The Vogel Incident

On Friday night, March 11, 2011, five members of an Israeli family were murdered in their homes as they slept. The Vogel family had moved to Itamar, a Jewish community on the West Bank, after they had to leave Gaza when Israel returned Gaza to the Palestinians in 2005.

Palestinian terrorists had broken through the fence guarding the sleeping settlement of Itamar and entered the Vogel home through an open window without raising an alarm.

The five members of the Vogel family murdered that night were identified as Udi Vogel, 38, the father; his wife Ruth Vogel, 35, their sons Yoav, 11 and Elad, 3 and their four-month old daughter Hadas.

Volunteers carry a body from the Vogel home in which five people were murdered.

The next day, March 12, 2011, upon hearing the news of the murders, Palestinians in Gaza celebrated the attack which killed the five Israelis by offering sweets.

A Palestinian man offers sweets to a woman in the southern Gaza Strip
 town of Rafah on March 12, 2011 to celebrate an attack which killed five Israelis

The Palestinian Authority has made a concerted effort to build support in the United Nations for a vote this September in the General Assembly to accept it as a member state. In reality, a UN vote can not create a Palestinian State. That can only occur with an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians as to the borders and of their respective duties and responsibilities. Such a vote also totally disregards the fact that there are two Palestinian groups who barely talk to each other: The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and Hamas in Gaza.


Goldstone Admits Goofs On Gaza

[Op-Ed article by David Goldfarb who is spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi.]

On December 27, 2008, after an eight-year-long barrage of 12,000 rockets directed at its towns and cities, Israel launched a military operation against Hamas’ terror infrastructure in Gaza. Operation ‘Cast Lead’ had two objectives: to stop the bombardment of Israeli civilians by destroying Hamas’ mortar and rocket launching apparatus and to reduce the ability of Hamas and other terrorist organisations in Gaza to perpetrate future attacks against the civilian population in Israel.

The fact-finding mission established by the UN Human Rights Council under a flawed and narrow mandate, chaired by Justice Richard Goldstone, submitted a report that has served as the basis for a tirade against Israel. Now, 18 months later, Goldstone has in effect retracted the entire basis of his report (Reconsidering the Goldstone Report on Israel and War Crimes by Richard Goldstone, April 1, Washington Post), thus pulling the rug from under those who exploited it for political and legal ends. Goldstone completely backtracks on the key components of his commission’s findings.

Sderot’s Qassam Museum

First, while reaffirming that Hamas purposefully and indiscriminately aimed its rockets at civilian targets, he clarifies that Israel never acted in such manner. Goldstone also acknowledges that the majority of casualties in Gaza were indeed combatants and not civilians.

He emphasises that since the 2009 war, Israel has engaged in serious investigations of allegations of operational misconduct in Gaza and has implemented numerous policy changes for protecting civilians in urban warfare. At the same time, he stipulates that Hamas has not conducted any investigations whatsoever into the launching of rocket and mortar attacks against Israel. (In fact, he now recognises that asking a terror organisation to investigate itself may have been a mistaken enterprise.)

Goldstone further criticises Hamas, saying that not only have they not investigated their own war crimes, but they continue to commit them till today. Since the report, Hamas has directed hundreds of rockets and mortar rounds at civilian targets in Israel. Goldstone now calls on the UN Human Rights Council to condemn these heinous acts in the strongest terms.

In his admission of self-introspection, Goldstone now criticises the body that mandated his fact-finding Mission in the first place, and says that the UN Human Rights Council’s history of bias against Israel cannot be doubted. This statement comes after years of obsessive and unbalanced condemnation of Israel by a UN body controlled by some of the world’s leading human rights violators such as Libya and Syria.

The Goldstone report not only caused damage to Israel and its reputation but was also a drawback in the struggle of all free societies against terror organisations. Goldstone’s public retraction is perhaps too little too late. Yet, it serves a lesson to those who automatically accuse Israel for all wrongs in the region while conveniently ignoring the reality it is facing.

Israel has made clear its commitment to the two-State solution of Israel living in peace with a Palestinian State. If the international community wishes to advance this settlement, it must strongly denounce all terror attacks and support defensive actions designed to protect civilians.

Among those who insist on seeing Israel as the epitome of all evil, Goldstone will now be transformed from hero to villain. Yet, for those who seek objectivity and justice, the undermining of the report by its very author must cause serious grounds for thought on the rights and wrongs in West Asia.

[Fulano’s comment: The Palestinians could have had peace with Israel anytime in the last 63 years since Israel was founded. They have always decided to make war instead.]


September a Record Month for Missiles from Gaza

September 2010 saw more missile and mortar attacks against Israel by Gaza terrorists than any other month since the period immediately following IDF Operation Cast Lead in early 2009. The motivation for the attacks appears to be Hamas’s intent to disrupt negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The IDF Website reported that a total of 30 missiles and shells were fired in September 2010. These included 14 short-range “Kassam” rockets, 15 mortar shells and one Grad medium range missile. This was more than double the 13 launches that were recorded in the preceding month of August.

To date, there have been 163 launches of projectiles against Israel in 2010. Of these, 106 were Kassams, 50 mortar shells and seven were Grads. All in all, terrorists have fired 11,293 rockets at Israel in almost nine years.

By the way….

Have you ever wondered how come a country like Mexico, which is surrounded by peaceful countries on all sides, is literally drowning in the blood of its own people while another country, like Israel, which is surrounded by maniacs that want to annihilate it, is a very safe country?

The murder rate in Israel is a little over 2 per 100,000 population. That is less than half of the murder rate in the US, while the murder rate in Mexico is over 30 per 100,000. Here is one reason:

Off duty Israeli soldiers grab some food.

In Israel all the good people have weapons and know how to use them.


Kosher Illicit Sex For The Sake of National Security

An Israeli rabbi has given his blessing to female agents of Israel’s foreign secret service, Mossad, who may be required to have sex with the enemy in so-called “honey-pot” missions against terrorists.

Rabbi Ari Shvat’s ruling appeared in a study, “Illicit sex for the sake of national security,” published by the Tzomet Institute, which studies the interface between religion and modernity.

In fact, honey-pot missions are rooted in Biblical lore. Queen Esther, who was Jewish, slept with the Persian king Xerxes around 500 BC to save her people, Schvat noted. Yael, wife of Hever, slept with the enemy chief of staff Sisra to tire him and cut off his head, according to tradition.

Link to the news article.


Kosher Illicit Sex For The Sake of National Security

An Israeli rabbi has given his blessing to female agents of Israel’s foreign secret service, Mossad, who may be required to have sex with the enemy in so-called “honey-pot” missions against terrorists.

Rabbi Ari Shvat’s ruling appeared in a study, “Illicit sex for the sake of national security,” published by the Tzomet Institute, which studies the interface between religion and modernity.

In fact, honey-pot missions are rooted in Biblical lore. Queen Esther, who was Jewish, slept with the Persian king Xerxes around 500 BC to save her people, Schvat noted. Yael, wife of Hever, slept with the enemy chief of staff Sisra to tire him and cut off his head, according to tradition.

Link to the news article.


Hamas Claims Responsibility for Attack That Killed 4 Jews

The Hamas armed wing claimed responsibility for the killing of four Jewish settlers near Hebron on Tuesday on the eve of a new round of U.S.-backed peace talks. Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets of the West Bank and Gaza to celebrate the attack, ululating and passing out candy.

In Israel, thousands of Israeli settlers attended the funeral of Yitzhak and Tali Ames, Kochava Even Haim and Avishai Schindler.

Palestinians in the West Bank celebrate the ambush murder of four Jews

No representatives of the “religion of peace”, has stepped forward to condemn the attack. Hamas spokesmen in Gaza praised the killings. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayad said the incident contradicts “Palestinian national interests,” but didn’t even make a half-hearted attempt to condemn it.


Sderot’s Qassam Museum

There is a museum in Sderot, Israel. It only displays one type of object: the Qassam rockets that Palestinians have fired into Israel. There are thousands of them.

