Monday, October 24, 2011

Blaming the Jews - Nothing Comparable in History

So many great articles today!

A recent post discussed why Israel differs from Europe.

A writer for Asia Times wrote this great article - at least Asia gets it!

Here's your final exam question in Middle Eastern studies:

A mass of Coptic Christians marches through Cairo to protest the military government's failure to protect them from Muslim radicals. They are attacked by stone-throwing, club-wielding rowdies. Armed forces security personnel intervene, and the Copts fight it out with the soldiers, with two dozen dead and scores injured on both sides. Who is to blame?

The full credit answer is: Benjamin Netanyahu, for building apartments in Jerusalem. If that's not what you wrote, don't blame me if you can't get a job at the New York Times.
Rarely in the course of human events have so few been blamed by so much for so many.

There are precedents, for example, when Adolf Hitler claimed that a Jewish "stab in the back" lost World War I for Germany. The notion that the problems of three hundred million Arabs revolve around the governance of a few million Palestinians has the same order of credibility.
Israeli-Palestinian negotiations always presumed that Israel's peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan would remain intact - that Egypt would interdict terrorists infiltrating Israel from the Sinai, stop weapons from reaching Hamas in Gaza, and otherwise fill its obligations. But Egypt is dissolving. The Egyptian army crossed a red line on October 9, according to Egyptian blogger Issander al-Armani. [1] Soldiers attacked Coptic demonstrators who were demanding protection from the army, The military not only shut down news coverage of the massacre, but used state television to call on Egyptian Muslims to "defend the army from the Copts".

On September 19, the Egyptian army showed that it could not protect Israel's embassy in Cairo; on October 9, it showed itself ready to murder members of the country's Christian minority. Egypt is dissolving because it can't feed itself, and it can't feed itself because it is going bankrupt. Former International Atomic Energy chief Mohamed ElBaradei, now a candidate for Egypt's presidency, warned last week that Egypt would run out of money within months, according to the English-language edition of Almasry Alroum:
Egypt might face bankruptcy within six months, Egyptian reform advocate and presidential hopeful Mohamed ElBaradei warned on Monday. During a meeting with labor leaders at the Center for Trade Unions and Workers Services (CTUWS) in Helwan, south of Cairo, ElBaradei attacked the "failing" policies of Egypt's ruling military council.He criticized the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) for what he called incompetence and lack of experience, saying that experienced government officials don't have enough power. Egypt is currently relying on its cash reserve with no gross domestic product, he said [2].
ElBaradei, the undeserved winner of the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize (he helped Iran cover its tracks en route to enriching uranium to near weapons grade), nonetheless is the closest thing to a responsible figure in Egyptian politics. His warning that Egypt is burning its cash reserves is accurate. On October 5, the Financial Times reported that Egypt's foreign exchange reserves had fallen from $35 billion in January to only $19.4 billion, [3] enough to cover less than five months' worth of imports.

The central bank had reported $25 billion of reserves in August, [4] so the monthly decline appears to be around $6 billion; it is hard to tell precisely because the Egyptian central bank publishes contradictory data about its reserve position. The earlier $25 billion figure might have counted loans expected from the Gulf states, but as the FT explains, "Only $500m of some $7bn of promised aid from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have arrived so far."

Almost 60% of Egyptians live in rural areas, yet the country imports half its caloric consumption and spends $5.5 billion a year in food subsidies. When it runs out of money, millions will starve. Many already are hungry. The state-controlled newspaper al-Dostour warned on October 9 that an "insane" increase in the price of food - up 80% so far this year - has left citizens "screaming". [5]

The newspaper added that the "current state of lawlessness has left merchants and businesses with no supervision", leading to hoarding, price-gouging and shortages. This was evident at the outset of the uprisings, [6] and a breakdown of the country's food distribution system was evident by May, as I wrote at the time. [7]

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces appears baffled. Its leader, Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi, does not appear in public. Previously he ran Egypt's military industries. Prime Minister Essam Sharaf was briefly transportation minister, having taught highway engineering for most of his career.

He has spoken publicly about only one topic of political importance, namely the peace treaty with Israel, which he proposes to change, as he told Turkish television on October 8. [8] Egypt's leaders face a crisis brewing for two generations in which the Egyptian government kept half of its population illiterate and mired in rural poverty as an instrument of social control. As ElBaradei warns, they have no idea what they are doing.

Syria, meanwhile, is in civil war, which may turn into a proxy war between the Sunni powers and Iran. And Iraq's leader Nuri al-Maliki, the leader of the supposed Iraqi democracy we spent a trillion dollars and 4,000 lives to put in place, is backing the Bashar al-Assad regime in alliance with Iran. [9]

Turkey, the self-styled rising power in the region, is about to get its come-uppance in the form of a nasty economic downturn. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's belligerence has risen in inverse proportion to the market price of the Turkish lira:

...In short, there is not a patch of ground in Israel's proximity that is not roiling and boiling with political and economic turmoil. Echoing in the ears of Israel's leaders are the words of Isaiah (57:20-21), which Jews around the world read on October 8 on the Day of Atonement: "The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked."

Spengler's corollary states: Neither is there peace to the stupid. We have Nicholas Kristof writing in the October 6 New York Times: "Now it is Israel that is endangered most by its leaders and maximalist stance. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is isolating his country, and, to be blunt, his hard line on settlements seems like a national suicide policy. Nothing is more corrosive than Israel’s growth of settlements because they erode hope of a peace agreement in the future."

Kristof is talking about the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo, which was undeveloped land before 1967 and which every conceivable peace agreement would assign to Israel.

Nothing will appease the liberals, because if liberal social engineering can't fix the problems of the Middle East, the world will have no need of liberals. The New York Times will demand [14] that Israel concede and apologize, as surely as a gumball will roll out of the machine when I crank in a quarter. Existential need trumps rationality, most of all among the self-styled priesthood of rationality.

For extra credit, class: If 15 million Egyptians starve to death, and all the Copts are murdered, and Syria plunges into a genocidal civil war, and Turkey kills another 40,000 Kurds, and the Iraqi Shi'ites and Iraqi Sunnis all fight to the death, whose fault will it be?

I bet you guessed right this time. Israel's, for building apartments in Gilo.

Spengler is channeled by David P Goldman. Comment on this article in Spengler's Expat Bar forum.

