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G M
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« Reply #1900 on: May 27, 2014, 10:53:52 AM »

Maybe his time would be better spent cleaning up the Church of its many and vast conspiracies of pedophiles , , ,

Yes.
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objectivist1
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« Reply #1901 on: May 28, 2014, 07:21:25 AM »

Pope Francis’ Unfriendly Visit

Posted By Caroline Glick On May 28, 2014 @ frontpagemag.com

Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman were right when they blamed the noxious anti-Israel incitement rampant in Europe for Saturday’s murderous shooting attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels and the assault and battery of two Jewish brothers outside their synagogue in a Paris suburb later that day.

Anti-Israel incitement is ubiquitous in Europe and is appearing in ever-widening circles of the Western world as a whole.

Until this week, the Catholic Church stayed out of the campaign to dehumanize Jews and malign the Jewish state.

Pope Benedict XVI was perceived as a friend of Israel, despite his childhood membership in the Hitler Youth. His opposition to Islam’s rejection of reason, eloquently expressed at his speech at the University of Regensburg in 2006, positioned him as a religious champion of reason, individual responsibility and law – Judaism’s primary contributions to humanity.

His predecessor Pope John Paul II was less willing to confront Islamic violence. But his opposition to Communism made him respect Israel as freedom’s outpost in the Middle East. John Paul’s visit to Israel in 2000 was in some ways an historic gesture of friendship to the Jewish people of Israel.

Both Benedict and John Paul II were outspoken champions of the Second Vatican Council and maintained doctrinal allegiance to the Church’s rejection of anti-Judaism, including the charge of deicide, and its denunciation of replacement theology.

Alas, the Golden Age of Catholic-Jewish relations seems to have come to an end during Francis’s visit to the Promised Land this week.

In one of his blander pronouncements during the papal visit, Netanyahu mentioned on Monday that Jesus spoke Hebrew. There was nothing incorrect about Netanyahu’s statement. Jesus was after all, an Israeli Jew.

But Francis couldn’t take the truth. So he indelicately interrupted his host, interjecting, “Aramaic.”

Netanyahu was probably flustered. True, at the time, educated Jews spoke and wrote in Aramaic. And Jesus was educated. But the language of the people was Hebrew. And Jesus preached to the people, in Hebrew.

Netanyahu responded, “He spoke Aramaic, but he knew Hebrew.”

Reuters’ write-up of the incident tried to explain away the pope’s rudeness and historical revisionism, asserting, “Modern-day discourse about Jesus is complicated and often political.” The report went on to delicately mention, “Palestinians sometimes describe Jesus as a Palestinian. Israelis object to that.”

Israelis “object to that” because it is a lie.

The Palestinians – and their Islamic and Western supporters – de-Judaize Jesus and proclaim him Palestinian in order to libel the Jews and criminalize the Jewish state. It seems like it would be the job of the Bishop of Rome to set the record straight. But instead, Francis’s discourtesy indicated that at a minimum, he doesn’t think the fact of Jesus’s Judaism should be mentioned in polite company.

Francis’s behavior during his public meeting with Netanyahu could have been brushed off as much ado about nothing if it hadn’t occurred the day after his symbolic embrace of some of the worst anti-Jewish calumnies of our times, and his seeming adoption of replacement theology during his homily in Bethlehem.

Consider first Francis’s behavior at the security barrier.

Reasonable people disagree about the contribution the security fence makes to the security of Israelis. But no one can reasonably doubt that it was built to protect Israelis from Palestinian terrorist murderers. And Francis ought to know this. Francis’s decision to hold a photo-op at the security barrier was an act of extreme hostility against Israel and the Jewish people.

As the former Cardinal of Buenos Aires, Francis may have heard of the November 2002 massacre at Kibbutz Metzer. Metzer was founded by Argentine communists in the 1950s. Metzer is located 500 meters from the 1949 armistice lines which made it an obvious beneficiary of the security fence. But true to its radical roots, in 2002 members of the kibbutz waged a public campaign against the planned route of the security fence. They feared that it would, in the words of Metzer member Danny Dovrat, “ignite hostility and create problems” with the kibbutz’s Palestinian neighbors.

Thanks to that concern, on the night of November 10, 2002, a gunman from the “moderate” US- and EU-supported Fatah terror organization faced no physical obstacle when he entered the kibbutz. Once there he killed two people on the street and then entered the home of Revital Ohayon and executed Revital and her two sons, Matan, 5, and Noam, 4 years old.

Fatah praised the attack on its website and pledged to conduct more assaults on “Zionist colonizers,” and promised to continue “targeting their children as well.”

Had he actually cared about the cause of peace and non-violence he claims to champion, Francis might have averred from stopping at the barrier, recognizing that doing so would defile the memory of the Ohayons and of hundreds of other Israeli Jewish families who were destroyed by Palestinian bloodlust and anti-Semitic depravity.

Instead, Francis “spontaneously” got out of his popemobile, walked over to a section of the barrier, and reverentially touched it and kissed it as if it were the Wailing Wall.

The graffiti on the section of the barrier Francis stopped at reinforced his anti-Semitic position. One of the slogans called for the embrace of the BDS campaign.

Although the economic consequences of the campaign of economic warfare against Israel in the West have been negligible, BDS’s goal is not economic. The goal of the movement is to dehumanize Israelis and set apart for social ostracism anyone who refuses to embrace the anti-Jewish slanders that Jews have no right to self-determination and are morally inferior to every other religious, ethnic and national group in the world.

And that is nothing compared to the other slogan on the barrier. That one equated the Palestinians in Bethlehem to the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. In other words, it denied the Holocaust.

By standing there, kissing the barrier with its Holocaust denying slogan, Francis gave Vatican license to Holocaust denial.

And that was just the beginning.

Pope Francis met with Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas at his presidential palace in Bethlehem. When Israel transferred control over Jesus’s birthplace to Abbas’s predecessor Yasser Arafat in 1996, Arafat seized the Greek Orthodox monastery next to the Church of the Nativity and turned it into his – and later Abbas’s – official residence.

Standing next to Abbas on seized church property, the pope called Abbas “a man of peace.”

Abbas returned the favor by calling for Israel to release all Palestinian terrorists from Israeli prisons. And the pope – who interrupted Netanyahu when he told an historic truth – said nothing.

At mass at the Church of the Nativity on Sunday, Pope Francis prayed with Latin Patriarch Fuoad Twal. In his sermon Twal accused Israelis of being the present-day version of Christ killers by referring to the Palestinians as walking “in the footsteps of the Divine Child,” and likening the Israelis to King Herod.

In his words, “We are not yet done with the present-day Herods, who fear peace more than war… and who are prepared to continue killing.”

Rather than condemn these remarks, Francis echoed them.

“Who are we, as we stand before the Child Jesus? Who are we, standing as we before today’s children?” the pope asked.

“Are we like Mary and Joseph, who welcomed Jesus and cared for him with the love of a father and mother? Or are we like Herod, who wanted to eliminate him?” During his visit Monday to Jerusalem, Francis embraced the Palestinian mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammed Hussein. Departing from his scripted remarks which called for the pope to refer to the mufti and his associates as “dear friends,” Francis called them his “dear brothers.”

Hussein has been condemned by the US and the EU for his calls for the annihilation of Jews in the name of Islam.

In 2012, Hussein said it was the destiny of Muslims to kill Jews, who he claims are subhuman beasts and “the enemies of Allah.” He has also praised suicide bombers and said their souls “tell us to follow in their path.”

Francis didn’t condemn him.

Francis stridently condemned the anti-Jewish attacks in Brussels and Paris. And during his ceremonial visits to Yad Vashem, the Wailing Wall and the terror victims memorial he said similarly appropriate things. But all of his statements ring hollow and false in light of his actions.

Israelis and Jews around the world need to be aware of what is happening. Francis is leading the Catholic Church in a distressingly anti-Jewish direction.
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"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
ccp
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« Reply #1902 on: May 28, 2014, 07:32:48 AM »

Well this Pope has already lost me with his Communism remarks.   

If everyone was forced (that's right - forced) to have what they earn confiscated and doled out we would still be in the stone age.

I mean absolutely no disrespect to Catholics.  But this guy is a quack.

His sense of morality is in outer space.

There is something megalomanic about him.
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ccp
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« Reply #1903 on: May 28, 2014, 07:49:51 AM »

I'll post more on the Pope later.  Let me read more about him and what he says.  But he insulted my country, my way of life, my belief system and as a result me.

I won't just sit and allow him to do this.

Morality works in many ways.  Not his or the highway.
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objectivist1
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« Reply #1904 on: May 28, 2014, 08:09:12 AM »

Well, I am a Christian, and the Pope certainly does NOT speak for me.  Having been raised in the Catholic Church I know its history, both recent and ancient.  I stand with unwavering solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people.  Any Christian who does not is either ignorant or anti-semitic.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1905 on: June 16, 2014, 04:51:31 PM »

Guest Column: Jesus Recrucified
by Reuven Berko
Special to IPT News
June 16, 2014
http://www.investigativeproject.org/4426/jesus-recrucified

The Palestinians likely were furious when the Pope Francis visited Jerusalem two weeks ago. They believe that when the Pope or any foreign official visits Jerusalem it is de facto recognition that it is the capital of the State of Israel.

To keep emotions boiling during his visit, the Palestinian media systematically issued false reports of how Israel "prevents" Christian worship and sends its thugs to attack and vandalize Christian holy sites in and around Jerusalem. When the Pope visited, it was no different. Palestinian propaganda has carefully avoided mentioning that only since the liberation of Jerusalem by Israel have the various religions enjoyed complete freedom of worship in a united Jerusalem. Moreover, Palestinian leaders have been shocked by the fact that in the past year, Israeli Arab Christians have increasingly enlisted in the Israeli army. Despite their efforts, even Palestinians specializing in anti-Israeli propaganda have found it hard to make their accusations stick if only because of the endless incidents of rape, murder and vandalism perpetrated against Christians by the forces of radical Islam in various locations around the globe, including Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, Iraq and throughout Africa.

The Palestinians have not let facts interfere with their agenda. During the Pope's visit to Israel and to the West Bank, the Palestinian media was flooded with photomontages of Old and New Testament scenes. In the Palestinian version of Raphael's "The Deposition," Jesus' legs have been replaced by a photo of the wounded legs of a Palestinian, being carried away by a man as an Israeli soldier looks on. Particularly stunning is the Palestinian version of Rembrandt's "The Sacrifice of Isaac," with an Israeli soldier holding Isaac down, exposing his throat for slaughter, replacing the angel staying Abraham's hand.

Art in the service of the PLO's lie industry is a constant factor of Palestinian media and helps the PLO leadership mold the organization's policies. Interviewed in 2000, Palestinian artist Yasser Abu Sido said "the Palestinian struggle against Israel is eternal. It began 2000 years ago (sic) and continues to this day. I illustrate it by depicting Jesus, who came into the world with a message of justice, and the Jews did what they did to him. The Palestinians demand the same rights and to be treated the same way. I illustrate that by showing Israeli soldiers as the Palestinians see them, in uniform. I show Jesus with nothing but the truth. When he was searched at the entrance to Jerusalem all they found on him was a stone, a piece of bread and a fish, and for that he was put in chains. That is the Palestinian who began the struggle and will continue it until it ends, if it ends..."

The Palestinians have adopted Jesus as their own: According to Palestinian TV in 2008, "Jesus was the first in a long line of sufferers. The Palestinians, naturally, are accustomed to such a death, the suffering of the first Palestinian, the Messiah, began at the Last Supper." In 2012, on a Palestinian TV program about the Via Dolorosa, there was a subtitle reading "Mother, what did I do wrong? Am I forbidden to bring a message of peace from my Lord? That was the crime of Jesus, the Palestinian Messiah." In 2010, the PLO's website claimed the Virgin Mary was a Palestinian, saying that her pride was a model for the female shaheeds (those who commit martyrdom operations), prisoners and fighters who had become icons of dedication and sacrifice.

Such absurd notions are part of the disinformation campaign waged by the Palestinian terrorist conglomerate called the PLO in its ongoing effort to steal the Jewish identity and historical rights to the land of Israel. But using tactics of counterfeit and fabrication the Palestinians, in an effort to vilify the Jews , know full well that their propaganda falls into the fertile ground of age-old European anti-Semitism, where the Jews were officially absolved of the death of Christ by the Catholic Church only in 1965, and more recently by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011.

According to the PLO's newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda in 2000, the Palestinians also have asserted that Nazareth, was "the city whose first son was killed by the Jews." In 2004 it called Capernaum, where they said that the "Palestinian Messiah" changed water into wine, by its Arabic name, Kafar Kana. In 2005 the PLO newspaper called Jesus the first "Palestinian shaheed" (martyr) and in 2006 claimed that the Arab countries were the cradle of Christianity and that the Christian Jesus was a Syrian Palestinian who was born in Nazareth [sic]... In 2012 it wrote, "We are proud, oh son of Mary, that you are the first Palestinian who redeemed mankind so that love would continue to light the way." This is all part of the revisionist Palestinian narrative to claim that Jesus was a Palestinian and thus deny that Jews ever lived in the land of Israel.
Appearing on Palestinian TV in 2009, the Palestinian Mufti, Muhammad Hussein (who met with the Pope during his visit in the Al-Aqsa mosque) called Jesus a "Palestinian prophet." Dr. Taysir al-Tamimi, the Palestinian Sharia judge, said that "Jesus was the only Palestinian prophet." In 2005, Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda printed the absurdity that Christian religious books call the Holy Land "Palestine" and state that Jesus was a Palestinian. Nowhere in the New Testament does the word "Palestine" appear and it is a historical fact that Palestinians did not exist at the time of Jesus., The Palestinian tactic of appropriating history to erase Jewish history is not original; it is an extension of the propaganda technique called the "Big Lie."

Rewriting the history of the Land of Israel to deny Jewish historical rights and the right to exist as an independent state has long been a fundamental principle of Palestinian policy. Long before the 2000 terrorist campaign (the so-called "Al-Aqsa intifada") began, the Palestinians initiated a campaign to eradicate Jewish history and replace it with a fictitious Palestinian narrative. The idea was to erase 3,000 years of Jewish history and presence in Israel and substitute it with an "ancient" Palestinian, Arab and Muslim "history." The strategy was adopted at a 1998 conference of Palestinian historians, who made the direct link between rewriting history and the political objective of denying the right of Israel to exist.

Dr. Yussuf al-Zamli, the chairman of the history department at the teacher training school in Khan Yunis (in Gaza), called on the universities and other educational institutions to propagate the PLO's false narrative of the history of Palestine and not to allow foreigners and enemies to "distort" it and give the Jewish presence any legitimacy.

Deleting Jewish history from the Land of Israel is accompanied by the invention of historical stories, ancient and modern, the fruit of the Palestinian Authority's Middle Eastern imagination, to support the PLO's political ideology and claim of ownership. Save for some courageously honest Palestinians, the Holocaust and other aspects of Jewish history have largely been denied, while simultaneously concealing the fact that Jesus was a Jew who lived in Israel. According to Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda in 2005, "We must not forget that Jesus the Messiah was a Palestinian, the son of Mary the Palestinian." (It was only in the last two months that PA President Mahmud Abbas—who wrote his doctoral dissertation denying the existence of the Holocaust—finally conceded in an interview, although begrudgingly that the Holocaust did occur.)

The Romans changed the name of Judea to Palestine 136 years after Jesus was born to punish the Jews for the revolt of Bar Kochba. In addition, since there is no P in Arabic, the Palestinians incorrectly pronounce the original Roman name Palestine as Filastine. In 2013 Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda published an article entitled "The Resurrection of Jesus, the Resurrection of the State." It stated that "Easter...is not only a holiday for Palestinian Christians, but for Palestinian nationalism, because Jesus, may he rest in peace, was a Canaanite Palestinian. His resurrection three days after he was crucified by the Jews, as reported by the New Testament, reflects the Palestinian narrative, of the struggles with the descendants of the modern colonialist Zionist Judaism, which plots with Western millionaires who claim to belong to Christianity. Jesus, may peace be upon him, was the honest national Palestinian ancestor who renewed the Old Testament, left Judaism, and established and spread a new covenant. For that reason he was pursued by the Jews until they caught him, crucified him and then killed him [sic]. He was then resurrected like the Phoenix and went to spread his gospel, which is still alive and will continue to exist as long as mankind exists. The story of Jesus is the story of the Palestinians."

Similar declarations were made at a ceremony to mark the 48th anniversary of the PLO's founding held in Bethlehem and covered by Palestinian TV. Saeb Erekat, a prominent PA official who has participated in the peace talks with Israel, gave a speech in which he praised Yasser Arafat and his comrades, saying that "It is not logical that now, at the end of 2012 we celebrate [the 48th anniversary of the founding of Fatah] near the birthplace of Jesus … the first Palestinian shaheed, and [have to] tell him that the children of Palestine are still being killed by the occupation in the Gaza Strip, [and are still] being killed in the Yarmouk refugee camp... (Palestinian TV, December 31, 2012).

The appropriation of Jesus as a Palestinian was repeated by Mustafa Barghouti, a member of the Palestinian parliament in 2009, who said that "Jesus was the first Palestinian to be tortured in this country." The theme was picked up by the governor of the Ramallah district when he said in a speech given to enthusiastic Palestinians that "[w]e all have the right to be proud that Jesus was a Palestinian and that Palestine was the cradle of religions and the land of civilization" (Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, 2012).
Palestinian propaganda becomes even more absurd when Islamic clerics, especially Palestinian religious leaders, deny the very existence of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, dismissing it a Jewish fabrication. At the same time, these same honorable sheikhs claim patronage of the "Palestinian Messiah." Palestinian religious and political propagandists deliberately market their myths even though they contradict their own beliefs. Even the Qur'an specifically that Jesus died, stating that Jesus was not killed, and it only seemed to people that he died (Surah An-Nisa' verse 157).

What would Jesus, who preached peace and turning the other cheek, do if he knew he had been adopted as a radical Palestinian icon of violence, a shaheed and a mass murderer of innocents committed by Islamic militants – egged on by Islamic sheikhs – and responsible for the persecution of Christians throughout the Muslim world? What would he do if he knew he had been adopted by a Palestinian terrorist conglomerate as a shaheed? What would he do If he had foreseen that the PLO, which has killed thousands of innocent people, would make him a Palestinian icon for terrorism and bloodshed? The fact is that Jesus was a Jew from the Land of Israel and preached in its capital, Jerusalem. All the Palestinian delusions, illusions, lies and inventions cannot change that.

It would be interesting to know if the Mufti of Jerusalem propagated the same poisonous ideas with the Pope when they met. Whatever happened, the Pope embraced Jerusalem as the cradle of Christianity when he visited here. And that fact should finally dispel Palestinians attempts to rewrite history and rob the Jews of their rights to their own country and capital by twisting the religion and history of Christianity to erase Israel.

