In the fall of 2007 I participated in a debate in New York on the question of whether Russia was again becoming an enemy of the United States. I argued it was.

“We worry about political trends within Russia,” I said in my closing statement, “not just because we are friends of democracy, human rights, freedom, the rule of law, but also because the respect that governments have for their own people tend to correlate with their attitude and behavior vis-à-vis the outside world. We worry about Russian behavior toward countries like Ukraine, Estonia and Georgia because we fear that behavior is a harbinger for what’s in store for Europe and the United States.”

If you think I’m claiming vindication here, you would be right. But it wasn’t as if it took great political acumen to come to such conclusions.

Vladimir Putin’s first major act in power had been to lay waste to the city of Grozny in a manner reminiscent of Tamerlane. Next he went after his domestic opponents in show trials that recalled the methods of Andrey Vyshinsky. Soon he linked hands with Jacques Chirac of France and Gerhard Schröder of Germany to try to stop the Iraq war—which is to say, to keep Saddam Hussein in power. Then he supplied Iran with its first nuclear reactor.

In 2005 Mr. Putin called the collapse of the Soviet Union “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century. In 2006 a mysterious pipeline explosion left Georgia without gas in the dead of winter, a tactic used against several of Russia’s neighbors. Later that year came the murders of Anna Politkovskaya, a muckraking journalist, and Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian intelligence officer who had defected to Britain and was dispatched with a dose of polonium. A few months later Estonia, another free-world thorn in Russia’s side, was subjected to a massive cyberattack.

This is only a partial list of the evidence available at the time of the debate. But it suggested a definite trend. The invasions of Georgia, Crimea and eastern Ukraine still lay in the future. So did the murder of Sergei Magnitsky, the prison sentences for Pussy Riot, the legal harassment of Alexei Navalny, the asylum granted to Ed Snowden, the cheating on the IMF Treaty.
And now the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines 3786.KU +15.00% Flight 17 and the murder of its 298 passengers and crew, followed by the coverup. How do you “reset” that?

You don’t. You can’t. But you can at least try to figure out where you went wrong at the start.

Hamas’s Civilian Death Strategy- Gazans Shelter Terrorists and Weapons in Their Homes, Right Beside Sofas and Dirty Diapers By Thane Rosenbaum

Mr. Rosenbaum, a novelist, essayist and professor at the New York University School of Law, is the author, most recently, of “Payback: The Case for Revenge.”

Let’s state the obvious: No one likes to see dead children. Well, that’s not completely true: Hamas does. They would prefer those children to be Jewish, but there is greater value to them if they are Palestinian. Outmatched by Israel’s military, handicapped by rocket launchers with the steady hands of Barney Fife, Hamas is playing the long game of moral revulsion.

With this conflict about to enter its third week, winning the PR war is the best Hamas can hope to achieve. Their weapon of choice, however, seems to be the cannon fodder of their own people, performing double duty in also sounding the drumbeat of Israeli condemnation. If you can’t beat Iron Dome, then deploy sacrificial children as human shields.

Civilian casualties will continue to mount. The evolving story will focus on the collateral damage of Palestinian lives. Israel’s moral dilemma will receive little attention. Each time the ledgers of relative loss are reported, world public opinion will turn against the Jewish state and box Israel into an even tighter corner of the Middle East.

All the ordinary rules of warfare are upended in Gaza. Everything about this conflict is asymmetrical—Hamas wears no uniforms and they don’t meet Israeli soldiers on battlefields. With the exception of kaffiyeh scarves, it isn’t possible to distinguish a Hamas militant from a noncombatant pharmacist. In Vietnam, the U.S. military learned guerrilla warfare in jungles. In Gaza, the Jewish state has had to adapt to the altogether surreal terrain of apartment complexes and schoolhouses.

There are now reports that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are transporting themselves throughout Gaza in ambulances packed with children. Believe it or not, a donkey laden with explosives detonated just the other day.

The asymmetry is complicated even further by the status of these civilians. Under such maddening circumstances, are the adults, in a legal and moral sense, actual civilians? To qualify as a civilian one has to do more than simply look the part. How you came to find yourself in such a vulnerable state matters. After all, when everyone is wearing casual street clothing, civilian status is shared widely.

