Thursday, January 08, 2009

Operation Cast Lead: Day 13

MSNBC reports that Hamas and Israel are having technical discussions via Egypt based on the Egyptian-French proposals. It can't even wait a few paragraphs before engaging in rampant bias:
Even as the Israeli government tentatively welcomed the cease-fire proposal from Egypt and France, the Israeli military was instructed to continue its assault on Hamas.

Israel said it needs guarantees that any cease-fire will halt rocket fire and prevent Hamas from rearming, while Hamas demands that Gaza's blockaded border crossings be opened.

Despite the reservations, the proposal could mark the first sign of a possible exit from 12 days of bloodshed in Gaza, accompanied by continued Hamas rocket fire on southern Israel.
Hamas broke the 3-hour truce yesterday afternoon with a rocket barrage against Israeli cities, but that gets nary a mention. Instead, we're told that Israel is going to continue to attack Hamas even as it pursues diplomatic options. Funny how that works.

MSNBC, along with much of the rest of the media will focus on the Palestinian death toll, all while ignoring all the rockets fired against Israel for the past eight years with deadly intent (or the past six months during the so-called ceasefire in violation of international law). Hamas gets a pass on its actions, but Israel's response in the face of incessant violence is scrutinized with the goal of preventing Israel from responding altogether.

Where are all the appeals demanding that Hamas stop attacking Israel and releasing Gilad Shalit as humanitarian gestures? So far in this war, Israel has provided all the concessions and all the humanitarian gestures. Israel sends in food shipments, although warehouses are quite stocked with foodstuffs to the point that there are no food shortages. Israel sends in fuel, even as Hamas has repeatedly attacked the fuel depots that supply Gaza. Hamas has attacked with the intention of shutting down power in Gaza, but the media only bothers to pay attention when Israel cuts the power to the very terrorists who use that power to build their weapons for use against Israel.

Hamas has attacked the Israeli power station and power lines leading to Gaza so that Hamas can get the Palestinians to curse the Israelis in the dark.

Morally bankrupt diplomats, including representatives of the Vatican are quick to compare the situation in Gaza to the concentration camps, despite the fact that Hamas is a terrorist group and a national representative of the Palestinians who sought out war with Israel, hides behind the very civilians and couldn't care less how many Palestinians die since the greater the number, the sooner international pressure will be brought to bear to stop Israel's destruction of the Hamas terror group in Gaza.

Israel wanted nothing to do with Gaza after it withdrew unilaterally in 2005, and yet instead of building a viable society, Hamas launched directly into a war with Israel that has brought nothing but grief and ruin to Gaza and caused misery to all Israelis living within rocket and mortar range. Israel wanted quiet, but got a rocket war instead.

The IDF continues striking at targets in and around the Gazan border with Egypt, attacking tunnels Hamas uses to resupply itself with weapons and cash.

No other nation on the planet would tolerate months of rocket attacks from an enemy that seeks its destruction, and yet we've got diplomats from around the world racing to denounce Israel's actions to defend itself from terrorism and the jihad seeking its destruction.

So, what is Hamas' end game? It's the same as it has always been. It wants Israel destroyed. Anything it does short of an unconditional surrender with the destruction of all of its weapons will be in furtherance of its political and religious obligations.

The Hamas Charter makes that abundantly clear. It's a melange of political and religious doctrines and religious obligations. The call to destroy Israel is a religious obligation.

The Hamas Charter also shows how Israel's war is a war that the rest of the West is fighting against Islamic terror since the goals are the same. Laura Mansfield provides more details on the similarities between Hamas and al Qaeda. Keep in mind too that Zawahiri was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which has spawned more terror groups than you can shake a stick at. Hamas is an offshoot of the Brotherhood.

The goals are the same - to destroy Israel and establish an Islamic caliphate under Islamic law. The methods are similar - suicide attacks, mass murder, mass casualty incidents, and jihad against Israel and the West. Pundits and diplomats are quick to cite Israel's violations of international law, but ignore one salient and inconvenient fact. Hamas not only precipitated Israel's response, but its actions have violated international laws at every turn.

Hamas has broken just about every international law or convention with its use of weapons specifically targeting civilian populations, operating without uniforms, using civilians as human shields, hiding weapons and equipment in civilian facilities including schools, hospitals, residences, and mosques, and has engaged in massive and rampant war crimes up to and including the incitement to genocide of the people of Israel. Invariably, human rights groups like Amnesty International and media (including Israel's own Ynet) complain bitterly about Israel's military actions, but ignore why Israel's military is slogging through Gaza going after terrorists in the first place.

Beyond the real and deadly physical violence in Gaza, the propaganda war extends online. I know I'm part of that war, because I'm busy providing facts and details that debunk the Palestinian agitprop that is coming out of Gaza courtesy of a sympathetic media. Still others are engaging in hacking opposition websites, and that's an activity I simply can't condone. I'd much rather see the Palestinian propagandists exposed as the anti-Semitic bigots that they are. I want to see that they get exposed to the antiseptic light of day.

Terrorists have once again sent Northern Israelis scrambling for shelter as they have fired a barrage of rockets into Israel from Lebanon. That's right folks, UNIFIL has failed to once again do its job in disarming all militias operating in Lebanon, and Israel is being attacked by the terrorists on two fronts. The problem is that Israel isn't treating it like the act of war and war crime that it is:
The discussions in Cairo got underway hours after at least three missiles from Lebanon landed near the northern Israeli town of Nahariya, slightly injuring two Israelis, and the Israeli army responded with fire. The rockets from Lebanon raised concern that they could presage a second front in the conflict that would complicate peace efforts and revive memories of the bloody war between Israel and the militant group Hezbollah in southern Lebanon in 2006.

But the Israeli Army later dismissed the rockets on Thursday as “a minor event” and, in Lebanon, the government said Hezbollah had distanced itself from the attack. Prime Minister Fouad Siniora of Lebanon immediately condemned the rocket-fire. In a statement, Lebanese Information Minister Tarek Mitri said: “Hezbollah assured the Lebanese government that it remains engaged in preserving the stability in Lebanon and respects Security Council resolution 1701.”
UN SCR 1701 requires UNIFIL to disarm all militias operating in Lebanon. Hizbullah is saying that they had nothing to do with it. Israeli forces believe that it was yet another Palestinian terrorist group. That terrorists are still firing rockets shows that UNIFIL has not done its job. Again.

Lebanon is responsible for the attacks, and those attacks are an act of war and while the Lebanese and Hizbullah claim that Hizbullah had nothing to do with the attacks, absolutely nothing happens in Southern Lebanon without Hizbullah approval.

Iran is pulling the strings here as Iranian diplomats were busy meeting with Hamas thugs in Damascus. That's no coincidence. It's a mapping out of long term strategies and you can bet that Hamas and Hizbullah were coordinating strategies and tactics to take pressure off Hamas as Hamas is on the ropes. Opening a second front would achieve those goals, and a similar tactic evolved during the 2006 Hizbullah war, when Hamas attacked Israeli communities with their rocket attacks to try and divert attention and Israeli forces from Hizbullah targets in Southern Lebanon.

For Israel, a failure to respond is a sign of weakness and shows that Israel will continue to tolerate random and sporadic attacks, which gives terrorist groups like Hamas and Hizbullah hope that they can gradually increase the rocket fire without incurring Israel's wrath.

Meanwhile, the rockets continue slamming into Southern Israel, an Israeli soldier was killed on the ground, and Hamas vows not to surrender in Gaza. It's that latter point that matters most.

The violence has a chance of stopping permanently - true peace - if Hamas surrenders unconditionally. The alternative is that Israel will again be threatened by Hamas attacks as soon as it has regained its strength and rebuilt its weapons caches.

I'm not alone in noting UNIFIL's absolute failure to carry out the terms of UN SCR 1701 and all the related Security Council resolutions. UNIFIL's existence is based on its requirement to demilitarize Southern Lebanon and disarm all the militias operating there. Hizbullah is the biggest, and they're in a stronger position now than they were in 2006. Other terrorist groups operating there do so with Hizbullah's blessings. Richard Fernandez takes UNIFIL and the media to task. He notes that no one is holding the terrorists and regimes responsible for supporting them accountable for their actions to the point that terrorists have free reign to operate in places like Lebanon or Pakistan.

Meryl Yourish looks at Iran opening a second front against Israel via Lebanon to take pressure off their proxies Hamas in Gaza.

Not all civilians are created equal. Terror master Nizar Rayyan who died in airstrikes last week along with his four wives and 11 of 12 children had so thoroughly indoctrinated his children that they begged to be martyrs alongside him.
According to his surviving children, the death of the Rayyan family children was not an accident: Rayyan had trained his wives and children to die with him as "martyrs."

Surviving family members spoke to local Arab media and said that in the days before his death, Rayyan had repeatedly asked his children, "Who wants to die with me as a martyr?" The children would respond, "Yes, daddy, we all want to be with you alive or dead."

Rayyan's adult daughter, Wala, said even the younger children wished to die with their father. "If In the days before his death, Rayyan has repeatedly asked his children, "Who wants to die with me as a martyr?" you had asked my four-year-old sister Aisha, who died in the attack, she would have told you that she preferred to die as a martyr," Wala told Ma'an news.

One of Rayyan's daughter-in-laws said she was offered the chance to die with the family. She stopped by the family's large home in Jabaliya and was asked by Rayyan if she wished to die with him, his wives and their children. She agreed to die, but later left the building, shortly before the IAF strike.
They wanted to add their bodies to the propaganda body count.

More Hamas propaganda, courtesy of CNN:

No mention that Hamas uses civilian areas as weapons caches and ammo dumps, only that Israel destroyed homes. The narrator omits those kinds of details - it would get in the way of the narrative. No mention too that Hamas violated the 3-hour truce yesterday or that Hamas tried to sneak in equipment courtesy of one of those humanitarian aid convoys that the UN operated.

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