Friday, October 19, 2018

So What's Next?

This is a cross posting from Arlene Kushner an independent journalist                                                                        whose writings can be viewed at 

This will be a “catch-up” posting to keep my readers in the loop during a  process with regard to Hamas that is still unfolding.
During the night on Wednesday, two rockets were launched from Gaza.     Hamas later said their people did not launch them. But the IDF rejected       this out of hand: The rockets were Grad rockets, a powerful weapon in the possession of Hamas in Gaza and none of the other factions.
One rocket destroyed a house in Be’ersheva.
Credit: Zehut International
A woman and her two children lived there. They had just entered their bomb shelter when the rocket hit. Hysterical at how razor-sharp close they had come to disaster, they had to be treated for shock.

The other rocket was aimed towards Tel Aviv but missed its mark and I believe landed in the sea.
This represented a major escalation from Hamas and generated a great deal of anger in Israel; Defense Minister Lieberman was especially incensed.

In response, the IDF hit 20 Hamas targets across Gaza; according to IDF spokesman Ronen Manelis, these included an attack tunnel, a Hamas base, and a rocket manufacturing site. In one instance, a group was struck as it was attempting to launch another rocket.


During the day yesterday, there was still talk about last minute efforts by Egypt to redeem the situation before it was too late.

A Security Cabinet meeting was delayed until very late because IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot was in the US and had to return home. In preparation for that Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu held meetings with officers of the Gaza Division and other military personnel, as well as with heads of municipalities and regional councils in the area adjacent to Gaza.

 As time for the meeting approached, there were reports that it was Lieberman’s intention to seek approval of the Cabinet for a military action in Gaza, and so many of us went to sleep expecting to awake to news of war.


This morning, however, all was quiet. Everything was even ordered back to normal in the southern communities. For a short interval of time it was so quiet that I thought that this might be a ploy: that a decision might have been made to reveal nothing to the press, and to then attack.

But slowly, the leaks and comments began coming through: The Cabinet, it appears, opted for the position of Gadi Eisenkot (at left below, with Netanyahu and Lieberman), who recommended that the IDF respond according to what happens on the ground and not pro-actively.

Perhaps most significantly, Housing Minister Yoav Galant (Kulanu) said:

“I will not refer to the content of the cabinet discussions, but I can say one thing very explicitly - the rules of the game are about to change.

"We will no longer accept the arson terror and the fence terror."

Reportedly, the Cabinet has instructed the IDF to demonstrate a zero tolerance to violence at the fence, gradually intensifying the reaction to that violence.

I am unable to be more specific as to what this means. Shooting any adult who launches an incendiary device? Killing anyone who tears down the fence and enters Israel? I do not know.

It has not been specifically mentioned here, but I wonder about burning tires that spread toxic fumes into Israel communities adjacent to Gaza. Will that continue to be tolerated?

What I do know is that leaders in the communities adjacent to Gaza are not happy that the recommendation of Lieberman was not accepted. And that Netanyahu has said if the violence continues we will “react with great force.”

The first test comes tomorrow, as the big day for rioting at the fence is Friday.

You know what they do? They pray in the morning (it is their Sabbath), and riot in the afternoon and evening.


Late this afternoon, a contingent of 60 tanks and armored personnel carriers, clearly visible from the main roads, were deployed along the Gaza fence. This is the largest deployment that has been observed since the Israeli-Hamas war in 2014.


IF zero tolerance is actually exhibited, and IF Hamas knows we really mean business, then it is possible some measure of deterrence might be regained, and the violence might be contained for an interim of time.


My first response to this is:

What the hell took so long? Why was there not a zero tolerance policy from the moment of the first violent confrontations at the fence six months ago??

Had there been an appropriately tough response from the beginning, we would not be contending with the current situation.

A certain military reticence is admirable. But excessive reticence is deeply troubling.

I have had direct communication with a soldier who just finished serving at the Gaza fence. I have heard first-hand about the frustration of the troops stationed there, and about the restrictive rules.

My contact told me that the soldiers were often afraid to shoot because they might get in trouble for having done it the wrong way. Afraid? These are loyal soldiers, facing down violent, Israel-hating creeps, and trying to follow the rules. The situation has undermined their morale.