The Media’s Shameful Lack of Objectivity on Civilian Casualties in Gaza: Mike McNally

The Media’s Shameful Lack of Objectivity on Civilian Casualties in Gaza

On his Fox News show on Saturday night, Geraldo Rivera conducted a “two-way” with John Huddy, one of the network’s reporters in Gaza. During their exchange, Huddy matter-of-factly stated that 40 percent of those killed in Gaza as a result of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge were children. He didn’t cite a source, and he didn’t say “Hamas claims….” He just rattled off the number as if it were the Dow Jones closing figure – final and indisputable. (The clip is here – click on the 10:33pm segment if it doesn’t play straight off.) Having failed to question or verify the 40 percent claim, Rivera then repeated it in an exchange with Danny Danon, who resigned as Israel’s deputy defense minister last week after opposing a proposed ceasefire with Hamas.

Rivera is far from most conservatives’ favorite Fox presenter, and he can be hard to take seriously as he veers between Kent Brockman-esque pomposity and Ron Burgundy-esque histrionics. However, he’s normally solidly pro-Israel, so it was troubling that he didn’t challenge Huddy’s 40 percent figure, which seems implausibly high – even Gaza’s notoriously exaggeration-prone, Hamas-controlled Health Ministry puts the figure at around 25 percent. Fox, along with the rest of the media, has a duty to ensure that casualty figures are reliably sourced and as accurate as possible, given the key role that civilian deaths, and those of children in particular, play in shaping attitudes towards any conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

No-one knows exactly how many Gazans have been killed, nor how many of the dead are civilians, nor how many of those civilians are children. As well as ensuring that health officials stick to the party line, Hamas also keeps a tight grip on information coming out of the territory from other sources. The New York Times, for one, appears to be tailoring its coverage to suit the demands of the terror group. There are suspicions that the Times is playing ball with Hamas in order to be allowed to continue operating in Gaza – not that it would need much encouragement, given the Times‘s legendary anti-Israel bias, but the one-sidedness of its reporting this time is particularly egregious.

Israel is unable to produce its own estimates of casualties inside Gaza. It only releases its own casualty figures for operations like the one currently underway after they’ve been concluded, and, as this Times of Israel Report details, it concedes that it can do little to counter the likely exaggerated figures from Hamas.

Of course, one dead civilian, let alone a child, is one too many. But innocent people will inevitably be killed and injured when Hamas launches its rockets from densely populated residential areas, and stores them in UN-run schools. And in conflicts between Israel and the Palestinians, as in no other conflict anywhere in the world, the body count is the most important factor in the propaganda war, with Israel’s opponents pointing to the disproportionality in dead and injured as proof in itself that Israel is in the wrong.


You know you’re living in mundo bizarro when Egyptian strongman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi sounds (and is!) more reasonable than the U.S. secretary of State and the UN secretary general.

But that’s the way it is in this best of all possible worlds with John Kerry and Ban Ki-moon rocketing to Cairo to bring about a ceasefire in the latest Gaza War before Israel does something so rash as finally obliterating the murderous religious psychopaths of Hamas. Heaven forfend!

El-Sisi undoubtedly knows better, as do numerous relatively more silent types like the Saudis and the Jordanians, all — or anyway most — of whom would like to see Hamas and its Muslim Brotherhood-Iran allies brought low, not to mention IS/ISIS and the rest of the mad Sunni branch. The people who live there — the semi-normal ones anyway — know that the Middle East is in serious need of a swamp draining and the only ones capable of doing it are the Israelis. The Americans under Obama are so out to lunch that they might as well be opening a McDonald’s franchise on Alpha Centauri.

Undeterred, John Kerry and Ban Ki-moon will be doing their level best to make sure that doesn’t happen — the swamp draining, that is. So why the urge to preserve Hamas? In Ban’s case he represents an organization so anti-Semitic it makes the Wehrmacht seem like a lost branch of Hadassah. The UN wouldn’t interrupt its endless and relentless anti-Israel attacks if the North Koreans were dropping a hydrogen bomb on Rikers Island.

