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Hamas Terror Tunnels: What Did the UN Know and When Did It Know It?

July 25th, 2014 - 1:05 pm

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Amidst news the Israelis have turned down secretary of State Kerry’s latest, apparently Qatar-inspired, ceasefire, not to mention the other day’s nauseatingly familiar anti-Israel fusillade from the mega-Orwellian UN Human Rights Council, comes word that Hamas had been planning a gigantic attack on Israel this September via its dozens of tunnels.

From the Gatestone Institute:

Hamas had apparently been preparing a murderous assault on Israeli civilian targets for the coming Jewish New Year Holiday, Rosh Hashanah, which begins on September 24, according anonymous sources in the Israeli security services, as reported today by the Israeli daily Maariv.

The Hamas plan consisted of what was to be a surprise attack in which 200 fighters would be dispatched through each of dozens of tunnels dug by Hamas under the border from Gaza to Israel, and seize kibbutzim and other communities while killing and kidnapping Israeli civilians.

Assuming this to be true–and Hamas has already used the tunnels for a similar attack last week–questions arise. Why didn’t Israeli and U.S. intelligence know about the extent and dangers of these tunnels earlier — if they didn’t? And if they did, why didn’t they do something about it?

Well, we don’t know. But at least the Israelis are doing something about it now, even with resistance from the Americans.

Meanwhile, another culprit waits in the wings, perhaps the greatest enabler of all of Hamas terror — the United Nations. I strongly suspect the UN has not just been consistently biased and hateful toward Israel, it has also — at the very least — looked the other way as mass murder and kidnappings (sedatives and handcuffs have been found in the tunnels) were being planned against Israel’s citizens.

We already know that Hamas hid missiles in at least two UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) schools in Gaza. Ban Ki-moon claimed to be shocked, but I predict he will be really shocked if a full investigation were made because there is far worse.

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Congressional committees have a lot on their plate these days with the IRS, Benghazi, the VA fiasco, etc., but recent events dictate they must add one more — the role of the United Nations in Gaza.

The United States provides more financial support to the UN than any other country. As Claudia Rosett wrote in Forbes in 2011 (“Magic for U. S. Money for the United Nations“): “The U.S. is by far the biggest donor to the U.N., bankrolling 22% of the U.N.’s core budget, and roughly one-quarter of its far larger and murkier system-wide spending (estimated at somewhere upward of $25 billion).”

In other words, the UN takes a bucket of your cash and mine at a time when many people in our country are suffering.  It therefore behooves Congress to make sure this money is being spent for good, or at the very least benign, purposes.

Unfortunately, evidence developing from the ongoing conflagration between Israel and Hamas appears to suggest the reverse.  The UN — specifically the UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency), but other agencies as well — may have  been actively supporting terrorism and terrorists in the Gaza Strip, even aiding with the storage of Hamas weaponry (missiles), whether deliberately or accidentally is unclear.

From the Jerusalem Post:

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman decreed in a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday that not only were rockets found in UNRWA schools in Gaza, but also that UNRWA then turned them over to Hamas, rather than to Israel.

UNRWA admitted itself on two different occasions since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge began 16 days ago that they discovered rockets in their facilities.

Liberman said Israel was very “troubled” by these developments. “UNRWA schools were established to educate children in Gaza, but instead they are providing a hiding place for rockets meant to kill children in Israel,” he said.

Just what were those missiles doing in the UN schools and why did Hamas suppose that would be a good place to store them? The UN denies their culpability and says this was the “first time” such a thing has happened. But is that true?

This is not a new story. Israelis have been claiming the UNRWA has been assisting terrorists for years.

From a report by the Center for Near East Policy Research (it’s worth reading the whole thing) on the UN refugee camps:

Hints of the radicalism that pertained in the camps were provided by 1997, if not sooner, with reports such as that of the Washington Jewish Week. vii This included photographs of UNRWA schools decorated with Hamas and PFLP graffiti, and a map of “Palestine” that ran from the Jordan to the Mediterranean and was covered with pictures of machine guns. It is doubtful that anyone was paying attention back then.

Broad scale exposure came in the spring of 2002. In response to the terrorism emanating from UNRWA refugee camps in Judea and Samaria as part of the “Second Intifada,” Israel launched “Operation Defensive Shield.” At that time, the IDF went into the camps and laid bare the facts regarding the refugees’ connection to terrorism.

Dore Gold, former Israeli Ambassador to the UN, was in Jenin in April 2002 as a consultant to the IDF and himself witnessed presence of shahid (martyr) posters on the walls in the homes of UNRWA workers. “It was clear,” he said “that UNRWA workers were doubling as Hamas operatives.’”

It’s not a long leap from that to stowing missiles.

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You know you’re living in mundo bizarro when Egyptian strongman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi sounds (and is!) more reasonable than the U.S. secretary of State and the UN secretary general.

But that’s the way it is in this best of all possible worlds with John Kerry and Ban Ki-moon rocketing to Cairo to bring about a ceasefire in the latest Gaza War before Israel does something so rash as finally obliterating the murderous religious psychopaths of Hamas.  Heaven forfend!

El-Sisi undoubtedly knows better, as do numerous relatively more silent types like the Saudis and the Jordanians, all — or anyway most — of whom would like to see Hamas and its Muslim Brotherhood-Iran allies brought low, not to mention IS/ISIS and the rest of the mad Sunni branch. The people who live there — the semi-normal ones anyway — know that the Middle East is in serious need of a swamp draining and the only ones capable of doing it are the Israelis.  The Americans  under Obama are so out to lunch that they might as well be opening a McDonald’s franchise on Alpha Centauri.

Undeterred, John Kerry and Ban Ki-moon will be doing their level best to make sure that doesn’t happen — the swamp draining, that is.  So why the urge to preserve Hamas? In Ban’s case he represents an organization so anti-Semitic it makes the Wehrmacht seem like a lost branch of Hadassah.  The UN wouldn’t interrupt its endless and relentless anti-Israel attacks if the North Koreans were dropping a hydrogen bomb on Rikers Island.

As for Kerry, well, as we all know, he’s a man of peace and opposed to such thugs as the late Genghis Khan (pronounced Jen-giss, as in Little Richard’s “Jenny, Jenny“) but always wishes to reason with them first.  After all, a fella might win a Nobel Prize.  Or failing that, get the Democratic Party presidential nomination over Hillary, whose book isn’t selling.  Second time’s lucky.

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If you’re looking for a reason for the supposed impoverishment of Gaza, look no further than the maze of tunnels – some of them miles long — Hamas has built under their territory and beyond their borders into Israel.  It’s the jihadist version of Boston’s “Big Dig.” The construction is so extensive that nearly every able-bodied man must have been employed in the occupation of tunnel-building, not to mention the huge diversion of funds, much of it donated by the West,  for material like concrete originally trucked into Gaza by the Israelis and others for “humanitarian purposes.”

A huge complex is reported to have been built under Gaza City that houses the wealthy Hamas leadership, including Ismail Haniyeh, who is said to be a multi-millionaire. He is undoubtedly a “strong” critic of “income inequality,” along with the Hamas capo di tutti cappi Khaled Meshal, said to be a billionaire and currently residing in a luxury hotel in Qatar safely out of harm’s way.

(For those, like most members of the MSM, who are unaware, Gaza before Hamas was considered one of the more opulent areas of the Arab world and was frequently used by Egyptians as a honeymoon spot.)

Although the tunnels have been employed for smuggling of some consumer goods, their main purpose, of course, was and is transporting and storing arms and killing or kidnapping Israelis. (I was going to be blunt and say “killing Jews,” but Hamas appears not to be quite so discriminating, as they lob missiles over Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron, areas filled with Muslims.  What would happen if one of their missiles hit the Dome of the Rock?  I don’t even want to go there.)

This obsession with tunnel-building, driven as it is by a rancid cocktail of hate and envy leavened with religious fanaticism and the psychotic lust of a death cult, is clearly not commercially productive.  It is also only one aspect of a rapidly metastasizing global phenomenon, replete with beheadings and crucifixions, that is unlikely to end and may only be at its beginning unless someone puts a genuine stop to it.

Obama, Kerry and the rest of the flaccid moral narcissists who govern our country or the creepy disingenuous bureaucrats who represent “the international community” obviously don’t have the gumption to do it — or even the inclination.

Perhaps because it is already a life or death matter for them, the only people with the will or the ability literally to save the precarious civilization we all take for granted are the Israelis.   Israel alone is defending the West.

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Hamas Offers a Hudna

July 16th, 2014 - 7:14 am

According to Israel Channel 2 this morning (via the Jerusalem Post), Hamas is offering a hudna – temporary Islamic truce not to be confused with real peace — of ten years in return for a ceasefire, release of prisoners  (the “gentle folk” Israel released in the first place in return for kidnapped soldier Schalit and then rearrested when Hamas went berserk), opening of the Israel-Gaza border crossing (which hadn’t been entirely closed anyway) and international supervision of the Gaza naval blockade (so that Israelis presumably won’t notice the new missiles coming in — shall they charge a restocking fee?).

The poor dears are also upset they are being ganged up on by Israel and Egypt. They want negotiations handled by Turkey and Qatar. Never mind that Turkey’s Erdogan is sounding like Hitler Junior while appealing to the Islamic rabble on the campaign trail. Israel is supposed to accept him as an honest broker.

Well, since someone is apparently negotiating, how about this for a simple, bottom-line Israeli demand: remove all paragraphs about the destruction of Israel from the Hamas charter?

I know, I know, it’s asking a lot of those religious psychopaths from Hamas to give up on jihad murder for some nation building of their own (they have a helluva lot of prime oceanfront property despite what the reactionary Jon Stewart on The Daily Show would have us believe). But why not put it out there? Hudnas are nonsense that no one believes. Don’t pretend to make peace. Make peace.

But no, the Palestinians continue to live out the famous dictum of Golda Meir: “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”

Meanwhile, Stewart, and others of his ilk, due to their overweening moral narcissism, continue to see the Palestinians as victims when they are only victims of themselves and their leaders.  If Hamas were to make real peace — not a hudna – as many have pointed out, they could turn Gaza into Singapore.  But they have chosen not to.

Israel will actually be doing the Palestinian people a favor if they destroy Hamas. But no one wants to see unnecessary bloodshed.  The Gazans would be smart to heed the following leaflet being dropped over them Wednesday morning:

From these areas, rocket fire is being launched against the State of Israel. For your safety, you are requested to leave your homes immediately and travel towards Gaza City by Wednesday at 8 a.m. The IDF does not wish to harm you or your families. Clear the area to safeguard your lives. Do not return to the area until further notice. Anyone who does not heed these instructions… endangers his life and that of his family.

Gaza City is apparently the safety zone — for now.

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image illustration via shutterstock / serdar bayraktar

Well, maybe not stuff it, but finally someone may be standing up to America’s ultra-reactionary, fumbling, paleo-narcissistic and now hugely unpopular president — and his name is Benjamin Netanyahu.  If we are to believe the Jerusalem Post,  Bibi should be the leader of the free world.  Arrivederci, Barry. Take your favorite nine iron and head off to Maui or the Vineyard or wherever you want to be with our blessings — as long as you stay there.

From the JPost:

The United States is prepared to facilitate a cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, US President Barack Obama told Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu by phone today.

In the call, Obama “reiterated the United States’ strong condemnation of continuing rocket fire into Israel by Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza and reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself against these attacks,” the White House said in a readout of the conversation.

But Netanyahu has ruled out a ceasefire with Hamas in the short-term. On the contrary, the Israeli leader has vowed a series of additional stages to Operation Protective Edge—his government’s response to continued rocket fire on Israeli towns and cities, after Hamas, a terrorist organization, stockpiled tens of thousands of rockets in the coastal territory over the last several years.

A ceasefire is “not even on the agenda,” Netanyahu told members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, just hours before his call with the US leader.

Let’s hope Netanyahu does not fall prey to pressure and keeps on keeping on because someone sometime has to stand up to Islamofacism or it will continue its unstopped march across the Middle East and beyond.  It certainly won’t be Obama, who has allowed violent jihadists to flourish across Iraq, Syria and Iran — not to mention North Africa, Nigeria, the Sudan, Pakistan, Indonesia, the Philippines and now the Islamic State (aka ISIS) installing their own caliphate.  Obama previously tried to help shore up Islamofascism in Egypt (Morsi) and Turkey (Erdogan). And all the while he  has been chasing a nuclear deal with the monstrous mullahs of Iran who want nothing more than the extinction of the West and a caliphate of their own to compete with the Sunnis of ISIS.

I’m confused. Weren’t “progressives” supposed to be for religious freedom and opposed to misogyny,  homophobia and theocracy? Oh, well.  Maybe I was misinformed.

Enough already.  Bibi, it’s up to you.  Western civilization’s last stand.

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Gaza War Continues: Hold the Hudna

July 9th, 2014 - 9:59 pm

We’ve all built our Arabic vocabularies a touch since 9-11, but the definition of words can often be problematic.  The meaning of concepts like, say, jihad, are notoriously difficult to pin down, even when they shouldn’t be; I think deliberately. One of those elusive terms is hudna, meaning a temporary truce or “quiet.”  A permanent truce, i.e.,  genuine peace, does not seem part of the vocabulary of jihadists whose sworn goal is to make the world Islamic, sooner or later, like it or not. They just take a time out when it looks as if they could be in trouble, like a hockey player with a twisted ankle.  As an example, Hamas is known for its hudnas, cooling down (or pretending to) and then heating up again as soon as possible  to do what the beginning of its charter always promised it would do — destroy Israel.

For years the bien pensant of the West (Europe, the U.S.) have urged, actually put strong pressure on, Israel to play the hudna game with Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and the rest of the sociopathic Islamofascist crew.  The Israelis, from a humanistic tradition and anxious to be thought well of, have acquiesced, even when they have the extreme whip hand. The results have been as one would predict: another war, another hudna and on and  onThis has been going on since the founding of the state of Israel in 1948, even before that really.  In other words, for a long while.

Maybe it’s time for a different approach.  How about just…winning?

As I write this, the Jerusalem Post live blog for 6:26 a.m. Israel time is announcing: “A Code Red rocket alert siren was heard a few minutes ago in Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council.” Hamas is evidently still at it.

Yesterday, the terror organization bragged that they had lobbed missiles (missing, thankfully) at the Israeli atomic reactor at Dimona.  That’s about as insane as it gets,  considering that a hit (were it possible) might generate nuclear fallout all over the Middle East, killing and injuring more Islamic people than Jews, simply because there are so many more of the former, not to mention contaminating the region.

Hamas doesn’t care.  And yet I suspect they have been surprised by what has happened to them in the last few days — and so does noted Arab-Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh, who Wednesday published “Stunned by Israel’s fierce response, Hamas sends distress signals.”

Let’s hope Toameh is right and that the terror organization has been so wounded that it is quietly looking for a way to save face and get out — for now.  But let’s further hope that Benjamin Netanyahu will resist that call for a hudna and finish the job.

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Winning the New Gaza War

July 8th, 2014 - 2:19 pm

The problem with going to war is you really have to win it definitively.  If you don’t, it will come back and bite you in the leg — or worse.

The USA should have learned that from World War II when we, and our allies, completely annihilated the Nazis and the Japanese and Germany and Japan became decent modern democracies. We didn’t. Whether you supported them or not, whether they were the right ones or not, we ended up fighting all subsequent wars half-heartedly. The results  are obvious.

America has gotten away, so far, barely, with this ambivalent approach to war because it is so powerful and so far away from the field of battle. (The rapid metastasis across Syria and Iraq of the Islamic State — aka ISIS — not to mention our own porous borders, may change that.)

Israel is in a different position. It fights for its survival surrounded by societies that despise it and are, by contemporary standards, hugely primitive and bordering on the insane, misogynistic, homophobic and everything else liberals are supposed to abhor. (I guess supporters of #BDS movement can stop reading here.) Nevertheless, Israel has fought its wars — even the ’67 war — American-style, holding off from finishing the job, because of its own scruples and because it was urged to “exercise restraint”  by the U.S., Europe, Russia or the former Soviet Union.

Now things are different. We are in the Age of Obama when the thought of such an incompetent, failed president counseling anything, let alone restraint, is risible. And yet you can be sure he will within minutes of when Israel’s new operation against Hamas in Gaza shows even a glimmer of success.

I write this as sirens wail in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, so let me cut to the chase. This time Israel should finish the job. Forget anything said by Obama and his equally incompetent secretary of State.  Shine them on. Do anything you have to, but smash Hamas utterly.

Israel will be doing the world a favor, showing them how Islamic terrorists should be treated. The only horse they recognize, as Lee Smith pointed out a while ago, is the strong one. That’s the unfortunate truth. Anyone who sees it otherwise at this point is lying to himself or others. How many more years of this do we need? How many more Gaza wars, Iraq wars, Syrian civil wars, Iranian (potential) nuclear wars,  Sunni vs. Shiite wars, back-to-the-Middle Ages wars can civilization abide? Sooner or later, someone is going to have to yell “Ya, basta!”

Benjamin Netanyahu — over to you.

Wimbledon Report: Who’s the GOAT?

July 6th, 2014 - 9:24 pm

Fans love to debate who’s the GOAT — greatest of all time — in their favorite sports.  Mine are basketball and tennis and I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of time surfing the ‘net reading posts evaluating the relative merits of Kobe, LeBron and Michael.  I’m an L.A. guy and am naturally biased for Kobe, but I realize LeBron and Michael may have greater claims.  Only Phil Jackson (aka Phil Jax) knows for sure. We’ll see next year.  Nevertheless, basketball is a team game and the answer to the question of the GOAT will always be elusive.

Not so tennis.  Not a team sport, it has evolved from a “gentleman’s game” into the ultimate mano-a-mano without boxing gloves.  Sunday’s spectacular Wimbledon final between  Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer was a case in point.  These two titans of the sport battled for nearly four  hours in an unrelenting struggle for tennis’ greatest prize, with Djokovic ultimately prevailing in five sets by the proverbial whisker.

We are in the Golden Age of Tennis.  Between Federer, Rafael Nadal, Djokovic, and, to a somewhat lesser extent, Andy Murray, there has never been such high-level competition in the sport, nor has there been such an extraordinary level of fitness.  These guys rival NBA players and soccer stars in their ability to run and run, while at the same time striking the ball with incredible pace.  They are the best ever.

Who am I to say that?  Well, I have played and watched tennis devotedly since the age of six (64 years!) so I have a fair amount of experience with the sport.  I have seen everyone play from the era of Rocket Laver and Lew Hoad through Borg, McEnroe,  Becker, Sampras, Agassi, etc., etc.   I even saw the young (about 18) Jimmy Connors versus the aging (about 43) Pancho Gonzales in the finals of the now non-existent Pacific Southwest Tournament, played on the very court at the Los Angeles Tennis Club where I now try to avoid double-faulting on ad point several days a week (rotator cuff permitting).

So I’ve seen a lot of tennis, obviously, and, with some exceptions, the sport keeps getting better and better.

And who do I think is the GOAT?  Well, here I am going to get hooted down by a lot of tennis fans, but I have to say it is Novak Djokovic.  Yes, Federer and Nadal have more grand slam victories than he, but the game gets tougher and tougher, the competition steeper and steeper,  and since 2011 it is a different story.  Let’s look at the stats on the next page.

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America is at a crossroads — we always seem to be, but this time we really are.

We are living under the administration of a president that is now the least popular since World War II.  A full one-third  of those polled by Quinnipiac rate Barack Obama the worst president since 1945.  (Reagan is rated the best.)

What accounts for this?  There are dozens of reasons that have been detailed on these pages and many others.  The man has lied to us multiple times — and to himself as well, no doubt — and many people now apparently sense this.  But I think the deepest reason, the motivating cause, stems from a time Barack Obama actually didn’t lie, but told an important truth.

Back on July 27, 2004, a then obscure Illinois senator made himself famous by standing in front of the Democratic National Convention and speaking these words: “There is not a liberal America and a conservative America. There is a United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America, a Latino America, an Asian America — there’s the United States of America.”

Did he believe those words?  Maybe. Once upon a time.  But evidently not very deeply. The fact is he betrayed them completely and almost everything he has done wrong has stemmed from that betrayal.  He has acted in the most partisan and deceitful manner, surrounding himself with a tiny group of yes-women and yes-men,  making a mockery of his self-proclaimed transparency, shamelessly exploiting interest groups in a way that could only divide our society while diminishing America’s place in the world,  and allowing evil forces to grow across the globe.

All of this while being convinced he is always doing the right thing. The rest of us are wrong.  He is not the commander-in-chief. He is the moral narcissist in chief.  It’s not “I think, therefore I am.”  It’s “I believe — therefore it is.”

But most of the country seems to realize that now.  And his poll numbers reflect it.  Sometimes it seems as if his only real supporters are government employees, food stamp recipients,  and the editorial board of the New York Times.  Whatever the case, that 2004 speech to the DNC is so far in the rear view mirror we might as well be on Battlestar Galactica.

So what do we do?  How do we become — on this Fourth of July — the United States of America again?

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