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Who’s Protecting Israel?

July 31st, 2014

It’s not just the Iron Dome we have to thank.

With the recent onslaught of rocket attacks, Dr. Gerald Schroeder, MIT physicist formerly of the Atomic Energy Commission, puts into perspective a “scientific” approach to understanding Israel’s unusually low casualty rate. Citing a statistical study done regarding the scud missiles fired at Israel during the Gulf War, Dr. Schroeder provides us with a keen insight into the difference God makes when it comes to Israel’s security.

By Dr. Gerald Schroeder /

Dr. Gerald Schroeder

About the Author
Dr. Gerald Schroeder earned his BSc, MSc, and double-Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics and Earth and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he taught physics for seven years. While a consultant at the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission he participated in the formulation of nuclear non-proliferation treaties with the former Soviet Union and witnessed the testing of six atomic bombs. He has served as a consultant to various governments worldwide and has been published in TIME, Newsweek, and Scientific American. He is the author of Genesis and the Big Bang: The Discovery Of Harmony Between Modern Science And The Bible, now in seven languages. He is also the author of The Science of God and The Hidden Face of God. Dr. Schroeder is currently a lecturer at Aish Jerusalem for the Discovery Seminar, Essentials program, Jerusalem Fellowships, and Executive Learning Center ― focusing on the topics of evolution, cosmology, and age of the universe.

Sinai Speak is an independent Jewish initiative and educational resource that aims to create a unified platform for the leading Jewish educators to spread their wisdom through short, inspirational videos. Through our diverse array of featured speakers, we aim to paint a fuller picture of the spiritual and practical sides of Judaism – and through this appeal to Jewish adults, with their varying background and interests.

Produced by Dovi Halpern and Michael Tintner, founders of Sinai a Jewish initiative dedicated to uniting the best speakers in the Jewish world to spread their wisdom through short, inspirational videos on the same common platform.

Secret Tunnels Under Israel Reveal Threat From Gaza

July 30th, 2014

By Calev Ben-David /

Slipping into a tunnel under Israel’s southern border and heading toward the Gaza Strip, the scorching summer heat suddenly turns cooler and the boom of artillery fire above fades away.

The passage, built by Gaza militants to infiltrate Israel, is just high enough for a person carrying a weapon to walk through upright. Its sides and arched ceiling are made of prefabricated cement slabs. Two metal rails run along a poured concrete floor, to accommodate carts that removed dug-out earth and transported weapons, the Israeli military says.

Israel, which has acted for years against smuggling tunnels Gazans built under their border with Egypt, is now on a campaign against what it says is an unexpectedly intricate network of underground passages militants dug into Israeli territory to carry out attacks. Its three-week-old offensive in Hamas-controlled Gaza has presented an opportunity to demolish these tunnels that didn’t exist in quieter times, analysts say.

“What is surprising is the sheer scope of their entire tunnel-building operation, its sophistication, and how much of it we found in built-up populated areas,” said Israel’s Gaza Brigade’s chief combat engineer officer, who asked to be identified as Lieutenant-Colonel Max out of security concerns.

Israeli soldiers discover the entrance to a tunnel believed to belong to Hamas in southern Israel near the border with Gaza, on July 23, 2014. Photograph: Xinhua/JINI/IDF via Zuma Press

Israeli soldiers discover the entrance to a tunnel believed to belong to Hamas in southern Israel near the border with Gaza, on July 23, 2014. Photograph: Xinhua/JINI/IDF via Zuma Press

The success of the Iron Dome anti-missile system in intercepting rockets fired at Israel from Gaza caused Hamas “to shift much of its strategic effort from above the ground to below it,” Max said. Hamas says Israel’s claims of a “terror tunnel” operation are trumped up.

$30 Million

“We will not end this operation without the neutralization of the tunnels, whose only purpose is destruction,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday in a televised address. “That need was clarified today,” he added, referring to an infiltration attempt by Palestinian militants from Gaza into southern Israel through one of the tunnels.

Israeli forces engaged in a firefight with the militants, the army said in a statement, killing at least one.

Militants have poured an estimated 600,000 tons of cement and other materials into the ground at a cost of around $30 million to build the three dozen underground passages found so far, according to army spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner. The human toll of wiping them out has been high: More than 1,050 Palestinians and 45 Israelis have died since the conflict began July 8, the overwhelming majority since ground troops invaded Gaza nine days later with the declared aim of destroying the corridors.

A Palestinian man is lowered into a smuggling tunnel beneath the Gaza-Egypt border, in the southern Gaza Strip, in this Sept. 11, 2013 file photo. Photographer: Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images

A Palestinian man is lowered into a smuggling tunnel beneath the Gaza-Egypt border, in the southern Gaza Strip, in this Sept. 11, 2013 file photo. Photographer: Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images

Max, an assault rifle slung over his shoulder, wears a flak jacket and helmet as he makes his way down a sandy pit 12 meters (40 feet) deep to reach a tunnel Israel says it uncovered before its planned endpoint was built near Kibbutz Nir Am, an Israeli agricultural community.

The passage’s main entrance shaft was hidden 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) inside Gaza under a greenhouse in Khan Yunis, near the territory’s southern tip, Max said.

Black Cable

As the 35-year-old officer leads the way through the dark, narrow corridor, he shines a flashlight on niches he says were dug out to store weapons. A metal rack running along one side is laced with black cable, remnants of an electrical system.

More than 100 entrance shafts to about 30 tunnels have been discovered since the ground incursion was ordered a day after Palestinian gunmen emerged from an underground passage inside Israel and headed for Nir Am, the military says. There have been at least four infiltrations since, including one in which two soldiers died in a shootout with gunmen, according to the army.

Destroying the tunnels, often during a battle, presents no small challenge.

An Israeli soldier during an army organised tour in a tunnel said to be used by Palestinian militants for cross-border attacks, on July 25, 2014. Photographer: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images

An Israeli soldier during an army organised tour in a tunnel said to be used by Palestinian militants for cross-border attacks, on July 25, 2014. Photographer: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images

The corridors, often originating in the basements of Gaza homes and other buildings, can be booby-trapped. Max says he was injured in one such incident a few months earlier.

While the quickest and easiest way to demolish a tunnel is to have soldiers enter it and place explosives down its entire length, the army is drilling openings into the tunnels from above to insert the explosives, then detonating them from a distance to avoid putting troops in harm’s way, Max says.

‘Training Facilities’

“You want to reach a point where the entire tunnel from end to end can be destroyed, so the enemy can’t come back and easily rebuild it,” he says, explaining why this one is still intact.

The military wing of Hamas, the Islamist movement that is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the European Union, accuses Israel of fabricating allegations about tunnels.

“The occupation’s claim that it found tunnels and seized it by showing pictures is a complete lie,” the Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement last week. “All the occupation found were underground corridors dug into a training facility that belongs to our group near the border.”

Hamas knows firsthand the potential benefits the tunnels hold for militants. It won freedom for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel in 2011 by releasing a single Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, captured five years earlier by Hamas militants who burrowed into Israel underground.

‘Policy Failure’

Israel has known about the tunnels for about two years and had uncovered several, including the one Max displayed, before the current military operation began. Retired Major-General Amos Yadlin, who headed Israeli Military Intelligence from 2006-2010, said Israel had been constrained by diplomatic considerations from acting earlier against the passages.

“We knew very well the tunnels were there,” Yadlin said. “It’s not an intelligence failure. If it’s a failure, it was a policy failure.”

After Israel discovered a concrete-lined tunnel last October, it began limiting the already restricted entry of cement and other building materials into Gaza. That decision drew criticism from the United Nations and human rights groups, which say the restrictions are crippling a Gaza economy reliant on the construction industry. It also leaves thousands of Palestinians without the means to build or repair homes, including those destroyed or damaged by Israeli military operations, they say.

Re-emerging into the harsh sunlight, Max acknowledges that pressure from the international community to cease fighting might curtail his mission.

“If we want to completely destroy all the tunnels, at least all the ones we know about, it would take at least another week,” he says. “We know also how to achieve a maximum impact within a shortened schedule.”

The Sunni-Shiite Divide Explained In 100 Seconds — video

July 29th, 2014

The battle between Islam’s two major branches began over 1,400 years ago when the Islamic prophet Mohammed died and the two sides clashed over who should succeed him. This centuries-old ‘war’ is once again threatening the stability of Iraq, the whole Middle East, and thus the world. The Washington Post‘s senior national security correspondent Karen DeYoung explains in 100 seconds just how we got here.

Israel’s fight for its very existence

July 28th, 2014

By Richard Cohen, Washington Post columnist

Every Hamas rocket is an act of war

Mohammed Saber / EPA

Mohammed Saber / EPA

Israel fought its first war, in 1948, against five Arab nations — Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan — as well as the Palestinians. In the prediction of the fairly new CIA, the outcome was never in doubt: “Without substantial outside aid in terms of manpower and material, they (the Jews) will be able to hold out no longer than two years.” It has now been 66 years, but I fear that sooner or later, the CIA’s conclusion could turn out to be right.

It does not seem that way at the moment. The five Arab armies of 1948 are now down to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. This is a struggle whose end cannot be in doubt. The Israelis will degrade Hamas’s military capabilities — its rocket-launching sites and its tunnels — and end for a time its ability to attack Israel. Every rocket, no matter how primitive and wobbly, is an act of war.

Since 1948, nation after nation has retired to the sidelines. Egypt and Jordan have made peace with Israel. Saudi Arabia, which stayed out of the first war, has little desire for any subsequent one. Lebanon has been battered too often by Israel to still have a taste for war.

Iraq is coming apart at the seams and can fight no one. Syria, too, is a chaotic mess, no longer really a nation and now more of a geographic designation. With the exception of Hezbollah and Hamas, no one much wants to fight. Happy days should be here . . . again.

But they are not. In my estimation, Israel now fights not just to clear out the tunnels and rid Gaza of its rockets but for its very existence. This war that Israel will of course win has seen its once-hapless enemy, Hamas, launch hundreds of rockets a day, some of them landing in the Tel Aviv area, a few going as far as Haifa. The Iron Dome anti-missile system has reportedly done wonders, but the law of averages insists that a rocket will get through and Tel Aviv will be hit — and then hit again.

The nations that once went to war vowing to push Israel into the sea are unstable, rickety creations. They are under siege not from Israel but from their own religious zealots. Whatever emerges is going to be either less accepting of Israel or maniacally intent on annihilating it. In time, Israel could be surrounded by states that would make Hamas seem the soul of moderation.

There is a sad metronomic rhythm to Israel’s wars with Hamas and Hezbollah. Israel wins every time, but every war is incrementally existential. Israelis are increasingly looking over their shoulder. About 60% of them either have or wish they had a second passport (often from an ancestral European country), and a large number of them — maybe as many as 500,000 — already live in the United States. The wayward Hamas rocket, so idiotically trivialized by Israel’s critics, doesn’t have to kill anyone to take a toll. People will seek safety as surely as water seeks its own level.

Hamas thinks it is winning the current war — which is why it rejected the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire proposal. Not a single major Hamas leader has been killed. Sooner or later. an intermediary will insist on a peace agreement. That intermediary should be Secretary of State Kerry. He must demand no more tunnels and no more rockets. Hamas can stay in Gaza, and Israel seems willing to ease its blockade. But both goods and funds have to be used to benefit the Palestinian people — not to build (or import) rockets or resume the tunneling.

A deal is there to be made — but the U.S. has to either make it or determine its outcome. The effort cannot be left to countries that are hostile to Israel — Turkey and Qatar come to mind — or the Middle East will once again wind up with a peace that is just a prelude to more war.

Israel is the legal creation of the United Nations. It has an absolute right not merely to exist but to do so safe from rockets or incursions by tunneling terrorists. In 1948, Harry Truman swiftly recognized Israel. America took the lead. It is time for it to do so again.

Arab Leaders Praying Israel Will Finally Get Rid of Hamas

July 27th, 2014

Atwan: The Arab Leaders Pray That Israel Will Get Rid of the Palestinians Once and for All

(published a week into the 2014 Israeli-Hamas conflict)
The Arab world is holding Hamas responsible for the current conflict with Israel, the Clarion Project reports:

“As Hamas continues putting Israeli and Palestinian lives in jeopardy by rejecting ceasefires and continuing to fire rockets, the Islamist terrorist group must be disappointed at the Muslim world’s reaction. Hamas did not get the usual reflexive support and fiery backlash against Israel. In fact, it appears that the terrorist group’s largest support is coming from protests in Europe. The latest round of fighting is remarkable in what did not happen.

“The Islamists were unable to whip up the masses with the ease of flicking a light switch. Instead, flickers of the truth are penetrating minds saturated with anti-Western propaganda.

“Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas even publicly criticized Hamas on Palestinian television, accusing the group of provoking ‘unnecessary deaths’ and ‘trading in Palestinian blood’ by firing rockets at Israel.”

Quds Day In Iran: Tehran Calls For Annihilation Of Israel And For Arming The West Bank

July 25th, 2014

By Y. Mansharof, E. Kharrazi, Y. Lahat, and A. Savyon*

In advance of Quds (Jerusalem) Day — which is today, July 25, 2014 — and against the backdrop of the continued fighting in Gaza between Israel and the Palestinian resistance organizations in Gaza — Hamas and Islamic Jihad — Iran’s leaders have, in speeches, called implicitly and explicitly for the annihilation of the State of Israel. Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei also stressed the need to arm the West Bank, while Mohsen Rezaei, former commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council, called on the resistance organizations in Gaza to kidnap Israelis in order to stop Israel from firing on Gaza, and promised all kinds of military aid to the Palestinians. Also, Basij commander Mohammad Reza Naqdi called for finding a way “to end the story of the Zionist regime” with a military defense alliance of the resistance forces against Israel, or with an attack on Israel by the Arab states that have Western weapons.

With the revival of the resistance axis, and Hamas’s renewed and open participation in it, senior officials in the Iranian leadership — Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Majlis speaker Ali Larijani, and a top IRGC official — held phone conversations with Hamas political bureau head Khaled Mash’al, in which Tehran expressed its willingness to aid Hamas in all necessary ways in the conflict with Israel. Basij deputy commander Ali Fazli even called the Gaza Palestinians “Shi’ites” and stressed that the Palestinian blood connects both the Sunnis and the Shi’ites to the resistance axis.

Iran’s leaders also harshly attacked the West, and particularly the U.S., for supporting Israel. It should be noted that even on the Gaza issue, the struggle between the ideological and the pragmatic camps in Iran is evident; the ideological camp bashed the pragmatic camps’ mouthpieces for not giving top billing to Israel’s “crimes” in Gaza, and its leaders also called on the pragmatic camp to prove its loyalty to Islam by calling publicly for Israel’s annihilation.

But even before the ideological camp voiced its criticism of the pragmatic camp, its leaders, headed by Expediency Council head Hashemi Rafsanjani and President Hassan Rohani, and particularly the Jomhouri-ye Eslami daily, came out strongly against Israel, to prove their loyalty to the ideals of the Islamic Revolution. Rafsanjani even publicly criticized President Obama.

This paper will review the main points of the speeches by top Iranian political and military officials, and will also present a MEMRI TV clip of Khamenei’s call for Israel’s annihilation and a report on Islamic Jihad snipers in Gaza training with Iranian weapons.

Supreme Leader Khamenei: The “Only Solution” For Israel “Is Its Annihilation And Liquidation”; “The Determined And Armed Palestinian Resistance And Its Spread To The West Bank Are The Only Way To Deal With That Bestial Regime”

On July 23, 2014, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called for the annihilation of Israel, twice stressing the need for arming the West Bank. Khamenei also claimed that he was not talking about the annihilation of the Jews in the region, but only about the annihilation of the Zionist regime. He also came out harshly against the U.S. and its leaders who support Israel, and against the liberal Western culture, and added that “anyone who cares about the fate of Palestine… should provide arms to the people [of the West Bank] too” (see MEMRI TV Clip No. 4366).

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, click here

He said: “These crimes [of Israel in Gaza] defy imagination. They are the essence of [Israel's] wolf-like and child-killer regime, for which the only solution is its annihilation and liquidation. Of course, until that time [when this happens], the determined and armed Palestinian resistance, and its spread to the West Bank, are the only way to deal with that bestial regime.

“At the same time, America’s and the West’s impudent defense of the Zionist crimes must impact… the ‘consciousness, outlook, and approach’ of all of us vis-à-vis the West. We must realize that this is the reality and the truth of America. With its mighty roar on Quds Day, the Iranian nation shows that [it] is the friend of the oppressed and [that] the enemy is the oppressor…

“As the Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah] Khomeini said, Israel must be liquidated. [But] the annihilation of Israel as the only way to a real solution does not mean the annihilation of the Jews in the region. In order [to carry out] this logical operation [of annihilating Israel] there is a practical apparatus that the Islamic Republic [of Iran] is presenting to the international community.

Based on this apparatus, which is acceptable to the nations [of the world], people living in the region, and belonging to it, will be polled to find out what regime they prefer. In this way, the occupying and forged regime [of Israel] will be annihilated. Of course, until that heartless and child-killer regime is destroyed, the forceful struggle, and determined and armed resistance, are the [only] path to solving [the problem of] this destructive regime…

“Therefore, it is my belief that the West Bank should be armed just like Gaza. Anyone who cares about the fate of Palestine, and who is capable of doing something, should provide arms to the people [of the West Bank] too…”

July 23, 2014 Facebook announcement by Khamenei's office (Source:

July 23, 2014 Facebook announcement by Khamenei’s office (Source:

“The leaders of the arrogant countries do not realize that in their defense of the crimes of the filthy and destructive Zionsts they are losing their honor and the honor of their countries, and that history will judge them for their collaboration in these tragedies… The root of this defense of the crimes of the Zionists [lies] in the democratic and liberal regimes and in the logic of the most minimal moral values, in which there is not even a tinge of humanity…”

Calls In Iran To Arm The West Bank

On July 24, 2014, Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee member Esmail Kowsar called for arming the West Bank: “One of the ways to help Palestine is to arm West Bank residents so they can stand against the Zionist regime.”

Also on July 24, the Basij released a communique calling on the government to urgently submit a bill to the Majlis calling for the arming of the Palestinians in the West Bank in accordance with Khamenei’s statement.

Iranian President Rohani: “Oppression And Occupation Cannot Remain Forever”; “Muslims Will Always March On The Path Of The Jerusalem Ideal Until The Day This Land Is Liberated”

In a July 22, 2014 message, Iranian President Hassan Rohani hinted at the annihilation of Israel: “The [Iranian] people’s participation in Quds Day is the implementation of orders by the Imam [Khomeini] and its meaning is to announce to the world that Al-Aqsa Mosque is the Muslims’ primary qibla [direction of prayer], that Palestine is a sacred land for Muslims, and that this land and the refugees of the Palestinian nation will never be forgotten.

Muslims will always march on the path of the Jerusalem ideal until the day this land is liberated, the Palestinian people return to their land, and Muslims freely pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque. With its presence, the [Iranian] people will show the world that oppression and occupation cannot remain forever, and that a nation struggling to liberate its land will eventually emerge victorious…

“[The Palestinians] defend themselves while fasting [during Ramadan] and besieged against this oppressive and blood-letting regime, and do not surrender to it, but rather stay the course. Ultimately, the oppressed Palestinian people will win this battle [that has so far lasted] 65 years. The Iranian nation has always and will always support oppressed nations, and especially the oppressed Palestinian people in Gaza, and I hope we will soon witness this people’s victory over the aggressors and oppressors.”

Basij Commander: “We Must Find A Way To Open Palestine’s Borders And End The Story Of The Zionist Regime”

In a July 22, 2014 speech, Basij commander Mohammad Reza Naqdi called for finding a way “to end the story of the Zionist regime” and therefore called on the resistance forces in Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine to sign a military defense pact against Israel; on Arab countries to use their armies “to destroy Israel”; and on the Arab oil producing states to withdraw their funds from Western banks in order to apply pressure to stop Israel from attacking the Palestinians. He also expressed sorrow that Iranian forces are unable to fight shoulder to shoulder with the Palestinians against Israel: “No one is committing savage crimes like these; this behavior can only be found among wild animals. The oppressive Zionists are only called humans. They are actually wild animals that do not hesitate to commit any inhuman crime and have no honor or human values…

“With their resistance, the people in Gaza have proven that the oppressive Zionist regime’s power is crumbling… The people in Gaza have proven, with empty hands and wonderful resistance, and in many wars, that the entire force of this [Israeli] army is crumbling. Although equipped with the world’s most advanced weapons, this is the most cowardly military the world has ever seen, since when one of their soldiers is wounded and falls to the ground under fire from Palestinian warriors, this army, with all its supposed strength, abandons him and flees…

“The pure blood of the Palestinian martyrs of the resistance will expose these criminals and their arrogant supporters among the peoples of the world… We must find a solution. A billion and a half billion Muslims cannot sit silently in the face of a few criminal Zionists and postpone the elimination of this cancerous growth from the map of the world. For the sake of the struggle against external threats, and especially the very real dangers of the Zionist regime, popular resistance forces in Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria must sign a defense pact under which any attack on any one of them will be considered an attack on all of them, and they will join forces against the aggressors.

“For which threat or which enemy are the large armies of countries in the region, which paid billions of dollars for the world’s most advanced weapons, saving their strength? Any one of these armies is sufficient to totally erase Israel from the planet. If the Egyptian army does not intend to act against the oppressive Israeli regime to defend Islam and the Palestinian Arab Muslim people, then the proud Muslim youth of Iran, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and more, are prepared for the final battle against Israel. The problem here is that they do not have access to the borders of the occupied nation of Palestine.

“If each of the oil-rich Muslim countries in the region, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, and others, would decide to withdraw their funds from Western banks, then immediately upon announcing this decision, the Zionist regime’s attacks on the people of Gaza would cease.

“Today, we very much regret that we are sitting here [in Iran] and are not entering the battlefield to fight shoulder to shoulder with the men and women resisting this criminal enemy in Gaza. Of course, we cannot sit idly by and watch the disasters and crimes against Palestinian Muslims, and make do with expressions of solidarity. We must find a way to open Palestine’s borders and end the story of the Zionist regime.”

Expediency Council Secretary: “10-50 Zionist Hostages In Each [Palestinian] City Are The Best Defensive Battery For That City”

In an July 24, 2014 open letter to the commanders of Hamas’s military arm, the Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, Expediency Council Chairman Mohsen Rezaei guaranteed Iranian military aid to Gaza: “The defeat of the Zionists in the current battles will be marked as a turning point in the history of the Palestinian struggle. You must show the murderous criminal Zionists that the resistance is invincible and that Israel is at the end of its road…

“As a representative of the commanders of the Iran-Iraq [1980-88] war, I stress that we will support and defend [you] with all our might and all our means… Your battle rages on, the weapons and gear that you need will reach your hands in every way possible…

“Undoubtedly, the Zionists have no ability to defend themselves against the [resistance's] guerilla attacks. Ten to 50 Zionist hostages in each [Palestinian] city are the best defensive battery for that city. Clearly in such a situation the occupiers will have no choice but to surrender to you.”

Deputy Basij Commander: “The People Of Gaza Are Undoubtedly Shi’ite”

On July 24, 2014, Deputy Basij commander Ali Fazli said that the Palestinians in Gaza are partners in the resistance axis, and even called them “Shi’ites”: “The people of Gaza are undoubtedly Shi’ite… because the people of Gaza could not have stood against the Zionist regime and sacrificed itself for two weeks with resistance alone. The blood spilled in Gaza and Palestine for the defense of all of Islam connects the Shi’a and the Sunna, and therefore the resistance front should unite and preserve its unity against the arrogance.”

Read The Full Report

Do or die against Hamas / Bloomberg: Why I flew to Tel Aviv

July 24th, 2014

New York Daily News editorial

Hamas scored a victory in its latest nihilistic, death-obsessed war with Israel when its rockets prompted the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and most Western airlines to suspend flights to Ben Gurion Airport.

Despite Israel’s successful Iron Dome defense, the terror group managed to get a projectile close enough to the major travel hub to stoke fears about the safety of air transit. Thus the shutdown.

With the Israeli government insisting travel is safe, the country’s national airline, El Al, kept planes in the air. One ferried former Mayor Michael Bloomberg on a mission to show much-needed solidarity with the Jewish state and demonstrate that the dangers were minimal. [See following story.]

Regardless, the specter that Hamas could blow a jet out of the sky has exerted a chilling effect on the Israeli economy — one that was particularly acute after the shootdown over Ukraine of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17.

Since Hamas launched its offensive against Israel on June 30, the terror group has let loose more than 2,100 rockets, displaying both the extent of its armaments and their increasing sophistication.

Left to their own devices, the Islamist rocketeers will only get more heavily armed and more adept at targeting. Inevitably, they would try to choke air traffic whenever the time seemed right, which would be frequently.

That’s an added reason why Israel must resist pressure from all quarters — including the U.S. — to prematurely stop military operations in Gaza.

Now is the time for Israel to accomplish the goal of eliminating Hamas’s ability to fire rockets at the airport and willy-nilly at civilian targets across the Jewish state.

Imagine the American response should enemies fire at JFK or LaGuardia. And imagine the consequences if the U.S. did not definitively remove those enemies’ ability to attack again.

Israel left Gaza completely to the Palestinians nearly a decade ago. Two years later, Hamas violently seized control from its Palestinian rivals. Since then, the Iranian-backed zealots have four times begun wars by aiming rockets at civilian targets in Israel.

Each previous time, Israel yielded to Western pressure and stood down in exchange for a return to “silence for silence.” It cannot do so again.

In this latest exchange, Israel honored an Egyptian-sponsored ceasefire only to have Hamas continue its barrage. Even now, the terror band says that it will stop its assaults only if Israel bows to certain demands. Nuts to that.

Hamas must be demilitarized — and the network of tunnels in which it stores munitions and through which fighters launch attacks, destroyed.

So Israel must press on as Hamas makes a spectacle of Palestinian corpses to play on the world’s misplaced sympathies. There are fatalities only because Hamas started a war that Israel has no choice but to finish.


Bloomberg: I flew to Tel Aviv to show solidarity with Israelis and prove Israel’s airports are safe

Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, said closing access to major infrastructure networks in the face of terrorist threats can be self-defeating.

Mike Bloomberg (l.) stands for a photograph with Shimon Peres, Israel's president, in Jerusalem on Wednesday, July 23.

Mike Bloomberg (l.) stands for a photograph with Shimon Peres, Israel’s president, in Jerusalem on Wednesday, July 23.

Just hours after the Federal Aviation Administration prohibited domestic airlines from flying to Israel this week, I boarded an El Al flight from Kennedy Airport to Ben Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv to express solidarity with the Israeli people and show the world that Israel’s airports remain open and safe.

The FAA’s decision was prompted by a Hamas rocket that struck Israel about a mile away from the airport.

Ben Gurion is the best protected airport in the world. . . . Israel would not keep Ben Gurion open if it were not secure.

Hamas would like nothing more than to close Ben Gurion, isolating Israel from the international community and seriously damaging its economy.

In times of crisis, acting out of an abundance of caution can be prudent. But closing access to major infrastructure networks in the face of terrorist threats can be self-defeating.

This was something I learned as mayor of New York City. After terrorists tried to detonate a car bomb in Times Square, I went to a restaurant there the following evening for dinner — and invited the world to join me.

When terrorist plots to attack the city’s subway emerged, as they would from time to time, I made sure to be seen riding it to work, as usual — and encouraged New Yorkers to keep doing so as well.

In each case, we refused to allow the possibility of additional terrorist attacks to deter us from carrying on with our everyday lives.

Lift the ban, and let American carriers take flight.

The Middle East Problem — in a nutshell — video

July 22nd, 2014

The Middle East conflict is framed as one of the most complex problems in the world. But, in reality, it’s very simple. Israelis want to live in peace and are willing to accept a neighboring Palestinian state. And most Palestinians do not want Israel to exist. As Dennis Prager explains, this is really all you need to know. In 5 minutes, understand how Israel was founded, and how, since that auspicious day in 1948, its neighbors have tried to destroy it, again and again.

Editor’s Note: All Prager’s information in the following video is accurate EXCEPT for the map (at 1:01) of the UN’s proposed Jewish – Arab/Muslim division. The original 1947 map divided the region called Palestine by giving Jordan (called Transjordan at the time) to the Arabs/Muslims, and all the area on Prager’s map (i.e., the land west of the Jordan River) to the Jews. The original map looked like this:

map Palestine original division

Hypocricy of Hamas exposed in Palestinian videos

July 21st, 2014

The following video is a compilation of footage taken by Palestinians. An Arab narrates the action in English and points out the hypocrisy of Muslims, especially Hamas.

The video begins by showing a Palestinian wedding in which the men are singing and celebrating. Enter truckloads of machine-gun-toting Hamas who open fire and mow down the wedding guests, beat to death the groom, and destroy the venue — all because the men were singing, says the narrator.

The video then shows Hamas humiliating other Muslims before killing them. The narrator explains that killing other Muslims is sanctioned in the Koran, as is killing non-Muslims. There is footage of Muslims celebrating in Gaza and Jerusalem after the 9/11 massacre — laughing, dancing, happy about the deaths of 3,000 in the Twin Towers. However, the narrator points out, the “Palestinians” want the world to cry for the deaths of their people killed in Israel’s retaliatory bombings.

During footage of a child being armed for battle, the narrator explains that Hamas sends out children — 6-year-olds — with guns and then complains that the children are killed. They kill their own people, arm small children, even use their own babies to shield weapons, and celebrate the deaths of others that they have caused, yet they ask the world to mourn their loss. “Such hypocrites!” says the narrator.

The video below is narrated in English by an Arab who identifies with Christians.

You can help! — Israeli Soldiers Ask For Repeat Of Christian Blessing

July 18th, 2014


Ariel Schneider /

This morning (Friday), I received a call from my friend and former military comrade from the South, who inquired after pizzas and colas for the tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers operating in and around the Gaza Strip.

Two years ago, when Israeli troops massed on the Gaza border during Operation Pillar of Cloud, Israel Today was on the ground handing out pizzas and cola generously donated by our readers. The soldiers down in Gaza now remember that kindness, and our friend in the area has received several calls from officers and their troops wondering if they will again be blessed in this way.

There is a long-standing tradition in Israel whereby people will often go and buy cold drinks and snacks for the soldiers manning hot, dusty checkpoints. The gesture might be small, but the act of kindness has a major impact on these soldiers.

CLICK HERE to bless Israeli soldiers now!

This tradition kicks into high gear during a time of war.

As such, we are inviting our readers and all friends of Israel to repeat their past assistance to Israeli soldiers as they fight to defend our nation.

Both they and we fondly remember how two years ago the pizzas and drinks delivered offered not only physical sustenance, but emotional and even spiritual blessing when they learned it had all come from Christians around the world who love and stand with Israel.

Last, but not least, your participation in this effort greatly blesses the pizzerias in southern Israel where we purchase the pizzas, salads and drinks. As you can imagine, during a time of war they receive little other business.

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