Beyond the Cusp

May 4, 2017

What a Difference Media Perception Makes

 

We would all agree that dead civilians in a war zone are tragic but inevitable. We would all agree that militaries should take all reasonable efforts to minimize the threat and danger to civilians while continuing to strike military assets. Finally, we would probably agree that militaries should also take precautions in their movements and weapons placements and storage of armaments such that they allow for little or no threat of danger to civilians. But should we use different scales when deciding which military forces are taking appropriate efforts as different societies have different standards and place varying importance on the safekeeping of their civilians and about targeting civilians. That last one is a bit trickier and perplexing, right? Let us make it a little easier. Should Israel be judged more harshly for dead Palestinian Arabs when fighting Hamas attacks in a conflict with Gaza than the United States should be judged for dead Iraqi and Syrian Arabs in their fighting the Islamic State (ISIS)? Reading reports in the mainstream media one would believe that the Israelis intentionally target Arab civilians in Gaza while the United States has avoided civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria attacks. This is possibly because the mainstream media supports targeting Israel and attempting to display the IDF and Israeli efforts as immoral and lacking in any precautions against killing civilians while President Obama ordered strikes in Syria and Iraq had to be above all suspicions, completely moral and resulting in minimal civilian deaths. In a Reuters report“At least 352 civilians have been killed in U.S.-led strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria since the operation began in 2014, the U.S. military said in a statement on Sunday.” That is correct, three-hundred-fifty-two civilians killed in United States led strikes since 2014, which makes for an average of approximately one-hundred per year or approaching ten per month. In another statement released and used by Reuters with photo credited as “AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File” showing residents carry the body of several people killed in airstrikes during fighting between Iraq security forces and Islamic State on the western side of Mosul, Iraq, statement released Sunday, April 30, 2017, the Pentagon said investigations conducted during the month of March reveal that coalition airstrikes killed 45 civilians, mostly in and around the city of Mosul. The Pentagon added that in each incident “all feasible precautions were taken,” but the strikes still resulted in “unintentional” loss of civilian life. There have been no explosions of editorials demanding explanations from the United States military or government demanding they make reparations or prove they had taken sufficient measures to prevent civilian deaths. There have been no calls for the United States to be brought before The Hague to answer charges for War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. How can this be and where are the Human Rights groups with highly inflated or differing numbers or an official United Nations count that also would likely disagree with the official Pentagon numbers claiming multiple numbers were in fact killed. Do not expect there to be any such events being committed against the United States. There also have been no reporters confronting American officers in headquarters or in the field demanding to know why so many Iraqi and Syrian Arabs have died and no Americans have died. Simply, you probably did not even know of these deaths until reading this article. Now comes the time to wonder why.

 

March 24, 2017 file photo, residents carry the body of several people killed in airstrikes during fighting between Iraq security forces and Islamic State on the western side of Mosul, Iraq. In a statement released Sunday, April 30, 2017, the Pentagon said investigations conducted during the month of March reveal that coalition airstrikes killed 45 civilians, mostly in and around the city of Mosul. The Pentagon said in each incident “all feasible precautions were taken,” but the strikes still resulted in “unintentional” loss of civilian life. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

March 24, 2017 file photo, residents carry the body of several people killed
in airstrikes during fighting between Iraq security forces and Islamic State
on the western side of Mosul, Iraq. In a statement released Sunday, April 30, 2017,
the Pentagon said investigations conducted during the month of March reveal
that coalition airstrikes killed 45 civilians, mostly in and around the city of Mosul.
The Pentagon said in each incident “all feasible precautions were taken,”
but the strikes still resulted in “unintentional” loss of civilian life.
(AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

 

