SOLDIERS OF IDF VS ARAB TERRORISTS

SOLDIERS OF IDF VS ARAB TERRORISTS

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

In memoriam: The 32 soldiers who gave their lives for Israel


Since the start of the Israeli ground operation in the Gaza Strip, 32 Israeli soldiers died in combat. These are their names:
  • Lieutenant Paz Elyahu​, 22, of Kibbutz Evron, served as a combat soldier in the Paratroopers Brigade.
  • Staff Sergeant Li Mat, 19, of Eilat, served as a combat soldier in the Paratroopers Brigade.
  • Staff Sergeant Shahar Dauber, 20, of Kibbutz Ginegar, served as a combat soldier in the Paratroopers Brigade.
  • Captain Dmitri Levitas, 26, of Jerusalem and Geshur, served as a company commander in the Armored Corps.
  • Captain Natan Cohen, 23, of Modi’in, served as a company commander in the Armored Corps. He was posthumously promoted from the rank of First Lieutenant.
  • Staff Sergeant Avitar Moshe Torjamin, 20, of Beit She'an, served as a combat soldier in the Paratroopers Brigade.
  • Master Sergeant Ohad Shemesh, 27, of Beit Elazari.
  • Staff Sergeant Oded Ben Sira, 22, of Nir Etzion, served as a combat soldier in the Nahal Brigade.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Dolev Keidar, 38, of Modi'in, served as the Commander of the Geffen Battalion of the Bahad 1 officer training base.
  • Sergeant Major Bayhesain Kshaun, 39, of Netivot, served in the Northern Brigade of the Gaza Division.
  • Second Lieutenant Yuval Haiman, 21, of Efrat, served at the Bahad 1 officer training base.
  • Sergeant Nadav Goldmacher, 23, of Beersheba, served at the Bahad 1 officer training base
  • Staff Sergeant Tal Ifrach, 21, of Rishon Lezion, served as a combat soldier in the Golani Brigade.
  • Staff Sergeant Yuval Dagan, 22, of Kfar Saba, served as a combat soldier in the Golani Brigade
  • Sergeant Shon Mondshine, 19, of Tel Aviv, served as a combat soldier in the Golani Brigade.
  • Staff Sergeant Jordan Bensemhoun, 22, of Ashkelon, served as a combat soldier in the Golani Brigade.
  • Staff Sergeant Moshe Malko, 20, of Jerusalem, served as a combat soldier in the Golani Brigade.
  • Sergeant Nissim Sean Carmeli, 21, of South Padre, Texas, served as a lone soldier in the Golani Brigade.
  • Sergeant Oz Mendelovich, 21, of Atzmon, served as a combat soldier in the Golani Brigade.
  • Sergeant Gilad Rozenthal Yacoby, 21, of Kiryat Ono, served as a combat soldier in the Golani Brigade.
  • Captain Tsvi Kaplan, 28, of Meirav, served as a combat soldier in the Golani Brigade and was set to become a company commander.
  • Major Tzafrir Bar-Or, 32, of Holon, served as a combat soldier in the Golani Brigade.
  • Staff Sergeant Max Steinberg, 24, of Woodland Hills, California, served as a lone soldier in the Golani Brigade.
  • Staff Sergeant Shachar Tase, 20, of Pardesiya, served as a combat soldier in the Golani Brigade.
  • Staff Sergeant Daniel Pomerantz, 20, of Kfar Aza, served as a combat soldier in the Golani Brigade.
  • Sergeant Ben Itzhak Oanounou, 19, of Ashdod, served as a combat soldier in the Golani Brigade.
  • Staff Sergeant Oren Simcha Noach, 22, of Hoshaya, served as a combat soldier in the Golani Brigade.
  • Staff Sergeant Bnaya Rubel, 20, of Holon, served as a combat soldier in the 101st Battalion of the Paratroopers Brigade.
  • Second Lieutenant Bar Rahav, 21, of Ramat Yishai served in the Combat Engineering Corps.
  • Sergeant Adar Barsano, 20, of Nahariya, served in the Armored Corps.
  • Major (res.) Amotz Greenberg, 45, of Hod HaSharon.
  • Staff Sergeant Eitan Barak, 20, from Herzliya, served as a combat soldier in the Nahal Brigade.
In addition, Sergeant Oron Shaul, 21, of Poriyah was declared missing in action by the Israeli army. He was in an armored personnel carrier that was attacked by Hamas terrorists in Gaza. The Hamas said it had captured Shaul, a claim that could not be verified by Israel.

IDF lone soldier Max Steinberg’s funeral, shiva in Jerusalem draw 30,000 — including John Kerry

"Thank you for bringing up such a child," Israeli President Shimon Peres told the Steinbergs at their mourning shiva.
Story has been updated to include additional information.
The mother, father, sister and brother of 24-year-old Woodland Hills native and fallen IDF soldier Max Steinberg, though heartbroken and jet-lagged, said they were warmed by the incredible turnout at his funeral on Mt. Herzl today. 
"I probably couldn't stand here and talk without breaking down, without... all this love and all these people," Steinberg's mom, Evie, said into a semicircle of news mics after the Jerusalem ceremony. "It's so overwhelming and so incredible."
Israeli media estimates put funeral attendance between 20,000 and 35,000 people. It was hard to tell for sure: Heads in army caps andkippas stretched as far as anyone could see, back up into the hills of the cemetery. It was at this very site, on a Birthright trip in 2012, that Steinberg noticed the grave of American lone soldier Michael Levin and began considering a career in the IDF.
Steinberg was one of seven members of the IDF's elite Golani brigade killed last weekend when their tank ran over an explosive that had been planted in the streets of Shujaya, in east Gaza City. It was July 20, the third night of Israel's current ground operation to wipe out terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza strip, and the deadliest night of the conflict for both sides: About 60 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers were killed.
This morning, around 11:30 a.m., Steinberg's coffin was silently lowered into the ground at Mt. Herzl and covered in soil by his fellow Golani soldiers. Each of Steinberg's family members then said their final words to him, fighting back tears.
"As I look around right now, I am in awe," said his sister Paige, 20. "I never thought I'd be here with so many people who understand how brave you are."
The family's goodbyes were followed by emotional speeches from U.S. ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Israeli Knesset (parliament) member Dov Lipman and more.
Afterward, the Steinbergs' shiva, or Jewish mourning tent — actually a conference room at Jerusalem's Crowne Plaza Hotel — was equally well-attended, and star-studded.
First, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (pictured below), currently on a Middle East tour to encourage a cease fire between Gaza and Israel, stopped by the hotel shiva to pay his respects to the Steinberg family. He immeditaly expressed his awe at the lengths their eldest son had gone to for Israel: "It's just a huge statement about a young guy finding a place that he was so passionate about, and giving his all, putting himself on the line," he said. "It's an amazing story."
Kerry entered and exited the room swiftly, surrounded by men in black and refusing to take any questions from press. But he spent a significant chunk of time — considering his tight and urgent schedule — chatting with Evie and Stuart about their son, and with Paige and Jake about their relationship with their brother and their own plans in life.
"How's your day?" Kerry asked as he sat down. "How's your day?" Evie asked back. "My day's going better than yours," he said.
"I am so honored to be here. I am in awe of your son, truly," Kerry told the family. "And I think you know, I served in the military, and I have great respect for anybody who... especially puts themself willingly in harm's way. And as an American, we're so proud of the affection that he felt, just the love he felt, and the roots he found in this country."
(Earlier in the day, Kerry had Tweeted: "Deaths of IDF/US citizens Max Steinberg & Sean Carmeli in Gaza heartbreaking reminder of close bonds w/ Israel.")
U.S. ambassador to Israel Shapiro (pictured above, right), who spoke at the funeral and accompanied Kerry to the Crowne Plaza Hotel, took that sentiment a step further. "There's no greater manifestion of the bond between our countries than an American citizen putting himself in harm's way to defend Israel," he said at the shiva.
Additional updates to come.

Israel’s Response Is Proportionate to Hamas’s Threat Ami Ayalon, a former director of Israel’s security agency Shin Bet, is a cofounder of the Israeli organization Blue White Future, which seeks a two-state solution through a negotiated agreement and the relocation of settlers.

We do not measure ethics and morality by counting dead bodies. The fact that many more Palestinians than Israelis have died does not mean that our cause, or this war, is not just. Many more Germans than Americans died in World War II. Does that mean that Hitler was right and America was wrong?
Hamas blatantly violates international law and all norms of decency. It forces this war on us and pulls us into civilian areas, using civilians as shields.
Every state has a duty to defend its citizens. That is what we are doing. The rockets and tunnels targeting Israeli civilians are real threats. But there is a gap between a just war and justice at war, so the question whether our response to the rockets and tunnels is proportionate remains legitimate.
The first answer is that we are in compliance with international law. Second, our actions in this war have to be compared with what other states have done or would do when facing similar threats. We give advance notifications to areas we are about to attack. Because of our intelligence capabilities, we give specific warnings to every house we intend to strike, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the attacks -- destroying the launch sites but allowing the militants to escape. How many other states have done this?
The conduct of Hamas is in blatant violation of international law and outside all norms of decency. It forces this war on us and pulls us into civilian areas. It uses its civilians as human shields. Its strategy is to have us kill as many civilians as possible. Unfortunately, it sometimes succeeds. Nevertheless, the deaths of innocent civilian Palestinians cause us great pain.
But in the end, we Israelis have to understand that in the war we are fighting, victory is not achieved on the battlefield. That is what I have learned during my nearly 40 years working for the security of my country.
We will have security only when the Palestinians have hope. That is why we must have a political horizon and we have to begin to create a reality of two states, even if we initially have to do it on our own. I urge my government to embark on this course, which is the key to peace and stability in our region.

