Archive for March, 2011

Shorts: the Victoria, J Street revealed again, ISM in Awarta

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Today there are almost too many Israel-related things to write about.

Probably the most important is the IDF’s capture of a ship carrying 50 tons of Iranian arms,  en route to Alexandria, from which the weapons would be smuggled to Hamas terrorists in Gaza.  Barry Rubin notes that

The story of the Liberian-flag ship Victoria is dramatic enough but few will understand, at least immediately, that it opens a new era in the region’s history. It is a period when, for the first time [in] more than thirty years … Egypt will not be a reliable force for regional peace and stability.

Here in America, the intrepid Lori Lowenthal Marcus sat through hours of boring video from the recent J Street conference, finding this gem, uttered by J Street co-founder Daniel Levy — already famous for telling an Al Jazeera panel that the creation of Israel was an “act that was wrong” (although “excusable”). This time, he provides no excuses. If they hate us no matter, what, he says, then

Maybe, if this collective Jewish presence can only survive by the sword, then Israel really ain’t a good idea.

Here’s a clip, courtesy of Elder of Ziyon:

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Wouldn’t you like to slap this guy? I would.* Note that there is no gasp of surprise from the attendees when he says it. They certainly have given new meaning to ‘pro-Israel!’

When the IDF arrived at the scene of the horrific massacre of the Fogel family in Itamar, they found footprints leading to the nearby Arab village of Awarta. So naturally, they clamped a curfew on it. And yet again, caught in the middle of the conflict were a group of ‘international activists’ from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), (and see also here) the folks who specialize in being human shields for the peace-loving cadres of Hamas and Fatah.

In the breathless prose that characterizes these self-important idiots, they describe their predicament (h/t: Israel Medad):

Today the village of Awarta, near Nablus, is facing the second day of a severe curfew imposed by the Israeli military, following Friday morning’s murder of a settler family in the settlement Itamar. Three ISM activists–Cinda, 23, Chad, 25, from Sweden, and Cissy, 53, from Norway–are currently trapped in the village. Anyone caught stepping outside of their house is arrested. Soldiers have said that they’ll maintain the curfew until they’ve apprehended the settler family’s murderer. The army hasn’t presented any evidence that the murderer was from Awarta, and villagers have said to the ISM that they strongly doubt the murderer was even Palestinian as the settlement is so heavily guarded it would be impossible to break in.

Soldiers are beating people and continuing their house raids: destroying houses from the inside, cutting off electricity, and polluting the drinking water by throwing mud in the water-tanks. 30 homes were occupied by soldiers last night. Computers and phones have been destroyed and money and property were stolen by the soldiers. In the last two days soldiers have been throwing sound grenades inside and outside the houses, and shooting in the air. The ISM activists may be arrested soon, but they intend to stay as long as possible because they feel their presence improves the behavior of the soldiers, and villagers have asked them to stay.

Palestinian sources have suggested that possibly the murderers were crazed foreign workers from Thailand. Because a Palestinian Arab would never, ever, do anything like that.

After all, how would Palestinian society look at them?


*Legal note: this is not a threat, merely a description of the feelings evoked by this remarkable dickhead.

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Wake up, smell coffee

Monday, March 14th, 2011

The Usual Suspects, from the Israeli ‘peace camp’ to anti-Israel academics like Stephen Walt, have responded to the shocking murders in Itamar in the following general way:

Yes, it was horrible, one really shouldn’t cut the throats of little babies. But fundamentally it is the fault of ‘settlers’ for living in illegal settlements built on Palestinian land.

Yes, it looks bad for the Palestinians, if of course it turns out that Palestinians did it, but settlers resort to violence as well and violence breeds violence.

Yes it’s unfortunate for the surviving members of the family. But the most important bad thing that has come out of it is that Israel is responding by permitting more construction in settlements, and that damages the ‘peace process’.

I’m not going to quote or link to the people who say these sort of things. Look anywhere and you’ll find it, and far worse.

Let’s pretend that many of the people who say things like this are not actually thinking “good, they had it coming, maybe now they’ll get out.” Let’s pretend that they do not hate ‘settlers’ like those of Itamar.

[An aside: the same people who would call the residents of Itamar ‘religious fanatics’ for wanting to live in the Land of Israel often call for legitimizing Hamas, which, for religious reasons, would like to kill them.]

