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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘destruction’

Massive IDF Attacks in Gaza

Friday, November 16th, 2012

2:00 AM Reports are coming in of a number of massive IDF attacks across Gaza.

Among the major attacks is that the IDF has destroyed over 70 medium range missile launchers in the past hour.

Another is a strike on a major Hamas security building in the Sheikh Reduan neighborhood of Gaza City, as well as the destruction of at least 2 large weapons storage facilities.

These are in addition to other attacks throughout Gaza.

12:54 AM IAF Helicopters shooting at a Palestinian rocket launching terror cell in Beit Hanun (ostensibly, the same cell that launched rockets towards the Ashkelon region a few minutes ago)

12:53 AM Many Palestinian Web Sites are claiming the IDF ground offensive has started, yet Hamas is chiding them for spreading lies and propaganda and causing panic.

12:48 AM Air Raid Siren in Ashkelon Region.

 

Israelis and Iranians Held Talks on Dismantling their Nuclear Weapons

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Despite the verbal confrontation between Israel and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program, Israeli and Iranian officials participated this week in secret talks in Brussels, Belgium, on dismantling both countries’ arsenals of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, Julian Borger reported in the Guardian.

Participants included Jeremy Issacharoff, the Foreign Ministry’s Deputy Director for Strategic Affairs. The chief Iranian representative is Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. The meetings are moderated by Finnish diplomat Jaakko Laajava, whom the UN secretary general appointed to organize the planned conference in Helsinki.

The talks, conducted in a seminar format, were held under the auspices of the EU. A media blackout was imposed on the discussions and participants have pledged not to publicize even the fact that the talks are being held, much less anything about their content.

In sharp contrast with the saber rattling of both sides’ leaders, Mark Fitzpatrick, a non-proliferation expert from the International Institute for Strategic Studies and former state department official, told the Guardian that “there were no fireworks and no denunciations” at the conference.

Majestic Destroyer

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Reader Jonathan Kahanovitch sent us this amazing image of Ms. Liberty under a canopy of ominous clouds.

Destruction can be so pretty.

Hope you’re dry and safe and that you have electricity and Internet. Otherwise, we probably won’t be having this conversation.

Shabbat Shalom.

Postcard from Israel: Sussita

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Sussita – or Antiochia-Hippos, to call it by its Greek name – sits on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, towering 350 meters above Kibbutz Ein Gev. Founded around 200 BCE, during Roman times Sussita was one of the Decapolis – the ten cities.

The city was predominantly Christian from the fourth century until its destruction in the massive earthquake of January 749, after which it was never resettled. It boasts many features, including impressive fortifications, several churches and pagan temples, a commercial area, bath houses, a beautiful odeon overlooking the lake and a port on the lake shore below.

In 1951, an IDF outpost was established on the mountain which was until 1967 Israel’s easternmost point, merging with the Golan Heights.

Sussita is still being excavated by Haifa University and, if you happen to be looking for ideas for a summer holiday with a difference, it is possible to apply to join the 2013 season already.

Visit CifWatch.com.

If Israel’s Defensive Measures are Called ‘Disproportionate,’ What to Call Hezbollah’s Aggression?

Monday, October 15th, 2012

There was not that much doubt, when reports of Israel bringing down an unidentified drone over the southern Hebron Hills first appeared a week ago [see our post "6-Oct-12: Someone's drone manages to reach southern Israel before being shot down. Questions outnumber answers for now"], that the spy plane originated with Iran and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah.

The head of Hezbollah confirmed the suspicion on Thursday [report]:

Today we are uncovering a small part of our capabilities, and we shall keep many more hidden,” Nasrallah said, adding that it is Hezbollah’s “natural right” and the group “can reach any place we want.

The drone, he said, was made in Iran. And today, the defense minister in the Iranian government, Gen. Ahmad Vahidi, says on Iranian state television that this was a “great job by Hezbollah.”

How significant are the admissions? Yaakov Lappin analyzes it on the JINSA website and says they are crucially important

since it will be Hezbollah, with its tens of thousands of rockets, that will lead Iran’s reprisal attempts for any potential Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear weapons development program… Over the duration of the [2006 was with the Lebanese-based terrorist organization], some 4,000 Hezbollah rockets struck northern Israel. That’s a pattern the IDF believes must not be repeated, since Hezbollah is today armed with some 60,000 rockets, including projectiles that can strike any location in Israel including the heavily populated area of greater Tel Aviv. Hezbollah was founded in the 1980s by Iranian intelligence agents operating within the Lebanese Shi’ite community. Today, the organization is an alien feature in the Lebanese landscape, and represents Iran’s strike force in the Levant, situated right on Israel’s northern border.

Robin Shepherd publishes an excellent blog called The Commentator. On Thursday, under the heading “The banal realities of Israel’s self-defence“, he writes:

The key phrase [in the Nasrallah claim of credit] is this: “it is our natural right…” That is a precise and accurate reflection of how Israel’s enemies have always seen the rules of the game in their decades long struggle to annihilate Israel. They are justified in doing anything to anyone in pursuit of their ambitions; if Israel puts up the slightest resistance, it is Israel that must be held to responsible for what follows. And it is a measure of what Israel is up against in the wider world that the United Nations, the British Foreign Office, the European Union (absurdly just awarded the Nobel Peace Prize), most of the world’s NGOs, and all of the world’s Islamic states have to varying degrees internalised this narrative and made it their own… If an enemy state or organised military group sent drones over Russia, or Britain, or France, or China, or (your candidate here), as part of an openly stated campaign of ultimate destruction, there would not be the smallest word of dissent against the victim’s right to defend itself… To people of goodwill – i.e. none of the above – this underlines the daily realities that Israel has to confront in securing its borders and protecting its citizens.

Some sample complaints by distant onlookers about the scale of Israel’s response to attacks on its civilians territory:

* “Finland’s Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen has expressed his incredulity at the attack by Israeli commandos on an aid flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. He added Israel all too often used disproportionate military force…” [An unpronouncable news-site from Finland - June 1, 2010];

* “Moscow condemns Israel for using disproportionate force against Palestinians” [Russia's Interfax news agency - October 9, 2012];
*”UN rights boss condemns disproportionate use of force” [Turkish newspaper Sunday's Zaman, June 1, 2010];

* “Israel’s increasingly aggressive stance on the regional stage is also reflected in its disproportionate response to the UNESCO decision to admit the Palestinians to full membership…” [From a November 4, 2011 editorial in the Irish Times entitled "A dangerous game"].
The Iranians, feverishly developing nuclear capacity even while their economy and currency crumble, are especially fond of dismissing Israel’s concerns.

The Israeli military frequently bombs the Gaza Strip. In the attacks, disproportionate force is always used, in violation of international law, and civilians are often killed or injured… [Iran's PressTV - Wednesday, October 10, 2012. And repeated verbatim on numerous other government-owned Iranian news channels like SaharTV andShiapost and Ahlul Bayt andTehran Times and so on.]

And finally a brief reminder, via Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post some weeks back of how proportionality actually works:

Israel [is] a speck on the map, at one point eight miles wide. Israel is a “one-bomb country.” Its territory is so tiny, its population so concentrated that, as Iran’s former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has famously said, “Application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world.” A tiny nuclear arsenal would do the job… The mullahs have a radically different worldview, a radically different grievance and a radically different calculation of the consequences of nuclear war… Israel refuses to trust its very existence to the convenient theories of comfortable analysts living 6,000 miles from its Ground Zero.

Visit This Ongoing War.

Mitt, You Were Right the First Time!

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

I have strongly criticized President Obama for his policy toward Israel. In particular — although there are numerous other issues, like his remarkable disrespect for Israel’s Prime Minister — I was unhappy about his pronounced tilt toward the Palestinian position in peace process negotiations. I won’t go into detail here, but I called Obama the most anti-Israel President we have ever had.

Now for the first time it is beginning to seem that Mitt Romney has a good chance to win the election. I’m not suggesting that we can neglect the many other considerations, in foreign and domestic policy, that are relevant for choosing a president, but I want to look at this particular issue — Israel — and examine what we know about Romney’s attitudes.

In May of this year, at the same private fund-raiser at which he made his unfortunate “47%” remark, Romney said this about the “peace process:”

I’m torn by two perspectives in this regard. One is the one which I’ve had for some time, which is that the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.

Now why do I say that? Some might say, well, let’s let the Palestinians have the West Bank, and have security, and set up a separate nation for the Palestinians. And then come a couple of thorny questions. And I don’t have a map here to look at the geography, but the border between Israel and the West Bank is obviously right there, right next to Tel Aviv, which is the financial capital, the industrial capital of Israel, the center of Israel. It’s—what the border would be? Maybe seven miles from Tel Aviv to what would be the West Bank…The other side of the West Bank, the other side of what would be this new Palestinian state would either be Syria at one point, or Jordan.

And of course the Iranians would want to do through the West Bank exactly what they did through Lebanon, what they did near Gaza. Which is that the Iranians would want to bring missiles and armament into the West Bank and potentially threaten Israel. So Israel of course would have to say, “That can’t happen. We’ve got to keep the Iranians from bringing weaponry into the West Bank.” Well, that means that—who? The Israelis are going to patrol the border between Jordan, Syria, and this new Palestinian nation? Well, the Palestinians would say, “Uh, no way! We’re an independent country. You can’t, you know, guard our border with other Arab nations.” And now how about the airport? How about flying into this Palestinian nation? Are we gonna allow military aircraft to come in and weaponry to come in? And if not, who’s going to keep it from coming in? Well, the Israelis. Well, the Palestinians are gonna say, “We’re not an independent nation if Israel is able to come in and tell us what can land in our airport.”

These are problems—these are very hard to solve, all right? And I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say, “There’s just no way.”

And so what you do is you say, “You move things along the best way you can.” You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem. We live with that in China and Taiwan. All right, we have a potentially volatile situation but we sort of live with it, and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it. We don’t go to war to try and resolve it imminently.

On the other hand, I got a call from a former secretary of state. I won’t mention which one it was, but this individual said to me, you know, I think there’s a prospect for a settlement between the Palestinians and the Israelis after the Palestinian elections. I said, “Really?” And, you know, his answer was, “Yes, I think there’s some prospect.” And I didn’t delve into it. [my emphasis]

Here Romney made two very important points which, if we go by their public statements, nobody in the Obama Administration understands:

* The Palestinians do not want a peaceful state alongside Israel, they want to replace it with an Arab state;

* A “two-state solution” with hostile Arabs would present insoluble security problems for Israel.

Since the 1970′s American policy in the region has been based on the idea that the result of the 1967 war must be reversed (if you are cynical, you may think that this is because of the influence in the US of the Petro-Saudi lobby). This has been expressed since the Oslo accords or 1993 as support for a “two-state solution.”

While events — the Hamas takeover of Gaza, the Second Intifada — have convinced the great majority of Israelis that a practical two-state solution is a fantasy based on wishful thinking, this has generally not penetrated the US media or political establishment.  So Mitt’s remarks in May came as a breath of fresh air.

Unfortunately, it seems as though Romney has now changed his mind. In a speech that he gave today at Virginia Military Institute, he said,

I will recommit America to the goal of a democratic, prosperous Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the Jewish state of Israel. On this vital issue, the President has failed, and what should be a negotiation process has devolved into a series of heated disputes at the United Nations.

It’s the same old nonsense! (I wonder who the “former Secretary of State” was that may have moved him in this direction — perhaps Saudi Lobbyist James A. Baker?)

Having said this, Romney still seems far more likely to be friendly to Israel than Obama, who Aaron David Miller said “really is different [from other presidents about Israel].” He has a good personal relationship with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. He is not associated with anti-Zionists like Edward Said, Rashid Khalidi or Ali Abunimah, or  left-wing Israel-haters like Bill Ayers, or antisemites like the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

Mitt, you were right the first time!

Visit FresnoZionism.org.

PLO’s Erekat Condemns Romney Remarks on Palestine

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said Wednesday that U.S. Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s accusations against the Palestinian Authority were “unacceptable” and harmful to peace, Ma’an reports.

“It is unreasonable to say that Palestinians do not want peace; these words are not acceptable at all,” Erekat said in a statement responding to a leaked video in which Romney dismisses Palestinian hopes for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The Palestinian community needs peace the most as peace means freedom and independence for us. If the peace process is killed, the Palestinians’ suffering will continue,” Erekat said.

Earlier, Nimer Hammad, an adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said Romney’s remarks were political pandering for Jewish votes.

In the video, published by American magazine Mother Jones on Tuesday, Romney is seen telling donors that Palestinians have no interest in peace and are committed to the destruction of Israel.

“And I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say, ‘There’s just no way,’” Romney said.

The clip was shot at the luxurious home of Marc Leder, a private equity executive, in Boca Raton, Florida.

Romney held a Monday night news conference in California to try to contain the damage but did not back away from the remarks about Obama supporters that have drawn sharp criticism from Obama’s camp and even some Republican allies.

“It’s not elegantly stated, let me put it that way,” Romney said. “I’m speaking off the cuff in response to a question.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney suggested Romney behaved in an “unpresidential” manner.

Some Residents Have Barricaded Themselves, But Migron Evacuation Is Proceeding as Planned

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

After the Supreme Court finally ordered to evacuate the residents of the Judea and Samaria village of Migron from their homes by September 4, some families have begun on Saturday night to leave their homes voluntarily, Maariv reports.

On Sunday morning, security forces have entered the scene and began to issue evacuation orders, against strong opposition from some residents, whose number was bolstered by a few right-wing supporters.

For the first time since the court’s decision, dozens of police officers and IDF soldiers have moved into the community. The soldiers arrived before dawn and blocked the village entrance. Some residents have barricaded themselves in their homes and refuse to leave.

Police began to move among the trailer homes, knocking on doors and handing out eviction notices. Rabbi Nachum Rabinovitch, dean of Maale Adumim yeshiva, was waiting for the cops with his grandson, who lives with his family in one of the trailers.

Rabinowitz began yelling at the officers: “This is an illegal order, you are committing an immoral crime, stop and think, stop this injustice.”

During the night, about 30 masked, young, right-wing activists reached the entrance to the outpost and set up barricades of rocks and tires. where they waited for the arrival of the security forces.

The community leaders reacted vehemently to the evacuation order, condemning Netanyahu and the Likud party: “This week Netanyahu, Begin and Yaalon agents of destruction will come up this week to demolish Migron,” they said.

“The residents of Migron are feeling hurt and betrayed, and protest the needless and miserable destruction that will take place here. The Residents of Migron never collaborated nor will ever collaborate with the destruction of their village. We call on every sane and honest person to come out of his house to protest, rage and cry out with us against the terrible injustice and miserable destruction the Likud government is perpetrating these days,” they added.

“We’ll say to all our adversaries: we will not consent and will not capitulate. Today everyone knows: The Migron story will result in at least two communities,” they stressed.

Some residents have left their homes in their private cars to a hostel in nearby Ofra, rather than to the alternative site built for them at Givat HaYekev. But many are yet to pack up their belongings.

The High Court stressed in its decision that even if the land had been purchased legally, that fact in itself is not enough to prevent evacuation and demolition, since the use of the land-—legally owned or not—has not been in accordance with the government plans for the area.

Since the village is not within the jurisdiction of any local municipality, the decision on its planning, from settlement to any future land use, had to come from the government—which never bothered to decide on the matter.

In essence, the justices enforced the evacuation because the Netanyahu government—and all the governments the preceded it.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/some-residents-have-barricaded-themselves-but-migron-evacuation-is-proceeding-as-planned/2012/09/02/

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