Friday, July 06, 2012

6-Jul-12: Scenes from the front lines

The community of Ma'ale Hever in the Southern Hebron Hills, close to
Kiryat Arba. About 55 families make their home here.
Most residents are veteran Israelis, but their
neighbours include immigrants from France, Ethiopia and the US.

The chronology below picks up where we left off this past Monday, July 2, 2012 [here]. Like several earlier Tayar reports summarized in this blog, the following is an edited and annotated version that we produce based on the Tayar Security Report compiled by Yehudit Tayar from first-responder, police and army reports. 

Monday July 2, 2012
  • Near Kiryat Arba: An Israeli vehicle is damaged in a rock-hurling attack carried out by Palestinian Arabs.
  • Near Betar Illit: IDF reports that an Israeli bus comes under rock-throwing attack by Palestinian Arabs, with resultant damage to property.
Tuesday July 3, 2012
  • The Gush Etzion-Hebron highway: A throng of Palestinian Arabs attacks another Israeli civilian bus with rocks and cement blocks. Property damage is caused.
  • Near El Arrub (north of Hevron on the Gush Etzion-Hebron highway: The IDF reports that Israeli vehicles come under attack by rocks and firebombs (Molotov cocktails) from a Palestinian Arab crowd.
  • Route 55 in the vicinity of 'Azzun, and close to the thriving Israeli communities of Alfei Menashe, Karnet Shomron and Ma'ale Shomron - Israeli civilian vehicles are pelted by rocks and cement blocks hurled by Palestinian Arabs.
Wednesday July 4, 2012
  • The El Arrub vicinity again (north of Hevron on the Gush Etzion-Hebron highway): This time, the rock-and-block throwers target an Israeli bus.
Thursday July 5, 2012
  • Early morning mortar attack from Gaza - we reported this here.
  • The highway between Ma'ale Hever Junction and Bet Hagai in the Southern Hevron Hills: Palestinian Arabs launch unspecified attacks on Israeli civilians in their vehicles. 
  • The road between the IDF base in Judea and the community of Ma'ale Hever: Palestinian Arabs attack Israeli vehicles, buses and IDF patrols. Property damage is caused.
  • The  the Avraham Avinu neighborhood in the ancient Jewish community of Hebron: An attack on the children's playground by rock-hurling Arabs.
The Tayar Security Report is compiled by Yehudit Tayar based on inputs from the Hatzalah Yehudah and Shomron organization, cleared and confirmed by the IDF.

6-Jul-12: Iran's moderate voice: "Time has come for the existence of the West and the Israeli regime to cease..."

Iranian leadership
In case anyone out there was feeling optimistic about how the global stand-off with the Iranians is shaping up...

West, Israel major sources of oppression: Larijani
Thu Jul 5, 2012 11:57AM GMT
Iran’s Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani has described the West and the Israeli regime as the major sources of oppression in the current era, saying that time has come for their existence to cease“Today, the time has come for the disappearance of the West and the Zionist regime (Israel) - which are two dark spots in the present era - from the face of the universe,” said Larijani in a Thursday conference in Tehran... The US and the Zionist regime are the prime sources of tyranny and gloom in the current age. The Muslim world is fed up with the injustice and abuse by these governments... [T]he West and the Zionist regime are attempting to lead Islam toward deviation...” He also highlighted the West’s meddling in Syria and reiterated that Western interference in the Arab country “is merely due to Syrian resistance against the Zionist regime; the US, therefore, tries to employ such notions as reforms to harm the resistance front in this nation.” 
(H/T Challah Hu Akbar)

Who is Larijani? Wikipedia calls him a philosopher and politician who holds a Ph.D. in "Western philosophy" from Tehran University. He has been called "a relative moderate who struggled fiercely against the uncompromising agenda of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad[see this Los Angeles Times Service article "Larijani, moderate Iranian, quits post"] and more recently the Financial Times ["Iranian moderate re-elected as speaker"] called him "a moderate politician known for his opposition to Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, Iran’s president". 

In the Arabic media, they tend to speak more forthrightly about their fears over Iran's growing belligerence. An Al Arabiya item from May 2012 calls Larijani 
"a loquacious 55-year-old regime insider whose brothers also hold key posts [and] seen as close to Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei... Larijani’s family is a pillar of the Islamic establishment. His younger brother, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, is the head of Islamic republic’s judiciary. His elder brother, Mohammad Javad, is an advisor to Khamenei."
So when this "philosphical" "moderate" says of "the West" and of Israel that the "time has come for their existence to cease" we're going to go with the world's leading Western voices and assume he means this in the strictly moderate sense of the expression.

As for the report in March quoting Supreme Iranian Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who said The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor and it will be removed”, he was surely speaking metaphorically

And we will look the other way when Reuters reports, as it did this past Wednesday, on a speech by Amir Ali Haji Zadeh, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards aerospace division speaking about the United States presence in the area:
“These bases are all in range of our missiles, and the occupied lands (Israel) are also good targets for us”... Haji Zadeh said 35 US bases were within reach of Iran’s ballistic missiles, the most advanced of which commanders have said could hit targets 2,000 km away. “We have thought of measures to set up bases and deploy missiles to destroy all these bases in the early minutes after an attack...”
However all is not gloom and doom. There's this from Wednesday:
EU Plans to Continue Nuke Talks With Iran 
The European Union said it will hold further talks with Iran on the country's nuclear program, following a one-day technical-level meeting between the international community and Tehran in Istanbul. No date has been set yet for the talks, which will be between Iran's deputy nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri, and his EU counterpart, Helga Schmid, the EU said Wednesday. An EU official said they expect a time to be agreed in the coming days. At Tuesday's Istanbul talks, the two sides shared details of their proposals for resolving the nuclear standoff, "and the experts explored positions on a number of technical subjects," EU foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement.
Exploring technical positions sounds good, no?

6-Jul-12: You thought this morning would be rocket-free? The attacks, mostly unreported, are a constant

The Color Red (Tzeva Adom) incoming-rocket warning system sounded its frightening wail yet again this morning (Friday) between 6 and 7, followed soon after by a report that a rocket had crashed into the Shaar Hanegev region of southern Israel. 

At this stage, it appears, without our being certain, that this attack on civilian targets, like so many before it, resulted in the sowing of fear and panic without, thankfully, causing property damage or human injury or worse. This is of course small comfort to the 6,000 residents of the area impacted this morning who need to cope not only with the ongoing and unpredictable physical threats but with the general outside apathy that accompanies the thousands (!) of such rocket firings that have been their lot in the past years. 

That's the situation in the south. In the north, the authorities appear to be engaged again in a war of words with the notoriously deaf terrorists sitting just across our border with Lebanon. JPost refers to a hitherto-unreported incident last week in which a small force of soldiers from the IDF's Paratroop Brigade were patrolling the border and spotted Lebanese troops positioned a meters 20 meters away on the other side of the fence. The Lebanese were aiming their weapons, including a rocket-propelled grenade, at them. An Arabic-speaking IDF soldier heard the Lebanese commander dividing up targets for his men. The Israeli soldiers called for backup that rapidly arrived on the scene and the Lebanese withdrew, avoiding an unwanted escalation. 

Brig.-Gen. Herzi Halevy, who headed the Paratroop Brigade during Operation Cast Lead in 2009, is quoted in today's Jerusalem Post warning the terrorists in Lebanon that Israel will take immediate air and ground action in a future war that, in his words, would cause “extensive damage, not as a punishment but rather to hit the enemy where it is... The damage will be far greater [in Lebanon] than the Second Lebanon War”.

Meanwhile the rockets in the south keep coming. Perhaps the terrorists don't read our newspapers. 

6-Jul-12: Tentacles in London: British police arrest six near Olympic site

Image Source

What a difference a few days make.

Monday July 2, 2012
CNN -- Government officials from Washington to London insist that there are no known specific or credible terror threats tied to next month's Olympic games in London. Nonetheless, authorities on both sides of the Atlantic are urging vigilance. [Source]
Friday July 6, 2012
Six people, including three living close to the Olympic site and a former police community support officer, have been arrested over a suspected terrorist plot. The alleged plan involved Islamist extremists with potential targets in the UK, but was not linked to the Olympics, it is understood. The arrests were part of an intelligence-led operation by the Metropolitan Police counter-terror command along with armed officers, but the threat was not thought to be imminent.Five men and a woman were arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism and were being held at a southeast London police station, police said. Three of the men, believed to be from a Bangladeshi family, were arrested in a raid on a house in Stratford, east London. One, aged 24, was tasered but did not require hospital treatment. The others were aged 18 and 26. Neighbours said the occupants had been there for more than a year and there were frequently people coming and going from the property. They spoke of seeing men in Muslim-style robes and a woman in a burka...In Ealing, west London, three men, aged 21, 29 and 30, were arrested. The force said eight homes in east, west and north London and one business premises in east London were being searched. The arrests come after Security Service director-general Jonathan Evans warned last month Britain had experienced a ''credible terrorist attack plot about once a year since 9/11. In back rooms and in cars and on the streets of this country there is no shortage of individuals talking about wanting to mount terrorist attacks here... 'The threat is real and remains with us today.''

Thursday, July 05, 2012

5-Jul-12: "Many wanted Arafat dead but Israel stood to benefit from him remaining alive"

Some extracts from "Dig Up His Crimes Along With Arafat’s Body", by Jonathan S. Tobin [here]:
  • No matter who was responsible for his death, there should be no doubt that the man who died in Lausanne in November 2004 was responsible for the slaughter of countless thousands, the introduction of new and fiendish methods of terrorism and for preventing any hope of peace between the Palestinians and Israel.  
  • While Palestinians have often spoken of Arafat’s demise being the result of an alleged Israeli plot, were such a probe to be honest, the Jewish state would probably have nothing to fear... Any discussion of Arafat’s death will necessarily involve highlighting what he did before he expired in Lausanne, Switzerland. And that is not something the Palestinians or their apologists ought to welcome...
  • Hamas knew that without Arafat, their campaign to oust Fatah from Gaza and launch a long march to Palestinian power could never begin. Though Arafat ruled Fatah and the territories with an iron hand and the help of 17 separate and competing intelligence agencies, the mainstream Palestinian party and its terrorist thugs understood that recovery from the intifada required the imperious and corrupt Arafat to exit the stage. The bottom line is that a lot of people wanted Arafat dead. But Israel was the only party that had a vested interest in keeping him alive...
  • The role of Suha Arafat, his much younger widow who has continued to live like a queen in Paris in the years since these events, is also complicated because, as Ha’aretz notes, she refused his doctors her permission for them to conduct a liver biopsy as he lay on his deathbed...
  • The Palestinians would do better to examine their own failed and distorted political culture that makes peace impossible rather than worry about who killed the man who put them in the impossible position in which they still find themselves.
The whole article is here.

5-Jul-12: Needed: Bridge over troubled Gazan waters

[Image Source]
One of this blog's authors has an op-ed in today's print edition of the Australian Jewish News [PDF of the printed published page here]. 

Muddying troubled waters
Arnold Roth, Jerusalem 
When Ruth Pollard writing in Australia's newspaper of record [“Gaza's children live and die on contaminated water”, June 23, 2012] focuses on the  suffering of Gaza’s children, she finds the answer to a multi-dimensional problem in a simple thesis: Israel continues to do illegal things, and tragically it is the children who are the first and main victims. 
Her inaccuracies might matter less If she were writing a fund-raising brochure where all that counts is to touch the hearts of potential donors and get them to send money. But she is a professional journalist, and The Age/Sydney Morning Herald is a respected source of factual analysis. Readers have no reason to suspect that the claims in this article are false. 
Start with this: “[T]he UN considers Israel's land and sea blockade of Gaza to be a denial of basic human rights and a contravention of international law.” But legal experts who have ruled on this issue after the complete Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 came to a different conclusion. The Secretary-General of the United Nations appointed a panel chaired by New Zealand’s Sir Geoffrey Palmer to analyze the 2010 clash between Turkish ship passengers and Israeli naval forces: the Mavi Marvara incident. It held that Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza “was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.” [Source] Why does Ruth Pollard say the opposite?
She quotes a report called “Gaza's Children: Falling Behind" [online here], produced by Save the Children and Medical Aid for Palestinians. She says it found that "rates of sanitation-related diseases such as typhoid fever and watery diarrhoea, both of which can be fatal, have doubled in children since the blockade began." But the report did not say that. Setting aside for a moment the way the sponsors identify unhelpfully with the arguments of the Gazans, their report says diseases among Gaza Strip children under three have "increased" in "clinics serving refugees". How large an increase? It doesn’t say. It says nothing about children three and up. It does not connect the results to the post-blockade timeframe. And it does not claim to be based on independent data; instead it "combines data produced by Palestinian and international organisations" with unspecified "direct field research" and "recommendations of [health sector] experts. 
About water, Ruth Pollard approvingly quotes Ahmed al-Yaqoub, a Hamas official in charge of water resources. He says “the economy in Gaza is getting worse and worse and more and more people are turning to agriculture to boost their income - this in turn has shifted more pressure onto the aquifer." He may well have said this. But it’s not the World Bank’s conclusion [source]. They say Gaza's economy has seen strong GDP growth since 2009; up 25.8% in the first three quarters of 2011 which leaves room for improvement but hardly qualifies as “worse and worse”. And while their report indicates nothing about al-Yaqoub’s claimed increase in agricultural activity, it does touch on Hamas' service inefficiencies and its over-drawing of Gaza’s “coastal aquifer [that] is causing a rapid decline of the groundwater table, seawater intrusion, and deterioration of the aquifer water quality”.
People who know Gaza’s realities from up close understand there is reason to be skeptical about any results offered up by the Gazan authorities. A terrorist organization, Hamas, is in charge there and they play by different rules. They openly conduct unlawful attacks on Israel’s civilians in pursuit of their declared goal to destroy the State of Israel. Their forces, according to the Australian government [source], fire Qassam rockets and mortar shells over here “on a regular basis”. 
Our personal experience is that this is an understatement. Hamas sends religiously-inflamed men, women and children with bombs inside their clothing into our communities here in Israel with the intention of killing and maiming anyone and anything Israeli and/or Jewish. As indiscriminate practitioners of cold-blooded, hatred-driven terrorist warfare, they are especially toxic. Not so surprising that Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by the US, EU, Canada and Japan among others.
Ruth Pollard manages to tell her story without bringing in a single Israeli voice, and with no mention of either Hamas or any form of the word terror. Are these not factors in the water problem? Or in the state of children’s welfare? Does she imagine today’s relations between Israel and the Hamas regime are as congenial as those between the United States and Canada?  Hamas almost gets mentioned at the very end when she touches on unnamed "armed groups operating in the strip". She says they, together with the Israeli military, use methods that cause "countless civilian deaths and injuries".  It’s an exceptionally opaque way of presenting things. Do criminal gangs together with the police and security companies cause bank robberies?
Incidentally, with a life expectancy at birth of 74 years [source], Gazan children today can expect to live about ten percent longer than the world average [source], and much longer than people living in such places as Hungary, Bulgaria, Lithuania, People's Republic of China, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Let’s agree their lives are no picnic but there’s a good basis for better times ahead – if only their leaders would choose to go there.
Gaza’s population deserves clean water, adequate health care, plenty of electrical energy, a bright future, hope. Ordinary Israelis know this. Israel’s government does too. That those worthy objectives are not getting closer has more to do with Hamas and its terrorism-rich agenda than with any other factor. To look right past the Hamas factor – as too many agenda-driven observers do – does no favours to the suffering children.
Arnold Roth’s daughter Malki, born in Melbourne, was murdered by Hamas terrorists in Jerusalem when she was fifteen. Her family established the Malki Foundation [] in her memory.

5-Jul-12: The terrorists of Gaza routinely mis-fire, dropping rockets on their Arab neighbors's heads. When do you hear about those self-inflicted injuries?

Please look closely at this scene from Gaza. Using human shields
is a standard terrorist practice in which the thugs of Hamas
(like the one in the center of this picture) excel. Why do 
the self-inflicted Gazan injuries and deaths get so little attention 
from the hordes of reporters and photographers covering 
their side of this ongoing war?
In the course of checking out the details of this morning's rocket or mortar attack on Israel's Eshkol region, we noticed that there was an attack at about the same time yesterday (Wednesday). 

How do we know? Because an NGO called GANSO, reports online about threats to public safety and to the welfare of the workers employed by what are termed 'humanitarian organizations' inside the Gaza Strip. It refers to 120 such 'humanitarian' organizations. GANSO is funded (€450,000 this year) by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO).

Consulting the GANSO site, we note that yesterday morning
"07/04/2012  08:10  Pal. ops. fired 2 mortar shells from MA toward Kissufim; 1 of them dropped short. No injuries reported."
That's an unedited, direct copy/paste from their site. We interpret it to mean Palestinian terrorists ("ops.") indiscriminately fired off two mortar rounds in the general direction of the other side of the fence, intending to hit something (anything) Jewish or Israeli in the vicinity of Kissufim (the name of a kibbutz as well as a border crossing point near it). As happens, one of those fell short and exploded on the Hamas side of the border. As far as they can tell, no one was hurt. From a quick survey, we note that similar such "fell shorts" are reported in the GANSO records for June 21, June 20 (several) and June 19.

So how often do Gaza's Palestinian Arab terrorists end up hitting their own parents, children, spouses or neighbors? Do you see these self-inflicted losses reported in the news media that serve your community? 

Keep the questions in mind the next time you hear of injuries or deaths in Gaza along with Israeli denials of involvement. Because now you know what the savages of the Gazan terrorist groups do to their own. And how rare it is to see such matters reach the news.

5-Jul-12: They fired into southern Israel again this morning

There may be experts inside Israel's military intelligence who can predict when and perhaps why these things rise and fall. But for the rest of us, it's a puzzle. After several days of relative quiet, a mortar shell was fired from the terrorist-infested Gaza Strip into Israel in the last hour. [The Times of Israel says it was a Qassam rocket - we're checking with other sources now.] The first in a new eruption? A lone firing? A mistake? Whatever, it means the inhabitants of southern Israel in general, and the Eshkol region in particular, are back to the anxieties of raising families and living normal lives while a terrorist army equipped with a vast arsenal of rockets, mortars and the like, picks its moments. Firing into Israel just before 8 in the morning, in case it's not obvious, is  designed to increase the likelihood of people being on the roads and exposed - the better to inflict something painful on the despised Israelis and Jews. Terrorists work like that. There are no targets, no crossfire, no innocent victims caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Their goal, via entirely indiscriminate rocket fire, is to hit anything they can.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

4-Jul-12: What is it about UNRWA?

We have written here multiple times in condemnation of UNRWA. That's the refugee agency invented by the United Nations and the Arab states specifically for the Palestinian Arabs. Its unstated agenda: to ensure the Palestinian Arabs remain classified as "refugees" in the global public consciousness for as long as possible, with zero regard to the harm - and evil - that follows as a consequence. 

We posted last month about the bizarre basis on which UNRWA's existence is financed [see "5-Jun-12: If there's one single thing about UNRWA that we wish people understood, it's this"]. Back in November 2010 [see "24-Nov-10: Quote of the day"], we referred to how the Palestinian Arabs are right at the top of the list of the world's beneficiaries of foreign aid. They have a multitude of non-governmental organizations today that fail to deliver long-term (or any) benefits while perpetuating what the writer we quoted called "corruption, incompetence and meaningless job creation". Beyond these two postings, there are at least another dozen here on this blog in which we point to the profoundly bad things that have resulted from UNRWA's  existence and activity.

In a detailed and well-documented posting today, the esteemed Elder of Ziyon blog takes aim at the reality of UNRWA's role in the educating of Palestinian Arab children. Like EoZ, we begin with UNRWA's educational mission statement:
“An UNRWA education system which develops the full potential of Palestine Refugees to enable them to be confident, innovative, questioning, thoughtful, tolerant and open minded,upholding human values and religious tolerance, proud of their Palestine identity and contributing positively to the development of their society and the global community”.
The reality bears no resemblance to the decent values recited above. Based on actual, online instances of Arabic-language websites bearing the official UNRWA logo, funded by UNRWA, and advancing an overtly Islamist agenda, you can see that the educational system they are sustaining may aspire to religious tolerance, but the reality is very, very different. A handful of EoZ's examples:
  • The UNRWA jobs website is currently advertising for teachers to serve in Gaza. It seeks only two specific subjects of expertise: English and what is termed "religious education". Review the curricula, sample exams and other insights into this "religious education" and you quickly understand (perhaps it was already obvious to you) that this is all about one religion, and a particularly malevolent expression of it.
  • The Maghazi Prep School for Girls boasts its explicitly Quranic agenda. The school's vision is to see to it that the girls raise a generation of children ready to "defend their country."
  • A lesson from the Nusseirat Primary School website on honoring one's parents quotes Quranic and other Islamic sources bewailing "the news of Muslims in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan... you who wish to join the ranks of the Mujahideen and Jihad with them against the Jews and the Crusaders".
  • A recent photo essay and another from last May depicts an UNRWA school observing what it calls Quran Day, celebrating children who memorized the Quran. 
  • UNRWA social studies sites expound on the importance of Jerusalem to Muslims and Christians. The significant to Jews? Look elsewhere.
  • EoZ links to a poem about the "rape" of Palestine by the Zionists; essays about the beauty of becoming a martyr; stories of young men who asked their parents for permission to wage jihad and who died heroically. 
It goes on, all of it enabled by UNRWA's budgets, support, facilitation and existence. In EoZ's words, all these places and activities "directly contradict what UNRWA's stated educational standards are". His questions are sharp, and lack acceptable answers: 
  • Should the UN be in the Islamic education business? 
  • How much of UNRWA's budget goes towards "religious education?" 
  • Are Western donors to UNRWA even aware that they are funding these lessons?
  • Shouldn't someone ask UNRWA about this?
We'll take this opportunity to ask once again the question we posed in June. If (to borrow the laughable claims made by its many supporters) UNRWA's work is so important, if it brings us closer to peace, if it restores dignity to the lives of dispossessed and destitute Arabs, then why, when you look at the top twenty list of donors to this agency that exists entirely from donations, do you see that only one is Arab (and that's not a state but the Islamic Development Bank).

What is it about UNRWA that the Arab states understand better than the nations and tax-payers of the West?

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

3-Jul-12: "Palestinian Arabs want a leadership with Jewish blood on its hands"

Father Georgios Tsibouktzakis, 34, one of the
victims of Marwan Barghouti's "political" campaign.
The bearded young Greek Orthodox priest, one of two monks
who lived in, and maintained, the ancient St. George
Monastery perched on the edge of Wadi Kelt, was
mistaken for a Jewish driver by Barghouti's
Jew-phobic gunmen, and paid with his life.
Writing from inside the world controlled by the Palestinian Authority, the journalist Hisham Jarallah has some views about where his society is headed. The extracts from his essay below ["The Future Leaders of Palestinians: Terrorists"] were originally published several days ago by the Gatestone Institute.
The future leaders of the Palestinians are currently sitting in Israeli prisons. They include dispatchers of suicide bombers, heads of terror cells, ordinary terrorists and political leaders of various terror groups in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
He refers to an opinion poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research that points to a rise in the popularity of Hamas over Fatah, and in particular (something that has been noted in the past) that the convicted and imprisoned murderer Marwan Barghouti, a Fatah leader, would win a presidential election if it were held today.
Palestinians prefer someone like Barghouti to lead them because he launched terror attacks on Israelis and is sitting in Israeli prison. The fact that Barghouti's attacks resulted in the death of a number of Jews gives him leadership credentials. He is popular among Palestinians because he has Jewish blood on his hands and was involved in "armed resistance." Barghouti, according to the poll, would even defeat Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh if they ran against him in a presidential election. 
Moderates and technocrats like Salam Fayyad, the current prime minister in the Abbas regime, are going nowhere politically because they did not take part in terrorism directly:
Fayyad never spent a day in Israel prison and that is enough -- as far as many Palestinians are concerned -- to disqualify him as a future leader. The U.S.-educated Fayyad, in other words, is too moderate and too peaceful and too educated. Palestinians adored Yasser Arafat mainly because he was a symbol of the armed struggle against Israel. They loved his military uniform and pistol because they were viewed as a symbol of the armed struggle against Israel. Arafat was loved because he was personally responsible for dozens, if not hundreds, of terror attacks against Israel... Economic prosperity and the peace process with Israel are not going to convince most Palestinians to vote for people like Fayyad or Abbas.
Here's the money line: 
Moderate Palestinians who are opposed to violence and terror will have no say in the future decision-making process. All this bodes ill for the peace process and stability in the region. If anything, the results of the poll show that the Palestinians are headed toward further radicalization.
Their fetishization of mass murderers goes well beyond radicalization, in our view. The idea that Barghouti, who was indirectly involved in our child's murder and who masterminded numerous other killings of unarmed, innocent people - guilty only of being Jewish - is a serious contender to represent and lead the Palestinian Arabs is an indictment of their values and their society.

2-Jul-12: The truth behind why the Palestinian Arabs face "worst financial crisis", Israel's role in it and what it could mean to the financing of Palestinian terrorism

Government leaders from across the Arab world meet to pledge
vast sums to help their Palestinian brothers while delivering impassioned
speeches of undying support. Getting the kleptocrats to actually
part with their money? That's a different story.
The background to the revealing piece of analysis by Elder of Ziyon that follows can be found in an al-Arabiya news report headlined "Palestinian authority faces ‘worst funds crisis since founding’

EoZ's posting starts with the AFP version of essentially the same story:
The Palestinian Authority government in the West Bank is facing its “worst financial crisis” since its 1994 establishment, the Palestinian labor minister told AFP on Sunday. Ahmed Majdalani warned that a shortfall in the delivery of aid from Arab donor nations means the PA will be unable to pay employees their July salaries or pay off debts it owes to private businesses across the West Bank. “It is the worst financial crisis experienced by the Palestinian Authority since its founding,” he told AFP... The Palestinian Authority has frequently warned it faces a massive financial shortfall that threatens its ability to pay thousands of government employees on time, or even at all. A delay in salary payments would be particularly sensitive this month, as the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan begins in mid-July. Muslims often break their daily fast at large communal meals, stocking up ahead of time on plenty of food. Last July, Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad said the government would pay workers half-salaries because it faced a shortfall of hundreds of millions of dollars. He attended a special meeting of the Arab League to urge Arab donor nations to make good on aid pledges.
EoZ says: 
Arab nations have been reneging on promised aid to the Palestinian Arabs for years. What is fascinating is that while their Arab "brethren" have treated the Palestinians like dirt, Israel went to the International Monetary Fund in order to take out a billion dollar loan on the PA's behalf - and to guarantee it for them! Israel sought a $1 billion IMF bridging loan for the Palestinian Authority earlier this year, but was turned down, an Israeli newspaper said Monday in a report confirmed to AFP by a senior Israeli official. Haaretz reported that Israel's central bank chief Stanley Fischer approached the International Monetary Fund for the money after discussing the Palestinian Authority's financial crisis with Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad. Sometime after the IMF's annual conference in mid-April, Fischer asked the body for the loan, which Israel would have taken on the Palestinians' behalf. Israel would then have transferred the money to the Palestinian Authority (PA) headed by president Mahmud Abbas, which would have repaid the money to the Israeli government. Israel would have remained responsible for repaying the loan to the IMF, under the deal, but the institution eventually declined to make the loan available. Haaretz said it turned the proposal down because it feared setting a precedent of making IMF money available to non-state entities, like the Palestinian Authority, which as a non-state cannot directly request or receive IMF funding. A senior Israeli official who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity confirmed that the details contained in the Haaretz report were accurate.
Israel is willing to go into debt to help the Palestinian Arab leaders while their fellow Arabs promise lots and deliver little. EoZ adds that one aspect of this story that no one talks about, of course, is who exactly is getting paid a salary by the PA. 
Some $5 million a month is spent on the terrorists in Israeli prison themselves. Arab car thieves don't get this stipend - only terrorists. And in 2005, it was estimated that some 10% of the PA budget went towards terrorists and their families. Moreover, over 60% of the PA budget goes towards Gaza, much of it in salaries for PA workers who aren't working in a vain hope that maybe the PA will one day return to power there. Some 80,000 people in Gaza are being paid to stay home, and the PA has spent over $7 billion on Gaza since Hamas took over.  So the financial crisis can be solved fairly easily, if the PA only paid people who really work and forced Hamas to spend its own money governing Gaza rather than indirectly funding Hamas purchase of weapons.
Again, a respectful hat-tip to EOZ.

Monday, July 02, 2012

2-Jul-12: Scenes from the front lines: today's Tayar Security Report update

Beit Ummar: A previous rock/block attack on an Israeli woman
and her passengers - we reported on this in February 2012
The chronology below picks up where we left off this past Tuesday, June 26, 2012 [here]. Like several earlier reports summarized in our blog, this one too is based on the Tayar Security Report compiled by Yehudit Tayar from first-responder, police and army reports. It skips some of the incident reports which we ourselves posted here in previous days.

Friday June 29, 2012
  • Three policemen from the Border Guard are moderately injured in Kedum from rocks hurled at them by Palestinian Arabs. One is evacuated to Belinson Hospital in Petah Tikva for medical treatment; two others suffer leg injuries.
Saturday June 30, 2012
  • The security checkpoint on Route 443 near the community of Maccabim: An Israeli driver presents with head injuries; he reports that he picked up a pair of apparent hitchhikers who then attacked him with a bottle, causing him injuries, and tried to wrest control of the car from him, evidently without success. He is evacuated to Jerusalem's Sha'are Zedek Hospital with moderate injuries.
Sunday July 1, 2012
  • The Gush Etzion-Hebron highway near the Palestinian Arab village of Beit Ummar, scene of many rock-throwing attacks causing injuries and damage to Israeli vehicles: rock attacks described as massive are mounted by crowds of Palestinian Arabs who block the highway in both directions. Soldiers of the IDF attend and attempt to restore order. They are encircled and attacked by the Palestinian Arab mob. One resident of Bet Umar is taken into custody by the soldiers. Order is re-asserted only after a IDF presence is deployed at the scene, and the safety of vehicles passing by is re-established for the present. Beit Ummar's town mosque straddles the traditional tomb of Amittai, father of Yonah (known as Jonah to English speakers), one of the Biblical prophets. (The Moslems refer to the tomb as Nabi Matta.) 
  • The vicinity of Neve Zuf and close to the hot-spot Palestinian Arab village of Nabi Salah: Palestinian Arab crowds congregate to hurl rocks and attack Israeli civilian vehicles passing on the road. IDF soldiers are despatched to the area to disperse the attackers.
  • Near El Arub on the Gush Etzion-Hebron highway: Palestinian Arabs attack Israeli vehicles - including a civilian bus - with rocks.
  • Haramia Valley in the Mateh Binyamin region: Palestinian Arabs attack passing Israeli vehicles with rocks
  • Route 443 near the Dor Energy petrol station: Three firebombs, or Molotov cocktails, as well as a pipe bomb are thrown at passing Israeli vehicles. We have no reports of injuries.
  • The vicinity of Ofra in the Mateh Binyamin region:  Palestinian Arabs from the village of Betin attack Israeli vehicles with rocks, causing damage to several of them. We have no reports of injuries.
A final word about the Tayar Security Report compiled by Yehudit Tayar: These reports are translated and publicized by Hatzalah Yehudah and Shomron with the clearance and confirmation of the IDF. Hatzalah Yehudah and Shomron is a voluntary emergency medical organization with over 500 volunteer doctors, paramedics, medics who are on call 24/7 and work along with the IDF, 669 IAF Airborn Rescue, the security officers and personal throughout Yesha and the Jordan Valley, and with MDA, Israel's official ambulance service.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

1-Jul-12: Among savages, this one is exceptionally barbaric

Ibrahim Hamed in handcuffs at the military court in Machane Ofer.
It's startling how murderous monsters often look like
ordinary human beings. The tragic and unforgivable mistake many make
is to believe they ought to be treated like members
of some political opposition group. [Image Source]
He's not exactly a household name, even here in Israel. But Ibrahim Hamed is a major figure, a hero,  a man of accomplishment in the world of Islamist terrorists/murderers and their very large number of supporters throughout the Arab world and beyond it. 

This morning in the exceedingly modest military courthouse at Machane Ofer on Jerusalem's northern edge (which we know well from our own bitter experiences), Hamed was sentenced to 54 life terms in prison. (There were reports last week that the prosecution had sought 56.) 

The history of Israeli sentences of this sort strongly suggests the man will go free at some early stage. But for now, the news media here - and almost nowhere else - are reporting in a straightforward way on the crimes he committed and the sentence imposed on him.

Hamed was captured after an eight year manhunt by Israeli forces in 2006 at a place within walking distance of where the sentence was pronounced this morning. Held in prison since that time, he is described in his Wikipedia entry as "a Hamas military commander in the West Bank who ordered suicide bombing attacks during the Al-Aqsa Intifada".  

Let's briefly parse that statement. 

First observation: the word "suicide" is entirely out of place in the description. The crime was murder. The killers, a selection of Islamist losers and dead-enders, may or may not have intended to die in the effort. But that is surely not the defining character of the terrorist outrage. Describing the crime, and by implication the victims, as having a character determined by what happened in the end to the perpetrator is wrong and offensive to the innocent people who were their victims, and unduly respectful of the evil parties.

Second note: a military commander? Like a lieutenant general or a field marshal? What absurd nonsense. We're speaking of the ring-leader of the grandiosely named Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas division that executes its terrorist intentions; a man who never wore a military uniform, since terrorists conduct themselves behind a massive human shield of the societies in which they live. And does Hamas constitute a military force? If so, what are their military objectives? If the suggested answer is "they want to win territory and set up a sovereign state", then show us how this fits with their highly public and well-analyzed political manifesto, otherwise known as the Hamas Covenant (where it's conveniently translated into English). 

They are interested in neither territory nor sovereign states. Read the Covenant - it's all laid out clearly enough.

He was and he is a terrorist. He seeks (present tense) to murder civilians by any means accessible to him or the people taking orders from him. Military commanders everywhere would be fully justified in taking the greatest personal offence at any comparison to the rule-constrained careers they undertook.

The charge sheet against Hamad, describes how he planned, organized, assisted and executed the killing of 46 people and the wounding of more than 400 more. The cowardly bloodbaths he initiated include these: 
  • The December 1, 2001 staged, multiple bombings in central Jerusalem's Zion Square. Eighteen people were killed in the Saturday night crowd. A further 188 were injured. The gross savagery of the perpetrators was showcased by the way the first two bombs, detonated on the bodies of the two walking/talking pathetically-human explosives, were followed several minutes later - in accordance with the terrorists' plan - by the explosion of a nearby car bomb. That car bomb was timed to go off just as ambulances and first-responders arrived on the scene. When you are in the presence of barbarians, you must be very careful to distinguish their actions from those of a military.
  • The March 9, 2002, bombing of Cafe Moment in Jerusalem. Twelve people sitting in the cafe were killed in the explosion. Fifty-four more were injured, ten of them severely.
  • The attack on a social venue, the Sheffield Club, in Rishon Letzion on March 7. 2002. Fifteen were killed, 85 injured.
  • The bombing of the Frank Sinatra Cafeteria on the campus of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem on July 31, 2002. Nine students, most of them Americans, were murdered in that act of savagery.  About 100 others were injured. The nail-studded bomb was hidden in a bag that was planted under a cafeteria table and then detonated by remote control, allowing the killers to escape safely. The news media reported that day on street celebrations in Gaza.
How long before we see this creature's face on the posters held by "human rights activists"?

1-Jul-12: Latest scenes from the Arab "Spring"

From today's syndicated AFP report on the unbearable ordinariness of the ongoing daily massacres in al-Assad's Syria.
  • At least 83 people were killed, mostly civilians, in violence across Syria on Saturday, and hundreds more were trapped in Douma as regime forces stormed the town in Damascus province, monitors said... The latest violence came amid fierce countrywide clashes and a day after 75 people were killed nationwide. More than 15,800 people have been killed in violence since an anti-regime uprising broke out in March 2011...
  • In the single most serious incident, mortar fire killed 30 civilians who were attending a funeral in the town of Zamalka, six miles east of Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human rights said... The Observatory did not give any further details on the Zamalka incident but published two videos from people on the ground.
  • "The security forces have seized control of the main hospital in Douma," the Observatory said. "There are no doctors in the town, though dozens of wounded need urgent care."
  • The watchdog also reported fierce clashes in the capital itself and the suburbs of Damascus, with regime troops using helicopters to shell several neighbourhoods on Saturday.
  • The army shelled Rastan in the central province of Homs, the watchdog said...
Meanwhile yet another little-noticed aspect of the Arab "Spring" from the UK Telegraph:
The Arab Spring has spawned a new generation of British-born terrorists after al-Qaeda lured dozens of would-be bombers abroad to train for possible attacks on the UK, the head of MI5 warned... British would-be jihadis are known to be receiving training in the likes of Libya and Egypt, mirroring what has already happened in the Yemen and Somalia. And they could return to attack the UK in what is a “new and worrying development”, he said.