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Writing The Wrongs

We are a grass roots organization located in both Israel and the United States. Our intention is to be pro-active on behalf of Israel. This means we will identify the topics that need examination, analysis and promotion. Our intention is to write accurate

Updated: 2018-01-15T18:44:42.367+02:00


US Jewish leaders' deafening silence


Isi LeiblerOver the past few months, the Jewish state has been increasingly castigated by U.S. President Barack Obama and his spokesmen as part of botched efforts to bring about a settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The tense relationship deteriorated further in recent weeks when the U.S. ritual endorsement of Israel's right to self-defense was linked to criticisms of its behavior. The U.S. is unquestionably Israel's principal ally. In contrast to most of the world, the American public and a bipartisan Congress remain overwhelmingly pro-Israel. Until this week, the U.S. has maintained the military partnership with Israel and exercised its veto powers to defend Israel from biased resolutions at the U.N. Security Council. Israel is therefore reluctant to confront the offensive statements emanating from the White House and has gone through the motions of minimizing differences. Under such circumstances, one would have expected the American Jewish leadership to actively express its concern. Yet, other than the hawkish Zionist Organization of America, the Jewish establishment appears to have burrowed behind a curtain of deafening silence. Ironically, engaged American Jews are currently more united in support of Israel than at any time since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Even groups like Peace Now endorsed solidarity meetings and publicly expressed their support. This, despite the fact that the left-wing media again provided excessive exposure to anti-Israeli Jewish individuals and groups, who represent a marginal portion of the committed Jewish community.American Jews related with shame to the events in 1944 when their leaders, headed by Rabbi Stephen Wise, failed to protest the failure to rescue Jews during the Holocaust in order to appease then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Over the past four decades Jewish leaders have earned a proud reputation of speaking up without fear or favor in relation to Jewish rights, actively combating the demonization and delegitimization of Israel.In retrospect, American Jewish activism in our era has been rather uncontroversial. The successful protest movements to alleviate the plight of Soviet Jewry and campaigns against anti-Semitism did not ruffle any feathers.There were occasional differences over Israel with various administrations but, aside from the Carter era and until the Reagan administration, Democratic presidents proved more favorable toward Israel than the Republicans did. That was a source of gratification for most Jews, for whom support of the Democratic Party had virtually become part of their DNA.Today the situation has changed dramatically. While there is evidence that, overall, Americans have become more pro-Israel, there has been an erosion of support for Israel among far-left elements in the Democratic Party who strongly support Obama. The debates over resolutions relating to Israel at the last Democratic convention highlighted the emergence of intensifying hostility.Over the past few months, the attitude of the president and his administration toward Israel has dramatically deteriorated. Israel was unfairly blamed for the breakdown in the U.S. peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. More recently, Secretary of State John Kerry shocked Israelis by attempting to substitute Egypt with pro-Hamas Qatar and Turkey as mediators of a Gaza cease-fire agreement -- a step that could have been disastrous for Israel had it not been thwarted.Obama has not treated Israel as befits an ally. The State Department has condemned Israel for civilian casualties, describing its actions as "disgraceful" and "appalling," while the president referred to thousands of rockets from Hamas as "extraordinarily irresponsible" and even indicated that Israel is obligated to lift the blockade, with no regard to security requirements. In effect, he related to Israel and Hamas in terms of moral equivalency. Regrettably, Obama's condemnations encouraged the rest the world to demonize Israel and allowed Hamas to believe th[...]

Raymond Ibrahim: The West’s Prostration to Islam


Raymond Ibrahim  I was recently interviewed by Fronda, a leading website in Poland.  The English-language version of the Polish interview, originally titled “Raymond Ibrahim: Prostration before Islam,” follows:Who is Raymond Ibrahim? A scholar, a writer, an activist? What is his mission and the main goal?Raymond Ibrahim: I am a little of all that and more.  Due to my background, academic and personal, I have had a long interest in the Middle East and Islam, especially the historic and contemporary interaction between Islam and Christianity.  After the strikes of September 11, 2001, I took an interest in the current events of the region vis-à-vis the West, and what immediately struck me was how, on the one hand, the conflict was almost identical to the historic conflict, one of continuity—at least that is how many Muslims were portraying it.But on the other hand, in the West, the narrative was very different and based on a “new paradigm,” one that saw Islam and Muslims as perpetual victims of all sorts of outside and material pressures, mostly from the West.  Thus the analyses that were being disseminated through media and academia were to my mind immensely flawed and, while making perfect sense to people in the West—for they were articulated through Western, secular, materialistic paradigms—had little to do with reality as I saw and understood it. That was one of the reasons I left academia and began writing for more popular audiences, to try to offer a corrective to these flawed narratives.  My first book, The Al Qaeda Reader (2007), was meant to do precisely this—to compare the words of al-Qaeda as delivered to the West and as delivered to fellow Muslims, and to show how when speaking to the West, al-Qaeda and other Islamists used Western arguments, claiming any number of grievances, political and otherwise, as being the source of their jihad.  Obviously such arguments, widely disseminated by Western mainstream media, made perfect sense to the West.But al-Qaeda’s Arabic writings that I discovered when I was working at the African and Middle Eastern Division of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., and which I translated for the book, made completely different arguments, basically saying that, irrespective of all grievances, Muslims must hate and wage jihad on all non-Muslim “infidels” until they come under Islamic authority, according to the worldview of Sharia, or Islamic law.So in a way, you can say my mission since then has been to open Western eyes to the truths and reality of Islam—at least the reality of how it is understood and practiced by many Muslims—for Western eyes have been closed shut in recent times.You have a dual background. You were born and raised in the U.S. by parents who were born and raised in a Coptic community in Egypt. Are you the ‘clash of civilizations’ personified? What kind of advantages and disadvantages does such an identity and upbringing lead do?Raymond Ibrahim: That’s an interesting way of putting it.  Along with obvious benefits—being bilingual (Arabic and English), for example—yes, I do believe my background gives me more subtle advantages.  Growing up cognizant of both worlds and cultures has, I believe, imparted a higher degree of objectivity to my thinking.  Most people’s worldviews are colored by whichever culture they are immersed in—hence exactly why so many Western people tend to project their own values on the Islamic world, convinced that any violence and intolerance that comes from that region must be a product of some sort of socio-political or economic “grievance”—some sort of material, not religious, factor.  While I understand, appreciate and participate in Western values and norms, because of my “dual” background, I also cannot project such values and norms on non-Western peoples (and vic[...]

End the Arab-Israel War


By Shoshana BryenIn two sets of remarks, President Obama shared his concerns about what happens between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. He worries about the people of Gaza: Long term, there has to be a recognition that Gaza cannot sustain itself permanently closed off from the world and incapable of providing some opportunity -- jobs, economic growth -- for the population that lives there…The question then becomes: can we find a formula in which Israel has greater assurance that Gaza will not be a launching pad for further attacks ... but at the same time ordinary Palestinians have some prospects for an opening of Gaza so that they do not feel walled off? About Israel, not so much: I don’t worry about Israel’s survival. ... I think the question really is how does Israel survive? And how can you create a State of Israel that maintains its democratic and civic traditions? How can you preserve a Jewish state that is also reflective of the best values of those who founded Israel? And, in order to do that, it has consistently been my belief that you have to [meaning Israel has] find a way to live side by side in peace with Palestinians... You [meaning Israel] have to recognize that they have legitimate claims, and this is their land and neighborhood as well.” To the president, the problem is Gaza poverty and the lack of a Palestinian State. That being the case, Israel has to “find a way” to live in peace with the neighbors; the neighbors have no reciprocal obligation. Israel has to legitimate Palestinian claims to land for a country, but Israel’s claim to land for a state recognized as legitimate by the neighbors remains unaddressed. Missing from the president’s understanding is that Israel still faces the century-long Arab determination to deny it as a permanent, legitimate part of the region. Israel’s independence, under terms the UN used to establish post-colonial states across the Middle East and Africa, prompted the Arab states in their entirety not only to object, but to use their armies to invade the nascent Jewish State. The wars of 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973 were not about Palestinians; they were Arab attempts to destroy Israel.   Over time, peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, and the exit of Iraq from regional politics after 2003 made Israel’s borders quieter. Syria was deterred by Israel’s position atop the Golan Heights. But smaller wars with non-state actors supported by Arab states -- 1982 and 2006 in Lebanon, 2001-4 in the West Bank, and 2008/9, 2012 and 2014 with Hamas in Gaza -- changed the impression of Israel from a small state facing large states to a militarily superior state facing ragtag guerrillas and poor refugees. It was a major public relations coup for the Palestinians, for whom poor civilians are an excellent cover for hiding millions of dollars worth of weapons and private Swiss bank accounts. From the despised of the Arab world -- more than 200,000 Palestinians were expelled from Kuwait after the First Gulf War and no one paid any attention at all; tens of thousands have been displaced from Syria -- they became the last bastion of resistance against Israel. Even the name of the war changed from the “Arab-Israel conflict” to the “Palestinian-Israeli conflict.” The “peace process” is no longer about making the Arab states meet the requirement of UN Resolution 242 [“Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.”]. It is about making Israel cough up a Palestinian State. Two long-time “peace process” devotees wrote in the Washington Post this weekend -- the Post being the newspaper that most advances the Obama Administration’s positions.   Dennis Ross, a fixture in[...]

What Is to Be Done About Gaza?


Efraim InbarBESA Center Perspectives SUMMARY: Operation Protective Edge has not weakened or threatened Hamas enough to encourage it to accept a ceasefire. Reconquering Gaza is an unlikely option. Involving international actors to help manage the conflict, uprooting Hamas leadership, and/or re-instating Mahmud Abbas as leader in Gaza are equally unlikely solutions. Consequently, the only option available to Israel is to once again "mow the grass" by launching another ground attack to the point where Hamas fears that its rule over Gaza is at stake. Uprooting Hamas is not in the cards. Hamas' refusal to accept a ceasefire indicates that the Protective Edge operation has so far failed to attain its modest goal of calm on Israel's border with Gaza. Jerusalem is not expecting peace or integration with its neighbors – it wants just to be left alone. It is clear that Hamas does not feel weakened or threatened enough to accept a ceasefire. If most of their conditions are met, they might agree to a fragile ceasefire that can be violated at will, which will amount to a Hamas victory. Such an outcome will be disastrous for Israel, with negative political and strategic implications. Therefore, Israel has no choice but to continue to attack Hamas targets in order to exact a higher cost from the organization. So far the Israeli government has shown commendable caution and reluctance to use massive force. The media reports of the disproportionate use of force are a result of Hamas manipulations and show little understanding of the realities of war. Moreover, air attacks, with the exception of targeted killings, have limited impact. Most destroyed targets are renewable. The limited ground incursion also did not force Hamas to accept a permanent cease-fire, despite the destruction of many tunnels. Therefore an escalation of the military effort is necessary. Many Israelis advocate reconquering Gaza and cleaning it of its terrorist infrastructure by hunting down all members of the terrorist organizations, primarily Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Such an objective is not beyond the IDF's capabilities and it commands much support in Israel. A re-conquest may need many weeks and even months and it will be costly in terms of casualties. It is not clear that Israel can garner the support of the international community, particularly the US, for a prolonged operation. Nevertheless, in the absence of Hamas willingness to stop rocket fire for a prolonged period, there may be no choice but to revisit this option; the conquest of all Gaza will be needed to eradicate Hamas military capabilities and secure calm for Israel. However, staying there will be problematic, as democratic societies are increasingly reluctant to be enlightened conquerors. In the meantime, less drastic military options are available. In the past, the IDF has established corridors to the sea, cutting the Gaza strip into several parts, leaving Hamas to guess where the IDF is headed next. Israel's government must demonstrate that it is not afraid to have the IDF enter urban areas, even if it takes heavy casualties. Israeli society is prepared for it. Moreover, casualties now could save even more casualties in the future. The IDF may need to launch a ground attack to make Hamas fear that its rule over Gaza might be at stake. It is true that Hamas has no clear center of gravity that if pushed past would assure victory, but Hamas political and military leaders value their power and even more so their lives. Without going deeper into Gaza such a threat cannot develop. The sooner this happens the better. Various proposals to involve international actors and UN forces are being aired. Israel's experience with such experiments is terrible. All international mechanisms and peacekeeping troops in the Arab-Israeli arena have proven again and again to be ineffective. The last UN force stationed in Southern Lebanon [...]

“Barack Obama and David Cameron do not dare, even now, tell the truth about what Islamic State (or IS) are, or what motivates them”


Robert Spencer  Robin Harris argues here for increased U.S. and U.K. military action, combined with active aid to trustworthy local factions. The problem with this is that no local factions favor pluralism and Western-style republican rule. Massive military intervention would just be a holding action postponing the fighting of various Sunni and Shi’ite factions, as it was before. There would have to be a massive change in the political culture of both countries, which is not on the horizon, before such an intervention could even have the possibility of being genuinely effective. But Harris is certainly correct that Obama, Cameron and other Western leaders don’t dare explain clearly or confront what the Islamic State is all about, for to do so would expose the catastrophic errors of the analyses on which both their countries have based key foreign policy decisions for years. “ROBIN HARRIS: Our leaders are in denial about this Islamic revolution because it exposes their own naivety,” by Robin Harris, Daily Mail, August 11, 2014: The terrorist group now calling itself Islamic State has been lucky. It has so far been able to advance its repulsive agenda of violence and cruelty without bothering about comeuppance from the great powers. This is because it is confronted by probably the most incompetent and ill-equipped Western leaders of modern times. For two months, this barbaric group has been rolling forward. But Washington just dithered. Barack Obama and David Cameron do not dare, even now, tell the truth about what Islamic State (or IS) are, or what motivates them. Obama and Cameron talk of averting ‘genocide’. But genocide is, by definition, the destruction of a racial or national group. Islamic State isn’t remotely interested in that. It is interested in religion — its own extreme brand of Sunni Islam — and it has for months now been engaging in forced conversions, killings, plunder and expulsion of all those it considers infidels. The Yazidis, dying on a mountain in northern Iraq, while being pelted from the skies with humanitarian aid, are seen as devil worshippers. The Shia Muslims, meanwhile, are heretics, and so worthy of death. The thousands of Christian victims of IS, about whom Obama and Cameron found it convenient to stay silent, are regarded as having no rights whatever. In the Iraqi city of Mosul, Christian properties were painted with the Arab letter ‘N’ (signifying Nazarenes) and then confiscated. The Christians were first told to convert or pay the Jizya (tax on infidels), and then, to simplify matters, killed or expelled. They sought haven in the Nineveh plain; that, too, then fell to Islamic State. The likely fate of many or most of these Christians, and of the Yazidis, is now a horrible death. The West’s strategic interests are also imperilled. Islamic State is a more dangerous terrorist force than even Al Qaeda. It has carved out a vast territory sprawling far across the Iraq-Syria border. It possesses a huge cache of advanced weapons. It has its own financial resources, in the form of conquered oil installations. It is a magnet for global jihad. And the West has looked on. Or rather Western leaders have looked away, and focused instead on Ukraine. American bombers may have finally flown sorties over northern Iraq at the weekend, but for months it is as if nothing has mattered on the world stage except ratcheting up pressure on Russia. David Cameron was photographed engaging in an (allegedly) ‘tense’ telephone conversation with President Putin. He will shortly be playing host — and, doubtless, playing to the gallery — when Nato leaders head to Newport, Wales, for their summit. Cameron repeatedly pledges ever tougher economic sanctions. But if the objective is to make Russia disgorge Crimea — which it annexed months ago — then it is simply a waste of time. That will not happen. If [...]

