The top 12 Israel stories of 2014

From the first blood test for cancer to inventions that can save your life, and a reinvented wheel, we look back at some of our most exciting stories of the year.

I-Love-IsraelIsrael21c (Dec 26) — To say goodbye to the old year, and to celebrate the new, we’ve brought you our most popular 12 stories of the year. It’s a significant list that demonstrates the incredible diversity and innovation of Israeli life even during the most difficult of times.

  1. Israelis develop the first blood test for cancer

After eight years of painstaking research, Israeli life-sciences company Eventus Diagnostics  has produced a blood test for the early detection of breast cancer.

  1. 18 Israeli inventions that could save your life

ISRAEL21c takes a look at 18 lifesaving innovations from the startup nation.

  1. 10 extraordinary places to stay in Israel

If you’re looking for something a little different from luxury chain hotels, B&Bs and youth hostels, then check out these unusual places to lay your head for the night.

  1. 15 things you didn’t know about the Iron Dome

Israel’s anti-missile defense system was the unexpected hero of this summer’s conflict. Betcha didn’t know there are toy car parts in its history

  1. The surprising duo behind the Hamas missile map

A Belgian-Israeli Jew and a Dutch Muslim developed Israel Under Attack, a new computer tool for mapping rocket trajectories from Gaza.

  1. Revolutionary stem-cell ALS treatment begins advanced trials

BrainStorm’s NurOwn enhanced adult stem cells seem to halt the progression of incurable neurodegenerative diseases.

  1. Israel goes vegan

‘What is going on here is really remarkable. I don’t think this took hold so quickly and intensely in any other place in the world,’ says Israeli food writer Ori Shavit.

  1. A 2 inch computer for $55

CuBox, the smallest computer ever, is made in Israel by an Arab-Israeli company aiming to power the Internet of Things.

  1. 12 hot apps from Israel

Want to be better organized, make music with distant friends, avoid your ex, socialize your shopping experience? Israelis have made an app for that.

10.  Leave it to Israelis to reinvent the wheel

Revolutionary shock-absorbing SoftWheel technology is rolling out for wheelchairs, bicycles and eventually everything else on wheels

11.  ‘Children are children. They are not our enemies’

While her hometown is under constant missile attack from Gaza, pediatric ICU head nurse Irena Nosel cares for critically ill Gazans in an Israeli hospital.

    12.  11 top Israeli innovations to treat, seal and heal wounds

New wound-care products are easing patients’ pain and winning fans among healthcare providers worldwide.

Click here for full article.

US Congress passes Israel strategic partnership bill

Democrat Eliot Engel

Democrat Eliot Engel

AFP (Dec 4) — U.S. lawmakers voted Wednesday to make Israel a “major strategic partner.” The House unanimously approved the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014, which expands cooperation in defense and security, energy, research and development, business, agriculture, water management and academics. The measure declares Washington’s “unwavering support” for Israel as a Jewish state. The bill passed the Senate unanimously in September.

The legislation would expand the US weapons stockpile in Israel by some $200 million in value, to a total of $1.8 billion, so that the Pentagon can be better prepared to conduct military operations in the volatile Middle East.

It also crucially allows Israel to use the weapons in the event of an emergency, as it did this summer during its operation “Protective Edge” in Gaza.

Earlier this year Congress dramatically increased US funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, to $351 million for fiscal year 2015 from $235 million the previous year.

“Israel is a bright light in a very, very dark region,” veteran Democrat Eliot Engel said on the House floor shortly before the vote.

Click here for full article.

Daniel Pipes: Thoughts on the P5+1 Nuclear Negotiations with Iran

Daniel Pipes is one of the world’s leading experts on politics in the Middle East and the president of the Middle East Forum. His bi-weekly column appears regularly in The Washington Times and more than 100 newspapers have carried his articles.

2994By Daniel Pipes for National Review Online (Nov 26) —  The Nov. 24 deadline came and went for an agreement between the powers and the Islamic Republic of Iran; on that date, they managed only to extend the existing interim deal for another seven months. The ayatollah crowed and U.S. senators stewed. Looking beyond these responses, the current situation spurs several thoughts:

  • If one assumes, as I do, that the apocalyptically-minded Iranian leadership will do everything it can to acquire The Bomb, then economic sanctions only serve to slow its course, not to stop it. Put more forcefully, the debate over sanctions is peripheral and even diversionary. The arcane financial and scientific minutiae of the negotiations tend to bury the only discussion that really matters – whether or not some government will use force to reverse the nuclear program.
  • That said, should the 114th Congress pass legislation with a veto-proof majority, this would be an unprecedented blow against Barack Obama and would presumably serve as a low-water mark of his presidency. But this signal event for American domestic politics is unlikely to affect the Iranian program.
  • Some governments (Russian, American) have the means but not the intent to destroy the Iranian facilities. Others have the intent (Saudi, Canadian) but not the means. This leaves only one player, which sort-of has the means and sort-of the intent: Israel. Given its in-between status, whether it will act is the $64,000 question. This is what preoccupies me and, I suggest, what others too should focus on.
  • Israel’s conundrum appears genuine: On the one hand, this is only state to have knocked out nuclear programs (and it did so twice, in 1981 and 2007); on the other, the logistical challenge and supremely high stakes make this round far more daunting.
  • Not for the first time, the 8 million people of Israel have an outsized international role. There’s a reason it has the highest per-capita number of foreign correspondents: whether it’s classical music virtuosity, religious passions, high-tech breakthroughs, UN Security Council resolutions, or warfare, the Jewish state globally punches far above its weight.

