Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hamas' Family Day

More snapshots of the black soul of Hamas.

From Jeffrey Goldberg, Author of PRISONERS- a story of Friendship and Terror, writing an article entitled The World's Pornographic interest in Jewish Moral Failure, answering the question as to why we get to see so many gruesome photographs of dead or injured Palestinians, especially children;

I'll tell you why, again from firsthand, and repeated, experience: Hamas (and the Aksa Brigades, and Islamic Jihad, the whole bunch) prevents the burial, or even preparation of the bodies for burial, until the bodies are used as props in the Palestinian Passion Play. Once, in Khan Younis, I actually saw gunmen unwrap a shrouded body, carry it a hundred yards and position it atop a pile of rubble -- and then wait a half-hour until photographers showed... And it's typical of Hamas. If reporters would probe deeper, they'd learn the awful truth of Hamas.

But Palestinian moral failings are not of great interest to many people.

And this, on their courage as warriors, from a terrorism thinktank report:

In other cases, civilians are simply used as cannon fodder or human shields. Reports out of Gaza say residents who attempted to flee their homes in the northern area of the Strip were forced to go back at gunpoint, by Hamas men.

Arab media reported that in an IDF strike on a UN school 30 civilians were killed, but there is no legitimate way to prove gunmen were among those killed as Hamas tends to bury these bodies quickly, thus eliminating evidence in Israel's favor.

Other civilian complaints state that Hamas gunmen pull children along with them "by the ears" from place to place, fearing that if they don't have a child with them they will be fair game to the IDF. Others hide in civilian homes and stairwells, UNRWA ambulances, and mosques.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Another letter from Sderot

Laura Bialis is a US Documentary filmmaker originally from LA who moved to Sderot, Israel, two years ago to find a subject through which to film life in that town. The subject she chose as a platform for her doco was the local musicians and bands.

Her blog is one of the most candid I have seen on this issue. Rather than swoop in with her cameras to film the locals' hardships like a voyeur, she settled down and became a local, sharing the grief, trauma and comradeship of living in "the most bombed city in the world". Nobody is more directly in the shadow of the mass Islamic hatred for the Jewish State than the residents of Sderot.

She even married one of her documentaries' subjects!

Following her blog timeline of rocket attacks and their devastating, sometimes fatal effects for two years, is fascinating. Back in March 2008;

Saturday, sometime between 5 and 7AM:
One or two Tzeva Adoms (Red alerts for incoming rockets- 15 seconds to get to a bomb shelter, part of the Sderor way of life). I don’t remember. I don’t get up, I don’t wake up. I just stay in bed. Screw it all. If they want to bomb me, go ahead.

Saturday, Noon:
Helicopters. I get online. I can’t help it. What does it say in the news. Thirty-three qassams from yesterday until now. Twenty-six people killed in Gaza, including some civilians. Several IDF soldiers injured. (This was a minor IDF response to terrorists digging tunnels and smuggling weapons)

I look at the press from the West and get very angry. Its mostly about their injuries. Another article about Palestinian protests about our attacks. This is ridiculous. If there were no rockets raining on us the IDF wouldn’t have anything to do there. I don’t like the way we are portrayed. We don’t want this war. They are dragging us in. What can we do? There are rockets raining on us daily. But in the media we look like the aggressors. It feels so unfair to be sitting here and reading that. My entire perspective has changed. I used to think that Israel needed to take care of how it looked to the Western World — that we can’t look like monsters. Now I know it doesn’t matter. They will paint us however they want. I just can’t read the news anymore, it makes me too angry. We need to move forward with our lives, protect ourselves. The government has a responsibility to protect its people. The question is, what is the best way to do that?

Angry with the press coverage back in March? Laura, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Jump forward to the commencement of Operation Cast Lead at the end of 2008:

December 27 1:30 pm
Now its all over the news. The bombing is not stopping. There have been counter attacks. We are advised to stay inside near bomb shelters. Netivot and Ashkelon have started to get hit- one person has already died in Netivot.

As usual, I am worried about how this is being covered by the international press. I turned to the CNN web site, and was aghast. It described the situation as “dozens of rockets have been fired into Israel” since the cease-fire broke down. This is preposterous. It has been hundreds. Just this Wednesday there were 70 rockets, yesterday 20… the proportion looks totally different from the outside looking in.

Please take some time to read it, and think about the lives of these people who care about life.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Fauxtography awards

I expect there are already many doctored or staged photos from the press coverage of Israel's Gaza defence. There were numerous provably falsified images and other staged horror for vulturous western news agencies during the failed Lebanon war in 2006. From adding missiles to photos of warplanes in flight, to physically placing soft toys atop piles of rubble, there seemed no limit to what the western media allow in order to make Israel look evil. There's a very interesting analysis on the mere Rhetoric blog .

once more with hatred..

Even the seemingly innocent "human interest" stories can be, and are, overdone to stir up not compassion for the proclaimed victims, but rage against the alleged perpetrator. Personally I think if you need a journalist's ashen, morbid tones describing a sorry scene to lead you to compassion then I would question your capacity for compassion in the first place. Give me moral clarity any day.

Hamas know exactly how the West works. They know they cannot defeat Israel militarily, but they know how to defeat them politically. They know how to harness the power of every extreme left, human-rights campaigning, fake compassion-spouting, narcissistic elitist who wants to atone for their own sins by standing up for a fashionable, high-profile cause.

Hamas even boast about their willingness to exploit the death of their own people to turn the world against Israel. I have not seen one of these boasts covered by the mainstream media.

Oh, by the way, when I say "their own people" I mean civilian men, women and children. As I write this, Hamas commanders are currently hiding in purpose-built bunkers.

No, this "human interest" approach to such a conflict does not manufacture compassion. It creates rage. Rage against Jews.

Here's an incident recounted by leading US Attorney Alan Dershowitz, in a very clear article on the subject. A salient point from the article:

In one recent incident, Israeli intelligence learned that a particular house was being used to manufacture and store rockets. It was a clear military target...But the house was also being lived in by a family. So the Israeli military phoned the house, informed the owner that it was a military target, and gave him thirty minutes to leave with his family before the house was attacked. Hamas...immediately sent dozens of mothers carrying babies to stand on the roof of the house.

...In this case, Israel did learn of the civilians and withheld its fire. The rockets that were spared destruction by the human shields were then used against Israeli civilians. (Emphasis mine).

UPDATE: Media outlets, including serial Israel-basher The Melbourne Age, ran stories on Israel bombing a UN-run school and killing all those inside, civilians seeking refuge from the fighting.

What really happened? The school was run by UNWRA, the United Nations' relief agency. They are known to be the largest employer of Hamas operatives in Gaza. It was booby trapped with a massive amount of explosives. Of this there is no doubt. Anecdotal reports from soldiers are suggesting that approaching IDF troops received fire from the school.

So, Hamas hole up civilians in a booby-trapped building, assault IDF troops and then stand back and milk the results for world sympathy.

And we still blame Israel.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Don't shoot the messenger

Hamas' statements on how much they value their own people's lives are very telling, see my previous post.

Here is a post in an Israeli military forum from a rank-and-file Palestinian. It's almost as telling.

A message to Israel :specially people of the south

To all of you who think that the attacks on Gaza are going to stop the Resistance from firing rockets , I assure you that is not going to happen .
The attacks are only making the Palestinian resistance stronger , Hamas is getting stronger and stronger everyday , it's popularity ratings are higher than ever .
The rockets will not stop , so you either leave or die !
Our fighters are waiting for your land invasion , if that happens , you'll know what it's like to fight someone who's goal is to die.
The IDF soldiers just want to finish this and go home , but Hamas fighters leave their homes knowing they're going to die , and they're happy about it .
Killing so many people in Gaza is pointless , because we don't fear death !
Death is something we wish for.
We will continue to fire rockets , and we will keep you hiding underground .

I would like all those who protested against Israel across the western world of hypocrites, naive do-gooders and the cultural elitists (although I doubt I will hear from Annie Lennox) to explain to me how Israel are supposed to negotiate with that?

I've said it before, and here again: we love Jews when they are being massacred. We hate them when they fight back.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Let the vilification begin...

It took a couple of days, but finally the mainstream news networks in Australia are feeding us with all the information we need to uncritically accept the lie that Israel are, yet again, the bully of the Middle East.

SBS tonight screened around 15 seconds explaining why Israel are still hitting Hamas in Gaza and the next 15 minutes showing all the fine, peace-loving people protesting Israel's "atrocities"...just in case we all started thinking for ourselves and stepping outside the popular consensus.

We even heard from my sparring friend in The Melbourne Anglican letters section, Michael Shaik (scroll down, and note that he wrote his letter without disclosing his position as spokes-liar for Australians for Palestine). Shaik appeared on SBS spouting his usual facts-from-upside-down-land to clutch at his Israel-hating straws.

The irony is that for the first time only, Australians are hearing about (some of) the 4,000 plus rocket attacks from Hamas in Gaza which have peppered Southern Israeli towns since Israel pulled all Jews out of Gaza in an attempt to bring peace. There have been some creative efforts in playing down these attacks. Creative efforts from people who don't live under the threat of these deadly rockets. These apologetics for terrorism are typified by this article in The Australian, courtesy of Amin Saikal, who says

...the primitive Qassim rockets fired by Hamas militants last week, in response to the Israeli killing of three Hamas figures at a time when there was supposed to be a ceasefire in place, has taken only three Israeli lives...

Let me get this straight Mr. Saikal: No mentioning the other 4,000-ish rockets fired since 2005. Indiscriminate attacks on civilians are okay in response to well-targeted attacks on terrorists. And these rockets are "primitive". They're nothing, They're just Palestinian kids firing bottle rockets on Guy Fawkes night. "Primitive" is interchangeable with "home-made", also a popular term with media commentators wishing to create the same pathetic impression.

Yep, "primitive". They're harmless, those Kassams. Made in Iran, smuggled through the Sinai in tunnels, up to 90kg total weight and up to a 40km range depending on how much of the 20kg allowable payload weight you pack with explosives and ball bearings. Fired indiscriminately into civilian areas.

Some kids playing with fireworks. Photo courtesy of boy-on-a-bike

But the most hideous of intentional understatements is; has taken only three Israeli lives...

three? (last week's rockets, that is). Why would that be? Because Hamas mean Israel no harm? Or because Israel do a better job of caring for their own?

Example: All Israeli residents must have adequate bunker or bomb shelter protection in all homes built. Their emergency response crews are second to nobody in speed and their early warning systems are constantly developed.

Mind you, their EWS gives Southern Israeli schoolchildren 15 seconds to get to a shelter. That's less time than Israeli Defence warnings give to Palestinian Gaza residents to evacuate before their air strikes.

And the other reason for such a large discrepancy in death toll? Hamas, as with Islamic terrorists in general, love death. Whether their children die from being brainwashed into suicide bombing duty, or an Israeli missile, it's all the same to them. These are not my words, these are their own words.

Or try this article, in an Iranian newspaper...(which was promptly closed down).

The rising tide of anti-Israel bias is way beyond the scope of this post. If you're concerned about facts on the ground, go to Israellycool for live blogging updates and all the links you need for real information. And do what all smart, pragmatic people do; prepare for war, pray for peace.