In Israel, you can purchase a laundry detergent whose brand name is Colon. I wonder if the makers understand the irony?
Hamas, Gaza, and Israel
Israelis are blessed with the innate ability to forget. Life goes on as usual. Babies are born. Houses are constructed. Businesses are started. Few think of the Operation Edge war from last summer. For fifty days in July and August 2014, Israel was faced with a bombardment of missiles from Hamas-ruled Gaza.
Gaza borders on it’s east with a dozen Israeli Kibbutzim and villages on the southwestern flank of the country. These areas were under constant barrage during the military operation, and saddled with Israeli army makeshift fortifications and gathering points.
Hamas sits on the other side of the border, sometimes just a few hundred meters (approx. one US city block) away from Israeli army groupings. It’s been reported by agricultural workers on the Israeli side that Hamas military scouts stand on jeeps just on the other side of the border with field glasses in hand.
Isis, Al-Qaydah, Hezbollah, and Syria
On the other side of the country, Israel shares its Northeastern border, The Golan Heights, with its sworn enemy Syria. The Golan Heights, rocks strewn from volcanic ash, includes tens of kilometers of beautiful green mountainous and forested area, ripe with Apple orchards, cattle grazing, hiking areas, and even a ski resort at the top of the Hermon Mountain range.
This pastoral, idyllic sanctuary for some, rests just minutes from the Syrian border and 1967 armistice lines. The rebellion in Syria, and the incessant fighting, which has been wreaking havoc on its civilian population for over two years, has in recent months reached the border town of Kuneitra.
The Syrian border town of Kuneitra, according to some military observers, actually consists of hollowed out shells, many left from the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and Syrian military installations. The latter fact leads all rebellious roads to Kuneitra. In recent months, Kuneitra has changed hands more times than a quick-change artist could ever aspire.
Iranian-backed Shiite Hezbollah, Al-Qaydah backed sunni rebels, Isis – Salafi sunnis, and of course, Syrian Alawis, are all vying for that small strip of land. Occasionally, the bullets fly into the no-man’s land that separates Israel and Syria, and Israel responds. The dotted line on the map shows the armistice lines and Israel’s border with Israel.
It’s sometimes hard to comprehend just how close all this fighting going-on is to Israeli civilian areas. Looking at this map puts things in to perspective. Israeli civilian populations sit in some cases, less than two miles from hostile armies. The proximity to danger and the continuation of life as normal in the tiny spaces of Israel is nothing short of a continuous miracle.
Iran is reportedly sending cargo ships to Yemen with humanitarian aid to the beleaguered Iranian-backed Huthi rebels. The Shiite Huthis are locked in a rebellion against the Saudi and USA-backed Yemeni government. This proxy war has pitted the USA and moderate Sunni Arab Gulf States against the Iranian regime.
Iran says it will send its Naval Warships to protect the cargo while en route to Yemen. The US response was craftily harshly worded that it will embargo any Iranian Navy attempts to enter the Yemeni waters. Neither side appears to be backing down.
Iran-USA War predicted in the 1700s
The strangely familiar scenario of the mighty Christian Empire facing off against the Persian Empire was predicted by a Jewish Rabbi and philosopher of the 18th Century in Europe. Rabbi Yonatan Eibschitz was one of the great Jewish thinkers of the Middle Ages in Europe and among his many writings, he predicted that the days of the Messiah would not come until the Christians had defeated the Persian Empire. Many later day commentaries have suggested that the USA today represents the descendants of the Christian Empire.
That Canada’s Prime Minister, Steven Harper, is a friend of Israel, few would have reason to disagree.
His steadfast support of the Jewish State has stood the test of time, even in the face of hostile and unambiguous support of Israel’s enemies by other members in the Canadian parliament.
The CBC reported recently that Ottawa is considering taking a concrete step in repelling the wave of Anti-Zionism that is spreading through Canada like a scourge.
It may soon be a crime to boycott Israel in Canada. One wonders if that message could resonate in Washington as well…
A recent article by Haviv Rettig Gur, The Times of Israel’s political correspondent, makes the case for Israel’s Diaspora having waned. He shows, with the help of immigration statistics, how the 90s reached the apex of aliyah, thanks to a large Russian Jewry exodus from the former Soviet Union. North American Jewry, perhaps dismayed by growing economic troubles in the United States, were opting for a new life in Israel. He notes that with the resurgence of USA’s economy in recent years, coupled with Israel’s seemingly unsolvable political hazards, American Jews have decided to stay put.
Read more: The end of aliya? | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/the-end-of-aliya/#ixzz3CvBNdK5i
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A well-researched article chock-full-of-statistics showing why N. American aliya has already seen his high-point in the 90s and how it’s all downhill from here.
