Thursday, July 24, 2014
Uncommon common sense, as usual.
Today, Day 16 of the War against Hamas was a decisive day for Israel, both militarily and strategically.
The fight for Shejaiya was the one most on the radar, where a Gaza City suburb accurately described as a terrorist fortress was essentially leveled. But the IDF enjoyed equal and important successes in eastern Rafah and eastern Khan Yunis in the south.
The IDF's ground game was to split its forces into 5 mobile task forces, each one the size of half a division and attack Hamas at multiple points in coordination with attacks from the air. The strategy has worked well and both PM Netanyahu and Chief of Staff General Benny Ganz have been quite open in praising the IDF's performance. This isn't Lebanon in 2006 with amateurs at the helm. The war has been run not by Israel's security cabinet but by Netanyahu, Ganz and Defense Minister Moishe Ya'alon.And Aluf Ganz is not sitting in Jerusalem, but in the front lines with his men.
Visiting Colonel Tomer Yifrach, the 188th Armored Corps commander who had injured in his back Ganz asked how he was feeling. Yifrach answered: "I have amazing men who watch my back." He does.
Here is Ganz with the heroic Golani Brigade commander, Colonel Ghassan Alian, who defied the medics and returned to his men after being wounded and evacuated to the hospital over the weekend. He still bears the scars of battle.
The cost has been high, but spirit of the Tzahal is superb:
This video is of soldiers dancing just before they went into action in Gaza. The song is "We Have No one to Rely Upon Except Our Father In Heaven."
While destroying the tunnels could still take weeks, that goal is now in sight. But the main decisive battle is yet to be fought.At this point, what's being considered is a major assault on the Hamas central command post, the bunker complex housing Hamas’ top military command and infrastructure inside and below Shifra Hospital (yet another violation of international law by Hamas, but who's still counting at this point?). That assault could come as soon as tomorrow.
Hamas at this point has rejected any ceasefire except on the most ridiculous of terms. Hamas Chief Khalid Mesha'al, safe in Qatar is insisting that any ceasefire has to involve the removal of the Egyptian and Israeli blockade, which would make reconstruction of the tunnels and the restocking of Hamas' missile arsenal a matter of ease.
Meshaal said, "We will not accept any initiative that does not lift the blockade on our people and that does not respect their sacrifices. Let us agree on achieving our demands and we will then agree on the zero-hour for a ceasefire."
In view of that attitude and the fact that Hamas has violated three 'humanitarian truces' since this war began, is obvious that any cessation of hostilities is not going to come easy.
The EU foreign ministers surprisingly came out with a joint statement calling for Hamas to be disarmed. Of course, none of them are talking about sending in any boots on the ground to help with the job.
There's no advantage to Israel in a ceasefire or in leaving Hamas in place so that the whole scenario can be played out again in a year or so.What Israel's security cabinet will debate is what comes next.
Should Israel simply destroy or at least badly cripple Hamas,declare victory and go home? Do they want to occupy Gaza,and have responsibility for 1.5 million people, a significant number of whom have always hated Jews just because? Do they turn it over to Abbas and the PA? To the UN?
I still stick with my original solution - defeat Hamas utterly,annex Gaza and transfer a significant amount of the current inhabitants to to Abbas' little reichlet in Area A. Then repopulate it with Jews and watch Gaza turn from a terrorist swamp into Singapore or Hong Kong. Even the Arabs left in Gaza wil be astounded at how much better their lives will be.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
The FAA just ended the ban on flights by American carriers to Israel. Some European carriers are still continuing the ban.
The new determination came, ostensibly, following an FAA security review with U.S. officials. The FAA did leave the door open to the possibility of reinstating the ban:
“Before making this decision, the FAA worked with its U.S. government counterparts to assess the security situation in Israel and carefully reviewed both significant new information and measures the Government of Israel is taking to mitigate potential risks to civil aviation,” the FAA said. “The agency will continue to closely monitor the very fluid situation around Ben Gurion Airport and will take additional actions, as necessary.”
Now that we have that bit of bureaucratic horse manure out of the way, the real story.
The ban, which gave a huge victory to Hamas made the Israelis absolutely livid, and with good reason. The attempt to arm twist Israel into a ceasefire to protect the Hamas status quo by the Obama Administration backfired badly as PM Netanyahu explained to Secretary Kerry today. It has had just the opposite effect, energizing the Israelis to finish off Hamas and weakening American influence.
It also polled very poorly in what is still a largely pro-Israel country. Senator Ted Cruz made headlines asking out loud if this was 'the beginning of an economic boycott' against Israel by the Obama Administration.Cruz even threatened to hold up all State Department nominees unless the Obama Administration answered questions about the Israel travel ban.
And at the other end of the spectrum former Mayor Michael Bloomberg lambasted the ban, even hopping on a plane to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv to show his solidarity with Israel and how ridiculous the ban was.
Another factor of course is that Israeli airlines El Al and Arkia were ramping up flights to America and the American carriers were not happy at losing the business.
So the ban, at least as far as the FAA is concerned is over. The Obama regime gained nothing from it except a lot of ill will from Israel and its supporters.
The UN Human Rights Council isn't sitting idly by while war in being waged in Gaza. Today, Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights and head of the Council accused - wait for it - Israel of committing war crimes, and the Council adopted a Palestinian resolution calling for condemnation of Israel and a full investigation into 'violations' Israel allegedly committed.
For cover purposes, a brief pro forma condemnation of Hamas was included for their "indiscriminate attacks" on Israel. Not for their using civilians as human shields, not for using hospitals as military command posts, not for storing armaments in UNRWA schools, not for targeting Israeli civilians or a civilian airport, all of which are war crimes under the Geneva Convention Hamas/Fatah just signed on to and all of which Israel has documented.
None of that is going to be investigated by the UNHRC. Just a brief mention of "indiscriminate attacks" which implies that attacks on Israel in general are just fine with the UNHRC, if they're targeted.
Navi Pillay, a South African, has a long history of anti-Israel activism and border line Jew hatred, including her helping to organize the notorious Durban II and Durban III conferences that were so rife with Jew hatred that a number of western delegates walked out on them.
She is a real piece of work, and it's not at all unexpected that she would spearhead this. In th eend, the vote was 22 in favor of the resolution (almost all Muslim and Arab countries) and one against (the United States) while 17 other countries, mostly EU nations cowardly abstained.
The Palestinian delegate from Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction, Riyad al-Maliki who brought the resolution forward and was last seen accusing Israel of fabricating the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens Hamas murdered said "Israel is in the process of committing hideous crimes."
"Israel is destroying residential areas completely. Israel is targeting journalists. Israel has destroyed 2,500 houses. Infrastructure has been destroyed. Israeli forces are targeting Gaza's medical centers. What Israel is doing is a crime against humanity. How many martyrs must die before Israel puts an end to its aggression?"
As you can imagine, that screed got huge applause from the usual suspects.
Israel's envoy to the UNHRC, Eviatar Manor, responded to Pillay's comments by accusing Hamas of committing war crimes and insisted that Israel was acting as any other state would in seeking to defend its citizens. "There can be no moral symmetry between a terrorist aggressor and a democracy defending itself," he argued.
Even Israel's Justice Minister Tzipi Livni expressed her outrage insisting her country was acting according to international law.
"It is regrettable civilians are killed, but when we call on them to vacate and Hamas calls on them to stay, then that is what happens," she told Israel radio,describing the UN Human Rights Council accurately as an "anti-Israel" body.
The upshot of this is easy to see. The UNHRC will do its 'investigation' and condemn Israel, no matter the reality. They will rely on hearsay, they will slant 'evidence' they will simply make things up if they have to. That's what they're there for.
Israel will issue a rebuttal, which will be ignored. And the entire exercise will have no real effect but to deepen Israel's distrust of the UN and make them less and less willing to cooperate with it.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman met today with the UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon to protest UNRWA allowing Hamas to store rockets and other weaponry in UNRWA schools..and the fact that UNRWA, once it was caught doing it 'resolved' the situation by turning the rockets over to Hamas, a terrorist group so that they could be fired against Israeli civilians.
Lieberman told Ban that it was inexcusable for a UN organization to allow a terrorist group to endanger Palestinian children by using a school for a weapons depot and then to turn the rockets over to Hamas so they could endanger Israeli children.
Ban had no official response.
This is what the UN has degenerated into...a shill for terrorist groups and a haven for anti-semitism.
The IDF continues to strike back at Hamas.
There were several reports of a 'humanitarian ceasefire' in the making that was scheduled to begin at 10 AM local time, but Hamas made so many ridiculous demands that if never came off.
There was also some apprehension that Hamas may have captured an Israeli soldier, but Sergeant Oron Shaul, a combat soldier of the Golani brigade, 21 years old from Poria has now been accounted for as a KIA (HY"D). Apparently Hamas merely recovered some of his documents.
The UN's pro Hamas/Fatah Secretary General Ban ki-Moon met with PM Netanyahu today to whine about Hamas civiian casualties while saying nothing about his Hamas friends violating the Geneva Accord they just joined with Ban's help by using civilians as human shields, storing armaments in UNRWA facilities, and targeting civilians in Israel. PM Netanyahu had a few things to say to him, after showing Ban the steps the IDF ( unlike Hamas) is taking to avoid civilian casualties (emphasis mine):
Mr. Secretary, I appreciate the fact that you came here and that you took time to see what we’ve just shown you. I think it’s clear that Israel is doing what any country would do if terrorists rained down rockets on its cities and towns – hundreds of rockets, day after day, week after week. In addition, as I’ve shown you, Hamas has dug terrorist tunnels under hospitals, mosques, schools, homes, to penetrate our territory, to kidnap and kill Israelis.
Now, in the face of such wanton terrorism, no country could sit idly by. It would exercise its right, inherent and legitimate right of self-defense as we are doing, and act decisively to end the threat to its citizens. This is what Israel is doing. We did not seek this escalation, Mr. Secretary. We accepted the Egyptian ceasefire proposal. I don’t need to remind you it was a proposal that was supported by the UN, by the Arab League, by the United States, by Europe. Hamas rejected it. We accepted the humanitarian ceasefire proposal that the UN proposed afterward. Hamas rejected that. We accepted the ceasefire proposal of the Red Cross in Shejaia. Hamas rejected that, twice. I think the international community must take a clear stand; it must hold Hamas accountable for consistently rejecting the ceasefire proposals and for starting and prolonging this conflict. The international community must hold Hamas accountable for its increasing and indiscriminate attacks on Israeli civilians. And the international community must hold Hamas accountable for using Palestinian civilians as human shields deliberately putting them in harm’s way, deliberately keeping them in harm’s way.
Mr. Secretary, we have made every effort and will continue to make every effort to avoid civilian casualties. We are targeting Hamas terrorist targets. We’ve just shown you these targets, embedded in civilian areas, embedded in mosques, embedded in hospitals, embedded in agricultural schools. Hamas is embedded in there in order to sustain civilian casualties, because they know that we will have to protect our citizens; that we have to act against their targets. So they are committing a double war crime: both targeting our civilians and hiding behind their civilians. And they want, I repeat: They want more civilian casualties, whereas we want no civilian casualties at all, and we’re taking the utmost pain to minimize that. I think the people of Gaza, and that’s become absolutely clear to the world, are the victims of the brutal Hamas regime. They are holding them hostage and they are hiding behind them.
You know, Mr. Secretary, the international community has pressed us to give cement to Gaza to build schools, hospitals, homes. And now we see what has happened to those deliveries of cement. They have been used to dig tunnels next to a kindergarten, not to build a kindergarten but to build a tunnel that penetrates our territory so that Hamas can blow up our kindergartens and murder our children. They’ve used for a long time our willingness to try to keep civilians at a minimum. They’ve been using them to keep on firing at us. We have even opened up a field hospital, Mr. Secretary, to help Hamas civilians, and Hamas is preventing civilians of Gaza from going to our hospital. I believe that you understand this. I believe that you understand that it is the right of every state to defend itself. And Israel will continue to do what it needs to do to defend its people.
Mr. Secretary, this is not only our right; this is our duty.
So far, Bibi Netanyahu is standing up to cretins like Ban. Let's hope it continues.
Here's the IDF's own summary of today's events:
Since the beginning of the ground phase of the operation, the IDF has targeted over 1,800 terror sites. Over the course of the day the IDF has targeted approximately 260 terror activity sites in Gaza. Among the targets were military posts, concealed rocket launchers, weapon manufacturing facilities and military command centers. IDF soldiers uncovered thus far approximately 30 offensive tunnels and 66 access points.
2,160 rockets have been fired at Israel since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, 420 of them were intercepted and some 1,700 hit Israel. Today, 87 rockets were fired at Israel, 18 of them intercepted and 67 hit Israel.
This morning, militants fired anti-tank missiles from within a mosque at IDF soldiers in Khan-Yunis. In response, IAF aircraft targeted the mosque, identifying a hit. Staff Sergeant Avitar Moshe Torjamin was killed and several soldiers were wounded in this incident.
In a separate incident, terrorists fired anti-tank missiles at IDF soldiers in Khan-Yunis. The soldiers responded with fire and killed 4 terrorists.
Around noon, IDF soldiers uncovered 3 tunnel access points in the northern Gaza Strip.
Later today, elite unit soldiers uncovered a cache of ammunition in the central Gaza Strip. The ammunition included anti-tank missiles, heavy machine guns and AK- 47 assault rifles.
Recently, 2 terrorists opened fire at IDF soldiers who responded to the threat and killed them.
The IDF thus far has lost 29 of its soldiers in the war against Hamas. The Hamas toll is well over 600,and contrary to what you're hearing the majority of those deaths are combatants.
Today was also the day the U.S. and a number of EU carriers suspended service to Israel after a Hamas rocket damaged a house a mile from Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport. As I wrote earlier this is sheer nonsense that gives Hamas a prize for attacking Israel, just like the $47 million President Obama and Secretary John Kerry have pledged to gift them with. They're not pledging any finds for rebuilding anything in Israel hit by Hamas rockets, of course.
One can only wonder what the reaction of Hamas/Fatah would be if President Obama said flat out that if they launched any more rockets at Israeli civilians, U.S. financial support would rend immediately. Of course, we don't have that kind of president in the White House, although the Canadians certainly have that kind of PM in Ottawa.
Of all people, former NY mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg slammed the FAA ban on U.S carriers flying to Israel and is on his way there via El Al. You have to give him credit.
And speaking of real heroes...The commander of the IDF’s Golani Brigade, Raslan Alian, was wounded on Saturday night. He's the highest ranking Druze in the IDF. He insisted on returning to his men in Gaza on Tuesday to finish the mission, with the scars of battle still evident on his face:
The motto of the Tzahal commanders? 'Follow me.'
In other tidbits, more Hamas rockets were found stored in UNRWA facilities, which of course UNRWA claims to know nothing about. Just like the last batch that was found, UNRWA will hand the latest batch to Hamas to fire against Israeli civilians.
Such people do not even merit contempt. They're simply cockroaches in human form.
Here's hoping that when this is all over, Israel expels UNRWA, never to return.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Welcome to the Watcher's Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the 'sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.
The Council In Action!!
* Bookworm over at Bookworm Room scored with this wonderful poster featured at American Thinker
This week, The MidKnight Review, Seraphic Secret, The Pirate's Cove and Blazing Cat Fur earned honorable mention status with some great articles.
You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.
To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address ( which won't be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out Wednesday morning
It's a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members. while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?
So, let's see what we have for you this week....
- The Noisy Room – Orchestrated Invasion – The Eradication Of America’s Borders
- The Independent Sentinel – Stunning audio of border patrol in active pursuit of Muslims
- The Colossus of Rhodey – Profs Given Grant to Overcome White Male Hegemony in Science Fiction. Or Something
- Joshuapundit-The Border? The Mideast? Scandals? For The Obamas It's Luxury Vacay Time Again!!
- Simply Jews – Jewish/Muslim clashes in Paris. POV means: Point Of View
- The Right Planet – The Radical Left’s ‘Islamophobic’ Reaction to the Hobby Lobby Ruling
- Rhymes With Right – Why We Need To Focus On Juan Garcia Rather Than Stefan Kowalski
- GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Valkyrie Day
- The Glittering Eye -Where You Sit Is Where You Stand?
- VA Right! - Remember – The Illegals at our Border Are Pink Tide SOCIALISTS!!!
- Bookworm Room – Daniel Hannan goes to the heart of things, praising the rule of law
- Nice Deb – What Crisis? Obama’s ‘Gonna Stick to the Schedule – a Cheeseburger, Fries and Two Fundraisers’ (Video
- The Razor – A Trip to Mt. Hiei, Kyoto Japan
- Ask Marion – Clinton Inc. – The Ugly Just Does Not Stop
- The MidKnight Review - Labels are often, necessary, but, at other times labels misinform and defeat the purpose of civil discussion. Case in point: Sara Firth.
- Seraphic Secret - Hamas Dead Baby Strategy
- The Pirate's Cove - Court Strikes Down Key Obamacare Component
- Blazing Cat Fur - French online forums overflow with anti-Jewish hate
- Sultan Knish –It's Another "Death to the Jews" Weekend submitted by The Noisy Room
- Doug Ross –CHANGE: Since Obama became President, 1.5 MILLION people have been added to secret "suspected terrorist" list submitted by The Independent Sentinel
- Jim Geraghty/NRO – A Thor Subject submitted by The Colossus of Rhodey
- Sharon Omrad-Guetta/Israel Hayom – Come Home, My Love submitted by Joshuapundit
- Between Jerusalem And Tel Aviv – How do you say "Chutzpa" in British? submitted by Simply Jews
- The Patriot Brotherhood – Wow! Obama's broken promises from a lifelong Liberal Democrat submitted by The Right Planet
- To Understand The Present, Remember The Past – How Obama & The Democrats Are Repeating The History of Vietnam - And Will Get The Same Resultsubmitted by Rhymes with Right
- Foreign Affairs – How Hamas Won submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Sic Semper Tyrannis – Did Kiev shoot down MH -17? submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Israel Matsav – Poll: 77% of Israeli Jews oppose cease fire under current circumtances submitted by VA Right!
- Mark Steyn -Fields Of Blood submitted by Bookworm Room
- Tara Servatius /American Thinker -The brutal Obama policy that's really driving the Border Crisis submitted by Nice Deb
- The American Interest –Anti-GMO Activists Are Harming Hungry Africans submitted by The Razor
- Isabel Matos/A Time for Choosing -What in the Heck is Wrong With the “D” Word? JUST Get Over It Already. It’s Exasperating. Readers, Chime In! submitted by Ask Marion
- PJ Tatler – Is Sen. Elizabeth Warren a Mere Hack or an Out-and-Out Sociopath? submitted by The Watcher
- The New Republic – How The Israel/Palestine Peace Plan Died submitted by Watcher
Enjoy! And don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..'cause we're cool like that!
The FAA has banned U.S. carriers from flying to Israel until further notice due to a Hamas rocket hitting a house a mile away from Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport.
The FAA advisory reads:
The notice was issued in response to a rocket strike which landed approximately one mile from Ben Gurion International Airport on the morning ... [and] applies only to U.S. operators, and has no authority over foreign airlines operating to or from the airport
The EU was quick to follow along with The European Aviation Safety Agency telling France's AFP it would issue a "strong recommendation to avoid until further notice Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport."
This not only affects Israel economically (this is the height of the tourist season in Israel), but increases Israel's sense of isolation during wartime, and that is deliberate.
Both the Obama Administration and the EU want to stop Israel's offensive in Gaza and preserve Hamas' Islamist reichlet. This is their way of increasing pressure on Israel to leave Hamas in place.
Just imagine what would happen if President Obama made a clear statement slamming Hamas for the war crime of targeting a civilian airport and threatened to cut off all funding for Hamas/Fatah unless the rocket fire at Israel's civilians stopped immediately? But not this president.
As Israeli Transport Minister Yisrael Katz said, this was a ridiculous overreaction. "There is no reason for these companies to stop flights. They have given a prize to terror."
After all, Malaysia Airline Flight 17, was traveling through an area with no international restrictions
when it was shot down over the Ukraine, where an armed conflict was known to exist.
I advise anyone traveling to Israel to take El Al.
On the plus side,this provides an incentive for Israel to step up its offensive and take out Hamas once and for all. And it also shows why 'Palestine' in Judea and Samaria shouldn't be based on the pre '67 lines, if it exists at all.
As an aside, President Obama has already pledged $47 million of your tax dollars to Hamas/Fatah for 'rebuilding' in Gaza, plus an additional $15 million to UNRWA ...and not a dime to Israel for its own rebuilding. Since he has to be aware that the money he gave Hamas for 'rebuilding Gaza' and 'humanitarian aid' went to building Hamas' terrorist infrastructure and the tunnels the Israelis are now fighting to destroy, there's no mistaking where his sympathies lie.
The DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today on a landmark case, Halbig vs. Burwell that would deal a huge blow to ObamaCare
The three judge panel, based on what they called a close reading of the law ruled that most of the ObamaCare subsidies are illegal.The 2-1 ruling said the subsidies can only be given to people who bought insurance in an Obamacare exchange run by an individual state or the District of Columbia—and not on the federally run exchange HealthCare.gov.
"Section 36B plainly makes subsidies available in the Exchanges established by states," wrote Senior Circuit Judge Raymond Randolph in his majority opinion, where he was joined by Judge Thomas Griffith.
"We reach this conclusion, frankly, with reluctance. At least until states that wish to can set up their own Exchanges, our ruling will likely have significant consequences both for millions of individuals receiving tax credits through federal Exchanges and for health insurance markets more broadly."
Both Judge Randolph and Judge Griffith were appointed by President George HW Bush and President George W. Bush, respectively. The dissenting jurist,Judge Harry Edwards is a Carter appointee and an African-American, and his dissent was mainly based on a political stance, that this was "an attempt to gut ObamaCare."
You may draw your own conclusions.
The reality is that, as the law was written, people who enroll in Obamacare through the federal exchange aren’t eligible for subsidies. The text of the law only provides subsidies for people enrolled through “an Exchange established by the State,” according to the text of the Affordable Care Act. Only 16 states decided to establish the exchanges.
In Halbig vs. Burwell, the fed's argument was that the IRS issued a regulation expanding the number of enrollees who qualify for the subsidies. The plaintiff's argument was that the IRS does not have the authority to make that change. And if we're going by the law, it doesn't, because that amounts to legislation.
The IRS has no independent power to tax, borrow and spend. Only Congress can do that.It can only deviate from law in the case of obvious typos or ambiguous language, or in the case of something simply not making sense. Unfortunately for proponents of ObamaCare, the language in Section 36B is explicit, has a clear meaning and cannot be said to contain any typos, since the exact same language was written into numerous drafts of the law, including the final one sent to Se4nate Majority leader Harry Reid before the vote. The plaintiffs were able to clearly establish that, which is why the panel ruled as it did.
I guess the Dems really should have read the bill to see what was in it before jamming it down our throats.
The effect of this ruling, if it's upheld, would be to substantially cripple ObamaCare,perhaps terminally. ObamaCare, thus far, has mainly been attractive to those people who are interested in free stuff someone else is paying for. ObamaCare as free stuff mainly relies on the subsidies, and without them, it goes under without a massive federal bailout. Twenty seven states decided not to set up ObamaCare exchanges, and another nine states opted out.
A whopping 87% of ObamaCare's 'customers' are getting the subsidies. More than half of them signed up via the federal exchange. If the subsidies aren't available for them, they would be able to opt out, circumventing the law that requires them to get insurance or pay a tax penalty. The same applies to a great many other people the Obama Administration was relying on to pay for those subsidies through the IRS penalties.
And if ObamaCare goes down? Well, we can just write off the literally billions of dollars it cost to put together the dysfunctional website, the costs of the Justice Department defending this legal abortion, the costs to market it and try to sell it, the lost productivity and man hours in both the private and public sector, and any other monies already paid out. All because this president and his party were so arrogant, so intent on getting their own way, so anxious to get this through no matter what the American people wanted that they were willing to ignore the law and circumvent the normal reconciliation process with the senate that is supposed to iron out errors like this because of Scott Brown's surprise election in Massachusetts.
There is not one member of congress who went along with this costly charade worthy of re-election. They knew how wrong it was, but they did it anyway.
Don't pop the champagne corks yet. The Obama Department of Justice is sure to appeal this, and the Supremes can either abrogate the ruling, agree with the lower court or simply refuse to hear the case, so that the lower court's ruling stands. Or they can appeal to the DC Court for an en banc hearing, requiring the full court to hear an appeal. Given some of the legal detritus the Regime has been able to pack the DC Circuit with, they might just prevail, in which case it is the plaintiffs whom would have to appeal to the Supreme Court.
I remember working on Bobby Kennedy's campaign as a very, very young teenage precinct captain in California. He was by far the most able and intelligent of all the Kennedys, and I've always felt it was a national tragedy that he never made it into the White House.There's a lot more I could say about his assassination, which occurred while I was attending the victory party over his winning the California primary,but I'm going to censor myself. Suffice it to say that had certain members - one in particular- of Kennedy's security team been doing the job they were getting paid for that night, Robert Kennedy wouldn't have been killed.
Let it be noted however that current leftist darling and Obama ally Bill Ayers dedicated his book, 'Prairie Fire' to Kennedy's murderer.
I never saw this quote before, but it's typically insightful. The Ottoman sultan encouraged Jewish migration to Palestine because he wanted tax revenues out of the villayat, and he saw that the only two even marginally successful areas in what was mostly a depopulated barren wasteland were Jerusalem and Safed, Jewish majority cities. It was Jewish migration, starting in the1880's that created the farms and commerce that drew Arabs from the Hejaz, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon to the region. And in the period Kennedy mentions, there was further migration from Arabs in these areas because over one third of Palestine's Jews were in uniform fighting the Nazis and the British allowed unlimited Arab migration to deal with the resulting labor shortage. At the same time, to its eternal shame, Britain prohibited any Jews from coming to Palestine and doomed them to the Nazi death camps.
Now you know where most of the Arabs who identify themselves as Palestinians came from. That includes Yasser Arafat, an Egyptian.
Delta, United and US Airways have canceled all flights to Israel and have suspended service until further notice, after a Hamas rocket landed near Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport,damaging a house and wounding an Israeli.
A Delta Boeing 747 from New York was flying over the Mediterranean headed for Tel Aviv on Tuesday when it turned around and flew to Paris instead. Flight 468 had 273 passengers and 17 crew on board.
“We are suspending operations to/from Tel Aviv until further notice,” said United Spokeswoman Jennifer Dohm. “We are working with government officials to ensure the safety of our customers and our employees and will continue to evaluate the situation."
There are plenty of other carriers still servicing Israel, including the legendary El Al, so those of you who are traveling to Israel have alternatives. Actually, I can't imagine why anyone flying to Israel would choose any other carrier than El Al, for sheer safety and amenities if nothing else.
But now you know yet another reason Hamas must be utterly defeated, and why Israel is insisting on retaining control of the Jordan Valley so the Arabs who identify themselves as Palestinians can't get their hands on the same sort of toys Hamas is using.
It's also a very good argument in general against 'Palestine' as a state...especially since Fatah and Hamas have now dropped the pretense and are partnered up.
Monday, July 21, 2014
The French government prohibited 'pro-Palestine' demonstrations after two synagogues were attacked, along with other violent incidents. But that didn't stop French Muslims, who raged through the predominantly Jewish Paris suburb of Sarcelles in what one police official called the “Paris Intifada.”
Sarcelles has been nicknamed little Jerusalem because of its large community of Sephardic Jews.Like most predominantly Jewish neighborhoods, it's a fairly quiet place, with the usual quota of Kosher markets, synagogues and small shops. What happened this weekend was anything but quiet.
On Saturday, 3000 people gathered near the Gare Du Nord, the main Paris metro train station and began marching up Barbes Boulevard, burning, looting and assaulting people who 'looked Jewish' as they went. 14 policemen were injured and 38 arrests were made. On Sunday hundreds of mostly Arab and North African youths marched through the streets of Sarcelles, wielding bars and clubs while shouting, “Death to Israel” and "death to the Jews."
The neighborhood’s largest kosher grocery Naouri was burned to a shell and so were a number of other stores including a local Jewish owned pharmacy and a funeral home. The nearby synagogue in Garges was firebombed, but fortunately not much damage was done. Windows were smashed, shops were looted and several passers by were assaulted.
Le Figaro reported that riot police attempted to disperse protesters and block access to another synagogue in Sarcelles, lobbing tear gas and rubber bullets at the crowd. A number of police were reported injured and some journalists were assaulted as well.
“I live in Garges, near the synagogue, but I’m afraid to go home,” a young woman told the newspaper.
“We are seeing real scenes of urban guerrilla warfare,” Thierry Maze, a local law enforcement officer, told Le Figaro.
Many Jews reported being afraid to leave their homes.
Here's what Sarcelles looked like afterwards:
This pogrom - and it really can't be called anything else- has become a major concern to French Jewish leaders.From the Algemeiner:
In a Facebook post on Monday, France’s former chief rabbi Gilles Berheim called on the French government “not to tolerate this kind of behavior.”
“I watched from Israel with great concern and fear the violence that took place in Paris, in Barbes on Saturday and on Sunday in Sarcelles,” he wrote. “While the pretext for these demonstrations was support of Gaza, they are actually anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic demonstrations. This is unspeakable
Rabbi Levy Djian, a French Jewish activist living in New York told The Algemeiner that the series of riots show “we are entering a new era of real fear for the Jewish community of France.”
“Last week, in Paris, synagogues were attacked in broad daylight,” Djian said. “In Nice demonstrators screamed: ‘We are all Mohamed Merah’s!’ Then there were the riots in Barbes (Paris’s 18th district) yesterday, and there were the violent demonstrations in Sarcelles on Sunday.”
(note: Mohamed Merah was the jihadi who murdered a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulon back in 2012. Some hero..)
“The fact that the Muslims feel free to act against the police and the government is very alarming because who knows what will happen tomorrow? Many are talking about going to Israel but this can not be the solution to this problem. There are still many Jewish communities in France and it is imperative that they should be safe and feel totally secure.”
Rabbi Djian has it correct that France's restive Muslims no longer fear the police. Why would they? Certain arrondissements in Paris and elsewhere are known to les flics as La Zone, no-go areas where they only go in heavily armed bands when absolutely necessary. And for all the condemnations of the violence President Hollande and the Socialists owe their election to an almost bloc Muslim vote. They aren't going to bear down too hard.
France's Jews, no matter what, aren't going to feel 'safe and totally secure' in France and they are going to continue to be targeted. It is French Jews that are being attacked, not Israelis or Israeli institutions.It is French Jews, it has been happening for a long time now, and it is not going to change unless something unforeseen happens.
Despite Rabbi Djian's thought on the matter, going to Israel is indeed a solution that is appealing more and more to many French Jews.
As Roger Cukierman, President of Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (CRIF), France's major Jewish organization said in Le Monde Juif,the anti-semitic violence could very well drive France's Jews out of the country.
As the French will no doubt find if that happens, après le Juifs, le déluge, to change slightly an an old and famous quotation.
Well. the July 20th deadline of talks between Iran and the P5+1 over Iran's illegal nuclear program came and went. This was supposed to be 'Iran's last chance' according to Secretary Kerry and other assorted foreign policy leaders. So what happened? New, increased sanctions? An embargo on Iranian oil? Ominous remarks about 'consequences', perhaps?
The P5+1, AKA The U.S., France, Britain, Russia and China plus Germany came up with something even worse. As Reuters and other sources are reporting, not only did they they give the Ayatollahs another 4 months to 'negotiate' while the centrifuges spin, but they actually bribed them with a further release of $2.5 billion in frozen funds just to keep the faux negotiations going. So not only does Iran get another 4 months for weapons development, they get the badly needed funds to continue!
You literally can't make this stuff up.
And to add to the mix, a recent Pentagon report shows Iran using the time and money it'd gotten from the West via November's agreement that wasn't really an agreement to increase its military capabilities, especially in the area of ballistic missiles.
There are really only two possibilities here. Either Secretary Kerry and the rest of the Obama team are so abysmally stupid and incompetent that they can't see how they're being played and where this is leading. Or they know, and simply don't care, but want to make it look like they at least tried to do something to prevent a nuclear Iran.
Nothing else makes sense. When the four months are up, Iran will have bought themselves an entire year's worth of time to continue their development of nuclear weapons and their delivery. Not only that, but the West has actually paid them to allow them the funds to do it.
This makes Neville Chamberlain and Munich look like amateur hour.At least Chamberlain had a piece of paper from Hitler, while Kerry and President Obama don't even have that much.
This will not end well. And that is a massive understatement.
Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: What Will Be The Most Significant Technological Development of the Next Decade?
The Razor: There are two game changers I see on the horizon, although the timing is probably much longer than a decade.
The first is driverless cars. Human beings are terrible drivers compared to computers. Even the best drivers can be distracted or suffer poor judgment in an instant. It will take a while for people to trust their cars, but when they do, American life will be changed in ways not seen since the internal combustion engine chased horses off the road. People will enjoy the independence of the car without the danger and required concentration, and while I’m not sure what this would mean to everyday life I would expect it to change.
The second is an electronic universal translator. We’re already seeing these used by the armed forces to a limited degree, and in our increased reliance on Google Translate – something that I resort to frequently since one of our members follows Russian language news services and alerts us to interesting stories. As the handheld translators used by the military and machine translation improves, we will reach a point where we could wear a headset like Google Glass and have the signs translated into English by the headset. Then we could enter a shop and speak English and have our smartphone recognize our speech and translate it into Italian and broadcast it in a voice that sounds like our own. The clerk could respond in Italian, and we would hear her response followed by an accurate-enough English translation either printed in our field of vision on our headset or voiced by our smartphone. Monolingual idiots like me would then be able to travel the world without fear of embarrassment or the need to torment myself with languages that simply will not stick in my Teflon-coated brain. I have been waiting for this device since I was studying Chinese in high school, and being pity-passed for four hopeless years by my teacher Mr. Wang.
GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD: Methinks the single most significant tech development will be the widespread adoption of human stem cells to treat an extraordinary range of medical conditions, from organ failure to Alzheimer's.
Unlike many other exciting technologies that may make progress, stem cells have already reached a stage where they are regularly making major breakthroughs. We've seen a 10 year old child in Great Britain have a new trachea grown inside his throat using his own stem cells. Bladders and blood vessels are close behind. There's also been progress with stem cells treating blood conditions, blindness, joint conditions, heart damage, etc, etc.
Soon this kinda tech won't be experimental, it will be universal.
The benefits - extraordinary healing of conditions that have few meaningful treatments - will make stem cells a popular and revolutionizing therapy in the field of medicine. This technology is here, it is growing, and in 20 years we will have developed a diverse arsenal of stem-cell tools that will constitute a major part of every hospital around the world.
'Incurable conditions' will be fewer, and millions will be able to live normal lives thanks to stem cell treatments. Billions will be able to live longer and healthier lives as stem cells repair and replace their failing bodies. Stem cells represent healing and longevity in one place, and they are already on their way here. Their continued development will be the single most impactful change in technology in the next two decades.
JoshuaPundit: In one word, robotics, and on many levels. The successful push for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle ( and San Francisco and Los Angeles are already climbing on the band wagon), the increased cost of benefits and other factors of productivity are going to see robots increasingly replacing humans in a number of jobs, and not just fast food. Bank tellers, receptionists, medical intake personnel, miners and factory workers are among the many jobs that will find themselves replaced, with maybe one or two human workers where there used to be a dozen or more. The technology to replace most of these jobs already exists, and as it becomes more competitively priced it will become more widely adopted. Even jobs like certain things now done by gardeners, and your friendly pool guy could be replaced with existing technology. One can only imagine what the future would bring...robot handymen, plumbers, electricians? The effect on human society of perpetual unemployment for so many will also be interesting.
I would not be surprised at all to see robot soldiers and pilots whom 'fly' their planes from the ground in fairly short order by decade's end.
Robots, I'm certain will even have an effect on the Oldest Profession. Sex robots already exist and as the technology gets better will become more lifelike and affordable. Aside from home models, we may even see robot brothels.
At that point, there are going to be a number of moral questions raised. Is it humane and moral to exploit such lifelike robots? Do they have civil and human rights? What if someone wants to 'marry' one of them?
I think we're in for an interesting decade.
Simply Jews: I would expect some developments in medicine first of all, on the boundaries of biotechnology and nano-technology. A decisive solution to several most frequent cancers, some hereditary diseases and organ repairs.
The Glittering Eye: To satisfy the terms of the question an emerging technology would need to be a) influential and b) prevalent by the end of the decade. I think that the only technological development that meets those criteria is additive manufacturing.
Additive manufacturing AKA 3D printing or desktop manufacturing has been used in practice for some time and the technology is improving (and getting cheaper) so rapidly I can't help but believe that it will be quite commonplace by the end of the decade. I think it will be influential in three ways.
The first way is that it will undercut Chinese dominance in certain areas of manufacturing. That dominance has been produced by very low labor costs and you can't get any lower than zero which is what additive manufacturing promises. As the technology matures China's great distance from its markets will be more influential than its low labor costs, an advantage they're already beginning to lose to places like Vietnam.
The biggest losers to additive manufacturing will be places like Vietnam which are only now getting into the low end manufacturing business. Historically, the path to high value manufacturing has always run through low value manufacturing—things like toys, apparel, paper goods, etc. When that path is closed I'm not sure what these developing countries will do.
The third way additive manufacturing will be influential is that it will change the way we think about certain things. Making new parts for things or whole things will become so cheap and easy no one will think of doing anything but getting them custom-made. The implications for warehousing, logistics, etc. are enormous.
Ask Marion : I think unless there are some major changes in society and with people standing-up to the ruling elite, all the major changes coming will put us further down the “Big Brother” rabbit hole… which will be bad for all of us. And the results of the 2014 and 2016 Elections will make a huge difference in the actual implementation and timing of technologies ready to go!
I see the following changes coming:
We will see the end, or at least the trend toward the end, of cash and credit cards and everything will be purchased and tracked on our telephones or some kind of ‘smart card’ device, or micro-chipping, making cyber-security the investment and industry of the future.
Drones will take over delivery of most everything, putting the postal service out of business.
Driver-less cars will become the fad and then will ultimately be made law.
All these technologies are already here and being used on some level, and will be sold to the American people as convenient, for their safety and well-being or with perks to increase the Nanny State… taking us ever closer to the 2005 Smart Card video scenario. Social media and reactions to governmental actions since 911 have already shown us that people are willing to post anything, give up most anything for the illusion of security and will buy into almost everything promoted.
Do I hope I am wrong… absolutely! Do I think I am… sadly not!
Well, there you have it.
Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.
It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it.
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You may recall that UNRWA, the UN agency totally devoted to the perpetuation of 'refugee' status for the Arabs whom identify themselves as Palestinians for four generations now was forced to issue a statement after they were caught red handed illegally storing Hamas rockets in one of their schools:
Yesterday, in the course of the regular inspection of its premises, UNRWA discovered approximately 20 rockets hidden in a vacant school in the Gaza Strip. UNRWA strongly condemns the group or groups responsible for placing the weapons in one of its installations. This is a flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law. This incident, which is the first of its kind in Gaza, endangered civilians including staff and put at risk UNRWA’s vital mission to assist and protect Palestine refugees in Gaza.
Immediately after discovery, the Agency informed the relevant parties and successfully took all necessary measures for the removal of the objects in order to preserve the safety and security of the school. UNRWA has launched a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident.
As I made clear at the above link, this isn't 'the first time' UNRWA has been caught doing something of this nature that violates international law, but it's the second paragraph that tells you whom these scum really are.
Those necessary measures they talk about for 'the removal of the objects', rockets earmarked to be used to fire at Israeli civilians? Why, they just gave the rockets back to Hamas!
UNRWA staff said last week that they had “informed the relevant parties and successfully took all necessary measures for the removal of the objects.”
However, Channel 2 reports Sunday that – rather than destroying the rockets – UNRWA workers called Hamas to come remove them.
While UNRWA confirmed the existence of rockets in one of its schools last week, the organization refused an Israeli request to provide a picture of the weapons. A picture could have helped Israel show that Hamas uses civilian institutions to store weapons and launch attacks.
This is the same UN that is condemning Israel for the civilian casualties that occur while not saying a word about Hamas using civilians as human shields.'International law' is becoming the modern version of the Nuremberg Laws - to be applied to Jews only.
It really is that simple. When this is over, Israel should expel them, and let the world know why.
Hypocritical terrorist groupies.
Today was the the 45th anniversary of the lunar landing..but 'truthers' exist that claim it never happened.
Back in 2002, one of them, Bart Sibrel ambushed the then 72-year-old Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon outside a Los Angeles hotel.Sibrel openly harassed this American hero, tossing numerous insults, including calling the old astronaut a 'liar and a coward.'
Big mistake. After Aldrin repeatedly asked him to take a hike...well, watch.
It'll make you smile.
Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin Jr. is still with us today, at the ripe old age of 84.
Oh, and the police? They declined to press any charges.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
We fired a warning shot at this target in Gaza. In response, these civilians ran to the roof and brought their kids.
I'd be willing to bet that the IDF leafleted the place beforehand too.
After this, I don't want to hear blather from Hamas groupies about 'civilian casualties.'
To Hamas - and Fatah for that matter - the more Palestinian civilians that die, the better it suits them.
The IDF is continuing its ground assault on the Hamas tunnels. It should be noted that these are not simple structures, but concrete reinforced structures leading to what amounts to an underground Hamas fortress, complete with missile factories, command bunkers and armories. All the building supplies the UN and the rest of the Hamas groupies were screaming and pressuring Israel to allow into Gaza didn't go for civilian projects, but to build up this huge terrorist infrastructure. Israel can simply not allow them to exist, especially since a number of them now have adits that were constructed under Israel's border fence and lead to civilian areas. The raw video below displays one of the six the IDF have found so far and destroyed.
Here's an IDF summary of how the war on the tunnels is going.
The IDF released the following summary of today’s events:
Over the course of the day, IDF forces have detected and detonated 6 offensive tunnels both in the Gaza Strip area and in Israeli territory. The tunnels pose an imminent threat to the safety of Israeli civilians living in communities along the Gaza Strip border; therefore the IDF operates in order to destroy them.
Several offensive tunnels were uncovered during the ground phase of operation “Protective Edge”:
· An offensive tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip that had 4 access points to it- one in Israel, one blocked, and 2 others in the Gaza Strip. During the detonation several secondary explosions were identified, suggesting it contained explosives. One of the access points in Gaza was uncovered inside a house. The tunnel was 1.2 KM long.
· A tunnel that had 4 different access points in Gaza and an additional access point in Israel that was discovered close to an Israeli community.
· One offensive tunnel uncovered in the northern Gaza Strip had 5 different access points and contained barrels of explosives and a communication cable.
· An offensive tunnel in the central Gaza Strip had 2 access points, one of them in Israeli territory.
· An offensive tunnel in the central Gaza Strip that had 8 access points.
· An offensive tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip.
Since the beginning of the ground phase of the operation the IDF engaged and killed 110 terrorist, and targeted 1,032 terror sites, 341 of which were targeted since this morning. Amongst the sites that were targeted were: rocket launching facilities, command and control headquarters, and underground rocket launchers.
In addition, the IDF along with the ISA targeted today the head of the Hamas observation alignment in the Gaza Strip.
IDF Spokesman, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner: “Since the beginning of the ground phase of the operation, the IDF has exposed 14 tunnels headed towards Israel, all intended to infiltrate Israel and carry out terror attacks. It’s like the ‘Underground’, the ‘Metro’ or the ‘Subway’. These tunnels are all connected. I would describe it as ‘Lower Gaza’.”
The war has not been without cost. The IDF Golani Brigades lost 13 soldiers (H'YD) in combat with heavily armed Hamas fighters entrenched among civilians early this morning in a raid on Shejayia, a neighborhood of Gaza City. Sheijaya is a major Hamas stronghold, with large rocket arsenals and arms factories and is the site of concealed openings of terrorist tunnels that snake under the border into Israel near Kibbutz Nahal Oz. The Arabs whom identify themselves as Palestinians claimed a death count of over 60 and over 200 wounded.Hamas, through the Red Cross, had requested a two hour truce for a three-hour the truce and began launching rockets from Shejayia and other areas again.Shejaiya residents were told to evacuate days ago.
So when Hamas broke the ceasefire, The IDF attacked Shejayia..and with good reason:
What Hamas is attempting to do is recreate Hezbollah's strategy in Lebanon. Hamas is not only bringing its deadly tunnels into play, but also planting small commando units heavily armed with anti-tank rockets across the paths of advancing Israeli armored forces. Unfortunately for Hamas, the Israelis learned from Lebanon, and this time they're not being sent in haphazardly without any plan by Ehud Olmert and 'Comrade' Peretz.The Israeli Merkava battle tanks, equipped with 'Windbreaker' armor fended off most of the anti-tank rockets without a scratch. The 13 Golani soldiers, from what I've heard, were in an older APC that was ambushed. There was an earlier claim by Hamas that they had captured an Israeli soldier. So far, it appears to be unfounded.
Needless to say, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the Israel attack on Shejayia this evening, calling it an ‘atrocious action’, He had nothing to say about Hamas/Fatah using civilians as human shields, Or violating humanitarian ceasefires granted through an international organization. That's apparently AOK with Ban. As I write this, another of those UN Security Council meetings is going on. I'm sure they'll come out with the usual puerile statement calling for a ceasefire. Although why the UN would expect the Israelis to agree when Hamas has violated all three of them is another question.
Hamas is fighting desperately to save its tunnel system from destruction by the IDF. The tunnels are a major Hamas project, and they've spent a lot of time and money building them up. They won't allow it to be destroyed without a fight to the death.Still to come after the IDF finishes cleaning out Shejaiya are battles for another three Hamas strongholds in Gaza City: Shaati, Al Bureij and Nuseira.
Israeli PM Netanyahu spoke on national television to the Israeli people this afternoon. Here's what he said:
“We are now in the midst of a war to defend our home.”
“Each one of us knows someone at the front. We must stand together, united and be strong on difficult days like this and more to come. Israel didn’t choose this war, but from the moment it entered it, it is determined to complete it.”
“We have uncovered numerous tunnels and equipment unlike we have uncovered until now, Hamas has over the years built them to attack us.If these tunnels were not exposed the outcome could be fatal.”
Netanyahu explained that the tunnels could be used to attack Israeli schools and communities and take hostages, and talked a little about the IDF efforts to find these tunnels and the need to destroy them. And he talked a bit about civilian casualties.
“We agreed to a ceasefire, to a humanitarian ceasefires, but Hamas still chose to fight and it is our right to defend ourselves.No one can claim that Israel chose escalation so Hamas only is totally responsible for any casualties.”
“Hamas thought they would break our home front with rockets but Iron Dome and air raids have answered that.Hamas bears full responsibility for the loss of lives and use their citizens as human shields. We regret the loss of lives in Gaza.”
“In all battles there are difficulties. This one will expand and continue as necessary we knew this when we set out. We bow our heads before our sons who fell so that we could continue living in our land.”
“This battle against terror is a part of a historical battle targeting the State since its establishment. The eternal people is not afraid of a long road.”
Friday, July 18, 2014
The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week's Watcher's Council match up.
This week's winning entry, Joshuapundit's Israel's New Challenge: Defeating The Third Intifada is a slightly different take on the current war between Israel and Hamas, and especially that it is no accident. Here's a slice:
Israel once again finds itself fighting in Gaza.
The reason's fairly simple. The lust for Jewish blood among a substantial number of the Arabs who identify themselves as Palestinians is simply their strongest impulse, their raison d'être. There is no peace, because one side simply wants the other dead.
There is not a single Israeli civilian or soldier in Gaza today, not since Israel removed the 8,000 Jewish residents who had lived there over 30 years from their homes and gave it to the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians as a sacrifice 'for peace.'
The Palestinians could have built whatever kind of society they wanted in Gaza. But even before Hamas took over, Gaza's main export to Israel was terrorism. Israel, with Egypt's assistance, maintained a blockade on Gaza to curtail the import of heavy weapons, usually emanating from Iran that saved Israeli lives, but cost Israel deeply when it came to the 'international community', who always seem to have special rules when it comes to Israel defending itself. The carnage emanating from Gaza has slowed at times, but literally thousands of rockets, mortar shells and terrorist strikes have emanated from Gaza, and they've never ended. Israelis became used to running for shelter, especially in the south:
This latest onslaught saw over 100 rockets in 24 hours rained down on Israel, and with Hamas rejecting offers from Israel of 'quiet for quiet', that's where we stand now. The Israelis have carried out a number of decisive strikes and have called up 42,000 reserves, while Hamas has launched missiles at central Israel, at Jerusalem, and at Tel Aviv, a step they had to know was going to provoke an Israeli ground response.
So what's the story behind the story? Why is Hamas going for broke now, and what does it mean? Whether Israel realizes it or not, they are facing the Third Intifada, although how it unfolds is still developing. Of course, it doesn't look like previous intifadas because circumstances and tactics have changed. But the end goal is the same. And the chief strategist isn't Hamas, but Mahmoud Abbas.
Hamas has been isolated by Israel and the new Egyptian government of al-Sisi, who has declared Hamas' parent movement the Muslim Brotherhood an illegal terrorist organization. Weapons coming in from Iran have slowed considerably, and money is tight. A sign of this was the attempt by Hamas ally Robert Serry, the supposedly neutral UN Mideast envoy to illegally funnel $20 million to Hamas in Gaza from Qatar.
The current Hamas and Fatah unity government agreement came about, mostly on Abbas' terms, because of Hamas' sharply reduced fortunes, while Abbas has the UN, the Obama Administration and the EU funding and backing him, even with Hamas now on his team. According to my sources, part of the negotiations also involved joint efforts towards the goal both Hamas and Fatah agree on, the destruction of Israel.
The Israelis, already outraged at the unity agreement and the West's apparent willingness to fund a murderous terrorist group like Hamas were further energized by the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens by Hamas operatives, whose mutilated bodies were found shoved into a hole near Hebron. In response, the Israelis began to obliterate the Hamas infrastructure in Judea and Samaria.
But then, the subsequent murder of Arab teen Mohammed Abu Kheidr by what appear to be a trio of Jewish football hooligans suddenly presented Hamas and Fatah with a golden opportunity. It was used as a signal to launch what had already been planned. Vast riots, violence and destruction took place throughout Israel egged on by Fatah while Hamas stepped up its rocket and mortar attacks.
Hamas also had plans to join Fatah in the ground attack on Israel itself. They had a huge tunnel dug from Rafah under Israel's border fence for a massive planned assault on Israeli communities in the south, and tried an amphibious attack on Israel's coast. Both attacks were repulsed with heavy losses. Meanwhile, Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system and the IDF’s air strikes on Hamas' infrastructure were even more effective than Hamas had planned on and that Israel had hoped.
Israel's 'peace partner' Mahmoud Abbas has also been doing his part. Fatah has several hundred militiamen in Gaza, including members of the Palestinian Authority security forces who have their salaries paid by Western governments. They have eagerly joined in firing rockets at Israel's civilians. Abbas has done nothing to stop them.
Abbas has several huge assets his old boss Yasser Arafat could only have dreamed about, and they're key to understanding what's being planned. First and foremost, in Barack Hussein Obama, Abbas has a president in the White House who loathes Israel and who sees himself as Palestine's community organizer.
More at the link about Abbas' strategy and how Israel can defeat it.
In our non-Council category, the winner was long tome Council favorite Daniel Greenfield, AKA Sultan Knish with A Game Changer In Gaza submitted by The Independent Sentinel. Knish writes with his usual clarity and common sense about the choices Israel faces in dealing with Palestinian terrorism.
Here are this week’s full results:
- *First place with 5 1/3 votes! – Joshuapundit-Israel's New Challenge: Defeating The Third Intifada
- Second place with 2 1/3 votes – The Right Planet – Flashback: The Seven Phases of The Base [Al-Qaeda]
- Third place with 1 2/3 votes – The Noisy Room – The Office Of Refugee Resettlement – Facilitators For A ‘Manufactured Human Crisis’
- Fourth place with 1 1/3 votes – Bookworm Room – Muslim impatience leads a fed-up world to express surprising support for Israel
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Nice Deb – The Bear Is Loose Through Crises and Scandals That Would Destroy Any Other Presidency
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote –Simply Jews – Israel vs Gaza: and the judgement is...
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Ask Marion – Immigration… From an Immigrants Perspective
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – VA Right! - Israel MUST Pound Hamas With Relentless Barrages
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Independent Sentinel – Tin-pot Dictators: No, We Won’t Stop Illegal Invasion Of U.S.
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Prokhorovka!
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Rhymes With Right – Let's Note Who The Obama Administration Supports Religious Freedom For -- And Who It Does Not
- First place with 2 1/3 votes! – Sultan Knish –A Game Changer In Gaza submitted by The Independent Sentinel
- Second place *t* with 1 2/3 votes –Sarah Palin/FOX News –The case for Obama’s impeachment: The Constitution’s remedy for a lawless, imperial president
submitted by The Noisy Room
- Second place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Commentary – Israel and Its Arabs: Rockets, Riots, and the Dream of Coexistence submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes -David P. Goldman/Tablet – Between the Settlers and the Unsettlers, the One-State Solution Is on Our Doorstep submitted by Joshuapundit
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes - Doug Ross – STUNNING: UN and Obama rebuke Israel for self-defense, fail to note details like rockets and terrorism submitted by VA Right!
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote-David Harris/The World Post-Hamas Versus Israel: The Case for Moral Clarity submitted by Bookworm Room
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote-Katie Pavlich/New York Post – Liberal Hollywood's War On Women submitted by Watcher
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote -The Warped Mirror – #HitlerWasRight for Palestine submitted by Simply Jews
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote -RedState – The Christian Thing To Do submitted by Rhymes with Right
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote - Zero Hedge – Did China Just Crush The US Housing Market? submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote -Rush Limbaugh -This is Obama's War on the Suburbs submitted by Ask Marion
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote - Kevin D. Williamson/NRO – How to Think about Immigration submitted by The Watcher
- Sixth place with 1/3 vote -Zero Hedge –Santelli Goes Berserk submitted by The Razor
See you next week! Don't forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week's Watcher's Forum, as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in...don't you dare miss it. And don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..'cause we're cool like that!