2014 vs 7th Century – The Looming Clash of Civilizations

America’s long history of incompetence in Middle Eastern affairs has never been more evident than it is today. John Kerry’s bungled efforts to achieve an historic ‘peace accord’ was doomed from the start, and ended in open warfare between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Like his predecessors, he failed to understand the basic dynamics that have created the volatile and dangerous situation that we now see in the Middle East. Before us is a clash of civilizations unlike any we have ever seen. Continue reading

Actions speak louder than words: Gaza residents trust Israel

It’s worth giving a little thought to the implications of this story from Gaza. Warned by a phone call from Israelis, 35 members of a Gaza extended family quickly left a building — and watched it being bombed. First three small strikes, from drones, and then a devastating hit by a rocket from an Israeli F-16. “It was a pinpoint strike,” the story goes on, echoing Secretary of State John Kerry’s comment in a talk show green room. “No one was killed or injured, and the surrounding buildings were untouched.” The story goes on to recount the woes of the displaced family — a legitimate point, I think. But it fails to explore two important implications. Continue reading

Israel’s Iron Dome Winning the War in Gaza and DC

Iron Dome battery

On its 25th day, Israel’s war with Hamas saw a UN- brokered, 72-hour, humanitarian ceas-fire dissolve in less than 90 minutes after going into effect. It was not the first, and not the last attempt at a negotiated cease fire, but like all the others, Hamas broke it almost before it began.

The silence was broken when an IDF team, approaching the mouth of a Hamas terror tunnel near the Rafah frontier, was ambushed  by a group of Hamas terrorists emerging from the tunnel. Three IDF soldiers were killed in the attack. One of them, Lt. Hadar Goldin, was first thought to have been kidnapped and  was the subject of an intense search, but  on Sunday, August 3, he was declared among the dead. The Hamas suicide bomber killed himself and two other Hamas fighters were killed in the ensuing fire fight. The IDF retaliated with artillery and aerial bombardment on Rafah, and Hamas rockets resumed with a vengeance to rain down on southern Israel. Only Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system kept Israel from having high numbers of civilian casualties from the Hamas rockets. Continue reading

The War of Tunnels: Israeli Intelligence and Technology Misaligned

The ground incursion by the IDF into Gaza that began on July 16th was triggered by the emergence of 13 Hamas commandos from a tunnel underneath the Gaza Israel frontier. They were detected by an armed IAF drone and quickly dispatched by a missile strike scattering both survivors and equipment near the opening of the tunnel.

17 days into the tough slog of the ground phase with 423 IDF soldiers fallen, including two Americans, more than 35 tunnels have been uncovered. A number of these were found to have entrances in homes, schools, apartment buildings and Mosques.  The Givati brigade has been assigned the dangerous tasks of inspecting these tunnels.   After sending in small tactical robots detecting booby traps, the tunnels are destroyed.

However, the obvious question is why was the IDF caught flat-footed by the enormity of the Hamas tunnel network when there were means available to map them?  Despite their being excavated more than 25 meters below the surface, Israel should have been able to anticipate the extent of the tunnel construction. Continue reading

It’s Okay. Don’t Cry for Us Israelis

I’m sitting here in Jerusalem after a week of heartbreak over three murdered teens, followed by  two weeks of sirens, bomb blasts, and finally, the funerals of young IDF soldiers, of whom one-third are students who should be taking their final exams, instead of risking their lives.  I’m  reading on the internet about what a horrible person I am as an Israeli and as a Jew, and what a terrible, immoral country I live in. Continue reading

UN Finds Rockets in Own School, Gives Them Back to Hamas

In case anyone has any doubts about which side of the Israeli-Hamas conflict the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) stands, one only has to look at what happened last week, when they found rockets in a UN school in Gaza. Instead of removing them and removing them from the conflict, they turned them back to Hamas, who will no doubt redeploy them where they will do the most damage. Continue reading

Honoring Israel’s Fallen Soldiers: Operation Protective Edge

RIP

Throughout Israel’s history, IDF soldiers have fallen in defense of their country and families. This reality continues as the IDF operates in Gaza to defend Israel from Hamas rocket fire and the threat of terrorist infiltration by tunnels.

Every soldier lost in the fight for the safety and security of the people of Israel is precious. They will be cherished in memory and in prayer – every name and every face – for their valor and for their sacrifice to protect their homeland and the people of Israel. As is traditional in Israel, no distinction is made between the loss of officers and men. All are precious and all are honored equally. Continue reading

UAE, Israel have secret meeting, UAE ‘offered to fund Israel’s Gaza offensive’

The UAE knew in advance of Israel’s plans for an offensive in Gaza and even offered to fund the operation provided the militant Palestinian outfit Hamas was eliminated in the process, Israel’s Channel 2 claimed in a recent report, according to local Arabic daily Al Sharq. Continue reading

Israel vs. Hamas: A Pivotal Moment for the Middle East

Israel has made it simple and clear: If Hamas puts a stop to the rocket attacks in Israel, Israel will stop its aerial assault on Gaza. But that is not Hamas’ game plan. For several years, when asked about when Hezbollah, with all its rockets and advanced missiles, would strike Israel again, I responded that it would depend on when Iran ordered them to do so.

Now, latest intelligence indicates that Iran has done just that – ordered Hamas to engage Israel in order to divert world attention from their diplomatic slight-of-hand at this week’s nuclear talks with the West in Austria. And they have provided Hamas with the missiles. Continue reading