Posted: December 1, 2015 Filed under: France, Law & Justice, Politics, Terrorism, Think Tank | Tags: Al-Nusra Front, Andrew C. McCarthy, Apple Inc, Data Collection, Hebron, Israel, Israel Defense Forces, National security, NSA, Palestinian people, Paris terrorist attacks, Pentagon, Surveillance, West Bank
In the surveillance area, I believe the public is mostly wrong.
Andrew C. McCarthy writes: Should private companies that provide users with encryption technology be required to assist law-enforcement and intelligence services to defeat that technology? This question is a more pressing one in the wake of November’s Paris terrorist attacks. But it is a very tough question that has vexed both the government and providers of communications services for years.
“The problem is that encryption technology has gotten very tough to crack and very widely available. Consequently, if terrorists or other high-level criminals are using it to carry out schemes that endanger the public, government agents cannot penetrate the communications in real time.”
Part of what makes it so difficult is the new facts of life. As I noted during the debate over the NSA’s bulk-collection of telephone metadata, we are operating in a political environment that is night-and-day different from the aftermath of 9/11. Back then, a frightened public was demanding that the government do a better job of collecting intelligence and thwarting terrorist plots. Of course that sentiment was driven by the mass-murder of nearly 3,000 Americans, coupled with the destruction of the World Trade Center and a strike against the Pentagon. But it also owed in no small measure to the fact that government had done such an incompetent job gathering and “connecting the dots” prior to the attacks. There was a strong public sense that intelligence agencies needed an injection of muscle.
“That they have a legal basis to conduct surveillance is beside the point; all the probable cause in the world won’t help an agent who lacks the know-how to access what he’s been authorized to search.”
Today, the public’s sense tends in the other direction. There have been spectacular abuses of government power (e.g., IRS scandal), and intrusive security precautions infused by political correctness (e.g., airport searches). Americans understandably suspect that government cannot be trusted with enhanced authorities and that many of its tactics are more about the appearance of security than real security.
[Read the full story here, at PJ Media]
It is, moreover, no longer sufficient for the national-security right to posit that security measures pass legal muster. The public wants proof that these measures actually and meaningfully improve our security, regardless of whether they are justifiable as a matter of law.
This makes it a very uphill environment in which to suggest, as FBI Director Jim Comey has recently done, that communications providers should provide the government with keys to unlocking their encryption technology – encryption-key repositories or what is often called “backdoor” access.
The problem is that encryption technology has gotten very tough to crack and very widely available. Consequently, if terrorists or other high-level criminals are using it to carry out schemes that endanger the public, government agents cannot penetrate the communications in real time. That they have a legal basis to conduct surveillance is beside the point; all the probable cause in the world won’t help an agent who lacks the know-how to access what he’s been authorized to search. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 21, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Education, Religion, Terrorism, War Room | Tags: Auschwitz concentration camp, BBC, Extermination camp, Israel, Israel Defense Forces, Jerusalem, Jews, Palestinian people, The Times of Israel, West Bank
A video posted by a Jordanian-Palestinian teacher on Facebook shows his young daughter holding a large knife and declaring, “I want to stab a Jew,” the watchdog group MEMRI reported, amid an ongoing surge of stabbings and other terror attacks by Palestinians on Israelis.
“Why do you want to stab the Jew?”
Abdulhaleem Abuesha, a teacher in the Madaba refugee camp in Jordan, posted the clip on Friday. MEMRI translated and highlighted it on Tuesday.
“Because he stole our land.”
After his daughter Rahf, standing in front of the refrigerator in the kitchen, declares her desire to stab a Jew, Abuesha asks, “Why do you want to stab the Jew?”
“With what do you want to stab them?”
“Because he stole our land,” she replies.
“With a knife.”
Her father confirms approvingly: “They stole our land.” He then asks, “With what do you want to stab them?” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 16, 2015 Filed under: Asia, France, Mediasphere, Terrorism, Think Tank, War Room | Tags: Al-Aqsa Mosque, Benjamin Netanyahu, Islamism, Israel, Israel Defense Forces, Israel Police, Israeli security forces, Jerusalem, Jihadism, Palestinian people, Paris Attacks, Second Intifada, West Bank
France simply doesn’t have the stomach for it.
