Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Israel Matzav: Hamas turns down Shalit offer?

Hamas turns down Shalit offer?

Al-Arabiya reported on Tuesday that the Hamas terror organization has turned down Israel's latest offer to free hundreds of 'Palestinian' terrorists in exchange for kidnapped IDF corporal Gilad Shalit.

A report on Arab media Al Arabiya Tuesday said that Hamas has decided to reject Israel's latest proposals to trade some 1,000 terrorists for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. The report said that Hamas was demanding that Israel release all the terrorists on its list, including top terrorists that Israel refused to release. The terror group also demanded that more of the terrorists be allowed to return to their homes in Judea and Samaria, while Israel demanded that most of them be exiled to Gaza or deported abroad.

A Hamas spokesperson denied the report, saying that the group has not yet made up its mind.

But a later report by Haaretz indicates that the al-Arabiya report really was incorrect.

Senior Hamas officials on Tuesday said they would continue to discuss an Israeli proposal for a prisoner exchange deal that would free Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, after Al-Arabiya television reported the Islamist group had rejected the swap.

"The negotiations are still ongoing and continuing," Osama Hamdan, the Hamas spokesman in Beirut, said.

Hamdan and Mohammed al-Nasr, of Hamas' political bureau, both denied reports by Al-Arabiya satellite channel that the Islamist movement's leadership in Syria had rejected key details of the swap proposal.

He added that the movement remained in contact with the German negotiator shuttling between the Israeli government and Hamas officials.

A Hamas official in Damascus, speaking on condition of anonymity, likewise said the group's exiled political leaders in Damascus were in "continuous meetings" over a possible deal, which could see the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit, who was abducted in a 2006 cross-border raid.

My guess is that Hamas in Gaza really wants to go through with the deal, but the 'leadership' in Damascus, which is under a lot less pressure, is opposed.

Israel Matzav: Hamas turns down Shalit offer?

Israel Matzav: Who should be asking for clarifications from whom?

Who should be asking for clarifications from whom?

As I noted earlier in the week, the United States has demanded 'clarifications' from Israel regarding the liquidation of the three murderers of Rabbi Meir Chai HY"D (may God avenge his blood). Dan Diker of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs says that it's Israel that ought to be demanding clarifications and not the United States.

THIS IS where it seems more appropriate that the US issue clarifications to Israel. At least one of the Aksa Brigades commanders - Annan Sabuh, who was found with two M16 automatic rifles and two other firearms - had been part of the amnesty program for former Fatah-affiliated terror group commanders and operatives that was predicated on turning in all weapons. The amnesty program was implemented in no small part at the behest of the United States and its security reform program, which began under Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton in 2005.

Notwithstanding IDF praise for PA public policing improvements in some West Bank cities and for PA security actions against Hamas, the American-trained and -funded Palestinian security forces under the command of PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad have either refused or been unable to uproot the terror infrastructure of the Fatah-associated Aksa Martyrs Brigades. Similar to the three recently neutralized terrorists, thousands of additional Aksa Martyrs operatives and other Fatah militia members have gone into "retirement" via the amnesty agreement with the PA security forces and their US security coordinators, but many operatives still store weapons in their homes. US security officials may also be aware that some Fatah terror operatives have even been sheltered in PA security installations to remove them from Israel's most wanted list.

Fayyad has also coopted some Aksa commanders by assigning them to senior positions in the PA security forces, such as Abu Jabbal, a senior PA security forces officer in Nablus. The increased US commitment in 2009, equaling some $130 million to upgrade the PA forces to nearly 3,500 men, has failed to address the very problem of the continued existence of Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades and other armed Fatah factions that resulted in the recent murder of Chai. It is well known in senior Fatah security echelons that the limited capacity and political will of PA forces require the IDF to assume between 70 percent and 80% of the security operations against the extant terror infrastructure in the West Bank.

It gets worse. As some of you may recall, the training that the Dayton forces received leaves much to be desired. But that's not what Diker's piece is about.

Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: Who should be asking for clarifications from whom?

Love of the Land: Hannah Rosenthal's new problem

Hannah Rosenthal's new problem

Shmuel Rosner
Rosner's Domain
29 December 09

Hannah Rosenthal ("officially a burden") tells Tablet that A. she's still going to Washington, B. that the headline "exaggerated what she actually said" and C. that “I don’t think a reporter asking me about J Street is out of bounds, and I don’t think my answer was out of bounds.”

A isn't at all surprising. With B I tend to agree (Kampeas explains why the Haaretz piece was somewhat problematic). But C is a downer. Rosenthal either denies what she knows to be the obvious truth: she was out of bounds. Or - even more problematic - she doesn't get it. Maybe reading Jeffry Goldberg's recent post can assist:

I asked three people who currently work in the State Department if they could recall an instance in which an official of their department ever criticized a foreign ambassador for such a thing -- or for anything -- and they said no. In fact, the State Department is fairly upset at Rosenthal for speaking at all about the alleged political proclivities of a foreign ambassador, not about her specific criticism. It is this behavior that has put her beyond the pale...

