Events Unfolding

Arlene from Israel

Motzei Shabbat (After Shabbat)

I left my posting abruptly yesterday because of the advent of Shabbat and want here to follow through.  But it’s tentatively only, because indeed events are in the process of unfolding and we have to see what tomorrow and the ensuing days will bring.

Quite frankly, I had expected to return to the news to learn that Israel was expanding the operation in the face of Hamas’s kidnapping of Second Lt. Hadar Goldin and the killing of two other soldiers, after a “mutual” ceasefire – that was supposed to include discussions in Cairo on terms for extending it – had begun.

Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, who was reportedly captured by Hamas militants on Friday.

Credit: AP

The sense of outrage was very real, the anger.  It seemed finally the time to stop pulling punches and take down Hamas.  I was particularly eager to see us go after Hamas leaders.


What I found, then, when Shabbat ended, startled me:  I learned that our troops were being pulled back from the Beit Lahiya and al-Atatara areas of northern Gaza and the civilians told that they could return to those areas.

The IDF was saying that all the tunnels that led into Israel that had been discovered would be destroyed in another day or two.

This statement remains a bit amorphous: What if some haven’t been discovered yet – but still might be if the operation continued longer?  What if some of the other tunnels that do not yet lead into Israel (and there are many in various parts of Gaza) could yet be extended into Israel?

Certainly we have done overwhelmingly destructive damage to that system of tunnels – they are saying we have demolished what it took Hamas five years to build.  We have rendered it impossible for them to do the sort of massive and horrific attack they had planned – with hundreds of terrorists leaping out from tunnel exits in multiple communities in the south of Israel all at the same time.

All sorts of technologies are being examined to detect further digging across the border; troops are being stationed on the Gaza side near the border; and security forces in the communities in the south are being boosted.  So, the danger that had been incredibly great and very imminent, has been reduced to one that is small, if not totally eliminated.
All along Netanyahu had said there was no guarantee that we could get 100% of the tunnels.

Perhaps that’s an honest assessment of the situation – that is, short of totally taking out Hamas – even if it is one many of us are not fully comfortable with.  What will matter in the end is what the residents of the south are prepared to accept.  (Many of them have gone elsewhere and are waiting to go home.)


The first impression given by this joint announcement – that troops were pulling back from some areas and that we were almost done taking out tunnels – was that we’d be pulling out of Gaza momentarily. A startling, bewildering and distressing impression – and one that in the end seemed to be not true.

Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke to the nation this evening and indicated that the redeployment of forces, because the tunnel phase of the operation was coming to an end, did not mean that the campaign against Hamas in Gaza was ending. We would take as much time as we needed, he said, leaving all options open, and applying force as it was required.


Meeting late into the night last night, the Security Cabinet decided to maintain “the current nature” of the operation, and “take stock” as necessary.  It is, in other words, a situation in flux.



There are, however, some exceedingly important points that have been made:  We are now saying that we will not have any further “humanitarian ceasefires” promoted by the international community. We will decide when it is appropriate to halt firing.  Long overdue and sounding good.

What is more, we will not be sending a delegation to Cairo to negotiate a long-term quiet.  If Hamas cannot be trusted to honor its commitment for a 72 hour ceasefire, there is no point in pursuing negotiations.

I see this as very significant. For Hamas’s whole goal – its definition of “victory” – had to do with securing certain benefits it was after: release of prisoners, and, more importantly, opening up of its borders.  We were supposed to ultimately grant these benefits, in some measure, in exchange for having them stop firing on us. That would have been a great win for them.

I will note here the obvious: the purpose of kidnapping a soldier, or trying to, was to secure a bargaining chip in negotiations. But if there are no negotiations?


We are now saying that we’ll simply decide when to call it quits.  We cannot leave Gaza if there is no quiet however. And if Hamas continues to fire rockets at Israel, the operation – I certainly hope! – will continue.

Will we get all their rockets? Without a very massive ground operation that sought them out in all the places where they are hidden – tunnels, mosques, schools, etc. – that is not possible.  (Think about what a dirty situation this is!) But I am reading that at this point a considerable portion of their arsenal has been eliminated.


And this is what I suspect will be the end of the matter:  I believe for Netanyahu, the option of demilitarizing Hamas is still very much alive.  I believe that he sees this as the most effective and realistic way to resolve the matter.  And as I wrote the other day – as I discovered for myself the other day – there is support for this in several quarters internationally, and some good reason to think this might happen.  Even tonight he referred to his appreciation for nations he has new relations with, and that is a lightly veiled reference to Arab nations, who would be expected to support what he hopes to do.

What is more, as much as I truly want to see the heads of Hamas leaders roll, I understand what we’re dealing with here, which makes the take-down of Hamas perhaps not the most viable option.  A nightmare situation, with our boys having to go into an enormously congested Gaza City, where there are still tunnels underground, and running the risk of being murdered by terrorists leaping out at them, or attempting to kidnap them. I think Netanyahu is hoping for a different way.


From the Times of Israel we have this most interesting report:

”In a phone call with US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro about the breakdown of the short-lived UN- and US-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vented his anger, according to people familiar with the call.

“Netanyahu told Shapiro the Obama administration was ‘not to ever second-guess me again’ and that Washington should trust his judgment on how to deal with Hamas, according to people familiar with the conversation. Netanyahu added that he now ‘expected’ the US and other countries to fully support Israel’s offensive in Gaza…”


In his address to the nation, after this report had surfaced, Netanyahu denied its veracity and talked about how he appreciates the support of the US, etc. etc.

But that Times of Israel piece rings true to me.  It was the US and the UN jointly that had pushed for the ceasefire and subsequent negotiations.  And after the kidnapping, it was the US that apparently called upon Turkey and Qatar to get Hamas to release Goldin immediately, so negotiations could take place.  Turkey made some noise in that direction. As if – after a kidnapping during a ceasefire – we would proceed as if everything was fine if we got our soldier back.

I think that Obama and company have been made to feel very foolish with regard to this “negotiations” effort that backfired completely. And I suspect something in the dynamic here may have shifted in favor of what Netanyahu is seeking.

Time will tell.


As to Hadar Goldin, the IDF is saying they will everything possible to bring him back. But in truth there is reason to believe he is not alive – that what Hamas grabbed was his body, or that he was wounded and died after they took him.  For there has been no announcement from Hamas regarding this – which would be promoted as a great “victory.”

Goldin’s very lovely family appeared on TV tonight, and they implored the IDF not to leave without rescuing him.  Terribly painful stuff.  I learned tonight that he had recently gotten engaged.


Here I leave it, for now.  Again, I share a fantastic political cartoon:

 Dry Bones cartoon, kirschen, Israel, Gaza, Hamas, palestine, Dry Bones, Obama, terrorism, borders, tunnels,


Future Americans Will Ask: Why Didn’t Congress Impeach Obama When It Could?

By: Diana West

This flag is one of the earliest Stars and Stripes known to exist.

How will future generations look back on our gravest national emergency of all time? And how will they regard what their forebears didn’t do about it?

This will include what we didn’t do about border nullification, which collapsed the U.S. as a sovereign nation. What we didn’t do about the alignment of our foreign policy with that of jihad movements, which meant the end of liberty, also life itself, for our best allies. What we didn’t do about the growth of tyranny from corruption and Marxism in this cradle of liberty.

Most of our progeny – and certainly those millions descended from the Latin American (and other) populations President Obama invited to invade the former United States – will never ask such questions. But some Americans – those who will throw off their burqas and speak English in the privacy of their caves – will be aghast at the paralysis of their ancestors who lost all.

“Seriously,” they will say to a granny whose granny told her. “You’re telling us that in 2014, the people still had the vote? Still had the Internet? That they still could elect a Congress with the powers of the purse, which could, at the very least, have provided funds to states for the National Guard to stop the Invasion of 2014-2024 (taught by government schools as the ‘Gran Liberacion’)? And they did … nothing?”

“That’s right,” she will croak. “They did nothing.”

“Why? Tell us again why they didn’t love liberty enough to defend” – their voices will drop to a whisper – “the Former Constitution and impeach the tyrant?”

Why, indeed. The very old lady, confused herself, will restate the reasons, the ones she first heard long ago. They still wouldn’t make sense, but it was almost all the history they had left.

The reason was the Republicans – that was the name of the Stupid Party before the Obamacrats instituted the single-payer health care and political system combined – would have had a terrible time dealing with Obamacrat anger against impeachment proceedings in an election year. “In an election year” sounded like one word, the way she said it.

“But they still had elections,” one of the youngsters blurted out, everyone’s heads shaking involuntarily in disbelief. “They still had the chance to make the case to the people according to the Former Constitution” – the youngster’s voice dropped off – “and they did nothing.”

“Well, they sued the president – but that was pointless.” She paused. “I know it’s baffling to us, living as we must in the Fever Swamp. But Stupid Party leaders said that the White House” – that was the name of the Great Mosque at 1600 Aztlan Avenida, she reminded them – “would be able to raise large sums of cash on impeachment to pay for TV ads against the Stupid Party, and that the media and Obamacrats would rally around the tyrant for those midterm elections.”

“Wouldn’t proceedings documenting Obama’s dictatorial assault on the former Constitution” – the voice of the youngster speaking stayed steady – “have turned many voters against him, too?”

The old lady thought for a minute. “I’m not sure anyone thought of that,” she replied.

“Did the Stupid Party at least win those stupid elections?”

“What does it matter now?” she said. “They turned out to be the last ones.”

“What’s ‘media’ again?” someone said, just to break the gloomy silence.

“People paid to flatter the tyrant – I’ve told you. Now, where was I? Oh yes, it was an election year.”

The youngsters looked blankly. They just didn’t get why elected officials, sworn to uphold the Former Constitution, would break their own oath just as surely as Obama had and do nothing to defend the nation against what turned out to be the tyrant’s final assault.

“The Republicans were afraid Obamacrats would say mean things about them.”

More blankness. “Wouldn’t they anyway?”

“Goodness, yes! Maybe they thought Obamacrats would commit more voter fraud than usual, I don’t know.”

“But they had laws against voter fraud back then.”

“How many times do I have to tell you, the Stupid Party never prosecuted voter fraud, no matter how rampant! The entire establishment even hushed up hard evidence that Obama committed identity fraud with forged documents to get elected in the first place.”

The youngsters’ eyes widened.

“We’ll get to that another day,” she said. “Meanwhile, there was no hiding Obama’s dictatorial usurpation of powers that didn’t belong to him, at least when he was still under the Former Constitution.” She, too, muted her croak from habit. “He changed legislation, made up legislation, refused to enforce legislation, punished political opponents, hid everything. Eventually, he just seized Capitol Hill for the NSA’s Monitoring Infinite Project run by the Unaccompanied Minor Brigades.”

She continued. “But another reason Congress did nothing when it still could was because practically every important conservative declared it was ‘premature’ to follow the former Constitution and impeach the tyrant. No public support for impeachment, they said. What we lacked, though, was a political leader to make the impeachment case and win that public support – or go down trying.”

“The Founding Fathers wouldn’t have thought it was premature,” one of the youngsters said. “They would already have initiated impeachment proceedings.”

Tears of pride came to the granny’s eyes, but fear sounded in her voice. “Never mention the Founding Fathers outside this cave!” she warned. “But you’re right.”