Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Friday 30 November 2012

The BBC: Pride & Prejudice & The Pooh Bah

Jon Donnison and Paul Danahar.  What a pair!  These two BBC journalists, respectively Gaza/West Bank correspondent and Jerusalem-based Middle East Bureau chief, were carpeted by the Israeli Government Press Office on Wednesday regarding Donnison's notorious retweet of a child injured in Syria which purported to be a child injured in Gaza.  As well as retweeting the image, sent to him by a Palestinian contact, Donnison had described the image as "Heartbreaking".

It appears that the Government Press Office told Donnison that if he offends again he could be deprived of his press card.

So he got off with a warning, much to the disgust of many BBC viewers, who, concerned at his perceived pattern of prejudice against Israel, had hoped to see the back of him and were convinced that he'd be expelled.

Ah, but that's Israel for you.  Imagine the fate that would await a reporter who had fallen foul of the authorities in, say, Hamastan.

And if he had been expelled, what an instant hero he'd have become in certain circles!

There have been reports that Donnison and Danahar apologised to the Government Press Office for the fauxtography retweet.

But the pair, otherwise silent (as far as I can tell) regarding what transpired on Wednesday, have hastened to state that this is not so.

Danahar led the way, and Donnison followed.

Little wonder that some Twitter watchers are aghast at the pair's apparent pride in their failure to apologise.

Meanwhile, regarding yesterday's UN vote (138 in favour, nine against, and 41 abstentions) regarding the upgrading of Palestine to "observer state" status, Danahar (retweeted by Donnison) has made this seemingly non-objective remark:
"Voted No: Canada, Czechs, Palau, Nauru, Micronesia, Marshall island, Panama, US, Israel. Looks like cast list of 'Coalition of the Willing' "
What a pair!  Isn't it time the chairman of the BBC Trust, Lord Patten, threw the Corporation's rule book on impartiality at them?

Speaking of the portly and pompous Lord Patten (himself with a history of pro-Palestinian partisanship), who's dubbed Pooh Bah by some elements of the press, here's highly satisfying footage of the drubbing he took recently on a separate matter from Conservative MP Philip Davies:

If only Philip Davies, blunt Yorkshireman and stormy petrel that he is, would ask Patten why he allows BBC reporters to flout the BBC's Charter again and again and again.

An Irishman's Splendid Pro-Israel & Pro-Jewish Speech (video)

Here's Councillor Richard Humphreys (Labour) speaking on 25 November at a pro-Israel rally in Dublin.  While by no means unsympatheti to the Palestinians, he calls for a more balanced approach in Ireland to the Middle East situation, and pays tribute not only to Israel but to the Jewish presence in Ireland.

Thank you, Councillor Humphreys!  Thank you for reminding us that there's another viewpoint in the Emerald Isle other than that of the horribly strident Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Hat tip: reader Shirlee

(This video, originally from Uri Navon, was uploaded by thegajd)

Thursday 29 November 2012

"A Brilliant Move Or A Tactical Disaster?": David Singer On The Legacy Of Israel's Unilateral Disengagement From Gaza

Coming in the immediate wake of Operation Pillar of Cloud [aka Pillar of Defence], this is the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.  It's entitled "Palestine:  Sharon's Gaza Gambit - Brilliant Move or Tactical Disaster?"

Writes David Singer:

'"Gambit - an act that is calculated to gain an advantage, especially at the outset of a situation"Oxford Dictionary

The end of the eight day bombardment of Israel's civilian population by hundreds of rockets indiscriminately fired from the Gaza Strip has caused many respected commentators such as Caroline Glick to roundly criticise former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon  for having unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip in 2005 by withdrawing its army and 8000 Israeli citizens,  many of whom had lived there for almost 40 years.

Writing in the Jerusalem Post on 22 November Ms Glick stated:
"As for that withdrawal from Gaza, just like the phony peace process with the PLO and the strategically demented withdrawal from south Lebanon, the withdrawal from Gaza was a self-evidently insane policy. It was obvious that it would lead to the strengthening of Palestinian terrorist groups and so put Israel’s population centers in striking range of their missiles...
... To force this mad initiative through, Sharon had to explicitly disavow the platform he was elected to implement. Sharon won the 2003 elections by pledging never to surrender Gaza.
After he betrayed his voters, Sharon demonized and, when possible, fired everyone in positions of power and influence who opposed him.
He called a referendum of Likud members to vote on his plan, and when his opponents won the vote overwhelmingly, he ignored it. He fired Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya’alon, then IDF chief of General Staff. He fired his cabinet ministers. He castigated as “rebels” his party members who opposed his plan."
Was Sharon's decision indeed an "insane policy" or rather a brilliant gambit by Sharon with Israel's long term national interests uppermost in Sharon's mind?

Israel has certainly paid an enormous price in deaths, injuries and ongoing trauma  resulting from more than 8000 rockets being indiscriminately lobbed from Gaza into a target area covering one million of  Israel's civilian population since Sharon's fateful decision eight years ago. The civilian population of Gaza has also suffered as Israel has responded to protect its civilian population against such attacks.

A bewildering number of terrorist groups has since sprung up in Gaza like mushrooms – all hell-bent on indiscriminately terrorising Israeli Jews and Arabs as well as foreign workers in pursuit of their heinous objective of wiping the Jewish State off the map.

The Hamas Government has done nothing to prevent such rocket attacks against the civilian population of Israel – initiated in many instances from schools,mosques, homes and hospitals located within Gaza's civilian community – all of which actions constitute war crimes under international law.

However, Caroline Glick and those other commentators joining her on the Sharon blame game bandwagon all fail to acknowledge the written commitment Sharon obtained from American President George W Bush on 14 April 2004 to enable such Israeli evacuation from Gaza to occur.

President Bush was well aware of the risks Israel's unilateral disengagement would involve – and yet at the same time he recognized the opportunity such disengagement would offer to progress his Roadmap when he told Prime Minister Sharon:
"We welcome the disengagement plan you have prepared, under which Israel would withdraw certain military installations and all settlements from Gaza, and withdraw certain military installations and settlements in the West Bank.
These steps described in the plan will mark real progress toward realizing my June 24, 2002 vision, and make a real contribution toward peace. ...The United States appreciates the risks such an undertaking represents. I therefore want to reassure you on several points."
President Bush’s letter then clearly – and unambiguously – pledged American support for the following positions:
1.    The borders of the new Arab State would not encompass the entire West Bank
2.    Jewish towns and villages in the West Bank would be incorporated into the borders of Israel in the light of new realities on the ground including existing major Israeli population centres.
3.    The Palestinian refugees would have to be resettled in the new Palestinian State rather than in Israel
4.    Israel’s security and well being as a Jewish State would be a strong American commitment
5.    The United States would do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any plan other than the Roadmap
6.    As part of a final peace settlement, Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338.
The Bush letter was overwhelmingly endorsed by the United States House of Representatives and Senate on 23 June 2004 when the following Resolution was passed by a vote of 407:9:
"Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress--
(1) strongly endorses the principles articulated by President Bush in his letter datedApril 14, 2004, to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon which will strengthen the security and well-being of the State of Israel; and
(2) supports continuing efforts with others in the international community to build the capacity and will of Palestinian institutions to fight terrorism, dismantle terrorist organizations, and prevent the areas from which Israel has withdrawn from posing a threat to the security of Israel."
The Bush commitment now takes on added importance as the PLO seeks to commit political suicide by embarking on its third unilateral action outside of and in breach of the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap within the past thirteen months – this time to secure recognition of the State of Palestine as a non-member observer state at the United Nations.

It seems to matter little – as was also evidenced at UNESCO – that there is no Palestinian entity meeting the requirements prescribed by international law for statehood - specifically the Montevideo Convention 1933. 

The fictitious State of Palestine will be admitted as an observer non-member State at the UN - notwithstanding that such a decision can lead to withdrawal of US financial contributions as happened at UNESCO and risk Israel taking unilateral action of its own in the face of the PLO repudiation of the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap

President Obama has yet to definitively declare that he remains bound by President Bush's 2004 commitments to Israel.

Congress needs to demand that President Obama honour America's above assurances. Disavowing the commitments of one president and Congress by another president and Congress would be the height of diplomatic treachery.

Honouring the Bush commitments is crucial in ensuring that the sacrifices made by Israel's population following Israel's unilateral disengagement from Gaza in the pursuit of peace have not been in vain.

President Obama and the Congress hold the keys to determining whether Sharon's decision to disengage from Gaza was a indeed a brilliant move or a tactical disaster.'

Aussie Foreign Minister Carr Cools Prime Minister Gillard's Ardour For Israel

Here's Senator Bob Carr talking before the ceasefire was confirmed about Operation Pillar of Cloud [Defence] and also about the demos against the Israeli-owned Max Brenner outlets that occur from time to time in Australia.

But as today's Australian newspaper reports, Carr, riding roughshod over the stance of prime minister Julia Gillard, has argued strenuously for Australia to offer no opposition to the Palestinian Authority's bid later this week for observer status at the United Nations.

Some who agree with him point to demographic changes in certain constituencies, which have led politicians representing them to pay heed to Muslim opinion on the issue.  Accordingly, Australia, rather than vote against the bid along with the United States and Israel, will abstain:
'.... Several ministers and backbenchers had been warning Gillard for weeks that the position on the UN vote, slated for Friday, needed to be finalised in order to instruct the ambassador to the UN, Gary Quinlan, on what to do.
They were seized by the dramatic change in the caucus on the Israel-Palestine issue, with several factors that have been slowly building within Labor -- Israel's settlement policy, increasing violence by settlers against Palestinians and a right-wing Israeli prime minister who backed Mitt Romney over Barack Obama.
There is concern both Israel and the Palestinian Authority are stalling on a two-state solution and that the outcome of the UN vote could positively energise those discussions.
And, critically, there is the growing Muslim and Christian make-up of several key western Sydney Labor seats, which have exposed MPs to different points of view on the Middle East.
Some sections of the party suggest Victorian Labor is too close to the Israel lobby and does not fully understand the underlying changes in Sydney's outer suburbs.
However, one Victorian minister said: "How are we going to solve Labor's challenges in western Sydney by the way we vote at the UN?"
Before the cabinet meeting late on Monday, Gillard met with senior ministers for two hours to discuss the UN vote. Carr sketched out the foreign policy argument for not opposing the Palestinian motion that he believed was in Australia's interests.
Environment Minister Tony Burke, holding a seat in southwest Sydney, explained the shift in the community he had been feeling on this issue for a long time...
Before this meeting, Gillard made an extraordinary request to the NSW Right faction convenor and chief government whip, Joel Fitzgibbon. She wanted him to bind the Right behind her position. Fitzgibbon refused.Meanwhile, former prime minister Bob Hawke, a long-time ardent supporter of Israel, was arguing behind the scenes for Australia not to oppose the motion on Palestine. So had his foreign minister, Gareth Evans, who warned Labor MPs and senators not to be "on the wrong side of history"....'
Reacting to the abstention decision, the shadow Foreign Minister, Senator Julie Bishop, said:
"The Coalition is disappointed that the Government has decided to abstain from voting at the United Nations on the matter of Palestinian Observer Status.
The Coalition believes Australia should vote against this bid as we do not believe that this is the path to peace and reconciliation between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.
Our concern is that the drive for greater recognition at the United Nations is an attempt by Palestinian leaders to enable them to bring action against Israel through the international courts.
It also risks conferring increased international status on the militant group Hamas which governs Gaza.
This action is likely to escalate and prolong the conflict, rather than lead to a resolution of disputes.
The path to peace is for the Palestinian leadership to officially recognise the right of Israel to exist and to halt the firing of rockets and mortars as part of a campaign by militants to terrorise and kill Israeli civilians.Australia has long supported the two-state solution and the right of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples to live peacefully and in safety within internationally recognised borders. We urge both sides to resume negotiations towards a lasting peace in the region."
Further details on this issue are available here 

Hat tip to reader Shirlee for this link to an ABC feature about young Aussie Jews proudly preparing to make aliyah.

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Donnison's Date With Destiny (includes videos of media bias)

"Fire Jon Donnison" are the words on one of the stills in this video, and in view of the BBC's Gaza and West Bank correspondent's now notorious retweeting some days ago of fauxtography, to say nothing of the anti-Israel bias that frequently taints that young man's reportage (and sometimes his Twitter messages, even stooping so low as to make unseemly mockery of this article in the Jerusalem Post), it is easy to see why.

As mentioned in some detail on BBCWatch, tomorrow (Wednesday) Donnison, and also the BBC's Middle East bureau chief Paul Danahar, are due to meet the Government Press Office in Israel, having been summoned there owing to that retweet, which gave the impression that a child casualty in Syria was a victim of Israel's recent counter-terrorism action against Hamas in Gaza.

As we are told elsewhere:
"Israel’s Information Ministry is exploring the possibility of denying Jon Donnison press credentials....
If denied the press credential Donnison could possibly lose the ability to work in Gaza and the West Bank as he’d find it difficult to enter each territory from Israel.
Donnison tweeted an apology the day after the initial tweet appeared: “A photo I re-tweeted from another journo yesterday showing children injured was NOT in Gaza as I said but apparently from Syria. Apologies.”
Last week Knesset Member Carmel Shama Hacohen, Chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee, said that the apology was not enough and suggested certain sanctions be imposed on channels whose coverage consistently “blackens the face of Israel.”
Denial of press credentials due to the nature of the press coverage is an unusual step, and it would be unlikely to hold up in the Supreme Court. In the past the Supreme Court has ruled that the Government Press Office is not permitted to deny press credentials due to the contents of journalistic work – even if it is libelous...."
Beneath the BBCWatch post I comment:
'[I] it's a shame that the BBC doesn’t have the integrity to relocate him, in view of his persistent subjective “gone native” reportage. Should his credentials be revoked, the BBC will be able to claim him as a martyr to censorship.  And if they are revoked, and the Supreme Court voids that step, the BBC will be able to claim him as a journalistic hero.'
However, the Israelis' decision to summon him is fully justified, and if he does lose his press credentials he will have brought that on himself.  The BBC must learn the hard way if necessary that it cannot libel Israel with impunity: if it won't ensure that loose cannon reporters like Donnison abide by its impartiality guidelines, it need not be surprised when those whose interests are constantly compromised by the breach of those guidelines take punitive action against him and his ilk.

To quote BBCWatch's managing editor:
"It is unfortunate that Donnison has jeopardised his career in such a manner, through his failure to adhere to the BBC’s own Editorial Guidelines on accuracy and impartiality and its existing guidance on the use of social media.
The BBC’s funding British public, as well as millions of people around the world who rely on the BBC for trustworthy information, no doubt also await the results of a BBC investigation into Donnison’s breach of his organisation’s Editorial Guidelines."
[Update here]

Tuesday 27 November 2012

"Killing [Israelis] Is Worship That Allah Made Into Law": Hamas's Blood Lust (plus video)

Be sure to read this new report, with accompanying footage, of how Hamas idealises the killers of Jews and Israelis.

Examples (given in the above report) during Israel's counter-terrorist Operation Pillar of Cloud:

"Bless [Hamas'] Al-Qassam men, guardians of Palestine...
Oh pride of Salah Shahada, oh wisdom of Immad [Aqel]
(i.e., Hamas leaders killed by Israel)
[Oh] the explosives of [Yahya] Ayyash (i.e., Hamas bomb maker killed by Israel),
[Oh] lovers of the trigger:
Killing the occupiers [Israelis] is worship that Allah made into law...
Arabic text on sign:
'Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah'
Arise, oh determined men. The color of [the Martyr's] blood protects the land.
Oh masked one wearing a keffiyeh (i.e., Arab head scarf), terrifying the Jews...
call out in Zionism's face: 'Muhammad's army has begun to return.'"

[Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas), Nov. 15, 2012]

"We are [Hamas' Al-Qassam] Brigades
Brigades - we kidnap soldiers
Brigades - we kill Jews
Brigades - we watch the borders
Brigades - we ride at night
Brigades - on horseback
Brigades - we are not afraid of death
Brigades - gear up your weapon
Gear up, gear up
Prepare the force
Prepare, prepare
Prepare the force and get ready
Destroy the usurper's dens and set fire to the oppressors
Through training and preparations, you roar, oh lion of Qassam
It's in your hands to get [our] country back and then we will raise the banner of Islam."

[Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas), Nov. 21, 2012]

 Hat tip to reader Ian for alerting me to this new StandWithUs video:

And hat tip to a commenter on BBCWatch's latest post regarding Jon Donnison for this:

Propaganda From Paris (video)

Since Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 the Strip has been "Israel's shooting gallery".  That's the preposterous but oh-so-headline-friendly claim of Press TV's propagandist in Paris, against the backdrop of a demo there against Israel's right to defend itself from Hamas terror.

Par for the course among the incongruous leftist allies of Iran and its proxies, of course.

