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August 28, 2014 / 2 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘US.’

In Israel, Leadership No Guarantee Against Loss in Wartime

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

In Israel, a small country where nearly everyone knows someone who has served in the army — and nearly everyone has attended at least one military funeral because of it — political leadership is no guarantee against grief, not even for the defense minister.

Moshe ‘Boogie’ Ya’alon, once this country’s IDF Chief of Staff and who now serves as Minister of Defense, is a relative of the young man whose remains are to be laid to rest later today. Ya’alon personally came together with IDF officials on Saturday night to deliver the news to the family that his young kinsman was dead. It couldn’t have been easy.

A special committee led by IDF Chief Military Rabbi Rafi Peretz had declared the death of 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin. The determination was made after reviewing all relevant medical information, circumstantial evidence and halachic (Jewish legal) criteria.

The relationship between Ya’alon and Goldin was not previously publicized due to concerns the information would be used by Hamas terrorists to further harm the young officer, assuming he was alive.

Ya’alon’s grandfather was Goldin’s great-grandmother’s brother.

“Hadar Goldin, may his memory be blessed, was a member of my family,” Ya’alon told media on Sunday. “I’ve known him since he was born. He and the other IDF fighters went into battle in order to return quiet and security to Israel. I embrace their families,” he said sorrowfully.

Goldin was an officer in Palsar Givati, an elite reconnaissance unit of the Givati infantry brigade. His unit was attacked by Hamas terrorists Friday, August 1 about an hour and a half after the start of a humanitarian cease fire forced on Israel by the United States and the United Nations. The Israeli soldiers were ambushed in the southern Gaza border town of Rafah when a suicide bomber emerged from a tunnel and detonated himself near their unit, killing two of their men, both laid to rest earlier this weekend.

Other terrorists from the cell who quickly followed then grabbed Goldin and dragged him back into the tunnel. The men in his unit chased the terrorists but were unable to catch them; about 150 meters down the shaft, they found some of Goldin’s belongings.

Realizing they had to stop the cell from taking Goldin any farther, the elite unit began firing at targets in the surrounding area and took measures to effectively address the multiple entrances to the tunnel used by the terrorists as well.

Goldin and his girlfriend Edna became engaged just a few weeks ago, after the kidnapping and murder by Hamas terrorists of the three Israeli teens in Gush Etzion. The families of the young couple were working on their wedding preparations when they received the news the Givati officer was missing in action.

The family of Hadar Goldin has asked the Israeli public to join them in accompanying their son to his final resting place Sunday afternoon at the military plot in the Kfar Saba cemetery, at 4:30 pm local time.

Hamas Abduction Attack Mirrors Hezbollah Training

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Hamas has become Hezbollah. The Islamist terrorist group has learned well from its Iranian proxy benefactor, a fact Israel’s military leadership must adapt to quickly if they are to win this war.

For war it is.

At 9:30 am Friday, less than two hours after the start of a 72 hour humanitarian truce agreed to by both sides – arranged by the United Nations and the United States – Hamas violated the cease fire.

That is not news, because Hamas has violated every cease fire since the war began.

But this time, Hamas terrorists opened fire on IDF troops in the southern Gaza border town of Rafah and then succeeded in kidnapping one of the soldiers during the attack.

It was a classic Hezbollah move, similar to that carried out by the Lebanese terrorist group in the cross-border raid that launched the 2006 Second Lebanon War. Two IDF reservists, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, were abducted and murdered in that attack, but it took two more years to learn about their deaths.

Two years, a German negotiator, a prisoner swap, thousands of hours of agony and talks and a nation torn apart. During that entire time, no one knew the status or condition of either one until the day their bodies crossed the border back into Israel, in two metal coffins.

The price was the release of one of the most savage terrorist child-killers Israel had ever imprisoned, Samir Kuntar, in addition to four other live terrorists and the remains of 199 dead Lebanese and Palestinian Arab terrorists.

