07/28/14

Forum: What Should Israel Do About Gaza?

The Watcher’s Council

Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture or daily living. This week’s question: What Should Israel Do About Gaza?

The Independent Sentinel: Israel should finish the job now while Hamas has few supporters in the Arab world. They need to obliterate the tunnels and the missiles. Then they should go back home but monitor any shipments going into Gaza.

It’s a blessing that Morsi is gone.

Simply Jews: What happens the day after Hamas is destroyed?

Unfortunately, we may not see that day anytime soon. Our government is not up to sacrifice lives of hundreds of soldiers required to smoke out the terrorists from under the center of the Gaza City, which will be the price once the fighting in the confines of the city really starts.

Or should Hamas be destroyed or just disarmed, if that’s possible?

In the ideal world Hamas should be destroyed, in a less ideal – disarmed. In our world, neither will happen, due to (see above). It will be helpful as well to read this;

http://www.timesofisrael.com/a-supportive-british-colonel-and-a-bleak-vision-of-endless-costly-military-operations/

I am sorry to say that it is all true.

What should Israel’s strategy towards Hamas/Fatah be?

Trying to bolster the latter in every situation that will harm the former. For example, if freeing prisoners: leave the Hamas ones in prison. Any relief of restrictions goes to the latter – leaving the former in the mud. But all of this – publicly, with lots of coverage. Encourage good behavior so that all can see it.

What strategy should America support?

The one agreed in the privacy between the two sides and not the one blurted via “accidentally” operating mikes to the media, totally not agreed by the other side. As it more and more frequently happens lately.

What is most likely to occur there?

Nothing essentially new. Same old. Another year or two of relative calm, followed by a new round of strife.

Sorry for being so pessimistic.

JoshuaPundit: There are two things you hear said a lot about this situation, usually by genuinely stupid politicians or equally stupid think tank inhabitants. The first is the trophe that ‘there is no military solution.’  The second is to say there is a major  difference between Hamas and Fatah.

Actually, a military solution would be the only one that would work. And the dime’s worth of difference between  Hamas and Fatah,the difference between ‘acceptable’ terrorists and ‘unacceptable’ terrorists has faded to nothingness because of the unity agreement between the two and their coordinated strategy in the Third Intifada.

It should be apparent by now that anything Israel does to defend itself is now going to be subject to  criticism by the usual suspects, which now unfortunately includes the Obama regime. That should be apparent to anyone following the news of President Obama’s trying to rescue Hamas by demanding Israel abide by an unconditional ceasefire…while he and Qatar and the EU fund them.

Israel is in the same position with Obama as they were with France’s DeGaulle on the eve of the Six Day War.Since anything they do short of committing suicide is going to get the same reaction, they have little to lose.

There is a solution to Gaza. It involves Israel  (1) destroying Hamas utterly by whatever means necessary (2) Annexing Gaza (3) removing most of the Arab population either to Area A, the reichlet of Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas or to UNRWA refugee camps outside Israeli territory and (4) Gradually repopulating Gaza with Jews and watching it become Singapore or Hong Kong instead of an Islamo-fascist swamp.

Every poll indicates that Israel’s population overwhelmingly supports defeating Hamas once and for all.There really is no choice.

At the same time, the behavior of Abbas and Fatah have shown that  a similar solution has to be coordinated with them. Israel needs to delineate its borders unilateral and enforce them. Annex Area C and the Jordan Valley where the populations are overwhelmingly Jewish as well as whatever strategic areas of Areas A and B Israel determines it wishes to control. Cede the rest of Area A to Abbas as his little reichlet, and move all Jews outside the new borders  to Israeli territory and all Arab non-Israeli citizens to ‘Palestine’. Endgame, and as the divorce becomes final,  a  warning:  let Abbas and Fatah know that any aggressive action, including lawfare will involve severe consequences. And follow through on it.

Peace comes from victory. And after all of the ‘sacrifices for peace’ written in Jewish blood forced on Israel since the Oslo debacle, I think the Israeli people would support this over these constant wars of attrition that grow more costly each time. Enough of the balagan gadol.

