Saturday, August 29, 2015

Question: Whose Flag Will Be Raised at the UN? Fatah or Hamas?

...But there are two problems with the plan. One is that the only other such observer — the Vatican — opted out of the farce. The other is that it bears asking which of the two rival Palestinian governments will the UN be honoring: the corrupt Fatah regime that runs the West Bank or the Hamas terrorists that rule Gaza? Can anyone at the UN answer the question? Or better yet, will any of the nations that will surely force this through even care?

Jonathan S.Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
28 August '15..

Always looking for ways to symbolize their quest for sovereignty, the Palestinians are asking that they be allowed to raise their flag at the United Nations next month when the General Assembly convenes. The gesture is meaningless, but it requires bending the rules since that is a privilege restricted under the world body’s rules to member states. Since the Palestinian Authority is there as a “non-member observer state,” the PA’s allies are requesting that all such observers be granted the honor of having their banner fly in Turtle Bay. But there are two problems with the plan. One is that the only other such observer — the Vatican — opted out of the farce. The other is that it bears asking which of the two rival Palestinian governments will the UN be honoring: the corrupt Fatah regime that runs the West Bank or the Hamas terrorists that rule Gaza? Can anyone at the UN answer the question? Or better yet, will any of the nations that will surely force this through even care?

Given the recent decision of the Vatican to recognize Palestinian independence, it might have been natural for the church to chime in on the flag issue. But that doesn’t appear to be the case. The Vatican said that while it didn’t oppose the raising of the Palestinian flag, it did not wish to endorse the stunt or take part in it. The tiny Vatican City State has a flag with the pope’s coat of arms, but the Church sees no value in the symbolism of having it fly alongside that of other countries. But the Palestinians take comfort form such gestures and view any opportunity to pose as a sovereign state as one to be seized.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Between Duma and Douma “in a few words”

...“You make peace with your enemies, not your friends,” British and American officials repeatedly tell Israel, which is concerned that the Iranian regime, the main supplier of terrorist organizations on three fronts, has made no attempt to change the rhetoric about wiping the Jewish state off the map. The UN might have a few words to say about that. Maybe not.

Liat Collins..
My Word/JPost..
27 August '15..

I can sum up the miserable situation in the world “in a few words.”

That particular phrase, in fact.

That’s my conclusion after reading the official United Nations statement containing “The briefing to the Security Council on the Situation in the Middle East” given by Jeffrey Feltman, under secretary- general for political affairs.

The written version of the briefing was nearly 2,000-words long. More than 1,600 words were dedicated to the situation in Israel and Gaza, beginning with: “I address you at a time when the risk of escalation in Israel and Palestine is palpable. The past month has witnessed unconscionable crimes of hatred by extremist elements, reprehensible retaliatory violence, provocations at Jerusalem’s holy sites, and a worrying increase in rockets launched from Gaza towards Israel.

“The coming days will mark the one-year anniversary of the conclusion of last year’s devastating Gaza conflict – a conflict from which the Palestinians of Gaza have yet to recover....”

There’s an appeal “to work together to reduce tensions, reject violence and prevent extremists from escalating the situation and hijacking the political agenda.”

That Israelis also continue to suffer from trauma and fears following the 50-day mini war either didn’t occur to Feltman or didn’t seem to be worth mentioning.

Feltman reiterates, at length, “the Secretary-General’s strong condemnation of the horrific terrorist arson attack against a Palestinian family in the occupied West Bank village of Duma, during the early hours of 31 July, apparently committed by extremist Jewish settlers...

“The Secretary-General welcomes the strong condemnations of the attack by Prime Minister Netanyahu and other Israeli officials, as well as by political and religious leaders from across the spectrum.”

There is caution about the use of administrative detention of both Palestinians and Jews – a warning with which I identify.

This being the UN, along with the Israel obsession there is a call to continue to strive for peace. “But over 20 years of failed negotiations have bred mistrust and, worse, the slow and painful withering of hope.

In such a contentious environment, restoring confidence, before a return to realistic negotiations, is a must. What is needed now is a comprehensive approach on three levels – on the ground, in the region, and with the international community – to alter fundamentally the current negative dynamics and begin to shape a clear and positive pathway towards peace.”