Europe vs Israel - Democracy and Gilad Schalit

An amazing article in the Telegraph:

One of the supreme ironies among the European moral stances has to do with their discourse on the death penalty. It is a standard trope of European contempt for the USA that it still has a death penalty, a sign of its cowboy nature and its retardation in the moral progress of nations.
And yet when that same Europe turns its gaze on the Middle East, the country they have the most contempt for is the only country in the entire region to reject capital punishment, and they have the most admiration for a country that among a widespread political culture that extensively uses torture and execution for the maintenance of public order, shows perhaps the most contempt for the lives of its own peoples and its enemies.
Normally, this would not be even worth mentioning. Most people would just roll their eyes while others complain about Zionist imperialists trying to divert attention from their oppression of the Palestinians. But if you want to understand the “hostage-for-prisoner-exchange” that just took place in Israel and the Western media’s coverage of the event, then you need to pay attention to the issue.
Israel first outlawed the death penalty in 1954, thus reversing the Mandate Law, which, in most other instances, Israel took over from the British. They based themselves both on rabbinic precedent (concerns for both respecting the image of God in man and the unattainable burden of proof) and modern liberal sentiment. In doing so, they became the first modern Western democracy to ban the death penalty, followed a decade later by Britain (1965), Sweden (1972), Canada (1976) and France (1981).

...If the Israelis had hundreds of terrorists in their prisons, in some cases serving multiple life sentences, available to trade for Gilad Shalit, a soldier kidnapped from Israeli soil by Hamas combatants five years ago, it’s because of this attitude towards human life, both their own and those of the Palestinians. And that attitude was on full display throughout this exchange, with agonising over endangering future Israelis by releasing these men contrasting with a profound commitment to getting Gilad Shalit back. Some Arabs recognised the unflattering light this shed on their own culture, while others revelled in it.
Palestine, on the other hand, represents almost the polar opposite. This is a place in which killing daughters and wives and homosexuals for shaming the family with (even suspected and loosely interpreted) inappropriate sexual behavior is a regular feature of society, where “collaborators” are summarily executed, where official statistics for executions put the PA at a rate of formal, legal execution that cedes only to China, Iran, N Korea, Yemen and Libya.
The trade of over a thousand Palestinians for one Israeli highlights the radical differences between the cultures. As Hizbullah’s Nasrullah put it after a prison exchange in 2004: “We have discovered how to hit the Jews where they are the most vulnerable. The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win, because they love life and we love death.”
If a European, concerned about the nature of the aggressive Islam that has begun to crop up in his cities, citing for example Sharia zones, wanted to understand the nature of the Arab-Israeli conflict, he might spend a moment visiting the sites of Palestinian anti-Zionists, where this profoundly perverse culture teems. But of course, that would be politically incorrect. To spend any time pointing out the problems here constitutes the highest level of politically incorrect Islamophobia.
So instead of helping Europeans understand what’s at stake, most of the media and the NGO community have spun this story as one of violations of human rights on “both sides” with a heavy focus on Israeli misdeeds. The prisoners were considered “equal,” and Israeli primarily held accountable by the Geneva Convention for the treatment of enemy combatants when, in reality, the only one protected under these conditions was Shalit, a uniformed soldier kidnapped on his own soil in non-combat situation, and the thousand Palestinian prisoners where convicted in a court, primarily of crimes related to terror attacks on civilians (an, alas, necessary redundancy in these days of sophism).
Thus, The New York Times’s Robert Mackee could speak glibly about the “joy of parents on both sides” at the return of prisoners, and the UN could voice its concern that the prisoners Israel released might be subject to illegal forced transfer. “Returning people to places other than their habitual places of residence is in contradiction to international humanitarian law.” The UN’s concern for the full exercise of free will by convicted mass murderers illustrates the problem. Humanitarian discourse has been turned on its head to protect the ugliest players in this particular game, threatened by ugly forces within their own society, all the while implying that Israel, in its haste to get its own soldier back, trampled their rights and violated humanitarian law. Not surprisingly this led Ban Ki Moon to a moment of moral vertigo where he denounced the violation of everyone’s rights.
Of course, in order to present the moral equivalence of all the “prisoners” in the swap, one has to play down the heinous nature of the crimes and personalities of the Palestinian prisoners released. BBC correspondent Jon Donnison showed the extent of ignorance among the supposedly professional news media by interviewing a man in prison for organising and abetting several suicide bombings. (Because the attacks only injured but did not kill, he did not receive life sentences.) “You are 31 years old, 10 years in prison, serving a life sentence for being a member of Hamas, I mean, how do you feel today?” BBC viewers could be excused for sympathising with a political prisoner, inhumanly incarcerated for belonging to an opposition party, free at last.
In acquiescing with a narrative in which hatred and murder are considered legitimate expressions of “resistance” to “occupation,” Western human rights activists – including many journalists – have degraded humanitarian language at the same time as they have allowed into the public sphere a discourse of genocidal hatred. They have excluded any sympathy for Israelis who defend themselves from the onslaught they have shut out from their and their audiences’ consciousness.
It may seem cost-free to Westerners, but it’s not. In misreading the nature of the threat Israel faces, in adopting a degraded language of human rights to protect the greatest enemies of human rights on the planet, in adopting a corrupted advocacy journalism that masquerades as empirically accurate, they embrace all the kinds of techniques that put them in danger when faced with the same enemy.

And an attempted massacre at Cave of Patriarchs... By an Arab

Look at my previous post to learn about the stabbing of a young man in Jeruaslem.

And now, the "peaceful resistance fighters who only want peace and nothing but peace" bring you this latest story.


Police denied a renewal of terror attacks as being part of a greater struggle amid another attempted stabbing attack near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron on Sunday, the third stabbing incident in five days.

In the most recent incident, a Palestinian armed with a 14- centimeter-long knife was arrested by Border Police, who took the suspect into custody for questioning, said he had intended to launch a knife attack on Israelis on the site.

Police continued their investigation into the stabbing of 17- year-old Jewish resident of the Jerusalem neighborhood Ramot on Saturday. Based on eyewitness accounts, after the suspect stabbed Yehuda Ne’emad, who was sitting on the street with a friend, the suspect fled into the wadi toward the neighboring Arab village of Beit Iksa.

Ne’emad was in moderate condition on Sunday, after being evacuated to the hospital from the site of the attack in serious condition. His sister, Yael Nikar, told Army Radio it was “miraculous” Ne’emad had not been stabbed to death.

Last Wednesday, a Palestinian woman was arrested at the Gush Etzion Junction after charging a group of soldiers and civilians waiting at a bus stop and brandishing a knife while yelling “Death to Jews!” There were no injuries.

A defense source said the security establishment was not viewing the recent stabbing attempts and incident as a coordinated wave of attacks.

“They’re not planned or directly related,” the source said Sunday.

Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police stepped up Border Police patrols throughout Jerusalem following the stabbing attack Saturday, adding that with the first day of school after the holidays police are “taking no chances whatsoever.”

A Jerusalem Youth is Stabbed

One of my friends is this victim's cousin.

In [ ___ ] is my own comment in the article.


Police suspect that the stabbing of a 17-year-old in the Ramot neighborhood of Jerusalem yesterday afternoon was done by a Palestinian, and a manhunt is underway for the attacker. The youth was taken to Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, in serious condition.
The youth, Yehuda Ne'emad, lives in one of the streets near the area where the stabbing took place. At about 3:30 P.M., he and a friend from the neighborhood were sitting on a stone fence that divides Ramot from the West Bank village of Beit Iksa. The friend, A., said that suddenly a person came from behind them and began stabbing Ne'emad. A. said the attacker tried to stab him too but he managed to evade him and ran toward the neighborhood.
"He [Ne'emad] told me: keep running. And he yelled out that he was in pain," A. said. "The attacker chased me but then he saw people coming ahead of him, which made him turn around and head for Jerusalem Forest, into the nearby wadi."
... IDF in Beit Iksa - Tomer Appelbaum - October 2011The youth was operated on and doctors managed to stabilize his condition. His injuries are not life-threatening.
Ya'akov, the victim's father, said: "My younger son came and told me that Yehuda had been stabbed. These are good kids and this is a quiet neighborhood. You don't expect this to happen in this neighborhood. It caused a great scare but we are dealing with it and praying for his recovery."
The right-wing [normal, sane] parties claimed yesterday that the stabbing in Jerusalem, as well as the arson in the Galilee and the attempted terrorist attack on Gush Etzion last week, are the result of the Israeli "capitulation" to Hamas, and last week's release of hundreds of security prisoners as part of the deal for freeing Gilad Shalit [indeed, it has definitely motivated them, but one should keep in mind, these terrorist attacks have happened before and will always happen - it is merely the release of 1000 terrorists that is motivating it now].
MK Danny Danon (Likud ) said: "This despicable attack is an example of the Palestinians' culture of terrorism. We must find the terrorist and destroy his home. Only a firm response will succeed in stopping these events in the future.
"Following the generosity [shown] in the Shalit deal, the time has come to show determination in containing terrorism, and I turn to the prime minister in order to take action in razing the homes of terrorists," he added.
MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union ) echoed Danon's comments. "We are witnessing a new wave of terrorism, which stems from the encouragement of such actions. This resulted from the release of hundreds of murderous terrorists," he said.
Eldad added that he wanted to see Israel "quickly restoring the deterrent against Hamas by killing its leaders in Gaza, and first [Ahmed] Ja'abari - who had Gilad Shalit [kidnapped]. Only action now - and not in response to an attack with many victims - will be able to fend off the anticipated wave of terrorism and save lives."

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mahmoud Abbas - leader of Palestine?

Another great video by FreeMiddleEast!

Israel Online Ambassadors has issued a call to action:

Israel seems to care more about the Palestinians than Mahmoud Abbas does!
How can he even think of a unity government with such a vicious group like Hamas. Not only did they kidnap Gilad Shalit and torture him, look at how they treat their very own people!
1. Post this video on your walls. It is time we take the offensive against Abbas who has been prancing around the world stage attacking Israel. This is a small step, but it is a first step. EVERYONE share it on their wall.
2. Email this video to the world. More importantly, share it with your elected official. If you are in the United State, find their information here:
3. Choose a news organization and write a letter sending this video and explaining why Mahmoud Abbas's theatrics are hiding a vicious regime hurting not only Israelis but also Palestinians.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"Occupy Boston, Not Palestine" - and why I love Israel National News

Israel National News:

Taking advantage of the Occupy Wall Street protests that have hit the world in recent weeks, a group of about 40 people from the Jewish Women for Justice in Israel/Palestine joined together on Tuesday for an anti-Israel rally and march in Boston.
The Daily Free Press, a student newspaper at Boston University, reported that the demonstration, entitled ‘Occupy Boston — Not Palestine,’ protested U.S. support of Israeli military presence in “Palestine.”
One of the organizers of the demonstration, Anna Shenk, told the Daily Free Press that she came to give presence and voice to the “Palestinians.”
“I lived in Jordan for two years, working to provide food and clothing to Palestinian refugees,” Shenk said. “I learned firsthand what being chased out of your home does to you, no matter who you are, and it’s outrageous.”
She seemingly was uninformed about the fact that Jordan, as well as other Arab countries, refused to grant citizenship to these Arabs and their descendants who had left Israel in 1948 after being promised by their leaders that they would return to take over Jewish homes after Israel was destroyed. 
As an excuse for the protest, the group argued that the U.S. spends more than $8 million in taxes on military aid and support to Israel per day. Israel, however, is the only staunch ally the USA has and the only stable democracy in the entire Middle East, although the USA aids Egypt and Pakistan in comparable, if not greater, amounts.
Protest participant Nancy Murray said that the “occupation of Palestine” has gone on for far too long.
“Americans, open your eyes,” she said. “It’s because of your tax dollars that Israel occupies Palestine. We pay $8 million in military aid for Israel to do whatever the hell it wants.”
Murray added, “We need to build houses in the U.S. instead of destroying houses in Palestine. The occupation has gone on for so long because the U.S. vetoed 41 valid UN Security Council resolutions. They’ve given Israel the green light to abuse human rights.”
The houses destroyed in Judea and Samaria in recent years have been Jewish ones, however, while illegal Arab building is untouched.
Some protesters at the demonstration said they were concerned with the issue of violating human rights. One demonstrator, Anne Glick, accused Israel of violating human rights by building a fence to keep in the Palestinian Authority Arabs.
“What the U.S. is doing is taking away human rights,” Glick told the Daily Free Press. “The U.S. has to stop giving aid to Israel. $8 million of our tax dollars every day go to stop the Palestinians from living correctly.”
Glick failed to mention the endless murderous terror attacks originating from the Arab side, which is what forced Israel to build the fence in the first place.
And that is why I love Israel National News.  With the exception of Latma TV (which isn't a real media station, it's a satire), Israel National News reports with a bias - but that bias is crucial to so many readers to actually understand what's going on and the numerous lies reported by anti-Israel protestors.  A normal news organization would just report on what they said - and leave it out there in the open.

But no, not Israel National News!!!

You just don't see this type of reporting in JPost, Ynet News, or Ha'aretz.

Israel National News seems to be more of a news-commentary outlet.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sukkot Freeze

In accordance with the holidy of Sukkot, this blog will not be updated until at least Saturday night.

An Arab Israeli's "Hair Strike" for Schalit



Unusual act of solidarity: Mustafa Salim, 35, an Arab Israeli resident of the northern village of Muqaibla did not shave or cut his hair for more than five years until this week.

Salim, who stresses he is not a religious person, refused to cut his fair since Gilad Shalit was abducted into Gaza in 2006. On Tuesday, upon the completion of the prisoner swap deal and with Shalit's return home, he was finally able to shave and get a haircut.

Read the rest here.

We're rounding them up already!

After we just released 400+ terrorists, we've begun to round up some already!

An IDF force from the Kfir Brigade prevented a stabbing attack in the bloc of West Bank settlements called Gush Etzion by a Palestinian woman in her twenties Wednesday.

The Palestinian woman arrived at the the Gush Etzion Junction Wednesday afternoon and crossed the road, approaching soldiers and Israeli civilians standing at a bus stop. She then brandished a knife and ran towards the soldiers and civilians, screaming "Allahu Akhbar" and "Death to Jews," Channel 10 reported.

One of the soldiers at the junction who identified the situation as a possible attack pointed his weapon at the woman and shouted in Arabic for her to stop. The woman dropped the knife and dropped to the ground.

Soldiers detained the woman and she was subsequently arrested. No injuries were reported in the incident. According to the report, the woman told security forces who arrived on the scene that she had come to the junction with the intention of stabbing soldiers. She had waited until the release of Palestinian prisoners in the Gilad Schalit deal before attempting to carry out the attack.

There are a few possibilities about why this happened:

  1. She was informed by one of her released terrorist relatives about the great treatment in Israeli jail (aka 4 star hotels), and how you can go there just for killing some Jews.  This immediately grabbed her attention.
  2. She wanted to kill Jews anyways, and attempted to do so, but failed.
  3. All of the above.
Now's a great time to start implementing the death penalty on terrorists.

Human Rights Watch Anti-Israel Bias - Schalit's Release

Check out this new video I made (and make sure to subscribe to the Israle Awareness YouTube Channel!)

How did the NGO Human Rights Watch handle the release of Gilad Schalit? Watch this short video to find out.

The fact that HRW has the words "Human Rights" and is an NGO should give it away - extreme anti-Israel bias and double standards and hypocrisy and no care for human rights.

Palestinian Children Following the Path of Would-be Suicide Bomber


GAZA - A would-be Palestinian suicide bomber freed by Israel in the prisoner swap for soldier Gilad Schalit told cheering schoolchildren in the Gaza Strip the day after her release on Wednesday she hoped they would follow her example.

"I hope you will walk the same path we took and God willing, we will see some of you as martyrs," Wafa al-Biss told dozens of children who came to her home in the northern Gaza Strip.

Biss was traveling to Beersheba's Soroka hospital for medical treatment in 2005 when Israeli soldiers at the Erez border crossing noticed she was walking strangely. They found 10 kilograms (22 lbs) of explosives had been sewn into her underwear.
A member of al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades, an offshoot of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's party, Biss was sentenced to a 12-year term for planning to blow herself up.

After she spoke, the children cheered and waved Palestinian flags and chanted: "We will give souls and blood to redeem the prisoners. We will give souls and blood for you, Palestine."

Biss said she had planned to blow herself up at the checkpoint but her detonator malfunctioned.
I'm still waiting for condemnation that will never come from the Western world, from the U.N., and from Czar Morally Bankrupt UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay.  You see, the Palestinains can get away with whatever they want - including brainwashing children to become suicide bombers (you still realistically expect peace? Look at how the future generation is brought up) - and the world won't even mention it.

It's disgusting.  If the world would wake up and see who the Palestinians are, they'd understand the conflict so much better, and maybe would actually be able to come up with something instead of failed negotiations for decades.

What do do About Palestinian Aid?

National Interest:
But this doesn’t mean the Palestinians should get a free pass. Specifically, Abbas’s recent diplomatic adventurism should not go unpunished. He manufactured the recent crisis at the UN. He also has presided over a corrupt political and economic system.
Until now, fear of an ascendant Hamas has prevented Washington from challenging Abbas. Because the Obama White House cannot identify a legitimate and moderate successor to Abbas, and because Hamas appears to be the only alternative, the PLO journeyman has been free to consolidate power—and, according to some, abuse it.
One egregious example is the Palestine Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund that Abbas controls through a board he handpicked and whose by-laws he rewrote. Since 2006, the PIF has awarded contracts exclusively to Abbas’s cronies, including his sons, Yasser and Tareq.
The Abbas family is now said to be worth millions, with lavish property holdings and investments throughout the Middle East.
Moreover, the Abbas machine quietly enriches Hamas as it enriches itself. According to a former Palestinian Authority adviser, Yasser Abbas staffed the Karni Crossing cargo terminal in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip with the stated purpose of ensuring that goods and aid reached Gaza without reaching Hamas. But the customs and border unit at the crossing is not on the Palestinian Authority payroll, and it abuses its monopoly on Gaza’s only cargo terminal to pocket fees and kick them back to Hamas.
The PA also funds an electric power plant in Gaza but allows Hamas to collect the bills. In other words, Hamas raises funds for its operations by billing Gazans for electricity generated by the PA.
What’s needed here is not a wholesale cut in aid, which would punish the Palestinians who have been powerless under Abbas, but a concerted effort to root out PA corruption. This would include U.S. Government Accountability Office audits of Abbas’s presidential budget, international oversight of the PIF, and a much closer look at the troubling financial relationship between the Abbas machine and Hamas in Gaza.
Such an effort would not necessarily mean the end of Abbas’s rule—though his term ended in 2009—but it would entail curtailing his personal power while excising the cancerous parts of Palestinian aid. It would also put Washington back in the driver’s seat during an era of waning American power, keeping Europeans and other regional actors at bay.
Most importantly, it would give the White House and Congress what they both seek: new leverage over the wayward Palestinian leadership.

Human Rights In Iran? What a Joke!

Foreign Policy:
A forthcoming U.N. report, obtained by Foreign Policy in advance of its publication later this week, condemns the Iranian regime for wide-ranging human right abuses, including the secret killings of hundreds of prisoners under mysterious circumstances.

The report, compiled by Ahmed Shaheed, the new U.N. "Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran," makes for dismal reading: a compendium of violations of basic rights ranging from lack of free expression and assembly to summary executions and torture of detainees.
Iran's authoritarian rulers have abused their people for centuries; thousands died during and in the immediate aftermath of the 1979 revolution. The picture improved somewhat under the 1997-2005 presidency of Mohammad Khatami but has darkened again in recent years.
Read the rest here.

I'm sure that A-Jad (Ahmadinejad) is just bawling and crying his heart out over this.

"Me? Iran? What???? We're a democracy!!!! True, the election was rigged... And yes, if you criticize us, we kill you.  Or if you're an infidel... Or apostate...  And we torture... And I'm a wacko... But other than that, how are we not a democracy???" (what A-Jad is thinking)

A Shortlived Gain for Hamas


... But observers of the Palestinian scene say Hamas’s victory will likely prove ephemeral as the Palestinian public quickly forgets the achievement and the age-old debate remains unresolved among Palestinians – whether to achieve their state through negotiations, as Abbas advocates, or through armed struggle, as Hamas wants.

“Twenty days ago, Abbas gave a speech at the UN General Assembly and he was very popular. Nowadays, now one talks about that speech. No one talks about Palestine at the UN,” Mkhaimar Abusada, professor of politics at Gaza’s Al-Azhar University, told The Media Line. “The same thing will happen to Hamas.

The Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority ruling in the West Bank has been leading a drive to have the United Nations recognize a Palestinian state, a move its leaders say will enhance their standing and pressure Israel into peace talks. Hamas, which seized control of the Gaza Strip four years ago, rejects Israel’s existence and insists Palestinians can defeat it militarily.

While the prisoner swap doesn’t quite fit the description of armed struggle – Hamas negotiated the terms through Egyptian and German intermediaries – analysts and PA officials say that it does demonstrate the value of persistence and the refusal to compromise. They say it undermines in eyes of the Palestinian public the advantages of a negotiated solution.

Abusada said Hamas may enjoy a second wave of public adulation when a second group of 550 prisoners is released in two months, but the impact of that will also fade away, short of a more comprehensive answer to solving the Palestinians’ problems.

Although Hamas leaders have said the prisoner swap includes promises by Israel to ease the blockade it imposed on Gaza when Hamas took over in 2007, the movement can only suggest to Palestinians patience as a timetable to military victory. Hamas has stockpiled missiles and other weaponry in anticipation of another conflict with Israel, but its last fight with the Jewish state in the 2008-2009 Cast Lead Operation ended badly for it.

More recently, Hamas has seen its popularity slip amid a failure negotiate a national unity government with Fatah this year or to improve living conditions in Gaza. Its early hopes that the Arab Spring would improve its standing have been dashed. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who was cool to the Islamic movement, was ousted from power, but Bashar Assad, a key ally, is beset by popular rebellion at home.

What Hamas may not be able to do, however, is rebuild its organization with the released prisoners heading back to the Fatah-ruled West Bank, where Israeli and PA security forces have decimated the movement, analysts said. Their identities are already known and their movements are likely to be restricted.

Yoram Cohen, the head of Israel’s Shin Bet security agency and a supporter of the swap, said the number of prisoners being released was too small to change the balance of power between Israel and Hamas or between Hamas and the Fatah.

“The risk we are taking is on a level and a security challenge we will be able to deal with. There are 20,000 Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam fighters in Gaza, and another 200 terrorists won't make the world crash down upon us," Cohen told reporters last week, referring to the military wing of Hamas.

Hamas has also diminished the PR impact of the swap by failing to free some of the most high-profile Palestinians held by Israel and focusing on its own members at the expense of Palestinians affiliated with Fatah and other movements.

"This is not a deal," Fatah's Kadura Fares, who heads a Palestinian prisoner activist group and is a close associate of jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti. Fares told the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, "This agreement does not come close to respecting the principles and criteria which Hamas itself promised."

Among the celebrity prisoners still behind bars in Israel are Ahmad Sa'adat of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, jailed for his role in assassinating Minister of Tourism Rehavam Ze’evi in 2001; and Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, who is serving multiple life sentences and is regarded as many as a possible successor to Abbas as Fatah chief.

Islamists also have their complaints about the prisoner list, said Zelkovitz. Abbas Al-Sayed, who helped plan to 2002 bombing of the Park Hotel in Netanya, was not released; nor were Abdullah Barghouti, a Hamas official in Gaza responsible for dozens of murders; or Ibrahim Hamed, the head of the movement’s military wing in the West Bank.
You hear that? It's not a good deal because only 1027 terrorists and murderers are being released... Pathetic...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gilad Schalit, Hamas Captivity vs Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons

A new video I created.  Pass it on and subscribe to the Israel Awareness YouTube channel.

Chris Gunness: Why Condemn Hamas? Condemn Israel!

Chris Gunness is a high ranking member of the notorious UNRWA - the only special refugee committee to deal with Palestinian refugees instead of handing them over to UNHCR like every refugee, and the committee which seeks to perpetuate the problem of Palestiniain refugees instead of solving it/resettling them/assimillating them into Arab countries.

A day ago, the Elder of Ziyon stumbled upon pictures from the Palestinian media website "Safa."  It showed Hamas constructing a 10,000 square foot stage.  The Elder of Ziyon mentioned that apparently Hamas can find building materials to honor terrorists and cold-blooded murderers who blew up pizza stores and cafes.  But they can't find building materials for the homeless Palestinians who everyone shouts about, "Look at the cruelty of Israel! 5 gazillion Gazans homeless due to Operation Cast Lead!"

His post can be found here.

I decided to email Chris Gunness and see his reply.  Here is my email:

 These pictures show Hamas building a massive stage in support of the terrorists that are to be coming home to Gaza tomorrow.

According to this story, the stage will be 1000 square meters (over 10,000 square feet) and is being built with some 1200 iron poles. 10 people have been working 18 hour days since Thursday to build this, which will include electric generators in case the power goes out.

Imagine how many houses Hamas could build if it wanted to. You know, for all those people that we hear are still homeless since the Gaza war.

A while back, Israel agreed to allow Gazans to export palm trees for the festival of Sukkott (and the Palmer Report states that the Gaza blockade is legal). This would allow millions of dollars to flow into the Gaza Strip. Hamas banned allowing to export them.

Will UNRWA mention this – that Hamas has enough building materials to build plenty of homes, but refuses to use them?  Will you urge Hamas to use it for the greater good?

Or will you condemn Israel for not allowing enough building materials into Gaza?

Thank you,

 His response is a very interesting one (thankfully, unlike many pro-Palestinians, it is not a rant of "ISRAEL SHALL BURN IN THE ETERNAL FIRES OF HELL WAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!" aka Ahmadinejad):

Thank you for your mail.

There’s no doubt that right now we all need to redouble our efforts to ease the suffering of the ordinary people of Gaza and to think again about the blockade policy. To take your ideas in order:
  1. I would imagine that the stage is built with materials which came in to Gaza through the tunnels. Because of the blockade policy the tunnels trade from which Hamas takes a fifteen per cent tax is booming. The Israeli blockade policy has empowered Hamas. Another reason you might think to lift the blockade.
  2. I agree that we need to build houses for people who are homeless from the war and since their homes were bulldozed by the Israeli authorities ten years ago in the south. To do that, the UN needs to bring in thousands of trucks from Israel and to do that, the blockade needs to be lifted.
  3. The Palmer report only declared the NAVAL blockade legitimate, not the entire blockade which would include the land blockade, which remains an illegal collective punishment.
  4. We have a humanitarian mandate to work in Gaza to improve the lot of ordinary people and under that mandate we already urge all parties to work “for the greater good”.
  5. While doing all the above, I will continue to advocate that all parties including Israel cease any actions that punish ordinary innocent people just as I condemn the rockets that come out of Gaza as a violation of international law.

In other words, we're not going to condemn Hamas for choosing to build a 10,000 square foot stage over homes of the civilians who are victims of, to put it in his words, "collective punishment" (although they did indeed elect the Hamas government).

Chris Gunness is politely asking for Israel to committ national suicide by removing their blockade, which the Palmer Report upholds, in order that there won't be "collective punishment" on a few innocent civilians who are anti-Hamas and pro-peace (and I would  like to know how many are these numbers).

Does Chris know about the following?

Does he know that the IDF does more to safeguard civilians than any other military?

UN Watch Statement, delivered by Col. Richard Kemp, October 16, 2009, UN Human Rights Council Special Session on Goldstone Report

Thank you, Mr. President.

I am the former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan. I served with NATO and the United Nations; commanded troops in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Macedonia; and participated in the Gulf War. I spent considerable time in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, and worked on international terrorism for the UK Governments Joint Intelligence Committee.

Mr. President, based on my knowledge and experience, I can say this: During Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defence Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.

Israel did so while facing an enemy that deliberately positioned its military capability behind the human shield of the civilian population.

Hamas, like Hizballah, are expert at driving the media agenda. Both will always have people ready to give interviews condemning Israeli forces for war crimes. They are adept at staging and distorting incidents.

The IDF faces a challenge that we British do not have to face to the same extent. It is the automatic, Pavlovian presumption by many in the international media, and international human rights groups, that the IDF are in the wrong, that they are abusing human rights.

The truth is that the IDF took extraordinary measures to give Gaza civilians notice of targeted areas, dropping over 2 million leaflets, and making over 100,000 phone calls. Many missions that could have taken out Hamas military capability were aborted to prevent civilian casualties. During the conflict, the IDF allowed huge amounts of humanitarian aid into Gaza. To deliver aid virtually into your enemy's hands is, to the military tactician, normally quite unthinkable. But the IDF took on those risks.

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

More than anything, the civilian casualties were a consequence of Hamas way of fighting. Hamas deliberately tried to sacrifice their own civilians.

Mr. President, Israel had no choice apart from defending its people, to stop Hamas from attacking them with rockets.

And I say this again: the IDF did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Does Mr. Gunness not realize that if Hamas didn't launch 5,000 rockets at Israel since Israel uprooted their own citizens from Gaza, there would be no need for Operation Cast Lead? No need for a blockade?  I'm sure Israel would be more than happy to use the manpower and money spent on the blockade someplace else.  But in reality, even if you think it is an evil, then it is a necessary evil, to ensure the protection of the citizens of the soverign state of Israel.

Mind you, they don't get phone calls from Hamas when Hamas intentionally launches a rocket at a civilian, schoolbus, or hospital.  As opposed to Israel, which in response to 5000 rockets, launched Operation Cast Lead, and prior to doing so, distributed 2 million leaflets of warning, and before airstrikes, phone calls, text messages, sound bombs, etc.

Mr. Guness - and UNRWA as a whole - reverts to a 3000 year old tactic of, "When something goes wrong, blame the Jews."  It's much easier than blaming the person responsible for it.

The Elder of Ziyon notes that:

From what I can tell, Gunness is saying that while Hamas is the de facto government in Gaza, they are not responsible for the well-being of their citizens. Only UNRWA builds houses, leaving Hamas without that responsibility.

So, UNRWA's position is that Hamas is perfectly entitled to use building materials that could be used to build houses for people that have been homeless for ten years (way before the Gaza closure, by the way) for whatever it wants - terror rallies, weapons bunkers, tunnels to kidnap Israelis, whatever. Hamas has no fear that UNRWA will say anything remotely critical of it, and it equally has no fear that it will ever have to actually take responsibility for its people the way every other government in the world is expected to (besides the PA.)

No, Chris Gunness' condemnations are never aimed at Hamas, but rather concentrated on one entity in the Middle East, and one only.

October 18 Morning Links

Gilad is free!

Here are links to very good articles:

Hamas frees Gilad Schalit

Gilad Returns Home

Live Updates of How it Happened

Barak Warns Terrorists and Murderers

The Global Isolation of Hamas and their Economic Ruin

Abbas calls the prisoners "Freedom Fighters" - check out my previous post about "freedom fighters"

Artificial joy for Palestinians; real joy for Israelis; envy for Israelis from Palestinians

Monday, October 17, 2011

Why are Palestinians celebrating murder?

Jonothan S. Tobin, Commentary Magazine:

... The impending release of so many murderers is nothing to celebrate. That is, unless you are a Palestinian.
Mass rallies and celebrations are being planned in Ramallah to celebrate the freedom of those who were convicted of mass murders. Who will they be cheering? As the New York Times reports:

Those being freed include the founders of Hamas’s armed wing and militants who kidnapped and killed Israeli soldiers and civilians. A mastermind of the 2001 bombing of a Jerusalem pizzeria who killed 15 will walk out of prison, as will a woman who used the Internet to lure a lovesick Israeli teenager to a Palestinian city and had him murdered.
Most of the prisoners were serving life sentences, some for being involved in attacks like the 2001 bombing of a Tel Aviv nightclub that killed 21 people and a suicide bombing a year later of a Netanya hotel in which 29 died.
Apologists for the Palestinians will argue those in Israeli jails were resisting the “occupation” of the country, though few will own up to the fact that as far as the prisoners are concerned, the territory of pre-June 1967 Israel is just as “occupied” as the West Bank. But even if you think the Palestinian cause is just, how can anyone justify the slaughter of innocents such as at the Sbarro bombing in Jerusalem? Even if you think Israel should withdraw back to the 1967 lines, how can any civilized person condone the Palestinian decision to treat those who committed such atrocities as heroes?
... What ought to be discussed is the upside-down ethos of Palestinian political culture in which the spilling of Jewish blood grants the killer not only absolution but also heroic status.
The world turned away in horror a decade ago when a photograph captured the moment when one of the ringleaders of a Palestinian lynch mob showed his bloodstained hands to a cheering crowd after he had helped murder an Israeli. Yet today, the Palestinian political elite, including many whom our government deems “moderates,” will not only facilitate the release of this miscreant but treat him like a conquering hero.
The prisoner swap has unfortunately reminded us of the depths of degradation to which the Palestinian political culture sank during the second intifada, as mass slaughter became not merely a tool of war but the touchstone of a people’s identity. We would have hoped the passage of years and the realization of the cost in Palestinian suffering that this terror war incurred would have sobered them up. It would be one thing if these murderers were taken back in an atmosphere that showed some recognition their crimes were nothing to emulate. But instead, the release is proving to be yet another indication nothing has changed.
Those, like the Obama administration, who repeat tired clichés about the need for Israel to take risks for peace, never seem to own up to the costs of those risks. The second intifada and the 1,000 Jewish lives lost to terrorists were the price of earlier risks previous Israeli governments took in the hope of securing peace. The celebration that will convulse Palestinian society tomorrow is sad proof that similar risks taken today will also be paid for in blood.
Rather than ask why Israel is willing to trade so many terrorists for one soldier, the world should be asking why the Palestinians are cheering the release of sociopaths.
Agreed 100%. "Resistance fighters" is the common excuse.  Mind you, Martin Luther King Jr and Gandhi took to nonviolent protests (and they had a real, legitimate case - they didn't attack a country and then complain when they lost).  But ok, the Palestinians aren't doing that.  Still, they're "resistance fighters," no?

No.  Not at all.  If you really think that blowing up children eating pizza or young adults sipping coffee - innocent civilians - is "resistance fighters," then you're an insane, lunatic, morally bankrupt person. 

Or you're the U.N.

Last time I checked, Hamas doesn't give warnings when they launch rockets intentionally at schoolbuses and hospitals.  Last time I checked, Israel distributed 2 million leaflets, 100,000 phone calls, sound bombs, text messages, etc, before operations in the Gaza War, in order to minimize civilian casualties, and called off certain airstrikes on Hamas officials because of the fear that civilians would die.

Great video by a British colonel saying that the IDF did more to safeguard civilians than any army in the entire world can be found here.

"Resistance fighters" don't do that, and they don't strap explosives on 3 year olds and have them parade around town with joy.

As I quoted Alan Dershowitz in a previous post:
Contrast the pleas of the Shalit family with the plea of Zahra Maladan. Maladan is an educated woman who edits a women's magazine in Lebanon. She is also a mother, who undoubtedly loves her son. She has ambitions for him, but they are different from those of most mothers in the West. She wants her son to become a suicide bomber. At the funeral for the assassinated Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mugniyah -- the mass murderer responsible for killing 241 marines in 1983 and more than 100 women, children, and men in Buenos Aires in 1992 and 1994 -- Ms. Maladan was quoted in the New York Times offering the following admonition to her son: "If you're not going to follow the steps of the Islamic resistance martyrs, then I don't want you."

Nor is Ms. Maladan alone in urging her children to become suicide murderers. Umm Nidal, who ran for the Palestinian Legislative Council, "prepared all of her sons" for martyrdom. She has ten sons, one of whom already engaged in a suicide operation, which she considered "a blessing, not a tragedy." She is now preparing to "sacrifice them all."
"Resistance fighters" don't honor the deaths of innocent civilians eating pizza at Sbarro's.

The Right Decision - 1027 Times Over

A fascinating article.

Alex Ryvchin, JPost:

It is one of the most challenging decisions a leader could ever make.

Should one man be saved even if his freedom means that his nation is put in danger?
The soldier occupies a revered position in Israeli society.

Almost mythical. Perhaps it is because the Jews have witnessed first hand what a soldier can achieve and what can be achieved in his absence.

The Promised Land may have been bequeathed by God but it was conquered by Joshua’s armies. And through the Holocaust, the Jews saw what horrors can occur when one is powerless to fight back. So the bond is strong. But we cannot know just how strong until times like this, when rhetoric and promise must give way to difficult actions. In agreeing to release 1,027 convicted terrorists, Israel has demonstrated the primacy of the bond in Israeli society. Nations may venerate and commemorate their soldiers, but never has a government placed so high a price on the life of a single soldier and truly repaid the sacrifice a soldier makes for his nation.

The decision to negotiate the release of Gilad Schalit also sends a powerful rebuke to critics of Israel’s military policies. Operations in the Palestinian territories and in Lebanon have been condemned as escalations or disproportionate.

Yet in demonstrating how highly it values the life of its soldiers, Israel has unequivocally demonstrated that it does not commit troops to combat unless it is absolutely essential to do so.

The Kuntar decision did not sit comfortably with the public. In that case, there was no life to save.

But here, the decision reflects the nation’s ethics – derived as they are from the Jewish faith. As the former British Chief Rabbi Lord Jakobovits noted, “the value of human life is infinite and beyond measure.” Schalit’s release is an affirmation of life and a reminder of the indelible mark that ancient Jewish ethics have left on the modern Jewish State.
Hamas will be jubilant, Fatah will feel embarrassed and the Israeli position that the Palestinian cause will only be advanced through peaceful means has been spectacularly undermined.

The decision to release 1,027 convicted terrorists will weigh heavily on the conscience of the Israeli government. They will feel that they have failed the victims of terror and strengthened the hand of an organization committed to its destruction. That is an incredibly high price. But one which Israel, a state founded on Jewish values and dependent on its army to survive, will be all too happy to pay. In contrast, just as Lebanon celebrated the return of the murderer, Kuntar, Palestinians will embrace the return of their own criminals – and will perhaps be left slightly perplexed by why Hamas has shown that the liberty of 1,027 of its own people is equivalent to the life of one solitary Israeli soldier.

The writer is a London based lawyer and founder of The Jewish Thinker (, a non-profit organization promoting debate and contribution to matters affecting Jewish thought and life.

Mahmoud Ahmadenial

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad categorically denied that his country was behind a plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Washington, in an interview with Al Jazeera Monday.

"If the US administration is under the impression that by doing this that it can create conflict between us and Saudi Arabia, it is sadly mistaken," he said.

This isn't the first time that Ahmadinejad has lied and denied.  Time to add it to this picture:

Ahmadinejad cartoon

Ilan Grapel to be released soon

Ilan Grapel, a dual US-Israeli national who is held in Cairo on espionage charges, will likely be released on Monday or Tuesday via the Taba border crossing to Eilat, Egyptian sources said.

On Sunday, Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram reported that Grapel will be released in exchange for 81 Egyptian prisoners as part of a deal between Jerusalem and Cairo.

According to the paper, the deal for Grapel's release was inspired by the success of the Egyptian mediation between Israel and Hamas on the Gilad Shalit issue and Israel's apology over the deaths of five Egyptian officers on the border.

Grapel, who was arrested last June, was charged with incitement and espionage last Tuesday. He was also accused of encouraging locals to burn government buildings.

He had been traveling in Egypt at the time of the popular revolution. Local media claimed Grapel was a Mossad agent.

Earlier this month, a senior Egyptian element admitted that Grapel was not a spy.
I have a much better idea.  Since Ilan Grapel is not a spy, that means he was imprisoned randomly - either because he's a Jew, or so they can get 81 prisoners out of Israel.  Grapel hasn't been charged with a crime, and hasn't done any crime.  Legally, Egypt is required to release him - and it's just wrong for Israel to consent to any other agreement.  Without starting a fight, if Egypt says "No," then Israel should call in America, or take it to the U.N., in order to resolve it.

And hey, maybe America will release Jonothan Pollard then, as about every top official is asking for that to happen...  He's served 25+ years for a 2 year sentence for spying for a friendly country...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Future Life for Terrorists Mona and Tamimi

Some good news:

Yoram Schweitzer, Ynet:
Mona was the mastermind behind the murder of teenager Ofir Rahum while Tamimi drove the Sbarro restaurant suicide bomber to his Jerusalem destination, where he murdered 15 Israelis and seriously injured many others.

Amina Mona Photo: Alex Kolomisky
Amina Mona
 In Israel, the release of the two is stirring strong emotions as they symbolize in their non-apologetic demeanor a strong sense of disgust and well-founded desire that they serve the rest of their lives in prison for their murderous activity. According to the prisoner swap deal, both will be deported: Mona to Gaza and Tamimi to Jordan.

As part of a project I conducted in Israeli prisons, I have held lengthy conversations with the two. Apart from being a young and intelligent woman, Mona turned out to be a manipulative woman with a larger ego than the entire Palestinian problem she claims to represent.

