Well, we are in the Middle East, at a particularly volatile time in history. Nothing is going to be simple.
Last night I went to bed reasonably certain that Israel was headed to a ground operation in Gaza. It seemed fairly inevitable:
Hamas’s response to our demand for quiet was a barrage of rockets, a barrage that continues off and on even as I write, and which has brought injuries and trauma and destruction of property.
What is more, Hamas demanded conditions for a ceasefire — such as Israel’s cessation of the sea blockade –that were totally unacceptable and were rejected out of hand by Netanyahu. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri then announced that cease fire negotiations with Israel had failed.
It seemed fairly obvious at that point that Hamas wasn’t looking for a cease fire. And the ground operation seemed inevitable.
Today the situation has shifted, at least tentatively. Some sort of negotiations, brokered by Egypt, are taking place. Reports vary as to what is being demanded on each side. But from the Israeli side, it seems to be something like this:
 A long term period of quiet. How long? According to YNet (and only YNet from what I’ve seen), more than 15 years. This means a total cessation of rocket fire and total cessation of attacks on IDF personnel.
 Cessation of arms smuggling and transfer of weapons to Gaza.
 Permanent closing of all crossings into Gaza from Israel, coupled with the permanent opening of the Rafah crossing from Egypt into Gaza.
 Granting of Israel the right to hunt down terrorists if there has been an attack or intelligence about an imminent attack. (This is a right Hamas had sought to deny Israel in their original stipulations.)
 The political echelon of Egypt and particularly Morsi would be the guarantors of the agreement.
We must keep in mind that Israel wasn’t reporting these specifics — they came out of Cairo. Yet, there was likely some truth to what was being reported. And I was left wondering if everyone had gone daft:
No matter how formal and public an agreement was reached with Hamas, sanctioned and guaranteed by no matter how many nations — the terms reportedly being demanded would not be viable. Quite simply, there is no way that Hamas will keep the quiet for more than 15 years or seven years or eight years because it has formally agreed or pledged to do so, and, similarly no way that it will refrain from all weapon smuggling because of a commitment to refrain.
We can begin with the obvious — that the radical Islamist ideology of Hamas, which is committed to Israel’s destruction, would not be predisposed to long term quiet. But there is more.
It is a point of Islamic faith — a behavior modeled directly after Mohammad: truces with non-Muslim enemies are made with the intention of breaking them as soon as the Muslim nation or group has the necessary strength to overcome its adversary. That makes smuggling of weapons something of a necessity. And as to sustaining quiet for more than fifteen years? Such truces are never to be more than ten, if that, depending on circumstances.
For those interested in knowing more, the behavior of Mohammad in this regard was connected to the Treaty of al-Hudaybiyya in the seventh century.
Denis MacEoin describes it here: http://www.meforum.org/1925/tactical-hudna-and-islamist-intolerance. The term in Arabic used in this regard is hudna or ceasefire. Says MacEoin, the word “retains a historical context that colors its meaning, if not in Western papers, then in Arabs’ understanding….
“Hudna, in other words, amounted to a temporary truce…Over the course of history, hudna became the standard term to describe a cessation of hostilities during jihad… (emphasis added)
“Can Western governments do anything to prevent a new hudna running its usual course? Diplomats may propose carrot and stick strategies, offering financial and political incentives to dismantle the culture of violence with disincentives for any return to killing. In the end, though, the onus is on the Palestinians and their allies…”
(For the record, a hudna has terms, a formality, while an informal quiet is called a tahadiya,)
So much then for Hamas. What of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood in charge in Egypt? Morsi, quite simply does not have the capacity to control Hamas and guarantee a ceasefire and cessation of smuggling of weapons for a considerable number of years.
He cannot even control the Sinai and the al-Qaeda terrorists there. Remember how much was made of Egyptian forces going into the Sinai to eliminate the terrorists? It got very quiet after the initial publicity: the effort dissipated without succeeding. And he’s going to make sure Hamas behaves?
The fact is that Morsi had sought Hamas’s help in fingering certain members of al-Qaeda with regard to the murdering of soldiers in the Sinai, and Hamas would not cooperate.
Al-Qaeda has now moved into Cairo, and goes back and forth between the Sinai and Gaza, facilitating the transfer of weapons and otherwise promoting radical unrest.
Morsi is powerless.
He is powerless with regard to his ability to control Hamas. But in terms of his own radical ideology, he would not have the will to stop Hamas from inflicting damage on Israel. He cannot even bring himself to say “Israel” at a press conference.
At least in theory, Israel has given Hamas 36 hours — which runs until tomorrow evening. If Hamas has not accepted Israel’s terms, then a ground operation may follow. I suspect, however, that if something serious were in process, then it would go longer.
What I want to provide for you here, then, is an overview of the factors that may be affecting or motivating the parties concerned. In order to do so more effectively, I have consulted today with some ME experts, Israeli academics/journalists who are Arabic speaking and in touch with what is going on.
Israel is not so foolish as to imagine that Hamas will honor a long term cease fire and that Morsi will guarantee it. There is consensus on the fact that this is nonsense.
At the end of the day. it is not a ceasefire agreement or an Egyptian guarantee that will ensure quiet. It is what is commonly referred to as deterrence power: Hamas has to be afraid of Israel. Hamas leaders have to be convinced they may get their heads blown off if they move in the wrong direction. Or that they will be so badly damaged that it’s not worth it. (Hezbollah harbors some of this fear now, by the way.)
The question, then, it seems to me is, when is it enough? When has enough damage been inflicted on Hamas so that fear has been instilled in their hearts and they’ll think twice about hitting us again? My own personal take is that it’s not enough yet. That still more is required — whether in terms of escalated air attacks or the ground operation.
There is talk about “finishing the job” if we do go in. And indeed, Olmert pulled the troops out of Gaza too fast with Cast Lead, at the end of 2008 and early 2009. But how would Israel determine when the ground operation had met its objectives? When Hamas communications centers and major infrastructure have been leveled and most rocket storage sites have been hit or dismantled? When a certain percentage of the leadership has been “eliminated”?
The problem is this: We want Hamas on its knees — weakened sufficiently so that they are ready to revise their current tactics. But we do not want Hamas destroyed. The simple reason: In the absence of Hamas a situation is very likely to evolve that would bring us even bigger headaches.
A delicate balance then.
For neither do we want to take over Gaza completely. Attempting this would drag us into a quagmire of considerable proportions and cost a good many Israeli lives. This is not something that is on the table or being even remotely considered. It is some sort of a romantic dream that we can march in there and just take over. Not with what’s going on in Gaza today.
We want only to contain Hamas and protect our citizens.
I know that the IDF is ready and eager to move. But whether they do or not is a political and not a military decision in a democracy. I had it from a good source today that it would probably also be PM Netanyahu’s preference to have the IDF move in and hit Hamas harder.
I’m not going to second guess our prime minister with regard to the decisions he ultimately makes here. I would not want to be in his shoes. For there are a host of factors to be considered.
It’s difficult to imagine that he believes that sufficient deterrence has already been achieved — because they are still shooting at us and still taking hits from our Air Force. So then, why hasn’t he ordered the ground operation to begin, and why has he made some proposals towards a ceasefire?
I wrote the other day about how the world does not like to see us, as Jews, defend ourselves when it means killing others. It’s not the fact that others are dying that matters to the world (for they don’t care about the thousands of Syrian dead), it is that we are causing those deaths. This is simply unacceptable to the international community, never mind their lip service to our right to defend ourselves. This is the ugly reality.
Yesterday, I said we were going to be under a good deal of international pressure. That pressure now exceeds what I had expected, which was quiet diplomacy. They don’t leave us alone.
Tony Blair talks about the Quartet acting to bring “quiet.” Heaven help us.
And Obama said it would be “preferable” if a solution could be found “without a ramping-up of military activity in Gaza.”
Perhaps worst was the statement yesterday to SkyNews of UK Foreign Secretary William Hague:
“A ground invasion is much more difficult for the international community to sympathize with or support — including the United Kingdom.”
Minister of Security Affairs Moshe Yaalon responded with anger to this:
“We expect our allies to support us [when we] use all tools available in order to defend our people. To say the least, we don’t like these kinds of reservations…Regarding a ground operation, we feel like we should have the freedom of operation in order to be able to defend our country without any reservations…”
Yaalon was on the mark. But does this incessant pressure not take a toll?
There are two ways of thinking about this. Perhaps the Israeli government has decided to be more circumspect in its decisions, because of repercussions that might follow. I cannot swear that this is not so.
But there is another possibility, which would be very much in line with how Netanyahu often acts: He plays the game. Perhaps (this is speculation), he made the cease fire proposal to Hamas to show the international community how hard he is trying to avoid going into Gaza. Perhaps he fully expects that it won’t be accepted, and that he can then order troops into Gaza, having at least partially silenced the likes of Hague.
But there is also another reason Netanyahu may have made the proposal he did: it thrusts responsibility for Gaza on Egypt. Closing all of the crossings into Gaza from Israel means no more goods going through via Israel, no more squabbles with UNRWA, etc. etc. That would all fall to Egypt via Rafah, which would stay open.
One of my contacts today explained that it is because Israel definitely does not trust Egypt to stop the smuggling of Iranian weapons into Gaza that the munitions plant in Sudan was hit. The goal is to interrupt the pipeline before the material reaches the Sinai.
Morsi? He comes to this situation as a beggar. Egypt is on the verge of bankruptcy and he is in the position of not being able to feed his people. He fears the possibility of riots in the street by hungry people. That would end him quickly.
And so he is playing a game, acting the conciliator, the negotiator, at Obama’s behest. For Obama will provide him with the money that will save him. (I am tempted to ask if Obama is so naive, so poorly informed, as to imagine that Morsi can control the situation — but I won’t go there now.)
Does Morsi want to restrain Hamas long term? Does he remotely imagine that he can? Nah…
But he is not interested right now in promoting actions that reflect ideology — he’s too busy trying to save his country. And what seems to be the case is that he’s ready to let tomorrow take care of itself.
Hamas, until today, was continuing the rocket launchings and subverting the cease fire proposal because of Iran. Iran did not want to see a cease fire. I had rather surmised this, but it has been confirmed by one of my experts today.
But — surprise! — Iran has now reversed itself and told Hamas to negotiate. Why? I was advised today that it is because the Iranians have decided they can get something from Morsi. They won’t stand in the way of his achievement in successfully negotiating a cease fire (which achievement he badly needs, if indeed it will happen). In return they are seeking a shift in Morsi’s position in Syria. The Iranians are not happy that Muslim Brotherhood has worked against their client Assad, and they want more Egyptian support for him.
Did I not say this situation was convoluted? What we learn from this, if nothing else, is that there is always so very much under the surface. By studying only surfaces, we cannot imagine that we comprehend the situation.
I have no answers. My crystal ball is as foggy as ever. We will have to wait to see how this plays out. What I hope is that I have provided some assistance in grappling with an understanding this situation.
By: T F Stern
The Moral Liberal
You want to hear something interesting? The Department of Public Safety/Private Security Bureau (DPS/PSB) auditors are afraid of licensed locksmiths; not making this up folks. My copy of Locked-In, a monthly publication of the Greater Houston Locksmith Association, had its monthly report regarding the last DPS/PSB meeting.
“Because of some licensees working from their homes, and not from a storefront, some of the inspectors are concerned for their safety when auditing. It was recommended that a phone call be placed to schedule a meeting outside the home between the auditor and the licensee or for the auditor to take a state trooper with them to the home.”
Let’s set the background for these auditors going about the task of insuring the safety of the general public’s interaction with the locksmith industry.
Anyone who desires to work as a locksmith in the State of Texas is required to apply for, receive and maintain a license issued by the DPS/PSB. Requirements for the license include a thorough FBI investigation, fingerprints, substantial proof of the individual’s character which precludes anyone with a felony conviction and many misdemeanor offenses to include DWI. In short, those individuals who eventually obtain a locksmith license have shown they are above reproach.
On top of that, locksmiths are required to invest a considerable sum, up front and before they make a single dime, for the license and the included requirement to have a bare minimum insurance policy to cover $1 million in damages (or is it $2 million; my policy is for $2 million), in case of a simple mistake or criminal wrong doing. Together this adds up to over a thousand dollars out of pocket expense for each locksmith every year and does not include the cost associated with mandatory continuing education in order to keep the license once it’s been issued.