Let us return to the seven weeks from July 8, 2014 through August 26, 2014 and the Israel Hamas (Gaza) War. The numbers of civilian casualties released about this conflict varied greatly depending whose numbers you wish to believe. Here are the particulars; the Gaza Health Ministry reported 1,617 Palestinian civilians killed with 10,626 Palestinian militants and civilians wounded; the United Nations Human Rights Council reported 1,462 Palestinian civilians killed; Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported 761 Palestinian civilians with 428 uncategorized males aged 16-50 killed as well as at least 23 Gazans executed by Hamas. The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs also reported that there were 5 Israeli civilians dead (3 killed directly by rocket fire, 2 died of heart attacks after hearing warning sirens), 1 Thai civilian in Israel killed and 87 Israeli civilians wounded. Granted, no matter whose numbers one uses, the number of Israelis affected pales in comparison and this was the number one question the mainstream media asked incessantly for an explanation. This had nothing to do with their lack of knowledge as to the answer, it had everything to do with painting Israel as a monster who worries about their own people but have no regard for the Arabs residing in Gaza. Many reporters acted as if Israel was directly responsible for the protection and care for the people in Gaza as if they were Israeli citizens. Almost none of them displayed any knowledge that starting in August 2005 and completed on September 9, 2005 Israel removed every Israeli, razed everything with the exception of the Greenhouses left for Gazans to use to produce crops and the synagogues as to have bulldozed them would have been a desecration and the IDF removed their last personnel. Those Synagogues were desecrated far worse in the ensuing days by the Arab Palestinians and the greenhouses were stripped bare and used to make weapons and rocket launchers, not grow crops. Hamas took control of Gaza in a coup lasting June 10 through 15 of 2007 and immediately reissued their declaration of intent to destroy Israel and kill every Jew on the Earth. All this history was ignored and the disparity in civilian deaths was the sole news worth reporting. Why was this, one might query.

 

Well, it was all about what one reporter blurted out in her moment of excitement and whose interview has been scrubbed from history, or at least the internet, where she actually asked, “Where are the dead Jews, I mean, why so many dead in Gaza and none in Israel?” Well, why not simply answer that very question. Despite the vast majority of Hamas rocket and artillery strikes targeting civilian structures to include largely schools, kindergartens, pre-schools, day care facilities, and residential neighborhoods, Israel was fortunate to have been protected by the Iron Dome Batteries which are one of the finest anti-rocket and projectile interceptors the world has ever seen. The Iron Dome determines the projected strike point of any rocket, artillery or mortar fired and if it will be close to any civilian or military built up areas it launches its interceptors, which has over ninety-percent efficiency in taking out its target. There was one major failure of the Iron Dome systems where three interceptors were fired at one of the Hamas larger rockets and all missed. This rocket was headed for the center of Tel Aviv and would have been catastrophic. The easy explanation was a huge puff of wind blew it out into the Mediterranean Sea in the last few seconds, or there is the description and entire story as told by the Iron Dome Battery in question of this incident commanding officer as we reported back when this happened in our article ”How to Fight Terrorist Fanatics Unless You’re Israel”. The reason so few Israelis died is because Israel has built shelters everywhere and requires all new residential structures to have a built in shelter in every apartment, home, row house, etc. as part of the building codes and when the sirens sound in any area the Israelis will drop whatever they are doing and head directly to their closest shelter. If an Israeli is out and does not know where the closest shelter is on their own, they are easy to find, just follow everyone else. Hamas, on the other hand, uses their civilians to protect their rockets and the launchers and often will call in women and children and place them on the roof of any building they wish to protect knowing the Israelis will not bomb such a target. Israeli pilots are required to call headquarters and get clearance before dropping ordinance and there are officers using drones to oversee most missions who will check the target before allowing ordinance release.

 

There were other completely ridiculous question asked by reporters during the Gaza War and here are a few samples. “Why does Israel not provide Iron Dome Systems to the Gazans?” and “Why has Israel refused to build bomb shelters in Gaza?” As we mentioned, apparently the reporters were not informed that Gaza, is for all technicalities, an independent country and Israel has surrendered all connections and ties to Gaza. The one Israeli connection with Gaza is the blockade, which is more of an inspection for incoming goods to assure that there are no weapons or military useable goods such as weapons grade steel, explosives or other dual-purpose items that could be used in a military means. Israel permitted tons of cement and rebar into Gaza for the reason of humanitarian aid to permit the rebuilding of the homes damaged in the wars. Well over three-fourths of these goods were utilized to build the Hamas tunnel and bunker system underneath Gaza and tunnels into Israel itself. These bunkers are also used to protect the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist fighters but the Gazan civilians would be shot if they entered these bunkers as Hamas and the other terror groups desire maximum civilian casualties which they utilize in the media to paint Israel as a monster while pretending they are too poor because of the blockade to provide protection. What probably would surprise many to know is that Israel continued the daily transfer of aid into Gaza of food, medical supplies and other non-military aid in the tons of material per day. Below is a video of one such transference and here is an article giving the Israeli side and the proof of Israeli assistance to Gazan civilians including setting up a field hospital to treat injured individuals from Gaza. This was one fact which one would have thought might have attracted at least the slightest of curiosity with Israel sending tractor-trailer trucks by the dozens across into Gaza in the midst of a war and perhaps some wonder at how this could happen and not be shot at by Hamas. Well, here is a surprise, Hamas and Islamic Jihad would on some days target the aid deliveries and once it was of such a severe nature that Israel was forced to skip one day’s shipments, as the risk was too great. Additional aid was sent across the next day to make up for the loss of daily aid. What was truly amazing was the fuel was included in these shipments despite that Hamas could fuel their vehicles, as the fuel was also necessary to produce electricity. Even the electricity aided Hamas and the other terror groups but to deny Gaza electricity would have placed a greater burden on the people. Israel also continued to deliver electricity through the shared electrical grid and provided water, clean water, through the interconnected water system. Everything Israel had been providing to the people of Gaza before the war continued to be delivered as best as possible throughout the war and continued after the war. The reports of Israel starving Gazan or refusing them medical treatment are all propaganda spread by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the anti-Israel mainstream media. They all know that they are repeating or stating lies but as long as there are those who choose to believe anything they are told that Jews are acting with malice and committed to evil deeds, then the terrorists, Arab sources and far too many in the mainstream media will all continue to feed these people grist for the mill.

 

 

People often ask what Israel could do to prevent these misfortunes from befalling the people of Gaza. The unfortunate answer is that Israel is already doing as much as she can to relieve any suffering by the Gazans. One difficulty is that Hamas will regularly refuse to permit Gazans from seeking additional and often-necessary medical treatment in Israel as that can be used to claim that Israel refuses to provide medical aid. The truth is when Hamas and other terror leaders’ families require advanced medical treatment, guess where they are treated? The answer can be found here, here, here, here, here and one possibly repeat here. Israel is not the monster reported all too often in the news. Israel cares deeply about her own people but also is concerned for the well-being of those who are her sworn enemies. This confuses many in the media so they simply paint a picture they can be happy with, not that the truth would accept. The aid sent during the war is likely one of the most positive proofs that Israel is anything but what is too often reported, sometimes in Israeli mainstream news as well. The truth is worth digging for even if one had to suffer through some news slanted in the other direction, sometimes getting a variety of views helps clear the vision. The diametric opposite treatments of Israel compared to the news about the United States and civilian casualties is striking. We do not mean to impugn the United States in any way as they too make the most honest of efforts to avoid civilian casualties.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 9, 2016

Israel, Different Expectations but not Treatment

 

Often in discussions over the different reactions to Israel few and far apart acts of lawlessness against the near constant acts of lawlessness and sheer brutality committed daily by the Arabs comes the accusation that Israel must accept different treatment because of the Chosen People and the claims to our being an ethical people. There are points made in those claims if only they were not used as an accusation, used as a club with which to berate Israel in an effort to force her to surrender to any aggression perpetrated against her without ever reacting or lashing out in an act of violence by one Jew despite the lack of support for such acts which so obviously follow and the fact that such acts are punished, not rewarded as with the Arabs who pay their terrorists in Israeli prisons an exorbitant salary and give large compensation and a stipend salary to those families of fallen terrorists. The Duma arson case was an example in full view of any who bothered to follow the case. Israel requested the Palestinian authority to look into the possibility that it was a feud or other Arab on Arab violence as such was within their autonomous region so they held complete security and civil jurisdiction and even before their response was returned claiming a clean investigation the Shin Bet was investigating the possibility this was as it appeared, an Israel crime. Where some questioned the depths and tactics used by the Shin Bet, they did unravel the case and found at least a pair of the culprits and will continue investigating mostly by monitoring the two suspects and other means to see who, if anybody, else may have had a hand in the perpetration of the heinous crime or the planning or subsequent cover-up trying to hide any knowledge or evidence from the authorities. While there will still be many recriminations against the Shin Bet and their techniques, especially the continuing to hold suspects they had completely cleared of any fore knowledge, subsequent potential cover-up or any accessorial guilt for additional weeks of questionable investigative intolerances. But the depth and severity of the investigation and the wide net thrown over not only the two suspects but every and anybody within their social network and beyond put on display the extents beyond the norm anywhere else including the detention of individuals who at best had even a remote possibility of having knowledge as to who dunnit and the use of bringing in family members of those most closely suspected to both glean any additional clues and to be a form of added pressure on the main suspects in attempts to have them crack. In the end it will be, unfortunately, for the political and other lawmakers and the Attorney General and Courts who approved the extraordinary tactics which bordered on torture to decide if things actually got out of hand and if perhaps they were a little too fervent in their efforts against an entire community for the deeds of two miscreants who will be facing serious time in prison should they be found guilty, the evidence will be presented in court and likely not before except through dribs and drabs leaked to the media even against gag orders being in place.

 

Place the events when an Israeli commits a crime, even a crime of passion where they were responding to overbearing personal turmoil reacting to the constant events of Arab stabbings, assaults, vehicular rammings into crowds, firebombings as well as what has been a daily occurrence for more years than we care to count of large rock and even cement blocks hurled at passing Israeli cars even on the two highways between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, spitting and cursing at Jews in religious garb, assaults on the same, periodic stones and rocks thrown down on Jews praying at the western Wall from above on the Temple Mount, heckling by organized and salaried throngs of women yelling at Jews chasing them on their entire trip to visit the Temple Mount, the recent further change in the status quo adding the latest change of forbidding Jews in particular and often also Christians from praying or even expressing emotion when finally being permitted a few brief moments visiting the Temple Mount before being brusquely hustled to the closest exit terminating what often is a once a year and even once in a lifetime visit to this holiest of sites, and other assaults and indignities which would never even occur in the Western world as such behavior is not a part of daily life because the occurrences are far too prevalent to incarcerate all of the offending miscreants. This is what will become of the daily stabbings as they continue apace since their onset months ago and already they have passed from the news and are being treated by the media as just a common event to be suffered by the Jews for living in Israel and daring to leave their homes. After all, why are we complaining as we should expect such treatment after all we are Jews, what did we expect?

 

Right there is the crux of the problem, we are Jews, what did we expect. Well, we expected the common courtesy expected by any other human being but apparently there are far too many in the world who still believe that Jews are lesser beings deserving of shaming and degradations one would not even commit to a feral dog, but for Jews we must expect such treatments as it has always been and always should continue to be our lot in life and to expect different is all so typical of the Jews demanding better treatment. We are not demanding better treatment as in above others; there we are but demanding equal treatment. The better treatment we might be demanding is better treatment than we currently receive in places beyond Israel throughout the globe where Jews are often made to feel denied acceptance and often intimidations and belittlement at the hands of others often when the Jew is alone and comes upon by a group of his so-called peers. Not having the typical expected appearance that such individuals would believe a Jew would appear, having blond hair in my youth with blue eyes, I was too often discomforted to witness such events which would always spur me to act which for reasons which escape me (though I have been told by friends I have this uncanny ability to scare people) would always bring such actions to an abrupt end, much to my satisfaction. I had at times been accused as being a Jew lover, an accusation I happily and proudly would wear as a sign of enlightened pride. Even when I told people I was Jewish they would not believe me, too bad.

 

That is where the problem continues to exist and the recent actions of the European Union and those governmental agencies and NGOs and companies, unions, organizations, boards, musicians and Stephen Hawkins and he claims to be of higher intellect (though I suspect the falling to the BDS pressure was a decision made by his handlers and he was never informed but that might be granting him more credit than he is due as it could have been his decision) who have caved to pressure or peer demands and joined the BDS movement or refused to visit or perform in Israel should be ashamed of themselves for caving to such bullying unless they secretly or not so secretly do hold Jews in disdain and believe them not to be quite as human as they and the rest of mankind. There is a part of the BDS movement as does all anti-Israel or anti-Zionist and definitely anti-Semitic, which the first two are but variations of the last, want to convince everyone to hate Israel but Heaven forbid ever visit Israel even if it is to witness where their religion also began. Ever stop to think why the BDS movement is so adamant against allowing anyone to even visit Israel? Well, let me clue you in on this, they so not want you to see the truth with your own eyes as doing so will guarantee the average person that the BDS movement is empty of any validity and is simply the product of bile and hatred. Any visit to Israel and inquisitive inspection will give the average person a clue, namely except for those wearing obvious attire which denotes their religion, there is no visible difference in the actions of Jews and Arabs no matter the attire. Further inspection will reveal that even those wearing their religion on their sleeves are treated exactly the same. There is no social divide between the average Jew or Arab in Israeli life, culture, law, treatment or social acceptance and standing. This is the dirty little secret that those who hold a deep and personal hatred of the Jewish State, and all too often of Jews in general, is that the entirety of their movement is about hatred of the Jews and has no bearing or truth behind it beyond their desire to discredit the Jewish State because it is Jewish and they must prevent any visitors as just spending a two week vacation traveling around Israel to Jerusalem, Haifa, Netanya (really nice beaches), Tzfat (very nice artwork as many artists reside here), Tiberius (Roman Ruins and other ancient sites and on the Kinneret, Sea of Galilee), Beer Sheva (dessert area and close proximity to Masada and building from the time of Herod the Great, or as I prefer, Herod the not all that great as he was not that nice to those he was supposed to rule and represent) and if you can take a helicopter ride to see Israel from the air you will realize exactly how small Israel is as the helicopter will be constantly banking and anyplace else you will see people going about their daily lives with much more important things to get done than treat anybody with anything other than general acceptance and humanity.

 

Israeli Defense Forces Seeking Far Horizons Pursuing Lasting Peace Through Eveready Force

Israeli Defense Forces
Seeking Far Horizons
Pursuing Lasting Peace
Through Eveready Force

 

 

So, should Israel accept a double standard? Well, not one any more severe than the one we hold ourselves to and that we do hold ourselves to such high standards, it would be nice for an occasional recognition of the fact. We hold the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) as it holds itself to the highest and most professional of standards. These standards are so high that Chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff General Dempsey stated about their practices in the Gaza War:

 

 

 

 

or an Interview with British officer Colonel Richard Kemp on the Israeli operation in Gaza he stated:

 

 

 
or if you have the time there is the full UN Testimony of Col. Richard Kemp on Gaza Inquiry where he witnessed and stated under considerable pressure to mar the IDF as others had attempted, he told the inquiry:

 

 

 

 

or listen to a European Union Lawmaker and former reporter who stated despite interruption:

 

 

 

 

or lastly Lt. Colonel Geoffrey Corn, former United States Army Law of War Expert and Professor of Law at South Texas College of Law witness testimony before the UN Gaza Inquiry where he stated under oath:

 

 

 

 

All of these experts cannot be simple pawns of the Israeli and part of the mythical Jewish Control the World Conspiracy, can they? Lt. Colonel Geoffrey Corn was witnessing on evidentiary review he carried out into the Gaza War and the criminal charges presumably leveled against the IDF in a trial attempted to be carried out not in a court of law, or even international of United Nations panel for the purpose of holding a public flaying of the only Jewish State by the ‘most ethical dictatorships in the world’ who could be depended on to have made their judgment in the womb but as standing as an impartial judgement of facts over propaganda and was witness before the United Nations on at least two occasions (the other video can be found in our article A Law Whose Time Has Come.

 

The seeming world-wide efforts to witness Israel into a shame both imagined and underserved which many of these so-called ‘witnesses’ of the ‘known facts’ which are ‘obvious and evident’ to even the ‘most discriminating observer’ after ‘considering the mountains of factual evidence and factual’ commentary, and we left commentary outside of quotes as they are real and exactly that, commentaries often from some of the most blatantly biased and coming from the most dependable of witnesses such as Richard Faulk, Saab Erekat (PA Spokesman and official), Khaled Mashal (Hamas spokesman and officer), and even Justice Richard Goldstone who was hand-picked chairman of the U.N. Gaza Inquiry with the usual wink and a nod as his position was known well ahead of his being selected and even with such a bias he eventually relented that his entire efforts and that of his entire inquiry were decided before their first sitting and could have written the report before hearing the initial first witness and saved the world a two or three thousand trees wasted on the daily coverage in European and American leftist newspapers such as the New York Times castigating Israel and IDF as the most evil and vicious collection of rogues and daemon possessed individuals who were capable of such acts which could not be discussed in polite company. The reason they could not be discussed before polite company was that in such a setting the lies would be exposed, but then these were not polite company and lies were the coin of expressions in the Howled (as in feral dogs over a juicy bone) Halls of the United Nations and all the actions one could expect from such depths of human depravity. The one truth is that the IDF and the UN should seldom be used in similar vein despite too often forced into close proximity but fortunately only in news print and editorials. This is as it should be as they are opposite reputations amongst polite company, otherwise known as those who speak to the truth of their witness because their name and honor are too important to them to sell them to the besmirchers of the world.

 

The reality is that Israel and the IDF are held to a different and higher set of expectations compared to their peers and gladly accepts this difference and commit each to achieve and surpass even the most lofty of expectations, even if they are often self-imposed. In the IDF any mere hint of impropriety is thoroughly investigated and it has been known and expected for soldiers in the same unit, platoon, squad or weapons system to report even the slightest crossing of the strict rules of war and deportment expected of every member of the IDF. When such bad apples are discovered they are removed from service and more often than not incarcerated for their ill-conceived efforts. Israelis in general and Jews in particular, especially those amongst what is known as the religious Zionists, are expected to live and act morally and aim for the highest heights of moral rectitude and to admit their shortfalls not for shame but as the first step of improvement as no one amongst us is incapable on self-improvement. The highest of expectations are accepted as a challenge we deserve as we aim to be a moral society to which others can look for inspiration and motivation to act morally as Israel is moral and still manages to function and make contributions to the world in virtually every field. The unethical and unequal judgement is another matter, especially as it is so often wielded as a weapon of mass destruction aimed to destroy Israel just for the sake of destruction of the Jewish State. That is unacceptable as Israel sits in a high enough judgements over their actions and moral rectitude and deploring every shortfall where ever found that such is sufficient and outside judgments which are used to defame and not to seek out truth, that is when the unequal treatment, expectations and misuse of the truth simply for the sake of destruction and spite to the Jew, even if that Jew is a multicultural nation where equal treatment of all citizens is the law and fulfilled in all venues and areas of Israeli life. As for the Arab Palestinians, they are citizens of an autonomous region under self-rule and the lack of elections, the most often leveled accusation is Israel will not allow them to vote, is due to Mahmoud Abbas refusal to risk losing his position of power which also provides him with the ability to order the flow of funds, much to his own family and that of his cohorts in despotism.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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