“Forecast Cloudy”


Before I look at that forecast, let me mention “Kaitana Savta,” which translates literally as “Camp Grandma” (it sounds better in Hebrew).  I am about to begin Kaitana Savta, which comes every year in August and is truly as much fun for me as for my grandkids. Starting tomorrow and in days ahead, I will have two and three kids sleeping here and going out where Savta takes them to have fun, or staying in to do games and arts and crafts. This year especially, this time will help me regain my balance - after weeks of focusing on the war. And so... I will be posting.  But less frequently, and perhaps – after today – with shorter posts. ~~~~~~~~~~ Now, as to that forecast.  I use the term cloudy in two regards.  First, the clouds block our vision. And then, they suggest storms advancing.  As most of you doubtlessly already know, an Israeli negotiating team is back in Cairo after Hamas agreed to yet another 72 hour ceasefire.  Hamas leaders had refused to extend the last one because they weren’t happy with the way negotiations were going.  And so, last Friday they began launching rockets again.  Credit: mikesamerica How wearisome, how straining. These rockets startled many in Israel, as people had just begun to relax and think in terms of “normal,” and quiet.  Hamas offered to continue to negotiate, but Israel made it very clear that we have a policy of not negotiating under fire, and our team was called home. ~~~~~~~~~~ Then followed a touch-and-go situation, with Hamas reluctant to stop launching again and Egyptian mediators trying to bring about yet another ceasefire.  Finally Hamas agreed: For another 72 hours.  As is the Hamas norm, there was a barrage of launchings right before the ceasefire was to begin – they have to get in as much as they can.  This is the last ceasefire, they said.  If they are not happy with the results of negotiations in 72 hours, forget it.  They will not only begin launching again, they will escalate their attacks. The ceasefire was called for midnight last night, but the Israeli team was only sent back to Cairo this morning, after it seemed that the ceasefire was holding. The team: Maj. Gen. (res) Amos Gilad, Director of the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Ministry of Defense; Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen; Yitzhak Molcho, lawyer and close confident of Netanyahu; Maj.-Gen. Nimrod Sheffer, head of the IDF’s Planning Directorate; and Yoav Mordechai, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.  They will concentrate on security issues. ~~~~~~~~~~ Israel wants Hamas disarmed: With rockets in its possession removed and the means for bringing in more rockets blocked.  Hamas wants to be fully open to the world, permanently and unconditionally: the blockade at sea must be lifted and all crossings into Gaza must be open. That’s just a start. They also want a seaport and an international airport. These demands are mutually exclusive and the odds that they can be reconciled somehow within 72 hours are zero.  The only way to see an extension of the current ceasefire would be if one or both parties were to significantly compromise or modify its demands (Heaven forbid that Israel should).  ~~~~~~~~~~ There are some very modest actions being taken – and proposals being made – in an effort to reconcile demands. Egypt, which has kept the Rafah crossing into the Sinai tightly closed for some while now, opened it in recent days for wounded in Gaza and those with foreign passports.  Rafah is a key element here – would be a key avenue for opening up Gaza. Additionally, Netanyahu has been alluding for some time to the readiness of some EU countries to lend an assist here, and it turns out that he spoke with some solid reason.  Last week, Britain, Germany and France presented I[...]

Rocket strikes prompt Israel to briefly close Gaza border crossing


After rockets were fired at Kerem Shalom crossing, endangering workers transferring aid into Gaza, Defense Ministry closed crossing temporarily • Rockets fired on Tel Aviv just before cease-fire • IAF kills 12 terrorists in targeted strikes. Lilach Shoval, Gadi Golan, Daniel Siryoti, Itsik Saban, Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff A rocket strikes the Kerem Shalom border crossing |Photo credit: Defense Ministry << 1 2 >> Ahead of a 72-hour cease-fire that began at midnight Sunday, the Kerem Shalom border crossing into the Gaza Strip was closed following continued rocket attacks on the area earlier that day.The crossing has been the only functioning transit point into Gaza for items including food, medical supplies, cooking gas and fuel. Many of the food shipments are earmarked for U.N. distribution once inside Gaza. Credit: Defense MinistryAccording to Israeli authorities, the crossing came under rocket fire at 6 a.m. Sunday. Despite the attack, work continued and 30 trucks with supplies entered Gaza. Around 12:30 p.m., the crossing was targeted by another barrage of rockets, some of which directly hit the crossing compound, Israeli officials say. Authorities say they stopped work at the site to protect workers.The crossing was reopened on Monday.Israel and the Palestinians agreed late Sunday to an Egyptian proposal for a new 72-hour cease-fire, set to take effect at midnight Sunday, officials from both sides said. Hamas fired a rocket salvo toward Tel Aviv on Sunday night, just before the cease-fire took effect. No air raid siren was sounded nor was the rocket intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system, but a loud explosion was heard in the Tel Aviv area.Earlier, rockets were fired toward Ashdod and Beersheba, and some 40 rockets and mortar shells were fired toward other towns in southern Israel, with about 20 hitting Israeli territory and eight being intercepted by Iron Dome. Some 20 mortar shells were fired over the Eshkol region throughout the day and into the evening, causing property damage. Meanwhile, the Israeli Air Force bombed 41 targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, including one directly involved in launching rockets into Israel from southern Gaza. According to the IAF, 12 terrorists were killed in targeted strikes. Palestinian reports say buildings housing weapons manufacturing plants were attacked, as were rocket-launching areas in northeastern Gaza and in southern Gaza, near Khan Younis. Islamic Jihad outposts and bases were also bombed. Palestinian media reported that an Islamic Jihad operative was assassinated by an IAF strike while riding a motorcycle through the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza. Meanwhile, five Israelis were lightly injured on Sunday evening by stones thrown at them at Zif [...]

Lessons of the war in Gaza


Daniel Pipes As Israeli operations against Hamas wind down, here are seven insights into the month-long conflict:Missile shield: The superb performance of Iron Dome, the protective system that shot down nearly every Hamas rocket threatening life or property, has major military implications for Israel and the world. Its success signals that "Star Wars" (as opponents maliciously dubbed it upon introduction in 1983) can indeed provide protection from short-range and also presumably from long-range rockets and missiles, potentially changing the future of warfare.Tunnels: Tunneling behind enemy lines is hardly a new tactic; historically, it has had success, as in the 1917 Battle of Messines, when British mines killed 10,000 German soldiers. The Israel Defense Forces knew of Hamas' tunnels before hostilities began on July 8 but failed to appreciate their numbers, length, depth, quality of construction, and electronic sophistication. Jerusalem quickly realized, as the Times of Israel wrote, that "Israel's air, sea and land supremacy is not mirrored underground." The IDF thus requires additional time to achieve subterranean dominance. Consensus in Israel: Hamas' unrelenting barbarism created a rare consensus among Jewish Israelis in favor of victory. This near unanimity both strengthens the government's hand in dealing with outside powers. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admonished the U.S. administration never again to second-guess him and is likely to move Israeli domestic politics decisively to the right into the nationalist camp.Middle Eastern response: With the exception of Hamas' state patrons (Turkey, Qatar, Iran), the Islamist terrorists found almost no governmental support in the region. In one striking example, Saudi king Abdullah said of Hamas killing Gazans, "It is shameful and disgraceful that these terrorists are [mutilating the bodies of innocents and proudly publicizing their actions] in the name of religion." How well he knows his mortal enemy.Rising anti-Semitism: Especially in Europe, but also in Canada and Australia, anti-Semitism came to the fore, mainly from Palestinians and Islamists as well as from their far Left allies. This response will, in all probability, increase immigration to the two havens of Jewish life, Israel and the United States. By contrast, Middle East Muslims kept quiet, with the exception of Turks and those Arabs living under Israeli control.Elite vs. popular responses: It's not every day that the secretary-general of the United Nations and all 28 foreign ministers of the European Union side with Israel against an Arab enemy, but that did occur. In the U.S. Congress, the Senate unanimously approved and the House voted 395-8 in favor of an additional $225 million for the Iron Dome program. In contrast, among the wider public, pro-Israel sentiment declined almost everywhere (although not in the United States). How to explain this disparity? My hunch: Leaders imagine what they would do if faced with enemy rockets and tunnels, while the public focuses on photographs of dead babies in Gaza.Dead babies: Which brings us to the most complex, counter-intuitive, and strange aspect of the entire conflict. Because the IDF enjoys a crushing advantage over Hamas on the battlefield, their confrontation resembled a police operation more than a war. Thus, Israelis were judged primarily by the clarity of their leaders' public statements, the judicious use of force, and the handling of evidence. Accordingly, media attention invariably drifted from the military sphere to questions of proportionality, morality and politics. Hamas' greatest strategic weapon in its effort to damage Israel's reputation and ostracize it was neither rockets nor tunnels, but wrenching photographs of dead civilians purportedly killed by the IDF.This leads to th[...]

Hiroshima's Lessons for the War on Terror


Sultan KnishIn the summer of '45, the United States concluded a war that had come to be seen by some as unwinnable after the carnage at Iwo Jima with a bang.On August 6th, the bomb fell on Hiroshima. And then on the 9th, it was Nagasaki's turn. Six days later, Japan, which had been preparing to fight to the last man, surrendered. For generations of liberals those two names would come to represent the horror of America's war machine when they actually saved countless American and Japanese lives. The two bombs stand in stark contrast to our endless nation-building exercises in which nothing is ever finished until we give up. Instead Truman cut the Gordian Knot and avoided a long campaign that would have depopulated Japan and destroyed the lives of a generation of American soldiers.That we can talk about Japan as a victory, that the famous couple was caught kissing in Times Square rather than sighing in relief, is attributable to that decision to use the bomb. Without it, Japan would have been another Iraq or Vietnam, we might have eventually won at a terrible cost while destroying our willingness to fight any future wars and that would have given the USSR an early victory in Asia. Professional soldiers understand the humanitarian virtue of ruthlessness. The pacifist civilian may gasp in horror at the sight of a mushroom cloud, but the professional soldier knows that the longer way around would have left every Japanese city looking far worse than Hiroshima. More people died in the Battle of Okinawa on both sides than in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 9 out of 10 buildings were destroyed. As much as a third of the island's population committed suicide, fled into caves that were bombed, were used as human shields or were killed when American soldiers found themselves unable to distinguish between Japanese soldiers posing as civilians and actual civilians.And all that was in a part of Japan that was not fully aligned with its national identity. It does not take much to imagine what trying to capture Honshu would have looked like. Take the worst horrors of Vietnam and keep multiplying until you run out of imagination. If you run low, remember that at Okinawa the military was handing out grenades to civilians and its home defense plans involved encouraging the civilian population to commit suicide attacks.The United States military did not understand the fanatical mindset of its enemies, but it did understand that they had to be fought with equal ruthlessness.And now on another hot August, we find ourselves in another unwinnable war.  It isn't really unwinnable, but there is the sense that we have done everything possible and all we can do is live with it. As the left will tell us, more Americans died in car accidents in 2001 than on September 11. Doubtlessly more Americans died in some assortment of accidents in 1941 than at Pearl Harbor. Instead of calling it a day that will live forever in infamy, FDR could have put their deaths into perspective by comparing them to the number of Americans killed by Polio and given a typical Obama speech warning the public not to jump to any conclusions.Obama gave one of those conclusion-jumping speeches after Nidal Hasan murdered 13 Americans in the Fort Hood Massacre. He gave another one after the Boston Marathon bombings. Meanwhile the media jumped to all the right conclusions, speculating that Hasan might be a victim of secondary PTSD and that the Boston bombers were white tax protesters. Finally the official report dismissed all conclusions and labeled an attack by a Muslim terrorist affiliated with a major Al Qaeda figure as a case of workplace violence. If the authors of that report had been available to write up the events of December 7 1941, they would have blamed Newton’s Third Law.The report carefully avoided an[...]

Thousands march calling for Chile to sever ties with Israel


REUTERS 08/10/2014 Pro-Palestinian rallies held in New York, South American country following similar demonstrations in London, Cape Town. Supporters and members of the Palestine community attend a rally for peace in Gaza, in Santiago, August 9, 2014. Photo: REUTERS Some 5,000 people marched through the streets of Santiago on Saturday, to call for the Chilean government to break all ties with Israel.The protest consisted of members of various social organizations, human rights activists, university students, members of Chile's Palestinian community and civilians. Related: Tens of thousands march in London, Cape Town in solidarity with GazaPalestinian descendent Uasim Barros participated in the march and said that Chile's continued ties with Israel would mean it is being an accomplice to the bombardment of the Gaza Strip."We are present at this march to demand that the Chilean state, once and for all, break all types of relationships with Israel. The government would be acting as an accomplice to this huge massacre that Israel is carrying out against Palestine," he said.Another Palestinian descendent also pleaded for Israel to stop the destruction and killings of his people."What they (Israel) is doing today is a genocide. They are killing the civilian population and I, as a daughter and granddaughter of Palestinians in Chile, I rise up here in Chile with the whole country to bring an end to this genocide," said the woman, Stefany.The protest was organized after Israel launched more than 30 air attacks in Gaza on Saturday, killing five Palestinians, in response to terrorist rocket fire at Israel as the conflict entered a second month following Hamas' refusal to extend a three-day cease-fire that ended Friday morning.The violence seemed to delay any progress in talks brokered by Egypt aimed at securing a permanent truce. Israel had no plans to send negotiators back to Cairo "as long as the shooting goes on", an Israeli official said on condition of anonymity.Egypt is meeting separately with each party. Israel and Hamas deny each other's legitimacy, with Hamas rejecting Israel's right to exist and Israel rejecting Hamas as a terrorist organization.Gaza officials say the war has killed 1,880 Palestinians. Sixty-four IDF soldiers and three civilians have been killed in the conflict.Regional neighbors such as Brazil, Peru and Ecuador have recalled their ambassadors in Israel amidst the violence.Meanwhile in New York, thousands of people took to the streets on Saturday to protest against Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip.Waving Palestinian flags and 'Gaza ' signs, some called for an end to US aid to the country.In New York, the crowd marched through the bustling evening streets of Midtown Manhattan chanting "Free, free Palestine!" and "1,2,3,4, stop the killing, stop the war!"The rally was organized by a coalition of groups that came together as "The World Stands with Gaza! International March to the UN."Also on Saturday, large-scale demonstrations in solidarity with the people of Gaza were also held in London and Cape Town with tens of thousands of people participating in marches in both cities. [...]

Is Gaza Really the Most Densely Populated Place on Earth? — If So, Let Them Migrate


Elliott A. Green Elliott A. Green is a writer, researcher, and translator living in Jerusalem. He has published in Nativ, Midstream, the Jerusalem … [More] When  it comes to vilifying Israel, hyperbole and total fraud are the rule. This is true of one the main things said about the Gaza Strip in order to cast Israel in a bad light. But Gaza’s population density is not Israel’s fault. And anyway, Gaza is far from the most densely populated place on earth. But if there are those who truly believe, or really, really need psychologically to believe that that claim is true, then there is  a solution. Allow Gazans to emigrate from Gaza. There are several Arab countries with much available undeveloped land. There are also quite a few non-Arab lands that could absorb Gaza Arab immigration. Here are population and area stats comparing the Gaza Strip with Manhattan Island. You can calculate the density by dividing total population by area (in square miles or square kilometers). Manhattan  Island population  (2012)1.69 millionarea22.7 square miles (or 58.8 square kilometers)Gaza Strippopulation1.76 million (Index Mundi – 2013)1.8 million (CIA World Factbook — 2014)area360 square miles  (Information Please)density of Gaza Strip9,713  per square mile (Information Please)density of Manhattan Island74,449 per square mileThis web page has numbers for population density in many countries (here)So we see that Manhattan Island is considerably greater in population density than the Gaza Strip. It is 7.66 times denser. That won’t make much difference to the fanatic Israel haters, but that is the real figure.Nevertheless, those who think that Gaza is too densely populated should allow Gazans to emigrate to greener pastures.SOURCES CIA World Factbook, Information Please, Index Mundi, Chacha.,,Read more: Is Gaza Really the Most Densely Populated Place on Earth? -- If So, Let Them Migrate | Elliott A. Green | The Blogs | The Times of Israel us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook[...]

