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Thursday, July 24, 2014

So You Want Proof Hamas Uses Civilians As Human Shields? Here Are Ten Examples.

Since Israel's Operation Protective Edge began over three weeks ago, the mainstream media has been highlighting the civilian casualties in Gaza. In most cases, even if they report the Hamas use of human shields they report them as "Israeli allegations," as opposed to facts. One example is the report by NBC's Ayman Mohyeldin embedded above.

So to help Mr.  Mohyeldin and those like him below are ten examples of Hamas using civilians as human shields. If these arent convincing, let me know because there are a lot more.

1) This particular example comes from the U.N. it was the second time they got caught:

2) On July 15th Washington Post correspondent William Booth, reporting from Gaza, wrote:
At the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, crowds gathered to throw shoes and eggs at the Palestinian Authority’s health minister, who represents the crumbling “unity government” in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The minister was turned away before he reached the hospital, which has become a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices.
3) The IDF found Grad rocket launchers next to a school:

4) A July 17th article in The Washington Post written by William Booth, Sudarsan Raghavan and Ruth Eglash​ reported:
During the lull, a group of men at a mosque in northern Gaza said they had returned to clean up the green glass from windows shattered in the previous day’s bombardment. But they could be seen moving small rockets into the mosque.

5) The video below is from Hamas TV and says in part:
Answering the occupation's calls will merely aid it in carrying out its plans to weaken the [Palestinian] home front and to destroy property and homes as soon as you leave them. We call on all our people who have left their homes to return to them immediately.

6) Wall Street Journal Correspondent Nick Casey tweeted the following (since removed, seemingly because it did not please his Hamas hosts):

7) The entrance for this Hamas terror Tunnel was found in a Gaza house:

8) Another example from Hamas TV in the video below:
The people oppose the Israeli fighter planes with their bodies alone... I think this method has proven effective against the occupation. It also reflects the nature of our heroic and brave people, and we, the [Hamas] movement, call on our people to adopt this method in order to protect the Palestinian homes.

9) There are also reports of Hamas using reporters as human shields. For example, the Japanese daily Mainichi’s correspondent in Gaza reported on Monday:
Hamas criticizes that “Israel massacres civilians”. On the other hand, it tries to use evacuating civilians and journalists by stopping them and turning them into “human shields”, counteracting thoroughly with its guerrilla tactics…

Hamas’s “Human Shield” strategy is also aimed at foreign journalists…During the current battle, Hamas’s checkpoint was bombarded, and there was temporary checkpoint at another location. To some 20 journalists who wished to leave, Hamas staff member suddenly told, “Israel closed the checkpoint… However, when I called IDF personnel at the checkpoint, he said that “We haven’t got attacked and we are open as usual…” While were discussing what to do, the same Hamas staff member shouted, “in 5 minutes Israel seems to conduct an airstrike on here. Return immediately to Gaza!” All the journalists returned to Gaza by car. But we remembered that Hamas, during the conflict with Israel in November 2012, also closed checkpoints to block outflow.

10) How about this video of Hamas Shooting at the IDF from a hospital?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Israel Hater & U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay Claims Israel Committed War Crimes

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay charged Israel with possibly committing war crimes during a meeting in Geneva Wednesday morning. While the media is reporting the claim, it is ignoring Ms. Pillay's history of advocacy of hatred toward Israel during her UN tenure.

NBC News as well as other media outlets reported Wednesday:
Israel may have committed war crimes by killing civilians and shelling houses and hospitals during its two-week-old offensive in the Gaza Strip, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said on Wednesday. Pillay, opening an emergency debate at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, also condemned the indiscriminate firing of rockets and mortars by Palestinian militants into Israel.

Citing cases Israeli air strikes and shelling hitting houses and hospitals in the coastal enclave, she said: "These are just a few examples where there seems to be a strong possibility that international humanitarian law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes.
In addition ignoring the fact that Ms. Pillay's assertion is totally wrong; as tragic as civilian deaths are, collateral damage because of one's enemies using their civilians as human shields is not a war crime, what the media is ignoring is the High Commissioner's record as an anti-Israel advocate. As reported by the NY Daily News when she was promoted to her latest office in 2011:
Pillay's enthusiasm for the Durban "anti-racism" agenda goes hand in hand with her single-minded pursuit of the demonization of Israel throughout her tenure. In January 2009, Pillay called for the creation of what became the Goldstone inquiry. In August 2009, she issued a report that lauded Hamas for having "made public statements that it is committed to respect international human rights and humanitarian law." After Goldstone claimed that Israel had intentionally targeted civilians, Pillay said on Sept. 30, 2009, "I lend my full support to Justice Goldstone's report and its recommendations." Goldstone has since recanted the veracity of his slur; Pillay has not.

In July 2010, she made a rare appearance before the Security Council on "situations where the protection of civilians has been and remains of great concern" around the world - and made only two pleas to the council, both about Israel. Referring to Gaza, she said: "I urge the council . . . to ensure the lifting in full of the blockade" - which would stymie Israel's ability to limit the flow of arms to Hamas. And she made this plea: "I urge the Security Council to support the recommendations of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict" - that is, the Goldstone report.

After a visit this past February to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, she said this at her final Jerusalem news conference: "The clearest manifestation of institutional discrimination is the fact that during all my meetings with government and state officials, I do not believe I met a single Palestinian citizen of Israel." She could have easily determined that Israeli Arabs are members of Israel's parliament, in the diplomatic corps and on the Supreme Court. The discrimination that was apparently unclear to Pillay was the institutional charter of the Hamas government in Gaza, which calls for the annihilation of the Jewish citizens of Israel, and the Palestinian Authority's refusal to recognize the right of a Jewish state to exist at all.
In 2011, Ms. Pillay suggested the United States operation that resulted in the death of Usama Bin Laden should be investigated for violations of international law:
Admitting that taking bin Laden alive was "always going to be difficult," Pillay nevertheless signaled the United States needs to explain more about what happened in the compound.

"This was a complex operation and it would be helpful if we knew the precise facts surrounding his killing," Pillay said. "The United Nations has consistently emphasized that all counter-terrorism acts must respect international law."

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) : Did President Obama Just Launch an Economic Boycott of Israel?

Below is Senator Cruz's Full Statement

Did President Obama Just Launch an Economic Boycott of Israel?


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today questioned the Obama Administration’s decision to ban flights to Israel while, at the same time, announcing continuing aid that will be funneled to the terrorist organization, Hamas.

“Aiding Hamas while simultaneously isolating Israel does two things. One, it helps our enemy. Two, it hurts our ally,” said Sen. Cruz.

He added, “The facts suggest that President Obama has just used a federal regulatory agency to launch an economic boycott on Israel, in order to try to force our ally to comply with his foreign-policy demands.”

Sen. Cruz is asking the Obama Administration to answer five specific questions regarding the FAA’s decision to suspend flights to Israel.

Sen. Cruz’s full statement is below.

“Today, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it was extending its ban on flights by U.S. carriers into Israel. The rationale was that because one Hamas-launch rocket had landed in a field one mile from Ben Gurion International Airport, the ‘potentially hazardous security situation created by the armed conflict between Israel and Gaza’ necessitated this extreme action that has so far cancelled some 160 flights and left tens of thousands stranded.

“Obviously, no one wants to place civilian travelers in harm’s way, and the recent downing of Malaysian Airways flight 17 by pro-Russian militants in Ukraine is a stark reminder of the dangers posed by regional unrest. But security concerns in Israel are hardly breaking news, and given the exceptional challenge Israel faces, Ben Gurion has rightly earned the reputation as one of the safest airports in the world due to the aggressive security measures implemented by the Israeli government.

“Given that some 2,000 rockets have been fired into Israel over the last six weeks, many of them at Tel Aviv, it seems curious to choose yesterday at noon to announce a flight ban, especially as the Obama Administration had to be aware of the punitive nature of this action.

“Tourism is an $11 billion industry for Israel, which is in the middle of a summer high season already seriously diminished by the conflict initiated by Hamas. Group tours have been cancelling at a 30% rate. This FAA flight ban may well represent a crippling blow to a key economic sector through both security concerns and worries that additional bans will down more flights and strand more passengers. It hardly matters if or when the ban is lifted. At this point, the damage may already be done.

“Even given the remarkable resilience and prosperity of its economy, Israel has always been vulnerable to economic blackmail. In the 1970s, we saw the Arab League boycott, which tried to punish any financial institution that did business with Israel.

“Today we have similar noxious efforts by the Boycott, Divest, Sanction or ‘BDS’ movement, which seeks to punish Israel for the fact that the militant terrorist elements embraced by the Palestinian Authority make any peace deal an intolerable security risk to Israel at this time. But the Obama Administration has refused to robustly denounce this effort to undermine our ally.

“Instead, Secretary of State John Kerry issued a veiled threat last February when he encouraged boycotts of Israel and said that absent serious Israeli concessions at the negotiating table, Israel’s economic prosperity was ‘not sustainable’ and ‘illusory.’ Secretary Kerry unfortunately reprised this theme just this April, when he threatened that Israel risked becoming an ‘apartheid state’ if Israel did not submit to his chosen solution to the Israel-Palestinian crisis.

“Taken in the context of Secretary Kerry’s comments, yesterday’s action by the FAA raises some serious questions:

Was this decision a political decision driven by the White House?

If the FAA’s decision was based on airline safety, why was Israel singled out, when flights would be permitted into Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen?

What was the FAA’s ‘safety’ analysis that led to prohibiting flights to Israel, while still permitting flights to Ukraine—where a commercial airline flight was just shot down with a BUK missile?
What specific communications occurred between the FAA and the White House? And the State Department? Why were any such communications necessary, if this was purely about airline safety?

Was this a safety issue, or was it using a federal regulatory agency to punish Israel to try to force them to comply with Secretary Kerry’s demand that Israel stop their military effort to take out Hamas’s rocket capacity?

“When Secretary Kerry arrived in Cairo this week his first act was to announce $47 million in additional aid to Gaza, which is in effect $47 million for Hamas. In short order, this travel ban was announced by the FAA. Aiding Hamas while simultaneously isolating Israel does two things. One, it helps our enemy. Two, it hurts our ally.

“Until these serious questions are answered, the facts suggest that President Obama has just used a federal regulatory agency to launch an economic boycott on Israel, in order to try to force our ally to comply with his foreign-policy demands.

“If so, Congress should demand answers.”

EXPOSED: Senator John Walsh (D-MT) Plagiarized His Master's Thesis

In a controversial move this past February,  the retiring Max Baucus was appointed U.S. Ambassador to China, so that John Walsh could be appointed as a replacement and run to replace Baucus with the added advantage of being an incumbent. Now Walsh is being hit with another scandal. The NY Times is reporting An examination of the thesis paper required for Mr. Walsh’s master’s degree from the United States Army War College indicates the senator appropriated at least a quarter of his thesis on American Middle East policy from other authors’ works, with no attribution.

Walsh, has made his military service a main selling point for his campaign, as it should be for any veteran. The military's teachings of service, honor and responsibility is an ideal background for a legislator. But it seems that Walsh has dishonored his service by plagiarizing his master's thesis.
Most strikingly, each of the six recommendations Mr. Walsh laid out at the conclusion of his 14-page paper, titled “The Case for Democracy as a Long Term National Strategy,” is taken nearly word-for-word without attribution from a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace document on the same topic.

In his third recommendation, for example, Mr. Walsh writes: “Democracy promoters need to engage as much as possible in a dialogue with a wide cross section of influential elites: mainstream academics, journalists, moderate Islamists, and members of the professional associations who play a political role in some Arab countries, rather than only the narrow world of westernized democracy and human rights advocates.”

The same exact sentence appears on the sixth page of a 2002 Carnegie paper written by four scholars at the research institute. In all, Mr. Walsh’s recommendations section runs to more than 800 words, nearly all of it taken verbatim from the Carnegie paper, without any footnote or reference to it. In addition, significant portions of the language in Mr. Walsh’s paper can be found in a 1998 essay by a scholar at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, a research institute at Harvard.
Even worse than stealing the prose, the Times demonstrates how Walsh stole his critical thinking at the end of the paper from others. The Times provides a great interactive graphic outline which parts of the paper were stolen from others. But as a visual take a look at the screen shot below from the graphic, the areas highlighted in red were taken from other papers without attribution.

In an interview outside his Capitol Hill office on Tuesday, after he was presented with multiple examples of identical passages from his paper and the Carnegie and Harvard essays, Mr. Walsh said he did not believe he had done anything wrong.

“I didn’t do anything intentional here,” he said, adding that he did not recall using the Carnegie and Harvard sources.

But on Wednesday, a campaign aide for Mr. Walsh walked back the denial, she did not contest the plagiarism but said that it should be looked at in the context of his entire career.
She said Mr. Walsh was going through a difficult period at the time he wrote the paper, noting that one of the members of his unit from Iraq had committed suicide in 2007, weeks before it was due.
While I am sympathetic to Walsh's difficult period, beyond the plagiarizing Senator from Montana there are 16 other members of Congress who served in Iraq or Afghanistan, I am not aware of any others who cheated their way to a masters degree.

If you wish to read the full NY Times report CLICK HERE.

Tonight At 10PM EDT The Israel Project’s Omri Ceren Talks About The Middle East Conflict on The Hump Day News Report

Israel Project’s Omri Ceren – Hump Day News Report 7/23 LIVE 10PM EDT

Click Here To Listen

Our guest tonight will be Omri Ceren, Former Blogger at Mere Rhetoric, Executive Vice President and Principal at LynxDC and Senior Advisor for Strategy at The Israel Project (TIP).
Ceren is a political operative, journalist, and academic who has been involved in politics and media for almost a decade.OmriCeren
Ceren is a PhD Candidate at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, with expertise in political persuasion, media influence, and the use of new communication technologies.
He was involved in academic policy debate as both an undergraduate debater and a coach, and from 2002 to 2008 he helped coach teams from Dartmouth College and then from the University of Southern California.
Ceren has been involved in journalism since 2003, and has been a formal contributor to over a dozen outlets and blogs on issues ranging from international geopolitics to market dynamics to social media branding.
He has been published in magazines such as Commentary, in international outlets such as The Jerusalem Post, and in local media such as The Los Angeles Jewish Journal. His investigative journalism has been cited by The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, the BBC, Reuters, the Associated Press, The Jerusalem Post, and dozens of other outlets.
Listen in for an informative conversation about what’s really happening in Israel right now: the media and talking heads seem to be very influenced by Palestinian publicists, rather than the true state of affairs. With Omri’s help, we’ll set the record straight!

Follow Jeff on Twitter at @yidwithlid, Omri at @cerenomri, and me at@tamij