Tuesday, July 29, 2014

From Ian:

Hamas denies agreeing to 72-hour cease-fire
Fatah official Yasser Abd Rabbo claims announcement was made with consent of all Palestinian factions, however Hamas says cease-fire cannot exist while Israeli forces are inside Gaza.
Times of Israel Live Blog: Hamas says it’s ready for 24-hour truce as IDF indicates op reached goals
Military death toll at 53 after 10 soldiers killed Monday; IDF kills senior Islamic Jihad officer and strikes home of Hamas’s Haniyeh, amid massive airstrikes; rocket barrage fired at central Israel in wee hours
Excuse Me For Living
Israel has all the proof it needs that world opinion will never consider its right to exist important. The Obama White House, and a lot of the US News Media, portray the Hamas-Israel conflict as something like an amateur soccer match, with the uneven score (40-odd Israeli soldiers killed versus 1000-plus Palestinians, mostly civilians) showing that the contest is unfair, that Israel has “gone too far,” that they have entered the same moral zone as Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot, carrying out a “genocide.”
Of course, this is a real hot war, not a diversity training exercise, or a self-esteem course, or any sort of the kindergarten psychotherapy that has come to form the basis of American thought and policy. And a vicious world opinion uses America’s own moral fecklessness the way Hamas uses women and babies to shield its rocket installations.
Apparently world opinion also doesn’t take seriously Israel’s founding maxim, “never again,” meaning that Israelis will not passively wait for world opinion to save them from an enemy that plainly and clearly seeks to annihilate them, as happened 1933-45. The Hamas organization is explicitly dedicated to the destruction of Israel. That is not a rhetorical gimmick; it is its declared unwavering primary goal. (h/t The_Kenosha_Kid)
Twelfth Lesson of Gaza War: The Israeli Left is Waking Up
Writing in Haaretz, July 10, Avineri bluntly conceded: “We were mistaken.”
The Israeli left was mistaken to believe “that we were talking about a dispute between two national movements, and that the other side felt the same way,” Avineri wrote. “The Palestinian side does not believe that we are talking about a dispute between two national movements: It believes that we are talking about a dispute between one national movement–the Palestinian–and a colonial imperialistic entity that will eventually die off.”
“The Palestinian title for the two-state solution is different than the Israeli version,” Avineri pointed out. “The Israeli stance talks about ‘two states for two peoples’ but in the Palestinian version the phrase ‘for two peoples’ does not appear. It only talks about ‘two states.’ If someone thinks that this is just poor phrasing, he should ask his Palestinian counterpart to express an opinion about the ‘two states for two peoples’ version and he will sooner or later get the answer that there is no Jewish people…in the Palestinian narrative, the Jews are not a people or a nation, but only a religious group, and therefore they are not entitled to a state.”
Avineri concluded: “The source of the dispute is not borders, settlements or even Jerusalem…[T]o ignore these deep-seeded views constitutes a lack of intellectual honesty.”
Lesson Twelve from the Gaza War: The Israeli Left is going to have a lot of soul-searching to do. And it’s starting already.
Articulate Zionist Young Man Of DoomTM
More disproportionate force inflicted on two anti-Israel protesters, at the hands of another of our secret weapons.
Get this kid a political party with Mohammad Zoabi and I’ll sign up.
18 year old vs 2 grown men Atlanta Stands with Israel 7 25 14

David Horovitz: Why Netanyahu doesn’t want to go ‘all the way’
Another possible consideration: He knows how heavy the IDF losses will be in a full-scale ground offensive. Israel enjoys air supremacy over Gaza. On the ground, things are very different. Israel lost five soldiers on Monday who were killed by Hamas gunmen emerging from a tunnel the IDF had identified, partially demolished, and thought it had secured. Even in those most favorable of conceivable circumstances, the infiltrators fatally surprised the army. Deep in Gaza, Hamas enjoys a home field advantage. Its killers are waiting. The IDF is a highly motivated, well-trained and well-equipped fighting force. Hamas’s home advantage notwithstanding, Israel’s ground troops are certain to kill many more of the enemy’s gunmen than they lose. But be the ratio 5:1, 10:1, or 20:1, Israel will bleed, and quite apart from his own anguish at such a prospect, the prime minister may be concerned that the public mood will turn radically before Hamas is defeated.
Alternately, Netanyahu may be highly concerned about the consequences of a successful ground invasion, leaving Israel back in control of 1.7 million very hostile Palestinians.
A further possible explanation — to my mind a relevant one: Netanyahu is watching the boiling Middle East aware of the ease with which one active military front, in Gaza, can become two, three or more. In South Lebanon, Hezbollah has 10 times as many rockets as Hamas had three weeks ago, with longer ranges, greater accuracy and bigger warheads. It has stayed out of this conflict so far; there are no guarantees it will continue to do so. Its sponsor-in-chief, Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei, has been urging Muslims everywhere to arm the Palestinians against the vicious Zionist enterprise. Thus far, he has steered clear of calling Hezbollah into action — testament, perhaps, to the ongoing deterrent effect of the 2006 war. Closer to home, last weekend saw nine Palestinians killed in clashes in the West Bank, after the masses were exhorted by Hamas to unleash a Third Intifada. There were riots in parts of East Jerusalem, too.
Also worth remembering, as Netanyahu holds back, is his unyielding focus on the Iranian nuclear weapon drive. If necessary, he has said time and again, Israel will act alone to stop Iran attaining the bomb. Netanyahu emphatically considers the Iranian program an existential threat to Israel, and is anything but confident in the will of the international community to avert it. Becoming deeply embroiled in a major, bloody war in Gaza is a distraction he may be intent on avoiding. He may also be concerned at exhausting such tolerance for Israeli military action as still exists internationally over Gaza — where the scenes of devastation, death and helplessness effortlessly trump the most articulate efforts to explain why this is all Hamas’s fault — when he may need it over Iran.
PM wants Gaza demilitarized, and the world agrees — but how?
In the paper, entitled “The Demilitarization of the Gaza Strip: The Proper Endpoint for Israel of Operation Protective Edge,” Mofaz, also an ex-IDF chief of staff, writes that months of diplomatic legwork would be required to rally the likes of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the US to the framework of the deal. PA President Mahmoud Abbas, he wrote, would likely “want to lend a hand to this sort of move and he should be involved in the process.”
Mofaz has presented his plan to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and Netanyahu’s National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen. But so far neither the prime minister nor any other leader has publicly adopted the plan. But nor have they offered any other concrete proposal for how the demilitarization of Gaza could be achieved in the near future.
Trying to take away Hamas’s massive arsenal of guns and drones, Kassam, Grad, Fajr-3, Fajr-5, M-75 and M302 rockets, is not going to be a walk in the park, whether you choose the military or the diplomatic approach. “We say for the millionth time,” Hamas official Izzat Al-Rishq warned Monday, responding to Obama’s call for the demilitarization of Gaza, “those who try to take our weapons, we will take their life.”
5 Reasons Not to Equate Hamas With the Jewish Underground
Memo to Irish Times cartoonist Martyn Turner:
Here are five reasons your cartoon was wrong to equate the Jewish underground groups of Israel’s War of Independence with Hamas.
1. The Jewish underground never sought to destroy Britain as the homeland of the British people. Hamas seeks to destroy Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.
2. The Jewish underground never fired rockets at British cities. Hamas has fired thousands rockets indiscriminately at Israeli cities.
3. The Jewish underground leaders like Menachem Begin (the Irgun) and Yitzhak Rabin (the Haganah) reached stable peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan respectively. Hamas cannot maintain unity with the PLO, much less recognize Israel and respect previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements.
4. The Jewish underground groups were never part of larger international networks of religious terror. Hamas is part of the Muslim Brotherhood, and has received support over the years from other Islamic terrorist actors like Iran and Hezbollah.
5. The Jewish underground groups were never part of a national unity government capable of joining international organizations. Hamas, in partnership with the PLO, technically governs Palestine, a non-voting member of the UN with the ability to join international organizations.
IDF Blog: Hamas Uses Hospitals and Ambulances for Military Purposes
One of the fundamental aims of the laws of armed conflict is the protection of hospitals, ambulances, and medics from attack. International law grants this group special protection from attack during active conflict.
Hamas chooses to use these protected areas for military purposes in order to shield itself from IDF strikes – and to draw international condemnation of Israel if the IDF is forced to respond.
In Hamas’ world, hospitals are command centers, ambulances are transport vehicles, and medics are human shields. Hamas’ actions in this regard are flagrant violations of international law. Hamas undermines the essential protections that enable the provision of medical services to those in need during wartime, and threatens the security of all who are carrying out legitimate medical services in dangerous conditions.
Gantz to Residents of Gaza: Stay Away from Hamas
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz on Monday told residents of Gaza to stay away from areas in which Hamas operates, so that they are not harmed by the IDF’s operations.
Speaking to journalists in the Kirya base in Tel Aviv about Operation Protective Edge, Gantz said, “We will reach those areas, and when we do, it will hurt.”
"We are intensifying the operations," Gantz said, "There is a lot of destruction in the area, not only because of our activity but because of what Hamas is doing on its own."
IDF Chief of Staff Visits Soldiers in Gaza

Five soldiers killed, four in mortar attack from Gaza
Four Israeli soldiers were killed in a mortar attack from Gaza on Monday afternoon, the IDF said.
The soldiers are: SSgt. Eliav Eliyahu Haim Kahlon, 22, of Safed; Cpl. Meidan Maymon Biton, 20, of Netivot; Cpl. Niram Cohen, 20, of Tiberias; SSgt. Adi Briga, 23, of Beit Shikma.
Hamas took responsibility for the shellfire on a position in the Eshkol Region, which injured another 10 people, some seriously.
The IDF also said a fifth soldier, Staff-Sgt. Moshe Davino, 20, from Jerusalem, was killed in a gunfight in the southern Gaza Strip on Monday. According to the IDF, Davino was killed by antitank fire in Khan Yunis.
Hamas tunnel raid kills 5 soldiers in southern Israel
The attack took place south of Kibbutz Nahal Oz in the vicinity of the Karmi Crossing with the Gaza Strip.
The five soldiers were named by the army as Sgt. Daniel Kedmi, 18, from Tsofim; Sgt. Barkey Ishai Shor, 21, from Jerusalem; Sgt. Sagi Erez, 19, from Kiryat Ata; Sgt. Dor Dery, 18, from Jerusalem; and Sgt. Nadav Raimond, 19, from Shadmot Dvora.
The Hamas squad surfaced 150 meters inside Israel and fired an anti-tank missile at an army position. The barracks, just below the lookout tower, was hit, and four soldiers were mortally wounded. The soldiers in the lookout tower spotted the squad advancing on the position and trying to drag away one of the soldiers who had been hit. They then opened fire, killing at least one of the gunmen. The others fled.
IDF: Terrorists’ rockets hit Gaza hospital, refugee camp
The IDF said the blasts were caused by Islamic Jihad terrorists who had misfired large missiles.
“A short while ago, terrorists in Gaza fired rockets at Israel. One of them hit Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. The other hit Al-Shati refugee camp,” read a tweet by the IDF Spokesperson.
AFP had initially reported that seven children were killed when an Israeli missile slammed into the playground, citing a Palestinian doctor at the city’s main hospital.
The terrorist misfire that deepened the conflict
Then came the Shati incident, which was initially reported as an Israeli attack on a public kindergarten. The area was packed with children enjoying a respite from the fighting. Initial reports said eight children and two adults had been killed. The pictures broadcast from the Strip showed scenes of horrific devastation.
However, soon afterward, the IDF made plain that it had nothing to do with the incident. Yoav Mordechai, the IDF’s coordinator of activities in the territories, said, in reports that were also carried by official Palestinian media, that Islamic Jihad had tried to fire rockets at Ashkelon, and one had fallen in the kindergarten, and the second in the outpatient clinic of Gaza’s Shifa Hospital.
Unsurprisingly, Hamas vehemently denied the claim, calling it a Zionist fabrication. But this marked the first such clarification issued by the IDF in the course of this conflict, and thus could not be easily dismissed.
Still, Hamas chose to react by staging a tunnel attack, more mortar fire across the border, and long-range rocket strikes on Israel, with devastating consequences. Apparently, Hamas had prepared for this kind of eventuality.
Report: Palestinians Bomb Own Hospital -- NBC Scrubs Claim Israel Responsible
According to Twitter and Google, an NBC journalist reported that he or she had personally witnessed an Israeli drone attack and fire on a hospital in Gaza. The eye witness report was at first included in this NBC News article, and read, "a NBC News journalist witnessed the attack on the hospital and said it had been fired by an Israeli drone."
Since that report was published, though, the accusation has been scrubbed entirely from the article. The only evidence of the NBC journalist's "eyewitness" accusation is the apparent insertion of this sentence:
Early reports from the ground had said an Israeli drone appeared responsible for the attack.
You Want MORE Proof of Hamas Using Civilians As Human Shields? Here are Ten More..
A few days ago we published ten examples of Hamas using civilians as human shields. Some of you said it was not enough. So here are ten more examples/reports (Plus two bonus) proving that Hamas is using its civilians as human shields:
Bennett: Demilitarize Hamas, by Force if Necessary
Jewish Home Chairman, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett, said Tuesday that the goal of the current campaign in Gaza must not be limited to elimination of the terror tunnels, and must include a clear military decision that leaves Hamas defeated and disarmed.
"Only a decisive victory will prevent the next war,” he wrote on Facebook.
“Radical Islam seeks to erase the Jewish state from the face of the earth,” he explained. “They do not seek a strip of land or a Palestinian state. Only our annihilation. [Ayatollah] Khamenei in Iran. Nasrallah in Lebanon. Haniyeh in Gaza. Meshaal in Qatar. All of the jihadist arms that are waiting to see how we respond.
"The world watches from the sidelines, apathetic, even pointing its finger and moralizing, without understanding that this is all coming to them very soon. Providing theoretical justification for our right to self defense but denouncing, in practice, our realization of that right.”
Gaza’s sole power plant said down after Israeli attack
The only power plant supplying electricity to the Gaza Strip was knocked out of commission by Israeli shelling, the deputy director of the energy authority in the Palestinian territory said Tuesday.
“Gaza’s sole power plant has stopped working due to Israeli shelling last night, which damaged the steam generator and later hit the fuel tanks which set them on fire,” Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil told AFP.
An AFP reporter saw huge fires raging near the plant Tuesday morning, noting that fire department vehicles were still unable to reach the area.
Fallen IDF soldiers in Operation Protective Edge
To date, 53 soldiers been killed in action during Operation Protective Edge.
The operation, which began on July 8, is ongoing at time of writing.
Its goal, as set by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is to attain sustain quiet for the citizens of Israel and undermine Hamas’s terrorist capacity. The focus of the ground offensive, which began late on the night of July 17, has been to counter the rocket launchers of Hamas and other terrorist groups, and to tackle the network of tunnels dug by Hamas from Gaza under the border with Israel.
What follows is a list, with a short bio, of the soldiers who have lost their lives in what the prime minister called “the most just war of all… for our home.” If necessary, the article will be updated. We hope not.
New Zealand Jews mourns Israeli soldier killed in Gaza
A small community in New Zealand is mourning the loss of an Israeli soldier killed in action in Gaza.
Staff Sergeant Guy Boyland, 21, was killed Friday trying to raze tunnels in Gaza. He was laid to rest at his home Sunday on Kibbutz Ginosar in the Galilee.
Boyland was born in Taupo, a small lakeside community in New Zealand’s north island.
Wounded Israeli Soldier Insisted on Attending Friend’s Funeral (VIDEO)
While IDF soldier Gal Ganon was laid up in a hospital bed at Tel Hashomer Hospital near Tel Aviv, wounded in fighting in Gaza, he didn’t know that his buddy, St.-Sgt. Avi Grintzvaig, 21, from Petah Tikva, was no longer alive.
When Ganon was given the awful news, he asked his medical team to allow him to attend the funeral of his brother-in-arms.
“If I didn’t go, I knew I’d regret it the rest of my life,” Ganon told Israel’s Channel 2 News.
Both Ganon and Grintzvaig sustained serious shrapnel wounds last Friday when their vehicle was hit by an anti-tank rocket.
Meet the Unit Taking Care of Wounded Soldiers
Arutz Sheva spoke to the IDF Yakar unit on Monday, which helps wounded soldiers and their families cope with their injuries and recovery.
"The unit helps soldiers year-round," Cpt. Magi Fadlon Der'i, commander of Yakar, stated to Arutz Sheva. "However, in times of emergency, they make sure that reservists are being called up in order to support that system, that unit, and make sure that soldiers are being treated and escorted throughout the process."
"Once they receive a call that a wounded soldier is in hospital and is being [treated] there, a representative of the unit gets to that hospital and makes the initial contact," she continued.
"They always strive to make sure that the soldier himself is the one contacting [his/her] family in order to make everyone more calm - but in other cases, when the soldier cannot speak, they make sure they identify him, contact the families [. . .] and accompany him through the entire rehabilitation process."
Sheba Hospital Treats Soldiers, Gazans Alike
The Sheba Medical Center is treating 29 soldiers and a Gaza family. "We're overwhelmed by help from Israel and abroad". Video interview.
Humanism and Zionism at the Sheba Hospital

Rami Levy Quietly Helping Families of the Fallen
Without almost anyone noticing, supermarket magnate Rami Levy has been quietly unloading truckloads of food and basics at the homes of all the fallen soldiers since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, according to Guy Meroz of Channel 10.
Rami Levy has a history of quietly supporting families of the fallen.
In 2011, Rami Levy took it upon himself to provide food and basics for the surviving children of the Fogel family of Itamar, until the youngest orphan becomes an adult. It only became public knowledge after Levy was spotted in the kitchen of the massacred Fogel family, personally stocking their fridge and cabinets.
Eshkol Farmers Remain Hopeful, Despite Terror Tunnels and Rockets
For Danny Cohen of Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha, it is hope that keeps the 50-year-old farmer living on the Gaza border.
Originally from Argentina, Cohen is the head of the kibbutz’s emergency response team and is among the 60 kibbutz members who have remained on the kibbutz despite the rocket fire and Hamas infiltrations into the region. The rest of the 300 kibbutz residents have temporarily left, seeking relief in central and northern Israel.
“In the last few years, half of the homes on the kibbutz have been struck by rockets, both by direct hits or by shrapnel from rocket explosions fired from Gaza,” Cohen told Tazpit News Agency. “There is not one neighborhood on this kibbutz that has not been struck by a rocket.”
Making Aliyah During Wartime
Of the 228 souls who emerged from El Al Flight LY 3004 on the morning of July 22 at Ben Gurion Airport, nearly half were children. By now, those children have already started taking Hebrew classes and experienced the smells and sights of their new homeland, including way too many falafel balls to count.
Yet at least on the surface, it seems that these youngsters and their parents could not have chosen a more inauspicious time to become Israeli. The Jewish state’s newest citizens arrived as an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) ground invasion of Gaza revealed unprecedented numbers of Hamas terror tunnels, and funerals for IDF soldiers—including two American citizens, Max Steinberg of Los Angeles and Nissim Sean Carmeli of South Padre Island, Texas—continued daily.
Rivlin makes plea for unity in Ramadan greeting
Newly minted President Reuven Rivlin called on members of all Abrahamic faiths to find unity, even as Israelis and Palestinians fight a bloody war and ethnic tensions continue to ramp up, in a holiday greeting to Israel’s Muslims Monday.
Rivlin posted a message on Facebook in honor of Eid al-Fitr, which began Monday and marks the end of the Ramadan month.
“The sons of Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael are each measured by their ability to respect the faith of the other, in tough times as well, and even in these days of bloodshed,” Rivlin wrote in the message.
“In the shadow of these days, my belief that creating trust — not just between leaders, but between the peoples that live here — is a precondition for our ability to build a life of hope and a shared future,” he added.
Home Front Command Call Center Saves Lives By Phone
The Home Front Command (HFC) call center handles hundreds of calls every day, helping citizens cope with the constant threat of rocket fire on their cities.
Arutz Sheva visited the HFC call center to get a glimpse of how the center's staff help thousands of Israelis through the Hamas rocket fire.
"This center is operated by soldiers at 100 working stations," Captain Lenny Mamman, Commander of the HFC call center, stated to Arutz Sheva. 'It is in service 24/7, 365 days per year."
"The center operates in seven main languages; these are the most spoken languages in Israel, which are Hebrew, English, Arabic, Amharic [for the Ethiopian community], Russian, French, and Spanish," she continued.
Home Front Command Call Center Saves Lives By Phone

Poll finds Israelis don't believe charges of excessive force
Less than four percent of Israeli Jews accept accusations from the international community that the IDF has used excessive firepower in the Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge, according to the monthly Peace Index poll sponsored by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University.
The poll was conducted in three stages during the operation. On July 14, 246 Israeli adults were surveyed, 185 on July 16 to 17, and 216 on July 23.
In none of the stages of polling did more than 3.8% say the IDF used excessive force. The balance believed that the IDF used an appropriate level of firepower (37-60%) or insufficient firepower (33-57%).
Over the course of the surveys, Israeli Jewish public opinion has been consistently nearly unanimous in its definition of Operation Protective Edge as justified - an average of 95% over the course of the three surveys.
Life and Love in an Israeli Bomb Shelter
By now, it’s become a daily ritual here in Tel Aviv—like brushing your teeth before bed. The sirens blare and everyone runs. Cars stop on the street and no one speaks. Families huddle together in the nearest shelter or stairwell, waiting for that reassuring boom, the pitch of the explosion from the Iron Dome missile defense system, which indicates that Hamas’ rockets have been destroyed and it’s safe to go outside.
No matter how many times it happens, it’s always frightening. Though the Iron Dome has managed to destroy almost all the incoming rockets targeting populated areas, many are lethal and far more advanced than the crude Qassam variety that Hamas is known for. And as you wait inside a shelter or stairwell, the only thing you can do is try and find a sense of normality, a snippet of life beyond your own fear.
In fact, since the war began, bomb shelters have become makeshift dating scenes, even in Tel Aviv, a city called the “Bubble” because it’s long seemed immune to war. “There’s definitely a vibe in town that staircases are the new place to meet,” says Tamar Blumenfeld, a Tel Aviv-based illustrator who published a series of comic strips in Haaretz about dating during the conflict. “It actually happened to a good friend of mine. She didn’t ask the guy out yet, but they started talking during the last few alarms.”
How a Rocket App Goes Viral During a War
A few weeks ago, Ben-Yosef and three friends hacked together an app called Real Time: Red Alert. The app, which pulls in data from the Israeli army, alerts users when a rocket has been launched. The app spread quickly among Israelis—on its first day, about 4,000 people downloaded it. Today it has about 70,000 total installs.
Another detail from his post explains how the app actually went viral: via strangers chatting with one another while standing in bomb shelters.
“But the real masses of installs happened after every barrage on big cities,” he writes. “I’ve seen this and heard from other people: as we stand in the bomb shelters for minutes, usually with neighbors and total strangers, people see you get alerts on time and lament the crappy app they’ve been using.”
Brian Of London Does i24 News In The Morning
Thanks to one of my Facebook friends, Jonathan Sacerdoti, I was asked to appear on the Morning Show of i24 News. My friend is now the UK correspondent and he put my name forward to talk about a variety of subjects including the work on Hamas sourced casualty figures by Dave (and our anonymous reader). I spoke to Yael Wissner-Levy. Here’s the video.
i24 News is a 24 hour news station covering Israel. It’s broadcast across Europe and the US and on the internet in English, French and Arabic. It is a major operation with beautiful studios above the port in Jaffa. They’ve been going about a year now and I’ve got to say I often have it playing in my office. Now, having seen the team behind it, I’m deeply impressed with the whole set up. They seem to be doing proper journalism: that doesn’t mean they’re a propaganda mouth piece I agree with, but they give a fair presentation of Israel.
Brian Thomas (Brian of London) [with Col. Kemp] on i24 News Morning Edition 28 July 2014

Israeli UFC pro heads home to fight Hamas
On Saturday night, Noad “Neo” Lahat, from Alfei Menashe, Israel, faced Steven Siler in a featherweight bout in San Jose, California. The next morning, he was on a plane back to his native Israel to volunteer for reserve duty alongside his comrades in the Paratroopers Unit.
Lahat, 30, began to train and compete in the Bay Area after his army service. In March, he fought in a UFC match for the first time, against the Brazilian Godofredo Pepey, losing after he was knocked out by his opponent. His Saturday night match against Siler ended in a victory, but was overshadowed by Lahat’s preoccupation with his family in Israel and his comrades in the Gaza Strip.
UFC Fighter & IDF Soldier, Noad Lahat, Interviewed By CNN
Noad Lahat, a professional UFC cage fighter and ex-IDF soldier has decided to return to Israel to fight in Operation Protective Edge. He was interviewed by CNN recently and this is what he had to say.
Before Tisha B’Av, Temple Mount Sacked
Israel lost a major battle to Hamas that has gone unreported by mainstream media. Google “Temple Mount police station” and you’ll find only a handful of stories in small outlets.
On Thursday night, July 24, thousands of rioting, Hamas-loving Arabs broke through Israel police barriers on the Temple Mount. Not only did the police fail to keep them off the Mount, but the police abandoned the Mount to the rioters. The Muslims then pillaged and destroyed masses of paperwork, office equipment and anti-riot gear before setting the station on fire.
Taken from the Facebook page of the Temple Institute, these photos show the police station in flames and masked Muslim rioters posing with police anti-riot gear.

Hamas is Playing With Your Heads
Ever since "Protective Edge" began, Hamas has been operating a sophisticated psychological warfare machine with the purpose of sowing panic, disinformation and dissension among the Israeli public • Much like its effort to portray the IDF as a malicious force bent on murdering children abroad, Hamas uses the internet and local media to portray themselves to regular Israelis as an omnipotent monster to be feared • In spite of the clear and even crude nature of this propaganda, local media and politicians fall for it • A look at Hamas' war of nerves against Israel
US diplomacy is going bankrupt
This means that the deeply rooted American diplomatic thinking about the region has been breached, and it can't be explained by considerations of practical diplomacy. As far as we can tell, it's a combination of an ongoing grudge against Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, whom the administration is not willing to forgive for taking power by not-strictly democratic means, Kerry's deep frustration with Israel over his failed mediation attempts, and presidential anger at Jerusalem for the way it rejected the draft cease-fire agreement the administration put together with its lackeys and Hamas representatives.
But beyond these explanations, there is a fear that the situation is even worse, and that the U.S.'s cockeyed view of Hamas shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the group's character and the significance of the terrorist threat. Indeed, in his ambition to distance himself from the ideological and strategic legacy of his predecessor George W. Bush, Obama has crossed the Rubicon and adopted the narrowest possible definition of this challenge. Therefore, to the same extent he did not hesitate to nurture his relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, which ruled the Land of the Nile with an iron fist in the days of Mohammed Morsi (a Hamas patron), the American president has no qualms about trying to justifying his wrongdoings while all the frightening aspects of the terrorist state Hamas created in Gaza are being exposed.
Nothing remains to be done but hope that the administration will shake off its delusions, and sooner rather than later.
US defends ceasefire draft, says Israel has no better friend
The Obama administration went on the defensive Monday afternoon, critiquing Israeli sources for leaking details of a Gaza ceasefire draft, downplaying the status of the draft, and then denying allegations that the draft represented a capitulation to Hamas demands.
“We were surprised that the draft was leaked to the press,” State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters Monday. Leaks and criticism of the sort that Secretary of State John Kerry faced over the weekend are “simply not the way allies and partners treat each other,” Psaki complained.
Psaki emphasized that “there was never a formal US proposal presented,” explaining that the US had instead “sent a confidential-labeled draft of ideas based on Egyptian proposal.”
Congress to U.N.: Hamas’ Arsenal Must Be Removed
Nearly 100 House lawmakers will petition the United Nations this week to formally designate Hamas’ rocket arsenal as “an impenetrable barrier to regional peace” and to make their removal from the Gaza Strip a “top priority,” according to a copy of the unsent letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
A bipartisan coalition of House lawmakers have already signed on to the letter, which will be sent later this week to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The letter comes as Hamas ignores all recent ceasefire agreements and continues to fire rockets at Israeli civilians, who have been seeking shelter from these attacks for weeks since Hamas launched its latest war on Israel.
Boehner: The House Will Always Stand With Israel
Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) argued support for Israel must be the Obama administrations main focus rather than peace mediation during an event Monday.
“At times like this, people try to isolate Israel – but we are here to stand with Israel,” Boehner said at the National Press Club. “Not just as a broker or observer — but as a strong partner and a trusted ally.”
“To achieve these objectives, the House will continue to back funding for Iron Dome to ensure Israel’s ability to protect its own people. And we will continue to push the administration to address the root cause of the conflict in the Middle East,” Boehner continued.
“America must send this clear, public, and united message: Israel is our friend, and Israel’s enemies are our enemies. And as long as I am Speaker of the House, I give you my word this will be our cause. Thank you very much,” he concluded.

Residents of Southern Israel: We Will Pay for Ceasefire With Our Blood
Israeli residents and leaders of areas surrounding the Gaza Strip are concerned that any possible future ceasefire with Hamas would not end the ongoing rocket fire into Israel, and would leave the terrorist group unbowed.
“We must not allow the terrorists to run our lives,” said Yair Farjun, who heads the coastal Ashkelon Regional Council, just north of Gaza.
“We have to ensure that the job is done, and make sure they can’t dig any more tunnels,” Farjun said, according to Channel 2 News.
Israel “must keep hitting Hamas,” the head of the influential Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Knesset Member Ze’ev Elkin, said Monday.
How Hamas Is Destroying Civilian Infrastructure
I’ve enhanced it to highlight the water tower.
It’s taken from an IDF video. That’s a rocket being fired from right at the base of a very tall water tower. I heard first hand about Hamas putting spotters on the top of water towers such as this (I don’t know if this is the case my friend spoke of). These spotters were put at this height to guide in terrorists trying to attack IDF forces in civilian neighbourhoods. It’s also clear that firing missiles from the base of such towers is going on too.
In the case my friend mentioned, when IDF ground troops are endangered, they have little choice but to take out the threat. That may mean destroying water infrastructure.
Videos from the Front: Haniyeh's Home Gone
The IDF struck Gaza targets with governmental functions and symbols of Hamas's sovereignty, in addition to the type of military targets it usually strikes. The assets hit include the residence and offices of Hamas 'prime minister', Ismail Haniyeh. Also hit were the Al Aqsa television station, and Al Aqsa studios.
Fatah incites violence: We are "as shining swords"

Hamas song glorifies kidnappers of 3 teens: "Hide your prey, a child"

Hamas: We Tried to Kidnap a Soldier
Hamas admitted on Monday evening that it was trying to kidnap an IDF soldier in an incident when its terrorists breached the border from Gaza near Kibbutz Nahal Oz.
According to the group, the conditions on the ground did not allow for the plan to go through. One of the terrorists was killed and the rest fled back to Gaza.
The residents of the kibbutz were ordered to enter their homes and lock the doors, but after the extensive searches throughout the area, the residents were given the all clear.
Hamas leader: No peace under Israeli occupation
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal has said he's not ready to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, saying that under Israeli occupation, Israel and a state of Palestine cannot coexist.
"When Israel practically commits itself to withdraw from Gaza completely and the West Bank without any settlements, and if we have Jerusalem as our capital and the return of the refugees is there, then we will reach peace," Meshaal said through a translator in an exclusive interview with Charlie Rose, which will appear in full on PBS.
He compared the Hamas-Israel conflict to the American Revolution.
"Was it peaceful? Did you not kick the British out? So the nations, if they have the peaceful window to reach peace then they will better. Because we don't like to kill our sons and daughters. But if you don't have the peace then the resistance is legitimate. So the world has two choices: they need to help us peacefully reach [statehood] or we will expel this occupation from our land."
Meshaal expressed his frustration with how the international community was responding to the conflict.
Hamas Sermon from the Gaza Strip: Our Doctrine Entails Exterminating the Jews

Hamas official claims it rejected Egyptian deal to avoid recognizing Israel
The Egyptian ceasefire proposal put forward on July 15 included a preamble calling on Hamas to recognize Israel on the 1967 borders and for the resumption of peace talks, conditions Hamas could not agree to, the movement’s deputy political chief claimed.
In a largely overlooked Facebook post on Saturday, Cairo-based Moussa Abu Marzouk, the deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, said that Hamas could not “recognize the legitimacy” of international demands to accept Israel on the 1967 borders, “norms that the resistance refuses to acknowledge.”
“[Hamas] has suffered siege, killing and arrests for its refusal [to recognize Israel]. Had it accepted these conditions following its victory in the 2006 elections it could have entered the White House and received red carpet welcomes in all world capitals,” Abu Marzouk wrote.
“Accepting this now would mean that Israel and the US have succeeded in imposing recognition of [Israel's] legitimate existence on the 1967 borders through a ceasefire initiative; something they have not been able to do through siege and repeated wars.”
North Korea Denies it Helps Hamas and Hezbollah
It followed a weekend report by Britain's Daily Telegraph, citing Western security sources, that the Hamas terrorist group had already made an initial cash down payment to secure additional missiles and communications equipment from North Korea.
That report came days after a U.S. federal judge in Washington ruled that North Korea had provided advanced weaponry to the Hezbollah group in Lebanon.
"This is utterly baseless sophism and sheer fiction let loose by the U.S. to isolate (North Korea) internationally," the foreign ministry statement said.
"Lurking behind this propaganda is a sinister intention of the U.S. to justify its criminal acts of backing Israel," it said, accusing Washington of seeking to stir up anti-Pyongyang sentiment by linking the North to the Middle East disputes.
Iran to UN: Do More to Stop the 'Zionist Crimes'

"Islamic states have huge resources and are capable enough to render invaluable services and assistance to people in Gaza," Zarif said in his conversation with Madani, according to IRNA, urging the OIC to cooperate with the Arab League and Egypt in getting aid into Gaza.
He urged all countries to increase pressure on Israel and its allies to "immediately halt their aggression" and said "any truce should go in parallel with removal of a blockade on the Gaza Strip".
Iran: Hezbollah Can Fire Rockets 'Nonstop' at Israel
Iranian officials are closely studying the progress of Operation Protective Edge, in light of concern over Israel airstrikes on its nuclear facilities and its ongoing quest to destroy Israel.
Hossein Salami G'anshin, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, said in this context that the war in Gaza is an introduction prior to the collapse of Israel, noting that Hezbollah has become a very powerful factor that can launch missiles "non-stop" on all the cities of Israel.
Khamenei Repeats Israel 'Rabid Dog' Insult in Eid al-Fitr Speech
Khamenei and other Iranian leaders have been for years attacking Israel and calling for its elimination - and has used the phrase "rabid dog" to describe Israel on more than one occasion.
In November, Khamenei said that Israel is a "regime doomed to collapse" and referred to the Jewish state as "the rabid dog of the region."
Several weeks before that, he called Israel an "illegitimate and bastard regime," and further called the United States a "smiling enemy" that is not to be trusted.
Khamenei: Israel a Rabid Dog. The World Should Arm the Palestinians

Images of Obama, Netanyahu, Iranian Opposition Leaders Serve as Shooting Targets in Quds Day Funfair

Former Iranian Official Amir Mousavi: Iran Will Provide Missiles to West Bank Palestinians

Irwin Cotler: The Need for Moral Clarity on the Israel-Hamas War
The latest Israeli-Hamas war, with its evocative images of human suffering, has engaged hearts and minds the world over, particularly in this digital age of social media and instant communication.
Indeed, the death of any innocent — Israeli or Palestinian — is a tragedy, and no one can fail to be moved by the human suffering and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
But, while Hamas has rejected cease-fires proposed by Egypt and the UN, including a humanitarian cease-fire, it has continued its relentless rocket assaults and tunnel invasions, the proximate triggers for this immediate conflict.
If we want to prevent further tragedies, it is important to go beyond the “fog of war” — to go behind the daily headlines that cloud understanding and the clichés (the “cycle of violence”) that corrupt it — and ask some fundamental questions about root causes and the basis for its resolution.
Steve Emerson It's terrorism, stupid
Secretary of State John Kerry's push for a cease-fire in Gaza last week was so flawed it managed to unite Israel's fractious political leadership in opposition while simultaneously being lambasted by the Palestinian Authority.
The proposal called for negotiations on Hamas demands, including opening border crossings into Gaza and relaxed boating restrictions off the Gaza coast. In addition, its language reportedly elevated Hamas -- a designated terrorist organization -- to equal footing with Israel. Then, President Barack Obama called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday to make "clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian cease-fire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 cease-fire agreement."
In other words, Obama demanded that Israel institute an immediate unilateral cease-fire even while Hamas continues its terrorist operations against Israel. True to form, Hamas escalated its attacks on Monday.
Unconditional surrender
The unconditional surrender of Hamas is possible. Not only is it possible – in light of everything endured, anything short of that may be considered a failure. We are at a now-or-never point of decision, with the best cards being in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s hands.
From an international perspective, there has been acknowledgment and acceptance so far. The UK, Germany, Canada and almost all Americans understand and relate to Israel’s right to defend itself when facing a ruthless enemy that targets civilians and hides behind his own children. That understanding has lasted three weeks, and at times it seems that only Turkey, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Qatar are on Hamas’ side. This support, however, will not last.
More Muslims Killed in 2 Days in Syria than in Entire Hamas Gaza War
If only Assad had converted to Judaism, maybe there would be just as much outrage.
"More than 700 people were killed in Syria over the course of Thursday and Friday, in what activists say were the bloodiest 48 hours of fighting in the conflict to date.
The head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), Rami Abdul Rahman, told Asharq Al-Awsat that this was the first time casualties had topped 700 in the space of two days since the conflict began in 2011."
Why More Israelis Should Die: The Left's Twisted Logic
To remedy the simply awful tragedy of not enough Israelis dying as a result of Hamas rocket attacks, something must be done! Send in NATO, bomb an old people’s home, send in UN inspectors to dismantle the Iron Dome systems! It simply is not fair!
Such would be the twisted logic that the anti-Israeli crowd are peddling at the moment. Supposed moral outrage points to the heavy casualties suffered by Gazans, and asks, 'Why can't it be more tragic for Israel, too?'.
When humanitarian ceasefires were finally agreed upon (a disproportionate amount of which were refused or broken by Hamas), anti-Israeli nutbags amongst the Twitterati began indulging themselves in frivolity. Comparative pictures were posted of Israelis returning to beaches, whilst Gazans searched the rubble.
No, Israel Isn’t Losing a War It’s Winning
One of the oddest tropes of the past week has been too-clever-by-half theorizing that Israel is losing its war against Hamas even if, from all accounts, it is winning the war against Hamas—by knocking out Hamas’s missiles from the air, destroying its tunnels on land, killing its terrorists, and going after its weapons depots. The only way it can be deemed to be losing is if you think the war is primarily a public-relations battle for the hearts and minds of people who already have a fixed opinion of who the good guys and bad guys are in this struggle. It’s not.
If reports are true, over the past week Israel managed to uncover and disrupt a plot for the mass killing of Jews inside Israel on Rosh Hashanah. Forget the missiles; for that reason alone, the war has already been won.
So how is Israel losing? Oh, it seems Israel is getting bad press.
What else is new? What else is new about any of it?
Ukrainians Get the Gaza Connection; Why Doesn’t the West?
Three weeks ago, Andriy Parubiy, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, compared eastern Ukraine’s situation to what Israel faces and warned that terrorists would likely adopt similar tactics in other countries if the West didn’t take a firm stance against them.
“We, of course, studied the experience of both Croatia and Israel, but here a lot of new features are added,” Parubiy said. “And, if Russia sees that this experience is successful, this experience can very easily be used in any Baltic countries, and even in Belarus and Kazakhstan.”
Yesterday, Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Henadii Nadolenko made both the comparison and the warning even more explicit in an op-ed in Haaretz. Unambiguously titled “Ukraine and Israel: Together in fighting terrorism,” it declared, “We, the representatives of Ukraine, have, together with the people of the State of Israel, personally felt the totality of the threat posed to civilians by the criminal activities of the terrorists.”
UNHRC is empowering terrorism and degrading human rights
On July 23, 2014, a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council was held, to address “the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.” The session was convened at the request of the following countries, among them some of the world’s foremost champions of human rights: Algeria, Benin, Botswana, China, Cuba, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Brunei, Egypt, Iran, Malaysia and Turkey. What follows is my assessment of the statement submitted by Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Pillay is right in describing the situation in the Gaza Strip as “critical,” although her opening statement referring to “occupied Gaza Strip” hints that human rights were not the focal point of the discussion. According to Pillay, “Israel announced” its military operation on July 7 for no reason other than to abuse the people of Gaza. “The hostilities” addressed are only Israeli strikes, not the terrorist attacks which triggered the operation. She talks of “escalation” without context, which in this case is a terror organization attacking a sovereign country with a barrage of rockets.
How Gaza takes center stage in the Muslim world
The Arab world has its hands full in states such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya, and so it seems that the concern for the Palestinians is not a priority but an effort to distract from the divisions and struggles at home.
“Our wars against Israel have been brief. We wage them enthusiastically at the media and rhetorical levels without enough military planning, preparation or readiness for the patience and perseverance they require,” wrote Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in an article on the Al-Arabiya website, which was originally published in the London based Al-Hayat newspaper on Saturday.
“Palestinians have always relied on Arabs but the latter have their own calculations and rulers who also have their own calculations and priorities. Then they lose a war against Israel, leave Palestine and its people to their fate and return to their homelands to restore what was damaged and protect what was left,” he added.
Nationalism, modern armies, urbanization, and other forms of modernization adopted from the West have not erased the underlying values and culture of Arab society.
Kerry v. Israel: Why It Gets Personal
The only common threads in Kerry’s diplomatic endeavors have been his enormous self-regard and a clear animus for the Netanyahu government. Either of these foibles would be forgivable if Kerry were focused on actions that would advance a two-state solution. But by pushing for a settlement when Abbas was unable to comply and then disingenuously blaming his failure on Israel, Kerry hurt the PA and set back any chance for peace. Once Hamas escalated the current fighting, he again took his eye off the ball and focused entirely on pushing for a cease-fire that would enhance the Islamists’ prestige and marginalize the Palestinians that he had championed.
Israelis who are forced to seek refuge in bomb shelters from Hamas missiles or await terror attacks from Gaza tunnels may be forgiven for losing patience with Kerry’s self-righteous lectures about casualties and human rights. But the attention given the anger he has generated there ought not to divert us from his record of failure. On Iran, Syria, and Russia, Kerry has done little to advance U.S. interests or to protect human rights. But with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he has done worse than that. Having set the region up for conflict, he is now doing everything possible to ensure that the violence will continue at some point in the future by allowing Hamas to survive and even claim victory. Seen from that perspective, his good intentions and the insults being thrown his way from Israelis are mere footnotes to a historic legacy of failure.
When It Comes to Israel, Liberals Can’t Handle the Truth
So there you have it. The leader of Hamas says, point blank, it does not want a two-state solution. Yet scores of liberal commentators continue to make arguments like this: “We have to get a solution. And it has to be a two-state solution. And it has to be basically encouraged, if not imposed, I think, from without.”
This is an example of what social scientists call “motivated reasoning.” It refers to when people hold to a false belief despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. In this instance, the Hamas charter and the Hamas leader don’t accept Israel’s right to exist. And yet liberals don’t seem to care. They appear to be content to live in world made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust. A world of make believe. And so in the context of Israel’s war with Hamas, they continue to revert to arguments that simply don’t apply–for example, arguing that Israel needs to “end the occupation” despite the fact that Israel completely withdrew from Gaza nearly a decade ago.
A spoof guide to Hamas tunnels
A spoof map that uses a London Underground-style diagram to depict the web of tunnels leading from Gaza into Israel was recently posted on online image hosting service Imgur.
The Israeli Defense Forces is currently engaged in a campaign to eradicate these attack tunnels, as well as to stem rocket fire from Gaza against Israel’s south and center.
The tunnel network is thought to have been built over years through the Gaza Strip and under the border into Israel. At least five times in the past two weeks, Hamas fighters have used the tunnels to execute deadly infiltrations into Israeli territory, most recently on Monday evening, when five soldiers were killed at an army position near Kibbutz Nahal Oz
Israel Threatens Hamas With Justin Bieber Shows (satire)
Bieber performed in Israel in 2012, but Palestinian exposure to that assault was minimal. This time, says Minister of Culture, Science, and Sport Go’al Nefesh, Israel’s enemies will feel the full fury of adolescent tastelessness in music. “Operation Protective Edge marks the first time in years that the IDF has gone on the offensive on such a scale,” she explained. “The brilliance of this plan is its use of the extremely offensive.”
If properly executed, says geopolitical analyst T. Neebopper, the use of a Bieber concert – or, more likely, concert series – will signal to players such as Turkey, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and to some extent ISIS, that Israel will not take their continued hostility lying down, and is prepared to use even something that horrifying to ensure lasting security for its civilians.
Israeli civilians would also be exposed to the effects of the Bieber, says Neebopper, but many have them have developed immunity as a result of the first episode. Moreover, other common elements of Israeli cultural life have contributed to immunity against otherwise lethal doses of tastelessness, such as people who wear athletic shoes with dress trousers, “yellow” cheese, and “Chromagen” water heater radio ads.
Israeli Drone Nerds Fly Flags on Quadcopters in Support of IDF (VIDEO)
A group of drone-owning Israelis sent their UAV’s on a mission in support of Israel.
The operators gathered in Israel’s Latrun region on Friday and hoisted flags up to their mini choppers in a show of support for the Israel Defense Forces soldiers and the residents of southern Israel who face constant rocket barrages from the Gaza Strip. The drones then flew over different junctions across Israel.
The drone-geeks connected and organized themselves through the Facebook group DJI ISRAEL, a forum for those who fly quadcopters either professionally or as a hobby.
Quadcopters Flying for IDF Soldiers

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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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