During our meetings, her mood swings could be easily identifiable. Alongside her outrageous statements defending her right to murder her enemies, including an innocent teenager who was lured by her romantic gestures, she still tried to convince me that she was not the monster that Israelis claim her to be.

Mona's problem is that it isn’t only Israelis who view her as a monster. Her fellow inmates also think she is. She controlled the prisoners in her ward with an iron fist as if she were Al Capone. Several inmates who refused to obey her orders suffered heavy punishments. Some were bitten by her while others suffered serious burns inflicted by boiling wax because they dared challenge her leadership.

Her infamous cruelty did not go unnoticed. Many Fatah members including her accomplice found it hard to defend her actions to me. Hamas even vowed to "sort things out" with her upon her release.

Even if it is no comfort to the Rahum family and the people of Israel, Mona may initially be received as a hero in Hamas-controlled Gaza, but her fate may not turn out to be as bright. She obviously won't enjoy much comfort in light of her abusive methods in prison.

Chilling composure

Ahlam Tamimi was always proud of the fact that she was the first female Hamas combatant. She planted an explosive charge she had made inside a bottle and placed it on a supermarket shelf. Since she had a press card, she was granted free access to roam Jerusalem and collected information on possible targets for Hamas.

Ahlam Tamimi Photo: Dan Balilty
Ahlam Tamimi
 She personally led the suicide bomber to the location that she had singled out – the Sbarro restaurant – because she said there were "many radical Jews there".

She spoke to me while maintaining a chilling and provoking composure, which characterizes her entire attitude. The only concern she expressed in our meetings, during which she defiantly described her story, pertained to a possible deportation to Jordan, as was eventually decided upon in this deal.

In contrast to Mona, she is expected to join Hamas' propaganda machine because of her persuasive rhetoric ability. She may even turn into Hamas' Leila Khaled (a Fatah plane hijacker who became a leading voice of the Palestinian cause).

Mona, Tamimi, and Kahira al-Saadi – another female prisoner and mother of four who was sentenced to life in prison for her role in suicide bombings – are viewed as heroes in the Arab press.

However, they may carry the burden of other women who were tainted while serving time in prison, as is common in the traditional societies they come from and to which they will return. It is also likely that they will learn just how wide the gap is between their heroic public image and the daily reality of their lives.

Perhaps we can find some solace in the fact that the damage their release will cause will be limited to the symbolic-emotional sphere while the security risk they will possess after being released will be miniscule to non-existent.

The writer is head of a terrorism project at the Institute of National Security Studies and interviewed dozens of security prisoners held in Israel over the years.

Fisking and Destroying the EU and the U.N.

With all due respect to the EU and the U.N. Secretary General, in this post I will do my best to "destroy" you (don't fear, I'm speaking metaphorically, not literally).


The European Union on Sunday criticized Israeli plans to construct a new neighborhood in east Jerusalem.

All right... Nothing new here...  Same old same old.  Israel builds on land they won in 1967 when multiple Arab countries tried to obliterate Israel, Israel gets condemned...

What gives the world the right to think they can tell Israel where to build on land they got in a defensive war, especially in their historic 3000 year old capital - and only under Jewish control has Jerusalem been open to all religions and people.

Great video - The Truth about the West Bank
“These initiatives run contrary to the current EU and Quartet efforts to bring about the resumption of peace negotiations,” EU Foreign Affairs chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement.
What exactly are your efforts?  Just politely asking for the past few decades for both sides to make peace with each other?  You don't think it will take a bit more than that?  And mind you, Israel has agreed to the Quartet initiative, while the PA hasn't. 

Maybe you should tell the PA, "We've got better things to do.  You want to refuse our offer? Go make your own peace.  Or call us when you're serious about this.  But we've got better things to do with our lives."
The Givat Hamatos project, which is located over the 1967 Green Line, will include 2,600 new housing units.
Correction - 1948 armistice lines.

OK, so let's accept this for a moment.  Then why did you condemn a neighborhood - not a settlement - which would remain part of Israel in any agreement, and which Erekat conceded to Livni and Rice in 2008?

Check out this post and this post for more info.
On Friday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned Israeli plans to build more than 2,600 apartments in the new Jerusalem neighborhood of Givat Hamatos, over the 1967 Green Line as "unacceptable."
Once again, nothing new here.
"The Secretary-General is deeply concerned at continued efforts to advance planning for new Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem," Ban's press office said in a statement.
And Israelis are deeply concerned over the release of 1000 terrorists.  Either way, 2600 apartments is only a few buildings, as each apartment building has many apartments.  That's about 1 or 2 blocks? Really? Condemnation?
"Recent developments in this regard have been unacceptable, particularly as efforts are ongoing to resume (Israeli-Palestinian) negotiations, and run contrary to the Quartet's call on the parties to refrain from provocations," it said.
Again, what efforts? The Quartet put forth a proposal which Israel accepted.  The PA has not.

Settlement construction is nothing new.  And in Jerusalem, there should be no question about it - it's the capital of Israel, and the ancient, historic, religious capital of the Jews.
"The Secretary-General reiterates that settlement activity in East Jerusalem and the remainder of the West Bank is contrary to international law," the UN statement said, adding such activity "must cease."
International law also allowed for Durban I, Durban II, and Durban III to take place.  The latter took place despite boycotts by almost every democratic country.

International law can say that the Earth was round until the Zionists flattened it... Doesn't make it right.

The Palestinian Authority on Friday also slammed the decision to build more housing units.

Oh... I thought they would rejoice in jubilation...
"Israel's plan to build 2,610 housing units ... between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, makes a mockery of ... efforts to bring about a just and lasting peace," Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said in a statement.

You know what's really contrary to peace? Your intransigence. Your refusal to accept anything less. Your refusal to give up anything. Your refusal to recognize Israel. Your refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist. Your refusal to recognize Israel's right to self-defense.  Your refusal to accept the Quartet peace proposal.  Your refusal for direct negotiations.
However, the project’s approval in September did not raise any red flags since the land for the project has many different owners, including the Spanish government and the Latin Patriarch, said Margalit. Determining and reorganizing the ownership for building purposes is a complicated legal process called “reparcelization” that can take years, leading activists and politicians to focus their energies elsewhere.

The reparcelization plan was deposited for public review on Tuesday, which began a 60-day period for review during which the public can file oppositions to the project. With the deposit, the project is close to the end of the complicated approval process, and construction could begin as early as a year and a half from now.

Nothing's final yet.  If the PA doesn't like this plan, then I suggest they sit down at the negotiating table with Israel and strike a deal.  As the article says - it'd take abouta year and a half for the construction to begin.  That's ample time for a peace deal - or at least the beginnings of it.  In that deal, the fate of this settlement would be decided by both parties.

What'cha waiting for Abbas?

Read the full article here.