The United States said Thursday there was little doubt Israeli
artillery was the source of a "totally indefensible" strike that killed
16 people at a UN school in Gaza.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest noted that UN Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon had said all available evidence pointed to Israeli artillery
and that the Israeli government had acknowledged its forces were firing
in the area in response to Hamas fire near the school.
“So while we underscore the importance of a full and prompt
investigation of this tragic incident, as well as a shelling of other UN
facilities and schools that have been hit, it does not appear there's a
lot of doubt about whose artillery was involved in this incident," he
"That is why we have continued to urge Israeli military officials to
live up to their high standards that they have set for the protection of
innocent civilians. There is clearly more that can and should be done
to ensure the safety of innocent civilians."
How many innocent Pakistanis have been killed in Obama's drone strikes this year?
Someone sent me the following quote - allegedly from US News.com - but I could not find it there:
Dresden, Berlin, 21000 German civilians killed in retaliation for failed
V2 missile attempts on London, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Sarajevo
recently, all were unfortunate but none were disproportionate. As both
Churchill and Truman remarked, they saved their soldiers lives, and they
slept like babies without any regret. The most significnant harm being
done to the citizens of Gaza is western media telling them that Gaza is
some sort of exception to western rules of law, and if one shoots 3000
missiles at a major nation state they will not retaliate with force
designed to end the threat. They are good people, as were the German and
Japanese citizens, and deserve to know this sort of military response
will rain down upon them if they continue to "look the other way" while
150 miles of military tunnels are excavated under their homes. Only 4%
of Germans were members of the Nazi party, less than 10% of Germany was
left standing in 1945. (usnews.com)
It's a good quote - I wish I knew who wrote it. But while I was searching for it, I found this piece by Louis Rene Beres which is simply excellent.
From the standpoint of pertinent international law, these criticisms
are sorely mistaken. The legal standard of proportionality in the law of
armed conflict has nothing to do with equal levels of suffering. If it
did, virtually all major allied military operations during World War II
would have been flagrantly "disproportionate."
Properly legal determinations of proportionality can never be made in
an historical or geopolitical vacuum. Instead, they must always take
into account the decipherable extent to which an adversary (especially a
terrorist adversary, whose every action is illegal by definition) has
committed prior or ongoing violations of the law of war.
In the case of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and also “moderate” Fatah, there
is incontestable evidence that these terrorists are systematically
guilty of perfidy, a specific and egregious violation of the law of war
involving, in this particular case, deceptions that knowingly endanger
noncombatant populations. Once again, with very little objection from
the "international community," Palestinian "freedom fighters" have been
firing intentionally at vulnerable Israeli civilians from Gaza schools
and hospitals. As for heroic
Hamas leader Khaled Mashal, he prefers conspicuous safety in Qatar, to
shahid, or martyr. Palestinian martyrdom is reserved by Hamas for Gaza's
endlessly manipulated and impoverished masses, those who are most
plainly unable to migrate to the more pleasingly wealthy Arab oil
Deception can be acceptable in armed conflict, but portions of the law
of war, specifically the Hague Conventions, still disallow placement of
civilians among military assets or personnel. Further prohibition of
perfidy can be found in the protocols added to the Geneva Conventions in
1977. These incontrovertible rules are also binding on the basis of
customary international law, which is included in the
authoritative inventory of legal sources defined at Article 38 of the
Statute of the International Court of Justice.
Perfidy is identified as a “grave breach” of the law of war at Article
147 of Geneva Convention No. IV. The effect of perfidy committed by all
Palestinian terrorists in Gaza – especially their widespread resort to
human shields – is to immunize Israel from legal responsibility for any
counter-terrorist harms done to Arab civilians. Even if Hamas and
Islamic Jihad and Fatah did not deliberately engage in perfidy, any
terrorist-created link between civilians and insurgent warfare would
still grant Israel full justification for defensive military actions.
Israel should not be granted a free hand in its applications of armed
force any more than any state should. But the reasonableness of these
particular applications should always be evaluated against the specific
background of unreconstructed Palestinian perfidy.
Viewed against the landscape of extensive and unapologetic terrorist
crimes in Gaza, Israel is not guilty of “disproportionality.”
Ministers blast Netanyahu over Operation Protective Edge goals
At Thursday's cabinet meeting, ministers Gideon Saar and Sylvan Shalom blasted Prime Minister Netanyahu for not making Hamas' overthrow the goal of Operation Protective Edge.
According to a source that participated in the meeting, Interior
Minister Sa’ar told Netanyahu that, from the outset, the goal of the
operation should have been to topple Hamas’ reign in Gaza.
wasn’t one of those (ministers) to go out in public, in front of the
media, and say we need to topple the Hamas regime, but today I am saying
it here that that should have been the operation’s objective,” the
source quoted Sa’ar as saying.
The source who attended the meeting
also said Sa’ar quoted extracts of the Winograd Commission report,
which investigated the failures of the Second Lebanon War, focusing on
criticism leveled by the commission on the leaders' foot-dragging and
the decisions that were made on a diplomatic level.
“I recommend you read the Winograd report,” Sa’ar told Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, according to the source.
asked to respond to the source’s claims, Sa’ar told Haaretz, “I am
legally obliged to avoid responding to things that were said in the
cabinet meeting even if those quotes are incorrect.”
also said that Energy and Water Resources Minister Silvan Shalom
criticized the conduct of the operation, too, stating that in his
opinion toppling Hamas should have been the goal of the operation.
However, he emphasized in his closing comments that he supports the
Netanyahu, for his part, turned to the ministers
and said he expects them not to criticize him publically while the
country is at war. The prime minister emphasized that there is no
problem with voicing criticism, so long as it is done around the table
at cabinet meetings.
I don't hear any public criticism of Netanyahu here, except from the anonymous minister who spilled the beans of what was said in the cabinet meeting to Barak Ravid.
But the criticism is in place. Leaving Hamas to fight another day - as appears likely - was the wrong thing to do.
New details have emerged about the booby-trapped clinic explosion that killed three IDF Maglan unit soldiers in Gaza earlier this week - Sergeant
First Class Matan Gottlieb, 21, from Rishon LeZion; Sergeant First
Class Omar Chai, 21, from Savion; and Sergeant First Class Guy Algranati, 20, of Tel Aviv, hy"d.
Over eighty kilograms of explosives were built into the UN-funded
hospital's walls themselves, it was cleared for publication Thursday -
revealing that the clinic itself was built to mask, and perform,
potential acts of terror on the IDF.
Moreover, the clinic was built over tens of terror tunnels, according to the report.
Joe Scarborough unleashed on Israel on Thursday morning's show.
Let's go to the videotape.
What does Joe suggest that Israel do? Let Gaza continue to shoot rockets at Israel's citizens and hope none of them hit? Shut down its economy?
Hamas seeks civilian casualties and purposely place people in harm's way. They use schools for weapons storage and position terrorists outside them to use the people inside them as human shields.
It's not Israel that's the problem - it's Hamas. Why doesn't he blame Hamas? Even assuming that what would replace Hamas would be 'worse,' does that mean that we should let Hamas keep trying to kill us? And by the way, Hamas is a radical Islamist group.
And PS - all those casualty counts come from Hamas' 'ministry of health' and are completely unreliable.
Turkey and Qatar share Hamas’ goal of having it gain—meaning that the
fighting ends, the siege of Gaza is lifted and no safeguards are
adopted on materials going into the Strip that would inhibit Hamas’
ability to reconstitute its military infrastructure of rockets and
tunnels. It is not just Israel that cannot accept that outcome. Neither
can the Egyptians, Saudis or their regional allies. And, truth be told,
it is still Egypt that matters. Egypt controls the crossing point at
Rafah, the southern entrance to Gaza, and it is closed. Today,
ironically, the only crossing points into Gaza that function at all are
the Israeli ones. So when this conflict ends, Egypt can have a huge
impact on what and who can move in and out of Gaza.
That gives Egypt leverage. Its relationship with Israel
matters, and Israeli confidence that Egypt shares its interest in not
allowing Hamas to reconstitute its military capabilities means that
Egypt can influence Israel’s position. Ultimately, Egypt can also
influence Hamas because, at a minimum, Hamas needs Rafah to be open at
the end of the conflict—even if Egypt, as is likely, will insist that
the Palestinian Authority is positioned in the Rafah crossing point. To
be sure, it is possible that to end the conflict, Egypt may also
acquiesce in allowing Qatar to pay the Hamas salaries and to allow that
money to pass through Rafah. But Egypt’s approach toward Hamas, which it
sees as contributing to the threats it faces in Sinai, is to keep it
contained and, the Egyptians will have that as a goal in any cease-fire
The point is that the conflict is going to end. It
can end through a negotiated outcome in which we focus on Egypt and not
Turkey or Qatar. Or it will end when Israel has destroyed the tunnels
and Hamas sees that its arsenal of rockets is running too low and that
the price within Gaza has become too high. Kerry, to his credit,
envisioned the cease-fire he was trying to arrange as one in which
fighting would stop but Israel could finish destroying the tunnels. It
has not worked yet, but if the United States works exclusively through
the Egyptians, it may yet happen.
There is a larger point for the Obama administration to
consider, too. It needs to read the new strategic landscape in the
region and act accordingly. That landscape should shape our calculus as
we approach the larger questions of Israeli-Palestinian peace, Syria,
Iraq and Iran. In its remaining two and half years, the administration
needs to approach the Middle East with a broader goal and judge how its
day-to-day policies support or detract from that goal: How can it ensure
that U.S. friends in the region are stronger in January 2017, and their
adversaries (and ours) are weaker? Ultimately, President Obama and
Secretary Kerry would be wise to approach the current conflict, and its
end, with that objective in mind.
The New York Times reports that there is much less pressure on Israel to stop Operation Protective Edge than there was to stop, for example, Operation Cast Lead. One reason for that is that the Arab countries, led by Egypt and Saudi Arabia, loath Hamas more than they do Israel (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
Egypt is traditionally the key go-between in any talks with Hamas —
deemed a terrorist group by the United States and Israel — the
government in Cairo this time surprised Hamas by publicly proposing a
cease-fire agreement that met most of Israel’s demands and none from the
Palestinian group. Hamas was tarred as intransigent when it immediately
rejected it, and Cairo has continued to insist that its proposal
remains the starting point for any further discussions.
as commentators sympathetic to the Palestinians slammed the proposal as
a ruse to embarrass Hamas, Egypt’s Arab allies praised it. King
Abdullah of Saudi Arabia called President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt
the next day to commend it, Mr. Sisi’s office said, in a statement that
cast no blame on Israel but referred only to “the bloodshed of innocent
civilians who are paying the price for a military confrontation for
which they are not responsible.”
is clearly a convergence of interests of these various regimes with
Israel,” said Khaled Elgindy, a former adviser to Palestinian
negotiators who is now a fellow at the Brookings Institution in
Washington. In the battle with Hamas, Mr. Elgindy said, the Egyptian
fight against the forces of political Islam and the Israeli struggle
against Palestinian militants were nearly identical. “Whose proxy war is
it?” he asked.
dynamic has inverted all expectations of the Arab Spring uprisings. As
recently as 18 months ago, most analysts in Israel, Washington and the
Palestinian territories expected the popular uprisings to make the Arab
governments more responsive to their citizens, and therefore more
sympathetic to the Palestinians and more hostile to Israel.
instead of becoming more isolated, Israel’s government has emerged for
the moment as an unexpected beneficiary of the ensuing tumult, now
tacitly supported by the leaders of the resurgent conservative order as
an ally in their common fight against political Islam.
All of this would make it a pity if Israel were to pass up the opportunity to destroy Hamas, as the Obama-Kerry junta has been demanding. We never know when or if we might have another opportunity.
The timing of those specific items of "humanitarian aid" is
particularly suspicious; Gaza's civilian population are hardly appealing
for fresh supplies of ball-bearings, and rebuilding targets struck by
the Israeli Air Force while it is still operating over Gaza's skies
seems a rather unfruitful endeavor.
The suspicious cargo had been handed over to security services for
inspection. Authorities are currently withholding the problematic cargo,
fearing it could be easily used by Hamas authorities to help replenish
dwindling rocket supplies and rebuild the network of "terror tunnels"
which has largely been destroyed by Israeli forces.
For their part, the owners of the seized container claim that
the mixers were not specifically meant for making cement, but for
other, unspecified, uses. They added that the ball-bearings were meant
for use in the mixers.
This isn't the first time the Turks have done this sort of thing.
Last December the Turkish foreign ministry admitted its government had given 47 tons of arms to Islamist rebels in Syria, even as it attempted to pass them off as "non-lethal" cargo.
Amusingly, the weaponry in question had been filed as "guns without military uses" - despite being shipped into a country gripped by a bloody civil war.
Waiting for Erdogan to start whining in 4... 3... 2... 1...
The first interview was on al-Jazeera and it was with Chris Gunness, UNRWA's spokesman in Gaza, who broke down crying while discussing the humanitarian situation and the deaths of children in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge.
