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Showing posts with label operation Cast Lead. Show all posts
Showing posts with label operation Cast Lead. Show all posts

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Dr. Siderer's Questions: Goldstone Has No Answers

U.N. Watch has done it again--brought to light testimony by an Israeli physician who was injured along with her patients when her clinic was attacked by rockets from Gaza. In the course of her formidable speech at the U.N. she asked several important questions of Judge Goldstone, which he totally ignored. The full text of the speech is below the video (emphasis mine).

UN Watch Oral Statement
Delivered by Dr. Mirela Siderer, 29 September 2009
Agenda Item 7: Report of the fact-finding mission on Gaza

My name is Dr. Mirela Siderer. I am a gynecologist living in Ashkelon, Israel.

Judge Richard Goldstone, in July you invited me to testify. I told you my story. I am known by my patients -- including many women from Gaza. For me, every human being is equal.

On May 14, 2008, my life was changed forever. I was working in my clinic. Suddenly, the building was hit by a missile, fired from Gaza. I was terribly wounded. Blood was everywhere. My patient was also wounded, and more than 100 others. Next month will be my eighth operation.

Judge Goldstone, I told you all of this, in detail. I testified in good faith. You sent me this letter, saying, "Your testimony is an essential part of the Mission's fact-finding activities."

But now I see your report. I have to tell you: I am shocked.

Judge Goldstone, in a 500-page report, why did you completely ignore my story? My name appears only in passing, in brackets, in a technical context. I feel humiliated.

Why are there only two pages about Israeli victims like me, who suffered thousands of rockets over eight years? Why did you choose to focus on the period of my country's response, but not on that of the attacks that caused it? Why did you not tell me that this council judged Israel guilty in advance, in its meeting of last January? Why did you not tell me that members of your panel signed public letters judging Israel guilty in advance?

Judge Goldstone, you, too, signed such a letter, saying you were "shocked" about Gaza. But where were you when Gaza attacked my medical clinic, in violation of international human rights and humanitarian law? Where was this council? Why were you all silent?

Goldstone’s Response:

With regard to the statement made by Dr. Siderer, I’m clearly upset that she feels humiliated by the report. She was treated in the report in no way different to that of other victims who spoke to us. She was referred to in the report as one of the people who was injured as a result of a rocket attack on a shopping center in Southern Israel. The report also refers to the fact that the evidence of the people who gave evidence to us are available on the website of the OHCHR. It is there for anybody to see.


UN Watch Note: Dr. Siderer posed 8 simple questions. Goldstone avoided all except one, and on this was non-responsive and misleading. Dr. Siderer never said that she wasn’t “referred to,” but rather complained that her story was ignored, and that her name was mentioned only “in passing, in brackets, in a technical context;” and that this underscored how he overlooked 8 years of suffering of the rocket victims. Here is Dr. Siderer's original testimony; here is Goldstone's report. Search her name -- it turns up but once, in passing, in par. 1640. Goldstone' s claim that other witnesses were given similar treatment is manifestly false: see, e.g., the report's repeated and in-depth discussion of witness Abu Askar. What is clear is that the report gives short shrift to Israeli suffering by its selective focus on the period of Israel's response to the rocket attacks (Dec. 2008 and Jan. 2009), instead of to the attacks themselves (2001-2009).

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

What Can We Do When Israel is at War?

Gaza Updates roundup #12 and 12.5 are now UP at Jack's, here and here, respectively.

What can we do, those of us who are not in the IDF? We can continue to do good deeds, mitzvot: help others, give tzedakah, study and learn Torah, do acts of kindness, and send an email to
The Office of Rabbi Kook, Rehovot, at the following email address:

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Gaza Update - Roundup #11

. . . is up at Jack's, here. In the light of four katyushas falling in Nahariya in the northwest of Israel, one of which fell on a Beit Avot (old age home) with several injured, it is imperative that we keep abreast of the news.

Read the updates. Rally for Israel. Do your part to spread the truth, and foster positive public opinion.

And may GOOD triumph over evil.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Good War Analysis by WSJ

First and foremost, the latest War in Gaza Update is UP at Jack's, here.

Saw this on a blog, can't remember which one (I'm bleary-eyed reading through blog after blog and article after article at the same time as listening to Radio Darom and watching emergency split-screen Israel TV while fasting) by Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal.

The lead is very telling; Stephens wrote, "Maybe this column would get a better reception if it were titled, "No Endgame for Israel." Many pundits are commenting and arguing that Israel is lost, no matter what it does in Gaza. This author has, in my opinion, a good analysis of what Israel can accomplish with this war, but it has to not succumb to international pressure for a cease-fire and continue with its mission.

There are those who think that this war will enable Israel to 're-occupy' Gaza (which Israel has stated it wouldn't do). I personally think Israel should retake Gaza and annex it; the Arabs had their chance to create a state there. They blew it. End of story.

Israel should stay strong and complete the goal of incapacitating, if not outright defeating, Hamas and its infrastructure. As Stephens puts it (emphasis mine):

All this will be said to amount to another occupation, never mind that there are no settlers in this picture, and never mind, too, that Israel was widely denounced for carrying out an "effective occupation" of the Strip after it imposed an economic blockade on Hamas. (By this logic, the U.S. is currently "occupying" Cuba.) If Israel is going to achieve a strategic victory in this war, it will have to stand firm against this global wave of hypocrisy and cant.
I told you the world is skewed. And this is (as Jameel puts it in his excellent live blogging on the war) "what Israel's up against," in this canted universe:

Scum of the earth.

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Wake Up and Smell the Humous

I saw this on IsraellyCool and fell off my chair. Then I went to the article by Youssef M. Ibrahim* as published in Jewish World Review and saw that it was originally written in June of 2006.
My heart sank; it's two and a half years, and they still haven't learned their lesson. What's it gonna take. . . I dread thinking about it.

To my Arab brothers: The War with Israel Is Over — and they won. Now let’s finally move forward

With Israel entering its fourth week of an incursion into the same Gaza Strip it voluntarily evacuated a few months ago, a sense of reality among Arabs is spreading through commentary by Arab pundits, letters to the editor, and political talk shows on Arabic-language TV networks. The new views are stunning both in their maturity and in their realism. The best way I can think of to convey them is in the form of a letter to the Palestinian Arabs from their Arab friends:

Dear Palestinian Arab brethren:

The war with Israel is over.

You have lost. Surrender and negotiate to secure a future for your children.

We, your Arab brothers, may say until we are blue in the face that we stand by you, but the wise among you and most of us know that we are moving on, away from the tired old idea of the Palestinian Arab cause and the “eternal struggle” with Israel.

Dear friends, you and your leaders have wasted three generations trying to fight for Palestine, but the truth is the Palestine you could have had in 1948 is much bigger than the one you could have had in 1967, which in turn is much bigger than what you may have to settle for now or in another 10 years. Struggle means less land and more misery and utter loneliness.

At the moment, brothers, you would be lucky to secure a semblance of a state in that Gaza Strip into which you have all crowded, and a small part of the West Bank of the Jordan. It isn’t going to get better. Time is running out even for this much land, so here are some facts, figures, and sound advice, friends.

You hold keys, which you drag out for television interviews, to houses that do not exist or are inhabited by Israelis who have no intention of leaving Jaffa, Haifa, Tel Aviv, or West Jerusalem. You shoot old guns at modern Israeli tanks and American-made fighter jets, doing virtually no harm to Israel while bringing the wrath of its mighty army down upon you. You fire ridiculously inept Kassam rockets that cause little destruction (I strongly disagree with this -ed.) and delude yourselves into thinking this is a war of liberation. Your government, your social institutions, your schools, and your economy are all in ruins.

Your young people are growing up illiterate, ill, and bent on rites of death and suicide, while you, in effect, are living on the kindness of foreigners, including America and the United Nations. Every day your officials must beg for your daily bread, dependent on relief trucks that carry food and medicine into the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, while your criminal Muslim fundamentalist Hamas government continues to fan the flames of a war it can neither fight nor hope to win.

In other words, brothers, you are down, out, and alone in a burnt-out landscape that is shrinking by the day.

What kind of struggle is this? Is it worth waging at all? More important, what kind of miserable future does it portend for your children, the fourth or fifth generation of the Arab world’s have-nots?

We, your Arab brothers, have moved on.

Those of us who have oil money are busy accumulating wealth and building housing, luxury developments, state-of-the-art universities and schools, and new highways and byways. Those of us who share borders with Israel, such as Egypt and Jordan, have signed a peace treaty with it and are not going to war for you any time soon. Those of us who are far away, in places like North Africa and Iraq, frankly could not care less about what happens to you.

Only Syria continues to feed your fantasies that someday it will join you in liberating Palestine, even though a huge chunk of its territory, the entire Golan Heights, was taken by Israel in 1967 and annexed. The Syrians, my friends, will gladly fight down to the last Palestinian Arab.

Before you got stuck with this Hamas crowd, another cheating, conniving, leader of yours, Yasser Arafat, sold you a rotten bill of goods — more pain, greater corruption, and millions stolen by his relatives — while your children played in the sewers of Gaza.

The war is over. Why not let a new future begin?

*Mr. Ibrahim has written some other really interesting articles, some of which you can see here.

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A Big Bronx Cheer to CNN...again.

. . . to CNN for it's brilliant, one-sided histrionic reporting-again- with their article entitled In Gaza, Living with Anger and Fear.

I've got an idea: let's subsitute the word "Sderot, Ashkelon or Gedera in the same paragraphs, use Jewish names and paraphrase it, something like THIS:

"Listen, listen to this!" shouts Fida Qishta Re'ut as the crackling of rockets is heard over her phone receiver.

"It's difficult for anybody to imagine that in a second, maybe when I am talking to you on the phone, maybe something [will] happen to me or to my family," the Palestinian blogger Israeli mother told CNN from her home in Gaza Sderot, [or Ashkelon, or Gedera, or the rest of Southern Israel].

She has gotten little sleep during the past 10 days as Israel Hamas continues its attacks on her homeland, prompting the [defense] attacks the Jewish state says are designed to stop months years of rocket strikes on southern Israel by Hamas militants terrorists in Gaza.

Qishta Re'ut writes furiously, hoping to convey the horror she sees. "The Israeli army Hamas terrorists are cannibals. They don't look for civilians, for children or women. Most attacks happen on families, on their houses," she said, her voice rising in anger.

To be fair, they did interview one Israeli who lives in the South; his comments were milder and calmer, and very humanitarian--in sharp contrast to the Gaza blogger.

But I do not agree with him on this one: "There's always two sides to every story..."

Sometimes, there aren't. Sometimes, one country is bombarded by another which does not want the first to exist. Sometimes, one side LIES, and the other TELLS THE TRUTH (see my previous post about alternate realities).

I could go on, but it's getting tiresome. Where was CNN with the detailed report with photos and videos when the kindergarten was rocketed in Sderot? Where were they with their story when Hamas terrorists were disguised as medical personnel and were storing weapons caches and hiding out in hospitals, among the patients?

Where was...? Oh, never mind. The Israelis/Jews, who are intelligent, educated, humanitarian, mature and civilized are just not as interesting as the Arabs whose leaders don't give a fig (see my previous post, Free Figs in the Marketplace) whether or not their people live in squalor and their children play in sewers.

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Down the Rabbit Hole...or is it, THE TWILIGHT ZONE

Where is the United Nations in all this? Where is their "moral compass?"(-as Dennis Prager would say). Oh, here it is; seems they dropped it. I think it's irreparable:

3 January 2009 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced his deep concern over Israel's launch of a ground operation into Gaza today, with the Security Council calling an emergency meeting to discuss the situation.

Mr. Ban expressed his extreme disappointment to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

“He is convinced and alarmed that this escalation will inevitably increase the already heavy suffering of the affected civilian populations,” according to a statement issued by the Secretary-General''s spokesperson. “He called for an immediate end to the ground operation, and asked that Israel do all possible to ensure the protection of civilians and that humanitarian assistance is able to reach those in need.”

All I hear the U.N. spouting is anti-Israel rhetoric. Where is the protest of the Hamas' (and the Palestinian Fatah--it's across the board, a cultural phenomenon) abuse of children?

And where are those bleeding-heart liberals protesting the religion of peace raising children in the culture of death, to be murderers and suicide (read: homicide) bombers?

Seems to be a bit one-sided to me: condemn the JEWS, condemn ISRAEL. Everybody else's actions are 'kosher.'

Welcome to our alternate universe, where black is white, up is down, and evil is good. I'm half expecting Rod Serling to introduce the next episode. Alice in Wonderland's world couldn't have been any curiouser.

Remember this cartoon? It's the situation in a nutshell. Cultural and moral equivalence? Which do you support?

We should seriously think about what Rod Serling said, in his closing narration of the Twilight Zone episode The Obsolete Man (emphasis mine) :
The chancellor, the late chancellor, was only partly correct. He was obsolete, but so is the State, the entity he worshipped. Any state, any entity, any ideology that fails to recognize the worth, the dignity, the rights of man, that state is obsolete. A case to be filed under "M" for mankind—in the Twilight Zone.
Maybe it is time. . .

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Monday, January 05, 2009

In Case You Just Didn't Get It from my Last Post. . .

First of all, Haveil Havalim #199 (is it that many already?) is UP, at Ima's. Also check out Jack's Gaza Updates-9.5 and counting-linked here.

Okay, so maybe I was too serious in my last post. You want funny? IMAO shows how Hamas can be funny (really). This is only an excerpt; go to the site for the rest of it.

Hamas sure seems to like provoking Jews into killing them, so as a public service I thought I’d send my crack research staff to revisit and revise their facts about Hamas before research about Hamas becomes a job solely for anthropologists.


* Hamas was founded in 1987 according to some site I found with Google. I was eight years old then and wanted to be a fireman or an astronaut. Blowing up Jews had not crossed my mind.

* Hamas is Arabic for “dumb @#$% with explosives”.

* Contrary to popular belief, Hamas has nothing to do with ham. Actually, if you throw hams at them, they’ll get angry.

* Make sure to keep Hamas away from your Jews.

* I don’t like to loosely throw around charges of anti-Semitism, but I don’t think Hamas members like Jews.

* Hamas protects their armaments by hiding them among children so Israel will hesitate to shoot back. For a ground war, Hamas is planning on wearing vests covered in live puppies. Killing terrorists isn’t worth harming an innocent puppy, is it?

* If you’re surrounded by members of Hamas, shout, “One of you is secretly a Jew!” Then watch them shoot each other while screaming, “Who Jew?” It’s high-larious!

* One of the reasons that they keep attacking is that none of the Hamas members knows what “ceasefire” means and are too embarrassed to ask.

* If a Hamas member says he wants peace, it’s a trick! Shoot him the head.

* If a Hamas member says he wants to borrow the sports section from your newspaper, it’s a trick! Shoot him in the head.

* Hamas has a wing that’s devoted to charities. It’s a lot like the Salvation Army… if the Salvation Army murdered Jews.

* Actually, if you see a guy ringing a bell around Christmas, make sure he’s with Salvation Army and not a Hamas member before you give him money.

* If you’re in a cafe in Israel, and someone runs in there and indiscriminately starts shooting people, he could be a member of Hamas, so be careful.

* Hamas is a big part of the “cycle of violence”. They launch rockets at Israel, and then Israel is like, “Hey, don’t do that.” And thus the cycle of violence continues.

* The cycle of violence will continue on forever… or until Israel finally gets fed up and nukes the crap out of everyone.

Now, don't you feel so much better after reading that? I do.

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Free Figs in the Marketplace, or: Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Warning: this post is CHOCK FULL O' LINKS. (You can have some coffee with that.)

I really don't think the world knows what it's dealing with regarding the Arab mindset.
The world does not understand their mentality. When you think about it, it really is an interesting, maybe even unique one.

It perhaps is a Middle Eastern, Levantine, tribal way of conducting the business of life; I wouldn't trust most Arabs as far as I could throw them, and this is why: the Arab mindset allows for weaving a tale, for embellishing facts, for obfuscating the truth.

Samuel Katz, (who just passed away in May, 2008) in his wonderful little book "Battleground: Fact & Fantasy in Palestine" relates a very funny (sad, but funny) story illustrating this mindset, paraphrased here :

An Arab was trying to take a nap in his upstairs bedroom, but he couldn't, because the children were playing and shouting in the courtyard underneath his veranda. So he got up, went out on the veranda and shouted down to them, "what are you doing playing in the courtyard? Don't you know that they are giving away free figs in the marketplace?" The children looked up, stopped playing, and all ran to the marketplace to get their 'free figs.' The Arab chuckled to himself at his clever trick, and went back to his nap. He was just about to doze off when he sat up in shock and thought: "Are you crazy? They are giving away free figs in the marketplace, and you are taking a nap?!"
The Arab mindset is the reason we see things like this: Fakestinian Fauxtography (thank you, Atlas Shrugs--I love it. The phrase, that is. Not the tactic). From Snapshots, A Camera Blog, which Atlas Shrugs cites, we see that there is a tendancy among the Arabs--Hamas, Hezbollah, Fatah--doesn't make any difference who is it--to fake and falsify information, photos, and videos. Read Brian C. Ledbetter's great story on it, here:
CAMERA has also spotted a non-injured man being paraded around as a victim. Or at least, he surely looks non-injured (as do many of the other "victims" being paraded into al-Shifa Hospital). I'll only add to this by pointing out that faithful Muslims the world over appear to be quite adept at parading around bodies. Or, to be more accurate, reasonable approximations thereof.

Is it therefore beyond the depth of imagination, armed with this knowledge, to suppose that Palestinians are also "dressing up" their victimhood just a touch?

Oh, and finally: ISLAM IS PEACE. And nothing says "peace" quite like dressing your children as killers. (At a peace rally, no less!)
And it's all fine with them. They do not care whether or not the information is "true." Truth, as such, plays no part in their weltenschaung. They can, and do, everything in their power to sway public opinion in their favor, even if the information is false.

Even CNN reporters surprisingly wrote about this phenomenon in 2006, as published in Camera (scroll down for this portion):

In an exceptional exposé aired on July 24, CNN’s Anderson Cooper discussed not only Hezbollah control of journalists’ access to subjects in southern Lebanon, but also the staging of scenes for the international press to record. He chronicled a Hezbollah-guided tour for foreign reporters where interview and photographic opportunities were strictly managed by Hezbollah minders who followed the participants’ every movement. Describing Hezbollah’s orchestration of events, Cooper recounted:

...After letting us take pictures of a few damaged buildings, they take us to another location, where there are ambulances waiting. This is a heavily orchestrated Hezbollah media event. When we got here, all the ambulances were lined up. We were allowed a few minutes to talk to the ambulance drivers. Then one by one, they've been told to turn on their sirens and zoom off so that all the photographers here can get shots of ambulances rushing off to treat civilians. That's the story — that's the story that Hezbollah wants people to know about. These ambulances aren't responding to any new bombings. The sirens are strictly for effect... (Anderson Cooper 360º, July 24, 2006)

Still skeptical? Don't believe me? How about believing this, by Arab journalist Abdullah Bajubeer in an Arab News article from June, 2005:
The popular reaction to the newspaper report about an Iraqi farmer shooting down an Apache helicopter some time ago prompted me to look more carefully into the Arab way of thinking, particularly the influence of superstition on the Arab mindset. I was shocked to find that instead of finding logical solutions to the challenges posed by sophisticated technological advancement in many areas, the Arab mind seeks refuge in solutions based on legends and superstitions. A resistance to the pressures of the modern world controlled by reason and logic still lurks in our deepest recesses; it prefers to wallow in intellectual lethargy and self-indulgence, being content with imported technology without the least effort to develop the technology as non-Arab countries are doing and have done.

The West just does not understand how the Arab mindset can be different--and by different, I mean superstitious, backward, illogical, irrational, in short, primitive--than theirs. That is why until now, democracy has not taken a hold in Arab countries. Their religion is, by our terms, backward, authoritarian, barbaric, and yes, primitive. They are stuck somewhere back there in the 7th century, not in our 21st. And they are trying to bring us all down, back to their century, where they can rule with their barbaric 'religion of peace.'

With all this, the West continues to think that with logic and rational thinking, they can persuade the Arabs to be reasonable, to compromise, to seek peace with Israel. This is not currently possible, because this is not what they want (although I am seeing some tiny chinks in the culture and mindset; I just heard about a Hamas leader's son who converted to Christianity, and perhaps women have 'had it' with their oppression and second-class status, with the abusive treatment by their husbands which is sanctioned in the Quran). But so far, what they want is (capitalized) World Domination, and to 'push Israel into the sea.'

That doesn't sound like peace to me. How about you?

I was going to show you a video of how the Arabs raise their children to be suicide bombers and "martyrs." But then I came across this. Remember Sesame Street?

There is your Palestinian future generation--you know the one--the one that's going to create and build a viable Palestinian state and make 'peace' with Israel and the West.

Take that with your coffee (I'll take a few links with that, too).

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Take Your Kids to the Rocket Strike Zone Playground

In case you weren't sure about the purpose of Hamas' rocket attacks vis a vis Israel's "disproportionate response" attacking military weapons caches, installations, launching areas and terrorist headquarters, take a look at this, which I found on Yael's blog, Aliyah Step by Step:

Contrast that with Israel dropping leaflets over the civilian areas of Gaza, warning them to flee to avoid casualties, because their areas are terrorist strongholds and are being targeted by the IDF.
Disproportionate response, anyone?

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

The World Hates the Jews.

I'm trying to rationalize this out, and that is the only conclusion I can arrive at. A psychologist would have a field day with this. Why else would the world rail against Israel for fighting back to protect its citizens? Why else would the world accuse Israel of using "disproportionate force?" Why else would the world cry out that Israel is ' indiscriminately killing civilians?' Why else are there 'demonstrations' against Israel's offensive in Gaza?

I'll tell you what is disproportionate response. What is disproportionate is the world's reaction to tiny Israel making a belated attempt to defend itself and prevent further murder of its own civilian population.

The world's response (with the exception of the United States') is generally negative towards anything Israel does to defend itself. It's outrageous. Where was this world when Hamas was lobbing rockets into Sderot? When Hizbollah was firing Katyushas into northern Israel? Where was the world in their public outrage during the two intifadas? I'll tell you where: there was none. But when Israel mobilizes and finally does something, everyone seems to wake up. It must be because they love us so much.

What is amazing now is that the European Union (except for France. What else is new) seems to be tacitly supporting Israel's initiative. I almost fell off my chair when I read that bit of news.

Where was the world's outrage and condemnation at Hamas' setting up rocket launching pads and weapons storage in civilian homes and hospitals. The truth is, they--Hamas--are solely responsible for the state of their citizens and are deliberately endangering them by their actions.

To the world at large, "disproportionate response" refers to Israel merely defending itself and attempting to prevent another Jewish bloodbath--plain and simple. Do not delude yourselves: Israel hatred is Jew hatred - they are one and the same. Certainly it is, in the Arabs' eyes--they are now threatening to target Jews all over the world. It seems that the only Jew the world can tolerate, is the Ghetto Jew. A strong Jew who fights back makes them nervous. . .

This JWR article explains the situation very well. Read it, and show it to everyone (hat tip, my son: Nathaniel Blumenstien). Here is an excerpt:

The numbers reported [my note: of Palestinians killed ] indicate that there was no clear intent to inflict disproportionate collateral civilian casualties. What is critical from the standpoint of international law is that if the attempt has been made "to minimize civilian damage, then even a strike that causes large amounts of damage - but is directed at a target with very large military value - would be lawful."

What is disproportionate and horrendous is the Hamas terrorist organization specifically targeting civilians in Israel and Islamic Terrorists targeting Jews and Israelis (and Americans as well) around the world, such as last month in Mumbai. They were committing war crimes and no one in the international community was doing a thing to stop them.

Here's a contrast for you: four leading Rabbis issued a halakhic ruling that it is permissible in Torah law toretaliate against rocket launching sites in civilian areas:
The ruling states as follows: “When a population living near a Jewish town sends bombs at the Jewish town with the purpose of killing and destroying Jewish existence there, it is permitted, according to Jewish Law, to fire shells and bombs at the firing sites, even if they are populated by civilians.
Tell me, when was the last time another country or religion even discussed the moral implications of defending oneself against attack? When was the last time a country warned the civilians who were living among the launching pads and weapons caches and terrorists? Did they do that in the bombing of Dresden in World War II?? The United States made a decision in World War II, and bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. How many civilians were killed then? What's worse, is that they were targeted. How about that for a "disproportionate response?"

Israel is not doing that. All she wants is to live in peace. It's the Arabs who want war. They don't blink an eye when Hamas terrorist leaders disguise themselves as doctors and hide in hospitals. Or build launching pads in civilians' basements. Or fire missiles into kindergartens.

The Jews, on the other hand, always search their souls about the treatment of others. That is what makes Judaism one of the most moral religions existing today among the religions of the world.

On the other hand, sometimes I fear we think too much of others and not enough about saving ourselves. This problem Israel is facing is an existential problem, and we need to ensure our survival as a people and as a Jewish State.

Since I wrote the above, the IDF ground war began motzai Shabbat (Saturday night). My youngest daughter is being mobilized. Please pray for her and all the soldiers fighting for the survival of the tiny nation of Israel, the only homeland for the Jewish People.

Prayer for the soldiers of the Israel Defense Force (Hebrew, then English below):

Prayer for Members of the Israel Defense Force

He Who blessed our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - may He bless the fighters of the Israel Defense Force, who stand guard over our land and the cities of our God from the border of the Lebanon to the desert of Egypt, and from the Great Sea unto the approach of the Aravah, on the land, in the air, and on the sea.

May Hashem cause the enemies who rise up against us to be struck down before them. May the Holy One, Blessed is He, preserve and rescue our fighting men from every trouble and distress and from every plague and illness, and may He send blessing and success in their every endeavor.

May He lead our enemies under their sway and may He grant them salvation and crown them with victory. And may there be fulfilled for them the verse: For it is Hashem, your God, Who goes with you to battle your enemies for you to save you.

Now let us respond: Amen.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Last Night of Chanukah,or: Oferet Yetzukah

Get your own Menorah at ChaiSpace!

I wish I had seen this when Chanukah began. Now it will only be up for a day and a half, as I am writing this at 4:40 p.m. my time, the end of the seventh day of Chanukah.
Our radio is set to automatically turn on every day, including Shabbat. We heard first the BBC and then at 6:30 a.m. the NPR report about Operation Oferet Yetzukah*, that the IDF launched a massive air strike into Gaza. It's about time.

I am tired of the negative, accusatory questions posed to Israeli representatives, such as 'why is Israel launching an aggresive strike, why isn't Israel concerned about civilian casualties, how will Israel answer world condemnation,' and blah, blah, blah. It makes me sick.

The responsibility for the so-called Palestinians (anyone living in the region before the State of Israel was also a Palestinian, Jews included; there is no "Arab" state called Palestine, never has been, and such a state should NOT be created) in Gaza is Hamas', and nobody questions them with the questions they pose to Israel: it's time the world condemned the Arabs for building underground launching pads in residential areas, for locating terrorist cells in residential areas, and for basically not giving a damn about their own people.

Israel did a complete (and I might add, a terrible) "disengagement" of all it's citizens from Gaza in the summer of 2005 in an effort--misplaced and naive, as one can see from the results--to offer Gaza to the Arabs in exchange for 'peace.' The Arabs had a grand opportunity to show the world that they can create the infrastructure for a state of their own. So what did they do? They turned it into a cesspool. Typical. As the saying goes, "the Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."

Let's face facts: the Arabs are not interested in creating a state or caring for their own people. Their only agenda is hatred of and destruction of Israel and Jews. It's time the world saw this.

From Israel National News:

President Shimon Peres said in a statement released to the media Sunday that it is time for the world to understand that Israel has been more than patient in waiting for the people of Gaza to come to their senses.

Detailing all the agony and subsequent fallout of the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza, Peres said, "The story is simple. Israel has left Gaza completely… The passages were open. Money was sent to Gaza. We suggested aid in many ways – economically, medically and otherwise… Still I have not heard until now a single person who could explain to us reasonably: why are they firing rockets against Israel?"

How long is Israel supposed to bend over backwards to appease these people at it's own expense? Where is the world's outrage at the unprovoked rocket attacks fired randomly at civilians? When was the last time Hamas 'warned' the Israeli residents of Sderot that there was going to be a rocket attack and all civilians should take shelter, huh?

Funny (as Atlas Shrugs puts it) how the media paid no attention when Hamas fired scores of rockets into Israel. But when Israel finally says "enough," boy do they get mad.

And of course, the reaction you get in the Arab world, is this. When they raise their pre-school children to hate Israel and to want to grow up to be suicide bombers, what else can you expect? But you get more or less the same anti-Semitic reaction in the non-Arab world as well, except for the United States. Tzipi Livni was pretty strong on Meet the Press this morning, even with slightly antagonistic questioning.

I've said this before, and by gosh I'll say it again until one of us is driven crazy: the IDF is one of the most humanitarian armies in the world. Read what Danny has to say about it, here. And on the blog Atlas Shrugs there is an article about the Israelis showing the world once again their humanity, by treating sick Gazans as well as Jews. What do the Muslims do? They brutally mutilate their hostages (I'm still in shock at this report; I only know what I read on Atlas Shrugs and elsewhere) and commit unspeakable atrocities on their neighbors (Jewish) as in the 1929 Hebron massacre.

I am enraged. How dare the world condemn Israel for defending itself, while turning a blind eye to aggression against it?

It is quite fitting that Israel deliberately surprise-attacked Gaza on Shabbat Chanukah, when Hamas least expected it. You might say it is a kind of retaliation for the surprise Arab attack on Israel in the Yom Kippur war in 1973. I guess they were really upset then by their humiliated defeat in the Six-Day War of 1967--which (p.s. ) they started, as they did all the wars since the inception of the state.

(I apologize in advance for the choir.) Chag Urim Sameach.

*Oferet Yetzukah = "Cast Lead," the name of the military operation (part of a well-known Chanukah song that Israeli kids learn).

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