Thursday, July 31, 2014
John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon have announced yet another humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza to start at 8 am on Friday morning, for 72 hours.
"We urge all parties to act with restraint until this humanitarian ceasefire begins, and to fully abide by their commitments during the ceasefire," Kerry and Ban said. "This ceasefire is critical to giving innocent civilians a much-needed reprieve from violence.
"Israeli and Palestinian delegations will immediately be going to Cairo for negotiations with the Government of Egypt, at the invitation of Egypt, aimed at reaching a durable ceasefire. The parties will be able to raise all issues of concern in these negotiations."
As al-Reuters reported, Hamas has signed on. "Acknowledging a call by the United Nations and in consideration of the situation of our people, resistance factions agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian and mutual calm that begins at 8 a.m (0500 GMT) on Friday as long as the other side abides by it," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri was quoted as saying.
Hamas was forced to capitulate on something they had remained adamant about up to now, their insistence on Israeli troops being removed from Gaza and the lifting of the Israeli/Egyptian blockade. Neither of those is going to happen. Apparently Hamas, which has lost a great deal of its terrorist infrastructure and hundreds of fighters is hurting much more than they would have us believe.Hamas may actually honor this cease fire, at least until they regroup.
While Kerry and Ban Ki-Moon are touting this as the beginnings of negotiations on a more "durable truce", I wouldn't bet on it. Israel has said in no uncertain terms that it will continue to destroy the Hamas tunnels, regardless of any deal that might be reached, and Israel is still insisting on Gaza being demilitarized.
Those demands are pretty much set in stone, and don't expect the Israelis to rely on the 'international community' to do the job without Israeli oversight. As I pointed out earlier, Israel has learned by experience how trustworthy entities like the UN are when it comes to disarming terrorist groups.
The Palestinian Authority's role here is very illuminating in destroying the fiction that Fatah and Hamas aren't working hand in glove together.
Fatah had orchestrated violent riots in Judea and Samaria as well as in Israel in support for Hamas and was also the head of the snake in pursuing lawfare and the diplomatic war against Israel. Abbas and Fatah were backing Hamas's ceasefire demands before they would show up in Cairo, to which the Egyptians responded 'fine, don't bother coming.'
Fatah, while they are still supporting Hamas's demands publicly managed to get Hamas to agree to put those demands aside right now in order to get negotiations started in Cairo.
The Palestinian delegation that's going to Cairo will include members of both Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and will reportedly be headed by Mahmoud Abbas.
What Abbas is hoping for here is to once again have the Palestinian Authority control Gaza, or at least the crossings on the Egyptian side so that they can thwart the blockade.
Kerry and Ban also are reportedly enlisting Hamas supporters Qatar and Turkey as intermediaries...so let's just say I'm skeptical of anything more than another humanitarian ceasefire coming out of this.It strikes me more as Kerry and the Obama Team pulling out all the stops to rescue Hamas.
Hamas will never cease trying to destroy Israel or give up its tunnels and its missiles voluntarily. And Israel can't afford to let them keep them.
While the UN won't discuss the rocket caches and the Hamas laid booby traps in supposedly neutral UN facilities. mosques and civilian homes or Hamas using civilians as human shields, there is one thing the UN and of course, the media, weighed in on quite extensively...civilian casualties in Gaza. The latest instance was the shelling of a UN school in the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza yesterday...which of course, the UN is blaming on Israel. It was being used as a shelter for civilians whom had evacuated elsewhere. At least 16 people were killed and some 100 wounded.
This occurred during a humanitarian truce which as usual, only Israel observed. The Israelis had said earlier that IDF would stop attacks for four hours starting at 3 p.m., but since Hamas has violated every one of these humanitarian ceasefires in the past, they gave their forces some leeway to protect themselves and Israel's civilians.
The Israelis said they would only target areas where rockets were being fired at Israel, and that this 4 hour truce would not apply to "the areas in which (army) soldiers are currently operating." Or in other words, places where their forces were actively engaged in combat with Hamas.They also added that the army would respond to all fire from Hamas throughout the limited ceasefire, and advised, "Residents must not return to areas that have previously been asked to evacuate." This measure was designed to keep Hamas from creeping back into areas that had already been cleared, a sensible measure in urban fighting.
Hamas rejected the offer of ceasefire and continued to fire rockets at Israel...which of course, the UN is not really overly concerned about.
Given that the UNRWA schools and refugee camps have been used by Hamas as tunnel entrances, arms depots and sniper posts, it was probably inevitable something like this would happen. The IDF is still investigating, but I have a feeling that we'll find that IDF troops came under fire by Hamas and responded.
Regardless, this was a truly tragic occurrence, and steps need to be taken to make sure this doesn't happen again.
UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said there was nowhere for people to flee the conflict. While Israel regularly warns residents by phone calls, text messages, leaflets and dud missiles launched on their roofs to warn them in advance of attacks, Eliasson says that isn't enough. "Where do they go? There's very few places to go in Gaza."
The very Israeli-phobic Senior UN aid official John Ging weighed in as well, to reporters in New York.
"These locations are not safe. Nowhere is safe," Ging said. "They are being told flee areas, get out of areas, but to where? Where should they go?
"If this were a conflict elsewhere in the world they would at least have the option of crossing borders and seeking sanctuary in neighboring countries. They don't have that option," Ging said.
Of course, the same is true of Israeli civilians targeted by Hamas rockets. It's not like they could flee over the border to Syria or Jordan.I suppose it's Israel's fault they build shelters and spend money on Iron Dome to protect their people while Hamas spends its money on missiles, concrete tunnels and bunkers and luxury beach villas for its leaders, and apparently considers photogenic bleeders used as human shields a victory.
Nevertheless, I have to agree that Eliasson and Ging have a point, and I have the perfect solution to avoid future carnage. And no, it's not just telling Hamas not to fire rockets and mortars at Israel. They won't, and they have proven it throughout this conflict.
This is where the UN needs to unfurl its proud flag and step up.
I know that the Egyptians and the Israelis would be more than happy to see Gaza's civilians in a safe location, out of harms way. Here's a wonderful chance for the UN and UNRWA to actually do something about it and put their money and their bodies where their mouths are.
The Israelis would certainly cooperate with a ceasefire in place for a few hours to allow UNRWA to remove Gaza's civilians from harm's way. Yes, the IDF would want to vet them of course to make sure the likes of Ismail Haniyah wasn't sneaking out of Gaza dressed as a woman in a burka, but there's no reason a wholesale evacuation couldn't take place.
The Egyptians would likely allow UNRWA to set up temporary facilities in Sinai, and there are also UNRWA camps in Area A in the Arab occupied part of Judea and Samaria the Israelis would certainly allow transit to.
It's a real win win for everyone.No more carefully staged pictures of dead children, and no more need for the IDF to waste all that energy on warning civilians, because they'd be out of the picture. They can concentrate on destroying Hamas. The civilians would certainly be better off than they are now, and those brave Hamas fighters could shed the baggage of all those human shields and show the whole world how easily they can defeat those cowardly Jews. What a chance for martyrdom!
Today, the odious UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon said "Nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children." Of course, he didn't trouble to say that when Hamas was firing rockets and mortars at Israeli children, but I agree with the sentiment just the same.
Here's your chance Ban ki-Moon! Go to Gaza in person and tell Hamas "Let these people go!"
And then send Hamas's UNRWA friends in to get them and escort them out of harm's way.
I'm sure they'll listen to you, and do exactly what you say. Of course they will.
Three Israeli soldiers were killed today and 15 others were wounded by a Hamas booby trap. They were trying to safeguard an abandoned UNRWA medical clinic while their unit was destroying a Hamas tunnel with an entrance actually built inside the clinic.
The IDF Maglan unit had sent in sniffer dogs and a small robot into the building as a precaution and to minimize damage to the clinic before detonating a carefully placed charge that would destroy the tunnel while causing minimal damage to the building. Unfortunately the building was booby trapped and explosive charges in the walls exploded - one in the tunnel, and one in the clinic itself - brought the entire structure down on the soldiers.
Remember, this was in a supposedly neutral UN building. But in Gaza, that's nothing unusual.
Edelstein] said Hamas gunmen have used more than a thousand IEDs so far, destroying thousands of buildings in the Gaza Strip.
As an example he noted that in sweeps of a single street of 28 buildings Tuesday night, 19 were found to be booby-trapped.
No comments, by the way from the UN or UNRWA on this blatant misuse of what was supposedly a neutral building. This should make the IDF think twice about attempting to respect UNRWA buildings. If there a tunnel there, simply take it out in the easiest and least time consuming and costly way possible.Hamas is even using mosques in this way.
(ht to Carl for the graphic)
Israel appears to have made the decision the Army was waiting for - to let them win or to let them come home. An additional 16,000 reserves were called up, and the Israelis asked for and received a resupply of armaments courtesy of the U.S. Congress with Harry Reid finally backing down.
While the UN still hasn't commented about all the rocket caches and Hamas laid booby traps in UNRWA facilities, one thing the UN did comment about quite extensively was the shelling of a UN school in the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza...which of course they're blaming on Israel. It was being used as a shelter for Gazans whom had evacuated elsewhere. At least 16 people were killed and some 100 wounded.
Israel had said earlier that Israeli forces would stop attacks for four hours starting at 3 p.m., and would only target areas where rockets were being fired at Israel.
An Israeli army statement added that the "humanitarian window will not apply to the areas in which (army) soldiers are currently operating."
"Residents must not return to areas that have previously been asked to evacuate," the statement said, adding the the army would respond to all fire from Palestinian militants throughout the limited ceasefire.
Hamas rejected the offer of ceasefire and continued to fire rockets at Israel...which of course, the UN is not really overly concerned about.
Given that the UNRWA schools and refugee camps have been used by Hamas as tunnel entrances, arms deports and sniper posts, it was probably inevitable something like this would happen. The IDF is still investigating, but I have a feeling that we'll find that IDF troops came under fire by Hamas and responded.
I'll have something more on this later.
Meanwhile Canada's PM Stephen Harper had a few things to say about Gaza, and as usual he was right on the mark:
"Obviously, no one likes to see the suffering and loss of life that has occurred," Harper said in televised remarks.
"That said, we hold the terrorist organization Hamas responsible for this. They have initiated and continue this conflict, and continue to seek the destruction of the state of Israel," he added. Several weeks ago, Harper called on Canada’s allies and partners to recognize that Hamas’s terrorist acts “are unacceptable and that solidarity with Israel is the best way of stopping the conflict.”
And it was Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird called for a UN investigation into the discoveries of weapons caches at schools it operates in Gaza.
Magic Johnson and a number of other past and present NBA stars were scheduled to attend the inauguration ceremony of Jerusalem's new multi-purpose sports arena in September.
Without any explanation, they suddenly called it off.
The Jerusalem Municipality and the event's production company, Ariel, were surprised to receive a phone call from the stars' representatives on Sunday, informing them that they were cancelling their participation in the festive event.
Ariel and the municipality have been working on the Jerusalem Arena inauguration ceremony, which will take place on September 4, for several months now.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat had invested many efforts to complete the construction and increase the number of seats in the arena after many delays over the years.
The municipality had planned a major opening, which would create a media buzz around the new sports complex. The highlight of the event was supposed to be a festive exhibition game between 10 retired and present NBA players and the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball club.
The guest of honor would have been Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Jr., one of the greatest basketball players of all times.
Ariel CEO Zion Turgeman confirmed that the NBA players had canceled their visit to Jerusalem. "This is a serious blow to the arena's inauguration. We have been working on the opening event for a long time, and now we will have to readjust."
Turgeman added there was no plan to postpone the inauguration event. "We intend to invite 5,000 soldiers to the opening in order to thank the IDF for its contribution to the state," he said.
Mixing brave warriors with a bunch of pampered, overpaid cowards? I think Magic and his buds did Jerusalem a huge favor. They may look tall on the basketball court, but they've revealed themselves as little men and such creatures are never missed, not really.
The real guests of honor will be sitting in the stands.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Good ol' Human Rights Watch..you can always depend on them to exhibit Jew hatred and try to disguise it with their selective faux morality.
According to the head of the organization Ken Roth, abductions and killings by Hamas are not human rights violations as long as the target is soldiers:
Kenneth Roth ✔ @KenRoth Follow
Tunnels used to attack or capture civilians is a rights violation. Tunnels used to attack or capture soldiers isn't. http://trib.al/v8CCCj6
Of course, Arab terrorists, like anti-Zionists and terrorism groupies everywhere always jump to that next step...that since the majority of Israelis serve in the IDF at some point there are no Israeli civilians! I'm sure you've all heard that one before and so has Ken Roth. What he's done in so many words ids to legitimize terrorist attacks on Israel.
Now, Ken Roth has pretty much an impeccable anti-Israel record, to the point where the founder and former chairman of Human Rights Watch, Robert Bernstein, publicly disowned the organization in 2009 because of it. Roth is described as an 'international lawyer' who graduated from Yale Law School. He's been working at HWR since 1987, when he was hired by a fellow Left wing apostate Jew, Areyeh Neier, one of George Soros' creatures who now heads Soros Open Society. Roth has headed HRW since 1993. Shouldn't he actually know something about human rights as they apply to the laws of war?
For instance, the Geneva Convention distinguishes between 'lawful' and 'unlawful' combatants. Hamas perfectly fits the definition of unlawful because they do not wear uniforms, openly target civilians and are not fighting on behalf of a sovereign state.
Not only that, but Article 34 of the Fourth Geneva Convention specifically prohibits taking hostages even among soldiers, the very thing this cretin just endorsed. So again, by definition, unlawful combatants taking hostages is a human rights violation.
Oh, I know, its Jews and Israel, and there are always special rules for them, aren't there Mr. Roth?
You know what? The thing that bothers me most about people like Kenneth Roth is not their 'anti-Zionism' but their basic dishonesty. Hamas says flat out that their goal is genocide of all Jews worldwide, and they cite the Muslim scriptures to endorse it. The Ken Roths of the world grow up as Left wing apparatchniks who find Israel and the idea of a Jewish country abhorrent, because it embarrasses them with their Leftist counterparts. So they feel the need to prove their bonifides with stupidity like the above tweet.
And most of the time, they can't even be honest about that much. While they pretend to endorse the idea of Israel's survival, they want it ghetto-ized to indefensible borders while the West invests in 'Palestine' to the point where terrorist strikes against Israel make living there untenable, the Jews leave and it becomes just another Arab squat.
Unfortunately for them, the Jews aren't going to permit themselves to be marginalized like that, and they're staying.
The Ken Roths of the world can piss and moan about that all they like, but it isn't going to change.
You do know exactly what you can do, don't you Mr. Roth? You and the horse you rode in on?
More and more questions are popping up about her tenure as Secretary of State.
The good folks over at Judicial Watch just forced the release of a number of tasty documents in the course of their ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the State Department last year.
The documents include more than 200 conflict-of-interest reviews by State Department ethics advisers of proposed Bill Clinton speaking and consulting engagements during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.
In one example, in June of 2011 the State Department approved a consulting arrangement with a company, Teneo Strategy, led by Clinton Foundation adviser Doug Band. The Clintons ended the deal after only eight months, as Teneo’s ties to the failed
And then, there were the speaking and consulting fees,over $48 million for Mr. Bill:
Clinton’s office proposed 215 speeches around the globe. And 215 times, the State Department stated that it had “no objection.”
Mr. Clinton’s speeches included appearances in China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Central America, Europe, Turkey, Thailand, Taiwan, India and the Cayman Islands. Sponsors of the speeches included some of the world’s largest financial institutions—Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, American Express and others—as well as major players in technology, energy, health care and media. Other speech sponsors included a car dealership, casino groups, hotel operators, retailers, real estate brokers, a Panamanian air cargo company and a sushi restaurant.
“These documents are a bombshell and show how the Clintons turned the State Department into a racket to line their own pockets,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “How the Obama State Department waived hundreds of ethical conflicts that allowed the Clintons and their businesses to accept money from foreign entities and corporations seeking influence boggles the mind. That former President Clinton trotted the globe collecting huge speaking fees while his wife presided over U.S. foreign policy is an outrage. No wonder it took a court order to get these documents. One can’t imagine what foreign policy issues were mishandled as top State Department officials spent so much time facilitating the Clinton money machine.”
The potential for conflicts of interest between Hillary Clinton’s role as Secretary of State and Bill Clinton’s international ventures grew increasingly controversial in late 2008 when the former president released a list of donors to his library and foundation in what he termed “a deal between” Obama “and Hillary.” According to an AP wire story, “Saudi Arabia gave $10 million to $25 million to the foundation. Other government donors include Norway, Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei, Oman …” CNN at the time warned that Clinton’s “complicated global business interests could present future conflicts of interest that result in unneeded headaches for the incoming commander-in-chief.”
If a person, a country or a company 'donates' huge sums of money to a public official who's in charge of overseeing government policies that directly affect that person, company or country it's normally known as bribery.
The same goes if that person, company or country employs a spouse or other family member of that public official at exorbitant rates.
But hey, what difference does it make?
IDF soldiers sing before entering Gaza; "The whole world is a narrow bridge and you must not be afraid. Serve G-d with joy and come before Him with song. We have no one to rely upon except our Father in heaven."
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.
Ah, the big news today is that it's party time..
Our own Courtney, GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD adds another year to the ledger. The actual date was Monday, but we'll celebrate it today...especially since she managed to get through her birthday weekend in one piece and without any serious encounters with the authorities.
First, some flowers, just because..
Now this is a decadent rum cake..the alcohol's cooked off, but that wonderful flavor of Mount Gay Bajan rum remains. And I wasn't sure whether I wanted to mar that wonderful chocolate top with candle holes, but I'll let the birthday girl decide that one..and how many candles.
And some chilled Veuve Cliquot on the side to wash it down..
Another year Courts, and you still crack me up with the joyful mayhem you perform on the defenseless English language in your articles and of course in our asides! Even better is the real substance in what you write that's behind it.It's a great pleasure to have you in the group, and especially to have you as my friend..many, many more and keep treading the Narrow Way.
The Council In Action!!
My latest over at The Times Of Israel is up.When it comes to Hamas and Gaza, 'demilitarization' is the new buzzword, and it gets mentioned frequently as a solution. In What 'Demilitarization' Really Means' I revisit what happened the last time this carrot was held out to push a ceasefire with the full force of the 'international community' behind it.
This week, The MidKnight Review, Blazing Cat Fur and Gates Of Vienna 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 Independent Sentinel – Armed BLM Gestapo Threatening Rural Citizens
- The Noisy Room – The End Of Immigration Enforcement In America
- Simply Jews – Lisa Goldman and the art of clipped narrative
- Joshuapundit-Obama Betrays Israel In A Last Ditch Effort To Save Hamas
- Bookworm Room – For John Kerry, when it comes to an American ally and a deadly enemy, it's 1971 all over again
- The Razor – American Jews Need to Wake Up
- GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Strip Grind
- Ask Marion – SESSIONS: All Americans Must Help Stop Obama’s Dictatorial Threats to Expand Amnesty to Millions
- The Colossus of Rhodey – Absolutely Beyond Parody
- Nice Deb – Cruz: “Did President Obama Just Launch an Economic Boycott of Israel?” – Updated
- Rhymes With Right – FEC Asserts Authority Over Publishers
- The Right Planet – Blogging Pitfalls and the Dangers of New Media
- The Glittering Eye -Let the Courts Decide
- VA Right! - The Absence of Obamacare Credits in Federal Exchanges WAS INTENTIONAL – Designed to Force Compliance
- MidKnight Review - Is Obama about to go so far beyond Constitutional limitations as to force a Constitutional crisis (impeachment)? And, what if he wins that battle?
- Blazing Cat Fur - IDF: Palestinian casualties at Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital, Al-Shati Camp from terrorists’ rockets falling short
- Gates Of Vienna - A Blow to the Muslim Brotherhood
- Sultan Knish – Friday Afternoon Roundup submitted by The Independent Sentinel
- Mark Steyn –Holiday Memories You'll Cherish Forever submitted by The Noisy Room
- Fred Maroun – What Do Israel's Critics Really Want? submitted by Simply Jews
- Matthew Continetti/ Free Beacon – Israel Can Win - If Obama Doesn't Save Hamas submitted by Joshuapundit
- Sam Harris-Why Don't I Criticize Israel? submitted by Bookworm Room
- Adam Garfinkle, American Interest –Malice or Incompetence? submitted by The Razor
- Thomas Sowell/NRO – Cease The Ceasefires submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Isabel Matos/A Time For Choosing -Governor Sarah Palin Launches SarahPalinChannel.com submitted by Ask Marion
- Douglas Ernst – Jesse Jackson Sr. to go after Silicon Valley: Shakedown Rainbows never end submitted by The Colossus of Rhodey
- Matthew Vadum, FrontPage Mag -Bracing For Amnesty submitted by Nice Deb
- David Bernstein/Volokh Conspiracy – Some Israel-Gaza Notes submitted by Rhymes with Right
- Liberty Counsel – One Jew's Open Letter to the World submitted by The Right Planet
- Michael Cannon/Politico – The Flip-Flopping Architect of the ACA submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Ace of Spades HQ – WaPo's Greg Sargent Devastates Halbig Case Against Obamacare Federal Subsidies With Bombshell Reporting (JeffB.) submitted by VA Right!
- PowerLine – Hamas’s big plan disrupted submitted by The Watcher
- Kevin D. Williamson/NRO – Downscale; Big government is bad for the little guy submitted by Watcher
Enjoy! And don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..'cause we're cool like that!
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Today, UNRWA announced today that a third stash of Hamas rockets had been found 'hidden' in one of its schools. My information is that the Israelis were tipped off by one of the Hamas fighters who surrendered to them last week.
UNWRA, of course, did exactly what they've done with the other two stashes of Hamas rockets found stored in their schools - they turned them over to 'local authorities' AKA Hamas so that they could be fired against Israel's civilians.
Asa I mentioned before, UNRWA has something of a history of allowing its facilities and its personnel to assist Hamas in terrorist attacks against Israel. In this latest conflict, UNRWA supplies and building materials have been found in Hamas’s terrorist tunnel infrastructure, which has been used to smuggle weapons and carry out attacks on Israel.
This is all supposedly against the UN's rules, of course, but UNRWA, unlike the UN High Commission on Refugees doesn't screen any of its local hires for ties to terrorism.Given that UNRWA's sole purpose in life is to perpetuate permanent Palestinian 'refugee' status, their being in bed with terrorism is hardly unexpected.
Israel should not only defeat Hamas and annex Gaza, they should throw UNRWA out of Gaza and make them build their camps outside Israeli territory. Then the $47 million President Obama and the $48 million Qatar want to give to Hamas for 'rebuilding' can go to UNRWA instead, a significant part of the local population will have someplace outside Israeli territory to go, and Israel can get on with the business of repopulating Gaza with Jews and watching it become a prosperous agricultural and tourist center instead of a terrorist squat.
From The Onion:
BEIT LAHIA, GAZA STRIP—Saying they’ve begun to reevaluate their stance as the latest outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence has escalated, hundreds of residents of the Gaza Strip told reporters Friday they are starting to have mixed feelings about Hamas using them and their loved ones as human shields.
“At this point, I have to say I’m pretty much on the fence about having militants strategically store their missile batteries in and around my home, which Israel will almost certainly want to bomb,” said Azzam al-Salhi, explaining that, while he’s always understood Hamas’ reliance on guerilla tactics to perpetuate the decades-long fight against Israel, he has recently soured on the idea of going to bed every night facing the real prospect of being incinerated by an Israeli airstrike intended for a Hamas arms cache.
“When I think about it, I guess I’d go so far as to say that I don’t completely enjoy how this is being done entirely without my consent. And I’m not crazy about the fact that Hamas is actually okay with me dying as long as it fuels both resentment toward Israel and support for the party. If I’m being honest, I don’t like that part at all. But then, sometimes I put myself in Hamas’ shoes, and I guess I sort of appreciate where they’re coming from, so it’s tough. Of course, my kids hate it—they’ve actually told me that a couple of times. Oh, well, I guess I’ll give it a couple more weeks and see how I feel about it then.”
At press time, sources confirmed an inbound missile was about to solidify thousands of Palestinians’ opinions on the tactic.
By Doug Ross
Like you, I spend a lot of time trying to keep up-to-date on the hottest significant news stories. Since we free-thinking folks have to largely bypass vintage media, which have largely become a public relations arm of the Obama administration, it isn’t easy to do. There are thousands of great sites out there, any of which can have a noteworthy news story.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time to check thousands of websites for breaking news.
Yes, there are some great aggregators out there: Drudge, Twitchy, etc. But all of them rely upon human editors and, most importantly, don’t give smaller blogs and websites much of their attention.
That’s why we created BadBlue News. It’s a very different type of news aggregator because it uses machine learning and automation to achieve massive scalability in assessing news sources and breaking stories. Here’s how it’s different:
1. It uses social network buzz, not a set of human editors, to determine how important a story is.
2. It levels the playing field for smaller websites and blogs by taking into account traffic patterns; that is, a story on a small blog with 15 retweets might be equivalent to a story on Fox News with 1,000 retweets. The traffic patterns and social buzz are both factored in by BadBlue to offer a much wider range of news coverage than any other aggregator.
3. It never sleeps: BadBlue runs 24×7 and never relies upon human editors making decisions.
BadBlue is growing quickly. From September 2013 to January 2014, page views grew by 20 percent, with Google Analytics reporting the average time onsite is a startling 31 minutes!
In this election year, BadBlue can play an important role for advancing the conservative agenda by cutting through the media censors and offering a level playing field for websites and blogs of all sizes.
I’d love for you to come visit and, if you like it, to tell your friends, tweet about it, or like it on Facebook.
2014 will be a big year for liberty and I believe getting the word out on uncensored news stories — bypassing the state-run media — will be critical.
Monday, July 28, 2014
One of Israeli PM Netanyahu's problems with both John Kerry's Hamas friendly ceasefire offer and the UN's call for an unconditional ceasefire was that neither mentioned demilitarizing Gaza, which Netanyahu rightly considers one of the prime goals of the current conflict.
But when he mentions this as something 'the international community' should be calling for, he's kidding himself. And to go even farther, even if the 'international community' agreed to do so and put it in writing, Netanyahu and the Israeli people would be incredibly naive to accept it at face value.
Does anyone remember the 2006 Lebanon ceasefire? That resulted in a binding Series 7 UN Security Council Resolution 1701 that guaranteed the disarming of a terrorist group , Hezbollah. In exchange for the IDF ending hostilities and withdrawing all its forces back over the border, UNIFIL and the Lebanese army were supposed to see to it that Hezbollah never returned to its strongholds in South Lebanon and to disarm Hezbollah and all other militias or 'armed groups' as the resolution put it.
With Syria and Iran in mind, there were even mention of specific penalties to be evoked in UNSCR 1701 in the event of any foreign entity rearming Hezbollah.Even Sheik Nasrallah of Hezbollah agreed to the resolution's terms.
So, what happened? Once the IDF pulled out all of a sudden things changed. Hezbollah refused to be disarmed, and the then United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan suddenly came up with the brand new position that the UNIFIL troops were not going to take any responsibility to do so, and that it was up to the Lebanese government..who were far too weak to disarm Hezbollah on their own.
And when Hezbollah said that it was going to ignore UNSCR 1701's provision that Lebanon south of the Litani River was to be a Hezbollah free zone, did the UN or UNIFIL say one word? Maybe 'not our job' but not much else.
And in August of that same year, when Turkish authorities intercepted five Iranian cargo aircraft and one Syrian aircraft carrying missiles to Hezbollah forced them to land at Diyarbakır Airport in southeastern Turkey, did the UN do anything about it? Uhhh, no.
That is how the 'international community' does disarmament and demilitarization. Especially when it comes to Islamist terrorists where Israel is concerned.
My point here? Expecting the US or the UN to demilitarize Gaza and disarm Hamas is to believe in a fairy tale no matter what either of them put on a piece pf paper.Especially with President Obama in charge.
The only way to disarm and 'demilitarize' Gaza and make sure it stays that way is for the IDF to defeat Hezbollah completely. And Israel can only trust Israel to actually do it.
After that, to ensure it stays that way Israel needs to annex Gaza and and remove a substantial part of the population to UNRWA camps outside Israeli territory, or to Area A, or to a combination of the two Then repopulate Gaza with Jews and watch it become a Singapore or a Hong Kong.
This would not be a solution without cost. Solutions deferred for years never are.
But in the end, peace comes from victory. And after all of the 'sacrifices for peace' written in Jewish blood forced on Israel since the Oslo debacle, I think the Israeli people would support this over these constant wars of attrition that grow more costly each time. Enough of the balagan gadol.
Cross Posted at The Times Of Israel
Michelle Nunn is the Democrat's hope to try and make a senate pickup in a Red state. She's very much a doctrinaire Lefty from Bethesda, Maryland who has little connection with Georgia or Georgians aside from being the daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn, but that's a big deal because of the name recognition, so the democrats are putting serious money behind her. She's pro gun confiscation, pro Obama and pro amnesty, all stances that would ordinarily sink her in a Red state.
Today, her campaign plan leaked, essentially a confidential memo on how she's going to go about conning the electorate to win.
Parts of it are actually funny, like the part where Ms. Nunn, who lives in an upscale Atlanta neighborhood is advised to have pictures taken of herself and her family “in rural settings with rural-oriented imagery” to try to appeal more to rural Georgians..as if this leftist elite actually knows or cares which part of a cow milk comes out of or where fried chicken comes from.
Essentially, the idea is to fool 30% of the white working class to pull the lever for her (something no Democrat since Max Cleland back in 2002 has managed to pull off) and roust out a coalition of blacks Latinos (legal or otherwise) gays, clueless youngsters befuddled by slogans and choom and of course...Jews.
Fooling Jews into voting for her and of course donating is a ket part of the scam:
“Michelle’s position on Israel will largely determine the level of support here.” Hmmmm.
Now, Michelle Nunn hasn't had much to say about Israel so far. In fact, during the primary she didn't have all that much to say about anything.
But apparently, like a lot of Lefties (Barack Obama, for instance)she has some baggage she'd rather the Jews didn't find out about when she's putting the make on them.
Nun's job since she returned to Georgia in 2007 has been to serve as the CEO on the Points of Light Foundation, and in the document her strategists express enormous concern about attacks that might arise from her work there.
Like a lot of Left-bent foundations, the Points of Light Foundation has some interesting donations that occurred while Ms. Nunn was running the place. According to the document, it has made grants to terrorists and “inmates” during her tenure, and the document also makes reference to a 2010 audit that concluded Points of Light’s accounting system was “not adequate to account for federal funds.”
The accounting problems just make her a typical Democrat not to be trusted near other people's money. But let's look at the terrorists it funded:
According to the IRS Form 990s that Points of Light filed in 2008 and 2011, the organization gave a grant of over $33,000 to Islamic Relief USA, a charity that says it strives to alleviate “hunger, illiteracy, and diseases worldwide.” Islamic Relief USA is part of a global network of charities that operate under the umbrella of Islamic Relief Worldwide. Islamic Relief USA says on its website that it is a legally separate entity from its parent organization, but that they share “a common vision, mission, and family identity.”
Islamic Relief Worldwide has ties to Hamas, which the U.S. designates as a terrorist organization. In June, Israel banned the charity from operating in the country because, according to Israeli officials, it was funneling cash to Hamas. In 2006, Israelis arrested Islamic Relief Worldwide’s Gaza coordinator, Ayaz Ali. They said he was working to “transfer funds and assistance to various Hamas institutions and organizations.” Ali admitted to cooperating with local Hamas operatives while working in Jordan and, on his computer, Israeli officials found photographs of “swastikas superimposed on IDF symbols,” and of Nazi officials, Osama bin Laden, and al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Islamic Relief USA highlighted the work of Islamic Relief Worldwide in Palestine in its 2012 annual report, in which it talks generally about the work of Islamic Relief charities in the region without drawing a distinction between the branches.
The organization has raised eyebrows before. According to a 2012 report, its bank account was closed by UBS and it was “under constant scrutiny by other banks due to nervousness about counterterrorist regulations.” The group’s terror ties extend beyond Hamas, according to a former Israeli intelligence official. He says that Islamic Relief Worldwide’s country director in Palestine, Muneed Abugazaleh, met in April 2012 with Dr. Omar Shalah, a leader of the terror group Islamic Jihad and of the Riyad al-Saleheen Charitable Society, which is affiliated with the group. He is also the brother of Ramadan Shalah, the leader of Islamic Jihad.
This woman oversaw funds going to a Hamas front!!
And even scarier, the feds let Points of Light keep their 501c status.
I guess that tells us what we want to know about her Israel position, convenient boilerplate platitudes about 'Israel's right to exist' that I'm sure she'll come up with to the contrary.While I previously might have said the clueless Jews will take out their wallets and pull the lever for her anyway, I sense something of a change here.The Obama Administration's behavior towards Israel and what's going on in Europe and even here in America with attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions since Israel decided to hit back at Hamas has changed a more than a few minds. Yes there are some lefty, secular Jews who will drink the Kool-ade, but not as many as before.
Ms. Nunn might not have the easy time of it with Jews she might have a few years ago.
There actually quite a bit on the web about Points of Light and the HandsOn Network, which operates as part of Points of Light.that is pretty troublesome, and a search will give you plenty of material.
Believe it or not, Points of Light was actually started by President George HW Bush, but like a lot of foundations originally started by non-radicals, it, shall we say, is now under new management with a very different orientation than its founders.
Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu blasted the UN statement calling for an unconditional ceasefire, and with good reason.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday slammed a UN Security Council statement calling for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, saying during a phone conversation with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that the statement addresses the needs of a murderous terrorist organization, but not those of Israel.
The statement, he said, does not address Israel's demands for the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip, a principle already established by previous interim agreements with the Palestinians.
“The statement did not deal with the harm done to Israeli civilians, nor to the fact that Hamas turned Gaza civilians into human shields,” he said. Netanyahu, who met Ban in Jerusalem last week, also complained that the statement made no mention of the fact that Hamas used UN facilities to attack Israeli civilians.
Israel accepted a UN request for a humanitarian cease-fire three times, he said, while Hamas violated each one.
“They are continuing to fire even now at Israel citizens,” he said. “Israel will continue to deal with the terror tunnels, which is only the first step in demilitarization.”
Instead of having its money used by Hamas to build terror tunnels to attack Israel, Netanyahu recommended that the international community “should work to demilitarize Gaza.”
And has anyone else noticed that with all the aid money being promised to Hamas, no one in the 'international community' is offering Israel one cent to help its civilian population who were victimized by an aggressive attack by a terrorist group?
In spite of rejecting an unconditional ceasefire, the Israelis stupidly allowed themselves to be pressured into a humanitarian 'ceasefire in place' for the supposedly sacred Muslim Eid al-Fitr that ends Ramadan.
Hamas took advantage of that ill-advised humanitarian instinct by launching missile and mortar attacks
on Israel, as well as an attempted tunnel attack. Ten Israeli soldiers were killed as a result.
It started with missile attacks on Ashkelon and was followed by a salvo against the Lachish District and the towns of Netivot and Ofakim. At about 4:30PM Israeli time, Hamas launched one of its large Iranian-supplied Fajr-5 missiles in the direction of Tel Aviv, but instead it fell short and hit Shifa Hospital, the main Hamas command post and killed a number of Hamas fighters holed up there.
The next Hamas strikes didn't end quite so well. At 5:00 PM, Hamas opened fire with mortars at the Eshkol district in Israel near Beersheba, and one of them landed in a crowd of people. Five soldiers were killed and a number of civilians who were bringing parcels to the troops were wounded, four of them critically.At the same time, rocket barrages were fired at at Ofakim and Mt. Carmel.
At around 6 p.m., 5 Hamas terrorists emerged from a tunnel near Kibbutz Nahal Oz and surprised the IDF troops on guard there. Five IDF soldiers were killed and so were the Hamas terrorists in the resulting firefight
The tenth soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper in the Gaza Strip this morning, bringing the toll of IDF deaths to 53 during the entire three weeks of the Gaza War.Today was the costliest single day of the war for Israel.
In response, the IDF appears to be ramping up its offensive. Inhabitants of Jebalya and Zeitun, two other Hamas strong points next to the main Hamas headquarters at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City were told to evacuate.
Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moishe Ya'alon and IDF Chief of Staff General Benny Ganz addressed the Israeli public in a joint television appearance this evening.
Netanyahu told the Israeli people to be prepared for a long war, but that he, Ya'alon and Ganz were not going to end the offensive until Hamas' missile arsenal was destroyed, along with the tunnels. He said that demilitarizing Gaza has to be part of any solution and the 'international community' must forcefully demand it rather than supplying money, cement and concrete to Hamas for more tunnels. There must be supervision.
He's mistaken there in my opinion, but that calls for a separate piece devoted just to demilitarization.
Ya'alon pretty much repeated the same thing, that Israel will not compromise on the nation's security and that Israel will continue to destroy tunnels and rockets and missiles. Ya'alon said that Israel will not show fear and that the IDF will continue to hit Hamas from land, air and sea in the coming days.
Ya'alon also made the point that as much as Israel regretted every civilian casualty, the Israeli population would come first. He and Ganz both explained what was entailed in destroying the tunnels and asked that the Israelis support the IDF and its mission.
They do. The latest polls indicate that over 86% of Israelis want the war to continue until Hamas is defeated..and that comes from a poll by Left-leaning Mina Tzemach.
The last I heard, the IDF is already attacking Zeitun and Jabaliya after warning the population to leave.
More scenes from a country with no borders...
White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer told reporters that President Obama has executive orders planned to give at least 5 million illegal aliens work permits and amnesty from deportation. Visa overstays are to be excused, according to Pfeiffer:
That move will come by the end of the summer, White House senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer told reporters Friday. Some officials had advocated waiting until after the November midterm election.
Any such move would prompt a major clash with congressional Republicans, and at least some White House officials appeared to relish the prospect that the GOP might overreach in its response and act in a politically self-destructive manner.
When the decision is announced, it will "increase the angry reactions from Republicans," Pfeiffer said.
"I would not discount the possibility" that Republicans would seek to impeach Obama over his next immigration moves, he said, adding that House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) had "opened the door to impeachment" by his plans to sue Obama for allegedly exceeding his executive authority.
Pfeiffer made his comments at a breakfast for reporters sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.
As always, for this lawless regime everything is about politics 24-7.Nothing else matters.
Boehner, of course, has already said numerous times that he against impeachment proceedings, but that shouldn't be allowed to get in the way of a nice fundraising pitch, should it?
Caveat: Contrary to what this article states (it is, after all, the Los Angeles Times) There was very little that was specific about border security or anything that might increase the number of deportations in the Obama Administration's $3.7 billion dollar request for funding from Congress. Aside from numerous earmarks, the bill's vaguely defined objectives were almost exclusively for the care and feeding of illegal aliens and their lawyers.
Meanwhile, illegal alien activists are planning to picket the White House this afternoon, and are demanding that President Obama specifically include illegal immigrants in any future meetings:
“We are among the millions of people who will either benefit or be harmed by the decisions the President makes, and we are here to represent ourselves in any future negotiations,” said Rosi Carrasco, one of organizers, in a statement announcing the action.
Billing themselves “undocumented immigrant leaders,” the organizers said they will erect a picket line to symbolize their demands.
They have demands, you see. And the rest of us are expected to simply bend over and pay up.
That's the ruling of the Sixth Circuit Appeals court in a case brought by a Detroit man against disgraced Wayne County former judge Wade McCree Jr.
McCree, the son of the first black Justice to sit on the Sixth Circuit was disrobed and lost his judgeship for cute tricks like propositioning bailiffs, having sex in his chambers, trading sex for judicial rulings, sending inappropriate selfies and other misconduct was being sued by a Detroit man who the former judge slapped with outrageously high child support payments - while Judge McCree was having an affair with the other litigant in the case, the man's former wife. Mccree was sexting her from the bench, having sex with her in his judicial chambers and actively enjoying an affair that ultimately ended in an abortion.
The Michigan Supreme Court removed him from the bench and he was subsequently suspended without pay for 6 years, something the Michigan Supreme Court imposed because they honestly thought McCree could easily win reelection on racial grounds in Wayne County regardless of his carrying on.
But the Sixth Circuit held that Judge McCree couldn’t be sued civilly for any harms he caused while on the bench, regardless of his record.
According to the strict letter of the law, they're correct. Judicial civil immunity was upheld in Bradley v. Fisher, 80 U.S. 335, 348 (1871):
If civil actions could be maintained… against the judge, because the losing party should see fit to allege in his complaint that the acts of the judge were done with partiality, or maliciously, or corruptly, the protection essential to judicial independence would be entirely swept away.
Since then, courts have consistently ruled against plaintiffs attempting to sue judges.
There have been a few successful cases (In 1996 in Tennessee, a juvenile court judge who was accused of violating the civil rights of three women by sexually assaulting them and threatening to take their kids away if they reported it was denied judicial immunity by the same 6th Circuit) but not many.
Detroit attorney Joel Sklar, who represented the plaintiff in this case wants to take it to the Supreme Court.
“This conduct is absurd,” Sklar said. “It’s so beyond description. A judge uses his chambers to have sex with a litigant? ... If this isn’t too far, what is too far?”
There has been a movement, albeit a small one to waive judicial immunity in cases where a judge's misconduct has caused him to be removed from th ebench. We'll see if the Supremes hear this one.
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 Should Israel Do About Gaza?
The Independent Sentinel : Israel should finish the job now while Hamas has few supporters in the Arab world. They need to obliterate the tunnels and the missiles. Then they should go back home but monitor any shipments going into Gaza.
It's a blessing that Morsi is gone.
Simply Jews : What happens the day after Hamas is destroyed?
Unfortunately, we may not see that day anytime soon. Our government is not up to sacrifice lives of hundreds of soldiers required to smoke out the terrorists from under the center of the Gaza City, which will be the price once the fighting in the confines of the city really starts.
Or should Hamas be destroyed or just disarmed, if that's possible?
In the ideal world Hamas should be destroyed, in a less ideal - disarmed. In our world, neither will happen, due to (see above). It will be helpful as well to read this;
I am sorry to say that it is all true.
What should Israel's strategy towards Hamas/Fatah be?
Trying to bolster the latter in every situation that will harm the former. For example, if freeing prisoners: leave the Hamas ones in prison. Any relief of restrictions goes to the latter - leaving the former in the mud. But all of this - publicly, with lots of coverage. Encourage good behavior so that all can see it.
What strategy should America support?
The one agreed in the privacy between the two sides and not the one blurted via "accidentally" operating mikes to the media, totally not agreed by the other side. As it more and more frequently happens lately.
What is most likely to occur there?
Nothing essentially new. Same old. Another year or two of relative calm, followed by a new round of strife.
Sorry for being so pessimistic.
JoshuaPundit : There are two things you hear said a lot about this situation, usually by genuinely stupid politicians or equally stupid think tank inhabitants. The first is the trophe that 'there is no military solution.' The second is to say there is a major difference between Hamas and Fatah.
Actually, a military solution would be the only one that would work. And the dime's worth of difference between Hamas and Fatah,the difference between 'acceptable' terrorists and 'unacceptable' terrorists has faded to nothingness because of the unity agreement between the two and their coordinated strategy in the Third Intifada.
It should be apparent by now that anything Israel does to defend itself is now going to be subject to criticism by the usual suspects, which now unfortunately includes the Obama regime. That should be apparent to anyone following the news of President Obama's trying to rescue Hamas by demanding Israel abide by an unconditional ceasefire...while he and Qatar and the EU fund them.
Israel is in the same position with Obama as they were with France's DeGaulle on the eve of the Six Day War.Since anything they do short of committing suicide is going to get the same reaction, they have little to lose.
There is a solution to Gaza. It involves Israel (1) destroying Hamas utterly by whatever means necessary (2) Annexing Gaza (3) removing most of the Arab population either to Area A, the reichlet of Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas or to UNRWA refugee camps outside Israeli territory and (4) Gradually repopulating Gaza with Jews and watching it become Singapore or Hong Kong instead of an Islamo-fascist swamp.
Every poll indicates that Israel's population overwhelmingly supports defeating Hamas once and for all.There really is no choice.
At the same time, the behavior of Abbas and Fatah have shown that a similar solution has to be coordinated with them. Israel needs to delineate its borders unilateral and enforce them. Annex Area C and the Jordan Valley where the populations are overwhelmingly Jewish as well as whatever strategic areas of Areas A and B Israel determines it wishes to control. Cede the rest of Area A to Abbas as his little reichlet, and move all Jews outside the new borders to Israeli territory and all Arab non-Israeli citizens to 'Palestine'. Endgame, and as the divorce becomes final, a warning: let Abbas and Fatah know that any aggressive action, including lawfare will involve severe consequences. And follow through on it.
Peace comes from victory. And after all of the 'sacrifices for peace' written in Jewish blood forced on Israel since the Oslo debacle, I think the Israeli people would support this over these constant wars of attrition that grow more costly each time. Enough of the balagan gadol.
The Razor : Unfortunately Israelis don’t have the stomach for permanently fixing the problem in Gaza and the West Bank: Ethnically cleansing the Palestinians from both areas and forcing them into refugee camps in Jordan or Egypt or wherever else the locals will put up with them. It’s not that Israel couldn’t survive the heat from the outside world; I believe the average Israeli doesn’t have the conscience to do it. Contrary to what the Europeans and many on the Left here in the US believe, the Jews are a moral people. It would be difficult for them to accept the morality of a campaign of trucking the Palestinians out of their homes in Gaza and the West Bank to the border crossings in Egypt and Jordan. But morality and political stability are two mutually exclusive domains.
Barring such a moral turn, the only viable solution I’ve seen is the “Shock the Casbah” strategy described here: http://www.the-american-interest.com/garfinkle/2014/07/24/why-is-this-gaza-war-different-from-all-other-gaza-wars/. In a nutshell, it means negotiating a final settlement with the PA, but it’s a longshot as Garfinkle notes, “because it requires a boldness of vision and leadership in Israel, among the Palestinians, and in the United States, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia that is simply not available.” I believe Netanyahu is bold, but he has no counterpart on the PA side, and definitely lacks a bold leader here in the United States. So I doubt that will happen.
At this point I don’t see an end to the violence in Gaza, just a lot more muddling through. If Hamas can be destroyed the Israelis should do it. It’s on the ropes with an unfriendly Egypt behind it and it’s Iranian patron too busy in Syria and Iraq to give them much notice. Of course there can always be worse in Gaza. Look at Isis in Northern Iraq...
Ask Marion : There really is no Palestinian State. They have continually failed to lay the groundwork for a viable homeland and the continual jockeying over the two state solution exists to placate International opinion.
It would be nice to say, just disarm Hamas and everything will be fine, but in reality the only way to peace is for Israel to destroy them. Even after years for war in the Middle East, Americans are generally clueless about what is going on there, where the borders are or even where most of the countries in the Middle East are and they certainly have no clue as to the minutia.
Operation Protective Edge continues to move toward its goals while the Hamas system of complex and advanced military infrastructure tunnels is being realized beneath them. Israel can and I believe has the ability to reach their immediate goal of destroying this tunnel system that has been constructed, subduing rocket fire and leave Gaza… establishing a couple of years of calm and normalcy. But if Hamas is not destroyed, this is a temporary solution… until the next round. As Netanyahu has pointed out, Hamas breaks all cease fires and agreements.
Video: Netanyahu: Hamas Has Broken All Cease Fires We Have Agreed To
But why wait for a next time? Israel should eliminate the Hamas threat completely right now during Operation Protective Edge, including reoccupying Gaza and destroying every rocket, gun, bullet, armament, as well as their factories. Israel has already mobilized into Gaza and Hamas has been weakened by these first few weeks of fighting. Plus, maybe the most important difference is the Sinai factor which has not presented itself before and could disappear again in the future. There has been a military rapprochement with the Egyptians since al-Sisi overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood. Currently, Egypt is completely in Israel’s court. Having their backs up against the wall Hamas leaders and fighters will not be able to escape into the Sinai, the only place they could go in the past in a final Israeli assault scenario. The Egyptians will cut them down if they try to enter their territory. They will be forced to shoot it out with the IDF. So now is the time. Israel certainly is not going to get any help from the U.S. while Obama is our president and who knows what the future will bring?!? Funny how that border word seems to vary from situation to situation in President Obama’s mind… and actions!!
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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Sunday, July 27, 2014
President Barack Obama took some time off the golf course to call Israeli PM Netanyahu and demand an immediate, unconditional ceasefire in Gaza.In a statement the White House put it this way:
“The President made clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement. The President reaffirmed the United States’ support for Egypt’s initiative, as well as regional and international coordination to end hostilities.”
What happened is this; Secretary Kerry had originally told the Israelis that any ceasefire would ultimately entail Hamas disarming, but that for now what he was looking for was to implement the Egyptian proposal, which called for a ceasefire but allowed the IDF to stay in position and refused to recognize any of Hamas' demands, which involved an IDF withdrawal and the opening of the Israeli-Egyptian blockade, put in place to stop Hamas from obtaining heavy weapons from Iran.
Then Kerry tried to bypass the Egyptians and instead came up with a brand new proposal using Muslim Brotherhood friendly Qatar, who funds Hamas, and the anti-Semitic Islamist government of Turkey as intermediaries.The trio met in Paris, a city where John Kerry has had experience orchestrating betrayal before.
That new proposal was very different from what Kerry had told the Israelis only a day or two earlier. As one of my notorious Lil' Birdies told me directly, it recognized Hamas’ position as the ruler of the Gaza Strip, promised Hamas millions in aid and 'reconstruction' money ($47 million from the Obama Administration and $48 million from Qatar alone) and made no demands on Hamas as far as any demilitarization. Their rockets, tunnels and other weaponry would be allowed to remain in place. The IDF would have to withdraw, and the Rafah crossings and the Israeli Egyptian blockade would be lifted. Even worse, the wording of the proposal put Israel and Hamas on the same level, with no difference between the two.
This ridiculous proposal was unanimously rejected by Israel's security cabinet, even the most dovish members. They were literally shocked by this duplicity.
This was on Friday. The call from Barack Hussein Obama to Binyamin Netanyahu came today.
In his call to Netanyahu, Obama spoke of the need to enact “a sustainable ceasefire that both allows Palestinians in Gaza to lead normal lives and addresses Gaza’s long-term development and economic needs, while strengthening the Palestinian Authority.” He said that, ultimately, “any lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarization of Gaza.”
So in other words, Hamas is to be rewarded, even though they were the aggressors, even though they are a terrorist group, even after the entire world has seen where that money goes. And the 'Palestinian Authority' which Hamas is now part of? That has to strengthened. Maybe, with some Obama funded 'strengthening,' Hamas and their Fatah partners might have better luck next time attacking Israel and killing Jews...
The story the White House is putting out now, of course, is that the leaked proposal was 'just a draft', accompanied by the usual verbiage by this president of his commitment to Israel's security. Virtually no one in Israel believes that now.
Among other things, both Hamas leader Khalid Masha'al and Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh have already said that demilitarization will not happen, and both the president and John Kerry knew it. That why the so called 'draft' made no mention of it.In fact Hamas has already used a nice chunk of its 'humanitarian aid' money to purchase replacements for its missile arsenal from North Korea, which are en route.That's somethin else the president and our Secretary of State had to be aware of too.
Even worse, Obama is trying to hold the safety of Israel's population hostage. The Iron Dome missile defense system has been key to limiting Israeli civilian casualties.It was developed by Israel's Rafael, but as part of the quid pro quo for doing some of the funding as a joint weapons project, the U.S. demanded that while the system itself could be produced by Israel, the missiles themselves would be produced in America, and those are made by Raytheon.
At this point, Israel has used up a significant part of its stocks and had asked America for a resupply. Congress almost unanimously authorized the funds. But then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in a heartless and nasty maneuver that had to come straight from the White House attached it to the $3.7 billion the president wants to fund amnesty for illegal aliens. The Senate Republicans as I write this are attempting to write up a separate bill to bring to the floor, but it's not certain Harry Reid will even allow it to come to a vote in the event the legislation gets out of committee. And then, even if it passes, it has to go back to the House and be signed by the president, all of which could take a very long time, especially with the president's 18 day luxury vacay at Martha's Vineyard coming up.
I obviously didn't hear the phone call between Netanyahu and Obama, but I would bet my dollar to you dime the subject came up, and that it was made plain to Netanyahu that unless he accedes to Kerry and Obama's demands and enables Hamas to rebuild, Israel might not get those Iron Dome missiles for awhile.
And of course, there's almost certainly another motivation for President Obama here. The biggest beneficiary of the current turmoil in Gaza is none other than Iran,because it takes the eyes of the world off the West's craven caving in on the July 2oth deadline to resolve Iran's rogue nuclear weapons program. Not only did the Iranians get another four months of 'negotiations' while the centrifuges spin, they got appeased for their trouble with a badly needed $2.5 billion bribe in the bargain.
President Obama realizes that like the Saudis, Egypt and the Emirates, Israel was appalled by this appeasement. And he knows that Netanyahu has his eye very much on that situation.In the president's view, it probably works much better for him if Israel still has to deal with a military threat to the south as well as from Iran's proxy Hezbollah in the north rather than to see Hamas defeated and Israel perhaps free to think about doing something about the Iranian threat itself.
So Netanyahu is in a difficult position. If Israel pulls out of Gaza without defeating Hamas and making sure they're no longer a threat, not only does he anger the IDF, the Egyptians and the Saudis, who want Hamas gone, but the Israeli people and his own, now united cabinet. There's a no question his government would fall, and it would deserve to. On the other hand, if he refuses, Israel's civilian population is endangered.
I realize how easy it is for me to say this, but if it were my decision not only would I refuse, but I would tell President Obama plainly that if Israel was unable to get replacements for the Iron Dome, I would simply be forced to give the Israeli air force carte blanche to do whatever was necessary to take out the missile launching sites, no matter how many civilian casualties it cost. After all, how many civilians has President Obama killed with his drone strikes? How many Serb civilians did America bomb in Kosovo? And no matter what, whether President Obama blinked or didn't I would immediately put Rafael to work re-engineering the Iron Dome missiles so they can be produced in Israel. Because if Israel gives in to this threat, it will be used again and again by this president.
Let's make no mistake here. The Obama Administration is aiding and abetting a genocidal terrorist group, and funding the rebuilding of their weapons arsenal and their terrorist infrastructure. John Kerry, UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon and President Obama have become the “Save Hamas Squad,” and that's exactly how they're being referred to in Israel and elsewhere in the region.The relationship between the U.S. and Israel, or for that matter between the Saudis, Egypt and the Emirates has never been worse or more disaffected.
As for Israel, at a time when they most needed an ally, they have been given instead a spiteful betrayal. And it isn't just Israel.
No matter how this ends up, American Jews who voted for Obama are going to have to think about this: that the government and this president they voted for is now using their tax dollars to support and empower a genocidal terrorist group that would happily murder them.