Monday, July 21, 2014

Tariq's Tall Tale

"I was running because I didn't know why they (Israeli authorities) were running after me," he said.

That was the 15-year-old Palestinian-American from Tampa, Florida beaten and kicked during the Shuafat riots, Tariq Abu Khdeir.

...the Florida teen denied any part in rock-throwing protests, saying of the Israeli authorities, "I didn't do anything to them to do this to me."  He said he was only watching and listening to the commotion as a crowd had formed after the disappearance of his cousin when suddenly Israeli forces began shooting rubber bullets and tear gas. He said he saw people running and screaming for help. Right behind them were three soldiers, he added. Everyone scattered and ran. Tariq said he tried to jump a gate but fell, adding he felt the sting of a rubber bullet on his heel.

Just like that, there was a spontaneous 

commotion 
and 
a crowd had formed 



and then, 

suddenly Israeli forces began shooting.

As we say, hand-on-heart, do you believe that?

Said One Hamasnik to Another



^

Gaza As An 'Open-Air Prison' or, Vacation Location

Gaza is an 'Open-Air Prison' or, a 'Concentration Camp'.

You've heard and read that.  And worse.

So, ask yourself, why would sane people go there for vacation?

Palestinians with foreign passports, including dual American citizens, began leaving Gaza through the Erez border crossing Sunday. “My body is leaving Gaza but my heart will always be here,” said Akram Mustasha, from Houston, Texas, who had been in the area on summer vacation until violence became unbearable. Rawan Mohanna, a 21-year-old chemistry major at the University of Texas who was in the area for a family wedding,

(thanks to EG)

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Gaza Graphics











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Sunday, July 20, 2014

One Answer to the Double Standard

I caught this, which is like so many other complaints* against Israel:-

For its many supporters in the west, Israel is being unfairly singled out for criticism...“You are trying to turn Israel into a special case.” Why pick on plucky Israel? What about the Chinas, Russias, Syrias, Saudi Arabias, Irans, Sudans and Burmas? Where are the protests against Isis, Boko Haram or the Pakistani Taliban?
There are various possible responses to such attempts at deflection. First, does Israel really want to be held to the standards of the world’s worst countries? Doesn’t Israel claim to be a liberal democracy, the “only” one in the Middle East?

But that's not the point.

It is you, Mr./Ms Critic, who is the center of attention.

Why don't you act morally and ethically to all instances of supposed 'war crimes'?

Israel can take care of itself but what about your morality quotient?

_______________

UPDATE

Here's another phrasing of the theme:


I don’t mean to suggest that the conflict is in any sense symmetrical. As we have already seen, the worst price for this latest round of violence will be paid by the civilian population of Gaza, 

Drown Them Out!

Source.

A story.

The opinion poll.




Source.

Drown The Out.

^

NYTimes Forgets One Side

Israel’s War in Gaza is the editorial of the New York Times today.

Gems:

The tragedy is that innocent civilians on both sides of the border are paying the price, once again, and that military action will not guarantee long-term stability or peace.

Well, yes.  But if Hamas had not shot off rockets, continually, since the Disengagement, no Gazan civilians would be injured or worse.  Not to mention the human shield effect.

There was no way Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was going to tolerate the Hamas bombardments, which are indiscriminately lobbed at Israeli population centers. Nor should he. 

Wow.

Hamas can’t defeat Israelis, so it tries to terrorize them.

Why "defeat" Israel?  Is there something about Hamas your paper is not fully emphasizing about Hamas?

The United Nations says that of the more than 260 Palestinians killed, three-quarters were civilians, including more than 50 children.

Check this, guys:-

Over 80% of Gazans killed so far have been male, with almost half of these males being in the 18-28 age group. One can imagine many of these being “combatants.” A further 20% of these males are between 29 and 48, an age group one could envisage may also contain many Hamas members.  In other words, these figures bring into question how many of those killed were really innocent civilians.
And more:

Military action, however, is not a long-term solution, as Israeli operations in 2012 and 2008-9 showed. Israel seized Gaza in 1967 and withdrew in 2005. It is hard to see how re-occupation would serve Israel’s interests.

Well, at least those operations prove that Hamas will not keep to cease-fire terms, will re-arm and begin terror again.  And again.

The best solution remains a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, 

No.  The first condition to a solution is disarming/decommissioning the Pal. Authority Ramallah/Gaza.


...Hamas leaders have rejected one proposed in the past week by Egypt and are demanding better terms. Meanwhile, Palestinian civilians suffer the consequences.

No recalling "Israeli civilians" (above: "The tragedy is that innocent civilians on both sides of the border are paying the price")?

^


^

Being Dense About Gaza




^

Gaza Game Theory

You've probably seen the claim against Israel that goes like this:

Stop whining you Jews.  After all, no one is really dying 
from those Hamas rockets.

And some anti-Zionist sites have tables to show it's (relatively) true.

Here's a better presentation of the phenomenon by someone who has a bit of a moral backbone (and intelligence):


It’s the moral equivalence which is so devastating. When Egypt this week proposed its ceasefire in Gaza, a BBC presenter asked whether both sides would now conclude that there was no point carrying on with the war. From the start, restraint has been urged on both sides — as if more than 1,100 rocket attacks on Israel in three weeks had the same weight as trying to stop this onslaught once and for all.

Israel has been bombing Gaza solely to stop Hamas and its associates from trying to kill Israeli citizens. But for many in the West, the driving necessity is not to stop Hamas but to stop Israel.

Moral equivalence morphs instantly into moral bankruptcy. People have looked at the casualty count — around 200 Palestinians killed at the time of writing, while only a handful of Israelis have been injured or killed — and decided that this proves Israel is a monstrous aggressor.

I decided to apply the paradigm of a Game Theory analysis to this.

Normally, Game Theory is defined so:

 "the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation between intelligent rational decision-makers".

But I think that the operative word here should be Game.

What do I mean?

Simple.

Think of a game.

Born in America, I immediately thought of baseball.   So, my Gaza Game Theory goes like this:

In baseball, you play nine innings in a regular game.  The object is that one team tries to score while keeping the other team to less runs scored.  In some cases, a very good pitcher, like Cy Young, can throw a perfect, scoreless, hitless game.

What's a pefect game?

A perfect game is defined by Major League Baseball as a game in which a pitcher (or combination of pitchers) pitches a victory that lasts a minimum of nine innings and in which no opposing player reaches base. Thus, the pitcher (or pitchers) cannot allow any hits, walks, hit batsmen, or any opposing player to reach base safely for any other reason: in short, "27 up, 27 down"

Now, the score in the end will be 0 for one of the teams.  But it doesn't mean they didn't play. They tried, but lost.  Each man got to face the pitcher, several times, but did not hit the ball safely or reach first base.  I'm sure there are parallels in every sport.

In Gaza, if they are not killing Jews, then the supporters of Hamas claim that the game is unfair.

Listen guys: you played, you tried your best, but you lost.

You lost.

So retire and get off the field.

^

Allegedly a Journalist

I just saw Martin Savidge on CNN TV (recorded or live, didn't catch) saying:

Bedouin killed by a rocket "allegedly" from Gaza.

and

Army men killed by attackers who "allegedly" came from Gaza tunnel

Is Savidge allegedly a journalist?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

NYTimes - The Paper Unfit to be Read

Earlier today:


At 10:45 PM:

IDF AnnouncementLocation : Tel Aviv
Expansion of Operation Protective Edge
Following ten days of Hamas attacks by land, air and sea, and after repeatedrejections of offers to deescalate the situation, the Israel Defense Forces(IDF) has initiated a ground operation within the Gaza Strip.
The IDF's objective as defined by the Israeli government is to establish areality in which Israeli residents can live in safety and security withoutcontinues indiscriminate terror, while striking a significant blow to Hamas'terror infrastructure.
This stage of operation "Protective Edge", led by the IDF's SouthernCommand, will include close coordination between IDF units includinginfantry, armored corps, engineer corps, artillery, and intelligencecombined with aerial and naval support. This effort will also be supportedby the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) and other intelligence organizations.
In the face of Hamas' tactics to leverage civilian casualties in pursuit ofits terrorist goals, the IDF will continue in its unprecedented efforts tolimit civilian harm.
The IDF will operate resolutely to defend the State of Israel conductingitself with professionalism, a strict moral code of conduct and a deeprespect for the sanctity of human life.

