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Iranian expansion is not about religion

Shiites in IranA small piece of news was virtually lost in the feeds despite its major significance. During the Ashura religious event, Hamas police cracked down on Gaza’s small Shiite community, which had assembled for prayer. Later, the Gazan Foreign Ministry issued a statement that Shia have no place in the Strip, which is a Sunni country.

Hamas, remember, is vitally dependent on Iran, which is a Shiite country. Iran is known for fostering Shiite movements even in Africa, and certainly in the Middle East. Iranian political expansion is usually related to the ayatollahs’ goal of spreading their version of Islam.

The fact that Hamas can suppress Shiites and then boast of it shows that Iranian imperial ambitions are not directed toward religious ends. Because the Iranians pursue rational political goals, they would not consider apocalyptic solutions, and can be checked.

French response to injuries is overrated

Israeli media are paying much attention to the French Foreign Ministry’s summoning of an Israeli diplomat over the injuries sustained by the French consul in Gaza during our attack on Hamas last night.

That is a standard diplomatic procedure that does not reflect the French attitude toward the conflict or the value they place on Israeli or Arab casualties. France generally ignores Gazan deaths, but has to express formal concern when its quasi-diplomatic employees are injured.

It’s good to be an Arab

Grad missiles fired by Muslims slammed into a synagogue full of worshippers in Ashdod, and into an empty school.

The world screamed when Baruch Goldstein allegedly shot Muslim worshippers in Hebron, and when IAF bombed Gazan schools that were being used by Hamas. But when Arabs kill Jews at prayer, who cares?

Wounded Jews in Ashdod

Retake Rafah?

The Egyptian government has confirmed that the Rafah Crossing will be opened this week. The US pressure therefore did not bear fruit, as the Egyptian junta nods obediently to Uncle Sam but does nothing against the will of the Islamists.

In practice, the Rafah opening changes very little because Gazan terrorist groups were able to smuggle at will through some 800 tunnels. The problem is mostly a PR problem, as the Israeli government cannot pretend any longer that arms smuggling to Gaza is somehow limited.

The massive militarization of Gaza is not necessarily bad. It will turn Hamas into a mirror of Hezbollah, whom Israel deters instead of policing. With thousands of rockets aimed at large Israeli cities populated by influential leftists, our next war with Gaza will be similar to the war with Lebanon: massive destruction of infrastructure regardless of civilian casualties. Such a strategy is far cheaper than the current approach to Gaza.

Netanyahu lacks the guts to re-occupy Rafah to prevent arms smuggling to Gaza.

More lies from the State Dept

The US State Department has added the Gazan Army of Islam (essentially, the Dughmush family clan) to its terror list for capturing Shalit. What nonsense. The Dughmushes today are very different from what they used to be, reduced to insignificance by Hamas raids. If Dughmushes are to be considered terrorists for capturing a single person, why are Egyptian Bedouins not likewise guilty of terrorism, as they routinely kidnap Africans? And why does Fatah remain exempt from antiterrorist sanctions even though its police and Al Aqsa Martyrs kill Israelis?

Besides, Shalit is being held by Hamas, whose parent organization, the Islamic Brotherhood, is backed by the White House in its rise to power in the Middle East.

Hamas factions reversed

Khaled Meshaal and Ayatolla Ali Khamenei For years, Hamas’ leadership was split in two blocs: those in Gaza and the West Bank, faced with running the everyday activities of their people, were relatively moderate toward Israel, while the leadership in exile filled media channels with hardline rhetoric. That situation was suddenly reversed when Meshaal, who lives in Syria, approved of continued negotiations with Israel, while the Gazan faction rejected further talks.

The reason for this change is clear. Meshaal is under orders from Iran to avoid escalation while the ayatollahs finish the A-bomb. The Gazans, on the other hand, are being encouraged by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

Meanwhile, the Israeli government continues tax transfers to an increasingly militant and well-armed Hamas in Gaza.

Choosing the most friendly terrorists

Despite the ceasefire with Gaza, two Grad rockets hit Ashdod over the weekend. The attacks have been blamed on Salafists, and IDF only nominally retaliated against Gazan targets in recognition of Hamas’ inability to control the Wahhabist groups.

Which is not true. When Salafists challenged Hamas’ rule two years ago, the moderate terrorists stormed their mosque, killing or wounding every Salafist inside. It took the Salafists more than a year to return to their former strength.

Israel has to decide whether we will deal with Gaza as a state—and pound it in response to any attacks from there—or a lawless territory whose nominal government cannot be held responsible for all domestic acts of violence, in which case Israel is legally permitted to take over the place. We tried that in the West Bank: we pretended that Fatah terrorists are good and cooperative, and cannot be held responsible for Hamas attacks. Now we are taking a similar approach to Gaza. Israel’s attitude invites established terrorist groups to tolerate violent offshoots: they score PR points by allowing attacks on Israel to be carried out by other groups under their control, and do not risk Israeli retaliation.

Even if Israel wants to discriminate between good Hamas and bad Salafists, we still have plenty of Salafist targets, including their mosques. And even if we do not want to target their mosques in daytime (though they have no compunction about targeting our civilians) we can destroy the empty buildings at night.

Terror attacks exposes Shabak deficiencies

Attack siteA terrorist bombing in Jerusalem, which left one dead and fifty wounded, belied claims by Israeli security services that they are intercepting all terrorist attempts.

In truth, almost every terrorist caught is either an Arab civilian found in the possession of a knife, an Arab criminal, or an aspiring terrorist betrayed to Israel by Fatah officials. The security cooperation of the PLO has largely replaced Israel’s own network of agents in Palestinian towns. We receive relatively little information from Hamas, and almost none about grassroots terrorist cells.

For several years, Hamas has refrained from staging terror attacks because it was busy building its state in Gaza. Pushed by Iran and by events in Egypt, Hamas took off the gloves and allowed PIJ and PRC to launch attacks on Israel.

Israel cannot build spy networks inside Hamas quickly enough. Shabak is weaker now than it used to be, and Hamas’ counterintelligence is stronger than Fatah’s. Our only deterrent is the threat of reprisals against Gazan civilian targets. But in order to do that, Israel has to declare open war on Gaza, which would formally end the peace process—something that the ruling clique is unwilling to accept.

Jews are legally nice

Responding to a petition by the ultra-left ACRI group, the Petah Tikva court forced the Mossad to confirm that the security service had abducted a certain Gazan while he was traveling in Ukraine. The announcement jeopardized security cooperation with Ukraine.

Bizarrely, a legendary security service which has never had any qualms about abducting foreign citizens in other countries respected a misinformed decision by a judge whose competence in intelligence matters is somewhat below zero.

The abductee’s wife knew the Israeli prison he is held in. Someone apparently decided to honor his rights and inform her. Predictably, she took the matter up to the media.

Recognition of Palestine spills over to the EU

After scores of Latin American countries recognized Palestinian statehood, Cyprus became the first EU country to follow suit. So far, the recognition has come only in the form of a presidential letter.

The recognition itself is insignificant, and may actually benefit Israel because border negotiations between two states can drag on forever. There is a small chance of an explosive development: as more countries begin to recognize Palestine in its pre-1967 borders, Israel may be pressured to abandon most of Jerusalem and all of the West Bank.

Oddly, Cyprus is on very good terms with Israel. The island state routinely helps us to intercept or sabotage pro-Gazan flotillas, and it allowed IAF to train against its S-300 SAM battery. Considering Cyprus’ bad relations with Turkey, we would not expect a pro-Palestinian stance there. Perhaps due to their sour relations with Turkey, Cyprus feels the need to maintain good relations with other Muslims nations.

What is the consumption level in Gaza?

Having lifted the blockade, Israeli government announced an increase of 200% in the number of trucks to Gaza. From the current level of 10,000 tons per week, that brings the cargo traffic to some 130,000 tons per month, or about 3kgs per Gazan per day.

Who pays for Arab health?

Last week, 781 Gazan patients entered Israel for medical treatment, some of them en route to the West Bank. There is no way that uninsured Gazans can pay the full cost of medical treatment in Israel’s expensive hospitals. The cash-starved PA is also an unlikely sponsor. But Jews will pick up the bill.

In the same week, Gazans received 14,000 tons of supplies despite the fact that their elected government is holding an Israeli citizen hostage.

Israel cleaning up for Fatah

The Israeli Military Administration of Judea and Samaria has adopted streamlined rules for expelling Arabs who do not have Israeli permits. Though conservatives might hope the new rules will be used to evict the tens of thousands of foreign Arabs who entered the West Bank illegally because of the better living standards in Jewish-controlled territories, in practice the rules will target Gazans who moved to the West Bank. Fatah and its constituency of relatively affluent West Bankers detest their impoverished and criminalized Gazan brethren, who destabilize West Bank society.

Israeli money ends up with Hamas

A Gazan court ruled illegal the PA order which froze the bank accounts of some Hamas charities. Soon afterwards, Hamas police raided a bank and took the appropriate amount of cash.

The charity in question, Friends of the Sick, is funded by the PA, which is funded by Israeli tax transfers.

American saboteurs back in Israel

The US State Department pressed Israel to allow four members of the International Solidarity Movement, including one who had previously been expelled from Israel, to enter the country to testify in the Rachel Corrie trial. Rachel Corrie was dispatched to hell when she stood in the way of an Israeli bulldozer razing a Gazan terrorist house. Now her family is suing the army in an Israeli court.

The US State Department bars scores of right-wing Jews from its country, but has the arrogance to push Israel to allow members of ISM , one of the most dangerous ultra-left concerns.
Israeli courts, which are made up of self-hating Jews, have agreed to hear the Rachel Corrie case, which has been brought by foreigners and concerns a military operation conducted on foreign soil—a matter normally regarded as off-limits to domestic courts. An American court dismissed a related case based on political issue doctrine.

How do Palestinians spend their shekels?

The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel has issued yet another futile petition for the government to cease sending cash to Gaza. The government currently evaluates a tranche of half a billion shekels.

The transfer itself is not a problem: if Gazans did not receive transaction cash from Israel, they would get it from somewhere else. Israel, like any other country, profits from exporting its paper currency. Rather, the issue lies in tax transfers: Israel indirectly taxes Jewish consumers to support our Arab enemies. The continuing transfers are especially odd considering that the PA takes an increasingly militant position in peace negotiations. The transfers make Israel the PA’s largest donor.

But how do Gazans spend shekels? Since Israel instituted the blockade, they cannot spend shekels, but they cannot be hoarding that much cash, either. It is clear that despite the blockade Israeli-Gazan trade is in full swing.

Assad is often right

Bashar Assad on IsraelThe Syrian autocrat condemned Israeli efforts to root Hamas out of Gaza. He noted correctly that Al Qaeda would take over the place immediately.

Indeed, tens of thousands of Gazan extremists won’t cooperate with Fatah, which only fakes resistance; instead they follow radical Salafist groups which belong to the Al Qaeda franchise.

IDF confirms white phosphorus allegations

An IDF probe has resulted in disciplinary measures being enacted against two IDF commanders who approved the firing of white phosphorus shells into Gazan towns. Never mind that the shells were fired above the towns.

The probe is strictly forbidden under religious guidelines. Its members commit the high crime of informing gentiles on Jewish transgressions—a crime which will certainly lead to more Israel-bashing. The haters will reason that Israel is guilty of many more cases of using white phosphorus than it has admitted to. In Jewish religious law, the crime is punishable by death.

Who needs the truth? Why could the commission not simply confirm that IDF used white phosphorus shells properly, for lighting purposes only?

IDF prosecution had opened a total of 36 criminal cases connected to the Gaza war. We’ve yet to hear about a single criminal case opened by Hamas against its fighters.

Hamas has two faces

Just after Dweik, a Hamas speaker of Palestinian parliament, said that his terrorist group would recognize Israel, Mashaal rejected any agreements and vowed to liberate the entire land, Haifa and Tel Aviv included.

Burdened with civil and political responsibilities, Hamas leaders in Gaza and the West Bank grew relatively moderate while Syrian wing of Hamas takes rejectionist line as Iran commands it.

Hamas’ Gazan leaders have to submit to Iranian whims because Iran largely finances and arms the group.

Palestinians use junk rockets

Parts from Soviet-made S-5 rockets were found near Gaza. This rocket has a very short range of just over two miles, cannot be targeted, and is therefore unsuitable for Gazan terrorists.

The facts that they have used such rockets shows that they have no problem with smuggling. Terrorists find it easier to transport virtually useless rockets into Gaza than to manufacture their own Kassam rockets.