UPDATES 7 pm Israel time, Sunday, April 6 2014:
**Palestinian terrorist missiles and mortars fired from Gaza continue exploding in southern Israel, and the IAF continues making half-hearted attempts to stop them. In response to yet another rocket explosion in the Chof Ashkelon region yesterday, the Air Force attacked 10 “targets” in Gaza including–according to the IDF spokesman–“weapons warehouses” and “agricultural areas” The IDF general command estimated the damage at 3 million shekels.
But wait. Think about those phrases again: “weapons warehouses” and “agricultural areas”. The actual translation of this IDF codespeak is “empty buildings” and “empty land”. Where did the $3 million shekel figure come from? It was merely pulled out of a hat. And, by the way, no terrorists were killed and no launches were averted. It won’t take long for the next missile or mortar to strike . . . [one minute ago, as your humble servant was writing the previous sentence, a mortar shell hit near Sha’ar Hanegev].
**A picture says it all: Palestinian celebrations yesterday on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem–the holiest place in Judaism:
**The latest 3-day installment of the farcical Iranian nuclear weapons talk in Vienna are over with the Baroness Buffoon and “Foreign Minister” of the European Union, Catherine Ashton proclaiming them a success. Today she was joined in this assessment by Hamid Baeedinejad who called the talks “useful”, and then dissembled: “The technical positions help us to understand better our respective positions.”
Pardon your humble servant for stating the obvious, but haven’t the West and the Iranians had ample opportunities to “understand” their “respective positions” over the last decade of “negotiations”? Apparently not.
Meanwhile the centrifuges continue spinning–and more and more Iranian uranium continues to be refined . . .
**The attempts to revive the “peace process” continue apace with Tzipi Livni now calling on Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas to meet face to face with the Americans assuming a new role as the “facilitator of bilateral negotiations.”
Say what? Weren’t John Kerry and his minions always supposed to have been “facilitators of bilateral negotiations”? But of course we know that they weren’t because Israel has never been negotiating with the Palestinians–it has only been making concessions to the Americans.
The problem for Tzipi Livni is that she can’t let go of the so-called “negotiations”. Livni’s life as an international jet-setter is wholly based on her role as chief “negotiator”. Without some achievement, her glamorous life will revert to what it was–that of a discredited, second rate, politician. More than this, her tiny “Hatnua” party in the Knesset will quickly evaporate into thin air.
**Here’s the quote of the day from Mahmoud Abbas, the Chairman of the PLO and self-chosen (unelected) President of the “Palestinian Authority”. Speaking about Palestinian terrorist murderers imprisoned in Israeli jails:
“We sent them. Why should they be punished while we are at the negotiating table? They have been in jail a long time. How much longer should they sit there? What, do they want to die in prison?”
Let’s parse that statement.
“We sent them” [of course, the PLO sent the terrorists].
“Why should they be punished?” [because they are terrorist murderers of Israeli men, women, and children]
“How much longer should they sit there?” [forever]
“What, do they want to die in prison?” [your humble servant and every other Israeli hopes that they rot in prison].
As we all know, the air has been thick with Palestinian threats in the last few days that they are going to seek statehood at the United Nations and that they are going to go to The Hague to have Israelis tried as “war criminals.” John Kerry and Barack Obama have tacitly supported these threats by saying that “the U.S. will not be able to defend Israel in these and other venues” should the “peace process” fail.
The Israeli media has picked up this theme with a steady stream of hysteria of “what if” scenarios that according to pundit after pundit will leave Israel isolated in the international arena.
It is in this context that Naftali Bennett published the following manifesto this morning (reprinted here in abbreviated form, emphasis mine):
“Every year we renew a ‘festival of threats’: if we don’t do what the PA wants, they will go to the UN, they will turn into a country and slam us at the Hague. This is their ‘judgement day’ weapon. A Defense Minister once gave it this name: the ‘political tsunami.’
But it’s time to change this concept. This is not the PA’s ‘judgement day’ weapon. The rifle is empty. There is good reason why the Palestinians are not members of the Hague, and not members of the UN. There is a reason why the gun is almost empty.
What should be done about this threat? Understand what it is, stop being afraid – and, of course, act on it.
A lawsuit against us in the Hague will have Israel join the ranks of other distinguished countries brought to court there, such as the US and UK, and no one is telling London to withdraw from their land over it. Israel and other countries should bring the PA to the Hague over war crimes.
There are two reasons for this: first – the PA’s killing and terror against innocent people. The Palestinians deliberately fire thousands of rockets at schools, hospitals and kindergartens. Shooting to harm civilians is clearly a war crime.
The PA leadership in Ramallah [tell us] that it is Hamas who shoots at civilians, not them . . . Hamas is a political movement operating under the PA umbrella in Gaza. Abbas transfers funds every month from the PA to Gaza for ‘public servants’ there. He believes that Gaza is part of the same ‘Palestine’ that he asks the UN to unilaterally establish. Therefore, he is responsible for Hamas’s war crimes.
Every month the PA issues stipends to murders of women and children that Israel released as well as to those who are still in prison. They tell murderers: go kill a Jew and instead of receiving compensation now, you’ll receive compensation later. This is encouraging terror. This is incitement.
Threats of the PA going to the UN are groundless. But the fear of it in itself has allowed the PA to continue blackmailing us at a heavy price. It’s time to stop the cycle of blackmail.”
Truth, truth, and more truth from Bennett. In these words from the 1932 inaugural address of Franklin Roosevelt: So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.