Friday, August 29, 2014

Arlene Kushner on Netanyahu's Explanation to Israel of the War With Hamas

From Arlene Kushner:

August 28, 2014

Not a Pretty Picture

After I posted yesterday, Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the nation in order to explain/defend the war with Hamas and the decision to accept the ceasefire now.  He left me decidedly underwhelmed and considerably uneasy.

Yes, it is true, as he says, that Hamas has been hit harder than ever before, that in the end it sought the ceasefire and that nothing was given to Hamas by Israel.  But... but...

He also said, “We can’t say definitively that the goal of bringing sustained quiet has been reached, but the goal of hitting Hamas hard has been achieved.”

He himself refers to sustained quiet as a goal, and, indeed, it is precisely what he’s been consistently promising the people of Israel, even as recently as a week ago:

restoring quiet for a prolonged period along with a significant blow to the terrorist infrastructure.”

Daniel Pipes on the Attempt To Reinstitute A Caliphate Whose Time Has Long Passed

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission:

The Caliphate Brings Trauma

by Daniel Pipes
Aydınlık (Turkey)
August 24, 2014

Without warning, the ancient and long powerless institution of the caliphate returned to life on June 29, 2014. What does this event augur?

The classic concept of the caliphate – of a single successor to Muhammad ruling a unified Muslim state – lasted just over a century and expired with the emergence of two caliphs in 750 CE. The power of the caliphate collapsed in about the year 940 CE. After a prolonged, shadowy existence, the institution disappeared altogether in 1924. The only subsequent efforts at revival were trivial, such as the so-called Kalifatsstaat in Cologne, Germany. In other words, the caliphate has been inoperative for about a millennium and absent for about a century.

"The Kaplan Case," a German magazine cover story about the "Caliph of Cologne."

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Arlene Kushner: Israel Obviously Did Not Get The Clear Win It Wanted -- Now We Wait

From Arlene Kushner
August 27, 2014

A Second Look

I’m sure that - after today’s assessment - I will take a third and a fourth and fifth look at the ceasefire declared last night in Gaza.  In many ways this is an evolving situation,  more complex than it might have seemed at first blush.

I begin by noting that impressions do matter – especially where deterrence is concerned.  If Hamas appears to be the victor, that impression reverberates internationally in a way that is detrimental to our concerns.  And in any event the sight of celebrating Palestinian Arabs in Gaza, which we have been shown in news video clips over the past several hours, is extraordinarily galling.

Palestinians celebrate what they said was a victory over Israel following a ceasefire in Gaza City August 26, 2014 (Reuters / Mohammed Salem)
Credit: Reuters

However, there are a couple of points that must be made with regard to this “victory” celebration.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Arlene Kushner on the Israel-Hamas Ceasefire: Are We Looking At A Resumption of Hostilities During Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur?

From Arlene Kushner:

August 26, 2014

Worse and Worser

The truth: There is no entirely satisfactory resolution to our war with Hamas (the war that is not called a war).

Aside, of course, from that “ultimate” resolution in which we would fully retake Gaza and banish all terrorists and jihadis - thereby creating a peaceful situation in Gaza and a situation of deterrence with regard to terrorists in other locales – and then rebuild Gush Katif, helping the former residents to return.

Certainly I am among those who dream of such a thing.   And I do believe in the importance of dreams.  I know that there would be no Israel without dreams and the courage to act upon them.

But I also know that this vision is not about to be realized. There are a variety of factors that are arrayed against us and render this scenario severely problematic. I’ve covered them before:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Israel: Two Days -- Four Major Hamas Terrorist Leaders Killed

Israel has killed 3 Hamas terrorist leaders Wednesday night -- Hamas head of southern command Mohammed Abu Shamaleh, Rafah commander Raed Al-Attar, and senior weapons smuggler Muhammad Barhum.


The Times of Israel outlined the activities of the three Hamas terrorist leaders

Monday, August 18, 2014

Arlene Kushner on Hamas Plot To Overthrow Abbas -- and Other Developments

From Arlene Kushner:
August 18, 2014

Déjà vu

How many times?  How many times do we count down as the final hours of a 72 hour – or 120 hour – ceasefire come to an end, aware that resolution of the issues between Israel and Hamas is exceedingly unlikely and wondering what will happen next??

The guessing is that it will either be active war or a tacit “quiet for quiet” situation.  But I’m not going to discuss various pros and cons, various implications, now: That discussion will wait for my next posting.


Here, briefly, I want to share a couple of selected pieces of news that are significant now – even before we know what follows this ceasefire. They will remain significant no matter how things play out because they are indicative of the underlying situation, and of certain attitudes and intentions.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Islamic State and the West's Centuries-Long War With Militant Islam -- The Early Stages

The following by Mark Durie is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

How Dissimulation about Islam is Fuelling Genocide in the Middle East

by Mark Durie
Lapido Media
August 12, 2014

Tens of thousands of Yazidis have been driven from their homes in northern Iraq.
In northern Iraq religious genocide is reaching end-game stage. Islamic State (IS) soldiers, reinforced with military equipment originally supplied by the US, are driving back Kurdish defenders who had been protecting Christians and other religious minorities. While hundreds of thousands of refugees have been fleeing into Kurdistan, around 40,000 Yazidis and some Christians are trapped on Mount Sinjar, surrounded by IS jihadis. (Yazidis are Kurdish people whose pre-Christian faith derives from ancient Iranian religious traditions, with overlays and influences from other religions.)
The Assyrian Aid Society of Iraq hasreported that children and the elderly are dying of thirst on Sinjar. Parents are throwing their children to their deaths off the mountain rather than see them die of thirst or be taken into slavery by IS.

The IS jihadis are killing the men they capture. In one recent incident 1500 men were executed in front of their wives and families. In another incident 13 Yazidi men who refused to convert to Islam had their eyes plucked out, were doused with gasoline and burned alive. When the men are killed, captured women and children are enslaved to be used for sex, deployed as human shields in battle zones, or sold to be used and abused as their new owners see fit.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Arlene Kushner on the Conjectures On Israel - Hamas Ceasefire Negotiations

From Arlene Kushner:
August 14, 2014

An Ugly Mess

No matter what happens with regard to Hamas, it will be a mess of one sort or another.  There are no clean, neat diplomatic solutions. There is either war now, with all the pain and cost that is necessarily concomitant, or there is the possibility (only the possibility) of a temporary diplomatic resolution that has the seeds of war embedded within it and that, while providing a respite, will inevitably backfire.
Where are we, as I write?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Efraim Karsh: It's Anti-Semitism, Stupid

The following by Efraim Karsh is reposted here with permission of Middle East Forum:

It's Anti-Semitism, Stupid

by Efraim Karsh
The Jerusalem Post
August 11, 2014

Let's admit it: Israel can never win the media war against Hamas. No matter what it does, no matter how hard it tries.

Not because the Islamist terror group that is raining missiles on its cities and villages and using its own hapless subjects as human shields is the underdog in this conflict, but because the sight of Arabs killing Jews (or other Arabs for that matter) is hardly news; while the sight of Jews killing Arabs is a man-bites-dog anomaly that cannot be tolerated.

Imagine the following scenario: Thousands of foaming-at-the-mouth Jews rampaging through the streets of London and Paris to protest the blitz bombing of their co-religionists by a murderous al-Qaida/ISIS clone. They carry banners urging the killing of all Muslims wherever they are, hurl rocks and petrol bombs at the police, set fire to mosques, destroy Muslim properties and establishments, and attack all Muslims and Arabs coming their way.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Arlene Kushner on the Ceasefire and Hamas and The West's Non-Starters Standing In Way of Peace

From Arlene Kushner:
August 10, 2014

Forecast Cloudy

Before I look at that forecast, let me mention “Kaitana Savta,” which translates literally as “Camp Grandma” (it sounds better in Hebrew).  I am about to begin Kaitana Savta, which comes every year in August and is truly as much fun for me as for my grandkids. Starting tomorrow and in days ahead, I will have two and three kids sleeping here and going out where Savta takes them to have fun, or staying in to do games and arts and crafts.
This year especially, this time will help me regain my balance - after weeks of focusing on the war.
And so... I will be posting.  But less frequently, and perhaps – after today – with shorter posts.


Now, as to that forecast.  I use the term cloudy in two regards.  First, the clouds block our vision. And then, they suggest storms advancing. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Daniel Pipes on Lessons of the War in Gaza

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission:

Lessons of the War in Gaza

 by Daniel Pipes
National Review Online
August 9, 2014

As Israeli operations against Hamas wind down, here are seven insights into the month-long conflict:
Missile shield: The superb performance of Iron Dome, the protective system that shot down nearly every Hamas rocket threatening life or property, has major military implications for Israel and the world. Its success signals that "Star Wars" (as opponents maliciously dubbed it upon introduction in 1983) can indeed provide protection from short-range and also presumably from long-range rockets and missiles, potentially changing the future of warfare.

Iron Dome in action, protecting Israelis.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Anne Bayefsky: The Continuing United Nations War Against the Jews

For Immediate Release:
August 9, 2014
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The Continuing United Nations War Against the Jews

This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared on JPost.

On August 6, 2014, the United Nations convened the entire global community for an unusual day-long “informal” session of the General Assembly. The purpose: to demonize the Jewish state and emasculate its right of self-defense.

The UN formula for ravaging Israel by ignoring the criminal actions of its foes – and the foes of the civilized world – is breathtaking.

Not one of the UN speakers – the Secretary-General, the representative of the Office of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the UN Human Rights Commissioner, the UN’s MidEast envoy, the head of UNRWA – even uttered the word “tunnel.”

Israel was denounced for destroying “homes and neighborhoods” and “civilian infrastructure.” But the fact that Israel had destroyed an extraordinary labyrinth of 32 terror tunnels deep underground – running for miles, jam packed with explosives, opening near Israeli towns, and built for the sole purpose of killing Jews – somehow just got left out.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Anne Bayefsky: Gaza & The UN War Criminals: The Ugly Truth: The UN Encourages Terrorism

For Immediate Release:
August 8, 2014
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Gaza & The UN War Criminals: The Ugly Truth: The UN Encourages Terrorism

This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared on Fox News.

As the terrorist organization Hamas breaks yet another ceasefire, it operates with the firm belief that it will be protected on the international stage. That’s because the modern United Nations has become an instrument of war, just seven decades after it was founded “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.”

It is time to face an ugly truth: The U.N. encourages terrorism. U.N. enablers on the ground in Gaza and U.N. broadcasters in the diplomatic comfort zones of Geneva and New York are partners in incitement to genocide against Israel, the Jewish state.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

How Committed Is The Obama Administration To Disarming Hamas Terrorists in Gaza?

The Israel Project has a short piece on Kerry: Israeli concessions on Gaza require Hamas “giving up rockets”
Secretary of State John Kerry told the BBC on Tuesday that any moves to “open crossings and get food in and reconstruct and have greater freedom” in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip must be coupled “with a greater responsibility towards Israel, which means giving up rockets.”

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Arlene Kushner: No Perfect Solution For Israel In Dealing With Hamas

From Arlene Kushner:
August 6, 2014

I will be posting less frequently now that the war is over – updating my readers often but not necessarily daily on the anticipated negotiations in Cairo and other matters of importance for Israel.

But for today, having stepped back for 24 hours plus now to assess the situation and gather information, I want to focus in this posting on how I see our current situation. And to make a couple of pertinent comments:

Wishful thinking is an indulgence we cannot permit ourselves now.  What is necessary is to look at the broader picture with eyes wide open.  And to recognize that there is no perfect solution to our very difficult and complex situation.

With all the above in mind, I do believe that stopping the war at this point – and heading towards 
negotiations in Cairo - is probably the best solution for Israel at present.  I write this fully aware of the fact that some strenuously disagree with me and believe Hamas must be taken out.


Arlene Kushner: What Will Israel - Hamas Negotiations in Egypt Bring?

From Arlene Kushner:
August 5, 2014

And Now?

I am chagrined but not exactly shocked by the latest turn of events here.

As Shabbat went out, I had expressed surprise that – following the Friday ceasefire broken almost immediately by Hamas with an attack that included a suicide bombing and the kidnapping of Hadar Goldin – Netanyahu had not ordered a significant escalation of the operation in Gaza. When it was clear that what was happening was that IDF troops were being pulled back, a sense of great unease set in.  It seemed the operation was about to be terminated in a move that many – myself very much included - saw as premature.

But no, we were told that it was just a redeployment, because the tunnel phase of the operation was complete.  We were told that the decision of the Security Cabinet was to continue the operation.  What is more, there would be no participation in internationally promoted ceasefires, and we would not be going to Cairo to negotiate: If Hamas cannot be trusted to honor its commitment for a 72 hour ceasefire, there is no point in pursuing negotiations, went the explanation.


Monday, August 04, 2014

UNRWA: From Welfare to Warfare

The following by Alexander H. Joffe and Asaf Romirowsky is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

From Welfare to Warfare

by Alexander H. Joffe and Asaf Romirowsky
The American Interest
August 2, 2014

UNWRA supplies have been discovered inside Hamas terror tunnels.
As Operation Protective Edge enters its third week, we have now seen four incidents in the latest round of fighting between Israel and Hamas that have focused attention on UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency), the internationally funded welfare organization for Palestinian "refugees."

The most recent saw three IDF soldiers killed in an explosion at a booby-trapped UNRWA clinic that was located at the opening of a terror tunnel.
Earlier in the week, UNRWA discovered rockets hidden in three of its schools in Gaza. Hamas or some other faction had been using the schools while they were closed for the summer; the one available photo shows rockets piled in the back of a classroom, covered with a blanket.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Arlene Kushner: Netanyahu Says Tunnel Phase of War Almost Over

From Arlene Kushner:
August 2, 2014

Events Unfolding

Motzei Shabbat (After Shabbat)

I left my posting abruptly yesterday because of the advent of Shabbat and want here to follow through.  But it’s tentatively only, because indeed events are in the process of unfolding and we have to see what tomorrow and the ensuing days will bring.

Quite frankly, I had expected to return to the news to learn that Israel was expanding the operation in the face of Hamas’s kidnapping of Second Lt. Hadar Goldin and the killing of two other soldiers, after a “mutual” ceasefire – that was supposed to include discussions in Cairo on terms for extending it - had begun.

Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, who was reportedly captured by Hamas militants on Friday.
Credit: AP

The sense of outrage was very real, the anger.  It seemed finally the time to stop pulling punches and take down Hamas.  I was particularly eager to see us go after Hamas leaders.


What I found, then, when Shabbat ended, startled me:

Friday, August 01, 2014

Arlene Kushner on Reaction To Hamas Kidnapping Of Israeli Soldier Hadar Goldin During Ceasefire

From Arlene Kushner:

August 1, 2014

Our whole nation is weary – strong, determined, clear about who we are, but weary.  How could it be otherwise?  We are contending with both an evil enemy and an insane world.

Shabbat is coming within hours – for which I thank Heaven.  I had thought perhaps a brief post today, one that simply provided background. No way...

What I wrote the other day – about how I would really need to post every two hours to keep my readers informed – continues to be the case.  I will send this out as late as possible before Shabbat and post again after, as necessary.


A brief chronological re-cap of today’s events: