Tag Archive for: Gaza

White House Officials meet with Anti-IDF Israeli Leftists

Why did  Obama National Security  and State Department officials meet  with Israeli leftist NGO Breaking the Silence to provide maligned ‘testimonies’ of IDF reservists about allegations of “revenge firing” on Palestinians during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge?  Especially, since testimonies of fellow serving IDF reservists who appeared on IsraelChannel 2 in early May 2015 said the ‘testimonies” were a pack of lies.  Earlier this week Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely called out the Swiss Foreign Ministry for funding a photographic exhibit mounted by Breaking the Silence.  This is not the first time for an Israeli objection to foreign programs funding  programs of  the leftist group.  A prior episode occurred following  the 2009 Operation Cast Lead when groups in The Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK launching similar disinformation efforts maligning IDF self-defense operations against the rocket wars in Gaza perpetrated by Hamas.

Breaking the Silence was formed in 2004 during the Second Intifada.  NGO Monitor reported the following sources of the group’s funds:

2013/4 donors include the European UnionMisereor (Germany), Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), NorwayAECID (Spain), Dan Church Aid (Denmark), ICCO (Netherlands), CCFD (France), Human Rights and International Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Sigrid Rausing Trust (UK), SIVMO (Netherlands), Rockefeller Brothers FundOpen Society InstituteNew Israel Fund, and others

Based on financial information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in accordance with the Israeli NGO transparency law, BtS received 992,901 NIS from foreign governmental bodies in 2014 and 1,271,368 NIS in 2013 (accessed March 15, 2014).

In 2008-2013, the New Israel Fund (NIF) authorized grants worth $560,428 to Breaking the Silence (200820092010201120122013).

Received two grants from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund totaling $145,000 (2012-2015).

Matt Duss, President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, known for its agitation against Israeli settlement policies in the disputed territories, escorted the Breaking the Silence representatives to both Obama NSC and State Department Human Rights meetings.  This is another instance of Israeli leftists being given entre by the Obama Administration seeking to delegitimize the conduct of IDF front line soldiers during combat in Gaza against the rocket and terror tunnel wars of Hamas.  This has infuriated Ministry of Defense and IDF commanders from the platoon level on up to the Chief of Staff.

Here are excerpts from a Ha’aretz report about yesterday’s Breaking the Silence meetings in Washington:

Senior White House officials met this week with members of the left-wing NGO Breaking the Silence. The meeting, the first of its kind, dealt with testimonies that the organization had collected on alleged human-rights violations by the Israel Defense Forces during last summer’s war in Gaza. The meetings were held a few days after Israel’s Foreign Ministry tried to get a Breaking the Silence exhibition to be held in Switzerland canceled.

Matt Duss, president of the Washington-based Foundation for Middle East Peace, organized the meeting between Breaking the Silence representatives and members of the White House National Security Council.

The meeting did not take place at the White House but at the offices of an American nonprofit in the capital.

A Breaking the Silence representative also held a separate meeting at the State Department with senior officials in its human rights bureau.

Duss told Ha’aretz that during the meetings, Breaking the Silence presented its recent report last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip. Obama administration officials reacted with a great deal of interest, Duss said, asking “many questions about the vetting process of the witnesses, the testimonies and the fact-checking.”

According to Duss, the fact that both White House staff and the State Department held meetings with Breaking the Silence shows that the organization has an open door to the administration.

“It is in line with what Obama said recently. These are the shared values between Israel and the United States – wanting to improve our society,” said Duss. This is Washington recognizing “they are young Israeli patriots who are trying to improve their society,” he added.

An Obama Administration official said: “U.S. Government officials met with Breaking the Silence, as we routinely meet with a range of actors from official and non-official international groups, including from civil society.”

The State Department also responded, “Officers from the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor met with a representative from the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence. The State Department regularly meets with a broad array of political and civil society organizations from various countries worldwide.”

[…]

Israel’s ambassador to Switzerland, Yigal Caspi, lodged a protest with the Swiss Foreign Ministry over it, and asked that donations and support for a group that deals with the “defamation of Israel” be halted.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, who this week called for action against the Breaking the Silence exhibition, said the organization “is working against Israel from within,” adding, “We will not ignore it when an organization whose whole purpose is to defame IDF soldiers works in the international arena to seriously damage Israel’s image.”

In early May 2015 several soldiers and officers who served in a tank unit appeared on Israeli Channel 2.  The Algemeiner reported their contrasting comments disputing testimonies acquired by Breaking the Silence.  The soldiers spoke on Israel’s Channel 2 to give their side of the story to counter the testimonies compiled by Breaking the Silence.

One soldier called the report “a wicked story” and a “stab in the back.”

Another soldier, Lt. Oren (a pseudonym), was a platoon commander in the 7th Brigade during the previous Operation Cast Lead, which began in late 2008. The Breaking the Silence report claimed that one of the tank commanders in Oren’s platoon carried out a “revenge attack” by targeting civilian houses in Gaza.

Oren refuted the claim, saying “this nonsense about ‘fire on the house that you want for revenge’ is simply a total lie.”

He said “it is very hard for me to believe that one of ours said something like that, definitely not someone who was there.”

Oren, who was personally involved in the operation, told a different story.

He said that any “revenge” incident might have occurred after Armored Core Capt. Dmitri Levitas (26) was killed in battle, but that the Breaking the Silence testimony “simply is not true.”

He said despite the fact that he and his fellow soldiers were severely affected by the death of Levitas, “we maintained combat ethics.”

“While it’s true there was heavy [IDF] fire, this fire was directed at positions from which we were being fired upon, or suspicious locations,” he recalled.

IDF tanks only fired “in accordance with procedure, and after a very strict identification process,” he said.

Oren emphasized that despite “losing a great commander and friend … we still abided by shooting procedure.”

A decade ago I attended a presentation at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut by an IDF Sgt, a refusenik reservist. Anti-Israel and BDS leftist group Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP) sponsored the event at Wesleyan. The IDF reservist had served a term in a military jail for refusing to serve with his unit in the disputed territories during the Second Intifada.  The packed amphitheater lecture hall was filled with attentive students and some faculty listening to the reservist rationale about why he refused to serve because of alleged human rights problems occasioned by Israeli occupation.  When it came time for Q&A I raised my hand, was recognized by the moderator.  I asked the refuseniks IDF Sgt. if he knew anything about the group he was marching with at his next stop in San Francisco. He said, “no”.  I told both he and the audience that ANSWER, the sponsoring group was rabidly anti-Semitic.  I explained that the ADL considered A.N.S.W.E.R one of the leading anti-Israel and Anti-Semitic groups in the US.  A.N.S.W.E.R stands for Act Now to Stop War and Racism.  The ADL also considered  the JVP on the leading anti-Zionist groups in the U.S. The refusenik sheepishly smiled and scurried off in a clutch of admiring students and faculty for refreshments shepherded by his JVP minders.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

VIDEO: Analysis of the Hamas Mortar Attack on Kibbutz Nirim

In June of 2014 Kibbutz Nirim was hit by a multiple Hamas Mortar attack that killed 2 and seriously injured 4 others. Join Tom Trento and Roni Wexler as we tour Kibbutz Nirim. Adele Raemer a resident of Kibbutz Nirim will deconstruct what happened before, during, and after this deadly mortar attack by Hamas terrorists.

You will get a sense of what life is like living on an Israeli Kibbutz (community) less than 2 miles from the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip. You will also learn about the Hamas tunnels dug less than 1000 meters from the Kibbutz Nirim fence line.

One person was in serious condition, and three others suffered minor injuries, in the strike on the Eshkol region community. Fifty-five year-old Ze’ev Etzion, the security chief for the kibbutz, was killed on the spot as he worked to fix electricity lines damaged in an earlier mortar attack. Israel Radio reported that he was also a volunteer ambulance driver for Magen David Adom. Nirim resident Shahar Melamed, a 43-year-old father of 3, died on his way to the hospital. Medical care was given to the wounded as rockets and mortars fell around the kibbutz and Code Red sirens wailed.

The two Israelis killed Tuesday raised the civilian death toll in Israel in Operation Protective Edge, which entered its fiftieth day Tuesday, to six. Last week a four-year-old child was killed in an attack in the nearby Kibbutz Nahal Oz. In March of next year you will have the opportunity to join Tom Trento, Roni Wexler, and other notable counter terrorism subject matter experts exploring many places in Israel few tourists ever see.

For more information on this Israeli National Security Tour contact Tom Trento by email Tom@TheUnitedWest.org

Dissociated Press

Associated Press (AP), one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent news gathering, reported “Israeli house strikes killed mostly civilians.” It reported 247 airstrikes (bombings) in Gaza during the summer of 2014, killing 840. Of that number, 508 (60%) were civilians, 96 (11%) were terrorists, and 240 (29%) remained uncharacterized. The failure to seek identification of the “uncharacterized” reveals a scheme to re-engineer the outcome, and a flawed count can only lead to a flawed conclusion.

AP professes a commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism over the past 165 years. It employs the latest technology to collect and distribute news and photos, with a 24-hour update process, and has one of the largest collections of historical and contemporary imagery. Headquartered in New York, it operates in more than 180 locations worldwide, including every US statehouse, and has won 51 Pulitzer Prizes since the prize’s establishment in 1917.

Regrettably, the wire services, which include AP, Reuters, and similar sources of news for broadcast, print media, and on-line news, are responsible for the blatant lies peddled and truths compromised when the original story opposes the Arab Muslim narratives. A recent example was an international wire service report that accused Israel of releasing water to deliberately flood the Gaza Valley, destroying houses and causing hundreds of Gazans to flee. When caught in this lie, Daily Mail apologized and clarified that there are no dams in southern Israel, that the flooding was caused by unusually heavy rain and drainage issues. Al Jazeera retracted its statements and the photos of rushing waters. Similarly, Reuters had been found guilty of switching photos or cropping photo edges, such as when they excluded weapons held by activists aboard the Mavi Marmara during the Gaza flotilla raid. This is serious treachery.

We have now learned that the 240 “uncharacterized” males were indeed terrorists (ages 16-59), changing the total from 96 to 336 terrorists (40%), not an unusual ratio of women and children to terrorists, as these poor victims are customarily used as human shields, whether alongside the rocket sites or within the buildings. Hamas often secretes rockets and explosives in residential homes, which certainly contributes to the civilian casualty count. AP never reports Israel’s warnings to civilians to evacuate residential areas, never cites Israel’s casualties, and never reveals that the strikes are always retaliatory for wars begun by the Arabs.

AP has repeatedly sought to discredit Israel by accusing her armed forces of conducting disproportional warfare against Palestinians, when no war or sport has ever been fought for an equal outcome. From 2001 to July 2014, Palestinians have conducted a war of terror, resulting in psychological trauma (PTSD) to more than 50% of the children and depression and miscarriages to adults, and using more sophisticated rockets (some containing white phosphorous) to reach larger cities. AP did not propose that Israel conduct a comparable rocket attack into Gaza for the sake of proportionality, or suggest Israel bomb Palestinian school buses, or advocate that Israel dig an equivalent number of terror tunnels leading to Palestinian children’s schools and dormitories when Hamas’s were discovered.

In an attempt to further paint Israel as the aggressor, AP incorporates “evidence” to accuse Israel of intentionally targeting civilians. Hence, it presented the fatality figures of 844 against the backdrop of 247 air strikes, an equation of 3.4 people per bombing when, in fact, Israel actually made 20,000 air strikes, thereby achieving a .04 fatality figure per bombing. These percentages verify that AP’s reporters script deceptive, damaging information and that Israel does its utmost to avoid civilian casualties. Israel’s record is in fact, unparalleled.

AP also failed to provide comparative analyses, such as how these numbers match up to other wars and air strikes conducted in urban areas. Withheld information is as dishonest and harmful as erroneous information. In fact, investigative journalist Richard Behar’s studies of conflicts since World War II show that the norm of fatalities is 85 to 90 percent civilian. We might well be reminded of Germans’ killing 28,000 civilians in the London Blitz; Allies’ killing 25,000 civilians when they bombed Dresden and destroyed the Nazi industrial center; our killing 130,000 civilians with our nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, which brought about Japan’s unconditional surrender and peace.

The United Nations’ figures cited at least 1,483 Gazan Palestinian civilians killed, with an overall death toll of 2,205, the balance being militants, with the source of information being Hamas-controlled Gazan Health Ministry. AP actually did have access to figures from a trustworthy, private research institute in Israel, Meir Amit Intelligence and Information Center, but chose not to avail itself of them – although they do sort through their information if they can contribute to a war crimes accusation against Israel.

Oddly, throughout the world, Imams spew hate and incite to kill from their mosque podiums. Muslims murder Jews and Christians because of their religion or, as with Charlie Hebdo, because of cartoons against their prophet. Muslims (Hamas) fire deadly rockets for (Israeli) territory. Muslims (ISIS) chop off people’s heads and burn others alive, and just kidnapped 90 Christians. Muslims (Boko Haram) kidnapped young girls for sexual slavery and buried some alive. Muslims (Chechens) beheaded Russian soldiers and attacked, kidnapped and killed children and school staff. Muslims appear to have reached the percentage at which they are now capable of conquest of the Nordic countries, and the natives are committing cultural suicide without a fight. And we know of this through AP. Yet AP continues its deception as well as its unparalleled accusations not against Muslims, but against Israel primarily.

Not only has Associated Press become known for its sloppy, dishonest and unreliable reporting, but it has also been accused of biased reporting on the Middle East by its own journalists. Indictments included story-lines showing Arabs and Palestinians to be entirely blameless and Israel fully culpable; refusing to print a 2008 Israeli peace proposal when it would have verified Israel’s desire for peace; and killing a story that would have shown Israel appropriately.

It is time these wire services were rewired to overhaul their failed policies, and return to responsible, honest journalism.

Media Manipulation of the Jerusalem Synagogue Murders

In the wake of the horrific news of the slaughter at the Kehillat Yaakov synagogue in Jerusalem, we convened an on-air discussion on 1330WEBY in Pensacola. During the broadcast word came of the fifth death, an Israeli Druze Border Policeman. A sixth victim of their barbarous attack is reported to have fallen into a coma. This was as a result of the Islamikaze attack by two cousins from the Jabel Mukaber section of east Jerusalem, Odei Abed Abu Jamal, 22 and Ghassam Mohammed Abu Jamal, 32, equipped with guns, knives, and meat cleavers. They were members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine allegedly motivated by Jewish threats to the Haram al Sharaf/ Temple Mount. They were shot dead by the two Israeli police at the blood spattered horrific scene inside the synagogue in Har Nof that took the lives of four rabbis, three dual citizen Americans and a Briton. In the aftermath of this heinous attack, sweets and cookies were distributed in Gaza City while Palestinians there celebrated the grisly murders of the rabbis at Kehillat Yaakov synagogue in Jerusalem.

The ‘we” included  WEBY Your Turn host and general manager Mike Bates, this writer  and Rabbi Eric Tokajer of Brit Ahm Synagogue in Pensacola, host of WEBY program, “In the  Beginning.” This summer we did several programs to update the Gulf Coast listener audience of the threats to Israel during the 50 day IDF Operation Defensive Edge.  The rocket and terror tunnel war was launched by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the wake of the murders of three Jewish Yeshiva students by Hamas operatives masquerading as observant Jews.  They were killed while hitchhiking home near Hebron. That series of radio discussions culminated in the launch of a local Federation sponsored Stand for Israel rally in historic Seville square with hundreds of attendees.

Prior to the segment, Bates and I looked at two disquieting videos of President Obama’s remarks regarding the slaughter at Kehillat Yaakov synagogue.  One was produced by CNBC, while the other was the raw AP news video. Conspicuous by its absence in the former was President Obama’s morally equivalent lines in his statement, “Too many Israelis and too many Palestinians have died”.  Breitbart drew attention to Obama’s remarks in the raw AP video, Obama Responds to Jerusalem Synagogue Attack: ‘Too Many Palestinians Have Died’. However, as Rabbi  Tokajer observed during the opening moments of our discussion, CNN had an earlier breaking headline of the grisly synagogue attack, “Two Palestinians shot Dead by Israeli Police “. This while sweets and cookies were being handed out and Palestinians celebrated in Gaza.  I drew attention to the deep links between the Obama White House and major media illustrated by Deputy National Security Advisor and spokesperson, Ben Rhodes, whose brother David heads CBS News. As one aspect of that, I referred to the  editing of reportage by former CBS correspondent Sheryl Atkisson over the Benghazi episode that she chronicled in her  new book, Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.

Early on in the radio discussion, I drew attention to one of the victims of the synagogue slaughter, Rabbi Moshe Twersky, son of revered Chassidic Rabbi Isadore.  As a native of the Boston area I spoke of the esteem the Twersky rabbinic dynasty was held in, reflected in the naming of the new Harvard Judaic Studies Center after Rabbi Isadore, its founding director. Rabbi Jonathan Hausman of Ahavath Torah Congregation in Stoughton, Massachusetts commented in a Skype IM exchange, that “Moshe’s father was the Talner Rebbe. A giant.”  The Twerskys were an important Rabbinic dynasty that The Forward pointed out in an article melded both Chassidic and Modern Orthodox Judaism.  Rabbi Moshe Twersky’s grandfather on his mother’s side was Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, a renowned Jewish scholar who founded the Maimonides School from which Rabbi Twersky graduated.

During the segment we discussed the incitement and duplicity in the condemnation by PA President Abbas that was quickly seized upon by the President Obama and the mainstream media.  Abbas, as Bates pointed out was serving in the tenth year of an initial four year term as PA President, had stoked the violence in Jerusalem in the wake of an American born Palestinian youth murdered by three Israeli youths. Bates said that the Jewish perpetrators had been arraigned and doubtless will be prosecuted for their crime.

 Rabbi Tokajer commented that perhaps behind this current wave of violence lay a reality when he pointed out that “according to a recent survey by Near Eastern Consulting 75% of Palestinians do not accept Israel’s right to exist and reject a two state solution.” He noted that Administration had repeatedly accused PM Netanyahu of stoking the Palestinian violence through announcements of new housing construction in Jerusalem. To which Bates replied this criticism was unwarranted as there was a project that set aside nearly half the units for Arabs.

That was exemplified by the contretemps during the October 2014 Netanyahu visit with Obama in the Oval Office. over the announcement of 2,610 units in Givat HaMatos.  White House press spokesman Josh Earnest expressed deep concern with construction of “settlements” in “sensitive” areas of east Jerusalem. Further Earnest said , “This development will only draw condemnation from the international community, (and) distance Israel from even its closest allies”, a clear reference to the Administration. Israel PM Netanyahu at a New York press conference later the same day disputed the comment saying, “Arabs in Jerusalem purchase homes freely in the west of the city and nobody says that’s forbidden. I don’t intend to tell Jews that they can’t buy homes in East Jerusalem.” It was left to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat angered by the White House attack who issued this statement:

I say this firmly and clearly: building in Jerusalem is not poisonous and harmful – rather, it is essential, important and will continue with full force. I will not freeze construction for anyone in Israel’s capital. Discrimination based on religion, race or gender is illegal in the United States and in any other civilized country.

Our discussion then focused on Abbas and Jordan’s upset at Jewish claims that they are entitled to pray on the temple mount, which is also shared by Muslims as the fourth most revered Mosque in Islam. Turning to the religious conflict over the Temple Mount, Bates, who had his first visit to Israel in March 2014, referred to the sign that Jews were not permitted to pray on the Temple Mount, the Noble Sanctuary/Haram Al Sharaf as Muslims refer to it. He mused that the spot is revered by Jews as well as Christians as the Dome of the Rock is the mythic location of Abraham’s attempted sacrifice of Isaac, the Akeda in Hebrew, but had been aborted by Angels carrying instructions from Ha Shem.

We pointed out the contemporary conflict over Jewish rights to pray on the Temple Mount in the shooting of another American –born Israeli   victim of Palestinian violence, Rabbi Yehuda Glick, head of the Temple Mount Faithful that seeks civil rights for Jews to pray there. Glick was assaulted at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in late October 2014 and shot three times by a Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative, Mutaz Hijazi, who after fleeing the scene on a motorcycle was tracked down and killed by Israeli Border police.

The continuing denial of Jewish and Christian rights to pray on the Temple Mount under Israeli law can be traced to the key role that the legendary Moshe Dayan played in urging the Knesset to pass legislation ceding control over the Temple Mount to the Waqf or trust appointed by the King of Jordan, hence the role played by King Abdullah in the current contretemps. Meanwhile the Muslim appointees have done everything possible to destroy the heritage of Jewish presence by excavating under the Haram al Sharaf/Temple Mount.

Rabbi Tokajer brought up the issue that the myopic delusion of a peace settlement between Israel and the PA based on the 1949 Armistice Line.  He said that there is no reason for a division of unified Jerusalem given that a Palestinian State already exists, Jordan.

We brought up the matter of the UAE’s designation of a host of terrorist groups that included, Al Qaeda, ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood and two of its US affiliates, the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim American Society (MAS). The question was brought up about both the UAE and Saudi Arabia having major financiers underwriting these terrorist groups.  Rabbi Tokajer pointed out that Arab society is based on loyalty to family, clan and tribe; hence, you could have subjects of Arab states  who would view their contributions to  these designated terrorist groups as  simply  Zakat  or Charity  in support of following the way of Allah, jihad. Bates asked how Saudi Arabia and the UAE could control that. I responded by saying  perhaps the US Treasury Undersecretary  for Finance and Terrorism might advise them, as  we apparently know  who are these financiers are.

When the question of what Israel might do, we referred to American –Israeli Vic Rosenthal suggestions in his blog, Abu Yehuda.  Rosenthal’s suggestions included the Knesset passing a Basic Law declaring Israel a Jewish State, Annexing Area C that includes Judea and Samaria, leaving Areas B and D on the West Bank as an autonomous entity with 98 % of the Palestinians in the West Bank. However that still left the matter of dealing with the ironic situation of disloyal Arab Muslim Members in Israel’s Knesset engaging in seditious acts seeking to foster the destruction of the Jewish State. Then there is the ISIS wannabe Israel Arab Muslim Sheik Real Salah of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement inciting violence against Jewish, Christian and Druze citizens seeking to declare a Caliphate to supplant Israel. The Knesset might adopt legal proceedings to be conducted to deprive citizenship and eject such individuals. That is, if the Israeli High Court doesn’t overturn it.

On the matter of what the new GOP controlled US Congress might do when the 114th session begins on January 3, 2015, we offered some suggestions. Congress might seriously   consider defunding the Palestinian Authority.  It might deny US funding for reconstruction of war torn Gaza. That might raise the question of depopulating Gaza, allowing voluntary transfer elsewhere in the region. Something that Egypt and other Members of the Arab League had heretofore barred.  Now Egypt has effectively created a buffer zone in the Rafah gap destroying housing and smuggling tunnels, isolating the residents of Gaza. Perhaps, if this fantasy occurred Gaza might serve as a safe haven for persecuted Middle East Christians.

Listen to the 1330 WEBY “Your Turn” discussion, Segment 1Segment 2, Segment 3 and Segment 4.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Understanding the real Gaza War in 5 Minutes

Colonel Richard Kemp, Britain’s former armed forces commander in Afghanistan, talks to Jerusalem University about the double standards in the treatment of Israel during the recent Gaza conflict.

Why Are Those Jews So Assertive?

The selectivity of the outrage against Israel would be nonsensical if it were really about human rights. But it’s not.

The recent war in Gaza spawned anti-Semitic riots across Europe, demonstrations in the United States, and the publication of malicious blood libels all over the world.  There were civilian casualties to be sure, but the numbers reported by Hamas were inflated and included many terrorists falsely identified as noncombatants. Though the loss of civilian life is regrettable, it occurred in Gaza because of Hamas’s strategy of using human shields and launching rockets from schools, hospitals, mosques and residential neighborhoods.

As usually happens when Israel defends herself, she was falsely accused of human rights abuses and war crimes.  Her detractors were mute, however, when Hamas deliberately targeted Israeli civilians and killed its own citizens. They were also silent as hundreds of thousands were being killed in Iraq and Syria, and have been restrained in their response to the wave of bloody jihad being waged across the Mideast by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (“ISIS”).

The selectivity of the outrage against Israel would be nonsensical if it were really about human rights. But it’s not. Israel is maligned instead for having the temerity to defend herself and, in a larger sense, the existential rights of Jews everywhere. Even in the twenty-first century, the world appears to prefer docile Jews who know their place over those who forcefully defend themselves, their values and their homeland.

The international community can accept suffering Jews, subservient Jews, assimilationist Jews, and dead Jews. What it cannot tolerate are confident Jews who protect themselves and their interests without compromise or apology.

It seems that many progressives feel the same way when they denounce Jewish assertiveness as chauvinistic and advocate dialogue with organizations and movements that seek to destroy Israel and her people. Regardless of whether such behavior arises from a ghetto mentality, Stockholm  syndrome, self-loathing or simple ignorance, Jews who reflexively criticize Israel but rationalize Islamist terror and rejectionism are complicit in enabling the anti-Semitism that is sweeping the globe.

Multiple surveys have documented rising anti-Semitism in Europe and the United States, and the data are consistent with law enforcement statistics showing increased violence against Jews and their property. Anti-Semitism is apparent among those who disparage Jewish nationalism, call for boycotts of Israel, and make false accusations of apartheid to delegitimize the Jewish State. It is also common in Arab-Muslim society, where it is taught in schools, heard in sermons, and disseminated in false claims of Israeli atrocities and Jewish conspiracy theories that are reported as fact in newspapers from Egypt to Saudi Arabia and all points in between.

Progressive apologists artificially distinguish between disparagement of Israel and hatred of Jews, but it is a distinction without a difference. The United Nations Human Rights Council spends much of its time accusing Israel of heinous crimes without a scintilla of proof, but ignores actual atrocities that routinely occur everywhere else in the Mideast.

The UNHRC expresses little if any concern regarding the harassment and murder of Copts and other Christians, the repression of women, and the persecution of religious and ethnic minorities in Arab or Muslim countries, and has not addressed the slaughter of hundreds of thousands in Syria and Iraq nearly as much as it has condemned Israel. Though it entertains bogus claims of Israeli war crimes in Gaza, it does not chastise Hamas for starting the conflict in the first place, or for using human shields, executing its own people, and calling for jihad and genocide.

Only Israel is singled out for opprobrium, although she is the only free and open democracy in the Mideast – one in which citizens live where they want, speak and worship freely, vote, and serve in government, regardless of religion or ethnicity. The UNHRC’s anti-Israel agenda can only be explained by institutional Jew-hatred, which is enabled by a parent body that tolerates human rights violations by dictatorial and theocratic regimes and provides a bully pulpit for global anti-Semitism. A cynical observer might suspect the U.N. of actively promoting Jew-hatred based on the disproportionate number of resolutions against Israel for imagined offenses as compared to the organization’s silence regarding real crimes committed by countries that engage in ethnic cleansing and seek Israel’s destruction. The hypocrisy reached a crescendo when Israel was unfairly blamed for acting “disproportionately” in a war that was instigated by Hamas.

Hamas violated international law by using human shields, shooting rockets from residential areas and institutions, and targeting civilian populations.  In contrast, Israel went to unprecedented lengths to minimize the risk to civilians. The IDF gave advanced warnings to Gaza residents via mass leaflets, texts, emails, and mechanized phone calls.  Israel’s conduct was a far cry from that of coalition allies in Afghanistan, where carpet bombing killed or injured many noncombatants. Or of Great Britain, whose bombing of Dresden during World War II inflicted heavy civilian casualties.

Despite the humanity shown by Israel in the face of unprovoked aggression, and although Hamas started the war by firing rockets at Israeli civilians, supporters of Hamas and the Palestinians violently protested and attacked Jews wherever they were found.  After the war began, Jewish men and women were beaten in France, England and Sweden; synagogues and Jewish institutions were attacked and vandalized across Europe; and Great Britain saw an astronomical increase in anti-Jewish agitation.

Moreover, protest rhetoric from Europe, the Mideast and the liberal entertainment industry was anti-Semitic in both tone and content. Although some vacuous celebrities who condemned Israel are now scurrying to deny they are anti-Semitic, the implication of nefarious stereotypes and blood lust imagery betrays the hollowness of their denials. Or their ignorance.

Apologists for Hamas continue to promote the fallacy that demonstrations against Jewish targets are understandable responses to supposed Israeli aggression. But how do violent assaults against Jews constitute political statements?  How could attempts by Muslim mobs to force their way into synagogues in France and Switzerland be considered acceptable forms of protest? And how do cries of “death to the Jews” by hostile protestors or the publication of blood libels by Arab and left-wing media outlets constitute legitimate commentary?

Such acts are acceptable only if the target group is deemed deserving of abuse, and this has certainly been the case for Jews during their long years of exile in Europe and the Arab world.  The Nazis may have mastered the art of genocide, but they did not create anti-Semitism. European hostility to the Jews was constant after the rise of Constantine, manifesting in massacres, canonical abuses, ghetto confinement, bloody crusades, pogroms, social isolation and economic exclusion.

Notwithstanding lip service paid to Jewish suffering after the Holocaust, an undercurrent of hatred persisted that continued to portray Jews as aliens even though many had lived on the continent longer than some of the peoples who came to be known as Europeans. There were pogroms in Poland after the Nazis were defeated and merciless persecution by the Soviets until the end of the Cold War.

Despite the myth of tolerance for “People of the Book,” Jews in Islamic lands have been subjugated, abused, confined and segregated, forcibly converted and massacred, and have seen their synagogues desecrated and property confiscated over the centuries. As a conquered people dispossessed of their birthright, moreover, they were treated derisively and denied the right to sovereignty in their homeland.  A review of Maimonides’ Iggeret Teman (“Letter to the Jews of Yemen”), written in the twelfth century, shows how brutally Jews were treated during the Golden Age of Islam.

As hostile as Europeans have been to Jews historically, many of the recent anti-Semitic incidents in France, England and elsewhere have been linked to the Middle Eastern immigrant communities in those countries, often with approval and support from the radical left. Interestingly, the anti-immigration right-wing parties in Europe – particularly in France – have been more tolerant of Jews, who live by the law of the land, than of immigrants who believe in Sharia and seek to impose it on others.

Though anti-Semitism was never eradicated, its proliferation today is enabled by a mainstream media that demonizes Israel and fails to report war crimes and abuses committed by Hamas and other Islamist groups.  The media employs moral equivalency to present terrorism as an understandable consequence of alleged Israeli crimes and western interventionism.  The massacres of civilians in Syria and Iraq are reported, but not with the same urgency used to slander Israel and impugn her legitimacy. And until the beheading of American journalist James Foley, there was scant acknowledgment of the threat posed by ISIS in the Mideast and beyond. The mainstream press accepted President Obama’s dismissive characterization of ISIS as junior varsity last January, and until recently depicted those who warned of the threat and demanded a strategy for confronting it as alarmists.

Whereas the President certainly had incentive to misstate the nature of the ISIS menace because it undercut his assurances that global terrorism was on the wane, the media was obligated as the watchdog of government to parse and refute such statements. But it failed miserably to do so, which was not surprising given the lack of objectivity with which it covers the Obama administration and events in the Mideast in general. The media shows its partisan stripes whenever it misreports Israeli defensive actions as aggressive, or refuses to retract stories of Israeli attacks on civilian targets later shown to have been bombed by Hamas, or turns a blind eye to Hamas war crimes, or accepts inflated Palestinian casualty statistics without verification.

The media legitimizes Hamas by failing to characterize its actions honestly, and strengthens a cultural mindset that considers attacks on Jews to be understandable reactions to the Arab-Israeli conflict.  There is a presumption that Israel is always at fault – regardless of who fires the first shot – and a tendency to sensationalize alleged Israeli transgressions without vetting sources or checking facts.

Mainstream outlets often repeat dubious claims as fact, such as whenTime Magazine recently ran a video report claiming, among other things, that the IDF was harvesting the internal organs of dead Arabs. The offending allegation was retracted and deleted last month after Honest Reporting exposed it, complaining that it constituted a blood libel.

The banalization of anti-Semitism is also facilitated by those who promote BDS efforts, support Hamas and Hezbollah as legitimate political parties, and express hatred for Israel using traditional anti-Jewish buzzwords. The situation is exacerbated by Jews on the left who defend anti-Semitic progressives by artificially distinguishing them as political anti-Zionists.  Such distinctions are disingenuous, however, as both terms reflect the same hatred. To say that the Jews – unlike any other people on earth – have no indigenous right to sovereignty in their homeland is to treat them differently and deny their history. This is surely anti-Semitic.

Unfortunately, the tendency to excuse or ignore anti-Semitism is not limited to the hard left, but can be found among mainstream liberals who validate Palestinian claims that repudiate Jewish history, advocate dialogue with groups that have extremist ties, and continue to vouch for an administration that has been more hostile than any other to the Jewish State. This tendency was already apparent back in 2008, when Jewish Democrats refused to question Mr. Obama’s long-standing associations with anti-Semites and Israel-bashers, and belittled the concern of those Jews who did.

