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« May 2006 | Main | July 2006 »

Thursday, June 29 2006

War and Peace

This was the front cover of The Independent. The image for war is associated with the IDF, while their image for peace is associated with... the green flag of Hamas?

Indy_1

Comments to letters@independent.co.uk

 
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Operation Summer Rain continues and pundits debate a Hamas-Fatah unity accord allegedly recognizing Israel. Staff editorials have begun reacting, reflecting the good, the bad and the ugly positions of various newspapers.

The Good: Investors Business Daily calls Operation Summer Rain “a massive exercise in self-preservation and an act of moral clarity.” And the Chicago Tribune questions Hamas’ sincerity towards a two-state solution, wondering if Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh can rein in the gunmen anyway.

The Bad: The Daily Telegraph and Toronto Star bought into the hype of the Palestinian unity deal

The Ugly: Equating Palestinian kidnappings and rocket attacks with Israeli security actions, The Guardian writes:

The brutal truth, though, is that Israel has killed many more Palestinians in its attacks on the Gaza Strip - the distinction between preemption and retaliation now bloodily blurred….

But there can clearly be no negotiations until the guns fall silent and the harsh cycle of attack, retaliation and vengeance is broken.

Post your comments below.

 
Hamas' Two Faces

TwofaceThe Times of London wonders whether or not the confusion over Hamas’ alleged acceptance of Israel’s right to exist represents a real split in the organization, or perhaps something more disingenuous:

The extravagant provocation of seizing Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier, seems to clash with the careful calculation of edging towards a deal with other Palestinian groups, and even a tacit recognition of Israel. It does clash. One good explanation is that the contradiction reflects the power struggle within Hamas.

Another is that even the group’s “moderates” are courting two audiences at once — ordinary Palestinians and potentially sympathetic governments abroad — and the aims pull in different directions.

 
Abductions Update

MoskovichSoldiers found the body of Eliyahu Asheri near Ramallah. He was shot in the head and authorities believe he was killed on Sunday immediately after his abduction. Authorities are also investigating the disappearance of Noah Moskovich (pictured), 62, of Rishon LeZion. YNet News writes:

Moskovich himself, police said, was unhealthy and had suffered a stroke in the past. Police are looking into the possibility that he lost his way.

He usually carries a note bearing his name and address in order to avoid such situations. Worried family members said that "he has never been gone for this long."

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed it captured Moskovich, but has offered no proof as of yet. The army continues searching for Cpl. Gilad Shalit as well. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the captives.

UPDATE: Police search teams discovered the body of Moskovich in a field not far from his house less that twelve hours after the Al-Aqsa announcement, proving the terrorists' claim to be false. There was no evidence of foul play.

 

Wednesday, June 28 2006

Hamas: No Recognition of Israel

The latest HonestReporting communique has just been published: Hamas: No Recognition of Israel.

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BBC Rejects Terror Recommendation

The latest HonestReporting UK communique has just been published: BBC Rejects Terror Recommendation.

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Arab Hackers Strike Israeli Sites

In response to the IDF incursion in the Gaza Strip, a group of Moroccan hackers calling themselves “Team Evil” attacked hundreds of Israeli web sites in recent hours. YNet News reports:

A Ynet investigation revealed that more than 750 Israeli websites, on a number of different domains, were hacked into and damaged in recent days. Prominent among them were the Soldier’s Treasury Bank, Bank Hapoalim (not the main page), Rambam Hospital, the Society for Culture and Housing, BMW Israel, Subaru Israel, Jump Fashion, non-profit organization “Yedid,” Kadima’s youth website, and the Globus Group ticket center. Many of these sites have not yet returned to normal.

Hackers left the message: You’re killing Palestinians, we’re killing servers.

 
Collateral Damage Waiting to Happen

If anything happens to these kids, who do you think will be blamed?

Kids_2

Palestinian militants from the military wing of Hamas set up an explosive device in preparation for a possible Israeli army ground operation in Gaza Strip June 27, 2006. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah (PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES)
 
Consider Us Skeptical

Columnist Simon Tisdall at The Guardian thinks the Kerem Shalom attack was revenge for the Gaza beach tragedy:

In truth, the attack appears to have been belated, wrongheaded retaliation for the killing of nearly two dozen Palestinain civilians, including seven children, by Israel's army in the past four weeks.

But this Ottawa Citizen staff-ed thinks otherwise:

In taking credit for the raid, the military wing justified it as revenge for recent Israeli attacks. Skeptics have noted that it takes time to dig a 640-metre tunnel and plan an attack.

Consider us skeptical.

UPDATE: The Times of London talked to tunnel diggers, reinforcing our skepticism.

 
Too Many Authorities, Too Many Guns

This Jerusalem Post analysis notes the split in Hamas exposed by the kidnapping of Cpl. Gilad Shalit. Hamas gunmen are answering to Khaleed Meshaal and the Syrian-based leadership, and not Prime Minister Ismail Haniyah and the Gaza-based leadership. Are we witnessing, as Mahmoud Abbas might put it, “Three authorities, three laws, and three guns?”

Come to think of it, add two more "authorities" and guns to the mix. WorldNetDaily reports that Syria and Iran are pressuring Meshaal not to release Shalit.

 
Another Kidnapping

AsheriThe Popular Resistance Committee claims it kidnapped Eliyahu Asheri (pictured) of Itamar, who has been missing since Sunday. The 18-year-old was last seen hitchhiking alone.

Although the Palestinians haven’t provided conclusive proof that they are holding Asheri, the Jerusalem Post explains that Israeli authorities are taking the claim seriously because the PRC statement referred to the teen’s middle name, Pinchas, which wasn’t revealed to the public. The PRC threatens to kill Asheri if the IDF doesn’t halt it’s incursion into the Gaza Strip to rescue Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

UPDATE: Haaretz reports that the PRC displayed Asheri's identity card at a Gaza press conference.

 
The Voice In the Wilderness

The BBC’s an unexpected lone voice in the wilderness, confirming what we already knew about the Palestinian prisoners’ plan:

Palestinian minister Abdel Rahman Zeidan told the BBC the Hamas-Fatah document did not in any way recognise the state of Israel.

"There is no agreement between the Palestinians on specifically this phrase. You will not find one word in the document clearly stating the recognition of Israel as a state. Nobody has agreed to this. This was not on the table. This was not in the dialogue," he said.

Someone alert The Guardian. Clearly having trouble with those darn tea leaves, Chris McGreal today filed not one but two reports that Hamas finally recognizes Israel.

 

Tuesday, June 27 2006

Sword Mightier Than the Pen, Part 2

The Globe & Mail describes the reasons and effects of Palestinian media intimidation:

"Media is considered more dangerous than bullets," said Issa Qaraqeh, a legislative council member for Fatah in Bethlehem, who, while condemning attacks, expressed frustration with the media. "In the last few months there are some media voices that have played a negative role in provoking the street, to the point that I can honestly say it has become a part of the battle."…

The attacks have, in some cases, led to a return to self-censorship: using officially approved language, or not reporting on some issues. Mr. al-Arabeed, for instance, says they are now dodging direct reporting on the government, and refer to Hamas-backed militias in Gaza's streets as "unknown" gunmen.

Unfortunately, the Palestinians are finding that the sword is mightier than the pen.

(Hat tip: HonestReporting-Canada)

 
Same Old Arab Canard

Add Emad Hajjaj of Jordan’s Al-Ghad newspaper to the list of cartoonists demonizing Jews:

Hajjaj

 
Dura Debate Dogs French Footage

Enderlin_1The fallout from the Gaza beach tragedy video has spilled over into the French media. France 2 TV reporter Charles Enderlin (pictured), who narrated and stands by his network's controversial footage of Mohammed Dura, continues to be dogged by critics. Augean Stables explains.

 
Look Who's Blogging Too

Is the BBC News' new blog, The Editors, an earnest attempt at transparency, or will it just sanitize issues surrounding the news service?

 

Monday, June 26 2006

Revenge for What?

According to YNet News, the London-based Al-Hayat reports that Jamal Abu Samhadana personally planned the Kerem Shalom attack before he was killed in an Israeli air strike on June 8. As the NY Times points out:

Israeli officials said Sunday that the tunnel, which extended from Gaza at least 600 yards and emerged behind Israeli lines, had taken many weeks, if not months, to dig.

Palestinian assertions that the Kerem Shalom attack avenges Samhadana’s death don’t hold water. And given that the time-consuming task of digging the tunnel was underway well before June 9 Gaza beach tragedy, we also have to wonder about this outrageous headline in The Age of Melbourne:

Palestinians strike back over civil toll
 
Tale of the Tape

FilmThe Palestinian news agency, Ramatan, is considering a lawsuit against the German daily, Suddeutsche Zeitung, which questioned the veracity of video footage taken after the Gaza beach tragedy. Haaretz writes:

Mohammed Salman, Abu Arabid's boss, is considering a suit against the German paper.

"If a foreign photographer had taken the pictures, no one would have had doubts. Because we are Palestinian journalists they immediately claimed we staged it," Salman said, adding, "How can one stage such horror?"

We’re not aware of any response from Suddeutsche Zeitung. Salman may have a point; but after Palestinians cried wolf with tapes of Mohammed Dura (filmed by Talal Abu Rahma, a Palestinian stringer working for France 2 TV), it’s perfectly reasonable to question the credibility of other footage as well. After all, the Palestinians are be entitled to question Israeli footage too.

 
What Would We Do Without Alan Johnston, Part 2

BBC correspondent Alan Johnston continues to be a master of understatement:

The BBC's Alan Johnston in Gaza says the assault on the border post marks a very serious escalation particularly because it involved Hamas.
 

Sunday, June 25 2006

Israeli Soldier Kidnapped

Shalit_1Israeli media reports that an IDF soldier was kidnapped by Palestinians in this morning’s attack on an army outpost near Kerem Shalom. Developing….

UPDATE: Haaretz reports that the captive soldier has been identified as Cpl. Gilad Shalit (pictured), age 19, from Mitzpeh Hila in the Galilee.

 
Sword Mightier Than the Pen

MightyIs pen really mightier than the sword? Not in the Gaza Strip. While Hamas and Fatah vie for control of the Palestinian media, the Jerusalem Post reports in-depth how demoralized journalists are either diluting coverage or laying down their pens.

 
The Governors Respond

Bbc_7The BBC Board of Governors formally responded to the independent commission that investigated the Beeb’s Mideast coverage, announcing a plan of action which balks at using the word "terror:"

We do not, however, think that the search for consistency can be achieved through the panel’s own definition of ‘terrorism.’ The panel suggests that the term should be used “in respect of relevant events since it is the most accurate expression for actions which involve violence against randomly selected civilians with the intention of causing terror for ideological, including political or religious objectives, whether perpetrated by state or non-state agencies.”

As some commentators have pointed out, such a definition would, for example, exclude attacks on soldiers. It would in our view, introduce the very value judgments the guidance to the Editorial Guidelines is asking us to avoid….

In the absence of an agreed definition, we think that our present formulation is preferable in the interests of a consistent approach which we will make renewed efforts to uphold….

The rest of the plan of action includes--among other things--a new West Bank correspondent, a trial web site series to "explore background and context" to the Mideast conflict, as well as more frequent reviews of coverage by editors. The governors are also satisfied with the complaints procedure as is.

So if you're hoping for the BBC to change, don’t hold your breath. See also Melanie Phillips’ take.

 
What Would We Do Without Alan Johnston?

After Palestinians infiltrated Israel and staged a major attack on an IDF outpost near the Gaza border, the BBC’s Alan Johnston made the following observation:

The BBC's Alan Johnston in Gaza says that if Hamas did participate in this attack it represents a serious escalation in its dealings with Israel.
 

Thursday, June 22 2006

HonestReporting-Canada Launches Blog

BlogBe sure to check out Headlines and Deadlines, the newly launched blog of HonestReporting-Canada. We look forward to watching this blog grow and wish it lots of success.

 
Misreading Tea Leaves

Hamas and Fatah are trying to work out a compromise on the prisoner peace plan. But The Guardian’s Chris McGreal reports that Hamas has already undergone a sea change and agrees to accept Israel:

Hamas has made a major political climbdown by agreeing to sections of a document that recognise Israel's right to exist and a negotiated two-state solution, according to Palestinian leaders.

Exciting? Hardly. McGreal only quotes Yasser Abed Rabbo of the PLO and Fatah MP Abdullah Abdullah. If McGreal wants to read tea leaves, at least read the right ones and wait for someone from Hamas to comment.

 
Confronting Terror and Ethics

Idf_1The NY Times gave op-ed space to Haim Watzman, a former Israeli soldier who describes the ethical and moral issues the IDF is forced to confront when fighting an enemy that doesn’t have the same considerations for human life.

 
Backyard Terrorists

This Jerusalem Post report explains how Qassam crews deliberately endanger Palestinian civilians in an effort to avoid Israeli air strikes:

Terrorists, Shkedy revealed, have understood that the primary threat against them was from the air and had in recent weeks changed their tactics in the way they launch rocket attacks. He said they fired rockets mostly from within densely populated areas, sometimes inside buildings and backyards.
 
Aftermath of a Media Storm

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Global Jihad's Fertile Recruiting Grounds

The US News & World Report describes how Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon such as Ain al-Hilweh are proving to be fertile recruiting grounds for global jihad:

But the Lebanese Army can't enter the area, where well-armed Palestinian militias of mainstream Fatah, rival Hamas, and several Islamist groups rule the streets and frequently clash in gunfights. And the Army has had to concede an adjacent neighborhood to armed groups of radical Islamists considered aligned with al Qaeda: Jund al-Sham (Army of Greater Syria), a mostly Lebanese group originated by veterans of the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, and Asbat al-Ansar (League of Partisans), which is mostly Palestinian.

In any Palestinian camp or neighborhood, the walls are adorned with posters depicting "martyrs" of the fight against Israel. But in Asbat's neighborhood, the Iraq battlefield is evident: The main road has been renamed "Martyrs of Fallujah," and the signs glorify men killed fighting alongside Zarqawi or in suicide attacks against U.S. troops or Iraqi Shiite Muslims.

One Lebanese member of Jund al-Sham says that these groups are aligned with al Qaeda in the sense that they share a worldview of Salafism, or return to the most basic principles of Islam, and the need for jihad to free Muslim lands from infidel occupiers.

Isn’t Ain al-Hilweh administered by the UNRWA?

 

Wednesday, June 21 2006

Are Pro-Israel Blogs Effective?

OnlinepollAussie Dave of IsraellyCool is polling readers about the effectiveness of pro-Israel blogs. Do they really make a difference, or are they “preaching to the choir?” Click here to respond to his survey, and post your comments on Backspin too.

 
Sderot Summer: No Kids

Reporter Ian MacKinnon of the Times of London writes that there will be virtually no children in the town over the summer:

The town’s schools have closed two weeks early amid fears that another would be hit by the makeshift rockets, after a dramatic upsurge in attacks over the past 11 days.

The latest barrage has proved too much for the town, where one in three children already suffers from post- traumatic stress disorder.

Families are snapping up offers from Israeli corporations, towns and kibbutzim all over the country to take in the town’s children for camps and activities, giving them a break from the Qassams.

 

Tuesday, June 20 2006

‘Splaining Away Sderot Suffering

Independent_2While Qassam rockets rain on Sderot, The Independent’s Donald MacIntryre explains away the city’s suffering:

The most recent barrage was a Hamas-led response to the explosion which killed seven members of the same Palestinian family on a Gaza beach 10 days ago and for which a military investigation concluded Israel was not responsible….

A total of five residents have been killed by Qassams in the last five years. While the toll is dwarfed by the far greater loss of Palestinian civilian life in Gaza, residents said nerves were at breaking point.

 
'The Thing to Do'

The Globe and Mail reports that contrary to human rights organizations' claims, Palestinian kids look forward to life in Israeli prison and actively try to get arrested. Mohammad Kharaz, a 17-year-old from now in the Ofer prison told reporter Mark MacKinnon:

"Getting arrested was like a fashion trend. It was the thing to do."

Teen prisoners there describe days of table tennis, digital TV, and quiet study time too. So much for stolen youth.

 
Garlasco, Annan Concede to IDF Inquiry

HrwHuman Rights Watch and Mark Galasco came away from a meeting with IDF officials conceding that Israeli artillery could not be responsible for the Gaza beach tragedy. The Jerusalem Post writes:

On Monday, Maj.-Gen. Meir Klifi - head of the IDF inquiry commission that cleared the IDF of responsibility for the blast - met with Marc Garlasco, a military expert from the HRW who had last week claimed that the blast was caused by an IDF artillery shell. Following the three-hour meeting, described by both sides as cordial and pleasant, Garlasco praised the IDF's professional investigation into the blast, which he said was most likely caused by unexploded Israeli ordnance left laying on the beach, a possibility also raised by Klifi and his team….

Garlasco told Klifi during the meeting that he was impressed with the IDF's system of checks and balances concerning its artillery fire in the Gaza Strip and unlike Hamas which specifically targeted civilians in its rocket attacks, the Israelis, he said, invested a great amount of resources and efforts not to harm innocent civilians.

And according to YNet News, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan retracted previous comments, saying he was duped by press coverage:

Following a meeting Thursday with Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Gillerman, he told reporters that he had responded to "media speculations."

We hope the media outlets that quoted Garlasco's initial charges will give equal prominence to these developments.

 

Monday, June 19 2006

German Media: Gaza Footage Faked, Part 2

ZioNation translated a German media report accusing the Palestinians of staging a Pallywood production on the Gaza beach. Thorsten Schmitz’s report in the original German is online at Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

 
What's Wrong With Moral Equivalence?

Siegman_1In the LA Times, Henry Siegman (pictured) claims there’s a moral equivalence between Palestinian terror and IDF security operations:

The vast disproportion between Palestinian civilian casualties from Israeli "mistakes" and Israeli casualties from Palestinian terrorist assaults also brings into question the distinction between the two. It suggests that the killing of Palestinian civilians is, at the very least, more a matter of Israeli indifference than a mistake. Not a single Israeli has been killed by a Kassam rocket since Israel's disengagement from Gaza last year, although during this period Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israeli artillery and airstrikes virtually on a daily basis. (According to B'Tselem, the Israeli human rights group, Israeli forces have killed about 3,400 Palestinians since the intifada started, and Palestinians have killed about 1,000 Israelis).

More important, judgments about the morality of Israeli military strikes that kill innocents cannot be made without reference to the political context within which the violence occurs. Even when Israeli attacks are carried out with care to avoid harm to civilians, "collateral damage," in which innocent Palestinians are killed or maimed, only can be justified if Israel also is engaged in a serious and realistic attempt to reach a negotiated solution.

The fact that no Israelis have died as a result of Qassam rocket attacks doesn’t diminish the effort made by rocket crews to kill Israelis indiscriminately. Gunmen and rocket squads endanger the civilians they hide behind. And Siegman’s “context” doesn’t hold water. The current Hamas-led PA refuses to recognize Israel, renounce violence, or accept existing agreements.

Speaking of context, here’s a little context on Siegman.

 

Sunday, June 18 2006

All the World's a Stage

Dahlah

JENIN, -: A Palestinian woman looks at a militant from the Islamic Jihad as he holds his weapon after an Israeli military incursion in the northern West Bank city of Jenin 01 June 2006. Two soldiers were injured in Jenin, one lightly and the other lightly to moderately, from an explosive charge that was detonated against an IDF jeep according to Israeli radio reports. SAIF DAHLAH/AFP/Getty Images

After explaining why he believes the gunman was hamming it up for the camera, Zoran Bozicevic, a National Post associate photo editor with combat photography experience discusses an eye-opening problem for photo editors and readers:

With the rise of digital photography, barriers to entry fell in the profession: Anyone could call himself a photojournalist, pick up a camera, and e-mail photos to editors around the world. The cost-cutting media increasingly relies on these cheap, sometimes unscrupulous, local stringers. In some cases, they flout professional objectivity, and take sides in the conflict they cover. In other cases, they stage pictures to keep employers happy. Or worse, they manipulate digital pictures after the fact, turning a photo into a work of fiction.

(Hat tip: HonestReporting-Canada)

 
German Media: Gaza Footage Faked

GhaliaA German daily suggests that the Gaza beach tragedy was staged by the Palestinians. YNet News reports:

German daily Sued Deutsche, said pictures taken by Zakaria Abu Irbad, 36, a cameramen with the Palestinian independent news agency Ramattan, contradict Palestinian claims that an IDF shell killed the Ghalia family and point to the possibility that the event was staged to hold Israel responsible....

The newspaper said Irbad evaded most of the questions addressed to him.

See here for more details on the questions raised by Sued Deutsche. For more background on Pallywood, see Second Draft.

 
Off the Deep End

PilgerThe New Statesman gave John Pilger (pictured) some 40 column inches to go off the deep end in a rambling commentary about Israel, the Gaza beach tragedy, and more.

 
Still Blaming Israel

The British media isn’t letting go of the Gaza beach tragedy. The Times of London, The Independent and The Guardian still question the veracity of the IDF -- something they never do with Palestinian claims. See Haaretz for the IDF’s response to the British weekend coverage.

It’s a pity British reporters didn’t show the same zeal for exposing the truth of Mohmmed Dura or Jenin (see 1, 2, 3). For the latter, several British news services shared a Dishonest Reporting Award.

 
The Big If

Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer argues that whether or not Israel fired an errant shell is irrelevant:

Okay. Let's concede for the sake of argument that the question of whether it was an errant Israeli shell remains unresolved. But the obvious question not being asked is this: Who is to blame if Palestinians are setting up rocket launchers to attack Israel -- and placing them 400 yards from a beach crowded with Palestinian families on the Muslim Sabbath?

Answer: This is another example of the Palestinians' classic and cowardly human-shield tactic -- attacking innocent Israeli civilians while hiding behind innocent Palestinian civilians. For Palestinian terrorists -- and the Palestinian governments (both Fatah and Hamas) that allow them to operate unmolested -- it's a win-win: If their rockets aimed into Israeli towns kill innocent Jews, no one abroad notices and it's another success in the terrorist war against Israel. And if Israel's preventive and deterrent attacks on those rocket bases inadvertently kill Palestinian civilians, the iconic "Israeli massacre" picture makes the front page of the New York Times, and the Palestinians win the propaganda war.

 

Friday, June 16 2006

HR Editor on Israeli TV

SimonploskerHonest Reporting Senior Editor Simon Plosker (pictured) was interviewed on IBA televison. He discussed the media coverage and fallout of the Gaza beach tragedy. Click here to see the interview. Our thanks to the staff of HonestReporting-Canada for helping get the video online.

 
Setting the Record Straight

NewsdayWe tip our hat to readers for taking action and responding to media reports mishandling the Gaza beach tragedy. One notable correction was brought to our attention by a reader whose correspondence with Newsday helped bring about the following correction in a staff editorial:

Breaking its year-long truce with Israel, Hamas has countered a misdirected Israeli artillery shell, which killed a family at the beach in Gaza over the weekend, with intense rocket attacks into Israel [CORRECTION: In a Tuesday editorial, we mentioned a "misdirected Israeli artillery shell" that killed a family in Gaza over the weekend. In fact, the origin of the shell is in dispute. PG. A44 NS 6/15/06]. This new round of violence comes just as Abbas has scheduled an unprecedented referendum…

We commend Newsday editors for setting the record straight, and we encourage readers to continue their follow up and to keep us posted on correspondence with news services.

 

Thursday, June 15 2006

"Unbiased" Advice

The latest HR communique has just been published: "Unbiased" Advice.

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Dissident Waqf Official: Jewish Temples Stood Here

Templemount_1WorldNetDaily interviewed an official from the Muslim Waqf who endangers his life by merely admitting that Jewish temples stood on the Temple Mount:

The former leader, who is well known to Al Aqsa scholars and Waqf officials, spoke on condition his name be withheld, claiming an on-the-record interview would endanger his life.

While the Islamic leader's statements may seem elementary to many in the West, especially in light of overwhelming archaeological evidence documenting the history of the Jewish temples and description of services there in the Torah, his words break with mainstream thinking in much of the Muslim world, which believes the Jewish temples never existed.

The Waqf oversees Islamic holy sites. For background info about the Waqf’s involvement in Palestinian efforts to control the Temple Mount, see here.

 
Clear As Mud

Abbas_4Aaron David Miller got op-ed space in the LA Times questioning Mahmoud Abbas’ support for the prisoners’ peace initiative:

The problem, however, is that the prisoners' document that Abbas sees as the vehicle of his deliverance will only muddy the clarity of his own stand against terrorism and for negotiations — the very positions that make him credible with Israel and the U.S….

Indeed, it reopens vital questions about Israel's right to exist and about Palestinian endorsement of terrorism and violence that should have been laid to rest by now. Abbas risks locking himself into positions that raise serious doubts about his own moderate intentions and could formally link him to prospective partners and committees (the document calls for the creation of a committee to direct resistance in the occupied territories) that will undermine his own approach toward negotiations.

 
Guesswork in Gaza

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O'Loughlin's O'mission

Ed O’Loughlin of the Sydney Morning Herald suggests that Israel’s inquiry into the Gaza beach tragedy was sloppy:

The defence forces have not visited the scene or interviewed Palestinian survivors or witnesses. Their version of events appears to be based on analysis of aerial photographs and television footage taken following the explosion. These, they say, show a different pattern of crater to that produced by 155-millimetre artillery shells.

O’Loughlin doesn’t say that Israeli officials wanted to visit ground zero, but the Palestinians refused to cooperate, and even cleared away the site.

 

Wednesday, June 14 2006

The Buzz on Buzzwords

Elder of Ziyon lists a few buzzwords we won't see the Western news coverage of the Palestinian in-fighting:

* Cycle of violence

* Extrajudicial killings

* State-sponsored terror

* Martyrs

* War crimes

Post your favorite buzzwords below.

 
New Meaning to Human Shields

CiviliansRather than question the danger created by Palestinian rocket crews moving freely among civilians, Sydney Morning Herald reporter Ed O’Loughlin takes Israel to task:

The air strike signalled Israel would not flinch from targeting rocket squads in densely populated areas despite the outcry over the deaths of seven Palestinians on a Gaza beach on Friday in an apparent Israeli shelling.

Sounds like O'Loughlin implicitly has no problem with Islamic Jihad using women and children as involuntary “human shields."

 


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