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Will there be Peace in the Middle East?
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In the News



Emerson to Kerry-Obama: Its Terrorism, Stupid

By Steven Emerson
IPT News
July 28, 2014

ImageSecretary of State John Kerry's push for a ceasefire in Gaza last week was so flawed it managed to unite Israel's fractious political leadership in opposition while simultaneously being lambasted by the Palestinian Authority.

The proposal called for negotiations on Hamas demands, including opening border crossings into Gaza and relaxed boating restrictions off the Gaza coast. In addition, its language reportedly upgraded Hamas – a designated terrorist organization – to an equal plane with Israel. Then, President Obama called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday to make "clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement."

In other words, Obama demanded that Israel institute an immediate unilateral ceasefire even while Hamas continues its terrorist operations against Israel. True to form, Hamas escalated its attacks on Monday.

How the Media Is Helping Hamas

By Bassam Tawil
Gatestone Institute
July 27, 2014

Image"We know that Hamas uses human shields. But why would you report this when you are sitting in the middle of the Gaza Strip, surrounded by Hamas gunmen?" — Reporter covering the war, who asked not to be identified.

Besides the human shields story there is another item that the international media choose to ignore: the extrajudicial execution of Palestinian "collaborators" during the last two weeks. The executions were reportedly carried out in the most brutal manner. Hamas has also been shooting suspected "collaborators" in the legs to prevent them from moving around.

It is the media that is helping Hamas get away with war crimes.

Hamas and its Palestinian and Western propagandists continue to insist that the Islamist movement does not use civilians in the Gaza Strip as human shields during war. But the truth is that Hamas itself has admitted that it does use innocent civilians as human shields, to increase the number of casualties and defame Israel in the eyes of the international community.

Hamas human shields are to blame, not Israel

By Richard Kemp
The Times of London
July 27, 2014

Palestinian rockets are like the Nazi V1s. Civilian casualties were inevitable then and now ‘The Israelis are doing it all wrong. The RAF didn’t fly off to bomb Belfast in the troubles.” These words from a respected media commentator embody the extraordinary lack of understanding by so many in this country who think the Israelis’ fight with Hamas is like ours with the IRA and can be dealt with in the same way.

Gaza is not Northern Ireland and Hamas is not the IRA. We governed and policed Ulster to wipe out the terrorists. In Gaza the government are the terrorists — designated as such around the world. In 2005 Israel withdrew all its citizens and security forces from Gaza. Since then it has been a separate state — now under the heel of Hamas — at war with Israel and dedicated to the extermination of the Jewish state.

Hamas is a heavily armed militia, fighting from territory it controls. The IRA, for the most part, was more like a highly dangerous criminal gang that could be dealt with by soldiers acting as policemen.

The tragic self-delusion behind the Hamas war

By Haviv Rettig Gur
The Times of Israel
July 22, 2014

ImageIn the mid-1960s, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol began to doubt – presciently, as it turned out – the long-term commitment of France to supplying Israel with the military hardware it needed to defend itself. He began the process of replacing Israel’s arsenal of French weapons systems with their American counterparts.

As part of that process, Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Ezer Weizman (who would become Israel’s seventh president) was slated to go to Washington in a bid to convince the American government to sell Israel the F4 Phantom jet fighter.

But before leaving for Washington, Weizman had a question for the prime minister. According to an apocryphal but widely believed account of a meeting between the two, Weizman asked: “When I meet the Americans, should I tell them Israel is strong (and thus a reliable ally), or weak (and thus liable to be destroyed without American support)?”

Has Hamas ended the prospects for a two state solution?

By Alan M. Dershowitz
Gatestone Institute
July 22, 2014

ImageHamas's decision to fire rockets in the direction of Ben Gurion Airport may well have ended any real prospect of a two-state solution. Whether the regulators and airlines that have stopped flights to and from Israel are right or wrong, this stoppage cannot possibly be tolerated by a democratic country that relies so heavily on tourism and international travel. It is of course a war crime to target an international civilian airport, as Hamas has clearly done. Israel has every right to keep that airport open, employing all reasonable military means at its disposal. Since Hamas fires its rockets from densely populated civilian areas, there will be more Palestinian civilian deaths.

This of course is part of Hamas' grand strategy: by targeting Israeli civilians and international air travel from its own civilian areas, Hamas leaves Israel no choice but to take military actions that risk the lives of innocent Palestinians. There will be even more innocent Palestinian deaths now, as Hamas has raised the stakes considerably for Israel. Every country in the world would do everything in its power to keep open the airports, which are the lifelines to its economic viability. Hamas knows this and welcomes Israeli military action that produces more dead Palestinian civilians and hence more international criticism of Israel.

Even more importantly, Hamas' actions in essentially closing down international air traffic into Israel, considerably reduces the prospect of any two-state solution. Israel will now be more reluctant than ever to give up military control over the West Bank, which is even closer to Ben Gurion Airport than is Gaza.

The Mofaz plan for demilitarizing Gaza

By Mitch Ginsburg
Times of Israel
July 18, 2014

ImageA former army commander and defense minister recently submitted a plan to the Prime Minister’s Office advocating for the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip as part of an international move constructed along the lines of the agreement that forced Syria to forgo its chemical weapons.

The Syrian precedent, said MK Shaul Mofaz, could serve as “a milestone” on the path to the demilitarization of Gaza.

He presented the plan last week before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and earlier this week to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen.

Shortly thereafter, on Tuesday, for the first time during this ongoing conflict, Netanyahu spoke explicitly about the goal of partial demilitarization. “We agreed to the Egyptian proposal in order to give an opportunity for the demilitarization of the [Gaza] Strip — from missiles, from rockets and from tunnels — through diplomatic means,” he said in a statement.

Why Israel Launched a Ground War in Gaza

By Aaron David Miller
July 17, 2014

ImageAfter days of ominous buildup, it’s finally happening: Israel has launched a ground incursion into Gaza. But why, you say? War, what’s it good for? Israel’s Iron Dome has kept the home front safe; Hamas’ rejection of the Egyptian cease-fire offer has given Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the political high ground; and there’s a big risk of losing it if Israel charges into Gaza and ends up killing many more Palestinian civilians. Which it inevitably will. And what’s more, why do the Israelis believe that a ground war will lead to a better outcome than the last one in 2008/9? Hamas still ended up with more lethal, precise and long-range high trajectory weapons.

All true. But despite the risks, the logic—political, psychological and strategic—favored a significant intervention. Here’s why Bibi did it.

The Truth about Gaza

Rarely does international politics present a moment of such moral clarity.

By Charles Krauthammer
National Review Online
July 17, 2014

ImageIsrael accepts an Egyptian-proposed Gaza ceasefire; Hamas keeps firing. Hamas deliberately aims rockets at civilians; Israel painstakingly tries to avoid them, actually telephoning civilians in the area and dropping warning charges, so-called roof knocking.

“Here’s the difference between us,” explains the Israeli prime minister. “We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”

Rarely does international politics present a moment of such moral clarity. Yet we routinely hear this Israel–Gaza fighting described as a morally equivalent “cycle of violence.” This is absurd. What possible interest can Israel have in cross-border fighting? Everyone knows Hamas set off this mini-war. And everyone knows Hamas’s proudly self-declared raison d’être: the eradication of Israel and its Jews.

What is Hamas trying to achieve?

By Dr. Azeem Ibrahim
July 17, 2014

To an ignorant observer, the recent escalation between Israel and Gaza might seem like just the latest episode in a human drama that we have become accustomed to in the Holy Land. And, though perhaps not for quite the expected reasons, that observer would probably be right. Israelis would claim that this recent episode ostensibly arose out of the heinous murder of three Jewish teenage boys. On the other hand, Palestinian sources would trace it back even further to similar murders of Palestinian teenage boys, earlier in the year. But ultimately, and without meaning to diminish the human tragedy in any of these singular events, they are not the root causes of what is happening now. Instead, they seem to be just a convenient pretext to deeper local politics. And that is the real tragedy of this latest Gaza story.

Allow me to explain. On my recent trip to Israel, I met both senior Israeli and Palestinian officials including current and former members of their respective cabinets. I learnt from my Palestinian sources that Hamas is essentially bankrupt. They have been unable to pay the salaries of tens of thousands of their staff for a while now, according to my sources. They were heavily reliant on support from Syria, Iran along with the Rafah crossing and hundreds of smuggling tunnels from Egypt to sustain them all of which have diminished recently.

When the Hamas leadership reached their financial limit, the Palestinian Authority agreed to step in and pay all salaries of the civil administrators and social workers in Gaza, my sources said. In exchange, the Palestinian Authority (PA) asked Hamas to make many concessions, including modifying its charter towards a more moderate and functional position. For example, the PA asked Hamas to recognize the State of Israel, according to what I have been told, and also form a unity government with the PA .

Hypocrisy Most Foul

By Sarah Honig
The Jerusalem Post
July 18, 2014

ImageThe bamboozlers who gave us Oslo and its deformed derivative Disengagement have never expressed the slightest contrition and never begged the nation’s forgiveness – not even now when Gazan rockets threaten Israel’s heartland. The same goes for their craven accomplices, who ran with the pack and derided nonconformist compatriots who dared protest. But while the promoters of folly bask in self-proclaimed infallibility, they’re uncannily quick to blame others for their sins.

This is hypocrisy most foul and it’s not limited to territorial surrenders and the chimera of attaining peace and acceptance by rewarding belligerence.

Take, for example, the inflammatory issue of swap deals with terrorists and how it’s tied to the abduction and execution of three innocent boys on their way home from school. To hear our talking heads and swaggering former security chiefs, this heartrending saga started with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s 2011 decision to trade 1,027 duly convicted Hamas murderers and mass-murder masterminds for hostage Gilad Schalit, a.k.a. “the child of us all.”

Israel and Palestinians bury their dead:

Four children killed by an Israeli gunboat, as first Jewish casualty of Hamas rocket barrage is buried.

Missiles fired from Israeli gunboats killed four young boys who were playing in Gaza's seaport earlier this afternoon
Young boys were all members of the same extended family and were draped in Fatah flags during their funeral
Dror Khenin became first Israeli killed during the conflict when he was fatally wounded during Hamas strike yesterday
Earlier today Israel dropped leaflets over Gaza ordering thousands of Palestinian families to leave their homes
Shortly after 8am evacuation deadline passed, Israel started shelling Hamas targets in north and east of the region
Death toll in nine-day conflict is now more than 215 - the vast majority Palestinians - with thousands more wounded
Children represent a fifth of those killed in the conflict, according to leading human rights organization
Six-hour ceasefire to take place in the Gaza Strip on Thursday after Israel agrees to UN request

By John Hall and Stephanie Linning
Mail Online
July 16, 2014

ImageWeeping mourners clung to each other in grief as they gathered today in the Israeli city of Yehud for the funeral of Dror Khenin, a 37-year-old civilian who became the first Israeli to be killed during the nine-day conflict.

ImageHe was killed yesterday when a short-range rocket fired by Palestinian militants landed near the border with the Gaza Strip where he was delivering food to Israeli soldiers. He was fatally wounded when a mortar exploded near the vehicle he was traveling in, spraying him with shrapnel.

Just a few miles away, across the border in the Gaza Strip, a mother screamed in disbelief as she mourned the death of her young son, who was killed today while he played on a beach in the Gaza Strip with his three cousins.

The four boys, named tonight as Ahed and Zakaria Bakr, both aged ten, and two other boys from the Bakr family, both named Mohammad, aged 11 and nine, died in shelling from a nearby Israeli gunboat. Their bodies were draped in Fatah flags during their funerals this afternoon.

Egyptians Hoping Israel Will Destroy Hamas

By Khaled Abu Toameh
Gatestone Institute
July 16, 2014

ImageEgyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi has thus far turned down appeals from Palestinians and other Arabs to work toward achieving a new ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas telephoned Sisi and urged him to intervene to achieve an “immediate ceasefire” between Israel and Hamas. Abbas later admitted that his appeal to Sisi and (other Arab leaders) had fallen on deaf ears.

Sisi's decision not to intervene in the current crisis did not come as a surprise. In fact, Sisi and many Egyptians seem to be delighted that Hamas is being badly hurt.

An uncomfortable moment during an April 2014 meeting between PA President Abbas and Egyptian President Sisi. (Image source: Video from President Abbas' Office)

Some Egyptians are even openly expressing hope that Israel will completely destroy Hamas, which they regard as the “armed branch of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization.”

Guest Column: The Double Standard of Proportionality

By Reuven Berko
Special to IPT News
July 15, 2014

ImageOnce again, Israel finds itself facing Hamas' rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip as the terrorists turn their civilians into human shields. Before the security fence was built on Israel's eastern border, suicide bombers were sent to kill Israelis by bearded sheikhs who sanctimoniously claimed they were innocent of any link to the military-terrorist wings of the Islamist organizations. With the security fence in position, the number of terrorist attacks from Judea and Samaria has decreased dramatically, even as the Palestinians point at the fence for the foreign media, throw rocks at it and whine "Apartheid."

After Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip and turned it over to the Palestinian Authority, Islamist terrorists continued murdering Israelis. In 2007, two years after Israel's withdrawal, Hamas conducted a putsch and wrested the Gaza Strip from the Palestinian Authority. Since then Gazan terrorism has steadily increased and Hamas fires its artillery into Israel with the stated purpose of murdering as many Jews (always Jews or Zionists, never Israelis) as possible. Instead of using the Israeli withdrawal to build a Middle Eastern Riviera and be a shining example of coexistence, the Palestinian terrorists chose to show the world that any area vacated by Israel would become an Islamic emirate worthy of the 8th century, from which Hamas, unfettered, would send it murderers and rockets into Israel.

Marine Jailed in Mexico: 'God has plans for me'

By Gina Loudon
July 14, 2014

Urges Americans 'to try to get a response' from Obama

OK for illegal's to cross border – why not this American?

Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, imprisoned in Mexico since March after taking a wrong turn that accidentally took him across the border, will once again be served bread and sugar water for dinner tonight.

President Obama will not.

If something about that doesn't seem right to you, the veteran of two tours in Afghanistan is asking you to do him a favor ...

SAN DIEGO – A decorated American Marine who accidentally crossed the Mexico border carrying guns that are legal in the U.S. but illegal south of the border says he trusts God for his future – but he’d also like an answer from President Obama.

Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, who has been held in Mexico’s prison system since March, had a court hearing on his case on Wednesday, and on Thursday the judge ruled that he must stay behind bars for a further time period – at least until another hearing expected later in the summer.

Netanyahu Finally Speaks His Mind

By David Horovitz
The Times of Israel
July 13, 2014

ImageAt his Friday press conference, the prime minister ruled out full Palestinian sovereignty, derided the US approach to Israeli security, and set out his Middle East overview with unprecedented candor. His remarks were not widely reported; they should be

Does Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu really support a two-state solution, or is his rhetoric to this effect disingenuous? Did he genuinely seek an accommodation with the Palestinians during the nine months of US-brokered negotiations that collapsed in April, or was he just stringing the Americans and the Palestinians along, while his heart is truly with the settlement enterprise?

These are fundamental questions — questions you’d think Israelis and the watching world would long since have been able to answer, especially given that Netanyahu is Israel’s second-longest serving prime minister ever. In fact, though, while many pundits claim to have definitive answers, most Israelis would acknowledge that they’ve never been entirely sure how Netanyahu sees a potential resolution of the Palestinian conflict, which concessions he’s truly ready to make, what his long-term vision looks like.

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MGI News is the sole U.S. incorporated news and programming organization specializing in the Middle East directed by Jay Bushinsky, founding Bureau Chief of CNN Jerusalem. Topics from President Barak Obama, Binyamin Netanyahu, Mahmoud Abbas, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hamas, Hizbollah and more...

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