Some of the thousands of Qassam rockets fired into Israel by the Palestinians

The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, was a milestone in the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict, one of the major continuing issues within the wider Arab-Israeli conflict. It was the first direct, face-to-face agreement between the government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. It was intended to be the sole framework for future negotiations and relations between the Israeli government and Palestinians, within which all outstanding “final status issues” between the two sides would be addressed and resolved.

Negotiations concerning the Oslo Accords were conducted secretly in Oslo, Norway, and completed on August 20, 1993. The Accords were subsequently officially signed at a public ceremony in Washington, DC on September 13, 1993, in the presence of PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and US President Bill Clinton.

There were two key elements that are fundamental to the Accords and without which there is no basis for any negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Along with the principles, the Israeli’s and the PLO signed Letters of Mutual Recognition – the Israeli government recognized the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, while the PLO recognized the right of the state of Israel to exist and renounced terrorism as well as other violence, and its desire for the destruction of the Israeli state.

On August 23, 2005, four West Bank Israeli settlements were evacuated and left to the Palestinians. On September 12, 2005, Israel entirely withdrew all civilians and military from Gaza. In June 2006 Hamas, won a majority of seats in Palestinian parliamentary elections, defeating its rival Fatah party. Since June, 2007 Hamas has governed Gaza, and is directly responsible for firing all those Qassam rockets into Israel. The Charter of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which was adopted in 1964, specifically states that Israel has no right to exist and calls for armed conflict to remove any trace of Israel. Hamas’s 1988 charter calls for replacing the State of Israel with a Palestinian Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. Hamas does not recognize the right of Israel to exist. This is by no means a minority view among Palestinians.

The Palestinians and Israel are starting a new round of peace talks on Wednesday with a White House dinner.  Hamas was not invited. Hamas was not invited because the Oslo Accords say that the PLO is the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and inviting Hamas would be a violation of those Accords. This is a point you will never see discussed in the press. The Palestinians could have had peace with Israel any time they wanted to in the past 62-years since the founding of Israel. They could have had the 1967 borders they are now clamoring for at any time between 1948 and 1967.

The Palestinians do not want peace, they want it all.


Trimming Trees Is Unislamic

I assume by now most people have heard that a soldier in the Lebanese Army fired an RPG (rocket propelled grenade) at a group of Israeli soldiers who were inside Israeli trimming a tree. One Israeli officer was killed and another is in serious condition. The Israeli’s have released an aerial photo of the location, clearly showing the Israeli’s were on their own territory. As with the US, the border fence does not always hug the precise border, due to terrain considerations.

The border is the blue line, the fence is the white line below the border.

Israel reported that it had coordinated the tree work with UNIFIL, the United Nations peace keepers in the region. Most disturbing is that this was not an incident with Hezbollah, the Iranian proxy army that operates in the area. This was the Lebanese Army. Armies have command structures. Soldiers don’t just fire off RPG’s when they get the urge. Orders had to have come from an officer. It would be hard to explain how the Lebanese could mistake a few guys hacking away at a tree as an invasion force.

The Terrorists Who Could Not Shoot Straight

In a related matter, terrorists in Egypt fired six rockets from the Sinai desert at the Israeli city of Eliat early Monday morning. Eliat sits on the Red Sea. This is an area where Egypt, Israel and Jordan are in close proximity. One rocket landed in the Sinai, another in a field near Eilat and two in the Red Sea. Two more rockets landed in Jordan near the Intercontinental Hotel in Aqaba, killing one person and wounding four others. A Jordanian taxi was destroyed in the blast.


A Fine Way to Show Gratitude

The Shin Bet has arrested a Hamas cell believed to be behind the shooting attack in which Israeli policeman Yehoshua Sofer was killed in June. Two other policemen were injured in the attack when terrorists fired at their patrol car driving near the settlement of Beit Hagai, south of Hebron.

One of the cell’s heads said in his interrogation that just two weeks before he embarked on the attack, his six-year-old daughter was hospitalized in Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, where she had a tumor removed from her eye. The operation was funded by an Israeli charitable organization.

Here is the story: The terrorist’s six-year-old daughter required surgery to remove a tumor in her eye. The Israeli’s gave the family permission to come to Jerusalem where she was hospitalized in Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, at the expense of an Israeli non-profit organization.

