Monday, August 19, 2019

What we learn from Israel banning two anti-Israel US Congresswomen

(Last update: August 20, 2019)

Last week, Israel decided to prohibit two US Congresswomen from entering Israel to work at a 'fact-gathering' tour (here). The two were Rashida Tlaib and Illhan Omar, both Muslim, both anti-Israel and both active supporters of the viciously anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanction) Movement. 

BDS is often portrayed by its advocates as a non-violent Movement. But its goal is the complete destruction of the State of Israel. Indeed, the jerusalempost reminds us that BDS has been ruled "antisemitic and tied to terror" (here). 

Illhan Omar doesn't care. She openly states that she "believes in and supports the BDS Movement" (ibid). Tlaib, meanwhile, made her pro-BDS beliefs known almost as soon as she got to Washington (here).

Both Omar and Tlaib have been called "vehemently anti-Semitic and anti-Israel" (here). Although Members of the US House of Representatives for less than two years, these two women have arguably established themselves as the most aggressively anti-Israel advocates in Congress. 

One manifestation of this anti-Israel aggressiveness occurred on July 17, 2019, when Omar introduced a Bill in the US House of Representatives (with Tlaib a cosponsor) to assure that any American who chose to boycott Israel would be protected by US law (here). 

The Bill flew in the face of recent Federal and State efforts to blunt BDS in America, not support it. This widespread effort has so far resulted in a series of successful anti-BDS bills being passed (here).  While the Omar-Tlaib Bill doesn't explicitly mention BDS, Omar herself has linked it directly to the BDS Movement (here). 

The Bill went nowhere.

These two women are the first two Muslim women ever to be elected to Congress (in the 2018 mid-term US election) (here). They are also the first two Members of Congress to call openly to support the anti-Israel BDS Movement (ibid). They are serious about their anti-Israelism, which is perhaps exactly why Israel decided to ban them.

Of course, Israel has been hammered for this decision. This decision has been termed (more or less) a strike against Israel's democracy; it proves Israel really is an Apartheid state; it will harm US-Israel relations; it will cause many in America, especially Israel's long-term Democratic friends (?), to question Israel's commitment to democracy; it was a gift to the BDS Movement in America; it has given fresh wind to America's anti-Israel Democrats (here); it hurts Israel more than the Congresswomen, etc.

But are these criticisms truly valid? Was Israel harming its commitment to democracy by banning these two? Does Israel harm itself?

Take a look now at a different view of this banning--written, interestingly enough, by someone who has himself been banned from entering another democratic country--England.

This essay comes from here. It was written by one who knows how it feels to be demonized, banned and reviled:


Should a country ban people who oppose its policies from entering?

The vehemently anti-Semitic and anti-Israel Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib have been banned from entering Israel, and Leftists are furious. Surely Israel, and its ally in the Oval Office, have made a major blunder, no? Not necessarily.
Rep. Justin Amash fumed: “Israel should stand up to President Trump and allow our colleagues to visit. Nobody has to agree with their opinions, but it will inevitably harm U.S.-Israel relations if members of Congress are banned from the country. We must find ways to come together; there’s enough division.” 
Sure, but would Omar and Tlaib touring around Israel, providing grist for the mill of the Palestinian propaganda jihad and calling for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) measures against the Jewish state really help us “come together”?
After all, they were banned due to “suspected provocations and promotion of BDS.” And there is certainly no doubt that they would have promoted the genuinely neo-Nazi BDS movement while in Israel. Is Israel, or any other state, really obligated to allow entry to anyone who is its implacable foe, dedicated to its ultimate destruction?
Rep. David Cicilline think so. “This is a grave mistake by the Israeli government,” he thundered. “Democracy is about accepting that others don’t always share your views and respecting the right to disagree.” Presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren also cast aspersions on Israeli democracy, tut-tutting that “Israel doesn't advance its case as a tolerant democracy or unwavering US ally by barring elected members of Congress from visiting because of their political views.”
Did Cicilline, Warren, or anyone else question Britain’s commitment to democracy when the British Home Office banned Pamela Geller and me from entering that country? Of course not. Have they ever questioned the ever-lengthening line of foes of jihad terror that Britain has banned? Not at all.
When Geller and I were banned from Britain in 2013, I received an official letter from the British Home Office, notifying me that I would not be allowed to enter the country on the grounds that “your presence here is not conducive to the public good.” The letter to me said:
You are reported to have stated the following:
[Islam] is a religion and is a belief system that mandates warfare against unbelievers for the purpose for establishing a societal model that is absolutely incompatible with Western society because media and general government unwillingness to face the sources of Islamic terrorism these things remain largely unknown.
I said no such thing, of course. I generally speak and write in coherent English. But the point is clear enough. I certainly have pointed out that Islam mandates warfare against unbelievers. This is not really a controversial point to anyone who has studied Islam at all. No one who is honest can actually deny that Islam has doctrines of warfare against unbelievers.
But the British government is committed to ignoring and denying that Islam teaches violence, and so I was banned. This was a parallel act to the present-day banning of Tlaib and Omar from entering Israel, isn’t it? I opposed the British government, and so was banned, and they oppose the Israeli government, and so they were banned. Thus I can’t consistently support the banning of Tlaib and Omar without endorsing my own banning from Britain, right?
Wrong. Here is the difference: Tlaib and Omar support a movement that is trying to bring about Israel’s destruction. They have both surrounded themselves with individuals who have advocated and are working toward that destruction. Israel is under no obligation to welcome its enemies, any more than any other country is.
In contrast, Pamela Geller [and] I opposed the mass Muslim migration that is destroying the British national character and the willful ignorance regarding the motivating ideology behind the jihad terror threat that has made all British citizens more vulnerable than they used to be or need to be. Geller and I wanted to work toward the protection and defense of Britain, not its destruction.
The British government did not and does not see it that way. As far as it is concerned, Pamela Geller and I are potentially threatening to its continued peace and harmony, just as Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are to the peace and harmony of Israel.
But the truth cannot be suppressed forever, and can be discovered in this case by a simple pair of hypotheticals. Imagine if both the British government and the Israeli government continue on the paths they’re on: the British continuing to ignore the genuine root causes of jihad terror and turning the other way as Muslim rape gangs operate, and the Israelis continuing to fight back against BDS and Palestinian propaganda. Which state is likely to be healthier in five years, or ten?
The answer is clear in both cases. Britain has chosen the path of national suicide, banning its friends and admitting all too many of its foes (numerous jihadis have been admitted into the country with no questions asked). Israel, by contrast, is determined to survive. Without the will to live, what will become of Britain?

What do you think? Will this ban of Illhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib be as bad for Israel as so many say? Will it, as some argue, show that Israel is weak, not strong? Or, does it send the simple message that Israel is a democracy that, like the US (see below) and Britain, will act to protect itself from what it perceives to be hostile elements?  

Personally, I think all this criticism is disingenuous. The outrage seems like, well, just more anti-Israel fakery (here). 

Think about what these two women are doing: they want you to boycott Israel. They want you to feel good about boycotting. Then, when Israel turns around and boycotts them instead, they cry 'FOUL!!!!!"? 

How dare Israel boycott them!

Over the years, several Israelis--mostly entertainers, politicians and artists--have been banned from entering the US--often, with little or no justification (here). When those bannings happened, no one in the US or Israel cried, 'US democracy threatened', or 'US-Israel relations will be damaged', or 'banning artists/politicians/Israeli-citizens is bad diplomacy', or 'this ban is an inexcusable abandonment of diplomacy', or, 'this ban' will harm the US'.

Instead, when these Israelis were banned, there was complete silence. The people who now denounce Israel for a ban in 2019 said nothing whenever, over the last 20 years,  the US chose to ban Israelis. 

What we learn from Israel banning these two women is that  democracies do 'ban' people when they decide they need to. It's not as uncommon as you think--and no one throws a fit when a democracy 'bans' someone.

Except if that country is Israel. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The next World War

(Last update: August 11, 2019)

For some, World War Two represented the ultimate clash of ideologies (here). It pitted an aggressive and supremacist Nazism against such traditional Western values as freedom, equality and democracy. For World War Two, there was no compromise. Only one ideology survived--democracy.

It was that kind of war.

Today, the world faces another clash of ideologies. As with World War Two, this modern clash is also between an aggressive, militant ideology that sees itself as supreme against the same Western values that were threatened in World War Two. 

But this modern war doesn't pit two political/cultural ideologies against one another. This time, the clash is, so far as I can tell, between Islam and the West.

