Archive for Palestinian Arabs

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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FAA Hard Drives Are Shaking In Their Knees

They are about to be destroyed.

Check this out:

After Senator Ted Cruz’s warning that he would hold all State Department nominees until questions were answered about the political motive behind the FAA’s travel ban on Israel… the FAA suddenly reversed itself.

On the same day that the FAA had announced a 24 hour extension of the ban, the FAA turned around and reversed itself.

These were the 5 questions that Senator Cruz wanted answered.

Was this decision a political decision driven by the White House? For instance, who was this decision made by – a career official, a political appointee, or someone else (at the FAA, State Department or White House?)

If the FAA’s decision was based on airline safety, why was Israel singled out, when flights would be permitted into Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen?

What was the FAA’s ‘safety’ analysis that led to prohibiting flights to Israel, while still permitting flights to Ukraine—where a commercial airline flight was just shot down with a BUK missile?

What specific communications occurred between the FAA and the White House? And the State Department? Why were any such communications necessary, if this was purely about airline safety?

Was this a safety issue, or was it using a federal regulatory agency to punish Israel to try to force them to comply with Secretary Kerry’s demand that Israel stop their military effort to take out Hamas’s rocket capacity?

Instead of providing answers, the FAA lifted the ban.

Get it? The FAA was allowing flights to Ukraine, while shutting down Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv.

You know what? Ted Cruz deserves to be President. He is smart, he has values, and he has balls.

- Aggie

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A Great Time To Visit Israel

Seriously. Mayor Bloomberg flew to Israel as soon as the ban was announced.

On his twitter account, Bloomberg wrote, “This evening I will be flying on El Al to Tel Aviv to demonstrate that it is safe to fly in and out of Israel.” Michael Bloomberg
Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg Photo: REUTERS
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg flew to Israel on Tuesday in protest of the Federation Aviation Administration’s decision to halt American flights to and from the country.

On his twitter account, Bloomberg wrote, “This evening I will be flying on El Al to Tel Aviv to demonstrate that it is safe to fly in and out of Israel.”

The billionaire industrialist made the announcement hours after air travel to Israel from all American carriers and several European ones came to a halt on Tuesday, when the FAA banned US airlines from traveling to and from Ben-Gurion Airport for 24 hours.

The decision followed the successful firing of a Hamas rocket into a house in Yehud, near Ben-Gurion Airport, earlier in the day.

“The flight restrictions are a mistake that hands Hamas an undeserved victory and should be lifted immediately,” the former mayor said.

That last sentence is a feature of our foreign policy, not a bug. Our government is apparently trying to get Israel to stop defending herself by cutting her off from the world. The response should be an influx of American tourists (and decent Europeans if such critters exist) flying in on El Al. I’m sure that the restaurants and hotels would be delighted to see you. On a personal note, I was there during the 2009 Hamas war and it was just fine. And on another personal note, after September 11th, 2001, our family spent a lot of time in NYC, visiting the sites, staying in mostly empty hotels, etc. People in places that have been victimized by Islamic terrorism need the support of the rest of us.

- Aggie

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SHOCKA! Missiles Found In UN School For The Second Time!

Huh. How’d that happen?

For the second time in less than a week, rockets have been found in a school in Gaza operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the body said.

“Today, in the course of the regular inspection of its premises, UNRWA discovered rockets hidden in a vacant school in the Gaza Strip,” the organization said in a statement issued Tuesday. “As soon as the rockets were discovered, UNRWA staff were withdrawn from the premises, and so we are unable to confirm the precise number of rockets. The school is situated between two other UNRWA schools that currently each accommodate 1,500 internally displaced persons.”

As it did the last time around when missiles were found in a school it operates, UNRWA said it “strongly and unequivocally condemns the group or groups responsible for this flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law.”

UNRWA, the UN agency charged with overseeing humanitarian efforts in Gaza, said it immediately “informed the relevant parties and is pursuing all possible measures for the removal of the objects in order to preserve the safety and security of the school.” The organization again pledged to launch a “comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident.”

An investigation? Excellent! That’ll do the trick.

- Aggie

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Abbas Family Leaves Judea and Samaria For Jordan

Does this mean that the terrorists in Judea and Samaria are gearing up?

Members of the family of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have secretly left Ramallah for Jordan, according to the online newspaper Rai Al-Youm.

“For the first time and secretly, all the members of President Abbas’s family have left to their residence in Amman,” the report said.

It said that Abbas’s wife and grandchildren were among the family members who left Ramallah recently.

The newspaper said that Mohamed Shehadeh, who is in charge of Abbas’s security detail, has decided to beef up security around the PA president’s office and residence in Ramallah.

The departure of Abbas’s family and the tight security measures came in response to growing resentment among Palestinians with the PA president and his policies in wake of the current war between Israel and Hamas.

Over the past two weeks, many Palestinians have accused Abbas of failing to display strong leadership in light of the Israeli military operation. Some have gone as far as accusing him of “collusion” with Israel and Egypt.

I bet they start firing rockets from Ramallah.

- Aggie

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Terrorists Land Missile Near Ben Gurion Airport

Flights in being cancelled

Delta Air Lines is canceling all flights to Israel until further notice after a rocket landed near Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport.

A Delta Boeing 747 from New York was flying over the Mediterranean headed for Tel Aviv on Tuesday when it turned around and flew to Paris instead. Flight 468 had 273 passengers and 17 crew on board.
U.S. Airways also suspended service to Israel Tuesday.
White House spokesman said the Federal Aviation Administration had not as yet not issued a “NOTAM,” or Notice to Airmen, which would warn airlines of hazards along a flight route or at a destination.
Israeli police said a rocket fired from Gaza landed near the airport, damaging a house and wounding one Israeli.

Unfortunately, I think that Israel needs to go to all out war. They can’t have this kind of thing happening, and the Palestinians seem intent on making it happen. They need to retake Gaza.

- Aggie

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Arab Terrorists In IDF Uniforms Attempt To Infiltrate Through Tunnel

They each have their 72 virgins now

This morning’s tunnel infiltration by two Hamas squads underlines the threat posed to the South, OC Southern Command, Maj.-Gen. Sami Turgeman, said Monday.

Dozens of terrorists in military uniform emerged from a tunnel, and were successfully stopped by the military, Turgeman added.

Uncovering the tunnels is a complex and challenging task, requiring intelligence and technology, he added.

The IDF’s work in destroying tunnels, both inside Gaza and cross-border tunnels, “is disturbing the enemy,” which spent years digging them,Turgeman said.

Two terrorist attack cells entered Israel from northern Gaza via a smuggling tunnel on Monday morning.

They were identified by IDF lookouts, and an aircraft was dispatched to intercept them. The first cell was struck from the air, and ten of its members were killed.

The second cell fired an anti-tank missile at a military vehicle.

The Shin Bet sent an alert to the IDF hours before the attack, warning of intentions of terrorists in northern Gaza to infiltrate the country.

This is interesting on so many levels. First of all, many of us have forgotten that Yasir Arafat kept boxes of IDF uniforms in his compound in Ramallah. Very peace-y reasons for that, I’m sure. So this tactic has been there forever, but combined with tunnels it is even more dangerous.

Secondly, Shin Bet (internal security, sort of like the FBI I suppose) warned that this was going to happen. This means that there are some not-insane Palestinians who are informing. This fall, in the US, the documentary, The Green Prince, will be shown. Everyone, everyone should see that film. In it you will see how the son of the Hamas commander in Ramallah decided that Hamas was evil and proceeded to help stop suicide terror attacks during the second intifada (guerrilla war). It is fascinating. We should have bloodthirsty liberal movie night and all go to see it in our respective cities and then talk about it here.

- Aggie

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Jewish Ethics Vs. Reality

I’ve been reading a lot about Jewish ethics lately, and listening to a lot of friends who are uncomfortable with Israel’s need for self-defense. (To our non-Jewish readers, none of this will make sense, sorry).

Some of the very religious among us believe that if we practice enough mitzvot, we can heal the world (tikkun olam). This will bring the Messiah sooner. Some even blame the victim for disasters that befall them, because if everyone tried harder to be even gooder, why then the hearts of the evil people of the world would melt. That would bring on the Messiah, whether he is understood as a physical presence among us or as simple peace and grace.

In the secular world, this plays out in some variation of old Beatles songs: Give Peace A Chance, say, or even Neville Chamberlain’s pronouncement that, “There will be peace in our time.” The two sides, the religious pacifists and the Leftist pacifists all had a dollop of education about tzedakah as kids, and all want to be good.

Gentle Reader, none of this makes sense, right? I mean, surely it is good to do kind things for others, and surely we all want peace (even the bloodthirstiest among us want peace). But in the real world, both sides must want that. And one side splitting hairs about the goodest possible way to be gooder, as the other side arms with better weapons and uses the construction material that the Goodies provided to create fortified tunnels… well, you see where I’m going with this, don’t you?

I believe that the pacifist wing of the Jewish world needs to come to grips with the simple truth that we cannot control the behavior of others. We can be very good, we can even devote our lives to goodness, but we need a honking big army to protect us while doing so.

- Aggie

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What Is The Difference?

Charles Krauthammer lays it all out in simple language

Israel accepts an Egyptian-proposed Gaza cease-fire; Hamas keeps firing. Hamas deliberately aims rockets at civilians; Israel painstakingly tries to avoid them, actually telephoning civilians in the area and dropping warning charges, so-called roof knocking.

“Here’s the difference between us,” explains the Israeli prime minister. “We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”

And what is the US doing? The US is sending money to the people who are using civilian human shields. Not even Egypt will do that.

Rarely does international politics present a moment of such moral clarity. Yet we routinely hear this Israel-Gaza fighting described as a morally equivalent “cycle of violence.” This is absurd. What possible interest can Israel have in cross-border fighting? Everyone knows Hamas set off this mini-war. And everyone knows the proudly self-declared raison d’etre of Hamas: the eradication of Israel and its Jews.

Apologists for Hamas attribute the blood lust to the Israeli occupation and blockade. Occupation? Does no one remember anything? It was less than 10 years ago that worldwide television showed the Israeli army pulling die-hard settlers off synagogue roofs in Gaza as Israel uprooted its settlements, expelled its citizens, withdrew its military and turned every inch of Gaza over to the Palestinians. There was not a soldier, not a settler, not a single Israeli left in Gaza.

And there was no blockade. On the contrary. Israel wanted this new Palestinian state to succeed. To help the Gaza economy, Israel gave the Palestinians its 3,000 greenhouses that had produced fruit and flowers for export. It opened border crossings and encouraged commerce.

The whole idea was to establish the model for two states living peacefully and productively side by side. No one seems to remember that, simultaneous with the Gaza withdrawal, Israel dismantled four smaller settlements in the northern West Bank as a clear signal of Israel’s desire to leave the West Bank as well and thus achieve an amicable two-state solution.

This is not ancient history. This was nine years ago.

True, Dr. Krauthammer, but people are very, very stupid. And they are bigoted against Jews, which makes the stupidity easier to explain.

And how did the Gaza Palestinians react to being granted by the Israelis what no previous ruler, neither Egyptian, nor British, nor Turkish, had ever given them — an independent territory? First, they demolished the greenhouses. Then they elected Hamas. Then, instead of building a state with its attendant political and economic institutions, they spent the better part of a decade turning Gaza into a massive military base, brimming with terror weapons, to make ceaseless war on Israel.

Where are the roads and rail, the industry and infrastructure of the new Palestinian state? Nowhere. Instead, they built mile upon mile of underground tunnels to hide their weapons and, when the going gets tough, their military commanders. They spent millions importing and producing rockets, launchers, mortars, small arms, even drones. They deliberately placed them in schools, hospitals, mosques and private homes to better expose their own civilians. (Just Thursday, the U.N. announced that it found 20 rockets in a Gaza school.) And from which they fire rockets at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Why? The rockets can’t even inflict serious damage, being almost uniformly intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system. Even West Bank leader Mahmoud Abbas has asked: “What are you trying to achieve by sending rockets?”

It makes no sense. Unless you understand, as Tuesday’s Post editorial explained, that the whole point is to draw Israeli counterfire.

This produces dead Palestinians for international television. Which is why Hamas perversely urges its own people not to seek safety when Israel drops leaflets warning of an imminent attack.

I’m just going to give you all of this, because it is so accurate:

To deliberately wage war so that your own people can be telegenically killed is indeed moral and tactical insanity. But it rests on a very rational premise: Given the Orwellian state of the world’s treatment of Israel (see: the U.N.’s grotesque Human Rights Council), fueled by a mix of classic anti-Semitism, near-total historical ignorance and reflexive sympathy for the ostensible Third World underdog, these eruptions featuring Palestinian casualties ultimately undermine support for Israel’s legitimacy and right to self-defense.

In a world of such Kafkaesque ethical inversions, the depravity of Hamas begins to make sense. This is a world in which the Munich massacre is a movie and the murder of Klinghoffer is an opera — both deeply sympathetic to the killers. This is a world in which the U.N. ignores humanity’s worst war criminals while incessantly condemning Israel, a state warred upon for 66 years that nonetheless goes to extraordinary lengths to avoid harming the very innocents its enemies use as shields.

It’s to the Israelis’ credit that amid all this madness they haven’t lost their moral scruples. Or their nerve. Those outside the region have the minimum obligation, therefore, to expose the madness and speak the truth. Rarely has it been so blindingly clear.

I’ve noticed something surprising here in Massachusetts. The people that would typically be blaming Israel are out there, but in fewer numbers. I assume that this is because just over a year ago we experienced terrorism first-hand at the Boston Marathon. Given how short memories are, I don’t expect this effect to continue, but it is noteworthy. The real haters don’t change, but the middle is less impressed with a terror group that sends thousands of rockets into towns and cities.

- Aggie

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Dershowitz On Hamas’s “Dead Baby Strategy”

Media has bloody hands

By emphasizing the comparative body counts without providing the reasons for the disparity, the media plays into the hands of Hamas, and encourages that terrorist organization to continue to pursue its dead baby strategy.

The media loves to count the dead bodies on each side of a conflict. It’s much easier to count that to explain. Hamas knows this. That’s why they employ what has come to be known as “the dead baby strategy”.

Hamas’ strategy since Israel left Gaza in 2005 has been exactly the same. The media response has been exactly the same. And Hamas will continue to employ a strategy that causes many Palestinian civilians to die as long as the media keeps up its thoughtless body count.

Here’s the way it works: Hamas deliberately fires its rockets from densely populated civilian areas, using hospitals, disability centers, mosques and schools as launching sites. This puts Israel to the tragic choice of either allowing the rockets to endanger its civilians or to destroy the rocket launchers, thereby risking civilian casualties among Hamas’ human shields. Often Israel chooses to forgo attacking military targets, so as not to put Palestinian civilians at risk. Sometimes it has no choice, because the rocket fire against its civilians is persistent. Palestinian civilians are killed despite Israel’s best efforts precisely because Hamas wants civilians to be killed, especially if these civilians are children, women or the elderly. Hamas stands ready to parade these human shields in front of the media which is eager to show the dead and count the bodies.

Hamas could easily reduce the death and injury toll among its civilians, by simply allowing them to go underground into tunnels and shelters which abound throughout Gaza. But Hamas has a deliberate policy of refusing to allow civilians to enter the tunnels or shelters. They reserve these places of refuge for their fighters and commanders, which explains why so few Hamas fighters have been killed. If Hamas were to reverse its policy and allow civilians into the shelters while requiring its fighters to stay above ground, the ratio of civilians to fighters killed would dramatically change. That is why in each of the wars between Hamas and Israel there have been more Palestinian than Israeli civilian deaths and injuries. It is part of Hamas’ dead baby strategy and it works, because the media facilitates it.

I wonder if the NY Times or NPR will cover this?

- Aggie

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John Kerry Meets Reality

This surprises me. Kerry is acquainted with the truth.

US Secretary of State John Kerry blamed Hamas for powering through a ceasefire with Israel, brokered by the Egyptian government and accepted by Israel’s cabinet Tuesday morning.

At least 35 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip since the ceasefire was set to begin, mere hours ago.

“I cannot condemn strongly enough the actions of Hamas in so brazenly firing rockets in multiple numbers in the face of a goodwill effort to offer a ceasefire, in which Egypt and Israel worked together, that the international community strongly supports,” Kerry told reporters in Vienna on Tuesday morning.

Kerry said that Hamas is “purposely playing politics” by continuing the rocket fire, using innocents as “human shields… against the laws of war.” “And that is why they are a terrorist organization,” Kerry added.

Question to the State Department: You have correctly observed that Hamas is a terrorist organization. So why are we sending them American tax dollars?

- Aggie

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Let’s Compare The Palestinians To The Kurds

Very interesting perspective

I’m jumping to the middle here, but the beginning is worth reading too. The writer points out that the only thing Hamas could hope to gain is the death of Gazans and some sort of sympathy. There is no other reason to bombard Israel with rockets that accomplish nothing. But then it gets interesting:

The politics of the moment are fascinating and dreadful, but what really interests me currently is a counterfactual: What if, nine years ago, when Israel withdrew its soldiers and settlers from Gaza, the Palestinians had made a different choice. What if they chose to build the nucleus of a state, rather than a series of subterranean rocket factories?

This thought is prompted by something a pair of Iraqi Kurdish leaders once told me. Iraqi Kurdistan is today on the cusp of independence. Like the Palestinians, the Kurds deserve a state. Unlike most of the Palestinian leadership, the Kurds have played a long and clever game to bring them to freedom.

This is what Barham Salih, the former prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, told me years ago: “Compare us to other liberation movements around the world. We are very mature. We don’t engage in terror. We don’t condone extremist nationalist notions that can only burden our people. Please compare what we have achieved in the Kurdistan national-authority areas to the Palestinian national authority. … We have spent the last 10 years building a secular, democratic society, a civil society.” What, he asked, have the Palestinians built?

So too, Massoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, once told me this: “We had the opportunity to use terrorism against Baghdad. We chose not to.”

In 2005, the Palestinians of Gaza, free from their Israeli occupiers, could have taken a lesson from the Kurds — and from David Ben-Gurion, the principal Israeli state-builder — and created the necessary infrastructure for eventual freedom. Gaza is centrally located between two large economies, those of Israel and Egypt. Europe is just across the Mediterranean. Gaza could have easily attracted untold billions in economic aid.

The Israelis did not impose a blockade on Gaza right away. That came later, when it became clear that Palestinian groups were considering using their newly liberated territory as a launching pad for attacks. In the days after withdrawal, the Israelis encouraged Gaza’s development. A group of American Jewish donors paid $14 million for 3,000 greenhouses left behind by expelled Jewish settlers and donated them to the Palestinian Authority. The greenhouses were soon looted and destroyed, serving, until today, as a perfect metaphor for Gaza’s wasted opportunity.

If Gaza had, despite all the difficulties, despite all the handicaps imposed on it by Israel and Egypt, taken practical steps toward creating the nucleus of a state, I believe Israel would have soon moved to evacuate large sections of the West Bank as well. But what Hamas wants most is not a state in a part of Palestine. What it wants is the elimination of Israel. It will not achieve the latter, and it is actively thwarting the former.

Hamas is evil, to be sure. Yours Truly doesn’t care one whit what happens to them, but it is fascinating to try to understand their twisted thinking.

- Aggie

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