Two short takes

Palestinian Rocket Science

News item:

A weapons lab containing explosives and pipes that were apparently meant to be used to assemble rockets was discovered in a joint Border Police-IDF-Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] operation last month in Abu Dis, next to Ma’aleh Adumim, security officials announced Friday. Three Palestinians were arrested.

Abu Dis is about 4.2 km (2.6 miles) from the center of Jerusalem. This is well within the range of Qassam missiles; at an estimated speed of 200 m/sec, such a weapon would land in about 21 seconds after launching. Of course rockets made in Abu Dis could be moved anywhere in the territories. Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport is about 10 km (50 seconds) from the Green Line, which puts it  just within range of the latest Qassams.

The reports do not indicate which terrorist group the three Palestinians belonged to.


Turkish drama

News item:

Following the recent slump in Jerusalem-Ankara relations caused by last week’s cancellation of a joint military drill and Tuesday’s airing of an anti-Israeli drama on a government-controlled TV channel, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc downplayed the apparent tensions.

“Relations between Israel and Turkey have always been strong, and we’re entirely sure that they will remain strong,” Arinc told local reporters on Friday.”

Referring to the TV drama Ayrilik – which variously depicted IDF soldiers shooting a fleeing Palestinian boy in the back, killing a sweetly smiling Palestinian girl at point-blank range and lining up Palestinian detainees before an IDF firing squad – Arinc that “there are no political motives to the television drama that annoyed Israel.”

The ‘television drama’ is so disgusting that I’m not going to embed the YouTube video here. But you can see it at the source linked above.

Daily anti-Israel incitement is a fact of life in most Arab and Muslim countries. During the Gaza war, Al Jazeera showed almost continuous ‘news’ reports, which were visible everywhere — in homes, stores, public places.  Here’s how Eric Calderwood described them (in a not particularly pro-Israel article which you should read in full):

Their broadcasts routinely feature mutilated corpses being pulled from the scene of an explosion, or hospital interviews with maimed children, who bemoan the loss of their siblings or their parents – often killed in front of their eyes. Al-Jazeera splices archival footage into the live shots, weaving interviews and expertly produced montages into a devastating narrative you can follow from the comfort of your own home.

This is news without even the pretense of impartiality. After several days of following the Al-Jazeera coverage of Gaza, I’ve never seen a live interview with an Israeli, neither a politician nor a civilian. In the Al-Jazeera version, the Gaza conflict has only two participants: the Israeli army – an impersonal force represented as tanks and planes on the map – and the Palestinian civilians, often shown entering the hospital on makeshift stretchers. There are few Hamas rockets and no Israeli families. It’s not hard to see why Al-Jazeera is accused of deliberately inflaming regional enmity and instability.

Is there any wonder that the absurdly biased Goldstone report was taken seriously in so many venues? Indeed, I’m surprised that as many as 6 members of the UNHRC out of 47 saw clearly enough to vote against its adoption (25 in favor, 11 abstentions, 5 declined to vote, 6 opposed. No, I don’t understand the difference between abstaining and declining to vote!)

Speaking of Turkey, Caroline Glick has a good piece on “How Turkey was lost” today. Although there are obviously good political reasons that the Islamist government of Recip Tayyip Erdogan is moving the nation out of the Western orbit and into that of Iran and Syria, is it not also the case that a relationship with Israel, no matter how advantageous, cannot be maintained in an atmosphere where everyone believes that Israel behaves like — is — the Devil?

After all, both ordinary citizens and politicians watch television.

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3 Responses to “Two short takes”

  1. Robman says:

    Look, all hell is about to break loose.

    Intifada Three will soon begin. Why not? The Palis are never going to have a more sympathetic U.S. president than they have now. Intentionally or not, he has signaled that he will likely come down more firmly on the side of the Arabs than any U.S. president has before.

    Things are also coming to a head with Iran. Military action of some form or another appears to be practically certain within the next year.

    Even leaving aside the immediate problems Israel faces with the PA and Iran, Obama’s blatant appeasement of the Moslem world generally has encouraged them to behave as encouraged by Al Jazeera, etc. They have no incentive whatever to let up. Obama’s UN speech, his Cairo speech before that, these and other actions largely serve to validate their behavior.

    He hasn’t been ALL bad…at least he pulled out of the NATO drill out of sympathy with Israel. He’s largely dismissed the Goldstone Report, though not quite to the degree we’d like. Maybe by now he’s starting to realize that he’d gone too far the other way….well, maybe….

    I’m just holding my breath at this point. At least Bibi is in charge over there; that is the only bright spot in all of this right now. That, plus the fact that Obama is increasingly being seen as the nincompoop by world leaders that we knew he was all along. His credibility is fading fast, so perhaps this might be leveraged into greater public support for whatever Israel does to defend herself. This is an open question.

  2. Shalom Freedman says:

    The problem with Turkey is extremely important. There are a number of signs that the Islamic element is prevailing over the more pro- Western pro- democratic force. Turkey it should be noted has a very large and strong military.
    On the other hand Turkey has a lot to lose by breaking relations with Israel, including probably support in the U.S. Congress.
    What is clear is this is the most egregious and alarming proof so far that Obama’s tilt to the Palestinians has signalled to the world that Israel is no longer so important to the U.S. and can be treated with contempt.
    Will Obama wake up soon? Will his Jewish advisors Rahm and Axelrod realize their recommendations on pressuring
    Israel are undermining the security of Israel in a variety of ways?

  3. Robman says:

    I might add:

    As bad as Al-Jazeera is, the threat they represent is somewhat lessened by the fact that they so obviously have no pretense to objectivity. Their audience is ovewhelmingly Arab/Moslem, plus assorted fellow travelers who get off on bashing Israel in any event. It would be better if they were not as they are, of course, but at least they are “honest” with respect to their agenda for all to see.

    What worries me far more than Al Jazeera’s “two minute hate” are the ostensibly “objective” media outlets who, in their treatment of Israel, behave more or less as affiliates of Al-Jazeera. No responsible person who would presume to be taken seriously by an interested Western audience would cite Al-Jazeera, but what about the New York Times? CNN? The Washington Post? The LA Times? ABC, NBC, CBS, the BBC…the list sadly goes on and on. As I’ve pointed out in other posts, if all anybody ever hears is that 2+2=5, after a while, that is what they will reflexively believe by default.

    Thank heaven for FOX, but even they can fall into the same trap (I’ve heard some Saudi sheik has a 20% stake in them). I used to say they were the only ones that were “fair” to Israel, but lately, I only say that they are the “least unfair”.

    Anymore, if you want good reporting on Israel-related issues, about the only places left to go are the Jerusalem Post or the Christian Broadcasting Network. That is what it has come down to. I also understand from a friend who monitors such things that there are a lot of local media outlets who are very good on Israel, but they don’t have a national audience….and just as many try to ape the NYT (like my local paper here in Ohio) or get their international newsfeeds from similarly corrupted AP or Reuters wires.

    We can decry Al-Jazeera, but they are surely not going to change anytime soon, probably not until the collapse of the petrodollar-funded Islamist movement. We can’t have any influence on them. But if we work to expose the financial corruption of the Western media by petrodollars, then we CAN strike an effective blow for our cause.

    I greatly share Mr. Freedman’s concern over Turkey. In answer to his question, sadly, no, I don’t think Obama is going to wake up. Having gone to school with the likes of Obama, I feel practically as though I can read that guy like a book; I know the type exceedingly well, and I share President Sarkozy’s assessment of Obama’s combination of naivete and massive ego as one that makes him practically “unteachable”.

    It is going to be a very rough ride….three years, three months to go, but who’s counting?