But how much is aliyah relevant to the survival of Israel? Likewise, the author focuses on the economic prosperity of USA and Canada, and the political juggernaut in Israel, as the main reasons why less and less Jews are coming back to their homeland. However, as we’ve seen in the past (ie. Collapse of Soviet Union), a political event in the Diaspora can just easily send hundreds of thousands of Jews packing and gunning for Israel. Take the current crisis in Ukraine, or the overall outlook for Western European Jewry, including the 500,000 French Jews. If the situation rapidly worsens there, it’s feasible that many would jump en masse to Israel.
Next point – Jewish births in Israel have nearly doubled in 20 years. In 1996, there were 83,710 Jews born, and in 2013 the number had risen to 128,507. In fact, Israel population boom has been happening for 2 decades, much of it thanks to the Russian aliyah. What’s more is that the Jewish birth rate has steadily risen, and the Arab Israeli birth rate has declined. Arabs have dropped to 3.5 and Jews have risen to almost 3 births avg. Chalk it up to “self-actualization”?
At this rate of natural Jewish population growth, and decline in Arab population growth, aliyah is a “nice to have”, “the brothers return home”, but certainly not a showstopper.
This four minute sermon was delivered in a Chicago Mosque last week.
According to Times of Israel, Sheik Mohamed Elimam is the Imam of a Mosque in Chicago.
In his speeches, fused together from two sermons, he speaks of the need for Mujahideen (guerrilla fighters in Islamic countries, generally meant for those fighting against non-Islamic enemies) to go Palestine and fight. In the sermon he says “Global Zionism an unadulterated evil besetting all people”. They are a thorn in the side of the Arab and Muslim nations that must be removed.
The Jihad that he repeatedly calls for is defined as “a war or struggle against unbelievers”.
This is the peace that Muslims are being taught in the USA. This is not the Middle East, this is the Mid West, and it’s playing at a theater near you.
Israeli soldiers poised to enter into battle in the Gaza Strip. Tanks and armored vehicles lined up.
One soldier with a flashlight pressed against a pendant dangling from his neck, reads the prayer for a safe journey, Tefilat Haderech.
תפילת הדרך על פתח החזית בעזה.
Hamas is already in The United States of America. Or at least it would appear so…
This video really speaks for itself. For those of you sitting on the fence on the Israel – Gaza – Hamas debate, here’s a sneak peak at what you can expect if you let Hamas win. Only next time it may be in your very own neighborhood.
Who are these thugs? Anti-Israel, anti-Jewish (anti-Semitic), anti-USA? There they are, in plain view in sunny Southern Florida.
This clip was published by the IDF. The Israeli Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz visits troops on the ground in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge.
Being that it’s currently one of the hottest war zones in the world, it speaks volumes of the man’s courage and stature.
If the video had been in black and white, you could almost see General Patton speaking with the troops and boosting their morale in Europe.
I’m sure that this is the stuff legends are made of.
Notice a few subtleties –
1. He’s meeting them in “the shetach”, in the field. This is not just a propaganda film for the home front. He actually went out to the battle front to hear from commanders and soldiers on the ground and get their take on how the operation is proceeding. After listening to them, he reminds them of the stratge
2. When he’s speaking with the troops, he is sitting on his knees. Can you think of any Commander of major army in the world, who would get down on the ground to speak with troops in the field down on his knees? Maybe he gets low so the guys can see him eye to eye. After all, his height is a good 6′ 3″ (or more).
3. As he leaves, he says the Hebrew “L’hitraot” for we’ll meet again. As opposed to “Shalom”, which means Goodbye. When an Israeli says we’ll meet again, it means just that.
Strong, calculating, deliberate commanders make for successful campaigns.
בני גנץ רמתכ”ל ידראל – מבצע צוק איתן
A caller gets under Howard Stern’s skin and he lets off a unprecedented tirade for the next five minutes.
The caller wanted to talk with Howard’s previous guest, John Oliver from Comedy Central about Israel, and the Palestinians. He said Howard would “Change his tune” about supporting Israel. Stern says a few expletives, and then the caller says “Zionists run Israel”, and that’s when Howard Stern loses it.
Yes, his vocabulary includes many profane words, but he totally gets it.
Warning: Very strong language in this clip.
It’s good to see that there are still a few in the very liberal media industry who are willing to speak against the tide.
US Secratary of State John Kerry, spent most of last week shuffling between Israel, Egypt, Turkey, and Qatar, to try to bring about a halt to the military action going on Gaza.
He presented this leaked document (as published in Ha’aretz, Middle East News, and other news sources) as a draft proposal, to the Israeli government for a cease fire.
The Israeli Cabinet rejected it out of hand, unanimously by a vote of 8-0.
The Israelis felt that the plan unprecedentedly upgraded Hamas to an equal level as Israel and other mentioned parties. It also answered many of Hamas’ original demands as put forth by the Qataris and Turkish intermediaries, but failed to mention the securities offered Israel in the original Egyptian proposal.
The Palestinian Authority had also expressed dismay that the original Egyptian plan hadn’t been used as the framework for this new proposal.
We’ve heard that IDF Israel’s Defense Force, is the most humane army in the world. Since the UN Human Rights Commission (which led to the Goldstone Report), the Israeli Army has made it official policy to film all actions.
The world continues to condemn and assume the worst, but time and time again, Israel brings the video evidence that asserts the facts on the ground.
Three such examples can be seen here. Notice the painstaking efforts made to communicate between headquarters and the commander on the ground, to be certain that they have the intended target.
In this first example, the commander is speaking with a female voice, presumably an IDF soldier working at headquarters, who in turn is having a phone conversation with a representative of the intended target, the Wafa Hospital in Northern Gaza. Israeli soldiers are being fired at from a hospital. They ask for permission to fire back at the Hamas. The commander makes a call back to HQ and in real time it plays out.
It’s actually quite surreal. The IDF soldier is asking over and over, in Arabic, “Are you sure there is no one there”. The Palestinian on the other end confirms that they transferred all the patients and locked the doors. No one can be in that hospital, that is except for Hamas who use it as a shield for fire on the Israeli troops.
Only after the all-clear is given on the phone, does the commander release the fire on the intended target. You will note that the UN Human Rights Commission has called for an inquiry to the alleged acts of genocide occurring in Gaza, that include this attack. The Palestinian’s claim that scores of patients were massacred there. Yet the hospital representative is saying in this video, as clear as day, that all the patients have been moved.
Warning Call to Wafa Hospital Before IDF Targets Site
IDF Demolishes Tunnel Used to Attack Golani Vehicle
IDF Destroys Hamas Tunnel in Gaza
Their July 27 headline reads as follows: “Israel Acknowledges Mortar Strike at UN School, But Denies Casualties”, which on Twitter, as of this writing, reaped 125 retweets and 40 favorites in the first link, and then three hours later on a duplicated tweet, reaped similar numbers (Interesting, by the way, that only this title, from all the subjects they are reporting on, required a duplicate tweet). Nearly all of the responses in Twitter are pro-Palestinian and decidedly anti-Israel (with a few anti-Jewish).
The article is essentially an AP retread as written by Sam Frizell, a business reporter for Time in New York City. Good to see that Time dedicates New York armchair quarterbacks to report the hard and important issues, instead of hard-nosed investigative correspondents on the ground, who get feedback from the primary sources in the field before filing their stories.
The article consists of five short paragraphs. It states Hamas’ claim that 16 civilians were killed at the school, refugees from earlier fighting, (for which the only source given was a Reuters report filed by NIDAL AL-MUGHRAB in Gaza), followed by a disclaimer by the IDF Spokesman. Th Israeli spokesman, Peter Lerner, acknowledges that there was fighting near the school, but denies that anyone had been killed by Israeli shells.
The final paragraph states, almost as an afterthought, that the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon strongly condemned the attack Thursday, though he said at the time that “circumstances are still unclear.” As a takeaway, the article concludes with “Ban earlier said that rockets had been found in two separate evacuated UN schools, saying that ‘those responsible are turning schools into potential military targets.'”
So what’s wrong with this report?
It seems like both sides of the story were reported. It’s not what _is_ reported, but what is _not_ reported here that distorts the reality.
1. The IDF released a video showing the school before and during the attack. As of the result of the last UN Human Rights Commission farce, Israel has learned that it must take over and above precautions and film every battle, every altercation, literally every step they take. Often, this places Israeli soldiers in harm’s way, especially the one who is videoing the battle. The video shows noone in the area in the front of the school before the attack, and shows rockets being fired by Hamas FROM the school. Why isn’t that included in this report?
IDF video showing three rockets being launched from a Gaza school
2. In their report, Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary General, was even quoted as saying that Hamas was responsible for turning the schools into military targets by placing rockets and firing from them. So why is the title of the article “Israel Acknowledges Mortar Strike at UN School…”. Wouldn’t this be more appropriate “Palestinian Refugees caught in cross-fire between Hamas and Israel at UN School” or “Hamas Fires Rockets from Gaza School, Israel Retaliates with Lateral Casualties”? Of course, the latter probably wouldn’t yield 400 retweets and favorites on Twitter.
This style of reporting by omission is used by all of the mainstream media on their reporting of the war in Gaza to help support the Hamas narrative. Time, along with NPR, CNN, and many other US mainstream news sources, consistently report on Israel and the Palestinians in this fashion.
This short video shows what Israeli troops on the ground in Gaza are up against as they engage residential areas in Gaza left behind by Hamas.
Gaza Streets and Homes Rigged with Explosives
This Israeli soldier shows how seven homes are booby-trapped together into one big explosion waiting for the advancing soldiers.
Fortunately, the IDF saw the signs of the trap before entering. This is a typical residential area in saijeyah, Northern Gaza.
In the homes, they found weapons caches, rocket caches, booby-trapped doorways, all inter-connected to a central trigger.
Instead of risking the lives of the ground troops, to try and dismantle the network of bombs, Tzaha”l (IDF) decided to move out the soldiers and blow up the area from the air force support.
When we see the pictures of entire areas being blown away, now we can understand why the response was actually very proportional.