For The Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby writes: The Pew Research Center last week released a new survey of American attitudes in the Middle East. The results weren’t surprising. In the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, 51 percent of Americans say they sympathize more with Israel. Only 14 percent feel greater affinity for the Palestinians.
Sympathy Toward Israel Has Never Been Higher
Pew’s findings demonstrate the strength of pro-Israel feeling in the United States. The poll was conducted amid the current fighting with Hamas, but the bottom line hardly changed from Pew’s last survey in April, when it reported that in the 36 years it has been sampling public opinion, “sympathy toward Israel has never been higher.”
[Check out the book "Making David into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel" at Amazon.com]
But below the surface, America’s Israel-friendly consensus is splitting along the same left-vs.-right fault line that has polarized so many other issues. While support for Israel is overwhelming among Republicans and conservatives, it has been shrinking among Democrats and liberals. “The partisan gap in Mideast sympathies has never been wider,” reports Pew, with 73 percent of Republicans sympathetic to Israel in the ongoing conflict, but just 44 percent of Democrats. Respondents identifying as liberal Democrats were five times as likely as conservative Republicans to sympathize more with the Palestinians.
Thus is the Democratic Party losing its way on one of the great moral issues of our time.
For roughly the first third of Israel’s existence, Democrats tended to support the Jewish state more strongly than Republicans did. In a compelling new book, ““Making David into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel”, foreign-affairs thinker Joshua Muravchik writes that during the run-up to the Six Day War in 1967, “Israel was above all a cause championed by liberals.” So heartfelt was this support that even ardent Democratic opponents of the Vietnam War, such as John Kenneth Galbraith and Eugene McCarthy, advocated US military action on Israel’s behalf. Read the rest of this entry »
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) July 22, 2014
Synagogues are targets during increasingly violent protests against Operation Protective Edge
For The Times of Israel, Cnaan Lipshiz reports: For the past 14 years, French Jews have grown accustomed to coming under attack during periods of conflict in the Middle East from hostile elements within their country’s large Arab and Muslim communities.
One recent incident, however, stood out: the July 13 riot by Palestinian sympathizers outside the Synagogue de la Roquette in central Paris that trapped some 200 terrified people inside the building. A street brawl ensued between the rioters and dozens of Jewish men who arrived to defend the synagogue.
“In people’s minds, there will be a before and after the Synagogue de la Roquette,” Joel Mergui, president of the Consistoire, French Jewry’s central religious services organization, told the French newsweekly Le Nouvel Observateur.
The incident involved pro-Palestinian protesters who reportedly had just come from a large demonstration against Israel’s airstrikes in Gaza.
The violence drew a stern rebuke from French President Francois Hollande. Read the rest of this entry »
“This is the cruelest, most grotesque war that I’ve ever seen.”
For NRO, Celina Durgin: Hamas is purposely placing Palestinian citizens in Gaza in harm’s way to cause more civilian casualties at the hands of Israeli troops, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday on Special Report.
Hamas is “using their own people as propaganda fodder,” Netanyahu said.
Hamas soldiers have positioned their weapons in civilian homes… (read more)
For Washington Times, Ben Wolfgang reports: Amid increasing violence in the Middle East and questions still swirling around the aircraft shot down over Ukraine last week, the White House is not considering canceling President Obama’s upcoming trip to the West Coast for Democratic party fundraisers.
Mr. Obama is scheduled to leave Washington Tuesday and headline a party event in Seattle later that night. He will then attend Democratic fundraisers in California before returning to Washington on Thursday. Read the rest of this entry »
Sarcelles (France) (AFP) – A French rally against the deadly Israeli offensive in Gaza once again descended into chaos Sunday as protesters looted shops and riot police lobbed tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowds.
“We’re going to get the cash register.”
The demonstration in the northern Paris suburb of Sarcelles is the third to have deteriorated in the space of eight days in a country that counts the largest Muslim population in western Europe and a huge Jewish community.
Looters then began raiding shops, wrecking a funeral home and destroying its front window as several protesters shouted: “F@ck Israel!”
A decision by authorities to ban protests in areas deemed too sensitive has also garnered controversy as they took place anyway and turned violent, while authorised ones elsewhere in the country — as well as in other cities across Europe — were peaceful.
From Vienna to Stockholm and on to Amsterdam, thousands rallied on Sunday to oppose Israel’s offensive, which has left more than 400 Palestinians and 20 Israelis dead. Read the rest of this entry »
BEIT LAHIA, GAZA STRIP—Saying they’ve begun to reevaluate their stance as the latest outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence has escalated, hundreds of residents of the Gaza Strip told reporters Friday they are starting to have mixed feelings about Hamas using them and their loved ones as human shields.
