Saturday, July 26, 2014

Top ten things that will happen if Israel allows itself to win in Gaza

Courtesy of Dan Friedman. Thank you, Dan.

1. Iran loses one of its tentacles it meant to use to strangle Israel.

2. Having had one tentacle amputated in Gaza, Iran is loathe to lose the other one in southern Lebanon.

3. Talk about "isolation." A new calculus takes hold in Judea and Samaria. Fatah, the PA and Abbas know they're living from day to day - by the good graces of the IDF.

4. With the pressure relaxed on those fronts, Israel dusts off its plans to destroy Iran's nuclear infrastructure.

5. Having successfully defied Obama and his anti-Zionist cats-paws, Israel still has to respect the lame duck snake, but can do so with greater confidence.

6. Any mention of returning to the "peace process" becomes the punch line to thousands of bad jokes. Even unJew Jon Stewart gets into the act.

7. The Arab World reads Israel's message loud and clear. Your region has a new boss and he is Jewish. Get used to it.

8. The Israeli Left and the anti-Zionist Left in general suffer a devastating body blow. Thomas Friedman goes back to writing about climate change, Peter Beinart gives a lecture to an empty auditorium, and Haaretz is sold to the Onion.

9. J Street, the New Israel Fund, B'Tselem et alia, are booted out of the "big tent" and told they will never march in NYC's Israel Day Parade again. At the same time, Peter Gelb of the Metropolitan Opera rewrites The Death of Klinghoffer and gives it a happy ending. Klinghoffer takes out an Uzi and kills all the Muslim bastards before they kill him. All performances are sold out even though the Times pans it.

10. George Soros dies in his sleep from complications of self-hatred.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

On the Home Front in Netanya

This was sent by Rabbi Ervin Birnbaum as a Shearim newsletter. Shearim is a Russian outreach program in Netanya started by Rabbi Birnbaum.

Dear Friends,

I am inclined to believe that there is no true Jew in the world, certainly none in Israel, whose tension-level did not increase in the course of the last week. I had a dozen phone calls yesterday alone from supporters and friends of Shearim Netanya who are asking what they could do to help in the situation.

The Pikkud Ha'oref (Home Command) invited me yesterday for an emergency meeting. The lieutenant-colonel in charge of the Home Command had only one point on his agenda. Make sure to maintain your people's alertness to the dangers lurking on the horizon. Hamas may be reserving a select group of rockets for a last blast as a cease-fire will be forced upon the field of battle. Please note this possibility and act accordingly. Although Netanya had only one siren-warning during the 16 days of hostilities, we, as well as the whole country are viewed as a battlefield. Therefore, friends, do not allow yourself to relax your alertness.

After the head of the Netanya Home Command closed his topic, he asked us, the five invited chairmen of organizations, for our reactions to the situation. It soon became clear that a large number of people city-wide are craving for opportunities to make their input felt in the crisis. I reported to the small group that one of my members is even ready to drive to the frontline to deliver packages for the soldiers.

The following conclusions could be drawn from the discussion:

(1) What the soldiers need now most is underwear, socks, soap, deodorant, small towel, towelettes, toothbrush, small toothpaste. Add a package or two of potato chips and similar. Attach a small, neat note in the language most familiar to you expressing your gratitude for his/her saving work on behalf of our People and Land, wishing the soldier well and a safe return home. Sign the note giving your name, address, cell/phone number.

Place it all in a box closed by scotch-tape and deliver to Shearim office Sunday or Monday. We will take care of delivery to the front, in partnership with the Home Command.

(2) If you have the space, let us know of your readiness to offer home hospitality, for how many people, for what period.

(3) It can be assumed that once cease-fire will be established, the forces will remain in battle readiness for an additional three-four days. The above suggestions are therefore relevant probably till the end of the month, Thursday, July 31. Of course we may be pleasantly surprised and the tension may relax sooner. Or we may be surprised in the opposite direction and the shelling of the terrorist groups may linger on for a few days more.

Friends, if you wish to act, you have an opportunity.

I am certain that we all join in the prayer for a speedy and successful ending of the present Gaza campaign.

Our hearts go out to the bereaved families who lost loved ones in our defensive action against the terrorists.

May they be comforted by the conviction and the sense of pride that their dear ones died for the noble and sacred cause of defending the only Jewish Homeland on the globe in the millennial Land of our Fathers,

Shalom, Shalom lakarov velarachok -- Peace, Peace to those near and to those far.

