Dear God save me, but it’s started again: the puerile body-counting and mindless moralizing that eventually worms its way into nearly every news report whenever fighting breaks out between a Palestinian faction and the Israel Defense Forces.

Here it is — I call it the dueling-body-count cliché — in yesterday’s Guardian. It is clear, says the author, “that Israeli life is deemed by the western media to be worth more than a Palestinian life.” There is “a hierarchy of death,” he contends. (White-skin privilege and all that.) His evidence? The numbers. “According to the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem, 565 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces since January 2009, while 28 Israeli civilians and 10 Israeli security personnel have been killed. The asymmetry of this so-called conflict is reflected in the death toll . . .”

After reviewing the tallies, the MSM types, like this Guardianista, always arrive at the same conclusion: Israel is somehow taking unfair advantage, and the international community must immediately intervene to stop it. The usual term is “disproportionate response.” (It never seems to occur to them that by their logic, a cop trying to stop a rape would have to drop his handgun and radio and attempt to pry the rapist off the victim with his bare hands in order to even the contest.)

But here’s the heart of the problem — and, when Jews are concerned, it has ancient, ugly echoes: The media love victims, and the Jewish state is done with being a victim. Jews simply don’t go quietly to their deaths any more. They insist — arrogantly, selfishly, piggishly — on living. They do brutish things like create great hospitals and great civil-defense systems, and train great soldiers, all in this greedy quest for life.

The main reason the Israeli civilian casualties are always in the single digits is that Israel maintains a huge network of bomb shelters; folks know where to run for protection (though they have on average only 15 seconds to get there). Israel has developed an early-warning system and deployed many of its best minds to work on the paradigm-changing “Iron Dome” for in-air rocket interception.

Meanwhile, Palestinians, both Hamas and PA, have gone in the opposite direction. At a minimum, the Hamas government, the recipient of millions in foreign aid, could have set up a shelter system for its civilian population. Instead it has simply chosen not to because, as a Palestinian journalist I know puts it, “They don’t care.” Dead civilians are more useful than live ones.


Obama Talks to Netanyahu—Did Bibi Tell Barry to Stuff It?Posted By Roger L Simon

Well, maybe not stuff it, but finally someone may be standing up to America’s ultra-reactionary, fumbling, paleo-narcissistic and now hugely unpopular president — and his name is Benjamin Netanyahu. If we are to believe the Jerusalem Post, Bibi should be the leader of the free world. Arrivederci, Barry. Take your favorite nine iron and head off to Maui or the Vineyard or wherever you want to be with our blessings — as long as you stay there.

From the JPost [1]:

The United States is prepared to facilitate a cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas [2] in the Gaza Strip, US President Barack Obama told Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu by phone today.

In the call, Obama “reiterated the United States’ strong condemnation of continuing rocket fire into Israel by Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza and reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself against these attacks,” the White House said in a readout of the conversation.

But Netanyahu has ruled out a ceasefire with Hamas in the short-term. On the contrary, the Israeli leader has vowed a series of additional stages to Operation Protective Edge [3]—his government’s response to continued rocket fire on Israeli towns and cities, after Hamas, a terrorist organization, stockpiled tens of thousands of rockets in the coastal territory over the last several years.

A ceasefire is “not even on the agenda,” Netanyahu told members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, just hours before his call with the US leader.

Let’s hope Netanyahu does not fall prey to pressure and keeps on keeping on because someone sometime has to stand up to Islamofacism or it will continue its unstopped march across the Middle East and beyond. It certainly won’t be Obama, who has allowed violent jihadists to flourish across Iraq, Syria and Iran — not to mention North Africa, Nigeria, the Sudan, Pakistan, Indonesia, the Philippines and now the Islamic State (aka ISIS) installing their own caliphate. Obama previously tried to help shore up Islamofascism in Egypt (Morsi) and Turkey (Erdogan). And all the while he has been chasing a nuclear deal with the monstrous mullahs of Iran who want nothing more than the extinction of the West and a caliphate of their own to compete with the Sunnis of ISIS.

I’m confused. Weren’t “progressives” supposed to be for religious freedom and opposed to misogyny, homophobia and theocracy? Oh, well. Maybe I was misinformed.


California Dem Blasts Al-Jazeera on Al-Jazeera: ‘The Owners of This Network Fund Hamas’ Posted By Bridget Johnson

Bradley James “Brad” Sherman has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1997, representing California’s 27th, and 24th congressional districts. At present he represents District 30. A poster boy for all Obama policies and a fave of the environmentalists, he did stand up to the Al Jazeera crowd…..rsk

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) may not get an invitation to reappear on Al-Jazeera America, but he sure gave the network an earful in the segment he did get this week.

“Every one of those rockets is a war crime… every rocket that is not aimed at a military target but is aimed at a city,” Sherman said on a live feed from Capitol Hill. “The owners of this TV network help fund Hamas.”

He went on to call the Hamas offensive launched against Israel “open season on those of the Jewish faith.”

“The idea that you would have a TV clear effort to kill as many Israeli civilians as possible and then you on this TV station say, ‘well, maybe it’s not a war crime because it’s not successful — the rocket didn’t hit a kindergarten. It was aimed at a kindergarten but it didn’t hit a kindergarten. So then it’s not reprehensible.’”

Sherman defended Israel’s response to the Gaza rockets as “proportionate.”

“I don’t think there are always two sides to every story. Those who are trying to kill as many babies and children and women as possible, who rejoice in their death… no, you have one side in this conflict that is doing everything it possibly can to reduce and avoid civilian casualties and to prosecute those who engage in acts against civilians,” the congressman said.

“And then you have the Hamas side… which of course Qatar supports, which rejoices in how many babies they can kill, how many children they can kill. They name squares and provide subsidies to those who are able to kill civilians and they aim their rockets at civilian targets. That’s not two equal sides.”

Sunny With Light Missile Cover Here in Tel Aviv By David P. Goldman

Sunny with light missile cover in Tel Aviv this morning. I awoke to muffled thuds in the distance, Iron Dome shooting down Syrian-made missiles launched from Gaza, according to news reports. I attended the obligatory morning mixer for hotel guests at the bomb shelter, which fortunately lasted only five minutes before the all-clear sounded. I’ll write something more comprehensive on this soon — Tablet is scheduled to run my essay next Monday — but the thumbnail version is that Hamas is making a demonstration out of weakness. Money is tight, 44,000 Gaza civil servants haven’t been paid for weeks, and the IDF did significant damage to its infrastructure on the West Bank after the kidnapping-murder of the three yeshiva boys. Netanyahu will look indecisive and confused, because he has to deal with an openly hostile U.S. administration on one side and his nationalist camp on the other. Time, though, is on Israel’s side: economically, demographically, strategically. The proportion of Jewish births continues to soar. The fruits of a decade of venture capital investing are ripening into high-valuation companies. And the Arab world is disintegrating all around Israel’s borders.

I have no idea whether the IDF will go into Gaza on the ground, or what they will do if they do so: that’s a tricky cost-benefit calculation, and no-one outside the government has relevant information. But the broader point is that Israel will win a war of attrition. Hamas has shot off hundreds of rockets (including one that landed a few kilometers from me up north in Zichron Yaakov while I had lunch there yesterday) without causing a single injury. Iron Dome has worked brilliantly. Traffic was a bit lighter than normal last night, but there wasn’t a free table at any of the hundred or so cafe terraces on Dizengoff St., Tel Aviv’s main drag.


Unknown to each other, President Barack Obama and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas walk into a bar, and meet, well, at the bar. Obama is there for a secret Marlboro and his favorite martini. Abbas is there to escape Hamas gunmen after his head and maybe order a beer with lemonade. After sitting on adjoining stools and exchanging “high fives” “fist-bumps,” and playing a half-round of scissors-paper-rock, they notice each other’s lapel pins.

Abbas is wearing one of the Palestinian flag. Obama is wearing a “Hope and Change” pin, which he alternates with an alleged American flag pin with diagonal red and white stripes. Or no pin at all.

Abbas cheerfully offers to trade pins with Obama. Obama says that’s a great idea. Abbas fixes the Hope and Change pin to his lapel, and Obama fixes the Palestinian one to his lapel. Then they laugh and exclaim together, “Now we are truly on the same side!”

And together they retort, “Haven’t we always been?” They laugh again in the knowledge that they’re in such perfect sync.

That’s the punch line. Something of a downer, isn’t it? Not funny at all?

Nevertheless, it’s true.

Now, Barack Obama is a jihadist on many fronts: In his domestic policies, and in his foreign policies. For example, he is now proposing that Congress appropriate $3.7 billion in “humanitarian” aid for sub rosa amnesty to thousands of illegal immigrants who have been bussed up to the U.S./Mexican border. About 95% of this aid will not go directly to the illegals, but to federal agencies. The Washington Post’s David Nakamura and Wesley Lowery, in their July 8th article, “White House requests $3.7 billion in emergency funds for border crisis,” noted that this exorbitant amount won’t benefit the illegals, but bureaucracies, foreign and domestic:

Under the White House proposal, most of the emergency funds would be split between the Department of Health and Human Services — which would receive $1.8 billion to provide shelter and care to the immigrants — and the Justice and Homeland Security departments, which would get a combined $1.6 billion to handle enforcement.

The State Department would receive $300 million to help the Central America


A stranger named Dr. Alpert entered my dentist’s waiting room this morning and sat down. The answer to your obvious question of how I knew this stranger’s name is that as soon as she sat down, she pulled out her cell phone and listened to her voice mail messages on speaker. One was from a woman who sounded distraught and wanted Dr. Alpert to call back immediately; two others were less distinct. Dr. Alpert did not return the first call but she did call someone else- perhaps an adult child or a close friend – to chat cozily and loudly about how the play was coming along. As she did, the other woman in the waiting room and I faced each other with increasing discomfort, neither of us brave enough to say what we wanted: Lady, there’s a sign on the wall asking you to please turn off your phone – dammit, just do it!

There was more that I wanted to tell Dr. Alpert – that people who need other people to know they are doctors are revealing their own insecurity, like Dr. Jill Biden who insists that she always be announced in that way. She’s a doctor at an inauguration, at a charitable event or spotted in the audience at a dog show. Curious to know what Dr. Jill got her degree in, I asked google who informed me that Jill Tracy Jacobs has a Ph.D. in the topic of “Student Retention At the Community College.” Next to physical education, that has to be the least impressive topic for such an advanced degree but we’re living in times when a 51% graduation rate from high school is deemed success instead of abject failure.

I wanted Dr. Alpert to know that her loud monologue was not equivalent to a quiet chat between two people; that only one door separated her from the great outdoors on a beautiful day; that her insistence on subjecting everyone (staff included) to her boring ruminations was a form of hostage taking; that instead of sounding cool, she sounded as if she might be talking to herself or her voice mail. I know that Dr. Alpert won’t be dismayed by my using her name since she was the one who broadcast it to begin with.

Dr. Alpert may have some patients or students who are reading this and who will now know that she doesn’t respect confidentiality and actively insists that others listen to her messages containing other people’s names and problems. Dr. Alpert is a caucasian female of indeterminate age and average height; she is moderately overweight with a brownish pony tail and a really arrogant face just begging to be punched. If you know her, please do that for me or at least please forward this.


Ever since President George W. Bush said “Islam is peace” on Sept. 17, 2001, it has been politically shielded from any debate about its effects on its adherents or on the rest of the world. Muslim nations and pressure groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations have used political correctness as a weapon to punish anyone who dared to begin any debate on Islam by calling them “Islamophobes,” an accusation of racism.

That era was ended by the lead editorial in the July 5 edition of The Economist, the prominent liberal British news magazine. Titled “The Tragedy of the Arabs,” the article began by wondering why after the glories of past centuries the Arabs are in a “wretched state,” why the fruits of the Arab Spring “rotted into renewed autocracy and war.”

It concludes that, “Islam, or at least modern reinterpretations of it, is at the core of some of the Arabs’ deep troubles. The faith’s claim, promoted by many of its leading lights, to combine spiritual and earthly authority, with no separation of mosque and state, has stunted development of independent political institutions.” The Economist correctly assesses the problem by finding that economic stagnation is an inevitable product of these problems and that “only the Arabs can reverse their civilizational decline and right now there is little hope of that happening.”

For a respected liberal media outlet to write these things is literally a revolution in media thinking. Gone is the consistent narrative that every cause of terrorism is the fault of the United States. It is now permissible to ask the questions that the politically correct media has refused to ask for almost 13 years.

To begin with, one of the features of Western and Far Eastern religions is that they encourage introspection. Americans take great pride in their habit of challenging established beliefs be they in government, religion or other aspects of society. Islam prohibits introspection largely because the Quran is believed by Muslims to be the actual words of God and not subject to debate.


The nearly four thousand year old association of Jewish life in Gaza is little remembered in today’s world. Of course people know of the biblical story of Samson being blinded by the now extinct Philistines and how he brought down the temple to their gods in Gaza. But very few have any idea of the deep Jewish history in the following millennia.

In the Second millennium BC, Gaza served as an administrative city and residence of the Egyptian governor of Canaan. The bible tells us that the Jewish patriarch, Isaac, dug wells in Gerar, an ancient site between Beer Sheba and Gaza, and in the 13th century BC the Philistines or Caphorites (Cretans) annihilated the Avite inhabitants of Gaza and made the city the largest of their five centers.

After the Israelite Exodus from Egypt and entry into the Promised Land, the tribe of Judah was given Gaza as a possession but did not include it fully in their territory. The bible reports in Joshua 15.47 and Judges 1:18 how the city of Gaza, and those of Ekron, Ashkelon, Ashdod and Gat became a possession of Israel but how some of them were among those places ‘lying in the remaining country,’ i.e., not fully possessed by the Israelites.

Down the centuries, Gaza was captured by Assyrians, Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians and later still by Alexander the Great who incorporated it into his growing empire in the 5th century BC. The strategic territory, lying as it does at the crossroads of two continents, Africa and Asia, has repeatedly fallen since earliest times to invading armies.

In 167 BC, Judah Maccabee led his Jewish fighters to victory over the Syrian-Greek pagan king, Antiochus Epiphanies. Jerusalem was liberated and the defiled Jewish Temple cleansed. The miracle of this event is now celebrated by Jews during the festival of Hanukah. But it was the Hasmonean king, Yochanan, who also liberated Gaza in 145 BC. He was the brother of Judah the Maccabee and it was their other brother, Simon, who sent Jews to repopulate Gaza and its environs.

In the Book of Maccabees: 1:15, it says:

“Not a strange land have we conquered, and not over the possessions of strangers have we ruled, but of the inheritance of our Fathers that was in the hands of the enemy and conquered by them unlawfully. And as for us, when we had the chance, we returned to ourselves the inheritance of our Fathers.”


Why Obama, Kerry, Abbas, Hamas, BDS, and Hezbollah Will All Go Poof!

Bad newspaper headlines aside, it’s been a pretty good century for the Zionists

In 1912, David Ben Gurion moved to Istanbul, capital of the Ottoman Empire, to study law at Istanbul University. The land of Israel had been under Ottoman rule for centuries, and the only way the Jews could grow their villages and towns, family by family, house by house, was to be accepted as loyal Ottoman subjects.

Two years later, when the World War broke out, Ben Gurion recruited 40 fellow Jews into a militia to serve the empire. Given the strategic situation, it was the only intelligent choice: The Ottoman Empire had persisted for centuries as its declining military strength was perfectly offset by increasing diplomatic support—by 1912, it was backed by both the British and the German empires, a double assurance of its long-term survival. That is why Ben Gurion was studying Turkish and the law, confident in the expectation that in 10 or 20 years he would master Ottoman political complexities to attain the rank and seniority of an ethnic leader for the thousands of Jews who were arriving each year.

But Ben Gurion’s strenuous efforts were wasted. Instead of enduring for several more centuries, in a mere six years the Ottoman Empire went poof! Just like that.

Many things changed in the ensuing confusion of World War I and its disordered aftermath—but not the determination of the Jews to return to their ancestral land to grow their villages and towns family by family, house by house. With the Ottoman Empire but a memory, from Sept. 29, 1923 on, it was the British who officially ruled the land.

Have We Gone From a Post-War to a Pre-War World? Walter Russell Mead

On June 28, 1914, a chauffeur panicked after a failed bomb attack on his boss, took a wrong turn and came to a complete stop in front of a café in Sarajevo where Gavrilo Princip was sitting. Princip, discouraged at the apparent failure of the planned murder, seized the unexpected opportunity and fired the shots that began the First World War, a cataclysm which claimed over nine million lives, ended four empires and set in motion events from the Communist Revolution in Russia to the rise of Nazi Germany.

One hundred years later, the world is nervously keeping its eyes peeled for misguided chauffeurs and asking itself whether history could repeat. The great powers are at peace, and trade and cultural ties between nations seem closer than ever before, yet the international scene is in many ways surprisingly brittle. In particular, a rising naval power is challenging an established hegemon, and a “powder keg” region replete with ethnic and religious quarrels looks less stable by the day.

In 1914, Germany was the rising power, the U.K. the weary hegemon and the Balkans was the powder keg. In 2014, China is rising, the United States is staggering under the burden of world leadership and the Middle East is the powder keg.

Only a few years ago, most western observers believed that the age of geopolitical rivalry and great power war was over. Today, with Russian forces in Ukraine, religious wars exploding across the Middle East, and territorial disputes leading to one crisis after another in the East and South China seas, the outlook is darker. Serious people now ask whether we have moved from a post-war into a pre-war world. Could some incident somewhere in the world spark another global war?


Let’s start with the powder keg. The immediate cause of the fighting in World War I was the set of ethnic and religious conflicts in the Balkans. In the second half of the 19th century, economic development and modernization led to heightened competition among the region’s peoples. The drive for self-determination set Croats, Serbs, Magyars, Kosovars, Bosniaks, Macedonians, Bulgarians, Greeks and others at one another’s throats. The death toll mounted and the hatred grew as massacres and ethnic cleansing spread — and the ability of the outside powers to control the region’s dynamics shrank as the imperial powers were themselves undermined by rising social and nationalist tensions.

The Middle East today bears an ominous resemblance to the Balkans of that period. The contemporary Middle East has an unstable blend of ethnicities and religions uneasily coexisting within boundaries arbitrarily marked off by external empires. Ninety-five years after the French and the British first parceled out the lands of the fallen Ottoman caliphate, that arrangement is now coming to an end. Events in Iraq and Syria suggest that the Middle East could be in for carnage and upheaval as great as anything the Balkans saw. The great powers are losing the ability to hold their clients in check; the Middle East today is at least as explosive as the Balkan region was a century ago.