Even if we give these people the benefit of the doubt, what they are saying is nonsense:

Repeating over and over that settlements are illegal does not make it true. Itamar, which is built on state land, not ‘Palestinian’ land, is as legal as Tel Aviv. Until the ‘secure and recognized borders’ of UNSC resolution 242 are established, Jews have a right to live anywhere in the area of the League of Nations Mandate.

The ‘peace process’ is a scam, which cannot possibly bring peace. Based wholly on wishful thinking by the Israeli ‘peace camp’ and the provably false assumption that the PLO would respond to a sufficient amount of land and other concessions by ending its project to destroy Israel, depending on willful blindness toward the security considerations of proposed withdrawals, and cynically used by the Arabs to weaken Israel, the process that began with the Oslo agreement is probably the worst mistake made by any Israeli government since 1948.

‘Settler violence’ is a joke. Most of it didn’t actually happen, some of it is really self-defense, and some is childish vandalism. It is strongly opposed — and perpetrators punished — by the Israeli government, unlike the way terrorism is encouraged by the PA. There is no comparison.

Construction within existing settlements would not prejudice peace (if of course there was peace to be had). No additional land is being taken, and a fortiori, no ‘Palestinian’ land is expropriated. In this case, not only is the proposed construction within existing settlements, but they are settlements in the blocs near the Green Line that are expected to remain part of Israel in any possible peace agreement.

The terrorism and the incitement send a strong, clear message: the leaders and rank and file of Palestinian Arabs want the Jews out of the Land of Israel, and are willing to do bloody murder for their cause. After about 100 years, one would think the message would have been received by now.

Those who would like to see Israel replaced by an Arab state will not be moved by my arguments. But I invite those who still insist that the ‘peace process’ is worth pursuing, that it will lead to to a peaceful two-state solution, to take this occasion to wake up and smell the unmistakable smell of coffee.

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Three lessons from Itamar

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

The murder of five members of the Fogel family is so chilling that it is beyond words to describe — at least, it’s beyond me. Try to put yourself in the place of 12-year old Tamar Fogel entering the house and finding her parents and three younger siblings, including 3-month old Hadas, dead in pools of blood, slaughtered like farm animals.

I am writing this because there are important lessons here. Maybe in this moment of horror, it will be possible to break through the walls that some people have built around themselves that prevent them from seeing simple truths.

The first lesson is that the perpetrators were not crazy. Their behavior was not an aberration. They have been brought up to believe in their hearts that Jews are creatures of the devil, that the ‘occupation’ of ‘Palestinian land’ — which is never presented as the 1967 territories, but the whole of ‘Palestine’ — is a direct insult to their manhood which must be revenged, and that their society approves of extreme violence as a solution. Indeed, they know that the more violent and bloody their actions, the more honor they will gain.

Some of the ways in which the official Palestinian media encouraged violence in the weeks leading up to the murders are described here by Palestinian Media Watch. Keep in mind that this goes on 100% of the time, in schools, mosques, radio, TV, etc.

Itamar is a tiny place, with about 160 families. Yet this isn’t the first time it’s been attacked:

In May 2001, Gilad Zar, one of Itamar’s founders and son of Jewish religious terrorist Moshe Zar, was shot dead in an ambush by Palestinians.

In May 2002, three yeshiva students: Netanel Riachi (17), Gilad Stiglitz (14) and Avraham Siton (17), were killed by a Palestinian gunman.

In June 2002, a Palestinian terrorist burst into the home of the Shabo family and opened fire. Rachel Shabo, the mother of the family, was murdered, as were three of her children: Neria (16), Zvi (13), and Avishai (5). Another two children were seriously injured. Yossi Tuito, who served as commander of the neighborhood preparedness team, was also shot to death as he approached the family’s house in order to help. — Wikipedia

The terrorists that committed the 2002 shooting of the three students in Itamar were honored just last month on official Palestinian Authority (PA) TV. I don’t doubt that this week’s ‘heroes’ will get the same treatment:

2002 Itamar terrorists honored on PA TV

2002 Itamar terrorists honored on PA TV

The second lesson is that Israeli concessions short of suicide will not stop this. Every Arab map shows ‘Palestine’ in place of Israel, all of Israel, not a state composed of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Every time an Arab talks about ‘occupation’, ‘Palestinian land’, etc., he means the whole of Israel. There are many ways to prove this: maps, statements made by leaders, media, the insistence on ‘right of return’, the refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, etc.

But here is what we learn from this incident: if the conflict is only about borders, something that Israeli and PA negotiators have been relatively close to agreement about, why the viciousness, the blood? Why not just make an agreement and get on with building a state?

The answer is that it is not about a state — it’s about hating Jews. And it will be about hating Jews regardless of which side of the line they live on.

The third lesson, derived from the second, is that all Israelis are ‘settlers’. The BBC, which reflexively expostulates “illegal under international law” every time Jews living beyond the Green Line are mentioned, makes sure to call the murder victims “a Jewish settler family … in the West Bank.” But from the Arab point of view, there’s no distinction. So it is not helpful to write, as the AP did, that Itamar is “home to some of Israel’s most radical settlers,” as if somehow their determination to stay where they are despite terrorism makes them guilty of bringing said terrorism upon themselves!

If Israel acceded to all Arab demands, evacuated every last settlement, redivided Jerusalem, etc., and there was still terrorism (which of course would be the case), it would interesting to see how the BBC, the AP, etc. would spin it. Would they blame ‘radical Israelis’ for wanting to live in Tel Aviv, which “the Palestinians have said they want as part of their state?”

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Moty & Udi: Where’s the logic?

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Palestinian media attributes the horrific murders in Itamar to a group associated with the Fatah al-Aqsa brigades.

Fatah, which is led by Mahmoud Abbas, is the dominant group in the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the ‘sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people’, which controls the Palestinian Authority that is intended to someday morph into the government of ‘Palestine’, should such a political entity come into being.

Hadas Fogel, 2010-2011. Her throat was slashed by Fatah terrorists.

Hadas Fogel, 2010-2011. Her throat was slashed by Fatah terrorists.

One would think that the fact that terrorists associated with Fatah broke into a Jewish home and brutally stabbed to death five members of the Fogel family simply because they were Jews living in the Land of Israel would tell us something.

It should tell us that it would be a poor idea to allow these people to set up a sovereign state next door, to dismantle security provisions and just trust them.

When they speak Arabic they say they want to destroy us. Then they prove it by deeds like this. Over and over. And yet, members of the ‘peace camp’ say things like this:

I ask why the American Jewish community (at the JCPA annual plenum earlier this week) failed to pass a resolution proposed by the Reform movement asking Israel to abide by its agreements and dismantle ideological, illegal and unhelpful settlements…

I blame us. I blame us for not thinking creatively, collaboratively and swiftly to find a way out of the stalemate. I blame us for finding foes in not the system but each other, between Jews and between Palestinians. We bear this blame together. We should all be moved to end the conflict, instead of justifying the wrongs of the past.

Jewschool, an idiot calling himself “Kung Fu Jew”

Beyond belief, isn’t it?

Since we are apportioning blame today, here is how I would do it:

  • First and foremost, I blame the Palestinian Arabs, who have created a culture of hatred and death, a truly twisted travesty of human society, whose greatest aspiration is to be better genocides than Hitler.
  • Second, I blame the ‘peace movement’, particularly in Israel, which has consistently held in the face of all logic and reason that the way to prevent someone who is bent on murdering you from succeeding is to give up every strategic advantage you may have, to arm him and invite him into your home.
  • And third, I blame every Israeli government since that of Rabin, who have allowed themselves — against the clear wishes of the majority of Israeli Jews — to follow the program of the ‘peace movement’ to the letter, making concession after concession to the PLO, despite the fact that the response is always the same: murder.

Where is the logic, Mr. Kung Fu, that tells us that although the PLO has done nothing but kill Jews since they began, they will surely stop killing Jews as soon as they possess every last centimeter of Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem, etc.?

Why will it be different then?

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Who we are dealing with, part II

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Early reports indicate that a terrorist broke into a house in the settlement of Itamar (near Schechem [Nablus]) and stabbed five members of a family to death — a couple and three children, aged 11, 3 and three months. Three other children escaped.

It takes a certain kind of …thing… to stab a three-month old baby to death.

Shabbat shalom, if that’s possible.

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