The briefing contains a detailed list of security incidents in the West Bank, noting that Israel carried out “some 188 search-and-arrest operations....

Six Palestinians were shot and killed by Israeli security forces, including a 17-year-old. Twelve members of the Israeli security forces were also wounded, with no fatalities reported.”

There’s no context and Israel is the only country whose anti-terrorism measures are reviewed regularly by the UN and which is expected to feel guilty that not enough soldiers and police officers have been killed.

The briefing also gives a blow-by-blow account of the demolition of structures and homes the Israeli authorities consider to be illegal.

Islamic Jihad member Muhammad Allan, who at the time of the briefing was still on hunger strike, received a mention due to the dilemmas surrounding the issue of force-feeding. (Allan’s family and supporters opposed it, further endangering his life, while the Israeli authorities on the whole did not want to risk turning Allan into a martyr like the IRA detainees who died on British prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s watch).

Feltman’s briefing also addresses the change in Israeli law that lengthens sentences for those who throw stones at moving vehicles, noting: “The law is likely to affect children disproportionately.” Israelis, but not Feltman apparently, are familiar with the name of four-yearold Adele Biton, who died a few months ago following two years of suffering after the car her mother was driving crashed when rocks were thrown at it, far from the only Israeli fatality in similar low-tech terrorist attacks.

I’m skipping large sections of the speech but it notes that the secretary- general “condemns the 24 rockets fired at Israel by Palestinian militants in Gaza,” was “relieved” that the UNRWA schools would open in time for the school year, and contains a plea that “a sustainable solution... be found to address UNRWA’s long-term funding needs.”

The briefing on Gaza also notes that in the incidents “that took place following the Duma arson attack, a 17-year-old Palestinian was shot dead and two others were injured by Israeli security forces.”

And then, finally, Feltman says: “Madam President, “A few words about the situation in Lebanon and Syria.”

I’M RELIEVED that the esteemed under secretary-general for political affairs noticed that something has been going on there. Two paragraphs’ worth of written speech, to be precise.

Excellent Question. Who’s Funding Pro-Palestinian Israeli ‘Human Rights’ Groups?

...But the Palestinians themselves claim the West Bank and Gaza constitute a single Palestinian entity, which means that in their own understanding, the Birzeit faculty who decided to award those grants to B’Tselem and BTS were on Hamas’s side in this war. Effectively, therefore, these two groups solicited and received money from an enemy during wartime in order to produce propaganda against their own country. It might be legal, but morally, it stinks. And it ought to put both B’Tselem and BTS permanently beyond the pale.

Evelyn Gordon..
Commentary Magazine..
27 August '15..

Granted, everyone is (justly) preoccupied with the Iran deal right now, and, granted, the original scoop was in Hebrew. But I still can’t believe this news has gotten so little attention: During last summer’s war with Hamas in Gaza, two Israeli “human rights” organizations – B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence – requested and received special grants from Palestinian middle men in order to finance reports accusing Israel of war crimes.

Under most circumstances, taking money from the enemy in wartime to produce propaganda against your own side would be considered treason. In this case, legally speaking, it definitely isn’t. But morally speaking, it’s not merely skirting close to the edge; it’s well over the line.

The news was first reported by Gidon Dokow on the Hebrew-language news site NRG. But you needn’t take Dokow’s word for it; he helpfully included a link to the funding organization’s English-language annual report.

The organization goes by the unwieldy name of the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat. According to its annual report, it is “a project implemented by NIRAS NATURA AB – Sweden, and the Institute of Law, Birzeit University, Birzeit, Palestine, with generous support from the governments of Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland.”

In other words, the money itself is European. But the ones who decide what to do with it are Niras Natura – which describes itself as an international consultancy firm in the field of sustainable development – and the faculty of Birzeit. And since the Birzeit people are the ones actually on the ground, they presumably have considerable influence over how the money is spent.

The Secretariat’s main job appears to be funneling money to other organizations. According to the annual report, it had 24 “core grantees” and 19 “project grantees” last year. Nine of the former and two of the latter are Israeli; the rest are Palestinian.

When the war broke out in July 2014, the Secretariat put out a call to its core grantees soliciting emergency funding requests. “The emergency funding call focused on activities related to monitoring and documentation of IHL [international humanitarian law] and human rights violations in the Gaza Strip, arising from the then ongoing war,” the report said. Requests were received from 11 organizations, including three Israeli ones, and the Secretariat decided to fund nine of them, including two Israeli groups – B’Tselem and BTS.

But the money was intended for “monitoring and documentation” of alleged violations by one side only – Israel. That’s crystal clear from the report’s summary of its emergency grantees’ “achievements”: Not one of the nine says a word about the massive Palestinian violations of international humanitarian law.

The section on Breaking the Silence is particularly blatant. The Secretariat would have considered its money well spent, the report declared, had BTS managed to scrounge up even a single anti-Israel testimony from Israeli soldiers:

An op-ed whose agenda, without essential context, leaves readers ill-informed

...Israel—similar to most other countries—has laws and procedures that stipulate points of entry. Unless individuals are approved in advance and special permission granted, entry to Israel for those classified as Palestinian Arabs is through the Allenby Bridge border crossing. That two men with unmentioned histories of anti-Israel advocacy attempted to subvert long-standing, well-publicized procedures and cross into Israel illegally instead of by the Allenby Bridge crossing—as thousands of others have done—seems to indicate a purposeful attempt to create an anti-Israel narrative.

Sean Durns..
CAMERA Snapshots..
27 August '15..

(The CAMERA Op-Ed below was posted on The Hill newspaper's Congress Blog on Aug. 27, 2015 in response to an omission-laden commentary by Arab-American Institute head James Zogby. Zogby alleged a pattern of discrimination by Israeli immigration authorities against Arab Americans. The Hill serves members of Congress, staff, policy analysts, lobbyists and others.)

James Zobgy’s recent commentary “US passports scoffed at by Israel; US stands by” (Aug. 24) misleads readers through omissions. Zogby, the founder and President of the Arab-American Institute, falsely asserts that “in the past year Israel has continued…their practice of discriminating against persons of Arab descent” and cites the stories of what he implies to be two disinterested parties to advance this allegation.

The author cites two specific individuals who he claims were detained, interrogated and denied entry into Israel at Ben Gurion International airport—and relies exclusively on their accounts to allege mistreatment. Zogby identifies the two men, George Khoury and Habib Joudeh as simply “American citizens of Palestinian descent.”

Yet, Joudeh, identified only as a “pharmacist” by Zogyby, has been the vice president of the Arab American Association of New York since 1994. The director of that association, Linda Sarsour, has falsely accused Israel of ethnic cleansing and has dismissed reports of attacks by terror group al-Qaeda as conspiracy theories.

George Khoury—identified only as a “professor” and “deacon at his church”—is an anti-Israel activist who has previously alleged that as a nation, the Jewish state commits crimes “daily.” By failing to disclose the background, biases and associations of the two men, but uncritically recounting their unsubstantiated allegations, the author misleads readers.

Zogby also claims that “because both men were of Palestinian descent, Israel would not honor their U.S. passports or recognize the men as American citizens. Both were told they had to acquire Palestinian IDs and then, as Palestinians enter the West Bank.” However, for identifying the men as Palestinian Arabs and not as American citizens, it’s not Israel that Zogby should be faulting. It’s the Palestinian Authority.

According to Article 5 of the Palestinian National Charter those who were born in what is today land governed by the Palestinian Authority—as both Joudeh and Khoury were—are Palestinian. Apparently Israeli officials were following a definition made by the Palestinian National Charter. Unless Zogby is advocating that American officials should nullify Palestinian laws, rules for entry for those defined as Palestinian are well-known and publicly available.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The New York Times’ Islamic Jihad Social Media Activist

...So unlike Hamas, Islamic Jihad has no ‘political wing,’ ‘social wing’ or anything other than a ‘military wing.’ A member of Islamic Jihad has no reason to be a member other than to promote terrorism and the murder of Israelis. This then is Mohammad Allan’s entire reason for being and something that the New York Times fails to enunciate.

Simon Plosker..
Honest Reporting..
27 August '15..

The New York Times has profiled Mohammad Allan, the Palestinian who recently made headlines with his two-month hunger strike. Throughout the article, Allan, a member of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, is the subject of quotes and anecdotes from admiring friends and family.

When confronted with rival Palestinian gunmen looking to take his home, Allan is “defiant.” And according to the New York Times:

During that standoff 10 years ago, Mr. Allan showed some of the fortitude he would demonstrate this summer when he nearly starved himself to death during a two-month hunger strike to protest his incarceration by the Israeli authorities without charges.

Later we hear that Allan was “energized by the fight against Israel during the second Palestinian intifada.”

Defiant. Energized. Fortitude.

These are all very positive adjectives to describe a member of Islamic Jihad. And while it is mentioned that Allan “was first jailed by Israel in 2006 for trying to recruit a suicide bomber to carry out an attack in Israel,” we are left with the impression that this is really a distraction from Allan’s true character as a man with radical thoughts, which he could never possibly take any further.

After all, as the article says:

Mr. Allan’s father said his son had on social media supported the Islamic State, as defenders of oppressed Sunni Muslims, but it never went beyond online missives. Mr. Allan claimed to support the brutal militant group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, only to be provocative, Mr. Hussein said.

Only “to be provocative?” In most Western countries, supporting Islamic State on social media is more than enough to warrant being detained by the security services. And, unlike the New York Times, which refers to the Islamic Jihad organization as a “militant group,” let’s remember what Islamic Jihad is:

Surprise! "Palestinians are literally dying of thirst" latest anti-Israel slander

...Don't they know, as they swim in their Olympic-sized pools, that their fellow Palestinians are literally dying of thirst only a few miles away????

Elder of Ziyon..
26 August '15..

This article was originally published in June in "Foreign Policy in Focus" but has recently been republished in other places, including The Ecologist:

Literally dying of thirst? Funny, I have not heard about a single Palestinian Arab dying of thirst! I must have missed all the articles.

But when I searched for them, I found some interesting photos of how scarce water is in the West Bank:

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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

Actually, funding can be easily found for artists who want to inflict damage on the state

...Having said that, I would like to point out that "equal" state funding for everyone leads to inequality. On the one hand, as Garbuz said -- artists who want to inflict damage on the state can easily find funding from "other countries" (I am not saying the B'Tselem film inflicts damage on the state, as I have yet to watch it). On the other hand, artists who want to create an apolitical film will not be able to make inroads on the world stage, even if their work does not praise the "occupation" or, God forbid, the State of Israel (as Roy Zafrani knows all too well).

Prof. Asher Maoz..
Israel Hayom..
27 August '15..

The B'Tselem human rights organization will host a special event at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque on Thursday, titled "Gaza: An Inside Look." According to organizers, the event will include "footage documenting fierce fighting, as seen through the eyes Gazans." B'Tselem's Facebook page notes that the footage is based on "video journals that were created by young men and women after Operation Cast Lead [in 2008-2009] and curated by B'Tselem."

Right-wing activists have appealed to the Culture and Sports Ministry to have the event canceled or moved to a venue that is not publicly funded. Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev will obviously not be able to grant their request, but Cinematheque Director Alon Garbuz wasted no time criticizing her. "We will manage just fine even without the money," he said. "As I always say, 'If the state doesn't want to give us money, there are other countries that would.'"

Garbuz knows what he is talking about when he speaks of "other countries." The foreign funding he is referring to is very much on display at B'Tselem. To determine the scope of this funding, all you have to do is contact the organization's top officials.

Roy Zafrani is a veteran filmmaker. He directed the film "The Other Dreamers," which chronicles the lives of disabled children in Israel. It has won accolades from viewers, who said it was both touching and subtle. When Zafrani sought to have this film compete at the Human Rights Human Wrongs Film Festival in Oslo, organizers rejected his request.