As for Kerry, well, as we all know, he’s a man of peace and opposed to such thugs as the late Genghis Khan (pronounced Jen-giss, as in Little Richard’s “Jenny, Jenny [1]“) but always wishes to reason with them first. After all, a fella might win a Nobel Prize. Or failing that, get the Democratic Party presidential nomination over Hillary, whose book isn’t selling. Second time’s lucky.

Also, if you keep moving, you can avoid answering questions about the just-concluded Iran nuclear negotiations, which everyone knew were a joke in the first place and would end with an extension, just as they have been and just as the Iranians always wanted.

In the world of Obama and Kerry, it’s always the Islamofascist dictatorships that get placated and the democracies, like Israel, that get the boot. The same goes for the United Nations, the mundo bizarro of mundo bizarros where countries like Libya and Syria end up on its Human Rights Council and where a plan to feed children during the Iraq war (Oil-for-Food) ends up the biggest scam in the history of the human race.


Israel has an extraordinary opportunity that may not last… Hamas must be rooted out in depth.

There will be endless admonitions to Israel from the Obama administration, the United Nations, and so forth, demanding an early end to the Gaza war now underway. Israel’s security needs dictate the opposite: Hamas’ capacity to make war must be crippled.

Tel Aviv last week remained one of the safest cities in the world despite the incessant rocket bombardment. In the bomb shelters at the David Intercontinental, we joked about the lack of drinks and canapes at the hotel’s hastily-improvised guest mixers. The cafe terraces were full every night on Dizengoff Street. But complacency on Israel’s part would be misplaced, perhaps even fatal. For the moment Israeli ingenuity has shifted the advantage in rocketry to the defense. That may not be the case for very long. Iron Dome has been extremely effective in containing the damage from a barrage of about 2,000 unguided rockets launched from Gaza. Most of these explode harmlessly in empty areas; the few that fly towards targets of value have been taken down with a 90% success rate. But the advantage may shift back to the offense some time in the next few years.

Dr. Uzi Rubin, the architect of Israel’s missile defense, warned last January that Iran and Syria already have GPS-guided ballistic missiles. The Jerusalem Post reported:

This is a strategic threat. Even worse news is coming; ballistic missiles are becoming smart,” he said. In the next five to 10 years, Israel’s enemies will inevitably arm themselves with GPS-guided ballistic missiles such as Scuds, [Rubin] said.

“Perhaps Syria already has this capability,” Rubin said. “This can significantly disrupt Israel’s air power. Israel will of course recover. We are talking about escalating a war to quicken it, and end it within three days. They are talking about doing the same. This threat can degrade the IDF’s ground capabilities” via accurate missile strikes on army mobilization and staging grounds, Rubin warned. “It can paralyze Israel’s war economy. And of course, it can inflict massive casualties. I’m not talking about Dresden, but Coventry, perhaps,” he said, referring to cities bombed in World War II.

Iron Dome can defend successfully against a handful of rockets fired simultaneously in the general direction of Israeli cities. At some point Israel’s enemies will acquire the capability to fire large salvos of precision-guided weapons at key military or civilian targets and overwhelm the existing defenses. GPS-guided rockets are not that difficult to make. Iron Dome gives Israel a respite, not relief in the long term.


It’s on all the lips, in all the media: burning Jewish shops in Sarcelles is anti-Semitic. PM Manuel Valls declared, in an excellent speech at the commemoration of the rafle du Vel d’Hiv [mass roundup of Parisian Jews in 1942], that anti-Semitism was trying to hide behind anti-Zionism. Florian Philippot, VP of the Front National (FN) accused the PM of promoting French self-hatred. Because he acknowledged the dishonor of Vichy France’s compliance with orders from the German occupation that resulted in the deportation of 76,000 Jews from France to the death camps; 2,000 returned alive. Valls added a long tribute to the honor of the Résistance and courageous French people who risked their lives to hide Jews. Why would Philippot, speaking for the party that was supposedly going to liberate France from Islamization, prefer to lash out at the PM than to condemn the Islamic thugs? Valls defended the decision to ban further pro-Palestinian demonstrations that deteriorated into attacks on synagogues, in the Marais where Jews had been rounded up and sent to the death camps, and on rue de la Roquette, not far from the Japy Gymnasium where Jews were held before being sent to the Vel d’Hiv. Making the junction between the dishonor of 1942 and the intolerable assaults of 2014, the PM accurately measured the level of the threat hanging over the French Republic today.

Why is the FN so skittish? Who is the blatantly pro-Putin anti-American FN trying to protect? At the other end of the political spectrum, aging militants from the NPA or even more obscure fringe groups pop up in the media to defend the right to demonstrate. While videos of the authorized July 13th operation are freely available to refute all apologetics, these gentlemen place the blame on a repressive government. By denying the right to demonstrate they kept us from providing our own security service that would have prevented these unfortunate marginal acts of violence [like you did when they rushed to the synagogues last week?] No journalists were on the TVscreen to question the rationality [sic] of this discourse thrown at the public like a rock. The balding apparatchik warns us: You have to understand their anger.

The other day, Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius flew to the Middle East with stops in Jordan, Egypt, and Israel, determined to impose an immediate ceasefire. He emerged, disappointed, from a half-hour conversation with Israeli PM Netanyahu. The French plan apparently is based on some kind of security guarantees that would reassure the Israeli government and convince it to lay down its arms and retreat, leaving Hamas victoriously intact. French forces can guarantee security at the Erez Crossing? Riot police in Paris can’t even thwart a crowd of 3,000 punk jihadis in Sarcelles! Dozens of police were wounded, a pitiful handful of assailants have been arrested, shops were looted and torched. French authorities cannot prevent an anti-communist party from defying a perfectly legal ban and leading violent attacks on French citizens, their property, and law enforcement.


Members of congress should experience what Israelis’ lives are like. The Bomb Shelter Museum will be in D.C. July 22.
Even people who are closely following the news about the current conflict in Gaza and Israel tend to focus on the rockets, the bombs and the casualties, but few focus on what it is like to race to a bomb shelter, and fewer still consider what it is like inside those shelters, for the lucky ones we make it to one.
Artists 4 Israel, a collective of creative geniuses who approach issues differently than do you or I, saw that gap and have done something quite inventive to fill it. They built a Bomb Shelter Museum, and then they took it on the road.
For those lucky enough never to hear the “Tzeva Adom” (Code Red) alert and have to race to the nearest shelter, the Bomb Shelter Museum provides the opportunity to approximate that situation.
Craig Dershowitz is one of the founders of Artists 4 Israel. He explained to The Jewish Press that the BSM is a multi-media, fully immersive experience that simulates living through a rocket attack in Sderot or Ashkelon or, sadly, pretty much throughout Israel.
The idea occurred to A4I when they visited Sderot during Operation Cast Lead to paint murals on the bomb shelters there. One of the artists was really shaken by the shelters.
Dershowitz explains: “He had always considered the shelters to be safe havens and, after visiting them, he realize that they were traumatizing and fearful places. He wanted the world to experience it. So Artists 4 Israel joined with an installation artist and a lighting artist.”
The artists collaborated and, through a “mind-blowing artistic process,” the Bomb Shelter Museum was born.
The experience starts with the Tzeva Adom going off. People rush into the BSM. Once inside, they watch videos of rocket attacks and hear the screaming and crying all around them. The Bomb Shelter shakes, and smells fill the space. It is a serious dose of the barebones, stark, painful reality.
Maybe it’s the tight space, maybe it’s the loud sounds, or perhaps the darkness combined with the videos and the engagement of various senses, but the combination creates an experience that profoundly affects nearly everyone who goes through it.
“Most people,” Dershowitz explains, “leave the shelter physically affected – some cry, others are ashen, others are weirdly exhilarated. Not with joy, but because they have had an emotional and visceral connection to a truth they had never before considered.”
Lionel Leventhal is the chairman of the board of Artists 4 Israel. Leventhal said one of the animating principles behind Artists 4 Israel, and in particular behind the Bomb Shelter Museum, is that “children should never be collateral damage of a political disagreement.”

The Terrorists’ Reality Show Who Has the “More Romantic Story”? by Pierre Rehov

For terrorists, the death of innocent children is irrelevant. In a society that promotes martyrdom as the ultimate sign of success, the death of innocent children can sometimes even be seen as a public relations blessing.

In every action, intent is paramount. There should never be a moral equivalence painted between the deliberate killing of civilians, and a retaliation that tragically leads to casualties among civilians.

There is, however, one small difference: in the Middle East, reporters are threatened, except in Israel. Their choice becomes a simple one: promote the Palestinian point of view or stop working in the West Bank. Keep the eye of the camera dirty or lose your job. This show should not go on.

“This whole conflict,” the foreign journalist said over coffee, “is a prime time show; the Palestinians provide us with the more romantic story.”

Terrorism is a show; it needs a producer and a distributor. Without a certain complicity from the international media, terrorism would not be so effective and might even disappear altogether.

While Hamas is raining rockets and missiles on the Israeli civilian population, and in return, is suffering a high level of destruction and hundreds of casualties as a result of collateral damage, one might ask: “What is the purpose?” The same question is also true of suicide terrorism. The genuine aim seems to be to gather sympathy while terrorizing the enemy, with an audience on an unlimited number of channels.

Casualties, in this show, whether Arab or Israeli, always play for the same side of the conflict: the one they hope will gain the most sympathy for the victims. These are usually Hamas and other terror organizations. In this round, they are mostly of Muslim origin, originate in the Palestinian territories and are funded by Iran and other countries with oil revenues

If a rocket succeeds in going through Israel’s anti-missile defense and causing damage to Israel, Hamas is “showing its strength,” by hitting the Jewish state. If a retaliation by Israel sadly results in the death of Arab civilians, Hamas is “showing how inhuman Israel is,” and therefore how much Israel deserves the world’s opprobrium. For Hamas and similar terror groups, therefore, the “show” is always a win-win.

Why is the dirty eye of the camera always playing for the same actors? Let us forget antisemitism, which obviously plays a role in this current equation. Many media outlets even belong to Jews, but they use the same images, often from the same point of view.


I started to write about the coverage we’ve been getting all across the board, radio, TV, newspapers, but then came word about the IDF casualties in the snake pits of Gaza and nothing made sense any more. A nation mourns. Evil had a good day. But Amalek will fall. Israel will prevail.

This is Israel. These are all our children.
I remember a park on Aliya Street in Haifa outside the Naval base. It was tranquil and some old-timers were reading the paper. A child ran out from somewhere and nearly ran into the traffic. The elderly man with whom I’d been gabbing rushed over, sternly brought the child to safety, disciplined him, and then lovingly caressed the child and kissed him on the cheek.

“Your grandson?” I asked.

“No. This is Israel. These are all our children.”

So to any one with a Jewish heart, this hurts, the news we’ve been getting. They are all our kids. I summon Christian hearts as well as you too suffer from this plague.

As for the coverage, it has been strange. I have been reading about writers in the Arab press siding against Hamas and rooting for Israel.

So they too have awakened to the pestilence that has invaded their borders, “tribe against tribe, greedy, barbarous and cruel.” (Lawrence of Arabia)

What, then, is to be said of the non-Arab press? I could give you the grand tour, but prefer to focus on the BBC – the BBC because it reaches millions around the world.
When I turned from journalism to writing novels, the work, of course, was called fiction. That’s what you’ve been getting from the BBC. Fiction.

The Patriots of Murrieta — on The Glazov Gang

The Patriots of Murrieta — on The Glazov Gang
Civil Rights Activist Ernie White sheds light on the pro-U.S. citizens standing up to an invasion.
This Week’s Glazov Gang was joined by Civil Rights Activist Ernie White who is one of the organizers of the pro-American demonstrations in Murrieta. He came on the show to discuss The Patriots of Murrieta, shedding light on the invasion on our southern border, Obama’s role in the catastrophe, the grassroots activism of patriots in Murrieta, and much, much more: