Archive for Aunt Agatha

Gosh, Darnit! A 3rd Rocket Stash Found At A UN School.

UN schools have more rocket stashes tucked away than I have extra pairs of reading glasses. They’re so easy to lose, right?

The United Nations Relief & Works Agency For Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) announced Tuesday that another rocket stockpile has been found at one of its schools in Gaza. This instance marks the third time since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge that a weapons arsenal has been found at an UNRWA school in Gaza.

UNRWA has yet to place blame on any individuals or organizations for placing the weapons stockpile within a children’s school. The UN body refused to do so on the past two previous occasions as well.
The UN body, after both previous findings, has handed the rockets it had found back into the possession of “the local police,” otherwise known as the terrorist group Hamas.

This week, UNRWA supplies and building materials had been found in Hamas’s tunnel infrastructure, which has been used to smuggle weapons and carry out attacks on the State of Israel.

The UN agency has a well-documented history of using their US taxpayer-funded facilities to promote anti-Israel and anti-Semitic propaganda. It has in the past been accused of aiding and abetting radical Islamists in Gaza and elsewhere.

Imagine that! The UN paid for the tunnels (in part) along with you and me, the American taxpayer. And now Israel is destroying all that work and all that money. Shouldn’t we do something about Israel? Those are Peace Tunnels™, intended to show the loving side of the Peaceful Palestinians™. Mean old Israel has to stop!

Do you suppose that the UN will “lose” this weapons too? I’m taking the over on this one, BTL.

- Aggie

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US Sets Israel Up For “Relation Meltdown”

People should contact their representatives to complain about this.

After being caught on a hot mic July 20 saying, “It’s crazy to just be sitting around,” Kerry finally departed for Egypt. He spent most of the week in his hotel in Cairo, holding meetings and making dozens of phone calls, traveling to Israel and the West Bank for a few hours only July 23.

When Kerry sent the Israel government his draft ceasefire proposal July 25, the Israeli cabinet rejected it unanimously and senior Israeli officials leaked several angry and nasty criticisms of Kerry to the Israeli press. Kerry’s meeting with the Turkish and Qatari foreign ministers in Paris on July 26 evoked another round of leaked quotes about Israel’s frustration with Kerry’s effort. [They fail to mention that Egypt is also upset with Kerry. - Aggie]

Of course, the Benjamin Netanyahu government in Israel was wary of Kerry’s efforts. Israel has been resisting Kerry’s criticism that their operations should focus more on avoiding civilian casualties and has groused [Note the use of the verb: to grouse. Is that serious? Does that imply the fear that your communities will be overrun with Hamas terrorists coming through tunnels, Hamas shells landing randomly on homes, schools, roads? No, it does not. They are intentionally downplaying Israel's extremely valid concerns. Why? Because they are journalists, trying to control the mood of the American public and to turn it against Israel. - Aggie] that Kerry’s proposal would reward Hamas for launching barrages of rockets into Israel. Israeli officials have also disparaged Kerry in public and private ever since Kerry’s last Middle East peace push collapsed in April. [They are "disparaging" him because he is a weasel. We in Massachusetts can attest to that.- Aggie]

But anonymous Israeli officials were not the only ones grousing about Kerry’s diplomacy. Asharq al-Aswat, an Arab newspaper based in London, quoted a senior Palestinian Authority official over the weekend saying Kerry’s plan was an attempt to destroy the Egyptian ceasefire proposal. [Yes, because it hands a win over to Hamas and makes the entire region less safe. - Aggie]

State Department officials have claimed all week that an immediate ceasefire leading to a negotiation for a more permanent agreement between Israel and Hamas was the only way forward. Meanwhile, the death toll mounts on both sides, with the Palestinians bearing the brunt of the tragedy; 48 IDF soldiers and over 1,000 Palestinians have now been killed. [Mostly fighters, males between the ages of 18-50 = roughly 75% of deaths. - Aggie] The Israelis have effectively cut off nearly 40% of the Gaza Strip. Some of Gaza’s most densely populated neighborhoods have been flattened in what many say amounts to collective punishment of the Palestinians by the Israeli government.

But the Israeli government has made clear publicly and privately it would not agree to a ceasefire until its ongoing mission to destroy Hamas’s network of tunnels was complete.

No sane person wants to do what Kerry and Obama are demanding. They want Israel to stop fighting, even though the rockets continue and the tunnels are still in place. This is the best advertisement for the Republican Party that I can imagine.

Top Obama administration officials Monday were still pressing for a ceasefire based on Kerry’s draft proposal, revealed first by the Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz and then by The New York Times Monday. The Israeli cabinet rejected it unanimously last week. Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken told CNN on Monday that because the Israelis had “significantly further degraded” Hamas’ tunnels, the Kerry plan was still the best way forward.

Blinken also insisted that Kerry’s plan contained many of the “same elements” as an Egyptian proposal, released July 15 and immediately rejected by Hamas. Cairo’s plan called for an immediate halt to violence on both sides and would have provided for the opening of border crossings and the end of rocket fire into Israel.

But the two plans also had key differences. Multiple Israeli officials, lawmakers, and experts told The Daily Beast that Kerry’s proposal altered the Egyptian ceasefire in many important ways, and in one case altered longstanding U.S. policy toward the funding of Hamas.

Two Israeli government officials told The Daily Beast that Israel could not agree to the Kerry draft proposal because it felt it would constrain the Israeli Defense Forces from finishing their mission to destroy the tunnels in Gaza. Yet Kerry’s proposal explicitly did not include a call for the IDF to withdraw from Gaza during the ceasefire. What’s more, U.S. officials told the Israeli government that tunnel work would be able to continue during the ceasefire, as it had during the previous short-term pauses in the fighting.

The Israeli government was not confident the IDF would be able to continue tunnel destruction inside Gaza during the ceasefire. The officials in Jerusalem were not willing to commit to any timeline for completing the tunnel mission because they were still discovering the extent of the tunnel network and thought the mission could take as long as three weeks to complete.

“The Israelis felt their security concerns weren’t addressed by Kerry’s proposal,” said Dennis Ross, a former White House senior official and longtime Mideast envoy. “The ceasefire was going to put the Israelis in a position where the tunnels were still there. A ceasefire that doesn’t address that is not one that the Israelis could accept.”

I will assume that Obama and Kerry are not stupid. By penning a “peace plan” that hands a victory to Hamas, one they knew that Israel would reject – and the entire society has rejected it, Left, Right and Center – they were setting Israel up for scapegoating. Now they are righteously indignant. How DARE Israel be so rude!!!

And notice that our tax dollars, which already fund terrorist organizations, are set to increase funding to Hamas:

The Kerry proposal also stated a commitment would be made to “transfer funds to Gaza for the payment of salaries of public employees.” Israeli and U.S. officials said the understanding was that money would be given to Hamas by the government of Qatar. A senior U.S. official said that the American government doesn’t like Qatar providing money to Hamas, which is still officially designated as a terrorist organization by the State Department. But Kerry was trying to reach Hamas and he believes this was the best way to influence them.

“The fact is, [the Qataris] are [funding Hamas] and as a result of that they have some influence,” the senior U.S. official said.

Cute. The more vicious the terror group, the more likely they are to get funded. Dig tunnels, fire rockets, receive a bonanza!! Don’t try this trick at home, kids.

BTL: We should have a category called Useful Idiots.

- Aggie

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Antisemitic Britain

Europe just can’t get enough Jew hating.

One picture is worth a thousand words:

Britain is as Britain does

Britain is as Britain does

Jewish people in Britain are enduring a backlash of attacks, bomb threats and anti-semitic insults fuelled by the bloodshed in Gaza.
More than 100 hate crimes have been recorded by police and community groups this month, more than double the usual number.
Community safety groups fear the total could be the second highest ever recorded, after an explosion of violence during the 2009 Gaza war.
In several disturbing cases attackers have invoked the Holocaust and even shouted: ‘Heil Hitler’ at victims.
A rabbi was attacked by four Muslim teenagers outside a Jewish boarding school in Gateshead in one of the most serious incidents.
In Belfast, bricks were thrown at the city’s only synagogue, smashing windows on two consecutive nights.
Groups of Asian men chanted ‘Heil Hitler’ as they drove through a Jewish area of Manchester, throwing missiles at passers-by.
In north London, one pro-Israel organisation received a telephone bomb threat and a Jewish boy riding a bicycle had a stone thrown at his head by a woman in a niqab.Jewish people in Britain are enduring a backlash of attacks, bomb threats and anti-semitic insults fuelled by the bloodshed in Gaza.
More than 100 hate crimes have been recorded by police and community groups this month, more than double the usual number.
Community safety groups fear the total could be the second highest ever recorded, after an explosion of violence during the 2009 Gaza war.
In several disturbing cases attackers have invoked the Holocaust and even shouted: ‘Heil Hitler’ at victims.
A rabbi was attacked by four Muslim teenagers outside a Jewish boarding school in Gateshead in one of the most serious incidents.
In Belfast, bricks were thrown at the city’s only synagogue, smashing windows on two consecutive nights.
Groups of Asian men chanted ‘Heil Hitler’ as they drove through a Jewish area of Manchester, throwing missiles at passers-by.
In north London, one pro-Israel organisation received a telephone bomb threat and a Jewish boy riding a bicycle had a stone thrown at his head by a woman in a niqab.

Etc.

British Government building flies NaziPalestinian flag.

This is Britain

This is Britain

A local government authority in the United Kingdom has openly worked with a pro-Hamas group which masquerades as a charity, Breitbart London can exclusively reveal.
Preston City Council, which is run by the Labour Party, was forced to change its plans to fly the Palestinian flag over the town hall following protests and complaints. Breitbart London can now reveal that the group the council was working with has previously hosted meetings in which they express open and vocal support for the terrorist group Hamas.
Council leader Peter Rankin said: “I am pleased to be able to demonstrate our sympathy with the Palestinians through raising their flag over the town hall. We are also exploring other ways in which we can help and support Gaza.”
But the initial plans had to be altered following complaints. Instead the Palestinian flag flew for just four minutes before being replaced. The flag is then reported to have been auctioned off, raising around £1,500 and perhaps therefore making the council complicit in fundraising with a pro-Hamas organisation.

So there are some sane people in Britain who were able to stop it, but they are few and far between.

Hey, Brits! If you want a safe place for your art collections, try NYC. More convenient for us to see it there anyway.

- Aggie

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Palestinian Terrorist Mortars Would Several Israelis [Update: 3 Killed]

They’ll be handing out candy in Gaza and the West Bank – and in Paris and London and Rome!

Three people were killed and several others were seriously wounded in a mortar attack in the Eshkol Region next to the Gaza border late Monday afternoon.

The attack moderately injured a number of other people. Emergency teams evacuated at lease nine people to to Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba. Four of those injured were airlifted to the hospital.

None of those killed or hurt in the projectile attack were Eshkol residents, said a spokeswoman for the regional council.

Because they want a ceasefire, right?

The Magen David Adom spokesman tells Channel 2 that ten people are wounded by a mortar attack in the Eshkol region. Four of them are critically wounded, three are in serious condition, and three in moderate condition.

Emergency medical teams are at the scene.

More here:

Explosion seriously injures 3, moderately hurts 2 others in Eshkol region; emergency teams evacuating wounded to hospital. A Magen David Adom ambulance.
A Magen David Adom ambulance. Photo: REUTERS
A mortar shell exploded in the Eshkol Regional Council, wounding at least 10 people on Monday evening, according to Magen David Adom.

The attack seriously injured three people and moderated injured two others in southern Israeli region.

Emergency teams were evacuating those hurt to a hospital.

The mean old IDF has resumed attacks in Gaza.

- Aggie

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UN Demanding Israel Commit Suicide

http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/Netanyahu-slams-UN-cease-fire-plan-for-not-addressing-Israels-security-needs-369170

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday slammed a UN Security Council statement calling for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, saying during a phone conversation with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that the statement addresses the needs of a murderous terrorist organization, but not those of Israel.

The statement, he said, does not address Israel’s demands for the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip, a principle already established by previous interim agreements with the Palestinians.

“The statement did not deal with the harm done to Israeli civilians, nor to the fact that Hamas turned Gaza civilians into human shields,” he said. Netanyahu, who met Ban in Jerusalem last week, also complained that the statement made no mention of the fact that Hamas used UN facilities to attack Israeli civilians.

Israel accepted a UN request for a humanitarian cease-fire three times, he said, while Hamas violated each one.

“They are continuing to fire even now at Israel citizens,” he said. “Israel will continue to deal with the terror tunnels, which is only the first step in demilitarization.”

Instead of having its money used by Hamas to build terror tunnels to attack Israel, Netanayhu recommended that the international community “should work to demilitarize Gaza.”

Jew hatred knows no limits.

- Aggie

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Obama Frantically Trying To Save Hamas

Calls Netanyahu, demands immediate cease-fire

Hmm, are the tunnels all destroyed? How ’bout those missiles? Why isn’t Obama demanding an immediate cease-fire in Syria, where 170,000 have died?

Read the whole thing and you’ll hear Obama talking out of both sides of his mouth:

An immediate and unconditional ceasefire ending Israel’s assault on Hamas is a “clear strategic imperative” to Israel, US President Barack Obama told Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu in a phone call on Sunday.

While the conversation focused on the immediate concerns of the United States, the president also discussed the broader implications of the Gaza operation, Protective Edge, now over two weeks old and burdened with a mounting death toll, both within the Israel Defense Forces and the civilian population of Gaza.

Obama told Netanyahu he wants a ceasefire “that both allows Palestinians in Gaza to lead normal lives and addresses Gaza’s long-term development and economic needs, while strengthening the Palestinian Authority,” the White House said, in a readout of the call to reporters.

For a permanent ceasefire to be agreed upon, Hamas is requiring an end to Israel’s blockade of Gaza, formed to prevent Hamas from obtaining weapons to attack the Jewish state. Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni has told US Secretary of State John Kerry that Israel categorically rejects this condition, and indeed, Netanyahu’s cabinet has unanimously voted against the measure as part of an end to the current crisis.

Obama reiterated his belief that Israel has a right to defend itself, and condemned Hamas’ construction of tunnels and continuation of rocket fire into civilian areas.

“Ultimately, any lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarization of Gaza,” Obama expressed.

In a recent poll, over 85 percent of Israelis support the Israeli government continuing the military operation until Hamas’ tunnels into Israel are completely destroyed.

Here’s the thing: Every time terrorists start to slaughter people, the world gives in to their demands, just a bit. Now Israel has Hamas on the ropes. Hamas is making demands. The proper answer is NO, NO, NO. None of us can afford to allow this pattern to continue. We cannot give in to bullies. Let the world see the bullies put down, and the bullies will then need to find another avenue of expression. Keep going, Israel, until it is safe for you to stop, and until you are confident that you can live safely for a long, long time. No more short-lived hudnas.

- Aggie

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He Won.

We’re Sad.

Americans really wish they elected Mitt Romney instead of Obama

Americans are so down on President Obama at the moment that, if they could do the 2012 election all over again, they’d overwhelmingly back the former Massachusetts governor’s bid. That’s just one finding in a brutal CNN poll, released Sunday, which shows Romney topping Obama in a re-election rematch by a whopping nine-point margin, 53 percent to 44 percent. That’s an even larger spread than CNN found in November, when a survey had Romney winning a redo 49 percent to 45 percent.

Two years ago, Obama won re-election with about 51 percent of the vote.

Of course, the poll should be taken with a grain of salt. While Obama is actually taking on the tough task of leading the nation, Romney is sitting comfortably on the sidelines where he is liable to receive a more favorable reception. Still, the finding comes as foreign and domestic crises have sent Obama’s approval rating tumbling back to 40 percent, per Gallup.

Also in the CNN survey, a record-low 46 percent say Obama “shares [their] values,” while only 49 percent say he is “sincere in what he says,” also a record-low.

OK, CNN is a terrible news organization and most of what they say is rubbish. I don’t believe this at all, but it’s fun to fantasize. In any case, we are getting the government that we elected – twice.

- Aggie

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Household Net Worth Has Declined Approximately 40% Since 2007

The NY Times hides this by going back to 2003, but if you read the full article you learn that the problem began with the financial meltdown on 2007/08 and just hasn’t improved since. They state a 36% decline, based on 2003, but since American wealth grew between 2003-2007, the real decline has to be larger, right?

Economic inequality in the United States has been receiving a lot of attention. But it’s not merely an issue of the rich getting richer. The typical American household has been getting poorer, too.

The inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36 percent decline, according to a study financed by the Russell Sage Foundation. Those are the figures for a household at the median point in the wealth distribution — the level at which there are an equal number of households whose worth is higher and lower. But during the same period, the net worth of wealthy households increased substantially.

The Russell Sage study also examined net worth at the 95th percentile. (For households at that level, 94 percent of the population had less wealth and 4 percent had more.) It found that for this well-do-do slice of the population, household net worth increased 14 percent over the same 10 years. Other research, by economists like Edward Wolff at New York University, has shown even greater gains in wealth for the richest 1 percent of households.

For households at the median level of net worth, much of the damage has occurred since the start of the last recession in 2007. Until then, net worth had been rising for the typical household, although at a slower pace than for households in higher wealth brackets. But much of the gain for many typical households came from the rising value of their homes. Exclude that housing wealth and the picture is worse: Median net worth began to decline even earlier.

“The housing bubble basically hid a trend of declining financial wealth at the median that began in 2001,” said Fabian T. Pfeffer, the University of Michigan professor who is lead author of the Russell Sage Foundation study.

The reasons for these declines are complex and controversial, but one point seems clear: When only a few people are winning and more than half the population is losing, surely something is amiss.

They are trying to write about the evil 1%, and I suppose their readers will buy it. But to my mind, this is mostly a story about the economic failures of the Obama administration. Consider this: September 11 2001 didn’t harm us as much as the presidency of Barack Obama.

- Aggie

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Israel Explains Things To CNN

No clue if it went through the thick head.

- Aggie

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More Peaceful Palestinian Plans

They intended to kidnap as many Israelis as possible on Rosh haShanna

Israel has captured a lot of Hamas terrorists recently, and this is what they’ve learned:

First reported by Ma’ariv, then in English by i24news, “thousands of terrorists were meant to cross over to Israel from Gaza through the tunnels and kill and kidnap as many Israelis as they could. The source added that the army learned about the huge planned attack during the interrogations of Hamas prisoners, captured during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.”
Reports state that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed his cabinet about the foiled plot during a Thursday cabinet meeting. The leader of the Jewish State reportedly expressed to officials that if this attack was not stopped, the number of Israeli fatalities may have been higher than the over 2,200 deaths Israel suffered during 1973 Yom Kippur War.
During Israel’s recent incursion into Gaza, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have set their sights on destroying Hamas’ sophisticated tunnel system. In the past, the U.S.-designated terror group has successfully infiltrated the Jewish State, resulting in the killing and kidnapping of Israeli soldiers. The last occurrence was on July 19 when two IDF soldiers lost their lives and the assailants were able to escape back to Gaza through a tunnel. Gen. James T. Conway, USMC (ret.) recently returned from Israel, where he was joined by a dozen retired U.S. generals and admirals, sponsored by Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). While there, the group toured a tunnel from Gaza recently discovered near an Israeli kindergarten.
“Unlike tunnels that I had seen during the Iraq war that were designed for smuggling, this Hamas tunnel was designed for launching murder and kidnapping raids. The 3-mile-long tunnel was reinforced with concrete, lined with telephone wires, and included cabins unnecessary for infiltration operations but useful for holding hostages,” the retired General wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
Israel has reportedly destroyed over 30 tunnels during “Operation Protective Edge.” The Jewish State contends that Hamas, which governs Gaza, devotes resources to building tunnels to commit acts of terrorism, instead of building homes, parks, schools and hospitals.
An article published by the Gatestone Institute quotes an Israeli spokesman’s observation that “there are two Gazas, one above ground and one below ground: an underground terrorist city.”

Nice, nice people. Wouldn’t you love to have them move into your neighborhood?

- Aggie

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Utopianism Vs. Reality (Alternative Title: The True Cycle Of Violence)

In my view, utopian ideologies (such as pacifism, leftist appeasement, Messianism, etc.) are the most dangerous philosophies that mankind has created, with the possible exception of Communism and its offshoots. Communism itself is a utopian ideology, come to think of it. What these ideologies share is the belief that given the right set of circumstances, peace on earth will come about.

Don’t get me wrong – a small dose of this stuff is just fine. We can all pray for the Messiah to come (or return). We can pitch in and help our neighbors. We can avoid conflict if it is reasonable to do so.

But Reality is ever so much more powerful than Utopianism, especially in the world today.

This is about Israel, but it pertains to the US too:

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary of State John Kerry and the foreign ministers of Great Britain and France all are rushing to achieve a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Their motive — to end civilian suffering and restore stability to the area — is noble. The images of the wounded and dead resulting from the conflict are indeed agonizing. However, these senior statesmen can be most helpful now by doing nothing. To preserve the values they cherish and to send an unequivocal message to terrorist organizations and their state sponsors everywhere, Israel must be permitted to crush Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

This is the lesson of previous rounds of fighting between the Israeli Defense Forces and terrorist strongholds. In Lebanon in 2006 and in Gaza in 2008 and again in 2012, Israel responded to rocket attacks on its cities with fierce counteroffensives. Fighting against a deeply dug-in enemy that both blended in with the local population and used it as a shield, Israel’s best efforts to avoid civilian casualties invariably proved limited. Incensed world opinion generated immense pressure on governments to convene the U.N. Security Council and empower human rights organizations to censure Israel and stop the carnage. These measures succeeded where the terrorists’ rockets failed. Israel was compelled to back down.

And the terrorists, though badly mauled, won. Admittedly, their bar for claiming victory was exceptionally low. While Israel must achieve a clear battlefield success to win, the terrorists merely had to survive. But they did more than survive. Under the protection of cease-fires and, in some cases, international peacekeepers, they vastly expanded their arsenals to include more lethal and longer-range missiles. While reestablishing their rule in the streets, they burrowed beneath them to create a warren of bombproof bunkers and assault tunnels. Such measures enabled Hamas, as well as Hezbollah, to mount devastating attacks at the time of their choosing, confident that the international community would once again prevent Israel from exacting too heavy a price.

So the cycle continued. Allowed to fight for several weeks, at most, Israel was eventually condemned and hamstrung by cease-fires. The terrorists, by contrast, could emerge from their hideouts and begin to replenish and enhance their stockpiles. That is precisely the pattern established in the second Lebanon War and repeated in Operations Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense in Gaza. Hezbollah and Hamas sustained losses but, rescued and immunized by international diplomacy, they remained in power and became more powerful still. Israel, on the other hand, was forced to defend its right to defend itself. Jihadist organizations no different from the Islamic State and al-Qaeda gained regional legitimacy, while Israel lost it in the world.

The cycle can end, now and decisively. As Operation Protective Edge enters its third week , responsible world leaders can give Israel the time and the leverage it needs to alter Hamas’s calculus. They can let the Israeli army ferret Hamas out of its holes and make it pay a prohibitive cost for its attacks. They can create an outcome in which the organization, even if it remains in Gaza, is defanged and deprived of its heavy arms. Of course, Hamas will resist demilitarization, and more civilians will suffer, but by ending the cycle once and for all thousands of innocent lives will be saved.

Life in Gaza is miserable now, but if Israel is permitted to prevail, circumstances can improve markedly. U.S.- and Canadian-trained security forces of the Palestinian Authority can take over key crossings and patrol Gaza’s porous border with Egypt. Rather than be funneled into Hamas’s war chest, international aid can be transferred directly to the civilian population to repair war damage and stimulate economic growth. Terrorist groups and their state patrons can be put on notice: The game has changed unalterably.

More at the link. Again, it doesn’t exactly make us want to hold hands and sing Kumbaya, but it is the truth.

- Aggie

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Rioting Arabs

West Bank riots

What a shame. There apparently going to be a massive war.

Thousands protest against IDF’s Gaza operation, throwing rocks, firebombs and fireworks at Israeli security forces near Kalandia checkpoint; hundreds of officers to blanket Old City to ensure safety, citing threats of rioting. kalandia checkpoint
Protests near the Kalandia checkpoint, July 24-25, 2014. Photo: SETH J. FRANTZMAN Violence broke out Thursday night near the Kalandia checkpoint, located in the West Bank between Jerusalem and Ramallah, as residents of the West Bank village clashed with police in protests against the IDF’s operation in the Gaza Strip.

Some 10,000 Palestinians protested near the checkpoint, throwing rocks, firebombs and fireworks at Israeli security forces, and setting tires ablaze. The IDF forces and Border Police were using crowd dispersal means on the masses.

According to the Palestinian reports, two demonstrators were killed by Israeli security forces and dozens wounded.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Office did not confirm the Palestinian casualties. The military was checking reports of live fire targeting Israeli forces at the checkpoint.

The protest erupted after allies of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement marched from the West Bank city of Ramallah to the edges of Jerusalem in protest against Israel’s 17-day-old campaign against Hamas militants in Gaza.

Earlier on Thursday, Israel Police arrested nine suspects in east Jerusalem towns, for disrupting the peace and attacking police officers, near the Old City. The police said it used crowd dispersal methods to restore order.

At the same time, near the Temple Mount, dozens of east Jerusalem residents threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at police forces. The police said said they have arrested 10 suspects in the incident, and that two police officers were lightly injured during the clash.

As police prepared for Friday prayers, they planed to heighten security in the Old City and throughout Jerusalem, as Operation Protective Edge enters its third week, fueling already heightened tensions between Arabs and Jews in the capital.

Hey, Christians out there. Doesn’t going to church on Sundays make you want to riot? No? I can’t say I’ve ever left the synagogue with an urge to throw rocks or molotov cocktails, but that’s apparently just me. What a culture the Palestinians have created!

- Aggie

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