Monthly Archives: July 2014

Israel’s Use of “Disproportionate Force”

Shalom:

We have been hearing a lot lately about Israel’s use of “disproportionate force.” I would like to pose the question, What is “‘proportionate force?” Should Israel send unguided rockets into civilian areas of Gaza? Should it dig tunnels into areas near Gazan homes and try to kill and/or abduct the arabs living in the home and surrounding areas? Should its soldiers dress like Hamas “fighters” and try to kill members of Hamas and civilians? 

Some have claimed that while Hamas’ methods are lamentable, Hamas basically has no choice since they are fighting a much better equipped force. Hamas does have choices. Its tunnels can lead to military areas, not civilian homes. Its fighters can don uniforms so it will be easy to distinguish civilians from militants. It can store its armaments and weapons in areas other than schools, homes and mosques, and it can fire from less densely populated areas.

Furthermore, Hamas could have used the money and supplies it received to build houses and develop industry to strengthen the economy. However, Hamas, the ruling terrorist entity elected by the population, uses whatever resources it has towards the purchase and manufacture of military supplies and deep concrete tunnels. So Israel blockades Gaza to try to prevent the flow of military equipment and building material.

Moreover, had the Gazans wanted peace, they could have restarted the very profitable agricultural business that existed when the Jews were in Gaza, using the hothouses left by Israel. Their failure to do so and their election of Hamas to lead them shows that their main interest is confrontation, not coexistence. 

But let’s get back to the main point, “disproportionate force.” What did the United States do in Afghanistan post 9/11? Did it send a few planes? Did it hold peace process meetings with Al-Qaeda? Did it just ask for an international boycott of Afghanistan?

No. It sent over a hundred thousand troops to Afghanistan to fight the enemy. Do I fault them? Not in the least. When a small group, such as Al-Qaeda or Hamas, attacks a larger entity such as the United States or Israel, they can and should expect that these countries will do all they can to keep their citizens safe. America had had enough of Al-Qaeda’s terrorism and it set out to destroy it. One of a country’s main functions is to protect its citizens. Less is not acceptable. So yes, if a small entity attacks a larger entity it can be expected to feel the full force of the larger entity directed against it. The only example of disproportionate force I can conceive of is the use of nuclear or chemical weapons.

When a country’s citizens are forced to run to bomb shelters every few minutes, totally disrupting their lives and causing untold numbers of new PTSD cases; when people are loathe to step out of their homes for fear that they will be kidnapped or killed by terrorists popping out of a hole; then yes, it’s Israel’s duty to do all it can to end the terrorism. 

War is a nasty business. Unfortunately, civilians are often caught in the crossfire and many die as a result. In Afghanistan, for example, although almost 2200 US soldiers have died, the death toll for civilians is over 21,000.

Israel has tried to mitigate civilian deaths by warning residents of an area of immanent attack. No other army has ever done so. With all that, there have been many civilian deaths. The number would have been greatly reduced had Hamas cared enough about the safety and security of Gaza residents to build bomb shelters, rather than tunnels;  locate its armaments and tunnels away from civilian facilities; dressed its soldiers in uniforms so they could clearly be distinguished from civilians; shot from non civilian areas; and advised those in danger to leave their homes. 

Israel is fighting for its existence. Its enemies include Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist groups. But let’s not fool ourselves. Those, like Hamas and the other terrorist groups, who want Israel wiped off the map also hate the United States and other freedom loving countries. A less than complete victory by Israel is a victory for terrorists and the forces of evil worldwide.

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Categories: Anti Hamas Post, Gaza War, Hamas, Israel, Jewish, Jewish Blog, Middle East, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hypocrisy re Israel at the United Nations Human Rights Council

Shalom:

It is a well known fact that despite all the violations of human rights around the world, the United Nations seems to be preoccupied with Israel. Beginning in the 1960s, the Arab States and Russia introduced many anti Israel resolutions with the support of the Third World countries. In 1975 the UN adopted the” Zionism is Racism” resolution. This infamous resolution was not repealed until 1991.

The United Nations and its member agencies have continued their pattern of propaganda against the Jewish state. Sadly, one of the worst offenders is the body, created in 2006, charged with the equality and protection of Human Rights, the Human Rights Council (HRC). Its website claims that its mandate is “the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe.” 

In 2006, the Council passed a resolution calling for an annual review of Israel’s alleged human rights abuses and the appointment of an individual to report on the Israel Palestine problem. No other country has such a review or reporter.

Also in 2006,  Kofi Annan, then UN secretary-general, stated that the Council should not pay more attention to Israel than other nations, but should pay equal attention to violations by other countries. Needles to say, the Council did not heed him.