Why would a representative of the DPS/PSB feel uncomfortable visiting a licensed locksmith, be it at a storefront or his/her home? Could it be the auditor understands his/her presence represents our transformation from a free market society where individuals at one time could depend on their God given rights as protected by the Constitution into a totalitarian repressive socialist state which grants permission for the basic right to work? (I love a run on sentence almost as much as I do my liberty.)
My wife thinks these folks are scared because they receive letters, letters which they apparently view as threats from locksmiths who resent the State’s imposition into affairs which are none of their business. Isn’t that one of the beautiful parts of our constitutional republic, the ability to voice our disdain when government steps over the line and usurps authorities never intended?
Ezra Taft Benson explained in his talk, The Proper Role of Government:
“…let us first consider the origin of those freedoms we have come to know are human rights. There are only two possible sources. Rights are either God-given as part of the Divine Plan, or they are granted by government as part of the political plan. Reason, necessity, tradition and religious convictions all lead me to accept the divine origin of these rights. If we accept the premise that human rights are granted by government, then we must be willing to accept the corollary that they can be denied by government. I, for one, shall never accept that premise. As the French political economist, Frederick Bastiat, phrased it so succinctly, “Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.” (The Law, p.6)”
It has become painfully clear the folks running the DPS/PSB believe in the latter, that human rights are granted by government and can be denied by government. With each passing year it isn’t hard to notice the usurpation of powers by government; powers which rightfully belong to individuals have been taken over by bureaucratic fiat under the direction of a well meaning legislature intent on safeguarding the public.
“Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither”. Ben Franklin
“Those who sacrifice the liberties of others believing they know what’s best for society are called Socialists.” (my own modification, hope you like it)
If America were a democracy then it would be understandable for the majority to establish laws which inflict injury to some individual’s personal rights; however, America is a constitutional republic where personal rights can never be impugned regardless of the wishes of the majority. Individual rights are beyond legislation and the reach of well meaning bureaucratic policy makers and include the right to work in any otherwise lawful endeavor.
“Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficient… The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.” Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis
Protestations by individuals in order to secure and maintain God given rights should not be taken as threats. Individuals of integrity and character seek a higher plain of reasoned conversation and use confrontation only as a last resort.
It is unfortunate to hear unwarranted fears from DPS/PSB inspectors voicing concerns for their well being to such an extent they feel it necessary to have an armed guard present in order for them to continue to enforce arbitrarily conceived rules and regulations on individuals licensed to perform locksmith work.
The Moral Liberal’s Senior Editor, T.F. Stern, is a retired City of Houston police officer, self-employed locksmith, and gifted political and social commentator. His popular and insightful blog, T.F. Sterns Rantings, has been up and at it since January of 2005.
Hat Tip: Nelson Abdullah
You can thank the stupid American voter who either voted for Obama, or didn’t turn out to vote for Mitt Romney in the recent election for the recent layoffs. Obama has made it quite clear that he want’s to destroy the economy, as have far left Marxist Democrat. They all want citizens to be dependent on the government for handouts, not on paychecks. Below is a partial list of over 100,000 jobs that have been lost since Obama’s re-election a week and a half ago. Again, this is only a partial list, it doesn’t even factor in nearly 18,000 jobs lost at Hostess. This is only the beginning. Once taxes go up (as we all know they will because Republicans will cave), this number will look small in comparison. Also in the list are several businesses that have closed since the election, and companies that have filed for bankruptcy since November 6th.
Layoffs Announced Since Election
Abbott Labs 700
Adventist Health 48
Airlines SAS 6000
American Cotton Growers 110
American Independence Museum 4
American Airlines 4400 + 800 leaving voluntarily
American Coal 54
Atlantic Lottery Corporation 16
Assc Milk Producers 130
Aveo Oncology 45
Bechtel Power Corp 277
Bigpoint Games 47
Boston Scientific 1200
Brake Parts LLC 75
Brattleboro Retreat 31
Bristol Myers 500
Career Education 900 + Closing 23 Campuses
Consol Energy in W.V. 145
Crouse Hospital Syracuse NY 70
DEP in Tallahassee FL 15
DuPont, Co. 64
Eagle-Tribune, Andover 21
Emanuel Medical Cente 24
Energizer Holdings 1500
Exide Tech, Laureldale 150
City of Findlay, OH 39
First Energy 400
Gameforge Berlin 20
Gamesa Energy 92
GenOn Energy Inc 33
Glen Falls Hospital 29
GT Advanced Tech 165
Harris’ Broadcast 17
Hawker Beechcraft 400 + Facilities closing
Hill Rom 200
Hills Holdings 300
HMX Group 567
Iberia Airlines 4500
ICM of Colwich 25
Judson University 21
Juniper Networks 500
Kaiser Permanente 84
Kinetic Concepts 427
Kratos Defense Security 125
Lackawanna County PA 11
Lightyear Network Solutions 12+
Majestic Star Casino/hotel 80
Major Wind Company 3000
Martha Stewart Living 70
Mills Manufacturing NC 68
Momentive, Inc. 150
Monitor Group 235
Montco Behavioral Health/Dev 58
Nebraska Medical Center 38
Neovia Logistics Services 52
New Energy 40
Penn Refrigeration 40
Penske Logistics 50
Philips Electronics 218
Pierce Mfg 325
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne 100
Research in Motion 200
Rheem Manufacturing 50
Sentry Foods 70
Shaw’s Supermarket 700
Shawano foundry WI 90
Smith & Nephew 770
Smithfield Packing Co. 125
Solel Solar Systems 140
Southeastern Container 15
SRA Intl Inc 222
St. Jude Medical 300
Sun Media 500
TE Connectivity 620
TECO Coal Corporation 90
Texas Instruments 1700
The Providence Journal Co 23
TMX Group Ltd. 100
Turkey Point Nuclear Plant 277
Oce North America, Inc. 135
Turbocare OCE 220
US Cellular 980
UtahAmerican Energy Inc 102
Volvo Trucks Pulaski County 300
Wake Forest Baptist Medical 950
Welch Allyn 275
West Ridge Mine 102
World Media Enterprises Inc 105
WPS Health Insurance 600
Wright Patterson AFB 115
Wyodak Coal Mine 11
Yakima Reg Med Ctr Washington 10+
Announced Business Closures Since Election
Bakers Footwear closing 150 stores nationwide, including 21 in California
The SCA plant in Barton – Plans Staff Reductions
Handy Hardware to close its 2-year-old Meridian, Miss. warehouse
Caterpillar Inc. will close its plant in Owatonna Minn.
Waltz Pharmacy in Waldoboro Maine
Zac’s Place in Hinsdale IL
Lone Star Steakhouse at 70th and O streets and Ruby Tuesday at 56th Street in
Career Education Corp – Closing 23 Campuses – 900 Jobs Lost
Handy Hardware to close its 2-year-old Meridian, Miss. warehouse
Shamrock Bar at Payne City’s Rose Avenue. in GA
Monitor Company Group LP
Homer City Funding LLC
Caterpillar Inc. will close its plant in Owatonna Minn.
Mount Pleasant’s Albrecht Sentry Foods
The Target store at Manassas Mall Va.
Millennium Academy in Wake Forest NC
Target Closing Kissimmee FL Location
Calgary’s iconic Rideau Music store ( International )
The Andover Gift Shop in Andover MA
Grand Union Family Markets Closing Storrs Location CT
Movie Scene Milford Location NH
Update: TE Connectivity Closing Greensboro Plant – 620 Layoffs Expected
Gomer’s Fried Chicken in South Kansas City
Kmart in Homer Glen
Fresh Market on Pine Street in Burlington
AGC Glass North America to permanently close its Blue Ridge Plant in Kingsport Tenn.
The Target store at Platte and Academy in Colorado Springs
Island Colors – A Carolina Beach Clothing Store
The Roses store on Reynold Road in Winston-Salem NC
Meanders Kitchen losing its West Seattle location at 6032 California Ave
Bost Harley-Davidson at 46th Avenue North and Delaware Ave. in West Nashville TN
Townsend Booksellers in Oakland
The Kmart store in Parkway Plaza off University Drive in Durham NC – 79 Jobs Lost
Guarantee Shoe Store in Beaumont Texas
Associated Milk Producers Inc. Closing manufacturing facility in Dawson Minn. – 130
FacadeTek Inc Closes Whitestown Facility – 72 Jobs Lost
Comet Market in Punxsutawney Pa.
JC Penney store in Miracle City Mall Titusville FL
TurboCare Inc Closing Manchester CT Facility – 88
The United Colors of Benetton store on Armitage Avenue IL
Update: Bicycle shop Ten 27 Cycles 1027 Davis St. in Evanston IL
Two Sears Product Rebuild Centers in The Woodlands Texas
FesslerUSA Clothing Maker Closing in PA
Ralph Lauren’s plans to close its 14 stand-alone Rugby locations
Nashville Sash & Door Co. Inc Tenn.
First Portuguese church in North America in Bedford Mass Closing?
International Fashions in Carbondale’s University Mall IL
Harper’s Old Army Surplus Store in West Monroe La
Nova Financial Holdings
The Party Warehouse in West Springfield Mass.
TLC Wine and Liquor at 1205 W. Main St in Kent Ohio?
The HAPPY Place 1042 N Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA
Air Carrier Accessory Services – Chapter 7
SOW Inc. shelter on South Broad Street GA?
Systemax Inc., Closing Miami County Ohio Computer Plant – 120 Jobs Lost
Textbook publisher McGraw-Hill Cos. Closing 2 Distribution Centers – 166 Layoffs
First Place Financial Corp
Nash Finch Closing Cedar Rapids Iowa Food Distribution Center
Johnnie’s Foodmaster MA Closing all 10 Locations
Rainbow Foods will be closing its Forest Lake location MN – 59 Layoffs
Berry’s Camera Shop Inc. in Downtown Lafayette
Schreiber Foods to close their food packaging plant in Ravenna – 70 Jobs Lost
Kmart store at 5300 Salem Ave. Trotwood Ohio
Mr.Christie plant in Toronto ( International ) 2013 – 550 Jobs Lost
Coffee with T cafe in Stevenson Village business MD
Minas Basin Pulp and Power are closing a mill in Hantsport ( International ) – 135
The Colonial Country Shoppe on Park Street in Adams MA
Vestas Wind Systems Closing R&D; Office in Louisville – 60 Jobs Lost
Dollar Castle in downtown Ferndale MI
Bistro One West in St Charles IL
Sun Dog Diner in Neptune Beach FL
Jim’s Builders Hardware in Wichita, Kansas
Madeleines Bakehouse in Fort Wayne Indiana
Barnes & Noble plans to close its doors in Union Station Dec. 31
The Semiahmoo Hotel in Blaine Washington
Highland Curves CA
The Salem Sport Shop in Salem Ohio
Navistar International Corp. to Close truck assembly plant in Garland, Texas – 900
Divine Mercy Catholic Books & Gifts Denton Texas
Singer Mental Health Center in Rockford IL
Garelick Farms Ends Production at Bangor Maine Facility
Fashion Tech Window Coverings in Portland?
Custom House Tavern Chicago IL.
Jim’s Builders Hardware in Delano
Lone Star Steakhouse at 1801 22nd St. in West Des Moines
Sears to Close Woodlands Product Rebuild Center – 117 Jobs Lost
Whitehead Inc Rockford Real Estate Company
Robert’s Mens Shop in Downtown New Philadelphia Ohio
Fort Tecumseh Olde Fashun Store in Ohio
Lakewood Beginnings Child Development Center in Lakewood Ohio
Green Fields Seed & Feed in Grand Junction Colo.
The Army and Navy Store in Melrose Mass.
Vitalistic Therapeutic charter school PA
Diamond Foods Inc Closing a plant in Fishers Indiana
Old Town Alehouse 5233 Ballard Ave in Seattle
Space Aliens restaurants in Minot and Grand Forks ND
DeWaay Financial Network LLC
Sears at Quail Springs Mall Oklahoma City OK.
Fashion Bug in O’Fallon MO is closing in January
Kmart Store in Oak Hill W. Va
Update: Jett & Hall men’s clothing store in Richmond KY
D.C. school List of Possible Schools Closing to Be released Later today
Dunkin’ Donuts in Holly Hill FL
Hostess Brands Inc Permanently Closing 3 Bakeries Following a Nationwide Strike
Philips Electronics subsidiary Lightolier will close its local fluorescent light
fixture manufacturing plant in Willington
Smithfield Packing Co. will close in 2013, laying off a total of 400 employees
SuperFresh outlets in Marlton and Westmont NJ
The Bagel Shoppe in Katonah NY
Ben Franklin and Homestead House Gifts in the Kimball Ridge Center in Waterloo IA
Several West Virginia Suzuki dealerships Being Forced to Close
Kowalski Cos Closing All 4 of its Metro Detroit Delis but to Continue Food
Three Memphis charter schools and one in Nashville Tenn. Could Close Due to Poor
The Custer School District SD – Closing 2 Rural Schools
The Dressing Room, on North Lincoln Avenue IL
The Utica office of IBOPE NY
AMF Bowling Worldwide Inc
Aletheia Research & Management Inc
Helmkampf Construction in Olivette
Clear Light Publishers
Monitor Company Group LP
Homer City Funding LLC
US Suzuki Distributor – Chapter 11
By: Jeffrey Klein
Political Buzz Examiner
When it comes to ‘hubris,’ Hamas–the well known and U.S. State Department certified ‘Islamic terrorist organization,’ which is also the democratically elected majority in the Palestinian government of Gaza–is simply breath-taking.
After launching an unprovoked rocket attack against Israel two weeks ago, five days of targeted, yet brutal, retaliatory Israeli Defense Force (IDF) strikes began to systematically eradicate the militant marauders and their facilities–wherever they were to be found.
Unfortunately and unavoidably, as Hamas cowardly hides amongst the civilian population, targeted strikes into densely populated areas also ‘explodes’ the death toll of their ‘human shields’–a fact which they care nothing about.
Then, regardless of the truth in the matter–an Arab trademark–Hamas then uses the corrupt media to shamelessly ‘petition’ the rest of the world, particularly the United Nations, to ‘convict’ the Jewish state of the Palestinian civilian deaths in the ‘Court of Public Opinion.’
At the very same time, the ‘indignant’ Hamas ‘rulers’ of Gaza create even more drama for world consumption, by petitioning President Mohammed Morsi, the newly elected, fellow Muslim Brotherhood member, of Egypt to broker [yet another] cease-fire with Israel–and pressure the obligatory Obama White House for a reported $147 million in foreign aid.
This regularly occurring dance is taken directly from the playbook of nuclear-armed North Korea, who famously conducts intercontinental ballistic missile tests every three for four years, in order to attract the attention of South Korea, Japan, Russia and China–along with the United States, to bargain for truckloads of ‘humanitarian aid’ for its’ [still] starving people…in return for an empty promise to disarm itself.
The end-game of the Hamas-controlled Gaza gambit is the ‘cease-fire’ talk process, through which it will pressure Israel to release their ‘stranglehold’ on Gaza border checkpoints, plus its’ naval blockade; all on the pretense of allowing free access for badly needed commercial trade.
Although partially true, everyone knows it is simply a ‘fig leaf’ to camouflage the ‘smuggling’ of weapons into Gaza from Iran and now Libya–which would pose a much greater threat to the security of Israel–and will not ever be allowed.
The table was set as ‘cease-fire’ talks began yesterday, when an Israeli envoy was whisked from the tarmac at Cairo’s international airport to attend talks with senior Egyptian security officials, as reported in an Associated Press article yesterday.
And, as expected, when exiled Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal, spoke in person with President Mohammed Morsi–who also spoke with Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, by phone in Gaza–Hamas’ demands, as presented by Mashaal, included open borders for Gaza and international guarantees that Israel will halt all attacks on Gaza, including targeted killings of the movement’s leaders–a poignant codicil considering an Israeli rocket brought an abrupt end to Hamas top military commander, in their opening move last Thursday.
However, those notions seem to be doomed from the beginning, as Michael Oren, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., was asked, while appearing on Fox and Friends this morning, what Israel was prepared to ‘give up’ in order to secure a cease-fire, which he answered directly by stating…’We don’t have to give anything up, because they didn’t start the fight.’
Undeniably obvious, and true.
And, amazingly, if not insanely, the same AP article reported, in the third paragraph:
For now, public opinion in Gaza appears to support continued rocket attacks on Israel.
If Hamas terrorists, supported by the Palestinian population, continue to play with Israeli fire, history will repeat itself and, as usual, the Palestinian people will get burned–severely.