So a lesbian walks into a Muslim barbershop, and asks for a “businessmen’s haircut”.
It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it really happened, and now a government agency called the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario will hear her complaint.
Faith McGregor is the lesbian who doesn’t like the girly cuts that they do at a salon. She wants the boy’s hairdo.
Omar Mahrouk is the owner of the Terminal Barber Shop in Toronto. He follows Shariah law, so he thinks women have cooties. As Mahrouk and the other barbers there say, they don’t believe in touching women other than their own wives. (I didn't realise that Canadians also used the old Cockney term for head lice or nits - I have not heard it used since my dad died)
So if we now believe in multiculturalism, and that our Canadian culture of tolerance isn’t any better than the Shariah culture of sex crimes and gender apartheid, who are we to complain when Omar Mahrouk takes us up on our promise that he can continue to practise his culture — lesbian haircuts be damned?
But McGregor ran to the Human Rights Tribunal and demanded that Mahrouk give her a haircut.
In the past, human rights commissions have been a great ally to gay activists. Because, traditionally, gay activists have complained against Christians. And white Christians are the one ethnic identity group that human rights commissions don’t value, and that multiculturalism doesn’t include. In recent years, Canadian human rights commissions have weighed a complaint about a women’s-only health club that refused a pre-operative transsexual male who wanted to change in the locker rooms. They’ve ordered bed and breakfasts owned by Christian families to take in gay couples. They’ve censored pastors and priests who have criticized gay marriage. Gays win, because it’s a test of who is most outraged and offended.
But in the case of the Muslim barbers, the gay activists have met their match. If the test is who can be the most offended or most politically correct, a lesbian’s just not going to cut it.
Oh, McGregor is politically correct. But just not politically correct enough. It’s like poker.
A white, Christian male has the lowest hand — it’s like he’s got just one high card, maybe an ace. So almost everyone trumps him.
A white woman is just a bit higher — like a pair of twos. Enough to beat a white man, but not much more.
A gay man is like having two pairs in poker.
A gay woman — a lesbian like McGregor — is like having three of a kind.
A black lesbian is a full house — pretty tough to beat.
Unless she’s also in a wheelchair, which means she’s pretty much a straight flush.
The only person who could trump that would be a royal flush.
So which is a better hand: A lesbian who wants a haircut or a Muslim who doesn’t want to give it to her?
I’m betting on Mahrouk. And I predict that Muslim activists — not quiet barbers like Mahrouk, but professional Muslim busybodies — will start using human rights commissions more and more to push their way into places where they have no legal right, but where the human rights commissions are more than happy to engineer things for them, if they complain loud enough.
If I were a gay activist, I’d probably want to declare victory and shut down these human rights commissions right now.
In five years time, it won’t be gay activists forcing themselves into Christian B&Bs. It’ll be Muslim activists vetoing the gay pride parade.
Islamics with British passports join campaign against shot teenager Malala
That's a correction to the original Star headline, by the way.
BRITISH-based Muslim extremists want the schoolgirl shot by the Taliban to face a possible death sentence.The radicals will head to the Pakistani capital of Islamabad to link up with hardliners for a demonstration urging a fatwa against Malala Yousafzai.
The 15-year-old campaigner was shot in the head after she called for girls to have the right to attend school.
UK-based Islamist Anjem Choudary has led the anger aimed at Malala who is recovering at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Zealots claim she is an apostate, or traitor, to Islam because she wrote an online diary for BBC Urdu slamming the Taliban for denying girls the right to education.
The conference billed as “Sharia4Pakistan” is due to be held at Lal Masjid (mosque) in Islamabad on November 30 and will feature a video address from al-Muhajiroun founder Omar Bakri Mohammed, titled “Declaration of Fatwa on Malala Yousafzai”.
Choudary told us: “There is no covenant of security in Pakistan for non-Muslims. If someone apostasises (renounces) Islam they become like the non-Muslims. They no longer have any form of protection. What we say very clearly is any non-Muslims in Muslim countries need to leave because they are at risk. And those people who are apostates (like Malala) and want to stand with the enemy against Muslims, they are naturally the first people that are going to be targeted.
"If someone apostatises like this woman did by allying with the Americans and saying her favourite person is (Barack) Obama and that she does not want the Sharia or hijab and wants to live under a secular state, she has put herself in a very precarious situation. It is no surprise what happened to her in Pakistan.
"Malala is mature Islamically, she is not immature, she has reached that period we say is adulthood.”
Meanwhile Omar Bakri Mohammed, 54, formerly based in the UK and now hiding in Lebanon, told the Daily Star Sunday: “The only solution is the implementation of the Sharia. She (Malala) should face justice in an Islamic court. We are going to renew the Fatwa against the man-made law and systems in Pakistan – this is why women like this young girl are rejecting Islam. The system is not being implemented properly.”
The Sharia 4 Pakistan website has a lot about Malala here including a suggestion that if she wanted an education she should have studied at the Jamia Hafsa the madrassa for women located near Lal Masjid, had the Pakistani government not closed it down in 2007. This is a description of that institution's indoctrination of little girls. This is another.
Many people have an inner pedant who delights to find a small fault in the work of others, and I confess to being no stranger myself to this delight, though it is usually admixed (in my case) with irritation.
Recently I happened to pick up two modern literary novels that had been highly praised, The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood and A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. The first paragraph of the first of these books reads:
Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge. The bridge was being repaired: she went right through the Danger sign. The car fell a hundred feet into the ravine, smashing through the treetops feathery with new leaves, then burst into flames and rolled down into the shallow creek at the bottom. Chunks of the bridge fell on top of it. Nothing much was left of her but charred smithereens.
Surely ‘charred smithereens’ is wrong here. A bone might be smashed to smithereens but not an entire body. If she meant ‘charred fragments of bone,’ that is what she should have said, though it wouldn’t have been very plausible.
The first sentence of A Fine Balance is:
The morning express bloated with passengers slowed to a crawl.
This is not quite so bad, but it is not quite right either. Bloated is not le mot juste. One knows what the author means, but he does not convey it in the most accurate way possible. Surely writers of literary novels should perfect at least their first paragraphs.
Other people’s errors and idiocies are a constant source of delight. Recently I noticed in the Guardian the following headline to the obituary of the actress Daphne Slater: ‘Actor once described as the best ingenue in the country.’ My humbug detector began to sound.
Why actor and not actress? Daphne Slater was 84 when she died, and I wouldn’t mind betting that she thought of herself as an actress rather than as an actor. But why feminise ingenu if you turn actress into the masculine? That the word ingénue is French makes no difference, and in any case the Guardian anglicised the word by omitting the accent.
