Archive for the ‘Palestinians’ Category

According to recent reports, Hamas negotiates with Gaza’s other armed factions to establish a unilateral cease-fire, after killing eight Israelis on August 18th – and more, via rocket attacks. While some might believe it suggests Hamas is scared and wants to prevent further destruction of its assets, it is likely that the scheme is more sophisticated than that.

Hamas understood in advance that attacking Israeli civilians would provoke Israeli response and no condemnation of the Arab league would defend the Strip. Realizing political winds around the world, though – UN in particular – Ismayil Haniyeh, Hamas’ leader in Gaza believed he could terrorize Israelis, scoring points with his superiors and some neighbors, while suffering relatively little to no damage.

Haniyeh understands that leveraging international press – as well as bodies such as the United Nations and the Arab League – is a cinch; on all previous occasions, the international community was quick to call upon Israel to halt counter-operations in Gaza. The talk of a cease-fire is no more than a ruse to leave the scene unscathed, after achieving Hamas’ goals.

When Hamas declares another lull – which never is what Hamas claims it to be – Israel will have two options. Either abide by the newly set game rules, hence suffering political defeat vis-à-vis Gaza, or continue the armed campaign. The latter option is also split into two: either Israel keeps destroying Gazan targets from the air (mostly an ineffective tactic) or it moves into Gaza with armed forces, an operation similar to 2008-09 operation Cast Lead.

Haniyeh calculated that whatever path Israel chooses, Hamas wins. If Israel halts its attacks, Hamas claims it won the battle. If Israel keeps bombarding the area, each civilian casualty (real or invented by Palestinian press handlers) plays against the Jewish state. And, finally, if Israel moves into Gaza with ground forces, Gaza’s ruler is confident the Israelis will not cause significant damage to Hamas’ infrastructure, learning his lessons from past experiences.

IDF troops attacked on board Mavi Marmara Israeli right-wing human rights group Shurath ha-Deen (aka Israel Law Center) sent an official letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder, requesting the latter to start an investigation into US-based ‘Free Gaza’ movement. The group that led an assault on IDF soldier on board the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ last week, backs Gaza-based Hamas and harshly criticized Israel, with some comments bordering on anti-Semitism:

The Free Gaza organization is providing military assistance to Hamas by attempting to break the Israeli blockade while Hamas continues its attacks on Israeli civilians, Darshan-Leitner said. In doing so, it is taking part in attacking a state friendly to America – a violation of the U.S. Neutrality Act (18 U.S.C. 960).

The Neutrality Act states, “Whoever, within the United States, knowingly begins or sets on foot or provides or prepares a means for or furnishes the money for, or takes part in, any military or naval expedition or enterprise to be carried on from thence against the territory or dominion of any foreign prince or state, or of any colony, district, or people with whom the United States is at peace, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both." ( Channel 7 News )

FREE GAZA IS known for its anti-Israel stand. As the group set sail for Gaza, it was asked to transfer a package to Israeli POW Gilad Shalit, in exchange for Shalit family’s official support for the sail. The group refused. Later, the group posted a set of testimonies of their website, calling them ‘Survivor testimonies’. According to the radical group, IDF soldiers used violence on all ships, although no evidence of such on vessels other than Mavi Marmara was produces. Moreover, all testimonies discard IDF-posted videos and pictures, illustrating heavily skewed picture. Among other things, the activists claimed the soldiers used live fire prior to landing on the ship and at the moment of touchdown itself. However, Free Gaza failed to explain why its activists are seen strolling on all decks of Mavi Marmara, if the ship was indeed under live fire.

On its Flickr photo stream, the group published most flattering images of themselves, picturing the activists caring for the injured soldiers. Missing from the stream are other pictures – where troops are seen injured, on the floor, with persons holding them at knifepoint. It is propaganda at its best.

Best testimony to Free Gaza’s fervent anti-Israel stance is the GPS map posted on its co-website, WitnessGaza:

GPS map posted on WitnessGaza.Com

Capture2 The map fully ignores Israel (as well as the West Bank and Gaza, for that matter), but details borders and cities in Jordan and Lebanon. The logo promoting the website is a blunt propaganda, showing IDF troops assaulting the ships (from Mi-26, surprisingly), with activists pulling the injured. Unsurprisingly, there’s no evidence of relentless beating the soldiers endured onboard.

 

In the meanwhile, Israel seems to enjoy support in the United States, an additional incentive for Eric Holder, who constantly takes flak over various issues and enjoys relatively little popularity among the American people.

In a most recent expression of such support, Democrat John Kerry countered critics’ accusations of Israel being a ‘liability’ for the US. Democrat Chuck Schumer sent a letter to US Secretary of State Clinton, asking the State Department to investigate linkage between organizations backing the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ and various terror groups:

Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a key player in US President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, said that "there are obviously tensions with respect to certain policies" but that Israel "has every right in the world to make certain that weapons are not being smuggled in after the thousands of rockets that have been fired on it from Gaza."

Schumer demanded that the adminisration examine whether IHH provided financial, logistic and material support to any organization included the State Department’s list of terror groups.
According to the senator, IHH funded terror organizations and send rebels to fight in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya. He also called for a probe into a French judge’s claim that IHH was involved in an attempt to bomb the Los Angeles Airport in late 1999. ( Ynet )

Fueling further backing of Israeli by Obama administration, recent Rasmussen poll shows only 19% of Americans believing Israel should bear blame for grave outcome of IDF’s Marmara boarding. 32% were not sure, while staggering 49% defended Israel’s actions.

MK Chanin Zouabi from Israeli Palestinian BALAD faction should lose her diplomatic passport, special travel rights abroad and free legal council, recommends parliamentary commission investigating Zouabi’s participation in a violent attack against IDF troops on board a ship heading to Gaza:

The vote was 7-1, with only MK Ilan Gil’on of Meretz voting against. The full Knesset must now vote on the committee’s recommendation. "We are pushing for it to take place quickly," Ben-Ari’s parliamentary aide Baruch Marzel told Israel National News. "It’s a good atmosphere." MKs Ben-Ari, Moses (United Torah Judaism) and others drank a L’Chaim after the vote. (Channel 7 News)

Extremist elements in Israeli society upped the stakes, sending threatening letters and death threats against Israeli Palestinian MKs:

Knesset Member Talab El-Sana (United Arab List-Ta’al) says he was verbally attacked by a guest in the Knesset building on Monday. Earlier, El-Sana received threatening messages on his phone and a fax reading, "You are dead." (Ynet)

"Because of your poisonous positions against Israel and Zionism,” the letter said, “the organization’s management has issued a Pulsa Dinura against you.”

"You have 180 days left to live. Your death will be sudden and cruel, accompanied by much pain… It is time that you prepare your will.”

Tibi said that “the incitement by right wing Knesset members is the reason for the threats, and right wing Knesset members will bear responsibility for any harm inflicted upon me or or any of my Arab colleagues in the Knesset.” He filed a complaint with the Knesset Officer. (Channel 7 News)

DURING PAST WEEK, many Israelis expressed their outrage over Israeli Palestinian MKs’ support of violent rioters on board Mavi Marmara, as well as support for Palestinian ‘resistance movement’. Recently, MK Ahmad Tibi threatened Israelis, saying Gilad Shalit’s kidnapping conditions to suffer if Jewish government would decide to worsen Hamas prisoners’ conditions in Israeli jails:

His denial notwithstanding, video shows that in an interview Sunday with Channel 1 Television’s Uri Levy, MK Tibi said: “Just as you are putting pressure on the prisoners in the jails we will put pressure on Gilad Shalit.” Tibi did not say whom he was referring to by “we” but the only possible explanation seems to be that he was speaking for Hamas, the terror organization holding captured Israeli soldier First Sergeant Gilad Shalit for close to four years.

The fact that his utterance was broadcast on television and is freely available for viewing and listening did not prevent Tibi from denying he ever said it, in a speech Wednesday from the Knesset podium. (Channel 7 News)

Israeli Jews feel threatened by the Palestinian minority, which assisted Palestinian terror during the past decade. On more than one occasions, Palestinians carrying Israeli IDs helped suicide bombers arrive at their destinations inside the ‘Green Line’, prompting IDF and the government to make extraordinary steps such as constructing the separation barrier.

Israeli Palestinian MKs’ fiery ‘fascist’ rhetoric never did them any good among Jewish population. However, radical speeches certainly keep their popularity high among Palestinians – target audience of the speakers.