Friday, July 3, 2015

How the State Of Palestine and Islamic State Highlight International Double Standards

...“Palestine” – not a State – is recognised as a State. “Islamic State” – a State – is not recognised as a State. No wonder the world is in such a state of turmoil and confusion.

David Singer..
03 July '15.

UNESCO, the United Nations and just this week – the Vatican – have recognised that the “State of Palestine” exists, despite the fact that it lacks all four basic requirements laid down in Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention 1933:

“The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: a ) a permanent population; b ) a defined territory; c ) government; and d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.”

Reverend Federico Lombardi – the Vatican spokesman – confirmed the Holy See’s stance:

“Yes, it’s a recognition that the state exists”

The Vatican is justifiably concerned to protect Christian communities in the Middle East against further ongoing death, dispersion and destruction of their churches as has occurred to Christian communities in Syria and Iraq during the last twelve months.

Easing the concerns of Christians in the West Bank would have certainly played a part in the Vatican’s decision.

Bethlehem’s Christian population has been reduced from 60% in the 1990’s – prior to coming under Palestinian Authority control in 1995 – to 15% Christian by 2013 – whilst 1,000 Christians are reported to be leaving every year.

However Christian population growth in Israel last year stood at 1.3%.

Risking a rift in its relations with Israel displays poor judgement by the Vatican given these realities.

Those 107 member States voting for Palestine’s admission to UNESCO on 31 October 2011 did so in direct contravention of Article II (2) of the UNESCO Constitution which provides:

“… states not members of the United Nations Organization may be admitted to membership of the Organization ….”

Voting to admit into UNESCO an entity that is not a lawful state is beyond understanding.

The UN General Assembly compounded UNESCO’s amazing decision when 138 UN member States voted to recognize Palestine as a “non-member observer state” on 29 November 2012.

The rule of law was thrown out the window with these UNESCO and UN decisions.

The international response to Islamic State has been markedly different since its declaration on 29 June 2014.

Who Would've Thought? Gaza Flotilla Activists Brought Hate, Not Aid

...You don’t need to bring actual aid if your goal is waging war on the existence of the sole Jewish state in the world. For that, you only need to be immersed in the anti-Semitic zeitgeist of a movement that thinks helping Hamas is a humanitarian gesture.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
02 July "15..

We all knew that the latest Gaza flotilla that attempted to land on the coast was a publicity stunt rather than an actual effort to bring assistance to the Palestinians. After all, international organizations can ship genuine humanitarian aid into Gaza via the Israeli land route. But instead they chose to try and run the naval blockade put in place to ensure that shiploads of non-humanitarian supplies like Iranian-supplied weapons don’t reach the terrorist Hamas government. But it turns out that all these so-called human rights advocates were bringing to Gaza was moral support for the right of the Islamist regime there to oppress Palestinians and wage war on Israel. After the Swedish-registered ship Marianne was detained and brought to Israel, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon dismissed the effort by revealing that the Navy discovered “there was no aid on the board” after examining the vessel. When queried about this by the Washington Post, members of the so-called Freedom Flotilla Coalition claimed Yaalon was wrong and sent a photograph to prove it. What did they bring? Two cardboard boxes.

According to one member of the group, the two boxes contained a solar panel and a nebulizer. I’m sure Gazans appreciate the gesture and, it’s likely that, as they’ve done before, the Israelis will ensure that any genuine aid packages will reach Gaza. After all, even on days when Hamas is shooting rockets at Israeli cities, convoys of up to 500 trucks pass through the border bringing food and medicine to the Palestinians. Israel also supplies the water and electricity that Palestinians in Gaza use.

That’s why talk of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza is a lie. There is no shortage of supplies needed to keep Palestinians in Gaza alive. What Hamas wants, and what these faux human rights activists want to give it, is a shot in the arm for a propaganda war against Israel that will reinforce the legitimacy of the Islamist regime that brutally oppresses its own people and uses them as human shields in order to conduct terrorist operations.

But it is no more of a lie than the claim that the point of this flotilla was humanitarian aid. That’s not just because the activists didn’t actually bring much, if any, aid material with them. It’s because the whole point of the exercise is to claim that efforts of both Israel and Egypt to isolate the Hamas terrorists that run Gaza are illegitimate.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Red-diaper babies delight in making a mess by Sarah Honig

...From the red-diaper milieu come Israel’s self-acclaimed “peace activists” who essentially do what Feiler does but without setting sail or leaving home turf. They ostensibly only record and resonate every last Arab slander and they avidly disseminate falsehoods to the international press, to UN forums and to foreign Israel-bashers. Collectively they do us much greater harm than Feiler’s flotillas ever could.

A self-satisfied Dror Feiler on board
the Marianne: he is a classic
red-diaper baby.
Sarah Honig..
Another Tack..
02 July '15..

Israeli expat Dror Feiler, domiciled in comfortable and smug Sweden, has helped organize many of the “humanitarian flotillas” to Gaza, including the 2010 Mavi Marmara provocation, the 2012 Estelle follow-up and the latest foiled Mariannemisadventure. He is a classic red-diaper baby.

In his pro-Hamas fervor, Feiler never mentions that Israel regularly (and quite dementedly) supplies Gaza with goods, electricity, fuel and water, whereas Gaza uses its resources to subjugate its masses and stockpile weapons of indiscriminate destruction.

Feiler either justifies or omits from discourse Gaza’s many and flagrant sins. He grotesquely exaggerates Israeli responses and willfully twists them out of all context. Feiler delights in painting Israel as intrinsically and irredeemably evil. Don’t look for Jewish empathy or a soft spot for the old homeland in Dror. That would contradict his red-diaper upbringing. That’s not where he comes from.

He’s a trusty unquestioning chip off the old block – his mother, Pnina, who spent a lifetime crusading for Palestinian causes and defaming Israel with relish. She hails from Yad Hanna, Israel’s sole Communist kibbutz. It was named in 1950 after heroic WWII paratrooper Hanna Szenes, whose memory and legacy have of late been targeted by artsy leftwing iconoclasts. Self-sacrifice for a Jewish cause and Zionist dedication have become unbearable in their enlightened milieu.

Among other groups, Pnina Feiler was active in the pro-Arab Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (in her professional capacity as a nurse). In May 2001, after terrorists sadistically crushed the skulls of two hooky-playing schoolboys near Tekoa, PHR-Israel’s founder, psychiatrist Ruchama Marton, reacted angrily towards the underage victims. “The settlers,” she fumed, “raise little monsters.”

That’s the moral wellspring from which Dror drank. That’s the intellectual and ideological pool in which he waded and where he learned that pools of Jewish blood form an aesthetic background against which to highlight the glorified features of Hanadi Jaradat. She blew herself up next to a baby in her buggy at Haifa’s Maxim Restaurant in 2003 (murdering 21, among them three generations of two separate families).

A few months post-atrocity, Dror and his Scandinavian wife created the Stockholm-exhibited “work of art” that presented Jaradat as “Snow White” sailing in a red-liquid lake. The image goaded Israel’s enraged then-Ambassador Zvi Mazel to damage it.

Finding Meaning While Living on the Edge of a Knife by Evelyn Gordon

...So even if, as Edward Grossman suggests, we today aren’t quite the giants our grandparents were, if necessary we will do the same in this case, too. Because if we aren’t willing to protect ourselves by ourselves, there’s really no reason to have a Jewish state at all.

Evelyn Gordon..
Analysis from Israel..
01 July '15..

Jews have long been able to thrive while under threat. Today’s Israelis, living in the face of a nuclear Iran, are the latest example

Note: This piece is a response to an essay by Edward Grossman

“Worried and Happy”: that was the title on the advance copy of Edward Grossman’s essay sent to me by Mosaic’s editors. Reading it, however, I couldn’t help feeling that for Grossman, Israel’s current mood is mainly worry and very little happiness. After all, about 90 percent of the essay focuses on a single major worry: Iran’s nuclear program. And Israel has no lack of other worries as well: Hamas, Hizballah, the Palestinian Authority, international isolation, the cost of living, Arab and ḥaredi integration, and on and on.

Nevertheless, I think the mood balance is actually the exact opposite. As Grossman himself notes, we in Israel don’t spend our days sitting around fretting about Iranian nukes falling on us; we’re too busy living, loving, creating, innovating, and otherwise building our modern miracle on the Mediterranean. That’s why Israel keeps scoring anomalously high on global happiness surveys; just this month, the OECD ranked it the fifth happiest country in the world, despite noting with some puzzlement that “by many measures, Israel is an outlier” in this group. Nor does this paradoxical insistence on being happy despite multiple threats stem from either masochism or oblivion; it’s rooted in some specific truths about the Iranian threat, but even more so in a general truth about the Jewish and Israeli experience.

For to be a Jew, of necessity, is to be capable of finding meaning and happiness even while living on a knife’s edge. Throughout history, Jews have experienced only intermittent periods of tranquility amid a multiplicity of threats. In biblical times, even great victories produced no more than “peace in the land for 40 years,” and most lulls were considerably briefer than that. In exile, the occasional golden ages were mere interruptions in an endless procession of expulsions and pogroms, in country after country. And in modern-day Israel, war has erupted roughly once a decade when it hasn’t come sooner. Thus, while threats obviously have to be prepared for and dealt with, Jews can’t afford to worry about them overmuch; if they did, they would have time to do little else.

Consequently, Jews have perforce perfected the art of thriving under threat. Amid wars, persecution, and expulsions, they produced the Bible and the Talmud, the great medieval commentaries and dazzling works of Jewish philosophy. Contemporary Israel has continued this tradition: amid wars, terror attacks, and threats of all sorts, it has absorbed immigrants and grown its economy, produced cutting-edge research and technological innovations. And all this is no less essential than preparing for the threats, because if Israel were ever to stop behaving in this way, it would shrivel and die of its own accord; no Iranian bomb would be needed to finish the job.

In short, despite being fully aware of the existential threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program, Israelis instinctively understand that worrying about it more than necessary is counterproductive. And most Israelis have little need to worry about it at all.

Primarily, that’s because Iran is one of those rare issues where the general public neither can nor should have anything to say. There’s nothing Israelis can do, or ever could have done, to stop President Barack Obama from signing a bad deal with Iran; given how desperately he wants an agreement, the idea that a unity government in Jerusalem could somehow have persuaded him to plug holes in the deal that Tehran wants left open is wishful thinking. Barring a miracle, Israel’s decision will therefore ultimately boil down to whether or not to use military force against Iran. And since most Israelis lack the requisite highly classified knowledge of where Iran’s nuclear program really stands and what Israel’s military capabilities really are, the only individuals capable of deciding if and when Israel should bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities are the handful of senior government officials who do have this knowledge.

US planning document explains why we are not on the same page on Iran

...In plain English: the American experts who wrote this report don’t think that Iran would actually ever push the button if they had nuclear warheads on intercontinental ballistic missiles. They would just threaten with them....We are not on the same page. As Bernard Lewis put it, for the Iranian leadership, “MAD [AL: Mutually Assured Destruction] is not a constraint; it is an inducement.” The consequence of a bad deal isn’t Iranian nuclear deterrence, its Iranian nuclear attacks.

Dr. Aaron Lerner..
IMRA Weekly Commentary..
01 July '15..

“The National Military Strategy of the United States of America 2015“ released today by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey provides shocking evidence just how different our takes are of the Iranian threat.

Let’s first read the relevant excerpt from this document:

“I. The Strategic Environment

......Iran also poses strategic challenges to the international community. It is pursuing nuclear and missile delivery technologies despite repeated United Nations Security Council resolutions demanding that it cease such efforts. It is a state-sponsor of terrorism that has undermined stability in many nations, including Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. Iran’s actions have destabilized the region and brought misery to countless people while denying the Iranian people the prospect of a prosperous future.

North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technologies also contradicts repeated demands by the international community to cease such efforts. These capabilities directly threaten its neighbors, especially the Republic of Korea and Japan. In time, they will threaten the U.S. homeland as well. North Korea also has conducted cyber attacks, including causing major damage to a U.S. corporation.

....None of these nations are believed to be seeking direct military conflict with the United States or our allies.

Notice the difference in the narrative between Iran and North Korea?

While Iran “poses strategic challenges to the international community” and is “pursuing nuclear and missile delivery technologies” there is no indication that those Iranian “missile delivery technologies” will attain a range that reaches the United States.

In sharp contrast. The report explicitly states that North Korea “In time…will threaten the U.S. homeland as well.”

In plain English: it would appear from this report that in the view of the U.S. military analysts, Iranian nukes do not present a threat to the United States of America – only to some of America’s allies.

But what does the report actually think this “threat” means?

When Arabs defile the graves on the Mount of Olives, that's not news. Why not?

...But now that Israel is once again sovereign over all of Jerusalem, how can we stand by silently and watch as this national treasure is being defiled, despoiled and desecrated on a daily basis? Let's restore some dignity to the Mount of Olives and, by doing so, to ourselves as well.

Michael Freund..
02 July '15..

Amid the recent surge in Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis, our ostensible peace partners have also launched an unprecedented assault against the oldest and most prominent Jewish cemetery in the world: the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Not content with trying to snuff out the lives of innocent Jews, Palestinian vandals have been systematically and with impunity smashing tombstones, setting fires and desecrating graves.

Though the phenomenon itself is not new, the pace of destruction has been gaining pace in recent weeks, and Israel must act to protect this ancient and hallowed ground.

Located in the heart of the capital, the Mount of Olives has been used since at least the First Temple period, more than 2,500 years ago, as a place for Jewish burial. That's right: thousands of years before Islam was founded or Palestinian nationalism was invented, Jews were living in Jerusalem and burying their dead on the Mount of Olives, a tangible sign that our presence in this land predates that of our critics or foes.

If you haven't strolled through its vast and varied sections, you might be surprised to learn of the wide range of prominent figures whose final resting places are located there. Rabbinic giants such as the Ramban (Nahmanides), from the 13th century, Rabbi Ovadiah Mibartenura, the 15th-century commentator on the Mishna, and the famed 18th-century biblical exegete the Ohr Hachayim Hakadosh, Rabbi Chaim ben Attar, are all buried at the site, as are Rabbi Yehudah Alkalay, one of the founding fathers of religious Zionism, and Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of the Land of Israel.

But it is not only prominent rabbis who were interred on the Mount of Olives. Eliezer ben-Yehuda, the founder of modern Hebrew, was buried there, as was Nobel Prize winning author S. Y. Agnon, poet Uri Zvi Greenberg, former prime minister Menachem Begin and the legendary Henrietta Szold, who established Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America.

A host of other rabbinical luminaries, leading cultural and historical lights and Zionist figures were laid to rest in the burial grounds, as was my relative, Rabbi Shmuel Salant, who served as Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Jerusalem for almost 70 years until he passed away in 1909.

In any other country, such a site would be treated with the proper veneration and respect, and any attempt, concerted or otherwise, to desecrate it would be harshly punished.

Nonetheless, here in Israel and across the Jewish world, the systematic Palestinian assaults on the Mount of Olives have largely been under-reported, and too little has been done to find and punish the perpetrators.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Yes, it exists and it's preached twice a week on the Temple Mount

..."I'm waiting to hear one Muslim friend -- just one -- explain why the most important holiday in Islam, Ramadan, is good timing for murder and terrorist attacks. What kind of religious ecstasy exists after they hear shots and see blood spilled in a car or on the road or in the street or in a field? What does the Muslim God look like?" Here's one possible answer:

Dror Eydar..
Israel Hayom..
01 July '15..

The poet Hava Pinchas-Cohen this week wondered out loud what many people are thinking, given the frequent news about murderous terrorist attacks in our country: "I'm waiting to hear one Muslim friend -- just one -- explain why the most important holiday in Islam, Ramadan, is good timing for murder and terrorist attacks. What kind of religious ecstasy exists after they hear shots and see blood spilled in a car or on the road or in the street or in a field? What does the Muslim God look like?"

Here's one possible answer: These people have heard plenty of lessons and preaching and indoctrination, to the point where murdering "the infidels" becomes only a matter of time for them, not to mention their obligation as believers. And there is no better time that the days of fasting and introspection to arouse the believer on his way to saving his soul, salvation to be acquired through murdering the "infidels."

You don't need to look as far away as the mosques of Syria, Iraq, and Tunisia. Just stop by a Friday sermon on the Temple Mount and hear a lesson given by the vaunted preacher, the mover of mountains, Sheikh Khaled al-Mughrabi, who teaches at Al-Aqsa mosque twice a week. After you hear his sermon (which can be seen on the Palestinian Media Watch website), you too will want to go into the kitchen and turn the cutlery into killing tools with which you will save Jews from their own lives.

Indeed, al-Mughrabi explains, "The Children of Israel have more than one god … 34 gods. … If you look at history you'll see that the number 11 is sacred to Jews [and 666] … representing Satan. Everything they wish to happen, or that they want to do and succeed at, they try to make happen on the 11th of the month. … Therefore, notice the attacks on America [9/11]. … The evidence discovered afterward points to the fact that the Jews were behind the attack."

From there, the scholar moves on to a psycho-cultural analysis of the Jews and their religion: "I will show you the ways of Satan, through which he deceives the Children of Israel. ... The first way is the promise of eternal life. ... The American film industry is owned by the Children of Israel. … You can see films, all of which are about vampires. … If you killed a human being and drank his blood in a certain way, you would attain eternal life. Why did Satan put this in their minds? To cause them to spill each other's blood. One will kill the other and drink his blood, and thus attain eternal life."

(Video) Is the UN Human Rights Council Obsessed with Israel?

The New York Times makes an editorial comment stuck in the middle of an article that undermines the Israeli Prime Minister’s claim that the United Nations Human Rights Council is “obsessed” with Israel. But the facts are on the Prime Minister’s side and the comment is harmful and misleading.

Yarden Frankl..
Honest Reporting..
01 July '15..

Statistics on the UNHRC from UN Watch.

The article that I’m discussing can be found here.

You can contact the Times Public Editor, Margaret Sullivan here.


More at Honest Reporting - Defending Israel From Media Bias

Updates throughout the day at If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter

U.S. Position on Jerusalem More Hard-Line than PLO. Where's the Coverage?

...In 1949, there was no “peace process” between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Not in 1949, 1959, 1969, 1979, or 1989. So what did the “peace process” have to do with Jerusalem as Israel’s capital for all those years? Why has the American government taken such an anti-Israel position? And… where’s the coverage?

Sarit Catz..
CAMERA Snapshots..
30 June '15..

On June 8, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Zivotofsky v. Kerry, the case of a boy, an American citizen born in Jerusalem in 2002, whose parents wanted to list “Jerusalem, Israel” as the birthplace on his passport, as was their right under a law passed by Congress. The State Department, first under the Bush administration and currently under the Obama administration, would not allow it, disregarding this law. According to the majority opinion, the Constitution gives the president – or the administration, as opposed to Congress – the exclusive power to recognize foreign sovereigns. In plain English, Jerusalem doesn’t have to be part of Israel if the president doesn’t want it to be.

This got quite a bit of attention by the media. But, the press did not delve too deeply into this issue. (No surprise there.) When it comes to recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the United States is even more extreme than the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).

