Saturday, August 09, 2014

DON'T accept Gaza casualty figures at face value

From The Tower, 8 August 2014:

In an analysis published yesterday, Anthony Reuben, head of statistics for BBC News, cautioned against accepting Gaza casualty figures at face value.

Working from figures from the United Nations, Reuben observes:
So there were 216 members of armed groups killed, and another 725 men who were civilians. Among civilians, more than three times as many men were killed as women, while three times as many civilian men were killed as fighters. …
Nonetheless, if the Israeli attacks have been “indiscriminate”, as the UN Human Rights Council says, it is hard to work out why they have killed so many more civilian men than women.
Reuben also cites casualty figures from Al Jazeera and The New York Times showing that a disproportionate number of those killed have been men of  military age.

In addition to the analysis contradicting charges that Israel launches indiscriminate attacks, Reuben quotes IDF spokesman Capt. Eytan Buchman about the reliability of the casualty numbers: “It’s important to bear in mind that in Operation Cast Lead [the last Israeli ground offensive in December 2008-January 2009], Hamas and Gaza-based organisations claimed that only 50 combatants were killed, admitting years later the number was between 600-700, a figure nearly identical to the figure claimed by the IDF.” (The admission that Buchman referenced was in 2010, nearly two years after Operation Cast Lead.)

Reuben concludes that, based on his analysis of the casualty figures, “it does mean that some of the conclusions being drawn from them may be premature.”

In addition to greater awareness in the media that casualty figures may be misleading or wrong, there’s also a growing realization that intimidation by Hamas colors the way the conflict with Israel is presented.

These are two elements of a problem described by Mark Lavie in the August 2014 issue of The Tower Magazine, in an article titled Why Everything Reported from Gaza is Crazy Twisted:
Journalists, of course, won’t tell you what your missing in the coverage. Their anchors or editors won’t tell you why large parts of the story are colored a certain way or taken from a certain angle. They don’t want to put their reporters’ lives at risk.
Thiis is the main reason that video and pictures seem to flow freely out of Gaza. But critical elements of the story itself can’t, and neither can all the pictures and video. It gives the impression that the story is being covered, when only part of it—sometimes a small part—is being covered.

What a disaster Barack Obama’s foreign policy has been

God bless America. 

Only because the USA is such a dear friend of Israel and the Jewish people, JIW is posting this wake-up call to its citizens, from PJ Media, 7 Aug 2014, by Roger Kimball:

Here are some names to think about: Libya. Iran. Gaza. Syria. Ukraine. Russia.

What do you think about when you ponder those places?

I think about what a disaster Barack Obama’s foreign policy has been

Obama came to office promising to hit the “reset button” with respect to Russia and now he is Putin’s fool. 

Libya, poor Libya: Obama went in and removed the world’s only transvestite dictator, and now what? Gadaffi was a comic if malevolent madman, but he was, at the end, a U.S. ally. Barack Obama has trouble distinguishing between allies and enemies.  So he engineered Gaddafi’s ouster.  What then?  The outrage of Benghazi and, now, chaos in Libya. Good going, Barack.

Everyone is waiting for Iran to acquire the nuclear weapons Obama campaigned to prevent.

While waiting for that feature presentation, we have another preview in a country I didn’t mention: Iraq.  Whatever you think about our invasion in Iraq under George Bush, at least he left the country with a recognizable form of government under the watchful eye of the U.S. military.
Obama withdrew our forces and, as could have been predicted, the country promptly fell prey to those Muslim fanatics that Obama went to Cairo to court shortly after he was elected.

When Obama left Iraq, he assured the world that 
we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq.” 
Yes, he really said that.

