On YouTube there is a satirical cartoon video representing the leader of the Al Qassam Brigades as a baby, playing with a doll that represents Gilad Shalit and refusing to give him up, even for all the prisoners. While it appears that it was created by a disgruntled Arab, the Arabic media is claiming that this video is part of Israel’s psychological warfare against Hamas. No evidence is given. The YouTube user who uploaded it, “FreedomForPrisoners,” just joined the day he uploaded it. via elderofziyon.blogspot.com
A lot of people assume that Zionist Jews are Right Wing NUTS.
I started looking into the person who wrote the post below who is defending Israel and I found this…
…is this the same Arlene Kushner?
As in Gaza.
Right now it’s looking more than a bit dubious. According to the PA news agency Ma’an, last night UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Robert Serry had successfully negotiated a ceasefire — in which the Palestinian Arab factions in Gaza would cease launching projectiles at Israel, and Israel would halt attacks on Hamas in Gaza.
But there’s no evidence of it, as those projectiles — mortars, kassams and Grads — keep coming and our operations have not ceased. There’s been no word on this officially from either side. The term used in English was “ceasefire,” but I must point out that there are different gradations of what we would broadly see as covering this term. A hudna, in Arabic, is a mutually arrived at agreement– but still temporary. It’s not “peace,” of course. A tahadiya is a mutual quiet that is informal.
In either event, the possibility for the Arabs to continue to build and strengthen themselves exists. There would be no commitment that prohibits this, and in fact it is taken for granted that this is what they would do. And this, precisely, is what makes it all so problematic.
Among the issues complicating matters is a rift between the political arm of Hamas, which would like to revert to a situation of quiet, and the military arm, which wants to keep hitting us.
The Hamas political organization, headed by Ismail Haniyeh, is interested in consolidating its strength inside of Gaza right now; there is fear that the sort of unrest that has engulfed much of the region might reach Gaza as well. There is no desire to be distracted by hostilities with Israel. On the other hand, the military wing, Izz al-Din al- Qassam Brigades, won’t listen to orders from the political wing to cease firing. Spokesman Abu Obeida — who has taken responsibility for the school bus attack — says they will not sit idle when faced with the Israeli “aggression.” “The blood of our citizens will not be spilled for nothing.” Among other hits, Obeida may have been referring to the Israeli air strike just over a week ago on a car in the Gaza strip that was carrying three Hamas operatives who were identified by Israel as a squad planning to kidnap Israelis over Pesach.
Then there is the question of who stops first — each side saying it will stop if the other does. From our side, the demand is that Hamas impose quiet on all other Islamist factions.
And perhaps most insane is this: Israel National News reports that Hamas objects “to Israel being allowed to prevent ‘ticking bomb’ terrorist cells from firing rockets….According to a Hamas spokesman, a ceasefire specifically means that Israel cannot target terrorist cells preparing to launch rocket attacks on Israelis.”
Last night, Prime Minister Netanyahu — who had returned just before Shabbat from a visit to Germany and the Czech Republic — issued a statement that, “We won’t let Hamas set the rules. Even if we are not interested in an escalation, the response will be determined, harsh and ongoing.” The prime minister repeated this at the beginning of the weekly Cabinet session today. “If Israeli citizens continue to come under attack, the response will be much harsher.”
Also at the Cabinet meeting today, Netanyahu praised the Iron Dome, which has now been utilized successfully for Israel’s defense, deflecting missiles coming our way (but not, it must be admitted, in all cases). The prime minister himself acknowledged that this is not “a complete solution” to what Hamas is sending our way, and that an offensive action is also required. Word is, that the US has agreed to provide $205 million for the purchase and deployment of additional batteries of the Iron Dome.
They will be installed for the protection of major cities.
Minister of Strategic Affairs, Moshe Ya’alon, in an Army Radio interview yesterday, warned that, while war is our last option, Hamas should not test our readiness to go that route if it is called for:”They have taken some hard hits and they will sustain even harsher ones [if they continue firing rockets and mortars at Israel].”We have a lot of options, and the IDF is prepared for them.”
Certainly we’ve pummeled Gaza from the air in a punishing fashion in the last few days. In point of fact, more than 20 terrorists were killed over the weekend, and in the course of the last several days, 35 Hamas operatives have been killed. ~~~~~~~~~~
Not surprisingly, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is talking tough. The Yisrael Beiteinu coalition agreement with Likud (clause 11) designates the toppling of Hamas in the Gaza Strip as a strategic Israeli goal. But until now no Israeli government has specifically done this. Even when we were at war in Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009, that goal was not delineated. Lieberman wants his party to demand that this clause now be applied. (“the government will work determinedly and regularly against terror groups threatening Israel and do everything needed in order to eradicate them. A strategic target for the State of Israel would be the toppling of Hamas’s rule in Gaza.”) This is worlds away from saying that we’ll be quiet if they are quiet.
