Sunday, 3 January 2010

RubinReports: Casualties and Solutions in the Israel-Palestinian Conflict, 2009

Casualties and Solutions in the Israel-Palestinian Conflict, 2009

By Barry Rubin

If you launch a West Bank operation to defeat a terrorist war (against international complaints); build a security fence (despite international criticism); and fight a defensive action in the Gaza Strip (despite international condemnation) the result is that fewer of your citizens are murdered.

And that outcome is far more important than the international criticisms and slanders.

In 2009, Israel suffered the lowest number of casualties during the last decade. A total of 15 Israelis were killed last year, down from 36 in 2008. Nine of the 15 were killed during Israel’s offensive into Gaza (four soldiers killed by Hamas fire; five civilians killed by Hamas rockets). One soldier was killed later in a Hamas cross-border attack and five civilians were killed in terror attacks from the West Bank. Another four soldiers were killed in the Gaza war by friendly fire.

Compared to 2,048 rockets fired from Gaza in 2008, only 566 were shot off in 2009, mostly in the very beginning of the year before the Israeli operation in Gaza was completed.

Almost no Palestinians were killed on the West Bank for the simple reason that they were not waging warfare against Israel. The restraint of the Palestinian Authority paid off in terms of low levels of violence and successful economic development.

A far larger number of Palestinians were killed in Gaza, though far fewer civilians than is generally claimed. This was the result, of course, of Hamas reopening the war in late 2008, despite Israeli pleas to continue the ceasefire.

Regarding the Palestine Committee on Human Rights’ figures, which are uncritically used by virtually all the media and NGOs, 1415 Gazans were killed in the fighting (previous lists counted 1417 or 1434). The group claims that of this number, 926 were civilians, including 313 children and 116 women; 255 were non-combatant police officers (they count only 10 of them as combatants). According to this report, 236 combatants were killed, representing 16.7 percent of the total deaths.

The blog Elder of Ziyon, among others, has done extensive documented research on this issue.
7 of them were either duplicates (5), killed by Hamas (1) or blank (1.) This leaves 1408.

After doing detailed studies of Hamas and Palestinian media accounts, Elders of Ziyon was able to identify specifically 661 of these 1408 as combatants. This included police and others who were praised by Hamas or Palestinian media as heroic fighters and members of military formations.

No doubt, a higher figure could be arrived at with more information from Hamas and other Palestinian sources. In addition, many civilians who were killed were acting at the time as voluntary or involuntary human shields for Hamas fighters. All of those who died—whether civilian or armed—did so as a result of Hamas’s decisions to wage war on Israel and to hide among and behind civilians as its military strategy.

Equally important, Israel’s strategy should be recognized as being as successful as possible in defending its own citizens. Since the Palestinian side—both Palestinian Authority and Hamas—refuse to end the conflict, no such strategy can be perfectly successful.

The principle of asymmetric warfare used by Palestinian groups dictates continuing the conflict no matter how high the costs and losses and no matter how low the possibility of military victory. The battle is to be continued in order to wear down the adversary and bring in outside political forces which will be mobilized for the Palestinian side precisely by the appearance of suffering and the reality of continued strife.

One hopes that the year 2010 will see less suffering on both sides. But we should—especially if we want to minimize that suffering and solve the conflict—recognize from where that suffering arises and how it can be mitigated by defensive measures, maintaining Israeli strategic credibility, weakening terrorist forces, and realistic diplomacy

RubinReports: Casualties and Solutions in the Israel-Palestinian Conflict, 2009

Love of the Land: Goldstone Again Plays "Attacking the Messenger" Card

Goldstone Again Plays "Attacking the Messenger" Card

30 December 09

Once again, Judge Richard Goldstone attempts to evade substantive criticism of his Gaza report by playing the "they're attacking the messenger" card. In an interview with the New Statesman today, Goldstone states:

There has definitely been a consistent effort to attack the messenger rather than read the report. Clearly, personal attacks have been unpleasant for me, and unpleasant for my family.

Yet, critics have consistently dealt with falsehoods and distortions in the content of his report. When CAMERA's Ricki Hollander sent him a detailed open letter which questioned the report's findings about the Al Bader flour mill, the al-Maqadmah mosque and the military use of mosques, as well as the question of Palestinians engaging in combat while wearing civilian clothes, among other issues, Goldstone refused to respond, writing:

Dear Ms. Hollander,

I confirm receipt of your letter. I have no intention of responding to your open letter.
Richard Goldstone

Goldstone has apparently likewise declined to respond to other serious critics who addressed the content of his report in detail. How long will he continue to hold up the false ad hominen deflector?

Love of the Land: Goldstone Again Plays "Attacking the Messenger" Card

Israel Matzav: Ethical profiling

Ethical profiling

Nicholas Guariglia, a foreign policy analyst and columnist who writes on Islam and Middle Eastern geopolitics, has got it right. He says that there's nothing wrong with profiling - it's just being aware of reality.

All these suspects share several common characteristics: 1) they were relatively wealthy; 2) they were highly educated; and 3) they were all Muslim. Stating this aloud does not make one a racist. It proves one to be an empiricist.

Profiling potential threats based upon what someone may believe is not racist. Beliefs, thoughts, and doctrines have nothing to do with “race” — Islam isn’t a race, after all. Our enemies are Arab and Pashtun, African and Asian, brown and sometimes white, men and sometimes women. It is their Islamist fanaticism which binds them together in their epic struggle against the West. They mean what they say and say what they mean. Recognizing this as fact is an essential prerequisite.

A wiser national posture would involve transcending phony multicultural etiquette. On the New York City subway system, there are signs imploring citizens to “remain vigilant” and “report suspicious activity.” This is well and good, but we undermine such vigilance when the federal government itself is beholden to politically correct feel-good nonsense.

But why is our government so hesitant to trust us? Haven’t we proven our tolerance and magnanimity already? After 9/11, was there any sustained retaliatory violence against Muslims? Is there much concrete anti-Muslim backlash today? Did we put Muslims in concentration camps, as Bruce Willis does in The Siege — or as FDR did to Japanese-Americans during World War II? I see Muslims every day. I’ve never seen anyone bother or heckle them. By any historical standard, our national reaction to Islamic terrorism has been tame and prudent.

Americans aren’t asking for a green light to discriminate against Muslims. We simply want security officials to stop asking Grandma to take her clothes off at the airport. The government is willfully violating the privacy and liberties of hundreds of millions of law-abiding citizens, all out of fear of appearing to undercut our own notions of tolerance and diversity — notions our adversaries exploit. Such exploitation makes profiling all the more necessary and morally urgent. Al-Qaeda has been known to use men of varying nationalities — the most recent example, a baby-faced Nigerian — in order to “throw off” our collective suspicions. By profiling suspected terrorists in an intelligent manner, we are simply keeping pace with al-Qaeda’s deadly trickery.

I'd love to see a survey what percentage of Americans would like to adopt Israel's security system. I'd bet it's even more than would like to have seen the Northwest hijacker waterboarded.

Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: Ethical profiling

Israel Matzav: IDF soldiers overwhelmed by 'Palestinians' outside Neve Tzuf

IDF soldiers overwhelmed by 'Palestinians' outside Neve Tzuf

Afraid to use their weapons for fear of being punished, an IDF reserve unit outside the Jewish town of Neve Tzuf in Samaria fought some 100 'Palestinian youths' with their bare hands on Friday until a border police unit with teargas grenades came along to disperse the riot (Hat Tip: Atlas Shrugs). Note the 'youth' in the background videotaping. That's why the soldiers are afraid.

Leftist groups have distributed cameras among Arabs and they regularly stage confrontations in the hope of catching IDF violence on camera. The presence of the cameras is also meant to cause IDF soldiers to refrain from using force, for fear of prosecution by the media and legal system.


The soldiers are obviously reservists and not the professional “riot-busters” that the IDF, Border Police and civilian police use for controlling violent crowds when they wish to strike fear into the hearts of demonstrators. According to Lt-Col (res) Itzik Shadmi of the grassroots Samaria Residents' Council, these only arrived after 90 minutes of a tug-of-war between the soldiers and the rioters, and ended the disturbance swiftly.

Shadmi noted that while the Arabs outnumbered the soldiers -- with about 100 rioters facing about 30 soldiers -- the IDF force was company-sized and is considered to be enough for conquering an entire village, if it only uses its fire power. However, the reservists did not even use their riot dispersal gear.

Peter Lerner of the IDF Spokesman's Unit said in response, “There was a disturbance of the peace at Nevei Tzuf, which included confrontations between Israelis and Palestinians. The forces that arrived on the scene used riot dispersal gear – mostly tear gas. Before forces go into action in Central Command, they are trained in facing the different threats that the Command deals with, including riots. If there was a problem of lack of motivation in this incident, it will be dealt with.”
I don't think the problem is lack of motivation. It's the ridiculous rules of engagement that almost guarantee you'll be disciplined - even for firing a weapon in the air.

There are several more pictures of Friday's event here. Simply disgraceful.

Neve Tzuf hits close to home by the way. My daughter and son-in-law and grandson visit there fairly often because my son-in-law has relatives there. Not good.
Israel Matzav: IDF soldiers overwhelmed by 'Palestinians' outside Neve Tzuf

Love of the Land: Dan Margalit vs. Jamal Zahalka

Dan Margalit vs. Jamal Zahalka

Sheikh Munis?

31 December 09
Erev Hadash 17:30

( A rancorous TV interview last week with an Arab Knesset Member that revealed his apparent desires to conquer Tel Aviv continues to make waves. Arutz Sheva's Hebrew site entitled its article on the topic, "The Israeli interviewer who did not forget that he is Jewish."

The broadcast occurred on Thursday night, on the Erev Chadash (New Evening) program hosted by veteran broadcaster Dan Margalit and his younger co-host Ronen Bergman, and broadcast on Channel 1 and 23. Arab MK Jamal Zehalka (Balad) was their guest, and the discussion centered around that morning’s Arab protest against Israel. One Arab MK at the protest, Taleb A-Sana, used his cell phone to broadcast a live address to the rally by Hamas terrorist chief executive Ismail Haniye. Zehalka, for his part, said that Defense Minister Ehud Barak likes to listen to classical music and kill children, comparing him to a Nazi.

Zehalka told his interviewers that there is a “lack of knowledge among Israelis about the terrible situation in Gaza, and there is nothing wrong with Haniye expressing his opinion to the Israeli public.”

Bergman said, “He is the head of a terrorist organization that is at war with Israel, and you give him a platform to speak. You don’t see how this is perceived here?” Zehalka responded that it was good for Haniye’s voice to be heard. At this point, Margalit said, “I don’t think there is such a humanitarian crisis in Gaza as you think there is, though that’s not the point--”

Zehalka: “I can bring you examples from the UN report.”

Margalit: “Come on, who believes the UN? The UN is an arm of - look at the Goldstone report.”

Zehalka: “OK, so you believe the Israeli generals?”

Margalit: “I don’t have to believe anyone. I was in Sderot myself for three years and I saw the Kassam rockets that came flying over there, courtesy of Haniye and his friends, well before Israel carried out any military campaign. So come on. But that’s not the point; the point is that Hamas is an enemy, and you, as Knesset Members, apparently couldn’t care less…

Bergman: “Why don’t you protest against Egypt? If they would open their blockade of Gaza in Rafiach, there would be no humanitarian crisis there!”