Let us at least be consistent wherever possible: let us henceforth have taxperson for taxman, hangperson for hangman, and charperson for charwoman. (Taxperson has apparently entered the language, because my computer’s spellcheck does not underline it in red as an error, unlike the other two.)
The OIC Takes the Rohingya Muslim Issue in Myanmar to the UN
Buddhist Monks in Myanmar Protest OIC Rakhine state in Myanmar
Source: Agence France Press/Getty Images Source: Wall Street Journal
On the cusp of President Obama’s trip to Myanmar, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has launched a campaign to bring the problem of sectarian violence against the country’s minority Rohingya Muslims to the UN. A Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report in late October noted the ethnic problems of the Rohingya in Myanmar:
Around 800,000 Rohingya Muslims live in Myanmar, many of them subsisting in refugee camps, making up just 1.25% of Myanmar's 64 million population. Much larger ethnic groups include Bamar, who comprise 68% of the population; Shan, with 9%; Karen, comprising 7%; and Rakhine, who account for 4% of the total population.
The festering problem of sectarian warfare between the 800,000 and the predominately Buddhist majority in Myanmar has largely been concentrated in the Rakhine state were more than 70,000 have fled to refugee camps there prompted by sectarian bloodletting and burning of more than 4,000 homes..
The OIC, a globe spanning 57 member a virtual global Caliphate is headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. An ABNA news release noted that the OIC condemned “the continued recourse to violence by the Myanmar authorities against the members of this minority and their refusal to recognize their right to citizenship”. According to the ABNA report, a delegation of the OIC met with Myanmar’s Reformist President Thein Sein in Yangon on Friday that resulted in recognizing the “deplorable humanitarian situation in Rakhine State”. The OIC delegation “assured Thein Sein that “Islamic humanitarian organizations were willing to provide aid to … the strife torn state”. The WSJ report in October cited concerns raised by Muslim Members of the OIC in the region to virulent opposition led by lead by Buddhist monks to the OIC presence in Myanmar:
Muslim nations—including regional trade partners such as Indonesia and Malaysia—are growing more concerned about the fate of the Rohingya Muslims after the Myanmar government reacted to protests from Buddhist monks, among others, and blocked plans for the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation to open a liaison office to help channel aid to the Rohingya. The denial underscored discrimination against the Rohingya, whom the government doesn't consider to be Myanmar citizens, but illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
Prior to the Yangon meetings, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia announced a $50 million aid package to the 800,000 Rohingya in Myanmar “several rights violations, including ethnic cleansing, murder, rape and forced displacement”. On Saturday, at a Summit of OIC Foreign Ministers meeting in Djibouti issued a statement stating that these were “crimes against humanity” and that the Muslim World body “decided to bring this matter before the General Assembly of the United Nations.”
Critics like Ann Corcoran of the Refugee Resettlement Watch blog believe that the OIC may be expanding the Muslim beachhead in Southeast Asia and demands for more Rohingya refugees being admitted to the US.
According to an article in Friday’s Wall Street Journal, the sectarian strife is a by-product of liberalization that freed Buddhist monks who may have stoked the ethnic violence, “Myanmar’s Ethnic Strife Undercuts Reform”. The WSJ article cited as one example the release in a general amnesty of a virulent anti-Muslim Buddhist monk, Sayataw Virathu, jailed in 2003 for inciting anti-Muslim riots in Mandalay. Following his release, Virathu and followers traveled to Rakhine. Virathu was quoted as saying:
We have to expel the Muslims. We don’t want to expel the Muslims; we don’t want what happened in Afghanistan, here (a reference to the Taliban destruction of two giant 6th Century Buddha statues in 2001).
He said his biggest fear was that Rakhine state could become the gateway for growth of Islam in Myanmar: “Muslims are different to us”.
According to the WSJ report, Virathu and his followers have organized protests in Yangon endeavoring to block plans announced by the OIC to aid Muslims in Rakhine state. US Ambassador to Myanmar, David Mitchell is quoted in the WSJ report saying; “it’s been disappointing to people on the outside that Buddhist monks have been leading the charge against Muslim communities here”. That comment was echoed by local ‘hard line politicians’ in Rakhine. The WSJ report cited: Oo Hia Saw, secretary general of the Rakhine National Development Party saying: “Look, we can’t accept the Muslims. They don’t belong here. But we have these young renegade monks making the situation worse. What we need is for the situation to be clam, but they’re not helping.” Kyaw Hia Aung, a Rohingya living in a Sitwe refugee camp complained: “We are being cut off from the rest of Myanmar. It is as if the government is trying to turn us into foreigners”.
The bloodletting in Rakhine started in June following the rape and murder of Rakhine murder was blamed on Muslims and resulting lynching of Rohingya have resulted in scores of deaths.
But who are the Rohingya Muslims and why so much friction in predominately Buddhist Myanmar? A partial answer to the question can be found in an Express Tribune article by Khaled Ahmed. Ahmed notes:
The Muslims of Burma call themselves the Rohingya. They are 800,000 strong. Burma has a population of  million. Because Muslims were not accepted, they kept migrating with not much success. There are 300,000 of them in Bangladesh and 24,000 in Malaysia. The world is resisting Burma’s request to take charge of them. Their origins are uncertain mainly because of the varying versions of their genesis.
History speaks of them as living in the Arakan region of Burma, today called Rakhine. After a recent massacre, when a television channel interviewed the victims, they spoke in Urdu. But their speech is actually supposed to be another Indo-European language linguistically related to the Chittagongian language spoken in the southernmost part of Bangladesh bordering Burma.
But the Bangladeshi Muslims are also perpetrating veritable pogroms against Buddhists there, burning their Temples. Witness this from a Jerusalem Postreport:
On October 2, according to a report in Al-Jazeera, “Crowds of Muslims descended onto Ramu after pictures desecrating Islam and the Koran were found on the Facebook page of a young Buddhist man living in the area.”
In another report from Dubai-based Big News Network, it was noted that: “the Buddhists moved to safety after an overnight weekend attack in which thousands of Bangladeshi Muslims burned at least 10 Buddhist temples and 40 homes in anger over a Facebook photo of a burned Quran.”
The temples were over 250 years old. However, it appears that the photos said to belong to the Buddhist were in fact only tagged with his name and were download by local imams and passed around. According to Madrassa teacher Shamsul Haque, who downloaded the photos, the “Muslims in this community wanted justice and are fed up with being insulted.”
The problem of Rohingya refuges has even spread to the US. Our colleague, Ann Corcoran at the Refugee Resettlement Watch noted in a recent report the emergence of Samantha Power, Special Assistant for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights prepping President Obama on the Rohingya Muslim issue in Myanmar and the surprising lack of interest by human rights icon Aung San Suu Kyi.