The Razor: Unfortunately Israelis don’t have the stomach for permanently fixing the problem in Gaza and the West Bank: Ethnically cleansing the Palestinians from both areas and forcing them into refugee camps in Jordan or Egypt or wherever else the locals will put up with them. It’s not that Israel couldn’t survive the heat from the outside world; I believe the average Israeli doesn’t have the conscience to do it. Contrary to what the Europeans and many on the Left here in the US believe, the Jews are a moral people. It would be difficult for them to accept the morality of a campaign of trucking the Palestinians out of their homes in Gaza and the West Bank to the border crossings in Egypt and Jordan. But morality and political stability are two mutually exclusive domains.

Barring such a moral turn, the only viable solution I’ve seen is the “Shock the Casbah” strategy described here: http://www.the-american-interest.com/garfinkle/2014/07/24/why-is-this-gaza-war-different-from-all-other-gaza-wars/. In a nutshell, it means negotiating a final settlement with the PA, but it’s a longshot as Garfinkle notes, “because it requires a boldness of vision and leadership in Israel, among the Palestinians, and in the United States, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia that is simply not available.” I believe Netanyahu is bold, but he has no counterpart on the PA side, and definitely lacks a bold leader here in the United States. So I doubt that will happen.

At this point I don’t see an end to the violence in Gaza, just a lot more muddling through. If Hamas can be destroyed the Israelis should do it. It’s on the ropes with an unfriendly Egypt behind it and it’s Iranian patron too busy in Syria and Iraq to give them much notice. Of course there can always be worse in Gaza. Look at Isis in Northern Iraq…

 Ask Marion: There really is no Palestinian State.  They have continually failed to lay the groundwork for a viable homeland and the continual jockeying over the two state solution exists to placate International opinion.

It would be nice to say, just disarm Hamas and everything will be fine, but in reality the only way to peace is for Israel to destroy them.  Even after years for war in the Middle East, Americans are generally clueless about what is going on there, where the borders are or even where most of the countries in the Middle East are and they certainly have no clue as to the minutia.

Operation Protective Edge continues to move toward its goals while the Hamas system of complex and advanced military infrastructure tunnels is being realized beneath them. Israel can and I believe has the ability to reach their immediate goal of destroying this tunnel system that has been constructed, subduing rocket fire and leave Gaza… establishing a couple of years of calm and normalcy. But if Hamas is not destroyed, this is a temporary solution… until the next round. As Netanyahu has pointed out, Hamas breaks all cease fires and agreements.

Video: Netanyahu: Hamas Has Broken All Cease Fires We Have Agreed To

But why wait for a next time? Israel should eliminate the Hamas threat completely right now during Operation Protective Edge, including reoccupying Gaza and destroying every rocket, gun, bullet, armament, as well as their factories. Israel has already mobilized into Gaza and Hamas has been weakened by these first few weeks of fighting. Plus, maybe the most important difference is the Sinai factor which has not presented itself before and could disappear again in the future. There has been a military rapprochement with the Egyptians since al-Sisi overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood. Currently, Egypt is completely in Israel’s court. Having their backs up against the wall Hamas leaders and fighters will not be able to escape into the Sinai, the only place they could go in the past in a final Israeli assault scenario. The Egyptians will cut them down if they try to enter their territory. They will be forced to shoot it out with the IDF. So now is the time. Israel certainly is not going to get any help from the U.S. while Obama is our president and who knows what the future will bring?!? Funny how that border word seems to vary from situation to situation in President Obama’s mind… and actions!!

Well, there you have it.

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

07/28/14

Victim: The Senior Citizen

By: Allan Wall
Victims of Illegal Immigration – A Collection of Essays
Hat Tip: Dick Manasseri

We’re constantly lectured in the Main-stream Media that illegal aliens are just doing the jobs Americans won’t do and that our economy would collapse without them. News stories nearly always present illegals as sympathetic victims of American intolerance. The reality is much more complicated, however.

Local news stories, seldom publicized nationally, reveal a slew of horrible crimes committed by illegal aliens. This story in Maryland, for example, is of a pair of illegal alien lawn workers who were treated kindly by an elderly lady who employed them. In gratitude, they killed her, in a horrific manner.

It all started with Ramon Alvarado and his cousin Jose Alvarado, both from El Salvador, who had been allegedly living in the United States for a decade. Not to worry, Immigration and Customs Enforcement [sic] had issued detainers on the cousins and Jose’s wife, meaning there was a possibility of them being deported eventually. It didn’t happen soon enough, though, to prevent this murder. (It doesn’t help that Maryland has “sanctuary cities” and grants driver’s licenses to illegals.)

The two men already had criminal records in Maryland – Jose for check fraud and Ramon for driving without a license or registration. These sorts of crimes didn’t lead to deportation.

Lila Meizell, an 83-year-old resident of Wheaton, Maryland, hired the cousins to do yard work for her for two years. Ms. Meizell was pleased with the yard work, according to her daughter. Besides paying them, she gave them food, soft drinks, and tips.

So why did they kill their kindly employer? After being paid, the cousins decided to milk some more money out of her. Jose took the check for $75 and added two zeros to the number. That way they were able to cash it for $7500. Then Jose and Ramon decided to kill Lila to cover up the fraud. The cousins broke into Lila’s home, where Ramon grabbed her and smashed her head. While still alive, Lila was doused with gasoline and her body set ablaze. When emergency personnel arrived it was too late. (Two police officers and a firefighter were also injured while responding to the fire.)

The cousins were arrested, tried, and sentenced. Since Ramon did more of the dirty work, he got two consecutive life terms. The judge said to Ramon, “The inhumane manner you chose to exterminate a lady well into the autumn years of her life strongly suggests that you are sadistic.” Strongly suggests? There is no doubt about it. Jose got a life sentence without parole.

Those murderers never should have been in our country in the first place, or after having entered, they should have been deported long ago.

Allan Wall, a columnist for Mexidata and VDARE, resided many years in Mexico and has recently returned to the United States.

07/27/14

Time to Finish the Threat

Arlene from Israel

It’s going on 72 hours since I’ve posted – the longest interval I’ve gone without a posting since this war with Hamas began.  In that period, as I have attempted to track what is happening, I felt as if my head was spinning 350 degrees. Round and round.

Here I only intend to review the essential outline of what has been transpiring and then look at the bottom line basics that matter most.

~~~~~~~~~~

In the period leading up to Shabbat, on Friday, Israel was said to be considering a proposal for a week long ceasefire that had been put on the table by Kerry.  In the end, that proposal was unanimously rejected by the Israel Security Cabinet; its members were, to a person, furious: Kerry had come out solidly on the side of Hamas.

Communicating with representatives of Qatar and Turkey in putting together his proposal, Kerry had, in the words of unnamed Israeli sources cited by Times of Israel, “’dug a tunnel under the Egyptian ceasefire proposal’ — which Israel accepted and Hamas rejected last week — and presented the Israeli government with a text that accepted ‘most of the demands’ raised by Hamas…

”To the ‘horror’ of the Israeli ministers, the Kerry proposal accepted Hamas’s demands for the opening of border crossings into Gaza — where Israel and Egypt fear the import of weaponry; the construction of a seaport; and the creation of a post-conflict funding channel for Hamas from Qatar and other countries, according to the sources. The proposal, meanwhile, did not even provide for Israel to continue demolishing the Hamas network of ‘terror tunnels’ dug under the Israeli border. (All emphasis added)

http://www.timesofisrael.com/kerry-completely-capitulated-to-hamas-in-ceasefire-proposal-says-israel/

”Channel 2′s diplomatic reporter Udi Segal said ‘voices”’ from the cabinet had described Kerry as ‘negligent,’ ‘lacking the ability to understand’ the issues, and ‘incapable of handling the most basic matters.’”

I myself think describing Kerry thus is cutting him too much slack. He is not the rocket scientist of the diplomatic world, true. But he’s not so foolish that he cannot perceive the implications of failing to call for demolishing the terror tunnels into Israel.  What we are seeing is not an attempt to stop the fighting that is simply lacking in conceptual clarity. We’re seeing an ally of Hamas express his distain and malice toward the people of Israel.  Make no mistake about this, or about the fact that Kerry speaks for the man in the White House.

Times of Israel editor David Horovitz calls what Kerry did a “betrayal,” and says the result is that “Jerusalem now regards him as duplicitous and dangerous.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/john-kerry-the-betrayal/

This is an awakening that I see as all to the good.

~~~~~~~~~~

Subsequent to this, Kerry went to Paris where he met with representatives of Qatar and Turkey to “continue working” on the ceasefire.  I believe he met there as well with Ban Ki Moon, whom my readers know well as another duplicitous anti-Israel diplomat.

Should you feel inclined (you many not), you can see here a recent video of a press conference with Netanyahu and Ban. Our prime minister very vividly lays out the picture of what we are contending with regarding Hamas, after which Ban professes sympathy and then advises us that we cannot solve the problem until there is no more “occupation” and a “two state solution.”  We should start talking to each other.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qG-abT0lYYM

Today, Ban made a comment about how the people of Gaza have suffered enough.  As if we were causing that suffering on purpose and calling a halt to it is all that matters.

~~~~~~~~~~

After Israel rejected the week-long ceasefire that had been proposed by Kerry, Ban Ki Moon, in Paris, working with other “diplomats,” called for a short humanitarian ceasefire – to allow supplies to be brought in and the dead to be brought out – to be honored from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM yesterday. That was accomplished.

The UN then asked that the ceasefire be extended for another day.  We agreed to four more hours. But at 8:01 PM Hamas started firing again, declaring that “We didn’t agree to an extension.”  In spite of this, we held our fire.

Yet another extension – another day – of ceasefire was then requested and at about midnight last night the Security Cabinet met again (they are in very frequent session) and voted to agree to that further extension – I believe 20 hours – even though it was a one-sided ceasefire.  It was about at that point that I went into my WHAT ARE THEY DOING? mode.

Today we started shelling in Gaza again, because Hamas did not honor the ceasefire and enough was enough.

~~~~~~~~~~

AFTER we started shooting again, Hamas suddenly decided a ceasefire was a good idea after all, and called for it to be mutually instituted. This time Netanyahu said, Nothing doing.  Hamas had violated five ceasefires, two in the last 24 hours. Just since midnight last night, Hamas has launched over 40 rockets.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/183396#.U9Ue15vlrIU

~~~~~~~~~~

One can readily see, reading this description of what has been transpiring, how the head might spin.  But the precise details are not important – it’s the bigger picture that matters.

There have been many questions raised about how much work was being done on dismantling the tunnels during times when we were holding fire.  I’ve gotten different reports on this from various sources, but my sense is that very little was done.  Thus do these “humanitarian” ceasefires unsettle me because they have the potential to shut us down a little at a time.  Before everything we have set out to do has been done.

~~~~~~~~~~

However, in the end, it’s not just about dismantling the tunnels we have uncovered: The stark truth is that we are not going to get all of the tunnels.

Several times I have a great sense of unease as our prime minister has said, “We are moving ahead with our goals, but there is no guarantee we will get 100% of the tunnels.”  And slowly, the picture has become clear.

Reports say we have identified about 35 tunnels.  I cited a report from Steve Emerson the other day that said the Americans, utilizing infrared censors in a satellite, had identified 60 tunnels.  Just today I picked up reliable information that, from the terrorists we have arrested in Gaza, we have learned that there are somewhere between 70 and 100 tunnels.

What is more, we are not fully dismantling all of those tunnels we have identified – a difficult job because of that reinforced concrete.

[Image]

[Image]
We are, at least in some cases, apparently doing such things as detonating charges at the mouths of tunnels and pouring sand into them.  Is it far fetched to wonder whether some of them would be able to be reinstated as working tunnels with some effort by Hamas?

~~~~~~~~~~

Preventing Hamas from using these tunnels is the top priority now.  A major story has been making the news about what Hamas had planned.  I’ve heard alternately that written plans for this were picked up inside of some of the tunnels, or that the information came from some of the terrorists who have been captured.  I cannot verify the story and thus normally would not even mention it.  But it sounds like something Hamas might have been planning. They didn’t build the tunnels for recreation.  If it wasn’t this, it would be something similar:

“Hamas had apparently been preparing a murderous assault on Israeli civilian targets for the coming Jewish New Year Holiday, Rosh Hashanah, which begins on September 24, according anonymous sources in the Israeli security services, as reported today by the Israeli daily Maariv.

The Hamas plan consisted of what was to be a surprise attack in which 200 fighters would be dispatched through each of dozens of tunnels dug by Hamas under the border from Gaza to Israel, and seize kibbutzim and other communities while killing and kidnapping Israeli civilians.” (Emphasis added)

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4516/hamas-mega-attack

~~~~~~~~~~

So, if we take out 45 tunnels and 15 or 20 remain – each with several exit points in Israel?  It does not bear thinking about.  But we have to think about it.

Other means must be devised for preventing this.  The threat must be finished.  And it remains the responsibility of the government to do so.

~~~~~~~~~~

It is very much to the good that Netanyahu is saying that the only ceasefire proposal on the table is Egypt’s, and that the rehabilitation of Gaza will depend on its demilitarization:

http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/Netanyahu-Future-funds-to-rebuild-Gaza-must-be-linked-to-its-demilitarization-369066

There is, as well, the need for the development of techniques at the Gaza border on our side that will reveal any underground activity, or interfere with it.  There are many cutting-edge engineers we can draw upon. We think out of the box: We need the attention and the dedication to see this through.

~~~~~~~~~~

What I ask, then, is that you please write to PM Netanyahu. Let him know that you are with him as he stands strong – that standing strong against all demands that weaken Israel is imperative.  Tell him that the job must be done right.  Hamas must be sufficiently weakened or eliminated, so that it is no longer a threat to Israel. In particular, Hamas must be totally blocked from its ability to attack Jews in Israel via tunnels. The nation of Israel is depending upon him; and the Western world requires his model of strength and determination.

E-mail: Memshala@pmo.gov.il  also pm_eng2@it.pmo.gov.il  (underscore after pm) use both addresses.

~~~~~~~~~~

The rockets also must be contended with.  Some tens of thousands remain (in truth, we cannot be certain precisely how many).  They present less of an immediate threat than the prospect of large scale attacks via tunnels because of Iron Dome and our use of shelters. But this threat, too, must be eliminated.

You will note that a constant refrain of Hamas is that their borders must be opened. This would facilitate the transfer of more rockets into Gaza.  And I mention here that Hamas reportedly expects to acquire new rockets from North Korea:

“Hamas [has] signed an arms deal with North Korea in order to replenish its depleted rocket arsenal…according to The Telegraph.

In an exclusive report the British paper sited senior security sources who claimed that the deal, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, had already been signed, having been made via Lebanese intermediaries.  Hamas has reportedly made an initial down payment in cash to Pyongyang, and is hoping for an imminent delivery to Gaza.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/183374#.U9U6opvlrIV

These plans signal the attitude of Hamas leaders – they are not feeling defeated, but want to pick and go on.  Our methods of dealing with them must be informed by their attitude.

~~~~~~~~~~

As of today, 43 of our soldiers have died.

~~~~~~~~~~

A new poll indicates that 86.5% of Israelis do not want a ceasefire now.

http://imra.org.il/story.php3?id=64491

The spirit of the nation is incredible, as people gather to pray for the soldiers, and pack gift packages to bring to them. Almost everyone is involved somehow.