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Top US general: Israel protected civilian lives in Gaza

Chairman of Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey says IDF went to ‘extraordinary lengths’ to save innocents; America studying methods

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Times of Israel — Israel went to “extraordinary lengths” to prevent civilian casualties during this summer’s conflict in the Gaza Strip, the top US military leader said Thursday.

“I actually do think that Israel went to extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and civilian casualties,” said General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during a forum at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York City.

“In this kind of conflict, where you are held to a standard that your enemy is not held to, you’re going to be criticized for civilian casualties,” he added, according to Reuters.

The Hamas tunnels “caused the IDF some significant challenges,” Dempsey said. “But they did some extraordinary things to try to limit civilian casualties, to include… making it known that they were going to destroy a particular structure.”

Dempsey listed Israel Defense Forces measures such as the “roof-knocking” and the dropping of warning leaflets as part of their attempts to protect civilian lives.

“The IDF is not interested in creating civilian casualties. They’re interested in stopping the shooting of rockets and missiles out of the Gaza Strip and into Israel,” Dempsey argued.

Click here for full article.

Pictures: Star-studded event raises record $33 million for IDF

Celebrities show their support for the Israeli Defense Forces at a gala in Los Angeles.

Arnold schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Haim Saban at FIDF Gala. (photo credit: PETER HALMAGYI)

Arnold schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Haim Saban at FIDF Gala. (photo credit: PETER HALMAGYI)

Jerusalem Post (Nov 7) — The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) kicked off a fundraiser in Hollywood on Thursday evening to honor Israeli soldiers and the Defense Establishment.

A-listers such as Barbra Streisand, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone were among the more than 1,200 guests that showed up at the iconic Beverly Hilton Hotel for the annual event.

Pamela Anderson, who also attended, showed her love for the holy land and said that “Israel is magical. It is one of my favorite places to be. A mixture of old and new, arts, music, freedom. The people of Israel are interesting, aware and generous. You can see they are very senstive to the world’s problems. Israel is a place everyone must experience.”

Israeli celebrities also showed face, including actor Moran Atias, musician Idan Reichel and actor Noa Tishbi.

Haim Saban, the man behind the event, announced that the even raised a record 33.5 million dollars for the IDF.

Model Joanna Krupa, Chris Tucker, and Haim Saban at FIDF Gala. (photo credit: PETER HALMAGYI)

Model Joanna Krupa, Chris Tucker, and Haim Saban at FIDF Gala. (photo credit: PETER HALMAGYI)

Haim Saban and Pamela Anderson at FIDF Gala. (photo credit: PETER HALMAGYI)

Haim Saban and Pamela Anderson at FIDF Gala. (photo credit: PETER HALMAGYI)

Click here for original source.

PM Netanyahu at the opening of the Knesset winter session: “We will succeed.”

27 Oct 2014

Violence is not the result of building in Jerusalem. It is the result of our enemy’s desire that we not be here at all. For this reason, since the birth of Zionism, building has been the natural and decisive answer to those who plot against our existence and want to uproot us from our land.

PM Netanyahu addresses the Knesset winter session Copyright: GPO/Kobi Gideon

PM Netanyahu addresses the Knesset winter session
Copyright: GPO/Kobi Gideon

The last time I stood here was before Operation Protective Edge. During that operation to defend against criminal terrorist attacks, the State of Israel showed the entire world what decisiveness, force and unity are. These values found supreme expression among the people and the army and above all in our soldiers who were injured, our soldiers who fell and their families.

…There are those who tell us, “Give up land ahead of time, draw a map and only later determine the security and other arrangements. It’ll be fine!” And I ask them, “It’ll be fine? Like it was fine after we withdrew from Gaza? Like it was fine after we withdrew from Lebanon?” I am not a prime minister for whom the phrase “it’ll be fine” is enough. I ask a simple question: What is the point of defining a border if we do not know what country we will get on the other side of that border? Will we get another Gaza? Another Iran? Or perhaps we will get several sub-states, raging, stormy countries, as is happening right now in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, almost everywhere. Perhaps some ISIS republic?

I know that these questions do not concern various parties in the international community and apparently in our national community here. I know they do not concern parliamentarians in Europe, but as the Prime Minister of Israel responsible for the well-being of eight million citizens of Israel, they concern me incessantly.

And with regard to security, I am not willing to compromise. I am not willing to make do with vague statements about commitments to Israel’s security, statements that have no practical validity in reality. Because what will determine the outcome is not pretty words on paper, but rather the soldiers in the field.

So I ask: Who will these soldiers be? Who will prevent the manufacturing of rockets in Nablus and Jenin? Who will prevent the digging of terror tunnels from Tulkarm and Qalqilya towards Israeli cities? Certainly not UNIFIL. According to you, which forces will ensure the peace and prevent terror attacks from the territories vacated? That is the question. Well, I think you will agree with me that it will not be UNIFIL. UNIFIL was supposed to prevent the arming of Hezbollah after our withdrawal from Lebanon and Hezbollah has armed itself ten times over. It will certainly not be UNDOF, which abandoned its positions in the Golan Heights and escaped to Israel. By the way, I am not complaining about any of these bodies. It is not their job to fight terrorist armies. It is not their mission or in their skillset.

But the question is: who can we trust? Well, there are those who say – and I hear it here – perhaps we can trust the Palestinian Authority’s security forces. These are the same forces that were defeated within hours, days, several days, by the terrorist forces of Hamas. This is reality and therefore I do not think I am saying anything you haven’t already heard before when I say that in defending Israel, there is no replacement for the soldiers of the IDF. This is a simple fact and it is joined by another fact: Over the past 20 years, since the rise of radical Islam, any territory we vacated was seized by these forces who attack us from the territories we left.

… However, even when looking at all these challenges, I am not overcome with pessimism. I am not pessimistic at all because I see our strength; I see our progress; I see the fact that Israel is a modern, civilized and advanced country whose strength increases from year to year.

I see it in our breaking into new markets – in China, India, Japan. I see it in the Tel Aviv skyline, in our roads, in our trains, in the junctions and bridges we are building across the country to connect the Galilee and the Negev to the center of the country. I see it in the optic fibers we are laying from Metullah to Eilat. I see it in the fact that Israel is becoming a global cyber power. Nearly 10% of all investments in this area around the world are made in Israel and that is amazing. I see it in the fact that our unemployment rates are the lowest in the world. And I see it in the fact that Israel is the only country that succeeded in stopping illegal infiltration across its borders. I see it in the development and equipping of the Iron Dome system, which changed the face of the military campaign and saved many lives. I see that there are still problems, but I believe that that same strength will allow us to do all these things, to withstand all campaigns, including last summer’s. That same strength will allow us to overcome these problems, and one of the most important of them is the cost of living.

… These are our two greatest challenges: To protect life and to improve the quality of life – security, prosperity, welfare and peace. These are our missions and together, I hope with your help as well, but certainly with God’s, we will succeed.

Click here for full speech.

Pat Condell: Boo Hoo Palestine

The biggest political con trick in history, and we fall for it again
and again.

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Published on Oct 20, 2014

Hamas: Peace is Zionist baloney. Permanent war until the Jews are gone
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fn6gx…

Hamas TV: Have no mercy on any Israeli civilian
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yA4mb…

Fatah central committee member urges destruction of Israel and turning blind eye to terrorists
http://www.thecommentator.com/article…

PA religious official public calls for genocide of Jews
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/New…

Sweden to recognise “Palestine”
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014…

The UK Parliament in a non-binding vote to recognise “Palestine”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics…

Fatah spokesman: Hamas stole $700 million destined for Gaza
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0oVx…

Meet the Hamas billionaires
http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-th…

Hamas: Journalists who tried to tell the truth about Gaza were deported
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVjDi…

Follow me on Twitter
http://twitter.com/patcondell

Website
http://www.patcondell.net

Analysis of the Israeli PM’s Speech: Vintage Netanyahu

Netanyahu always places the focus first and foremost on security; He sees his historic role as leader of Israel not necessarily as being the one who will bring peace.

Watch the full speech here:

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The Jerusalem Post (Sep 30) — Netanyahu stood on the world’s grandest stage on Monday and delivered three key messages: Israel’s fight is your fight, the time has come to retire the 20-year-old template of direct negotiations with the Palestinians as the path to peace, and that his main historic role is to defend the Jewish state.

The speech was vintage Netanyahu. It had passion, it had soaring rhetorical flourishes, it had sarcasm. It even had a contemporary reference to retiring New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter.

And, finally, it had an appraisal of how Netanyahu views his role as a leader.

Toward the end of the speech, Netanyahu said that some in the world do not take Israel’s security concerns seriously.

“But I do, and I always will,” he said. “Because as prime minister of Israel I am entrusted with the awesome responsibility of ensuring the future of the Jewish people and the future of the Jewish state. And no matter what pressure is brought to bear, I will never waiver in fulfilling that responsibility.”

That theme has been woven more than anything else through all of Netanyahu’s major addresses. Some leaders, like Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Olmert, saw their ultimate role as being a peacemaker, and emphasized that in their keynote addresses.

Not Netanyahu. He always places the focus first and foremost on security. He sees his historic role as leader of Israel not necessarily as being the one who will bring peace, but rather the one who will ensure the country’s security, even if it means taking positions unpopular around the world to do so. One such position may be his signal Monday that he now prefers partnership with the Arab world as a way to reach some kind of accommodation with the Palestinians, rather than negotiations and peace with the Palestinians as the ticket to rapprochement with the Arab world.

In the role he envisions for himself as the defender of the Jewish people and the Jewish state, Netanyahu sees it as his responsibility to sound the warning loudly and clearly about the incoming storms.

He did that in his addresses to the UN in 2012 and 2013, focusing on Iran, and he did it again Monday.

This time the storm had two names: Iran and militant Islamic radicalism.

Knowing full well the world in which he lives, Netanyahu tried to draw parallels between Islamic State, which has the world up in arms, with the Islamic state of Iran, which he fears the world is willing to give a pass. Though there might be differences in their theological approach, he stressed, the aim is the same: world domination.

Netanyahu sees it as his role to shout from the mountain tops about the incoming storms. And he artfully shouted about them Monday at the UN. And if the world does not heed his warnings, he had another message as well – one that also always props up in his keynote addresses: Israel will always defend itself, by itself, against any threat.

Click here for original source.

Fatah rocket production in full swing in Gaza

Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades show off munitions factory replenishing missile stocks for future war with Israel.

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The Times of Israel (Sep 24) — Fatah’s military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, said it is producing more rockets and munitions to restock supplies that were consumed during the summer war in the Gaza Strip.

Last week, a reporter from Russia’s RT television network was given a tour of a rocket manufacturing site somewhere in the Gaza Strip. A video of the visit, with English subtitles, was published on YouTube by Palestinian Media Watch on Monday.

The RT reporter met with masked Fatah workers who were seen mixing rocket fuel and explosives in a saucepan heated with an open gas burner. In the small, windowless, facility, several rockets and mortars bombs could seen stacked up against a wall decorated with a poster featuring former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

“We are preparing and developing rockets in the productions division of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades,” one of the workers told the reporter. “During the last war we fired rockets at the Zionist enemy, we have notified the enemy that we have many more [rockets]. We have also successfully developed the K-132 rocket, which is here beside me.”

It was not clear whether the reference to a K-132 rocket indicted a new weapon or one that has already by fired at Israel in the past.

Fatah is the party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, though its armed wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, has been designated a terrorist organization by Israel, the US and the European Union for carrying out attacks against Israeli civilians.

In July, Fatah’s armed wing in Gaza joined Hamas and Islamic Jihad in firing rockets at Israel during the seven-week-long Operation Protective Edge.

Over 4,500 rockets were fired at Israel’s towns and cities during the conflict, which ended with a ceasefire signed on August 26. The IDF launched intensive airstrikes at rocket launching sites and production facilities throughout the fighting.

Palestinian sources claimed some 2,100 people were killed in the fighting, while Israel said about half of those who died were combatants. Israeli casualties included 66 IDF soldiers and six civilians.

Israeli and Palestinian representatives are to gather in Cairo on Tuesday for talks on a long-term ceasefire agreement that the Palestinians intend to include an easing of the blockade on the coastal enclave. Israel is expected to seek steps towards disarming Hamas and reestablishing elements of Palestinian Authority control in Gaza, as well as the return of the remains of two IDF soldiers killed during the fighting.

Click here for original source.

Hamas: Give Us West Bank So We Can Destroy Israel

By Khaled Abu Toameh who formely worked for PLO’s newspaper, an Israeli Muslim with a Palestinian, non-Israeli mother.

What Hamas and Iran are saying is that if and when Israel pulls back to the pre-1967 lines, they, together with other Palestinians, would bring weapons into the West Bank to achieve their goal of eliminating the “Zionist entity.”

Abbas’s initiative also ignores that Hamas could easily seize control of the West Bank through force or through the promised free and democratic elections, which recent polls show Hamas is assured of winning. Abbas is demanding something that would bring about his own demise.

Gatestone Institute (Sep 7) —  If the West Bank had one quarter of the weapons that the Gaza Strip has, Israel would be eliminated in one day. This is what Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar told worshippers during a sermon he delivered on September 5.

Zahar, who, during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, spent his time in hiding, was speaking during Friday prayers at Martyr Abdullah Azzam Mosque in Gaza City.

Abdullah Azzam, by the way, was a Palestinian “scholar,” teacher and mentor of Osama bin Laden, the slain leader of Al-Qaeda. Azzam was killed in Pakistan in 1989.

Back to Zahar, who delivered his first sermon since the Egypt-brokered cease-fire between Hamas and Israel was announced in late August: he chose to remind Palestinians and the rest of the world of his movement’s dream to destroy Israel.

“If only the West Bank had one quarter of what Gaza has of resistance tools, the Israeli entity would end in one day,” Zahar declared, reiterating the claim that Hamas had scored a “big victory” in the war.

The Hamas leader went on to criticize those who still have doubts as to whether Israel could be destroyed.

“Those who were skeptical as to whether Palestine could be liberated are no longer doubtful after the enemy was hit from the Gaza Strip,” Zahar said. “Can you imagine what would happen if the enemy is targeted from the West Bank, which makes up 20% of the size of Palestine?”

Zahar’s wish to see the West Bank flooded with rockets and mortars and other “tools of resistance” was echoed by other Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders and spokesmen after the recent war in the Gaza Strip.

Zahar himself was quoted recently as saying that Hamas’s goal now was to “move the Gaza example of resistance” to the West Bank.

Even the Iranians seem to think that the time has come to turn the West Bank into a launching pad for attacks on Israel.

During the war in the Gaza Strip, a senior Iranian commander of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, Mohamed Reza Naqdi, announced that Tehran had plans to “arm Palestinians in the West Bank” in order to destroy Israel.

Naqdi boasted that the weapons used by Hamas and other Palestinian groups during the recent war had been manufactured and supplied by Iran.

The threats by Hamas and Iran regarding the West Bank show why it is critically important for Israel (and the Palestinian Authority) to insist on the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip as part of any long-term cease-fire agreement.

Even more significantly, these threats underline the need to keep the West Bank a demilitarized area in any future peace agreement, especially one that would see the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state.

Moreover, these threats support Israel’s insistence on maintaining permanent security control over the border with Jordan. Without such a presence, Iranian-made weapons would easily find their way into the West Bank.

What Hamas and Iran are saying is that if and when Israel pulls back to the pre-1967 lines, they, together with other Palestinians, would bring weapons into the West Bank to achieve their goal of eliminating the “Zionist entity.”

Zahar does not even believe that there is a need for large amounts of weapons – just one fourth of what Hamas and Islamic Jihad already have in the Gaza Strip are sufficient, in his eyes, to destroy Israel in one day.

In the aftermath of Operation Protective Edge, it is not difficult to understand why flooding the West Bank with weapons poses an existential threat to Israel.

But this is also something that would wreak havoc on Palestinians in the West Bank.

Fortunately, Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority are fully aware of attempts by Iran and Hamas to turn the West Bank into a base for terrorism and jihadis.

Thanks to Israel, they are also aware of Hamas’s effort to topple the Palestinian Authority and replace it with an Islamist government.

Last month, Israel announced the arrest of more than 90 West Bank Hamas members who planned to stage a coup against Abbas and renew terror attacks against Israelis. Were it not for Israel’s effort, Abbas and his top officials would have been either killed or imprisoned by Hamas.

That episode explains why Abbas has now ordered a massive crackdown on Hamas members and supporters in the West Bank. During the Gaza war, Abbas refrained from such measures against his Hamas rivals out of fear of being accused of “collaboration” with Israel.

Mahmoud Abbas (r) meets with the Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal in Qatar, July 20, 2014. (Image source: Handout from the Palestinian Authority President’s Office/Thaer Ghanem)

Since the cease-fire went into effect, Abbas’s security forces in the West Bank have detained more than 80 Hamas men. They have also stopped Hamas-affiliated preachers from delivering sermons during Friday prayers.

Abbas will be able to rein in Hamas in the West Bank only if he pursues security coordination with Israel.

However, it would be unrealistic to expect Abbas or any Palestinian government to disarm Hamas and its allies in the Gaza Strip.

Abbas and the Palestinian Authority would not be able to survive for one day in the West Bank without the presence of the IDF, especially given Hamas’s rising popularity among Palestinians in the aftermath of the war.

Last week, Abbas sent two senior officials, Saeb Erekat and Majed Faraj, to Washington to present his “new peace initiative” to Secretary of State John Kerry.

Abbas’s initiative envisages the establishment of a Palestinian state within three years either through negotiations or by having the UN Security Council impose a solution on Israel.

Abbas’s initiative, however, ignores the threat from Hamas and Iran to use the West Bank as a launching pad for destroying Israel. It also ignores that Hamas could easily seize control over a future Palestinian state by force or through the promised free and democratic elections, as assured by a recent public opinion poll published by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.

Abbas is demanding a full Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines (including the border with Jordan). But he cannot offer any assurances that Hamas and Iran would not use this border to smuggle weapons into the West Bank.

In fact, Abbas is demanding from the Israelis and Americans something that would bring about his own demise. His only option for now is to hold onto power in the West Bank and continue to work with Israel against the common enemy – Hamas. The day Hamas agrees to lay down its weapons and abandon its dream of destroying Israel, he will then be able to go to the U.S. and Security Council and ask for an independent state next to Israel.

Click here for original source.

Hamas Manual Calls for Hiding Bombs in Civilian Homes

banner3During Operation Protective Edge, IDF soldiers captured a Hamas manual that recommends storing explosives in Gaza’s civilian homes and calls for bringing the battle into populated areas. 

IDF blog (Aug 25) — The IDF has captured a military manual published by the Engineering Corps of Hamas’ military wing, the Al Qassam Brigades.

The explosives manual recommends teaching civilians how to build and store bombs in their homes. According to the manual, the goal is “to transfer combat from open areas to built-up urban areas, which serves the ‘resistance’ [i.e. Hamas] and fighters of Islamic Jihad.”

A picture of the captured explosives manual, which explains how to put bombs in civilian homes.

A picture of the captured explosives manual, which explains how to put bombs in civilian homes.

The manual also states that “it is easier for Jihad fighters to operate inside buildings and to take advantage of this in order to evade reconnaissance planes used to attack and gather intelligence. Additionally, [operating from populated areas] helps strengthen the element of surprise.”

“You Must Use Residents”

In an especially incriminating section entitled “Factors for Successfully Hiding Weapons in Homes,” the manual explains how civilians can be used to hide explosives:

“(1) The activity of hiding weapons in homes needs to be done with secrecy and should not have a military character.

(2) Placing equipment in residential areas needs to be done with household items.

(3) You must use residents of the area in order place the equipment inside.”

Explosives in a Gazan home placed next to a child’s bed.

Explosives in a Gazan home placed next to a child’s bed.

After explaining the advantages of using civilian areas, the manual provides advice for bomb makers in a portion entitled “Hiding and Camouflage of Explosives,” which opens by saying that “the goal is to blend in with the environment, whether in natural areas or in civilian surroundings.”

The manual suggests two techniques for camouflage:

“(1) It’s important to use camouflage material that won’t cause a failure in the explosion, such as adding sand, cement or asphalt to the body of the explosive.

(2) If one must use materials like sand or cement, he should create a 60 cm buffer using foam or sponge material.”

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The Manual’s significance

This manual, like the captured Hamas Urban Warfare Manual, exposes Hamas’ illegal and murderous policy of using civilians during battle. Videos and photos of booby-trapped homes, which the IDF published during Operation Protective Edge, serves as further evidence of these tactics.

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Hamas’ use of its civilians is a serious war crime, and the terrorist organization is responsible for the harm caused to Gaza’s residents.

Click here for original source.

The Price of Hamas’ Underground Terror Network

Hamas could be investing in the people of Gaza. Instead it invests in terrorism.

Tunnel-banner-spIDF blog — Construction materials meant for Palestinians routinely enter Gaza from Israel. To be exact, 4,680 trucks carrying 181 thousand tons of gravel, iron, cement, wood and other supplies have passed through the Kerem Shalom crossing since the beginning of 2014.

Imagine what Hamas could build with these resources instead of tunnels. Hundreds of homes and civilian structures for the residents of Gaza go unbuilt while the underground terror network continues to expand.

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Hamas’ first priority is killing Israelis. The people of Gaza and the people of Israel suffer because of this.

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Click here for original source.

New Declassified Report Exposes Hamas Human Shield Policy

1The IDF has published a new declassified report that exposes the extent to which Hamas Illegally used public infrastructure during Operation Protective Edge.

A new report released by the IDF utilizes intelligence maps, photographic and video evidence to mount a serious case against Hamas’ illegal use of public infrastructure during Operation Protective Edge.

The report shows Hamas’ use of UN facilities, schools, graveyards, mosques and power plants, among other civilian areas.  According to the report, Hamas has launched above 1,600 rockets from civilian sites.

Don’t set a double standard for Israel on norms of war

Natan Sharansky is chairman of the executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel and was deputy prime minister of Israel from 2001 to 2003.

 for the Washington Post (Aug 15) — The pictures of destruction and mourning in Gaza that have filled media around the world for the past several weeks have been very painful and sad to view. One would be hard-pressed to find an Israeli who does not sympathize with the suffering of Gaza’s victims.

Yet there are also few Israelis who feel we are responsible for this suffering. For us, the tragedy of Gaza is inseparable from the tragedy of the entire Middle East. Over the past three years, in countries around our tiny state, more than a quarter of a million people have been killed in the most horrific ways. This wave of terror recognizes no official borders. The only border at which the savagery stops is Israel’s.

Hamas and Hezbollah are doing their best to change this. So what protects us? The United Nations or human rights groups? No. Only the military power of the Israel Defense Forces. In response to our enemies’ relentless campaigns, the army is constantly developing new ways to defend us. One new weapon, Iron Dome, has in the past few weeks protected civilians from almost 3,000 missiles.

But while Israelis have developed missile shields to protect children, Hamas has been using children as shields to protect missiles. This perverse strategy is the brainchild of a society that hails death. For Hamas, using living shields serves the double function of increasing the number of martyrs and galvanizing a free world that values life to pressure Israel to stop fighting.

The sad irony, then, is that while the world can do so little to stop the terror in Syria or Sudan, it can do a lot to press Israel to stop defending itself. We ask ourselves, is this hypocrisy? Is this a betrayal by the free world whose values we are defending? And in response, Israel hears from the international community, “Of course you are judged differently. You insist that you are part of the free world, so we hold you to a higher standard than neighboring countries, where wanton destruction of human life is the norm.”

I strongly agree with this argument.

Israel, like any other free country, should be held to a higher moral standard than its unfree neighbors. As the war against terror becomes increasingly global, it is imperative that all free countries develop and uphold common norms in our military conduct against armies of terror. Israel, with its decades-long experience, can contribute much to this effort.

For example, 12 years ago, during the Second Intifada, I was a member of the Israeli security cabinet when the army first decided to use aviation to target terrorist leaders. In nearly every cabinet meeting, Israel’s attorney general insisted that our targets must be chosen not on the basis of crimes already committed, but solely in light of proof that they were planning new terrorist acts. In other words, no matter how much death and destruction someone had caused, a targeted killing could be justified only by documented intentions to carry out another attack.

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Israel’s Disproportionate Decency

Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis, a doomsday thriller about the Iranian nuclear threat and current geopolitical issues in the Middle East.

tensions-remain-high-at-israeli-gaza-border-1Noah Beck for FrontPage Mag (Aug 14) — When observers describe or denounce Israeli military actions as “disproportionate,” they glibly assume sweeping legal conclusions without sufficient proof or analysis. But the evidence shows that Israel has acted with disproportionate decency while Hamas has committed war crimes.

Hamas’ indiscriminate rocket and missile attacks – which now total about 3,500 in the last month – target primarily Israeli civilians. The effects of Hamas’ attacks have been serious (contrary to what most media reports suggest):

a) increasing premature births,

b) shutting down Israel’s biggest airport, blocking 90 percent of incoming and outgoing passengers,

c) forcing about 8 million people to live on the edge 24/7, fearing that if their missile defense system or scramble to shelters falters, they could die,

d) constant interruptions throughout the day and night, with as little as ten seconds to find shelter,

e) billions of dollars in economic damage.

The principle of distinction requires belligerents to distinguish between combatants and civilians. Hamas’ violations of this principle amount to a double war crime: first by targeting Israeli civilians, and second by using Gazan civilians as human shields for these attacks, thereby making it much harder for the IDF military response to distinguish Gazan combatants from noncombatants. Hamas exhorts Gazans to act as human shields and its combat manual encourages this war crime while admitting that Israel avoids civilian casualties – an avoidance that Hamas exploits for tactical advantage.Alan Dershowitz deftly highlights yet another proof of Hamas war crimes: Hamas chooses to locate its military efforts in the most densely populated parts of Gaza, instead of in the far less populated areas nearby – a decision calculated to maximize Gazan civilian deaths. Cynically breaking all rules,Hamas even uses ambulances to transport fighters and converts Gaza’s hospitals into command centers, weapons depots, and rocket-launch sites.

Hamas perfected suicide bombing and is designated as a terrorist organization by the US and Europe, so its war crimes are unsurprising, even if the media concealed Hamas’ barbarism for the last month. But what of the oft repeated but seldom questioned claim that Israeli military actions are “excessive” or “disproportionate?”

The first duty of any state is to provide security to its citizens. Adjusting for size differences (the US has about 473 times Israel’s land mass, and 40 times Israel’s population), what would be the US military response if Al-Qaeda took over Mexico and launched about 47,300 projectiles per day at the US mainland, killing 120 US civilians and 2,560 soldiers and causing significant property damage, widespread insecurity, and travel shutdowns? Such a comparative context supports those proclaiming that the IDF and Bibi Netanyahu deserve a Nobel Peace Prize for their restraint during such a challenging war.

As of August 9, Israel’s military has attacked about 5,000 targets in Gaza (4,762 during the first 29 days of Operation Protective Edge and a few hundred since) resulting in 1,915 deaths (according to the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health). Even if this total were accurate and represented entirely civilian deaths, the strike-to-kill ratio absurdly implies that Israel’s military needs about 2.5 attacks to kill one person. But if Israel’s goal were just to kill Gazans, it could kill well over 1,915 with a single airstrike. Why spend so much on intelligence gathering and precision-guided bombs (or force Israeli citizens to endure so many costly weeks of war) when the IDF could raze half of Gaza in an hour? The fact that the IDF has struck so many times with so few casualties shows the extent of its restraint and precision while destroying the terrorist infrastructure threatening Israelis.

Israel has made extraordinary efforts to minimize civilian casualties – despite Hamas’ plan to maximize themIsrael aborts airstrikes that will result in excessive civilian casualties, warns civilians to clear areas that will be targeted, and loses ground troops in densely populated areas like Shejaiya to avoid airstrikes that would kill far more Gaza civilians. Israel chose not to target Gaza City’s main Shifa Hospital, even though it knew that Hamas leaders were cynically hiding there and an airstrike could have substantially harmed Hamas’ military leadership.

As this article explains, Israel sacrifices blood and treasure to minimize harm to Gaza civilians. And yet somehow Israel is still accused of deliberately targeting civilians even when Hamas’ misfired rockets are responsible or when an IDF mistake happens. But as Colonel Richard Kemp argues, “mistakes and malfunctions happen in all fighting armies and in all conflicts…Do those who condemn the killing of Palestinian civilians as deliberate acts by the IDF suggest that…incidents in Gaza [in which the IDF accidentally kills Israeli soldiers] are also intentional?”

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Hamas Social Media Rules: Describe Terrorists as Innocent Civilians

Hamas is employing a new tactic to conceal its true terrorist nature from the world. It has begun asking Gaza’s social media users to disseminate lies throughout the West and the Arab world. 

IDFblog.com — This news will come as no surprise to those familiar with the radical Islamist organization’s usual methods. However, now mainstream media outlets will have to think twice before blindly quoting reports from Hamas about what’s really happening in Gaza.

The Middle East Media Research (MEMRI) published Thursday a translation of a new Hamas internet campaign to provide guidelines for Gaza’s social media users. According to MEMRI, the Hamas Interior Ministry has instructed Gazans to use Facebook and Twitter to “play their part in strengthening the home front and properly convey information worldwide.” The guidelines in fact instruct social media users to mislead the public and propagate disinformation worldwide.

The interior ministry’s “Be Aware – Social Media Activist Awareness Campaign” centers around an instructional video and posters published on the ministry’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Gazans are taught, first and foremost, to refer to all terrorists as innocent civilians.

“Anyone killed or martyred is to be called a civilian from Gaza or Palestine, before we talk about his status in jihad or his military rank,” the guidelines state. “Don’t forget to always add ‘innocent civilian’ or ‘innocent citizen’ in your description of those killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza.” Mainstream media outlets would do well to remember this when quoting distorted reports from Gaza of civilian casualties.

The guidelines go on to tell Facebook and Twitter users how to spin Hamas terrorist activity aimed at harming Israeli civilians to appear legitimate.

“Begin [your reports of] news of resistance actions with the phrase ‘In response to the cruel Israeli attack,’ and conclude with the phrase ‘This many people have been martyred since Israel launched its aggression against Gaza.’ Be sure to always perpetuate the principle of ‘the role of the occupation is attack, and we in Palestine are fulfilling [the role of] the reaction.”

Social media users in Gaza are instructed not to mention Hamas’ exploitation of civilians as human shields. Nor the fact that it urges civilians to ignore the IDF’s warnings about impending strikes.

“Avoid publishing pictures of rockets fired into Israel from city centers. This [would] provide a pretext for attacking residential areas in the Gaza Strip. Do not publish or share photos or video clips showing rocket launching sites or the movement of resistance [forces] in Gaza.”

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Glenn Beck reveals the true face of evil

GlennBeck.com (July 29) — I want to thank you for watching tonight. I want to warn you that tonight you’re going to see some very disturbing images that you won’t see on other outlets, but I think it’s really important. In fact, I spent a lot of time this weekend debating with myself whether or not to show them to you, and I came down on the side of we showed the pictures of the Holocaust, and if we hadn’t have shown the pictures of the Holocaust, I don’t think anybody would believe it. And as it turns out, because we don’t show the pictures of the Holocaust because they’re too horrible to look at, we no longer believe it.

I want to show you these pictures tonight not because of their brutality but because they don’t fit the narrative, and that’s why nobody else is showing them. It’s a narrative that is hopelessly lost in politics and completely detached from the old standard that we used to use. We used to use the standard of good and evil. It was very pretty basic, good and evil. Whether it’s due to wistful blindness or ignorance, but we have lost the ability to be able to distinguish between these two.

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Do you remember how outraged we were when we thought that American soldiers would be urinating on dead bodies? This, my friend, is what evil looks like. This is what Israel is up against, heads on pikes and fences.

We have told you this was happening for a while, but we haven’t had the evidence to prove it until now. I believe you have to see the truth. You have to see what evil looks like, because it matters. It matters.

Let me take you someplace I never thought we would actually go. I never thought we would, you know, take the words, in talking about good and evil, take the words of an atheist who technically, again, I don’t think believes in good and evil, but the words of Christopher Hitchens. He was speaking in 2010, and I think this is really important that you listen to what he’s saying.

Hitchens: Because anti-Semitism is the godfather of racism and the gateway to tyranny and fascism and war, it is to be regarded not as the enemy of the Jewish people, but as the common enemy of humanity and of civilization and has to be fought against very tenaciously for that reason, most especially in its current most virulent form of Islamic Jihad.

Our task is to call this filthy thing, this plague, this, this pest, by its right name, to make unceasing resistance to it, knowing all the time that it’s probably ultimately ineradicable, and bearing in mind that its hatred towards us is a compliment, and resolving (some of the time, at any rate) to do a bit more to deserve it.

Amen. Maybe we should do a little more to deserve their hatred. Are we standing up against it? I will tell you that I was shocked when I heard those words because he absolutely is right. He gets it. If you look back in the history, the Holocaust happened once, once, but the attempt to kill all the Jews has happened 19 times. Let’s not make it an even 20. Let’s stand, let’s choose a different path. Let us be the people who say we know the difference.

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