How are things looking in Iraq now? Yesterday, the New York Times reported that Muslim fanatics (my word: the Times preferred “rebels”) captured the country’s largest dam. ISIS, Iraq’s lovable Islamic thugs, have captured the country’s largest Christian town and are busy exterminating Christians. “Even Ghengis Khan didn’t do this,” said one observer.
Women, she said, were being sold as sexual slaves. Children, she said, were dying. Someone, she said, must take notice. “We are being slaughtered!” she sobbed, her voice raw and worn out, as seen on this parliamentary video. “We are being exterminated! An entire religion is being exterminated from the face of the Earth. In the name of humanity, save us!”
Not to worry. Barack Obama has inaugurated a “new beginning” with Islam, which is not our enemy. He has “decimated” al Qaeda, remember?
Meanwhile, Russian bombers penetrated U.S. airspace “at least” 16 times in 10 days. Yes, there’s lots of “Smart Diplomacy™” around today.  

The only question is how the U.S. and the rest of the world will fare until we can get rid of the malevolent clown in the White House.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Hamas Lost Big-time

From The Tower, 5 August 3024, by  Omri Ceren:

Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip late Monday officially accepted a three-day Egypt-sponsored truce, effective 8 a.m. local time Tuesday and designed as a first step in ending roughly a month’s worth of fighting in the Gaza Strip. The proposal is almost identical to one that Israel accepted weeks ago, but that Palestinians leaders had rejected out of hand for not meeting a range of demands broadly considered to be non-starters.

The Israeli army had subsequently deployed ground troops into the Gaza Strip, targeting Hamas’s tunnel and rocket infrastructure. The Jerusalem Post conveyed statements from Israeli officials who “pointed out that [the ceasefire] acceptance came after Israel finished destroying the terror tunnels” that run underneath the Gaza-Israel border, and which had been built to empty out within a few hundred yards of sparsely defended Israeli population centers.
Hamas’s activation of its offensive tunnel network – the terror group a few weeks ago dispatched over a dozen commandos to attack an Israeli community of roughly 150 people – had originally triggered the ground invasion. The belated Palestinian acceptance – which leaders reportedly struggled to justify – had been widely expected as the conflict dragged on with steady gains for the Israelis without any spectacular Hamas successes.

Yaakov Lappin, the Jerusalem Post‘s national security correspondent, had evaluated that “the IDF has destroyed Hamas’s flagship terrorism project: its network of tunnels that snuck into Israel. Hamas spent five years preparing this strategic threat; the IDF wrecked 31 tunnels in two weeks.”

Amos Yadlin – the former head of the IDF’s military intelligence shop (Aman) and currently the director of Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) – assessed that Hamas’s violation of a ceasefire earlier this month had been a watershed:
Hamas’ flagrant violation of the ceasefire on August 1, 2014 enabled Israel to change its strategic position and choose an alternative that, at least in the short term, places Hamas in a difficult strategic situation....
Yadlin, who had accurately predicted the escalatory trajectory of the conflict in its earliest days, emphasized that 
“Israel regained international legitimacy for its actions; Hamas was again cast as a terrorist organization lacking all credibility… Israel decided to deny Hamas veto power over ceasefires and took the initiative back into its own hands, clarifying that it was not negotiating with Hamas and not granting it any achievement, neither in terms of a ceasefire nor in terms of an agreement.”
Hamas arch-terrorist, Khaled Meshal (living in luxury in Qatar) loses big time

Eyal Zisser – the head of Tel Aviv University’s Middle Eastern and African History department and a senior research fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies – had his analysis published under the simple headline “Hamas lost big”:
No gimmickry will undo this Hamas-made catastrophe; neither will the tactical achievements it has boasted of. Hamas’ actions resulted in an unprecedented catastrophe for Gazans. Its overarching mission — to be the leader of many Palestinians, failed spectacularly.
There are indications that the Palestinian organization will have difficulty spinning the results as a victory. Hamas’s leadership had quietly but broadly assured supporters that a series of strategic ‘surprises’ – long-range missiles, drones, and attack tunnels – would see the group notch major victories against Israeli civilians and civilian infrastructure. 

Iron Dome anti-missile batteries dampened the impact of the rockets, Israeli anti-aircraft assets neutralized drone flights, and Israel ended up destroying the attack tunnels.

Fox News had already reported days ago that not “not only is Hamas losing its latest battle with Israel, it may also be losing its popular support,” the perception among Palestinians being that the organization had dragged the Gaza Strip into a bruising conflict for no gain.

Hamas is 100% responsible for 90% of all casualties

From Ynet News, 6 August 2014:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the world for the first time since the Gaza operation reached its end.

..."The people of Gaza are not our enemy. Our enemy is Hamas; our enemy are the other terrorist organizations trying to kill our people. The tragedy of Gaza is that it is ruled by Hamas – a tyrannical and fanatical terror group that relishes civilian casualties. 

"They want civilian casualties. They use them as PR fodder," the prime minister said, after urging international media to speak out about what they saw in Gaza now that they were not under what he described as Hamas' censorship.

Netanyahu showed reporters a video Hamas firing a rocket from civilian areas in Gaza, and slammed the group for the massive death toll in Gaza.

"Israel accepted and Hamas rejected the Egyptian ceasefire proposal of July 15th. At that time, the conflict had claimed some 185 lives. Only on Monday night did Hamas finally agree to that very same proposal, which went into effect yesterday morning. 

"That means that 90%, a full 90% of the fatalities in this conflict could have been avoided had Hamas not rejected then the ceasefire that it accepts now. Hamas must be held accountable for the tragic loss of life," Netanyahu said.

"Every civilian casualty is a tragedy. A tragedy of Hamas’s own working. I think the Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel put it best when he said, Hamas is engaging in child sacrifice. And this is something for which it must be held accountable. For the sake of all our children, it must not be allowed to get away with this."...

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Jews rejected child sacrifice 3,500 years ago: Now it's Hamas' turn

From Algemeiner, 5 August 2014: 

A $60,000 advertisement featuring a message from famed Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel condemning Gaza based terror group Hamas’s use of children as human shields has been rejected by The London Times...

Hamas’s use of children as human shields has been widely reported throughout Israel’s current Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

In rejecting the ad, a representative for The Times explained, “In brief, they feel that the opinion being expressed is too strong and too forcefully made and will cause concern amongst a significant number of Times readers.”

The ad, which has appeared in a number of major American publications, was placed by The Values Network, a group which promotes Jewish values in the media and is headed by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel

Boteach was incensed by the rejection and told The Algemeiner that it was proof of British media bias against Israel...
“Elie Wiesel is one of the most respected human beings alive, a Nobel Peace Laureate, and is the living face of the holocaust. There is no more influential voice on genocide in the whole world. His call for the end of child sacrifice by Hamas, who use children as human shields, and a stop to their genocidal charter which calls for the murder of Jews everywhere, could only offend the sensibilities of the most die-hard anti-Israel haters and anti-Semites... I am shocked that The Times would engage in censorship of the worst kind to cater to such bigotry.”

The full text of Elie Wiesel’s paid Op-Ed is below:

Jews rejected child sacrifice 3,500 years ago
Now it's Hamas' turn

More than three thousand years ago, Abraham had two children. One son had been sent into the wilderness and was in danger of dying. God saved him with water from a spring.

The other son was bound, his throat about to be cut by his own father. But God stayed the knife. Both sons – Ishmael and Isaac – received promises that they would father great nations.

With these narratives, monotheism and western civilization begin. And the Canaanite practices of child sacrifice to Moloch are forever left behind by the descendants of Abraham.

Except they are not.

In my own lifetime, I have seen Jewish children thrown into the fire. And now I have seen Muslim children used as human shields, in both cases, by worshippers of death cults indistinguishable from that of the Molochites.

What we are suffering through today is not a battle of Jew versus Arab or Israeli versus Palestinian. Rather, it is a battle between those who celebrate life and those who champion death. It is a battle of civilization versus barbarism.

Do the two cultures that brought us the Psalms of David and the rich libraries of the Ottoman Empire not share a love of life, of transmitting wisdom and opportunity to their children? And is any of this discernible in the dark future offered by Hamas to Arab children, to be suicide bombers or human shields for rockets?

Palestinian parents want a hopeful future for their children, just like Israeli parents do. And both should be joining together in peace.

