Wednesday afternoon round-up — the Israel edition

Israeli flagI have so many stories on Israel lined up that I’m dedicating this entire open thread to Israel issues. Here goes:

** 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.

David Lapin

** 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 **

Hamas new missile defense system

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  • lee

    A”lone soldier” is anyone serving who has no family in Israel. Most are Olim, who made aliyah and are young enough to be drafted. It’s not that they go to Israel to specifically serve in the army, like some sort of French Foreign Legion or mercenaries.

    I’ve known several “lone soldiers.” People in Israel are always very kind and generous to them. Thirty five years ago, there was a program by which families would “adopt” lone soldiers, especially ones who weren’t part of a garin (“seed,” a group of people making aliyah and establishing a moshav together)–so they had somewhere to go on leave, for holidays, etc. I imagine that program still exists.

    • raymondjelli

      Yes it definitely is. It is a very big part of the military. No one should be left alone in a barrack. when others have friends and families.


    #18, #19, #20 Timeline:

    Kerry Nov. 2013

    “Failure of the talks will increase Israel’s isolation in the world,” Kerry said. “The alternative to getting back to the talks is a potential of chaos. I mean, does Israel want a third intifada?”

    Jan. 2014

    The United States intends to achieve a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) by the end of 2014, American Jewish leaders who were briefed by envoy Martin Indyk said on Thursday.

    February 2014

    Speaking at a security council in Munchen, Germany: John Kerry on Saturday threatened Israel that a failure in the peace talks would lead to global boycotts and delegitimization of the Jewish state.

  • Ymarsakar

    Imagine Bush II’s administration working with American patriots during Iraq conflict. But, at the time, the Left was still sabotaging American military resources and killing Americans. But we all thought we were united, the rest of us. That was a false concept. Which led irrevocably to the Left deploying their strategic assets in their Ascension in the US.

    They had stockpiled those assets, undefeated and unmolested, for decades. Decades in which Americans sucked off the teat of the US Golden Age and thought it would last forever.

  • JKB

    I read this today about some modding Israel has done to some of their older tanks. I’m not up on artillery but apparently it is a game changer.

    Also, from the video, we can see if Hamas wasn’t hiding their missiles beneath cribs, they wouldn’t have any missiles anymore with these rockets able to pinpoint their target.

  • JKB

    I also recommend that we do a bit of internet rabble-rousing to the extent that now that Hamas is targeting international air travel, it is the duty of the US and all nations to enforce the arms blockade on Gaza and ensure all shipments transship through Israeli ports.

    • SADIE

      I’d make Gaza accountable for every bucket of future cement.

  • JKB

    Have people seen this over at American Thinker, an essay giving the 10 reasons a woman stopped being a leftist

    I won’t claim to hold the Left in good opinion but, whatever I think, by her experience, they are much much worse.

    Interesting insight into her time in the Peace Corps.

  • Mike Devx

    Book, you said,
    > in addition to rewarding an attack on a civilian airport he [Obama] is demanding a cease-fire just as Israel begins to get some momentum.

    Honestly, Does anyone, anywhere, give a steaming pile of stinking crap what Obama is “demanding”?

    Does anyone, anywhere, take an “Obama Demand” seriously, even for a split second? Obama’s demands, every one of them, are nothing but pathetic jokes.

    I am so sick of his hatred of Israel that I would howl with derision into his face, President of The USA or not. I’ve had it. He can go to hell and pound sand where the sun doesn’t shine.

    • Ymarsakar

      They have to pay attention, When Iraq refused to pay attention, Hussein spent 500 million training ISIL’s fighters. That’s not something that can be ignored.

      The United States, the Last, Best Hope for Evil.

  • Ymarsakar

    Israel is not unique in seeking to preserve human life. All nations and cultures that valued individual warrior attributes and liberty, preferred not to waste their most precious resources due to some tyrant’s fetishes.

    Any commander of warriors and soldiers in war, should love his subordinates as family, yet send them to their death he shall, as duty demands. Even if Israel has the Will and the power to purge the Palestinian territories of evil, that will not come without cost. Allied friendlies and subordinates will die. That is why it isn’t easy. And that is why it must be done, for the easy road does not rest liberty or individual warrior virtue. The easy road is kicking the can down the road so somebody else’s children have to die for the cause.

    Iraq didn’t break Bush II or the Will of the US Military. The Left and Iraq together, broke the Will of Americans, however.

  • raymondjelli

    It is an interesting moral question. When is being moral not being moral. Is Israel simply playing up to a pretend media version of reality and actually increasing the misery to its own people and ironically the people in the enemy camp they are trying to be humane to.

    By extending the war, by giving Hamas a victory and by showing that human shields do work they are giving the enemy time to find collaborators, to make the costs of conducting warfare higher than they would otherwise be and to give time for Jihadists from other regions to join the fray. The USA found the same thing in Iraq but learned from it. The surge was about killing the hard line Islamicists quickly and completely.

  • Ymarsakar

    Even the Palestinians run out of human shields. That’s why they needed those ceasefires in Intifada 1 and 2. Israel agreed.

    It’s an interesting way to prolong the war. But the funny thing is, both sides think they are doing what it takes to “win”, whatever that means these days.