So where are we now? Monitoring the situation hour by hour, day by day.
Today Amr Mussa, head of the Arab League, announced that the League intended to appeal to the UN Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Gaza, parallel to what had been imposed on Libya. Never mind that the two situations are not parallel and that the deliberate targeting of a school bus with an anti-tank missile constitutes a war crime. While Turkey on Sunday denounced what it termed Israel’s “excessive and disproportionate” strikes.
So this war must be fought on two fronts, as might have been expected.
Let’s turn for a moment to the boy on the school bus who was critically wounded. Daniel Viflic is actually from Beit Shemesh. He was in the south to visit his grandmother, and was riding the bus only because he is friends with the driver. His father, sitting next to him in the hospital, said, “Who knew, that a visit to his grandmother could end with this.”
The family is asking everyone to pray for him: Daniel Aryeh ben Tamar.
Gideon Sa’ar, Minister of Education, said he intends to raise this issue with ministers of education in other nations, to highlight precisely what Palestinian Arab terrorism is like. Minister of Homefront Defense Matan Vilnai has ordered three armored buses for the region, to transport children to and from school.
As far as I have been able to determine, this — which has been making the rounds of the Internet — is real: British Muslims for Israel. A real lift, a glimmer of hope.
See this video, which turns to English after only a few moments: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=ppNPcNRIilI&feature=player_embedded
And we’ve got more good news, as a Russian billionaire has announced that he wants to fund an Israeli Al-Jazeera.
Israeli Al-Jazeera. Dr. Alexander Mashkevich, who is president of Keren Hayesod’s Jewish Leadership Conference, made the announcement at a conference at Bar Ilan University: He intends to found “a pro-Israel communication media, that will transmit, in the format of international news channels like Al Jazeera, and the BBC.
“Unfortunately, in the current situation, most of the channels just do not tell the truth about Israel … every day that passes, we are losing the war on the country’s image.”It is not possible that Israel should not have a television channel such as channels that operate in The establishment of such a channel is now imperative and necessary…” More power to him! How this could this change things. He is not interested in PR or hasbara, but in transmitting the truth 24 hours a day.
After the school bus was hit, I noted that I hadn’t seen a condemnation from EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. Well, for the record, now she’s delivered it, and she can keep this repugnant bit of moral equivalency:”I strongly condemn yesterday’s mortar and rocket attacks out of the Gaza strip, which once again hit the innocent civilian population and which must stop immediately.” However, she said, she was also “deeply concerned by the current escalation of violence.” In fact, she said she also deplored “the loss of civilian life in Gaza and call on Israel to show restraint.”
What a piece of work she is. She would deny us our right to self-defense.
Former Israeli ambassador to the UN, Dore Gold, addressed the US House International Affairs Committee last Tuesday at the invitation of chair, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. This was with an eye to the up-coming meeting of the Quartet.
He was joined by Maj.-Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan and Brig.-Gen .(res.) Udi Dekel.
Said Gold:”The idea that the Quartet would dictate to Israel the 1967 lines and set the stage for an imposed solution serves this Palestinian interest, but not the interest of achieving real peace.”European support for such initiatives would contravene the very peace agreements they signed in the past as witnesses. It would set the stage for further Palestinian unilateralist initiatives at the UN in September and deal a virtually fatal blow to any negotiations.” Gold stated that traditional US policy — dating back to UN Security Council Resolution 242 and reaffirmed in George W. Bush’s letter to then-prime minister Ariel Sharon in 200 — recognized that Israel was not expected to withdraw from all the territories captured in the Six Day War. These demands on Israel, “problematic in any event,” were being proposed “at the worst possible time – that is, precisely when the entire Middle East looks like it is engulfed in flames…degree of strategic uncertainty for Israel, given current political trends around it, has increased sharply.”
Gold pointed out that a demand that Israel withdraw to the 1967 lines contravened the 1993 Oslo Agreements (which were signed by the US, and by European nations as witnesses) that envisioned a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.“Borders were to be decided by the parties themselves and not be imposed by international coalitions.”
From Ros-Lehtinen came the observation: “America and Israel love and seek peace, but peace without security is no peace at all.” Gold heads the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, which has put out considerable data on Israel’s needs for secure borders. It is worth re-visiting this information here: http://www.defensibleborders.org/security/
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.