Israel: A Congenital Act of Aggression?
August 21, 2014
by Deborah Weiss
Deborah Weiss, Esq. is a regular contributor to FrontPage Magazine and the Washington Times. She is a contributing author to “Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network” and the primary writer and researcher for “Council on American Islamic Relations: Its Use of Lawfare and Intimidation.” You can find more of her articles on www.vigilancenow.org
As rockets rained into Israel on the third day of the current Israel-Hamas conflict, the irony of the situation was not lost: Capitol Hill held a symposium on July 9, 2014, the tenth anniversary of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) advisory opinion denouncing the legality and necessity of Israel’s national security fence. The event was organized by Richard Heideman, Chief Counsel for American Victims of Terrorism, author of the Hague Odyssey and cofounder of the Israel Foundation. The high-profile speakers all spoke ardently in opposition to the ICJ’s opinion. No doubt, the unforeseen war currently in progress demonstrated the legitimacy of Israel’s security fence and the folly of the ICJ’s assertion to the contrary.
The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the UN, seated in The Hague, and established in 1945 by the UN Charter. It has the jurisdiction to settle legal disputes submitted by States when the parties agree to the Court’s jurisdiction. It also has the authority to issue advisory opinions on legal questions submitted by authorized UN bodies and specialized agencies. It consists of 15 judges elected by the UN General Assembly (GA) and the UN Security Council, each to serve out a term of 9 years.
After the Palestinian Authority was unable to successfully pass its proposed resolution in the Security Council, it initiated a resolution in the UN GA, which regularly passes anti-Israel resolutions.
Thus, on December 8, 2003, the GA passed the resolution (in a special emergency session) to send the ICJ a question requesting an advisory opinion. The question read, “[W]hat are the legal consequences of the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the Occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory?”
Numerous other countries filed briefs with the ICJ, primarily asserting the Court’s lack of jurisdiction to entertain the question. First, the PA is not a state so it cannot submit a dispute for settlement. Second, Israel never agreed to accept the ICJ’s jurisdiction on this matter. Third, per prior legal agreements between Israel and Palestine, conflicts should be resolved through bi-lateral negotiations, not through a court. Fourth, the issue is really a political matter, not a legal matter. But even if the GA does have standing to request an advisory opinion, the court’s opinion does not constitute binding law.
None of this stopped the ICJ from rendering its opinion, however, which wholeheartedly accepted the Palestinian position and rejected entirely Israel’s argument that the wall was needed for security purposes.
The ICJ issued a press release explaining that “the Court finds the construction of the wall being built by Israel’s Occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem and its associated regime, are contrary to international law.” It further stated that Israel has an obligation to cease construction of the wall, dismantle what has been erected, and make “reparations for all damage caused by the wall.”
The Court dismissed Israel’s argument that the wall was necessary to achieve its security objectives and that it was justified self-defense. Further, the ICJ suggested that the UN, and the GA in particular, “consider what further action is required to bring an end to the illegal situation…”
This opinion came one week subsequent to, and in disregard of, the Israeli Supreme Court’s ruling, ordering a section of the barrier outside Jerusalem to be re-routed to accommodate Palestinians and reduce the hardship they were experiencing as a result of the fence’s location, demonstrating Israel’s humanitarian values.
In his opening remarks, Richard Heideman noted that the fence has indisputably saved lives and is legitimate and necessary. He also pointed out that all countries have an obligation to defend their citizens and that the wall was erected for security reasons alone, that it is not an apartheid wall as some claim. Finally, he questioned the legality of the ICJ’s advisory opinion.
Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer explained what readers will not hear in the mainstream media: that ¾ of Israel’s population is threatened by Hamas rockets, that many have had to relocate, and that those who remain in their homes in the shelled areas are hearing alarms to run to shelters numerous times a day and throughout the night.
He emphasized that there is no moral equivalency between Israel and Hamas. Hamas is a terror organization which uses children as human shields, celebrates the deaths of Israelis and uses the deaths of Palestinians as PR fodder, while Israel considers the loss of any innocent life to be a tragedy.
He pointed out the double standard to which Israel is held: no other country in the world is held to the standard of perfection to which Israel is held. And, the only reason that hundreds of innocent Israelis have not died in this war is not for Hamas’ lack of effort, but due to Israel’s iron dome missile defense program.
Ambassador Dermer referred to Netanyahu’s concept of “the reversal of causality” where the press confuses cause with effect. It is false that the “occupied territory” is the cause of Palestinian hostility, when in fact it is their hostility that caused the need for the wall. Indeed, the PLO was fighting Israel three years prior to any so-called “occupation”, not to mention that the “occupied” land was acquired in response to a war started by hostile Arab states who want to see Israel obliterated.
The Palestinians would have had their own state by now, but for the fact that in 1947 Arab leaders rejected a two state resolution at the UN.
The Ambassador aptly pointed out that it was the stance of the Arabs which created the Palestinian refugee problem, and the wall was a response only to waves of terror. Palestinians are attempting to turn the wall into a grievance and falsely claim it is the cause of their hostility, when in fact it was the result.
Professor Irwin Cotler, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Member of the Canadian Parliament, and human rights attorney, discussed “masking the delegitimization of Israel by cover of rule of law.” He argued that delegitimization is a buzz word to attack Israel’s right to exist and to defend herself. In order to avoid criticism for delegitimization, many are masking this goal with the pre-textual language of law, human rights and combatting genocide.
Though the conflict is political in nature, using legal or human rights language makes the Palestinian position seem more credible. The masking of delegitimization began with a UN resolution that asserted “Zionism is racism”, thus giving the appearance of international law to a politically motivated anti-Israel bias. Indeed, UN resolutions regularly make assertions without evidence and then these resolutions are used as evidence that Israel is violating human rights law. Still, the UN turns a blind eye to real human rights abusers.
Cotler noted that delegitimization is not new, but existed from the creation of Israel. Israel’s “original sin” was her establishment, and her mere existence was referred to as “a congenital act of aggression.”
Ken Marcus, President of the Louis D. Brandeis Center and former Staff Director for the US Commission on Civil Rights, discussed the proliferation of anti-Israel sentiment rampant on US college campuses. He argued that college campuses are no longer oases of tolerance as they once were. When universities are informed of discrimination, they address it promptly unless the discrimination is against those who are pro-Israel. Marcus refers to it as “the Israel exception.”
Marcus provided real life examples of college student who were called names such as “kike” or “dirty Jew.” Some were spit on or assaulted for wearing Jewish stars or supporting Israel. In California, one female student was trampled for holding up a sign that read, “Israel wants peace.” Yet, universities do nothing to provide protection in these circumstances. Instead, they proclaim that such hatred is “political expression” or “free expression.”
Additionally, Marcus pointed out that anti-Semitic discrimination was not considered discrimination against ethnicity by the US Commission on Civil Rights until ten years ago. Never-the-less, getting the Commission to enforce this policy is another matter, as to date the office insists that it has found not one instant of anti-Semitic discrimination despite the complaints that have been filed.
Colleges profess to value diversity, but as Marcus pointed out, that diversity does not include diversity of opinion when the subject is Israel.
Sarah Stern, President of Endowment for Middle East Truth, gave a moving speech in which she told the story of her aunt in Poland, who was ordered to strip naked and stand by the edge of a ditch. She and her twin baby girls were then gunned to death. Others were similarly murdered. What was their crime? They were Jewish.
Stern explained that the old anti-Semitism against Jewish individuals is now levied against the collective Jewish State of Israel. The Oslo Accords, she noted, were predicated on the notion that the Jews would relinquish land in exchange for peace. Yet, when Israel pulled out of Gaza, what they received was not peace, but the firing of 10,000 Kassam rockets into Israel proper.
Arab nations, Stern explained, always refused to recognize the state of Israel. Hamas’ stance is no peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, and no recognition of Israel. College campuses and international organizations like the UN are replete with anti-Israel bigotry, despite the fact that Israel is one “tiny” state in the Middle East and the only state in the region that upholds values of freedom, human rights and equality. “Why is Israel so reviled?” Stern asked. “Because it is a Jewish State.”
There were other speakers at the symposium as well, all of whom passionately argued in favor of Israel’s terrorism prevention security fence and against the ICJ’s advisory opinion.
The coincident and subsequent events to the symposium, that constitute the Israel-Hamas war, could not have been foreseen at the time the symposium was scheduled. Yet, the current war in that region makes the points articulated by the symposium’s speakers crystal clear.
After weeks of unprompted Hamas rockets shooting into Israel, followed by the brutal murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank, Israel finally responded with a campaign to destroy the tunnels built by Hamas to smuggle in weapons. Despite the fact that Israel is the only nation in the world that calls, texts, and drops warning leaflets prior to bombing, she is still condemned for acts that constitute self-defense. The “disproportionate” number of Palestinian deaths (approximately 1800, half of which are Hamas or other militants) to that of the Israeli deaths (approximately 68 IDF soldiers and three civilians) does not indicate the nature of the parties’ intent. Israel goes out of its way to avoid civilian casualties, targeting only Hamas militants, their weapon storage areas and tunnels. It mourns the death of every innocent Palestinian. And yet, it is Hamas who should be held responsible for the deaths of both Israelis and Palestinians because it purposely puts them in harm’s way.
One cannot have peace without a partner for peace. This war, like those that preceded it, are not about land or territory. It is an existential issue for the Jewish State of Israel, against those who want her extinction simply because she’s Jewish. Some naively believe that Palestinians only want Israel to evacuate the “occupied territory.” But the rallying cries call out, “[P]alestine shall be free, from the river to the sea.” That constitutes ALL of Israel. The schoolbooks disseminated by Palestinians that refer to all of Israel as Palestine, the cartoons that teach children hatred, and the celebrations by Palestinian mothers of their sons’ martyrdom all bely the claim that most Palestinians want peace with Israel.
Hamas’ repeated declinations or violations of all truce offers and ceasefire agreements to date, prove the point made by the July 9th symposium. The security fence IS necessary to meet Israel’s national security objectives and the ICJ was wrong to dismiss Israel’s arguments. Israel is the only nation in the world expected to adhere to a standard of utter passivity in the face of war.
Regardless of her commitment to freedom and humanitarianism, Israel will always be demonized. As Professor Cotler noted, Israel’s real crime is her mere existence, “a congenital act of aggression.”
Don’t second guess me again: Netanyahu to US
By Bill Sanderson and Post Wires
August 2, 2014 | 5:50am
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu angrily warned the White House “not to ever second-guess me again” on matters involving Hamas — and followed up by vowing that Israel will deal with Palestinian terrorists on its own terms.
Netanyahu was incensed that President Obama pressured him into a cease-fire that Hamas fighters broke after just 90 minutes Friday by attacking Israeli troops sent to destroy one of the tunnels from Gaza used to raid Israel.
Hamas killed two Israeli soldiers in the attack and possibly abducted a third, who officials later said had been killed in a battle. It was not clear whether he’d been captured or had died with the other two.
Netanyahu issued the stinging rebuke in a heated phone call Friday with US Ambassador Dan Shapiro following the collapse of the US-brokered truce with Hamas, The Associated Press reported.
In the call, Netanyahu insisted that he must be “trusted” in his handling of the crisis and that he “expected” the United States and other countries to fully support Israel’s Gaza offensive. He made similar points directly to Secretary of State John Kerry, AP reported.
Modal TriggerAn Israeli mobile artillery unit fires towards the Gaza Strip .Photo: Reuters
Netanyahu had bitterly opposed the cease-fire, which one poll found was also opposed by 86.5 percent of the Israeli public. But he swallowed his objections at the urging of US diplomats.
His reported rant is no surprise to observers of US-Israeli relations. “What else is new? I don’t think there is any secret this is the poorest relationship between a Jewish leader and a US president since Eisenhower,” said Jim Carafano, vice president for foreign policy at the Heritage Foundation.
Netanyahu played down his complaints at a press conference Saturday, saying they were distorted in media reports. “The US has been terrific and has given us tremendous support during the Gaza crisis,” he said.
Modal TriggerA mosque is destroyed in the northern Gaza Strip August 2nd.Photo: Getty Images
But he stuck to his hard line on Hamas, insisting that Israel would withdraw from Gaza on its own terms, not those of the US or other countries. “We do not have any obligation but our obligation to the security of Israel,” he said, vowing to keep up the pressure on the Palestinian terror organization.
Modal TriggerPalestinians stand atop the wreckage in Rafah.Photo: Reuters
“We will take as much time as necessary and will exert as much force as needed,” he said, adding that Israel had dealt a “significant blow” to Hamas’ infrastructure in its Gaza campaign.
Netanyahu has long had a rocky relationship with the Obama administration, which he feels has not always stood up for Israel’s interests.
Kerry called Netanyahu “a stubborn head” in a meeting with French officials on July 26 and expressed fear that he was hurting US efforts to deal with Sunni terrorists and Iranian nukes, said the French weekly Le Canard Enchaine.
Last November, Netanyahu blasted Obama’s interim deal to freeze Iran’s development of nuclear weapons as a “historic mistake.” Obama had kept Israel in the dark for months.
Modal TriggerIsraeli soldiers near the Gaza Strip border.Photo: EPA
During the 2012 presidential campaign, Netanyahu could barely hide his support for Mitt Romney, with whom he worked at Boston Consulting Group in the 1970s. Netanyahu was even featured in a pro-Romney TV ad, though he said the footage was used without his permission.
Modal TriggerA Palestinian protester throws a stone at Israeli border police during clashes against the Israeli offensive in Gaza August 1st.Photo: Reuters
Obama has expressed frustration with Netanyahu. Responding to then-French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy’s comment in 2011 that Netanyahu was a “liar,” Obama said, “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you.”
Rep. Peter King (R-LI) said Netanyahu and Obama will move past this latest brouhaha. “We have so many common interests and common enemies that it’ll work itself out, We don’t have to love each other to work with each other.” said King, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee.
“There’s always been mistrust between Netanyahu and Obama,” said Rep. Peter King (R-LI), a member of the House Homeland Security Committee.
The latest brouhaha further strains the relationship, King said, but he thinks the US and Israel will find a way past their mistrust.
Israeli troops pulled back from some of their positions in Gaza Saturday in what Netanyahu said was a redeployment to “minimize friction” with Hamas as the campaign continues. Shlomo Brom, a retired general and a fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, said Israeli troops remain poised to resume their attack.
“Instead of trying to reach an agreement with Hamas, which seems impossible, The government is going to withdraw most of its forces while staying very close in case they have to go in again,” he said.
Additional reporting by Michael Gartland
Israel, Hamas Accept Egyptian Cease-Fire Proposal
Aug. 10, 2014 10:00am Zach Noble
Story by the Associated Press; curated by Zach Noble and Dave Urbanski
CAIRO (AP) — Israel and the Hamas militant group accepted an Egyptian cease-fire proposal Sunday, clearing the way for the resumption of talks on a long-term truce to end a month of heavy fighting in the Gaza Strip that has taken nearly 2,000 lives.
The announcement marked the second time in less than a week that the bitter enemies had agreed to Egyptian mediation. A similar three-day truce last week collapsed in renewed violence over the weekend.
In Cairo, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said the truce scheduled to take effect at midnight (2101 GMT) would allow humanitarian aid into battered Gaza neighborhoods and the reopening of indirect talks on a more lasting and comprehensive deal.
Smoke from a fire caused by an Israeli strike rises over Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014. Egyptian-brokered talks between Israel and Hamas on a new border deal for Gaza were thrown into doubt Saturday after senior officials said an Israeli team would not rejoin negotiations in Cairo unless rocket fire from Gaza stops. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Hamas is seeking an end to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade against Gaza, while Israel wants Hamas to dismantle its formidable arsenal of rockets and other weapons.
Palestinian negotiators accepted the proposal early Sunday after meeting with Egyptian officials throughout the weekend. Israeli officials concurred later. Both delegations are back in Cairo.
Qais Abdelkarim, a member of the Palestinian delegation, said indirect talks with the Israelis would begin Monday “with the hope of reaching a lasting cease-fire.” The goal, he added, was to end the blockade, which he called “the reason for the war.”
The recent fighting has been the heaviest between Israel and Hamas since Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007. More than 1,900 Palestinians have been killed, including hundreds of civilians. On the Israeli side, 67 people have been killed, including three civilians. Nearly 10,000 people have been wounded and thousands of homes destroyed.
The fighting ended in a three-day cease-fire last Tuesday. Egypt had hoped to use that truce to mediate a long-term deal. But when it expired, militants resumed their rocket fire, sparking Israeli reprisals. The violence continued throughout the weekend, including a burst of fighting late Sunday ahead of the expected cease-fire.
The Israeli military reported some 30 rocket attacks from Gaza on Sunday. Palestinian medical officials said seven people were killed in Israeli airstrikes, including the bodyguard of a Hamas leader, the medical officials said.
Israel had walked away from cease-fire talks over the weekend. “Israel will not negotiate under fire,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier Sunday, warning that his country’s military campaign “will take time.”
Last week’s talks failed in part because Israel rejected Hamas’ demand for a complete end to the blockade. Israel says the closure is necessary to prevent arms smuggling, and officials do not want to make any concessions that would allow Hamas to declare victory.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he speaks during a joint press conference with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon (L) at the defense ministry in the coastal city of Tel Aviv on August 2, 2014. Israel will continue its military campaign in the Gaza Strip for as long as needed and with as much force as necessary,Netanyahu said. (Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images)
A senior Palestinian negotiator acknowledged that the Palestinians would make more modest demands this time around. He said they will seek an end to the bloodshed in Gaza and an easing — but not an end — to the blockade.
“We might not get everything we want, particularly on freedom of movement. But we believe the Israelis and the world have gotten the point that Gazans should live normally and things should be much better than today,” the negotiator said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was discussing internal Palestinian deliberations.
Israel says Hamas must disarm. Hamas has said handing over its arsenal, which is believed to include several thousand remaining rockets, is out of the question.
The blockade has greatly limited the movement of Palestinians in and out of the impoverished territory of 1.8 million people for jobs and schooling. It has also limited the flow of goods into Gaza and blocked virtually all exports.
An Egyptian crackdown on smuggling tunnels along Gaza’s southern border has made things even tougher by robbing Hamas of its key economic pipeline and weapons conduit. Gaza’s unemployment rate surpasses 50 percent, and Hamas is unable to pay the salaries of tens of thousands of workers.
An easing of the blockade would mean an increased role for Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose forces were ousted by Hamas seven years ago. Officials said the rival Palestinian factions were already exploring options that would give Abbas, who now governs in the West Bank, a foothold in Gaza, including the likely control of its border crossing with Egypt.
At a minimum, Israel will want guarantees that the rocket fire will stop. A 2012 cease-fire promised an easing of the blockade but was never implemented — in part because of sporadic rocket attacks by various armed factions in Gaza.
Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said Hamas could get the blockade lifted by accepting longstanding international demands to renounce violence and recognize Israel’s right to exist.
“They want to get legitimacy as a terrorist organization without accepting the requirements of the international community,” she told a news conference.
In the West Bank, Palestinian health officials said an 11-year-old boy was shot and killed Sunday by Israeli forces in a refugee camp near the city of Hebron.
Witnesses and relatives of the boy said Israeli security forces opened fire at Palestinian stone-throwers. They said the boy was standing on the road in front of his home at the time.
The military said its forces encountered a “violent riot” and opened fire. It acknowledged that the boy was killed in the violence and said it was investigating.
The current Gaza war escalated from the abduction and killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June. Israel blamed the killings on Hamas and launched a massive arrest campaign, rounding up hundreds of its members in the West Bank. Hamas and other militants unleashed rocket fire from Gaza.
Associated Press writers Josef Federman in Jerusalem, Sarah El Deeb in Cairo, Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, and Daniel Estrin and Yousur Alhlou in Jerusalem contributed to this report.
Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter
One of the chief demands of Hamas and the people of Gaza is that Israel end the long standing blockade imposed against them. The blockade consists of restrictions on travel across the borders into Israel, the amount of building materials allowed into Gaza, a denial of an airport and seaport access.
Gazans complain that the blockade creates a hardship, stifling their economy and development as a region. While Hamas and other terror organizations spin Israel’s firm commitment to the restrictions as callousness, the truth is, the people of Gaza are suffering because of Hamas.
Years under Hamas
The Gaza Strip was handed over to the Palestinian people in 1994 and has been governed by Hamas since 2007. Since then Hamas has not used the open borders of trade and commerce to develop their cities and benefit their people. Instead they have spent millions of dollars’ worth of construction materials on the building of terrorist tunnels from which to attack their “enemy,” Israel. In these first seven months of 2014 alone, according to the IDF Blog, ”680 trucks carrying 181 thousand tons of gravel, iron, cement, wood and other supplies have passed through the Kerem Shalom crossing.”
What’s a tunnel worth?
Since the ground campaign began on July 17th the Israel Defense Forces has discovered 32 terror tunnels. IDF estimates each tunnel costs Gaza citizens three million dollars. See yesterday’s blog post, “Who Wants A Ceasefire?” to read about their elaborate construction.
That’s three million dollars that could have been invested in improving conditions and services to the people of Gaza. Three million dollars multiplied by 32 tunnels! (See graphic.) Over 90 million dollars has been spent on hatred rather than responsibility.
The Palestinian people are getting the raw end of the deal, but it is not from Israel. It is by their own leadership who openly declares they value the death of Israel over the life of their own families, women and children. It is painful to see the pictures of death and grief in Gaza during this operation. What is even more heart wrenching is that those who the Palestinians call “the enemy” care more about the Gaza citizenry than their own leadership does.
Hamas has the power and the money to help its people
Hamas spends tens of millions, not to create a region that serves its people, but on pursuing the death of Israelis. So while Gaza cries “Stop the blockade!” and garners outraged support from inadequately informed world sympathizers, Hamas has the power and the money to help its people. But it doesn’t.
A god of hate or a God of love
During one of our medical missions to Africa a year or so ago, a volunteer nurse showed great tenderness and compassion to a sick Muslim woman. Before the clinic ended, the woman returned, much improved in health. She told volunteers about the nurse who cared for her and said, “You people are full of love. My religion is full of hate. I want to know your God.”
As for prayers
There are so many ways to pray right now, so many details of suffering and strategy that need covering – the evil of money and power spent toward hatred of Israel being among them. Please continue praying for all aspects of this war on terror, including safety, wisdom, disarming Israel’s enemies, world support, and for the frightened, traumatized and suffering.
Please also pray for:
To the Jew first and also to the Nations,
Jewish Voice Ministries International
Why Did a New York City Rabbi Unsubscribe from the New York Times?
BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff
August 29, 2014 9:30 am
One of New York City’s leading Rabbis has decided to unsubscribe from the New York Times. This summer his “chronic irritation” with the paper’s Israel coverage turned to “visceral disgust,” and he could take it no longer.
Rabbi Richard A. Block explained his decision in Tablet Magazine:
I am a lifelong Democrat, a political liberal, a Reform rabbi, and for four decades, until last week, a New York Times subscriber. What drove me away was the paper’s incessant denigration of Israel, a torrent of articles, photographs, and op-ed columns that consistently present the Jewish State in the worst possible light.
This phenomenon is not new. Knowledgeable observers have long assailed the Times lack of objectivity and absence of journalistic integrity in reporting on Israel. My chronic irritation finally morphed into alienation and then to visceral disgust this summer, after Hamas renewed its terrorist assaults upon Israel and the Times launched what can only be described as a campaign to delegitimize the Jewish State.
Block points to the Times’ focus on Palestinian civilian casualties in this summers coverage:
The answers are self-evident to everyone except the New York Times. Its obsessive focus is on Palestinian civilian casualties, especially children, publishing photos of their corpses and little else, as if they tell the whole story. The deaths of innocents in wartime are tragic and heartbreaking; they diminish us all. But a newspaper committed to balance and fairness would provide context and perspective. It would show traumatized Israeli children running to shelters, cowering, wetting their beds, and suffering nightmares. It would publish photos and accounts of militants launching rockets from the roofs of mosques, a church, and a media hotel, alongside schools, refugee shelters, clinics and hospitals, and of weapons concealed by Hamas in UN facilities. It would substantiate casualty figures from Hamas, which is known to have falsified them in the past, before reporting them as fact. It would highlight Hamas’ use of civilians as human shields, its urging civilians to ignore Israel’s advance warnings to depart, so that Gazans would be killed and inflict PR damage on Israel. Such a paper would cover the threats of death that inhibited reporters and photojournalists from telling the true, full story. But the Times did not.
What it did instead is revealed by a sample of headlines: “As Israel Hits Mosque and Clinic, Air Campaign’s Risks Come Home;” “Israelis Watch Bombs Drop on Gaza From Front-Row Seats;” “Questions About Tactics and Targets as Civilian Toll Climbs in Israeli Strikes;” “Foreign Correspondents in Israel Complain of Intimidation;” “Israeli Shells are Said to Hit UN School;” “Military Censorship in Israel;” “A Boy at Play in Gaza, a Renewal of War, A Family in Mourning;” “Israel’s Supporters Try to Come to Terms with the Killing of Children in Gaza;” “Israel Braces for War Crimes Inquiries on Gaza;” “Resisting Nazis, He Saw Need for Israel. Now He Is Its Critic.”
Then there are the op-eds: “Israel’s Puppy, Tony Blair;” “Israel’s Bloody Status Quo;” “How the West Chose War in Gaza;” “Darkness Falls on Gaza;” “Israeli Self-Defense Does Not Permit Killing Civilians;” “Israel Has Overreacted to the Threats it Provoked;” “Zionism and Its Discontents;” “U.S. Should Stop Funding Israel, or Let Others Broker Peace;” “Israel’s Colonialism Must End;” “Unwavering Support of Israel Harms U.S. Interests, Encourages Extremism;” “Eight Days in Gaza: A Wartime Diary: Life and Death in the Gaza Strip.” The last column consumed nearly the entire op-ed page.
Islamic supremacist pro-government Turkish newspaper targets Turkish Jews: “Go home killer”
by Robert Spencer
Aug 15, 2014 at 2:05pm
Islamic antisemitism, Turkey
Here is yet another sign of the global increase in open and virulent anti-Semitism, and of Turkey’s rapid re-Islamization.
“Daily targets Turkish Jews in headline,” Today’s Zaman, August 14, 2014 (thanks to Joshua):
The pro-government Milat daily targeted Turkish nationals from the Jewish community who also hold Israeli passports in its Thursday issue by arguing that since Israeli citizens are required to serve in the national army, they have blood on their hands and are responsible for the killings of civilians in Gaza during an Israeli offensive that has led to over 2,000 deaths since July of this year.
Milat, a staunch pro-government paper that uses political Islamist rhetoric, used English in its headline, stating “Go home killer” in reference to Turkish Jews who allegedly serve in the Israeli army. The article stated that after Israel announced its recent military campaign, Turkish Jews who hold dual citizenship rushed to “massacre” Palestinians. The paper also commented that Jewish Turkish citizens involved in fighting against innocent Palestinians come back to Turkey and “resume their lives as if nothing happened.”
Milat based its report on a social media campaign launched by a number of journalists and activists with the hashtag #israilaskeriistemiyoruz (We do not want Israeli soldiers). A website under the same name urges citizens to sign a petition and send it to Parliament so as to revoke the Turkish citizenship of anyone who fights in the Israeli army on the grounds that they have committed premeditated murder. The petition also requests that the Ministry of Defense abolish an existing legal exemption regarding military service for people who carry dual citizenship and have served in the Israeli army. According to a 1993 law, citizens with more than one nationality are exempt from military service in Turkey if they have served in the military of a county that Turkey recognizes.
An anonymous call on the website rejects the idea of living in the same neighborhood as “murderers.”
Meanwhile, in his first address since being elected president, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday that all minorities in Turkey live in peace under the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government. “There is no other country that displays the same degree of sensitivity that we show as far as minorities are concerned,” Erdoğan stressed, adding, “While all these events are happening in Gaza, we maintain that our Jewish citizens are under protection.”
Erdoğan added that their problem is not with the people of Israel, but its government.
Hamas Tunnels Used To Target and Blow Up Israel’s Kindergartens, “An Israeli 9/11″ Planned with Tens of Thousands of Casualities
And the Muslims and their leftist lapdogs back these savages.
“Hamas Tunnels Used To Target Israel’s Kindergartens,” The Muslim Issue, August 2, 2014
Stories From The Battlefield: Hamas Tunnels Used To Target Israel’s Kindergartens
By Mordechai Ben-Menachem
Multiple media outlets report that Hamas’s offensive tunnel network – now known to have been composed of over forty attack tunnels dug underneath Israel’s border with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip – was set to be activated during the Jewish High Holidays (September 24th) as a mass terror attack.
The attack was meant to generate as many as ten thousand casualties, men, women and particularly children and hundreds of captives. Explosives were particularly placed underneath kindergartens to make certain that these “institutions” would be the first struck, even before any thing else.
The IDF recently published the below map showing that tunnels were created in pairs, to empty out on both sides of nearby communities. The known cost of the infrastructure – each tunnel costs upward of some $1 million – clearly shows that Hamas was planning a coordinated mega-attack. It must be understood that use of even one tunnel would inevitably trigger Israeli retaliation against the entire network.
A map of a small portion of the tunnels meant to be used 9 weeks from now.
Revelations regarding the planned tunnel attack magnitude played a decisive role in the Israeli government’s rejection of a ceasefire proposed late Friday by Secretary of State John Kerry.
Unbelievably, Kerry actually proposed in his latest “cease-fire proposal” – none of which have been honored by Hamas so far – that Israel refrains from degrading remaining attack tunnels. This mind-boggling concept would necessarily be rejected by any sane government, of any country.
Israeli security sources, citing information acquired in interrogations of captured brigands, described a scenario under which hundreds of heavily armed Hamas fighters would have spilled out into Israel in the dead of night and within 10 minutes been positioned to infiltrate essentially all Israeli communities surrounding the Gaza Strip. Waiting then in hiding until schools and kindergartens were occupied, the terrorists would then attempt to kill the children first, and then kill and kidnap as many Israelis as possible. The plot was set to take place during Jewish New Year, on September 24.
“It’s like the Underground, the Metro or the Subway,” Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said. “These tunnels are all connected. I would describe it as Lower Gaza.”
Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said, “A whole city of terror tunnels has been found. Without the ground operation, we would have woken up one day to an Israeli 9/11.”
Except, the actual objective was to be five times 9/11.
This picture shows clearly the width of one of the tunnels, sufficient for wheeled vehicles to transverse it. Hamas did not build a “subway” system for Gaza residents. They built an infrastructure for one purpose, and one only, an industry of death.
Israeli military officials reported that the tunnels are stocked with tranquilizers, handcuffs, syringes, ropes and other materials used for subduing abductees, civilians and soldiers. The tunnels also had fantastic quantities of explosives and additional military materiel meant to be used in the up-coming mega attack. Much of these explosives had already been placed underneath Israeli kindergartens. Some of these tunnels were as deep as 30 meters underground.
Fantastic quantities of explosives were stored in every tunnel, meant to be used in a mega-attack on civilian communities and infrastructure.
Sources say the Gaza Strip war, Operation Protective Edge, could serve as a prelude for a more extensive underground war with the Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah. Perhaps, not ‘just’ in the Middle East.
The tunnels inside Gaza and under the Israeli border are not a secret project Hamas ran under the noses of Israel and the Palestinian public. Everyone in Gaza, knew that beneath Gaza, the City and all of its environs, a network of tunnels was being dug over the past five years, with an investment of tens of millions of dollars. Yet no one in Israel, public or military, was prepared for the scope of the tunnels – the danger that became clear in the past week or two.
Senior Hamas operatives show off their offensive tunnels to their spouses. Unbelievably, this is actually a picture of a Marriage taking place in the ‘place of death’.
In order to create this monstrosity, Hamas needed significant professional help; and this help had to have come from a large organization or state entity. This is not just the monetary aid it received from Qatar, America’s ally. This is professional guidance for the performance of such an underground feat. Perhaps Hamas could have used experts from the tunnels dug at Rafah under the Gaza-Egypt border, but those were significantly simpler, and did not demand any extraordinary investment or effort.
A Hamas operative climbing upward in a pier of one of the major tunnels. Notice the work on the sides of the tunnel.
Who supplied these quantities of material? Who planned what would be needed? How did Hamas acquire thousands of ampoules of tranquilizer, syringes and other, additional drugs to be used? These are far beyond the quantities and variety of what is needed by any civilian medical service.
How was all this brought in to the Gaza Strip? The logistics of this planned attack are the work of a well-organised military, not that of a militia or club. This was no amateur plan.
Observers note that attack scenarios lined up with recently revealed data about the sophistication, scope and nature of the offensive tunnel network. As previously reported here, this sophistication and know-how is being copied right now by Mexico-based Hezbollah agents along the Southern US border. Tunnels in Southern Lebanon, as in South US, are significantly more difficult to detect than those in the sandy terrain of the Gaza Strip.
“Hamas planned these tunnels for years, and planned to use them to kidnap soldiers,” Israeli military spokesman Brig. Gen. Mordechai Almoz said. “[Now] they see the tunnels collapsing one after the other.” For the last two years, the Israeli army has sought to develop skills and equipment to fight in enemy tunnels and bunkers. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have used tunnels to operate command and control, to infiltrate Israel and abduct soldiers, to fire rockets and to conceal fighters amid invasion of the Gaza Strip.
Mordechai Ben-Menachem is a former researcher/lecturer at Ben-Gurion University and an author of 30 book ranging from engineering to poetry. He is also an ordained clergyman and a former soldier.
Israel Defense Forces:
Iron Dome Missile Defense SystemIDF:
The Iron Dome missile defense system, designed and developed by Israel and jointly funded through the United States, is a response to the threats Israel faces from short and medium-range rockets and mortar shells fired by Palestinian terrorists inGaza. The system has the capability to identify and destroy such projectiles before they land in Israeli territory and is considered one of the most effective anti-missile systems in the world.
IDF Soldiers man an Iron Dome battery
Iron Dome is comprised of three key components:
(1) the design and tracking radar, built by the Elta defense company;
(2) the battle management and weapon control system, designed by the mPrest Systems software company; and,
(3) the missile firing unit, manufactured by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.
One of the most advanced features of Iron Dome is its capability to determine where an incoming rocket will land and to only intercept such projectiles that pose meaningful threats to populated civilian areas.