The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.
This week’s winning entry, Joshuapundit’s Israel’s New Challenge: Defeating The Third Intifada is a slightly different take on the current war between Israel and Hamas, and especially that it is no accident. Here’s a slice:
Israel once again finds itself fighting in Gaza.
The reason’s fairly simple. The lust for Jewish blood among a substantial number of the Arabs who identify themselves as Palestinians is simply their strongest impulse, their raison d’être. There is no peace, because one side simply wants the other dead.
There is not a single Israeli civilian or soldier in Gaza today, not since Israel removed the 8,000 Jewish residents who had lived there over 30 years from their homes and gave it to the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians as a sacrifice ‘for peace.’
The Palestinians could have built whatever kind of society they wanted in Gaza. But even before Hamas took over, Gaza’s main export to Israel was terrorism. Israel, with Egypt’s assistance, maintained a blockade on Gaza to curtail the import of heavy weapons, usually emanating from Iran that saved Israeli lives, but cost Israel deeply when it came to the ‘international community’, who always seem to have special rules when it comes to Israel defending itself. The carnage emanating from Gaza has slowed at times, but literally thousands of rockets, mortar shells and terrorist strikes have emanated from Gaza, and they’ve never ended. Israelis became used to running for shelter, especially in the south:
This latest onslaught saw over 100 rockets in 24 hours rained down on Israel, and with Hamas rejecting offers from Israel of ‘quiet for quiet’, that’s where we stand now. The Israelis have carried out a number of decisive strikes and have called up 42,000 reserves, while Hamas has launched missiles at central Israel, at Jerusalem, and at Tel Aviv, a step they had to know was going to provoke an Israeli ground response.
So what’s the story behind the story? Why is Hamas going for broke now, and what does it mean? Whether Israel realizes it or not, they are facing the Third Intifada, although how it unfolds is still developing. Of course, it doesn’t look like previous intifadas because circumstances and tactics have changed. But the end goal is the same. And the chief strategist isn’t Hamas, but Mahmoud Abbas.
Hamas has been isolated by Israel and the new Egyptian government of al-Sisi, who has declared Hamas’ parent movement the Muslim Brotherhood an illegal terrorist organization. Weapons coming in from Iran have slowed considerably, and money is tight. A sign of this was the attempt by Hamas ally Robert Serry, the supposedly neutral UN Mideast envoy to illegally funnel $20 million to Hamas in Gaza from Qatar.
The current Hamas and Fatah unity government agreement came about, mostly on Abbas’ terms, because of Hamas’ sharply reduced fortunes, while Abbas has the UN, the Obama Administration and the EU funding and backing him, even with Hamas now on his team. According to my sources, part of the negotiations also involved joint efforts towards the goal both Hamas and Fatah agree on, the destruction of Israel.
The Israelis, already outraged at the unity agreement and the West’s apparent willingness to fund a murderous terrorist group like Hamas were further energized by the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens by Hamas operatives, whose mutilated bodies were found shoved into a hole near Hebron. In response, the Israelis began to obliterate the Hamas infrastructure in Judea and Samaria.
But then, the subsequent murder of Arab teen Mohammed Abu Kheidr by what appear to be a trio of Jewish football hooligans suddenly presented Hamas and Fatah with a golden opportunity. It was used as a signal to launch what had already been planned. Vast riots, violence and destruction took place throughout Israel egged on by Fatah while Hamas stepped up its rocket and mortar attacks.
Hamas also had plans to join Fatah in the ground attack on Israel itself. They had a huge tunnel dug from Rafah under Israel’s border fence for a massive planned assault on Israeli communities in the south, and tried an amphibious attack on Israel’s coast. Both attacks were repulsed with heavy losses. Meanwhile, Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system and the IDF’s air strikes on Hamas’ infrastructure were even more effective than Hamas had planned on and that Israel had hoped.
Israel’s ‘peace partner’ Mahmoud Abbas has also been doing his part. Fatah has several hundred militiamen in Gaza, including members of the Palestinian Authority security forces who have their salaries paid by Western governments. They have eagerly joined in firing rockets at Israel’s civilians. Abbas has done nothing to stop them.
Abbas has several huge assets his old boss Yasser Arafat could only have dreamed about, and they’re key to understanding what’s being planned. First and foremost, in Barack Hussein Obama, Abbas has a president in the White House who loathes Israel and who sees himself as Palestine’s community organizer.
More at the link about Abbas’ strategy and how Israel can defeat it.
In our non-Council category, the winner was long tome Council favorite Daniel Greenfield, AKA Sultan Knish with A Game Changer In Gaza submitted by The Independent Sentinel. Knish writes with his usual clarity and common sense about the choices Israel faces in dealing with Palestinian terrorism.
Here are this week’s full results:
- *First place with 5 1/3 votes! – Joshuapundit – Israel’s New Challenge: Defeating The Third Intifada
- Second place with 2 1/3 votes – The Right Planet – Flashback: The Seven Phases of The Base [Al-Qaeda]
- Third place with 1 2/3 votes – The Noisy Room – The Office Of Refugee Resettlement – Facilitators For A ‘Manufactured Human Crisis’
- Fourth place with 1 1/3 votes – Bookworm Room – Muslim impatience leads a fed-up world to express surprising support for Israel
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Nice Deb – The Bear Is Loose Through Crises and Scandals That Would Destroy Any Other Presidency
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Simply Jews – Israel vs Gaza: and the judgement is…
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Ask Marion – Immigration… From an Immigrants Perspective
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – VA Right! – Israel MUST Pound Hamas With Relentless Barrages
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Independent Sentinel – Tin-pot Dictators: No, We Won’t Stop Illegal Invasion Of U.S.
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Prokhorovka!
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Rhymes With Right – Let’s Note Who The Obama Administration Supports Religious Freedom For — And Who It Does Not
- *First place with 2 1/3 votes! – Sultan Knish – A Game Changer In Gaza submitted by The Independent Sentinel
- Second place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Sarah Palin/FOX News – The case for Obama’s impeachment: The Constitution’s remedy for a lawless, imperial president submitted by The Noisy Room
- Second place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Commentary – Israel and Its Arabs: Rockets, Riots, and the Dream of Coexistence submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – David P. Goldman/Tablet – Between the Settlers and the Unsettlers, the One-State Solution Is on Our Doorstep submitted by Joshuapundit
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – Doug Ross – STUNNING: UN and Obama rebuke Israel for self-defense, fail to note details like rockets and terrorism submitted by VA Right!
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – David Harris/The World Post – Hamas Versus Israel: The Case for Moral Clarity submitted by Bookworm Room
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – Katie Pavlich/New York Post – Liberal Hollywood’s War On Women submitted by Watcher
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Warped Mirror – #HitlerWasRight for Palestine submitted by Simply Jews
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – RedState – The Christian Thing To Do submitted by Rhymes with Right
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Zero Hedge – Did China Just Crush The US Housing Market? submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Rush Limbaugh – This is Obama’s War on the Suburbs submitted by Ask Marion
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Kevin D. Williamson/NRO – How to Think about Immigration submitted by The Watcher
- Sixth place with 1/3 vote – Zero Hedge – Santelli Goes Berserk submitted by The Razor
See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!
Hat Tip: BB
July 18 marks the first anniversary of Larry Grathowhl’s untimely death. In memory of Larry – and in response to the recent Fox News programs that gave Weatherman Bill Ayers a primetime platform to lie about his acts of terrorism – we are asking that bloggers, radio folks, podcasters, and others in the media use July 18th to tell the truth about violent leftist radicals like Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.
Their war against America began with bombs, but it continues today in our institutions of higher education, the media, and the government.
In 1969, after returning home from Vietnam, Larry Grathwohl volunteered with the FBI to infiltrate the violent terrorist group, the Weathermen. For the next year, Larry risked his life daily to prevent bombings and assassinations from being committed on American soil by Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, and other terrorists.
45 years later, the largest media outlet in American, Fox News, gave Bill Ayers hours of primetime coverage to spin lies about his violent past. Ayers also told a boldface lie about Larry, and host Megyn Kelly just let him get away with it.
On July 18, let’s correct the record, one more time. On your own blog or website or radio show, help us set the record straight about Bill Ayers and his violent, America-hating peers . . . in honor of the memory of Larry Grathwohl.
For more information, contact Lindsay Grathwohl and Tina Trent at [email protected].
- Jim Simpson has posted an article about Larry at the Examiner.com.
- Cliff Kincaid on Holder and Obama Pardoning Communist Terrorists
- and Cliff Kincaid in Canada Free Press
- Matthew Vadum on Eric Holder’s Pardons and Homeland Security in Frontpage magazine
- Judi McLeod in Canada Free Press: The heroic courage of Larry Grathwohl transcends Fox News
- Martin Prieb: Trouble at Radical U . . .
- Mary Grabar remembers Larry at Townhall, and on DissidentProf
- Art Moore at World Net Daily
And from a year ago:
It is very very necessary, this invasion – which has been ordered by Prime Minister Netanyahu.
So let’s stop here for a prayer for the thousands of Israel’s soldiers who are now inside Gaza.
“He Who blessed our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — may He bless the fighters of the Israel Defense Forces…
“May the Almighty cause the enemies who rise up against us to be struck down before them. May the Holy One, Blessed is He, preserve and rescue our fighters from every trouble and distress…and may He send blessing and success in their every endeavor.”
I just heard an interview with Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan and an enormous friend of Israel. He was down at the border of Gaza before the incursion began, he reported, and what he can say is that the troops are superbly prepared for this operation. In fact, he said, there is no fighting force in the world that could do it better.
The troops, sitting at the border for many days, have been eager to go in.
See this article:
“…history shows Hamas is awful at killing IDF troops on the move.”
The operation is being led by the IDF’s Southern Command, and will see close coordination between various IDF units: infantry, armored corps, engineer corps, artillery, and intelligence. They are, of course, supported by the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) and other intelligence organizations. Israeli intelligence in Gaza is excellent and is critically important.
There was heavy aerial bombardment before the ground invasion began; the ground troops will continue to be supported by attacks from the air and the sea.
The troops went in under cover of night and in many areas there were blackouts. Except for flares, there was little that could be seen.
The prime minister made it clear in his announcement that the initial goal of the invasion is taking out terror tunnels.
The need for this has been evident for some time, but it was likely something that happened this morning that made action inevitable:
A Hamas tunnel that opened 250 meters inside of Israel, near Kibbutz Sufa, was utilized by 13 terrorists with full intent to launch a massacre. They carried with them heavy weapons – 15 anti-tank weapons and Kalashnikovs – with an enormous amount of ammunition. The blood runs cold at the thought of what they would have done, if Israeli army and security had not spotted the tunnel. Extensive forces were waiting for the terrorists when they tried to exit. One was reportedly killed, at least some turned back.
What became apparent then was that no ceasefire, no matter the terms, would keep our people safe from terror attacks if these tunnels were left intact.
The purpose of that particular attempted massacre was very clear: Hamas was looking for a “victory” before ending the war. Now they will pay.
There is a whole city of very sophisticated tunnels under Gaza. They have electricity and air conditioning. And walls that are covered with tons of concrete. (Note: the “poor” people of Gaza have cried because Israel has limited the amount of concrete brought into Gaza for building their homes, and here you have it.)
Our soldiers will not seek all of the tunnels, we are being told, but will focus on those that are within two or three kilometers of the border with Israel.
But from what I am reading, there are a number of different sorts of actions taking place in the central, southern and northern sections of Gaza. The operation is likely to expand beyond the stated goal of dismantling tunnels. Eighteen-thousand more troops have now been called up, and the larger goal of significantly weakening Hamas has been put on the agenda.
What we are learning now is that the Security Cabinet had approved this ground operation two days ago, when it was apparent that Hamas was not going to cooperate in a ceasefire. This is a signal lesson for us all, I think, in terms of what goes on that we, in the main, are not aware of. This is how it is supposed to be done: with an element of surprise.
Today was a difficult day in many respects. This was, in part, with regard to false rumors of a ceasefire agreement that had been successfully negotiated (disinformation?). I had intended to write about it, and the broader issue of ceasefires with Hamas, but the ground incursion has trumped this reporting. Hopefully I will return to it. There are significant matters to be discussed regarding Egypt’s involvement, the desire of Qatar and Turkey to be involved, and the position of the Obama administration. And much more.
We did have a five hour ceasefire today that had been requested by the UN so that humanitarian goods could be brought into Gaza. We honored this; Hamas was supposed to, but did launch some rockets during that interval of time. Once the ceasefire was over, Hamas immediately began launching a heavy barrage of rockets – with 50 in the subsequent four hours, and 100 during the course of the day. This was one of the heaviest bombardments of the 10-day war, and surely helped move Netanyahu in the direction of ordering the troops in on the ground, as well.
There is a broad consensus among commentators that we have an extraordinary window of opportunity for doing this operation now. There is even the tragedy of the Malaysian airplane that was shot down – it is occupying the media, which would normally be focused on every step our soldiers take. Additionally, Netanyahu is in a superb place with regard to international approval because of his willingness to go with a ceasefire. Amazingly, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry came out with a strong criticism of Hamas, saying it could have saved many lives if it had agreed to a ceasefire. Deaths yet to come will be the fault of Hamas, he suggested.
What we must do however, is move quickly, as this honeymoon is no likely to last.
To strengthen your sense of what is going on in Gaza, and what the ruthless enemy we face is like, I provide the following links. Please, use them extensively. The more people “get it,” the better:
UNRWA found 20 rockets stored in one of its school buildings. As you can imagine, they have no idea how they got there. I have clear memories, from the days when I was investigating UNRWA, of terrorist equipment and even terrorists hidden inside UNRWA property. But I guess they didn’t know about any of it:
Ruthless manipulation of the people of Gaza by Hamas, which is praising the “martyrs” who stay in their homes even when the IDF warns them to leave to avoid danger:
“’Our mighty people presented a unique example of steadfastness and perseverance and are not affected or fearful from the psychological warfare of the Occupation,’ Hamas boasted. ‘They did not respond to calls from the Occupation to leave their homes – they stayed there and did not abandon them.’”
And then a horrible look at how their kids are influenced (appreciate it, Barbara):
Shabbat does approach, and I do not know that I will be able to post again before its advent. I will post as I can – and as the situation requires it – in the days ahead.
By: Mark Lyons
Victims of Illegal Immigration – A Collection of Essays
Hat Tip: Dick Manasseri
Big rig driver Tyrone Williams, a Jamaican immigrant from Schenectady, New York, was hauling his temperature-controlled semi-trailer from Harlingen, Texas to Houston, a 330-mile run. He was being paid $7500 for the short trip – quite a substantial day’s pay, considering most truckers would be happy to make $500 for that run. His cargo: illegal aliens – at least 74 of them from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic.
In the hands of this ‘paid professional,’ the criminal aliens (each of whom had paid about $1800 for the cross-border experience) were being transported from a ‘safe house’ to vehicles that would carry them to their destinations in the U.S. Instead, the brief trip turned into our nation’s deadliest human smuggling attempt.
According to court and media documents, Williams failed to turn on the trailer’s air conditioning unit. As the temperatures inside the trailer soared, the ‘cargo’ kicked holes in the walls, clawed at the insulation, and screamed for help. When Williams became aware of the dire situation, he pulled over, then opened, unlocked, and abandoned the trailer and its contents near Victoria, Texas.
Unfortunately for 19 of the folks inside the death box, it was too late. Seventeen were found deceased in the trailer, and two more died later – from dehydration, hyperthermia, and suffocation. This was one human trafficking operation gone extremely awry.
Fourteen people were charged in the subsequent indictment and trial, including Williams, who is now serving life sentences in prison for murder. All of the victims had Hispanic surnames, as did all of the other defendants in the smuggling ring.
When discussing the victims of illegal immigration, the aliens themselves are sometimes overlooked. All-too-often, however, these border-crossers are put in jeopardy by their own actions and by those that run the human trafficking enterprises. Crossing deserts without adequate food, water, and shelter can be dangerous; wild animals and inhospitable topography pose real problems; and heartless, greedy profiteers and coyotes put their ‘clients’ at great risk. In the Tyrone Williams case, 19 of them paid the ultimate price to come to the United States – their very lives.
Mark Lyons is an over-the-road trucker who lives in Kentucky.