Gaza & Hamas
- Hamas recruiting 12-year old girls for "liberation battle" (Elder of Ziyon) - "It is against international law to recruit children for war. We've previously reported on female fighters in Gaza. One can only guess how many of the "civilian women" killed in the Gaza war were really soldiers".
- Un soldat israélien blessé au couteau par un Palestinien (AFP)
"Un Palestinien a attaqué samedi un soldat israélien au couteau avant d’être blessé par les tirs d’autres militaires à proximité d’un check-point installé sur une autoroute traversant la Cisjordanie, a indiqué l’armée. L’assaillant et le soldat ont tous deux été « légèrement blessés », selon l’armée israélienne.
L’attaque a eu lieu au sud-ouest de Ramallah, sur l’autoroute 443 très fréquentée, reliant Jérusalem à Tel-Aviv et traversant la Cisjordanie sur plusieurs kilomètres. Elle intervient une semaine après une autre attaque sur la même route durant laquelle l’armée avait éliminé un Palestinien qui avait légèrement blessé au couteau un Israélien. [...]"
- Cisjordanie : deux militaires israéliens poignardés par des Palestiniens (i24)
"Deux militaires israéliens ont été légèrement blessés lors de deux attaques au couteau distinctes samedi en Cisjordanie. Vers 18h30, un terroriste palestinien a poignardé un militaire israélien près de l'intersection de Tapouah, proche des villes d'Ariel et de Naplouse dans le nord de la Cisjordanie. Les militaires ont riposté en ouvrant le feu sur l'assaillant qui est mort des suites de ses blessures.
Plus tôt dans la journée, un terroriste palestinien a poignardé un autre soldat israélien dans le secteur de Bet Horin, une implantation située à proximité de la route 443, une route alternative à la route 1 entre Jérusalem et Tel Aviv, mais traversant une partie de la Cisjordanie. Les forces de sécurité ont répliqué en ouvrant le feu et ont touché l'assaillant qui a été arrêté. [...]"
- The Left’s Cognitive Dissonance on the Palestinian Authority, Evelyn Gordon (Commentary) - "three crucial elements of liberal democracy are regular elections, human rights and economic development, yet under the leadership of both Mahmoud Abbas and his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority has actively undermined all three".
"Prof. Carlo Strenger isn’t part of the loony left; he’s one of Israel’s more thoughtful and clear-eyed left-wing commentators. So I was shocked to read the following in his latest piece in Haaretz: “Fatah seems to aim for a liberal democracy.” After all, three crucial elements of liberal democracy are regular elections, human rights and economic development, yet under the leadership of both Mahmoud Abbas and his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority has actively undermined all three. And it says a great deal about the current state of Israel’s left that even someone like Strenger can’t bring himself to admit it.
Regarding elections, the democratic deficit is patent. Abbas is currently in the 11th year of his four-year term. In this, he has faithfully followed the model set by Arafat, who also never called another election after winning his first; he died in office a decade later.
But since Hamas shares the blame for the absence of new national elections, it’s even more telling that local elections have been scrapped as well: Abbas has repeatedly “postponed” them even in the West Bank – which, unlike Hamas-controlled Gaza, is firmly under the PA’s thumb. In May, he also canceled student union elections after Hamas won the first poll at Birzeit University.
The human rights picture is no less appalling, as even a few recent news items make clear. A Palestinian man was arrested and beaten by the PA security services for the shocking crime of naming his baby after one of Abbas’s rivals, Mohammed Dahlan. A Palestinian rights group is suing the PA and its security services on behalf of a university student who was jailed for five days and brutally tortured for the sin of criticizing the government on social media. A Palestinian man was arrested for denying that Arafat was a martyr. And so on and so forth.
Finally, there’s the economic development. It’s noteworthy that in its 21 years of existence, the Fatah-led PA hasn’t built a single new hospital, university or town; every Palestinian hospital and university was built under Israeli rule, before the PA’s establishment in 1994, while the only new town, Rawabi, is the work of a private entrepreneur. This isn’t because the PA lacks money; it receives billions in international aid every year. But it prefers to spend its cash on things like paying generous salaries to jailed terrorists – a line item totaling some $144 million in the PA’s annual budget.
Yet the PA doesn’t merely refuse to foster economic development itself; it actively tries to prevent others from doing so. For instance, it refused for five years to convene the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Water Committee to approve Rawabi’s connection to the water system; the hook-up finally occurred this year only because Israel gave up on the committee and approved it unilaterally.
In another case, which I discussed in detail last year, the PA not only arrested a Palestinian-Canadian investor who committed the cardinal sin of calling for Abbas’s ouster, but also took various retaliatory steps against his West Bank businesses, which employ hundreds of Palestinians. The resultant losses persuaded both him and his son, a fellow entrepreneur, to move their businesses out of the PA.
The PA also refuses to use its bloated security services to stop anti-normalization thugs who have forced even Israeli Arab entrepreneurs to cancel plans for job-creating West Bank businesses.
Indeed, a high-ranking Israeli defense official – who, far from being anti-Abbas, praised him lavishly for his security cooperation with Israel – said last month that the PA even objected to recent Israeli measures to ease conditions in the West Bank (like granting more permits for workers and businessmen to enter Israel) because they undermine PA efforts to organize anti-Israel protests.
In short, the Fatah-led PA has actively worked against the most salient characteristics of liberal democracy: free elections, human rights and economic development. So how can Strenger nevertheless insist that Fatah “seems to aim for a liberal democracy”?
As a professor of psychology, Strenger ought to be able to diagnose the answer: cognitive dissonance. Western liberals who have set their hearts on creating a Palestinian state can’t bring themselves to admit that it would be just another brutal Mideast tyranny – one which, as courageous Palestinian dissident Bassam Tawil wrote last year, would make Palestinians’ lives “even worse than what we have now” – because doing so might force them to question whether their 20-year commitment to the PA hasn’t been a mistake.
But for the sake of all the real Palestinians living under Fatah’s tyranny, it’s long past time for them to start doing exactly that."
- Iranian Video Games Teach Military Strikes on Israel, Adam Kredo (Free Beacon)
"An entity controlled by the Iranian government has released an “anti-Zionist” video game entitled “Missile Strike,” in which players are taught how to launch Iranian missile strikes on Israeli cities, according to an official report by the CIA’s Open Source Center (OSC) obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
The anti-Israel video game was widely released for cellphones by Iran’s state-controlled Fars News Agency, which is closely aligned with the country’s military apparatus. The game was publicly released just three days before the signing of a nuclear accord with the United States and world powers. [...]
Fars itself has stated “that the ‘anti-Zionist’ game, titled ‘Missile Strike,’ allows users to launch Iranian Zelzal, Zolfaqer, or Sijal missiles at large Israeli cities, including Haifa and Tel Aviv,” according to OSC’s analysis. [...]"
- Why We Must Fight Against the Iran Deal, Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser (formerly Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and head of the Research and Analysis and Production Division of IDF Military Intelligence) - "If the effort ends in failure, we will know that we did everything to prevent it, and if in the future we are required to use force to defend ourselves, everyone will know that we tried every other possibility. The struggle will also make it clear to our neighbors that Israel has not lost its willingness to defend itself".
"In the effort to convince the American Congress to approve the agreement with Iran, President Obama has marshaled a series of claims. Some of them are groundless (all the paths to a bomb are blocked, the alternative is war or an Iranian breakout to the bomb, a military action will have only limited effect), some are strange (the Iranian government will moderate in the wake of the deal), and some are intentionally misleading, on the assumption that no one will check the facts (the experts sharply criticize the agreement).
Given the details of the deal, Iran will need only six months to obtain enough material for a bomb during the first ten years, since the centrifuges are being preserved in the facility at Natanz, where they can be reactivated quickly. In addition, there is nothing to prevent Iranian nuclear cooperation with North Korea.
Moreover, the deal does nothing to block Iran from achieving regional hegemony. Nuclear weapons are just a tool to achieve this goal. The agreement paves the way for Iran to achieve its strategic goal without the bomb, as it shows how weak Western opposition is to the transfer of control of the region into the hands of Iran. In the eyes of the West, conflict with Iran is a disaster that must be prevented by every means, including through surrender (which arises from the entire agreement).
Thus, the struggle against the agreement is necessary. If the effort ends in failure, we will know that we did everything to prevent it, and if in the future we are required to use force to defend ourselves, everyone will know that we tried every other possibility. The struggle will also make it clear to our neighbors that Israel has not lost its willingness to defend itself."
- Can the US trust Europe to punish Iran if it violates the nuclear deal? (JP) - "Implementation of the deal will be ultimately determined by the foreign policies of the UK, France, Germany, China and Russia".
- Guantanamo : 8 ans de grève de la faim (AFP) - "Le département américain de la Justice a rejeté vendredi une demande de libération pour raisons de santé d'un détenu de Guantanamo ne pesant plus que 33,5 kg après huit années de grève de la faim". Et pourtant, on en parle beaucoup, beaucoup, beaucoup moins que du gréviste de la faim palestinien (2 mois), affilié au Djihad islamique, et qui suscite l'agitation dans nos médias.
- Nouveaux échanges de tirs au Cachemire (AFP) - "Cinq civils, dont un enfant de douze ans, ont été tués par des tirs en provenance du Pakistan et neuf personnes ont été blessées". On ne parle quasiment jamais de ces fusillades pourtant régulières et qui touchent fréquemment des civils. Et ce, alors qu'il s'agit d'un conflit entre deux puissances nucléaires, qui date de plus de 60 ans, et qui risque périodiquement d'exploser. Mais l'opinion internationale ne semble pas considérer que ce conflit-là nécessite une "solution urgente", ni qu'ici "le statu quo est intenable".
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