Dr. Reuven Berko has a Ph.D. in Middle East studies, is a commentator on Israeli Arabic TV programs, writes for the Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom and is considered one of Israel's top experts on Arab affairs.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1906 on: June 28, 2014, 10:10:10 PM »


Analysis

Editor's Note: The following is an internal Stratfor document produced to provide high-level guidance regarding increasing tensions in Israel and Gaza to our analysts. This document is not a forecast, but rather a series of guidelines for understanding and evaluating events, as well as suggestions on areas for focus.

The ongoing Israeli operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers is taking on a much wider dimension than the usual retaliatory action between Israel and Palestinian militant factions. Ever since three Israeli teenagers went missing near a West Bank settlement during the night of June 12, Israel has responded with airstrikes in Gaza and raids in the West Bank in and around Hebron (and Bethlehem, to a lesser extent). Israel has pointedly held Hamas directly responsible for the kidnapping. Hamas has distanced itself from the kidnapping, but Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh announced the beginning of the third intifada June 23. There are also several indications that this conflict involves more than the usual suspects, with Iran and Russia possibly stoking the flames for their own interests. The following points must be investigated:

    The kidnappings have been claimed by a number of groups, some of whom have not had a history of operating in the Palestinian territories. The first claim for the kidnappings allegedly came June 13 from a branch of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant based in Hebron calling itself Dawlat al-Islam. Shortly thereafter, an unknown Palestinian organization called Liberators' Battalion of Hebron published a separate claim for the kidnappings via Israeli media. A group calling itself Brigades of Global Jihad posted a claim on a jihadist forum and then withdrew it. Fatah-linked Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade denied that they had ever claimed the kidnapping, despite reports that they had taken responsibility in the immediate aftermath. On June 26, a claim was made by the Hezbollah Brigades, a branch distinct from the Lebanese Hezbollah militant organization, via Gaza-based Amad Press. We need to understand the origin of each of these groups, any connections they may have to Iran and their relations with mainstream militant factions Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad as well as with regional jihadist entities such as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. A key question we need to answer is whether the Hamas core command was behind the initial kidnapping or if they are catching up to events in defending their position against competing militant factions.
    There have been reports of a limited call-up of reserves. Significant reserve call-ups can be extraordinarily expensive for a state as small as Israel, and the decision would not be taken lightly. We need details on the number of reserves called up and where forces are being concentrated to assess whether we are likely to see another full-scale invasion of Gaza and/or the West Bank.
    Hamas and Fatah were making bumpy progress toward creating a functional national unity government before the kidnappings, but there are two key players who have an interest in keeping Hamas and Fatah split between the territories: Israel and Iran. Israel benefits from a divided Palestinian territory in which it can negotiate with Fatah while keeping Hamas isolated, thereby allowing Israel to retain the upper hand in any peace negotiations that the United States attempts to push forward. Iran also benefits from keeping the Palestinians split, but for different reasons. Iran was able to develop a close relationship with Hamas when the group was isolated following the 2007 Hamas coup in Gaza. Iran wants to be able to maintain influence in the Palestinian territories via groups like Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas and other factions. We noted last August that Iran was facilitating weapons shipments to the West Bank via Jordan for operations down the line. That is why it is imperative to drill into the groups claiming the kidnappings to discern which are likely shadow groups and what ties can be traced back to the mainstream Palestinian factions.
    There may be a Russian element to this conflict. Prior to the June 12 kidnapping, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas received an invitation to visit Moscow and meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, allegedly to talk about restarting the peace talks (though Russia has little interest in lending the United States a hand on that front). Abbas made the trip to meet with the Russian leadership June 26 in Moscow.
    On June 21, the Israel Defense Forces raided the local branch of Russian media agency RT in the West Bank city of Ramallah. RT Jerusalem shares a building with Palmedia, a media group that the Israel Defense Forces claims is linked to Hamas. Though Palmedia appears to have been the main target of the raid, it is curious that RT's office was also targeted, with their computers and hard drives taken into custody. It is unclear whether or how these developments are related, but we note that Russia has been more engaged in the Middle East than usual at a time when Moscow is keen on creating distractions for the United States. Russian movements surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation thus bear close watching in the coming days.


Read more: Analytic Guidance: Not the Usual Israeli-Palestinian Flare-Up | Stratfor
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1907 on: June 30, 2014, 12:36:40 PM »

http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/fatah-video-threatens-israelis-death-is-near?omhide=true&utm_source=MadMimi&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Israel+Breaking+News+Video%3A+Fatah+Video+Threatens+Israelis+%E2%80%98Death+is+Near%E2%80%99&utm_campaign=20140629_m121129701_6%2F29+Israel+Breaking+News+Video%3A+Fatah+Video+Threatens+Israelis+%E2%80%98Death+is+Near%E2%80%99&utm_term=Fatah+Video+Threatens+Israelis+_E2_80_98Death+is+Near_E2_80_99
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1908 on: July 01, 2014, 08:10:46 AM »



The IDF was considering its next move in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, following the finding of the bodies of the three Israeli kidnapped teens. "We're preparing a plan to advance an operation in the Strip. The objective is to avoid escalation and act responsibly," an IDF source said. The Israeli Air Force (IAF) carried out 34 attacks on terrorist targets in several different sections of the Gaza Strip overnight, targeting structures and even some open areas, the IDF spokesperson confirmed late Tuesday. The attack's objective was "to prevent the continuation of rocket fire at Israel. If we see Hamas heading towards a confrontation, we'll go there," the source said. According to the reports, one of the areas was a site in the area of Khan Yunis controlled by Hamas' military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, where 4 were said to be wounded and another missing. Attacks were also reported near Rafah in the southern area of the Strip on structures belonging to other terrorist organizations active in the area. The IDF Spokesperson said that the Monday night attack was in response to a rocket fired earlier by Arab Palestinian terrorists that struck an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council.

The cabinet was torn overnight Monday over Israel's response to the murder of three Israeli teenagers - Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gil-Ad Shaer - who were kidnapped over two weeks ago, and whose bodies were found Monday evening. The emergency meeting ended after three hours without reaching a decision being made. Economy Minister Naftali Bennett was furious at the army's suggested to bomb several empty structures in the Gaza Strip, saying a much stronger response was required. Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni lashed out at Bennett for that, advocating for a more measured response. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu concluded the discussion by saying a strong response was needed, but did not offer one.
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G M
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« Reply #1909 on: July 09, 2014, 08:04:13 AM »

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/footage-of-hamas-cell-taken-out-by-idf-helicopter-strike/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1910 on: July 10, 2014, 12:45:21 PM »

BTW gents, I just noticed that this thread has hit 200,000 reads.

Well done!
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MikeT
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« Reply #1911 on: July 10, 2014, 07:04:35 PM »

BBC reporting last night that it is costing the Israeli's about $100,000 for every $1,000 rocket they shoot down.  In my view, for their own security, a ground operation into Gaza is therefore not only 'inevitable', but probably 'imminent', (Not a very 'stellar' prediction, I know. FYI, I also guess weights at carnivals).  wink

And I have to say, if it happens within the current context, 'I support'...  Whatever 'rights' the Palestinians might have to an independent homeland, barring conquest, it will only ever be achieved via peacable means.  The Israeli's have (in my opinion) a larger right to defend themselves, in the face of the Palestinians shooting first, and the Palestinian politicians have to control the Palestinain guns.  We would not expect our own government to put up with the Canadians shelling Detroit, I think it's pretty obvious that the Israeli's should not have to put up with the shelling of their cities, either.   If Hamas wants to stop the airstrikes, stop the shelling.  In addition to demonstrating a willingness to respond, the other thing the Israeli's have been consistent about is showing restraint when the Palestinians stop.

Like for individuals, the inherent 'rights' of nations to defend themselves when attacked are, in my opinion, self evident.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1912 on: July 10, 2014, 07:23:39 PM »

Interesting datum about the relative cost of the rockets.

Palestinians can have an independent homeland whenever they stop shooting, bombing, trying to kill Israel and recognize its' right to exist.
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MikeT
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« Reply #1913 on: July 10, 2014, 07:24:53 PM »

No disagremeent there!
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G M
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« Reply #1914 on: July 11, 2014, 01:15:07 AM »

Well, I'm not sure shelling Detoilet would be a bad thing...
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1915 on: July 11, 2014, 12:06:24 PM »



http://freebeacon.com/national-security/hamas-orders-civilians-to-die-in-israeli-airstrikes/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1916 on: July 11, 2014, 12:24:32 PM »

Click here to watch: Video Shows ISIS Is Firing Rockets on Israel From Gaza

Despite the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant's (ISIS) statements that it will not join the attack on Israel for now, a new video by the Sunni Jihadist group claims to show its terrorists are in fact firing rockets on Israel. In the video, which was uploaded to YouTube, alleged members of ISIS's "Bayt el-Maqdis" (Jerusalem) unit in Gaza can be seen firing rockets towards Israeli civilian centers. A total of eight rockets are seen being fired by the group in the video, a drop in the ocean to the hundreds fired by Gaza terrorist groups in recent days. ISIS terrorists are seen preparing the rockets in rocket launchers embedded underground in a Gaza orchard; the rockets are connected by electrical wires so as to allow them to be fired simultaneously. The rockets are seen launching both in night and day conditions.

Watch Here

At the very end of the clip, the rocket launchers are seen being attacked by the IAF shortly after launching. Apparently an Israeli fighter drone patrolling the area located the launchers and opened fire on them. After capturing vast swathes of Iraq and Syria, ISIS declared the regions under its control as a "Caliphate", or Islamic state. A spokesman for ISIS on Monday declared that his organization intends first to deal with "Muslims who have become infidels," and then attack Israel, although the recent attack shows they are not staying true to that statement. In a recent statement, another spokesman said ISIS needs to complete six specific stages before attacking Israel. Some of those "stages," such as building a base in Iraq from which to attack Syria and Lebanon, have been completed. But the group still intends to weaken the US and expand its rule over "Greater Syria" (which includes Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and possibly Gaza) first, before taking on Israel. Video last week revealed ISIS has transferred weaponry captured in Iraq to Syria, including a long-range Scud missile that a member of the group threatened is "heading towards Israel." ISIS last Friday captured a Syrian oil field in the Deir el-Zour province in the east of the country near Iraq, after seizing Syria's largest oil field last Thursday in the same region. It has already amassed great assets in Iraq, seizing Iraq's largest oil refinery, a chemical weapons facility, and becoming the "world's richest terrorist organization" by looting 500 billion Iraqi dinars ($425 million) from banks in Mosul.

Source: Arutz Sheva
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« Reply #1917 on: July 12, 2014, 10:45:02 AM »

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/182754#.U8FXhIUZ_P_
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« Reply #1918 on: July 12, 2014, 02:27:48 PM »

http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/idf-exposes-hamass-use-of-human-shields?omhide=true&utm_source=MadMimi&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Israel+Breaking+News+Video%3A+IDF+Exposes+Hamas%27s+Use+of+Human+Shields&utm_campaign=20140711_m121298359_7%2F12+Israel+Breaking+News+Video%3A+IDF+Exposes+Hamas%27s+Use+of+Human+Shields&utm_term=IDF+Exposes+Hamas_27s+Use+of+Human+Shields
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« Reply #1919 on: July 12, 2014, 02:37:52 PM »

http://www.thejerusalemconnection.us/blog/2014/07/05/isis-already-in-gaza-strip.html

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH, GATESTONE—
 
Despite denials by Hamas, there is growing evidence that the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS] — also known as “The Islamic State” — has begun operating in the Gaza Strip.
 
Palestinian Authority [PA] and Israeli security sources are convinced that followers of ISIS in the Gaza Strip are responsible for some of the recent rocket attacks on Israel.
 
Hamas, they say, seems to be losing control over the dozens of terror cells belonging to ISIS and other jihadi groups.
 
Eyad al-Bazam, spokesman for the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Interior, earlier this week denied reports ISIS terrorists had infiltrated into Egypt through tunnels along the border with the Gaza Strip. He described the reports as “lies and fabrications,” adding that they are part of a campaign to “distort the image of the Gaza Strip,” and that “There is no presence of ISIS in the Gaza Strip.”
 
The denial came in response to a report in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm according to which Egyptian security forces arrested 15 ISIS terrorists who tried to enter Sinai from the Gaza Strip. According to the report, Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip facilitated the infiltration of the ISIS terrorists into Egypt so that they could carry out a terrorist attack against Egyptians.
 
The report said that the terrorists had been entrusted with establishing terror cells and branches of ISIS in Egypt.
 
Hamas is obviously nervous about the presence of ISIS terrorists in the Gaza Strip and sees them as a direct challenge to its rule. ISIS believes that Hamas is “too moderate” and is not doing enough to achieve the destruction of Israel.
 
Last month, Hamas sent its policemen and militias to disperse a rally organized by ISIS followers in the Gaza Strip to celebrate the recent “military victories” of the terrorist group in Iraq. Hamas prevented local journalists from covering the event as part of its attempt to deny the existence of ISIS in the Gaza Strip.
 
At the rally, attended by dozens of Islamists, the crowd chanted, “Khaybar, Khyabar, Ya Yahud, Jaish Mohamed Saya’ud!” (“O Jews, Mohamed’s army will return.”)
 
This is a battle cry that many Islamists like to chant to remind the Jews of the story of the battle fought in 629 CE by the Prophet Mohamed against the Jews of Khaybar, an oasis in northwestern Arabia. The battle resulted in the killing of many Jews, and their women and children were taken as slaves.
 
Earlier this year, masked militiamen in the Gaza Strip posted a video on YouTube in which they declared their allegiance to ISIS. The militiamen are believed to be members of a radical Islamist salafist group that has been operating in the Gaza Strip for the past few years.
 
Then, Hamas also denied that ISIS had any followers in the Gaza Strip. But Hamas seems to be trying to cover the sun with one finger.
 
At the funeral of two Islamists killed by the Israel Defense Forces last week in Gaza, funeral-goers carried flags and banners of ISIS.
 
Over the past decade, it has become clear that Hamas is not the only terrorist organization operating in the Gaza Strip, which has become a base for dozens of jihadi groups, some linked to Al-Qaeda and ISIS.
 
The smuggling tunnels that used to link the Gaza Strip with Egypt (most have been destroyed by the Egyptian army over the past year) have facilitated the movement of thousands of Islamist terrorists in both directions.
 
The Gaza Strip is no longer a threat to Israel, but also to the national security of Egypt.
 
The only way to confront this threat is through security cooperation between Israel and Egypt, which have a common interest in preventing the Islamists from exporting their terrorism beyond the borders of the Gaza Strip.
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« Reply #1920 on: July 12, 2014, 02:39:01 PM »

Which puzzles me, I must say, because my understadiong is that Hamas is backed by Iran?  Or is that Hezbollah, I am forever mixing them up.
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« Reply #1921 on: July 12, 2014, 02:42:32 PM »

One word:  "Hiroshima."

Your argument is invalid. rolleyes
 
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2014/07/12/Column-Israel-s-Iron-Dome-Provides-Unfair-Advantage-Against-Hamas
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« Reply #1922 on: July 13, 2014, 10:51:54 AM »

Click here to watch: IDF Naval Commandos Raid Gaza Long Range Missile Compound

Four IDF soldiers are lightly wounded in the first ground battle with Hamas since the start of fighting on Tuesday. Three Hamas fighters are killed in the exchange, according to Palestinian sources. According to Army Radio, an IDF ground force entered the Gaza Strip tonight to strike at a rocket launching site near Gaza City, in the northern part of the Strip. The force encountered Hamas fighters, and a firefight ensued, the station reports. The wounded IDF soldiers are now evacuated to a hospital inside Israel. According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, the target of the operation has been destroyed.

Watch Here

Presumably, the IDF sent in Special Forces, instead of bombing the rocket launch site from the air, is that it likely Hamas embedded the rocket launchers into a facility held a lot of civilians, and Israel is trying to do everything it can to minimize Gazan civilian casualties, while Hamas is trying to maximize Gazan civilian casualties, using them as Human Shields. We wish our injured soldiers a Refuah Shleimah, a complete recovery. Five rockets fell in an uninhabited area between Yavneh and Rehovot, in west-central Israel. Two rockets were intercepted over Rehovot, another over Rishon LeZion, and a rocket aimed at the central coastal plain was intercepted over Ashdod. Shell fragments scattered in Ashdod and the residents have been warned not to touch them. Southern Israel was targeted as well, and at least three rockets exploded in an open space in the Eshkol region, causing no damage or injury. Meanwhile, the IDF has begun dropping leaflets on certain parts of Gaza, telling residents to leave their homes. The move is being interpreted as a preparation for a possible ground offensive by the IDF.
Source: Arutz Sheva
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« Reply #1923 on: July 13, 2014, 02:04:34 PM »

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2014/07/hamas-hackers-take-over-israeli-dominos.html#
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« Reply #1924 on: July 14, 2014, 09:09:45 PM »



Click here to watch: ‘Palestinian’ UN rep Admits Gaza Rockets ‘a Crime Against Humanity’

The Arab Palestinian representative to the UN Human Rights Council says every rocket and mortar fired from Gaza toward Israel is a “crime against humanity.” Speaking to Palestinian TV on the possible risks involved if Palestinians leaders ask to join the International Criminal Court, Ambassador Ibrahim Kraishi says the “Palestinian weakness” in terms of international law is the indiscriminate firing of rockets at Israel. “The missiles that are now being launched against Israel, each and every missile constitutes a crime against humanity, whether it hits or misses, because it is directed at civilian targets,” says Kraishi during the interview.

Watch Here

The ambassador says that by contrast, Israel’s actions follows legal procedures, because the IDF warns Gazan civilians to leave sites and areas before they are bombed. “Many of our people in Gaza appeared on TV and said that the Israelis warned them to evacuate their homes before the bombardment. In such a case, if someone is killed, the law considers it a mistake rather than an intentional killing because [the Israelis] followed the legal procedures.” “As for the missiles launched from our side, we never warn anyone about where these missiles are about to fall or about the operations we carry out,” he says. Kraishi also says the “settlements [in the West Bank], the Judaization [of Jerusalem], the checkpoints, the arrests, and so on” are also considered “war crimes” under the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

Source: Times of Israel
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« Reply #1925 on: July 15, 2014, 08:18:18 AM »

second post of day

Click here to watch: Hamas Say it’s Leading Gazans to Their Death

Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas’s chief spokesman in Gaza, has a rather unfortunate Freudian slip, accidentally declaring that Hamas is leading the Palestinians to their death. “We aren’t leading our people today to destruction. We are leading our people to death…I mean to confrontation with this occupier,” he says on Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV. As Hamas faces a growing chorus of criticism, including from PA President Mahmoud Abbas, that it has dragged Gaza into violent confrontation for no discernible reason, Abu Zuhri’s efforts to deflect the criticism seem to be going rather poorly. Now Hamas says the video was fabricated (link in Arabic), and the Hamas spokesman’s voice was a voiceover. Sami Abu Zuhri is the same spokesman who urged Gazans to serve as human shields against Israeli airstrikes.

