Friday, July 25, 2014

From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: UN probe of Israel will only encourage Hamas war crimes
There you go again," as Ronald Reagan said to Jimmy Carter. Once again the United Nations Human Rights Council has voted – with the United States dissenting – to conduct a so-called "investigation" of Israel's military responses to Hamas's double war crimes. Once again Israel will have to decide whether to feed the kangaroos that make up this court by cooperating with yet another phony investigation whose outcome is predetermined. Yet again Israel is presented with a Hobson's choice: If it refuses to cooperate, it will blamed for denying the investigatory commission relevant information; if it cooperates it will lend credibility to a conclusion that has already been reached.
This Hamas-inspired investigation is an important part of Hamas's double war crime strategy: By firing its rockets from civilian areas and buildings – even Ban Ki-moon acknowledges that it does – Hamas seeks to have Israel kill as many Palestinian civilians as possible. This Hamas-designed body count, and the accompanying photographs, inevitably leads to the kind of one-sided investigation in which the UNHRC specializes. The resulting one-sided condemnation, which Hamas can always count on, then helps it win support in Europe, South America and other parts of the world, as well as in the media and universities.
By joining in this Hamas strategy, indeed becoming a central part of it, the UNHRC encourages Hamas to repeat its rocket fire against Israeli civilians, its tunneling into Israel to kill and kidnap Israelis and its placement of rockets and tunnel entrances in civilian areas. The countries voting for this investigation are fully aware of what they are encouraging. They have the blood of future innocent Palestinians and Israelis on their hands.
Anne Bayefsky: Depravity at the UN Human Rights Council
The UN Human Rights Council held a special session in Geneva on July 23, 2014 to declare effectively that Israelis do not have human rights.
The session ended with a resolution that launched an "investigation" into what the Council decided in advance were Israel's violations of Palestinian rights. The vote was 29 in favor, 1 against and 17 abstentions.
The Obama administration voted against – after joining and legitimizing the virulently anti-Jewish Council for the past five years, and now feigning disappointment for American cameras.
The Europeans abstained because they did not want to upset their violent Muslim minorities, and with their sordid past, the resolution's message wasn't too foreign in any case. A few cowardly countries that Israelis have magnanimously befriended over the years also abstained.
Israel and the Burden of Being Right
Generally when someone says they “hate to say I told you so,” it’s fair to doubt they really hate saying it. But in Israel’s case it’s believable. The current conflict with Gaza is proving Israel correct about its various claims with regard to Hamas, and the result is the treacherous urban warfare the world is currently witnessing.
As Evelyn Gordon wrote earlier, the vast tunnel networks prove Israel was right about letting in dual-use items that Hamas would only appropriate for its terror war against Israeli civilians. The West should, in fact, be embarrassed by its enabling of those tunnels: pressuring Israel to let in those materials was the international community’s way of using Israeli civilians as guinea pigs in a grand experiment. They didn’t believe Israeli predictions, and wanted the premises tested. Now they have been, and innocents are paying the price.
Hamas Mega-Attack Planned through Gaza Terror Tunnels
Hamas had apparently been preparing a murderous assault on Israeli civilian targets for the coming Jewish New Year Holiday, Rosh Hashanah, which begins on September 24, according anonymous sources in the Israeli security services, as reported today by the Israeli daily Maariv.
The Hamas plan consisted of what was to be a surprise attack in which 200 fighters would be dispatched through each of dozens of tunnels dug by Hamas under the border from Gaza to Israel, and seize kibbutzim and other communities while killing and kidnapping Israeli civilians.
Israeli soldiers already frustrated a surprise assault by Hamas through one tunnel from Gaza into the Eshkol district of Israel on July 19. The Hamas fighters escaped back into the tunnel, but the clash cost the lives of two Israel Defense Force [IDF] troops.

Times of Israel Live Blog: MIA soldier declared dead as cabinet meets on truce
Hamas ‘inclined to accept’ ceasefire as IDF death toll reaches 34; four Palestinians killed in West Bank in heavy rioting, clashes after Hamas and PA officials call for violent demonstrations; senior Islamic Jihad commander killed
Michael Totten: Israel is Not Going Anywhere
An Israeli journalist gave his Palestinian cameraman a tour of Tel Aviv and this is what happened:
"On the Ayalon Highway, the highway leading to the big city, he first laid eyes upon the tall buildings, Tel Aviv’s towers, the branching road system, the bridges, the lights, the life. It was all so different from Gaza, which seemed light years away to him. On the way, we passed the sites Hamas terrorists struck some years before: the Dizengoff commercial center, the Dolphinarium night club, Mike’s Place bar and others. When the astonishment faded from his face, he summarized it thus: “Hamas militants are living in a delusion; they are convinced that with a group of suicide bombers (shahids, meaning martyrs) they could overpower Israel.”
After that he had an idea, somewhat comical, somewhat practical: “If we get all of Hamas’ leaders on one bus, both the political wing and the military wing, and give them a guided tour from the Erez crossing to Tel Aviv, they will get wiser, return to Gaza and will stop threatening and dreaming that they could defeat Israel.”

I don’t know about that. Never underestimate the power of human delusion. But I can certainly believe that this particular Palestinian got a real and lasting reality check. I’ve been to Israel many times myself. The notion of destroying it with anything short of nuclear weapons is ludicrous.
A supportive British colonel, and a bleak vision of endless costly military operations
Col. Richard Kemp CBE, a former commander of British troops in Afghanistan, is notorious among Israel-bashers for his robust defense of the morality of Israel’s army and his empathy for the challenges Israel faces from Hamas and other Islamic extremist groups seeking its destruction.
Kemp is in Israel at the moment and gave a lecture on Thursday afternoon in Jerusalem, arranged by the NGO Monitor organization. I spoke to him beforehand in the faint hope that this 30-year British army combat veteran, who served 14 operational tours of duty worldwide and who subsequently worked in the British Cabinet office on defense and intelligence issues, could offer clear-cut guidance on how Israel might decisively, and with a minimum of loss of life, prevail over Hamas in the current offensive. As we talked in the cafe of Jerusalem’s Menachem Begin Heritage Center, Kemp was astute and informed and wise. Unsurprisingly, unhappily, however, he echoed the words from the Prime Minister’s Office these past two weeks — you need to use a mixture of military and diplomatic strategies, but there are no 100 percent solutions. Actually, it was bleaker than that. Read on, but don’t expect to be uplifted.
'They Forfeited Every Hope and Every Dream': British Officer's Farewell to an IDF Soldier
Below are the words of UK Col. (ret) Richard Kemp who was Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan after attending the funeral of a young Israeli soldier:
My Dear Friends,
It was my honour and privilege this evening at Modiin to be present at the funeral of Lieutenant Nathan Cohen of the IDF Armoured Corps, a 23-year-old platoon commander who was Killed in Action leading his men in Gaza on Tuesday night.
Although I have attended too many funerals of British soldiers, I found this a uniquely beautiful, moving and humbling occasion. As well as Nathan’s family, very large crowds, both civilian and military, came to Modiin Cemetery to pray, to grieve and to pay their respects to him.
IDF Opens Hospital for Palestinians, Hamas Prevents Access
The IDF has opened a temporary hospital for Palestinians on the Israeli side of the Erez Crossing. Even as terrorists fire rockets at Israel, the hospital is treating wounded civilians in cooperation with the Red Crescent. Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules Gaza, has prevented Palestinians from entering Israel in order to reach the hospital.
IDF Sets Up Hospital for Gazans

IDF Facilitation of the Red Cross In Gaza

Watch: IDF Paratroopers Foil Attempted Ambush in Gaza
Israeli soldiers confront terrorist threats every day as they are operate to dismantle Hamas's terrorist infrastructure in Gaza, as part of Operation Protective Edge.
The following video, released by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, shows paratroopers explaining how they foiled an attempted ambush by terrorists in Gaza.
IDF Paratroopers Foil Attempted Ambush in Gaza

IDF Paratroopers Seize Terrorist Weapons in Gaza

Hamas Weapons Cache Included Explosive Belts

What does 15 seconds mean to you?

