Israel Says It Is Escalating Gaza Campaign Defies International Pressure for Immediate Cease-fire

Israel’s leaders said they were escalating the military campaign in Gaza and told the country to prepare for a prolonged operation, defying international demands for an immediate cease-fire after Hamas militants broke a Muslim holiday lull.

The military chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, said Israel’s assault on Gaza’s Hamas rulers was being “intensified” after three weeks of fighting that has cost more than 1,100 lives.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a televised address, gave no sign the military would go beyond its stated goals—degrading Hamas’s rocket arsenal and finding and destroying a network of cross-border tunnels that fighters use to infiltrate Israel. The military needs about another week to accomplish that, officials said.

“We will not finish the mission, we will not finish the operation, without neutralizing the tunnels, which have the sole purpose of annihilating our citizens and killing our children,” the prime minister said. He told Israelis to brace for a prolonged fight.

As he spoke, the military sent messages instructing thousands of Palestinians living on the outskirts of Gaza City to leave their homes and take shelter in the city center—an apparent prelude to an assault on suspected Hamas positions in civilian neighborhoods.

Just before midnight, missiles struck several buildings in Gaza City, some of the heaviest bombardment since the assault began three weeks ago. Flares lit the moonless sky, followed by strikes that rattled and broke windows several blocks away. Acrid smoke hung over the city that houses many of Gaza’s municipal buildings and its commercial center.

Later, flares lighted up the midnight sky over Gaza City, accompanied by repeated explosions that rattled windows.

There had been a brief lull in fighting from Sunday afternoon as Israel eased up on strikes for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which began on Monday.

Israel Pounds Hamas Infrastructure in Gaza Power Plant, Leader’s Home and Offices Among Targets

Nicholas Casey and Tamer El-Ghobashy in Gaza City and Joshua Mitnick in Tel Aviv

Israeli forces pounded Hamas symbols of control and the Gaza Strip’s only power plant Tuesday in their heaviest bombardment of a 3-week offensive in Gaza, defying international demands for an immediate cease-fire after Hamas militants broke a Muslim holiday lull.

The military chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, said the assault on Gaza’s Hamas rulers, which has cost more than 1,100 lives, was being “intensified.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis late Monday to brace for a long fight.

In a televised address, Mr. Netanyahu had given no sign that the military would go beyond its stated goals-degrading Hamas’s rocket arsenal and finding and destroying a network of cross-border tunnels that fighters use to infiltrate Israel. The military needs about another week to accomplish that, officials said.

But the overnight strikes by Israeli aircraft, tanks and navy gunboats on dozens of targets pointed to a wider campaign.

They damaged the home of the top Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, along with government offices and the headquarters of the Hamas broadcast outlets, Al-Aqsa TV and Al-Aqsa Radio. The Israeli military said it hit the broadcast center to silence Hamas propaganda and messages to its operatives. The TV station continued to broadcast but the radio went silent.

Gaza-Israel Dateline Paris: Dispatch No.6 by Nidra Poller

In Paris as in Gaza, human shields are the way to go!

Journal du dimanche correspondent Paul Guyonnet, reporting from the 5,000-strong banned demonstration at Place de la République on Saturday July 26 noted, at 5 PM: “Many peaceful pro-Palestinians have left the Square despite pressure from the more virulent, who tried to block their way.” The JDD reporter says the prayer session [that other sources place at the beginning of the rally] called by an imam at 6:30 PM, magically calmed the assembled mass.
Shortly afterward the violence resumed as punk jihadis pelted riot police with fire bombs, stones, paper bags filled with broken glass, and the rest of their standard arsenal.
A video by Guy Sauvage embedded in an editorial on the site of Riposte Laïque shows the early stages of the demonstration: http://ripostelaique.com/
Here is the best footage I’ve seen so far of the insurrectional climax – LTL News.
Talk about misreporting—mainstream journalists who were on the spot when these videos were shot somehow managed to estimate the unruly element at three to five hundred. It looks more like one thousand to me. This selective tally is part of the narrative. The demonstration is always good-natured, the violence is always on the edges, never in the center, always disconnected never an integral part, necessarily paradoxical not squarely in the logic of everything that went before, and committed by a minority rejected by the good-natured majority.
Guyonnet tweeted this slogan, “Hamas résistance, jihad résistance” @Pauluskupa

What is “jihad résistance?” Might it be this exhibition of severed heads on stakes, posted by Walid Shoebat? Does it include the destruction of Jonah’s tomb in Mosul? The planned Rosh Hashanah massacre in southern Israel? The murder of four civilians at the Jewish Museum in Brussels? Public executions in the squares of Iraqi cities and towns brought under the black flag of the Caliphate? Is that the “jihad résistance” these people are preparing for us? France, a nation so proud of its Résistance to the brutal Nazi occupation now stands down as the Hamas/jihad résistance violates the Marianne, symbol of the République. Unopposed, this neo-résistance would deliver us into the hands of the Caliphate.
Where is the Front National when Islam assaults the Republic?

Further Reflections on Diana West’s Critics, Part II (see Part I below): Jeff Nyquist ****

In the controversy over American Betrayal I am remiss in one respect. I never wrote a proper review of the book. Instead I wrote two versions of a review, and both were rejected by editors. For this I am grateful because in truth I had not invested the time required to properly do the job. I did not fully appreciate the impact of the campaign against American Betrayal, or how effective that campaign had been. For those who have not read the book, it is about the Communist infiltration of the U.S. Government, and the influencing of U.S. policy during the critical years of World War II and its aftermath. The facts reviewed in the book are not entirely new. What was original was the way in which these facts were presented; that is, in order that we might see the big picture with greater clarity. This is Diana West’s special achievement.

This is a book with far-reaching implications. These implications, of course, have yet to be mapped out. For example, we must assume that Soviet agents were not only at work in Washington during World War II. They were also at work in Chungking, Tokyo, Berlin, London and Paris. If the U.S. Government had Communist moles, every other government probably had them. As if to prove my point, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Louis Kilzer wrote a book titled Hitler’s Traitor: Martin Bormann and the Defeat of the Reich (which alleges that Bormann was Stalin’s agent). Here we discover that it wasn’t just a case of Harry Hopkins manipulating Roosevelt. Hitler was manipulated by Bormann, and probably by others we’ll never know about. Many books remain to be written; for example, regarding how Churchill was manipulated, and also de Gaulle. Consider a 1997 article titled How a Soviet mole united Tito and Churchill. Consider, as well, the situation of Charles de Gaulle, as described in the Encyclopedia of Cold War Espionage, Spies, and Secret Operations: “In the late 1950s, and especially since the defection of Anatoli Golitsyn in 1961, strong suspicion surrounded the SDECE of harboring Soviet moles who were close to President Charles de Gaulle after he returned to power in 1958.”

Then there was the Tokyo spy ring, of course. Within that organization, Soviet spy Richard Sorge was credited with saving the Soviet Union in 1941. At the Spy Museum website we read, “The spies [of the Tokyo ring] pursued relationships with senior Japanese politicians, garnering information about Japanese foreign policy.” But as we know, Soviet spies do not merely garner information. Their primary work must have been to influence Japanese policy – as Moscow’s moles in Washington worked to influence American policy. Why did Tokyo fail to make peace with China and solidify a friendship with the United States? It is not an idle question when so many leading Japanese politicians thought the proper strategic direction for Japan was against the Soviet Union. In reminding us that Soviet agents are not merely spies, Mrs. West has laid bare the tragedy of a war that need not have been so costly. And this is why she has been so savagely attacked. This is why her work is called into question.

Curb The Nitpicking It is Not the Time to Fight Among Ourselves: Jack Engelhard

This might not be the best time for family gatherings. Uncle Norm says, “Let’s crush them.” Young Jake, home from school, hotly says that if Israel had given up the “settlements” there would have been no problem. The Arabs want peace. His professor says so and his professor knows best. The table erupts. Grandma says, “Let’s eat.”

I’m with Grandma.

There’ll be plenty of time to settle scores amongst our own when this is all over and Hamas is finished. King David took care of business that way.

Israel is at war. We are all at war in case you haven’t noticed. The world is coming at us from all directions, overhead the missiles, underneath, the tunnels. They’re breaking our windows again throughout Europe and it’s starting to happen even here in the United States. The news media are screaming for our blood, wherever we live.

Resolved: Only our IDF guys are the absolute heroes. The rest of us do the best we can.
In a time of war it gets simple. You’re with us or you’re against us…and if you are truly part of the Covenant, muzzle the dissent, please.

Morale is crucial and a loose lip is dangerous.

Resolved: Only our IDF guys are the absolute heroes. The rest of us do the best we can. How about we curb the nitpicking? Save it for later.

BRET STEPHENS: PALESTINE MAKES YOU DUMB

To argue the Palestinian side, in the Gaza war, is to make the case for barbarism.

Of all the inane things that have been said about the war between Israel and Hamas, surely one dishonorable mention belongs to comments made over the weekend by Benjamin J. Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.

Interviewed by CNN’s Candy Crowley, Mr. Rhodes offered the now-standard administration line that Israel has a right to defend itself but needs to do more to avoid civilian casualties. Ms. Crowley interjected that, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Jewish state was already doing everything it could to avoid such casualties.

“I think you can always do more,” Mr. Rhodes replied. “The U.S. military does that in Afghanistan.”

How inapt is this comparison? The list of Afghan civilians accidentally killed by U.S. or NATO strikes is not short. Little of the fighting in Afghanistan took place in the dense urban environments that make the current warfare in Gaza so difficult. The last time the U.S. fought a Gaza-style battle—in Fallujah in 2004—some 800 civilians perished and at least 9,000 homes were destroyed. This is not an indictment of U.S. conduct in Fallujah but an acknowledgment of the grim reality of city combat.

Oh, and by the way, American towns and cities were not being rocketed from above or tunneled under from below as the Fallujah campaign was under way.
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Beheadings of Infidels, Halal Sex Products and “Muslims Don’t Like Dogs” by Soeren Kern

The Vatican failed in an attempt to cover up the contents of a prayer by a Muslim cleric at an interfaith “Prayer for Peace” service held in the Vatican garden on June 8. Departing from a pre-approved script, the imam recited verses 284-286 of Sura 2 from the Koran, the latter part of which calls on Allah to grant Muslims victory over non-Muslims.

Danish police raided a mosque in the Vibevej district of Copenhagen after a passerby allegedly saw weapons being carried into the complex.

“We now have hundreds of jihadists and thousands of sympathizers. This naïve Cabinet’s inaction is inviting an attack in the Netherlands.” — Geert Wilders, Dutch Freedom Party.

Conference attendees called on the Spanish government to sponsor an official study aimed at finding ways to bring European food standards into compliance with Islamic Sharia law.

Austria accused Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan of stirring up trouble on June 19, when he urged thousands of cheering supporters in Vienna to reject “assimilation.”

Erdogan was rallying support for his candidacy ahead of Turkish presidential elections in August, and expatriate Turks have become a significant bloc of voters after changes to the electoral system now allow them to cast votes abroad.

Around 268,000 people of Turkish origin live in Austria, according to government figures, of whom nearly 115,000 are Turkish citizens.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, who had expressly warned Erdogan not to undermine efforts to integrate Turks into Austrian society, criticized the latest comments:

“These show very clearly that the Turkish premier has brought the election campaign to our country and created unrest with this. We reject this. And I can only say that respect for a host country looks clearly different.”

In Graz, the second-largest city in Austria, police on June 5 arrested a 41-year-old Islamic preacher from Chechnya who is believed to be involved in efforts to send Austrians to war in the Middle East.

State prosecutor Hansjoerg Bacher said that the imam is thought to be behind the radicalization and recruitment of eight Chechens resident in Austria, four of whom have died in fighting in Syria.

In Bulgaria, the Kardjali District Court on June 16 rejected a property claim lodged by the office of the Chief Mufti, the spiritual leader of Bulgaria’s Muslims, to be awarded ownership of the building housing the Regional Historical Museum. The court found that there was no basis for the claim, and ordered the representatives of the Muslim community to pay 91,062 leva ($63,000) in costs to the state.

This case was the latest in a series of lawsuits by the Chief Mufti’s office, filed under the Religious Denominations Act, which allows applications by recognized religious denominations to be awarded property believed to be historically theirs.

The building was originally intended to serve as a Muslim religious school, and it was funded in part by donations from the local Muslim community in 1920s and 1930s. However, the building was never used as a madrassa. Instead, it was nationalized during Bulgaria’s communist era and became a museum.

Lawyers for the Kardjali district administration argued that the Chief Mufti’s office is not the heir to the local Muslim community because at the time there was no such registered legal entity.

In the southern Bulgarian town of Peshtera, residents are angry over the local mosque’s powerful loudspeakers, which are blasting the Islamic call to prayer, the adhan, several times a day.

According to Radio FOCUS, the town is a model of multicultural tolerance, but residents are increasingly irritated by the adhan; the “silent discontent may escalate to petitions and protests,” the radio said.

Is the US Furious Over ‘Israeli’ Criticism of Kerry? Lori Lowenthal Marcus

While the U.S. government was a-howling over Israel daring to criticize Kerry’s performance, did they ever consider that Kerry’s performance actually was that bad?

he United States is circling the wagons around their secretary of state whose ego was apparently wounded by a torrent of Israeli criticism over the weekend regarding his proposed ceasefire draft plan.

John Kerry’s defenders are helping him look more pathetic by taking such umbrage to a unified Israeli cabinet’s rejection of his ceasefire proposal. And a virtually unified Israeli public, including the leftist and far left Israeli media, who are being accurately represented by the Israeli government’s less than flattering evaluations.

One of the biggest complaints about Israel’s criticism was ascribed to the State Department’s spokesperson Jen Psaki. She said, and was quoted in a myriad of media reports for saying, that Israel’s conduct in disseminating what she claims was false information about the proposed ceasefire draft: “it’s simply not the way partners and allies treat each other.”

There was a textbook example of a journalist baiting a government official to snipe at another government’s leadership despite her best efforts not to seem to be sniping.

THINGS OBAMA JUST WON’T DO: JED BABBIN

Keeping America superpower strong is the last thing he wants.

Watching Fox News on Friday morning, I saw my friend retired Navy Capt. Chuck Nash talking about what we need to do to help resolve the crisis in the Ukraine. What he said made a lot of sense, but it struck me that we all know that President Obama will do absolutely nothing he recommended.

There are so many crises like that around the world and here at home that could be solved entirely or at least ameliorated by the president. The long list of actions President Obama should take to resolve many crises around the world describes many that are — or at least were before Obama — in America’s interests and within America’s grasp. We can take it to the bank that Obama will do none of these things. It takes only a few examples to illustrate the point.

After about ten days of public outrage, Europe has reverted to its Cold War default position, the appeasement of neo-Soviet Russia. For all the harrumphing about new sanctions, François Hollande has said that the sale of two warships to Russia will proceed on schedule. Yesterday’s Washington Post op-ed by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called for serious sanctions against Russia to demonstrate the world’s seriousness about stopping the Russian insurgents (and that’s what they are, not “separatists” but a Russian proxy force) from taking over his country. He wrote that the U.S. could help with shipments of natural gas to strengthen the Ukrainian economy against Russian blackmail. He wants the U.S. to organize a coalition of nations to stop Russian aggression. It won’t happen.

Obama could send military aid to Ukraine to reverse the gains the Russian-backed insurgents have made. But he won’t do that either.

We know that the Israelis keep declaring cease-fires in Gaza but the Hamas terrorist government there keeps violating them. Secretary of State Kerry, negotiating with whomever will talk to him (a shrinking cohort), wants to blame Israel for the continued killing. The Israelis are ignoring Kerry and Obama because their prescriptions for peace place all of the burdens and all of the risk on Israel, not the terrorists of Hamas and Islamic Jihad who fire rockets aimed at Israeli civilians. All Obama was willing to do was to effectively blockade Israel by banning civilian flights to its principal airport for forty-eight hours. He takes no notice of Palestinian rockets, or their using concrete not to build schools but to construct tunnels into Israel to mount terrorist attacks.

Richard Baehr: Obama’s Peace Processors: Brotherhood Love

Obama’s peace processors: Brotherhood love
The American administration has discovered new peace partners (the “neutral parties”) to help end the Gaza conflict: Turkey and Qatar. Egypt is not on the list (though it was thrown a bone by being nominated to host cease-fire talks). Egypt, of course, borders both Israel and Gaza, and made a serious cease-fire proposal a week back that Israel accepted and Hamas rejected, apparently on the advice of Turkey and Qatar.

Secretary of State John Kerry met with officials from Turkey and Qatar in Paris this week and the three countries seem to be on the same page in pushing cease-fire terms that could have been drafted by Hamas.

Today comes news of Turkish approval of a new flotilla, the so-called “Freedom Flotilla II” that will sail to Gaza to provide “humanitarian” assistance with support from the Turkish navy. The organizers of the flotilla are the IHH, the same group that sailed to the shores of Gaza in 2010 in the “Free Gaza Flotilla” armed with pipes, sticks and guns and ready to rumble with the Israel Defense Forces as part of their”humanitarian mission.”

If the new flotilla sails, Turkey may have to negotiate a cease-fire between Israel and itself.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan burnished his credentials as a peacemaker this week blasting Israel for “barbarism worse than Hitler.” Erdogan also added: “Since [Israel’s creation] in 1948, we have been witnessing this attempt at systematic genocide every day and every month. But above all, we are witnessing this attempt at systematic genocide every Ramadan.”

In other words, Israel attempts systematic genocide every day for 66 years, but particularly during Ramadan. Erdogan’s comments seemed to echo the insights of Dean Wormer in “Animal House,” inventor of something called “double secret probation,” probably also in effect systematically every Ramadan.

Turkey’s government also saw fit to encourage wild mobs to congregate outside Israel’s embassy and consular facilities, in direct contravention of diplomatic rules, with members of Erdogan’s party leading the charge in some cases.