1 Adar 5778
16 February 2018
Revealing Picture of the Day
If ever a picture was worth a thousand words, this one of a humiliated Rex Tillerson waiting in Beirut yesterday is it. Lebanon, which is nothing more than an Iranian-Hezbollah proxy state, signed a military cooperation agreement with Russia last week, and this picture clearly shows the utter disdain that Iranian-Hezbollah Lebanon has for the United States.
By the way, Bassil finally showed up some 10 minutes late along with Lebanese president Michel Aoun.
Hilarious Quote of the Day
“I would prefer to challenge him [PM Netanyahu] at the ballot box . . . You cannot represent us in the world, when every foreign leader knows that you stand accused of serious offenses. For the good of the citizens of Israel, the prime minister needs to vacate his post.”
Yair Lapid, Head of the Yesh Atid Party (which every poll shows to be the main challenger to the Likud party of PM Netanyahu).
Hilarious words indeed from the man who has challenged Netanyahu at the ballot box twice and lost decisively, and the man who provided key (but highly questionable) information to the police in order to help in the attempt to topple Netanyahu.
The prime minister does not need to vacate his post for the good of the citizens of Israel; he needs to vacate it for the good of Yair Lapid.
The News on the Israel Street
Palestinian terror in the last 24 hours . . .
Palestinian terrorists engaged in a wide array of terrorism including an attempt to burn down the security fence at Migal Oz with Molotov firebombs, and throwing “rocks” and Molotovs at Israelis traveling on Road 458, on the Gilad Road near Hawara, at Yitzhar, the Tapuach Junction, Eviatar, El Aruv, Umm Safa, the Beitot Junction, Tekoa, the Yakir Junction, and the British Police Junction.
Please note that the above is an abbreviated list. Numerous attacks took place at each of the above locations; there were 9 separate attacks in the Hawara area alone.
Meanwhile our security forces were attacked by terrorists at Bita, Al-Bireh, at the Pharmacy Checkpoint in Hevron, Beit Furik, Beit Khalil, and Shuafat.
All reports of terrorism above are taken from the 443 Hotline, Rescue Judea and Samaria, rotter, and hakolhayehudi.
The good news about and from the Palestinian state of Gaza . . .
*The government informed the Israel High Court of Justice that as of today, families of Hamas prisoners currently in Israeli prison will no longer be able to visit them. This follows a similar ban on families of Hamas prisoners from Gaza which went into effect last month. This series of events was initiated by petitions of the Goldin family. The body parts of their son are still being held by Hamas three years after the conclusion of the last Gaza war.
*At last some common sense in the U.S. State Department . . . from State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert yesterday: “The blame for the misery in Gaza is Hamas, which is using the money to build tunnels … There will be no solution that can last for long until Hamas transfers control of the Gaza Strip.”
*At last some common sense from Egypt . . . as the assault against terrorists in the Sinai continues, Egypt announced yesterday that it is cutting off all diesel supplies to Gaza. Now, instead of having 4 hours a day of power, the “poor Palestinians” will only have 3 to operate their hydraulic missile launchers. Of course, the lights never go out in the terror tunnels (or in the homes of Hamas leaders).
The U.S. suddenly raises its head in Syria . . .
First we had the news last week that a contingent of Iranian-Syrian-Hezbollah forces had been badly defeated by a Kurdish force assisted by U.S. Special Forces. This led to comments from Iranian General Suleimani that the U.S. is unwelcome in Syria.
Then came the news that a Kurdish/U.S.-advised attack on Turkish forces in northern Syria earlier this week using U.S. supplied weapons resulted in more than 50 Turkish soldiers killed. This of course has led to a severe disturbance in relations between Turkey and the U.S.
Yesterday came the news that at least 100 Russian mercenaries were killed in a U.S. bombing run several days ago. In fact, reports are that more than 100 were killed and another 200 were wounded. This morning, we have bellicose statements from the Russians that the U.S. needs to get out of Syria.
What is the United States up to? Your humble servant really doesn’t know except to surmise that as the war winds down, the U.S. wants to have a say in how the country is finally divvied up. Whatever the case, the U.S. is definitely throwing its weight around.
What Has Happened To The Jerusalem Post?
What has happened to the Jerusalem Post? Once a highly respected newspaper, it has gone from being a center-right publication, to a centrist publication, to a center-left publication, to a partisan leftist media publication.
Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in its coverage of the police “recommendations” surrounding PM Netanyahu in the past few days. Take this morning for example. Post coverage was almost entirely based on yet another heavily biased poll put out by the “Smith Research” group.
Smith is always biased because it never reveals the political distribution of those queried. For example, we can find out that a certain percentage of Israeli-Arabs answered a question in a certain way but we cannot find out how many Israeli-Arabs were included in the poll.
To repeat, Smith never tells us what what percentage of those surveyed (in this case 556 people) were Israeli-Arabs, or members of the Likud party, or members of the Labor party. This information is critically important because of the wide disparity of opinion about Netanyahu in each group. To put it a different way, how did Smith choose the 556 people?
Here are the Smith-based headlines from today’s Jerusalem Post:
From page 1:
“Nearly 60% say PM’s ability to run country has been harmed by probes”
This headline is based on this question posed by the Smith poll:
Do the investigations harm Netanyahu’s ability to run the country and handle security crises?
[Why is this misleading? To begin with, because there was no nuance in the answer choices: it was either “Don’t Know” 9%, “Does Not Harm” 32%, “Harms” 59%. Whatever happened to “Harms Somewhat” or “Harms a lot”?
But much more than this, the question is deliberately ambiguous. If your humble servant were answering the question, I would say that it refers not to Netanyahu but to the police, and I would answer “Yes, the police investigations are deliberately attempting to harm Netanyahu’s ability to run the country.”]
“49% say Netanyahu corrupt”
[This subheadline could just as easily have been written “More than half of Israelis do not say that Netanyahu is corrupt.”]
Elsewhere on page 1:
“A-G: I would indict PM without hesitation”
[Totally misleading again: what the article actually says is that Attorney General Mandleblit would indict the Prime Minister without hesitation only if the evidence showed that he should be indicted.]
From page 2:
“The ‘Post” poll findings at a glance”
Poll 1: Who should replace Netanyahu if he suspends himself?
Poll 2: Who should replace Netanyahu as head of Likud?
Poll 3: If and election were held today . . .
Poll 4: What should Netanyahu do in light of the police investigations?
Poll 5: Is Netanyahu corrupt?
There is no need to discuss these poll questions and findings. Obviously they are all meant to elicit negative comments about Netanyahu.
And on and on . . .
What has happened to the Jerusalem Post is a sad commentary on the state of journalism here in Israel–journalism that has only one goal: the overthrow of Benjamin Netanyahu.