Once again, democracy is at risk. Make no mistake, the rise of today's anti-democracy Koran-based Islamic Jihad shares much with the defeated anti-democracy Nazis. Both militant Islam and Nazism are supremacist. Both promote the notion that daily life is best managed by them because they are better than you. For both the Nazi and the Jihadi, individualism, exceptionalism freedom of choice, speech and religion are forbidden. 

Supremacist ideologies are like that. They hate freedom.

Such ideologies are typically racist, anti-democracy and driven by hate. They are especially focused on Jews. They are anti-Semitic. They call for the killing of the Jews.  

For Supremacist ideologies, there is no room for debate or  respect for differences. There is room only for surrender. 

All must be the same. All must be strictly controlled by a supreme elite. All must comply or, potentially, face death. 

This is the face of Nazism and Islamic Jihad: comply or die.

Nazism and Jihad believe in conquest. They revel in conquest. It is,  they believe, their unique destiny. 

They believe that, through aggression, they can create a grand Utopia. They would create their Utopias with the blood of the sword. 

Because of Nazi aggression, more than 50 million people died in  World War Two. Perhaps as many as 100 million more--though probably less than that number--were displaced. Cities were obliterated. 

In the end, however, while the war crushed the Nazi dream, millions nonetheless became enslaved. After having been enslaved by the Nazis, millions in Eastern Europe became trapped by Communism. Indeed, one might be able to argue that the biggest winner of that war was actually Stalin--because he used the utter destruction of that War to establish in Eastern Europe, unchallenged, his own dictatorial supremacist utopia--behind an enslaving iron curtain. 

The West was simply too exhausted to fight him. The West sighed. After freeing Europe from the Nazis, it surrendered to the Communist enslavement of Europe's East. 

The West's war against Islamic Jihad has its own dangers. You may not remember this, but Iong ago in the 16th century, Islam stood at the gates of Vienna, ready to conquer the European infidel (here). The Islamic Ottoman Empire of the 16th century, like the Nazis of the 20th century, desired to rule all of Europe. In 1529, the Islamic dream of conquering Europe was about to be fulfilled. Its supremacist utopia was about to become a reality.

But then, on September 11,1529, the Ottoman army at the gates of Vienna was defeated (here) by Austrian-Hapsburg forces representing what was called, the Holy Roman Empire. On 9-11-1529, the Islamic dream of conquering Europe is said to have ended.

But it didn't end. Islamic Jihad is patient, much more patient than the West. While the West forgot about the war at the gates of Vienna, Jihad remembered--and waited.  

The Islamic dream of conquest never fades. It burns ever-bright--and the sting of defeat by the accursed infidel never fades--never. That is why, on 9-11-2001, the Islamic Jihadi dream of conquering the West awakened once again, this time in America, the new center of Western power. 

On the 2001 anniversary of that 1529 defeat, Jihadists hijacked four commercial airliners in the US and used them in suicide attacks against American targets on American soil (here). Those Jihadists killed more than 2,990 people that day. Islamic Jihad against the West's power-center, that attack suggested, was now "on" once again.

By 2014, Islamic Jihad became bold enough to remind the West that the 1529 Islamic defeat by the Holy Roman Empire would now be reversed. ISIS, the so-called 'Islamic State', announced that, now, Rome will be conquered by Islam. ISIS declared that, already, it had sent thousands of extremists into Europe. 

In 2015, the Islamic State even bragged that Islam would defeat the birthplace of Western culture. The migration crisis in Europe caused by Muslim migrants flooding into Europe at an unprecedented rate would, ISIS declared, be the means by which Islam would conquer Europe without firing a shot

Now, 2019, we can see that Islamic Jihad has infiltrated into America--quietly, under most everyone's 'radar' (here). In Western Europe, that attack against the infidel is no longer hidden. As militant, anti-West Islamic migrants have spread into Europe, the sounds of this clash grow louder each month. 

This is no simple migration. It's become part of a World War against the accursed infidel -- and it may well prove the undoing of freedom and democracy for many of today's Western democracies. Read about France (here), Sweden (here) and Germany (here and here), and you'll begin to see the potential horror the West faces, both directly and indirectly, from Islam. 

Islam begins to reshape Europe (here). Yes, it's a process that's indeed controversial (ibid). But even as Western Leftists defend this reshaping by thinking of it as a celebration of multiculturalism and Progressivism, that celebration does nothing to blunt a growing anti-West Muslim hostility that threatens Europe's sense of peace and order. 

Will America be next (here)? 

Stay tuned. A new World War has begun. It will not be a war of words. It is a war designed to bring darkness to the Western infidel--you. 

It could  be the last war the West fights.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Israel's fallen soldiers: a preview of what will drive the September election?

In an essay I wrote June 12, 2019 (see below), I explored the possibility that Israel might, finally, be ready to stand firm to bring home its fallen soldiers. I explored that topic because last week, Israel told Hamas that, unless the bodies of two soldiers who fell in the last Hamas-Israel war were returned, Israel would not allow a delivery of cash from Qatar to pass into Gaza (ibid).

Israel's declaration was simple: no bodies, no cash.

Yesterday, Israel media reported that Israel had failed to stand firm for these two fallen soldiers. The Qatari cash held up by Israel is no longer frozen. Instead, it appears that the cash had arrived in Gaza (here). So much for Israel's "getting tough with Hamas".

This decision to allow the cash to reach Gaza has provoked fury. Netanyahu's September 2019 election opposition was livid (here). For example, Netanyahu's, strongest opponent, Blue/White Party co-leader Benny Gantz, declared that this transfer proves that Israel's "deterrence has collapsed" (ibid). A Labor Party MK declared that Israel's policy for Hamas amounts to, "If you shoot, we'll send you more [money]" (ibid).  Meanwhile, Netanyahu's nemesis, Avgidor Liberman, said, "Explain to me something I haven't managed to understand. Anyone with a brain sees the fires ignited [by Gazans launching fire-balloons into] Gaza-area towns every single day, and in exchange $25 million dollars was passed to Hamas with Israel's approval [?]" (here).

Liberman's criticism didn't stop there. You see, Liberman wants to see Netanyahu lose the next election. Some even suggest he hates Netanyahu (here), and is currently working hard to convert that hate into a Netanyahu defeat. 

As he criticized the transfer of money to Gaza, Liberman went after Netanyahu by attacking his Right-wing support. Specifically, he asked rhetorically why Right-wing media was silent about Israel's failure to stop the transfer. He said, "Why are you almost completely ignoring the continuation of the protection money (sic) and this embarrassing surrendering to a terror organization? Where were you yesterday (Sunday, June 16, 2019) when $25 million were transferred to terrorists in Gaza?" (ibid).

He answered his own question by accusing Right-leaning media of refusing to stand up for its pro-Israel beliefs. He accused that media of acting only to protect Netanyahu. He said, "My only conclusion is that these media outlets are not ideological [promoting their beliefs] but personal... they only serve to promote the personality of one man [Netanyahu]" (ibid).

Liberman wants the pro-Israel Right to turn against Netanyahu--and indeed, many on the Right are angry about this cash transfer. It took place exactly when Hamas once again (after a brief hiatus) used Gazans to loft dozens of fire-balloons into Israel, causing many fires (here). 

Hamas, it seems, becomes more aggressive at will. In response, Israel appears to become increasingly passive. This apparent passivity doesn't make Netananyahu look strong in the eyes of Israel's Right.

Former Army Chief-of-Staff Benny Gantz, Netanyahu's main opponent in the coming September election, slammed Netanyahu for not seeking a "political" solution to Hamas (here). But many on Israel's Right (Gantz is politically Center or, according to some, Center-Left) don't want a "political solution" with Hamas because, they argue, Hamas isn't interested in such a solution: Hamas wants to destroy Israel. Period. 

Many on the Right, particularly the religious Right, believe that Israel should do unto Hamas what Hamas wants to do unto Israel. They want Israel to carpet-bomb Gaza, so as to end this non-war war for good. Netanyahu isn't doing that, so Gaza-area Israeli farms and nature preserves continue to burn.

Liberman is known for wanting a harsh approach to Hamas (see Caroline Glick here). By contrast, Netanyahu seems unwilling to go down that road. Hence, one of the greatest differences between the two men, a difference Liberman wants to exploit in order to separate Netanyahu from his base.

Right now, Netanyahu's base appears to agree with Liberman regarding Hamas. Liberman understands this. Therefore, he will attack this 'Netanyahu Hamas weakness'. 

That attack could cost Netanyahu. His natural base is growing tired of his reluctance to attack Hamas. Netanyahu's base wants what Liberman demands.

If Netanyahu isn't careful, he could lose his base. If that happens, he could lose the September election. If he loses the election, he could take the Right with him.

All the while, Israel's fallen remain in a spiritual limbo, without a proper Jewish burial, without closure for their families. Will Netanyahu pay at the ballot box for this failure?

Stay tuned. This election movie has barely begun.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Will Israel now finally stand steadfast for its fallen soldiers?

During the 50-day 2014 Israel-Hamas war, IDF soldiers Lt. Hadar Goldin and Sgt Oron Shaul disappeared while serving in combat. Although both soldiers' bodies were never retrieved, the IDF has concluded that both were indeed killed in action (here).  

The problem is, Israel still doesn't have possession of their bodies. Their families have never had the opportunity to give these men a proper burial. 

Hamas is mute. Contrary to International law (here), Hamas hasn't returned the bodies to Israel, despite multiple requests to do so. Hamas has refused to share anything about these soldiers (here).

To the IDF, bringing home all of its war dead is important.To Israeli citizens, it is most important. In fact, it's so important that, last year, twenty IDF soldiers who had fought in that 2014 war traveled to the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem. They carried 400 medals previously awarded to 400 IDF soldiers who had participated in the 2014 war. 

These twenty soldiers carried these medals to bring a message to Israel's Prime Minister. Their message was simple: Israel's failure to return the bodies of these slain soldiers rendered these medals "worthless" (here). 

It is perhaps true that the IDF's most emotionally significant value is that no war is over until the last soldier has been returned to his family (ibid). In this, Israel is not alone. Other countries share this value. 

Such a value is considered a "customary" international humanitarian rule: the remains of soldiers killed in combat must be returned to their families, upon request. This concept is based upon the 1949 Geneva Convention. It's been restated numerous times in subsequent International Agreements (here) . It's enshrined in International humanitarian law as ICRC Rule 114 (here). 

Civilized nations adhere to this law. Uncivilized entities don't.

It's been almost five years now since those soldiers were killed fighting Hamas. Hamas will not return their remains. 

Hamas doesn't care if it violates International humanitarian law. It says nothing about these two men--the better to torment their families (here).

According to some, Israel has had several opportunities to pressure or even threaten Hamas to return these fallen soldiers. Each time, Israel has either failed to do so, or has failed to do so for reasons not acceptable to the soldiers' families (here).

Now, at last, a news report emerges that Israel may well be ready to stand up for its fallen soldiers. Specifically, a report has surfaced that Israel will not allow Hamas to receive a scheduled payment from Qatar (reported to be $15 million USD) unless Hamas, among other things, first returns the bodies of Lt Goldin and Sgt Shaul  ("Israel has set two conditions for transfer of Qatari money to Hamas", arutzshevanewsbrief, June 11, 2019 @1531 hours).

Hamas has condemned these conditions. Hamas calls these conditions, "impossible" (ibid). Really?

Hamas is so offended by these conditions it threatens Israel to escalate its weekly Gaza border riots if the conditions are not dropped. They demand that the Qatari money be transferred with no conditions whatsoever.

Will this new attempt to bring back these men work? It might. Hamas desperately wants that Qatari money. 

Will this effort succeed?  

Israel certainly has sent a compelling message. Essentially, Israel is telling Hamas, you want that $15 million? Give us the bodies of Goldin and Shaul first.

This message is simple. It's very clear. It's about time Israel did this.

We'll see if this report is true; and if it is true, we'll certainly find out if Israel will stick to its word, and stand steadfast for its fallen.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Islamic Ramadan and the religion of peace

(Last update: June 11, 2019)

According to what you'll find on the Internet, the Islamic Ramadan is a Holy month. It's a 30-day opportunity for each practicing Muslim to strengthen his personal commitment to his religion. 

For the devout Muslim, this means fasting, prayer and religious reflection. Ramadan also means it's time to participate in something called, 'community'--turning to fellow Muslims to do charitable and 'good' deeds. 

No doubt, such a description of Ramadan helps to explain why so many call Islam, 'the religion of peace' (the word, 'Islam', is supposed to mean, 'peace').  Surely, such religious practices as listed above are decidedly peaceful, are they not?

Like Jewish holidays, the Islamic Ramadan follows the lunar calendar, not the Gregorian calendar. That  calendar means that Ramadan 2018 was May 16-June 14. For 2019, the dates are May 5-June 4. Ramadan 2020 will be April 24-May 23. 

 Depending upon where a Muslim lives, Ramadan is often accompanied by specific cultural practices. These might include the stringing of lanterns in a city square, special Ramadan greetings and specialty food items.

But while such peaceful and friendly practices might be limited to one's specific location, there appears to be one Ramadan practice that doesn't appear geographically limited. This broader Ramadan 'practice' is called, terror attacks.

So far as I can see, Ramadan doesn't appear to have any official, religious 'it's time to kill!' label associated with it. But it's certainly gotten that concept attached to it. 

You can thank the Islamic extremist for that. These crazies love  blood, especially someone else's blood. They use murder to promote their violent ideology. They use murder and mayhem to make us all sit up and take notice. 

You've noticed that? Ever since the non-Ramadan 9/11 attacks in America, the West has gotten a painful schooling in Islamic terror in general, and in Ramadan massacres in particular. This year is no different. 

Yesterday, May 27, 2019, was the end of the 22nd day of Ramadan 2019. Today, thanks to a website called, thereligionofpeace, you can now keep track of Islam's Ramadan. The numbers you will now see are for just the first 22 days of Ramadan:

from here

It's probably a 'stretch' to equate 'Islam' with 'terror'. Indeed, I still tend to believe people when they say Islam itself is not a religion of terror violence (though I do have questions about the moral disconnect between the 'official' (peaceful) and the 'unofficial' (violent) natures of Islam). I tend to believe people who say that Islamic terror is committed only by a small fraction of the world's Muslims. 

That's reassuring. But then, what's a "small fraction"? Would one-one-hundredth of one percent be small enough to be a "small fraction"? I'd think so, wouldn't you?

But that's still a problem. You see, there are at least 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide, probably more. So if that "small fraction" is indeed just one-one-hundredth of one percent, we're still looking at 180,000 terror-committed Muslims out there at any one moment looking for someone to murder. That is not so reassuring.

Okay, so maybe a "small fraction" refers only one-one-thousandth of one percent who are murderous. That's still 18,000 murderers on the prowl.

Feel reassured by that number? I don't.

This is why I believe that, with some 35,000 deadly terror attacks since 9-11-01 (here), and more than 120,000 victims (here), we do have to ask some questions about this 'religion of peace'. The questions only just begin with, if Islam is the peaceful religion (right now, it's the only religion so self-designated, which seems to make it the religion of peace, doesn't it?), why are any Muslims killing people in these numbers;  I mean, you don't see Christians or atheists or Buddhists killing so many people in the name of their beliefs, do you? 

If, as some argue, it's ISIS which is primarily responsible for this murderous Ramadan reality, where is the Islamic outrage? Where is the Islamic outcry? Where are calls of "enough!" from Islamic leaders?

If Islamic leaders won't speak out, perhaps we should speak out. Maybe, when it comes to Islam, these killings should prompt us to hit the pause button. Maybe we should tell Islam, prove you are peaceful. Show us how you stop the violence. 

While we're doing that, perhaps we should also ask Islam's leaders to explain the apparent contradiction between the claim of Islam (peaceful) and its reality (bloody terror).

If Islam won't defend its peacefulness or demand peacefulness from its followers, what is Islam?

Sunday, May 26, 2019

The real Palestinian story you may have missed

Take a look at the video below. It tells a story of Gaza and the Palestinian Authority.   

Beware: this story could frighten you. It might force you to re-think what you believe. It might force you to change. 

Can you handle that?   

The point-of-view in this video is different. It isn't one most pundits on the Middle East want you to see. It's certainly nothing you'll find in what's commonly called, mainstreammedia

This video tells a story that doesn't conform to the Palestinian Narrative so many in the West report to you. You will not see in this video that Palestinians are victims and Israel is the oppressor. This video has no connection whatsoever to the conventional, anti-Israel 'wisdom' you see every day about the Arab-Israel conflict.

But then, this is exactly why you should watch this video. It tells a story you've probably missed.

This video was prepared under the direction of Pierre Rehov, who is known mostly for his work creating documentary films. This short film appeared on youtube May 5, 2019. It's relatively long--16 minutes. But it's worth your time (if you don't want to watch the full video, just watch the first 3:30 minutes. Can you afford three-and-a-half minutes?): 

The next time you listen to Mahmoud Abbas, Boycott advocates or other assorted anti-Israel louts slam Israel or promise that the Palestinian Authority is absolutely committed to 'staying the course' against Israel, think about this film. It could explain why Abbas and his cronies haven't given Palestinians a peace deal. 

Conflict with Israel has become simply too profitable to the Palestinian elite. What, you want these Palestinians to give up their Mercedes and their mansions?

The next time you hear about 'Israeli oppression', think about this short film.  Who's oppressing whom? 

You've heard repeatedly, ad nauseum, about 'Israel-the-oppressor'. But what about the Palestinians themselves? Are Palestinian leaders truly corrupt enough to oppress their own people for personal gain? Could they be that cynical, that corrupt?

Watch the video. Then answer those questions for yourself.

Go back to the video: who lives in the mansions and modern castles you've just seen? Who drives those expensive cars? Who, exactly, shops in those expensive malls, or frequents those expensive hotels?

More important, what has happened to the billions the Palestinian Authority receives from the world and the UN? Is it truly possible that the 'Palestinian elite' makes its living begging for international aid--so as to line their own pockets?

Go back to the film. Look at how the elite lives. Look at how the rest live. Where's the money for that lifestyle come from?

This video might suggest why Palestinian leaders have no interest in changing what they see as their private, golden goose--easily duped 'humanitarian-minded' Westerners who ship billions in aid to Palestinian leaders because, you know, the Palestinian people are so 'oppressed'.

 Really? Perhaps it's closer to the truth to suggest that if so many Palestinians stopped skimming so much from that aid, the rest of the Palestinian people would be less oppressed.

Actually, if you want to know who's driving the oppression of the Palestinian people, forget Israel. Go back to the video. Israel is not the number-one-only cause of Palestinian suffering in the Palestinian Authority and Gaza (watch at 13:36-14:33). 

Ask about the money that flows into Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Ask about how the office of the President creates its own  anti-Palestinian brutality. Ask about the elite families. Ask about the corruption.

Who's primarily responsible for Palestinian oppression, misery and suffering? Not Israel.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Israel, birds--and the F-35 warplane. Did Israel lie?

According to a Google-search, the F-35 fighter plane is possibly the most-advanced warplane in the sky. Certainly, it's one of the most expensive single-seat US fighter aircraft ever built. 

It's supposed to be almost impossible to detect. It could be the best stealth aircraft made.

Israel has committed to purchase some 50 F-35's (here). Currently, it's received more than a dozen. So far as we know, the Israel is the first nation in the world to utilize these aircraft for combat operations (here).

In October, 2017, after one such operation, something appeared to go wrong. If you recall, it was during that part of 2017 that Israel was sending aircraft into Syria to degrade military installations controlled by Iran. Israel's thoughts about these installations are simple: the religious imperative that drives Iran maintains that Israel must be destroyed (here). Iran's leadership has committed to this goal (ibid). Creating military assets in Syria is part of that commitment (ibid).

Israel's own leadership, meanwhile, entertains no delusions about Iran. Iran wasn't creating serious military sites in Syria for nothing. 

To protect itself, Israel wants to destroy these positions in Syria now, when no one else in the region is ready to declare open war against the Jewish state. That's why Israel has been attacking these Iranian sites in Syria.

The truth is, Israel can't afford to wait until there's a full-scale regional war against it to attack these positions because at that future moment, if these positions are allowed today to harden and indeed proliferate, Israel might not have the assets to attack them--and everyone else attacking it. 

For Israel, tolerance today could mean being overwhelmed tomorrow.

So far, this approach has worked. Iranian assets in Syria have been degraded by Israeli air attacks--and Iran appears to have begun to pull out of Syria (ibid). Moreover, no one in the region--or elsewhere--has chosen to attack Israel because of Iran's losses in Syria.

These Israeli attacks against Iranian assets in Syria began in earnest in 2017. Between 2017 and early May, 2019, Israel attacked more than 200 of these Iranian targets in Syria, using some 800 bombs and missiles in those attacks (here). As a result, the Iranian attempt to create a military network in Syria appears halted (here and here).

The F-35 comes into this story because after one particular October 2017 Israeli air attack against Iranian assets in Syria, an Israel announcement that all its planes returned safely to base was countered by a Syrian report that one of its anti-aircraft missiles had hit an Israel aircraft. Israel denied that report.

At that moment, no one gave the Syrian report much credence. But only a few hours later, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) made an additional announcement. It said that a bird had caused very serious damage to an F-35--two weeks earlier, during a training flight (here). 

This announcement, coming just hours after the Syrian declaration of a missile strike against an Israeli aircraft, lit up anti-Israel rumor mongers who jumped to the immediate conclusion that this 'bird-strike announcement' was actually a crude attempt by Israel to cover up the 'fact' that a Syrian missile had struck an Israeli aircraft; and, the rumor-mongers suggested, the aircraft struck wasn't just any aircraft. It was the supposedly 'stealth' F-35 (here).

This sounded incredible because the missile that was said to have hit the F-35 wasn't a high-tech missile. It wasn't modern--or particularly sophisticated. It was a Russian S200. 

The S200, while the most advanced such missile in Syria's arsenal, isn't state-of-the-art. It's 'old'--so old, there appears no way it could defeat the F-35's technology. 

What had happened here? Could a grossly outdated 1960's-era Russian-designed missile hit the greatest American stealth product? (here)

If true, the fallout from such a discovery would devastate Israel's belief it had in the F-35 the antidote it needed to defeat Syria's defenses and, potentially, Iran's defenses. This 'truth' would also devastate Israel's belief the F-35 was helping Israel to maintain its 'qualitative' advantage over its more numerous enemies, something it sorely needs to defend itself successfully against the far more numerous forces arrayed against it.

Such a failure against an unsophisticated, older Russian-designed weapon would mean that the great 'equalizer' Israel had purchased was no equalizer at all. It was more an unbelievably expensive piece of useless equipment.

That's how matters stood in October 2017. It's how the question of 'the bird vs the F-35' has remained. For many in the anti-Israel world, the Israeli idea of an F-35 being seriously damaged by a single bird (and not by an out-of-date missile) has remained just that, just another Israeli 'notion'--interesting, but untrue. You know, another Israeli lie.

But now, there's another, newer, F-35 bird story, this time not from Israel, but from Japan. As reported by the AFP news service, a US Marine Corps F-35 fighter plane, upon attempting recently to take off from a base in Japan, was struck by a bird. It wasn't flying at speed. It was still on--or near--the ground. Nevertheless, it suffered "millions of dollars" of damage (here).

The pilot of this F-35 was reported to have safely aborted the take-off. Upon inspection, the damage assessment for the aircraft was graded as 'A', meaning, the repairs would be expensive. 

This shocks us? Haven't we seen enough bird-plane stories to know that when birds and planes collide, bad things can happen? 

Why should the F-35 defy physics? The F-35 has never been advertised as 'tough as a tank' or 'built to take whatever gets thrown at it'. The F-35 selling points involve stealth, technology and on-board high-speed data processing.  It's not a flying tank. It's an electronic thoroughbred.

Thoroughbreds are delicate--always are. As is often the case with products that are both complex, electronic and expensive, one often sacrifices durability for performance.  Why should the F-35 be different?

Looked at through the prism of this new F-35 incident, that Israel 'bird-strike' announcement doesn't sound so suspicious. That announcement might not have been some attempt by Israel to cover-up an under-performing product sold to gullible Jews, as some would have us believe. 

Certainly, some want to believe that. It conforms to their anti-Israel narrative. But the bottom line for Israel still appears to be that this one aircraft is "clearly suited to the Israeli emphasis on deterrence...[the aircraft] is likely to provide a qualitative solution [my emphasis] to the many challenges expected to face Israel" (here).

There's been nothing in the news to suggest that this last statement--written before the October 2017 'bird-strike' story--is no longer true for Israel. Indeed, no one even knows for sure if any F-35 had even participated in that October 2017 attack. 

Yes, Israel-mockers tried to have a field day at Israel's expense (here)But then, with this new US 'bird vs F-35' story, the Israeli story about damage caused by a bird doesn't seem so outlandish. Perhaps that announcement back in October 2017 wasn't a cover-up at all. Maybe the problems it caused were just a case of bad timing. 

Actually, maybe the appearance of that announcement wasn't an accident. Maybe it was purposeful--to troll Israel-haters. 

Trolling happens all the time (here). Israel can't troll its enemies?

My guess is there was no Israeli cover-up back in October 2017. There was no lie. Birds and F-35's simply don't go together. Bird accidents happen.

Don't tell that to Israel-haters. They prefer the lie. They prefer the delusion that the Israelis are closer to fools than a world-class fighting entity.

Let them continue to believe their lies.