David P. Goldman writes: Ignored in news coverage of the Paris massacre is the single most pertinent piece of background: A 2014 opinion poll found that ISIS had an approval rating in France (at 16%) almost as high as President Francois Holland (at 18%). In the 18-to-24-year-old demographic, ISIS’ support jumped to 27%. Muslims comprise about a tenth of France’s population, so the results imply that ISIS had the support of the overwhelming majority of French Muslims (and especially Muslim youth), as well as the endorsement of a large part of the non-Muslim Left.
“Finding a needle in a haystack is possible only when the haystack helps you find the needles. The French authorities would have to persuade its own Muslim community to turn informer against its radicalized youth.”
Reporting the survey, conducted by the polling organization ICM for a Russian news service, Newsweek’s France correspondent Anne-Elizabeth Moutet wrote, “This is the ideology of young French Muslims from immigrant backgrounds, unemployment to the tune of 40%, who’ve been deluged by satellite TV and internet propaganda.”
“Muslim community leaders would have to fear the French state more than they fear their own radicals, and this would require a large number of arrests, deportations, and other coercive actions. In this case the situation would get worse before it got better.”
After last Friday’s massacres, to be sure, the flip-it-to-them attitude reflected in last year’s poll no doubt has attenuated somewhat. Nonetheless, it is clear that a very large proportion of French Muslims support the most extreme expression of radical Islam, offering the terrorists the opportunity to blend into a friendly milieu. The problem has gotten too big to be cured without a great deal of mess and pain. In the Gallic hedonistic calculus, a massacre or two per year is preferable to a breach of the tenuous social peace. And that is why France will do nothing.
That makes counter-terrorism challenging, but not impossible. There are two successful models for suppressing terrorists who enjoy the passive support of the ambient population: the French in Algeria and the Israelis after the Second Intifada of 2002. The first is infamous for the extensive use of torture and mass reprisals against civilians; the second succeeded on the strength of superb human as well as electronic intelligence and seamless integration of military, police and intelligence organizations. Israel reduced the number of Arab suicide bombings from 47 in 2002 with 238 dead to only 1 in 2007 with 3 dead.
Unlike the French in Algeria, Israel undid the Intifada entirely without the use of physical stress on prisoners. Israeli interrogation techniques do not require physical stress; humiliation is a more effective tool than pain with Arab suspects. Prior to 1999, Israeli security forces employed mild forms of enhanced interrogation (sleep deprivation, hooding, and so forth), but eschewed the practice afterwards. By contrast, the French Army shelled and bombed villages that gave refuge to the rebels of the Algerian Front de Libération Nationale, killing tens of thousands indiscriminately and forcing 2 million Algerians out of their homes.
[Read the full story here, at Asia Times]
It also used extreme forms of torture to elicit information from captured FLN fighters. Popular revulsion against the conduct of the war brought down the Fourth Republic and returned Gen. Charles De Gaulle to the presidency. More than 90% of French voters backed Algeria’s independence in a 1962 referendum, and France voluntarily abandoned what it had won by brutal methods on the ground. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 16, 2015 Filed under: Global, Mediasphere, Politics, War Room | Tags: Benjamin Netanyahu, Gaza Strip, Gaza War, Hamas, Israel, Israel Defense Forces, Palestinian people, Sami Abu Zuhri, United Nations, United Nations Human Rights Council
Hamas violently took control of Gaza in 2007. What have they been doing since? Oppressing the Gazan population and investing billions in terrorism against Israel’s civilian population. Some people choose to close their eyes to the reality on the ground. What about you?
Posted: May 2, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Comics, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Cartoonists, Charlie Hebdo, France, Golf course, Iran, Israel, Mahmoud Abbas, Olivier Knox, Palestinian people, Paris Massacre, Prime Minister of Israel, Rénald Luzier, West Bank
“Really, we just don’t understand the French.”
— Obama’s staff response, According to Luzier
Charlie Hebdo to meet with and draw President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the bloody terrorist attack on the publication’s offices in Paris.
The White House on Friday denied a report in a French magazine that the administration invited staffers from the satirical weekly
French President François Hollande, center, is surrounded by heads of state including, from left, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Council President Donald Tusk and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as they attend the solidarity march in the streets of Paris. (Photo: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters)
“The idea was to have folks from Charlie to the White House. An interview? Awesome.”
Rénald Luzier, better known by his pen name, Luz, told the French magazine Les Inrockuptibles that U.S. officials conceived of the visit as a way to make up for the absence of a top American official at a march in support for Charlie Hebdo on Jan. 11, one week after the attack.
“We would have gone there directly. Except that they wanted to have a cartoonist come to draw Obama. This isn’t Montmartre. I said, ‘If he comes to Paris, I’ll put Budweiser in the fridge and I’ll draw him.’”
— Rénald Luzier
U.S. Ambassador Jane Hartley attended the demonstration, along with leaders of Germany, Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
“We have seen some reports that a Charlie Hebdo staffer claims to have received, and declined, an invitation to the White House. These reports are not true. No such invitation was ever extended.”
— White House official, on condition of anonymity
But the absence of Obama, Vice President Joe Biden or Secretary of State John Kerry led to accusations from American conservatives that the president was turning his back on freedom of speech. The attack, by two brothers of Algerian descent, was in apparent retaliation for cartoons that many Muslims saw as blasphemous. Twelve people were shot to death and 11 injured.
“Obama didn’t send an important representative, and sending John Kerry to see [French President François] Hollande wasn’t enough,” Luzier said. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 18, 2015 Filed under: Global, Mediasphere, Politics, Think Tank, White House | Tags: Associated Press, Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, David Ben-Gurion, Iran, Isaac Herzog, Israel, Knesset, Likud, Menachem Begin, Palestinian people, Prime Minister of Israel, Two-state solution, White House, Zionism
It isn’t Mr. Obama’s habit to admit error, or to be gracious to his opponents, but it would serve the interests of both nations if he were.
The Israeli election that looked like a cliffhanger when the polls closed on Tuesday had turned into a decisive victory for Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party by Wednesday morning. With at least 29 seats in the parliament compared to 24 for the main center-left party, Israel’s Prime Minister should be able to put together a ruling coalition of center-right parties that is more manageable than his last majority.
“President Obama might also reflect on his own contribution to Mr. Netanyahu’s victory. Israelis surrounded by hostile nations sworn to their destruction are most likely to take risks for peace when they feel secure in America’s support.”
The victory is a remarkable personal triumph for Mr. Netanyahu, who is now Israel’s second longest-serving Prime Minister after David Ben-Gurion. He gambled that he could assemble a more stable center-right coalition, as well as by giving a high-stakes speech to the U.S. Congress on Iran two weeks before the election, and in the final days stressing above all the security themes that must be Israel’s abiding concern.
“While the results may dismay Mr. Netanyahu’s detractors abroad, especially in the White House, they surely reflect Israel’s security consensus.”
Mr. Netanyahu and Likud were trailing in the polls in the final week as the opposition stressed the rising cost of food and housing and an economy that had slowed to about 3% growth from near 6% in 2010. But in the closing days Mr. Netanyahu played up that foreigners (read: President Obama) wanted him defeated, and he rejected statehood for Palestinians, reversing a position he had taken in 2009. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 25, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Mediasphere | Tags: Activism, Bedouin, East Jerusalem, Israel, Israel Defense Forces, Jerusalem, Jerusalem Gate Hotel, media, Palestinian people, Snow, Snowball Fight, video, Weather forecasting
Blizzards are quite rare in Jerusalem, so when a recent storm dumped around ten inches of snow on the city, some people were pretty excited. Farther south in Israel, some communities got snow for the first time since the 1990s. (read more)
Posted: January 28, 2015 Filed under: War Room | Tags: Benjamin Netanyahu, Charlie Hebdo, Gaza Strip, Gaza War, Hamas, Islamism, Israel, Palestinian people, Paris, Prime Minister of Israel
Hezbollah Claims Responsibility for Artillery Fire; Israeli Forces Retaliate With Attacks in Lebanon
JERUSALEM— Nicholas Casey And Joshua Mitnick reporting: Israel was hit by two artillery attacks along its northern border Wednesday, its military said, and Israeli forces retaliated with attacks in Lebanon.
