Thursday, July 24, 2014

From Ian:

Richard Kemp Analysis: The war crimes have been committed by Hamas
Hamas have learnt many lessons from their defeat in the two previous Israeli operations in Gaza. They are better at concealing their rocket launchers and have developed a vast complex of concrete lined underground tunnels using resources that could have been spent on alleviating the plight of their hapless civilian population.
These tunnels protect their munitions from air attack and allow rockets and launchers to be moved about the battlefield immune from air attack. Their commanders also skulk underground while their fighters and civilians die in the mayhem above.
Because of this, only so much can be achieved from the air. The current Israeli ground assault is restricted to locating, clearing and destroying attack tunnels that threaten civilians across the border. If Hamas do not agree to cease their rocket fire, the IDF may well have to expand the operation to take on the network of rocket launchers and command bunkers deep inside the Gaza Strip.
I have spent time in the last week speaking to IDF soldiers on the Gaza border. Their job is extremely dangerous and they know it. Yet, like their British counterparts whom they so closely resemble, every one was stoical, good-humoured and ready to close with the enemy to defend their families at home.
I pay tribute to the more than 30 soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. They have made the greatest contribution to their country that is possible. We owe them our support. Not just out of respect for their courage and sacrifice but because their war is our war, too. They are fighting the 21st century scourge of Islamist terrorism at democracy’s front line.
Col Richard Kemp was Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan (h/t Yoel)
'IDF does more than any other army to prevent civilian deaths'
INTERVIEW: Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, talks to Ynet about Israel's military and moral superiority over Hamas, and says Israel should hit Gaza harder and faster.
Israel's military makes more effort than any other army to prevent civilian casualties, but should be more aggressive in Gaza, says Colonel (ret.) Richard Kemp CBE, the former commander of the British armed forces in Afghanistan and fierce international advocate for the IDF.
"I would like to see the IDF operating much faster, going in perhaps harder and faster, that's what I would like to see," Kemp told Ynet on Wednesday.
"But having said that, I recognize - as you recognize - the pressures on Israel from all around the world to absolutely minimize the number of civilian casualties they're causing", he added. "I believe that on the basis of everything that I've seen, that everything the IDF does to protect civilians and to stop the death of innocent civilians is a great deal more than any other army, and it's more than the British and the American armies." (h/t Yoel)
JPost Editorial: A salute to lone soldiers
There has been an overwhelming outpouring of solidarity over the three lone soldiers (in Israel without close family) killed in clashes with Hamas in the Gaza Strip over the weekend.
Tens of thousands attended the Jerusalem funeral on Wednesday of St.-Sgt. Max Steinberg, 24, who grew up in California. On Tuesday night, there was a massive turnout for the funeral in Ashkelon of St.-Sgt. Jordan Bensemhoun (Ben-Simon), 22, who was born and raised in Lyon, France. And the previous night, a spontaneous social media campaign led to masses attending the Haifa funeral of Sgt. Sean (Nissim) Carmeli, 21, who was raised in Texas by Israeli parents.
All three young men were, by all accounts, exceptional human beings, Jews and Zionists who made aliya in the prime of their lives and joined the IDF’s elite Golani Brigade.
They excelled during their service and made the ultimate sacrifice during Operation Protective Edge. We offer heartfelt condolences to their families.
30,000 attend Mount Herzl funeral of US-born IDF soldier
Sgt. Max Steinberg, a U.S.-born Golani Brigade soldier who fell in battle in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, was laid to rest on Wednesday on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.
Around 30,000 Israelis attended Steinberg's funeral, making it one of the largest in the history of the Mount Herzl military cemetery.
Steinberg, 24 at the time of his death, was born and raised in Los Angeles. In June 2012, Steinberg, joined by his younger siblings Jake and Paige, visited Israel for the first time on a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip and fell in love with the country. After the trip was over, Steinberg decided he would move to Israel and enlist in the Israel Defense Forces.

Remembering one who died for Israel
The eulogy for St.-Sgt. Max Steinberg on Mount Herzl.
Dear friends – as we stand here today, saying farewell to Max Steinberg, we must ask: What could motivate a young American to leave the comforts and security of a loving home with a more familiar future ahead of him, to move to a land where he had no family, no friends, could not speak the language, was in greater danger, and had an uncertain future?
Max made his decision to move back to Israel while on a Birthright trip to Israel in 2012, specifically while standing here, on this mountain, when he came across the grave of a fallen soldier who came from America to fight in the IDF. What sparked inside of Max when he had that experience?
For the brave, age is no barrier to army service
Maj. Amotz Greenberg, one of the first IDF soldiers to fall during Operative Protective Edge, did not have to be in combat.
The married father of three — killed Saturday by Hamas gunmen who emerged from a tunnel and fired on his IDF jeep as it patrolled on the Israeli side of the border — was 45-years-old, which means that he was well past the age of mandatory reserve service in the Israel Defense Forces. Most Israeli men, after serving their required three years at the age of 18, are obligated by law to perform reserve duty until the age of 40, although some exceptions apply based on rank and individual unit. But many of them choose, as Greenberg did, to continue to voluntarily serve into their fifth decade.
“As long as I’m able to do my part in the army, then it’s a privilege to do so,” says M., a 43-year-old tank driver who is currently stationed on the Gaza border. “I’m still pretty good at it, despite my advanced age. I walk around and I see the young kids over here and they look at me like I just stepped out of a history book, but apparently I still have a positive contribution to make, and if I can then I’m happy to oblige.”
How the army breaks the worst news of all
As Israel fights in Gaza and buries its soldiers at home – 32 have been killed thus far – two officers detailed some of the intricately compassionate rules and regulations governing, first, the delivery of the terrible news, and then, the long-term relationship between the families and the military.

A captain who served in the army’s Casualty and Wounded Soldiers Department until she realized she simply did not have “the immense spiritual strength” necessary to deal daily with bereavement, detailed the first stage – from the moment a soldier is declared dead until he or she is brought to rest.
The first act, said the officer, who today serves in a different role, is to conclusively identify the soldier. If his face is recognizable, a pair of soldiers or officers are asked to identify him; if not, the army can almost always identify its soldiers through fingerprint records or dental forensics.
Kerry to Mother of Fallen IDF Soldier: ‘How’s Your Day?’
Taking a break in Jerusalem today from his attempt to broker a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, Secretary of State John Kerry visited with the parents of Max Steinberg, a 24-year-old Los Angeles native and IDF soldier who was killed in action in Gaza.
According to the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, “Kerry entered and exited the room swiftly, surrounded by men in black and refusing to take any questions from press.”
“How’s your day?” Kerry asked as he sat down. “How’s your day?” Evie [Steinberg's mother] asked back. “My day’s going better than yours,” he said. (h/t Canadian Otter)
Dutch IDF Volunteer Livid After Al Jazeera Columnist Uses Her Photo, Calls Her a Jihadist
A young Dutch woman on Wednesday appealed for help on Facebook to counter slurs against her by a columnist for Al Jazeera, who used her photo without permission and called the blonde Israeli Navy recruit a jihadist.
Before describing “Israel’s genocidal campaign in the Gaza Strip,” Al Jazeera columnist Hanine Hassan, a PhD candidate at Columbia University, the former home of the late unofficial spokesman Palestinian Professor Edward Said, chose to single out and humiliate Katie by featuring her by name, linking to her photo on Instagram and making her an object of scorn, in a long screed vilifying IDF soldiers and the thousands of foreign volunteers who served honorably for the Israeli Defense Forces.
What’s More Important Than Pizza?
From a Solider at the Front. Original in Hebrew….translated into English with a few comments from me. Having been down there a few times, I can personally vouch for the accuracy of this letter.
On a personal note, before going down South last night for a pizza delivery to IDF soldiers, my daughter gave me a stack of letters and pictures from children in our community to distribute to the delivery.
After giving the soldiers 60 pies, I said, “Wait, I have to give you the letters from the kids…”
A soldier stopped everything and said — “THOSE are the most important…much more than the pizza…and hugged a pile of letters that I gave him.”
Netanyahu's Son Volunteers with Anti-NIF NGO
Following organizational efforts by Im Tirtzu’s civilian emergency hotline, fifty members of youth groups Betar Jerualem, B’nai Akiva, HaTsofim, Ezra and others pitched in to help on behalf of soldiers serving in the south as part of Operation Protective Edge.
The young people were stationed at different point in Mehane Yehuda market to collect clothing and food from passersby. The results of these efforts totaled 500 gift packages for IDF soldiers.
J'accuse: Western Academics Condemning Israel Aid Hamas Terrorists
Hamas, (think: The Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Hezbollah), began the war against the Jews long ago. Their charter clearly calls for the genocidal annihilation of Jews. They have taken all the billions sent their way by the West, the Arabs, the Iranians, and by world organizations and have not used the money to build a state for their people but used it to build an entire underground city of homicide tunnels in which they hide their arsenal of weapons and fighters. Their grand plan is brilliantly diabolical-- namely, to attack Israel, use their own civilians as human shields, and to then force Israel into a series of premature ceasefires by Hamas’s Western enablers, from President Obama to Secretary of State John Kerry on down. This, of course, includes the West’s Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions academic crew.
The Western academics are “merely” calling for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the West Bank and Jerusalem—all the while accusing Israel of being the world’s greatest ethnic cleanser. Yes, Israel, which has 1.4 or more million Arab Israeli citizens, Christian, Druze, and Muslim.
If Western civilization continues to falter and ultimately fails the historical challenge upon us, I hold my (former) colleagues responsible for enabling this to happen.
Not on my watch, not if I can help it.
64 Public Figures, 7 Nobel Peace Laureates, Call for Arms Embargo on Israel for War Crimes
An assortment of rabidly anti-Israel public figures, including seven Nobel Peace Prize winners, have called for an international arms embargo on Israel for its "war crimes and possible crimes against humanity" in Gaza. The statement came in a letter published in Britain's The Guardian on Friday.
One notable signer was a former close friend and mentor of President Barack Obama, former PLO spokesman Professor Rashid Khalidi. Obama has credited Khalidi with helping shape his political worldview.
Among the other signers were Nobel peace laureates Desmond Tutu, Betty Williams, Federico Mayor Zaragoza, Jody Williams, Adolfo Peres Esquivel, Mairead Maguire and Rigoberta Menchu.
Also signing were academic Noam Chomsky, filmmakers Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, musicians Roger Waters and Brian Eno, writers Alice Walker and Caryl Churchill, and journalists John Pilger and Chris Hedges.
Michael Oren: The international media's sin
ntentionally or unknowingly, the international media has been cast in a leading role in Hamas' horror screenplay. While journalists assume that they are helping the Palestinians by broadcasting their suffering and distress, they are really making them worse. They exempt Hamas from any accusation of using the population as a human shield and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars earmarked for humanitarian aid to use to build bunkers for its leaders and dig tunnels whose only purpose is to murder innocent civilians. At the same time, Israel is expected to apologize for its defense systems and for not having civilian casualties. Rather than painting for the viewer the complicated picture in which both Israelis and Gazans are victims of the Hamas terror group, the media prefers a superficial discussion of East vs. West, colonialists vs. children, David vs. Goliath.
Beyond that, the most important role the foreign media is playing in Hamas' strategy is to demoralize Israelis. Israel is prepared to pay a high operational price and even endanger Israeli soldiers to keep from harming innocent civilians in Gaza. However, Israel is portrayed by the media as the aggressor, without discrimination. In a situation like this, there are Israelis who will say "might as well go all in" -- if they're blaming us anyway, why make the effort and risk our soldiers? And Hamas, which has an interest to drag Israeli into a ground battle that will lead to more dead Palestinian civilians, welcomes the media's role in convincing Israelis that as far as public image goes, they have nothing to lose by escalation. At the end of the day, not only Israel is harmed -- the Gazans are also paying a heavy price.
Just like Israel constantly examines its own actions, reporters covering the war must take a good look in the mirror. They must not allow themselves to be the partners in crime of Hamas' murderous strategy that seeks to delegitimize Israel and perpetuate the civilian suffering in Gaza.
Some BBC bright spots and the remarkable reaction of a presenter confronted with reality
Among the subjects still missing from the BBC’s coverage is some in-depth coverage of the topic of Hamas’ use of human shields and the way in which that deliberate policy contributes to the high number of civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip. Without that essential knowledge, BBC audiences will still be unable to reach informed conclusions regarding this particular international issue. One attempt to shed some light on that issue was made by Barak Seener of the Royal United Services Institute in an interview with BBC World News on July 21st – with a remarkable reaction from the presenter when presented with an expert opinion (which is presumably what the BBC sought when it invited the specific interviewee) on the realities underpinning Hamas strategy.

Those TV cameras responsible for civilian deaths in Gaza
Hamas has understood what the ideology of terror has clearly espoused for over a hundred years. When attacking a democracy, the terrorist has to put it in a quandary. The way to do that is to force the democracy to kill civilians. So if you set up your terror-base under a school or a hospital, you’ve got it made in the shade. You launch missiles, for example, against Israel. Now the Israelis have a choice. Either they don’t respond, in which case the terror mounts in the face of ongoing impotence, or they do respond, in which case you’re going to have civilian deaths and dramatic pictures for the West’s nightly news.
Basically, the Western media has taught Hamas that it doesn’t matter how downright evil you are. It doesn’t matter if you launch two thousand missiles at civilian targets, including the airport. It doesn’t matter if you use your own children as human shields. You’ll get the coverage you want if CNN, BBC et al. have props to point their cameras at. Our form of news-gathering has taught Hamas to turn their children into those props, and to sacrifice them on the altar of Jihad. By misreporting, our media has encouraged the bad guys to kill their own children, and has dragged Israel into a war it did not want. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Gaza reporters’ tweets: Hamas using human shields
Several journalists from around the world reported seeing rockets fired from civilian areas in Gaza in recent days, and received threatening tweets in return accusing them of “informing” the IDF.
On Wednesday, Peter Stefanovic of Australia’s Channel Nine News tweeted: “Hamas rockets just launched over our hotel from a site about two hundred metres away. So a missile launch site is basically next door.”
An account called @ThisIsGaza said this was Stefanovic’s fourth time “passing and fabricating information to Israel... from GAZA” and threatened to sue him.
Another account, @longitude0 wrote: “You are a cretin. Are you working for the IDF” and “in WWII spies got shot.”
Wall Street Journal Reporter Deletes Description of Hamas Using Hospital
The Wall Street Journal's Nick Casey posted to Twitter a description of Hamas's use of Shifa Hospital, but inexplicably deleted the tweet a short while later.
Tablet's Yair Rosenberg, who noticed the disappearance, posted an image of the original tweet, which he suggested was censored because Hamas wouldn't approve of the content. "If you want to understand how Hamas intimidates the media," Rosenberg said on his Twitter page, "read this WSJ photographer's tweet—that he just deleted."
Are Wall Street Journal reporters self-censoring? The newspaper owes its readers an explanation.
Bloomberg: ‘Couldn’t Disagree More’ With U.S. Warnings Against Travel to Israel
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg traveled to Israel to protest the FAA’s ban on U.S. flights there, and said he “couldn’t disagree more” with the U.S. State Department’s warning against travel to the country.
“I think [the FAA] made a mistake, I hope they’ll rectify it soon, but they say they didn’t want American planes flying into the world’s most secure airport, and so I decided I would take a trip over here on the world’s most secure airline, going to the world’s most secure airport. It’s a good lesson for all of us how to run security,” Bloomberg told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
Both Bloomberg and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat characterized the FAA’s decision as a victory for Hamas, with Barkat saying, “The reality is that if Hamas goes ‘boo’ and you get scared, you’re helping Hamas get its goals.”
“We certainly don’t want to stop flights into airports in America. It would be devastating for America. It’s devastating for Israel when you stop flights in,” said Bloomberg.
Bloomberg repeatedly stressed the country’s safety, claiming, “If you don’t feel safe here, I don’t know where you’d feel safe. And I think the State Department is just overreacting in typical bureaucratic fashion.”
