** 1 **
The mainstream media is catching on to the fact that one of the things that’s different about this war is that Israel, instead of the usual approach to war — having tight-lipped military spokesman make inscrutable pronouncements on behalf of the IDF, even as Hamas hogs the air with carefully staged dead bodies and well-coached wailing women — is finally using social media to drive its point home. (Apologies if there’s a pay wall in the way of that article.) The war will not be won on social media; it must be won on the ground. As Israel knows to her cost, though, she can lose the war if she does not garner sufficient world support.
** 2 **
Another thing that the media — in this case, the BBC — is realizing is different about this war is that Israel is united behind it. There’s no left-wing or right-wing. By striking at Israel’s heart, Hamas managed to bring all Israelis together in a common goal, namely destroying Hamas.
** 3 **
If videos are anything to go by, Israel’s young men, the ones who are marching into the booby-trapped rabbit warren of Hamas, are both embracing life and embracing the cause they fight. May God walk with each one of them:
I am reminded of Joshua and the Israelites outside the walls of Jericho.
** 4 **
Before this war, I’d never head the phrase “lone soldier,” although the concept is not new to me. A lone soldier is a person who does not live in Israel, but who travels to Israel to volunteer in her military as she fights for survival. Indeed, I knew an American who, in 1973, traveled to Israel and ended up being in one of the first tanks in the Golan. Nice guy and a very decent human being.
Currently almost 2,000 lone soldiers are serving in the IDF.
The fact that they are not Israelis has not kept these lone soldiers out of the fight. The grandson of Rite Aid’s founder was wounded, although thankfully this brave young man, who walked away from extraordinary riches into great danger, will recover. Sadly, neither Los Angeles native Max Steinberg, 24, and Texan Sean Carmeli, 21, will ever return home.
To die far away from home is a terrible thing, especially for the family and other loved ones left behind. The Israelis, fully cognizant of this tragedy, as well as grateful for the gift of people who donate their bravery, skills, energy, and heart to Israel, have hastened to repay the favor that Steinberg and Carmeli did for them:
With no family members nearby, there were concerns that the lone soldiers’ funerals wouldn’t be well attended, according to the Times of Israel. But 20,000 Israelis came to Carmeli’s funeral on Monday, and 30,000 attended Steinberg’s funeral Wednesday.
Breitbart notes that the large attendance is especially remarkable considering that the constant threat of rocket attacks on Israel makes traveling and gathering in large crowds very risky.
There is something about dying with honor that is just incredibly heart-wrenching. I’m leaking tears all over my keyboard here.
** 5 **
Hamas’s ability to penetrate Iron Dome and land a missile near Lod Airport is a terrible thing. Aside from being a war crime to target a civilian airport, it gave Obama an opportunity, more than two weeks after missiles flew into Israel non-stop, to deal Israel a telling blow: cutting off air-travel to a small nation surrounded by hostile countries.
Nevertheless, John Podhoretz says that, while this was a signal success for Hamas, there are pitfalls for it too:
Yet, while the action might have worked tactically, the targeting of Ben Gurion Airport may prove a strategic calamity for Hamas.
The fact that it was preceded by the shootdown of Flight 17 may have enhanced the terror effect inside Israel, but it also suggests a danger the international community (even the large part of it deeply hostile to Israel’s existence) must reckon with.
If Hamas is rewarded now (with a cease-fire on terms acceptable to it) for having threatened air traffic, the terrorist playbook around the world will have a new and terrifyingly low-cost go-to entry.
** 6 **
I haven’t been nice about Mayor Michael Bloomberg when it comes to soda and guns. I still disagree with him on those things, but he’s earned great admiration from me for ignoring Obama’s and Kerry’s boycott of Lod Airport and for publicly, and boldly, flying there.
** 7 **
Of course, the cost to the whole world of caving to Hamas now won’t deter Obama. Obama’s goal, his primary, overarching goal, is to end the fighting to Israel’s disadvantage. So in addition to rewarding an attack on a civilian airport he is demanding a cease-fire just as Israel begins to get some momentum.
** 8 **
The attack on Lod also ends all pretense of a two-state solution, says Alan Dershowitz (a DemProg who is a wonderful lion in Israel’s defense):
Hamas’ actions in essentially closing down international air traffic into Israel, considerably reduces the prospect of any two-state solution. Israel will now be more reluctant than ever to give up military control over the West Bank, which is even closer to Ben Gurion Airport than is Gaza.
Were Israel to end its military occupation of the West Bank—as distinguished from its civilian settlements deep in the West Bank—it would risk the possibility of a Hamas takeover. That is precisely what happened when Israel removed both its civilian settlements and its military presence in Gaza. Hamas took control, fired thousands of rockets at Israeli civilian targets and have now succeeded in stopping international air traffic into and out of Israel.
** 9 **
While the Germans have been watching the far Right, they ought to have been watching the far Left. That’s because the far Left has joined forces with German Muslims to demand that Jews be gassed. I’d like to think that ordinary Germans, who have been taught for decades that gassing Jews is a bad thing, will not let this go unaddressed.
** 10 **
Compare and contrast: Even as Hamas bombs her cities, tunnels under her homes, and kills her troops, Israel sends Hamas aid in the form of medicines and foods for civilians (or, as Hamas calls them, “future dead bodies for photo ops”). Meanwhile, even as Hamas bombs Israel’s cities, tunnels under her homes, and kills her troops, Barack Obama sends billions of dollars in hard cash to Hamas’s corrupt leadership.
** 11 **
In 2011, Hamas terrorists entered the Fogel home in Israel and murdered a family of five — mother father, an 11-year-old, a 4-year-old, and a 3-month-old. Just to to make very sure their message was clear, the terrorists decapitated the baby.
Hamas has now published photographs of the Fogel family massacre and claimed that they are recent pictures showing an Israeli massacre against a Gaza family. (Be aware that the image is graphic and deeply disturbing.) This is, quite possibly, the most revolting act of propaganda Hamas has ever committed.
** 12 **
David Goldman argues (correctly) that if Israel doesn’t finish the job now against Hamas, things will only get worse. Iron Dome will not be able to protect Lod Airport, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv once Hamas gets precision guided missiles.
The stars are also aligned now: The other Arab and Muslim nations are making no effort to back Hamas. You’ve no doubt noticed that the anti-Israel rallies have been in Paris, London, Germany, and Boston, not Egypt or Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.
Moreover, the Israeli population finally seems to have accepted that, if your enemy says “Kill my child or I’ll kill two or three or all of your children,” then you kill your enemy’s child. There is nothing else one can do. Indeed, I would argue that destroying an enemy that uses its own children as cannon fodder is the kindest thing you can do for those children in the long run.
** 13 **
Israel never forgets, though, how high the cost is to fight a soul-less enemy. In a small country that values each individual life (as opposed to seeing people as submissive, amorphous blob to be used as the tyrants in power wish), every death is personal. Every person is a father, uncle, son, brother, boyfriend, and friend.
** 14 **
I don’t know if it’s possible for my hatred for the UN to increase. Is there a ceiling on deep, wide, fervent hatred for an utterly corrupt organization that, although funded primarily by America, in fact serves as an outlet for every tin-pot anti-Semitic, anti-American regime in the world? Is there a limit on contempt, disdain, and disgust for a multi-tentacled behemoth that abuses children all over the world, including Palestinian children, into whose schools the UN places weapons that are not only dangerous in and of themselves, but that also make the schools a military target? No, really, I don’t think there is a limit.
Next question: Will the U.S. finally, finally step in and use its economic heft against the UN? Sadly, if it hasn’t so far, I doubt it will now. So much for “he who pays the piper calls the tune.”
** 15 **
I believe that, to the extent Palestinian citizens voted for and support Hamas, knowing that its primary tactics are (a) to hide weapons amongst civilians, especially children, and (b) to then use the resultant dead civilians as a propaganda weapon, are themselves combatants. However, not everyone voted for Hamas, and many who voted may regret their vote. Even inside the Palestinian territories there are people who support Israel.
Those freedom-loving Arabs who live in Israel are fortunate in that they don’t have to hide their sympathies. Still, it’s dangerous to be an Israel-loving Arab in any part of the world, so I can only applaud the 17-year-old Israeli Arab who speaks out so bravely in Israel’s defense.
** 16 **
Howard Stern loses his temper with an anti-Israel caller and unloads about the difference between Israel and the Palestinians. (It’s Howard Stern, so language alert.)
** 17 **