Monday, July 28, 2014

Israel Says It Is Escalating Gaza Campaign




Israel Says It Is Escalating Gaza Campaign


Israel's leaders said they were escalating the military campaign in Gaza and told the country to prepare for a prolonged operation, defying international demands for an immediate cease-fire after Hamas militants broke a Muslim holiday lull.
The military chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, said Israel's assault on Gaza's Hamas rulers was being "intensified" after three weeks of fighting that have cost more than 1,100 lives.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a televised address, gave no sign the military would go beyond its stated goals—degrading Hamas's rocket arsenal and finding and destroying a network of cross-border tunnels that fighters use to infiltrate Israel. According to officials, the military needs about another week to accomplish that.
"We will not finish the mission, we will not finish the operation, without neutralizing the tunnels, which have the sole purpose of annihilating our citizens and killing our children," the prime minister said. He told Israelis to brace for a prolonged fight.

As he spoke, the military sent messages instructing thousands of Palestinians living on the outskirts of Gaza City to leave their homes and take shelter in the city center—an apparent prelude to an assault on suspected Hamas positions in civilian neighborhoods.
Later, flares lighted up the midnight sky over Gaza City, accompanied by repeated explosions that rattled windows.
Mr. Netanyahu ordered a resumption of attacks after Hamas struck two military targets inside Israel on Monday, lobbing a mortar that killed four soldiers at a makeshift base 4 miles from the Gaza border and popping up from a cross-border tunnel to open fire on a military patrol. The military said it killed five militants in a firefight at the tunnel opening.

Hamas responded defiantly to Mr. Netanyahu's comments.


"His threats do not scare Hamas or the Palestinian people," said Samy Abu Zohry, a spokesman for the Islamist group that governs Gaza. "The [Israeli] occupation will pay the price for the massacres against civilians and children."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon singled out Israel, accusing it of "pummeling" Gazans with "indiscriminate destruction" and warned the Jewish state to fulfill its obligations as "an occupying power" to protect civilians.

The U.N. chief demanded that Israel and Hamas end the violence "in the name of humanity." He accused Mr. Netanyahu and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal of being "morally wrong" for letting their people get killed. Mr. Ban said he spoke to Mr. Netanyahu on Monday, urging him to accept a cease-fire first, then to address the root causes of the conflict. An emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council called for an "immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire," echoing President Barack Obama's appeal in a phone call to Mr. Netanyahu on Sunday.
Mr. Obama's call to Mr. Netanyahu stoked concern among Israelis about a rift with the U.S. that could complicate the search for a cease-fire. Tensions are still raw after Israel's cabinet on Thursday rejected a proposal for a one-week cease-fire by Secretary of StateJohn Kerry, saying it addressed Hamas's demands for open borders but not Israel's demand for a demilitarization of Gaza.








'We Are Looking At The Beginnings Of A Holocaust'




This one comes from the Jerusalem Post:




'We Are Looking At the Beginnings Of A Holocaust'


The situation facing European Jewry is “simply intolerable, unacceptable and inexcusable,” Israeli Jewish Congress president Vladimir Sloutsker told MKs and foreign diplomats at a special session of the Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee on Monday.

Calling the rise in anti-Semitic incidents accompanying Israel’s invasion of Gaza an “SOS situation,” Sloutsker warned that if left unchecked, such behavior could lead to another European genocide.


“Never before since the Holocaust, have we seen such a situation as today,” he said, referring to the continent-wide demonstrations by pro-Palestinian activists, a number of which have generated into violence and many of which have featured racist rhetoric.

“We are potentially looking at the beginning of another Holocaust now. These events [violent demonstrations and expressions of anti-Semitism] will only grow in scale across Europe,” he asserted.
Addressing the legislators and representatives of a number of European governments, including those of Denmark, Holland and France, the oligarch and former head of the Russian Jewish Congress called for Jewish communities across the continent to “unite and consolidate.”

Sloutsker also called on all European governments to impose what he called “strict regulations” on the format and content of demonstrations in order to prevent further violence against Jews.
Citing a recent proposal by Belgian Jewry to establish a position of Special European Commissioner to monitor and combat anti-Semitism and racism, Sloutsker said such measures would “help send a strong message that European leadership is united and committed to combating anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia.”

A number of Israeli legislators echoed Sloutsker’s call for a more proactive European approach to combating anti-Semitism.
“Fight together with us,” MK Shimon Ohayon urged the diplomats present, adding that he was opposed to “dangerous propaganda” that painted Israel as an aggressor.

Jews in Europe have been targeted because they are Jewish and not because of any territorial claim or conflict in the Middle East, the lawmaker asserted, but “because they are against them because they are Jews,” citing attacks against Jews in France, including a recent riot in the Parisian suburb of Sarcelles in which the synagogue and Jewish stores were targeted by people.

“We ask you to stop this wheel” of “anti-Semitic hatred in Europe,” he added, calling anti-Zionism the “new anti-Semitism.”

The world “must understand” that Israel is fighting against terrorism, committee chairman Yoel Rzbozov said in response to Ohayon’s statement, echoing the prevailing sentiment among the lawmakers present.

The state will not allow one Jew to remain undefended, MK Yisrael Hasson chimed in, asserting that the fates of European and Israeli Jews are intertwined.

Jews in Belgium are being asked “why are you killing children in Gaza?” Rafael Werner, a representative of Belgium's Jewish community recounted, asserting that there is little distinction being made between Jews and Israelis.

“There is no hasbara in Europe,” he complained, using the Hebrew term for public diplomacy.

The situation in Europe is “dire,” said MP Meir Habib, a Jew who represents French expatriates in the National Assembly. While praising the French political leadership for their commitment to defending their country’s Jewish community, he said that hearing calls for the deaths of Jews at demonstrations left him “concerned that there will be a second Toulouse,” a reference to the 2012 shooting deaths of several Jews at a Jewish school in that city.

Decrying what he perceived as a lack of concern for the mass deaths accompanying the Syrian civil war, Habib complained that accusations of “disproportionate” actions by Israeli forces have been harmful and asserted that the media is “the primary problem.”
Most French Jews will remain in France despite a high rate of emigration, he concluded, imploring his Israeli counterparts to “help those who stay.”

European representatives present during the meeting sought to assure the room that their governments are committed to defending local communities.

“We refuse to allow any conflict to be imported into French society,” a representative of the French embassy said. “The security of the Jewish citizens of France is an utmost priority for us. Our determination will not falter.”

“Forceful measures have to be taken against cases of anti-Semitism or it will increase,” Dutch Ambassador Casper Veldkamp said. “The situation is severe. We risk importing the conflict from the Middle East to Europe when Europe should export respect.”

Danish Ambassador Jesper Vahr agreed but cautioned the communal leaders and legislators about linking anti-Semitism and the current Israeli military operation.

“We are discussing anti-Semitism. There is also another discussion going around the table pertaining Operation Protective Edge,” he said. “I would warn against mixing apples and oranges…we as a society also defend the right of people in Denmark to voice their protests against the actions happening on the ground. You know the position of my government on that.”

However, he added, Denmark supports Israel’s “right to defend itself” and will “exert all efforts to fight the scourge of anti-Semitism.”





'The Nations' vs Israel: Anti-Semitism On The Rise



With every passing day we see more and more protests against Israel (a scenario that deserves its own commentary - as such protests defy any shred of logic and thus points to the supernatural nature of Israel's relationship with a secular world) - as the nations line up in concert in the ongoing efforts to destroy the Nation of Israel. 






 Thousands of people took to the streets of New York City on Friday evening to protest Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip and demand an end to the violence that has reportedly killed nearly 850 Palestinians.

Police scrambled to corral the demonstrators, which officers estimated numbered between 2,000 and 3,000, as they flooded into the busy streets around Times Square.

In New York City, the crowd marched through the bustling evening streets of Midtown Manhattan chanting "Free, free Palestine!" and "1,2,3,4, stop the killing, stop the war!"
It was unclear who organized the protest, which drew demonstrators to the city from miles away.



A local government authority in the United Kingdom has openly worked with a pro-Hamas group which masquerades as a charity, Breitbart London can exclusively reveal. 
Preston City Council, which is run by the Labour Party, was forced to change its plans to fly the Palestinian flag over the town hall following protests and complaints. Breitbart London can now reveal that the group the council was working with has previously hosted meetings in which they express open and vocal support for the terrorist group Hamas.
Council leader Peter Rankin said: "I am pleased to be able to demonstrate our sympathy with the Palestinians through raising their flag over the town hall. We are also exploring other ways in which we can help and support Gaza.

Towards the end of his speech, Master lavishes praise upon a friend of his who he claims wore a Palestinian football shirt with the name "HAMAS" printed on the back. He said, "We need to have that attitude because we are all now Palestinians in this day and age, we are all now Gazans in this day and age. And in this day and age brothers and sisters, we are all Hamas".
Master is a long-standing union member, formerly a Labour Party activist, and has served as a trustee for the Fishergate Hill mosque which has been fundraising for years, though only recently received the green light from the same council which flew the Palestinian flag. The mosque's plans were approved in April of this year. 
The current space used for the mosque has also been the subject of primary school trips for British children, raising concerns that kids are being introduced to Hamas sympathisers.




Jewish people in Britain are enduring a backlash of attacks, bomb threats and anti-semitic insults fuelled by the bloodshed in Gaza.
More than 100 hate crimes have been recorded by police and community groups this month, more than double the usual number.
Community safety groups fear the total could be the second highest ever recorded, after an explosion of violence during the 2009 Gaza war.
In several disturbing cases attackers have invoked the Holocaust and even shouted: ‘Heil Hitler’ at victims.
A rabbi was attacked by four Muslim teenagers outside a Jewish boarding school in Gateshead in one of the most serious incidents.
In Belfast, bricks were thrown at the city’s only synagogue, smashing windows on two consecutive nights.
Groups of Asian men chanted 'Heil Hitler’ as they drove through a Jewish area of Manchester, throwing missiles at passers-by.
In north London, one pro-Israel organisation received a telephone bomb threat and a Jewish boy riding a bicycle had a stone thrown at his head by a woman in a niqab.
More than 100 incidents have been reported to the Community Security Trust (CST), a charity that helps to protect Jews, since the start of this month.






French police arrested 70 people at a banned pro-Palestinian Arab protest in central Paris on Saturday that degenerated into clashes between demonstrators and armor-clad riot squads, AFP reports.
The rally had drawn 4,000 people to the capital's Place de la Republique, the interior ministry said, while organizers put the turnout at 10,000.
Police who stepped in to disperse the rally responded with tear gas when they were targeted with rocks and other projectiles. About 12 police were slightly injured.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said while the young people protesting had been mostly peaceful, "there were troublemakers at this demonstration", some of whom had come armed with the intention to cause violence.
"There were 70 arrests and 30 (of them) have been detained, some of whom had significant weapons, including clubs... and knuckle-dusters,"AFP quoted him as having said.
The demonstration against Israel's operation in Gaza came after other protests last weekend in Paris and a suburb that had also initially been banned descended into chaos








Thousands of people protested in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam on Sunday against what some labelled Israel's “genocide in Gaza”, AFPreported, citing local media.
State broadcaster NOS said as many as 10,000 people took part in the demonstration against Israel's defensive operation in Gaza, with marchers waving posters reading: "Free Palestine" and "No Dutch support for Palestinian genocide".
The event was organized by a coalition of pro-Palestinian Arab organizations in the Netherlands, according to a Facebook events page.



Similar earlier demonstrations saw hundreds of Muslim extremists attacked a major synagogue in Paris, provoking clashes with Jewish youths who rushed to defend the site and worshippers trapped inside.
There have also been anti-Israel protests in Berlin. Footage of one of these protests showed hundreds of demonstrators chanting in German, “Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come on out and fight on your own”.







Pro-Palestinian protesters clashed with police in central Paris on Saturday when thousands of marchers defied a ban by French authorities to rally against Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip.

French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve warned organizers in a television address that they would be held responsible for any clashes and could be prosecuted for ignoring a ban that was confirmed by the country's top administrative court.

According to the interior ministry, some 2,000 police were sent to the Place de la Republique to surround the demonstrators, which numbered about 5,000.

Protesters were seen waiving Palestinian flags, chanting "We are all Palestinians" and carrying placards reading: "Zionists, terrorists". At least one Israeli flag was burned, a Reuters photographer said.












US President Barack Obama exerted “heavy pressure” on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in a phone call Sunday to end Operation Protective Edge in Gaza immediately, according to Channel 2 television.

Obama reportedly agreed to the idea of an unconditional ceasefire, to be followed by discussion of Hamas's demands for easing of sanctions on Gaza. This is the formula that the Egyptians had offered, and which Israel favored, whereas Hamas wanted easing of sanctions to be agreed from the outset. However, Obama would not close the door on involvement by Qatar and Turkey in the negotiations, despite Israel's opposition.
Netanyahu's demand that Gaza be demilitarized was reportedly swept aside by Obama, who said that he saw such an arrangement as part of an overall peace deal to be reached between Israel and the Palestinians, and not as part of a ceasefire with Hamas.

According to an official US statement, Obama “made clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement.”








Figures from an Israeli intelligence center highlight how, in the Israeli-Palestinian wars, even the awful tangibles of counting and sorting the dead have become part of a non-fact-based narrative that plays a decisive role in Israel’s asymmetric conflicts.


Palestinian sources in Hamas-controlled Gaza claim that roughly 75 percent of all the dead were civilians. As of Friday at 3 p.m., the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported, 857 Palestinians had been killed, 649 of them civilians, of whom 194 were children.

That final figure is crushing. Even if it is highly inflated, and some of the children are actually teens who took part in the warfare, there is no stepping around the enormity of the tragedy for the families in Gaza. And this article in no way seeks to make light of those losses.


But the 75 percent figure is more than merely tragic. It calls into question the very legitimacy of Israel’s actions, of its right to defend itself in the manner it has chosen.
Yet while it has been widely quoted as fact, a recent Israeli report, along with the facts stated about each fallen Palestinian in Gaza in an Al Jazeera list, reveal a far more reasonable balance, one that would seem to be very much in line with recent NATO offensives and other US foreign wars.
The Meir Amit Intelligence and Information Center found, on July 23, that 775 people had been killed in Gaza, of whom 229 were militants or terrorists (135 Hamas, 60 Islamic Jihad, 34 from other terror organizations); 267 were civilians; and 279 could not yet be classified.
Many of the Palestinian figures subsequently quoted, by the UN and other international organizations, “are not worth the paper they’re written on,” Reuven Erlich, the director of the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, told The Times of Israel. “They’re based mostly on Palestinian sources in Gaza, who have a vested interest in showing that we’re killing many civilians.”

His center, he said, thoroughly researches the casualties. In order to ascertain an accurate identity of the dead, the center’s staff researches the person’s background on Palestinian websites and searches for information about their funerals and for other hints that could shed light on the person’s true occupation.
The authorities in Gaza generally count every young man who did not wear a uniform as a civilian — even if he was involved in terrorist activity and was therefore considered by the IDF a legitimate target, military sources said.






Fighting subsided in Gaza on Sunday after Hamas Islamist militants said they backed a 24-hour humanitarian truce and U.S. President Barack Obama called for a ceasefire but there was no sign of any comprehensive deal to end fighting withIsrael.
Hamas said it had endorsed a call by the United Nations for a pause in the fighting in light of the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which begins on Monday.
Some firing of rockets continued after the time that Hamas had announced it would put its guns aside and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu questioned the validity of the truce.
Obama spoke by phone on Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and stressed the need for an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, the White House said.
Urging a permanent end to hostilities on the basis of the 2012 ceasefire agreement, Obama added that "ultimately, any lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarization of Gaza."
Israeli artillery guns also fired barrages into the Gaza Strip, Israeli media reported, although the objects of the fire was initially unclear.
"Hamas doesn't even accept its own ceasefire, it's continuing to fire at us as we speak," Netanyahu said in an interview with CNN, adding that Israel would "take whatever action is necessary to protect our people".





Islamic Jihad has “many more surprises up its sleeve,” said Abdullah Shalah, head of the terror group said Sunday. In an interview on an Arab satellite station, Shalah said that “We have a store of strategic weapons that we have never used,” but was prepared to bring out against Israel if the war in Gaza continued. With that, he did not specify what those weapons were.

According to sources in Gaza, those weapons are Iranian-made “Zelzal” missiles, an unguided missile that can carry a payload of up to 600 kg (1,323 pounds) of explosives for a distance of up to 200 kilometers. Speaking to the Donia Alwattan news site, the sources, which claim to be close to Islamic Jihad, did not say how many such missiles the terror group had, adding that “this is their 'judgement day' weapon.”

Earlier Sunday, a report in the British newspaper The Telegraph said that Hamas had signed an arms deal with North Korea in order to replenish its depleted rocket arsenal, after thousands were either fired at Israeli civilians or destroyed in IDF strikes in recent weeks. The report cited 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.

According to Israeli intelligence sources, North Korea has been providing other forms of aid to Hamas as well. North Korean experts are believed to have played a crucial role in helping Hamas build its vast network of "terror tunnels", designed to enable deadly infiltration attacks into Israel, based on the model of the authoritarian state's own complex tunnel network under the Demilitarized Zone with South Korea - believed to be the most sophisticated such network in the world.










Moscow has threatened to end security arrangements it has with the United States and the European Union should they impose additional sanctions as a result of what they claims is Russian “complicity” in aiding the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 by pro-Russian fighters in eastern Ukraine.


In a strong statement, the Russian foreign ministry referred to the “slander” by White House press secretary Josh Ernest when he characterized as “Russian complicity” the downing of MH-17.
“Judging by the relentless slander campaign against Russia organized by the American administration, they are being more and more guided by blatant lies when pursuing their foreign policy,” the foreign ministry said.
Moscow is expected to maintain its role in asserting its influence in Ukraine to develop a buffer against the West and intends to take advantage of potential fissures which appear to be developing in the Kiev government.
Moscow also maintains a stranglehold not only on Ukraine but Europe itself through the supply of natural gas on which Europe is highly dependent, as is Ukraine which owes Moscow billions of dollars in back payments for the natural gas it has received.
As an added measure, Russia also could threaten to cut off Ukraine’s supply which, in turn, will have an impact on the flow of natural gas to Europe.
Future sanctions from Europe would add to that prospect, in addition to cutting off any further security ties.