a different side of Israel

Tag: Gaza (page 2 of 4)

Theatre of the Absurd: The Next Act

Well as it turned out, the “Activists” were actually “Terrorists“…

As the streets of Ankara are filled with angry protestors on the Palestinian behalf, Ehud Barak or someone in the Israeli Navy must be in serious trouble. Indeed the Jewish Country’s raid on the Turkish sponsored armada was a botched one. The injuries caused to the Israeli commandos is what there is to be regretted – and let’s recall danger foolishly caused to IDF ground troops in Lebanon when they were left flagged out in ominous positions without food or water during the 2006 attempt on the life of Hezbollah.

Now watch the Arab world dance their bellicose folk-dance for blood. Israel has become used to it. It is almost beautiful.
Expecting the truth from Turkey is alas futile. True friends of the Jewish State, they are not remotely close. Primetime television programs presented earlier this year which featured IDF soldiers raping Palestinian women is no different than the propaganda fed to Palestinian children by their own media. Such a veil over the eyes of truth will only result in more deaths.

In the meantime, we shall stay tuned for Turkish and other European Muslim demonstrators to put the Gaza naval blockade question to Egypt – as the operation is partially their’s – we shall stay tuned, though not holding our breath.

Below is a video surveillance of the scuffle – it competes for candor with another version being aired by al-Jazeera.

Help on the Way

The Jewish Country recently unveiled a huge makeshift detention center in Ashdod, the state’s main southern port, announcing the end of intense naval maneuvers, vowing to stop a flotilla of hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists who are trying to break a 3-year blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Masked naval commandos are to greet the eight ships deep out at sea, which was held up in Cyprus on Saturday, to escort the vessels to port and give each activist a choice: either leave the country or go to jail.

750 activists, including a Nobel peace laureate and former U.S. congresswoman, have set sail for the Gaza coast recently, carrying 10,000 tons of humanitarian supplies. They say they will find a way to succeed, even if faced with Israeli ultimatums.
They are bringing “desperately needed materials to the area,” that has been under blockade by Israel and Egypt since Hamas began to call the shots in June of 2007.

Hamas Honcho bringing Fascism into fashion, Ismail Haniyeh said:

“If the ships reach Gaza, it’s a victory for Gaza…If they are intercepted and terrorized by the Zionists, it will be a victory for Gaza, too, and they will move again in new ships to break the siege of Gaza.”

Zionist Spokesman Mark Regev said:

“If they were really interested in the well-being of the people of Gaza, they would have accepted the offers of Egypt or Israel to transfer humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza…Instead, they have chosen a cheap political stunt.”

This marks the ninth time that the Free Gaza Movement, the pro-Palestinian organization behind the effort, has sent a flotilla of supplies to the strip. Israel permitted five deliveries to reach Gaza, but has not allowed any ships through since the military offensive that ended in January 2009.

(viewer discretion is strongly advised for the video shown below)

Russia Steps In

President MedvedevPresident of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev has urged the United States to actively work to achieve peace in the Middle East – citing the “human tragedy in Gaza”.
The comment apparently indicates Moscow’s willingness to become an active Middle East mediator. Are they wanted? Last week, during a visit to Syria, Medvedev said that the Israeli-Arab tension threatens to draw the Middle East into a “new catastrophe”.

Bibi, despite insider allegations of the contrary, claims that he does not “intend to halt construction of Jewish housing in east Jerusalem”. The Palestinians, of course, accuse the Jewish Country of undermining trust and urge Obama, who supports establishing an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel, to intervene.

Medvedev claims that no one should be excluded from the peace process, clearly referencing Khaled Mashaal, the exiled leader of Hamas – shunned as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and European Union nations – and rightly so. Medvedev did urge Mashaal to free Gilad Shalit, according to Kremlin spokeswoman, Natalia Timakova, according to the RIA Novosti news agency.

At the meeting in Damascus with Syrian counterpart, Bashar Assad, the two presidents agreed on the affirmation of Iran’s right to develop a nuclear energy program.

You Don’t Gotta Live In Fear But You Ought’a Read This

On Wednesday, Egyptian security forces uncovered a large cache of missiles and mortar shells in northern Sinai which were bound for Gaza.

The cache was seized near the city of Nahal, on the smuggling route to Gaza. It contained 100 antiaircraft missiles, 40 explosive devices, and 45 rocket-propelled grenades.
Antiaircraft missiles
The officer who was in charge of security in northern Sinai, obtained a tip that the smugglers were storing a large amount of explosives and ammunition leftover from past wars in the region east of Nahal.

Upon receiving the tip, Egypt’s security forces entered the area and located the weapons cache, however no suspects were apprehended. The area was completely combed and the explosives were detonated in a controlled way in central Sinai.

Egypt’s security forces on Wednesday also uncovered three tunnels which connected the Egyptian city of Rafah and the Gaza Strip. In addition, the Egyptian police had confiscated 41 vehicles in Sinai used for smuggling operations into the Gaza Strip. The police found one of the vehicles, with no license plate, during a routine patrol north of the Rafah crossing. The additional 40 vehicles were discovered after the police searched the area.

In related news, the Counter-Terrorism Bureau published a list of travel warnings for the Passover holiday on Sunday; as usual, for this time of year, the Sinai peninsula was high on the list.

“Hezbollah is blaming Israel again and again for the death of Imad Mugniyah and Iran is blaming Israel for the death of the nuclear scientist in Tehran. These accusations increase the threat of terror against Israelis abroad.”

reported the bureau.

Among the areas which the bureau advises against visiting, besides for Sinai, are Chechnya in Russia, Mindanao Island in the Philippines and Cashmere in India. A high level of threat was also reportedly posed in southern Thailand, northern Nigeria and eastern Senegal.

Israelis working with the government in Colombia are advised to conceal their identity, prefer air travel, and to drive only on main roads. Travel warnings are in effect for Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen and the bureau also warns against visiting Djibouti, Algiers, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Togo, Malaysia, the Ivory Coast and Mali. They advise against visiting Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Bahrain, Tunisia, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, and Chad. Libya, Oman, Kenya, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Tajikistan are also on the list.

Gaza Fails To Demonstrate Peaceful Behavior, Again

Kassam rocket fired from GazaThe Jewish Country is warning of a harsh response after a Thai greenhouse worker was killed when a Kassam rocket fired from Gaza hit the Netiv Ha’asara area.

The man, in his 30s, was evacuated to Ashkelon’s Barzilai Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.

A small Al-Qaeda inspired organization called Ansar al-Sunna claimed responsibility for the attack.

A statement e-mailed to reporters in Gaza, said the attack was a response to Israel’s “Judaization” of Islamic holy places in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank.

Vice Premier Silvan Shalom warned that the attack would lead to a strong retaliation, and said that Hamas was ultimately responsible:

“It is severe escalation…Israel will not return to the situation of before Operation Cast Lead. The response will be particularly fierce…I hope Hamas will learn a lesson.”

The attack happened on the same day as a visit to Gaza by Europe’s top diplomat, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. She had just crossed into the territory when the rocket was fired.

“I condemn any kind of violence. We have got to find a peaceful solution to the issues and problems…what we have been saying to the Israelis for a long time is that we need to allow aid into this region, to be able to support the economy to grow for people to have the things they are clearly lacking.”

Two people suffered from shock as a result of the blast, one of them a young girl. They were treated on the scene by an MDA team and evacuated to a shock treatment center.


You might’ve heard…The 32-year-old son of a Hamas founders tells all in a new book entitled “Son of Hamas“.

Mosab Yousef admits that he served as a top informant for Israel for more than ten years, providing top-secret intelligence which helped in the prevention of myriad suicide bombings and other attacks on Israelis.

The memoir is being published next week in America. Highlights and an interview with the author appeared Wednesday in Israel’s Haaretz daily. Yousef’s Facebook page plugs the book:

“a gripping account of terror, betrayal, political intrigue, and unthinkable choices.”

