What did you do in the Summer?

We had a war. How about you?

Meantime, it’s the first of September, and time to go back to school.

schooltime

Yes, it’s front page news – that’s Israel HaYom‘s front page, anyway – that the kids are going back to school.

As the Times of Israel reports online:

Some 2 million Israeli school kids grabbed their backpacks and headed back to school Monday, as a fraught summer closed with a mostly calm return to studies.

Tragically, Daniel Tragerman will not be joining them.

The report continues:

The opening of the school year in the south of the country had been up in the air until just a week ago, when 50 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza ended in a ceasefire.

In the south and around the rest of the country, much of which also suffered rocket fire, the Education Ministry stressed that it would help students work through the effects of the summer’s military operation.

In the aftermath of the Israel-Hamas conflict, which raged for most of the summer vacation, the first several weeks of the school year were to be devoted to activities designed to help returning students process and deal with their experiences over the summer, the Education Ministry said on Sunday.

Also, due to issues relating to incitement and hate speech that became apparent over the summer, the first two weeks of the school year are to focus on “a discourse on solidarity, the importance of the State of Israel and its value,” Education Minister Shai Piron said ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting, which was held in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council as a show of solidarity with the south.

Read it all, here.

Quote of the day

And a rather poignant quote, indeed.

From Eshkol Regional Council head, Haim Yellin:

“Gaza’s disarmament continues — through the massive fire on the Eshkol Council that is emptying the arsenals of Hamas,” he says, mocking the government’s demands that Gaza be disarmed even as over a dozen rockets hit the Eshkol region this morning.

Or, as the Times of Israel puts it:

Gaza is disarming — by firing at us!

The TOI coverage continues:

“Since the start of the escalation [on July 8], more than 1,300 rockets have fallen in Eshkol,” Yellin says. “Operation Protective Edge has now ended and the war of attrition continues,” he adds, a reference to years of rocket fire from Gaza, including during times of ceasefire.

And its finish is worth pondering:

“The government of Israel should wake up, stop talking and start doing. Hamas’s leaders are in bunkers and you are in Jerusalem,” he adds, addressing cabinet ministers.

Yellin calls on the cabinet to hold its weekly meeting in a community on the Gaza border. “I’m sure the decisions that will be made [in such a meeting] will be correct, fast and connected to reality.”

I feel for the southern folk.

Knowing better than everyone else

One of my pet hates, are the (especially) liberal critics – often Jews – who line up to give Israel a kicking. With that in mind, let me quote from a piece by Jonathan Tobin in Commentary. His contribution deals with a New Yorker article by Connie Bruck that is firmly aimed at AIPAC, and claims that group’s influence is on the wane:

But Bruck’s main point in a piece where she tries hard to work in quotes from the organization’s critics is not so much as to try and make a weak case about it losing ground on Capitol Hill. Rather it is to claim that AIPAC is out of touch with liberal American Jews who are increasingly distancing themselves from the Jewish state and who view Israel’s center-right government with distaste.

This is the same argument put forward over and over again by people like author Peter Beinart, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, and was rehashed in the same newspaper on Sunday in another lengthy rant by British analyst Antony Lerman. They believe Israel’s refusal to make peace and insistence on occupation and rough treatment of the Palestinians disgusts most liberal Jews in the Diaspora, especially the youth that has grown up in an era in which the Jewish state is seen as a regional superpower rather than as the one small, besieged nation in the midst of Arab enemies determined to destroy it.

But the problem with this argument is that no matter how many times liberal critics of Israel tell us how disillusioned they are with the reality of a Jewish state at war, they invariably neglect, as did Lerman and Bruck, to discuss why it is that the overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews see things differently. The point is, no matter how unsatisfactory the status quo may seem to most Israelis, unlike their Diaspora critics, they have been paying attention to events in the Middle East during the last 20 years since the Oslo Accords ushered in an era of peace negotiations. They know that Israel has repeatedly offered the Palestinian Authority peace deals that would have given them an independent Palestinian state in virtually all of the West Bank, Gaza, and a share of Jerusalem and that it has been turned down flat every time.

A key point, not to be casually overlooked.

As is this observation about the state of American or diaspora Jewry:

It is true that American Jewry is changing in ways that may eventually cripple its ability to be a coherent force on behalf of Israel as well as its other vital interests. But, contrary to the liberal critics, that has little to do with the policies of Israeli governments and everything to do with statistics about assimilation and intermarriage that speak to a demographic collapse of non-Orthodox Jewry.

In other words, there may be a disconnect between Israel and some diaspora Jewry, but politics has little to do with that state of affairs.

Israel’s (so-called) liberal critics think they know better than anyone else. They know what is best for Israel more than the people of Israel. That’s an arrogance which is not backed up by facts, five star analysis, or blinding logic. So, they are in a bad way to start off with! Mostly their position is just backed up by rant after rant after rant. Tobin’s observation, at least in part, is that even the rants are wrong.

Read the whole thing, here.

Shooting themselves in the foot

To anyone who stops to think about the situation, it soon becomes pretty apparent that Hamas no more represents the interests of Palestinians, than it represents the interests of Alaskan fishermen.

From the Times of Israel:

Four Israelis were injured Sunday, two of them seriously, when a large rocket and mortar barrage hit the Erez crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

The victims were Israeli-Arab taxi drivers, who were at the crossing to pick up wounded Gazans and bring them into Israel for medical treatment. The wounded were evacuated to Ashkelon’s Barzilai hospital.

An outraged Israeli-Arab Erez crossing official, who spoke to Army Radio from a secured area at the crossing during a subsequent rocket attack, lambasted Hamas for not caring about the well-being of the Palestinians in Gaza.

“This is an organization that cares about the [Palestinian] people? They’re shooting at the Palestinian terminal,” said the staffer. He stressed that, despite the rocket barrages, the crossing had not closed for emergency medical cases, and that two Gaza females were evacuated “20 minutes ago” via the crossing for life-saving surgery in Israel, and that other taxi-drivers were on hand, “as always,” to transport emergency patients.

Read the whole thing, here.

In a way, it’s kind of funny. That indisputable act of terror against its own people might as well be invisible.

If you dare to visit the comments section of any of the western media, the odds are that in response to a comment or news article about the situation in Gaza, you will see posts that – truly – rant and rave about Israel. Israel is committing genocide, war crimes, massacres, ethnic cleansing, land theft, acts of terrorism, and so on and on. And if you post a rejoinder to these defamatory, nonsensical, and often illogical allegations, with a suggestion that maybe Hamas bears a smidgen of responsibility for the suffering of its people, all you get it is repeat allegations. So, it’s as if Hamas fighters don’t exist and neither do their actions.

Rocket fire? What rocket fire?

Attacks on their own people? What attacks?

Attacks on their own aid supplies? What attacks?

Attacks on their own wounded? What attacks.

It’s also as if the western media was Hamas’ best weapon. If you want to get to the bottom of the picture, look beyond the usual sources. See here and here for starters. And remember that it’s not you who is going crazy; it’s the big, bad world outside. We cannot satisfy that world, so let’s stop trying. Advice Israeli politicians would do well to take on board.

 

Will the West skip over this kangaroo court?

From today’s Times of Israel live blog coverage:

executions

Will Iran or Qatar threaten to cut off military supplies? Will the UN convene a General Assembly or a Security Council meeting to condemn the kangaroo court? Will UNHCR take note that this is not the first time it has happened, and appoint a single mission investigative commission?

Or will the craven West act as if this barbarism had never happened?

Not the toughest rhetorical question I have posed.

If you spot any condemnation or material criticism, do let me know.

Noise, nonsense, and common sense

Here’s what I recall seeing in the media about the Gaza negotiations and proposed terms:

  • The blockade was being lifted.
  • The fishing limit was being extended.
  • An airport was to be built.
  • A sea port was to be built.
  • Gaza was to be rebuilt.

And then came the breakdown, the rocket fire, and we are back on a war footing.

First, it seems as if a lot of the leaks about progress in negotiations were garbage. They did not make sense as it was difficult to see how Israel could give Hamas a meaningful reward for terror.

Second, it also seems that Bibi Netanyahu had a better handle on the situation – long term and short term – than many others. This piece in the Times of Israel says:

At some point, it might be worth internalizing what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been saying since the start of Operation Protective Edge six weeks ago: that Israel should be prepared for a long conflict.

Third, there’s no doubt the defamation of Israel by the international media – which has ceaselessly and uncritically promoted Hamas’ war porn propaganda – along with large, vocal demonstrations by Palestinians and their supporters, has had an effect. Western politicians like David Cameron and Barrack Obama behaved in a cowardly fashion. The UK’s especially craven surrender is reminiscent of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when Britain refused to send military supplies to Israel for fear of incurring an oil embargo. (France behaved likewise then.) This is likely to have two main consequences.

  1. Whatever arms manufacturing Israel has in the UK – mainly Israeli subsidiaries – will be wound up. Either the manufacturing will come to Israel, or perhaps the USA. It’s unlikely Israel will continue to put its weapons capability at risk of such interference again.
  2. Whatever actions Israel takes towards Gaza (or indeed, towards Iran) will depend on the extent to which Israel can roll back International condemnation and turn it into support. As David Horovitz says in that TOI piece: “But only if Hamas believes its survival is in danger, its capacity to live to fight Israel another day in doubt, will it call a long-term halt to the fire — the kind of halt that would constitute the attainment of Netanyahu’s sought-after sustained calm. And that would require a far more significant military operation than the Israeli government, mindful of the likely consequent losses, has been prepared to authorize. It would also require a more astute assessment of the conflict from the international community than we have seen to date, providing more dependable support for Israel.

In short, as matters stand, we are going to have to be patient. And we should ignore the noise and nonsense from those who suggest a material deviation from Bibi’s position. Indeed, Bibi’s position is the common sense one. As I have said before, whatever mistakes the man and the leader may have made, one of the reasons he is so vilified by Israel’s enemies is that he continues to succeed in keeping us largely safe and protected from the murderous intent of some of our neighbors.

Back to David Horovitz:

“Indeed, to the ongoing cost of Gazans and Israelis, it is not about to meekly defer to anybody. Hamas is not in the business of governing Gaza; it’s in the terrorism business, and terrorist groups are not easily deterred.”

I’m backing Bibi to create the deterrence.

Free pass

When is a cease fire, a real cease fire? That is a rhetorical question. In this topsy turvy world, it seems there is no such thing as a real cease fire. After all, in a real cease fire you cease, er, firing.

Unless you are a Palestinian terrorist group.

The current ‘cease fire’ was due to expire at midnight tonight. Rockets were fired from Gaza this afternoon.

Why?

  • Why couldn’t they wait till midnight?
  • Is their hate so great, they could not wait?
  • Are they too stupid to care?
  • What good could possibly come out of breaking the cease fire?

Here’s another question:

  • What condemnation has there been about the rocket firing – apart from Israeli sources?

I see none.

What condemnation would there have been had Israel – heaven forbid – broken the cease fire?

Why do Hamas get a free pass?

There is something rotten with the Western world when most of it cannot read the bleeding obvious signs in front of its eyes. We in Israel are dealing with an organization – Hamas – that is evil. Pure evil. It may be dressed up in a religious costume, and it may be presented as a liberation movement, but Hamas is nothing of the sort. It is a modern version of an ancient hate.

Peace, love, and hate

From the Times of Israel:

2014-08-18_08-29-36

First, do you think any of the ‘peace activists’ out there think there might be something slightly off about this guy’s approach?

