No Magic Wands

Gazan Terror TunnelWe cannot even begin to estimate how many lives Iron Dome saved. But we know it’s very many lives. The downside, though, is that its success encouraged all too many Israelis to expect all our troubles to be solved by state-of-the-art magic wands. This isn’t always possible.

No miraculous technological gimmicks can entirely eliminate Gaza’s tunnels.

The only way to diminish this diabolical threat is by sending infantry in, by going from house to house to discover trap-doors and concealed shafts. Suggestions that the tunnels could be flooded or filled with smoke are impractical if their entry and exit points are unknown.

This rules out a deluxe war. This unavoidably costs lives and we’d be exceedingly lucky to even limit the cost. Continue reading

A War Against All Jews

The Paris demonstration on July 13, 2014

The Paris demonstration on July 13, 2014

Hardly any anti-Semites nowadays admit they hate Jews. The accepted guise for Judeophobes is to claim that they harbor no ill-will toward Jews and that they are merely anti-Zionist or oppose given Israeli policies. Yet on occasion their words and actions offer a glimpse into the sinister darkness behind the cynical politically-correct façade.

So it was last Sunday in Paris during a demonstration against Israel’s Operation Protective Edge. Some of the marchers broke off and made a beeline for two centrally located Paris synagogues.

The worst incident occurred at the Don Isaac Abravanel Synagogue on the Rue de la Roquette (in the heavily Jewish 11th arrondissement of Paris). A mob donning keffiahs, waving jihadist flags and wielding clubs (and chairs grabbed from nearby sidewalk cafes), converged on the synagogue, attempted to storm the building and attack the worshippers trapped inside. They were thwarted by police and Jewish security volunteers. Injuries were reported both among the Jewish defenders and the officers.

Many witnesses reported that the attackers chanted “death to the Jews” in French, along with the Arabic Itbach el-Yahud (slaughter the Jews). The siege on the synagogue lasted for well over an hour, during which time the congregants couldn’t extract themselves. Continue reading

Blackout Waiting to Happen

The Ashkelon Power Plant

The Ashkelon Power Plant

It was almost poetic justice – a rocket which Hamas fired at Israel Sunday night knocked out a high-voltage line that supplies electricity to some 70,000 Gazans. This was a blackout waiting to happen. Literally biting the hand that feeds it, Hamas persistently aims at the very Ashkelon power plant upon which Gaza depends for its electricity. Israel has refrained from switching the power off lest it incur censure from abroad.

Neither Gaza nor the Ramallah half of the Palestinian Authority pays for the power consumed. Gaza alone, it’s estimated, owes the Israel Electric Corporation NIS 220m (out of the staggering NIS1.5bil unpaid Palestinian debts).

The downed electricity line is one of a dozen high-tension lines with 120 megawatts per hour transmission capacity. Its loss means that the entire area between Khan Younis and Deir el-Balah has been plunged into darkness. Continue reading

Preview of Coming Comments

Preview of coming eventsThe hardly unexpected reactions to Operation Protective Edge, from those who rarely react when Israel is attacked, may be regarded as a preview of coming comments.

At first hearing, some Israelis took heart from the fact that players like the UN Secretary General and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton at all denounced the missile barrages from Gaza. But the devil is in the further details. It’s instructive to pay heed to the entirety of their messages.

Thus Ban Ki-moon, according to a statement released by his spokesman in NY, “condemns the recent multiple rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza. These indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas must stop.” But then comes the clincher: “The Secretary-General is extremely concerned at the dangerous escalation of violence, which has already resulted in multiple Palestinian deaths and injuries as a result of Israeli operations against Gaza.”  Continue reading

Badge of dishonor

The site of mass Holocaust-era Jewish graves in Volodymyr-Volynsky

The site of mass Holocaust-era Jewish graves in Volodymyr-Volynsky

News that the mass grave of thousands of slain Jewish men, women and children was ransacked by Ukrainians in their lust after fabled riches, cannot but churn the stomachs of even those most inured to evidence of enduring Judeophobia. In one of his most memorable rebukes (2Kings 21, 19), the Prophet Elijah asked: “Have you murdered and also usurped?” Seven decades after the Holocaust this question is still painfully applicable to all too many in Europe, especially to the Nazis’ most avid collaborators.

These proliferated appallingly in areas with Ukrainian inhabitants. So it was in the vicinity of the then-Polish city of Lvov (which started out as the Austrian Lemberg and is now Lviv in Western Ukraine). Ukrainian accomplices there did much of the Nazis’ dirty work with undisguised relish.

Apparently, the evil spirits of those dark years haven’t yet abated. Continue reading

Immune from penalty

MK Haneen Zoabi

MK Haneen Zoabi

There’s no doubt that Israel is the world’s most liberal and tolerant society even by the yardstick of the truest democracies. It’s hard to envisage a comparable situation where a society in the throes of a cruel war puts up with voices in its own parliament that plainly give succor to the enemy. The question is whether this isn’t tolerance-gone-too-far, especially when cowardly atrocities against children are brazenly condoned and justified.

This is exactly what Balad MK Haneen Zoabi did Tuesday when she asserted on radio that the abductors of three boys on their way home from school aren’t terrorists. Later, after an aggressive showdown in the Knesset with MK Aliza Lavi (Yesh Atid), Zoabi – whose salary we all pay – tried to put things right by explaining on TV that “if I were asked whether to carry out this operation [abduction], I’d have said that it’s not worthwhile and not efficient and therefore I don’t support it. But to accuse them [the abductors] of being the chief culprits – absolutely not.” Continue reading

The Meriam Ibrahim case

Meriam Ibrahim on the day she wed Daniel Wani

Meriam Ibrahim on the day she wed Daniel Wani

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas likes to pose as Christianity’s protector. According to his oft-repeated assertions, both Christianity and Islam are endangered by the Jews of Israel and both are united in the need to ward off said threat.

This is the mendacity he brazenly elaborated upon during Pope Francis’s visit to Bethlehem, beneath a huge rendition of the nativity scene which showed baby Jesus swaddled in a Fatah keffiya, bereft of any Jewish connections but connected bogusly to Islam.

The Pope saw fit not to comment on any of Abbas’s insolent distortions. But Abbas’s duplicity is underscored by his deafening silence on the Meriam Ibrahim case. Continue reading

A Small Tragedy

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The only relatively clear remaining photograph of Abramek, showing him as a toddler with his parents.

MARZENIA (The Dream)

By Abramek Koplowicz

(Translated by Sarah Honig)

When I will be 20 years old,

In a motorized bird I’ll sit,

And to the reaches of space I’ll rise.

I will fly, I will float to the beautiful faraway world

And skywards I will soar.

The cloud my sister will be

The wind is brother to me.

I will fly, I will float over rivers and seas.

I will marvel at the Euphrates and Nile.

I will gaze at the Sphinx and Pyramids

In the goddess Isis’ ancient land.

I will glide over the mighty Niagara Falls,

And soak up the warmth of the Sahara’s sun.

Over the cloud-covered Tibetan peaks willI ascend,

Above the mysterious magic land of the Hindus.

And when extricated from the sun’s heat,

I will take wing to the Arctic north,

And I will whir above the giant Kangaroo Isle,

And then over the ruins of Pompeii.

From there I’ll set my sights to the Holy Land,

Where our Covenant was given.

I will even reach illustrious Homer’s country,

And will be so amazed by the beauty of this world.

To the heavens I will take off.

The cloud my sister will be;

The wind is brother to me.

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Continue reading

Agent in the vent

image001The most intriguing question in the furor generated by Newsweek’s supposed exposés of “gone-too-far” Israeli espionage is where the stories originate.

The answer might put the online magazine’s ongoing focus on this issue into context. It would be enlightening to learn whether a genuine senior American intelligence source actually exists, and, if so, whether that source acted on a personal initiative.

If this is more than a private peeve, it would be pertinent from our perspective to discover whether the source was directed by Obama Administration or State Department higher-ups to sling mud at Israel and sully it. Continue reading

What’s up with WhatsApp?

image001Grudgingly we must admit that Iran is doing quite well. Tehran’s ayatollahs had effectively managed to hoodwink the US, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, whose representatives are now trying to reach a final deal in New York on Iran’s nuclear ambitions before the July 20 deadline.

But in actual fact, more than Iran has managed to pull the wool over the eyes of the international coterie, the nations of the world desperately wish to be fooled. Continue reading