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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Video: IDF soldiers forced to cower in position in 'east' Jerusalem

A video taped from inside an IDF position in eastern Jerusalem and uploaded by 0404 news Wednesday shows how frustrating being an IDF soldier is, these days.The soldiers are caged in inside their fortified position, and do nothing but watch as Arab rioters hurl rocks and fireworks at them.The person who is in radio contact with the soldier inside the position tells him not to worry because the attackers are unable to harm him. The soldier inside the position says the event is being documented. IDF soldiers are rarely given permission to fire at rioters who attack them, due to extreme pressure from far-left NGOs and left-wing legislators.

Let's go to the videotape.



Some deterrence, eh? Disgraceful. Simply disgraceful.

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Video: Who are the 'Palestinian people'?

Shavua tov, a good week to everyone.

Who are the so-called "Palestinian people" ?

What are the origins of the Arabs who call themselved today "Palestinians" ?

What does History have to say about their claim as natives who lived in the holy land from time immemorial ?

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Son # 2 Child # 3).




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Friday, October 24, 2014

American silence fuels 'Palestinian' terrorism

This New York Post piece by Eliyahu Federman is spot-on (Hat Tip: Victor Shikhman).
Abbas called Jews visiting the Temple Mount (Judaism’s holiest place) a “herd of cattle,” with no right to visit or worship there. Jewish visits, he said, were a desecration that must be stopped “by any means.”
“Any means” turned out to include the murder of baby Chaya.
What’s most remarkable is the US silence on Abbas’ remarks. Neither Secretary of State John Kerry nor any State Department spokesman condemned Abbas’ words comparing Jews to cattle. Even the US embassy in Israel failed to issue a statement.
If the Israeli prime minister called Muslims praying at their holy places a “herd of cattle” to be removed “by any means,” Jewish groups and the US government would rightly and swiftly denounce such vile bigotry.
Yet four days passed from Abbas’ remarks to the Wednesday terror attack. Four days of silence that culminated in horror.
Not a single Arab leader rejected this dehumanization of Jews, or protested the incendiary call to prevent Jewish visitation and worship at the Temple Mount.
Nor did the American Task Force on Palestine, the pro-Palestinian lobby in Washington, speak up, nor groups representing American Muslims, Arabs or Palestinians. The “pro-peace” movement, including Americans for Peace Now and J Street, raised no objection.
After Wednesday’s horror, the State Department finally woke up, condemning the act of terrorism “in the strongest possible terms,” expressing “our deepest condolences” and urging “all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions.”
But calls to “maintain calm” and “avoid escalating tensions” should have come earlier, before condolences became necessary. They should have come after the Palestinian president called Jews “cattle” and their presence a desecration to be stopped “by any means.”
Such a statement may not have prevented the attack, but it would have made clear that Palestinian incitement and violence against Israel and Jews is unacceptable to the American people.
I'm not sure why Federman considers American silence in the four days leading up to the attack to be remarkable. Surely, after nearly six years of the Hussein Obama administration, no one should have expected anything else from the White House or the State Department (except maybe for them to pile on and back 'Abbas'). But he's right to call the administration out on that silence, and he's right to call out the supposed 'peace groups' - who couldn't even find it in themselves to issue a statement that 'Abbas' remarks are 'not helpful to the cause of peace' - for their silence as well.

Another Washington double standard....

Read the whole thing.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hmmm....

Is Kurdistan stashing oil in Israel? Consider this:
Of the 25 tankers that have left Turkey loaded with Kurdish oil since May, 13 have gone dark—just as the Kalavryta did on Aug. 26. Most of the time this happens somewhere in the Mediterranean, either off the coast of Malta or Cypress or Israel, or sometimes only a few miles away from Ceyhan. Although it’s not quite smuggling, “it’s about as dicey as it gets on the open seas,” says Charlie Papavizas, a maritime lawyer at Winston & Strawn, a law firm in Washington. “What the Kurds are doing is at the margins of the business, no doubt about that.”

Rather than delivering oil directly from port to port and creating a public record of the shipment, the Kurds are instead transferring oil from tanker to tanker at sea, often at night and often after switching off the ship’s electronic transponder that reports its position to satellites. When the transponder comes back on, the ship is usually miles away from its last known position and sitting higher in the water, which means its cargo is lighter. Shuffling the oil from ship to ship masks the ultimate buyer and makes it almost impossible to track. ClipperData, a New York-based company founded in 2012, uses customs data and ship-tracking information to follow the movements of tankers and estimate import volumes. Every time a ship docks in the U.S., Customs and Border Protection releases data on what it’s carrying. “It’s a real dog’s breakfast,” says Abudi Zein, ClipperData’s co-founder and chief operating officer. “You have to separate the olive oil from the crude oil.” ClipperData sells its information to about 50 clients, mostly oil traders and financial firms. The Kurdish ghost tankers have provided a particular challenge. “This is among the weirdest things we’ve ever seen,” Zein says. “You feel like a submarine chaser.”

