Tuesday, June 23, 2015

From Ian:

NGO Monitor: Another Outrageously Flawed Gaza Report
The UN Human Rights Council, many of whose state members are world champions in violating the moral principles the Council is obligated to protect, issued its Commission of Inquiry (COI) report on the 2014 Gaza War today. The eighth such attempt since 2002 to single out Israel as guilty of war crimes, this was the first replay since the discredited Goldstone document in 2009. This time, some lessons were learned, but any serious analysis of the COI would find it seriously flawed. At best, it is Goldstone lite, with little lasing impact; but at worst, it will accelerate the dirty political war begun at Durban 2001, seeking the “total international isolation of Israel.”
The COI is clearly written in two voices: the harsh ideological accusations of William Schabas, interspersed with the more reasonable caution of Mary McGowan Davis. This was expected—Schabas, the anti-Israel warrior originally selected by the UNHRC’s Islamic bloc majority, neglected to mention his paid job with the PLO, and was replaced after the research was completed by Judge Davis. But instead of throwing out the draft, she added and revised the original sporadically, leaving a fundamentally flawed document, drafted by the same UN-based staffers.
As a result, the report is premised on the immoral and absurd equivalence and parallelism between a terrorist group (Hamas) and a democratic state under attack (Israel). The recommendations at the end, which call for investigations, enforcement of international legal principles, cooperation with the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, and other measures, are ostensibly addressed to Israel and to Hamas. This can be compared to placing the police and mafia on an equal moral plain.
NGO Monitor: UN Report on Gaza: Improvement over Goldstone, but NGO Reliance Hurts Credibility
The report of the Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza War is different both substantially and methodologically than its predecessors, including the 2009 Goldstone Report, according to NGO Monitor. However, it still quotes extensively from biased and unreliable political advocacy NGOs. By repeating the unverified and non-expert factual and legal allegations of groups such as Amnesty International, B’Tselem, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, and Al Mezan, the UN investigation is irrevocably tarnished.
“The UNHRC report would be entirely different without the baseless and unverifiable allegations of non-governmental organizations,” said Anne Herzberg, Legal Advisor at NGO Monitor. “Despite efforts to consult a wider array of sources, the report produced by McGowan Davis and her team lacks credibility as a result of NGO influence.”
NGO Monitor’s initial review of the Commission of Inquiry’s “detailed findings” shows that NGOs were referenced, cited, and quoted at a high volume: B’Tselem was the most referenced NGO with 69 citations, followed by Amnesty International (53), Palestinian Center for Human Rights (50), and Al Mezan (29). UNWRA and UN-OCHA were also featured throughout the report. As repeatedly demonstrated by NGO Monitor, these groups are not appropriate for professional fact-finding.
Soldier from Operation Protective Edge responds to UN report: 'We have paid for morality in blood'
I served in the Shejaiya rescue force. Certain rules of engagement were made clear for our six days there. The night before the ground incursion, a Shin Bet officer came to us and explained that there was a large civilian population in the direction that we were headed. Because of this, we did not enter Shejaiya at that time, although that was what we had practiced and it was the correct tactical maneuver.
After consideration, we went the following day in the anticipated direction, where Hamas gunmen were awaiting our arrival. Hamas understood our strategies, and how each of our operations had humanitarian and moral considerations, and because of this they were ready to receive us. They had set up observation posts in the surrounding areas, and they anticipated our arrival because of the previous decision not to enter into a civilian population.
On the first night we went in, we were attacked. Five of our soldiers were killed and 20 others were injured. In spite of the claims made against the IDF that they have gone against international law, in this instance it is understood that our morality cost us our lives.



David Horovitz: Shame on you, Mary McGowan Davis
It’s not often I find myself agreeing with Education Minister Naftali Bennett, the populist leader of the right-wing Jewish Home party who wants to annex most of the West Bank and would therefore usher in Israel’s destruction as either a Jewish state, a democracy, or both. But when Bennett greeted the publication Monday of the UN Human Rights Council’s report on last summer’s Israel-Hamas war by succinctly telling its compilers, “Shame on you,” he had it exactly right.
Shame on you, Mary McGowan Davis, for accepting the mandate to sit on the commission in the first place, and then to replace the discredited William Schabas as its head, when the UNHRC that appointed you and set your terms is so demonstrably, openly, ridiculously, obsessed with delegitimizing and thus weakening Israel, in a gross distortion of its ostensible purpose. (As of last summer, the majority of the 100-plus resolutions passed by this outrageous body since its inception in 2006 had focused on Israel. That’s one country out of the world’s 200 or so, almost all of which are engaged in some kind of conflict.)
Whether it was tactically wise for Israel not to cooperate with your investigation is open to question. But that Israel would be spectacularly wary about cooperating with, and thus lending a sense of legitimacy to, a team appointed by so preposterously skewed a forum is entirely understandable.
Indeed, you should have drawn the same conclusion that Israel has been forced by bitter experience to draw: that the UNHRC, with its twisted track record, is no place for those who strive for justice. Shame on you, Justice McGowan Davis, for now having extended that dreadful track record of injustice.
UN’s Gaza report will make the rounds, but won’t put Israelis in the dock
The United Nations report on last summer’s Gaza war was released Monday, launching the various allegations and recommendations contained therein on a journey through various international organizations.
Some fear that the report’s accusations will inspire the International Criminal Court at The Hague to investigate Israelis for war crimes, but legal experts say that Mary McGowan Davis’s effort will have limited impact on the court’s activity, if any.
On June 29, the Human Rights Council will debate the report in Geneva. It is then up to that body, which commissioned the report, to decide what happens next. Theoretically, the council could simply bury it, but that’s probably not going to happen.
Despite Israeli diplomats’ current efforts to convince friendly countries to reject the report, the council will likely adopt a resolution accepting its recommendations and sending it to New York, where it would be discussed again in a few months. The UN General Assembly can also be expected to adopt the report, call for its implementation and send it to the Security Council.
And that’s pretty much where the buck stops.
Next time, ask a general
The UN report on last summer’s Gaza war, while more even-handed than its predecessor — written shortly after the 2008-2009 conflict — is still willfully or perhaps unknowingly ignorant of modern military affairs. What it needed, aside from Israeli cooperation and an open mind, was a general, preferably one who has commanded troops under fire in either Iraq or Afghanistan.
The first thing this officer could have provided is perspective. Whether one accepts the UN death toll, as provided by the Hamas Interior Ministry, or the Israeli one, an international reader still has no way of knowing if the tragic toll in human life — of civilians as opposed to enemy combatants — is disproportionately or even outrageously high.
A senior Israeli officer told me during the war, after detailing all that is being done to spare civilians, that even if the ratio comes out as one militant killed for every two civilians, “I’d sign off on that.”
He said the US ratio in Iraq was far worse than that. Since there are no UN reports investigating US or British actions in Iraq or Afghanistan, and no independent organization chronicling the precise ratios, it is hard to know.
Dore Gold: The JCPA Report: Refuting the UN Report on the 2014 Gaza War
The UN report written as a result of that mandate is another perversion of the truth.
There is a school of thought that claims Israel wanted this war. The opposite is true. But, though this was a war Israel did not want, it was a war for which it had planned meticulously, thereby denying Hamas its main weapon: victimhood.
The following points are the essential truths of the 2014 Gaza war, truths backed by research, evidence, and accounts of events as they happened. The chapters of JCPA's full report, a summary of which is below, can leave no doubt as to which party should be in the dock for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
More importantly, however, it rings a bell of warning that if Hamas is allowed to escape its crimes, the seeds of the next conflict will be planted.
UN’s softer Gaza accusations may end up more damaging for Israel
McGowan Davis’s effort relating to the 2014 conflict, though — despite its risible empathy for Hamas’s terror tunnels, and its absurd conclusion that advance threats by Hamas to fire rockets constituted warnings — presents a more nuanced view.
Israeli officials will not (yet) state this explicitly, but despite the political echelon’s ferocious attacks on the Human Rights Council and its biased mandate, the professionals at Israel’s Foreign Ministry were much more reserved in their initial response to the 180-page document than they were in their reaction to Goldstone.
Because Goldstone’s findings were so grossly unfair to Israel, it took no great effort to discredit his report, the senior official told me.
“What was so ‘great’ about the Goldstone report was that it was so easy to criticize,” the official said, arguing that, methodologically, it was a “disaster.”
“Paradoxically, the fairer the report, the more damaging it can be — because it will be harder to discredit it,” the official mused, and this was ahead of the publication of the McGowan Davis report.
In absurd finding, UNHRC report dubs terror tunnels 'legitimate'
Much like previous U.N. inquiries into Israeli military campaigns in the Gaza Strip, the U.N. Human Rights Council report into Operation Protective Edge, which was released Monday, featured harsh accusations against Israel alongside several absurd findings.
The report concluded, for example, that Hamas' threats to fire rockets on Israel constituted sufficient warning to the residents of central Israel, as well as to authorities running Ben-Gurion International Airport.
While the report stated that such "warnings" did not make the residents of Tel Aviv or foreign airlines into legitimate targets, "unlike in Gaza, Israelis could find shelter and had Iron Dome" to protect them.
Another puzzling finding concerned the grid of terror tunnels under the Gaza Strip. According to the fact-finding mission, during the "investigated period of time" the use of the tunnels meant to target "only" military forces, and not civilians.
  UN report gives Hezbollah the green light
We will somehow get through the "second Goldstone report" which hit us on Monday, because the important thing for the Americans right now is that Israel won't torpedo their negotiations with Iran, and they will support us at the UN.
But the report's conclusions serve as a flickering warning sign against what might happen to us in the international arena if a war breaks out in the north with Hezbollah or with Hezbollah and the Syrians.
Hezbollah has placed a considerable part of its heavy rockets and missiles inside houses. The heavy rockets and missiles have become the Shiites' subtenants south of Zahrani. IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot has warned that in the next Lebanon war, Israel will require a million and a half Lebanese to vacate their homes in order to handle the missiles and rockets hidden in those homes, in urban neighborhoods and villages south of Beirut.
The question is what will happen if these million and a half Lebanese don't vacate their homes as required or if Hezbollah prevents them from leaving and some of them remain in the houses – will the Air Force avoid bombing those houses?
UN Ambassador: Human Rights Council are 'Soldiers of Hamas'
Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations issued a scathing condemnation of the UN Human Rights Council's report on last summer's war with Gazan terrorists, branding council members as "the soldiers of Hamas."
Ambassador Ron Prosor noted that the findings of the committee - which censured Israel while largely ignoring Palestinian abuses - supplemented moves by the Palestinian Authority to attack Israel diplomatically.
"The Palestinians have moved the battlefield to the United Nations," he said.
"The UN is the true frontlines, the Human Rights Council serves as the soldiers of the Palestinians and Hamas, and this biased report is their weapon."
"The UN has been taken hostage by terrorist organizations, and in this battle the international community will lose," he added. "If we continue to give legitimacy to this attack, we will all pay the price."
IDF Blog: Israel’s Investigation of Alleged Violations of the Law of Armed Conflict
Israel is aware of allegations that certain IDF actions during the 2014 Gaza Conflict violated international law. Israel reviews complaints and other information it receives suggesting IDF misconduct, regardless of the source, and is committed to investigating fully any credible accusation or reasonable suspicion of a serious violation of the Law of Armed Conflict.
Israel maintains a multi-layered investigations system, with numerous checks and balances to ensure impartiality before investigative, administrative, and judicial authorities. Israel’s military justice system, and its procedures for investigating possible violations of the Law of Armed Conflict, are continually reviewed and updated. The three main components of the military justice system are the Military Advocate General’s Corps (“MAG Corps”), the Military Police Criminal Investigation Division (“MPCID”), and the independent Military Courts. Moreover, Israel’s military justice system is subject to civilian oversight by the Attorney General of Israel, and subject to judicial review by Israel’s Supreme Court, which has adopted doctrines of standing and justiciability that readily allow for petitions regarding IDF activity.
In 2010, the Government of Israel created an independent public commission of inquiry headed by a former Justice of Israel’s Supreme Court and that included distinguished international legal observers (the “Turkel Commission”). Following a comprehensive review, the Turkel Commission concluded in 2013 that Israel’s mechanisms for examining and investigating complaints and claims of violations of the Law of Armed Conflict generally comply with its obligations under international law, and made a number of recommendations to improve these mechanisms further. The Turkel Commission also found that Israel’s system compares favourably with the investigative mechanisms of other democratic countries, including Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Did the UN panel not know about the Hamas victim doctrine?
In an interview with Hamas chief Khaled Mashal on the Yahoo web site toward the end of the operation, in late August 2014, he said the following: “We do not target civilians, and we try most of the time to aim at military targets and Israeli bases." He went on to argue that his organization has a problem because it does not “have sophisticated weapons. … so (precise) aiming is difficult.” The fact that these things are being said and published on a major web site indicates the extent to which this organization is pulling the wool over the eyes of international media organizations.
Things have gone so wrong, that Hamas assumes, and rightly so, that the international community willingly soaks up such arguments and accepts them. Human rights groups and investigating committees pay lip service and demand that Hamas investigate and prosecute war criminals. Such was the case with the Goldstone commission after Operation Pillar of Defense, and with Human Rights Watch that demanded of Hamas to punish those who committed war crimes. As if they were blind to the fact that operations against civilians from within residential centers, schools and hospitals are the declared tactics of Hamas.
Hamas easily identified Israel's weakness in international public opinion, and worked to refine and develop this approach through the development of a deadly and cynical "victim doctrine." One of the "achievements" of Hamas during Operation Protective Edge was the significant implementation of "the victim doctrine”, the main concept of which is exposing civilians to Israel Defense Forces fire. Hamas perfected the system when storing equipment in compounds of international aid organizations. They launched rockets toward Israel near a Red Cross center for dialysis and polio treatment and near an UNRWA school, knowing well that Israel would retaliate and, what’s more mind boggling, clearly intending for civilians who took shelter in those facilities to be hurt. The resulting photos could then play well on international media and the world stage - an integral element of the “victim doctrine.”
This is my truth: IDF troops react to war crime accusations
Speaking about his own tragic experience in 2008, following a 2004 suicide bombing that killed 11 people in Jerusalem, Dror Dagan, a field medic in the elite Duvdevan unit, also shared his story: "Hamas in Bethlehem claimed responsibility for the attack. After a while, IDF intelligence closed in on the Hamas military commander in the city. The Duvdevan unit was dispatched on the mission, and after a day of reviewing battle procedure, we set out to capture the terrorist. It was a very complicated and dangerous mission due to field security reasons that I cannot expand on.
"When we burst into the [Hamas commander's] house and started sweeping the rooms, a woman who we had identified as the commander's wife fainted. As a medic, I didn't hesitate, I rushed to treat her," he recounted. "Within a couple of minutes, we realized the fainting was an act and that it was part of a trap. It was a trick, a way to buy time for the wanted terrorist to prepare. Suddenly, he burst in from behind a double wall and started shooting in every direction. Many soldiers were injured instantly, including myself."
Dagan went on to speak about his injuries, saying. "One bullet went through part of my head and another was lodged in my spinal cord. After a long rehabilitation period, I am now still paralyzed from the chest down and I am considered 100% disabled.
"I was hurt because I was trained on IDF values to treat every injured person equally, even the wife of a high-level terrorist who faints in the middle of an arrest. And that really says it all. Our soldiers are injured when they behave more humanely and morally than any army in any war," he said.
US General Denounces UN Human Rights Council Report on Gaza War
U.S. Gen. Charles Wald, the leader of a task force of retired senior U.S. military officers who studied and reported on the 2014 Gaza War, issued a statement Monday denouncing the U.N. Human Rights Council’s report on that conflict.
He claims that the report is unbalanced and uneducated, referring to other, similar reports, which have been shown to be faulty in the past.
“The UNHRC report on the Gaza conflict is unbalanced and fails to accurately assess which parties violated the Law of Armed Conflict,” Wald said.
He continued, saying that the report represents faulted research, led by researchers who are not experts in military law, saying, “This report follows the same pattern of the UNHRC’s Goldstone Report, which assessed the previous Gaza conflict, but which was later repudiated by Mr. Goldstone himself, as well as being widely discredited by experts in laws applicable to war.
“That is, this new report fails to account for the primacy of LOAC in regulating the conduct of combatants, and fails to accurately assess the gross violations of LOAC by Hamas, while inaccurately portraying the actions of the IDF as violations of international law.”
U.S. General Charles Wald praises Israel's unique roof-knocking warnings


'UN Enabling Hamas to Manipulate Laws of War to its Advantage'
A leading member of a committee of US military experts which probed Israel's conduct during last summer's war with Gazan terrorist groups has condemned Monday's UN report accusing Israel of possible war crimes, saying it "distorted" international law.
Speaking Monday at a presentation of the JINSA defense think-tank's Gaza Assessment Task Force findings, U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Professor Geoffrey S. Corn criticized the UN Human Rights Council committee for not including any current or former military commanders and constructing legal arguments which were totally detached from reality.
In contrast, he noted, the Gaza Assessment Task Force - which found that Israel had taken extraordinary measures, even beyond the letter of the law, to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza - is "a report written by warfighting commanders."
"Ultimately this is the domain of commanders, not necessarily lawyers," Corn said of such reports. "Lawyers contribute by guiding comanders through complex legal questions, but ultimately what we're talking about here is... war, and war is the job of warfighters."
Hamas viewed Israel's compliance with law as strategic enabler for own objectives


Chairman Royce Statement on Report from UN’s Commission of Inquiry on Gaza Conflict
Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement on the report issued by the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict:
“While Israel is confronting the deadly hostility of Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, this fatally flawed and biased report is the latest evidence that Israel is also confronting a global attempt to de-legitimatize its very existence, especially its inherent right to self-defense. This report illustrates the failings of the UN Human Rights Council. There is no moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas. Israel tries to avoid civilian casualties while Hamas revels in them. Moving forward, the Administration and Congress must actively work together and with our allies to defeat referrals of the conclusions of this report to other international bodies and tribunals. Failing to do so would create a new arena of confrontation that would further damage prospects for peace.”
Major Jewish Groups Lambaste ‘Deeply Unfair’ UN Report on 2014 Gaza War
World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer “strongly criticized” the report, saying, “It is most unfortunate that here is yet another UN Human Rights Council report that puts the democratic State of Israel and the terror group Hamas on the same level,” said Singer. “If further proof was still needed that the United Nations is biased against Israel, this is it.”
He placed the blame for last summer’s violence, which saw about 6,000 Israeli airstrikes and about 4,800 Gazan rockets fired at Israel, on Hamas.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee meanwhile called the report “deeply unfair, inaccurate and misleading.”
“Hamas indiscriminately waged a war of aggression against Israeli civilians while inhumanely exploiting Gaza residents as human shields. Any suggestion of moral symmetry between the actions of Israel and those of the terrorist organization Hamas is a malicious affront to the truth,” said AIPAC in a statement.
“Israel deserves praise rather than criticism,” said AIPAC. “During the conflict, Israel risked the lives of its own soldiers to spare civilian lives by providing Gaza residents with advance warning of impending attacks.”
AIPAC warned that reports like this one could be “eroding the credibility” of the UNHCR.
The UN Council for the Encouragement of Terrorism
The most damaging aspect of the report is that if the world today no longer allows Israel to win wars unequivocally (as attested to by the recent rounds of fighting), then its writers are essentially preventing Israel from fighting or even just defending itself.
However, the glass was half full this time. Firstly, the Palestinians were also held culpable for what transpired. They fired indiscriminately, executed collaborators, built tunnels that traumatized Israel's civilian population. In other words, not everyone in Gaza is a saint.
Israel was right to pre-empt the UNHRC report with a report of its own. The global media ignored it. Anyone who read both reports, like me, might think they were about two different wars.
What will the world ultimately remember from the latest report? That Israel committed war crimes and killed 500 children. And we will yet again see that not only are we not expected to win, we are not even allowed to defend ourselves.
Because, at the end of the day, this is what the U.N. Council for the Encouragement of Terrorism has concluded.

UN Gaza War Report Leaves No Room for Israeli Self-Defense
But the main question to be asked here is how a war launched by a terrorist organization operating an independent Palestinian state in all but name can be defended against by the victims of their attacks without incurring some civilian casualties. The point is not just that Hamas’s goal is to kill as many Jewish civilians as possible while the IDF goes to extreme lengths to avoid such deaths. Rather, it is that once a terrorist group sets up operations in an area under its control, sovereign nations attacked by these killers must have the right to conduct defensive operations intended to halt rocket fire and the use of tunnels for kidnapping and murder. If the soldiers of such nations are to be deemed war criminals for using heavy weapons or for mistakes that inevitably happen in the heat of battle amid the fog of war, then what the UNHRC is doing is to create rules that give the terrorists impunity.
Moreover, if blockades of areas run by such terrorists bent on destroying their neighbors — the purpose of Hamas’s “resistance to Israel is not to adjust its borders in the West Bank, but to eliminate the Jewish state — are also illegal, then such criminal groups will likewise be granted impunity to set up such states and conduct wars without fear of international sanctions. That Israel’s blockade of Gaza ensured that food and medical supplies continued to flow into the strip even during the war proves how absurd the UN standards are when applied to Israel.
It is that last phrase that is the operative concept at work here. We know that the UN would not dare label any military operation such as the one conducted by Israel as illegal were it carried out by any other nation. The UNHRC largely ignores real human rights crises elsewhere in the world (including next door to Israel in Syria where hundreds of thousands have died) in order to concentrate its condemnations on the Jewish state. The fact that the chair of this commission who guided it for most of its life was a bitter critic of Israel and issued statements prejudging its outcome made this bias even more explicit.
In the end, the UNHRC report does nothing to clarify how nations should conduct wars. But it does tell us everything we need to know about the need for civilized nations to cease supporting an agency that purports to speak in the name of human rights but instead bolsters hate.
Hamas 'Salutes' UN Gaza Report for Condemning Israel
Hamas saluted "condemnation" of Israel in a UN report released Monday on last summer's conflict in Gaza that accused both sides of potential war crimes but focused primarily on Israel.
"Hamas welcomes the report's condemnation of the Zionist occupier for its war crimes during the last war against Gaza," said Fawzi Barhum, a spokesman for the Islamist terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip.
In Ramallah, a senior official from the Palestine Liberation Organisation said the report reinforces "our will to go to the International Criminal Court". The Palestinian Authority has been seeking to open criminal proceedings against Israel at the ICC as part of an escalated diplomatic offensive.
New York Times: Onus on Israel, not Hamas, to prosecute Gaza war crimes
The New York Times editorial board on Tuesday placed the onus on Israel to investigate and prosecute alleged war crimes committed by its soldiers during Operation Protective Edge.
In its editorial, the Grey Lady cites the recent United Nations report, which raised suspicions of possible war crimes committed by both Israel and Hamas.
“The United Nations report on last year’s Gaza war is another marker of the deadly, endless struggle between Israelis and Palestinians,” the Times wrote. “It found ‘serious violations of international humanitarian law’ that ‘may amount to war crimes’ by both Israel and the Palestinian militants during a 50-day war that killed 2,251 Palestinians, including 1,462 civilians, and destroyed 18,000 homes in the Gaza Strip.”
The Times criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for dismissing the report and for refusing to cooperate with the UN probe.
Thank the New Israel Fund for United Nations Report Accusing Israel Of War Crimes
Today, the United Nations issued their report on Operation Protective Edge, and found that Israel may have “committed war crimes.” Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the report biased, noting Monday “…that the U.N. Human Rights Council that commissioned the inquiry does "everything but worry about human rights."
Israel’s war effort was widely supported by the left, center and right of the Israeli political spectrum as the entire nation was under relentless rocket attack. The Israeli government elected to not cooperate with said UN investigation, due to the UN’s long-standing anti-Israel bias.
Yet, when there's an avenue for which Israel can be criticized, one can count on The New Israel Fund (NIF) being there.
The extremist organization granted hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to organizations - including B'Tselem, Breaking the Silence, Adalah, Physicians for Human rights & Hamoked: Center for Defense of the Individual – that published reports and lead the campaign to delegitimize the Israel Defense Forces. They have received extensive worldwide media coverage which has harmed Israel, and leaves Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officers vulnerable to biased attempts to arrest in the International Criminal courts. Just yesterday, former IDF Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz reportedly “escaped arrest for war crimes” in London. Israel was unable to receive diplomatic immunity for Mofaz – and similar situations have happened in the UK to former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni former Shin Bet head Avi Dichter, Moshe Ya'alon, Dan Meridor, and others.
White House Reaffirms Israel's Right to Self-Defense
The White House on Monday night reaffirmed Israel’s right to self-defense, following the release of the UN report which accused the Jewish state of committing war crimes during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.
At the same time, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the administration in Washington was also awaiting "further outcomes" of Israel's own investigation into the war.
He noted that during the Gaza war the United States had backed Israel's "right to self-defense" while at the same time “expressed deep concern about the civilians in Gaza that were in harm’s way. And we urged all parties to do everything they could to protect innocent civilians who were essentially caught in the crossfire of this conflict.”
Earlier on Monday, State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters that Washington had just received the report “so we’re not in any position to make a comment or pass any judgment on it.”
He added, however, “As we have made clear in the past, our concerns about the mechanism of using the Commission of Inquiry on this and the bias against Israel that is imparted in that mechanism. So we’ve been very clear from the get-go that we have concerns over the mechanism itself, and again, we just got the report. Not in a position to comment.”
Film Responds to UN Report With Facts, Song
The UN's fact-finding mission on Gaza has ignited the Israeli political spectrum, as politicians and the public condemn the report for harboring anti-Israel bias.
In the face of this bias, Ezri Tubi, the spokesperson for the Samaria community of Yitzhar, has taken "Imagine," by John Lennon - a song now associated heavily with leftist organizations and human rights groups - to explain the facts on the ground.
"Imagine," he begins. "Imagine yourselves driving with your family and being targeted by rocks."
"Imagine a nightmare of terrorists penetrating your house in the middle of the night, slaughtering your family," he continues. "Imagine missiles exploding in your city on a regular basis, killing innocent civilians."
"Imagine murderers digging under your house to butcher you, [and] zealots using their time and money to destroy you rather than improving their own lives," he adds. "Imagine a tiny country, measuring only 14,000 square miles, surrounded by 22 hostile countries."
"Imagine all ruthless terror groups in your region had only one thing in common: you - eliminated."
Tubi gives a number of other examples as well, including Israel's struggle against Iran and its nuclear program and the "self-righteous, hypocrite world" who condemns Israel for trying to protect itself.
"Imagine this is reality," he said.
IMAGINE - The Israeli version


PreOccupied Territory: Experts Worry UN Setting Impossible Standard For Other Jew-Haters (satire)
The escalation began with the Human Rights Council’s decision to frame the investigation as beginning the day after three Israeli teens were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas members, thereby effectively divorcing subsequent Israeli actions from their context and implying no justification for them. It proceeded by not raising an eyebrow at Schabas’s own conflict of interest inherent in previous legal work he had done for the Palestine Liberation Organization, nor at his failure to disclose that relationship. When he did grudgingly step down, after most of the report had been prepared, no revisiting of the investigation was even considered, even in light of the potential bias. The staff who continued to compose the report after Schabas’s departure, moreover, are documented as indulging in much the same level of anti-Israel bias as he. Most haters could produce such a level of cynicism and prejudice only after years of sustained practice, says communication scholar Joe Goebbels.
“In most contexts no one can get still enjoy the veneer of respectability and credibility that the Human Rights Council pretends to have, even as they abandon any notion of fairness in practice,” said Goebbels. “The Council can thus engage in all manner of intellectual dishonesty, such as failing to compare the combatant-to-noncombatant casualty ratio to other conflicts. But other would-be vilifiers of Israel and Jews can’t go nearly as far as such chicanery if they strive not to be immediately dismissed as driven by hate. The Council may feel it must lead in these matters, but that does not mean it should do so by making its own achievements untouchable.”
Excessive implementation of the cynicism and hypocrisy occurred in the report’s use of objective or pro-Israel sources only to help whitewash or downplay Palestinian crimes, noted Goebbels. “But they made no such attempt to qualify or restrict the application of jaded Palestinian or pro-Palestinian sources – taking, for example, Hamas-provided civilian casualty figures at face value. By itself that exercise in duplicity is old-school, but taken together with the rest of the Schabas Commission package, this is an too high a standard for aspiring antisemites to have a hope of matching.”
Syrian war casualty killed as Israeli Druze attack IDF ambulance
An Israeli military ambulance transporting wounded Syrian fighters for medical care in the Golan Heights was violently attacked by local Druze residents on Monday evening, killing one of the Syrians.
The incident was the second such attack in a day. Israeli media reports characterized the attack as a lynch.
The two Syrians being transported were brought into the country in serious condition and were then further hurt in the attack. Police said one of the fighters died of his wounds and the second man was in critical condition.
Two Israeli soldiers were also lightly injured in the incident.
Netanyahu calls for calm after Golan Heights lynching
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Tuesday that Israel would prosecute those involved in the mob killing of a wounded Syrian in the Golan Heights a day earlier, and appealed to Druze leaders for calm.
The Majdal Shams attack, which is being described in Hebrew-language media as a lynching, was the second assault on an ambulance carrying wounded Syrians in a day, as Druze acted on fears that Israel was aiding the same jihadists threatening their coreligionists across the border.
“I view this with utmost gravity. We will not allow anyone to take the law into their hands,” Netanyahu said at a cyber-security conference in Tel Aviv. “We will not allow anyone to hinder IDF soldiers in their mission. We will locate those who perpetrated this lynching and we will deal with them to the fullest extent of the law.”
Netanyahu called on leaders of the Druze community, “a splendid community with whom we have a brotherly bond, citizens of the State of Israel,” to push for calm and to entreat their coreligionists to “respect the law, respect IDF soldiers and not take law into your hands.”
In wake of fatal Druze attack on ambulance, IDF denies treating Syrian jihadis
IDF spokesman Motti Almoz said Israel “has not provided aid to the Nusra Front over the past four years, since the civil war in Syria began.”
“We help wounded Syrians who arrive at our border and give them medical treatment,” he said after the attack which he described as “very grave.”
“We are appealing for calm and we wish those injured a speedy recovery,” Almoz said.
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot convened an emergency meeting over the incident, saying it was “inconceivable that IDF soldiers and [Syrian] wounded are attacked.”
Lebanese terrorist Kuntar blamed for inciting Druse violence on Golan
Samir Kuntar, the Lebanese Druse terrorist who was incarcerated for 29 years in Israel for murder and then released in a prisoner swap with Hezbollah in 2008, is responsible for whipping up violence among Druse on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights, community leaders charged on Tuesday.
The comments came less than a day after Golan Druse carried out what Israeli authorities have termed “a lynching” of a wounded Syrian who was being transported by an IDF ambulance across the frontier late Monday.
The incident shocked Israel’s defense and political establishments, who have called for calm while taking pains to remind the Druse of the state’s historic commitment to their well-being.
“The man who is behind the incident that is fueling the violent events here is Samir Kuntar,” said Jabber Hamud, the head of the Sagur regional council who also serves as the chairman of the Druse and Circassian local councils. “We’ve known this for some time, and I call on the heads of the defense establishment to do all that is necessary.”
Assad mouthpiece praises Israeli Druze killing of Syrian man
In a Tuesday report, the mouthpiece of the Assad regime, the Syrian Arab News Agency, claimed that the wounded on board were al-Nusra Front jihadists and that the Jewish state routinely provides military, medical and logistical support to Islamist groups fighting in Syria.
“Two terrorists from al-Nusra Front were killed Monday when heroes of the occupied Golan confronted a Zionist ambulance which was transporting them to receive treatment at one of the Israeli entity’s hospitals,” the report said.
“Following the incident, locals of Majdal Shams village took to street denouncing Israeli occupation entity’s logistics and military support to armed terrorists,” it continued, referring to a Druze Golan Heights village under Israeli control since 1967.
The IDF vigorously denied claims that it permits jihadists entry to Israel for medical treatment and said that those on board the ambulance were civilians.
Stabbed Border Police officer regains consciousness, remains in serious condition
Following emergency surgery for stab wounds to his neck and chest, Border Police officer Roz Ben-Carmela, who shot his assailant after being attacked near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate on Sunday, was hailed as a hero by Israel Police Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino on Monday.
During a bedside visit with the recovering officer and his family at the capital’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Danino praised his quick response, despite being critically wounded.
“They told me what happened to him after the stabbing, and it enhances his heroism,” Arutz Sheva reported Danino said to the family.
“When I hear about the level of the injury and how he behaved after the injury, you should be proud of him. I’m proud of him as commander of this entire organization. He just went and acted like we expect a fighter at this level to act.”
Prayers Held in Mecca for Border Policeman Stabber
Maor Tzemach, founder of the For You, Jerusalem (Hebrew: Lecha Yerushalayim) organization, called on Tuesday for sovereignty over all of Jerusalem after Sunday's stabbing attack on a border policeman.
"The attack yesterday was not in a vacuum," Tzemach stated to Arutz Sheva. "It comes on the basis of incitement that has swelled in the Jerusalem area and peaked with this stabbing [attack]."
Tzemach noted that the first Friday of Ramadan, which began last week, was characterized by a demonstration of thousands of Muslims shouting anti-Israel slogans and bearing images of suicide bombers and Hamas flags.
"At the Damascus Gate, leading to Temple Mount there [regularly] occur riots on a large scale which are barely reported in the media," he lamented. "There is a policy of containment at these events, and this policy has not led to the halt of events but their empowerment."
He also noted that prayers were held for the terrorist who stabbed the Border Police immediately after the stabbing. Palestinian media covered the event, he said, and prayers for his recovery were even sent to Mecca.
What's it like to live on the border with Gaza
Life on the border with Gaza is not easy. Israeli towns and agricultural villages have suffered thousands of rocket and mortar attacks, as well as the threat of "terror tunnels" built by Hamas to carry out cross-border terrorist attacks.
These are the stories of a few of the Israelis who must live with such terrible threats on a daily basis. Opening their hearts, they talk of their fears, especially for the children. Of their coping mechanisms. And of their dedication to the farming communities of southern Israel, in which some were born and others chose to join.

Israeli excavations are “evil projects" - Official PA TV
PA TV narrator: "The Jews conquered it [Silwan neighborhood] along with Jerusalem [in 1967]. From then on, there have been plans to Judaize and to erase Arab and Muslim antiquities through tunnel excavations and theft of antiquities and by fabricating a fake Jewish name, such as the 'City of David.'


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