Israel Archives

United Nations: "Hamas? Who Are They?"

In its continuing slide into irrelevancy, the United Nations Security Council called for a ceasefire in Gaza and never once used the H-word.  Now that could mean that they don’t thing Hamas has anything to do with what’s going on in Gaza, or they realize that asking Hamas to honor a ceasefire is pretty much pointless given their history.

Then again, there’s always the third option; they’re just blaming Israel, like they always do.  That would be the safe bet.

Shire Network News #154: Back to Gaza

Shire Network News #154 has been released. The theme for the first episode of the new year is the war in Gaza, and includes long-lost SNN contributor Lawrence Simon.  Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

I do not have a segment in this show.

Shire Network News has been nominated for Best Podcast in the 2008 Weblog awards.  Please vote for us at this link.  Thank  you very much.

The 2008 Weblog Awards

The Gaza War and the "Anti-War" Left

"There have been approximately 7,200 rockets (Grads, Qassams) and mortars launched at Israel since 2005", according to  There are more stats at the link, but let that one sink in for a moment (especially after reading this headline).

Now consider that when Israel finally defends itself, and launches a counter-attack, with the goal, not of revenge, not of tit-for-tat, but to stop the attacks aimed at it’s civilians by targeting Hamas’ military, then and only then does the "anti-war" Left spring into action.  I really must put "anti-war" in scare quotes because, as much as their rhetoric is anti-all-war, they only get their dander up when their particular political ox is being gored.  They dredge up their celebrities, who have been chirping with the crickets for years regarding Hamas’ continual barrage, and get them to feign outrage for the media.

Israel made the extremely difficult decision to evict its own people out of their homes to make Gaza available to the Palestinians.  But with respect to international relations, the only thing that did was give Hamas a closer base of operations to fire rockets into southern Israel.  And as this short video production notes, distance is only a matter of time.  Unless Hamas’ ability to launch is severely curtailed or stopped, major population centers are on their list. 

But nary a word from the "anti-war" Left, hardly a bare nod to what Hamas terrorists have been inflicting on Israel for years.  There’s a word for this: Disingenuous. 

I’d like to re-link something that Mark O. noted before.  This post at Chicago Boyz notes that terrorism, historically, cannot be negotiated with.  Any concessions simply bolster their cause for more terrorism.  Israel, after decades of pressure, gave up land for peace.  They did the former, but they never got the latter.  And if all they do is make concessions, they never will.  (Remember this when discussing "root causes" of 9/11, by the way.)

I’ll leave you with this post from; 15 New Commandments for gradual self-destruction.  See what the liberal mindset hath wrought.  (And bookmark "".  Their analysis of the media coverage of the Gaza war has been fantastic.)

A Change in Foreign Policy?

Jesse Jackson, not a spokesman for Obama but one who certainly believes he knows what’s coming, spoke about key foreign policy changes he sees in an Obama administration.

He promised "fundamental changes" in US foreign policy – saying America must "heal wounds" it has caused to other nations, revive its alliances and apologize for the "arrogance of the Bush administration."

The most important change would occur in the Middle East, where "decades of putting Israel’s interests first" would end.

Jackson believes that, although "Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades" remain strong, they’ll lose a great deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House.

First, let’s talk about "first", as in the US "putting Israel’s interests first".  First in front of whom, ours?  Hasn’t been that was so far.  First in front of the myriad countries in the Middle East who have been attacking, or supporting attacks on, Israel?  Well sure, but our alliance with a well-functioning democracy — the best in the region — against aggressor nations and gangs is, I would think, a good thing. 

I guess the main question would be; which country or countries would get boosted?  The Palestinians?  The folks who vote in terrorist organizations to run their government and lob rockets virtually daily into civilian Israeli towns?  The ones who, while living in Israel, get the right to vote and all?  The ones who, when given land for peace, use that land for launching attacks?  Yeah, apparently them.

Jackson is especially critical of President Bush’s approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

"Bush was so afraid of a snafu and of upsetting Israel that he gave the whole thing a miss," Jackson says. "Barack will change that," because, as long as the Palestinians haven’t seen justice, the Middle East will "remain a source of danger to us all."

If we’d just wipe Israel off the map, like Hamas wants, we’d all be much safer.  Yeah, right.

Second, about those alliances allegedly needing reviving.  I think Jackson has believed the media reports that we went into Iraq "unilaterally".  A browsing of Wikipedia will dispel that misnomer.  Granted, the US has had the vast majority of troops there, but we had more to contribute.  Much like the widow’s mite, it’s not so much the absolute amount contributed as it is the sort of sacrifice it may be.  You’ll find listed a number of countries freed from Soviet domination when we won the Cold War.  You’ll find quite a diverse collection of nationalities, all in support of the US and its policy in Iraq. 

You won’t find France on there.  That’s because they decided to work with Iraq, under the table and subverting the sanctions, for their own economic gain.  When the shooting started, however, they slinked away and waited it out.  Yeah, that’s the kind of country I want in my alliance.  Revive us today, indeed, Obama.

So our foreign policy may indeed look quite different than it does today, but that’s not necessarily a better thing.  Since the Iraq war, many countries (including, just last night, Canada and, interestingly, France) have shifted to the right politically.  Zaptero’s Spain tried appeasing terrorism by pulling out of Iraq after a change in administrations, but the Madrid bombings happened anyway.  The world has nudged slightly toward the right, and where it hasn’t, in hopes of avoiding confrontation, it’s been hounded by the bad guys anyway. 

The world is beginning to see what George W. Bush saw, but unfortunately the United States apparently doesn’t.

NY Times Forgets Muhammad al-Dura

When that little boy was (supposedly) shot and killed in 2000 by Israeli security forces, the NY Times reported, and continued to return to, the issues as a seminal event in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

This week, however, a judge in France (the footage belonged to France TV 2) has agreed that claims that the footage is a fraud are legitimate.  It’s not the same thing as saying the footage is a fraud, but the defendant had to overcome a huge hurdle.

This is a stunning victory because Mr. [Philippe] Karsenty had to prove to the French court that his claims that the film is a fraud are legitimate claims. Karsenty presented enough evidence for the French court to rule against a state operated entity and this is a big upset in France because this does not typically happen. The state almost never loses.

Karsenty had several experts come to his aid as technical witnesses that the whole thing did not add up but the French court also at last had a look at some more of the film that France 2 TV had steadfastly refused to show up until this point. It clearly showed Palestinian operatives staging a faux fight between themselves and the far off Israeli security forces. It revealed fake rescues of unharmed people, fake casualties and staged injuries. What the court saw was the creation of Palestinian propaganda. In other words, the "death" of Muhammad al-Dura was a staged lie, invented as theater by Palestinian operatives to use as anti-Jewish propaganda.

But the kicker is that this major discrediting of a lynchpin in the Palestinian’s reason for the Intifada has been dealt a serious blow.  Newsworthy, right?  But now, the Time seems to have forgotten the whole story.

Read the rest of this entry

Effect and Cause

…masquerading as "cause and effect".  Meryl Yourish notes that the Associated Press is making yet another truce-breaking mortar barrage by the Palestinians sound like Israel’s fault.

Notice the order of the events in the paragraphs. Israel closed the crossings, and THEN the Palestinians fired rockets. The AP is framing the situation as an Israeli cause—”refusing” to open the crossings—and a Palestinian effect—firing rockets and mortars. As if those are the natural progression. What the AP is no longer doing is calling the rocket fire a violation of the truce. The Israeli refusal to open the crossings is following the terms of the truce, which the AP knows full well, having published many articles detailing the truce. First, the attacks were supposed to stop. Then Israel would send more goods into Gaza. If three days went by without an attack, more goods would go in. Since the Palestinians are violating the truce, Israel is doing exactly as was agreed, and not sending in more goods or opening the crossings. But the AP is not reporting this honestly. The news service is trying to make its readers think that Israel is violating the truce by “refusing” to open the crossings.

Meryl has been taking aim, almost daily, at the misleading and biased reporting by the AP on this topic for quite some time.  It’s a target-rich environment.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

The diplomatic line typically goes, “Our argument is not with the people of [insert country here], but with their government.” In most cases, this is a true statement. However, a recent poll shows that in the Palestinian Territories, it may not apply.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The majority of people in the Palestinian Territories are against the militant group Hamas recognizing the legitimacy of Israel as a state, according to a poll by Arab World for Research & Development. 63 per cent of respondents living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip share this opinion.

In explaining the results of the January, 2006 elections that put Hamas on top in the Palestinian Legislative Council, TV pundits I watched explained this as more of a rejection by the Palestinian people of Fatah’s corruption than of their having made common cause with Hamas’ agenda.

Yeah, well, maybe not.

(Hat tip: Meryl Yourish.)

Technorati Tags: , , ,

A woman in southern Israel was killed by a Qassam rocket today.

A 70-year-old Israeli woman was killed early Monday evening from a Palestinian Qassam rocket which crashed into the backyard of a residential home in Yesha – a small community belonging to the Eshkol Regional Council.

Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.  Someone ring up Jimmy Carter and see if we can’t get him to stay a while in Yesha in the interest of the promotion of peace.  Worked in Sderot (for as long as he was there). 

Hat tip and other events of the day in Israel from Meryl Yourish.

UPDATE: Another post on by Soccerdad, notes that Carter was reached for comment.  Unfortunately, it was "content free".

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Shire Network News #128

Shire Network News #128 has been released.

This week week we conclude our chat with Prof. Barry Rubin, Director, Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and Editor, Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal .  As we approach the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the modern state of Israel, Barry joins us to talk about his latest reprinting of "The Israel Arab Reader". The book provides over 300 original source documents and gives a massive amount of background into the Israeli Arab struggle.

Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

I did not have a commentary this week.

The Obstacle to Peace

Meryl Yourish lays it on the line.  Jimmy Carter and Hamas get together and talk about peace, but basically that’s it.  No actions, no changes, nothing. 

Here are the plain facts: Hamas offered nothing new. Hamas did not agree to recognize Israel in any way, shape or form. Hamas did not give any proof that Gilad Shalit is still alive. Hamas did not say they would agree to visitation for Shalit—which would be within keeping of international law, something that Carter never seems to notice—nor did Hamas make any concessions, changes, or teeny, tiny moves towards a middle ground with Israel. Hamas did not even bother to stop firing rockets while Carter was there, except during the time he was physically in Sderot. Doubtless they went by the schedule the Carter center reps sent ahead of time. Can’t be dropping rockets and having sniper fire hit the most visible tool Hamas has ever had the fortune to come across. And Hamas tried three times in the last week to invade Israel and murder and kidnap Israelis, the last time the day after Carter spoke with Hamas leaders.

Israel has forcibly removed its citizens from disputed regions and has never — never — targeted civilians.  So when sizing up the situation, Carter can, of course, come up with only one conclusion regarding who is at fault when it comes to keeping peace from breaking out in the Middle East.

Israel and the United States. And he says this even as Hamas launches more rockets, and threatens more attacks. Way to go, Jimmy. I think you need a new title. I think we’re going to call you America’s No. 1 Schmuck.

Hey, perhaps it’s Carter himself who is the biggest obstacle to peace.  If he would just take up residence in Sderot, imagine how much more peaceful it would be there.

 Page 5 of 7  « First  ... « 3  4  5  6  7 »