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Sunday, July 27, 2014

RAZED WHOLE TOWNS - KILLED 150,000 +....

From reading the international and national news you would probably never have known that last Thursday and Friday alone, over 700 people were killed in Syria at the hands of jihadists and pro-Assad forces. Muslim on Muslim, Arab on Arab, human on human, whatever you like to think of it as - Western media is doing an awful job of reporting these abhorrent incidences - and I think I know why.

My colleague Jonathan Spyer from the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, and fellow at the Middle East Forum (full disclosure: a position I also hold) noted it best today when he wrote: 
"More than 700 people killed in Syria on Thursday and Friday, in the bloodiest two days of the conflict until now. A woman was executed for adultery in Raqqa. None of the above were killed by Jews, however. This presumably explains the total lack of interest by the western media, (and of course by the Islamist/far-left crowd who have been attacking synagogues and so on in Europe in recent days.)"
Yes the preoccupation with how many Muslims are killed by Jews, rather than how many are suffering at the hands of their fellow countrymen/co-religionists is a stark reminder of how natural it is for most people to still focus their attentions on Israel and theJewish people respectively. Indeed it is this "everyday anti-Semitism" that leads the Guardian to depict the MH17 disaster in the same cartoon as that criticising Israel's operation in Gaza as if there were some link, and indeed which forces thousands of 'pro-Palestinian' activists onto the streets of London [link] to demonstrate against Israel - but not so much against ISIS or Bashar al-Assad.
The Asharq al Awsat newspaper reported on Sunday: 
More than 700 people were killed in Syria over the course of Thursday and Friday, in what activists say were the bloodiest 48 hours of fighting in the conflict to date.
The head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), Rami Abdul Rahman, told Asharq Al-Awsat that this was the first time casualties had topped 700 in the space of two days since the conflict began in 2011. He contrasted the violence to the gas attack in the Ghouta region close to Damascus last year, which he said killed around 500 people.
The UK-based SOHR tracks casualties on both sides of the Syrian conflict by collating reports from a network of observers on the ground in the country.
The final toll was announced after the SOHR reported that 270 people had been killed in fighting between pro-Syrian government forces and militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), when the latter seized the Shaar gas field east of the city of Homs on Friday.
And yet our radios, televisions, and streets are filled with people seekings to condemn and deplore Israel and sometimes even 'the Jews'.
Is it any wonder then, that France feels it has to ban so-called 'pro-Palestinian' rallies?


Finally, the French are ahead of the world on something: recognising anti-Semitism for what it really is… a looming and constant threat to an entire people, furthered by the media, and tacitly endorsed by an unassuming, do-gooder, left-leaning army of full time "activists".

Friday, July 25, 2014

Israeli Official: There Will Be No Ceasefire

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For the first time since Israeli troops entered Gaza in the current “Operation Protective Edge”, Israel decided on Thursday to widen the goals of its offensive, Israeli website Ma’ariv quoted unnamed senior officials in the Israeli security establishment as saying.
Israel’s cabinet was expected to convene Wednesday night to green-light a widening of the military operation in Gaza. Widening the offensive could entail entering deeper into Gaza. On Thursday, Israel rejected a proposal by Hamas to hold a humanitarian truce lasting several days.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon catapulted the operation’s stated goals to a new level when he said, “The end result of this conflict needs to be clear: Terror doesn’t pay. This terrorist entity needs to be disarmed.” Ya’alon echoed comments made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday evening, who also spoke of “disarming” Hamas.
Officials in Israel’s security establishment also assess that Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif will oppose any attempt to reach a ceasefire – even if the terror organization’s diplomatic wing agrees.
According to the official, from an Israeli perspective, implementing a ceasefire at this point would only bring about a partial resolution. Israel has caused damage to the tunnel infrastructure of Hamas, but on the other hand the terror organization maintains the ability to fire rockets into Israel, has caused a relatively high number of IDF casualties – including one missing soldier presumed dead, as well as triggered a two-day ban on international flights in and out of the country.
Implementing a ceasefire now would further send the wrong message to other terror groups like Hezbollah, and indicate that Israel cannot really cope with terror groups armed with rockets and anti-tank missiles.
The IDF spokesperson said on Thursday afternoon that during the last 24 hours the military attacked ninety terror targets, including hidden rocket launchers, lookout posts, and mortar infrastructure. In the early morning hours, soldiers from the Paratroopers Brigade identified two terrorists emerging from a tunnel. They were captured for interrogation.

Two rows of Gazan captives wearing only underwear and shoes, on their knees in the sand, are shown in an image posted on Facebook by Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz. They were stripped of their clothes in order to ensure they were not carrying weapons. Photo: Facebook.
Paratroopers in the southern Gaza Strip identified a terrorist wearing an explosive vest. They opened fire and confirmed a hit. Two other tunnel openings were found near where the incident took place. Elsewhere in Gaza, IDF troops identified several armed terrorists and fired a shell at them, reporting that the target was hit.
Also on Thursday morning, three anti-tank missiles were fired at IDF forces from within the Wafa hospital building which had already been targeted by the IDF on Wednesday. During the fire exchange, two terrorists were killed. The IAF fired at the building from where the anti-tank missiles were launched, and at a building adjacent to the hospital which was used as a storage facility and control center for Hamas.
So far, the IDF has found 31 tunnels and completely destroyed nine of them. Additionally, on Wednesday, 150 Palestinian militants in the southern Gaza Strip surrendered to IDF troops near Rafah. It is not clear, however, whether all of the Palestinians were Hamas members.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Jews have one of the most sophisticated militaries in the world. They could drive the Palestinians into the sea any time they wanted to...



 AS Israel is under attack from Hamas in the Gaza strip and BDS -- Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions -- right here in America, Bill Whittle makes the historical and moral case for Israel, and shows just who, indeed, are the tyrants and aggressors in the Middle East.
 TRANSCRIPT:
Even before the recent Israeli ground and air operations in Gaza, the BDS movement – that would stand for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions – was gaining traction… not just in France, or Germany, or Oman: right here in America. 
BDS is being sold – as everything evil and stupid is being sold these days – as a moral good. The argument goes like this: Israel, a nation formed in response to the cold, concrete reality of extermination, has let its economic and military power go to its head. They, now, are the oppressors; they now are Goliath in a main battle tank facing a brave Palestinian David with a rock in his hand; they now are the racists. They now – Israel – are the Nazis. 
Are they?
Here is Israel at the time of its formation by the United Nations in 1948. Actually, you can’t see it on this map because it’s so small – smaller than the state of New Jersey. 
On that same year, the Arab nations surrounding the new country attacked what was then mostly small farming communities and tried to drive the Jews into the sea. 
But The Israelis won. 
The Arabs tried it again in 1967. The Jews beat them again. Then, in 1973, the Arabs tried again, launching a sneak attack on the holiest Jewish holiday – and the Jews won again. 
Israel’s territorial gains did not come from Israel attacking the Arabs. They came from Israel being attacked by the Arabs. 
And Israel has always tried to give the land back in exchange for peace, as it did when it voluntarily returned the Sinai Peninsula – which is bigger than Israel itself – back to the Egyptians who had tried to attack them from the Sinai, and likewise, they gave the Gaza Strip back to the Palestinians who had attacked them – from the Gaza strip. 
Since then, thousands – thousands! -- of rockets and mortars have been fired into Israel from schoolyards and orphanages and hospitals in -- Gaza. 
How many rockets and mortars would you allow to fall on your house by neighbors that have been swearing to kill you for 65 years? How many times will someone keep hitting you before you hit back? 
The Palestinians daily call for the Jews to be driven into the sea. The Jews have one of the most sophisticated militaries in the world. They could drive the Palestinians into the sea any time they wanted to. They don’t.
The instant that Hamas or Hezbollah get their hands on a nuclear weapon, they will do with it what they do every day with their rocks and mortars and missiles. They will use it. On Israel. The Israelis have an estimated 500 nuclear weapons and could destroy the Arabs any time they chose. They don’t. 
Those are not Nazis. Those are moral, civilized people.
Israel is an island of civilization in a sea of barbarity, and that is why it is being targeted. Uncomfortable with those words, “civilization” and “barbarity?” Well, in Israel women can do whatever they please – including leading the state of Israel. In the surrounding Arab nations women are treated as chattel. They’re just property: useful for creating sons and carrying things. 
In Israel, homosexuals are tolerated and celebrated as individuals – why, just as if they were real people! In the surrounding Muslim nations they are hung from construction cranes in public squares. In Israel, scientists at the University of Haifa are studying In-homogeneous tachyon dynamics. The latest scientific invention in the Arab world is a buzzer that goes off when a Muslim falls asleep against his prayer rug. 
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions was used, in the main successfully, against racist South Africa. Racist South Africa used brutal force to suppress people along racial lines. 
Israel, on the other hand, is the only nation in the entire Middle East where Arabs have a free and fair vote. Israel allows Israelis of any ethnicity to be elected to the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament – including Arabs. So: If you’re in favor of equal rights for women, legal protections for homosexuals, advances in science, the arts and medicine, and political access and personal rights guaranteed by law -- you definitely should support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions – for every nation in the region EXCEPT Israel.

Finally, I’ll just say this – because this is really what drives this whole thing. It is absolutely true that criticizing the actions of the State of Israel is not in itself anti-Semitism. Israel is as subject to criticism and condemnation as any other nation on earth. 
But you cannot understand Israel’s actions without understanding the pervasive, unrelenting, hate that surrounds that outpost of civilization. From Hezbollah rockets made in Iran, to BDS sanctions made in Berkeley and Santa Monica, the attacks on this country and its people cannot be understood without getting to the bedrock essence of the nasty, petty, small and mean-spirited emotion that drives anti-Semitism.
And that emotion is Envy. 
Genesis, Chapter 26, verses 12 through 16: 
And Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. The LORD blessed him, and the man became rich, and gained more and more until he became very wealthy. He had possessions of flocks and herds and many servants, so that the Philistines envied him. (Now the Philistines had stopped and filled with earth all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father.) And Aby melech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.”
That was thousands of years before there was a religion called Islam. And when the Israelis, as a gesture of peace and goodwill, turned over the Gaza Strip in 2005 the first thing these modern-day philistines did was smash the windows of the greenhouses that had been handed to them by other people’s labor. Once again, they filled wells in the desert with sand. 
Prior to the establishment of the state of Israel, by far the safest home the Jews have ever known was here in America. No doubt there was anti-Semitism here, but with a few exceptions it was golf-course anti-Semitism: disgraceful, but a long, long way from the pogroms and the death camps. Why was America such a safe home for the Jews? Well, because up until very recently --- 2008 let’s say – envy was not admired here in America. “Coveting” wasn’t sold here as a virtue, either. 
So, to the American Jews who voted in huge numbers for the man who was personal friends of Palestinian terrorist – Rhashid Khalidi – to babysit his children – to the American Jews that watched and supported Occupy Wall Street as it smashed crystal windows and denounced Jewish bankers; to the American Jews who continue to vote for an ever more powerful state when no one in the world has more to fear from powerful states like the National Socialist German Workers Party or the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; to those American Jews who watched through the 1930’s and 40s and ask, “how could they have let that happen?” I would simply say, “How can you let this happen? Why do so many of you vote for this to happen – pay for it to happen?” 
Tea Party Conservatives, like me – genuine friends of Israel and the Jewish people – look at you and think “It’s obvious you’ve lost your minds. Have you lost your souls as well?”

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Israel, the FAA, and International Isolation


For years, peace processors and pundits have threatened that to stop its “growing international isolation,” Israel must make “painful concessions” and withdraw from territory. The “growing isolation” was always a myth. Israel’s trade with Europe has grown constantly in recent years, even as it developed new markets and ties in Asia. Tourism has reached record levels almost every year, as has the number of Israelis traveling abroad. Except to those sensitive to the movements of postmodern dance troupes, the international isolation was a chimera.
Now, however, international isolation has truly arrived–not from holding territory, but from leaving it. With the suspension of American and European flights to Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, rockets from Gaza yielded what peace processors said settlement construction would. The flight suspension by all major airlines is a major–even if temporary–economic, diplomatic, and psychological setback for Israel. It finds itself, for the moment, in same position as Iraq, Libya, and Somalia.
The subtext here is that Israel has a sword at its neck: face a private-sector no-fly zone or agree to a cease-fire that lets Hamas keep its rockets, and thus close Ben Gurion Airport again at the time of its choosing. It is a lose-lose proposition.