In the meantime, another UN official, John Ging, the former director of UNRWA, and now the director of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations told Radio Canada that yes, Hamas shoots rockets into Israel from residential areas and from near UNRWA facilities.
Let's go to the videotape.
Professor Jacobson has more on Ging and the significance of his statement here.
Amid mounting diplomatic pressure on Israel to agree to a ceasefire, the
security cabinet on Wednesday instructed the IDF to continue to
“forcefully hit Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in Gaza,”
and to conclude its mission to destroy the tunnels leading from the
Strip into Israel, diplomatic sources said.
The army’s actions in locating and destroying these terror tunnels have
brought about significant strategic achievements in an area in which
Hamas has invested much effort over the years, the sources said.
On Wednesday afternoon, the IDF’s Southern
Command chief, Sami Turgeman, said “many hundreds” of Hamas operatives
had been killed, and that the IDF had destroyed hundreds of weapons
storage facilities, and significantly compromised Hamas’s terror
He said the IDF was “days away” from
completing the military goal of destroying all of the tunnels, though
the process is complex. Four tunnels have been destroyed in the past 24
hours, he added.
Turgeman said the IDF expanded its operation Tuesday night, targeting new sites in the north and center of the coastal enclave.
With the amount of concrete Hamas poured into
the tunnel project, two hospitals, twenty schools, twenty healthcare
centers, and 100 kindergartens could have been built, he said.
And from the second link.
The IDF called up 16,000 reserves on Wednesday night, and the soldiers have been deployed to positions on Thursday. A total of 86,000 reservists have been called up since the start of the war.
The IDF is examining a number of peers found in Gaza to see if they are connected to new tunnels, or to underground passages that the army already knows about.
The IDF destroyed several tunnels in the past 24 hours, a senior IDF source said Thursday morning.
The air force is continuing to strike Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets, based on newly arrived intelligence, some of which comes from ground forces inside Gaza. It destroyed 110 targets in the past 24 hours, the army source said, and 4,200 targets since the start of hostilities.
On Wednesday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon spoke by phone with his American counterpart Chuck Hagel, who called for a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza that would lead to a permanent end in fighting along with the disarmament of Hamas.
Hagel's call came amid US concern over the rising number of deaths on both sides of the conflict, said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.
What no one outside of Israel seems to get is that the only way to successfully disarm Hamas is by force. The leadership is all in hiding, and has no motivation to give up. They have left the foot soldiers with no choice but to fight to the finish. They could care less about the civilians. The only way the IDF won't have to go back in the next 12-18 months is to finish the job now.
In the meantime, Hagel's relatively light treatment of Israel (as compared with Kerry and Obama) is a bit surprising. I vehemently opposed his nomination to be Secretary of Defense as did many others in the pro-Israel community. Seeing this was a bit of a surprise.
Separately, the Pentagon said it had allowed Israel to stock up on grenades and mortar rounds from a US munitions store located in Israel as part of bilateral emergency preparedness arrangement.
I think the answer is that for the very reason I and many others opposed his nomination - his closeness to the Arab world - Hagel gets the Muslim Brotherhood better than either Obama or Kerry. Obama and Kerry are enamored with the Brotherhood and with Iran. Hagel is a military man and understands the dangers in having the Brotherhood take over all the Sunni countries and Iran dominate the Shiites. Hagel gets what Obama and Kerry don't - that the next war with Hamas would cost even more civilian deaths, and given how far we'd gone, it would be foolish to pass up the opportunity to finish the job.
First-person footage from the field of IDF special forces storming a
terrorist building in Shuja'iya. They seize a stockpile of weapons and
uncover a tunnel opening.
Let's go to the videotape.
For those who have forgotten, it's a war crime to use a home, or any building that's in civilian areas, for the storage of weapons or as a military installation. But Hamas does that all the time. They are looking to cause civilian casualties.
Hamas founder's son in video interview: 'The only way to save Gazans is to destroy Hamas'
It's been a long time since Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of Hamas founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef, converted to Christianity and turned against the terror organization his father founded. But Mosab still probably knows Hamas better than anyone, and he has some advice for the IDF: The only way to save Gazan lives is to destroy Hamas.
Let's go to the videotape.
Here's another interview with Mosab. Let's go to the videotape.
Video: Colonel Richard Kemp on Operation Protective Edge
Richard Justin Kemp CBE (born 14 April 1959) is a retired British Army
officer who served from 1977 to 2006. He was Commander of British Forces
in Afghanistan, and experienced the complexity of fighting militants
embedded within a civilian population.
Kemp was interviewed by
Israeli Channel 1 regarding his position on the legality and morality of
Israel's actions in operation Protective Edge.
British MPs, British citizens and indeed citizens of the free world at large may want to listen in.
Video: IDF destroys terror tunnel under 'holy mosque'
We keep hearing from Muslims how 'holy' their mosques are. But would you use something holy for a profane purpose like weapons storage and terrorist transport?
On July 30, a joint IDF task force uncovered a tunnel entrance on the
ground floor of a mosque that had been used by Hamas terrorists to
attack Israeli soldiers. The extent of the tunnel is revealed by amazing
aerial footage of its demolition. But first, a guided tour....
Let's go to the videotape.
Unfortunately, it seems that the explosion itself was omitted.
The Obama administration has condemned the shelling of an UNRWA school in Gaza on Wednesday morning. While the administration 'took pains' not to name the party responsible, the United Nations is blaming Israel.
While Obama and other top officials consistently state their support for
Israel's right to defend itself against Hamas rocket fire, the White
House has been making increasingly strong statements about the
Palestinian civilians dying in Israeli attacks. Officials have also
directly called on Israel to do more to prevent the casualties.
More than 1,300 Palestinians have been killed in three weeks of
fighting, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry. More than 50
Israelis have also died in the clashes.
The White House escalated its rhetoric yet again on Wednesday by
condemning the shelling of the UN school that was sheltering displaced
Palestinians. While the administration did not publicly assign blame for
the attack, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said "all available
evidence" pointed to Israel and the Israeli military acknowledged that
it fired back after its soldiers were targeted by mortar rounds launched
from the vicinity of the school.
"We are extremely concerned that thousands of internally displaced
Palestinians who have been called on by the Israeli military to evacuate
their homes are not safe in UN designated shelters in Gaza," said
Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the White House's National Security
Council. She also condemned "those responsible for hiding weapons in
the United Nations facilities in Gaza" — a nod to Israel's charge that
Hamas is housing arms in those facilities.
Someone please remind me: Does the Obama administration drop leaflets telling civilians in Pakistan to flee before it sends drones to take out terror leaders? Does the Obama administration make phone calls and send SMS's to civilians in Afghanistan before it targets Taliban leaders in their vicinity? Maybe that's why the United States has never had to worry about 'internally displaced' civilians trying to escape its war machine....
