This video appears to have gone viral.
I’ve known about the group British Muslims for Israel for some time and I link to them on my blog.
Now a spokesman, Hasan Afzal, has been interviewed on Israel’s Channel 10.
What he says is a breath of fresh air.
When the uprising in Egypt began, I wrote on this blog that I wondered where an Egyptian democracy would find its paradigm. I suggested that Israel represented such a paradigm. Of course, it will not happen, nor will it in Tunisia or anywhere else in the Arab world.
Afzal also tells us that Muslims would be better off living in a pluralistic democracy like Israel and his admiration of Israel’s success story is a telling rebuke to the authoritarian Arab regimes who have done little to advance the welfare of their people for the last 60 years.
What is also striking is that this Muslim voice is in contrast to the left-wing and other mouthpieces of Israel-bashing, Hamas-adoring ignoramuses in Britain. I noticed as I was about to write this piece that Melanie Phillips has also written about this brave Muslim and his group. I especially like this telling sentence:
If they go on in this vein, not only will these Muslims show they are very much more enlightened, decent and rational than so many others in the British intelligentsia – they will be doing rather better at hasbara and show rather more courage in openly saying what so desperately needs to be said than the Jewish community itself.
Hasan Afzal and British Muslims for Israel are brave menshen and should be considered Righteous Among the Nations.
Here is the video:
H/T Rivka Lissak
In a previous article I was grievously misleading when I said of the murderer of baby Hadas, one of five family members of the Fogel family slaughtered in Itamar 10 days ago:
You grab the baby Hadas. You don’t know her name. She is just a Jewish baby. Something inhuman. Less than human. Of less worth than a dog or even a rat.
You have her by the head and you draw your knife across her throat and watch the lifeblood spill out on her pillow and bedclothes.
However, CiFWatch reports:
The three-month old baby [Hadas] was underneath the father. The baby was killed with one stab wound to the skull.
I am so sorry to have misled you all. In fact, it was another of the children who had received the wound I had attributed to Hadas:
…found the 11-year-old[Yoav] who had been butchered, his throat was sliced so deep that his head was nearly detached from the body.
How remiss of me to suggest that the murderer could cut the throat of a baby.
Throat-cutting starts at the age of 11 in Judea/Samaria, apparently.
And the indefatigable Adam Levick finally tells us this:
I then asked Sgt. Itelman if he treated any Palestinians shortly after the attack in Itamar, and, if so, whether he had any particular thoughts he wanted to share about the experience.
“The very next day, after the attacks in Itamar, I treated a suspect arrested on suspicion of participating in the planning of the attack in Itamar. When in custody, the suspect had very severe bronchitis attack, which could have killed him, and the only thing I could do is be as detached and professional as possible. I treated him well and he survived.
I’m an IDF professional, and that’s what we’re trained to do.”
So vengeful, these Jews.
The Jerusalem Post reports that Turkey plans to send five ships and a submarine to join a naval operation to enforce an arms embargo off Libya.
You couldn’t make it up, as they say.
This is the same Turkey that condemned Israel for intercepting the so-called ‘humanitarian’ flotilla last year which resulted in the death of 9 IHH Islamist activists.
This UN blockade is OK because NATO is enforcing UN resolution 1973.
Israel’s blockade is deemed illegal by all those for whom it is convenient to believe this fantasy.
Israel has about as much chance of having a UN Resolution in its favour to protect it from murderous rocket fire as Ahmadinejad converting to Judaism
So Libya is to be prevented from receiving arms.
Israel is criticised and demonised for trying to prevent Hamas from receiving arms by, inter alia, stopping ships such as the Mavi Marmara and, more recently, the Victoria.
I now keenly await the IHH and other humanitarian organisations that are so keen on breaking the Gaza blockade to send a flotilla with humanitarian aid to Tripoli and refuse to comply with orders to stop and be searched. And should they attack and attempt to kill the Turkish or other coalition naval personnel who try to board their boats?
Won’t happen will it.
Ooh dear, those terrible genocidal, racist, evil, scheming, Zionist Israelis have been trying to help desperate Haitians who everyone else has forgotten.
Here’s a very heart-warming and moving story about how Israel and its doctors have not abandoned the Haitians and are still there over a year later providing very specialist help.
H/T Elder of Ziyon
The BBC recorded various opinions on whether Gaddafi is a target and whether it would be legal to target him.
Let’s make this clear: ‘Target’ means a cruise missile aimed at his compound with all the collateral damage that may entail.
This is the protracted experts’ opinion. You know, the people we trust to risk British and Libyan lives,
19.00 UK Defence Secretary Liam Fox
Asked by the BBC’s John Pienaar if it was possible to hit Colonel Gaddafi “without unacceptable civilian casualties, would you try to do that?”, Dr Fox said: “Well that would potentially be a possibility”.
22.50 Pentagon spokesman Vice-Admiral William Gortney
“We are not going after Gaddafi. At this particular point I can guarantee he is not on the target list.”
08.18 UK Foreign Secretary William Hague
“I’m not going to get drawn the detail or who might be targeted because I don’t think it’s right. I don’t think in a conflict and the enforcement of a UN resolution to give people all the details of what might or might not be targeted is wise.” Pressed on whether the resolution could be interpreted as allowing Gaddafi to be targeted, he told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme: “All the things that are allowed depends on how people behave.”
11.27 Chief of the Defence General Sir David Richards
Gaddafi is “absolutely not” a target. “It is not something that is allowed under the UN resolution and it is not something that I want to discuss any further.”
12.48 Downing Street sources
Government sources say it is legal under the UN resolution to target Colonel Gaddafi. Sources say under the UN resolution 1973 the Coalition have the power to target Gaddafi if he is a threat to the civilian population of Libya. The source added that Gen Sir David Richards was wrong to say it is not allowed under the UN resolution. However sources declined to say whether this meant Gaddafi was a target.
15.30 Prime Minister David Cameron
“The UN Security Council resolution is very clear about the fact that we are able to take action, including military action, to put in place a no-fly zone that prevents air attacks on Libyan people, and to take all necessary measures to stop the attacks on civilians. We must be clear what our role is, and our role is to enforce that UN Security Council resolution. Many people will ask questions—I am sure, today—about regime change, Gaddafi and the rest of it. I have been clear: I think Libya needs to get rid of Gaddafi. But, in the end, we are responsible for trying to enforce that Security Council resolution; the Libyans must choose their own future.”
“The UN resolution is limited in its scope. It explicitly does not provide legal authority for action to bring about Gaddafi’s removal from power by military means. As I have said, we will help to fulfil the UN Security Council’s resolution. It is for the Libyan people to determine their government and their destiny, but our view is clear: there is no decent future for Libya with Colonel Gaddafi remaining in power.”
17.54 US Defence Secretary Robert Gates
“I think it’s pretty clear to everybody that Libya would be better off without Gaddafi. But that is a matter for the Libyans themselves to decide. And I think, given the opportunity and the absence of repression, they may well do that. But I think it is a mistake for us to set that (targeting Gaddafi) as a goal of our military operation.”
22.40 UK Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt
“Firstly it’s an operational matter what’s targeted, but any operation that takes place will be fully in accordance with the UN resolution – which is to protect civilians or to take action that will establish a no-fly zone. That’s the operational parameters.” Pressed on whether that entitled the UK to target Gaddafi, he said: “I believe that what it entitles the government to do is act in accordance with the resolution and, acting with our partners, is to take the steps that will protect the Libyans or establish a no-fly zone.”
One thing is absolutely clear and it’s this.
When Israel wants to take out terrorists who are dedicated to the destruction of that country and who spend their entire waking lives planning how to kill Jews, the law, the UN and every leader in Europe are completely crystal clear – extra-judicial killings are not allowed.
When an arms dealer in a hotel in Dubai dies mysteriously it’s illegal.
But when the person involved has no direct impact or threat to the countries targeting him, then that might be OK.
Of course, if the UN says it’s legal then nasty people can be taken out. Only Israelis are disallowed from taking out nasty people to protect civilians.
Yesterday on The Big Questions on BBC 1 and this evening on Newsnight on BBC 2, Nicky Campbell and Jeremy Paxman, the two BBC frontmen for these programmes asked more or less the question, and I paraphrase:
‘why are the western nations so keen to protect Libyan citizens from a monster like Gaddafi when they sat on their hands when Israel was bombing Gaza?’
On the Big Questions, Campbell clearly asked it to draw out a distinction without endorsing the moral equivalence, nevertheless, the fact the question was asked at all is significant in that not everyone would see it that way, and would be nodding sagely that Livni was somehow like Gaddafi.
On Newsnight, Paxaman had Bernard-Henri Lévy, a renowned French journalist and philosopher, born in Algeria and a Jew. He had been to Benghazi and as a result had called President Sarkozy to encourage him to endorse and support the no-fly zone and stop a massacre.
In the studio was Abd al-Bari Atwan, a rabidly anti-Zionist Palestinian journalist and editor of Al-Quds Al-Arabi in London who has said “If the Iranian missiles strike Israel, by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight.”
So we know where Atwan is coming from.
However, it was Paxman, who, before asking Atwan for a response, posed the same question Campbell had done, albeit, with more conviction on the moral equivalence front.
Atwan needed no encouragement. He accused the UN and the West of being selective – well I agree as I wrote yesterday. But rather than laying into Bahrain or Yemen, instead, having had the proverbial red-rag waved by Paxman, he had his horns well and truly sharpened and gored Israel.
He compared Israel’s bombing and ‘massacre’ of 1400 Palestinians in Gaza and Israel’s bombing of Lebanon with Gaddafi. Why did the West not intervene then, he asked.
I’ll not go into the charming way Henri-Lévy stepped aside as Atwan’s horns approached his crotch and how he administered the coup-de-grâce with a well-placed rapier thrust.
The important thing is that Israel’s retaliation against two murderous opponents bent on Israel’s destruction are seen as aggression and deliberately targetting civilians.
Instead, the fact that Hizbollah and Hamas had been firing rockets and abducting Israeli soldiers and were being armed by Atwan’s beloved Iran and that both Hamas and Hizbollah were implacably committed to the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews, was turned into an aggression equivalent to a tyrant targetting his own people in an attempt to hold on to power.
Surely the real equivalence here is that the UN should have seen Israel as the force for democracy fighting a maniacal fascist enemy and the UN should have been protecting and should now be protecting Israel from assault by Hamas and Hizbollah.
BBC presenters do not view Israel as a beleaguered democracy fighting for its existence against murderous tyrannical regimes which surround it. Instead it is Israel who is at least worthy to be considered seriously as part of the tyrant versus freedom-fighter paradigm.
It takes the Jewish North African Henri-Lévy to put the case for the defence and support of Muslim Arabs whilst all Atwan can do is attack Israel and say the West should tell the Arabs to defend their own people.
In some part, I agree with Atwan: the Arab League should be sorting this out, not the former colonial nations.
What is the aim of this strategy? To stop innocent civilians being killed?
Does it seem to be working? No. We have reports of dozens being killed in Misrata and Benghazi. Gadaffi’s men, dressed as civilians are indistinguishable from rebels and opponents of the regime.
How long can the No-fly Zone be maintained? Er… not sure.
Why have the usual suspects – the US, Britain and France – led the coalition?
What have the Arab League contributed? Money, support – now, apparently in doubt, – anything else? Er – not much.
So, no ground troops, no regime change, no arming the rebels. How will this work, then?
Why is the UN so exercised about Libya, but never considered intervention in other countries (Sudan, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, China, Russia, Lebanon, Yemen, yada yada…) where a regime was killing its own people? It’ s not as if the rebels were not armed. Shouldn’t the Arab League do something for a change? Ah, I forget, they believe the Sudanese President Omar al Bashir is a paragon of virtue.
Isn’t this confusing? The Arab League and Iran effectively support the rebels. Yet in their own countries they are suppressing them.
Now Amr Moussa, Head of the Arab League and Egyptian presidential hopeful, is concerned that the Coalition is killing civilians by taking out air defences and is going beyond what he thought the League had agreed to when supporting the UN Resolution. How did he think they were going to impose a No-fly Zone? Does he believe that such a policy is going to be victim-free?
Here we are again, engaged in military intervention that has nothing to do with national security and is a kind of moral intervention. Bosnia I can understand getting involved with. But Libya? Is it that the West is feeling just a tad guilty about letting the monster Gadaffi free rein for 40 years whilst he terrorised the West and then, when he convinced them that he was a reformed character, forswearing nuclear weapons and WMD, it was all kissy-kissy and releasing a murderer and, oh, signing oil deals and supplying arms.
Hmm. Seems the West is good at supporting and arming dictators and then trying to get rid of them or prevent them from being monsters.
And now I hear that there is to be a blockade of Libyan ports so that arms cannot get in.
The irony is beautiful.
Here is the West condemning the Israeli blockade of Gazan ports and stopping ships to search for arms and now, what are they doing? They are blockading a Mediterranean port or two themselves for the very same reason.
And when Israel tries to stop the firing of rockets from Gaza by taking out military targets using air power, it is condemned for killing civilians. And what is the Coalition doing?
Maybe President Chavez of Venezuela is sending a humanitarian flotilla to Tripoli as we speak.
The Stop the War Coalition who don’t like non-Muslims killing Muslims have come out against the UN Coalition as they want to avoid civilian bloodshed. So they are quite sanguine about allowing Muslims to kill Muslims; let Gadaffi do his worst, it seems.
Such a terrible moral dilemma for the West and the UN. 40 years of inaction, and when a few thousand Cyrenaicans take up arms and begin a civil war inspired by uprisings in other Arab countries, and then get battered by a professional army and air force, suddenly Gadaffi is evil personified.
What the hell has a civil war in Libya got to do with us? Do we know what the rebels believe in? Are these rebels western-style democrats who have emerged suddenly ex nihilo? Is that why the West sort-of supports them? We want to see democracy in Libya? Now, after 40 years? What’s going on?
Will any new Libyan regime be any better? Will the Tripolitanians forgive the Cyrenaicans and vice-versa? Who will reconcile them?
It’s a mess, and on balance either the Libyans should have been left to sort it out themselves or the Arab League should have armed the rebels. Why do we sell arms and sophisticated weapon systems to the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia so they can have impressive military parades but never actually sort out their own back yard?
And when WILL we see a democratic Arab state?
The West is so pleased about what they see as the Arab yearning for democracy that they haven’t actually realised that so far the number of democracies still equals zero. Unless you count Lebanon where Hizbollah now holds sway and Gaza where Hamas was voted in. Is this what our airmen and airwomen are fighting for?
Are our leaders so naive?
h/t to Elder of Ziyon for this heart-rending and inspirational story of human dignity and love in the face of appalling tragedy.
From A Soldier’s Mother blog:
For now, the Fogel family is sitting Shiva, the hardest, most intense part of the mourning. People come to visit and usually, food is put out somewhere. Some people spend hours sitting and talking – and many try to encourage the family to eat something. You talk of the loved ones, you see pictures. People come and tell you stories you had never heard before about how special they were. Your heart breaks a thousand times, and then a thousand times more.
Quietly, over the last few days, a man has been coming to the house bringing food and stocking the kitchen. His name is Rami Levy and he owns a chain of supermarkets. I’ve heard amazing stories about him in the past but this one beats all I have ever heard.
Every day, Rami Levy comes by the shiva house to the Fogel family and fills the cupboards and refrigerator himself with food for the family and guests. Today, one of the relatives thanked him for this incredible kindness and his response brought me to tears,”You will get used to my face,” he told this family in mourning, “I have committed myself that every week I will deliver food and stock your home until the youngest orphan turns 18 years old.”
The youngest orphan of this tragedy is a young 2 year old boy…
What Rami Levy has done is commit to 16 years of kindness. If this was a week in which the Palestinians should be ashamed, and it was, than this is a week in which we Jews have the right to be so proud.
There was an almighty row with Turkey and the UN and almost universal condemnation because Israel exercised its right to search ships intent on breaking its maritime blockade, redirect them to an Israeli port, inspect them and then ship the aid themsleves.
Nine jihadi ‘activists’ were killed when the Israelis boarded the lead vessel, a Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara. The activists had laid a well organised ambush and were killed when they attacked the Israelis with lethal force.
The accusations were many, but one was that because Israel had intercepted in international waters they were ‘pirates’ and had no legal right to do so. This is just plain false; any country has a right to intercept ships where there is a genuine belief it may be smugglings arms to its enemy or breaking a legally declared blockade.
The legal niceties were of no concern to those who rushed to judge the Israelis who later admitted operational mistakes.
Those who criticised and pilloried Israel already judged that Israel had no rights to intercept the Mavi Marmara – period.
The fact that the Mavi Marmara was ostensibly a lead ship carrying humanitarian aid proved to be convincing evidence that Israel is a rogue state that attacks innocent humanitarians.
I have already dealt with the incident at length last year. However, I’ll repeat one interesting point that went all but unnoticed internationally and it was this: on board were dozens of battery-powered wheelchairs. Innocent enough? But no, Hamas were disappointed that these were the wrong type of wheelchair with the wrong type of battery. Why? Because the right type of battery could be used to lay explosive devices.
The above proved to me that even innocent items of aid can be a cover for nefarious ends.
Today, the IDF intercepted the Victoria, a Liberian-flagged container ship which had set sail from Latakia in Syria, sailed to Turkey and was then bound for Alexandria in Egypt.
Someone, or good intelligence, had tipped off the Israelis and they boarded without incident 200 miles off the coast of Israel, much further from Israeli waters than the Mavi Marmara.
On board they discovered a huge cache of arms from Iran. Who would have guessed, eh?
You can see the photos on Flickr here http://www.flickr.com/photos/idfonline/sets/72157626272235856
The ultimate destination of these arms was Gaza and Hamas.
This is not the first time Israel has intercepted illegal arms destined for a terrorist group.
So I ask you: where is all the outrage this time that Israel has boarded a vessel in International waters? If it was piracy with the Mavi Marmara, then it’s piracy with the Victoria, no?
But here’s the difference: the Mavi Marmara had huge publicity behind it, was bent on directly challenging the Israeli blockade of Gaza, and had people on board intent on confronting and killing Israelis.
The captain of Victoria did not object and stopped to allow inspection. Result: no violence, no inuries, no death and tonnes of illegal arms.
Iran is in clear breach of international law, but no-one will censor her in the UN.
Why is there such silence and indifference to the Israeli boarding? Answer: the culprits were caught in flagrante delicto there were no representatives aboard from numerous anti-Israel or anti-Zionist groups, no cameras, no TV, no opportunity to demonise Israel and no propaganda victory to be won.
A couple of weeks ago Iranian war ships penetrated the Mediterranean for the first time since the Islamic revolution. They passed through the Suez canal and ended up… yes, you guessed it, in Syria.
It does not take much more than simple arithmetic to come to the conclusion that one or both of these ships were bringing the very arms which were aboard the Victoria.
This time, Israeli intelligence was spot on, and maybe they had some help from the Turks, who knows, because the Israeli government were at pains to make it known that Turkey was not involved in any way.
This whole incident exposes why Israel has the right to intercept shipping, as our own Prime Minister prophetically (or was he tipped off) declared last week. Maybe he was aware that it was coming and so prepared the way to be able to say that the UK was, this time, in support of the action in a ‘humanitarian’ free zone.
It also shows very clearly that Israel had the exactly identical right to intercept the Mavi Marmara rather than to trust virulently hostile passengers and jihadis intent on confrontation.
Such is worldwide hypocrisy and cant when it comes to Israel’s right to defend itself.
The story of the murder of five members of the Fogel family in Itamar in Samaria, or, if you insist, the West Bank, should be known to you. If not, then here is a short description of what happened from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
At least one terrorist infiltrated the West Bank settlement of Itamar, southeast of Nablus, late Friday night (11 March) and stabbed to death Udi (36) and Ruth (35) Fogel, and their children Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and 3-month-old Hadas.
The killings occurred shortly after 10 p.m., when one or two attackers jumped the fence that surrounds Itamar and broke into the home of Ruth and Udi Fogel. The attackers went from room to room, first stabbing the parents and their 3-month-old baby girl, Hadas. They proceeded to the next room where they killed the two sleeping boys, Elad, 4, and Yoav, 11.
Two other boys - Ro’ie, 8 and Yishai, 2 - were sleeping in another room and were not attacked.
The family’s oldest child, 12- year-old Tamar, was out of the house at the time and alerted neighbors when no one opened the door for her.
