Friday, August 15, 2014

Leaping Into a Brighter Future

Nurit Greenger 
LEAP is the acronym for Leadership, Excellence, Accelerating, Potential. (
Seven years ago Dr. Bill Dorfman – Dr. Bill as he is known to all – started LEAP, an incredible youth program its goal is to teach children and teenagers life skills, designed to help them become successful in life. During the seven days program duration, the participants, from all over the world, go through a life changing experience and receive the skills needed to succeed in any professions they may choose.
Dr. Bill Dorfman – Dr. Bill as known to all-photo Orly Halevy Dr. Bill Dorfman – Dr. Bill as known to all-photo Orly Halevy
One participant, Madisen, told me that the program gave her much confidence and has improved her skills a great deal that she has already repeated the course three times.
This year, for the first time, six Israeli youths had the privilege to participate in this unique program.

Morsi’s wife threatens to publish letters from Hillary Clinton, exposing “special relationship” between Muslim Brotherhood and Obama Administration

Hillary Clinton, Mohammed MorsiThe wife of former Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi is the latest Muslim Brotherhood “insider” to threaten to expose the special relationship between Morsi and the Obama administration—a relationship the latter insists never existed.
Nagla Mahmoud, Morsi’s wife, is reportedly angry at some statements recently made by Hillary Clinton, including that Morsi was “naïve” and “unfit for Egypt’s presidency,” as reported by Arabic media.
In the words of El-Mogaz News, Morsi’s wife “is threatening to expose the special relationship between her husband and Hillary Clinton, after the latter attacked the ousted [president], calling him a simpleton who was unfit for the presidency.  Sources close to Nagla confirmed that she has threatened to publish the letters exchanged between Morsi and Hillary.”

Islamic State to Yazidis: “Either you convert to Islam or we slaughter you”

Yazidisrefugees2The Yazidis are not among those considered to be “People of the Book,” and so conversion to Islam or death are their only options under Islamic law. There should be a public discussion of this law in light of generally accepted norms of human rights, but there won’t be, because that would be “Islamophobic.”
“Iraq: We’re fleeing because jihadists told us – Convert to Islam or we slaughter you,” by Jonathan Rugman, London Evening Standard, August 14, 2014:
They are camped on classroom floors and amid the concrete shells of unfinished buildings.
They are wholly reliant on the generosity of local people, their lives reduced to no more than the clothes on their backs.
They are the survivors of an ancient religious minority which many in the West had never even heard of until about a week ago.
The plight of Iraq’s Yazidis has triggered air drops and talk of humanitarian intervention by Britain and America.

Max Steinberg z”l‏

According to his close friends Max Steinberg was a very special young man. He shined in his honesty, his love for others and his responsibilities for man and country; his smile was his brand name.
Max Steinberg z"l Max Steinberg z”l
Last night, to a house full, at the Saban Theatre, in Los Angeles, the community held a memorial service for Max, who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend the State of Israel when fighting in Gaza. Max was killed in the Solid-Rock-Protective Edge War.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Third Gaza War

A briefing by Efraim Inbar

Middle East authority Efraim Inbar, Shillman/Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, is director of its Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies. He briefed the Middle East Forum in a conference call on August 12, 2014.
Israel's goal in the current confrontation was to restore long term calm to its cities and villages by debilitating Hamas's terror infrastructure (or "mowing the grass" as this strategy is commonly known) through the destruction of its rocket launchers, production facilities and terror tunnels. While a temporary truce hangs in the balance, Israeli society, which overwhelmingly unified behind Operation Protective Edge, continues to be resilient and ready to carry on the fight against this deadly enemy. Should the Cairo negotiations collapse, the war will escalate and Israel will exact a higher price from Hamas.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

We Are Israel

“We don’t thrive on military acts. We do them because we have to, and thank God we are efficient."
Golda Meir as a girl
Almost every news report on the latest Palestinian war leads with comparative casualties; Israeli victims number in the tens while Arabs number in the hundreds. Such stories never fail to report on the percent of women and children injured as if Hamas tactics played no role in the predictable collateral damage of urban warfare.
Back in the day when Communism was a Soviet monopoly, Joseph Stalin is alleged to have said; “One death is a tragedy; a million is just a statistic.” Stalin was, if nothing else, a realist. He knew that numbers, like much statistical evidence, are just as malleable as anecdotal evidence. Objectivity, like truth, is also peculiar to the eye of the beholder. Military disciplines and sciences are no exception. All wars produce statistics, yet for the most part, battle numbers are most useful as propaganda. Take comparative casualties, the full metal jacket of statistics, a weaponized statistic if there ever were one.

IDF Details Hamas's Use of Civilian Areas as Missile Bases

The tactically adroit Israel Defense Forces are doing an ever-better job of fighting the information war. Throughout Operation Protective Edge, IDF maps, graphics, videos, and other communications tools have illustrated Hamas's consistent and routine transformation of civilian areas into launch pads for some 3,000 rockets blasted wildly into Israel. The IDF also has informed the world about its leaflets, phone calls, and text messages that urge Gazans to seek shelter before Israel neutralizes Hamas's hostile-fire INSTALLATIONS.
As the debate roars on about the current war between Israel and Hamas, these IDF materials arm Israel's friends, challenge its open-minded critics, and embarrass its enemies.
IDF now has created an outstanding document that resembles an unsealed indictment against Hamas - a State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization.

World Ignores Christian Exodus from Islamic World

RAYMOND IBRAHIM August 13, 2014
While the world fixates on the conflict between Israel and Hamas-and while most mainstream media demonize Israel for trying to survive amid a sea of Arab-Islamic hostility-similar or worse tragedies continue to go virtually ignored.

Christian refugees, who fled or were expelled from Mosul, crowd around a truck distributing food aid.
One of the most ancient Christian communities in the world, that of Iraq-which already had been decimated over the last decade, by Islamic forces unleashed after the ousting of Saddam Hussein-has now been wiped out entirely by the new "caliphate," the so-called Islamic State, formerly known by the acronym "ISIS."
As Reuters reported:
Islamist insurgents have issued an ultimatum to northern Iraq's dwindling Christian population to either convert to Islam, pay a religious levy or face death, according to a statement distributed in the militant-controlled city of Mosul....
It said Christians who wanted to remain in the "caliphate" that the Islamic State declared this month in parts of Iraq and Syria must agree to abide by terms of a "dhimma" contract-a historic practice under which non-Muslims were protected in Muslim lands in return for a special levy known as "jizya."
"We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract-involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword," the announcement said.
The amount of jizya-money demanded was $450 a month, an exorbitant sum for Iraq.
Hours after the demand for jizya was made, Islamists began painting the letter "n" on Christian homes in Mosul-in Arabic, Christians are known as "Nasara," or "Nazarenes"-signaling them out for the slaughter to come.

Hezbollah official: New tunnels dug in Gaza every hour

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem says Israel destroyed only 30 of over 3,000 tunnels in Gaza • Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal condemns Israel, says it has no right to self-defense because "it is an occupier."

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem
Photo credit: Reuters

Tension mounts as clock ticks down on Gaza cease-fire

With 72-hour cease-fire set to expire at midnight Wednesday, Cairo talks reach a decisive stage • Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon: Fighting may break out again; we must be alert and ready • Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman: Israel must take the initiative, finish the story.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon visits a Navy ship in Ashdod, Tuesday
Photo credit: Ariel Hermoni

The Romance of the Fall

Sultan Knish blog
Robin Williams is the keyword of the hour. Seeing the rash of stories about him, you might think that he went out at the high point of his career. And yet those same people couldn't be bothered to actually watch the movies he was starring in.

The closest he came to a starring role in the last few years was Old Dogs. It made less than $50 million. Before that there was License to Wed. A handful of people saw that.

Last year he was back on television. And the show he was on was cancelled after its first season.

The same public eating up Robin Williams stories now was bored and disinterested. A week ago, it wouldn't have paid attention to Robin Williams if he had paid them to. It didn't go to see his movies. It didn't watch his TV show.

Now that he committed suicide, it temporarily can't get enough of him.

History is speedily rewritten to put him at the center of everything. And yet how many of those same people turning him into the trending topic of everything tuned in to the series finale of The Crazy Ones? The ratings say that not a whole lot of people did.

Jihadis on Robin Williams: “hope this one burns in the hottest lake of fire”

This is the culture you expect to negotiate? You are a fool, ignorant or anti-western values-wake up!!

They’re still angry about his jihad routine. So here it is, in tribute to him.
“Jihadis Slam Robin William [sic] for Stand-up Routine from 2002,” by Mangala Dilip, International Business Times, August 12, 2014:
Veteran actor and comedian Robin Williams, 63, was found dead in his California home by the Marin County Police, shortly after they responded to an emergency call around noon, local time, CNN reported.
He is said to have taken his own life and according to his media representative Mara Buxbaum, is said to have “been battling severe depression of late”.
David Itzkoff of the New York Times released a statement from Williams’ wife Susan Schneider on Tuesday morning.
Robin Williams died this morning, his publicist confirms. Statement from his wife Susan Schneider:
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) August 11, 2014
While the world mourned his loss by sharing and retweeting his best performances, there were a few who actively celebrated the untimely death.
“#RobinWilliams hanged himself? SubhanAllah what blessing Islam is. Verily, Allah guards us from depression. Hell, what an evil destination.” Posted Abdullah, aka Mujahid4life.
In reply to Adbullah’s next tweet wishing Williams would burn in hell, Yusuf Nidal Rahman posted, “@mujahid4life how can any kafir rest it peace, hope this one burns in the hottest lake of fire.”

White House: U.S. is not at war with the Islamic State

Obama3“Right now, ISIL’s primary focus is consolidating territory in the Middle East region to establish their own Islamic State.” Yes, but they have made it abundantly clear that that is not their only goal, and that they desire ultimately to strike inside the United States. We are not at war with them, but they most assuredly are at war with us.
“Airstrikes in Iraq: What You Need to Know,” by Ben Rhodes, White House Blog, August 11, 2014 (thanks to Jerk Chicken):
President Obama has authorized the U.S. military to execute targeted airstrikes in Iraq.
The President takes no decision more seriously than the use of military force. So it’s worth taking a few minutes to make sure you understand exactly what is happening in Iraq right now, who is involved, and why we are taking action. Here are a few answers to some key questions Americans may be asking:…
7. Is ISIL more dangerous than al-Qaeda right now?
While both are terrorist forces, they have different ambitions. Al-Qaeda’s principal ambition is to launch attacks against the west and U.S. homeland. That’s the direct threat that we have taken direct action against for many years. Right now, ISIL’s primary focus is consolidating territory in the Middle East region to establish their own Islamic State. So they’re different organizations with different objectives.

How Hamas Wields Gaza’s Casualties as Propaganda

Israeli airstrike on Gaza
Smoke rises from a building following the Israeli attacks in Gaza City on July 25, 2014. Anadolu Agency—Getty Images

The terrorist group casts Israel’s military as indiscriminate and civilian deaths as disproportionate, but Hamas-affiliated fatality figures should be viewed with suspicion

An informational battle of competing messages directed at international audiences parallels the military fighting between Israel and Hamas. Accompanying a barrage of wrenching images are Palestinian fatality statistics alleging disproportionate numbers of non-combatants. These figures are crucial because they form the basis of accusations that Israel uses excessive and indiscriminate force.
Hamas, the terrorist group controlling Gaza, endeavors to turn Israel’s military superiority to its own advantage by portraying the Israeli response to intense rocket and mortar fire as disproportionate and indiscriminate. In doing so, it hopes to turn public opinion against the Jewish state, as well as bolster its own standing at the expense of the Fatah-led Palestinian National Authority in the West Bank.
Fatality figures provided by Hamas and other groups should be viewed with suspicion. Not only do Israeli figures cast doubt on claims that the vast majority of fatalities are non-combatants, but a careful review of Palestinian sources also raises doubts.

Foreign reporters condemn Hamas' censorship policy in Gaza

FPA statement 'protests methods by Hamas against journalists in Gaza', cites Hamas attempts to create a 'blacklist' of reporters.
Yitzhak Benhorin
Published: / Israel News

WASHINGTON - The Foreign Press Association (FPA) released a statement Monday condemning censorship by Hamas in the Gaza Strip in attempts to ensure that reports put the terrorist organization in positive light over the course of Operation Protective Edge.

In response, Israel has apologized for such incidents, calling them a mistake and warning the organization that Hamas was using reporters as human shields. The Government Press Office (GPO) also stressed that Israel can't be responsible for the safety of journalists in the Gaza Strip saying, "The city of Gaza and the surrounding areas are a battleground."

Gaza construction funding ‘incorrectly’ handled by non-staff UN personnel, report finds

An Israeli army officer gives journalists a tour, Friday, July 25, 2014, of a tunnel allegedly used by Palestinian militants for cross-border attacks, at the Israel-Gaza Border. A network of tunnels Palestinian militants have dug from Gaza to Israel, dubbed "lower Gaza" by the Israeli military, is taking center stage in the latest war between Hamas and Israel. (AP Photo/Jack Guez, Pool)AP2014
See bottom of story for update
EXCLUSIVE:  While controversy continues to swirl around the huge Hamas tunnel network in Gaza, an internal United Nations audit report reveals that a U.N. Development Program office that funds and monitors spending on construction in the territory allowed at least five non-staff contract employees to handle “core” procurement  processes that only staffers are supposed to handle, including those for ordering up “significant” civil construction activities.
Moreover, the report says, of the UNDP office: “the Office was not monitoring and recording actual work” performed by these individuals and other contract employees handling “core” functions, and the terms of reference for their employment “did not include specifications for services provided to particular projects” — in other words, were relatively undefined.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

COP: The Gases of Life are Not Pollutants

Viv Forbes
Our atmosphere contains the four gases of life – nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor, and carbon dioxide.
Nitrogen is the most abundant gas-of-life in the atmosphere (78%).  It is an essential building block of amino acids present in all proteins.  It is a very stable, unreactive gas, but micro-organisms in the soil and some plants are able to extract nitrogen from the atmosphere, making it available to growing plants.  Lightning also manages to oxidize some atmospheric nitrogen.
Oxygen is the second most abundant gas-of-life in the atmosphere (21%).  Every animal absorbs oxygen with every breath, using it to fuel bodily digestion of the foods animals eat.  This process builds bodies and provides the energy of muscles.  In the great oxygen cycle, plants extract oxygen from carbon dioxide and exhale it to the atmosphere for animals to breathe.
Water vapor is the third most abundant gas-of-life in the atmosphere (varies up to 5%).  Water vapor is part of the great water cycle, where water is evaporated into the atmosphere from salty seas, surface water, and plants.  Rain and snow return it to the surface supply of fresh water.  No animals, plants, or sea creatures could exist without water.
Water vapor is the most effective “greenhouse gas” in the atmosphere, with far more effect than carbon dioxide.  It reduces incoming solar radiation by day and reduces surface cooling at night.  Water is also a global temperature stabilizer – heat is transferred from oceans and land as latent heat by evaporation, forming clouds that often cool the surface.

The Real "Siege" of the Gaza Strip

Khaled Abu Toameh
August 12, 2014 

Egypt has not only turned Gaza into an "open-air prison." It has prevented the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip before and during the war.
Last year, more than 100 Muslim scholars signed a petition accusing Egypt and Arab countries of participating in the siege of Gaza by keeping Egypt's Rafah border crossing with Gaza closed and preventing medical and humanitarian aid.
Egypt does not want anyone to talk about its blockade of Gaza. At the cease-fire discussions taking place in Cairo, the Palestinians have been asked not to talk about the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.
The Egyptians want the world to blame only Israel for the "siege" on the Gaza Strip, and turn it into an Israeli, and not an Egyptian, problem.
While Egypt continues to impose strict restrictions, hundreds of trucks of food and basic supplies — and ambulances and medical staff from Israel — are being transported into Gaza through border crossings with Israel.
Whatever is ultimately decided, Hamas's leaders will find ways to smuggle weapons into Gaza: their goal is to destroy Israel.

Much of the US aid to Yazidis “useless” because it was dropped from 15,000ft without parachutes and exploded on impact

obama wide-grin_1548848iAs far as the mainstream media is concerned, this doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that Barack Obama is made to appear as if he is doing something for the Yazidis and against the Islamic State. That he actually do something effective is not required. “Iraq crisis: ‘It is death valley. Up to 70 per cent of them are dead,’” by Jonathan Krohn, the Telegraph, August 10, 2014 (thanks to David):
Mount Sinjar stinks of death. The few Yazidis who have managed to escape its clutches can tell you why. “Dogs were eating the bodies of the dead,” said Haji Khedev Haydev, 65, who ran through the lines of Islamic State jihadists surrounding it.
On Sunday night, I became the first western journalist to reach the mountains where tens of thousands of Yazidis, a previously obscure Middle Eastern sect, have been taking refuge from the Islamic State forces that seized their largest town, Sinjar.
I was on board an Iraqi Army helicopter, and watched as hundreds of refugees ran towards it to receive one of the few deliveries of aid to make it to the mountain. The helicopter dropped water and food from its open gun bays to them as they waited below. General Ahmed Ithwany, who led the mission, told me: “It is death valley. Up to 70 per cent of them are dead.”

Iran calls on “Palestinians” in Judea and Samaria to take up arms against Israel

300x224xIran-missile-300x224.jpg.pagespeed.ic.5fimiSc-nP“We believe the West Bank, too, should be armed just like Gaza…” This will come, if Barack Obama and John Kerry get their way.
“Iran Calls on West Bank Palestinians to Take Up Arms Against Israel, Encourages Violence,” by Joshua Levitt, Algemeiner, August 11, 2014:
Brigadier General Massoud Jazzayeri, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, on Monday called for Palestinian Arabs living in the Israel’s regions of Judea and Samaria, dubbed the West Bank, to take up arms against Israel, according to semi-official state news agency Fars.
Much of the region’s sovereignty is in the hands of the Palestinian Authority government and its local mayors and city councils, but Israeli border police behind its security barrier, erected in 2005 to end the suicide bombing attacks that killed hundreds of Israelis each year since the Palestinian Intifada began in 2000, continue to be a visible point of contention.
Rather than work for closer political integration and trust building projects on each side, the Iranian Army, which has been supplying Hamas, in Gaza, with Fajr-5 missiles and Ababil drones, is calling for “more serious fighting in the occupied territories.”

Monday, August 11, 2014

“Forecast Cloudy”

Before I look at that forecast, let me mention “Kaitana Savta,” which translates literally as “Camp Grandma” (it sounds better in Hebrew).  I am about to begin Kaitana Savta, which comes every year in August and is truly as much fun for me as for my grandkids. Starting tomorrow and in days ahead, I will have two and three kids sleeping here and going out where Savta takes them to have fun, or staying in to do games and arts and crafts.

This year especially, this time will help me regain my balance - after weeks of focusing on the war.
And so... I will be posting.  But less frequently, and perhaps – after today – with shorter posts.
Now, as to that forecast.  I use the term cloudy in two regards.  First, the clouds block our vision. And then, they suggest storms advancing. 
As most of you doubtlessly already know, an Israeli negotiating team is back in Cairo after Hamas agreed to yet another 72 hour ceasefire.  Hamas leaders had refused to extend the last one because they weren’t happy with the way negotiations were going.  And so, last Friday they began launching rockets again. 

Palestinian Poverty is not a Plague or an Earthquake

Shoshana Bryen
August 11, 2014 

Israel provides or makes possible the Palestinian social service budget, and leaves Hamas and Fatah to steal and/or divert resources to personal or military ends.
But does Palestinian poverty obligate Israel to provide aid to Hamas and Fatah governments? Warfare against Israel is the best predictor of Palestinian economic difficulty. The best aid is a job.
Hamas remains in open war with the people best able to employ its people -- Israel. War has consequences. The "shift in opportunities" will come…when Hamas makes a shift in its priorities -- and if it can't or wont, the people of Gaza will continue to suffer at the hands of their own leaders.
As Hamas resumed rocketing Israel on Friday, one surety was that Israel's office of "Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (West Bank and Gaza Strip)" [COGAT] would continue operating as it has through gruesome acts of terror against Jews, "intifadas," rocket attacks and kidnappings through tunnels. COGAT is the facilitator of international aid to the Palestinians for UNRWA, the Red Cross and the World Food Program among others; it is also the liaison for the Palestinians to services provided by Israel, including the provision of electricity, water and sewage services, and all transit between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

The 20 Oddest Things People Actually Claim to Believe about the Hamas/Israel Conflict

Jeff Ballabon
August 11, 2014 

If you can't trust genocidal terrorists, who can you trust?
Want Peace? Send Hamas more concrete now.
It is a "cycle of violence"... which will end if the Palestinians get more power.
1. Israel started it:
2. War Crime -- Israel should have provided Iron Dome to Hamas:

Arab Bank Accused of Helping Reward Hamas Suicide Bombers in Terrorism Case

The Sokolow family was shopping in Jerusalem on when female suicide bomber, Wafa Idris detonated a 22-pound bomb stashed in her backpack. In this 2002 photo, a Palestinian gun man walks next women carrying a symbolic coffin of Idris during a remembrance march in the West Bank town of Bethlehem. (Photo: Newscom)
Ten years in the making, a landmark terrorism-related case is set to go to trial this week in New York. It has unearthed shocking documentation of the formalized network in which Mideast charities solicited funds to reward the families of Hamas suicide bombers. Interest in the lawsuit is heightened given the current violent outbreak between Israel and the Palestinians.

Spectacularly Wrong

ALAN CARUBA August 11, 2014
"A greeting of peace from Muslim communities in my country: assalaamu alaykum"
The speaker had what one might imagine, given his background, a better insight into Islam, Muslims, and the Middle East than others who had preceded him. He said he was seeking "a new beginning" that was "based on mutual interests and mutual respect" because his nation and those in the Middle East shared "common principles-principles of justice and progress, tolerance and dignity of all human beings."
He cited "civilization's debt to Islam" and noted that there were more than 1,200 mosques in this country. He declared that his nation would never be "at war with Islam" and he quoted from "the holy Koran" several times during his speech.
Five years later, noting the Islamic holiday of "Eid-al-Fitr" on July 28, he said "In the United States, Eid also reminds us of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy," but the U.S. did not elect its first Muslim-American congressman until 2007. No Muslims took part in our founding.

Time to draw the line

 Dan Margalit
Israel has agreed to another 72-hour cease-fire. The truce took effect at midnight Sunday, and the Israeli delegation to the cease-fire talks arrived in Cairo on Monday.
That is all well and good, except for the fact that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should let it be known, in no uncertain terms, that this is the last time Israel will abide by any such limited cease-fire.
Should Hamas resume its rocket and mortar fire at Israel, the next cease-fire must be free of any deadline, until such time as the cease-fire talks end, be they with a good result or no result. There is one word missing from Israel's current agreement to a cease-fire: "Enough!"
Rather than indulging in parliamentary manipulations about how to increase his party's political power in the Knesset prior to the general elections -- a unique method patented by Yisrael Beytenu leader and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman -- the foreign minister should initiate a move that would make it clear to the world that cease-fires do not come for free.

Hamas: No long-term truce until Gaza blockade lifted

Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal says "diplomatic battle in Cairo is a direct continuation of the military battle in Gaza" as Israeli delegation arrives in Egypt • Turkey, Norway express willingness to operate seaport in Gaza under deal.

Smoke rises after an Israeli strike in Gaza, Sunday evening
Photo credit: AP

If Genocide Won’t Unite Iraq, Nothing Will

Daniel Greenfield On August 11, 2014

The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Obama’s Iraq policy in 2014 is his 2007 policy all over again. The minimal attacks on Al Qaeda are paired with the expectation that Iraqis will unite to achieve a political solution.
But what if they don’t?
In 2007, Obama had claimed that American withdrawals would pressure Iraqis into a political solution. He was wrong. The withdrawals not only failed to move Iraq toward a political solution, but they gave Maliki and his Iranian allies the power they needed to marginalize the Kurds and the Sunnis.
Obama went on insisting that the only solution to Al Qaeda could come from Iraqi unity right up until the threat of Yazidi genocide forced him to commit to air strikes. Denial of aid from the United States even as ISIS forces were closing in on Baghdad and Erbil had still failed to lead to a political solution.
Even now Obama is still reading from the same worn political unity script. But if even the threat of genocide hasn’t brought political unity in Iraq, is there anything that will?

Relying on Abbas to defang Hamas is delusionar

by Isi Leibler

As of now, most Israelis, including his long-standing opponents, endorse Prime Minister Netanyahu’s leadership during Operation Protective Edge. From the outset he displayed determination but avoided demagoguery or generating unrealistic expectations. He refused to be pressured into a full invasion of Gaza, which in addition to even greater casualties would probably have culminated in global sanctions, forcing us to withdraw and thus providing Hamas with “victory”. But the jury is still out and should Hamas continue launching missiles, Israel will not engage in a war of attrition and may still be forced to launch a full invasion of Gaza.

BREAKING: Iraq down; Maliki in armed standoff in Baghdad

What if they gave a coup and nobody from 24-hour cable news came?  We were finding out a couple of hours ago.  There's been hardly any coverage of this developing crisis on the news channels.  (I haven't seen any, but Jazz Shaw at Hot Air has a short clip from CNN.  Link below.)  Information is up at the websites, but news-channel updates via social media are sparse.
Here's what we know right now.  The new president of Iraq, Fouad Masoum, a Kurd, who was chosen on 24 July, refused on Sunday, 10 August, to name Nouri al-Maliki to a third term as prime minister.  For what it's worth, neither man has the absolute letter of the law behind his position. Maliki got more seats than anyone else in the most recent election, as he has in the last two.  But technically, he doesn't have the plurality needed, or the majority coalition, to have the right to form a government.  What President Masoum has done is decline to continue affirming Maliki, as had been done previously, in spite of his not meeting the full criteria for forming a government.
Regional observers seem confident that it's a standoff with force involved.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Holy War Arrives in Germany

Soeren Kern
August 10, 2014 

"Never before have the sympathizers of Islamic terror appeared so openly in Germany." — Editorial, Westfalen-Blatt.
"Anyone who thought the civil war in Syria or the barbarity of the Islamic State in Iraq does not affect us, you are wrong." — Editorial, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
"IS, Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Boko Haram—these four groups are the linchpins of the attempt to bomb an unstoppable modernity back into the Middle Ages." — Editorial, Westfalen-Blatt.
"The religions of the world are increasingly being misused for ideological struggles and excesses of violence between people of different faiths. Religions are never violent per se, but the market criers of violence are using them to promote their own interests." — Editorial, Neue Westfälische.
Supporters of the jihadist group "Islamic State" [IS] have clashed with Kurdish Yazidis in North Rhine-Westphalia, the state with the largest Muslim population in Germany.

Obama blames bad intel for underestimation of Islamic State

Robert Spencer

I certainly agree that there was a deficiency of intelligence here. The Obama Administration adopted a position of willful ignorance regarding the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat. It is no wonder that they didn’t see the Islamic State coming.
“Obama: Bad Intelligence Behind ISIS Underestimation,” Breitbart TV, August 9, 2014 (thanks to Paul):
Saturday from the White House South Lawn, President Barack Obama blamed “intelligence estimates” for not anticipating the speed in which ISIS would capture large sections of Iraq.
The president,who has been under harsh media criticism for likening ISIS to an Al-Qaeda JV basketball team in January said, “There is no doubt that their advance their movement over the last several of months has been more rapid than the intelligence estimates and I think the the expectation of policy makers both in and outside of Iraq.”
The president also made clear no troops would go into Iraq during this operation of humanitarian aid and military airstrikes on ISIS.

The United Nations "Human Rights" Council

Denis MacEoin

When anyone tries to take the floor of the United Nations Human Rights Council and reveal the truth about abusive states, watch the abusers press their buzzers and demand that the truth-teller be stopped from speaking. Expecting the UNHRC to carry out a fair, balanced or accurate investigation of anything involving the State of Israel is rather like expecting the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to carry out investigations into persecution of Christians in Muslim countries.
The impact of the OIC and its many backers in Africa and elsewhere has led to a cynical failure on the part of the UN, the world leading human rights body, to address the greatest rights abuses of the modern age. North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, Cuba, Nigeria or other of the world's great tyrannies…are never criticized.

The continuing United Nations war against the Jews


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

a United Nations Security Council meeting at U.N. headquarters in New York
a United Nations Security Council meeting at U.N. headquarters in New York Photo: REUTERS
On August 6, 2014, the United Nations convened the entire global community for an unusual day-long “informal” session of the General Assembly. The purpose: to demonize the Jewish state and emasculate its right of self-defense.

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

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

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

Saturday, August 09, 2014


HAMAS (an acronym for Harakat al-Muqawamat al-Islamiyya, which is Arabic for "Islamic Resistance Movement") is an Islamic fundamentalist group founded on December 14, 1987 by Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi, members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Indeed, Hamas describes itself as "one of the wings of the Muslim Brother[hood]." As a single Arabic word rather than an acronym, "Hamas" means "zeal." The organization's avowed purpose is "liberating Palestine" from its Jewish "oppressors," whose very presence in the Middle East Hamas considers an affront to Muslims' rightful sovereignty over the region. Hamas is best known for using violent methods -- including suicide bombings against Israeli military and civilian targets -- as part of its long-term strategy to destroy Israel and replace it with an Islamic Palestinian state. The U.S. State Department, Canada, Japan, Israel, and the entire European Union have named Hamas as an Islamic terrorist organization.
With tens of thousands of loyal supporters, Hamas' strength is concentrated principally in the Gaza Strip and a few areas of the West Bank. The group's leadership is dispersed throughout these same areas, with a few senior leaders residing also in Syria, Lebanon, and the Gulf States.

Israel's Left: Ludicrous, loathsome and lethal

idf withdraws from gaza
IDF soldiers after returning to Israel from Gaza August 5, 2014. Photo: REUTERS
The Fascists of the future will be the anti-fascists. – A dictum of disputed origins, sometimes (mis)attributed to Winston Churchill 

Martin Sherman

Thy destroyers and thy demolishers shall emerge from within thee. –
Isaiah 49:17

One cannot be both a Zionist and a Leftist. –
Anton Shammas, Israeli-born Arab poet

Against the wishes of much – indeed, according to one recent poll, over 85% – of the public, the government has agreed to a cease-fire in Gaza.

The wages of war

As the dust of war begins to subside, it is far easier to see what Israel did not achieve in the four weeks of bloody fighting, than what it did.

True, Israel inflicted immensely more damage on Gaza than it suffered. However, despite this, opinion polls show that more Israelis believe that Israel did not win the war than believe it did.

Israel clearly failed to impose a cessation of the rocket fire which continued to rain down on its civilian population centers across unprecedentedly wide swathes of the country until the very last minutes of fighting. It failed to disrupt the senior echelons of Hamas’s chain of command and control. It failed to cripple Hamas as a fighting force, killing only a few hundred out of a total force reportedly numbering up to 20,000. Grave questions lurk in the minds of many as to what extent the threat of tunnels has been eliminated, and the speed with which they could be restored.

Islamic State: “Send your soldiers….We will humiliate them everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House”

They will continue to advance until they are stopped. They will continue to impose Islamic law and oppress women and non-Muslims until they are prevented from doing so. Note also their statement that Islamic law can only be established with weapons. Why is that? If it is the pure truth of the one and only god, why is it not freely and joyfully adopted by free people? Why do so many people who are Muslims do all they can to avoid living under it?
“ISIS Threatens America: ‘We Will Raise The Flag Of Allah In The White House,’” by Jamie Weinstein, Daily Caller, August 8, 2014:
The terror group President Barack Obama threatened to strike in Iraq Thursday evening is itself threatening to strike the American homeland.
“I say to America that the Islamic Caliphate has been established,” Abu Mosa, a spokesman for the terror group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), told VICE Media in a video interview posted online Thursday. “Don’t be cowards and attack us with drones. Instead send your soldiers, the ones we humiliated in Iraq.”
“We will humiliate them everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House,” he added.

Open Minds, Closed Hearts

Sultan Knish


The photo was retweeted by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, who had just gotten through explaining that Obama deals with genocide on a case-by-case basis.

The White House also uploaded it to its Flickr page and it’s probably on Instagram and projected above the White House with a laser on the sky.

This situation room photo is serious. It means business. Susan Rice has changed out of her PJs and into her power suit like she’s ready to go on morning shows at any minute and blame a YouTube video for the whole thing.
 Iraq Crisis Worsens, Obama Deploys “Super-Serious” Situation Room Photo


David, for all that he was the underdog, did not set out to be liked. He set out to win. He took an insanely dangerous risk with faith that a Higher Power would help him accomplish the impossible. Israel came closest to that in the Six Day War. It is not Goliath, but it has also forgotten how to be David.

People are more likely to rally behind those with conviction in their own righteousness. The Muslim Goliath has carried off his imitation of David through the degree of his conviction. Israel and its defenders have strived for reasonableness over conviction, trying to prove their humanitarian credentials through a willingness to see both sides.

But as the conflict has become a war of ideas, it has become clear that wars of ideas are no more won by those who see both sides than wars of force are won by those who fight on both sides.

Hamas Executes One of Its Leaders - Then Blames Israel

Khaled Abu Toameh

Sources in the Gaza Strip said on Thursday that Taha was executed because Hamas feared he might implicate some of its leaders in many corruption scandals. "The man knew too much about the senior leaders of Hamas."
The international media, for its part, will simply endorse the Hamas story because it is more convenient to blame Israel than to get into trouble with a radical Islamist movement that carries out extra-judicial executions.
Militiamen on Thursday dumped the bullet-riddled body of Ayman Taha, a former prominent Hamas figure, outside Gaza City's Shifa Hospital.
The body remained on the ground for nearly an hour before other militiamen came back and took it to an unknown destination.
Palestinians who were at the hospital were too afraid to remove the body.