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UN Human Rights Chief Condemns Israel, U.S. for Not Sharing Iron Dome with Hamas

Friday, August 1st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Iron Dome was built by Israel with partial funding from the US, to protect against rockets that Hamas is launching at Israeli civilians. Its entire purpose is defensive, against Hamas and Hizballah rockets.

Today, the UN’s Human Rights Commission’s chairman condemned Israel and the US for not sharing the Iron Dome technology with Hamas.

Haaretz reports that United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, delivered this blistering statement on Iron Dome.

Pillay said that she was appalled at Washington consistently voting against resolutions on Israel in the Human Rights Council, General Assembly and Security Council.

“They have not only provided the heavy weaponry which is now being used by Israel in Gaza but they’ve also provided almost $1 billion in providing the ‘Iron Domes’ to protect the Israels from rocket attacks,” she said. “But no such protection has been provided to Gazans against the shelling.”

Sharing Iron Dome with Hamas would have given Hamas insight into how to defeat it, in addition to being entirely pointless for Israel, given Iron Dome’s design. Its capabilities involve intercepting small, unguided rockets that are aimed at civilian populations. Israel uses no such weapons, and neither does Egypt, Hamas’ other major enemy.

Perhaps Pillay would have Israel give Hamas its drones, and the US hand Hamas a fleet of B-2 stealth bombers as well? How about a Los Angeles class nuclear sub with cruise missiles while we’re at it?

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John Kerry, American Idiot?

Friday, August 1st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

It was 3 a.m. in India. While most people there were asleep, the American secretary of State, John F. Kerry, was up all night announcing yet another cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war.

Kerry’s tirelessness came to nothing. Hamas violated the 72-hour ceasefire in less than two hours, and kidnapped an Israeli soldier to boot, as anyone who knows anything Hamas should have expected. Breaking cease-fires and kidnapping (and killing) Jews is what Hamas does. Kerry’s response: More words.

 

As any sentient being knows by now, trusting Hamas is a fool’s game. The terrorist organization is one of the world’s leading taqiyya practitioners. They lie in the service of their Islam.

Perhaps Secretary Kerry doesn’t watch Hamas TV. Hamas says nice things to him, and preaches genocide to its own faithful.

Before Secretary Kerry flew off to Israel uninvited, before he wound up in India, he could have achieved far more for Israel and for the peace of the world by staying put and saying just a few clear words. Charles Krauthammer picks up the story.

Kerry seems not to understand that the Arab League backed the Egyptian ceasefire-in-place, which would have left Hamas weak and isolated, to ensure that Hamas didn’t emerge from this war strengthened and enhanced.

Why didn’t Kerry just stay home and declare unequivocal U.S. support for the Egyptian/Arab League plan? Instead, he flies off to Paris and sends Jerusalem a package of victories for Hamas: lifting the blockade from Egypt, opening the border with Israel, showering millions in foreign cash to pay the salaries of the 43,000 (!) government workers that the near-insolvent Hamas cannot.

Forget about Israeli interests. Forget about Arab interests. The American interest is to endorse and solidify this emerging axis of moderate pro-American partners (Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf states, and the Palestinian Authority) intent on seeing Islamist radicalism blunted and ultimately defanged.

Indeed, but as Krauthammer notes, Kerry doesn’t see it. His slavishly devoted staff, like Marie Harf in the tweenish tweet above, don’t see it. Does anyone in the State Department see it?

Some of their joy over cease-fires that fail to cease any actual fire springs from the “everyone gets a trophy” culture. They keep playing up “engagement” in this and that as if merely talking equals getting something done. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki keeps talking up “engagement” while Putin keeps waging war in Ukraine.

But John Kerry isn’t from that millennial culture. What explains his wretched handling of the current Israel-Hamas war? What explains his acting as Hamas’ lead advocate, and isolating the United States when he could achieve something good by isolating Hamas?

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Kerry to Hamas: Give Back Kidnapped IDF Soldier ‘Immediately and Unconditionally’

Friday, August 1st, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Secretary of State John Kerry called on Hamas to “immediately and unconditionally” release an Israel Defense Forces soldier kidnapped in a Palestinian attack that rapidly broke what was supposed to be a 72-hour cease-fire.

“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s attack, which led to the killing of two Israeli soldiers and the apparent abduction of another. It was an outrageous violation of the cease-fire negotiated over the past several days, and of the assurances given to the United States and the United Nations,” Kerry said in a statement.

“Hamas, which has security control over the Gaza Strip, must immediately and unconditionally release the missing Israeli soldier, and I call on those with influence over Hamas to reinforce this message,” he continued.

“After the horrific loss of life in this attack and its aftermath, it would be a tragedy if this outrageous attack leads to more suffering and loss of life on both sides of this conflict. I have been in close touch with Prime Minister Netanyahu, with UN Special Coordinator Robert Serry and with other regional partners. The international community must now redouble its efforts to end the tunnel and rocket attacks by Hamas terrorists on Israel and the suffering and loss of civilian life.”

The father of captured soldier 2nd-Lt. Hadar Goldin, Simha Goldin, says he’s “sure the army will not let up for a moment and will turn over every stone in Gaza to bring back Hadar safe and sound,” according to The Times of Israel.

Netanyahu’s office said the prime minister spoke with Kerry by phone and assured him “the Palestinians had unilaterally and grossly violated the humanitarian ceasefire and attacked our soldiers after 09:00.”

“PM Netanyahu told Secretary Kerry that Hamas and the other terrorist orgs in the Gaza Strip will bear the consequences of their actions and that Israel would take all necessary steps against those who call for our destruction and perpetrate terrorism against our citizens,” his office said.

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Senate Approves $225 Million for More Iron Dome Systems for Israel

Friday, August 1st, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The Senate today passed extra funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, as members argued that more defense was needed for the Jewish state as quickly as possible.

“Israel does not have enough Iron Domes to protect them,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on the floor. “They need more.”

The funding bill introduced by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), to the tune of $225 million, passed by unanimous consent.

“The Iron Dome missile defense system has played a critical role in defending Israel’s population from rocket attacks launched by Hamas from within the Gaza Strip,” McConnell said. “The Iron Dome system will remain essential to Israel’s security until a cease fire is achieved, and it will remain vital afterwards as well, because this defensive system helps blunt the impact of one of Hamas’ preferred tools of terror.”

“By passing this bipartisan measure, we send a message to Hamas that its terrorist tactics and its attempts to terrorize Israel’s populace will not succeed. And we can help Israel defend its civilian population against indiscriminate attacks as it continues its campaign—Operation Protective Edge—to destroy the often-Iranian-supplied weapons stockpiled within Gaza.”

Members of the House Armed Services Committee urged Reid in a letter Thursday to bring the Senate Armed Services Committee’s markup of the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act to the floor for a vote, citing Israel’s missile defense as one of the points of urgency.

The House version of the NDAA includes the $176 million the president requested for Iron Dome as well as an additional $175 million.

We believe that Hamas’ violent attacks on Israeli citizens will help us make the case for the higher level of funding provided in H.R. 4435.

“Unfortunately, the Senate’s failure, under your leadership, to consider the FY15 NDAA is needlessly tying up more than $620 million in vital defense support for Israel at a time when it is fighting for its survival from Hamas and its Iranian sponsors,” the House lawmakers wrote.

“On the matter of Iran, we also encourage you to schedule an immediate vote, upon completion of debate on the FY15 NDAA, on legislation increasing sanctions on Iran.  For example, H.R. 850, the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act, which passed the House on a 400 to 20 vote, has been waiting for Senate action for 364 days.  Further delay on both measures strengthens only Israel’s enemies.”

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Hamas Violates 72-Hour Ceasefire After Just 90 Minutes

Friday, August 1st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Overnight there was another humanitarian cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, and Hamas broke it with about 70.5 hours still on the clock.

A Hamas attack on IDF soldiers in southern Gaza, which occurred an hour and a half after the start of a humanitarian truce, ended with the suspected kidnapping of a soldier, the IDF said Friday.

Second Lt. Hadar Goldin, a 23-year-old Givati officer from Kfar Saba, was named as the IDF soldier presumed to be abducted by Hamas. His family has been notified.

Two other soldiers were killed during the incident.Their families have been notified.

Terrorists emerged from a tunnel shaft, and a suicide bomber detonated himself in the vicinity of soldiers. Heavy exchanges of fire ensued, before one of the IDF soldiers was kidnapped, a senior army source said.

If previous cases are any guide, Hamas will either trade Goldin for dozens to hundreds of its own jailed terrorists, or Hamas will murder him.

Hamas used one of the tunnels that it built with child labor to perpetrate this attack. The Israelis say that they have discovered 35 such tunnels, and have destroyed about half of them.

Some of the tunnels reportedly have entrances inside UN facilities, so American taxpayers paid indirectly for Hamas to build these tunnels in two ways — by paying aid to the Palestinians that gets diverted by Hamas, and by paying for the UN’s upkeep.

h/t Gateway Pundit

 

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Islamic Jizya: ‘Protection’ from Whom?

Thursday, July 31st, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Is jizya—the money non-Muslims historically paid their Muslim conquerors—meant to buy them “protection,” including from outside enemies, as modern Western academics maintain?  Or was it simply extortion money meant to buy non-Muslims their lives, as Islam’s scriptures mandate?

The word jizya appears in Koran 9:29: “Fight those among the People of the Book [Christians and Jews] who do not believe in Allah nor the Last Day, nor forbid what Allah and his Messenger have forbidden, nor embrace the religion of truth, until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued(emphasis added).”

In the hadith, the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, regularly calls on Muslims to demand jizya of non-Muslims:  “If they refuse to accept Islam,” said the Islamic prophet, “demand from them the jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay jizya, seek Allah’s help and fight them.”

Keeping the above in mind, consider the following July 18 report from Reuters:

Islamist insurgents have issued an ultimatum to northern Iraq’s dwindling Christian population to either convert to Islam, pay a religious levy or face death, according to a statement distributed in the militant-controlled city of Mosul….

It said Christians who wanted to remain in the “caliphate” that the Islamic State declared this month in parts of Iraq and Syria must agree to abide by terms of a “dhimma” contract—a historic practice under which non-Muslims were protected in Muslim lands in return for a special levy known as “jizya.”

“We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract – involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword,” the announcement said.

“After this date [July 19], there is nothing between us and them but the sword,” it said.

The Nineveh decree echoes one that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, the former name for the Islamic State, issued in the Syrian city of Raqqa in February, demanding that Christians pay the jizya levy in gold and curb displays of their faith in return for protection.

Note how straightforward the Islamic State’s words are—jizya, conversion, or death—compared to the language of Reuters, which twice invokes the concept of “protection” without explaining from whom:  1) “a historic practice under which non-Muslims were protected in Muslim lands in return for a special levy known as “jizya”; 2) “demanding that Christians pay the jizya levy in gold and curb displays of their faith in return for protection.”

Reuters doesn’t bother to clarify this notion of “protection,” but rather leaves it vague, implying that the protection Christians receive is against some random elements.

The reason for this obfuscation is that Mideast academics in the West have been whitewashing the meaning of jizya for decades.  After all, the concept of jizya is one of the most ironclad proofs that Islam is innately intolerant of non-Muslims.

A very typical Western definition for jizya can be found in the Encyclopaedia Britannica: “The Muslim rulers tolerated the dhimmis [conquered non-Muslims] and allowed them to practice their religion. In return for protection [from whom?] and as a mark of their submission, the dhimmis were required to pay a special poll tax known as the jizya.”

Other academics have gone so far as to claim that non-Muslims paid jizya to buy Muslim protection against outside forces.  Consider the following excerpt from John Esposito, director of the Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.  It essentially makes the idea of being subjugated to Islamic overlords and paying them tribute appear as an enviable position for non-Muslim minorities:

In many ways, local populations [Christians, Jews, and others] found Muslim rule more flexible and tolerant than that of Byzantium and Persia. Religious communities were free to practice their faith to worship and be governed by their religious leaders and laws in such areas as marriage, divorce, and inheritance. In exchange, they were required to pay tribute, a poll tax (jizya) that entitled them to Muslim protection from outside aggression and exempted them from military service. Thus, they were called the “protected ones” (dhimmi). In effect, this often meant lower taxes, greater local autonomy (emphasis added) …

The idea that jizya was extracted in order to buy “Muslim protection from outside aggression” is an outright lie—one that, as the equivocal tone of the aforementioned Reuters report indicates, has taken root in the West.

Equally false is Esposito’s assertion that jizya was paid to “exempt them from military service”—as if conquering Muslims would even want or allow their despised “infidel” subjects to fight alongside them in the name of jihad without first converting to Islam.

The root meaning of the Arabic word “jizya” is simply to “repay” or “recompense,” basically to “compensate” for something.  According to the Hans Wehr Dictionary, the standard Arabic-English dictionary, jizya is something that “takes the place” of something else, or “serves instead.”

Simply put, conquered non-Muslims were to purchase their lives, which were otherwise forfeit to their Muslim conquerors, with money. Instead of taking their lives, they took their money.  As one medieval jurist succinctly puts it, “their lives and their possessions are only protected by reason of payment of jizya” (Crucified Again, p. 22).

So jizya was, and is indeed, protection money—though protection, not from outsiders, as Esposito and others claim, but from surrounding Muslims themselves.  Whether it’s the first caliphate from over a millennium ago or whether it’s the newest caliphate, the Islamic State, Muslim overlords continue to deem the lives of their non-Muslim subjects forfeit unless they purchase it, ransom it with money.

There is nothing humane, reasonable, or admirable about demands for jizya from conquered non-Muslim minorities, as the academics claim. Jizya is simply extortion money. Its purpose has always been to provide non-Muslims with protection from Muslims: pay up, or else become one of us and convert to Islam, or else die.

And it is commanded in both the Koran and Hadith, the twin pillars of Islam.

In short, jizya is an ugly fact of Islam—one that, distort as they may, the academics can’t whitewash away, even as the world stands idly by watching its resumption in the twenty-first century.

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Three More Reasons Why Israel Should Destroy Hamas Now

Thursday, July 31st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

1. Hamas has called for Hizballah to get involved, and ISIS is showing signs that it wants to get involved — but so far neither has actually happened yet.

Hamas is taking a pounding from the Israel Defense Forces. Its tunnels are being discovered and destroyed. Its rockets are being shot down by Iron Dome before they can do much harm to Israeli civilians. Hamas knows that it cannot stand up to the IDF directly, and that it cannot face the IDF alone. The trajectory that this war is on ends with Hamas decimated, if Israel is allowed to finish the job this time.

So Hamas is calling for Hizballah to attack Israel from the north. Hizballah has problems of its own, chiefly the Syria civil war and the threat to its patron Assad in Damascus. So far, Hizballah has lobbed in a few rockets but has not done anything meaningful. If it did, though, Israel would face a two-front war. It could win, but a second front makes it more difficult for Israel to finish off Hamas as a fighting force, and it increases the chances of civilian casualties which the terrorists and their media allies will exploit against Israel.

ISIS, the radical caliphate that the Obama administration has allowed to fester in Iraq, has announced that it wants to join the fight in Gaza. But Jordan stands in the way. But Jordan is weak and has unrest of its own to worry about.

It’s not out of the question that ISIS could infiltrate in sufficient numbers to launch attacks and even open up an eastern front against Israel. The prospect of a three-front war is real. Israel has faced far worse odds before and won, but it’s better that Israel go ahead and destroy Hamas without delay, than to go for a cease-fire that gives its enemies time to consolidate and coordinate.

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Israel Fires Back at White House Assertion That They Should Do More to ‘Live Up to Their Standards’

Thursday, July 31st, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Israel’s ambassador to the United States fired back at the White House for saying the Jewish state needs to do more to “live up” to its wartime standards.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Tuesday said the “Israeli right to self-defense is something that the president doesn’t just respect, he supports.”

“What we have also suggested is that Russia — that the Israelis need to do more to live up to the standards that they have set for themselves to ensure the safety of innocent civilians on both sides of that border, including Palestinian people,” Earnest said.

“So it is apparent from the reports that we have seen about the civilian deaths that there is more that the Israeli military can and should do to account for the safety of Palestinian civilians. It’s important to remember, though, that there is a distinction here, which is that Hamas is routinely targeting innocent civilians on the other side of the border. The Israeli military puts in place standards to try to protect Palestinian civilians — innocent Palestinian civilians. That said, we believe that the Israeli military should do more to live up to those standards.”

That was reiterated yesterday aboard Air Force One by White House spokesman Eric Schultz, who said, “We’ve been very clear that Israel needs to do more to live up to its own standards to limit the civilian casualties.”

Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer told MSNBC he didn’t understand what standard the White House is talking about.

“No country in the world has set a higher standard than Israel. I would remind the White House spokesperson — I didn’t hear exactly what he said, but we have two-thirds of our country in bomb shelters,” Dermer said. “And I would ask him to ask himself a question. If 200 million Americans were in bomb shelters, would the United States use less force than we’re using? Would they take greater care with civilians than we’re using? I think — I think he knows the answer to that, and I think hundreds of millions of Americans know the answer to that.”

“We have the highest standards of any military in the world at keeping the civilians of the other side out of harm’s way. We drop leaflets, make phone calls, send text messages, tell people to evacuate areas. Right now our soldiers are fighting in areas that other countries faced with similar threats would never put their ground forces into. And we are taking great risk to our own soldiers.”

Dermer stressed that they “deeply regret any civilian casualties.”

“We don’t target them. But Hamas embeds itself in these civilian areas, in mosques, in hospitals, in schools. They use all their people as human shields. That’s the enemy that we’re fighting,” he said.

“…This is al-Qaeda. This is Israel’s al-Qaeda. That’s what Hamas is. They are committed to our destruction. They’re a genocidal organization. They don’t care about their own people. They were dancing on 9/11 — dancing. Hamas was dancing on 9/11 with thousands of Americans dead.”

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Syrian Defector Who Captured Images of Assad’s Brutality Appears Before Congress

Thursday, July 31st, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Appearing in disguise for his own protection, a Syrian army defector who witnessed and captured on film some of the brutality of the Assad regime appeared for the first time in public this morning for a special briefing on the Hill.

Going by the name “Caesar,” the defector smuggled more than 50,000 images of torture and starvation out of Syria, capturing killings that began soon after people started staging peaceful demonstrations against Bashar al-Assad’s regime in March 2011.

“Caesar’s” photos detail the deaths of more than 10,000 dissidents between 2011 and 2013.

“What is going on in Syria is a genocidal massacre that is being led by the worst of all the terrorists, Bashar al-Assad,” he told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Clad in a blue hooded raincoat, Caesar said he’s never seen anything like what he witnessed except in historical photos of the Nazi extermination camps during World War II, and warned that more than 150,000 Syrians in Assad’s jails face the same fate as the people in his photos.

By conservative estimates, more than 170,000 have already been killed in the war.

“This is a crisis created and sustained by Bashar al-Assad, who responded to peaceful demands by Syrians for their universal rights with unspeakable violence – even against children. In doing so, he has placed his own grip on power above the very survival of millions,” Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said in facing the Syrian at the witness table.

Assad’s reign of terror has included “targeted killings, mass graves, ethnic cleansing, sexual violence, widespread torture, aerial bombardment of residential areas with conventional and chemical weapons, and the extermination of entire families.”

“Assad’s brutality, as we know, is underwritten by robust military and other support from Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. Syria is a humanitarian crisis, but a strategic challenge too, as Assad has pulled the entire region into violent chaos,” Royce said.

“Caesar’s” images were shown earlier this week at the Holocaust Museum in D.C.

“The killing continues today,” Royce added. “Pure and simple, these photos cry out for justice.”

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) said that the defector risking his life to appear before Congress was akin to grabbing lawmakers by the shoulders and saying “this has to matter.”

“We want to look away. But we must not,” said Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.). “This is happening right now in Syria, and we can do more to stop it.”

To see some of the graphic images presented at the briefing today, click to the next page.

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World Leaders Lambast Obama’s ‘Failures’ in the Middle East

Thursday, July 31st, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

World leaders are increasingly pointing to U.S. President Obama’s failures in the Middle East.

Some are direct and blunt.  For example, during his recent visit to Brazil, Russian President Vladimir Putin was asked by journalists about U.S. sanctions against Russia due to the Ukrainian crisis.  While naturally condemning such moves, part of his response was to accuse the Obama administration of “encouraging war between neighboring states.”  In the same context, Putin added:

American objectives have not been realized, nor have they accomplished anything, because everything has collapsed.   Afghanistan faces problems, and Iraq and Libya are falling apart.  Egypt also was going to collapse had President Sisi not taken matters in hand.  And all this demonstrates the failures of the Obama administration.

In fact, and as I have pointed out in several articles, every Muslim nation the U.S. has interfered in—whether to promote “democracy,” as in the much ballyhooed “Arab Spring,” or to defeat “terrorism” and/or eliminate “WMDs”—has seen two results: the empowerment of Islamists, followed by chaos, conflict, and constant atrocities.

Other leaders, such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, indirectly point to the Obama administration’s failures in the Middle East.  This occurred during an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, in the context of the Presbyterian Church of the USA’s recent decision to divest from Israel in the name of the Palestinian people.

After pointing out that “Christians are persecuted throughout the Middle East”—and nary a word of condemnation or concern from the Presbyterian Church—Netanyahu said:

You know, I would suggest to these Presbyterian organizations to fly to the Middle East, come and see Israel for the embattled democracy that it is, and then take a bus tour, go to Libya, go to Syria, go to Iraq, and see the difference.  And I would give them two pieces of advice, one is, make sure it’s an armor-plated bus, and second, don’t say that you’re Christians.

While not directly mentioning the U.S.’s role in these three nations—Netanyahu, after all, is on better terms with America than Putin—the obvious is clear: 1) the U.S. played a major role “liberating” two of these countries—Iraq and Libya—and is currently supporting the freedom fighters/terrorists trying to “liberate” Syria; and 2) in all three nations, the human rights of non-Muslims, specifically Christians, have taken a dramatic nosedive, evincing the nature of those the U.S. helped empower.

Consider Iraq today, one decade after the U.S. took down Saddam Hussein, bringing “freedom” and “democracy” to the Iraqi people: now an Islamic caliphate exists, enforcing the savageries of Sharia—from stoning women accused of adultery to crucifying others, burning churches and forcing Christians either to convert to Islam, pay “taxes” (jizya) and embrace third class status, or face the sword.

Libya, Afghanistan, and rebel-controlled areas of Syria are little better.

As Putin pointed out, the only nation still trying to hang in there is Egypt, thanks to the anti-Muslim Brotherhood revolution—which, of course, was criticized by the U.S. government, including by people like John McCain.

To recap Egypt: the Obama administration turned its back on 30-year-long U.S. ally, the secularist Mubarak, embraced the Islamist Morsi, and some of the worst Muslim persecution of Christians—the litmus test of “radicalization”—took place against the Copts during Morsi’s one year of rule, from an unprecedented attack on the most important Coptic building and seat of the pope, the St. Mark Cathedral, to a dramatic rise in the imprisonment of Christians accused of “insulting” Islam.

As for Egypt’s current president, Sisi, he too made some observations that comport with those of Putin’s (that “someone” is fueling conflict between neighboring states) and Netanyahu’s (that the region is a mess, thanks to the empowerment of Islamists).

During his televised speech in early July, Sisi warned that “religion [code for 'Islam'] is being used to destroy neighboring countries”—a clear reference to the empowerment of Islamists in the same failed nations highlighted by Putin and Netanyahu, namely, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Afghanistan—all the handiwork of U.S. leadership in general, Obama’s administration in particular.

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ISIS Threatens to Step Into Gaza Conflict, Fight the ‘Barbaric Jews’

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

 

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VIDEO: Hamas TV Tells Jews ‘We Will Totally Exterminate You’

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV aired this video on July 25, 2014, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute. In the clip, an unidentified imam at Deir al-Balah Mosque preaches genocide against all Jews.

Transcript: “Our doctrine in fighting you (the Jews) is that we will totally exterminate you. We will not leave a single one of you alive, because you are alien usurpers of the land and eternal mercenaries. You are the mercenaries of all times. Research the history, my brothers. Wherever the Jews lived, they spread corruption. Oh Muslims, didn’t you notice that Allah said: ‘They spread in THE land…’ The definite article in ‘THE land’ means the entire land. ‘They spread in the land corruption, and Allah loves not the corrupters.’”

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Bomb-Laden Tunnel Found in Gaza UN Health Clinic

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Another war crime committed by Hamas, reports the Times of Israel.

An Israeli elite squad searching for tunnels near Khan Younis uncovers a booby-trapped opening in a small UNRWA health clinic.

The troops send in sniffing dogs and a small robot to minimize damage to the structure, but despite the precautionary measures, the explosives rigged to the tunnel are detonated, demolishing the building on top of the soldiers.

Earlier reports indicated that a number of soldiers were injured.

The same brief post notes that Hamas has used IEDs and destroyed “thousands” of buildings in Gaza. In a sweep of 28 buildings overnight, the IDF found that 19 of them were booby trapped with bombs.

On a brighter note, the IDF believes that it’s just days away from destroying all of Hamas’ tunnels.

Instead of allowing Israel to finish the job, though, the Obama regime is ramping up its rhetoric against them.

The UN and the current US government are both unlikely to let Israel win.

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Three Reasons Why Israel Should Destroy Hamas Now

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Hamas started the current war with Israel. That is not even in dispute among serious people. Islamic terrorists are currently waging killing sprees against civilians in Nigeria, Iraq and Israel, among other places, but only when Israel stands up to defend itself does the world cry out for a cease-fire.

Why is that?

Anti-Israel bias and anti-Semitism have to be at least part of the explanation.

Israel should ignore calls for a cease-fire and destroy Hamas as a political and fighting force now. In fact, this war may be its last chance to defeat Hamas and have any possibility of getting to a two-state solution that stands any chance, however remote, of achieving peace.

1. Hamas’ evil is never going to be more obvious. Hamas weaponizes women, children and animals. Hamas started the current war and they have rejected five cease-fires (and counting). Hamas has been caught hiding its missiles in UNRWA schools. This week, Hamas leadership have re-iterated that their goal is to destroy Israel entirely. Hamas will never live with a two-state solution.

The Israel Defense Forces are making good progress destroying Hamas’ tunnels and missile arsenal. A cease-fire at this point only gives Hamas the chance to re-arm, force children to dig more tunnels, and rebuild Palestinian morale that shows evidence of eroding during this war. If Israel does not destroy Hamas now, there is always the chance that Hamas obtains even more powerful weapons, either from Turkey or Iran or another source, and uses them against Israel.

The Islamist revival that is powering terrorism all over the world may eventually abate, and the majority of Muslims may yet follow Egypt’s lead and reject the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood, but at the moment, Iran is still a radical threat, Turkey is becoming more radical, and Europe is succumbing to its own domestic Islamist threat and to its old habit of anti-Semitism. The way to bet right now is that global opinion of Israel is going to get worse, not better, over the next few decades.

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New Caption Contest: Obama Says Muslims Built ‘The Very Fabric of Our Nation’

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 - by Myra Adams
Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

The Drudge Report linked to this Breitbart piece which is the source of our contest photo.

At a White House dinner on July 28 celebrating the end of Eid-al-Fitr marking the end of Ramadan, President Obama released the following statement with the bold added by me for emphasis:

Statement by the President on the Occasion of Eid-al-Fitr

As Muslims throughout the United States and around the world celebrate Eid-al-Fitr, Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to them and their families.  This last month has been a time of fasting, reflection, spiritual renewal, and service to the less fortunate.  While Eid marks the completion of Ramadan, it also celebrates the common values that unite us in our humanity and reinforces the obligations that people of all faiths have to each other, especially those impacted by poverty, conflict, and disease.

In the United States, Eid also reminds us of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy.  That is why we stand with people of all faiths, here at home and around the world, to protect and advance their rights to prosper, and we welcome their commitment to giving back to their communities.

On behalf of the Administration, we wish Muslims in the United States and around the world a blessed and joyous celebration.  Eid Mubarak

After you digest all that and realize the statement above was ACTUALLY MADE BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, here are your marching orders. Besides writing a snappy caption to the photo itself, readers can provide answers to the following questions:

What is Abe Lincoln thinking as he watches over the dinner?

What is on the mind of the young man standing to the right of President Obama?

What would the Founding Fathers think of this White House statement?

Now, as with all contests, we must be nice and stay classy or the IRS will pay you a friendly visit. (Sorry, folks, crashing hard drives is no excuse for not cooperating.)

Finally, all contest participants must take a stab at answering the most pressing question of the day:

Is that a flying monkey from The Wizard of Oz on Obama’s podium?

 

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Hillary Clinton Comes Up with an Excuse for Hamas Hiding Missiles In Schools and Other Civilian Areas

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Hamas’ use of schools and hospitals to hide its missiles is a war crime.

But in a recent interview with Fusion TV, Democrat presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton dismissed that and made up an excuse for Hamas’ criminal tactics. Clinton’s response came from Fusion’s Jorge Ramos asking her if Israel’s response to Hamas’ rocket fire is “disproportionate.”

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“The problem is, this is something, I’m not a military planner,” Clinton tells Fusion’s Ramos, “Hamas puts its missiles, its rockets in civilian areas. Part of it is that Gaza’s pretty small, and it’s very densely populated. They put their command and control of Hamas military leaders in those civilian areas. Israel I know has sent warnings and tried to get people to move.”

Children are pretty small too. That’s why Hamas uses children to dig terror tunnels into Israel.

h/t Daily Surge

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Report: Forced Child Labor Is Behind Hamas’ Terror Tunnel Digging

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Hamas reportedly is an even more monstrous group than is widely known.

The terrorist group, which is funded by governments including Iran and Qatar, has dug numerous tunnels into Israel. Those tunnels are weapons — Hamas uses them to launch attacks on Israeli civilian and military targets. Israel is trying to destroy those tunnels in the current campaign.

But who dug the tunnels?

Forced child laborers, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post.

Hamas used children to help them dig numerous tunnels into Israel and Egypt, a 2012 paper written for the Journal of Palestine Studies reported.

The paper, titled Gaza’s Tunnel Phenomenon: The Unintended Dynamics of Israel’s Siege says that little had been done to stop the phenomenon of child labor during the digging of the tunnels by Hamas in Gaza.

In December 2011, the paper’s author Nicolas Pelham accompanied a police patrol in Gaza and reported that “nothing was done to impede the use of children in the tunnels, where, much as in Victorian coal mines, they are prized for their nimble bodies.”

According to the report, at least 160 children have been killed while digging Hamas’ terror tunnels.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer recently went into a Hamas tunnel with the Israel Defense Forces. While he did not mention anything about child labor, he confirmed how small the tunnels are.

(CNN) – The opening was so small that CNN’s Wolf Blitzer — no physical giant — had to bend down to climb inside one of 30 or so Palestinian tunnels from Gaza to southern Israel.

“I guess the tunnel was built for relatively short people, because if you stand up you’re going to hit your head,” Blitzer said of the almost two-mile concrete corridor about 45 feet underground where he reported from Monday.

The tunnels aren’t just built for short people. They’re dug by children.

h/t Powerline and Ace

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Hamas: A Litmus Test for Libertarians

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 - by Walter Hudson

Recently, while making the libertarian case for support of Israel, I noted that Islamic totalitarianism manifest in the entity of Hamas presents a common enemy to the United States and Israel. Neither nation can suffer a world where the mandates of Islamic totalitarianism are put into practice.

That case was rejected by many professing libertarian associates, who in their response defended Islam and Hamas while demonizing Israel. Their response reminded me that, while professing activists from the various wings of the libertarian movement share many common enemies and many common causes, an important divide remains between objective libertarians (advocates of liberty and its political requirement, proper government) and anarchists who have appropriated the libertarian title.

The distinction is explored in a recent episode of The Peikoff Podcasts by Ayn Rand Institute executive director Yaron Brook. Answering why so many professing libertarians are anti-Israel, Brook explained:

I think that the libertarians who tend to be anti-Israel tend to be in the [Murray Rothbard wing] of the libertarian movement. They tend to be anarchists. They tend to have a deep rooted hatred of government. And it’s interesting [because] they tend to hate free governments more than they hate totalitarian governments. They tend to focus their hatred much more on the American government [and] on the Israeli government than they do on Hamas.

If you’re libertarian, that is if you claim to care about individual liberty, Hamas should be one of the top most hated regimes in the world. You should be celebrating that they are being destroyed and that the Palestinian people might have a chance to be freed from such a totalitarian evil regime like Hamas is.

And yet, libertarians don’t seem to care about the Hamas government, or actually support it, and they focus all their ire [and] all their hatred [and] all their focus on the Israeli government, a government that is in relative terms a rights respecting government, at least as rights respecting as any Western government. Essentially there’s free speech in Israel. There’s freedom of contract. There’s private property, not as much private property as those of us who believe in liberty would like, but much much better than 90% of the countries in the world.

… So I think that this is one of the ugliest manifestations of this fringe element – or not so fringe element – within the libertarian movement, their attitude towards Israel, their attitude towards the United States, their attitude towards foreign policy in general…

Upon further reflection, it occurs to me that advocacy of anarchy requires one to minimize the legitimacy of foreign threats while demonizing any action which government takes to protect citizens. After all, if government can be seen acting properly in defense of liberty, that stands as evidence against anarchism. In this way, anarchists masquerading as libertarians have boxed themselves into a philosophical corner which requires them to become apologists for evil.

(Today’s Fightin Words podcast is on this topic available here. 16:05 minutes long; 15.51 MB file size. Right click here to download this show to your hard drive. Subscribe through iTunes or RSS feed.)

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Obama Admin Launches War of Words Against Israel

Monday, July 28th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Is this more of that “smart diplomacy” we’ve heard so much about?

The Obama administration pushed back strongly Monday at a torrent of Israeli criticism over Secretary of State John Kerry’s latest bid to secure a cease-fire with Hamas, accusing some in Israel of launching a “misinformation campaign” against the top American diplomat.

“It’s simply not the way partners and allies treat each other,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Her comments were echoed by the White House, where officials said they were disappointed by Israeli reports that cast Kerry’s efforts to negotiate a cease-fire as more favorable to Hamas.

“Israel has no better friend, no stronger defender than John Kerry,” said Tony Blinken, President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser. He said the criticism of Kerry was based on “people leaking things that are either misinformed or attempting to misinform.”

Does an ally try to impose a cease-fire when its friend is making good progress in defeating terrorists? That’s what the U.S. is doing to Israel right now. Does an ally try to force its friend back to indefensible borders? That’s what President Obama has been doing to Israel for years.

The U.S. is angry over reports that are being written in Israeli media. Would the U.S. want Israel’s government to stifle the independent media?

As Kerry returned from the region over the weekend, Israeli media commentators leveled almost nonstop criticism of his attempts to bring Qatar and Turkey — two countries viewed by Israel as strong Hamas supporters — into the cease-fire negotiations. Kerry was also accused of abandoning some of Israel’s key demands during the negotiations, including demilitarizing Gaza.

In trying to implement the cease-fire over the weekend, “U.S. Secretary of State of State John Kerry ruined everything,” wrote columnist Ari Shavit in Monday’s Haaretz, Israel’s leading liberal newspaper. “Very senior officials in Jerusalem described the proposal that Kerry put on the table as a ‘strategic terrorist attack.’”

Jen Psaki, State Department spokeswoman of “promise of hashtag” infamy, doesn’t seem to understand how real diplomacy works.

U.S. officials disputed the notion that Kerry had formally presented a proposal and cast the document in question as a draft given to the Israelis as part of an effort to gain their input in seeking a weeklong cessation of hostilities. Officials said the draft was based on an earlier Egyptian cease-fire proposal that Israel had accepted but Hamas had rejected.

Psaki said the U.S. was “surprised and obviously disappointed” to see the draft proposal made public. She also argued that there was a difference between the characterization of Kerry’s handling of the negotiations by Israeli media and what government officials were telling the U.S. privately.

“No one is calling to complain about the secretary’s handling of the situation,” Psaki said.

Right. They’re showing the world what you’d planned as a way of protesting it without having to call you up and directly, formally protest it. That’s a mild protest that signals displeasure but does not put the alliance itself at risk. Israel will call up a few steps from now, if it sees Kerry continuing to act against Israel’s interests.

Psaki and her sidekick, Marie Harf, continue to show why it’s inadvisable to put campaign operatives in charge of diplomacy. Their attack and respond style just is not suitable to the job of managing America’s alliances and less amicable relationships around the world.

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Pelosi: Qatar Tells Me that ‘Hamas Is a Humanitarian Organization’ (Update: Pelosi’s Hamas Connection)

Monday, July 28th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Democrats’ leader in the House wants to “have a discussion” over whether Hamas is a terrorist or a humanitarian organization.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi appeared on CNN Sunday and commented on the ongoing war in Gaza. While defending Israel’s right to defend itself and stating that the US must support Iron Dome, Pelosi also noted that many Palestinians live in her district, and “We have to support the Palestinians and what they need.” She also made a strange comment on the nature of Hamas.

“We have to confer with the Qataris,” Pelosi told CNN’s Candy Crowley, “who have told me over and over again that Hamas is a humanitarian organization.” She added her hope that the Qataris could use their “influence” over Hamas to “calm” the situation.

“The US thinks they’re [Hamas] a terrorist organization, though.” Crowley responded, then asked “Correct? Do you?”

Pelosi reluctantly managed to say “Mmhmm.”

Watch the video of Pelosi’s remarks.

Qatar, a US ally, also is one of a handful of countries that publicly supports Hamas with words and money. Israel has singled Qatar out as a state sponsor of Hamas terrorism. Qatar is also a longstanding supporter of the radical Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is an offshoot.

Update: In May 2012, Pelosi had a secret fundraiser with Hamas-linked groups and figures.

The donors at the undisclosed May 16 event included Nihad Awad, the co-founder of the Council on American Islamic Relations, according to data provided by the nonpartisan Investigative Project on Terrorism.

The CAIR group was named an unindicted conspirator in a 2007 trial of a Hamas money-smuggling group.

A covertly-taken photograph provided by the IPT shows Pelosi standing near Awad at the fundraiser. Roughly 30 people attended the fundraiser, according to the IPT.

The cheapest tickets cost $5,000, and the most expensive were $30,800 per couple, according to the event invite from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which used the cash to fund Democratic candidates. (View the invite here)

The hosts of the event were DCCC chairman Rep. Steve Israel and two Muslim representatives, Rep. Keith Ellison and Rep. Andre Carson.

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Mashable Reports on Gaza War ‘…According the Palestinian Health Officials…’

Monday, July 28th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Last week we took a look at how tech and culture site Mashable.com is reporting the war in Gaza. Hamas terrorists started that war with kidnappings, murders, and then by launching rockets from Palestinian civilian areas into Israeli civilian areas.

Mashable has reported the war almost entirely from the Hamas/Palestinian point of view, refusing to label Hamas as terrorists, and playing up civilian casualties in Palestinian areas while failing to report on the fact that Hamas’ tactics constitute war crimes.

Today, Mashable runs a story on how Hamas is “showing off” an armed drone that it claims is an Israeli craft that it shot down. While casting some doubt on the overall story, here is how Mashable reports casualty figures in the ongoing war.

The drone war between Hamas and Israel is playing out against a bloody conflict on the ground. The Israeli military has killed more than 1,000 Palestinians in the last three weeks, according to Palestinian health officials. During the same period, 44 Israeli soldiers and three civilians have died.

“…according to Palestinian health officials.”

That’s a key caveat, but Mashable fails to delve into it at all.

According to Hamas videos translated by MEMRI, the group instructs social media to report casualties in certain ways. Mashable appears to be following at least some of Hamas’ guidelines.

Following are excerpts from the guidelines:

“Anyone killed or martyred is to be called a civilian from Gaza or Palestine, before we talk about his status in jihad or his military rank. Don’t forget to always add ‘innocent civilian’ or ‘innocent citizen’ in your description of those killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza.

“Beware of spreading rumors from Israeli spokesmen, particularly those that harm the home front. Be wary regarding accepting the occupation’s version [of events]. You must always cast doubts on this [version], disprove it, and treat it as false.

“Avoid publishing pictures of rockets fired into Israel from [Gaza] city centers. This [would] provide a pretext for attacking residential areas in the Gaza Strip. Do not publish or share photos or video clips showing rocket launching sites or the movement of resistance [forces] in Gaza.

Mashable, like most of the Western media, makes little to no distinction in its reporting between the number of Hamas operatives killed and true civilians killed. The Israeli point of view gets no pixels at Mashable.

Hamas also instructs its social media advocates to “Avoid entering into a political argument with a Westerner aimed at convincing him that the Holocaust is a lie and deceit; instead, equate it with Israel’s crimes against Palestinian civilians.” Shorter Hamas: Stay away from Holocaust denial!

Hamas wants its social media advocates to emphasize Palestinian casualties in human terms.

“The narrative of life vs. the narrative of blood: [When speaking] to an Arab friend, start with the number of martyrs. [But when speaking] to a Western friend, start with the number of wounded and dead. Be sure to humanize the Palestinian suffering. Try to paint a picture of the suffering of the civilians in Gaza and the West Bank during the occupation’s operations and its bombings of cities and villages.

That instruction in mind, take a look at this Mashable piece by Jon Snow, which we dissected last week. It is written entirely from the point of view of Palestinians, and especially Palestinian children. Any piece on Palestinian children should note what that society teaches them — namely, that killing Jews is their duty. Mashable never reports on videos like this, from Palestinian media, and it never reports that Hamas continues to publicly advocate for the total destruction of Israel.

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Mashable appears to be following much of the Hamas social media playbook, including how it portrays pro-Palestinian protests in the West. Mashable reports on them with a neutral to positive take, ignoring or downplaying the strong evidence of ant-Semitism that pervades the protests.

Update: Mashable’s editorial position has consistently been anti-Russia in the Ukraine crisis. The site evidently doesn’t see all intolerant autocracies as equal.

Its man in Gaza, Jon Snow, had this bizarre take after the shootdown of MH17, which involved Russian technology and training.

In addition to reporting for Mashable, Snow reports for the UK’s Channel 4. He has two large platforms from which to push pro-Hamas storylines.

Update: Apparently Jon Snow knows nothing about Hamas’ abuse of journalists who report the truth.

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Audit Finds Poor Tracking of Weapons, Excess Arms Given to Afghans by Pentagon

Monday, July 28th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

A Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) audit found that “poor record keeping” has resulted in a sea of unaccounted weapons given to Afghan forces by the U.S. government.

Thanks to Pentagon efforts to train and supply the Afghan National Security Forces, the country’s military is now swimming in some $624 million in military equipment provided since 2004, including more than 747,000 weapons and pieces of auxiliary equipment. The total includes 465,000 small arms, such as AKs and M16s.

However, inventory inspections at depots found missing weapons and more weapons than the military needed, increasing the likelihood that U.S.-provided arms would fall into the hands of the Taliban and other jihadists.

The Defense Department uses two systems to track the weapons: the Security Cooperation Information Portal (SCIP), which tracks the exporting end, and the Operational Verification of Reliable Logistics Oversight Database (OVERLORD), which tracks the receipt of weapons in Afghanistan.

“Errors and discrepancies often occur because these two systems are not linked to each other and require manual data entry. When SIGAR compared the data in the two systems, it found that the databases did not always match; some records were duplicated, and some records were incomplete,” states the report.

“Of the 474,823 total serial numbers recorded in OVERLORD, 43 percent, or 203,888 weapons, had missing information and/or duplication,” auditors found. “24,520 serial numbers in OVERLORD and 22,806 weapon serial numbers in SCIP were repeated two or three times, meaning that there are duplicate records of weapons shipped and received. OVERLORD contained 50,304 serial numbers with no shipping or receiving dates, and SCIP contained 59,938 serial numbers with no shipping or receiving dates.”

At a Kandahar training center SIGAR auditors couldn’t even get a complete inventory report, while at the Central Supply Deport for the ANSF they found that 551 weapons on the books were not reflected in a hand count of inventory.

Investigators also found that their stock was more than 112,000 weapons over what was needed.

“For example, the ANA has 83,184 more AK-47s than needed because, prior to 2010, DOD issued both NATO-standard weapons, such as M-16s, and non-standard weapons, such as AK-47s. After 2010, DOD and the Afghan Ministry of Defense determined that interoperability and logistics would be enhanced if the ANA used only NATO standard weapons. Subsequently, the requirement was changed. However, no provision was made to return or destroy non-standard weapons, such as AK-47s, that were no longer needed. DOD officials told SIGAR that they do not currently have the authority to recapture or remove weapons that have already been provided to the ANSF,” states the report.

“This issue will be compounded as the number of ANSF personnel decreases to lower levels in the coming years. Without confidence in the Afghan government’s ability to account for or properly dispose of these weapons, SIGAR is concerned that they could be obtained by insurgents and pose additional risks to Afghan civilians and the ANSF.”

SIGAR recommended that the OVERLORD and SCIP systems be reconciled within six months, that commanders work with the Afghans to complete a 100 percent inventory check, and that the Pentagon work on a plan to recover or destroy excess arms in the hands of the Afghans.

In commenting on a draft of the report, “DOD concurred with SIGAR’s first recommendation and partially concurred with the second and third recommendations.” Specifically, the Defense Department said it doesn’t have the authority to direct Afghan forces to complete the inventory, and that it’s the Afghan government’s responsibility to decided if they have too many weapons.

The 2010 defense bill required that the Pentagon “establish a program for registering and monitoring the use of weapons transferred to the ANSF.”

“The lack of adherence to these procedures, along with the lack of reliable weapons inventories, limits monitoring of weapons under Afghan control and reduces the ability to identify missing and unaccounted for weapons that could be used by insurgents to harm U.S., coalition, and ANSF personnel,” says the audit.

“The scheduled reduction in ANSF personnel to 228,500 by 2017 is likely to result in an even greater number of excess weapons. Yet, DOD continues to provide ANSF with weapons based on the ANSF force strength of 352,000 and has no plans to stop providing weapons to the ANSF. Given the Afghan government’s limited ability to account for or properly dispose of these weapons, there is a real potential for these weapons to fall into the hands of insurgents, which will pose additional risks to U.S. personnel, the ANSF, and Afghan civilians.”

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‘What Is Happening to the Christian Community in Iraq Is Genocide’

Monday, July 28th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) urged President Obama to immediately sign legislation passed by Congress to create a special envoy post to focus on the plight of religious minorities in the Middle East and South Central Asia.

The House on Friday sent to Obama’s desk a bill, originally introduced in the Senate by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and passed July 10, to encourage the appointment a special envoy to promote religious freedom among religious minorities in the Middle East.

“Time is of the essence,” Wolf said.  “Christianity as we know it is being wiped out right before our eyes in Iraq.”

The bill that was passed is modeled on legislation Wolf and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), the only Assyrian in Congress and a Chaldean Catholic, first introduced in 2011. The two are co-chairs of the Religious Minorities in the Middle East Caucus, and led an effort a month ago to pressure Obama to do more to help Christians coming under attack in Iraq.

“Absent immediate action, we will most certainly witness the annihilation of an ancient faith community from the lands they’ve inhabited for centuries,” wrote the lawmakers, joined by 53 bipartisan colleagues.

Wolf gave three speeches on the House floor last week to raise awareness about the plight of Christians in Iraq, and plans to do the same every day this week.

On Friday, Wolf read a statement from Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, on the crisis unfolding in Mosul.

“We are currently witnessing an unacceptable widespread implementation of extremist religious ideology that threatens the lives of all Iraqi’s who do not fit within its ever-narrowing perspective. While this situation stands to eradicate centuries of co-existence and culture in the region it also threatens to significantly and negatively impact these communities for generations to come,” the bishop said. “If left unchallenged, it is not Iraq alone that is at risk, but the potential is intensified for the replication of this ideology as a viable and legitimate model for others across the Middle East.”

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) has given Christians in the region an ultimatum to convert, leave, or pay hefty taxes.

“I believe what is happening to the Christian community in Iraq is genocide,” Wolf said.  “I also believe it is a crime against humanity. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – more commonly referred to as ISIS – is systematically targeting Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq for extinction.”

“Where is the Obama administration?” Wolf continued.  “Where is the Congress? Where is the West? More people need to speak out.  More should be done before it is too late.”

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Obama Tries to Lobby Netanyahu on ‘Unconditional Humanitarian Ceasefire’

Monday, July 28th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

President Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday to press him to accept Secretary of State John Kerry’s cease-fire plan as Netanyahu ordered operations to continue “against the Hamas terrorists who violated the humanitarian truce which the UN requested for the residents of Gaza.”

“Yet again Hamas is cynically exploiting the residents of Gaza in order to use them as human shields. Hamas first rejected the Egyptian ceasefire initiative and afterwards violated last week’s UN humanitarian truce. It later violated the Red Cross humanitarian truce and has rebuffed the UN request for a humanitarian truce in order to allow the residents of Gaza to prepare for Eid al-Fitr,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement. “The IDF targets terrorist centers but if residents are inadvertently hit, it is Hamas which is responsible given that it has – again – violated the humanitarian truce that Israel acceded to.”

The White House said Obama “reiterated the United States’ serious and growing concern about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives, as well as the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza.”

“Building on Secretary Kerry’s efforts, the President made clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement. The President reaffirmed the United States’ support for Egypt’s initiative, as well as regional and international coordination to end hostilities,” continued the readout of the call. “The President underscored the enduring importance of ensuring Israel’s security, protecting civilians, alleviating Gaza’s humanitarian crisis, and enacting a sustainable ceasefire that both allows Palestinians in Gaza to lead normal lives and addresses Gaza’s long-term development and economic needs, while strengthening the Palestinian Authority.”

“The President stressed the U.S. view that, ultimately, any lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarization of Gaza.”

Netanyahu’s office didn’t give any special mention to the call with Obama, but did release the prime minister’s reaction today to a call with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as the UN Security Council called for “an immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza.”

“The Security Council Presidential Statement relates to the needs of a murderous terrorist organization that is attacking Israeli civilians and does not address Israel’s security needs, including the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip according to the principle laid down in the interim agreements with the Palestinians,” Netanyahu said. “The statement does not refer to attacks on Israeli civilians, or to the fact that Hamas has turned the residents of Gaza into human shields and uses UN facilities to attack Israeli civilians.”

“Israel accepted three UN proposals for humanitarian truces, and Hamas violated them all. Even now they are continuing to fire at Israeli civilians,” he continued. “Israel will continue to deal with the terrorist tunnels, and this is only the first step in the demilitarization. Instead of the funds of the international community serving the construction of terrorist tunnels for perpetrating large-scale attacks against Israeli civilians, the international community needs to act toward the demilitarization of Gaza.”

 

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“Angry Black Woman” Schools Students for Justice in Palestine

Monday, July 28th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Chloe Valdary, the self-titled “Lioness of Zion” wrote a public letter to the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) movement, published today in Tablet magazine. Valdary addresses the letter “from an Angry Black Woman” and delineates the student group’s hypocrisies, noting their nefarious misappropriation of African American history:

You do not get to pretend as though you and Rosa Parks would have been great buddies in the 1960s. Rosa Parks was a real Freedom Fighter. Rosa Parks was a Zionist.

Coretta Scott King was a Zionist.

A. Phillip Randolph was a Zionist.

Bayard Rustin was a Zionist.

Count Basie was a Zionist.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Zionist.

Indeed, they and many more men and women signed a letter in 1975 that stated: “We condemn the anti-Jewish blacklist. We have fought too long and too hard to root out discrimination from our land to sit idly while foreign interests import bigotry to America. Having suffered so greatly from such prejudice, we consider most repugnant the efforts by Arab states to use the economic power of their newly-acquired oil wealth to boycott business firms that deal with Israel or that have Jewish owners, directors, or executives, and to impose anti-Jewish preconditions for investments in this country.”

You see, my people have always been Zionists because my people have always stood for the freedom of the oppressed. So, you most certainly do not get to culturally appropriate my people’s history for your own. You do not have the right to invoke my people’s struggle for your shoddy purposes and you do not get to feign victimhood in our name. You do not have the right to slander my people’s good name and link your cause to that of Dr. King’s. Our two causes are diametrically opposed to each other.

Known for going against the grain, Valdary’s statement cuts to the core of the Pro-Palestinian movement’s attempts to draw a correlation between the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and America’s civil rights movement. The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, whose member groups include chapters of national organizations CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) and Jewish Voice for Peace, as well as SJP, devotes an entire section of their website to “Black America and Palestine Resources“. A quote from Palestinian American academic Edward Said motivates their campaign:

The late Edward Said wrote in the year 2000 that, to understand US policy towards the Middle East, “one must pay close attention to an aspect of America’s history mostly ignored by or unknown to educated Arabs … the contemporary treatment of the African American people, who constitute roughly 20 per cent of the population, a not insignificant number”.

Said co-founded the field of critical theory known as postcolonialism, a racist school of thought “…that interprets history, politics, and culture in the context of [white] Western domination and oppression.” The roots of postcolonial theory influenced the racist and anti-Semitic Black Nationalism of the 1960′s. Instead of campaigning for civil rights, the movement focused on “elevat[ing] racial separatism into a religious doctrine and declar[ing] that whites were doomed to destruction.”

Postcolonialism is a defense of human shields, of schools and hospitals being used as terrorist launching pads, of children growing up only to strap bombs to their chest in order to destroy the “white” menace. Valdary’s letter is a clarion call to renew the civil rights movement championed by both blacks and Jews that was so grossly distorted by racist theorists like Malcolm X and Edward Said. All those who “stand for the freedom of the oppressed” must confront and correct the racist lie that defends slaveholders like Hamas based on the color of their skin.

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Lindsey Graham Still Doesn’t Get It

Monday, July 28th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) described President Barack Obama as “AWOL.”

Graham said “I said last week, America is the glue that holds the free world together. When you see us missing our AWOL, as President Obama’s been, you see fracturing on multiple fronts. Russia is more aggressive, not less. The sanctions clearly are not working. Hamas is demanding open borders. Show me a statement by Hamas leadership that recognizes the right for Israel to resist, then I would consider their request. These are stark contrast and we’re not responding. Passive responses to naked aggression all over the world is our foreign policy. Look what ISIS has been able to do in Syria and Iraq. Without American leadership, the world gets to be a very dangerous place and our allies, like Israel and Ukraine, suffer.”

How can Sen. Graham have spent the past six years dealing with Barack Obama and not know who the man really is? Graham still doesn’t understand the kind of man he is dealing with, and why the president does what he does.

Crises — serious, consequential crises — are building from the Texas-Mexico border, to Libya, to the Ebola outbreak in Africa, to Israel, to Iraq, to Ukraine and Russia. With these crises building, an American president ought to be reaching out to Congress and reaching across the aisle to build national unity. Instead, this president is stirring up anger, picking fights over contraception, and doing nothing useful to the nation.

President Obama’s response to the crises themselves is mostly to appear to ignore them, while he golfs, fundraises for the Democratic Party, and launches mischief domestically. And by mischief, I actually mean constitutional crises over the separation of powers.

President Obama is not only not truly interested in stemming the tide of illegal aliens at the border, to pick just one of the crises for detailing, he is about to go out of his way to make it worse. The LA Times reports that he is about to use executive authority to lawlessly grant legal status to about 5 million illegal aliens who are already here.

The president has every intention, according to his own advisers, of creating yet another crisis with this move. The president has shirked his role as commander in chief to become the provocateur in chief.

That move will come by the end of the summer, White House senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer told reporters Friday. Some officials had advocated waiting until after the November midterm election.

Any such move would prompt a major clash with congressional Republicans, and at least some White House officials appeared to relish the prospect that the GOP might overreach in its response and act in a politically self-destructive manner.

When the decision is announced, it will “increase the angry reactions from Republicans,” Pfeiffer said.

“I would not discount the possibility” that Republicans would seek to impeach Obama over his next immigration moves, he said, adding that House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) had “opened the door to impeachment” by his plans to sue Obama for allegedly exceeding his executive authority.

Not only does Obama not fear impeachment, he is actively courting it. The Democrats are fundraising off of impeachment. Obama has his advisers out stoking impeachment, an idea that the majority of Republicans in office have no interest in pursuing. Sen. Graham, for one, was a central figure in the impeachment of Bill Clinton and has no interest in launching another one against Obama, whether the president deserves it or not.

None of this is out of character or outside Barack Obama’s playbook. Obama began his presidency by appointing policy czar after policy czar in order to bypass Congress and create a cabinet within the cabinet that would answer to him alone and would be in power without having to submit to the Senate’s approval. That was when the Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate with supermajorities. Now, with Republicans poised to control both the House and the Senate, Obama is gearing up to spend the final two years of his presidency doing everything he can possibly do to demonize Republicans, gather as much power to himself as he possibly can, and render Congress entirely irrelevant.

None of this is accidental. Barack Obama is not AWOL. He has not checked out of the responsibilities of his office. He intends to play down every overseas crisis as much as he possibly can, knowing full well that his low-information voter base doesn’t care about those crises and the rest of America does not vote on foreign policy, while he stokes domestic crises to maneuver Republicans and Congress into a kind of checkmate.

Barack Obama wants Republicans overreacting usefully to his provocations. He wants division and he wants to and will intentionally stoke rage. He wants Americans divided and hating each other, and he wants American power overseas diminished. He doesn’t view any of this as failure in any way. Because these crises are not failures, from his point of view. They are crises he does intend to allow to go to waste.

Even if the Democrats lose the Senate 99 days from now, as seems likely, Obama will still have two years to cause problems. He will use every second of that time as mischievously as he possibly can.

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CNN Libels Israel, Promotes Hamas Propaganda Line

Friday, July 25th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Israel to try to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Neither side wants a cease-fire at this point, and neither side agreed to one — at any point.

Here’s how CNN reported the lack of any cease-fire deal.

 

That’s an impressive amount of propaganda to pack into one image. The crying, wounded child juxtaposed with that chyron is no accident. It puts Israel in the position of “rejecting” a deal and putting that child and others in the crosshairs.

There was never a deal.

It’s Hamas that is intentionally targeting children, and intentionally putting Palestinian children in harm’s way. Not Israel. Hamas hides its weapons in schools. Not Israel.

There never was a deal. Hamas rejected a cease-fire every bit as much as Israel did. More, really, since Hamas started the war in the first place.

So, CNN, what’s your excuse here?

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Gallup: If You Oppose Israel, You’re Probably an Uneducated Democrat

Friday, July 25th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Gallup has released a new poll on Americans’ opinions of the conflict in Gaza. It’s no surprise that Republicans tend to side with Israel, and Democrats tend to believe that Israel’s military actions against Hamas are unjustified. Fully 47% of Democrats take that view, compared with just 31% who back Israel. That, plus independent voters’ ambivalence toward Israel, helps explain why the Obama administration is not backing Israel more strongly than calling for a (now rejected) cease-fire. Their base does not back Israel.

The educational differences on the issue are found in this chart.

gallup-israel-education

 

The more educated one is, the more likely one is to believe that Israel is taking justified action against Hamas terrorists.

Younger Americans tend to go left on everything from socialism to redefining marriage, and lack of support for democratic Israel against Hamas terrorists is no exception. This is despite Israel’s long history of supporting women’s and minority rights, while the Palestinians side with extremism that denies women and non-Muslims their rights.

This poll is a warning: If the rising millennial generation doesn’t change its attitudes in a hurry, Israel cannot count on American support for more than few more years.

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Terrorist Tycoons: Meet Hamas’ Richest Men

Friday, July 25th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Palestinians project an image of poverty and powerlessness to the world. While most Palestinians do live in poverty, especially when compared to their Israeli neighbors, Globes profiles several Hamas leaders who have used their positions to amass incredible wealth while their own people suffer.

Hamas’ terrorist tycoons include Dr. Musa Abu Marzook. He was a US-based Hamas fundraiser who was arrested for supporting terrorism in 1995. After serving two years in prison, he was freed and allowed to leave. Marzook kept the money he raised for Hamas, left the US and resides in Gaza. He is estimated to be worth $2 to $3 billion now and maintains numerous ties to terrorists including al Qaeda, according to the Globes report.

Marzook is followed closely in wealth by Khaled Mashaal, who is estimated to be worth about $2.6 billion.

Following them is one of Hamas’ most public faces, Ismail Haniyeh. He is said to be worth about $4 million, which he has registered in the names of various family members to conceal the true size of his fortune.

According to Globes:

The question of where these officials got their money exposes the corrupt system used by Hamas through its control of the money pipelines in the Gaza Strip. They treated the money as their own personal possession. “Most of the money that went into the pockets of people in the Gaza Strip was obtained through tunnel deals and the creation of a flourishing smuggling market, which it is believed has created several hundred millionaires in the Gaza Strip, although most of the people there don’t live like that. The man pulling the strings from Egypt with the tunnels is none other than the number two man in the Muslim Brotherhood, Khairat el-Shater. His connection with Hamas was ostensibly for Islamic religious purposes, but they actually built a prosperous business, which earned phenomenal profits,” Elad says.

The Arshaq Al-Awsad (Middle East) newspaper, one of the most prestigious in the Arab world, recently reported that at least 600 millionaires were living in the Gaza Strip – the same people sitting on the money pipelines there.

Elad describes how the system worked and to how much money (huge amounts) Hamas leaders were exposed: “Senior Hamas leaders charged a 25% ‘tax’ and $2,000 on every disassembled vehicle coming through the tunnels. There are hundreds of smuggling tunnels from Egypt to Gaza, and these are the types of tunnel Israel has been less busy in destroying, because Egypt has destroyed many of them. From June 2007 until 2010, $800 million in cash was transferred in tunnel deals (according to information from Hamas money traders). Hamas also taxes Gaza merchants on everything traded, from boxes of vegetables to luxury cars, and the leaders scoop the money into their pockets.”

In summary, Elad says, “This is corruption at the highest level… What has united the Palestinian leaders all throughout the years is the saying, ‘We have to get rich quick.’ This is how the regime sees it. Their leaders have no shame.

The PLO’s Yasser Arafat was reportedly worth $1 billion when he died.

In addition to its graft, oppression and corruption, Palestinian leaders also live on money provided to them by the United States and Europe. The US and Europe pay hundreds of millions in aid to the Palestinians every year, mostly through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Some of that aid ends up in the hands of the Palestinian government, including Hamas, despite US law against supporting terrorism and despite the fact that Hamas is still a designated terrorist organization. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Israel this week pledging $47 million more aid to the Palestinians, while calling for a cease-fire as Israel pounds Hamas forces, tunnels and weapons caches.

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Deli Food for Thought

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 - by Nathan D. Lichtman

Israel hasn’t been feeling the love lately. Not only are they in the midst of a literal war with Hamas, but also a PR war. I already wrote about how long it took President Obama to even make a phone call to Prime Minister Netanyahu, but his failure to lead has gotten worse, and has dictated another response from me.

This FAA debacle is indicative of an Administration that is throwing around its political leverage to bully Israel into succumbing to their harmful cease-fire demands. They prohibited all US flights from landing at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel. They haven’t even prohibited flights to Moscow, Kiev, or anywhere near Ukraine—and we just witnessed a plane shot out of the sky there! But Israel gets flights canceled?!?

John Kerry’s lobbying hard for a cease-fire arrangement, which would be more restrictive and harmful to Israel than the Egyptian one…which Israel accepted. Think about that: Egypt, a country that has traditionally not gotten along with Israel, is promoting a less-harsh cease-fire than the US Secretary of State.

Meanwhile, a coincidence—Israel gets flights banned. I think it’s more than a coincidence.

Israel relies heavily on tourism. In 2013, Israel had 3.5 million visitors, which propelled the market to a $12 billion industry. The situation in Israel has already slammed its tourism profits. According to a Yahoo Travel article: “’It is devastating us economically,’ said Leon Avigad, the developer of Brown Hotels, a small collection of boutique hotels in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. ‘We are losing tons of money by the minute. The entire profit from the summer is wiped out.’” And Avigad said these things in the days leading up to the flight ban.

So the FAA, under Obama, really hit Israel where it hurts. An already suffering tourism trade, and they ban flights… Doesn’t seem like how we should be treating one of our top allies.

Obama is flexing his muscles, likely because he can’t seem to get away with it against Putin. Israel, he thinks, is one situation he can dominate. His egotistical and radical nature leads him to assert himself into this problem, not on Israel’s side, but by condemning them with bad cease-fire proposals and by essentially threatening them economically.

It’s no wonder why Marc Schulman, of Newsweek, reports, “On a number of different levels, there is a growing sense of frustration with the Obama administration among average Israelis.”

So, rather than stay in Washington and deal with these problems, Obama went on another fundraising trip these past couple days. This time, he came to my neck of the woods—Los Angeles. Probably to get some of that big-time Hollywood money for the Democrats.

As an aside, his motorcade has been mucking up the traffic here pretty badly, even getting the nickname “Obamajam.” They even closed down a street, keeping a woman from crossing while in labor. He wasn’t even at the scene while this was going on.

But back on topic, the Jewish community here, in LA, is very close to the events in Israel, with pro-Israel rallies going on often and with much fervor. I, personally, attended New Community Jewish High School in the San Fernando Valley area of the city, and just found out that a fellow alumnus has been hospitalized after a bomb went off near him in Gaza. Max Levin was serving as a part of the Israeli Defense Forces, when the incident occurred. He is in stable condition, but wounded. I don’t know him, as he graduated several years after I did, but it touches the community. Out of my small private high school alone, 26 alumni currently serve in the IDF.

So with Obama being seen as a hindrance to Israeli needs, or maybe even a counterforce, what did he do while here?

Our photo-op-in-chief went to the famous Canter’s Deli, a Jewish deli that’s been in the predominantly Jewish Fairfax district for almost 85 years. The patronizing President figured he would show his support for the Jewish community by eating a rye bread sandwich and schmoozing.

I cannot believe the condescension he is exposing here, especially just after telling Governor Perry that he doesn’t participate in photo-ops.

We need a leader, not a schmoozer, and we need a President who will stand up for our allies.

Oy gevalt!

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Is Tech Site Mashable.com Siding with Hamas Terrorists?

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Mashable.com, one of the largest tech and culture websites on the planet, appears to be taking a side in the ongoing war in Gaza.

The site best known for posts about things buried in software user agreements and happy photo ops with the president who claims that he isn’t interested in photo ops is taking a decidedly pro-Hamas editorial point of view as it and Israel fight in Gaza.

That war started when terrorists linked to Hamas, which is itself categorized as a terrorist group by the U.S. State Department and the European Union, kidnapped three Israeli teenagers and later executed them. One of those teenagers, 16-year-old Naftali Frankel, also had American citizenship.

On June 14, when Mashable reported on the boys’ kidnapping, in describing Hamas it put “terrorist group” in scare quotes.

Even after the boys’ bodies were discovered, Mashable made sure to distance Hamas from the murders.

Hamas soon began to launch some of its estimated 10,000 to 20,000 rockets at Israeli population centers. Israel has responded with an air, land and sea campaign to destroy Hamas’ tunnels and its rocket arsenal.

Israel is going out of its way to avoid civilian casualties, while Hamas places civilian casualties at the center of its strategy. Hamas targets Israel’s civilians, and it places its weapons close to Palestinian schools and hospitals to force Israel to choose between risking killing Palestinian civilians to destroy those weapons, or leave its own civilians at risk if it does not destroy those weapons. If Palestinian civilians die in Israeli attacks, they become part of the group’s propaganda. If Israel decides not to strike Hamas weapons caches near civilian targets, then some Israelis will be attacked with those very weapons.

Mashable’s coverage of the conflict has tilted away from Israel, the Middle East’s sole democracy and one in which Arabs can become full citizens, and toward Hamas terrorists. Where Hamas rules, as in much of the Islamic world, Christians and Jews are at best second-class, are systematically persecuted and are often subjected to pogroms.

In an Associated Press story on the “disappearance” of rockets that Hamas hid in UN schools to which Mashable contributed reporting, the AP and Mashable hide the lead down in the sixth paragraph, and even then avoid calling Hamas what it is.

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. secretary-general on Wednesday said he was “alarmed” to hear that rockets were placed in a U.N.-run school in Gaza, and now “have gone missing.” He also demanded a full review of such incidents.

A spokesperson for Ban Ki-moon expressed the U.N. chief’s “outrage and regret” at the placement of weapons at a site run by the global organization. This has happened at least twice so far in the current conflict, according to the U.N.

“Those responsible are turning schools into potential military targets, and endangering the lives of innocent children,” U.N. staff and anyone seeking shelter, the statement said.

The rockets had been placed at one of the schools run by the U.N. refugee agency for Palestinians, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza (UNRWA).

Once they were found, “in accordance with standard practice, UNRWA handed them over to the local authorities. Since then, they have gone missing,” Ban’s deputy spokesperson, Farhan Haq, said in an email Wednesday evening.

The Islamic militant group Hamas controls Gaza. The U.S., Israel and the European Union all consider Hamas a terrorist organization, but the U.N. does not.

The entire story is written to hide what Hamas was doing — hiding its rockets in UN-run schools, rockets it uses against Israel’s civilian population. Both of those acts are war crimes.

In the most biased story Mashable has run on the conflict to date, the site takes cues from Pallywood and puts a dying Palestinian child front and center. This is the kind of propaganda story Hamas hopes comes from Israel exercising its duty to defend its people.

In “‘Am I Going to Die, Daddy?’ The Child in Gaza Asked,” reporter Jon Snow states that “If the Israelis have proved anything, it is that there is no such thing as a forensic strike.” Snow never allows for the fact while Israel tries to avoid civilian casualties, while Hamas feeds on them.

After chronicling several heart-breaking cases of kids caught up in the crossfire, Snow rhetorically asks “Can they really be the acceptable collateral damage of targeting militants?”

The tone of the entire piece puts the moral responsibility for all casualties in Gaza not on Hamas, the terrorist group that is still dedicated to destroying Israel and which started the current conflict, but on Israel.

Snow ends his piece with this:

I was amazed to find a small sachet of shampoo as I went to a cold shower tonight — salty again. Obviously, you cannot make bombs out of shampoo and so there is no embargo on it. But clearly you can make bombs from paint because there isn’t any. This is the most wretchedly unpainted urban place I have ever been.

And beyond it all, why won’t they talk? This cannot go on. It is the children, tomorrow’s Palestinians, who are paying the price.

Today’s and tomorrow’s Israelis are paying a price too, are they not? You wouldn’t know it from reading Jon Snow, or indeed anything published at Mashable.

Snow’s piece fits well within Hamas’ anti-Israel propaganda. Why is a tech site like Mashable publishing it?

The closest that the site gets to fair reporting is probably this piece on Jews and Arabs who are making friends and more despite the conflict. Even this piece, though, plays up Arabs’ peaceful intent and ignores the anti-Semitism that pervades Arab culture and communications around the world.

The fact is, whether Mashable is aware of it or not, Palestinian voters elected Hamas to power knowing full well that that would mean war with Israel. And polls find that Palestinians continue to want to destroy Israel.

In the current war, Hamas and the Palestinians who still support Hamas are getting what they want.

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Islamic State Orders All Women in Mosul to Undergo Genital Mutilation

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

There is no “war on women” in the United States. Those who claim that there is are either cynical are woefully misinformed.

There is a very real war on women in Iraq.

The Irish Times says that the Islamofascists are behaving like Islamofascists in the lands they now hold in Iraq.

Militant group Islamic State has ordered all girls and women in and around Iraq’s northern city of Mosul to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM), the United Nationssaid today.

The “fatwa” issued by the Sunni Muslim fighters would potentially affect 4 million women and girls, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq Jacqueline Badcocktold reporters in Geneva by videolink from Arbil.

“This is something very new for Iraq, particularly in this area, and is of grave concern and does need to be addressed,” she said.

Obviously the caliphate’s thugs are most directly to blame for this. Maliki bears some blame as well.

But President Obama deserves a share of the blame for abandoning Iraq. This real and brutal Islamist war on women has his fingerprints on it.

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China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela Condemn Israel for Violating Human Rights

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the latest condemnation of the Jewish state at the UN Human Rights Council as a “travesty” that “should be rejected by decent people everywhere.”

With council members accusing Israel of war crimes, the body approved a “commission of inquiry to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

The United States was the only country to vote against the measure.

Seventeen countries abstained, and among the 29 states voting in favor of the resolution were human-rights violators China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela.

“Rather than investigate Hamas, which is committing a double war crime by firing rockets at Israeli civilians while hiding behind Palestinian civilians, the UNHRC calls for an investigation of Israel, which has gone to unprecedented lengths to keep Palestinian civilians out of harm’s way, including by dropping leaflets, making phone calls and sending text messages,” Netanyahu said. “The UNHRC should be launching an investigation into Hamas’s decision to turn hospitals into military command centers, use schools as weapons depots and place missile batteries next to playgrounds, private homes and mosques.”

“By failing to condemn Hamas’s systematic use of human shields and by blaming Israel for the deaths that are caused by this grotesque human shields policy, the UNHRC is sending a message to Hamas and terror organizations everywhere that using civilians as human shields is an effective strategy,” the prime minister continued.

“Like the investigation that led to the infamous Goldstone report, a report which was ultimately renounced by its own author, this investigation by a kangaroo court is a foregone conclusion. The predictable result will be the libeling of Israel and even greater use of human shields in the future by Hamas. Those who will pay the price will be not only Israelis but also Palestinians who Hamas will redouble its efforts to use as human shields in the future.”

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters yesterday that the U.S. voted against the resolution because “we’re opposed to one-sided and biased inquiries of any kind.”

“Unfortunately the Human Rights Council has often put forward one-sided documents,” she added.

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FAA Lifts Ban on Flights to Tel Aviv, May Take ‘Additional Actions’

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The Federal Aviation Administration lifted its ban on U.S. flights into Tel Aviv a day and a half after imposing the controversial restrictions.

“Before making this decision, the FAA worked with its U.S. government counterparts to assess the security situation in Israel and carefully reviewed both significant new information and measures the Government of Israel is taking to mitigate potential risks to civil aviation,” the FAA said in a statement last night.

“The FAA’s primary mission and interest are the protection of people traveling on U.S. airlines. The agency will continue to closely monitor the very fluid situation around Ben Gurion Airport and will take additional actions, as necessary,” the statement continued. “The FAA initially instituted the flight prohibition on Tuesday, July 22, in response to a rocket strike that landed approximately one mile from the airport.”

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg flew to Israel on El Al in protest of the ban, and was greeted at the airport by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“I just wanted to do something personally to show my support for standing up for what’s right. I think Israel is doing that. Hamas is trying to kill the Palestinians and kill the Israelis, and somebody has got to say that they have got to stop this. And then along comes the FAA, which I think made a mistake. I hope they will rectify it soon, but they said they didn’t want American planes flying into the world’s most secure airport,” Bloomberg told CNN.

“And so I decided I would take a trip over here on the world’s most secure airline going to the world’s most secure airport. It’s a good lesson for all of us how to run security. Unfortunately, in America, too many times we find people walking across runways, people carrying guns and getting through security onto planes, baggage not being claimed afterwards,” he continued.

“And so it’s a good lesson for us how to run an airline and how to run an airport and I think the FAA should try to make sure that American airports and American airlines follow what is done here. And we certainly don’t want to stop flights into airports in America. It would be devastating for America. It’s devastating for Israel when you stop flights in.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) threatened to hold all State Department nominees until the administration answered his questions about the ban, which was announced shortly after Secretary of State John Kerry announced $47 million in aid to the Palestinians. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf called Cruz’s assertion that there were political motivations “offensive” and “ridiculous.”

“Serious questions were asked about the nature of a decision that handed Hamas a public relations victory and will cost Israel billions of dollars,” said Cruz. “The only thing ‘offensive’ about this situation is how the Obama Administration is spurning our allies to embolden our enemies; the only thing ‘ridiculous’ is the administration’s response to basic questions. Until the State Department answers my questions, I will hold all State Department nominees.”

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Senate Effort Underway to Require Congressional Approval of Iran Deal

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

GOP senators bit back at the Obama administration’s four-month extension of nuclear talks with Iran today, introducing legislation that would require congressional review of any deal and makes clear that this is the last extension before sanctions go back into effect.

It’s a bill that many Democrats would vote for — if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) allows it to come to the floor.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the top GOP on the Foreign Relations Committee, introduced the bill in a colloquy Wednesday with his co-sponsors: Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho).

Corker gave a nod to the work on sanctions pushed forward by Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), though it was unclear if either would sign on to the bill.

“Congress must weigh in on any final deal, ensure Iranian compliance is strictly enforced, and provide a backstop to prevent a bad deal from occurring,” Corker said. “While this bill does not include new sanctions on Iran, it allows Congress to seek further sanctions if an acceptable final deal can’t be reached.”

What it does include is the requirement that the president submit any agreement to Congress within three days of reaching a final deal. Lawmakers would have 15 days to review the deal, then have the option to introduce a joint resolution of disapproval that would have to pass the House and Senate.

If Obama failed to submit a plan to Congress or a resolution of disapproval would pass, sanctions that the administration had rolled back during the negotiation process would automatically be reimposed.

“Additionally, if Iran at any time violates the terms of its nuclear agreements, this legislation rightly obligates the Obama administration to re-impose all previous sanctions and start over,” Risch said. “Given Iran’s history and bad faith on this issue, this legislation is absolutely necessary.”

Additionally, sanctions would be re-imposed on Nov. 28 — four days after the newly extended deadline is up — should Obama fail to submit a comprehensive agreement to Congress.

“Congress played a fundamental role in enacting sanctions against Iran and should have a say whether this agreement is strong enough to lift sanctions,” Graham said. “President Obama felt he needed congressional approval to move forward in Syria and Congress should insist on being involved in any nuclear deal with Iran.”

Rubio said on the Senate floor that refusing to let Congress give the final approval to a deal “leaves us vulnerable – not just to a terrible deal –  but to a dangerous one that could potentially endanger the future of our allies and even of our own country.”

“So the Iranians in this whole negotiation view themselves as being in a position of strength. To be quite frank, they believe that our president wants this deal more than they do. They believe he wants this deal more than they do. And that’s what puts them in this tremendous position of strength. And the result is that these negotiations are not going to, in my view – I hope that I’m wrong, I hope that tomorrow we open up and read, you know what? They’ve changed their mind. They don’t want to do any more terrorism, no rockets and no nuclear weapon program and they’ve become just a normal government and a normal country,” Rubio said.

“Don’t hold your hopes out for that because that is not what they’ve shown in the past, that is not what they’re doing now, and they are negotiating from a position of strength because they believe that the president wants a deal much more than they want or need a deal.”

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