International Cat Speculators Since 2006

Posts tagged ‘Israel’

Israel stops shipment

Well, it seems that the Gaza aid ships have been stormed. Sadly, lives have been lost.

Israel says its soldiers boarded the lead ship in the early hours but were attacked with axes, knives, bars and at least two guns.

“Unfortunately this group were dead-set on confrontation,” Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev told the BBC.

“Live fire was used against our forces. They initiated the violence, that’s 100% clear,” he said.

Organisers of the flotilla said at least 30 people were wounded in the incident. Israel says 10 of its soldiers were injured, one seriously.

A leader of Israel’s Islamic Movement, Raed Salah, who was on board, was among those hurt.

Audrey Bomse, a spokesperson for the Free Gaza Movement, which is behind the convoy, told the BBC Israel’s actions were disproportionate.

“We were not going to pose any violent resistance. The only resistance that there might be would be passive resistance such as physically blocking the steering room, or blocking the engine room downstairs, so that they couldn’t get taken over. But that was just symbolic resistance.”

Video from the takeover reveals several “peace sticks” that were used in peaceful hitting by the activists. Some news reports state that deaths occurred when those rounded up tried to peacefully grab weapons off the commandos in order to spray (what would have become) peaceful bullets all over their captors.

These people knew they were going to be boarded. I almost wonder if they carried any aid at all, since they knew carrying any would be a waste of time.

As the video shows, they certainly didn’t comply when boarded. Had they complied with orders, they might still be able to claim a peaceful protest, and their claims that they didn’t fire on the solders might have some weight.

I’ve seen enough of the websites these people run to know enough about them. They’re consumed with hatred – for capitalism, for the west, for Israel. To them, their cause is so just, they feel quite free to call their protest peaceful even if they’re burning buildings and shooting potentially deadly missiles at people.

Nonetheless, it’s still very sad.

Update: More at Pajamas Media

The Israeli government, after a short period of debate, decided that it will intercept the convoy as it has done with other ships heading for Gaza — enforcing the blockade established in 2007 in coordination with the Egyptians after the ascent of Hamas to power. The IDF announced that the ships will be stopped by the Israeli navy, boarded, and then escorted to Ashdod, where the cargo will be unloaded and then transferred to Gaza.

Following that announcement, the father of the kidnapped soldier made his offer.

He said he would give the convoy his stamp of approval and use his considerable moral leverage to pressure Israel to allow the convoy to continue to Gaza — if the organizers of the cruise agreed to make contact with his son:

Attorney Nick Kaufman, who approached the Free Gaza Movement on behalf of the kidnapped soldier’s family, told Ynet that he offered the flotilla’s organizers the family’s full support, provided that “in addition to their demand that Israel lift its blockade they will urge Hamas to allow the soldier to receive letters and food packages from his family and allow international organizations to visit him.”

According to Kaufman, he was referred to the movement’s legal counsel, who rejected the offer. “I thought this movement supports human rights, as it claims, but according to the reaction it seems that it is only interested in provocation and expressing support for a terror group that doesn’t really care about human rights,” said the attorney.

Indeed — depressingly, but unsurprisingly — the humanitarian commitment of those aboard the “Freedom Flotilla” does not extend to Gilad Shalit. It doesn’t even sound like they spent much time debating the offer. Almost immediately after the Israeli media announced that it had been extended, it was refused, in keeping with their support of a regime that has held Shalit for four years under conditions that violate international law.

So it’s looking more and more like this was intended all along. Certainly, the rejection of the offer from Noam Shalit was asking very little, and could have (if accepted) lead to the boats not being intercepted.

Interesting how the fact that Israel will pass the aid along anyway isn’t reported.

Shimon Peres Defends Israel

I saw this some time ago. It’s quite simply one of the most defenses of Israel you will ever see.

Full Netanyahu UN Speech

Netanyahu made a fantastic speech at the UN the other day. Some very good points about their pullout of Gaza and the UN silence at terrorist attacks directed at Israel.

Not PC and Liberty Scott have made some good comments.

Over seventy years ago, Winston Churchill lamented what he called the “confirmed unteachability of mankind,” the unfortunate habit of civilized societies to sleep until danger nearly overtakes them.

Churchill bemoaned what he called the “want of foresight, the unwillingness to act when action will be simple and effective, the lack of clear thinking, the confusion of counsel until emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong.”

I speak here today in the hope that Churchill’s assessment of the “unteachibility of mankind” is for once proven wrong.

I speak here today in the hope that we can learn from history — that we can prevent danger in time.

Amen to that.

Israel and Racism

Well, the defense for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is going full tilt. Their key defense is that he’s right, because on examination, Israel is in fact a racist state as he claims.

Well, that claim ignores a few facts. I thought these remarks were good at explaining that which our friends on the left constantly miss.

“Israel is not an apartheid state but Islam, as it is practiced in many countries today, is the world’s largest practitioner of gender and religious apartheid” said Dr. Chesler, who has written extensively on this topic for many years. Pointing to the hypocrisy of those who allege that Israeli society is racist, Dr. Chesler stated:

“The Muslim world is almost entirely ‘Judenrein,’ free of Jews, whose flight comprises the largest, untold refugee story of the Middle East and North Africa. The citizens of Israel come in all skin colors, practice all religions, speak many different languages of origin — and have all been absorbed at Israel’s expense.”

True, and many of those directly under fire have fled from regimes such as the USSR where their persecution is state policy.

But like they say, when there’s a finger pointing, there’s 4 pointing back. While Israel has legitimate reasons to put certain controls on Arab citizen (controls that still leave them some of the freest people in the middle east) the Arab worlds racism towards Jews is well documented.

But lets talk about Islam…

The thrust of her remarks, however, focused on Islamic gender apartheid; a topic that Dr. Chesler is personally familiar with and that was not addressed at Durban II. She shared with her audience her own experience of escaping from captivity in Afghanistan in December of 1961 while married to an Afghan Muslim man that she met in college. “What I learned in Kabul rendered me immune to the romanticization of the Third World or to the glamorization of tyrants that defined my generation of the 1960s and 1970s radicals and activists,” she observed.
She lamented the inferior status of women in Afghanistan and described how her experiences transformed her life. “Poor women were shrouded, they moved like ghosts in the bazaar, and they were forced to sit, quite literally, at the back of the public buses,” she said. Commenting that despite the injustices that women endured at that juncture in time, Afghanistan had adopted a more liberal political approach and was undergoing a modernization of sorts, she said the subjugation of women was in an era of “pre-Soviet and pre-Taliban” influence.The level of brutality against women in the modern Islamic world has grown exponentially according to Dr. Chesler. “In a sense” she said, “being born female is a capital crime in this Islamified and Jihadic era.” Besides being stoned and beaten, women in the Islamic world are also subjected to being genitally mutilated, blinded by acid attacks, beheaded, immolated and buried alive for the slightest infractions of Islamic law.”

Most recently, Dr.Chesler documented the heinous practice of honor killings of Muslim women in Muslim countries and the western world in the “Middle East Quarterly” and in her book “The Death of Feminism,” a seminal retrospective on the failings of the American feminist movement.

“Honor killings are a Muslim-on-Muslim crime, a collaboration of an entire family against their own female blood,” she said. Praising the United States and Israel as the most democratic, lawful and compassionate countries in the world, she castigated western academics, feminist activists and mainstream journalists for their multiculturalist postures and their refusal to speak out against the pernicious agenda of Islam, in fear of being labeled racist.
After looking at the facts, one is left wondering why so many on the left hate Israel with such a passion, and why they are so intent on appeasing and promoting the ideas of those that hate so very many of their core values.

Who treats Palestinians worse?

I wonder how many people realise that the Palestinians in Gaza and the West bank are not the only Palestinian refugees? I wonder if they have ever though about which is better off?

“Do you feel the Arab countries have betrayed the Palestinians?” I said. “They are treated like animals in Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria.”

“Yes, I know,” he said. “I wouldn’t say Arab governments are innocent. They are not doing what they should do. It is below the capacities that they have. Still, Israelis are the main enemy and the main source of suffering.”

“But Palestinians are treated worse by Lebanese than they are by Israelis,” I said. “Do you know about the conditions in refugee camps like Ein El Helwe?”

“They are not treated worse in Lebanon,” he said. “That is not possible.”

I blinked at him.

“I have seen these places myself,” I said. “The conditions there are vastly worse than they are here in Ramallah. It’s impossible to even compare them.”

“Here a pregnant woman cannot get to a hospital because of the checkpoints,” he said.

It’s possible the Palestinians in the West Bank have no idea how bad the refugee camps in other countries really are. Or they are so consumed with their own problems that they just don’t care. I do not know.

I’ll say this, though: Those refugee camps in Lebanon have been there for more than 50 years. The hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Lebanon are not allowed to live anywhere else unless they are Christian. (They aren’t really “camps,” by the way. They are urban, and they are sub-Dickensian slums.) And until last year, vehicles entering the camps were searched by the Lebanese army. Building materials were confiscated. The Lebanese didn’t want the Palestinians to get, you know, the wrong idea. If you want to know what those places are like, just imagine the worst slums you’ve ever seen. Then subtract all the modern building materials. Unspeakable doesn’t even begin to describe them.

Last year I interviewed Mohammad Afif. He sits on Hezbollah’s Political Bureau. I haven’t mentioned this until now because he has almost nothing to say but Hezbollah cliches. But he did say one interesting thing as a pre-emptive rebuttal to Abu Laila.

He told me I should visit Sabra and Chatilla and see how Palestinians in Lebanon live. I told him I already had, that it was clear to me that Palestinians are treated worse by Lebanese than they are by Israelis. He was stunned that I dared say that to him. But he quickly composed himself and said “Yes, you are right. I am sorry about that.”

So while the Lebanese won’t even let Palestinians have building materials after 50 years, Israel operates medical centers for them. Totten mused about these:

I tried to imagine how different this conflict would be if Hamas set up medical facilities for Israeli civilians wounded by Qassam rocket attacks. The very idea, of course, is absurd.

Yet absurdity is the order of the day whenever Israel is mentioned by the left.

Reply to Tim

Well, it seems that Tim has joined a conversation over at Ethical Martini.

I am highly amused at his descriptions of the respective blogs.

Tumeke’s mildly left-of-centre-ish in a libertarian pro-capital kind of way; Whaleoil is hard-right. Keeping Stock and SSGHML are variants of  some weird Christian intermediate thingy which both lean heavily rightwards.

My tagline (which alas does not show on this theme) is suitably updated!

He suggests this is a case of blog rankings rivalry. Here’s my reply. I’ve added a couple of comments in brackets.

Tim, my problem is this.

You are in this post promoting something, which taken to it’s end point will result in genocide.

We know where whipping up hatred towards jews ends up – we’ve seen it. Yet you seem to want us to sit there and pretend that “wiping off the map” half of all jews in the world is ok, but waterboarding 3 terrorists is not.

I can accept that your view on Palestine is different – it’s a complicated place. I differ from many of my readers in believing that one can oppose the Jewish state and not be anti-semetic. But I strongly believe you cannot believe in wiping Israel off the map without being fine with killing half of the Jewish race and hence being anti-semetic.

What I cannot accept is your description of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s raving lunatic comments as “all true”. They’re not, and they’re designed to achieve the same outcome as Hitler and you know it. Suggesting that NZ’s absence to hear him is somehow a US conspiracy is absolutely insulting and absurd. This guy has to be stopped, not encouraged. Yet you seem more concerned about criticizing the American press.

Now I have put in work on my own time to help you in YOUR stats. This is work I did NOT have to do, yet I have repeatedly offered it for nothing. I was quite prepared to put in the time to help you develop something where you could publish ranking daily if you wished, with no more than a single click of the mouse.

I’m sorry, but I have real problems doing something to help another human being who suggests opposing such racism and bigotry needs some sort of conspiracy. I have better uses for my time.

Worse, in my email to you, I stated “I will have to think about what to do with my own blog rankings.” Prehaps that wasn’t clear enough – consider them suspended.

Frankly, I couldn’t give a stuff about “who’s rankings are better – yours are. Mine are crap, it’s a formula which is totally absurd and I’ve never said anything different AFAIK. I published them to prove that it could be done faster, but now it’s a millstone and just gives me a headache twice a month.

I was going to call you a coward for commenting here without replying to my email, but since I didn’t comment on your post, that would be a fair cop.

The post on Whale Oil was, I admit a bit OTT in it’s conclusions. It was not that helpful and I’ll go on the record here that I had more than a little to do with it. Mea Culpa.

I was shocked at the way that the Gaza conflict divided some blogs, and the polarization that it created. I did not want to open that can of worms again, yet I cannot help a sinking feeling that New Zealand’s government is being abused for opposing the very guy who could easily start the next Holocaust.

And he’s doing it under the false pretence that Israel’s defensive actions are slaughtering of innocents indiscriminately – because any objective measure shows they are not.

Boycott Tumeke

Whaleoil isn’t happy with Tumeke! supporting Ahmadinejad.

Now, looking at the comments on the post in question we have this gem from Tim.

Tim Selwyn said… Scott: I want Israel wiped off the map too – wiped off the map, but not in the way the Jewish state has wiped the Palestinians off the map.

There are many times more Palestinians living today than when Israel was founded. Sure, they live in smaller areas – that’s due to their own stupidity in trying to wipe out Israel, a campaign they continue today.

In fact, their time of greatest prosperity and peace was when they were ruled by Israel directly. So if Tim want the opposite of that treatment, what is he asking for?

And he ends his rant…

The policy of people like Lieberman (who is now Foreign Minister of the Jewish State) is to herd the Palestinians into Jordan – what is that if not a policy of wiping Palestine off the map.

It’s called a “two state solution” – Jordan is after all, the Arab half of the old Palestinian Mandate.

Ah, but the second state has to come from Israel’s “bit”, and God forbid we ever take into account the bloodthirsty way that Israel has been attacked every day of it’s existence.

Tumke! seems to be very keen on getting rid of half of the world’s Jews, by excusing the inexcusable and encouraging Iranian state anti-semitism and racial hatred, not to mention their secretive nuklear program. Encouraging Iran at this point has only one end result – an new Holocaust.

I join the boycott.

The lies about Israel never let up do they?

Israel is the “Neighborhood Bully”, and must be abused at any opportunity for the evil things they do.

In recent weeks, both the NBC Nightly News and ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson repeated charges that Israeli troops had witnessed the deliberate killing of Palestinian civilians by fellow troops during the Gaza War. In recent days, the New York Times has informed its readers that, after investigation, the Israeli military concluded that the incendiary claims were untrue and that the soldiers in question had actually been repeating rumors rather than describing events they had witnessed. But so far, neither NBC nor ABC has updated their viewers on the story. And in the case of ABC, even though some of the allegations had already been debunked, as reported in the conservative Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, March 24, the original inaccurate accounts were still repeated two days later on the Thursday, March 26, World News.

What? It wasn’t true? I guess we just assumed that because of all the other reports that are out there, that this one was true too.

What’s that? They weren’t true either?

Well, looks like the damage is done.

As the Haaretz editorial points out, these are not stories Israel can ignore or dismiss. Israel’s own soldiers have no reason to lie about what they did.

Unless you call “advantaging the political left” a reason.

Michael J. Totten goes to Gaza

Anyone who comments on middle east issues should read Michael J. Totten’s blog.

He actually goes to the places that are in the news and shows what is happening first hand, bringing out angles that the MSM just doesn’t bother with.

His latest post is no exception.

The southern Israeli city of Sderot sits right next to the border with Gaza, and it is the target of choice for Hamas and Islamic Jihad’s Qassam rocket barrages. The first time I visited the city under fire was immediately after the Second Lebanon War in August of 2006. Israeli civilians were still on their way back to Haifa, Kiryat Shmona, and other urban areas that had been emptied of people when Hezbollah turned the northern sixth of the country into a free fire zone. Lebanese villages were still smoldering, and their dead were still being cleared from underneath rubble. Sderot, by contrast, seemed downright sedate even though rockets packed tight with metal fragments and ball bearings still fell from the sky every day.

The city had been under fire for years before I got there, but the barrages were tolerable, albeit barely. Sderot had never been abandoned. Its residents were never made into refugees. Only a handful of people had been killed by the time I first visited, and not even a dozen more have been killed in the meantime. It’s easy to callously ask “what’s the big deal?” I wasn’t remotely nervous when I showed up myself, and even many Israelis thought the attacks weren’t worth going to war over. That’s the main reason Hamas got away with it for so long.

Something changed in December of 2008, however. Suddenly Hamas found itself in possession of Grad rockets that can be aimed with much greater precision than the home-made Qassam rockets that make up the bulk of their arsenal. And Hamas fighters found that they could shoot those rockets much farther into Israel and strike the cities of Beersheva and Ashdod, as well as Ashkelon and Sderot.

“The shorter rockets, the improvised rockets, have a short range,” Major Chezy Deutsch told me. “So a smaller percentage of the population are under that threat. But when they can pull out new rockets and hit a new city, a city that up until now hasn’t been hit, the terror affect is much larger. People who, up until then, thought they were fine and didn’t have anything to worry about are suddenly within range of the threat. So it has a much larger effect than hitting Sderot again.”

What? They had a change in the situation? But I though “they just want to win the elections”!

Another idiotic talking point seriously dented.

But the question is, how many Israeli cities could now be within range?

Every major population center in the country would be under attack except Haifa. Yet Haifa is within Hezbollah’s rocket range out of Lebanon in the north. When Hezbollah fired its medium-size Katyusha rockets at Haifa in 2006, Haifa was on fire and emptied of people and cars. It was like a city at the end of the world. It’s possible, though very intolerable, to live under Qassam rocket attack. It isn’t possible to live long at all under Katyusha rocket attack.

So you can’t just empty the areas under potential attack – they’re all under potential attack. Israel is a small country, carved out of formerly desolate areas, beset on several fronts by people who simply hate them.

How much do they hate them?

Well, Israel set up a clinic to treat Palestinians.

I tried to imagine how different this conflict would be if Hamas set up medical facilities for Israeli civilians wounded by Qassam rocket attacks. The very idea, of course, is absurd.

“I wonder what Hamas thinks of all this,” I said to Rick Francona. “Do they even understand it?”

“They probably think it’s a trick,” he said.

Perhaps Hamas understands very well what it means that Israelis opened a clinic for wounded Palestinians. Perhaps they feel like it’s a different kind of threat altogether.

The Israelis had to close the place down. Only a handful of patients ever came through, which didn’t surprise me. I didn’t see any Palestinian patients there when I visited. Hamas didn’t allow their wounded to be treated by Jews.

There is so much more, read it all.

Saved by Israel, Killed by Hamas

Thing is, everyone knows Hamas treated their Palestinian brothers this way.

People lie to themselves about Israel, so they can pretend that they’re worse, even though that’s practically impossible.

HT: Whaleoil.

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