Friday, July 25, 2014

Shalom, Motherf***er


I don’t know how to write this without sounding like the kind of person I’m about to sound like, but sometimes you’ve just got to write it like you feel it. And I feel this. I un-friended a ‘friend’ from Facebook the other day.
To be honest, he wasn’t really a friend. He was a professional aquaintance and one whose talent I respect. But that’s it.
I un-friended him because he crossed a line.
I don’t mind that he didn’t write to ask how we’re doing here in Israel. People have their lives and we’re not the center of the world.
No. He started posting videos and images that reek of anti-semitism and an anti-Israel bias the likes of which are posted by people who clearly hate my country.
And I saw these posts.
video by an English elected official who spewed such anti-Israel rhetoric that it was borderline hatred.
And a post that Robert De Niro supposedly made claiming we’re an apartheid state. (He never said that at all. We’re not – and that post was another spreading of an untruth).
He crossed a line on a day – the other day – that 13 regular Israeli fathers, sons or brothers here were killed defending my country. Men drawn into a war they did not want to fight, but fought to protect their families, friends, and country – and to protect ME. A war others will continue to fight because to not fight it means we will perish. I don’t mean that we will lose our country, but as you can see by the turmoil around us in the Middle East (that has nothing to do with us) we will lose our lives.
He crossed a line following 10 days in which we, the citizens of Israel, have been bombarded the length of the 10 hour drive north to south of our country, and two our drive east to west of our country (that’s the size of Israel) with missiles intended to murder Israelis, no matter what gender, what age, what profession and what religion they follow. (We have over a million Israeli-Arabs living here within our borders as citizens with full rights).
And as I write, coming home from a day of work and having put my son to bed in his crib, we are still being bombarded.
He crossed another line after he saw that I unfriended him when he wrote an email to me saying that it’s ‘…funny to be de-friended for posting a statement from an elected official. As a Jew you should realize that mass murder is never justified’. (His identity will remain hidden, of course).
First of all, don’t give me that ‘as a Jew’ crap. I don’t need to be a Jew to realise that mass murder isn’t justified. I need to be a decent human being.
Secondly, I don’t give a damn that he was an elected official – he said some preposterous, disgusting and very untrue things – and history is full of misguided elected officals.
And third, we’re mass murderers? My country accepts an Egyptian-proposed Gaza cease-fire twice and Hamas keeps firing away. They aim rockets at civilians while we go at great lengths to avoid civilians actually calling them in their areas and dropping warning charges, to give innocents a chance to escape. That’s unprecedented in warfare history. We leave Gaza for a chance at peace 9 years ago and for 9 years we got rockets, hate education, underground tunnels built with the purpose of entering Israeli territory so radicals can murder and kidnap Jews? This is what we get for leaving Gaza unilaterally 9 years ago. And we’re mass murderers?
No – fool. Ours is not the behavior of mass murderers.
I’m tired of the argument lobbed against us where I read people saying it’s ‘not fair’ because more Palestinians have died than Israelis. Of people asking ‘why are we complaining when we’re the stronger ones?’
My heart bleeds for every innocent killed no matter what side they’re on. Palestinain or Israeli innocents – it matters not. 
But I will not apologise for surviving.
For surviving missiles intended to kill me. The fact they didn’t kill me doesn’t mean they weren’t sent with the intention to murder. We have a defence system, shelters, evacuation procedures and governments who take care of us – I will not apologise for living and surviving thanks to being prepared because we have a culture that celebrates our lives and cherishes them instead of sending 10-year old children to be fighters and bombers. I will not apologise for having a business, a home, a family and friends here who want normal lives and to live in peace with our neighbors. I will not apologise for existing and I want nothing more than to co-exist quietly with neighbors who accept me here.
But this is not what Hamas wants.
Let me be very clear. Hamas is trying to kill ME. My family. My baby son. All of us here. That is their purpose. Get it through your heads – that is what is happening. And it’s VERY personal. For all of us here.
Our Israeli civilians – people like me – are being targeted to die. Palestinian innocents on the other side are dying because my army is trying to protect us from thugs operating in those areas who are launching rockets at my populated cities. If Palestinian innocents are dying it’s because of jihadists and terrorists (other names for thugs), but NOT because of the State of Israel that is trying to protect its citizens as any sovereign country would do. People are going to die. Innocents will die and it’s awful and it’s ugly. But we have to do what we have to do now. That is not a tone of justification. It’s me telling you the way it is – and believe me, we’re already paying the price with the blood of our people…of families who will never sit together again. Play together again. Hold eachother again.
This is not a game.
I was speaking to my father this evening and he advised me, like a good father does bless him, to not speak my mind on Facebook. Why go to the trouble? But he’s looking out for his son knowing I’ll face backlash.
Look, we remained silent in the 30′s and look where it got us. We hoped rational people would see sense and refused to believe that people were capable of evil. And where did that get us? Trainrides straight to the gas chambers by REAL mass murderers. And there are those today who follow directly in the footsteps of the Nazis and who state proudly that they want to see all Jews dead, all of israel wiped off the face of the earth. (It is in Hamas’ offical charter – I’m serious – look). And why? Not because of ‘stolen land’ and politics but because they’re misguided, pitiful, hateful people who hate Jews and don’t give a damn about their people. Because anyone who gives a damn about their people would try giving them a future and not use them as pawns in a sick game of death and 72 virgins.
No, I will not remain silent while lies are spread about my country, my people, my culture, my values. I will be the FIRST in line to condemn my leaders and countrymen and women when they do wrong – as we do.
(And we do). But we are in the right here and I will not be quiet.
If anyone doesn’t understand any of the above; if anyone doesn’t get it; if any of my friends are going to post anti-Israel messages in a time where over 500 Palestinians have tragically died in this current conflict yet you remained silent while almost 200,000 Arabs were murdered by Arabs these past few years; if you’re not writing about Assad using chemical weapons against his people; if you’re not writing about ISIS who crucified 8 christians the other day and who are telling Iraqi Christians ‘convert, pay tax, or die’; if you only have criticism for the State of Israel that is doing EVERYTHING in its power to avoid civilian losses to Palestinians during a war; if you’re going to do nothing but sit wherever you’re sitting and just dish out your anti-Israel dirt while rockets are being aimed at my house, family and friends as our boys are fighting to protect us – and you’re going to dish it out simply because we’re living in this land and you haven’t got a clue as to our connection to it; if you’re going to join the anti-semitic and anti-Israel demonstrations flaring up in the world like we’re seeing in France, Turkey, Berlin, most Arab states and even in the US that have nothing to do with this conflict but are really just expressions of hatred directed at Jews and Israelis (and these expressions will be directed at the host countries soon); if you’re going to stay quiet and just accept, then go ahead and unfriend me from Facebook now because you’re probably no friend of mine.
Know this: when someone tries to end my life, IT IS PERSONAL.
And if you’re adding fuel to the fire by posting crap that in some small way will contribute to my demise, then again - un-friend me now.
Because you can have the hatred, the twisted, the sick and evil and be a part of that – or you can have me. But you can’t have both.
Shalom, motherf****r.


Read more: Shalom, motherf****r. | Eitan Chitayat | Ops & Blogs | The Times of Israel http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/shalom-motherfr/#ixzz38WE0P89S
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Hamas Plans Apocalypse



Hamas arsenal suggests 'apocalyptic' scenario: Israeli official

West 'cannot tolerate' advanced capabilities discovered in Gaza, Israeli official says


By Terry Milewski
Jul 23, 2014

The Western world "cannot tolerate" the strategic threat posed by a Hamas with newly uncovered "state-like" capabilities in rocketry and tunnelling, a senior Israeli defence official told reporters in Ottawa today.

The senior official, who cannot be identified under the ground rules of the briefing, said the Israeli military had considerable prior knowledge of Hamas weaponry and tunnels, but was still "surprised" by the extent of both when the current ground operation began last Thursday.

​ He said the Hamas arsenal has now been revealed to include R-160 Iranian missiles with a range of 250 kilometres that were smuggled into Gaza in pieces and assembled there.

Even after launching by Hamas of more than 2,000 rockets already, the Israelis estimate that thousands more remain from an original supply of 6,000 in the hands of Hamas itself and another 4,000 in the hands of the hardline militia, Islamic Jihad.

Those include the heavy M-302 rocket with a range of 160 kilometres, enough to hit most of Israel, the official said, adding that it had captured and destroyed many of those before the recent conflict erupted.

Many other rockets, he added, were destroyed by the Israeli Iron Dome missile defence system. But he said smaller missiles, despite having smaller payloads, were harder to hit because of their size and limited time in the air. These include the M-75, with a range of 75 kilometres, the Grad, which reaches 45 kilometres, and the homemade Qassam rocket, with a range of just 17 kilometres.

Tunnels: 'a big achievement'

The Israeli defence official said the Hamas tunnel network was particularly surprising — both in its extent and in its sophistication.

"It's an industry that built, beneath Gaza, another terror city."

He said some 30 tunnels had been discovered so far, with a total of 66 entry and exit shafts and with many of those exits inside Israel. Roughly half have been destroyed so far. Even as recently as the last Israeli operation in Gaza, Operation Cast Lead in 2008, only small tunnels were found, the official said. Now, they're a highly developed strategic threat.

"Food, accommodations, storage, resupply — it's all happening underground.… It's a big achievement."

He added that the network had not been detected by aerial surveillance, because Hamas has solved the most obvious problem: how to hide the piles of sand removed from the tunnels. This, he said, was painstakingly taken away, a few bags at a time, and stored out of sight in buildings and underneath greenhouses.

The official said Hamas had diverted huge quantities of cement, imported for civilian construction, into the building of concrete-block walls and roofs for the tunnels.

As an example, he cited a 1.7-kilometre tunnel discovered in February 2013 that Israeli engineers estimated would have required 500 tonnes of concrete. "Enough to build a three-storey hospital."
More recent tunnels are even longer, running as long as three kilometres inside Israel and each with a height of 1.8 metres, enabling a fully armed fighter to move with ease.

'We have luck, I think'

The official said his country had been fortunate that Hamas had not taken a chance, before the Israeli invasion of Gaza, to exploit the tunnels for attacks inside Israel. Asked why that might be, he said, "We have luck, I think," but speculated that Hamas may not have been ready for the next step in a larger and more ominous strategic design.​

He painted what he called an "apocalyptic" scenario where Hamas and its backers in Qatar and Iran might be capable of co-ordinated attacks with Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia militia, which he said has also stockpiled rockets on Israel's northern border. He said he did not believe Hezbollah has a comparable tunnel network.

However, he added that "the West cannot tolerate" the threat posed by a Hamas with advanced weaponry and powerful allies — becoming less like a terrorist group and more like a terrorist state.
In closing the briefing, the senior defence official jabbed his finger toward his final PowerPoint graphic, projected on the wall.

"I'm not saying civilian casualties should not be covered, not at all, but that's the story."
The graphic said simply, "State-Like Capabilities."

He said it will be a political decision, not a military one, whether to put an end to the Gaza operation before those capabilities are fully eliminated.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/hamas-arsenal-suggests-apocalyptic-scenario-israeli-official-1.2716251

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Obama-Kerry Attempting To Rescue Hamas


 July 23, 2014
Obama to the rescue --- of Hamas
By Caroline B. Glick


The American president knows what's at stake and he's chosen sides
Make this go viral! 

 Operation Protective Edge is now two weeks old. Since the ground offensive began Thursday night, we have begun to get a better picture of just how dangerous Hamas has become in the nine years since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip. And what we have learned is that the time has come to take care of this problem. It cannot be allowed to fester or grow anymore.

We have known for years that tunnels were a central component of Hamas's logistical infrastructure.

What began as the primary means of smuggling weapons, trainers and other war material from Hamas's sponsors abroad developed rapidly into a strategic tool of offensive warfare against Israel.

As we have seen from the heavily armed Hamas commando squads that have infiltrated into Israel from tunnels since the start of the current round of warfare, the first goal of these offensive tunnels is to deploy terrorists into Israel to massacre Israelis.

But the tunnels facilitate other terror missions as well.

Israel has found tunnels with shafts rigged with bombs located directly under Israeli kindergartens.

If the bombs had gone off, the buildings above would have been destroyed, taking the children down with them.

Other exposed shafts showed Hamas's continued intense interest in hostage taking. In 2006 the terrorists who kidnapped Cpl. Gilad Schalit entered Israel and returned to Gaza through such a tunnel.

Today the presence of sedatives and multiple sets of handcuffs for neutralizing hostages found in tunnel after tunnel indicate that Hamas intends to abduct several Israelis at once and spirit them back to Gaza.

In an interview with Channel 2 Monday evening, Minister Naftali Bennett spoke of a mother at Kibbutz Netiv Ha'asara who told him that her children wake her in the middle of the night and tell her that they hear digging beneath their beds.

As Bennett said, this state of affairs simply cannot continue. People cannot live in fear that there are terrorists burrowing beneath their homes, digging tunnels to murder or kidnap them.

These tunnels must be found and destroyed not merely because they constitute a physical danger to thousands of Israelis. They must be located and destroyed, and Hamas's capacity to rebuild them must be eliminated because the very idea that they exist makes a normal life impossible for those immediately threatened.

Hamas's tunnels are also the key component of their command and control infrastructure inside Gaza.

Hamas's political and military commanders are hiding in them. The reinforced bunkers and tunnel complexes enable Hamas's senior leadership to move with relative freedom and continue planning and ordering attacks.

The sophistication of the tunnels and the malign intentions of Hamas are not in the least surprising.

But Hamas's rapid advances in both tunnel and missile technology are deeply worrisome. At a minimum, they indicate that if it is allowed to end the current round of fighting as a coherent, relatively well-armed terrorist army, Hamas will be able to rapidly rebuild and expand its capabilities.

As a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas is not a stand-alone terror group. It is part of a much larger web of Islamic jihadist terror groups including al-Qaida and its affiliates as well as the Shi'ite Hezbollah. Like Hamas, all of these threaten several major Sunni Arab states.

Due to their recognition of the threat Hamas and its allies pose to the survivability of their regimes, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have taken the unprecedented step of supporting Israel's efforts to defeat Hamas.

They understand that a decisive Israeli blow against Hamas in Gaza will directly benefit them. Not only will Hamas be weakened, but its state sponsors and terrorist comrades will be weakened as well.

Presently, Hamas's most outspoken state sponsors are Qatar and Turkey.
As Israel's Calcalist newspaper reported earlier this week, Qatar is Hamas's biggest and most important financier, a role it plays as well for ISIS, al Nusra, the Muslim Brotherhood and various jihadist groups in Libya.

Turkey for its part is aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Like Qatar, Turkey has also been a major supporter of ISIS and al Nusra, as well as Hamas. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's slander against Israel has grown so hysterical in recent weeks that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has been trying to downplay Turkey's animosity, called him out on his open anti-Semitism.

By Tuesday morning, IDF forces in Gaza had destroyed 23 tunnels. The number of additional tunnels is still unknown.

While Israel had killed 183 terrorists, it appeared that most of the terrorists killed were in the low to middle ranks of Hamas's leadership hierarchy.

Hamas's senior commanders, as well as its political leadership have hunkered down in hidden tunnel complexes.

In other words, Israel is making good progress.

But it hasn't completed its missions. It needs several more days of hard fighting.
Recognizing this, Israel's newfound Muslim allies have not been pushing for a cease-fire.
In contrast, the Obama administration is insisting on concluding a cease-fire immediately.


As Israel has uncovered the scope of Hamas's infrastructure of murder and terror, the US has acted with the UN, Turkey and Qatar to pressure Israel (and Egypt) to agree to a cease-fire and so end IDF operations against Hamas before the mission is completed.

To advance this goal, US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Cairo on Monday night with an aggressive plan to force on Israel a cease-fire Hamas and its state sponsors will accept.

As former ambassador to the US Michael Oren told the media, it is clear that neither Israel nor Egypt invited Kerry to come over. Their avoidance of Kerry signals clearly that the US's two most important allies in the Middle East do not trust US President Barack Obama's intentions.

And their distrust is entirely reasonable.

The State Department has openly applauded Turkey and Qatar for their involvement in attempts to achieve a cease-fire. Last week Israeli officials alleged that the US was responsible for Hamas's rejection of the Egyptian cease-fire proposal. By attempting to coerce Egypt to accept Qatar and Turkey as its partners in mediation, Obama signaled to Hamas's leaders that they should hold out for a better deal.

Due to Turkey's membership in NATO and the glamour of the Qatari royal family, many Westerners find it hard to believe that they are major sponsors of terrorism. But it is true. Turkey and Qatar are playing a double game.
While sending his ambassador to Brussels for NATO meetings, Erdogan has been transforming Turkey from an open, pro-Western society allied with Israel into a closed, anti-Semitic and anti-American society that sponsors Hamas, ISIL, al Nusra and other terrorists groups.

As for Qatar, the tiny natural gas superpower presents itself to Americans as their greatest ally in the Muslim world. The emirate gives hundreds of millions of dollars to US universities to open campuses in Doha and pretends it is a progressive, open society, replete with debating societies.

Qatar hosts three major US military bases on its territory. And it is becoming one of the most important clients for US military contractors. Earlier this year Qatar signed an $11.4 billion dollar arms agreement with the US.

At the same time, according to the Calacalist report, Qatar is the major bankroller of ISIS and al Nusra in Syria and Iraq. It gives $50 million a month to jihadists in Libya. It gives Hamas $100m. in annual aid. And in the past two years Doha has provided Hamas with an additional $620m. dollars, including $250m. it transferred to Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal's personal bank account, and $350m. in military aid to Hamas, transferred after the Egyptian military forced the Muslim Brotherhood government from power last July.

Add to that the $100m. per year that Qatar pours into Al Jazeera's satellite network — which has dedicated itself to undermining pro-Western Arab regimes while popularizing the likes of al-Qaida and Hamas, and Qatar is the largest financier of international jihad in the world.
Rather than notice that Qatar and Turkey are playing a double game, and treat them with suspicion, the Obama administration has embraced them.

Chances that Kerry will secure a cease-fire in the near future are small. In all likelihood, the government will be able to buy the time necessary to complete the mission in whole or large part. But the fact that the US has chosen at this juncture in the operation — with Israel enjoying unprecedented support from the most important Sunni states in the region — to side with Hamas and its state sponsors in their demand for an immediate cease-fire speaks volumes about the transformation of US foreign policy under Obama's leadership.


  • contributor Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post and contributor to the Washington post ,London Times and the Wall Street Journal and the The Australian
.

© 2014, Caroline B. Glick

Unaffordable Care Act


OPINION

ObamaCare in death spiral after federal appeals court strikes down some subsidies

Tuesday, a federal appeals court slapped down the Obama administration in a 2-1 ruling that could kill the president’s signature health care law. If upheld by the Supreme Court, the ruling would force Congress back to the drawing boards to design a health law that is actually affordable, rather than bearing the false title “Affordable Care Act.”
The ruling in Halbig v. Burwell bars the federal government from handing out taxpayer-funded subsidies to people who buy ObamaCare plans in nearly two-thirds of the states. Those subsidies took the sting out of being forced to buy pricey ObamaCare plans. If the ruling sticks, buyers in those states will have to pay full price, on average a whopping four times the subsidized price they paid this year.
Quadrupling the price would likely trigger a mass exodus out of the plans,causing what the insurance industry calls a “death spiral.”
The ruling by the influential appeals court for the District of Columbia also chastised the Obama administration for rewriting the law to suit its own ends. 
Halbig is the latest in a series of warnings from federal judges that in America, the rule of law is king, not Mr. Obama.
Judge Thomas B. Griffith, writing for the majority, declared: "The Constitution assigns the legislative power to Congress, and to Congress alone."
No more governing by fiat, Mr. President.
The businesses and individuals who sued in Halbig argued that the actual wording of the Affordable Care Act allows the IRS to provide subsidies (via a tax credit) only to buyers in states that established state exchanges. Section 1401 of that law unambiguously states that subsidies will be made available “through an exchange established by the state.” 
The subsidies were intended as a carrot to persuade states to establish exchanges. But surprise, only 14 states went along. The others, mostly led by Republican governors, refused. 
Late in the game, the Obama administration had to establish the federal healthcare.gov exchange to get ObamaCare launched in those uncooperative states.
In 2012, the Congressional Research Service cautioned that the text of the law indicated “the IRS’s authority to issue the premium tax credits is limited only to situations in which the taxpayer is enrolled in a state established Exchange.” 
Yet when the Obama administration launched the federal healthcare.gov exchange last fall, IRS officials dispensed tax credit subsidies in all fifty states, despite being warned they were violating the law.
Lawyers for the administration told the appeals court judges that regardless of what section 1401 says, Congress envisioned offering subsidies to buyers nationwide. The Court didn’t buy it.
"The fact is that the legislative record provides little indication one way or other of congressional intent," wrote Judge Griffith
No wonder. ObamaCare was crammed through the Senate on Christmas Eve, 2009, before lawmakers had read it, much less debated it.
What is clear is that without subsidies, the Affordable Care Act is just the opposite -- hugely unaffordable. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 87% of people who signed up for ObamaCarefor 2014 qualified for subsidies, and on average they paid 76% less than the true cost of their plan. $82 a month instead of $376 a month. That $82 price tag didn’t mean ObamaCare had succeeded in lowering health insurance costs. It just shifted the cost from premium payers to taxpayers.
The Court ruled "with reluctance," Judge Griffith said  "At least until states that wish to can set up Exchanges, our ruling will likely have significant consequences both for the millions of individuals receiving tax credits through federal Exchanges and for health insurance markets more broadly. But, high as those stakes are, the principle of legislative supremacy that guides us is higher still."
The judges made it clear that either Congress must act to change the law (highly unlikely) or states must establish their own exchanges (also unlikely), or ObamaCare will collapse due to its unaffordable premiums.
Yesterday’s ruling put ObamaCare in legal limbo. Expect the administration to request an en banc hearing before the entire 11-judge appeals court, which is weighted in their favor with seven Democratic appointees. En banc hearings are not always granted even on issues as monumental as this. Either way, this controversy is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Three other federal appeals courts are deciding challenges almost identical to Halbig. A disagreement among any of them will force the high court to rule.
Judges don’t like to be overruled. Twice in recent months the Supreme Court has emphatically declared that the executive branch of government must execute the laws, not rewrite them. Down the street at the DC Court of Appeals, the judges were listening.
Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D. is former Lt. Governor of New York. She is author ofBeating Obamacare; For more visit www.BetsyMcCaughey.com.