"I'm sorry but we can't show this film. We support the academic and cultural boycott of Israel so unless the films are about the illegal occupation, or deals [sic] with the occupation or the blockade of Gaza, or otherwise about the discrimination of Palestinians, we can't show them," Ketil Magnussen, who is the founder of the festival’s parent organization, wrote him. "I'm sorry. Please let me know if you have documentary films that are dealing directly with the occupation, the you would want us to consider," Magnussen added.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Defiance, activism, jihad and NY Times journalism

...What she and her editors have created can only be called a hagiography, beatifying a quiet-spoken hero who... thirsts, hungers, to kill people.

Click for the background to this 2013 CAMERA campaign. 
The girl in the poster is our murdered daughter, Malki
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
26 August '15..

An article by Diaa Hadid in yesterday's New York Times, a classic exemplification of lethal journalism, reminds us of the extraordinary amorality the paper's editors have demonstrated when dealing with the ideology-driven murderers of Jews and Israelis.

It's a piece about a Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist (rooted in a defiant past, she writes) who is at the center of an article we posted here on Friday ["21-Aug-15: Hungering, thirsting, just dying for fresh victims"] and another two days later ["23-Aug-15: Do they understand the price of freeing the hunger-striking terrorists?"].

Hadid repeatedly invokes his quiet, his defiance, his activism. But never his blood-lust or doctrinal hatred of Jews.

She devotes precisely zero words to an explanation of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and its goals ("destruction of Israel through violent means", according to the Council on Foreign Relations) and its status as a client of the Islamist regime in Iran. These are at the very heart of understanding how a man ends up being and doing what he is and does. But it goes unmentioned, unanalyzed.

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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

Egyptian Ire and the Hamas "Cockroaches"

...The incident also proves that Hamas does not hesitate to take advantage of Cairo's humanitarian gestures to smuggle its men out of the Gaza Strip. Obviously, the four Hamas men were not on their way to receive medical treatment or pursue their studies in Egypt or any other country. That they are members of Ezaddin al-Qassam speaks for itself. Instead of dispatching its fighters to Iran and Turkey, Hamas should have allowed medical patients and university students to leave the Gaza Strip. But Hamas does not care about the well-being of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Rather, it cares about sending its men to Iran and Turkey to receive military and security training. This practice by Hamas is something that the Egyptian authorities have come to understand, which is why they are refusing to reopen the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt. The question now is whether the international community will understand Hamas's true intentions and plans -- namely to prepare for another war against Israel.

Khaled Abu Toameh..
Gatestone Institute..
26 August '15..

Egypt's President Abdel Fatah Sisi has once again proven that he and his country will not tolerate any threats from Hamas or other Palestinians.

The crisis that erupted between Sisi's regime and Hamas after the removal from power of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi two years ago, reached it peak in the past few days with the kidnapping of four Hamas operatives in Sinai.

The four men were snatched from a bus shortly after crossing from the Gaza Strip into Egyptian territory on August 19. Reports said that unidentified gunmen stopped the bus and kidnapped the four Hamas men, who are wanted by Egypt for their involvement in terrorism.

Although initial reports suggested that the kidnappers belonged to a salafi-jihadi group based in Sinai, some Hamas officials have accused Egyptian security forces of being behind the abduction. The Hamas officials even issued veiled threats against Sisi and the Egyptian authorities, and said that they held them fully responsible for the safety of the Hamas men.

A statement issued by Hamas warned the Egyptian authorities against harming the four men. "These men were the victims of deception and their only fault is that they are from the Gaza Strip," the statement said. "This incident shows that the criminals are not afraid to target our people."

Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzouk said that his movement holds the Egyptian authorities fully responsible for any harm caused to the abductees. He said that the kidnapping raises many questions and its circumstances remain unclear.

Hamas claims that salafi-jihadi groups in Sinai have informed its representatives that they did not kidnap the four men. According to Hamas officials, the abduction took place near the border with the Gaza Strip -- an area where the Egyptian army maintains a large presence.

Sources in the Gaza Strip, however, have confirmed that the four men belong to Hamas's armed wing, Ezaddin al-Qassam. The sources said that the men were apparently on their way to Iran for military training. The sources pointed out that the four had received permission from the Egyptian authorities to leave the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing. The visas, however, are supposedly for civilians, not for Hamas operatives.

Hamas's threats against Egypt have, meanwhile, enraged the Egyptian authorities as well as some top journalists in Cairo.

Perhaps Half the News That’s Fit to Print?

...How have Rudoren and her colleagues treated the news that reveals her previous depiction of Netanyahu was a fraud? Let’s put it this way: When it comes to certain stories, only half the news is fit to print at The New York Times. That is, the half that smears a political leader whom the Times dislikes. The other half — the news that exonerates a victim of the Times‘s wrath — is nowhere to be found.

Benyamin Korn..
The Algemeiner..
25 August '15..

When Benjamin Netanyahu’s opponents accused him of excessive personal spending earlier this year, it was headline news in The New York Times. Guess how much space the Times allotted to the recent news that the Israeli prime minister’s spending has reached a five-year low.

When Netanyahu was under fire for supposedly lavish spending by the staff of the prime minister’s official residence, the NYT‘s Jerusalem bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren, could barely contain her delight at the opportunity to tarnish Netanyahu’s image.

The fact that the “story” broke at the height of Israel’s election campaign probably filled Rudoren with hope that she might be able to contribute to the downfall of a prime minister whose policies she obviously despises, despite her claim to be an objective journalist.

Rudoren’s extensive February 17 dispatch on the subject was nearly 1,000 words long, ranging over 16 paragraphs. She detailed such outrages as the suspicion that the Netanyahus had spent too much money on ice cream. Rudoren even sarcastically noted the favorite ice cream flavors of the prime minister and his wife.

To maintain the pretense of journalistic balance, Rudoren gave Netanyahu’s Likud Party a chance to have a say — with a grand total of two and a half sentences to respond to the litany of accusations.

Rudoren then proceeded to present anti-Netanyahu quotes from a professor, a newspaper columnist, the leaders of three different left-wing political parties and a political consultant (whose views merited two entire paragraphs).

For some reason, the editors at the Times saw nothing unbalanced about Rudoren’s selection of people to quote. When it comes to Netanyahu, five against and one in favor apparently strikes the Times as a perfectly reasonable ratio. It is, after all, the news organization that hired Jodi Rudoren in the first place.

Like to Guess Why Gaza Isn't Being Rebuilt?

...The problems of Gaza will only be solved when it is run by leaders that value the lives and the property of their people as much as the Israelis do. With Iran looking to invest some of the vast wealth that will come to it under the nuclear deal in aiding Hamas, there is little doubt there will be more bunkers and tunnels built in Gaza but few homes. Instead of blaming Israel for what is happening in lands they’ve already given up in the hope of peace, it’s time for the international community to focus on the real problem. When they are no longer under the thumb of a group that is obsessed with an ideology of hate that prompts them to fight for Israel’s destruction, the Palestinians will rebuild Gaza and there will be no more danger of another war.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
25 August '15..

It’s been a year since the last summer’s war in Gaza ended and those who lost their homes during the fighting are still waiting for them to be rebuilt? To listen to Palestinian propagandists, this is the fault of Israel. That’s the conceit of an op-ed published Monday in the New York Times by author Mohammed Omer. According to Omer, Gaza is a “Gulag on the Mediterranean” still suffering under Israel “occupation” even though the Jewish state withdrew every last soldier, settler and settlement ten years ago. All the strip’s problems can, he writes, be attributed to an Israeli siege that imprisons and stifles the Palestinians living there. But, oddly enough, a slightly more realistic evaluation of their problems was to be found in a news article published by the Times the day before. The reason why not a single one of the 18,000 homes destroyed or damaged in the war has not been made habitable isn’t because the Israelis are preventing it from happening.

Even Hamas government officials concede that the Israelis haven’t stopped the shipment of cement and other building materials designated for civilian reconstruction from entering Gaza. Some of the problem lies in a cumbersome process needed to approve such shipments. The failure of international donors, especially from the Arab world, to make good on their pledges to help Gaza is also huge. But the main problem is that although homes aren’t being rebuilt, there is a lot of construction going on in Gaza. Unfortunately, the work is concentrated on the building of terror tunnels and other military infrastructure that will enable Hamas to launch another war on Israel if it suits their political needs or the whims of their Iranian allies.