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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘fire’

Speak Softly, Carry a Big Russian?

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Two weeks ago I wrote this to my mother;

My assessment is that Benjamin Netanyahu is not big enough to do a proper job in Gaza. When I vote in the next elections here in January, I will vote for Avigdor Liberman, currently the Foreign Minister, the man the left wing Israeli press loves to demonize. Provided, of course, he has not been indicted for some crime or other. I know the Attorney General has been investigating him for about a dozen years, without getting anywhere, but they’re always right on ‘the verge’ of indicting him. Basically, he’s a gracious man, an émigré from the FSU, who speaks with a heavy Russian accent and doesn’t bother with the ‘speak softly – carry a big stick’ type of diplomacy we’re so used to in the west. Goes more for the Russian, ‘bellow at the survivors – after you’ve beaten the ringleaders to a bloody pulp with the howitzer,’ kind of thing.

Just goes to show what a useless assessor I am, doesn’t it? It’s clear I know nothing about him at all. All I’ve done is delude myself, once again. Listen to this quote:

“I am proud that we have a leadership that can make decisions even when they are contrary to its electoral interests,” Liberman told Channel 2 News about the decision to call a ceasefire in Gaza rather than choosing to launch a ground assault.

“It is obvious that a majority of the population was in favor of continuing the operation,” Liberman added, “but power is not only about hitting but also about holding back… This was not a strategic operation. We explicitly said that there are three goals: stopping the rocket fire, restoring deterrence and destroying Hamas’s stockpiles of long-range Fajr missiles. We achieved all those goals.” (as reported by Elad Benari for Arutz 7)

Liberman says we achieved all three goals, which makes him a liar carrying a very small gummy-bear, indeed.

a.) We didn’t stop Hamas rocket fire, Hamas stopped it.

b.) We did not restore deterrence. There never was any and there isn’t any now. Any quiet is the result of a Hamas tactical decision, not a situation imposed by the IDF.

c.) Finally, we have no clue as to the numbers or location of the long-range Fajr missiles in Hamas’s arsenal. They were still being fired as the ceasefire took effect.

What Liberman is saying is this: “I know things you don’t. The view looks very different looking out of the window in my office. I can’t explain it without revealing classified info and losing my job, so you’ll just have to trust me when I tell you that we, in the government, know what’s best for you.”

Nice. Very nice.

What happened is that by the time Mr. Liberman and his colleagues agreed on the inescapable necessity for a ground invasion, and pumped themselves up into a full blown testosterone party, they were undercut by Ehud Barak telling them that we had run out of Tamir anti-missile missiles with which to restock the Iron-Dome batteries. That, were we to invade Gaza, the exchange would turn very sanguinary for us in Israel, leaving Mr. Liberman with nothing to contribute.

In effect, we were a week late.

A week is a long time in politics, too, Mr. Liberman, as you will discover.

We who were watching the debacle unfold knew soon after the third day of hostilities that the war was lost. You missed the opportunity to invade when it presented itself; when it practically prostrated itself in front of you, begging to be taken.

Because you know things we don’t? Somehow I doubt it.

There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

(Julius Caesar Act 4, scene 3, 218–224)

The journalistic piece quoted above ends with the following: Referring to the potential impact the ceasefire may have on the elections, Liberman said: “The public knows exactly what I represent. In this case, the right decision was made, even if it is not popular and against my electoral interests.”

You can say that again, sir, with knobs on.

IDF Spokesman: Our Forces Fired at the Legs of Palestinians Trying to Infiltrate Israel

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

UPDATE: The IDF Spokesman said Friday afternoon that during the riots of some 300 Palestinians near the border fence in southern Gaza Strip, several rioters damaged the fence and tried to sneak into Israel and therefore were shot in their legs. During the confrontations, IDF forces seized an unarmed Arab crossing into Israel, and returned him to the Gaza Strip.

The Ma’an news agency reported that the Israeli forces killed Anwar Abdul Hadi Qudaih, 20, near the Israeli border in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday morning. Medics said he was hit in the head with a live bullet east of Khan Younis.

Hamas Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said 19 others were wounded by Israeli fire in the border area.

A large group of Gazans entered the Gaza-Israel buffer zone and approached too close to the security fence along the Gazan border, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

Sources say that a group of Gazans approached the border, and managed to cut one of the wires or border markings near the security fence.

A relative of the killed man said that he had tried to hang a Hamas flag on the security fence, and this is why he was shot. He added that an Israeli soldier had fired into the air three times before Qudaih was hit in the head by a bullet.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri accused Israel of violating the Egypt-mediated truce and said the group would complain to Cairo. “We will contact the Egyptian mediator to discuss the incident,” he said.

At this point, residents of the south may find themselves under missile fire again, as Hamas will use their provocateurs on the border as an excuse to shoot more missiles. Hamas has said they will complain to the Egyptians about what they claim is a breach of the cease fire.

Of course, since the cease fire, Hamas has shot between 12-20 rockets into Israel, not really needing an excuse to breach the cease fire.

But this is the first incident of Israel responding to a breach on the Gazan’s part.

Since Thursday, a number of Gazan rioters have been injured after they approached the security border with Israel.

The IDF has made is very clear to Gazan residents that they are not allowed to approach the fence, and if they do so, they risk being killed.

 

The Stories Of Rabba Bar Bar Chana

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

(Editor’s Note: The famous allegoric stories of Rabba Bar Bar Chana and other of our Gedolim are enveloped in clouds of figurative speech. Undoubtedly, the great and eminent Rabba was trying to picture Israel’s trials during the long and bitter exile. The ship of Israel had sailed many a time over terribly stormy oceans and in many instances suffered shipwreck. On the other hand, Bnei Yisrael enjoyed the light of freedom in many countries. But that proved still more disastrous to them because the nation was either almost swallowed up by the fish (nations) wherein it made its abode, or at the end it drank the bitter cup of inquisition, significant in the overturn of the fish mentioned in Rabba’s proverbs.

In the following parables, Rabba pictures Bnei Yisrael’s exiled life. He could not have dared to speak openly on account of the strict censorship of the Roman government. He therefore chose the figurative manner in order to give vent to his pent-up feelings, escaping, at the same time, the shrewd eyes of the government.

The allegoric contents of these stories are ingenious. Many of our gaonim, such as the Maharsha, offer various interpretations. Take the story of when he was on a boat and saw an island. He settled on the island and lit a fire. The island turned out to be a fish, which reacted very fiercely to the fire. Had the ship not been so near, he would have drowned.

The Maharsha explains that Bnei Yisrael’s ship, traveling in the ocean of exile, reached a new land and the people thought they had finally reached salvation. They intermixed with the natives and then, lo and behold, the country (the fish) throws them over and they are driven out. Were it not for their heritage, their Torah, they would have become extinct. The reader is invited to test his intelligence and to fathom the deeper and hidden meaning of these stories, which appear in the Talmud in Baba Basra 73.)

The Tremendous Waves

Rabba Bar Bar Chana related the following, “Sailors told me that once they were threatened with gigantic waves that could have sunk their ships. These waves appeared with a ray of whitish light at their crest and when they struck it with clubs engraved with the words ‘I will be what I will be, L-rd G-d, King of Hosts, Amen, Amen, Selah,’ the waves subsided.”

Rabba Bar Bar Chana continued, “The sailors related to me that the distance between one wave and the other was 300 parasangs (a Persian mile, about 4,000 yards) and the height of each wave lifted them so high that they saw the resting place of the smallest star. There was a flash as it shot 40 arrows of iron. If it had lifted them any higher they would have been burned by its heat.

“They also heard the following conversation between two waves, ‘My friend,’ one wave called to the other, ‘have you left anything in the world that you didn’t wash away and flood? I will go and destroy it.’ The other replied, ‘Go and see the power of the Master by whose command I must not pass the sand of the shore even as much as the breadth of a thread. It is this sand line that separates the sea from the land and yet I could not step over it.’

Rabba Bar Bar Chana went on, “I saw an antelope, one-day-old, that was as big as Mount Rabor, which measures four parasangs. The length of its neck was three parasangs and the resting place of its head was one parasang and a half.

“I saw a frog the size of the Fort of Hagronia (a fortified town in Babylon) that contained 60 houses. A snake came along and swallowed the frog and then a large raven came and swallowed the snake. The raven then ascended the tree and perched on one of its limbs. Imagine the strength of that tree.”

Rabbi Papa ben Samuel said, “Had I not been there I would not have believed it,” and added, “Once, while we were traveling on board a ship I saw a gigantic fish in whose gills I saw a parasite, the mudeater worm. It entered and killed the fish. Thereupon the sea cast up the fish and threw it upon the shore. Sixty towns were destroyed thereby and 60 coast towns consumed its flesh and 60 other coast towns salted the flesh that was left for future use. From one of its eyeballs 300 kegs of oil were filled. On returning there after 12 months, I saw its bones being sawed into boards as to restore the streets that were destroyed by it.”

Happy to Death

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Gotta’ love the following Ma’an Palestinian news agency report:

One Citizen Dies and 3 wounded by Gunfire Celebrating the Victory of the Resistance

Gaza – Ma’an – A citizen died and 3 others were wounded in shooting in the air to celebrate the victory of the resistance.

A government spokesman for the Ministry of Health Ma’an about the death of a citizen and the wounding of 3 others in Dar Al Shifa, by Gunfire celebrating the victory of the resistance.

The ministry appealed to citizens not to fire in the air.

And I say – go ahead, fire in the air, you’ve earned it.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Official Statement on the Cease Fire

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

PM Netanyahu’s Statement at November 21 Press Conference with Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense – Operation Pillar of Defense – Cease-Fire

“Citizens of Israel,

Eight days ago, Israel embarked on operation Pillar of Defense. The Government decided to launch the operation after the frequency of the terror attacks originating from Gaza increased over the last few months. I announced that we would respond forcibly to these attacks when we see fit. I said that we would exact a heavy price from the terror organizations.

The terror organizations assumed that we would avoid offensive action against them; they were wrong. We hit their senior commanders, we destroyed thousands of rockets which were aimed towards the South and most of those aimed towards central Israel, and we crushed Hamas’ control facilities. I must say that we did this with the strong support of the leading authorities of the international community.

In particular, I wish to thank President Obama for his resolute support for Israel’s actions, for this operation and for Israel’s right to defend itself. I also thank him for supporting the Iron Dome systems. I thank Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and express my gratitude to the Egyptians for their efforts in achieving this cease-fire.

In a phone call I had this evening with President Obama, I agreed with him that we should give the cease-fire a chance in order to enable a lull in the situation and allow for the citizens of Israel to return to routine. However, Israel obviously cannot sit idly while our enemy reinforces itself with weapons of terror. Therefore we decided, President Obama and myself, that the United States and Israel would work together to fight the smuggling of weapons to the terror organizations – weapons, virtually all of which come from Iran.

From the day the State of Israel was established, it has had to deal with complex challenges in the Middle East, and we can all see that these challenges have become even more complex in the last few years. Under these conditions we are required to navigate this ship, the State of Israel, wisely and responsibly while taking into account all considerations – military and political alike. This is what a responsible government does, and it is what we did here: we made use of our military might while applying political considerations.

Now, I realize that there are citizens who expect a harsher military action and we may very well need to do that. But at present, the right thing for the State of Israel is to exhaust this possibility of reaching a long-term cease-fire. As Prime Minister, I have the responsibility, and it is the highest responsibility, to make the right steps to ensure our security. That is what I have done and it is what I will continue to do. During the last week, Israel has lost several victims. On behalf of the entire population, I send condolences to the families, and wish the wounded a speedy recovery.

I would like to thank my colleagues, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman. We worked together as a team, in full agreement. I also thank the Nine-Member Ministerial Forum, the Cabinet and the Government, for working – each in its field of responsibility – for the citizens of Israel. I also appreciate the factions of the Opposition and the factions in Knesset for standing with us and proclaiming their support. I thank the Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz, the Chief of Shin Bet, Yoram Cohen, the Director of the Mossad, Tamir Pardo, and all of their people for their exceptional efforts in reaching our accomplishments in Pillar of Defense. On behalf of the people of Israel, I thank the IDF commanders and soldiers, the pilots, the Iron Dome operators and developers, the members of the intelligence services, all the members of the security services and to the reservists, who left their families and immediately signed up for duty.

I appreciate the mayors and heads of regional councils for displaying leadership and level-headedness at the Home Front, and above all – I salute you, the citizens of Israel. We have a strong army; we have a strong people. I am proud to by your Prime Minister.”

The President And Operation Pillar Of Defense

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

True to his word, President Obama has demonstrated that when it comes to Israel’s security, he does indeed have the country’s back. In the current confrontation with Hamas, he has from the start unequivocally laid the blame on Hamas and said Israel has the right to defend itself and that for the crisis to end Hamas must stop firing rockets at Israel.

Further, his robust support for Iron Dome has resulted in the saving of countless Jewish lives, and the military aid he has authorized over the past four years has enhanced Israel’s ability to strike back at Hamas. Moreover, his staunch, and very public, support of Israel has certainly hobbled the attempts by the usual suspects to press the charge of “disproportionality” against Israel.

So there is much for which to be grateful. But at the same time we have to wonder whether the president made any promises or commitments to those adversaries of Israel he enlisted in the effort to bring both sides to a cease-fire. And were any inducements dangled in front of Hamas?

Just consider the following exchange between State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland and reporters concerning the parade of foreign dignitaries visiting Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip:

Ms. Nuland: We appreciate the fact that [Egyptian] Prime Minister Kandil went personally to try to ameliorate the situation. And will continue to work with them on the efforts that we can all take to try to de-escalate.Question: Have they coordinated the visit with Washington or with the Israelis?

Ms. Nuland: Well, I think both we and the Israelis were aware that the prime minister would make this visit….

Question: …I don’t understand. Two weeks ago you said it would be a bad idea for [Turkey’s] Erdogan to go to Gaza. You were not particularly enthusiastic about the emir of Qatar going to cost. And now all of a sudden it’s a wonderful thing that the Egyptian prime minister went there?

Ms. Nuland: … [W]e have a different situation, obviously.

Question: Okay.

Ms. Nuland: We are in the process of trying to de-escalate a very, very dangerous situation between Gaza and Israel. So the purpose was completely different in this case, and can be helpful, we think.

Question: It can be helpful because they’re talking to Hamas.

Ms. Nuland: Because they’re talking to Hamas, they’re talking about the danger of this kind of situation.

Question: So the way that Hamas gets a stamp of U.S. legitimacy in terms of being an interlocutor is to fire lots of rockets into southern Israel, and then you’re okay with people going to talk to them?

Ms. Nuland: We have a – we have an extremely dangerous and volatile situation. We have a dangerous situation inside Gaza, we have a dangerous situation inside Israel. It is not a matter of legitimating violence. This is a matter of supporting diplomacy to get this to end, which is a different thing than what the visits were intended to do before this.

Question: Okay. Through the mediation with your good friends the Qataris, the Egyptians, and the Turks, Hamas moderates tremendously and gives up on rockets and so on. Will that be, like, an opening with direct contact with Hamas, with the United States?

Ms. Nuland: With our direct contact with Hamas?

Question: Yes, ma’am.

Ms. Nuland: You know what our conditions for contact with Hamas have been. They have not changed; they will not change in this circumstance. They need to recognize Israel’s right to exist. They need to renounce violence and take those other measures that we’ve always called for.

Prudence requires vigilance.

Creative Thieves

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

The Palestinians are creative, I’ll give you that. Take a look at what was fired at Israel yesterday. Nothing really unusual – another kassem rocket…oh wait…

Those are charity boxes – commonly attached to poles in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and other cities. The Palestinians actually stole a street pole (charity boxes included) to fire at Israel. They are a creative bunch. My guess is that charity within did its job and protected Israel’s residents from harm.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Ax Wielding Jew Attacks Tel Aviv US Embassy Staff

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

A security guard, was attacked by an ax wielding mentally unstable Jew from Bat Yam in front of the U.S. embassy on HaYarkon Street in Tel Aviv. Police is on its way.

Embassy guards returned fire at the attacker in response, hitting him and later arresting him.

A group of about 100 Arabs, calling itself the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, a radical group headed by Sheikh Raed Salah, was demonstrating in front of the embassy this morning.

Embassy spokesperson Luba Samri told reporters that ”a suspect came to the US embassy at 11:00 am (4 AM eastern) with a knife and an axe and attacked a security guard.” She said the guard was injured in the leg, and his fellow officers opened fire.

 

CORRECTION: The original report was that it was an Arab attacker, and that is not the case.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/tel-aviv-us-embassy-staff-shot/2012/11/20/

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