The first casualty of war is truth, especially when the war is in the Middle East

The first casualty of war is truth . . . and truth is never more at risk than in a war against an Islamo-Leftist enemy.  Since the Israeli offensive began, social media and major news and television sites have been overrun with faked images purporting to show Israeli soldiers caught in the act of brutalizing children or simply showing dead children.

For decades, Israel never took this disinformation war seriously, only to wonder in the war’s aftermath why she had won the actual battles, but continued to lose ground in the war of public opinion.  This year is different.  For the first time that I can remember, the Israeli Defense Forces are taking the disinformation war as seriously as the war itself.  From the first air raid, they explained why they were doing what they were doing, used video footage to show how surgically precise their air raids are and, most importantly, didn’t apologize.  If you act craven, people will assume you’re craven.  This time around, Israel has been behaving as a righteous combatant.

What Israel is also doing is acting aggressively to stem the swift flow of disinformation.  A good example is the IDF’s own website, which debunks a photo purporting to show an Israeli soldier with his foot on a tragic little girl’s stomach and an automatic weapon aimed at her body.  In fact, the whole thing is just as staged as it looks.  It comes from a rally in Bahrain.  The people in the image are actors in the peculiar passion play of the Islamic world, one that has the true child killers attempting to project their own vile practices on the Israelis who work so hard to avoid civilian deaths.

Here’s the heartrending “innocent child” photo:

Pull the camera out a little, and you see that this is nothing but play-acting, with Muslims in both major and minor roles:

Even Leftist water-carrier Richard Cohen is beginning to figure this one out:

Of all the points of disagreement between Israel and Hamas, maybe the most profound is this one: Israel cares more about sparing innocent lives — including those of Palestinians — than does Hamas. Not only have Hamas and other militant groups this year sent more than 700 rockets crashing haphazardly into southern Israel, but also Hamas instigated yet another war where the chief loser will certainly be its own people. If hell has a beach, it’s located in Gaza.

The Gaza Strip is a congested, fetid place. It is densely populated and in the slums and housing blocks, Hamas has hidden its weapons, explosives and rocket launchers. Israel has gone out of its way to avoid civilian casualties. Its air force has used new, highly accurate ammunition aiming for rocket-launching sites and government installations. For the most part, it has succeeded.

For Hamas, civilian casualties are an asset.

Let’s see, though, if Cohen can convince his own employer — the Washington Post — to stop lavishing it’s paper and cyber pages with lovingly delineated photos (many faked) of dead Palestinian children.  Somehow I doubt it.  The narrative is in place, and the MSM is running with it.

I’m posting these debunkings my real-me Facebook page, where 90% of my Facebook friends, culled from my years as a student, lawyer, and parent, are liberal.  I don’t include nasty comments with the post, because there’s no mileage in calling my friends blind or stupid.  Instead, I preface them with the well-known statement that the first casualty of war is truth.  I trust them to be smart enough to draw their own conclusions, I hope that they are honest enough to make the effort.

In the jargon of good and evil

I have recently had some interesting discussions with Liberal friends that got me to mulling a fundamental question of good versus evil. My thoughts on this did not crystallize until a recent [insert superlative, here] “French conversation” dinner with Book and Charles Martel that kept lapping up to the fringes of my swirling thoughts on this question. Here is what happened:

At my church recently (one wherein my parish spans the full political spectrum), I was voicing my opinion to some friends that, of all the people in the world deserving of my sympathies, “the Palestinians are probably last in line”. A woman burst out furiously from the church pantry and scolded me for not knowing anything about what I was talking about, that the Palestinians were oppressed victims of Israeli perfidy. A short conversation with her was enough to demonstrate that she really didn’t know anything about the Palestinian-Israeli situation other than typical Leftwing propaganda. She and others in the conversation, for example, did not know that Israel’s war of independence occurred in 1948, that there was no “Palestine” before 1948, that virtually all Jews were ethnically cleansed from Arab countries upon Israel’s creation, that more Palestinians have been killed by other Arab states than by Israel, that 20% of Israel’s citizens are Muslim, enjoying full political, economic and religious rights and serve in the military and government (the only Middle Eastern country that recognizes such minority rights, btw), etc. However, what shocked me was how incapable these good women were of seeing the evils represented and committed by the Palestinians. In their view, each act of violence and mayhem committed by the Palestinians and Arabs …against each other as much as against Israelis, was excusable as expressions of victimhood. Since then, I have noticed much of this same dynamic at work in many issues embraced by the Left.

Have Liberals (including religious Liberals) lost their capacity to distinguish between Good and Evil? If so, then we truly are living in a time of Biblical prophesy. What say you?

Mosab Hassan Yousef — a portrait of moral clarity and raw courage

Yesterday, I wrote about those rare individuals who can rise above fear in a terrorist state to become part of the solution, rather than a mere victim of the problem.  With perfect timing, a friend sent me an article from the Times of Israel, about Mosab Hasson Yousef, a young man of unusual moral clarity and admirable courage:

Mosab Hassan Yousef has a knack for controversy. The son of Hamas founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef, he has already broken every taboo in the Palestinian book. He has worked for Israeli intelligence and converted to Christianity. Now he is developing a new film which is sure to be no less sensational: a biography of the life of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam.

Yousef, 33, broke ranks with Hamas in 1997 and began working for the Israeli internal intelligence service Shin Bet. Ten years later, after helping Israel thwart dozens of terror attacks and arrest many members of his former movement, Yousef left for the United States where he sought political asylum and later converted to Christianity.

Today, he says, he is back in Israel for the first time on a personal visit “to inspire a new generation of Palestinians.”

“I love Israel because I love democracy,” he told journalists in Jerusalem Tuesday. “I am here to protest religion’s absolute control of people’s lives.”

Please read the whole article.  It’s very inspiring.

New York Times celebrates a pro-Palestinian propaganda piece

When the Left talks about “the children,” they only mean certain children.  For example, the useful idiots working at the New York Times have never waxed lyrical about the Israeli children killed in pizza parlors, in their homes, or at bus stops.  They’ve never expressed concern about the thousands of missiles that periodically rain down upon Israel with ferocious regularity, nor about the fact that Jewish children are one of the Muslim terrorists’ prime targets.  They don’t even weep tears for the Palestinian children whom the terrorists use for shields or train to become human bombs.

However, woe betide the Jews if those same Palestinian children — the ones the terrorists use as shields — actually die.  Then the propaganda machine goes into action, the movies get made, and the New York Times movie reviewers get to show both their poetic souls and their Leftist chops (emphasis mine):

A brutally uncompromising blast of outrage, Vibeke Lokkeberg’s “Tears of Gaza” is less a documentary than a collage of suffering. Dropping us smack in the middle of the Israeli attacks on Gaza in the winter of 2008-9, the film tramples politics beneath the raw weight of civilian testimony. Woven together, these monologues of bereavement and confusion, illustrated with images so terrible they repel rational explanation, form a tapestry of human misery that’s impossible to shake off.

Using extraordinary footage shot by several Palestinian photographers, Ms. Lokkeberg (a Norwegian who was refused access to Gaza) spotlights the extreme deprivation of life under a blockade and the physical and psychological wounds of war. A sickeningly beautiful rain of nighttime missiles is followed by wrenching shots of suffocated infants being hauled from pulverized homes. Tiny, broken bodies — some seemingly fired on at point-blank range — blanket the film, often in excruciating close-up. Postcarnage interviews allow the stunned reactions of three surviving children to shape a quiet meditation on lives irretrievably altered.

Unwaveringly committed to a method that spits on context, “Tears of Gaza” forces us to ask a single, electric question: Amid this much horror, does context even matter?

And it’s that last question that tells you everything you need to know.  Context matters tremendously.  There are wars fought to subjugate people and wars fought to free people.  There are wars fought for principles and wars fought for wealth.  There are wars to impose cruelty and wars to destroy cruelty.  For example, contrary to Michael Moore’s stupid belief, Islamists are not “freedom fighters” for Islam.  They have no interest in freedom.  They cannot be analogized to Americans during the Revolutionary War, because the Americans were fighting to increase individual liberties, rather than to subjugate people to a tyrannical ideology.