During his Shin Bet interrogation, the terrorist said he stayed by her bed at the hospital. According to the timeline constructed during the probe, he continued to plan the murder of the policeman, that he later carried out while his daughter was still hospitalized in Jerusalem.


East Jerusalem Arabs Prefer Israel Over The Palestinian Authority

The following is an article by Rhonda Spivak of her recent visit to Jerusalem.

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – Although few would say so publicly, every one of the handful of East Jerusalem Arabs I spoke with in the last two weeks said that he would rather live under Israeli sovereignty than under Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority (PA).

In the Arab market in the Old City of Jerusalem, I met Asem, who sells soccer jerseys and sports wear. In his shop, there is a soccer jersey with the name PALESTINE in big letters on a blue background. Asem tells me there is no national soccer team for PALESTINE, but “but we have the shirt.”

But, although he sells a soccer jersey saying PALESTINE, Asem is in no rush to have East Jerusalem become the capital of a Palestinian state under PA President Abbas. When I ask him if he would prefer to live under Abbas in a state of Palestine, rather than under Israeli sovereignty, he gives me the opposite answer of what I expected.

“No, I would rather live under Israelis than under Abbas. Abbas is a thief like Arafat was. But I would rather have Abbas than King Abdullah [of Jordan].”

When I ask him why he prefers to stay under Israeli rule than PA rule, he answers, “At least here I can say what I want. In Syria, if you say what you want, you can go missing forever. In Jordan too. And under Abbas, too. It is chaos there [under PA rule]. Abbas can stay in Ramallah, and stay out of Jerusalem.”

Asem’s Palestinian friend in the shop nodded in agreement. Asem did say that it’s not that he liked Israel per se, but that if given the choice, he prefers it to being ruled by the PA.

He continued, “There are some nice homes in Ramallah. You know who lives in them? Abbas and his people. Not all of the other Palestinians. They are kept poor.”

Akram, a taxi driver living in Wadi Joz in East Jerusalem echoed Asam’s sentiments in wanting to remain under Israeli instead of Palestinian rule.

“Abbas, he should stay in Ramallah and not come to Jerusalem. We don’t need him here. We are different than Palestinians in Ramallah and elsewhere. They [the PA] are all “mamzerim” [bastards] and corrupt. I want to be Israeli. I have my Israeli identity card and I want to get my Bituach Leumi [national insurance benefit]. Who knows what it would be like to live under PA rule? But I don’t want to try it.”

Wadi Joz is a neighborhood where religious Jews have been trying to buy homes.

“There are Arabs who will sell for a lot of money but they do it quietly so no one will know. They make the deal but they make the possession date a long time away,” says Akram, who is pleased to tell me that his brother is entering the Israeli police force. [Fulano’s note: The Palestinians have a death penalty on any Palestinian who sells land to a Jew.]

Moussa, a taxi driver waiting outside the Western wall tells me his name is “Moshey,” which is the Hebrew name for Moussa. [Fulano’s note: Moses in Arabic is “Moussa”. In Hebrew it is “Moshe.”] Moussa is also definitive that he doesn’t want East Jerusalem to be a capital of a Palestinian state under Mahmoud Abbas. “It’s a balagan there in the West Bank [under Abbas] [Fulano’s note: “balagan” is Hebrew for chaos or a mess]. I would keep my Israeli identity card…Baruch Hashem, I should live under the Israelis. .. It wouldn’t be better under Abbas.”

When Moussa says the words “Baruch Hashem”, I can’t quite believe my ears. Did I hear you correctly saying Baruch Hashem, just like religious Jews do? [Fulano’s note: Baruch Hashem is Hebrew for “Thank God”. Literally it means “blessed is His name.”] Moussa smiles. “Yes, I speak like everyone else around here. I guess I picked up the expression.”

Firas, an Arab, who lives in Jerusalem’s Abu Tor neighborhood also says he isn’t in any rush to be under the PA, and is fine with the fact that there are “both Jews and Arabs who live in Abu Tor.”

“Who knows what kind of State there will be under Abbas. All my life I’ve lived under Israeli rule, so I don’t know anything else. But I don’t think my life would be better under the PA,” he says.