But before sleepless mothers in both Gaza City and Tel Aviv can rest, before diplomats can begin in earnest the crucial business of rebuilding dialogue… the Hamas death cult must be confronted for what it is.

Moderate men and women of faith, whether that faith is in God or man, must shift their criticism from the Israeli soldiers – whose terrible choice is to fire and risk harming human shields, or hold their fire and risk the death of their loved ones – to the terrorists who have taken away all choice from the Palestinian children of Gaza.

I call upon the Palestinian people to find true Muslims to represent them, Muslims who would never voluntarily place a child in danger.

I call upon President Obama and the leaders of the world to condemn Hamas’ use of children as human shields.

And I enjoin the American public to stand firmly with the people of Israel who are in yet another struggle for survival, and with the suffering people of Gaza who reject terror and embrace peace.

Let us return child sacrifice to the darkest corner of history, and work towards a brighter future with those who choose life, Arabs and Jews alike, all of us Abraham’s children.

Commander of cell that kidnapped teens arrested

From i24, 5 August 2014:

Hebron resident Hussam al-Qawasme admitted in his interrogation that Hamas financed the kidnapping on June 12

The Israeli army and Security Agency's forces (Shin Bet) apprehended three weeks ago the commander of the cell that kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teens in the West Bank two months ago, it was cleared for publication on Tuesday.

Hebron resident Hussam al-Qawasme, a relative of one of the suspects in the kidnapping, admitted in his interrogation that he was in charge of Marwan al-Qawasme, 29, and Amer abu Aisha, 33, Hamas activists from Hebron and the main suspects in the kidnapping and murder of Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel on June 12.

Hussam, who was captured in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, revealed that he got the financing for the kidnapping from Hamas activists in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian security sources told Israeli news site Walla! that Hussam tried to escape to Jordan aided by his family and using fake documentation.

The sources also said that there is a direct connection between the cell that kidnapped the three teens and Hamas leadership in Gaza and outside of the Strip.

A group of former Palestinian prisoners, who were released in Shalit prisoner-swap deal, is operating in Gaza under the auspices of former Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hamad and Saleh Al-Aruri, a Hamas official currently based in Ankara.

The two Hamas leaders are responsible for the planning of dozens of terrorist plots in the West Bank, the sources added.

Marwan al-Qawasme and Amer abu Aisha are still at large.

On June 26 the Israeli army has cleared for publication Marwan and Amer, Hamas activists from Hebron, who previously served time in Israeli prisons, were the main suspects in the kidnapping of the teens.

Israeli forces have been conducting a manhunt for the two since the search for the teens began on June 13.

Abu Aisha's brother, Zaid, was a Hamas operative who was killed in 2005 during clashes with Israeli forces.

Al-Qawasme's uncle, Abdullah, was the commander of Hamas' military arm in Hebron. He was killed by Israeli forces in 2003.

Al-Qawasme was arrested when he was 18 and was sentences to ten months in jail in 2004. Since then he was rearrested four times. During his last interrogation in 2010 he admitted that he was recruited by Hamas in Hebron in 2009 and received training. He also learned how to build an explosive device and helped enlist other young men to Hamas. He remained in jail until March 2012.

Abu Aisha was first arrested in 2005, interrogated and held in administrative detention until June 2006. He was arrested again in April of 2007.

Is Israel Going to Let Hamas Win?

From Arutz Sheva, Monday, August 04,by Giulio Meotti, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio:

Is Israel afraid to win?

Sometimes it seems that the last time Israel took the initiative and battled its enemies was 47 years ago. Since then, apart from the invasion of Lebanon of 1982, Israel didn't try to win its battles.

... if this goes on, Hamas is winning.

It is winning as the Vietcong won the war against the US. Did we forget the image of the helicopter fleeing Hanoi from the roof of a CIA building? Is it so different from the Israelis fleeing Lebanon and destroying Gush Katif?

Since 2009, when Israel fought its first war against Gazan terrorists, the Israeli government never seeks victory, but yet another "ceasefire".

Hamas is winning since Israel left Gaza in 2005 and destroyed Gush Katif. We like to believe that the Jews left on their own initiative, and that is true. But in many ways, Israel left due to the terrorists' pressure. Hamas was able to convince the government that Jewish Gaza was a burden. That a military unit cannot be used to defend "the settlers".

Hamas is winning because as of now there are dozens of kibbutzim and Israeli villages along the frontier with Gaza which are empty. Many Jews abandoned the region because of Hamas' tunnels.

Hamas is winning the war over public opinion: Israel is vilified as child killers, while Muslim terrorists are justified as "resistants".

Hamas is winning because it was able to shut down Tel Aviv international airport.

Hamas is winning when it builds dozens of tunnels that reach inside Israeli territory. Will Israel one day wake up to discover that they have built a tunnel from Bethlehem to Jerusalem?

Hamas is winning when its heads are safe under a Gaza hospital or a Doha hotel.

Hamas is winning when Israeli commentators and politicians believe that it cannot win the war, but just manage it.

Israel is afraid of winning. This melancholic need for withdrawal is epitomized by Israeli publicist Nahum Barnea's last column: "Come home".

63 Israelis so far have given their life in this war against Hamas. Look at their faces. They are younger than me, but all of them protected the entire State of Israel and its people.

They are French, American, Moroccan, British, but all of them are Israelis.

It is not that Hamas is stronger than Israel. It isn't. Maybe it is that Israel isn't willing to sustain as many casualties as Hamas is.

The life of a single Israeli soldier is worth more than the lives of 100 terrorists. Brave Jews have been killed by Muslim cowards. They are the heroes of this war.

Don't let the political and military echelon write another chapter in Israel's story of defeatism.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Destroy tunnels, cease fire, and keep Gaza isolated.

From JPost, 31 August 2014, by Caroline Glick:

There are no guarantees that Israel will not have to fight again. And if Obama gets even some of what he is demanding, Israel will have to fight again, and soon.

...Each day, we discover new facets of Hamas’s depravity.

... to date Hamas has used more than a thousand improvised explosive devices. Its bombs have destroyed thousands of buildings in the Gaza Strip.

OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Sami Turgeman told reporters that with the amount of concrete Hamas used in its tunnels it could have built 100 kindergartens, two hospitals, 20 schools and 20 clinics.

Clearly Hamas’s priorities do not include economic or social development projects for the residents of the area. Dual use materials will always be used first for terrorist purposes. Concern for the welfare of Gaza’s citizenry is at best a distant second.

...the terror group’s practice of using clinics, kindergartens, schools, hospitals and mosques as weapons storage areas, missile launching sites and command centers makes clear that the welfare of Gaza residents doesn’t even rank in Hamas’s list of organizational goals. 

As a consequence, the concept of providing “humanitarian aid” to Gaza with Hamas in power is laughable. Every smidgen of aid it receives will go to Hamas’s war machine.

And this brings us to the heart of the matter.... we are moving toward the endgame.

The question is, what is the desired end-state? How will we know if we have won? Certainly following America’s lead is not an option. Indeed, the Obama administration is the greatest constraint Israel faces today on its road to victory.

... the [US] administration wants Hamas to remain armed and in control of Gaza. 

This point was made clear by Lt.-Gen. Michael Flynn, who heads the US Defense Intelligence Agency. In congressional testimony Flynn told US lawmakers, “If Hamas were destroyed and gone, we would probably end up with something much worse.”

This of course is absurd. Hamas wants to kill every Jew in the world. As a practical matter then, it is impossible for any successor regime to be worse. But from Israel’s perspective, more important than discovering that the head of the DIA is an idiot, is Flynn’s revelation that the US wishes to save Hamas from Israel.

The administration’s other positions have all been aligned with this strategic goal of maintaining Hamas in power. Both the US draft cease-fire agreement that Israel rejected, and the White House readout of President Obama’s telephone conversation with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday night made clear that the US wants Hamas to be able to prosper.

Secretary of State John Kerry’s cease-fire proposal was explicit on this issue.

A permanent cease-fire deal, it read, must include “arrangements to secure the opening of the crossings, allow the entry of goods and people and... transfer funds to Gaza for the payment of salaries for public employees... ” The last component of the administration’s desired end-state of the war is to use it as a means to force Israel to concede land to the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, or at least use Israel’s refusal to do so as a means for blaming Israel for continued Palestinian aggression.

Obama made this clear in his conversation with Netanyahu. As the White House’s summary of the conversation reported, 
“The president stressed the US view that, ultimately, any lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarization of Gaza.”
In other words, the Palestinians will keep shooting until Israel coughs up Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, and Obama is okay with that.

To summarize, the Obama administration wishes to end the war with Hamas armed and in charge of Gaza, enjoying open borders to the world, and rolling in the dough of international donor dollars and euros, and so in a position to replenish its arsenals and rebuild its tunnels.

The US seeks as well to use this end-state as a means of reinstating its pressure on Israel to surrender land in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem to the Palestinians.

Israel’s end-state is of course entirely different. Indeed, if the US gets what it wants, then Israel will have lost the war.

The question is, given that this is the US’s position, what can Israel do to win? As the scandalous Federal Aviation Administration flight ban last week made clear, the administration has effectively limitless means to harm Israel. The ban served to instill massive uncertainty into Israel’s export- and tourism-based economy. As Israeli leaders noted, it was the greatest gift to terrorists the US had ever given. Moreover, it was unwarranted and prejudicial.

Whereas the FAA claimed that it acted out of an abundance of caution after a Hamas missile landed a mile from Ben-Gurion Airport, the fact is that such caution exists nowhere else. There is no FAA flight ban on Pakistan, where a civilian aircraft was shot down last month, or in Ukraine. There is no FAA flight ban in Afghanistan or Yemen. Clearly a double standard was used against Israel.

And predictably, when US Sen. Ted Cruz stood up to the administration and demanded an explanation of the FAA’s action and its use of a double standard against Israel, the State Department accused him of lack of concern for US air carriers and passengers.

It was a testament to Cruz’s moral courage that he was willing to risk being wrongly accused of reckless indifference to the safety of US airline passengers in order to decry the administration’s prejudicial treatment of Israel.

And while Sen. Cruz played a central role in revoking the flight ban after 36 hours, the act itself showed how easy it is for the US to hurt Israel without openly attacking it. Other punitive actions have already been undertaken.

While the administration acts in accordance with congressional will and resupplies the IDF and increases the US investment in Iron Dome, it has stopped providing visa services to Israelis interested in traveling to the US. According to I24 News, the US Embassy in Tel Aviv is not issuing travel visas except in emergency circumstances, due to staff reductions during the war.

In light of the constraints Israel faces from the administration, certain operational goals that might otherwise have been achievable must be ruled out. Other actions that might have been reasonable, make no sense, under the circumstances.

The government has determined that the ground operation will go on until the tunnels are destroyed.  ...what happens then? 

To neutralize Hamas as a military threat in the future, Israel only needs to secure one goal: In any cease-fire arrangement, Gaza’s borders must remain sealed.

Egypt must continue to prevent smuggling from Sinai to Gaza.

Israel must maintain its naval blockade.

Gaza must remain cut off from the international banking system.

Hamas is fighting to open these borders. And if it makes any gains in this area, Hamas will win. Assuming Israel destroys all or most of Hamas’s offensive capabilities before the fighting ends, the only way to keep Hamas from fighting again is to prevent it from resupplying.

To achieve its goal of keeping Gaza’s borders shut, Israel needs to do two things. 

First, it needs to complete its operations on the ground as quickly as possible. The faster the IDF removes our ground forces from Gaza the more difficult it will be for Obama to demand that Israel end its maritime blockade of the Gaza coast.

Second, Israel must avoid any cease-fire agreement that involves any international supervision or presence in Gaza. The best option for Israel would be a cease-fire in the form of a letter from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas setting out broad conditions of a cease-fire arrangement.

Any cease-fire that involves US guarantees or supervision or international guarantees or supervision will be an invitation for renewed pressure on Israel and Egypt to open the borders of Gaza and allow Hamas to rebuild its machinery of murder.

The same is the case for international peacekeepers.

Any agreement that involves the deployment of foreign forces to Gaza for any purpose is an agreement that imports human shields to Gaza. As has been Hezbollah’s practice with UN forces in south Lebanon for the past four decades, foreign forces will not interfere with any Hamas operations, but through their very presence in on the ground, they will impede the IDF’s capacity to fight Hamas in the event that such operations becomes necessary.

Netanyahu has stated that Israel’s seeks the demilitarization of Gaza. There are only two ways to achieve that goal – 

  • through the reinstitution of Israeli military control over Gaza, and 
  • through attrition.

In light of the Obama administration’s support for Hamas’s war goals and actions it has already undertaken to undermine Israel’s war effort, it is fairly clear that it would be unwise for Israel to reconquer Gaza at this time. The price Obama would extract for such a move would in all likelihood outweigh the benefits Israel would gain from physically damaging Hamas directly.

...demilitarization through attrition – is consequently Israel’s strongest option for a victorious endgame today. And attrition can only be secured if Gaza’s borders remain sealed.

War is an ugly thing. War with terrorist murderers who lack a shred of human decency is a very ugly thing.

There are no guarantees that Israel will not have to fight again. And if Obama gets even some of what he is demanding, Israel will have to fight again, and soon.

Under these circumstances, Israel’s best bet is to destroy the tunnels quickly and secure cease-fire terms that keep Gaza isolated to reduce to a minimum Hamas’s ability to fight again.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

25 percent of Hamas rockets kill Gazan civilians

From Algemeiner, 30 July 2014, by Editor, Dovid Efune:

As many as 25 percent of Hamas rocket attacks against Israel in the current Israel-Hamas war don’t make it out of Gaza and strike civilians inside the coastal enclave, Algemeiner Editor Dovid Efune asserted in an interview on Real News TV on Friday.

Asked about an explosion at a UN school on Thursday, which killed at least 15, according to Gazan reports, Efune pointed to the IDF’s claim that the source of the munition may have been Hamas.

Efune said, 
“This is really a watershed moment, which brings up a fundamental issue which is never discussed in the mainstream media and that is this: you have hundreds and thousands of rockets that are being shot out of Gaza. In our estimations, at least 25 percent of those rockets do not make it into Israel and fall short into Gaza.”
“You have the IDF saying the other day that they had at least 100, they showed a map of rockets that fell inside of Gaza. And remember, in Gaza there are no air raid sirens. All of the bunkers are used absolutely by the Hamas terrorists, where they don’t allow civilians to go inside. There’s no warning and they cause tremendous damage. On the ground though, you have the Hamas guys… and the UN who… back them up and they come in and blame everything on Israel. Everything, all the damage.”

Asked about what steps Israel is likely to take next in its Gaza offensive, Efune said that the Israeli people are calling for the threat of Hamas rockets and terror tunnels to be eliminated.

“In terms of whats gonna happen in Gaza and how far Israel can go, there’s no doubt that the Israeli public is not willing to live with this anymore,” he said. “Its become kind of a biennial event where their lives are in disarray. And you’re dealing with a responsible democratic country with [an] elected government and they have to, they have to, do what they can to protect the citizens. They do not have any choice in this matter. Having said that, there’s a lot of international pressure led by Secretary of State Kerry for Israel to pull back.”

On the role of the United Nations in the conflict Efune said: 
“The UN is a very unfortunate disaster. Complete, complete disaster. You have a situation there where the worst human rights violators in the world are running the show at the Human Rights Council. So, you basically have murderers who are judging themselves. It’s ridiculous. It’s preposterous. But the biggest problem is that the UN is really protecting the biggest human rights offenders.
It’s clear that Hamas is using human shields; it’s clear that Hamas, which is a terrorist organization, a theocratic government, is holding its population hostage. Those are the violations that the UN has to be focused on and they’re letting Hamas off scot-free, completely.

Watch the full interview below: