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Tag: Hamas (page 4 of 12)

Is Abbas Still The Boss?

abbasAt a meeting of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas threatened to not run for re-election in January. The threat, says Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, is meant to be a warning to America and Zionists. He said:

“We advise him to … face the Palestinian people and tell them frankly that the path of negotiations has failed. Halt negotiations with the occupation and take practical steps toward reconciliation.”

Hamas and Abbas have led rival governments in Gaza and the West Bank for the last two years, after Hamas’s bloody and violent seizure of the coastal area in 2007.

Abbas cites frustration with the lack of progress in peace negotiations with Israel as his main reason for stepping down.

The Head of the PLO Executive Committee, Yasser Abed Rabbo said on Thursday, that they rejected Abbas’ announcement; and the presidents of Egypt and Israel, the king of Jordan and Israel’s defense minister all called Abbas on Thursday, urging him to reconsider.

The Palestinian consensus is that West Bank settlements are ruining their dream of independence. Some 500,000 Israelis now live in Samaria and East Jerusalem, which Palestinians claim crucial for building their own independent state.

The Obama administration has not been able to pressure Israel to halt its construction in the “West Bank”. And if the U.S. cannot get Israel to budge on that, they will also fail in other negotiations involving the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem.

UK Commander Testimony in UN Challanges Goldstone Report

This is something you don’t see everyday.

This is the testimony of Col. Richard Kemp. He disagrees with Goldstone Report that claims that IDF committed war crimes in Operation Cast Lead.

His resume includes (his words): former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan, service in NATO and the United Nations, commander in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Macedonia, and participation in the Gulf War. He also spent time in Iraq since 2003, and worked on international terrorism for the UK Government’s Joint Intelligence Committee.

An Idea for Getting Gilad Shalit Out of Hamas Hell

If you read this blog religiously, or even secularly but often, then you may have noticed that I don’t cover the Gilad Shalit issue all that often. I don’t give updates, and I generally avoid commenting on the topic. There is a reason for this. I assume, and rightly I believe, that the government of Israel does not need any pressure in order to push a deal through for Shalit. In fact, any pressure exerted by any “Free Gilad” campaign is counterproductive and irresponsible.

giladWhen someone has something you very much want, and you have to pay for it dearly, then to have your friends badger you about making a deal to get it just ups the price. The other side sees you are under pressure, and feels it can increase its demands.

Who are the Free Gilad troupe protesting? More precisely, WHAT are they protesting when they march for Gilad’s release? Are they assuming that the sitting government would rather he sit in his hellhole in Gaza?

The force of their protests is quite Orwellian actually. They say they want Gilad’s release, as if anyone in Israel doesn’t. I say, though they want Gilad’s release, that’s not really what they’re protesting. They’re not rallying against Hamas to free him, as if Haniyeh and Zahar cared at all what the Jews want.

What they’re really doing is protesting the government’s reluctance to release murderers. What they really want is the release of terrorists, nothing else. I’m not blaming them for this. But I am saying that if they want this, then they should be brave and say it, out loud, if that’s what they really believe is best. Stop chanting “Free Gilad” as if you’re talking to Hamas, and start chanting “Free the Murderers!” Use the correct language and picket the Prime Minister’s residence with signs that say “Bibi – release murderers NOW!” Granted, it would look odd and arguably embarrassing. But that’s precisely the point. They don’t want to say what they actually want, because what they really want scares them. They’d rather mask it in language that everyone can agree with but few truly understand. That is, “Free Gilad“.

I’m willing to bet that if this government attempted a rescue operation and Gilad was heaven forbid killed, these groups would protest the incompetency of the government, claiming that “wasn’t what they meant” when they chanted “Free Gilad!” I say, if it’s not what you mean, make it clear starting now. Chant in favor of releasing 1,000 murderers, and then at least you are being honest with yourselves and with us.

But here’s my idea. It was reported today in several papers that Israel does indeed know exactly where Shalit is being held. The problem is, the building is surrounded with explosives that will be detonated by remote if soldiers get too close. Now, of course I haven’t worked out a whole plan by any means. But part of what needs to be done in a possible rescue attempt would be to shoot an electromagnetic pulse that would shut down any electronic transmissions in the area, making remote detonation impossible.

They’d have to clear the area of as many terrorists as possible beforehand, and it wouldn’t be easy. I’m willing to admit that it would probably fail. But I think it would be smarter than releasing 1,000 terrorists around Palestinian election time to ensure a Hamas victory and trigger a third intifada, with many more kidnappings in the cards.

Someone’s Looking out for Sderot

Liane Thompson, an American producer and director based in Tel Aviv, is working to create a feature-length documentary called “Children of Missile City” about the 7,500 children caught up in the ongoing rocket war between the southwestern Negev and the Gaza Strip. Studies suggest that nearly 90 percent of the children in Sderot suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and the only clinic available to treat them, The Resilience Center, is in danger of closing come December.

PTSD has the children so paranoid of the noise that even a loud microphone in the mall can startle them. And though there is a lull right now after Hamas took a walloping from Operation Cast Lead earlier this year, but it’s only a matter of time before the rocket attacks begin again. Until then, consider donating to the Resilience Center.

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.

Human Rights Watch Admits Hamas Rockets Are War Crime

Qassam LaunchHere’s something that’ll knock your socks off. Though, most Israelis this time of year don’t even wear socks – just sandals – so I guess Israelis just won’t be all that affected. That is, Human Rights Watch just published a report about Hamas’ rocket attacks since November ’08. And here go the socks: They actually said that firing the rockets was ILLEGAL, and VIOLATED INTERNATIONAL LAW and constitutes a “war crime”.

My question is, what about the years 2000-2007 when 23 Jews were killed by Qassam and mortar fire? Were those legal? Did international law suddenly change last November?

This eerily reminds me of 1991 back when the UN reversed its 1975 resolution that Zionism is Racism. Some Israelis were so ecstatic about that little reversal, though others just sat back and folded their arms. What is so earth shattering about the fact that the UN admits that Zionism is not racism if the Security Council, the world body responsible for maintaining world security, is going to admit Syria to its ranks, but forbid Israel from ever having a seat there? What’s the difference if the UN keeps singling out Israel for criticism?

And what is the significance of a Human Rights Watch report condemning Hamas for war crimes if, as we all know, Hamas couldn’t care less about human rights? The rockets will continue to fall whenever Hamas feels it’s had enough time to resuscitate itself, and the only reason they’ve stopped for now is that they’re scared. Not that they suddenly respect the idea of human rights.

Though these types of things are certainly nice and they make us feel better for about two minutes, they have very little relevance. The de facto Islamic government in Gaza does not care about international law. They care about liberating all of Palestine at all costs. As long as they have hope that they can do that, the rocket fire will never stop.

Some Questions about the Fatah Convention

Fatah, the PLO faction group founded in 1954 by Yasser Arafat, is having its 6th general convention today. I have some questions about it. First, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas opened the festivities by condemning Hamas and saying that investigations are ongoing as to the cause of Arafat’s death.

MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANS FATAH CONFERENCEQuestion: Why? The fact that he was old, decrepit, and suffering from latent Parkinson’s and just died, hasn’t really clinched it for them yet?

He then went on to say that Israel hasn’t kept its commitments to the United States, including giving up sovereignty over eastern Jerusalem and even parts of the Dead Sea.

Question: When was this? I can’t seem to recall when Israel made those promises to anyone. I can remember, though, when Israel actually offered them to the PLO and they refused.

Then things got more interesting. He continued: “Although peace is our choice, we reserve the right to resistance, legitimate under international law.”

Question: What resistance he’s talking about? Really, I’m curious. Peacefully picketing and civil disobedience? Or is it murdering innocent civilians? I’m just asking, because it’s unclear.

Jibril Rajoub, who used to be in charge of the PA police, then clarified and said that “armed resistance” is always an option, and that Israel must acknowledge that. So there goes nonviolent civil disobedience.

Question: What do you mean, Jibril by “acknowledge?” Does fighting back qualify? Or is acknowledgment only sitting around watching buses explode and retreating?

I’ll tell you what, Jibril. I will gladly acknowledge your resistance if you acknowledge Israel’s response to it. Then we can sit down over a cold beer, a la Obama, Gates, and Crowley at the White House and discuss mutual acknowledgment.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Barak said it was important that the platform produced by the delegates will be representative of a wide range of views.

Question: What range of views?

President Shimon Peres, mentioning the convention, said that the Palestinians must remember that like Israel, “they must stay committed to the Road Map and the path of negotiations.”

Question: What happens if they don’t, as in the past 9 years?

The only Israelis expected to attend the conference were MKs Ahmed Tibi and Taleb A-Sanaa (UAL-Ta’al) and Muhammad Barakei (Hadash).

Question: Why are Israeli Knesset members allowed to attend a summit about armed resistance against Israel?

Is anybody listening?

Jimmy Carter and the Two State Solution

Former US. President Jimmy Carter went on a three hour tour of Gaza on Tuesday, in which Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told him that “Hamas will accept the two state solution if Israel is ready to return to the former, pre-1967 boundaries”. Haniyeh also spoke to Carter about the case of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, and said he welcomed Carter’s offer to mediate in this affair, which Haniyeh referred to as a “human and political episode we would all like to come to an end”.

Carter in GazaCarter was given a tour of areas where major damage had been inflicted during the January Operation Cast Lead military action, in which the former President said ” the severity of damage inflicted here has brought tears to my eyes”. Carter also said that the war had brought “death, destruction, pain and suffering to the people here”. He wasn’t taken on a tour of either Sderot or other places in Israel where the same terms could also be applied, however.

In regards to Gaza’s present situation, where most of the damage has been left in tact as a “showplace” for VIP visitors such as the former President, Carter said: “tragically, the international community ignores the cries for help, while the citizens of Gaza are being treated more like animals than like human beings”.

But it was the remarks made by Haniyeh that his organization would be willing to accept a Palestinian state providing Israel open up the borders with Gaza and “accept a Palestinian State within the 1967 borders” that suddenly brought something very rational to light. When Dr. Haniyeh spoke about the “pre-1967 borders” he forgot that When Israel pulled out of the Strip in 2005, that part of Palestine was reverted back to the 1967 borders. So here is where a possible “two state solution” would work out beautifully! Why not create two Palestinian states, one in the West Bank, called East Palestine and controlled by Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah organization, and the other, West Palestine, controlled by Hamas. Haniyeh and his friends will get their wish in that their “little state” (as Israeli P.M. Binyamin Netanyahu referred to Palestine in his address on Sunday) will be 100% “within the pre-1967 borders”.

As for “East Palestine”, a territorial agreement will be worked out with Abbas and Co. taking the large Israeli settlement blocks into account. Israel will not have to pull out of the entire section of the West Bank and Jerusalem would remain united, with special consideration being given to the people of East Palestine for visiting, living in, and even having some governmental offices in the city’s eastern sectors. The Status of the Old City would remain as it is today, with Jews remaining in the Jewish Quarter and having full access to the Western Wall Plaza. The Wakf Islamic Trust would maintain control of Karim al Sharif , otherwise known as the Temple Mount.

This new “two state solution” should be acceptable to everyone, especially West Bank Palestinians (who really don’t like the Hamas people anyway – and vice versa). And as for Gaza, maybe they can get to rebuilding all the damage incurred to “their little state” which will not only provide jobs for a lot of Palestinian workers but result in their not having to keep all those piles of rubble lying around to “impress” gullible people like Jimmy Carter.

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.

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.

Zvi Sela & The Good Sheikh Yassin

Sheikh Ahmed YassinIf any of you read an article in Friday’s Haaretz about an interview with former police psychologist Zvi Sela, now turned writer, you may have been as surprised as we were to read Sela’s remarks about deceased Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, whom Sela met with many times during Yassin’s imprisonment in Hadarim Prison, south of Raanana. Sela, who worked for many years as a senior police officer and has a PHD in educational psychology, told Haaretz reporter, Kobi Ben-Shalom, that Yassin, though cruel and ruthless, and responsible for most of the suicide bombings that were killing scores of Israelis during the mid 1990’s, was willing to have his Hamas organization recognize Israel as long as the Palestinians were given a state of their own. Sela said during the interview that “if we (Israel) had tried for an agreement with Yassin, we would have succeeded”. He also said that Yasser Arafat, with whom Israel was trying to negotiate, was in reality very corrupt, and that Hamas could not deal with him at all.

In regards to a final settlement, Yassin was quoted as saying: “I have no interest in destroying you – all I want is a state”.

Sela confessed his unhappiness that Israeli governments refuse to talk to Hamas leaders, saying that this is due to “the ego of our leaders”. During his two years of conversations with Yassin, Sela also had meetings with other imprisoned terrorists, including Samir Kuntar; who said he had not been responsible for the murders of Danny Haran and his daughter in Nahariya in the late 1970’s. Sela seems to paint a different picture of these people, whom many say return to terrorism immediately upon their release back to Gaza or Lebanon. In fact, Sela believes that long time terrorist internees, like Kuntar for instance, do not return to terrorism after being set free.

Return to active terrorism or not, these people certainly do not keep quiet about their feelings towards their former captors, as was seen from Yassin, before his assassination in 2004; and has been seen from Kuntar, who is being used as a symbol of resistance by another Sheikh, Hassan Nasrallah of the Hezbollah.

So are there some “good” terrorists and extremists, as far as Israel’s security is concerned? We’ll let everyone draw their own conclusions on this subject.

Hopes rise for release of captive Israeli soldier

There appears to be increased optimism that captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit may soon be released from his nearly 3 year captivity by Hamas militants in Gaza. Shalit, whose army armor corps unit was attacked on June 25, 2006 while on patrol alongside Israel’s Kerem Shalom border area; was taken back to Gaza by his captors following the ambush on his armored personnel carrier in which two Israeli soldiers were killed and three were wounded. Since then, no actual photographs or video films have been shown to indicate his condition, and only three letters have been given to his parents, Noam and Aviva, to confirm that the young soldier is alive.

Since his capture, intense local and international efforts have been made to secure his release from a captivity that is now in its 961st day. Until now, the release of the young soldier, who has been promoted to Staff Sergeant, has been delayed numerous times by unacceptable demands made by Hamas which has included releasing more than 1,000 Palestinians including several who have been found responsible for involvement in a number of deadly terror attacks against Israeli civilians.

A number of countries have tried to intervene on Shalit’s behalf, including European ones like Germany and France. Due to his holding French nationality, Shalit was recently named an Honorary Citizen of Paris. Even the Catholic Church has tried to gain his release, through its representatives in Gaza; but until now, these efforts have been to no avail. Gilad’s parents have been involved in a number of international rallies to gain more attention to the plight of their son; and recently, Aviva Schalit was featured on a weekend news magazine for the Israeli Channel 2 TV network.

Following the 22 day Operation Cast Lead military actions between Israel and Hamas, diplomatic efforts have been stepped up on Shalit’s behalf, and several meetings have been held in Cairo to work out a deal to gain his release. The Hamas organization, whose infrastructure was severely damaged during the war, which also left more than 1.300 Palestinians dead, appear to want to enter into a long period of quiet with Israel in order to rebuild installations damaged or destroyed. Shalit himself was reported by his captors to have been injured by explosions during the action.

Schalit’s release is now a top priority for the Israeli government and exiting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and other government officials are demanding that Shalit be released before Israel agrees to enter into a serious truce with Hamas and other Islamic terror organizations in Gaza. For their part, the Hamas leadership seems to be more in favor of the young soldier’s release, providing certain “conditions” be met, including opening of border crossings to allow sufficient aid and supplies to enter the place that many people refer to as an “open air prison”.

Increased military activity during the past few days, by both the IAF and Hamas militants, could cancel a final deal, however. Also, the number and types of Hamas prisoners that Israel is holding could prevent Schalit’s release, as many of these militants have been involved in the killing of Israeli civilians and therefore have “blood on their hands” The demand for release of a high ranking Fatah personality, Marwan Barghouti, is also a problematic issue.

All everyone can hope for now is that Gilad is alive and in some measure of good health, despite the suffering that both he and his family have endured during this long period.

What happened in Italy last night

What happened in Italy last night

We didn’t expect what you see in this picture. This is the square of the Italian Parliament in Rome, Piazza Montecitorio: You can see the Palace on top of the square, and in front a lot of Israeli flags. That was last night from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. What you cannot see here, is the extraordinary number of members of Parliament, about 100 from all political sides, that took the stage during this time: for about three hours we were speaking about the role of Israel, its right to self defense, its moral height, its fight on behalf of us all, of our civilization and values, against the wild hate of the Islamic jihad represented by Hamas.

It seems to me that for the first time in the too long history of the Arab/Israeli conflict, apart from a minority of crazy leftists and fascists that took the street with anti-Semitic slogans, we have achieved a huge consensus on one critical point: this is not a local conflict, there is nothing in it that reminds us of a peace theme that has characterized the Palestinian issue. This is an attack against the western world, and Iran is behind it.

The change of attitude is great: the terrorist and religious nature of Hamas and the democratic, civilized nature of Israel are seen face to face for what they really are at least by the European elite at large, dead and wounded notwithstanding, and there rises an identification with Israel against a regime that uses human shields and promises slaughter of Jews in its charter.

What happens today, at least in Italy, is the defeat and fall of the leftist ideologies: ideology that has allowed justification of all the most violent crimes and most disgusting verbal attacks. If Arafat launched the terrorist Intifada, if he promoted the martyrdom of children in public speeches, the ideologists were ready to justify him with the issues of occupation, the Palestinian misery and loss of any hope. Not so with Hamas.

History, in Italy, has brought to a profound crisis the ideology of revolution and the justification of any cruel attack against a so-called unjust imperialist order. That time is over, nobody will see Hamas as the resolution of the problem and not even as the problem itself. I think that the word “peace” has lost that healing meaning that it once had. The new non-ideological point of view sees that there is no peace when one of the contenders doesn’t want it, and that even if the world in the short run asks for a truce, in the long run it hopes for the defeat of Hamas.

Last night, many people, Ministers and Members of Parliament, composed a very new, interesting mix of opinions. I think that when you are not overwhelmed by exotic thirdworldism, the images of children educated as hate machines, the speeches of jihad leaders, from Ahmadinejad to Nasrallah, to Haniyeh, that deny the holocaust and promise death to Jewish and Christians alike, you are left only with disgust. Westerners, thank God, can still be disgusted by uncivilized levels of political speech.

But most of all, in the Parliament square, many of the Parliament Members said: “I love Israel”.

You can’t imagine how many.

Fiamma Nirenstein

Fiamma Nirenstein, a journalist and some-time resident of Jerusalem, is a new Member of the Italian Parliament who is outspoken on Israel’s behalf. She writes below that there is increasing understanding of what Israel is facing in its current war against Hamas.

Hamas In Their Own Video

This is a cute viral video being sent around by people and offered by MemriTV.org. I guess you could say it provides a little background on the current dismemberment Hamas is going through…



Are we there yet ?

This morning there is another humanitarian break. It starts at 9:00 AM and the southern cities are bracing for the missile attacks that will follow. As soon as these Humanitarian breaks take place the Hamas uses the opportunity to fire rockets.

The show “Eretz Nehedert” was on live last night after the news on channel 2. These shows are usually prerecorded but this one was live. It was highly critical of the management and future of the war. The message was that Barak was looking for political gain in the polls, the government has no clear objectives and the South is still being attacked.

The skit below is called “No Goals – No Disappointments”. There is no translation but you can see Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and Ehud Barak who walks into the interview to answer questions from the soldiers.

During the skit Ehud Barak answers some questions from the soldiers with candid answers. He starts with the question – “So Now What?”.
He answers: We are now waiting for a cease fire. You (the army) will need to hang around in the field making you an easy target to Hamas. A couple of soldiers here will be killed (he points to 2 of them). Then we will sign a cease fire agreement, which when you read it, you will not understand why we couldn’t sign it 2 weeks ago.

“And that’s it – that’s how it ends?” he is asked. No, Barak answers, it doesn’t end, you will be called back to reserve duty, 2 years from now to serve here or some other place, all of you will report for duty minus the 2 fallen soldiers obviously. This time it might be the north, south or center of Israel. You will be called to help change the reality of some place – a place with a strange reality to start with.

Ismail Haniyeh was speaking yesterday and was calling basically for a cease fire. He looked bad. He said Hamas was ready for any initiative that will end the violence and for the first time he didn’t sound combative, made no threats and sounded like he wanted out of this war. In the Middle East that’s probably as close to surrender as we will ever get, although I am sure that by the time a cease fire is signed Hamas/Iran/Hezbollah will all be celebrating there victory over our coward army and hailing the legendary ass whipping we received.

As a response today we hear that the Security Ministers Council (Kitchenette) Olmert, Barak and Livni has decided to hold off stepping us to the next level of the war. The army was instructed to continue pressure on selective Hamas positions and that the Egyptian cease fire option was to be explored. (sounds familiar…)

Hamas has indicated they would be willing to have a Turkish force to enforce the cease fire. Different sources say they are only interested in a short term cease fire and that they will reject the Egyptian cease fire offer today. It looks like they are going through some shift in thinking though.

I am not sure how far we are supposed to go but the Eretz Nehedert episode was foretelling the future. When I saw it my first impression was that it was in poor taste. Even the live studio audience was holding back when Barak made reference to the “future” dead soldiers we will be incurring. But the truth is that its probably right on the money. Now it seems like it’s the right thing to ask Are we there yet?

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