web analytics
October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘destruction’

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.

Frimet and Arnold Roth

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.

Vic Rosenthal

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.

Jacob Edelist

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.

Jacob Edelist

A Letter to the Corries: Your Daughter was Exploited, Don’t Blame Israel

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

An Israeli court has ruled (an English summary of the decision is here) that the death of Rachel Corrie in 2003 was accidental.

Here is the judge’s description of the actual event that caused her death:

When the decedent saw the pile of dirt moving towards her, she did not move, as any reasonable person would have. She began to climb the pile of dirt. Therefore, both because the pile of dirt continued to move as a result of the pushing of the bulldozer, and because the dirt was loose, the decedent was trapped in the pile of dirt and fell.

At this stage, the decedent’s legs were buried in the pile of dirt, and when her colleagues saw from where they stood that the decedent was trapped in the pile of dirt, they ran towards the bulldozer and gestured towards its operator and yelled at him to stop. By the time the bulldozer’s operator and his commander noticed the decedent’s colleagues and stopped the bulldozer, a significant portion of the decedent’s body was already covered in dirt.

The decedent’s entire body was not covered in dirt. In fact, when the bulldozer backed up, the decedent’s body was seen to free itself from the pile of dirt and the decedent was still alive.

The decedent was evacuated to the hospital [in Gaza] and after 20 minutes, her death was declared.

——– Dear Craig and Cindy Corrie,

As a parent, I can’t imagine an experience that could compare with the loss of a child. I know that if it happened to me I would be desolated. I thought about the possibility constantly during the period of the Second Intifada, when my son volunteered to serve in a special counter-terror unit and traveled around Israel on a daily basis to try to intercept terrorists — many of them sent by the same Hamas organization that your daughter defended — on their way to kill Israelis.

Some of these succeeded despite the efforts of my son and his comrades, and hundreds of Israelis, many of them children with parents like you and me, were burned to death, penetrated by nails and ball bearings, or had their lungs destroyed by blast.

I thank God that my son survived, that the bullets, grenades and mortar shells that were deliberately aimed at him missed. Other Israelis, soldiers and civilians, were not so lucky.

You’ve worked hard to place blame on Israel and the IDF for your daughter’s death. That’s understandable, because if Israel wasn’t responsible, who was? I can only suppose that you struggle to keep from blaming yourselves.

You [Cindy] told the Guardian,

It felt a little unnerving … At first we hoped it wouldn’t happen. But Rachel was 23 years old, and was very much making her own decisions, as we thought she should. We had always supported our kids in whatever steps they wanted to take. Some people say: ‘Why did you let her go?’ That was not ever something I felt was my role.

You’re right. I didn’t tell my son not to do what he did, either.

So whose fault is it? The court said that the immediate responsibility lay with Rachel:

The decedent put herself in a dangerous situation. She stood in front of a large bulldozer in a location where the bulldozer’s operator could not see her. Even when she saw the pile of dirt moving towards her and endangering her, she did not remove herself from the situation, as any reasonable person would have.

But if I had to blame someone for making this terrible event happen, it would not be the bulldozer operator, the IDF or Israel, which is in a life-and-death struggle with its enemies. I would blame the ISM, which specializes in brainwashing Western young people, sending them into a war zone and placing them in harm’s way — in full knowledge that the Palestinian cause will benefit if one of them is injured or killed.

Rachel made a choice and took a side in a conflict that she did not fully understand. She had a right to do that, but to a certain extent she was manipulated and exploited. She chose the wrong side, and she paid a terrible price.

Vic Rosenthal

Age Appropriate

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

This young person stood with his banner at a rally on Monday against bombing of Iran, held in front of the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv. It was the anniversary of the U.S.’ dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

The child’s plea for freeing the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction was just the kind of thing we should want our toddlers to promote: peace, love, acceptance, no fighting, time out for anyone who is caught fighting.

We do expect our children’s political worldview to evolve a tad from that point on.

Yori Yanover

Mordechai Kedar: The Arab World on the Precipice

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Although I do not generally do so, I will open with an Arabic joke, because in the Arab world (and perhaps in other places as well) people often use humor to speak the truth about reality. I will begin by explaining: In Arabic, the term is “weapon of total destruction” instead of “weapon of mass destruction”.