Yes, Israel faces international isolation–as a consequence of its attempts to avoid international isolation. Of course, nuanced thinkers are already explaining why this should not prejudice further, massive territorial withdraws from the hills immediately overlooking Ben Gurion Airport and the coastal plain.
Everyone is jittery from the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight 17 over Ukraine, they will say. If so, Hamas has succeeded in turning Israel into Donetsk.

Moreover, the timing of the FAA’s absurd and unjustified warning seems to have more to do with Kerry’s visit to the region to impose a cease-fire on Israel. Until his administration’s flight ban, that effort seemed entirely futile.



The West Bank is vastly larger and closer to central Israel than Gaza. What Hamas could do periodically and with great difficulty will be a daily occurrence. Israel would be able to survive, but with a sword at its neck, and on terms constantly dictated by the Palestinians, and whoever is ultimately in charge of the FAA.
Indeed, the decision-making behind the FAA ban demands investigation. Ben Gurion remains an extremely safe airport. The FAA had many various measures short of a flight ban, like warnings, that it could have imposed. The FAA only warns airlines about flying to Afghanistan; it does not ban them. And the FAA move comes the day after a general State Department warning about Israel–though far more people were killed in Chicago on Fourth of July weekend than in the Jewish state since the start of the Gaza campaign.
Whatever the intent, the administration has cornered Israel in a booby-trapped tunnel, with Hamas on one side, and economic perdition on the other.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What do Israel's enraged critics truly desire?

Sharona, the mother of Israeli soldier Tsafrir Bar-Or, leans on his flag-draped coffin during his funeral in Holon near Tel Aviv July 21, 2014.
Funeral for fallen IDF soldier Sean Carmeli -- "lone soldier" from Ra'anana/Texas. ...More than 10.000 people arrived for the funeral....No family ...No relatives..

I'm done apologizing for Israel.
It's tiring to apologize over and over. 
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. My Zionism demands I speak out on behalf of the Israel that remains, in my world-view, the most ambitious project-in-process of the Jewish People.

Whereas Israel's 66 short years have witnessed strength and resilience that have redefined Jewish identity in profound ways, the global Jewish family remains interwoven with Israel. If you question this, scan the last week's news for anti-Israel rallies in Antwerp, Los Angeles, Paris, Boston, and elsewhere that featured widespread anti-Semitic chants and violence against Jews.
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.
To those who suggest that Prime Minister Netanyahu is over-reacting to the missiles, I offer this response which I have now shared regularly at campus and communal conversations:
Israel is treating wounded Palestinians during this conflict, risking Israeli lives in surgical strikes to destroy weapons-smuggling tunnels created with building materials Israel allowed into Gaza for infrastructure projects to benefit Palestinian society. Just for a moment, consider the deaths that would result from Israel wishing harm on Palestinian civilians. In just the last 48 hours, Israel has allowed over 10 tons of goods into Gaza. During the past weeks, Israel has agreed to two humanitarian cease-fires. In the first hours of those ceasefires, Hamas rained down over 70 missiles onto Israel civilians.
I ask: What do Israel's enraged critics truly desire? How is it possible to hear indignant claims of human rights violations in the context of Syrians slaughtered by the hundreds of thousands, state-sanctioned terrorism around the globe, and young immigrants treated like chattel by the US and other? Israel is doing its best, sacrificing its own children to preserve the lives of Palestinians.
I also ask, regarding the world's seemingly acceptance of Hamas' tactics as the only remaining option left for a desperate leadership:
Were Hamas to truly lead its people forward to a life of stability and peace, wouldn't it use building materials for schools instead of smuggling tunnels? Wouldn't Hamas stop stockpiling weapons in mosques and transporting them in UN ambulances? Wouldn't Hamas stop firing missiles from civilian population centers if it valued Palestinian lives as much as Israel does? If Israel weren't so concerned for Palestinian lives, wouldn't it respond to Hamas' horrific decisions in kind?
I ask the enraged critics of Israel's defensive responses to Hamas: Would you have us not respond to this monstrosity? Do you think it's not worth losing the PR battle to retain our humanity and save as many lives as possible? What country would stand by when thousands of terrorist missiles assault its citizens? I, a Jew, have lost 20 of my sons in the last three days, because I will not lose my humanity and stage a careless ground war in Gaza that would cause mass casualties. Though I fight monsters, I will not become one.
My response has changed these last few weeks, in which three Jewish teens were murdered by Arab terrorists and Palestinians celebrated by distributing sweets to children and an Arab teen was murdered by Jewish terrorists and the Jewish world condemned the hatred. I am done trying to apologetically explain Jewish morality. I am done apologizing for my own Jewish existence.
Some will call this needless hyperbole. But, having watched in this last week anti-Semitic "die-ins" in Boston, violent assaults against Jews in Los Angeles and Antwerp, and an almost pogrom at a synagogue in Paris, I'm done mincing my own words.
We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else.

Monday, July 21, 2014

It reminds us once again of our Sages’ adage that “he who is merciful to the cruel will eventually be cruel to the merciful.”

Palestinians celebrate Boston Marathon Bombing

The Civilian Charade

Israel has certainly publicly embraced this outpouring of anguish, saying all the right things, as in “we deeply regret the loss of civilian life…” or “we do everything to avoid civilian casualties…” or PM Netanyahu’s now-famous sound bite that “we use our missiles to protect our civilians, while they use their civilians to protect their missiles” (it is a good line). And Israel is sincere in these protestations.
Count me among those who found it hard to muster any sympathy for these Gazans, who routinely rejoice over Jewish deaths and would applaud the massacre and slaughter of any Jews. Let’s face a few facts and debunk the canard of the sacred civilian of the Gaza Strip.
First, even their combatants are “civilians,” and intentionally so. In blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions, Hamas terrorists (the same applies to Islamic terrorists across the world) do not wear uniforms and intentionally try to blend in to the “civilian” population. Thus, when they are killed, the familiar scenes of sorrow can appear on the television screen, of the bereaved Arab crying, “look, they killed the teacher…the preacher…the butcher…the baker…the bomb- (rather, the candlestick-) maker.” Israel has to habitually identify – even by name! – these alleged civilians in order to refute the accusation that they are killing civilians. To the Arab way of thinking, no one is ever a soldier; they are all civilians.
Second, as is now well known, Hamas conceals its weapons and launches its rockets from the very heart of its civilian population. They have made their civilians the targets, and official Israel has done an outstanding job in underscoring this point. Homes and hospitals, mosques and schools, are used as both weapons storage sites as well as launching pads for rockets and missiles.That is a war crime, and Israel would do well to ignore all the hollow complaints and continue its offensive until Gaza is rid of Hamas. It would dramatically improve the lives of the civilians in Gaza, however many remain alive.
Of course, Israel’s sensitivity to this issue is such that it undermines the military success of this mission – while certainly acting in a humanitarian way – by warning the Arab inhabitants of targeted areas to leave, and to leave quickly, before a raid. This saves civilian lives, but it also allows Hamas-niks to escape their day of reckoning. In the end, buildings are destroyed, but the enemy, who can soon rebuild those buildings and those weapons sites, lives to terrorize another day
Third, we should not forget that these Gazans are “innocent” civilians only in the most elastic and distorted sense of the term. After all, they voted for Hamas. Hamas did not seize power, except in the sense that they ran on a platform and drew an overwhelming majority of support from the electorate. That the people’s favorite party turned out (surprise!) to be brutal, malicious murderers, who on occasion force them to be human shields and die an ignominious death is really their problem, not Israel’s or the world’s. To be sure, that the Western world decided to spin the Hamas election triumph as a victory for good governance, anti-corruption, and (that hoary cliché) the effective provision of social services does not matter in the least. The people knew for whom they were voting – much as the Germans did in 1933 when they gave the Nazis a plurality of their votes. They knew exactly what Hamas stood for and why it was formed in the 1980’s – to eradicate the Jewish state and its Jews.
Be careful for whom you vote.
The Nazi analogy is actually quite apt because it reminds us of the emptiness of the cries of the protesters across the world (who would rejoice – and do rejoice – when Jews are killed) and the sheer vacuity of some statements emanating from the UN and especially from the Obama administration. (By the way, is anything more repugnant that Obama’s repeated assertion that “Israel has the right of self-defense,” as if that is not obvious, as if it is a major concession on his part designed to win him plaudits from liberal Jews, and…as if he has to keep saying it in order to talk himself into it?)
Consider a point made two years ago (the last time Israel briefly invaded Gaza) by PM Netanyahu himself, to a BBC interviewer who castigated him for causing civilian casualties. “Do you really want to go there?” And Netanyahu, to devastating effect, reminded the British viewers of the Allies’ (mostly British) February 1945 firebombing raids on Dresden, Germany, which killed more than 20,000 civilians in just a few days. The Brits perceived this as appropriate recompense, as the Nazis spent two years bombing British civilians. He could mention as well, perhaps for the youthful Jen Psaki’s benefit, that the United States killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians – and rightly so – when two atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.
It is the first rule of war: civilians die. There are other rules: Truth is a casualty. The innocent suffer (the real innocent). The unexpected happens. The victor uses disproportionate force – in fact, that is usually how and why the winner wins. The evil aggressor should be vanquished, not saved by a hypocritical world to fight another day.
Those are basic rules of war, and only duplicitous, oleaginous Jew-hating purveyors of piffle would deny Israel those rights and seek to amend or repeal the rules of war – and only as they apply to Israel. And they know who they are – from oily politicians and media mackerel, to the Presbyterian Church embarrassing itself in well-deserved irrelevance, to the phony protesters around the world, to those who simply deny Israel’s right to exist. Putin’s allies killed more civilians in one instant with one rocket than Israel has in three weeks – Bashar Assad has killed exponentially more in three years – without evoking the same anger, vitriol, violence and angst. It is selective outrage, phony to the core.
Kudos to real leaders like Canada’s Stephen Harper and the US Congress for their unequivocal support, and to Israel’s government for focusing on countering another Arab attempt to scam the world into sympathy for its “victims,” victims of its own malevolence and suicidal hatred.
There are reasons why these Arabs engender more sympathy than did German or Japanese civilians during World War II. For one, they are fighting against Jews, for whom much of the world labors to find any love gratitude or appreciation. Call it rank Jew-hatred. Primarily, though, that is Israel’s fault, for rather than depict these Arabs as Nazis (or worse: the Nazis wanted to murder Jews, but they preferred not to kill themselves while doing it) Israel persists in designating these Arabs as “partners for peace.” Had the Nazis or Nips been perceived as “partners for peace” rather than subjected to the unrelenting demand for unconditional surrender, they too would have garnered sympathy for their plight.
Unfortunately, the land of Israel hosts Arabs who are largely not partners for peace, nor are they sympathetic characters in the least. They are allies with other Muslims across the globe who are responsible for the mayhem that is engulfing almost every continent – perhaps another reason why even the European and Western governments lack their customary anti-Israel ardor. The world has seen too much suffering caused by Muslims to prompt the usual outcries. It is long past enough.
Add to that another painful fact: those wailing over the deaths of their loved ones are generally the same people urging their children and others to become martyrs, suicide bombers and murderers of Jews. It is impossible for a Western mind to wrap itself around that macabre concept but it is sadly true: in the mind of many of these people, a person killed before he has a chance to kill Jews has really lived a wasted life. Hence the mothers of suicide bombers who “grieve” by expressing their desire that their other children should become martyrs as well. It is a sick death cult, and to the extent that they can be accommodated, they should be accommodated.
One Israeli commentator said years ago that it is the height of cynicism for the Arabs to cry over their civilian losses when their entire strategy is to inflict civilian casualties on Israel through terror. Every rocket or missile they launch has a civilian address on it. It is intended to hit homes, schools, stores and hospitals.
It makes their tears fake and their lament a farce. It should have no effect on any thinking, moral person. It should not – again – induce Israel to abandon its offensive until Gaza is rid of Hamas. It reminds us once again of our Sages’ adage that “he who is merciful to the cruel will eventually be cruel to the merciful.”
Indeed, that is the very epitaph for the Gush Katif expulsion nine years ago. You remember Gush Katif? That is the region from where hundreds of rockets have been fired against Israeli civilians in the last decade.
It is certainly a shame that civilians suffer in wartime, and some civilians are truly innocent and deserve sympathy and protection. Others don’t – not sympathy, deference, comfort, fuel, electricity or food. Let their elected leaders help them. The whole notion of offering “humanitarian” assistance to one’s enemy is foolish, counterproductive, un-Jewish and anti-Torah. Notifying your enemy where you plan on attacking is the height of stupidity and costs Jewish lives, unnecessarily, as it did today. It is a sign that deep within the Netanyahu psyche he still holds out the illusion that this enemy is a “partner for peace.” No nation informs its enemy where it plans on attacking. It is not moral; it is immoral and stupid. If the enemy wants humanitarian help, they should surrender. It would be good for them and for Israel, and for the world, which needs an unequivocal victory over Muslim terror.
Until then, my tears will be reserved for the real innocents, for those who yearn for peace and tranquility to serve their G-d, raise their families, build their homes and their nation, and are forced to fight a merciless foe again and again. Feelings of guilt are unwarranted.
May G-d strengthen the fighting forces of Israel, protect her soldiers from all harm, and guide her to victory with pride, understanding and majesty.
http://rabbipruzansky.com/2014/07/20/the-civilian-charade/






Friday, July 18, 2014

Moral clarity in Gaza

Israel accepts an Egyptian-proposed Gaza cease-fire; Hamas keeps firing. Hamas deliberately aims rockets at civilians; Israel painstakingly tries to avoid them, actually telephoning civilians in the area and dropping warning charges, so-called roof knocking.
“Here’s the difference between us,” explains the Israeli prime minister. “We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”

Apologists for Hamas attribute the blood lust to the Israeli occupation and blockade. Occupation? Does no one remember anything? It was 
less than 10 years ago that worldwide television showed the Israeli army pulling die-hard settlers off synagogue roofs in Gaza as Israel uprooted its settlements, expelled its citizens, withdrew its military and turned every inch of Gaza over to the Palestinians. There was not a soldier, not a settler, not a single Israeli left in Gaza.Rarely does international politics present a moment of such moral clarity.
Yet we routinely hear this Israel-Gaza fighting described as a morally equivalent “cycle of violence.” This is absurd. What possible interest can Israel have in cross-border fighting? Everyone knows Hamas set off this mini-war. And everyone knows Hamas’ proudly self-declared raison d’etre: the eradication of Israel and its Jews.
And there was no blockade. On the contrary. Israel wanted this new Palestinian state to succeed. To help the Gaza economy, Israel gave the Palestinians its 3,000 greenhouses that had produced fruit and flowers for export. It opened border crossings and encouraged commerce.
The whole idea was to establish the model for two states living peacefully and productively side by side. No one seems to remember that, simultaneous with the Gaza withdrawal, Israel dismantled four smaller settlements in the northern West Bank as a clear signal of Israel’s desire to leave the West Bank as well and thus achieve an amicable two-state solution.
This is not ancient history. This was nine years ago.
And how did the Gaza Palestinians react to being granted by the Israelis what no previous ruler, neither Egyptian, nor British, nor Turkish, had ever given them — an independent territory? First, they demolished the greenhouses. Then they elected Hamas. Then, instead of building a state with its attendant political and economic institutions, they spent the better part of a decade turning Gaza into a massive military base, brimming with terror weapons, to make ceaseless war on Israel.
Where are the roads and rail, the industry and infrastructure of the new Palestinian state? Nowhere. Instead, they built mile upon mile of underground tunnels to hide their weapons and, when the going gets tough, their military commanders. They spent millions importing and producing rockets, launchers, mortars, small arms, even drones. They deliberately placed them in schools, hospitals, mosques and private homes to better expose their own civilians. (Just Thursday, the U.N. announced that it found 20 rockets in a Gaza school.) And from which they fire rockets at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Why? The rockets can’t even inflict serious damage, being almost uniformly intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system. Even West Bank leader Mahmoud Abbas has asked: “What are you trying to achieve by sending rockets?” It makes no sense. Unless you understand, as Tuesday’s Post editorial explained, that the whole point is to draw Israeli counterfire.
This produces dead Palestinians for international television. Which is why Hamas perversely urges its own people not to seek safety when Israel drops leaflets warning of an imminent attack.  
To deliberately wage war so that your own people can be telegenically killed is indeed moral and tactical insanity. But it rests on a very rational premise: Given the Orwellian state of the world’s treatment of Israel (see: the U.N.’s grotesque Human Rights Council), fueled by a mix of classic anti-Semitism, near-total historical ignorance and reflexive sympathy for the ostensible Third World underdog, these eruptions featuring Palestinian casualties ultimately undermine support for Israel’s legitimacy and right to self-defense.
In a world of such Kafkaesque ethical inversions, Hamas’ depravity begins to make sense. This is a world in which the Munich massacre is a movieand the murder of Klinghoffer is an opera — both deeply sympathetic to the killers. This is a world in which the U.N. ignores humanity’s worst war criminals while incessantly condemning Israel, a state warred upon for 66 years which nonetheless goes to extraordinary lengths to avoid harming the very innocents its enemies use as shields.
It’s to the Israelis’ credit that amid all this madness they haven’t lost their moral scruples. Or their nerve. Those outside the region have the minimum obligation, therefore, to expose the madness and speak the truth. Rarely has it been so blindingly clear.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Why do Jewish men die before their wives?

It’s like the old joke: Why do Jewish men die before their wives? Because they want to.



 Civilizations for the most part die because they no longer want to live. That is the nub of my 2011 book How Civilizations Die (and Why Islam Is Dying, Too)They cease to believe in their own future and distract themselves from the prospect of extinction as best they can. Hellenistic Greece was the first universal demographic disaster; it gave us prototypes of the steam engine and the computer (via Hero of Alexandria) as well as the modern literary forms. But even wealthy men exposed their daughters and the population imploded. When Aristotle taught that men naturally seek the good, the overwhelming preponderance of evidence had already turned against him. Most men seek nothingness. Soon the last surviving remnants of the classical world will disappear. In another generation, more people will speak Hebrew than Greek.
Hamas wants to die, obviously and visibly. That thought horrifies Westerners. As a number of Israeli commentators observe, Hamas doesn’t particularly care about having a Palestinian State. It wants to destroy the Jewish State and is willing to die in the process. It wants to die in such a way that Israel will die, too. There is something utterly surreal to Hamas crowding civilians around military targets, and Israeli pilots declining to attack them. It recalls joke about the sadist and the masochist. The masochist says, “Beat me!,” and the sadist says, No…suffer.”
Hamas, to be sure, proposes to die in an accelerated time frame and a particularly disgusting fashion, but it should be kept in mind that self-willed extinction is the norm. West of the Indus, Israel is the only survivor among the thousands of little nations that flourished between 10,000 BC and 600 AD. To be sure, there have been plenty of small tribes that wanted to live but were trampled by conquering hordes. The rule, however, is that civilizations die of their own disgust with life. Most of the industrial nations are dying, some very quickly. Most of the Muslim world would rather die than accommodate modernity (although some of it may choose to cease to be Islamic).
I do not mean to sound cruel, but the best thing you can do for victims of a dying culture is: Don’t be one of them. Individuals who want to live have the option of changing cultures. I do not mean that Israel (or anyone else) should go about killing off enemies in order to satisfy their death wish. God forbid: life is still sacred to us even if it is repugnant to them. Neither do we have to commit suicide in order to accommodate our crazy neighbor’s death-wish. We might try to talk him down from the roof, but we are entitled to step aside when he jumps. It is not in our power to persuade suicidal civilizations to carry on living. Ultimately it is our job to contain the damage to ourselves. We cannot help but accept some civilian deaths while engaging an enemy that seeks the maximum number of civilian casualties.
All of this is anathema to liberals, whose premise is that human agency can fix all problems. 

Enlightenment materialism posited a natural man who either sought self-preservation (Hobbes) or naturally pursued his own best interests (Locke) or was inherently good before corrupted by civilization (Rousseau). Satanic laughter from around the Levant drowns out the squeaky, thin voices of the Enlightenment. One no longer needs to read about it in books. The Middle East has become “How Civilizations Die: The Reality Show.”
Israel is the only developed nation (with a fertility rate of three) that loves life sufficiently to bring more children into the world than are required to replace the existing population. Even the US has fallen below replacement as Hispanics assimilate into Western culture and younger evangelicals behave more like their secular peers. Israel today, as at the time of the prophets, remains a unique and irreplaceable light unto the world, the paragon of a nation, the hope of all humanity. Today it is the proof that modern men and women can embrace life and raise themselves above the tragic fate of the peoples since the dawn of man. Anti-semitism is the vicious grudge that death harbors against life. We are tired of refuting the clumsy calumnies that are thrown at Israel each day in the liberal media. Our response is in the imperative: “Choose life!”