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In Commentary, Max Boot writes about the power of images versus the power of facts.
It tells you all you need to know about Hamas that its biggest victory to date against Israel–one that is no doubt being celebrated in the fortified bunkers that house its leadership–was the death of four young Palestinian boys on a Gaza City beach on Wednesday. The boys were apparently killed by an Israeli bomb or missile.
Needless to say, the Israel Defense Forces do not deliberately target children–any more than do the armed forces of the United States or other civilized powers. That is both morally abhorrent and strategically stupid: What possible purpose can be served in killing children? But while deeply harmful and counterproductive for Israel, this inadvertent strike was a big win for Hamas. It produced the most coveted of victories in modern warfare: a front-page picture, taken by the storied New York Times photographer Tyler Hicks, of one dead boy lying on the Gaza sand and another being carried in a man’s arms.
There is no surer or better way for Hamas to make its propaganda point, which is the only point of this entire exercise from its standpoint. Hamas, like other terrorist groups, knows it cannot win a military victory against a much more powerful enemy, but it can win a public-relations victory by fostering the illusion that Israel is the aggressor and the Palestinians its victims.
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Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 9:40 AM | Stand For Israel
Writing in the Algemeiner, terrorism expert Steve Emerson says that the Arab media is increasingly open in criticizing Hamas for instigating violence against Israel.
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Media in Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Egypt blame Hamas’ actions for inviting Israeli counter attacks and prioritizing conflict over the safety of the Gazan population and criticized the leadership for waging war far from the conflict, a Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) report shows.
After Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal criticized Egyptian inaction in Gaza, Egyptian columnists responded emphatically.
“[Meshaal], we are tired of defending the [Palestinian] cause that you have sold for cheap to an MB (Muslim Brotherhood) gang whose way you followed even though they have lost their [own] way,” wrote columnist Hamdi Razaq. He also called Meshaal out for living in luxurious Qatari hotels instead of fighting in Gaza.
Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 9:23 AM | Stand For Israel
On Thursday, the Israel Defense Forces began a ground incursion of the Gaza Strip with a mission to destroy underground tunnels that reach into Israel. This comes after Hamas had rejected two proposed ceasefire agreements.
Also this week in Israel in the News:
• In Gaza, the death toll rises as Hamas continues to use Palestinians as human shields.
• President Obama and other U.S. officials continue to express support for Israel and Operation Protective Edge.
• Meanwhile, the Israeli military campaign has sparked violent anti-Israel protests throughout the world.
This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s founder and President Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein on how The Fellowship is responding to the crisis in Israel through the generous support of Christians.
Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 12:10 AM | firstname.lastname@example.org
IDF ground forces have begun moving into the Gaza Strip with the purpose of destroying Gazan terror tunnels leading into Israel, the prime minister’s office confirmed Thursday:
“Israel is committed to act to protect its citizens. The operation will continue until its goals are reached: To bring quiet to the citizens of Israel for a long period of time, and to seriously harm Hamas and other terrorist organizations’ infrastructure in the Gaza Strip,” the statement read.
Prior to the commencement of the ground invasion, the IDF launched a massive wave of combined air and artillery strikes on Thursday night.
The IDF said that the operation will involve infantry, engineering corps, and tank units combined with air force and naval support and intelligence.
Thank you for keeping Israel in your prayers as she continues to fight for her safety.Comments (25) »
Thursday, July 17th, 2014 at 3:02 PM | Stand For Israel
About 20 rockets were found in a Gaza school operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) on Wednesday. The rockets were found during a routine inspection, and confirm — once again — the claim that Hamas and other terror groups use civilian infrastructure to hide weapons:
“Yet again, Gaza terrorists abuse UN facilities to carry out their violent activities. Hamas and other terror groups are determined to put civilians in harm’s way and will respect nothing in their violent frenzy,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Yigal Palmor told The Times of Israel. “We expect the UN and the international community to condemn and to act strongly against this brazen violation of international humanitarian law, which endangers children and UN humanitarian activities.”
This incident was “the first of its kind in Gaza,” the organization said, adding that it “endangered civilians including staff and put at risk UNRWA’s vital mission to assist and protect Palestinian refugees in Gaza.”
UNRWA informed all officials immediately after discovering the rockets, and “successfully took all necessary measures for the removal of the objects in order to preserve the safety and security of the school.”
Officials from the agency, which has a reputation in Jerusalem of being exceedingly critical of Israeli policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians, have been summoned to the Foreign Ministry. They have apologized to Israel for the incident, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said.
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Thursday, July 17th, 2014 at 2:30 PM | Stand For Israel
As we previously reported at Stand for Israel, anti-Semitic violence has recently been on the rise in France. Jewish-Muslim tensions in this country have reached their highest level in years, and following attacks on synagogues and French Jews late last week, officials have shut down several planned pro-Palestinian marches:
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A march was planned for Paris on Saturday. A police official said Wednesday said it would be banned because of “the serious risk of disruption of public order that such a protest could engender, in a context of heightened tension.” The official, who wasn’t authorized to be publicly named, spoke on condition of anonymity.
Authorities have also banned protests in Nice and Lille.
The French government is pushing for a cease-fire in Gaza and to calm tensions at home.
French authorities are struggling to stem the flow of young Muslim radicals, facing dim job prospects and discrimination in France, from heading to Syria to fight with extremists. Meanwhile French Jews are emigrating in record numbers for Israel.
Thursday, July 17th, 2014 at 9:25 AM | Stand For Israel
Anti-Semitic violence is on the rise in France. After one French synagogue was firebombed late last week, anti-Israel protesters in Paris attacked French Jews in the streets and trapped 200 Jewish worshipers inside another temple. The anti-Semitism has gotten so bad that many French Jews are making aliyah (immigrating to Israel) even as the Holy Land experiences nonstop rocket attacks.
Israel’s current conflict against Hamas – Operation Protective Edge – has seen anti-Israel protesters resort to violence elsewhere in Europe, violence and hatred that are also spreading around the globe.
In Antwerp, Belgium, The Times of Israel reports that murderous slogans were shouted:
Dozens of men at an anti-Israel demonstration in Antwerp shouted slogans about slaughtering Jews.
Approximately 500 people attended Saturday’s protest in the capital of Belgium’s Flemish region, where one of the speakers used a loudspeaker to chant a call in Arabic that means “slaughter the Jews.”
In Frankfurt, Germany, Neo-Nazis and Islamists came together in their hatred for the Jewish people:
… about 2,500 protesters appeared in downtown Frankfurt, screaming “God is great,” and slogans such as “freedom for Palestine” and “children-murderer Israel.”
Eight police officers were injured. One sign at the rally was titled, “You Jews are Beasts.”
German media reported that after the protests, groups sought to locate Jewish institutions …
According to the Rundschau, student organization Left-SDS, Islamists and some members of the Neo-Nazi group National Socialists Rhein-Main attended the anti-Israel protest.
Protests in Berlin were no better. Even as Germany tried to celebrate its World Cup victory, The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that violence erupted among pro-Palestinian protesters:
Rocks were thrown at police in Berlin during a protest by some 1,000 demonstrators — most of them Palestinians — against Israel’s military campaign in Gaza.
As many as 10 demonstrators were arrested for breach of the peace and trying to forcibly free others already arrested in Saturday’s protest …
But Europe is not the only place seeing a rise in anti-Semitic violence. Arutz Sheva…Read More » Comments (8) »
Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 at 2:25 PM | Stand For Israel
Even as terrorist rockets continue to fall on the Holy Land, two large groups of French Jews are making aliyah (immigrating to Israel) today. Arutz Sheva reports on these families (“including 195 minors and 18 babies”) who have left Europe to make their home in Israel:
Some 400 French Jews will be making aliyah to Israel Wednesday, undeterred by the ongoing rocket fire and conflict with terrorist groups in Gaza …
Most of the immigrants are from the Paris area, which has seen particularly virulent manifestations of anti-Semitism in recent years and which has spiked further still during the current conflict between Israel and Gazan terrorists. On Sunday, a synagogue in Paris came under attack by a crowd of Muslim anti-Israel demonstrators in a shocking incident which one witness described as reminiscent of Kristallnacht.
Remarkably, although the new olim will be moving to communities throughout the country, a sizable proportion will be moving to cities in southern Israel which even now continue to be targeted by terrorist rockets. 60 families will be moving to Ashdod and Ashkelon, which have faced daily attacks by Gazan terrorists.
We pray that these families will find their new home to be inviting, and that God will protect them as they settle in during this trying time.Comments (12) »
Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 at 12:52 PM | Stand For Israel
As Stand for Israel has reported, the Iron Dome defense system has proven to be a great success, keeping the people of Israel relatively safe from the recent nonstop rocket attacks from Gaza. Seeing how effective Iron Dome has been, the United States Senate has proposed a large increase in its funding for the program:
The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee approved a defense spending bill yesterday (July 15) that will provide $621.6 million for Israeli missile defense, including $351 million for the Iron Dome system that intercepts short-range rockets and mortars. The sum represents a 50 percent increase in funding for the program …
The Iron Dome anti-rocket system has been successful in shooting down rockets and preventing Israeli deaths with a 90 percent success rate, an improvement over the 84 percent success rate achieved in Operation ‘Pillar of Defense’.
The IDF deployed its ninth Iron Dome battery this week, after it was scheduled to be prepared only in a few months and was produced in record time.
We are heartened by this display of friendship from the U.S. to Israel, and pray that the relationship will continue, during times of peace and difficult times such as these.Comments (33) »
Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 at 9:42 AM | Stand For Israel