Obama’s Treachery and Republican Silence


David HorowitzBarack Obama deliberately set out to lose the war in Iraq, and he did. He defied the advice of his joint chiefs of staff to secure America’s formidable military presence and keep 20,000 troops in country, and left Iraq to its own devices and the tender mercies of Iran. In doing so, he betrayed every American and Iraqi who gave his life to create a free Iraq and keep it out of the clutches of the terrorists. Iraq is now a war zone dominated by the terrorist forces of the Islamic State, its rise Obama’s policies fostered. Both his secretaries of state praised the animal Bashar Assad as a “reformer” and a man of “peace,” helping him to thwart his domestic opposition. The Islamic State was born out of the Syrian chaos that ensued. Far worse was Obama’s open support for America’s mortal enemy, the Muslim Brotherhood, spawned of al-Qaeda and Hamas. During the “Arab Spring,” Obama essentially put America’s weight behind the legitimization of this murderous organization that had been outlawed for 40 years for its assassinations and conspiracies against the Egyptian regime. Secretary of State Clinton gave totally unfounded assurances to the world that the Brotherhood was ready to become part of the democratic process and give up its 90-year holy war against infidels, Jews in particular but also — and explicitly — America. During the Brotherhood’s brief tenure as the government in Egypt Obama gave these genocidal zealots more than a billion dollars in American aid and F-16 fighter-bombers that could easily reach Israel’s major population centers, which, for 60 years, the Brotherhood had sworn to destroy. By his feckless interventions in the Middle East, and his tacit support for the chief organization of Islam’s terror war against the West, Obama has set the Middle East on fire. All the violence in the crescent from Gaza to Iraq, including Hamas’s genocidal war against Israel, has been encouraged by Obama’s support for the Brotherhood and hostility toward the Jewish state. Characteristic of this encouragement was his illegal intervention in Libya, which violated every principle that Obama and the Democrats invoked to attack President Bush and undermine America’s war against the Saddam regime and the terrorists in Iraq. Thanks to Obama, Libya is now in the hands of the terrorists and thousands of Libyans are fleeing to Tunisia and Egypt. Thanks to Obama, the Christian communities of Iraq, which date back to the time of Christ, are being slaughtered. Because of Obama’s aversion to America’s role as a keeper of international peace, the tyrant Putin has been able to swallow Crimea and threaten the rest of Ukraine. Since his election in 2009, Obama’s policies have been responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people and will result in the deaths of tens of thousands more. Thanks to his efforts to destroy America’s borders, Americans may be included in this grim toll. Certainly, Americans are now threatened by terrorists as never before. Where is the Republican opposition? Why are Republicans still treating Obama as though his were a normal presidency and not a national disgrace? Why are there no indictments of Obama for the carnage he has enabled? There is one foreign policy area where Republicans have shown some fight: Benghazi. But the fight here has been over an inquiry — important in its own right, but not a political challenge to Obama’s efforts to sabotage and degrade the country he is supposed to lead. We know the basic facts. Obama’s team was trying to monitor and recapture the weapons we had helped supply to Islamist militias in Libya. That was Ambassador Stevens’s mission. No security was provided because St[...]

Hamas' Phony Statistics on Civilian Deaths


Alan M. Dershowitz's a mystery why so many in the media accept as gospel Hamas-supplied figures on the number of civilians killed in the recent war. Hamas claims that of the more than 1800 Palestinians killed close to 90% were civilians. Israel, on the other hand, says that close to half of them were combatants. The objective facts support a number much closer to Israel's than to Hamas'. Even human rights group antagonistic to Israel acknowledge, according to a New York Times report, that Hamas probably counts among the "civilians killed by Israel" the following groups: Palestinians killed by Hamas as collaborators; Palestinians killed through domestic violence; Palestinians killed by errant Hamas rockets or mortars; and Palestinians who died naturally during the conflict. I wonder if Hamas also included the reported 162 children who died while performing child slave labor in building their terror tunnels. Hamas also defines combatants to include only armed fighters who were killed while fighting Israelis. They exclude Hamas supporters who build tunnels, who allow their homes to be used to store and fire rockets, Hamas policemen, members of the Hamas political wing and others who work hand in hand with the armed terrorists. Is a Hamas member who stores weapons in his home a civilian or combatant? Pictured, weapons and ammunition found by the IDF in the bedroom of a Gaza home, July 2014. (Image source: IDF)Several years ago I came up with a concept which I call, the "continuum of civilianality"—an inelegant phrase that is intended to convey the reality that who is a civilian and who is a combatant is often a matter of degree. Clearly every child below the age in which he or she is capable of assisting Hamas is a civilian. Clearly every Hamas fighter who fires rockets, bears arms, or operates in the tunnels is a combatant. Between these extremes lie a wide range of people, some of whom are closer to the civilian end, many of whom who are closer to the combatant end. The law of war has not established a clear line between combatants and civilians, especially in the context of urban warfare where people carry guns at night and bake bread during the day, or fire rockets during the day and go back home to sleep with their families at night. (Interestingly the Israeli Supreme Court has tried to devise a functional definition of combatants in the murky context of urban guerrilla warfare.) Data published by the New York Times strongly suggest that a very large number—perhaps a majority—of those killed are closer to the combatant end of the continuum than to the civilian end. First of all, the vast majority of those killed have been male rather than female. In an Islamic society, males are far more likely to be combatants than females. Second, most of those killed are within the age range (15-40) that are likely to be combatants. The vast majority of these are male as well. The number of people over 60 who have been killed is infinitesimal. The number of children below the age of 15 is also relatively small, although their pictures have been shown more frequently than others. In other words, the genders and ages of those killed are not representative of the general population of Gaza. It is far more representative of the genders and ages of combatants. These data strongly suggest that a very large percentage of Palestinians killed are on the combatant side of the continuum. They also prove, as if any proof were necessary to unbiased eyes, that Israel did not target civilians randomly. If it had, the dead would be representative of the Gaza population in general, rather than[...]

Take a look at yourself, world media


Boaz Bismuth The cease-fire between Israel and Hamas has allowed the international media to go back to addressing, among other things, the fighting in Ukraine (remember that?) and the Ebola virus, which is much more worrying than the virus known as "Hamas." The city of Donetsk in the eastern Ukraine has taken the place of Gaza in the headlines of European newspapers.For some reason, the evacuation on Wednesday and Thursday of tens of thousands of Christians from their homes as the radical Sunni Islamic State takes over extensive areas in northern Iraq and Christian cities still hasn't been properly covered by the European media (unlike the American media), which was very -- I mean, very -- worried about Gaza. Which by yesterday had nearly been forgotten. Is it because there are no European journalists in northern Iraq? Or maybe because the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, which cares only for Palestinians, isn't active there? Either way, the Islamic State, which is much more radical than al-Qaida (is that even possible?), continues about its business without too many headlines after taking over Kirkuk, Iraq's most Christian city (it was home to 50,000 Iraqi Christians). It seems like the international media has thus far perceived members of the Islamic State as space aliens. Hamas, on the other hand, are seen as freedom fighters working to remove the blockade for the good of the people of Gaza. Unlike the Islamic State people, Hamas operatives are seen as righteous. Try and explain that they're one and the same. U.S. President Barack Obama announced on Thursday that the U.S. was looking into the possibility of bombing Iraq. Nothing more was needed for the American media to devote its top headlines to what is happening in Iraq. At any rate, the administration is sort of responsible for what is taking place in Iraq today: the invasion (Bush) and the withdrawal (Obama). We mentioned the American airstrikes? This is doubtless much less dangerous than a ground operation, and between us, will anyone demand investigative committees or a special session of the U.N. General Assembly if and when, heaven forbid, innocent Iraqi civilians are killed in those same airstrikes? "Leave, convert, or die" was the top headline on the Fox News website. The readers, obviously, were shocked to discover just how hostile the radical Sunni Islamic State is to other religions. For some reason, no one this past month has thought to look into how Hamas sees non-Muslims. "Leave, convert, or die"… think for a moment how much Hamas would like to see a headline like that here. The world was busier removing the blockade than it was perusing the group's charter. Might there be a connection? Obviously, France also bears some responsibility for what's happening in the Middle East. Do you remember the Sykes-Picot Agreement? Today it's collapsing and France is seeing itself offering asylum to the Christians of the Orient. On Thursday, the government called a special session of the U.N. General Assembly to discuss the situation in Iraq. The Islamic state is "in" -- Hamas is "out." How quickly the story dies In general, it's pretty amazing to see how quickly a story can die. You should see how far down on the CNN website Gaza has dropped. "Hamas: We are ready to renew the fighting," one of the more modest headlines read. No one is moved by Hamas' threats to resume shooting on Friday morning if the blockade is not removed from Gaza. The cease-fire talks in Cairo aren't even mentioned, lest the readers/watchers/listeners doze off. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon managed on Wednesday to anger officials in Jerusalem when, even before the Human [...]

“Soldiering On”


In spite of decidedly negative news I must address, below, I want to first share some very positive reports.   We start with Ari Abramowitz - a host on Israel Inspired Radio and former co-host of Tuesday Night Live in Jerusalem – who wrote a Tisha B’Av message from his unit, Battalion 969.  It explained why the battalion had petitioned to remain in Gaza fighting in order to defeat those who have been terrorizing our nation (emphasis added): ”We want to continue fighting not because we love war, but because we love you.”On a personal level, the paradox of the past month is that in the face of heartbreaking pain and the violence of war, my experience has been one of unparalleled love. ”...The love I have felt for my fellow soldiers during this war has transcended anything I have experienced before.”While the bond of ’brothers in arms’ is a universal phenomenon, I find the love I feel for my fellow soldiers overtaking me like a wave. It is hard to explain as I don’t fully understand it myself. All I know is that I would happily give my life for any one of my fellow soldiers and I don’t doubt for a moment that they would do the same for me. Together we would not hesitate to give our lives for you.”Throughout this war we have felt the love you have showered upon us – you have given us so much. I have never felt so much love from so many. Jews from both Israel and the Diaspora have flooded us with more care packages, clean underwear, dry socks, candy, potato chips and toothpaste then we can use. Jewish communities, federations, missions and individuals have not let the dangers of this war stop them from coming and volunteering. Hospitals have had to issue statements requesting that people refrain from visiting the wounded, for the lines to visit them were clogging the hallways and stairwells.”Tens of thousands comfort the families of the soldiers slain and communities around the world hold solidarity and memorial rallies.”We hang up your children’s letters next to our beds. I know a couple of them by heart. We read the articles, videos and Facebook posts with which you defend us and support us as we fight this just and moral war.”While there will always be exceptions, from here it seems that this wave of solidarity spans the entirety of the religious, ideological and political spectrum. From the Gaza border the unity behind us feels unprecedented.” Credit: An extraordinary love letter in the midst of the war.  Ari Abramowitz has to be special to write this way, but he is also writing about an astounding phenomenon.  This is who we are now, who we are showing ourselves to be.  May it last and may our love for one another strengthen. With soldiers such as this, backed by a wave of love, we cannot be defeated. God is watching. ~~~~~~~~~~ We have a report from Nefesh B’Nefesh (“soul by soul”), which facilitates aliyah (Jewish immigration to Israel).  The war, they say, has motivated more young people to come to Israel, not fewer: The stories of the two “lone soldiers” who died has served as an inspiration.  “ calls and requests by Americans to enlist into the IDF has grown considerably.”  Next week there will be a Nefesh B’Nefesh “Lone Soldier” flight that will bring 109 young people, ages 18 to 23, who will be enlisting in the IDF. ~~~~~~~~~~ And then we have this: Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox in Israel, who have resisted being drafted, are now signing up to voluntee[...]

Obama’s new plan for Hamas


       By CAROLINE B. GLICK President Barack Obama has a plan. He wants to use the cease-fire talks in Cairo to strengthen Fatah. In remarks Wednesday, Obama said, “I have no sympathy for Hamas. I have great sympathy for some of the work that has been done in cooperation with Israel and the international community by the Palestinian Authority. And they’ve shown themselves to be responsible. They have recognized Israel. They are prepared to move forward to arrive at a two-state solution. I think [PA Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, a.k.a.] Abu Mazen is sincere in his desire for peace.”Obama’s plans for the cease-fire were spelled out in detail the day before in a column by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. There Ignatius claimed that Secretary of State John Kerry has abandoned his previous position on the cease-fire. That position was harshly criticized by Israeli leaders and US media heavyweights, including Ignatius himself, for its clear bias in favor of Hamas. In contrast to Kerry’s previous adoption of all of Hamas’s demands as official US positions, Ignatius wrote that “over the past week, [Kerry] has been crafting a cease-fire plan that seeks to stabilize Gaza under the leadership of Abbas and the moderate Palestinian Authority.... [The PA] (with the support of the international community) would have overall responsibility for the rehabilitation of Gaza.”Ignatius continued, “The thrust of Kerry’s new plan is to leverage Hamas’s unity pact with Fatah and its pledge to transfer authority in Gaza to the [PA]. As a first step, the Palestinian Authority and its US-trained security service would assume responsibility for policing the Rafah crossing from Gaza into Egypt, as well as the passages into Israel.”Fatah, Ignatius said, “would begin paying the salaries of Palestinian civil servants in Gaza, assuming that the details could be worked out. The agreement might also move toward disarmament of all terrorist groups in Gaza.”By empowering Fatah in this way, Ignatius explained, Kerry – and Obama – are “now headed in the right direction – away from strengthening Hamas and toward empowering the moderates on whom hopes for a more stable and secure Gaza depend.”Ignatius then turned to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and challenged him to join with Kerry and agree “to truly open Gaza to the free flow of people and goods in return for disarming the terrorist groups.”While the administration’s new plan sounds nice in theory, it has one basic problem. Hamas and Fatah are partners. Hamas’s demands are Fatah’s demands. Hamas’s goals are Fatah’s goals. Giving Fatah control of the borders means giving Hamas control of the borders. Abbas said himself in a speech broadcast on the PA’s official station in December 2009, as he was trying to form the sort of Fatah-Hamas unity government that he established in April, “There is no disagreement between us [Fatah and Hamas]: About belief? None! About policy? None! About resistance? None!” Earlier this week The Jerusalem Post’s Khaled Abu Toameh explained that almost from the outset of the war, Hamas and Fatah have been working in perfect harmony. Fatah officials have served as Hamas’s spokesmen to the Western media. As Hamas conducted its terrorist war against Israel, Abbas led the diplomatic war against Israel. Moreover, Abu Toameh reported that during the course of the hostilities, Fatah paid the salaries of Hamas members. Due to Hamas’s designation as a foreign terrorist organiza[...]

Suicide Bombers Being Trained to ‘Dress Like Jews’


Palestinian Arabs are still being fed a steady diet of hate and now they're again being taught how to kill Jews in Israel.By: Rachel LevyA terrorist disguises himself as an Orthodox Jew before setting out on a suicide bombing mission. (Hamas TV), broadcast three times in July 2014Photo Credit: Palestinian Media Watch / Hamas TV ·Suicide bombers are once again being trained to dress like Orthodox Jews in preparation for carrying out mass casualty attacks in Israel, while Palestinian Arab factions are sitting in Cairo talking with Israeli representatives about a proposal to stop the war in Gaza.Last month both Hamas and Fatah — the two main partners in the Palestinian Authority unity government — urged Arabs to carry out suicide bombings against Israel.Although one faction is based in Gaza and the other in Ramallah, both have military terror divisions that carry out attacks against Israel. Only Hamas is recognized by the United States as an official terrorist organization, however.According to a clip translated by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) organization, PA TV viewers were treated to a poem written by Palestinian ‘national poet’ Mahmoud Darwish, which was used as part of a program to demonize Israel as an enemy targeting women and children.The phrasing could be interpreted as encouraging suicide bombing, but some literature analysts say the deeper meaning of the poem is actually a critique on suicide bombings.The words chosen for inclusion in the program by PA TV seemed to present suicide bombing positively – literally as an expression of life – but as writers well know, it is easy to take words out of context and to twist them to one’s own personal use.Thus did PA TV use the words of Darwish:“She wraps her waist with dynamite and explodes… It is neither death… nor suicide… It is Gaza’s way to declare its right to life.”The video demonizes Israel as an enemy targeting women and children and concludes that suicide terror will go on:“She shall continue to explode.  It is neither death nor suicide.”When one reads the entire poem – “Silence for Gaza” — one sees clearly the Darwish was not referring at all to suicide bombers or terror but rather to a much broader image of the enclave and its people.Likewise, Fatah also called on its people to launch missiles at Israel; as late as Monday night, just prior to the cease fire, two of the faction’s military arms joined with other terror groups in Gaza in doing so.On Hamas TV, viewers were urged to dress up like Jews and carry out suicide bombings – in fact, they were even shown how to do it.A Hamas video showed a terrorist putting on a suicide explosives belt, and then donning the clothing of a stereotypical, bearded Orthodox Jewish civilian. He is then seen escorted by his handler to the exit and sent on his way to commit a suicide bombing[...]

"War of the Casualties:" the Hamas-controlled ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip issued a warning not to divulge information about terrorist operatives killed in Operation Protective Edge‏

2014-08-07T13:22:17.519+03:00 "War of the Casualties:" the Hamas-controlled ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip issued a warning not to divulge information about terrorist operatives killed in Operation Protective Edge Issued on: 06/08/2014 Type: Article The warning issued by the ministry of the interior on its Facebook page ( Announcement from the Ministry of the Interior in the Gaza Strip 1.   At 2254 hours on the night of August 5, 2014, the ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip issued an announcement warning the Palestinians not to divulge information about terrorist operatives ("resistance" casualties) killed during Operation Protective Edge. That was because, claimed the announcement, the "occupation" [i.e., Israel] was collecting all the information and reports [about casualties] and would use them as evidence to "justify its crimes against [Palestinian] civilians." 2.   The announcement reads as follows: "The ministry of the interior and national security [in Gaza] calls on all our [Palestinian] people and the resistance factions [i.e. the terrorist organizations] to be wary of disseminating information and pictures of fatalities of the resistance, and [about] mentioning details about [the circumstances of] their deaths as martyrs and where they died. That is because the occupation is collecting all the information and reports [about the martyrs] and uses them as evidence to justify its crimes against [Palestinian] civilians and [to justify] the destruction of buildings and to take advantage [of the information] for security purposes. [We appeal] especially to social network activists and in the media belonging to the resistance factions. During the past few hours we have located many postings with sensitive information detrimental to our people and its resistance.[1] Mention of the acts of heroism of our martyrs and of the men of our resistance should not be a reason for causing greater damage, because our people's battle against the occupation continues." Assessment of the Announcement's Background and Significance 3.   The Hamas-controlled ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip is responsible for enforcing Hamas' policy of concealment and deception, which seeks to minimize the extent of information about the numbers and identities of terrorist operatives killed in Operation Protective Edge to preserve the image of "victory" Hamas is attempting to establish. At the same time, Hamas is trying to minimize the number of terrorist operatives killed and to maximize the number of civilian casualties to smear Israel and exert media, political and legal pressure on it the morning after. 4.   So far Hamas has maintained a policy of not divulging details about its own and the other terrorist organizations' operatives killed in Operation Protective Edge. It provides generalized lists with a minimum number of details, creating the impression that they were civilians. The daily notices published by the Hamas-controlled ministry of health clearly serve that policy. In ITIC assessment, the warning issued by the ministry of the interior was intended to enforce supervision of divulging information about terrorist operatives who were killed. That is because of the many details of their identities (including pictures) that were revealed about them (see, for example, the ITIC documents), raised concerns within Hamas. Another possible Hamas concern is that[...]

Baghdad: Sunni jihadists murder 51 with car bombs in Shiite areas


Robert Spencer  No need to be concerned about this. It isn’t as if “Islamophobia” has broken out anywhere. And don’t examine the belief system that is the impetus for this endless violence, either. That would be “bigoted.” “Series of car bombs rip through Baghdad Shiite neighbourhoods killing 51,” by Sameer N. Yacoub and Sinan Salaheddin, The Associated Press, August 6, 2014: BAGHDAD – A string of car bombs tore through busy shopping streets in several Baghdad neighbourhoods on Wednesday night killing 51 people as the army announced that one of its airstrikes had killed 60 militants in the northern city of Mosul. Baghdad police said the first attack was a pair of car bombs that exploded in the densely populated Shiite neighbourhood of Sadr City, killing 31 people, followed by another bomb in the nearby area of Ur that claimed another 11 lives. Nine more people were killed in the southeast of the city shortly afterward by two more car bombs. Baghdad has been on edge since Sunni militants led by the radical Islamic State group conquered large swaths of the country’s north, including the second largest city of Mosul. While the fighters have stopped short of advancing on the capital there has been a steady campaign of car bombs in the city, though none this deadly. The attack came as state-run television announced a rare government victory with an airstrike against a key building in Mosul that killed some 60 suspected militants earlier in the day. The report, which cited unnamed intelligence officials, could not be independently verified, nor did it say whether any civilians had been killed in the strike on the northern city of Mosul. The report said the strike freed about 300 people held by the Islamic State group at a downtown Mosul prison it had been using as a religious court and detention centre, without elaborating. A Mosul resident, speaking on condition of anonymity fearing for his own safety, told The Associated Press over the phone that families of the prisoners rushed to the site to help their relatives after the airstrike. “The prison was partly damaged in the airstrike,” he said. He said he did not know if there were casualties. Phone calls to Iraqi officials rang unanswered Wednesday. The onslaught by the Islamic State backed by local Sunni militants has plunged Iraq into its worst crisis since the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2011. The group since has imposed a self-styled caliphate in territory it controls in Iraq and Syria, imposing their own harsh interpretation of Islamic law. Iraqi government forces and allied Sunni tribal militiamen have been struggling to dislodge the militants with little apparent progress. A few hours after the reported airstrike, Islamic State group militants broke into a nearby hospital, ordered the morgue employees to stay in a separate room and put a number of corpses inside a refrigerator, a medical official said on condition of anonymity for his own safety. Also Wednesday, police discovered eight bullet-riddled and handcuffed corpses around Baghdad. Six of them were found in the town of Taji, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Baghdad, a police officer said. All were men between 25 to 35 years old. Two other dead bodies, a man and woman, were found in the southeastern district of Zafaraniyah, another police officer said. The number of corpses found with gunshot wounds has been on rise recently in a grim reminder of the sectarian killing that engulfed Iraq in 2006 and 2007. Then, both Shiite and Sunn[...]

Caliph Ibrahim's Brutal Moment


Daniel PipesThe Washington Times After an absence of 90 years, the ancient institution of the caliphate roared back into existence on the first day of Ramadan in the year 1435 of the Hegira, equivalent to June 29, 2014. This astonishing revival symbolically culminates the Islamist surge that began forty years ago. A Western analogy might be declaring the restoration of the Hapsburg Empire, which traced its legitimacy to ancient Rome. Whence comes this audacious move? Can the caliphate last? What will its impact be? For starters, a quick review of the caliphate (from the Arabic khilafa, meaning "succession"): according to canonical Muslim history, it originated in 632 CE, on the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, then spontaneously developed, filling the nascent Muslim community's need for a temporal leader. The caliph became Muhammad's non-prophetic heir. After the first four caliphs, the office became dynastic. From the start, followers disagreed whether the caliph should be the most able and pious Muslim or the closest relative of Muhammad; the resulting division came to define the Sunni and Shi'i branches of Islam, respectively, causing the profound schism that still endures. A single caliphate ruled all the Muslim lands until 750; but then two processes combined to diminish its power. First, remote provinces began to break away, with some – such as Spain – even creating rival caliphates. Second, the institution itself decayed and was taken over by slave soldiers and tribal conquerors, so that the original line of caliphs effectively ruled only until about 940. Other dynasties then adopted the title as a perquisite of political power. The institution continued in an enfeebled form for a millennium until, in a dramatic act of repudiation, modern Turkey's founder, Kemal Atatürk, terminated its last vestiges in 1924. Despite several subsequent attempts to restore it, the institution became defunct, a symbol of the disarray in Muslim-majority countries and a yearned-for goal among Islamists. Top: The world as ISIS sees it, using medieval Arabic place names. Bottom: The same map in Roman lettering. And so matters remained for 90 years, until the group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) issued a declaration in five languages (English version: This Is the Promise of Allah) proclaiming the founding of a new caliphate under "Caliph" Ibrahim. Caliph Ibrahim (aka Dr. Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim), about 40, hailing from Samarra, Iraq, fought in Afghanistan and then Iraq. He now claims to be leader of "Muslims everywhere" and demands their oath of allegiance. All other Muslim governments have lost legitimacy, he claims. Further, Muslims must throw out "democracy, secularism, nationalism, as well as all the other garbage and ideas from the West." Reviving the universal caliphate means, announces The Promise of Allah, that the "long slumber in the darkness of neglect" has ended. "The sun of jihad has risen. The glad tidings of good are shining. Triumph looms on the horizon." Infidels are justifiably terrified for, as both "east and west" submit, Muslims will "own the earth." Grandiloquent words, to be sure, but also ones with zero chance of success. ISIS has enjoyed backing from states like Turkey and Qatar – but to fight in Syria, not to establish a global hegemony. Nearby powers – the Kurds, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel (and eventually maybe Turkey too) – regard the Islamic State as an unmitigated enemy, as do near[...]

To My Soldiers and the Jewish People: We Have Won!


Words written as the fighting ceases. Officer Shechter adds: "Hope you will all have the patience to read to the end. Send this to everyone and tell all the Jewish People that we must realize that we have won!"Lt. Col. (Res.) Uri ShechterThe writer is Dep. Commander (Res.) of the IDF Nachal Brigade. These words are dedicated to the wonderful officers and soldiers of the Nachal Brigade, to the bereaved families, wounded soldiers and their families, to all the IDF soldiers and to our wonderful Jewish People. As we end a month's battle in Gaza, and I hear questioning noises about its outcome, it is important to me to tell all of the Jewish People that we have won. Victory is ours from both a military and a civilian point of view. As far as the military results are concerned, we can be holding victory celebrations. Hamas is on the rocks, at best he can stick his head out of his hiding places for a second and signal a "V" with his hands - until he gets a well-aimed rocket, that is. Hamas cannot bring in more missiles via the Egyptian border, as it did freely during the Muslim Brotherhood's rule.It took years for Hamas to build tens of tunnels to attack from within our communities and we have destroyed them all. Everything they attempted to do to fight us has failed, from the air, land and sea.  So why are we giving Hamas the feeling that it won? Every contact with the enemy in this Operation ended with a decisive victory for us. Every town we wished to conquer was in our hands within hours, with the help of the IAF and artillery units. In the Yom Kippur War, we were at a terrible disadvantage and managed to regroup and achieve victory  at the price of 2,656 of our soldiers. We won - but, sadly, in our national consciousness there was created a sense of defeat. In this war, fighters and the commanders who led them, as opposed to our enemies where the commanders stay behind, went out to battle filled with motivation that cannot be contained. Wounded soldiers refused to leave the battleground so their friends would not go on without them. Our soldiers fought with bravery and although we lost tens of our best sons, the army returned to its real objective: defending Israel's citizens.  Some of the soldiers and commanders feel that we have not completed our mission, and they want to continue to lay it in to the terrorists. That's how fighters and commanders should always feel, it's great that they feel that way. It would be a grave misconception for them to have left with a feeling of satisfaction and finality. I also do not accept the expression "the IDF retreated." The upper levels of decision making have a broader picture of the situation than we, and not everyone who writes a hysterical blog or article understands them. The IDF continues to fire without restraint at the places it needs to reach and is located in places where it should be.Hamas and Islamic Jihad are on the run to Egypt to beg for a ceasefire agreement and we haven't sent a single delegate to the talks. Not only have they accomplished nothing in the present fighting, they have also lost a great deal. The people of Gaza will return to their no-houses without seeing rhyme or reason for their destruction nor can they point to any results. But no less important than the military achievements, is what happened to the Jewish people during this period. The citizenry, all sectors of it, stood strong and gave the fighters and their officers the backing they so needed - this is how a nation's vi[...]

The West’s Prostration to Islam

2014-08-06T13:19:52.072+03:00 On August 6, 2014Raymond Ibrahim, a Shillman Fellow at the Freedom Center, was recently interviewed by Fronda, a leading website in Poland.  The English-language version of the Polish interview, originally titled “Raymond Ibrahim: Prostration before Islam,” follows: 1. Who is Raymond Ibrahim? A scholar, a writer, an activist? What is his mission and the main goal? Raymond Ibrahim: I am a little of all that and more.  Due to my background, academic and personal, I have had a long interest in the Middle East and Islam, especially the historic and contemporary interaction between Islam and Christianity.  After the strikes of September 11, 2001, I took an interest in the current events of the region vis-à-vis the West, and what immediately struck me was how, on the one hand, the conflict was almost identical to the historic conflict, one of continuity—at least that is how many Muslims were portraying it. But on the other hand, in the West, the narrative was very different and based on a “new paradigm,” one that saw Islam and Muslims as perpetual victims of all sorts of outside and material pressures, mostly from the West.  Thus the analyses that were being disseminated through media and academia were to my mind immensely flawed and, while making perfect sense to people in the West—for they were articulated through Western, secular, materialistic paradigms—had little to do with reality as I saw and understood it. That was one of the reasons I left academia and began writing for more popular audiences, to try to offer a corrective to these flawed narratives.  My first book, The Al Qaeda Reader (2007), was meant to do precisely this—to compare the words of al-Qaeda as delivered to the West and as delivered to fellow Muslims, and to show how when speaking to the West, al-Qaeda and other Islamists used Western arguments, claiming any number of grievances, political and otherwise, as being the source of their jihad.  Obviously such arguments, widely disseminated by Western mainstream media, made perfect sense to the West. But al-Qaeda’s Arabic writings that I discovered when I was working at the African and Middle Eastern Division of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., and which I translated for the book, made completely different arguments, basically saying that, irrespective of all grievances, Muslims must hate and wage jihad on all non-Muslim “infidels” until they come under Islamic authority, according to the worldview of Sharia, or Islamic law. So in a way, you can say my mission since then has been to open Western eyes to the truths and reality of Islam—at least the reality of how it is understood and practiced by many Muslims—for Western eyes have been closed shut in recent times. 2. You have a dual background. You were born and raised in the U.S. by parents who were born and raised in a Coptic community in Egypt. Are you the ‘clash of civilizations’ personified? What kind of advantages and disadvantages does such an identity and upbringing lead do? Raymond Ibrahim: That’s an interesting way of putting it.  Along with obvious benefits—being bilingual (Arabic and English), for example—yes, I do believe my background gives me more subtle advantages.  Growing up cognizant of both worlds and cultures has, I believe, imparted a higher degree of objectivity to my thinking.  Most people’s worldviews are colored by whi[...]



Look who's in the White House!

Arif Alikhan - Assistant Secretary for Policy Development
for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Mohammed Elibiary - Homeland Security Adviser

Rashad Hussain - Special Envoy to the (OIC)
Organization of the Islamic Conference

Salam al-Marayati - Obama Adviser -
founder Muslim Public Affairs Council
and its current executive director

Imam Mohamed Magid - Obama's Sharia Czar -
Islamic Society of North America

Eboo Patel - Advisory Council on Faith-Based
Neighborhood Partnerships
This is flat out scary!!!!
Fox's Judge Jeanine Interviews Emerson: Hamas Gets Away With Murder
by Steve Emerson  - Investigative Project on Terrorism
Interview on Fox News

"Perhaps all this [destruction in Gaza] is for the best...


we'll build them better and more beautiful, and that will be a testimony to the victory of the Palestinian people." Itamar Marcus Hamas is attempting to convince Palestinians that its military actions during the Gaza conflict were victorious and that the war it caused, with all its destruction, was beneficial to the Palestinians. As Palestinian Media Watch previously reported, Hamas justified the civilian deaths it caused in Gaza, claiming that it was beneficial to those killed to have died for Allah as Shahids - Martyrs. Now, Hamas is justifying the widespread destruction it caused to infrastructure and homes, saying, "Perhaps all this [destruction] is for the best": Al-Aqsa TV host: "[Israel] has bombed everything: homes, factories, institutions, organizations and mosques, because it wants to keep us busy with reconstruction. Maybe it's for the best, so we'll build them againbetter and nicer, as evidence of the Palestinian people's victory. We'll build them bigger, with monuments for the extent of the crime and of [our] achievement in Shuja'iya, Beit Hanoun and other places." [Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas), July 29, 2014] [...]

“Let Us Draw Strength”


Tonight begins Tisha B’Av, the most solemn day of the Jewish calendar.  It marks the day of the destruction of our two Temples and a number of other national calamities.    On this day we fast and mourn, read the Book of Lamentations.   We also look to the religious meaning in our lives, our purpose, and examine ourselves in terms of our proper conduct. I had not planned to post at all today. And even though, in the end, I decided to send out this short posting, I will still avoid news and political analysis. There will always be time to return to this. Instead, I am writing to share a beautiful message from Warren Goldstein, Chief Rabbi of South Africa (with thanks to Diana S. and Rebecca M.). is a message we need to hear at this difficult time. ~~~~~~~~~~ We are taught that Tisha B’Av derives from the Sin of the Spies (Meraglim): Moses sent spies to check out the land of Ca’anan, before the people of Israel were to enter.  They returned, and 10 of the 12 who had been sent told the people, we cannot do this, we will not succeed.  But the key phrase is that, “We were like grasshoppers in our eyes.”  We felt ourselves small and so others saw us as small. This is the ultimate lesson for these difficult times – that we not see ourselves as small in our own eyes, and that we believe in what it is possible for us to do, and what we are meant to be doing, with the help of the Almighty. Tradition also tells us that the Moshiach will be born on Tisha B’Av. Thus the symbol of ultimate hope and redemption. Credit: Keep Jerusalem ~~~~~~~~~~ © Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.   If it is reproduced and emphasis is added, the fact that it has been added must be noted. See my website at  Contact Arlene at This material is transmitted by Arlene only to persons who have requested it or agreed to receive it.  If you are on the list and wish to be removed, contact Arlene and include your name in the text of the message. [...]