Bloomberg Goes Off on Blitzer for 'Insulting' Israel Question

Disproportional Force? Bloomberg Nails It Ex-New York mayor Mike Bloomberg gives what may be the best answer to date, to the claim that Israel uses 'excessive force' in Gaza.
Ex-New York mayor Mike Bloomberg gives what may be the best answer to date, to the claim that Israel uses 'excessive force' in Gaza.
Fox News Airs Two Remarkable Interviews
Wednesday afternoon, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared as a guest on Fox News Channel’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto.” The interview lasted 24 minutes. This is unusual on television, where interview segments are typically only a few minutes in length. While the interview was not solely about Israel, Cavuto devoted the first five minutes and another three minutes around minutes 17-20 to the subject and, toward the end, asked Bloomberg whether there would soon be a Jewish president.
Tuesday on his nightly program, Sean Hannity interviewed Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters. Peters was outspoken in expressing support for Israel and denouncing the bigoted attacks on that nation, saying:
Robert Mackey's "Open Source" Journalism Anything But
Mackey reports that the video
"was edited by the International Solidarity Movement Palestine’s West Bank media office, which posted the video on YouTube with a headline assigning blame for the shooting to an unseen Israeli sniper. The activists provided 15 minutes 45 seconds of raw footage to The New York Times for review, and although it bears no apparent signs of manipulation, it also offers no clear evidence of the gunman’s identity."
The irony is that Mackey’s column is published alongside the blog title, “Open Source,” but his reporting is anything but. Mackey does not provide any link to the raw footage in questio, does not even describe what the rest of the video shows and expects his readers to trust his judgment as to its reliability.
Watch the most infuriating interview on the Israel-Gaza conflict yet
Since the start of the most recent conflict in Gaza, Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev has done a fair bit of press in the United States. It was, however, his interview with MSNBC’s Joy Reid that may come to be remembered as the most frustrating interview he did over the entire course of this conflict.
When Regev was not correcting the endless stream of misinformation and untruths that his interlocutor was bombarding him with, he was being interrupted and talked over in the name of time constraints. (h/t MtTB)

C-SPAN’s SOS Encourages Blaming Israel
A July 18 Washington Journal call-in segment hosted by Steve Scully about the Malaysian airliner shot down over Ukraine generated several (more than one-fourth the total) calls from anti-Israel phoners, all of whom were indulged by the host. Scully and C-SPAN, the television network he plays a major role in, routinely tolerate if not encourage callers (and sometimes even guests) in on-air defamation of Jews and the Jewish state. This phenomenon, potentially seen by millions of Washington Journal viewers, is a chronic problem.
Scully mishandled the July 18 anti-Israel calls. This was in keeping with his history of media malpractice regarding such calls, especially his blatant collusion with a March 18, 2014 (7:09 AM) serial anti-Israel caller.
Boston Globe Editorial Wrong on Rocket Chronology
The Boston Globe editorial today errs on the chronology of recent rocket attacks against Israel, referring to ". . . . the horrific murder of three Israeli teenagers, and then, after Israeli extremists killed a Palestinian youth, a plethora of rocket attacks by Hamas militants launched from the Hamas-led Gaza Strip."
In fact, the barrage rocket attacks against Israel began well before the Palestinian teenager, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, was killed on July 2. The onslaught started just after the June 12 launch of Israel's "Operation Brother's Keeper" to rescue the three kidnapped teens.
Facts about the battle of Shejaiya the Guardian didn’t report
On July 20th, we posted about two Guardian reports, by Harriet Sherwood and Peter Beaumont, on recent fighting between the IDF and Hamas in the Gaza City neighbourhood of Shejaiya, a few kilometers from Israel’s border.
We noted that the Guardian devoted 625 words to the battles that took place in Shejaiya and, while focusing almost entirely on civilian casualties, failed to include even a word about the reason for the military operation. Specifically, Sherwood and Beaumont didn’t inform readers that the civilian neighborhood of Shujaiya housed an underground terror headquarters and storage areas for rockets, bombs, and other weapons.
One sentence by the Guardian’s Mid-East editor explains their coverage of the war
So, Israel’s legal Naval blockade of weapons to Gaza, according to the Guardian’s senior Middle East editor, represents the “underlying reason for the conflict” between Israel and Hamas!
Does it really need to be pointed out that the blockade is meant to curtail the terrorist group’s capacity to import deadly weapons into the strip and that, in lieu of such restrictions, Hamas would be free to acquire even more accurate and deadly weapons than they’re using in the current war?
Does Black honestly believe that Hamas leaders truly only desire an end to the blockade in order to provide a better standards of living for Gazans?
Guardian likens Hamas rockets to “useless fireworks”
The Guardian, in an official editorial on the war in Gaza, argued the following:
"In all the years they have been swooping over the border like useless fireworks, the primitive rockets that Hamas fires at Israel have killed hardly anybody. They scare people, close supermarkets, disrupt business and increase insurance premiums."
They’re of course referring to the more than 15,000 deadly projectiles fired from Gaza since 2001.
Guardian brings back Jihad Misharawi photo to illustrate ‘Israeli attacks’
Elder of Ziyon and BBC Watch (and other blogs) were among those who examined the evidence and suggested that Omar Misharawi was actually more than likely killed by an errant Palestinian rocket.
Their skepticism was well-founded.
On March 6th 2013 the United Nations Human Rights Council issued an advance version of its report on the November war and noted the following about the death of Ahmad Misharawi.
Did Channel 4′s Jon Snow engage in Jon Donnison-style fauxtography?
Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow may have just made the same mistake that the BBC’s Jon Donnison made back in 2012, when, you likely recall, he tweeted a photo of a girl with the title “Pain in Gaza”, to which Donnison added his own commentary – “Heartbreaking”.
However, it turned out that the genuinely heartbreaking image was actually from Syria and not from Gaza – a mistake for which Donnison subsequently apologized.
The following was Tweeted by Jon Snow at 12:24 AM, July 24, which included a link to his blog at Mashable, in a post tiled “Will I die tonight Daddy‘?
BBC TV news airs claim that Gazans are being deliberately starved to death by Israel
Rather than cutting off essential supplies, Israel actually goes to great lengths to facilitate their entry into the Gaza Strip, even whilst under fire from the terrorist organisations based there. In fact, just since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge two weeks ago, eight hundred and sixty-four truckloads of supplies and humanitarian aid have entered the Gaza Strip via the Kerem Shalom crossing. Armies conducting a siege usually do not supply the ‘besieged’ with electricity, cooking gas, fuel and medical care as Israel does.
Clearly, there is no “siege” of Gaza as Gergas inaccurately states. Neither are the residents of the Gaza Strip under threat of “death by starvation” as can be seen in Yolande Knell’s frequent reports from markets.
Bill Whittle: The Case for Israel
As Israel is under attack from Hamas in the Gaza strip and BDS -- Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions -- right here in America, Bill Whittle makes the historical and moral case for Israel, and shows just who, indeed, are the tyrants and aggressors in the Middle East.

Pro-Palestinian rioters attack Maccabi Haifa players in Austria
Throughout the second half, the demonstrators -- which included Turkish immigrants -- cried out anti-Israel slogans. At the 85th minute of the game, they rushed the field and began beating the Maccabi Haifa players, including defender Dekel Keinan and midfielder Idan Vered. The players defended themselves, and goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic, a Serb, pushed three of the protesters.
Security at the venue was in the hands of a small, unprepared team and a few police officers, who eventually managed to get the rioters under control.
The French players fled the field for the locker room.
The riot didn't end on the grass. Outside the field another 10 or so pro-Palestinian protesters were waiting, trying to force their way in. They threw chairs and other objects at the Maccabi Haifa players, one of which hit striker Shimon Abuhatzira, who responded by charging the rioters.
In France, pro-Palestinian thugs attack Israeli soccer players:

The terror from within
I want my horrendous experience to help my Palestinian friends unshackle themselves from the lies that they are being told and telling themselves. I want to guide them out of the dark thicket of resentment and encourage them into the light. I want them to choose life—that unstoppable and raging desire never to give up—because it is a drug more powerful than any treacherous lie of misery and victimhood that seeks to poison their souls. I want them to make a better future for their children. I want them to lead healthier and more meaningful lives.
So I share with them the story of my own death march so that they can marvel at the hidden strength and the irresistible drive that dwells within a human being to live and not to die. I share this in the hope that the challenges that I continue to encounter in my own life will help them somewhat through theirs. I remind them that agony and gratitude go hand in hand. I tell them that I am in psychological trauma with what I have seen, yet I am smitten with the joy of being alive. I look to the light that forms the shadow in the valley of death and tell them that once I was bound but now I am free. I am free to choose right from wrong, free to strike or embrace; my once-bare feet are free to walk painlessly towards or painlessly away.
"Hamas are terrorists pure and simple. Why don't Christian leaders get it?"
You can maintain, contra Meotti, that Church leaders have merely adopted a policy of neutrality. But that’s what moral equivalency is all about, isn’t it? And do you really want to be neutral between a state that values human life and one that celebrates death?
Along with other world leaders, Church leaders fret about the “cycle of violence,” but by lending legitimacy to leaders who deserve no legitimacy, they only help to perpetuate the cycle. Just as the Obama administration continues to send checks to the Palestinian-Hamas unity government, Christian leaders continue to sign vouchers testifying to the good character of a political movement that is bent on genocide.
Undoubtedly there are many Gazans who, like their Egyptian counterparts, would like to overthrow the Muslim Brotherhood overlords who have created so much misery in their lives. But there’s scant chance of that happening if world leaders and Church leaders keep pouring out moral support for the Palestinian Islamists.
Critical of Israel? Then YOU do better at getting rid of Hamas without harming any Palestinians
So here’s a question to ponder for all you critics: If Israel is doing such a poor job as you claim, then presumably you can do better. Why aren’t you sending your troops to Gaza to eradicate Hamas in a manner in which not a single Palestinian civilian gets hurt? If you fail to even try, then do you deserve the right to criticize?
I could tell you all about the efforts Israel makes to warns Palestinian civilians to get out of the vicinity of terrorists via leaflets, telephone calls and roof knocking. I could tell you about how Hamas calls for civilians to ignore these warnings. Don’t believe me? Read for yourself on the Palestinian government website. These messages are no longer just in Arabic, sending one message to the world and one to its people. No more of that pretense. This message is in English: “the ministry calling all our people not to deal or pay attention to the psychological warfare carried out by the occupation through rumors that broadcast across his media and delivering publications and communications on the phones of citizens”
Israeli women do Gaza Strip for IDF
After thinking long and hard of a way to boost morale among IDF soldiers engaged in combat, a new Facebook page is attempting to bring a fresh and uplifting meaning to the words “Gaza Strip.”
Over the past few days, dozens of women have begun posting racy photos of themselves online, with messages in support of Israel’s troops inscribed across their scantily clad bodies.
The Facebook page, titled “Standing With the IDF – Maintaining a Protective Edge” (in a rough translation from the Hebrew), was created Wednesday night and has already gained over a thousand likes.
Iranian citizen gives Israel a hand
StandWithUs, a non-profit Israel advocacy organization, asked friends of Israel from around the globe to show they stand with Israel by sending in a photo of their passport. Soon, photos were flooding in, and people were writing “I Stand With Israel” on their hands and including them in the photos with the passports.
So far, some 900 people from nearly 100 countries have participated in the social media campaign, which can be seen on a Facebook page. Among the nations represented are the United States, France, Australia, Germany, Canada, Ukraine, South Africa, Brazil, Georgia, Turkey, India, China and even Pakistan, Indonesia and Iran.
CAIR-Affiliated Protest: "We Are Hamas!"
The anti-Israel protestors became increasingly hostile, to the point of invoking outrageous Islamist slogans.
In Arabic, they screamed:
“Khaybar, Khaybar Oh, Jew. Muhammad’s army will return.” This refers to a seventh-century massacre in which Muhammad’s army attacked the Jewish community of Khaybar in the Arabian Peninsula. The Jewish males who surrendered were beheaded; Muhammad and his soldiers then divided the women, children, and property. Islamists today routinely invoke this battle as a rallying cry to attack Jews.
In English, they yelled:
“We are Hamas!” openly confirming support for a group officially designated a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, Japan, Jordan, and Egypt.
“We are Jihad!” thereby calling for holy war.
“Hamas kicked your ass.” That makes for an interesting contradiction: While claiming Gazans are being massacred, the group also claims to have defeated the Israel Defense Forces. Which is it?
Arab Rioting in Judea, Samaria Continues; Nine Arrested
Rioting and unrest continue in Judea and Samaria for a fourth week on Thursday, as Operation Protective Edge in Gaza embarks on its seventeenth day.
Hundreds of Arabs rioted overnight in five locations throughout the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Judea-Samaria: Beit Ummar, Abu Dis, Rachel's Tomb (Bethlehem), Husan, and Clock Square in Binyamin.
The rioters threw rocks, Molotov cocktails, and burning tires at security forces, who were dispatched to disperse the crowd with riot control measures.
Students arrested in pro-Palestinian protest in Melbourne
Student demonstrators have been arrested after burning a stolen Australian flag during a protest over Israel's invasion of Gaza.
The protest by pro-Palestinian student support groups began as a low-key gathering, with only about 20 people taking part.
But the rally escalated when the group burned an Australian and Israeli flag in the foyer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade building in Lonsdale Street.
Some were allegedly involved in scuffles with police as they fled down the street.
Officers quickly moved in and arrested about 10 of the students.
Jewish students condemn Melbourne flag burning.
The Australasian Union of Jewish Students has condemned the burning of an Australian and Israeli flag outside the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Melbourne office.
“The storming of a government office, theft of goods, and burning of flags is a disgusting and unacceptable act,” said AUJS Political Affairs Director Matthew Lesh.
“These types of acts serve to show how extremist and disconnected the Socialist Alternative is from civilised political debate or peaceful solutions,” said Mr Lesh.
Jewish students have voiced their concern about the nature of ongoing attacks on Israel and antisemitic behaviour from extremist students.
“These types of acts from Students for Palestine do nothing to solve issues in the Middle East but instead serve to alienate Jewish students on campus,” said Mr Lesh.
Anti-Semitism and the “French Intifada”
Few quotes can do a better job of expressing the state of French Jewry than a Jewish Paris barber’s comment to JTA on France’s Jewish Defense League (known as LDJ): “I used to tell my grandsons to focus on the studies and stay out of trouble, but now I sent them to join the LDJ and defend our synagogues against the scum.”
The comment perfectly encapsulates the frustration and fear felt by the Jewish community in France. The barber’s advice to his grandchildren had been the old adage: Don’t trouble trouble until trouble troubles you. Well, trouble has arrived. The barber added: “The Arabs own the streets now. We need make them lose the appetite for messing with us if we’re to survive here. LDJ is our Iron Dome.”
The JTA story is a marvelous piece of reporting. It’s also a testament to the fact that French Jews, who tend to be quite patriotic about their country–the JTA story even opens with a scene at which LDJ members are guarding a synagogue and singing La Marseillaise–have given up relying on the French state to protect them.
France’s Jews Fled As Rioters Burned Shops To Chants Of ‘Gas The Jews’
While I had seen the images and videos, I did not realize the depth of the depravity exhibited in the anti-Jewish riots in Paris. HuffPo UK reports, France’s Jews Flee As Rioters Burn Paris Shops, Attack Synagogue:
France’s politicians and community leaders have criticised the “intolerable” violence against Paris’ Jewish community, after a pro-Palestinian rally led to the vandalizing and looting of Jewish businesses and the burning of cars.
It is the third time in a week where pro-Palestinian activists have clashed with the city’s Jewish residents. On Sunday, locals reported chats of “Gas the Jews” and “Kill the Jews”, as rioters attacked businesses in the Sarcelles district, known as “little Jerusalem”.
Aftermath of jews attacked in Sarcelles France of July 21 2014

France to Give $14.8 Million to Gaza
President Francois Hollande announced on Thursday an 11-million-euro ($14.8 million) aid package to Gaza, citing the need to rebuild as Israel's self-defense operation shows no sign of stopping after over two weeks, AFP reports.
An advisor to Hollande said the humanitarian aid, eight million of which will be given to the Palestinian Authority and the remainder to UN bodies and NGOs working in Gaza, was approved after a meeting with non-governmental organizations working in the strife-torn region.
Germany 'Like 1938' as 'Berlin Police Cower Before Jew-Haters'
A surge in anti-Semitism in Germany has led Yakov Hadas-Handelsman, Israeli ambassador in Berlin, to say it is like a return to the Nazi era: "They pursue the Jews in the streets of Berlin… as if we were in 1938."
His comments came as Islamists were blamed for an "explosion" of anti-Semitism that has undermined Germany’s efforts to banish racism since the Holocaust.
According to German news site, Hadas-Hannelsman said: "We have nothing against demonstrations or against freedom of expression - that's the core of democracy. But when, as happened this weekend, it leads to violence against the police or against pro-Israeli demonstrators, then it is unacceptable. I think Germans should be worried by that, because you also hear anti-Semitic slogans like 'Jews into the gas' - in Germany?" (h/t Canadian Otter)
German Leaders Condemn Anti-Semitism at Anti-Israel Rallies
The spokesman, Georg Streiter, said Germany would not tolerate aggression against the resurgent Jewish population, after protests against the Israel's Operation Protective Edge in Gaza where violently anti-Semitic slogans were used.
"The chancellor and the entire German government condemn the anti-Semitic remarks made at pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli demonstrations in Germany in the strongest terms," Streiter told reporters.
"These outbursts are an attack on freedom and tolerance and an attempt to shake the foundations of our free and democratic system. We cannot and will not tolerate this."
British MP Apologizes for Tweet Supporting Hamas Rocket Attacks
Ward had followed up his initial tweet with another saying: "Ich bin ein Palestinian -- the West must make up its mind -- which side is it on?"
After facing criticism from across the political spectrum over his rockets tweet, and telling the BBC he understood the mindset of people in Gaza - and that Hamas is using civilians as human shields because, in his words, "they are absolutely desperate and politicians in the West are failing them," - the MP issued a statement saying: "I utterly condemn the violence on both sides in Israel and Gaza."
"I condemn the actions of Hamas, and my comments were not in support of firing rockets into Israel. If they gave the opposite impression, I apologize," he said.
"However, while I defend the right of Israel to exist and defend itself, I will continue to speak out for the rights of the Palestinian people who are facing untold suffering," he continued. "I can understand their plight and desperation."
Islamists with ties to Erdogan openly incite violence against Turkey’s Jews
Turkey, the biggest NATO supporter of Hamas, has overseen a backlash that threatens its ancient Jewish community as well as tens of thousands of Israeli tourists.
Islamists linked to Turkey’s ruling party have attacked the Israeli consulate in Istanbul in protest of the war in the Gaza Strip. Others have threatened the estimated 15,000 Turkish Jews in the mass media.
“Turkish Jews will pay dearly,” Bulent Yildirim, a prominent Islamist close to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said.
‘No Jews Allowed’ Sign Removed from Belgian Cafe Following Complaint
Police removed a sign from a Belgian cafe saying that Jews were not allowed following a complaint by an anti-Semitism watchdog.
The Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism, or LBCA, filed the complaint Wednesday with the mayor of Saint-Nicolas against the parties responsible for hanging a Turkish- and French-language sign at a cafe in the Liege suburb.
The Turkish text reads, “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Jews are not under any circumstances.” The French text replaces “Jews” with “Zionists.”
Mumbai Muslims Protest Gaza by Boycotting Pepsi, Nescafe
Wedged in a haphazard row of shops in Mumbai’s crowded Bhendi Bazar, a predominantly Muslim area, the tiny Shalimar Restaurant exhorts patrons to reject products made by PepsiCo Inc., Kraft Foods Group Inc. and Nestle SA to protest Israel’s military operation in Gaza.
A poster near the manager’s table lists six Western brands, including the Coca-Cola Co., as “Israeli” and says they won’t be served in a campaign adopted by about 800 Muslim businesses in the city. In India, where governments for decades after independence supported the Palestinian cause, opposition to Israel often involves criticism of the U.S. and European nations deemed to favor the Jewish state.
Turks pour evil Jewish Coca Cola into street
"Evil Jewish coca cola got what it deserves - Buy it and then Spill it on the street lol"
Jordanian TV Hosts Burns Israeli Flag Live on Air, Demands Shutting Down US Embassy

Save the Middle Eastern Christians and Europe at the Same Time
A Desperate Cry from Iraq's Christians
"Bishop Habash said, “Christians throughout the Middle East have been targeted, and we are on the verge of being exterminated. The West stepped in to stop the ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims and Kosovar Muslims, so we know it can be done. The West must step in now and save the Middle East’s Christians, or we will be wiped out.”
It is shocking how little outcry there has been against this from the usual NGO’s, UN agencies, media and religious groups. Even the US Bishops seem to have remained mum, although the Pope recently spoke out against this shameful treatment.
It’s time Europe opened its door to these true refugees from persecution and we and others helped to facilitate saving these beleaguered people from destruction. It’s time to acknowledge that multiculturalism is suicide and western civilization needs our help to survive.
Duke Gives Muslim ‘Holocaust Inversion’ Professor $3M Gig
Human rights leaders at the time condemned Safi’s article and the use of the Holocaust photo as completely inappropriate.
“This misuse of this Holocaust image illustrates the concept of ‘Holocaust inversion,’ which is used to describe the practice of Jews, Zionists, or Israelis of behaving like Nazis or having culpability for Holocaust-like crimes,” the Brandeis Center said in a statement at the time.
“Holocaust inversion is often described as an indicator of anti-Semitic expression,” the center said. “The U.S. Department of State, for example, has explained this phenomenon as a kind of ‘Holocaust denial or trivialization’ in its report on Contemporary Global Anti-Semitism.”
The article itself contained “dozens of lies” about Israel, according to the pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon, and relied on writings published by the website Counterpunch, a conspiracy theory website that has been described by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as an “anti-Zionist radical left newsletter” and by media monitors as an “extremist anti-Israel web site.”
Before the article was removed in its entirety, Safi—under pressure from critics—removed the Holocaust photo and replaced it with one also unrelated to the incident at Deir Yassin.
US Court finds N. Korea guilty of aiding Hezbollah attacks on Israel
North Korea provided weapons, training and aid building tunnel network near Israel; Iran provided funding
A federal judge in Washington on Wednesday found North Korea and Iran liable for damages caused by a series of missile attacks from Lebanon on Israel in 2006. The ruling was given in a 2009 suit filed by Chaim Kaplan and other survivors and family members of the Hezbollah rocket attacks.
The two countries “provided material support and assistance to the Hezbollah terrorists who fired the rockets at Israel,” US District Judge Royce Lamberth concluded. A special master will now be assigned to determine the amount of damages each country will be ordered to pay. (h/t Yenta Press)
‘Dig’ pulls up Jerusalem stakes
The program, from Israeli “Homeland” creator Gideon Raff and “Heroes” creator Tim Kring, has been filming in Israel’s capital since the beginning of the summer and was due to premiere on NBC affiliate station USA. The action follows an American FBI station in Jerusalem who, while investigating a murder, uncovers a centuries-old mystery within the city’s archaeological treasures. Its stars include Anne Heche and Jason Isaacs.
Raff wrote the script specifically with Jerusalem in mind, and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat led a high-profile campaign to bring the big-budget production to his city.
Filming will now continue in Albuquerque, with Universal Cable Television saying in a statement that it will continue to explore alternate locations.
Iranian Christian to Have Lips Burnt for Eating During Ramadan
An Iranian judge sentenced a Christian man to have his lips burnt with a cigarette for eating during the day in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, The Daily Mail reported.
The barbaric punishment was carried out in public in a square in the city of Kermanshah.
Five other Muslim men were also flogged in public with 70 lashes for not fasting during Ramadan, the city's deputy governor Ali Ashraf Karami said. (h/t Canadian Otter)
'When I Saw What They Did to My Siddur I Cried Like a Baby'
Annika Hernroth-Rothstein – Swedish writer, political commentator, and activist in support of Israel – decided to put an Israeli flag on her suitcase as she made her way to Israel Wednesday. When she got off the flight from Stockholm's Arlanda Airport for a stopover in Schiphol, Amsterdam, she was shocked to find that the bag had been vandalized.
"I know a lot of you think I was stupid for having an Israeli flag on my suitcase, and who knows, maybe you're right," she wrote on Facebook. “But I don't feel good about seeing that in writing, and I feel even worse that I have to internalize and blame myself for what took place today.
“I am not naive, but I am a true believer. I believe with all my heart that when I start adapting to hate and tailoring my life after those who want us gone I am already gone. If they want to kill us they will have to do the work themselves, i will not aid them by denying who I am. Too many in my family have already done that, too many sorrows have come from shame and silence.
“I opened my bag and someone has poured soda on my things, the bag is obviously cut with some kind of sharp instrument, and the flag once stitched to it is now half-gone. Worst of all, to me, is that my siddur is wet and damaged. I have kept that from when I first started going to shul, it is a fond memory of my journey back to observant life. When I found it I cried like a baby.
70% of UK Jews feel anti-Semitism on the rise
Nearly 70 percent of Jews in the United Kingdom believe anti-Semitism is on the rise, a new survey found, but half of the respondents are not overly concerned.
Approximately half of the 1,468 respondents said anti-Semitism was “a fairly big problem,” while another half said it was “not a very big problem” or “not a problem at all,” according to the email study conducted by the London-based Institute for Jewish Policy Research and released earlier this month.
Religious Jews were more likely than secular ones to be concerned about anti-Semitism.
Israel Daily Picture: Gaza in 1917. What Led to Such Terrible Destruction? -- Excerpts from a previous posting
In March and April 1917 the British army attempted to push through Gaza and up the Mediterranean coast in battles that involved as many as 60,000 soldiers, British and French ships firing on Gaza from the Mediterranean, the use of poison gas, and the deployment of newly developed British tanks. The British suffered a disastrous defeat.

Footnote: History records Jews living in Gaza for thousands of years. [View the mosaic depicting King David from a 6th century synagogue in Gaza.]
Ottoman tax records showed dozens of Jewish families in Gaza in the Middle Ages. One of the most famous Gazan Jews was Rabbi Israel Ben Moses Najara (16th Century) who composed prayers and Sabbath zmirot (songs) popular to this day. He was buried in Gaza.
Jewish families fled Gaza in the 1929 pogroms. Population records still showed Jews living in Gaza until 1945.
Kfar Darom, named for a community mentioned in the Talmud, was a Jewish kibbutz established in the Gaza Strip in 1930 that was abandoned in the 1948 war. Kfar Darom was reestablished in 1970 but evacuated by Israel in the 2005 "disengagement."

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