According to the joke, in 2003, President George W. Bush, sent a delegation to search out weapons of mass destruction all over the Arab world, and gave its members authorization to search everywhere. The delegation roamed throughout the entire area for a whole year, and did not find any weapons of mass destruction. The delegation returned to Washington, came to the Oval Office in the White House, and said to Bush: “We checked every place in the whole Middle East, searched everything and we didn’t find any weapons of mass destruction”. The president asked them: “What did you find?” The members of the delegation answered him: “total destruction.”

The point of this ironic story is that the Arab world does not need “weapons of total destruction”, since even without them the area is in total ruins. The situation in Syria these days illustrates this situation, and in live broadcast. With presidents slaughtering their own citizens in the thousands, and their capitals serving as a front in the battle against them, and the state’s military branches fighting against its people, when human dignity – especially that of women and girls – is openly trampled upon and these countries’ economies are collapsing, the Arab world is in an advanced state of systemic collapse, “total destruction.”

Syria of Asad, Hafez as well as Bashar, created for itself an image of Arab nationalism, a fortress of faithfulness to the Arab interest and the spearhead of the Arab battle against the West in general and against Israel in particular. But now, with all the military strength of the Syrian regime turned against its citizens, it becomes clear that this image was like foam floating on the surface of deep water; a pathetic illusion hiding a dark dictatorship that used – or rather abused – Israel as a cover for the bitter truth: the actual, great, threatening enemy was the majority of the Syrian people, who never saw the regime as legitimate.

The situation in Syria is deteriorating quickly, and the state is literally disintegrating. The cracks in the government are widening; ambassadors, generals and soldiers are deserting, some branches of the Ba’ath party are announcing their secession from the regime, the Russian advisers are fleeing for their lives and the feeling that the end is near is taking hold more and more. Not the end of Asad, but of Syria. Not the regime, but the system. The state is approaching systemic collapse and is sinking in a treacherous swamp of blood, fire and tears, and only the Master of the Universe knows how Syria will emerge from this.

The principal force fighting against the regime is the Free Syrian Army, which is said to be acting under the command of Lieutenant General Riad al-Asad, a deserter from Asad’s army. However, the Free Syrian Army, despite the many efforts that Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and perhaps even Western countries invest to consolidate and organize it, is really nothing but an incohesive group of weakly coordinated local militias. Its weapons – mainly automatic AK-47 rifles and RPG anti-tank rockets – are light; its strength is combat in urban areas, where it uses the population as human shields. Since the regime’s military can’t tell the difference between a fighter and a non-combatant citizen, it commits mass murder in an effort to eliminate as many fighters as it can, who may be hiding among the citizens. Both sides are up to their ears in human rights abuses, and both sides act with determination and without sensitivity, guided by the logic that “war is hell.”

However the Free Syrian Army is not the only factor among the enemies of the regime, because three additional types of forces are also present.

One type is the local Islamic militia, acting according to the Salafi jihadi formula, which is maximum religious adherence integrated with unconstrained holy war against “the devil” Asad, his regime and his infidel ‘Alawi brothers. It seems that it was this sort of group that carried out the attack in Damascus in which the heads of the security establishment were eliminated on Wednesday, July 18, an attack that revealed very great technical, operational, organizational and intelligence-gathering capabilities. The members of these groups are local Syrians who know well how to integrate into the population and act from within it. In every Sunni city at least one such group is active, and overall there are scores of such groups active throughout Syria. The long-range goal of these groups is the establishment of an Islamic Emirate in which Islamic Shari’a will be fully implemented. One of them even claims that its capital will be Jerusalem… Names of such militias are “kitaab al sahabah” (Battalion of Companions of the Prophet Mohammed), “Katibat Ahrar Prat” (Battalion of the Free of the Euphrates), which is part of “Lua’ Sakur al-Shahaba” (Division of the Eagles of Aleppo), “Lua’ al-Haq” (Division of Rights/Truth/G-d), “Katibat Sawt al-Haq” (Battalion of the Voice of Rights/Truth/G-d), “Katibat al-Ahrar al-Sham” (Battalion of the Free of Greater Syria), These names carry a significant traditional-religious meaning with Sunni overtones.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/dr-mordechai-kedar/mordechai-kedar-the-arab-world-on-the-precipice/2012/07/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: