Thursday, June 12, 2014

  • Thursday, June 12, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
When you don't ask the right questions, you won't get the correct answers.

The Guardian condescendingly reports:
A postmortem examination of the exhumed body of one of two Palestinian teenagers killed by Israeli forces at a demonstration last month has reportedly identified wounds consistent with live ammunition, despite the Israeli military's denial that it used live rounds that day.

The killings of 17-year-old Nadeem Nawara and 16-year-old Mohammad Salameh caused international outrage and calls from the US for a full investigation after their deaths were caught on video camera footage that made clear the boys posed no threat to Israeli forces at the time of their deaths.

This week Human Rights Watch issued a report suggesting that the killing of the two boys was a war crime. "The wilful killing of civilians by Israeli security forces as part of the occupation is a war crime," said Sarah Leah Whitson, the group's Middle East and North Africa director.

...Anonymous senior Israeli military officials quoted in the local media attempted in the aftermath of the killings to suggest the footage had been forged or a mystery Palestinian gunmen had actually killed the boys – shooting four rounds over a period of more than two hours, apparently without being noticed by several dozen Israeli soldiers and police.
Yup, Israelis are a bunch of liars and are engaged in a massive conspiracy to hide its decision to shoot boys wantonly. It is so fortunate that none of the Israelis seen in the CNN video are running to testify to "Breaking the Silence."

Speaking of, although it has not been translated into English, I strongly urge you to read the Google translation of this lengthy article in Maariv. It is the real "Breaking the Silence." The reporter interviews dozens of IDF soldiers as to their frustration at their inability to defend themselves from Palestinian Arab rioters. The rules of engagement are so vague, and the consequences of firing against IDF policy so onerous, that many decide to just let themselves be attacked by stones and Molotov cocktails rather than fire back. Rioters climb on army jeeps with impunity. One waves his private parts at a soldier knowing he will not respond.  Even tear gas and rubber bullets require special permission and can only be used under specific circumstances. More than one soldier describes himself as a "sitting duck."

I don't know the rules of engagement for the Border Police, but I imagine they are largely identical and their limitations are equally vague.

In short, while there are no doubt violations of the rules of engagement sometimes, the idea that these Israelis, with all the cameras around, would shoot two kids dead in the most open area possible is insane.

But that's not the main proof.

As we have shown, the Nawara's fall coincides with the police firing a rubber bullet. Of that there is no doubt. We can hear the sound of two separate firings, which sound identical, from two rifles. We see the paper wad after it is expelled from the rubber bullet attachment. We have synchronized the events and there is no way that the bullet fired then was live.



The many posts I have on this topic, and the comments with further research, and other people's work, all show this to be true.

So we have two verifiable, seemingly contradictory facts: Israeli forces didn't fire a live round at the time Nawara fell, and he was killed by a live round. How can these be reconciled?

Of course there was no Palestinian Arab gunman at the scene with a gun shooting Nawara on video. We would have heard that shot. Similarly, the idea that he was shot by Israelis 250 meters south, who were dealing with a different riot, at the exact same moment of the rubber bullet, is impossible, because the sound would have been different on the CNN audio.

When you eliminate the impossible, the remainder, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.

The only way to understand what might have happened is to recall the infamous Mohammed al Dura incident, where the boy that was supposedly killed by the IDF ignited the intifada. Al Dura became a poster child for Israeli brutality. All evidence shows that he was not killed by Israeli fire.

There are clearly some people who are not above killing a child in order to further their cause. And there are many people who want to spark a new intifada. There are people with the incentive to kill a Palestinian Arab youth and manipulate events to make it appear that Israel did it.

Nawara was not killed on camera. He was killed somewhere between the video and his arrival at the hospital. Maybe even by an M-16, which are available in the West Bank.

I think Nawara was probably hit by a rubber bullet, although perhaps he was instructed to fake a fall as soon as he heard a shot - we saw at least one other fake "victim" at the same incident only minutes before the Nawara incident, and his fall seems inconsistent with being shot in the chest with a live bullet, to say the least.

The final piece of the puzzle is that Palestinian Arab "witnesses" lie, constantly, for their cause. we've also seen that in this case (the bullet that Nawara's father showed CNN, for example, and other testimony in the case claiming that Israeli forces to the south were firing at the protesters, even though none of the protesters ever look in that direction.)

If Nawara would have been shot in the ambulance, or en route to the hospital, no one would be talking about it. Such a conspiracy of silence would be unthinkable in Israel or any Western nation, but unfortunately Palestinian Arabs know what would happen to them if they publicly go against the party line.

Far fetched? Yes. But we have motive, we have opportunity, we have a scenario where no witness would publicly contradict even the most stunning cold-blooded murder. No one wants to make such an incendiary claim and reporters don't want to go down that path, but if you want to reach the truth, that is the path that must be followed.

And these are the questions that are not being asked about the death of Nadim Nawara.

  • Thursday, June 12, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
From, where else, MEMRI:



In a May 15, 2014 interview on Iqraa TV, Saudi scholar and former director of the channel Nabil Hammad described an alleged Jewish-Zionist conspiracy to destroy the moral values of humanity. Hammad claimed that characters on children's shows, like Mickey Mouse and Sesame Street, were invented to advance these schemes. Following are excerpts from the interview:


Nabil Hammad: What films have we produced in the Arab world? As we all know, people like watching movies.
[…]
What animated films have we produced? A normal child, who has been watching TV from the age of two, has been assaulted by all kinds of films. How did the "sagging" pants fashion ever emerge? The men wear their pants so low that their private parts are exposed. This fashion originated on the Cartoon Network channel. The Cartoon Network aired a film showing the longest spit. What kind of education do we provide? It is not only the future generations of the Islamic world that are destroyed – the moral values of humanity are destroyed.


When I worked as an instructor for the Saudi Airlines, I had a colleague named Duncan. He told me that he does not allow his children to watch Sesame Street. I found it strange. The show is very popular here. He said that Sesame Street peddles moral values that are inappropriate to civilized society.


Take, for example, the character of Oscar the Grouch, who lives in a garbage can. Duncan said that he is a loathsome character, and he wouldn't want him to serve as a role model for his children. Another example is the character of Cookie Monster. He eats like a slob. Even people raised on British culture oppose what is shown in the media, which destroys people's moral values.
[…]
I lived in the U.S. for eight years. To this very day, I have Jewish and Christian friends there. I am not talking only about Muslims. There are moral people living there who are aware of this conspiracy to destroy humanity and its moral values. The Zionists are behind this conspiracy. There are two kinds of Zionists: Protestant Zionists and Jewish Zionists.
[…]
All the global film companies – note that I say "all" not "most"… All the global film companies are owned by Jews: the Fox company, Universal Studios, the well-known Paramount, Columbia, with the lady holding the torch, Warner Brothers, a major producer of children's films, Disney… Walt Disney himself wasn't Jewish, but the Walt Disney TV productions company is owned by well-known Zionist Jews. The Paramount company… All the animated films…


Why did they produce Mickey Mouse? Why did they focus on a mouse? There is a plan to destroy human thought and all of humanity. When Sheik Muhamamd Al-Munajid said this, he was subjected to a never-ending campaign. He asked why we make Jerry the Mouse into a hero, and Tom the Cat into a criminal? It's human nature to consider cats as clean domestic animals, and mice as animals that should be killed. When Sheik Munajid said that, he was oddly accused of fanaticism. Thus, Mickey Mouse, the rodent, became a hero and a superstar. The destruction of human morality is an old Zionist-Jewish scheme.
[…]
All of know what happened to Christianity. Along came a guy called Paul, a Jewish scheme working for the Romans, and claimed that he had become the Messiah. Thus, he was transformed into Saint Paul, and destroyed Christianity. Some Jews converted to Islam, and started sects in order to destroy Islam.
[…]
The Zionist-Jewish den of iniquity began operating in the early 18th century. Who was Durkheim? Westerners view him as the father of modern sociology – although Ibn Khaldun wrote more accurately about sociology. Durkheim was a Jewish Zionist, who sowed destruction with the information he provided. Who was Darwin, who said that human beings descended from apes? He was one of the founders of Western thought. Who was Freud? He was the founder of modern psychology, and he emphasized sex as the primal impulse in human beings. Who was Nietzsche? He spoke of a blonde, blue-eyed Western "superman." Who was Sartre? They were all Zionist Jews, except for Nietzsche, who was a Christian Zionist.

Damn! He sees right through me!

  • Thursday, June 12, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Here is the entire, amazing, Alice in Wonderland-quality exchange between (mostly) Matt Lee of AP and Jen Psaki in the daily US State Department press briefing yesterday:

QUESTION: On that, did you – not on the meeting, but did you have anything to say about this new rocket attack into Israel from Gaza?
MS. PSAKI: Well, we condemn all rocket fire from Gaza. It is unprovoked aggression against civilian targets and is totally unacceptable. We welcome President Abbas’s prompt and outspoken condemnation of this attack. We note that he has demanded that all the Palestinian factions remain committed to the ceasefire agreement that was signed in Cairo in 2012, and we expect the Palestinian Authority will do everything in its power to prevent attacks into Gaza – from Gaza into Israel. But we acknowledge the reality that Hamas currently controls Gaza.
QUESTION: Well, okay. So the Israelis say that President Abbas, since the unity government has been formed, that he bears responsibility for not disarming this or not preventing this attack and attacks of its kind. Do you agree that President Abbas shares – or it is his responsibility to do that, and that he is – the Israelis could look at him and say this is his fault?
MS. PSAKI: Well, we believe that President Abbas must do all in his power to prevent deterioration in the security situation, but we would also note that he has upheld his responsibility to maintain security coordination with Israel and he has publicly stressed his commitment to do that. And so I think he has made every effort to be – continue to be a partner in this regard.
QUESTION: So this doesn’t have any – this attack doesn’t have anything – won’t have any bearing on your decision to work with the unity government and continue to provide assistance to it?
MS. PSAKI: It does not. Obviously, we’re concerned about it and we condemn it in the strongest terms. But his – President Abbas’s ability to impact these type of attacks is really severely limited at this point in time.
QUESTION: Well, yeah, but isn’t that part of the – I mean, that’s part of the entire problem with agreeing to go along and work with a government, is it not? I mean, the Israelis said the whole time that these attacks are going to continue. If you recognize that his ability is extremely limited to prevent this kind of thing, for there to be security cooperation between him, his government, and the Israelis, how is it that you made the leap to go ahead and say, “All right, this is a government that we can do business with?”
MS. PSAKI: Well, this is one – this was the creation of an interim technocratic government. Obviously, at some point there will be elections. This is an interim period. As we’ve long stated, we’ll – we’re continuing assistance if we – but we’ll be watching closely and if something changes, so will – we’ll act accordingly. But nothing --
QUESTION: So how many more rocket attacks do there have to be before you decide that it’s – that we made a mistake?
MS. PSAKI: Well, again, Matt, you’re familiar, I’m sure, with what the criteria are for delivering assistance. While we’re very concerned about these rocket attacks and we feel President Abbas needs to do everything possible to prevent them, we understand that his ability to do that is severely limited at this point in time.
QUESTION: So but then I don’t understand why – I can’t – I mean, if you think that this guy doesn’t have control over everyone who is either a member of or is backing his unity government, why would you do business with it? Why would you give it money? I mean, if you were one part of – I don’t know, one segment of the Israeli society, political society or otherwise, you could, if you hold Abbas responsible for this attack, hold the United States, in a sense, responsible for this attack because you guys are just continuing to support the unity government.
MS. PSAKI: Well, as you know, there are no members of Hamas in the technocratic unity government – technocratic government, I should call it, which is the accurate --
QUESTION: Right.
MS. PSAKI: -- term for it. That is one of our criteria for continuing to provide assistance. We’ll be watching closely over the course of the coming weeks and months.
QUESTION: So even though it is backed by Hamas and you hold Hamas responsible for this rocket attack today, that – you don’t see a connection? No?
MS. PSAKI: I’m not suggesting we don’t understand the connection, Matt. But again, this is a case where President Abbas strongly condemned these actions. We think he should do everything possible to prevent them from happening and to call for and provoke unity among these groups. But we understand at this point in time there’s very little that he can do to prevent them.
QUESTION: Why is it in your interest to continue to deal with the interim government notwithstanding this rocket attack?
MS. PSAKI: Because the Palestinian people and our relationship with the Palestinian Authority is an important relationship to the United States. We continue to believe that support to them is something that is important to the United States.
QUESTION: But if Hamas feels that it can shoot rockets from Gaza into Israel with impunity and this has no effect whatsoever, for example, on its ability to form a unity government with the PA, even if there are no Hamas members in the actual government – you have a disincentive that you could use here, which would be to stop dealing with the unity government or to stop funding it, and that might tell Hamas, “Well, maybe we should think twice about sending rockets in.” But the way you’ve cast it, they can send an unlimited number of rockets in and they can still be supportive of this unity government and you’ll still give the unity government and the PA money.
MS. PSAKI: Well, we made a decision as the United States Government that our assistance to the Palestinian Authority is important to the United States. And so that’s why it is continuing. And they did – have met the criteria, including the Quartet principles that have been laid out. We will be judging this government by its actions and we will address issues as needed moving forward, but nothing has changed at this point in time.
QUESTION: You don’t see this attack as an action of the government?
MS. PSAKI: No, we --
QUESTION: You see it by – you see it as an action by a supporter of the government. Not you, I’m talking about Hamas, right? I mean, you – correct me if I – I mean, if you – well, is that correct? Let’s just start there. You see this as an attack by Hamas on Israel. Is that correct?
MS. PSAKI: Yes.
QUESTION: Yes. You do understand the equivalent – the Israelis say that because Hamas is a – while there are no Hamas members in it, this government, this technocratic government is supported by Hamas, and therefore this is a problem. You don’t agree with that.
MS. PSAKI: Well again, Matt, this is a technocratic government that just formed in the past couple of weeks. We’ll be watching events closely as time continues. The government itself has abided by the principles that we have outlined through the Quartet and what the United States expects as well, and we’ll evaluate accordingly. But nothing has changed as it relates to our assistance.
QUESTION: All right. And then just on Abbas himself, you say that he has condemned it. But the condemnation is really – I mean it’s good, I suppose, that he is not applauding and saying this is a good thing. But he needs to stop it, doesn’t he? Isn’t that the U.S. position?
MS. PSAKI: Well, he’s also demanded that all factions abide by the ceasefire agreement.
QUESTION: Right. But at some point it’s got to be actions, not words, right? So this is – I just – this is not an action enough to get you to – to get the Administration to change its position?
MS. PSAKI: Correct.
QUESTION: Okay.
QUESTION: Clarification: Are you certain that it was Hamas that fired the rocket, or could it be some rogue group from Gaza? Because there are all kinds of rogue groups.
MS. PSAKI: Well, Said, I don’t have any more information. I think we’re all familiar with the connection between Hamas and Gaza and how they control Gaza.
(h/t Josh K)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

From Ian:

UNESCO deletes ‘Israel’ from title of its exhibit on Jewish ties to Israel
Six months ago, when UNESCO canceled an exhibition about the Jewish people’s connection to the Land of Israel just before its scheduled opening, Professor Robert Wistrich, its author, was livid. The cancellation, which followed Arab pressure, was disgraceful, he fumed, an appalling “betrayal” that proved that the organization is “subjected, entirely, to political considerations,” because “there’s one standard for Jews, and there’s another standard for non-Jews, especially if they’re Arabs.”
The situation has much improved since then, Wistrich and others involved in the project assert, as the exhibition opened on Wednesday afternoon at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. And yet changes have been made to the exhibition since it was nixed in January.
Most strikingly, the word “Israel” has been deleted from the exhibition’s title and replaced by “Holy Land.” An exhibit that was initially called “The 3,500 year relationship of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel” is now entitled “The 3,500 year relationship of the Jewish People with the Holy Land.”
Pro-Israel Muslim Vassar student’s lonely fight to defend Israel
In December 2013, the American Studies Association released a resolution boycotting Israel. Reminiscent of students in 1975, the Vassar administration swiftly rejected this resolution right after New Years 2014.
Thirty-nine Vassar faculty then wrote a letter condemning Vassar College’s decision. Students for Justice in Palestine proceeded to swoop down on pro-Israel and neutral students. They protested a class taking a trip to Israel inside an academic building and intimidated the professors.
At a Vassar Open forum I attended in May 2014 shortly before graduation, Vassar College President Catharine Hill made clear that she never has condemned the picketing of the class, and any impressions otherwise are wrong:
Following complaints about the picketing of the classroom, the Vassar Committee on Inclusion and Excellence organized an open forum led by Professor Kiese Laymon that de facto established any criticism of SJP was motivated by racism, civility was a “cardboard notion,” and taking a trip to Israel was the equivalent of organizing an outing to Jim Crow Mississippi.
Not surprisingly, the only acceptable thing to say on campus became the lie that Israel is a racist, apartheid state.
Anti-Israel 'Ads Against Apartheid' Line Walls of Boston Subway
A new ad campaign sponsored by the organization Ads Against Apartheid has brought hostility to Israel to the Boston subway system. The advertising campaign, which features three different posters and is found in the MBTA's State Street Station, promotes various anti-Semitic myths and has caused outrage in the Greater Boston community.
According to AAA's website, " One of the ads highlights the number of Palestinian homes systematically destroyed by Israel – over 25,000 homes, leaving thousands of families homeless. A second ad calls attention to the 150 Jewish-only cities Israel has built on internationally-recognized Palestinian land. Both ads challenge Israel’s commitment to peace with a banner that reads, “Does Israel want peace..or land?”
The last of the three ads features a young Palestinian girl with statistics about the tragic level of violence perpetrated by the Israeli military – “Israel has killed 1 Palestinian child every 4 days since 2000.”

More from the humor site PreOccupied Territory:


RivlinJerusalem, June 11 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reacted to the election of Reuven Rivlin as President of Israel by taking exception to the latter's vegetarian sensibilities, rather than to his views on the desirability of annexing parts of the West Bank to Israel.
Abbas had his office send a perfunctory note of congratulations to the incoming head of state, a message that specifically and uncharacteristically ignored the president-elect's problematic position on areas the Palestinians seek for a state, apparently more horrified by Rivlin's avoidance of meat. 
"As the duly elected leader of the Palestinian people I offer congratulations on your selection as president," read the message. "I hope we can work together for a just resolution of the conflict between our peoples despite your apparent inability to recognize that humans are omnivores and not rabbits." The message offered to refer the president-elect to a vast selection of delicious meat dishes, suggesting that perhaps the former Speaker of the Knesset disdained meat because he had never had it properly prepared.
MK Reuven Rivlin was elected as Israel's next president yesterday, succeeding Shimon Peres, whose term ends next month, and who has not been known to abstain from tasty, succulent meat. Rivlin, however, has avoided animal flesh since the 1960's, a fact that the Palestinian leader evidently finds far more troubling than his favoring a policy that would deprive the nascent Palestinian state of the vast majority of its hoped-for territory.
"As we all know, Hitler was also a vegetarian," explained Palestinian sociologist Khalil Shikaki. "Not that Abu Mazen thinks the avoidance of meat is a cause, or even a symptom, of genocidal, maniacal, xenophobic, delusional demagoguery, but the association is hardly a positive one. I believe Abu Mazen feels he is expressing collective Palestinian unease with a man who refuses to partake of one of the basic pleasures of being at the top of the food chain."
"Refraining from asserting, at every possible opportunity, one's power of life and death over other creatures, whether human or not, is simply alien to us," added Shikaki. "In fact I would characterize it as offensive."
  • Wednesday, June 11, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
At least three rockets have been fired into Israel since the "unity agreement" between Hamas and Fatah was signed.

So either there is no unity, or the "unified" PA has no real problem with rocket attacks on Israeli civilians.

Actually, its both. After Netanyahu told Abbas that he holds him responsible for rocket attacks, Abbas issued a tepid "condemnation" of the attacks.

But his condemnation wasn't because firing at Israeli towns is wrong or immoral, of course not. He said it is "in the interest of the Palestinian people and security not to give Israel any pretext to continue its attacks on Gaza."

You see, rocket attacks are fine. But Israel has a tendency to respond, and that is unacceptable. But until Abbas manages to convince the world even more than he already has that Israel has no right to defend itself, he is stuck issuing fake condemnations to mollify the willfully-blind.

Meanwhile, Hamas is all about unity: unity in Jihad.



Fathi Hammad: This land is mentioned in the Quran 64 times. We are the people of the Quran. Anyone who lives in Palestine must be from among the people of the Quran, not the people of security cooperation [with Israel].

Whenever [Mahmoud Abbas] returns from abroad, he begins to play his games: "I can't do it." "The situation is very difficult." Enough with that!

This is no time to back down. This is a time to be real men, a time for determination, a time for Jihad, a time for resolution, a time to make sacrifices for the sake of Allah.

[...]

We are not moved by the beat of drums or by the clapping of hands. What moves us is the whistling of bullets, the sound of bombs and missiles exploding for the sake of Allah, and the capture of [Israeli] soldiers in order to swap them with our prisoners. That is what moves us. This is music to our ears. This is our anthem, our songs.

Audience: Allah Akbar, all praise be to Allah.

Allah Akbar, all praise be to Allah.

[...]

Fathi Hammad: I would like to address our Palestinian brothers in Fatah, and say: come join us. Return to your religion, to your homeland, to your Jihad. We are up to the task. It is us to whom you should turn. Do not turn to the Americans, to the Zionists, to the hypocrites, or to [your] feeble leadership, which has sold out... Turn to us, the group that wages Jihad for the sake of Allah
.
From Ian:

JPost Editorial: Aussie clarity
Even UN Resolution 242, which introduced the “land for peace” formula, calls on Israel to withdraw from “territories” – not all territories – in exchange for peace with its neighbors. It was clear to the international community immediately after the Six Day War that Israel would retain an undetermined portion of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
(Israel has since magnanimously ceded the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians, who have turned it into a reactionary Islamist state that uses violence to enforce Shari’a.) Far from “occupied,” the status of Judea and Samaria should enjoy a unique status in international law as land that has never been unequivocally set aside for a specific people by the international community.
Canberra has had the courage to publicly recognize this simple fact. What’s more, Bishop, Brandis and others in Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s center-right government understand that defining east Jerusalem as “occupied” hinders chances for peace by emboldening an intransigent, rejectionist Palestinian political leadership, whereas defining the territory as “disputed” might encourage a spirit of compromise on the part of the Palestinians.
Caroline Glick: Pragmatism, Obama and the Bergdahl swap
For nearly six years, Obama and his supporters have managed to fend off allegations that his foreign policy is even more ideological – and far more radical – than Bush’s by channeling the public’s aversion to pie-in-the-sky rhetoric and obfuscating facts. But the Bergdahl announcement at the Rose Garden ended all of that.
The reason Obama is being denounced for the Bergdahl swap is because he orchestrated a radical spectacle. Try as he may to castigate critics of the deal as partisan and cynical, Obama cannot pretend away the fact that the ceremony he arranged and oversaw was an open celebration of an American defeat, by the US president and the unsympathetic parents of an accused deserter.
And worse still for Obama’s protestations of pragmatism, his decision to take sole ownership of the swap revealed his ideological myopia. Only someone blinded by a worldview in which America is morally deficient could have thought that Americans would join him and the Bergdahls in celebrating an American defeat.
And now everyone knows what makes him tick.
Paris Jews Sprayed With Tear Gas a Week After Axe Attack
Two Jewish friends wearing yarmulkes were attacked in Sarcelles, a northern suburb of Paris, by three men seemingly of North African descent who sprayed the two friends with tear gas. The attack was captured on video surveillance revealed Monday.
The “anti-Semitic character of the attack has not been established,” said Sarcelles Mayor François Pupponi, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The attack comes a week after two Jewish teenagers reported being chased down the street by an axe-wielding assailant while they were on their way to the synagogue in Romainville, another Paris suburb, reported the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA).

  • Wednesday, June 11, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Akiva Bigman at Mida magazine took the time to go through the "testimonies" of former IDF soldiers at the "Breaking the Silence" website, and finds that their worst stories don't come close to describing the IDF as being the monstrous abuser of human rights they pretend it is:

Most of the leading testimonies are downright disappointing. Almost all the cases we reviewed didn't involve physical harm or property damage. Most of them were fairly trivial, the kind of small-scale misconduct and rough behavior you might find in any large-scale policing operation: Prisoners who spent the night cuffed and on all fours and crying, a directive to check every vehicle coming out of Bethlehem and to "be tough" which caused a soldier to testify that "we were in this situation and it was very unpleasant", and another case where a female soldier mentioned a male counterpart at a checkpoint who would be rude in asking Palestinian commuters for cigarettes: "He didn't say: Pal, you've got a cigarette? He said: Give me a cigarette…he was in the mode of 'I'm the man' and the boss of this checkpoint.'

These kinds of cases constitute the overwhelming majority of testimonies on the site. This isn't admirable behavior, to be sure, but given how the IDF is often portrayed as the 21st century version of SS murder squads, we expected far worse.

When it comes to the minority of cases that actually involve killing, wounding or arresting suspects, we come across a troubling phenomenon. The testimonies on site deal with clear cut cases of anti-terror operations: killing terrorists, arresting of suspects, and activities involving prevention and interrogation, but this crucial context is nowhere to be seen in the Breaking the Silence testimonies. Breaking the Silence prefer to hide the actual reason for the IDF's actions, as well as the severity of the terror threat and the difficult conditions under which Israeli security forces have to work. Thus, the naïve reader unaware of all this receives a simplistic, lachrymose and superficial account with "jackbooted" soldiers and oppressed Palestinians. In this agitprop morality play, enthusiastically supported by foreign countries and the world media, there is no place for little things like context and facts.

Take the story of Fathi Najar, commander of the Fatah military wing in Yatta in the Hebron Governate, who was arrested in 2002 for involvement in terrorist attacks and laying explosive devices against IDF soldiers.

According to the testimony of a soldier present at the capture, some of the soldiers and commanders beat him after the arrest, as an act of release for capturing such a senior terrorist and after putting their lives at significant risk. These actions so shocked the soldier that he felt burdened until his discharge and he went running to Breaking the Silence to tell his story. Granted this behavior was wrong – but can one really draw a line between some blows to an arch-murderer really prove the 'monstrously corrosive effects of the occupation'?

Another soldier testified that they executed a "kill confirmation" on armed terrorists: "It was surprising and frustrating. Surprising because for instance [a commander] shot a terrorist who was walking around with an AK-47 and a cellphone and didn't know he was thirty meters from the IDF. He shot him at center mass and he fell, then they threw two grenades at him to ensure that he was dead." According to the testimony, in the after action inquiry, the brigade commander instructed the soldiers how such an encounter should end: "You come to the body, put a rifle between his teeth and fire," something which at the time was defined as illegal.

Let's be honest here: are we supposed to be shocked by this? Putting aside PC sanctimony, let's admit that such a brigade commander, who puts a premium on his soldiers' lives and doesn't want to take the chance that the terrorist make a final pull of the trigger or detonate an explosive belt to take out the arresting soldiers, is far from outside the pale of humanity. Let us remind the choir of Breaking the Silence, that these are soldiers fighting dangerous terrorists in armed combat, not uninvolved civilians playing chess.

...More than that: the average reader abroad might be surprised to learn that even pinpoint surgical operations, meant to minimize harm to uninvolved civilians while risking IDF soldiers, also worry Breaking the Silence. In one of the testimonies, a soldier complained that the IDF conducts ground operation to take out terrorists when it is not possible to eliminate them from the air, as "they are at home with too many people, or in cases where more care is required, it's not possible to drop a one-ton bomb." So what exactly is the problem? "Many times [in these action] there are additional casualties [aside from the terrorist himself]." This specific soldier admits that it didn't happen in operations he was involved in, but he "believes" it happened in other cases.

If there is any moral outrage to be had here, it is that the IDF is risking its troops to avoid civilian casualties when pinpoint strikes from the air could do the job just as well. But Breaking the Silence complains even when the IDF does this – and even when there are no civilian casualties.

...Here's the kicker: Breaking the Silence isn't really interested in human rights or military ethics. They're interested in something else entirely: opposing the "occupation" and ending it come hell or high water. They openly acknowledged this agenda: a Breaking the Silence spokesmen stated that "Breaking the Silence is not a normal human rights organization. We are in fact an educational organization, whose purpose is to show the Israeli public the reality of the occupation. This is what ruling over a foreign population looks like." ...

As Haaretz military correspondent Amos Harel put it:

They have a clear political agenda, which is no longer really covered under the term 'human rights organization'.

The truth is that none of this should be surprising. As an organization receiving massive amounts of money from foreign, largely European, countries (1.3 million NIS in 2011), Breaking the Silence is committed first and foremost to the interests of its patrons. What better way to satisfy them than to present the IDF as the reincarnation of 20th century fascist thugs?

In spite of all this, it's good we have Breaking the Silence. Whoever reads their testimonies with a careful and critical and critical eye will actually have reason to take heart. If this is the best Breaking the Silence can find after ten years of activity and millions of dollars, making every effort to single out the worst possible incidents and interpreting them in the most malicious possible way, with no serious comparison to other armies and with partial information and testimonies, then the IDF comes off looking just like the evil hasbaraniks say it is – a profoundly moral army in very difficult circumstances.
See also Ben-Dror Yemini:
The IDF is far from being perfect. There were and there are exceptions. The Israeli army is making an effort, more than any other army in the world, to prevent hurting innocent people. This effort should be encouraged.

But from the moment Breaking the Silence activists joined the "Durban strategy," from the moment they were sponsored by organizations like SJP, they deserve a badge of shame, because these bodies declare in the clearest way possible: Our goal is to destroy the Zionist entity.
And CiFWatch:
1. How can BtS claim they’re a human rights organization when, by any measure, they have a clearly radical political agenda? For instance, BtS members Yonatan and Itamar Shapira were on the Jews for Justice for Palestinians boat “Irene” which sought to violate Israel’s legal (arms) blockade of Gaza. Yonatan Shapira also once sprayed “Liberate all the ghettos” on to a wall nearby the actual Warsaw Ghetto where so many Jews lost their lives at the hands of the Nazis. As NGO Monitor’s president Gerald Steinberg argued: “BtS’s campaigns to discredit the IDF have turned the organization into an invaluable ally of those NGOs behind the “Durban Strategy” – with the explicit goal of “the complete international isolation” of Israel, using repeated accusations of “war crimes,” “genocide” and “apartheid.”

2. Why does BtS court the international media rather than presenting its allegations through the normal military chain of command?

3. Relatedly, why won’t BtS give any identifying details in their accounts – such as the sector, date or unit – so that the incident can be properly investigated by the military, the media or other interested parties?

4. Finally, in light of the fact that Israel is such a strong democracy, with a robust grassroots civil society, and a free, feisty and adversarial media, what “silence” is this foreign-funded group attempting to break?

(h/t Yoel, Ian)

  • Wednesday, June 11, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
From The Irish Times:
The country in the world most faithful to the values of the Koran is Ireland according to an Iranian-born academic at George Washingon University in the US. Next are Denmark, Sweden and the UK.

In a BBC interview, Hossein Askari, Professor of International Business and International Affairs at George Washington University said a study by himself and colleague Dr Scheherazde S Rehman, also rates Israel (27) as being more compliant with the ideals of the Koran than any predominantly Muslim country.

Not a single majority Muslim country made the top 25 and no Arab country is in the top 50.

He said that when their ‘Islamicity index’ was applied only Malaysia (33) and Kuwait (42) featured in its top 50 countries, compared to the US at 15, the Netherlands also at 15, while France is at 17.

Saudi Arabia rated 91st, with Qatar at 111st.

In carrying out the study, they applied the ideals of Islam in the areas of a society’s economic achievements, governance, human and political rights, and international relations, he said.

On that index “Muslim countries do very badly,” he said and accused them of using religion as an instrument of power.

Last November Prof Askari said that “we must emphasize that many countries that profess Islam and are called Islamic are unjust, corrupt, and underdeveloped and are in fact not ‘Islamic’ by any stretch of the imagination.”

“Looking at an index of Economic Islamicity, or how closely the policies and achievements of countries reflect Islamic economic teachings - Ireland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Sweden, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Singapore, Finland, Norway, and Belgium round up the first 10”.

In their ‘Overall Islamicity Index’, a measure that encompasses laws and governance, human and political rights, international relations, and economic factors, “the rankings are much the same: New Zealand, Luxembourg, Ireland, Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Netherlands; and again only Malaysia (38) and Kuwait (48) make it into the top 50 from Muslim countries,” he said.
I don't think this study has been published yet, but I found the previous 2010 Islamicity Economic Index study by the same team, which also ranked Israel at 27, ahead of every Muslim and Arab country.

I am not qualified enough to know whether the values they claim are Islamic are, in fact, the complete set of values mentioned in the Koran. A study like this might sound scientific but ultimately it rests on its assumptions. They list 12 "Islamic economic principles" like "Economic Opportunity And Economic Freedom," "Justice in all aspects of economic management i.e. property rights and the sanctity of contracts," "Higher education expenditures relative to GDP including equal access to education," "A more even distribution of wealth and income" and "Better social infrastructure and provision of social services through taxation and social welfare." It is easy to see how the personal feelings of the researchers, who are both apparently Western Muslims, might influence their criteria for what are considered "Islamic values" as well as which Islamic values they choose to exclude. If these basic assumptions are incorrect, then no matter how rigorous the rest of the study is, it is worthless.

To take one example, slavery is permitted in the Koran. Masters are allowed to have sex with not only their slaves but also with female captives of war - with or without their consent. In other words, raping female slaves and captives is quite permitted as a Muslim ethical standard. Again, I am not an expert so I don't know the limitations of these laws under Sharia, if any, - Wikipedia doesn't list any significant limitations - but I highly doubt that any Western Muslim academic would count slavery and even limited rape of slaves as an "Islamic principle" that should be listed in a study like this. If the study only picks and chooses which Islamic principles are relevant, then it doesn't accurately represent Islamic principles.

I doubt too many non-Muslim economists or international relations scholars are qualified to challenge their basic assumptions of what values are considered "Islamic" so no real critiques are possible. In a sense, papers like these could be used as a whitewash of Islam as a political philosophy, and that is a danger that needs to be called out.

(I am very sensitive to nuances of religion, and I have seen Judaism attacked  as a religion that allows battlefield rape by haters with an antisemitic agenda. I'm basing my assumption that Islam allows raping captives and slaves - both are identical in Islam -  on Wikipedia articles that appear to be fairly well-sourced. Source-based corrections more than welcome. Also, if someone would write an academic paper ranking nations against Jewish principles, I would have the same issues as to methodology. I doubt that anyone would, though.)

Not surprisingly, when this story was reported by OnIslam.net, Israel's rankings are ignored.

(h/t billposer)

  • Wednesday, June 11, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Here are photos from this year's Hamas summer camp in Gaza:





There is a definite "fire" theme going on here.

Anyway, this is an excuse for me to again trot out my classic Gaza summer camp song parody originally written in 2008.



(h/t Bob Knot)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

From Ian:

Dr. King's pro-Israel Legacy (in 5 minutes) (h/t ProIsraelBayBloggers


Down the Middle East Memory Hole
In presenting his case that Israel is very far from being a colony, Friedman may be seen as offering a strong refutation to Ari Shavit’s showy “confession” in My Promised Land that Israel is indeed guilty of the sin of colonialism: the very sin so frequently invoked by its enemies to vilify and delegitimize it. For these enemies, the idea that Jews are native to the region is inadmissible—intolerable. And therein lies a clue both to their expunging of any memory of their own Jews and to their obsessive fixation on the un-erasable affront embodied in the existence of the Jewish state.
For what is it that really delegitimizes Israel in the eyes of its detractors? Why is the BDS movement so set against it, and not against, for example, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, to say nothing of Turkey, all of which occupy territories hastily cobbled together into states by the Treaty of Versailles and/or the disappearance of the colonial system—and all of which behave reprehensibly toward their remaining non-Arab, non-Islamic, and non-Turkic minorities? The answer is so obvious that I hesitate to put it in words. (h/t Norman F)
My own Jihad on “Stop the Occupation” Facebook Pages
It all started when I made up an alias facebook account so I could say what I really wanted to on Israeli news and Pro-Israel pages. Dare I say, maybe even this very one? Being right-wing when it comes to Israel, I didn’t have the desire to sift through anti-Semitic hate messages to my personal account. It’s funny how some leftist “humanitarians” spew the most venom at complete strangers with whom they don’t agree with. I decided to go undercover in my quest to spread the truth and confirm it for myself.
The truth is a very touchy subject when it comes to Israel. No one wants to hear it. No one wants to face it. To my surprise, I received much support for my blunt and honest statements. People were glad someone finally said what they wanted to say but felt they couldn’t. It’s hard to in this sugar-coated politically correct day-and-age. I decided to go onto Pro-Palestinian or rather Israeli-hate pages and enlighten them. That lasted about half a day before I was kicked out of all of them. Not for Muslim bashing, but for having another opinion. The “Free-Gaza” and “Stop the Occupation” activists don’t really like other opinions besides their own or actual facts. Truth seekers they are not. They want to play the victim and keep it that way. You may think facebook pages are nothing to worry about, yet these groups are in the thousands, which represent the millions. They create events and incite violence. They are not just a reflection of hate but the activists of it.
I could have stopped there, but what I saw on those pages drove me further in. I will discuss my other persona I used later. I was not shocked at the photoshoped images taken out of context with blatant false information as headlines. I was not shocked at the despicable hatred towards Israelis, specifically Jews. Yes, young Muslim’s living in America still refers to Jews as descendents of Apes and Pigs. I wasn’t even shocked at the thousands who joined these pages or hundreds of likes on pictures supporting terrorism. People justified the killing of Israeli children in the name of “resistance”. What did surprise me (from reading people’s comments) was how many actually believed the complete and utter hate propaganda.

  • Tuesday, June 10, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
The world is happy to pretend that Hamas joining the PA is not a problem at all, and in fact its a good thing:

A top UN envoy has met with four ministers of the new Palestinian unity government in the formerly Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, assuring them of United Nations support, the Associated Press reported.

Meanwhile, European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso told an Israeli security conference on Sunday that Palestinian unity deal with the Islamist Hamas movement must be supported.

“In the interest of a future peace deal and of a legitimate and representative government, intra-Palestinian reconciliation... should be supported,” Barroso told delegates at a conference in the coastal city of Herzliya.

In fact, this support of a unified Hamas/Fatah government is effectively the legitimization of terrorism.

If the world wants to embrace Hamas as part of the Palestinian Arab leadership, that means that it is embracing this:
Hamas has called on members of its armed wing in the West Bank to target Israeli soldiers
and civilians in a bid to ease the plight of its prisoners in Israeli jails, a party spokesman said on Monday.

“We call on the men of resistance in the West Bank, primarily the Al-Qassam Brigades, to fulfill their duty in protecting the prisoners on hunger strike by targeting the occupation soldiers and its settlers,” Hamas spokesman Hussam Badran wrote on his Facebook page Monday.

“The occupation must pay a high price in the blood of its soldiers and settlers until it is persuaded to solve the issue of prisoners on hunger strike. This is everyone’s task, on the individual and organizational levels,” he wrote.
If Hamas is part of the government, a statement like this must be immediately condemned not only by the UN and EU and US but by the PA itself.

But it won't be. It will be ignored by the world community, not wanting to embarrass Abbas into publicly pretending he is against terrorism, which would jeopardize the "unity" government that embraces.... terrorism.

So not only is "unity" with Hamas the antithesis of peace, it also creates a scenario where public incitement to terror is tacitly accepted by the supposedly progressive EU and UN. Before, the West could brush off such statements as just the rantings of a terrorist organization; by ignoring them now the West is effectively saying that the PA government can legitimately hold such positions.

The same people who fall over themselves to condemn the horror of an Israeli government agency approving a possible stage in the building of some houses in a few years are utterly silent when representatives of the Palestinian government calls for terror attacks (and keep in mind that to Hamas, all Israelis are "settlers.") Priorities, you know.

The real fruit of "unity" is the mainstreaming and acceptance of Palestinian terrorism in the world community.

(h/t Josh K)

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