“To all those who are trying to challenge us on the northern border I suggest to look at what happened…in the Gaza Strip.”
— Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Israel would respond sharply to Wednesday’s rocket and mortar attack, the second in two days on the country’s northern borders. Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite political and militant group that controls southern Lebanon, claimed responsibility for the artillery fire.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said Israeli forces “reserved the right” to resume military operations in Lebanon if attacks continued. She said Israeli casualties were being tallied, but gave no further details.
Lebanon’s state news agency reported Israeli artillery attacks on several southern Lebanese villages. It also said a member of the U.N. peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon had been killed.
Israeli police were for the second consecutive day evacuating residents and tourists from border areas. At checkpoints, police were directing vehicles to move south, out of the range of artillery fire. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 5, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, Diplomacy, Global, Mediasphere, Politics, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, East Jerusalem, Israel, Jerusalem, John Kerry, Palestinian people, Prime Minister of Israel, United States Department of State, West Bank, White House
Noah Rothman reports: President Barack Obama’s administration is reportedly considering putting some muscle behind its opposition to new settlement construction by Israelis in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. According to reports, the administration is weighing the possibility of imposing sanctions on the Israeli government.
“Senior Israeli officials said that White House officials held a classified discussion a few weeks ago about the possibility of taking active measures against the settlements,” Haaretz reported on Thursday.
When confronted with this rumor, administration officials did not deny it. “A few senior American officials approached by Haaretz did not deny this, but refused to disclose more details,” Haaretz continued. “National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan refused to comment.”
A discussion on such a sensitive and politically-loaded issue in the White House is extremely irregular and shows to what extent relations between the Obama administration and Netanyahu government have deteriorated. In recent years European states have imposed increasing sanctions against the construction in the settlements, while the United States has made do with denunciations.
An Israeli official who was briefed by the Americans on the issue said the administration started discussing it following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s last meeting in the White House in early October and the public confrontation over the settlements that occurred later.
On Friday, spokespeople with both the White House and the State Department refused to comment on the rumor that the administration was considering sanctions on Israel.
“I’m not going to talk about any internal deliberations,” White House Press Sec. Josh Earnest said, as reported in The Hill .
While Earnest reaffirmed the strong bond between the two nations, he called the settlements “illegitimate” and said the U.S. was deeply concerned about the settlement activity. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 10, 2014 Filed under: Diplomacy, Global, Religion, War Room | Tags: Ali Khamenei, Ayatollah, Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Iranian Revolution, Israel, Jews, Palestinian people, Supreme Leader, Supreme Leader of Iran, Twitter, Zionist entity
Adam Kredo reports: Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei published early Sunday a 9-step plan to “eliminate” Israel, prompting Israel’s prime minister to file a formal complaint with Western negotiators involved in nuclear talks with Tehran.
Khamenei’s official Twitter account on Sunday tweeted out the 9-step plan explaining “the proper way of eliminating Israel.”
“The only means of bringing Israeli crimes to an end is the elimination of this regime.”
— Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
“Why should & how can #Israel be eliminated? Ayatollah Khamenei’s answer to 9 key questions,” Khamenei tweeted, along with a graphic illustrating the plan to annihilate Israel.
“There is no moderation in Iran. It is unrepentant, unreformed.”
— Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
“The only means of bringing Israeli crimes to an end is the elimination of this regime,” Khamenei wrote. “And of course the elimination of Israel does not mean the massacre of the Jewish people in the region. The Islamic Republic has proposed a practical and logical mechanism for this to international communities.”
Khamenei accuses “the fake Zionist regime” of committing acts of “infanticide, homicide, violence, and iron fist while boasts about it blatantly [sic].”
Israel’s enemies must commit to “armed resistance” until Israel is eliminated, Khamenei says. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 6, 2014 Filed under: Humor, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Chickpea, Facebook, Facebook features, Gaza, Hummus, Hummus Initiative, Israel, Katherine Timpf, Middle East, New York City, Palestine, Palestinian people
“In the Middle-East, everyone loves hummus, regardless of their religion, origin or nation.”
I grabbed this because I love the headline. Besides being a great hangout, they do great headlines. Above is a screen cap of the Facebook page, click the image to follow the link. Or don’t. Just say you did. Imagine whirled chickpeas.
From The Corner, Katherine Timpf reports:
Supporters of a social-media campaign called “The Hummus Initiative” are aiming to achieve peace in the Middle East by posting pictures of themselves with hummus….(read more)
National Review Online
Posted: August 4, 2014 Filed under: Diplomacy, Mediasphere, War Room | Tags: Benjamin Netanyahu, Gaza, Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel, Israel Defense Forces, Palestinian people, Rafah
Israeli soldiers walk by foot near the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip as they return from the Hamas-controlled Palestinian coastal enclave on August 4, 2014. The Israeli army said today it was resuming its strikes on the Gaza Strip, after the end of a seven-hour humanitarian lull. An army spokesman said troops were redeploying within Gaza while other forces were pulling out in a process which began on August 2. GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Posted: August 1, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, War Room | Tags: Benjamin Netanyahu, Ceasefire, Drudge, Gaza, Gaza Strip, Global Panic of 2014, Hamas, Israel, Israel Defense Forces, Palestinian people, Washington Post
GAZA CITY — Less than three hours after a three-day humanitarian cease-fire between Israel and Hamas went into effect Friday, the truce broke down when clashes between Israeli forces and Hamas fighters erupted and militants fired rockets into Israel…
Gaza militants captured an Israeli officer in the southern Gaza Strip just as the cease-fire was falling apart, said a senior Israeli military spokesman. Two other Israeli soldiers were reported killed…(read more)
Posted: August 1, 2014 Filed under: Think Tank, War Room | Tags: David French, Gaza, Israel, Mohammed Omer, Palestinian people, Patheos, Richard Chess, Syria
For National Review Online, David French writes:
Rarely has civilian death been so propagandized by so many of our fellow Americans. Oh, now, I know they’ll protest this characterization. They hate — just hate — the horrific loss of life in Gaza. They hate it so much that they’re moved to wax as eloquently as they can about the horror of death in schools, in mosques, in hospitals — all the places where people are supposed to be “safe,” supposed to seek “refuge.” They can’t stop writing about this death, emoting about this death. And they write and emote until you can almost see the splash of their crocodile tears on your computer screen.
They love peace, you see. They love it so much that they attempt to use every one of their God-given gifts to make you feel what a Palestinian widow feels, to make you stand in the shoes of a man weeping for his lost son. Feel the ultimate anguish. Hear the wailing. Don’t look away from the blood or the rage or the tears.
Have hundreds of thousands of parents and children and aunts and uncles shed similar tears in Syria? Look away from that. No, look away. I mean it. I need your eyes to focus back where they should — on that dead Palestinian child…
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 30, 2014 Filed under: Global, Mediasphere, Politics, War Room | Tags: Benjamin Netanyahu, Gaza, Gaza Strip, Hama, Hamas, Israel, Palestine, Palestinian people, Twitter, West Bank
Posted: July 30, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics, War Room | Tags: Andrea Mitchell, Gaza, Hamas, Israel, Palestinian people, Ron Dermer, United States, YouTube
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell to Israeli Ambassador: ‘Israel May Be Losing Its Soul’ Over Gaza
[Also see: MSNBC Falls to 4th in Cable News Ratings…]
[POLL: Twice As Many Americans Blame Hamas For Gaza Violence Than Israel…]
[Hillary Clinton: Hamas Operates in Civilian Areas Because Gaza is a Small Place or Something]
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell sat down today with Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, and asked him a provocative question: is Israel “losing its soul [and] may be losing the war because of the political impact of what is happening on the ground” in Gaza?
[More – MSNBC: ‘Keep it right here on Morning Jew’…]
Mitchell brought this up in the context of images depicting wounded and killed Palestinians, in those conditions as a possible result of Israeli bombing.
“The difference is Hamas is using their civilians as human shields. They’re placing missile batteries in hospitals, they’re putting weapons depots in mosques. They’re storing rockets in UN schools. This is sick and grotesque.”
Dermer insisted, “Israel is not losing its soul. We are upholding our values under the most extreme circumstances.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 28, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, U.S. News, War Room | Tags: Boeing, Gaza, Gaza Strip, Israel, Palestinian people, Seattle, Twitter, Washington Times
via 10 Twitter / Discover.
Posted: July 22, 2014 Filed under: Global, History, Politics, War Room | Tags: Boston Globe, Democrat, Democratic Party, Israel, Middle East, Palestinian people, Pew Research Center, Six Day War, United States
An Israeli soldier was silhouetted as he guarded a post overlooking Bethlehem last month.
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 »
Posted: July 21, 2014 Filed under: Diplomacy, Global, Mediasphere, Politics, War Room | Tags: Benjamin Netanyahu, Civilian casualties, Gaza, Hamas, Israel, Israel Defense Forces, Palestinian people, Prime Minister of Israel
“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)
National Review Online
Posted: July 19, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics, War Room | Tags: Civilian, Civilian casualties, Gaza, Hamas, Human shield, Israel, Israel Defense Forces, Palestinian people
Posted: July 17, 2014 Filed under: Global, Politics, Think Tank, War Room | Tags: Gaza, Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel, Max Boot, Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut, Naftali Frenkel, Palestinian people, Tyler Hicks
Tens of thousands Israelis attend the joint funeral of Gilad Shaer, 16, Naftali Frenkel, 16, and Eyal Ifrach, 19, in the central Israeli town of Modiin on July 1, 2014. Photograph: GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images
For Commentary Magazine, Max Boot writes: It tells you all you need to know about Hamas that its biggest victory to date against Israel–one that is no doubt being celebrated in the fortified bunkers that house its leadership–was the death of four young Palestinian boys on a Gaza City beach on Wednesday. The boys were apparently killed by an Israeli bomb or missile.
[Also see – NBC Reporter Acts As Hamas Spokesman, Denies Terror Group Uses Civilians As Human Shields]
Needless to say, the Israel Defense Forces do not deliberately target children–any more than do the armed forces of the United States or other civilized powers. That is both morally abhorrent and strategically stupid: What possible purpose can be served in killing children? But while deeply harmful and counterproductive for Israel, this inadvertent strike was a big win for Hamas. It produced the most coveted of victories in modern warfare: a front-page picture, taken by the storiedNew York Times photographer Tyler Hicks, of one dead boy lying on the Gaza sand and another being carried in a man’s arms.
There is no surer or better way for Hamas to make its propaganda point, which is the only point of this entire exercise from its standpoint. Hamas, like other terrorist groups, knows it cannot win a military victory against a much more powerful enemy, but it can win a public-relations victory by fostering the illusion that Israel is the aggressor and the Palestinians its victims.
Such an image is as powerful as it is misleading. All informed observers know the facts. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 27, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, Diplomacy, Global, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Israel, Jerusalem Post, John Kerry, Moshe Ya'alon, Obama administration, Palestinian people, Ted Cruz, Texas, United States
Texas Cruzn: In Israel ➡ Video – Linkis.com
Posted: April 20, 2014 Filed under: Global, Mediasphere | Tags: al-Aqsa, Al-Aqsa Mosque, Israel, Israeli, Jerusalem, Muslim, Palestinian people, Temple Mount, West Bank, YouTube
Palestinian protesters have again clashed with Israeli riot police near the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.
Police say the protesters began throwing stones and firecrackers at a group of visitors, prompting the authorities to respond with stun grenades and rubber bullets.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 11, 2014 Filed under: Diplomacy, Global, Politics | Tags: Arab-Israeli, Israel, Israel Democracy Institute, Israeli, Israeli Jews, John Kerry, Kerry, Palestinian people, United States
This poll is interesting, I recommend visiting the source site for detailed results. While it’s easy to see Kerry as a polarizing or unpopular figure, it would be useful to see how Kerry compares to previous U.S. Secretaries of State. I’m inclined to think Kerry’s unpopularity is not unique. It’s the office, not the person, that invites distrust in the Israli-Arab world, we’d have to compare him to his predecessors. Or–it could be that Kerry stands out as a distrusted figure?
One thing is clear: The legitimization of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiments in the U.S. and Europe is on the rise. [example: 23 percent rise in anti-Semetic incidents in Netherlands] And the global wave of systematic anti-Christian violence is deeply troubling. Obama’s hostility to Israel contributes to, or reflects, the shift in anti-Israel opinion in the west, particularly on college campuses. The distrust of the U.S. in Israel should surprise no one.
The Israel Democracy Institute‘s summary begins like this:
- Which Side are the Americans Pressuring?: 74% of Israeli Jews believe the Americans are more strongly pressuring Israel than the Palestinians to accept the framework agreement, while 12% believe they are equally pressuring both sides and 5% believe they are more strongly pressuring the Palestinians. (Israeli Jews who see Israel as under more pressure include 86% of the self-defined right-wing, 57% of the center, and 50% of the left-wing.) Among Israeli Arabs, 29% believe the Americans are more strongly pressuring the Palestinians to accept the framework agreement, 26% believe both sides are being equally pressured, and 25% believe Israel is under more pressure.
- US Secretary of State John Kerry‘s Concern for Israeli Security:64% of Israelis (66% of Jewish Israelis and 53% of Arab Israelis) do not trust Kerry to take Israel’s security into account as a crucial factor in the framework agreement. 32% of Israelis (31% of Jewish Israelis and 32% of Arab Israelis) do trust Kerry to take into account Israel’s security. (Jewish Israelis who trust Kerry on security include 18% of the right, 39% of the center, and 79% of the left.)
- US Secretary of State John Kerry’s Motivation: 60% of Israelis (61% of Jewish Israelis and 56% of Arab Israelis) believe that Kerry’s main motivation for reaching a framework agreement is a personal interest in making history as a statesman where others before him had failed. 21% of Israelis (22% of Jewish Israelis and 16% of Arab Israelis) believe Kerry is motivated by honest concern for the future of the two parties, and 9% of Israelis (8% of Jewish Israelis and 14% of Arab Israelis) believe he is equally motivated by the chance to make history and concern for the parties.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 7, 2014 Filed under: Art & Culture, Economics, Global, Think Tank | Tags: Danske Bank, European Union, Israel, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian people, Scarlett Johansson, SodaStream, West Bank
Daniel Schwammenthal writes: In a sane world, Israeli company SodaStream would be a poster child for corporate responsibility. Of the 1,300 staff in its West Bank plant, 450 are Israeli Arabs and 500 are Palestinians. All workers receive equal pay, which in the case of the Palestinians is several times the average salary they would normally make.
[Check out Amazon’s SodaStream Store] I call it “fizzy water”. I support SodaStream. I have one, I like bubbles…]
Here is a real-life example of coexistence, a place where Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Muslims, Druze and Christians work together in peace. To boot, they assemble a product that, by turning tap water into fizzy drinks, cuts the production of environmentally damaging beverage containers.
Alas, this world is not sane, certainly not when it comes to discussions of Israel. Simply because one of its 20-plus factories is in the West Bank, anti-Israeli activists have been targeting SodaStream and its celebrity spokesperson, American actress Scarlett Johansson.
No matter that the factory is in a location that would most likely remain Israeli in a future peace agreement. And if it became part of Palestine, even better for the new state’s tax revenues. But in the destructive world of supposedly pro-Palestinian activism, this facility must be boycotted, those 500 Palestinians and their families be damned.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 16, 2014 Filed under: Diplomacy, Global, Think Tank | Tags: Amiri Baraka, Antisemitism, Israel, Jew, John Kerry, Middle East, Palestinian people, Victor Davis Hanson, West Bank
The prejudice against Israel in diplomatic matters is as troubling as more crude bigotry against Jews.
Victor Davis Hanson writes: An obscure academic organization called the American Studies Association not long ago voted to endorse a resolution calling for a boycott of Israeli universities. The self-appointed moralists were purportedly outraged over the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians.
[See Victor Davis Hanson‘s book The Savior Generals at Amazon]
Given academia’s past obsessions with the Jewish state, the targeting of Israel is not new. Yet why do the professors focus on Israel and not Saudi Arabia, which denies women the right to drive and only recently granted them the right to vote? Why not Russia, which has been accused of suppressing free speech, or Nigeria, which has passed retrograde anti-homosexual legislation?
The hip poet Amiri Baraka (a.k.a. Everett LeRoi Jones) recently died. He was once poet laureate of New Jersey, held prestigious university posts, and was canonized with awards — despite being a hateful anti-Semite.
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Posted: December 26, 2013 Filed under: Global, History, War Room | Tags: Arafat, Israel, Palestinian people, Ramallah, Reuters, RUSSIA, Suha Arafat, Yasser Arafat
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat reviews at the Gaza Strip. Reuters/Suhaib Salem/Files
Russia said on Thursday former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died of natural causes, not radiation poisoning, but a Palestinian official called the finding “politicized” and said an investigation would continue.
Samples were taken from Arafat’s body last year by Swiss, French and Russian forensics experts after an al Jazeera documentary said his clothes showed high amounts of deadly polonium 210.
The Swiss said last month their tests were consistent with polonium poisoning but not absolute proof of the cause of death. The Russian finding was in line with that of French scientists who said earlier this month that Arafat had not been killed with polonium.
“Yasser Arafat died not from the effects of radiation but of natural causes,” Vladimir Uiba, head of Russia’s state forensics body, the Federal Medico-Biological Agency, was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.
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Posted: November 7, 2013 Filed under: Breaking News, Global, Politics, War Room | Tags: Al Jazeera, Alexander Litvinenko, Forensic science, Israel, Palestinian people, Paris, Ramallah, Suha Arafat, Swiss, Yasser Arafat
Karl Vick / Amman report: Yasser Arafat lived in ambiguity and died under circumstances shrouded in mystery and rumor. Should it come as any great surprise that the outcome of a scientific inquiry into the cause of his demise turned out to be something less than absolute as well?
The forensic examination of the Palestinian leader’s remains were released by his widow Suha on Tuesday, and immediately reported by al-Jazeera — the Arab satellite network that last year broke the news that Arafat’s clothes and personal effects contained suspicious traces of polonium 210, the radioactive isotope that killed Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006.
Swiss scientists exhumed Arafat’s body last November and tested his skeleton and grave for telltale evidence of the isotope. The verdict, a full year later: “The results moderately support the proposition that the death was the consequence of poisoning with polonium 210.”
Such a moderate word, moderately. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 7, 2013 Filed under: Breaking News, Global, History | Tags: Al Jazeera, Associated Press, Israel, Palestinian people, Raanan Gissin, Switzerland, West Bank, Yasser Arafat
(AP) Possible evidence of Arafat poisoning is reported
By MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH
RAMALLAH, West Bank
Swiss scientists have found evidence suggesting that Yasser Arafat may have been poisoned, adding new fuel to long-standing allegations about the Palestinian leader’s death, a TV station reported Wednesday.
hed what it said was a long-awaited 108-page report by a team of Swiss experts who tested Arafat’s remains. The scientists wrote that “the results moderately support the proposition that the death was the consequence of poisoning with polonium-210,” according to the pan-Arab satellite channel.
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