Help the civilians of Gaza

A humanitarian plan for the people of Gaza

In 2007, the terrorist Hamas group forcibly expelled the Fatah government from Gaza and took control. So Hamas actually became the illegal occupier of the Gaza Strip. After two wars with Israel in 2009 and 2012, Israel was given assurances by the international community that Hamas would no longer be able to import weapons into the Gaza Strip… In a short time, Gaza will become a humanitarian disaster. The rubble will soon become infested with animals and insects seeking food and shelter. Disease will become widespread and medical services will be lacking.

By Israel Zwick, July 31, 2014

Now that the war in Gaza is winding down in the direction of a military victory for the Israel Defense Forces, the folly of the Obama-Kerry diplomacy has become readily apparent. The ceasefire plan that they encouraged Prime Minister Netanyahu to prematurely accept would have rewarded the terrorist Hamas government with a perceived victory. It would have given them de facto recognition as the legitimate government of the Gaza statelet, with the authority to negotiate for the residents of Gaza. Hamas would have proclaimed a victory, noting that their rockets were able to reach almost all major residential areas in Israel. Their system of offensive tunnels and arms depots in civilian areas would have remained essentially intact, ready for the next round of fighting at their choosing. Israel would have been forced to withdraw its forces from Gaza knowing that their population centers will remain in danger from Hamas rockets and tunnels. To add to the insult and danger, Israel would have been asked to ease the military blockade of Gaza to facilitate the quick resupply of materials to Gaza for “humanitarian” purposes.

It was only in 2008 that Barack Obama rose rapidly from being and obscure junior Senator in Congress, to becoming President of the United States, the least qualified President in American history. Since he knew little about the history of the Middle East in the few years before his election, we should provide him with a brief refresher course. In 2005, under international pressure, Israel “disengaged” from Gaza by dismantling about 20 small, scattered Jewish communities and expelling close to 10,000 Jews, many of whom still don’t have permanent homes or jobs. The land was turned over to the Palestinian Authority with the agreement that food and consumer goods would enter Gaza only through land crossings to prevent the importation of large quantities of arms by ship or air. Israel reserved the right to patrol the waters around Gaza to prevent the unloading of ships bearing arms. Essential consumer goods were still reaching Gaza by truck transport.

However, things didn’t turn out as the “international community” expected. Gaza did not develop into another Dubai or Singapore. In 2007, the terrorist Hamas group forcibly expelled the Fatah government from Gaza and took control. So Hamas actually became the illegal occupier of the Gaza Strip. After two wars with Israel in 2009 and 2012, Israel was given assurances by the international community that Hamas would no longer be able to import weapons into the Gaza Strip. We see now what happened to those “assurances.” Instead of dismantling the illegal Hamas government, the Obama-Kerry plan would have legitimized it and allowed it to continue to threaten the entire population of Israel.

Now that the third war in five years is winding down, where do we go from here? Much of Gaza is in ruins, as a result of Hamas using homes, schools, mosques, and UN buildings to build tunnels, store long-range rockets, and launch them against Israel’s population centers. Because of the reckless carelessness that the Hamas government displayed towards its civilian population, the Gaza infrastructure has been largely destroyed. There is now rubble where homes, schools, mosques, and medical facilities once stood. Families have been destroyed, the wounded are lacking medical care, there is insufficient food, potable water, and sanitary facilities. There is insufficient electricity to power essential services. In a short time, Gaza will become a humanitarian disaster. The rubble will soon become infested with animals and insects seeking food and shelter. Disease will become widespread and medical services will be lacking. When the war is finally over, hopefully soon, the International Red Cross, the UN, the United States, and various other humanitarian groups will be rushing to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza, and rightfully so. It is truly tragic that the innocent people in Gaza have to suffer because of the evil hatred, intolerance, and folly of their Hamas rulers.

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Misleading casualty figures from Gaza

Israel and Hamas fight over Gaza casualty list

In era in which public opinion is part of warfare, Israel and Hamas fighting additional war over the identity and number of causalities in Gaza, and Israel charges Hamas with turning militants into innocents in quest for world sympathy.

Article written by Felice Friedson

Asaf Zilberfarb contributed research for this article


The Media Line, July 29, 2014

The latest round of fighting between Israel and Hamas extends far beyond the urban warfare playing out in the cities and towns of the Gaza Strip; the Israeli cities targeted by waves of Palestinian rockets; and the seek-and-destroy mission of locating and eradicating the elaborate and intricate network of tunnels revealed to extend deep into Israeli territory and beneath southern Israeli communities.

Beyond the shooting war, there is a war of images seeking to justify the actions of the players in the eyes of the world. To accomplish this, Hamas seeks to create the belief that most – more than 80% – of the 1,137 Palestinians who died during the first two weeks of fighting are noncombatant women and children – innocent victims of outrageous Israeli aggression. Israel, on the other hand, asserts that the process of identifying the dead is manipulated in order to predetermine the conclusion that Israel has relentlessly slaughtered innocents rather than admit the obvious use of civilian human shields and the commensurate benefits to the Hamas narrative of a high body count.

First and foremost for Israel is that the international community understand who it has targeted and accept its assertion that the casualty list contains a significantly higher percentage of adult male combatants than women and children.

More than 1,300 Palestinian killed: Hamas claims over 80% innocents (Photo: AFP)
More than 1,300 Palestinian killed: Hamas claims over 80% innocents (Photo: AFP)

Reuven Ehrilch of the Meir Amit Intelligence and Information Center, an Israeli think tank, told The Media Line that its comparison study of the names of the Palestinians killed in Operation Protective Edge and the relationship between terror groups and uninvolved citizens revealed that out of 152 names checked, 71 were identified as terror agents and 81 were uninvolved citizens. According to Ehrlich, the Hamas-controlled interior ministry has ordered social networking done in the Gaza Strip to describe every Palestinian who died as an “innocent civilian.”

The group worked from a list compiled and supplied by the Gaza government’s Ministry of Health, a list fraught with problems and inaccuracies according to Ehrlich. “The list was done hastily and later changes were made. There were a number of false names listed; the details of the dead are only partial, making identification suspicious. There are names used more than once and some might have been killed by their own fire rather than by the Israeli army. The list doesn’t differentiate between civilians and terror operatives. All the dead are listed as “shahids” (martyrs).

The list propagated by the Hamas-controlled Gaza ministries is not necessarily in synch with the one being compiled by a United Nations agency. A spokesperson from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OSHA) who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak to the media, told The Media Line that as of the morning of July 29, 1,109 Palestinians, including at least 821 civilians (of whom were 239 children, and 124 women), 179 fighters and 109 with status undetermined, have been killed since the start of hostilities on July 7.

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Kerry sides with Hamas

John Kerry: The betrayal

Op-ed: Astoundingly, the secretary’s intervention in the Hamas war empowers the Gaza terrorist government bent on destroying Israel

By DAVID HOROVITZ, Times of Israel, July 27, 2014

When The Times of Israel’s Avi Issacharoff first reported the content of John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal on Friday afternoon, I wondered if something had gotten lost in translation. It seemed inconceivable that the American secretary of state would have drafted an initiative that, as a priority, did not require the dismantling of Hamas’s rocket arsenal and network of tunnels dug under the Israeli border. Yet the reported text did not address these issues at all, nor call for the demilitarization of Gaza.

It seemed inconceivable that the secretary’s initiative would specify the need to address Hamas’s demands for a lifting of the siege of Gaza, as though Hamas were a legitimate injured party acting in the interests of the people of Gaza – rather than the terror group that violently seized control of the Strip in 2007, diverted Gaza’s resources to its war effort against Israel, and could be relied upon to exploit any lifting of the "siege" in order to import yet more devastating weaponry with which to kill Israelis.

Israel and the US are meant to be allies; the US is meant to be committed to the protection of Israel in this most ruthless of neighborhoods; together, the US and Israel are meant to be trying to marginalize the murderous Islamic extremism that threatens the free world. Yet here was the top US diplomat appearing to accommodate a vicious terrorist organization bent on Israel’s destruction, with a formula that would leave Hamas better equipped to achieve that goal.

The appalled response to the Kerry proposal by the members of the security cabinet on Friday night, however, made plain nothing had gotten lost in translation at all. The secretary’s proposal managed to unite Israel’s disparate group of key political leaders – from Naftali Bennett and Avigdor Liberman on the right, through Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni on the center-left – in a unanimous response of horrified rejection and leaked castigation.

The Netanyahu government has had no shortage of run-ins with Kerry in the mere 18 months he has held office. The prime minister publicly pleaded with him in November not to sign the interim deal with Iran on its rogue nuclear program, and there has been constant friction between the two governments over thwarting Iran’s bid for the bomb. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon in January ridiculed Kerry’s security proposals for a West Bank withdrawal, calling the secretary "messianic" and obsessive" in his quest for an accord with the Palestinians that simply wasn’t there. The collapse of the talks in March-April was accompanied by allegations from Jerusalem that Kerry had botched the process, telling Israel one thing and the Palestinian Authority another, including misrepresenting Israel’s position on Palestinian prisoner releases.

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Obama undermines Israel

President Obama Abandons Israel

by Isi Leibler
July 27, 2014
http://wordfromjerusalem.com/?p=5167

In the midst of a bitter war – one that Israel sought to avoid – the statements and initiatives fromU.S. President Barack Obama and his inept secretary of state, John Kerry, have convinced Hamas that if they maintain their campaign of terror against Israel and the civilians of Gaza, the international community will intervene on their behalf.

From Israel’s vantage, despite the continuing tragic losses, there can be no turning back until the weapons of destruction and the tunnels are neutralized. Failure to achieve this will doom us to a future and possibly even more dangerous confrontation with these genocidal barbarians.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s leadership has been exemplary. Despite extraordinary pressure from all sides of the political spectrum, he succeeded in charting a responsible policy. The initial restraint, his acceptance of the Egyptian terms of cease-fire and his avoidance of demagoguery, united the nation and even scored points among open-minded circles in the international community.

The most incredible aspect to this conflict was the almost total effectiveness of the Iron Dome, which neutralized missiles directed to our heavily populated cities, and thus precluded an otherwise much more extensive and costly ground operation.

Yet we suffered a profound shock at the discovery of the extent and sophistication of the underground city Hamas had constructed with prolific tunnels entering into Israel – even into public dining rooms of kibbutzim – creating a scenario for horrifying mass terrorist abductions and massacres of 9/11 proportions.

The Western media’s sympathy for Hamas, inciting hatred against Israel by their excessive display of gruesome images of children killed, was completely out of context. That Israel possesses the fire power to level Gaza to the ground, if it intended doing so, was ignored. Rarely did it acknowledge that Israel had accepted cease-fires which Hamas had rejected. Nor that Israel maintained a flow of humanitarian aid, electricity and water to Gaza and that terrorist casualties were treated in Israeli hospitals. In fact, Israel even established a field hospital for the sole purpose of treating Gazan civilians.

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Media attacks against Israel are disproportionate

 

Broadcast media treats Israel with arrogance and hostility

The confrontational and hostile interviews with Israeli representatives are a violation and perversion of the basic principles of journalism.

By Israel Zwick, July 27, 2014

Like many others who are concerned about the current conflict in Gaza, I check the online news media multiple times per day, eager to get the latest information. Occasionally I come across video clips of interviews conducted with Israeli spokesmen by the major Broadcast media such as BBC and CNN. In most cases, I have been shocked and appalled by the aggressive hostility displayed against the Israeli interviewee. Such confrontational interviews are not only a violation of basic rules of courtesy, but are a violation and perversion of the basic concepts of journalism taught in an introductory course. A journalist should should not be displaying hostility and bias against an interviewee who responded to an invitation to appear on the program. A journalist has the responsibility of providing unbiased and accurate information to readers and viewers.

