Gaza War 2014

March 8th, 2017 by Gail Winston | Archived in: Gaza War 2014


Gaza War Diary 1 Wed-Fri. Mar. 8-10, 2017 Day 1276-1279 1 Chag Purim Sama’ech on Sat. night-Monday night!!!

Chag Purim Sama’ech starts on Sat. night – Moezte Shabbat!!!

Dear Family & Friends,

Candle lighting is very soon. No time for Index/Table of Contents.

Shabbat Shalom & Chag Purim Sama’ech!

All the very best, Gail/Geula/Savta/Savta Raba x 2/Mom

Our Website:

Purim Guide for the Perplexed 2017
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
Based on ancient Jewish sages,

More on Jewish holidays:

a. Purim’s historical background:
*The 586 BCE destruction of the First Jewish Temple (on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount), and the expulsion of Jews from Judea & Samaria, by the Babylonian Emperor, Nebuchadnezzar, triggered a wave of Jewish emigration to Babylon and Persia, which eventually replaced Babylon as the leading regional power.
*In 538 BCE, Xerxes the Great, Persia’s King Ahasuerus, who succeeded Darius the Great, proclaimed his support for the reconstruction of the Jewish Temple and the resurrection of national Jewish life in the Land of Israel, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish Homeland.

*Ahasuerus established a coalition of countries, which launched the Greco-Persian Wars of 499-449 BCE, attempting to expand the Persian Empire westward. However, Persia was resoundingly defeated (e.g., the 490 BCE and 480 BCE battles of Marathon and Salamis), and Ahasuerus’ authority in Persia was gravely eroded.

*An attempted coup – by Bigtan and Teresh – against Ahasuerus was thwarted by Mordechai, a retired Jewish military commander, who relayed critical intelligence to Queen Esther, his cousin (or niece). Just like Joseph, who adopted an Egyptian name (Zaphnat Paa’ne’ach), so did Mordechai adopt a Persian name (derived from Marduk, a Mesopotamian god). Both Joseph and Mordechai reasserted their roots in the face of a clear and present lethal threat to the Jewish people.

b. Purim is the holiday that foiled an ancient 9/11. The numerical value (e.g., the letter “a” would be 1, “b”=2, etc.) of the Hebrew spelling of King (מלך=90) Ahasuerus (אחשורוש=821) – who ordered the annihilation of Jews – is 911…., just like the dates of Kristallnacht (9.11.1938) and the destruction of the First and Second Jewish Temples in Jerusalem (9.11 – the ninth day of the eleventh Jewish month).

c. “Purimfest 1946” yelled Julius Streicher, the Nazi propaganda chief, as he approached the hanging gallows (Newsweek, October 28, 1946, page 46). On
October 16, 1946, ten convicted Nazi war criminals were hanged in Nuremberg. An 11th Nazi criminal, Hermann Goering, committed suicide in his cell. According to a Jewish survivor, the late Eliezer Cotler, Julius Streicher’s library, in his ranch (which served as a camp for young Jewish survivors on their way to Israel), documented Streicher’s interest in Purim’s relevance to the fate of the enemies of the Jewish people. Streicher underlined, in red ink, each reference to the Amalekites and Haman…. (The origin of the Aryan race is claimed to be in Iran/Persia….).

According to the Scroll of Esther, King Ahasuerus allowed the Jews to defend themselves and hang Haman and his ten sons. According to the Talmud (Megillah tractate, 16a), Haman had an 11th child, a daughter, who committed suicide following her father’s demise.

d. Purim’s physical and spiritual clash of Civilizations between the values and worldviews of Mordechai and Haman, exemplifies an early edition of the clash among nations, communities and within each person: between right and wrong, liberty and tyranny, justice and evil, truth and lies, just like Adam/Eve vs. the Snake, Abel VS. Cain, Abraham vs. Sodom & Gomorrah, Jacob vs. Esau (grandfather of Amalek, the deadliest enemy of the Jewish people), the Maccabees vs. the Assyrians, the Allies vs. the Nazis, the West vs. the Communist Bloc and the Free World vs. Islamic rogue regimes and terrorist organizations.

The numerical value of the Hebrew spelling of “blessed Mordechai” () and “cursed Haman” () is identical, 502, cautioning us that evil can be easily misperceived as benevolence.

e. Purim is celebrated on the 14th/15th days of the Jewish month of Adar. Adar (אדר) is the root of the Hebrew adjective Adir ( glorious, awesome, exalted, magnificent. It is, also, a derivative of the Akkadian word Adura (heroism). According to the Babylonian Talmud, Adar is featured as a month of happiness, singing and dancing.

The zodiac of Adar is Pisces (fish), which is a symbol of demographic multiplication. Hence, Adar is the only Jewish month, which doubles itself during the 7 leap years, in each 19 year cycle. Purim is celebrated on the 14th day in non-walled towns, and in Jerusalem on the 15th day of Adar, commemorating the deliverance of the Jewish People from the jaws of a holocaust in Persia. It also
commemorates the 161 BCE victory of Judah the Maccabee over Nikanor, the Assyrian commander.

Moses – who delivered the Jewish People from a holocaust in Egypt and whose burial site is unknown – was born and died (1273 BC) on the 7th day of Adar, which is Israel’s Memorial Day for soldiers, whose burial sites are unknown.

f. Purim’s (פורים) Hebrew meaning/root is fate/destiny as well as “casting lots”(פור), commemorating Haman’s lottery which determined the designated day for the planned annihilation of the Jewish People. It also means “to frustrate,” “to annul” (להפר), “to crumble” and “to shutter” (לפורר), reflecting the demise of Haman.

g. Purim highlights the self-destruct fate/destiny of peoples and regimes, who intend to annihilate the Jewish people, as has been demonstrated since ancient times through the days of the Nazi regime.

h. Mordechai, the hero of Purim and one of the deputies of Ezra the Scribe – who led a wave of Jewish ingathering from Babylon to the Land of Israel – was a role model of principle-driven optimism in defiance of colossal odds, in the face of a super power and in defiance of the Jewish establishment. He fought Jewish assimilation and urged Jews to sustain their roots and return to their Homeland. Mordechai was a politically-incorrect, out-of-the-box thinking leader and a retired military commander, who preferred a disproportionate pre-emptive offensive to retaliation, appeasement and defense. The first three Hebrew letters of Mordechai (מרדכי) spell the Hebrew word “rebellion” (מרד). Mordechai did not bow to Haman, the second most powerful person in the Persian Empire. He was a member of the tribe of Benjamin, the only son of Jacob who did not bow to Esau.

i. Mordechai was a descendant of King Saul, who defied a clear commandment to eradicate the Amalekites, sparing the life of Agag, the Amalekite king, thus precipitating further calamities upon the Jewish People. Consequently, Saul lost his royal position and his life. Mordechai learned from Saul’s crucial error and eliminated Haman, a descendant of Agag the Amalekite, thus sparing the Jewish People a major disaster.

j. The Persian King appointed Mordechai to be his top advisor, overruling Haman’s intent to prevent the resettling of Jews in Zion, the reconstruction of the Temple and the restoration of the wall around Jerusalem. The king prospered as a result of his change of heart and escaped assassination. That was also the case with Pharaoh, who escaped national collapse and starvation and rose in global prominence upon appointing Joseph to be his deputy.

k. Queen Esther, the heroine of Purim’s Scroll of Esther (one of the five Biblical Scrolls: Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther), was Mordechai’s niece (or cousin). Esther demonstrated the centrality of women in Judaism, shaping the future of the Jewish People, as did Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah, Miriam, Batyah, Deborah, Hannah and Yael. Sarah was the first – and Esther the last – Jewish woman mentioned in the Bible. Sarah lived 127 years and Esther ruled over 127 countries. The name Esther (אסתר) is a derivative of the Hebrew word הסתר , “to conceal” – reflective of her initial concealment of her Jewish identity, while the Hebrew word for “scroll,” מגילה, derives from מגלה – “to reveal.” God is concealed in the scroll of Esther, which is the only Biblical book that does not mention God. The Purim custom of wearing costumes highlights the transition from concealment to revelation of identity.

l. The name Esther (pronounced Ester in Hebrew) is a derivative of Ishtar – a Mesopotamian goddess and Astarte, “star” – a Phoenician goddess. In fact, the one day pre-Purim Fast of Esther (commemorating the three day fast declared by Esther in order to expedite deliverance), was cherished by the Maranos in Spain, who performed Judaism in a concealed manner. While God’s name is hidden/absent in Esther’s Scroll, Michael Bernstein suggests that there are 182 references to “King,” corresponding to 26 (the numerical value of Jehovah) times 7 (days of creation).

m. Esther’s second name was Hadassah, whose root is Hadass (myrtle tree in Hebrew) – whose leaves are shaped like an eye. The name Esther/Ishtar is identified with the planet Venus – Noga in Hebrew – the second-brightest natural object in the night-sky after the moon. Hence, Esther’s other Hebrew name is Noga – just like my oldest granddaughter – which means a shining divine light in Hebrew. In Gimatriya, Esther (אסתר) and Noga (נגה) equal 661 and 58 respectively, and the sum of 6+6+1 and 5+8 is 13 (the number of God’s merciful virtues). In “small Gimatriya,” both Esther (1+6+4+2) and Noga (5+3+5) equal 13, which is also the total sum of “one” in Hebrew (אחד), which represents the oneness of God, monotheism, as well as the total sum of the word “love” in Hebrew (אהבה).

n. Purim’s four statutes:

*Reading/studying the Scroll of Esther (מגילה) within the family, emphasizes the centrality of the family, education, memory and youth as the foundation of a solid future.

*Gifts (מתנות) to relatives, friends and the community at-large emphasize the importance of family, community and collective responsibility.

*Charity (at least the value of a mealמשלוח מנות – ) reflects compassion and communal responsibility. According to Maimonides, “there is no greater or more glorious joy than bringing joy to the poor.” Purim is celebrated when Jews study the portion of the Torah,תרומה (charity, donation in Hebrew), which highlights giving and contributing to others as a means of enhancing solidarity and reducing egotism. According to the Torah, contributions reward the contributor more than the recipient.

*Celebration and Happiness (משתה) sustain optimism and faith – the backbone and engine of individuals and nations.

The Hebrew spelling of each statute starts with the letter מ, which is the first letter in the Hebrew spelling of Mordechai (מ), as well as Moses (מ), who was born and died a week before the Hebrew date of Purim. In addition, the numerical value of is 40, representing the 40 days of prayers, before Purim, aimed at the final elimination of the Amalekite-like enemies of the Jewish people.

Yoram Ettinger, Jerusalem, Israel, “2nd Thought: US-Israel Initiative,”

Friday & Purim at Oz veGaon !!! to womeningreen

Dear Friends,
Join us in Oz veGaon on Friday for a fascinating lecture & then Motsaei Shabbat & Sunday for meguila readings. Here are the details:

1) Friday at Oz veGaon with Yossi Ahimeir
Because of the proximity to the 11th of Adar, the anniversary of the Battle of Tel Hai – the day that Trumpeldor fell, we will host Mr. Yossi Ahimeir for a discussion on “Trumpeldor & the Jewish Legion” at Oz veGaon, please G-d, this coming Friday, the 12th of Adar, March 10th at 9:00 a.m.
Yossi Ahimeir – Director General of the Jabotinsky Institute in Israel, editor of the quarterly, Ha-Ummah & former member of Knesset from the Likud. He was named for Yosef Katznelson, who was his father’s close friend & “minister of clandestine immigration” during the thirties.
He has written many articles, among them: “By the Power of Right” (1966), which dealt with our right to the West Bank (the accepted term at that time) & about the possibility of conquering it if the Kingdom of Jordan opened warfare against Israel, as indeed did happen in the Six Day War a year later.
He served as aide & political adviser to Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir.
A morning not to be missed!
For transportation, Renee Margolis – 052-3294194
2) Purim & Meguilla reading in Oz veGaon
The public is invited to come to Oz veGaon for meguilla reading
* Motsaei Shabbat , please G-d at 7:15 pm In the white tent
Meguilla reader: Ben Zion Matar Light refreshments & music
* Sunday morning
Shacharit at 8:30 am Meguilla reading at 9:00 am
Meguilla reader Dr. Wilshansky from Elazar
Mishloach Manot for the children
Bring family and friends! Come dressed up! To hear meguila among the trees in Oz veGaon is a special & meaningful experience!
We’d appreciate if you could inform us if you plan on coming. It would help us tremendously to know how many people are coming so we can get organized accordingly. Thank you.
Yehudit Katsover & Nadia Matar 050-7161818 050-5500834

Friday & Purim at Oz veGaon !!!

Is American Jewry a Pushover?

Here are your Dry Bones blog updates for

Dry Bones by Ya’acov Kirsceh: “Is American Jewry a Pushover?

American Jews are on the march!!

They seem to demonstrate for everyone except American Jews and against every injustice except threats to American Jewry!

The anti-Semitic threats against JCC’s, the desecration of Jewish cemeteries, neither has brought an angry Jewish community to the streets. Is American Jewry a “pushover” or does it just seem that way to me?

Dry Bones by Ya’acov Kirsceh: “Is American Jewry a Pushover?


Trump to signed new executive order on Monday Arutz Sheva Staff, 04/03/17 Steve Bannon met Trump, Department of Homeland Security officials to prepare “launch” of new executive order.

Donald Trump – Reuters

According to Politico, senior US government officials reported that US President Donald Trump will sign on Monday a new executive order on his travel ban.

It is not yet clear which changes will be made.

Department of Homeland Security employees were instructed via internal email to work from home on Monday morning, the source said.

White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon will meet with Trump & DHS officials to discuss the “launch meeting” of the new executive order.

The new executive order removes the clause indefinitely banning Syrian civilians from entering the US & removes Iraq from the list entirely. Existing visas will be honored; the ban will be upheld regardless of applicants’ religion.

On January 27, Trump issued an executive order banning all citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US. That order was soon blocked by a federal judge & an appeals court rejected Trump’s request to resume the ban.

Trump to sign new executive order on Monday

Trump reveals revised executive order on travel from 6 nations

Revised travel ban reduces number of states affected from 7 to 6, includes new exceptions. By Gary Willig, Arutz Sheva 06/03/17 18:38

The administration of US President Donald Trump revealed the revised executive order restricting immigration from six Muslim majority countries the President intends to sign Monday.

The ban on visa seekers is to last 90 days, while the US refugee program will be suspended for 120 days.

The new executive order leaves Iraq out of the list of countries which are included in the travel ban. Iraq was one of seven countries which was included in the original order.

The original order was overturned by a US federal judge in Washington State.

The order also includes exceptions which were not included in the original order, such as legal permanent US residents, dual nationals who use the passports of another country & individuals who have been granted asylum or refugee status.

“The United States has the world’s most generous immigration system, yet it has been repeatedly exploited by terrorists and other malicious actors who seek to do us harm,” the fact sheet for the executive order stated.

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· ‘Trump is not the cause of rising anti-Semitism’

· White House pledges to work to stop anti-Semitic incidents

· Senate unanimously calls on Trump to act against anti-Semitism

· ZOA welcomes Trump immigration order

· Trump: Obama was ‘weak’ on Russia

· Trump praises bill to replace Obamacare

· CNN chief: Trump shouted at me on the phone

· Donald Trump signs revised executive order on travel

· End of Obamacare?

Trump reveals revised executive order on travel from 6 nations

Media Misfeasance Exposed in “Eyeless in Gaza” Documentary Tuesday, March 07, 2017 | by Noah Beck



§ Israel threatens to hit Gaza hard after rocket barrage

§ Sara Netanyahu: Gaza Pullout Brought Only Trouble

§ Gaza Casualty Data Doesn’t Support Massacre Claims

Originally written for the Investigative Project on Terrorism

Hamas operatives burst into the Associated Press (AP) Gaza bureau during the 2014 war with Israel, angered by a picture shot by an AP photographer. Gunmen threatened the AP staff, which never reported the incident.

The incident shows that Hamas can control what journalists report & what they don’t, former AP Middle East reporter Matti Friedman says in a new documentary, “Eyeless in Gaza.”

Producer Robert Magid’s 50-minute film, which is screening via pay-per-view online examines the flaws & challenges in reporting on the 50-day war.

Magid said he wanted to “set the record straight and provide context,” after being appalled at news coverage that ignored Hamas practice of launching rockets from civilian areas. That omission allowed the media to push a false narrative that “Israel was callous in their bombing.”

The sullied moral image of Israel that emerged from the media’s biased coverage sparked public outrage & anti-Semitism. “Muslims will crush the Jews as they did in Khyber 14 centuries ago,” protestors in the film shout. Another says: “I see the Jews in Israel as total Nazis.”

Reporters routinely failed to show the history leading up to the conflict or how Hamas instigated it. Magid provides viewers with some brief historical context: Israel expelled 10,000 of its own citizens from the Gaza Strip in 2005 & offered the Palestinians their first chance at self-rule. But Hamas took over the territory and turned it into an Islamist terror state, rather than a model for responsible self-rule & peaceful coexistence with Israel.

Viewers see how attack tunnels exemplify Hamas’ policy of diverting public resources to pursue terrorism. Israel allows high-quality cement into Gaza in response to the humanitarian need to rebuild damaged buildings, only to discover the same cement being used to build massive underground tunnels whose only purpose is to target Israelis. Each tunnel costs about $3 million & an Israeli military spokesman interviewed in the film estimates $100 million in resources were diverted.

Despite Israel’s unprecedented efforts to minimize Gaza’s civilian casualties, the film shows how Hamas works to maximize them.

“The Israeli army called me, they asked me to leave Al-Sajaeya,” says one Gazan. “We stayed at home because Al Aksa & Al Quds [Hamas] radio stations told us ‘Don’t leave your homes, it’s rumors.’ We remained in our homes, but when we saw the bombs pouring on us, we miraculously got out…Five of my brothers’ sons were killed & the houses destroyed.”

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) went to great lengths to spare civilians, issuing warnings by leaflets, SMS messages, the “roof knock” technique & social media. Col. Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, notes in the film “the immense efforts that the IDF took when fighting in this very challenging environment, to minimize the number of civilian deaths [even though] Hamas used human shields virtually constantly. They deliberately site their weapon systems & their fighters among the civilian population.”

“Eyeless in Gaza” shows the underreported perspective of Israelis trying to survive Hamas rocket attacks, including a huge explosion on a populated beach & people racing to shelters with just 15 seconds to reach them. Israel’s Iron Dome defense system is no silver bullet: “10 percent [of] rockets…could hit you,” notes Tal Inbar, head of the Space Research Center at the Fisher Institute for Air & Space Strategic Studies in Herzliya. “…if the enemy is firing thousands of rockets…10 percent…is quite a lot.” Even intercepted rockets can still cause shock & injuries from falling shrapnel.

Kneejerk global condemnations of Israel triggered by a lopsided casualty count resulted, at least in part, from the media’s failure to cover the true nature of the mass casualty-threat facing Israel. Hamas launched thousands of rockets at schools, hospitals, and densely packed Israeli neighborhoods, demonstrating the group’s intent to kill many thousands of civilians. Hamas failed only because Israel had invested billions in a rocket defense system and Israelis regularly scurried to bomb shelters despite the disruption to their lives.

Former Russia Today correspondent Harry Fear, who calls himself “one of the most Palestinian-sympathizing journalists in the world,” notes that Palestinians “rejected cease fires, which could have saved…thousands of lives…”

Fearing violent retribution from Hamas, journalists engaged in collective self-censorship, he told Magid. Just about all foreign correspondents witnessed Palestinian war crimes without reporting them. “Rockets were being fired consistently from densely populated areas,” he said. He was expelled from Gaza after reporting on Twitter such fire.

An Indian television crew aired footage of Palestinian terrorists firing rockets from civilian areas only after it had left Gaza. Its report, shown in “Eyeless in Gaza” notes that the rocket fire “will obviously have serious consequences… for those who live here, should Israel choose to retaliate.”

Hamas’ intimidation of journalists produces flawed, misleading coverage, as Friedman elaborates: “Most of the work of the international media in Gaza is done not by western journalists … but by local Palestinians from Gaza: fixers, translators, reporters, photographers … their families are in Gaza & they’re not going to get Hamas angry. Because these people largely shape the coverage that ends up having a very significant effect.”

Fear decries the limits to free speech in Gaza, citing a 2014 poll indicating that 80% of Palestinian journalists exercise self-censorship for fear of retribution.

Similarly, Friedman says in the film, “I understand why reporters censor themselves … in Gaza. What I don’t understand is why the news organizations haven’t made clear the restrictions under which they operate in Gaza, so that news consumers can understand that they are seeing a warped picture.”

The intimidation can be worse for Palestinian journalists. Ayman Al Aloul describes his imprisonment & torture by Hamas after he refused to stop writing about Gaza’s extreme poverty, & Hamas’ failed economic policies. “They started beating me & cursing at me. When I went back inside [my cell], I feared someone would be sent to end my life… I was scared they would say, ‘He died from cold or hunger.’ I was really scared.”

While the Western media and United Nations Human Rights Council obsessively harp on any alleged Israeli human rights violation, it completely ignored Al Aloul’s case.

Conflicts that receive far less media attention than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, despite being exponentially bloodier, also have been neglected, thanks to the media’s obsession with Israel. The film notes that, since 2011, nearly half a million people have been killed or wounded in Syria, compared to about 2,000 in Gaza. “160,000 Palestinians lived in Yarmouk prior to 2011. [Because of] Syrian…bombing and starvation policies, there are now 18,000.”

Thus, campus protesters who routinely accuse Israel of “genocide” & “massacre” are either grossly misinformed (at least in part because of media bias) or simply anti-Semitic.

UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) spokesperson Chris Gunness acknowledges a double standard by the media & Arab governments’ in terms of attention given to the plight of Palestinians in Syria versus Gaza. But when asked why UNRWA failed to condemn Egypt’s security-motivated destruction of thousands of homes along the Gaza border, he says only, “we are not mandated to work in Egypt.”

Friedman notes, “If Israel did 1% of that, of course the international community would be in an uproar. I think people aren’t interested in Arabs in general, or what Arabs do to each other. I think they’re basically interested … in the actions of Jews. That’s why Egypt can destroy entire neighborhoods [bordering] Gaza, as it did recently & the world kind of yawns. That I think proves that…the story being told here by the international media is not a story about current events. It’s a story about something else. It’s a morality play starring a familiar villain [the Jews].”

This hostile paradigm explains the failure of Western media to report on the anti-Semitic nature of the Hamas charter, which blames all of the world’s woes – including every major war & revolution & even the Holocaust – on the Jews, while calling for their annihilation, Friedman says in “Eyeless in Gaza.”

“If you say that Hamas is anti-Semitic, if you quote their charter, if you look too closely at exactly what their goals are & who they are, then it would disrupt the narrative, according to which Israel is an aggressor & the Palestinians are passive victims who have reasonable goals,” Friedman says.

Nevertheless, the media’s failure to include critical facts like those exposed in “Eyeless in Gaza” encourages terrorist groups like Hamas to embrace tactics intended to maximize civilian casualties. The resulting global condemnation of Israel for Gazan deaths only encourages Hamas to jeopardize civilians in the next round of violence.

As “Eyeless in Gaza” highlights, the kind of journalism that covered the 2014 war in Gaza distorted the truth, abetted a terrorist group & strengthened the party most responsible for Gaza’s misery & ongoing hostilities with Israel. For more on the film, click here.

Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis, an apocalyptic novel about Iranian nukes and other geopolitical issues in the Middle East.

Media Misfeasance Exposed in “Eyeless in Gaza” Documentary

War: The School of Life By Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen March 7, 2017


IDF forces discover an 8 meter deep arms smuggling tunnel at the Israeli-Egyptian border, IDF Blog, Flickr, Wikimedia Commons BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 419, March 7, 2017

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The potential for public panic over the tunnel threat is greater than we think. We have trouble recognizing that there are threats for which we have no ideal solution. It is unreasonable to expect a perfect response for every threat during wartime.

The public political discourse that has been going on for weeks over the state comptroller’s report on 2014’s Operation Protective Edge is more important to us as a nation than what is discussed in the report itself. The debate over the report’s findings has been blown out of proportion regarding two main issues: the terror tunnels as a “strategic threat”; and the conduct of the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s leadership.

The tunnels are a tactical threat to which even today, despite significant advances, there is only a complex and incomplete response. It is true that the tools our forces had at their disposal during the operation were far from perfect. The investigation conducted by Maj. Gen. Yossi Bachar was presented to the General Staff near the end of the war, and it pointed to the main lessons to be learned and corrections to be made. It is not because of this that there is potential for public panic over the tunnel threat.

We have before us something deeper that is worth acknowledging. We have trouble recognizing that there are threats for which we cannot provide an impenetrable security solution. We need to examine how we developed the overreaching expectation of the national leadership and the security forces that they manage wars with complete responses for every threat.

Let us look in the mirror for a moment. Over the past two decades, Israeli security doctrine has undergone a fundamental change. We have gone from placing our hopes in the superiority of the IDF, and the spirit and dedication of its soldiers, to placing our hopes in our technological advantage. The tunnel threat we face gave expression to the opposite trend: our enemies worked for two decades to develop their preparedness for sacrifice and achieve their primitive potential, including by digging tunnels.

This is a particularly difficult problem for those who consider the idea of physical separation from the Palestinians strategic and security gospel. The premise of separation is: “They are there and we are here, and between us, there is a fence.” But the advocates of separation must provide convincing security solutions for future threats to our spatial arrangement.

The logic of territorial separation gives way to the tunnel threat. The tunnel threat in Gaza thus gives symbolic expression to the threat to the relevance of the Israeli security perspective.

Also, regarding deficiencies in the cabinet’s management that are addressed in the comptroller’s report: this issue must be clarified by looking broadly at the complex phenomenon of war. Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, who as finance minister was a member of the cabinet during the Gaza war, recently wrote: “Israel entered Operation Protective Edge without defining for itself its desired result, what the exit strategy would be, and what the time frame would be.”

It is certainly irresponsible to begin a project without outlining an inclusive and well-defined planning framework. However, we tend to ignore the significant uncertainties inherent in managing a war. In the great school of war, it is not possible to describe the outcome from the beginning.

According to accepted strategic planning concepts, Christopher Columbus would have been judged a failure, as he did not complete his goal of reaching India. Did he fail? War, more so than sailing off into the horizon, is an event that generates change – so much so that it can shake up the global system by an unforeseeable magnitude. The conditions for change are based on friction. Until you begin a war, there is no way to know how things will end.

The basic conditions upon which expectations for the end of a campaign are based can change as the campaign itself changes once operations begin. So too might the outline for the political uses of the campaign’s achievements. From this perspective, war is a different phenomenon from any other kind of challenge that involves the planning and management of a production line.

Here is where the cabinet comes into play. In reviewing the ongoing campaign, the cabinet must study it carefully, not just in terms of the forces’ operational progress as compared with the plan, but also in trying to identify twists in the campaign that could have an impact on the strategic goal test: the test of the ability to achieve what we seek and prevent that which we seek to prevent.

The president of the US manages wars in an intimate group that does not include his political opponents. Israel’s government, on the other hand, has suffered since the War of Independence from a structure in which the prime minister finds himself prevented from fully disclosing all of his considerations to cabinet members. You cannot analyze the prime minister’s conduct with the cabinet during Operation Protective Edge without considering the fundamental limitation on holding an open strategic debate. After all, the basic approach to dealing with Hamas rule in Gaza is tied to the basic approach to the solution to the Palestinian issue.

For those working towards a two-state solution under the Clinton parameters, a total victory over Hamas leadership was desirable during Protective Edge. For them, Hamas in Gaza presents an obstacle to the establishment of a single Palestinian state under the leadership of the Palestinian Authority.

For those seeking another framework, however, the desired goal in the Gaza war was completely different. The situation in Gaza in the wake of the disengagement – with the disconnect it created between Gaza and Judea and Samaria, perceived to be an Israeli interest worth preserving – prompted the desire among some to avoid any operation that would undo this accomplishment. Should we offer the Gaza Strip to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on a silver platter, purchased with the blood of our soldiers?

This was the fundamental question underpinning cabinet debate on the goal of the war in Gaza, and it formed the basis of the dilemma in deciding between a victory over Hamas and the achievement of deterrence via a broad military campaign. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s stance on this question was clear and consistent: they wanted to take forceful action to achieve deterrence in order to establish better security conditions, but to avoid occupying the Gaza Strip or toppling the Hamas regime.

In this respect, a discussion on the cabinet’s conduct during the operation must clarify, among other things, what the practical expectations were of cabinet leadership. We must recognize that, given the complexity of the institutional circumstances within which the cabinet must conduct itself, a prime minister cannot reveal the entirety of his strategic assumptions. This has been the case since the War of Independence, but the dominant personality of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, particularly in his management of security issues, compensated for disagreements within the government.

Political and media discussions of the report display assumptions that should be open to critical evaluation. They are based on models from the academic world. In the face of the ideal order determined by the standards of academia, another point of view from the school of life is required – one driven by basic respect for the difficulties and complexity of reality.

View PDF

Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen is a senior research associate the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. He served in the IDF for 42 years, commanding troops in battle on the Egyptian and Syrian fronts. He was a Corps commander, and commander of the IDF Military Colleges.

This is an edited version of an article that appeared in Israel Hayom on March 3, 2017.

BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family

War: The School of Life By Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen




o Ahead of Purim, Israeli library displays 400-year-old Book of Esther

o Ancient, rare stone structure decorated with rock art exposed in Israel

o Israeli Archaeologists Uncover New Evidence Surrounding Dead Sea Scrolls

o 2017 ‘Jewish Nobel’ awarded to artist Anish Kapoor

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2000-year-old Roman road exposed in Israel March 7, 2017

Aerial view of the ancient road (Griffin Aerial photography Co. IAA)

Israeli archaeologists recently exposed a millennia-old road which served as a vital route for travel and commerce when the Romans ruled Israel.

A wide and impressive 2,000-year-old road dating to the Roman period, in an extraordinary state of preservation, was revealed in February in archaeological excavations of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) near Beit Shemesh, in the center of Israel.

The excavation was conducted prior to laying a water pipeline to Jerusalem, leading to the latest archaeological finding to be chanced upon in Israel. “The road…was up to six meters wide, continued for a distance of approximately 1.5 kilometers, and was apparently meant to link the Roman town that existed in the vicinity of Beit Natif with the main highway known as the “Emperor’s Road,” Irina Zilberbod, IAA’s director of the excavation, explained.

The Emperor’s Road was “a main artery that connected the large settlements of Eleutheropolis, Bet Guvrin and Jerusalem. The construction of the Emperor’s Road is thought to have taken place at the time of Emperor Hadrian’s visit to the country, circa 130 CE, or slightly thereafter, during the suppression of the Bar Kokhba revolt in 132-135 CE (which took place in the area). The presence of a milestone bearing the name of the emperor Hadrian, which was discovered in the past close to the road, reinforces this hypothesis,” she added. Several ancient coins were discovered between the pavement stones: a coin from Year 2 of the Great Revolt (67 CE), a coin from the Umayyad period (661–750 CE), a coin of the prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate, dating to 29 CE and a coin of Agrippa I from 41 CE that was minted in Jerusalem.

Up until 2,000 years ago, when the Romans took power in Israel, most of the roads in the country were actually improvised trails. However during the Roman period, as a result of military and other campaigns, the national and international road network was developed in an unprecedented manner.

The Roman government was well aware of the importance of the roads for the proper running of the empire. From the main roads, such as the “Emperor’s Road”, there were secondary routes that led to the communities where all of the agricultural products were grown. The grain, oil and wine, which constituted the main dietary basis at the time, were transported along the secondary routes from the surroundings villages and then, by way of the main roads, to the large markets in Israel and even abroad.

“The ancient road passed close to the Israel National Trail [a hiking track that crosses Israel from north to south] and we believe that it will spark interest among the hikers. The Israel Antiquities Authority and Mei Shemesh Corporation have agreed that the road will be conserved in situ, for the public’s benefit”, Amit Shadman, the IAA district archaeologist for Judah, said.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

2000-year-old Roman road exposed in Israel

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Dry Bones by Ya’acov Kirschen “No Miracle”

The Story: Galilee drought

The Inevitable Outcome of the Establishment of Palestine by Barry Shaw

At the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies we pride ourselves at going where others dare not tread.

One such example is the Israeli-Palestinian problem.

Collective thought stops at a two-state road block. Strategic thinking dare not go beyond this point. No alternative route to peace can be contemplated. It is, for too many, the only route allowed. All other maps are discarded with little or no examination. The only end goal is a Palestinian state & they try to convince us that this is the only ultimate aim that should be considered.

At IISS we raise the uncomfortable question that is rarely, if ever, heard. What Palestine are they creating?

Basically, they don’t care to think about the inevitable & horrible entity they tirelessly try to concoct.

Allow me to predict the reality of a Palestine that will emerge from their efforts. My prediction is firmly based on facts on the ground that any thinking diplomat should be able to see for themselves.

Firstly, when they talk about the negotiating arm of Palestine they only refer to the Authority led by the undemocratic, corrupt & elderly leadership of Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas claims he represents the Palestinian people.

In their parliamentary elections of 1996, parties not affiliated with the Palestine Liberation Organization were banned from registering their candidates & Hamas refused to participate. When the inevitable results were announced Hamas usurped power in the Gaza Strip in a bloody civil war which left Arabs dead on both sides of the political divide.

What is swept under the carpet is the fact that in the 2006 parliamentary elections Hamas won an overwhelming victory taking 74 of the 132 seats. The Palestinian Authority have been fearful of holding parliamentary elections ever since.

Hamas continues to enhance its grip on power in the Gaza Strip by eliminating much of the opposition by fair means or foul. Its repressive fist leave Gazans hostage to the whims of an ideological-based terror regime that devotes its full attention & most of its finances to developing an increasingly sophisticated terrorist infrastructure. Despite an internationally legitimate blockage on Gaza both by Israel & by Egypt, Hamas has stockpiled thousands of missiles aimed at Israel.

The anti-Semitic Hamas founding charter openly calls for the murder of Jews. They have made steady headway in the territories controlled by its Fatah-led rival, the Palestinian Authority

If not for the tireless efforts of Israel’s counter-terror intelligence & security forces Hamas would be the power of influence in key West Bank cities governed by the Palestinian Authority including Bethlehem, Hebron, Tulkarm & even in east Jerusalem.

In April 2015, Hamas students scored a convincing victory in the student council election winning 26 seats as opposed to Fatah’s 19. For those unfamiliar with the geography Bir Zeit is located just ten kilometers north of Ramallah, the central headquarters of Fatah & the seat of the Palestinian Authority administration. Bir Zeit has been considered as the most liberal of all Palestinian universities & is, therefore, a good indicator of the mood of the Palestinian street in the West Bank.

How about the future political face of Palestine? In Gaza, Hamas just elected their replacement to Ismael Haniyeh. If you thought that the old face of Hamas was bad, the new face is even worse. Haniyeh was a disciple of the Muslim Brotherhood. His replacement, Yahya Sinwar, is an arch-terrorist linked to the extremist Islamic Salafist movement.

Sinwar was released from a twenty-year prison sentence on gross terrorism charges as part of a prisoner exchange for the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier kidnapped from Israel and dragged into Gaza by a Hamas terror cell & kept in captivity for five years. Sinwar is not only responsible for the deaths of many Israelis. He is also reported to have murdered Palestinians with his own hands on alleged charges of “spying” or “collaboration” though it is more likely that they opposed his ruthless Hamas oppression.

The Hamas monster is such a distasteful reality that they need to airbrush it out of their incessant campaign. Better, they think, to ignore it. Raising the likely outcome of Hamas usurping power by the ballot or by the bullet in the West Bank in a new Palestine is too awful a thought. Better to leave it to the Israelis to deal with after the Jewish state has been forced to withdraw to impossibly vulnerable lines.

As for the Palestinian Authority, a Post-Abbas future looks equally grim.

I am involved in a campaign to have Jibril Rajoub removed from his position as the Palestinian delegate at FIFA, the governing body of soccer. We have irrefutable evidence of Rajoub using football & other sports, to propagate & glorify Palestinian terrorism including naming sports events after Palestinian terrorists who have murdered Israeli civilians, including women & children.

Yet, shockingly, this man is one of the leading candidates to replace Mahmoud Abbas.

The other leading candidate is Marwan Barghouti currently serving five consecutive life sentences in an Israel jail for his murderous terror outrages against Israeli civilians. In a 2015 Palestinian poll he was the only Fatah candidate pegged to defeat Hamas in any Palestinian election.

One would have thought the record of these candidates would disqualify them from serving as president of any country but, in a society brainwashed & indoctrinated in hatred and violence & the inadmissibility of a Jewish state, this is the result.

The inevitability of yet another civil war seems certain. These rival forces are divided by a deep political chasm. They may be united in their hatred of the Jewish state which in both their lexicons must be obliterated, by stages if necessary, but when push comes to shove they hate & distrust each other as they vie for overall power.

This is the Palestine a naïve & cynical world is determined to impose on Israel.

The two-state solution demands an Israeli withdrawal from territories & a vague Palestinian promise to desist from violence.

The inadvisability of establishing such a regime is not predicated on issues of settlements or borders. It is entirely based on the inevitable specter of a violent politically unviable Palestine with a long term agenda to continue its struggle to destroy whatever remains of Israel.

Therefore it is essential for the Israeli government & all self-respecting academic & strategic think tanks to ask the diplomatic community & the impactful global institutions what they are doing to reform the Palestinian leadership into united & peace-loving pragmatists.

So far we have seen little progress in any such reformation. Nor are we likely to see any positive change going forward.

If no assurance can be given then Israel cannot be expected to make dangerous concessions based on nothing more than the empty echo of peace.

Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the author of the new book ‘1917. From Palestine to the Land of Israel.’

The Inevitable Outcome of the Establishment of Palestine by Barry Shaw

PT Examines J Street’s Unusual “Support” for Israel

Steven Emerson, Executive Director

March 9, 2017

IPT Examines J Street’s Unusual “Support” for Israel

IPT News March 9, 2017

J Street, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group, has an unusual way of showing it “is the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans.”

It has called for direct negotiations with Hamas, a designated terrorist group committed to the Jewish state’s destruction. It partners with aggressively anti-Israel groups which advocate an economic, political and academic boycott of Israel. And it partners with rabidly anti-Israel speakers and groups in the name of “open debate.”

The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) examines J Street’s record in a new dossier. Read the full report here. J Street was formed in 2008 as a liberal counterpart to the American Israel Public Affairs Council (AIPAC).

Most recently, J Street rallied behind U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison after the IPT unearthed a 2010 recording in which Ellison described what he saw as Israel’s disproportionate influence over U.S. foreign policy, calling it illogical and not right.

J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami came to Ellison’s defense during a speech at a New York synagogue: “I think that there’s nothing troubling about his record. I think that the witch hunt that is going on on Keith Ellison is reminiscent of the witch hunt that goes on every single time somebody who has dared to criticize the policies of the government of Israel steps forward and has a potential to hold position in this country.”

He reiterated his support a few days later on MSNBC, describing Ellison, who also voted against funding additional Iron Dome defense for Israel in 2014 as Hamas rockets rained down on Israeli civilian communities. Ellison also voted “present” in 2009 rather than support a resolution recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza, as “one of the most tolerant and open minded people that many of us know.”

In other cases, J Street tries to have it both ways. Regarding Hamas, a J Street policy paper notes that the group “has consistently condemned Hamas for calling for Israel’s destruction,” but in the next paragraph makes the case for why Hamas must be engaged.

“[O]ne makes peace with one’s enemies not one’s friends,” the paper says.

“There has to be a channel of dialogue with Hamas,” Ben-Ami said during a 2010 Georgetown University program that J Street co-sponsored with the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC).

J Street maintains that it opposes the global BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) movement, but it repeatedly partnered with the movement’s advocates. At the same time, J Street’s policy statement on BDS says it will not oppose the movement if it “explicitly support[s] a two-state solution…”

Its 2012 J Street Conference, for example, featured a panel discussion with leading BDS advocate Mustafa Barghouti. He was not challenged about BDS, and his insistence that any future peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians include a “right of return,” which could end Israel’s Jewish majority, also went unchallenged.

In another discussion at the same conference, Barghouti described Israel as an apartheid state. He also made brief references to BDS, which also drew no pushback.

In general, J Street’s “pro-Israel” agenda places the blame on the ongoing conflict on Israel’s shoulders and demands more of it than of Palestinians. When it brings itself to condemn Palestinian incitement, it engages in moral equivalence, also mentioning rare instances of Israeli violence against Palestinians.

The dossier also studies J Street’s financial support, political activity and more. To read the full dossier, click here.

The IPT accepts no funding from outside the United States, or from any governmental agency or political or religious institutions. Your support of The Investigative Project on Terrorism is critical in winning a battle we cannot afford to lose. All donations are tax-deductible. Click here to donate online. The Investigative Project on Terrorism Foundation is a recognized 501(c)3 organization.

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IPT Examines J Street’s Unusual “Support” for Israel

SHAMRAK REPORT: No Trust in Israeli Legal System * UNHRC Must End Obsession with Israel * Defensive War – Legal Case

No Trust in Israeli Legal System

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on Wednesday officially notified the High Court of Justice that he will not defend challenges to a newly passed law that legalizes Israeli West Bank settlements built on private land. The Regulation Law, which Mandelblit has repeatedly warned would be indefensible in court, was approved by the Knesset last month. The law allows the Israeli government to expropriate private land where Jewish outpost homes have been built ex-post facto, provided that the outposts were built in good faith or have government support. Analysts say the law could pave the way for the government to recognize some 4,000 illegally built Israeli homes. Under the law, the Arab landowners will be compensated financially or with other land.

Is Netanyahu Ready for a Change of Direction Now?

President Reuven Rivlin reacted to the State Comptroller’s report on Operation Protective Edge and called to learn the lessons, to implement what needs implementing, and to strengthen the army. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) said that “the comptroller’s report states that [Education Minister Naftali] Bennett demonstrated leadership on security, presented the tunnel threat to the Cabinet in detail, demanded that they be dealt with, and thus prevented strategic terrorism against Israel.” (Fast moving change is coming – Netanyahu must be ready to show leadership or step down for the sake of the future of the Jewish people!)

Support Shamrak Report

Food for Thought by Steven Shamrak

Zionism is the Jewish national liberation movement! Liberal anti-Semites and self-hating Jews support any ‘liberation’ movement, even Islamic ones that present clear threats to our democratic values, but not the Jewish one! With President Trump in the White House, the Israeli government must be ready to take decisive steps to realise the Zion dream of the Jewish people and free Jewish land, Eretz-Israel, from enemy occupation!

Another Useless ‘Personality’ Party

Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon (Likud) said at a “Shabbat Tarbut” event in Tel Aviv on Saturday that he intends to form a new party and to run for the Prime Minister’s office in the next Israeli elections. (Israel will only make progress on the Zionist front and resolve the issues with the enemies when political ‘personalities’ start thinking about the future of the Jewish people first t!)

J-Street is in a Political Jail!

Anti-Israel hate group J-Street tried to get someone, anyone, from the current administration to come to its Israel-bashing fest. While in the past the Soros-funded hate group had been able to count on a star roster of Obama people, this time they’ve been turned down by everyone at the White House.

Time for Israel to do the Same

Egyptian airport security denied entry to senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official Jibril Rajoub and deported him. Rajoub is a confidant of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas and a high-ranking member of the central committee of Fatah movement, who in the past called for use of nukes against Israel. No reason for the deportation was given. (Israel has many reasons to remove enemy population, which supports terror and hate, from Jewish land!)

Move is Long Overdue – No haste!

Jewish-American diplomat Dennis Ross, who among his many roles served as former President Barack Obama’s Middle East adviser, revealed “In 1989, Rabin asked me to act to move the embassy to Jerusalem.” “I think we need to prepare the ground and the public opinion around the world for this. The Trump administration realizes that moving the embassy is an emotional issue and should not be done in haste,” he added.(The US Congress made the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem a law in 1995. One can hardly can call it haste, only self-hating, anti-Zionist Jew do so!)

UNHRC Must End Obsession with Israel

A US deputy assistant secretary of state tells the top UN human rights body that, “to have any credibility, let alone success,” it must reform its agenda. She guarantees America’s opposition “to attempts to delegitimize or isolate Israel, not just in the HRC, but wherever it occurs.” The US Trump administration is reviewing its participation in the top United Nations human rights body, with an eye to reform and a balanced agenda that ends the forum’s “obsession with Israel”

State Department has Always been anti-Semitic

Donald Trump’s nominee to be his ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, accused the State Department during a speech last October of having been anti-Semitic since Israel’s founding. “In 1995, Congress enacted a law that required the embassy of the United States to move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” Friedman told a crowd at a Jerusalem rally for the Trump campaign. “That’s 21 years ago. Hasn’t happened! Why? Because the law provides that the obligation to move the embassy to Jerusalem can be waived at the desire of the State Department, the same State Department that has been anti-Israel and anti-Semitic for the past 70 years.”

Israel Begins Exporting Gas to Jordan

The exports to Jordan began in January, by a consortium which leading the development of Israel’s offshore gas reserves. There was no formal announcement at the time, but it is the first time Israel has ever exported natural gas. In September 2016, a larger deal worth an estimated $10 billion was signed to export gas from the Leviathan offshore field to Jordan.

Idiotic Warning from Hamas

After the IDF has been forcefully responding to Hamas fire from Gaza, Hamas warned Israel that they will impose a new ‘mechanism of action’ in response to the rocket attacks, which could ultimately escalate the regional situation to the point of conflict. (Hamas has been systematically waging war against Israel, but Israel is just ‘responding’. it is time to remove hostile population from Gaza – Sinai is just a few miles away!)

Quote of the Week:

“Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) is an illegitimate leader. The PA does not exist. Hamas-stan is in the Gaza Strip, and in Judea and Samaria you find Fatah. Who will sign an agreement? I do not believe that it is possible to reach an agreement with the Palestinians without a comprehensive regional settlement with the moderate Sunni world.” – Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman – He gave a generous compliment to Sunni Arabs. Only transfer of the enemies from Judea, Samaria and Gaza will bring peace to Israel!

Defensive War – legal Case

Ignorance of international law is not an excuse!

Since 1948, Israel has been the target of four major wars of extermination declared and waged by Arab states against it, has also been the target of two major intifadas, and unrelenting terrorist attacks by the NGO surrogates of Arab Nations. In short, in every conflict, Israel has been on the defensive.

Only a handful of people have a clear understanding of International Law, the Law of Nations, and the Geneva Convention. Many have chosen either to deliberately ignore them, to make inaccurate and obscure references to them, or to parrot what someone else said. Here are the relevant aspects of these laws and how they affect the veracity of claims against Israel.

#1 – A country or nation that is fighting a defensive war, and that captures territory from the Belligerent nation that attacked it, IS NOT OBLIGED IN ANY WAY TO RETURN THAT TERRITORY.

#2 – In the absence of any formal peace treaty, the nation that was attacked and that captured land in a defensive war, MAY LEGALLY ANNEX THAT TERRITORY.

#3 – In 1948, Egypt and Jordan ILLEGALLY CAPTURED, OCCUPIED, AND ANNEXED Gaza and the West Bank, respectively. BOTH Gaza and the West Bank were subsequently CEDED TO ISRAEL as part of several, formal peace treaties between these countries.

#4 – On November 22, 1967, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 242, establishing the principles that were to guide the negotiations for an Arab-Israeli peace settlement. The “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” clause pertains to OFFENSIVE WARS ONLY! The resolution does not make Israeli withdrawal a prerequisite for Arab action. Moreover, it does not specify how much territory Israel is required to give up.

#5 – GAZA & the WEST BANK are “disputed territories,” not “occupied territories.” They were “occupied territories” prior to 1967 — illegally occupied by Egypt & Jordan.

#6 – The Palestinians are not mentioned anywhere in Resolution 242. Nowhere does it require that Palestinians be given any political rights or territory. In fact, the resolution acknowledges that two refugee problems were products of Arab aggression. More Jewish refugees fled Arab countries than “Palestinian Arab” refugees left Israel. Jews, however, were never compensated by the Arab states, nor were any UN organizations ever established to help them.

#7 – In a statement to the General Assembly October 15, 1968, the PLO, rejecting Resolution 242, said “the implementation of said resolution will lead to the loss of every hope for the establishment of peace and security in Palestine and the Middle East region.”

#8 – UN Resolutions made by the General Assembly carry no weight whatsoever. Even a cursory glance at them reveals how one-sided they all are.

#9 -Israel is the only country or NGO in the Middle East to comply with all resolutions made by the UN Security Council, which are legally binding. countries like Syria, Libya, Iraq, and Iran, and NGO’s like the PLO/Fatah, Hamas, and Hezbollah have never complied with any of the major provisions of any Security Council resolution, and, if they initially had, they have subsequently violated them shortly after their passage.

#10 – The Geneva Convention has very clear and strict definitions, and guidelines of what it considers to be “an occupying force,” and its responsibilities to the people and territories it occupies. According to these definitions and guidelines, Israel, throughout its 60-year existence, HAS NEVER BEEN an “occupying force” in any part of the globe.

#11 – The Geneva Convention, and other international laws regulating conduct during warfare, makes clear distinctions of what is, or is not a “war crime.” Using human shields is a war crime. Conducting warfare from population centers is a war crime. Engaging in perfidy, such as having armed militants dressed as civilians, having armed militants dressed in the uniforms of their opponents, using fake surrenders as a pretext to attack, is a war crime. Deliberately firing upon civilians, or deliberately directing fire towards civilian centres in an effort to produce civilian casualties, is a war crime.

If one were to add up all of these actions committed by Hezbollah and Hamas since 2006 alone, the number of clearly defined war crimes that they committed against Israel would exceed 100,000 separate instances.

About the Author

Gail Winston is co-founder of the Winston International Institute for the Study of Prejudice.

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