Thursday, May 26, 2016

Major attempt to smuggle contraband to Gaza foiled

An attempt to smuggle a large consignment of pipes for the production of mortars and dozens of electric motors for use in the Hamas underground tunnel system in the Gaza Strip has been foiled.

The security personnel from the Defense Ministry Crossings Authority and the ISA stopped a large consignment of goods suspected of being intended for Hamas terrorist elements in Gaza at the Tarqumiya Crossing near Hebron in the last few days.

The cargo was concealed in a supposedly innocent supply of textiles and jewelry. It included hundreds of 4 inch metal tubes, with special drill fittings used to manufacture mortars and rockets and dozens of electric motors used in various fortification tasks, including the construction of Hamas' underground tunnel network.

The consignment was intended for Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing. The shipment was confiscated and an investigation has been launched to find those involved in the smuggling.

And are we allowed to defend ourselves when, it seems, inevitably Hamas is determined to make war and not peace. Just tell that to the attendees at the conference initiated by the French to discuss "peace" initiatives in the coming days.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Is Israel killing Palestinian children?


Is Israel killing Palestinian children? 
The AFP's biased reporting on terrorism paints 
an absurd picture of reality. 

Help us make a change by signing the petition:

Lies about the IDF must be challenged

Lies about the IDF: IDF veteran Leibel A. Mangel mythbusts
 a Palestinian video purporting to show IDF soldiers 
from his company "killing children in Gaza." 
In fact, no one died and the video was not even from Gaza.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Sykes-Picot Agreement, a Hundred Years Later

Yossi Kuperwasser  MAY 18, 2016

The Sykes-Picot Agreement that divided
up the Middle East. Graphic: Wikipedia.

The rationale behind the 1916 plan produced by British diplomat Mark Sykes and his French counterpart, Francois George-Picot — and the international agreements that followed it about the future of the Middle East after World War I — was a mixture of British and French interests, with some basic understanding of the characteristics of the Middle East at the time.
The problematic pillars that were supposed to provide stability to this order were: Arab nationalism — though this pillar underestimated the role of religion, tribal and sectarian affiliation; the aspirations of other nationalities in the region; resentment towards foreign ideas; dividing the region between several invented nation-states under autocratic rule; and the expectation that the Arabs would submit themselves to foreigners in a way that would serve Western interests.
The Western powers were aware of the deficiencies that prevented the Arab states from functioning in a way that guaranteed stability, but supported the status quo, which had been surprisingly kept, due to the commitment of the ruling elites to the new borders and the autocratic nature of the Arab regimes.
This was the case until the Arab upheaval in 2011. The autocratic systems in non-monarchic states collapsed, and the Middle East witnesses to this day a fierce battle over the fate of the Sykes-Picot legacy, between “radical Islam” and the “pragmatic” forces. All factions of radical Islam deny the concept of nationalism, and believe in reviving the Islamic nation as a single political entity governed by Islamic law. But while the “ultra-radicals” (Islamic State and al Qaeda on the Sunni side, and radical leadership of Iran on the Shiite side) call for establishing Islamic rule as soon as possible, the “realist radicals” (the Muslim Brotherhood and the Rouhani camp in Iran) believe that the time is not ripe to establish the caliphate, since the West is not yet weak enough to be defeated.
However, these “realist radicals” consider the West sufficiently weak to need to rely on them to protect it against the threat from the ultra-radicals. The realist radicals’ major achievement is Western readiness to enable them to acquire a nuclear weapons arsenal in 10-15 years while intensifying their regional influence.
On the other hand, the Arab pragmatists — such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, most of the Gulf Emirates and Egypt — support preserving the existing boundaries and state structure in the Middle East.
A major challenge to Sykes-Picot comes from frustrated sects and peoples whose aspirations for self-determination were not met. The Kurds, for example, are moving steadily towards independence in Iraq and Syria.
The West lost its appetite to dominate the region the way it deemed necessary during the Cold War. This reluctance reflects weakness, confusion and ascendancy of a world view which is based on a feeling of guilt for the way Muslims were treated in the past, and baseless optimism regarding the ability to solve all remaining disputes through dialogue and contrition that would reap forgiveness from them.
This leads to a hesitant policy towards protecting the existing order. Though the West is seemingly committed to this goal (it opposes the Islamic State, contests the Kurds’ efforts and continues to refer to the states in the region according to former boundaries), it is not ready to invest real assets in this context, even after realizing that refraining from action may encourage huge Muslim immigration to Europe.
This Western confusion enables Russia to gain power in the region.
For Israel, this situation is challenging. The instability is exploited well by its enemies from the radical Islamic camp. If the radicals widen their influence, they may threaten the stability of the monarchies, which survived the first round of the upheaval. Radical terrorist elements may use this instability to acquire better military capabilities, while a nuclear arms race may develop in the aftermath of the Iran nuclear deal.
Finally, Israel should worry about the different world views that have developed between itself and the West, and about the perceived weakness of the United States in the eyes of regional players. The wave of Muslim immigrants to Europe may make the West even more sensitive to what it considers to be concerns of the Muslim world regarding Israel.
But the new situation also presents Israel with opportunities, like developing security cooperation with the region’s pragmatic elements, making it easier to explain that its dispute with the Palestinians is not the key obstacle to regional stability, and that it has genuine security concerns that justify its insistence on having secured and defensible borders. It also makes it easier for Israel to convince Western countries of its strategic value to them and their interests.

Monday, May 16, 2016

I am sorry to tell you..”

My dear friends, Jews in Israel and the Diaspora.

 I am sorry to tell you that the terror attacks from which we suffer today and yesterday, a week ago, a month, a year and a decade and century ago, are all part of the same war, the same struggle, the same Jihad waged against us by our neighbors for over a century.

Sometimes it is a full scale war with tanks, noise, flames, planes and ships and sometimes it is a war on a slow burner known as "terror" with explosions, stabbings and shots. Each of these is Jihad in Arabic, each is aimed at Jews just for being Jewish.

I regret to remind you of the fact that this war began way before the establishment of the Jewish state declared in 1948. The riots and massacres of 1920, 1921, 1929, 1936-39 et al, were not due to a Jewish state or what our enemies call the "occupation" of 1948, and certainly not because of the 1967 "occupation". The bloody and cruel massacre of the Jews of Hevron in 1929 was carried out against Jews who were not part of the Zionist movement, quite the contrary. The Palestine Liberation Movement (Fatah) was founded, may I remind you, in 1959 and The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1964, years before the 1967 "occupation" that was a  result of Israel winning the Six Day War.

I hate to point out to you that the shouts we heard, mainly in the 1948 War of Independence, were "Itbach al Yahud" – "Butcher the Jews" – and not the "Israelis" or the "Zionists," because their problem is with the Jews who refuse to be dependent on the mercy of Islam, refuse to live as dhimmi, protected ones, the way Islam mandates for Jews and Christians. In the Arab world, children still sing (in Arabic): "Palestine is our country and the Jews are our dogs."

It is not pleasant to tell you this, but Israel's enemies' most popular chant is (in Arabic) – "Kyber, Khyber O Jews, Mohammed's army will yet return." Khyber is an oasis in the Arabian Peninsula that was populated by Jews until Mohammed slaughtered them in 626 C.E. The chant commemorates that event and threatens a repeat performance.  The Jews, according to the Koran (Sura 5, verse 82) are the most hostile enemies of the Moslems. Verse 60 states that Allah's curse and fury upon them turned them into monkeys and pigs.

Despite what you think, peace with Egypt was achieved only after Sadat realized that despite Arab efforts to destroy Israel in the 1948 War of Independence, the 1956 Sinai Campaign, the 1967 Six Day War, 1970 War of Attrition, and even the 1973 Yom Kippur War that took Israel by surprise, the Jewish state managed to push back all the Arab armies and bring the war to their territory. That is why Sadat understood that Israel is not conquerable and that there is no choice other than making peace, even if this peace is temporary and based on the precedent of the 628 C.E. Hudabiya Peace in which Mohammed gave a 10 year hiatus to the infidels of Mecca, but broke it at the end of two years when they fell asleep on the watch.

Yassir Arafat did not sign the Oslo Accords because he believed in peace, but because, calling it the "Hudabiya peace," he saw the agreements as a Trojan horse that would hoodwink the Jews.

The only objective of the Oslo Accords was to create a Palestinian entity with an army and weapons that would be used to destroy Israel when the time was ripe. He repeated this constantly, but our decision makers explained that he is only saying it for domestic consumption, and when suicide bombers set themselves off in our streets, the victims were called "victims of peace." Since when does peace require victims? And when will the rifles we allowed them to obtain be turned on us?

It saddens me to tell you that all of Israel's efforts to please the Hamas Gazans failed, and Hamas went on from being a terrorist organization to becoming a terrorist state. Deathly rockets, attack tunnels, suicide bombers -  all are considered legitimate in the eyes of Gaza's Jihadist government, so to hell with the lives of the men, women and children living there, and to hell with their welfare, health  and assets. The Gazans are pawns in the hands of Hamas, the Jihad and the Salafists, all of whom appointed themselves the liaison between the residents of Gaza and Paradise, having already given them a taste of hell on earth.

It pains me to tell all the soul-weary peace seekers in Israel and the world, that the concrete and iron that you forced us to give the Jihadists in Gaza in order to rebuild their destroyed homes, were used to build tunnels of death both to Gazans and Israelis. Instead of building hospitals, schools and infrastructure, the Jihadists built an infrastructure of death, suffering and disaster.

You were wrong again – basing your policy on pipe dreams, delusions and hopes instead of on facts and figures. Analysts, including me, are not entirely blameless: they said in wondrous harmony that when Hamas has to bear the responsibility for food, electricity and welfare in Gaza, its leaders will become more moderate, realistic and pragmatic.

We were wrong:  Hamas, despite leaving the opposition in order to rule, has not ceased its Jihad against Israel and has not removed Israel from the top of its list of priorities, nor has it changed in the slightest its wholly negative view of the "Zionist entity."

I hate to ruin the "two states for two peoples" party, but I must, because what is happening in Gaza today is exactly what will happen to the second Palestinian state you are trying to establish in Judea and Samaria.

Hamas will be the winner of elections for the legislature, as they were in Gaza in January 2006, and will win the presidential elections as well. If they don't they will take over all of Judea and Samaria in a violent putsch, just as they did in Gaza in 2007. And when that happens, what will you say? "Ooops…we didn't know…we couldn't imagine…?"  So now you know and do not have to extrapolate. This should be your working hypothesis. If Gaza's Hamas is digging tunnels of death in the sand today, it will be digging through rocks to build them from Judea and Samaria – and let's see you find them and blow them up when that happens.

And to anyone with a short memory, let me refresh it: In July 2014, Hamas managed to shut Ben Gurion Airport for a day by launching rockets from Gaza.

If and when they gain control of Judea and Samaria, they will be able to shut Ben Gurion down with a slingshot, and will be able to overlook all the runways from the Beit Arye heights. Anyone who does not believe me should get into his car and drive to the top of the hills to the east of Ben Gurion Airport, located in "conquered, occupied territory" (conquered from whom, precisely?).

And if we are already talking about Jerusalem, what will you do when the State of Hamas presents you with an ultimatum: Jerusalem or war? The Temple Mount or we shut down Ben Gurion Airport?

And when the world supports their demand for Jerusalem, letting Israel pay the price of calming  down radical Islam, what will you say? And when the snipers go back to shooting at passersby on Jerusalem streets from the walls of the Old City as their Jordanian brothers did until 1967, where will you hide? Behind concrete walls? A security fence? Or will you simply move Israel's capital city to Tel Aviv?

I am sorry to disappoint you but the worst thing that ever happened to Israel's hopes for peace was the rise of the peace movements, those calling for Israel to establish a terror state in Judea and Samaria and give up East Jerusalem for it.

In the Middle East, he who expresses a desire for peace, talks about his yearning for peace and offers his land and country as bribery in exchange for a paper which has the word "peace" on it, is looked upon as someone who lost a war and is begging for his life.

The peace movements turned Israel's image into that of a weak and soft defeatist country, the exact opposite of the kind of country that achieves peace in the Middle East. In the violent and radical region where Israel is trying to survive. In the Middle East, peace means that your enemies leave you alone because you are too strong, threatening and dangerous to start up with. In the Middle East only the unvanquished obtain peace.
Anyone who does not accept these facts, who is not ready for "blood, sweat and tears," he who impatiently demands "Peace Now" does not belong in the Middle East.

Here, we have room only for the brave, the strong, the steadfast and those who believe in the justice of their cause. Anyone who lacks those traits can find a suitable home somewhere else, where life is peaceful, quiet, prosperous and blooming. May we suggest Paris, Brussels, Madrid, Boston or San Bernardino….

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Remembrance Day in Israel

Dear widows and orphans. Remembrance day is here again. This year, just as every year, many citizens will attend heart-rending ceremonies at the country’s cemeteries to honor their loved ones who departed too soon while defending the Zionist dream, the Jewish state.

The citizens of Israel unite on this day behind the screen of sadness, while in the background are the many stories, perhaps too many, of the fallen heroes who gave their lives for their homeland and endangered themselves for all our sakes.

This is a day that brings together all citizens and especially the families of the fallen. They don’t have a real need for such a day because they live the loss every day, every hour, at every important crossroads in their lives; when their children begin their military service, get married, and raise a family; when they are successful, progress in a career, or are sad and in need of support. The void becomes greater and takes on a relentless aspect. Yet nevertheless, Remembrance Day is important. These families receive a warm hug from all the other citizens and from the state.

They should feel that tthey are not alone in their pain. On this day we very clearly transmit our heritage to future generations in the kindergartens, in schools and everywhere else when everyone stands at attention during the memorial siren; in conversations about the fallen soldiers; in the songs about those who are no longer with us, and more.

For the families of the fallen, there are many days of mourning during the year. Even when there is happiness, the emptiness in their lives remains. This elephant is always in the room, and the deep pit that opened up in a moment will never be filled again. We all know that thanks to those loved ones this country exists, and thanks to them most of us can sleep well and without fear. We all know that they sacrificed themselves exactly for these goals, in order to ensure our future in our small land, here in the stormy and turbulent Middle East.

During the past year we gladly did not know war, but we still hear almost every day about the terrorism that strikes everywhere, in Israel and abroad. Soldiers and policemen are still a target, and grief and death still impact us. We hear about how terrorism has spread to many places, even in countries that in the past did not experience such horrifying events in which human beings just murder other human beings, without any logical reason. We unfortunately have already been living with that fear for more than 100 years.

What are we asking for after all? We want to live quietly, to allow our children to live in the Promised Land and raise new generations who will continue in our path. We desire to live in a place in which fear is not connected to wars, death and bloodshed.

We ask to live in peace with our neighbors, and not less importantly – with ourselves. For better or for worse, this is our country. We don’t have another one. That was also the thought of the loved ones, who lost their lives to preserve the little that we have, to protect ourselves and our independence.

May we never know bloody wars anymore, may we live peaceful lives, and may the family of bereavement no longer continue to grow.

We will remember our dear ones. We will remember and will not forget.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Hamas under pressure, Israel makes progress on tunnels

 As Israeli technology advances in tunnel detection solutions, it is only natural that Hamas sees its key advantage over the Israeli army being wiped out. Thus we see Hamas trying to disrupt the activities of the army in their detection operations.
Yaakov Lippin  Jeruslaem Post 5th April 2014
For the first time since the August 2014 cease-fire came into effect ending Operation Protective Edge, Hamas launched cross-border mortar attacks throughout Wednesday.

Hamas is targeting IDF units engaged in hi-tech tunnel detection work on the border between Israel and northern Gaza. It is escalating the situation due its fear that it is about to lose its trump card.

Hamas has invested much treasure and blood in its cross-border tunnel network, and its military wing is alarmed by what it perceives as one Israeli breakthrough after another in tunnel detection.

Although Hamas is keen on honing its rocket, drone and sea-based attack capabilities, its tunnel construction program remain its crown jewel.

During the two-month conflict in 2014, those tunnels terrorized civilians in southern Israel.Hamas fighters popped up from seemingly nowhere to attack and kidnap soldiers.

The IDF responded to Wednesday’s stream of mortar shells with pinpoint tank fire at Hamas positions. Yet the cease-fire is now facing its first real challenge, and an escalation could easily occur in the near future. This is also a test of previous claims by defense officials of a zero-tolerance policy to Hamas breaches of the truce.

As noted in previous coverage last month, the discovery in April of a tunnel going from southern Gaza into Israel, and subsequent progress in detection in other areas, means Israel has obtained what it hasn’t had before: a precise ability to know where Hamas’s tunnels snake their way underground.

Hamas knows its rockets have launched their punch due to the ever-growing effectiveness of the Iron Dome air defense batteries, which have grown in both number and ability since 2014.

Since the end of Operation Protective Edge, Israel has invested more than NIS 600 million in tunnel detection technology, and those hi-tech efforts are now bearing fruit.

The defense establishment is not about to stop its work for fear of an escalation. The tunnels violate Israel’s sovereignty, and Hamas stands far more to lose from an escalation than Israel.

The tunnels are supposed to enable Hamas to insert its highly trained and heavily armed Nuhba Force members into Israel in a future war. These terrorist units would then act as death squads, murdering and maiming Israelis, or kidnapping them.

The fact that Gaza’s economy is, once again, on the brink of imploding – due to Hamas’s insistence of using its enclave as a bastion of jihad against Israel, rather than investing in its people’s welfare – is another factor that could hasten another war.