We have not forgotten Gilad Shalit

StandWithUs is circulating a petition directed to the International Committee of the Red Cross, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, aimed at putting pressure on Hamas to free Gilad Shalit. Given that those organizations are all rabidly antisemitic and anti-Israel within their own four walls, I think it’s an excellent idea to apply as much external pressure as possible.

Please take a minute to sign the petition.

Probing questions for the useful idiots aboard the Hamas Flotilla — by guest blogger Lulu

  1. Are you aware that Iran was caught smuggling weapons into Gaza?
  2. Do you think Israelis have any legitimate reason to be concerned that Hamas may try to receive weapons via boat?
  3. Did you know that Hamas activists have shot about 4000 rockets into southern Israel since Israel withdrew form Gaza?
  4. Does that trouble you?
  5. Do you think it is possible that weapons might have been aboard your ship?
  6. Here are pictures of an Israeli soldiers being beaten with metal poles, another held behind a door by armed guards, and another lying in a pool of his own blood. How do you reconcile this with the concept of peace advocacy?
  7. There has been much news made of Helen Thomas’ statement essentially stating that she believes Israel should be ethnically cleansed of Jews. Do you share that sentiment?
  8. Do you think Israel has a legitimate right to exist? What about Australia? New Zealand? Canada? The United States? Jordan? Pakistan?
  9. Is there a reason you don’t object to living in the United States when you are not a Native American?
  10. If Israelis are killed by weapons brought into Gaza because you succeed in ending the blockade would you feel morally responsible?
  11. What is your opinion of suicide bombings?
  12. As a peace activist would you be willing to advocate for the release of Gilad Shalit who has been totally denied his human rights for the past 4 years, denied any contact with the Red
  13. Cross or anyone else, and held in unknown conditions by Hamas?
  14. Would you be willing to visit Israel and hear their side of the story?
  15. Are you aware that Hamas’ charter calls for the mass murder of Israelis and Jews?
  16. How do you explain your support of this murderous regime while still claiming to be for peace?
  17. If Israel were ethnically cleansed where do you propose the Israelis should go?
  18. Where do you suggest Jews with ancestry from Arab lands that do not accept Jewish residents should go?
  19. What about those Israelis whose families have lived in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the land of Israel for thousands of years?
  20. Do you like Jews?

(Bookworm here: What do you think the odds are that any news journal will ask the useful idiots these questions?)

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Yesterday, White House officials were telling Jake Tapper that Obama would support Israel.  Any minute moments of hope I cherished that the administration actually meant what it said were swiftly dashed.  This is Obama’s version of support:

The Obama administration considers Israel’s blockade of Gaza to be untenable and plans to press for another approach to ensure Israel’s security while allowing more supplies into the impoverished Palestinian area, senior American officials said Wednesday.

The officials say that Israel’s deadly attack on a flotilla trying to break the siege and the resulting international condemnation create a new opportunity to push for increased engagement with the Palestinian Authority and a less harsh policy toward Gaza.

As is this:

President Barack Obama said Thursday that the deadly Israeli raid on an aid flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip was “tragic”, but he stopped short of condemning the actions of Israeli forces.

While Obama said the deaths of nine people were unnecessary, he said the U.S. wants to wait for “an investigation of international standards” to determine the facts. Israel, he said, should agree to such an investigation.

“They recognize that this can’t be good for Israel’s long-term security,” Obama said in an interview with CNN’s Larry King airing Thursday night.

Just so you know, even though the Obama administration seems to have misunderstood the facts on the ground, there is a good reason for the blockade:

Hezbollah in Lebanon, which shares a land border with Syria and is not under blockade, has a gigantic arsenal of rockets and missiles, more than most governments in the Middle East, and that arsenal includes missiles that can reach every single inch of Israeli territory, including Jerusalem, downtown Tel Aviv, Ben-Gurion International Airport, and the Dimona nuclear power plant. The next war between Israel and Hezbollah will likely mean missiles, artillery shells, and payloads from air strikes will explode all over the Eastern Mediterranean, making last year’s small war in Gaza look even smaller.

Hamas has a relatively tiny arsenal of crude rockets, but if the Gaza Strip were not under military blockade, it could acquire whatever weapons Syria and Iran felt like sending by ship. Gaza could bristle with as many destructive projectiles as Hezbollah has. Food and medicines are allowed into the Strip already, so the most significant difference between Gaza now and a Gaza without a blockade will be the importation of weapons and war material.

More Israelis would be likely to die during the ensuing hostilities, and an even larger number of Palestinians would be likely to die when Israel fights back harder against a better armed and more dangerous adversary.

And again, let me remind everyone (although I know Obama isn’t listening to little ol’ me), the blockade blocks weapons, not anything else.

Having now gotten a glimpse at Obama’s “support,” I have to ask:  What the Hell does life look like if you’re on Obama’s enemies list, rather than receiving his “support”?  Does he come in the night and flay you alive while robotically reciting his boring, pompous meaningless speeches?  I’m no longer pretending that Obama is inept, or misguided, or stupid, although I think he is all those things.  I’m convinced he is evil, as only a true antisemite can be.

It’s a sad day when the only person in a presidential administration making any sense and showing any signs of human decency is Joe Biden, who really stepped up and said the right thing this time:

“I think Israel has an absolute right to deal with its security interest. I put all this back on two things: one, Hamas, and, two, Israel’s need to be more generous relative to the Palestinian people who are in trouble in Gaza,” Biden said, according to a transcript of the interview, in which he went on to discuss Hamas’s control of Gaza:

“[The Israelis have] said, ‘Here you go. You’re in the Mediterranean. This ship–if you divert slightly north you can unload it and we’ll get the stuff into Gaza.’ So what’s the big deal here? What’s the big deal of insisting it go straight to Gaza? Well, it’s legitimate for Israel to say, ‘I don’t know what’s on that ship. These guys are dropping eight–3,000 rockets on my people,’ ” Biden said.

Kudos to Biden.  He’s not right often, but when he’s right, he lands it square in the middle of the target.

To clear your brain from the miasma that is Obama-think, please read Michael Oren’s op-ed, which the New York Times at least had the decency to publish.

Dead men talking *UPDATED*

These men aren’t dead yet, but they will be if they’re ever released back to Hamas’ TLC.  The men of whom I speak are Gazans whom Israel captured during the recent Gaza incursion, and who have spilled the beans about Hamas’ myriad war crimes and financial defalcations — all of which consistently starve, murder, and make targets of the Palestinian people:

Nuaf Atar spoke about the use of Gazan schools to shoot rockets at Israel. Zabhi Atar revealed that Hamas used food coupons to entice Palestinians to join its ranks and Hamad Zalah said Hamas took control of UNRWA food supplies transferred to Gaza and refused to distribute them to people affiliated with Fatah.

These are three examples of testimony from Hamas and Islamic Jihad men who were captured by the IDF during Operation Cast Lead. Details of their interrogations have been released for publication by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).

[snip]

Nuaf Atar, 25, lives in Atatra, in the northwest Gaza Strip, and was captured by paratroopers on January 11. In his interrogation by the Shin Bet, Atar said Hamas government officials “took over” humanitarian aid Israel allowed in to the Strip and sold it, when it is supposed to be distributed for free.

Hamas set up rocket launchers and fired rockets into Israel from within school compounds since the operatives knew that the Israel Air Force would not bomb the schools, he said.

Palestinians who opposed Hamas’s use of their land and homes as launch pads were shot in the legs, Atar added.

[snip]

Hamad Zalah, 29, is also a resident of Jabalya and was captured by the IDF on January 12. During his interrogation, he revealed that together with his brother, he was tortured by Hamas at a headquarters in Jabalya for his affiliation with Fatah and his intention to light a memorial candle for Yasser Arafat.

He said that he was whipped and beaten with electrical cords. In 2007, Hamas operatives shot and killed his brother, who was a security guard at the home of a Palestinian Authority official in Gaza.

Since June 2007, when Hamas took over Gaza, the terror group, Zalah said, also took control of all humanitarian aid sent into the Strip and refused to distribute it to Palestinians affiliated with Fatah.

You can read the rest of this illuminating inside look into Hamas rule here.  Then, if you’re truly disgusted, you’ll probably get some savage joy out of watching this video (h/t American Thinker):

UPDATE:  For those of you who arrived to late to see this video, the only possible violation could have been that it offended Muslim sensibilities.  It should a Hamas man firing a mortar at 6 second intervals, with every firing preceded by an off-camera man crying “Allah Akbar.”  At about the 7th round, something happened, and fireball fills the screen, at which point the video cuts off.  No blood; just a martyr on his way to meet the virgins.

AP serves as Hamas propaganda arm — again

Here’s a sickening AP story blaming Israel for the “trauma” inflicted on Gazan children.  The story’s only acknowledgment that Hamas itself placed the children in the line of fire is the following paragraph, one that is carefully crafted to make it seem as if it was Israel’s fault that the poor Hamas fighters had to crowd into those child-infested residential areas:

Facing the Israeli invasion, Hamas gunmen often operated from densely populated Gaza neighborhoods, drawing massive Israeli fire that killed and wounded large numbers of civilians, along with fighters. Tens of thousands fled their homes, seeking shelter in U.N. schools.

Even worse, the whole article fails even to mention that Hamas has been raining rockets on Israel for years, with schools as its favorite target, or that it is Hamas that has created a perpetual war culture that puts its children at risk.

The story is a gross piece of propaganda that is entirely consistent with AP’s manifest bias.  And I say all this with due sympathy for the poor children who are victimized, not by Israel — a nation that called in its attacks in advance to give the children time to escape — but by their own countrymen, who gleefully use them as intentional targets precisely so that they can garner this kind of maudlin, dishonest (but sadly far-reaching) press coverage.

Food for thought while I don’t blog

I’ve had some family management issues taking up my time today (all is good, but, boy, was the management time-consuming), but my faithful friends send me wonderful, thought-provoking things that I can pass along to you.  Here’s a good video trying to help Americans understand what Israelis have suffered for the last ten years — without even touching upon the fact that, over ten years, Israelis have experienced an ever increasing barrage, with rockets of steadily greater range:

Land of the stupid

I can guarantee you that Mr. Jim Bramell, a Mill Valley resident spouting this kind of belly-gazing crap, was not on the streets protesting at any time during the last several years as Hamas fired thousands of missiles into Israel, destroying myriad little castles (for footage of some of those destroyed little Israeli castles, many of which were intentionally targeted schools, check out this post):

“Everybody has a right to a home,” Bramell said. “My home is my castle and the Palestinians’ home is their castle.”

These people turn my stomach, they really do.  Their little brains are bounded by a willful lack of information, compounded by a complete absence either of morality or coherent thinking.

UPDATE:  Typos fixed.  Rage, phone calls, and laundry all put me into incoherent territory.

This is why Hastings is a second rate law school *UPDATED*

I’m sorry, but when a law professor writes this kind of prima facie garbage, you have to wonder about an administration that keeps him on board.  Without even delving into actual facts, let me just fisk the relevant parts of Bisharat’s article regarding Israel and war crimes to reveal logical inconsistencies and outright gibberish:

Israel’s current assault on the Gaza Strip cannot be justified by self-defense. Rather, it involves serious violations of international law, including war crimes. Senior Israeli political and military leaders may bear personal liability for their offenses, and they could be prosecuted by an international tribunal, or by nations practicing universal jurisdiction over grave international crimes.  Hamas fighters have also violated the laws of warfare, but their misdeeds do not justify Israel’s acts.  [This is Bisharat's premise.  Let's see if he can support it.]

The United Nations charter preserved the customary right of a state to retaliate against an “armed attack” from another state. The right has evolved to cover nonstate actors operating beyond the borders of the state claiming self-defense, and arguably would apply to Hamas. However, an armed attack involves serious violations of the peace. Minor border skirmishes are common, and if all were considered armed attacks, states could easily exploit them — as surrounding facts are often murky and unverifiable — to launch wars of aggression. [Classic lawyer's trick:  use a wimpy term to define your own parameters.  We're just looking at a "border skirmish here" -- which ignores the Hamas charter calling for Israel's total destruction.  In other words, on Hamas' side at least, this is not a mere border skirmish over a few acres of land.] That is exactly what Israel seems to be currently attempting.

Israel had not suffered an “armed attack” immediately prior to its bombardment of the Gaza Strip. [Another lawyer's trick, akin to "it depends what is" means.  What does he mean by immediately?  Within the five minutes before Israel's attack perhaps.  Can outside of that five minute margin and you discover that Hamas had unilaterally absolved itself of the ceasefire and increased the number of missiles going into Israel, this time adding in long-range missiles, probably from Iran.]  Since firing the first Kassam rocket into Israel in 2002, Hamas and other Palestinian groups have loosed thousands of rockets and mortar shells into Israel, causing about two dozen Israeli deaths and widespread fear. As indiscriminate attacks on civilians, these were war crimes. During roughly the same period, Israeli forces killed about 2,700 Palestinians in Gaza by targeted killings, aerial bombings, in raids, etc., according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.  [I think he's saying that it's unfair that Israel was a more effective fighter.  Please note that even Bisharat doesn't have the chutzpah to pretend that Israel copied Hamas' tactic of indiscriminately targeting civilians.]

But on June 19, 2008, Hamas and Israel commenced a six-month truce. Neither side complied perfectly. Israel refused to substantially ease the suffocating siege of Gaza imposed in June 2007. Hamas permitted sporadic rocket fire — typically after Israel killed or seized Hamas members in the West Bank, where the truce did not apply. Either one or no Israelis were killed (reports differ) by rockets in the half year leading up to the current attack.  [Did you catch all the double-talk?  Behind the babble lies the fact that, while Israel never violated the truce, simply keeping her borders intact, and fired on territories in which there was no truce, Hamas used Israel's incursions into territory that had no truce to justify firing into Israel -- which, if you didn't catch it, broke the truce.  In other words, behind all the double-talk in the paragraph, you discover that only Hamas broke the truce.]

Israel then broke the truce on Nov. 4, raiding the Gaza Strip and killing a Palestinian. Hamas retaliated with rocket fire; Israel then killed five more Palestinians. In the following days, Hamas continued rocket fire — yet still no Israelis died. Israel cannot claim self-defense against this escalation, because it was provoked by Israel’s own violation.  [Now we're going to phase two of the double-talk.  We've established that Israel never broke the truce.  Hamas retaliated on behalf of attacks against people who were not parties to the truce, effectively breaking the truce.  But in Bisharat's view, which Israel retaliated against Hamas, which had already broken the truce, it was Israel that broke the truce.  Worse, Israel actually functioned efficiently, unlike Hamas which, despite firing thousands of missiles into Israel, aimed at schools and civilian communities, was unable to murder as many civilians as it intentionally targeted.]

An armed attack that is not justified by self-defense is a war of aggression. [So, the fact that Gaza broke the truce, and fired rockets at civilians nevertheless does not trigger Israel's war of self-defense.  That's true, only in Bisharat's skewed view where, factually, Israel does nothing to break the truce while Hamas does everything to break the truce, but theoretically, Hamas is morally incapable of breaking the truce, whereas anything Israel does breaks the truth.] Under the Nuremberg Principles affirmed by U.N. Resolution 95, aggression is a crime against peace.

Israel has also failed to adequately discriminate between military and nonmilitary targets. Israel’s American-made F-16s and Apache helicopters have destroyed mosques, the education and justice ministries, a university, prisons, courts and police stations. [Bisharat lives in an alternate universe where there isn't video footage confirming, over and over again, that Hamas has been using its mosques, ministries, schools, prisons, etc., to house weapons and fighters, to cover up weapons smuggling tunnels, and to serve as launching pads for morters and rockets.  In other words, these aren't mosques, ministries, schools, prisons, etc., at all, they're fortresses and, as such, legitimate targets.  They're the building equivalents of spies, and deserve to be shot on sight for being out of uniform] These institutions were part of Gaza’s civilian infrastructure. And when nonmilitary institutions are targeted, civilians die. Many killed in the last week were young police recruits with no military roles. Civilian employees in the Hamas-led government deserve the protections of international law like all others. Hamas’s ideology — which employees may or may not share — is abhorrent, but civilized nations do not kill people merely for what they think.  [No, they kill them for what they do.  And Hamas bends all its efforts to killing Israeli civilians and then using its own civilians, especially its children, as a defensive barrier.  It's worth pointing out here that Bisharat makes no mention of the fact that Israel provides three hours of warning in advance of any attacks structures that might house civilians.  In other words, it's not attacking civilians, but Hamas is making sure to place its own citizens in buildings it knows will be targets.]

From this point own, everything Bisharat says is legal garbage, because it’s premised on a skewed factual view that excuses Hamas from thousands of missile strikes and that criminalizes Israel for firing on civilians that Hamas intentionally put into harm’s way.

Incidentally, would it surprise you to learn that Bisharat is not only a shoddy thinker, but also one of the myriad UC professors who is radically anti-Israel?  It should disturb you, as it disturbs me, that he has a law school full of students into whom he can pour this illogical, unfair, self-serving, double standard crap.

UPDATEDAn intelligent counterpoint.

A Swiftian view of the death of Palestinian children

Hamas has been making much of its dead children.  It had a field day with photos of those children who died when the IDF shot shells into a “UN school.”  Most of the world (including, of course, a credulous and/or complicit media) managed to ignore the fact that it’s bizarre that, in the midst of war, people would congregate their children in one place; to ignore the fact that shots were fired from the school grounds; and to ignore the fact that the place was booby trapped internally so that it blew up, killing the occupants.  For all of them, in their wrath, it is enough that the Palestinian children are dead.

Likewise, Hamas has had a field day with the mysterious CNN footage of a child dying in a hospital.  Again, the usual crowd has ignored the fact that this footage shows, in the role of doctor, a rabid Marxist known for loathing Israel; to ignore the fact that the child was manifestly the victim of on-camera malpractice; and, of course, to ignore the fact that the camera-man is a well known computer guru for Hamas.  That’s all irrelevant.  What’s relevant is that it is, yes, another dead Palestinian child.

To all those who are so upset, I say to you:  You’ve got it wrong.  Rather than castigating the Israelis and demanding their deaths, you should be celebrating and thanking them.  Why?  Because the Israelis have enabled these children to achieve their cultural destinies.  From the time of their birth (indeed, for generations before their birth), these little Arab children have been taught that their highest purpose is to die for Palestine.  (Don’t believe me?  Check out this and this and this and this and . . . you get the picture.)

If Israel hadn’t gone into Gaza as it did, and targeted the myriad Hamas armaments around which the children were clustered; fired missiles into booby trapped schools; or warned Palestinians in advance about which buildings were targets, so Hamas could hustle the children into the building, those children would have been denied the fulfillment of their dreams.

If you’re confused about how meritorious Israel has been in ensuring that Palestinian children achieve the career success for which they’ve been groomed, think of it this way:  We all know that Prince Charles of England has been raised for one job and one job alone:  to be King.  Wouldn’t it be the ultimate tragedy if something interceded to destroy the one job he’s fitted for, making the whole of his life effectively useless and irrelevant?  So too have the children of Hamas been raised to die for Hamas.  How banal their existence would be if the Israelis foolishly sat back and let Israeli children steal that Palestinian destiny by dying in their stead, the victims of repeated Hamas attacks, instead of the other (and appropriate) way around.

So to all you silly people around the world decrying the fact that Palestinian children are dying (and, funnily enough, I don’t remember hearing a peep out of any of you when Israeli children were the target of 6,000 or so missile strikes), give it up.  You’ve got it wrong.  You should be celebrating the fact that, thanks to yet another act of Israeli benevolence (with other examples being Israel’s decision to ship food and health supplies into Gaza, even as Egypt and Jordan refuse to do so), Palestinian children are finally getting the chance to achieve career goal and are enjoying the martrydom they crave.

________________________________________

For those of you who wonder whether I serious when I wrote the above little essay, I admit to being quite serious — up to a point.  Certainly a six year old has no idea what being killed really means (although many of these children have seen death up close).  Sadly, though, children don’t choose the society into which they are born, and these poor souls had the profound misfortune to be born into a society that sees them, not as the future, but as the weapons as the present.  Even more sadly, their society recognizes that they are useful weapons whether dead or alive.  In that paradigm, the international community doesn’t help the situation at all by allowing this same sick society to perpetuate itself generation after generation.  Instead, in the face of this type of evil, the kind thing is to reduce break that society entirely, allowing room for a new culture to grow in its place.

And if you doubt me, try to imagine whether Naziism would have gone away if the Allies had not so decisively defeated it.  If the Allies had kept backing off when the fighting got just too icky for them to feel comfortable, they would have done nothing more than prune the Nazi leadership, always leaving room for new, and stronger, shoots to grow in place of the dead.  That’s what Israel has done to the Palestinians.  Rather than destroying a poisonous plant, Israel has repeatedly allowed the roots to survive, enabling the plant to sprout again and destroy yet another generation.

The tremendous evil that is Palestinian culture — a culture that values its children more dead than alive –  will not stop until the roots are dead.  In the case of the Palestinians, “dead roots” will be the moment when the citizens of that benighted land realize that a culture that trains its children to embrace death, and that has a leadership that intentionally kills its children as part of its weaponry, is a dead end and MUST STOP.

All of which means that, while I recognize the tragedy that is a child’s death (how could I not, with children of my own?), I also realize that this Palestinian cultural madness has to be stopped, definitively, or many more children will die in the ensuing years.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News