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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘rockets’

How the British Media Covered Omar Misharawi’s Death

Thursday, March 14th, 2013
We recently noted that on March 12 the Guardian’s media blogger Roy Greenslade corrected his erroneous Nov 15 report (a day after the start of the Gaza war) that an Israeli missile killed the 11-month old son of BBC Arabic journalist Jihad Misharawi, Omar, as well as Jihad’s sister-in-law. (Misharawi’s brother also later died of wounds suffered in the blast.)

Greenslade, as with journalists at numerous other news outlets over the past week, noted in his new report that on March 6 the U.N. issued an advance version of its report on the war which concluded that Misharawi was likely killed by an errant Palestinian missile, not by the IDF. (This information in the report was first discovered by Elder of Ziyon, who also was one of the few bloggers who critically examined initial reports in the MSM blaming Israel for Misharawi’s death.)

Additionally, the Guardian published an A.P. report on March 12, ‘U.N. report suggests Palestinian rocket killed baby in Gaza,’ which went into detail about the new information which contradicted the “widely believed story behind an image that became a symbol of what Palestinians said was Israeli aggression.”

Thus far, the Guardian still hasn’t corrected a Nov. 15 report by Paul Owen and Tom McCarthy, ‘Gaza Twitter war intensifies over pictures of infant casualties‘, which included the heartbreaking photo of Misharawi as well as the following text:

Pictures emerged of BBC cameraman Jihad Misharawi’s 11-month-old son Omar, who was killed on Wednesday during an Israeli attack [emphasis added]. Misharawi’s sister-in-law also died in the strike on Gaza City, and his brother was seriously injured.

Though the damage done by the now iconic image of Misharawi ‘clutching his slain child wrapped in a shroud‘ can not be ameliorated by even the clearest retractions, it’s important nonetheless that the media be held accountable to report new information which comes to light contradicting their previous version of events.

Whilst you can of course find out how the BBC covered the news at CifWatch’s sister site, BBC Watch, here’s a quick round-up of how others in the British media performed:

The Telegraph. On Nov. 15, the Telegraph published ‘Baby son of BBC worker killed in Gaza strike‘ which included the photo of Misharawi, and this passage:

Jihad Misharawi, who is employed by BBC Arabic, lost his 11-month-old baby Omar. Mr Misharawi’s brother was also seriously injured when his house was struck in the Israeli operation and his sister-in-law was killed.

Additionally, a Nov. 15 Telegraph Live Blog post on the Gaza war included this passage:

Jihad Misharawi, who is employed by BBC Arabic, lost his 11-month-old baby Omar. His brother was also seriously injured when his house was struck in the Israeli operation and his sister-in-law was killed.

Corrections: None.

Daily Mail. On Nov. 15, the Daily Mail published a sensationalist piece by David Williams, titled ‘What did my son do to die like this?’Anguish of BBC journalist as he cradles the body of his baby son who died in Israeli rocket attack on Gaza‘, which included multiple photos of Misharawi with his baby and the following passages:

“Tiny Omar…died after an Israeli airstrike on Hamas militants in Gaza.

Masharawi had arrived at Gaza’s Shifa Hospital after Omar suffered severe burns in an airstrike that sent shrapnel tearing into his home killing a woman and leaving his brother and uncle critically injured.

Corrections: None.

Spectator. David Blackburn published a piece titled ‘Israel’s public relations problem‘ which included the image of Misharawi with his baby, as well as the following passage:

The front page of today’s Washington Post shows a picture of the BBC’s Jihad Masharawi holding his dead 11-month-old son, an innocent victim of Israeli action against Hamas’ paramilitary targets following months of indiscriminate rocket attacks against civilians in southern Israel*

Corrections: The piece has now been updated, per the asterisk, and includes the following at the bottom:

*Since this article was published, a United Nations investigation has found that the incident described by the Washington Post was caused by the shortfall of a rocket fired by Palestinian militants at targets in Israel.