And by the way, what's the United States' ratio of civilians to terrorists killed in Muslim countries where the use of human shields is common? How many civilians has the United States killed in Peshawar this year? Sounds to me like the pot is calling the kettle black, when the kettle is actually much cleaner.
Then we get a little media bias from al-AP:
But those talks collapsed earlier this year amid U.S. frustration with
both sides of the intractable conflict. The current bout of violence
quickly followed, sparked by the deaths of three Israeli teenagers in
the West Bank.
Wouldn't a fair journalist give us some context by telling us that those three teenagers were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists while they were on their way home from high school? No, they weren't in a car accident and they didn't fall off a cliff, but... Oh... wait... the media has decided that the two or three Hamas members who were supported by Hamas were acting on their own when they kidnapped they kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teenagers. You know, like when you set up a twitter account and say that re-tweet does not equal approval. Doing what Hamas has been encouraging and being a member of Hamas doesn't make the kidnapping a Hamas operation. Right....
Just remember - this is a democracy and 91% of Jewish Israelis support this operation. Most of them don't want it to end without Hamas meeting its end.
3 IDF soldiers killed in booby-trapped terror tunnel beneath...what else?... an UNRWA clinic
Three IDF soldiers were killed today while trying to secure a terror tunnel whose entrance was beneath an UNRWA clinic. The tunnel was booby-trapped.
Three IDF soldiers were killed on Wednesday in Gaza in an explosion at a
booby-trapped UNRWA health clinic that housed the opening of a tunnel,
the IDF’s Gaza Division commander, Brig. Gen. Micky Edelstein, said.
The clinic had apparently been abandoned by its UN personnel. UNRWA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The army named the soldiers as Staff Sgt.
Matan Gotlib, 21, of Rishon Lezion, Staff Sgt. Omer Chai, 21, of Savion,
and Sgt. Guy Algranati, 20, of Tel Aviv.
The three soldiers, members of the elite
Maglan unit, were taking precautionary measures in efforts to limit
damage to the structure before eliminating the tunnel, when the
explosives detonated in the small building.
The soldiers had sent in sniffing dogs and a
small robot to minimize damage to the structure, located in Khan Yunis,
but explosives rigged to the building detonated, toppling part of the
building on top of the soldiers.
Fifteen soldiers were injured. IDF soldiers
evacuating the wounded came under fire from Palestinian fighters. All of
the fatalities and injured were eventually brought back to Israeli
The deaths brought the toll of IDF soldiers killed since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge to 56.
By allowing its building to be booby-trapped, UNRWA was just following the local custom.
[Edelstein] said Hamas gunmen have used more than a thousand IEDs so far, destroying thousands of buildings in the Gaza Strip.
As an example he noted that in sweeps of a single street of 28 buildings Tuesday night, 19 were found to be booby-trapped.
But the world just doesn't get it. They cannot believe anyone would treat their own people as expendable. But Hamas does. And so does Assad. And so does Nasrallah. And so it goes throughout the Arab-Muslim world. Wake up to reality people! Do we need another 9-11 for you to start getting it?
Poll: 91% of Jewish Israelis support Operation Protective Edge
I didn't think 91% of Jewish Israelis could agree on anything, but 91% of Jewish Israelis support Operation Protective Edge. The vast majority of them don't want it to end yet either.
Ninety-one percent (91%) of Israeli Jews support Israel's
self-defense campaign against terrorism in Gaza, Operation Protective
Edge, according to a survey published Monday - and just 4.2% believe the
operation is a "mistake."
Over 1,000 people were polled by Dr. Yuval Feinstein, a Sociology and
Political Science researcher at University of Haifa, on their opinions
regarding the operation and other current events. All participants were
Israeli, Jewish, and over 18.
The survey also revealed that 85% of respondents would only support a
cease-fire agreement if Israel eliminated every Hamas rocket and
destroyed the full network of terror tunnels before agreeing to do so.
Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Israeli Jews polled "very strongly
support" Operation Protective Edge's airstrikes on Gaza; 17% "support"
the airstrikes; and 4.5% had "weak support" for the airstrikes. Just
1.5% of respondents opposed the airstrikes on Gaza.
Similarly, 50% "strongly support" the IDF's ground offensive in Gaza;
28% "support" the ground campaign and 14% have "weak support" for the
campaign. By contrast, only 9% of respondents oppose sending ground
troops into Gaza.
Eighty-two percent (82%) of respondents "strongly disagree" with the
statement "Israel launching Operation Protective Edge was a mistake";
11% only "slightly disagree." Just 7% of respondents "agree" or
"strongly agree" with that statement.
As to the operation's success, 74% of respondents overall believe the
IDF is "achieving its goals" in Gaza; of those, 23% "very strongly
agree" and 51% "strongly agree." Just 22.5% of respondents were neutral
on the issue and only 3% believe the operation is failing.
Ninety-five percent (95%) of respondents said the operation has "made
them proud of the IDF, the State of Israel, and the Jewish people," and
only 2% disagreed with that statement.
But alas, many Israelis are still hopelessly naive.
Despite all of the above, the majority of respondents still insist that
Israel must implement a "Two-State Solution" for peace - some 42%. Just
20% of respondents preferred the crowning of Jordan as a Palestinian
state and only 10% agreed to any form of annexation for Judea-Samaria
MK: 'Obama talked to Netanyahu like he was the leader of the Taliban;' Reporter insists transcript authentic
MK Danny Danon, whom Prime Minister Netanyahu fired as Deputy Defense Minister two weeks ago, has told Newsmax TV that President Obama talked to Prime Minister Netanyahu on Sunday 'like he was the leader of the Taliban.'
Oren Nahari explained tonight on Israel Television Mabat News that the American source of the Netanyahu-Obama conversation he reported last night was the source of the warning that President Obama would act if 1,000 die in Gaza.
Nahari insists that the report of the Netanyahu-Obama conversation is correct.
Here's the radio report from July 19 claiming that Obama would insist on an immediate cease fire if casualties in Gaza reached 1,000. A transcript in English follows. The report is seemingly correct. Nahari was the reporter who made the report.
Let's go to the videotape.
"A senior source in the American Administration says that if the number of dead among the Palestinians in Gaza reaches 1,000 President Obama will demand that Israel immediately ceases fire- in a conversation with our correspondent Oren Nahari." Israel Radio News bulletin 14:00 19 July 2014
Prime Minister Netanyahu vetoed targeted attacks on Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Mahmud a-Zahar according to a report in Yisrael Hayom.
According to the newspaper, Lapid said that the IDF should “take down
the heads of Hamas,” including Hamas-Gaza chief Ismail Haniyeh and the
head of the organization's political bureau, Khaled Meshaal.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (Chairman of Yisrael Beytenu) and
Economics Minister Naftali Bennett (Chairman of Jewish Home) supported
The prime minister opposed it.
It was decided instead to bomb the homes of the Hamas leaders even though it is known that they are not residing in them.
Diplomatic sources explained that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
wants to behave in a more “measured” way, “in order to give Israel
international maneuvering room.”
Netanyahu ordered the elimination of Meshaal by poison in Jordan in
September, 1997, but the assassination bid failed. Jordanian security
forces arrested two of the Israeli agents involved and the Mossad team
found itself trapped in Amman. Israel ended up supplying an antidote to
the poison that was killing Meshaal and freeing 70 jailed terrorists,
including Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of Hamas.
I think Netanyahu is spooked because of the Meshaal thing seventeen years ago. IDF helicopters eventually took care of Yassin.
The Middle East must lead the world in ceasefires. If ceasefires were
the road to peace, the Middle East would easily be the most peaceful
place on the planet. “Ceasefire”
and “negotiations” are magic words to “the international community.”
But just what do ceasefires actually accomplish? In the short run, they save some lives. But in the long run they cost far more lives by lowering the cost of aggression.
one time, launching a military attack on another nation risked not only
retaliation but annihilation. When Carthage attacked Rome, that was the
end of Carthage. But
when Hamas or some other terrorist group launches an attack on Israel,
the aggressor knows in advance that whatever Israel does in response
will be limited by calls for a ceasefire, backed by political and
economic pressure from the United States.
It is not at all
clear what Israel’s critics can rationally expect the Israelis to do
when they are attacked. Suffer in silence? Surrender? Flee the Middle
— most unrealistic of all — fight a “nice” war, with no civilian
casualties? General William T. Sherman said it all, 150 years ago: “War
If you want to minimize civilian casualties, then
minimize the danger of war, by no longer coming to the rescue of those
who start wars.
Not only was Israel attacked by vast numbers of rockets, but it was also invaded — underground — through mazes of tunnels. There
is something grotesque about people living thousands of miles away, in
safety and comfort, loftily second-guessing and trying to micromanage what the Israelis are doing in a matter of life and death. Such
self-indulgences are a danger, not simply to Israel, but to the whole
Western world, for they betray a lack of realism that shows in
everything from the current disastrous consequences of our policies in
Egypt, Libya, and Iraq to future catastrophes from a nuclear-armed Iran.
Indeed. Imagine if Obama and Kerry had been in charge in June 1944....
Mohammed Deif: 'Our soldiers run toward martyrdom like yours flee from death'
Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif broadcast a message to Israel on Tuesday night on Hamas' al-Aqsa television network. In addition to the message in the title, he said that there would be no cease fire until the 'siege' of Gaza is lifted, and there would be 'no compromise.'
Let's go to the videotape.
Apparently, those 'brave warriors' who are 'running toward martyrdom' do not include the Hamas leadership, which continues to hide in the basement of Gaza City's Shifa Hospital.
The terrorist was enlisted into Hamas in 2007, and underwent basic
combat training; in 2013 he was recruited to an "advanced" commando unit
of Ezzadine al-Kassam, in which he was drilled in the use of a wide
variety weapons including pistols, M-16 and AK-47 assault rifles, RPGs,
PKC heavy machine guns, and locally-produced hand grenades.
However, as far back as 2010, he had been enlisted into a special
terrorist cell, along with 10 other Hamas operatives, who underwent a
period of training for infiltration attacks, including parachuting
Then, in 2014, the cell was sent for a final training assignment in
Malaysia - to learn how to paraglide in preparation for a deadly
infiltration into southern Israel.
He claimed that the plans were so secret that he had not yet even been informed of the precise location of the attack.
According to the Shabak, "from the details extracted during the
suspect's interrogation it is apparent that Hamas invested an enormous
effort in strengthening and building up its capabilities, within the
context of which it built and trained a commando military force."
"Moreover, it was clear that Hamas had been preparing for an IDF
operation in Gaza for quite some time - preparations which included
building vast tunnel networks, planning combat operations against IDF
forces and kidnappings of Israeli soldiers," the Shabak continued.
"Most intriguing of all, however, is that Hamas has been actively
planning "high-quality," unique, and significant forms of terror against
Israelis - such as infiltration through paragliding - all while
receiving assistance and training in other countries (in this case,
The suspect joined Hamas in 2007, and became a part of its military wing, the Al-Kassam Brigades. His rise through the terrorist army in Gaza reveals the extent of training Hamas members undergo. He became proficient in the use of a Kalashnikov automatic rifle in varying shooting positions, and then joined Hamas's domestic guard force, where he served in night shifts.
The suspect then underwent additional training, mastering a heavy machine gun, as well as the use of locally produced hand grenades. In 2012, the Shin Bet said, he joined Hamas's reserves unit, which was tasked with special operations during wartime.
In 2013, he joined an elite Hamas cell, received a Kalashnikov to carry with him at all times, and later trained in the use of M-16s, RPG, and bombs. The suspect also underwent training in how to kidnap soldiers, and tunnel warfare. He was scheduled to train others in the same combat skills this month.
The suspect traveled to Malaysia in 2012, where he and nine other Hamas members learned how to fly a powered parachute. In Gaza, the cell underwent repeated training sessions on how to fly into Israel and carry out attacks, and were ordered by their Hamas commanders to keep their training top secret.
"Hamas has invested many resources in building up its power, including the building and training of a commando army," the Shin Bet. "It also prepared itself for ground combat with Israel, and constructed a network of tunnels designed to harm IDF soldiers and kidnap a soldier. In addition, Hamas planned significant and unique "quality" terror attacks, such as a flying into Israel on a powered parachute, while receiving assistance and training in other countries," it added.
All of which means that Operation Protective Edge was long overdue.
Chris, Sami, I just saw this post on your site. Pretty funny - you guys keep letting Hamas store rockets at, and shoot rockets from, your facilities (in the direction of Israel at civilian populations), your facilities then get blown up, and then you whine about it and accuse Israel of "war crimes". Although most comedians try not to overuse their material, this particular joke remains fresh.
Nevertheless, for the safety of the children you purport to educate, you might want to mull over these ideas:
1. Weapons depots and launching sites are not schools, no matter what you call them.
2. If you don't want your schools to get blown to bits, keep them rocket-free.
3. Kids and weapons are generally not a good mix. If your goal really is to educate children and not endanger them, you should teach them at someplace where Hamas isn't storing explosive materials.