But, now we see she (Powers) is out and about and talking about Obama’s trip to Burma (Myanmar) where I expect he will scold the government for being so mean to the Rohingya Muslims. He will probably also put pressure on Aung San Suu Kyi who has so far refused to jump into the controversy and take the Rohingya side. As we reported here—after huge protests by monks, the Myanmar government had the audacity to disallow the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to set up shop in the country.
Aung San Suu Kyi continues to tick-off the “human rights” cabal for not speaking up in defense of the Muslims.
Corcoran cites a recent statement by Aung San Suu Kyi in a Voice of America report when queried about her silence on the Rohingya issue during a pro-democracy visit with the Indian Foreign Minister in New Delhi:
Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday told an Indian news channel that the violence was a “huge international tragedy.” She said she had not spoken on behalf of Rohingya Muslims, because she wanted to promote reconciliation between the Buddhist and Muslim communities.
“But don’t forget that violence has been committed by both sides. This is why I prefer not to take sides. And, also I want to work toward reconciliation between these two communities. I am not going to be able to do that if I take sides," she said.
In an email exchange, Corcoran commented about the benighted US State Department position and those of contractors like the US Conference of Catholic Bishops:
As for how many we have brought to the US, there is no way of telling because the State Department lumps them all in as "Burmese" ...the majority are Christian Burmese (Karen) and some Chin.
Five years ago the State Dept. was trying hard to NOT bring Rohingya but somehow over the years they've been worn down.
There is also a very awful murder case in Utah where a Burmese Muslim refugee killed a young Christian Burmese girl. They don't use the word Rohingya when discussing him, but he surely is Rohingya.
This past spring I attended the State Department hearings for Refugee Resettlement for 2013. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops witness testified that they wanted the State Dept . to get moving on the Rohingya. Other groups mentioned the poor vulnerable Rohingya....
Given President Obama’s trip to Myanmar and visits with President Thein Sein and Aung San Suu Kyi will the matter of the Rohingya Muslim “problem ‘come up and will the ‘iron lady’ of Myanmar, Ms. Suu Kyi set him straight on resolution. With Ms. Power back in the picture whoever takes over at our State Department might be pressured to open the floodgates of refugee resettlement in the US for these problematic Rohingya Muslims that nobody wants.
CAMERA: The New York Times Opinion Page Lets A Hundred Flowers Bloom
The "Diversity" of New York Times Op-Ed Page
A former New York Times Op-Ed promised that the newspaper tends to “look for articles that cover subjects and make arguments that have not been articulated elsewhere in the editorial space. If the editorial page, for example, has a forceful, long-held view on a certain topic, we are more inclined to publish an Op-Ed that disagrees with that view.”
The current editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, similarly asserted that editors “are not looking for people who agree with us all the time” and are aiming for “balance over time.”
Let's take a look at the New York Times online Opinion page to see whether its arguments differ at all from the anti-Israel line taken by the newspaper's editorial board and columnists.
It's possible that the newspaper might publish an Op-Ed focused on Hamas's war crimes, or on Israel's need to defend its citizens from incessant rocket attacks. But history shows that if you're waiting for anything coming close to balance on the opinion pages, you'll be waiting in vain.
A good example of which can be found in this article in, unsurpisingly, terminally silly Haaretz:
Along with the rockets, psychological warfare has hit Tel Aviv
Military action against the hostile organizations and their commanders is correct, but futile, as long as it is detached from the broader context of a national goal. [here's what's "futile" -- making agreements with Arab Muslims and confusing "peace treaties"[which are, at most, hudnas or truce treaties] with peace. "Futile" are policies based on continued misunderstanding of, or seeming indifference to, the ideology of Islam, and the fact that the war against Israel is a classic Jihad, and has no end, which means that only deterrence, military strength, can keep Israel safe, as its enemies dissolve, as dissolve they will if the West stops intervening to help them, because of the natural aggression and violence of their societies, the economic hopelessness -- temporarily disguised, in some places, by the oil-and-gas manna, the fabulous wealth that no Arab or Muslim did a thing to earn -- that is a result of inshallah-fatalism, an amazing incapacity for work and organization, and hatred of bida, or innovation]
There are two ways to judge the success of Operation Pillar of Defense: point-by-point and overall. The opening move of the operation was expertly executed. Intelligence, planning, command and control; the Israel Defense Forces and the other branches of the security establishment deserve a very high grade. The cooperation among the IDF General Staff, Military Intelligence (including the operations branch and the research branch), the Southern Command, the Israel Air Force and the Shin Bet has been very successful so far.
But this view of reality, although essential, is very narrow. The plan devised by Serbian intelligence to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand, as carried out by Gavrilo Princip, was perfectly executed. It was just what followed - World War I and the fall of the old order - that was less expected. The operation was a success but the world died.
Israel avoids thorough solutions. It only wants to gain time and then waste it. This time, too, like the last time, four years ago, Israel did not take the gun to Hamas & Co., but only the ammunition clip. When the declared objective is quiet, without taking advantage of that quiet to make progress, the enemy comes back stronger than before and can shoot further. In every operation, Israel acts to reset the meter to zero, until the next operation, when the price is higher.
The significance of rockets fired on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem should not be underestimated. Since 1948, no Arab country, except Iraq in 1991, has managed or dared to do what Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad have done. Other than the Jordanian Long Tom shell fired at Masaryk Square in Tel Aviv in the Six-Day War, and despite the city's vulnerability to air and artillery attacks, Tel Aviv, symbol of the Jewish state, has remained untouched. And now, the Palestinians are able to do what Nasser wanted and Saddam Hussein did. The Palestinians have overcome their isolation and inferiority and did well to depend on their alliance with the Iranians, the Syrians and the Lebanese. In the tournament against Israel, they broke even the 2006 record of Hezbollah, which reached only as far as Hadera.
It is not important whether a rocket lands in the sea or in Bat Yam, in a park or in Ramat Gan. What is important, psychologically, is that the imaginary barrier has been breached, and in a war of attrition, psychology is considered very important, especially in a population hovering between hope and despair. To the extremist Palestinians and their supporters there is, therefore, something to hope for: increased accuracy, upgraded weapons systems, more deadly warheads and even perhaps chemical and biological weapons. [all the more reason for the Gaza operation, then, and all the more reason to take action sooner, and not after thousands of rockets have been fired]
The extension of rocket fire to area codes 02 and 03, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, in IDF jargon, breaches a boundary and requires new responses. More Iron Dome batteries, another slice of the defense budget (or increasing dependence on American aid ) and, until plans are ready, more difficult decisions as to which citizens to favor and which to abandon.
Military action against the hostile organizations and their commanders is correct, but futile, as long as it is detached from the broader context of a national goal. Israel is fleeing from the necessity to define for itself where it wants to go. Therefore it moves in exhausting circles that bring it back to where it started.
"Kandil's deal" - the compromise proposed by Egyptian Prime Minister Hashem Kandil, who visited Gaza on Friday, has not yet been implemented, but it is a step in the right direction. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's visit on Tuesday should be exploited. And perhaps we should even dare to aspire further, to a new version of the Camp David summit, hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama, with the participation of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, King Abdullah of Jordan (if his regime survives until then ), Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the Israeli prime minister, but only if a statesman with vision and daring is elected to that office.
The missiles of Desert Storm and the American operation in Iraq in 1991 pushed a Likud prime minister to the Madrid conference, and he was subsequently voted out of office. If the rockets of Operation Pillar of Defense have a similar outcome, diplomatically and politically, something good will have come out of a bad situation.[in other words, getting rid of Netanyahu is what counts for this writer -- but of course Netanyahu will be voted in, and many of those voting for him will do so having realized that he's been essentially right all along, that what counts is not "truce treaties" modelled on Hudaibiyya, but deterrence. It is only deterrence that keeps Israel alive, and only deterrence that will continue to do so. And the operation in Gaza is not a failure of policy, but spells an end to failed policies: no more nonsensical tolerating buildups of missiles, in the south, or in the north, and no more nonsense about accomodating Israel to "new realities" that are not, that never are, immutable but can be molded by intelligent policies based on realism about Islam, and those who take Islam to heart]
The People Who Keep Making Pronouncements On Israeli Policy But Refuse To Study Islam
Rubin himself, however, doesn't make the point that needs to be made.
To wit: the war against Israel is a classic Jihad. It started against the Jews of Mandatory Palestine, as soon as it was clear that they were not prepared to live under Muslim rule, and continued from 1948 to the present day, with the only change being that the local Arabs, after the defeat of three Arab states in the Six-Day War, and a realization, by the Arabs, that they would have to refashion the war against Israel as a "struggle for the legimiate rights of the Palestinian people" which, of course, meant that they had to invent, by re-naming the local Arabs, the "Palestinian people."
He doesn't name Islam, and one senses that while he recognizes the comic insufficiency of what others prescribe, he himself cannot quite see things completely clearly. For if he had, he would never have supported the fiascos in Iraq and Afghanistan, or at least would have wished the Americans to have left Iraq by February 2004, once power had irretrievably shifted from the Sunnis, who will never acquiesce in their loss of power and wealth in Iraq, to the Shi'a, who will never give up the power they attained because of the American army's overthrow of Saddam Hussein and his regime.
The elite currently in power in the Western mass media is never going to comprehend the Middle East. There is a problem with bias, for sure, but the big problem is the impenetrable ignorance of the very people who are entrusted with explaining the region to others. They insist on imposing their own misconceptions on the situation while ignoring the evidence.
Consider Janine Zacharia. What a distinguished resume: Jerusalem bureau chief and Middle East Correspondent for the Washington Post (2009-2011); chief diplomatic correspondent for Bloomberg News (2005-2009) and before that five years working for the Jerusalem Post in Washington DC and another five years working for Reuters and other publications from Jerusalem. Right now she’s a visiting lecturer at Stanford University in communications.
Surely, such a person must understand the region’s issues and if anyone isn’t going to have an anti-Israel bias in the mass media it would be her. And she isn’t anti-Israel in a conscious, political sense. Indeed, she obviously views herself as being sympathetic. Rather, it is her assumptions that make her type of views inevitably anti-Israel and more broadly inevitably destructive of U.S. interests on other issues.
So here’s her article in Slate. The title is “Why Israel’s Gaza Campaign is Doomed.” Not, why this response is the best of a set of difficult options; not why the world should support Israel; not why Hamas should be removed from power with international support but why Israel is wrong and stupid to fight. “Doomed” is a pretty strong word.
The subhead—adapted from Zacharia’s text—is “Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to bomb Hamas militants will leave Israel more isolated, insecure, and alone.” Not the decision of Israel’s unanimous leadership including first and foremost its military and defense experts but that of a prime minister who now plays a role for the American media most closely approximated to that held by former President George W. Bush.
And by defending itself against an onslaught of rockets—120 in one week–Israel will be worse off even though by the way every Western country I’m aware of has supported Israel. Why will Israel be more isolated, insecure, and alone? Because the unspoken assumption of the Western media elite is that anyone who uses force, even in self-defense, ends up worse off.
It is quite reasonable to state that the campaign will not end the problem. Everyone in Israel and in Israel’s leadership and all the generals and Netanyahu know this very well. They also know that a country that does not defend itself and maintain its credibility and deterrence is going to end up doomed, isolated, insecure, and alone.
They also know the best that can be expected given this situation is to force Hamas to deescalate for two or three years before the next round. One of the goals of the operation is to destroy the large military stockpiles–especially longer-range missiles–that Hamas has accumulated since 2009. Thus, Hamas will have to start all over again to smuggle in weapons. The next time they start a war it will be from a far weaker position than if they had not taken such losses.
Much of the Western elite no longer understands concepts which their predecessors took for granted during the last two centuries. You can go back even further than that to Joshua 7: 8-9 when Joshua prays after a military defeat:
“What can I say after Israel has turned tail before its enemies? When the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land hear of this, they will turn upon us and wipe out our very name from the earth.”
Zacharia, however, faithfully represents the current standpoint of the Western elite. Here is her prescription:
“Israel needs a far more sophisticated, diplomatic, long-term strategic policy for dealing with Gaza and all the threats around it—from Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and perhaps Egypt. A new Israeli approach may have to include a willingness to at least try talking to Hamas, which is fighting its own internal battle against even more radical, anti-Israel groups in the Gaza Strip. It may mean putting more pressure on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, languishing in irrelevance in Ramallah, to make peace with Hamas so there can be negotiations with Israel and a permanent end to this rocket-war madness.”
Let’s list her arguments:
–The “Palestinian militant groups” want to drag Israel into an all-out war. Therefore, she reasons, Israel is foolish to engage in such a war. But the other side wanting a war that Israel prefers to avoid has been a common feature of Israeli history as in 1948, 1967, and 2006. The Palestinian leadership and Arab states misjudge the balance of forces (that is, they don’t know they lose) or feel such a losing war is worthwhile to mobilize popular support and to prove the individual group involved (in this case Hamas) is the best and most courageous of Fedayeen.
–The other side consists of “militant groups.” The problem with avoiding the word “terrorist” is not that it sanitizes those attacking Israel but that it downgrades their ideology and intentions. Hamas openly declares it will destroy Israel and commit genocide against Jews generally. Terrorism is a tactic. What lies behind it is a desire to murder all the civilians on the enemy side, whether or not any specific attack succeeds in killing a few of them.
If you don’t understand the extremism of the enemy you don’t understand the enemy. And if you don’t understand the enemy you have no idea of what to do in response. This is precisely the problem of the Western policy toward the Middle East and revolutionary Islamism.
For example, there is a readiness to believe that the assassination of a U.S. ambassador in Benghazi, Libya (and on September 11 to boot!) is the result of anger over a video rather than a concerted campaign to fundamentally transform Libya and the Middle East.
But back to Zacharia.
–The fault is with Israel. It doesn’t have a proper diplomatic policy, you see, because there’s no willingness to talk to Hamas. Does Hamas character of its own? Might it have an ideology and goals of its own? Might Hamas be to Israel what al-Qaida is to the United States?
If one actually knew anything about Hamas–and Israelis have three decades of experience in studying, fighting, and dealing with it—the idea of a negotiated solution would be ridiculous. Incidentally, Israel has negotiated truces with Hamas. Under normal conditions, Hamas just violates them and up to a point Israel looks the other way or responds in a small way. Periodically, Hamas decides on a big offensive and that leads to war.
Yet Zacharia is blaming Israel for not being good enough to negotiate a deal with a group whose televised children’s shows call for the physical extinction of Israel, the mass murder of its inhabitants, and future careers for kiddies as suicide bombers.
–Hamas is fighting even more radical groups in the Gaza Strip and therefore it must be moderate or at least potentially so.
That isn’t really true. Of course, Hamas cracks down on groups that attack its own rule or prove to be inconvenient. But far more often it cooperates with Islamic Jihad and even al-Qaida affiliated groups. These attack Israel with Hamas’s cooperation and forbearance and then Hamas can claim innocence, thus waging war and claiming it isn’t doing anything at all. This is a transparent ploy but one that, as with Zacharia, many influential people in the West buy hook, line, and sinker.
–Israel can “put pressure” on Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, which rules the West Bank, and end the attacks from the Gaza Strip permanently. Yet anybody—much less a journalist who spent years dealing with the Middle East—should know that Abbas has zero influence in the Gaza Strip and any deal he makes (and he doesn’t intend to make one) will have no effect on Hamas or the Gaza Strip.
Moreover, Israel cannot put too much pressure on Abbas because the Obama Administration, which puts on no pressure of its own, won’t allow it to do so. In addition, Israel is more worried about Abbas being overthrown by Hamas then by his combatting the group. Let’s remember that Abbas himself has repeatedly made deals with Hamas that the “militant group” has violated.
In other words, what Zacharia writes—and this is common throughout Western academic, media, and governmental circles—is completely absurd. The solution not being taken up is to overthrow Hamas just like the Taliban was overthrown in Afghanistan, though even that didn’t solve the problems in the latter country.
But there is zero support in the West for bringing down Hamas. President Barack Obama helped bring a pro-Hamas regime in Egypt. And the man who never pressured Abbas pressured Israel to reduce sanctions on the Gaza Strip, thus helping Hamas remain in power so it continue firing rockets at Israel.
I do not expect the mass media to improve nor do I have any hope of educating the journalists who write this kind of thing. They are not going to change in the near- or even medium-term future. Hence, they will be ignored instead.
Equally, the governments who follow this kind of line will have no effect—at least no positive effect—on regional problems. The new feature of the last few years is that the U.S. government has contributed to making things much worse.
And that’s why there will be no “permanent end” to this rocket war madness or all of the other varieties of madness that are getting worse in the region. It is the policy of those people who do not understand what they are talking about or dealing with who are doomed. They are the ones who need a new policy.
La légèreté française n’a plus aucun charme. Elle accélère le déclin de la nation et désespère le peuple oublié. Jamais les périls n’ont été si proches, à commencer par la perspective du décrochage économique. Des experts allemands craignent davantage de leur allié frivole que de la Grèce, de l’Espagne, de l’Italie ou du Portugal. Ces cigales sont devenues fourmis au contact de la rigueur. La France officielle ignore le mot. Certes, François Hollande a reconnu, mardi lors de sa conférence de presse, la gravité de la situation. Mais le déni était puéril. En marquant une connivence avec les entrepreneurs et les marchés financiers, il a enterré en douce l’utopie socialiste et son mépris de l’argent, des patrons, du capitalisme. Pour autant, ce revirement non assumé ("Il n’y a ni changement, ni virage") en est aux balbutiements. Or le temps presse.
L’insouciance du monde politique le discrédite. Sa superficialité n’est plus cette politesse de l’esprit qui dissimulait jadis des profondeurs. La normalité, érigée en exemple par le chef de l’État, conforte les discours aseptisés et creux, déjà anesthésiés par la pensée convenable. Le résultat ? Ils s’observent dans le hiatus d’une société civile exaspérée tandis que ses représentants bavardent sur l’accessoire. Aux nouveaux Lyssenko qui assurent que l’islam, l’immigration ou l’assistanat ne sont pas des préoccupations pour les Français, un énième sondage (Ifop, Le Journal du dimanche) rappelle que 75 %â€Šd’entre eux estiment que "l’islam progresse trop en France", tandis que 66 % jugent qu’il y a "trop d’immigrés" et que 80 % pensent qu’il y a "trop d’assistanat et d’abus des aides sociales". Hollande n’a soufflé mot de ces sujets. Serait-il sourd, et la presse avec lui ?
True, of course, but Israel has to keep destroying, or damaging as much as it can, the military threat posed to it on three sides -- from Hamas in Gaza, from Hezbollah in Lebanon, and from Iran to the east.
It can't win Muslim hearts and minds. It can't even get a treaty that will guarantee "peace" -- but only the kind of truce treaty that will be broken, in every particular, by the other, Muslim Arab side, sooner or later.
It can, however, do what it must to assure that others are deterred from the use of violence as an instrument of Jihad.
And meanwhile, the Israelis can learn to undo the effects of the propaganda (Pen, Tongue) Jihad that the Arabs have waged so successfullym, and can start by laying bare the reasons for the sudden invention, beginning in late 1967, of the "Palestinian people," by making clear the demographic and cadastral and administrative history of those Ottoman vilayets that became the territory assigned, by the League of Nations, for Mandatory Palestine, set up for the exclusive purpose of establishing the Jewish National Home.
This can be done. Time is not on the Arab Musilm side. The more Muslims behave like Muslims in Western Europe, in Burma, in India, in western China, in southern Philippines, in Kenya and Nigeria, the more non-Muslims begin to see things from Israel's point of view. This is not Israel's doing. It's merely the working out of Muslim doctrine, Muslim attitudes, Muslim atmospherics -- and the reaction, perfectly justified, of non-Muslims of every kind all over the world.
Israel just has to hang on, and keep bombing now south, and perhaps in a few months north, as a way of preparing the battlefield to deal with the crazed Shi'a who run the Islamic Republic of Iran, and who keep thinking, as all the contradictory evidence mounts, that somehow they, Shi'a Muslims, can win the favor, or diminish the hatred, of Sunni Muslims, by disposing of Israel.
A moment's thought -- if those who rule in Teheran could think -- would make them understand that the Sunni Muslims who count the most, the ones with the trillions of dollars, would no doubt not would not be sad if, in its death throes, the Islamic Repbublic of Iran, those Shi'a dogs as the Sunnis see them, were to damage or destroy Israel. But they would be glad to settle for Israel destroying Iran's nuclear project, and emerging unscathed.
The furious debate surrounding Israel’s ongoing military operation in Gaza [what debate? None in my mind] was given a surreal twist this morning when Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks ambushed himself on the Today programme. Having concluded his rather mundane Thought for the Day, Sacks was asked the presenter Evan Davis whether he had any views on the violence. Clearly believing he was off air, Sacks began by wearily responding “I think it’s got to do with Iran, actually”, before he was suddenly made aware his words were being broadcast live, and hurriedly fell back on the more pious “a continued prayer for peace”. Cue much frothing and excitement on Twitter.
But then Twitter hardly needs much encouragement where Israel and the Palestinians are concerned. Watching this centuries old conflict played out in 140 characters isn’t the most edifying experience. But a couple of interventions did catch my eye yesterday, primarily because they were advancing a case that is gaining wide currency. I didn’t save any copies, but the gist was essentially: “If the IRA were firing a few rockets or mortars at us, would we start bombing the Falls Road?”
It’s one I’ve heard before, and provides quite a compelling frame for the proposition that Israel’s response is wholly – some would say murderously – disproportionate. Except there’s one small flaw in the argument. If London and mainland Britain were facing the sort of assault Tel Aviv and Israel are currently facing then we would be bombing the Falls Road, and several other parts of Northern, and southern, Ireland as well.
According to the Israeli government, since January, 563 missiles and rockets, and 204 mortars have been fired into Israel. By my rough calculation that’s more than two random attacks every day. Now, imagine if such a bombardment was currently being launched at London. Two or three times each day, as we were all going about our business, an air raid siren would sound. Most of the time nothing would happen; the incoming barrage would fall harmlessly into an empty field in Surrey or Kent; perhaps disturbing some livestock, but doing minimal damage. But every so often one would find its mark. A rocket would detonate in Leicester Square. Regent’s Street. The grounds of St Thomas's Hospital. The playground of your child’s school.
What would our reaction be? Would we just sit back, shrug, and say “Well, there’s nothing we can really do. Remember, international law and all that”?
I’m not sure we would. In fact, I know I wouldn’t. I would be frantically tapping away on here, demanding an urgent, massive – and if necessary – disproportionate response. And I suspect I wouldn’t be alone.
But we don’t need to look into the crystal ball. We can just look back at what our reaction actually was, when we were the subject of our own, much more limited, assault from Irish Republican and Loyalist terrorism.
We didn’t give our military response a cool – if sinister – name like Operation Cast Lead, the last major Israeli incursion into Gaza. Ours was the more prosaic Operation Banner. Operation Banner lasted 38 years, and represented the longest unbroken deployment in the history of the British Army. At its peak 21,000 troops were on active service, including the Army, Navy Air Force, special forces and intelligence services.
Over 700 British military personnel lost their lives during the course of the operation. 150 civilians were also killed.
Britain’s proportionate response to the terrorist threat also involved the introduction of internment, the suspension of trial by jury, exclusion of UK citizens from the British mainland, unprecedented broadcasting restrictions, alleged collusion between the military and civilian authorities and paramilitary death squads, and several well documented miscarriages of justice.
And that was when Britain was confronted with terrorists whose relatively limited aim was a united – or divided – Ireland. Imagine if the daily rocket and mortar attacks we faced were from, say, Abu Qatada and his friends. Fanatics, whose objective wasn’t just a separate state for themselves, but our total annihilation. What if their rocket attacks were backed up by suicide attacks, and the threat of dirty bombs and indiscriminate casualties on an unimaginable scale?
Well again, we have no need of the crystal ball. When our close ally, the United States, was subject to just such an attack on 9/11, our response was swift. We launched a full scale invasion of Afghanistan. Thousands of troops. The RAF Tornado force. A Royal Navy carrier task force.
Britain and her allies lost over 3,000 service personnel, with a further 20,000 wounded. Over 14,000 civilians were killed. That was our proportionate response to the threat realised by 9/11. And that was an attack perpetrated by guys armed with box cutters, boarding passes and a few hours on a flight simulator.
Israel is currently under attack from Qassam rockets, which can propel a 20lb warhead up to 11 miles. Katyusha rockets, which can deliver a 35lb warhead over a distance of 13 miles. And the upgraded Grad rocket, which carries a 100lb warhead, and has a range of almost 30 miles.
I remember being told Britain was potentially in range of weapons like that. Actually, it wasn’t Britain itself, but “British interests”.
On 24 September, 2002, Tony Blair’s government published a dossier “Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government” which asserted Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime had “constructed a new engine test stand for the development of missiles capable of reaching the UK Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus”. Our proportionate response to that rocket threat was the invasion of Iraq, resulting in the deaths of almost 5,000 US and British troops, over 100,000 Iraqi civilians and the destabilisation of the entire region.
Some may debate the wisdom of Israel’s response; others the legality. But please, let’s not get all self-righteous and pretend that if it was British cities currently under rocket bombardment our own response would be a virtuous turn of the other cheek.
“If the IRA were firing a few rockets or mortars at us, would we start bombing the Falls Road?” Yes. We would.
A bomb attack on a minibus kills at least five people and leaves dozens wounded in the Kenyan capital
Nairobi police chief Moses Ombati said there would probably be more casualties after the explosion on the 25-seater bus. There are more casualties coming in but what I can confirm is that five people have been killed," he said, adding that 10 men and three women were among the wounded.
Kenya Red Cross said 29 people had been wounded in the blast.
The attack took place in the Eastleigh suburb of Nairobi, sometimes referred to as "little Mogadishu" because of the number of Somali immigrants who live there.
Kenya has been hit by a string of grenade attacks recently, usually blamed on sympathizers of al-Shabaab, Somalia's Islamist extremist rebels who are linked to al-Qaeda. Al-Shabaab has vowed to carry out attacks on Kenya because it sent troops into Somalia last year to fight the rebels, who are considered a threat to Kenya's security because they have been blamed for kidnapping foreign tourists and aid workers in Kenya.
The most frustrating thing about being a liberal critic of Israel these days is the fact that the generally fractious people of the Jewish state are more or less united behind their government as it attempts to defend the country against terrorist assaults from Hamas. This consensus is rooted in the knowledge that neither the Islamist-controlled enclave in Gaza nor the supposedly more moderate Palestinian Authority in the West Bank has the faintest interest in peace. Left without any peace partners, Israelis understand their nation’s only choice is to do what it must to lessen the peril from rocket attacks while preparing for even greater threats such as that of a nuclear Iran.
The need to take a realistic approach to an intractable problem is merely common sense, but it still grates on Israel’s critics who still prefer to blame the victim rather than the aggressors. A classic example of such thinking was found in the form of an op-ed masquerading as a news analysis on the front page of the New York Times yesterday. Writing by former Times Jerusalem Bureau chief Ethan Bronner, the piece took as its premise that Israel was stuck in an outmoded mindset that refused to take into account the changing circumstances of the Middle East. Instead of realizing that the rise of a new wave of Islamist sentiment in the wake of the Arab Spring meant they should be more accommodating, Bronner wrote that the foolish Israelis are simply doubling down on their old tactics of being “tough” with the Arabs.
As Bronner writes:
What is striking in listening to the Israelis discuss their predicament is how similar the debate sounds to so many previous ones, despite the changed geopolitical circumstances. In most minds here, the changes do not demand a new strategy, simply a redoubled old one.
But what Bronner fails to comprehend is that the changes in the Arab world are exactly why Israel’s policies are correct.
At the heart of this critique is a belief that Israelis don’t care about peace. This is ridiculous since, even now, it is probable that a comfortable majority could be found for even the most far-reaching land-for-peace deal with the Palestinians if it could be reasonably asserted that such a treaty would actually end the conflict rather than merely continue on terms that are less advantageous for the Jewish state. Unfortunately, that is all the Oslo peace process turned out to be. Both the collapse of Oslo in the terror of the second intifada and the transformation of Gaza after Israel’s complete withdrawal from that territory in 2005 into a missile launching pad has convinced the overwhelming majority of Israelis that peace is not possible in the foreseeable future.
That leaves them with no choice but to hang tough until a sea change in the political culture of Palestinians enables them to produce a leadership that might dare to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state, no matter where its borders are drawn.
That angers deluded observers who cling to the idea that the only real obstacles to peace are those created by Israeli policies. But unless you believe, as one Arab academic quoted in Bronner’s piece asserts, that Israel’s creation was a “crime” that must be rectified for there to be peace, the only rational response to Hamas attacks is a periodic effort to “cut the grass” that will make it harder for the terrorists to kill more Jews.
Taken out of the context of Arab intransigence and a fanatical Islamist determination to continue the conflict until Israel is weakened and ultimately destroyed, talk of “cutting the grass” in Gaza seems cynical and hard-hearted. That depiction dovetails with a mindset that views Israelis as military aggressors and out of touch with their neighbors. But it is Bronner’s piece that is detached from reality, not the Israeli grass cutters.
Israel tried repeatedly to make peace in the last 20 years, but only a tiny minority in the country has failed to comprehend that all they accomplished was to trade land for terror and to empower Hamas in the process. The decision of Turkey to abandon its alliance with Israel in pursuit of pan-Islamic glory and the transformation of Egypt from cold peace partner to active ally of Hamas (as well as the tacit acceptance of these developments by the United States) has rendered talk of more concessions even more absurd.
Most Israelis understand the choice facing their country is not between holding onto territory or settlements and peace. It is between death and survival in a war with Palestinian Islamists that has no end in sight. That is a reality that Israel’s liberal critics at the Times and elsewhere haven’t yet come to terms with.
Yesterday Haaretz reported that Hamas has been preventing a large number of reporters from leaving Gaza for Israel since hostilities has commenced. To quote:
10:45 P.M. Hamas is preventing dozens of foreign nationals and journalist from leaving the Gaza Strip into Israel. According to one journalist stationed in Gaza, a group of 22 foreign journalists and Turkish nationals working at the Gaza Strip Red Crescent asked the Hamas authorities for permission to leave the coastal enclave but were denied. According to the reports of news agencies, Israel announced that the Erez Crossing would be open to foreign nationals crossing from Gaza to Israel. (Haaretz) […]
1:52 P.M. Hamas prevents foreign nationals, including 22 journalists, from leaving Gaza Strip, report says (DPA)
Interestingly, Ronn Torossian, CEO a large American PR company, wrote in an article a few days earlier
There is freedom of the press in Israel, and journalists can cover it as they wish. Unlike anywhere else in the Middle East, there is true freedom of the press; journalists aren’t followed by the police, tortured, intimidated, etc. Israel exists in a tough neighborhood and while not covering the irony of their freedoms, the media disparages Israel. Anywhere else in the world people who throw rocks at police would be rightfully taken to task – In Israel, the authorities are painted as the bad guys for enforcing the law against rock-throwers.
Reporters enjoy the good life in Israel. Foreign reporters often report from the "war zone" with great visuals of "conflict", yet are able to return to metropolitan life for a great sushi dinner, or evening out in beautiful Tel Aviv. As a result, what they report and how they live are inconsistent. In Israel, reporters lead a high quality of life; from education to culture, and they do not find themselves in danger as they are in many neighboring countries (you won’t see too many journalists in Libya, Iran or many of Israel’s other neighbors).
It is more tha likely a vain hope but perhaps some of those journalists situated in Gaza, who presumably are rather keen to peddle anti-Israel stories, often follow Hamas’ line, and ignore the wrong doing of the Palestinian side, will come to appreciate the liberties afforded those living in Israel a wee bit more?
Three Ways Hamas Deceives The World With Photographs
The first way is to have some important visitor hold in his arms a dead child -- as Turkish Prime Minister Kandil did the other day -- with all the lazy reporters, and their often biased news organizations, siimply assuming the child had been killed by Israeli fire, and gleefully reporting it, as CNN did, as The Daily Mirror did, as others did, until they were forced to retract -- but by that time the photograph had worked its poisonous effect:
Dead child cradled by Egypt's PM was killed by Hamas! (UPDATED)
The Mirror(UK) on Friday published this, as did many other newspapers:
Egypt's Prime Minister wept today as he kissed the forehead of a boy killed in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza.
CNN takes it as a given that young Mahmoud Sadallah (Sadhala) was killed by an Israeli airstrike. Only one problem: he was killed by a Hamas rocket that fell short in Gaza. There is a lot of evidence for this. Read the New York Times' account of his death:
The Abu Wardah family woke up on Friday morning to word that a hudna — Arabic for cease-fire — had been declared during the three-hour visit of the Egyptian prime minister to this embattled territory. So, after two days of huddling indoors to avoid intensifying Israeli air assaults, Abed Abu Wardah, the patriarch, went to the market to buy fruits and vegetables. His 22-year-old son, Aiman, took an empty blue canister to be refilled with cooking gas. The younger children of their neighborhood, Annazla, in this town north of Gaza City went out to the dirt alley to kick a soccer ball.
But around 9:45 a.m., family members and neighbors said, an explosion struck a doorway near the Abu Wardah home, killing Aiman Abu Wardah as he returned from his errand, as well as Mahmoud Sadallah, 4, who lived next door and had refused his older cousin’s pleas to stay indoors.
It is unclear who was responsible for the strike on Annazla: the damage was nowhere near severe enough to have come from an Israeli F-16, raising the possibility that an errant missile fired by Palestinian militants was responsible for the deaths. What seems clear is that expectations for a pause in the fighting, for at least one family, were tragically misplaced.
The IDF did not launch any airstrikes in Gaza while Egyptian PM Kandil was in Gaza. AP adds:
Mahmoud Sadallah, the 4-year-old Gaza boy whose death moved Egypt's prime minister to tears, was from the town of Jebaliya, close to Gaza City.
The boy died Friday in hotly disputed circumstances. The boy's aunt, Hanan Sadallah, and his grief-stricken father Iyad — weak from crying and leaning on others to walk — said Mahmoud was killed in an Israeli airstrike. Hamas security officials also made that claim.
Israel vehemently denied involvement, saying it had not carried out any attacks in the area at the time.
Mahmoud's family said the boy was in an alley close to his home when he was killed, along with a man of about 20, but no one appeared to have witnessed the strike. The area showed signs that a projectile might have exploded there, with shrapnel marks in the walls of surrounding homes and a shattered kitchen window. But neighbors said local security officials quickly took what remained of the projectile, making it impossible to verify who fired it.
If it was an Israeli missile, you can be sure that it would have been shown to the media!
Furthermore, PCHR, which is keeping track of everyone killed in Gaza (and which admits that most of the dead have been "militants,") did not list Mahmoud Sadallah or Aiman Aby Wardah in their list of victims of Israeli airstrikes, although they even include one person who died of a heart attack.
Put this together with the fact that Hamas and other terror groups were firing rockets throughout Friday morning while the IDF did not, plus the fact that over 100 rockets have fallen short in Gaza (both using past performance and IDF statistics as proof), and the fact that the shrapnel in the video matches almost exactly the shrapnel damage we have seen from rocket fire into Israel, and it is very clear: this child was killed by Gaza rocket fire, not by Israel.
And every media outlet that irresponsibly assumed that Israel killed him must correct their slander, and also make sure that they don't automatically blame Israel for civilian deaths in the future.
Write to CNN, the Mirror and every other media outlet that published this lie. This war needs all of us to get involved. Every newspaper is on Twitter, and they read their tweets.
UPDATE: The Telegraph verifies that Sadallah was killed by a Hamas rocket:
But there were signs on Saturday that not all the Palestinian casualties have been the result of Israeli air strikes. The highly publicised death of four-year-old Mohammed Sadallah appeared to have been the result of a misfiring home-made rocket, not a bomb dropped by Israel.
The child’s death on Friday figured prominently in media coverage after Hisham Kandil, the Egyptian prime minister, was filmed lifting his dead body out of an ambulance. "The boy, the martyr, whose blood is still on my hands and clothes, is something that we cannot keep silent about," he said, before promising to defend the Palestinian people.
But experts from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights who visited the site on Saturday said they believed that the explosion was caused by a Palestinian rocket.
Kudos to the Telegraph for doing real research.
So when will the other media outlets issue corrections?
Still a second way to deceive the world with photorgaphs occurs when Hamas and its hysterical supporters in the West use for propaganda - anti-Israel -- purposes a photograph of a wounded or dead child, but the child turns out to be Israeli, wounded or killed by a Hamas rocket fired wantonly from Gaza at Israseli towns, and not some Arab child who happens to be in the same building -- though Usraeku warnings have repeatedly gone out by telephone, and email, to tens of thousands of Gazans -- child, as some Hamas operatives now being attacked. This happened the other day with Arab and Arab collaborators preparing an anti-Israel flyer to whip up attendance at their rally in Hamilton, Ontario.
But the photograph being used is not of an Arab child, killed by those heartless Israelis, but of an Israeli child wounded in a Hamas rocket attack but of an israeli child, wounded by a rocket fired deliberately at civilians in an israeli city:
In advertising their Hamas Support Rally decrying the Israeli "Murder Of Palestinians" the Hamas... er Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War have posted a picture of a wounded "Gazan" child to tug at the heart strings.
Heart rending isn't it? They missed one small detail, it's a wounded Israeli child, injured in the Hamas rocket attacks on Kiryat Malachi! Nothing done by these terror supporters is too stupid or too despicable to surprise me any more.
And these attacks on civilians, and only on civilians, by Hamas, continue -- they have stored 12,000 rockets for the purpoose -- even as as Israeli forces have again shown in their own modus operandi in Gaza the most astonishing precision, and the most amazing restraint and, as a result, the most fantastic ability to limit civilian casualties even where, as in Gaza, every single rocket emplacement is in or near a school, a hospital, a mosque, and all of Hamas' leadership hides in civlian apartment houses. Israaeli forces have -- any reasonably intelligent observer can see -- - have done far more to avoid civilian casualties than any army in the history of warfare, and certainly more than any of the coalition forces in Afghanistan, or in Iraq, as American and British military men who have served kin either theatre know perfectly well.
And the third way is simply to take photographs of Arab children wounded or killed in Syria (by either side), and to present them as scenes photographed
A Picture from Syrian Uprising Used by Hamas(Akamaihd)
We’ll have more on the PR war being waged on both Twitter and Facebook later, but for now, a disturbing update about Hamas, which is using pictures of children that have been injured or killed in Syria and sending them out through social media to show them as Palestinian dead.
Hamas, Hezbollah, and their ilk have long used images of children as a cudgel to portray Israelis as a wanton murderers of children, even as the IDF remains the only force that doesn’t target civilians. I doubt this is the last we’ll see of it.
There are many other ways that Hams -- and Hezboll, and the PLO -- has used, is using, and no doubt will use photographs to blacken Israel's name. Perhaps the Israelis could compile a book with examples of such propaganda, including, of course, the many supposed "victims" of Israeli attacks who are first seen being carried, by fellow Arabs, as if being rushed to a hospital, and then, are captured by a camera a few moments later, when they think no one is looking save for Western media sympathizers whom they know won't spill the beans, and can pick up their beds and walk. A variant on this is the person who -- during the Hezbollah War in Lebanon a few years ago -- was seen being rushed to an ambulance but then, a little later, getting out of the ambulance, in perfect good health, and walking serenely away.
Yes, such an exhibit -- say, in the halls or on the walls of Congress -- might be just the ticket.