel.

Human Rights Watch's own words show its pattern of hate for Israel as clearly as possible. 

  • Tuesday, July 27, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Human Rights Watch continues its obsession with Israel in its latest report accusing Israel of "apparent" war crimes in Gaza.

The report is based on incomplete information and assumptions that the IDF just targets innocent families for no reason.

It looks in detail at three incidents, and ignores any information that contradicts its assumptions that Israel is of course targeting civilians.

The first incident is the bombing near the Al Masry house in Beit Hanoun:

Shortly after 6 p.m. on May 10, a guided missile struck near the town of Beit Hanoun and killed 8 people, including 6 children, all apparently civilians, and reportedly injured 18. The missile exploded about a meter above the ground, 10 meters from the closest of four houses built next to each other and owned by four brothers of the al-Masri family – Arafat, Ibrahim, Mohammed Attallah, and Youssef – who lived there with their families. The houses are located about a kilometer to the east of Beit Hanoun in the northeastern corner of Gaza.
How does HRW know it is a "guided" missile and not a Hamas rocket? Initial reports on May 10 said it was very possible it was a Gaza rocket that fell short, and even Palestinian human rights groups admit that there were lots of Gaza rockets being shot at the time.

HRW interviewed family member who all said that the rocket came from the "east" in the direction of Nahal Oz. It is highly likely that they were told by Hamas to not give any indication that the rockets came from Gaza - and Israeli missile are shot from the air, not the ground. They also "testified" that the rocket exploded a meter above the ground, something that is literally impossible to see at those speeds. 

Their "testimony" is to say what they are supposed to say in order not to get in trouble with their leaders.

HRW claims to have done some expert analysis:

Human Rights Watch analyzed photographs of munition remnants taken by another human rights organization that Human Rights Watch independently confirmed were taken the morning of May 11 at the location, as well as video footage filmed in the immediate aftermath of the attack that Human Rights Watch determined was authentic.

The limited blast and fragmentation damage at the scene suggests the use of a munition with a small explosive yield. The lack of an impact crater suggests the munition detonated in mid-air. Remnants of the munition photographed on the morning of May 11 indicate that the weapon used was a type of guided missile used to attack armored vehicles, fortified positions, or personnel in the open.
Then how did eight people get killed - according to reports, even their body parts blown apart - if it was an anti-personnel munition with a small blast radius? Who are HRW's experts that identified the munition? 

The Israeli military has not provided information that would justify the attack. An investigation of the attack should consider whether Israeli forces targeted a military objective, and, if there was a legitimate military objective, whether all feasible precautions were taken to minimize civilian harm, and whether the expected military gain outweighed the anticipated loss of civilian life. An attack that was unlawful and was carried out with criminal intent – deliberately or recklessly – would be a war crime.

Except that Israel didn't attack the al-Masry home. Israel admits its attacks, even if they are mistakes - if it denies one, there is a reason for it.  The Meir Amit Center, which is close to the IDF, flatly says this was a Gaza rocket. 

HRW notes that Israel said that one of those killed, Mohammed Ali Mohammed Nusseir, was a terrorist, although Israel never said that it shot the rocket that killed him. It seems to be coincidence. Yet HRW says, "None of Gaza’s armed groups referred on their websites to any of those killed as members, which is their standard practice when a fighter is killed."

Really? Because here is his martyr's posters from the Fatah Martyr Atiya al-Za’anin's Facebook page where he is referred to as a "hero martyr":

Again,  it doesn't appear that Israel targeted him, but this shows that HRW simply will not research anything that contradicts its pre-existing biases.

The second incident that HRW investigates is the airstrike at the Al Shati camp. Israel says it was targeting a Hamas apartment, HRW cannot find any evidence that Hamas was there - therefore, HRW must be right and Israeli intelligence wrong. 

Even though even Hamas admits that it places its military targets in the middle of civilian areas.  Even though neighbors will never admit that fact because it could cause them to be put into prison. HRW doesn't mention that - because the point of this report is to damn Israel, not investigate the facts.

The third incident from HRW is almost comical - the bombing of the tunnels under Al Wehda Street.

Human Rights Watch did not find any evidence of a military target at or near the site of the airstrikes, including tunnels or an underground command center under al-Wahda street or buildings nearby.
So, if we are to believe Human Rights Watch, Israel just randomly dropped 1,000-kilogram GBU-31 series air-dropped bombs along a straight line on the street with no intelligence indicating there were tunnels underneath.

Even Hamas didn't claim that there was no bunker or tunnels under that street. On the contrary, they mocked Israel by saying that they have far more tunnels that Israel didn't touch!

HRW doesn't mention Hamas admitting placing military objects among civilians. It doesn't mention Hamas claims to have 500 kilometers of tunnels under Gaza. It doesn't mention that at the end of Al Wehda street is the Al Shifa hospital that houses a Hamas headquarters, and is almost certainly part of the tunnel system. HRW doesn't even mention Israel's explanation for the building collapse: that when the tunnel under the building collapsed, the foundations of the building were unexpectedly damaged as well.

HRW ends off with this about the collapse of the building:
 An attack that was unlawful and was carried out with criminal intent – deliberately or recklessly – would be a war crime.
And if Ken Roth raped and killed a baby two weeks ago he would be a depraved criminal - but he probably didn't, so saying that statement would be nothing but incitement. Even floating the idea that Israel purposefully destroyed a civilian building with criminal intent shows that HRW has zero credibility. If the IDF wanted to kill civilians, then it did a very poor jobindeed.

Which proves that this entire HRW report is nothing but incitement, designed to make the world hate Israel.. It shows that HRW knows nothing about international law, which says that a reasonable military commander can act based on the best information he or she has in order to determine whether a valid military target is valuable compared to the anticipated collateral damage. It is not up to non-experts who already have a hatred of Israel to make that determination weeks afterwards.

One other point: HRW's researchers in Gaza are almost certainly Gazans themselves. Hamas knows they work for HRW. If they would issue a report saying that Israel is innocent of crimes, what do you think Hamas would do to them?:

This report is a joke, as is everything Human Rights Watch releases about Israel. 


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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