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Today’s Top Stories

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 13.07.2014 21:20

Today’s Top Stories

1. After a rocket a landed in Ramallah last night, the Globe & Mail‘s Patrick Martin suggests that Hamas deliberately fired at the PA.


The notion that Palestinian militants in Gaza might fire on Palestinian authorities in Ramallah is certainly a new twist to the six-day rocket war being waged between Israel and militant Palestinian groups in Gaza led by Hamas.



But it’s not out of the question. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has blasted the Hamas leadership on two occasions this week for what he considers to be its irresponsible rocket attacks on Israel.

2. The Palestinian representative to the UN Human Rights Council says there’s no chance of the PLO successfully pressing war crimes charges against Israel in the International Criminal Court. That’s because Hamas rocket fire is much worse. Laurie Blank made the same point in The Hill, but its much more powerful coming from Ibrahim Khreisheh. This is a terrific heads up by MEMRI.

3. According to a UN report (pdf format) on the Gaza conflict, 77 percent of the Palestinian casualties are civilians. But what AFP, BBC and The Independent‘s coverage don’t tell you is that the document specifically stated that most of the Gaza casualties received advance warning:


In most cases, prior to the attacks, residents have been warned to leave, either via phone calls by the Israel military or by the firing of warning missiles.

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4. Carpet Bombing Gaza: If a France 24 correspondent is to be believed, Palestinian casualties should be a lot higher.

5. Israel Not to Blame: False Photo Caption Corrected: HonestReporting corrects the record.

Blankfeld Award

Israel and the Palestinians

• For details on the weekend news, see today’s liveblogging at the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Times of Israel, and i24 News. See also Friday’s live-blog posts at the same papers. Among the more notable developments:

• Raising concerns of a second front, Katyusha rockets were fired at Israel from Lebanon this morning and on on Friday making the Western Galilee a target for the first time since Operation Protective Edge began.

• Palestinians in Gaza scored their deepest rocket strike with a hit near Nahariya, which is on the Lebanese border. That’s a distance of 170 km. More at the Jerusalem Post.

• At a Friday news conference, Prime Minister Netanyahu discussed the Gaza conflict. Although the media event had two things going against Bibi — Friday’s a lousy day in the news cycle, and the prime minister only spoke in Hebrew — David Horovitz says Bibi’s remarks on the collapse of te peace talks and US mediation deserved more attention from the press corps.
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Annukka
 
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To Israel's Critics

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 13.07.2014 21:47

To Israel's Critics


Speak up now while literally millions of Israelis live from one alarm to another, or remain forever silent.
by David A. Harris

Want to be taken seriously by Israel and its friends?

Here's your moment to demonstrate your bona fides.

If you really mean what you say about criticizing Israeli policies but not questioning Israel's inherent right to live in peace and security, then raise your voice right now.

Not tomorrow, not the day after, but today.

Speak up and say that the scores, if not hundreds, of rockets being fired from Gaza at Israel are an abomination. Say there can be no justification for such acts of terror.

Say that that this assault is a brazen violation of fundamental human rights.

Say that Israeli women, men, and children have the right to live in peace in their homes, and not be on permanent, 24/7 alert.

Say you empathize with Israelis, as they have no more than 15 seconds to reach a bomb shelter, and to make sure that their young children and elderly relatives also find protection.

Say that Hamas is a terrorist organization, precisely what the United States and European Union declared it to be years ago.

Say you've read the Hamas Charter and understand the group's goal is not to end Israel's settlement policy, but Israel, period. Say you're aware that Hamas uses civilians in Gaza, including children, as human shields.

Say you know that Hamas is linked to Iran, from which it gets funding, weapons, and training.

Say you see a clear moral distinction between the arsonist, Hamas, and the firefighter, Israel.

Say there's a fundamental difference between a despotic regime, Hamas-ruled Gaza, and a democracy, Israel.

Say you know that Hamas trains children to glorify death and "martyrdom," while Israel educates children to affirm life and advance the frontiers of human knowledge.

Say you know that Hamas opposes any Palestinian effort to reach peace with Israel, and will do everything possible to sabotage efforts in that direction.

Say you know that no country, neither America nor the European nations nor anyone else, would tolerate volleys of deadly rockets fired at them with the aim of causing murder and mayhem.

Say you know that Israeli hospitals, in response to more than 12,000 rockets over the past 14 years alone, continue to provide life-saving medical care for residents of the Gaza Strip.

Say you know that Israel not only has a right, but an obligation, to defend itself, which means going after the terrorist infrastructure and its leadership.

Say you hope that the world will understand and support Israel at this precise time, when half the Israeli population lives within range of Hamas weaponry.

Say you know how to prioritize your concerns, and, whatever your other issues with Israel might be, its ability to end the deadly attacks now tops the list.

Say you'll avoid the temptation to invoke mealy-mouthed and misplaced comments about "restraint" and "moral equivalence" and "cycles of violence," as if you were playing both sides off against the middle.

Say you know that Israel left Gaza, lock, stock, and barrel, in 2005, giving this strip of land the first chance in its history to govern itself. Say you know that no one before Israel, not Egypt, not the British, not the Ottomans, no one, offered Gaza the opportunity that Israel did to chart its own destiny.

Say you know that, in 2005, Gaza had the chance to choose whether it would seek to emulate Singapore or Somalia, and chose the latter.

Say you know that Hamas took over power in Gaza by ousting the Palestinian Authority, killing many in the process.

Say you know that there is no way peace can be advanced for the Palestinians – or the Israelis – if this very same Hamas is allowed to share governance with the Palestinian Authority.

There are moments in life that define us. We don't always get to pick and choose them. They come, often unexpectedly, linger for a time, and then move on.

Get Aish.com's Free Email Updates and Be Inspired.

This is one such moment.

Speak up now – unambiguously, credibly – while literally millions of Israelis live from one alarm to another. Don't worry. There will be other occasions to voice your ongoing concerns about, and criticisms of, Israel.

But if you choose to remain silent or resort to ambiguity, please don't expect to be taken seriously the next time you preface your critique of Israel with those familiar words, "As a friend of Israel..."
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Annukka
 
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Gaza Shows (Again) How The Underdog Can Be Wrong

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 15.07.2014 08:33

Monday, July 14, 2014 | Noah Beck

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Topics:
Palestinians

Sometimes the underdog is wrong. The ruthlessly brutal regimes of Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, and Idi Amin were all weaker than the forces that ultimately vanquished them.

But for decades the Palestinians have mastered the art of persuading everyone that because they die in greater numbers and have inferior arms, they are more deserving of sympathy and support in their conflict with Israel. Here’s why they’re wrong:

1.Israel’s military edge safeguards its survival in the world’s toughest neighborhood. But if a SWAT team is better armed than a wild gunman they must neutralize, does that mean that they’re at fault when the gunman dies?


2.Israel’s casualty figures are smaller because Israel tries to protect life by investing in anti-missile defense, shelters, and early warning systems to minimize the deaths caused by Palestinian rocket attacks.


3.By contrast, Palestinian terrorists purposely endanger life by targeting Israeli civilians while using Palestinian civilians as human shields (to maximize the PR benefits of any Israeli reprisals).


4.Israel’s death toll should be adjusted for its tiny population, to feel the true “national pain” of each loss. When Hamas terrorists abducted and murdered three Israeli teenagers last month, that’s like the murder and abduction of about 118 Americans teenagers. How many Taliban would die from a US military response to the Taliban abduction and murder of 118 American teenagers?


5.Gaza-based terrorism is inflicting collective punishment on about 8 million Israelis living under the constant threat of rocket attacks. How much could you focus on anything if blaring sirens regularly compelled you to seek shelter in under a minute? How much sleep could you get? Drivers must get out of their cars, lie on on the pavement face down with their hands over their heads, and wait ten minutes until the danger has ostensibly passed. Many elderly or disabled persons must descend flights of stairs to access the shelter, and the scramble to safety can be as dangerous as staying unprotected (an Israeli woman in her 70s died while trying to take shelter from an incoming rocket in Haifa). How long would the US expect its citizens to live like that before deploying overwhelming firepower to eradicate the threat?


6.In the Middle East, the weak perish quickly, and Israel – the only Jewish state (with 8 million people in a New Jersey-sized territory) surrounded by 22 Arab Muslim states (totaling about 370 million people) – can’t afford to lose a war. So the fact that Israel doesn’t cause far greater casualties to strengthen its deterrence should highlight Israel’s morality and restraint.


Yet most observers are oblivious to these key considerations, and simplistically look at comparative casualty figures before reflexively concluding that Israel is wrong. This cartoon aptly captures how Palestinians manipulate world opinion like a mischievous schoolboy misleading his teachers about who caused school spats.



When world leaders and media are duped into simplistic thinking, the result is a glaring double standard.

Consider the UN. On July 3, Israel gave Hamas 48 hours to stop firing rockets, even though 40 rockets had already been fired at Israel in the previous 24 hours. The Palestinian attacks continued until Israel finally took action on July 8. By the end of July 10, over 350 rockets had been fired at Israel, the Israeli Air Force had carried out almost 900 airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, resulting in at least 90 Palestinians killed (according to Palestinian reports), and a UN Security Council emergency session to address the hostilities. So when Israel launches a justified military operation against Palestinians, it takes just three days and 90 Palestinian dead for the UN Security Council to convene an emergency session about the issue. Note that there was no emergency session to address the scores of unprovoked rocket attacks that forced Israel to respond in the first place.

But in neighboring Syria, it took about 1,650 civilian deaths and 141 days (from March 15 to August 3, 2011) for the United Nations Security Council, in a non-binding statement, to make any pronouncement at all on the Syrian war (which has killed over 4,000 people per month on average). Are Syrian lives less valuable than Palestinian lives? Incredibly, when the Palestinians are killed by Syrians or other Palestinians, this too is hardly noticed or addressed. It is only when Israelis are killing Palestinians – even if that killing is justified, accidental, or actually caused by Hamas’ use of human shields – that the diplomatic obsession with Palestinian security reaches a fever pitch.

The same double standards color the media’s coverage of the conflict. Even after Israel’s Ambassador Ron Dermer deftly exposed egregious journalistic failures by the New York Times, its biased and misleading coverage continues.

No matter how much restraint Israel may exercise, Palestinian propagandists and their pliant media sympathizers will vilify Israel. Abbas has already called Israel’s Operation Protective Edge a “genocide” (as if it wouldn’t be far easier and faster for Israel to raze the entire Gaza Strip instead of using pin-point strikes preceded by warnings telling residents to evacuate terrorist hideouts and weapons caches targeted for destruction). And yet somehow Abbas’ hyperbole – which cheapens the real genocide in neighboring Syria and elsewhere – in no way diminishes his credibility with the media and diplomats. He is still presumed to be some kind of honest partner for peace, even though – rather than disavow his government’s partnership with the terrorists responsible for the current conflict – he attempts to score propaganda points on their behalf.

Even more outrageous, US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki admitted that the Obama administration is willing to continue funding a Palestinian government with ties to a terrorist group – something that violates US law, betrays Israel, and harms US interests by supporting terrorism, increasing regional instability, and signaling to other radical groups that terrorism sometimes pays.

In the end, Israel must simply defeat the evil to its south, regardless of the double standards that will be hurled at it. To that end, and to help Gazans realize that its time to overthrow the Islamist thugocracy strangling their society, Israel should stop supplying power and water to Gaza. What rule of international law says that a state must provide resources to a neighbor trying to kill its citizens?

Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis, an apocalyptic novel about Iranian nukes and other geopolitical issues in the Middle East.
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Annukka
 
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Galilee Sheikh Invites Besieged Israelis to His Home

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 15.07.2014 08:36

Galilee Sheikh Invites Besieged Israelis to His Home

Monday, July 14, 2014 | Israel Today Staff

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Topics:
Israeli Arabs

Sheikh Ahmed Juma of the Lower Galilee town of Sulam is using the current conflict to demonstrate the true spirit of co-existence.

As Israelis from the southern regions of the country seek shelter from incessant Hamas rocket attacks, Juma has opened the doors of his home as a safe haven.

“We are all Israelis and I favor coexistence,” Juma told Channel 2. “You will be safe here.”

Many Israelis from the north of the country are in fact hosting the residents of the south, particularly those with young children. But receiving such an invitation from an Arab Muslim official strikes many as odd, considering that many Arabs in the country are celebrating Hamas’ assault on the Jewish state.

But the 32-year-old Juma, who recently finished his studies in Sharia at Hebron University, said that is not his way. “Anyone is welcome, my door is open,” he said.



Juma sought to reassure any Israelis considering his offer that Sulam is not a hostile village, and that Jews would feel safe there.

Uri Schlossberg, a friend of Juma’s from the Tel Aviv suburb of Givatayim, confirmed the sheikh’s assertion and his generosity.

“The residents of the south would have nothing to fear in coming to this village” or to Juma’s home, Schlossberg told Channel 2. “[Juma] is an exemplary man of peace.”



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Israel Supporters: Stop Using these 13 Phrases!

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 17.07.2014 08:35

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UNRWA Strongly Condemns Placement of Rockets in School

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 17.07.2014 20:41

UNRWA Strongly Condemns Placement of Rockets in School

17 July 2014

Agency Demands Full Respect for the Sanctity of Its Premises in Gaza

East Jerusalem

Yesterday, in the course of the regular inspection of its premises, UNRWA discovered approximately 20 rockets hidden in a vacant school in the Gaza Strip. UNRWA strongly condemns the group or groups responsible for placing the weapons in one of its installations. This is a flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law. This incident, which is the first of its kind in Gaza, endangered civilians including staff and put at risk UNRWA’s vital mission to assist and protect Palestine refugees in Gaza.

Immediately after discovery, the Agency informed the relevant parties and successfully took all necessary measures for the removal of the objects in order to preserve the safety and security of the school. UNRWA has launched a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident.

UNRWA has strong, established procedures to maintain the neutrality of all its premises, including a strict no-weapons policy and routine inspections of its installations, to ensure they are only used for humanitarian purposes. UNRWA will uphold and further reinforce its procedures.

Palestinian civilians in Gaza rely on UNRWA to provide humanitarian assistance and shelter. At all times, and especially during escalations of violence, the sanctity and integrity of UN installations must be respected.



Background Information

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 69 million.
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6- PA-controlled media uses maps erasing Israel

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 18.07.2014 20:34

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The Greatest Possible Problem for Europe

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 19.07.2014 19:46

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Gaza terrorists attempt to attack IDF forces with explosives

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 19.07.2014 19:52

Gaza terrorists attempt to attack IDF forces with explosives-laden donkey

By JPOST.COM STAFF

07/19/2014 12:21

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IDF expresses regret over "shocking" incident, condemns Gaza terrorists for strapping explosive devices to animals in order to attack Israeli troops.
Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza
Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza Photo: REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Terrorists in Gaza attempted to attack IDF soldiers with an explosives-laden donkey on Friday, the military said.

IDF forces operating in the Rafah area near the Gaza-Egypt border located the donkey suspiciously approaching their position and were forced to open fire at it, causing the explosives to detonate.

No injuries were sustained to the soldiers.

The military expressed its regret over the "shocking" incident, and condemned terrorists in Gaza for strapping bombastic devices to innocent animals as a means of attacking Israeli forces.

"This cruel incident is the most recent attempt by Gaza terror organizations to make such an abominable use of animals as explosives couriers," the IDF said on its website.
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