Tag Archives: Hamas

Trump administration to shutter PLO office in DC

As part of its hard-nosed approach to PLO intransigence, the Trump administration has decided to shut down the Palestinian offices in DC.

National security adviser John Bolton is expected to announced Monday that the U.S. will shutter the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) office in Washington, D.C., The Wall Street Journal reported. “The Trump administration will not keep the office open when the Palestinians refuse to start direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel,” Bolton is expected to say, according to a draft of his speech reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

This is on top of cutting off all U.S. funding to the PLO.

Though I like this decision, as it ends U.S. support for these terrorist organizations, I doubt it will do anything to change PLO policy. The petty dictators who are in charge of Palestinian affairs, the PLO and Hamas, require the selling of hatred of Jews and Israel to survive. Everything else they have done has bankrupted the lives of the people living in the West Bank and Gaza. The second they change their tune, the people there might suddenly realize how bad their leadership is, and could very well string them up, much as the Italians did to Mussolini at the end of World War II.

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Laid off workers supported by Hamas, take over UN refugee headquarters

Chaos in Gaza: Union workers for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) have seized control of its headquarters in protest of lay-offs caused by the withdrawal of financial support by the United States.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) announced last month more than 250 staff in Gaza and Judea and Samaria would lose their jobs, after a $300 million cut in annual funding from the United States. The redundancies have prompted daily protests by the agency’s labour union in the enclave, which UNRWA’s Gaza head said have led to security concerns. “They have taken over the compound where my office and other offices are,” said Matthias Schmale.

The agency’s Gaza chief admitted UNRWA does not have full control over the site, in Gaza City, explaining he has not been able to access his own office for more than two weeks. “I am the captain of the ship which has 13,000 sailors on it and they have basically thrown me off the bridge and consigned me to my captain’s quarters,” he told AFP, referring to the number of employees in Gaza.

Schmale accused the labor union of multiple incidents of “threatening and intimidating other fellow Palestinian staff. For me that crosses a red line. … I am very concerned about the safety and security of my Palestinian colleagues,” he added.

It appears the take over is backed by Hamas.

What we are seeing here is the possible collapse of the entire UN/Arab structure that has for decades used the Arab refugees from Israel — and their descendants — as political pawns. Rather than repatriate these people into Egypt or Jordan, both countries as well as the entire Arab world, with the help of the UN and sadly a lot of U.S. money, forced them into refugee camps and thus used them as a hammer against Israel

Without U.S. financial support, however, this ploy cannot work. The protests and violence coming from Gaza in the past year has been a response to this collapse. Hamas has depended on that funding to keep itself in power. Without it, it cannot pay off its supporters.

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Dozens killed, including armed terrorists, in Gaza border violence

They also call this cutting off your nose to spite your face: Dozens have been killed today in riots along the Gaza-Israreli border as thousands of Gazan protesters attempted to invade Israel.

More than 35,000 protesters amassed at a dozen locations along the security fence, with many engaging in skirmishes that pushed the death toll Monday to the highest in Gaza since a 2014 cross-border standoff between the militant group Hamas and the Jewish state, according to the Associated Press.

Gaza health officials told the news agency that 41 people so far have been killed in Monday’s violence, and at least 772 have been wounded.

The relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv, a key campaign promise of President Trump, has infuriated the Palestinians, who seek east Jerusalem as a future capital.

“Moments ago, an IDF patrol foiled a bomb-laying attack by a cell of three armed terrorists near Rafah, close to the border,” the Israeli military said Monday. “This is a particularly violent protest point. The troops responded with fire at the terrorists. The terrorists were killed.”

You want to live in peace? You show others that you mean it. You want others to see you as violent and a killer? You do things that prove it.

These demonstrations prove the latter. In the seventy years since Israel’s founding, that nation has shown, time after time, that it is more than willing to work with the Arabs, the Palestinians, the international community, anyone, in order to establish peaceful relations with its neighbors. Israel even unilaterally walked out of Gaza in order to show the world and the Palestinians that they are willing to allow an independent Palestinian state to exist side-by-side with Israel.