British English

The BBC reports:

Militant rockets have killed one Israeli.

Are the rockets actually 'militant'?

Not 'military'?

Perhaps 'terroristic'?

Or did the rockets belong to and were launched by 'militants'?

Not Hamas?

Not a recognized terror organisation? 

Or maybe it was the Hamas who killed the Israeli through the use of rockets (really a mortar)?

Language shouldn't be used by a media outlet to disguise the truth.

^

Gaza Beach Shelling Eyewitnesses

Let's review eyewitness accounts of yesterday's shelling of the beach when four Arab youngsters were killed:


I had returned to my small seaside hotel around 4 p.m. to file photos to New York when I heard a loud explosion. My driver and I rushed to the window to see what had happened. A small shack atop a sea wall at the fishing port had been struck by an Israeli bomb or missile and was burning. ...
...A small metal shack with no electricity or running water on a jetty in the blazing seaside sun does not seem like the kind of place frequented by Hamas militants, the Israel Defense Forces’ intended targets.
The IDF seems to have targeted a specific structure, not an open area or the boys.


Beaumont, who has been in Gaza for the last nine days, said that during the time he has been at the hotel, that area of the harbor has been hit by the IDF "at least three times." Following the explosion, "on the retaining wall there were puffs of smoke and we saw four people running along it.

The area, having been attacked "at least three times" previously, would seem to indicate a terrorist target.  You don't waste ordnance on children. 

Was Hamas launching rockets from there?

Was it a naval base?


It is not unusual for militants to launch rockets from sites near my hotel. Israeli missiles and shells have also landed pretty close to al-Deira, an old red stucco inn with a large terrace overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Just a few hundred yards down the beach is the fishing harbor.

UPDATE of an acknowledgement from The Guardian:


A witness who identified himself only as Abu Ahmed said the boys had been scavenging for scrap metal when the first shell hit a nearby shipping container used in the past by Hamas security forces. He said the boys fled but a second projectile "hit all of them".


There you have it --- one, two, three.

And because of Hamas terror, four young kids lose their lives.

________________


UPDATE



Israel’s military has warned tens of thousands of Palestinians to leave their homes as the conflict escalates, raising fears that a full ground invasion of Gaza is imminent. However, many do not heed the warnings because Hamas dismisses them as psychological propaganda – and because it is not immediately clear where Palestinians are supposed to go while the entire Gaza Strip is under threat of Israeli airstrikes.

But that area had been targeted thrice this past week:


The Gaza beach area has been shelled frequently since Israel began its offensive in the enclave on July 8 following a surge in Palestinian cross-border rocket strikes.


And Hamas discourages safety precautions.

P.S.

NYTimes:


 the deaths of the four young Bakr cousins, killed by an Israeli airstrike as they played on a beach, a place with no apparent militant targets.

????

_________________

FURTHER UPDATE

CNN

A pair of explosions in what had been nine days of relentless bombings between the two countries are to blame. The boys had been told to stay indoors. And as children tend to do, they disobeyed their parents to play on the beach where they had always been safe before...In war there are no clean lines.  There are no safe beaches to play on.  There is no safety....






States That Supported Terrorism To Pay High Price

Did PM Binyamin Netanyahu say this?


"Soon we will see the Arab, regional and Western states that supported Hamas terrorism pay a high price,"

or this?


"I repeat my call today to those who were misled to put down their guns, because we will not stop fighting terrorism and striking it wherever it is until we restore security to every spot of Israel,"

No.

