IsraelAmerica

IsraelAmerica
IsraelAmerica

Friday, December 26, 2014

Israel's Identity Problem

Israel has an identity problem. Is it a Jewish state that provides legal and material preferences for citizens of Jewish ancestry? Or is it a secular nationstate, but one that happens to be rooted in Jewish culture and the Hebrew language? For more than six decades Israeli politicians have maintained a useful ambiguity about this deeply existential question. But no longer. In elections in March, Israel’s voters will be forced to confront stark choices about the country’s national identity. In the absence of a formal, written constitution, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has embraced a game­changing “nation­state” bill that would award “national rights” only to Jewish citizens. The outcome of this crossroads election is by no means certain. Initially, polls suggested that Mr. Netanyahu might well cement his hold on power and accelerate Israel’s rightward drift. But the recent forging of a new political coalition between Isaac Herzog, leader of the left­center Labor Party, and Tzipi Livni, leader of the Hatnua, a small center­right party — who was sacked from the cabinet earlier this month, as Mr. Netanyahu called for new elections — suggests that there may be a viable electoral alternative. Mr. Herzog and Ms. Livni oppose the Jewish nation­state bill. They are old­fashioned Zionists, wedded to the notion that all of Israel’s citizens, Jewish or otherwise, are entitled to equal democratic rights. And unlike Mr. Netanyahu, they both understand that Israel’s continued control over the post­ 1967 occupied territories threatens its democratic character. Israel’s 1948 declaration of independence guarantees “complete equality12/26/2014 Israel, a Jewish Republic? NYTimes.com http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/26/opinion/israel­a­jewish­republic.html?_r=0 2/4 of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.” So Israel may be a “Jewish state” in a cultural sense, but at least no more so than America can be called a “Christian state.” Israel was never intended to be a theocracy. It is also home to less than half of the world’s people who claim Jewish ancestry. Twenty percent of its citizens are not Jewish, but rather Muslim, Christian and Druze. And this minority is growing. Furthermore, most of Israel’s citizens who do claim Jewish ancestry are in fact secular, nonpracticing Jews. A large majority of its million­plus Russian immigrants are not even recognized as Jewish by the Orthodox rabbinical courts. A Jewish nation­state law would discriminate against these non­Jewish citizens — but it could also provide the quasi­judicial pretext for denying Palestinians citizenship if the ultraright get their way and Israel someday annexes the occupied territories. This is a bad idea in every conceivable way. In reality, Israel is a multiethnic, vibrant and largely secular society. This is clearly not a tragedy. It is actually what most of the country’s original Zionist founding fathers envisioned — a new, modern state in ancient Palestine where those Jews who so desired could become citizens of a nation like any other modern nation­state. “Israelis” would be seen not as members of the Jewish Diaspora, but citizens of their own state. Hillel Kook (1915­2001), an early Zionist leader from the Revisionist wing, thought of the new Israeli state as a “Hebrew Republic” — a place where Jews could leave behind the Diaspora. Instead of being Jewish Americans or Jewish Frenchmen, their identity would be defined in the first instance by their chosen citizenship in the new Israeli state — and not their Jewishness. They would be Israelis first — and would choose or choose not to practice their ancestral religion, just as most Frenchmen are Catholics who never attend Mass. Over more than six decades Israelis have created a distinct national culture, largely based on their language — always a key ingredient to any national identity. And this cultural identity is wholly separate from a Jewish Republic? ­ This definition of Israeli identity — one based on the Hebrew language and culture rather than religion — is a very good thing for the prospects of peace. The Palestine Liberation Organization and most Arab leaders already recognize the reality of the Israeli state. So why would Israeli leaders now want to define their identity from their neighbors’ in religious terms? Why does Mr. Netanyahu want to define his nation­state with precisely the same phrases used by Hamas, a nonsecular, fundamentalist party dedicated to the formation of an Islamic republic? Mr. Netanyahu himself is a secular politician. His insistence on a “Jewish state” seems to be only a prescription for endless conflict with his “Muslim” neighbors — and perhaps today a tactic to postpone further negotiations on the creation of a Palestinian state. The notion of a Jewish state is ultimately political poison for the Jewish Diaspora, and specifically for American Jews. If Israel is seen as a Jewish state, then the implication exists that some or all of America’s seven million Jewish Americans “belong” in Israel. They do not. They belong in the United States, and they’re not going anywhere. American Jews have thrived over the last hundred years, and in doing so they have enriched the secular and multi­cultural ethos of the United States. They can practice their faith as well or better in America than anywhere else. Their relation to the state of Israel is precisely the same as that of IrishAmericans to Ireland, or Italian­Americans to Italy. For all these reasons, talking about a “Jewish state” destroys a useful and wise ambiguity. Instead, Israelis need to celebrate their “Israeli” national identity. They should talk about Israel’s cultural and technological achievements. And talk about Israel’s security, too, and where its borders should be drawn so that the endless conflict between Arabs and Israelis can finally come to an end. Kai Bird is the author, most recently, of “The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames.”12/26/2014 Israel, a Jewish Republic? ­ NYTimes.com http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/26/opinion/israel­a­jewish­republic.html?_r=0 4/4 Correction: December 25, 2014 An earlier version of this article incorrectly described Isaac Herzog, leader of the left­center Labor Party. He was not sacked from the cabinet of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. A version of this op­ed appears in print on December 26, 2014, in The International New York Time AT 6:00:00 PM 0 COMMENTS

Monday, December 22, 2014

The new Euro-Muslim states

The new Euro-Muslim states

Op-ed: The Westernization of the Arab world has been replaced with the Islamization of Europe. The Arab League boycotted Israel from its very first day, and the 'European Union' with its new Muslim masters may now follow in its footsteps.
Published: 12.22.14, 00:33 / Israel Opinion
Once again, the "European Union" is forgetting about everything and dealing only with Israel and the Jews – a well-known and popular habit in Europe for hundreds (the Jews) and dozens (Israel) of years.


But this time it's different: The distance between the continent and the Muslim world is becoming increasingly shorter, and a new historical term can be coined: "Euro-Muslim states."



Just like the Arab world did all in its power to harm the young Israel, the same trend is taking shape in the European Union as well. While in the past we talked about the Westernization of the Arab world, we are now talking about the Arabization of Europe. The Arab League boycotted Israel from its very first day, and the "European Union" may now follow in its footsteps.


This may surprise many people, but there are already large citiesin Europe which will have a Muslim majority within five to seven years. Not just a huge minority, but an actual Muslim majority. And because cities determine reality these days, the coming years are expected to bring an extensive demographic and political change in the Euro-Muslim states.


The first European city which will have a Muslim majority by the end of the decade is Marseilles, the second largest city in France, where Muslims already make up 30% to 40% of the population. In 2016, the city will inaugurate a huge mosque with a 25-meter minaret and a prayer hall for 14,000 worshippers, fitting the huge community. This city has such a high crime rate that it's almost dangerous to live there.

Demographic censuses are banned in France, but according to estimates, the percentage of Muslims in the country has already crossed 13%.



A Muslim praying in Germany. 'If I were European, I would be very anxious right now. It's possible that the continent's Islamization is already an irreversible process' (Photo: Reuters)
A Muslim praying in Germany. 'If I were European, I would be very anxious right now. It's possible that the continent's Islamization is already an irreversible process' (Photo: Reuters)


By the end of the decade, a Muslim majority is also expected in Barcelona, Spain, where about 30% of residents are Muslims and there is a huge demand for more and more mosques.


There are smaller Spanish towns like Salt, where 40% of resident are already Muslims. The Muslim immigration rate to Spain is huge, and so is the birthrate, which leans on the welfare policy of the clumsy, suicidal giant called the "European Union."


Another city where a Muslim majority is expected very soon is Brussels, which is ironically the capital of the "European Union" and where 25-30% of residents today are Muslim. Islam is more powerful than the Catholic Church in Brussels.


In Malmo, the third largest city in Sweden, 25-30% of residents are Muslims and 40% are foreigners. The city has an alarming crime rate. In the capital of Stockholm, "only" 20% of residents are Muslim.


The same applies to Rotterdam and Amsterdam – in both cities, 25% of residents are Muslims – and Luton, which is located 50 kilometers north of London. Luton is the third largest city in England, and its white residents are already a minority – only 45%. The rest are Muslims and Asians.


The socialist parties are trying to gain support among these new huge communities, knowing that attacking Israel will be seen very favorably there. But the socialist rule marks an even quicker increase in the percentage of Muslims in the continent, as the socialist are in favor of continuing the crazy, legal and illegal, immigration of Muslims to the continent.


If I were European, I would be very anxious right now. That's the reason why right-wing parties are beginning to rise in Europe, seeing this transformation in the face of the continent as an eternal disaster.


These parties will increasingly take over the continent in the coming years, and that will cause greater shocks to the point of future civil wars. And it's also possible that the continent's Islamization is already an irreversible process.



It's a shame that little Israel is unwillingly inserted into the internal shocks in the continent (why is Israel the European Parliament's business anyway?), but punching the Jews and gaining legitimacy has always been a European game, whether among the Christians or, now, with the new masters – the Muslims.

Friday, December 19, 2014

EU Backs Palestinian Dictatorship

These European parliaments are also turning a blind eye to the fact that, under the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, there is no respect for the rule of law, free speech, transparency or accountability.
These Western parliamentarians are in fact acting against the interests of the Palestinians, who are clearly not hoping for another corrupt dictatorship in the Arab world.
"The situation in Palestine does not conform at all with democracy or the rule of law... Wake up and see the loss of rights, law and security." — Freih Abu Medein, former Palestinian Authority Justice Minister.
"Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] wants to concentrate all authorities in his hands and the hand of his loyalists. He's acting in a dictatorial way and wants to be in control of everything, especially the finances." — Yasser Abed Rabbo, Secretary General of the PLO.
By turning a blind eye to human rights violations, as well as assaults on freedom of expression, the judiciary and the parliamentary system in the Palestinian territories, Western parliaments are paving the way for a creation of a rogue state called Palestine.
European parliaments that are rushing to recognize a Palestinian state are ignoring the fact that the Palestinians have been without a functioning parliament for the past seven years.
The Palestinian parliament, known as the Palestinian Legislative Council [PLC], has been paralyzed since 2007, when Hamas violently seized control over the Gaza Strip and expelled the Palestinian Authority [PA].
These European parliaments are also turning a blind eye to the fact that, under the PA in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, there is no respect for the rule of law, free speech, transparency or accountability.
This week, the European Parliament also adopted a resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood in principle. A total of 489 MEP's voted in favor, while 88 were against.
Ironically, the EU Parliament vote coincided with an unprecedented crackdown by the Palestinian Authority leadership on the Palestinian Legislative Council and its secretary-general, Ibrahim Khraisheh, in Ramallah.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas ordered the arrest of Khraisheh for allegedly criticizing PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. Following strong protests by leaders of various Palestinian factions, who described the decision as a flagrant breach of freedom of expression, Abbas was forced to backtrack.
But for Abbas, this was not the end of the story. After canceling the arrest order against Khraisheh, Abbas dispatched policemen to the parliament building in Ramallah to prevent the top official from entering the compound. The presence of the policemen at the main entrance to the parliament building drew sharp denunciations from many Palestinians.
The Palestinian Legislative Council building in Ramallah. (Image source: Alaraby)
Khraisheh was removed from his job because he dared to criticize the Palestinian government for arresting Bassam Zakarneh, head of the public employees' union in the West Bank. Many Palestinians have also denounced the arrest of Zakarneh as an assault on workers' rights and an attempt to intimidate them.
But the EU Parliament and other parliaments that voted in favor of recognizing Palestinian statehood did not see a need to comment on Abbas's measures against the PLC and one of its senior officials.
EU parliamentarians who voted in favor of Palestinian statehood are most likely unaware of what the former PA Justice Minister, Freih Abu Medein, had to say about the rule of law and order in the Palestinian Authority.
Abu Medein drew a bleak picture of what the future Palestinian state would look like. In a damning article he published last week, Abu Medein wrote: "The situation in Palestine does not conform at all with democracy or the rule of law, because the Palestinian mentality is too coarse to cope with transparency of the law and its regulators and provisions."
Abu Medein's scathing attack, which is directed first and foremost against Abbas, ended with an appeal to Palestinians to "wake up and see the loss of law, rights and security" in the areas controlled by the PA and Hamas.
The former Palestinian Authority justice minister is not the only prominent Palestinian who seems to understand that a Palestinian state under the current circumstances would be anything but democratic.
Yasser Abed Rabbo, the secretary-general of the PLO who until recently was considered one of Abbas's top confidants, was quoted last week as strongly condemning the Palestinian Authority president's "dictatorial" rule.
Referring to Abbas by his nom de guerre, Abed Rabbo said: "Abu Mazen wants to concentrate all authorities in his hands and the hands of his loyalists. He's acting in a dictatorial way and wants to be in control of everything, especially the finances. I don't know what this man wants and why he's behaving in this way. What will happen after Abu Mazen's departure?"
The parliament members of Sweden, Britain, France and Portugal who voted in favor of recognizing Palestinian statehood do not seem to care about their Palestinian colleagues, who have been deprived of carrying out their parliamentary obligations as a result of the power struggle between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah faction.
Nor do they seem to care if the Palestinian state would be another corrupt dictatorship where there is no room for the rule of law, transparency or freedom of speech.
Obviously, Western parliamentarians see no wrongdoing or evil in the actions of the Palestinian leadership and Hamas. They are prepared to vote in favor of a Palestinian state even if it does not appear to be headed toward democracy and transparency.
These Western parliamentarians are in fact acting against the interests of the Palestinians, who are clearly not hoping for another corrupt dictatorship in the Arab world. By turning a blind eye to human rights violations, as well as assaults on freedom of expression, the judiciary and the parliamentary system in the Palestinian territories, Western parliaments are paving the way for the creation of a rogue state called Palestine.

 by Khaled Abu Toameh

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The dilemma is, why do we spend millions of dollars each year supporting an organization that passes Resolutions but never takes the time to implement them

Unlike UN General Assembly resolutions that are considered more matters of political expedience than matters of law, the UN Security Council resolutions are serious matters, matters that can lead to sanctions and even military response.Under the terms of Resolution 1373, the UN Security Council “decided that all States should prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, as well as criminalize the willful provision or collection of funds for such acts.  The funds, financial assets and economic resources of those who commit or attempt to commit terrorist acts or participate in or facilitate the commission of terrorist acts and of persons and entities acting on behalf of terrorists should also be frozen without delay.

Read more: UN Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001) | Bat-Zion Susskind-Sacks | The Blogs | The Times of Israel http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/un-security-council-resolution-1373-2001/#ixzz3Lq6iqLcq
Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook
The Council also decided that States should prohibit their nationals or persons or entities in their territories from making funds, financial assets, economic resources, financial or other related services available to persons who commit or attempt to commit, facilitate or participate in the commission of terrorist acts.  States should also refrain from providing any form of support to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts; take the necessary steps to prevent the commission of terrorist acts; deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, commit terrorist acts and provide safe havens as well.”
Why, then, is this Resolution, unanimously accepted, still one of the best kept secrets around?
For if it is not a secret, then how come the world continues to funnel billions of dollars to terror entities such as Hamas? Why does the UN continue to embrace countries like Qatar, like Turkey that provide a safe haven to known terrorists and support organizations that facilitate terrorist groups? And why is it that no one talks about the obvious, that country after country is doing its best not to comply with binding International Law they find inconvenient?
One could assume that perhaps the fault rests with the language in which the Resolution is written which might lend a basis for misinterpreting or misunderstanding it, though the language is quite clear and comprehensive, or perhaps the voting abstention of some members could be an excuse, but there were none.
It is becoming clearer and clearer that in today’s world, the inconvenient truth dictates that such a Resolution continues to be kept in the drawer where it has been safely tucked for the last 13 years. Exposing it, enforcing it might undermine the status quo of a politically correct world run and guided by some fearful, spineless leaders who are terrified of ruffling the feathers of those very same entities against whom this Resolution has been so carefully crafted.
It is also the same dread of the inconvenient truth that has led the blind world to make up, as Ms. Glick further states in that debate, “imaginary international laws” that “require” it to sanction Jewish projects on Jewish land in Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem.
George Orwell  (“1984″)  would laugh to see his thoughts reflected in the behavior of the International organization founded to promote peaceful resolution to international problems choosing to redefine everything to appease the world’s bullies,  equating Jews trying to live in peace, building homes, with terrorists murderers launching 1000’s of rockets to kill Jewish civilians — In Orwell’s words that apply to our reality today  “war is peace”  “freedom is slavery”  and Jews wanted to pray quietly at their holiest place on the planet is “aggression”.
The dilemma is, why do we spend millions of dollars each year supporting an organization that passes Resolutions but never takes the time to implement them yet makes up imaginary laws and spends millions of dollars on enforcing them?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Israel’s proposed constitutional legislation to confirm its status as the “nation state” of the Jewish people has caused concern

 December 9 

Israel’s proposed constitutional legislation to confirm its status as the “nation state” of the Jewish people has not only generated controversy within Israel, where it has helped bring down the current parliamentary coalition, but has also drawn criticism from the U.S. and Europe. The draft legislation has been decried as extreme and undemocratic. (To be clear, no draft bill has been approved, only a set of compromise principles for reconciling several rather different versions; apparently, people do not have to read the bill, or know any of its provisions, to oppose it.)
These objections do not hold water. For one, ensuring Israel’s status as a Jewish nation state is a goal expressly endorsed by the same critics, when it comes to pressuring Israel into diplomatic concessions. Second, the law is far from unusual by Western standards: it actually does far less to recognize Jewish nationhood or religion than provisions common in other democratic constitutions. This post will consider the general parameters of the legislation in comparison to constitutional provisions of other Western democracies. Tomorrow, a second post will relate the law to the “two state solution.”
The nation state bills mostly constitutionalize the national anthem, symbols, holidays, and so forth. There is nothing racist, or even unusual, about having national or religious character reflected in constitutional commitments, as research by my colleagues at the Kohelet Policy Forumdemonstrates. Seven EU states have constitutional “nationhood” provisions, which typically speak of the state as being the national home and locus of self-determination for the country’s majority ethnic group. This is even the case in places like the Baltics, with large and alienated minority populations.
For example, the Latvian constitution opens by invoking the “unwavering will of the Latvian nation to have its own State and its inalienable right of self-determination in order to guarantee the existence and development of the Latvian nation, its language and culture throughout the centuries.” It continues by defining Latvian “identify” as “shaped by Latvian and Liv traditions, Latvian folk wisdom, the Latvian language, universal human and Christian values.”
Or consider the Slovak constitution, which opens with the words, “We the Slovak nation,” and lays claim to “the natural right of nations to self-determination.” Only then does it note the “members of national minorities and ethnic groups living on the territory of the Slovak Republic,” which are not part of the “We” exercising national self-determination.Then there is language. Israel has Hebrew, the majority language, Arabic, and English (a leftover from the British Mandate) as its official languages – and new bill does not change that. This is very unusual. Most multi-ethnic, multi–lingual EU states give official status only to the language of the majority group. Spain’s constitution, for example, makes Castilian Spanish the sole official national language and requires all citizens to know it, even if their mother tongue is Basque or Catalan. Most exceptionally, Ireland grants “primary” official status to Gaelic, though only a small percentage of citizens actually speak it. This is an obviously enshrines the state’s special relation to the Irish ethnic group.
Then there is religion. Contrary to common conception, Judaism is not the official religion of Israel, the world’s only Jewish state. (It has no official religion, but all religious groups get funding from the government). Nothing in the proposed bills establishes a religion.
In this respect, Israel is far more liberal than the numerous European countries with an official religion. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, seven European countries (from Iceland to Greece) have constitutionally-enshrined official religions, despite large Moslem minorities, to say nothing of atheists and other Christian denominations. Moreover, in five European countries the head of state must actually belong to the official religion. In Israel, by contrast, the president certainly can be a non-Jew, and indeed a Druze has been one (on an acting basis).
It is noteworthy that most of the European constitutions affirming a particular national heritage are both recent and involve nations with sizable ethnic minorities. It is hard to understand why what works for them should be so widely denounced when it comes to Israel.
[Comments now enabled.]


Eugene Kontorovich is a professor at Northwestern University School of Law, and an expert on constitutional and international law. He also writes and lectures frequently about the Arab-Israel conflict.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Iran Is Playing With Fire

Iran is playing with fire Analysis: Did the IAF strike in Syria in response to public declaration by Iranian Revolutionary Guard on transfer of advanced missiles to Hezbollah?

 Published: 12.08.14, 00:06 /

 Israel Opinion
\
The strikes in Syria on Sunday afternoon, which have been attributed to the Israeli Air Force, were likely intended to prevent the transfer of advanced weaponry from Iran to Hezbollah. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard continues to play with fire by equipping Hezbollah with arms that have the capability to cause widespread losses and destruction in Israel. Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter The appraisal is based on the fact that the targets were in two distant areas – one near the international airport in Damascus and the other in Dimas, west of the capital, mere miles from the border with Lebanon. It is widely believed that shipments of missiles and other arms destined for Hezbollah land in Iranian cargo jets at the airport in Damascus, then transferred to a Syrian military storage site, until they are sent to over the border to Lebanon. It is reasonable to assume that today's strike, if it actually was undertaken by the IAF through Lebanese airspace, was launched based on precise intelligence and after all operational and strategic aspects were considered. Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon has previously announced the three red lines according to which Israel takes action on the northern front. The transfer of "game-changing" weaponry to Hezbollah Chemical weapons Any harm to Israeli sovereignty Since there had been no recent case of breaking Israeli sovereignty, the likely assumption is that the attack was undertaken because of high-end weaponry transferred to Hezbollah or the transfer of chemical weapons – or both. Regardless, it is reasonable to assume that Defense Minister Ya'alon approved and ordered the attack. Today's strike was reminiscent of the May 2013 attack which was attributed to the IAF, when advanced, precise missiles, of the Fateh-110 variety, arrived on planes from Iran. The following night a large Syrian military missile storage site near the Lebanon border was attacked. It is increasingly likely that today's attack – which has been attributed to the IAF but has not been confirmed by Israeli officials – was executed for similar reasons under similar circumstances. In recent weeks, many Hezbollah officials and senior members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard have publicly boasted about the advanced ground-to-ground missiles which Iran supplied Hezbollah and which allow the terror group to threaten almost any target within Israel. Analysts believe the officials were boasting of the Iranian-made Fateh-110 missiles. It is in the realm of possibility that several shipments of these missiles occurred, significantly upgrading Hezbollah's capability to unleash destruction on Israel territory as far south as the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. It is also likely that today's attack was intended to stop another shipment scheduled to arrive at Damascus international airport, from where it was to be transferred to the Lebanese border. Syrian President Bashar Assad, it must be noted, owes Hezbollah a great deal, as the Lebanese terror group defends his regime – which is likely why he carries the risk of Israeli attacks on his territory. It may be assumed that today's attack will not heat up tensions between Israel and Syria. Assad does not make a habit of responding to attacks on Hezbollah weapons transfers in his territory in order to avoid a destructive clash with Israel at a time when he is fighting for his survival against local rebels. It is also assumed that Hezbollah will not respond, either. In the past the terror group launched reprisal attacks over Israeli strikes which destroyed its weapon shipments, but only when these strikes took place within Lebanese territory. The Lebanese terror group has not responded to attacks on its organization in Syrian territory – since Hezbollah chief Nasrallah believes in defending only Lebanese land, while retaliating to an attack in Syria will serve as confirmation which he is receiving illegal weapon shipments from Iran. That's how it worked in the past. Nevertheless, there is no guarantee that Hezbollah and Syria will maintain this policy and thus the IDF must maintain alert on the northern front – both on the ground and in the sky. It is reasonable to assume the IDF will change its missile defense deployment, reinforcing positions in the country's north. Meanwhile, it's likely that Iran will respond using armed Palestinian militias in the Golan Heights. Israeli officials did not address the reports in the past – and are not confirming them – in a bid not to corner the Syrian regime or Hezbollah. The Syrian military rushed to condemn the attacks, only because it serves its propaganda line – which claims cooperation between Syrian rebels and Israel. http://www.ynetnews.com/headlines

/1,7340,L-4299,00.html

 Posted by Michael Blackburn at 7:15 PM

Monday, November 24, 2014

Author Alan Dershowitz: How to defeat ISIS? Ask Israel

Alan Dershowitz explains why Israel's strategy in combating Hamas serves as the blueprint the US should use versus ISIS. More from CNN at http://www.cnn.com/

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Abbas Is To Blame

Op-Ed: Yes, Mahmoud Abbas IS to Blame It's not just the incitement, the "unity government" with Hamas and other regular talking points - Mahmoud Abbas bears direct responsibility for the Har Nof massacre. Ari Soffer The writer is the Managing Editor of Arutz Sheva/Israel National News.... The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades - the "armed wing" of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist group - has officially taken credit for this morning's brutal terrorist attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem. Four people were murdered and eight wounded, four seriously, when two Arab terrorists stormed the Kehillat Bnai Torah Yeshiva Synagogue in Har Nof armed with knifes, axes and a pistol, spraying bullets and slaughtering innocent worshipers as they prayed. The two terrorists were shot dead in an exchange of gunfire with Israeli police, and have been identified as cousins Uday and Ghassan Abu Jamal, Palestinian residents of Jerusalem's Jabel Mukhabar neighborhood who carry blue teudat zehut identity cards. According to reports in the Palestinian media, the terrorists are relatives of Jamal Abu Jamal, a terrorist released for the second time from an Israeli prison as part of a "goodwill gesture" to Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas last year. Jamal Abu Jamal was rearrested earlier this month after returning to terrorist activity. The attack was praised by the PFLP's Islamist counterparts Hamas and Islamic Jihad, who called on Palestinians to carry out similar such "operations." Following this morning's attack, Israeli leaders - including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and Economics Minister Naftali Bennett - have all insisted that Abbas bears responsibility for the atrocity, citing regular incitement emanating from him personally and the Palestinian Authority he leads in general. Netanyahu in particular lamented the international community's shameful habit of ignoring PA incitement - a complaint regularly made by Israeli diplomats. For perhaps the first time, following the attack US Secretary John Kerry alluded (weakly) to the PA's responsibility, urging "the Palestinian leadership at every single level to condemn this in the most powerful terms. This violence has no place anywhere particularly after the discussion that we had just the other day in Amman." On cue, Abbas's office issued a statement condemning the attack - in anything but "the most powerful terms." What we were treated to instead was a matter-of-fact statement of condemnation qualified with a healthy dose of Israel-bashing, attacking Israel's "interference at Al-Aqsa [the Temple Mount - ed.] and the incitement by Israeli ministers." Such a statement is nothing short of derisory. Such a lukewarm condemnation hardly counters the stream of incitement uttered by Abbas, including calls to prevent "unclean Jews" from visiting the Temple Mount using "all means necessary." It is also notable that the same Hamas which so glowingly praised the attack is still currently a part of Abbas's "unity government" (albeit a shaky one). Moreover, Abbas's own Fatah organization also celebrated the attack - as it has done after each previous terrorist murder - on its official Facebook page. The Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades [Fatah's military wing - ed.] released a long statement praising the "blessed" attack, and Fatah's Jerusalem chapter hailed it as a "natural response to daily Israeli violations." But beyond these regular talking points, as legitimate as they are, it must be emphasized that Abbas's responsibility runs far deeper still. He is, in fact, directly responsible for this attack, as it was carried out by a faction under his authority. The PFLP is a far-left organization which blends neo-Marxism with ultranationalism, and has been responsible for many other terrorist atrocities in the past. It is also the second-largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) - which is led by none other than Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas. And you can be sure that Abbas's Fatah and the PFLP will remain comrades even after this event. It remains to be seen whether Abbas will go so far as to send a letter of condolence to the families of the two murderers in this attack, as he did in the case of Mu'taz Hijazi, the Islamic Jihad terrorist who shot and seriously wounded Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick. That blatant act of support for a would-be murderer even provoked rare condemnation from Israel's chief negotiator Tzipi Livni, who noted: "You can't on the one hand go round saying you condemn violence and on the other hand send letters encouraging it." Quite so. And one might add to that: you can't parade yourself as a moderate man of peace, as a legitimate negotiating partner, when the major partner within your own organization (PLO) carries out such indiscriminate slaughter of Jewish worshipers, while your own faction joins your "unity government" partner Hamas in reveling in and celebrating the act of murder, while encouraging further atrocities. If only our own Israeli, and Jewish, Left could understand that, we might actually be able to get off of this Oslo train to hell.

Joy in the World of Arab Criminals as American Rabbis are Murdered

Here we go again. More unarmed, innocent non-Muslims murdered by Arabian death cultists. This time, four Rabbis were murdered by rampaging Arab Muslims. There is dancing and joy in the Arabian streets. kalashnikovs fired in the streets of Gaza and Judea and Samaria and wherever else Arabs bent on Jew killing gather. Abbas, the leader of the terror group Fatah, blamed the murders on Israeli "oppression". Later after urging from John Kerry he issued a qualified condemnation of violence. “ What is most shocking is that it’s just the cruelty of the massacre but also those (images) of glee and joy in Gaza, in Bethlehem and in other places where candy was handed out, where fireworks were set off, where praises were heard,” the prime minister said. The Americans were identified as Aryeh Kupinsky, Kalmen Levin and Moshe Twersky. Liverpool-born Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, who most recently lived in North London, was the British citizen killed in the attack, according to The Sun newspaper. The four all held dual citizenship with Israel. They were slaughtered when two Palestinians armed with meat cleavers and a gun stormed the building and began attacking people. Beginning with the gift of Gaza to the Arabs several years ago, the Arabs have consistently ratcheted up the intensity, depravity, and senselessness of their crimes. Our hearts go out to Israel and the Israelis and the entire Jewish people once again ruthlessly attacked for no other reason the the Arabian thirst for Jewish blood. The goal of a two state solution was a pipe dream. what is needed is an expansion of Israel.. Eretz Yisrael Ha-Shlema. The Arabians have proven to most of the world that they are unable to govern, and unwilling to live in peace with anyone. Israel needs to reclaim Yesha.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

ISIS is to America as Hamas is to Israel

by Alan M. Dershowitz "There has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so it does not spread. There has to be a clear rejection of the kind of a nihilistic ideologies. One thing we can all agree on is group like (ISIS) has no place in the 21st century. Friends and allies around the world, we share a common security a set of values opposite of what we saw yesterday. We will continue to confront this hateful terrorism and replace it with a sense of hope and stability." At the same time that President Obama has called for an all-out war against the "cancer" of ISIS, he has regarded Hamas as having an easily curable disease, urging Israel to accept that terrorist group, whose charter calls for Israel's destruction, as part of a Palestinian unity government. I cannot imagine him urging Iraq, or any other Arab country, to accept ISIS as part of a unity government. Former President Jimmy Carter and Bishop Desmond Tutu have gone even further, urging the international community to recognize the legitimacy of Hamas as a political party and to grant it diplomatic recognition. It is hard to imagine them demanding that the same legitimate status be accorded ISIS. Why then the double standard regarding ISIS and Hamas? Is it because ISIS is less brutal and violent than Hamas? It's hard to make that case. Hamas has probably killed more civilians — through its suicide bombs, its murder of Palestinian Authority members, its rocket attacks and its terror tunnels — than ISIS has done. If not for Israel's Iron Dome and the Israeli Defense Forces, Hamas would have killed even more innocent civilians. Indeed its charter calls for the killing of all Jews anywhere in the world, regardless of where they live or which "rock" they are hiding behind. If Hamas had its way, it would kill as least as many people as ISIS would. Is it the manner by which ISIS kills? Beheading is of course a visibly grotesque means of killing, but dead is dead and murder is murder. And it matters little to the victim's family whether the death was caused by beheading, by hanging or by a bullet in the back of a head. Indeed most of ISIS's victims have been shot rather than beheaded, while Hamas terrorists have slaughtered innocent babies in their beds, teenagers on the way home from school, women shopping, Jews praying and students eating pizza. Is it because ISIS murdered an American? Hamas has murdered numerous Americans and citizens of other countries. They too are indiscriminate in who they kill. Is it because ISIS has specifically threatened to bring its terrorism to American shores, while Hamas focuses its terrorism in Israel? The Hamas Charter does not limit its murderous intentions to one country. Like ISIS it calls for a worldwide "caliphate," brought about by violent Jihad. Everything we rightly fear and despise from ISIS we should fear and despise from Hamas. Just as we would never grant legitimacy to ISIS, we should not grant legitimacy to Hamas—at the very least until it rescinds its charter and renounces violence. Unfortunately that is about as likely as America rescinding its constitution. Violence, anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism are the sine qua non of Hamas' mission. Just as ISIS must be defeated militarily and destroyed as a terrorist army, so too must Hamas be responded to militarily and its rockets and tunnels destroyed. It is widely, and in my view mistakenly, argued by many academics and diplomats that there can never be a military solution to terrorism in general or to the demands of Hamas in particular. This conventional wisdom ignores the lessons of history. Chamberlain thought there could be a diplomatic solution to Hitler's demands. Churchill disagreed. History proved Churchill correct. Nazi Fascists and Japanese militarists had to be defeated militarily before a diplomatic resolution could be achieved. So too with ISIS and Hamas. They must first be defeated militarily and only then might they consider accepting reasonable diplomatic and political compromises. Another similarity between ISIS and Hamas is that if these terrorist groups were to lay down their arms, there might be peace, whereas if their enemies were to lay down their arms, there would be genocide. A wonderful cartoon illustrates this: at one end of the table is Hamas demanding "Death to all Jews" At the other end is Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu. In the middle sits the mediator, who turns to Netanyahu and asks: "Could you at least meet him half way?" No democratic nation can accept its own destruction. We cannot compromise — come half way — with terrorists who demand the deaths of all who stand in the way of their demand for a Sunni caliphate, whether these terrorists call themselves ISIS or Hamas. Both are, in the words of President Obama, "cancers" that must be extracted before they spread. Both are equally malignant. Both must be defeated on the battlefield, in the court of public opinion and in the courts of law. There can be no compromise with bigotry, terrorism or the demand for a caliphate. Before Hamas or ISIS can be considered legitimate political partners, they must give up their violent quest for a worldwide Islamic caliphate. Gatesoneinstitute

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hamas got rich as Gaza was plunged into poverty

With multi-million-dollar land deals, luxury villas and black market fuel from Egypt, Gaza's rulers made billions while the rest of the population struggled with 38-percent poverty and 40-percent unemployment. Doron Peskin Published: 07.15.14, 16:12 / Israel Business While the fighting is only expected to worsen the distress of the residents of Gaza, the Strip's economic outlook for the Strip was never good. The unemployment rate in Gaza stood at approximately 40% before the latest conflict, with a similar proportion being classed as living under the poverty line. But while most of the Gaza population tries to deal with the difficulties of daily life, it seems that one sector at least has had few worries about their livelihoods - Hamas leaders and their associates. Multi-million-dollar deal Someone who has benefitted financially is the former Hamas prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh. Before 2006 and Hamas' shocking electoral win and subsequent dominance of the Palestinian government , 51-year-old Haniyeh was not considered a senior figure in Hamas in the Gaza Strip. But according to reports in the past few years, Haniyeh's new-found senior status has allowed him to become a millionaire. This is an unusual feat, given that he was born to a refugee family in the al-Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza. In 2010, Egyptian magazine Rose al-Yusuf reported that Haniyeh paid for $4 million for a 2,500msq parcel of land area in Rimal, a tony beachfront neighborhood of Gaza City. To avoid embarrassment, the land was registered in the name of the husband of Haniyeh's daughter. Since then, there have been reports that Haniyeh has purchased several homes in the Gaza Strip, registered in the names of his children - no hardship, as he has 13 of them. At least with regards to his eldest son, it seems that the apple does not fall far from the tree, given his arrest on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing with millions of dollars in cash in possession, which he intended to take into Gaza. Subsidized fuel sold for profit According to sources in Gaza, Haniyeh's wealth, like others high up in Hamas, came primarily from the flourishing tunnel industry. Senior Hamas figures, Haniyeh included, would levy 20 percent taxation on all of the trade passing through the tunnels. Hamas's heyday came after the overthrow of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, as its parent organization the Muslim Brotherhood was growing in popularity in Egypt. In those days, Hamas leaders and their associates were not afraid to show off their ostentatious wealth. Gaza's market for luxury villas costing at least a million dollars was booming, most purchased by people associated with the establishment of Hamas. A Gazan familiar with the real estate market summed it up at the time with a quip about a Hamas crony who had recently acquired a luxury villa: "Two years ago, he couldn’t afford a packet of cigarettes." At the same time, Khairat a-Shater, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt who headed his own business empire, made sure to personally transfer tens of millions in cash to senior administration officials in Gaza as well as to commanders from the Hamas military wing. There were senior Hamas members who preferred that the money be kept in a safer place than the Gaza Strip, and invested it in various Egyptian assets, often through business partnerships with Muslim Brotherhood officials. In some cases, the man conducting the deals on behalf of Hamas officials, who ensured that they received their dividends in cash, was Ayman Taha, a Hamas founder once considered one of its key spokesmen. In 2011, Taha himself paid $700,000 for a luxury three-floor villa in the central Gaza Strip; a year ago, he was charged with being an agent for Egypt. The Egyptian street has become inflamed with anger directed against Hamas over the last three years, partly due to what appears to be its financial gains at the expense of the Egyptian people. The tunnels in Rafah, the town straddling the Gaza-Egypt border, for example, saw a flourishing fuel-smuggling industry from Sinai. The fuel subsidized by the Egyptian government was entering Gaza at a low price, but being sold for eight times that. Those who made the greatest profits from the sale of the fuel were Hamas members, even as Egypt often reported shortages for its own people. Hamas, says Professor Ahmed Karima of Al-Azhar University in Egypt, has long become a movement of millionaires. According to Karima, the organization can count no less than 1,200 millionaires among its members. He did not, however, specify the source of this information. Mashal's mall It was not only Hamas members in Gaza who became rich. It appears that political leader Khaled Mashal is another member of the organization who used Hamas funds to his own ends. In 2012, a Jordanian website reported that Mashal had control of a massive $2.6 billion, in large part deposited in Qatari and Egyptian banks. This is likely Hamas' accumulated assets from years through donations, as well as its investments in various projects in the Arab and Muslim world. It is also known that, among other things, Hamas has invested in real estate projects in Saudi Arabia, Syria and Dubai. And, according to reports, Mashal did not always separate Hamas money and his own. Hamas' expulsion from Syria was a severe financial blow for the movement. In 2011, before the start of the Syrian conflict, Hamas's assets in the country had reached a value of $550 million. Apart from its real estate holdings, Hamas invested in various commercial companies, including a cargo company registered to a Syrian businessman close to Moussa Abu Marzook, Mashal's deputy. As with other areas, in its financial dealings Hamas leaders keep their cards close to their chest and maintain a high level of secrecy. Investments are made through front companies, using family and associates. Companies linked to Mashal in Qatar are registered to his wife and daughter. Once he was forced to close his office in Damascus (after falling out with the Assad regime over its oppressive response to the conflict), Mashal declared that his place was in Qatar. There, he claimed that $12 million he had stored in his safe in his Damascus office had been lost. Not many accepted this story, and to this day believe that Mashal kept the money, transferring it to his own personal accounts. Reliable sources claim that a project by the Fadil real estate firm in Qatar is linked to Mashal, his son and his son's wife. The prestigious project in Doha, the Qatari capital, includes the construction of four towers of more than 27,000 square meters, including office and commercial space attached to a mall with an area of ​​10,000 square meters. The company has never disclosed the source of its funding. According to a World Bank report released in November of last year, the Gaza Strip ranks third in the Arab region in terms of poverty, ranking above only Sudan and Yemen. The report stated that the poverty rate in Gaza stands at 38 percent. Furthermore, of the 144 countries included in the report, Gaza was the 44th poorest, with most of the countries with a higher poverty rate being located in Africa.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Top Israeli Judge: Free Pollard


Israel erred, concedes Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, but convicted spy has served 29 years and 'that's enough'
Israel's Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein has called for the US administration to pardon Jonathan Pollard, the American jailed since 1985 for spying on Israel's behalf.

Mistakes were made, mainly by the Israelis, but by the Americans as well, and 29 years was enough, said Rubinstein at a lecture last week at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. His remarks were reported Sunday by Haaretz correspondent and analyst Amir Oren.

Rubinstein is expected to be named deputy chief justice of the high court next year.

Supreme Court justices rarely offer their views on current events, let alone comment about the decisions of foreign powers.

The lecture was delivered in memory of a former US ambassador to Israel, Sam Lewis, who died earlier this year.

Pollard was arrested at the end of Lewis’ term in Israel, when Rubinstein was acting ambassador in Washington. On November 21, 1985, Pollard tried to drive into the Israeli Embassy parking lot, was turned back by Israeli guards and arrested by FBI agents.

Rubinstein did not know that Pollard was being operated as a spy.

As Israeli attorney general in later years, Rubinstein was active in pushing for Pollard's release. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly raised the issue once again at his meeting Wednesday with President Barack Obama.

In his lecture, Rubinstein said he believed that Lewis also supported Pollard’s release.

Pollard's possible release was brought up earlier this year in efforts led by Secretary of State John Kerry to bring about a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. One proposal floated at the time called for Pollard to be freed in return for Israel's agreement to free Palestinians accused of terrorism.





Wednesday, October 1, 2014

PM Addresses Ban Ki-Moon

The terrorists of Hamas used  UN facilities over the summer to attack Israel.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took the bitter criticism he leveled against the UN Human Rights Council in the UN General Assembly on Monday directly into the office of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday, saying the forum was badly stacked against Israel and defended Hamas.

Netanyahu, according to a statement issued from his office, complained to Ban that the council was focusing its investigation on Israel, rather than on Hamas which used UN facilities over the summer to attack Israel.

Jerusalem, Netanyahu said, will fight against this.

The prime minister stressed, as he did in his speech, that Israel did not intentionally target Palestinian civilians, and was sorry for every civilian casualty. He said that Hamas has taken the local population hostage, and compared the organization to Islamic State. He repeated his position that Hamas carried out a double war crime over the summer: firing on Israeli civilians, while hiding behind Palestinian civilians.

“I will not apologize for Israel having the Iron Dome to protect its citizens,” he said.

Netanyahu also complained that Israel was held to different standards from all other countries in the world. While some 200,000 people have been killed in Syria, he said, there is no proportionality between how much time the UN spends on Israel and on Syria.

Netanyahu was accompanied in the meeting by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.

Regarding the Palestinian issue, Netanyahu -- who did not mention support for a Palestinian state in his address on Monday -- said that there was no change in his position regarding acceptance of a demilitarized Palestinian state that will recognize Israel as the Jewish state, as long as security safeguards were in place that would enable Israel to defend itself against any threat.

He also stressed to Ban, who condemns every instance of Jewish building beyond the 1967 lines, that the conflict with the Palestinians is not over the settlements, but rather over Israel’s right to exist in the region as a Jewish state.

Monday, September 29, 2014

"I love Israel" says Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga: World is wrong about Israel
"Tel Aviv was magnificent, star singer says in interview, and its people are ‘in good spirits’

BY LAZAR BERMAN September 28, 2014, 7:09 pm 81

 
Lady Gaga in Tel Aviv

Pop star Lady Gaga says the world’s image of Israel is inaccurate, calling the country “a beautiful place.”

“Oh it was fantastic!” said Lady Gaga in an interview published Friday by The Independent, talking about her September 13 performance in Tel Aviv. “Tel Aviv was magnificent. The world view of Israel is just not reality. It’s in a beautiful place, the people are in good spirits.”
"I had a very emotional show with those fans. It was wonderful,” she said.

The 28-year-old singer also said her duet at the Tel Aviv show with famed crooner Tony Bennett was not planned, but was rather his idea.

“And I was very overwhelmed when Tony surprised me there. I knew he was coming in [to Tel Aviv] for a show, but he came a day early and he said: ‘Hey, you wanna sing “Anything But Love” at the ArtRave?’ And I thought: ‘Gosh, how magnificent! To bridge the jazz and the pop world at the same time.’ And at that show there were 25,000 people singing every word.”

On September 19, she released an album, “Cheek to Cheek,” with the singer.

Gaga told AP in a recent interview that she “felt a beautiful energy” in Tel Aviv, prompting The Times of Israel’s editor, David Horovitz, to publish a paean to her.

Gaga, the multi-platinum, multi-hued, multi-talented artist formerly known as Stefani Germanotta, was the first big-name star to confirm a show in Israel after this summer’s 50-day war with Hamas forced the cancellations or postponement of shows by Neil Young, The Backstreet Boys and Lana Del Rey, among others.

Lady Gaga in Tel Aviv, Sept. 13, 2014 (photo by Shooka Cohen)

Gaga, who last played Tel Aviv six years ago, put on a show that was so big and bright, it almost made up for those cancellations.

Sauntering on stage at 9:40 p.m., in the first of several blonde wigs and sequined, space-age like bodysuits, she launched into “ArtPop,” her world tour’s signature track, before belting out “G.U.Y. (Girl Under You),” as a bevy of bare-chested male dancers gyrated and convulsed around her.

Like many of this summer’s pre-war musical acts, including The Rolling Stones and Justin Timberlake, Gaga sprinkled bits of Hebrew into her show, opening her performance by telling the crowd “Ani ohevet et’chem” (I love you) and closing off several of songs with the words “Todah Rabah” (thank you very much).

“Put your hands up and cheer for yourselves,” she told the crowd. “You are strong, you are brave, you are confident, and I f*cking love you, Israel.”

Debra Kamin and AP contributed to this report.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hypocritical to attack Israel for Striking Hamas

By Alan Dershowitz

The air attack by American and Arab forces against ISIS and other terrorist targets parallels Israel’s air attacks against Hamas terrorist targets in Gaza.

According to retired Gen. Wesley Clark, the United States air attacks are designed to degrade and destroy the infrastructure of the terrorist groups, including the electric grid, the sources of their finance, and other mixed military-civilian targets.

When Israel attacked Hamas military targets, including some that had mixed uses, it was condemned by the same Arab nations that participated in the joint United States-Arab attack in Syria.

The difference of course is that the threat posed by ISIS is not nearly as imminent as the threats posed by Hamas. This is certainly true in relation to the United States and may also be true in relation to its Arab partners.
Vote Now: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance?

Among the most hypocritical nations participating in the U.S. attack is, of course, Qatar, which not only condemned Israel for defending its civilians against Hamas rockets and tunnels, but actually funded the Hamas attacks and provided asylum for the Hamas terrorist leaders who ordered them.

Hypocrisy is nothing new when it comes to the double standard applied by the international community against Israel. The United States and its Arab partners have the right to take preemptive action against terrorist groups without fear of U.N. condemnation, a Goldstone report, or threats to bring its leaders before the International Criminal Court.

Yet everything Israel does, regardless of how careful it is to minimize civilian casualties, becomes the basis for international condemnation.

If the U.S. attacks in Syria continue, there are likely to be civilian casualties, because ISIS will embed its fighters among civilians and the many hostages it has taken. When that happens, American and Arab rockets will kill some civilians. It will be interesting to compare the world’s reaction to those civilian deaths with its reaction to deaths caused by Israeli rockets hitting human shields deliberately employed by Hamas.

If the past is any predictor of the future, the ratio of civilian to terrorist deaths may be considerably higher in the American lead air attacks than it was in the Israeli air attacks. In past wars, such as those in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and the former Yugoslavia, the ratio of civilian to combatant deaths was far higher than the ratio brought about by Israeli rockets firing into Gaza where human shields are Hamas’s tactic of choice.

Special: What This Soldier Did When He Came Home From Iraq . . . (Surprising)
It will also be interesting to see the reaction of the international community and various NGOs to U.S.-led attacks on mixed military-civilian targets, such as electric grid and sources of financing.

The international law on these subjects is vague, open-ended and thus subject to selective application. Doubts are always resolved against Israel and in favor of other nations engaging in similar military actions.

The joint attack by the United States and the handful of Arab countries may finally persuade the world that the laws of warfare must be adapted to the new realities of terrorism.

If one were to literally apply the words of Section 51 of the U.N. Charter, no country could defend itself against imminent attacks, either by terrorists or conventional armies. That section requires an armed attack by an enemy state to have occurred before the right of self-defense kicks in.

That provision was unrealistic when drafted and it is far more unrealistic now in the face of terroristic threats. The laws of war also require proportionality, which is defined as demanding that the anticipated deaths of civilians be evaluated against the military value of the target. But it does not take into account situations where the enemy hides its valuable military targets behind human shields.

It has been easy for the international community to apply these rules rigidly and unrealistically when the only country to which it applies them is the nation-state of the Jewish people.

But now it will have to apply them across the board, and that will require defining them in a sensible and realistic way that does not give undue advantage to terrorists who refuse to comply with the rule of law.

© 2014 Newsmax.

The Chomsky Hoax

The Chomsky Hoax
Exposing the Dishonesty of Noam Chomsky