Thursday, July 31, 2014

How to Save Civilians in Gaza By: Rabbi YY Jacobson

Over the last few days, As Israeli troops entered Gaza to search for the Hamas tunnels and rocket launching sites, 32 Israeli soldiers have been killed. Many civilians in Gaza lost their lives too.

I am afraid Israel may be repeating a mistake it has made thrice before.

On July 26, 2006, nine Israeli soldiers died and 27 others were injured as they were searching homes for Hezbollah fighters in the hardest day of fighting in southern Lebanon since the war began two weeks earlier. The Israeli press reported at the time that officers in the Israeli army brigades charged that the IDF employed insufficient force before the soldiers were deployed. Once civilians had been told to leave the town, the officers said, the army should have regarded Bint Jbail as a battlefield and destroyed from the air any home where Hezbollah guerrillas were suspected of hiding, instead of sending the soldiers into the line of fire.

Israel committed the same error in Jenin, in April 2002. As the suicide bombings created rivers of blood in Israel, the IDF finally entered Jenin, the stronghold of the terrorists. The hand-to-hand, door-to-door combat among dozens of houses booby-trapped by Palestinian fighters claimed the lives of 23 Israeli soldiers. Israel did not want to cause the civilian casualties that come with aerial bombardment, as has happened everywhere from Dresden, to Grozny, to Kabul, involving nations from Russia to Britain, to the United States. So it sacrificed its soldiers to save Arab lives. Notwithstanding this, civilians who chose not to leave were caught in the crossfire, and Israel was charged with perpetrating a massacre, and was investigated by the UN.

Israel should not repeat the same mistake in July 2014, subjecting its children to death in order to please pacifists who will criticize the Jewish state regardless.

The main battle is presently taking place in the Gaza border neighborhoods — Shejaiya, Beit Lahiya, Beit Hanoun and others — where thousands of Israeli soldiers are searching, house to house, for the tunnel entrances. Hamas gunmen have sought to surprise the Israeli soldiers by rising out of the earth from these openings, and firing, and Israel is paying a heavy price. Soldiers have been killed in booby-trapped buildings. Many died when their armored personnel carrier was hit by an anti-tank missile in Shejaiya. The losses are mounting. 

IDF soldiers mourning at the funeral of Sergeant Benaya Rubel, at the Holon Military Cemetery on July 20, 2014. The 20 year old paratrooper was killed by Hamas gunmen in Gaza on the second day of Operation Protective Edge. (Photo credit: Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Israel ought to consider changing its strategy. After instructing civilians to leave these regions, Israel should reduce these sections of Gaza to rubble. When the civilian population will be convinced that Israel is serious, it will leave, despite Hamas warning them to stay and die (Obviously, those who choose to stay by volition are naturally responsible for the results). After a complete bombing of these locations, ensuring that the Hamas fighters are gone, Israeli troops will be able to enter and destroy the terror infrastructure of tunnels and rockets with less casualties.

This would not only spare the lives of Israelis, but also of Arab civilians in Gaza, who will not get caught in the crossfire with Hamas.

Why should Jewish mothers be burying their children who are fighting like lions for their homeland, just because we are afraid of world-opinion to bomb Gaza from the air? Why are we sending our children to confront Hamas in face to face battles? We have made this error before and paid for it dearly.

What is more, this strategy will end the conflict quicker and will allow Israel to eliminate much of the Hamas terror infrastructure. If not, the present war will end with no decisive victory, and will only create a lull till Hamas decides to strike again, which will only cause the deaths of many more Gaza civilians.

Those who will condemn Israel for reducing regions of Gaza into rubble are doing so regardless. Even as Jewish soldiers today die to save Palestinian lives, Israel is being accused of war crimes. Israel will be blamed no matter what it does. A statement made by the United Nations Human Rights Council on July 23 accused Israel of committing war crimes in the Gaza Strip and calling for an investigation into its operation there. Rather than investigate Hamas, which is firing rockets at Israeli civilians while hiding behind Palestinian civilians, and turning hospitals into military command centers, it puts the blame on Israel.

The critics of Israel care about Arab children in Gaza less than you care about turtles in New Zealand. Where was the outcry over the thousands of children murdered in Syria? Where is the outcry against Hamas who is directly responsible for the deaths of these poor children in Gaza by hiding among them and forcing Israel to strike at these vulnerable locations?

Conversely, those who appreciate Israel’s moral right to defend its people, crave that Israel finish the job swiftly. Let Israel not hesitate of doing what is best for security because of fear of world-opinion.

Let Israel not repeat the disaster of summer 1982. In June of that year, Israel entered Lebanon to eliminate Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization, which had been terrorizing Israel's northern cities and towns. Just as the army stood on the verge of total victory, the military's hands were tied. The Israeli army waited futilely on the outskirts of Beirut instead of swiftly completing its objectives. Israel could have warned all civilians to leave the areas of fighting and then reduced the suitable regions in Beirut to rubble, finishing the war with fewer deaths on both sides. Instead, the casualties grew from day to day, the results were catastrophic for Israelis and for Arabs, and the PLO survived and thrived.

The Palestinian Authority held popular elections across the West Bank and Gaza for the Palestinian legislature in 2006. Hamas won a majority. It has ruled in Gaza since. The people chose Hamas, knowing that its mission statement is the destruction of Israel.

Notwithstanding this, Israel rightfully wishes to protect the lives of civilians in Gaza. The best way to do so is by incessant aerial bombardment.


“Shall your brothers go out to battle while you settle here?” Moses asks the Jews who chose to live in Transjordan (Numbers ch. 32). This question, you and I must ask ourselves at such times. Just because I live in the US, am I absolved of the line of duty? We, every single Jew, is connected to Israel in a million knots; only our bodies have been exiled from that land two millennia ago, but the Jewish soul of every Jew still resides in Eretz Yisroel, in the Land of Israel. An organic and intimate connection exists between every Jew and Israel.

At such times, the entire nation must be mobilized. Mobilization means not only giving money; mobilization is directing ones essence to accomplish a single goal: Achieve victory over a ruthless enemy seeking the obliteration of our people. Just as our sacred and precious soldiers are currently battling with all their heart and soul, so too must we increase our spiritual warfare, through the study of Torah and the observance of mitzvos; through prayer, charity, and acts of goodness and kindness; through expressing solidarity without reservation. With G-d’s grace, we will triumph.

Sen. Ted Cruz: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza Israel saves its enemies; Hamas endangers its friends Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican. He is co-sponsor with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) of S. Con. Res. 41 denouncing the use of civilians as human shields by Hamas and other terrorist organizations in violation of international humanitarian law.

Illustration for Israel's situation in the Mideast by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times
If you want to judge a nation, look at how it treats its most vulnerable civilians. Hospitals are a good place to start.
Al-Shifa, the largest hospital in Gaza, is housed in a converted British army barracks. Some 126 miles north is Israel’s Ziv Medical Center in Zefat.
Hamas, which controls Gaza, is using the civilian population as human shields. The terrorist group has placed its missiles in schools and mosques and, even more deplorably, burrowed its command center underneath the al-Shifa hospital.
Hamas‘ activities are taking place in plain sight. Just two weeks ago, The Washington Post described al-Shifa as “a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders.” These terrorist facilities are of course well known not only to the foreign journalists who interview Hamas fighters there, but also to the Israelis, who would by necessity consider such a location a legitimate target for any action against Hamas. However, the terrorist group has tried to immunize their headquarters by digging it under a hospital, leaving Israel no option but to target al-Shifa if they want to get rid of the Hamas terrorist leadership.
Hamas sees no downside in this arrangement. Knowing that Israel prioritizes protecting civilians, the terrorists can be reasonably confident that al-Shifa will not be targeted, and they can continue their murderous activities undisturbed. If the Israelis finally decide that these activities are intolerable and that to destroy Hamas they must target their headquarters, Hamas will have pictures of the quintessentially innocent martyrs — hospital patients unable to flee — to plaster across international media in their ongoing propaganda war to demonize the Jewish state.
The medical care and even survival of the Gazan people are of no concern to these terrorists, for whom casualties are not an unintended consequence of war, but rather a deliberate objective. Like the rest of the population stationed around the many civilian institutions militarized by Hamas, they must either make do with a substandard medical facility being exploited by a terrorist organization, or die in the service of that organization’s savage campaign to destroy Israel.
Meanwhile in Israel, Ziv is a center for pediatric and orthopedic medicine. Given its proximity to Israel’s borders with Lebanon and Syria, Ziv has seen its share of violence, but despite taking direct rocket fire during the 2006 Lebanon war, it has remained in continuous operation.
During the past three years of the Syrian civil war, Ziv has treated more than 1,000 Syrians injured in that conflict — all free of charge.
In a visit to Ziv this spring, I met the social worker whose job it is to explain to the patients who wake up grievously injured and surrounded by Israelis that they are not in hell, but that the people who they have been told from birth are the devil are, in fact, working very hard to heal them.
I met a Syrian child who had lost three limbs but has been fitted with revolutionary prosthetics and will, God willing, walk again.
All of this means that many of Ziv’s hospital beds and a substantial portion of its funding are not available for Israelis, but the staff has concluded it is worth it if their work can start to reverse the intractable hate that has been relentlessly leveled at Israel by its neighbors.
The contrast in this tale of two hospitals could not be more clear: Hamas exploits their medical facilities as a human shield to launch terrorist operations against Israel, while Israel uses theirs to provide cutting-edge medical care to people whose government’s avowed goal is to destroy the Jewish state. Hamas‘ actions are a war crime.Israel’s are one of the great, unsung humanitarian missions on the planet.

Forty questions for the international media in Gaza David Bernstein

1. Have you or any of your colleagues been intimidated by Hamas?
2. Do you feel restricted in your ability to ‘say what you see’ in Gaza?
3. How do you feel about the Spanish journalist who said Hamas would kill any journalist if they filmed rocket fire?
4. Has Hamas pressured you to delete anything you have published?
5. Has Hamas ever threatened to take your phone, laptop or camera?
6. Has Hamas ever taken the phone, laptop or camera of a colleague in Gaza?
7. Have you seen Hamas fighters in Gaza?
8. If yes, why have you not directly reported Hamas fighting activity when you are eye-witnesses in Gaza, but rather indirectly reported about what the IDF says they Hamas has done?
9. Are you scared to publish photos of Hamas operatives on your Twitter page, or broadcast images of Hamas fighting and aggression on your news channel?
10. Have you published any photos of terrorists launching rockets in Gaza? If so, are these images being turned down by your newspaper or broadcaster?
11. Have you thought of interviewing the traumatised residents of southern Israel?
12. When Israeli authorities say that most of the dead in Gaza are terrorists, and Hamas says most of the dead in Gaza are civilians, how do you differentiate?
13. When Hamas Health Ministry statistics contradict Hamas’ own propaganda and reveal that mostly men of fighting age have died so far in Gaza, does it give you pause for thought?
14. Is an underage armed terrorist still counted as a terrorist or a child when killed? Or both? Do you explain to your readers how this is possible?
15. Have you put to Hamas spokespersons that firing rockets from civilian areas in a war situation will draw return fire and lead to the death of civilians?
16. Nick Casey of the Wall Street Journal tweeted: “you have to wonder with the shelling, how patients at Shifa hospital feel as Hamas uses it as a safe place to see media.” Never mind wondering; did you ask any patients how they feel?
17. And how do you feel about the fact that Casey subsequently deleted his tweet?
18. Russia Today journalist Harry Fear mentioned rocket-launching sites near his hotel. Have you noticed any terrorists or terror bases near your hotel?
19. How do you feel about Fear’s expulsion from Gaza, for tweeting about the rocket launches from civilian areas? Are you worried that you might also be expelled from Gaza?
20. Did you see any Hamas terror personnel inside Al-Shifa hospital?
21. Have you interviewed a Hamas spokesperson inside Al-Shifa?
22. Have you seen any rocket-launching sites in or around the vicinity of a hospital?
23. Have you interviewed hospital staff or patients as to how they feel about their buildings being used for terror activity?
24. Hamas’ command and control bunker is underneath Al Shifa hospital. Is this worth reporting? Have you asked to gain access to it, so you can interview Hamas commanders?
25. French newspaper Liberation reported that Hamas’ Al Qassam offices are next to the emergency room at Shifa hospital, before deleting the article. Was the reporter right to delete the article, and will the information appear in the media at some point still?
26. When the missile hit Al-Shati hospital where children were killed, did you see Hamas operatives collecting the debris of the fallen Palestinian rocket, as Gabriel Barbati reported? Did Barbati pick up on something you missed?
27. Barbati prefaced his tweet by writing “Out of Gaza, far from Hamas retaliation.” Will you also report differently about Gaza when you are out of Gaza, far from Hamas retaliation?
28. Can live journalism by reporters who are scared of retaliation from the authorities they are reporting about really count as pure journalism, or is journalism in that context fundamentally compromised?
29. Have you seen or heard evidence of Hamas using civilians as human shields, by forcing or “encouraging” them to stay inside or enter into a building that has received a knock on the roof?
30. Have you seen or heard evidence of Hamas storing weapons inside schools, houses, flats, mosques or hospitals?
31. Have you interviewed Gazan residents to find out if they have – or know someone who has – a tunnel dug underneath their house? How do they feel about this?
32. Have you tried to interview any of the parents of the 160 Palestinian children who died building the terror tunnels?
33. Have you asked Hamas spokespersons why they are setting out to murder children by firing rockets towards civilian populations?
34. Have you interviewed any UNRWA officials about why Hamas are storing weapons in their schools, and how the weapons got there?
35. Are you currently investigating how Hamas rockets ended up in UNRWA schools?
36. Are you currently investigating why UNRWA returned rockets to Hamas and their police force?
37. When Hamas breaks a ceasefire with Israel – as it has done 6 times – how easy is it to report on this from Gaza?
38. Is there any anti-Hamas sentiment in Gaza, and how is it expressed?
39. Were you aware that Hamas chose to execute dozens of anti-war protesters in Gaza, and did you not consider this to be worth
40. Is international media reporting from Gaza free from pressure and intimidation, or is there a real problem – and if so, how will you address it?

Qatar, and other American “allies”, are among the villains in Gaza Alan M. Dershowitz

American allies, especially Qatar and Turkey, have been providing material support to Hamas, which the United States has listed as a foreign terrorist organization. This support includes financial, diplomatic, media and even the provision of weapons that deliberately target Israeli civilians from behind Palestinian civilians who are used as human shields. It also includes harboring war criminals, especially leaders of Hamas, who direct their followers from the safety of Doha. Without the support of Qatar and Turkey, Hamas would never have started this bloody war that has caused so much human suffering.
Qatar, which is more of a family-owned gas station than a real country, regards itself as untouchable because of its oil wealth. Its residents—they are not really citizens because there are no genuine elections or freedom of speech or religion—are the richest in the world. It can buy anything it wants, including the 2022 World Cup, several American university campuses, some of the world's greatest art, Al Jazeera television and other luxuries. It can also buy terrorist groups such as Hamas. Indeed, after Iran, which is the world's worst state sponsor of terrorism, Qatar ranks near the top of this dishonor role of death.
Any individual who provides material support to a designated terrorist group such as Hamas commits a crime under the United States Penal law and the laws of several European countries. If Hamas were ever to be convicted of war crimes by the International Criminal Court, as it may well be, any individual who was an accessory to such crimes would be guilty as well. It is entirely fair, therefore, to describe Qatar as a criminal regime, guilty of accessory to mass murder.
In some ways Turkey is even worse. Its erratic prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has incited anti-Semitism, provoked conflict with Israel, provided material support to Hamas and undercut efforts to achieve a realistic end to the Gaza War. He has demanded that his Jewish subjects do his bidding, telling "our Jewish citizens' leaders" that they must "adopt a firm stance and release a statement against the Israeli government." He has suggested that if they fail to do so they will not be regarded as "good Turks," thus raising the old canard of "dual loyalty."
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) gives a warm welcome to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who travelled from Gaza to Turkey on an official visit in January 2012. (Image source: MEMRI)
Erdogan also recently said of Israel that "they always curse Hitler, but they now even exceed him in barbarism." And he responded to Americans who complain about the "comparisons with Hitler," by saying "You're American, what's Hitler got to do with you," forgetting that Hitler's forces killed thousands of American soldiers and civilians. He also conveniently forgets that Turkey, which remained immorally "neutral" in the war against Nazism, provided Hitler with the playbook for his genocide, by its own genocide against Armenians. As Hitler asked rhetorically when planning his genocide: "Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" So Hitler matters to America, as it should to Turkey, which still mendaciously denies that it committed genocide against the Armenians.
Yet it was Qatar and Turkey to which Secretary of State John Kerry turned in his efforts to get Israel and Hamas to agree to a cease fire. This not only infuriated Israel, which considers these two countries as accessories to Hamas' war crimes, but also Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority, which also see Qatar and Turkey as allies of Hamas and enemies of moderate Arab states.
The time has come for the United States and the international community to reassess the status of Qatar and Turkey. These two countries have become part of the problem, rather than part of the solution. A nation that hosts Hamas leaders and finances their terrorism should not also host the World Cup. Nor should American universities send their faculty and students to a nation complicit in terrorism that has taken the lives of many Americans as well as Israelis.
Turkey's role in NATO must also be reevaluated. Membership in this organization entails certain responsibilities, and Turkey has failed in these responsibilities. They have become untrustworthy partners in the quest for peace.
It is a truism that we, as a nation, must deal with devils, because men and women are not angels. I do not fault Secretary of State Kerry for trying to use Qatar and Turkey to pressure Hamas into accepting a deal, although the deal they ultimately came up with was a bad one. My point is that Qatar's wealth and Turkey's size should not preclude us from telling it as it is: Qatar and Turkey are among the worst villains in the Gaza tragedy. Nor should we reward such villains, and such complicit in war crimes, by international gifts, such as the World Cup. Both Qatar and Turkey should be treated as pariahs unless and until they stop becoming state sponsors, supporters and facilitators of terrorism.

Hamas Secret Tunnels Exposed By Ted Belman

gaza tunnel

My good friend Mordechai ben-Menachem was interviewed on FOX Radio about the tunnels and he advised that:
- 60 tunnels have been found
- 5000 tunnels are estimated to exist.
- the cement for the tunnels was ordered and paid for by UNWRA
- the US funds 77% of the UNWRA budget.

Mordechai Ben-Menachem, a former researcher/lecturer at Ben-Gurion University and soldier in the IDF joined Leslie Gold for an update on the Hamas tunnels targeting Israel. Mordechai told Leslie that close to 60 tunnels have been found so far leading into Israel that Hamas could use to secretly attack Israel.

The only solution for the people of Gaza: No more tunnels! No more rockets! And no more Hamas! Watch Rabbi Marvin Hier

SWC founder and dean gave a resounding speach to a packed pro-Israel rally in Los Angeles' Saban Theater, challenging the hypocrisy of the world's leaders: "Why is it only an emergency when Israel finally defends herself and responds to the terrorists?"  … "Lets not distort history and judge Israel by a different standard in an attempt to make her the poster child for collateral damage."

SIGN THE PETITON: Join the 30,000+ who have already called on President Obama to urge Mr. Abbas to drop Hamas from the government or risk losing US funding.
If you haven't done so already, please sign the petition today ….

Woman Used As Human Shield in ‘70s: ‘Palestinians Have Perfected Propaganda War’

Brigitte Gabriel, who was used as a human shield when she was a child, was on “The Kelly File” tonight to discuss the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Gabriel said that between 1975 and 1976, she was used as a human shield in a bomb shelter.
“The Palestinians have perfected using children to win the world’s sympathy, and this goes back 30 years,” Gabriel said. “The Palestinians have perfected the propaganda war.”
According to Gabriel, Palestinians can’t win militarily so they “use their own children as disposable collateral in order to win the war of public opinion against Israel.”
She asked: what other country drops leaflets urging civilians to leave before they attack?
Gabriel said that Palestinians don’t value their children’s lives and are willing to sacrifice them in the name of jihad.

AISH.COM: Finding God in Gaza; A fresh look at God’s hand in the war in Gaza. by Rabbi Yaakov Salomon

AISH: J’Accuse It is time for Jews to say to the New York Times: we’ve had enough. by Rabbi Benjamin Blech

I write often for I write infrequently to the New York Times. Sometimes they print what I have to say. But this time I knew they weren’t going to publish my letter.
Here’s what I said:
To the editor:
In the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the New York Times has repeatedly insinuated that Hamas enjoys the higher moral ground based on the premise of proportionality – the number of its civilian victims far exceeds that of Israelis. Since my children and grandchildren live in Israel and have thus far been spared from death thanks to their shelter, the Iron Dome, and most certainly God, I beg you for some clarification. To my mind, the thousands of rockets that have targeted 6 million innocent civilians – a number that somehow resonates for me with great significance – have gratefully not succeeded in fulfilling the stated goal of those who fired them. By charter, Hamas has made clear its intention to slaughter all Israeli residents, men women and children. Were Israel not to respond forcefully to this threat, admittedly and most regretfully killing hundreds of civilians during this war they did not seek or initiate, the results would catastrophically be in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Israeli deaths. Please enlighten me as to how many Israelis need actually die and how many photos of butchered Israeli children would be required for Israel to regain the media’s favor? I can only hope it’s not another 6 million – because, starkly put, been there, done that.
And why was I so sure it was an exercise in futility to send this letter to them?
Because it’s now become clear that the New York Times has lost any claim to journalistic integrity by the way it continues to distort its reporting of a war initiated by an internationally recognized terrorist organization against the only democracy in the Middle East.
Ignored and completely forgotten by the supposed “newspaper of record” are the simple facts that
  • Hamas started a fight with a clear-cut goal, as affirmed in its charter, of killing every Israeli, or to be more precise every Jew. That means men, women and children. By the way there’s a name for these intended victims. They are called civilians, a term not to be selectively used only for Arab citizens of Gaza.
  • Hamas sent hundreds – by now thousands – of rockets specifically designed to maim and to murder as many of these civilians as possible and their lack of success in no way diminishes their moral culpability.
  • Hamas has refused to accept every cease-fire offered – and broken every limited humanitarian-based agreement to mutually suspend conflict.
Instead what the Times offers its readers to the point of nausea are heartbreaking photos of suffering residents in Gaza without the context of the reason for their grief – a leadership safely ensconced in luxury far from the fighting who praise death and martyrdom as the noblest aspirations for their followers.
One can only wonder if the Times would have covered World War II in the same fashion, keeping score as over 1 million Germans civilians perished as compared to only 12,000 Americans – none of whom it may be recalled were in immediate danger of missiles over the American mainland. If morality is determined solely by number of innocents dying the New York Times must truly believe that United States bears an unspeakable measure of guilt for its role in stopping Nazi Germany from its murderous plans because, after all, in order to accomplish its mission it caused the death of innocent victims.
What is perhaps most astounding about the Times’s coverage is not only its lack of objectivity and its inability to view events with any semblance of moral clarity but something that Bret Stephens pointedly noted in his column in theWall Street Journal that smacks either of amateurish incompetence or willful and evil distortion. As source for the numbers of victims in Gaza, as well as for the breakdown between combatants and civilians in this figure, the Times cites the Palestinian Health Ministry and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Just a little digging by a responsible journalist would reveal that that the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza is run by Hamas and the United Nations group gets his information from two Palestinian agitprop groups!
So even if war has been reduced to a game of numbers by the New York Times, the information it offers its readers is nothing more than propaganda filtered through what is supposed to be a reliable newspaper.
It is time for Jews to say we have had enough. It is time for Jews to say what Emile Zola said when he could no longer stand the lies, the fabrications, the deceits and the dishonesty of the press of his day as they falsely accused the Jew Dreyfus of treason when the real reason for their attack was because Dreyfus was a Jew: J’accuse.
We, even the liberals and leftists and the intelligentsia who have so long been taken in by the prestige and the esteem the New York Times has for so long enjoyed in their circles, must finally take note of reality. Loudly and clearly, as well as by way of cancellation of subscriptions, we must shout out J’accuse! We accuse the newspaper that has built its reputation on fairness and objective reporting of losing its way as it grants the moral high ground to terrorists and to those whose admitted goals are violence and terrorism.

AISH: 10 Myths and Facts about the Gaza War Key facts you need to know to defend Israel. by Yvette Alt Miller

It is said that truth is the first casualty of war. Here are some lies that have been spread about Israel in recent weeks – and the truth behind these slanders. Only by clarifying the facts can we look forward to a realistic solution to the tensions.

(1) Israel started this war, using the murder of three Israeli teens as a pretext.

In the first half of 2014 – prior to the outbreak of fighting – Hamas launched nearly 200 rockets at Israeli civilians. When the three Israeli teens were brutally kidnapped, Israel went looking for them in the West Bank; they were later found murdered. To divert attention from Hamas accountability, the terror group launched hundreds of rockets at the length and breadth of Israel, sending 80 percent of the Israeli population racing into bomb shelters.
Israel responded by rooting out the rocket sites in Gaza – in the process fortuitously discovering a vast network of terror tunnels that Hamas reportedly planned to used to stage a single day of mass kidnappings and murder of Jews.

(2) Fighting Israel is the only way Hamas can build a better life for its people.

If Hamas were serious about building a better life for its people, it wouldn’t have violently seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2006 and suppressed all future elections. Instead, Hamas imprisons and kills political opponents with impunity. Hamas “morality police” punish women for smoking and wearing “un-Islamic” clothes such as jeans and t-shirts. Honor killings of women are punished lightly, with as little as six months in jail.
It takes millions of dollars, tons of cement, and a year’s worth of labor to build a tunnel from Gaza into Israel. In the past two weeks, Israel has uncovered 30 such tunnels – representing millions of dollars Hamas could have spent on the population of Gaza, but instead spent on fighting Israel.
If Hamas truly wanted a better life for Gazans, it wouldn’t have spurned trade and development in favor of terror and dictatorship. In 2005, when Israel removed all Israeli residents and soldiers from Gaza, Hamas and other lootersdestroyed 3,000 greenhouses donated by American Jews to help build their fledgling country – leaving a sorry symbol of Hamas corruption and terror.

(3) Hamas is trying to minimize Palestinian casualties.

Instead of minimizing human casualties, Hamas seems to be courting them. They have launched thousands of missiles at Israel from locations adjacent to or within schools, mosques, hospitals, and residential buildings: a staggering 11,000 since 2005. Far from building bomb shelters to protect their population, as Israel has done, Hamas has deliberately used the entire civilian population as human shields.
Hamas has turned Gaza's largest medical facility, Shifa Hospital, into a military command center – knowing that Israel's higher morality makes it a safe haven from Israeli fire.
(4) The rate of Palestinian civilian deaths is alarmingly high.
Hamas claims that 75% of those killed in the current conflict in Gaza are civilians. Israeli sources found the overwhelming majority – two thirds – are males between the ages of 18 and 60, despite that demographic accounting for only 20% of Gaza’s population.
During a brief humanitarian ceasefire on July 24, Hamas executed 25 peoplewithout trial, accusing them of spying for Israel. These 25 were later added to the tally of people killed by Israel, and hailed as “martyrs." In the words of Bassem Eid of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, Palestinian casualties are ultimately "in the interest of Hamas."

(5) Israel’s actions are contrary to international law.

Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of “violations of the laws of war” and the United Nations has opened an inquiry into alleged war crimes by Israel – though not of Hamas, which deliberately targets Israeli civilians as an ongoing policy.
In attacking legitimate military targets lodged among civilians, international law places full responsibility for any civilian deaths on the fighters who've embedded themselves. (The Conduct of Hostilities Under the Law of International Armed Conflict, Cambridge University Press, 2004)
Caught in the difficult situation of responding to rocket fire from within civilian areas, Israel’s army has taken unprecedented actions to limit human casualties, calling the cell phones of people near or in targets to warm them of imminent bombings, and dropping Arabic-language leaflets warning civilians, as well as the “knock on the door,” whereby Israel fires a small round to warn people to leave an area before a strike.
Alarmed that this might reduce civilian casualties, however, Hamas has forced Gazans to act as human shields for the many rocket launchers imbedded in private homes. The New York Times dramatically described the recipients of one such warning, who quickly marshaled family members – including children – to enter the targeted building, forming a human shield.

(6) Israeli actions are "disproportionate."

Brazil has recalled its ambassador to protest Israel’s “disproportionate” response to Hamas rockets and terror tunnels. But proportionality isn’t measured in terms of death toll on either side: Israel, which has invested in bomb shelters for its citizens, in anti-rocket ammunition to protect its cities, and which doesn’t place its rocket launchers in civilian areas, has protected its people; even playgrounds in southern Israel have been ‘missile-proofed’ with millions of dollars of reinforced steel. Should Israel be blamed for properly protecting its citizens?!
In World War Two, 67,000 British civilians and 12,000 American civilians were killed, compared to the Nazis who lost over one million civilians. Clear responsibility for these deaths rests on the Nazis who started the war. More recently, in the 2004 urban warfare of Fallujah in Iraq, the U.S. killed 800 civilians and destroyed 9,000 homes. Did we hear cries of "disproportionate"?
As military analyst Colonel Richard Kemp concludes: "I don't think there has ever been a time in the history of warfare when any army has made more efforts to reduce civilian casualties and deaths of innocent people, than the IDF is doing today in Gaza."

(7) Hamas is a humanitarian organization.

Hamas bills itself as a "humanitarian organization," yet it’s anything but. As the people of Gaza endure high unemployment and limited economic growth, Hamas’ leadership skims off profits, collecting ruinous taxes on business transactions, and steals international aid outright. Ismail Haniyah, Hamas’ leader, reportedly owns numerous homes throughout Gaza, and in 2010 paid $4 million for a beachfront home in Lebanon. His deputy, Khaled Mashal, controls a $2.6 billion fund donated to Hamas by the governments of Qatar and Egypt.
If Hamas were truly fighting for the rights of ordinary Palestinians, it also would hold elections, ensure human rights, and stop pursuing political opponents. But it chooses to spread terror.

(8) Hamas just wants to live in peace.

Gaza's leaders encourage violence, allowing Islamic Jihad to run “terror summer camps" for children as young as six, where kids learn hate and practice kidnapping Israeli soldiers. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon calls Hamas’ indiscriminate firing on Israeli civilians “a violation of international law.”
The Hamas Charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the death of Jews around the world: “the Zionist plan is limitless” and “our struggle against the Jews is very great... until the enemy is vanquished.” Who can doubt that, if given the chance, Hamas would inflict mass casualties on Israel and Jews? Given this existential threat, Israel has no choice but to try to demilitarize Hamas and destroy its tunnels.
Ironically, in 2013 Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh boasted that Hamas had acquired new rockets that were capable of hitting Tel Aviv – at the very time that his own granddaughter was being treated in Schneider Children’s Hospital near Tel Aviv!

(9) All the Gaza casualties are Israel's fault.

Many of the rockets Hamas has launched into Israel have fallen short, hitting targets in Gaza instead; often, Israel is blamed for these hits and their resultant civilian casualties. One high-profile case is the UN-run school bombed on July 24 with 16 casualties. Israel categorically denies bombing the school when anyone was present, and has produced aerial footage proving its case.
Four days later, a Gaza park was bombed, killing nine children and an adult. The Israeli army explained that the incident was carried out by Gaza terrorists whose rockets fell short and hit the Shifa Hospital and the Beach (Shati) camp.
Further, at least 160 children were killed in constructing Hamas' extensive terror tunnel network.

(10) Israel must stop occupying Gaza, denying humanitarian aid, and committing genocide.

Israel does not occupy Gaza, having unilaterally disengaged – withdrawing every soldier and civilian – in 2005. Despite the thousands of terrorist rocket and missile attacks emanating from the Strip for years, Israel continues – even during this crisis – to truck in tons of medical supplies, food, humanitarian goods and fuel.
Despite the war, Israel has kept the Kerem Shalom crossing open to a steady stream of humanitarian aid into Gaza, and allows humanitarian access at the Erez Crossing in northern Gaza. The Israeli military also operates a full-scale hospital at the Erez Crossing, treating Palestinians from Gaza. Both crossing points are under a steady stream of attack every day from Hamas forces.
While many Gazans are indeed suffering from a supply shortage, signs point to Hamas intentionally exacerbating the crisis as a propaganda weapon against Israel – while creating a flourishing black market that filled the pockets of Hamas thugs.
Soon there will be calls for shipments of tons of concrete into Gaza to "rebuild." Past concrete shipment have gone to construct terror tunnels. Will the international aid agencies be fooled again?
If Israel is perpetrating genocide, it is doing a terrible job. Why hasn't Israel acted worse? Where are the slave labor camps and the nightly massacres? It is difficult to reconcile the idea of "genocidal Israelis" with 1,000 Palestinians, mostly combatants, killed in the fighting. Two-thirds of European Jewry exterminated by the Nazis? That's genocide. 800,000 Tutsis (7 out of 10) killed in Rwanda? That's genocide.
Israel has faced difficult choices in Gaza and has acted at every step to minimize casualties, protect her citizens, and help build a better life for all the people – Jews and Arabs – in the region.

Gaza's Present is 'West Bank' Prologue

A terrorist from the "West Bank" with a small and light-weight 122mm rocket doesn't need to aim the rocket except to point it generally west.   

From Mark Langfan 
Published: ThursdayJuly 31, 2014 2:10 PM

The universal lynchpins of any "peace" deal concerning the "West Bank" are the security arrangements the United States would employ to defend Israel from terrorist attacks launched from an evacuated Judea and Samaria. (the "West Bank")
Obama's current defense of Israel from Palestinian tunnel and rocket attacks from Gaza can serve as a prism to preview the various elements of those so-called security arrangements.
1. In 2006, Hamas was democratically elected by the Palestinian Arabs as the ruling party.

In 2006, by a popular vote of 444,409 to 410,554, all the Palestinians in Gaza and the "West Bank", "democratically" elected Hamas as the ruling party of the Palestinian Legislative Council (the PA's analog to the US Congress) with 74 seats compared to Fatah's 45.  The Palestinians freely elected Hamas not in spite of Hamas' call to destroy Israel, but specifically because of its charter to destroy Israel. (This does not imply that the PLO changed its charter, which it didn't.)  Hence, Hamas is not just a terror group, Hamas, at this moment, is the "democratically" elected ruling party of the Palestinian Authority.

What American "security arrangement" could prevent Hamas from "democratically" ruling the "West Bank"?  In fact, Hamas is already supposed to be "democratically" ruling the "West Bank".

2. 75% of Gazans, and 49% of "West Bankers" Support Suicide Bombings.

Notably, in a recent 2014 Pew Study poll, where Israel "disengaged" from Gaza, a whopping 75% of Gazans support suicide bombings: Often-39%, Sometimes-23%, and Rarely-13%.  But, surprisingly, the "West Bank", where Israel is still in control, only 49% support suicide bombings: Often: 22%, Sometimes: 14%, and Rarely: 13%.

Now if Israel's retreat from Gaza is any indication, Arab "West Bankers" will become even more virulently radicalized if Israel leaves.  And remember, these numbers only polled support of "suicide bombings" in which a Palestinian Arab dies.  Imagine if the Pew pollsters asked the Palestinian Arabs about firing Katyusha rockets into Tel Aviv or Ben Gurion Airport where no Palestinians are hurt. 

These fresh 2014 Pew Study "suicide" support numbers show Hamas could today, be democratically elected to control the "West Bank" on an "annihilate Israel" platform.  And, no American "security arrangement" could stop it.
 Thousands of US Troops would have to be deployed to the "West Bank" on a suicide mission

Imagine if US Jews had lobbied Capitol Hill, and strong-armed the US Congress to put US "peacekeeping" troops in the Gaza Strip, and US troops were now in the midst of this fire-fight, and were getting killed.  Now, that's an "Oy gevalt" moment.

But, after Gaza, could any US Jew in good conscience actively lobby Senators and Congressmen to put US "peacekeeping" troops into the harm's way of a Judea and Samaria death-trap?   Either, G-d forbid, the US troops would be murdered by Hamas/ISIS/Fatah terrorists, and/or caught in cross-fire between Israeli soldiers and Hamas/ISIS/Fatah Palestinian terrorists.

It wouldn't matter how the US soldier was killed.  Every American would see the US soldier's blood on American Jews' hands for actively lobbying for the troops in the first place.

Obama's "ceasefire" 10-sec sound-bite message to Joe and Jane Six-Pack is that Israel is as venal as Hamas.

When a parent yells at his battling kids in the backseat of the car to "ceasefire," everyone understands that to mean they are "both guilty."  But, when a parent, tells one of the kids he is wrong, and had better stop or he is going to get punished, everyone understands who is the guilty one.

Hence, at best, Obama's current Gaza "cease-fire" ten-second sound-bite message to Americans is that the Israelis are just as bad as Hamas.  (Imagine for a second, what message FDR would have sent to Americans when Hitler was bombing London, if FDR had said, "Ceasefire now, Winston and Adolph.")

It gets worse, in the "two kids in the back seat" analogy, if it appears that one kid has a bat, and the other has a kid's bow and arrow, and they are attacking each other, everyone would say the one with a bat is a homicidal lunatic, and needs to be committed.  Well, to the tunnel-vision mainstream news, Israel has the "bat" of F-16's that can take-down buildings while Hamas has, at worst, "pesky" rockets that "rarely do harm."

So, under Obama's implied Israel-Gaza "message" echoed by the widely-followed John Stewart, a Jew,Israel is not only a homicidal country, it's a war-criminal country for defending itself.

America, Israel's indispensable military ally, has turned itself into a neutral "honest broker"

Israel's entire defense relies on the United States as a bedrock military ally.  But, in its gambit to unilaterally cede Gaza and the "West Bank", Israel has actively encouraged America (Israel's only real ally) to be an "honest broker" that is neutral on the Israelis and Palestinians.

Israel asked for America's neutrality in the left's dream of a negotiated "peace," and instead has gotten its "neutrality" in the reality of war.

If the United States is pro-Hamas when it wants to appear to be "neutral" so Israel can trust the US enough to cede the "West Bank", just wait for America to be even more pro-Palestinian after Israel has ceded the "West Bank" and has nothing left to cede.

A hole-in-one-rocket from Gaza, but a chip-shot-rocket unto the green from the "West Bank".

A Palestinian terrorist  firing a 302mm rocket weighing 1700 pounds from Gaza is similar to Tiger Woods making a 175 yard par 3-hole-in-one: not impossible, but not easy.  302mm rockets are huge, have to be aimed just exactly right, fly 50 miles, and expose their terrorist operators to Israeli pre-launch attack.

But, a 122mm katyusha rocket fired 7 miles from the "West Bank" into Tel Aviv, is as easy as a blind-folded duffer chipping a golf ball onto the green from one foot away with 50 do-overs: He can't miss.

That's because a terrorist from the "West Bank" with a small and light-weight 122mm rocket doesn't need to aim the rocket except to point it generally west.  Given the Jewish population density of the coastal plain, which is greater than Gaza's,  he just has to fire it in virtually any direction from the West Bank and it will surely kill somebody or destroy something important.

If the FAA over-reacted to Gaza's 302mms that have almost zero chance of actually hitting Ben Gurion Airport, the FAA will be justified if "West Bank" ball-bearing war-headed katyushas ever blast the Ben Gurion tarmac sending red-hot anti-personnel ball-bearings through the gas tanks of parked 747s.

With these points in mind, it's easy to understand why Binyamin Netanyahu was recently quoted as stating:

"But at the same time, Israel had to ensure that "we don't get another Gaza in Judea and Samaria" - aka as the "West Bank".

Amid the current conflict, he elaborated, "I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan" - a reference to the Jordan Valley as well - as Kerry had urged during a US-led peace effort that collapsed in April.

Citing by name both Kerry and the US security adviser Gen. John Allen, who was charged by the secretary of state to draw up security proposals that the US argued could enable Israel to withdraw from most of Judea and Samaria, including the Jordan Valley, Netanyahu said passionately, "I told John Kerry and General Allen, the Americans' expert: We live here, I live here, I know what we need to ensure the security of Israel's people.""
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