UN emergency session on Gaza: Hillel Neuer speaks out



GENEVA, July 23, 2014 - The Palestinian ambassador to the UNHRC, together with Iran, Syria, Egypt, Cuba and Venezuela tried but failed to silence UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer during today's UN Emergency Session on Gaza, as he defended Israel's right to resist Hamas aggression, and called out the hypocrisy of those who initiated the biased proceeding.
As expected, the council voted 29 to 1 (USA), with 17 abstaining (EU & others), to condemn Israel for "gross violations of international human rights," and it created a new commission of inquiry to produce a second Goldstone Report. Click here to see the grossly one-sided resolution—and a list of the nations who ignominiously voted for it.
Testimony delivered today, 23 July 2014, by UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer, at the UN Human Rights Council Emergency Session on Gaza 

Mr. President, I have just returned here from visiting Israel to tell this assembly, and the world, about the grave situation that I witnessed and experienced.


An entire nation—towns, villages and cities, from the Negev Desert up to the Galilee, from the Judean hills of Jerusalem to the Tel Aviv seashore—has been under brutal and relentless attack, from more than two thousand mortars, rockets and long-range missiles, fired from Gaza toward civilians in every part of the Holy Land.



Never before, in the history of Israel’s seven decades of existence, has its men, women and children come under such a massive aerial assault, forcing them, at the sound of air raid sirens day and night, to run for shelter.



And never before, in the modern history of nations, has a free and democratic society come under such sustained bombardment from a terrorist organization, one that openly strives for and celebrates the murder of civilians, and that, as its general worldview, glorifies death.



Did the world ever imagine that the ancient city of Jerusalem—sacred to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and replete with holy places that are recognized by the United Nations as protected world heritage sites—would be deliberately targeted by indiscriminate rockets?



And yet it is.



During one air raid in Jerusalem, I ran down to the basement of a building with little children crying and traumatized. During an air raid in Tel Aviv, the neighbors of an apartment building showed great strength of spirit in defiance of terrorism, by reaching out to strangers in the shelters, as we heard the booms of the rockets above.



And as  I was seated in my airplane, about to depart and return back here to Geneva, the air raid siren went off around the airport. We all had to rush off the plane and seek shelter. You’ve heard the news today: that international airlines are now ceasing to fly to Israel because of this danger.



I believe that the world should salute this terrorized, besieged and embattled nation, which has refused to surrender to demoralization, instead showing such courage, resolve and strength of spirit in surviving—and resisting—this massive aggression.



And people should consider: Is there any precedent in world history for a nation passively to suffer a three-week bombardment of its civilian population, by more than 2,000 deadly rockets?



The attempt by Hamas to shut down Israel’s sole international airport, in a country already besieged by land from hostile forces from north to south, would constitute the strangulation of an artery vital to the life of Israel’s people and economy.



These acts of aggression also target the sovereign rights of the nations under whose flags these airplanes fly.



I ask each ambassador in this chamber to take a moment and imagine terrorists deliberately firing deadly rockets at the airports of Heathrow, Charles de Gaulle, or Frankfurt; Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg, or Tokyo.



How would your government react?



How long would your nation wait before doing everything in its power to exercise its right, under international law and morality, to resist such aggression?



Mr. President,



I turn now to the resolution upon which this Council will soon vote. The text before us denounces Israel, denies its right to self-defence, and disregards Hamas war crimes.



We ask: why does this Council refuse to say that which was said only two weeks ago by the Palestinian ambassador himself?



In an extraordinary moment of candor, Palestinian Ambassador Ibrahim Khraishi admitted, on Palestinian TV, that “each and every” Palestinian missile launched against Israeli civilians constitutes “a crime against humanity.”



And that, by contrast, Israel’s own response actions in Gaza “followed the legal procedures” because, as Hamas spokespersons admitted on TV, “the Israelis warned them to evacuate their homes before the bombardment; but, “as for the missiles launched from our side, we never warn anyone about where these missiles are about to fall or about the operations we carry out.”



Can any UN entity, or any individual, be truly for human rights when they refuse to say that which was said by the Palestinian ambassador himself?
Is it possible that the true purpose of this session is to silence the true victims and voices of human rights around the world by deflecting attention from the world’s worst abuses?
We ask all those who embrace hypocrisy and double standards: if in the past year you didn’t cry out whethousands of protesters were killed and injured by Turkey, Egypt and Libya; when more victims than ever were hanged by Iran; women and children in Afghanistan were bombed; whole communities were massacred in South Sudan; hundreds in Pakistan were killed by jihadist terror attacks; 10,000 Iraqis were killed by terrorists—
[Egypt interrupts with an objection.]

President of UNHRC Session: We have a point of order. Egypt, you have the floor.

Egypt: Mr. President, I think we are meeting today for the special session to discuss the current crisis in Gaza and the violations committed within this crisis. So I don’t see why we have a reason to discuss other issues relating to human rights situations on other countries.
United States of America: We think it is relevant to the subject under debate, and therefore you should allow the NGO to continue to speak.
Iran: We fully support the point of order made by Egypt.
Canada: We urge you to allow the NGO to complete their intervention, which is relevant to the discussions at hand.
Israel: It is important that civil society participate in this debate, and we request that you allow this NGO to continue.
Venezuela: We support the point of order made by Egypt.

Palestine: This is not a point of order, but more a clarification. The speaker will continue along the same lines if the speaker is not stopped. I would ask you not to waste any time on this so we can conclude this meeting in good time.
Cuba: It is inconceivable that a NGO should be able to come to this Council to distract us with the little time we have to debate an issue which is of such crucial importance as the genocide being committed currently against the Palestinian people.

President: I give the floor back to UN Watch, with the request that he adhere to the subject matter under discussion today.



UN Watch: Thank you, Mr. President. I’ll just note that there had been some questions whether the videotape interview of the Palestinian ambassador on Palestinian TV was genuine or not, but we see that the Palestinian ambassador has just intervened—and has failed to deny those remarks. Let the record show that.



Finally, we ask: If those who refuse to speak out for Palestinians—1800 Palestinians, if not more—who were starved to death, murdered, by Assad in Syria, but you only cry out when Israel can be blamed, then you are not pro human rights, you are only anti-Israel.



Syria: We’re used to hearing this NGO creating divisions among the speakers, and speaking out of turn. It is strange to hear an NGO defending the killing of women and children, and the destruction of infrastructure in Palestine. I would hope that the speaker is no longer allowed to continue his statement.
President: I give the floor back to UN Watch.



Hillel: Thank you, Mr. President. Let the world note: that in a session purportedly on Palestinian human rights, the government of Syria objected to us mentioning the 1800 Palestinians that they starved and murdered. 

When war is there at your fingertips



What if they had live-tweeted the Dresden bombings, with the Allies rushing to explain the necessity and then Goebbels in turn tweeting pictures of wounded German children taken in 1915?  Thanks to social media, we have become both ambassadors and voyeurs.
July 23, 2014 |  Haaretz

There is something bizarre about watching a bloody conflict from afar, play by play, in a barrage of hashtags and video clips and notifications, like some virtual Roman amphitheater.

The luxuries of having a daily peaceful life, choosing to forget that wars rage Elsewhere and Far Away, are of a past era. Now you sit — feeling ludicrous — in a nail salon, in an Italian restaurant, on your veranda, constantly checking news updates and your insides turning with each bit of information.

It’s 2014, and the smell of burning flesh is hand-delivered to your immaculate iPhone.

And you wonder what this kind of dissonance would have looked like in previous wars: What if they had live-tweeted the Dresden bombings, with the Allies rushing to explain the necessity and then Goebbels in turn tweeting pictures of wounded German children taken in 1915? What if the Soviets had produced infographics during the Cold War, and would Jon Stewart have blamed the Soviets for the Americans’ unsophisticated warning system? The Gettysburg Address would be tweeted line by line, Vietnam War soldiers’ families would receive notification of death by WhatsApp, and Babylonian soldiers would post selfies as they waited outside the walls of Jerusalem.

“Home front” is a word which has been redefined in 2014. In some ways, the home front exists wherever the Internet does, an ocean away if need be, and suddenly every one of us is an expert on both military strategy and the topography of Shejaiya too. Social media has made us all at once political commentators and loud-mouthed fools; at once we have become both ambassadors and voyeurs. We are all either absolutely certain that the Israel Defense Forces consistently and always avoids civilian casualties (thanks to the pure objectivity of IDF-produced infographics), or absolutely certain that the IDF consistently and always targets civilians (thanks to Hamas’ eloquent announcements, laced with Syrian stock photos).

The ability to admit ignorance, or humility, is absent here in this speculative blood feud. We are all ready to swear quickly that we really know, yes, we armchair pundits know exactly what is going on in the minds and split-second decisions of 20-year old IDF combat soldiers and Hamas operatives.

It’s bizarre, the way this hyper-connectivity messes with your mind. And it’s wrenching, the way that you no longer recognize yourself as you find yourself whispering Psalms constantly for the sake of people you don’t know, people you’ve never met. In New York, when you first hear of murdered teenagers found in some Hebron basement, you escape your midtown office and find yourself walking towards the United Nations Plaza, and when you stumble upon that wall with the Isaiah quote, you laugh bitterly, softly: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks: Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war anymore.”

Around you, tourists eat ice cream and church bells ring and some girls are taking a selfie and some nametag-toting European bureaucrats enter the plaza laughing about something. And you are walking alone, walking away from these people and away from your newsfeed.

The dissonance is so uncomfortable that I often wonder if I would live with myself more easily if I were in Israel now, rather than here, safely, in my Diaspora cocoon. Some Sages posit that hell isn’t physical torture of fire and brimstone, but rather internal agony alone. Is there some comfort in enduring external conflict, united with one’s people in a bomb shelter somewhere, rather than watching it from afar and suffering from ‘survivor’s’ guilt alone? I wonder.

And it’s in moments like these that your softness dissipates and you grow even more afraid, of both yourself and the world. Your lecture hall debates and university textbooks disappeared as soon as the tunnels appeared. You’ve forgotten how you smiled victoriously to your friends as you lambasted Western imperialism, and suddenly everything else has become irrelevant, your cold calculations and calm rationale and journal subscriptions and newspaper affiliations are forgotten — and you don’t recognize yourself when you suddenly find yourself crying randomly or swearing that you’ll do whatever it takes to hold onto this Land of ours, yes, that you will go for thyself from thy birthplace and from thy home and move there to that scorching cursed country, and that your own children, your very own offspring, will one day build settlements too if that’s what it takes, whatever it takes dear God, and you are caught in this blur of anguish and zeal, this ancient emotion you were sure had been buried long ago in those same textbooks – and does that rage make you any less human? Or does it make you more human? Yes. This – this is the raw and uncomfortable beginning of madness, the demons one fights deep within.

How is it so all-consuming?

And that “Red Alert” app — I regretted downloading it after a few hours but still can’t bring myself to delete it. Why do I feel a need to know every time that a siren goes off in Israel? What kind of masochistic people am I a part of, where this is considered normal? Do other people have this awfully personal way in which distant conflicts grip their every moment and make it difficult to wake up in the morning? Is that normal — do Syrian-Americans also have a system to follow Assad’s attacks? Have Ukrainian expats built an app which notifies them of every separatist gunshot in Donetsk?

The way in which the last weeks’ events have gripped the imagination and fears of Diaspora Jewry, too: I am not sure one can articulate the darkness which has come over some of us now, even here, even this far away.

It comes over you when you’re in the street, on the subway, in a crowd, and you suddenly feel terribly alone because the businessmen next to you are discussing yesterday’s staff meeting – while you’re sitting there for an hour driving your mind in crazed circles about what proportionate warfare means after all, and whose victim narrative is more right, and you’re trying to convince yourself that the world can’t possibly hate you, no, that’s a genetic complex you’ve inherited but you’ll get over it soon. The occasional Parisian synagogue and Berlin street protest aside, surely they don’t hate you — but why is it that when you walk in New York in your unmistakably Orthodox uniform, that you are tempted to quicken your pace, and that you have reverted to careful glances? Perhaps it is because it has become increasingly difficult to give the world the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps because you trust less and less, as the world gathers to deny Israeli citizens the right to sleep peacefully, as tunnels are dug into kibbutz playgrounds. Or perhaps because you have long ago shut up with your inculcated hasbara education and thrown away your “Myths and Facts” charts, and instead learned to tighten your jaw and stop trying to defend the morality of our army – and now, you simply, quietly, humbly, bow your head in gratitude to their sacrifice.

The words of Moshe Dayan from 1956 continue to ring in my mind, definitively: “This is the fate of our generation, that is our choice – to be ready and armed, tough and hard – or else the sword shall fall from our hands and our lives will be cut short.”

 Or older, more terrible, words: “By your blood you shall live.”

There was a time, just a few weeks and lifetimes ago, when I believed that this fate was for previous generations – that my generation would indeed be different, that we would have other choices at our disposal. But that promise, of a different and more peaceful fate – we found that promise. We found it somewhere in a Hebron basement, eighteen days too late, riddled with bullets.

Today I attended the deeply emotional and yet inspirational funeral this morning for Max Steinberg,A"H, the lone soldier from Los Angeles

Dear Counsel General David Siegel, Rabbi Topp, Rabbi Weil, Rabbi Mandel, and everyone else copied on this email
I attended the deeply emotional and yet inspirational funeral this morning for Max Steinberg,A"H, the lone soldier from Los Angeles.
I must admit that being a mother of a lone soldier who came to Israel to spend some time with my son Shimmy who is a lone soldier, I was hesitant to attend as the feelings of despair, sadness and tales of tragedy were beginning to get to me as I was here since the kidnappings. The thought of attending a funeral of a lone soldier from LA was a bit too close to home.
Thank G-d my son is safe on a base in the Negev(though the rockets are probably still being shot at Beer Sheva near his base) as he has just started his advanced training in artillery.
The sadness of the past days has been overwhelming, with the tragic deaths of soldiers and reading about their lives and seeing stories about them on the news here. I must admit I was beginning to succomb to the sadness even while reading some of the heroic stories of some of the soldiers.
Also, that hate, that anti- Semitic virulent hate, from our enemies Hamas and indeed, across the world, the violent hateful protests against us,the victims, really was starting to wear me down.
The funeral began with a warning given twice that in case of rocket attack, all attendees must lay down and cover their heads, set the tone for what Israel must endure. Thank G-d Jerusalem has not had any sirens for the past 12 days or so, thank G-d.
It was so packed that there would have been no room for anyone to lay down, had there been a siren. I read later there were about 30 thousand people there though I couldnt tell from where I was standing.
The respect, the outpouring of guests and dignitaries who spoke words of comfort, including former Ambassador Michael Oren, MK Dov Lipman, a former Justice, friends of Max from his unit, were beautiful.
The thing that helped pull me from my own deep sadness over the entire situation were the speeches by Max's parents, who thanked everyone from the Consul General of Los Angeles and the people at the Consulate who informed them of their terrible loss, to the State of Israel, to Tzahal,and to the entire Israeli public.
Here were parents, I am sure you all know, who had never before been to Israel. Max's father and Jake struggled with the Hebrew while reciting the mourner's kaddish, no disrespect intended. None of the children, including Max, had ever been to Israel until they went with taglit.
Max's father started off with if anyone asks him if he has any regrets about his son's choice to serve in the IDF he said absolutely not, not even for one minute. Max's mother thanked everyone for being so gracious and Max's sister Page thanked everyone for attending the funeral which was heartbreaking. Max's brother Jake said that Max set the bar so high as a brother than he could never hope to reach it.
Truly their words were inspirational but the most amazing thing of all was at the end of his speech, Max's father said Am Yisrael Chai. At the end of the funeral service, the attendees sponaneously quietly sang Hatikva and then Am Yisrael Chai, following Max's father's lead.
Min Hamaamakin- from the depths- to a feeling of being uplifted by the mourners themselves.
I must tell you I needed those words from the Steinberg family for chizuk. The family truly deserves all honor.
Me evel le simcha- after the funeral, I walked through the bustling streets of Jerusalem and saw that Jerusalemites and tourists were all out and about which is a good thing to see in time of war.
I hurried to my brother's home in Jerusalem where I have been staying to Skype into my family's simcha- the bris of my brother's daughter's newborn son, named Gideon George after my mother's father George Bloomberg. To see my parents,(especially my father who is a Survivor) who were able to make it to NY to take part in this momentous occasion of the bris of their first great grandchild was truly wonderful.
Am Yisrael Chai indeed.
Thank you to the Steinberg family for providing all of us with such inspiration and hope. May Max Steinberg always be a source of strength to the entire Jewish and Israeli communities.
With wishes for a complete victory over Hamas and all our enemies who seem to arise in every generation as the Haggada tells us. But with families like the Steinbergs, we shall overcome, im yirtzeh hashem.
Esther Kandel, Jerusalem

We have no other country! Let's contribute to IDF soldiers who in These moments are fighting for the existence of the State of Israel!

LOCAL FAMILY DONATES TZITZIT TO IDF



My cousin Itay Samet is far left... This was taken two days ago before they had their phones taken away., The special army tzitziot they are wearing were sponsored by the Feigen family as the Rabbanut Hatzva-it requested a donor and we purchased enough for the entire army... Best tzedaka ever!
                           -Simi  Feigen 

Hamas vs. IDF By: Asher Schwartz

Shock jock defends Jewish homeland | The Times of Israel



There’s one celebrity out there who’s defending Israel right now. But forget social media for a minute, this is on the radio. “Shock jock,” DJ Howard Stern, gave Hanzi, his regular Pakistani caller, an earful last week about the current situation in Gaza.  Stern, who now broadcasts from Sirius satellite radio, has always been known for his foul mouth and strident opinions. His longtime cohost, Robin Quivers, alternately reins him in and goads him on.
It wasn’t any different this time.
When baited by Hanzi about the current situation in Gaza, Stern, who is Jewish, cut him off.
“I don’t change my f%$#ing tune [about Israel]; Israel’s at no fault,” he said.
He continued speaking about the situation for another five minutes, covering his version of Israeli history — “it was a little s#$%hole, it was a desert” — calling out musician Roger Waters for his boycott of Israel — and discussing Israelis’ and Palestinians’ median incomes.
The video has already racked up more than 21,000 views. Stern has some 12 million listeners each week.

Netanyahu presents to UN Secretary General operating methods of Hamas

Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News: The Gaza Underground Map (Israel HaYom)

Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News: Hamas spokesman compares Netanyahu to Hitler

Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News: Amazing video of Hamas terror tunnels from the inside

Israel Matzav: US intelligence: Hamas has many more tunnels than Israel has destroyed

According to US intelligence assessments, Hamas has many more tunnels - possibly as many as 60 - between Gaza and Israel than the IDF has destroyed. 
Steven Emerson, founder and executive director of the Washington-based Investigative Project on Terrorism, told the Post in an exclusive interview on Sunday that US intelligence officials believe that Israel is underestimating the number of tunnels.

He said that according to a senior National Security Council official dealing with the Middle East, American satellites – equipped with special high resolution infrared detection technology – have preliminary findings of around 60 tunnels on the Israel-Gaza border.

This number could actually be higher though because it does not include overhead satellite coverage of ground structures that are several stories in height and are impervious to infrared detection, Emerson said.
This information seems to contradict Israeli estimates of remaining tunnels, Emerson said.

The IDF told the Post on Monday that up until now 45 tunnels have been discovered, but when asked how many it estimated remain, it said that no information was available.

Emerson said that the advanced American satellite, which was originally developed to deal with the Iranian theater, had been directed to orbit over Israel and send the data to specialized reconnaissance agencies operating under the aegis of  the National Security Agency (NSA) for analysis.

The infrared heat-seeking technology works by detecting changes in terrain density and the preliminary findings show that the tunnels are 1.5 m. by 1.2 m. and at least 46 m. in length.

Emerson said that he is unaware if Israel requested such intelligence from the Americans or if it has yet been shared between the two nations – though he presumes that if it hadn’t it will be.

...

Steven Emerson, founder and executive director of the Washington-based Investigative Project on Terrorism, told the Post in an exclusive interview on Sunday that US intelligence officials believe that Israel is underestimating the number of tunnels.

He said that according to a senior National Security Council official dealing with the Middle East, American satellites – equipped with special high resolution infrared detection technology – have preliminary findings of around 60 tunnels on the Israel-Gaza border.

This number could actually be higher though because it does not include overhead satellite coverage of ground structures that are several stories in height and are impervious to infrared detection, Emerson said.
This information seems to contradict Israeli estimates of remaining tunnels, Emerson said.

The IDF told the Post on Monday that up until now 45 tunnels have been discovered, but when asked how many it estimated remain, it said that no information was available.

Emerson said that the advanced American satellite, which was originally developed to deal with the Iranian theater, had been directed to orbit over Israel and send the data to specialized reconnaissance agencies operating under the aegis of  the National Security Agency (NSA) for analysis.

The infrared heat-seeking technology works by detecting changes in terrain density and the preliminary findings show that the tunnels are 1.5 m. by 1.2 m. and at least 46 m. in length.

Emerson said that he is unaware if Israel requested such intelligence from the Americans or if it has yet been shared between the two nations – though he presumes that if it hadn’t it will be.

...
Emerson said that Hamas has learned from Hezbollah how to improve its use of tunnels. He also said that Hamas terrorists are probably not using any communication devices while inside the tunnels, making it harder to detect them.

In addition, the tunnels are quite sophisticated, with water, sewage, and lighting allowing for month longs stays.

Regarding Israel’s efforts at using conventional forces, such as tanks and troop carriers, Emerson said that these are easier targets for Hamas since they can gather intelligence on them from close up.

Hamas has been very good at adapting and Israelis “need to think outside the box as they traditionally have and use their ability to think two steps ahead of their enemies,” Emerson said.
Unfortunately, it seems that we really need this war to go on for a while. 

Israel Matzav: Video: Terrorists using ambulance for travel

IDF forces recently identified two Palestinian terrorists using an ambulance to travel within Gaza. On a daily basis, Hamas uses ambulances, houses and other civilian infrastructure to protect its terrorists. Yes, that's a war crime.

Israel Matzav: Unbiased headlining, al-Reuters style

This is what al-Reuters considers an unbiased headline (Hat Tip:Memeorandum):

israel pounds gaza despite international peace efforts


Excuse me? Israel has accepted every cease fire offered over the last two weeks. Hamas has refused every one. Within the last hour, Israel Radio reported that John Kerry has given up and that Ban Ki-Moon is about to admit that the reason there is no cease fire is because Hamas is not backing off demands that would turn a rout into a victory and make Israel pay a penalty for winning.

So Israel continues to pound Hamas in the hope that it will agree to a cease fire (or will lose all of its strategic assets if it fails to do so), and al-Reuters makes it sound like we should stop fighting and wait for Hamas to come to terms?

Parts of the article aren't much better. The headline reflects the tone of the article. And that is precisely the problem. You would have no clue from reading the article that the reason that there is no cease fire is that the Hamas leadership in Gaza - safely ensconced in its bunker underneath Shifa Hospital in Gaza City - does not want one. They would rather fight to the last civilian. But don't expect Reuters to clue you in on that.

Shameful. Absolutely shameful

Israel Matzav: Video: The Arab Darwin Award Winner (Graphic warning)

WARNING - THIS IS GRAPHIC

I'm not even sure who gets the award for this one, but it happened in Syria. A suicide bomber was killed before he could set himself off. He was wrapped in shrouds and they went to bury him. Unfortunately, whoever prepared him for the funeral didn't remove the bomb belt. And the results? Let's go to the videotape.

http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2014/07/video-arab-darwin-award-winner-graphic.html#links

Israel Matzav: 'No chance we'll cancel flights'

There's one airline that won't cancel its flights to Israel. And they evenserve cholent on their Thursday night flights. Yes, it's El Al
Israeli airline El Al said it would not cancel any flights as air travel to Israel from all American carriers and several European ones came to a halt on Tuesday after the Federal Aviation Authority banned US airlines from traveling to and from Ben Gurion Airport for 24 hours.
"There is no chance we will stop operations," an El Al spokesman told the Post.
In labor disputes with the government, El Al has argued that it is the only airline the country can rely on to continue flying during tough security times, and that Israel should foot more of the bill for its security needs. During the 1991 Gulf war, every airline but El Al suspended service to Israel.
...
Hamas has explicitly targeted the airport in hopes of stopping or slowing air traffic. Earlier in the conflict, it lobbed a handful of rockets in the direction of the airport, suspending traffic there for nine minutes.
"The armed wing of the Hamas movement has decided to respond to the Israeli aggression, and we warn you against carrying out flights to Ben-Gurion airport, which will be one of our targets today because it also hosts a military air base," a statement by the group said at the time.
In an interview with Channel 2, Katz added that he believed the decision was an automatic reaction to the rocket landing, and hoped to convince them to reinstate flights on Wednesday.
Maybe. This suspension could have really serious consequences, and some senior ministers in the government ought to get involved. I think it's a bit above Katz's grade level. 
Yet the cancellation of flights, should it continue for a significant period of time, could have a greater impact on the economy. A May report by the Bank of Israel found that business travel to Israel tends to be more resilient than leisure tourism in the face of security problems.
Without ways to get into the country, however, business travelers, who have historically accounted for 12-20% of travelers to Israel, will also be kept behind. Worse, the precedent of flights canceled due to security may deter them from future business dealings.
On the other hand, the economic effects of a one-day suspension would be negligible, according to Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce Uriel Lynn.
"Is it affecting Israel's business now? No. It's 24 hours. It's not a big deal. We have telecommunications infrastructure that helps us get business done," Lynn told the Post.
The chances of a longer suspension seemed unlikely, he added, given Hamas’s inability to strike at the airport up until now. America’s political stance on terrorism and alliance with Israel, Lynn offered, would likely affect the FAA’s decision.
"The moment they forbid flights to Israel, they strengthen Hamas, who say, ‘Great, we're succeeding in isolating Israel, we're fulfilling our goals.' I don't think the FAA want to do that," he said.
What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Just when you thought they could not get any lower: 'Palestinians' using Fogel family murder pics for propaganda

I just found the picture above on Facebook.

Do the pictures look familiar? The originals from the Fogel family home in Itamar in March 2011 may be found in the video here

From Facebook again:
How low can one go.

Hamas is using the pictures of the Fogel family massacre for their propaganda purposes and are claiming that this is what we did to a family in Gaza.

It is just beyond belief........disgusting creatures.
How low can they go? I don't think we've hit the bottom yet. 

Israel Matzav: Video: Pat Condell takes on Hamas v. the Jews in Gaza (with Hebrew subtitles)

This is a really well done video by Pat Condell in which he dismantles Hamas and its use of human shields.

Israel Matzav: IDF targets Mohammed Deif

Foreign reports indicate that the IDF took a shot at Hamas' Izz-a-Din-al-Qassam commander Mohammed Deif on Tuesday night. It was not the first time. Deif is apparently in hiding with the Hamas leadership, but two people in his house were killed and the house was likely destroyed.

This is from the first link.
Deif is considered the official who determines the agenda of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades and is regarded as the “brain” behind Hamas.
He is likely hiding underground somewhere inside Gaza, fearing the IDF will try to eliminate him.
Deif started out as a student of Yahya Ayyash, who was nicknamed “the Engineer” and who was the chief bombmaker of Hamas in the late 1990s, when the organization started carrying out suicide bombing attacks within Israel. Ayyash was eliminated by Israel in 1996.
Following Ayyash’s elimination, Deif carried out numerous murderous terror attacks in Israel, including two suicide bombing attacks on buses in Jerusalem and kidnapping attempts within Israel.
Israel tried to kill Mohammed Deif several times, without success. One time, he lost an eye and likely his hand as well. In another attempt he was seriously wounded, his hands and legs were amputated and he has been confined to a wheelchair ever since.
Ayyash is the guy who answered his cell phone and had it blow his head off :-)

You can bet that when we get Deif, we will get the same reactions we got when the IDF eliminated Sheikh Ahmad Yassin: That we're going after poor old men in wheelchairs. Right.... 

Supreme Court Receives Briefs For ‘Born In Yerushalayim’ Passport Case

The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law (LDB) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) have separately filed amicus curiae briefs in support of Menachem B. Zivotofsky, the petitioner in Zivotofsky v. Secretary of State, which has become known as “born in Jerusalem” passport case.
Menachem was born in Jerusalem in 2002 after Congress passed a law ordering the U.S. State Department to “record the place of birth as Israel” in passports of American children born in Jerusalem if their parents make that request. Former U.S. President George W. Bush signed the law, but like U.S. President Barack Obama after him waived the statute on the grounds that it would force the State Department to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, an issue that the Bush and Obama administrations have said should be resolved directly through negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear Menachem’s case in the fall. In an earlier decision, an Appellate Court ruled that only the president has the constitutional authority to make the passport determination, an assertion that is disputed by both AJC and LDB.
“The central issue is whether Congress or the president has a role to play in recognition of foreign governments and who has the constitutional prerogative to determine rules on issuing passports,” said AJC General Counsel Marc D. Stern. “The historical record is crystal clear that Congress has an important role to play in determining America’s decision on recognition of foreign governments and in setting passport policy.”
The brief submitted by LDB, co-signd by leading scholars such as constitutional law expert Erwin Chemerinsky and prominent conservative law professor John C. Eastman, argues that the Jerusalem passport case “lends itself to a much simpler resolution than would a true dispute between the president and Congress regarding the powers to recognize the legal status of states and foreign sovereigns.” Congress’s authority to make such determinations on foreign territory “is a function necessary and proper to the exercise of its assigned powers,” states the brief.
“It is both astonishing and infuriating that federal litigation is required to convince the U.S. Department of State to recognize the quintessentially obvious fact that Jerusalem is in Israel,” LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus said.