I don’t know what your views on Israeli settlement activity in Judea/Samaria are. If you are an anti-Zionist, that’s fine. If you don’t like Jews, then I think you are a bigot, but never mind. If you don’t agree with Israel’s policies in Judea and Samaria, ok, I’m not a big fan myself.
If you dislike Israel and/or Jews and/or Zionists BUT you want peace and you want two peoples to be able to live together despite your dislike of one of them, then please read what I am about to write.
Just to be sure. I don’t care what your politics are or which side you support or who you hate or dislike but I do want you to think about this incident.
I am especially keen that those of you on what’s known as the ‘hard left’ who are very fond of demonising Israel and Israelis read this.
If you are a supporter of Palestine and somehow think that this family deserved this, then I want you to read what I am about to write.
If you think that these actions are a valid form of ‘resistance’, then read this.
If you love life, Israel, Jews, Zionism, humanity in all its forms and with all its terrible faults and contradictions, then I would guess you are already outraged and don’t need to read this; but please spare me a few more minutes of your time.
Look at the picture of 3-month old Hadas Fogel above. Now imagine that you are about to break into her bedroom and find her in her cot. You have a knife, a very sharp knife, in your hand. You are fired up with hate and anger and, no doubt, jihadi passion. Maybe you have seen friends killed by Israelis. Maybe you have been fed hatred of Jews your entire life. Maybe life is hard for you and your family because of Israeli checkpoints and restrictions. Maybe some Jew has torn out your olive trees.
Maybe you have a 3-month old sister or niece or daughter. You love children and babies. They are the future. They are innocent, are they not?
Nevertheless, you find the sleeping baby (and you have already killed her parents whilst her young brothers wait for your knife in another room). Maybe the the baby has woken with the commotion. Maybe she is crying for her dead mother whom you have just slaughtered in her bed, stabbing her many times.
You grab the baby Hadas. You don’t know her name. She is just a Jewish baby. Something inhuman. Less than human. Of less worth than a dog or even a rat.
You have her by the head and you draw your knife across her throat and watch the lifeblood spill out on her pillow and bedclothes.
You do not feel remorse. You feel jubilation. You have committed an heroic deed. You can’t wait to get back home and show them your bloody clothes and your hands still drenched in Jewish blood. But there are still two young boys to despatch. Did one watch as his brother was stabbed to death awaiting his fate? Or were they still sleeping as your knife did its deadly work?
And what do your friends and your parents and your community think of you? Do they alert the police? Do they scream bloody murder?
No. They rejoice. They could not be happier.
When the news reaches Gaza, Hamas hands out sweets/candies to children of a similar age to those just murdered.
Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas calls Israeli president Netanyahu to express his sorrow at the deed and then continues with his never-ending slanders, blood-libels and dehumanisation of Jews.
No doubt Abbas is happy that Netanyahu has retaliated. Did this retaliation take the form of a massacre of Palestinian innocents? No, it took the form of approving 500 new housing blocks in West Bank ‘settlements’, for which he was condemned by the USA. Another notch is tightened on the rack of Israeli delegitimisation. The assassin has done well.
So, I ask you, you who approve or at least ‘understand’ how such things can happen, or, rather then condemn, reel off a long list of Israeli ‘crimes’ which justify the ‘resistance’, I ask you to explain your moral position. Or maybe you’ve come out with some platitudes about how sorry you are, but…
Yes, it’s that ‘but’ which says it all.
There are no ‘buts’.
Any person who can perform such a depraved act is no person. They are not members of any human race that I can recognise. No-one, however angry, however repressed, however poor and certainly however ‘religious’ can ever, ever, ever justify or minimise or excuse or explain, let alone rejoice, at such an act.
And any people, which wants to take its part in the family of nations, which bases its national aspirations on the demonisation and dehumanisation of another race or nation or group is not, nor deserves the name of, a ‘nation’ or ‘people’.
And before you start to tell me about the atrocities Jews perpetrated against Arabs and the British and bring up Deir Yassin and Gaza and Lebanon and Sabra and Shatila, then read again the sentence above.
All I hear is the deafening silence or mealy-mouthed ‘explanations’ coming from the Arab world and the hard left.
At the Fogel home there is also deafening silence.