Tag: Hamas

Jim and Greg discuss a rebuke by 12 House Democrats of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s tweet comparing the U.S. and Israel to the Taliban and Hamas, the new record-breaking numbers of border crossings in May, and the continued expansion of inflation.

Calling Out Aggression in the Mideast

 

As of this writing, the relationship between Israel and Palestine has taken perhaps its most dangerous turn since the Israelis made their controversial decision to leave Gaza in August 2005. To my mind, that agonizing decision was, at the time, the lesser of two evils. For Israel to govern Gaza, which had only around 8,500 Jewish settlers, the Israelis ran the risk of becoming a hostile occupying force with little or no local legitimacy. Using powerful force to respond to concerted attacks from Gaza after pulling out was the better alternative. Once Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, it quickly initiated military attacks on Israel in 2008, 2012, and 2014, with large losses of life on all sides.

In this instance, as in all others, it is inappropriate to posit moral and legal parity between the two sides. In all cases, Hamas was the aggressor. It is a moral blunder to equate Israel’s targeted self-defense with Hamas’s aggression. To be sure, in practice there are often complex ethics that challenge the imagination, but the key to understanding Gaza is to avoid the mistake of assuming that any balance in the number of deaths and casualties offers evidence of moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas. As Bret Stephens recently wrote in the New York Times, the moral imbalance between Israel and Hamas looms as a huge obstacle to any two-state solution in the Middle East.

So long as Hamas is active, the Israelis cannot afford to deploy the same strategy of calculated withdrawal on the West Bank that they used fitfully in Gaza. Gaza can be isolated by land and sea. The West Bank, however, borders Jordan, through which other Israeli enemies like Iran and Syria can easily set up hostile military positions close to both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

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A week ago it looked like Israel might be on the cusp of electing a new, Bibi-free government that included an Arab party.  This wasn’t going to be a cosmopolitan suck-up government; the parties involved were not exactly moderate, yet their only path to power was to cooperate with those who normally would be their […]

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Israel, Gaza, and Presidential Politics

 

Here we go again: rockets fired into Israel from Gaza; Israel retaliates; and the story continues. But it is a different and more ominous story, and we should all be concerned.

At the moment, there is a ceasefire between Gaza and Israel, facilitated by Egypt. It is sure to be violated, and will probably collapse. In one sense, this story is an old one. But the aggressors have changed, and Israel will not sit back and be victimized by the new guns in town: Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

This is one description of the current violence:

Omar’s Comments Need Context

 

Whenever you quote someone, it is important to provide context. For instance, assume someone says, “I wish Germany would have won.” Are they talking about a soccer game or World War II? Knowing that context matters.

Many Democrats are coming to the defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s recent comments by claiming she was taken out of context. So let’s look at the context on some of her recent comments.

BDS Linked to Terrorist Organizations

 

The Boycott-Divest-Sanctions (BDS) Movement has a fairly recent history in the US for its ugly organized hatred of Israel. The organization wrongly characterizes Israel as an apartheid state and spreads lies about Israel’s history and right to the land. Most people who are critical of the BDS movement are aware that it is also an anti-Semitic organization.

Recently, the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs released a report that shows BDS is not only actively working against Israel, but it has infiltrated NGOs (non-government organizations) in order to take actions against Israel and to raise funds for its activities. The report describes 100 specific alleged links between BDS and terrorists, particularly Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP):

This approach is an evolutionary development in the tactics of the terror organizations against the State of Israel. The terror groups have realized that armed conflict is not achieving its objective and is perceived as illegitimate by the majority of Western society. As a result, Hamas and PFLP operatives have infiltrated and adopted seemingly benign NGOs in the Palestinian Authority, Europe, North America and South Africa, for the purpose of advancing their ideological goal: the elimination of the State of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. Moreover, it appears that terrorist organizations view NGOs in the West as a convenient means for raising funds which they could not otherwise obtain.

Jim and Greg are both on vacation this week.  They will be back June 25th.  There will new episodes with guest hosts Thursday and Friday of this week.  Today, please enjoy an encore presentation of the Three Martini Lunch.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem after three previous administrations acknowledged Jerusalem as the Israeli capital but refused to move the embassy.  They also wince as Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin vetoes legislation that would allow residents to carry guns without a permit, leading Jim to wonder whether the anti-gun backlash after Parkland is making GOP officials more timid.  And they roll their eyes as the media condemn Israel for defending its borders against thousands of Palestinians specifically sent to the border to instigate a response from Israel.

Hasn’t Mankind Already Killed Enough Jews?

 

On the few occasions when Iran has taken a break from chanting “Death To America,” it tells the world it is going to drive all Israelis into the sea and eliminate the State of Israel.

This morning, Hamas, one of Iran’s many puppet terrorist organizations, launched 28 mortar shells from Gaza into Israel, several striking a kindergarten in southern Israel. If Iran develops a deliverable nuclear warhead, there is no doubt the mullahs will test it in the olive groves between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Richard Epstein examines the recent violence in Gaza and explains the hopelessness of current Middle East peace initiatives.

The Israel-Palestine Standoff

 

Few issues produce more political and emotional discord than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In principle, there is much to commend a two-state solution. If achieved, it could allow the two groups to live beside each other in peace. Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, the interminable peace process came to a screeching halt this past week as the American embassy opened in Jerusalem. An exultant Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proclaimed before Israeli and American dignitaries, “We are in Jerusalem and we are here to stay.” At the same moment , thousands of angry Palestinian demonstrators were rebuffed with deadly force as they sought to storm into Israel from Gaza. The confrontations took place on May 14 and 15—and the Palestinians consciously timed their protests to correspond with the seventieth anniversary of the Palestinian Exodus that resulted in the birth of the Israeli state. Some 62 Gazans died and thousands were wounded as the Israelis used live ammunition to keep protestors from storming over the barricades into Israel.

Now that the protests have subsided, Hamas seeks to capitalize on the deaths and injuries to isolate Israel diplomatically. The United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva has harshly condemned the Israelis for a “wholly disproportionate response” to the provocations they faced. Any fair-minded assessment can only judge the Israeli response by first looking at Hamas’s provocation. But as with other UN tribunals, the evidence on the ground does not matter. In this instance, Hamas was fiendishly clever by mixing in children with violent protestors to bolster its common claim that the Israelis fired on “unarmed individuals” who posed little or no imminent threat to the Israelis, a claim that was quickly repeated by Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).

Hamas’ charge is bizarre for two reasons. The first is that a mob, even of “unarmed” individuals, is typically intent on committing acts of violence by its sheer force of numbers. Indeed, the fiery confrontation looked like a war zone, marked by the hurling of Molotov cocktails, rocks, grenades, and pipe bombs at IDF border guard forces, backed up by the use of incendiary kites flown over Israeli territory. At multiple points along the border, Hamas operatives used wire cutters to tear up fences in order to allow hordes of thuggish Palestinians to fan out into Israeli territory. As Israeli intelligence reports, Hamas paid women and children to go to the front in order to put them in the line of fire.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America take aim at three examples of egregious media bias.  They start with the heroism of Dixon High School (Ill.) school resource officer Mark Dallas, who saved countless lives in a would-be school shooting this week, yet the media glossed over the story since there was no body count and they have little interest in highlighting the effectiveness of a resource officer willing to engage the shooter.  They also slam the press for selectively quoting President Trump to make it seem he was referring to immigrants as “animals” when he was responding specifically to comment about the vicious Latin American gang MS-13.  And they throw up their hands as Hamas admits most of the people killed along the Israeli border were armed Hamas members and not random civilians and the media show no interest in reporting it.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America enjoy watching Democrats publicly feud over how prominent the impeachment issue should be in 2018.  They also shake their heads as the Seattle City Council tries to fight homelessness by taxing companies $275 for every employee if the business makes more than $20 million per year.  They fire back as Never Trump “Republican” Steve Schmidt says Trump’s decision to embassy is only a calculation for the midterm elections and that the president has blood on his hands from the violence along the Israel-Gaza border.  And Jim offers a champagne toast to mark the passing of prolific author and National Review friend Tom Wolfe.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem after three previous administrations acknowledged Jerusalem as the Israeli capital but refused to move the embassy.  They also wince as Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin vetoes legislation that would allow residents to carry guns without a permit, leading Jim to wonder whether the anti-gun backlash after Parkland is making GOP officials more timid.  And they roll their eyes as the media condemn Israel for defending its borders against thousands of Palestinians specifically sent to the border to instigate a response from Israel.

Now that President Trump has made good on a major campaign promise – pulling the U.S. out of the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal – the debate has begun whether it was the right move. Abbas Milani, a Hoover research fellow and the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University, offers his opinion and explains how the change affects both the politics of Iran and the Middle East region.

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Tightening the Screws on Israel

 

Let me be blunt. The Iranian deal always was a disaster and, after President Netanyahu’s presentation, we’re relearning what we already knew. Mama Toad’s post did a great job of soliciting input from Ricochetti about Netanyahu’s statement. And if you want an outsider’s view, take a look at David Harsanyi’s article in The Federalist. I encourage you to offer your opinion on this dangerous and ridiculous agreement, but this OP will take two different directions, particularly regarding Israel. One question is: what do we do next on the Iran agreement? The second addresses a different topic: what do you think are the dangers of the protests in Gaza at the border with Israel?

So let’s look at Iran first. They’ve lied from the start, in spite of “guarantees” for transparency and investigations by the IAEA. In its February 22, 2018 report, the IAEA summary reads as follows:

The Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities and locations outside facilities where nuclear material is customarily used (LOFs) declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement. Evaluations regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities for Iran remained ongoing. Since Implementation Day, the Agency has been verifying and monitoring the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA. The Director General will continue to report as appropriate.

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Some people had a good laugh earlier this week about how stupid Ben Carson is because he doesn’t know how to say “Hamas.” These people reveal only that they are jerks. Hamas can be pronounced several different ways, even by the same person. For instance, Benjamin Netanyahu sometimes says “CHAmas,” and other times, “ha-Mas.” So […]

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I’ve seen this video before and it is making its way around my facebook feed again. It is a video of David Horowitz and an interaction he had with a Muslim student at UCSD in 2010. The student is a member of the campus MSA (Muslim Students Association). She is questioning him about a pamphlet […]

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Ties with the United States in Crisis The article expresses the strained relationship between Israel and the United States. What I found peculiar is the apologetic nature of the piece. During the conflict with Palestine, Israel was denied, or was delayed access, to arms that the U.S. had already allocated for Israel. Furthermore the administration […]

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It appears the Israel is taking off the gloves for real; they are taking down whole apartment buildings instead of just destroying launching sites. At the first report, I assumed that the IDF made a mistake and did too much structural damage. After a 12 story apartment building was followed by a 7 story one […]

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