Saturday, February 17, 2024

Hamas Data Center Found Directly Under UNRWA’s Gaza Headquarters - Hugh Fitzgerald

 

by Hugh Fitzgerald

An unholy alliance exposed.

 


The IDF has just uncovered a massive Hamas data center, located directly underneath UNRWA’s Gaza headquarters. This news comes soon after the revelation that at least 12 UNRWA staff members took part in the Hamas atrocities on October 7, that 3,000 UNRWA teachers sharing a Telegram channel exulted in the October 7 attack, and 12,000 members of UNRWA were found to have links to terrorist groups. UNRWA has decided to use the Lie Direct, denying any knowledge of that vast Hamas data center underneath UNRWA’s headquarters. More on this latest blow to UNRWA’s reputation can be found here: “Directly beneath UNRWA’s Gaza headquarters, IDF uncovers top secret Hamas data center,” by Emanuel Fabian, Times of IsraelFebruary 10, 2024:

Beneath the Gaza Strip headquarters of the controversial United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, known commonly as UNRWA, the Hamas terror group hid one of its most significant assets, the Israeli military has revealed.

The subterranean data center — complete with an electrical room, industrial battery power banks and living quarters for Hamas terrorists operating the computer servers — was built precisely under the location where Israel would not consider looking initially, let alone target in an airstrike.

The Israelis knew before October 7 that Hamas had built tunnels under Gaza, but had no idea of their enormous size, depth, and extent. The IDF has now discovered that there are between 350 and 450 miles of tunnels under Gaza, a far more extensive network than had previously been believed. The Israelis have also located at least 5,700 separate shafts leading to Hamas’s underground network, with more being unearthed by the IDF every day. The tunnels are far bigger than what Israel had believed: the IDF has been posting pictures of these mammoth tunnels, many of which are sufficiently wide to accommodate small trucks. And the tunnels are built much deeper than the Israelis had assumed, to an average depth of 50 meters. At that depth they can withstand airstrikes, and have to be destroyed from within, which requires the IDF soldiers to go into the tunnels, filled with boobytraps and explosives left by Hamas, and sometimes with Hamas operatives lying in wait for them —  a hellish undertaking, but not an impossible one. The IDF now estimates it has destroyed, or rendered inactive, between 20 and 40 percent of all the Hamas tunnels, mostly in the northern Gaza Strip.

The revelation of the server farm comes amid other accusations of UNRWA collusion with the Gaza-ruling terror group and the entanglement of the UN body that provides welfare and humanitarian services for Palestinian refugees from the 1948 and 1967 wars and their descendants.

Israel last month accused 12 staff with the UN Palestinian refugee agency of taking part in the October 7 massacre by Hamas-led terrorists, who killed 1,200 people and took 253 hostages in the murderous rampage.

Since the allegations became public late last month, UNRWA has seen many of its top donor countries announce funding freezes, leading to concerns that the agency could stop operating in Gaza and elsewhere in the Middle East within weeks.

Israel’s first revelations about the 12 UNRWA staff members who took part in the atrocities were enough for sixteen countries to suspend their aid to UNRWA, which will not be renewed until UNRWA completes an investigation of itself, to determine how many of its staff are implicated in terrorism, whether by taking part in terror attacks, or praising and encouraging them, or knowingly allowing Hamas to use UNRWA schools, hospitals, and other facilities to hide weapons and combatants. If the investigation by UNRWA turns out to be insufficient, or even a whitewash, those countries will not resume that aid that UNRWA insists is “critical” for the people of Gaza.

But the IDF’s recent discovery of the Hamas data center while UNRWA is under increased scrutiny appears to be merely a coincidence….

UNRWA’s Gaza headquarters is located in Gaza City’s upscale Rimal neighborhood, an area that the IDF had previously operated in, dismantling the local Hamas battalion, and from which it had withdrawn its troops.

Acting on ISA intelligence, the forces discovered a tunnel shaft near an UNRWA school, leading to an underground terrorist tunnel beneath UNRWA’s main headquarters. The forces found electrical infrastructure inside the tunnel connected to UNRWA’s main HQ, suggesting it was supplying the tunnel with electricity—generated by the fuel provided through humanitarian aid….

UNRWA says it had “no idea” that a huge Hamas data center was located right underneath UNRWA’s headquarters in Gaza. How likely is that? Didn’t anyone from UNRWA notice the unusually large amount of electricity that was supposedly being used by its headquarters, but which was also being used to fuel operations at the gigantic data center underneath? Surely this would have put UNRWA on notice that there was something going on below its Gaza City headquarters.

And what about the amount of water that Hamas’ data center used — water that came from the same pipes that supplied UNRWA’s headquarters? Either the electricity, or the water usage, or both, would have alerted UNRWA that there was a Hamas center underneath. Besides, UNRWA knew for years about the vast network Hamas’ tunnels. It knew about the nearly 6,000 entrances to those tunnels. It must have seen the heavy machinery being used to build those tunnels, the massive bulldozers, the trucks bearing away the mountains of earth that were being excavated. There was no way that Hamas could have hidden its gigantic Big Dig, carried out over many years, and in every part of the Strip, from UNRWA. And surely the very best place for Hamas to place its data center, so critical to its war effort, would be directly underneath UNRWA’s headquarters in Gaza, always full of civilians whose presence would, Hamas assumed, have prevented Israeli airstrikes.

This vast area was not only the data center for Hamas, but also contained a treasure of information about the tunnel network, including their exact location, size, depth, and the placement of possible boobytraps and explosives. The IDF has been analyzing all this information, which should help it to uncover still more tunnels and entrances to them (5,700 of these have already been found by the IDF). Furthermore, it was also used as a weapons storehouse; with weapons hidden in the data center’s offices, all of which have now been removed by the IDF. Should we also ask UNRWA how it was that is headquarters staff never noticed anyone entering or exiting the entrances to the underground data center? Or did those staff members notice, but had been instructed never to discuss what they saw?

This discovery by the IDF of the Hamas data server facility directly underneath UNRWA’s Gaza headquarters is conclusive evidence that UNRWA was knowingly helping Hamas  to hide its men, weapons, command centers and data services. It will be fascinating to see how UNRWA attempts to convince its ever more doubtful donors that it simply had no idea that Hamas had these tunnels underground,, and was shocked — shocked! —  as much as anyone to discover that Hamas had built such a facility right under the innocent, unsuspecting noses of UNRWA’s staff.


Hugh Fitzgerald

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/hamas-data-center-found-directly-under-unrwas-gaza-headquarters/

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Axis of Evil - Lloyd Billingsley

 

by Lloyd Billingsley

The Nazi-Soviet pact now playing out in America.

 


“In their many bloody clashes for dominance in Germany, the Nazis and Commies were virtually indistinguishable. Both were totalitarians, ever ready to brutalize to crush resistance to their respective ideologies.”

That was Hans Massaquoi, son of a Liberian father and German mother, in  Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany. British author Paul Johnson didn’t grow up in Nazi Germany, but his landmark Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Eighties, takes up the “virtually indistinguishable” theme in considerable detail.

By the dawn of the 1930s, “Stalin had already begun to perfect the dramaturgy of terror.” The decision to collectivize by force, “was taken suddenly, without any kind of public debate” and Stalin set out to “smash the kulaks, eliminate them as a class.” This was “the green light for a policy of extermination, more than three years before Hitler came to power, twelve years before the ordering of the ‘Final Solution.’”

The Thirties was “the age of the heroic lie,” Johnson writes, and “the competition to deceive became more fierce when Stalinism acquired a moral rival in Hitler’s Germany.” Stalin’s agents “were always quick to learn anything the Gestapo and SS had to teach. But the instruction was mutual.”

The Stalin-Hitler Pact of 1939 was the “culmination of a series of contacts between Soviet and German governments.” For two decades “this evil stream of exchanges had flowed underground. Now at last it broke to the surface.” During the Pact, Stalin handed Jewish communists directly to Hitler’s Gestapo. At the height of the SS extermination program in 1942-45, “there were many more Soviet camps, most of them larger than the Nazi ones.” Early in 1941, Johnson notes, “Stalin began quietly to accumulate military reserves of his own, the Stavka, which he commanded personally.”

As in all totalitarian systems, Johnson explains, “a false vernacular had to be created to conceal the concrete horrors of moral relativism.” The SS terms for murder included “special treatment,” “resettlement,” and above all “sending East.” Before Hitler died, “he had largely committed the greatest single crime in history, the extermination of the European Jews.”

As Johnson shows, Stalin’s Soviet Union “was in essentials as anti-Semitic as Tsardom had been.” After WWII, “the tale was resumed where it had left off when Stalin and Hitler signed the pact of August 1939, and Soviet Russia represented the acquisitive totalitarian principle on the world stage.”

Stalin branded Jews as rootless “cosmopolitans,” the same term he used for Westerners. Wall street bankers in Soviet cartoons suddenly sported Jewish features. The Jewish actor Solomon Mikhoels, chairman of the Soviet Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, was murdered in a fake car accident.  By second half of 1952, “Stalin was seeing Jewish-tinged conspiracies everywhere.” Jewish doctors attached to the Kremlin were arrested and accused of murdering Zhdanov.

Stalin had “lost touch with the normal world” which Johnson found “curiously reminiscent of Hitler’s last years.” The climate of moral corruption, Johnson concludes, “operates a satanic Gresham’s Law, in which evil drives out good.” Jump ahead to the 2020s in America under the Biden Junta.

The people find imprisonment without trial, political prisoners kept in solitary confinement, and show trials, all in the best Stalinist style. The government establishes a Disinformation Governance Board, and leverages media companies to take down posts that disagree with the government line.

Hitler had his SS and Gestapo, and Stalin his Stavka and NKVD. In similar style, the CIA, supposedly on guard for America’s security, is now a political force deployed against Donald Trump and other possible candidates. The FBI, charged with counterintelligence, now makes no secret of its deployment against Biden’s domestic opposition. Biden’s September 1, 2022 speech was like something staged by Leni Riefenstahl. Recall too the events of October 7, 2023, the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.

“From the River to the Sea,” is basically a call for a second Holocaust, and pro-Hamas activist shout it loud in the streets, on Ivy League campuses, and in the halls of Congress. The Biden Junta is harder on the Israeli response than the Hamas terrorists of 10/7, basically an Islamic Einstatzgruppen.

Elements of Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s USSR are now on display in the United States of America. At this point, as Hans Massaquoi discovered growing up in Nazi Germany, they are pretty much indistinguishable.

After World War II, Massaquoi came to America and found  Harlem “peopled by active working-class folks not much different from those in my old Hamburg neighborhood. The only difference was that everyone – from the mailman to the barber to the police man to the garbage collector to the occasional big shot in a Cadillac convertible – was black.”

In the U.S. Army, “we black recruits got on well with our white comrades, and many interracial friendships formed.” In a military band, “we and our white buddies were like peas in a pod” and “our new integrated band not only looked like one harmonious ensemble, but it sounded better than either of the two groups had sounded alone.” Such positive portrayals of America explain why Destined to Witness is not featured during Black History Month.

Hans Massaquoi passed away in 2013 and Paul Johnson carried on until January 2023. Modern Times remains a work for current times, when totalitarianism and anti-Semitism are on the march at home and abroad.


Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Yes I Con: United Fakes of America, Barack ‘Em Up: A Literary Investigation, Hollywood Party, and numerous other works.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/axis-of-evil/

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The South Africa-Hamas-Iran Axis - Robert Williams

 

by Robert Williams

"The South African government is the same thing as Hamas. It's an Iranian proxy, and its role in the war is to fight the ideological and ideas war to stigmatize Jews around the world." — Dr. Frans Cronje, former CEO of the South African Institute for Race Relations, justthenews.com, January 26, 2024.

 

  • According to NGO Monitor, South Africa's case at the ICJ is built on reports from groups with links to terrorist organizations. "South Africa's submission to the court contains no fewer than 45 references to NGO publications, including several from outfits linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a terrorist organization." — Wall Street Journal, January 29, 2024.

  • "The South African government is the same thing as Hamas. It's an Iranian proxy, and its role in the war is to fight the ideological and ideas war to stigmatize Jews around the world." — Dr. Frans Cronje, former CEO of the South African Institute for Race Relations, justthenews.com, January 26, 2024.

  • While the ICJ refused to throw out the case against Israel and is likely to spend the next many years deliberating on Israel's purported and imaginary "genocide," John Spencer, who is both chair of urban warfare studies at the Modern War Institute at West Point and a retired US military officer, argued that Israel minimizes civilian casualties more than any military in history, and listed numerous examples of the lengths that the IDF goes to in order to protect civilians, such as warning before launching military strikes.

  • "Israel has taken more measures to avoid needless civilian harm than virtually any other nation that's fought an urban war.... No military in modern history has faced over 30,000 urban defenders in more than seven cities using human shields and hiding in hundreds of miles of underground networks purposely built under civilian sites, while holding hundreds of hostages... The sole reason for civilian deaths in Gaza is Hamas. For Israel's part, it's taken more care to prevent them than any other army in human history." — John Spencer Newsweek, January 31, 2024.

  • Action is reportedly being taken to bring Iran before the International Court of Justice on charges of Genocide. The move is long overdue.

Iran called for Israel to be prosecuted at the International Court of Justice, and South Africa promptly delivered, directly serving Iranian interests with its genocide case against Israel. Pictured: Basem Naim (L), a Hamas leader who is a former Gaza health minister and Khaled Al-Qaddumi, Hamas' representative in Iran, speak during a press conference in Cape Town, South Africa on November 29. (Photo by Rodger Bosch/AFP via Getty Images)

Sometime after October 2015, Hamas, following a high-level meeting between South Africa's governing party ANC and Hamas leaders, opened an office in South Africa.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said at the time that Hamas was going to "learn a lot" from the South African government.

"We are discussing whether Hamas should not open up offices in South Africa so that we can talk," Mantashe said, adding that the opening of the office was partly to "improve communication" between the ANC and Hamas.... It requires stepping out of our solidarity and stepping up the struggle of Palestine itself."

South Africa "stepped up the struggle" for Hamas recently when it took upon itself to wage lawfare on behalf of Hamas and accuse Israel of "committing genocide" at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). According to NGO Monitor, South Africa's case at the ICJ is built on reports from groups with links to terrorist organizations.

Naftali Balanson of NGO Monitor wrote in the Wall Street Journal:

"South Africa's submission to the court contains no fewer than 45 references to NGO publications, including several from outfits linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a terrorist organization. Staff and board members of these PFLP-linked groups were part of the South African delegation to public hearings in mid-January and helped prepare South Africa's case.

"Among the references in South Africa's court petition is a report titled 'Israel Apartheid. Tool of Zionist settler colonialism' from al-Haq, a Palestinian NGO that Israel designated a 'terror organization' in 2021. According to Israel, al-Haq is part of a network that operates on behalf of the PFLP...

Al-Haq director Shawan Jabarin was part of South Africa's delegation to the ICJ... On Oct. 10, Ziad Hmaidan, head of al-Haq's training and capacity-building unit, celebrated the Hamas attacks, writing on Facebook: 'It is written in the Hadith: 'You must wage jihad. The best jihad is preparing for war, and it is best to prepare for war in Ashkelon,' an Israeli city."

South Africa's foreign minister Naledi Pandor spoke to the leader of Hamas just 10 days after the Iranian terrorist proxy group launched its massacre on Israel to assert "South Africa's solidarity and support" and to express "sadness and regret for the loss of innocent lives on both sides." In the past, Pandor has called for Israel to be designated "an apartheid state."

In December, a Hamas delegation, led by Basem Naim, a leader in Hamas's political office, visited South Africa. The delegation included Hamas' representative in Iran, Khaled Al-Qaddumi, and paid visits to the South African Parliament, met with ANC politicians and Nelson Mandela's grandson, Mandla Mandela.

"The South African government is the same thing as Hamas. It's an Iranian proxy, and its role in the war is to fight the ideological and ideas war to stigmatize Jews around the world," said Dr. Frans Cronje, former CEO of the South African Institute of Race Relations.

Iran called for Israel to be prosecuted at the ICJ and South Africa promptly delivered, directly serving Iranian interests with its genocide case against Israel.

"The usurping Zionist government must be taken to court. In the context of Palestine, the entire world is witnessing the crime of genocide being committed by the usurping regime. The usurping Zionist regime must be prosecuted for it today..." Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said on October 17, just 10 days after the October 7 massacre.

A few days later, on October 22, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian held a joint press conference in Tehran with his South African counterpart, in which he said that the two had "held important discussions about the bilateral relations and several international issues," and that the two countries "have joint positions and views on international matters."

"[South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor and I] also discussed the ongoing war crimes of the [Israeli] regime. We are thankful for the strong positions of the people and government of South Africa in their support of Palestine and the fight against the [Israel's] apartheid. A South African delegation will visit Tehran next week. In addition, President Raisi will visit South Africa and the latest agreements will be signed by the relevant elements in the presence of the presidents of both [countries]."

Pandor practically admitted that South Africa is working with Iran against Israel:

"South Africa has constantly declared its support for Palestine. Nobody should suffer injustice. We must do more to support the Palestinian people... Countries should act more decisively. We are eager to achieve these goals with Iran; this is a joint objective of Iran and South Africa."

Aside from Chad, South Africa is the only African country to have recalled its ambassador and diplomatic mission to Israel. South African lawmakers voted in favor of severing ties completely. The South African parliament also voted in favor of closing down the Israeli embassy in South Africa, with Israel calling home its ambassador for consultations in November.

While the ICJ refused to throw out the case against Israel and is likely to spend the next many years deliberating on Israel's purported and imaginary "genocide," John Spencer, who is both chair of urban warfare studies at the Modern War Institute at West Point and a retired US military officer, argued that Israel minimizes civilian casualties more than any military in history, and listed numerous examples of the lengths that the IDF goes to in order to protect civilians, such as warnings before launching military strikes.

Spencer wrote in Newsweek:

"Israel has taken more measures to avoid needless civilian harm than virtually any other nation that's fought an urban war. In fact, as someone who has served two tours in Iraq and studied urban warfare for over a decade, Israel has taken precautionary measures even the United States did not do during its recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan...

"No military in modern history has faced over 30,000 urban defenders in more than seven cities using human shields and hiding in hundreds of miles of underground networks purposely built under civilian sites, while holding hundreds of hostages... The sole reason for civilian deaths in Gaza is Hamas. For Israel's part, it's taken more care to prevent them than any other army in human history."

Action is reportedly being taken to bring Iran before the International Court of Justice on charges of Genocide. The move is long overdue.


Robert Williams is a researcher based in the United States.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/20385/south-africa-hamas-iran-axis

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Want to Stop Iran's Regime? Hit the IRGC Assets - Majid Rafizadeh

 

by Majid Rafizadeh

The Biden administration's passive response to Iranian aggression is imperiling the region, the United States and the Free World.

 

  • "No one ever said it better than Osama bin Laden: When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they are attracted to the strong horse." — Thomas Friedman, newyorker.com, July 5, 2010.

  • Especially in the Middle East, leaders are looking for who will protect them.

  • The Biden administration's passive response to Iranian aggression is imperiling the region, the United States and the Free World. Iran, along with Qatar, have brought all the mayhem to the Middle East. When Iran achieves nuclear weapons capability, as it appears on the verge of doing, just think of what mayhem it will be able to bring then. Stop Iran now.

The Biden administration's approach to dealing with Iran has been marked by a series of delayed responses, ineffective actions, and cosmetic sanctions that have clearly failed to deter the Islamic Republic's aggressive behavior. Pictured: Protesters and members of Iranian paramilitary's Basij forces march next to the fourth generation Khorramshahr ballistic missile Khaibar in Tehran on November 24, 2023. (Photo by Hossein Beris/Middle East Images/AFP via Getty Images)

The Biden administration's approach to dealing with Iran has been marked by a series of delayed responses, ineffective actions, and cosmetic sanctions that have clearly failed to deter the Islamic Republic's aggressive behavior. This passive stance not only bolsters the Iranian regime but also jeopardizes the safety and security of Americans and their allies. A thorough reassessment of strategy and a commitment to assertive diplomacy would seem necessary to say the least.

When Iranian assets have been targeted, or even when a serious intent to do so was conveyed, Iranian leaders have relented from launching attacks on other countries, including the US and its allies. The most recent example occurred last month when Iran launched a missile strike into Pakistan. Pakistan, maintaining diplomatic relations with Iran, responded swiftly by launching multiple strikes into Iran shortly after the attack -- in contrast to the delayed responses often observed from the Biden administration. Pakistan's retaliatory strikes resulted in casualties; Iran has appeared to reconsider its aggressive stance. Iran adopted a softer tone; its foreign ministry issued statements expressing a commitment to fostering good neighborly relations with Pakistan.

When, during the Trump administration, Qassem Soleimani, the leader of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a designated foreign terrorist organization, was killed by a drone strike on January 3, 2020, Iran issued threats against the United States. President Donald Trump responded by cautioning Iran that any harm inflicted on Americans would prompt an even more forceful response. "[T]he United States," he said, "will hit 52 Iranian sites, some at a very high level and important to Iran and the Iranian culture, very fast and very hard." Emphasizing the asymmetry in perceived consequences, Trump even emphasized the asymmetry in his proposal: "They're allowed to kill our people... and we're not allowed to touch their cultural sites? It doesn't work that way." Iran did not attack US assets or kill Americans throughout Trump's tenure.

In addition, history provides much evidence of the effectiveness of firm action in deterring Iranian aggression. During the Bush administration, shortly after the US invasion of Afghanistan, the Iranian regime, evidently fearing being targeted for its support of terrorist activities, initiated a confidential proposal to the US. Iran's proposal, communicated through Swiss diplomatic channels, outlined a "grand bargain" that offered full transparency regarding its nuclear program and a cessation of support for terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. In return, Iran sought security assurances from the United States and the normalization of diplomatic relations. The proposal came in response to the credible threat of force and demonstrated Iran's willingness to negotiate when confronted with strength.

Similarly, Operation Praying Mantis during the Reagan administration dealt a decisive blow to Iran's maritime capabilities, that led to a cessation of Iran attacking ships. Reagan's message had been clear: aggression will be met with overwhelming force, and the security of American interests will be fiercely defended.

A fundamental truth about the Middle East -- one that differentiates it from Western thinking in the United States or the United Nations – is that the only language respected is that of strength and resolve. As the journalist Thomas Friedman noted: "No one ever said it better than Osama bin Laden: When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they are attracted to the strong horse." Especially in the Middle East, leaders are looking for who will protect them. Anything less than strength invites aggressive behavior and endangers innocent lives. The Biden administration's failure to send a strong and unequivocal message to Iran only invites further its aggression and destabilizing the region.

A more assertive stance towards Iran is essential. Responses need to include strengthening and enforcing existing sanctions; imposing restrictions on Iran's oil exports and imposing penalties on those who engage in trade with the regime. One might also consider targeting Iran's oil facilities, naval assets, and bases belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Strong action against Iran itself -- not its proxies, Hamas, Hezbollah and the Houthis -- would also serve as an effective deterrent against future Iranian aggression.

The Biden administration's passive response to Iranian aggression is imperiling the region, the United States and the Free World. Iran, along with Qatar, have brought all the mayhem to the Middle East. When Iran achieves nuclear weapons capability, as it appears on the verge of doing, just think of what mayhem it will be able to bring then. Stop Iran now.

 
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US Foreign Policy. He can be reached at Dr.Rafizadeh@Post.Harvard.Edu

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/20397/stop-iran-hit-irgc

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A Hundred Days after Gaza's October 7 (Part 4 of 4) - Gwythian Prins

 

by Gwythian Prins

Globally, in the context of a developing worldwide multi-theatre and multi modal contest between the Free World and the dictatorships, the most humane and swiftest route to peace is controlled escalation on our terms which reaches out and helps Iranians to end the shaky and bloodstained regime of the Iranian ayatollahs.

 

  • Israel's cause is the cause of the Free World as is Ukraine's and Taiwan's.

  • Domestic supporters of Hamas, trying to constrain Israel by "lawfare" and by noisy street and media politics, are therefore a fifth column for our enemies and should be treated as such.

  • Unsuccessful "lawfare" at the International Court of Justice served to narrow and make harder the road out of Gaza for all local parties. The biggest losers are those Arabs who are neither Islamists nor anti-Semites: for their territorial hopes have been written out of history at present by Hamas and Iran. Prosperity and tranquillity for them will only return with resumption of the Abraham Accords.... Netanyahu is surely correct in stating that any attempt to push for a two-state solution at this moment would endanger Israel.

  • Globally, in the context of a developing worldwide multi-theatre and multi modal contest between the Free World and the dictatorships, the most humane and swiftest route to peace is controlled escalation on our terms which reaches out and helps Iranians to end the shaky and bloodstained regime of the Iranian ayatollahs.

  • The right sort of war – meaning war on Western terms, in which we and not our enemies have escalation dominance -- is sometimes the most peace-friendly option....

Unsuccessful "lawfare" at the International Court of Justice served to narrow and make harder the road out of Gaza for all local parties. The biggest losers are those Arabs who are neither Islamists nor anti-Semites: for their territorial hopes have been written out of history at present by Hamas and Iran. Pictured: ICJ President Joan Donoghue (second from right) confers with colleagues at the court in The Hague on January 12, 2024. (Photo by Remko de Waal/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

There are always dire consequences when the two strands of the double helix of "history as facts" and "history as beliefs" are torn too far apart. Chaos ensues. Dark forces are liberated.

Just this has happened for Israel and its neighbourhood since Hamas perpetrated the pogrom of 7/10. In the hundred days until the world turned upside down with the South African led attempt to weaponise the UN's International Court of Justice (ICJ) to tar the victim of a transparently genocidal attack with charges of genocide -- an attempt which failed, but only just -- all routes out of the dark chaos have steadily narrowed. After the ICJ's vexatious ruling which tried but was unable to declare Israel to have committed genocide, even moreso.

Locally, those Arabs who are not Salafist Islamist anti-Semites have for the moment lost their road to normalisation with Israel. Their hopes for tranquillity have been written out of possibility by Iran and its proxies until the Abraham Accords regain their traction. That in turn is contingent upon the IDF being able to follow the advice of Britain's great fighting General of the Second World War: Field Marshal Montgomery's Second Law of War: Maintenance of Aim. Until then, look once more at the July 1922 map of the British Mandate as the likely guide.

Globally, the centrality of Iranian sponsorship of its proxies and the active hand of its military arm, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), in planning and executing the atrocities of 7/10 and in mobilising their proxies, the Houthis and Hezbollah, mean that the safest route is now via the rescue of Iranians from the shaky regime and bloody hands of the ayatollahs. This cannot be achieved by minimal, sequential pin-point military actions. They will be viewed as signs of Western weakness. In fact the policy of US President Joe Biden is more likely to increase the possibility of a full-scale but dis-coordinated attack on Iran which would be the worst course of action. What is required is a competent theory of victory which understands the inter-relatedness of all the global theatres in the current, developing world war and, understanding this, which takes and controls the terms of battle by planned escalation. Escalation by the West in response to the escalation has been done or sponsored by Iran is both necessary and right.

This final part of the series maps and explores the local and the global roads to safety for Israel, the Free World in its multi-theatre, multi-modal confrontation with the Northern Middle and Eastern dictatorships and for the resumption of the Abraham Accords. Both roads involve the destruction of anti-Semitic enemies of peace and civilisation, just as it did when confronted with the Nazi antecedents of Hamas and the other spawn of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Third Reich SS officer Otto Ohlendorf's tu quoque – literally "you too" -- "Dresden defence", that the Allies were just as bad as he had been, by also killing civilians and children with their carpet bombing of Dresden (with which Part III ended), made no impact on his judges at Nuremberg. They saw the Dresden bombing to be covered (as it is) by a Shermanite ethical exclusion: that it is moral and humane to increase the intensity of force the sooner to end it. They also found his argument to be futile because his case was entirely different in motive and in scale. In short it was a category error. The same token the Hamas' apologists' even more offensive and inappropriate claims that the IDF's demonstrably discriminating operations are a form of genocide should not be entertained either. The BBC's dog-whistling with repeated and almost voyeuristic reports of individual dead or maimed children in Gaza, which evokes the medieval anti-Semitic blood libel, is a disgrace.

Ohlendorf's last throw of the dice in his defence at Nuremburg was the "Posen line": to advance a frank and much darker line in self-justification. In his verbatim record in Case 9, he said:

"I believe that it is very simple to explain if one starts from the fact that [the F├╝hrer] Order not only tried to achieve security, but permanent security, lest the children grow up and inevitably, being the children of parents who had been killed, they would constitute a danger no smaller than that of the parents."

It is derivative of Himmler's 1943 Posen "secret speech" to his close subordinates justifying the Holocaust, "the extermination of the Jewish people", which he, Ohlendorf, had heard. It was different only in that Ohlendorf was willing to voice in public (quoted above) what Himmler had said, repeatedly, should be forever unspoken and it is the authentic voice of the genocidaire. It is seen in Salafist ideology, to be read in Qutb's Milestones, or the Hamas Charter (note especially clauses 7, 22, 32); and it was seen in grisly action on 7th October.

At Nuremberg the judges gave that line of defence – the "Posen line" -- short shrift as they had also given to his "Dresden defence". They found Ohlendorf guilty and sentenced him to hang. In June 1951, a decade after his crimes and icily composed to the last, he was executed at Landsberg gaol, the same gaol where Hitler had been held in detention for eight months in 1924 and where he had dictated Mein Kampf.

At first sight, but already beyond reasonable doubt on their own evidence – the terrorists actually documented their atrocities on video - Hamas's men committed the gravest war crimes against civilians on 7/10 under Geneva 4 Article 147 (discussed fully in Part 3), including wilful killing, torture, inhuman treatment and the taking of hostages. Assuredly, they will all be hunted down, one way or another. Whether they receive summary justice or justice by due process in national courts as prescribed by Geneva 4, or a Nuremberg-style tribunal, time will tell. But if the latter, when their qualitatively worse crimes, while fewer in number, are compared to the lesser crimes of the SS Einsatzgruppen for which Ohlendorf was hanged (which is a sentence one never expected to have to write) perhaps capital punishment for such war crimes against humanity will return? Rule nothing out.

In any event, everything changed for everyone on 7th October and quietist, non-Salafist Arabs will likely be the greatest losers. That is because the current unreconstructed anti-Semitic PLO and Hamas leaders, whose Nazi pedigree channelled through Hitler's enthusiastic supporter and propagandist, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, documented in Part 2, have written their territorial hopes out of history for the foreseeable future. As the great scholar and diplomat Abba Eban once observed, "The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."

At the threshold of 2024, it is therefore worthwhile recollecting the history of the July 1922 British Mandate for Palestine because, after Hamas has been obliterated and with any two-state solution reduced to the fading smile of Lewis Carroll's Cheshire cat, that map may become actively relevant once more. David Ben Gurion's 1947 spirit of compromise may not be so readily extended by any Israelis after what the Arabs have done and in the face of an apparently concerted diplomatic effort by the British Foreign Secretary, the EU and Biden to design and foist a Palestinian state on to the region without Israel's involvement. Such high-handedness is more likely to produce an opposite reaction: to consolidate and harden Israeli refusal to accept such conduct.

Once Hamas and the other IRGC proxies are gone and the path of the Abraham Accords has been resumed, another opportunity may come. But not before then. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is surely correct in stating that any attempt to push for a two-state solution at this moment would endanger Israel. That is the local, regional road after Gaza. It is within this reality that, as the current British Foreign Secretary is attempting, by meddling in the internal affairs of the Western world's bulwark in the Middle East is, as Nile Gardiner states, not just a knife in the back to the Jewish state. It is particularly unseemly when Israelis are fighting and dying daily to defend the freedom of the West in the developing world conflict.

David Cameron was wrong about Brexit, which has proved to be the opposite of the disaster that he predicted and, as just indicated, he is wrong about the Israel-Hamas war. His two errors are linked. He ended his Prime Ministership abruptly when he lost the 2016 referendum and has clearly never forgiven the 17.4 million British people who voted to leave the EU in the country's biggest ever democratic exercise. By suggesting that the UK and UN should pre-emptively recognise a Palestinian State without Israel's participation or consent, Cameron aligns with the EU's similar proposal which looks like a cold revenge for Brexit. Simultaneously he voices the authentic and deeply entrenched pro-Arabism in the culture of British Foreign Office officials which to this point had rarely dared to speak its name. He also delivers a slap in the face to all Israelis and to Israeli statehood. Now, together with the EU and Biden, instead of holding Hamas accountable – or even letting Israel hold Hamas accountable – he apparently wants to give Hamas and Iran a reward for initiating the pogrom of 7/10. Gardiner describes this performance as "amateur" -- which is mild -- and as "... among the most reckless comments made by a British Foreign Secretary in the modern era," which is not over-stated. Cameron is openly flouting the authority of his successor, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. This is therefore a moment when we will discover if the prime minister has steel in his spine. He must disassociate himself from this free-lancing. He has ample grounds to sack Cameron for flouting his authority.

The local route out of Gaza is suddenly filled with new danger, although the pathway to peace and safety thought IDF victory over Hamas remains clear. Yet because of Iran's involvement through its proxies – Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Yemeni Houthis -- there is an unavoidable wider context that demands action, from which it would be unwise to avert our eyes. It has a global dimension and solutions and Cameron's bungling -- or worse -- only heightens the risk to Britain, the Middle East and the USA just as he is trying to inflict on Israel.

The combined land and air assault by Hamas on 7/10 had all the hallmarks of a special operation trained by the Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Why would it not have? There is evidence that the attacks had been in planning for nine years. Eagle-eyed former US National Security Adviser John Bolton (and not he alone) noticed just after Christmas, although it instantly tried to "walk back" the admission, as did Hamas, the IRGC accidentally told the truth. It described 7th October as an act of revenge for the targeted assassination of the IRGC Quds Force commander, Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a US drone strike in Iraq ordered by President Donald Trump in 2020: an action that materially assisted the progress of the Abraham Accords. Bolton, himself targeted for assassination by Iran, allegedly in revenge for that same assassination, also suggested that widening the war by Israel's enemies increasingly looks like implementation of Soleimani's "ring of fire" strategy to attack Israel on all fronts.

The Israelis certainly seem to agree and to have planned accordingly. Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, a retired IDF General, has spoken of a seven-front war; and the successful assassination of Seyed Razi Mousavi suggests that deeds will match words. Mousavi was the senior IRGC liaison with Hezbollah and a close colleague of Soleimani.

How is all this viewed away from the front line? The reflex view of politicians with little strategic insight, no military knowledge and hence no theory of victory is to flinch from admitting that a Shermanite escalation, of which the Dresden bombings or the atomic bombings that ended World War II are examples, can sometimes be wiser and more humane than its avoidance. Timid, limited, pre-announced strikes are not "prudent" or a sign of humane conduct but of weakness, and evident lack of strategic purpose. The moment of choice has passed. Now, after Free World naval escalation against the Houthi threat to innocent passage through the Red Sea, after more than 170 attacks on US forces just since October, with three American soldiers killed by drone strikes in Jordan, that die has been cast.

Widening regional war is reaching out, step by step, from Israel and its allies to touch directly the shaky regime of the ayatollahs in Iran. It needs to be both understood and accepted that this escalation is both necessary and right. It is the safest road to peace and that is no paradox.

No apology is required: Iran is the telephone exchange linking all three actual and potential theatres -- Ukraine, Gaza, China -- in a rapidly evolving world war of many interacting theatres and modes of conflict: "hot" (kinetic), "cold'" (economic) and "grey" (oblique cyber, information and subversion). The July Crisis of 1914 or the 1930s are now commonly offered as analogies for this moment; but the best historical analogy for 2024 is the Seven Years' War in the mid eighteenth century. In that global contest, British victory over the French actually built the scaffolding of a world order which endured until the end of formal European empire and continues to this day in myriad "soft power" relationships and most actively through the British Commonwealth and the Anglosphere "Five Eyes" intelligence alliance.

We are, today, at war in different ways, with Russia, with Communist China and with Iran. They all know this, but our political classes apparently do not or are wilfully blind. Although the combined strength of the free-market economies far out-class theirs, our danger and our strategic risk is that our politicians began to understand this only late in the day, only few accept it and fewer still actively embrace the opportunities that it brings us. As so often in recent years, the old-fashioned parts of the general public, still the majority, seems to be intuitively ahead of a political class that indulges its luxury beliefs like "critical race theory" or "Net Zero" and has become managerialist and self-obsessed. "Where there is no vison, the people perish."

At this point, safety as well as victory lie in skilful escalation to deter or remove the mullahs who have vexed us long enough. That in turn demands clear, untroubled and consistent understanding that Israel's cause is the cause of the Free World (as is Ukraine's and Taiwan's) and that therefore domestic supporters of Hamas, trying to constrain Israel by lawfare and by noisy street and media politics, are a fifth column for our enemies and should be treated as such.

It means that the attempt by the retiring President of the ICJ, Joan Donoghue, and 14 other judges to reach agreement on the South African case alleging genocide so that all six provisional measures could be imposed on Israel, which was prevented by the Ugandan Judge Sebutinde who alone held that the case was without merit and therefore not justiciable, should be seen in that light (see p.11 of the Law Gazette). The united efforts of Cameron and Borrell at the EU to impose recognition of a Palestinian state without Israel's involvement, agreement and against its expressed will also fall within the frame of actions that threaten the security interests of the Free World at large. This makes them actually dangerous and for that reason if no other, they should be stopped.

But not all is bleak. There are many arcs that bend out of the events of 7/10 and if we focus on deeds rather than words, we see that the deep muscles of the anglosphere flexed at once. Two US Navy carrier strike groups (the USS Gerald R. Ford and the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower groups) were in theatre soon after 7th October. They were amplified with a Royal Navy task group, distressingly limited because of irresponsible hollowing out of the Navy most especially since the Coalition defence cuts of 2010 when Cameron was Prime Minister. Other naval units of reliable Allies also joined. All together, this was the most powerful array of any naval capability to be deployed anywhere for a generation and, as is the way with naval deterrence, their presence gave Israel space and cover to form and launch Operations Swords of Iron as well, no doubt, as quietly providing peerless intelligence support.

The USS Ford group returned to Norfolk after an extended deployment, but different combinations of naval units brought forward maintain the means to deter as they are now doing, or to attack, if the will is firm. The same will happen when the USS Eisenhower has to rotate. There is talk of sending the UK carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth ("Big Lizzie") as replacement, but even with USN escort and logistics support which the UK cannot provide to an adequate level, lacking a CATOBAR (catapult and trap) deck, she cannot inter-operate with the F/A 18 Super Hornet supersonic aircraft that are the mainstay of the US carrier forces.

The Pentagon has formally named Iran as the source of an attack on an Israeli-related merchantman in the Indian Ocean, which is tantamount to a declaration of a state of war; and USN helicopters have sunk Houthi attack craft. A controlled escalation of naval and air actions to degrade Houthi capabilities to conduct anti-shipping attacks has begun and will continue with mainly US Navy firepower and British RAF "token air", absent the Navy.

A united Western front with a clear strategy to deal with the mullahs once and for all will command tacit Saudi support, rebuff PRC advances into the global energy nexus and, by way of its "one belt one road" policy, Chinese Communist economic colonialism. It will help to repair the alarming damage done by Biden to relations with key regional allies, above all Saudi Arabia; and it is the logical and safest global pathway out of Gaza.

Much more is at stake in the cockpit of the Middle East beyond full support for Israel which, in the hard real world, is the window of the West in a tough neighbourhood. That means firmly overriding the reflex fascination in foreign ministries with Obama's ill-conceived and ill-starred 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) the "nuclear deal" which attempted to no avail to negotiate controls on the Iranian nuclear bomb programme which, given the regime's track record for dissembling and unreliability would, most likely, not have honoured except in the breach.

The right sort of war – meaning war on Western terms, in which we and not our enemies have escalation dominance -- is sometimes the most peace-friendly option, as was once in no need of explanation.

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things", John Stuart Mill wrote in his Principles of Political Economy.

"The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse.... A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice; a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice, is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

Si vis pacem para bellum: if you desire peace, prepare for war. Given where we now are, it is the safer option both for Israel and the wider Free World.


Gwythian Prins is Research Professor Emeritus at the London School of Economics and a past member of the British Chief of the Defence Staff's Strategy Advisory Panel.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/20396/gaza-october-7-regionally-globally

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Two Iranian gas pipelines allegedly attacked by Israel - NYT - Jerusalem Post Staff

 

by Jerusalem Post Staff

Officials told the Times that Israel also caused a blast in a chemical factory near Iran's capital on Wednesday.

 

A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Persian Gulf, Iran, July 25, 2005 (photo credit: RAHEB HOMAVANDI/REUTERS)
A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Persian Gulf, Iran, July 25, 2005
(photo credit: RAHEB HOMAVANDI/REUTERS)

Two major gas pipelines in Iran were allegedly attacked by Israel this week, according to a Friday report by The New York Times, citing an IRGC-affiliated military strategist and two Western officials.

The two pipelines, which carry gas from Iran's south to their major cities such as Tehran, were hit in multiple locations simultaneously. The attack "knocked out about 15 percent of Iran’s natural daily gas production," the Times quoted energy experts as saying.

The report said that the attack on the gas pipelines caused disruption in several Iranian provinces, such as Fars and Chahar Mahal Bakhtiari, regarding "the flow of heat and cooking gas to millions of people." Israel has targeted Iranian nuclear and military sites in the past, with assassinations being reported of Iranian commanders and scientists - whether they were located in Iran or not.

The attack is seen as an escalation

The alleged attack represents an escalation in what the NYT report describes as a "shadow war" between the two countries, which has been fought on different fronts through cyberattacks, land, air, or sea. The escalation in question that the report notes, citing officials and analysts, is that part of Iran's energy infrastructure was struck, which was "relied on by industries, factories and millions of civilians."

 Iran flag and Israel flag (credit: Cottonbro Studio/Pexels)Enlrage image
Iran flag and Israel flag (credit: Cottonbro Studio/Pexels)

Iranian Oil Minister told local media that whoever attacked planned to disrupt gas flow to Iranian provinces and cities but did not publicly blame Israel or anyone else, NYT reported.

The attack alleged to have been done by Israel would have required the Jewish state to have deep knowledge of Iranian infrastructure, and with two pipelines being hit simultaneously, Israel would have needed to operate with extreme coordination, the Western officials and IRGC strategist said.

Little harm was caused to civilians in the attack, one of the two Western officials told the NYT and said Iran could easily repair the damage but noted that the strike could have been a warning of the damage Israel could inflict. However, Iranian media reported that the strike terrified residents, who fled into the streets around 1 a.m. local time when the strike happened, but there were no casualties reported.

Israel also caused a separate blast a day before the report of the attack on the pipelines, the Western officials told the Times, which was done inside a chemical factory near the Iranian capital, Tehran.

Since the October 7 massacre committed by Hamas, Iran has denied being involved in the attacks, despite reports of Hamas being trained by them. Other Iranian proxies include Houthis in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon.


Jerusalem Post Staff

Source: https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/article-787373

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The situation in the West Bank: Joining an IDF raid to find out - Jonathan Spyer

 

by Jonathan Spyer

Events in the West Bank receive little coverage in Israeli and international media, and it would be a mistake to ignore the simmering tensions in the area south of Jerusalem.

 

 SOLDIERS IN the Etzion Brigade take part in a raid in the Gush Etzion village of Seir al Shuyukh.  (photo credit: JONATHAN SPYER)
SOLDIERS IN the Etzion Brigade take part in a raid in the Gush Etzion village of Seir al Shuyukh.
(photo credit: JONATHAN SPYER)

‘You meet the terrorist at the end of the process, on the road, but there’s a whole system that leads up to that point, so if you can hit at what lies behind, and prevent it, then that works too,” Maj. Shlomo Ohayon tells me, as we sit in his command vehicle.

It is the very early hours of the morning, outside of the village of Seir al Shuyukh in Gush Etzion. There is dead silence all around, punctuated only by the crackle of the communications in the jeep. Ohayon is the deputy commander of Battalion 910, part of the IDF’s Etzion Brigade. The battalion, as part of its ongoing mission, has received a list of four individuals suspected of terror activity in the sector. They are setting out to apprehend these men.

Battalion 910 is a reserve formation made up of graduates of the Kfir Infantry Brigade. Mobilized immediately after October 7, they have spent the past four months in Gush Etzion, between Jerusalem and Hebron.

What is going on in the West Bank?

Events in the West Bank receive little coverage in Israeli and international media. With full-scale war underway in Gaza, something close to it on the northern border, and the region on the edge of conflagration, it isn’t hard to understand why. Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to ignore the simmering tensions in the area south of Jerusalem.

Battalion 910 has carried out more than 400 arrests of suspects since arriving in the sector. Those arrested are connected to a variety of organizations, and to none. The battalion has prevented a series of planned assaults on the Jewish communities in the area, and ongoing attempts to fire at vehicles.

 Buildings in the Palestinian village of Nazlat Isa near Tulkarm, West Bank, February 2020 (credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)Enlrage image
Buildings in the Palestinian village of Nazlat Isa near Tulkarm, West Bank, February 2020 (credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)

This area, and the nature of its challenges, are somewhat familiar to me. It takes just 30 minutes on the quiet roads in the early morning hours to reach 910’s headquarters from my home in south Jerusalem. But more to the point, I spent a stint of reserve duty here, in a similar winter of fog and uncertainty, 24 years ago, in the opening months of the Second Intifada.

The conditions were different then, but the core issues still remain much the same. The security of the highways leading to Jerusalem is paramount. Nowadays, this means intelligence-led operations into the villages adjoining the main arteries, where support for Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other organizations is high.

Back in 2000, we couldn’t enter the populated areas because of the provisions of the Oslo Accords. The jeep patrols on the main roads would be fired at regularly from the villages, with little response. Two civilians, the engineer Tzachi Sasson and Dr. Shmuel Gillis, were killed on the road at that time.

IT’S DIFFERENT now. But nothing is resolved. This becomes quickly apparent. As the convoy enters Seir al Shuyukh, there is a sudden illumination of yellow light all around. Our jeep has been hit by a Molotov cocktail. The response is matter of fact. We keep moving, as quickly as possible given the circumstances, to the house where the reason for the mission is located.

The suspect’s home is located next to a school. The young man that the battalion is looking for is not connected to any organization. There is intelligence that he has begun to prepare a private stock of Molotov cocktails. Another part of the force has approached the house from the opposite direction. It is quickly surrounded.

The arrest itself takes place with no particular drama. The target, a young man, offers no resistance. He is swiftly led away by two members of the force, his hands restrained by zip cuffs. We continue to El Aroub, where the next arrests are taking place.

Ohayon and his driver are both natives of Kiryat Arba, a short drive south of the Gush Etzion bloc. The IDF spokesperson’s representative in the jeep with us is from a national-religious family in Jerusalem. This representation reflects many of the interactions I have had with the IDF over the last months of conflict – in Gaza and the northern border as well as in the West Bank.

There is a very noticeable and very considerable over-representation of people from Israel’s National-Religious community in the frontline units of the IDF of 2024. This was mildly apparent even 24 years ago. It is now very pronounced. It may also be seen through perusal of the casualty figures.

Ohayon, however, is dismissive of any suggestion of local affiliations. “I’ve known this stuff all my life but it’s not what motivates me. There are people here from Tel Aviv too. And there’s a mission, and we need to carry it out. The mission is the defense of our home. And our home is the State of Israel. That’s what motivates me.”

The 910 Battalion has suffered no fatalities since it arrived in the area four months ago. One soldier was killed in a road accident. Two others have been wounded. This record belies the level of activity undertaken by the battalion and is a source of some pride.

“October 7 found us ready, because we’d already carried out active service that year,” Nomi, a major, and the operations officer for the 910 Battalion, tells me back at the battalion’s headquarters. Nomi, an immigrant from France, is a rare example of a female operations officer in one of the IDF’s combat battalions.

On October 7, when the 910 Battalion was mobilized, she was in Brittany with her family for the holidays.

“I woke up and saw the messages. And, you remember, the number of dead was rising throughout the day. So I knew I had to get back.”

She has been doing reserve duty with the 910 Battalion for six years. They had already been mobilized. “But only El Al was flying. So I managed to get to Paris, and I got a Paris-Marseilles flight, and then a flight to Israel. I got here after two days.” She has been in Gush Etzion since then.

“We know that there is weaponry in the villages. And many of the villages are aligned with Hamas. There was an attempt to run over one of our soldiers in El Aroub. The terrorist was killed immediately. And there’s firing sometimes on the Jewish communities. But from a distance, and not accurately.”

“In Adura, there was an attempted attack, just a week ago. The terrorists had M16s and axes. And just two days ago, in Halhoul, we arrested people from the Islamic Jihad,” Alon, a deputy company commander, another graduate of the Kfir Brigade, tells me, after the arrests are done and the night’s business mainly concluded. Alon, a medical student in Beersheba, has been in Gush Etzion since October 8, like the others.

THIS IS a snapshot of a simmering potential third front, on which the lid is currently being kept, with much ongoing effort. The underlying logic of the situation is identical to that of the other arenas, though the balance of the sides is very different.

Noted writer Yossi Klein Halevi, at a recent event in Jerusalem, said that Israeli society’s response to October 7 and what has followed indicated that Israelis retain an “intuition of peoplehood.” It is a memorable phrase. I think he was referring to the instant, instinctive solidarity and mobilization that was witnessed in the first days, replacing the fractious divisions of the preceding months.

This intuition, it seems to me, may be witnessed in its steadiest and purest form in the frontline units of the army, both regular and reserve.

This is a consolation for the fact that a quarter of a century on from my own generation’s turn, some of the best young people of Israel are still out there in the night, dealing with the machinery of conflict, a 30-minutes drive from downtown Jerusalem.


Jonathan Spyer

Source: https://www.jpost.com/israel-hamas-war/article-787219

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NATO’s New Mission: Peace Through Censorship - Thaddeus G. McCotter

 

by Thaddeus G. McCotter

In the cognitive warfare concept, NATO has embraced and refashioned the leftist ideology of the woke DIE cult, both based upon the communist lie of knowing one’s thoughts better than the individual.

 

When pondering the ranks of institutions captured by leftist elitists, one of the most ominous is the American military. The left is brazenly proselytizing, neutering, and politicizing the American military with its DEI ideology—an inherently partisan, divisive assault designed to hollow out its historical warfighting spirit and value system. That the left would expand its political proselytizing into affiliated militaries within our alliances is to be expected. That these politically subversive assaults on our and our allied military must be opposed is imperative.

To wit: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

A transatlantic military alliance in search of a reason for perpetuating its existence, NATO was a prime target for left-wing capture and weaponization; consequently, embracing the left’s paranoid narratives, NATO seeks a new mission that placates the elites by asserting that, in stopping nebulously defined authoritarians, the first line of defense is censoring and controlling member states’ free citizens.

Thrice annually, NATO’s Joint Warfare Centre’s (JWC) Public Affairs Office publishes a magazine for its 31 members, “The Three Swords.” In Issue 39 of October 2023, Commander Cornelis van der Klaauw [hereinafter, “the Commander”], a Royal Netherlands Navy Subject Matter Expert in the Strategic Communications and Information Operations NATO Joint Warfare Centre, wrote, “To raise awareness of a new NATO concept that is in its infancy, but that will have a significant impact on individuals, groups, societies, and the way future wars are fought: cognitive warfare.”

In 2021, NATO initiated this “new concept’s” implementation, and the final concept is on the verge of being approved by NATO’s Military Committee. Evidently, that means it is time for the alliance to inform the free world that 2024 will usher in 1984.

Cognitive warfare is a fact of the modern age and everyone, whether civilian or military, is a potential target. Cognitive attacks are aimed at exploiting emotions rooted in our subconscious, bypassing our rational conscious mind. This is achieved by exploiting biases, fallacies, emotions and automatisms, but also through nanotechnology, biotechnology and information technology [NBIC].

Yeah, once that first shovelful of authoritarian disinformation is heaped upon our unwitting brains, we populist-peasants could become domestic threats, performing the enemy’s work for them gratis. Enter NATO, who knows what you are thinking even if you do not. As the Commander enlightens us:

In cognitive warfare, the ultimate aim is to alter our perception of reality and deceive our brain in order to affect our decision-making. We are commonly unaware of such attacks before it is too late and they have already affected their targets. Therefore, we must protect ourselves by raising awareness and developing a system of indicators and warnings that can provide real-time information. [Italics mine.]

This will sound familiar to those devotees of the Maoist DIE cult’s unconscious bias canard within the larger disinformation op of “systemic racism” (which can never end, lest all those credentialed H.R. apparatchiks lose their sinecures). Per the Commander, “cognitive warfare” is so pervasive, incessant, and unending that you do not consciously recognize it and will always need NATO to sniff and stamp it out.

While cognitive effects are not measurable in the typical sense, they do affect how we think, what we feel and how we act… They are taking place already now, and these attacks will continue to become more sophisticated. Several countries are developing NBIC capabilities and collecting data for use in targeting the cognitive dimension. These activities are supported by aspects such as datamining and data analytics, and are further combined with artificial intelligence. [All italics mine.]

Apparently, these cognitive attacks are so sophisticated that the author cannot cite a specific instance, though he does offer what might (someday) be considered such an attack—the “Havana Syndrome.” One can only suppose “cognitive warfare” is like pornography: one knows it when one sees it. But NATO has a handy list of those who are most susceptible to whatever cognitive warfare may or may not be employed against the free world’s citizenry:

The most vulnerable are individuals who feel a lack of belonging, feel marginalized, think they lack the ability to express their grievances or believe they are deprived of their rights. Usually this is combined with a lack of trust in governance and social structures. These perceptions can stem from ethical, racial, religious, economic or even historical reasons. Vulnerabilities are also the key when it comes to understanding how we can protect ourselves against a cognitive attack.

Yes, all pigs are equal, but some populist-pigs are more vulnerable than others. If you think this is a recipe for political repression, you are correct. Consider the handy list of potential domestic terrorists and traitors the Commander provides:

In Western societies, there are four fundamental vulnerabilities to consider:

• Government structure: The Western liberal democratic structure is vulnerable to cognitive attacks and at the same time limits the opportunity to detect and defend against these attacks.

Translation: Freedom is dangerous to the free world.

• The media and information landscape: Limited means or lack of willingness to share information openly, especially in combination with low literacy or underdeveloped critical thinking skills, opens up a critical vulnerability that can be exploited by adversaries.

Translation: The free world needs smart people to determine what information is safe for we numbskulls to consume. One cannot say “consider,” because our critical thinking skills are too underdeveloped to be trusted to do that.

• Social structures: Fragmented social structures and particularly echo chambers are vulnerable to false and misleading narratives. The lack of communication between people that only exchange information within their own communities is an easily exploited vulnerability.

If you think the Commander’s talking about the corporate media, progressive blogs, or MSNBC rather than conservative blogs and Fox News, see item four (below).

• Increasing level of populism: People who feel that they are not being heard or properly represented in institutions and that the “elite” is disregarding their concerns see populism as the solution to their problems, making them especially vulnerable to cognitive manipulation.

And there it is. As the Sex Pistols long ago identified: “the problem is you.” Note, too, the use of “feel”—not “think.” Seems we populist-peasants have this irrational, erroneous impression that the elites are getting richer and more powerful at our expense. Crazy, right?

In sum, the Commander argues that in cognitive warfare, everyone is a potential target, with populists being the most susceptible. Further, the reason cognitive attacks work is that they “achieve a specific aim without the target becoming aware of an attack. Generally, the damage is already done before the target realizes that it has been targeted.” Worse still, he declares, “In the future, there will only be one rule in warfare: There are no rules.”

So, how does NATO intend to protect our domestic one-percenters from we populist-peasants after we have been subconsciously riled up by authoritarians? By fighting for peace through censorship to attain “cognitive resilience” and “superiority.”

It bears repeating that, while he cannot cite a specific instance of the allegedly ongoing cognitive warfare, the Commander enumerates the technologies that can facilitate the devolving of free people into our authoritarian enemies’ pawns: social media platforms, smart devices, digital networks, gaming platforms (and their subcultures), virtual reality environments, digital spaces serving as echo chambers, and the Metaverse.

NATO plans on using “science” in the service of monitoring and censoring these technologies:

Knowing one’s vulnerabilities is important, but knowing when a cognitive attack is taking place is just as vital… For example, it is essential to maintain awareness about the information we unknowingly share that can be used against us. At the same time, technological solutions can help to identify cognitive attacks through algorithms and artificial intelligence, but also with real-time pattern and signature recognition. General awareness and technological solutions may alert us to cognitive attacks in good time and help us in determining the best way to respond. This brings us to the subject of creating cognitive resilience. [Italics mine.]

And that “best way to respond” to create “cognitive resilience” would be what, Commander?

Within the Cognitive Warfare Concept, cognitive resilience is defined as “the capacity to withstand and recover quickly from an adversarial cognitive attack through the effective preparation of groups and individuals.” …We must look at the current ways in which cognitive activities are conducted, and by which means. In order to keep the initiative, we need to anticipate possible future developments. Currently such future developments include ways to read thoughts and emotions, which can enable measurements of the effect of cognitive activities. Based on the result, models can be developed to improve decision-making, but also to identify weaknesses to exploit. [Italics mine.]

If you find this ominous, you are not a member of NATO’s bureaucracy. In fairness, the Commander does envision a day when peace through censorship will no longer be necessary. Why? Because one day science will disarm we populist-peasants before the authoritarian enemy can tailor our minds to suit its nefarious purposes:

THERE ARE OTHER RAPID developments in the fields of [NBIC]… One of the most promising projects is the development of embedded synthetic DNA or sDNA. This can be a useful alternative to silicon semiconductors. Currently it is possible to store 2.14 × 106 bytes of data on sDNA. This organic material could enable human-machine interfaces and is often seen as the 47th human chromosome.

…Furthermore, neural nanotechnology can be used to bring nano-sized robots close to a neuron via the bloodstream and make it possible to link the human brain directly (i.e. not intercepted by our senses) to a computer, making use of artificial intelligence in the process. But we must keep in mind that this is a two-way street: such an artificial intelligence will, in turn, be linked to a human brain. [Italics mine.]

“Hook me up, Commander! I’m ready to defend the brave new world!”

Speaking of “resilience,” in an act of legal positivism that would make the Warren Court blush, “resilience” provides the murky rationale upon which NATO justifies its new creepy mission to police free people and infringe on their liberties:

…Article 3 of the Washington Treaty, NATO’s founding document. It establishes the principle of resilience:

“In order more effectively to achieve the objectives of this Treaty, the Parties, separately and jointly, by means of continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid, will maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack.”

While we are still waiting for an instance of an armed attack, the Commander is not:

Article 3 includes supporting the continuity of government and the provision of essential services, among them resilient civil communications systems. This means that cognitive resilience, as an aspect of promoting and enhancing civil preparedness, requires that NATO plays a key role – but only in support of its member nations’ own efforts and not as a standalone actor. NATO nations differ in their cultural, social, technological and governmental structures and with that, their susceptibility to cognitive attacks. A tailored approach is needed to provide the right support to the nations. [Italics mine.]

Once more, the Commander insinuates that the freer the people, the more susceptible they are to being authoritarian dupes. Still, at least the Commander allows that NATO can only infringe on your rights if your local authoritarians invite them to do so. And they would never, ever do that. COVID lockdowns, schmockdowns…

When pondering the paranoiac prophecies and prescriptions of NATO’s Nostradamus, one could imagine the Commander being institutionalized. Instead, he will be lionized by his brass-spackled bureaucratic peers and the soulless sybarites schlepping the well-groomed grounds at the latest World Economic Forum.

In the cognitive warfare concept, NATO has embraced and refashioned the leftist ideology of the woke DIE cult, both based upon the communist lie of knowing one’s thoughts better than the individual. Ironically, everything the Commander claims about cognitive warfare can be fairly applied to the woke DIE Cult and its mandatory proselytization within every aspect of American (and many NATO members’) life. (As an aside, one cannot help but note how NATO’s cognitive warfare concept will be approved in 2024, i.e., during the U.S. presidential election.) But I digress…

Thus, NATO will seek to control the God-given rights of the free world’s member nations’ citizens (individually and/or collectively). Collective security devolves into collective suppression; “peace through strength” into “peace through censorship;” and NATO’s mission into that of the old Warsaw Pact—the subjugation of free people.

I, too, have a concept, though I admit it requires multi-tasking and I cannot claim it is new. How about NATO not placate the elites by censoring and suppressing free people, populist or otherwise? Instead, how about NATO actually protects America and our Free World allies’ citizens’ God-given rights and defeats the Axis of Authoritarianism confronting us in this new Cold War?

But what do I know? I’m a Republican populist-peasant who opposes censorship, communists, authoritarians, tyrants, and all enemies of our Constitution, foreign and domestic. Hey, wait a minute…

Maybe the Chi-coms made me say all that?!

An American Greatness contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) represented Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003-2012, and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars; and a Monday co-host of the “John Batchelor Radio Show,” among sundry media appearances.


Thaddeus G. McCotter

Source: https://amgreatness.com/2024/02/17/natos-new-mission-peace-through-censorship/

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