And while our guys were being careful, those violent, Israel-hating creeps, supported by Hamas, have been sending incendiary devices into Israeli territory.

This report came out recently:

“Over the past six months, since the outbreak of the arson attacks in the south, more than 1,100 fires have been caused in the forests of the Keren Kayemet Leyisrael Jewish National Fund, according to a just-released KKL-JNF report.

“The fires have covered about 12,000 dunams (3,000 acres) of natural woodlands and planted forests, more than half of the KKL-JNF forests in the Gaza perimeter.”

I have been weeping inside about this for a long time, and I do not understand how it was permitted for so long!!


Hopefully, the situation is about to change.


One last comment: There is still talk about the possibility of a “long term truce.” I don’t believe it is possible. Lieberman indicated this week that every effort failed.

More importantly, I absolutely do not believe that it should be given a chance to succeed. Who has ever heard of a ceasefire with a time limit? This is the Muslim version of a ceasefire, a hudna, modeled after the behavior of Mohammad.

When there was talk of going to war now, Lieberman warned that it would be harder this time, because Hamas has better weapons. Should we then allow them to continue to increase the quality of their weapons, unhindered, for a period of years? Or until they decide they are strong enough to attack us?

We must have the latitude to move as we deem necessary without being accused of “breaking” a truce. Zero tolerance is for the short term. Ultimately, it is going to be necessary to do a military action of a more extensive nature to, at the very least, diminish Hamas capabilities.


And so we must pray. For the wisdom and courage of our leaders. For our own courage in hard times. And ultimately, for peace.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

It’s Time I Break My Silence

Here is a Christian Arab's view of the Israeli army vehemently opposed to the actions of the group Breaking the Silence, who he feels are distorting the truth with suspect testimonies. Read what Yosef Haddad  writes :-
Next week, Harvard University will be hosting the Israeli organization, Breaking the Silence, an organization funded by anti-Israel groups that incites against the State of Israel and defames the IDF. BTS members speak out against the IDF; they “testify” as former soldiers, but they do not tell the entire truth of situations– they distort the truth and they tell partial stories that provide a slanted and partial picture of reality

They do this to serve their only purpose: to slander and defame the State of Israel and the IDF. We have so many enemies all around us who want to destroy us and it is the most painful when this defamation comes from within us. BTS will be speaking before the students of Harvard University, one of the most prestigious institutions in the world – a stronghold of future leaders in every field. Many of its students will go in to hold key positions of power and influence. In speaking before the students there, BTS will be shaping the outlook of these future leaders against the State of Israel, against our country. 
I cannot be silent, I must break my silence. I served in the IDF during the Second Intifada. It was a difficult time. I also stood at checkpoints, stood guard, arrested people and fought in the Second Lebanon War. As an Israeli Arab and IDF solider in the Golani Brigade, I served together with other Israelis: Jews of all backgrounds, Druze and Bedouin. We were all equal, we were all brothers fighting side by side and I can testify that I served in the most humane and moral army in the world, with the highest code of ethics and human values. The IDF is an army that faces complex challenges and dilemmas in an explosive region, but it is an army that is level headed and always keeps as its ultimate highest value human life. The IDF is an army that will bend over backwards to save lives and to ensure that innocent individuals are not harmed, even if it means complicating the military operation.

It is possible that there were incidents that did not live up to these standards, but these were the exceptions; they were not the norm and they were not the code by which the IDF is guided. They do not reflect the IDF nor the State of Israel. I am proud to have served under commanders who not only turned me into a better soldier but into a better person. One of the commanders who most impacted me was Israeli Major Roi Klein, who lost his life while trying to save the lives of his soldiers. During the Second Lebanese War, I was badly injured after I was hit by a cornet missile that was fired by Hezbollah. My fellow soldiers saved my life while under attack; they risked their own lives to save mine. After my injury, I received full medical care from the State of Israel until I was completely healed.

I will not let BTS spread untruths and lies against my country. Two days after BTS takes it stand at Harvard University, I will be there to speak to the students with Reservists on Duty. The truth will prevail.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Will PA Terror Policy Kill the Economic Peace?

This question is asked by Dan Diker in a recent op ed

The double execution-style murders last week of Kim Levengrond Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi at the Barkan Industrial Park took place in the aftermath of the recent fatal stabbing of Ari Fuld in the Gush Etzion commercial center. In both cases, the Palestinian terrorists, ages 23 and 17 respectively, carried out their assaults not in “settlements,” but in two of 16 industrial and commercial zones in Judea and Samaria – the “West Bank” where Palestinians and Israelis live, work and shop. These young men murdered Israelis in order to resist a growing Palestinian middle-class cooperation and normalization, in which tens of thousands of Palestinian families have chosen to shape their future by cooperating with Israel and living and working with Israelis.
Palestinian leaders and professionals living in towns and villages in areas C have expressed shame and sorrow quietly over terrorist acts such as these, as well as their inability to say so publicly. They have expressed disgust with their own corrupt and terror-supporting Palestinian Authority leaders who incentivize young Palestinians to murder Jews with more than $315 million annually, and whose official PA political and public culture and media incite them to murder Jews.   
While the  Israeli security forces are still investigating the circumstances of the Barkan atrocity, one link already seems clear: Both young terrorists are bound by the fear and rejection that the bottom-up economic normalization has created an irreversible economically driven “revolution of interests,” as former PLO leader Hani al-Hassan put it. The painful paradox of growing Palestinian-Israeli economic normalization mixed with intolerable Palestinian assaults underscores the importance of Israeli sovereignty and security in Area C. It further exposes the deepening chasm between the PA and the terrorists they support and glorify on the one hand, with the silent and silenced majority of Palestinians who see their economic and political futures linked to Israel, as opposed to a failed, corrupt Palestinian Authority.
As the standard of living for Palestinians has increased some 300% per wage-earner in Israeli-controlled, protected and administered area C, compared with the average annual salary in the Palestinian-controlled areas, the PLO and PA’s blood pressure increases.
Some 100,000 Palestinians commute to work in “pre-1967 Israel” every day, while some 30,000 Palestinians work in the Israeli-administered area C of Judea and Samaria, which is also protected by Israeli Labor laws for both Palestinian and Israeli workers. Palestinains to seek a future with Israel and Israeli companies. SodaStream and Rami Levy serve as good examples of harmonious work cultures and advantaged compensation policies that are driving Palestinian employment, prosperity, career development and political normalization that all threaten the Palestinian leadership’s perpetual hold on power.

In short, ongoing Palestinian terrorism has boomeranged against the Palestinian leadership. The silent Palestinian majority has linked its economic and political future to Israel and given up on its own leadership as an economic anchor and political solution.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Travesty of Palestinian Education

The word “occupation” has been hijacked by the Palestinians in order to spread even more hatred of the Jews around the world and yet if we look at their education system, surely the word can be ascribed to the minds of Palestinian children who are motivated at every level in their schooling to maintain a state of war with Israel for the foreseeable future.

The analysis below should be absorbed by every member of the UN and those countries financially supporting the production of these text books.


by Yaakov Ahimeir Sunday Oct 7, 2018

The new school year kicked off in the Palestinian Authority last month, and it was business as usual. The authors of this year's textbooks have made sure to keep up their long tradition of Israel hatred – without, of course, mentioning the name "Israel" in the textbooks.

Dr. Arnon Gross, a former senior news anchor for Israel Radio in Arabic, researched the question of what has changed in the latest Palestinian textbooks from previous editions. He conducted his research under the sponsorship of the Center for Near East Policy Research, headed by David Bedein.

After examining dozens of Palestinian textbooks for 11th- and 12th-grade students in the PA education system, Gross says there has been a "depressing" change for the worse in the new books.

Although some pundits in Israel say the day is coming when PA President Mahmoud Abbas will leave his post and his life's work – which includes, among other things, perfecting the rhetoric of incitement – he will have bequeathed a written, dark legacy, embedded in the minds of Palestinian adults. Gross discovered that in each instance in an earlier textbook of even the slightest hint of deviation from the lexicon of hatred toward Israel and Jews, the book's author later took pains to correct the "mistake" by reverting back to the desired path of hatred.

This is true even in textbooks for the exact sciences. Is there a connection, one may ask, between mathematics and the 1967 borders? But here is the type of question that appears in a mathematics textbook: If a settler shoots at a number of vehicles traveling at a certain speed and hits one vehicle at a certain distance, how many vehicles will the settler hit if he is aiming at 10 vehicles? Trying to answer this question is crucial to understanding the historical incitement and hatred.

For comparison, Gross also analyzed textbooks in the Israeli education system. In these books, he says, the authors write about peace as the only solution to the conflict, and the Israeli political-diplomatic discourse has included endless discussions over the signing of the Oslo Accords. On the other hand, in the Palestinian textbooks, the Oslo Accords are mentioned only in passing, and, in their version of history, Oslo was not the beginning of a peace process, but perpetuated the conflict.

These textbooks are published (I happen to have one) by the PA Education Ministry in Ramallah. These textbooks are also used in Palestinian schools in east Jerusalem.
It is clear that the Israeli authorities are doing little to ban these textbooks, and this issue is barely a blip on the radar of the Israeli media. This is a shame. A new generation of Palestinians is being raised on these texts, which are extinguishing even the smallest thought or chance of co-existence with Israel – or perhaps that should be the "Zionist entity."

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Winning the Terrrorism War

Whilst terrorism war is an on ongoing war, Israeli inventiveness is cutting down the options available to the terrorists one by one

• in Gaza, tunnels posed a serious danger to the citizens of the border communities. Firstly with new detection methods, existing tunnels were located and destroyed. Secondly a wall which was sufficiently deep into the ground cut the chances of building new tunnels.

• One of the latest problems that exists for many armies around the world are the improvised explosive devices (IED’s). Now a robot has been designed to save soldier’s lives from exploding IED’s.

Israel Aerospace Industries has completed the development of an autonomous system that can identify, locate and destroy improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and mines before troops reach them, the company announced on Sunday.

The system is installed on a robotic platform made by IAI and integrates a combination of multiple sensors that detect IEDs which may be hidden in “complex areas.”

For more details see  here

• When there is no alternative to boots on the ground governments around the world are quietly turning to YAMAM, Israel’s special police force, for help with their most intractable security problems. And now, elite commandos publicly reveal the tactics that have made it one of the most fearsome counter terrorism units in the world.

“We try to learn every terrorist attack”: inside the top-secret Israeli anti-terrorism operation that’s changing the game

For more details read here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

US to Cut Aid to UNRWA

The US announced it's working on a three billion dollar aid cut,
including to refugee organizations. But why?

The UN: Abbas’s Palestinian playground

For full article by Yisrael Medad 
(October 2, 2018 ) 

How important is the Temple Mount?  Ask Mahmoud Abbas. Elected leader in 2009, with no elections since then, of the Palestinian Authority that purports to be a state (but can’t even extend effectively its rule over Gaza).

Bottom of Form
According to the Haaretz version of his speech at the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday last week, he said:
And you might note, ladies and gentlemen, that the Israeli settlers and even the Israeli army on every single day; they are committing acts of blasphemy against our holy sites, especially Al-Aqsa mosque.”

The media supporting the P.A. regularly employs purposeful terminology so as to distort and demonize Jews. One recent headline published during the Sukkot holiday reads: “Over 500 Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa.” Indeed, storm is their preferred word-of-choice, intimating that Jews as Jews should not be there at all, and that they are somehow breaking in illegally. Another referred toreligious rituals as if they were witches from Macbeth.

Interestingly, that section was not in the official WAFA version.

By the way, Jews do not, indeed cannot, enter the Temple Mount compound daily, unlike prior to 2000. Almost 160 days in the year the Temple Mount are off-limits to Jewish visitors for various reasons.

But that was but one part of Abbas’s litany of lies.

He also touched on the Law of Israel as a nation-state and declared:
“This racist law talks about what is called the ‘land of Israel.’ Can you ask the Israeli government what exactly constitutes the ‘land of Israel’? What are the ‘borders’ of the State of Israel? I challenge anyone to tell us what they are.”

If one reads the Basic Law of the Palestinian Authority, no exact borders of a proposed Palestinian state exist. Worse, all we are informed geographically is that “Palestine is part of the large Arab world.”

In another version, we read of another land mass undefined: “On the land of the fathers and forefathers, the land of heavenly Messages … ,” but then deeper into the document, we read, “Its territory is an indivisible whole with its boundaries, as they existed on the eve of 4 June 1967.” And yet, Judea and Samaria were part of Jordan, illegally occupied and annexed, and Gaza was under Egyptian military rule. We also need not forget that the U.N.’s Resolution 242 does not mention Palestine as a state or other political entity.

So, what is Abbas claiming?

Quite simply, he is engaged in national-identity negation.

A bit later on in his address, Abbas notes that the Arabs of Palestine are “an indigenous people and our roots are deep across 5,000 years.” Arab collective identity within the general area of historic Palestine is 1,380 years old. Arabs may have been engaged in commerce or pilgrimage before 638 C.E. (and prior to them assuming an Islamic ethos), but to claim a 5,000-year history, even as Canaanites or Jebusites or even Natufians are false, ridiculous and outlandish suggestions.

What does Abbas mean when he said peace must include “an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and not some place in East Jerusalem as its capital, and with all of its holy sites?” Do all holy sites refer to just Islamic sites? What about Christian or Jewish sites, and the claim that one cannot be Palestinian if one is Jewish? Of course, since Abbas and company promote a form of reconstructionism that suggests the Western Wall is actually the Al-Buraq tethering post, and outright denies of the 800-year existence of two Jewish Temples on the Temple Mount—despite their explicit mention in the Koranperhaps Abbas really does disavow anything Jewish about Jerusalem.

One last excerpt of reveals Abbas’s strategy of self-denial, on the one hand, and his assumption that all will believe him no matter how pejorative he is on the other:
“We resist this colonial, settler Israeli occupation through the legitimate means created by this international organization. Foremost among these is peaceful, popular resistance as we witness today in the Great March of Return in Gaza.”

Incendiary kites, terror tunnels, sniper fire, tossing of grenades, IEDs, infiltration and more at the Gaza border occur almost daily, not to mention mortars, rockets and missiles.

But Abbas knows that the United Nations is his playground, his theater. He can be elected, as he was just now, to the Group of 77 with impunity despite his words and his actions. And his stage is becoming increasingly immoral, malevolent and extremely hazardous, revealed by the applause Abbas received from that seemingly august, peace-loving body.

It is that applause that assign to his appearances the tragicomic label.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Israeli farmers file ICC war crimes complaint against Hamas

Israeli farmers terrorized by firebomb kites and balloons launched from Gaza across the border into Israel • Petitioners: Amazingly, Hamas, which orchestrated this terror campaign against Israeli civilians, accuses Israel and IDF of using excessive force. 
Fire caused by an incendiary kite near the Gaza Strip border
Israeli farmers from Gaza-vicinity communities flew to the Netherlands recently to formally file a war-crimes complaint with the International Criminal Court against Hamas.

The complaint comes in the wake of ongoing attacks against Israeli communities by means of incendiary kites and balloons launched across the border from the Gaza Strip into Israel. The devices have sparked near-daily fires in fields near the border and inflicted significant financial damage to Israeli farmers.

The complaint was drafted by the Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center, an NGO dedicated to "fighting terrorism and safeguarding Jewish rights worldwide." Along with the farmers, some  50,000 people from Israel have co-signed the complaint as plaintiffs.

Shurat Hadin also plans to set up an exhibit in front of the ICC headquarters with displays of "blown-up photos of their fields destroyed by the terrorist kite arson."

It s about time the ICC listened to the Israeli story.

Israel Beach Attacked

Zikim beach on the northern border with Israel was recently closed by security forces and the area was searched.
Following the search, the area returned to routine as IDF forces neutralized the explosive charges left by terrorists
(Does this mean that the terrorists in Gaza are now starting to float explosive devices onto our beaches as well? There was a major gathering in the northern point of the Gaza beach, and it seems like that was used as a diversion or a cover to 'plant' these explosive devices on Zikkm beach.
Have any international media even thought of reporting this.