UPDATES 9 am Israel time, Monday, August 18 2014:
**The Hamas clock is ticking down again.
It is 15 hours until the current “ceasefire”, which apparently was never formally agreed to by either side, is set to expire. There is no indication whatsoever that an agreement is in sight.
The question of the moment is whether Hamas will begin firing missiles at southern Israel on or before midnight tonight or whether another ceasefire will be agreed to. It appears that PM Netanyahu’s newest savior, the Chairman of the PLO, Mahmoud Abbas, is galloping to Cairo on his white horse this morning to save the day.
Can you even believe that Israel is now relying on the PLO to get it out of the Gaza morass?
Abbas’ arrival comes amidst a hardening of positions on both sides with even leftist Israeli politicians now flocking to the media to say that there should be no agreement with Hamas. None other than uber-leftist Yossi Beilin noted this morning that the price of an agreement with Hamas is too high because it will legitimize the terrorist organization.
**Speaking of leftists, the attempt of 10 different organizations to fill Rabin Square Saturday night in a peace rally against the war with Hamas was an abyssmal failure.
Whereas such groups used to be able to generate as many as half a million people, this time only about 5000 showed up–five times less than the “solidarity with the South” rally that took place on Thursday night.
Danny Danon of the Likud party observed: “The Left has become an endangered species. We saw it with the small number who came. I have noticed how frustrated people on the Left have become, now that the public has realized we are not to blame for the lack of peace.”
**But don’t count the “left” out yet.
Several days ago, the head of the National Service Administration, Sar-Shalom Jerby ruled that Israeli teens wishing to complete national service instead of military service could no longer choose the hideous B’Tselem organization to serve in because of “the organization’s activities against the State of Israel and IDF soldiers in Israel and abroad.”
Late last night, Tzipi Livni, Netanyahu’s so-called Israel Minister of Justice, ruled that Jerby had overstepped his authority and reinstated B’Tselem to its national service slot.
**Remember that it was just 12 days ago that IDF Chief Benny Gantz delivered his absurd “anemones speech” and called on residents of the South to return to their homes.
It turns out that this morning there is one less way for those residents to do so.
The IDF has ordered the closure of the railroad line between Ashkelon and Sderot until the Israel Railway System outfits its train cars with plating to protect against anti-tank missiles fired from Gaza.
The reality in which southern Israelis are now being expected to live is intolerable.
**Speaking of Ashkelon, your humble servant has surmised on this blog that now that Hamas is succeeding in depopulating the Israel border communities, it will next turn its attention to the Beersheva and Ashkelon areas.
In confirmation of that surmise, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri had this to say last night: “The campaign in Gaza was the beginning of a big missile release. The next war will be on Ashkelon.”
Will that next war begin tonight?
In the last two days of this blog, we have seen:
–how Qatar has become one of the major suppliers of Islamist terror groups in the Middle East and Africa.
–how Qatar ferried weapons from Libya through Egypt to Gaza while Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi ruled Egypt.
— how Qatar helped build the Hamas tunnel network and computerized its missile launch system used against Israel.
–how Qatar (from Qatar) has led a cyber attack against Israel.
None of these activities, however, was unprecedented. Hamas and the PLO have long been sponsored by various countries all seeking to initiate a war with Israel.
What is unprecedented is how Qatar used its media resources to sustain Hamas once it had begun the war with us.
Those media resources are all concentrated in the Al-Jazeera television network which is based in the capital of Qatar, Doha, and is funded and run by the same al-Thani family that has become a major patron of Islamic terrorists. It is no wonder that until recently (until it has been embraced by satellite and cable carriers) Al-Jazeera was simply known by its well-earned nickname “the terror network”.
That Qatari media terror network now covers the globe reaching satellite and cable TV companies in North America, South America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Those companies are all too happy to embrace Al-Jazeera because of the money that they reap from giving Al-Jazeera a place in the channel lineups.
Unlike other networks that are in the business of making money, Al-Jazeera is merely in the business of disseminating its Islamic ideology to the world.
And the fundamental part of that ideology that is flowing out of Qatar is hatred of Israel.
But back to the Gaza war.
After Qatar had precipitated the war by arming Hamas to the hilt and providing it with an underground means of attacking Israel, it then turned its attention to portraying Hamas and Gaza as the “victims” of Israeli aggression.
Basing its reporters in the Shifa Hospital, under which and on the top floors of which Hamas ran its command and control structure, Al-Jazeera ran continuous 24 coverage from the emergency room.
The video clip that flooded living rooms around the world was that of bleeding Palestinian children being rushed into the emergency room door and then lying wounded and supposedly dying on stretchers in the halls of the hospital.
Your humble servant, who spent a considerable amount of time watching Al-Jazeera in the last month saw the above video clip many times. In fact, I didn’t see it “many times”, I saw it hundreds of times. As a Jerusalem Post op-ed described yesterday: “Footage from the emergency room at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City was rerun continually as if chronicling new incidents.”
And the Qatari images of those bleeding children (many of whom it was revealed later were not bleeding at all) had a profound impact around a world that eagerly wanted news of Israeli atrocities. Everyone from Barack Obama to David Cameron referred to the “horrific images of children coming out of Gaza.”
In effect, Al-Jazeera, with the help of its sister network CNN, turned Hamas from being terrorist initiators of the war to pathetic victims of Israeli aggression. No so-called “journalist” on Qatari run Al-Jazeera ever showed Hamas missile launches or questioned Hamas leaders why they had launched some 3500 missile at the men, women, and children of Israel or queried why Hamas had built tunnels running into Israel.
A line concerning the misinformation flowing from Gaza from the same Jerusalem Post op-ed referenced above states the case against Qatar and Al-Jazeera lucidly: “The distorted information was used to provoke hate campaigns against Israel and/or Jews worldwide and to misrepresent Israel’s self-defense as a calculated massacre of helpless civilians.”
What do we have in the end?
We have Qatar, a country that has done its best to help Hamas terrorists start a war with Israel and then has masterfully used its media to transform those terrorists into victims–and the real victims into objects of hate.
Tomorrow, we will finish with Part 4 of the “Qatar-Hamas Connection” unless events intervene.