Category Archives: Israel

Hamas, Qatar, Turkey And A Turkey Named Kerry

Critique, History, Israel, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Middle East

The one “regional coalition” in the current conflict in the Middle East is said to consist of Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi King Abdullah, Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi, the UAE ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and … the Palestinian Authority’s Mahmoud Abbas. The other, rival coalition is purported to be the “Save Hamas Squad.” It comprises “US Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, “a brace of European ministers,” as well as Qatar and Turkey.

An interesting and certainly analytical glimpse of the dynamic forces at play in the current Middle-Eastern conflict is offered by DEBKAfile (and, naturally, not by the American press). Read it.

America thinks that it must and can be a decisive force for good in the Middle East. However, the region’s players march to their own drumbeat. In Empires of the Sand: The Struggle for Mastery in the Middle East 1789-1923, Efraim and Inari Karsh marshal prodigious scholarship to show that, “Twentieth-century Middle Eastern history is essentially the culmination of long-standing indigenous trends, passions, and patterns of behavior rather than an externally imposed dictate.” The trend continues.

And then there are the victims of the power players.

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Rabbinical Hypocrisy: Rabbi Is Liberal In America; Conservative In Israel

America, Israel, Judaism & Jews, Left-Liberalism

“We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right,” puffs Rabbi Menachem Creditor, writing at the HuffPost. Is the rabbi an Israeli, living in the thick of terrorism? Of course, not. He is a cloistered American liberal. The rabbi embodies everything I’ve come to despise in America’s mostly liberal Jewry, by which I mean this:

American Jews tend to stake out left-liberal positions with respect to the concerns of their fellow Americans, but are rightist on matters Israel. For America, leftist Jews advocate a multicultural, immigration free-for-all, pluralist pottage. At the same time for Israel, most Jews claim the right to retain a creedal and cultural distinctiveness and a Jewish majority. Israel, but not the US, should be allowed to control immigration and guard its borders.

Ask any left-liberal American Jew if he supports a “Right of Return” to Israel proper for every self-styled Palestinian refugee, and he’ll recoil: “Are you mad? Never. That’s a euphemism for Israel’s demise.” The very thing he opposes for Israel, the leftist Jew is inclined to champion for America: a global right of return to the US for the citizens of the world. When it comes to “returning” to America only (but not Israel), humankind is said to possess a positive, manufactured right to venture wherever, whenever. (This view is common among American liberals of all religious persuasions.) [From "The Titan is Tired"]

Without the remotest awareness of the logical and moral contradiction his position presents—rightist political prescriptions for Israel, but leftist prescriptions for the American people—Rabbi Creditor proclaims proudly that he is “a progressive American rabbi who leans left pretty hard,” and who believes “immigrants [are] treated like chattel by the US.”

I’ve been engaged, as a US faith leader, in work to reform gun laws, extend LGBT rights around the world, grant refuge to illegal immigrants, protect women’s reproductive choice, and more. Paint me blue.
So, when it comes to Israel, many of those with whom I engage in social reform expect me to react to Israel’s military actions in Gaza with scorn and criticism. To be fair, there are times when I do. …

… So I’m a progressive US faith leader. I’m a Zionist in Berkeley, CA. I’m a Jew in the world, worried for my family. So here is my response to those criticizing Israel this week. …”


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An Open Border Is Open Season On Private Property, Persons Included

IMMIGRATION, Israel, libertarianism, Private Property, Terrorism

This is “scary stuff,” writes BAB contributor Myron Pauli. “I wonder what the Open-Borders crowd thinks about this ‘right’ to travel into Israel to kill and kidnap people.”

Myron was referring to the WaPo’s “How Hamas uses its tunnels to kill and capture Israeli soldiers”:

It was a Monday in October 2013 when residents of a kibbutz called Ein Hashlosha just east of the Gaza border heard strange sounds.

It may have been difficult to pinpoint the source. The sounds weren’t coming from above ground — but beneath it. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soon discovered that the sounds signaled an “extremely advanced and well prepared” tunnel.

Not only was the burrow remarkable in depth and length — 1.5 miles long and 66 feet underground — it was equipped with electricity and contained enough cookies, yogurt and other provisions to last its occupants several months. Israeli forces estimated that Hamas had dumped $10 million and 800 tons of concrete into the two-year project.

Such “terror tunnels,” the Israeli military said in a statement Friday, are “complex and advanced.” And their use, Israel said, is “to carry out attacks such as abductions of Israeli civilians and soldiers alike; infiltrations into Israeli communities, mass murders and hostage-taking scenarios.”

An open border is open season on private property, persons included, Myron. Libertarians, it would appear, are too flaccid to deal with this reality, other than to say, “Under anarchy the issue would be sorted out.” That’s a synonym for intellectual cop-out.

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Palestinian Civilians Props In Public Relation’s War

Israel, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Middle East

As I pointed out on November 23, 2012, “Hamas hides among unwitting civilians, who have no way of controlling its activities. This fact does not give Israel the right to kill innocent non-combatants, not even unintentionally. Besides, murder is not ‘unintentional’ when you know it is inevitable.”

Still, from the fact that the Palestinian side sustains more casualties—it does not necessarily follow that they are the innocent party in the dispute. It’s not Israel’s fault, moreover, that its population is well-protected by rocket-repelling technology, mandatory bomb shelters and that Israelis benefit from an all-round, well-organized emergency response. Who among us would tolerate living with a constant barrage of bombs from our neighbors? If Gaza, which was ceded by Israel to the dogs of war (Hamas), has nothing by way of safety infrastructure, it is because its leaders invest in terrorism instead of in trade.

Ultimately, and as National Post’s Lorne Gunter astutely observed many years ago, “If Palestinians stopped their attacks today, tomorrow there would be no Israeli attacks.” But if Israel stopped unilaterally, Palestinians would be at it again in no time.

The latest developments, via DEBKAfile: “Israel air, sea and artillery pounded the Gaza Strip Thursday night, July 17, as IDF ground forces embarked on a ground attack, just announced by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Debkafile reports a softening-up operation to prepare for the entry of armored and infantry units. The IDF calls on the half million Gazans of southern towns of Khan Younes and Rafah to leave their homes for their own safety. Israelis living close to the Gaza border were advised to stay in bomb shelters.”

By the Telegraph’s telling, “Israel’s leaders are grimly aware of the risks they are taking by sending troops to fight in the crowded alleys of Gaza. Now that their forces are embroiled in this urban maze, they will lose much of their technological advantage against Hamas gunmen. One Israeli soldier was duly killed within hours of the invasion starting.”

Yet Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, believes that a ground operation is the only way to stop the rocket attacks. Meanwhile, Mr Masri made clear that the Hamas viewed it as a chance to inflict casualties on its enemy. “The Zionist army is very surprised by what the resistance possesses,” he said. “The resistance attacked tanks and Humvees with missiles and went behind enemy lines to conduct intelligence operations.”
But Israel is now fighting Hamas by land, sea and air. Two jet fighters soared overhead like silver arrowheads yesterday, scattering decoy flares across a cloudless summer sky.
Sa’ar Class missile boats from the Israeli navy have grown bold enough to pound their targets from close to the shore, although Hamas struck back with a missile that fell just short of its target, sending up a plume of white water.
Israeli commanders are trying to strangle Hamas from all directions. But the only certainty is that Gaza’s hospitals become more crowded by the day.

I tend to agree with Hamas that “Israel’s ground offensive is ‘foolish’ and will have ‘dreadful consequences.’” Since the Hamasniks consider their population no more than props in a public relation’s war, Palestinian casualties affect them not at all.

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Israel’s To Blame? Really?

Israel, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, libertarianism

I’m having a hard time following the logic of the article, “Who Started ‘the Cycle of Violence’ in Palestine?”, in which Israel is blamed for the renewed hostilities between it and the Palestinians of the Gaza strip.

As circuitous as it is curious, the case woven in “Who Started ‘the Cycle of Violence’ in Palestine?” seems to hang on the claim that “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet lied to the Israeli and international public by pretending not to know that the [3 kidnapped Israeli] boys were almost certainly [already] dead,” and that “although the Israeli government knew the three boys were almost certainly dead, they initiated what they dubbed ‘Operation Brother’s Keeper.’ Thousands of IDF soldiers combed the West Bank, ostensibly searching for the kidnapped boys.”

OK. Let’s assume that indeed, as author Justin Raimondo asserts, “the Israeli political class exhibits a malevolence unique among nations.” Isn’t that perspective beside the point here? Didn’t the latest conflagration in fact begin with the kidnapping and killing of the three Israeli teenagers? What am I missing?

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What Distinguishes Israelis From Their Neighbors

Israel, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Palestinian Authority

Personally, I’ve already heard from Israeli friends and family who’re disgusted at the suspected revenge murder of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khder, 16—revenge for the murder of three Israeli teens, last month. Now, contrary to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ weak response to the abductions and murders that sparked this last savage act, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telephoned the father of the east Jerusalem teenager, to say the following:

In a statement, Netanyahu’s office said he had spoken with the teenager’s father, Hussein Abu Khder, to offer his condolences and express his outrage over the “abhorrent” murder a day after the security forces confirmed arresting six Jewish extremists on suspicion of involvement.
“I would like to express my outrage and that of the citizens of Israel over the reprehensible murder of your son,” Netanyahu told him.
“We acted immediately to apprehend the murderers. We will bring them to trial and they will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.
“We denounce all brutal behaviour. The murder of your son is abhorrent and cannot be countenanced by any human being.”
The family, who live in Shuafat in east Jerusalem, contacted police just before dawn on Wednesday to say they believed their son had been kidnapped.
His body was discovered shortly afterwards in a forest in west Jerusalem, with initial post-mortem results indicating he was burned alive.

On the matter of the murder of Abu Khder, I venture that Netanyahu speaks for a majority of the Israeli people.

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