Man Threatens to Murder Children Due to Israel-Hamas Conflict

A Palestinian girl looks at masked militants of Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, military wing of Hamas, celebrate at a victory rally at the debris of destroyed houses in Shijaiyah, neighborhood of Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday / AP

A Palestinian girl looks at masked militants of Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, military wing of Hamas, celebrate at a victory rally at the debris of destroyed houses in Shijaiyah, neighborhood of Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday / AP

Washington Free Beacon, By Adam Kredo:

An Ohio school was placed on lockdown Wednesday after a man with a “heavy accent” phoned the school and threatened to murder children with an AK-47 due to the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, according to local police.

All schools in Pickerington, Ohio, were placed on lockdown after an unknown man made a threatening call to the Pickerington North High School, Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon.

The man, who claimed to have an AK-47, said he planned to launch an attack on the school and kill students over his apparent anger at the Middle East conflict, Phalen said.

“The school received a call [at around 11:15 a.m.] from a male with a heavy accent and he indicated that he was going to attack Pickerington North due to attacks on Israel and was going to kill the kids and that he had an AK-47 gun,” Phalen recounted.

“He identified himself as ‘Mohammed Shehad,’” or something similar to that, and claimed to live in the area, Phalen said, explaining that those who fielded the call were unsure precisely what last name the man provided.

“My sense is that due to the way he identified himself it sounds like he was upset at Israel,” though the individual’s exact motivations remain unclear, Phalen said. At this point, authorities “really don’t know what his frame of mind was or what he was thinking.”

All area schools were placed on “exterior lockdown” as a precautionary measure, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

School will resume on Thursday and an officer will be assigned to Pickerington North. Additional deputies will also be in the area, Phalen said.

Fairfield County detectives also are beginning to investigate the matter to determine the individual’s identity.

“We have detectives assigned to that; they’re working on trying to trace the phone number and identify the suspect,” Phalen said.

Patrick Poole, a terrorism analyst who lives in the area, said he believed the threat was made by a person upset with Israel’s military action in the Gaza Strip.

“We have had a growing problem here in the Columbus area for years that local law enforcement and the media want to continue to sweep under the carpet,” Poole said. “Not only has Central Ohio been the home of the largest known al-Qaeda cell since 9/11—with several members currently in prison on terrorism charges and at least two deported—we’ve had a number of cases of homegrown jihadists come through town, including al-Shabaab rapper Omar al-Hammami and Little Rock Army recruiting station killer Carlos Bledsoe.”

“An al-Shabaab recruiter and fundraiser from the area was killed in a firefight in Mogadishu in 2010, and we know of several cases of young men who have left from Columbus to join the Somali terrorist group,” Poole said. “One of the original online jihadist forum operators, Sarfaraz Jamal, grew up in the area and initially ran his operation from his Worthington home.”

Additionally, “we just had a pro-Hamas rally at the statehouse a week and a half ago, a regular feature here in central Ohio whenever there is conflict in that part of the world,” Poole noted. “In fact, two of our local Hamas activists are currently in prison in Egypt. Now that the threat is targeting area school children, hopefully it will begin to wake people up to the scope of the problem.”

SAUDI FOREIGN MINISTER: TIME FOR ISLAMIC WORLD TO RECOGNIZE ISRAEL

israeli-flag-worn-apBreitbart, by JORDAN SCHACHTEL:

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister said that now is the time to recognize Israel as a legitimate entity in the Middle East, stressing that the Palestinian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, terror group Hamas, is responsible for fanning the flames of war between Israelis and Palestinians.

Speaking at the world assembly of Islamic scholars in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Saud bin Faisal Al Saud reiterated that the Arab world must also reject Hamas as the representatives of the Palestinian movement, AWD news reports.

Saudi media has consistently been against Hamas in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute. “[Meshaal], we are tired of defending the [Palestinian] cause that you have sold for cheap to an MB (Muslim Brotherhood) gang whose way you followed even though they have lost their [own] way,” Saudi commentator Abdul Hamdi Razaq recently wrote in a scathing rebuke of Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal.

In March, Saudi Arabia designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. Some insist the designation had more to do with differing views on Sunni Islam than with the actual threat level posed by the Muslim Brotherhood.

This week, Saudi King Abdullah blamed Hamas for the 50-day war between the terror entity and the State of Israel. Abdullah said: “It is shameful and disgraceful that these terrorists [Hamas] are doing this in the name of religion, killing the people, whose killing Allah has forbidden, and mutilating their bodies, and feeling proud in publishing this. They have distorted the image of Islam with its purity and humanity and smeared it with all sorts of bad qualities by their actions, injustice, and crimes.”

Israel Security Summit – Boston Area – Sept 9, 2014

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http://www.IsraelSecuritySummit.com

ISIS, HAMAS, AND THE SURGING THREAT OF RADICAL ISLAMISM

hamas-flag-soldier-Reuters (3)Breitbart, by NOAH BECK:

The beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley has raised concerns in the West about Islamist threats. But Israel has been facing this specter for decades and – given Israel’s proximity to the Islamist threat – the Jewish state is the West’s canary in the coal mine. But Gaza seems to be the Western blind spot, even though the Hamas-ISIS parallels are glaringly obvious.

Since beheadings are the current media focus, and ISIS has beheaded infants, it’s worth noting that Hamas praised the 2011 Itamar murders, which involved the decapitation of a baby. Islamist beheadings should surprise no one, given that they’ve been happening for much of (and despite) modernity – perhaps because “Islam is the only major world religion today that is cited…to legitimize beheadings,” according to this study.

While there have been no reported Hamas beheadings of journalists, the similarities between Hamas and ISIS are more important than their differences.

Both would like to establish a Caliphate. Hamas Interior Minister declared as much in this 2013 speech. Both gain and keep power through savagery and fear. Hamas rose to power in Gaza thanks to its violent, 2007 coup, and recently planned a second putsch (in the West Bank). Hamas famously threw its political opponents off rooftops.

Like ISIS, Hamas uses clinics, schools, mosques, and charities to gain legitimacy, and inculcates children with the values of jihadi terror. A Vice documentary exposed how ISIS indoctrinates children for war, but Hamas has been doing so for years, educating children to worship death and using child soldiers.

Hamas’ use of human shields has been widely documented (and proven very effective in turning public opinion against Israel by exponentially increasing Gazan civilian casualties). ISIS used 500 Yazidi captives and 39 abducted Indians as human shields.

ISIS is known for its expulsion of Christians from Mosul and its genocidal murder of Yazidis and Christians who refuse to convert to Islam or pay the jizyah, and Hamas would undoubtedly behave the same way if Israeli Jews didn’t have the protection of a superior military, and if Hamas didn’t depend on international donations to Gaza that might dry up after a wholesale slaughter of the tiny Christian community there. But even with these checks on Hamas’ brutality, Hamas regularly practices and preaches religious hatred. For years, Hamas has attacked Christians, including defiling Christian graves, abducting and murdering Christians, and more recently using a Gazan church to launch rockets at Israel. Hamas preaches hateful incitement against Jews, has desecrated Jewish holy sites, and has murdered hundreds of Jews in terrorist attacks.

ISIS uses Sharia to justify its barbaric treatment of women. Also enamored with Sharia, Hamas treats women as second-class citizens and endorses honor killings.

Hamas advocates the death penalty for homosexuals, and (like ISIS) lets Islamic morality police govern economic activity and punishes crime with lashings, amputations, and executions. There have been no broadcast beheadings of homosexuals by ISIS yet, but such horrors can’t be far off, given that ISIS fighters include gay-hating Westerners.

Hamas condemned the assassination of Osama Bin Laden and ISIS aspires to surpass him.

Yet, astonishingly, President Obama and liberals have continually called for restraint when Israel’s military has confronted Hamas (after Hamas’ countless attacks against Israeli civilians) and Obama has pressed Israel to negotiate with Hamas (as if the U.S. would ever negotiate with ISIS). Worse still, the Obama administration tried to advance Hamas’ negotiating position and recently pressured Israel into letting Hamas keep its military capabilities. Given the opportunity to obliterate ISIS’ terrorist infrastructure, would the U.S. ever spare any part of it?

Even more troubling – in terms of the perils involved – is Obama’s feckless strategy towards the Iranian regime, which is the world’s chief sponsor of Islamist terrorism (including by Hamas and Hezbollah). Like so many Islamist terrorist organizations, Iran executes homosexualsmistreats womenpersecutes religious minorities; employs barbaric, Sharia-law punishments (like amputation and stoning); and brutalizes political dissenters (among myriad other human rights violations). But unlike the terrorist organizations, Iran could theoretically acquire a nuclear capability in under two months. Imagine an Islamist state, which openly supports Islamist terrorists, possessing nukes. Alarmingly, Obama’s approach and over-eagerness to negotiate any deal he can get, have signaled weakness in a region that respects only strength and have improved Iran’s nuclear position.

Islamist groups like Hamas, ISIS, al-Qaeda, and Boko Haram all seek the destruction of Western values and civilization. The West ignores this fact at its peril, and should therefore support Israel’s war against Hamas, as the U.S. has rightly (albeit tardily and minimally) supported the Kurds in their fight against ISIS.

Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis, a doomsday thriller about the Iranian nuclear threat and current geopolitical issues in the Middle East.

Understanding the Israeli-Egyptian-Saudi alliance

partners-300x191By Caroline Glick:

Hamas’s war with Israel is not a stand-alone event. It is happening in the context of the vast changes that are casting asunder old patterns of behavior and strategic understandings as actors in the region begin to reassess the threats they face.

Hamas was once funded by Saudi Arabia and enabled by Egypt. Now the regimes of these countries view it as part of a larger axis of Sunni jihad that threatens not only Israel, but them.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and its state sponsors Qatar and Turkey, are the key members of this alliance structure. Without their support Hamas would have gone down with the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt last summer. As it stands, all view Hamas’s war with Israel as a means of reinstating the Brotherhood to power in that country.

To achieve a Hamas victory, Turkey, Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood are using Western support for Hamas against Israel. If the US and the EU are able to coerce Egypt and Israel to open their borders with Gaza, then the Western powers will hand the jihadist axis a strategic victory.

The implications of such a victory would be dire.

Hamas is ideologically indistinguishable from Islamic State. Like Islamic State, Hamas has developed mass slaughter and psychological terrorization as the primary tools in its military doctrine. If the US and the EU force Israel and Egypt to open Gaza’s borders, they will enable Hamas to achieve strategic and political stability in Gaza. As a consequence, a post-war Gaza will quickly become a local version of Islamic State-controlled Mosul.

In the first instance, such a development will render life in southern Israel too imperiled to sustain. The Western Negev, and perhaps Beersheba, Ashkelon and Ashdod, will become uninhabitable.

Then there is Judea and Samaria. If, as the US demands, Israel allows Gaza to reconnect with Judea and Samaria, in short order Hamas will dominate the areas. Militarily, the transfer of even a few of the thousands of rocket-propelled grenades Hamas has in Gaza will imperil military forces and civilians alike.

IDF armored vehicles and armored civilian buses will be blown to smithereens.

Whereas operating from Gaza, Hamas needed the assistance of the Obama administration and the Federal Aviation Administration to shut down Ben-Gurion Airport, from Judea and Samaria, all Hamas would require are a couple of hand-held mortars.

Jordan will also be directly threatened.

From Egypt’s perspective, a Hamas victory in the war with Israel that connects Gaza to Sinai will strengthen the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamic State and other allies. Such a development represents a critical threat to the regime.

And this brings us to Islamic State itself. It couldn’t have grown to its current monstrous proportions without the support of Qatar and Turkey.

Read more

IDF Scores Hits on Hamas Military Leaders in Gaza

Muhammad Abu Smalla, 39 and Ra'ad Atar, 39

Muhammad Abu Smalla, 39 and Ra’ad Atar, 39
Source: General Security Service of Israel

By Jerry Gordon:

The Hamas breach of the 12th cease fire unleashed a new phase by the IDF in Operation Protective Edge to take down Hamas military leaders. By going after Hamas military commanders via air assaults based on intelligence gathered by Shin Bet, it has scored some important hits, including operatives involved in the 2006 kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit. Schalit was held in captivity for five years by Hamas until his release in October 2011 in exchange for 1037 Palestinian prisoners. The IDF announced the killing of Muhammad Abu Smalla, 39 and Ra’ad Atar, 39 and a third operative in an IAF air assault on a Rafah location in southern Gaza. The significance of the killing of both Smalla and Atar was their involvement in several operations, notably the 2004 tunnel attack in the Philadelphi corridor that sparked IDF tunnel detection developments and the recent cross border tunnel attacks in Operation Protective Edge. See our recent Iconoclast post, “How Israel’s Military Bureaucracy Bungled the Terror Tunnel Threat”.

Further, there are conflicting reports that the IAF may have taken down the head of the Hamas military wing, Mohammed Deif. However, Hamas only acknowledges that Deif’s wife and infant child were killed in the attack on their home in Gaza. Hamas is now concentrating its rocket barrages on Southern Israel and strategic launches against the Tel Aviv area in central Israel seeking to score another hit near Ben Gurion Airport. An earlier rocket hit in late July on a residence near Ben Gurion Airport brought about an order from the US FAA resulting in temporary suspension of flights to Israel by US and international carriers.

Read more at New English Review

Also see:

Edward Said: Oppressed Fraud

edward-saidBy Daniel Greenfield:

Edward Said was the world’s second most famous Palestinian. And much like Palestine, his biography was a fake and his culture was nothing more than the advocacy of a perpetual supremacist conflict against the indigenous Jewish inhabitants whom the colonial myth of Palestine was meant to displace.

The great genius of Arab and Islamic supremacism was their pretense that the Jewish story of an indigenous minority resisting their colonialism was really their own story. Having failed to destroy every culture that they had conquered, they instead appropriated their stories, painting their fallen empires as the tragic victims of the imperialism of the very people whom they had conquered and oppressed.

Arabs and Muslims still remained the dominant and domineering group in the Middle East repressing other cultures and religions from North Africa to the Persian Gulf, but they flipped the history books over so that the descendants of caliphs and conquerors who had ground the Jews and other indigenous peoples under their boots could reinvent themselves as the victims of Jewish oppression. The members of vast families and clans spanning the Middle East selectively embraced a Palestinian identity if they happened, at any point in their lives, to find themselves within the borders of the Jewish State.

That is both the larger theme of Joshua Muravchik’s Making David Into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel and of its chapter on Edward Said, who helped turn the history books upside down.

Like many of the professionally oppressed, Edward Said came from wealth and privilege. Like Arafat, the world’s most famous Palestinian, Said, the world’s second most famous Palestinian came out of Cairo.

His childhood in “Palestine” was as much of a fiction as Palestine itself. Instead his mother had traveled to give birth in Jerusalem to take advantage of Jewish medical expertise. From that tiny act of occupation came the vast cultural appropriation that the newly baptized “Palestinian” would go on to inflict on the indigenous inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Edward Said’s career trajectory took him deep within academia where he denounced rival scholars for constructing simplistic stereotypes of the Middle East by constructing a simplistic stereotype of them as “Orientalists” who were “othering” the east.

In a typically tribal display of hypocrisy, Edward Said was othering the very people he was accusing of othering his own people.

What Edward Said lacked in scholarship (he thought that the Islamic conquest of what is today Turkey had taken place before the conquest of North Africa) and honesty (he claimed that the PLO rejected terrorism) he more than made up for in manufactured outrage, as Joshua Muravchik documents.

Edward Said transformed the Muslim and Arab colonists into the oppressed indigenous peoples pitted against European colonizers. The complex nuanced realities of legitimate scholars who recognized that Europeans and Arabs had both been imperialists and colonizers in their time were swept aside by Said’s nationalistic polemics.

By damning legitimate scholars as racist colonialist Orientalists, Edward Said was able to impose his own racist and colonialist revisionist history on academia.

The New Left had made Third World nationalism into its new creed. Said’s support of the PLO made him a voice for justice no matter how many lies he told or how his botched scholarship perverted history. Third World nationalists could legitimately call on Western guilt and act as moral voices on campus at the behest of a left that glibly assumed that only political terror would end the cycle of oppression.

Read more at Front Page

War Leaves Hamas Battered as Israel Gives Diplomacy a Chance

by Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
August 19, 2014

1049The summer war that has raged between Hamas in Gaza and Israel has left the Islamist terrorist organization battered and bruised. Its offensive tunnel capabilities lie in ruins, while its rocket arsenal near depletion.

The war began when Hamas launched heavy rocket salvos at Israeli cities in July, and then rejected multiple Egyptian-media truce offers. Hamas’s decision to go to war proved to be very costly, and it is now attempting to salvage some gains through a round of indirect negotiations with Israel in Cairo.

Israeli intelligence agencies heard chatter in Gaza about an impending conflict several months before it began. The Israel Defense Force’s Southern Command quietly prepared for the clash, and senior army sources say the fruit of these diligent preparations are apparent today.

Despite its bravado, claims of victory, and public rhetoric, and irrespective of its long list of demands, many of which are unrealistic and will not be met – like Hamas’s demand for a seaport in Gaza – Hamas is negotiating from a position of weakness. Its posturing is aimed at domestic consumption, and is also an attempt to convince the Israeli public that the mere fact Hamas survived the war, and continued shooting projectiles, represents a defeat for Israel.

In fact, Israel deliberately refrained from seeking to destroy Hamas’s military wing, the Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades. The defense establishment believes that it is in Israel’s interest to have a weakened, single address in Gaza, responsible for governing the Strip, and capable of enforcing a truce. Most importantly, any entity ruling Gaza must be responsive to Israeli deterrence.

If Hamas is toppled, the reasoning in the Israeli defense establishment goes, it may be replaced by an assortment of jihadist militias, creating an even more chaotic situation in which deterrence becomes impossible, and where Gaza would resemble Somalia.

The first two stages of the Israeli operation against Hamas – air strikes and a limited ground offensive – test the idea that Hamas can still be deterred. Should Hamas resume hostilities and prove that it is immune to deterrence, despite the wide-scale damage it has brought on itself and to the people of Gaza, the IDF has prepared operational plans for a full-scale ground offensive into the Gaza Strip, aimed at the destruction of Hamas’s military wing.

IDF ground forces continue to be positioned along the Gaza border, and await instructions from the security cabinet after completing preparations for the possibility of renewed fighting.

A damage assessment of Hamas’s military capabilities thus far reveals the true extent of the price it has paid for its aggression against Israeli civilians. During the war, the IDF destroyed nearly 5,000 targets, most of which were planted by Hamas deep inside Gaza civilian areas. The targets included 1,700 rocket launchers and sites used to store the projectiles. Hamas lost around 1,000 command and control centers – most of which were based in the homes of Hamas field commanders. Another 1,000 targets that threatened advancing IDF units on the ground were destroyed. Israel also struck 240 Hamas regime buildings that were used by its military wing in terrorist-guerilla operations, 200 rocket factories, and a myriad of additional targets.

Gaza terror factions began the war with an arsenal of about 9,000 rockets. Today, under a third of that arsenal remains, due to depletion or destruction by Israel Air Force strikes.

Rocket attacks proved highly ineffective in Hamas’s goal of sowing death and destruction in Israeli cities. Nevertheless, daily rocket attacks on millions of Israelis paralyzed ordinary life and spread fear among the public.

It was the performance of the Iron Dome air defense system that prevented mass casualties and large-scale wreckage in Israel. Nine Iron Dome batteries deployed across Israel intercepted 90 percent of all targeted rockets heading towards populated Israeli regions, while the remainder of rockets mostly fell in uninhabited areas.

Some 3,400 rockets were fired into Israel, and Israeli civilians were forced to deal with the psychological terror and daily disruption of air raid sirens, and the need to quickly take cover. In physical terms, however, Hamas’s rocket arsenal was rendered largely useless by Iron Dome. All of the rockets fired by Hamas were produced in Gaza’s flourishing arms industry, which rose up after Egypt blocked smuggling tunnels linking the Strip to the Sinai Peninsula. Previously, those tunnels were used by Iran to export weapons to Hamas.

Israeli villages and agricultural regions bordering the Gaza Strip fared worse than the rest of the country. These areas were exposed to constant mortar shells fired from Gaza and the threat of cross-border tunnels. Residents abandoned much of the area, becoming internally displaced persons during the war.

Hamas’s second disappointment came when its elaborate network of underground attack tunnels it dug from Gaza into Israel were destroyed before they could be used in grand terrorist attacks against Israeli border villages and army bases. Hamas spent tens of millions of dollars building the heavily fortified tunnels, which were supposed to be used to launch indiscriminate killing sprees and kidnap soldiers.

Although a few of the tunnels were used by Hamas cells to launch deadly raids on Israeli army units that protected villages in the south of the country, the majority of the tunnels had been mapped out by military intelligence, and were destroyed during the course of the ground offensive. During this stage of the fighting, Israeli infantry, armored, and combat engineering units reached tunnel shafts, and proceeded to destroy the underground structures using liquid explosive. Hamas’s regional battalions mounted a stiff defense of the tunnels, firing a very large number of RPGs, mortar shells, sniper rounds, and automatic fire from Palestinian civilian areas at the army. Hamas guerillas used an internal Gaza tunnel network to launch hit-and-run attacks. They also booby-trapped large numbers of Palestinian residential buildings.

Nevertheless, the IDF destroyed all of the attack tunnels – 32 it knew about – taking two weeks to complete the mission. It took Hamas five years and a great deal of treasure to build up its underground warfare capability, but this was ruined by the Israeli army in little time.

The tunnels, complete with telephone lines, electricity, and rail cars, were built with cement sent into Gaza for the purpose of civilian construction projects, such as schools and medical clinics.

Sixty four IDF soldiers and officers were killed in the battle to destroy the tunnels, and three Israeli civilians were killed by projectiles. But Hamas, and to a smaller extent, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, lost several hundred terrorists in combat with soldiers. Between 900 and 1,000 terrorists were killed by the army in Gaza clashes, according to Israeli intelligence evaluations. According to Hamas medical sources, nearly 2,000 Gazans were killed in the conflict. That would put the civilian/combatant casualty ratio at roughly 1:1, a rate IDF sources say is one of the lowest in recent wars by a Western military against an asymmetrical foe. By comparison, NATO’s operations in Afghanistan have resulted, according to reports, in a 3:1 civilian/combatant casualty ratio.

Hamas also spent years developing its own drone program, but when it tried to send these into Israel during the war, the IAF detected the threat and shot them down. Additionally, a Hamas naval commando unit attempted to infiltrate the country via a southern Israeli beach, but it too was detected by the military, and its members were swiftly killed.

Israel’s operations in Gaza included, for the first time, a fully integrated joint forces command and control network. This system allowed infantry units, navy missile ships, tanks, fighter jets, artillery units and drones to share real-time intelligence on targets, and to synchronize their firepower. All of these forces were also linked up to military intelligence, allowing for new and critical information on threats in the sectors of units in combat to be transmitted in seconds.

For example, when the army obtained vital information from Hamas detainees on booby- trapped homes in the vicinity of an infantry unit, information was immediately sent to the infantry commanders, enabling them to take evasive action.

The big question now is whether Israel’s military success will convince Hamas to end its belligerent course.

Tuesday afternoon brought reason for doubt. Three medium-range rockets were fired at the Negev city of Beersheba, prompting swift Israeli air strikes on targets in northern Gaza. Israel recalled its negotiators from Cairo in response, and the coming hours will be crucial in charting the course of future developments.

If Hamas chooses to resume attacks on Israel, it is likely that the IDF will be ordered to target the remaining components of Hamas’s terrorist-guerilla army. This time around, the goal will be to defeat Hamas, rather than deter it.

Yaakov Lappin is the Jerusalem Post’s military and national security affairs correspondent, and author of The Virtual Caliphate (Potomac Books), which proposes that jihadis on the internet have established a virtual Islamist state.

Did a Hamas Plot to Seize the West Bank Really Cause the Gaza War?

fatah-hamas-450x252Front Page, By Daniel Greenfield:

If some of this information holds up, then the picture of the Gaza War changes significantly.

A large-scale Hamas terrorist formation in the West Bank and Jerusalem planned to destabilize the region through a series of deadly terror attacks in Israel and then topple the Fatah-ruled Palestinian Authority, the Shin Bet said Monday.

The Turkey-based Hamas overseas headquarters orchestrated the plot which centered on a string of mass casualty terror attacks on Israeli targets, the Shin Bet added.

The end goal was to destabilize the Palestinian territories and use the instability to carry out a military coup, overthrowing the government of PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Hamas infrastructure relied on support from cells in neighboring Jordan, and on couriers who delivered terrorist finances, totaling at least two million shekels, which were used to purchase weapons and homes that were used as hideouts, according to the investigation.

Ninety three Hamas members are in Israeli custody, and the Shin Bet has questioned 46 so far. Security forces plan to indict some 70 suspects. The investigation began in May, and is ongoing, security sources said.

The earliest timeline of the arrests appears to predate the official onset of the fighting. Also the operation was orchestrated from Turkey, much like the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teens.

What that may really mean is that Israel was caught in the middle of a power play between Turkey and Saudi Arabia. If Turkey’s tyrant Erdogan seemed even more hysterical during the war than usual, it was because he had helped set it off. And if Saudi Arabia seemed a bit suspiciously supportive, that was because it was using Israel in its proxy war with Qatar and Turkey.

Once it was clear that the operation was exposed, Hamas decided to go all in while counting on Turkey and Qatar to bring Obama to the rescue. The results have been mixed, but if Israel ends up making concessions then all the bad guys on both sides will get what they want.

The war as we saw it, was actually a semi-accidental result of a larger Hamas operation going off prematurely as part of an internal civil war within the Muslim world.

The twist in all this is that the Unity Government of Fatah and Hamas was only a prelude to Hamas stabbing Fatah in the back.

UN Should Investigate Hamas Deaths of Children and Adult Tunnel Excavators

Cross Border tunnel, July 25, 2014, Source: AP

Cross Border tunnel, July 25, 2014, Source: AP

By Jerry Gordon:

This past weekend, former New Jersey Congressional candidate Rabbi Schmuley Boteach and head of This World: The Values Network  published  an ad in the Weekend Edition of the Wall Street Journal directed at exposing the calumnies of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) investigating alleged IDF War Crimes in Gaza against civilians, especially women and children. Maybe it’s time for the UN to investigate the use of Gaza civilians, especially children as human shields.   Perhaps that suggested investigation should be broadened to investigate Gazan children and adult men   killed as expendable slaves excavating those terror tunnels used to attack and kill IDF forces  threatening kidnapping and death of Israeli children.  What does that remind you of?  The Nazi use of Jews and other slave laborers during WWII, thousands of whom lost their lives in hollowing out tunnels for the  assembly of V-2 revenge rockets that rained death on unoccupied Europe and Britain. Different tyranny, same result.

The target of This World ad was Canadian lawyer William Schabas, a notorious vitriolic critic of Israel, whom even the Harper government in Canada has taken to task for his hatred of the Jewish nation. The WSJ full page ad accused Schabas of Last Monday,  of being “ a Toadie of Iran”.

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird was prompted last Monday to send this message on his Twitter account:

The “UN Human Rights Council continues to be a sham for advancing human rights. It’s an utter shame and will do nothing to promote peace and dignity in Gaza for the Palestinian people”.

Earlier, Baird had this comment about Hamas:

Canada is frustrated and deeply disappointed that the UNHCR decided to completely ignore the abhorrent terrorist acts of Hamas.

Israel and the US condemned the UNHRC appointment of the three person investigative committee headed by Schabas.

The Jerusalem Post reported this exchange with Schabas following the UNHRC announcement of his appointment as head of a three person inquiry into Operation Protective Edge:

He was asked about Hamas’s inclusion during an interview with Channel 2. “I cannot tell you what the commission is going to do in terms of interpreting its mandate. I am only one member and I have not had a meeting with the other commissioners,” Schabas said.

“Do you consider Hamas a terrorist organization?” Channel 2 asked him.

“It would be inappropriate for me to answer a question like that,” Schabas said, adding that it was important to “study this question in as neutral and objective a manner as possible.”

But, then we had self-hating Jewish Princeton Professor emeritus, Richard Falk, as the UNHRC Special Rapporteur on Gaza. To say nothing of the current head of the so-called Human Rghts Commission, South African Jurist of Tamil Indian origins.

Earlier in August, Boteach’s This World had published another full page WSJ ad, that the London Times felt was strong that criticized Hamas for using civilians, especially women and children as human shields. That ad was headlined “Jews rejected child sacrifice 3,500 years ago. Now it’s Hamas turn”.  It quoted Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel saying:

In my own lifetime, I have seen Jewish children thrown into the fire. And now I have seen Muslim children used as human shields, in both cases, by worshippers of death cults indistinguishable from that of the Molochites.

“What we are suffering through today is not a battle of Jew versus Arab or Israeli versus Palestinian. Rather, it is a battle between those who celebrate life and those who champion death. It is a battle of civilization versus barbarism”.

In our series of NER/Iconoclast articles we reported:

As for children killed or maimed in the current conflict, Tablet Magazine cited a 2012 Report by The Institute of Palestine Studies stating  that  “At least 160 children have been killed excavating  the tunnels, according to Hamas officials.”

Read more at New English Review

Former Hamas Fundraiser To Speak On USF Campus At CAIR, SJP Event

screen_shot_2014-08-18_at_2.19.08_pmBy Daniel Mael:

On September 5th, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) will join with The Muslim Connection (TMC), Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of South Florida and the Muslim Student Association to host the event “The Hidden Genocide: The Story of Palestine. A Banquet.”

“The Hidden Genocide will be revealed and no longer shall it be a reality just for the Palestinians experiencing it everyday of their lives,” reads the event description. “Join us September 5th at the MSC Ballroom for the opportunity to offer a helping hand to our brothers and sisters in Gaza and learn about the BDS movement that will help bring in end the destruction and disparity in Palestine.”

The event features highly questionable speakers, including one who has been connected to funding Hamas terrorism.

According to the event Facebook page, Monzer Taleb is listed as a “Motivational Speaker.” According to a PJ Media report from 2009:

Before the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) was closed by the U.S. government as a designated global terrorist fundraising entity just weeks after the 9/11 attacks, Monzer Taleb (aka Munzir Taleb, Monzer Talib, et al.) was part of the infamous Al-Sakhra band, which toured the U.S. raising money for the HLF and the terrorist group Hamas. Taleb was so active in his fundraising pursuits that he was personally named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the HLF terrorism finance trial, which concluded this past November with guilty verdicts on all 108 counts for the defendants.

The event also features anti-Semitic poet Remi Kenazi, who challenges Israel’s right to exist and perpetuates anti-Semitism on campuses nationwide. His attitude is highlighted by CAMERA on Campus:

Remi Kanazi is a self proclaimed Palestinian and human rights slam poet and activist who grew up in New York City. He is well known for disseminating false information regarding Palestine, Israel, and the Jewish people. Though he describes himself as an activist and entertainer, he is actually a propaganda artist who actively supports the destruction of Israel through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctioning movement. He believes that all of Israel should be given ‘back’ to the Palestinians and expresses this through his ‘poetry’. Kanazi believes that anyone who isn’t anti-Israel is anti-Palestininan and therefore his enemy; anyone who questions him is a white-supremicist racist.

In 2012 after an escalation between Hamas and Israel, Kenazi said, “Dear Zion­ists: You have never ‘defended your­selves.’ You came in, stole land that wasn’t yours & main­tained a racist state through mas­sacres and brute force.”

Suleiman Salem and Tariq Abu Khdeir will be speaking as well. Abu Khdeir drew international attention after an altercation with the Israel Defense Forces in which he was beaten. The soldier responsible for the misuse of force is being charged criminally by the state of Israel.

The Students for Justice in Palestine chapter on the campus of University of South Florida is one of the more extreme groups in the country. The organization’s Facebook page features comparisons of Israel to the Nazis and other anti-Semitic propaganda:

Read more at Truth Revolt

State Dept. Defends Arms Sales to Turkey Despite Hamas Ties

A Turkish soldier stands by a tank as he patrols the border with Syria / AP

A Turkish soldier stands by a tank as he patrols the border with Syria / AP

By Adam Kredo:

The State Department defended missile sales to Turkey just hours after news emerged that Ankara is hosting and abetting a senior Hamas operative who planned to violently overthrow the Palestinian government in the West Bank and wage war on Israel.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf defended the transfer of Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) to Turkey just days after she was forced to explain why the White House had stepped in to block similar weapons shipments to Israel.

Reporters at Harf’s daily briefing expressed confusion as to why arms shipments would be stopped to Israel yet permitted to Turkey, despite the latter nation’s increasing anti-Semitism and efforts to bolster Hamas terrorists.

Israeli security officials revealed early Monday that it had disrupted a plot to infiltrate the West Bank and overthrow the moderate government. It is believed that the plot was orchestrated by a Hamas leader in Turkey who also helped plan the kidnappings and murders of three Israeli teens earlier this year.

Harf was asked Monday afternoon to explain why President Barack Obama is giving Turkey high-tech arms while holding up shipments to Israel, a move that has drawn outrage in the pro-Israel community.

Harf defended the “extra care” the Obama administration is exerting over Israeli shipments and said that it is “important” to give Turkey arms right now.

“Turkey is also a NATO ally,” she said. “So for all of us who are—talk a lot about the importance of the NATO alliance, particularly when it comes to Russia and Ukraine and what’s happening there, we think it’s important to provide our NATO allies with resources. We think that’s an important use of our resources. The two [cases] aren’t comparable, but those are the facts behind them, I would say.”

Read more at Washington Free Beacon

Op-Ed: The President’s True Colors Finally Revealed

by Steven Emerson
Jerusalem Online
August 17, 2014

When I first glanced at the headline on today’s Jerusalem Online and reports in the Jerusalem Post and other Israeli newspapers, I thought they must have been a satire: “Washington officials have told Egypt that the US will grantee Israel’s commitment to any agreement signed.” But it was not a satire. The was deadly serious, confirmed by other Israeli newspapers and sources in Cairo.

1047The US offering to Hamas to “guarantee” Israeli commitments to any agreement signed? As if anyone needed proof of the Obama Administration’s antipathy to Israel, here it was in black and white. If anyone party needed a commitment to enforce its agreements in any deal, it would have been Hamas, that has been known to break every commitment it ever made. To pick just a few at random:

  • Hamas recently violated 9 cease fire agreements, including two of its own
  • Hamas illegally siphoned thousands of tons of cement and steel shipments it received from international donors and Israel that it had committed to use the build the civilian infrastructure in Gaza for hospitals, schools and apartment buildings; instead it spent upwards of $500 million of these humanitarian shipments to covertly build numerous tunnels buried deep underground into Israel in order to carry out murderous raids on Israeli civilian communities intended to kill tens of thousands of Israelis
  • Hamas violated the 2012 Cease Fire negotiated by then State Department Secretary Hillary Clinton together with then Egyptian Muslim President Mohammed Morsi in which Hamas committed to stop smuggling weapons and missiles into Israel, of which nearly 4000 were recently launched into 80% of Israel’s population centers
  • Hamas violated the commitment to the Palestinian Authority that it would never launch a coup d’état against the PA after Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. But in 2007, Hamas did exactly that in a bloody takeover of Gaza, kicking out and killing PA officials.
  • Hamas violated a publicly solemn commitment to its own civilians that it would uphold the rule of law (yea, right) when it took over Gaza only to subsequently execute hundreds of dissident Gazans, torture and imprison thousands of political opponents, violently persecute the minority of Christians still living in Gaza and imprison and prosecute suspected gay Gazans.
  • Violating a commitment it made in the Clinton negotiated 2012 truce that it would cease its missile attacks on Israel.

And at the same time, it should be noted that President Obama personally signed an official letter at the time of the 2012 negotiated cease fire to Prime Minister Netanyahu that the US would provide Israel with the technology to defeat and stop Hamas smuggling of weapons. But subsequent to that empty promise, Hamas soon received in massive quantities from Iran, Sudan, and North Korea. That promise was never carried out.

Israel on the other hand meticulously fulfilled its part of the bargain by severely relaxing the blockade on Gaza, allowing tons of previously restricted cement and steel into Gaza, increasing the number of daily truckloads of food, medical stuff and building equipment through the two Israeli checkpoints into Gaza by more than 250 truckloads a day ( a commitment is still upheld during the Hamas war against Israel, a fact mostly ignored by the mainstream media blindly committed to the Hamas narrative that Israel was the aggressor).

Remember when Obama spoke to the annual AIPAC conference a few years back and ceremoniously declared, “I got your back.” This is the same President who, as the Wall Street Journal disclosed last week, personally held up the Israeli request for additional Hellfire missiles that it had depleted in its war with Hamas.

As far back as 1967, the United States had made a firm promise to Israel that it would never allow the Egyptians to blockade the Straits of Hormuz, considered the lifeline of Israel. But when the Egyptians blockaded the Straights of Hormuz in May 1967, what did the US do? Nothing.

And in the current round of negotiations being held in Cairo now, according to leaked details in Egyptian newspapers reported by today’s Jerusalem Online

Israel agreed to make the following astonishing concessions:

  • “Israel will stop its attacks in Gaza – in land, sea and air. No ground operations will be conducted.”
  • Israel has agreed to the “opening of crossings between Israel and Gaza [in which] Movement of people and merchandise will be allowed, to rebuild Gaza.”
  • “Eliminating the buffer zone in the North and East of Gaza and deployment of Palestinian military forces starting from January 1, 2015″
  • “Freedom of fishing and action in the territorial waters of the Palestinians in Gaza to a range of 6 miles. The range will gradually be increased, to no less than 12 miles…”
  • “Israeli authorities will assist the Palestinian Authority to restore the foundations in Gaza, as well as help provide the necessary living needs for those who were forced to leave their homes due to the battles. Also, Israel will provide emergency medical attention to the wounded and will supply humanitarian assistance and food to Gaza as soon as possible.”

It should be noted that even during the recent murderous war waged by Gaza, Israel had opened up its borders to treat wounded Gaza civilians in Israeli hospitals and continued to supply daily more than 500 tons daily of humanitarian assistance and food to Gaza even as the Hamas launched thousands of rockets and attempted mass murder of Israeli civilians by attempts, fortunately thwarted by Israel, to infiltrate dozens of fully armed Hamas terrorists into Israel via the tunnels dug by Hamas.

And what did the Hamas commit to?

  • “All Palestinian factions in Gaza will stop the attacks against Israel, in the land, the sea and the air; also, building tunnels from Gaza to Israeli territory will be stopped.”

That was it. Virtually the same identical commitments it agreed to in December 2012. Quite interestingly, Hamas insisted—which Israel did not agree to—to the immediate opening of a Gaza seaport and airport. But the party that suggested to Hamas that they insist on these demands was none other than the Qataris, the country—which is the top financial patron in the world today to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and many of its terrorist offshoots—curiously selected personally by Obama to be the official diplomatic interlocutor in the Cairo talks. The role that Qatar was supposed to play was to convince the group to make concessions. But curiously the opposite happened. Qatar, the country to which that the US just sold $11 billion worth of military weapons, actually sabotaged the negotiations. So far, the President has been studiously silent on this betrayal.

In light of the fact that Hamas has manifestly never upheld any of the commitments it has ever made, the salient question that has to be asked is why Obama did feel compelled to assuage Hamas with an assurance that the US would “guarantee” that Israeli upheld its commitments? The word “guarantee” has a rather expansive and vague latitude for definition. The most recent demonstration of an American guarantee that Israel would halt its defensive war against Hamas was the suspension of critical military deliveries to Israel during the height of the conflagration instigated by Hamas.

Indeed, for all the public affirmations made last week—after the WSJ expose– by the Obama Administration that the US was “totally committed to the security of Israel,” Obama suddenly decides to make a promise to Hamas—whose covenant differs not one bit from the fascist radical Islamic doctrine adopted by ISIL—that it would enforce the commitments made by Israel, which in fact have historically been studiously upheld by Israel.

If Obama was truly sincere in his now obviously contrived promises to “watch [Israel's] back”, he would have offered to guarantee Hamas commitments, a terrorist group that has repeatedly violated its commitments in previous agreements. But with his statement that he would “guarantee” Israeli commitments and not those made by Hamas, the President has revealed his true colors for everyone to see.

Steven Emerson is Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism (www.investigativeproject.org), a non profit group that investigates the threat of radical Islam, author of 6 book on terrorism and national security and executive producer of the award winning 2013 documentary “Jihad in America: The Grand Deception” (www.granddeception.com)

Who watches the watchers?

by Steven Emerson
The Jerusalem Post
August 16, 2014

The performance of the media in covering the Israel-Gaza conflict remains the one area of investigation that is sorely needed.

1045As is the historical pattern concerning Israel, last week began the growing tsunami of groups – representing the United Nations, The Hague, the European Union, human rights groups, and other non-governmental organizations – announcing their intention to “investigate and review” the military actions under taken by Israel and Hamas during the past five weeks to determine if “war crimes” were committed.

We know from past history the demonstrable manifestation of the vitriolic anti Israeli (and some might add anti-Semitic) bias by nearly all of these organizations clamoring to declare Israel guilty of war crimes, as they have repeatedly accused Israel in the past of everything from massive human rights violations to war crimes to genocide.

No other country in the world – even those like the Sudan, North Korea and Iran – who have committed genuine massive human rights violations – have ever been the object of such massive condemnations as Israel has selectively been. And as far as the official inclusion of Hamas actions into the investigative agenda of these groups, we know that their inclusion is only window dressing, designed to give the false veneer that their investigations are “even handed.”

Yesterday, the UN announced that nearly 2,000 civilians were killed in the Ukrainian battle with the pro Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine in the past 2 days alone. Two-thousand in two days? In five weeks, Gaza suffered 1,957 deaths, of which most were actual terrorists, not civilians, as the mainstream media and UN agencies had speciously alleged. But don’t expect any onslaught of investigations by the UN or human rights groups. And where was the international media coverage of the 2,000 deaths in eastern Ukraine? AWOL of course.

Indeed. the performance of the media in covering the Israel-Gaza conflict remains the one area of investigation that is sorely needed. And if truth be told, why should the media be afraid of an assessment of its performance? After all, it is a profession that claims the moral high ground, asserts that it is only pursuing “the truth,” claims that it is the only institution in a free society that can provide accountability to the actions of the government, hence the moniker “Fourth Estate” for the media, and portrays any criticism of its performance as somehow an attack on “free speech.”

But who watches over the watchers?

Well, no one actually does. Yet the media likes to proclaim they are self-policing and that any external oversight would be a violation of the fundamental right to free speech. So from time to time, ever so rarely, we actually witness the media admitting to mistakes and inaccuracies in its coverage. Generally speaking however, those admissions of wrongdoing are initiated not by the high priests in the mainstream media but by “lesser” media on the periphery of the priesthood, outside observers and critics who have caught the media with their hands in the cookie jars and by truly honest journalists, few as they are, snubbed and derided by the mainstream media. Just look at how established journalists Bernard Goldberg and Sharyl Attkisson were viciously denigrated and attacked by the mainstream media after they had the chutzpa – actually integrity – to criticize the performance of their own co-religionists.

What is at stake here is the very honesty and accuracy of the mainstream media’s coverage of the Israel-Gaza war. Specifically, how honest, fair and accurate was the mainstream media – such as The Washington Post, National Public Radio, The New York Times, and CNN – in covering Hamas actions in Gaza, Hamas human rights violations and atrocities, and Hamas threats to journalists. We know all too well how they covered Israeli actions in Gaza. Coverage of the deaths and damage in Gaza was covered wall to wall by both print and television, often without providing the critical context that the Israeli targets were Hamas terrorist missile launching sites, Hamas command and control headquarters, and Hamas military sites – all embedded in Gaza’s civilian population centers, from schools to hospitals to UN Centers.

In the coverage provided by those above named media outlets, there was not one photo of one Hamas terrorist, not one photo of a Hamas missile site embedded in a civilian area, such as a UN school, hospital, apartment building, kindergarten. There was not one story or photo of Hamas executions of Palestinian dissidents. And there was not one story about direct Palestinian threats to and harassment of journalists if Hamas suspected them of actually showing any of the above. Thus, it was with amazingly refreshing candor that we witnessed Foreign Press Association (FPA), an organization of 480 international journalists covering Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, actually issue a statement last week condemning the threats by and intimidation of journalists by Hamas.

Read more at IPT

Anti-Semitism and its limitations

france-protest-450x313By Caroline Glick:

Outside the US, throughout the Western world, anti-Semitism is becoming a powerful social and political force. And its power is beginning to have a significant impact on Israel’s relations with other democracies.

Consider South Africa. Following a lopsided vote by the University of Cape Town’s Student Union to boycott Israel, Jewish students fear that their own student union will be barred from operating on campus. Carla Frumer from the South African Jewish Student Union told The Times of Israel, “If they prove we are a Zionist organization and support Israel, they can have us banned and seek to de-register us.”

In Sydney, Australia, Jewish families received a triple blow last week when Jewish children on a chartered school bus were assaulted by eight anti-Semitic drunken teenagers.

The first shock was that their children, some as young as five, were terrorized on their school bus.

The second shock was that the bus driver made an unscheduled stop to allow the anti-Semites to board the bus and harass the children.

The third shock was that after catching six of the eight assailants, the police let them out of jail the same evening.

Taken together, the incident revealed an obscene comfort level among Australian authorities with the terrorization of Jewish children. Jewish families cannot assume that their children will be protected by non-Jews, whether they are school bus drivers or the police.

Unfortunately, these stories do not begin to scratch the surface of the rising tide of anti-Semitism in the developed world. From Paris to San Paulo, from Berlin to Boston the public space Jews can enjoy without fear is becoming more and more limited.

The same is the case in leftist political circles.

Last week, Paul Estrin, the president of Canada’s Green Party, was forced to resign for his pro-Israel views. On July 25, Estrin posted a pro-Israel essay on the party’s website. His post caused a furor among the party faithful. The Green Party’s leader, MP Elizabeth May, distanced herself from Estrin. And almost the entire party leadership denounced him and demanded his resignation.

In an essay published this week in the Canadian Jewish News, Estrin explained that he joined the party because he wanted to make a difference in the spheres of the environmental protection and human rights. He did not believe that working to achieve these goals in the Green Party would require him to disavow his support for Israel. His recent experience showed him that he was wrong.

In his words, “I am now convinced that one simply can’t [support Israel] within the confines of Canada’s Green Party.”

Similar sentiments have been expressed in recent weeks by pro-Israel members of Britain’s Labor Party. After party leader Ed Miliband sided with the majority of the party membership and against Israel in Operation Protective Edge, Kate Bearman, the former director of Labor Friends for Israel, published an article in the Jewish Chronicle announcing that she was quitting the Labor Party.

Bearman wrote, “I feel Ed Miliband’s rush to a condemnation of Israel’s ground incursion into Gaza gave me no choice but to say goodbye to the party I have always voted and campaigned for.”

A survey of Britons taken at the end of last month by YouGov showed that 62 percent believed that Israel had committed war crimes in Gaza. This includes 72% of Labor supporters and 57% of Conservatives.

In other words, nearly two-thirds of Britons believe that Israel has no right to defend itself. And since Israel is surrounded by forces that seek its destruction, we can extrapolate that nearly two-thirds of Britons would, at a minimum, have no problem with Israel being wiped off the map.

This rising political force of anti-Semitism is already impacting previously supportive governments’ policies toward the Jewish state. Bowing to the anti-Israel positions of his Liberal-Democrat coalition partners, British Prime Minister David Cameron decided that arms exports to Israel will be suspended if Hamas continues its current round of war with Israel.

The primary engine propelling Western nation after Western nation to abandon their support for Israel and deny the protection of law to Jewish communities is the rising power of Muslim minority communities in these countries. As Douglas Murray explained in an essay published by the Gatestone Institute this week, when it comes to Israel and Jews, otherwise integrated, moderate Muslims in Europe are quick to join jihadists in denouncing Israel and rallying behind anti-Semitic curses and threats.

Read more at Front Page