The Evil of Banality

We told you about the “shocking” discovery of missiles being stored in a UNRWA school. The Arab occupiers of Gaza routinely break the law and abuse privileges; while the UN plays the role of schlamazel with perverse aplomb.

Never more than this:

A United Nations agency that last week found rockets in a Gaza school operating under its auspices has handed that weaponry over to Hamas, Israeli officials said Sunday, accusing the organization of actively helping the terrorist organization potentially attack Israeli civilians.

“The rockets were passed on to the government authorities in Gaza, which is Hamas. In other words, UNRWA handed to Hamas rockets that could well be shot at Israel,” a senior Israeli official told The Times of Israel.

A different senior official said UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, charged with overseeing humanitarian efforts in Gaza, has been suffering from “battered-wife syndrome” for years and currently “attempts to ingratiate itself with Hamas.”

This is how UNRWA put is:

“According to longstanding UN practice in UN humanitarian operations worldwide, incidents involving unexploded ordnance that could endanger beneficiaries and staff are referred to the local authorities,” UNRWA’s director of advocacy and strategic communications, Christopher Gunness, told The Times of Israel Sunday.

“Immediately after the discovery of the rockets, UNRWA proactively informed the relevant parties and successfully took all necessary measures for the removal of the objects in order to preserve the safety and security of the school. Local authorities fall under the government of national consensus in Ramallah. They pledged to pass a message to all parties not to violate UNRWA neutrality.”

I feel dirty.

The UN claims they didn’t give the missiles to Hamass, but to other Arabs who don’t answer to Hamass. Right. “How did I know what Lizzy Borden was going to do with that axe, your honor? We needed the firewood.”

Israel should impound the 20 missiles and deliver ten each to Geneva and East 42nd Street, Manhattan. At least then no innocents will be hurt.

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Water, Water Everywhere

And not a cent of it paid for:

More than 1,000 protesters rallied outside Cobo Center over shutoffs by the city’s water department.

The protest is led by National Nurses United, which says the shutoffs pose a public health emergency. The group and others seek an immediate end to them.

The group will march eight blocks, passing Detroit banks and City Hall before ending at Hart Plaza.

But Detroit Water and Sewerage spokesman Greg Eno says the city-owned utility has no plans to stop the shutoffs on accounts 60 days or more past due.

The water department stepped up the shutoffs in March to collect some of the nearly $90 million owed by residents, businesses and other customers with past-due accounts. Through June, more than $43 million was owed on over 80,000 city residential accounts.

Forty to 50% of Detroit Water and Sewerage bills are deliquent.

Water officials say they are working with customers who have “legitimate” problems paying their bills.

Ninety-million dollars owed; 80,000 delinquent accounts—more than half. When did Detroit relocate to the Horn of Africa? Unsurprisingly, the UN took the opportunity of lawlessness and irresponsibility to pipe up:

Some groups appealed to the United Nations for support in an effort to force the restoration of service. Three U.N. experts last month responded that the shutoffs could constitute a violation of the human right to water, but what the global organization might do beyond that is unclear.

Typical of the UN. But “the human right to water”? Says who? A necessity, sure, but a right? How did our Founding Fathers miss that one when they were enumerating the “unalienable” rights “endowed by our Creator”? And not just water, but ice and a lime wedge. And maybe some cheese and crackers, but not too much as we’re watching our weight. (And what qualifies someone to be a UN “expert” on water? And why did they need three?)

Last I checked, Detroit was on a river (the Detroit River, coincidentally). Help yourself:

It’s blue and it’s free. And it’s yours for the schleping.

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Bad News for Those Who “Love Death More Than You Love Life”

You’ll just have to wait a little longer to get your wish:

The IDF will create a field hospital outside Gaza in order to treat injured Palestinians, army sources announced Sunday. Chief of Staff Benny Gantz has approved the measure.

The hospital will be located near the Erez crossing in northern Gaza, near the site of recent heavy battles. It is expected to be active by 8 p.m. Sunday.

It will be available to treat ill as well as injured patients, and will include a delivery room.

On Sunday morning, a soldier reported that he and other IDF medical staff had saved the life of a Gaza terrorist. Soldier Daniel Albo told Yediot Aharonot, “My team and I saved the life of a terrorist who tried to kill us because we are IDF soldiers and citizens of Israel. We saved him because we are human.”

Show off.

Not all Israelis are so insufferable, thank goodness:

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh may be a persona non grata for the Israeli government – but three of his sisters are living as full Israeli citizens.

The Telegraph reports Sunday that Haniyeh’s sisters, Kholidia, Laila and Sabah, married Bedouin and became full citizens 30 years ago.

The three now hide in the anonymity of the Israeli desert, according to the daily. While two are widows, and live alone, none are apparently willing to move back to Gaza and relinquish their Israeli citizenship.

No [bleep]. They may be Haniyehs, but they ain’t crazy.

It’s not safe to be related to a Hamass terrorist:

Over 30 IDF soldiers have reportedly been injured in Sheijaya, Walla! News reports Sunday, after the IDF carried out heavy shelling in the city east of Gaza City.

Among the dead are the family members of senior Hamas leader Khalil al-Haya, according to multiple sources, after their house was shelled in Gaza City itself.

Anonymity in the desert sounds pretty good now, doesn’t it?

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Move Over, Dalal Mughrabi and Wafa Idris

We have another terrorist piece of ass:

Terrorists in Gaza attempted to attack IDF soldiers with an explosives-laden donkey on Friday, the military said.

IDF forces operating in the Rafah area near the Gaza-Egypt border located the donkey suspiciously approaching their position and were forced to open fire at it, causing the explosives to detonate.

No injuries were sustained to the soldiers.

The military expressed its regret over the “shocking” incident, and condemned terrorists in Gaza for strapping bombastic devices to innocent animals as a means of attacking Israeli forces.

“This cruel incident is the most recent attempt by Gaza terror organizations to make such an abominable use of animals as explosives couriers,” the IDF said on its website.

The thing is, the dumb beasts have a greater intelligence and a stronger sense of self-preservation than the Hamass terrorists. You don’t have to be smart to be deadly. In fact, it’s a disadvantage.

PS: The key difference between the donkey and Miss Mughrabi and Miss Idris is that we mourn the death of the donkey.

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He’s Not Constitutional, Bitches

And far from being the law of the land, he is the law unto himself:

JONATHAN TURLEY: Frankly it’s difficult to discuss these quaint constitutional issues in what is often a poisonous political environment. As a people we’ve become — we’ve come to the point where we can’t just simply disagree, we have to despise each other. We subscribe to the worst motivations of our opponents and elevate our own proposals over process. To put it simply, we’ve embraced what the Queen Mother said in Richard III. We just think of our babies as sweeter than they were and he who slew them is fowler than he is.

I don’t believe the president has a desire for tyrannical authority. I don’t question his motivation. I question his means. Our system is changing and this body is the one branch that must act if we’re to reverse those changes. We’re seeing the emergence of a different model of government, a model long ago rejected by the framers. A dominant presidency has occurred with very little Congressional opposition. Indeed, when President Obama pledged to circumvent Congress, he received rapturous applause from the very body that he was proposing to make practically irrelevant. Now many members are contesting the right of this institution to even be heard in federal court. This body is moving from self-loathing to self-destruction in a system that is in crisis.

The president’s pledge to effectively govern alone is alarming, and what is most alarming is his ability to fulfill that pledge. When a president can govern alone, he can become a government unto himself, which is precisely the danger the framers sought to avoid. What we’re witnessing today is one of the greatest crises that I expect the members of this committee and this body will face. It has a patina of politics that is hard to penetrate. It did not start with President Obama. I was critical of his predecessor, and certainly this goes back long before George Bush, but it has reached a tipping point. (House Rules Commitee, July 16, 2014)

And this guy is a self-described fan of Obama. He even tries to share the blame for Obama’s unconstitutional behavior with a spineless Congress. To which there is some truth, even if that’s like blaming the victim of an abusive relationship. Obama says he wants to “do stuff”, but Congress won’t let him. A former Senior Lecturer at law school, he should recognize that as a “check”, intended to “balance” two equal branches of government. Instead, this petulant brat acts out by leaving his family behind and gorging on junk food. If only that were all.

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Now, This is Smart Power

Ethnically engineered rockets: who says the Arabs haven’t invented anything since the lute?

Following are excerpts from an interview with Hamas Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on July 11, 2014:

Fawzi Barhoum: We say to [Israeli Arabs], living in Haifa, Jaffa, Acre, Lod, Ramla, and the Negev: The rockets fired by the Al-Qassam Brigades will not hit you. We know those parts. We are familiar with the geography and with the history. Not a single Arab Palestinian child will be hit by one of our missiles. Our rockets are aimed at the Hebrews, the murderers, the Israelis, the criminals. Don’t be afraid. Go on with your everyday life, and celebrate our victory, just like we will celebrate it here, in Gaza.

Why isn’t he celebrating?

“A few minutes ago, a pointless rocket fired by the resistance, as it calls itself, fell inside the city of Hebron. What do you think about the Hamas spokesman’s comments from yesterday, that the resistance knows the geography and therefore knows how to avoid having rockets hit Arabs?”

It should have been a clue when he said to celebrate everyday life just like they do in Gaza.

You have yourselves a great day, Arabs!

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Whatever Happened to “Our Girls”?

Hey, did they find the girls while I was gone?

Sorry! It was an innocent question.

Not.

RUSH: Grab audio sound bite number 24 this afternoon on the House floor. You’ve gotta hear this during One-Minute Speeches. Members of the House get to go to the well of the House and pontificate for a minute. Nobody has to listen. There is nothing official attached to it and nothing to do with legislation, per se. They can just go mouth off.

Today, Representative Frederica Wilson (Democrat-Florida) went to the well of the House during one-minute speeches to speak about the Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram.

WILSON: (shouting) Three months without our girls means that the time is now to keep pressure on the Nigerian government! We must tweet with the fervent expression that extends beyond the glamour of a breaking news story. We cannot slow down. We cannot lose momentum. We cannot rest until our girls at home. Every morning between nine and 12, tweet #BringBackOurGirls with the hashtag: #BringBackOurGirls. #BringBackOurGirls. #JoinRepWilson. #JoinRepWilson. Hashtag! Tweet! Tweet! Tweet! Keep tweeting until we bring back our girls.

“We must tweet with the fervent expression that extends beyond the glamour of a breaking news story.”

That’s rather beautiful, actually. But even more telling. Telling of the utter vacuity that lay behind the initial “glamour” campaign.

I have to give Congresswoman Wilson credit: like Cindy Sheehan, she’s the only one still talking about the issue that so consumes her. All the Beautiful People have moved on. Well on.

Boko Haram hasn’t:

Boko Haram gunmen killed many villagers and set homes ablaze in a northeastern Nigerian town just 53 miles from the strategic center of Maiduguri before dawn Friday, according to survivors.

Residents of Damboa town called The Associated Press to say they were “piling up corpses.”

Half the town is up in flames, say civilian defense fighters there according to Nigerian Vigilante Group spokesman Abbas Gava.

Well-armed Islamic extremists attacked as residents were preparing for the 5 a.m. dawn prayers and the civilian defense fighters could only resist with clubs and homemade shotguns, he said.

What’s a “homemade shotgun”? Whatever it is, never bring one to a AK-47 gunfight.

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He’s Getting Better

Credit where it’s due, President Barack Obama isn’t a complete dipstick when mass murder occurs.

It took him only 10 seconds to interrupt his fundraising happy talk to address what “may be” a terrible tragedy—the apparent shooting down of a Malaysian plane by Russian terrorists. Forty seconds later he’s said all he has to say, and it’s back to “Good morning, Delaware!”

This may look shallow and callow to many, but remember whom we’re talking about.

Remember:

It took him well over two minutes of out-shouting before he got around to mention the murder of American servicemen by a Muslim zealot. Ten seconds is a massive improvement.

I would ask what the odds are that Obama would be at two separate PR photo ops on the occasions of two separate terrorist atrocities…but when is he not at a PR photo op? Especially lately? The “bear” is constantly on the move these days, and no burger shack is safe from his unannounced assault. If he’s going to flit about the country, hitting diners, drive-ins, and dives like some sort of South Side Guy Fieri, the least he can do is to learn how to pay lip service to the reprimitivized world he helped recreate—as he wipes the ketchup and relish off his own lips.

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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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Transparent Hypocrisy

Everything Barack Obama touches turns to dreck: it’s the reverse Midas touch. What a pleasure it has been lately watching his reputation swirl down the cistern where dreck belongs:

Right now, here ON THE RECORD, fired “New York Times executive editor, JILL ABRAMSON.

While working at “The New York Times” and after decades of covering presidential administrations, Abramson calling President Obama’s White House the most is he secretive White House that she’s covered. And she’s not the only one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BYRON YORK, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: This is not the most transparent administration in history.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will make our government open and transparent.

One of the things I want to do is open things up. I want transparency. I want accountability.

BOB CUSACK, MANAGING EDITOR, ‘THE HILL’: This White House came in saying we’ll do things differently, we’ll change Washington. They didn’t change Washington.

OBAMA: The more transparency we can bring to Washington, the less likely it is Washington will be run by lobbyists and special interests.

Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.

A.B. STODDARD, ‘THE HILL’: He’s broken a promise.

OBAMA: This is the most transparent administration in history.

VAN SUSTEREN: You said have this administration is the most is the secretive. What is your support? Why do you say that?

ABRAMSON: I think it’s easy to demonstrate that that’s true, starting with — I love the name of your show, “ON THE RECORD.” I have never dealt with an administration where more officials — some of whom are actually paid to be the spokesmen for various federal agencies –demand that everything be off the record. So that’s secretive and not transparent.

But the most serious thing is the Obama administration has launched eight criminal leak investigations against sources and whistleblowers. And they have tried to sweep in journalists, including – it’s almost the one- year anniversary exactly that your college, James Rosen, had his record secretly looked at by the government in a leak investigation.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is it profoundly different thought than the other administrations?

ABRAMSON: It is profoundly different. Before these cases, these eight cases, and all of history, there have been fewer than half of those. And so it is different.

So, this has been an historic administration, after all.

Oh, and about “not changing Washington”, there is agreement:

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: This is within our power to change. Everybody says because we tried in ‘08 and it didn’t happen, it’s not possible.

Give yourself a little credit, Joe. You changed Washington plenty. Never before has an administration that “ended” two “wars” and governed over a five-year “recovery” been so wretchedly unpopular. If you guys were the ones we were waiting for, I wish we had been less patient.

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Ahmed, Did You Bring Enough Missiles For Everyone?

Israel’s moved into Gaza to root out the rats therein, and not before time.

But they might look in more than the usual places:

The UN agency for Palestinian Arab “refugees,” the UNRWA, said Thursday it was investigating after finding 20 rockets hidden in one of its vacant schools in Gaza, AFP reports.

It condemned the incident as a “flagrant violation” of international law and said the rockets had been removed and the “relevant parties” informed.

“Yesterday, in the course of the regular inspection of its premises, UNRWA discovered approximately 20 rockets hidden in a vacant school in the Gaza Strip,” the agency said in a statement.

“UNRWA strongly condemns the group or groups responsible for placing the weapons in one of its installations,” it continued. “This is a flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law.”

Then why don’t you call an international policeman to throw the culprits in international jail? And why shouldn’t Hamass terrorists hide missiles in UN schools? They hide them in mosques. They fire them from playgrounds and senior centers. If I could find you a litter of newborn kittens in Gaza, I promise you there would be a battery of mortars right next to the purring little fuzz balls.

A helpful reminder of what UNRWA is:

UNRWA began activities in 1950 to provide aid to the roughly 700,000 Arabs who left Israel during the War of Independence, as an entirely separate entity from the UN’s main refugee agency, the UNHCR. No UN organization was established to aid the nearly 1 million Jewish refugees who fled or were expelled from Arab countries following 1948.

Uniquely, “Palestinian refugee” status is “inherited” by the descendants of the original refugees, meaning that today the number of “Palestinian refugees” numbers 5 million in total. Instead of resettling them and helping them to rebuild their lives, however, UNRWA operates an extensive network of “refugee camps” in which residents are encouraged not to integrate into their host countries.

Documentary research has revealed how UNRWA children’s camps radicalize participants, with chants of: “with G-d’s help and our own strength we will wage war. And with education and jihad we will return!” At one point, a camp instructor branded Jews as “wolves,” the study showed.

Good luck and God bless, Israel. You have your work cut out for you.

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