After the War of Independence, Israel held part of Jerusalem, referred to by the media as “West Jerusalem,” and established it as the capital in 1949. Part of Jerusalem was illegally occupied by Jordan from 1948-1967, frequently called “East Jerusalem.”

While theoretically the PLO recognizes that Palestinian Arabs have no claim on “West Jerusalem,” publicly claiming to seek Israel's withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines or "the 1967 borders," the American government refuses to.

Towards a clearer understanding of how and where they hate us in Europe

...This is a report that is likely to trigger widespread discussions for some time to come. The key findings (in our words)

Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
30 June '15..

Many of the Jews we know feel there is much about which to worry when it comes to the general state of people's attitudes to the Jews among whom they live and, to an astonishing degree, the Jews whom they don't know at all.

The Anti-Defamation League, whose largest-ever study of anti-Semitic attitudes (more than 53,000 people in 102 countries) we covered here ["13-May-14: Understanding who hates us"] has today announced a follow-up. In summarizing the results today [press release here], the ADL's statement sets the stage by referring to current events:

In the aftermath of the shocking violence against Jews in Western Europe the past year, the level of anti-Semitic attitudes among the general population in France showed a dramatic decline, while Germany and Belgium registered significant reductions...

Then in exquisitely careful language it moves on to add a new quantitative layer to the existing analysis, touching on an issue that gets discussed a great deal but almost always on the basis of anecdotal evidence only: attitudes to Jews among Europe's Moslems:

For the first time, the ADL poll measured Muslim attitudes toward Jews in six countries in Western Europe finding that acceptance of anti-Semitic stereotypes by Muslims in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K was substantially higher than among the national population in each country.

This is a report that is likely to trigger widespread discussions for some time to come. The key findings (in our words):

(Read Full Post)

Updates throughout the day at If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

(+Video) Col. Kemp tells UNHRC it’s become “tool of Hamas’ murderous strategy”

...Mr. President, during the 2014 Gaza conflict, Hamas, to its eternal shame, did more to deliberately and systematically inflict death, suffering and destruction on its own civilian population, including its children, than any other terrorist group in history.

UN Watch..
29 June '15..

Address of Colonel Richard Kemp to the United Nations Human Rights Council Debate on report of the UNHRC Commission of Inquiry into the 2014 Gaza Conflict - Geneva, 29 June 2015

Mr. President, I fought in combat zones around the world during 30 years’ service in the British Army. I was present as an observer throughout the conflict in Gaza.

Mr. President, during the 2014 Gaza conflict, Hamas, to its eternal shame, did more to deliberately and systematically inflict death, suffering and destruction on its own civilian population, including its children, than any other terrorist group in history.

Hamas deliberately positioned its fighters and weapons in civilian areas, knowing that Israel would have no choice but to attack these targets, which were a clear and present threat to the lives of Israel’s own civilian population.

Col. Kemp's visit was hosted by UN Watch & NGO Monitor. He spoke on behalf of Amuta for NGO Responsibility. Video is copyright of UN Watch (c) 2015.

While the IDF made efforts, unprecedented in any other army, and exceeding the requirements of the laws of war, to save Palestinian civilian lives, including warning them to leave target zones, Hamas forced them to remain in those areas.

Unable to defeat Israel by military means, Hamas sought to cause large numbers of casualties among their own people in order to bring international condemnation against Israel, especially from the United Nations.

How the UN Human Rights Council report shot itself and human rights in the foot

...This latest UNHRC inquiry and report is only as reliable as its sources of information. When these are overwhelmingly unreliable political NGOs, as well as those who support and facilitate terrorism, any true champions of human rights cannot take its findings seriously.

It is unclear whether the Commission of Inquiry 
was aware of Gilbert’s views and was 
unconcerned by them, or whether it 
failed in its basic due diligence.
Gerald Steinberg..
i24 News..
30 June '15..

The report from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on the 2014 Gaza conflict has no surprises: it is another pseudo-legal and immoral case of Israel-bashing. Like the discredited Goldstone Report and virtually every other UN “inquiry” on Israel, political NGOs (non-governmental organizations) provide the basis of the investigation and findings. In the UN report, NGOs appear on almost every page: B’Tselem is cited 69 times; Amnesty International, 53; Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), 50; and Human Rights Watch (HRW), 22. To anyone familiar with the political agendas of these NGOs, the UN’s latest “findings” – namely, condemnations of Israel – come as no surprise.

Like the NGO publications, the Commission of Inquiry report on the Gaza war is filled with unverifiable accusations based on the testimony of nameless witnesses. Although the Commission recognized that testimony from Gaza is unreliable, acknowledging “fears by Palestinian witnesses of reprisal by armed groups and local authorities,” in practice, the report relies extensively on such anonymous allegations. For instance, in the section discussing attacks on houses, witnesses are quoted on the most essential legal and moral questions, apparently without concern for intimidation or lying to prevent self-incrimination: “According to the witnesses, all of those killed were civilians”; “they insisted that there had been no military activity in the building.”

The latter claim is augmented by statements given by the same witness to PCHR, asserting “that no family member belongs to the ‘Palestinian resistance.’” Reading between the lines, we see that the eyewitnesses themselves were likely selected by NGOs, such as PCHR, and delivered to the UN investigators.

The NGOs cited by the UNHRC also lack expertise and access to crucial information. These shortcomings are exemplified by the “fact-finding mission” of the Israeli organization, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I), produced in collaboration with the Palestinian NGOs Al-Mezan, Gaza Community Mental Health Program and the PCHR. The PHR-I investigators “did not have access to [relevant] UNRWA facilities…They could therefore investigate neither the public health impact of displacement in these facilities, nor the allegations made by the Israeli government regarding the abuse of such facilities for military purposes.” Similarly, they had “no access to evidence regarding the conduct of Palestinian armed combatants within Gaza.” Yet, the UNHRC deemed PHR-I’s investigation credible enough to cite its findings 16 times.

These and other unreliable claims are found throughout the report. But it is the prominence given to the notorious Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor solicited as an “expert” on Gaza health, which discredits the UNHRC on a deeper level. Gilbert has a well-documented history of abusing his position as doctor to promote hate and conspiracy theories, and is known to have blamed the 9/11 terror attacks on the “policy that the West has led during the last decades,” asserting that “the oppressed also have a moral right to attack the USA with any weapon they can come up with.”

Predicition: We’re not on the verge of war — yet

...I don’t see an immediate danger of war, although low-intensity conflict will continue and probably get worse. But then, the same could have been said in early 1914!

Vic Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
29 June '15..

Someone recently asked me if I thought we would be at war again soon. Not just Gaza, but the big one — Hizballah and Iran. As the West’s red lines crumble, it’s a forgone conclusion that Iran can have a bomb as soon as they wish; and with President Obama rushing to relieve sanctions and unfreeze Iranian assets, the regime will have all the money it needs to fund its aggression, nuclear and non-nuclear.

So what is Israel going to do about it? After all, I don’t think the traditional position of the Israeli government that it will not allow any of its regional enemies to obtain nuclear weapons has changed.

There are good reasons not to attack Iran today. Most of Iran’s deterrent rests with its expeditionary force, Hizballah in Lebanon. Although Israel would very much like to pull the fangs of this particular snake, Hizballah has entwined its rocket launchers and command centers deeply with the civilian infrastructure, and destroying it will destroy the homes and many of the lives of the population of southern Lebanon.

Israel would be completely justified in doing this. We aren’t obligated to commit suicide to protect civilians who have rocket launchers in their garages and cellars. This would be tragic for those people, but it’s a tragedy for which Iran and Hizballah would be fully responsible.

Israel too would suffer home front casualties, predicted to be worse than in any war since 1948.

Nevertheless, we know from the example of the recent war in Gaza — in which Gazan casualties were comparatively modest — what the reaction from US President Obama would be. We can expect an immediate embargo on weapons and ammunition, support for UN demands for a disadvantageous cease-fire, and who knows what other punitive measures. Paradoxically, the better our defensive systems perform and the fewer Israelis die, the greater will be the pressure on us to stop fighting.

Obama’s strategy is perplexing, because the initiative to tilt toward Iran against Israel and the conservative Sunni Arabs is not particularly in the interest of the US. The enemies of America are the radical Islamists of both streams, the Sunni IS and Iranian revolutionary Shiite regime. These are the forces that are metastasizing terrorism throughout the world in an attempt to put an end to Western hegemony. Allowing Iran to nuclearize in the hope that it will bring stability is a potentially disastrous policy. It also alienates former US allies like Egypt and the Jordanian and Saudi regimes, and of course Israel, whose aspirations do not include bringing down the West.

I think, however, that this policy is not being implemented out of a consideration of true long-term American interest. Rather it is based on the personal predilections of Barack Obama, his reverence for Islam and the post-colonialist ideology that characterized his mentors Edward Said, Rashid Khalidi, etc. Michael Oren said that if you want to understand Obama, look at his Cairo address of 2012. Unfortunately, as we saw during the Gaza war last summer, this ideology is the opposite of pro-Israel.

Wondering Why Flotillas Sail to Gaza, Not Syria?

...Activists seek to go to Gaza, however, for one clear reason, and it has nothing to do with humanitarian concerns. Arabs who are engaged in conflicts with other Arabs don’t interest them no matter how many people are killed or how much suffering is caused. Even at the height of the fighting last year when hundreds of Palestinian civilians were unfortunately killed as they were caught in fighting provoked by Hamas, the casualties there were dwarfed by what is going on in Syria. But it is only when Jews are involved in defending their state that the human rights community discovers a crisis.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
29 June '15..

Today, the latest publicity stunt by pro-Palestinian activists ended harmlessly as the Israel Navy intercepted a ship off the coast of Gaza that was attempting to break the blockade of the strip in order to draw attention to what is passengers claim is a humanitarian crisis. But, like previous Gaza flotillas, the effort has little to do with the plight of the people of Gaza and everything to do with the long war being waged to end Israel’s existence. More to the point, the continued focus on Gaza by those calling themselves advocates for human rights at the very moment that a genuine human catastrophe is occurring inside Syria without much of response from the international community tells us all we need to know about the hypocrisy of Israel-bashers.

The fact that it was Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu who today pointed out the fact that flotillas aren’t sailing to Syria doesn’t make it any less valid. Thousands of Syrians have been slaughtered by the Assad regime that is backed by Iran and Hezbollah terrorists with more being killed by its tacit ISIS allies. The carnage has created millions of refugees who are living in squalor inside the country or in camps in neighboring Jordan.

But as Netanyahu knows, there will be no peace activist flotilla to Syria to bring aid to people who really need it. Nor had those on the Swedish-registered Marianne that was diverted by the Israelis gotten lost on their way to help those truly in need. Instead, they were on the way to try and help the Hamas government of Gaza that has been rightly isolated by the international community since the bloody 2007 coup when the Islamist group seized power.

While the situation in Gaza isn’t pleasant, the popular notion of a humanitarian crisis there is a myth. That’s because there is no shortage of food or medicine in the strip since Israel allows daily convoys of such supplies into Gaza every day, including those when Hamas is shooting rockets over the border at cities and towns inside the Jewish state. It is true that there is a shortage of building materials inside Gaza. Given the scale of the destruction wrought by the war Hamas launched against Israel last year, that’s a problem. But the reason why such materials can’t be brought into the strip without restrictions was revealed anew when Hamas showcased a new terror tunnel that it claims reaches into Israel on Iranian TV on Sunday. Most of the concrete that is brought into Gaza is being used for such tunnels or for the construction of elaborate fortifications that will enable Hamas to shield its arsenal and other structures intended to make it harder for Israel to repress rocket fire aimed at civilians.