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Friday, August 22, 2014

Why the world supports the 'Palestinians'

Evelyn Gordon writes about a topic I hope to write about more in the next few weeks - why Israel is seen as Goliath when it is really David.
One of the enduring myths of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is that much of the West supports the Palestinians out of natural sympathy for the underdog. Victor Davis Hanson of Stanford’s Hoover Institution effectively demolished that myth last week, pointing out that if sympathy for the underdog were really driving the massive pro-Palestinian demonstrations sweeping the West, one would expect to see equally massive demonstrations in support of occupied Tibet, the undoubted underdog against superpower China, or embattled Ukraine, the equally undoubted underdog against superpower Russia. In reality, he argued, anti-Israel sentiment flourishes not because Israel is Goliath, but because it is David:
Israel is inordinately condemned for what it supposedly does because its friends are few, its population is tiny, and its adversaries beyond Gaza numerous, dangerous and often powerful.
Or to put it more bluntly, condemning Israel entails no costs and frequently provides benefits, whereas supporting it could invite retaliation from its numerous enemies.
[I]t’s no exaggeration to say that without the support Hamas receives from Turkey and Qatar, it could never have built the war machine that enabled it to start this summer’s war, and thus the death and destruction the world is now decrying in Gaza would never have happened.
Since both America and the European Union have designated Hamas as a terrorist organization, one might expect this flagrant support for Hamas to prompt sanctions on Qatar and Turkey as state sponsors of terrorism. But Qatar is the world’s largest natural gas exporter and richest country, as well as home to the main U.S. air force base in the Middle East, while Turkey is a NATO member and major emerging economy. So in fact, far from sanctioning Qatar and Turkey, both America and Europe consider them key partners. In short, it’s simply easier for the West to condemn Israel’s response to Hamas attacks and pressure it to accede to Hamas demands than it would be to condemn and penalize Turkish and Qatari support for Hamas.
Clearly, Israel has many strengths, including a thriving economy, a relatively powerful army, and strong American support. But as Hanson noted, it’s still a tiny country with few friends and many enemies, and anti-Israel protesters intuitively sense this. So don’t be fooled by their pretensions to “moral indignation” against Israel’s “oppression of the underdog.” They’re just doing what mobs have done since time immemorial: targeting a victim they see as fundamentally vulnerable.
Read the whole thing.

I am in the process of reading Joshua Muravchik's new book From David to Goliath, which looks at how the World's sympathies shifted away from Israel since 1967. Among the factors he lists are terrorism, oil, the strength of the 'non-aligned' nations at the United Nations, and the perception of the 'Palestinians' as being 'progressive' (perhaps the most ridiculous idea of all).

I also understand - but have not yet seen - that there was a column written by Eytan Kobre in Mishpacha over the summer in which he showed how the rabbis of the 1930's and 1940's predicted with stunning accuracy how this would be the exact result of the creation of a Jewish state. If anyone has access to an electronic version of that article, I'd appreciate if you could email the article or a link to me.

Clearly, classical anti-Semitism is also a factor here, particularly with respect to the world's obsession with Israel.

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Senior IAF commander: Hamas use of human shields endangers Israeli lives

The IAF commander in charge of intelligence gathering says that Hamas' embedding itself among the civilian population of Gaza has resulted in the loss of Israeli lives.
"We don’t have bombs on our planes; we have cameras that do intelligence work, and our job is to make sure that the bombs hit the right targets and only the right targets," said Lt. Col. Y, commander of the squadron, as reported by the IDF Blog this Monday.
The commander admitted "sometimes it’s very frustrating because you actually see rockets being launched from mosques, schoolyards - from places you can’t attack. And a lot of the time, it’s from the vicinity of these facilities. When it’s nearby, we try to clear the place."
"If the situation is unclear, the attack will be aborted. Maybe we would return to strike the target at a different time, or maybe not hit the site at all," added Lt. Col. Y, noting how Hamas's callous use of the Gaza populace is harming the IDF's ability to defend Israel.
Noting on the effect of the strike abortions, Lt. Col. Y added "it's not easy during battle, because you sabotage your operational achievement. Nevertheless, we do it because we believe its important."
At least one MK describes Israel's aborting strikes to avoid civilian casualties as 'misplaced pity.'
MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) has blamed Israel's "misplaced pity" for Gaza residents as being responsible for the deaths of IDF soldiers. In one case, reports indicated that a strike was called off on a booby-trapped UN clinic, forcing soldiers to go in without air cover; three soldiers were killed as the building exploded, and seven more were wounded.
And you thought things had changed since the IDF got 23 boys killed in 2002 going house to house in Jenin to avoid civilian casualties, only to be accused of a 'massacre' afterward?

Read the whole thing

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Europeans introduce UN resolution calling for talks based on 1949 armistice lines

The Europeans have introduced a resolution in the United Nations that ignores resolutions 242 and 338 and would have us return to the situation above - the division of Jerusalem based on the 1949 armistice lines.
A senior European diplomat told Walla! on Thursday that the resolution proposal includes the removal of the blockade on Gaza, transferring control of the Hamas stronghold to the Palestinian Authority (PA), and a return to peace talks based on the 1949 Armistice lines.
The specific imposition of pre-defined conditions in peace talks through a UN resolution, namely that they would be on the basis of the 1949 lines, is something that the US has been opposing for years. 
On the other hand, the US proposed the 1949 lines as a basis in framework proposals submitted earlier in the year, before the nine-month long negotiations with the PA failed in April as the PA signed a unity treaty with Hamas.
According to the European diplomat who spoke on Thursday, the European proposal would have both sides stop attacking and define detailed security arrangements for removing the blockade while preventing an influx of weapons to Hamas.
"As far as Europe is concerned, it's impossible to separate the issue of Gaza from the general Palestinian issue. Only a sustainable diplomatic solution will bring a long quiet for the two peoples," said the European source. 
He added that France put pressure on the US through diplomatic channels to publish US Secretary of State John Kerry's framework plan after the Israel-PA negotiations collapsed, so as to turn it into a program for the international community to pursue.
For it's part, Israel reportedly is distancing itself from the European proposal, primarily due to the call for 1949 Armistice lines as a basis for talks.
An Israeli diplomatic source said Thursday that Israel has not ruled out renewed truce talks in Cairo, but expects Hamas to completely end its rocket barrage first. Hamas has broken numerous ceasefires through the course of Operation Protective Edge, most recently this Tuesday.
I wouldn't expect any better of the Europeans. The problem is that at the moment, we can't expect any better of the President of the United States either.

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They sure don't execute collaborators like they used to

If I recall correctly, the standing white bag from this August 2006 picture is the mother of the 'collaborator' on the ground with his brains leaking out. The scene was in Samaria if I recall correctly.

In Gaza, however, 'collaborator' executions have gotten coldly efficient. There were three of them on Thursday.
The Majd website quoted a senior security official in the enclave as saying seven people had been arrested on suspicion of scoping out targets for Israel and that three others had been shot dead. The official said that the three were killed after "revolutionary procedures" were completed against them.
No date was given for the executions or the arrests.
The site added that zero tolerance would be shown to those collaborating with Israel.
The same website reported on August 6 that "a number" of Palestinian Arab collaborators had been killed, again without giving a date.
On July 13, witnesses in the southern city of Rafah reported seeing gunmen kill a man in the middle of the street in another incident which appeared to be the execution of a suspected collaborator.
But just give them a 'state' and everyone will have the right to a fair trial.... /sarc

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Meshaal exposed Deif?

A phone call from Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal to top military commander Mohammed Deif may have exposed Deif's hideout on Tuesday night, allowing the IDF to take a shot at him.
The reports say that the phone conversation took place shortly after a meeting in Doha, Qatar, between Mashaal and Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas. A senior Palestinian source said that Mashaal was under pressure to accept the Egyptian ceasefire proposal and wanted to consult with Deif.
Possibly due to the pressure he was under, Mashaal broke the rules of secrecy that help keep Deif's location secret and called him, thus making it possible for Israeli intelligence to pinpoint Deif's whereabouts and bomb the building he was in.
Hard hit by the IDF, Hamas's military wing in Gaza has reportedly been pressing the political leadership to accept a ceasefire, but Mashaal, who operates from Qatar, has been refusing to do so.
A senior member of Palestnian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction said Wednesday Hamas's choice to forego the Egyptian truce proposal and return to its rocket war on Israel was due to Qatari pressure.
We're lucky to have such enemies. The Emir of Qatar is so self-centered that he will not agree to a deal just because Egypt negotiated it.
The Fatah source, quoted in the Arabic Al-Hayat and cited by Yedioth Aharonoth, noted that Egypt refused to allow Qatar to play a role in the Cairo ceasefire talks, stipulating that Qatar apologize for its policies towards the Nile State since Muslim Brotherhood member and former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was deposed last July 3. Qatar is the leading sponsor of the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is the Palestinian offshoot.
Meshaal is willing to fight to the last Gazan to maintain his own standing in Qatar. And Deif cannot even take basic precautions like not answering the phone.


P.S. It's still not 100% clear whether or not we got Deif on Tuesday night. 

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Video: IDF targets senior Hamas terrorists

The IDF has targeted senior Hamas terrorists, Mohammed Abu Shamlah, Raed Attar and Muhamad Barhoum.

Let's go to the videotape.

Good riddance.

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Fatah's Rajoub: We have made a political decision to slaughter the settlements

Jibril Rajoub, Head of the PA Sports Authority and Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee announced that Fatah has made a "political decision" to support slaughtering Jews who live in settlements.

Let's go to the videotape. More after the video.

From Palestinian Media Watch via email:
The Fatah movement, headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, is seen by many in the West as a peaceful alternative to Hamas for a future peace agreement. Palestinian Media Watch's book Deception documents that the PA presents different messages to the world in English than in Arabic to its people.

PMW reported that thorough his PA media, Mahmoud Abbas was seen as encouraging Palestinians of the West Bank to initiate violence against Israel. Since then, over 600 Palestinians have been arrested since July for violent rioting that included the throwing of Molotov cocktails, firecrackers and rocks. Earlier this month, a Palestinian tractor driver murdered an Israeli pedestrian and flipped a bus onto its side in an attack in Jerusalem. The PA leadership's response to this violence in Jerusalem and the West bank was supportive:

"The leadership expressed pride 'in the comprehensive popular uprising of our great nation, throughout the homeland and in its heart, Jerusalem... against the criminal aggression (i.e., the Gaza war).'"

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 17, 2014]
So when did you say John FN Kerry was coming back?

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US hypocrisy re Gaza civilian casualties

Received via email:
We all want to minimize civilian casualties, but wars in urban areas are chaotic. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2009, of the victims of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq from March 2003 to March 2008, nearly half, 46% were women and 39% were children.

By contrast, according to the UN, (Not friendly to Israel) 12% of all Palestinians killed in Gaza were women and 23% were children, far lower than the percentages killed in U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.

However, men, most likely combatants, killed by the US only 15 %, but most casualties by Israel have been men 65%!

Despite this superior Israeli record the White House, Pentagon, and State Department have all accused Israel in the harshest terms of doing too little to prevent civilian casualties. Yet Israel's record on this score is much better than America's.
Lest anyone complain about Mohammed Deif's wife and child being killed (with him?), consider this about Osama Bin Laden's sudden demise:
Osama bin Laden was killed in the raid, as were three other men and a woman: bin Laden's adult son Khalid,[90][91] bin Laden's courier (Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti), al-Kuwaiti's brother Abrar, and Abrar's wife Bushra.[57]
When Israel killed 'Palestinian' terrorist Abu Iyad in 1988, his family looked on unharmed.

On the other hand, when the US killed Anwar al-Awlaki, they also killed Anwar al-Awlaki's 16-year-old son as "collateral damage" in a car with another person - so, Awlaki (target) died, the other man (who may or may not have been a target) died and a teenager died. Score? Either 33% or 66% collateral on one hit - and both Awlaki and his son were US citizens.

The US shouldn't talk to Israel about civilian casualties....

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Arouri not the only Hamas terrorist who is active in Turkey

Just last night, we were shown video of Saleh al-Arouri admitting that Hamas - through him - was behind the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June. Arouri, who has been in Turkey since at least September 2013, is also likely behind the Hamas plot to overthrow the 'Palestinian Authority,' which was uncovered last week.

But Arouri is not the only active Hamas terrorist in Turkey. Turkey has become a veritable safe haven for Hamas terrorists.
In 2011, Israel released 10 Hamas operatives to Turkey as part of the prisoner exchange that saw Hamas release kidnapped Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier Gilad Shalit. Since then, Hamas men have come and gone. But one thing is clear: The Hamas members who remain in Turkey are active. They attend local universities, join Turkish organizations, and play a role in its politics, and also appear to travel freely into and out of the country.

Take Mahmoud Attoun. In the early morning of Dec. 13, 1992, Attoun and a group of other Hamas terrorists abducted IDF Sgt. Maj. Nissim Toledano, a 29-year-old father of two young children, on his walk home from work in the Israeli town of Lod. After his arrest on June 3, 1993, Attoun, then 23, was sentenced to a life term in Israeli prison. He was released in 2011.

Today, Attoun is a rising star within Hamas. He frequently advocates for Hamas around the region, traveling to Tunisia this April to speak with students at the University of Sfax about the Palestinian militant organization. He appeared on a special program in 2012 on al-Quds TV honoring the freed Hamas prisoners, where he openly acknowledged his presence in Turkey. Attoun is also actively involved with the Hikmet Bilim Dostluk ve Yardimlasma Dernegi (HIKMET), a Turkish NGO associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, and has spoken at one of their events.
There is also Taysir Suleiman. The Hamas operative was convicted of kidnapping and murdering an Israeli soldier in 1993, and sentenced to life in prison in Israel's high-security Nafha Prison in the Negev Desert. In 2011, he was also shipped abroad in the Shalit deal; today, he openly notes on his Facebook profile that he lives in Istanbul, and he appeared alongside Hamas political bureau leader Khaled Meshaal in a video dated March 2012 in the city. That same summer, he traveled to Southeast Asia and Tunisia, where he presented slide shows to students about the al-Qassam Brigades. In October 2013, Suleiman was featured in an hour-long special on the al-Quds TV station celebrating his release from Israeli prison.
Along with Arouri, Suleiman, and Attoun, there appear to be at least nine other Hamas figures living in Turkey, based on open-source information. None of them were identified by the Israelis in the alleged plot to overthrow Abbas in the West Bank.
However, given that the plot was allegedly hatched out of Turkey, the presence of Arouri and the other Hamas figures prompt some troubling questions about Erdogan's pro-Hamas policies. 
Read the whole thing. And keep in mind that Erdogan is President Hussein Obama's best friend forever.... What could go wrong?

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Hamas gains ground roots support... in Vermont

In Vermont, they love Hamas.
Progressives have wanted Sanders to be more forceful in condemning Israel. Before Congress’ August recess, the Senate passed a resolution unanimously reaffirming its support for Israel. Sanders did not object, but he also did not sign on as a co-sponsor. As the Daily Beast writes, Israel puts left-wing Democrats like Sanders in a tough spot because their base can be critical of Israel, but not taking a pro-Israel position is politically risky.
Politically risky? Maybe even the Left can see that supporting Israel is the right thing to do!

Let's go to the videotape.

How many Jews will vote for Bernie Sanders if he's the Democratic nominee in 2016?


Off the deep end: Gideon Levy compares Netanyahu to Deif

This tweet is disgraceful. Only Israel's Hebrew 'Palestinian' daily and/or someone who writes for them would post such a thing from Israel.

Since when is Mohammed Deif a head of state? He's a terrorist with the blood of hundreds of innocent Israeli civilians whom he targeted on his hands. Israel, on the other hand, does not target innocent civilians.

If any of you still subscribe to the rag known as 'Haaretz,' please consider canceling you subscriptions.

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Summer vacation saves lives

There's been a barrage of rockets on southern Israel this morning (revenge for the elimination of three senior Hamas commanders). A Kindergarten has been hit (picture above) and an Israeli has been moderately to seriously wounded by shrapnel.
A 33-year-old man has been wounded by rocket shrapnel in the Eshkol Regional Council, after Gaza terrorists pounded the southern area with rockets Thursday morning.
The victim's wounds were at first considered to be minor but are currently classified as moderate to severe.
Among the buildings hit was a kindergarten, which thankfully was empty at the time due to summer vacation. Significant damage was caused to the building.
Thursday morning's salvo included some 13 rockets, all aimed at southern towns bordering Gaza.
 It's time to level Gaza if that's what's needed to destroy Hamas.

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Hamas: 'It's a fake'

Hamas claims that the death certificate above from the Gaza Health Ministry (run by Hamas), which was shown on Israel's Channel 2 last night, and which shows that three people died in Wednesday's IDF bombing on the home in which Deif's family was staying, is a fake.
A "death certificate" said to be that of Hamas's military leader Mohammed Deif and currently circulating online has been dismissed as a forgery by the terrorist group.
At least three people were killed in an Israeli Air Force strike which targeted the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigade chief, two of whom were identified as his wife and son. Hamas claimed, however, that the terrorist mastermind himself escaped with his life - but specifics about his condition following the attack have been conspicuously absent, leading to speculation he may in fact have been killed or severely injured.
The "death certificate" shows the names of three people supposedly killed in the attack. The first name listed is "Mohammed Deif", whose date of birth is given as August 1965. The date and time of his death are given as yesterday (August 20), at 6:30 a.m.
A spokesperson for the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Abu Obeida, countered that Deif is alive and well, saying Israel "was unable to get to our commander, Mohammed Deif," and declaring that Deif would "lead the army that will enter to liberate the holy al-Aqsa mosque".
Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri went further in an interview with Hamas's Al Aqsa TV, saying Deif wasn't even in the building when the IDF bombed it.
Thousands of people attended the funeral of Deif's wife and son in Gaza's Jabalya 'refugee camp' on Wednesday. 
According to Deif wife's father Vidad Asfura, 27, knew she was living on borrowed time ever since she married Deif seven years ago.
He said that he had the chance to see Deif only once during this whole time - on the wedding day itself.
Vidad's mother said she is proud of her daughter and willing to sacrifice more victims for the liberation of the Palestinian people.
It would be shocking if Deif is dead and Hamas didn't give him a huge send-off. But that can wait. The rumors here are that we got him.

There was only one rocket shot into Israel overnight, but the pace has picked up today. More is coming on that.

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'Most pro-Israel administration evah' accuses Israel of targeting US citizens in Jerusalem

The self-proclaimed (or perhaps that's Dumb Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's line) 'most pro-Israel administration evah' is accusing Israel of targeting the family of Mohammed Abu Khadr, some of whom are US citizens. Abu Khadr was kidnapped and murdered shortly after the bodies of three kidnapped and murdered Israeli teenagers were found. Three Israeli Jews are being held for the murder of Abu Khadr.
Three days after his death, on July 5, the United States slammed Israel's arrest of a 15-year-old cousin, Tarek Abu Khdeir, 15, a US citizen. Tarek was arrested as he took part in violent riots, and police said they found a slingshot on him, and that he attacked police and resisted arrest, while others were hurling rocks and molotov cocktails at them.
He was allegedly beaten in detention and has since been freed and returned to Florida.
Israeli authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.
On July 28, another cousin of Abu Khdeir, also American, was arrested in Israel as well, the State Department said Wednesday.
Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf identified him as "Mohammed Abu Khdeir," which would mean his name is the same as his murdered cousin's.
"We can confirm that Mohammed Abu Khdeir, a US citizen, was arrested on July 28. The US consulate general in Jerusalem is providing consular assistance. A consular official visited him on August 14th. The consulate is also in contact with Mr. Khdeir's family and his lawyer," Harf said.
Yet "we are concerned that the US consulate general in Jerusalem was not notified of his arrest by the government of Israel.
And "we are also concerned about the fact that members of the Khdeir family appeared to be singled out for arrest by the Israeli authorities," Harf added.
It is not yet known under what circumstances Abu Khdeir was arrested.
And you thought that allies talk things like this out behind closed doors rather than in State Department press briefings.

Funny - I don't recall the US State Department ever saying anything in its briefings about the murders of Mark Parsons, John Branchizio and John Linde, who were actually employed as contractors by the US government when they were murdered. No one has ever been charged with those murders. Maybe because there were no Jews connected to that case?

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IAF eliminates three most senior Hamas commanders in southern Gaza

A pre-dawn IAF raid has eliminated the three most senior Hamas commanders in southern Gaza. One of them, Raed al-Attar, is seen in the picture above holding Gilad Shalit's arm on the day of Shalit's release.
Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades in a statement identified the leaders as Mohammed Abu Shamalah, Raed al-Atar and Mohammed Barhum. Emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said eight people were killed in the strike.
Witnesses said a four-storey family home was completely destroyed in a series of air strikes.
The airstrike was carried out based on intelligence provided by the Shabak (Israel Security Agency), which led to the identification of two central Hamas figures.

Mohammed Abu Shamalah, 40, was the most senior Hamas commander in southern Gaza, classified by security services as the head of the "Southern Command" of Hamas. Abu Shamalah was responsible for the areas of Rafiah and Khan Younis, and is a longtime friend and associate of Ezzedine al-Qassam's elusive leader, Mohammed Deif, who was himself targeted in an IDF strike yesterday - a strike he is believed to have survived.
He was also a close associate of Raed al-Atar, another leading Hamas commander eliminated in this morning's strike.
Abu Shamalah has been involved in dozens of deadly terrorist attacks since the 1990s. In  2008 he was intimately involved in the planning and execution of a major terror attack at the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza using booby-trapped jeeps, in which 13 soldiers were wounded.
He was also involved in an attack at the same spot two years before in which IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was abducted and two other soldiers were killed.
During Operation Protective Edge Abu Shamalah was behind an infiltration by 13 terrorists via a terror tunnel from Gaza into Israel.
Raed al-Attar, also 40 years old, was the Brigade Commander of Hamas's southern command in Gaza, and one of the most senior figures within its "military wing". 
Attar was one of the key architects of Hamas's "terror tunnel" network in southern Gaza, and plated an important role in coordinating the construction of tunnels elsewhere in Gaza.
He also helped coordinate several major terrorist attacks, and together with Abu Shamalah were Hamas's top leadership in the southern Gaza Strip.
The third terrorist, Mohammed Barhum, was a less senior Ezzedine al-Qassam commander. He was not the intended target of the operation but was killed while meeting with Attar and Abu Shamalah.
JPost adds:
"This strike represents a very significant intelligence achievement, and an intelligence infiltration," a security source told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

The attack came after the Shin Bet received intelligence on the location of the terrorists, security forces added, describing the targets as men who were senior and central members of Hamas's military wing.
Let them look for the 'collaborators'... and let them not find them. Heh.

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Full al-Arouri speech acknowledging Hamas responsibility for kidnapping and murder with subtitles

This is the first full translation I have found of the entire video of Turkish-based Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri acknowledging Hamas' responsibility for kidnapping and murdering Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel HY"D (May God Avenge their blood).

Let's go to the videotape.

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#BDS_Fail: Zim's Piraeus unloads in the Port of Oakland, included cargo from Israel

Zim's Piraeus has unloaded in the Port of Oakland.

A container ship stalled by protesters at the Port of Oakland for four days was unloaded by longshore workers and sailed away early Wednesday, officials said.
The unloading of the ZIM vessel Piraeus, operated by an Israeli company, had been delayed by Block the Boat protesters responding to recent Israeli military actions in Gaza.
The ship was unloaded at Berth 22 in the area known as Ports America Outer Harbor, Port spokesman Robert Bernardo said.

Because of a small number of protesters and minimal police presence remained, longshore workers "determined that the atmosphere did not pose a threat to their safety," allowing them to safely enter and work the vessel, ILWU Local 10 said in a news release.
Jennifer Sargent, a union spokeswoman, said Wednesday that after some delays, 30 longshore workers began unloading the ship at 10 p.m. Tuesday and finished at 4 a.m. Wednesday.
The ship, which departed later on Wednesday morning, was carrying crates of sparkling wine and ceramic tiles from Spain, cheese and long-grain rice from Italy and organic red lentils and marble from Turkey among other items. Commodities from Israel included irrigation equipment, solar heaters for swimming pools and tires, according to the ship's manifest.
Even though the ship was eventually unloaded, Block the Boat called the four-day delay a "historic victory."
The delay sparked concerns by another union, the Teamsters Joint Council 7 . During the protest, the union issued a statement calling on longshore workers to "immediately unload the ship" and said their issue was not the Isreal/Palestine conflict, but the impact the protests have on local jobs.
"Our members haul containers from the Port of Oakland by truck and rail and anything that hurts commerce hurts our members and damages the economy of the Bay Area," said Rome Aloise, Vice President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and President of Teamsters Joint Council 7.

Let the Teamsters knock some heads together - that will take care of them.

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Hamas admits it was behind kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens

Salah al-Arouri, the Turkey-based Hamas commander whom Israel says planned the operation, has admitted for the first time that Hamas was behind the kidnapping and murder of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach HY"D (May God Avenge their blood).
A senior Hamas official admitted for the first time on Wednesday that the organization's armed wing, the Kassam Brigades, was behind the kidnapping and murder of Israeli teens Nafatli Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah in the West Bank in June.

The Hamas official, Salah al-Aruri made the comments during a conference of Islamic clerics in Turkey. He praised the "heroic action of the Kassam Brigades who kidnapped three settlers in Hebron."
Let's go to the videotape (sorry - Arabic with a small amount of Hebrew translation).

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The shot that killed the 'peace process'

With everything else that has happened over the past two months, Mitchell Bard argues that there was one shot - and only one - that has permanent consequences. It's the shot that killed the 'peace process.'
As dangerous as the overall barrage has been, it was one rocket in particular that may have completely changed the prospects for a two-state solution. That rocket did not kill anyone and caused little direct damage; however, the fact that it was within a mile of Israel's international airport was enough to scare the United States and most other countries to cancel their flights in and out of Israel.
Fortunately, no rockets have come anywhere near a commercial airliner or hit the airport itself, but the mere possibility was sufficient to put Israel's economy in potential jeopardy. At the height of the tourist season, flights were cancelled and Israel's principal artery to the outside world was isolated.
Imagine if a rocket did hit the airport or was in the vicinity of an airplane, never mind the catastrophic implications of actually downing a jet. If Israel gives up strategic territory in the West Bank, one Palestinian with an animus toward Israel could smuggle or construct a crude weapon that could reach the airport and, because Iron Dome cannot hit rockets fired short distances, there would be no defense.
Israelis legitimately fear that the West Bank, less than 30 miles from Tel Aviv, 6 miles from Ben-Gurion Airport and a few feet from Jerusalem, will turn into Hamastan where the entire heart of Israel would be within easy rocket range.
How many Israelis will be willing to take this risk now? Would you?
Read the whole thing.

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John Bolton and The New Republic agree: Stop funding UNRWA

I doubt anyone will be surprised to hear that former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton thinks that it's time to stop funding UNRWA.
As the former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, my eyes have long been open to the dangerous biases and political agendas in play at the U.N.
It is at the core of my mission to share these facts with the American people, and why I am writing today.
The United Nations has lost its way, and now we MUST take action.
In the midst of the current Hamas-Israel hostilities, and well before, U.N. institutions and agencies have behaved so outrageously that they've inflicted severe damage to the United Nation's reputation and credibility.
The bottom line is that the United States can no longer excuse or ignore the egregious anti-Israel bias we've seen out of U.N. institutions, period. ...
Then there is the U.N. Relief and Works Administration (UNRWA). Three times in late July, UNRWA was forced to admit publicly that it "discovered" stockpiles of Hamas rockets stored in UNRWA's Gaza schools.
Why didn't UNRWA stop Hamas from stockpiling missiles in its schools, or at least immediately report this ploy to the U.N. Security Council?
Unfortunately, we know Obama will not act to disassociate the United States from this unacceptable international conduct regarding Gaza and Israel. That's why we're urging Congress to investigate IMMEDIATELY and take action.
Writing in the New Republic, Asaf Romirowsky and Alexander Joffe agree.
UNRWA, the U.N.’s 65-year-old, internationally funded welfare organization for Palestinians, should be commended for providing much needed shelter and aid to displaced Gazans during the crisis. But given several revelations during the current conflict between Hamas and Israel, UNRWA should have no role in any negotiated arrangement regarding Gaza’s reconstruction. 
On three occasions rockets were found in UNRWA schools, closed for the summer, and at least once they were returned to Hamas. On another occasion, the UNRWA accused Israel of targeting civilians sheltering in a school when in fact those deaths were caused by a Hamas rocket that fell short. And on another occasion it accused Israel of targeting a shelter and civilians when in reality terrorists outside the facility were hit and civilian bodies possibly planted at the scene.
UNRWA has condemned the rockets found in its schools, but it has not condemned Hamas’ firing rockets from in and around its facilities, or any other locations such as residential areas, hospital parking lots, and hotels. All these have now been documented, often reluctantly, by journalists who have left Gaza, who have also made it clear that they were subject to Hamas surveillance, harassment and intimidation. Instead, UNRWA and its spokesman Chris Gunness have tweeted accusations, voiced hollow defenses, and cried on television. 
UNRWA’s many responsibilities should be transferred to the Palestinian Authority, as a means of strengthening the PA practically, politically, and in the eyes of Gaza’s residents. UNRWA employees should be made PA employees and international funds redirected to support its programs. This would be one of the timeliest means of rebuilding the PA in a region where it has been weakest, Gaza, and a way to begin the long overdue process of dismantling UNRWA. 
This recommendation has its flaws. The PA is monumentally corrupt while UNRWA is not (although recent revelations regarding diversions of building supplies provided by the U.N. and overseen by UNRWA to Hamas have begun to change that image). There must be the expectation that Western funds and supplies will go missing, only to end up in the bank accounts and businesses of PA leaders and their families. But if at long last international donors become serious about cracking down on PA corruption, and Gazans demanded accountability from their government, there is at least the chance for good governance to emerge.
As it is, UNRWA is effectively a branch of Hamas. The overwhelming majority of its employees in Gaza belong to the Hamas-linked trade union. An unknown number of employees are actual Hamas fighters (or at least know UNRWA employees with keys to the schools so that rockets can be stored in classrooms over the summer). The curriculum taught in UNRWA schools is shaped by Hamas, which earlier this year rejected textbooks that failed to tout “armed resistance” as too “peaceful.” Gaza cannot be rebuilt at western expense only to return to this perverse status quo. 
Dismantling UNRWA requires the approval of the United Nations General Assembly, making it unlikely. But if donor countries were to reprogram their funds, first by demanding that the PA take over UNRWA’s employees and responsibilities, the effect would be the same. In 2010, Canada shifted its contributions away from UNRWA, sending a strong message about the organization. And in Gaza allegiances are based in the first place on who pays the bills. Better this be the PA with Western help than Hamas with Qatari help. Adding UNRWA’s 13,000 employees in Gaza to the PA’s roster would be a boost.
 Read it all.

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'Mohammed Deif wasn't killed and we'll kill anyone who says he was'

Fox News is reporting that according to Israeli intelligence officials, Mohammed Deif was killed in Tuesday night's airstrike on his home (or was it the rocket division commander's home?) in Sheikh Redwan.
Hamas' military chief is believed to have been killed in an airstrike in Gaza early Wednesday, Israeli intelligence sources tell Fox News.
Israeli officials said Wednesday the country's military targeted Mohammed Deif after militants fired rockets at Israeli cities just hours before a temporary cease-fire was set to expire.
The Times of Israel reported that a house believed to be the home of Deif was hit early Wednesday. Dief has escaped numerous Israeli assassination attempts in the past. It was not immediately clear whether he was there at the time of the attack.
In Cairo, Moussa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas leader, said that among those killed in the airstrike on the three-story house in Gaza City were Deif's wife and a child. Three others in the building were also killed.
Abu Obeida, the spokesman for Hamas' military wing, said Israel was "unable to get to our commander Deif," saying he will "lead the army that will enter to liberate the holy al-Aqsa mosque" in Jerusalem.
Hamas is also warning foreign airlines not to fly into or out of Ben Gurion Airport after 6:00 am Thursday morning. 
"We are warning international airlines and press them to stop flying into Ben Gurion airport from 6 am (0300 GMT) Thursday," Al Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu Obeida stated Wednesday, in a televised speech.
The move marks yet another Hamas 'scare attempt' aimed at harming Israel's economy and security reputation, after a rocket hit near Ben-Gurion airport last month scared international airlines into canceling flights for several days. 
The cancelations followed a US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ban on American carriers flying to Israel; several European companies followed suit, as had those from Turkey and Jordan. Israeli national carriers maintained their usual flight schedules.
Overall, however, the move was hailed as a "great victory" for the terror group.
"The success of Hamas in closing Israeli airspace is a great victory for the resistance, and is the crown of Israel's failure," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said last month.
It will be interesting to see if the FAA bans flights to Israel again. Just yesterday, the instituted a ban on flights to Syria. It only took three years. But no, it's not political, is it?

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What to do when the media isn't interested in the truth

Caroline Glick thinks out of the box and writes about how to deal with the reality that the international media is not interested in the truth about our conflict with the 'Palestinians.' She argues that we need to create stories on which they will be forced to report.
Given this situation, it is clear that Israel’s public diplomacy efforts are directed toward the wrong goal.

The goal of hasbara cannot be to educate the likes of The New York Times’ bureau chief Jodi Rudoren about the truth because the problem isn’t one of ignorance. The problem is that they consider the truth an impediment to their goal of reporting the narrative of Israeli criminality.

Rather than striving to educate, we must work to manipulate the Rudorens of the world into covering the truth.

For instance, there is no reason to provide reporters clearly dedicated to hiding the truth with access to national leaders and military commanders. Let them find their own sources. Israel is a free country. There is no reason for The New York Times to be invited to a press briefing by IDF commanders.

Another critical element of a strategy for forcing hostile media and international agencies to contend with the truth is to create events that they can’t ignore.

For instance, the chief military prosecutor together with the state prosecution should indict Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah leaders on war crimes charges and the relevant Israeli courts should begin adjudicating the cases.

The Knesset should begin deliberations on a bill to strip UNRWA of its legal immunity as a first step towards bringing its personnel up on charges of providing material support for terrorism.

True, such actions will be met with howls of condemnation and hysterical reproaches from all the usual suspects.

But at least they will be talking about Palestinian war crimes. At least they will be forced to acknowledge that UNRWA is a force of destabilization and radicalization, not of stabilization and moderation in the Arab conflict with Israel.

Our leaders and spokespeople cannot win the information war by devoting themselves to pointing out the West’s hypocrisy and double standards, or the rank mendaciousness and bigotry that stands at the core of their approach to Israel. No one ever won a war by only playing defense. And we won’t win this one by explaining why we aren’t war criminals.

We will only begin to make progress when we define the goal of our hasbara as forcing an unwilling media and international community to discuss the truth by taking deliberate actions that will make it impossible for them to ignore it.
Read the whole thing.

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Who is Mohammed Deif and why does Israel want him dead?

For those who don't know yet why Israel is so anxious to see Mohammed Deif dead.
Deif was behind the kidnappings and murders of Israeli soldiers Shahar Simani in April 1994 and Aryeh Frankenthal in July 1994. In October 1994 he played a major role in running the terror cell that kidnapped and murdered Israeli soldier Nachshon Wachsman: He handed the orders to the cell that held Wachsman in a safe house in the village of Bir Naballah near Jerusalem.
Deif was also involved in the bus bombings that took place during that time. The assassination of Ayyash in December 1995 intensified his desire for revenge. Shortly afterward, Shimon Peres, who was prime minister at the time, and Moshe Ya’alon, the head of the army’s Intelligence Directorate, met with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. Ya’alon warned Arafat about Deif’s plans and demanded that the PA act decisively against Hamas. Arafat disregarded Ya’alon’s warning, asking Dahlan, “Mohammed, who’s that?”
The Israelis were furious. Officials of the army’s Intelligence Directorate and the Shin Bet security service knew perfectly well that Dahlan had met with Deif shortly before. In the past, Ya’alon cited that meeting as the point when he finally woke up regarding Arafat’s intentions.
Less than two months later, in February 1996, Deif was behind a week of deadly bus bombings in Jerusalem and Ashkelon in which about 50 Israelis were killed. (Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip took responsibility for one of the bus bombings.)
That was the sign for a last-ditch Palestinian attempt to suppress Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The PA arrested hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives, including Deif, who spent the following years in and out of prison. Some of the prisoners had half of their beards shaved off to humiliate them. But Deif continued his work from prison in Gaza, and was even released at times by the PA.
Israeli officials accused him of involvement in various attempted terror attacks, including sending five suicide terrorists into Israel in March 2000. Police officers of Yamam, the civilian counter-terrorism unit, killed the five would-be attackers in Taibeh in the Triangle, an area of Israeli Arab towns and villages located between the center of the country and the Haifa region.
The PA released Deif from prison, this time for good, in April 2001, together with dozens of Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives. These were the “engineers” who were behind the wave of bombing attacks that took place over the next several months. Most of them, mainly those who lived in the West Bank, were eliminated by Israel.
Deif resumed his natural place in Hamas, subordinate to Shehadeh (who had been released from an Israeli prison in 2000). He established a relatively secret, independent group of his own within Hamas’s military wing to carry out terror attacks. This group’s members, who were under his direct command, specialized in missions that it defined as “high-quality attacks,” such as the series of attacks on Elei Sinai and Dugit in the northern Gaza Strip, in which three Israelis were killed.
An indictment submitted to the military court at the Erez border crossing in 2000 charged Deif with direct involvement in planning severe terror attacks in the Gaza Strip. According to the indictment, Deif was behind the terror attack on the pre-army academy in Atzmona in Gush Katif in March 2000, killing five of the students there. He also issued orders, directed the operations personally and was involved to the last detail in “routine” terror attacks, even preparing the explosive device himself in one case. In other cases, he taught operatives how to prepare explosive devices.
Read the whole thing. We have too many reasons to want Deif dead. Hopefully, if it did not happen last night, it will happen soon.

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Seen at a pro-Kurd, anti-ISIS demonstration

And isn't that spot-on!

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It's come to this: Egypt urges American restraint in Ferguson, Missouri

In light of the farce that was the United States' 'universal periodic review' at the 'human rights council,' I don't suppose we should be too surprised that the government of Egypt feels that it is able to give 'advice' to the United States regarding the current tensions in Ferguson, Missouri.
Egypt on Tuesday urged U.S. authorities to exercise restraint in dealing with racially charged demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri - echoing language Washington used to caution Egypt as it cracked down on Islamist protesters last year.
It is unusual for Egypt to criticize such a major donor, and it was not immediately clear why the government would have taken such a step.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry's statement on the unrest in Ferguson read similarly to one issued by U.S. President Barack Obama's administration in July 2013, when the White House "urged security forces to exercise maximum restraint and caution" in dealing with demonstrations by Mursi supporters.
The ministry added it was "closely following the escalation of protests" in Ferguson, unleashed by the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman on Aug. 9.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who would know how to find his cheek with his tongue. So maybe he really means it? 

In any event, the fact that the modern-day equivalent of the Mouse that Roared feels able to criticize the United States for actions anywhere outside of Egypt speaks volumes about just how poorly regarded the United States is under Obama.

And you were wondering why the likes of ISIS and al-Qaeda feel at liberty to do whatever the heck they please?

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One-Man Demonstration in Gaza: Instead of Going to Qatar, Hamas Leaders Should Come to Die Here

I wonder if Khaled Meshaal has seen this. If he has, I wonder how long this guy has to live. Note that for the first minute he pretty much parrots the party line, but after that his frustration at being made into cannon fodder while the Hamas 'leadership' protects itself just boils over.

Let's go to the videotape.

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Hamas' Israeli propaganda machine

For those of you who donate money to the New Israel Fund (NIF) (how long have you been reading this blog anyway?), B'Tselem is one of the largest beneficiaries of your donations, to the tune of $255,477.23 in 2012. And the New Israel Fund is getting its money's worth: B'Tselem acts as Hamas' Israeli propaganda arm.
B'Tselem published 8 updates on casualties during Protective Edge. Under the deniability cover of an "initial investigation," every report compared the number of dead on the Israeli side and the number of Palestinian side. This information was published on B'Tselem's website, in their press releases and on social media. Naturally, B'Tselem emphasized the number of children, minors, women and elderly among those killed in Gaza, backed by visual aids. If B'Tselem took care to note the number of combatants killed (by its own definitions) in its first 6 releases, this category disappeared in the last two releases, turning all Palestinian casualties into civilians until proven otherwise. B'Tselem explained the sudden change thus: "the data is very initial and partial, and still being checked […] over the next few months B'Tselem will continue to look into the events and in this framework confirm the identity of those killed and figure out who participated in the fighting." Why did B'Tselem repeatedly publish partial, unconfirmed data? Didn't they care that this would serve solely to bash Israel? Probably not. Meanwhile, while B'Tselem was coy about identifying members of Palestinian terrorist groups among the dead, they were consistent and clear about dividing between Israeli 'soldiers' and 'civilians'. In addition, these reports were padded with lachrymose visual aids, of the kind meant to bypass the reader's critical faculties, among them "tear-jerking" testimonies of Gazans, who talk of being unable to sleep at night for fear of IDF bombardment, how their life isn't a life and an impassioned appeal to the world not to "stand aside." We should note that B'Tselem did indeed publish testimonies of residents of the south of Israel who live under constant rocket fire. But as B'Tselem itself admitted, symmetry is more important than nationality for them: "We report more on Palestinians who are harmed because many, many more Palestinians were harmed during the operation. This in spite of the fact that most of the casualties did not take any part in the fighting [note: such a categorical statement based on what they themselves call "initial and partial data"! – A.W.] […] reporting needs to reflect reality and reality is not symmetrical when it comes to the extent of damage in Gaza and Israel and therefore it is presented before you in this manner." B'Tselem even tried to launch a campaign of reading the names of dead Palestinian children on the radio, which was banned by the Broadcasting Authority and rejected by the Israeli Supreme Court. B'Tselem also released photo albums and video clips of the destruction in the Gaza Strip. After all, property destruction is ipso facto against international law. Who cares if the building served as a command or combat post? B'Tselem certainly couldn't be bothered to find out if they were.
Your charity dollars at work.... What could go wrong?

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Hamas: Deif is still alive

A Hamas spokesman says that Ezzedine al-Qassam brigades commander Mohammed Deif is still alive.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri has said that the elusive head of the terror group's "military wing", Mohammed Deif, is still "alive and well" despite an IDF assassination attempt which killed his wife and son. 
"The occupation will pay for its crimes against the Palestinian people," declared Abu-Zuhri, who added a chilling warning to the people of southern Israel.
"The residents of the Gaza periphery will return to their homes only by the decision of the commander Mohammed Deif and one Israeli commitment to stop the aggression and lift the siege," he threatened.
Adding to the threats, Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum said Wednesday that "difficult days" are coming for both Israel and Gaza, as an escalation in the violence is expected.
"(Prime Minister Binyamin) Netanyahu and (Foreign Minister Avigdor) Liberman must prepare themselves for difficult days. They have never seen such (difficult days) in this war or its predecessors," said Barhoum.
We don't have any exploding cell phones or head rests available, do we?

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#BDS_Fail: Zim cargo ship unloaded in Oakland

It took four days and required a fake feint toward Los Angeles, but unloading of a Zim cargo ship finally started in the Port of Oakland on Tuesday night.
Demonstrators scrambled to shore up their forces at the Port of Oakland Tuesday night after a cargo ship they had blocked from unloading as a protest against Israel's military actions in Gaza set sail for Los Angeles then abruptly made a U-turn and headed back to Oakland.
Despite the protesters' efforts, longshore workers began unloading the vessel late Tuesday.
Pro-Palestinian activists who had protested the presence of the ship Piraeus since Saturday put out urgent mobilization calls for demonstrators to head to the waterfront. Those calls came after online tracking databases showed the vessel heading under the Bay Bridge and back toward Oakland shortly after 6 p.m.
Just three hours earlier, the Piraeus had left port with a reported destination of Los Angeles. It sailed through the Golden Gate and into the Pacific, then turned around and headed back to a new berth in Oakland.
Protesters, some of whom never believed that the ship would head south, scrambled to meet the ship. About 30 marched slowly in a circle off Maritime Street, blocking the entrance to the port as longshore workers looked on from across the street. 
Longshore workers responsible for unloading the vessel refused to do so, not because they are taking sides in the fight between Israel and Hamas, but because they would not work "under armed police escort - not with our experience with the police in this community," said Melvin MacKay, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10.
On Tuesday night, however, because there was no "safety issue," longshore workers reported for work and were unloading the ship, even as protesters continued to block the entrance, said union spokeswoman Jennifer Sargent.
Union officials said longshore workers have been concerned about port safety during demonstrations since several people protesting the Iraq War were injured in a 2003 port rally.
Oakland police fired nonlethal projectiles, including wood bullets and bean bags, without provocation and without allowing protesters a chance to disperse.
Protests over the Piraeus have been peaceful.
The Israeli government owns 32% of Zim. The rest is owned by banks and shipping companies worldwide. The ship was not carrying cargo to or from Israel. Sounds like a #BDS_Fail to me.

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Report: Kerry's friends in Qatar threatened to expel Meshaal if he accepted the cease fire

If we didn't have enough reasons to bar US Secretary John FN Kerry from interfering with our affairs until now, we may have a huge one. As you might recall, Kerry pushed to replace Egypt with Qatar and Turkey as the intermediaries between Israel and Hamas. Now, it turns out that Qatar may have brought about the resumption of Hamas rocket fire on Israel by threatening Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal with expulsion from the country if he agreed to Egypt's cease fire proposal.
The Fatah source added that Qatar threatened to expel Qatar-based Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal, saying it would "force him to leave," if Hamas agreed to the Egyptian truce proposal in its current structure.
Indeed Hamas rejected the proposal last week, with Mashaal saying "we want serious negotiations that lead to an end of the aggression on Gaza and granting the Palestinian demands."
The new revelation would appear to lend credence to reports Tuesday that the breach of the ceasefire was in fact orchestrated by none other than Mashaal.
An unnamed security source told Walla! the initial rocket salvo on Be'er Sheva was ordered directly by Mashaal, who reportedly bypassed Hamas's "military wing", the Al-Qassam Brigades, and ordered a specially-assigned unit of Hamas operatives answerable directly to him to launch the attack.
The source claimed Mashaal was aiming to sabotage negotiations for a long-term truce in Cairo, which were not going his way.
A senior Hamas source last week urged a different nation to replace Egypt as intermediary in the talks, labeling Egypt "the basic delaying source preventing an agreement."
Hamas may have envisioned Qatar as the replacement, given that the source called for a new third-party that would help achieve the terror group's demands, including terrorists releases and a Gaza sea and airport.
This also puts a very different - and harsher - light on last week's visit to Qatar by three MK's from the Balad party. 

It is worth noting that three Arab-nationalist Balad MKs recently traveled to Qatar, where they reportedly met the traitor ex-MK Azmi Bishara, who founded their party before fleeing Israel after passing information to direct Hezbollah rockets on Israeli citizens.
Kerry, Zoabi and Zahalka should all be exiled together to a desert island. Maybe Bishara would like to join them.

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Even Leftist MK's now want Netanyahu to pound Hamas

Even MK's on the Left have had it with Hamas at this point. They want Prime Minister Netanyahu to shoot now and talk later.
Even MKs on the Left pushed Netanyahu to use more force. Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Labor) said the prime minister’s job was to provide security and complete quiet to residents of the South.

“If as Netanyahu said, Hamas has been vanquished, he should reach a diplomatic deal under the best terms possible for Israel,” Herzog said. “But if the government will surrender in order to bring about a fake quiet like we had until today, it would prove that it is a weak government that has failed.”

Labor MK Nachman Shai said Netanyahu should end negotiations with Hamas.

“No more talking, shoot,” Shai said. “That is the only language Hamas understands.”

But Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri (Yesh Atid) warned against recapturing the Gaza Strip.

Israel had no desire to control the Palestinians who live there, he said.
As to that last comment (and he's both in the government and a former Shin Bet chief), well maybe. But I think an awful lot of us would be happy if those who cannot live in peace with us would just get up and move elsewhere. Maybe Obama wants them.

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Yes, Israel targeted Mohammed Deif

The JPost is reporting that the 'Palestinians' are accusing Israel of attempting to assassinate Ezzadein al-Qassam brigades commander Mohammed Deif (center) on Tuesday night.
Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzouk charged on Wednesday after Gaza truce talks collapsed in a spasm of violence that Israel had targeted the group's armed wing leader Muhammad Deif in one of its air strikes on Tuesday in the coastal territory.

The Israeli military would not specify any of the targets of some 30 attacks across Gaza in response to rocket fire aimed at Israel. Marzouk said Israel had ruptured the truce alleging it was in order "to assassinate Muhammad Deif," but that civilians were killed at the site of the attack.

Palestinian health officials said three people were killed in a strike on a house in Gaza City, including a child and a woman. The third victim was not identified.

Israeli media said Israel had been targeting another leading Hamas militant in charge of rocket fire, but did not know whether or not he had survived the attack.
Deif is certainly a legitimate military target, and if he uses his home as a command post (which is likely), his home is also a legitimate military target.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that two civilians were killed in the strike - Deif's wife and daughter.
"The wife of the great leader was martyred with his daughter," in a strike on Tuesday night, Hamas' exiled deputy leader Moussa Abu Marzouk wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.

He said nothing about the fate of Mr Deif himself. He said Israel had been looking for "an excuse to target a big Hamas leader".

Palestinian emergency services revised an earlier report of three killed in the strike on a large house in the city's Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood and said the victims were a woman and a two-year-old girl.


Mr Deif was appointed head of Hamas' military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, in 2002 after the death of his predecessor Salah Shehade in a raid.

Mr Deif had survived at least five previous Israeli attempts to kill him.
Shehadeh managed to take 14 civilians with him when he was killed.

The IDF is now confirming that it did target Deif.
An Israeli diplomatic source confirmed Wednesday morning to Walla! that Israel tried overnight to eliminate Mohammed Deif, the head of Hamas's "military wing," the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades.
Hamas has claimed that five bunker-buster bombs were fired by Israel targeting the elusive mastermind behind Hamas's terror war.
While Deif's condition is currently unknown, local health officials quoted by Reuters said three people were killed in a strike on a house in Gaza City, including a child and a woman, possibly Deif's wife and daughter. The third death was not identified, leaving speculation open that the IAF may in fact have hit its mark.
Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar (Likud) commented on the latest attempt to end Deif's life; the terrorist leader has until now evaded five IDF assassination attempts, losing both of his legs in one airstrike.
Deif "is exactly like (former Al Qaeda leader Osama) Bin Laden," appraised Sa'ar, speaking to Galei Tzahal (IDF Radio). "This is an arch-murderer. Where there is an operational opportunity to eliminate him - it must be taken."
Note that the Arutz Sheva report - published an hour ago - is four hours later than the Sydney Morning Herald report.


P.S. Why can't we use bunker busters to target the bunker under Shifa Hospital the same way?

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ISIS's next victim?

On Monday, ISIS released a gruesome video (which I have not seen and will not post) of the murder of journalist James Foley, who was captured in Syria in late 2012.

Now they're threatening to murder journalist Steven Sotloff whom they have held since 2013 (Hat Tip: Leah P).
Our prayers and thoughts go out to Steven Sotloff, who was revealed today as a captive of the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL) terrorist group.

After murdering journalist James Foley and posting a video of his beheading to Twitter, the same masked ISIS killer was seen standing next to an identically-dressed Sotloff, addressing President Barack Obama directly and threatening to kill Sotloff if the US continues to challenge the "Islamic Caliphate."

The Sotloff family, who lives in Miami, has been keeping Steven's kidnapping a secret on advice from trusted officials. With his name now public, it is unclear what his fate will be and whether the US will seek to rescue him or strike a deal with the Islamic State.

We have made the editorial decision not to share the gruesome video of Foley's killing but felt it was important to spread awareness of Sotloff's plight.
This is the result of the world perceiving a weak America. Thank you Hussein Obama.

Does anyone really believe that watching their own be murdered will awaken the mainstream media? Don't hold your breaths.

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Genocide where?

From here (Hat Tip: Debbie R).

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