UPDATES 7 pm Israel time, Saturday, November 22 2014:
—>Sometimes you get the impression that the IDF and Israeli government decision makers have gone completely mad.
Today it was announced by the viciously anti-Israel U.N. envoy to the Middle East, Robert Serry, that Israel has now agreed to allow construction materials for 25,000 houses into Gaza along with heavy “construction” equipment such as bulldozers.
Do you have any idea how many tunnels can be built into Israel with that amount of material and how easy it will be for Hamas to use bulldozers against us in the upcoming war?
This happy announcement from Serry comes after an explosive program on Israeli television last night in which an officer from Israel’s magnificent Shin Bet intelligence service said that Shin Bet informed the IDF general command back in January of this year that it had information that Hamas would start a war at the end of June–and increased this warning at every opportunity through the late winter and Spring.
Much of the Shin Bet provided intelligence centered on the construction of Hamas attack tunnels into Israel, in particular a tunnel that led into kibbutz Netiv Asara.
The IDF General Command, unsurprisingly, vigorously denied the charges so whom are we supposed to believe? Shin Bet or the IDF General Command?
Your humble servant would put his money on Shin Bet. We in southern Israel know that the IDF General Command cannot be believed about anything. It is an instrument of the army that distorts the truth about tunnels, missiles that are fired into southern Israel (the IDF calls them “false alarms”), and the overall threat faced by those of us in the South.
One last point. That the IDF General Command left the residents of Netiv Asara totally exposed and vulnerable for almost six months with no warnings and no beefed up security forces is totally unconscionable.
—>By the way, the same television program referenced above had a particularly damning segment on the Israeli attempt to kill Hamas military leader Mohammed Deff. It seems that Israel knew Deff’s location for weeks before our IDF planners decided that they had enough information to strike.
When the IDF finally decided to strike Deff’s house, it only sent one F-16 to accomplish such an important job. Even worse, the two main bombs on that F-16 failed to explode when they hit the house. And then it took another 15 minutes to get another plane over the house to destroy it.
By that time, it is entirely possible that Mohammed Deff escaped again. No one knows.
––>Are you familiar with PMD?
This seems to be one of the major sticking points of a deal between the impotent P5+1 and the Iran over the Iranian nuclear weapons program.
PMD stands for Possible Military Dimensions and is an acronym used by the International Atomic Energy Commission. As Reuters so aptly put it this morning: “While the global powers – the United States, France, Germany, Russia, China and Britain – seek to persuade Iran to scale back its uranium enrichment programme to lengthen the timeline for any bid to assemble nuclear arms, the IAEA is investigating possible research on designing an actual bomb.”
To this date–two days before the current deadline–Iran adamantly refuses to even discuss whether any of its nuclear program has potential military dimensions and rejects any notion that it is trying to develop a nuclear weapon.
In this context, to reach a deal with Iran without their acknowledgement of PMD would seriously undercut the IAEA. As one Western negotiator commented yesterday: “I believe the PMD issue is not a deal-breaker though it probably should be.”
And a U.S. official, one of John Kerry’s minions, added that “it is important for the Iranians to address the issue”, but the West does not want to make the Iranians “lose face.” Therefore, a “creative formulation” must be reached to make everyone happy.
Everyone in the world knows that Iran is trying to make nuclear weapons to destroy Israel and threaten everyone else. No amount of Orwellian wordplay will ever obscure that fact.
From the Los Angeles Jewish Journal yesterday came the “sad” news that on November 18th, this past Tuesday night, that the UCLA student government council voted 8-2 to support a BDS resolution urging university divestment from Israel.
The resolution was meaningless in the sense that on Wednesday UCLA issued a statement that it will not adhere to the resolution nor will the Board of Regents of the entire university of California. But it was not meaningless in another important way.
What was sad was the total lack of support for Israel during the council meeting.
From the Jewish Journal:
And prompted by a new strategy enacted by some of UCLA’s Jewish student groups, including Hillel at UCLA, Bruins for Israel and J-Street U, supporters of Israel effectively boycotted the hearing in an attempt to discredit and delegitimize UCLA’s strengthening pro-BDS movement. Only about 10 student representatives and members from those three organizations sat together during the hearing. While none of them participated in the public comment period that would have given the floor to dozens of divestment opponents in two-minute intervals, four of them made their case against divestment to the student government during a scripted 15-minute speech.
“We are not going to have our community sit through however long a session of bullying and hate speech,” said Tammy Rubin in an interview before the hearing began. Rubin is the president emeritus of Hillel at UCLA. She said that unlike last year, Hillel at UCLA, Bruins for Israel and J-Street U will now use the time not spent on opposing symbolic divestment resolutions to “reinvest in our community.”
So the new strategy of UCLA Jewish groups, a strategy that is at the heart of the J Street movement, is to do nothing.
Well, not quite.
The new strategy is to be positive and sing kumbaya with those who want to destroy us. As Gil Bar-Or, president of UCLA J Street U said:
“We are trying to present an approach that’s creating positive things for both people that are involved in the conflict and not alienating anybody. In order to promote one community’s interests you do not have to trample on the other community’s interests.”
In other words, embrace the Palestinians even as they delegitimize Israel.
Avoid conflict and hope for peace. And above all, don’t expose yourself to anything that might hurt your feelings.
As Natalie Charney, the student president of UCLA Hillel said: “We didn’t subject Jewish students, pro-Israel students, to the hate . . .”
And Omer Hit, vice president of Bruins for Israel (and one of the 10 Jewish students who attended the meeting but said nothing during public comment) chimed in:
“I am thankful that we did not have to bring our entire community to sit through that. That would’ve been heartbreaking. Look at it now—it’s already heartbreaking for [those] that came.”
If this is the future of Israel support at American universities, the battle is already over and the BDSers have won.