Watch Here

Israel Radio’s Gal Berger reports on Twitter that some Arab voices are expressing anger at Hamas leaders, especially those living overseas who are urging and ordering continued rocket fire on Israel without suffering the consequences of Israeli strikes being felt by ordinary Gazans. This tweet reads: “A website affiliated with Hamas was hacked and pictures were uploaded showing Khaled Mashaal sprinkling olive oil” — with the unspoken implication: “while Gaza burns.” Berger quotes a caption accompanying the photo: “This is the true face of Hamas’s leadership.” In this tweet, Berger quotes an Egyptian journalist, Ahmed Moussa, bitterly complaining about the relative comfort in which Mashaal and Hamas’s former prime minister Ismail Haniyeh are weathering the conflict. “Here — this is their jihad,” Moussa writes, according to Berger.

Source: Times of Israel
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« Reply #1926 on: July 15, 2014, 08:33:42 AM »

Third post of the day:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfN2IvnIA4M
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« Reply #1927 on: July 15, 2014, 06:33:31 PM »



http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4543634,00.html
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« Reply #1928 on: July 16, 2014, 04:56:47 AM »


Egyptian media certainly is not free, but this is interesting nonetheless:

http://www.jewsnews.co.il/2014/07/15/egyptian-tv-hosts-slam-hamas-leaders-we-are-sick-and-tired-of-you/

http://www.jewsnews.co.il/2014/07/14/arab-leaders-thank-pm-benjamin-netanyahu-for-destroying-hamas/
« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 04:58:57 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #1929 on: July 16, 2014, 10:28:17 AM »

second post

http://www.dennisprager.com/jewish-state-morally-sick-world/
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« Reply #1930 on: July 17, 2014, 01:42:48 PM »

Note the part about Hezbollah's rockets being more powerful than Hamas's

Israel Watching Hizballah While Fighting a Cautious Battle With Hamas
by Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
July 17, 2014
http://www.investigativeproject.org/4463/israel-watching-hizballah-while-fighting

The 10th day of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) "Operation Protective Edge" featured a five-hour ceasefire to allow humanitarian supplies to reach people in Gaza. The ceasefire was violated by rocket launchers in Gaza, who fired three projectiles into Israeli regions in the south.

Before the ceasefire took effect, Hamas sent 13 heavily terrorists, carrying RPGs and AK-47 assault rifles through a tunnel from Gaza into Israel, where it is believed they wanted to attack a nearby kibbutz.

The IDF says it "neutralized the threat" and video it released shows the tunnel opening being blown up seconds after the terrorists were seen retreating back underground. It believes several members of the cell were harmed in the blast. No Israelis were hurt thanks to the IDF's readiness, but army sources said a massacre of civilians had been narrowly averted.

Unlike past conflicts with Hamas, this Israeli operation – which is aimed at extinguishing rocket fire on Israeli cities – is slow-paced and deliberate. This approach enables the security cabinet and military planners to carefully examine the developing situation, set targets, and decide on their next move without a great deal of pressure.

This atmosphere, considered conducive to decision-making during war, is possible thanks to the dazzling success of the Iron Dome air defense system (10 batteries are currently in operation – double the number that were deployed during Israel's 2012 clash with Hamas).

The conflict began when Hamas ignored Israeli demands to cease firing heavy rocket barrages last week, and continued when Hamas rejected an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire in recent days.

Israeli military sources say that Hamas initiated the conflict due its growing regional isolation, which began when Hamas's ideological twin and founding movement, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, was ejected from power in Egypt last year. Hamas' crisis has grown ever since. Through a conflict with Israel, Hamas hopes to ends its isolation, reenter the Palestinian mainstream as a "hero," and secure a cash flow for its 43,000 members on the payroll, or risk seeing its Gaza regime sink into a sea of anarchy and debt.

But Hamas' decision to launch a war against Israel has backfired. The Arab world has largely given it a cold shoulder, and Hamas' military wing in Gaza, the Ezz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, is growing weaker by the day due to Israel's military blows.

Israel's Air Force and Navy have launched nearly 2,000 strikes on Hamas and Islamic targets in this operation, delivering a series of painful strikes, and knocking out many underground rocket launchers. An estimated 3,000 rockets (a third of Gaza's arsenal) have been destroyed, as well as command and control centers, while around 100 Hamas and Islamic Jihad field operatives have been killed.

Several tunnels dug by Hamas, earmarked for future attacks on the Israeli border, or for sending gunmen and suicide bombers under the border into southern Israel to carry out a killing spree among civilians, also have been destroyed.

Israel has thus far focused its efforts on deterring Hamas from continuing the fight. But faced with Hamas's insistence on continuing the conflict, Jerusalem may now be contemplating going beyond deterrence, and targeting all of Hamas's military assets for destruction.

While Israel's firepower has been highly effective, Hamas' has been the opposite, due in large part to the Iron Dome air defense system. Hamas and other organizations fired 1,400 rockets into Israel since the start of the operation. Of those, Iron Dome knocked out 272 that were heading toward high-population centers. More than 1,000 rockets fell in open, sparsely populated areas, and a few caused heavy damage to Israeli homes and injuries. One man was killed Tuesday.

Nevertheless, the constant barrages of rockets disrupt daily life in Israel, terrorizing its civilians and sends them fleeing for shelter every time an air raid siren goes off.
Hamas has fired on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem repeatedly, and even fired long-range rockets, with ranges of 150 kilometers, at northern Israel.

As the fighting continues, Israel is amassing 56,000 ground troops on the border with Gaza, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu edges closer to ordering a ground offensive.

The IDF is preparing to encounter urban warfare, combat in underground tunnels, and terrorist cells armed with anti-tank missiles and automatic weapons that lie in wait.
Air power alone is not enough to achieve a fallout victory. Many of Hamas' nerve centers and rocket launching infrastructure are hidden deep underneath civilian buildings – targets that Israel refuses to strike for fear of harming Palestinian noncombatants.

As Hamas insists on continuing the conflict, the IDF is prepared to move to a new stage in its operation, aimed at systematically destroying what remains of its offensive capabilities.

Even in the midst of the fighting, the IDF is keeping a close watch on Hizballah in Lebanon, acutely aware that Hizballah is returning the same watchful gaze.  On the one hand, Hizballah is likely highly aware of the fact that the IDF dropped heavy bombs on the homes of Hamas's battalion and brigade commanders – structures that doubled up as command centers. The message to Hizballah seems clear – it, too, will face devastating firepower in the event of a conflict and its attempt to plant assets in the middle of civilian neighborhoods will not prevent that outcome.

Hamas and Hizballah are both experts at guerrilla-terrorist asymmetrical warfare, and both convert densely-populated civilian regions into rocket bases. They convert mosques and residential buildings into command and control centers, and bunkers dug under homes into rocket storage facilities.

But the similarities end there.

In terms of firepower, Hizballah's rocket arsenal is more than 10 times greater than Gaza's.

With 100,000 rockets in Hizballah's possession, including missiles with warheads of hundreds of tons, which have ranges of several hundred kilometers, the current pattern of conflict between Hamas and Israel cannot be replicated by Jerusalem in the event of a full-scale clash with Hizballah.

Some of Hizballah's projectiles can bring down whole buildings.

Israel does not have enough air defenses to cope with Hizballah's rocket onslaught, and the David's Sling system, designed to shoot down heavy Hizballah rockets, is not operational. Even if that changed, Israel's defense budget would not allow for the creation of sufficient numbers of interceptor missiles to deal with the level of firepower that Hizballah has amassed. According to Israeli estimates, the Lebanese terror organization is number five in the world in terms of its firepower (Israel is number two).
This means that Israel would have to rely on a far stronger offense against Hizballah than the one it has employed so far against Hamas.

Attacks would be characterized by a massive wave of air strikes, in which thousands of targets are destroyed every day. Israeli ground forces would likely be ordered to launch an immediate offensive aimed at seizing southern Lebanon, and put out the rocket fire.

As Israel prepares its next move against Hamas, it knows that a far larger and more dangerous enemy to the north is observing its every move, and searching for weaknesses.

Yaakov Lappin is the Jerusalem Post's military and national security affairs correspondent, and author of The Virtual Caliphate (Potomac Books),
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« Reply #1931 on: July 17, 2014, 01:47:59 PM »

Hat tip to our MT

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZY8m0cm1oY
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« Reply #1932 on: July 19, 2014, 09:31:49 AM »

It is hard not to conclude the guy with the middle name Hussain is not an anti-Semite when one compares his stance and speeches to this simple and logical and true article by Krauthammer (disclosure:  a Jew - like me).

Unlike Obama the Terrible who on one side of his mouth spouts the phrase, "*I* agree Israel's right to defend itself" while at the same time undermining Israel and PM Netenyahu every step of the way in typical anti-Semitic fashion, Krauthammer makes (IMO) an excellent summary case of Israel's moral standing:

********
Charles Krauthammer
 
By Charles Krauthammer Opinion writer July 17   

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.”

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 Israel Defense Forces released a video on Thursday that they claim shows a tunnel that Hamas militants planned to use to attack Israel. (YouTube/The Israel Defense Forces)

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.

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.

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.******
« Last Edit: July 19, 2014, 09:56:50 AM by ccp » Logged
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« Reply #1933 on: July 20, 2014, 09:01:33 AM »

As usual Krauthammer is superb.

And here is today's expression of what he writes:

Click here to watch: Hamas Announces it Will Give Grenades to All of Gaza's Youth
A Hamas spokesman announced that Hamas had manufactured 250,000 hand grenades that would be given to Gazan youth to use to fight Israel instead of rocks. The IDF has released another video which shows how Hamas deliberately puts civilian lives in danger.
The video shows that Hamas hides weapons and missile launchers in densely populated areas and sends men, women and children directly into the line of fire to be used as human shields for terrorists. Hamas has openly boasted about the "success" of its strategy of using civilians as human shields during Operation Protective Edge, and the IDF has published extensive evidence of the practice. By contrast, the IDF has dropped leaflets, sent phone messages, and issued general warnings to all civilians within range of upcoming airstrikes to prevent further harm. The IDF has also called off attacks upon realizing that there are innocent civilians in the area or, as shown in the video below, when seeing the terrorist target enter an ambulance.
Watch Here
The UN agency for Palestinian Arab “refugees,” UNRWA, has caused outrage by apparently giving rockets to Hamas. On Thursday, UNRWA confirmed that 20 rockets had been found in one of its vacant schools in Gaza. UNRWA staff said last week that they had “informed the relevant parties and successfully took all necessary measures for the removal of the objects.” However, Channel 2 reports Sunday that - rather than destroying the rockets - UNRWA workers called Hamas to come remove them. Hamas has fired over 1,500 rockets at Israeli population centers over the past two weeks. Any new rockets would presumably be used in similar attacks. While UNRWA confirmed the existence of rockets in one of its schools last week, the organization refused an Israeli request to provide a picture of the weapons. A picture could have helped Israel show that Hamas uses civilian institutions to store weapons and launch attacks. Hamas has openly used human shields in its latest conflict with Israel. The terrorist group issued a statement Thursday urging Gaza residents to ignore IDF warnings to evacuate their homes. Earlier, Hamas gathered civilians to stand on the roof of a senior terrorist’s home in order to deter an IDF strike.
Read More Here: Arutz Sheva
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« Reply #1934 on: July 20, 2014, 01:34:57 PM »

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2014/Jul-19/264432-major-terrorist-attack-on-lebanon-thwarted.ashx#axzz37xIgcwlL
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« Reply #1935 on: July 20, 2014, 01:39:36 PM »

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/20/us-palestinians-israel-arableague-idUSKBN0FP0GY20140720
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« Reply #1936 on: July 20, 2014, 08:56:52 PM »

http://m.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/07/13/israelis-unnerved-by-a-new-round-of-warfare-using-text-message/
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« Reply #1937 on: July 22, 2014, 09:22:31 AM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j16xIxZdqgg
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« Reply #1938 on: July 22, 2014, 10:56:41 PM »


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7ByJb7QQ9U
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« Reply #1939 on: July 23, 2014, 08:21:59 AM »

GAZA CITY — When war between Israel and Hamas broke out two weeks ago, the Palestinian militant group was so hamstrung, politically, economically and diplomatically, that its leaders appeared to feel they had nothing to lose.

Hamas took what some here call “option zero,” gambling that it could shift the balance with its trump cards: its arms and militants.

Now, this conflict has demonstrated that while Hamas governed over 1.7 million people mired in poverty, its leaders were pouring resources into its military and expanding its ability to fight Israel. If it can turn that improved military prowess into concessions, like opening the border with Egypt, that may boost its standing among the people of Gaza — although at an extraordinarily high cost in deaths and destruction.

“There were low expectations in terms of its performance against the recent round of Israeli incursions. It’s been exceeding all expectations,” said Abdullah Al-Arian, a professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar who is currently in Washington. “And it’s likely to come out in a far better position than in the last three years, and maybe the last decade.”

Hamas had been struggling. The turmoil in the region meant it lost one of its main sponsors, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, whom it broke with over his brutal fight against a Sunni Muslim-led insurgency, and weakened its alliance with Iran. It lost support in Egypt when the Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted and replaced with a military-backed government hostile to Hamas.

Unemployment in Gaza is around 50 percent, having risen steeply since Israel pulled out its troops and settlers in 2005 and severely tightened border restrictions.

Hamas appeared powerless to end the near-blockade of its border by Israel and more recently Egypt. It could not even pay its 40,000 government workers their salaries.

The group was so handicapped that it agreed to enter into a pact with its rival party, Fatah, to form a new government. But that seemed only to make matters worse, sowing division within its own ranks, with some in the military wing angry at the concession, while providing none of the economic relief Hamas had hoped for.
Photo
A woman, center, was comforted after the missile attack in Yahud. Credit Dan Balilty/Associated Press

When Hamas sent a barrage of rockets into Israel, simmering hostilities, and back and forth strikes, erupted into war.

At first, when Hamas rockets were being intercepted mainly by Israel’s Iron Dome system as Israel hit Gaza with devastating force, the group strove to persuade its supporters that it was having enough impact on Israel to wrest concessions: Its radio stations blared fictional reports about Israeli casualties.

But as it wore on, the conflict revealed that Hamas’s secret tunnel network leading into Israel was far more extensive, and sophisticated, than previously known. It also was able to inflict some pain on Israel, allowing Hamas to declare success even as it drew a devastating and crushing response. Its fighters were able to infiltrate Israel multiple times during an intensive Israeli ground invasion. Its militants have killed at least 27 Israeli soldiers and claim to have captured an Israeli soldier who was reported missing in battle, a potentially key bargaining chip.
Continue reading the main story

And on Tuesday its rockets struck a blow to Israel — psychological and economic — by forcing a halt in international flights. Hamas once again looks strong in the eyes of its supporters, and has shown an increasingly hostile region that it remains a force to be reckoned with.
Continue reading the main story Video
Play Video|1:59
Behind the Escalations in Gaza
Behind the Escalations in Gaza

A look at why Israel and Hamas have repeatedly chosen to intensify the violence at every stage of the continuing conflict.
Video Credit By Mona El-Naggar on Publish Date July 17, 2014. Image CreditRonen Zvulun/Reuters

Hamas, Mr. Arian said, has demonstrated that “as a movement, it is simply not going anywhere.”

But Hamas’s gains could be short-lived if it does not deliver Gazans a better life. Israel says its severe restrictions on what can be brought into Gaza, such as construction materials, are needed because Hamas poses a serious security threat, and the discovery of the tunnels has served only to validate that concern.

So far, at least 620 Palestinians have died, around 75 percent of them civilians, according to the United Nations, including more than 100 children. Gazans did not get a vote when Hamas chose to escalate conflict, nor did they when Hamas selected areas near their homes, schools and mosques to fire rockets from the densely populated strip. At the family house of four boys killed last week by an Israeli strike while playing on a beach, some wailing women cursed Hamas along with Israel.
Continue reading the main story
Related in Opinion

    Op-Ed Contributor: Gaza Under Israel’s OnslaughtJULY 22, 2014
    Room for Debate: Self-Defense or Atrocities in Gaza?JULY 22, 2014

“It comes at an exceptionally high price,” said Khaled Elgindy, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former adviser to the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah. “When the bombs stop and the dust settles, people might have different calculations about cost-benefit.”
Photo
A home that was destroyed by a Hamas missile near Ben Gurion International Airport in Yahud, near Tel Aviv. Credit Gideon Markowicz/European Pressphoto Agency

It is also unclear whether, when the fighting ends, Hamas will have the same kind of foreign support it has had in the past to rebuild its arsenal or its infrastructure; Egypt, under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has destroyed hundreds of the tunnels that were used to bring in arms, money and supplies, and has kept the proper border crossing mostly closed. There are also some diplomatic efforts underway seeking to force Hamas to surrender its weapons in exchange for a cease-fire, a demand it is not likely to accept.

Omar Shaban, an economist and political independent, sat in his walled garden in the southern Gaza town of Deir al-Balah as shells crackled nearby and said he fervently hoped, but also doubted, that both Hamas and Israel’s government would reach for a substantive deal.

“This war will end tomorrow or after tomorrow, we will have another cease-fire, we will have another siege and Hamas will continue to run the scene,” he said.

“Gaza is a big problem for everybody, for Hamas, for Fatah, for Israel,” he added, ticking off the list: shortages of water, housing and medicine, a population explosion, growing extremism.
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G M
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« Reply #1940 on: July 23, 2014, 08:29:02 AM »

Israel needs to hammer them until every tunnel is destroyed and Hamas is crushed.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1941 on: July 23, 2014, 04:40:40 PM »

Hmas using children as human shield in war
فقط 25 ثانیه ست اما دنیا حرف تو این کلیپ هست!! بازم بگین ماله سوریه ست..!! تو روخدا از ثانیه 19 تا 23 رو دقت کنین.. داره میگه: "تو حالا دختر حماس فاتح شدی..!!" این همون چهره واقعیه تروریست های «حماس» ست ک اینگونه با قساوت از کودکان معصوم فلسطینی در جنگ استفاده مستقیم میکند.. ناجوانمردانه آنها را سپر انسانی خود میسازد.. و شرم آورش آنجاست ک اینهمه ادعای شجاعت دارند اما بجای آنکه پناهگاه کودکان باشند حود با بزدلی در پشت یک دختر بچه پناه می گیرند.. و با وقاحت تمام حتی فیلم هم می گیرند..!!ا
حالا متوجه هستین اسرائیل با چ کسانی در حال جنگه..؟؟ا

Youtube لینک یوتیوب
http://youtu.be/Y3_KiHRg0bM

وفاة الأطفال في غزة مدمرة! نسأل حماس السبب في ذلك هو استخدام الاطفال كدروع بشرية
The death of Children in Gaza is devastating! Ask Hamas why it is using kids as human shield
مرگ کودکان درد آور است.. از حماس بپرسید چر از کودکان مانند سپر انسانی مانند سپر انسانی استفاده میکند
חמאס משתמשים בילדים כמגן אנושי

‪#‎israelunderfire‬ ‪#‎istandwithisrael‬ ‪#‎israelunderattack‬ ‪#‎supportisrael‬#standwithisrael ‫#‏צוקאיתן‬ ‫#‏צבעאדום‬ ‫#‏פיקודהעורף‬ ‪#‎israel‬ ‪#‎gazaunderattack‬
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G M
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« Reply #1942 on: July 23, 2014, 10:42:07 PM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/383494/tens-thousands-israelis-attend-funeral-lone-idf-soldiers-molly-wharton

Americans fighting for the right thing.

I wonder if Carmeli was Jewish. I hope he wasn't.
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G M
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« Reply #1943 on: July 24, 2014, 01:11:11 AM »

http://pjmedia.com/spengler/2014/07/23/where-are-the-jewish-organizations/

The silence is deafening.
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ccp
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« Reply #1944 on: July 24, 2014, 09:01:34 AM »

Hats off to former Mayor Bloomberg - a first tip to him from me.

Perhaps the Jewish organizations are working behind the scenes?

If not then "where are the Jewish organizations" is a good question.

Rush said on the air yesterday that for the 80 % of Jews liberalism trumps everything else.

I have put it another way for years.  The Democrat Party is the new religion for 75-80% of American Jews.

Hand in hand also goes the statement that 'Republicans' are worse than Hamas, or Nazis.  For them Republicans are the lowest scum on the Earth.  Hatred for conservatives is palpable. 

Jews will not condemn their new chosen one - no matter what.  They will not.  Why?  Because then Republicans win.

This cannot happen.   Even though I am with the 20% who are conservative I still understand their thinking.

For example, we always hear libs verbally criticizing Bush for getting us into war in Iraq.  
In contrast when was the last time anyone heard any liberal let alone Jewish liberals criticizing LBJ for Vietnam.   I don't think I ever have.   

What they do do is link Nixon to Vietnam.   Notice the bait and switch all because of the Presidents party affiliation?

They will never criticize Obama.   *Maybe a tad*, and only *indirectly* once his reign is over, and their new chosen one (so far Hillary) is safely elected.

It is all psychiatric.  In my view a bit of a disease.  

If I was writing the psychiatric DSM manuels I would certainly have a disease category for liberalism.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2014, 09:05:09 AM by ccp » Logged
ccp
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« Reply #1945 on: July 24, 2014, 09:38:40 AM »

Howard said,

"If you’re anti-Israel, then you’re anti-America. It’s the only democracy over there"

I say, when one thinks of the Israel haters and liberals in general this statement fits quite well.

Excerpt from todays news release:


Howard Stern Gives Impassioned Defense of Israel


"If you’re anti-Israel, then you’re anti-America. It’s the only democracy over there, it’s the only friend we have who’s willing to fight and stand up for what’s right."

7.24.2014 |
 
When a caller attempted to blame Israel for the war with Hamas last week, SiriusXM radio host Howard Stern told him to “F*** off!” and then launched into an impassioned defense of Israel, saying “If you’re anti-Israel, then you’re anti-America” and arguing that Israel is “the only friend we have who’s willing to fight and stand up for what’s right.”   

The tense exchange began when the caller predicted that Stern would turn his back on Israel when Comedy Central host John Oliver was in the studio.

Stern: I’m not gonna change my tune. Israel’s at no fault.

Caller: Israel’s is at fault, actually.

Stern: F*** off!

The caller then claimed that “Zionists run Israel,” at which point Stern cut him off:

Stern:  Oh, f*** off... I don’t want to listen to any anti-Semitism today. Jews get enough s**t all over the world. They get s**t on all the time. Jews are the indigenous people of that area. I’m sick of the bulls**t. And the Arabs don’t even want those Palestinians, otherwise they’d let them matriculate into their country.

Stern eventually ended the call, saying, “you sicken me,” but added that being anti-Israel worked against the interests of America:


Stern: If you’re anti-Israel, then you’re anti-America. It’s the only democracy over there, it’s the only friend we have who’s willing to fight and stand up for what’s right.

After admitting that he lost his cool and let the caller “get under my skin,” he said he’s tired of reading “this bulls**t,” citing Pink Floyd’s anti-Israel Roger Waters, who he said “ought to shut his mouth too.” Stern then said that the problem was people were forgetting the history of Israel:

Stern: People forget history. Jews were being executed and killed, and they went over to Israel, this little sh*thole, which was a desert—it had nothing going on. 

Stern compared the drastic difference of the median income of Israelis, $30 thousand, and Palestinians, $2 thousand, as an example of the success of Israel despite living in the same region. He then pointed to the Palestinians' real problem: "They elected terrorists to run their country."

Stern: But the Palestinians are mad at the Israelis, instead of being mad at the f***ing terrorists running their so-called country—who are raping the country, taking all the aide the United States actually gives to them. That they’re not angry with; they’re angry with Israel. [...] They elected terrorists to run their country. That’s the difference. Who do you support? Get off your f***ing high horse
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1946 on: July 24, 2014, 10:39:32 AM »

"The Democrat Party is the new religion for 75-80% of American Jews."

Very funny, if it was not so true.  From my Jewish friends closer to home I have heard passion for general liberalism more than for the defense of Israel.  More American Jews should consider moving toward conservatism - for many reasons!

Israel is the canary in the coal mine.  As already demonstrated, when terrorist are not purging Jews, they are attacking gays, Christians, atheists, agnostics, infidels, and the 'wrong' sect of Islam, whether to them that is Sunni, Shia or moderate.  We don't stand with Israel because they are Jewish.  We stand with them because we are moral human beings, and we stand with them as a practical matter for our own self defense because the same people would like to kill us next.  

I don't like Mayor Bloomberg but he has got a couple of things right recently and deserves specific credit for that.  (The other was calling out Harvard and Ivy league schools for their one-sided political suppression.)
-----------------------------------------------
Ban lifted
http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/FAA-lifts-flight-ban-on-US-flights-to-Israel-368705

Interesting that the "FAA" lifted its ban after 36 hours.  Wonder if that was because it was the right thing to do or because they were getting hammered politically with criticism such as was posted here from Newt.  BTW, do we have a President in charge of our foreign policy or just administrative agencies acting on their own?  No mention of that in the story.  Maybe the President only learned of our policy flip flop in the news.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1947 on: July 24, 2014, 02:45:33 PM »

http://www.mercatornet.com/demography/view/14457
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1948 on: July 25, 2014, 07:31:58 PM »

WRM writes a bit like Stratfor and explains his analysis of motives and calculations on both sides in a very understandable way.  The way that Egypt and Saudi come into it is quite interesting.  I wonder if people here see it similarly.

In understanding both sides thinking it is pretty easy to predict this conflict goes on beyond our lifetimes unless you are quite a bit younger then me! Since Israel will never completely annihilate them this ends when Hamas and the people of Gaza give up their quest to destroy Israel which is also never.  Both sides have a strong motive to see the current conflict continue.

http://www.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2014/07/25/the-gaza-war-when-strategies-collide/

Walter Russell Mead
Published on July 25, 2014
THE GAZA WAR
When Strategies Collide
Many wars are fought over accidents and misunderstandings. This is not one of those times. With key interests at stake, the conflict in Gaza is likely to continue.

As the politicians, pundits, and foreign policy panjandrums of the world Western world wring their hands over the chaos and carnage in Gaza, it’s worth noting that there are solid reasons why peace is proving so elusive. Both sides have reason to think they can pull off a significant victory in the current round of fighting, and neither side thinks it can live with the consequences of a defeat. Until something happens to change the thinking on one or both sides, a cease fire will be hard to achieve.

HOPES FOR A WIN

Israel continues to fight because it believes that with more time, it can destroy enough tunnels and inflict enough damage on Hamas to significantly degrade the organization’s military strength and weaken it politically. Furthermore, both Saudi Arabia and Egypt are, perhaps for the first time, quietly rooting for Israel to crush the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Hamas. Given this, Israeli officials presumably think they have a golden opportunity for the extended and crushing war that they really need to inflict serious damage. Any war with the Palestinians involves political costs and setbacks for Israel, but at this particular moment, war in Gaza is less politically expensive than at other times. Given that Hamas is a significant and growing danger, Israeli leaders are likely to think, why not use the opportunity for all it is worth?

Hamas on the other hand is elated by its success in temporarily but significantly hampering operations at Ben Gurion Airport (arguably the most significant single Palestininan tactical accomplishment since the 1948 War). In addition its fighters have had unexpected success killing Israeli soldiers on the ground, and the Arab street is electrified by the conflict. The resulting publicity offers Hamas an opportunity to emerge from the isolation it faced after the overthrow of the Morsi government in Egypt. Since more Israeli progress on the ground will inevitably and tragically mean more civilian deaths, Hamas can also hope for big propaganda victories to offset any military setbacks that prolonged hostilities will bring. Hamas and its Turkish and Qatari allies can also hope that the longer the war lasts, the worse Egypt and Saudi Arabia will look. The Gaza war isn’t just a war between Israel and Hamas; it is a stage in the struggle between the Muslim Brotherhood and its Arab opponents. The longer Hamas can bear up under Israel’s military pressure, the more success it has in the intra-Arab struggle.

The hope of victory is one reason the two sides keep fighting; both Israel and Hamas also believe that defeat would impose unacceptable costs.


ISRAELI FEARS

For Israel, there are three big reasons why losing is unacceptable. First, as a small country surrounded by enemies and facing hostile public opinion in the world at large, Israel’s security depends in large part on its reputation for military supremacy. That reputation, Israelis feel, deters many more attacks and keeps opposition passive and political rather than encouraging it to be active and military. This is an advantage that Israel will not lightly give up; hostilities are unlikely to end until and unless the Israelis feel they have made their point.

That motive is always present, but it became much more important after a rocket from Gaza caused a significant interruption in service from Ben Gurion Airport. People don’t travel much across Israel’s land frontiers; the airport is Israel’s vital link with the rest of the world. Hamas and anti-Israel forces everywhere were wildly elated by this success, and Israel’s enemies now think they can imagine a new strategy to drive the Jewish state to its knees by cutting it off from the outside world. Israeli defense officials likely feel that they must now do two things: eliminate the capacity of Hamas to repeat this attack, and make the consequences so wounding and expensive to Hamas as to reduce the attractiveness of repeat efforts. This new factor is a military game-changer, and it greatly raised the stakes of the conflict. (The biggest political mistake of the war so far? The American officials who banned U.S. flights from using the airport made a cease fire much harder to obtain.)

Second, there are specific political reasons why Israel is intent on hitting Hamas as hard as it can. Some of this is about Palestinian politics. Fatah may be corrupt, incompetent and in the eyes of many Palestinians fatally compromised by its willingness to compromise with Israel, but the more the ‘resistance’ path championed by Hamas looks like a historical dead end, the less Fatah’s flaws matter in the competition for Palestinian leadership.

But Israel is after much bigger game than Hamas in this war. Weakening Hamas isn’t just an Israeli project: Riyadh and Cairo are rooting for the Gazan terrorists to lose as well.  This strange new band of brothers is Israel’s Plan B alliance in case the U.S. folds on Iran. The Saudis and their Egyptian allies also hate and fear Hezbollah; from an Israeli point of view a successful war against Hamas could be the first step in cooperative action against Hezbollah and, beyond it, Iran. Israel wants this war to go well because it could pave the way to more effective cooperation with the most populous and wealthiest of the Arab states.

It’s also worth noting, from the standpoint of very-long-term Israeli interests, that the willingness of the Saudis and Egyptians and their friends, even silently and tactically, to align with Israel is a promising sign that Israel may someday be accepted in the region. Israel has been given a chance to audition for the role of a tacit ally of the Sunni Arab world against both Sunni and Shia radicals; it doesn’t want to blow this chance and its desire to build its relations with neighboring Arab states may outweigh its concerns about annoying Europe or even the U.S.

The third big reason why Israel needs a win is the one that most of the press commentary focuses on: security. Hamas has developed a network of tunnels and a capacity to launch missiles against much of Israel. Israeli officials will want to see that capacity significantly degraded. From the Israeli point of view, the price of a war in Gaza is high, but the incremental political cost of a few more days of combat, could now be less than the benefits from substantial progress in dismantling tunnels, breaking up Hamas’ leadership and destroying its weapon and missile stockpiles.

Thus from an Israeli point of view, the costs of this particular war are lower than usual, thanks to the tacit Arab support from Hamas’ many Arab enemies, and the need for decisive military results is greater than usual. That would suggest that Israel is likely to want to continue fighting until either its goals are reached or it is clear that they cannot be within a manageable time frame or at an acceptable cost. That point doesn’t appear to have been reached yet.

THE STRATEGY OF HAMAS

Like Israel, Hamas’ war strategy seems to be guided by solid calculations about the organization’s vital interests, and the leadership appears to believe that this is a war that the movement can’t afford to lose.

The chief problem and the real enemy for Hamas is not, however, Israel. Israeli hostility is something Hamas understands and can deal with. The real problem for Hamas is the Saudi-backed Sisi government in Egypt. The current Egyptian government sees Hamas as an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, and crushing the Muslim Brotherhood as thoroughly as possible is Egypt’s top priority these days. Egypt’s Saudi patrons feel the same way; the Muslim Brotherhood looks to the Saudis like a challenge to their claim to lead the forces of orthodox Sunnism—and Hamas in the past has been willing to ally itself with Saudi’s arch enemies in Syria and Iran.

The change in the status quo that led to war with Israel had nothing to do with Israel itself; what has happened is that Egypt has systematically intensified the blockade of Gaza, hoping to throttle Hamas, disrupt its support, and put enough economic pressure on Gaza to force Hamas from power.

For Hamas, the pre-war status quo was a death sentence, allowing Egypt to quietly strangle Gaza. The business networks dependent on smuggling were hurting, civil servants weren’t getting paid, and residents were increasingly unhappy with a lousy economy and no progress in sight. Hamas is a cornered animal striking out in desperation. A return to the status quo ante is not acceptable to Hamas, which feels it absolutely must gain some relief or it will go under.

There are reports of splits between the political and military leaders of Hamas in the run up to war, but it seems clear that whoever is now calling the shots in Gaza, so to speak, believes that Hamas is in a war for survival, and short of crushing defeat, Hamas is unlikely to accept a cease fire that restores the status quo ante.

Hamas wants a cease fire that will allow it to import enough goods into Gaza to keep the economy going and to allow it to rebuild its military stockpiles. If Israel and Hamas were the only two entities involved, this might not be so hard to arrange. They have had cease fires before, and while each hates the other and wants it destroyed, on a pragmatic, day by day basis, Israel and Hamas have managed to work things out for long periods of time.

The trouble is that it is hard for Hamas to force Egypt and Saudi Arabia to accept this deal. The Saudis and their allies are happy for Israel to pay the political price for a war against Hamas that they want the Jewish state to win. Meanwhile, it is Egypt that ultimately can decide on peace or war: when Egypt feels that Hamas has been weakened and punished enough that it’s OK to show it some mercy, then the balance of forces will shift and some kind of truce will become much easier to achieve.

Under the circumstances, Hamas’ strategy is a convoluted one: Hamas is trying to create such a hot crisis by staging a war with Israel that the U.S., Europe and an enraged Arab street will force Egypt and Saudi Arabia to give up their drive to starve Hamas out. That may yet work, but it is unlikely to work all that quickly. Neither Egypt nor the Saudis are particularly unhappy if Israel is getting bad press around the world; as far as they are concerned, if rampaging mobs burn every Israeli embassy in Europe, it is no skin off President Sisi’s nose.

This suggests that for Hamas as well as for Israel, the high price of a long (by Israeli-Palestinian standards) war may make sense. It will take time for the kind of political pressure to build that would lead Egypt to soften its blockade of Gaza; it’s hard to see a good reason (except for the obvious humanitarian one) why Hamas would give up before giving its strategy time to work.

WILL PEACE GET A CHANCE?

Many wars come about by accident or by misunderstanding. This particular war, however it was originally triggered, seems to be driven by the real interests of the chief parties involved. In such cases, peace is hard to make until the parties have seen how things go on the battlefield.

This doesn’t necessarily mean a long, drawn-out war. Gaza is a very small place and Hamas’ reserves are not very deep. It is not in Israel’s interests for the war to drag on and some more-horrendous-than-usual event could so shock public opinion around the world and in Israel itself that the calculus could change.

Nevertheless, the peacemaking wannabes have a tricky task ahead of them and the U.S. administration in particular will not enjoy some of the choices it must make. Barring a Hamas collapse, a political solution to the war involves getting not only Israel but also Egypt (and its Saudi backers) to accept some kind of arrangement that loosens the blockade enough to let Hamas survive.

The trouble is that neither the Egyptians nor the Saudis seem interested in making Barack Obama’s life any easier these days. Both countries bitterly resented his support for the Morsi government, and the ineffectiveness of his support deepened their contempt without dulling their anger. They do not trust him over Iran, Syria or Iraq, and they increasingly feel that they must organize the defense of the region without deferring to him. They may take a certain grim satisfaction in his discomfort if a Washington failure to broker a Gaza cease fire makes the Obama administration look weak.

Unhappily for the Obama administration, the best way for the U.S. to hasten the arrival of a durable cease fire in Gaza is to promise a more robust and hawkish policy in the rest of the region. The Israelis will be more willing to make concessions on a Gaza cease fire if they believe that the U.S. will back them more effectively against Iran, and the Saudis and Egyptians are more likely to give ground in Gaza if the U.S. offers real support in the rest of the region.

This is the opposite of the way much of the left and the press understands how the Middle East works, but the new Middle East is a more complicated place than it used to be. The battle between Sunni Arabs and Israelis is no longer the most important issue on the table for key Arab governments as well as for Israel. While that old conflict has not disappeared, it has been eclipsed by the new conflict between a resurgent Iran and the leading Sunni Arab states.

We must hope that American diplomats and other hopeful peacemakers grasp the new and sometimes counterintuitive dynamics of the region. Otherwise the Gaza war could drag on as the peacemakers chase red herrings and run up blind alleys. Fundamentally this war is one of the many dangerous consequences of the regional perception that the United States is in retreat; only by changing that perception can the Obama administration hope to stabilize the region and bring the killing, in Gaza and elsewhere, to an end.

Clausewitz wrote that in war, “the side that feels the lesser urge for peace will necessarily get the better bargain.” Both of the combatants are used to pain, loaded for bear, and feel their essential interests are in play. The most likely outcome is probably an uglier and longer war than usual, followed by another unhappy truce.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1949 on: July 26, 2014, 11:19:38 PM »

http://m.jpost.com/HomePage/FrontPage/Article.aspx?id=76368919&cat=1&url=http://www.jpost.com/SpecialReports2/Article.aspx?ID=368919&R=R1
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