Sunday, October 14, 2007

And Now For Something Completely Different

Only in Sydney:
Captions welcome.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Some Things Never Change

This article from the Jerusalem Post:

The IAF raid in Syria during September was planned for several months and was postponed a number of times due to heavy US pressure, ABC News quoted American officials as saying on Saturday

According to the report, Israel presented US officials with satellite imagery which clearly shows North Korean nuclear technology in a Syrian facility. According to a US source, Whitehouse [sic] officials were astonished by the imagery and by the fact US intelligence had not picked up on the facility previously.
The only astonishing thing is that the White House officials should be astonished by the lack of US intelligence. (For more on the CIA getting things hopelessly wrong on WMD, read Tim Weiner's Legacy of Ashes.)

"Israel tends to be very thorough about its intelligence coverage, particularly when it takes a major military step, so they would not have acted without data from several sources," said ABC News military consultant Tony Cordesman.
Knowing that Israel is going to get a disproportionate criticism regarding its "disproportionate actions", its intelligence has to be disproportionately watertight.

A different source told ABC News that Israel had planned the strike as early as July 14, and in confidential meetings with high ranking US officials, debated over the appropriate response. Several officials supported Israel's decision to strike, although others, led by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, firmly opposed it and offered to publicly condemn Syria for operating a nuclear facility instead.

Who could have guessed that the State Department would oppose military action. Make that 'any action'.

US officials who initially opposed the raid, according to ABC News, apparently feared the negative influence it might have over the whole region. Consequently, officials in Washington persuaded Israel to push back the raid, but in September Israel feared that information about the facility might be leaked to the press, and went ahead with the strike, despite objections by Washington.

Since when did knocking out nuclear capabilities in the hands of Middle Eastern dictators have a negative influence on the region?

So there we have it. Israel wants to defend itself from a gathering storm. It clears the intelligence and intended response with its strategic ally. In return, it gets incredulity from the CIA, astonishment from the White House, fears and opposition from State Department and possible leaks to the media.

Yet again, Israel has to go it alone.

Is this then a prelude to the showdown with Iran?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Logic of a Peanut Farmer

Apologies in advance to my peanut farmer readers out there for the generalisation.

Ex-President Jimmy Carter weighs in on the Iran threat to Israel, via this AP article posted on Google News:

Former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday that it was almost inconceivable that Iran would "commit suicide" by launching missiles at Israel.
Like they would not attack their next-door neighbour Iraq during the 1980s.

Recall that this is the country that had keys made in Taiwan during the Iran-Iraq war for their own children to wear around their necks to open the gates of heaven as they marched across minefields to clear the way. (Read more about it here.)

Speaking at Emory University, Carter, who brokered the 1979 Camp David peace accord between Israel and Egypt, said Israel's superior military power and distance from Iran likely are enough to discourage an actual attack.

"Iran is quite distant from Israel," said Carter, 83. "I think it would be almost inconceivable that Iran would commit suicide by launching one or two missiles of any kind against the nation of Israel."

I was going to respond with this, but the Iranian deputy air force commander handled it for me.

Iran's deputy air force commander said Wednesday that Israel is within range of Iran's medium-range missiles and bombers and that Tehran would strike back if Israel "makes a silly mistake."

Need I say more. Err, yes, since Carter hasn't stopped digging:

Carter did not dismiss the idea that Iran might want to attack Israel, noting Iran's refusal to suspend uranium enrichment production despite two United Nations resolutions imposing sanctions on the country. Tehran insists its nuclear program is aimed at producing energy for civilian use but the U.S., its European allies and many others fear the program's real aim is to produce nuclear weapons.

"Obviously, we all hope we can do whatever we can to keep Iran from becoming a nuclear power," Carter said.

That is, do anything except that which involves a spine.

Carter said unease between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank is a far greater threat to Israel's security than Iran.

In a game of Middle East scissors-paper-rock, I think a nuke beats a suicide vest, Jimmeny.

He criticized the Bush administration for not doing enough to broker peace in the region.

"Doing enough" here translates to "doing appeasement".

Perhaps Carter suggests Bush take a leaf out of Clinton's songsheet with an Oslo reprise and offer up Israel on a plate to Arafat's terror successors, Hamas?

This Is How You Do It, Hans Blix

This from Jerusalem Post:

Soldiers from an elite Israeli unit captured nuclear material originating in North Korea from a secret Syrian military installation before IAF jets bombed it, a report by Britain's Sunday Times wrote Saturday night, quoting "informed sources in Washington and Jerusalem."

According to the sources quoted by the report, the alleged IAF attack was sanctioned by the US on September 6, after the Americans were given proof that the material was indeed nuclear related.

The sources confirmed that the materials were tested after they were taken from Syria and were found to be of North Korean origin, which raised concerns that Syria may have been trying to come into possession of nuclear arms.

The report said that the commandos, from the legendary General Staff's Reconnaissance Unit (Sayeret Matkal), may have been disguised in Syrian army uniforms. It also stated that Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who used to head the unit, personally oversaw the operation.

Israeli sources admitted that special forces had been accruing intelligence in Syria for several months, the report said, adding that evidence that North Koreans were at the site was presented to President George Bush during the summer.

Somewhat more effective than waiting at the front gate, while they drive the material out the back gate.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Credit Where Credit is Due

Readers of this blog know well that the ABC is monitored closely for its coverage of Israel and the conflicts in which it is embroiled.

So credit should go to David Hardaker - ABC's Middle East Correspondent. Hardaker has written an article called The art of Middle Eastern conspiracy theories.

It begins:

The reporter's job is to get the facts. Sounds simple enough, but try doing that in the Middle East.
It sounds like the start of an apologist's refrain for all the inaccuracies - inaccuracies that coincidentally appear in ABC's articles, but not in those of Jerusalem Post or Ha'aretz.

However, the article soon reveals a more honest streak:

Recently there has been a re-run of an old theory that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died not because he was a naturally ailing 75-year-old, but because he was poisoned.

The claims come from no less an authority that Mr Arafat's personal physician of 18 years, Dr Ashraf Kurdi.

The trouble is, the doctor has brought forth not an ounce of proof. All he has is a heap of suspicion about why he was not allowed to see Mr Arafat when the old leader was on his deathbed in Paris three years ago.

But Dr Kurdi is far from alone. Most Palestinians simply assume the poisoning story to be indisputably the truth, and that of course it is Israel's secret service, Mossad, that did the job.

The "Arafat was poisoned" story is but the latest in a long line of lurid conspiracy theories in the Middle East. In some ways, it is its own art form.

The editor must have been asleep at the wheel. How else to explain how this one got through?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Missing Wing

This ABC news article is over a week old, but it was interesting to observe (emphasis added):

Netanyahu re-elected head of Israel's Likud

Israel's former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been re-elected leader of Likud, cementing his grip on the main right-wing opposition party currently running ahead in opinion polls.
Likud = right-wing. Everybody clear?
Mr Netanyahu won 73.2 per cent of the vote, while his extreme right-wing challenger Moshe Feiglin gained 23.4 per cent and the little known third candidate Danny Danon 3.4 per cent, official results showed.
Feiglin = extreme right-wing. All clear on that one?
At present Bibi, as Mr Netanyahu is known in Israel, and Likud are topping opinion polls, capitalising on a slide in ratings of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's centrist Kadima because of last year's inconclusive war in Lebanon and a string of scandals involving senior government officials.
Kadima = centrist.

Looks like a pattern now: we get an adjective to describe the political slant of every Israeli political party.
Mr Netanyahu is the public's first choice to be Israel's next prime minister - 36 per cent favoured him in a recent opinion poll, compared with 8 per cent for Mr Olmert and 22 per cent for formerpPremier [sic] and current Defence Minister Ehud Barak of Labour.
Labour = ?

Aren't we missing a wing here, ABC?

I Hope I Am Wrong

In mid-September, General Petraeus will report back to the US Congress on the progress -or lack thereof - in Iraq, using a number of benchmarks.

At least one consideration is the state of security and level of terrorist violence in Iraq.

Already, some have suggested that al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) will try a Tet Offensive tactic, possibly in the form of a mega-suicide attack. The intention would be to sway public opinion in the US that the military should be withdrawn.

In this context, comes this article from Reuters:

Thousands of Shi'ite pilgrims set off for Iraq's holy city of Kerbala on Sunday, demonstrating their political power but aware of the threat of bomb attacks ahead of one of Shi'ite Islam's holiest days.
I hope I am wrong, but the timing is ominous.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

How Cool Is This?

Invited to guest blog at Israellycool for this week, an initial contribution based on Dore Gold's opinion piece.

How cool? Israellycool.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Blood Libel is Quicker Than Mortar

The ABC recently reported on their news website the following article:

Two children killed in Gaza blast

Posted Tue Aug 7, 2007 6:23pm AEST

Two Palestinian children have been killed in the northern Gaza Strip after an Israeli shell they were playing with exploded, witnesses and medics said.

Siblings Wissam and Hala Kafarne, eight and six years old respectively, died when the shell exploded inside their house in the northern town of Beit Hanun, near the border with Israel, they said.
The article then morphs into a curious description of the evacuation of Israelis from Hebron using the term "ultra-nationalists" to describe the protestors. Such a term is never used by the ABC to describe any Palestinians from Fatah, but that is another story.

At the bottom of the article it is credited to AFP, Agence France Presse, the news wire service.

So for the ABC, it is an open and shut case. The Palestinian witnesses and medics, upon whom the ABC have always relied for accurate descriptions of water poisoned by Israelis, Zionist death rays and the like, can now categorically and instantly tell incoming the origin of an explosive package. These witnesses and medics have incredible talent in forensics.

The ABC has no reason to be skeptical of this instance of the blood libel: Israeli weapons kill Palestinian children. The only twist this time is that it was an unexploded shell that tragically became "exploded", rather than say a soldier aiming at an innocent child in the midst of a battle with terrorists, as Israeli soldiers are want to do when trying to defend themselves. According to the ABC.

Jerusalem Post, on the other hand, were not so quick to jump to conclusions when reporting the incident:
Witnesses said a group of children stumbled upon a homemade rocket or a mortar shell and began playing with it.


No Palestinian group blamed the IDF for the explosion.
The "homemade rocket" and lack of blame on IDF by Palestinians seems to missing from the ABC version of the story. How bizarre.

It gets better.

Ha'aretz now have more information in an updated version of events in their coverage:
Qassam rocket fired at Israel kills two children in Gaza Strip

A Qassam rocket fired by Palestinian militants struck the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday, killing an eight-year-old boy and his six-year-old sister, and injuring five other children.

The rocket, fired at Israel, fell short and hit the children's house in the village of Beit Lahiya. No group claimed responsibility.


The Associated Press had earlier quoted witnesses as saying the blast was the result of the children playing with a homemade rocket or a mortar shell that they had stumbled upon. It is not uncommon for Qassam rockets fired at Israel to land inside the Gaza Strip.
There was doubt about the source of the explosion from the outset, but not in the ABC's version.

When the doubt was cleared, it was entirely the opposite of what the ABC originally reported.

Palestinian "militants" caused the death of their own children, but
the ABC, along with their news wire of choice, AFP, have reported the incident 180 degrees out of sync with the facts. And have not corrected it.

What started most likely as an error in reporting - due in part to an anti-Israel pro-Palestinian lens - has now become a wilful distortion of the truth in their failure to amend the falsehoods.

The ABC have been quicker to spread a blood libel than the speed of an incoming Israeli mortar shell. A shell that never was.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Power Points

Powerline is an impressive blog run by three very switched-on American lawyers: John Hinderaker, Scott Johnson and Paul Mirengoff.

A recent posting titled Israel: The outside story comes from Scott who recently returned from a visit there.

Obviously taken with the country, Scott writes:

Israel is a vibrant country without peer in ways that Americans would appreciate if they were aware of them. Yet as a result of Israel's depiction in the mainstream media, Israel's image in the United States and elsewhere inverts reality. Given the war we are in and Israel's status as one of America's crucial allies, it is important that we begin to get the story straight. Let me take just a few examples that occur to me as I reflect on our visit to Israel this week.
Scott then lists four points - four "images" of Israel through the mainstream media lens - and responds to each of them by providing the reality.

Read the post in full by clicking here.

It's well worth it.

UPDATE: Pajamas Media must read this blog. They picked it up too and posted about it.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Should Mainstream Media Reflect Reality?

Is this something that has been shown on your ABC, SBS or commercial TV station?

Is this something that has been reported in your newspaper? On the mainstream media news websites?

Should it be?

(Hat tip: Dan L)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

One Year On. Lest We Forget.

Just over a year ago, Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit was kidnapped from within the borders of Israel. Hamas were responsible for the kidnapping of Schalit by digging a tunnel under the border between Gaza and Israel and encroaching Israel's sovereign territory in an unprovoked attack.

Not long after, and in similar circumstances, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were kidnapped by Hizballah inside Israel's internationally recognised borders near Lebanon.

Israel did what it could to rescue these young men, which escalated to the point of going to war with Hamas in Gaza and Hizballah in Lebanon

Nothing has been heard from them for over a year. The Red Cross has not been given access to them. No word for their family and friends to provide any comfort. Let alone the fact that kidnapping soldiers from sovereign terrority in an unprovoked attack contravenes the laws of war.

This blog has mentioned the three kidnapped soldiers a number of times, including here, here and here.

This morning, in central Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, a rally was held by the Sydney Jewish Community to remember these three young men, and to demand their release.

People initially gathered in Martin Place.

A poster for each kidnapped soldier: Udi (Goldwasser) and Eldad (Regev).

One for Gilad (Schalit).

And also remembering the many other kidnapped Israelis over the last twenty-five years.

Soon after, the rally group - probably around one thousand in number - made their way down Macquarie Street towards Hyde Park.

Plenty of signs all with a common message. The soldiers should be set free.

Not sure about this one.

Peace as an end, yes. As a means, not until it is offered and committed to first by Israel's neighbours.

Am Yisrael Chai!

Images evoke thoughts of the crossing of the Red Sea.

The police kindly parted the sea of cars and traffic, since Moses wasn't available.

Video of the rally attendees entering Hyde Park.

More signs.

Assembling in Hyde Park.

In front of the podium, adorned with the signs carried from Martin Place.

Yet more signs. This one making it real just how long these men have been held hostage simply because of someone else's hatred.

Plenty of the lay leaders of the community were there. Jeremy Jones, former president of ECAJ.

Ron Wiseman (Vice President of the State Zionist Council of NSW) opened the proceedings.

The Australian flag always stands proudly and prominently at such rallies.

And so does the Israeli flag.

Religious leaders were also there, including Rabbi Benzion Milecki.

Recognition was given to religious leaders of other non-Jewish communities later in the rally, to the sound of a very appreciative audience.

A Zionist Youth Council representative spoke in more depth about Gilad Schalit, a shy yet determined man who didn't have to join a combat unit due to a low health profile but wanted to do his part in defending the country.

She is probably around the same age as Gilad.

The Australian Union of Jewish Students representative told the crowd more about Ehud Goldwasser, and his family and friends who impatiently wait for his return. And his love of pets, including two cats and a stray dog.

A representative from one of the Jewish day schools spoke about Eldad Regev. A confident young man who is accomplished in more than one sport.

These short speeches probably personalised the kidnapped men more than any of the mainstream media have done collectively in the previous twelve months.

The crowds' thoughts were on the three young men.

And their prayers.

Waverley Mayor George Newhouse gave an excellent, thought-provoking speech.

Here's a video excerpt from this speech:

George went on to contrast the efforts of the Western world to obtain the release of BBC journalist Alan Johnston with the silence about these three men.

Next was Anthony Roberts, MP for Lane Cove and Parliamentary Secretary to the NSW Opposition Leader.

A video excerpt from this speech.

He gave a strong speech, re-affirming the bipartisan support to the State of Israel, and the demands by all Australians for the men to be returned.

The crowd sang O'se Shalom Bim'romav.

Sung in solidarity and comfort with others.

A moving speech from former soldier and Hineni Shaliach, Chagay Meyer.

Chagay served in the same location alongside the unit that lost Gilad. He saw Gilad's kitbag on the bunk bed and wondered how the unit and all soldiers could go on. The answer came from an officer: because of what all my fellow soldiers and Israelis would do if I was in the same situation as Gilad.

Former Zionist Federation of Australia president Ron Weiser, now on the board of governors for the Jewish Agency, spoke next.

Ron made a powerful case for the outrage Israelis and Jews around the world should feel about the kidnappings, and our determination to demand their release, and the defense of the State of Israel.

The rally closed with a prayer in Hebrew and English given by the Habonim Shaliach and Vice President of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies respectively.

And the two national anthems, sung by a young Australian Jew.

Here's an excerpt of the Australian national anthem being sung by the crowd.

And the Israeli national anthem.

May these three men - along with the other missing Israelis - be returned to their families soon.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

When Is An Occupation Not Newsworthy?

According to the ABC, when Syria occupies Lebanese land.

This article from Bret Stephens in Opinion Journal:

As of this minute, Syria occupies at least 177 square miles of Lebanese soil. That you are now reading about it for the first time is as much a scandal as the occupation itself.

The news comes by way of a fact-finding survey of the Lebanese-Syrian border just produced by the International Lebanese Committee for U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559, an American NGO that has consultative status with the U.N. Because of the sensitivity of the subject, the authors have requested anonymity and have circulated the report only among select government officials and journalists. But its findings cannot be ignored.

In meticulous detail--supplemented by photographs, satellite images, archival material and Lebanese military maps predating Syria's 1976 invasion (used as a basis of comparison with Syria's current positions)--the authors describe precisely where and how Lebanon has been infiltrated.
Near the conclusion, Stephens opines:
It would also be nice to see the media report this story as sedulously as it has the controversy of the Shebaa Farms.
So how does our ABC stack up as one of the media?

A search of their website for the term Shebaa Farms yields 24 articles.

The ABC's Lebanon articles do not mention anything to do with Syria's occupation of 4% of Lebanon's sovereign land.

Looks to me like a 24-0 drubbing.

Perhaps the ABC doesn't necessarily report NGO declarations?

That rule doesn't seem to apply when it's an NGO declaration smearing Israel:
Israel, Lebanon 'ignoring war crimes'

Two major human rights groups say Israel and Lebanon have failed to act on war crimes committed during the war that broke out a year ago.

In scathing reports, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have both called for an arms embargo on Israel and the Hezbollah Islamist guerrillas until steps are taken to ensure human rights violations are not repeated.
Set aside the fact that the ABC confusingly interchange Hizballah with Lebanon in the article.

It does appear that an inconsistent set of rules apply to what the ABC considers newsworthy.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Hamas Justice Needed or Already Delivered?

In one of those "you couldn't make this up" situations, check out the two most recent palestinian-territories news articles on the ABC News website:

Hamas creates 'judicial committee' in Gaza

Islamist movement Hamas has announced the formation of a judicial committee whose work will be to administer justice in the Gaza Strip, which they took over last month.

Hamas' Executive Force militia spokesman Islam Shahwan says the committee was formed to "overcome the paralysis in the judicial system since the June 15 takeover".


It was not immediately clear whether the committee will base its procedures and rulings on existing Palestinian legislation, employ Islamic law, or use a mix of both.

'Tortured' bodies found in Gaza

Medics say the bodies of three women bearing signs of torture have been found in a street in the central Gaza Strip.
Will Hamas 'justice' get to work in punishing the perpetrators of this barbaric act or is the fox guarding the chicken coop?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Double Crossing Standards

Melanie Phillips takes up where this blog left off in an earlier posting concerning Gaza and the crossings.

Her lengthy posting is titled Guns and Butter, which discusses the looming humanitarian disaster awaiting Gaza supposedly because Israel is not allowing food through the crossings.

For those with a long enough memory, this warning of a looming humanitarian disaster comes on the heels of prior warnings of looming humanitarian disasters in Gaza.

These warnings were given by various interested parties (Hamas, UN staff, NGOs, fellow travellers) blaming Israeli actions. For example, 'the occupation', checkpoints, boycotting Hamas after their election win, last summer's conflict after Corporal Gilad Schalit's kidnapping
to name a few.

Phillips really hits it out of the park (that's 'a six' for Aussies and Brits, and 'a home run' for Americans) about halfway through her piece:
So while Gazans are reportedly starving in a humanitarian crisis (caused by the fact that they themselves are preventing the arrival of food and essential supplies) they are nevertheless managing to supply themselves at the same time with ‘import’ dimensions of weapons with which to murder Israelis (and each other). And how are they managing to do this, since the crossing point from Israel is shut? Why, across the other border with Egypt (despite the fact that that crossing point is also officially shut). So if they can import the means to kill people from Egypt, why can’t they import the means to feed them by the same route? Why aren’t Mr Erlanger, the York Times, the UN and all the rest of them demanding that Egypt ensure that essential supplies go through? Why isn’t Egypt being accused of turning Gaza into a ‘prison’?
With that in mind, how timely is it to see Ha'aretz report the words of the one and only Palestinian spinmeister Saab Erekat:
Palestine Liberation Organization chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said over the weekend that all options must be examined for resolving the issue of thousands of Palestinians stranded on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing.


Erekat said he personally asked Egypt's Assistant Intelligence Chief Mohammed Ibrahim to reopen the crossing, saying his request was denied on the grounds that Egypt cannot reopen the crossing without Israel's consent.
Erekat blames Egypt. Egypt blames Israel. Nothing unusual so far.

Until one reads the next couple of paragraphs:
On Tuesday, however, Haaretz reported that Palestinian sources said PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas asked Israel and Egypt to prevent the movement of people from Egypt to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing, after Hamas' mid-June takeover of the coastal strip.

The sources said that Abbas said if the crossing is opened, Hamas will be able to let in thousands of people without supervision into Gaza - including activists who could strengthen the group, which rival Abbas' Fatah movement.
So for Hamas, weapons to kill Jews trumps food for its own people.

Whereas for Abbas, stopping Hamas trumps food and his own people.

But for the UN, the New York Times and Australia's ABC, it still remains Israel's fault.

Why Terrorism Works - Part 1

Via Little Green Footballs, this Jerusalem Post article:

Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday the international diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East should find some way to talk to Hamas.

“I don’t think you can just cast them into outer darkness and try to find a solution to the problems of the region without taking to account the standing that Hamas has in the Palestinian community,” Powell said in a radio interview.

He said Hamas, which controls Gaza, is not going away and enjoys considerable support among the Palestinian people.

“They won an election that we insisted upon having,” Powell said. “And so, as unpleasant a group they may be and as distasteful as I find some of their positions, I think through some means, the Middle East Quartet ... or through some means Hamas has to be engaged.

Terrorism works, because the will of the West does not outlast that of the terrorists.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Terrorism Deterrence?

Via Tim Blair's website, brutal methods employed by British prisoners:

LONDON (Reuters) - A man serving 30 years in jail for planning "dirty bomb" attacks in Britain and plotting to blow up U.S. financial institutions has been scarred for life after an attack in prison, his lawyer said on Monday.

Dhiren Barot, 35, considered by British and U.S. officials to be one of al Qaeda's most senior operatives in Europe after admitting conspiracy to murder last year, suffered a "horrific assault" last Friday, according to his lawyer Muddassar Arani.

She said a prisoner at the maximum security Frankland Prison in Durham had thrown boiling water on Barot's back which had led to a "physical punch up". Later while attending to his burns, another inmate poured boiling oil over his head.

"Eesa (Dhiren) Barot has suffered various burns to his hands, forehead, head, neck and back. Eesa Barot as a result of the boiling oil having been poured over him has lost all of his hair," Arani said in a statement.

"Barot is suffering from extensive pain and has been scarred for the rest of his life."

Crude and unlawful. But probably more effective than ordering cabinet ministers to not utter two words in the same sentence.

Makes Gitmo seem like a holiday camp.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hamas, The UN And The ABC

Hamas has decided that avoiding the purchase of fruit and vegetables from Zionist pigs and monkeys is more important than the health of the general populace in Gaza.

From Jerusalem Post:

Hamas's Finance Ministry on Monday barred Israeli fruits and vegetables from entering the Gaza Strip on Monday, according to the spokesman for the Fruit Growers Association.

The move is likely to cost Israeli fruit growers NIS 3-5 million a day, according to the association.

The Hamas decision will also make it harder for Palestinians to keep fruits and vegetables in their diet, particularly those items not grown in Gaza, according to Shlomo Dror, spokesman for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.

This is yet another example of Palestinians - Hamas members in this case - readily sacrificing the well-being of their own for attempted political gain.

How long before we see a headline on the ABC news website to the effect that 'Israel stops delivering fruit and vegetables to Gaza', with the reason buried deep within the article, if at all?

But more interestingly, the article continues (emphasis added):

Upon hearing that Palestinian private contractors on the Gaza side of the Kerem Shalom crossing planned to adhere to the prohibition, Israeli businessmen did not send out the scheduled 60 trucks of produce, Dror told The Jerusalem Post. The fruit and vegetable ban is the latest in a set of anti-Israel moves by Hamas, including continued mortar fire on the crossing, to keep Kerem Shalom closed.

On Saturday, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said, "We are against opening the Zionist-controlled crossing of Kerem Shalom." He added that its use was part of a conspiracy by Israeli and pro-American Fatah leadership in Ramallah against the Palestinians in Gaza.

Setting aside the tin-foil hat conspiracy spouted at the end of the above paragraphs, it's worth revisiting this article on the ABC's news website:

Israel fails to stem Gaza food crisis: UN

Aid agencies say food stocks could run out in the Hamas-held Gaza Strip within two weeks, creating a major humanitarian crisis if Israel does not ease a cargo blockade further.

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) says goods can only trickle through Kerem Shalom crossing, whose capacity is 15 trucks a day.

The words 'fails' and 'cargo blockade' directly accuse Israel as being the perpetrator. Spoken by the UN. Transcribed by the ABC. Written by Hamas, perhaps?

And yet, we now have direct from the mouth of the Hamas spokesman undeniable proof that they wish the Kerem Shalom crossing closed. It is reasonable to assume that Hamas applies the same Zionist-controlled label to the other crossings and wishes them closed too.

The UN have been dishonest in accusing Israel when it is clear that Hamas is the reason the crossings are closed.

This is not surprising, for the UN World Food Programme is more likely to side with the enemy of Israel. Every other UN-affiliated committee, council and organisation does, so why would this one be different?

The ABC - in its continued fawning to everything blue-helmetted - has either been fooled yet again or knowingly complicit in this falsehood.

Unfortunately, this is also not surprising. Not the first time, and unlikely to be the last.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Everything You Need To Know About Hamas In 2 Minutes

Friday, June 22, 2007

Great Man Lost

Ha'aretz reports on the death of Israeli journalist Ze'ev Schiff:

Hundreds of friends and family members paid their final respects to military commentator and Haaretz defense editor Ze'ev Schiff, who was laid to rest Wednesday at the Kiryat Shaul cemetery in Tel Aviv. He died Tuesday night in Tel Aviv at the age of 74.

To his many friends, Schiff was known as Wolfy. To his readers in Israel and the world, he was a brand name, a guarantee for reliable information and authoritative analysis. More than anything else, Schiff was the quintessential Israeli military correspondent.
A great man. A great loss.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Summer War 2007

Has it started?

From Jerusalem Post:

UN peacekeeping force in South Lebanon (UNIFIL) called Sunday's Katyusha rocket attack from Lebanon into Israel a "serious breach" of cease-fire, and urged all parties to exercise maximum restraint.

"Today's rocket attack from south Lebanon is considered a serious violation of Security Council Resolution 1701 and serious breach of cessation of hostilities agreement," said Yasmina Bouziane, a spokeswoman for the UN Interim Force in Lebanon.

The UN reaction coincided with a demand by a high ranking IDF officer in the Northern Command that UNIFIL take action and fulfill its mandate to prevent further attacks into Israel's sovereign territory.

Earlier Sunday evening, four Katyusha rockets were fired on Kiryat Shmona, causing damage but no injuries.
The Southern Front has Gaza turned into Hamastan, which could resume firing Qassams at any time, and possibly augment them with longer-range rockets smuggled across the Egypt-Gaza border.

The Northern Front now has Hizbollah (or was it a pro-Syrian terrorist group?) firing Katyushas into Israel.

It is always difficult to differentiate between sporadic attacks and the onset of a full-scale war.

But it's a pressure cooker around Israel waiting to explode.

For the benefit of the Six Day War revisionists, that's explode inwards, rather than outwards.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Another Few Hundred Converted (Part 3)

Via Little Green Footballs, a photo from Yahoo:

Palestinians run as they try to cross to the Israel side at the Erez Crossing, in the northern Gaza Strip, Saturday, June 16, 2007. Dozens of Palestinians converged on the Erez crossing with Israel on Saturday, trying to leave the Gaza Strip following Hamas' takeover.
So much for Israel being evil Zionists. Faced with the prospect of a Hamas-run Gaza, these Palestinians - presumably aligned to Fatah in some way - choose the relative safety of Israel.

Why is that?

So Israel withdraws from Gaza. Palestinians vote in Hamas with their new-found freedom. Hamas (Islamofascist terrorists) and Fatah (secular nationalist terrorists) kill each other. Hamas eventually defeats Fatah in Gaza. And with it, so goes freedom for the Palestinians.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Another One Converted? Part 2

Reuters reports on more Palestinians, grateful to Israel, albeit temporarily (emphasis added):

For most Palestinians, black-hooded gunmen have long been respected symbols of resistance against Israeli occupation.

Now, frequent internal fighting and lawlessness gripping the Palestinian territories have transformed the militants into no more than gangsters in the eyes of many of those who once saw them as heroes.

"It's very ironic but I'm relieved the Israelis have started a bombing campaign. The gunmen killing each other on the streets were forced to go into hiding," said Mai, a Gaza housewife, referring to strikes aimed at halting rocket attacks on Israel.
Further on in the article:
[Fatah Legislator Nasser] Jum'a said ordinary Palestinians were so fed up with the armed groups "they now wish the Israeli occupation would take over in Gaza or hope for the return of Jordanian rule in the West Bank" to get rid of them.
Jum'a's life expectancy just went dramatically southward.

The article continues later on:
In a poll conducted by the Palestinian independent pollster NearEast Consulting in the West Bank and Gaza in May, 70 percent of those surveyed said they feel more insecure since Hamas came to power last year.
Vote in a religiously totalitarian terrorist organisation and you reap what you sow.
"The message is that people are tired of inter-Palestinian fighting. They are fed up with both Fatah and Hamas, and all they want is to live in security before any thought of fighting Israel," Palestinian analyst Bassem Izbedi told Reuters.
Prediction: once the internecine battles die down, expect this lack of desire to fight Israel to last as long as an electronic product functions after the warranty expires.

Israeli Defense Minister Reads Caroline Glick

Caroline Glick, columnist for Jerusalem Post, wrote yet another powerful piece this week.

Glick laments the reversion of the US to James Bakeresque realpolitik and with it, in her opinion, a slide backwards for the forces of good and chances for victory in the Middle East.

Among other things, Glick assesses how Israel is faring (emphasis added):

This brings us back to Israel, which is situated smack in the middle of the regional chaos. How is Israel contending with this threatening state of affairs?

The IDF seems to be contending fairly well, at least with regard to Syria and Lebanon. The IDF's decision to have television crews film Israeli soldiers fighting in mock Syrian villages this week, like Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi's announcement that the IDF is prepared to fight on two fronts simultaneously, are signs that the IDF recognizes that its only safe bet is to prepare for all contingencies. Were the IDF to complement these actions with warnings to Iran and operational plans to attack Iran's nuclear installations and distribute gas masks to the public, the General Staff would go a long way toward proving that it is adopting the only reasonable strategic posture available, given the cards Israel has been dealt.
Two days later, this happens:
Peretz tells cabinet millions of shekels needed for gas masks

Defense Minister Amir Peretz warned during a cabinet meeting Sunday that the state was missing millions of shekels needed to refurbishing gas masks for civilians.

Peretz made the statements during a briefing about preparations works carried out by his Ministry ahead of the establishment of an emergency authority for the Home Front.
Things could be worse than Amir Peretz taking his cues from Caroline Glick.

Another One Converted?

Via Michael Totten's excellent blog, comes this true story that could be made into a Hollywood movie:

In the Gaza Strip's Jab aliya refugee camp, Aref Suleiman was raised on Palestinian struggle against the Jewish state. Today he lies in an Israeli hospital bed, his body riddled with Palestinian bullets, his wounds tended daily by Israeli nurses.

For the 22-year-old Mr Suleiman, who was shot five times point blank by Hamas militants last month during a renewed bout of Palestinian infighting, this is not the Arab-Israeli conflict he learnt about as a child growing up in Gaza's desperate, rubbish-strewn alleys.

"Palestinians shoot me and Jews treat me," he laughs bitterly. "It was supposed to be different."
The question is: will the story end with Suleiman learning to love the enemy or coming back to try kill his Jewish saviours?

The latter has happened before.

A Tale of Two Robots

Via Pajamas Media, the BBC reports approvingly about the robot that will recover injured soldiers from the battlefield:

The US military is developing a robot with a teddy bear-style head to help carry injured soldiers away from the battlefield.

The Battlefield Extraction Assist Robot (BEAR) can scoop up even the heaviest of casualties and transport them over long distances over rough terrain.

New Scientist magazine reports that the "friendly appearance" of the robot is designed to put the wounded at ease.

It is expected to be ready for testing within five years.

While it is important to get medical attention for injured soldiers as soon as possible, it is often difficult and dangerous for their comrades to reach them and carry them back.

The 6ft tall Bear can cross bumpy ground without toppling thanks to a combination of gyroscopes and computer controlled motors to maintain balance.

It is also narrow enough to squeeze through doorways, but can lift 135kg with its hydraulic arms in a single smooth movement, to avoid causing pain to wounded soldiers.

While the existing prototype slides its arms under its burden like a forklift, future versions will be fitted with manoeuvrable hands to gently scoop up casualties.
The reason why the pacifist BBC reports this robot favourably is that the positives (not combat-facing, recovers injured, far off into the future) more than offsets the negatives (it's American).

Once can only imagine what the BBC would think of this new invention:
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is creating automated kill zones around the Gaza Strip aimed at halting infiltrations by terrorists, arms smugglers and other hostile individuals.

Now in final stages of operational testing, the “See-Shoot” system will add weapons to the network of overlapping sensors already deployed along the approximately 60-kilometer border separating Israel from the Palestinian coastal territory.

Developed by state-owned Rafael, See-Shoot consists of a series of remotely controlled weapon stations which receive fire-control information from ground sensors and manned and unmanned aircraft. Once a target is verified and authorized for destruction, operators sitting safely behind command center computers push a button to fire the weapon.
Let's see: it is Israeli, it kills enemies (Palestinian terrorists) and is soon to be a reality.

It should be interesting to see how BBC hyperventilate over this story.

Do You Think He Is Scared?

As Ha'aretz reports, the UN looks like it might just possibly maybe potentially consider the scenario where they would bare their false teeth:

The United Nations Security Council will renew its deliberations on Monday regarding a press statement condemning remarks made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the effect that "the countdown to Israel's destruction had begun."

The drafted statement was shelved until Monday after Indonesia and Qatar, two of the council's 15 nations, were not ready to endorse it.
Mahmoud, be afraid. The UN are on your case.

Sheikh Up, Sheikh Down, Sheikh Out

Sheikh Up: He's re-elected.

Sheikh Down: He declines.

Sheikh Out: He's replaced.

That's today's story on the replacement of Sheik Taj el-Din Al Hilali, as described by the ABC in their online article:

Controversial muslim cleric, Sheik Taj el-Din Al Hilali has declined the position of Mufti of Australia and a new mufti has been elected.

Imams from across the country were at Melbourne's Preston Mosque for a meeting of the National Imam's Council.

The Council has announced Sheik Fehmi Naji El-Imam as the Mufti of Australia for a two-year term.

The Council said Sheik Al Hilali was appointed first, however he declined the position and proposed Sheikh Fehmi to be appointed Mufti.

Israellycool's original post on the uncovered cat meat provides one good reason - among many - of why he is gone.

Within the same ABC article comes this perplexing picture and caption:

Sheikh Fehmi is in the middle? Of what? A political storm? A Hilaly bear-hug?

A good test of whether or not Sheikh Fehmi is moderate is to ask his opinions about (a) Jews, (b) Shari'a law vs Australian law, and (c) women wearing less than a burkha.

The outcome of those answers would not only reflect on Sheikh Fehmi but also the council who elected him.

Medical Madness

This from Ha'aretz:

Medics at a northern Gaza Strip hospital walked off their jobs for a few hours Saturday to protest the kidnapping and kneecapping of a doctor by Palestinian militants, the first physician targeted in months of deadly infighting.

Dr. Fayez al-Barrawi, a known Hamas supporter, was blindfolded, handcuffed and shot six times in the legs, including a kneecap, and then tossed on the street Thursday.

Hamas has said Fatah militants were behind the kidnapping. Al-Barrawi worked at Beit Hanoun hospital in the northern Gaza Strip, close to the border with Israel.

Hundreds of Hamas and Fatah supporters have been kidnapped in recent months by rival gunmen. The treatment of the hostages, who are usually released after a few hours, has become increasingly harsh, and captives are often shot in the legs.

It is the first time a doctor was seized. However, militants often fire on paramedics and ambulances during gun battles.
I blame the Zionists.

Credit to Associated Press who covered this disgusting outrage.

I wonder if the ABC's Middle East Conflict section or Fairfax media will cover it.

Refugee Squared

The current image at the ABC's Middle East Conflict section:

Seeking refuge from the refugee camp.

Maybe one day Palestinian Arabs will be absorbed by the Arab countries in which they reside.

They should take the lead from another Middle Eastern country.

Israel made citizens those Arabs who ignored the call from Arab leaders to get out the way of impending attacks on the nascent Jewish state in 1948, but instead remained behind.

Israel has also absorbed millions of Jews who fled persecution in countries that were not free: the Soviet Union, Iraq, Iran and many other countries in the Middle East.

Israel tries to close and heal wounds.

With the possible exception of Jordan, Arab countries have allowed Palestinian wounds to fester.

Presumably as an effective demographic weapon against their sworn enemy.

Thank Heavens for UN Resolution 1701

This from Jerusalem Post:

Hizbullah has built a network of underground military bunkers under the noses of United Nations peacekeeping forces in southern Lebanon close to the Israel-Lebanon border that can withstand air strikes, according to a report in Britain's Sunday Times.

The Times said that the guerilla group had replenished its weaponry and cited IDF intelligence estimates that it had stockpiled 20,000 rockets.

"Since the Israeli forces left, Hizbullah has been building formidable military underground posts under the noses of the UN," the Times quoted an IDF intelligence officer as saying.
Will those rockets and bunkers come into play soon?

Which means it's ... time for another UN Resolution.

Listen to What Palestinians Say

The most recent news article in the Middle East Conflict section of the ABC's News Online website attempts to cover the incitement on Palestinian TV (emphasis added):

Media group warns of Palestinian 'propaganda' on satellite TV

An Israeli-based media monitoring group says Australia should be concerned about the promotion of so-called martyrdom on Arabic satellite television.
Nowadays, so-called is one of the phrases of choice used by mainstream media (MSM). Usually delivered in a mocking tone. The word used on Palestinian TV for martyrdom is shahada, aspiring to death for Allah, which will become a familiar theme in the videos below.
Itamar Marcus, from the Palestinian Media Watch, is visiting Australia, discussing what he claims are disturbing trends on Palestinian television.
He claims is another one of those MSM phrases. Used either to morph facts into less certain accusations by one 'side', or to preempt journalist intimidation from the other 'side'.

Notice that the ABC have not yet made it into the 20th Century yet by supplying a link to the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) website. They continue:
Mr Marcus says some stations are promoting martyrdom or suicide bombing among young people, using subtle means such as music videos.
Mr Marcus says put your hands over your eyes. Mr Marcus says put your hands over your ears. Now MSM, try report the truth. Hey, the last command didn't have 'Mr Marcus says' so you don't have to heed!
He says there has been an increase in propaganda material promoting the practice, which is making its way to Australia and other countries through the many satellite services available.

"That's the danger, that we do have Internet, we do have satellite and these messages do go out," he said.
The Internet contains many examples of the Palestinian-manufactured jihadist hatred and will be seen below.
"This isn't necessarily what Islam is teaching but this is the way the [Palestinian faction] Hamas is teaching Islam."
Recall that Hamas is the Palestinian 'faction' that the majority of Palestinians voted for in the most recent free and fair election. And Hamas has not changed their tune, nor their Covenant which calls for the killing of all Jews in the world (emphasis added):
Article Seven

... the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of Allah's promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:

"The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharqad tree (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).

(Source: Wikipedia)
Back to the article, which ends with the obligatory opportunity for a Palestinian apologist to refute the so-called claims by Mr Marcus:
But a member of the Palestinian community in Australia, Nasser Shaktour, says he does not believe there has been such a trend towards promoting suicide bombing on Arabic television.
Perhaps Mr Shaktour is talking about some other Arabic television. Perhaps Mr Shaktour doesn't believe over six years of incitement to jihad and aspiration to shahada is a trend.

Let's watch and listen to what the Palestinians in the Middle East say to see if they can provide any clarity on the matter:

Palestinian children on Palestinian TV state that shahada trumps peace and full rights for the Palestinian people. For Westerners puzzled why the Palestinians refused a Palestinian state in 2000, this may go some way to providing some explanation.

A Palestinian mother - a Hamas candidate in the elections - expresses her satisfaction that her sons have become shahids:

In case you were wondering if this was popular with the average Palestinian, the American ABC news network reported after the election:
Mariam Farahat, who was elected to the Palestinian parliament, can work a crowd like a veteran politician -- shaking hands and greeting supporters. When she gets on the stage at a Hamas rally, she is the star attraction. She was one of Hamas' most popular candidates in Wednesday's election.

In Gaza, Farahat is known as Um Nidal, or Mother of the Struggle -- a mother who sent three of her six sons on Hamas suicide missions against Israeli targets.

"We consider it holy duty," she told ABC News. "Our land is occupied. You take all the means to banish the occupier. I sacrificed my children for this holy, patriotic duty. I love my children, but as Muslims we pressure ourselves and sacrifice our emotions for the interest of the homeland. The greater interest takes precedence to the personal interest."

In a fictitious re-enactment of the real-life female suicide terrorist, Re'em Riyashi, the four-year-old daughter (played by an actor) starts by lamenting the loss of her mother. But then realises becoming a shahid is more important:

The video ends with the daughter picking up some of the explosive sticks herself. Perhaps the message is "like mother, like daughter"?

The video began playing on Palestinian TV in March 2007.

This is the PMW video of the real Re'em Riyashi (will open your media player):

In case you thought that the Palestinians would be not be so depraved as to bring the real children of Re'em Riyashi onto Palestinian TV, this clip comes to you from another media monitoring organisation, MEMRI:

As most people are now aware, a Mickey Mouse lookalike named Farfur gets a run on Palestinian TV in April 2007, promising Islamic domination and urging resistance of the Zionist occupation:

When Farfur gets caught cheating, the notorious Palestinian victimhood is played out:

It's the Jews' fault. By the way, Spaniards, you're next.

There is more Palestinian TV videos of child indoctrination at the PMW website here.

What about the religious leaders among the Palestinians? Are they preaching moral behaviour in the Friday sermons, which are broadcast on PA TV?

Here the Palestinian religious preacher Ibrahim Mudayris, Head of the Association for Memorizing the Quran, PA Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs encourages Islamic domination of the Western world:

This was shown on PA TV on 13 May 2005.

Here Mudayris explains one way to attain Islamic domination. By killing all Jews:

Jews are pigs in this video, which was shown on PA TV on 10 September 2004.

Not to be outdone, the acting speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr Ahmad Bahar, raises the "kill all Jews mantra" with "kill all Jews and Americans":

Jews are a cancer in this video, which was shown on PA TV on 20 April 2007.

Hamas spokesman, Dr Ismail Radwan, joins the Conga-line calling for genocide of the Jews:

In addition to calling on the killing of Jews and Americans, the idea of summits, international resolutions and negotiations are rejected in favour of the rifle.

This was shown on PA TV on 30 March 2007.

There are more videos of genocidal broadcasts on PA TV at the PMW website here.

For the whole range of hate videos on Palestinian TV, PMW has the following sections:

Topic: Suicide Terrorists Farewell Videos

Topic I: Hamas in its own words

Topic II: Teaching Hatred via Music Videos and Culture

Topic III: Children are Combatants in PA ideology

Topic IV: Denying Israel’s Right to Exist and Anticipating its Destruction

Topic V: PA Indoctrination of Children to Aspire Death for Allah - Shahada

Topic VI: PA inciting to Genocide of Suicide Terror

Topic VII: Understanding Shahada - Death for Allah and Jihad

Topic VIII: Mothers Express Joy at Son’s Death for Allah

Topic IX: Clarifying History

Topic X: Holocaust Denial

Topic XI: Hatred of the United States and the West

Topic XII: Arab world TV

And you can check back regularly at PMW Video's YouTube channel.

So what do you think? Time for a poll:

Do you think there is a trend towards promoting suicide bombing on Arabic television?
Occupation, occupation, occupation
Free polls from

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


The Age's Ed O'Loughlin's recent article about the Six Day War is torn to shreds by David Singer in this excellent online piece:

Consider these five gems (and there are many more) in Mr O'Loughlin's article:

1. " A native of New Jersey, he is one of several hundred Jews who live under heavy military protection in the first and most extreme of all Jewish settlements on the West Bank, carved out of the historic heart of the Palestinian city of Hebron."

The author fails to mention that "the historic heart of the Palestinian city of Hebron" happens to include the ancient Jewish Quarter of Hebron built on land purchased by Jews in 1540.

Jews lived there until 24 August 1929 when 67 Jewish men women and children were slaughtered by a crowd of rampaging Arabs . The remaining Jewish population of 750 were forced to flee. Some returned in 1931 but were forced to leave when the Arabs rioted again in 1936. Jews returned to the Jewish Quarter after the Six Day War to a very hostile welcome from the Arab residents.

Hebron contains the traditional burial place of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Leah and Rebecca - one of Jewry's holiest sites - which the Bible records was purchased by Abraham in 1753BC.

Hebron is therefore more than just a Palestinian city. It has a far longer Jewish history - one of great religious significance for Jews.

Any editor worth his salt should have taken steps to have the author correct this statement.
There's plenty more where that came from. Read on here.

Expect ad hominem rebuttal, which will prove substance is with Singer and not PalEdStinian.

Take a Stand

Click the image for more info.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Long Wait

In her recent opinion piece in the Jerusalem Post, Naomi Chazan laments the predictability of the conflict related to Gaza (emphasis added here):

Gaza is imploding, and once again everyone remotely involved is reacting according to a predetermined script. The Kassams are flying, Israel is bombing, the Quartet is consulting, humanitarian groups are appealing, and no respite is in sight.

Rote responses to predictable actions may be emotionally understandable; they don't begin to address the ever-worsening Gaza Syndrome which now endangers the entire region.
Chazan continues further on in the piece:

Israel has responded to the latest spate of rocket attacks on Sderot in a sadly Pavlovian manner. The Olmert government, under immense domestic pressure, has intensified air strikes while continuing its efforts to delink Gaza from the West Bank. In doing so it has not only contributed to the growing chaos, but has played directly into the hands of the extremists who are counting on such a policy to thwart any progress on the diplomatic front.

Fine-tuning repetitious (but scarcely successful) methods is not a way to correct mistakes, just as revenge is hardly a substitute for informed and crafted decision-making.

There is merit to other parts of Chazan's article. However, one core assertion is simply wrong: that Israel's targeted response to the Qassams is unsuccessful or counter-productive. Agreed it is predictable, but on the contrary, this response has consistently proved to be successful.

Israel's response to Qassams has been to target the leadership of those organisations responsible for the rockets. Since Hamas recently escalated the Qassam rocket firings of Israeli towns, it is the Hamas leadership that is now targeted.

This may be a predictable response, but Chazan underestimates the reason for its predictability. It is not for political or emotional reasons, but because it works.

Not long after every Israeli campaign to target the terrorist leaders, there is a decline in the number of attacks, for three main reasons:

1. Those in operational positions to command rocket firings are prevented from doing so by their arrest or killing,

2. By removing the more experienced leaders, the remaining terrorists operate with less experience, resulting in more failures and worse performance, and

3. Targeting leaders has a strong deterrence factor. The decision-makers tend to demur when they are in the cross-hairs.

And so we see the natural progression:

1. Palestinian terrorists escalate attacks on Israeli civilians

2. Israel initially shows restraint (typically under pressure from Western countries who would likely panic if they were in the same position)

3. Palestinian terrorists continue to escalate attacks on Israeli civilians

4. Israel finally decides to act, but first targets the operational actors

5. Palestinian terrorist leaders continue to give the green light to attacks on Israeli civilians

6. Israel decides to then target the terrorist leaders themselves

7. Palestinian terrorist leaders put the brakes on further attacks on Israeli civilians

Reading through the detailed and insightful live-blogged commentary of recent conflict at Israellycool will confirm this.

Granted to Chazan that the Israeli response does not win the war. A military solution will not alone solve this conflict.

But that is not the purpose of the Israeli response. The purpose is twofold:

1. to win the immediate battle at hand (battle is normally between combatants, but with Palestinian terrorists on one side, it is natural that the other side be civilian and Israeli), and

2. de-escalate the terrorism against Israeli civilians,

which it does predictably and consistently.

For that alone, it is not a mistake but instead a successful response.

Further, the Israeli response has little or no bearing on the final outcome.

No battle, no intifada, no peace proposal, no diplomacy has ever brought a successful solution to the wider conflict.

Actions by Israel - whether military, political, diplomatic or economic - are not correlated negatively with a solution to the conflict.

They are essentially uncorrelated.

At a push, one could argue the opposite case:

1. the second 'intifada' (the terrorist one) followed the Oslo peace process

2. the buildup of Hizballah - leading ultimately to the Second Lebanon War - followed the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon

3. the election of Hamas and rise in conflict with Israel in summer 2006 and 2007, followed the complete withdrawal of all Jews from Gaza in 2005

Remember, diplomacy means Israeli concessions. Israeli concessions means weakness in Palestinian eyes. And weakness is provocation.

Until the Palestinians realise that (a) support for the terrorists among them and (b) a rejectionist stance will result in defeat rather victory, this cycle of non-solution will continue.

Before this realisation occurs, diplomacy, negotiations and Israeli concessions are pointless. More correctly, it is counter-productive and invites conflict.

During this time, Israeli Defence Forces, and the executive who oversee them, have a duty to protect the Israeli civilians from threats to their safety.

Hunker down. It's the Long Wait.