A third IDF soldier, Gilad Shalit, had also been abducted — by Hamas — and spirited away to Gaza just a few days earlier. But that terror group eventually made it known that he was alive, at least. For Shalit, the price was even higher; more than 1,000 Palestinian Arab terrorists, including hundreds with ‘blood on their hands,’ were freed in exchange for his return to his family.

Hamas has learned a lot from Hezbollah since 2006. The Lebanese terror group has served as the conduit for generous patronage from Iran in the form of funding, equipment, weapons and special training.

From Hezbollah, Hamas learned how to create its underground bunkers and terror tunnel network, which now honeycombs the entire Gaza region. It’s a little bit like the New York subway system, except that it benefits only terrorists.

Mostly, it facilitates various forms of attacks on Israel, especially abductions of soldiers.

U.N. special envoy Robert Serry told reporters early Friday afternoon in a statement that two IDF soldiers and a number of Palestinian Arabs were killed during the attack by Hamas, which he referred to as a “serious incident.”

Serry added in his briefing, “The United Nations is not in a position to independently confirm these reports,” but added that if true, “this would constitute a serious violation of the humanitarian cease fire in place … by Gazan militant factions, which should be condemned in the strongest terms.”

Rubio on Gaza War

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Senator Marco Rubio had something very important to say about Israel’s battle with Gaza.

Israeli Cabinet Cowed Back Into ‘Tit-for-Tat’ by Obama?

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Has Israel been forced by U.S. President Barack Obama to return to the ‘tit-for-tat’ retaliation strategy that ruled the south prior to Operation Protective Edge?

The IDF destroyed two concealed rocket launchers and a weapons factory in northern and central Gaza late Monday morning, “in retaliation for this morning’s missile attack on Ashkelon,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said.

However, Hamas terrorists didn’t miss a beat, and launched another barrage of missiles at the Ashkelon Coastal region at about 12:40 pm.

To date, Gaza terrorists have fired some 2,540 rockets and missiles at Israeli civilians since the start of Operation Protective Edge.

The IDF appears to have been forced into standby mode by the political establishment due to pressure from the White House. The Obama administration led a demand by the United Nations Security Council Sunday that Israel carry out another ‘humanitarian’ cease fire.

Hamas has violated every cease fire in which Israel has participated, resulting in the flow of Israeli blood – and not always Jewish at that – and today was no exception.

An Israeli soldier was wounded by Hamas artillery fire in a firefight launched by the terrorists in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun this morning, during the so-called ‘cease fire.’ The soldier is now listed in fair condition at Sheba Hospital in Tel HaShomer Medical Center in Tel Aviv.

Even Haaretz Thinks Kerry’s Ceasefire Is One-Sided against Israel

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

A leak of of  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal reveals that it ignored the need to destroy terrorist tunnels and disarm Hamas while granting the terrorist organization, outlawed by the United States, millions of dollars to entrench itself in Gaza.

The “framework,” as Kerry called it, was so clumsily put together that the left-wing Haaretz newspaper, a long-time champion of peace with Hamas, reported that Kerry’s “conduct in recent days over the Gaza ceasefire raises serious doubts over his judgment and perception of regional events. It’s as if he isn’t the foreign minister of the world’s most powerful nation, but an alien, who just disembarked his spaceship in the Mideast.”

After Hamas thoroughly rejected a ceasefire proposal by Egypt last week, Kerry knew he could not get support from Hamas without going through its allies, Qatar and Turkey. He staged a press conference with their foreign ministers, ignored Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority, among others, and presented a proposal to the Israel Cabinet that was unanimously rejected Friday night.

Kerry made things even worse when he insisted that the Cabinet did not “reject” the proposal because, in his words, “There was no formal proposal submitted to Israel. Let’s make that absolutely crystal clear. Prime Minister Netanyahu called me a few minutes before this to tell me that that [rejection] was an error, and he’s putting out a statement to that effect … It’s fair to say that Israel had some opposition to some concepts, but that doesn’t mean a proposal by any means.”

Okay. It is not a proposal. It is a framework, one of Kerry’s favorite words dating back to his Peace Process Follies, where Palestinian Authority ultimatums became “negotiations” and the American “ultimatum” also was a “framework.”

The Jewish Press asked the Prime Minister’s spokesman if Netanyahu issued a “clarification,” as Kerry said he would. The spokesman, known for his accessibility and prompt response, has not answered after three hours of phone calls and text messages.

Until proven otherwise, it is more than conceivable that the Office of the Prime Minister has nothing to say. There is no sense in embarrassing Kerry since he does a good job at that all by himself.

The ”framework,” in the word of Haaretz’s Barak Ravid, “placed Israel and Hamas on the same level, as if the first is not a primary U.S. ally and as if the second isn’t a terror group which overtook part of the Palestinian Authority in a military coup and fired thousands of rockets at Israel.”

Kerry held a press conference on Saturday, slobbering praise on the Qatari and Turkish foreign ministers. In the first two words in the excerpt of the YouTube below, Kerry uttered two words that fewer and fewer believe anymore. He said, “I understand.”

He understands Israel’s needs and understands this and understands that but does not understand anything more than he says at the moment.

According to his own spokeswoman Marie Harf Friday, the Secretary of Talk “made 13 phone calls as of today. He ended up making a total of 25 yesterday – very busy – talking mainly about his attempts to help broker a ceasefire in Gaza.”

What’s good for the phone company is good for the United States.

For all his talk, he delivered a draft that, again in the words of Haaretz’s Ravid, “was a slap on the face to the rapidly forming camp of Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, who have many shared interests. What Kerry’s draft spells for the internal Palestinian political arena is even direr: It crowns Hamas and issues Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with a death warrant.”

Wanted: Ally for Israel in Cairo Talks

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Israel needs an ally as it faces an array of representatives who hope to bring about a premature cease fire with Hamas terrorists intent on wiping out the Jewish State.

Hamas has no qualms about using any form of human or other innnocent creature as a shield for its weapons in attacking Israeli civilians and soldiers. Nor has its ability to launch a constant barrage of short and medium-range rocket and missile fire been significantly impaired thus far — a lethal threat to the millions of Israeli men, women and children who are spending more time in their bomb shelters than outside of them this summer.

Nevertheless, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived Monday in Cairo with the announced intent to help world leaders re-establish the November 2012 truce between Israel and Hamas terrorists.

Noah Pollack’s Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI) explained the issue: “Israel does not need a mediator. Israel needs an ally. Pressuring Israel to agree to a cease fire that rescues Hamas from defeat and leaves it in possession of its missiles, tunnels, and terror infrastructure is foolish and wrong. If President [Barack] Obama and Secretary [John} Kerry want to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East, they should support Israel and its campaign to end the terror threat from Gaza.”

But instead, shortly after heading into a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Kerry announced the U.S. will send $47 million in ‘humanitarian aid’ to Gaza, of which $15 million is earmarked for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) there.

UNRWA, incidentally, which purports to be scrupulously neutral in its dealings in Gaza, “discovered” 20 missiles at one of its schools in the town of Rafah, located on the border of Gaza and Egypt a few days ago during a routine inspection by international staff. The missiles were quietly handed over to the Hamas terrorist organization.

Kerry’s aides added a statement warning that it would be “difficult” to achieve an immediate and lasting cease fire – but that he hopes to make progress in the next few days to reach a temporary pause.

Israel agreed to two humanitarian cease fires since the start of Operation Protective Edge, including one requested by the International Committee for the Red Cross on behalf of Hamas itself. Hamas violated them both, firing mortar shells and rockets at Israeli civilians during the “pause” each time. Israel held its fire nevertheless; but should it now?

What kind of ally aids an enemy to reach a cease fire in which it can attack a friend?

Meanwhile, Hamas is insisting that Qatar and Turkey be allowed at the table to represent its interests in talks with Egypt, which is mediating the negotiations.

Qatar – a generous fiscal patron of Hamas — recently purchased $11 billion in military weapons and hardware from the Obama administration. In whose hands will those weapons eventually land?

In the first week of June, Qatar pledged $60 million to help pay the salaries of Gaza workers in the Palestinian Authority unity government. The money was to be transferred to the PUG offices in Ramallah in three monthly payments of $20 million each, according to Qatari government spokesperson Ihab Bseiso. The Qatari government has sent funds to Hamas before, even via charitable organizations in the United States. The Al Jazeera television network has also been described in a February 2006 State Department cable leaked by Wiki Leaks as a “big friend of Hamas.” Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal maintains an office in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

Turkey is also no friend of Israel at this point and appears to be coordinating its moves with Qatar, and possibly with Iran as well, with whom it has strong ties.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, himself a sympathizer with radical Islamists, is closely linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and a longtime supporter of Hamas in Gaza. He has brought Turkey much closer to Tehran and successfully sabotaged diplomatic ties with Israel in the years he has served as prime minister, but now faces a fight to stay in his job. Turkey goes to the polls on August 10 to elect a president who will lead the nation alone, instead of the current dual ‘prime minister-president’ system. Erdogan needs a reason to ‘wow’ his constituents and firm up his AKP electoral base, comprised of Islamist voters. There are two competitors for the presidency; one a secularist, the other a moderate Muslim.

Israel Says ‘To Hell with PR’

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Foreign media already are running over  each other with unconfirmed Hamas claims of dead children and instant analyses that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to send ground troops into Gaza precludes bloodbath.

Israel has everything to lose and nothing to gain by standing pat and continuing to gamble that Hamas will not score a direct hit a crowded mall, school or factory while the terrorist regime’s policy of using human shields thwarts the Air Force’s ability to rid Gaza of terrorists and storerooms of thousands of rockets and missiles.

Hamas has nothing to gain from a ceasefire, which would strengthen the hand of its rival Fatah faction, headed by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

“Operation Death Wish” is how The Jewish Press described Hamas large-scale attacks on virtually all of Israel, and by all accounts, Hamas has lived up to the name.

If it was counting on Netanyahu to be too afraid to order ground troops into Gaza, it again was mistaken.

If it was counting on the international community to stop Israel, it again was mistaken.

Israel will not win many compliments from foreign media and from supposedly friendly countries, with the possible exception of Canada.

President Barack Obama has been more or less quiet since Israel launched the Protective Edge counter-terror campaign 10 days ago.  He has opposed a ground operation, but Israel no longer considers him as its de facto Secretary of Defense.

Hamas’ decision to bomb try to explode rockets in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and even Haifa finally got the message across to the Israeli government to stop playing footisie.

After a decade of sustaining approximately 15,000 mortar shells, rocket and missile attacks and  after retaliating only enough to draw a ceasefire until the next round of attacks, the government now is ready to admit it is “kill or be killed.”

Hamas’ best weapon right now is the international media. After Wednesday’s raid of a Gaza beach used by terrorists but also crowded with children, several of whom were killed in the bombing, Hamas is reporting that children have been killed left and right.

Foreign media lap up the reports without verifying the facts.

However, one offsetting factor was an official announcement by Egypt late Thursday night, “It is all Hamas’ fault” for not accepting a ceasefire. Hamas in effect gave Israel the green light to hit back at Hamas as hard as it can.

Israel’s decision hold up its head and enter Gaza, even if it means a long-term operation and turns Israel into an “occupier,” puts the international media in its place. It can report deaths of women and children, but it cannot disguise the well-documented fact that Hamas is guilty of war crimes by using innocent civilians as shields for terrorists.

The discovery by UNWRA of a Hamas stockpile of weapons in one of its schools Thursday is only the tip of the iceberg.

Hamas will have a harder time ever in trying to win the war for PR, but if that is the only war it can win, it will be left with nothing.

Sympathy from The New York Times, CNN and the U.S. State Dept. is not going to buy Gazans a sack of potatoes.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-says-to-hell-with-pr/2014/07/18/

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