Rabbi Ervin Birnbaum

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Israel's Response to U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Israel's Response to U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights 
(Communicated by the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations in Geneva)
14 July 2014
I have read the OHCHR press briefing from Friday, 11 July 2014, and I reject it outright.
I read it with a magnifying glass, looking for any combination of the words "Hamas" and "condemn". I have failed to find it. In the efforts to safeguard the human rights of Israelis, the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights and her Office have failed dismally.
The clarity of her message to Israel is in sharp contrast to the opaqueness of her message to Hamas. She has put to shame George Orwell's doublespeak. She refused, over and over, to acknowledge the fact that Hamas is committing a double war crime: targeting Israeli civilians while hiding behind Palestinian civilians. Israel, on the other hand, is taking measures to avoid harming innocent civilians and to minimize casualties. Hamas exploits Israel's policy by instructing its population to act as human shields for its arsenal of deadly missiles and for its leaders and terrorists.
I react with total disbelief to the High Commissioner of Human Rights' call made to "leaders on all sides" to "abandon their poisonous rhetoric". Israel acted with utmost restraint when rockets started to rain on its cities and villages following the abduction and killing of Eyal, Gil-ad and Naftali, on June 12. Furthermore, Israeli leaders have condemned the murder of Muhammad Abu Khder and the suspects to the murder have already been arrested and await trial.
And Hamas? Where is Hamas' condemnation of the perpetrators? Am I deaf? I cannot hear strong voices of empathy and condolences to the families of the youths, or condemnation of the deed itself. I believe I have perfect hearing, yet I hear nothing. I only hear Hamas celebrating the landing of missiles on the homes of Israeli civilians.
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is misguided. The High Commissioner has lost her bearings. Focusing her criticism on Israel is wrong, biased, unjustifiable and, ultimately, unhelpful. If she actually wanted to be helpful in this situation, she would have condemned Hamas in the strongest manner.
So, once again, let me make the realities on the ground crystal clear:
Hamas - an internationally recognized terrorist organization - deliberately embeds its military operations deep in residential areas, and exploits its own civilian population as human shields. These actions are war crimes. Many of Hamas' commanders use their own homes for military purposes - including weapons storage, command and control centers and military communications. In videos uploaded to the IDF's YouTube channel, secondary explosions can be seen following IDF attacks on some of these houses - clearly indicating their military use. Under international law, when the exploitation of residential houses makes an effective contribution to Hamas' military actions, these buildings clearly become legitimate military targets.
When attacking these lawful targets, the IDF makes every effort to ensure such attacks are proportionate and to minimize any unavoidable civilian harm. The IDF has no desire to harm civilians, and is acting solely to weaken Hamas terrorist infrastructure and safeguard our civilians.
The IDF conducts its operations in full accordance with international law. IDF commanders are trained in international law and legal advisors are embedded at the highest level of the chain of command. The IDF employs a range of tools - including distributing flyers, personalized phone calls and text messages - to warn people in the vicinity of an impending attack.
Instead of raising doubts regarding Israel's commitment to the rule of law, the High Commissioner and her Office should be questioning why Hamas deliberately embeds its military operations in residential homes and civilian areas. A terrorist organization that uses its civilian population as human shields, and deliberately fires at the Israeli civilian population, is conducting war crimes - and should be denounced for doing so.
I believe the High Commissioner's concerns for the implementation of Israel's 'Operation Protective Edge' have been fully answered. Her responsibility now is to condemn Hamas and to call on President Abbas to dissolve the Fatah-Hamas "unity government" pact, as well as to support Israel's right to defend itself.
This is the only way to achieve peace in our region.
Eviatar Manor
Permanent Representative

Monday, July 7, 2014

Open Letter to PBS NewsHour

On July 7, PBS NewsHour aired a segment misleadingly titled "Mideast tensions escalate in cycle of retribution for teen killings." The program featured Josef Federman, Dennis Ross, Shibley Telhami and Judy Woodruff.

Prof. Doron Lubinsky of Atlanta sent the following letter about the segment to PBS NewsHour.

On the whole, Judy Woodruff tried to be fair tonight. Even Josef Federman conceded that the rocket attacks from Gaza, were forcing Israelis to stay inside bomb shelters across southern Israel.

Of course, Shibley Telhami talked of "Palestinian desperation". Who is primarily responsible for that "despair"? It is Palestinian leaders such as Arafat and Abbas, who have rejected every resolution to the conflict that allows a permanent Israel (no matter what its boundaries). And then there is Hamas, which regularly broadcasts children's programs calling for the murder of all Jews.

There could have been a Palestinian state in 1948 alongside Israel, but the Arab world instead invaded the tiny Jewish state. There could have been a Palestinian state between 1948 and 1967 when Jordan controlled the West Bank, but there was no talk of it then. There could have been a Palestinian state after the Arab lost the Six-Day War in 1967, but the Arab League vowed "no recognition, no talks, no peace". There could have been a Palestinian state in 2001 under the Clinton plan, but Arafat walked away and started an intifada. There could have been a Palestinian state in 2010 with Olmert, but Abbas refused to respond. There could have been a Palestinian state this year, but Abbas gave Pres. Obama three no's: no to recognition of Israel as a Jewish state; no to compromise on refugees; no to ending the conflict after Palestinian statehood in the West Bank.

So why all the no's? Because the core issue is rejection of any permanent Israel at all. The Palestinian cause was built to dismantle Israel. It's tragedy is that its obsession with destroying Israel far exceeds the desire for statehood. Yes, Abbas might feign acceptance while Israel is making one-sided concessions, but will always ensure that there are further pretexts for conflict. Imagine if the Arab world had uplifted all the Arab refugees in the way Israel uplifted all the Jewish refugees from Arab countries, if they had looked forward rather than backward?

And yes, despite all the cover given to Hamas, it is Hamas that is launching most of the rockets. It is Fatah's own TV and newspapers and officials that praised the kidnapping of the three teens. And it is Israel that arrested the Israeli perpetrators of the despicable murder of the Palestinian teen, while Palestinian society has praised, and given cover to, the murderers of the Israel teens. The mother of one of the Palestinians suspected of the murders praised the purported actions of her son, in public.