UPDATES 9 am Israel time, Friday, August 16 2013:
*Residents of the Chof Ashkelon (the Ashkelon Beach region that contains industries such as the large electrical generating station) were sent running to their bomb shelters last evening at 9:43 pm by sirens indicating incoming rockets from Palestinian terrorists in Gaza.
At least one loud explosion was then heard. Thereupon began the usual IDF disinformation: first, the IDF spokesman said that the missile had landed in Gaza–then this was changed to merely “it was a false alarm.” In the next few days the rocket will be found somewhere in the Ashkelon area.
The IDF formula is simple: make the rocket disappear, and there is no need to respond–and who cares if Israeli children, women, and men are traumatized day after day by incoming missile sirens?
*The hilarity of Middle Eastern scapegoating of Israel was brought into sharp relief last night following the suicide car bombing in Hezbollah’s Dahiya suburb of southern Beirut that killed 22 people.
First up was the president of Lebanon, Michel Suleiman, who brazenly stated that the explosion had “the fingerprint of Israel.” Next came the forever bunkered Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah who declared that the blast was perpetrated by Israeli agents in revenge for the IED attack on Israeli soldiers along the Lebanese border last week. Finally, a video by the Sunni group that apparently carried out the bombing appeared online in which masked men accused Nasrallah of being an agent of Iran and Israel.
All sides blaming Israel for everything–the one way you can be assured of popular support in this area of the world is by making sure that you blame Israel.
*The fighting continues in Egypt today with the death toll now topping 600. As reported in israelstreet yesterday, the Egyptian Army seems to be moving out of the Sinai to Cairo in support of General Al-Sissy. Does this mean that Israel will covertly have to go it alone against terrorists in the Sinai or that southern Israel can expect an ever-increasing rain of missiles from Gaza? Probably both.
Call it writer’s vanity, but as regular readers of this blog know, your humble servant is not in the habit of using the space here for other peoples’ writing.
However, two items have appeared in the Israeli media in the last 24 hours that deserve to be reprinted here. In an editorial about Palestinian incitement this morning, a Jerusalem Post editorial reiterated the point made in this blog yesterday–that the U.S. is no longer a trusted broker in the so-called “peace negotiations”. Here are two snippets from that editorial (click here to read in its entirety):
“While assuming the guise of an honest broker, the US rushed to side with the PA position [concerning settlements]. Behaving more like an adjudicating overseer than a non-interventionist mediator, Secretary of State John Kerry pronounced all so-called settlements as inherently illegitimate (this includes entire extensive veteran neighborhoods of Jerusalem).
Moreover, Kerry has reportedly threatened Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with “delegitimization on steroids” should the talks flounder. The subtext is that unless Israel surrenders more and more ground, it will become a pariah. The onus is on Israel.
Israel stands alone at the other side of the table, against the combined forces of its antagonist interlocutor and the supposed impartial referee.
…Given this, does Israel have any chance of a fair hearing in the international arena, or should it expect “delegitimization on steroids” no matter what it does?”
The Post has it exactly correct; there is nothing that Israel can do short of ceasing to exist that will enable it to have a fair hearing in the international arena. Delegitimization attempts on steroids are already here–what is our task is to make sure that these attempts do not succeed.
Second, a letter addressed yesterday to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry from Ayelet Shaked, a Minister with the HaBayit HaYehudi (Jewish Home) party, was published in bits and pieces in various media locations. The letter lambastes John Kerry for his and American hypocrisy over the Palestinian murderer release and for the implications of the absurd American “peace effort”:
In light of the current situation that you have brought about, I feel that I simply cannot be bound by the restraints of “politically correct” wording, and I therefore will allow myself to convey my following message to you in the most straightforward fashion:
Mr. Secretary of State – by forcing Israel to capitulate to terrorism by releasing murdering terrorists with so much blood on their hands that the United States would never dream of releasing them if it was their own citizens whom they murdered – you are not only being extremely hypocritical, but are actually dabbling in experimentation and gambling, by putting me and my children’s lives at risk.
Your forcing us to release these terrorists with actual blood on their hands is made all the more absurd, cynical and vicious by the fact that your country refuses until this day to release Jonathan Pollard from jail, despite the unprecedented term he has served thus far.
Mr. Secretary: the price of releasing over a hundred convicted murders will be borne by my family and my people, not by you. How will you carry the burden of the terrible price towards which you are leading us?
You have forced us into peace talks during a period of time that the entire Middle East is in chaos, without realizing that by doing so, you have foolishly put us in an impossible situation, in which we cannot and will not make any concessions. By your own hand you have raised expectations to a dangerous level – one that might cause the whole region to spin out of control once those expectations are proven unrealistic, like so many times before.
The past four years in Israel have been as quiet and peaceful as ever. Therefore, I suggest to you that you perform your job in a much more effective and relevant fashion by focusing your attention on Syria and Egypt, where people are actually getting slaughtered.
Chair, HaBayit HaYehudi
Ms. Shaked has it exactly right on all counts.
Not that it makes any difference–Benjamin Netanyahu and Tzipi Livni seem to be rushing to concede everything that they can to the Palestinians as quickly as possible. We have the spectacle this morning of Mahmoud Abbas, fresh from his “victory” with the Palestinian murderers, announcing that the first round of talks has covered borders, Jerusalem, refugees–you name it–and that he expects a peace agreement within six to nine months.