By the way, if you don't want to change your tune, someone has come up with a revised logo for you to use, which I attach.
Military Intelligence: 'The Rosh HaShannah attack was a myth invented by Haredi media. We know nothing about it'
A tweet from Haredi reporter Yaakov Rivlin.
בכיר באמ"ן בפני ועדת חו"ב: תוכנית החמאס לפרוץ בראש השנה מעשר מנהרות לשטח ישראל- אגדה שרצה בתקשורת החרדית. לנו אין כל מידע על זה.
— יעקב ריבלין (@arivlin1) July 30, 2014
Translation: Senior office in Military Intelligence before [Knesset] Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee: The Hamas program to infiltrate into Israel on Rosh HaShannah via ten tunnels is a tale that is running around the Haredi media. We known nothing about it.
Maybe this is connected to some hard questions being asked by journalist Nachum Barnea about why if the tunnels are such a danger, the government was willing to agree to a truce without touching them?
Netanyahu agreed to
the ceasefire last week, despite knowing about the tunnels and the
threat they posed. His decision, and that of the Cabinet, was made
within the sphere of legitimacy. Bennett, who voted against it because
of the tunnels, thought otherwise, but the cabinet had other
What is not legitimate is the gap between rhetoric and reality.
Netanyahu was not the first to warn about the tunnels, but he did so
halfheartedly. As prime minister he did not see the tunnels as
sufficient threat to justify military action, before and during Pillar
of Defense in 2012, and before and during Protective Edge. He chose to
take a risk. When he told Channel 2's Udi Segal that he hoped that the
problem of the tunnels could be solved politically, he knew that this
was not grounded in reality.
Netanyahu, like others in the government, was surprised by Hamas'
offensive ability, its fighting spirit and the subsequent number of
fallen soldiers. Only he can answer the question of whether prior
knowledge of the price would have prevented him from rolling into a
ground operation. It's not certain that he is able to answer such a
question - even to himself.
In summer 2010, a
discussion took place in the Southern Command - one of many - on the
issue of the tunnels. It was a fascinating discussion, precisely because
there wasn't really anything new in it. Anyone who today pleads
ignorance about the tunnels is lying to others - or to himself. For
better or for worse, everything was on the table.
GOC Southern Command at the time, Yoav Galant, opened the debate.
Terrorist organizations are preparing an attack via the tunnels, he
said, high-quality attacks in real time, using extensive infrastructure
throughout the sector. Hamas had taken advantage of the calm since
Operation Cast Lead to improve its level of preparedness for terrorist
attacks, and the tunnels were an important element in their planning.
The threat, Galant said, was expected to get stronger: The length of
the tunnels was growing, the pace of work accelerating, and the ability
to hide improving. The command made great efforts to address this issue
in six areas, including defense, attack, intelligence and development of
technology. These efforts must continue.
Subterranean warfare, said the general, is a method of fighting in
which the enemy has shown operational capability and success, and
against whose abilities there is no effective solution. The use of the
tunnels is growing, a fact that demands creative solutions.
A complete solution, he concluded, would include exposure of the
digging work, accurate detection of the tunnel routes and the ability to
prevent, disrupt or wipe out the threat.
No less than seven different methods for dealing with the
tunnels were raised during the discussion. Each had a more grandiose
name than the last (there are no limits to creativity when it comes to
inventing military names) but the results were ultimately disappointing.
The Southern Command established a test site near Kerem Shalom,
including a tunnel at a depth of 10 meters. And while these efforts bore
no fruit, there was still great faith in the summer of 2010 that a
solution would be found to the problem of the tunnels.
One idea included a system of sensors to detect all digging
operations. But the system failed and the army stopped using it. Another
system of sensors above ground was supposed to detect all activity
carried out below it, but this system was not automated and required
A third invention was meant to locate tools that were being used
underground; a fourth involved drilling into the ground, inserting
poles, connecting to the water system and turning on the taps. The
monetary cost was astronomical, and ultimately prohibitive.
The fifth system was designed to monitor excavation work from the
air; the sixth aimed to reveal the route of a tunnel once it had been
discovered. And finally, the seventh system was based on "statistical"
drilling and explosions, and proved to have low efficiency.
In the absence of any redeeming technological invention, there was no
way around dealing with the tunnels on three parallel tracks:
intelligence, military operations beyond the Gaza border fence, and a
sizeable financial investment in technological development.
Intelligence-gathering efforts were made, but military operations beyond
the fence were disabled at government direction, and money was not
allocated. The tunnels were forced onto the backburner.
The data shows a clear shift after Operation Cast Lead. In the three
years between the disengagement from Gaza in summer 2005 and Cast Lead
in the winter of 2008-9, the fighters of the Southern Command embarked
on 92 missions to locate the tunnels and demolish them. Tunnels were
destroyed in, among others, Saja'iyya, Zeitun and Khan Younis - sites
the IDF has returned to this past week. The ground on Israel's Gaza
border was cleared during these missions.
At the end of Cast Lead, then-defense minister Ehud Barak ordered an
end to missions beyond the fence. Galant claimed that the understandings
reached with Hamas in the wake of the operation did allow for such
actions, but Barak argued otherwise. Gabi Ashkenazi, chief of staff at
the time, did not intervene.
But one incident did play a defining role for both sides. In November
2008, a tunnel leading from Gaza into Israel was discovered south of
Wadi Gaza, in the central Strip. The decision was taken to attack it.
Barak and Ashkenazi both wanted to strike from the air, but Galant
claimed an air strike would not destroy the tunnel - it would only take
out the mouth, thereby making it difficult to locate later. Barak was
persuaded, and successfully dispatched a Paratrooper Reconnaissance
Battalion (commanded by Yaron Finkelman, today commander of the Gaza
After all, that worked out so well the last time...
Haaretz's Barak Ravid reports that Israel's foreign ministry is drafting an 'Israeli plan' to end Operation Protective Edge, much as it did with Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon War eight years ago.
The Foreign Ministry has advised Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu to initiate the drafting of a United Nations Security Council
resolution on the terms for ending the war in the Gaza Strip, a senior
Israeli official said on Tuesday.
He said the ministry believes
such a move would minimize Hamas’ international legitimacy and advance
Israeli interests, such as disarming Gaza and returning the Palestinian
Authority to the Strip.
The ministry’s director general, Nissim
Ben Shetrit, sent a document to National Security Advisor Yossi Cohen
last week in which he proposed a “diplomatic exit plan” from the
conflict in Gaza. The document was drafted by a ministry task force
comprised of representatives from the diplomatic planning department,
the international affairs department and the political research
department. The senior official said the document was sent to Netanyahu
for his perusal.
In the document, the ministry proposed an Israeli
diplomatic initiative to end the fighting via a Security Council
resolution, similar to the way the Second Lebanon War of 2006 was ended.
Resolution 1701, which ended that war, called for southern Lebanon to
be disarmed of all rockets and heavy weaponry, stated that the Lebanese
army, which answers to the government in Beirut, would be the only legal
military force south of the Litani River, and significantly expanded
UNIFIL, the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon.
suggested two ways of advancing a similar Security Council resolution on
Gaza. The first is to reach an agreement on Gaza with several countries
that have interests in common with Israel, such as Egypt, the United
States, the major European countries and the Palestinian Authority, and
then bring it to the Security Council for approval. This is similar to
how the agreement to disarm Syria of its chemical weapons was reached.
second option is simply to draft a Security Council resolution together
with the United States, Britain, France and other friendly council
The Israeli official said the Foreign Ministry believes
that if Israel initiates such a move and acts in coordination with the
U.S., Egypt and the PA, it can advance several of its diplomatic
interests: first, setting up an international mechanism to disarm Gaza
and supervise the entry of building materials, money and arms into the
Strip; second, returning the Palestinian Authority to Gaza and
stationing security forces loyal to PA President Mahmoud Abbas at the
border crossings; and third, strengthening the alliance with Egypt.
idea of using a Security Council resolution to end the war in Gaza was
raised by several ministers during meetings of the diplomatic-security
cabinet, including Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Communications
Minister Gilad Erdan. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is also studying
this idea as one possible way of ending the war. Ya’alon believes that
if efforts to reach a cease-fire via Egyptian mediation fail, America
should take the lead in passing a Security Council resolution.
Livni was foreign minister in 2006, and was the main Israeli drafter of Resolution 1701. I would expect such 'brilliance' from her. But Resolution 1701 has been a disaster for Israel, and has left Hezbullah with 40-60,000 rockets sitting on our northern border. It has worked out no better than Ehud Barak's unilateral withdrawal from Southern Lebanon in 2000.
For those with time, I did a paragraph by paragraph analysis of 1701 and everything that was wrong with it here. But let's look back at some things 1701 did not do. From here:
In a meeting tonight with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, Ehud
Olmert showed how little he understands of the resolution to which his
English-and-diplomacy deficient foreign minister Tzipi Livni agreed in
the UN. During his meeting with Lavrov, Olmert said the following:
the kidnapped soldiers are released, there will not be full
implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1701. Israel is
implementing its side of the resolution, and thus, Lebanon must do the
same and release the two kidnapped soldiers immediately.
are two problems with Olmert's formulation. First, it's not Lebanon
that is holding the soldiers but Hezbullah, and Hezbullah doesn't regard
itself as being bound by UN Security Council resolution 1701. It's not a
state, not a UN member, and the resolution was not addressed to it.
Second, UN Security Council resolution 1701 would not require Lebanon to
release Regev and Goldwasser (the two kidnapped Israeli soldiers) even
if it held them. The only time Regev and Goldwasser are mentioned is in
Preparatory Paragraph 3, and that paragraph is not part of the
substantive resolution. In my comments on the resolution on August 12, I noted the following:
Emphasizing the need for an end of violence, but at the same time
emphasizing the need to address urgently the causes that have given rise
to the current crisis, including by the unconditional release of the
abducted Israeli soldiers, [Note that this is in the Preparatory Paragraphs and not in the Operational ones. It doesn't mean anything. We have two more Ron Arad's. CiJ]
This evening, Olmert put only one of the final two nails into Regev's
and Goldwasser's coffins: He lifted the aerial blockade on Lebanon, but
left the naval blockade intact "because the international force was not yet in a position
to enforce the arms embargo to Hizbullah." So if Hezbullah wants to
move Goldwasser and Regev to - for example - Iran, they will have to fly
them out of Lebanon or move them overland and cannot put them on a
boat. The bottom line is that if (and it's a big if) they are still
alive, Olmert pretty much signed their death warrants this evening. By
lifting the blockades on Lebanon, he is giving up the last bit of
(admittedly flimsy) leverage he had to win their release.
Caroline Glick correctly called 1701 the "eleventh hour" for Israel and the reconstituted UNIFIL:
already the eleventh hour for Israel and the reconstituted UNIFIL.
That's my conclusion anyway from reading Caroline Glick's column in
today's Jerusalem Post. I'm going to give you a few excerpts, but it's
got so much packed into it that you simply must read the whole thing:
1701 restricts Israel's freedom of action in three additional ways.
First, the resolution named Ahmadinejad's solicitor, Kofi Annan, as
arbiter of the sides' compliance. Annan revealed how he will be using
this authority two weeks ago when he condemned the IDF's commando raid
in Baalbek while beginning his calls for Israel to lift its air and sea
blockade of Lebanon and so enable Hizbullah to rearm, not only by land,
but by air and sea as well.
Second, although Olmert and Livni
loudly champion the European forces being deployed to Lebanon as an
important diplomatic achievement, the fact is that the decision to
empower the EU to dominate UNIFIL is disastrous for Israel. While
protesting their "love" for Israel, the Europeans are making no bones
about the fact that their decision to lead UNIFIL is motivated by their
intention to prevent Israel from defending itself.
Communist Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema made this point clearly in
his interview last Friday with Ha'aretz. There he explained that the EU
goal in Lebanon is to "prove to Israel that it can ensure its security
better through the politics of peace than through war."
today's Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer reminds us that Hezbullah
won the propaganda war but lost the military battle on the ground.
Krauthammer believes that Israel inflicted enough damage - despite
Olmert's weak leadership - to prevent Hezbullah from initiating a second round,
if what he calls the resolutions to disarm Hezbullah are implemented.
The problem is that UN Security Council Resolution 1701 is not
self-executing with respect to disarming Hezbullah, and all indications
so far have been that the world does not plan on doing the job.
Therefore, I cannot share Krauthammer's apparent optimism.
the central contradiction in the document is between OP11 and OP12.
OP11 basically makes UNIFIL action dependent on the Lebanese government
asking for help. In other words, only if the government asks UNIFIL to
fight against terrorists in southern Lebanon or interdict arms smuggling
can it act.
should be noted that the Lebanese armed forces are a polite fiction.
Just as Hizbullah is part of the government coalition, it has also
deeply infiltrated the army. Half or even more of the soldiers
sympathize with Hizbullah and will not do anything to - as they think of
it - "protect" Israel from attack. It is not a highly disciplined
military with a reliable chain of command. If a Lebanese soldier fires
at Hizbullah, the entire army could split into two warring factions,
something the government and politicians will want to avoid at any cost.
OP12 says UNIFIL can take "all necessary action" in its area of
deployment to fulfill its mission. This could be interpreted, for
example, to mean that the UNIFIL units will attack terrorists south of
the Litani without being explicitly asked to do so by the Lebanese
government. Everything depends on who will command UNIFIL and what its rules of engagement are going to be.
Will it honestly report violations or just look the other way? Will it
only do what the Lebanese government expressly asks or take action to
prevent cross-border attacks?
A lot will also depend on what
strategy Hizbullah adapts and what Damascus and Teheran urge it to do.
There is no chance of Hizbullah being destroyed, disarmed or moderated.
But it can choose how high a profile it will have.
Would Hamas consider it bound by a Security Council resolution any more than Hezbullah did?
Who would disarm Hamas and make sure that it didn't rebuild? EUBAM, which fled when Hamas took over Gaza?
Does anyone remember the last time an 'international force' was supposed
to protect a truce between Israel and the 'Palestinians'? How many of
you remember EUBAM? (Some material quoted from here).
Earlier this week French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner
said, “We all understand why there must be no more arms in this enclosed
Gaza Strip.” But he added that he believed the EU could help prevent
The EU “can easily monitor the cargoes of boats heading for
Gaza. We can do this. We want to do it and we would do it very
He also called for the EU to send its monitors,
otherwise known as the European Border Assistance Mission, back to the
Rafah crossing from Gaza into Egypt, which was built for pedestrian
The work of those monitors was halted for security reasons, after the 2007 coup in which Hamas threw Fatah out of Gaza.
was stationed on the Gaza side of all four crossings: Rafah on the
Egyptian border and the Israeli border crossings of Kerem Shalom, Karni
All agreements relating to those crossings involved Israel and the Palestinian Authority, not Hamas.
EUBAM in Rafah operated under a 2005 agreement, which it had with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
2007 its representatives have sat in Ashkelon, under the terms of the
2005 agreement, in hopes that they would be able to return to Rafah.
Last week Egypt opened the Rafah borders, as it has done intermittently in the last three years, without EUBAM.
sources said if EUBAM returned it would be under the terms of the 2005
agreement. The sources did not address the the internal conflict between
Fatah and Hamas, which to date has made it impossible to revive that
If anything, the sources said, the EU wants to also
station EUBAM at the Kerem Shalom and Karni crossings, where goods now
enter the area. They did not mention the Erez pedestrian crossing.
Isn't this amazing: EUBAM inspectors have been paid for the last three years
to sit in Ashkelon and do nothing. Sounds just like the Fatah
'employees' in Gaza, doesn't it? Nice work if you can get it. Oh, and
also unmentioned is how the Europeans left Gaza in 2007 - they brush
over that by saying it happened as a result of the Hamas coup. The truth
is that the Europeans fled and no one would be surprised if they did so
Would you want to rely on these 'inspectors'?
What would the rules of engagement be for any international force in Gaza? Would they need someone else's permission to act? Whose? Fatah's?
A 1701-like resolution is a really dumb idea.
But wait - our foreign minister is Avigdor Lieberman, who is one of the ministers who has been pushing to eliminate Hamas as part of the current operation. Did he authorize the foreign ministry to do this?
Oh wait, the foreign ministry is full of Leftists, and Israeli Leftists do whatever they can to undermine any government with which they don't agree, whether they are part of it or not.
Hamas keeps telling us that they're 'winning,' but they're faring badly enough that they have now called on Hezbullah to deflect some of the IDF's might by attacking Israel from the North.
Moussa Abu Marzouk, who serves as Khaled Mashaal’s top deputy and who is currently based in Cairo, told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti on Wednesday that the organization hoped that the Lebanese Shi’ite group would engage Israel from the north.
“We hope the Lebanese front will open and together we will fight against this formation [Israel],” Abu Marzouk told RIA Novosti.
“There’s no arguing that Lebanese resistance could mean a lot,” Abu Marzouk said.
Last week, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah vowed to support "the resistance in Gaza in any way necessary" in its fight against the IDF.
Nasrallah made the statements in a phone call with Mashaal and the leader of Islamic Jihad Ramadan Salah.
Talk of Hezbullah joining in is just that - talk. Hezbullah still remembers what it suffered and what Lebanon suffered in 2006, when there was still a colorable argument that Hezbullah was not the same thing as Lebanon. Given Hezbullah's position in the Lebanese government, that argument can no longer be made. Hezbullah is Lebanon and Lebanon is Hezbullah (yes, I know, I argued that was the case in 2006, but it's much more true today). Israel has warned Hezbullah in no uncertain terms that if it attacks, Israel will destroy all of Lebanon's infrastructure (which they started to do in 2006 and then stopped when then-President Fouad Siniora went crying to George Bush). It should take about four hours.
On top of that, Hezbullah is embroiled in defending the Assad regime in Syria (Israel Radio reported last week that Hezbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah's nephew was killed fighting for Assad on the Lebanese - Syrian border last week). It doesn't have the manpower to send after Israel.
And Hezbullah, like Hamas, is dependent on a tunnel network, but one that would not require as much close quarters finding to destroy.
Hezbullah would be foolish to get involved in this. I don't see it happening.
What does President Obama really think about Israel and Hamas?
What does president Obama think about Israel and Hamas?
Back in 2008, he said: "If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I'm going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing."
Again, in 2013 he said: "When I consider Israel’s security, I think about children like Osher Twito, who I met in Sderot – children, the same age as my own daughters, who went to bed at night fearful that a rocket would land in their bedroom simply because of who they are and where they live. That’s why we’ve invested in the Iron Dome system to save countless lives – because those children deserve to sleep better at night. That’s why we have made it clear, time and again, that Israel cannot accept rocket attacks from Gaza, and have stood up for Israel’s right to defend itself. And that’s why Israel has a right to expect Hamas to renounce violence and recognize Israel’s right to exist."
But in 2014, he demands Israel would cease fire with no prior conditions - and while Hamas continued firing rockets on the last 5 ceasefires Israel announced. So Mr. president, what do you REALLY think, and whom do you really stand with?
I am an Orthodox Jew - some would even call me 'ultra-Orthodox.' Born in Boston, I was a corporate and securities attorney in New York City for seven years before making aliya to Israel in 1991 (I don't look it but I really am that old :-). I have been happily married to the same woman for thirty-five years, and we have eight children (bli ayin hara) ranging in age from 12 to 33 years and eight grandchildren. Three of our children are married! Before I started blogging I was a heavy contributor on a number of email lists and ran an email list called the Matzav from 2000-2004. You can contact me at: IsraelMatzav at gmail dot com