The Sunni Fascists in Green say that they have been suspicious of Yousef’s activities for years, and that they have always kept a close eye on him. The writer’s dad, Sheik Hassan Yousef, who is by no means The Green King, is among the founders of the terrorist organization, founded in the 1980s, and still a senior figure, issued a statement via his attorney, claiming that his son had been “blackmailed” by Israeli authorities during a 1996 stint in jail.

Codenamed the “Green Prince” by Shin Bet, Mosab Yousef told the Haaretz daily that he was one of Israeli intelligence’s most valuable sources in Gaza. His information brought about the arrests of several senior Palestinian figures during the Second Intifada.

So why the sudden Western lean with this kid?

The younger Yousef converted to Christianity and moved to California in 2007.

The elder Yousef is currently serving a six-year sentence in an Israeli prison, thanks to his political activities. Like I said, he’s no Green King.

On his Facebook page, Yousef told that his story:

“will blow your minds away. It is going to be like a tsunami in the Middle East” and “will spread like a wild fire.”

The plug describes Yousef’s journey as one that

“jeopardized Hamas, endangered his family, and threatened his life.”

Better that the book blows our minds away then Hamas blows our heads off! Right Mosab?!

The publisher, one Tyndale House Publishers, who prints books of Christian interest, confirmed the details in the Haaretz report.

Yousef told Haaretz that Israeli intelligence agents initially approached him in prison in 1996 and proposed that he infiltrate the upper echelons of Hamas. He did so and receives due credit from the Jewish Country as being a real saver of lives.

Yousef told Haaretz that he hopes to send a message of peace to Israelis, but sadly he is pessimistic about prospects for ending the Israel-Palestinian conflict; of the violent Islamic Club he said:

“Hamas cannot make peace with the Israelis. That is against what their God tells them. It is impossible to make peace with infidels.”

Mazal Tov to you Mosab on your social reform and on your spiritual liberation!

(Below, Bill Hemmer’s got the scoop under the auspices of Rupert Murdock…Check it out!)

Declaring War One Incident at a Time

IDF soldiers opened fire Friday morning on Palestinian terrorists who were caught planting explosive devices along the security fence that separates Israel from Gaza, near Kibbutz Kissufim in the western Negev region.

The terrorists fled the scene.

The four terror cell members came to the fence carrying grenades and assault rifles. They were able to plant one of the bombs; an explosion was heard a short while later. Security officials estimated that the terrorists detonated the bomb in order to lure IDF forces to the area.

Soldiers of the Golani Brigade who were dispatched to the scene opened fire on the terror cell members, who managed to escape. Soldiers continue to comb the area in search of the terrorists and additional explosive devices they may have planted. Security officials said that the incident was part of the terror organization’s increased efforts to target IDF forces operating along the border.

On Thursday, an Israeli aircraft attacked a terror cell in central Gaza; this came after shots were fired at an IDF patrol in the area.

One official, who informed that Hamas was actually not involved in the terror activity, said

“The terror groups are motivated to act and are planning attacks.”

Meanwhile Hamas politburo chief, Khalad Mashaal warned his own that if another war is to break out, the fighting will not be limited to the Gaza Strip:

“If war breaks out, it will not only damage Gaza, but the entire region. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the entire Arab nation. We in Hamas don’t want war; we’ve had enough of the heinous crimes that have befallen Gaza, as documented in the Goldstone Report, but if (war) is forced on us, we will resist the Zionist aggression as we did in the past…”

The Fence

Israel is building two giant fences along the country’s southern border with Egypt. The purpose is to stop the growing flood of African asylum seekers and to prevent terrorists from entering into Israel.

Said Bibi, whose brain child are the fences:

“I decided to close Israel’s southern border to infiltrators and terrorists after prolonged discussions…This is a strategic decision to ensure the Jewish and democratic character of the state of Israel. Israel will remain open to war refugees but we cannot allow thousands of illegal workers to infiltrate into Israel via the southern border and flood our country.”

The fences will cover nearly half of the 150-mile (250-kilometer) border. One section will be near the Red Sea port of Eilat and the other will be in southwest Israel, near the Gaza Strip town of Rafah. The project is expected to cost about $400 million.

The structure will come in addition to a massive fence surrounding the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, as well as the controversial separation barrier that snakes along parts of Israel’s more than 400-mile (680-kilometer) frontier with the West Bank. Egypt has its own fence along Gaza’s southern border, and is actually reinforcing the area with underground metal plates to shut down tunnels used to smuggle goods and weapons into the Gaza Strip.
In early 2007, a Gaza suicide bomber snuck into Eilat through Egypt; one example of the risk which the fence is meant to prevent. The military actually began planning the fence in 2005 after the Gaza disengagement.
The second incentive for building the barrier is the influx of African immigrants. U.N. officials and human rights workers estimate some 17,000 to 19,000 people have poured into Israel through the southern border since 2005, most of them from Eritrea, Sudan and other war-torn African countries.

Hezbollah Countdown 2010: Hezbollah Brings Terrorism to the Class Room and Farther

anne frankIn an action this week Hezbollah proved that indeed they are not only anti-Zionist but altogether anti-Jewish – of course given this powerful terror organization’s track record of Holocaust denial, this should not come as such a shock.

The Hezbollah-owned television station, Al-Manar, condemned the distribution of a textbook in an English language school in Lebanon, because it contained excerpts from The Diary of Anne Frank.”

In their report, Al-Manar made claims that the distribution of the book was in violation of a Lebanese law, which bans the import of Israeli goods and Lebanese cooperation with Israeli institutions.

About the book, which both English and Arabic translations have apparently been sold for years in Lebanon, Al-Manar wrote on their website, is “focus[ing] on the persecution of Jews during the war, but even more dangerous is the theatrical and dramatic method employed to narrate the diary [entries] in an emotional way.”

iron domeA lawyer who represents the Committee for the Boycott of Zionist Goods, named Naeem Qal’ani said during the Al-Manar TV report:

“This act is definitely punishable under the penal code, and the dealers and importers of the book will certainly be prosecuted…It’s a flagrant violation of the law and is a move towards normalization [with Israel]. The Prosecutor-General’s Office must take action immediately, for this is a criminal act.”

Since the television report the school has removed the textbook from its curriculum. Omar Nashsabe an editor at the Lebanese daily “Al-Akhbar”, however, came to the book’s defense:

“The law [banning Israeli goods] talks about the State of Israel: the Israeli flag, Israeli institutions, the Israeli entity, as a nation…Anne Frank is not Israeli. Anne Frank is part of world literature.”

A statement was released by The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants, “denounc[ing] this disgraceful act as a twin blow against decency. It is a blatant expression of Holocaust denial, and an assault on one of the great works of modern literature and civilization.”
The book remains off of the curriculum of the school, which remains nameless.

Mean while in related news, during a recent briefing, IDF Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi told reporters that with Iran’s help, Hezbollah has gotten their hands on “tens of thousands” of rockets to be used against Israel in an upcoming war. While most of the rockets have the same limited range as the ones fired at Israel during the Second Lebanon War, some of them have a range of over 300 kilometers.

Also in the briefing, Ashkenazi informed that in 2010 Israel will deploy the first two “Iron Dome” batteries on the Gaza border. While it will make Israel a harder target, it will not be 100%. Ashkenazi said, “You cannot build a canopy of iron over the whole country. It is an illusion. In future wars, rockets will fall here.” Instead the goal of the “Iron Dome” is to reduce the amount of incidents and increase warning times to allow the IDF to evacuate areas where rockets could hit.

It is needless to recount the IDF’s seizure last week of an Antiguan vessel carrying Iranian arms to a Syrian Hezbollah station. These guys are ready for war and still insist that they were the victor’s of the 2006 Israeli invasion. Obviously they fear that Netanyahu’s Israel will take another stab at crushing Hezbollah in Lebanon, prior to any kind of strike on Iran.
What will happen next? Only fate can tell…

Regular Hamas vs Ultra Hamas & Syrian Scud Accident

Abdel Latif MoussaJund Ansar Allah, an Al Qaeda-inspired Gaza-based ultra radical terrorist organization calling for strict Islamic law in the strip, has been pretty upset with Hamas lately for honoring a 7-month ceasefire with Israel, so they did the most logical thing: They tried to launch a coup and declare a Muslim emirate in Gaza two days ago and got themselves all killed.

A gun battle ensued around a Mosque, the Jund people blew themselves up with the ever popular suicide vest (really in style these days in the Strip), and their leader Abdel Latif Moussa blew himself up later in his home.

While these people don’t exactly fit the adage “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” at least they’ve been causing Hamas some trouble. And really, I’d much prefer an enemy who hates ceasefires like these guys who REALLY fight to the death over a group like Hamas, because at least with these diehards you can actually finish a war until one side wins and the other actually loses.

Taher a-Nunu, a Hamas government spokesman, said Jund Ansar Allah was responsible for a spate of bombings against coffee shops, hair salons, Internet cafes and restaurants over the past few years. I wonder where they got the idea to do such things.

Moussa was a physician employed in the Health ministry of the PA, which is funded by basically everyone in the world looking to pour money into the hands of these kinds of people in an attempt to Promote the Peace Process. Better luck next time with the promoting, as they say.

The confrontation started when Moussa and about 100 of his followers, in truly gutsy style, suddenly declared that they were taking over Gaza with Moussa at the head, so Hamas got a bit miffed and started shooting. Among the dead were 6 Hamas policemen, as well as Muhammad al-Shamali, Hamas military commander in the south of the Strip who was involved in the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit. May he enjoy his 72 virgins.

In other news concerning enemies of Israel blowing themselves up, it has been reported that 20 Syrians were killed and over 60 were injured in a failed Scud missile test carried out back in May by the dynamic trio Syria, Iran, and North Korea, best of buds. One of two missiles being tested went off course and landed in the middle of a marketplace near the Syrian-Turkish border.

Reported by Kyodo News, the exploded area was closed off to the public, who were then told that there was a mysterious gas explosion.

Well, of sorts, sure.

Hate Crime in Tel Aviv

It pains us to write this, but it seems Israel was the victim of a hate crime last night. A shooter, dressed in black and armed with a pistol, burst into a center for gay youth and opened fire. He killed 2, critically injured another 2 who are now fighting for their lives, while the rest of the injured are in hospitals near central Tel Aviv. It appears it was well planned, the alleged murderer perpetrating the attack on what was supposed to be a secret meeting point for gay youth looking for mutual communal support, and quickly escaping. The shooter is still at large.

Nir Katz

The dead are Nir Katz, 26, (left) and Liz Troubishi, 17. The meeting place was for 14-21-year-olds looking for a safe house, hang out and listen to music. Many of the injured are scared of being identified, and are worried they’ll be revealed as homosexuals before they are ready to come out to their relatives. Meanwhile, the attack is being condemned widely by all sides of the political spectrum, being termed a terror attack by the Likud’s Silvan Shalom, and Netanyahu vowing to bring the perpetrator to justice. Shas also came out with a statement condemning the attack.

Nitzan Horovitz

Nevertheless, there are those that have made their share of counter incitement to these sickening murders. Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz, who is a homosexual, had this to say: “I very much hope this is not the result of comments made by public figures and Knesset members. They need to understand that some people will take action.”

He was referring to a comment made last year by former Shas MK Shlomo Benizri – recently sentenced to four years in jail for corruption – who proposed that the Knesset find a way to prohibit homosexuality, and save the State trouble in dealing with earthquakes, intimating that the homosexual act is a cause for the natural disasters.

Shlomo Benizri

Notwithstanding the fact that Benizri’s comment was idiotic and embarrassing for religious Judaism, to equate it with incitement to murder is just as idiotic and embarrassing. Incitement to murder is what you hear in places like Gaza and Jenin, where Sheiks go up publicly to give a sermon eplicitly about how everyone should kill as many Jews as people and liberate Palestine, or distribute videos about how to construct a suicide bomb vest, or praising suicide terrorist murderers That’s incitement to murder. Making a distasteful, offensive comment is not. To blame Benizri’s comment for these murders is like blaming the movie The Matrix for the Columbine High massacre of 1999. If I were MK Horovitz, I would, especially now, do my best to conduct a dialogue with Shas about this whole thing instead of yelling at them. The same goes vice versa. It’s easy for both sides to yell at each other, especially now. It’s not so easy to start talking.

But that’s the only way Israeli society will be able to heal itself after this unique terror attack. May God comfort the mourners.

Obama: A State of Palestine in 2012

The reality of an actual State of Palestine came one step closer following Israeli Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu’s telephone conversation Monday with U.S. President Barack Obama. Following conversation, said to be mostly positive, the Obama administration the formation of a special executive committee that will work toward the reality of a Palestinian State, along side with the State of Israel.. The special committee will work closely with groups from both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, in all relevant areas, including administration, land appropriation ( including final border lines); economic and social preparation, and other important areas.

Pin for the new stateIn the immediate future, according to their conversation, Israel is to freeze the formation of all new settlement activity, as well as the expansion of present settlements. All activity connected with illegal “outpost” settlements is specifically forbidden and those involved in it (especially in a violent nature) will be subject to full legal prosecution.

A special international conference, made of both Israeli and Arab delegates is to meet in the coming months to work out to terms of the two state agreement; according to proposed requirements from both sides.

The White House is still waiting to receive the answers to two important questions from P.M. Netanyahu concerning this entire matter: s Israel ready to stop construction of outpost settlements and is Israel ready to enter into negotiations on the reality of two separate states? Both aides presently have issues that are in conflict with each other, especially in regards to final territorial agreements, and whether the new state of Palestine will be allowed to have full nation status, including the right to a self defense force similar to neighboring countries like Jordan and Lebanon. Israeli government officials are more in favor of a neutrality arrangement for the Palestinians in which they will have a neutral status, similar to Austria or Switzerland, and be limited to a paramilitary police force similar that what they presently have.

Arab countries, who will hopefully be participating in helping the Palestinians achieve statehood, want Israel to go back to the pre-June 1967 borders; something that at present is not acceptable with most Israelis. Many Arab leaders, including those in favor of the “Saudi Plan” say that if Israeli agrees to this, it will receive full recognition by most Arab countries. Countries who will be actively participating in the diplomatic process include the US, France, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and Persian Gulf Emirate states. Many other countries are expected to join in as the process moves toward the 2012 target date completion.

How the Hamas ruled section of Palestine in Gaza will figure in to all of this still very much an undecided issue at present, and this is one of the most problematic issues of the entire matter. There is also the matter of Israel (and all Jews for that matter) being fully accepted by the Muslim World; especially by Islamic clerics, who still preach from their mosques that all Jews are “descendents from pigs and monkeys”. Unless this attitude changes, the likelihood of a Jewish State of Israel ever being accepted by the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims is very distant indeed.

Disappointing two days in Washington

Bibi and ObamaNo sooner did Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu go off to Washington, a Hamas fired rocket hit a residence in the town of Sderot, the first in over two months. One woman was lightly injured when the rocket slammed into a storeroom in her back yard damaging it and her home as well. She was taken to Ashkelon’s Barzelai Hospital for treatment, and some other people were treated locally for shock. Later on, Israeli Air Force planes attacked targets in Gaza in retaliation, including areas in the Philidelphi corridor where suspected smuggling tunnels might be located.

Coincidentally, Noam Schalit, father of captured Israeli solder Gilad Schalit, was touring the town together with Rome Italy mayor Gianni Alemanno. Schalit said that he “doesn’t envy Sderot residents” and both men wished that the town would be spared further attacks. Schalit said he is “waiting patiently to receive good news regarding his son’s release.

It seems like nothing ever fails to cause problems when a prime minister is away, especially when going to try to get assistance from the new U.S. president regarding even greater dangers in the region, the Iranian nuclear weapons program. At the conclusion of Netanyahu’s visit with President Obama, the Israeli prime minister appeared to come out on the short end with Obama pressuring Netanyahu to freeze the building of new settlements in the West Bank as well as to start preparing for a two state solution. Obama did confirm that his plan includes making sure that a new Palestinian state would be de-militarized and that it would not be allowed to ally itself with countries that are in a state of war with Israel. How this plan would work in actuality is up to speculation, especially due to the radical Hamas faction (not so far included in this plan) being friendly with both Iran and the Hezbollah party in Lebanon, also said to be virtual proxies of the Iranians.

For his part, Netanyahu promised the President that Israel would not attack Iran, after receiving the President’s assurances that his administration “will not allow Iran to become a nuclear power”. How that is going to be guaranteed is also very much up in the air, especially with Iranian president Ahmadinejad announcing the successful launching Wednesday of a new 2,000 km range missile

Meanwhile, American CIA chief Leon Panetta was quoted as saying that if Israel tries to go it alone in regards to attacking Iran, “it will be in big trouble”; especially since such an attack is virtually impossible without some form of coordination with the U.S. and other countries. Panetta added that his country “has the US government’s full attention” and that the last thing the US wants to see is a “Middle East nuclear arms race”.

It appears that Bibi wasn’t the only one benefiting from the trip, as his wife Sara didn’t have a formal meeting with Michelle Obama. Oh well, maybe Sara got to go to the malls.

Cast Lead or Lead Weight?

Israeli foreign ministry spokesmen have blasted a UN report blaming the IDF for excessive damage to Palestinian and UN installations during the January Operation Cast Lead military conflict in Gaza. The report specifically mentioned damage and casualties sustained to a UN food and supply depot, where tons of rice, sugar and other foodstuffs were being stored, as well as medical supplies. Palestinian schools and other institutions shelled and bombed by the IDF were also mentioned as being targets during the 21 day operation.

Gaza War Hill of Shame (AP)

Gaza War Hill of Shame (AP)

Government and IDF spokesmen refuted these claims, saying that eyewitness accounts, as well as ground and aerial photos indicated that Palestinian fighters were either using these facilities to fire at IDF units or were shooting Qassam and other missiles at Israeli cities and settlements from them, as well as store arms and munitions. Due to the intense crowded conditions of these areas, if Palestinians were launching attacks from buildings located next to UN installations, or schools, hospitals and other facilities, it was very difficult to avoid hitting other buildings; as often was the case.

The apparent bias of the report, which appear to disregard Israeli claims that the IDF did not intentionally fire on UN and other high profile locations, indicates that Israel is getting the “short end of the stick” in regards to the UN’s apportionment of blame.

A letter sent by the Israeli government to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon noted specifically that the IDF did its utmost to coordinate all operations with UN personnel, and worked in close cooperation with UN inspection teams following the end of the fighting. It was noted in the letter that the UN inspection team is not a legal authority, and hence has no right to function in that capacity.

Hamas leaders were specifically pointed out as using violence and intimidation against the Palestinian population to prevent them from telling the truth as to what really happened during this time. This includes that fact that Hamas placed its men and military equipment in close proximity to these installations, in order to make it more difficult for the IDF when attacking Palestinian insurgents; something not mentioned in the U.N. report.

On matter that wasn’t brought up was the fact that foreign reporters were prevented from entering Gaza during the operation, and were forced to set up their news centers on a hill outside the border with Gaza; the hill subsequently being named “the hill of shame.” Undoubtedly, a number of these journalists, and their auxiliary crews, are alive and well today due to this fact. But of course, that’s another issue.

Waltz in Gaza

This video was made by Yoni Goodman, one of the animators that worked on Waltz with Bashir:

Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement calls on the State of Israel to fully open Gaza’s crossings and to allow the real victims of the closure – 1.5 million human beings – the freedom of movement necessary to realize their dreams and aspirations.

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