Once a ship’s transponder goes off, detecting whether it’s unloaded its cargo to another ship is a matter of being able to narrow down the handful of vessels that are in its vicinity. ClipperData has built algorithms that can tell when two ships get within a tenth of a mile, or about 500 feet. “When they’re that close, they’re either transferring the oil or they’re crashing into each other,” Zein says. ClipperData has tracked one shipment of Kurdish oil going to Croatia, where it was bought by MOL, a Hungarian company, to run its refinery there. Three shipments have been delivered to Israel, each containing roughly 200,000 barrels, Zein says. Because neither of Israel’s two refineries is well-suited to process Kurdistan’s heavy crude, “what we’re now convinced of is that Kurdish crude is being stored in Israel,” he says.
One ship in particular caught Zein’s attention. On Aug. 2, about 15 miles off the coast of Malta, a tanker called the Genmar Strength suddenly got heavier, indicating some 200,000 barrels had been loaded onto it. At the same time, in almost exactly the same location, a ship called the Agisilaos unloaded the same amount of oil. The cargo was listed as a heavy crude consistent with Kurdish oil; it had been loaded onto the Agisilaos 10 days earlier at Ashkelon, Israel, while the ship’s transponder was off, Zein says. The Genmar Strength immediately headed west across the Atlantic. On Aug. 19 it delivered about 200,000 barrels of cargo to an asphalt plant outside Philadelphia. The plant is operated by Axeon Specialty Products, a chemical and asphalt company owned by private equity firm Lindsay Goldberg. A shipment of similar heavy oil arrived at the same plant in June. Axeon has said it is not buying Kurdish oil until the dispute over the Kalavryta is settled. Lindsay Goldberg did not reply to requests for comment.
Read the whole thing. Nigerian oil is also sometimes sold through what's known in the business as TTL (tanker top loading). But I've never heard of the tankers disappearing like that. Hmmm.

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'Abu Mazen's Fatah finds another hero' or 'what a difference it makes when your house might be destroyed'

'Moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen's 'moderate' Fatah terror organization has found a new terrorist to celebrate: Abdelrahman Shaludeh, the 21-year old terrorist who murdered three-month-old Chaya Ziseel Braun HY"D (May God Avenge her blood) on Wednesday.
Shaludi, a nephew of slain Hamas explosives expert Mohiyedine Sharif, was believed to be a Hamas supporter based on his militant Facebook posts. But the new Fatah poster may indicate an organizational affiliation with the rival Palestinian organization.
The Palestinian Authority issued no official comment on the incident, but Fatah Central Committee member Sultan Abu-Aynayn dubbed Shaludi “a hero” in Facebook comments posted Thursday, citing his time spent in Israeli prisons, the watchdog Palestinian Media Watch said.
Given that the IDF recently reinstated the policy of destroying terrorists' homes, Shaludeh's family is being slightly more discreet:
Shaludi’s body — he was shot by police while attempting to flee the scene and subsequently died in hospital — was transferred to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute on Thursday for an autopsy against his family’s will, Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported. The assailant’s mother claimed that the incident was a car accident, and that her son was “killed in cold blood.”
The Palestinian youth spent the past two years in and out of Israeli prisons. Shaludi’s mental state had deteriorated following his release after three weeks in Jerusalem’s Russian Compound prison, where he was interrogated by the Shin Bet security service earlier this year, his mother added. Just hours before the attack she had taken him to a doctor, who referred him to a psychiatrist.
“The occupation forces continued harassing him following his release by summoning him for questioning time and again,” she told Ma’an. “They would always threaten him and curse at him, telling him once: ‘We will not let you continue with your life; you will not study or work.'”
Yeah sure. The 'occupation forces' drove him to suicide and he decided to take as many people as possible with him. Does anyone else not buy that one? I sure don't.

In any event, Fatah, Hamas.... What difference does it make?

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Chemi Shalev justifies 'Palestinian' terrorism

An amazing Twitter exchange between Northwestern University law professor Eugene Kontorovich and Haaretz US editor Chemi Shalev in which Shalev justifies Wednesday night's terror attack and the murder of three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun HY"D (May God Avenge her blood).



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To cry: Last picture of three-month old terror victim at Kotel (Western Wall) shortly before she was murdered

Three-month old Chaya Zisel Braun HY"D (May God Avenge her blood) was on her way home from the Kotel (Western Wall) with her parents and grandparents on Wednesday night when a 'Palestinian' terrorist ran her over and murdered her. The picture above was taken at the Kotel shortly before she was murdered (Hat Tip: Kikar Shabbat).

Oh and by the way - she was a US citizen. But that apparently means little to the US State Department. 'Even-handed' as always.
Three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun, the baby girl killed today in Jerusalem during a vehicular terrorist attack, was an American citizen, a US official confirmed to The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday night.
The girl was thrown from her stroller as a car swerved into the Ammunition Hill light rail station, injuring seven others.
State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf has "urged restraint" and calm from both sides after the attack.
...
His grandaughter flew 10-20 meters in the air before landing headfirst on the pavement, Shimshon Halperin said Wednesday night.
Standing outside Hadassah University Medical Center on Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus, after Chaya had died of intracranial bleeding Halperin explained how the driver from Silwan rammed a row of pedestrians, hitting Chaya’s stroller and sending her flying.
I guess you'd have to work for the State Department to believe that the 'Palestinians' would stop behaving this way if only we would give them a 'state.' 

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New close-up video of Jerusalem terror attack

Here's a close-up video of Wednesday night's terror attack in Jerusalem. You'll see the car go right past the light rail train.

Let's go to the videotape.



Maybe this should be shown to @Rudoren's editor at the New York Times.


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Leader of French Jewish community indicted for insulting 'professional anti-Semite'

Roger Cukierman, probably the most prominent leader of the French Jewish community, has been indicted for calling French 'comedian' Dieudonne M'bala M'bala a 'professional anti-Semite' (Hat Tip: MFS - The Other News).
Cukierman, who heads the CRIF umbrella of French Jewish communities and organizations, announced the indictment on Monday in a video that appeared on the CRIF website.
“So I am being indicted for having stated on Europe 1 that Dieudonne is a professional anti-Semite. Isn’t that funny? For once, Dieudonne is actually comical,” Cukierman said.
Dieudonne has 10 convictions for inciting racial hatred against Jews, according to CRIF. He also invented the quenelle salute – which French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said was an inverted Nazi gesture of anti-Semitic hate, and the term “shoananas,” a mashup of the Hebrew world for the Holocaust and the French word for pineapple, which is used to suggest the genocide never happened without explicitly violating France’s laws against doing so.
Earlier this year, Valls, then interior minister, advised mayors to ban Dieudonne’s shows, leading to the show’s cancellation and replacement with another routine which featured less anti-Semitic material. Indictments are “quasi-automatic” in France when police receive complaints of defamation, according to the L’Express news website.
Responding to the indictment, the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Vigilance, or BNVCA, extended its support for Cukierman.
“No one in France knows anti-Semitism better than Roger Cukierman, who survived the Holocaust at the age of nine because nuns hid him while his family was deported to Auschwitz and gassed there,” the Drancy-based watchdog wrote in a statement Tuesday.
I've been saying for a long time that French Jews ought to find someplace else to live. Is anyone listening?

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Jerusalem light rail terrorist broadcast desire to murder Jews on social media

If I were to write on this blog that I wished to kill Arabs (or 'Palestinians' for that matter), the odds are pretty high that someone from the police department or the General Security Service would pay me a visit and follow me around for a while to see whether I intend to do what I said I'd do.

Abdelrahman Shaludeh, the terrorist who murdered a three-month old infant and wounded eight other people a short distance from my home on Wednesday night, bragged for months on social media that he wished to murder Jews. In the end, the police only stopped him after he succeeded.
A report in Yediot Achronot Thursday quoted Twitter and Facebook posts of the 20-year-old Shaludeh, an Arab resident of Shiloach (Silwan) who was a legal Jerusalem resident. In his last post on a social media site frequented by Islamists, for example, he wrote “now is the time to defend your home, Muslims – go out on a crusade to protect the Al-Aqsa mosque” from Jews who sought to pray on the Temple Mount.
The day before the attack, he posted a link to a video published by the Al Aqsa Brigade terror group – closely associated with Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah group. The clip displayed terrorists in training. Slodi's comment: “See how the Al Aqsa fighters train for suicide missions” to carry out against Israeli targets.
Speaking to Israel Radio, Israeli security officials said that Shaludeh was known to authorities, and officials believe that he acted on his own. 
Shaludeh, who was 20 or 21, had a long history of arrests for terrorism - and releases. 
According to Palestinian reports, a-Shaludi was released from jail in December 2013 after serving a 16-month sentence. He was arrested again last February for a period of one month. He is also reportedly a close relative of the Muhi a-Din Sharif, aka "Engineer No. 2", a senior member of the Hamas military wing who was killed near Ramallah in 1998. 
A-Shaludi had a history of security violations. When he was 18, he was indicted, along with his brother and his friends, for targeting the Jewish residents of Silwan in East Jerusalem, and for trying to prevent police cars from entering the neighborhood.

In May 2013, he was sentenced to 16 months in prison in a plea bargain, having pleaded guilty to, and been convicted of, throwing petrol bombs at Jewish cars and at a police vehicle, attempted arson, aggravated assault, attempted assault of a policeman and rioting.

A-Shaludi confessed and was convicted under the plea bargain to one of three charges, for an incident that occurred on Nakba Day: He and his friends made Molotov cocktails, which they divided among themselves and hurled. The two charges that were dropped referred to the throwing of firebombs at Jewish residents of Silwan.

In addition, he was arrested last March on suspicion of vehicular theft.
I must be missing something. If he was sentenced to 16 months in May 2013, why was he released in December 2013? Is our government now paroling terrorists? 

Fortunately, at least this terrorist will not be released in a 'prisoner exchange.' He died during the night. As of now, his body has not been released. Maybe we should trade it for the two bodies of the IDF soldiers who were killed in Gaza over the summer.... 

By the way, why is it that the police had apparently not done anything to stop Shaludeh?

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'Police say'?

Maybe @rudoren's editor missed the video? Otherwise, how could s/he have written a headline like this:
'Police say'?

Let's go to the videotape.



Starting from the 0:07 mark, what happened seems painfully obvious. 'Police say'?

Shame on the New York Times.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

And again: 'Palestinian' terrorist drives into crowd near light rail station, murders 3-montth old girl

A 'Palestinian' terrorist from the Silwan neighborhood of 'east' Jerusalem drove his car into a crowd of people disembarking from the light rail train at the Ammunition Hill station around 6:00 this evening. A three-month old baby was murdered, and at least eight other people were wounded. The terrorist was also wounded by a police officer who shot him as he tried to flee on foot. The terrorist has other terror convictions, and although it hasn't been officially confirmed yet, it appears that the terrorist was released as part of the terrorists for Gilad trade.

Let's go to the videotape.



The baby has been identified as three-month old Chaya Ziso HY"D (May God Avenge her blood). She is being buried around now, midnight Jerusalem time at the Har HaMenuchot cemetery on the western end of the city (we start funerals here until halfway through the night, which is about 12:30 these days).
Police have now confirmed (7:30 pm IST) that a Jerusalem police officer did shoot the driver, seriously wounding him after he attempted to flee from the scene on foot. 
One witness stated to the daily that the attack was "horrific" and that "people were screaming."
The area has been closed to traffic until further notice. Magen David Adom (MDA) medics, Hatzalah crews, and police have swamped the area. 
A spokesman for the emergency services said three people were seriously wounded. Another two people were moderately hurt and four more were said to have sustained light injuries.
One of the wounded, a three month-old girl, died after being rushed to Hadassah Har HaZofim (Mount Scopus). She has now (8:00 pm) been named as Chaya Ziso, hy"d. She will be laid to rest at Jerusalem's Har HaMenuchot cemetery at midnight. 
Shimon Helperin, the infant's grandfather, told Arutz Sheva that the Ziso family - which had been waiting for a child for years - had been returning from prayers at the Western Wall (Kotel) when they were struck by the terrorist. Helperin and his wife had arrived in Israel specifically to meet their grandchild on Wednesday and was forced to go immediately to the hospital, instead.
Read the whole thing.  Horrible. Absolutely horrible.

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Morons: US troops deployed to 'fight' Ebola not being issued Hazmat suits

It sounds like the Obama administration really wants to bring Ebola to the United States. American troops being deployed to 'fight' Ebola are not being issued Hazmat (protective hazardous materials) suits. What might be even worse, in the event that the troops are infected with Ebola, they will be brought back to the United States for treatment, rather than treating them on a desert island off the African coast where they cannot infect anyone else.
Gen. David Rodriguez at a Pentagon briefing last week revealed the shocking news. According to Nashvillepublicradio.org,  
Troops from the 101st Airborne Division leading the military response to Ebola in West Africa will only need gloves and masks to protect themselves from the deadly virus, so said Gen. David Rodriguez at a Pentagon briefing Wednesday.
 
“They don’t need the whole suit – as such – because they’re not going to be in contact with any of the people,” the commander of U.S. troops in Africa said.
 
Soldiers from the 101st Airborne will primarily be building hospitals, ultimately leading what could be a contingent of 4,000 American service members. They’ll be housed either in tent cities at military airfields or in Liberian Ministry of Defense facilities, Rodriguez said.
 
Soldiers’ health will be monitored through surveys and taking their temperature on their way in and out of camps. If a service member does get sick, Rodriguez said they will be flown home immediately for treatment.
Obama's not up for reelection anyway, so what difference does it make? /sarc Maybe he has a death wish for the country because most of his program for 'change' has been rejected.

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Breaking: Terror in the desert

Arab terrorists have opened fire on a carload of Israeli civilians traveling near the Egyptian border. Reports indicate that several Israelis have been wounded.
Initial reports of a shooting attack by Arab terrorists on the Israeli border with Sinai came in just before 2 p.m. on Wednesday.
According to the report, several terrorists opened fire on Israeli cars from Egyptian territory.The targeted region was in the area of Nitzana in the Negev desert, located right on the Egyptian border.
Israeli security and rescue forces have arrived on the scene.
Israel Radio is describing the situation as 'under control,' but the roads in the area are closed. One of the vehicles in question was a school bus transporting children.

More details to follow.

'Peace treaty' anyone?

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'Palestinians' verify Jews in car, bombard it with rocks

For those of you who think that 'Palestinian' stone throwing is kids throwing small stones from long distance, please look at the picture and read this story.
Oded Hania told Arutz Sheva he was driving in a car with a friend on the traffic route through the two [Jerusalem] neighborhoods when they were met by a group of Arab youths - who made sure to verify the two were Jewish before showering them with a potentially lethal hail of rocks.
"We drove from Atarot towards Shuafat. In Shuafat we saw a group of three or four youths around 18 years old," relates Hania. "Traffic was slow; they approached so as to identify if we were Jews."
Hania's friend, an IDF soldier, was dressed in uniform, giving the youths the indication that the intended victims were indeed Jews. At that point "they stepped back a bit, and from point blank range threw huge stones into the car."
The driver's window was smashed by the fusillade of rocks, as was the window next to Hania, who noted that his friend, who was driving, "tried to get away in reverse, as the whole car was full of glass. In the end we went fifty meters in reverse against the stream of traffic, and then crossed to the opposite lane and got out of there."
The Arab drivers adjacent to the entire incident were completely indifferent to the attack, says Hania, and not one of them or any passersby tried to stop the anti-Semitic assault.
This happened about a mile or two from my house....

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Disclosed: What Hamas planned to do with the terror tunnels

A lengthy piece in Vanity Fair exposes what Hamas planned to do with those terror tunnels.
Last spring, Hamas was already sensing isolation. Egypt had begun curbing Hamas’s access to everything from cigarettes to guns. And a widely touted merger with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, according to analysts in the region and Israeli security sources, had brought Gazans limited economic benefit. Some observers—in Israel, the Arab world, and the West—perceived Hamas to be on the ropes. Around the same time, intelligence about a pending attack—electronic chatter and word from informants—began setting off alarm bells inside Israel’s stereotypically anxious security establishment.
“Hamas had a plan,” says Lt. Col. Lerner, summarizing on the record what six senior intelligence officials would describe on background. “A simultaneous, coordinated, surprise attack within Israel. They planned to send 200 terrorists armed to the teeth toward civilian populations. This was going to be a coordinated attack. The concept of operations involved 14 offensive tunnels into Israel. With at least 10 men in each tunnel, they would infiltrate and inflict mass casualties.”
As a senior military intelligence official later explained, the anticipated attack was designed with two purposes in mind. “First, get in and massacre people in a village. Pull off something they could show on television. Second, the ability to kidnap soldiers and civilians using the tunnels would give them a great bargaining chip.”
Mishal insists that “the tunnels may have been outwardly called ‘offensive tunnels,’ but in actual fact they are ‘defensive’ ones.’” When pressed to explain why most of the tunnels actually ended up under or near civilian communities or kibbutzim—not military bases—he concedes, “Yes, true. There are Israeli towns adjacent to Gaza. Have any of the tunnels been used to kill any civilian or any of the residents of such towns? No. Never! . . . [Hamas] used them either to strike beyond the back lines of the Israeli army or to raid some military sites . . . This proves that Hamas is only defending itself.”
Reports would later surface that Hamas’s main attack was planned to coincide with the Jewish New Year—Rosh Hashanah—in September 2014. “It may have been,” says a top intelligence official, in his office in the Kirya, Israel’s Pentagon. “But ultimately everything was moved up. Hamas’s grand plan for the tunnels failed because the kidnapping set things in motion before Hamas had everything ready.”
...
On July 7, Israeli jets bombed a tunnel that began in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, and exited near Kibbutz Kerem Shalom, killing seven members of Hamas, who were trapped inside. To outward observers, it looked as if the casualties may have been incidental. But highly placed government sources tell Vanity Fair they feared these operatives were the first wave. “When the operation started, we expected the mass attack in July,” a senior military intelligence official explains. “We suspected they would hurry up and do it during the air war, before the ground operation.”
Hamas considered the men who died in the tunnel bombing to be among its most elite, warning publicly, “The enemy will pay a tremendous price.” The next day, all hell broke loose, with Hamas firing some 150 rockets. Over the next 10 days, Hamas would send some 1,500 more, while the Israeli air force and navy would pound sites in Gaza with little letup. Despite warnings by Israel to leave their homes, thousands of civilians were caught in the crossfire. Human-rights groups charged that Israel failed to exercise sufficient restraint when hitting populated areas. Israel argues that Hamas used local citizens as human shields and fired rockets from civilian areas.
...
Golani’s mission was to destroy what intelligence officials believed were four particularly lethal tunnels that began in the Gaza Strip town of Shejaiya and ended a stone’s throw from Israeli kibbutzim. Shejaiya had long been Hamas’s first line of defense and Israel’s efforts to warn its 100,000 residents to flee only reinforced its symbolic and strategic importance in Hamas’s eyes. “In this war,” claims Alian, “the biggest fight, the hardest battle, was for control of that neighborhood.”
I.D.F. soldiers in Shejaiya and elsewhere quickly came to understand that tactical tunnels presented as imminent a threat as the strategic cross-border variety they were sent to find. On August 1—two weeks into Israel’s ground campaign—Lieutenant Matan (who offers only his first name) was in the Gaza town of Rafah, when he and his fellow soldiers heard shots, he says in his first interview about the incident. Tracing those sounds to a nearby guard post, a tunnel opening was discovered. He and another soldier clambered down three meters, descending into the darkness. After firing some warning rounds, he stopped in the dank passageway, only to find portions of a bloodied uniform belonging to a 23-year-old lieutenant named Hadar Goldin, later determined to have been killed and his body kidnapped, according to the I.D.F. spokesperson’s office. (Goldin, unbeknownst to his abductors, turned out to have been a relative of Israel’s Defense Minister, Moshe Ya’alon.) “The Hamas operatives were like ghosts—honestly, like ghosts,” recalls Golani’s Sgt. Rafi. “If they wanted to shoot, they came out of a tunnel, shot, and ducked back into the tunnel.”
...
Israel’s troops, meanwhile, have moved north. On Vanity Fair’s recent visit, some of the same soldiers who had swept into Gaza are now manning a forward operating base in the Golan Heights—a contested mountainous area between Israel and Syria. The Israelis watch as the Syrian Army (unsuccessfully) battles rebels from the Nusra Front (the Syrian arm of al-Qaeda). These insurgents, after kidnapping and later expelling U.N. peacekeepers in September, have reignited a border that had remained peaceful for four decades. Recently, Israel shot down a Syrian aircraft that strayed into its territory. And to make matters worse, ISIS elements are entrenched farther north, attempting to establish a caliphate, using war-torn Syria and Iraq as their base.
Tensions have also escalated on Israel’s other northern border—with Lebanon. In the past week a member of the Syrian opposition was quoted as telling CNN that Hezbollah appears determined to flex its military muscle on the Israeli border. I.D.F. troops have fortified their positions there. And Israel has other worries as well. Sources in these northern neighborhoods tell Vanity Fair that the I.D.F. is planning to send an engineering team to one of the Israeli towns whose residents have been awakened by the subterranean clamor. Although some officials are publicly skeptical (possibly to avoid alarming residents and parry criticism that they have ignored another threat), privately they say they have serious concerns about what Hezbollah might have in the works. A recent account in the Arab newsmagazine Al Watan al Arabi quotes a Hezbollah member as asserting: “Quality-wise, [our tunnels] are on par with the metro tunnels in the major European cities.”
“We say in the I.D.F. that ‘procedures are written in blood,’” says one senior intelligence officer. Harkening back to previous aboveground attacks by Hezbollah, he continues, “I can see them doing it again and going underground to do it.”
And the goal of at least one of these Israeli platoons scheduled to arrive on the border with Lebanon? To plow deep into the ground to find and, hopefully, silence the source of those noises in the night.

Read the whole thing.

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Pat Condell: 'Boo Hoo Palestine'

Pat Condell is back with another hard-hitting video about the 'Palestinians.'

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Steven D).




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It's not incompetence, it's malicious brilliance

Caroline Glick shows how, at least when it comes to Israel, Barack Hussein Obama is not incompetent. In fact, he's brilliant in implementing strategies that are hostile to Israel and its continued existence while maintaining his claim to having the most pro-Israel administration evah.
In everything from dealing with the Congress, to reining in radical ideologues at the IRS, to handling the chaos at the Mexican border, to putting together coordinated strategies for dealing with everything from Ebola to Islamic State (IS), Obama’s critics claim that he is out of his league. That he is incompetent.

But if Israel’s experience with him is any guide, then his critics are the ones who are out to sea. Because at least in his handling of US relations with the Jewish state, Obama has exhibited a mastery of the tools of the executive branch unmatched by most of his predecessors.

...

First, in an article published in The Jerusalem Post, terrorism analyst and investigative reporter Steven Emerson revealed how the highest echelons of the administration blocked the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office from assisting Israel in finding the remains of IDF soldier Oron Shaul.

...

In an order that senior law enforcement officials told Emerson came from Attorney General Eric Holder’s office, the FBI was told that it needed to first sign an “MLAT,” a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with Israel, a procedure that would take weeks to complete, and is generally used in cases involving criminal prosecutions and other non-life threatening issues.

In other words, facing a bureaucracy acting independently, Holder – reportedly Obama’s most trusted cabinet secretary – acted quickly, decisively and effectively. And thanks to his intervention at the key moment, although Israel was able – after an exhaustive forensic investigation – to determine Oron’s death, today it is poised to begin negotiations with Hamas for the return of his body parts.

Then there was the unofficial arms embargo.

In August, The Wall Street Journal reported that the White House and State Department had stopped the Pentagon at the last minute from responding favorably to an Israeli request for resupply of Hellfire precision air-to-surface missiles. The precision guided missiles were a key component of Israel’s air operations against missile launchers in Gaza. The missiles’ guidance systems allowed the air force to destroy the launchers while minimizing collateral damage.

In keeping with the standard decades-long practice, Israel requested the resupply through European Command, its military-to-military channel with the US military.

And in keeping with standard practice, the request was granted.

But then the White House and State Department heard about the approved shipment and spun into action. As in the case of Oron’s Facebook page, they didn’t reject Israel’s request. They just added a level of bureaucracy to the handling of the request that made it impossible for Israel to receive assistance from the US government in real time.

...


How can you oppose a hostile policy toward Israel that the administration insists doesn’t exist? Indeed, anyone who suggests otherwise runs the risk of being attacked as a conspiracy theorist or a firebrand.

The same goes for Obama’s policy toward Iran. This week we learned that the administration has now offered Iran a nuclear deal in which the mullahs can keep half of their 10,000 active centrifuges spinning.

Together with Iran’s 10,000 currently inactive centrifuges which the US offer ignores, the actual US position is to allow Iran to have enough centrifuges to enable it to build nuclear bombs within a year, at most.

In other words, the US policy toward Iran exposed by Obama’s nuclear offer is one that enables the most active state sponsor of terrorism to acquire nuclear weapons almost immediately.

But Obama denies this is his policy. For six years he has very deftly managed Congressional opposition to his wooing of the Iranian regime by insisting that his policy is to reduce the Iranian nuclear threat and to prevent war.

Opposing his policy means opposing these goals.

...

At least as far as Israel is concerned, Obama’s mastery of the federal bureaucracy is complete. It is not incompetence that guides his policy. It is malicious intent toward the US’s closest ally in the Middle East. And to defeat this policy, it is not necessary to prove incompetence that doesn’t exist. It is necessary to show that there are far better ways to achieve his declared aims of supporting Israel and blocking Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
 Saul Alinsky would be proud.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

#BDS_Fail: American Studies Association drops boycott of Israel, claims there never was one

As you might recall, in December 2013, the American Studies Association adopted a boycott of Israel. They have now dropped that boycott. In fact, they have gone so far as to claim that it never existed.
What is clear is t[h]at the ASA decided, in a widely-publicized move, to discriminate against some Israeli academics. Now, the ASA says it will not discriminate against any Israeli academics. The Conference is open to “everyone,” the group says, even, as the ASA’s executive director explained to me, “representatives of Israeli institutions.”
That is a clear revision of the original boycott action. Indeed, as David Bernstein noted at the time, the boycott was always narrow potentially to point of irrelevancy; narrowing it further constitutes a complete retraction of the boycott as applied to academics. The remaining portion of the boycott bars formal relationships with Israeli institutions, which required no change in the group’s action – the boycott is a null set.
But the ASA does not just say that they’ve jettisoned their discrimination against Israeli academics. Worried about potential civil rights litigation threats from the intrepid American Center for Law and Justice, they claim there never was any boycott of any Israelis at all. As evidence of this, the say no one falling within the parameters of the boycott tried to participate in the conference, and thus no one was subject to national origin discrimination.
This argument is beyond silly. When one hangs a sign on the door, “No Blacks Allowed,” or in this case, “Entry by Israelis Restricted,” it is not a defense to a civil rights action that none ever try to get in. The purpose of the policy is to turn them away before they even knock. The deterrent effectiveness of their policy does eliminate its discriminatory nature.
The ASA also says that even its original ban on Israel academic “representatives and ambassadors” was quite narrow. This would not be clear to an outside observer. Academics typically go to conference as representatives of their schools – going to conferences is part of their job. The institution’s name appears on their name tag. People who are not at schools may be identified as “independent scholars,” but people who are at an institution are not independent, they are with that institution.
Much of the credit for the boycott being dropped goes to Cornell Law Professor Bill Jacobson, who has been all over the ASA since the beginning through his blog, Legal Insurrection

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A different take on the Death of Leon Klinghoffer

As you can see from the picture, there was a pretty substantial protest on Monday night outside the opening of the Metropolitan Opera's production of The Death of Leon Klinghoffer. Walter Russell Mead is far more knowledgeable about opera than I will ever be. I don't want to focus on his artistic review of the production, but rather on his comments on the demonstration outside and on the question of whether the opera itself should ever have been staged. Here's what he says about the demonstrators.
Not everybody in New York shared my opinion; protestors blocked the street in front of Lincoln Center and we had to pass through police lines and barricades to get to the show. The lines at the entrance stretched far out into the plaza as the ushers conducted unusually thorough searches of bags at the door. With protestors shouting “Shame! Shame!” and speakers addressing the crowd in heavily miked voices, it was easily the most dramatic moment I’ve ever seen at a New York arts venue.
The excitement continued inside; some of the people opposed to the performance had tickets, and dozens stood to boo or cry out slogans like “Klinghoffer’s murderers will never be forgiven!” at various points during the performance. For history of opera aficionados, it was like a revival of the nineteenth century drama in European opera houses as rival factions of fans cheered or booed politically or musically controversial works.
Or the 21st century at the London Philharmonic

Mead also has some on-point comments about the production itself.
The real problem, and it is a serious one, involves the decision by John Adams and Alice Goodman to use a family’s tragedy for their art without the permission of the family’s members. Leon Klinghoffer was not a public figure; nothing gave Adams and Goodman a moral right to profit from his death or to use it for political or artistic purposes of their own without the permission of his loved ones. The opera not only shows the death of Lisa’s and Ilsa’s father, putting words in his mouth, it presents a fictionalized portrait of their mother’s shock and reaction on hearing the news.
No family not already in public life deserves to have their most intimate and painful moments taken over and made into a public spectacle against their will. You couldn’t take liberties with Mickey and Minnie Mouse without having Disney lawyers come at you with cease and desist orders; Leon Klinghoffer’s family deserves more consideration than a fictional rodent and without in any way seeking to curtail free speech, one can regret the decision of two famous and well established artists to turn someone else’s private grief into a public entertainment.
If I were Peter Gelb, I would have declined to put the opera on, but not on political grounds. I would not have wanted to associate myself with what amounts to psychological rape, and I would not have staged it against the wishes of the murdered man’s family. Dehumanizing Leon Klinghoffer, turning him from a human being into a symbol in their political theater, is what the terrorists did on the Achille Lauro; John Adams and Alice Goodman echo this violation by trampling on the family’s privacy and wishes, stripping the Klinghoffers of their rights and dignity and using them as props. There were other ways to write an opera about the tragic conflict between the Palestinian and Jewish national movements.
Compare that with the New York Times' critic avoiding the issue
Yet, in death, Leon Klinghoffer became a public figure, an innocent but defiant hero, lost to what still seems like a never-ending conflict in the Middle East.
No, he didn't. He never made that choice in life, and his family - who were the only ones who could have done so - never made that choice for him in death.

Read the whole thing

UPDATE 8:19 PM

Some of you might question why one of the labels I put on this post is "anti-Semitism." Please consider this Facebook comment from Steven Plaut:
Friends I need your help. I have written a new Opera and I need you to help demand that the Metropolitan Opera in New York stage it. It is an opera about the lynching of black people in Alabama and Mississippi by the Ku Klux Klan. The opera presents the moral ambiguity of the struggle for self-determination of the Klan members against the harsh and cruel behavior of the pickaninnies. The opera is careful not to pick sides and it presents both sides with musical delight. After the Klansters lynch the darkies, they take off their hoods and paint themselves as minstrel singers to show their common humanity with the dead. I am sure you agree that this is a must performance that the Metropolitan Opera needs to stage! Write the Opera chairman today!
We all know that hell will freeze over before the opera suggested by Plaut is staged, don't we? 

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New term enters our lexicon: 'Post-Congressional foreign policy'

A new term has entered our lexicon: The 'post-Congressional foreign policy.' It refers to Czar Barack's circumvention of Congressional approval of his termination of sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran by calling it a suspension. And he's betting that Congress cannot or will not do anything about it (Hat Tip: Memeorandum). Or about several other breaches of Congressional oversight authority.
Only Congress can permanently lift the sanctions--which it’s unlikely to do even if Democrats hold on to the Senate—but the deal could be structured in such a way that this wouldn’t happen until Iran meets certain internationally verified benchmarks. In other words, it could be years.
It’s not unusual for presidents to look abroad in search of monsters to destroy late in their terms, as they have more authority to conduct foreign as opposed to domestic policy independently of Congress. But even by historical standards, the Obama administration seems to be particularly interested in freezing Congress out.
Given that it’s virtually impossible to get any multilateral treaty ratified by the Senate—some obscure fishing regulations are the exception that proves the rule—the administration’s plan for a long-awaited climate change deal will involve “politically binding” commitments rather than legally binding ones, which Congress would have to approve.
In the case of what’s been dubbed “Operation Inherent Resolve,” the campaign of airstrikes to counter ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the administration never sought congressional approval. The 60-day deadline, after which Congress must authorize military action under the War Powers Resolution, has long passed. (Obama did issue a letter to Congress in September informing them of the operation and noting, somewhat vaguely, “I appreciate the support of the Congress in this action.”)
Yale Law professor and constitutional scholar Bruce Ackerman has described the operation against ISIS as “a decisive break in the American constitutional tradition” that outdoes anything attempted by the Bush administration. But interestingly, congressional Republicans who normally jump on any chance to accuse the administration of imperial overreach, have been fairly blasé about these strikes. House Speaker John Boehner says that Congress should debate the use of military force against ISIS but only after the newly elected legislative body convenes in January—a lifetime in terms of a fast-moving military operation like this one.
Read the whole thing.  As Israelis say, maybe there are things that Obama (who was opposed to unilateral Presidential actions in the foreign policy field under Bush) didn't see from there that he sees from here. On the other hand, I am very opposed to any weakening of the Iran sanctions regime....

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A video Barack Obama does not want you to see

What effect has Barack Obama had on Israel? Let's go to the videotape.



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