Friday, July 31, 2009

'The Myth of Eurabia' – Newsweek's front page and main article ignores Bat Ye'or's analysis and turns down a reminder 'letter'

A report from David G. Littman on this Newsweek article and what happened after it was published:

Newsweek decided to enter the Eurabian arena by adorning the front cover of its European edition (July 20, 2009) with a white turban and a clear message for the world at home and at large: “THE MYTH OF EURABIA: THE FALSE FEARS OF A MUSLIM TAKEOVER”. The article by William Underhill, announced under Features, rings loud and clear with its journalist message: “Why the alarmists are wrong”; and his title is even more explicit: “Why fears of a Muslim takeover are all wrong: Analyzing the forecasts of an emerging ‘Eurabia’, hostile to America and Western Values”. My attempt to remind the Newsweek editor of a pertinent omission regarding the most serious analysis of this subject was not published. Below is my letter sent by both email and fax on July 22 and the email exchange with the associate editor.

* * * * *

To the Editor (Letters)

Dear Sir / Madam,

Eurabia: the Contested Truth

Newsweek’s front page image and title, “The Myth of Eurabia” (July 20, 2009), and the covering article, “Why fears of a Muslim takeover are all wrong” by William Underhill reject any possibility of a future Islamization of Europe. Curiously, he makes no reference to the pioneer study by Bat Ye’or – Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis, with its detailed analysis and dense documentation (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2005, now in six languages), widely covered on Google. Underhill quotes Niall Ferguson on “a senescent Europe”, but seems unaware of the renowned British historian’s overall praise of Eurabia (in his back cover blurb): “No writer has done more than Bat Ye’or to draw attention to the menacing character of Islamic extremism. Future historians will one day regard her coinage of the term ‘Eurabia’ as prophetic. Those who wish to live in a free society must be eternally vigilant: Bat Ye’or’s vigilance is unrivalled.”

Bat Ye’or’s latest book, Toward the Universal Caliphate (Italian edition just out) answers Underhill’s doubts that “the myth of Eurabia implies the existence of a united Islam, a bloc capable of collective and potentially dangerous actions”. She addresses this point in great detail, especially in relation to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and its slow takeover at the United Nations and more.

David G. Littman
(address provided)

* * * * *

In fact, Niall Ferguson’s first reference to Bat Ye’or may be found in his London Sunday Times article (‘The Decline and fall of the Christian empire’, April 11, 2004):

It was the Egyptian-born, Swiss-based writer Bat Ye’or who coined this electrifying term to describe a continent part European, part Muslim, but hostile to the United States and Israel.
* * * * *

On sending my letter, I assumed that the chances of it being published were close to zero, but it was worth once again proving an obvious point on ‘freedom’ in the press. Here is the polite exchange I had with associate editor on this letter after my request.

July 23

Dear Mr. Littman:

Your letter and fax have been received. We will be happy to notify you if the letter is published.

Best regards,
Tilly Lichtschein
Associate Editor

* * * * *

July 28

Hello again,

What has been decided regarding my letter – to publish or not?
I would appreciate your reply.

David G. Littman

* * * * *

July 29

P.S. I await a reply tomorrow Thursday. I assume a decision will have been taken by now by the editor responsible regarding my letter, a week after I sent it – or am I mistaken? Sorry to bother you on this. Thanks. David G. Littman

* * * * *

July 29
Not a bother at all. Your letter was not published.

* * * * *
July 30

Thanks. I was pretty sure it would not be published in Newsweek although I gave it a try to test that old ‘freedom of the press’ mantra – in fact, the editor usually decides what’s ‘appropriate’ for their publication. In all fairness, I needed to know your decision before posting the same letter on a well-read blog. FYI, an Italian friend sent me a strong reaction from the Italian newspaper, Folio (pdf here). At least your “Myth of Eurabia” cover and Underhill’s denial article will have awoken many people to the absurdity of such a position on what is looming on the horizon for those with eyes to see.

The Powerful anti Israel Lobby‏

NGO Monitor
July 30, 2009

On July 22-24, 2009, the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People held an NGO conference “to discuss questions related to Israeli violations of international humanitarian law.” The context of Palestinian attacks was not on the agenda.
Participants in this exercise included Palestinian NGOs such as Badil, PCHR, and Al Haq, as well as Human Rights Watch and Israeli NGOs Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I), Keshev, and Adalah. HRW promoted the campaign to prevent Israel from purchasing weapons, led by Amnesty International, and demanded “on-going international pressure” on Israel. HRW’s participation provides further evidence of bias against Israel.
One speaker from the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency accused Jews of “buying everything” and controlling a “global machine, money,” and another expressed “extreme disappointment” that Palestinian war crimes were even mentioned in passing.
Most NGO representatives expressed support for “lawfare” cases in European courts and international forums against Israeli military and government officials.
On July 22-24, 2009, the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People held an NGO conference, involving Human Rights Watch (HRW), and several European and NIF-funded NGOs, examining “Responsibility of the international community to uphold international humanitarian law to ensure the protection of civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in the wake of the war in Gaza”. The objective was “to discuss questions related to Israeli violations of international humanitarian law during the recent hostilities in the Gaza Strip” [emphasis added].

Participants discussed strategies designed to promote “individual and collective action by Governments,” most notably, imposing boycotts and sanctions against Israel, as well as “lawfare.” Core human rights violations by Hamas, including the deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians with continuous rocket attacks and the extensive use of human shields in Gaza, were not on the agenda. The session represents yet another UN framework used to attack Israel, in which many EU- and European- funded NGOs play a central role. This event was timed to coincide with the Goldstone mission hearings and supported by the tendentious reports issued by HRW, Amnesty International, Breaking the Silence, and other NGOs.
Presenters included:
Bill Van Esveld, HRW, Israel and PA researcher, Middle East and North Africa Division;
Charles Shamas, partner in the Mattin Group, co-Founder of Al Haq, and HRW board member;
Raji Sourani of the EU-funded PCHR (he is also a vice-president of FIDH);
John Dugard, former UN rapporteur, leader of the Arab League’s “fact finding” mission that accused Israel of “genocide” and “war crimes”;
Pierre Galand – Belgian anti-Israel activist;
Ron Yaron, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (EU- and European go vernment-funded);
Daphna Golan, co-founder of B’Tselem, researcher at the Minerva Center for Human Rights of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, consultant to pseudo-academic study organized by Dugard and Al Haq, claiming Israel is an “apartheid” state;
Rania Al-Madi of Badil (funded by Irish and Scandanavian governments);
Fatmeh El Ajou from Adalah (EU and NIF funded);
Yizhar Be’er from Keshev (EU funded)
The Central Role of Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch (HRW) was featured prominently at this blatantly one-sided event, which took place amidst the controversy over HRW’s anti-Israel agenda and the emphasis on defeating “pro-Israel pressure groups” during a May fundraising dinner held in Saudi Arabia.
Several participants referred to HRW’s reporting on the Gaza war, and Esveld repeated HRW’s unsubstantiated charges that Israel used white phosphorous and drones unlawfully. He claimed that HRW’s “researchers” found no military justification for the use of the phosphorus as a smoke screen, as there were no Israeli forces on the ground at the time.” Media reports and military analysts have refuted HRW’s allegations.

Esveld repeated HRW’s unsubstantiated claims that Israel’s actions against Hamas exceeded “any conceivable military necessity” and amounted to “collective punishment.” He also bolstered the campaign to prevent Israel from obtaining military equipment, led by Amnesty International, by emphasizing more than once that the weapons used by Israel were manufactured in the US. He concluded that it was critical to ensure “on-going international pressure” on Israel.

Israeli NGO Participants Contribute to the Campaign
As noted, several Israeli NGOs participated in the meeting. Analysts have noted the attempt to legitimize anti-Israel and anti-Zionist positions by highlighting agreement from individual Jews, including Israelis, who profess these positions.

Daphna Golan-Agnon, a senior researcher at Hebrew University’s Minerva Center and founder of B’Tselem, alleged that Israel cynically uses international law to pose as a “democratic state” when, according to her, it is not. She asserted that Gaza is an “artificial,20invented zone controlled by Israel,” claimed that Israel “controls” the “population registry” and “legal system” that are run by Hamas, and advocated for a bi-national state. As mentioned, Golan-Agnon was a consultant to a pseudo-academic study initiated by John Dugard (see below) that demonized Israel as an “apartheid” state. [1]

Ha’aretz columnist Gideon Levy also participated, referring to Israeli society as “immoral” and comparing it to a “drug addict” that required “institutionalization.” Levy argued the only ways for Palestinians to end the “occupation” were through “terrible bloodshed,” “sanctions,” or by making Israelis “feel uncomfortable,” and said rocket attacks on Israeli civilians did not merit military action by Israel.

Ron Yaron spoke on behalf of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I).-- and EU- and Swedish-funded NGO, whose political agenda includes assistant to protesters “in solidarity with their struggle against Israeli occupation”. Yaron castigated the IDF investigations as “whitewash” and not reliable. Yaron admitted that “Hamas had systema tically used medical facilities and ambulances as a cover for its military operations,” but summarily and without evidence dismissed what he termed “justif[ications]” of the Israeli army.

Yizhar Be’er, Executive Director of the EU-funded Keshev, accused the Israeli media of demonization, militancy, and incitement, and criticized local newspapers for highlighting the destruction of rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, in particular children. Keshev works in concert with Miftah, a Palestinian NGO which promotes anti-Israel demonization, supports boycotts of Israel and was very active in the infamous 2001 Durban conference.

Fatmeh El Ajou of the EU- and European-funded Adalah claimed the war in Gaza was illegitimate because it was “intended to get rid of the democratically-elected Hamas.” Additionally, she declared that Palestinians have no remedy in the Israeli justice system, erasing the fact that the Israeli Supreme Court hears hundreds of cases related to Palestinian rights, including many suits initiated by Adalah,. She also endorsed a bi-national state, which is consistent with Adalah’s “Democratic Constitution” that demands the end of Israel as a Jewish nation-state.

“Lawfare” from international and Palestinian NGOs
Pro-Palestinian activists and Palestinian NGOs bolstered the political warfare conducted20by the other participants. One Palestinian media representative concluded his speech with an antisemitic rant accusing Jews of “buying everything” and controlling a “global machine, money.” A member of the Third World Network referred to Ahmedinejad as a “so-called Holocaust denier,” and a Swiss NGO representative expressed “extreme disappointment” that Palestinian war crimes of firing rockets into civilian areas of Israel were mentioned, even in passing, at the three-day event.

International Ideologues
John Dugard, the former UN rapporteur, accused Israel of “war crimes,” “crimes against humanity,” “genocide,” and “terrorizing” the citizens of Gaza. Dugard made the absurd claim that that Israel had no right to self-defense in the face of Hamas rocket attacks on its civilians. He also sought to argue that international laws regarding combating terrorism and its financing had no relevance to his legal analysis of the war. Dugard ended his presentation by calling for “lawfare” prosecutions of Israeli military and political figures. In February 2009, Dugard headed the Arab League’s “Fact Finding Mission” on the Gaza War, which made the same politicized conclusions.

More calls for “lawfare” came from Pierre Galand, a Belgian radical and chairman of the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine. He portrayed Israel as part of the West’s “colonial and imperialist ideology”, stating that Israel “like France and the UK, continually lies.” Galand mentioned that he, Dugard, and Sourani (see below) were planning a “Russell Tribunal” against Israel (such fringe tribunals found the US guilty of “war crimes” in the 1970s, in the 1991 Operation Desert Storm, and the 2003 Iraq War).

Palestinian NGOs
Charles Shamas – head of the Mattin Group, HRW board member, and co-founder of Palestinian NGO Al Haq – called for sanctions against Israel. He focused on pressing the European Union to suspend trade agreements and block aviation traffic with Israel.

In a written statement, Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR – funded by the EU, Norway, Ireland, and Denmark), leveled accusations of “collective punishment,” “illegal siege” and Israeli “impunity.” As reflected in PCHR’s labeling of terror attacks as “resistance,” he did not criticize Hamas for aggression or “war crimes.” Sourani called for more “lawfare” cases against Israelis, even though every one of PCHR’s cases has been dismissed as being without merit. At the July 24 NGO session, other NGO representatives echoed Sourani’s remarks, noting their plan to harass with lawsuits UK nationals who have served in the IDF.

Badil (funded by Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands), this “right of return” NGO accused Israel of “colonial and apartheid policies,” and repeated the canard that Israel was created solely out of “European guilt over the Holocaust.” In order to hold Israel “accountable for its crimes,” Badil called for a general boycott and an arms ban on Israel, as well as suspension of the EU-Israel upgrade agreement.

In contrast to the marginalization of radical NGOs in the UN’s Durban Review Conference (April 2009), this conference shows that the power of these NGOs in UN remains significant. Such smaller, less visible meetings may not register in the international media, but they provide a forum for “sharing common practices” in the intensification of the Durban Strategy. Timed to coincide with the Goldstone investigation, the July 2009 “Question of Palestine” event indicates the ongoing legal warfare instigated by NGOs in response to the Gaza conflict.

Human Rights Watch’s participation in this “mini-Durban” conference reflects the organization’s further radicalization and the absence of professionalism and objectivity.
< br> It also highlights this powerful NGO’s influence in the anti-Israel NGO network and the UN. HRW, with its very large resources, media connections, and international reputation, legitimates and amplifies campaigns initiated by Palestinian NGOs – such as the concerted effort to criminalize Israel’s actions in the Gaza war. Radical Israeli NGOs, funded by European governments and NIF, add to this campaign by repeating unsupported claims and promoting a Palestinian narrative. Finally, the UN promotes these campaigns, providing one-sided forums – including the Goldstone commission – for advancing NGO strategies and attacks.

[1] See 'Progressive' Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism, by Alvin H. Rosenfeld, American Jewish Committee, 2007,

NGO Monitor

Seniors – Beware the AARP’s Support of ObamaCare

Natalie Sirkin

Seniors beware! The AARP, claiming to represent you, is supporting the Obama Health Reform bill which is financed on your back. Obama maintains that overall the changes in health-care are helpful to seniors and will save them thousands of dollars. Not so. Seniors are the big losers under ObamaCare according to Betsy McCaughey, the expert who has studied all the congressional bills. In an attempt to make the cost deficit-neutral, which Obama declares is the goal, $500-$550 billion is to be taken away from Medicare spending, this at a time when approximately 75,000,000 Americans will be added to Medicare rosters as the baby boom generation ages.

ObamaCare will squeeze funds from Medicare by cutting payments to doctors, nurses, hospitals and drug companies. The result will be fewer doctors willing to take Medicare patients, i.e. to work for a fraction of their legitimate fees. Seniors will be herded into groups, which will receive slower, less personal and less consistent care from doctors and other health care providers. There will be less money for the medical devices that minimize the handicaps of disability.

For starters, ObamaCare proposes that seniors shift from use of specialists to primary-care doctors, on the misconception that the elderly overuse specialists. Betsy McCaughey reports that studies have shown that for heart patients, a shift to primary care results in a higher death rate. Primary-care physicians frequently misdiagnose heart patients, who are more often readmitted to the hospital. The patients not treated by specialists die sooner.

House Bill 3200 mandates that each senior meet every five years with a consultant in advanced care planning who will help in planning for end of each senior’s life. Some of this is reasonable – it is wise to have health care proxies and living wills – but on p. 427, lines 15-24, the government mandates end-of-life orders which can in effect make the government your proxy on end-of-life decisions. Gullible seniors, many of whom may be all too easily influenced by a government representative supposedly advancing their interests, are likely to sign off on agreements they don’t understand in “governmentalese,” the only language in the world that cannot be translated.

Those Obama has put in charge of medical planning for seniors should fill them with terror. There’s Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel’s brother, who has been appointed to two key posts: health policy adviser at the Office of Management and Budget and member of the Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research. McCaughey points out that in recent articles Emanuel has explicitly promoted discrimination against older patients. It’s not invidious discrimination (like discrimination based on race or gender), says Emanuel, because everyone was 25 once. On this reasoning, all the hard won rules against discrimination on the basis of age go out the window. Tough luck, if you’ve turned 65. Emanuel has also written that he wants doctors to consider not just the medical needs of his patient, but “social justice.” That’s shorthand for whether the money spent on the patient before him could be better spent on someone else, e.g., someone younger or less disabled. For example, those with dementia, writes Emanuel, are no longer contributing to society.

As for that Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research, as an Investor’s Business Daily editorial notes, it’s modeled on a similar board in England that approves or rejects treatments by dividing the cost of treatment by the number of additional years the patient is expected to live. Sample decision: the English board requires that elderly patients with macular degeneration wait until they are blind in one eye before they can get the costly new drug that can save the other eye. Presumably the Council will decide if it is an “efficient’ investment to permit expensive surgery for elderly patients. A hip replacement if you’re 80? How about Tylenol?

There are now bills in both House (HR3200) and Senate that would shift control over Medicare payments to doctors, hospitals and other health care providers from Congress to the President. Reimbursement rates would be set by an “independent commission,” i.e. an unelected executive agency, which the President would then approve or disapprove. The idea is to insulate Medicare from the pressures – to which politicians have to respond – and that will be sure to flow from outraged doctors, hospitals, nursing homes and seniors.

Even wiping out the access of seniors to many of the medical advances that have made their lives productive and comfortable will not make Obama’s health care revolution “cost-free.” Douglas Elmendorf, head of the Congressional Budget Office, to the discomfiture of the White House, asserted that government can’t “save” money on health-care by insuring everyone. The cost will be from $1 trillion to $1.6 trillion over ten years. Elmendorf was invited to the White House for a meeting with President Obama and a phalanx of economic and health-care advisers. Perhaps intimidated, Elmendorf has since issued a supplementary more equivocal statement. Former CBO head, Douglas Holtz-Eakin observed: “They’re leaning on him. CBO was created to do independent analyses for Congress.”

How can an organization representing seniors possibly endorse legislation whose chief victims will be seniors? In backing ObamaCare, the AARP is derelict and deceptive to boot. A trip to its website will give seniors zero information on this legislation, so central to their future welfare – it won’t even tell them the AARP supports it. All there is on ObamaCare is a video of a question and answer session the AARP organized in which Obama reassures seniors that they will come to no harm under his plan and be subject to no rationing of care. Otherwise the website is full of information on discounts available to AARP members, what foods are good for you, profiles of interesting senior citizens, what drug plan is good for you, etc. What makes AARP’s dereliction of duty in failing to provide its members with the most elementary information on Obama’s health care proposals doubly shameful is that there are no other organizations representing seniors: AARP holds a monopoly.

Given its true mission (AARP powers-that-be never saw a proposal for or toward nationalization of health care they did not like), seniors must both put pressure on the AARP to represent their interests in fact, not in rhetoric, and until (if ever) that goal is achieved, make their views heard so as to prevent the AARP from being viewed as the undisputed voice of seniors in this country.

Seniors who want their voices to be heard on this important matter should be deluging their legislators and AARP as well. Send the organization “unsubscribe” notes. Write to AARP, 601 E Street N.W., Washington D.C. 20049. You can list friends and relatives who agree with you. If you prefer to phone (it can’t hurt to both write and phone), unfortunately AARP has pretty well insulated itself from public complaints. Still, you can call 1-888-AARP and if you are patient through its complicated menu, can get a representative (at a call center in Nevada or California). Voice your opinion. Word will get back. There is also a direct phone number to the AARP Foundation in Washington D.C. 1-203-434-6200.

Be heard – before it is too late. Contributing Editor Natalie Sirkin, a senior citizen, has for many years written a regular column for the Citizen News of Sherman, Connecticut.

Mandelblit leads IDF battle to comply with international law

The fact that there are almost 100 internal probes into allegations of IDF misconduct during the last Gaza war shows three things: that there is concern some soldiers broke the law during their stay in the Strip; that mistakes may have been made during the fighting; and most importantly, that the army is taking all accusations leveled against it seriously.
Judge Advocate General Brig.-Gen. Avihai Mandelblit is not always a popular figure in the military, especially when he punishes soldiers who break the law while fighting Israel's enemies in Gaza, Lebanon or the West Bank. For Mandelblit, there is no difference between routine security operations and full-fledged war, and no difference between Arabs and Jews. There is only the law.

From his third-floor office at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, Mandelblit represents the core of Israel's defense against the legal onslaught by unfriendly countries and organizations across the world. While the shooting has stopped, Operation Cast Lead is not over yet - it has just moved to another front.

The UN's Goldstone Commission is soon to present its findings on alleged Israeli "war crimes" in Gaza. Amnesty International has taken aim at IDF drones. The Red Cross is pounding away at the walls of "the Gaza prison," while "Free Gaza Ships" try to reach its shores. Human Rights Watch is raising money in Saudi Arabia by painting Israel as a pariah state.

And it is not just in Spain, Britain and Belgium that lawyers and jurists are using legal means to attack Israel. Within Israel, too, Yesh Din, Gisha, Breaking the Silence and Rabbis for Human Rights (partly funded by European countries) are also chipping away at the IDF's legitimacy.

The NGO approach is to take the sum total of Israeli operations during Cast Lead and paint the IDF as an immoral army that uses vastly disproportionate force. This approach doesn't look at individual actions and assess them on their proportionality but rather puts all of the IDF's actions together into one picture and argues that in the Gaza case, there were 1,400 people killed on the Palestinian side - mostly civilians, according to Palestinian figures vigorously disputed by Israel - while Israel lost 13 people in total, most of them soldiers in friendly-fire incidents.

The view in Israel is that this NGO approach produces a deeply distorted picture. The Israeli concern, furthermore, is that the aim of all these groups is to create deterrence against a future use of force by the IDF in Gaza and Lebanon.

It is no coincidence that Hizbullah is building a huge offensive array inside populated villages in southern Lebanon and that Syria has been beefing up its defenses inside its villages along the Golan Heights.

Away from the battlefields, there are hundreds of petitions, cases, legal opinions and pending actions against Israel cropping up in courts across the world. The phenomenon is wide and growing. It is driven by a lot of money and support from countries and people not friendly to Israel.

While Israel has been slow to array its forces on this battlefield, lately, there are signs that authorities here have now realized the scope of the problem and are starting to fight back.

Just as Israel invests in good weaponry, research and development, it is starting to invest in the tools to fight on this legal front and in the right people for the job. It is gearing up to ensure that military commanders can call on real-time dynamic legal advice on the ground.

And, just as important, every complaint and accusation leveled at the IDF from both inside and outside of Israel is increasingly recognized and must be thoroughly investigated. There is no need to be afraid of the truth, the army argues. Indeed, there is a strong belief within the military that every operation and attack during Cast Lead was limited to what is allowed. Millions of fliers were dropped, thousands of phone calls were made warning people to flee, and dozens of attacks were stopped because there was a chance civilians would be harmed.

If a soldier did commit a crime, he will pay for it, and it is best he pays for it here in Israel rather than abroad, runs the thinking, where he could be at the mercy of legal systems hijacked by political activists.

Mandelblit's role has become crucial in this intensifying war. The world needs to see that the IDF is seriously investigating itself; this counters the detractors' argument that the army cannot objectively investigate itself and, without outside oversight, would allow itself to get away with murder. As the cliché goes, justice needs not only to be done but also to be seen to be done.

For the people who draw up the battle plans in the IDF's operations and planning branch, the moral imperative is sacrosanct. If this was not the case, it is argued, the army's wars would last a few minutes at most. It is deemed crucial for the IDF to fight and win its wars within the boundaries of international law. For this reason, the Military Prosecutor's unit has steadily increased its involvement across all levels of the army in an attempt to give commanders the tools they need to get the job done within the bounds of international humanitarian law.

Legal officers have been attached to commanders from the brigade levels and up since the end of the Second Lebanon War in 2006. There are more of them and they are getting much more involved. Legal officers are present when target banks are drawn up and when questions are asked about whether the target is purely military or dual purpose.

There are almost no top officers who are not now deeply aware of the legal implications of their actions. If this awareness has not yet filtered down through all units, as the near-100 allegations would suggest, then the IDF is determined to rectify this immediately. For while it is recognized that nobody outside will tolerate the army operating beyond the bounds of international humanitarian law, the IDF is insistent that nobody inside will tolerate any such breaches either.

This article can also be read at /servlet/Satellite?cid=1248277926831&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

Jewish, Not Arab, Roots in Judea and Samaria

Hillel Fendel
A7 News

US Pres. Obama’s demand that Israel not settle Jews in the Biblical areas of Judea and Samaria ignores thoroughly-documented Jewish roots in the Land of Israel, and in Judea/Samaria in particular. Yoram Ettinger, a former liaison for Congressional affairs in Israel's Washington embassy, lists in the latest of his periodic position papers some of the evidence showing that Judea and Samaria has Jewish, not Arab, roots.

Area Always Known as "Judea and Samaria"

Ettinger negates Obama's claim – enunciated during his June 4, 2009 speech at Cairo University – that "the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in" the Holocaust. For one thing, Ettinger notes, many world-renowned travelers, historians and archeologists of earlier centuries refer to "Judea and Samaria," while the term "West Bank" was coined only 60 years ago. Jordan gave the region this name when it occupied it after Israel’s War of Independence. No nation on earth other than Britain and Pakistan recognized Jordan’s claim to Judea and Samaria.

Among the travelers, historians and archeologists who referred to Judea and Samaria are H. B. Tristram (The Land of Israel, 1865); Mark Twain (Innocents Abroad, 1867); R.A. MacAlister and Masterman ("Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly"); A.P. Stanley (Sinai and Palestine, 1887); E. Robinson and E. Smith (Biblical Researches in Palestine, 1841); C.W. Van de Velde (Peise durch Syrien und Paletsinea, 1861); and Felix Bovet (Voyage en Taire Sainte, 1864). Even the Encyclopedia Britannica, as well as official British and Ottoman records until 1950, used the term Judea and Samaria, and not the West Bank.

Land Was Named "Palestine" in Order to Erase Jewish Presence

Ettinger goes even further back, and says that the name "Palestine" was given to the Holy Land for the sole purpose of erasing the previous name of the country – Judea – from human memory. The Romans, whose plan this was, similarly sought to extinguish Jewish presence in Jerusalem by renaming it Aelia Capitolina.

Arabs Came in the Last 150 Years

When speaking of “Palestinian national rights,” it must be similarly kept in mind, Ettinger notes, that most Arabs residing today in Israel – anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean - have their origin in a massive 19th-20th century migration from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and other Moslem countries.

Town Names Betray Their True History

Finally, Ettinger says that almost all Arab localities in Judea and Samaria have retained Biblical Jewish names, thus reaffirming their Jewish roots. Examples include the following: Anata is Biblical (and contemporary) Anatot, the dwelling of the Prophet Jeremiah. Batir is Biblical (and contemporary) Beitar, the headquarters of Bar Kochba, the leader of the Great Rebellion against the Roman Empire, which was suppressed in 135CE. Beit-Hur is the biblical (and contemporary) Beit Horon, site of Judah the Maccabee's victory over the Assyrians. Beitin is biblical (and contemporary) Beit El, a site of the Holy Ark and Prophet Samuel's court. Bethlehem is mentioned 44 times in the Bible and is the birth place of King David. Beit Jalla is biblical (and contemporary) Gilo, in southern Jerusalem, where Sennacherib set his camp, while besieging Jerusalem. El-Jib is biblical (and contemporary) Gibeon, Joshua's battleground known for his command to stop the sun and moon (Joshua 10:12). Jaba' is the biblical (and contemporary) Geva, site of King Saul’s son Jonathan’s victory over the Philistines. Jenin is the biblical (and contemporary) Ein Ganim, a Levite town within the tribe of Issachar. Mukhmas is biblical (and contemporary) Mikhmash, residence of Jonathan the Maccabee and site of King Saul's fortress. Seilun is biblical (and contemporary) Shilo, a site of Joshua's tabernacle and the Holy Ark and Samuel's youth. Tequa is biblical (and contemporary) Tekoa, hometown of the Prophet Amos.

Arabs Never Wanted Palestinian State

In another of his posts, Ettinger has negated the US government position that a Palestinian state is the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict and that its formation would resolve the situation. He cites proofs from recent history showing that Arab antipathy to Israel not only predates Palestinian concerns, but often sidesteps such interests.

Israel's war for its independence in 1948-9, for instance, was conducted by the Arab countries at the expense of Palestinian aspirations. Though Egypt conquered Gaza, and Jordan took Judea and Samaria, and Syria claimed the Golan, in none of these areas was a Palestinian government allowed.

When Egypt conquered the Gaza Strip, it proceeded to prohibit Palestinian national activities and expel Palestinian leadership. Not only did Jordan not grant Palestinian independence to Judea and Samaria, it actually annexed these areas to its own country. When Syria occupied and annexed the Hama area in the Golan Heights, the Arab League outlawed a provisional Palestinian government there.

In short, it can be concluded that Arab "rights" to a state in Judea and Samaria are historically weak and were long ignored by other Arab countries.

Obama’s ‘Hit Man’ Emanuel Splitting US American Jewry

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has denied calling White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and senior Obama advisor David Axelrod “self-hating Jews." The alleged use of that term is particularly timely as Jews mourn on Thursday the destruction of the First and Second Holy Temples; Judaism teaches that “causeless hatred” among Jews was the reason for the fall of the Second Temple.
Whether or not the Prime Minister used the term, increasing criticism by American Jews of U.S. President Barack Obama signals a split in the American Jewish community.

The trigger for the growing crisis between Israel and the U.S., and among American Jews, is the issue of “settlements,” which President Obama labeled as “illegitimate” in his speech in Cairo nearly two months ago. He later included Jewish communities in eastern Jerusalem as part of the “settlement” label.

President Obama revealed this week that his White House advisor Rahm Emanuel, whose father was an Israeli and part of the underground resistance movement under the British Mandate, tells him everything he needs to know about Israel.

Emanuel also is the man who choreographed the handshake between former President Bill Clinton, former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin and Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn.

He has pushed the president into a head-on collision with the Netanyahu government, but there is a growing opinion that he has also left the president out on a limb. Emanuel’s strategy was to demonstrate that the pro-Israel lobby American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) no longer speaks for American Jewry.

Mondoweis Blogger Philip Weis, who continually attacks a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, wrote last month, “Obama's game is to defeat the Israel lobby from within. He could not defeat the lobby from outside it…. But now he is cracking it like a nut, and counting on Jews to do the cracking.”

That strategy has turned into a wall of opposition, both in Israel, where the president’s popularity rating is near-zero, in the U.S. where Emanuel has simply ignored opposing views of major Jewish organizations, and in the normally anti-settlement American press.

Washington Post vs. Obama

The liberal and highly influential Washington Post has criticized President Obama on his policy towards Israel, and an editorial on Thursday went even further. Under the title “Tough on Israel - Why: President Obama's battle against Jewish settlements could prove self-defeating,” the newspaper’s editors wrote:

“One of the more striking results of the Obama administration's first six months is that only one country has worse relations with the United States than it did in January: Israel. The new administration has pushed a reset button with Russia and sent new ambassadors to Syria and Venezuela; it has offered olive branches to Cuba and Burma. But for nearly three months it has been locked in a public confrontation with Israel over Jewish housing construction in Jerusalem and the West Bank.”

The editorial criticized the president for his “absolutist demand” for a freeze on all building for Jews in Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. “Palestinian and Arab leaders who had accepted previous compromises immediately hardened their positions; they also balked at delivering the ‘confidence-building’ concessions to Israel that the administration seeks. Israeli public opinion, which normally leans against the settler movement, has rallied behind Mr. Netanyahu.”

The newspaper warned that any compromise by President Obama may leave him “diminished among both Israelis and Arabs.”

The turning point against President Obama may have been the meeting in the White House earlier this month with American Jewish leaders. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations requested a discussion with President Obama, but Emanuel decided who would attend.

He used the opportunity to attempt to create an impression of solid support for President Obama and show off the relative new J Street lobby. Unlike AIPAC, it is active politically and endorsed and campaigned for Congressional candidates who fit their agenda, which includes Israel’s surrendering all of Judea and Samaria and parts of Jerusalem that were restored to the Jewish State in the 1967 Six-Day War.

At the same time, he excluded National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) and the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), both of which support a Jewish presence in all of Israel.

The latest confrontation on a new project for Jews in eastern Jerusalem prompted Alan Solow, chairman of the Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, to state this week, "Hundreds of Arab families have moved into Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem and the same right should be accorded to Jewish residents to live wherever they choose in Jerusalem. No government of Israel has or can pursue a discriminatory policy that would prevent the legitimate presence of Jews in any area of the capital."

In response, five leftist groups, including Americans for Peace Now and J Street, criticized supporters of Jews’ rights to build in the area. It added, “Unilateral actions that inflame tensions, impair negotiations and make the ultimate resolution of issues surrounding Jerusalem more difficult are unhelpful and should be avoided at this particularly sensitive moment."

While Emanuel is trying to strengthen his position, he faces another challenge on the Obama administration’s health plan. Emanuel’s brother Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel is Obama’s “health czar,” and the plan is being widely panned in American media, leaving the White House Chief of Staff with two potential failures for the President.

Comment: This blog warned weeks ago of Obama's strategy to divide and conquer the Jewish vote-the process continues. The question becomes to what degree do american Jews realize what is happening and what are they willing to do.

We've Figured Him Out

Ben Stein
7.24.09 @ 9:45AM
Why is President Barack Obama in such a hurry to get his socialized medicine bill passed?

Because he and his cunning circle realize some basic truths:

The American people in their unimaginable kindness and trust voted for a pig in a poke in 2008. They wanted so much to believe Barack Obama was somehow better and different from other ultra-leftists that they simply took him on faith.

They ignored his anti-white writings in his books. They ignored his quiet acceptance of hysterical anti-American diatribes by his minister, Jeremiah Wright.
They ignored his refusal to explain years at a time of his life as a student. They ignored his ultra-left record as a "community organizer," Illinois state legislator, and Senator.

The American people ignored his total zero of an academic record as a student and teacher, his complete lack of scholarship when he was being touted as a scholar.

Now, the American people are starting to wake up to the truth. Barack Obama is a super likeable super leftist, not a fan of this country, way, way too cozy with the terrorist leaders in the Middle East, way beyond naïveté, all the way into active destruction of our interests and our allies and our future.

The American people have already awakened to the truth that the stimulus bill — a great idea in theory — was really an immense bribe to Democrat interest groups, and in no way an effort to help all Americans.

Now, Americans are waking up to the truth that ObamaCare basically means that every time you are sick or injured, you will have a clerk from the Department of Motor Vehicles telling your doctor what he can and cannot do.

The American people already know that Mr. Obama's plan to lower health costs while expanding coverage and bureaucracy is a myth, a promise of something that never was and never will be — a bureaucracy lowering costs in a free society. Either the costs go up or the free society goes away.

These are perilous times. Mrs. Hillary Clinton, our Secretary of State, has given Iran the go-ahead to have nuclear weapons, an unqualified betrayal of the nation. Now, we face a devastating loss of freedom at home in health care. It will be joined by controls on our lives to "protect us" from global warming, itself largely a fraud if believed to be caused by man.

Mr. Obama knows Americans are getting wise and will stop him if he delays at all in taking away our freedoms.

There is his urgency and our opportunity. Once freedom is lost, America is lost. Wake up, beloved America.

Israel, Lebanon: Hezbollah Prepares for an Israeli Assault

STRATFOR has received information in recent weeks indicating that Hezbollah is making serious preparations for a possible Israeli attack. The inevitability of such a conflict is uncertain, but if Israel attacks Hezbollah, it would likely foreshadow a bigger confrontation with Iran.
In recent weeks, STRATFOR has noticed an unusual uptick in Hezbollah’s anxiety levels over a potential Israeli attack. A number of sources tightly linked into the Shiite militant group have revealed that discussions are taking place amongst the senior military command over additional measures the group should take to prepare for an Israeli attack, which to them appears nearly inevitable. Many Hezbollah troops are reportedly suffering from mission fatigue in maintaining a constant vigil over the southern Lebanese border.

Further down the ranks, many of Hezbollah’s younger, student activists have taken the summer off from school and are spending the bulk of their time in Hezbollah’s stronghold in the western Bekaa Valley, north of the Litani River. Several of these younger Hezbollah cadres are reportedly being trained to employ anti-tank guided missiles and man portable air defense systems — light surface-to-air missiles — to defend against a potential attack.

Hezbollah appears to have been particularly shaken by a July 14 explosion at a Hezbollah weapons depot in the village of Khirbit Silim in southern Lebanon. Israel immediately accused Hezbollah of violating U.N. Resolution 1701 that calls for the total disarmament of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon by actively maintaining a large arms cache just 11 miles from the Israeli border. According to a STRATFOR source in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Israel provided UNIFIL with the intelligence on this Hezbollah weapons site and demanded that they destroy it. The source claims that after a considerable time lag, the French UNIFIL contingent took the matter into its own hands and blew up the weapons depot as Hezbollah commandos were loading munitions. Since that explosion, Israel has provided UNIFIL with information on some 100 other Hezbollah weapons depots that it expects to be destroyed, or else Israel has threatened to take action.

It is no secret that Hezbollah has been re-entrenching itself in southern Lebanon since its 2006 confrontation with Israel. Hezbollah has little interest in provoking a rematch, but it can clearly discern how tensions have skyrocketed in the region in the wake of the post-election crisis in Iran. Since then, STRATFOR has tracked a number of indicators that hint at preparations by the United States and Israel for a potential military strike against Iran. Though this is by no means an inevitable outcome, shifts in Hezbollah’s operations and anxiety levels bear close watching as these tensions continue to build.

Any Israeli attack plan against Iran would have to factor in Hezbollah, as any Iranian retaliatory plan would naturally utilize Iran’s strongest militant asset in the Middle East. The Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) directly runs major Hezbollah operations from their safe-houses in the southern suburbs of Beirut. Since the 2006 conflict, these IRGC commanders in Lebanon have been preparing Hezbollah for a potential war scenario with the Israelis, and have made the appropriate adjustments in Hezbollah’s command structure to ensure that the group’s leadership remains loyal to Tehran.

In anticipating the blowback from Hezbollah, Israel would have a strong interest in degrading Hezbollah’s military capabilities prior to attacking Iran. The Israelis are not interested in getting bogged down in a ground war in Lebanon, where Hezbollah could quickly gain the upper hand in a protracted war of attrition. Instead, Israel’s primary focus would be on eliminating the IRGC positions in Lebanon that control Hezbollah’s operations. By undermining Iran’s direct influence over the organization, Hezbollah would be far more likely to put their own interests ahead of Tehran’s when a split already exists within the group, with a faction arguing that Hezbollah should avoid cornering itself as a proxy of the Iranians and instead focus on entrenching itself more firmly in the Lebanese political system.

The Israelis would also attempt to decimate Hezbollah’s artillery rocket arsenal as well as its stocks of more advanced anti-tank, anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles. Such arsenals can be replenished with time, but given the recent progress in Syria’s negotiations with the Americans and the Saudis, the Israelis (theoretically) could obtain better intelligence on Hezbollah positions to set the group back considerably and compromise their communications network.

As the indications of war have been building and as Syria’s negotiations with the West have progressed, Syria’s ties with Hezbollah and Iran have come under increasing strain. The Syrians have been isolating Hezbollah, albeit gradually, and Hezbollah no longer feels that it can fully trust its long-time ally, particularly in a time of war. Still, the Syrians are not ready, nor willing to completely sacrifice their relations with Iran and Hezbollah at this stage. After all, these relationships are what give Damascus leverage in its negotiations with the West. So, at the same time Syria is sharing intelligence with the Americans and the Saudis to further its negotiations, it is also providing limited assistance to Iran and Hezbollah as they prepare for an Israeli attack.

According to a STRATFOR source, the Iranian embassy in Damascus is overseeing the construction of heavily fortified residences in undisclosed locations on the slopes of the Anti-Lebanon Mountains near the Zabadani mountain resort. Iranian construction engineers are reportedly working with local Syrian laborers on this project, which is designed to provide refuge for Hezbollah (and IRGC commanders, most likely) should they need to flee Lebanon. Iran and Hezbollah are anticipating that Israeli would likely drop commandos in the northern Bekaa area to pursue these ranking officers. Since most of the targets live in the hilly northern Bekaa area, it would be relatively easy for them to make their way across the Anti-Lebanon Mountains into these Syrian safe houses. The residences, according to the source, are allegedly connected to the Lebanese side by a landline communications network to allow Hezbollah and IRGC to maintain command and control in communicating with their military units in the field. Though these contingency plans appear to be in the works with Syrian approval, the potential for Syria to compromise these Iranian and IRGC positions remains a serious question for Iran and Hezbollah.

Hezbollah senses that something is afoot in the region and is preparing for a conflict ahead. The inevitability of such a conflict is far from certain, but should Israel make a move against Hezbollah, it would very likely be the precursor to a larger confrontation with the Iranians. STRATFOR will continue to monitor this situation closely.

Jewish Occupation or Roots in Judea and Samaria?

Straight from the Jerusalem Cloakroom #226, July 31, 2009

Yoram Ettinger, Jerusalem

1. President Obama's claim – enunciated during his June 4, 2009 speech at Cairo University – that "the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history [The Holocaust] that cannot be denied," ignores thoroughly-documented Jewish roots in the Land of Israel in general and in Judea & Samaria in particular.
2. World renowned travelers, historians and archeologists of earlier centuries, such as H. B. Tristram (The Land of Israel, 1865), Mark Twain (Innocents Abroad, 1867), R.A. MacAlister and Masterman ("Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly"), A.P. Stanley (Sinai and Palestine, 1887), E. Robinson and E. Smith (Biblical Researches in Palestine, 1841)), C.W. Van de Velde (Peise durch Syrien und Paletsinea, 1861), Felix Bovet (Voyage en Taire Sainte, 1864) – as well as Encyclopedia Britannica and official British and Ottoman records (until 1950) refer to "Judea and Samaria" and not to the "West Bank." The latter term was coined by the Jordanian occupation of Judea and Samaria following the 1948/9 War.

3. The term "Palestine" was established by Greek Historian Herodotus, and adopted by the Roman Empire, in an attempt to erase "Judea" from human memory. "Palestine" was a derivative of the biblical Philistines, arch rivals of the Jewish nation, non-Semites who migrated to the area from the Greek islands and from Phoenicia in the 12th century BCE ("Plishtim" – the invaders - is the Hebrew word for "Philistines").

4. Most Arabs (Semites from the Arabian Peninsula), who reside between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, have their origin in a massive 19th-20th century migration from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and other Moslem countries.

5. Almost all Arab towns and villages in Judea and Samaria have retained biblical Jewish names, thus reaffirming Jewish roots there. For example:

*A-Dura is biblical (and contemporary) Adora'yim, site of King Rehoboam's and a Maccabees' fortress.

*A-Ram is biblical Haramah, Prophet Samuel's birth and burial site.

*Anata is biblical (and contemporary) Anatot, the dwelling of the Prophet Jeremiah.

*Batir is biblical (and contemporary) Beitar, the headquarters of Bar Kochba, the leader of the Great Rebellion against the Roman Empire, which was crashed in 135CE.

*Beit-hur is the biblical (and contemporary) Beit Horon, site of Judah the Maccabee's victory over the Assyrians.

*Beitin is biblical (and contemporary) Bethel, a site of the Holy Ark and Prophet Samuel's court.

*Bethlehem is mentioned 44 times in the Bible and is the birth place of King David.

*Beit Jalla is biblical (and contemporary) Gilo, where Sennacherib set his camp, while besieging Jerusalem.

*El-Jib is biblical (and contemporary) Gibeon, Joshua's battleground known for "Sun, stop thou in Gibeon and the moon in the valley of Ayalon," Joshua 10:12.

*Hebron - named after Hevron, Moses' uncle and Levy's grandson – was King David's first capital for 7 years, the burial site of the 3 Jewish Patriarchs and 3 Jewish Matriarchs.

*Jaba' is the biblical (and contemporary Geva, site of Jonathan's (son of King Saul) victory over the Philistines.

*Jenin is the biblical (and contemporary) Ein Ganim, a Levite town within the tribe of Issachar.

*Mukhmas is biblical (and contemporary) Mikhmash, residence of Jonathan the Maccabee and site of King Saul's fortress.

*Seilun is biblical (and contemporary) Shilo, a site of Joshua's tabernacle and the Holy Ark and Samuel's youth.

*Tequa' is biblical (and contemporary) Teqoah, hometown of the Prophet Amos and currently known for its home grown Ginger.


Are these sites "occupied" by the Jewish State or are they the epitome of Jewish moral high-ground and Statehood?


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Some specific details of Obamacare-did you know...?

There has been much discussion about the health care bill that Obama seeks to have passed, again in "cirsis" mode. Below are some of the provisions incorporated into the 1,000 page legislation. Most importantly, none of this will apply to members of Congress or to other branches of our government (as Obama has publicly stated--"This won't affect me") who have their own plan--the best available. Buried among the provisions is a plan for retirees and their families in Unions & Community Orgs (ACORN). YOU pay for their retirement and benefits. If you don't like any of these provisions, that is too bad, because No company can sue GOVERNMENT on price fixing and there is no "judicial review" against Government Monopoly.

In addtion to the below sections, p. 16, Sec 102, entitled " 102. PROTECTING THE CHOICE TO KEEP CURRENT COVERAGE." However, when you read the conditions on the next pp, you quickly see that the option is made impossible, if you (1) change any terms of your coverage, (2) after 5 yrs, the insurer does not the same requirement as govt plans, (3) if they exclude pre-exisitng conditions . You can find the entire bill here, if you have the time or interest: Peter Fleckstein (aka Fleckman) is reading it and has been posting on Twitter his findings. This is from his postings (Note: All comments are Fleckman's)

Here are some the provisions that Obama and the Democrat Leadership are enacting for you, your family, your employer, and your doctor:

Provisions that affect Me, my Family, and aging Parents:

Pg 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill - MY HEALTHCARE IS RATIONED!!!

Pg 42 of HC Bill - The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC Benefits for you. You have no choice!

Pg 58HC Bill - Government will have real-time access to individuals finances & a National ID Health Card will be issued!

Pg 59 HC Bill lines 21-24 Government will have direct access to your bank accounts for electronic funds transfer of amounts that they decide are appropriate

PG 84 Sec 203 HC bill - Government mandates ALL benefit packages for private HC plans in the Exchange

PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill - Specs of Benefit Levels for Plans = The Government will ration your Healthcare!

PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill - Specs of benefit Levels for Plans. #AARP members - your Health care WILL be rationed

PG 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill - Medicaid Eligible Individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. No choice

Pg 167 Lines 18-23 ANY individual who doesn’t have acceptable HC according to Government will be taxed 2.5% of income

Pg 195 HC Bill -officers & employees of HC Admin (GOVERNMENT) will have access to ALL Americans’ financial/personal records

PG 203 Line 14-15 HC - "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax." (sic) Yes, it says that

Pg 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill Government will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors, low income, poor affected

PG 268 Sec 1141 Federal Government regulates rental & purchase of power driven wheelchairs

PG 272 SEC. 1145. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS - Cancer patients - welcome to rationing!

Pg 379 Sec 1191 Government creates more bureaucracy - Telehealth Advisory Committee. Can you say “HC by phone”?

PG 489 Sec 1308 The Government will cover Marriage & Family therapy…which means they will insert Government into your marriage

Pg 494-498 Government will cover Mental Health services including defining, creating, rationing those services

PG 425 Lines 4-12 Government mandates Advance Care Planning Consultants. Think Senior Citizens’ end-of-life

Pg 425 Lines 17-19 Government will instruct & consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney. Mandatory!

PG 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3 Government provides approved list of end-of-life resources, guiding you toward death

PG 427 Lines 15-24 Government mandates program for orders for end-of-life. The Government has a say in how your life ends

Pg 429 Lines 1-9 An "advance care planning consultant" will be used frequently as patients health deteriorates

PG 429 Lines 10-12 "adv. care consultation" may include an ORDER for end-of-life plans. AN ORDER from Government

Pg 429 Lines 13-25 - The Government will specify which Doctors can write an end-of-life order.

PG 430 Lines 11-15 The Government will decide what level of treatment you will have at end-of-life

Provisions that affect me indirectly, because I pay for it:

Pg 59 HC Bill lines 21-24 Government will have direct access to your bank accounts for electronic funds transfer of amounts that they decide are appropriate

PG 65 Sec 164 is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in Unions & Community Orgs (ACORN). YOU pay for their retirement and benefits.

Provisions that affect my employer:

Pg 22 of the HC Bill MANDATES the Government will audit books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self-insure!!

PG 84 Sec 203 HC bill - Government mandates ALL benefit packages for private HC plans in the Exchange

Pg 145 Line 15-17 An Employer MUST auto-enroll employees into public option plan. NO CHOICE

Pg 126 Lines 22-25 Employers MUST pay for HC for part-time employees AND their families.

pg 150 Lines 9-13 Businesses with payroll between $251k & $400k who don’t provide public option pay 2-6% tax on all payroll

Pg 149 Lines 16-24 ANY Employer with payroll $400k & above who does not provide public option pays 8% tax on all payroll

Provisions that ensure that private plans will stop:

Pg 72 Lines 8-14 Government is creating an HC Exchange to bring private HC plans under Government control.

PG 84 Sec 203 HC bill - Government mandates ALL benefit packages for private HC plans in the Exchange

Pg 124 lines 24-25 HC No company can sue GOVERNMENT on price fixing. No "judicial review" against Government Monopoly

Pg 150 Lines 9-13 Businesses with payroll between $251k & $400k who don’t provide public option pay 2-6% tax on all payroll

Pg 149 Lines 16-24 ANY Employer with payroll $400k & above who does not provide public option pays 8% tax on all payroll

Pg 167 Lines 18-23 ANY individual who doesn’t have acceptable HC according to Government will be taxed 2.5% of income

Provisions that affect my doctor:

Pg 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill - Doctors/ #AMA - The Government will tell Doctors what they can earn.

Pg 195 HC Bill -officers & employees of HC Administration (Government) will have access to ALL Americans’ financial/personal records

Pg 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill Government will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors, low income, poor affected

Pg 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill – Doctors: it doesn’t matter what specialty you have, you'll all be paid the same

PG 253 Line 10-18 Government sets value of Doctor's time, professional judgment, etc. Literally value of humans.

PG 265 Sec 1131 Government mandates & controls productivity for private HC industries

Page 280 Sec 1151 The Government will penalize hospitals for what Government deems preventable readmissions.

Pg 298 Lines 9-11 Doctor’s treatment of a patient during initial admission that results in a readmission -- Government will penalize you.

Pg 317 L 13-20 PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. Government tells Doctors what/how much they can own.

Pg 429 Lines 13-25 - The Government will specify which Doctors can write an end-of-life order

Provisions that affect Hospitals and Clinics:

Pg 317-318 lines 21-25,1-3 PROHIBITION on expansion- Government is mandating hospitals cannot expand

Pg 321 2-13 Hospitals have opportunity to apply for exception BUT community input required. (Can you say ACORN?!!)

Provisions that affect Insurance Industry:

Pg 341 Lines 3-9 Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Adv Plans, HMOs, PPOs etc. Forcing patients into Government plan

Provisions for the Government Committee or that Increase Bureaucracy:

Pg 30 Sec 123 of HC bill - THERE WILL BE A GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benefits you get

Pg 195 HC Bill -officers & employees of HC Administration (Government) will have access to ALL Americans’ financial/personal records

Pg 42 of HC Bill - The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC Benefits for you. You have no choice!

Pg 72 Lines 8-14 Government is creating an HC Exchange to bring private HC plans under Government control.

PG 84 Sec 203 HC bill - Government mandates ALL benefit packages for private HC plans in the Exchange

Pg 124 lines 24-25 HC No company can sue GOVERNMENT on price fixing. No "judicial review" against Government Monopoly

Pg 379 Sec 1191 Government creates more bureaucracy - Telehealth Advisory Committee. Can you say, “HC by phone”?

Provisions that affect Illegal Aliens:

PG 50 Section 152 in HC bill - HC will be provided to ALL non-US citizens, illegal or otherwise

PG 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill - Government mandates appropriate linguistic services. Example - Translation for illegal aliens

Provisions that affect Other Aliens:

Pg 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay)

Provisions that affect Acorn:

Pg 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18 The Government will use groups i.e., ACORN & Americorps to sign up individuals for Government HC plan

Page 472 Lines 14-17 PAYMENT TO COMMUNITY-BASED ORG. Monthly payments to a community-based org. Like ACORN?

Pg 317-318 lines 21-25,1-3 PROHIBITION on expansion- Government is mandating hospitals cannot expand, however, Pg 321 2-13 Hospitals have opportunity to apply for exception, BUT community input required. (Can you say ACORN?!!)

Pg 469 – Community-Based Home Medical Services=Non profit organizations. “Hello, ACORN Medical services here!” ?

PG 65 Sec 164 is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in Unions & community organizations (ACORN).

Provisions that suggest Population Control / Euthanasia :

Pg 354 Sec 1177 - Government will RESTRICT enrollment of Special-needs people! (Peter Fleckstein’s sister and Sarah Palin’s daughter have Down Syndrome!!)

PG 425 Lines 4-12 Government mandates Advance Care Planning Consultants. Think Senior Citizens end-of-life

Pg 425 Lines 17-19 Government will instruct & consult regarding living wills, durable powers of atty. Mandatory!

PG 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3 Government provides approved list of end-of-life resources, guiding you in death

PG 427 Lines 15-24 Government mandates program for orders for end-of-life. The Government has a say in how your life ends

Pg 429 Lines 1-9 An "Advance Care Planning Consultant" will be used more frequently as patients health deteriorates

PG 429 Lines 10-12 " Advance Care consultation" may include an ORDER for end-of-life plans. AN ORDER from Government

Pg 429 Lines 13-25 - The Government will specify which Doctors can write an end-of-life order.

PG 430 Lines 11-15 The Government will decide what level of treatment you will have at end-of-life

Pg 469 - Community Based Home Medical Services = Non-profit orgs. “Hello, ACORN Medical services here!” ?

Provisions that are a mystery:

Pg335 L 16-25 Pg 336-339 - Government mandates establishment of outcome based measures. HC the way they want it. Rationing. Remember “Outcome-Based Education?”

PG 489 Sec 1308 The Government will cover Marriage & Family therapy. Which means they will insert Government into your marriage

Pg 494-498 Government will cover Mental Health services including defining, creating, rationing those services

Riot police clashed with mourners

Riot police clashed with mourners gathering at Tehran's Behesht-e Zanra cemetery to honor the protesters killed by Revolutionary Guards and Basijj thugs when they rose up against the fraudulent June 12 presidential election, DEBKAfile's Iranian sources report. Breaking up the crowds gathered in the graveyard, Thursday, July 30, police forced opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi to leave as he approached the grave Neda Agha Soltan, the student who died of wounds inflicted by the Basijj at a protest rally. They then pushed him into his car which drove off at speed. Witnesses report several injured in the clashes. DEBKAfile's Iranian sources reported earlier:

Popular anger against the regime has been further stoked by the official claim that only 20 people died in the street rallies and by the abuses suffered by the hundreds of jailed detainees, one of whom Sohran Aarabi has died under torture in prison. He was the son of one of the presidential candidates Mohsen Rezai, a former Revolutionary Guards commander.

Ceremonies marking the 40th day of a death are an Islamic tradition, but opposition leaders have been encouraged by the declining power of the election winner, president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to push harder in the hope of bringing him down. The founder of the Islamic revolution Aytollah Khomeini used the Fortieth Day mourning ceremonies as a tactic to inflame mobs against the ruling shah. The incumbent rulers, well aware of the political power of these rallies to shake their regime, have banned all assemblies - even for religious purposes.

Opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi received no answer to their application from the interior ministry for a permit to call a special prayer meeting at the Great Mossalla Mosque in Tehran, although they promised it there would be no shouted slogans.

DEBKAfile's sources report that when the opposition leaders saw security forces preparing to thwart mass ingress to the Great Mosque, they withdrew their request so as to avoid further bloodshed and instead called for a National Day of Mourning around the graves of the protest victims at the main Tehran cemetery.

The regime will put 20 suspected rioters on trial from Saturday after a first batch of detainees was released Tuesday and a "considerable number" would be freed Friday, the Iranian News Agency reported.

Comment: This is an evolving story-we should al stay tuned-rapidly morphing into a new direction.

Iran? Israel? Palestinians? Don't Understand the Middle East? Blame the Media


Barry Rubin
Even in the smallest news items frequently reflect the media bias against both Israel and accurate explanations of Middle East realities. For example, consider this one-paragraph AP item of July 25:

“U.S. gives $200M to Palestinians: The United States has transferred $200 million to the Palestinian government to help ease a growing budget deficit, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said yesterday. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has been struggling in recent months to keep his government afloat, borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars from commercial banks just to cover the public payroll. The reasons for the shortfall include Israel's restrictions on the Palestinian economy, the border blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, and the failure of some donor countries to make good on their aid pledges, Fayyad said during a video news conference with Clinton. – AP”Three reasons are given for the Palestinian economy doing poorly. None—repeat none—of them related to the Palestinians themselves, and two of the three are blamed on Israel.

So what’s left out? Things that everyone knows about on the scene:

--The administrative incompetence of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
--The PA’s rejection of peace with Israel in the past and present.
--The waste of money on ridiculously high numbers of people in security forces. That is why the "public payroll" is so expensive, a fact that has nothing to do with Israel. Moreover, the PA does not tax its people, getting all its money from foreign handouts. Such actions might build its popularity but also ensure a deficit.
--Past waves of violence by the PA’s Fatah ruling group and current talk of returning to armed struggle in the future.
--The extremist policies of Hamas—including maintaining a state of war with Israel--which could easily behave in a way that would make a blockade unnecessary.
--High levels of corruption in both regimes.
--The overall international economic downturn.

The reader is being directed to conclude: If only those mean Israelis and unreliable donors were nicer to the poor Palestinians everything would be fine. And indeed this seems almost like an unwritten rule for the Inquirer, AP, Reuters, and large sectors of the media: The Palestinians can never be blamed for anything.

But if all those points aren't made, how can anything ever be fixed? Even assuming there was no sanctions against a regime in Gaza which is terrorist, radical Islamist, openly antisemitic, and genocidal-intended--yes these are very strong words but they are completely accurate ones--the Gaza economy wouldn't be doing well.

As for the West Bank, the current Israeli government has explicitly made helping the economy there prosper and recent reports is that it is doing relatively well.

But here is the only choice much of the media allows us: It’s all Israel’s fault. Hamas and the PA aren’t to blame for anything, merely being eternal victims of Israel and the West. Therefore, the PA doesn't have to change any of its policies, does it?

If you want another example of how this basic concept works, consider an article of July 28, "Israel refuses limits on halting Iran nukes," by Anne Gearan, Associated Press. You see those Israelis are just trouble for the United States, as the headline to put it, “Top U.S. officials urge restraint as they seek to conduct broader peace talks in the Mideast.”

Like many articles on the Middle East, this is so biased and misleading as to be almost comical. The lead signals to the reader who is the bad guy here:

“Israel hardened its insistence yesterday that it would do anything it felt necessary to stop Iran from getting a nuclear bomb, just the ultimatum the United States hoped not to hear as it tried to nudge Iran to the bargaining table.”

Israel's hardline messing up U.S. efforts for peace, the article tells readers. Actually, however, Israeli press reports on the same meeting said that Israel’s leaders told the United States they would cooperate with U.S. efforts, precisely the opposite of this article. Indeed, the article itself presents no evidence for its thesis.

What is the proof offered of such a “hardening” position? Here it, allegedly, is.

“Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak used a brief news conference with Gates to insist three times that Israel would not rule out any response, an implied warning that it would consider a preemptive strike to thwart Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

"`We clearly believe that no option should be removed from the table,'" Barak said. "`This is our policy. We mean it.'"

Obviously what Barak said is not some “hardening” but the traditional Israeli position. And by the way, even President Obama has said that he isn’t taking any option off the table. Clearly, the Israeli position is: we will give you every chance to try the engagement and sanctions' route.

So the entire thesis of the article is simply wrong, ridiculously wrong. This is what is presented as serious coverage of Israel in American newspapers.

But that’s not all. The article continues:

“Iran says it is merely trying to develop nuclear reactors for domestic power generation. Israeli leaders fear that the U.S. prizes its outreach to Iran over its historic ties to Israel and that the United States appears resigned to the idea that Iran will soon be able to build a nuclear weapon.”

What’s missing here, though it is implied, is that the United States agrees with Israel. Gearan, by the way, also misstates the U.S. position. (On this point, see here)

None of the rest of the article contains any evidence that Israel has either hardened its line or is causing problems for U.S. diplomacy on the Iran issue.

At the end of the article, in all contrast to supposed journalistic guidelines, the author interjects her opinions unsupported by facts:

“All this comes at a time when Washington's policy of dialogue with Iran itself has hit an impasse because of that country's election turmoil after the disputed vote June 12. A more cooperative Iran is important for the Mideast peace drive. With its links to Hamas and Hezbollah extremists, Iran is capable of heightening tensions in Israel and the Palestinian territories.”

First of all, is the only problem for dialogue due to “election turmoil” or rather the hardline—here’s a place where it’s appropriate—nature of Iran’s regime? Moreover, why do we have any reason to believe Iran would be more cooperative? The article presents the issue purely in terms of the United States having to be nice to Iran or else.

Iran isn’t just “capable” of heightening tensions, it works to do so every day. To show there are good articles also, see a much better piece on this point from the Washington Post.

And the author concludes with this bit of wisdom:

“At the same time, an Israeli strike on Iran would probably push Arab nations away from any peace gestures toward Israel, despite their own rivalries with Tehran.”

This is pure opinion and is quite debatable. But journalists sticking in their ideological-based opinions is now par for the course in the American media. It shouldn’t be.

Betting on Dennis Ross

Daniel Mandel
Thursday, July 30, 2009

Is Obama's "Special Assistant" really a friend of Israel?
One of the small, but interesting, indeed significant, things to have emerged from the Alan Dershowitz – Melanie Phillips FrontPage Magazine debate over the Obama Administration’s policies towards Israel is the manner in which Dershowitz seeks a security blanket in the existence of individual Obama Administration figures deemed pro-Israeli. Yet, his is a curious argument: it tacitly concedes that the President’s background and the record of at least some of his relevant advisers and appointees – and thus the auguries regarding the likely direction of policy under his stewardship – have indeed given reason for worry.

Consider some of these advisers and appointees: Zbigniew Brzezinski, who lauded the 2006 Mearsheimer-Walt demonization of the pro-Israel lobby – a demonization Dershowitz himself felt impelled to rebut; General Merrill ‘Tony’ McPeak, who thinks American Jewish voters prevent the U.S. playing a constructive role in bringing about peace; Robert Malley, who has urged an imposed settlement on Israel and advocated negotiations with Hamas; Samantha Power, now on the National Security Council, who has also advocated external imposition of a settlement on Israel; George Mitchell, now Special Envoy to the Middle East, whose response to the outbreak of the Palestinian terror wave in 2000 was to call for more Israeli concessions before demanding Palestinians fulfill their already existing, unfulfilled obligations under Oslo; and Daniel Kurtzer, who largely blames Israel for the 2000 Camp David negotiations failure.

Yet pro-Obama Israel supporters frequently ignore these officials’ records and point to other officials, or even the same ones, in the conviction that they are Israel’s friends or that their mere presence foreshadows cordial American-Israeli relations:

· Marc R. Stanley, chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council, has pointed to several advisers and appointees – Hillary Clinton, Rahm Emanuel, George Mitchell, Peter Orszag, Dennis Ross, Kathleen Sebelius and Lawrence Summers – with “long-standing close relationships with us” among reasons for Jews to feel at ease with the Obama Administration.

· The Washington Jewish Week, in an October 2008 editorial supporting Obama’s candidacy, asserted blithely, “On Israel, there is no doubt that McCain is a stalwart supporter, but Obama, too, is a strong friend. Need proof? Look at his closest Israel advisers, people like Dennis Ross, Robert Wexler and Daniel Kurtzer, who wouldn’t work so hard as his surrogates if they didn’t believe his concern for and commitment to the Jewish state were genuine and unshakable.”

Now, in FrontPage, Dershowitz has done the same thing. Scolded by Phillips for ignoring as formative influences on Barack Obama his own radical past associates deeply hostile to Israel, Dershowitz caviled, “No one who fits that characterture [sic] would have appointed Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State, Dennis Ross (who she also attacks) as an adviser on Iran and Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff.”

The case for skepticism regarding Clinton and Emanuel has been made by others. However, when it comes to Dennis Ross, liberal, pro-Obama Israel supporters speak as though they are on a sure thing. Before Obama’s election, the New Republic’s Marty Peretz, another liberal champion of Israel, said any misgivings he had were allayed by the presence on Obama’s team of the “clear-headed” Ross. Ross was to be found last year seeking to reassure Jews that it was kosher – indeed meritorious – to vote for Obama.

But is Ross’ own record of judgment and deeds reassuring?

In an interview with me eight years ago, Ross was candid about the mistakes President Clinton and he committed in working for an Arab-Israeli peace. He was explicit about their having fatally ignored Palestinian terror and incitement to hatred and murder:

[I] believe that we … became so preoccupied with this process that the process took on a life of its own. It had self-sustaining justification. Every time there was a [Palestinian] behavior, or an incident or an event that was inconsistent with the process … the impulse was to rationalize it, finesse it, find a way around it and not allow it to break the process.

Holding the Palestinian leadership responsible for the failure of the Oslo process, Ross concluded, “I don’t believe that one can focus now on the solution. You have to focus on management and defusing of the conflict.”

However, last year, campaigning for Obama, Ross could be found declaring that “the Bush administration walked away from peace-making for more than six years.” Apparently, what Ross told me in 2001 to be impossible he now believes should have been tried ceaselessly since about that date.

What made Ross change his mind? Apparently, the notion that, while Arafat could not make peace, Mahmoud Abbas (“whose intentions, I think, are for peace”) and his cohorts can – and will – with U.S. support. The trouble is, precisely such supportive efforts were the sum total of the Bush Administration’s approach – and it proved a failure.

The Bush Administration accepted (over strenuous Israeli objections) the Roadmap peace plan in April 2003, which ordained immediate Israeli concessions and redeployments in response to untested Palestinian reforms. It pressured Israel into concessions – like the perilous abandonment of the Gaza/Egypt border. It engaged ceaselessly with a reshuffled pack of veteran Arafat loyalists — Mahmoud Abbas, Saeb Erekat, Nabil Shaath, Ahmed Qurei, with Salaam Fayyad later added to the deck — claiming these amounted to new Palestinian leadership.

This embrace of Arafat loyalists was not the result – Ross’ confidence in Abbas’ moderation notwithstanding – of the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s dismantling the apparatus of terror or the ending of the incitement to hatred and murder that feeds it. Terrorists are not jailed – in fact, Mahmoud Abbas explicitly ruled out doing that already in 2005, contrary to Oslo and the Roadmap. Glorification of terror within the PA remains the norm and Abbas himself has described wanted terrorists as “heroes,” publicly mourned dead terrorists (George Habash) and congratulated the families of living ones (Samir Kuntar) on their release by Israel.

In short, the logic of dealing with Arafat loyalists involves feigning ignorance of all this. Thus, George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice liberally showered Abbas and the PA with praise, money ($600 million of U.S. taxpayer’s money in Bush’s last year) and arms for undetectable moderation. Under Obama, all that has changed is the magnitude of the taxpayer funds remitted to the PA (some $900 million in 2009) and the volume of pressure applied to Israel to make concessions to it.

Ross served throughout the two Clinton Administrations as Middle East envoy. Where is he now? As of last month, he carries the unwieldy title of Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for the “Central Region,” having been quickly shifted from the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia brief he took up only months ago within Clinton’s State Department team. Whether this move presages increased or reduced influence for Ross remains to be seen.

But even assuming that Ross occupies a position of influence and authority, the question is: will he serve as a bridle on the Obama Administration’s heavy-handed tendencies to bully Israel, as in the present fracas over Israel building homes for Jews in Jerusalem or the West Bank? His own record affords little reason to think so.

On his conduct during the Oslo years, as he conceded in 2001, Ross did not call a halt to a policy of pressure on Israel and indulgence of the PA. But his record is longer than the Oslo years.

In 1992, for example, Ross and his State Department colleagues, wishing to prevent Arafat from boycotting upcoming peace talks, persuaded the George H. W. Bush Administration to strongly condemn Israel in the U.N. for expelling a dozen Palestinian ringleaders after a series of lethal terror attacks on Israelis. Then, as later, Palestinian terrorism was insufficient grounds for upsetting diplomacy that we now know led no-where but to bloodshed. And when last year Marty Peretz took Robert Malley to task for hostility to Israel, Ross joined Sandy Berger, Dan Kurtzer, Martin Indyk, Aaron Miller and other Clinton era advisers in indignantly repudiating Peretz’s critique.

In short, Ross’ is not the record of someone who will readily oppose pressure on Israel from within the inner sanctum of an Obama Administration if these get in the way of the latest ‘peace process.’ Liberal supporters of Israel like Alan Dershowitz who bank on Dennis Ross to provide a countervailing influence within the Obama Administration should take note.
Daniel Mandel is a fellow in history at Melbourne University, director of the Zionist Organization of America’s Center for Middle East Policy, and author of H.V. Evatt and the Establishment of Israel: The Undercover Zionist (Routledge, 2004).

The Operation in Gaza

27 December 2008 – 18 January 2009

Factual and Legal Aspects

July 2009


1. This detailed Paper discusses a range of factual and international legal issues relating to the military operation undertaken by the Israel Defence Forces (“IDF”) in Gaza in December 2008 - January 2009 (the “Gaza Operation”).

2. The Paper has been prepared at this time in order to place the Gaza Operation in its proper factual and legal context. On a number of issues the Paper offers only a provisional analysis as the IDF is still conducting comprehensive field and criminal investigations into allegations regarding the conduct of its forces during the Operation. Such investigations will be reviewed by the Military Advocate General and are subject to further review by the Attorney General. In addition, petitions may be filed for judicial review by the Supreme Court of Israel (sitting as the High Court of Justice).3. The Paper addresses the context of the Gaza Operation and notes that Israel had both a right and an obligation to take military action against Hamas in Gaza to stop Hamas’ almost incessant rocket and mortar attacks upon thousands of Israeli civilians and its other acts of terrorism. Israel was bombarded by some 12,000 rockets and mortar shells between 2000 and 2008, including nearly 3,000 rockets and mortar shells in 2008 alone. Hamas specifically timed many of its attacks to terrorise schoolchildren in the mornings and the afternoons. These deliberate attacks caused deaths, injuries, and extensive property damage; forced businesses to close; and terrorised tens of thousands of residents into abandoning their homes.

4. The Paper notes that Hamas constantly worked to increase the range of its weapons and that, by late 2008, its rocket fire was capable of reaching some of Israel’s largest cities and strategic infrastructure, threatening one million Israeli civilians, including nearly 250,000 schoolchildren. Hamas also orchestrated numerous suicide bombings against Israeli civilians and amassed an extensive armed force of more than 20,000 armed operatives in Gaza.

5. The Paper also describes the numerous non-military approaches Israel pursued to try to stop the attacks before commencing the Gaza Operation, including urgent appeals to the U.N. Secretary General and successive Presidents of the Security Council to take determined action, and diplomatic overtures, directly and through intermediaries, to stop the violence. Hamas nonetheless continued, and in fact escalated, its cross border attacks. These attacks included a raid into Israeli territory from Gaza in June 2006 and the abduction of an IDF soldier, Corporal Gilad Shalit, who, more than three years later, remains in captivity, having been held incommunicado without access to the International Committee of the Red Cross (“ICRC”) or any other international body.

6. In a detailed legal analysis, including a survey of the relevant legal principles and State practice, the Paper notes that Israel’s resort to force in the Gaza Operation was both a necessary and a proportionate response to Hamas’ attacks. While the IDF continues to investigate specific incidents during the Operation, the Paper demonstrates that Israeli commanders and soldiers were guided by International Humanitarian Law, including the principles of distinction and proportionality. These principles, enshrined in IDF training, Code of Ethics and rules of engagement, required IDF forces to direct their attacks solely against military objectives and to try to ensure that civilians and civilian objects would not be harmed. Where incidental damage to civilians or civilian property could not be avoided, the IDF made extraordinary efforts to ensure that it would not be excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage in each instance and as a whole. Both before and during the Gaza Operation, the IDF went to great lengths, as documented in the Paper, to ensure that humanitarian aid reached the Palestinian population, including by facilitating the delivery of 1,511 trucks carrying 37,162 tons.

7. By contrast, both before and during the Gaza Operation, Hamas committed clear grave violations of international law. The Paper documents Hamas’ deliberate rocket and mortar attacks against Israel’s civilian population, which violated the international law prohibition on deliberate attacks against civilians and civilian objects. It also documents deliberate Hamas tactics that put Gaza’s civilian population in grave danger. These included the launching of rocket attacks from within densely populated areas near schools and protected U.N. facilities, the commandeering of hospitals as bases of operations and ambulances for transport, the storage of weapons in mosques, and the booby-trapping of entire civilian neighbourhoods so that an attack on one structure would devastate many others. These actions, which are clearly shown in photographic and video evidence throughout the Paper, violated international law. Many of the civilian deaths and injuries, and a significant amount of the damage to property during the Gaza Operation, was attributable to Hamas’ tactic of blending in with the civilian population and its use of, or operations near, protected facilities and civilian property. The Paper also notes the direct injury and damage caused to Palestinians by the explosion of Hamas’ weapons factories and the falling of rockets short of their targets on Palestinians in Gaza.

8. The Paper addresses the acute dilemmas faced by Israel in confronting an adversary using its own civilian population as a shield. It details the extensive precautions taken by the IDF to avoid or limit harm to civilians in Gaza, while still having to achieve the necessary objective of stopping Hamas’ constant rocket and mortar fire on Israeli civilians and property. The IDF not only checked and cross-checked targets and used the least destructive munitions possible to achieve legitimate military objectives; it also implemented an elaborate system of warnings, including general warnings to civilians (through media broadcasts and leaflets) to avoid or minimise the presence of civilians in areas and facilities used by Hamas, regional warnings to alert civilians to leave specific areas before IDF operations commenced, and specific warnings (through telephone calls and warning shots to rooftops) to warn civilians to evacuate specific buildings targeted for attack. The IDF dropped more than 2.5 million leaflets and made more than 165,000 phone calls warning civilians to distance themselves from military targets.

9. In this Paper, Israel acknowledges that, despite the precautions taken, the Gaza Operation resulted in many civilian deaths and injuries and significant damage to public and private property in Gaza. Israel makes no attempt to minimise the human costs incurred. As former Prime Minister Olmert stated at the close of the conflict: “On behalf of the Government of Israel, I wish to convey my regret for the harming of uninvolved civilians, for the pain we caused them, for the suffering they and their families suffered as result of the intolerable situation created by Hamas.”

10. In analysing the legal aspects of the conflict, the Paper notes that civilian deaths and damage to property, even when considerable, do not necessarily mean that violations of international law as such have occurred. In particular, the principles of distinction and proportionality are only violated when there is an intention to target civilians or to target military objectives with the knowledge that it would cause harm to civilians that is excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage. Hamas’ deliberate attacks against Israel’s civilian population violated such standards and thus constituted a violation of international law. The IDF’s attacks directed against Hamas military targets, despite their unfortunate effects on Gaza’s civilian population, did not.

11. The Paper also gives a detailed account of Israel's efforts to coordinate and facilitate humanitarian relief and assistance to the Palestinians in Gaza. It also documents repeated Hamas abuses of these arrangements, including Hamas’ launching of attacks during humanitarian pauses and directed at crossing points, and Hamas’ hijacking and theft of humanitarian supplies intended for those in need.

12. The Paper also gives previously unpublished details of the multiple IDF investigations into allegations made by various groups that violations of the law were committed. IDF investigative teams are currently examining approximately 100 complaints, including 13 criminal investigations opened so far, and will examine more complaints if and when filed. The Paper sets forth the preliminary findings of some of the IDF field investigations, including investigations relating to allegations concerning 1) incidents where U.N. and international facilities were fired upon or damaged; 2) incidents involving shooting at medical facilities, buildings, vehicles, and crews; 3) certain incidents in which many civilians were harmed; 4) the use of munitions containing white phosphorous; and 5) destruction of private property and infrastructure by ground forces. It provides as much information as can be released with regard to the investigations currently underway without comprising the integrity and independence of these investigations.

13. The field investigations constitute only the preliminary stage of an extensive legal process. They are subject to independent review by the Military Advocate General, who may order the opening of a criminal investigation. The decisions of the Military Advocate General are subject to review by the Attorney General and may also be reviewed by the Israeli Supreme Court (sitting as the High Court of Justice). Israel’s system for investigating alleged violations, including its judicial review process, is internationally recognised as thorough and independent; its procedures and institutions are similar to those in other Western countries.

14. Israel deeply regrets the civilian losses that occurred during the Gaza Operation. But Israel has both the responsibility and the right under international law, as does every State, to defend its civilians from intentional rocket attacks. It believes that it discharged that responsibility in a manner consistent with the rules of international law. Israel is committed to a thorough investigation of all allegations to the contrary and to making the results of these investigations and subsequent reviews public when they are completed.