The Sun. On Nov. 15 The Sun published ‘The Innocents: Beeb journalist’s son dead, another hurt..babies hit as Gaza war looms,’ by Nick Parker, which included a photo of Misharawi and his baby, and this passage:

Omar was one of at least 15 Palestinians killed in air strikes as Israel retaliated over the Hamas missiles.

Corrections: None.

Gaza Terrorists Trying to Destroy Power Plant That Supplies Them

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Turns out that GRAD rocket about which we reported this past Tuesday morning was intended to hit the Israel Electric Corp.’s power plant in Ashkelon on Israel’s southern coast. And as happens frequently there are competing claims of ‘credit’ for the failed attack:

The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade initially claimed responsibility for firing the rocket, saying it was retaliation for Palestinian prisoner Arafat Jaradat’s death in an Israeli prison on Saturday. The terrorist group, associated with Fatah, had published a leaflet on Monday urging a harsh response against Israel for Jaradat’s death. On Thursday, though, Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack — a claim Israeli officials said was more credible. [IDF Chief of Staff Benny] Gantz, speaking Thursday with high school students in Rosh Haayin, said that Israel knew who was behind the shooting. He added that the IDF was working tirelessly to prevent further such attacks. “More information about our deterrence methods exists, but cannot be revealed,” he said. He said there was a possibility of more clashes with Gaza in the future, but rejected suggestions that Israel was facing a third Intifada. “I do not think we see such a thing unfolding before our eyes,” he said, referring to the recent upsurge of violence in the West Bank. “But the conflict level may rise, so we are prepared and we are convinced that we will know how to contain such events properly.” [Source: Times of Israel]

November 2012 report said Israel was supplying 125 megawatts of electricity to the Gaza Strip from that same power station in Ashkelon, the one that has come under repeated rocket fire over the past six years. There is a power shortfall in Gaza, chiefly because the Hamas regime which rules Gaza has, as a matter of deliberate and very cynical policy, refused to allow the import of fuel from Israel, resulting in its one and only power station operating at 20% capacity.

Visit This Ongoing War.

Rockets Precede Him

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

This morning a rocket (or two according to some news sites) was fired at Ashkelon. No injuries, and of more concern, no siren to give those few seconds of warning. Yesterday, there were riots and many stoning attacks. Hamas has once again called for its “fighters” to kidnap soldiers.

I never for a moment believed this cease fire would last; never thought this was the dawn of a different enemy. But I thought we had more time; I still hope we do. I predicted six months of “relative quiet” – instead, we got only about two months.

And the reason….

I believe it is Obama’s upcoming visit. I do. The Palestinians have been cooking up this idea of when and how to put on the pressure, to start their next intifada. They have always believed that what they cannot achieve through international pressure, lies, and mistruths, they can accomplish with violence. We all knew it was a matter of time – I just thought there’d be more.

It was an M75 long range missile fired at a city with over 120,000 people.

Barack Obama is coming to Israel – for what, we have no idea. Some say to put pressure on Israel not to attack Iran – and for that I ask what right he has to pressure us, to think he knows more of what the Iranians plan to do than we do.

Some say he wants to restart the peace process, another absurd concept showing his utter lack of understanding. Obama does not know how to deal with the Middle East situation, but I have no doubt the Arabs no how to deal with Obama.

It shouldn’t be happening now…and it wouldn’t be, if Obama has not announced his upcoming visit. We don’t need Obama to visit. We simply do not.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother, where this blog was originally published under the title, “It Shouldn’t be Happening Now…”.

 

Expect Bad Things in Southern Lebanon

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

While the diplomatic and political battle to get the European Union face up to who Hezbollah is and what it does goes on, there’s a different battle shaping up, and not for the first time, in which Hezbollah is one of the parties. It’s less diplomatic and less political. But it’s certainly a battle.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL [background here], was created in 1978 to restore peace and security in the area of the Israel/Lebanon border, and to help Lebanon’s government re-assert its authority on the Lebanese side of that border. Various combinations of national troops serving under the U.N. flag have served there since March 1978. They do this under a mandate renewed annually by the U.N. Security Council; the mandate expires on 31 August 2013.

Following the intense fighting in 1976 between Israel and the Hezbollah forces (here we call that the Second Lebanese War), the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1701 to end that phase of the still-continuing conflict. (We wrote a lot during the period of that war; you might want to review “31-Jul-06: Additional Reasons Never to Turn Your Back on these Thugs” as an illustration of how things looked then).

Resolution 1701 enlarged the number of forces under UNIFIL command to 15,000. They were to be deployed south of Lebanon’s Litani River, close to and on the Lebanese side of the border with Israel, and to assist the Lebanese Armed Forces address the task euphemistically called to “implement the Lebanese government’s sovereignty.” UNIFIL was mandated to “take all the necessary action in areas of deployment of its forces, and as it deems with its capabilities, to ensure that its area of operations is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind.” [source]

This never really worked out as the world – OK, Israel – thought it would. That much was almost immediately clear when Kofi Annan, then secretary-general of the U.N., declared in August 2006 that UNIFIL would refrain from intercepting arms shipments from Syria unless requested to do so by Lebanon. Meanwhile Lebanon became de facto a captive of Hezbollah and Syria’s influence on Lebanese affairs became more open and blatant. Hezbollah flaunted the U.N.’s decisions (see this list) as well as the presence of UN forces, and quietly but very steadily and determinedly built up a vast resource of offensive weapons that it pointed at Israel from deeply embedded emplacements in the villages of South Lebanon.

We’re now nearly seven years later. Seven weeks ago, Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. sent a letter to the Ban Ki Moon and to the president of the Security Council demanding that Resolution 1701 be enforced. But the influence of the U.N. and its UNIFIL forces on events, particularly on preserving the peace and implementing the Lebanese government’s sovereignty, is pretty largely treated as a joke in these parts.

But not a very funny joke, as the following report from Ron Ben-Yishai, Yediot Aharonot’s respected observer of such matters, shows. It was posted on the Ynet site late Sunday night.

Hizbullah Moves into South Lebanon Villages
Ynet February 10, 2013
In January, looking into south Lebanon, I noticed that hundreds of new buildings had been built in Bint Jbeil, Maroun al-Ras, Aita al-Shaab and Barmish. Even without binoculars it was evident that the Shiite communities have expanded significantly compared with the few Christian-Maronite villages in the area, which remained the same size. Hizbullah has moved from its bases in “nature preserves” to the villages from which it can launch rocket or other attacks against Israel.
Hizbullah purchased land on the outskirts of the villages, built homes and offered them to poor Shiite families at bargain prices, on condition that a rocket launcher would be placed in one of the rooms or in the basement, along with a number of rockets, which will be fired at predetermined targets in Israel when the order is given.
In addition, Hizbullah has set up camouflaged defense positions in villages which contain advanced Russian-made anti-tank missiles it had received from Syria. Hizbullah has also planted large explosive devices along the access roads. In this manner some 180 Shiite villages between the Zahrani River and the border with Israel have been converted into fighting zones for the next conflict with Israel… Despite the fact that there are those in Israel who claim that the deterrence achieved against Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War has been eroded, it is fairly clear that at this point Nasrallah’s organization does not want to get involved in a major conflict with the Jewish state. Lebanon’s national elections are scheduled for June, and Hezbollah does not want its political legitimacy and dominance to be challenged because it dragged the country into a devastating war with Israel. There is enough tension and violent clashes between Shiites and the Lebanese Sunnis, who are assisting the Syrian rebels trying to topple Assad. However, it is also possible that Hezbollah will decide to attack us with full force if it gets the impression that Israel is planning to attack it first. As strange as it sounds to Israelis ears, Hezbollah sees us as an unpredictable and treacherous country that is capable of launching a preemptive surprise attack. (more)

The next conflict with Israel. It’s an expression you hear a lot. We don’t know many (any) Israelis who want to see that happen, but when you watch the speeches of Nasrallah, the goose-stepping, Heil Hitler-style saluting of his troops, the IDF intelligence estimates of how many tens of thousands of rockets they have in their control in a thousand different locations in those south Lebanese villages – all pointing in our direction – it doesn’t leave much room for optimism.

Visit This Ongoing War.

The Israeli General and His New Mercedes

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

Now, if that title doesn’t hit high on the spam charts, I don’t know what will…but stay with me.

Last week, a representative from a very large company came to our offices to discuss potential new business. As with most meetings in Israel, it was a blend of personal and professional. The contract was signed, but the discussions veered off into so many things that are Israel, including the army and the recent Operation Pillar of Defense.

I mentioned my blog and how Elie had been part of the call-up. He mentioned his brother – in the Military Police – being sent there and told me how he had never seen his mother so devastated, so paralyzed, so terrified, as during those days.

And then he told us what his brother was doing – basically guarding an entry point to the “closed military zone” where the fighting would take place…if the government had chosen to send in the ground forces. Elie told the man about his mad drive with the artillery vehicles. And the man told us two stories  from his brother.

The first was of a young man who drove up and demanded entry. The representative’s brother explained that it was a closed area and he couldn’t let him in.

“I’m a pilot,” said the young driver rather arrogantly.

A bit sheepishly, the rep’s brother explained that he needed to see identification, which was quickly produced and the pilot was allowed to enter. The next day, a general showed up in full uniform driving a brand new, sparkling clean Mercedes. I can’t tell you what model, but it was enough to impress the young soldier. This time, without asking, the general pulled out papers to prove he should be allowed in, though I wonder if it even crossed the mind of the young soldier to deny the general in the first place. But deny him he did.

“You can’t go in there!” he told the general.

The general hesitated for a moment and then asked the soldier, “why NOT?”

“Your car,” said the young man. “It’s new. The mud. Look. You can’t,” he stumbled as he turned to point behind him to the tanks tearing up the wet, muddy ground.

And then the general did the most extraordinary thing. He laughed and told the soldier, “I have that car because of everything this country did for me. I’ll give it all back if I have to – including the car.”

With that, he got in the Mercedes – the brand new, sparkling Mercedes, and drove it into the thick mud, covering the tires and splattering the side within seconds.

All that we have, we have been given because we are here – our safety, our lives, our freedom, our blessings.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

IDF and Corporal Lolly Reveal New Year’s Resolutions

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Posting on Twitter, the IDF spokesperson outlined its five central resolutions for 2013, describing 2012 as a challenging year for Israel’s security. “Our soldiers faced many threats, from terrorist agents on Israel’s borders to rocket fire targeting civilians,” related the official IDF blog.

One of those soldiers was Captain Ziv Shilon, who lost a hand after a Hamas-planted bomb exploded on him during a routine patrol of the Gaza border. The bomb mangled the IDF company commander’s right hand. Despite the horrific injury, Captain Shilon stated that, while rehabilitation “was a long journey,” he was staying optimistic and planning to return to his soldiers once he recovered.

The first IDF resolution was, naturally, to provide security for the people of Israel.

In another resolution, the IDF firmly declared that it would stand ready for every possible threat.

That statement was recently tested during the rocket fire escalation during last November’s Operation Pillar of Defense, when the Iron Dome system became a huge asset in preventing Gaza rockets from striking heavily populated cities in Israel. The IDF soldiers behind the Iron Dome’s operation were the key to its success. One of them, a French-born Corporal Lolly, was defending Tel Aviv from incoming rockets. The Iron Dome system intercepted incoming rockets threatening Tel Aviv, helping to protect more than 1.5 million citizens.

Lolly is a lone soldier who says she knew early on that she wanted to work with the Iron Dome system. “From the minute I heard about the Iron Dome system, it was clear to me that is where I would serve, taking an active part in protecting the lives of Israeli citizens,” she stated on the official IDF blog.

In addition to protecting Israel’s borders and civilian population, the IDF also promised this New Year to carry out and prepare rescue missions for countries struck by natural disasters. The IDF’s Home Front Command Search and Rescue Unit (SAR) has been providing aid to people suffering from natural disasters across the world for more than 20 years.

Created in February 1992, the Search and Rescue Unit has assisted with disaster zones in 14 countries, including Japan, Turkey, Haiti and Armenia. In total, the IDF has sent 15 aid delegations, providing direct medical care to more than 2,300 people and saving a total of 220 lives. Made up of reserve soldiers and physicians from the Home Front Command Search and Rescue Unit, the unit is renowned across the world for its effective emergency response assistance.

The last two IDF resolutions include strengthening cooperation with allies and developing cutting-edge technology.

How did Israel Strike Hamas With Such Painstaking Accuracy and Still Get So Beaten Up?

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Paul Alster, writing on the Fox News website, asks a question that – had it been asked – would have done credit to the news teams of the BBC, Associated Press, Reuters and/or the New York Times who, though they have their people scattered all over the Middle East, somehow are unable to formulate things quite this way:

A single Syrian missile strike on a bakery near Hama killed more than 60 innocent civilians last week, so how did Israel manage to fire more than 1,500 high powered missiles into densely-populated Gaza in November, with the total loss of 161 lives, of which 90 have been acknowledged by Hamas itself as active combatants?

About that bakery attack, and numerous other bakery attacks, we posted our thoughts just four days ago [see "25-Dec-12: Know your barbarians"]

Alster’s answer, certainly worth your click, starts this way:

The numbers speak for themselves, but very little credit has so far been given by foreign governments, NGOs, and the international media for the care taken by the Israeli military to avoid collateral damage during its recent vicious engagement with Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters. [more]

Framing an article this way does not mean Israel should be compared in any way to the loathsome, blood-soaked Syrian armed forces. Most thinking people aware of the realities of the Middle East know that. On the other hand, individuals with an ideological predisposition to kicking out at Israel at every opportunity will see things differently; the facts tend to be less urgent for them.

Case in point #1: The faded rock singer Roger Waters whose glory days included his being a lead member of the Pink Floyd band. He plays a different style of gig these days, including an appearance last month at the UN’s annual Israel-bashing “observance” of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People [pictures here]. In his own words, Waters appeared there “representing global civil society” (no less); called for greater understanding of the Hamas side of the argument; demanded action against Israel’s “illegal apartheid regime”; and warned his audience never to assume that “I support the launching of missiles into Israel.

Case in point #2: Colonel Richard Kemp, a thinking person’s senior soldier, served in the British military from 1977 to 2005 rising to the role of Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan and completing 14 operational tours of duty around the globe. When asked about Israel’s conduct vis a vis civilians in Gaza in 2008, he famously said

“based on my knowledge and experience, I can say this: during operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defense Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in the combat zones than any other army in the history of warfare”. [Wikipedia]

A little less famously, he explained:

“of course innocent civilians were killed. War is chaos and full of mistakes. There have been mistakes by the British, American and other forces in Afghanistan and in Iraq, many of which can be put down to human error. But mistakes are not war crimes…” [Wikipedia]

And this explanation by Kemp after the November 2012 Pillar of Defence battle conducted by Israel against the Hamas forces. Concerning the bias of certain media outlets when it comes to reporting on Israel and its military, he said:

“It was clear to me that there was a great deal of propaganda that was being generated against Israel, and then being exploited by people who didn’t understand military matters and didn’t want to question it, it suited their agenda to vilify Israel… People ask me why I have a pro-IDF point of view. I consider myself as having an objective view of what’s happening over here. The IDF does not need me to defend them; they have proven it over the years… It’s the dispassionate military perspective that I bring.” [more]

Case in point #3: Certain political figures in the British parliament. This snippet comes from a report published Thursday:

According to the online [UK] parliamentary archive, 21 EDMs (formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons, although not necessarily discussed) relating to Israel have been put forward since the 2012-2013 session began. In contrast, just two refer to the situation in Syria… [more].

From Sad-ish to Glad-ish

Monday, December 31st, 2012

I’ve been chugging along for the last few days trying to think what to write, not feeling there was much to say. The wonderful thing about the flat of the roller coaster is that time seems to stretch without a sense of urgency. It’s so boring on the flat of the roller coaster and I am grateful for boring. I am grateful that I can go to sleep at night and not worry that my phone may not be charged enough. Everything is okay; missiles aren’t flying and my sons are home safe. Boring is one of God’s greatest gifts!

Elie is studying engineering; Shmulik is looking into studying computers and Davidi needs a haircut! Aliza is cruising towards her 13th birthday, just as Davidi is in the final days before he turns 17.

My oldest daughter is studying and watching her baby gain words and actions every day. It is amazing how quickly babies learn – at least this one. I know they all must, but I just don’t remember seeing a baby understand so much, so fast, so early.

My children were the most amazing…how is it possible that a grandchild can be as amazing (perhaps even a bit more amazing in some ways?). He calls me “Savta” – grandma in Hebrew, and my heart melts. He gives me a kiss and I am unsure I can ever put him down. You can talk to him and he talks back. He was over today and when Aliza went upstairs for a minute, he walked over to the steps, looked up and called, “Iza! Down!” He walked around the room identifying things, calling out words. This is the beauty of the calm oasis of today.

Sometimes I feel that something is coming – and it’s scary. I don’t know what it is, if it is. I saw a report that 400 people were killed in Syria today – bodies are being found and there are reports of chemical weapons being used. Iran remains an open sore; a danger on the edge. The Egyptians aren’t particularly stable; God knows what is happening in Lebanon and Jordan issued a warning to Jews last week not to visit dressed in apparel that easily identifies them as Jews…for their own safety of course. Personally, I’d cut to the chase on that one and tell Jews not to visit, but never mind.

Driving home today with Elie on a beautiful sunny day, I felt this pressure, this concern as we drove up the mountain to Maale Adumim. It’s probably a combination of a lot of things. For one thing, I’m busy at work – two courses running, a new writer starting, and to top it off, we’re coordinating an amazing national conference for February 7 (www.megacomm.org).

The Executive Director of an organization wrote to me explaining their interest in attending the conference. The conversation turned a bit personal and wanting to show that I have an interest in the work they do, I mentioned that I was “A Soldier’s Mother.” I provided a link to the blog – hoping she would come here and read a bit and see that we share common interests.

And in the response – sadness turned to a smile. “Oh my goodness,” she wrote, “YOU are asoldiersmother?…I read your blog and have shared your pieces often.”

I guess it’s my ego, but I find that so cool. I like when people say, “oh, I’ve heard of you” or “I read your blog.” But, I just loved that “YOU” are a soldier’s mother? I’m not sure, but I think I wrote back, “I am, I am.” If I didn’t write it back, I certainly thought it.

I am, you see – for 31 days this year, an active soldier’s mother; and for 365 days a year for the next 25 years or so, the mother soldiers that can be called – any time, without warning. I’ve experienced the “Tzav Shmona” – an immediate mobilization and I can tell you that I pray to God I never experience it again. I can still feel the air leaving my body when I heard Lauren tell me that they were on the way back to Maale Adumim for Elie to get his army gear, that he’d been called in.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/a-soldiers-mother/from-sad-ish-to-glad-ish/2012/12/31/

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