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.

 

Five for Friday

flowers
So here we are again, having whizzed through another week in (subjectively) record time. Friday, again.

It’s been, mostly, a good week. Work was less hectic in the aftermath of the release deadline, I played Android: Netrunner for the first time, managed some more Advanced Squad Leader (report to follow, when I get caught up), remembered it was our anniversary this weekend, got my new phone up and running – it’s a Samsung Galaxy S5 – and am still in one piece. That last part of the week could have ended up very badly for me.

So, continuing to count my blessings, I will now present you with this week’s selection of links for your interest, entertainment, and consideration.

And two – yes two – bonus links:

Be well, one and all.

Shabbat Shalom!

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?