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Shot for “Smiling in Public”

January 20, 2009

Hamas is currently conducting arrests, massacres, and brutal tortures of thousands of Palestinian Arabs for “crimes” such as “smiling in public.”

Think anyone will protest against this bloodbath?
I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Arabs can kill millions of Arabs (such as during the Iran-Iraq War of 1982) and few, outside their families, will shed a tear.
The UN will say nothing.
European Governments will ignore the conflict.
Human rights groups will mute their criticisms.
Leftists will turn their attention to other things.

While Iran intends to resupply Hamas with weapons designed to terrorize millions of Israelis in Tel Aviv and throughout Israel — and Hamas renews its dedication to torturing its fellow Arabs and murdering all Israelis (“Do what you like, but manufacturing holy weapons is our goal,” masked spokesman Abu Obaida said at a Gaza press conference on Monday.) — Israel should be proud that its operation, for the first time in years, has managed to force Hamas to surrender and stop rocketing thousands of bombs into Israel. At least for now. Even though Hamas’ leadership in Iran and Syria ordered Hamas “militants” in Gaza to keep fighting, the local terrorists stopped, because they understood that further fighting would lead to further deadly reprisals.

And Hamas has now turned its murderous attention, at least for the moment, away from Israeli civilians and towards Palestinian Arab civilians. Does anyone care?

It appears that almost two-thirds of those killed in the Gaza conflict by Israel were Hamas or other “militants belonging to various armed factions and militias,” (We’ll see if these figures hold up in months ahead.), while virtually all those killed by Hamas are civilians. Meanwhile, we should all mourn the loss of the hundreds of civilians killed by both sides, both those killed by Hamas and those accidentally killed by Israel as it fought its war against Hamas.

Israel is right to investigate its use of white phosporus, which, thus far, has not been proven to have been used inappropriately or contrary to international law. If it happened, I would those that did so should be punished. If it did not happen, I would hope (but definitely not expect) the groups who have falsely accused Israel to apologize.

All should recognize that the key to the survival of Gaza Arab civilians lies in a worldwide determination to make sure that Iran’s rearmament of Hamas fails. Because if Iran/Hamas rockets more and longer-range bombs into Israel (including Tel Aviv), it is Gaza that will suffer again. And if the UN, European Governments, and other severe critics of Israel actually cared about Gaza’s Palestinian Arabs– which they claim to — they would support doing everything possible to stop the Iran/Hamas rearmament.

Meanwhile, more Palestinian Arabs than those killed by Israel are being arrested and tortured right now — eyes popped out of their skulls, shot in the kneecaps and murdered — by Hamas.

Does anyone care? Anyone? C’mon United Nations and Europe. All I hear is birds chirping. Does anyone care about Palestinians being murdered and tortured NOW by Hamas?

I thought not. Just asking.

But I say to these “critics”: remember your cynicism, your lack of protest, your failure to condemn Hamas, and your general apathy about all the Palestinian Arabs being tortured and murdered right NOW. Because I will remember it the next time these “critics” claim they give a damn about the Palestinian People. Or Israel for that matter.

Because if these “critics” cared — and weren’t just interested in blaming Israel — there would be protests and marches and UN condemnations right NOW against Hamas.

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  • Ed from NY January 26, 2009 3:16 pm

    good article mark, i’ve got one too. meanwhile notice how no one who complained about israel gives a sh-t when hamas kills gaza arabs? i guess those arabs are worthless while the arabs killed by israel have sacred blood.

    Peres blasts ‘misrepresentation of facts’ on Gaza op
    Jan. 26, 2009
    Greer Fay Cashman , THE JERUSALEM POST

    Speaking on Monday at the opening session of the 13th plenary of the World Jewish Congress, President Shimon Peres sought to correct what he termed “misunderstandings” and the “misrepresentation of facts” about the disproportionate number of Palestinian casualties in Operation Cast Lead.

    During the period 2000-2009 there had been 5,792 Qassam rockets and 4,411 mortars launched from Gaza against Israel, the overwhelming majority in the last two years.