Second, what are the prospects for peace when there is this apparent policy of non engagement on the so called pro Palestinian side? How does this help the case?

Third, why is it that there’s only pressure after pressure piled on Israel and its leadership to engage in talks when (a) it’s the Palestinian leadership that walked away; and (b) the Palestinian leadership promotes non engagement? Where is the pressure on them to get down to the business of sorting this mess out, instead of childish gestures, and non engagement?

Liar, liar, you’re on fire!

As we now know from a range of press reports, Simone Camilli and Ali Shehda Abu Afash (an AP video journalist and a freelance Palestinian translator) were killed in an ordnance explosion in Gaza today. They were, apparently, covering efforts by Gazan police engineers to neutralize an unexploded bomb in the northern own of Beit Lahiya. Gaza police said three police engineers were also killed. There were reports of several others injured.

What these people – bomb disposal crews excepted – were doing so close to an unexploded mission remains to be explained.

As does this (from Times of Israel):

hamasradio

The media gave Hamas a free pass.

Hamas lied and said there had been an Israeli missile strike.

Consequences of lying?

None.

So they will lie and lie and lie again. And the western media will ignore their lying.

We have seen this now, tonight, again. More missiles – despite the truce. And what did Hamas say?  They denied firing rockets. The lying bastards.

Ever so slightly, a clear case of double standards.

Schabas shoots himself down

[A follow up to this post.]

The Russell Tribunal is a combination of kangaroo court and theater:

Judge Richard Goldstone, writing in The New York Times in October 2011, said of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine that “It is not a ‘tribunal.’ The ‘evidence’ is going to be one-sided and the members of the ‘jury’ are critics whose harsh views of Israel are well known. In Israel, there is no apartheid. Nothing there comes close to the definition of apartheid under the 1998 Rome Statute.”

South African journalist and human rights activist Benjamin Pogrund, now living in Israel, described the Cape Town Session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine as “It’s theatre: the actors know their parts and the result is known before they start. Israel is to be dragged into the mud.”

You can read more about the infernal beast here.

The relevance is that, as Legal Insurrection points out, the UNHRC’s newly appointed head of their anti-Israel inquiry, William Schabas, appeared before that tribunal.

In his appearance there, Schabas said this:

I recognize the value of enriching the debate with the use of “sociocide” but I am very concerned as John Dugard has mentioned that this opens up the chance for our enemies to attack us by suggesting that we’re acknowledging or admitting that the existing law is inadequate to describe the horrors that are being committed, and I don’t want to do that.

The context is that some people at the Russell Tribunal were complaining that Israel could not be said to be breaking international law as it stands, so instead of stretching the existing law to condemn Israel, they wanted to develop new law…

Schabas said he did not want to do that.

Look at his choice of words: “…our enemies…”

Who else can he mean, but Zionists or Israel – since that was the only target of the Russell Tribunal?

As the Elder points out (where you can see a video of Schabas in action):

Here, when not reading his prepared statements, Schabas reveals his bias for all to see. Anyone who disagrees with the aims of the Russell Tribunal – which is, anyone who says that Israel has the right to exist – is considered “our enemies.”

And now he will get a chance to judge the very people he considers, in his own words, to be his enemies.

That’s UN objectivity for you.

But, hey, he says now he is not anti-Israel, so never mind what else he ever said.

Here’s how he performed in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2:

Note: his explanation for calling Bibi Netanyahu his “favorite” to indict at the International Criminal Court was that Schabas was following the Goldstone Report.

Problem!

  • Netanyahu was not the Prime Minister then.
  • Netanyahu isn’t mentioned anywhere in the report.

Ooops. Mr Schabas has, figuratively speaking, shot himself in the foot. (And, the knee, belly, and wrist.) The man’s credibility is rapidly reaching the bottom of the pit.

Make your own minds up. I wouldn’t let the lying bastard into the country.