UPDATES 7 pm Israel time, April 21 2014:
*This past weekend, your humble servant encountered a group in his local Farmers’ Market that had a table fraudulently declaring that Israelis are engaging in genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians. When I attempted to discuss with them what real genocide and ethnic cleansing are with reference to Syria, their response was simply “We don’t care about Syria.”
A new photo was published this morning of part of the sprawling 130,000 person Syrian refugee camp now located in the Jordanian desert. It is simply remarkable how the world doesn’t seem to care as Syrians are bombed, gassed, killed, and made refugees–and how, instead, the world continues to obsessively focus on Israel:
*The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear for the second time the case of the New York boy who wants to have Jerusalem “Israel” listed as his birthplace on his passport. This time the Court will review a lower court ruling that struck down a 2002 law that authorized identifying Jerusalem as part of Israel on U.S. passports.
The fact that the U.S. government will not identify a person born in Jerusalem as being born in Israel is absurd.
IDF spokesman Peter Lerner speaking a few hours ago:
“It is our obligation to seek out and target those who wish to attack our civilians and soldiers and to eliminate their capabilities. Hamas rocket terrorism is an intolerable reality Israelis should not have to accept.”
PM Benjamin Netanyahu speaking in Sderot less than a month ago on March 18th:
“After Operation Pillar of Defense [in November 2012] there is a quiet here that has not been felt in a decade. There will not be a drizzle of rocket fire. Every rocket will be responded to immediately and with force.”
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon speaking last month on March 12:
“We will not allow Islamic Jihad or any other entity in the Gaza Strip to disrupt the lives of Israeli citizens. When there is no quiet in the south, we will not allow Gaza to have quiet either . . . Hamas is responsible for what is happening in Gaza, and it should take into account that we will not tolerate rocket fire at us. If it does not know how to enforce peace, it will pray a heavy price.”
As American Senator John McCain commented (here paraphrased*) the other day in a Congressional hearing about Obama Administration foreign policy, our Israeli government and IDF General Command have mastered the art of speaking loudly and carrying a small twig.
Lerner, Netanhayu, and Ya’alon bluster and blather endlessly about what they will do if terrorists in Gaza continue shooting missiles into southern Israel, only to have the terrorists continue firing missiles endlessly at Israeli men, women, and children with complete impunity.
Nevertheless, this is one of those rare days when the missile fire against southern Israel has garnered a headline or two in the Israeli media–though no such notice has been made in the mainline international news.
Beginning last evening, the residents of the numerous communities near the Gaza border have been sent running to their bomb shelters by repeated sirens warning of incoming rockets from Gaza.
As of this hour, at least 8 missiles have struck: one exploded in the middle of Sderot on a road beside a synagogue, the other seven in IDF-termed “open fields” in the Sha’ar Hanegev and Eshkol regional councils.
In an extremely rare admission, an IDF spokesman confirmed that more than 100 missiles have struck southern Israel since January 1, 2014. As the “Palestinian Terrorist Rockets and Mortars” widget on the right hand side of this page notes, 51 missiles and mortars have now struck since the last “cease fire” on March 12.
In “response”, if one can call it that, to today’s attacks, the IAF has struck a Gaza livestock farm, an empty field near Deir al-Balah, and an empty Hamas terror post near Khan Yunis. Meanwhile, IAF helicopters have fired warning shots near the area from which it is thought the missiles were launched. In other words, as usual, the IDF has done virtually nothing.
But we can undoubtedly expect more bluster and blather from Netanyahu and Yaalon before the day is over as they follow their mantra: “speak loudly and carry a small twig.”
*Addendum: McCain’s actual comment to Kerry was: “What you’re doing is talking strongly and carrying a very small stick — in fact, a twig.”