“I’m not crazy about the fact that Hamas is actually okay with me dying as long as it fuels both resentment toward Israel and support for the party.”
“At this point, I have to say I’m pretty much on the fence about having militants strategically store their missile batteries in and around my home, which Israel will almost certainly want to bomb,” said Azzam al-Salhi, explaining that, while he’s always understood Hamas’ reliance on guerilla tactics to perpetuate the decades-long fight against Israel, he has recently soured on the idea of going to bed every night facing the real prospect of being incinerated by an Israeli airstrike intended for a Hamas arms cache.
“I guess I sort of appreciate where they’re coming from, so it’s tough. Of course, my kids hate it…”
Thousands march through French cities in protest of Israeli operation in Gaza Strip; French president says will not allow violence to spill over into France
REUTERS – Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters marched in French cities on Saturday to condemn violence in Gaza, defying a ban imposed after demonstrators marched on two synagogues in Paris last weekend and clashed with riot police.
“The far-left New Anticapitalist Party, an organizer of last Sunday’s rally and the banned one in Paris, urged protesters in Paris to defy the ban, prompting police to issue a warning”
A Reuters photographer said demonstrators in northern Paris launched projectiles at riot police, who responded by firing teargas canisters and stun grenades.
Demonstrators also climbed on top of a building and burned an Israeli flag. At least one car was set on fire.
A police spokesman said that 38 demonstrators had been arrested by early evening and that the clashes were dying down.
French President Francois Hollande said he understood emotional responses to the killing of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in a flare-up of hostilities with Israel but would not allow violence to spill over into France. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Lowry: Hamas Hopes ‘Media Is Lazy Enough’ to Only Report Casualty Numbers, Ignore Use of Human ShieldsPosted: July 19, 2014
‘New York Times Attacks Israel: Also Not Surprising’: NYC Poster by Committee for Accuracy in Middle East ReportingPosted: July 19, 2014
Boko Haram wants to enforce an Islamic state in Nigeria though half the country’s population of 170 million is Christian.
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Boko Haram extremists have killed more than 100 people and hoisted their black and white flag over a town left undefended by Nigeria’s military, just 85 kilometers (53 miles) from the northeastern state capital of Maiduguri, a civil defense spokesman and a human rights advocate said Saturday.
“Nine major villages are on the run.”
Hundreds of villagers in another northeast area, Askira Uba, are fleeing after receiving letters from the Islamic extremists threatening to attack and take over their areas, spokesman Abbas Gava of the Nigerian Vigilante Group said.
Survivors said Saturday that insurgents fired rocket-propelled grenades and lobbed homemade bombs into homes, and then gunned down people as they tried to escape the fires in the attack on Damboa town launched before dawn Friday. Most of the town has burned down, they said. Read the rest of this entry »
WASHINGTON —For the NY Times, MICHAEL D. SHEAR, SOMINI SENGUPTA and SABRINA TAVERNISE reporting: President Obama said Friday that the United States believed the Malaysia Airlines jetliner felled over eastern Ukraine was shot down by a surface-to-air missile from an area inside Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists.
Mr. Obama’s remarks at the White House were the strongest public suggestions yet from the United States over who was responsible for the downing of the jetliner, which exploded, crashed and burned on Thursday on farmland in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people aboard.
Mr. Obama said the loss of life was an “outrage of unspeakable proportions” and a “global tragedy.” He vowed to investigate exactly what happened to end the lives of “men, women, children, infants who had nothing to do with the crisis” in that region. Mr. Obama also said that at least one American was among the dead.
“We are going to make sure the truth is out,” Mr. Obama said, referring to what he described as a trove of misinformation that has already shrouded the plane crash. Read the rest of this entry »
Footage shows launcher with two missing rockets being smuggled back into Russia… http://t.co/WPoA3gULGO
— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) July 18, 2014
CNN has removed one of its reporters covering the Israel-Hamas conflict after she tweeted that Israelis cheering missile strikes in Gaza and whom she said threatened her were “scum,” the Huffington Post reported.
Diana Magnay reported live Thursday night as Israel commenced its ground operation in Gaza while around her, a group of Israelis cheered the missile strikes in the background. She tweeted afterward, later deleting it… (read more) TheBlaze.com
Image source: BuzzFeed
If it turns out that the Malaysia Airlines 777 that crashed in Ukraine was indeed shot down, it won’t be the first time a commercial airliner was downed by military action. The most infamous instance occurred in 1983: Korean Air Lines Flight 007, a jumbo jet carrying 269 people, was gunned down by a Sukhoi Su-15 fighter jet after straying into Soviet airspace.
The shock and outrage the rest of the world felt after that plane went down was captured on the September 12, 1983 cover of Newsweek: It shows a Korean Air Lines 747 with a bullseye over it; with “Murder in the Air” in large letters…(read more)
“What is the president’s reaction? You say what matters is not where he is. He’s had no reaction — he’s had no reaction to anything that I can tell in the last six months.”
– Charles Krauthammer
Via The Corner: Charles Krauthammer harshly criticized President Barack Obama for his reaction, or lack thereof, to the news that an airliner was shot down in Ukraine today. The president needs to ”make a damned decision for once in his life,” Krauthammer said, and agree to help arm the Ukrainian military.
“The rebels and the Russians are killing the Ukrainians in large numbers by shooting them out of the sky. The least the president can do is . . . announce that we are now going to supply lethal weapons to assist the Ukrainians in defending themselves..”
“What is the president’s reaction?” Krauthammer asked fellow panelist Juan Williams, who expressed skepticism that the president’s continuing with his normal schedule today was blameworthy…(read more)
Jon Stewart Wrong on Israel-Gaza ‘I think they take the very funny Mr. Stewart very seriously. Which, in this case, is a bit of a problem.’Posted: July 17, 2014
It’s an asymmetrical war, all right. But America’s satirical news host has got it the wrong way around
Yeah, it misrepresents what’s going on here. But hey, it is funny, and all those millions of Americans who watched it on Monday know that it’s just satire, don’t they?
Except I fear that they do not. I think they take the very funny Mr. Stewart very seriously. Which, in this case, is a bit of a problem.
Why? Let’s take it joke by joke.
Our super-smart, engagingly frustrated host starts up despairing over a news report of the intensifying conflict which says Israeli troops are poised to invade Gaza, and which ends with the words “as the aerial bombardment from both sides continues.”
Stewart: “Tastes great. More killing.”
See, right off the bat, I’m unhappy. Because, first up, he’s begun with talk of Israel being set to invade Gaza, but without any cited reason — such as, say, Hamas being a terrorist organization with a notorious track record of suicide bombings, individual killings, kidnappings, and incessant rocket fire. And, second, because the implication here is that the combatants — Israel and Hamas — are both happy to be back killing again, and that’s just plain false. Hamas is avowedly committed to the destruction of Israel and holds to a perverted interpretation of Islam that claims killing Jews, Christians and non-believing Muslims is your guaranteed path to paradise if you also die in the process. Israelis, by contrast, would much rather live and let live. (We left Gaza unilaterally in 2005, under international pressure, hoping that the security risk would be worth it, and that we’d be rewarded with tranquility rather than rocket fire, but I wouldn’t expect Stewart to go back that far.)
Stewart: “Both sides are engaging in aerial bombardment, but one side appears to be bomb-better-at it. (Studio laughter at the wordplay.) Most Hamas rockets are neutralized by Israel’s Iron Dome technology, and Israeli citizens can even now download a warning app. (Cut to clip of Israel’s US ambassador Ron Dermer explaining how Israelis can know where and when they’re being attacked.) So Israelis seem to have a high-tech, smart-phone alert system.”
Let me see if I understand the point he’s making here: Having falsely implied that Israel is as keen on killing as Hamas is, Stewart now seems to be criticizing Israel for not being as vulnerable as Hamas would like it to be to those Hamas rockets that are sent to kill us. Read the rest of this entry »
— MH17 Crash News (@Planesonearth) July 17, 2014
Netanyahu’s office says purpose of mission is to destroy terror tunnels and seriously harm the infrastructure of Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza.
A statement put out by the Prime Minister’s Office said that Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon Netanyahu directed the IDF to prepare to expand the ground operation.
The statement said that the security cabinet approved the operation after Israel agreed to the Egyptian cease-fire proposal on Tuesday, which Hamas rejected. In addition, the statement said, Hamas even fired rockets during the Thursday’s five-hour humanitarian cease-fire.
“In light of Hamas’ continuous criminal aggression, and the dangerous infiltration into Israeli territory, Israel is obligated to act in defense of its citizens,” the statement said.
The statement said that Operation Protective Edge, now in its 10th day, will continue until its goals are reached: restoring quiet for an extended period of time,and delivering a significant blow to Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in Gaza. Read the rest of this entry »