The UNHRC continues to single out Israel for alleged violations of human rights. As of 2013, Israel was condemned in 45 resolutions, almost as many as all the other countries combined. Myanmar was next with 10 resolutions. 

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, is critical of Israel and has called Israel’s response to rocket fire from Hamas “excessive.”

The UNHRC is composed of 47 nations, elected for three-year terms.  The current composition of the countries in the HRC is as follows: 26 Asian and African, eight Latin American, seven Western, and six Eastern European. 18 of the countries belong to an Islamic Organization. Current members include: such paragons of human rights as Algeria, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

The latest attack on Israel occurred on July 23, 2014 when the HRC voted 29-1 to authorize a commission of inquiry to investigate alleged Israeli abuses in Gaza. (The one vote against was cast by the United States. All 11 European countries on the Council abstained.) The resolution condemns “in the strongest terms the widespread, systematic, and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms arising from the Israeli military operations. ”

The HRC resolution also  “condemns all violence against civilians wherever it occurs, including the killing of two Israeli civilians as a result of rocket fire,” and calls for “an end to attacks against all civilians including Israeli civilians.” However, Hamas is not mentioned and, as of this date,  no commission of inquiry studying the human rights violations by Hamas will be established. So, it seems that according to the HRC, shooting rockets into civilian areas, housing rockets and ammunition on homes, schools and mosques and firing from these places, using human shields, kidnapping, building tunnels to attack civilians, etc. are not war crimes when committed by Hamas or its supporters.

To see first hand the absurdity that is the HRC,  spend a few minutes watching the Kafkaesque video of the Commission hard at work on this Israel National News link: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/183294#.U9ExHGv5qLs.email

What a farce!

As Israel is not a member of the HRC, it cannot ask that investigators study Hamas’ actions for human rights abuses. It falls to the United States to request that the UNHRC investigate Hamas for war crimes. If you agree, please call, email or write to the President asking him to do so. 

Phone Number: 202-456-1111; White House Email; or

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Another route is to contact your Senators or Congressional representatives and ask that they persuade the President to request an investigation of Hamas’ actions.

Categories: Anti Semitism, Gaza, Gaza War, Israel, Jewish, Jewish Blog, UNHRC, United Nations | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pro Israel Rally NYC

New York Stands With Israel Pro Israel Rally

Thousands Of Israel's Supporters Rally Across from the United Nations

Thousands Of Israel’s Supporters Rally Across from the United Nations

10,000 to 15,000 pro Israel supporters spent their lunchtime today attending a animated two hour pro Israel rally at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza opposite the United Nations.

Speakers included: Israel’s Consul General in NY, Ambassador Ido Aharoni, UN Ambassador Ron Prosor, U.S.Senator Chuck Schumer, Congressional representatives Elliot Engel, Steve Israel, Nydia Velazquez, Grace Meng, and Hakeem Jeffries, and local politicians and clergy. New York City’s Comptroller and Manhattan Boro President also addressed the crowd. New York City’s Mayor was not present.

Speakers stressed the right of Israel, as any country has, to defend itself from rocket attacks and tunnels and criticized the unfair and biased coverage of Israel’s actions in the war on Gaza.

Congressman Israel announced that over 100 members of Congress had sent a letter to the United Nations telling it not to investigate Israel’s actions in Gaza. “If you want to investigate Israel for alleged war crimes, give it up! Investigate Hamas instead.”

Congressman Engel criticized the media’s biased reporting of the Gaza war. The crowd cheered when he announced that he will introduce legislation to help Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

Congressman Jeffries eloquently pointed out that Israel lives in a dangerous neighborhood, and as such, needs to forcefully defend itself, since strength is the only thing that Israel’s neighbors understand. He energized the crowd by forcefully saying, “Israel has always prevailed and Israel will prevail this time too. Israel today, Israel tomorrow and Israel forever.”

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, the highest ranking elected city official present, urged the crowd to defend Israel on social media.

Other speakers pointed out the cowardice of Hamas military leaders who command their troops from the safety of fancy hotels in foreign countries. By contrast, Israeli commanders personally lead their troops. Furthermore, as Hamas “fighters,” aka terrorists, do not wear uniforms, the distinction between civilian and terrorist is blurred. Is a man who wears jeans and a t shirt, but fires a weapon, a terrorist or a civilian?

Hamas’ decision to use concrete to build underground tunnels, rather than houses and bomb shelters was denounced. While sympathy was expressed for the innocent civilians on all sides who have been killed, blame was placed on Hamas’ doorsteps for fighting from congested areas, instructing people not to heed Israeli military warnings, and using civilian buildings, such as hospitals, schools, and mosques as weapons storage facilities and points from which to shoot.

Speakers expressed thanks to the United States government and its people for their staunch support of Israel and the Iron Dome project.

The Maccabeats, a Jewish acapella group, entertained the crowd with a number of Jewish songs.

Attendees included Jews from all streams of Judaism, as well as many non Jewish supporters.

A small number of pro-Palestinians held a rally across the street.

Categories: Gaza War, Israel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Gaza Casualties

Shalom everyone:

Yes, we’re back from Israel. We returned shortly before the war began.

It’s with a heavy heart that I write this entry. Israel has been forced into yet another bloody confrontation with Gaza, the third in six years. Many lives have been lost.

When Israel voluntarily left Gaza in 2005, the hope was that the residents of Gaza would use the greenhouses Israel left over to continue the very profitable agricultural enterprise Israel had abandoned. This would have given Gaza a strong economy and, in all likelihood, resulted in peaceful relations between Israel and Gaza and a high standard of living for its denizens.

No sooner had Israel left, then rockets began to be fired into cities in Israel. Instead, of using the greenhouses, they were dismantled and the metal most likely used for rockets. To make matters worse, Gazans elected Hamas, a terrorist group, to govern the territory.

Hamas has stated time and time again that its aim is to destroy Israel. After gaining control, Hamas proceeded to manufacture and buy more sophisticated rockets which it stored in homes, hospitals, schools, mosques, etc. It then acquired concrete and steel and used them to create tunnels beginning in homes in residential areas of Gaza and ending in Israel. These tunnels were to be used to kidnap and kill Israelis and to obtain weapons. Understandably, Israel tried to keep tight control over goods brought into Gaza.

The current crisis was precipitated by the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers, presumably by Hamas, followed by the abduction and murder of an Arab teenager by extremist Israelis. However, the reactions of Israelis and Palestinians to these two murders is quite telling.

When the three boys were discovered dead, Israel combed Gaza looking for the kidnappers, and arrested some Hamas members. However,they were unable to locate the murderers. While Israelis grieved over the loss of the three teenagers, Palestinians rejoiced. They even pictured themselves on social networks smiling broadly and making a special three fingered salute.

When, several days later, news of the murder of the Palestinian teenager was announced, Israel said it would do all it could to capture the perpetrators.True to its word, a few days later, Israel arrested and imprisoned the murderers. There were no pictures of a joyful one fingered salute. Instead, many Israelis sent condolence messages to the boy’s parents and strongly condemned the murderers. Palestinians, even some who are Israeli citizens, rioted and participated in civil unrest.

When Hamas continued its rain of rockets on Israeli cities, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Israel had no choice but to attack Gaza. The Iron Dome defense system is not perfect and no country should be subjected to incoming rocket fire. The aerial attacks were followed by a ground invasion, as the rockets continued to fall and terrorists were now popping out of tunnels killing Israeli soldiers and attempting to infiltrate Jewish kibbutzim.

Whereas Hamas tries to kill as many Israelis as it can, Israel attempts to minimize deaths by dropping leaflets, and making phone calls warning residents to leave an area prior to shelling. Hamas, however, urges residents to stay. This has resulted in civilian deaths.
Gaza is densely populated and collateral damage from explosions have also killed and injured civilians, as have mistaken targets. These deaths are very regrettable and sad. But make no mistake. Hamas knew this would happen and counted on these deaths to elicit public sympathy for their cause, which, in fact, has happened. Israel has further tried to minimize deaths by setting up field hospitals to care for wounded Gazan civilians./p>

When bombs fall in Israel, sirens sound and Israelis run to bomb shelters. Gaza has no sirens or bomb shelters for its inhabitants, apparently choosing to invest its funds in rockets and tunnels. Its soldiers, intentionally, do not wear uniforms, making it difficult to distinguish between civilians and non civilians.

I believe that peace will come when, to paraphrase Gold Meir, Hamas will love its people more than it hates Israel. Hamas’ use of human shields is unforgivable, and its desire to drive Israel into the sea unattainable. Many lives would be saved if Hamas decided to alter its destructive aim and instead accepted Israel’s right to exist and worked to establish a lasting peace. The quality of life for Gazans would then increase significantly.

I am sure that many people living in Gaza do not wish to continuously battle Israel, but would rather live a normal, peaceful, life. If their voices and votes would drown out those of Hamas and other extremist groups, Gaza could truly be a place of peace and tranquility with a good life for all.

Categories: Anti Hamas Post, Gaza War, Israel, Jewish Blog, Pro Israel Post | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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