UPDATES 8:30 am Israel time, Friday, November 15 2013:
**A delegation from the IDF arrived in the Philippines yesterday to begin setting up a field hospital on the typhoon-ravaged island of Cebu. When completed, the hospital will be able to treat 1,500 patients a day.
According to the leader of the delegation, Colonel Ramtin Sefati: “Local authorities have asked us to assist with restoring the function of local schools since they, as many facilities, were left without electricity or running water.”
**Attempts to boycott Israel continue to fall flat on their faces. With the Open Skies Agreement set to go into effect this coming April, European airlines are scrambling to gain approval for new routes to Israel.
Yesterday Austrian airlines announced it was adding a new flight from Vienna next summer. Remarkably, Israel is Austrian airlines’ third largest intercontinental market after the U.S. and Japan. This announcement follows news that EasyJet will be adding three new routes once the agreement goes into effect.
**Hamas spent most of its time yesterday morning firing mortars and missiles at Israel, and the afternoon complaining about a “humanitarian crisis” caused by raw sewage swamping the streets. Apparently, Hamas has enough fuel to power its mortar and rocket firing launchers, but not enough to get solid and liquid human waste products out of its streets.
Following at least four mortars fired on Wednesday and another three on Thursday–coupled with at least two Qassam rockets fired at the Sderot area–the IAF attacked suspected launching sites in Gaza.
Meanwhile the sewage continues to flow because the Egyptians have cut off the supply of cheap fuel that came through the smuggling tunnels to run Gazan waste-treatment plants, and the Palestinians do not want to fork out the money to pay the normal price for fuel.
One of the funnier comments of the day came from Sa’ad El-Deen Al-Tbash of the Gaza City wastewater department: “This is the start of a catastrophe and unless the world listens to our cries, a real disaster may hit Gaza and its people. This is a humanitarian, not a political issue.”
Almost as funny as the massive dissembling now going on in the Obama White House. Yesterday, we had President Obama retreating from his signature Health Care law by referring to “incorrect promises” (aka lies?) that he had made to the American people. Your humble servant wonders just how many “incorrect promises” Obama has now made concerning Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iran, the Palestinians–you name it.
But it is not merely Obama who is doing the dissembling.
Ben Dror Yemeni, a journalist with the Maariv newspaper in Israel, has uncovered at least one letter that John Kerry signed back in 2009 which was written on behalf of some of the most virulently anti-Israel organizations and individuals on the planet (Code Pink and its co-founder Jodie Evans, and the Electronic Intifada and its co-founder Ali Abunimah, to name a few). These organizations and individuals wanted to lead a “humanitarian” march into Gaza.
The letter was presented by these individuals and groups to the Egyptian government under then Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak–and promptly rejected by the Egyptians. Many of these individuals and organizations later ended up on the Turkish terrorist ship Mavi Marmara.
But back to Kerry. When confronted by this letter this week, Kerry and his office (along with the U.S. State Department yesterday) rolled out the following excuses:
1. It was a form letter.
2. It was “automatically” signed by a staff worker. Kerry never saw the letter.
3. The letter was used by those receiving it “under false pretenses”.
What follows is a copy of the letter taken from the Yemeni article in Maariv (an electronic copy of the letter is below the image):
For easier reading, here is the text of the letter:
December 23, 2009
To Whom it May Concern:
I am writing to express my strong support for members of the humanitarian delegation from Massachusetts that will be traveling to Israel and the Palestinian Territories from December 27th to January 15th. The humanitarian delegation from Massachusetts is sponsoring this visit and they plan to meet with non-governmental organizations, assess the health cares system and observe human rights and trade union conditions among Israelis and Palestinians.
I respectfully request that every courtesy be given the members of the delegation during their visit, My staff has met with members of the group, and is impressed with their ability, dedication and commitment to the peace process. We wlook forward to seeing then again upon their return, and hearing about their work.
For any questions or concerns please feel free to contact Christopher Wyman in my Boston office at 617-565-8522.
Thank you for your cooperation in this very important matter.
John F, Kerry (signature)
United States Senator
Does this sound like a form letter to you dear reader? December 27th to January 15th? Delegation from Massachusetts? In response to a request from Code Pink and the Electronic Intifada?
Should anyone believe Kerry’s dissembling–especially in light of Kerry’s recent pronouncements here in Israel in support of the Palestinians? I leave it for you, dear reader, to decide.