First of all, it isn’t a fair fight to begin with. The media correspondent was chosen for the job partially because of his superb skills with the English language and verbal expression. In contrast, the Israeli interviewee usually does not have English as his dominant language. The journalist comes prepared with a list of questions, quotes, and statistics which have been previously rehearsed. The Israeli interviewee is not presented with the questions in advance of the interview. Consequently, his struggle with word retrieval, verbal synthesis, and verbal expression, becomes readily apparent, giving him an unfair disadvantage in the eyes of the viewer.

Very often the questions directed at the Israeli interviewee involve the concept of “proportionality” in war, without providing any explanation of the technical meaning of this concept during war. A quick search in Wikipedia reveals that “The harm caused to civilians or civilian property must be proportional and not excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated by an attack on a military objective.” In a lengthy, detailed article in the Spring, 2010 edition of The New Atlantis, Keith Pavlischek, a retired US Marine colonel, explains this concept specifically as it applies to Israel’s wars with Hamas and Hezbollah. The author notes that,

“The criterion of discrimination prohibits direct and intentional attacks on noncombatants, although neither international law nor the just war tradition that has morally informed it requires that a legitimate military target must be spared from attack simply because its destruction may unintentionally injure or kill noncombatants or damage civilian property and infrastructure. International law and just war theory only insist that the anticipated collateral damage — the “merely foreseen” secondary effects — must be “proportionate” to the military advantage sought in attacking the legitimate military target. This sense of proportionality is the second jus in bello criterion; it has to do almost entirely with the foreseen but unintended harm done to noncombatants and to noncombatant infrastructure…The notion that a lopsided casualty ratio between the IDF and Hezbollah or Hamas militants is sufficient evidence of some moral failing on the part of the IDF so radically departs from any recognizable understanding of the requirements of proportionality and so evidences a lack of moral seriousness that one cannot help but wonder whether something even more pernicious was involved. Even some liberal political pundits were led to question the critics’ motivations.”

The author goes on to emphasize, “When non-state fighters and militants hide among civilians, they may well bear a greater responsibility for civilian deaths.”

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Israel must win this war

For its own security, Israel must finish the job it started in Gaza

Chicago Sun-Times

Editorials July 23, 2014

Palestinian families who fled their homes from east Khan Younis southern GazStrip ride car their way city Khan Younis Wednesday

Palestinian families who fled their homes from east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip ride on a car in their way to the city of Khan Younis on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Israeli troops battled Hamas militants on Wednesday near a southern Gaza Strip town as the top U.S. diplomat reported progress in efforts to broker a truce in a war that has so far killed hundreds of Palestinians and tens of Israelis. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali) ORG XMIT: GAZ112

For years, Hamas, the Palestinian militant group, imported tons of concrete into Gaza, material that could have been used to build desperately needed schools and houses.

But what did Hamas do? It sold out its own people, doing nothing to better their lives while secretly using all that concrete to reinforce dozens of tunnels from which to wage endless war. Hamas has used the tunnels to infiltrate Israel and hide weapons.

Now, in the continuation of a brutal war that began two weeks ago, the Israeli military is systematically finding and destroying those tunnels, and it is obligated to finish the job. Nothing short of this is likely to end, now and well into the future, a constant raining of Hamas missiles on Israel.

The roots and causes of the larger Israeli-Palestinian conflict are a moral tangle, one in which Israel is by no means blameless. We believe that Israel, especially under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has shown little courage in trying to reach agreement on a two-state solution. We also believe that an alternative approach gaining traction in Israel — for Israel to unilaterally draw new permanent borders, post troops everywhere and declare the matter over — likely would settle nothing. But in this moment — in the here and now when Israel is confronted by an implacable foe that has rejected a ceasefire — we see only moral clarity: Israel must defend itself. What nation would do otherwise?

As of late Wednesday, more than 650 Palestinians, including more than 100 children, have been killed in the present conflict, and each death is a horror to contemplate. The image, in particular, of four Palestinian children at play being shot down on a Gaza beach will and should haunt Israelis forever. It is impossible to understand how an Israeli gunboat mistook four little boys for Hamas gunmen.

But let’s also understand this: Hamas uses children and all Gaza civilians as human shields. They set up shop with their weaponry among bakers and carpenters and clerks and housewives. They fire off missiles from the heart of intensely populated neighborhoods. Civilian deaths are inevitable in every war, but all the more so when the enemy treats every school, house and hospital as a combat bunker. They store their rockets there.

Hamas continues to fight because apparently it believes it has nothing to lose, even if the people of Gaza have much to lose. Hamas has lost its Syrian and Egyptian sponsors. Its popular support at home is weak. Unemployment in Gaza, debilitated by Israeli and Egyptian partial blockades, is around 50 percent. Hamas is isolated and failing and hoping to regain support by taking on Israel.

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Anger should be directed against Muslim jihadists

Muslim Double Standards Abound

by Tarek Fatah
The Toronto Sun
July 15, 2014

http://www.meforum.org/4756/muslim-double-standards-abound

 

If there is a God, he has some explaining to do.

On the one hand he tells us Muslims in the Qur’an that we are "the best of peoples, evolved for mankind", but then showers us with leaders who bring out the worst in the human soul.

If the murderous spree some of my fellow Muslims have embraced is not enough, their hypocrisy of playing the victim card makes the rest of the world cringe in anger, if not outrage.

As I write, Muslims around the world have taken to the streets and social media to protest Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, that has resulted in the deaths of nearly 200 Palestinians.

Undoubtedly the death of 200 Arabs, many of them civilian women and children, is tragic and worthy of condemnation.

However, just next door to Israel almost 200,000 Arabs have been killed by fellow Arabs in Syria, but that tragedy has triggered no public demonstrations of anger in Islamic capitals, let alone in Toronto.

Let us examine two military operations by two countries against what they describe as Islamic terrorists belonging to radical jihadi movements.

While Israel’s Operation Protective Edge is making the lead story around the world, few are aware of Pakistan’s Operation Zarb-e-Azb (Strike of Prophet Muhammad’s Sword) underway against the Taliban inside Pakistan.

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Proud to be Israeli

The kind of country we are – and proud of it

Print Edition

Photo by: REUTERS

 

By SHERWIN POMERANTZ
23/07/2014, Jerusalem Post

Since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, 11,000 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza.

Among the many recent articles in the press about the ongoing war here, one item in particular caught my attention.
In a Jerusalem Post interview with residents of Gaza, 27-year-old Ahmed Mansour, wounded in the war, is quoted as saying from his hospital bed: “They even shelled people as they fled their houses. What kind of human beings could do that?” So for the benefit of Ahmed, let me tell you what kind of human beings we are, even though you will probably never see this piece.
Since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, 11,000 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza, and prior this week, only once, in 2012, did Israel respond by going into Gaza to try to eliminate the sources of those rockets. Ahmed, you would never see that level of restraint on the part of any country in the world whose sovereignty was being attacked by a neighbor, regardless of the complaints that neighbor had about the relationship between the two political entities. As a case in point, Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula earlier this year after just days of angst and without being threatened militarily. So that’s the kind of country we are – a Jewish country with Jewish values and a desire not to inflict civilian casualties.
And when, from July 7 to July 17, 1,539 rockets were launched from Gaza, we still did not invade. Rather, we attempted to take out the sources of the rockets via aerial attack. But first, our military telephoned and texted the residents of Gaza who were within the target areas with warnings to leave.
Before the attacks themselves, we detonated a small charge on the roof of the targeted building to underscore the seriousness of the warning. It was only then that we attacked locations that your government was using as missile launching sites. So that’s the kind of country we are – a Jewish country with Jewish values and a desire not to inflict civilian casualties.
Last week we thought we saw light at the end of the tunnel – not the tunnels your government has built as a method of infiltration into Israel, but the tunnel of conflict. Through the efforts of the Egyptian government, the UN and others, a cease-fire proposal was put on the table which our government immediately accepted and your government rejected, calling it, in the words of one of your leaders, comfortably ensconced in the safety of Lebanon, “a joke.”
Had the cease-fire been accepted, you would not have been wounded and perhaps, just perhaps, we could have met together in Cairo and figured out a way to improve both our lives. We accepted the proposal because we value human life above all. So that’s the kind of country we are – a Jewish country with Jewish values and a desire not to inflict civilian casualties.

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