Archive for July, 2008

Replace Olmert now

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

In July of  2006, Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah forces crossed the Lebanese border with Israel, killed 8 Israeli soldiers and kidnapped two. Israel responded with an incursion that developed into a war in which 119 IDF soldiers and 43 Israeli civilians were killed. Over 1000 Lebanese were claimed to have been killed (this figure is in dispute), 500-600 of them Hezbollah fighters. Almost 4,000 Hezbollah rockets landed in northern Israel, injuring thousands of civilians, destroying millions of dollars worth of property and wrecking the economy of the area.

Because of the lack of preparation of the IDF and incompetence on the part of Israel’s leadership, the war’s initial goals (although the official goals changed from day to day) of returning the kidnapped soldiers, breaking Hezbollah’s grip on southern Lebanon and eliminating its military capability were not met.

34 days later, the war ended in a cease-fire and UN resolution 1701, which was supposed to prevent Hezbollah from rearming and keep it from reoccupying South Lebanon. The UN, as expected, was unable to enforce it, and Hezbollah has been fully rearmed — by Iran via Syria — and its troops are firmly ensconced in the south, even where UN ‘peacekeepers’ are deployed.

In addition to the military and diplomatic failures, Israel allowed Hezbollah to manage the content of news reporting during the war, resulting in huge propaganda victories. World-wide reporting of ‘atrocities’ was used as a justification for terrorism, such as the murder of a Jewish woman in Seattle.

Hezbollah has also taken de facto control of the Lebanese government and army.  The new Lebanese president, Gen. Michel Suleiman, although a Christian, is considered to be aligned with Syria and is supportive of Hezbollah’s militant stance against Israel.

One of Suleiman’s first acts as president was to support Hezbollah’s demand for the strategic Har Dov (Shabaa Farms) area to be transferred to Lebanese — i.e., Hezbollah — control. Although the UN certified the border between Israel and Lebanon in 2000 and placed Har Dov in the Golan Heights, the resurrection of this issue is a clear indication that the balance of power in the region has changed.

But this is not all. The outcome of the war reawakened Syria’s ambitions to recover the Golan Heights without having to give anything in return. It prompted Washington to press its program to force Israel to give up the West Bank to the Palestinians, which it formalized at the Annapolis conference, and which it has been actualizing by arming the terrorist Fatah organization. And it emboldened Hamas to follow a Hezbollah-like strategy.

Finally, to close the circle, Israel has agreed to a practically and psychologically disastrous swap with Hezbollah, which not only includes the release of unrepentant mass murderer Samir Kuntar, but also several Palestinian prisoners and the bodies of several Palestinian terrorist heros including ‘Bus of Blood’ perpetrator Dalal Mughrabi. In return, Israel will get the bodies of the kidnapped soldiers, thus ensuring further kidnappings, and guaranteeing that hostages need not be kept alive to be good bargaining chips.

Israel’s Winograd commission apportioned blame for the massive failures of the war in various places. Dan Halutz, the IDF Chief of Staff and Amir Peretz, the Minister of Defense, were forced to resign as a result. But Ehud Olmert, the Prime Minister, has managed to hang onto power despite his failure in the war, despite a continuous series of bad and worse decisions, despite being universally despised by Israelis and despite being accused of all manner of deceit, corruption and malfeasance.

Now that Hezbollah has been fully rearmed, now that the situation in the South can only get worse as Hamas takes advantage of the truce to prepare for even more violent conflict, and now that the Iranian nuclear program is about to reach the point of no return, now is the time for Olmert to be replaced.

Please, do it now, before he has the opportunity to make any more critical decisions for the State of Israel.

Ehud Olmert

Ehud Olmert, courtesy of Israel Matzav

Technorati Tags: , , ,

What the British media are smoking

Friday, July 11th, 2008

British pressA recent survey of the British media on the occasion of Israel’s 60th anniversary shows, unsurprisingly, that the British media don’t like Israel very much. This is not a shock to anyone that has ever looked at the BBC website or read the Guardian but there is one particular aspect that I want to discuss:

Eighty-three per cent of articles in all newspapers which took a position on Israel’s stance on peace contained the message that Israel did not seek peace…

Overall, only 6% of articles carried the message that Israel seeks peace. This message was only contained in three articles in The Daily Telegraph, The Independent and The Sunday Telegraph…

Twenty-six per cent of coverage [on the BBC website] contained the message that Israel is not seeking peace.

A neutral observer on Mars, for example, might have trouble understanding this. After all,

  1. Israel was attacked by the Arab nations in 1948,  preempted an imminent attack in 1967, and was attacked again in 1973. The 1948 and 1967 wars were declared by Arab leaders to be genocidal in intent. Insofar as Israel initiated hostilities, it was in response to clear acts of war such as the closing of the straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping in 1956, and the Katyusha attacks on northern Israel by the PLO in Lebanon in 1982.
  2. In 1978 Israel agreed to return the entire Sinai peninsula to Egypt in the interest of peace, giving up a huge strategic advantage and a large amount of natural resources, including oil.  In return, she received a ‘cold peace’ — really just an extended truce.
  3. In 1993, Israel signed the Oslo agreement with terrorist Yasser Arafat in the interest of peace. In return, she received several years of escalating terrorism against her population, culminating in Arafat’s rejection of the Clinton-Barak proposals and the murderous second intifada. Israel offered to transfer 97% of the West Bank and all of Gaza to the Palestinian authority, give up control of Judaism’s holiest sites in east Jerusalem, etc., all for peace.
  4. Israel withdrew from south Lebanon in 2000 in the interest of peace and received in return the Hezbollah buildup which led to the 2006 war.
  5. In the interest of peace, Israel completely withdrew from Gaza in 2005, at great cost to uprooted residents — who still have not received just compensation as promised — and to the nation. In return, she received a Hamas terrorist state, thousands of rockets fired on her population, cross-border attacks, and will soon have to fight another war.
  6. Israel is presently negotiating with the Palestinian Authority for what may be a ‘do-over’ of the Clinton-Barak proposal, in the face of clear evidence that neither Fatah nor Hamas is prepared to accept the existence of a Jewish state of any size.
  7. Most of the Arab nations, as well as the Palestinian Fatah and Hamas movements, have never stopped the continuous barrage of anti-Israel and antisemitic propaganda and incitement in their official media, while the Israeli government always stresses its desire to live in peace with its neighbors.

Considering all this, you would think that the Arabs are the ones who are uninterested in peace, and that Israel has been, over and over, prepared to make great sacrifices for peace — even after they’ve been kicked in the teeth in response.

Yes, you would think this. But you are not smoking the same stuff as the British media.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Human rights and the Palestinian Joan of Arc

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

A few days ago I wrote about how the great heros of the Palestinian people were terrorists like Dalal Mughrabi and Samir Kuntar, who ‘courageously’ murdered defenseless Israelis — especially children.

The Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority [PA] is no better in this regard than Hamas. And they don’t seem to understand — or care — how they appear to civilized people:

Azzam al-Ahmed, a senior Fatah official closely associated with PA President Mahmoud Abbas, described Mughrabi, whose family originally came from Jaffa, as a “the first Palestinian woman to carry out one of the most courageous operations in Israel.” He claimed that in her will, Mughrabi, who belonged to Fatah, had asked her family to see to it that she was buried in “Palestine.”

“We want to turn Dalal’s funeral into a national wedding, a major celebration,” the Fatah official said. “The operation she carried out off the shores of her hometown of Jaffa was heroic and exemplary. She will always be remembered as a symbol for the Palestinian women’s struggle” …

An article published in Thursday’s edition of the PA-funded Al-Hayat Al-Jadedda newspaper hailed Mughrabi as a “living legend and a wonderful example for all women.” — Jerusalem Post

You would think that Mughrabi was the Palestinian Joan of Arc instead of the cold-blooded murderer of 35 people that she encountered at random, including 13 children. But what she did was exemplary, she is a “wonderful example” to be followed by Palestinian women!

