If Gaza Were Near the U.S.

— by Steve SheffeyHamas has fired hundreds of rockets into Israel this week.Can you imagine what the U.S. would do if hundreds of rockets were coming into it from the Delaware Bay? It would not exercise a tenth of the restraint Israel has exercised.Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) spoke for all of us last Tuesday: 

Families in Israel are once again hearing incessant alarm sirens and racing to bomb shelters as Hamas launches hundreds of rockets from Gaza targeting Israeli civilians. No nation would, nor should accept such attack without firm response. I support Israel’s right to defend herself against threats to her citizens and efforts to restore quiet to the region

The fundamental duty of any state is to protect its citizens. The reason so few Israelis die from rocket attacks is that Israel does everything it can to protect its citizens from rocket fire. The reason so many Palestinians die from Israeli air strikes is that despite Israeli leaflets and other warnings that attacks are imminent, Hamas launches rockets from hospitals and densely-populated areas, and deliberately keeps civilians in harm’s way.Some people urge a “proportionate” response on Israel. What would that be? Firing dozens of rockets randomly into Gaza?The correct amount of force is the amount necessary to stop the Hamas rocket attacks. If anything, the Israeli response has been insufficient, as the rocket attacks keep coming.The Jewish Federations of North America have issued a statement commending President Obama “for his continuing support of Israel’s right to self-defense.”

You may have seen misleading headlines about White House Middle East coordinator Philip Gordon’s major speech last Tuesday. However, it was a good summary of the U.S. policy on Israel, Syria, Iran, and the peace process:

 

Over the past several days, Hamas and other terrorist groups have launched dozens of rockets at Israeli towns and cities, forcing local populations into their shelters.The United States strongly condemns these attacks. No country should have to live under the constant threat of indiscriminate violence against innocent civilians.

We support Israel’s right to defend itself against these attacks. At the same time, we appreciate Prime Minister Netanyahu’s call for acting responsibly. We, in turn, call on all sides to do all they can to restore calm, and to take steps to protect civilians.

Israel is doing exactly what Gordon urges. The only way to restore calm is to stop the rocket attacks, and Israel is doing all it can to protect civilians.

Unlike previous administrations, the Obama administration has never condemned, threatened, or punished Israel for using military force to protect its citizens. Who can argue with what Gordon said?

Gordon also discussed the specifics of President Obama’s commitment to Israel’s security, preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, removing chemical weapons from Syria (a huge success that was achieved without firing a shot), and the prospects for peace with the Palestinians, even as rockets are striking Israel. This is where the headlines have been misleading.

I urge you to read what Gordon said, all of it, and decide for yourself if these are the words of a friend or if he is “blasting Israel.”

Jon Stewart 100% Wrong on Israeli Airstrike Procedure

— by Naomi Friedman

In a segment on the Israeli-Hamas war last week, The Daily Show’s host, Jon Stewart, complained about the asymmetry of the conflict.

On the mutual bombing that is taking place, Stewart quipped that Israel is “bomb-better.” The clip of the sketch went viral, provoking wrath within the U.S. Jewish community.

Stewart seemed to want a more even conflict: Maybe a few hundred Israeli deaths would make him feel a little better about the whole situation?

Just how wrong the sketch was, however, only became clear on the July 18 broadcast of “Yoman,” Israel’s Channel One’s weekly news program, hosted by Ayala Hason.

[Read more…]

My Republican Haggadah: An oldie but goodie

Editor’s Note: This “Republican Haggadah” first appeared in the Huffington Post in 2012. However, except for the references to the 2012 Presidential election the humor is timeless. Enjoy!

— by Steve Sheffey

Jewish history is littered with sects, groups of people kind of like Jews who celebrate the same holidays and have many of the same customs, yet are somehow different.

Today’s sect is known as “Jewish Republicans,” few in number but very loud. Like most Jews, they celebrate Pesach, but they’ve got their own Haggadah. The differences between their Haggadah and ours are instructive.

After drinking the first cup of wine, most Jews wash their hands, but the Republicans stay seated and wait for the water to trickle down.

Most Jews then eat a green vegetable, but the Republican Haggadah follows the ruling of Rabbi Reagan that ketchup qualifies as a vegetable. Ketchup is not green, but green is the last thing any Republican would want to be. (Reagan does have this in common with Moses: Neither ever set foot in the land of Israel.)

More after the jump.
Next we break the middle of the three matzot. Most Jews break the middle matzah into two roughly equal pieces, replacing the smaller piece on the Seder plate and hiding the larger piece as the afikoman. The Republican Haggadah asks the leader (or in Republican parlance, the Seder CEO) to keep 99 percent of the matzah for himself and let the other participants share the remaining 1 percent.

The Torah speaks of four sons, but the Republican Haggadah speaks of four candidates: The simple candidate (Santorum), the wicked candidate (Paul), the candidate who does not know how to answer (Romney), and the simple candidate who thinks he’s the wise candidate (Gingrich). They have no wise candidates.

The highlight of the Republican Haggadah is its version of “Dayenu” — “it would have been enough.” The Republican motto when it comes to President Obama is “nothing is enough” — no matter how much President Obama does for Israel, it’s never enough for some of our Republican friends:

President Obama has called for the removal of Syrian President Assad.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama ordered the successful assassination of Osama bin Laden.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama has done more than any other president to stop Iran’s illicit nuclear program.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama restored Israel’s qualitative military edge after years of erosion under the Bush administration.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama increased security assistance to Israel to record levels.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama boycotted Durban II and Durban III.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama has taken U.S.-Israel military and intelligence cooperation to unprecedented levels.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama cast his only veto in the U.N. against the one-sided anti-Israel Security Council resolution.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama opposed the Goldstone Report.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama stood with Israel against the Gaza flotilla
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama organized a successful diplomatic crusade against the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama immediately intervened to rescue Israelis trapped in the Egyptian embassy.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama gave orders to give Israel “whatever it needs” to put out the Carmel fire.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama maintained the U.S. policy of ambiguity on Israel’s nuclear weapons.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama has repeatedly condemned Palestinian incitement against Israel and attempts to delegitimize Israel.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama pulled out of joint exercises with Turkey after Turkey excluded Israel.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

There’s probably nothing President Obama can do to convince some Republicans that he’s pro-Israel. If President Obama split the Sea of Reeds and walked through it dry-shod, they’d accuse him of not being able to swim. They made their mind up before he was elected that he could not be trusted and they ignore everything that contradicts their biases.

The ultimate message of the real Haggadah is hope (sound familiar?). Let’s hope that just as the vast majority of American Jews voted for Barack Obama in 2008, the vast majority of us will remember who we are and what we value and vote to re-elect President Obama in 2012.

Hamas Bulldozes World Heritage Site for Terrorist Training Camp‏


Previously-destroyed houses in the area

In an urgent letter sent today to UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova, UN Watch demanded immediate action to stop the Hamas bulldozing of a 3000-year-old Gaza harbor for use as a terrorist training camp, as reported today by Al Monitor Palestine Pulse. A copy was also sent to European Union foreign minister Catherine Ashton calling on the EU to take action.

The partial destruction of the ancient Anthedon Harbor — which includes the ruins of a Roman temple and archaeological remains from the Persian, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras-comes exactly one year after the area was nominated by new UNESCO member state Palestine as a World Heritage site.

Full letter after the jump.
UN Watch, an independent Geneva-based monitoring group, called on Bokova to bring the issue before the UNESCO executive board now meeting in Paris.

Although the biannual UNESCO meeting, which runs until April 26, lists five agenda items concerning Palestinian issues — which US Ambassador Killion has described as “highly politicized” and designed to “single out Israel” — there is currently no scheduled discussion to address the month-long Hamas bulldozing of the proposed heritage site. UN Watch’s letter as sent today to Ms. Bokova and Lady Ashton follows below:

Dear Ms. Bokova,

UN Watch is alarmed by the reported destruction by Hamas of parts of the ancient Anthedon Harbor in Gaza for use as a terrorist training camp. We urge you to bring the matter immediately before the UNESCO Executive Board, currently meeting at its 191st session in Paris, for protective action.

We note the tragic irony that this destruction by the rulers of Gaza comes exactly one year after the area was nominated by new UNESCO member state Palestine as a World Heritage site.

As you must know, earlier last month, despite criticism from nongovernmental organizations, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades of Hamas bulldozed a part of the Anthedon Harbor in northern Gaza along the Mediterranean Sea, according to yesterday’s report by Al Monitor Palestine Pulse.

Hamas damaged the harbor in order to expand its “military training” zone, which was initially opened on the location in 2002, according to your own UNESCO representative in Gaza, Yousef al-Ejla.

That the UNESCO executive has so far failed to place the Hamas destruction and cynical abuse of this site on its agenda underscores the tragic politicization and diversion of the agency’s mission to protect world culture and heritage.

According the current UNESCO session timetable, there are in fact four agenda items dedicated exclusively to Palestinian issues: Items 9, 10, 34, and 35, while Item 5 includes a fifth report on this issue. Israel is the only country in the world that is targeted for specific criticism in this session.

Previous UNESCO resolutions on these five items were rightly described by US Ambassador David Killion as “highly politicized” and designed to “single out Israel.” The extreme politicization even prompted Russia to successfully oppose discussion of these items, despite vehement Palestinian opposition, at the previous 190th session in October.

UNESCO’s admission of Palestine as a member state in 2011, which caused the organization to lose almost a quarter of its budget when the US suspended its contributions, was justified as a measure to help protect world heritage sites in Palestinian areas. Yet as Hamas turns a cultural heritage site into a terrorist training ground-the antithesis of culture-the silence of UNESCO now places the very credibility of the organization at stake.

Sincerely,

Hillel C. Neuer
Executive Director

Sticks & Stones: Review of “Pressing Israel”


Lee Bender and Jerome R. Verlin

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” Nowhere is this saying more false than in the conflict over Israel. Is Israel the “light to the nations?” Or is Israel the cause of so many global problems? Why, in world public opinion polls, is Israel consistently voted one of the most negatively rated nations of the world?

Local Philadelphia area authors, Lee Bender and Jerome Verlin, have recently published a timely book titled: Pressing Israel: Media Bias Exposed from A to Z. They extensively document their case that the Main Stream Media frames the Israeli Jewish-Muslim conflict in terms that favor the Muslims. They explain why it matters. And they give an example of our own Philadelphia Inquirer publishing a more balanced report, as a result of a letter writing campaign. Their book also provides an extensive background of the history and politics of Israel.

More after the jump.
One of the authors, Jerome Verlin, has written a weekly column. This style of standalone articles is carried over in the book. The chapters are each complete in themselves. It is possible to go directly to a section of interest, without reading the entire book. On the other hand, this results in some information being repeated in multiple locations.

The beginning of the book consists of a series of short articles, one for each letter of the alphabet: A Apartheid, B Borders, C Creation-of-Israel, etc. Each article includes extensive documentation from the Philadelphia Inquirer. The second half of the book has more in-depth coverage of the history and politics of the region, including quotes from key individuals.

Media Bias Against Israel

The Main Stream Media frames their reporting by what they include and by what they leave out. Words have implications and shades of meaning. Although the book was published before Operation Pillar of Defense, their comments about Gazan rocket attacks and the Iron Dome defense system could have been written today

According to Bender and Verlin, one of the major examples of media bias is writing that IDF defensive actions and Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians are morally equivalent. The media report that Palestinian “militants” or “factions” launch rockets at Israel and Israel “retaliates” with air strikes, as if the two groups were on the same level. The authors write that it would be more accurate to report that Gazan terrorists shoot rockets at Israeli population centers, hoping to kill civilian men, women and children. In defense, the IDF strikes those terrorists, their rocket launchers and weapons caches. As Alan Dershowitz says, it is as if the arsonist and the firefighter were moral equals. Hamas is happy to deliberately kill Israeli Jewish civilians and happy for the media publicity if Israel accidentally kills Gazan civilians when the IDF shoots back at missile launchers in self-defense.

Two-State Solution or a One-and-a-Half-State Solution?

Both Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu have stated that they accept the “Two State Solution.” Netanyahu has referred to the Arab position as “two states for a people-and-a-half.”

Netanyahu explains that his plan is a Jewish State of Israel that gives full citizenship to its current Arab residents, living in peace alongside a Palestinian Arab State. However, Abbas is quoted as saying that he will never accept a Jewish State. All Jews must be removed from the future Palestinian Arab State, including from the Old City section of Jerusalem. In addition, the descendants of Muslim Arab “refugees” currently living in Gaza, Judea and Samaria, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and elsewhere, must be resettled in Israel, which will not be a Jewish state. The Arabs get a Muslim, Palestinian State. And Israel is shared between the current one million Israeli Arab Muslim citizens, the four million descendents of Arab Muslim “refugees” under the “right of return” and the 6 million Jews. So the Arab Muslims get one and a half states and the Jews get what is left over in a shared, non-Jewish State.

(The authors supply numerous documented quotes that spokesmen for Hamas have publicly stated their plans to eliminate the Jews from Israel, as their long term goal.)

Conclusion

Pressing Israel is a good introduction to the Israel-Muslim conflict as well as a valuable reference for those who are already knowledgeable about the Middle East situation. It can be referred to in discussions and is useful for preparing letters to the editor. It would be helpful to college students who are facing anti-Zionist protests on campus.

If a second edition is published, the printed, paper version of the book would be even more valuable as a reference if an index was added. A fully searchable version of the book is already available as a Kindle e-book from Amazon.com, making an index for the electronic version unnecessary.

Oren: “The Iron Dome Military Revolution”

In The Wall Street Journal, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren lauded the effectiveness of the Obama Administration-supported Iron Dome missile defense system. Oren wrote:

From drawing board to deployment in 2011, Israel completed the Iron Dome in a mere three years. The first two batteries-developed and financed entirely by Israel-took down dozens of Hamas rockets, making Iron Dome the first antimissile system ever to succeed in combat. The generous support of President Obama and the U.S. Congress enabled the construction of four additional batteries. Ultimately, 10 to 13 batteries and a full complement of interceptors will be needed to defend the entire country.

More after the jump.

Intercepting supersonic projectiles in midflight is literally rocket science. Israeli engineers pulled off the feat by combining cutting-edge tracking radar with electro-optic sensors and mounting them on highly mobile, all-weather air-defense systems. Iron Dome can hit multiple types of rockets and missiles at ranges of up to 75 kilometers. It can also be relocated swiftly to new sites and radically different terrain. (As part of our vast alliance with the United States, we have offered to share this pioneering technology.)

Most ingeniously, the Iron Dome determines within split seconds whether an incoming rocket is headed for an open space or a populated area-and saves its fire for the latter case. Millions of Israelis live within the terrorists’ range, with as little as 15 seconds to reach a bomb shelter.

By neutralizing most rockets headed for populated areas, the Iron Dome gives decision makers invaluable time to find diplomatic solutions. If salvos of rockets were pummeling Israeli homes, hospitals and schools, Israeli leaders would be under immense pressure to order ground operations that could yield significant casualties. By denying the terrorists a decisive offensive advantage, Iron Dome will save lives and prevent wars.

Before Israel’s recent Operation Pillar of Defense, Gaza terrorists fired some 700 rockets and mortars at southern Israel, many of which were taken out by Iron Dome. Still Israel was forced to take action, mounting precise sorties against terrorists and launch sites. In turn the terrorists fired 1,500 rockets, some aimed at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. These might have inflicted severe human and material loss, but Iron Dome downed nearly 85% of those headed toward populated areas.

Combined with Israel’s world-class civil-defense system, Iron Dome thwarted the terrorists’ aim to wreak intolerable damage. Consequently, Israeli leaders had the time and space needed to join with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton  and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in working out a cease-fire….

Iron Dome is thus a game-changer, but it isn’t a game-ender. Terrorists on our borders have more than 70,000 rockets, and 15 of every 100 fired can still get through the Iron Dome. The danger even of conventional warheads is unacceptable, but nuclear warheads would pose an existential threat. That is why, together with the U.S., Israel has developed the Arrow to intercept orbital and suborbital ballistic missiles, and we have successfully tested David’s Sling, a long-range rocket-defense system.

These innovations will not only protect Israel but enhance security for America and its allies world-wide.

Twenty Conclusions of Operation Pillar of Defense

— by David Bedein

Last week, while visiting communities struck by Gaza missiles throughout southern Israel, it was easy to discern the all pervasive anger that Israeli citizens — from all walks of life — vented against the Israeli army for halting the attack on Gaza

Civilians under the terror of aerial attacks find it hard to gain perspective on the achievements made during a one week November 2012 battle with the Hamas regime in Gaza. Indeed, this was a battle. The war with Gaza is far from over.

This time, Israel’s leaders used psychological warfare tactics against the tactics that its adversary uses.

The twenty conclusions of “Operation Pillar of Defense” follow the jump.

  1. Israeli Air Force’s pinpointed “surgical attacks” killed off Hamas leaders and deprived the Hamas regime offices of badly needed tactical and ideological leadership during the confrontation with the IDF- and Israel did so with minimum civilian casualties on the other side. Meanwhile, massive IDF attacks on the Hamas regime’s munitions tunnels signaled that the tunnel supply game is over.
  2. When the IDF held back on a land incursion into Gaza, the other side was deprived of shahidim — martyrs. Pupils in UNRWA schools in Gaza had been prepared by Hamas media professional YouTube movies of themselves, which would be screened if they would become shahidim while attacking IDF troops during any IDF incursion into Gaza. Without available dead children in the form of shahidim martyrs, it was hard for Israel’s adversaries to make the case to the world for “Israeli war crimes.”
  3. The IDF attack on Hamas TV antennas and the IDF bombing of the Hamas media center signaled that communications could now be a target of the IDF. The next step might be a cut off of all Gaza radio and TV frequencies, since these frequencies happen to be owned by Israel. These frequencies were leased by Israel and given to the newly autonomous Palestinian Arab areas in Judea, Samaria and Gaza after the Oslo accords were signed in 1993, to communicate a message of peace.
  4. A new unity of purpose swept Israel. Missile attacks on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem will help galvanize opposition in the center of the country to any possibility of a Palestinian Arab state in Judea and Samaria, which would place Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and, indeed, Israel’s only international airport, within ‘Sderot missile distance’ of any quasi-independent Palestinian Authority entity. The Hamas regime in Gaza proved that it could indeed hit the center of the country- Tel Aviv and Rishon Letzion and…Jerusalem. No longer would the people of Israel define the Hamas missile threat as limited or confined to Sderot and the Western Negev.
  5. Daily praise heaped upon Hamas during its battle with the IDF by the official media outlets of the Palestinian Authority unveiled the formal alliance forged by the Fatah regime in Ramallah with the Hamas regime in Gaza. Since the EU, the US, Canada, Australia, Russia and even the UN define Hamas as a terrorist entity, the PA embrace of Hamas will place all future assistance to the PA in jeopardy. So much for the undeserved “moderate” image of the PA.
  6. Vocal Israeli Arab citizen support for the Gaza regime as it launched missiles on the center of Israel will also not be forgotten.
  7. The Israeli surgical attacks took the wind out of the sails of anti Israel protest movements which had planned demonstrations to protest alleged Israeli “war crimes”.
  8. The Israeli military campaign, unlike any other campaign since 1967, witnessed International support for Israeli military initiative, since the IDF focused on targeted killings of Arab military leaders. On the diplomatic front, US President Obama and virtually all European leaders expressed support of Israel.
  9. The battle did not conclude with a cease fire, but, rather, with a tahadia — a respite before the resumption of hostilities — which holds no obligations for the Arabs, yet also holds no obligations for Israel. Israel can therefore demonstrate total freedom to respond when it feels like responding, with the precedent of explicit international support.
  10. After the PLO had worked for a generation to redefine the situation an “Israel-Palestinian conflict,” Israel faced an Iranian supported entity, which expanded the scope of the Gaza fighting into the international Islamic arena
  11. A key element in this battle involved a test of Tehran’s deterrent system — the threat of missiles launched from Gaza was tested. Iranians could now gauge the effect on Israel of, and the ability of Israel to respond to, intensive bombardment from Gaza in retaliation for any Israeli, US or multinational attack on Iran. Iron Dome was proven to be effective, which can’t be pleasing to Iran.
  12. Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, rather than visiting Gaza to demonstrate Egyptian solidarity with his fellow Muslim Brotherhood members (Hamas being the Palestinian branch of the MB), instead dispatched his prime minister Hesham Kandil, a minor figure, while Morsi frantically engaged in brokering an arrangement to stop the fighting. Morsi was shown to be far more concerned about keeping US financial aid flowing to Egypt than he is about anything else — Gaza, Israel, or Iran.
  13. The IDF executed a successful reserve call-up that was simultaneously huge in absolute terms (75,000 troops, compared to about 10,000 reservists mobilized before Operation Cast Lead in 12/08) yet relatively small (the total IDF head count being about 621,500), indicating that, though much of its population was under the psychological stress of bombardment, Israel was capable of fielding almost 8 times as much reserve manpower to threaten Gaza with invasion as was assembled on the Gaza border in 2008 (not counting any elements of the 177,000-strong regular army, which trains constantly and is thus better prepared for combat than the reserves) yet still managed to have 5 times as many yet to be mobilized reserves as the 75,000 that have been called up.
  14. The IDF killing of Hamas military chief, Ahmed Jabaari who masterminded Gilad Shalit’s abduction, Yahiya al-Abya, the head of Qassam’s rocket forces and Khamer Hamri, who commanded PIJ’s missile operation was each an accomplishment in and of itself.
  15. There were heart-rending casualties on the Israeli side- including the horrific murder bymissile- of Mira Sharf, the 26-year-old pregnant wife of the rabbi of the Chabad House in New Delhi, who was visiting Israel to attend a commemoration of the 2008 butchering of the couple who ran the Chabad House in Mumbai, while maiming of her husband and one of her children, only 4 years old.
  16. In conclusion, the strategic position of Israel in the region has been bolstered by the impotence of the Gazan rocket barrage, the IDF’s formidable response and the sudden unity of Israel under fire.
  17. It now remains for Israel to cope with the fact that 65% of the population of Gaza continue continue to wallow in Hamas-run UNRWA facilities under the promise of the “right of return” to “their” homes and villages which they left after the 1948 war.
  18. While villages of Gaza may develop into a prosperous entity, the one million descendants of the refugees from 1948 who live in UNRWA camps are indoctrinated to engage in an “armed struggle” to renew hostilities at any moment.
  19. The Israel Ministry of Strategic Affair, which operates out of the office of the Prime Minister’s Office, is now drawing up a comprehensive document on UNRWA, which includes recommendations regarding the the financing of UNRWA, and the UNRWA administered education system. The document will pay special attention to “the cultivation of the Palestinian ethos of struggle and resistance” in the UNRWA schools.
  20. Hamas was elected to control the administrative union and the teachers union of UNRWA in Gaza. That means that humanitarian aid and education to UNRWA in Gaza fall under direct control of a terror organization. With the UNRWA demands for cash transfers, international accountability for cash in the hands of Hamas has become a critical issue. It will now behoove donor nations to UNRWA in Gaza to ensure that humanitarian aid is not bartered by the Hamas leadership for munitions or for incitement in the UNRWA schools.

Israel Behind The News
Funds Needed to Continue Proactive News Investigations

  • Dangers of Further US Aid to the PLO Army
  • Threat of Planned PLO Army Deployment in Hebron and Jerusalem
  • UNRWA and PA for War Curriculum, financed by US and the West
  • Conflicts of Interests of Israeli businesses invested in the Palestinian Authority

Why Should This Ceasefire By Any Different?

— by Noam Bedein

‘Cease Fires’ between Israel and Hamas:
6 years of a record of non compliance

Since the last day of Operation Cast Lead (January 18, 2009) until the 1st day of Operation Pillar of Defense, the Gaza Hamas regime launched 2,000 aerial attacks against Israel. That was the third ‘ceasefire’ between Israel and Hamas.

There is talk about ‘an opportunity to reach an understanding with Hamas,’ relying on the notion that Israel must ‘give Hamas a chance for a ceasefire with Israel.’ How many people remember two failed ‘ceasefires’ were reached with the Gaza Hamas regime over the past 6 years? How many people remember what occurred during those ceasefires? The people of Sderot and the western Negev remember all too well.

First Ceasefire

Let us refresh our memories. From November 26, 2006, until May 15, 2007, the first “ceasefire” between Hamas and Israel lasted for six months. Here is the statement made by Hamas five days before agreeing to that ceasefire: “Hamas’s military wing will stop rocket fire when residents evacuate the city of Sderot.” (from November 21, 2006)

During that “ceasefire,” the Gaza Hamas regime launched 315 attacks on Sderot and the western Negev. There was no IDF response to those attacks during that “ceasefire.”

More after the jump.
Second Ceasefire

The second “ceasefire” took place from June 19, 2008 (1 year after the Hamas military took control of the Gaza strip) until December 19, 2008. During those six months of “we cease they fire,”, the Gaza Hamas regime launched 530 attacks on Israel.

2008 was the most intense year of the decade; the entire western Negev region was under constant rocket fire, with approximately 3,200 aerial attacks on Israel.

Three days before the end of 2008, the IDF military launched “Operation Cast Lead” to stop the attacks from the Gaza Hamas regime.

One question needs to be asked: What nation in the world would allow a one-sided “ceasefire?” What other nation would allow for one missile to explode within its territory, let alone allowing an entity to now place the majority of its population under the threat of a missile attack?

It is worthy to note that Israel’s adversaries do not advocate a “ceasefire;” they promote a hudna. A hudna means no more than a temporary respite in the war between Islamic forces and non-Islamic forces. The authoritative Islamic Encyclopedia (London, 1922) defines hudna as a “temporary treaty” which can be approved or abrogated by Islamic religious leaders, depending on whether or not it serves the interests of Islam; with the proviso that a hudna cannot last for more than 10 years.

What is the alternative? A demand of unconditional surrender from an enemy bent on Israel’s destruction.

Noam Bedein is a photojournalist, lecturer and founder/director of Sderot Media Center. He lives approximately two miles away from the Gaza-Israel border in the Israeli city of Sderot.

Israel Behind The News
Funds Needed to Continue Proactive News Investigations

  • Dangers of Further US Aid to the PLO Army
  • Threat of Planned PLO Army Deployment in Hebron and Jerusalem
  • UNRWA and PA for War Curriculum, financed by US and the West
  • Conflicts of Interests of Israeli businesses invested in the Palestinian Authority

Announcement of Ceasefire

Remarks

  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and
  • Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr

November 21, 2012
Presidential Palace, Cairo, Egypt

MODERATOR:  (Via interpreter) We welcome our guests.  Yes.  We’ll begin with a talk from Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, then Her Excellency Minister Clinton will address the press.

More after the jump.

FOREIGN MINISTER AMR:  (Via interpreter) Thank you.  A press release, under the auspices of His Excellency President Mohamed Morsi and stemming from Egypt’s historic responsibility towards the Palestinian cause and Egypt’s keenness to stop the bloodshed and preserving the stability of the conditions and security in the region, Egypt has exerted efforts and conducted intensive discussions since the renewed outbreak of hostilities in the Gaza Strip with all parties:  the Palestinian leadership, the various resistance factions, the Israeli side, and the international community, most notably the United States of America.

These efforts and communications managed to reach an agreement to a ceasefire and the return of calm and halt of the violence and the bloodshed that was witnessed recently.

The ceasefire is set to start at 9 p.m. Cairo time today, Wednesday, 21st of November 2012.  Egypt affirms its commitment to the Palestinian cause and the need to achieve a comprehensive and just resolution.  The Government of Egypt will continue its efforts to achieve this noble objective through ongoing attempts to end the divisions between the various Palestinian factions and to assist them in achieving Palestinian national unity on the basis of genuine Palestinian values and interests.

Egypt appreciates the role of the Arab League, the valuable contributions of Turkey and Qatar, and those of the Secretary General of the United Nations to support the efforts of the Government of Egypt to end the violence.  At the same time, Egypt calls upon the international community to be engaged in monitoring the implementation of the Egyptian-brokered agreement and to ensure all parties adhere to these agreements.  The agreement will be distributed to you after this conference.

SECRETARY CLINTON:  Thank you very much, Foreign Minister Amr.  I want to thank President Morsi for his personal leadership to de-escalate the situation in Gaza and end the violence.  This is a critical moment for the region.  Egypt’s new government is assuming the responsibility and leadership that has long made this country a cornerstone of regional stability and peace.  The United States welcomes the agreement today for a ceasefire in Gaza.  For it to hold, the rocket attacks must end, a broader calm return.

The people of this region deserve the chance to live free from fear and violence, and today’s agreement is a step in the right direction that we should build on.  Now we have to focus on reaching a durable outcome that promotes regional stability and advances the security, dignity, and legitimate aspirations of Palestinians and Israelis alike.  President Morsi and I discussed how the United States and Egypt can work together to support the next steps in that process.  In the days ahead, the United States will work with partners across the region to consolidate this progress, improve conditions for the people of Gaza, and provide security for the people of Israel.  Ultimately, every step must move us toward a comprehensive peace for all the people of the region.

As I discussed today with President Morsi, as well as Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas, there is no substitute for a just and lasting peace.  Now that there is a ceasefire, I am looking forward to working with the Foreign Minister and others to move this process.  Thank you very much, Foreign Minister.

Cease Fire in Israel: Something to give thanks for on Thanksgiving

Ceasefire reached
Operation Pillar of Defense Ended on It’s Eighth Day

— The Consulate General of Israel in Philadelphia

As Operation Pillar of Defense — a military operation to defend Israel’s 4.5 million citizens who are under rocket fire from the Hamas terrorist organization — enters its eighth day, attacks on Israeli towns and communities continue.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr in a joint news conference with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announces ceasefire to come into effect at 9 pm.  Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke with US President Barack Obama and acceded to his recommendation to give the Egyptian ceasefire proposal a chance to stabilize and calm the situation before there is a need to use greater force.

The Prime Minister expressed his deep appreciation to the President for his support of Israel during the operation and for his contribution to the Iron Dome system. The Prime Minister reiterated that Israel would take all necessary steps to defend its citizens.

Earlier today (Nov 21) a city bus was bombed in Tel-Aviv, injuring dozens of people. This horrific attack came at the height of international efforts to reach a cease-fire.

Since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense on November 14th more than 1,500 rockets have been fired at Israel.

Most of these rockets landed in the south and the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system was effective at intercepting these rockets. Currently, Iron Dome has prevented over 400 rockets from striking populated areas in Israel.

Throughout Operation Pillar of Defense Israel continued to supply nearly 62% of Gaza’s electricity and kept humanitarian aid arriving to Gaza. After the cease fire Israel will ensure that the humanitarian situation in Gaza remains stable.

On the other hand, the terrorist organization Hamas has targeted Israeli civilians while hiding behind Palestinian civilians. Israel has gone to great lengths to minimize harm to the residents of Gaza and regrets any injury bestowed upon them.

Despite the near constant rocket attacks and now — unfortunately — bus bombings, life goes on for most Israelis. Israel’s economy remains strong with most businesses and financial markets operating as normal. Thanks to the great support Israel received, its citizen’s remained resilient and strong.