Subtitled video begins here ....

Love of the Land: Dan Margalit vs. Jamal Zahalka

Israel Matzav: Fatah turns down reconciliation proposal from Hamas

Fatah turns down reconciliation proposal from Hamas

Haaretz is reporting that the 'good terrorists' of Fatah have turned down a reconciliation proposal from the 'bad terrorists' of Hamas. Unfortunately, the only reason it seems that the offer was turned down was because Hamas wanted to snub Egypt by signing it in Syria.
Abbas did not give further details, but Arab diplomatic sources said Hamas had planned for the agreement to be signed in Damascus.

The request by Hamas is an effort to undermine the status of Egypt, with whom Hamas has been sparring, while crediting Syria and indirectly Iran, both rivals of the Egyptians.


Another proposal, which was thought to be another attempt by Hamas to draw out the process, was that Abbas would meet with Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshal in Damascus, where they would sign the Egyptian deal.

After the signing, a reconciliation ceremony would then take place in Cairo.

Under the Egyptian proposal, a supervisory committee under Abbas would manage the Gaza Strip and its reconstruction in parallel with a Hamas government, until presidential and parliamentary elections are held on June 28.

However, the friction between Fatah and Hamas continues.
The friction should only continue.

Israel Matzav: Fatah turns down reconciliation proposal from Hamas

Elder of Ziyon: Saudis fearful of maids' "black magic"

Elder of Ziyon: Saudis fearful of maids' "black magic"

The Torah Revolution: Re: #3 But you forcing your secular believes on me is OK?

The Torah Revolution: Re: #3 But you forcing your secular believes on me is OK?

Arab MK: Tel Aviv is the Arab Village of Sheikh Munis! - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Arab MK: Tel Aviv is the Arab Village of Sheikh Munis! - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Towns on Strike Against Construction Freeze - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Towns on Strike Against Construction Freeze - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Anti-IDF Exhibit to be Debated in Knesset C'tee - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News#replies

Anti-IDF Exhibit to be Debated in Knesset C'tee - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News#replies

Photo Essay: Arabs Riot, Unafraid of IDF - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Photo Essay: Arabs Riot, Unafraid of IDF - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

No Explosives Found, Suspects Still Held in Be'er Sheva - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

No Explosives Found, Suspects Still Held in Be'er Sheva - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Gaza Women Face Increased Violence Since Hamas Takeover - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Gaza Women Face Increased Violence Since Hamas Takeover - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Jordan, PA Claim Dead Sea Scrolls - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Jordan, PA Claim Dead Sea Scrolls - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Love of the Land: Letter to PM from 29 MKs to expedite paperwork for building permit process in Judea and Samaria

Letter to PM from 29 MKs to expedite paperwork for building permit process in Judea and Samaria

Dr.Aaron Lerner
02 January '10

[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: The 10 month freeze on new housing construction in Judea and Samaria is specifically on construction activity and puts absolutely no restrictions on the handling of paperwork required to issue building permits. By the same token, there is absolutely no Israeli commitment - formal or otherwise - to halt the paperwork during this period.]

Letter to PM from 29 MKs re urgency of construction in Judea and Samaria --
Translation:(Provided by Susie Dym)

28 December, 2009

Mr. Prime Minister,

Re: Bolstering the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria

We beg to approach you on the above matter as follows:

1. Our position supporting strengthening the Jewish community of Judea and Samaria is familiar to you

2. As you stated, the Government's intention is to renew building in Judea and Samaria as part of its commitment to the settlement enterprise. In light of this, and to enable construction to be renewed, design and local planning processes need to be completed, to allow building permits to be granted in accordance with your policy.

3. Under these circumstances, we ask that you instruct the relevant authorities to complete authorization of the local plans in the Judea and Samaria communities, to allow construction to be renewed there without planning delays. We would point out that many plans are stuck on the desks of the relevant authorities, and are not being signed for reasons unrelated to any planning consideration.

4. Attached please find a partial list of local plans of great important and urgency, which can be processed immediately.

5.We thank you in advance for your kind acquiescence to this request

Letter was signed by 29 MKs a couple of days ago and is now released for publication:

LIKUD: Haim Katz , Zion Pinian, Yariv Levin, Ofir Akunis, Miri Regev, Zeev
Elkin, Dany Danon, Ayoub Kara, Zipi Hotovely

YISRAEL BEYTENU - LIBERMAN'S PARTY: Motz, Anastasia, Lia ShemTov, Dudu
Rotem, Hamed Amar, Orly Levi-Abekasis, Faina Kirshenbaum, Alex Miller,

SHAS: David Azulay, Avraham Michaeli, Yizhak Vaknin, Haim Amsalem, Nissim Zeev,

NU: Ketzaleh, Aryeh Eldad, Uri Ariel, Michael Ben-Ary,

NATL HOME: Uri Orbach, Zevulun Orlev

UTJ: Uri Maklev

Signatories -- are from all 6 parties (Likud, Yisrael Beytenu, Shas and UTJ, Natl Home and Natl Union) -- other than Kadima, Labor, Meretz, and Arabs. 29
MKs means almost ALL coalition Knesset Members who do not hold ministerial

Love of the Land: Letter to PM from 29 MKs to expedite paperwork for building permit process in Judea and Samaria

Israel Matzav: Jordan working to eliminate Israeli produce imports

Jordan working to eliminate Israeli produce imports

As some of you may recall, we are nominally at 'peace' with Jordan, having signed a treaty with King Hussein in 1994. The Jordanians would like to forget about it. In a Sunday interview, Jordan's agriculture minister lauded a drastic reduction in imports from Israel, saying that his country did not wish to import produce from the Israeli 'settlements.'

The minister said that staff from his office visited Israel on occasion, in an effort to track down the origins of agricultural products exported to Jordan. Jordan now has a law that requires merchants to tag produce that comes from Israel, and sales of such produce have plummeted in recent months. With that, he said that Jordan could not prevent the import of goods from Israel, because the two countries had signed a peace treaty, and Jordan observed all the requirements of the World Trade Organization, which prohibits signatories to WTO treaties from boycotts and protectionism.

Yeah, right.... Someone remind me why we bother to sign treaties with these people.

The picture at the top is downtown Amman.

Israel Matzav: Jordan working to eliminate Israeli produce imports

Israel Matzav: Never a dull moment

Never a dull moment

Here I am rolling along getting things done (for a change) when the phone rings about 3:45. It's the kids' school. "Yes, I know there's a parents' committee meeting tonight." "No, that's not it. Your son fell down and it looks like he broke his nose."

Unfortunately, that was at the height of rush hour and it took me a while to get there and then to take him to Terem emergency services. Fortunately, he (son # 4, child # 7) did NOT break his nose. (Having broken my nose thirty-one years ago, I could tell immediately when I looked at him). He has a rather nasty abrasion on his nose, which is now taped with a gauze pad and antibiotic ointment. He may eventually have a scar there, but he's not quite 8-years old and he's now feeling better after a scary experience and has no idea what all the talk about plastic surgeons was about.

Never a dull moment.... (And nearly two hours I didn't have that are lost).

Israel Matzav: Never a dull moment

Israel Matzav: Golan law to be amended to require MK supermajority?

Golan law to be amended to require MK supermajority?

An amendment to the Golan Law to be proposed in the Knesset on Sunday would require that 80 MK's out of 120 approve any expulsion of Jews from any part of the State of Israel. The amendment would also affect Jerusalem (which has been annexed by the State of Israel in its entirety), but not Judea and Samaria.

A law proposed by MK Carmel Shama (Likud) that would require a majority of 80 Mks before bartering away any part of the State of Israel will come up before the Ministerial Law Committee Sunday. The law is an amendment to the existing "Golan Law," which already requires an absolute majority of Mks to approve such bartering. MK Shama believes the Committee will authorize the law for presentation to the Knesset, as it is being jointly sponsored by 25 Mks from the coalition and opposition.

"The law guarantees that the future of the Golan will be decided only with wide national agreement, and not be a narrow coalition of interests. Thus, in any negotiations, formal or informal, it will be impossible to bring up the question of surrendering the Golan," MK Shama said.

I have no faith in these supermajority provisions. Ultimately, when the politicians want to give the country away, they will find a way to do so.

Israel Matzav: Golan law to be amended to require MK supermajority?

Israel Matzav: 'Israeli Arab' MK complains that Israeli media not traitorous enough

'Israeli Arab' MK complains that Israeli media not traitorous enough

After he was thrown out of Channel 1's studios by host Dan Margalit on Thursday, 'Israeli Arab' MK Jamal Zahalka complained that Israel's media has 'surrendered to the State.' The complaint is rich with irony, because Israel is the only country in the region that has a media that is at all critical of the government. Zahalka, of course, would like to destroy the Jewish state and presumably leave us with another country like the other 22 Arab countries in which the media is not free to criticize the government.

Zahalka, who succeeded Azmi Bishara as chairman of the staunchly anti-Zionist party, accused the media of running an "incitement campaign" against him, and said Balad would continue to work to reveal "the war crimes of Israel, whose hands are dipped in children's blood."

"The Israeli media is enlisted and has surrendered [to the state]," he said.

On Thursday, Zahalka was removed from the set of the program after he and Margalit engaged in heated verbal sparring after Zahalka accused Defense Minister Ehud Barak of listening to classical music while children were being killed in Gaza.

After Margalit responded by calling Zahalka "cheeky," Zahalka backtracked a bit, saying that it was widely known that the defense minister enjoys classical music and had killed 1,400 children.

Margalit then told Zahalka, repeatedly, to "get out of here," which the Balad chairman unwillingly did, while responding that the veteran journalist was "a nothing, a servant of prime ministers, and lacking a conscience."

The verbal spat continued after Zahalka left the set, with the MK yelling that the studio in Tel Aviv's northern Ramat Aviv neighborhood was itself on occupied land [formerly known as Sheikh Munis. CiJ], and Margalit responding, on camera, that "that's just the point. You want to conquer here as well."

Perhaps Margalit could explain that to some of his naive colleagues who still believe that if Israel would only withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines, the conflict would be over.

Israel Matzav: 'Israeli Arab' MK complains that Israeli media not traitorous enough

Israel Matzav: Fighting the demographic lie

Fighting the demographic lie

YNet has an article discussing Yoram Ettinger, whom I have discussed many times on this blog. Yoram has taken it upon himself to disprove the myth that Israel is in danger of becoming an Arab-majority state if it does not give up Judea and Samaria. That's right folks: All those predictions that we will have an Arab majority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea unless we cut out our heart and soul and give it to the 'Palestinians' are nothing but a lie.

The figures painstakingly collected and analyzed by Ettinger and his colleagues are startling, particularly for Israelis who for years have been warned of the demographic sword hanging over the Jewish State’s future. The data point to grossly exaggerated Palestinian growth predictions, statistical flaws resulting in inaccurate figures, steadily growing Jewish birthrates, and a dramatically declining Arab-Israeli birthrate.

Ettinger has been tirelessly presenting the research to leading Israeli policymakers and other influential figures nationwide. In an interview with Ynetnews he recounts some of the astonished responses he has encountered during his quest; this includes a taken aback Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who was presented with the data during the previous government’s term in office.

“Barak told me: ‘Until I saw this presentation I didn’t know the facts…it would be good to present it soon to (then-Prime Minister) Ehud Olmert and to (then-Foreign Minister) Tzipi Livni, who still don’t know the facts,’” Ettinger says.


The figures presented by Ettinger seem to be unmistakable, and their immense significance begs the question of why decision-makers themselves have not embarked on such research before in order to challenge common perceptions.

“This reality shouldn’t surprise anyone,” Ettinger says. “The demographic issue is a symptom of the way decision-makers act on many issues.”

Similarly to the conception that led to the Yom Kippur War, Israeli politicians tend to rely on commonly accepted conceptions instead of attempting to question reality, he says.

“To my regret, usually only a crisis wakes up the sleeping people,” Ettinger says, adding that the failure to challenge the demographic myth also reflects Israel’s current leadership crisis.

“We are facing a leadership drought…and it’s easier for decision-makers to continue navigating on automatic pilot, rather than to look for new approaches,” he says.

There's a difference between the Yom Kippur War and the current demographic fatalism. In the Yom Kippur War, there were very few Israelis who wanted us to lose (and almost certainly none in influential positions). In the current situation, there are influential Israeli Jews who want to dupe us into giving away our heartland. Follow that link to understand why.

The picture at the top is Yoram Ettinger. Ettinger was at one time Israel's consul general in Houston. I may have mentioned in the past that I had the pleasure of meeting Yoram several years ago through the good offices of one of my Houston-based clients.

Israel Matzav: Fighting the demographic lie

Israel Matzav: The deadliness of overly democratic ways

The deadliness of overly democratic ways

Writing in Haaretz, Amir Oren reports that last week's decision to open Route 443 to 'Palestinian' traffic wasn't all that it's cracked up to be.

Limitations on Palestinians using Route 443 through the West Bank do not constitute apartheid, in the opinion of Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch. The elation of opponents of the limitations regarding the High Court of Justice's decision last week doesn't reflect the full text of the court opinion. The court in fact confirmed, not rejected, the security rationale at the basis of the prohibitions imposed nine years ago when terrorism struck.

The Israel Defense Forces is being required to update its policies to conform with the calm on the highway since it stamped out terrorism. The 40 army vehicles a day that currently use the road from nearby Arab villages are not enough. A rate of 80 vehicles, the IDF's updated proposal, is also not enough. A further increase in the number and the installation of checkpoints are expected to satisfy the court. The principle of limiting traffic was not invalidated, only the way it is implemented on the ground.

Oren also notes that Israel is not the only country in the Middle East where the right to travel on roads is based on one's ethnicity: In Saudi Arabia, the highway approaching Mecca is for Muslims only.

Of course, Israel has a far better reason to bar 'Palestinians' from Route 443 than the Saudis have to ban non-Muslims from the roads leading to Mecca, but the Muslim hypocrisy in protesting the 443 ban is undeniable.

Oren also notes what happens when you go to the other extreme of not banning people who should be banned.
On the other hand, the pendulum can swing the other way and endanger lives, through the mad American logic that gave preference to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's right to fly to Detroit over the safety of the hundreds of his fellow passengers on Northwest Airlines Flight 253.

That is the dissembling, idiotic approach of Democratic U.S. administrations: Bill Clinton and his attorney general, Janet Reno, and Barack Obama and his attorney general, Eric Holder, who was previously Reno's deputy. With Clinton's blessing, Reno imposed a separation between intelligence collected on terrorism suspects by agencies such as the CIA and the law enforcement of the FBI. The result became apparent on September 11, 2001. Holder, who with Obama's support ordered a criminal investigation against CIA staff accused of harming terror suspects after September 11, is encouraging a mindset that prevented Abdulmutallab from being put on a no-fly list barring his entry into the United States.

Holder, Rice and Obama, as well as Carter and Clinton, who were both governors of southern states before becoming president, have copied a simplistic notion of the civil rights struggle involving American blacks and implemented it in U.S. foreign and defense policy. Racist white mayors and state troopers harassing innocent black pedestrians and motorists? That's exactly what Muslims on Flight 253 and Palestinians on Route 443 must be spared, even if the world blows up.
Indeed. Read the whole thing.
Israel Matzav: The deadliness of overly democratic ways

Israel Matzav: Breaking: Major terror attack averted False alarm in Be'er Sheva

Breaking: Major terror attack averted False alarm in Be'er Sheva

A major terror attack was thought to have been averted at the Egged Bus Station in Be'er Sheva (pictured) on Sunday afternoon when three suspicious individuals carrying large bags were stopped by security guards. This is from JPost:

The three were arrested after they refused to stop for a security search. After the arrests, the suspects' bags were transferred to police sappers, who were looking for explosive materials or devices.

Security forces evacuated all civilians, including passengers and shopkeepers, from the area.

A Beersheba Police department source told Israel Radio that one bag had been cleared as containing nothing suspicious, and that at least two of the three suspects were in Israel illegally. A spokesperson told Army Radio that searches were continuing, though nothing suspicious had been found.

However, Arutz Sheva first cited an Israel Radio report that claimed that a major terror attack was averted, but subsequently reported a false alarm.

Speaking in a radio interview, a top Beersheva police official said that two officers, along with several passerby, had identified two suspicious individuals in the Beersheva bus station on Sunday afternoon. Police said that the three individuals – the two identified originally, along with a third person – had been arrested, based on their suspicious behavior. A subsequent search of the large backpacks they were carrying did not yield any explosives or weapons. The three suspects, however, turned out to be illegal Arabs who were apparently from Palestinian Authority controlled areas, residing in Israel illegally.

Although the incident could be said to qualify as a false alarm, the official said, police would prefer to err on the side of caution. The bus and train station, both of which had been closed and cleared of people, were set to reopen later Sunday afternoon.

That's the price we pay for security: Occasionally, there is a false alarm.

Israel Matzav: Breaking: Major terror attack averted False alarm in Be'er Sheva

Israel Matzav: How Europe salves its Holocaust guilt

How Europe salves its Holocaust guilt

The JPost examines the popularity in Europe of anti-Zionist Holocaust survivors - mostly Hedy Epstein who is not a Holocaust survivor - and concludes that their popularity derives from Europeans' desire to salve their own guilt over the Holocaust.

The Shoah as a cynical form of moral shock therapy for Diaspora Jewry and Israelis remains a ubiquitous bully club to pit a clique of anti-Israeli Jews against the mainstream European Jewish community.

Epstein told The Jerusalem Post last week that "when people are suffering it comes upon the rest of us to do whatever we can."

The pressing question for the critics of Epstein's human rights activism is, why are she and other activists not engaging in a hunger strike for persecuted Iranians risking their lives for democracy on the streets of the Islamic Republic? Where are the hunger strikes opposing the Islamist Sudanese government-sponsored genocide against its black population in the Darfur region?

The media appeal of catapulting Epstein into a poster girl for criticizing Israel's right to self-defense in Gaza resonates with a European audience starved for moral exoneration because of its complicity in the crimes of the Holocaust.

That's actually not a pressing question for the critics - it's a question for Epstein herself and her allies.

Please note this from the article:

The US State Department and the European Union both define parallels between Nazi Germany and Israel as a form of modern anti-Semitism.


The picture at the top is a Neturei Karta member kissing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the latter's Holocaust denial conference. In a disgusting display, which I refuse to link, four members of Neturei Karta spent the Sabbath in 'a Gaza hotel' (possibly the Gush Katif hotel that was left to the Hamas terrorists after all Gaza's Jews were expelled four and a half years ago. The JPost this morning featured pictures of these despicable excuses for Jews wearing Goldstone kafiyah's around their necks.

Those who would destroy us continue to come from within.

Israel Matzav: How Europe salves its Holocaust guilt

Israel Matzav: MK's to swear loyalty oath?

MK's to swear loyalty oath?

Haaretz is in a tizzy because Yisrael Beiteinu MK David Rotem has introduced a bill that would require Knesset members to swear loyalty to the State of Israel as a "Jewish and democratic state" instead of the current formulation, which calls for swearing loyalty to "the State of Israel and its laws."

"Anyone who saw and heard recently remarks made be MKs [Taleb] A-Sana and [Jamal] Zehalka," he said, "who vilified the defense minister and allowed the biggest enemy of the State of Israel to speak to the public via a mobile phone owned by the Knesset and the state, understands intuitively that there is a need to bring MKs to be loyal to the state."

Rotem was referring to a rally, held Thursday, during which Israeli Arabs gathered at the Israeli side of the border with Gaza and heard a speech delivered by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh through A-Sana's mobile phone. During the demonstration, Zehalka said that Defense Minister Ehud Barak "enjoys classical music and killing children in Gaza."

"The bill, on the Knesset's agenda," Rotem continued, "seeks to ensure that MKs are loyal to Israel as a Jewish state. Anyone who doesn't want to be loyal will kindly refrain from being an MK."

Haaretz is concerned that the new formulation will 'marginalize' the 'Israeli Arab' MK's.


Israel Matzav: MK's to swear loyalty oath?#

Israel Matzav: Iran soccer team official forced out over Israel greeting

Iran soccer team official forced out over Israel greeting

On Thursday, I reported that the Iranian soccer team had mistakenly sent New Year's greetings to the Israeli national soccer team. Now, the head of the Iranian national soccer team's foreign relations department has been forced out in response to his good manners.

According to the report, Mohammed Ardebili, who heads the Iranian Football Association's foreign relations department, sent a group e-mail greeting which reached his counterparts in Israel even though the "name of the Zionist organization" had been removed from the soccer association's e-mail list.


Israel Football Association spokesman Gil Lebanony told the [Army] radio station that although the IFA was surprised to receive the e mail, they did not hesitate in sending a response.

"Attorney Amir Navon, head of our legal department, actually received the mail," he said. "He came into my office and asked me if it was a mistake. I said, 'I don't know, but let's send a response'."

"So, we responded, 'We thank you for your Happy New Year greeting and wish all of the good people in Iran a happy new year,' and added a wink in the mail," Lebanony said. "We also expressed our hopes that they will have a good year of soccer."

They may have a good year of soccer, but Ardebili won't be part of it.

If there are any Iranian readers out there (I assume there are although many of you are likely silent), I wonder if you could help out here. Is the name Ardebili a common Iranian name? I've had two other stories about people named Ardebili in recent months: One was an arms dealer who was extradited to the United States, and the other was a nuclear scientist (although now that I compare the two stories they may have been the same person - the Iranians claimed that the 'nuclear scientist' was arrested in the Republic of Georgia, while the arms dealer was arrested in 'eastern Europe.' Hmmm).

Is this Ardebili related to the previous one or two?

If anyone knows, please comment or drop me an email. Thanks.

Israel Matzav: Iran soccer team official forced out over Israel greeting

Israel Matzav: How the World will go along with Iran getting the bomb

How the World will go along with Iran getting the bomb

Roger Simon lays out a scenario in which Iran obtains international support for its quest for a nuclear bomb.

Act two starts with the regime announcing that the increased security threat it faces is forcing it to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 90 days and build nuclear weapons, as permitted by article ten of the treaty. At this point, the Iranians will be ready to quickly roll out not one, but perhaps several nuclear weapons. John Noonan writes that Iran’s investment “far exceeds what’s needed to turn on the lights, but it’s also beyond what’s needed for a basic nuclear weapons program.” He also notes that Iran’s program is a lot more extensive than that of North Korea, and that “Iran is pumping billions more into building and protecting triple the number of facilities required to build a basic nuclear weapon.”

Maybe they’ll say that bullying rhetoric from Israel and the U.S. is forcing them to “change their defense strategy,” as Vahdati put it. Or, in a crafty use of irony, the regime could use an Israeli strike to prevent them from obtaining nuclear weapons to justify obtaining nuclear weapons. “We were innocent and didn’t feel like we needed them when Israel bombed us, but now we do need them after faced with such aggression,” the regime will try to cry out.

The attacked Iranians will win the sympathy of the Muslim world and may even offer to give up their weapons if Israel also agrees to do so, among other concessions. And you can bet there will be those in the West that will buy the line that this wasn’t the plan all along, will blame Israeli and Western aggression for Iran’s decision to make the bomb, and will argue that the only solution is to make the Iranian government feel less threatened.

President Ahmadinejad is already laying the groundwork to justify the future construction of nuclear weapons, even while insisting that is not his current intent.

Read the whole thing. Plausible? You bet it is.

Israel Matzav: How the World will go along with Iran getting the bomb

Israel Matzav: 'The era of groveling is over'?

'The era of groveling is over'?

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman seems to have confused election rhetoric with the actual program. In a speech to a conference of Israel's ambassadors gathered in Jerusalem on Saturday night, Lieberman announced "the era of groveling is over."

Unnamed officials in the ministry assessed that Lieberman was directing his remarks especially at Gaby Levy, posted in Turkey, who is making efforts to mend ties between Ankara and Jerusalem.

"I have seen several ambassadors whose identification with the countries where they are posted is so great they are constantly trying to justify [to Israel] the other side's point of view," the foreign minister said. "This stance is wrong. There should not be an attitude of groveling and self-effacement."

"We will not look for friction and confrontation but we will also not turn the other cheek. For every action there will be a reaction and this is the policy I demand from the ambassadors," Lieberman added.


Regarding recent talk of the possibility that negotiations with the Palestinian Authority would soon resume, the foreign minister said Israel "does not need to give any more in order to speak to [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas]. We have paid enough. We have made many gestures and received nothing in return. On the contrary; there is a limit to hypocrisy. You can't speak of a new era and at the same time sentence to death those who sell land to Jews, a sentence signed by Abbas."

We can only wish that the Prime Minister would feel the same way as Lieberman. The JPost reports on Sunday morning that 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen might agree to talk to Israeli negotiators - if only they make a few more concessions.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas has said that he would not return to negotiations unless Israel declared a complete settlement construction halt, including building in east Jerusalem.

Abbas, according to a PA official, is expected to travel to Cairo on Sunday for talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak about the possible resumption of peace talks with Israel. Before heading to the Egyptian capital, Abbas met in Ramallah with US Consul-General Daniel Rubenstein.


In addition to calling for a complete settlement freeze, Abbas has also recently demanded that the international community recognize the June 4, 1967 lines as the boundaries of a future Palestinian state.

One PA official said that in recent weeks there has been an apparent "change" in Israel's policy that could pave the way for the resumption of the talks. He claimed that Netanyahu was now apparently ready to recognize the pre-1967 lines as the basis for future talks with the Palestinians.

He also said that the prime minister was ready to discuss swapping territory between the Palestinians and Israel.

"We're beginning to hear new things from Israel," the official said.

"For the first time an Israeli government is willing to negotiate with us on the basis of the 1967 borders, and this is an encouraging move."

Such a move would represent a considerable concession, since Netanyahu has always said that the basis for any settlement would have to be "secure and defensible" borders, and that the pre-1967 lines did not meet that criteria. Israeli diplomatic officials said on Saturday night there has been no change in the prime minister's position on this matter.

So Lieberman tells our ambassadors not to grovel while the Prime Minister goes to Cairo and does just that? What could go wrong?

Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: 'The era of groveling is over'?

Israel Matzav: IDF to destroy structures violating the 'settlement freeze'?

IDF to destroy structures violating the 'settlement freeze'?

Revenants are issuing stark warnings that the IDF is poised to demolish structures built in Judea and Samaria in violation of the 'settlement freeze' as early as Sunday.

"We have warned all the settlements that this could happen," said Itzik Shadmi, who heads the Binyamin Citizens Committee.

An IDF document leaked to the media two weeks ago revealed a detailed plan under which the Border Police would demolish such structures as the IDF secured the perimeters of the sites.

On Friday, the Binyamin Citizens Committee received reliable information that such action could take place as early as Sunday, its spokesman said.

"We are ready any time to begin the second stage of the moratorium order," a defense official told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday night, but he did not specify a date when this would occur.

"The decision is in the hands of the political echelon," he said.

According to the article, while construction is permitted on some 3,000 units whose foundations had been laid before the 'settlement freeze,' there are some 1,000 units that have been begun 'illegally' since the 'settlement freeze' started at the end of November. (I put 'illegally' in scare quotes because the 'settlement freeze' was never brought to the Knesset).

Will see more scenes like the one above - my son's friend who was beaten by police at Amona four years ago? Is this why Israel elected a 'Right wing' government led by the Likud? I warned you.

Israel Matzav: IDF to destroy structures violating the 'settlement freeze'?

Israel Matzav: Video: How Israeli airline security works

Video: How Israeli airline security works

Here's a Wall Street Journal video on Israeli airline security I had not seen before (Hat Tip: NY Nana). It's about El Al, but everyone who departs from Ben Gurion Airport undergoes the same security check.

Let's go to the videotape.

Would you rather be safe or politically correct?

Israel Matzav: Video: How Israeli airline security works

Israel Matzav: Abu Bluff 'reviewing' security cooperation with Israel

Abu Bluff 'reviewing' security cooperation with Israel

'Moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen has announced that he is 'reviewing' the 'Palestinian Authority's security cooperation with Israel in the wake of the liquidation of three 'Palestinians' who murdered Rabbi Meir Chai.

In an interview with Palestinian television, Abbas said that recent unilateral IDF actions, including the killing of the three Palestinians involved in the murder of Meir Chai near Shavei Shomron, have caused him to reconsider the current joint security pact.


According to Abbas, the current freeze in the Middle East peace talks, along with Israel's recent military excursions have weakened his faith and support of joint security cooperation with Israel.

"The provocations and assaults have multiplied recently. We find ourselves at a point in which it is time to reassess our activities. If security cooperation cannot lower the level of provocations, we will reassess the situation." Abbas said.

Considering that he declared them to be heroes, I suppose this shouldn't be too surprising. If he stops coordinating with Israel, what happens to the Dayton forces? (Answer: They become the 'Palestinian army' and fight Israel).

Israel Matzav: Abu Bluff 'reviewing' security cooperation with Israel

Love of the Land: 10 Significant Articles From the 'Noughties' Decade

10 Significant Articles From the 'Noughties' Decade

Honest Reporting/Backspin
03 January '10

(This is a "Honest Reporting" treasure trove and well worth time to go through.Y.)

Certain articles, blog posts, cartoons and videos from the past decade continue to stick out in mind. I haven't forgotten them, because they say a lot about the media and the kinds of issues HonestReporting dealt with during the "noughties."

Ranking their importance is useless; each had its own kind significance for better or for worse, so I'm listing the content in chronological order. This is totally subjective, so post the items that stand out in your mind in the comments section. I'd like to see everyone's take.

1) Retraction Required
Reuters-logoAfter 9/11, Washington Post media columnist Howard Kurtz obtained a copy of a now-famous Reuters memo. News chief Stephen Jukes told his staff not to use the word "terror."

We all know," he wrote, "that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter and that Reuters upholds the principle that we do not use the word terrorist . . ."

The moral ambiguity Jukes expressed was endemic of a wider problem in the mainstream media, so I'm glad Kurtz put Jukes and his his views on the record. As Kurtz's original article is in the Post's paid archives, I'm linking instead to John O'Sulli

(Read full list)

Love of the Land: 10 Significant Articles From the 'Noughties' Decade

Love of the Land: NGOs claimed Nizar Rayan was a civilian

NGOs claimed Nizar Rayan was a civilian

NGO Monitor
01 January '10

Nizar Rayan, a senior Hamas military commander, and members of his family were killed in an IDF airstrike on January 1, 2009. Rayan was involved in the planning of many deadly suicide attacks on Israel and was an architect of the Hamas take-over of Gaza in 2007. He sent his own son out on a suicide bombing mission in 2001 that killed two and wounded many. Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg called Rayan, “one of the more bellicose Hamas leaders I have known”. Rayan told him in a 2007 interview that the “only reason to have a hudna is to prepare yourself for the final battle . . . Israel is an impossibility. It is an offense against God."

Rayan’s home was part of a complex that served as a weapons storage site and command center for Hamas. Prior to the attack, the IDF issued several alerts that the buildings would be targeted including specific telephone calls and warning shots “13 minutes and 9 minutes before the strike.” Other residents heeded the warnings, but Rayan and his family decided to stay. After the strike, secondary explosions were observed, confirming the presence of a weapons cache in Rayan’s home. It is not known whether the initial IDF attack or the secondary explosions caused the resulting casualties.

Despite Rayan’s status as a leader in Hamas’ Qassam brigades and the weapons stockpile in his building, the European-government funded Palestinian Center for Human Rights(PCHR) called Rayan’s death a “heinous crime” and that its “perpetrators and their military and political leaders must be prosecuted.”

As the logistical organizer for the Arab League’s Gaza “Fact Finding” mission, PCHR also facilitated an interview with two of Rayan’s sons, one of whom dubiously claimed, “My father couldn’t imagine he would be targeted like this.” Even the Guardian noted, however, that “Rayan appeared to believe himself invincible. He refused to leave or allow his enormous family to leave their home in the Jabalia camp.”

PCHR continues to list Rayan as a “civilian” and “university professor” in its casualty statistics from the war – calling further into question the organization’s credibility.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: NGOs claimed Nizar Rayan was a civilian

Love of the Land: Top surgeon tells Limmud of campaign to have him struck off

Top surgeon tells Limmud of campaign to have him struck off

Professor Michael Baum

Leon Symons
The Jewish Chronicle
30 December 09

One of Britain’s leading cancer surgeons has told a conference how his support for the Israel Medical Association sparked a campaign to have him struck off by the General Medical Council (GMC).

Professor Michael Baum told a packed session at the annual Limmud conference at Warwick University that colleagues — including Jews — in the medical profession had turned on him after he challenged the accusation made by some that the Israel Medical Association (IMA) was complicit in the torture of Palestinian prisoners.

His session was called “The academic boycott of Israel: are the Jews among the worst antisemites?”

Professor Baum said he had first become involved “as an innocent” in June 2007 when the British Medical Journal invited him to write an article for an online poll arguing against an academic boycott of Israel. “You’re lucky if 2,000 get to vote on any issue. They had 23,000 votes online,” said Prof Baum, 72, who is emeritus professor of surgery and visiting professor of medical humanities at University College London.

“There were also rapid online responses. The views I got were extremely hurtful and extremely abusive, not to mention the hate mail I got both electronically and by post. It was also the first time I had experienced antisemitism in my life.”

Then Professor Baum encountered Dr Derek Summerfield, who led a lengthy campaign to unseat former IMA chair Dr Yoram Blachar after he was elected president of the World Medical Association in 2008.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Top surgeon tells Limmud of campaign to have him struck off
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