Saturday, July 26, 2014

Fatah Declares 'Open War' on Israel

by Dalit Halevi and Elad Benari

Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, Fatah's “military wing”, declares "open war" over Israel's operation in Gaza.
Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade terrorists
Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade terrorists
Flash 90
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, the so-called “military wing” of Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement, has declared an "open war" against the "Zionist enemy."

In a recorded message dated July 23, three terrorists from the organization announced that the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade will not sit idly by while Israel’s operation in Gaza continues, adding they intended to launch a campaign in Israeli territory.

"The language of blood" is the only language in which to answer “the aggression of the Zionists”, the statement said, and stressed that international law grants the Palestinian Arabs the right to conduct an armed struggle “on all Palestinian lands.”

All units operating under the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade were ordered to act against the "Zionist enemy", in a campaign in which "all options are open".

This is an "open intifada", a spokesman for the group declared in the statement.

It should be noted that it is not just Hamas that incites against Israel but that Abbas’s movement does this on a regular basis as well.

Incitement in the PA includes the glorification of Nazism and the lionization of Adolf Hitler, as well as programs on official PA television featuring heavily-stereotyped Jews as villains (and encouraging violence against them), and various TV and radio shows which literally wipe the Jewish state off the map.

Fathi Hammad, who served as the Interior Minister in Hamas’s government in Gaza, recently called on Fatah to join Hamas and “wage Jihad” against Israel.

“This is a time to be real men, a time for determination, a time for Jihad, a time for resolution, a time to make sacrifices for the sake of Allah,” he said.

The conflict in Gaza has already spread to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria as thousands of Palestinian Arabs rioted in Qalandiya, between Jerusalem and Ramallah, on Thursday night.

The riots turned into clashes when the rioters threw rocks and firebombs at IDF and Border Police officers who were on the scene. Some of the rioters opened live fire at the security forces, who responded by using riot dispersal means.

Clashes also broke out at the Temple Mount, as Arabs threw rocks and targeted police with firecrackers. Two officers were lightly wounded. Ten rioters were arrested.

Dalit Halevi and Elad Benari


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Playing with Fire

by Dr. Reuven Berko

The Qataris have essentially acknowledged their role as the bank for global Islamic terrorism, as practiced by the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida, Hamas, ISIS, and the other Islamic terror movements active in our region.

Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (left) with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah
Photo credit: Reuters

Dr. Reuven Berko


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Call things by their Right Names in the Gaza War

by Carol Brown

Words matter. They are powerful tools. For truth and good. Or for manipulative propaganda.

Terrorists are waging war against Israel while John Kerry and the U.N. want to stop Israel’s ability to protect and defend herself.

Hamas is waging war against Israel. But hardly anyone ever says it. Yes, Hamas is raining rockets down on Israel, but saying that without ever using the word “war” stops short of the larger truth. If you Google “Hamas and war,” you will find references to “cyber” or “psychological” warfare. But not actual warfare in the traditional sense. As Hamas has set out to do what is written in its charter – to destroy Israel and kill every last Jew – it has declared war against the State of Israel and the Jewish people.  

And who is Hamas? Who is committing double war crimes by targeting Israeli civilians while using Palestinians as human shields? They’re not “militants,” which seems to be the media’s preferred term. They are sub-human barbaric terrorists. Or if the media has limited time and/or space: terrorists.

“Human shields” is also a term that stops short of being accurate. A shield is designed and constructed to protect the person behind it by withstanding battery and assault from all manner of weapons. Sturdy materials like metal, steel, wire, and cement, as well as deadly weaponry come to mind when one imagines a shield. But human beings are soft. We’re not armor. With no weapons to defend ourselves, we are fragile in the face of physical assault. Especially women and children. The people who live in Gaza are being used as sacrificial humans, their lives so completely devalued they are tossed onto the battlefield, come what may.

And while we’re at it, now might be a good time to stop using the word “Palestinian.” It’s a fabrication. I kind of like Bill Maher’s (of all people) recent description: Professional Refugees.

In addition to naming things accurately, it would also be nice if the media would stop using incomplete sentences. Such as: the tunnels were built to get around Israel’s tight security.



The tunnels were built in order to penetrate into Israel to kidnap and kill as many Israelis as possible.

Most recently we have the following unfinished opening sentence: “Israel on Friday rejected a Gaza ceasefire proposal presented by US Secretary of State John Kerry, Israeli public television said.”

The piece continued:
"The security cabinet has unanimously rejected the ceasefire proposal of Kerry, as it stands," Channel 1 said, adding ministers would keep discussing it.
Kerry met UN chief Ban Ki-moon and Egypt's foreign minister on Friday as pressure mounted for a ceasefire to end an 18-day conflict that has killed more than 800 Palestinians and 37 people on the Israeli side, 34 of them soldiers.
Israeli media reported Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government demanded the army be allowed to continue destroying tunnels used by the Palestinian group Hamas to carry out attacks inside Israel.
Kerry's proposal reportedly involved an initial truce to be followed by negotiations on a final deal by delegations from all the parties.
A senior Hamas official, Izzat al-Rishq, said on his Facebook page after the Israeli rejection that the movement was "studying the seven-day humanitarian ceasefire call," without elaborating.
Hamas, the main power in Gaza, previously rejected an initial ceasefire proposal, demanding a full settlement before it stopped shooting, but international mediation efforts have gathered pace in the past few days.
Kerry, who spent another night in Cairo reaching out by telephone to regional officials, met Ban and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri for around half an hour.
He later went into a one-on-one meeting with Ban, who has also been shuttling around the region.
If I may help the media with their unfinished opening sentence:  Israel rejected a Gaza ceasefire proposal that would have left all remaining tunnels intact. These tunnels would continue to give terrorists pathways to penetrate into Israel in order to kidnap or kill as many Israelis as possible. In this way, Hamas would be free to continue waging war against Israel while the U.N. and other parties talked and talked about what to do next.

There. It’s not so hard. It all depends on what the goal is. Truth? Or propaganda.

Carol Brown


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The UN’s Propaganda War Against Israel

by Joseph Klein

Disarmament Conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations

As usual, the United Nations has the Palestinians’ back while repeatedly stabbing Israel in the back. Hamas not only uses civilian human shields in Gaza to protect its operatives and weapons. It hides behind the diplomatic propaganda shield that the UN too willingly provides.

Most notably, the United Nations kangaroo court, known officially as the Human Rights Council, has decided to launch its own investigation into Israel’s actions in Gaza. In its one-sided resolution, adopted in Geneva on July 23rd by a vote of 29 states in favor, 1 against and 17 abstentions, the Human Rights Council “condemned in the strongest terms the widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms arising from the Israeli military operations carried out in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 13 June 2014.”

The Human Rights Council also “demanded that Israel immediately and fully end its illegal closure of the occupied Gaza Strip.”

Never mind that Gaza, which is under Hamas’s control, has not been occupied by Israel since 2005. And never mind that the closures of border crossings have been necessitated by Hamas’s aggressive attacks launched against Israeli civilians. Truth is never a consideration when the UN Human Rights Council and other UN bodies get involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In its perversion of truth, the UN human rights body provided Sudan, whose government has the blood of hundreds of thousands of civilians from decades of documented genocide and ethnic cleansing on its hands, with a platform to accuse Israel of maintaining a “policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide.” Iran, whose ruling thugs regularly imprison, torture and execute political dissidents, got a platform to claim that Israel was engaged in “massacres and crimes against humanity.” On the same day that Iran’s representative was fulminating against Israel in Geneva, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that “Israel’s annihilation is the only real cure.”  Is it any wonder that Israelis are very concerned that Iran is getting closer and closer to achieving its nuclear arms ambitions while Iran buys more time in phony negotiations that have just been extended?

The United States was the only Human Rights Council member to vote against the travesty of a human rights resolution passed by the UN’s three-ring circus. Russia, the enabler of the pro-Russian separatists who blew the Malaysian civilian passenger plane out of the sky with 298 innocent civilians on board, was among those countries that voted for the resolution. The dhimmi European member states abstained in fear of violent reactions from their own Muslim populations if they opposed the anti-Israel resolution.

The Human Rights Council acted against Israel, following an outrageous statement on the Gaza fighting by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. She equated Israel’s defense of its citizens from rocket attacks deliberately aimed at Israeli population centers with Hamas’s launching of those rockets and using Palestinian civilians’ homes, schools, hospitals and mosques as hiding places for Hamas’s deadly weapons and operatives. She cavalierly dismissed Israel’s unprecedented attempts to warn civilians to get out of harm’s way before Israel took any military action against those sites. She said that the warnings were insufficient. One wonders whether she would like unarmed Israelis to politely knock at the front door of a house concealing caches of weapons with a warrant to search the place.

“Civilian homes are not legitimate targets unless they are being used for, or contribute to, military purposes at the time in question,” Pillay stated, which is precisely how the Gaza homes and other facilities that Israel goes after are being used. However, she brazenly accused Israel of overreacting in confronting the situation that Hamas has created by using Palestinian civilians as human shields. She demanded proof beyond any doubt that the Gaza facilities are being used for military purposes before any force can be used against them. Even then the response by Israel must be “proportionate,” whatever that means, in the situation that Israel finds itself.  In the case of Israel’s response and the ensuing civilian casualties, Pillay claimed that “there seems to be a strong possibility that international humanitarian law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes.”

At best, Pillay is uninformed. Far more likely, she is simply reflecting the UN’s ingrained institutional bias against Israel which she shares. Indeed, she need look no further for proof of what Hamas is up to than the UN’s own schools which its runs in Gaza. At least two such schools have been identified so far as hiding places for Hamas rockets. The first batch of rockets was handed over to what the UN has described as the “local authorities” – i.e., Hamas, which is the governing authority in Gaza. After the discovery of rockets in the second school, they have supposedly gone missing. That’s because they were left overnight unguarded for all intents and purposes by the UN agency in charge (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency). Pillay conveniently left this bit of conclusive proof of Hamas’s civilian exploitation strategy out of her statement, although UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon did issue a statement of his own on July 23rd expressing “his outrage and regret at the placing of weapons in a UN-administered school.”

Pillay not only ignores the facts in her zeal to condemn Israel. She ignores the relevant law as well. Under international law, the civilian population may not be made the object of attack. Acts of violence intended primarily to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited. That is precisely what Hamas, not Israel, has done and proudly brags about. Moreover, under international law, civilians may not be used to conceal military positions, or to serve as shields against an attack or military response. Again, that is precisely what Hamas, not Israel, has done. When a traditionally civilian object (such as a civilian house) is occupied and used by combatants, it becomes a legitimate military target under international law so long as precautionary measures are taken to minimize civilian casualties, such as the advance warnings to occupants that Israel has provided.

In terms of the number of civilian casualties in Gaza, the UN’s figures of approximately 600 killed and 3500 injured cannot be taken simply at face value. The loss or maiming of even one innocent civilian life, particularly a child, is tragic to be sure. But even the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which compiles the data, has stated that its figures are preliminary and subject to further verification. What’s more, OCHA has admitted that its data on the number of civilian injuries “is provided by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.” The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza is run by Hamas’s very own Mufiz al-Makhalalati. OCHA could not have chosen to rely on a more biased source which uses numbers and images of alleged civilian casualties as propaganda fodder.

For his part, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has been visiting the Middle East region this past week in an effort to broker an immediate ceasefire. The ceasefire proposed by Egypt more than a week ago could have already been in place, saving many lives, but it was Hamas and Hamas alone that rejected it. Hamas’s leadership continues to rebuff ceasefire proposals. It is only willing to consider brief “humanitarian pauses,” which Hamas has broken before and uses simply to regroup.

The Secretary General compromised his ability to serve as a neutral mediator when he accepted a Qatari-chartered plane for his air transportation to the Middle East region. He started his trip in Qatar.

Qatar and Hamas are joined at the hip. Some of Hamas’s political figures, including Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal, have been living in the lap of luxury in Qatar. Qatar is Hamas’s main funder. In 2012, the emir of Qatar became the first head of state to visit the Gaza Strip since Hamas assumed full control of Gaza in 2007, pledging hundreds of millions of dollars in aid for Hamas’s Gaza. The emir used the occasion to lash out at Israel’s “Judaization in the occupied West Bank and especially in Jerusalem.”

Last June, Qatar attempted to transfer money to cover the monthly salaries of the civil servants of the Hamas-run government in Gaza that preceded the so-called “unity” government. The Arab Bank rejected the transfer under U.S. pressure.

Hamas and Qatar operate from the same jihadist playbook. Thus, it was no surprise that Qatar’s own version of a ceasefire proposal adopted virtually all of Hamas’s demands, including release of its operatives detained by Israel and the unconditional opening of all border crossings by Israel and Egypt.

Ban Ki-moon’s statements that Israel has the right to defend itself and his condemnations of Hamas rocket firings targeted at Israeli civilians ring hollow when he begins his mediation trip in the Hamas jihad-sponsoring country that has funded his journey there.

Since in 1977, the United Nations has sponsored the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 29th, the date in 1947 when the UN General Assembly approved its partition resolution. Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called November 29th a “day of mourning and a day of grief.”   The event takes place every year at UN headquarters in New York and at the UN offices at Geneva and Vienna and elsewhere. If that were not enough, on November 26, 2013, the General Assembly decided to proclaim 2014 the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

In other words, every November 29th, the United Nations publicly mourns the passage of its own original two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli dispute that could have resulted in an independent Palestinian state more than six decades ago. Israel accepted it. The Palestinian leadership and neighboring Arab countries rejected it. Instead, they sought but failed to make Israel a still-born state. Time and again since, Israel has offered land for peace. Time and again, the Palestinians have refused unless all of their demands are met – including their preposterous assertion of the right to return millions of so-called Palestinian refugees to live and effectively take over pre-1967 Israel. When Israel unilaterally pulled all of its forces and settlers out of Gaza in 2005 and left behind greenhouses and other facilities that the Palestinians could have used to begin building independent state infrastructure and a prospering economy, the answer was Hamas’s reign of terror. Hamas decided instead to use valuable resources and time to build a military infrastructure from which to launch unremitting attacks against Israeli civilians.

Even during the current Gaza conflict, Israel ceased its fire in response to Egypt’s ceasefire proposal. Hamas kept firing its rockets. And while Hamas has used a hospital to serve as a hiding place for its weapons and as a command center, Israel has built a real field hospital in Gaza to care mainly for injured Palestinian women, children and the elderly.

Hamas’s response to offers of cessation of hostilities is more hostilities directed at civilians and further crimes against humanity. Yet, in its perversion of the truth, the United Nations shamelessly sides with the jihadists against the rule of law and civilized behavior.

Joseph Klein is a Harvard-trained lawyer and the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom and Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations & Radical Islam.


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War "Statistics": The New York Times Deceives Again

by Gil Lavi

It is the very power of numbers, graphics and photographs that makes them compelling ways to prove a point, and lousy ways of explaining what is really going on.
Creating compelling clickbait in the form of infographics is a disturbing trend in news today. But that is not "all the news that is fit to print;" that is propaganda.

The "Daily Tally" in the New York Times, a casual-sounding infographic, presents a side-by-side count of casualties and missiles in Gaza and Israel. Although it is ostensibly one of the clearest representations of violence, it is seriously misleading.

War photography can be powerful, moving, and shocking; and data to prove a point can be reassuring, if often falsely. It is the very power of numbers, graphics, and photographs that makes them at the same time compelling ways to prove a point, and lousy ways of explaining what is really going on.

During World War II, it is estimated that 378,000 German civilians were killed in British air raids, compared to only 62,000 British civilians killed in German air raids. Knowing this, however, does little to help understand the nature of the conflict.

The New York Times's Daily Tally is as political as the map represented in it. The visualization quantifies two elements related to the conflict: the number of deaths, and the number of attacks. It does not reveal who started the latest round of battle or why; who the dead are; how many civilians live under constant threat of indiscriminate shooting, or how that number accumulated over time. The numbers simply attempt authoritatively to represent an amount violence in the air, devoid of all context.

The New York Times "Daily Tally" infographic is seriously misleading, its numbers devoid of all context. (Image source: Screenshot of

Karen Yourish and Josh Keller, its authors, refer to these hostilities as another volley in the "Israeli-Palestinian Conflict." They could just as easily, and more accurately, have framed the events as, "the conflict between Israel, Hamas and its Palestinian hostages." I suggest this as a title because it signals to viewers that this conflict is more nuanced than the black-and-white conflict presented. Most Palestinians might even reject Hamas's aggression towards Israel: a 2013 survey conducted by the Ramallah-based organization, Arab World for Research & Development wrote that 65% of Palestinians opposed a new intifada, 95% of Gazans supported a new round of elections, and 44% of Palestinians preferred the Fatah approach.

The Daily Tally, favoring a more simplistic formula that implicitly frames the conflict as one between good and evil, obfuscates these distinctions. It also neglects to inform readers that as many as 70% of the Israelis support a Palestinian state backed by the UN, according to a survey done by Hebrew University's Harry S. Truman Research Institute. Instead, the Daily Tally simply demands to be frequently refreshed -- counting the dead while ignoring the demands of the living.

Maps, images, and infographics can, of course, easily become the instruments of promoting particular political ideologies, and might even have been chosen for that reason. By choosing to represent only particular aspects of a story, however, the people who post the Daily Talley know they are capable of swaying opinion and motivating viewers to think about a situation in a particular way. But that is not "all the news that is fit to print;" that is propaganda.

Creating compelling clickbait in the form of infographics is a disturbing trend in news today. Journalists would be more credible if, instead, they were even interested in embracing a more complete approach to communicating authentic stories, rather than competing for the bloodiest image. It would be refreshing if journalists would recommit themselves to promoting the truth, as closely as they could, behind the images and numbers they present. In promoting this partial and often false knowledge, it is easy to inculcate a misguided sense of righteousness on both sides. In the search for truth, infographics, images, and numbers give only the illusion of knowledge. The real thing often looks quite different.

Gil Lavi is a writer and former Middle East news photographer who focuses in his work on the research of images, maps and graphics from the Middle East.


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A Thank You Letter From Hamas to the Media

by Noah Beck


Dear Members of the Mainstream Media,

You’ve been awesome! Everyone knows that we start unwinnable wars with Israel because the real victory happens when you predictably side with us each time. And you’ve been so supportive of our strategy that we really want to acknowledge your helpfulness. In particular, we thank you for:

-Focusing so much more on our suffering than anyone else’s. Nigerians must die in far greater numbers before you take notice, so we’re glad that you value our lives so much more.
-Minimizing your coverage, if any, of our attacks that led up to Israel’s military response and generally providing so little context that outsiders think that Israelis kill Palestinians just for fun. We’re especially grateful to the French media for this. Their distortions of the conflict are so one-sided that they incite Muslims across France to attack Jews and synagogues, and that is welcomed by our anti-Semitic worldview (although, unfortunately, such attacks remind everyone why Jews need a state).

-Emphasizing our civilian death toll without explaining that (1) our casualty reports are hasty and inflated, and (2) we maximize that total by using Palestinians to shield our weapons and by urging them to stay in the very areas that the IDF — in its annoying effort to minimize our civilian deaths — warns Gazans to evacuate.

-Never mentioning the fact that if we could kill millions of Israelis, we would (after all, our charter calls for Israel’s destruction). Just as the 9/11 hijackers made the most of what they had but would have liked to kill far more Americans (for example, with the help of WMD), we too would love to kill far more Israelis. Indeed, we have purposely targeted Israel’s nuclear reactor on several occasions, with that very goal in mind. Fortunately, you never highlight the genocidal intent behind our attacks when mentioning Israel’s “disproportionate” response.

-Never calling us jihadists even though we persecute Christians (like the ISIS, which just compelled Mosul’s Christians to convert to Islam). The forced conversion, expulsion, or murder of Christians and other religious minorities by Islamists has been happening for millennia, as assiduously documented in Crucified Again, but such historical context is thankfully absent from your reporting on our conflict with Israel.

-Minimally reporting on our corruptionunfair wealth, or vast expenditures on tunnels to attack Israel while ordinary Palestinians grew poorer.

-Overlooking how — to maximize Palestinian deaths — we store our missiles in an UNWRA-run school and how, when UNWRA finds out, they just hand us back our missiles.

-Disregarding Arabs who have the courage to critique us — like Dr. Tawfik Hamid, an Islamist-turned-reformer who blames Palestinian suffering entirely on us.

-Ignoring Israelis’ humanitarian folly in providing medical aid to the very terrorists trying to kill them.

-Failing to acknowledge Israel’s immense restraint. Had we been fighting Syria’s Assad regime, by now Gaza would have been flattened — devastated by barrel bombs, poison gas, and other attacks that are far more indiscriminate than Israel’s intelligence-directed strikes. And of course, if Syria were killing us, you’d hardly care. But luckily, we’re dealing with Israel — that country that everyone loves to hate — so we can count on your helpful coverage here.

-Omitting how Israel chose to sacrifice dozens of IDF soldiers when destroying our tunnels and weapons in densely populated areas like Shejaiya because doing so with airstrikes (which risks no soldiers) would have killed many thousands of Palestinians. Your friendly omission of such crucial facts reminds us of how wonderfully you covered Jenin in 2002, when (again) — rather than praise Israel’s humane but costly decision to use ground troops rather than airstrikes – you very helpfully and falsely accused Israel of a massacre during another IDF operation to stop Palestinian terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians.

-Not sharing with your English readers what we openly say in Arabic: that we view any truce as just an opportunity to rearm for our next war against Israel (as our spokesman, Musheer Al Masri, recently declared on TV).

-Not underscoring that Israel can do nothing to make peace with us (after all, Israelis ended their occupation of Gaza in 2005 and we’ve been rocketing them ever since). It’s a bit nervy of Israel to use its border controls to limit our ability to rearm and rebuild cross-border attack tunnels, but — with your help — maybe the next cease-fire will remove Israel’s blockade so that we can more easily replenish our weapons and restore our tunnels for our next attack. And yes, we’re embarrassed that our fellow Arab Muslims in Egypt also choose to blockade us because of the problems that we’ve caused them.

-Not reminding readers, when you mention potential truce arrangements, that world powers are no more capable of ensuring a demilitarized Gaza than they were capable of disarming Hezbollah in south Lebanon.

Seriously, you’ve been AMAZING. Please keep it up!



p.s. Many thanks also to the countless protesters around the world who follow your lead, embolden us, and make us look legit!

Noah Beck


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Video: Palestinians, Iran, Syria Fail to Silence UN Watch

by UN Watch


GENEVA, July 23, 2014 - The Palestinian ambassador to the UNHRC, together with Iran, Syria, Egypt, Cuba and Venezuela tried but failed to silence UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer during today's UN Emergency Session on Gaza, as he defended Israel's right to resist Hamas aggression, and called out the hypocrisy of those who initiated the biased proceeding.
As expected, the council voted 29 to 1 (USA), with 17 abstaining (EU & others), to condemn Israel for "gross violations of international human rights," and it created a new commission of inquiry to produce a second Goldstone Report. Click here to see the grossly one-sided resolution—and a list of the nations who ignominiously voted for it.

Testimony delivered today, 23 July 2014, by UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer, at the UN Human Rights Council Emergency Session on Gaza 

Mr. President, I have just returned here from visiting Israel to tell this assembly, and the world, about the grave situation that I witnessed and experienced.

An entire nation—towns, villages and cities, from the Negev Desert up to the Galilee, from the Judean hills of Jerusalem to the Tel Aviv seashore—has been under brutal and relentless attack, from more than two thousand mortars, rockets and long-range missiles, fired from Gaza toward civilians in every part of the Holy Land.

Never before, in the history of Israel’s seven decades of existence, has its men, women and children come under such a massive aerial assault, forcing them, at the sound of air raid sirens day and night, to run for shelter.

And never before, in the modern history of nations, has a free and democratic society come under such sustained bombardment from a terrorist organization, one that openly strives for and celebrates the murder of civilians, and that, as its general worldview, glorifies death.

Did the world ever imagine that the ancient city of Jerusalem—sacred to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and replete with holy places that are recognized by the United Nations as protected world heritage sites—would be deliberately targeted by indiscriminate rockets?

And yet it is.

During one air raid in Jerusalem, I ran down to the basement of a building with little children crying and traumatized. During an air raid in Tel Aviv, the neighbors of an apartment building showed great strength of spirit in defiance of terrorism, by reaching out to strangers in the shelters, as we heard the booms of the rockets above.

And as  I was seated in my airplane, about to depart and return back here to Geneva, the air raid siren went off around the airport. We all had to rush off the plane and seek shelter. You’ve heard the news today: that international airlines are now ceasing to fly to Israel because of this danger.

I believe that the world should salute this terrorized, besieged and embattled nation, which has refused to surrender to demoralization, instead showing such courage, resolve and strength of spirit in surviving—and resisting—this massive aggression.

And people should consider: Is there any precedent in world history for a nation passively to suffer a three-week bombardment of its civilian population, by more than 2,000 deadly rockets?

The attempt by Hamas to shut down Israel’s sole international airport, in a country already besieged by land from hostile forces from north to south, would constitute the strangulation of an artery vital to the life of Israel’s people and economy.

These acts of aggression also target the sovereign rights of the nations under whose flags these airplanes fly.

I ask each ambassador in this chamber to take a moment and imagine terrorists deliberately firing deadly rockets at the airports of Heathrow, Charles de Gaulle, or Frankfurt; Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg, or Tokyo.

How would your government react?

How long would your nation wait before doing everything in its power to exercise its right, under international law and morality, to resist such aggression?

Mr. President,

I turn now to the resolution upon which this Council will soon vote. The text before us denounces Israel, denies its right to self-defence, and disregards Hamas war crimes.

We ask: why does this Council refuse to say that which was said only two weeks ago by the Palestinian ambassador himself?

In an extraordinary moment of candor, Palestinian Ambassador Ibrahim Khraishi admitted, on Palestinian TV, that “each and every” Palestinian missile launched against Israeli civilians constitutes “a crime against humanity.”

And that, by contrast, Israel’s own response actions in Gaza “followed the legal procedures” because, as Hamas spokespersons admitted on TV, “the Israelis warned them to evacuate their homes before the bombardment; but, “as for the missiles launched from our side, we never warn anyone about where these missiles are about to fall or about the operations we carry out.”

Can any UN entity, or any individual, be truly for human rights when they refuse to say that which was said by the Palestinian ambassador himself?

Is it possible that the true purpose of this session is to silence the true victims and voices of human rights around the world by deflecting attention from the world’s worst abuses?

We ask all those who embrace hypocrisy and double standards: if in the past year you didn’t cry out whe thousands of protesters were killed and injured by Turkey, Egypt and Libya; when more victims than ever were hanged by Iran; women and children in Afghanistan were bombed; whole communities were massacred in South Sudan; hundreds in Pakistan were killed by jihadist terror attacks; 10,000 Iraqis were killed by terrorists—

[Egypt interrupts with an objection.]
President of UNHRC Session: We have a point of order. Egypt, you have the floor.
Egypt: Mr. President, I think we are meeting today for the special session to discuss the current crisis in Gaza and the violations committed within this crisis. So I don’t see why we have a reason to discuss other issues relating to human rights situations on other countries.
United States of America: We think it is relevant to the subject under debate, and therefore you should allow the NGO to continue to speak.
Iran: We fully support the point of order made by Egypt.
Canada: We urge you to allow the NGO to complete their intervention, which is relevant to the discussions at hand.
Israel: It is important that civil society participate in this debate, and we request that you allow this NGO to continue.
Venezuela: We support the point of order made by Egypt.
Palestine: This is not a point of order, but more a clarification. The speaker will continue along the same lines if the speaker is not stopped. I would ask you not to waste any time on this so we can conclude this meeting in good time.
Cuba: It is inconceivable that a NGO should be able to come to this Council to distract us with the little time we have to debate an issue which is of such crucial importance as the genocide being committed currently against the Palestinian people.
President: I give the floor back to UN Watch, with the request that he adhere to the subject matter under discussion today.

UN Watch: Thank you, Mr. President. I’ll just note that there had been some questions whether the videotape interview of the Palestinian ambassador on Palestinian TV was genuine or not, but we see that the Palestinian ambassador has just intervened—and has failed to deny those remarks. Let the record show that.

Finally, we ask: If those who refuse to speak out for Palestinians—1800 Palestinians, if not more—who were starved to death, murdered, by Assad in Syria, but you only cry out when Israel can be blamed, then you are not pro human rights, you are only anti-Israel.

Syria: We’re used to hearing this NGO creating divisions among the speakers, and speaking out of turn. It is strange to hear an NGO defending the killing of women and children, and the destruction of infrastructure in Palestine. I would hope that the speaker is no longer allowed to continue his statement.
President: I give the floor back to UN Watch.

Hillel: Thank you, Mr. President. Let the world note: that in a session purportedly on Palestinian human rights, the government of Syria objected to us mentioning the 1800 Palestinians that they starved and murdered. 

UN Watch


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There Must Not Be a Ceasefire

by Denis MacEoin

Even in its weakest moments, would Britain have risked a cease-fire with Nazi Germany during World War II -- knowing that Hitler habitually broke his promises?

With their usual mixture of human rights concern and hypocrisy, several countries have stepped into the fresh Israel-Gaza conflict by demanding a cease-fire. Egypt has played an important role in this demarche; Hamas has turned down flatly all the conditions on which Egyptian President al-Sisi insisted. How far the war will go still hangs in the balance. As Israeli ground forces now fight with Hamas in their tunnels and bunkers, over 600 Palestinians (largely made up of men of fighting age) have died[1], as well as over 32 Israelis.

The international pressure from all sides for a ceasefire is widening and intensifying. Of course, what a ceasefire amounts to, as it has before, is to give Hamas a second chance. And a third and a fourth — whatever is needed for them to achieve their clearly stated goals of wiping Israel from the map, and then Jews.

What is odd is that the United States and the EU called for a ceasefire after only seven days -- even before the ground offensive began. They did not do that while America and Britain were fighting in Afghanistan or Iraq. Nor did anyone call for a cessation of UN-sponsored NATO air and ground attacks during the Bosnian war. Today, calls for a ceasefire fall on deaf ears in Syria, Iraq, Somalia, and Nigeria, where governments (good or bad) face the forces of armed Islamist terrorists. So why so much pressure on Israel, dubbed as always the aggressor, whose responses to Hamas terrorism are unjustly considered "disproportionate," and whose serious efforts to contain civilian casualties are always disregarded or sneered at?

Hamas has broken or refused to extend ceasefires before this conflict. On this occasion, Israel worked with Egypt to bring about a truce, but Hamas rejected all Egypt's demands and began firing rockets again within hours of the agreement. As a result, Israel was forced to resume air strikes on Gaza.

What use is a ceasefire in this conflict? Have any of the leaders of the "international community" ever read the Hamas Charter, the Mithaq of 1988, still in force today? If they have done so, can they honestly put their hands on their hearts and command Israel to put an end to its efforts to destroy a terrorist regime that has been named as such by most of the "international community," including the United States, Canada, the EU, and other countries? Here is a quotation from that Charter:
Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas].... There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavours. (Article 13)
Israel has accepted ceasefire agreements many times in the past. And every time, its enemies have used the interval that followed to regroup and rearm their military. David Bedein has recently summarized this determination of Hamas to fight on at whatever cost to itself or the citizens of Gaza (the hudna to which he refers is a temporary truce used in Islamic law to permit Muslims to regroup before continuing jihad):
From November 26, 2006, until May 15, 2007, a Hudna between Hamas and Israel went on for almost six months. One cannot ignore the statement made by Hamas five days before the hudna went into effect: "Hamas's military wing will stop the rocket fire when residents evacuate the city of Sderot." (from November 21, 2006)
During that hudna, Gazans launched 315 missiles targeted at Sderot and the western Negev, according to an IDF spokesman.
And there was another hudna with Gaza which lasted until the end of December. 2008, which witnessed 878 attacks fired from Gaza.
And there was a hudna from the end of Operation Cast Lead on January 18, 2009, to the first day of Operation Pillar of Defense on November 12, 2012.
During that period, approximately 2,000 rockets and missiles were fired from Gaza, sending one million Israelis running to shelters
And from the end of operation 'Pillar of Defense', through June 30th 2014, 300 aerial attacks were launched from Gaza towards southern Israel - during yet another tenuous Hudna.

Hamas does not care a fig for Western initiatives based on secular theories of international law. The Islamic basis for international law is the Islamic shari'a law of jihad, and Hamas is committed to jihad, which its Charter declares to be the ONLY solution to the Palestinian problem.

Islamists are, above all, obsessed with the notion that no-one but Muslims have a right to rule over land once ruled by Muslims; that includes Spain and Portugal, Sicily, Greece, Crete, Cyprus, Sicily, Rhodes, the former Muslim states of India, Romania, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Transylvania, and Armenia. I may have missed a few. Modern Jihadist groups such as the new 'Caliphate," the so-called "Islamic State" in Iraq, boast about their revanchist commitment to retaking former Islamic territories and one day bringing the entire world under Islamic rule. It may be a vain promise, but it is one that sends young men to the battlefront to die for its realization, and puts innocent lives everywhere under the threat of massacre and national collapse.

Like al-Qa'ida and a profusion of groups around the world, Hamas expects Utopia and is willing to sacrifice everything for it.

Even in its weakest moments, would Britain have risked a ceasefire with Nazi Germany during World War II -- knowing that Hitler habitually broke his promises? Those who fight for Utopia believe they alone are right. Hamas cares nothing for international law, the UN, or anyone else. They, along with Islamic Jihad, Hizbullah and others are to Israel what the Nazis were to Great Britain. How is a piece of paper -- made by mere men, not by Allah -- to stop them?

Germany had to be brought to its knees before its people and its Führer saw that the promise of totalitarian rule was no longer an option. With American help, Germany came to its senses and is now a thriving democratic state. The Japanese had to be decisively defeated before its people and Emperor acknowledged that they had no hope of winning, and put down their arms. Today, Japan is a thriving democratic Asian nation. Defeat is not a nation's final destiny, unless they will it so.

A future Palestinian state will thrive when the Palestinians enter a world where international law holds sway, where treaties are made and adhered to, where disarmament is not followed by re-armament, where men and women sit at long tables and thrash out the terms of a peace, and where force is only used in self-defense or in defense of another people. 
Negotiations are used to accommodate differences instead of run-out-the-clock, as Iran is now skillfully doing with less-skillful Western officials to achieve its nuclear weapons capability. And politics cloaked as religion does not ride roughshod over the welfare and will of the people. And it will be a place where self-glorification and delusions of grandeur do not cancel out the rule of secular law, or ordering ones own people to run onto rooftops or to stay in their homes at the threat of aerial bombardments.

Such a state will not come into being, however, so long as Hamas and the PLO refuse to embrace these values. In the case of Hamas in particular, there will be no peace until the terrorism ends, and the movement is destroyed entirely, with no leaders, no rank and file, no capital, no arms, no infrastructure, no media, no preachers, and no "royalty" in exile.

Israel must act and act hard, just as Britain and the United States fought hard against the Nazi threat. As we are seeing in Iraq and Syria, the Hamas mindset is spreading. Anything short of total defeat will only lead to a resumption of hostilities in the near future. If the UN and foreign states will not act with determination to defeat a terrorist group armed with sophisticated rockets and accompanied by a determination to commit genocide -- if they are happy, as always, to sit on the sidelines and criticize Israel -- then Israel must, as always, go it alone.

The destruction of Hamas will be painful, but its leaders are cowards and braggarts, hiding under hospitals and in five-star hotels throughout the Arab word while telling their citizens to die telegenically for public relations propaganda. The leaders of Hamas hide behind their own men, women and children. They build launch pads, bunkers, weapons depots, and command centers beneath hospitals, schools, and the dwellings of ordinary people. They are playing at being soldiers, but avoid harm for themselves while trying to inflict as much harm as possible on others.

In this photo posted to Twitter by The Wall Street Journal's Nick Casey (and since deleted), a Hamas spokesman uses a room in Gaza's Shifa Hospital for a filmed interview, while seated in front of a huge photo of a bomb crater. The Washington Post has also reported on the hospital as "a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices."

When will the world see that, if Israel were ever to lose, we would all be next? There cannot be a ceasefire until the firing from Hamas has ceased, and ceased for good.

[1] For a detailed analysis of casualty figures up to July 20, see "Analysis Of Gazans Killed So Far In Operation Protective Edge".

Denis MacEoin


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