Incidentally, I wish I could think of a suitable tag for this sort of thing other than "Anti-Zionism in France [or whereever]".  After all, the aims of Zionism were fulfilled in 1948 with the proclamation of the sovereign state of Israel.  "Anti-Zionism" seems to play into the delegitimisers' hands, does it not?  "Anti-Israel Activism", perhaps?

Taub Talking (videos)

Many friends of Israel in the UK and indeed around the world doubtless feared that the affable and articulate Ron Prosor, who ceased to be Israel's ambassador to the Court of St James last year when he took up his appointment as his country's permanent representative to the United Nations would be too hard an act to follow.

However, the eloquent and personable Daniel Taub, who succeeded Mr Prosor, is obviously a most impressive replacement.

Like Ron Prosor (and Ishmael Khaldi) before him, he found himself (in October) targeted by anti-Israel elements when he visited the University of Edinburgh to address international relations and politics students (though the disruptive activists failed to deter him from continuing with his speech, and his visit to Scotland proved a success).

In this speech to British ORT, dating also to October, he speaks of Israel and, inter alia, aptly describes the Middle East situation as a struggle between those who want to go backward  and those who want to go forward.

Not surprisingly, Mr Taub found himself in high demand with the media during Operation Pillar of Cloud (aka Defence).  He appeared on various television channels, dealing calmly and capably with the tough questions, such as these posed by Matt Frei, who, as seen, also questioned a Hamas representative:

Here's another interview, also early in the action:

And here's a good article by Daniel Taub.

On the Operation, see Isi Leibler's verdict here

Monday 26 November 2012

"It's Hamas Who Turned Gaza Into A War Zone Recently ..." (video)

Here's Pat Condell telling some home truths about Hamas and its intentions, gullible western journalists, and Israel's longing for peace:

Hat tip: reader Ian

Sunday 25 November 2012

On Yer Bike, Jon!: More Outright Anti-Israel Propaganda From The BBC's Fauxtography Tweeter Donnison

A human shield in Israel: mother protecting child from Hamas missile
Back in 2002, Jon Donnison, the BBC's correspondent in Gaza, was a reporter on BBC Radio Sheffield.  A BBC article at the time told of keen cyclist Donnison's participation in that year's Tour de France.  The article was headed "On Yer Bike, Jon!"

"On Yer Bike, Jon!" is what the BBC should have told this snide, subjective, smart alec of a reporter following his disgraceful, and now deservedly notorious, retweet of a photograph purporting to show an injured child in Gaza, but which in fact showed an injured child in Syria.

But of course he kept his job, despite that example of shoddy journalism, and despite (some might say because of) his outrageous tendency to act as a spokesman for the Palestinians, thus breaching time and time again the BBC's editorial guidelines on impartiality:
"Presenters, reporters and correspondents are the public face and voice of the BBC - they can have a significant impact on perceptions of whether due impartiality has been achieved.  Our audiences should not be able to tell from BBC output the personal prejudices of our journalists or news and current affairs presenters on matters of public policy, political or industrial controversy, or on 'controversial subjects' in any other area."
Donnison's a keen cyclist still, it seems.  But he's an even keener recyclist by the look of things. 

Online, some Palestine Solidarity Campaign members and sympathisers have claimed that Donnison did not publicise the tragic death of his BBC colleague Jihad's baby son Omar (though in fact Donnison referred to it in broadcast after broadcast, as well as online).

Omar's fate was indeed deplorable, and I like most people sympathise with his distraught family.  However, Donnison has proved his worth to Israel's enemies once again by planting on the BBC website an emotive essay about Omar's death that, despite cursory lip service to the fact that Israeli civilians have died, is a hook on which to hang yet more subjective propaganda against Israel: 
"Despite the evidence pointing towards an Israeli air strike, some bloggers have suggested it might have been a misfired Hamas rocket.
But at that time, so soon after the launch of Israel's operation, the Israeli military says mortars had been launched from Gaza but very few rockets.
Mortar fire would not cause the fireball that appears to have engulfed Jehad's [i.e. Jihad's] house.
Other bloggers have said that the damage to Jehad's home was not consistent with powerful Israeli attacks but the BBC visited other bombsites this week with very similar fire damage, where Israel acknowledged carrying out what it called "surgical strikes".
As at Jehad's home, there was very little structural damage but the victims were brought out with massive and fatal burns. Most likely is that Omar died in the one of the more than 20 bombings across Gaza that the Israeli military says made up its initial wave of attacks.
Omar was not a terrorist....
In Israel, too, there were fatalities: four civilians and two soldiers. There were also many injuries. But the fact the Israeli Ambulance Service was also reporting those suffering from anxiety and bruises is an indication of the asymmetric nature of the conflict."
On Yer Bike, Jon!

(Update: Snap!)

As I remark in a comment on BBCWatch:
"Donnison is so subjective, so obviously emotionally involved with the Gazans, so irredeemably “gone native”, that if the BBC had any scruples and honour at all, let alone concern for objectivity, it would relocate him to another part of the globe."
 (Updated again: First the good news - Donnison's going on leave.  Now the bad news - he'll be back.

Out of for a few days break. Back soon. BBC Gaza old boy Aleem Maqbool holding the fort. 

Some people have already tweeted that he should take as long as he likes ... )

Shoe Hurlers, "Nazi Scum" & NSW Greens: Recent Antipodean Anti-Israel & Anti-American Demonics (videos) (updated)

In Sydney, New South Wales, some "unwelcome guests" (as the SBS reporter describes them), leading to cries of "Nazi Scum Out!".

Ah, yes.  The Australian pro-Palestine movement can't afford more publicity of this kind (a look at antisemitism in its ranks; hat tip: reader Jean), after all.

Some days ago I posted a video showing Greens ex-state politician Sylvia Hale inveighing stridently against Israel's latest defensive action against Hamas. This SBS footage includes Greens senator Lee Rhiannon, of whose anti-Israel stance the Aussie columnist Andrew Bolt wrote this insightful piece a few days ago (hat tip: reader Shirlee)

Hat tip to Shirlee for this footage of a Sydney rally today:

In Auckland, New Zealand, such ripping fun hurling shoes at the American Consulate and flying the Palestinian flag from its flagpole:

(hat tip: reader Shirlee)

In Brisbane, Queensland, the usual suspects shouting the usual themes:

(This, showing leftist and Islamic marchers screaming various chants, some more familiar than others, is one of several showing a rally last week, which included ear-splitting diatribes in English and in Arabic)

Yet another one (hat tip: Shirlee) in whih one of the speakers identifies the "right of return" as the most important goal of all:

And in Melbourne, Victoria, more of the same:

Crap-talk in Adelaide, South Australia:

Saturday 24 November 2012

Colonel Richard Kemp On Israel's Counter-Terrorism Operation In Gaza

Here, speaking in Israel, is the always impressive former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan praising Israel's surgical strikes during Operation Pillar of Cloud, pointing out that about 120 of the Palestinian casualties were involved in terrorist activities, and assessing the impact of the action upon Hamas.  Colonel Kemp, who feels that the international community was more supportive of this operation than Cast Lead, probably because Israel got across its case better, believes that Netanyahu was wise not to undertake a ground offensive, since he needs no distraction from concentrating on the main enemy, Iran ....

Hat tip: reader Shirlee

Friday 23 November 2012

The American Campus War Against The Jewish State (video)

I've just stumbled across this newly-uploaded video concerning supporters of Hamas and Hezbollah on campuses in America, and thought it well worth posting here:

It exposes lies, and Islamic antisemitism, very well.

Mark Regev Interviewed Regarding The Truce (video)

Here's Mark Regev talking to Al Jazeera shortly after the truce came into effect, an interview somewhat  marred by the constant interruptions of a none-too-patient interviewer:

Hamas's reaction to yesterday's bomb blast:

Hat tip to reader Jean Vercors of Ashdod for this photo of an Israeli mother in Ofakim shielding her child as sirens blare the warning of an incoming rocket from Gaza during the recent crisis:

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Telling The Conflict Like It Is: British Pundit Talking To The BBC (video)

I saw this interview live on BBC News 24 a few days ago, and was full of admiration for the interviewee, Raheem Kassam, communications director of the London-based Henry Jackson Society, talking from Jerusalem about Operation Pillar of Cloud to newsreader Clive Myrie:

 (Incidentally, graphic footage here of how Hamas treats supposed collaborators with the Zionist Entity)

"We Are David Up Against Islamic Fundamentalist Terror": Leonie's Letter From Israel

"We are not the Goliath in this story, we are David up against Islamic fundamentalist terror supported by Iran."

Yes, indeed.

As reader Jean Vercors remarked to me yesterday, of the Hamas missile which hit his home town of Ashdod at the weekend: 
"Qassams are typically homemade—70 pounds of steel inserted with nails & bolts, as in the bombs used in suicide attacks.
 This rocket weighs 88-110 pounds, has a diameter of 4.5 inches, a length over 8.5 feet, a maximum range of 9 miles or more, and its warhead weighs 22 pounds. The Qassam IV has hit Ashkelon and may travel even farther as technology develops.
Hamas is believed to have stockpiled several hundred Qassam rockets with an average range of 6 miles. The group also possesses Grad rockets, which they imported to the Gaza Strip. These are rockets of Russian design, similar to the Katyusha. The Grad has a range of 12.75 miles, making it the rocket with the longest range currently available to the Palestinians."
I'm both proud and humble to be able present the following moving and insightful glimpse of life for Israelis in range of the threat of Hamas missiles.

I'm grateful to its author, Leonie Lachmish, of Mercaz Shapira, for giving me permission, via reader Shirlee, to post it.  (And, needless to add,  hat tip to Shirlee for bringing it to my attention!)

Leonie, incidentally. is the mother of Shani Lachmish, who's not unfamiliar to many Americans and others through the Ein Prat Fountainheads clips on YouTube.  Shani is at present in New York volunteering in a Jewish community hard hit by hurricane Sandy, as part of the delegation of the Ein Prat Leadership Academy Alumni.

Like Leonie, I hope the following reaches a wide audience.  (Other bloggers, please link to this.)

Writes Leonie Lachmish:

'We live between Ashkelon and Kiryat Malachi in a small kind of "village" for want of a better word ("yishuv" in Hebrew). This means that we get the sirens when rockets are sent in the direction of Kiryat Malachi and also hear Ashkelon and Ashdod sirens and booms from a distance. Over the past few days, there have been between two and seven sirens per day (and night). In the cities, there are tens of sirens (and attacks or successful interceptions) per day and through the night. Families without fortified rooms have to run to a safe area. In Sderot, they have 15 seconds to do that, here we have 40 seconds.

Try and imagine: How are elderly or infirm, handicapped or bedbound people meant to make it to a safe place? Fast? Maybe 20 times a day?

Or: 2am – waking up, grabbing your children and running out of your front door down a few flights of stairs...
Or: stopping your car and trying to release all the children's safety belts (same children may be hysterical from the siren because they know to expect the explosion any second) and run to shelter. In 15 seconds. Or 40 seconds.
How long should a country ask its civilians to put up with that? How long would you put up with that for?

Living under the threat of rocket fire is not a bowl of cherries by any means, it certainly runs havoc with any kind of routine or normal lifestyle.

Like, can I dare go into the shower? Where are our children at any given moment (especially people with young children)? Dare I venture going in to my doctor's appointment in Ashkelon or Ashdod? If there's a siren on my way to the supermarket, will I stop the car and lie on the ground with my hands over my head – these are the instructions if you are nowhere near a building to take refuge in.

These are times of stress, tension and confusion.  Many homes have taken direct hits, the families in them saved only because they ran out in time or had a fortified, safe room and made sure they reached it on time.

Our situation is nowhere near as traumatic as that of our friends in kibbutzim on the border with Gaza or the cities Sderot, Netivot (where my husband, Haim, works), Ashkelon, Ashdod, Beer Sheva, Kiryat Malachi (where three people were killed by a direct hit on their way to a safe area on Thursday: Aharon Smajda, 49, who was helping his neighbours down the stairs with their young children, Itzik Amsalem, 24, and Mirah Sharf, 27, who had returned to Israel from New Delhi where she and her husband were Chabad (Lubavitch) emissaries, in order to give birth in Israel. Her husband and other children are wounded). This news is heartbreaking for Israelis and a reason for celebration for our enemies. They rejoice in death and violence, we rejoice in life and saving life.

Who needs Jews as best friends? We're the best enemy you could hope for! A new line they can use instead of "Some of my best friends are Jews, how about "Some of my best enemies are Jews" or "With enemies like Jews, who needs friends?" The terrorists can go to mosque and funerals of terrorist chiefs knowing they won't be harmed even though we know exactly who they are and where they are.

Did you know that the IDF made thousands of phone calls to Gaza households and dispatched thousands of fliers in Gaza warning people to stay away from where the terrorists are because we are targeting them?

Do people in the west realize that the Jewish enemy cares more about the welfare of the population of Gaza than the cynical, cruel terrorist entity who is supposedly meant to be taking care of them?

Do people understand that if and when civilians are hurt in Gaza it is because all our attempts to protect them have been thwarted mainly by the insistence of their 'protectors' to act from densely populated areas and specifically mosques, kindergartens, schools, you get the picture?

Do they understand that misrepresenting Israel in the world means strengthening the oppression of women in Gazan society and the abuse of children, being brought up with hatred 24/7 on TV, in schools, trained to be shahidim (martyrs - i.e, mass murderers of the Israeli or western enemy) as an ideal

I see a demonstration of "Jewish Homosexuals and Lesbians for Gaza" and rub my eyes. Where is the only place in the Middle East where Jews / homosexuals / lesbians can live freely or live at all (let alone if you're both!) ? Gaza perhaps?

Even after 12 years of living under fire, my friend, Esther, in Kibbutz Alumim on the border, says "Can't we brainwash them with 'All we are saying is give peace a chance'?" But the problem is that their aim is not for peace and quiet and a good education and future for their population but to keep their population ignorant , needy and resolute to anihilate us and cause us pain. havoc and despair. We are not talking about neighbours like Canada here, or New Zealand. We are talking about a fundamentalist Muslim terrorist entity.

Our aim is to stop the attacks on our civilians. In the west, people seem to preoccupy themselves with the numbers killed on each side. So I am stating the obvious, and please do the same, state the obvious, when speaking with people who don't understand: Israel is a sovereign state under attack by terrorists.

The enlightened western world should be unshiftingly on Israel's side and in awe at the wondrous brilliant way Israel is surgically attacking the root of evil there. Please make it clear to people that if not for the amazing Iron Dome missile interceptor and the safe rooms and safety zones, there would be hundreds of Israelis killed and thousands maimed from the hundreds of rockets over the past few days. That Hamas is committing crimes against humanity and war crimes. Israel's retaliation is surgical, brilliantly avoiding civilian injuries, taking out the terrorist chief of staff and sending him to his 72 virgins.

Anyone who thinks the IDF is trying to kill civilians needs to wake up and smell the humus. The IDF must be an incredibly shabby army if in 6 days of air attacks, it only manages to kill under one hundred people, at least half of them terrorists! If our aim were to kill Palestinians, surely it would be more likely for there to be under 100 left, rather than 100 killed!  Israel's only 'crime against humanity' if any was the restraint she has shown time and time again so as not to 'escalate violence in the region', her only "crime" was against her own civilians. Which country in the world would (or should) tolerate 12000 rockets on their civilians and 12 years of trauma and fear for children in Sderot, in the kibbutzim and moshavim in the south and more recently, over a million Israelis hostages to the whims of the terrorist entity controlling Gaza? 13% of Israel's population - that would be the equivalent of London being bombed for 12 years.

As of Thursday, the rockets are reaching Tel Aviv and if not for the wonderful Iron Dome, this would mean hundreds of people killed and wounded and tens of homes destroyed.

As I write, 2.30 pm Tuesday 20th November, Jerusalem is again under attack. The mind boggles as to why they would be trying to blow up the city they claim is their holy capital. Perhaps they just don't like built-up areas. That would also explain storing explosives and shooting from densely-populated areas so even our pin-pointed surgical operations can't help but harm civilians no matter how hard we try not to

Please pray for Israel, support Israel and stand up for Israel. Hamas commits war crimes daily. Attacking a neighbouring country, aiming to kill men, women and children, is a crime against humanity.

We are not the Goliath in this story, we are David up against Islamic fundamentalist terror supported by Iran. Support Israel and you support the democratic and humanist values of the free world.

Support our enemies and you undermine those very values and play into the hands of those who despise freedom and love.'

Tuesday 20 November 2012

"Blood On Your Hands!": Protesting Batsheva & Gaza in Old London Town

Here are scenes from outside Sadler's Wells last evening, when a seething raucous mob of usual suspects screamed intimidatory invective at people arriving to watch the Batsheva Dance Company.  "Shame on you!" yells the mob.  "Blood on your hands!"

And here are hardline far leftists and their predictable if incongruous bedfellows demonstrating outside the Embassy a few days ago against Israel's right to defend itself from Hamas terror strikes.

(A few as-a-Jews here, folks.)

Towards the end of the video a strident female voice condemns the  –  wait for it!  –  pro-Israel bias of the BBC (as satirical magazine Private Eye is fond of saying of statements that seem to lack factual basis: "Shome mishtake surely?").

Update: Richard Millett's video shows what the audience thought of Batsheva last evening!

Stop The Hamas Rockets: Australian Jews rally for Israel (videos)

Here's Australian Jewish News footage of a characteristically robust pro-Israel rally that took place in the heart of "the shtetl on the Yarra" yesterday.  Am Israel Chai!!!

As well as in Melbourne, pro-Israel rallies occurred in other Australian cities, and non-Jews were among those attending.

Here's the view from Sydney (uploaded by RickShaff1979):

These graphics should make Israel's predicament clear to everyone:

Hat tip for the Aussie maps: reader Shirlee

Monday 19 November 2012

It's Been A Weekend Of Disproportionate Bias On The BBC

Israel has "failed to get on with its neighbours"?
As detailed here, the BBC radio programme "Any Questions" (chaired, incidentally, by Jonathan Dimbleby, whose overt sympathy with the Palestinian cause surfaced during the 1970s) included a jaw-dropping question by one Stephen Bedford:
"Despite all the foreign aid and support, Israel has spectacularly failed to get on with its neighbours. Does Israel deserve a future?"
Comments the Scottish blogger Calton Hill:
Israel's neighbours have failed to get on with Israel!
"To suggest that any nation does not deserve a future is tantamount to advocating genocide and Calton is wondering if, in fact, the question constitutes a hate crime under our new legislation on such matters. Perhaps someone should phone the police and find out. What is encouraging is that all four of the panel stated quite clearly that Israel has a right to exist and two at least were just as shocked as Calton was at the way in which the question was framed. In these days of heightened tension in the Middle East it is quite reasonable to question whether the actions of Israel or any other nation are legitimate or proportionate, however, questioning a nation's right to continued existence is not reasonable. Nor is it helpful."
From what I have seen of BBC News 24 this weekend, I'm left with the impression of a feeding frenzy of Israel-demonisation, at least as far as today is concerned.  Hamas spokesmen  and pro-Palestinian interviwees seemed to have outnumbered Israeli ones in a ratio of 3:1.  Among those warmly welcomed into the studio was Ahmed Bari Atwan (pictured), the London-based editor who once proclaimed on TV that he'd dance in Trafalgar Square if Iranian missiles hit Israel.  Despite that statement, he continues to be a favourite with the BBC, and, as other Al Beeb newsreaders have done, Maxine Mawhinney greeted him like an old, fond friend.

I had thought that Ben Brown, reporting from Ashkelon, was a model of objectivity, but today his reportage seemed marred by what I suspect to be a mandated editorial line focusing on "disproportion" and "assymetrical warfare".  These were the allegations that Brown put to IDF spokeswoman Lt-Col Avital Leibovich today. and he seemed to agree with them.

A rocket fell in Ashdod this afternoon (photo: Jean Vercors)
Emotive partisan reportage and commentary has marred the tweets of the BBC's Middle East Bureau chief Paul Danahar, and has characterised the tweets and on-air remarks not only of the frequently errant (as far as Charter-stipulated objectivity is concerned) Jon Donnison but also Wyre Davies, of whom I had expected better.

That half of Gaza's residents are children is something that Donnison and Davies have been keenly emphasising this weekend, apparently to drive home to viewers just how ruthless the nation across the border that has the temerity to protect its citizens from Hamas rockets is being.  Yes, I know that there have been harrowing incidents, but unlike the Israelis Hamas fails to provide bomb shelters and uses its civilians, old and young, as human shields.  I do not blame Donnison and Davies for being upset at what they have witnessed, but it should not ostensibly affect their coverage or lead to snide condemnation of or value judgements against Israel.

Davies, for example, reported acidly today that Israel targeted the home of a Hamas official "regardless of who might be inside" resulting in the deaths of all nine occupants.

Ashdod this afternoon (photo: Jean Vercors)
BBC reporters and newsreaders are allowing Hamas spokesmen and their supporters to assert the mischievous, nay, malevolent, canard that Gaza is “under occupation”.   Newsreader Clive Myrie failed to challenge this assertion last night, for instance, and Ben Brown has failed to do so today.  Have they forgotten Israel's total withdrawal in 2005?

"This is one of the poorest regions on the face of the planet," emphatically declared an uncharacteristically partisan and propagandistic Myrie in talking to Osama Damo, a Save the Children official in Gaza.

Myrie then interviewed Gil Hoffman of the Jerusalem Post, who began to give the Israeli viewpoint, stressing that Israel is targeting terrorists who are indiscriminately attacking the Israeli population.  But Myrie had little patience with such realities.  He was more concerned with reminding Hoffman of the fate of that Hamas household of nine that was killed today by an Israeli airstrike.

Hoffman effectively found himself on the receiving end of a hectoring lecture, managing to get in the fact that 24 truckloads of aid has entered Gaza from Israel (and adding, justifiably, that this is a rare gesture from one combatant to another) before an impatient Myrie was off again, telling him aggressively that Israel's response: "doesn't look fair" (there again was that "disproportionate" response and "assymetrical warfare" argument that the BBC have been pushing today.) 

Ashdod residents, shaken but unbowed (photo: Jean Vercors)
Some effort was made, as indeed it should have been, to show the effect of rocket attacks on the people of Israel.

However, compared to previous days, this appeared cursory.

 More might, as well,  have been made of the fact that Hamas is sending missiles into areas where there are numbers of Arabs as well as Jews, thus again displaying their callousness towards their own people.

And so we await the half-truths and distortions that the BBC on the new week will bring ...

(Interesting post here)

Sunday 18 November 2012

The Moral Bankruptcy Of The BBC's Idea Of Moral Equivalence

From Israel Matsav's blog (from which I've lifted this oh-so-apt logo):

"Here is the BBC's Tweet.

.@Twitter bans "threats of violence", but will it stop tweets by Hamas's @AlqassamBrigade & Israel's @IDFSpokesperson?
Note that BBC wants Twitter to stop the Tweets of both Hamas and the IDF as if they both share exactly the same guilt"

Read Israel Matsav's entire post here (hat tip: the utterly compelling and indispensable new site BBCWatch)

BBCWatch (which, among all the other great work it does in exposing the Corporation's bias such as this, and this (it's outrageous, do look!) has recently pointed to dodgy tweets by Gaza correspondent Jon Donnison and also by his sidekick Wyre Davies) has these tips on protesting to the Corporation regarding instances of its bias.  Go for it!

And if you haven't yet signed the petition to release the Balen Report, please do so.

(Since, apart from its World Service, it runs the world's most watched news website, you don't have to be British to demand that this arrogant globally influential broadcaster shows transparency, and the impartiality its Charter, and its moral obligation, demands!)

Update: Another Donnison slur:

Be sure to read more on that trope (re the BBC's Middle East Bureau chief Paul Danahar) here

It's All About Well-Justified Defence From Rocket Attacks, Al Beeb, Not Pre-Election Posturing

By British Israel Coalition
For the BBC, the timing of Operation Pillar of Cloud is a macho-posturing an election ploy on the part of Binyamin Netanyahu (the subject hat tip reader Jean – of an antisemitic cartoon in Friday's Guardian) who seeks re-election in January.

Ever since the current action against Hamas started, BBC newsreaders and anchors of current affairs programmes have sought confirmation of this suggestion of theirs with mantra-like questioning of interviewees and panellists.

Mostly, it has to be said, to little avail.  They must have thought that Gideon Levy, whom they interviewed yesterday on their main news channel, would oblige them with a confirmatory reply, but instead he roundly dismissed the idea as nonsense.

Occasionally, through assiduous handpicking of respondees, they have struck lucky, as Gavin Esler did on "Dateline London" today when to his query  to the effect "Why now?" a robustly anti-Israel Sudanese writer called Nesrine Malik waded straight in with the adamant (and unprobed by Esler) claim that the January election is driving Israel's strike.

Indeed, so-called "Middle East editor" Jeremy Bowen (he of the utterly banal, mediocre waffle that passes for "analysis" on Al Beeb, he who egregiously erred in claiming last week that rocket attacks from Gaza have been diminishing, he whose infamous anti-Israel bias has been displayed afresh, as analyst Robin Shepherd notes in this must-read piece) has stated it as a given fact.

To quote from an incisive short article by London blogger and author Jeremy Havardi that appeared on Thursday:
'So already the  madness has started. No, not Israel's self defence operation against the terrorism from Gaza but the onslaught from Israel's detractors. Already the Israeli action is being presented as a reckless 'escalation' of hostilities, a means of sparking a regional conflagration that will drag in other countries.
The BBC's Jeremy Bowen suggested yesterday that the Israeli operations were part of a ploy by Benjamin Netanyahu to get re- elected. "In the past", he declared "military strikes have been used to send messages about the toughness of Israeli leaders.” In other words, Netanyahu's action was designed to feed the Israeli public's insatiable appetite for conflict.
As we know, what the BBC says really matters because it remains the most influential shaper of public opinion in the UK. Much of the public will swallow the BBC's line, not because they are automatically pro-Palestinian or bigoted, but simply because the real context for Israeli actions has been vastly underreported.
In the few days before Israel targeted Ahmed al-Jabari, the head of Hamas' military wing, there had been an unprovoked attack on an Israeli jeep that injured four soldiers, one seriously. What followed was a sustained barrage of rocket attacks (well over 100) across the south of Israel, with some 120 rockets fired since Jabari was killed. Three Israeli civilians have now been killed by a direct hit. Hamas has also been busy importing scores of Fajr missiles from Iran with a range of up to 75 kilometres, making them capable of reaching Tel Aviv.
Yet these latest outrageous attacks are but the tip of the iceberg. Since the start of 2012, 797 rockets have been fired from Gaza, forcing approximately one million Israelis in towns across the south to flee to their nearest bomb shelter, with as little as 15 seconds to react. The number of rockets fired increases to over 5,000 since 2006.
Yet apparently, the low number of casualties (thanks to Israel's advanced technology and interception systems) is a total non-story. It is only when Israel ends its restraint and finally takes decisive action that suddenly the BBC screams of a dangerous escalation. They then have the temerity to suggest that the real reason for the Gaza operation lies hidden beneath a clever Israeli smokescreen. Rockets? What rockets? ...."
Well, these rockets, shown on a typically excellent BBCWatch post

Rockets targeting civilians that no nation should or would tolerate 

Rockets that were very much on the mind of the pro-Israel demonstrators in London yesterday, whose rally has been ignored by the mainstream media.  (See my previous post, and read more here)

Photographer: Adrian Korsner; h/t: Lyn Julius

And (hat tip: reader Shirlee) watch Hamas's latest lies here.

(btw, read about the bias of Paul Danahar, who heads the BBC's Middle East Bureau, here, and cast an eye occasionally over his, and Donnison's, tweets.   BBC objectivity? Pah!)

Saturday 17 November 2012

Pro-Israel Rally Outside The Israeli Embassy In London Last Evening (video)

The previous post shows on video what amounts to a blood libel against Israel by an Aussie former state parliamentarian shrieking vomitous invective.

Here's something much more edifying (uploaded by loveofpeace):

 Meanwhile, not far away: