Friday, May 29, 2015

If a commander is hurt, another commander takes his place and says, 'Here I am.'

...Just before leaving, he bids farewell to the soldiers of the Nahal brigade, whom he has gotten to know well over this last year. "People ask me sometimes, 'How were the boys?' They are not boys. They are fighters who know exactly where they are going and they go there with an enormous sense of duty. The word 'boys' is an affront to them. They usually don't see home for three weeks at a time, so they can't hide under their mothers' apron strings. They are not spoiled. This is a group of serious men."

Lilach Shoval..
Israel Hayom..
29 May '15..

Now completing his term as the commander of the Nahal infantry brigade, Col. Uri Gordin has a lot of criticism to share. Gordin, 45, is one of the most respected commanders in the Israel Defense Forces today. He will soon be promoted to the rank of brigadier general and take command over the 98th Paratroopers Division, also known as the Fire Formation, part of the Central Regional Command.

Gordin spent most of his military career in the elite Sayeret Matkal reconnaissance unit, first as a fighter, then as a platoon commander, then as a company commander, and then commander of the entire unit between 2007 and 2010. The unit flourished under his command, and that period is considered especially favorable in the unit's history. As a sign of appreciation, the chief of staff decided to promote him to the rank of colonel while he was still the unit's commander. At the end of his term, the unit received a group citation, which Gordin attributes to his team rather than his leadership.

Upon leaving Sayeret Matkal, Gordin was appointed commander of the 55th Paratroopers Reserves Brigade. Three years later, he was appointed the commander of the Nahal brigade. Next week, he will hand the Nahal brigade over to Col. Amos Hacohen.

Q: A one-year term as the commander of the Nahal brigade is considered short even in IDF terms.

"Appointments in the IDF are usually short-term. Two years is also short. In the business world, a two-year position is considered short-term, but in the military, every position is a sprint. Overall I spent four years as a brigade commander and that's perfectly fine. It would have been preferable to serve two years in the Nahal brigade, but things don't always work out. One of the most important things is to choose a course that suits the person. I think that a 45-year-old brigade commander has certain advantages, but it also has its drawbacks. When I was younger, I ran faster and I was stronger. On the other hand, today I have more experience and I'm a little calmer. You have to strike a balance between maturity and aging. I don't feel old, but it is definitely something that requires attention."

Gordin may be wrapping up only one year as the commander of the Nahal brigade, but it seems that in that one year he managed to get more done than most of his predecessors. Only three weeks after taking the position, while vacationing in Ashkelon with the other Nahal commanders, his unit was dispatched to Judea and Samaria to help search for the three teenagers who had been kidnapped while hitchhiking home from school.

"The only positive thing about being called back urgently was the fact that the entire command was called up, so I got to meet all the reserves soldiers that you don't usually get to meet in the brigades," he says.

Q: Did you think that you would soon be commanding an operation in Gaza?

"It was clear that things were heating up on that front. I think that you should always live as though it could happen. In retrospect, when I look at my notes, I can see that in my earliest briefings I told the commanders that we were to operate under the assumption that there would be war tomorrow."

Bombs in the children's nursery

Only 10 days before entering Gaza, the Nahal brigade was ordered to root out the terror tunnels dug by Hamas from Gaza into Israel.

"We realized that we had several possible courses of action, but that there was no existing, complete protocol on how to do it. So we conferred with Military Intelligence and tried to solve the problem.

"On June 30 we got the order, and on July 8 we were already operational. None of the methods that we used in Operation Protective Edge had been developed at that time. We harnessed technology and tools of detection and demolition from other realms. The thing that you learn in the brigade is that there are very few problems that don't have solutions. You simply have to find the right one. And then you realize that there isn't just one right one. The Nahal brigade destroyed four tunnels, and we didn't destroy all the tunnels in the same way."

Q: Everyone knew that there were tunnels around Gaza. Do you think the fact that they weren't destroyed sooner is evidence of a blunder?

"When something great is invented, or when you have a good idea, the question is always how you didn't think of it sooner. When I have a good idea I always think I failed because I didn't think of it sooner. However, this was still a great success. Seventeen days before we went in [to Gaza] we came to the understanding that the operational plan needs to be changed to confront this threat, which was not just a concrete threat but also a systemic one. The commander of the Gaza Division and the GOC Southern Command made the right call. Could we have thought of it sooner? Maybe."

Clearly the West will share responsibility for devastation of south Lebanon

...It is a sign of Western moral weakness and reality inversion that instead of taking the difficult path of preventing the Hezbollah buildup after 2006, as promised, it joined the infowar against Israel. In a real sense, the West will share responsibility with the terrorists for the devastation of southern Lebanon that is sure to come. Israel will take the actions it must to survive, despite the hypocritical cries that will be heard from those that have been building the case for the terrorists all along. And, to paraphrase Naftali Bennett, there will be no reason to apologize.

Vic Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
29 May '15..
Link: http://abuyehuda.com/2015/05/west-will-share-responsibility-for-devastation-of-south-lebanon/..


Recently we’ve been hearing — both from Hezbollah and Israel — about the massive installations the terrorist group has been building just across the Lebanese border with Israel, and what will happen when war breaks out.

Omri Ceren of The Israel Project explains:

They’ve taken their arsenal – 100,000+ rockets including Burkan rockets with half-ton warheads, ballistic missiles including Scud-Ds that can hit all of Israel, supersonic advanced anti-ship cruise missiles, anti-aircraft assets, drones and mini drones, tunnels, etc. – and embedded it across hundreds of villages and probably thousands of homes. …

The Israelis can’t afford a war of attrition with Hezbollah. The Iran-backed terror group has the ability to saturation bomb Israeli civilians with 1,500 projectiles a day, every day, for over two months. They will try to bring down Tel Aviv’s skyscrapers with ballistic missiles. They will try to fly suicide drones into Israel’s nuclear reactor. They will try to detonate Israel’s off-shore energy infrastructure. They will try to destroy Israeli military and civilian runways. And – mainly but not exclusively through their tunnels – they will try to overrun Israeli towns and drag away women and children as hostages. Israeli casualties would range in the thousands to tens of thousands.

And so the Israelis will have to mobilize massive force to shorten the duration of a future war. One of the things they’ll do is immediately is move to eliminate as much of Hezbollah’s vast arsenal as possible. Hezbollah is counting on the resulting deaths of their human shields – and they’ve guaranteed to that the body count will be significant – to turn Israel into an international pariah.

Hezbollah has adopted the most extreme form of the human shield strategy pioneered by Hamas in Gaza. The IDF will be forced to choose between killing thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of Lebanese civilians and seeing its own country laid waste.

Until recently, a strategy like Hezbollah’s would have been considered ludicrous. When the RAF Bomber Command and the USAAF devastated Germany toward the end of WWII, it wasn’t even a question of collateral damage — civilians were a large part of the target. Sir Charles Portal of the RAF issued a directive in 1943 to combined British and US air forces that

Your primary object will be the progressive destruction and dislocation of the German military, industrial, and economic system and the undermining of the morale of the German people to a point where their capacity for armed resistance is fatally weakened.

But times have changed. Although I do not think that the legalities involved have changed much since then, such “morale bombing” would be considered morally indefensible by most people today. So we can expect that when the next war does start, and when Israel bombs Hezbollah installations in South Lebanon with an unavoidably great loss of civilian life, there will be outcries against Israel for its brutality. There are a few things we should keep in mind:

First, the IDF response to a Hezbollah rocket attack — and it will be a response, not a preemptive attack — will have as its objective the neutralization of rocket launchers, attack tunnels, and other military targets. Unlike the allied air raids over Germany and Japan, civilian casualties will be entirely collateral damage, not part of the objective.

This means that the requirement of proportionality found in the international law of war, that the use of force that could cause collateral damage be limited to what is necessary to achieve a military objective, will be met as long as the IDF attacks military targets rather than bombing indiscriminately, doesn’t use WMD, etc.

But even if it’s legal, isn’t it wrong to kill innocent civilians, women and children who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?

There is certainly a moral evil here, but even though the immediate cause of the catastrophe will be the IDF, what Aristotle called the “final cause” — the ‘for what’ that an event occurs — is Hezbollah’s intention to deter Israel from defending herself. The civilians who will be hurt are deliberately intermingled with military targets, just in order to act as human shields.

Barack Obama's anti-Semitism test by Caroline Glick

...As Obama rightly understands, in the coming months, as he tries to sell his nuclear deal with Iran and his anti-Israel positions at the UN to the American public, the question of whether or not he is an anti-Semite will become more salient than ever before. Now that he has answered the question, Israel needs to act in accordance with Jewish values, and choose life even at the expense of good relations with the Obama administration.

photo credit:REUTERS / JONATHAN ERNST
Caroline Glick..
Column One/JPost..
28 May '15..

Is U.S. President Barack Obama an anti-Semite? This question has lingered in the air since his first presidential bid in 2008. It first arose due to the anti-Semitic sermons that Jeremiah Wright, his pastor for more than 20 years, made as Obama and his family sat in the pews.

Throughout the six-and-a-half years of his presidency, Obama has laughed off the concerns.

But he has not dispelled them. And this failure has hurt him.

So last week, Obama went to significant lengths to answer the question about his feelings toward Israel and the Jewish people once and for all.

The timing of his charm offensive wasn’t coincidental.

Obama clearly believes he has to dispel doubts about his intentions toward Jews and Israel in order to implement the central policy of his second term in office. That policy of course is his nuclear deal with Iran.

Obama’s agreement with the mullahs is supposed to be concluded by the end of next month.

Obama argues that his deal will prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. But as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained in his address before the joint houses of Congress in March, from what has already been revealed about the nuclear deal Obama seeks to conclude, far from preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear arms, the deal will provide several pathways for Iran to at a minimum become a threshold nuclear state, capable of developing nuclear weapons at the drop of a hat. If Iran cheats on the deal, it can develop nuclear weapons while the agreement is still in force. If it abides by the agreement, it can develop nuclear weapons as soon as the agreement expires.

Beyond his desire to conclude a nuclear deal that will empower a regime that has pledged to destroy Israel, there are Obama’s reported plans for changing the way the US relates to Israel at the UN Security Council.

For the past half-century, the US has used its veto power at the Security Council to prevent substantive anti-Israel draft resolutions from passing. But Obama and his top advisers have hinted and media reports have provided details about his intention to end this 50-year policy.

Obama reportedly intends to enable the passage of a French draft resolution that would require Israel to withdraw to the indefensible 1949 armistice lines.

As these two policies, which bear directly on Israel’s ability to defend itself and indeed, to survive, near implementation, Obama is faced with the fact that he has a credibility problem when it comes to issues related to the survival and existence of the Jewish state.

In a bid to address this credibility problem, last week he invested significant time and effort in building up his credibility on Jewish issues. To this end, he gave an extensive interview to Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic, and he gave a speech before Adas Israel, a large, liberal Conservative synagogue in Washington, DC.

To a degree, Obama was successful. He did put to bed the question of whether or not he is anti-Semitic.

In his interview with Goldberg, Obama gave a reasonable if incomplete definition of what anti-Semitism is. Obama said that an anti-Semite is someone who refuses to recognize the 3,000-year connection between the Jews and the Land of Israel. An anti-Semite is also someone who refuses to recognize the long history of persecution that the Jewish people suffered in the Diaspora.

According to Obama, an anti-Semite is someone who refuses to understand that this history of persecution together with the Jews’ millennial connection to the Land of Israel is what justifies the existence of Israel in the Land of Israel.

Moreover, according to Obama, anti-Semites refuse to understand that Israel remains in mortal danger due to the continued existence of anti-Semitic forces that seek its destruction.

And that isn’t all. As he sees it, even if you do understand the legitimacy of Israel’s existence and recognize the continued threats to its survival, you could still be an anti-Semite.

As Obama explained to Goldberg, there is still the problem of double standards.

In his words, “If you acknowledge those things, then you should be able to align yourself with Israel where its security is at stake, you should be able to align yourself with Israel when it comes to making sure that it is not held to a double standard in international fora, you should align yourself with Israel when it comes to making sure that it is not isolated.”

To his credit, Obama provided a clear, well-argued and constructive definition of anti-Semitism.

But there’s a bit of a problem. Right after Obama provided us with his definition of anti-Semitism, he endorsed and indeed engaged in the very anti-Semitism he had just defined.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Perhaps a friend only of the Israel and Judaism of his own imagination?

...Obama is speaking softly about Israel, and hiding the stick – for the time being. But the stick sticks out. If the deal with Iran fails to materialize – if Israel becomes too disruptive, or when the deal is signed and making nice is no longer necessary – Obama’s misgivings will show more than they show today. Yet even today, Obama is quite clear. His frustration with Israel is out in the open. Obama is frustrated because Israel isn’t following his script of proper behavior. Alas, his script is corrupt. It is a script based on fiction. The fictional narrative of Israel and of Judaism that the President wrote for himself.

Shmuel Rosner..
Jewish Journal..
26 May '15..

President Barack Obama does not understand Israel. He never has, and at this point in time one suspects that he never will.

This does not make him an enemy of Israel. I see no reason not to believe that Obama means what he says – that he does care about Israel. That even when he criticizes Israel it is because he cares about Israel. As he framed it last Friday, in his celebrated talk at the Washington Adas Israel synagogue: “It’s precisely because I care so deeply… that I feel a responsibility to speak out honestly about what I feel”.

Caring made Obama say some positive things about Israel in the past few days. As Yair Rosenberg dutifully chronicled in Tablet Magazine, Obama, by saying that Israel should not be denied its right "to exist as a homeland for the Jewish people", "defined anti-Zionism – as distinct from sharp, public criticism of Israel and its policies – as anti-Semitism".

Alas, caring, or having positive thoughts about Israel does not make Obama a reliable interpreter of Israel's motivations, actions, and character. In fact, the combination of his supposed care with an unsubstantiated assumption of understanding can be quite dangerous. Obama is not an enemy of Israel, but his current state of mind could still be dangerous for Israel.

In the past week, Obama publicly demonstrated this problematic state of mind – twice. Once when he spoke to journalist Jeff Goldberg of The Atlantic, and the second time in his address at the synagogue. In both cases, he catered to a receptive audience of like-minded Americans. In both cases, it is clear that he had political goals in mind – to eliminate, or at least reduce, an obstacle that could complicate his rush to sign a deal with Iran. Obama is speaking softly about Israel, and hiding the stick – for the time being. But the stick sticks out. If the deal with Iran fails to materialize – if Israel becomes too disruptive, or when the deal is signed and making nice is no longer necessary – Obama’s misgivings will show more than they show today.

Yet even today, Obama is quite clear. His frustration with Israel is out in the open.

Obama is frustrated because Israel isn’t following his script of proper behavior. Alas, his script is corrupt. It is a script based on fiction. The fictional narrative of Israel and of Judaism that the President wrote for himself.

Surprise! NYT rages against Bibi's pick of Dore Gold for foreign minister

...Never mind that Gold might have good reason to be “hawkish” on Iran, whose ayatollahs are determined to exterminate Israel. Would Rudoren and the Times instead prefer a “dovish” Israeli foreign policy chief prone to turn the other cheek? Apparently so. Israel’s security does not rank high at the New York Times.


Leo Rennert..
American Thinker..
27 May '15..

In a lengthy May 26 article, Jodi Rudoren, the New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief, goes apoplectic over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s selection of Dore Gold to run Israel’s foreign ministry.

The headline and the lead paragraph immediately signal to readers that Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, is disastrous for Israel’s diplomacy – “Netanyahu Appoints Hawkish Ally to Run foreign policy” – buttressed by Rudoren’s own depiction of Gold as a Bibi confidant who is “hawkish on Iran and the Palestinian issue.”

Never mind that Gold might have good reason to be “hawkish” on Iran, whose ayatollahs are determined to exterminate Israel. Would Rudoren and the Times instead prefer a “dovish” Israeli foreign policy chief prone to turn the other cheek? Apparently so. Israel’s security does not rank high at the New York Times.

Is Hamas Deterred or Patient?

...Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon argues that the fact that Hamas isn’t shooting today – and in fact arrests the shooters – is proof that Hamas is deterred. But deterred from what? Deterred from openly preparing to attack Israel? No. Hamas says that it will pick the time and place to attack the Jewish State. Maybe the time of their choosing simply hasn’t yet come.

Dr. Aaron Lerner..
IMRA Weekly Commentary..
28 May '15





Here are the facts.

You be the judge.

1. Since the end of the war last summer, Hamas has devoted its resources – both financial and physical – on preparing to attack the Jewish State.

2. These resources include building material used for building tunnels and bunkers instead of repairing homes and other structures for the benefit of the Gazan civilian population. This at a time that rival groups in Gaza exploit public dissatisfaction and frustration to draw support away from Hamas.

3. These preparations include a massive tunneling operation both up to (and possibly into) Israel as well as inside the Gaza Strip along with many strategically located bunkers, observation and command and control posts. There is also a huge network if rocket launching positions configured to minimize detection. In addition to a very open rocket development and production operation and active UAV program, Hamas is also pouring resources into openly training its ever growing army for the day Hamas participates in the invasion of Israel. And this is just what we see.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What Might be Absolutely Appalling According to Amnesty International?

....What might seem to be one of the most troubling aspects of Hamas thuggery, torture and murder, absolutely appalling in the words of Philip Luther, was the very fact that it took place while Israeli forces were inflicting massive death and destruction upon the people in Gaza. One could of course easily surmise that Luther's indignation is driven by the feeling that Hamas had other more important business to be attending to.

LOTL..
27 May '15

At first glance, one might be more than a bit taken by surprise that Amnesty actually published the research report ‘Strangling Necks’: Abduction, Torture and Summary Killings of Palestinians by Hamas Forces During the 2014 Gaza/Israel Conflict. If nothing else, quite the catchy title, but before getting overly excited one's attention is almost immediately captured by the following:

It is absolutely appalling that, while Israeli forces were inflicting massive death and destruction upon the people in Gaza, Hamas forces took the opportunity to ruthlessly settle scores, carrying out a series of unlawful killings and other grave abuses,” said Philip Luther, director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International.

“In the chaos of the conflict, the de facto Hamas administration granted its security forces free rein to carry out horrific abuses including against people in its custody. These spine-chilling actions, some of which amount to war crimes, were designed to exact revenge and spread fear across the Gaza Strip.”

What might seem to be one of the most troubling aspects of Hamas thuggery, torture and murder, absolutely appalling in the words of Philip Luther, was the very fact that it took place while Israeli forces were inflicting massive death and destruction upon the people in Gaza. One could of course easily surmise that Luther's indignation is driven by the feeling that Hamas had other more important business to be attending to.

While for whatever reason the following seems to have escaped Amnesty's director's attention, Hamas and its cohorts were actually quite busy attending to other activities that clearly constitute war crimes, firing rockets by the thousands into civilian population centers, not being the least of their crimes. As this seems to have eluded Mr. Luther's attention, a brief review of what actually occurred during this period would seem to be in order, providing a needed context, absent as expected from the start.

The cheque for Gaza is in the mail, or whatever

...Not for the first time, it's evident that the death and mayhem that results from Islamist hatred and jihad has cash at its heart. And what of the rights, the interests, the well-being of the Gazans? We estimate they rank about as high up the ladder of Arab concern as the safety and security of the Syrians, the Iraqis and the Libyans and the countries they lived in until mind-numbingly vicious Arab-on-Arab savagery descended upon them.

The headline from Aljazeera's coverage of 
the October 2014 donor conference in
Cairo posed a question 
to which we
now have the answer [
Image Source]
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
27 May '15..

Money, who has it and who does not, the corruption that accompanies it, and the frequent silliness of those providing it, plays a key role in the terrorism that has long been at the heart of the Arab/Israel conflict.

Exactly half a year ago, we wrote ["23-Nov-14: Gaza's wealth and where it is - and is not - going"] that Hamas had emerged as the world's second wealthiest terror organization; its annual income is on the order of a billion US dollars.

Along with the wealth controlled by the organization itself, its kleptocratic, blood-stained leadership [details here: "27-Jul-14: Gaza's death toll keeps rising but for Hamas insiders it's all worth it"] has made out like thieves - in particular Mousa Abu Marzouk and Khaled Mashaal who despite their lowly origins are generally reckoned today to be personal billionaires. As we said last November, invoking one of the world's wealthiest despots, Arafat would have admired their cynical brazenness.

(Read Full Post)

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
.

Dear European policymakers: This is the Middle East, not Star Trek

...Nonetheless, the EU continues to dabble in the world of make-believe, seeking to impose a 1967 solution on a 2015 problem. In truth, it would appear that Europe’s policymakers have perhaps been overly influenced by Star Trek, the American television show from the late 1960s that became a cult phenomenon. In particular, they seem to be trying to bring to life the plot line from episode 19 of Star Trek’s first season, which originally aired on January 26, 1967 and was entitled “Tomorrow is Yesterday.”

Michael Freund..
Fundamentally Freund/JPost..
26 May '15..

The European Union may be wallowing in debt, with Greece on the verge of default, even as the continent grapples with its worst migrant crisis in decades. But none of this has stopped Europe’s leaders from devoting precious time and energy to one of their favorite pastimes: seeking out new ways to bully Israel. Indeed, all signs indicate that this week’s torrid temperatures will pale in comparison to the diplomatic heat the EU has planned for us this summer.

In a meeting last Wednesday, Norwegian Foreign Minister Boerge Brende reportedly warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that international pressure on the Jewish state will recommence once the West signs a nuclear deal with Iran at the end of next month.

That same day, the French newspaper Le Figaro published the text of a draft UN resolution that Paris plans to submit to the Security Council which would call for the immediate renewal of talks between Israel and the Palestinians while imposing an 18-month deadline for reaching a permanent agreement. Failure to finalize a deal, the paper reported, would result in France recognizing a Palestinian state.

It is truly difficult to comprehend the fixation bordering on obsession that seems to drive European diplomacy visà- vis the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Despite more than two decades of Palestinian obstructionism and obfuscation, violence and terrorism, the EU appears intent on rewarding Ramallah with statehood. They wish to ignore the past 48 years, overlook Israel’s justified war of self-defense in 1967, and disregard its historical, biblical, moral and security rights to settle and develop Judea and Samaria.

Indeed, what Europe is effectively trying to do is to turn back the clock, flip over the hourglass, and pretend that none of it ever happened. They want to compel Israel to pull back to the pre-1967 armistice lines, expel hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes, and create a hostile Palestinian entity straddling the center of the country.

While time travel makes for nice science fiction, it cannot be the basis for policymaking. However much France and others might wish to undo what was done and go back in time, that is the stuff of fantasy, not reality. Israel cannot go back to 1967 any more than it can go back to 586 BCE before the Babylonians invaded and destroyed the First Temple.

Times have changed, the Middle East has undergone vast transformations, and the Jewish state should not have to pay the price for the bad decisions that the Palestinian and Arab leadership have made over the past several decades.

A “state of Palestine” doesn’t exist thanks to the Palestinians’ stellar record of having missed every possible opportunity to establish it, and not because Israel didn’t try repeatedly to make enormous concessions. Now, it is simply too late, as any realistic observer of the region can see. Decades of Palestinian stabbings, shootings, suicide bombings and rocket attacks have cured the Israeli public of any illusions it might have had about the Palestinian desire for peace.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Question. Could Israel Get Booted Out of Soccer?

It’s never wise—and perhaps not possible—to underestimate FIFA’s ability to hit a new moral low. But if FIFA votes against Israel, it will be its most shameful decision yet, because it will prove Orwell right—that the Beautiful Game is nothing more than a front in a decades-long battle, and its fans are merely its conscripts.

Aiden Pink..
Tower Magazine..
26 May '15..

For the past few years, Palestinians have been trying to give a red card to Israel, removing it from the world’s most popular sport. A look inside their game plan—and how it decreases the chances for peace.

On May 29, a 79-year-old Swiss bureaucrat named Sepp Blatter will run for his fifth term as president of FIFA, the governing body of world soccer. Having led the organization that oversees the world’s most popular game since 1998—an organization that has long been accused of rampant corruption, retrograde sexism, and, in the case of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, enabling slavery—Blatter is a man who, like the sport he runs, brings out the passion in people. “He may well be the most successful non-homicidal dictator of the past century,” said Marina Hyde of The Guardian. “Sepp Blatter saying ‘I stand by my work’ is like a puppy standing by the work it did after being left alone in the house for the first time,” said John Oliver of HBO. But the people who actually participate in his elections have an entirely different, though no less passionate, view. To them, Blatter is akin to Jesus Christ, Nelson Mandela, and Winston Churchill—“Why is he different from these other men?” asked Osiris Guzman, the president of the Dominican Football Federation. Guzman once served a 30-day suspension from FIFA over allegations of vote-buying connected to an election that determined that the best possible location for a month-long soccer tournament was a desert nation where temperatures frequently hit 120 degrees and homosexuality is punishable by death—not to worry, though, said Blatter, because gay soccer fans should just “refrain from any sexual activities.”

But Blatter’s likely reelection is surprisingly not the most shameful issue on the agenda of the 65th FIFA Congress. That would be item 15.1: the proposal by the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) to suspend the Israel Football Association (IFA) from FIFA. The PFA is taking this action because, in the words of PFA president Jibril Rajoub, who is also a member of the Central Committee of the West Bank’s ruling Fatah party, “It is clear that the [IFA] is not willing to recognize the PFA as a federation with equal rights and obligations, just as they continue to violate their commitments made before FIFA. We are therefore determined to continue our path to suspend the [IFA] during the next FIFA Congress.”

(Read Full Article)

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
.

(Video) Crossing The Line (UK)

Jerusalem U..
26 May '15..

Crossing the Line: Exploring Israel on Campus examines the proliferation of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incidents on British university campuses. The documentary explores whether, and in what ways, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic lines are being blurred.



You can also watch the new 2015 North American version 'Crossing The Line 2' go to: http://bit.ly/CTL2_LP

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGtrvAv1Nr4

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
.

Seems like an awful lot of scandals for a single small and democratic country

...Even though Israel’s trade and, to a lesser extent, diplomatic relations with many countries are thriving, the effect of this delegitimization and demonization is seen most clearly when Israel engages in military conflicts with terror organizations and comes under severe, concerted pressures to desist, with TV screens all over the world depicting Israel, not the terror organizations, as the villain. Israel is still engaged in an uphill struggle—not just to survive but to establish that it has a right to survive.

P. David Hornik..
FrontPageMag.com..
25 May '15..

The latest round of Israel scandals began on March 17, which was Israel’s election day, when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wrote in a Facebook post: “The right-wing government is in danger. Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls. Left-wing organizations are busing them out.”

It sounded bigoted toward Arab voters. It was atypical of Netanyahu, and just a few days later he apologized to representatives of the Israeli Arab sector at his Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem, saying, “I know the things I said several days ago offended some of Israel’s citizens, hurt the Arab citizens. This was never my intent. I apologize for this.”

Case closed? Apology for an unpleasant, atypical remark accepted? By Israeli Arabs, at least officially, yes. By others—no way.

The Obama White House, and the State Department (among many others), kept raking Netanyahu over the coals for his March 17 statement, even after his apology. Even two months later, in his latest interview to Jeffrey Goldberg, Obama was still talking about it, saying Netanyahu’s words were “contrary to the very language of the Israeli Declaration of Independence” and had “foreign-policy consequences.”

Meanwhile the Israel scandals continued. On May 7 the Israeli government approved the building of 900 housing units in Ramat Shlomo, a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem that is 20 years old and has 20,000 residents. The State Department weighed in immediately, calling the approval “damaging,” “disappointing,” and inconsistent with the two-state solution—which, logically speaking, would imply that Ramat Shlomo could not possibly be part of such a “solution” and, from now on, would have to be frozen in place.

And just around that time, another round of Israel scandals began—Scandalous Cabinet Ministers. With the new government finally being formed after difficult coalition negotiations, and new cabinet appointments being announced, the international media took over, shouting to the world that Very Bad People were taking office in Jerusalem.

So much attention to a small country’s affairs could seem flattering. Actually it’s the opposite—almost uniformly derogatory, unflattering, and essentially bigoted, and there are no apologies for it.

It started with the new justice minister, Ayelet Shaked, who was portrayed as a Dark Threat to Democracy. As Daniel Greenfield noted on Frontpage, the Washington Post, the London Times, and Foreign Policy all lambasted her. So did the New York Times, AFP, Reuters, and others.

Two main charges were leveled at Shaked. One concerned her Facebook post—last June, right after it was learned that three Israeli teenage boys had been kidnapped and murdered by Hamas—of an article by an Israeli journalist that included nasty words about Palestinians. Shaked almost immediately deleted the post and has called it a “mistake.” But in the Israeli goldfish bowl, a mea culpa—that is, if you’re a conservative politician—won’t get you anywhere.

The other charge was that Shaked, the new justice minister, was out to destroy Israel’s Supreme Court and its judiciary branch in general. Lost in the hostile media din was the fact that distinguished Israeli and foreign jurists, including some who are not on the political right, regard Israel’s Supreme Court as one of the most activist top judiciaries in the world, arrogating roles to itself that belong to the legislature, and hence as in need of reform. But why attend to such details when one could depict Shaked as the latest Israeli scourge of all that’s good and just.

Actually, Mr. President, this is what a democracy looks like

...The opinions stated above are representative of the position of many members of the government of Israel, and the People of Israel has elected them because they had the inner strength to say these things confidently and proudly. Yes, Mr. President; the two-state solution is, finally, dead. Now the people of Israel want to promote the application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. As a democrat, we expect the president of the United States to honor this and to accept it, even if the results of the elections in Israel do not suit his personal positions.

Yehudit Katsover/Naida Matar..
Opinion/JPost..
25 May '15..

In an unusual and disturbing departure from the normal and accepted relationship between states, US President Barack Obama has criticized the composition of the new Israeli government. He declared that it disturbs him that many government ministers object to the idea of establishing a Palestinian state in the heart of Israel.

We would expect the leader of the Democratic Party in the United States to honor the democratic results of democratic elections in the only democratic state in the Middle East. Somebody should explain to the president that the Israeli voter has granted a majority to the right-wing camp as a result of clear-headed judgment and in light of several failed attempts to begin implementing the idea of dividing the land.

The Israeli voter has seen the results of the delusional New Middle East to which the present president and his predecessors in the White House have tried to lead him. The Israeli voter has seen the death and the terror that the Oslo Accords and the withdrawal from Gaza have brought upon him. The Israeli voter has seen how much blood the vision of the Left has cost and especially – the Israeli voter has chosen to recover his national pride and return to his culture, to the cradle of the Jewish nation, and to the living connection between himself and his land.

That is why the Israeli voter has chosen to place in leadership positions people who present a different vision – the vision of the application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. Ministers Yisrael Katz, Naftali Bennett, Uri Ariel, Ze’ev Elkin, Yariv Levin, Danny Danon, Miri Regev, Tzipi Hotovely and Ofir Akunis, as well as Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein, deputy ministers Ayoub Kara and Rabbi Eliyahu Ben-Dahan are all quoted in the Sovereignty Journal, published by Women in Green, supporting its campaign for the application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.

The vision of the application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria is first and foremost a national one, shared by the people of Israel, who understand that this is our land and the inheritance of our forefathers. This foundational principle precedes all of the other explanations and justifications and is the bedrock upon which they are based. As the late Uri Elitzur, former Netanyahu chief-of-staff, put it: “Judea and Samaria are the backbone of the Land of Israel, the very heart of the Jewish People’s land throughout the generations and we are obliged to make every effort to realize the ownership of the Jewish People and its sovereignty over its land” (“One State and not Binational,” Uri Elitzur, Makor Rishon, June 6, 2013).

Communications Minister Ofir Akunis agrees, and is quoted in the March 2015 issue of Sovereignty as saying: “My objection to a Palestinian state stems primarily from the fact that our right to the land is eternal and irrevocable. The Land of Israel is the property of the Jewish People and there is no people in the world that would surrender its motherland.”

The application of Israeli sovereignty over the Land of Israel is consistent with international law. In 1921, at the Conference of San Remo, the League of Nations recognized the rights of the Jewish People to its land. With this act, the nations turned the Balfour Declaration and the vision of establishing a national home for the Jewish People in the Land of Israel into a principle of international law that is accepted by all nations. And this recognition was further reinforced with the establishment of the United Nations (Article 80 of the UN Charter).