Ahmed also praised Lebanese prisoner Samir Kuntar for carrying out another terror attack in Israel one year after the 1978 carnage. He described Kuntar as a “stubborn and firm fighter in the ranks of the Lebanese resistance who led a very courageous operation.”

It must have taken great firmness and courage to smash the head of 4-year old Einat after shooting her father in front of her eyes. A stubborn fighter indeed.

This from a people that is always talking about human rights, insisting for example that the security barrier  built by Israel to stop those like Mughrabi and Kuntar violates their human rights.

But at some point one is forced to wonder: what do you have to do, how far do you have to go, before you lose the right to be considered human?

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Hamas chutzpah

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

News item:

Israel’s decision to clamp down on Hamas-affiliated institutions in the West Bank has drawn strong condemnations from the movement’s leaders.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh accused Israel on Wednesday of waging a “dirty war” against Hamas. He also accused the Palestinian Authority of “participating” in the Israeli campaign…

In recent days the IDF closed several Hamas-affiliated institutions, including a shopping mall in Nablus. The move is aimed at undermining Hamas’s influence and destroying its infrastructure in the West Bank.

Haniyeh said that altogether the IDF closed 37 institutions in Ramallah and Nablus since the beginning of the week.

“This is an ugly crime against humanity,” Haniyeh said, adding that most of the institutions were charities that provided for the needy. [my emphasis]

How ironic for Hamas to talk about dirty wars and crimes against humanity!

This is the Hamas whose  charter calls for Muslims to kill Jews, which claims all of Israel as a Muslim waqf [property or land dedicated to Allah], and which insists that the only solution to the problem of its Jewish occupancy is violent jihad.

This is the Hamas which popularized the tactic of strapping bombs to teenagers, mentally handicapped people, and disgraced women, and sending them to blow themselves up in the midst of Israeli civilians.

This is the Hamas which fires rockets and mortars into Israel at random targets, and which celebrates with glee whenever Israelis are killed.

This is the Hamas that creates childrens’ TV programs in which ‘cute’ characters preach hatred, revenge and death, and which dresses up toddlers barely able to walk as suicide bombers, to the great pride of their parents.

This is the Hamas whose entire heart and soul, its reason for being, is to kill Jews and destroy the Jewish state, whose ‘charities’ serve to recruit supporters for its murderous program and as a smokescreen for its ‘military’ — that is, terrorist — wing.

So explain to me why Israel should not do its best to suppress Hamas-affiliated institutions in the West Bank. Indeed, explain why Israel stands aside and lets it grow stronger and stronger in Gaza.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Media dishonesty does real, concrete damage

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

We complain over and over about the dishonesty of the media. Do we really understand just how much damage they do? Caroline Glick does:

Over the past eight years of the jihad against Israel, among countless examples, three instances of open media collusion with Israel’s enemies stand out for their strategic impact on the course of events. First there is the al-Dura affair. It was followed by the mythical “Jenin massacre” in April 2002. That in turn was followed by the fabricated “massacre” at Kafr Kana in Lebanon in July 2006.

The al-Dura story solidified the Palestinian narrative of victimization by Israel just months after they rejected statehood and peace at Camp David [and became the emblematic justification for the intifada, the murder of the Israeli reservists in Ramallah in 2000, and the decapitation of Daniel Pearl — ed]

When the so-called Jenin massacre was reported in April 2002, the IDF was in the midst of Operation Defensive Shield. Just before the Palestinians began making allegations of an Israeli massacre, IDF forces uncovered documentary evidence proving that the Palestinian war against Israel was run by the PA and Yassir Arafat. By fabricating the massacre, the PA was saved from being delegitimized as an actor in Washington. The Israeli peace camp was also resuscitated from its death throes.

As the Winograd Commission documented in its final report on the Second Lebanon War, the media reports of the fabricated massacre of Lebanese civilians by an IAF bomber in Kafr Kana in South Lebanon caused US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to end US support for an Israeli military victory over Iran’s Lebanese proxy and to pressure Israel to accept a cease-fire leaving Hizbullah intact. [my emphasis]

Read the whole article here

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,