Archive for ‘Hamas’

January 18, 2009

Ceasefire in Gaza

Israel runs out of fish in the barrel:

Israel called off its three-week offensive in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, saying Hamas was “badly beaten,” but the Islamist group vowed to fight on in a war that has killed 1,200 Palestinians in the coastal enclave.
Within minutes of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announcing that a unilateral ceasefire would start three hours later at 2 a.m. (0000 GMT) on Sunday, several missiles struck southern Israel.
“Conditions have been created whereby the goals set at the launch of the operation have been more than fully achieved,” Olmert said in a televised address from army headquarters.
He said Hamas’s ability to fire rockets at southern Israeli towns also had been severely limited.

Noah Pollak at Commentary:

Hamas is responding to the announcement with fresh barrages of rocket fire. Israel has recently been under immense international pressure to stop the offensive, including substantial pressure from the U.S. The unilateral nature of the cease-fire should be read in the context of Israel’s (and Egypt’s) desire to avoid direct Israeli negotiations with, and thereby the legitimization of, Hamas. By acting unilaterally, Israel affirms this policy of diplomatic isolation.

The timing of the ceasefire — two days before Obama’s inauguration — tends to confirm my original gut-hunch feeling that the Gaza war was Israel deciding to give Hamas a good ass-whupping before the beginning of a U.S. administration that Israeli leaders view as pro-Palestinian.

Which is not quite the same as “I question the timing,” however. I’m not suggesting anything conspiratorial, just summarizing the most obvious geopolitical considerations involved. And, yes, “ass-whupping” is a phrase you don’t see often enough in discussions of geopolitical strategy.

UPDATE: Ehud Olmert:

“Hamas did not foresee Israel’s determination and its seriousness in bringing about a change of the reality in the region,” he said. “Hamas’s leaders did not believe that Israel would launch an operation of this scope on the eve of the elections. Hamas did not foresee the strength of the military attack, and more than anything else, it did not foresee the results,” he said.

The results? An ass-whupping for Hamas.

UPDATE II: Hugh Hewitt: You know who this ceasefire is good for? Mitt Romney Benjamin Netanhayu.

UPDATE III: Linked at Cold Fury.

Advertisements
January 9, 2009

Pallin’ around with terrorists?

Ruh-roh:

The incoming Obama administration is prepared to abandon George Bush’s ­doctrine of isolating Hamas by establishing a channel to the Islamist organisation, sources close to the transition team say.
The move to open contacts with Hamas, which could be initiated through the US intelligence services, would represent a definitive break with the Bush ­presidency’s ostracising of the group. The state department has designated Hamas a terrorist organisation, and in 2006 ­Congress passed a law banning US financial aid to the group.

To begin with, it appears to me that the editors at the Guardian have pushed their lede beyond anything substantiated by the story below it. They’re hyping it in classic Fleet Street fashion, in other words. Assuming that Obama denies it (and he will), then it would be wrong to excoriate Obama for a fundamentally bogus story by the Guardian. So let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, and don’t indict him for irrresponsible chatter by “sources close to the transition team.”

On the other hand, Allahpundit notes that Obama denounced Hamas in April, but that such a denunciation may have been merely strategic:

[W]ith the election over, Obama no longer needs Hamas as a fig leaf for his policy of dialogue with Iran. , , , The three reasons he gave in April for not chatting with them — terrorism, rejectionism, and dealbreaking — apply equally well to Iran, but meeting with Iran is the cornerstone of the foreign policy Change he promised. How then to prove his Zionist credentials to pro-Israel voters? Simple — draw a meaningless artificial distinction between Iran and Hamas based on the fact that one’s a sovereign state and the other isn’t. He’ll talk to terrorist states threatening Israel with nuclear weapons, but terrorist groups threatening them with Qassam rockets? Why, he’s far too much of a Likudnik for that. Except of course he’s not, which is why that meaningless artificial distinction is now reportedly — and quietly — being discarded.

This attributes to Obama a degree of cynical arrogance that, if true, could prove his undoing. In the famous words of Marty Peretz: “Don’t fuck with the Jews.” Obama was elected with 78% support among Jewish voters, and if they should ever come to believe that they’ve been bamboozled, and Israel betrayed, by Obama, there will be holy unshirted hell to pay.

(Now that I’m thinking about it, shouldn’t Peretz’s DFWTJ principle have an exemption for self-haters like Glenn Greenwald? Is it anti-Semitism to hate a self-hater?)

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers.

UPDATE II: Linked by Walter Alarkon at The Hill. Thanks.

January 6, 2009

Gaza update

Jules Crittenden suspects Glenn Greenwald of self-parody, although Greenwald’s latest is actually one of his more rational exhalations. Perhaps his encounter with Hugh Hewitt steadied him. Or maybe he saw the light via the Sonny Corleone analogy. At any rate, there is no shortage of cruel irony in the latest news:

At least thirty people were reportedly killed and 53 wounded in an explosion in a UN-run school in the town of Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, according to Palestinians. The IDF issued a statement saying the school grounds were used by terrorists to fire mortar shells at the troops.
Troops inside Gaza The infantrymen returned mortar shell fire into the school grounds, the army said. Defense officials told The Associated Press that booby-trapped bombs in the school triggered the secondary explosions which killed scores of Palestinians on the site.

So, the United Nations builds a school in Gaza, which Hamas converts into a mortar base. (Michelle Malkin shows that this has been going on for months, and Ace has related thoughts.) As good an argument for defunding the U.N. as I’ve heard lately (of course, there are no bad arguments for defunding the U.N.). Other recent items:

Muqata has comprehensive coverage.

January 5, 2009

Sonny Corleone in Gaza

From my latest column at Pajamas Media:

By going into Gaza in Sonny Corleone fashion, Israel aims to ensure that the Hamas attacks — as cowardly as Carlo’s battering of Sonny’s sister Connie — are permanently ended.
Of course, Hamas being Hamas, they will never stop trying to kill Jews. Fans of The Godfather will recall that Carlo, being Carlo, chose a coward’s revenge by betraying Sonny to rival mobsters, so that at last Michael Corleone assigned Clemenza to deal decisively with Carlo.
If this analogy can be stretched a bit more, then, where does Glenn Greenwald fit? He’s Connie pleading frantically on behalf of her abusive husband: “It was my fault! … I started a fight with him. … Sonny, please don’t do anything. Please don’t do anything.” This is what the Blame Israel First crowd always says whenever Israel responds to repeated attacks by striking back against the terrorists. Always the demand is that Israel should make concessions, always condemnation is reserved for Israel’s defenders who are, Greenwald assures us, “guilty of insufficiently weighing the deaths of Palestinian innocents.”

Please read the whole thing. Video of the famous encounter between Sonny and Carlo:

January 4, 2009

Greenwald vs. Goldfarb

UPDATED & BUMPED: Ace of Spades weighs in:

The idiot Sullivan even calls Greenwald “fearless” for taking an anti-Israel position which not only won’t lose him any readers, but is common wisdom among the liberal establishment.

Read the whole thing. I borrowed Ace’s shtick today and got an Instalanche with it, so if you don’t read the whole thing, the terrorists win.

UPDATED (AGAIN): Reliapundit delivers a barrage of facts with Black Hawk minigun ferocity.

PREVIOUSLY: Glenn Greenwald today accuses Michael Goldfarb of bloodthirstiness in the death of Nizar Ghayan (or Nizar Rayan, as some have it). Goldfarb’s offending post was not a mindless advocacy of violence, but rather a reflection on the fundamental difficulty of fighting a fanatical enemy:

The fight against Islamic radicals always seems to come around to whether or not they can, in fact, be deterred, because it’s not clear that they are rational, at least not like us. But to wipe out a man’s entire family, it’s hard to imagine that doesn’t give his colleagues at least a moment’s pause. Perhaps it will make the leadership of Hamas rethink the wisdom of sparking an open confrontation with Israel under the current conditions. Or maybe not, and the only way to stop Hamas is to eliminate its capacity for violence entirely. Or Israeli leaders can just try to find a diplomatic solution — as a majority of Democrats apparently favor. It worked so well with the last cease fire.

The notion that the obliteration of Ghayan’s entire family might “give his colleagues at least a moment’s pause” is enough to inspire 1,500 words of Greenwaldian gibberish, including a shot at Glenn Reynolds for displaying a “wretched mindset” by suggesting that the Israelis are “civilized people and not barbarians.” One mercifully brief slice of moonbat pie:

If you see Palestinians as something less than civilized human beings: as “barbarians” — just as if you see Americans as infidels warring with God or Jews as sub-human rats — then it naturally follows that civilian deaths are irrelevant, perhaps even something to cheer. For people who think that way, arguments about “proportionality” won’t even begin to resonate — such concepts can’t even be understood — because the core premise, that excessive civilian deaths are horrible and should be avoided at all costs, isn’t accepted. Why should a superior, civilized, peaceful society allow the welfare of violent, hateful barbarians to interfere with its objectives? How can the deaths or suffering of thousands of barbarians ever be weighed against the death of even a single civilized person?

Wait a minute: Who is ultimately responsible for the plight of Gazans? Has it been non-stop misery since 1967? Or at some point over the past four decades, did the Palestinians in Gaza actually have a better life under Israeli occupation than they have had under Hamas rule?

This war was not caused by any genocidal ambition of the Israelis, but by the genocidal ambition of Hamas. Excuse me for repeating myself:

You cannot negotiate with a shark. To the extent that Hamas represents any coherent political philosophy, that philosophy can be summed up in two words: Kill Jews.

And, to further repeat myself, the Palestinians in Gaza elected Hamas by a landslide majority. The Gazans fully intended that there should be consequences to their election of genocidal terrorist leaders and their only disappointment is that the consequences are not (yet) what they intended, namely the death of every Jew in Israel.

You will perhaps be surprised (or perhaps not) that Greenwald imagines it is supporters of Israel who need a lecture about “excessive tribalistic identification.” Sending suicide bombers to obliterate Shiri Negari and 18 other passengers on bus 32A — that’s not “excessive,” eh?

UPDATE: “Jihad to its maximum degree” — Right. Like they haven’t been trying hard enough to slaughter the infidels. There is kind of a “Black Knight” quality to this.

UPDATE II: Fausta Wertz has a post showing how the genocidal Hamas mentality has spread to the streets of America. “Death To All Juice!”

UPDATE III: At NRO, Gregory McNeal notes that IAF is delivering phone warnings to targets, compared to the 15 seconds of “Code Red” warnings for Israeli civilians targeted by Hamas:

Dan Collins at Protein Wisdom has related thoughts.

UPDATE IV: The Times of London:

Israeli troops fought heavy battles with Hamas fighters in two densely populated Gaza towns today as the Army sought to split the strip into three sections to cut off the Islamist group’s supply lines. . . .
The Israeli strategy of splitting Gaza into north, central and southern sections mirrors a similar tactic employed when settlers used to come under attack in the strip.
It enables the military to stop Gaza City being supplied from the south, stops Hamas movements and gives troops distinct areas to clear.
Israeli troops also took up positions in the old Jewish settlement of Netzarim which controls the main north-south road.

Hmmm. It’s almost as if the Times were suggesting that Israel’s erstwhile policy of territorial settlement was vital to the embattled nation’s self-defense. Nah, couldn’t be . . .

UPDATE V: A pro-Israel rally . . in France? Somewhere, a French intellectual is muttering to himself, “If only we could have kept the Vichy for another few months . . .”

UPDATE VI: MK Ham: “The Guardian is now eulogizing terrorist leaders in official ‘obituaries’ chock-full of euphemisms and moral equivalence. Not news stories, but obituaries.”

January 4, 2009

Israeli air strikes kill cute kittens and Hamas terrorist leaders

But mostly Hamas terrorist leaders:

Senior Hamas terrorist Hussam Hamdan, who was in charge of Grad-type rocket launches into Beersheba and Ofakim, was killed in an IAF strike on Khan Yunis on Sunday afternoon.
Another senior Hamas terrorist, Muhammad Hilo, was also killed in the same airstrike. Hilo was in charge of the Hamas special forces in Khan Yunis.

Via Memeorandum, with a hat-tip to Ace of Spades for the headline style.

UPDATE: From the Israeli military Web site IDF Spokesperson:

  • Between Israel’s evacuation of Gaza and the election of Hamas (Aug. 15, 2005 – Jan. 25, 2006), there was an average of over 15 rocket and mortar attacks a month.
  • Between Hamas’ election and Hamas’ forceful takeover of the Strip (Jan. 25, 2006 – June 14, 2007), there was an average of over 102 attacks per month — an over 650% increase.
  • Between Hamas’ takeover and the start of the Tahadiya (State of Calm), (June 14, 2007 – June 16, 2008), there was an average of over 361 attacks per month — an increase of an additional 350%.
  • On Nov. 4-5, Israel launched Operation “Double Challenge”, targeting a tunnel Hamas was building as part of a plan to kidnap Israeli soldiers.
  • From the end of Operation “Double Challenge” until the end of the Tahadiya, (Nov. 4 – Dec. 19, 2008) a period of only a month and a half, there were 170 mortars, 255 Qassams, and 5 Grads fired upon Israel’s civilian population centers.
  • Since the end of the Tahadiya (Dec. 19, 2008) until the beginning of Operation “Cast Lead,” (Dec. 27, 2008) a period of little more than a week, there were approximately 300 mortars and rockets fired onto Israel.

Which is to say, Hamas deserved an ass-kicking.

UPDATE II: Utterly predictable Hamas response:

Hamas officials called on Palestinians to rise up against Israel with suicide attacks and vowed to make Gaza “a graveyard” for Israeli soldiers.

Right. Holed up in their bunkers, Hamas leaders vow to fight to the last Palestinian civilian.

UPDATE III: Welcome, Instapundit readers. Professor Reynolds gets an additional mention in the related post, Greenwald vs. Goldfarb.

UPDATE IV: Linked by Lawhawk at LGF. Thanks.

UPDATE V: Thanks to commenter Mike for pointing out the secondary explosions caused by cute kittens in Gaza:

UPDATE VI: Yes, DoublePlusUndead, I am a moron. And, in related news, don’t mess with Sonny Corleone’s sister.

UPDATE VII: Linked by the Smallest Minority and MacsMind. Thanks.

UPDATE VIII: Also linked at Pirate’s Cove, A Blog For All and Random Thoughts. Thanks to all.

UPDATE IX: Linked by The Sundries Shack, which reports that sheep are sleeping easier in Gaza tonight.

January 3, 2009

‘Destroy the Hamas terror infrastructure’

Israel launches its ground war in Gaza:

“The objective is to destroy the Hamas terror infrastructure in the area of operations,” said Israel Defense Forces Major Avital Leibovitch, a military spokeswoman, confirming that incursions were under way. “We are going to take some of the launch areas used by Hamas.” . . .
Large numbers of forces are taking part in this stage of the operation including infantry, tanks, engineering forces, artillery and intelligence with the support of the Israel Air Force, Israel navy, the Shin Bet security service and other security agencies. Meanwhile, the cabinet has authorized an emergency call up of tens of thousands of IDF reservists.

Meanwhile (via Ace), in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., hundreds of pro-Hamas protesters show their humanitarian civility:

UPDATE: Little Miss Attila is not amused.

UPDATE II: Meanwhile, via Zombie, a little bit of Gaza comes to San Francisco:

January 2, 2009

‘We will remain on the path of jihad until the end of days’

At the funeral of murderous Hamas leader Nizar Ghayan, the demand for bloodshed is renewed:

The Islamist group vowed that its attacks, which have lasted for years and which finally provoked the massive Israeli campaign, would not stop.
“I call on the resistance to continue pounding Jewish settlements and cities,” said Sheikh Abdelrahman al-Jamal at the funeral of a hardline Hamas political leader killed, together with his four wives and 11 children, in an Israeli air strike on his home.
“We will remain on the path of jihad until the end of days.”

I hate to keep repeating myself:

You cannot negotiate with a shark. To the extent that Hamas represents any coherent political philosophy, that philosophy can be summed up in two words: Kill Jews.

The alternatives facing Israel were not to choose between peace and war, but rather to choose between fighting back or allowing Hamas to kill Israelis with impunity. There is no option of peace so long as Hamas exists. War against Israel is the raison d’etre of Hamas, and if Israel wishes to survive, it must fight Hamas “until the end of days.”

January 2, 2009

Death of a killer

Can any reasonable person mourn the death of a man who sent his own son on a suicide attack?

Earlier Thursday, an Israeli aircraft killed a high-ranking Hamas official in Gaza along with nine women, including at least four wives, and 11 of his children. . . .
The assassination of Nizar Ghayan left dozens of people from neighboring buildings injured and brought up the body count on the Palestinian side to 425 people since the start of the campaign.
The IDF Spokesman said that Ghayan’s house had served as a weapons silo and a war room for Hamas. Under the house, according to the IDF, was a tunnel which was meant to serve as an escape route in case of an Israeli attack. . . .
A lecturer at Gaza’s Islamic University, Ghayan, 49, had mentored suicide bombers and would sometimes go on patrol with Hamas fighters. He was known for his close ties to the group’s military wing and was respected in Gaza for donning combat fatigues and personally participating in clashes against Israeli forces. He sent one of his sons on an October 2001 suicide mission that killed two Israeli settlers in Gaza.
He was also an outspoken advocate of renewing suicide bombings against Israel. Hamas said Israel would pay a “heavy price” for his death. Ghayan was one of the most extreme opponents of Fatah, and supported violence against Fatah’s men during Hamas’ seizure of power. (Emphasis added.)

What a piece of work, eh? This is why Israel can’t negotiate with Hamas:

You cannot negotiate with a shark. To the extent that Hamas represents any coherent political philosophy, that philosophy can be summed up in two words: Kill Jews.

Ghayan was a leader of Hamas specifically because he was such a bloodthirsty Jew-killer. It was his enthusiasm for killing Jews, and nothing else, that made him a Hamas leader. So good-bye and good riddance, Nizar Ghayan, your four wives, and the rest of the Jew-killing Ghayan family. The world is a much better place without you.

December 31, 2008

Israel: It’s not about Obama

The current Israeli air campaign against Hamas positions in Gaza was undertaken without reference to U.S. politics, an Israeli diplomat said yesterday.

“We took this initiative out of our own concerns and the situation we faced and not because of events elsewhere,” Jeremy Issacharoff, Deputy Chief of Mission for the Embassy of Israel, told bloggers in a conference call reported by Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit.

Some pundits have pondered the war in terms of what it means for the incoming Obama administration, but Issacharoff indicated that political changes in the United States will not influence Israeli policy.

Near the end of the conference call, which also included Israeli Gen. Relik Shafir, Hoft asked: “The Bush Administration has been supportive of Israel. Are there any concerns about the support of the incoming Obama Administration?”

Issachar answered by noting Obama’s own words during a visit to Israel, when the Democrat said, “If someone was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that.” Isaachar continued: “We see a large level of understanding with the Obama team. We have to keep a focus. The contacts before the election with the Obama Team were good. We took this initiative out of our own concerns and the situation we faced and not because of events elsewhere.”