Sunday, May 29, 2016

What happened to our forces? - by Amos Regev

...The IDF is grandmothers and grandfathers, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters. It's us, it's all of us, it's "our forces." But recently, something happened there, within our forces' upper command echelon. A kind of "group think" effect that yielded a new filter, through which they now view reality. It involves a communal pat on the back and a deep-seated belief that they, and only they, hold the philosopher's stone of truth and justice, and, above all, values. But that is entirely not the case. A sense of proportion and good judgement are sorely lacking there.

Amos Regev..
Israel Hayom..
29 May '16..
Link: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=16255..

What happened to our forces?

"Our forces" is what we call IDF soldiers and commanders. And that is precisely what we should call them, because ever since the establishment of the state, our army has been the key force that protects Israel, and there is really nothing quite like it. Ever since 1948 and the founding generation, through all the wars Israel has fought and the struggle to defend our borders, we have relied upon a military comprising soldiers in compulsory service and reservists. The IDF is grandmothers and grandfathers, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters. It's us, it's all of us, it's "our forces."

But recently, something happened there, within our forces' upper command echelon. A kind of "group think" effect that yielded a new filter, through which they now view reality. It involves a communal pat on the back and a deep-seated belief that they, and only they, hold the philosopher's stone of truth and justice, and, above all, values. But that is entirely not the case. A sense of proportion and good judgement are sorely lacking there.

About a month ago, the U.S. military published an inquiry into a failed military operation in Afghanistan. In October 2015, a special airplane -- a Hercules gunship that had been customized for anti-terror missions -- attacked a hospital operated by Doctors Without Borders in Kunduz. The ground forces were convinced that the hospital was actually a Taliban base. The airstrike was launched and 42 civilians were killed: women, children and the elderly.

Exactly 12 minutes into the strike, Doctors Without Borders contacted the American Special Forces commander to alert him of the mistake, but the airstrike continued for another 30 to 50 minutes, by various accounts, after the call was received.

Following a long investigation, the report was published. The strike does not constitute a war crime, it determined. Not murder, not manslaughter, not negligence. It was an operational mistake: The intended target was another building.

The target was misidentified; the protocol was wrong; there was a malfunction in the plane's control system; there was a communications error. Were 42 civilians killed? Were there urgent appeals in real-time to hold fire? Oh well. It was an accident.

No one in the U.S. military will face court-martial, but 16 people were reprimanded. Some will be dismissed from their posts. Disciplinary action was taken. End of story.

So what, the American military isn't "moral"? Of course it's moral. The "Counterinsurgency Field Manual," the official guide for the Army and the Marines, says: "American military values obligate Soldiers and Marines to accomplish their missions while taking measures to limit the destruction caused during military operations, particularly in terms of collateral harm to noncombatants. ... Combatants are not required to take so much risk that they fail in their mission or forfeit their lives."

And after all that, the matter ended -- with a few people being reprimanded.

And here? The case of Elor Azaria, the IDF soldier who shot an incapacitated terrorist in Hebron in March, has become a test case in the eyes of senior officers, a watershed event, a major battle for the values of purity of arms, and what's worse -- an engine of accusations against Israeli society as a whole.

No need to sugarcoat or whitewash

(Video) Israel and the Palestinians: What the media won't report - by Richard Kemp

Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, and an expert on Middle East conflicts, discusses what the Palestinian leadership really wants...

Gatestone Institute..
28 May '16..









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

Read recent articles by Col. Richard Kemp: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/author/Richard+Kemp

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.
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Evidence of an intellectual and moral corruption that runs deep and wide - by Peter Wehner

...The problems of the Palestinians are real and tragic, and when abuses against innocent Palestinians occur, including by Israelis, they should be condemned. But the entire situation in which that suffering arises is by now, after decades of spurning offers and deals that Israel was willing to accept, in essence, a creation of the Palestinian leadership. They have brought this misery upon themselves by refusing to compromise and accept the existence of a Jewish state. And the best thing that those who profess to care about the Palestinian cause could do is to speak honestly to the Palestinians about their leaders’ role in their plight.

Peter Wehner..
Commentary Magazine..
27 May '16..
Link: https://www.commentarymagazine.com/foreign-policy/middle-east/israel/liberals-shameful-attacks-israel/..

I want to add to Jonathan Tobin’s excellent post about the Democratic Party’s move away from support for Israel, which is, in turn, a result of the party’s lurch to the Left.

As the New York Times puts it in its story, “A bitter divide over the Middle East could threaten Democratic Party unity as representatives of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont vowed to upend what they see as the party’s lopsided support of Israel.”

What triggered this attention is the appointment of two anti-Israel figures on the party’s platform drafting committee, Cornel West and James Zogby, who on Wednesday “denounced Israel’s ‘occupation’ of the West Bank and Gaza and said they believed that rank-and-file Democrats no longer hewed to the party’s staunch support of the Israeli government.”

These appointments laid bare a steady shift in the Democratic Party, whose members have been less willing to back Israel’s government than in years past. According to a Pew Research Center survey in April, self-described liberal Democrats were twice as likely to sympathize with Palestinians over Israel than they were only two years ago. Forty percent of liberals sympathized more with Palestinians — the most since 2001 — while 33 percent sympathized more with Israel.

What explains this troubling trend? A friend of mine puts it this way: The Left thinks in terms of oppressor and oppressed, and in those terms it’s much easier for them to see the Palestinians as the oppressed than the Israelis, and arguments about who is at fault or who refuses to come to the table don’t change the basic power relations of a powerful, wealthy, successful society facing a weak, poor, failed one. It suggests the Left’s entire oppressor/oppressed framework often is misguided, but that’s just how liberals tend to think.

What’s wrong with this progressive construct is that it is morally offensive and empirically insane. One can sympathize with the suffering of individual Palestinians while also recognizing that Palestinians, not Israel, have brought these miseries upon themselves.

To quickly review the historical record: For those who blame the so-called “Israeli occupation” for Palestinian hostilities, it needs to be pointed out yet again that the PLO, an organization committed to the destruction of Israel, was founded in 1964, three years before Israel controlled the West Bank or Gaza. The entire Palestinian movement, from its inception to this day, is based on vanquishing the Jewish state.

That Kissinger Promise and Obama’s Fulfillment - by Vic Rosenthal

...The Obama Administration’s program to extricate itself from the Middle East by empowering Iran as the new regional power has given a new impetus to the policy of shrinking Israel. Iran sees Israel as a major obstacle to its hegemony, for both geopolitical and religious/ideological reasons, and is committed to eliminating the Jewish state. Obama found it necessary to restrain Israel from bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities at least once (in 2012), and seems to be prepared to sacrifice Israel in order to achieve his goal of establishing Iranian regional dominance.


Vic Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
27 May '16..
Link: http://abuyehuda.com/2016/05/kissingers-promise-and-obamas-fulfillment/

Old realpolitiker Henry Kissinger was in the news recently when he sat down with Donald Trump, to give him the benefit of his experience. It brought to mind Kissinger’s numerous attempts to get Israel out of the territories it conquered in 1967, before, during and – especially – after the Yom Kippur War.

Kissinger went to Iraq in December of 1975 to try to wean the regime away from the Soviet Union and improve relations with the US. In a discussion with Sa’dun Hammadi, the Iraqi Foreign Minister, Kissinger suggested that American support for Israel was a result of Jewish political and financial power, promised that the US would work to force Israel back to pre-1967 boundaries, and indicated that while the US would not support the elimination of Israel, he believed that its existence was only temporary. Here is an excerpt (the whole thing is worth reading):

I think, when we look at history, that when Israel was created in 1948, I don’t think anyone understood it. It originated in American domestic politics. It was far away and little understood. So it was not an American design to get a bastion of imperialism in the area. It was much less complicated. And I would say that until 1973, the Jewish community had enormous influence. It is only in the last two years, as a result of the policy we are pursuing, that it has changed.

We don’t need Israel for influence in the Arab world. On the contrary, Israel does us more harm than good in the Arab world. You yourself said your objection to us is Israel. Except maybe that we are capitalists. We can’t negotiate about the existence of Israel, but we can reduce its size to historical proportions. I don’t agree that Israel is a permanent threat. How can a nation of three million be a permanent threat? They have a technical advantage now. But it is inconceivable that peoples with wealth and skill and the tradition of the Arabs won’t develop the capacity that is needed. So I think in ten to fifteen years, Israel will be like Lebanon—struggling for existence, with no influence in the Arab world. [my emphasis] …

Kissinger also promised that aid to Israel, which he presented as a result of Jewish political influence, would be significantly reduced. He indicated that legal changes in the US – he must have been referring to the creation of the Federal Electoral Commission in 1974 to regulate campaign contributions – would attenuate Jewish power and therefore American support for Israel. Naturally, he didn’t foresee the Israel-Egypt peace agreement, which permanently established a high level of military aid to both countries.

He further promised that the US would support a PLO-run Palestinian state if the PLO would accept UNSC resolution 242 and recognize Israel. This of course is what (supposedly) happened in the Oslo accords.

Kissinger insisted that “No one is in favor of Israel’s destruction—I won’t mislead you—nor am I.” But his hint that a smaller Israel might not survive is clear. Surely he understood that a pre-1967-sized Israel (within what Eban called “Auschwitz lines”) would have no chance of surviving, simply because of the strategic geography of the area.

Kissinger was wrong about the Arabs developing the capability to challenge Israel, but their place has been taken by soon-to-be-nuclear Iran and its proxies, who are significantly more dangerous than the Arab states ever were.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Avigdor Lieberman’s first challenge - by Caroline Glick

...With the traditional Arab regimes still in place fighting for their survival, and Iran ascendant, Israel needs to assume that more terrorist regimes like Hezbollah, ISIS and Hamas will be formed from the wreckage of the Arab state system in the future. Instability, then, can be expected to remain a chronic condition of the Arab world. The good news is that Israel has the capacity to adapt and forge constructive strategies for weakening and dividing our enemies. The bad news is that so long as we insist on obsessing over ourselves, we are unlikely to do so.

Caroline Glick..
Carolineglick.com..
27 May '16..

Last week, a mob of 300 Muslim men in southern Egypt stripped a 70-year-old Christian woman naked and paraded her through the streets.

This Islamist atrocity came a few days before an EgyptAir flight from Paris exploded in the skies near Alexandria. It was the second passenger jet bombed by jihadists in Egypt in recent months.

Egypt is hanging on by a thread. Like the attack that downed a Russian passenger jet over Sinai last October, this week’s attack is likely the work of an Egyptian airport employee. It is yet more proof that nearly three years after the military deposed the Muslim Brotherhood’s jihadist government, the Brotherhood’s supporters remain seeded throughout the country and are capable of threatening the regime and the very survival of the Egyptian state.

It isn’t in the least surprising that Islamists have this power. Most Egyptians support them.

In the parliamentary elections four-and-a-half years ago, Islamists won more than 65 percent of the vote. Those were the most open elections in Egyptian history.

Given their strength, it is far from certain that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will long succeed in preventing the most powerful and populous country in the Arab world from becoming another branch of Islamic State.

From Israel’s perspective, how this battle pans out is of pivotal importance. But you wouldn’t know it from the media – or from our national security leaders.

As far as they are concerned, the gravest threat facing Israel is the Israeli Right. From their perspective, the most significant development of the year was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to appoint Avigdor Lieberman to replace Moshe Ya’alon as defense minister.

Consider for example a recent national security program on Army Radio.

On Tuesday veteran Arab affairs correspondent Avi Issacharof hosted Egyptian journalist Munib Muhamed on his radio show. Since the show was broadcast two days after the EgyptAir attack, Issacharof might have been expected to ask Muhamed about the bombing.

But then Israel wouldn’t have been the story. Instead, Issacharof asked Muhamed what Egyptians think of Lieberman. And again, there was nothing out of the ordinary in his discussion topic.

As the states around us collapse or struggle to survive, our media and our security brass spend the better part of their time telling us that Israeli society is dangerous. Our democracy is in danger. We are dangerous people. And we are making our neighbors angry.

As our elites obsess over Netanyahu’s coalition building and demand that the rest of the world obsess with them, we spend precious little time thinking about the long-term strategic implications of the revolutionary changes happening all around us.

AP Writes About Problems in Gaza, But Skips Any Mention of Hamas

...The AP story paints a picture that Israel is exclusively responsible for war and suffering in Gaza, that Palestinians bear no responsibility for pursuing peace, and that Hamas…simply does not exist. We think news audiences deserve better.

Daniel Pomerantz..
Honest Reporting..
26 May '16..

The Associated Press, one of the largest news agencies in the world, wrote a short article about Gaza, just 309 words. Not a single one of those words was “Hamas.”

That’s like talking about Syria and not using the words “Islamic State” (ISIS) or talking about the September 11 attacks and not mentioning “Al Qaeda.” It’s more than surreal, it’s bad journalism.

(Continue Reading)

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.
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Friday, May 27, 2016

A Gaza port will be no panacea for poverty - Martin Sherman

The crippling unemployment in Gaza, reportedly above 40%, will not be alleviated by transferring Israeli supervision from Ashdod and the Gaza border crossings to an offshore islet. There is soaring unemployment because any creative energies that might exist in Gaza are not being channeled toward productive or constructive goals, but rather into fomenting violence against the despised "Zionist entity." A port will not change those realities. Indeed, it is likely to exacerbate them.

Martin Sherman..
Israel Hayom..
27 May '16..

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.- Attributed to Albert Einstein

Just when you thought that you could not possibly hear anything more preposterous on how to help resolve the conflict with the Palestinians, somehow someone always manages to prove you wrong by coming out with a policy proposal so glaringly absurd that it transcends what you mistakenly believed was the pinnacle of imbecility.

Harebrained and hazardous

Disturbingly, precisely such a hopelessly hare-brained scheme is now being repeatedly bandied about by Israelis in positions of influence.

The idea is to provide Gaza with what, in effect, will be a detachable civilian port, under Israeli supervision. It is to be built on an offshore artificial island, connected to the mainland by a bridge over 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) long, which, according to its proponents, can easily be disconnected should the Gazans "misbehave."

Actually, this nonsensical notion has been around for quite some time. Indeed, as early as 2011, British daily The Guardian reported that Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz was pursuing the idea, which he estimated would cost $10 billion and take about a decade to complete.

Lately, however, it has been raised with increasing frequency in the media, and publicly endorsed by both government ministers and senior IDF brass.

Thus, earlier this year, Construction Minister Yoav Gallant, formerly the head of the IDF Southern Command, expressed his support for the idea in an interview with Bloomberg.

Just prior to that, Haaretz reported that "senior Israel Defense Forces officers are in favor in principle of a port for the Gaza Strip," and just last week The Jerusalem Post wrote: "High up within the defense establishment, some believe that the time has come for Israel to set up a civilian seaport for the Gaza Strip."

Detachable port? Detached from reality!

Indeed, at a conference held this weekend in New York, Katz, who, in addition to the transportation portfolio holds the post of intelligence minister, reiterated his previous support for a Gaza port on an artificial offshore island: "The offshore project could provide Gaza with an economic and humanitarian gateway to the world without endangering Israeli security."

I confess that the first time I heard of this appallingly absurd idea was in a private conversation several months ago with someone (who shall remain nameless) considered a serious contender for the post of Mossad director. I remember at the time being taken aback by the idea, so clearly ill-conceived and illfated, being promoted by someone so high ranking. But I took (false) comfort in the belief that it was so wildly outlandish that it would never be given serious consideration by those in authority.

As it turns out, I was sadly mistaken -- as this perilous proposal continues to enjoy sustained attention in the discourse.

A House of Prayer for All Peoples? Open the Temple Mount (Even to Jews)!

...Instead of doing the right thing in regards the Temple Mount, which is to say democratize it, successive Israeli governments prefer to bow to the irrational demands of their tormentors. Instead of standing up for its own alleged values, Israel allows Muslim bigots to decide who may, or who may not, be allowed to pray on a bit of land within the ancient capital of the Jewish people.

MK Yehuda Glick
Michael Lumish..
Israel Thrives..
26 May '16..

Temple Mount activist, Yehuda Glick, was elected to the Knesset and already there are concerns about World War III.

Glick got shot up and almost murdered in 2014 for the temerity to suggest that non-Muslims - even Jews - should be allowed to pray at the holiest site of the Jewish people.

Writing in the Times of Israel, Marissa Newman tells us:

Although Israel has repeatedly reassured the Palestinians and Arab states that it will not alter the status quo at the flashpoint site, Glick is confident he will find allies in the Knesset to support his cause.

And asked whether he would tone down his lobbying if asked to do so for security reasons, he said there would be “no reasoning” behind such a request and maintained: “I will continue advocating.”

I think that I am going to call the guy up and thank him for his bravery and essential human decency.

If there is one issue that genuinely pisses me off it is Israeli policy concerning the Temple Mount. How is it possible that someone like Moshe Dayan could be so naive as to think that handing over the holiest site of the Jewish people to Arabs would somehow placate them?

It did the exact opposite as should have been entirely predictable.

Instead of being grateful to the Jewish people for their generosity, the Arabs use the Temple Mount as a club and Israel allows this despite the fact that it need not do so.

They have even made it a rule that no member of the Knesset shall be allowed to go up there.

I do not know what to say. The stupidity is just breathtaking.

By preventing non-Muslims from praying on the Temple Mount Israel sends a message to the world that Jerusalem is not really a Jewish town. Maintaining the "status quo" is the same as maintaining the idea that Jerusalem actually belongs to the Arabs and, therefore, Jews are nothing more than land thieves.

This is the kind of help that Israel doesn’t need - Jonathan Tobin

...All of which proves that the good intentions of the worthy people sponsoring this “new” peace initiative are as worthless as the promises Arafat made to Rabin when the IPF first went into business. This is the kind of help that Israel doesn’t need.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
26 May '16..

When it comes to reinventing the wheel, some people just never tire of the exercise. That’s the only way to view a new Middle East peace initiative that its sponsors are touting as the proposal that the world has been waiting for that will finally solve the problem that has resisted every previous initiative. But in this case, the solution isn’t coming from unfriendly outsiders like the European Union, the United Nations, or even the Obama administration. It’s a group of American Jews who not only believe they are acting in the best interests of Israel but are pushing their ideas forward in cooperation with an organization of retired Israeli military and security officials as well as a Washington security think tank. Buoyed by the bad press that the current Israeli government has been getting, these people think now is just the moment to push forward a peace plan that will help prepare the way for change despite the opposition of the elected leaders of the Jewish state.

But even if we were to concede that their motives are pure, what they are doing is not only a waste of time, it is also actually counter-productive.

The group in question is the Israel Policy Forum, an organization supported and staffed by people with records of support for the Jewish state but which has been out of the news for a long time. Created at the behest of the late Yitzhak Rabin in 1994, the IPF’s original intent was to serve as a counterweight to AIPAC because the prime minister thought it was insufficiently enthusiastic about the Oslo Accords. Supported by heavyweight American Jewish donors, the group had a big initial splash, but its backers didn’t have the stomach to compete with the umbrella pro-Israel lobby. It was also soon outpaced by events as the Oslo process unraveled and was ultimately discredited in the eyes of the Israeli public by the deceit of Yasir Arafat and the horror of the Palestinian terrorism that he unleashed in the years that followed.

Since then, the IPF has been eclipsed among liberals by J Street, a group that didn’t shrink from seeking to support the Obama administration’s policy of pressure and more “daylight” between the U.S. and Israel as well as backing an Iranian nuclear deal that was opposed by Israelis across the political spectrum from left to right. Indeed, for many on the Jewish left here even J Street isn’t radical enough since it still puts itself forward as a “pro-Israel” group and opposes the BDS movement that aims at waging economic war on the Jewish state even as it supports those who practice more selective boycotts. But the IPF has just gotten fresh blood in the form of faithful Obama loyalist, apologist and funder Alan Solow and other liberal big shots. Yet though this effort is aimed at a more mainstream audience, the IPF initiative is based on the same bogus notion that Israel needs to be saved from itself and forced to make concessions to the Palestinians in order to preserve it as a Jewish state.

Plunging into irrationalism, singling out Israel as world’s only violator of health rights

...With today’s vote, which robs the world health assembly of limited time and resources in order to portray Israel as the world’s only violator of health rights—when in fact Israel is the beacon of the entire region on promoting and respecting the health rights of all people—the entire EU now descends into irrationalism. By scapegoating the Jewish state for all the world’s health problems, just as medieval Europe once accused the Jews of poisoning the wells, the EU aids and abets the UN and its World Health Organization to betray the cause of humanity and the very principles upon which they were founded.

UN Watch Briefing..
Vol. 591..
25 May '16..

GENEVA, May 25 — The UK, France, Germany and other EU states voted today for a UN resolution, co-sponsored by the Arab group of states and the Palestinian delegation, that singled out Israel at the annual assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) as the only violator of “mental, physical and environmental health,” and commissioned a WHO delegation to investigate and report on “the health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory” and in “the occupied Syrian Golan,” and to place it on the agenda again at next year’s meeting.

By contrast, the UN assembly did not address Syrian hospitals being bombed by Syrian and Russian warplanes, or millions of Yemenis denied access to food and water by the Saudi-led bombings and blockade, nor did it pass a resolution on any other country in the world. Out of 24 items on the meeting’s agenda, only one, Item No. 19 against Israel, focused on a specific country.

“The UN reached new heights of absurdity today,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, “by enacting a resolution which accuses Israel of violating the health rights of Syrians in the Golan, even as in reality Israeli hospitals continue their life-saving treatment for Syrians fleeing to the Golan from the Assad regime’s barbaric attacks.”

(Read Full Briefing)

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.
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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hypocrisy, Demagoguery and the Lie of "Disproportionality" - by Fred Maroun

...By making an accusation of disproportionality without defining the meaning of the term, Bernie Sanders and Haaretz betrayed not only the Palestinians and the Israelis, but also their professions. They made false and unsubstantiated accusations while ignoring the thousands more deaths that the Palestinians are inflicting on their own people -- by training toddlers and children for war, using their own people as human shields and failing to provide shelters for them, as the Israelis do for their citizens.

Fred Maroun..
Gatestone Institute..
26 May '16..

As a fourth Gaza war looms on the horizon, we should be aware of the hypocrisy and demagoguery of past Gaza wars: because we are likely to see more of the same.

The Accusation

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, a candidate in the Democratic primaries for president, claimed that Israel's response in the 2014 Gaza war was "disproportionate," and Haaretz columnist Asher Schechter agreed. Yet neither Sanders nor Haaretz provided evidence to back that claim.

Schechter made one point worth mentioning: the claim of "extremely permissive rules of engagement during the operation that aimed to protect the lives of IDF soldiers even if the cost was a greater loss of civilian lives." If true, it simply means that IDF soldiers, as all soldiers, have to make split-second decisions, and when they do so in a situation when confronted with Palestinians who appear to be terrorists, they err on the side of assuming they are terrorists in order to protect their own lives. That is not unexpected, and Israel has no obligation to do otherwise.

Israel has repeatedly demonstrated how much it values the civilian lives of the people it is fighting. No other military force drops leaflets, telephones its adversaries and "knocks on the roof" to warn them of an imminent attack, so that civilians will have time to evacuate. Israel values the lives of Palestinian civilians, but naturally, it values the lives of its own soldiers more. Israel has repeatedly demonstrated how much it values its soldiers, for example when it freed more than one thousand Palestinian criminals. Why would anyone expect Israel to suddenly to value its soldiers less when forced to fight terrorism in Gaza?

What is disgraceful is not that Israel cares about its soldiers, most of whom have families at home -- in many cases dependent on them for their livelihood. What would morale in any military be if soldiers felt they were merely regarded as cannon-fodder, not cared about?

What is disgraceful is that the Palestinian government in Gaza cares less about the lives of its own civilians, who themselves have families, than about killing Jews.

(Continue to Full Post)

Fred Maroun, a left-leaning Arab based in Canada, has authored op-eds for New Canadian Media, among other outlets. From 1961-1984, he lived in Lebanon.

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.
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Israel and a Reuters bureau chief who is neither impartial nor possessed of the requisite integrity

..."Luke Baker has failed his employers at Reuters, the journalists he has served as head of the FPA, and the millions of readers around the world who rely on his work for fair and accurate news about Israel: the very country that Baker so strongly and openly disdains. Reuters deserves better, the community of professional journalists deserve better, news audiences deserve better. And yes, Israel deserves better too.

Daniel Pomerantz..
Honest Reporting..
25 May '16..

Luke Baker, a man who openly expresses disdain and dislike for Israel is the Jerusalem bureau chief of Reuters, one of the world’s largest news services. He is also the outgoing chairperson of Israel’s Foreign Press Association (FPA).

Baker’s behavior on Twitter has given a window into his personal views, and those views are not at all impartial when it comes to Israel.

On the contrary, Baker’s tweets have been mocking, sarcastic, negative, and dismissive with regard to Israel and only with regard to Israel. Based on HonestReporting’s research, Baker has rarely, if ever, demonstrated such behavior or views toward Palestinians or toward any other party in the world.

Is this even allowed?

No.

(Read Full Post. Please Share)

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.
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When Christian organizations gamble with Jewish safety in secret - by Dexter Van Zile

If these church institutions had said, “Yes, we know the Iranian regime is profoundly hostile to Jews and Israel, but we still think this deal is a risk worth taking,” then fine. But instead of promoting an honest assessment of the risks and rewards of negotiating with Iran, these church institutions, under FCNL’s leadership, made such an analysis more difficult. If Christian leaders are going to roll the dice with Jewish lives and safety, let them do so out in the open, not in secret. And if they can’t do it out in the open, then let them not do it at all.

Obama administration official
Ben Rhodes
Dexter Van Zile..
JNS.org..
22 May '16..

Earlier this month, Ben Rhodes, a national security official in the Obama administration, admitted in a New York Times profile that he used non-governmental groups to create an “echo chamber” to garner cover for the nuclear deal with Iran. Rhodes stated that his efforts to manipulate media coverage of the deal were made easier by the youth and ignorance of journalists who cover foreign policy.

The implications are appalling. The whole point of having a free (and competent) press is to give the American people the information they need to exercise oversight over their elected (and non-elected) officials. It is one of the essential tools of American self-governance.

Journalists are not the only people who were implicated as a result of Ben Rhodes’s stunning admission. Christian churches and para-church organizations were an important part of the echo chamber that Rhodes created.

Christian organizations such as the National Council of Churches, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the United Church of Christ, the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the Mennonite Central Committee repeated, relayed, and affirmed messages that came out of the echo chamber to their supporters. By behaving in such a manner, these institutions did harm to the civil society in which they operate and to their own reputations.

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Related articles:

Ben Rhodes’ Echo Chamber on Iran Had Many Supporters and A Guide to the Perplexed: Ploughshares and the Iran Deal Echo Chamber

Dexter Van Zile is a Christian media analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA). His opinions are his own.


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