IDF Troops Foil Female Suicide Bombing Attack
Soldiers from the Nahal Infantry Brigade operating in Gaza were attacked by a female suicide bomber, but neutralized the threat before she could blow herself up.
July 20. Day 3 of the ground phase of Operation Protective Edge. Approaching midnight.
Nahal Brigade troops are on the ground in Gaza to take down Hamas terror targets. In the dark, they encounter a terrorist squad and immediately engage the targets. A figure rushes out toward the Israeli soldiers. It’s a woman with a bomb strapped to her chest. The soldiers identify the threat and neutralize her before she is able to carry out her intended suicide attack.
Iron Dome intercepts two rockets over Tel Aviv area; direct hit reported on home in Ashkelon
A large rocket barrage was fired into Israel from Gaza on Friday morning. Sirens sounded in the Dan Region, including Tel Aviv, as well as Shfela Region including cities like Rishon Lezion and Rehovot. Sirens could also be heard at the Ben-Gurion Airport.
Earlier Friday, interceptions by the Iron Dome were reported above Ashkelon. Despite the missile defense system, however, a rocket landed on a home in Ashkelon and caused damages. No injuries were reported.
German Airline Lufthansa Maintains Israel Flight Ban
Germany's biggest airline Lufthansa said Thursday it would continue to suspend flights to Tel Aviv for another 24 hours over security concerns amid the raging conflict with Gazan terrorists.
"We will resume flights as soon as the protection of the airport is assured in a tangible manner," it said in a statement.
Grenade Saves Israeli Soldier’s Life
You could say this was a double miracle for one Israeli army ground stomper.
A bullet fired by a Palestinian gunman at an IDF soldier in the Gaza Strip slammed into a grenade the infantryman had attached to his webbing – but didn’t explode, according to Israel’s Channel 2 News.
Army officials said Thursday that the Kalashnikov rifle round was likely fired at the outside edge of the semi-automatic’s range, accounting for its low impact speed – which probably saved the trooper’s life.
IDF Leaves No Man--and No Dog--Behind
Staying true to the conviction that no soldier should be left behind, Israeli forces were seen carrying a wounded bomb-sniffing dog off the battlefield.
By contrast, Hamas has been suspected of rigging a donkey with explosives and trying to use the animal as a suicide bomber against Israeli forces.
10 top ways Israelis cope with stress under fire
One Hamas-fired rocket every 10 minutes. That’s the average salvo Israelis have had to endure since the start of Operation Protective Edge on July 8, according to the IDF.
The unpredictable but constant barrage of rockets from Gaza, together with the Red Alert warning sirens that echo through Israel, is a traumatic combination leading to great anxiety and stress.
And while there are more calls to help lines and health centers during times of heightened conflict, and a great deal of tension and worry, Israelis tend to use their creativity and out-of-the-box thinking not only to endure the trauma but to rise above it.
Israel: Fighting taking toll on Hamas' motivation
Despite the Hamas military wing's determination to fight to the end, the prolonged hostilities have resulted in a drop in motivation among low-level operatives, Israel Defense Forces officials told the media on Thursday, a week into the Gaza ground offensive.
Early Thursday two Hamas fighters surrendered to paratroopers in the southern Gaza Strip. They were subsequently handed over to the Shin Bet security agency for interrogation. Earlier, about 70 Palestinians surrendered to Israeli troops close to Rafah.
IDF officials believe the organization has tried to use all of its strategic capabilities throughout the fighting, including tunnels, explosive-laden unmanned aerial vehicles, divers and long-range rockets. They said it was unlikely that Hamas would employ new weapon systems or show more capabilities as the fighting progressed.
Military Analyst: Israel Not Reading Hamas Correctly, for Terror Group This is a ‘War of Independence’
While Israel is acting as if this is another incursion into the Gaza Strip, Hamas is fighting its “war of independence,” warned Alon Ben David. “16 days into Operation Protective Edge and it seems like Israel is being maneuvered into a corner by fighting a ‘war of necessity’.”
Ben David said in his opinion both the government and the generals in Israel are fighting with a view to managing the conflict rather than fighting for a victory.
“I think the story is bigger than the tunnels, we don’t read the other side correctly,” he said. “We talk to ourselves and a few friends about the ceasefire, but I listen to Khaled Meshaal… It sounds like Gaza’s war of independence to remove the blockade,” he said.
US Weapons Resupply - Also to be Grounded?
President Obama is the master of Double-Speak, saying one thing and meaning the exact opposite. Remember how Obama promised, “You can keep your doctor if you like him,” and how it turns out that you can’t keep him because Obamacare won’t pay him?
Given Obama’s track record of betrayal of Israel, his hollow recital of “Israel has the right to defend herself,” might actually have a doublespeak meaning as well - that "Israel has the right to defend herself", but without any American military resupply.
There Must Not Be a Ceasefire
Israel must act and act hard, just as Britain and the United States fought hard against the Nazi threat. As we are seeing in Iraq and Syria, the Hamas mindset is spreading. Anything short of total defeat will only lead to a resumption of hostilities in the near future. If the UN and foreign states will not act with determination to defeat a terrorist group armed with sophisticated rockets and accompanied by a determination to commit genocide -- if they are happy, as always, to sit on the sidelines and criticize Israel -- then Israel must, as always, go it alone.
The destruction of Hamas will be painful, but its leaders are cowards and braggarts, hiding under hospitals and in five-star hotels throughout the Arab word while telling their citizens to die telegenically for public relations propaganda. The leaders of Hamas hide behind their own men, women and children. They build launch pads, bunkers, weapons depots, and command centers beneath hospitals, schools, and the dwellings of ordinary people. They are playing at being soldiers, but avoid harm for themselves while trying to inflict as much harm as possible on others.
White House: Any Ceasefire Must Include Disarming Hamas
White House Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken told NPR on Wednesday that any ceasefire ending the current round of hostilities between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip should include “some form of demilitarization so that [the conflict] doesn’t continue, doesn’t repeat itself,” one of a growing list of statements by U.S. policymakers and observers assessing that any truce between Jerusalem and the terror group should include provisions that disarmed Hamas. Blinken emphasized that such a scenario “needs to be the end result.”
Daniel Nisman and Ron Gilran – respectively the president and the vice president of intelligence at the Levantine Group, a geopolitical risk consultancy based in Israel – had already over the weekend identified Israel’s Operation Protective Edge as chance for the Israelis to leverage battlefield victories into a truce:
IDF Calls Out UN for Lying About Gaza Civilian Casualties
Israel is calling out a United Nations aid agency for falsely claiming that the Israeli Defense Forces did not permit civilians to evacuate a Gaza school where 15 people were killed today.
The U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) laid blame for the civilian deaths on the IDF, claiming it never received approval from the IDF for an evacuation from the facility.
UNRWA—which has been under fire in recent days for allowing Hamas to use its facilities to store rockets—released a statement claiming: “UNRWA had been attempting to negotiate with the [IDF] a pause in the fighting during which they would guarantee a safe corridor to relocate staff and any displaced persons who chose to evacuate to a more secure location. Approval for that never came to UNRWA.”
Israel and Hamas blame each other for attack on UN shelter
In what could prove a turning point in the war in Gaza, 15 civilians were killed and as many as 200 more were wounded Thursday afternoon in the bombardment of a UN school – an assault that both sides claim might well be the fault of the other.
“We can confirm that [Palestinian] terror rockets that were fired from that area landed in the neighborhood of the UN facility,” said Cap. Eytan Buchman of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, asserting that the death and destruction may have been caused by errant rockets fired by Hamas or another militant organization.
UNRWA Spokesman Chris Gunness seemed to confirm that Hamas projectiles were fired in the area, writing on twitter that it’s “being reported there were Hamas rockets falling in Beit Hanoun today.”
UNICEF's Pernille Ironside Mum on Rockets in UNRWA Schools
UNICEF is a United Nations organization which says it advocates "for measures to give children the best start in life, because proper care at the youngest age forms the strongest foundation for a person's future."
One would expect then, that, UNICEF official Pernille Ironside, now in Gaza, would be spearheading a high-profile campaign against Hamas' repeated placement or rockets in schools run by UNICEF's sister agency, UNRWA. But instead of condemning Hamas' use of UNRWA schools as rocket depots, she ignores it. In a Skype interview yesterday with Gwen Ifill of PBS' "Newshour," Ironside remarks that "children are bearing the greatest brunt of this terrible conflict."
Where’s the Outrage at the U.N. Hamas Rockets Fiasco?
Strangely, however, outrage over these incidents around the world seems to be muted.
If it wants, the world can forever argue about which side is to blame for the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, and for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as whole.
However, everyone should be outraged that a U.N. agency committed to helping the citizens of Gaza in a time of crisis is perpetuating the same people’s misery by storing rockets, and then either returning rockets directly to Hamas or losing track of the rockets, which makes the rockets just as likely to end up in the hands of Hamas. Hamas is likely to fire these same rockets at Israel, which would invite more military action from Israel against Gaza.
The U.N., which is committed to helping people, should not be taking sides in any conflict or putting in danger the lives of the people it seeks to protect, otherwise the agency loses all legitimacy or trustworthiness when it comes to its involvement in any current or future world conflict.
IDF: Hamas Prevented Civilians From Evacuating UNRWA Shelter in Gaza
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has accused Hamas of preventing civilians from evacuating a United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) shelter in the northern Gaza city of Beit Hanoun, where at least 16 people were reportedly killed and more than 200 were injured in an apparent strike on the compound.
“Hamas prevented civilians from evacuating the area during the window that the IDF gave them,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement.
The IDF said Hamas fired from Beit Hanoun and that soldiers responded by targeting the source of the fire.
Report: Hamas Beats Gazans Seeking to Heed Israeli Calls to Leave Targeted Area (VIDEO)
Israeli news website, Kooker, on Thursday posted undated German footage, apparently shot in Gaza, and possibly in recent days, of what it said were Hamas enforcers violently beating and coercing residents to remain in their homes and the vicinity, despite their pleading that the IDF called on them to evacuate the area.
The Israeli army has repeatedly said it sends alerts, delivered by leaflet from the air, SMS text and voice messages, and live calls to cellphones, to Gazans to clear an area prior to bombing or otherwise assaulting a suspected Hamas or terrorist stronghold.
The IDF has also said that Hamas terrorists routinely encourage locals not to heed the warnings, using the civilians as human shields.
In the video, armed enforcers, some wielding batons, are seen beating and punching recalcitrant residents, and, at several points turn on the camera crew, and try to cover the lens.
(EoZ: I do not think this video is legitimate. it looks to me like it was taken during the Intrafada around 2007. I removed it.). 

5 Ways Hamas Kills Palestinian Arab Children
We should not be surprised by the UNRWA’s attempts to slam Israel. The UN itself is a deeply disgusting organization filled with the world’s worst criminals – the Jew-hating 56-member Organization of Islamic Countries constitutes more than 25% of the entire membership of the UN, and their Jew-hatred is accompanied by the subtler anti-Semitism of European and Asian nations.
The UNRWA is perhaps the worst branch of one of the worst organizations on the globe. The UNRWA has an interest in perpetuating Palestinian terrorism, thereby keeping Palestinians “refugees” requiring UNRWA’s aid. UNRWA routinely employs members of Hamas, their schools promote hatred for Israel, and their graduates often become terrorists themselves. Dore Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the UN, points out, “at least 46 terrorist operatives were students in the UNRWA schools.”
Those facts, however, cut no weight with an Obama administration dedicated to giving cover to Hamas and drawing moral equivalence between Israel and those who wish to destroy it. Here are the top five ways that Hamas is using civilians to shield itself against Israel – and then exploiting their bodies in the press when Israel fights against Hamas terror:
IDF Lists Eliminated Senior Terrorists
The IDF has released a list of senior Gazan terrorists from the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations, who have been taken out since Operation Protective Edge has begun, most of them in the past few day:
Journalist Describes Interrogation at Hamas Headquarters Next to Emergency Room at Gaza’s Al Shifa Hospital
Radjaa Abu Dagga, Gaza correspondent for France’s Libération, told the newspaper‘s readers on Tuesday how Hamas refused his requests to leave Gaza and how he was interrogated by Hamas members from their headquarters inside Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital, a violation of international rules of war.
Blogger Elder of Ziyon published a translation of his harrowing account on Thursday.
Israel sends message through Hamas leader's mouth as psychological battle deepens
Tens of thousands of Gaza residents on Thursday saw Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal on their screens, but with a surprising message.
The visuals were of Mashaal, but it was Israel who was speaking through his mouth. This happened during the broadcasts of Al Aqsa TV and Al Quds TV - two of the biggest television broadcasters in Gaza.
In a video obtained by The Jerusalem Post, a speech by Mashaal is distorted to bring Gazans a message that the Hamas leader is a corrupt politician who lives a lavish life abroad, while benifitting from the suffering of Palestinian civilians.
"In the name of Allah, most gracious, most compassionate," says Mashaal in the mock video. "I want to start by thanking the excellent staff of the kitchen at my hotel."
Hamas and the Joy of Destruction
We all know about suicide bombers, who kill themselves in order to kill others. The Boston Marathon bombers were one of many recent examples. But do we know about nations that want to destroy themselves in order to destroy another nation?
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, in the annual Al-Quds (Jerusalem) sermon given on December 14, 2001, said that if one day the world of Islam came to possess nuclear weapons, Israel could be destroyed. He added that the use of a nuclear bomb against Israel would leave nothing standing, but that retaliation, no matter how severe, would merely damage the world of Islam (reported in MEMRI Special Dispatch Series No. 325; January 3, 2002).
In other words, Rafsanjani was saying that Iran could turn itself into a suicide bomb – a nuclear suicide bomb. No one noticed. However, he did add the important words, “retaliation, no matter how severe, would merely damage the world of Islam.” In fact, in all likelihood, he expected that Iran too would survive horrible and severe destruction. Like most suicide bombers, he expected his cause to survive.
Islamic Jihad Spokesman: Israeli Soldiers Use Palestinian Children's Blood to Knead Dough for Bread

Massive West Bank clashes leave Palestinian dead
Violence broke out Thursday night near the Kalandia checkpoint, located in the West Bank between Jerusalem and Ramallah, as residents of the West Bank village clashed with police in protests against the IDF's operation in the Gaza Strip.
Some 10,000 Palestinians protested near the checkpoint, throwing rocks, firebombs and fireworks at Israeli security forces, and setting tires ablaze. The IDF forces and Border Police were using crowd dispersal means on the masses.
Hospital officials in Ramallah earlier said three protesters had been killed, but revised that to one killed and three others in critical condition and on life support. Some 200 protesters were injured, a hospital doctor said. Thirteen Israeli police officers were lightly injured.
2 Palestinians killed outside Jerusalem said to have shot at Israeli troops
Israeli military officials said that two Palestinians, who were killed during clashes with Israeli troops outside Jerusalem on Thursday night, fired on Israeli forces during the demonstration.
A senior IDF official said that “the two opened fire at our forces with Kalashnikov rifles from inside the protest” at the Qalandiya checkpoint, Ynet reported. Israel’s Channel 2 also quoted military sources saying they came under live fire in the course of the protest.
Gush Etzion Hit and Run

JPost Editorial: A tip for the UN
Pillay and the other members of the Human Rights Council should undertake the following mental exercise: Imagine what would happen if Hamas, in direct contravention of its violent version of Islam, were to abandon the armed struggle against Israel, demilitarize the Gaza Strip and channel its efforts and the many millions of dollars in aid it receives from the international community into bettering the lives of Gazans. The Gaza Strip would slowly, but steadily, begin to flourish. Israel, no longer endangered by Hamas’s implementation of its bellicose theology, would open the border crossings and the sea routes to and from Gaza. Palestinians would enjoy a growing economy on a strip of land with one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean. It sounds almost utopian.
Now, the Human Rights Council members should imagine what would happen if Israel were to lay down its arms, cease to defend itself, and allow Hamas-controlled Gaza to arm itself with the help of Iran or some other Islamist group, unimpeded by a blockade of any kind. The result would be dystopian. Israel would be quickly overrun by terrorists who would proceed to carry out genocide. Nor would the UN would do nothing to prevent such genocide.
Tenth Lesson of the Gaza War: Obama Doesn’t Want to Disarm Hamas
Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken, appearing on National Public Radio on July 23, was prodded by the interviewer as to whether the Obama Administration is endorsing Israel’s demand for disarming Hamas. Blinken replied: “One of the results, one would hope, of a cease-fire would be some form of demilitarization…”
So Blinken, who in such media appearances is in effect speaking for the White House, merely “hopes” that “one of the results” of a cease-fire would be “some form” or demilitarization. Hoping that something might happen is a far cry from taking steps to make sure it will happen.
But even Blinken’s weak acknowledgement that disarming might not be such a bad idea was too much for Secretary of State John Kerry. Asked in Jerusalem about Blinken’s comments, Kerry replied (according to the Associated Press): “All of the issues of Gaza would be on the table.” Kerry deliberately declined to endorse disarming.
The EU, the Quartet, leading members of Congress, and the Washington Post all now recognize that a cease-fire without disarmament would be a de-facto victory for Hamas. It would give Hamas the time and breathing space it needs to smuggle in more weapons, to repair its terror tunnels, and to launch new terror attacks on Israel.
The tenth lesson from the Gaza war: It’s time for the Obama Administration to get on board with the rest of the Free World, and support disarming Hamas now.
Shmuley Boteach: Opinion: Who’s Afraid of Hamas?
My children spent the day on the Gaza Border giving out popsicles to the soldiers going into battle. Of course, to cover all the religious bases, and because we are a Chabad family, they also put on tefillin with the soldiers.
This was their idea completely. They rented a car, bought the popsicles, and off they went. (I’m still confused about how they didn’t melt. It must be a miracle!) I’m very proud of them for what they did. Not because they care about soldiers who are risking their lives for Israel, although that’s wonderful. And not because they demonstrated selflessness by caring about others taking such huge risks for their freedom, although that’s admirable.
Rather, the reason I’m proud is because they weren’t afraid.
Israel Can Win
Slandered, despised, insulted, degraded, Israel is nonetheless winning its war against Hamas. The number of rocket attacks launched by the terror group each day has been halved. The IDF is uprooting the underground tunnels Hamas uses to smuggle weapons, contraband, and terrorists in and out of the Gaza Strip. On Wednesday evening, Israel’s Channel Two newscast carried footage of Hamas terrorists surrendering to the IDF. The jihadists carried white flags. They stripped to their shorts, proving they were not wearing suicide belts. These are facts Hamas does not want you to know, images Hamas does not want you to see.
And you probably won’t see them. Since the evening of July 17, when Israel launched its ground offensive, Western media has been filled with Hamas propaganda. In the United States, the debate over the conflict is invariably couched in terms favorable to Hamas: Are civilian casualties too high? Is it safe to fly into Ben-Gurion airport? Has the IDF targeted schools and hospitals? One MSNBC anchor calls Israel, which abandoned Gaza in 2005, the “occupying authority.” Another praises a “gutsy” Israeli, who refuses to serve in his nation’s military.
The “Israel Can Defend Itself in Theory but Not in Practice” Crowd
What the European countries demonstrated in Geneva yesterday is that they are part of the “Israel can defend itself in theory but not in practice” crowd. They maintain that of course the Jewish state should be entitled to the same right to self-defense that all other nations enjoy, provided that when the Jewish state defends itself, no one on the other side is harmed.
The motion that the European nations acquiesced to was a frightful distortion of basic notions of morality and justice. Which was more grotesque: the claim that Israel targets civilians? The claim that Israel is the occupying power in Gaza? The claim that the blockade of Gaza is collective punishment for which Israel is held solely responsible with no reference to the blockade on the Egyptian border? The claim that the majority of deaths in Gaza have been among civilians when it has not yet been possible for any independent verification of this? The condemning of Israel for its recent military activities in the West Bank with no mention of the three murdered Israeli teens that the Israeli security forces were searching for? The fact that the resolution includes a number of accusations about “extremist Israeli settlers” but not one mention of either Hamas specifically or terrorists generally? And then there was the ludicrous insistence that Gaza cannot be allowed to remain “geographically” isolated from the West Bank (an apparent assault on Israel’s own existing territorial contiguity).
Elliott Abrams: The UN Human Wrongs Council
Has it worked? In this vote on the Gaza resolution, the United States was again completely isolated in voting "no." The council has since its creation in 2007 passed 50 resolutions against Israel, almost exactly the same number it has passed about every other human rights issue in every other country in the entire world, so it is no improvement on its predecessor.
The United States erred in joining up in 2009, and the returns are in. The experiment failed. Until the council stops its biased and one-sided actions, and stops throwing fuel on the flames in the Middle East, we should disengage. Council members such as China, Cuba, and Russia (yes, all three are, amazingly enough, members) will not recognize moral clarity, but very many Americans will.
Why nobody but the US voted against the UN’s anti-Israel resolution
Only the United States voted against the resolution. Twenty-nine nations voted in favor, among them not only the usual suspects such as Saudi Arabia, Algeria and South Africa, but also some ostensible friends of Israel, including Russia, Kenya, India and Mexico.
Equally hurtful for Israel, if not more so, were the abstentions of the eight European Union member states who had the right to vote: Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Romania and the United Kingdom. (Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are not EU members but also abstained; non-member states Iceland, Serbia, Albania and Liechtenstein aligned themselves with the EU position.)
Yes, even the Czech Republic, which in November 2012 was the only EU country to oppose granting the Palestinians nonmember state status at the UN, did not vote against a resolution that denounces Israel for “disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks, including aerial bombardment of civilian areas, the targeting of civilians and civilian properties in collective punishment contrary to international law, and other actions, including the targeting of medical and humanitarian personnel, that may amount to international crimes.” The resolution does not mention Hamas once.
Desperately seeking relevance
From the point of view of this doctrine, the Hamas decision to escalate makes sense – even if to an outsider the idea of a tiny statelet willingly seeking conflict with a vastly more powerful neighbor seems counter-intuitive. The civilians whom Hamas leaders knew would die in any conceivable Israeli response were presumably factored in as collateral damage. From a certain point of view, they even represented an asset, since their example could be held out as proof of the supposedly greater willingness of the Arab/Muslim side for self-sacrifice, when compared with the Israeli/Jewish enemy.
So the war derives from the desire of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar to return to relevance and centrality in the region, and from the persistent misreading of the nature of Israel and the true balance of forces between the Jewish state and its enemies, by the Islamist rulers of Gaza.
This is the time to unite behind Israel
This is not the first time I’ve come to Israel during war. But this time is different.
I’m here not only because I love Israel. I’m here as a grandfather with two grandsons in the IDF – one on an air force base doing important defense work, another in Gaza, putting his life on the line with thousands of others in Operation Protective Edge. It is excruciating to witness the concern of my daughter and son-in-law preoccupied every minute about the well-being of their son in Gaza. Their concern is shared by the parents and family members of thousands of Israeli soldiers.
What I have found here is an unbelievable sense of unity.
With rare exceptions, this is not a war of the Left or Right. It is an operation that has united all of Israel. No nation-state can tolerate rockets fired at more than 80 percent of its population.
How the West Helped Hamas Build Its War Machine
For years, human-rights groups, diplomats, pundits, and other opinion leaders demanded an end to the “siege” of Gaza, and eventually, they succeeded. President Barack Obama deserves special mention here; it was he who, after Israel’s botched raid on a flotilla to Gaza in 2010, twisted Israel’s arm into drastically easing its import controls. The pressure increased again after Egypt tightened its own blockade of Gaza last year, leading Israel to remove all remaining restrictions on construction materials like cement and iron.
Most of those who pressed Israel on this issue sincerely wanted to improve Palestinian lives: Eliminating import restrictions, they argued, would let Gaza residents build homes and businesses, improve the economy, and generally contribute to Palestinian wellbeing. So they blithely dismissed Israel’s warnings that these materials would actually be used not to help ordinary Palestinians, but to build Hamas’s terror infrastructure.
Buttu Bing, Buttu Boom
Two weeks after being destroyed by CNN’s Jake Tapper, former PLO adviser Diana Buttu get’s destroyed by UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer.
Hillel Neuer schools PLO's Diana Buttu & HRW rep in Gaza debate on Al Jazeera (h/t cisjew)

Bennett to Sky News anchor: "Do you want to fight instead of us in Gaza?" (h/t Bob Knot)

Fatah: Abbas presents fighting Israel as religious "war for Allah"
This week, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas ended a speech about the current conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza with a quote from the Quran justifying war. His Fatah party interpreted Abbas' statement to mean that fighting against Israel is justified on religious Islamic grounds:
"[PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas] concluded his brief speech with the first verse of the Quran that permits Muslims to wage war for Allah." [Facebook, "Fatah - The Main Page", July 22, 2014]
Presenting a conflict as a religious war can have dangerous implications. In September 2000, Yasser Arafat said that then-Israeli MP Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount defiled the Al-Aqsa Mosque. He used this claim as a guise to launch the “Al-Aqsa Intifada” (i.e., second Intifada) terror campaign, which led to the deaths of over 1200 Israelis and tourists and 4000 Palestinians.
Israeli planes vulnerable to missiles that downed MH17
Planes landing at and taking off from Ben Gurion Airport have nothing to worry about from Hamas rockets, according to one of the world’s foremost experts on missile defense, but the antiaircraft missiles thought to have brought down the Malaysian airliner over Ukraine are another matter altogether. No one is safe from them.
“The rockets Hamas fires, even the big ones that can reach Tel Aviv, are like big firecrackers and are not capable of hitting or bringing down a commercial airliner,” according to the expert, Uzi Rubin. “With Iron Dome, the chances of such a hit are next to nothing.”
If travelers to and from Israel should be worried about anything, said Rubin, it’s the military-grade missiles in the hands of Hezbollah, which could target and take down a plane flying over the Mediterranean. “Iran has these Russian-made systems, which means that Syria and Hezbollah have them as well.” Hamas, he said, apparently does not have them — at least not yet.
Cruz Rips FAA Ban of Flights Into Israel
Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) slammed the FAA’s decision to ban travel to Israel and the Obama administration’s decision to defend it Thursday on CNN.
Speaking with Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room, Cruz said the FAA’s decision was “unprecedented,” and he cited the FAA’s refusal to ban travel to other countries enduring strife as reason for why their behavior was “not evenhanded.”
Cruz pointed out that the timing of the FAA’s travel ban is cause for question. “The timing wasn’t accidental. The timing was such that this ban was announced at the same time that John Kerry arrived in the Middle East, at the same time that John Kerry was announcing $47 million for Gaza,” he said.
'Iran gave Hamas its rocket know-how'
Iran was "proud" to have provided "both financial and military support" to Hamas, parliament speaker boasts
Iran provided Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas with the technology it has used to rain down rockets on Israel from Gaza, its parliament speaker said on Thursday.
Tehran frequently boasts of the financial and material support it gives to Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad but more rarely talks of its military assistance.
"Today, the fighters in Gaza have good capabilities and can meet their own needs for weapons," speaker Ali Larijani told the Arabic service of state television.
"But once upon a time, they needed the arms manufacture know-how and we gave it to them," he said. (h/t MtTB)
Ahmad Jibril: Syria, Iran Trained Hamas; Missiles Got to Gaza through Hizbullah Cells in Sinai (h/t Yoel)

In Gaza war, Egypt taking hard line over border
Even as it presents itself as a mediator in the conflict, Egypt is taking a hard line, refusing any opening that would strengthen Hamas, a group it accuses of fueling militancy on its soil.
And so far, the Egyptian public has largely gone along.
But as civilian casualties rise in Gaza, Egypt’s government runs the risk that Egyptians will blame it for not making concessions that could stop the bloodshed.
Egyptian anchor man slams Hamas, Qatar & Turkey (h/t Yoel)

Experts: Don’t Reward Qatar and Turkey By Letting Them Dictate Israel/Hamas Ceasefire
Since 2011, Qatar has been the home of the aforementioned Khaled Meshal, who runs Hamas’s leadership. During a recent appearance on Qatar’s media network Al Jazeera Arabic, Meshal blessed the individuals who kidnapped and ultimately murdered three Israeli teenagers. He boasted that Hamas was a unified movement and that its military wing reports to him and his associates in the political bureau. American officials have revealed that Qatar also hosts several other Hamas leaders. Israeli authorities reportedly intercepted an individual in April on his way back from meeting a member of Hamas’s military wing in Qatar who gave him money and directives intended for Hamas cells in the West Bank. …
Turkey is also home to Salah Al-Arouri, founder of the West Bank branch of the Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing. He reportedly has been given “sole control” of Hamas’s military operations in the West Bank, and two Palestinians arrested last year for smuggling money for Hamas into the West Bank admitted they were doing so on Al-Arouri’s orders. He is also suspected of being behind a recent surge in kidnapping plots from the West Bank. An Israeli security official recently noted, “I have no doubt that Al-Arouri was connected to the act” of kidnapping that helped set off the latest round of violence between the parties, which has seen hundreds killed and thousands wounded, nearly all of them Palestinians.
Playing with fire
Qatar does not seek to heal the world. Rather, it wishes to safeguard its fortune in the face of threats all around. In light of its concerns over Iran's growing power, it has become "an Iranian agent." It finances al-Qaida and mediates in disputes between the United States and the Taliban.
Qatar essentially paid off the Islamist radicals in their midst so that they would go blow themselves up in other parts of the world, far away from the al-Thani family. Since Qatar is also a problem for the moderate Muslim countries in the region -- Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates -- it is using America as its insurance policy against all of these countries as well as against Iran.
Just as Qatar found ways to counter the influence of the moderate Arab states and is using Hamas to do the same against Israel, there is concern that these governments could look for their own clients who would help them take aim at the al-Thani family and render Qatar one large burning natural gas field.
It would be best for the Qataris to be alert, and to watch their backs.
U.S. Selling $11B in Weaponry to Gulf State That Supports Hamas, Syrian Jihadists
At a time when Hamas continues to fire salvos of rockets into Israel while rejecting a ceasefire proposal, the United States has finalized a deal to provide the Palestinian terrorist group’s leading supporter, Qatar, with weaponry worth $11 billion.
The deal signed at the Pentagon Monday by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his Qatari counterpart comes just months after a senior U.S. Treasury official in a speech deplored Qatar’s open support for Hamas, and covert funding for jihadists in Syria, including the al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra and the al-Qaeda offshoot the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).
Despite concerns about this terror-sponsorship, the U.S. regards the small, natural-gas-rich Gulf state as a key regional ally. Qatar’s Al Udeid Air Base hosts the forward headquarters for U.S. Central Command. (h/t Canadian Otter)
Bennett Calls to Cancel World Cup in 'Terror Sponsor' Qatar
Economics Minister Naftali Bennett has called on the football's international governing body, FIFA, to cancel its decision to hold the World Cup in the gulf state of Qatar, due to the country's support for Islamist terrorists, including Hamas.
"We have to stop this," he agreed, but noted that the way to do so was not to pressure Israel but to cut off funding to radical Islamist groups who are responsible for regional instability and unrest.
"If we want this to stop we have to stop the funding," Bennett said, and went on to assert that "the biggest funder of radical Islam(ic) terror is Qatar."
"We have to get Qatar to stop funding Hamas, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra and ISIS with money."
Imam Considers Moving Missiles To Make Room For Worshipers (satire)
In advance of prayer on the most well-attended day of the Muslim week, Friday, Imam Ali Al-Jabri of the Nebi Shufri Mosque in downtown Gaza City faces a dilemma: where to fit the worshipers, whose prayer space is now occupied by several dozen rockets of various types.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants visited Al-Jabri earlier this week to arrange the storage of the missiles, which they promised would be out by yesterday. However, Israeli forces destroyed the other end of the tunnel through which the missiles were brought in, making removal of the weapons more difficult and presenting the Imam with a dilemma.
“I could ask people to pray outside, but that would make them more vulnerable to other Hamas rockets and mortars that fall sho- I mean, to Zionist airstrikes,” he explained. “It might help the Resistance public relations effort and gain more sympathy internationally, but that’s not really my department. I’m supposed to run a mosque.” The missiles were quickly brought to the mosque after being discovered in a UN-run school and moved.

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 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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