The Gazans here once again prove that they are unready to do so. They only hate, and want to kill, emotions that are hardly a good foundation for a reliable peace treaty.

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Riots prompted by Hamas have left Gaza with fuel crisis

This is called shooting oneself in the foot: The riots that the Hamas leadership of Gaza have been pushing this week have left the territory without cooking gas or diesel fuel, and no way to obtain more.

In Friday night’s attack, a large crowd broke into the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom crossing between Gaza and Israel, badly damaging a fuel and gas terminal and a conveyor belt for aggregate and animal feed.

Israel closed Kerem Shalom, saying it would take weeks or months to repair several million dollars in damages. It was not clear when the delivery of consumer goods by trucks would resume, said an army spokesman, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, adding that six trucks with medical supplies entered Gaza on Sunday.

There has been widespread speculation about the motives for the vandalism, with Israel holding Gaza’s rulers from the Islamic militant Hamas group responsible. Friday’s attack was the second on Kerem Shalom in a week, raising questions about why Hamas did not try to protect a key installation.

They estimate that Gaza only has about 7 to 10 days of fuel remaining.

It is unclear if Hamas leaders prompted the riot that destroyed the depot, or if the rioters themselves went out of control. No matter. It illustrates a madness in Gaza that has existed since Israel unilaterally left, giving them control of their own territory so they could rule themselves.

Rather than demonstrate that they were ready for their own state, the residents of Gaza have since chosen a terrorist organization as their leaders, destroyed the profitable infrastructure and businesses that the Israelis left them, and instead devoted their efforts to building missiles and bombs to fling at Israel.

This new destruction is merely par for the course. The riots that I expect tomorrow, when many Gaza residents will try to breach the border, under pressure from or in support of the Hamas leadership, is only going to cause more harm to those residents, and accomplish nothing good.

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Trump administration withholds $65 million from UN PLO agency

The Trump administration today withheld $65 million of a $125 million payment from the UN agency that is supposed to provide aid to Palestinian refugees but has instead been repeatedly found to use it to help the PLO and Hamas in terrorist acts.

In a letter, the State Department notified the U.N. Relief and Works Agency that the U.S. is withholding $65 million of a planned $125 million funding installment. The letter also makes clear that additional U.S. donations will be contingent on major changes by UNRWA, which has been heavily criticized by Israel. “We would like to see some reforms be made,” said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, adding that changes are needed to the way the agency operates and is funded. “This is not aimed at punishing anyone.”

The State Department said it was releasing the rest of the installment — $60 million — to prevent the agency from running out of cash by the end of the month and closing down. The U.S. is UNWRA’s largest donor, supplying nearly 30 percent of its budget. The agency focuses on providing health care, education and social services to Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

Not surprisingly, the PLO is reacting like a five year old, throwing a tantrum, as if it deserves this money no matter what it does.

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U.S. freezes $125 million grant to UN agency that funds Hamas in Gaza

This is probably related to my previous post: The Trump administration has frozen the payment of a $125 million grant to the UN agency that supposedly does refugee work in Gaza but has been found in the past to help Hamas with its terrorist activities.

The amount frozen is one-third of the annual funding the United States provides the organization, according to the report.

The three diplomats, who asked to remain anonymous because of the political sensitivity of the issue, told Channel 10 the grant had been frozen until the end of the reexamination of U.S. aid to the Palestinians, which began in recent days. According to the diplomats, officials in the administration have informed UN officials in the past two days that President Donald Trump is considering cutting this amount completely and could even increase the cut to $180 million, which would be half the total U.S. funding for UNRWA.

From the article it appears that there are conflicting opinions about this action in the Israeli government.

UNRWA has been caught using its schools for Hamas anti-Semitic propaganda as well a place to store missiles. Let me repeat that: The UN and Hamas think there is nothing wrong with using schools to store weapons.

But hey, let’s give them millions so they won’t get upset at us!

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Hamas agrees to hand Gaza to Palestinian Authority

Don’t count those chickens just yet: Hamas today agreed to a deal with the Palestinian Authority to hand over control of Gaza to their West Bank rivals.

Nothing is really agreed to yet. They now will form committees to determine exactly how control will be transferred.

A major sticking point has been the Hamas military wing and its arsenal. Abbas has said he would only return to Gaza if Hamas hands over power, while Hamas has said the military wing is not up for discussion. Hamas officials have assured the Fatah negotiators that the military wing would maintain a low profile as part of any deal.

I can’t imagine any deal here. The leaders of both groups come from terrorist organizations. The Hamas leadership would consider it literal suicide to give up control over its military force. Similarly, the leadership of the Palestinian Authority would consider it literal suicide to allow an independent military force to operate within it.

The link notes two key aspects to this deal. First, it was partly prompted by the Arab boycott of Qatar, which had been supporting Hamas. Second, it has been brokered by the Egyptian government led by al-Sisi.

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Hamas has made Gaza unliveable, according to the UN

A UN study has found that in the ten years since Hamas took control of Gaza the place has become unliveable for its residents.

A decade after the Islamist group Hamas seized Gaza, the Palestinian enclave is effectively unliveable for its 2 million people, with declining incomes, healthcare, education, electricity and fresh water, the United Nations said.

In a report examining humanitarian conditions in the territory, which Hamas took over in June 2007 after a brief conflict with forces loyal to the Palestinian Authority, the United Nations concludes the situation in Gaza is deteriorating “further and faster” than was forecast only a few years ago. “Across the board we’re watching de-development in slow motion,” Robert Piper, the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday. “Every indicator, from energy to water to healthcare to employment to poverty to food insecurity, every indicator is declining. Gazans have been going through this slow motion de-development now for a decade.”

The article tries to lay the blame on everyone, including Israel, while somehow ignoring the corruption and terrorist roots of Hamas itself. Still, the real blame might belong to the people in Gaza themselves. After Israel unilaterally pulled out in an effort to exchange “land for peace,” the people of Gaza voted for their own leadership, and choose Hamas, a terrorist organization whose reason for existing is to kill Jews and destroy Israel. After making a poor decision like that, no one should be surprised it their circumstances immediately began to decline. We all get the government we deserve.

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Palestinian Authority stops shipping medicine to Gaza

They’re such nice people! Because of the political battle between Hamas, running Gaza, and the Palestinian Authority, running the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority has stopped its quarterly shipments of medicine to Gaza.

Palestine Today quotes Dr. Munir Bursh, the pharmacy director at the Ministry of Health in Gaza, saying that the Palestinian Authority has stopped supplying medicines and baby formula to Gaza altogether. “90% of the treatment of cancer patients in the Gaza Strip has stopped due to the lack of the supply of drugs,” he said. Bursh added, “This is reprehensible and very strange, threatening a major health disaster up to the collapse of the health situation in Gaza, because the Ramallah government has been responsible for supplying medicine to Gaza, despite the deficit in the previous years.”

“Whoever made this decision is killing the entire people, and punishing the entire people.” He said that the PA supplies the Gaza Strip with medicines every two months, but it did not send any medicines for three months now.

Hospitals in Gaza are also worried about the closure of the Gaza power plant due to the spat between Hamas and Fatah, saying that they cannot desalinate the water needed for every day purposes.

The last line refers to the decision by the Palestinian Authority to stop paying its Gaza electrical bill, forcing Israel to stop supplying Gaza with electricity.

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Iran nuclear deal allows Iran to increase funding to terrorists

Surprise, surprise: The Iran nuclear deal has allowed Iran to immediately send more cash to the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah.

Since the deal was signed, Iran has significantly increased its financial support for two of the largest terror groups in the region that have become political players, Hamas and Hezbollah. In the years before the deal was signed, the crippling sanctions limited this support, which had significantly diminished along with Iran’s economy. But Tehran’s belief that tens, or hundreds, of billions of dollars will flow into the country in the coming years as a result of sanctions relief has led to a decision to boost the cash flow to these terror organizations.

This support, for example, has enabled Hezbollah to obtain highly developed new armaments, including advanced technologies that many militaries around the world would envy. Al-Rai, a Kuwaiti newspaper, reported Saturday that Hezbollah has received all the advanced weaponry that Syria has obtained from the Russians. The report cited a security source involved in the fighting in Zabadani, on the Syria-Lebanon border, where Hezbollah is fighting the al-Nusra Front, the Islamic State, and other groups. It is evidently the growing Iranian financial support that is enabling the Lebanese Shiite militia to purchase advanced weapons, including ones that were hitherto outside of its reach.

There is more. Read it all. As Ted Cruz had correctly noted, Obama’s Iran deal would make his administration the world’s biggest financial supporter of terrorism. This article proves that statement 100% correct.

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What Gazans really think about Hamas

A real journalist went to Gaza and the West Bank and rather than retype the crap that Hamas was feeding him, he interviewed the Palestinians there and found out what they really think of Hamas and its attacks on Israel. And it ain’t good.

This one quote sums it up nicely:

“Don’t get fooled. Gazans are not in love with Israel yet, but they do not want to fight Israel anymore. We do not want to embrace Israel; we just want to live normally without wars. We want to live and work in Israel like we used to. We are under Hamas occupation, and if you ask most of us, we would rather be under Israeli occupation, instead. I would welcome Netanyahu to rule Gaza so long as Hamas leaves, and I think most Gazans feel the same way. We miss the days when we were able to work inside Israel and make good money, we miss the security and calm Israel provided when it was here, but politically speaking, we just think of it as the better of two evils: Israel and Hamas.”

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What the Middle East conflict looks like from inside Israel

As I am in Israel this week visiting family, I have had an opportunity to get a feel for the political and cultural atmosphere of the Middle East. Granted, this “feel” is very superficial and subjective, but it is nonetheless instructive, as I am viewing the situation not as a resident but as an outsider who always favors freedom and justice in any political conflict.

Anyway, my sense of the situation here comes from two immediate sources, one cultural and the second personal. First the cultural.
» Read more

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Heading to Israel

This morning I will be boarding a plane to begin the long tedious airplane flight from Tucson to Jerusalem, Israel, arriving there Thursday afternoon. I might post along the way, but there are no guarantees.

For the next week I will once again be staying with my brother and sister-in-law in their apartment in the west bank settlement of Alon Shvut. It was here at the bus stop just outside the settlement, where Palestinians and Israelis routinely gather to either catch the bus or hitchhike a ride to Jerusalem, that three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped by Hamas operatives, sparking the recent conflict in the Gaza Strip. Then, just a few weeks ago an Arab terrorist when on a killing spree at this bus stop, killing one young woman before the guard at the settlement gate ran down the hill to shoot him.

I might post my impressions of the situation while I am there, or it might have to wait until I return. It depends on my schedule and my desire to work while visiting family. Yesterday’s attack in a Jewish synagogue, once again by Hamas operatives, killing five people whose only crime was that they were praying peacefully, might also touch my family directly, as I think that one of the rabbis killed was a friend of my brother, his wife, and their children. I will find out more when I get there.

Meanwhile, there were Arab celebrations in various locations in Gaza, the West Bank, and even in Jerusalem, congratulating these killers for their barbarous acts.

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Hamas cedes some Gaza control to Fatah

In what appears to be evidence that the recent Israeli Gaza effort did significant damage to Hamas, the terrorist organization has agreed to give the Palestinian Authority some control once again in the administration of Gaza.

Hamas and Fatah leaders said that the agreement reached on Thursday calls for the PA government, headed by Rami Hamdallah, to “immediately” assume its responsibilities in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian sources said that the agreement allows the PA to take control over the border crossings in the Gaza Strip, including the Rafah terminal. Musa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas official, announced that the Palestinian Authority government would soon manage all the border crossings in the Gaza Strip.

A second quote gives as some idea of the corrupt patronage of these two organizations:
» Read more

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“International press coverage has become a morality play starring a familiar villain.”

Guess who that “familiar villain” happens to be. It shouldn’t surprise you, though it horrifies me that this is happening again, in the west, in civilized society, and among the so-called intellectual elites of the U.S. and Europe.

If you are really serious about understanding what has been going on in the Middle East these past few months, make sure you read the entire article, carefully, and slowly. The conclusion will tell you a great deal about what is going to happen in the coming years. The fact that most intellectuals in the West will be caught with their pants down when it does happen can best be summed up by how that conclusion begins:

Because a gap has opened here between the way things are and the way they are described, opinions are wrong and policies are wrong, and observers are regularly blindsided by events. Such things have happened before. In the years leading to the breakdown of Soviet Communism in 1991, as the Russia expert Leon Aron wrote in a 2011 essay for Foreign Policy, “virtually no Western expert, scholar, official, or politician foresaw the impending collapse of the Soviet Union.” The empire had been rotting for years and the signs were there, but the people who were supposed to be seeing and reporting them failed and when the superpower imploded everyone was surprised.

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“For the Israelis, this time is different.”

“Hamas has exacted a high price from Israel these past weeks. But it has also awakened a sleeping giant. The question now is whether the Palestinian cause is furthered, or dramatically weakened, by the fear this war has created.”

Read the whole thing. Combine this new Israeli resolve with the public relations disaster this war has been for Hamas and it seems obvious that there will be no easy concessions from the Israelis in any negotiations for years. And that I consider a good thing: The Israelis, as well as a good part of the civilized world, have finally realized that there is no point negotiating with someone who wants to kill you. Only when the Palestinians and the Arabs finally honestly and sincerely accept the presence of Israel will there be any chance for a negotiated settlement. And I don’t expect this anytime soon.

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What’s next in Gaza if Hamas rejects peace

If Hamas continues to reject a proposed peace plan negotiated by Egypt, Israel is likely to return to Gaza with a much broader offensive.

A broader ground offensive can take multiple forms, and its scope can vary as well. On one end of the spectrum is a smaller operation that can last a few weeks, in which ground forces seize Gaza, deliver a powerful blow to Hamas’s military assets, and withdraw.

On the other end of the spectrum is an operation that would last at least about a year, in which ground units would spread out and go after all of Hamas’s guerrilla cells. Several intermediate options exist, too. Targets would include the remainder of Hamas’s weapons storage facilities, command and control sites, regional battalions, and its junior and senior leaders from its armed wing.

I hope Israel goes for the broadest most aggressive plan. The most humanitarian thing that could be done for the people in Gaza would be to remove Hamas and free them from its tyrannical, insane, and vicious rule.

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Christians flee Islamic jihadists in northern Iraq

The religion of peace strikes again! Hundreds of thousands of Christians flee northern Iraq as Islamic State take over the region and jihadists tear down churches and destroy Christian manuscripts.

This analysis of the situation now in northern Iraq asks some pointed questions of President Barack Obama, who withdraw American troops from that country far sooner than any military or local expert advised.

This analysis explains why President Barack Obama seems so unconcerned about the fate of these Christian refugees. To use his words, this kind of violence and terrorism and genocide is just an example of these groups acting with “extraordinarily irresponsibly”.

I ask: When are the American people going to finally get tired of electing children to office and have the courage to elect an adult?

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An Hamas officer, captured by Israel, admits he led the kidnapping and murder operation of three Israeli teenagers

Israel has captured the man who was in charge of the operation that kidnapped and then murdered three Israeli teenagers, who also admits that (surprise!) he is a squad commander for Hamas in Gaza.

So, let’s get this straight. Hamas organizes the killing of Israeli children. Hamas launches rockets from schools so that Arab children are endangered. Hamas also prevents Gaza citizens and their families from seeking safety during war. And Hamas also calls for the genocide of all Jews, women and children included.

But Israel is the one condemned for committing war crimes? As Thomas Sowell recently noted, “In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.”

Even the most superficial but honest observer of the Gaza War would have conclude that Hamas is just one step removed from a child abuser. And since when do we as civilized people lend aid and comfort to child abusers?

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British medical journal bans Israelis

Modern debate: The British medical journal, The Lancet, has banned Israeli academics from responding to any anti-Israeli papers that it publishes.

You’d think these Israelis were skeptics of climate change or something.

More about the Lancet’s antisemitic attack here.

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Hamas propaganda becomes Israeli comedy

At the start of the Gaza war four weeks ago Hamas released a propaganda music video calling for the destruction of Israel and for Palestinians to “exterminate the roaches.”

The problem was that the video was in Hebrew, not Arabic, and Israelis have found it hilarious and have made it a summer music sensation!

Surprisingly, though, Israelis found the tune of “Attack! Carry Out Terror Strikes” extremely catchy. Making it even more fun was the flowery Hebrew, dotted with nonexistent words sung in a heavy Arab accent, all of which led to the song’s becoming a summer hit. It has since spawned numerous covers and tributes.

Videos at the link. I especially like the Smurf version.

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Netanyahu tells off the Obama administration

In a phone conversation with the U.S. Israeli ambassador, Benjamin Netanyahu bluntly told the Obama administration to never “second-guess me again.”

The sources also say that Netanyahu said something quite similar to US Secretary of State John Kerry, who had tried and failed to broker a ceasefire that would have given Hamas everything it wanted.

See also this article, which notes how the Obama administration has not only antagonized Israel by its bumbling, it has also pissed off the moderate Arab world, which apparently does not support Hamas and has been backing Israel in its effort to neuter it.

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The real solution to the Gaza war

If Israel and the rest of the world wants peace in Gaza, the only true solution will be to remove Hamas as the rulers there.

Yes, there would be costs to regime change in the Gaza Strip. But the choice is not between a costly policy and a cost-free one. The choice is between the costs of removing a terrorist group from power and the costs of leaving it injured but able to fight another day. To prevent a fourth war, to bolster ties with the Sunni powers, to improve the chances of a two-state solution, to help the Palestinians, above all to secure Israel, the decision is clear. Destroy Hamas. End the war. Free Gaza.

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A question for Israel’s critics?

The article begins quite bluntly:

In light of the murderous actions and intentions of Hamas, what would you like Israel to do?

I wholeheartedly concur that the death of even one unarmed civilian is tragic, let alone the death of scores or of hundreds. And I affirm without hesitation that Arab blood is as precious as Jewish blood.

That being said, since Hamas is sworn to Israel’s destruction, since Hamas initiated the recent hostilities, since Hamas rejected cease fire offers, since Hamas is using civilians, including women and children, as human shields, and since Hamas is actively attempting to infiltrate Israel and murder, kidnap, and maim its people, what do you suggest that Israel does?

Read it all. It is an honest appraisal of the situation.

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Surprising support for Israel against Hamas

If true this is very good news: In the present conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Israel is getting either support or fair treatment from a number of very surprising sources both internationally and inside the Arab community.

These sources include important leaders in Egypt, France, Lebanon, the United Nations (!), and even the press. As the author notes,

In large part the coolness toward Hamas results from the belated realization that Islamists pose a greater threat than Zionists. But media sobriety suggests that, in part, it also follows from a weariness of Hamas’ vile tactics and revulsion against its hideous goal of destroying Israel. As Hamas’ goal in this war is political, this lesser support is of supreme importance to it.

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“Imagine 80 percent of your citizens in bomb Shelters.”

Guess who said it? More:

“I just want your viewers to imagine the United States being bombarded, not in one city or two cities, but in every city between New York and Colorado.

“Maybe 20% of the United States would be exempt from this,” he said, “80% of your citizens would have to be in bomb shelters or ready to go into bomb shelters within a minute to a minute and a half max. No country can accept that, we can’t accept it, and we’ll take the necessary actions to stop it.”

But they should exercise restraint! They are only Jews after all. And we mustn’t offend any Muslims!

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Bigotry in Israel

It is often claimed by those who oppose Israel that it is an apartheid state that imprisons its Arab population, both in Israel itself as well as in the West Bank and Gaza.

Like much that is said about Israel, however, this claim has little to do with reality, and in fact, as I said yesterday, turns reality on its head.

Inside Israel, Arabs have the option (though some have decided not to take it) of becoming full citizens. Thus, not only are Israeli Arabs among the most prosperous Arabs in the Middle East, they have more rights under the Israeli democratic government than most Arabs in every other Arab country. They can vote, and have even served as elected members of Parliament.

Compare that with the way Arabs treat their religious minorities. Jews are of course forbidden. Christians meanwhile are fleeing the Islamic Middle East because of its persecution of non-Muslims.
» Read more

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