Action, Reaction

Every action has its reaction.  When Hamas decided to use mock demonstrations on the border with Israel, they knew the IDF would respond with force.  When the IAF attacked Hamas facilities in Gaza, so Hamas retaliated with some 500 rockets fired into Israel, and incendiary balloons causing immense damage.  In reaction the IAF hit many Hamas targets in Gaza.  This caused Hamas to accept Egyptian mediation to bring about a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.

But, since Hamas does  not recognize Israel, they wanted to show that they haven’t changed their basic policy so they decided to continue the attacks by sending a wave of terrorism into Israel from the West Bank. At least 5 Israelis were killed.  This caused pressure on PM Netanyahu from the right-wing to do something more drastic against Hamas.  In order to avoid a war in the south while the north looks to be more dangerous, with Hezbollah attack tunnels being exposed and Iran trying to establish itself in Syria,

Netanyahu knew he would have to find a way to placate his critics.  So he announced that 70 hilltop settlements or outposts in the West Bank would be recognized by the Israeli Government. The Govt. has initiated a Bill in the Knesset to do just that. This is a victory for the right in Israel, exactly opposite to the reaction that Hamas would have wanted.  It shows that you don’t always get what you want.  Instead of weakening Israel, this terror wave has strengthened Israel’s hold on territory it claims as its own as the legitimate sovereign successor of the British Mandate.

It should be mentioned that there has never been a sovereign Arab entity (country or State) in what has been dubbed “Palestine”.  In fact the area went from being part of the Turkish Empire to being controlled by the British in 1917.  Subsequently the UN tried to decide the fate of the area, but when the UN Partition Plan was broached, the Arab States invaded, but were defeated.  Consequently, let me reiterate, there has never been any Arab sovereignty in Palestine/Israel.  In fact, the only recognized sovereignty has, since ancient times, been Jewish.  It will forevermore be so.

 

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Terrorism Surge

Two more IDF soldiers were murdered yesterday at a bus stop near Givat Assaf in the Binyamin region. Sergeants Yosef Cohen and Yuval Mor-Yosef were shot from a car that stopped.  I simply don’t understand why soldiers are not ready to shoot back and why there are no bullet proof barriers at these vulnerable junctions.  A search is underway for the terrorist killers and the whole West Bank is under curfew.  Two Israeli policemen were also stabbed in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Meanwhile the search continues for the killer of the baby who died and seven others who were wounded after the previous drive-by shooting at Ofra earlier in the week. However, the killer of two Israeli workers at the Barkan Industrial site last month was finally located, cornered and killed in a shoot-out with an elite IDF unit in Samaria. There were no Israeli casualties in this incident.

The Israeli Government apparently knew that Hamas had decided to initiate a wave of terrorist incidents from the West Bank because they were forced to agree to a ceasefire in Gaza. Knowing that, they should have been taking more preventive action. PM Netanyahu is under pressure from the right for not taking more resolute action against Hamas.

Roger Waters and other pop singers who claim that Israelis are killing Palestinian children every day, have got their facts reversed. It is Palestinian terrorists who are murdering Israeli Jews every day, including babies.  Further, the so-called demonstrations at the Gaza border are being revealed for what they are,  Hamas organized attacks on the Israeli border.

In Strasburg, France, a Muslim terrorist was shot down a few days after driving a car into a Christmas fair, killing 6 and wounding several.  In Mainz, Germany, a young woman of Jewish-Turkish parentage was raped and murdered by a Muslim man.  He did not know she was Jewish, because although her mother is Jewish she kept this secret, but now he is being celebrated as a hero by the Muslim community because he murdered a Jewish woman.  This recourse to terrorism, to the murder of innocent Jews, is a stain on the Muslim world and indeed on all humanity.

Terrorist Attack at Ofra

A truly horrific attack occurred on Sunday when 7 Israelis were badly injured in a drive-by shooting carried out by Hamas terrorists outside the settlement of Ofra.  People waiting at a bus-stop were riddled with bullets from a passing car.  One of those badly injured was a pregnant woman, Shira Ish-ran, who subsequently underwent a Caesarean operation to deliver her premature baby.  Both mother and baby are clinging to life.  Her husband, Amichai, was also badly injured, as well as several students.

Note that this attack occurred soon after the UN refused to condemn Hamas  as a terrorist organization. Countries that failed to vote for this resolution included Iceland, Norway,. Switzerland and New Zealand, among others.  This attack also occurs during a significant rise in anti-Semitism in Europe.  In my opinion, hatred of Jews is an integral part of European civilization (so-called) that is always there, now increased by the influx of Muslim immigrants.  Jews in Europe now fear to walk the streets and to go to synagogue.  Let them come to Israel instead.

Let me set one falsehood to rest, Jews are here by right, both in Israel and what is misnamed “The West Bank,” which was part of the British Mandate that Israel inherited when it became sovereign.  IDF forces are now combing the area searching for the car and the terrorists that carried out the attack. Contrary to leftist propaganda Israel no longer occupies the Palestine Authority,  but does retain the right of “hot pursuit” in the case of attacks by terrorists, a right practised by all countries in the world.

What these terrorists don’t seem to realize is that as hatred of Jews increases as a result of their leftist propaganda, more Jews are making aliyah to Israel, thus strengthening the country.   Young Jews come and join the IDF and older Jews come with their business and innovation ideas.  They can never win!

The Arab-Muslim Controlled UN

The UN General Assembly has once again passed a resolution denying any connection between the Jews and Jerusalem.  This is so obviously false and ridiculous that it brings the UN into ridicule.  Everyone with any sense and with minimal education knows that the Jews inhabited Jerusalem for thousands of years as detailed in the Bible, which is in fact a sacred book to Christians and Muslims, as well as Jews.  The resolution passed by 148, with 9 against and 14 abstentions.

The Arab-Muslim countries have a stranglehold on the UN and indeed it’s name should be changed to the Arab-Muslim Controlled UN, i.e. AMCUN.  The fact is that Muslims conquered Jerusalem in 639 ce and were never there before that date. In fact, Jerusalem has had a Jewish majority since censuses have been taken starting in 1844.  Also, Jerusalem has been the center of Jewish culture forever, and that is why the Jews fought against the invading Arab armies and won and recaptured it in 1948.   The real question is how can the UN members vote to deny the sovereignty of another member,

These facts however mean nothing to the UN members and they are ignored in favor of the false Arab narrative that seeks to deny Jewish connection with its holiest of sites and in fact deny Jewish sovereignty in the State of Israel.  Luckily these GA resolutions are not binding, so actually they make no difference to the status on the ground.  The other five anti-Israel resolutions passed included a statement that Arabs are not allowed religious freedom, that is totally untrue and that Arabs are persecuted in Israel, that is an abominable lie.

Every day I interact with Arabs in Beer Sheva, in all walks of life.  The Head nurse at my wife’s Residential Home is Wadia, an Arab Beduin.  He drives a very nice white car.  My GP’s colleague is Dr. Fawzi, an Arab who I have visited on several occasions when my GP was absent.  The Ben Gurion University where I work has a very large Arab student population and they are completely free to organize themselves (but they and others are of course not allowed to break the law).  These lies are part of the Arab narrative, believed by most of those with a left-wing bias.  I challenge anyone to come to Israel and see for themselves how Jews and Arabs live and work freely together.  This does not include the Palestinians who live on the West Bank and Gaza, who are not Israeli citizens and many of whom carry out terrorist attacks against Jews and Israel.

As a final act, the UN GA rejected a resolution submitted by the US and Israel labeling Hamas a terrorist organization and a threat to peace.  ALthough the resolution garnered 89 country votes and many abstentions and no-shows, it failed to obtain the two-thirds majority required for passage by 9 votes.  It was a loss, but also a first.  Hopefully a gradual trend started by the resolute action of Ambassador Nicki Haley, who is retiring, and the Trump Administration.

IDF Destroys Attack Tunnel from Lebanon

The IDF discovered a large attack tunnel from Lebanon under the Israeli border dug by Hezbollah.  The tunnel was hewn through solid rick, not thru soft sand as is the case of tunnels from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.  It was 200 meters long, penetrated 40 m into Israel and was 2 m wide and 2 m high and was fully equipped with electrical wiring.  Needless to say IDF sappers blew it up.  It took Hezbollah 2 years to dig.

This discovery was part of Operation Northern Shield that Israel has been preparing for some time.  It was due to the expected start of this Operation that PM Netanyahu hinted at the time that he did no support a strong counter-attack against Hamas in Gaza after they fired nearly 500 rockets into Israel two weeks ago.  The situation on the Northern border is now considered more serious than that on the Gaza border.  This decision undermined the strategy of former Minister of Defense Lieberman, who resigned over the lack of Israeli response in Gaza, but now has lost significant political support.

As a result of these developments, PM Netanyahu flew to Brussels yesterday to brief US Secty. of State Pompeo, so that they could coordinate their responses to the Iranian-threat.  This is part of the declared Iranian strategy to attack and destroy Israel, and in fact this tunnel, and another one discovered only today, were large enough to accommodate a large army to attack Israel.  The IDF has the Iranian battle plan, which was to attack the Galilee region, isolate and occupy the town of Ma’alot and use it as a hostage to gain concessions from Israel.   Incidentally there is a UNIFIL presence of 10,000 peace-keeping forces near the border in Lebanon, who ignored all these activities.  What is the point of having them there?

During the Second Lebanon War in 2016, Israeli intelligence on Hezbollah activities was negligent.  IDF soldiers, when they entered Lebanon, took refuge next to and inside houses near the border.  What they did not know was that Hezbollah had dug tunnels connecting these houses and had mined them, and then blew them up, killing many IDF soldiers.  This time the IDF was aware that a house in the village of Kfar Kila adjacent to the border was being used as the entrance to a tunnel and indeed Israeli residents near the border could even hear the sound of tunneling.  This time the intelligence services did not ignore their warnings.

Overall, one must acknowledge that the threat from Iran is real, that Lebanon and Syria are being used as proxies in Iran’s plan to attack Israel, and that their tactic of using attack tunnels has now been exposed and prevented by Israeli actions.

 

Military Technology

Israel is a leader in military technology.  This results from the fact that we are few and need the technological edge to counter the much greater numbers of our enemies. We have quality rather than quantity.

In the beginning it was sheer grit and determination, and the feeling that our backs were against the wall.  After the Shoah, the remnants of the Jewish people decided that Zionism is the only way.  The idea of “the brotherhood of man,” so seductive, so appealing, turned out to be deceptive, at the cost of millions of lives.  So the early Zionists fought the British and the Arabs, and even though outnumbered 10 to 1, they won.

But, that was not enough, the Arabs, with a  vast hinterland, could call on further millions to wipe out the “Zionist entity,” so we had to be smarter, faster and more deadly than they were.  From 1956 in the Sinai campaign, to the 1967 Six Day War, our tank battalions were far superior to the Arab forces and the Israel Air Force (IAF) always had control of the skies.  And it was the superior fighting ability and sheer grit of the Israeli soldiers that saved us after the surprise attack of the Yom Kippur War of 1973.

Not many people know that Israel was the pioneer in the use of drones for military purposes, including reconnaissance and pin-point targeting of rockets.   In this area Israel is far ahead of its enemies.  Today the threat is from missiles.  So far Hamas in Gaza, using relatively primitive rockets have not managed to inflict severe damage on Israel, and every time they fire several hundred rockets, the IAF hits back at them with deadly accuracy and destroys their infrastructure.  This is a deterrent that caused them to agree to a ceasefire.

Israel has a sophisticated anti-missile system, the Iron Dome, developed with US support, that intercepts their rockets.  In the latest exchange a few weeks ago, they fired 460 rockets, of which only 120 threatened civilian areas, and of these 100 were intercepted and 20 caused damage, 100 people were injured and one person was killed, who turned out to be a Palestinian in Israel illegally.  Israel is the only country in the world with such an effective anti-missile system.   But, so far Hamas in Gaza has not been firing sophisticated guided missiles at us.  This is the current threat from Hezbollah, that has been supplied with tens of thousands of missiles by Iran, that would be far more destructive and dangerous.

Israel is a leader in the cyber area, no doubt entering Iran’s infrastructure and military computers and planting bugs, like the infamous Stuxnet.  Thru the advanced intelligence Israel has a far better inside knowledge of what the Iranians are planning than almost any other country, except perhaps the US.  The next step may be a laser gun that can shoot missiles out of the sky.  It is this superior technology that gives Israel the edge in any future military confrontation.

Israel Making Friends

The President of Chad, Idriss Deby, made an unannounced visit to Israel, arriving yesterday.  Why is this important?  Because Chad is a predominantly Muslim country which does not have diplomatic relations with Israel.  Ties were cut in 1972 under pressure from the Arab States prior to the Yom Kippur War of 1973.  But, according to Idriss, contacts remained “under the radar,” and these will now be expanded in the open.

Whatever criticisms one might have of PM Netanyahu, this is another feather in his cap, since he has been making a point of visiting leaders around the world and remaking relationships that had been broken many years ago.  Recently he visited Bulgaria and perhaps his most important breakthrough was his recent visit to Oman, an Arab State, where he and other Israelis have been received with dignity.  A Foreign Ministry spokesman from Oman at an international conference in Rome stated recently, “The Arab States need to come to terms with the reality that Israel is a fact of life in the region and as such it should share in the rights as well as the obligations.”

There are two main reasons for this turn-around.  First is the “I”-word, Iran.  All the Sunni Muslim countries are afraid of the expansionist militaristic regime in Iran that wants to spread its Shia version of Islam and is threatening all of them.  This is especially true of the Gulf States, that feel not only exposed to nearby Iran, but also left in a power vacuum, where neither the US nor Saudi Arabia can cope with the Iranian military threat.  They turn to Israel as a potential local ally in this regard.

Second, it is undeniable that for their adherence to  the Arab narrative they have received essentially nothing, no aid, no assistance, no support.  On the contrary, some of these Muslim countries in Africa face desperate economic situations and they see Israel growing ever stronger economically.  They well remember that Israel had a flourishing support program in Africa that delivered not aid in financial packages, but training and support to develop their agriculture and industries.  This approach by Israel is precisely what these countries need.  The Palestinians can offer them nothing.

Further, the relatively affluent and successful small Gulf countries are much more similar to Israel than they are to the poor and devastated formerly radicalized countries such as Syria, Iraq and Libya.  Netanyahu has stated that visits and meetings with other Arab countries will follow soon, and the whole complexion of the Middle East will change.