Friday, July 25, 2014

The end of liberal Western democracies?


A reader has sent me an essay written by an Arab. It’s about Calgary, Canada. Perhaps you know someone who lives in Calgary (some of you do).
The author is Aboud Dandachi. He writes a blog entitled, From Homs to Istanbul: the life and times of a displaced Syrian. As you might imagine from the title, Mr. Dandachi writes about Syria, the Syrian conflict—and what’s it like to be a Syrian living in a foreign country—Turkey.
In this essay, he doesn’t write about Syria. He writes about Jews.       
Did the event he writes about below really happen? I don't know. But if it did, you might want to read what he has to say.


The essay is dated, July 23, 2014. I have made some editing changes to the text.
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“ISIS May Not Have Reached Canada, but the ISIS Mentality Has; Extremism in the West” [ISIS is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. It is an ultra-violent Jihadist group more extreme, some say, than Al-Qaeda]
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The Middle-East is a depressing place. Today the Levant serves as a cautionary tale in how quickly societies can tear themselves to pieces when the only dominant ideologies are extremist ones. [This is] a lesson, apparently, which many Western societies seem to be losing sight of.
Against the backdrop of the current conflict in Gaza, the past few weeks have seen synagogues attacked in Paris, and openly anti-Semitic demonstrations in Germany. And in Calgary, Canada, we have seen an attempted lynching of Jews [I don’t know if this is a metaphor, or a fact].
Yes, Canada. When Syrians [in Syria] went out to demonstrate for change in 2011, everyone had their own idea of the kind of society they wanted Syria to emulate. For me personally, that society was Canada.
But on Friday 18th of July, Canadian values were blatantly and contemptuously disregarded as a demonstration of a thousand “pro-Gaza” demonstrators turned into a brutal and vicious assault on a group of ten pro-Israel Calgarians, who at the time were holding a token counter-protest.
The account of the violence inflicted on the small group is sickening. A middle-aged woman who had been recovering from surgery was repeatedly punched. A young man had the Israeli flag he was holding tied around his neck noose-like, and dragged along the streets. A young woman was set upon by no less than six thugs and beaten unconscious. Another young man had the shirt ripped off his back, was bitten and beaten into a concussion.
These beatings happened because the mob of “pro-Gaza” rioters found the open expression of an opposing view deeply offensive. Apparently, the only answer they had to such “offense” was to physically and barbarically [sic] assault those deemed to have inflicted the offense. Their goal was, clearly, to treat the Jews in Calgary like [they] would treat a Jew in Gaza.
[The virulent anti-Jew Jihadi] ISIS may not be in Canada yet, but their mind-set is very much alive there.
Let’s be very clear about what happened in Calgary that day; a small group of Jewish and non-Jewish activists got together to express their opinion on an issue, and were in no way interfering with the much larger “pro-Palestine” demonstration expressing an opposing view. But Calgary amply demonstrated that one doesn’t have to wave the ISIS flag or pledge bai’a to its Caliphate to share the group’s vicious and extremist mentality. On that day, it wasn’t just a small group of Jews who were assaulted; it was the very core and definition of the values of Canadian society that were blatantly and viciously violated.
That ‘Pro-Gaza group violated the values that define society. They violated the values that separate a country that everyone wants to live in from countries that fall into crap-holes—like the countries that make up much of the Middle East, from which people cannot flee fast enough.
There is a reason why Europe and North America are the favoured destinations for most Arab expats and asylum seekers. [They want to get away from the crap-holes they come from.]
The apathy of Calgary’s police was just as shocking as the assaults themselves. No arrests were made in the aftermath of the brutal violence. Indeed, one of the Jewish victims of the barbaric violence was admonished by a Calgary police officer, who told him “when you’re wearing that [the Israeli flag] what do you expect is going to happen here?”
And so it begins. The capitulation of every liberal society has always begun by justifying the actions of extremists. What did the young Calgarian expect to happen?
What do Copts in Egypt expect to happen when they openly pray in their churches in a predominantly Muslim country? Why are they surprised when their churches are attacked and burned?
What does a woman living in Raqqa expect to happen when she doesn’t wear the burqa? Why is she surprised when ISIS thugs whip her in public?
What does a KFC franchise in the Lebanese city of Tripoli expect to happen in such an anti-American atmosphere? Why are they surprised when the place is burned down?
Worst of all, it is morally reprehensible to justify the violence of that day by pointing to events in Gaza. At any given time, there is always a war or strife going on someplace on this miserable planet, and exploiting world events to justify thuggery is to give any extremist group carte blanche to act with complete impunity.
Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper is probably the most pro-Israel politician in the Western world, but that will be of little comfort to Canada’s Jewish population, who have seen brazen violence against them go unpunished and unaddressed. Likewise, the response of Naheed Nenshi, Calgary’s colorful liberal Muslim Mayor, has been anything but forceful.
So what is a vulnerable community to do when those whose job it is to uphold the safety of a society’s individuals fail to do the task entrusted to them?
Enter Ezra Levant; lawyer, author and conservative media personality. I seriously do not like the guy. Everything in his punditry comes down to Arabs, or oil, or Arab oil. But Levant has stepped in where Calgary’s authorities and politicians are too timid to go.
While one may not like Levant’s politics or style, the victims of the Calgary violence could not have found a more tenacious person to champion their cause or shine the spotlight on the barbarity of the “pro-Palestine” thugs.
When society fails to uphold its values, it is the Ezra Levants of this world who step in. Levant is currently putting together a legal defense fund to seek redress for the brutality inflicted on the Jewish demonstrators and their supporters, and to collect signatures for a petition expressing outrage on the events of that day.
As a Syrian who has witnessed his own country fall apart, and seen the region in general continue its inexorable descent into extremist madness, I have some heartfelt advice for Canada. At one point, we hoped to emulate you. Please do not end up emulating us, through apathy, complacency, or appeasement.
It [all] begins with a few Jews being beaten up.
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In North America, Jews feel safe. But are they? All Liberal societies have, ultimately, sown the seeds of their own destruction—through permissive rules, ‘equality’ and ‘freedom’.
Are Jews really safe in the world’s Liberal havens? Look at this question this way: is a Calgary-style attack heading to your city?
Aboud Dandachi worries that the answer to that question is, yes. What do you think?




Thursday, July 24, 2014

Disproportionality, Israel, Counterfeit Humanitarianism


The West reinvents Humanitarianism to war against Israel. It turns international law on its head. It perverts legal definitions in order to demonize Israel.

All of this is done in the name of a Humanitarianism that is fake—a counterfeit. It is a Humanitarianism that seduces the UN. It leads the UN to embrace International Immorality.

Despite evidence that Hamas uses human shields, the West continues to blame Israel for ‘too many civilian deaths’ in Gaza. To the West’s Counterfeit Humanitarians, Israel’s military behaves inhumanely. They see Israel as the brutal bully whose cruelty appears to know no limit.

Therefore, the Counterfeit Humanitarianism declares, Israel must be ‘restrained’ (“International flights to and from Israel suspended over security concerns”, The Guardian, July 23, 2014).

To see this fake Humanitarianism in action, consider the entertainer Jon Stewart. This comedian has enormous influence on young adult political opinions (“How Jon Stewart Made It Okay to Care About Palestinian Suffering”, The Daily Beast, July 21, 2014). In comic routines, he identifies Israel as brutal. He identifies Gazans as victims (ibid). As a result, many of Stewart’s viewers now feel that Israel has sole responsibility for Gazan suffering. As another entertainment celebrity has already twitted, “It’s about humanity—Pray for Gaza” (ibid).

That twitter hit the mark. It received more than 605,000 ‘likes’ (ibid). It captured the essence of Counterfeit Humanitarianism. It’s all about body count. It’s about TV pictures.  

But the truth is, Counterfeit Humanitarianism confuses effect with cause. Look at Hamas. It doesn’t care about humanity. It doesn’t care about its own civilians. It uses its civilians to shield military targets. When those civilians die, true Humanitarianism does not turn on Israel. It understands (because it’s based on international law) that when Hamas uses those civilians as human shields, it—not Israel--becomes liable for those deaths.

But the West doesn’t understand Humanitarian law. It only looks at pictures. It only looks at numbers. As a result, the West has created a Counterfeit Humanitarianism that fails to protect anyone. It certainly doen’t protect Gazans. Instead, it validates the hate of those who, with cruelty and cynicism, kill their own people.

This Humanitarianism is a fake for a second reason: it perverts law.

Western Humanitarians (including UN personnel) are deeply concerned about Israel’s ‘disproportionality’ in Gaza. That’s what drives their criticism of Israel. They look at the ‘raw’ (unanalysed) daily ‘body-count’ numbers and jump to tell Israel ‘to stop the bloodshed’.

But Western Humanitarians jumps at the wrong Party. They focus only on the number of civilian deaths caused by Israeli bombs. They say those bombs create a ‘disproportional’ body-count (“As Gaza deaths mount, UK media leads world trend to criticize Israel”, Times of Israel, July 13, 2014, and “Abbas Asks for 'Protection for Palestine'”, Arutz Sheva, July 14, 2014). But such disproportionality is counterfeit. It is not the true definition of disproportionality.

The rules of ethical war require ‘proportionality’ (Laurie Blank and Gregory Gordon, “Goldstone, Gaza and (Dis)Proportionality: Three Strikes”, University of Pittsburgh Law School, November 4, 2009). Proportionality focuses on military personnel, not civilian deaths. It requires military personnel to take precautions when targeting the enemy to ensure that the expected civilian losses are not excessive compared to the anticipated military advantage (ibid). Unanalysed body count numbers are not part of the legal definition. Instead, the legal definition focuses on the commander's perspective at the time of the attack (ibid). The law assesses whether his actions were reasonable given the information he had access to--taking into account the ‘fog of war’ (ibid).

Within this true legal definition of proportionality, there is no after-the-fact judgment. That is to say, proportionality is not measured after the fact by looking at unanalysed civilian casualty numbers or actual military advantages (ibid).

Yet this is exactly what the West does. It is the body-count in Gaza that has provoked, ‘it’s the humanity, damnit. Stop Israel! Save Gaza!’ 

Legal Humanitarianism recognizes a nation’s right to defend itself. Legal Humanitarianism recognizes a nation’s right to use military force to kill. Legal Humanitarianism dictates that if Gazan civilians die because Hamas uses them as human shields, Israel is not guilty of those deaths.

Only Counterfeit Humanitarians forbid Israel to use force if civilians die. Only Counterfeit Humanitarians suggest that, for example, it is illegal for Israel to kill children who were used as human shields (“UN's Navi Pillay warns of Israel Gaza war crimes”, BBC News, July 23, 2014). Only Counterfeit Humanitarians pervert the legal definition of ‘proportionality’.

As Ms Blank and Mr Gordon point out, if disproportionality was based on body-count, ‘no military could ever engage in any operations’ (above). Nevertheless, that is precisely what Counterfeit Humanitarians do with Israel. They create counterfeit rules. Those rules allow the West to ignore Hamas war crimes--and to demonize Israel.

The G-d of Israel watches these Counterfeit Humanitarians.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tomorrow’s headline today


Humanitarians around the world are up in arms. Israel-the-brutal kills civilians. Israel-the-brutal kills children. The UN Human Rights’ Commissioner, Navi Pillay, has already announced that there is a ‘strong possibility’ that Israel has been committing war crimes in its attacks against Gaza (“UN's Navi Pillay warns of Israel Gaza war crimes”, BBC News, July 23, 2014). The BBC report says of her that, “Ms Pillay clearly views Israel's actions in Gaza as disproportionate” (ibid).
She has said nothing about Hamas war crimes.

Now, it appears that Ms Pillay could have something very, very disproportionate to write about tomorrow or in the next few days. Will you soon see the following headlines?
‘Israel attacks hospital. Many women and children dead…Israel commits major war crime’
Israel news media has been reporting today that Israel Defense Force (IDF) troops in Gaza have come under heavy fire for a local hospital in Gaza called, the Al-Wafa rehabilitation hospital in an area called, Shejaiya (“IDF targets hospital used as Hamas command center”, Times of Israel, July 23, 2014). Gazan gunmen have used the hospital as a staging ground for small-arms fire against the IDF. IDF spokesmen have also said that anti-tank weapons have also been fired at IDF troops from this structure and/or its grounds. What is noteworthy about this story is that news reports in Israel have stated that the IDF has repeatedly notified international agencies, hospital administrators and Palestinian officials that the hospital is being used by gunmen in this manner, and that the IDF will act accordingly. The IDF says it has also notified civilians to evacuate the premises.
Despite these efforts, nothing changed. Well, that’s not quite correct. Something did change: the intensity of attacks from the hospital increased (“IDF Returns Fire After Terrorists Attack From Gaza Hospital”, Arutz Sheva, July 23, 2014).
Given the anti-Israel bias in the UN, most particularly from Ms Pillay, do not be shocked if you see a headline in the near future accusing Israel of the ‘indiscriminate’ bombing of this hospital. Or, alternatively, you might see reference to ‘Israel’s continuing and disproportionate’ killing of women and children.
The EU, UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon and the US State Department (or White House) might join her on the 'disproportionate'  bandwagon. Israel could be condemned at a special session of the Security Council, called precisely over this hospital incident.
Bombing a hospital could be the last straw for counterfeit Humanitarians. That means it could become the first brick in a UN diplomatic wall to cut Israel off from the rest of the world.
Then again, we might see a miracle. We might see either (1) no headline at all; or, (2), a spirited defense of Israel’s right to defend itself; or, biggest miracle of all, (3), expressions of outrage at Hamas’ cynical use of its own citizens as human shields.
Stay tuned.
 
 
 




 

The savagery of the Arab propaganda war


The Arab wants the West to believe in the ‘Palestinian’ cause. The Arab claims he has a right to the land of Israel. He claims his cause is just.

He asks you to support his cause. He wants you to affirm that you will help him get ‘justice’.

Many Jews believe him. Many Jews join his ‘cause’.

In the Jewish tradition, the ends do not justify the means. That is to say, you have no right to lie, cheat, steal or kill in order to achieve your goals. It doesn’t matter what goals you pursue. The Jewish rule is clear:  the ends do not justify the means.

Indeed, Commentaries tell you that this is not just an ethical rule. It is a rule that affects justice itself.

I assume that Jews who support the Arab cause believe in their Jewish Tradition. I assume these Jews believe that the ends do not justify the means.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Jews don’t believe in their Jewish Tradition.

Maybe these Jews prefer a tradition the Arab seems to follow: the ends do justify the means.

How can I say the Arab believes this? I look at how he behaves.

Take, for example, how Arabs use fake pictures in order to ‘prove’ the brutality of the Jew. In this current Gaza-Israel war, pictures taken in Syria (of Arab-on-Arab fighting) have been passed to the West as evidence of Israeli-on-Arab brutality. Is that moral?

For the Jew, that’s immoral. Clearly, for the Arab, it’s moral enough. It helps him win you over.

Who wants to support brutal Jews?

Today, a reader contacted me to describe a picture he had seen on someone’s ‘Facebook’ site. The reader told me that he was absolutely certain that that picture came from the March, 2011 murder-scene at the home of Ehud and Ruth Fogel, in Israel. At that time, two Arabs broke into the Fogel home on a Friday night. The two Arabs slaughtered both parents and the three children who were with them in the house. The youngest, just three months old, was reported by multiple sources to have been decapitated. Pictures of the inside of that home were horrific. They were the kind of pictures you don’t forget.

My reader tells me he has now seen those pictures again—on that ‘Facebook’ page. The caption, however, is arresting: ‘this is what the medical personnel saw after the Israeli army left this house in Gaza.’

There is also the tag-line: ‘Free Palestine’.

Who wouldn’t want to see a free ‘Palestine’ when Jews kill like this!

I cannot confirm that these pictures are of the Fogel residence murder-scene. I cannot confirm that these pictures fake a Jewish murder site in order to demonize Israel. But I can tell you this. Not only do the pictures look exactly like the murder-scene at the Fogel house, one picture contains a stunning image: a large Mezuzah on a door post, a dead blood-splattered child lying on the floor inside the room beyond the door-post, with the Mezuzah clearly visible.

A Mezuzah is a Jewish icon. It’s on every door-post of every Jewish home (except the bathroom). It marks a residence as ‘Jewish’.

Arabs do not live in homes having Mezuzot. Only Jews live in such homes.

These pictures are not of an Arab house. They are pictures of a Jewish house.

These pictures are despicable. They suggest savagery—not only by those who killed those people in the picture, but also by those who would take such a picture and attempt to pass it off as evidence of Jewish savagery.

We have seen enough of this kind of pathetic and horrific misrepresentation before, to ask a simple question: do people who are moral and just use this kind of tactic to achieve a moral and just goal? If you have even a moderate amount of life experience, you know the answer to that question. People who are moral and just do not use immoral means to achieve anything in life. Only those who are immoral use such tactics.

What does that tell you about the Arab cause?

What does that tell you about Jews who support such a cause?

You tell me.

 

 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Regarding Israel’s friends who criticize Israel


I don’t normally re-print someone else’s work. There’s enough happening here in Israel for everyone to write something fresh without bumping into each other. But today is an exception.

A reader has sent an essay to me that speaks for itself. It’s worth your time.

It comes from a website called, aish.com. The essay is dated July 12, 2014. It was written by David A. Harris, Executive Director, American Jewish Committee.

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To Israel's Critics

Speak up now while literally millions of Israelis live from one alarm to another, or remain forever silent.

Want to be taken seriously by Israel and its friends? Here's your moment to demonstrate your bona fides.

If you really mean what you say about criticizing Israeli policies but not questioning Israel's inherent right to live in peace and security, then raise your voice right now. Not tomorrow, not the day after, but today.

Speak up and say that the scores, if not hundreds, of rockets being fired from Gaza at Israel are an abomination. Say there can be no justification for such acts of terror. Say that that this assault is a brazen violation of fundamental human rights.

Say that Israeli women, men, and children have the right to live in peace in their homes, and not be on permanent, 24/7 alert. Say you empathize with Israelis, as they have no more than 15 seconds to reach a bomb shelter, and to make sure that their young children and elderly relatives also find protection.

Say that Hamas is a terrorist organization, precisely what the United States and European Union declared it to be years ago. Say you've read the Hamas Charter and understand the group's goal is not to end Israel's settlement policy, but Israel, period. Say you're aware that Hamas uses civilians in Gaza, including children, as human shields.

Say you know that Hamas is linked to Iran, from which it gets funding, weapons, and training. Say you see a clear moral distinction between the arsonist, Hamas, and the firefighter, Israel.

Say there's a fundamental difference between a despotic regime, Hamas-ruled Gaza, and a democracy, Israel. Say you know that Hamas trains children to glorify death and "martyrdom," while Israel educates children to affirm life and advance the frontiers of human knowledge.

Say you know that Hamas opposes any Palestinian effort to reach peace with Israel, and will do everything possible to sabotage efforts in that direction.

Say you know that no country, neither America nor the European nations nor anyone else, would tolerate volleys of deadly rockets fired at them with the aim of causing murder and mayhem. Say you know that Israeli hospitals, in response to more than 12,000 rockets over the past 14 years alone, continue to provide life-saving medical care for residents of the Gaza Strip.

Say you know that Israel not only has a right, but an obligation, to defend itself, which means going after the terrorist infrastructure and its leadership.

Say you hope that the world will understand and support Israel at this precise time, when half the Israeli population lives within range of Hamas weaponry.

Say you know how to prioritize your concerns, and, whatever your other issues with Israel might be, its ability to end the deadly attacks now tops the list.

Say you'll avoid the temptation to invoke mealy-mouthed and misplaced comments about "restraint" and "moral equivalence" and "cycles of violence," as if you were playing both sides off against the middle.

Say you know that Israel left Gaza, lock, stock, and barrel, in 2005, giving this strip of land the first chance in its history to govern itself. Say you know that no one before Israel, not Egypt, not the British, not the Ottomans, no one, offered Gaza the opportunity that Israel did to chart its own destiny.

Say you know that, in 2005, Gaza had the chance to choose whether it would seek to emulate Singapore or Somalia, and chose the latter. Say you know that Hamas took over power in Gaza by ousting the Palestinian Authority, killing many in the process.

Say you know that there is no way peace can be advanced for the Palestinians – or the Israelis – if this very same Hamas is allowed to share governance with the Palestinian Authority.

There are moments in life that define us. We don't always get to pick and choose them. They come, often unexpectedly, linger for a time, and then move on.

This is one such moment.

Speak up now – unambiguously, credibly – while literally millions of Israelis live from one alarm to another. Don't worry. There will be other occasions to voice your ongoing concerns about, and criticisms of, Israel.

But if you choose to remain silent or resort to ambiguity, please don't expect to be taken seriously the next time you preface your critique of Israel with those familiar words, "As a friend of Israel..."

Monday, July 21, 2014

The UN perverts law to demonize Israel


The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General is supposed to promote UN ideals (UN Homepage, “The role of the Secretary General”). Those ideals focus on the dignity and worth of the human person--and on international peace and security (UN Charter, Preamble). To promote these ideals, the UN Charter empowers the Secretary-General to bring to the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten international peace and security (“The role of the Secretary-General, ibid).

This is why UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon is concerned about the current Gaza-Israel war. It threatens international peace and security, and it has resulted in humanitarian violations.

The UN Secretary-General is supposed to uphold the values and moral authority of the United Nations (ibid). Part of those UN values includes establishing rules of war so as to protect civilians during times of conflict. Part of his moral authority includes enforcing humanitarian law to make certain that those who violate non-combatant humanitarian rights are punished (Betrand Ramcharan, “The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law; Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research”, Occasional paper series, Harvard University, Spring 2005, Number 3).

However, in the current Gaza-Israel war, the UN Secretary-General abandons his values. He stains his moral authority. He overturns well-established International Code in order to demonize Israel and elevate the moral status of a war criminal (Hamas).

There is no excuse for such a perversion of justice.

The Fourth Geneva Convention is, essentially, the foundation for International Humanitarian Code that affects conflict. It is clear: in any conflict, civilians are to be protected. This is an absolute: there are no exceptions. Violate this rule and you become liable.

In fact, the reason the Fourth Geneva Convention was created in the first place (after World War Two) was to address an issue which previous Geneva Conventions had not adequately addressed: protecting civilians (“Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949”, Treaties and states parties to such treaties, ICRC, the ICRC Homepage).

From the Convention and its supplements, two points that affect the Gaza-Israel war are very clear. First, civilians are to be protected during a conflict. Second—and far more important--when the Party which controls those civilians violates the rights of those civilians, it is held responsible for death and injury to those civilians—not someone else.

In the Gaza-Israel war, the UN should hold Hamas responsible for deaths and injuries to its civilian population because Hamas violates that population’s Humanitarian rights. But the UN Secretary-General won’t do that. Instead, he ignores International Code. He slams Israel for those deaths.

That is a perversion of International law. It is a perversion of the moral authority of the UN.

Civilians in Gaza die. Hamas controls those civilians. As the Party in this conflict which controls Gazan civilians, Hamas has certain legal obligations. First, it must protect all civilians, including its own. This means that it cannot engage in combat from its own civilian neighbourhoods. It cannot fire rockets into Israel’s civilian neighbourhoods.

Hamas violates these prohibitions. It fails to respect the dignity and worth of humans. Consequently, it commits humanitarian rights violations. It commits war crimes. It is responsible for the consequences of its actions.

Hamas also uses its own population as human shields. This, too, is a war crime. This crime has been amply documented. The proof of Hamas’ use of its own civilians as human shields comes directly from Hamas. Hamas officials have praised its use of human shields in an interview on its Al Aqsa TV, in printed Hamas statements, and in statements made to reporters by Hamas officials.

Hamas should be condemned for these humanitarian violations. It is not. Israel is condemned—for Hamas’s violations. That is, Israel has been viciously condemned for deaths and injuries to Gazan civilians that have resulted from Hamas’ using those civilians as human shields.

But when human shields die, International Code does not blame the bombs that killed them. International Code is very clear on this point. It holds responsible the Party in the conflict that controls those human shields. That Party is Hamas.

Nevertheless, the UN has blamed Israel’s bombs for those deaths and injuries. It has not blamed Hamas. It has not condemned Hamas ‘in the strongest terms’. It condemns Israel. It blames Israel for Hamas’ crimes.

Condemning Israel for Gazan civilian deaths caused by Hamas rights violations is a perversion of justice. When International law mandates that the Party responsible for using human shields is not the Party attacking military targets (Israel), the UN should defend Israel’s right to defend itself. When International law mandates that the Party responsible for the death of human shields is the Party that controls those ‘shields’ (Hamas), the UN should condemn Hamas.

The UN does not do that.
The UN Secretary-General demeans his moral authority by leading the charge against Israel. He perverts Humanitarian law to demonize Israel.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Commander’s words to Israel’s soldiers


Two days ago, you read below about the words of the Annointed Kohen (priest), who spoke to Israel’s soldiers in days of old just before battle (“The Annointed for War speaks to our soldiers”, below, July 18, 2014). Those words come directly from our Heritage, Talmud tractate, Sotah.
Read now different words. These words come from the Commander of modern Israeli’s Givati fighting unit. They were sent to soldiers who had been chosen to enter combat on Thursday night, July 17, 2014.
Thanks to a reader who forwarded this to me. It comes from the website aish.com. The letter you will read was embedded in an essay written by Sarah Yocheved Rigler entitled, “The Jewish Army”, published July 19, 2014:
Eighteen thousand Israeli soldiers amassed on the border of Gaza last week, waiting for the order to go in and clean out the thousands of smuggling and infiltration tunnels and launching pads of the Hamas terrorists. The Commander of Givati, one of [Israel’s]largest infantry divisions, sent this letter to his soldiers (roughly translated from the Hebrew):
Dear Officers and Fighters,
It’s a big honor that fell to our portion to be and to serve in the unit of Givati at this time. History chooses us to be at the tip of the spear of fighting the terrorist Gaza enemy that provoked and taunted the God of Israel’s battalions. [Here he uses terminology from the Biblical account of David fighting Goliath.]
We prepared and trained ourselves for this moment. And we accept upon ourselves the mission, as emissaries and from a place of total humility. We are willing to endanger ourselves and give up our lives for the sake of protecting our families and our nation and our heritage.
… I’m counting on you, on each and every one of you, that you will act in this spirit, the spirit of Israeli warriors, who are going in the forefront of the fighting forces … I raise my eyes to the heavens and call out with you, “Shema Yisrael, Hashem Elokenu, Hashem Echad.” Hashem, the God of Israel, please make our way successful, that we are going and standing to fight for Your nation of Israel against an enemy that taunts Your name. In the name of the IDF fighters and particularly the fighters of this division and its commanders, it should be that what it says in the Torah should be fulfilled by us: “Because God your Lord Who is going with you to fight for you against your enemies, to redeem you.” And let us say, “Amen.”
“Together, and only together, we will win.”
Signing off,
Ofer Winter
 Commander of Givati
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May HaShem hear these words. May His mercy protect our soldiers.
As of 6:25 pm tonight (Israel time), eighteen Israeli soldiers have given their lives for us. We are stricken with grief. We are filled to resolve to see this through. We must not stand down from this mission.
We call upon the G-d of Israel to hear our pleas for our soldiers’ safe return. We ask the G-d of Israel to answer those who taunt Him.