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Hannah Rosenthal's new problem

A Soldier's Mother: What I Want...Still...

A Soldier's Mother: What I Want...Still...

Love of the Land: Why Abbas Does Not Want To Resume Peace Talks

Why Abbas Does Not Want To Resume Peace Talks

Khaled Abu Toameh
Hudson New York
29 December 09

The leaders of the Palestinian Authority have reached the conclusion that, under the current circumstances, it would be a waste of time to return to the negotiating table with Israel. They are convinced that the only way to get anything is by rallying pressure from the international community against Israel.

It is for this reason that representatives of the Palestinians have been negotiating with the Europeans and Americans about the peace process -- not with Israel.

The Palestinian leadership in Ramallah is negotiating about the peace process, but with the foreign ministers of France, Sweden, Norway, Germany and the UK and not with Israel. Almost every step this leadership takes is fully coordinated in advance with Western diplomats and their governments.

They believe that at present Israel is more isolated than ever in the international arena, particularly in light of the UN’s Gaza War report, the “Goldstone Report.”

The Palestinian leadership has chosen to confront Israel in the international arena, and not at the negotiating table. Abbas’s strategy is to further isolate Israel in the world through boycotts and anti-Israel resolutions at the UN and other international forums.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Why Abbas Does Not Want To Resume Peace Talks

Israel Matzav: Andrew Sullivan signs up for Samantha Power's wet dream

Andrew Sullivan signs up for Samantha Power's wet dream

Remember Samantha Power, the nut case from Harvard who was fired as an Obama adviser after it came to light that she had called for sending American troops to invade Israel establish 'Palestine'? In case you've forgotten, let's go to the videotape.

Power has a new fan. His name is Andrew Sullivan and he writes a blog called the Daily Dish on the Atlantic's web site. Earlier this evening, I blogged an op-ed from Haaretz written by a woman (yes, Andrew, that's a woman's name) named Karni Eldad, who argued that the 'settlement freeze' is a form of racial segregation that would not be tolerated in the United States. Andrew Sullivan blogged the same column (Hat Tip: Memeorandum) and after disparaging Eldad as a tribal fundamentalist (and accusing Prime Minister Netanyahu of using one of George Carlin's seven dirty words on President Obumbler), Sullivan reaches this conclusion:

Any Israeli government beholden to these people will be incapable of making peace on its own. Increasingly, it seems to me, NATO or US troops will have to intervene on the border to enforce a separation and an end to these settlements for good and all.

What border did you have in mind Andrew? The one where the troops happened to be when the 1949 armistice was declared? What are we negotiating (or what were we negotiating) about for the last 16 years? Why should American troops be used to establish a terror state? Why should American troops be used to fight the only democracy in the Middle East instead of the Islamist entities that surround it? What legal rights do the imaginary people called 'Palestinians' have to land to which the last legal claimant before the State of Israel was the British government under a mandate to establish a Jewish state?

When you can answer those questions, maybe you'll stop calling Israeli Jews 'tribal fundamentalists.'

And yes, I believe God promised us this land - read your bible. But that's not our only argument.

Israel Matzav: Andrew Sullivan signs up for Samantha Power's wet dream

Israel Matzav: Stop Kerry's Iran trip

Stop Kerry's Iran trip

The Weekly Standard's Jamie Fly has a prescient comment on President Obama's statement on Iran:

After remaining silent during much of the protests that erupted in June after Iran’s fraudulent election, the President finally seems to have woken up to the fact that the United States can no longer appear indifferent, but he still seems reticent about completely condemning the Iranian regime.

This unusual formulation may be because despite the administration’s recent bluster about moving towards sanctions, some in his administration still harbor hopes that a deal with the regime is possible. Last week, Sen. John Kerry’s office floated the idea that he might visit Tehran in a last-ditch effort to resolve the nuclear standoff. Instead of shutting down this idea, an unnamed White House official told Jay Solomon of the Wall Street Journal that a Kerry trip to Tehran was " the kind of travel a chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee would -- and should – undertake." How are the Iranians supposed to interpret these mixed messages? Should they be worried that “crippling sanctions” are on the way or should they be planning for the propaganda coup that would result from a Kerry visit during a time when the regime appears to be weaker than ever?

Now that the President seems so concerned about the events unfolding on Iran’s streets, perhaps someone should ask the White House whether the President believes that Sen. Kerry should even contemplate a visit to Tehran to meet with the very officials that are ordering the beatings and killings he has just condemned. The answer might tell us how far he is really willing to go to “bear witness.”

Indeed. Kerry should be told in no uncertain terms not to go. But would he listen? Recall a Congressional trip to Syria against the President's wishes during the Bush years. That's not a good precedent.

Israel Matzav: Stop Kerry's Iran trip

Israel Matzav: Flip side to 'settlement freeze': No enforcement against illegal Arab building

Flip side to 'settlement freeze': No enforcement against illegal Arab building

There's a flip side to the 'settlement freeze.' The government has ordered that there be no enforcement against illegal Arab building in Judea and Samaria. There aren't enough inspectors.

Dozens of residents from the Binyamin region Jewish community of Psagot marched Tuesday morning to a nearby, illegally built, Arab stadium to protest the danger it poses to the community. Community secretary Noam Sharon said, "It's unthinkable that they come to us to enforce the construction freeze - six times they came to us although there's no illegal building - and in this case they don't do anything."

Different Psagot sources say that in discussions with the Civil Administration for Judea and Samaria, it has been revealed that the lack of enforcement against illegal Arab building is an "order from the top".

If someone has an explanation why Jewish building in Judea and Samaria prejudices the 'final outcome' while Arab building does not, I'm all ears.

Israel Matzav: Flip side to 'settlement freeze': No enforcement against illegal Arab building

Israel Matzav: Report: Israel to leave northern Ghajar in January

Report: Israel to leave northern Ghajar in January

The Lebanese newspaper An-Nahar reported on Tuesday that Israel will leave the northern half of the town of Ghajar on its border with Lebanon during the month of January 2010.

The Israel Defense Forces will leave the northern part of the village of Ghajar on the Lebanese border at the end of January, according to a Tuesday report by the Lebanese newspaper An-Nahar. Israeli troops have been stationed in the area to guard against intrusions and smuggling.

The newspaper says the Israeli troops will be replaced by 10 United Nations troops and four soldiers from the Lebanese army. The withdrawal was arranged between Israel, Lebanon and the UN, with the support of the United States.

If there's not a war by then.

For more on the town of Ghajar, go here.

Israel Matzav: Report: Israel to leave northern Ghajar in January

Israel Matzav: Video: 2 Swedish Jews deliver Achmed's kidneys to Aftonbladet

Video: 2 Swedish Jews deliver Achmed's kidneys to Aftonbladet

Two Swedish Jews have taken it upon themselves to respond to Aftonbladet's organ theft libel through humor. They filmed themselves delivering 'Achmed's kidneys' to Aftonbladet's offices.

Let's go to the videotape.

Israel Matzav: Video: 2 Swedish Jews deliver Achmed's kidneys to Aftonbladet

Israel Matzav: Israel's 'Supreme Court' signs some death warrants

Israel's 'Supreme Court' signs some death warrants

I have discussed Route 443, the back road between Jerusalem and Modiin many times on this blog. It runs very close to my house, and I was on it when it suffered its first terrorist attack in December 2000. In response to many terrorist attacks that occurred on Route 443 between 2000 and 2002, the IDF put roadblocks in front of all the Arab villages along the road. While that didn't make them 100% safe it did reduce the risk somewhat.

Now the 'Supreme Court' has ordered the government and the IDF to remove the roadblocks. It has given them five months to do so safely. There is no way to do so safely.

The court panel accepted a petition against the closure from Arabs living in villages near the highway. The judges said although the military can limit traffic for security reasons, it cannot issue a blanket order that affects the Arab population in Judea and Samaria.

I don't know what 'limiting' traffic means. Does it mean that they're going to count the 'Palestinian' cars on the road? That's impossible unless you only give them access at the beginning or the end. Are they going to say that 'Palestinian' cars can only be on the road at certain hours? How do you enforce that?

The truth is that there are already 'Palestinian' cars on Route 443. The key here is removing the road blocks that deny the villages along the highway (Beitunia, Harbata and others) direct access to the road. If the villages have direct access to the road, it will be much easier for terrorists to get on the road, shoot at a random Israeli car and then escape into one of the villages along the road. That's the real issue here.

MK Yaakov Katz, head of the National Union Party, responded to the ruling, "Highway 443 was closed to Arabs after much Jewish blood was spilled on it. How can Justices [Dorit] Beinisch and Fogelman adopt an anti-Jewish stance that goes against IDF recommendations and endangers Israeli citizens? This ruling expresses the stance of the Meretz party that has only three MK's in the Knesset, but of a majority on the Supreme Court who agree with it." He called for citizens affected by the ruling to initiate civil suits against the decision.

How can they do that? Very easily. Until very recently, the 'Supreme Court' was effectively selected by the uber-Leftist Meretz party. Now, only some of the judges are selected by Meretz, but the court, through Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch still reflects Meretz's worldview and judges are assigned to cases like this one (which was not heard by the full court, and for which the opinion was written by Justice Fogelman who is a Beinisch favorite) with that worldview in mind.

Israel's 'Supreme Court' has just signed death warrants for many Israelis who use Route 443 (many of whom have no choice). Who will live and who will - God forbid - die on the altar of political correctness?

The picture at the top is the Maccabim checkpoint at the point where Route 443 crosses northbound over the 1949 armistice line.

Israel Matzav: Israel's 'Supreme Court' signs some death warrants

Israel Matzav: The real apartheid

The real apartheid

Isn't it ironic that America's first black President all-but-forces Israel into a policy of apartheid? Can you imagine what would happen if Americans were told that only white people could build in Peoria, Illinois or Selma, Alabama?

We have enemies who are big and strong. But the defense minister and prime minister are apparently too small to contend with them, so they contend with us instead. That is how we were defined as the enemy. My family and friends were outlawed. Why? Because we are building in the Land of Israel. After all the permits and approvals, in recognized and orderly settlements in which a third generation has already been raised, we woke up one morning to the humming of drones in the sky, taking pictures of us and the situation on the ground. It is forbidden to build. Not even a storeroom. Not a kennel. In certain places, it is even forbidden to add an air conditioner.

The security forces have plans to cut off the area and act with paralyzing force; to achieve the element of surprise. They have a bank of targets that must be evacuated, and they screen mobile telephones to prevent us from calling up reinforcements against the demolition. This is humiliating, insulting and outrageous.

The freeze is an edict that the public cannot tolerate. It is not democratic, nor is it humane. It hits hard at the pockets of law-abiding citizens and embitters their lives. But at its foundation, either intentionally or by accident, is pure and basic apartheid - it is forbidden for Jews to live in certain places. It is forbidden to build. It is forbidden to develop. And it doesn't matter what the reasons are.

Read the whole thing.

The picture at the top is Rosa Parks. She's part of this story too. For those who are too young to remember who she was, go here.

Israel Matzav: The real apartheid

Israel Matzav: US vetos Airbus sale to Syria

US vetos Airbus sale to Syria

A little bit of light in the darkness of President Obama's foreign policy....

Syria will buy two Russian-made Tupolev passenger jets to modernize its national carrier's aging fleet after the United States rejected a bid by Airbus SAS to sell planes to Damascus, Syria's transportation minister said.

Yarob Badr was quoted in Tishrin daily's Monday edition as saying a deal with the Russian plane manufacturer was imminent, and that Syrian Air would first lease the two jets for a year and later purchase them.

Badr said the decision came as the US Commerce Department turned down a request by Toulouse, France-based Airbus to lift the US embargo affecting the sale of planes to Syria. Badr said an Airbus delegation recently informed Syria of the decision by Washington.

Airbus spokesman Stefan Schaffrath declined to comment on the specifics of the request, but said "In any case Airbus acts in accordance with the law."


Israel Matzav: US vetos Airbus sale to Syria

Israel Matzav: Iranian exile rips US-EU 'engagement' policy

Iranian exile rips US-EU 'engagement' policy

Writing from exile in Germany, an Iranian author rips the European strategy of 'engagement' with the Ahmadinejad regime. He also rips the American adoption of the European policy since Barack Hussein Obama came to power.

Sure, France immediately condemned the violence against peaceful protesters and called for "a political solution." Italy called "for a dialogue with the opposition." And the United States and Germany joined with their talk of the Iranian people's "universal rights" (U.S. National Security Council Spokesman Mike Hammer) and that the world "will observe and not look away," in the words of German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

These words sound hollow to the Iranian people. Over the past 30 years, the West has done nothing except to "look away" whenever Iranians were oppressed, tortured and murdered. What only really counted, particularly for Europeans, was trade. And now six months after the emergence of powerful yet peaceful resistance that is bringing down one of the most brutal dictatorships of our age, the international community still has not been able to put the needs and wishes of the millions of freedom-loving Iranians at the center of its Iran policy. Words of solidarity mean nothing if they are not followed by tough action.

Since the rigged June elections, there can be no more doubt that this regime is as illegitimate is it is oppressive. And yet it was precisely during this period of popular unrest against the mullahs that the free world restarted negotiations with Tehran. This was a stunning betrayal. A betrayal of the freedom-seeking people of Iran and a betrayal of our own universal values. Despite the pictures of millions of Iranians risking their lives for freedom, the international community refuses to acknowledge and support the democratic, peaceful and prosperous alternative to the Islamist rulers. People in the West still think this all about the fraudulent re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and don't recognize that it is regime change that the Iranian people want.


It is obvious that these young and educated Iranians, literally connected with the world through new information technology, want to overcome tyranny. But these facts have never shaped Europe's Iran strategy. Instead, Europe insisted on keeping up a "dialogue" with a brutal apparatus of power that does not even respect its own citizens, let alone people in the West. The talk about dialogue was of course only camouflage to cover up the trade and appeasement.

And since this year, even the new U.S. administration has joined this appeasement policy. It's a failed policy that has already cost so many lives of my fellow Iranians. It has brought the Islamic Republic closer to nuclear weapons, endangering the entire region.

How can the world ignore what's going on in Iran? The same way it ignored what went on in Europe during the Holocaust, in Stalinist Russia, in Pol Pot's Cambodia and in the Darfur region of the Sudan (and I'm not trying to equate any of those - only to point them out). The more things change, the more they stay the same. Sorry to disappoint you but Barack Obama isn't that much different than a host of other leaders who have appeared on the World stage.

Israel Matzav: Iranian exile rips US-EU 'engagement' policy

Israel Matzav: Egypt doesn't like the 'Gaza Freedom March'

Egypt doesn't like the 'Gaza Freedom March'

I got some interesting tweets from the people running the 'Gaza Freedom March' (actually some are re-tweets from an Egyptian named Sandmonkey whom I follow). The Egyptians are at least as sick of the 'internationals' and the 'Palestinians' as we are, but unlike us, they're willing to do something about it.

Here's a series of Tweets I got from Sandmonkey over the last couple of hours (in reverse chronological order):

If a moonbat gets beaten and there's no media there to cover it, does it still count?

Meanwhile, a second 'convoy' being led by British nutjob George Galloway and his 'Viva Palestina' group has finally given up on cutting across the Sinai from Nuweiba, and has returned to the Jordanian port of Aqaba from which it will sail to Latakia in Syria (which ought to require transiting the Suez Canal) and then to the Egyptian port of El Arish for transit to Gaza the 'World's largest concentration camp.'

Galloway tried to take a shortcut into Gaza by entering through the port of Nuweiba, despite being told by the Egyptians that he must enter through El-Arish, on the Mediterranean coast.

The convoy left Aqaba, Jordan on Monday after being stuck there since Thursday, when it became clear that days of attempts by Galloway to manipulate international leaders and the media were unsuccessful.

A spokesman for the 450 European and Arab members of the convoy, Zaher Birawi, told the AFP news agency, “After talks between the Turkish government’s envoy and the Egyptian consulate in Aqaba, we agreed to go to Syria.”

Jordanian trade union spokesman Maysara Malas, who has been helping Galloway, added, “We hope that Egypt does not put up more obstacles. It is unfortunate that Israel has interfered in Egypt’s decision, which serves the Zionist entity.”

The convoy will head for Latakia, a Syrian port on the Mediterranean, before proceeding to El-Arish, as they were originally instructed to do by Egypt.

“Egyptian authorities have given a very hostile reception to the convoy,” complained Viva Palestina participant Anton Abagama. “They are not willing to negotiate; they are not willing to even think of any alternative… Egypt is being pressured from two sides, by Israel and by the U.S., to take the stand they are taking.”

As you can see from the pictures I've interspersed (you can find more of them here), the Gazans are really desperate for all this 'humanitarian aid.' /Not

Meanwhile, back in Cairo, 85-year old Hedy Epstein, a self-hating Jew who describes herself as a 'Holocaust survivor,' even though she spent the entire war in Britain and not in a concentration camp, has gone on a hunger strike to protest the Egyptian treatment of the 'aid convoy.'
American Hedy Epstein and some 1,400 participants in the Gaza Freedom March planned to travel to Gaza this week, to press Israel to lift its blockade on the anniversary of last year's IDF offensive against Hamas in Gaza. Delegates from 42 countries were stopped in Cairo and denied entry via the Rafah crossing by Egyptian authorities.

"I started this morning, and I've been drinking water," Epstein told The Jerusalem Post at around 4:30 p.m. local time by telephone from Cairo, where participants gathered to await passage to the Rafah crossing and Gaza. Saying she would drink orange juice if she felt weak, Epstein said that so far, she was "feeling fine."

A longtime civil rights activist, she added: "I've come to a point in my life where I think I need to do something else to [draw] attention."

Epstein, who was born in Germany, fled the Nazis on a Kindertransport at age 14 and lived in England during World War II. Her parents died in the Holocaust.

"I am a survivor of the Holocaust," she said. "It's not the same experience as mine, but suffering is suffering," she said of the people living in Gaza. "When people are suffering, it comes upon the rest of us to try to do whatever we can."
No, it's not the same experience, and living in Gaza and having the world shower 'aid money' on you is a hell of a lot different than what the real Holocaust survivors went through in the concentration camps, isn't it? Try subsisting on half a potato for a couple of days or getting through a Polish winter without shoes.

By the way, one of the other organizers of this 'march' is Code Pink's Medea Benjamin. I know a lot of you in the US are hoping that the Egyptians will keep her. Maybe Libya could be convinced to take her - it's not far away. I wonder if she's planning to wear a burka into the Gazan Caliphate.

And guess who sent the moonbats a letter of support?
"We're all slightly disappointed. We thought we'd be crossing into Gaza tomorrow," said Max Ajl, a media coordinator for the march. Ajl said delegates had hoped to be in Gaza by Tuesday, and that there was still a possibility they'd get there eventually, citing support from US lawmakers, including, he said, from Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. In a December 23 letter not addressed to any one party, the senator expressed "strong support for the humanitarian delegation" traveling from his state.

According to Ajl: "We are delayed, we are stalled, but we think we can get moving again."
I'd suggest they get moving straight back to their homes.


Israel Matzav: Egypt doesn't like the 'Gaza Freedom March'

Israel Matzav: Hezbullah infilitrating Fatah?

Hezbullah infilitrating Fatah?

The 'Palestinian Authority' apparently believes that the three terrorists who murdered Rabbi Meir Chai HY"D (may God avenge his blood) last week were infiltrators from Hezbullah.

Ynet has learned that a Fatah operative who was arrested on Sunday and is considered a good friend of the three murderers was questioned as to their connection to the Lebanese militant group.

In addition, Ynet has learned that Kais Obeid, one of the links between Hezbollah and Fatah who played a central part in the kidnapping of Elhanan Tannenbaum, called the mother of one of the three attackers on Sunday to comfort her.

Obeid told the mother of Anan Suboh that Hezbollah would assist the family in anything she asked for. The conversation is viewed as possible proof of Hezbollah's involvement in the attack.


Israel Matzav: Hezbullah infilitrating Fatah?

Israel Matzav: Barak forces out IDF chief rabbi

Barak forces out IDF chief rabbi

This isn't too surprising. Defense Minister Ehud Barak is forcing IDF Chief Rabbi Avichai Ronsky out of the IDF by taking the unusual step of not renewing his appointment. Rabbi Ronsky came under fire from Barak's Leftist constituents by handing out brochures to IDF soldiers who fought in Operation Cast Lead that quoted what the Torah says about fighting wars in Israel.

Refusing to renew the appointment of a Chief Rabbi or Chief of Staff is rare but not unprecedented. Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon four years ago refused to renew the term of IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon because of his doubts over the policy of destroying Jewish communities in the Gaza area and withdrawing the military.

Rabbi Ronksy will have served in his position for four years when he leaves office in the summer. Previous chief rabbis of the IDF served their terms for several years before stepping down voluntarily. Chief Rabbi Ronsky succeeded Chief Rabbi Yisrael Weiss, who served for six years. Former IDF Chief Rabbi Mordechai Piron served for more than a decade.

Defense Minister Barak, who also heads the Labor party, has been at odds with Rabbi Ronsky several times and recently prevented him from speaking at several forums, including at a meeting of Knesset Members and rabbis on the anniversary of the first Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign in Gaza.

Rabbi Ronsky also was prohibited from being interviewed by media during the recent controversy concerning Barak’s ouster of the Har Brachah yeshiva from the Hesder program that combines service in the army with Torah study.

Former Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, an avowed secular Jew, appointed Rabbi Ronsky as chief rabbi because of his trust that he would re-instill soldiers’ faith in the IDF after the expulsions of Jews in 2005. One IDF officer told Arutz 7, "Rabbi Ronsky brought about a revolution in the military rabbinate, involved Torah students with their brigades and went into the field with combat soldiers."

Here's some of what was in those brochures.

"[There is] a biblical ban on surrendering a single millimeter of it [the Land of Israel] to gentiles, though all sorts of impure distortions and foolishness of autonomy, enclaves and other national weaknesses. We will not abandon it to the hands of another nation, not a finger, not a nail of it." This is an excerpt from a publication entitled "Daily Torah studies for the soldier and the commander in Operation Cast Lead," issued by the IDF rabbinate. The text is from "Books of Rabbi Shlomo Aviner," who heads the Ateret Cohanim yeshiva in the Muslim quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem. [Deuteronomy 7:2 and the Rabbis' gloss on it says "you shall not give them a place in the land. CiJ]

The following questions are posed in one publication: "Is it possible to compare today's Palestinians to the Philistines of the past? And if so, is it possible to apply lessons today from the military tactics of Samson and David?" Rabbi Aviner is again quoted as saying: "A comparison is possible because the Philistines of the past were not natives and had invaded from a foreign land ... They invaded the Land of Israel, a land that did not belong to them and claimed political ownership over our country ... Today the problem is the same. The Palestinians claim they deserve a state here, when in reality there was never a Palestinian or Arab state within the borders of our country. Moreover, most of them are new and came here close to the time of the War of Independence." [That's a statement of historical fact. CiJ]

The IDF rabbinate, also quoting Rabbi Aviner, describes the appropriate code of conduct in the field: "When you show mercy to a cruel enemy, you are being cruel to pure and honest soldiers. This is terribly immoral. These are not games at the amusement park where sportsmanship teaches one to make concessions. This is a war on murderers. 'A la guerre comme a la guerre.'" [Deuteronomy 20:13. CiJ]

I guess we can't have God or His Torah be too involved in the IDF with Ehud "secular revolution" Barak in charge, can we?

Israel Matzav: Barak forces out IDF chief rabbi

Israel Matzav: Video: Iranians save two people from hanging

Video: Iranians save two people from hanging

This video is very difficult to watch. On December 22, Iranian protesters in Sirjan rescued two prisoners as they were being hanged. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards then called in assistance, and later in the video we see them shooting dead a number of the protesters and wounding many more.

In order to watch this video, YouTube may ask you if are over 18. The video is marked "may not be suitable for minors."

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Tom Gross, who says that he verified the authenticity of this video).

Guess whose side President Obumbler is on? Hint: The Iranians hate Obama as much as they hate Jimmy Carter.

Israel Matzav: Video: Iranians save two people from hanging

Israel Matzav: Krauthammer on Obama on Iran

Krauthammer on Obama on Iran

Earlier Tuesday, I posted a videotape of President Obama's statement on Iran. Monday night, Charles Krauthammer ripped Obama for his flaccid words and for missing an historical moment.

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Gateway Pundit via Instapundit).


Israel Matzav: Krauthammer on Obama on Iran

Israel Matzav: Ethnic cleansing at Google?

Ethnic cleansing at Google?

Reader Yaakov H shares a letter he sent to Google:


Today, I happened to spend a bit of time looking at Google logos (a/k/a Google Doodles) -- those adorable, themed logos that Goggle releases in honor of various holidays and anniversaries. Curious as to whether Google noted Israeli or Jewish holidays, I used the search function on the logo page to search for Israel.

I then clicked through the results, and discovered something extremely disturbing. In each case where I clicked a time period to see the logos for that time period, the Israeli logos that were supposedly on the page (and that had been picked up by the search engine) were not on the current page. And yet, when I clicked through to the cached version of the page, the Israeli logos were there. At some point, the current versions of the pages had been purged of all Israeli/Jewish logos -- and only those logos.

For example, the cached version of the logos from April-June 2008 shows 37 logos, including two Israeli ones: one from June 30, 2008 and one from May 8, 2008. Yet the current version of the page shows only 35 logos; the two Israeli logos have been scrubbed clean from the current page.

The exact same situation exists with respect to the logos from July-September 2006 (cached and current versions; the logo for Rosh Hashana, a Jewish holiday, has been cleansed); January-March 2007 (cached and current versions; Purim, another Jewish holiday, has been eliminated); July-September 2007 (cached and current versions); January-March 2009 (cached and current versions); and July-September 2009 (cached and current versions).

In each case, the Israeli/Jewish logos -- and no other logo of any other nation or ethnic group -- have been deleted from the current version of the page, an Orwellian Bowdlerization designed, it would appear, to make out of Israel an unperson.

Can you explain this phenomenon to me, in terms that will not leave me outraged as an Israeli, a Jew, and indeed as a person?


Israel Matzav: Ethnic cleansing at Google?

Love of the Land: High Court rules: Palestinian use of Highway 443 more important than Israeli lives

High Court rules: Palestinian use of Highway 443 more important than Israeli lives

"Following explosions heard on road 443 on 17.12.09, IDF and border patrol forces searched the area of the village Bir Neballah, south of Ramallah. During the searches, the forces uncovered a roadside bomb, attached to the bomb was a note with instructions on how to use the device in order to cause maximum damage and a message attributing it to a Palestinian terrorist unit. Upon discovery, the device was detonated in a controlled manner by the bomb squad." IDF Spox.

Dr. Aaron Lerner
29 December 09

There isn't another way to put it: The High Court of Justice of Israel ruled that the restoration of access for Palestinians to Highway 443 was more important than the lives of Israeli driving on that road - as well as the lives of the millions of Israelis that terrorists driving on Highway 443 can reach within minutes.

The court argued that the Palestinians should have access since otherwise it would not be proper for Palestinian land to be confiscated for the construction of the road. The court ignore that the road indeed was originally opened for Palestinian use and the restriction was only imposed as a result of Palestinian violence. This is not a matter of "collective punishment" but instead a decision based on practical security considerations.

The judges can hide behind instructions that measures be taken to insure that security is not impacted by their decision, but they know damn well that there are serious limits to the ability to stop terror activity.

Love of the Land: High Court rules: Palestinian use of Highway 443 more important than Israeli lives

Love of the Land: 'Palestinians drove Iraqi Jews to Israel' - author

'Palestinians drove Iraqi Jews to Israel' - author

Point of No Return
29 December 09

At last, an Iraqi tells it like it was: the Palestinian Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, who incited the 1941 Farhoud attacks, was guilty of the political stupidity of driving the Jews of Iraq into Israel. The following are excerpts from an interview with Iraqi author Dr. Rashid Al-Khayoun, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on December 4, 2009. (With thanks: Sacha, Lily)

Here is the MEMRI clip.

Dr. Rashid Al-Khayoun: When you meet an Iraqi Jew today on the streets of Europe or elsewhere, he remembers his co-existence with his Muslim or Christian neighbor.

Interviewer: When did the Iraqi Jews begin to lose that sense of security and tolerance?

Dr. Rashid Al-Khayoun: When pan-Arab nationalism grew stronger in Iraq, from the late 1940's to the early 1950's. The Jew began to be the target of deliberate affronts. Iraqi Jews are known for their patriotism. They have nothing to do with Israel. The issue of Israel and Zionism...

Interviewer: But many of the Jews moved to Israel.

Dr. Rashid Al-Khayoun: They were coerced to move.

Interviewer: Who forced them?

Dr. Rashid Al-Khayoun: The wave of pan-Arab nationalism within Iraq.

Interviewer: So they thought that Israel would be better for them than Iraq?

(Read full interview)

Love of the Land: 'Palestinians drove Iraqi Jews to Israel' - author

Love of the Land: Israelis "Playing Mini-Mengele"

Israelis "Playing Mini-Mengele"

Honest Reporting
Media Critique
29 December 09

British MP George Galloway recycles the Swedish blood libel to employ Holocaust analogy.

British MP, Iranian Press TV presenter and media personality George Galloway, currently leading a "humanitarian convoy" to Gaza, has a history of anti-Israel activity. But even his latest diatribe in a column for Scotland's Daily Record plumbs new depths.

Galloway refers to the unique barbarity of the Holocaust and how Jewish victims of the Nazis had their organs harvested and were subjected to medical experimentation. He then says:

But the revelation in the Israeli parliament in recent days that the body parts of Palestinian prisoners were systematically harvested without the knowledge or consent of their families has had an impact in these parts which it is difficult to overstate.

When the story first broke, on Swedish TV, I frankly did not believe it. Implacable critic of Israel as I am, it was beyond belief that a country calling itself the "Jewish State" could ever do such a thing.

I met the correspondent responsible for the story months ago and rigorously questioned him about it. I was not satisfied, and didn't use the information. The man was offended and I owe him an apology.

Israel has admitted this evil, wicked crime and declared it no longer practises it.

While it is to their credit that they have stopped it and even more creditable that at least within their own people robust freedom of the press and parliament has allowed the truth to come out, there is little evidence of national soul searching of how such a thing could happen.

Still less of anyone being held accountable for playing mini-Mengele on Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Galloway has deliberately distorted two separate stories in order to slur Israel. Swedish journalist Donald Bostrom's blood libel has already been thoroughly debunked and deconstructed. However, the dangers posed by such a libel have already been proven.

(Read full report)

Love of the Land: Israelis "Playing Mini-Mengele"

Love of the Land: NGOs Claimed Hamas Police Were “Human Rights” Trainees

NGOs Claimed Hamas Police Were “Human Rights” Trainees

NGO Monitor
27 December 09

On December 27, 2008, the IDF attacked the Gaza City police headquarters and five police stations. Prior to the war, it had been documented that “members of the police force and the other security services were supposed to be widely integrated into Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades forces at the expense of their internal security tasks,” and Hamas police spokesman Islam Shahwan admitted that “police forces had been clearly instructed by the leadership to fight against IDF forces.”

Several studies compiled after the war confirmed that more than 75% of those killed in these strikes were indeed active fighters in Hamas’ al-Qassam brigades, making them combatants and legal targets under the laws of war.

Nevertheless, several NGOs, including B’Tselem, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Al Mezan, and others issued numerous condemnations of this legal strike. Based on no evidence, they accused Israel of directly targeting civilians and committing “war crimes.” Although many NGOs backtracked after examining the facts, the damage of their reckless accusations of war crimes had already been done.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: NGOs Claimed Hamas Police Were “Human Rights” Trainees

Love of the Land: After One Year, Gazans Would Rather Forget Hamas Than Remember The War

After One Year, Gazans Would Rather Forget Hamas Than Remember The War

Daled Amos
28 December 09

At a time that around the world blogs are commemorating the anniversary of the Gaza War with support for Hamas, Gazans just want to get on with their lives.

Hamas marks 1 year after war, but many stay home

Hamas loyalists marked the one-year anniversary of Israel’s devastating war against Gaza’s Islamic militant rulers with defiant protests and a moment of silence on Sunday — even as most of the territory’s residents ignored commemoration events and some even criticized the militant group for not attending to their needs.

The sparse turnout appeared to be an informal vote of discontent by Gaza residents over Hamas’ attempt to turn the day into a victory march for the militant group.

Around 3,000 Hamas supporters milled around a square in the northern Gaza town of Jebaliya, waving their group’s green flags and holding up pictures of family members slain in the Israeli offensive that began on Dec. 27, 2008. Some 1,400 Palestinians were killed [this claim debunked here], including hundreds of civilians, along with 13 Israelis.

"We are the victors! We are the fighters! We are the steadfast!" thundered senior Hamas leader Khalil al-Haya.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: After One Year, Gazans Would Rather Forget Hamas Than Remember The War

Love of the Land: Virtual Reality Games (1994)

Virtual Reality Games (1994)

Today's Golden Oldie is a Dry Bones cartoon done 15 years ago in 1994.
It's another one of those cartoons that I could do today without having to change a single line.

Love of the Land: Virtual Reality Games (1994)
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