SPECIAL UPDATE 12:30 pm Israel time, Thursday, September 18 2014
There have been five separate missile and mortar attacks against southern Israel during the last 45 minutes–mostly centered in the Chof Ashkelon and Sha’ar Hanegev regions. Residents of both areas have reported hearing multiple explosions as the projectiles impacted.
Not surprisingly, but brazenly mendacious nonetheless, the IDF spokesman has just come out to tell everyone there really have been no attacks at all; instead there have been 5 consecutive “false alarms”.
The depths to which the government and IDF will sink know no bounds–even when it puts the lives of Israelis living on the Gaza border at stake.
UPDATES 9 am:
**The incredible shrinking Likud party:
Interior Minister Gideon Saar, Benjamin Netanyahu’s no. 2 man in the Likud party, shockingly announced last night that he is retiring after Rosh Hashana. The reason he gave was “to spend more time with his family”, yet there is little doubt that the increasing acrimony between him and Netanyahu played a major role.
If you remember, dear reader, the last election saw Netanyahu’s Likud party join with Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu and win a total of 31 seats in the Knesset–easily making it the largest party in the government. With Lieberman’s dissolution of that arrangement last month and Saar’s resignation (he will be replaced by a member of Yisrael Beiteinu), Likud is now down to a mere 18 seats–fewer even than Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party which has 19.
Coupled with the fact that Netanyahu refused to even attend the most recent Likud convention in Ashkelon because he has lost control of the party machinery to his rival Danny Danon, the prime minister is increasingly looking like a man without a party–and Likud is beginning to look like a party in freefall.
One final note. Resignation or not, Gideon Sa’ar is a rising star in Israeli politics and has always been a favorite of your humble servant. Every morning during the school year here in Ashdod, at precisely 8:00 am, the sound of children singing Hatikvah can wonderfully be heard from our two neighborhood schools. It was in his prior role as Education Minister some years ago that Sa’ar created and implemented the guideline that all Israeli schoolchildren should sing the national anthem each morning.
**Speaking of Benjamin Netanyahu:
While out on a tour yesterday of the IDF Intelligence Corps, our absurd prime minister found time to praise himself and Hamas again: “Hamas understands the reality that we will not permit even a drizzle of missiles and mortars, so it was careful to tell us yesterday that it had arrested those responsible for Tuesday’s attack on the Eshkol region and to underscore that it is committed to the ceasefire.”
What Hamas actually understands is that the Netanyahu-Yaalon-Gantz triad is terrified of getting into another confrontation and is eager to embrace any blather coming out Hamas’s mouth.
What Hamas also understands after years of dealing with Netanyahu is that he is perfectly willing to accept a steady stream of missiles and mortars exploding in southern Israel.
What about the missile and mortar fire on Monday? Was anybody arrested for that? Did the IDF have any response whatsoever? Of course not. Netanyahu’s words are as hollow as he is.
**The incredible saga of Economics Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Boogie Ya’alon in the security cabinet:
Shortly after the recent war with Hamas began, Naftali Bennett became concerned that the military updates that Ya’alon was giving the cabinet were patently misleading. To find out himself what was going on, Bennett (a decorated former commander of an elite Maglan unit) went to the Gaza front and began asking about the situation on the ground, and immediately was told about the tunnels that had been discovered leading into Israel–tunnels that Netanyahu, Ya’alon, and Gantz had been downplaying in importance.
Then, much to the dismay of Netanyahu and Ya’alon, Bennett made it his mission to make sure that tunnel destruction became a focal point of the IDF’s attack–and he successfully took on Ya’alon at cabinet meeting after cabinet meeting.
Now, if you can believe this, Ya’alon has made it his mission to get revenge and has been ordering the revocation of access to information to anyone whom he believes leaked information to Bennett. Yesterday, Brig.-Gen. Rabbi Avihai Ronski, a long-time rabbi in the reserves, had his access revoked.
Widely regarded former head of Israel’s vaunted Shin Bet, Yuval Diskin, spoke for many of us when he posted this on his Facebook page:
“The fact that Bennett, a cabinet member, decided not to trust the existing mechanisms for transferring information, took initiative, went out in the field, learned the facts and came prepared to a cabinet meeting and even challenged the prime minister, defense minister and other cabinet members, deserves praise, in my opinion, certainly if it was the main reason that the threat of attack tunnels was brought up in a serious discussion, resulting in many of them being destroyed.”
“There is still a question to which, in my opinion, the public must receive a clear answer. Did the prime minister and defense minister aim for a cease-fire in the beginning of the operation, even though they knew the severity of the attack tunnel phenomenon and did not inform the cabinet of it? We will wait patiently for an answer.”
Indeed we shall.
You may remember the following from the israelstreet blog “Stupid Quotes of the Day” several days ago:
“Amos Gilad, Head of the Political Military Division of the Israel Ministry of Defense, as spoken on Israel Channel 2 Television:
‘For Hamas, rehabilitation is currently important, and you cannot have rehabilitation while you are engaged in terrorism. Therefore, at the present, Hamas is not engaging in tunneling.’”
Well guess what was found at Nahal Oz yesterday:
You know what they say, if it looks like a tunnel, and can be used as a tunnel, it must be a tunnel:
Just one more little detail. It was the residents of Nahal Oz who found the tunnel.
Oh and one more thing, note that the tunnel is made of concrete which came from Israel–the same concrete that the IDF has just agreed to begin transporting into Gaza again.
Nevertheless, your humble servant wants to end on a light note today. The above pictures were taken from one of my favorite news sources: rotter. After the pictures appeared yesterday, here were some comments from residents here in the South about the tunnel:
*This is a virtual tunnel that does not exist.
*This is just tunnel drizzle. (referring to Netanyahu’s repeated ridiculous use of “drizzle”)
*This tunnel was hidden with anemones. (referring to Gantz’s infamous “anemones” speech)
*This is just a rogue tunnel. (referring to the IDF often labeling terrorist missiles as “accidental” or “rogue”)
*This tunnel was built by gerbils.
Yep, there must be some pretty big gerbils in Gaza.