It is also apparent in the reluctance of some to acknowledge the possible influence of anti-Semitism in crimes committed against Jews.  This may have been the case with the murder of Rabbi Joseph Raksin, who was shot and killed while walking to Shabbat services last month in Miami, Florida.  Some were hesitant to suggest the murder was a hate crime, and the police were quick to deny any evidence of bias.  However, the investigation is still open and no arrests have been made. It would thus seem peculiar to discount potential motives before all the facts are in, particularly when the synagogue to which Rabbi Raksin was walking had recently been defaced with anti-Jewish graffiti, other acts of targeted vandalism had been reported around that time, and a pro-Hamas rally had been held in the community a few weeks earlier.

If anti-Semitism in fact plays a role in such incidents, the reluctance to assess and identify it will not eliminate the problem. To the contrary, history suggests that timidity only invites further abuse, compromises the Jews’ standing in society, and paves the way for exclusion, dehumanization and genocide.  Jewish survival has never been assured by avoiding confrontations or placating aggressors.

For the phrase “never again” to be more than an empty platitude, Jews need to confront their detractors, defend their values, and protect themselves without shame or embarrassment. Constructive audacity is as important for protecting the Diaspora community as it is for Israel. Lack of fortitude, however, could be disastrous for both.

How Israel’s Military Bureaucracy Bungled the Terror Tunnel Threat

Israel’s Operation Protective Edge is now in its ninth cease fire with Hamas. How long this five day truce will last is anyone’s guess. Each of the prior truces was breached by Hamas, and its terrorist partner, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, even before the ceasefire was scheduled to end. The eighth truce was broken on August 13th when rockets were fired fully 2 hours and nine minutes ahead the deadline. Then, just as hurriedly, a ninth truce was declared, this time supposedly for five days.  Hamas’ demands, aired during the discussions in Cairo, were aimed at eliminating the seven year blockade by Israel, and the more recent one by Egypt, under President El-Sisi.

Both blockades were created to eradicate the threats of subversion from Hamas, an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas has demanded a seaport and the re-opening of an international airport, the better to facilitate weapons deliveries, no doubt.  Israel’s counter offer was to increase Gaza fishing rights in the Mediterranean and the number of daily humanitarian truck deliveries of food, construction materials and medicine.

The latest break in the conflict, which is now verging on two months, has led to rising demands in Israel for a commission to investigate why the IDF hadn’t detected and mapped the network of cross-border terror tunnels from Gaza that posed such a great threat to Israel.  By enabling Hamas terrorists to move about unseen and emerge on the Israeli side of the border, equipped to kidnap both soldiers and civilians, Israel had much to lose by not treating the tunnels as credible and imminent threats.  The all-too-real experience during Operation Protective Edge was reminiscent of the five year long captivity of Galid Schalit, abducted in 2006 and held for five years until he was exchanged for 1,037 Palestinian prisoners.

Missteps  occurred during the October War of 1973 and the 34 day Second War with Lebanon in 2006. The Agranat  and Winograd Commissions were convened by Israel’s Knesset to investigate intelligence failures and military operational problems resulting in recommendations for corrective actions. What is apparent during the current Operation Protective Edge in Gaza is that bureaucratic bungling in Israel’s intelligence and planning echelons may have contributed to the IDF casualty toll in Gaza from attacks by Hamas commandos using the terror tunnels.

We have drawn attention to the terror tunnel threat in NER/Iconoclast  articles, <Qatar’s Cyberwarfare Support of Hamas in the War with Israel.  In these articles, we noted the lack of effort by the IDF to detect and map the intricate network of tunnels and underground armories. That was coupled with the discovery that Qatar had joined Iran in funding the Hamas resurgence, including the construction of the tunnels, and equipping Hamas with cyberwarfare capabilities.

Just this past Monday, August 11th, the Jerusalem Post reported this announcement:

Is this IDF announcement a matter of too little, too late?  Could a successful tunnel detection system have been developed earlier?

The Chronicle of IDF Tunnel Detection Missteps

Dr.  Ronen Bergman is the intelligence columnist at Israeli daily, Yediot Ahronoth (YA) (See our January 2013 NER interview with him on the Iran nuclear threat.)  He revealed the chronology of IDF military bureaucracy missteps in an August 6, 2014 YA Magazine article, “The Battle of the Gaza Tunnels”.  Bergman noted how early their investigation had zeroed in on the tunnel threat:

In July 2010, YA planned to publish a comprehensive investigative report warning of a serious military problem, of which only a handful of experts were aware at the time: Hamas’ terror tunnels.

[…]

The Defense Ministry and the IDF went to great efforts at the time to convince us that the tunnel threat was not so serious and that they were taking steps against the tunnels. Additional and even better measures, they said, would be used in no time.

We eventually decided that it was an important and fundamental issue, and published the investigative report.

Bergman observed:

The bottom line was that IDF posts and communities in the Gaza vicinity (as well as on the Lebanon border, facing Hezbollah) are exposed to terror attacks or abductions through tunnels. Further,  the defense establishment has no efficient measures against them. This despite the fact that the Defense Ministry had received proposals for tunnel-locating systems since the early 2000s.

Bergman noted this comment from IDF Col. Ilan Sabag, Engineering officer in the Southern Command:

The Southern Command is aware of the existence of Hamas infiltration tunnels reaching into our territory. As far as the Southern Command knows, these tunnels are meant to be used in due course to kidnap soldiers. The Southern Command estimates that Hamas will decide when to use the tunnels in light of considerations related to the Shalit deal, etc.

He added that the Southern Command lacked any efficient means to locate the tunnels (apart from intelligence), and that the measures deployed along the route surrounding the Gaza border were no longer in use, as they were unsuccessful.

Bergman chronicled the missteps and bungling by the IDF bureaucracy in tackling the tunnel threat.  As early as 2001, during the Second Intifada, the IDF knew that Hamas and the PIJ were bringing weapons into Gaza through smuggling tunnels. The development of tunnel detection began in earnest when Tzahal turned to the Geophysical Institute of Israel (GII) for assistance. The GII had designed a “seismic fence” composed of a network of geophones placed several meters underground to detect tunnel digging. The geophones were connected to a central computer to alert IDF intelligence of suspicious tunnel activity. These successful tests were conducted near the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza and reported to Tzahal.  Bergman contends that if Tzahal had pursued the development of the seismic fence proposed by the GII 13 years ago, then perhaps by 2014, they might have detected the network of Hamas tunnels, which could have enabled IDF military planners to prepare operational plans to enter and destroy them.

Bergman points out tha following a terrorist attack from tunnels in the Philadelphi corridor which Israel controlled along the Gaza Egypt frontier, the Ministry of National Infrastructure  (MNI) in 2004 wrote to Tzahal, reminding them:

“Following an initial inquiry, I am under the impression that there is the technological ability to deal with the problem, in the immediate timeframe, through active and passive means,” he said optimistically. “We are talking about available equipment which could be purchased and activated immediately”.

According to Bergman’s investigation, Tzahal basically told the MNI that they believed they were working on something better with two civilian contractors.

The IDF Ground Commander in 2004, Maj. Gen Yiftah Ron-Tal, undertook a WWII expedient.  According to Bergman, Aluf Ron-Tal sent aides to Texas to procurea machine called the Trencher capable of penetrating tunnels dug 25 meters below. Despite repeated efforts in 2005 and 2006, not much of a priority was given to development of alternatives by Tzahal to the original GII seismic fence proposal.

Bergman reports a conversation with a senior officer in Israel’s Ministry of Defense who indicated that a think tank effort on the tunnel threat had been convened. The think tank included the GII, and had been given funding to come up with viable options, following the 2010 YA investigative report.  Bergman cites a Tzahal source currently saying:

This field is relatively new and we do not have that kind of experience in it, nor is it clear in which direction we should be going or which direction will be successful. We turned to sources worldwide, and realized that no country has an effective solution to this issue.

To which Bergman counters:

Nonetheless, if you take into account the years of related activity since 2000, it’s been 14 years already. How much longer will it take?

Bergman and concerned Israelis got their answer with the Jerusalem Post report which suggested that a successful test indicated that a system could be implemented beginning in 2015.  Again, that system development is too little, too late for Operation Protective Edge. Israel’s well-known ability to develop leading edge technology in record time was ignored by the very people who would have benefited from it the most.

Is There a Hezbollah Tunnel Threat in Israel’s north as well?

Also on Monday, August 11th, the Jerusalem Post reported this statement:

The IDF does not know of any infiltration tunnels crossing from Lebanon into Israel, head of Northern Command, Major General Yair Golan, said Sunday.

Speaking to a forum of front line communities in Kfar Vradim in the North, Golan said that tunnels do not pose a strategic threat on the northern border, but that the IDF was prepared to handle the issue, despite being unable to confirm that any tunnels exist.

Notwithstanding Gen. Golan’s comments, we drew attention to intelligence as far back as 2010 that a significant tunnel threat to Israel existed under its northern frontier with Lebanon.  We noted:

he massive network of tunnels under Gaza mirrors the system of tunnels that criss-crosses southern Lebanon, which were built to avoid Israeli drone surveillance of Hezbollah’s movement of missiles across Lebanon from Syria. The IDF was warned about these Hezbollah tunnels as early as April 2010, and was also given information about cross-border tunnels that were being built at the time with assistance from the IRGC, using North Korean tunnel-building technology. Eye witness accounts reported the construction of a large tunnel that was being built to run from southern Lebanon to central Haifa, and a number of small bore tunnels that were being built, to emerge within northern Israeli towns and kibbutzim. These were designed for Hezbollah’s child warriors who would be sent heavily armed and would be instructed to fire on anyone they see once they emerge in these towns.

Corroboration of that came in an Israel National News (INN) article, “Expert Says Terror Tunnels a Threat in the Galilee.  The editors at INN suggest that “Hezbollah could be building Gaza-esque tunnels into Israel”.  Hezbollah, as we reported, was already deeply engaged in building their complex tunnel network. At the time the INN article appeared, their network was far along in its construction. When their tunnel to Haifa, originally designed to accommodate trucks, became unusable because its air-handling system could not cope with the exhaust fumes in the 25 mile run, the tunnel was retrofitted for trains rather than trucks. The massive underground network extended northeast to the Syrian border, and honeycombed throughout southern Lebanon. It  providing storage for large missiles, ammunition, and military vehicles, as well as covert routes for the transport of materiel and men.

At the time this report was received by Israeli military intelligence in 2010, the Hezbollah network was already well-developed and was an ongoing, complex project with the deep involvement of the IRGC. The threat at the time was already credible and, from all accounts, was being taken seriously. However, the development of the technology that could have detected the construction of a tunnel 100 feet underground was apparently not available.  Its development had not been put on a fast track, as it should have been.

Here are some of the observations of the Israeli expert:

Geologist Col. Yossi Langotsky (res.) for five years was a Commander of Operational Intelligence and won the Israel Security Prize twice. Despite his expertise, however, his warnings about terror tunnels were apparently ignored.

“For nine years I raised hell, and said [terrorists are] digging tunnels into Israeli territory, and the state security system is not organized with enough seriousness required to deal with the intensity of the threat,” he recounted. This operation, he noted, is the result.

[…]

“It’s amazing to me that, less than a year ago, the Army removed the guards posted near several Gaza belt communities,” referring to a controversial IDF decision earlier this year. “It indicates that they have not internalized the real danger.”

Langotsky then turned to the threat from Hezbollah on the Lebanon frontier based on the North Korean tunnels that crossed the DMZ into South Korea.

He noted the ability of Hezbollah to build tunnels threatening the Galilee:

Geologically, the ground in the Galilee is softer and easier to dig compared to the earth in the Koreas, and added that the close relationship between Hezbollah and North Korea is already well-known. North Korea has reportedly played an important role in helping Hamas dig its own tunnels from Gaza, as well as providing them with rockets.

Langotsky concluded:

But action must be taken now, he said, before the situation in Lebanon mirrors that in Gaza.

“The facts were known,” he said, regarding terror tunnels in the Gaza belt. “The system went to sleep for a few years and did not do what needed to be done.”

One wonders whether the warnings about the vulnerability on Israel’s northern frontier might have prodded Tzahal to correct its threat reduction priorities on several fronts; tunnel detection, mapping and strategies for destroying those in existence  and those yet to come, under both frontiers. Four years later, we wonder why it didn’t.

Israel’s military faces sobering facts about weaknesses in its defense plans that must be overcome so it can faithfully protect its citizens. Langotsky told us that he had warned current IDF Chief of Staff General Benny Gantz about the threats. But sadly, something fell into the bureaucratic cracks, ignored or overlooked by the decision-makers of Tzahal in Tel Aviv.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of an IDF soldier in Gaza tunnel during Protective Edge.  Source:  AP Photo.

The Guardian of the Guilty

Despite England’s experiences during World War II and her current informal “occupation” by her own brand of deadly Islamists, The Guardian’s views are neither civilized nor rational. In his column, Gaza: this shameful injustice will only end if the cost of it rises, Seurnas Milne has a willful misinterpretation of the events in the Middle East.  His column is laden with stark hatred and lies, and he clearly champions a policy that supports the Hamas Covenant, a Charter that calls for the eventual creation of the 58th Islamic state in “Palestine,” and the obliteration or dissolution of the only homeland for the Jewish people – as well as the annihilation of the Jewish people worldwide.

The Guardian is often factually inaccurate, as its writers insist on their own type of equity for what amounts to a verbal pogrom against the Jewish state – but not against tyrannical regimes.  However, even ISNA (Islamic Society of North America), Syrian American Medical Society, Syrian Relief and Development, Muslim Public Affairs Council and Islamic Relief USA recently condemned Syria’s chemical weapons attack of her people (including women and children).  When it was revealed that at least 108 people, including 49 children under age 10, were slaughtered in the 15-month Houla massacre, it was explained as acceptable that tyrants kill children to intimidate the opposition!

There was no demand for equal justice when Mahmoud Abbas’s terrorists slaughtered the 11 Israeli athletes in 1972 Munich, and no demand for vengeance for the beheading of Jewish-American journalist, Daniel Pearl. They expressed no shock at the injustice of Israel’s exchange of 1027 terrorist prisoners for the life of one kidnapped Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, or when terrorists slaughtered the Fogel family or the three Israel teenagers. They maintained their silence throughout the firing of thousands of rockets into Israel from Gaza, never demanding balance with an equal number of rockets from Israel to Gaza.

To define this further, Israel follows the rules of war and targets military combatants (after warning Palestinian citizens to escape Israel’s retaliation), whereas Hamas intentionally targets civilians, deliberately focusing on children, thereby breaking two rules of war – killing their own and Israel’s children.  The media cry that there weren’t enough Jewish children killed to match the number of Muslim children, and they want to blame only Israel for the death of Muslim children even when Hamas is entirely responsible.  All the wars were begun with Islamic attacks and, by international law, Israel has every right to defend herself – her boundaries and her citizens.

The media offer little coverage when the Islamic culture encourages children to detonate themselves among Israelis, and when parents celebrate the occasions with candy, enjoying Hamas’s gifts, and naming town squares after their expendable offspring.  And although sharia law denounces music and dance, it appears to be acceptable to revel in the streets for their martyred sons and daughters.

The hostile Guardian and similar news sources raise their voices only for the number of Palestinian children killed, although the BBC has been awakened to new evidence that numbers received from Gaza are quite skewed.  Israel provides shelters for their children; Gazans provide shelter for their rockets, and endanger children for an increased body count for public sympathy. And while Israel’s hypocritical enemies, including Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, call Hamas a humanitarian organization, the West continues its funding for inhumane reasons – such as for the extensive system of tunnels dug for access to Israeli children’s schools and kibbutzim for an impending hands-on carnage.

Land acquisition is a major priority for the Islamic agenda, and the Qur’an allows deception, lies, and human sacrifice for the cause.  Islam also relies on the humanity and basic decency of Judeo-Christian people and nations to disbelieve what we find unfathomable.  Jihad exists in many ways, from Israel to Africa, Scandinavia, Spain, Germany, China, America and England. Few journalists are fit to report accurately or are willing to accept the truth for themselves.  None of these host countries, including Israel, is an “occupier,” yet each is an invaded land, and we should be defending our homeland NOW, or be prepared to relinquish our identity and culture to Islamic oppression.

As in the greater Middle East, where previous peoples have been annihilated or Islamized, they could not adequately defend themselves and were conquered by Islam.  Israel can, will, and has every right to do so under international law.

Jihad training begins with treating children as chattel and indoctrinating them at an early age to hate the kaffir (the “rejecter” of Allah). Pedophilia, demoralizing and frightening to the children, is legalized, and “thighing” infants to raping young children” will continue in the Muslim world as long as “Allah” encourages men to be owners instead of husbands and fathers. Sodomizing a baby is halal (permitted under Sharia law).

Pre-adolescent marriage is codified in Qur’an 65:4, and women are held hostage under law, subject to severe punishment, and it is under these circumstances that children are raised to be fearful and subservient to their master. Polygamy also affects children, immersing them in a self-pitying, resentful, victim mentality.  If the reader would like to delve further into this depraved culture, please read Nonie Darwish’s Cruel and Usual Punishment.

The primarily unschooled, illiterate majority, who foresee no self-fulfillment or escape, become hair-trigger-angry young men who hate their lot in life, are brainwashed and compelled to do as bidden, and prepared to die for the cause.  In so doing, they see a way out – an escape to tranquility and the promise of sexual pleasures in Paradise.

These are but a few of the reasons that create an unfeeling underclass of warriors who have no sympathy for children, but will use them for their purpose. Keeping children near explosives and bombs will ultimately lead to an increased body count, just as using child labor for tunnel excavation resulted in the loss of more than 160.  Not only are women and children placed on rooftops of targeted buildings (those from which rockets are fired into Israel) and used as human shields, but a recent video showed jihadists hanging small, terrified, crying boys from a targeted building’s fence. And if these children do survive their childhood, they will become the next generation of damaged, robotic killers who feel no compassion and are inured to pain and bloodshed.

This is a horrific example of child abuse to which the media turn a blind eye, and the U.N. fails to address. Rather, the immoral go out of their way to blame the Israel Defense Forces for harming women and children who are forced into such circumstances. The media fail us, just as the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) predicted.  Journalists like Milne, whether cowardly or deceptive, would become an acquiescent, obedient djimmi, a “useful idiot” that represents the Islamic-fascist mentality, willing to accept caliphate domination in the interest of hate or “peace.”

A recently discovered Hamas manual verifies its method of urban warfare.  “Introduction to the City War” extols the benefits of civilian deaths and admits that Israel tries to avoid them. This is not a Hamas war against ”occupiers,” but an Islamic war to annihilate the entire state of Israel, against which Israel must continue to defend until there is unconditional surrender.  It is also a reminder that this is WAR – a global war – against all who will not accept Islamic Sharia law.  And, if the media continue its stance against Israel, and continue to look away from Islam’s slaughter of Christians, they may well be designing a future for themselves under the very cruel and severe Sword of Allah, from which no conquered nation has ever recovered.

RELATED ARTICLE: Horror – Anglican Vicar of Baghdad: “Child I Baptized Cut in Half by ISIS”

Rabbi Shot Dead while Walking to Synagogue with family in North Miami

Yesterday, visiting 60 year old Brooklyn orthodox Rabbi Joseph Raksin was shot dead by two young assailants in full view of his son-in-law and grandsons while walking to Shabbat services at Bais Menachem synagogue in North Miami.  It is alleged by Miami Dade police that it may have been a botched robbery attempt.  The irony is that orthodox Jews carry no money on Shabbat. One of the assailants fled on a bicycle, while the other, on foot. Miami police are endeavoring to track down the alleged perpetrators.  Last week an Orthodox synagogue, in the same vicinity,  Torah V’Emunah,  was vandalized with red swastikas with the word “Hamas”.  After yesterday’s murder of Rabbi Raksin , that led a  Jewish community activist  to suggest  there may have been a connection to  the current Operation Protective Edge pitting  Israel  against renewed  rocketing by  terrorist groups Hamas  and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

miami synagogue hamas swastika

Swastika and Hams graffiti at North Miami-Dade Synagogue, Torah v’ emunah

The Miami Herald noted police and ADL comments about Rabbi Raksin’s murder as well as the shock of family and the Jewish community  in a report, “Two men sought in fatal shooting of Orthodox rabbi in Northeast Miami-Dade:

“At this time there is no indication of this being a hate crime,” said Miami-Dade police spokeswoman Elena Hernandez in a statement.

She said police are searching for two young male suspects, one of whom may have fled on a bicycle. The other may have run from the area on foot.

Late Saturday, Hava Holzhauer, the Anti-Defamation League Florida Regional Director, whose organization has been in close contact with Miami-Dade homicide investigators, said the crime “appears to be a robbery that went badly.”

“Currently no evidence has been brought to light that it was motivated by anti-Semitism,” said Holzhauer.

Said Holzhauer: “This is a terrible tragedy. While the motivation for this crime is still being investigated, nothing can justify the killing of an innocent man walking to his place of worship to pray on his holy day.”

Miami-Dade police have not commented on whether the shooting was connected to a robbery attempt on Raksin.

[…]

Late Saturday, members of Bais Menachem gathered outside the synagogue to talk to reporters about the shooting incident.

Raksin was walking ahead of his grandsons and son-in-law when he was shot, said Rabbi Moshe Druin.

“We are in utter shock,” Druin said.

Druin said community members ruled out a possibility of robbery because Orthodox Jewish men do not carry any money or possessions on Saturdays, the community’s Sabbath day.

“There hasn’t been a robbery on Sabbath for the past 35 years,” Druin said.

“It definitely is an anomaly,” Perutz Pinhas, another community member said of the shooting

However, note the comments by a Jewish community activist placing Rabbi Raksin’s murder in the context of local vandalism:

Another local Jewish community leader, Brian Siegal, director of the American Jewish Committee’s Miami and Broward Regional Office, said he believes Raksin’s shooting may be connected to the recent act of vandalism at the nearby Torah V’Emunah, an Orthodox synagogue, 1000 N.E. 174th St.

On July 28, police reported that swastikas were spray-painted on the front pillars of a Northeast Miami-Dade synagogue, which has left the local Jewish community on edge, especially amid the heightened tension between Israel and Palestinians over the conflict in Gaza.

Said Siegal: “Our deepest condolences to the [Raksin] family for this tragic loss. We are confident the police will take the matter seriously and will give them time to investigate. Coming so soon and so close to the synagogue that was vandalized last week with swastikas and pro-Hamas graffiti, obviously we’re suspicious that it’s linked, but that remains to be seen.”

If the two assailants are apprehended and interrogated, we may find out what the motivation was for the shooting death of Rabbi Raksin.  Given the attire of observant Orthodox Jewish men, it would be hard to mistake them.

Rabbi Raksin’s death comes on a weekend when Stand for Israel rallies are taking place in the Southeast on Sunday August 10th in Northern Alabama, Pensacola in Northwest Florida and on Monday, August 11th in Orlando, raising heightened security concerns.  We add our deepest rachmonis (compassion in Hebrew) to the extended family of the late Rabbi Raksin z”l.

RELATED ARTICLE: Miami Jewish community offers $50K for info on rabbi killing

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the New English Review. The featured photo is of members of Bais Menachem Synagogue. North Miami-Dade, August 9, 2014. Source:  Miami-Herald.

Mapping Hamas’s Lethal New Rockets [VIDEO]

Nothing explains the situation the Israeli government faces than an understanding the geography of the area. Mark Langfan does important work showing how an ever greater portion of Israel’s population is now under attack by Hamas using larger, more power, extended range rockets provided by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

This video explains is simple terms why destroying Hamas is so critical to the national security of the Israeli people and necessary to protect the free world from the existential threats from the Islamic State (IS).

RELATED ARTICLE: It is Completely Moral to Fight a Justified War

EDITORS NOTE:

This video is courtesy of CBN News TV Erick Stakelbeck’s The Watchman. To view some of the graphics used in this video go to: http://marklangfan.com/gazagraphics.html. For additional supporting materials visit www.marklangfan.com. To view all of Mark Langfan’s videos go here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvhu2GC49GCkgMO1im_zxpA. The featured image is of long-range M-302 rockets supplied from Iran and meant for insurgent fighters on the Gaza Strip. REUTERS/Amir Cohen.

Israel’s “Long War”

Tom Jocelyn, the American counter terrorism expert and Senior Fellow at the Washington, DC-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies is the editor of The Long War Journal. It is a chronicle of the global Islamic jihad in the 21st Century, now in its 13th year. The global jihad was sparked by what the US State Department has taken to calling “core Al Qaeda”, most dramatically with 9/11. Subsequently it has metatisized driven by the Salafist doctrine seeking to replicate the great barbarism of the first jihad that burst out of the Arabian peninsula 14 Centuries ago. In many instances it has been a long war against indigenous populations, both Muslim and not. In the later case, it has witnessed the self-declared Caliphate of the Islamic State, formerly ISIS, confronting non-Muslims with the choice to convert, be subjugated, leave or be killed. It is sacralized barbarity emboldened with arms and advanced military technology abandoned by fleeing armies. It is financed by extortion and billions in booty, money seized in conquered territories and oil resources.

Mideast Israel Palestinians

Israeli Merkava tank leaving Gaza staging area August 5, 2014. Source: The Guardian.

Virtually alone and surrounded by these Jihadist forces is the Jewish nation of Israel. Israel has conducted a long war of its own over the 21 years since the conclusion of the 1993 Oslo Accords with the Palestinian Authority. An agreement orchestrated by former President Clinton between Israeli Prime Minister, the late Yitzhak Rabin and the late Yassir Arafat, first President of the Palestinian Authority. Arafat went on to ignite the Second Intifada in September 2000 using the excuse that the late Israeli PM Ariel Sharon had made an unauthorized visit to the Temple Mount. That intifada saw thousands of Israeli causalities, both dead and wounded,  that morphed into a seemingly unending series of military Operations. It began with Operation Defensive Shield following the bloody Park Hotel Passover suicide bombing in March 2002 that killed many Holocaust survivors. It culminated in the siege of Arafat in the Mukata in 2004 in Ramallah. A brief hiatus following the demise of Arafat saw Israel build a security barrier in the disputed territories that virtually brought to a close the Second Intifada. The late PM Sharon left Likud to found a new coalition party, Kadima, on the strength of a letter in 2004 with former President Bush giving Israel permission to defend itself with US assurances.

That led Sharon in 2005 to order the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza of 9000 settlers and 10,000 IDF personnel under the misguided pretext that it would make Israel more secure. The Bush Administration was preoccupied in the Long War in both Iraq and Afghanistan. It sought to foist the myopic view that the Islamist world could be transformed into budding western style democracies. This despite the rise of anti-democratic Muslim Brotherhood elements in Gaza, Egypt and other adjacent Muslim countries. They had been kept in check by autocracies supplied with both US and Russian military assistance and aid. Thus, the Bush Administration thought it had a willing peace partner in Arafat’s successor, the long serving PA President, Mahmoud Abbas. The Bush Administration prevailed upon Israel to relinquish its control over the strategic Philadelphi corridor along the Egyptian Gaza frontier installing Fatah bureaucrats. 2006 saw the one vote, one time election in Gaza of a Hamas dominated Palestinian Legislative Council. That  lead to the June 2007 ejection and literal defenestration of Fatah from Gaza, leaving Hamas virtually in control. Israel was forced to engage in a series of air assaults that resulted in assassinations of Hamas leaders, co-founder Sheik Yassin and Dr. Rantisi. Hamas took over the Rafah border with Egypt through which arms, rockets and missiles were infiltrated along with huge infusions of cash from foreign Muslim charities and backers, Iran and Qatar.

In 2006 Israel was embroiled in the Second Lebanon War with Iran proxy Hezbollah supplied by the former with thousands of rockets. That conflict was triggered by a kidnapping of two IDF soldiers followed by massive  Hezbollah artillery rocket barrages. The 34 day War with Hezbollah saw more than 4,000 rockets rain on Israel setting a pattern that was copied by Hamas in Gaza in 2009, 2012 and 2014. In that first clash with Hezbollah saw Israel’s population in the north sweltered in crude shelters or displaced to the central Mediterranean shore. It also sparked the development of technical countermeasures to protect the both Israel’s population and IDF defense. Those developments included the now recognized Iron Dome system of batteries equipped with Tamir anti-rocket missiles, and the less well known, Trophy system, used effectively in the most recent 2014 Operation protecting armored vehicles against anti-tank rockets and missiles. Just prior to the Second Lebanon War, a cross border raid by Hamas operatives kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, holding him hostage until released in an October 2011 exchange for 1,027 Palestinian terrorist prisoners held by Israel.

In June 2009, President Obama made a dramatic speech at Cairo University extending outreach, many believed that emboldened Islamist elements in the Muslim ummah. In December,2011 the self-immolation of a fruit vendor in Tunisia sparked the so-called Arab Spring that erupted in North Africa and the Middle East. Autocracies in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt were overturned. The latter witnessed the ousting of strongman Mubarak with rise of the Muslim Brotherhood that saw the election of one if its prominent leaders, Mohammed Morsi as its President in June 2012. Morsi was backed by a National Assembly  composed of dominate Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist parties. They sought to impose Sharia law on women, secular elements and the country’s ancient minority Coptic Christian community. Virtually, a year later, Morsi and thousands of Muslim Brotherhood leaders were ousted, jailed and killed during a coup by his Defense Minister Gen.Abdel- Fattah El-Sisi. He was engaged in a counter terrorism campaign against Hamas linked Salafist terror groups in the Sinai.

The overthrow of the Libyan strongman Qadaffi, with aid from the US and NATO, spawned chaos with warring tribal and jihadist militias. That culminating in the Benghazi attack that killed the US Ambassador and three other Americans, a communications aide, and two CIA-contractors on 9/11/2012.

Meanwhile, Israel was concerned about security on its southern border with Egypt in the Sinai. Following cross border attacks near the Red Sea resort of Eilat it constructed a 200 mile security barrier seeking to prevent intrusion, only to be left exposed to rocket attacks. On Israel’s north eastern Golan frontier a raging civil war in Syria, now well into its third year, saw the Assad regime forces ranging across the Golan frontier fighting opposition rebel groups. These included al Qaeda affiliates the Al Nusrah front and the extremist Salafist spinoff, the Islamic State, formerly ISIS.

The latest IDF Operation Protective Edge that began on July 8th with barrages from Gaza from both homemade and Iranian supplied long range rockets covered fourth fifths of Israel. It was triggered by a botched kidnapping by Hamas operatives and that resulted in the murder of three Jewish yeshiva students, whose remains were discovered on June 30th. The Palestinian Authority in late April had announced a unity government with Hamas that scuppered any chances of a possible final stage agreement sought by US Secretary of State Kerry. Hamas is a foreign terrorist group so designated by the US, Canada and the EU. Its 1988 Charter, had sought not only the destruction of Israel but the killing of Jews globally. Israeli PM Netanyahu and his coalition cabinet had no choice but to call up what ultimately would be a massed IDF force of 80,000 elite brigades and reservists to conduct the ground phase of Operation Protective Edge. That culminated in the launch of ground operations in Gaza that ended with the seventh truce on August 5th that is holding for the moment. That truce occurred ironically on the Jewish Fast Day of Tish B’Av commemorating historic catastrophes that have befallen the Jewish people over the millennia.

Jocelyn’s FDD Long War Journal had this entry:

Israel

Israel accepted a Gaza ceasefire plan that will start with a preliminary 72-hour truce beginning tomorrow morning. Israeli officials will work out further details of the ceasefire over the next few days in Egypt. As of Aug. 1, at least 2,909 rockets had been fired at Israel from Gaza and 66 Israelis had been killed. In the first fatal attack in Jerusalem in three years, a Palestinian construction worker drove an earthmover into a bus, flipping it over and killing one Israeli and wounding five more. PM Netanyahu’s spokesman said Israel’s military campaign to destroy the Gaza tunnels is coming to a close, but that the overall operation will not cease until Israel experiences an extended period of quiet and security.

Jonathan Spyer, of the GLORIA Centre in Herzliya, published an assessment of Israel’s Long War in a PJ Media article, “Netanyahu’s Long War Doctrine.”  In it he paid tribute to Netanyahu’s cautious, but resolute position, overwhelmingly supported by Israelis, to bring to a conclusion the Hamas genocidal threat to the Jewish nation. A threat backed and financed by Qatar, a wealthy gas-rich emirate, a supporter of Muslim Brotherhood and extremist Salafist al Qaeda spinoffs. Qatar and the terrorist Salafist groups it funded and gave sanctuary to, including Hamas leaders, are viewed by Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia as a dire threat to their regimes. That created a coalition of interest with Israel tacitly condoning the latter’s war against Hamas. The Administration in Washington and the UN were desperate to end hostilities seeking to engage MB supporting regimes in Turkey and Qatar to convince Hamas to stand down. Newly elected Egyptian President El-Sisi, who had ousted MB President Morsi and closed Gazan smuggling tunnels, had endeavored to broker several cease fires during the 28 day Operation Protective Edge. It became evident that Hamas had been seriously degraded, nearly three dozen terror tunnels neutralized, sustaining an estimated $5 billion in destruction of buildings and infrastructure in the 25 mile square area of Gaza. All while the world media falsely portrayed Israel as perpetrating mounting civilian casualties most graphically at UNWRA- run schools and refuge centers where over 180,000 Gaza residents had sought shelter. These schools were reported to have held rocket caches, that enabled Hamas rocketeers to launch barrages some of which misfired resulting  in civilian casualties. This barbaric strategy was confirmed in a captured combat manual of Hamas uncovered by the IDF in Gaza City.

As to Israeli PM Netanyahu’s conduct of Operation Protective Edge Spyer observed:

Netanyahu, in stark contrast to his image in Europe and to a lesser extent in North America, is deeply cautious when it comes to the use of military force.

Indeed, the record shows that Israel elected to begin a ground campaign on July 18th only when it became clear from its actions and its statements that Hamas was not interested in a return to the status quo.

Netanyahu’s caution derives, rather, from his perception that what Israel calls “wars” or “operations” are really only episodes in a long war in which the country is engaged against those who seek its destruction. In the present phase, these forces are gathered largely under the banner of radical Islam.

Spyer concludes his assessment of Netanyahu:

Netanyahu’s vision is a chilly one, though it is not ultimately pessimistic. It aims to provide firm, durable walls for the house that the Jews of Israel have constructed. Within those walls the energies of Israeli Jews will ensure success — provided that the walls can be kept secure, thus believes the Israeli prime minister. It is from the point of view of this broader strategic picture that the current actions of Israel need to be understood. Operation Protective Edge — like Cast Lead and Orchard and Lebanon 2006 and the others — is intended as a single action in a long and unfinished war.

The Tish B’Av truce concluding Operation Protective Edge saw IDF forces leave Gaza, remaining ready if the truce is broken to return, if recalled. The current truce may still hold, but, will not last, unless and until Gaza is demilitarized and its leadership dispatched.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the New English Review.

Geert Wilders: ‘‘Now is the time for The Netherlands to stand with Israel’’

Hamas unilaterally breached a three day cease fire this morning with barrages of rockets fired at Israel shortly before it expired at 8:00 a.m. Israel time.  IDF spokesperson, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said:

The renewed rocket attacks by terrorists at Israel are unacceptable, intolerable and shortsighted. Hamas’ bad decision to breach the ceasefire will be pursued by the IDF, we will continue to strike Hamas, its infrastructure, its operatives and restore security for the State of Israel.

Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) leader, Geert Wilders was interviewed by NU.nl.  He raised the importance of Dutch solidarity with Israel in the face of recent anti-Semitic incidents in pro-Hamas and pro-IS rallies in Amsterdam and the Hague.   Wilders criticized Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Frans Timmermans calling for an international investigation of Israel’s alleged “violence” in Gaza in interview. He also cited the “insanity” of Dutch government providing developmental funds to Hamas.

Here is Wilders’ exchange in the interview by NU.nl Politiek, “The Netherlands Must Stand with Israel”:

The end of the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel is near and the call for an independent international investigation into Israel’s behavior is getting harder.

Not if it depends on PVV leader Geert Wilders. “We must unconditionally support Israel in the battle,” he tells NU.nl.

International criticism of the war behavior of both Hamas and especially Israel increases every day. In the Netherlands the tensions between ethnic groups increase as well. Last Tuesday, Minister Frans Timmermans (Foreign Affairs) wrote in an op-ed article in NRC Handelsblad that he finds the violence in Gaza “unacceptable.” What did you think of this article?

“Incomprehensible. He says it is not a fight between Jews and Muslims. Well, it isn’t a fight between Christians and Hindus. This is exactly what it is all about, and what is going on in the region. At a moment when Israel is the only democracy in the region and a bastion of the free West, we must stand firmly behind Israel.”

“Incomprehensible. He says it is not a fight between Jews and Muslims. Well, it isn’t a fight between Christians and Hindus. This is exactly what it is all about, and what is going on in the region. At a moment when Israel is the only democracy in the region and a bastion of the free West, we must stand firmly behind Israel.”

Do you miss that attitude?

“Yes, I miss that in the Netherlands. It does not surprise me of the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Frans Timmermans) because I know that as a Labor politician his views are different than mine, but I find it incomprehensible that we do not show solidarity with Israel at this moment. I also find it incomprehensible that the minister does not point to the cause of the hatred of Jews, which exists within Hamas.”

Yet Minister Timmermans is also critical of the role of Hamas in the conflict. He condemns the storage of weapons in schools and hospitals, and the shelling of Israel. Timmermans also believes that Israel has a right to defend itself against this.

“This is not a time to be balanced. This is a time to choose. This is a moment that is not asking for balance, because balance is not necessary. Today we must defend a country that, as far as I know, does not aim to destroy any Arab country or people. The opposite is, however, true.”

“At such a moment you have to stand with the state of Israel and do not say ‘listen, this is not a conflict between Muslims and Jews’ and ‘the Israeli actions are disproportionate.’ Imagine that this would happen in the Netherlands, we would also hit back hard.”

But Timmermans also says in the op-ed piece and in the written consultation with Parliament last week that the government agrees that Israel has the right to defend itself?

“Yes, but in the meantime he criticizes Israel.”

Is he not allowed to question the proportionality of the Israeli use of violence?

“Sure he can. An investigation is also allowed. I would prefer he had not done it, but he is allowed to do it. However, I would have preferred it if he had demanded an investigation into the actions of Hamas. Everyone can read and see how Hamas is firing rockets from schools and hospitals.”

Still, an international independent investigation would be good to determine at least whether Israel has acted proportionately?

“No, this gives a wrong signal. What we forget is that the fight against Israel is a fight against everything that is not Islamic, a fight against freedom and democracy. If Israel falls, we are next. Timmermans should stand behind Israel.”

Unconditionally?

“Well, I do not say always and unconditionally, perhaps that is going a bit far. As far as I’m concerned, we stand unconditionally behind Israel in this fight, but of course not behind everything Israel does. That would be ridiculous.”

“This is not a territorial conflict, but an ideological conflict. Many people think that you can give land in exchange for peace. It is an illusion to think that if you give away a piece of land, you will get peace in return.”

“It is a mistake to believe in a two-state solution.”

You do not believe in a two-state solution as imposed by the UN?

“I do in the sense that the Palestinians already have a state, namely Jordan. Jordan is the Palestinian state. Hence, the two-state solution is already a reality.”

What do you think is the best approach to deal with Hamas?

“It is a waste of time to talk or negotiate with ISIL or Hamas. They are barbarians. Only the total destruction of this type of terrorist organizations is helpful.”

On Wednesday, Bram van Ojik, the leader of the Green Left Party, advocated a drastic change in the attitude of the Dutch government in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Van Ojik wants economic development of Gaza, the imposition of an arms embargo against Israel and political support for the Palestinian state.

“My view is the opposite of what the Green Left proposes. I find it insane that the Netherlands has given development money to Gaza. This is a reward for bad behavior. This money is being spent by Hamas.”

But Timmermans assures Parliament in the written consultation that no money has been given to Hamas. He mentions “strong verification procedures” to ensure that the money does not get into the hands of terrorist organizations.

“Ultimately, Hamas controls Gaza. So ultimately this money benefits Hamas.”

Is Timmermans lying when he informs Parliament in this way?

“This is a charade of the highest order. The money may not end up on the bank account of Gaza, but Hamas is the boss there. No-one can exclude that Hamas uses this money to build the tunnels. Even if this is not the case, the money goes to an area that is controlled by Hamas.”

The war in Gaza has led to reactions worldwide, and therefore also in the Netherlands. Anti-Semitic statements have been made during a number of Gaza demonstrations. Together with Jewish organizations, the Cabinet released a statement in which a firm position is taken against anti-Semitism and discrimination in the Netherlands. You have said that his statement was “worthless.”

“Indeed. It is worthless because Prime Minister Rutte and the Cabinet refuse to see the elephant in the room. It is an objective fact that all those anti-Semitic statements are made by people who adhere to Islam.”

“A statement, in which the cause of anti-Semitism is not mentioned, is without substance, makes no sense and is worthless.”

Most protesters are critical of the policies of the Israeli government. Are they also anti-Semitic?

“No. Of course you can be critical of every country. Let us be glad that in the Netherlands we have a right to demonstrate. However, bringing the Hitler salute and waving ISIL flags is something which should not be permitted.”

“We have to deal in a different way with organizations like ISIL that aim to destroy us. We have to hit them hard.”

In that same statement, the Cabinet writes that it will act hard against anti-Semitic and discriminatory statements made during demonstrations. Those who make such statements will have to deal with the public prosecutor and the judiciary. What else can the government do?

“I think that demonstrations by types like ISIL should not be allowed in the Netherlands.”

But the Cabinet says that it will act against this.

“They still allow it.”

We have seen, however, how the police acted appropriately in Amsterdam?

“Yes, fortunately in Amsterdam it was different than in The Hague for example. So it can be done.”

This morning, the newspaper The Telegraph published a full-page ad against anti-Semitism which was signed by many prominent Dutch people. You had been asked to sign the ad by Ms Voet of CIDI [a Dutch Jewish organization], but you did not find your name under the ad. Did this startle you?

“I find this incomprehensible. On Tuesday, I got a letter from Ms Voet. I responded within half an hour. Of course I was prepared to sign. Afterwards, I did not hear from her again.”

So you were surprised when you opened the paper this morning?

“Yes, I was looking for my name and I did not find it. I thought ‘what is this…’.”

According to Ms Voet you were removed from the list because you had called the joint statement of the Cabinet and the Jewish organizations “worthless.”

“She could have called me to explain the situation. By removing me because of my criticism, Esther Voet disqualifies herself as someone who fights anti-Semitism and defends the interests of the Jewish community in the Netherlands. It is as if she does not accept criticism. I regret this, because I would have liked to sign the statement against anti-Semitism.”

CIDI and the Central Jewish Board (CJO) distanced themselves from you and the PVV after your calls for fewer Moroccans and your flirting with European political parties with an anti-Semitic past. Does that bother you?

“They may pretend this, but here is the reason why this is not true: It is CIDI which asked me to sign the ad. I did not call to ask ‘May I join.’ If I respond positively to a request within half an hour, it is inappropriate to remove my name without explanation. Then they should not have asked me.”

What do you think of the fact that representatives of the Jewish community distance themselves from you?

“I have very many friends in the Jewish community. I know that I have the support of many of them. CIDI does not speak on behalf of all Jews in the Netherlands. CIDI is also not why I take my positions.”

“My mission is not about CIDI, but to preserve the Netherlands, where the Judeo-Christian, humanistic culture is currently being threatened by Islamization, as a free Western country.”

“Apparently Ms Voet does not want me to link Islam to anti-Semitism, but look at what Hamas is doing in Gaza, look at what ISIL does with Christians in Iraq. They all get their turn.”

“I do not understand that someone who claims to represent the interests of the Jewish community does not see this. If Islam takes over power here, the Jews will be the first to feel it.”

So you do not feel that you have lost the goodwill of the Jewish community in the Netherlands?

“In my opinion that is only a minor thing. On the contrary, there is still a very warm support, both in the Netherlands and internationally.”

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the New English Review.

Hamas Manual: How to use human shields against the IDF

Much has been made by Israeli PM Netanyahu of Hamas’ use of human shields as a means of exploiting the IDF rules of engagement.  CNN noted in a report on Gaza civilian deaths in Israel’s war with Hamas:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on CNN that it was difficult to measure the bloodshed of the conflict because “Hamas is using them, Palestinians, as human shields.”

“We develop anti-missile systems to protect, we use anti-missile systems to protect our civilians,” he said. “They use their civilians to protect their missiles. That’s the difference.”

The IDF said Monday it found a “Hamas combat manual” that IDF says proves the group uses its people as human shields. A CNN translation of the two pages posted by the IDF did not find specific statements that Hamas uses its own civilian population as human shields, but one section discusses the benefits for Hamas when civilian homes are destroyed. CNN could not confirm the authenticity of the manual, and neither the IDF nor Hamas could be reached for comment.

Hamas “Urban Warfare” Combat Manual Cover.

The IDF blog published its review of Hamas Combat Manual captured in the battle for Shuja’iya, “Captured Hamas Combat Manual Explains Benefits of Human Shields”.

The IDF blog post noted how the purported Hamas combat manual exploits IDF rules of engagement in urban warfare:

IDF forces in the Gaza Strip found a Hamas manual on “Urban Warfare,” which belonged to the Shuja’iya Brigade of Hamas’ military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades. The manual explains how the civilian population can be used against IDF forces and reveals that Hamas knows the IDF is committed to minimizing harm to civilians.

It further emphasized:

This Hamas urban warfare manual exposes two truths: (1) The terror group knows full well that the IDF will do what it can to limit civilian casualties. (2) The terror group exploits these efforts by using civilians as human shields against advancing IDF forces.

In a portion entitled “Limiting the Use of Weapons,” the manual explains that:

The soldiers and commanders (of the IDF) must limit their use of weapons and tactics that lead to the harm and unnecessary loss of people and [destruction of] civilian facilities. It is difficult for them to get the most use out of their firearms, especially of supporting fire [e.g. artillery].

hamas fortresses in neighborhoods

For a larger view click on the map.

Clearly Hamas knows the IDF will limit its use of weapons in order to avoid harming civilians, including refraining from using larger firepower to support for infantry.

The manual espouses basic urban warfare directed at using civilian population in concentrated areas to impede IDF advances:

 The manual goes on to explain that the “presence of civilians are pockets of resistance” that cause three major problems for advancing troops: Problems with opening fire; Problems in controlling the civilian population during operations and afterward;  and Assurance of supplying medical care to civilians who need it.

It also justified the destruction civilian houses arousing hatred of IDF forces:

It is clear that Hamas actually desires the destruction of homes and civilian infrastructure, knowing it will increase hatred for the IDF and support their fighters.

Destruction of civilian residences does something else. The rubble from the destroyed structures provides covered firing positions for defending Hamas fighters.  The IDF should reflect on classic examples of that the fierce fighting during WWII in Stalingrad, the Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising of April to May 1943, the Polish resistance in the Warsaw uprising of August –September 1944.

The IDF recognized that in this comment on the intense battle for Shuja’iya:

The IDF fought a major battle in the Gaza City neighborhood of Shuja’iya, which had been turned into a terrorist stronghold. The discovery of this manual suggests that the destruction in Shuja’iya was always part of Hamas’ plan.

A companion map by The IDF of the Shuja’iya district of Gaza City annotated command posts, tunnels, rocket firings and launching sites, tunnels and weapons caches,

Former British Army Col. Richard Kemp in his Gatestone Institute article analyzing civilian casualties observed:

By definition Israeli soldiers’ lives are placed at greater risk by restrictive rules of engagement intended to minimize civilian casualties. But commanders in the field must balance their concern for civilians with the preservation of their own men’s lives and fighting effectiveness.

These realities aside, all Palestinian civilian casualties in this conflict result ultimately from Gaza terrorists’ aggression against Israel, and Hamas’s use of human shields – the most important plank of Hamas’s war-fighting policy.

Storing and firing weapons within densely populated areas, compelling civilians to stay put when warned to leave, luring Israeli forces to attack and kill their own people, the Palestinian body count is vital to Hamas’s propaganda war that aims to bring international pressure on Israel and incite anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic hatred around the world.

This sickening exploitation of their own people’s suffering, and media’s complicity in it, is nowhere more cynically demonstrated than in the operating theaters of the Gaza Strip. Without the slightest regard for life-saving hygiene, or for the care, privacy or dignity of the wounded, Palestinian officials enthusiastically hustle camera crews in to the emergency room as desperate surgeons’ battle for a bleeding and broken child’s life.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

RELATED ARTICLE: Israel’s Magen David Adom Offers to Collect Blood for Gazans

Americans Max Steinberg and Sean Carmeli Among the IDF fallen in Gaza

This weekend the IDF released the names of 13 members of the elite Golani Brigade who fell while engaged in heavy fighting in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge.  While supporters of Israel grieve for all of the IDF fallen and  those that were downed in mortal combat against the Jihadis of Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza, two were dual Israeli-American citizens.

Max Steinberg and Sean Carmeli, z”l

Max Steinberg, 24, of Woodlands Hills, California was killed when the APC that he and several others were riding in was hit by an IED. The second was Sean Carmeli 21, who was born of Israeli parents and raised in South Padre Island, Texas before returning to spend his high school years in Ra’anana Israeli. Carmeli was killed like Steinberg during the intense fighting in Shejaiya, what Israel PM Netanyahu called a “terrorist bastion” laden with rocket launching sites.

We learned yesterday of the injuries sustained by another dual Israeli American Golani Brigade member Jordan Low of Pikesville, Maryland who was injured in a fire while clearing buildings in Gaza.  Like Steinberg and Carmeli, this young American –Israeli left for Israel after high school to enter military training with the IDF. He has been removed for treatment at a hospital in Tel Aviv and his family will be flying to Israel to visit him.

These young Israeli American Jews are indicative of the commitment of many young diaspora Jews who make aliyah to Israel to undergo training in elite and regular IDF combat units.

According to the Lone Soldier Center  in Memory of Michael Levin, more than 5,700 Jewish men and women of different nationalities volunteer for service in the IDF, Israel’s armed forces, who have no biological relatives in the Jewish state.  Two sons of my former rabbi at a synagogue in Fairfield, Connecticut volunteered to serve in elite combat units of the IDF.  During Operation Cast lead in 2009, we wrote about the experience of  Givati Brigade member Zachary Rowen –Taylor, another Californian ,  who, like fallen Golani Brigade member Steinberg,  was a Sgt. Commander and sniper.  Rowen-Taylor, we understand has been recalled to active duty  as a reservist to serve, once again, in Gaza.

Steinberg’s family in California was interviewed by the Jewish Journal, “A Fallen Soldier, found his purpose in Israel”.  His story is similar to that of these other soldiers who decide to make aliyah and become Israeli citizens.   Here are some excerpts from the Jewish Journal article:

Just over two years ago, two brothers and a sister – Max, Jake and Paige Steinberg – returned to Los Angeles from a whirlwind tour of Israel.

The trip, which was sponsored by Taglit-Birthright, impacted all three. But none more than Max, who was 22 at the time, and the trio’s oldest. Then a student at Pierce College, Steinberg wasn’t finding what he wanted in school and was unsure of his path. But he was sure of at least one thing—Israel was where he was meant to be.

So, only three months after returning to California in July 2012, Steinberg went back to Israel in September, but this time to become a soldier in the Golani infantry brigade of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), one of the IDF’s most decorated units.

And early Sunday morning, as he and his unit made their way down a Gaza City street in the neighborhood of Shejaiya, a Hamas stronghold, their armored personnel carrier (APC) struck what was likely an improvised explosive device (IED) or a mine. The explosion killed seven soldiers, including Steinberg. A source in Israel’s Los Angeles  consulate said that the attack occurred around 1:30 am,  Israel time .

As to what motivated Max to undergo rigorous Golani training:

At just five feet and three inches, he took on nicknames like “Mighty Max” and “Little Dynamo.”

Prospering in one of the IDF’s most elite units, his mother said, helped him “earn respect for himself.”

Additionally, added his father, he viewed military service as an obligation were he to ever make aliyah to Israel.

“If he ever ultimately decided this was going to be his new home, not serving was just not an option for him,” Stuart said. And if he was going to serve, he wanted to be a Golani infantryman. “Anything less than that would be not as meaningful for him.”

In Sean Carmeli’s case, his family had returned to Israel from South Padre, Texas. The Algemeiner reported the his circumstances in an article, “Small South Texan Jewish Community Mourns Death of IDF Sergeant Sean Carmeli, Killed in Gaza

The Jewish community of a south Texas beach town was in mourning on Sunday after it was informed that one of its sons was among the Israeli troops that fell in a bloody Gaza battle on Saturday night.

“The whole community feels like they lost their own son,” Rabbi Yonatan, the family’s rabbi told The Algemeiner on Sunday. “The family is completely devastated,” Rabbi Asher Hecht, another rabbi/friend said.

Sean was the youngest of three children, and with two older sisters, Gal and Or, was an only son.

The last time Sean’s father spoke to his son was on Wednesday when Sean shared that his army officer had quizzed him over an unrelated minor leg injury. Responding to the officer’s suggestion that he may not be fit for service, Sean had said, “Bruise or no bruise I am coming with you.”

“He was enthusiastic to go in and to fight for the Jewish people, and he gave his life for the Jewish people,” Rabbi Hecht said.

The rabbis said that the local Shoova Israel Synagogue on South Padre Island is dedicated and named in memory of Sean’s grandfather Nissim whom Sean was named after.

As to what you can do to support of IDF soldiers serving in the ground incursion in Gaza, you might consider contacting, the American Friends of LIBI that “provides for the educational, religious, medical and recreational needs of Israeli soldiers.”  Then there is the Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin. My colleague Lisa Benson, presently on a tour of South Carolina, called with information on the program of No More Jewish Victims of the One Israel Fund that is raising funds for support equipment for IDF soldiers and residents of Judea and Samaria. Also there is Pizza IDF that delivers pizza, ice cream and other food to front-line units.

1000 Pizzas were delivered to an IDF reserve unit on the Israel Gaza frontier with contributions from both Christians and Jews around the world. That was the result of an international campaign by a couple in the community of Eli in Judea and Samaria.

Most importantly, please offer misheberachs (prayers) for those brave IDF service personnel in Israel’s fight to defeat the Jihadis of Hamas backed by Iran, Qatar and Turkey. They are the defenders of the Jewish nation of Israel, America’s only reliable ally facing extremist Islam threatening the West.

Watch this You Tube Video with a Misheberach for Tzahal:

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the New English Review.