Sunday, December 11, 2016

Israeli security experts, assumptions, and the lessons of the the next missile war - by Jonathan Tobin

...This wouldn’t be the first time the assumptions of Israeli military leaders were mistaken—the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the 2006 Lebanon War being just two such examples. The lessons of the last and the next missile war don’t just apply to those tasked with defending the Jewish state against Hamas and Hezbollah. They also apply to those who would further burden its defense by the creation of yet another potential terrorist missile launching pad in the West Bank.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
09 December '16..
Link: https://www.commentarymagazine.com/foreign-policy/middle-east/israel/the-lessons-of-the-next-missile-war/

Israelis have slipped back into a degree of complacence about the missile threat from Gaza since the war in 2015. The same could be said about their level of concern about a repeat of the 2006 conflict with Lebanon in which the terrorist group rained down missiles on northern Israel. Due to the success of the Iron Dome anti-missile system developed with the United States and the devastating counter-attacks against both Hezbollah and Hamas by the Israel Defense Forces, the terrorist groups are believed to understand they have more to lose than to gain from another war. But assumptions are no guarantee, and the Israeli government and military may not be taking into account the increase in the arsenals possessed by their enemies or whether sufficient resources have been allocated to ensure adequate civil defense in the event of another war with either or both.

That was the conclusion of a recently published report by Israel’s State Controller about Operation Protective Edge — Israel’s counterattack against Hamas terrorists in 2014. It pointed out shortcomings in the government and army’s response to the war as well as the possible impact on future conflicts. Up to two million Israelis don’t have access to adequate shelters in the event of missile or rocket attacks. The country’s early warning system also was found to be faulty and may not be able to detect all possible forms of attack or give citizens adequate time to seek shelter.

After extensive re-armament campaigns financed in part by Iran, both Hamas and Hezbollah may now be in possession of so many rockets that Israel’s highly successful missile defense systems might be overwhelmed. Throw in the possibility that as a result of the Syrian civil war, Hezbollah may now be in possession of at least some of the Assad regime’s chemical weapons arsenal, and the report paints a potentially fearful picture.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A soldier’s father and his smartphone - by Michael Freund

...Days later, I continue to be thankful for that WhatsApp photo, and the message that it contained, because it leaves me brimming with optimism that even in an age when people are seemingly growing more self-absorbed, the valor and patriotic spirit needed to keep this country secure is alive and well. And I pray that the Guardian of Israel will keep each and every one of our soldiers safe, just as they do for us.

Michael Freund..
Pundicity/JPost..
08 December '16..
Link: http://www.michaelfreund.org/19447/soldier-father-smartphone

It was in the middle of the day when the WhatsApp arrived, accompanied by that familiar ring which indicates that someone, somewhere, has sent you a message.

In our eventful everyday existence, that charming little “ding” often serves as a form of soothing background music, one whose chime seems to fade in and out of our consciousness from morning till evening, reminding us that we are never truly alone or isolated.

But as the father of an IDF soldier, even the little sounds that emanate from a smartphone seem to take on a slightly more amplified meaning. After all, when your son is serving in an elite combat unit, undergoing rigorous physical training, and handling weapons that most of us see only when playing a video game on the Xbox, there is always that gnawing concern buried somewhere deep in your head that everything hopefully is, and will be, okay.

Hence, I find myself more attentive to the iPhone’s little hums and reverberations than I normally would, ever vigilant in checking to see who the sender of the message might be.

As much as I detest the manner in which people now commonly use their devices during meetings, posting to Facebook rather than engaging in conversation, or staring down at the screen as though entranced by a hypnotist’s glare, I cannot help but sneak a quick peak. What if it is my son the soldier who has contacted me? The other day, the message was indeed from him. I quickly opened it, as I always do, immediately relieved to see that he was fine and in good spirits. But unlike previous communications, this one included a special little bonus: a photograph of my son, taken by his friend, that is one of the most vivid and moving images I think I have ever seen.

There he was, in silhouette, sitting alone in his uniform on top of a mountain, wrapped in his tefillin and reading from a prayerbook, while the sun rose in the distance, bursting forth into the sky.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Surprise? BBC ignores latest Hamas terror infrastructure in Gaza civilian district - by Hadar Sela

...This latest evidence of Hamas’ efforts to reconstruct its terror infrastructure in civilian neighbourhoods has once again gone unreported by the BBC and audiences continue to be deprived of the full range of background information necessary for proper understanding of past or future Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip. On the other hand, BBC News did find the time and the column space this week to ensure that its audiences were made aware of some short-lived “guerrilla artwork” in Tel Aviv.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
09 December '16..

Over the past two and a half years the BBC has produced numerous reports from or about the Gaza Strip district of Shuja’iya, many of which have focused on the topic of structural damage resulting from the summer 2014 conflict between Israel and Hamas while playing down the issue of the terror infrastructure in that neighbourhood. For example:

BBC’s Reynolds in Shuja’iya: still no reporting on what really happened

“This is the Shuja’iya neighbourhood and the destruction here is immense. Wherever you look buildings have been either hit or they’ve got bullet holes in them. Windows have been blown out and there is rubble all around me. Israel’s army says it went against this neighbourhood because it believed that Palestinian militants were digging tunnels from here to go across the border into Israel and that those militant groups led by Hamas were also carrying out rocket strikes from here.” [emphasis added]

BBC’s ‘reporter in the rubble’ theme gets its own feature

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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The truly anti-democratic revolution that has occurred in Israel - by Evelyn Gordon

...however, The Purse and the Sword offers vital insight into a powerful institution that has been disfiguring Israeli politics and society for the last three decades and is still at it today. If you want to understand one of the most egregious and deeply embedded threats to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, Friedmann’s book is a good place to start.

Evelyn Gordon..
Analysis from Israel..
08 December '16..

In 2015, following lengthy negotiations, President Barack Obama concluded an executive agreement marking the accomplishment of a cherished policy goal: the nuclear deal with Iran known as the JCPOA. Also in 2015, after similarly lengthy negotiations, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu concluded an agreement realizing a long-cherished policy goal of his own: a deal enabling development of Israel’s largest natural-gas field by a private American company and its Israeli partner. Both agreements included a commitment by the respective governments to refrain from adverse legislative action over the next ten to fifteen years: in Obama’s case, action to reinstate nuclear sanctions against Iran; in Netanyahu’s case, action to alter the regulatory regime for natural gas to the disadvantage of the private energy companies.

As it happens, neither country’s executive branch has the authority to bind the legislature without the latter’s consent. But this didn’t trouble either the Iranians or the energy companies; they took it for granted that both executives would use all of the considerable power at their disposal to prevent such legislation, and that sufficed.

But what about the role of the third branch of democratic government, namely, the judiciary? That is where the two stories diverge. The Iran deal was never challenged in an American court. But in Israel, two left-wing opposition parties (Zionist Union and Meretz) and two nongovernmental organizations, alarmed by the encroaching specter of capitalist development, immediately petitioned the country’s supreme court (also known for some purposes as the High Court of Justice) over the gas deal—and won. The court struck down the agreement, saying the government either had to procure legislation enacting the prime minister’s commitment to regulatory stability or renegotiate the deal to exclude the commitment altogether.

A week later, speaking at a conference of the Israeli bar association, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked accused the court of wielding its power “irresponsibly” by intervening in “political and macroeconomic questions” that were better left to the elected branches. She also reiterated a longstanding pledge, in her role as head of the judicial-appointments committee, to seek the appointment of justices to the court who would respect the government’s “authority to act on political matters that don’t violate human rights.” For this effrontery, opposition members of the Knesset promptly accused her of undermining democracy and demanded her dismissal. MK Shelly Yachimovich of the Zionist Union, for instance, charged Shaked with “trying to destroy the legal system’s independence, intimidate judges, and threaten them,” adding that if this sort of behavior continued, “Netanyahu would no longer be able to boast that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.”

This was hardly the first time in recent years that domestic critics of Israel’s government have accused it of “anti-democratic” behavior that wasn’t actually anti-democratic at all. But such accusations have served to obscure the real anti-democratic revolution that has occurred in Israel over the last few decades: the judiciary’s steady usurpation of policy-making powers that were once reserved—as they still are in other democracies—for Israel’s executive and legislative branches.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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A Third Lebanon War? It will be the Last Lebanon War - by Vic Rosenthal

...Evil is growing stronger and good is retreating. Deterrence may put off the reckoning for a time, but unless something completely unforeseen happens, the day will come when our PM will have to give the order to save one nation by destroying another. I’m glad I’m not the one to do it.

Vic Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
09 December '16..

If I’ve learned anything in my relatively comfortable and placid life it is that despite my good luck, evil is real. Sometimes it grows and sometimes declines. Today it’s gathering strength.

Hezbollah came into being in 1985, as a response to the Lebanese Civil War, Western interventions, and the Israeli invasion and its aftermath. Its stated goals were the elimination of Western influence, the assertion of Islamic (Shiite) dominance over Lebanon, and the destruction of Israel, which its founders saw as a tool of the West and an ally of Lebanese Christians.

Its attitude toward Israel is shown by this snippet from an “open letter” published by its founders in a Lebanese newspaper:



The month-long Second Lebanon War in 2006 was fought by an IDF grown complacent from years of occupation duty and a leadership team (PM Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Chief of Staff Dan Halutz) who were only marginally competent. While Hezbollah suffered heavy losses and much Lebanese infrastructure was destroyed, Israel was unable to stop the heavy rocket fire on the northern part of the country, which continued until a UN-brokered cease-fire came into effect. 120 IDF soldiers and 43 Israeli civilians were killed, and as many as a half-million Israelis were displaced as a result of Hezbollah rocket attacks. Israel tried to destroy Hezbollah’s leadership both from the air and by commando operations, and failed to do so. UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which was negotiated by Livni to end the fighting, proved worthless in preventing Hezbollah from rearming and rebuilding military infrastructure. Wikipedia called the result a “stalemate,” and I agree.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Palestinian Talibans Versus the Biblical Narrative - by Yisrael Medad

...The incident is the second time vandalism has occurred within three months at the archaeological site against antiquities directly connected with Israeli heritage...This is not the first time that biblical treasures have been vandalized.

Yisrael Medad..
My Right Word..
08 December '16..

Are you incensed when you read about Orthodox Jews suspected of painting graffiti on churches and mosques?

Are you angry when you learn that in some cases even arson is involved?

Read this and let me know how you feel:-

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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Palestinian statehood? An idea whose time has passed - by Stephen M. Flatow

...There may be no solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in our generation; not all international conflicts have solutions. One thing has now become clear: a Palestinian state next to Israel is not the solution.

Stephen M. Flatow..
JNS.org..
07 December '16..

John Kerry and J Street are worried. They see their cherished dream of a Palestinian state slipping away.

Kerry's criticism of Israel at the Saban Forum Dec. 4 attracted a lot of attention. But the transcript of the U.S. secretary of state’s remarks reveals an important moment that the media overlooked. Just as he was about to denounce Israel's policies, Kerry suddenly turned to the audience and said:

"By the way, just let me ask a question. Raise your hands. I mean, I know some of you may not want to acknowledge, but how many of you believe in a two-state solution, believe two states is critical? Okay, it's the vast majority of people here. How many of you don't, are willing to say so? There's one hand up, one, two—maybe a few of you don't want to say."

Kerry is so worried that public support for Palestinian statehood is slipping away that he desperately sought affirmation from the obviously sympathetic audience.

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Stephen M. Flatow, a New Jersey attorney, is vice president of the Religious Zionists of America and the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered by Palestinian terrorists in 1995.

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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How Mondoweiss Defames Israel Without Really Trying - by Sheri Oz

...Dear reader: you tell me who you would rather apologize to: George Khoury, Yara Karmalawy, Susan Abulhawa, Julia Carmel . . . or the families of dead and maimed victims of a terrorist who crawled through the cracks?

Sheri Oz..
Israel Diaries..
07 December '16..

Mondoweiss apparently loves to write hate-articles about Israeli border security. I love to read their hate-articles because it means that my country is taking care of me. The article below was written last summer but I am republishing it here now because yesterday there was a report in the news of a pro-BDS activist trying to get into Israel and being detained at the airport and not admitted.

* * * * *

I am very sorry, George Khoury, that you had to suffer the indignity of being rejected at Ben Gurion Airport and, if your seemingly verbatim script of what transpired between you and the security agent (who you take to be a Shin Bet agent and why wouldn’t you, it sounds so grand to be interviewed by none other than the Shin Bet — a lowly airport security agent isn’t good enough for you) is true, then I do apologize for her rudeness.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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