    “I don’t know of any other country that went through such an experience,” said Peres.

    Citing statistics of Israeli casualties of Palestinian terrorism, Peres said 842 civilians and 325 soldiers had been killed in recent years, making a total of 1,167 fatalities.

    “So where is the disproportion?” he queried, making the point that more than a thousand Israeli lives were lost in attacks from Gaza, in addition to others from attacks in the West Bank.

    Contrary to charges that Israel did not permit the transfer of food and fuel into Gaza, Peres said that 42,327 trucks transporting essential supplies had been allowed into Gaza.

    “The whole story of a siege is totally unfounded. There was never a shortage of fuel. There was never a shortage of food,” he said.

    As for the smuggling of weapons, Peres referenced an example of a stockpile discovered on September 12, 2005, that included 300,000 kg of dynamite, 20,000 weapons that included rockets, rifles, machine guns and pistols, and half a million kilograms of ammunition.

    Although he has “never given up on peace,” Peres sees no alternative to fighting terrorism.

    “When you fight terrorism you can’t have a victory characteristic of conventional war, because there is no uniform, no front, no army. The only way we have to stop terrorism is to hit terrorists hard.”

    While expressing the hope that Hamas had learned its lesson, Peres was well aware that it would take something more than Operation Cast Lead for the lesson to have long lasting effect.

    “Now they want a cease-fire for one-and-a-half years,” he said. “They want our agreement that after one-and-a-half years they can shoot again, and they want the right to bring in arms.”

    Declaring Hamas to be “the greatest Arab problem,” Peres asserted that many Arab people know that their problem is not Israel but Hamas. “The President of Egypt came to the conclusion that Hamas is a danger to Egypt and the Arab world,” he said, charging Hamas with bringing shame to the Arab people and to Islam.

    Peres welcomed the appointment of George Mitchell as the new US Middle East envoy, saying it was timely and that “there is no reason to postpone anything.”

    Quoting media reports that America will put pressure on Israel, Peres was faintly amused. Making peace, fighting terror, having a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel and finding solutions to the economic meltdown are all issues on which Israel and the US are in accord, he said.

    “What pressure can America place on us?” he asked. “Where is the contradiction?”

    Peres remained confident that a peace agreement with the Palestinians was still possible, saying, “The problems are bridgeable.”

    For all that, Peres made it clear that if Hamas resumes its attacks on Israel, there will be a severe, hard-hitting response. While Israel is willing to pay a price for peace, he said, “We are a moral country under attack. We fight to fulfill an historic mission.”

    To a question from a British delegate about Israel’s vilification in Parliament and demands for an international inquiry into Israel’s conduct during Operation Cast Lead, Peres retorted that there was no Geneva convention on terrorism, and asked if there was a Geneva convention that permits the firing of 90 missiles a day without discrimination.

    “Is there a convention that a nation under threat cannot defend itself?” he asked.

    Peres lambasted those who would judge Israel without knowing all the facts, and asked where they were when Israelis were being killed in bus explosions, saying, “Did they ever demonstrate? Did they say a word? Is our blood less meaningful?”

  • Mark January 25, 2009 12:31 pm

    The Gaza Riviera by David Suissa

    Instead of building for the future, the Palestinians chose the option of
    killing and dying for the past.

    In the advertising business, clients pay us to dream. To dream means not to
    be too imbedded with reality, to be unshackled from any inconvenient fact
    that might interfere with the dreaming process, to be, like they say in
    self-help seminars, appropriately unreasonable.

    The price you pay for dreaming is to expose yourself to abuse and ridicule.
    In a tough world, you never want to be accused of being naïve. The
    expression, “Are you dreaming?” didn’t develop by accident.

    What you can gain by dreaming, though, is significant. Dreaming is only
    limited by your imagination, so it can lead you to wild and breakthrough
    ideas. At the very least, it can give you a new way of looking at old

    Why am I telling you all this? Because the other day, as my mind was numb
    from yet another report from the Gaza war zone, I saw something that made me
    go off on a wild dream. It started with the sight of two Israeli soldiers as
    they drove into Gaza in an armored personnel carrier, and as I watched the
    soldiers, I recalled how much Israelis love to go to the beach.

    As if I was hallucinating, I then imagined the same two soldiers in their
    beach clothes, in a convertible roadster, with a surf board sticking out and
    the music blasting, and instead of going to war, they were going to meet
    their buddies for a day of partying on the beach.

    They were going to the jetsetters’ newest fun spot: the Gaza Riviera.

    By now, my mind was losing control. Images started flooding in. I saw this
    fabulous strip of hotels and casinos right by a sparkling ocean. I imagined
    thousands of proud Palestinians working with smiles on their faces to serve
    the thousands of tourists from around the world who were coming to their
    little strip of ocean paradise.

    Behind this paradise, I saw a bustling economy, where the highest quality
    produce was grown and exported; where entrepreneurs built software
    companies, banks and advertising agencies; where a university attracted
    students from around the world; where local culture and the arts thrived;
    and where you could take the Orient Express train to Beirut, Cairo and, yes,
    even Tel Aviv.

    And then I woke up.

    But as I rubbed my eyes and crashed back to the reality of Grad missiles and
    bombing raids, I realized what the really crazy part of my dream was: It
    could easily have happened. That’s right, the Palestinians could have built
    their own Riviera.

    Think back to that infamous summer of 2005, the year of the Gaza
    disengagement, when Israel finally said: OK, you don’t want us here, we’re
    leaving — take it, it’s all yours. Oh, and we’ll even throw in our
    state-of-the-art farms and greenhouses, in case you want to continue growing
    some of the finest produce in the world.

    Is there any doubt that had the Palestinians chosen the “Riviera” option,
    Israel would have welcomed it? That Israel would have responded to this show
    of good faith and optimism with corresponding gestures of cooperation and
    good will? That there would have been no need for “suffocating closures”?
    That, in fact, Israelis, known for their love of life and travel, would have
    been the first tourists to sample the delightful pleasures of this new Gaza?

    Yet tragically, instead of choosing the Riviera option — the option of
    building for the future – the Palestinians chose the option of killing and
    dying for the past.

    Instead of seizing the moment and showing Israel and the world what they
    could do with the land that they love, they showed the world that they still
    hate the Jews more than they love the land.

    Instead of using the hundreds of millions the world showered on them to
    build housing, infrastructure and industry, they built bomb factories and
    hundreds of tunnels to smuggle rockets they could fire into Israeli towns.

    Instead of making laws that would protect the freedoms and rights of their
    people and encourage investment and innovation, they imposed Sharia laws
    with such punishments as severing hands, crucifixion and hanging.

    Instead of teaching love of life to their children, as Mark Steyn has
    written, they “marinated them in a sick death cult in which martyrdom in the
    course of Jew-killing is the greatest goal to which a citizen can aspire.”

    Finally, instead of using their Jewish neighbors as allies and trading
    partners, they provoked them into a destructive war in the hope that the
    world would renew its hostility for Jews and the Zionist state would be
    further undermined.

    And to an extent, it worked. The world is once again blaming Israel for the
    Palestinians’ suffering and condemning it for the deaths of civilians used
    cowardly as human shields.

    And once again, Israel is losing the war of images.

    But while the images of destruction coming out of Gaza are indeed tragic,
    there is one missing image that also merits our sorrow. This is the image of
    what could have been — what the Palestinians could have done with their
    precious land after Israel left Gaza three and a half years ago.

    This is an image where the hero brands are Hilton and Sheraton, rather than
    Grads and Qassams; where captains of industry overshadow captains of terror
    gangs; where poets outshine bullies and guitars outshine guns; where the
    excitement of building for the future overcomes the aphrodisiac of permanent

    Yes, it’s an image that requires one to dream in wild and unreasonable ways.

    But an hour’s drive up the coast from Gaza, you can see an image that was
    also once nothing but a dream, and that was built without any help from the
    United Nations or the international community.

    It’s an image of a thriving little Riviera called Tel Aviv, and for our
    Palestinian neighbors, it’s a poignant and concrete reminder of what might
    have been.