When a New York Times review waxes lyrical about suffering children and then asks “does context even matter,” you know that this lyricism is being bent to the defense of an evil cause.

That’s all.

The truth about Palestinian refugees

Another powerful Danny Ayalon video.  Watch it, then, please, please, please share it with people.

(Or view it here if it doesn’t load on my webpage.)

Incidentally, will it make you feel better to know that Danny Ayalon, reciting just the facts set forth in the above video, is causing some embarrassment for the UN, which is incapable of addressing the charges?  It certainly made me feel better.

Question:  I just wanted to ask a question about comments that were made by Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Daniel Ayalon, before the Human Rights High Commissioner for Refugees’ ministerial event in Geneva last week.  He basically said that the cause of the Palestinian refugee issue was not so much the dispossession of the majority of Palestinians from their homeland by Jewish militias during the 1948 war and refusal of Israel to enable their right to return under resolution 194.  He said rather that it was the establishment of UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East] which has perpetuated the refugee status by applying unique criteria to it.  And I just wonder whether either the Secretary-General or UNRWA has made any response to this statement.

Associate Spokesperson:  No.  We don’t go into the lengthy history of how the refugee crisis started.  As you know, the historians may have differing interpretations of what brought on the refugee crisis.  UNRWA, it should be stressed, was established in response to the refugee crisis.  And, as you know, the presence of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency throughout the region is designed to deal with the number, the very large number of Palestinian refugees throughout the region.  If the situation can be resolved and the situation of the Palestinian refugees can be addressed fairly, then UNRWA’s work will have been done, but at this stage, we are not there.  It has a lot of work in a lot of countries with, as you know, tens of thousands of people.

Question:  Excuse me, is there no response to the statement by [Deputy] Foreign Minister Ayalon that UNRWA is perpetuating the status of the refugees?

Associate Spokesperson:  I wouldn’t react to specific comments.  Over the years people have disagreed and have had their own interpretations of…

Question:  This is not just a personal comment, this is on the Israeli Government official website, his statement is made.  And he is a minister in the Israeli Government.

Associate Spokesperson:  Like I said to you just a second ago, the creation of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency was in response to the refugee crisis.  It is there to handle the situation, the very large situation of refugees across the region that had erupted.  And its existence over the decades is testament to the fact that, throughout this time, the situation of the Palestinian refugees remains to be resolved.  Yes?

Hat tip:  Sadie

Why Gingrich said something important when he talked about an “invented” people

Others have said it, but I like best the way Evelyn Gordon said it.  After confirming the historic accuracy of Newt’s claim (namely, that Arabs moved into the land at the end of the 19th century, rather than having lived there since time immemorial), Gordon goes on:

One might ask why this should matter: Regardless of when either Jews or Palestinians arrived, millions of both live east of the Jordan River​ today, and that’s the reality policymakers must deal with. But in truth, it matters greatly – because Western support for Palestinian negotiating positions stems largely from the widespread view that Palestinians are an indigenous people whose land was stolen by Western (Jewish) interlopers.

Current demographic realities would probably suffice to convince most Westerners that a Palestinian state should exist. But the same can’t be said of Western insistence that its border must be the 1967 lines, with adjustments possible only via one-to-one territorial swaps and only if the Palestinians consent. Indeed, just 44 years ago, UN Resolution 242 was carefully crafted to reflect a Western consensus that the 1967 lines shouldn’t be the permanent border. So what changed?

The answer lies in the phrase routinely used to describe the West Bank and Gaza today, but which almost nobody used back in 1967, when Israel captured these areas from Jordan and Egypt, respectively: “occupied Palestinian territory.” This phrase implies that the land belongs to the Palestinians and always has. And if so, why shouldn’t Israel be required to give back every last inch?

But if the land hasn’t belonged to the Palestinians “from time immemorial” – if instead, both Palestinians and Jews comprise small indigenous populations augmented by massive immigration in the 19th and 20th centuries, with the West Bank and Gaza becoming fully Judenrein only after Jordan and Egypt occupied them in 1948 – then there’s no inherent reason why the border must necessarily be in one place rather than another. To create two states, a border must be drawn somewhere, but that “somewhere” should depend only on the parties’ current needs – just as the drafters of Resolution 242 envisioned.

Read the rest here.

Gilad Shalit returns home

Thin and pale, but Gilad Shalit is home at last.  To bring this beloved child (beloved of parents and of country) home, Israel released over a thousand Palestinian murderers and would-be murderers.  Many mourn that these killers are back on the streets, and rightly so.  I hope that Israel has drones hovering over them permanently, ready to erase their existence at the first sign they intend to engage again in violence against Israel.  (Netanyahu hints that something like this might be the case.)

In way, though, the exchange can also be viewed as a calculated insult against the Palestinians, but an insult the Palestinians willingly inflicted against themselves.  In the exchange rate, Jews have intrinsic to their own countrymen, while Palestinians do not.  If this was a financial exchange rate (comparing dollars to some other currency, for example), we’d instantly recognize that the other currency is virtually valueless.  The Palestinians’ countrymen love them only as cannon fodder.

It remains to be seen whether, in the long run, a country that values its citizens as individual human beings is going to do better than one that sees its citizens as nothing more than human bombs.  I will say that one of my Mom’s old friends (and I do mean old, as she’s 92), just returned from a trip to Israel.  She raved about how wonderful the country is:  low unemployment, solid infrastructure, happy citizens.  She didn’t even mention the two new Nobel science prize winners in her trip review!  I doubt that anyone going to the Palestinian territories can say that same, and that’s true despite the bazillions of dollars (and Euros and whatever else) that have been sent to those befouled neighborhoods.

Achmed the Dead Terrorist comes to the UN

Are you familiar with Achmed the Dead Terrorist?  Jeff Dunham, a ventriloquist, came up with a skeleton-shaped dummy named Achmed.  Achmed is a self-identified terrorist, with the catch-phrase “I kill you.”  Here, see for yourself:

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with Achmed, read this bit of wisdom from the Palestinian representative to the UN:

“The UN is the only alternative to violence,” Shaath said during a press conference on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.”It will be very costly to us and the Israelis. Our new heroes are Gandhi, Mandela and Martin Luther King.”

Could Dunham come up with better comedy than that?  “If you don’t give us what we want, ‘We kill you.’  And, by the way, we get the inspiration for our ‘do as we say or die’ negotiation tactic from those famous pacifists, Gandhi, Mandela and Martin Luther King.”

Is there any sanity left in a world that thinks these violent, duplicitous people are ready for their own state?

Obama presidency proves Palestinians have never wanted peace

Pro-Palestinian putzes have consistently claimed that if Israel would just bend a little more, and still a little more, then there would be peace in the Middle East.  The execrable President Carter (I always affix that adjective to this loathsome human being) now claims that he’s being forced to urge a UN vote for a Palestinian state because Obama didn’t exert enough force on the Israelis to make them really, really bend over.  Jonathan Tobin explains that Carter’s criticism of Obama, while reflecting badly on both, reveals a home truth about the Palestinians:

It is highly ironic Carter would blast Obama for being insufficiently supportive of the Palestinians, because the latter prioritized the peace process throughout his administration. Ignoring the evidence PA leader Mahmoud Abbas​ had no intention of ever signing a peace deal, Obama plunged into the negotiations picking fights with Israel and showing a clear preference for the Palestinian position. But despite Obama’s attacks on Israel’s positions on settlements and Jerusalem, Abbas refused to rejoin the negotiations. Even after the president ambushed Netanyahu in May with his proposal that the 1967 lines be the basis for talks, Abbas still wouldn’t budge.

Had Abbas been willing to make peace, he would have found Obama a useful ally who had little love for Israel. Obama did everything but present a U.S. dictat for peace in order to please the Palestinians, but Abbas never had any intention of negotiating. As the New York Times noted last weekend, the Obama-Abbas spat has been something of a lovers’ quarrel. Having been thoroughly embarrassed by the Palestinians, Obama has stayed aloof from diplomacy on the conflict in recent months.

It’s a really good article, so you may want to read the rest here.