Friday, August 22, 2014

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: A moral and military blow for Hamas
A long time will pass before Izzadin Kassam manages to fill the vacuum created by the departure of the three top figures and symbols whose expertise dates back to the late ’80s, when Hamas was established.
Even if the killing of the Hamas leaders does not affect the movement’s military capabilities, it is still seen as a severe moral blow to the armed wing.
A statement published Thursday by Izzadin Kassam openly admitted that the loss of its three top commanders was a “moral shock to the spirits of the members and supporters of the resistance.”
Nonetheless, the group said that despite the “moral pain,” the killings would strengthen the determination of others to step forward to succeed the slain commanders.
Finally, it remains to be seen whether the targeting of the military commanders will affect relations between Izzadin Kassam and Hamas’s political leaders.
The armed group is now urging the political leaders not to return to the Cairo cease-fire talks, lest that be interpreted as a sign of weakness and submission on the part of the movement.
Caroline Glick: Understanding the Israeli-Egyptian-Saudi alliance
Hamas’s war with Israel is not a stand-alone event. It is happening in the context of the vast changes that are casting asunder old patterns of behavior and strategic understandings as actors in the region begin to reassess the threats they face.
Hamas was once funded by Saudi Arabia and enabled by Egypt. Now the regimes of these countries view it as part of a larger axis of Sunni jihad that threatens not only Israel, but them.
The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and its state sponsors Qatar and Turkey, are the key members of this alliance structure. Without their support Hamas would have gone down with the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt last summer. As it stands, all view Hamas’s war with Israel as a means of reinstating the Brotherhood to power in that country.
Melanie Phillips: Israel’s strategic failure on the information battleground
Simply by always being on the defensive, Israel looks guilty. It should instead be investing money and manpower in using information as a strategic weapon. In addition to taking the dissemination of information onto a different level altogether, it should be going onto the attack against all those who are undermining the defense of the innocent in the Middle East and empowering the aggressors.
It should have a public media rebuttal unit, which would not just monitor and correct every piece of false information but publicly call out news organizations and named journalists for promulgating lies or distortions. At a political level, it should be accusing such media outlets of inciting hatred and violence and, in acting as the agents of Hamas propaganda, serving as accessories to mass murder.
It should be calling to account British and European governments for their astonishing silence about the sustained demonization of Israel. It should be publicly asking the British government why, in threatening an arms embargo against Israel if it should defend itself against Hamas attacks in a “significant” escalation, the UK is effectively taking the side of exactly the same kind of Islamist fanatics against whom it is now taking such urgent action in Iraq.
It should be helping set up an independent commission composed of distinguished international jurists to investigate not just Hamas war crimes but the complicity of the UN Relief and Works Agency, the vast majority of whose workers are Hamas members and whose schools brainwash Gaza’s children into hating and murdering Israelis.
In other words, Israel’s strategy should be actively to reframe the narrative of the Middle East conflict and delegitimize the delegitimizers, whether these be the media, the UN or Israel’s supposed allies abroad.
Why hasn’t it done so? Because its government is chaotic, arrogant and timid. It contemptuously dismisses the need to win Western hearts and minds, and is afraid to puncture the lies told by its allies about the conflict. Given to machismo bluster, the only strategic thinking it understands is military. As a result, it is being beaten on a battleground it can’t bring itself to accept it is even on.

Times of Israel: 3 injured in rocket hit on Ashdod synagogue; Hamas executes 18 ‘collaborators’
Hamas executes 18 ‘collaborators’; PA forces in West Bank clash with group’s supporters; Israel strikes 30 Gaza targets, killing 4, and braces for revenge attacks over killing of Hamas terror chiefs; ceasefire talks could resume
Israeli boy, 4, killed by Gaza mortar in south; Rocket sirens wail in Tel Aviv
Medical officials in southern Israel announced the death of a four-year-old Israeli boy who suffered serious injuries when a mortar launched from the northern Gaza Strip directly slammed into a car before sundown on Friday.
According to Channel 10, Magen David Adom rescue services rushed the boy to hospital, listing him in grave condition. A short time later, the boy was pronounced dead.
The incident occurred in a kibbutz in the Sha'ar Hanegev regional council. According to Channel 2, Palestinians in Gaza fired a barrage of mortars at the kibbutz, one of which exploded in a location near where the boy was standing.
The boy sustained serious injuries, and rescue services rushed him to hospital. A short time later, he was pronounced dead.
Gaza rocket hits Ashdod synagogue, injuring 3
A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip Friday made a direct hit on a synagogue in Ashdod, causing significant damage to the building.
Three people sustained shrapnel injuries. One woman in her 40s was moderately injured and was transferred to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon for treatment. Two men in their 20s were transfered to Kaplan Medical central in Rehovot for light injuries.
Several people were treated for shock on site.
As of late afternoon Friday, more than 70 rockets had been fired into Israel since 6:00 a.m. by Gaza-based terrorist groups. Eight were intercepted by Iron Dome
An IDF Soldier's Account from Gaza

Footage Shows Israeli Air Force Bombing of Senior Hamas Members’ Residence (VIDEO)
The Israeli army on Thursday released UAV footage of an air strike in Gaza that killed three senior Hamas members overnight. The IDF said the operatives were responsible for scores of terror attacks against Israelis over the last two decades.
Mohammed Abu Shamlah, Raed Attar, and Muhamad Barhoum were together in a building when they were targeted.
“This mornings’ strike sends a clear message to those responsible for planning attacks, we will strike those that have terrorized our communities, towns and cities, we will pursue the perpetrators of abduction of our soldiers and teenagers, and we will succeed in restoring security to the State of Israel,” IDF Spokesman Lt.-Col. Peter Lerner, said in a statement.
IDF Targeting of Senior Hamas Terrorists

Jerusalem wary of proposed UN resolution on Gaza truce
With Egyptian efforts to end the Gaza war collapsing, the United States, Britain, France and Germany are discussing a possible Security Council resolution calling for a sustainable cease-fire and an international monitoring mission to ensure its implementation, U.N. diplomats said Thursday.
Diplomats said the U.S., Israel's main ally, had joined the European effort to produce a resolution that would call for a cease-fire and advance the goal of a durable peace.
"This is not a competition," said an American diplomat in Washington. "We share with other Security Council members a concern over the return to hostilities following the breach of the Egyptian-brokered humanitarian cease-fire. And the council has called on all parties to prevent the situation from escalating and to resume negotiations."
Another diplomat said both Israeli and Palestinian officials have privately suggested Security Council action would be helpful in persuading their constituents to accept measures to end the conflict, which has killed more than 2,000 Palestinians and 67 people on the Israeli side.
Report: New UN Resolution Demands Talks Based on 1949 Lines
A new UN Security Council resolution proposed by Germany, Britain and France calling for an end to violence in Gaza contains some significant caveats that are reportedly garnering opposition from Israel.
A senior European diplomat told Walla! on Thursday that the resolution proposal includes the removal of the blockade on Gaza, transferring control of the Hamas stronghold to the Palestinian Authority (PA), and a return to peace talks based on the 1949 Armistice lines.
The specific imposition of pre-defined conditions in peace talks through a UN resolution, namely that they would be on the basis of the 1949 lines, is something that the US has been opposing for years.
Israel Considering a Truce with Hamas to 'Strengthen' Egypt
The US has joined the European push for a UN resolution to end the fighting in Gaza, Channel 10 reports Friday - and Israel might be considering accepting the terms of a potential proposal.
Political sources in Jerusalem, who asked to remain anonymous, told the news outlet that officials prefer to end fighting using Egyptian mediation - despite the fact that both the Israeli and Palestinian Arab delegations pulled out of Cairo talks after Hamas breached the ceasefire on Tuesday.
Israel is keen to advance the standing of current Egyptian president Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi, due to his fight against the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoot Hamas, officials said.
Israel's interests are allegedly to see Egypt emerge again as a strong and influential power in the Middle East; therefore, talks are still on the agenda, despite a "significant decrease" in the chance of their success.
Israeli NGO Requests That U.S. Extradite Hamas Leader Over Murder of Israeli Teens
The Israeli legal NGO Shurat HaDin has written a request to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder that calls for the extradition of Turkey-based Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri to stand trial for June’s murder of three Israeli teens. One of the teens, Naftali Frenkel, was an American citizen.
“Turkish authorities cannot allow a statement by a senior Hamas terrorist condoning and taking responsibility for the kidnapping and murder of innocent teenage boys announced on Turkish soil, and at the same time claim that Turkey is a humane country,” Shurat HaDin founder Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said in the letter.
“We are confident that an investigation into the evidence of the kidnapping and murder of Frenkel will result in a strong foundation for the indictment and extradition of senior Hamas leader al-Arouri from Turkey,” the letter added.
In a video recording of a conference in Istanbul, al-Arouri all but confirmed that Hamas was behind the kidnapping and murder of the three teens.
Commander: Aborted Airstrikes 'Sabotage' IDF Operation
Senior members of the IAF special reconnaissance Flying Camel Squadron discussed their role in gathering intelligence from the air during Operation Protective Edge, and noted frustration at having to abort airstrikes due to Hamas's use of civilian cover.
"We don’t have bombs on our planes; we have cameras that do intelligence work, and our job is to make sure that the bombs hit the right targets and only the right targets," said Lt. Col. Y, commander of the squadron, as reported by the IDF Blog this Monday.
The commander admitted "sometimes it’s very frustrating because you actually see rockets being launched from mosques, schoolyards - from places you can’t attack. And a lot of the time, it’s from the vicinity of these facilities. When it’s nearby, we try to clear the place."
"If the situation is unclear, the attack will be aborted. Maybe we would return to strike the target at a different time, or maybe not hit the site at all," added Lt. Col. Y, noting how Hamas's callous use of the Gaza populace is harming the IDF's ability to defend Israel.
'The IDF Has Technology to End the Operation in Hours'
IDF soldiers are being hampered by an unwillingness to give orders for decisive action against Hamas, David told Arutz Sheva, referencing the previous Gaza operations: Pillar of Defense in 2012 and Cast Lead in 2008-2009.
"What happened here again is that the army was ready to go in to the end and bring a crushing victory against the enemy, and it was once again stopped by the political echelon," argued David. "Perhaps we don't see here what they (politicians) see there, but there's a feeling that the work isn't over - a feeling of missing an opportunity."
According to the doctor, Hamas can be completely liquidated - without endangering IDF soldiers in a complicated ground entry and close-quarters urban warfare.
"A repeat entry is on the one hand essential, but very problematic. In my estimation, the IDF has all the technological measures to end this campaign in several hours; I don't understand why the political echelon doesn't use those means," questioned David.
"If they conduct another ground entry it will endanger the lives of many soldiers," said David. "I don't want to go into the details, but I know things, and there are extraordinary means, technological measures that would not be accompanied by losses."
Ohio Jews Mourn Death of IDF Lone Soldier
The Columbus, Ohio, Jewish community is mourning the loss of one of its lone soldiers as the Israel Defense Forces continues to investigate the death of Cpl. David Menachem Gordon, whose body was found Aug. 19 in central Israel with gunshot wounds.
Gordon, 21, had been missing since about noon Aug. 17, when he was last seen at a military base in central Israel. His army-issued assault rifle was by his side, according to the IDF.
Lane Schlessel, director of the Ohio chapter of Friends of the IDF, said he did not have any information about the cause of Gordon’s death.
Needy treated to feast in memory of fallen soldier
Maj. Benaya Sarel, 26, was an officer in the Givati Brigade who was killed in a firefight in southern Gaza on August 1 after his unit was ambushed by Hamas gunmen during what was supposed to be a temporary ceasefire.
Sarel, who was from Kiryat Arba, was engaged to be married and his wedding had been scheduled for Thursday evening.
Following his death, Sarel’s friends contacted Carmei Ha’Ir, a non-profit organization that helps those unable to provide for themselves, and offered to donate all the gifts that they were going to give to the couple to the organization instead, the Kikar Hashabat news website reported.
In addition, the group arranged to have a “wedding feast” for needy people at the headquarters of the Jerusalem-based organization that provides a daily free dinner for those who are unable to feed themselves.
Watch: Soldiers Thank Israel For 'The Best Day of My Life'
As the IDF rotates out reserve soldiers in Operation Protective Edge, now in its 45th day, some of the troops being released decided to thank Israeli citizens for their outpouring of support and donations with an uplifting music video.
The video, which features the popular song "The Best Day of My Life" by the US band American Authors, was filmed by "Armored Infantry Brigade 360 Unit 3."
"After 32 days of miluim (reserve duty), we wanted to thank all those who helped us throughout that time and made each day a much nicer day," wrote the soldiers in the description of the video, which was uploaded to YouTube on Monday.

Sderot Mayor: Hamas Terror Leaders’ ‘Assassinations Infused Hope’ in Rocket-Battered Israeli City (Video)
“We have patience,” Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi said Thursday, of the IDF’s campaign to end rocket attacks against his struggling town, speaking with Israel’s NRG News. Davidi said that the IDF’s recent elimination of senior Hamas commanders brought him hope that the start of the school year in his city will be held as usual.
Despite some 14-years of Qassam and mortar shelling, he “hopes that we can get back to normal real soon,” as battle-scarred residents prepare for the opening of the school year in just under two weeks.
“The public’s resilience, and yours, gives us considerable strength to use considerable strength,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told teenage representatives of Sderot youth groups on Monday in a meeting offering support to the southern city’s residents, who are under near-constant threat from rockets.
Palestinians thrown Molotov cocktail lands on Hebron checkpoint
Palestinian Authority policemen in Hebron on Friday fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of Palestinian demonstrators protesting against the war in the Gaza Strip.
Witnesses said several protesters were injured during the protest, most of them from gas inhalation.
Some of the protesters shouted “spies, collaborators” at the Palestinian policemen, who tried to stop them from marching toward IDF soldiers and Jewish homes in the Old City of Hebron.
The protest came after Hamas called on Palestinians in the West Bank to take to the streets following Friday prayers to protest against the ongoing Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip.
Christian Organization Brings 500 Volunteers to Israel to Help Farmers (VIDEO)
A group of 500 Christian volunteers has traveled to Israel to support farmers in Judea and Samaria as part of a trip organized by the American Christian organization HaYovel.
The visiting volunteers—from the U.S., Canada, Norway, and New Zealand, among other countries—are working on farms throughout Judea and Samaria in order to support Israel’s economy during the conflict with Hamas.
“Right now is the most important time to support Israel,” HaYovel founder Zac Waller told Israel National News.
Before the trip, Waller recorded a music video titled “Israel, You’re Not Alone” to express his personal support for the Jewish state.
Israel Economy Minister Denies Blockade of Gaza (VIDEO)
Israel’s Economy Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday denied that there is a blockade on the Gaza Strip and said that all goods are allowed into the coastal enclave besides those that could be used by Hamas to attack Israelis.
“We have no siege. There is no siege going on in Gaza,” Bennett said during an interview with the BBC. “Every day there is dozens and dozens of shiploads or trucks of food and medicine and humanitarian needs flowing into Gaza. That’s not a problem.”
“The problem is that what they [Hamas] try to bring into Gaza is also weapons and more concrete to build more tunnels in order to kill more Israelis,” he added, “and that’s unacceptable.”
Bennett said the “general rule” is that all goods are allowed into Gaza besides anything used to create weapons.
Some US colleges calling students back from Israel
Some US colleges are pulling students from overseas study programs in Israel as the Gaza war rages, though the relative calm beyond the immediate battle areas is raising questions in some quarters about why they had to leave.
Colleges say security was the top concern, citing advisories about hazardous travel from the US State Department and from insurance companies that cover students for health, accidents, security and even the cost of evacuation.
“On the one hand, we want to introduce students to the dimensions of conflict,” said Yehuda Lukacs, director of the Center for Global Education at George Mason University in Virginia. “But this was too much because their safety and security were challenged.”
Muslim-American Activist Demands Boycott of Coca-Cola, Nestle to Stop ‘Zionist Funding’ (VIDEO)
New York-area Muslim activist Rami Kawas, in an incendiary sermon given Aug. 8, demanded American Muslims support a boycott of major multinational corporations over what he said was their support for Israel and Zionism, media watchdog MEMRI reported Thursday.
“It is, my brothers and sisters, our obligation to do whatever we can to help take away any money that goes to Zionist fundings,” thundered Kawas, apparently a youth director at a the Brooklyn and Staten Island chapter of the The Muslim American Society.
U.S. Condemns Hamas for Threatening Ben Gurion Airport
The United States condemned Hamas on Thursday over its threats to harm innocent civilians, after the group threatened to target the Ben Gurion International Airport with rockets.
Deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf also called on Hamas to stop the rocket fire and on both sides to resume negotiations on a long-term ceasefire.
“We also condemn Hamas’s targeted attack on Ben Gurion Airport and Hamas’s threat against civilian aviation. So that’s something that is unacceptable,” she told reporters during a press briefing.
“The rocket fire needs to stop. And we do want them to return to ceasefire talks, so that is something we are certainly still pressing with relevant parties,” added Harf.
Hamas's "military wing" warned foreign airlines on Wednesday against flying into Tel Aviv, threatening to step up its six-week conflict with Israel after firing more than 100 rockets on Israeli civilians and pulling out of peace talks.
Double Standard? Syria Death Toll 100 Times Higher Than Gaza
Outgoing UN human rights commissioner Navi Pillay on Thursday condemned the UN Security Council for failing in Syria, as a UN report indicated the death toll there has reached over 191,369 people, spurred by horrific war crimes.
"I firmly believe that greater responsiveness by this council would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives," Pillay told the council in the final briefing of her six-year term, reports Reuters. She will be replaced by Jordan's Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein.
Through April just shy of 200,000 people have been killed in Syria's four-year bloody conflict, according to a UN report released Friday by Pillay's office. That figure is more than double the death toll of a year ago, and likely still falls short of the actual toll according to Pillay, as an extra 51,953 killings were left out due to insufficient data.
Syria's civil war has "dropped off the international radar," lamented Pillay, noting "the killers, destroyers and torturers in Syria have been empowered and emboldened by the international paralysis."
Ironically the UN has been very not paralyzed when it comes to Israel's defensive Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, now in its sixth week, despite that Hamas claimed Monday the death toll there is just over 2,000 - a full 100 times less than the Syrian casualty count.
Haniyeh vows Hamas will 'liberate Palestine' after top commanders killed by Israel
After the killing of three of its senior commanders by Israel, Hamas vowed early Friday that it would be “strengthened” in its quest “to lift the siege on Gaza” and “liberate Jerusalem and Palestine from the neo-Nazi occupier who destroys houses and kills women and children.”
Hours after the targeted strike on the Hamas commanders, Ismail Haniyeh, the former head of the Hamas regime in Gaza, released a statement that was read aloud by the Hamas television network.
Haniyeh said that Hamas “was saddened over the deaths of our brothers and commanders who went on the path of great ones.”
Abbas and Mashaal Hold Second Day of Talks in Qatar
Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas and exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal held a second day of talks in Qatar on Friday, a Palestinian source told AFP, as fighting continued in Gaza.
The meeting - hosted by Qatar's emir - was a "follow up" to Thursday's talks, which lasted nearly three hours, the source said on condition of anonymity.
During those talks, Palestinian sources claimed Mashaal backtracked on Hamas's rejection of further talks with Israel.
After a reportedly heated meeting with Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Qatar-based Hamas political bureau chief made an about-face, calling for the resurrection of truce talks in Cairo.
Mashaal said Hamas "must return to indirect talks" with Israel, according to the Arabic-language Palestine Today.
Abbas castigated Mashaal in meeting, official says
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas took Qatar-based Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal to task during their meeting in Doha Thursday, over Hamas plans to launch attacks against the PA in the West Bank, a senior Palestinian source told The Times of Israel.
Mashaal and Abbas had a “difficult” discussion, the source said, in which Abbas castigated Hamas and called its members “liars” over a Shin Bet allegation that captured Hamas operatives had confessed to a plot to attack PA forces in the West Bank and even stage a “coup” there.
Abbas also informed Mashaal that Hamas would have to choose between unity with Abbas’s Fatah movement and a permanent “divorce,” the source said, adding that the information revealed by the Shin Bet in a press release this week was already known to Abbas’s security forces.
Did phone call from Mashaal expose Deif to Israeli strike?
Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal broke protocol and directly contacted the head of the military wing in the Gaza Strip, Muhammad Deif, to discuss a ceasefire with Israel, a call that was intercepted by Israeli intelligence giving away Deif’s location, Lebanese media claimed on Thursday.
News1, citing Lebanese media, reported that the call may have enabled Israeli intelligence to pinpoint Deif, who has been in hiding for years in Gaza. There was no confirmation of the report, which was also carried by Israel’s Channel 10 news.
Shortly after the contact, the report stated, Israel authorized an air strike Tuesday night on a Gaza City residence in which Deif’s wife, son and daughter were killed. It has not yet been confirmed if Deif was killed in the strike. Israeli officials have said there was firm intelligence that Deif was there; Hamas claims he is still alive but has produced no sign of life.
Fear and loathing in Gaza
Operation Protective Edge has refuted many of Hamas' conceptions about Israel. The military's ground incursion of Gaza debunked the image of wariness Hamas had attributed to the IDF, and Tuesday's assassination attempt on Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades' commander Mohammed Deif, which took place despite the fact that his wife and son were in the same building, nullified Hamas' assumption the IDF would avoid risking harm to innocent civilians.
One has to wonder why Hamas not only violated the cease fire, but has also set near-impossible demands for a truce. It seems that Hamas' position is based on overrated self-perception and a distorted concept of victory.
Last week, for example, Al Jazeera aired a debate between an Arab professor from an American university and Hamas supporter Dr. Ibrahim Hamami, in which the latter claimed that Hamas had won its fight against Israel and therefore it can set any demand it wants in the negotiations. Had Israel won, Hamami said, it could have been the one to dictate the cease-fire's terms, but since Hamas had won, its leaders have the upper hand in the negotiations.
Hamami went on to explain that the Israeli government's debates on the progression of the military operation in Gaza, as well as the political and public debates over the fighting, constituted "a political failure." The democratic process in Israel, it seems, has been turned into a weapon of propaganda by the enemy, which in its distress needs to believe in its own spin on the events.
Smuggling between Sinai and Gaza still thriving
In March of this year, Egypt’s military said that it had destroyed 1,370 smuggling tunnels under its border with the Gaza Strip. Coupled with the frequent closure of the Rafah border and Israel’s effective security blockade, the destruction of so many of the tunnels has left the Hamas-run coastal enclave almost completely isolated.
“The situation is much more controlled,” a senior Egyptian official told Reuters, noting that since mid-2012 the army had managed to seriously curtail the smuggling of weapons, fuel, food and drugs. “It’s not 100 percent, but we are trying to reach this percentage.”
For their part, the Bedouin smugglers acknowledge that the Egyptian crackdown has forced them to think smaller. The massive tunnels that used to accommodate cars and trucks have been destroyed, but many of the one- to two-meter-wide corridors have survived. One Bedouin guide told Reuters that smugglers had built up to 200 more such tunnels in the last two years, bringing the total of working tunnels up to 500. Comparatively, before the crackdown, there were some 1,500.
“Each day, about three or four people cross with weapons, and each one carries about six or seven guns,” the guide said, without specifying what type of arms were being transported.
Why Did Forbes Delete Pro-Israel Opinion Piece?
On his "Forbes Magazine" blog, lobbyist and public relations-superstar Jeff Ballabon published a piece called "The 20 Most Ridiculous Things People Believe About The Hamas/Israel Conflict.” Within hours of the article going live, the post was taken down. Ballabon was given conflicting reasons for the removal of the post. The one reason he wasn't given was the most obvious one: "Forbes Magazine" did not like the post's pro-Israel content.
After posting the article the morning of August 8th, Ballabon began to hear from friends that it was gone.
Forbes has since given him “conflicting and changing reasons,” as to why they took down the post, the most recent of which was “It’s just a list of links.” “There was no discussion of style, there was no discussion of format…All of those things could have been changed,” Ballabon said. “The only thing that can’t be changed is the substance.”
He said he believes the impetus for its removal was that “it was linked to a very controversial issue on which they’re taking a side.”
“I always thought that’s what opinion columns are for,” he said.
Mia Carbonell, Forbes’ SVP of Communications, didn’t respond to detailed questions about the decision and said in an email only that “this post failed to meet Forbes’ editorial standards.”
The missing piece in the BBC Hague correspondent’s Gaza story
Mr Zanoli’s story got considerable exposure from other news organisations too, including the New York Times. But, as Elder of Ziyon reported, there was also someone else present in the house at the time of the incident on July 20th.
The Ziadah family’s “guest” – as he was described by the PCHR – was Mohammed Mahmoud al-Maqadma, aged 30, who was a member of Hamas’ Al Qassam Brigades.
That information was in the public domain for almost a month before BBC News ran this report. It is a very relevant part of the story which provides context important to proper audience understanding. And yet, the BBC elected to refrain from providing that information to readers and viewers.
BBC sticks to inaccurate narrative despite Hamas claim of June kidnappings
Albeit usually in a somewhat more subtle manner than that adopted by Jon Donnison, the BBC has consistently pushed the line that Hamas involvement in the kidnappings and murders of the three Israeli teenagers was nothing more than an Israeli claim and remarkably even after the arrest of Hussam Kawasme it still promoted that notion.
“Israeli officials have said Marwan Qawasmeh and Mr Abu Aisha are known Hamas operatives, but the group has denied any involvement. Some have argued that the Qawasmeh clan might have acted on its own.”
In other words, BBC audiences have, for well over two months now, been fed an inaccurate version of events according to which it was Israel’s supposedly unwarranted claim of Hamas involvement in the kidnappings and murders of three of its citizens that, having prompted “increased tensions”, led to a “cycle of violence” which culminated in the current conflict in Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Has New York Magazine Learned Its Lesson Not to Rely on Biased Reporters?
On July 25, New York Magazine published an article by Katie Zavadski casting doubt on Israeli assertions that Hamas was responsible for the kidnapping and murders of three Israeli teens, Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel, and Eyal Yifrach, in June, 2014. Now that Hamas has publicly come out and admitted they did it, Zavadski has had to backtrack, repeating the statement issued by Hamas itself on Aug. 21, 2014,
"The popular will was exercised throughout our occupied land, and culminated in the heroic operation by the Qassam Brigades in imprisoning the three settlers in Hebron," al-Arouri said at a conference in Istanbul. "This was an operation from your brothers in Qassam undertaken to aid their brothers on hunger strike in (Israeli) prisons."
Zavadski placed the responsibility for her initial misinformed piece on the sources she relied upon, Sheera Frankel of Buzzfeed and Jon Donnison of the BBC, writing on Aug. 21,
Pre-Occupied Territory: Nobody Bothers To Read Me Anymore By the Hamas Charter (satire)
If I have one complaint about all the people outside the Middle East and their support for Palestinians based on liberal Western values, it would be: have you even read me? I didn’t think so.
I know I’ll sound much older when I say this – I’m only 26 – but nobody knows how to read anymore. Least of all read me. You’d think that after actually seeing that my various articles are suffused with antisemitic canards, conspiracy theories, Nazi-like calls for genocide, and utter rejection of any Western notions of tolerance, people would think twice about supporting the organization that spawned me. But no. I get ignored while thousands of blowhards around the world defend Hamas as some kind of 1789 Constitutional Convention. Nobody even bothers to read me.
I mean, it’s all there, black on white. Take Article 13: ”There is no negotiated settlement possible. Jihad is the only answer.” We’re not talking about Martin Luther King here. These guys would take Martin Luther King and throw him off a building – then claim Israel killed him, and claim the death as justification for more violence. But when it comes to getting down and reading me – I’m not much longer than any other item in a typical political science curriculum – nobody seems to have opened me up and looked at what I say.
Gaza Breakup

Gaza Dream (alt. ending to "Breakup")


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