It was Bashar Assad who said this:

"Soon we will see the Arab, regional and Western states that supported terrorism pay a high price,"  

and this

"I repeat my call today to those who were misled to put down their guns, because we will not stop fighting terrorism and striking it wherever it is until we restore security to every spot of Syria,"

And this:

It is actually in defense of many other nations that, sooner or later, will suffer from the same terrorism, either as a result of the shortsightedness of their leaders and their absolute ignorance of the real interests of their nations, or due to their lack of understanding of our region and how to deal with it’s people...Did we need to wait three years and pay for the shortsightedness of some, by sacrificing our children’s blood, our lives, our economy, security and reputation in order to realise that what was happening was in fact a plot against our homeland, and not the so called ‘spring’ for freedom or democracy?  Did we need to pay such a hefty price, and still continue to do so, for those people to realise that as a result of their ignorance we now have incubators for terrorism and a springboard for aggression?...Wasn’t our experience with the criminal Muslim Brotherhood in the 1980’s enough for us to learn our lesson, or did we have to wait thirty years for the arrival of executioners and cannibals, to realise that terrorism and exploiting religion are two sides of the same coin?...Today, together, we start a new stage that is characterised by a consensus to protect our nation and to rebuild it morally, psychologically and materially and a consensus on eradicating terrorism and bringing back into the fold all those who have lost their direction.  Today, we start a new stage having overcome dangerous and critical challenges, thanks to the steadfastness of our people in the face of a terrorist and psychological war, 

Actually, I really like that last quotation.

Hamas Ceasefire Demand Number 8

Did you read the eighth point?

Source

8. Israel should ease the access to and give permits 

to worshippers from Gaza strip to Al-Aqsa mosque. 


Writes NBC:-

This has nothing to do with the Gaza conflict, and would merely be a reward for Hamas’ violence, handing it a big propaganda victory among Palestinians.

Well, there is one good thing about that.

Israel can now engage in discussions for Jewish free access to the Temple Mount with rights to worship.

Correct?

Thank you Hamas for enabling us to put that on the table.

^

The Blood Libel

Here:

peter beaumont @petersbeaumont

1st shell hit the harbour wall. It's been hit before so I assume its on a prerecorded grid. Gunner appears to have adjusted to hit survivors

But a few short hours later, we read:

Beaumont, who has been in Gaza for the last nine days, said that during the time he has been at the hotel, that area of the harbor has been hit by the IDF "at least three times." 

This person replied

Hans de Vreij ‏@hdevreij  15h@petersbeaumont Projectile trajectories are influenced by a *lot* of variables, such as wind direction, air temperature and -pressure@petersbeaumont 15h Your presumption that a 'gunner' made some adjustments "to hit survivors" is pretty simplistic...

And Beaumont is a journalist upon whom you depend for factual, balanced reporting.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Stripping Off for the Green-White-Red-and-Black

How outrageous can some pro-Pal. people be?

Here's someone in Mexico (and I worked hard to make this relatively safe for mature viewing) demonstrating for the Green-White-Red-and-Black flag:





Can you imagine her in Gaza City or Hebron?

I could, but then that fake blood liquid would be real.




P.S.  This stripping


doesn't count.

^

Does Hamas Really Kill Its Own Civilians?

Gaza Strip NGO Safety Office Project (GANSO) is a project of CARE International, funded by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) with the aim of providing the information and analysis the NGO community needs in order to implement humanitarian projects safely.

CARE International is an international, non profit, secular confederation of 12 member organisations committed to fighting global poverty and delivering emergency aid in times of humanitarian crisis. CARE International’s Secretariat is based in Geneva and the 12 members work in more than 60 countries around the world.

I decided to check, from the beginning of the year, any reports of Gazan civilians killed by Hamas' own rocket fire after posting this.

The results:-

9-22 January

out of 36 Home Made Rockets (HMRs)/Mortars, 19 landed in Gaza.

23 January-5 February

50% fell inside Gaza.

6-19 February

no mention.

20 February-5 March

6 dropped in Gaza.

6-19 March

24 out of 64 firings dropped short/exploded on-site.

20 March-2 April.

9 civilians injured and 1 death due to accidents involving explosive devices and unexploded ordnance.

3-16 April.

3 fatalities and 6 injuries due to accidental explosions.

17-30 April.

8 rockets dropped short out of 24.

I think the point is made: a significant percentage of rockets and mortars fired off by Hamas and Islamic Jihad fall short, never making it across the Green Line and do cause fatalities and injuries among civilians.

Over 1350 rockets have so far, at least, been fired at Israel since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge.

How many of those fell short and caused death, injury and destruction of property?

Okay, the latest report does not at all detail any.  Is that believable?

___________

P.S.

I've now been informed that Israel has counted 106 rockets falling short in Gaza so far (thanks EOZ).

and IDF finally caught up with me:



^






Apologize? Hamas?



^

Of Course Hamas Kills Gaza Civilians

Doubt Hamas rockets kill Gazan civilians?

Take a look at less than first half of this past March and think of today's percentages?



^

A Gaza Metaphor

No, this incident

A 51-year-old woman accidentally shot herself in the face after she slammed the butt end of a shotgun on the floor, causing it to discharge...Deputies were called about 10 a.m. Monday, July 14, to a house...for a report of a gunshot victim. 

Upon arrival, deputies found that a family dispute had taken place and the victim, a 51-year-old woman, told officers that she had taken a shotgun out to "make a point."  She told police she slammed the butt end on the floor, the gun discharged, and she was shot in the face. 

did not take place in Gaza.

Although you might think so. 

^

Wise Tom Friedman

In my view, the only way Israel can truly curtail the Hamas rocket threat is if the Palestinians of Gaza demand that the rockets stop. Sure, Israel can inflict enough pain on all of Gaza to get a cease-fire, but it never lasts. The only sustainable way to do it is by Israel partnering with moderate Palestinians in the West Bank to build a thriving state there, so Gaza Palestinians wake up every day and say to the nihilistic Hamas: "We want what our West Bank cousins have." The only sustainable controls are those that come from within.

That wisdom was brought to you by ... Tom Friedman

Hamas wants to overthrow the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority.  They've been ruling Gaza since 2007, when they were democratically (supposedly) elected to power, and no Gazan has woken up since and called for rational economic development (i.e., greenhouse burning) or new elections or anything not to do with Islamism.  Suicide bombers, though, are a'plenty.


Another bit of wisdom:
isolated Gazans can make their own drones

Not Iranian-supplied?  Smuggled in via tunnels?

That level of smartness and intelligence is just par for the New York Times.

True. True. Not That True.

Professor Shlomo Avineri, one of my university lecturers when I first began my MA studies at Hebrew University, has had his article translated into English and it now appears in the July 16 edition of Haaretz, entitled


As with the Left, if the enemy doesn't yield to you, we must surrender to him:

The Palestinians do not recognize the Jews’ right to a state, so Israel must take steps on its own to improve the atmosphere.
But he does make some very good points.

A few:

1.  Oslo’s sponsors saw the conflict as one between two national movements and believed – as did I – that direct negotiations between Israel and the PLO could find a solution to the territorial and strategic issues that were the cornerstones of the dispute...We were wrong.

2.  The Palestinians don’t think this is a conflict between two national movements. From their perspective, this is a conflict between a single national movement – the Palestinian one – and a colonialist, imperialist entity that is destined to vanish from the world.

3.  The Israeli position talks about “two states for two peoples.” But in the Palestinian version, the phrase “two peoples” doesn’t appear; it only talks about “two states.” If anyone thinks this is hairsplitting, let him ask a Palestinian interlocutor for his opinion on the “two states for two peoples” formula. Sooner or later, he’ll get the answer that there is no Jewish people.

4.  The truth is that in the Palestinian narrative, the Jews are neither a people nor a nation, but merely a religious community; therefore they aren’t entitled to a state. This is also the reason for the sweeping, uncompromising Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as the Jewish nation-state.
 5.  This is the root of the conflict – not borders, not the settlements, not even Jerusalem. And of course, the Palestinian refusal to give up the principle of the “right of return” is tied into this.

6.  Zionism in 1948, when it accepted the principle of partition, believed, just as the people behind Oslo did, that the Palestinian national movement was a mirror image of what Zionism thought – that this was a conflict between two national movements. In such a conflict, compromise is possible. But if you view your movement as fighting against a colonialist, imperialist movement, there is no chance of compromise and no moral justification for it.

So far, so good.  

And more:

1.  Nothing can be expected from the United States or the Netanyahu government. The Obama administration has failed in every foreign-policy challenge...

But, being 'left', he needs to say something for hope, to prevent despair since the Left is all about emotion and feeling good.

So, he writes:

Without retreating from the principle of “two states for two peoples,” the opposition must propose interim steps right now...a complete halt to construction in the settlements, the evacuation of illegal outposts, a reexamination – once the current tension has ebbed – of the Israel Defense Forces’ deployment in the West Bank, and the removal of what remains of the Gaza blockade (possibly in coordination with Egypt after the current fighting ends). Finally, it must propose an initiative to reduce Israel’s civilian presence in the West Bank by developing an evacuation-compensation plan.

Would that plan work?  Well, he writes:

Most Israeli settlers in the West Bank came there not for ideological, nationalist or religious reasons, but for the economic vistas opened by government subsidies for spacious, comfortable housing. 

So, when convenient for the Left, the "settlers" are fanatics, extremists, messianic and above all, ideologically-driven Biblical-religious fundamentalists and when it is convenient in another framework, we're basically venal, money-hungry, non-thinking dupes of a Marxist interpretation of false national feeling.

Oh, well.

But at least his ending improves:


Those of us who supported Oslo – and who still think it was the right step – must recognize that salvation won’t come from the Palestinians. They’re genuinely uninterested in a solution of two states for two peoples because they’re unwilling to grant legitimacy to the Jewish right of self-determination...

^

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Rocket Kills One in ...

Libya's main international airport has been hit by a new rocket attack a day after fighting forced it to close.  At least one person has died and 12 planes have been damaged at Tripoli airport.

Yes, there are other rockets being launched.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Let's Play the Gaza Game

The first version of the Gaza Game we know from the past operations (Cast Lead; Pillar of Defense):

Israel is acting disproportionally.

Israel strikes mainly civilians, usually old women and children, and the handicapped.

Rarely do we actually hit terrorists.

Israel commits genocide, even slow-motion genocide.

Israel uses cancer-inducing weapons and DIME weapons.

And much, much more.

So, let's upgrade the game.

Let's do it, of course, virtually as we wouldn't want anyone to actually get injured or worse or any property damaged.

The rules?

We imagine what would or could be.

We think of all those rockets and projectiles that Hamas fires off.  The last three full days:

Sunday, July 13
Summary of the day:
More than 130 rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel.
At least 102 rockets struck Israel.
22 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

Saturday, July 12
Summary of the day:
More than 129 rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel.
At least 117 rockets struck Israel.
9 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
The IDF hit 120 terror targets in the Gaza Strip.

Friday, July 11
Summary of the day:
More than 140 rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel.
At least 107 rockets struck Israel.
27 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
The IDF hit 235 terror targets in the Gaza Strip.

and at this moment of posting,

Since the start of the operation,
Over 1000 rocket have been launched at Israel.
754 of those rockets hit Israel
Approximately 201 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
and we try to imagine the damage and death that could have resulted.

The children in the kindergartens and summer camps, the old-age homes, the Bedouins, the Arabs in their villages, in the synagogues, and so-forth and so-on.

And then we try to imagine, given this figure:

The IDF has targeted over 1,474 terror targets, with both naval and aerial capabilities.

and these latest figures:

162 Palestinians Killed, of Whom 137 Are Civilians, Including 34 Children and 28 Women, and 1,058 Others Wounded, Mostly Civilians, Including 332 Children and 212 Women;

and again, we imagine couldn't Israel do so much more damage, so much more destruction if Israel was truly guilty of all the claimed crimes and as evil as our enemies portray us?

And then, at game's end, we know how truly just is our cause and how truly moral our behavior.



NYTimes Prefers 'Fleeing'

The New York Times reports that Gazans from the north end of the Strip are



fleeing


but I watched CNN and BBC and I saw interviews with Arabs orderly leaving their homes and getting into taxis as per the humanitarian request of the IDF.

P.S.

At least they didn't use 'exodus'.

^