Bill Clinton slams Hamas for deliberately placing munitions near civilians

Bill Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton.

It’s about time a President said it. Too bad it’s not the one currently occupying the White House.  Via Mike Wereschagin and Salena Zito from the Tribune-Review:

Former President Bill Clinton on Saturday sharply criticized Hamas for deliberately endangering civilians and using international aid to build a network of tunnels into Israel.

Speaking at a memorial service for Tribune-Review owner Richard Mellon Scaife, Clinton lamented the series of foreign policy crises that have cropped up from Eastern Europe to the Middle East in recent weeks.

“How could the people in Gaza, who started rocketing Israel, think that it was OK to use international aid money to dig tunnels to increase their ability to destabilize the region and kill people?” Clinton told about 150 Trib Total Media employees at the memorial service at Scaife’s boyhood home in Ligonier.

Israeli officials list the destruction of the tunnels, which Hamas has used for a series of incursions into Israel, as a chief objective of the 26-day-old war in Gaza.

The Israeli government has come under increasing international pressure, including criticism from the United States, for bombing and shelling that killed more than 1,600 Palestinian civilians, many of them children. About 60 Israeli soldiers and three Israeli civilians have died.

But Clinton blamed the rising civilian death toll on Hamas as well, saying they deliberately placed munitions where civilians seek shelter, then use their deaths to foment international anti-Israeli sentiment.

“How could they put rockets in a school to follow a deliberate strategy to force the deaths of their own civilians so as to make Israel look bad in the world?” Clinton said.

Meanwhile, the dangerously clueless wonders in the White House all but accused Israel over the weekend of deliberately targeting civilians (including children).  Criticism of Israel isn’t in and of itself wrong, but can’t they at least get their facts right before they condemn a staunch ally in public statements and on national television, in effect further fanning the flames of discontent and rage? Is that really too much to ask of this administration?

The US and Israel are big meanies because they won’t share!

**Posted by Phineas

Perfect against tunnelling jihadis!

We’re so selfish

That’s the gist of the complaint from Navi Pillay, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, who denounced Israel (and by extension the US) for civilian deaths in Gaza. The original article is behind Haaretz’s subscriber wall, so I’ll quote the Breitbart summary:

Navi Pillay told reporters following yet another “emergency” meeting of the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council that Israel was not doing enough to protect civilians. “There is a strong possibility,” said the known Israel critic, “that international law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes.”

Among the UN’s long bill of particulars against the beleaguered Jewish state comes the almost unbelievable accusation that Israel’s refusal to share its Iron Dome ballistic missile defense shield with the “governing authority” of Gaza – i.e. Hamas, the terror group created to pursue the extermination of the Jewish state and now waging a terrorist war against it – constitutes a war crime against the civilians of Gaza.

The UN chairwoman criticized the U.S. for helping fund Israel’s Iron Dome system which has saved countless Israeli and Palestinian lives. “No such protection has been provided to Gazans against the shelling,” she said.

Oh, poor little Hamas. They start a war with Israel, firing thousands of rockets with the potential to kill thousands –especially if they had hit that nuclear reactor at Dimona!– and they dig tunnels for offensive operations against civilians, and then when they fight back to destroy those tunnels and successfully defend their people from those rockets, the leftists in the transnational bureaucracy (1) whine that Israel, the nation that got attacked in the first place, has an unfair advantage.

You cannot make this crap up.

Claudia Rosett take Ms. Pillay’s idea about “sharing the weapon-wealth” to its logical, farcical conclusion:

It also seems unfair to limit such sharing to terrorist organizations. The UN is, after all, an institution devoted to upholding and treating equally the rights of all sovereign states. Why not save South Korea from its unfair military edge over North Korea, by demanding that Seoul turn over to Pyongyang enough advanced military technology to even the balance? For the sake of world peace, the U.S. could deliver to China any military secrets China hasn’t stolen already; likewise, give Russia its fair share. And it almost goes without saying that the U.S. and other world powers should stop dickering with Iran over its nuclear program, and just give Tehran the bomb.

Actually, once this redistribution really gets underway, there are quite a number of UN member states, plus an array of terrorist groups, around the globe, which could more safely threaten or attack the world’s developed democracies if only advanced military technology were to be included in the UN roster of aid entitlements. Though, the myriad transfers and accompanying funding could become complex. Maybe it would be more efficient to simply require that all developed democracies turn over all advanced military technology to the UN, along with the requisite cash, to be redistributed to terrorist groups and rogue states as UN human rights officials deem proportionately appropriate. One more step toward the UN dream of a more equitable world.

Fair is fair, after all. To paraphrase President Obama, “At some point, you have enough weapons.”

PS: My philosophy of dealing with dangerous neighboring countries is simple — “We want to live in peace with you. We are happy to buy your stuff and sell you our stuff, something good for us all. But, if you insist on trying to kill my people, I will bring the Wrath of God down on you. That is how I will share my country’s military technology.”

PPS: And if you want an idea of how seriously High Commissioner Pillay’s UN Human Rights Council takes the idea of human rights for all, consider that China, Cuba, Pakistan, Russia, and Saudi Arabia are all members.

Footnote:
(1) Is there a more useless class of people in the world? I’m hard pressed to think of one.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

How the Associated Press perpetuates the “Israel is the enemy” myth (UPDATED)

Associated Press

A disturbing, revealing tweet from the Associated Press earlier this morning (screen-capped in case they delete it):


As you’ll see below in the original piece published by the AP and written by journalist Bradley Klapper, this wasn’t just a headline writer gone wild. It was in the actual piece as well, the first two lines:


I’m not sure how long the article stayed up this way, but someone got a hold of it and revised it (even though as of this writing, the tweet is still there in all its infamy), and it now reads:

WASHINGTON (AP) — As the war in Gaza escalates, U.S. lawmakers are pressing the Obama administration to take no action that puts pressure on Israel to halt its military campaign against Hamas.

It’s fascinating, really, when you think about it – even the revised version is biased. Where the original article implied the Palestinians were being unfairly and horrifically targeted by IDF and ganged up on by US politicians who were “falling all over themselves” to support Israel, the revised version insinuates that Israel started the “military campaign” against Hamas without provocation. Ignored throughout the piece is the real horror behind the Gaza war, and not just this one but many prior: Palestinian children are taught from birth to loathe the Jewish people. And as soon as they’re able to hold a gun, the children are militarily trained on how to target and kill Jews. Not much later than that in their young lives, they’re instructed about martyrdom and how it is an “honor” to blow yourself up “for the cause.” Also not mentioned in Klapper’s hit piece is how Hamas routinely uses children and other innocents as human shields in their battles against Israel, how they deliberately store weapons they want to use against Israel near hospitals and schools so Israel looks like they bad guy when they destroy those weapons of war and innocents get caught in the crossfire.

I could go on, but you get the picture. Sadly, this isn’t just standard operating procedure for the Associated Press, but other news orgs as well, like Reuters and the BBC, all of which are seemingly incapable of putting their “#FreePalestine!” bias aside in favor of straight news reporting on a very delicate and dangerous subject. I’d like to think the light shined on the Associated Press today on the glaringly obvious bias in Klapper’s article will cause them and other news outlets to be a little more careful in the future when it comes to how they word their reports on the conflict in Gaza, but I won’t hold my breath. Israel-shaming is popular today, and – unfortunately – not just in media circles.

And besides, Hamas is just a “humanitarian organization“, right? o=> 8-|

Update – 12:50 PM: The AP has now ‘officially’ revised their tweet:


Never change, AP. Never change.

Pelosi: Qatar tells me Hamas is a humanitarian organization

**Posted by Phineas

"And the KGB was the Elks Club!"

“And the KGB was the Elks Club!”

Dear San Franciscans,

I love your city, really I do, but, as voters, you have so much to answer for:

Rep. Nancy Pelosi appeared on CNN Sunday and commented on the ongoing war in Gaza. While defending Israel’s right to defend itself and stating that the US must support Iron Dome, Pelosi also noted that many Palestinians live in her district, and “We have to support the Palestinians and what they need.” She also made a strange comment on the nature of Hamas.

“We have to confer with the Qataris,” Pelosi told CNN’s Candy Crowley, “who have told me over and over again that Hamas is a humanitarian organization.” She added her hope that the Qataris could use their “influence” over Hamas to “calm” the situation.

The Red Cross is a humanitarian organization. So are Doctors Without Borders, CARE, Habitat for Humanity, United Way, and so many others. And yet none of them –as far as I know– use donor money to buy weapons. None of them hide behind civilians, using them as human shields. None of them store weapons in schools. None of them dig tunnels as a means of plotting mass murder. None of them get 160 children killed digging said tunnels. None of them fire rockets at a nuclear reactor, heedless of the danger to everyone in the area.

And no humanitarian organization that I have heard of has ever called for war against an entire people because of their religion:

“…the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to realize the promise of Allah, no matter how long it takes. The Prophet, Allah’s prayer and peace be upon him, says: ‘The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and each tree and stone will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him,’ except for the Gharqad tree, for it is the tree of the Jews.'”

This, however, is perhaps not surprising. Pelosi was, after all, famously a useful idiot for Syria’s Bashar al Assad.

Hamas is a “humanitarian organization” in the same way that Capone donated to charities or Colombian drug lords paid people’s medical bills back home: whatever good works they might do are a cover for and overshadowed by the evil they commit.

And Qatar? Nancy, please. Even the Obama Treasury Department has described that nation as a sponsor of terrorism. To take seriously their protestations on behalf of Hamas is like believing Mussolini when he says Hitler has his good points.

I realize public diplomacy requires officials to often say anodyne things about despicable people, but could Minority Leader Pelosi please not insult our intelligence in the process?

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Video: Pat Condell on “Why I support Israel”

**Posted by Phineas

This is from last June, but, given current events in the Levant, Pat’s words are still relevant. He certainly speaks for me:

In the Washington Free Beacon, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes (whom we’ve met before) is quoted as saying the administration is seeking “a common place” between Israel and Hamas to “stop the violence.”

Try as I might, I’m having a real hard time imagining a “common place” between one side that says “I want to live in peace with you” and another that says “I want you dead.”

Afterthought: “Stop the violence” is one of those mealy-mouthed phrases that bug the heck out of me. By not assigning responsibility, it declares everyone to blame and places the Israelis on the same moral level as their Muslim attackers, which is utter tripe. Hamas started this fight by firing rockets at civilians and even a nuclear reactor. Theirs is the responsibility, theirs is the blame, and there is no moral equivalence between the two. You want to “stop the violence,” Mr. Rhodes? Then disarm Hamas.

By The Way: And speaking of disarming Hamas, the latest ceasefire proposal from Secretary Kerry would have allowed Hamas to keep their rockets. With friends like these, Israel needs no enemies.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#StandWithIsrael: A rare moment of praise for Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers

It’s not often I’m singing the praises of “comedienne” Joan Rivers but this week she has earned some major props in my book:

A passionate Joan Rivers joined the fray on the ongoing conflict between Israel and Islamic militants in Gaza, taking the opportunity to slam Selena Gomez for writing “Pray for Gaza” on Instagram last week.

“Oh, Selena Gomez, yeah, that college grad,” Rivers sneered when asked about Gomez’ social media message. “Well if Selena said that… let’s see if she can spell Palestinian.”

When questioned by a TMZ paparazzo, Rivers was adamant about her support for Israel in the ongoing conflict and compared the situation to a hypothetical conflict between New Jersey and New York.

“Let me just tell you, if New Jersey were firing rockets into New York, we would wipe them out,” she said with her voice raised. “If we heard they were digging tunnels from New Jersey to New York, we would get rid of Jersey…. [To] the Palestinians [militants], you cannot throw rockets and expect people not to defend themselves!”

The cameraman then asked her about the casualties of the citizens in Gaza.

The Palestinian death toll reached 817, after 115 were killed Thursday, in one of the deadliest days of fighting, said Ashraf al-Kidra, a Palestinian health official. More than 5,000 Palestinians have been wounded since July 8, he said.

During the same period, 34 Israelis, among them 32 soldiers, and a Thai worker were killed.

Rivers was ready with a reply, telling TMZ it was the fault of the Hamas for storing their weapons near civilians.

“Don’t you dare put weapon stashes in private homes,” she said.

Rivers added that the current clashes in Gaza are happening because Hamas had previously been firing rockets at Israel.  

Go girl.  When you’re right, you’re right! =d>

Faced with antisemitic riots, French government does what it does best: appeasement

**Posted by Phineas

"We surrender! Don't hurt us!!"

“We surrender! Don’t hurt us!!”

Muslims in France have been rioting, including attacking synagogues, in the wake of Israel’s retaliation against Hamas for months of attacks against Israeli civilians. Faced with growing antisemitic civil disorder, the French government naturally… condemned Israel:

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called Wednesday for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas to end violence in the Gaza Strip which Palestinian sources say have left nearly 600 Palestinians dead.

Close to 30 Israelis, almost all of them soldiers, have been killed as Israel battles to stop Hamas rocket fire, thwart attack tunnels and weaken the Islamist group’s ability to launch attacks from the Strip.

“In Israel and in Gaza, the situation is very hard,” Fabius said as he arrived for a meeting of European Union foreign ministers.

“Nothing justifies continued attacks and massacres which do nothing but only claim more victims and stoke tensions, hatred,” he said.

“France will act forcefully to demand an immediate ceasefire,” he added

Odd, but I must have missed the Foreign Minister’s demands for an immediate ceasefire when Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad were firing hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilians, when three teens were kidnapped and murdered, and when rockets were fired at a nuclear reactor. And surely he condemned in the loudest terms Hamas’ use of women and children as human shields, hoping for casualties in order to get that all-important propaganda coup.

France: Leading the way in caving in since 1940.

PS: Yes, I know a Palestinian teen was murdered by Israeli thugs in retaliation for the killing of the three Jewish boys. Here’s the difference: the Israeli killers were arrested by Israel and will face trial for their crime. Palestinians celebrated the murderers of the three teenagers as heroes. Who is the civilized one, and who is the barbarian? You make the call.

via Jihad Watch

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Moral clarity in Gaza: Israel vs. Hamas

**Posted by Phineas

Hamas uses civilians to protect its weapons

(Source: Israel MFA)

Leave it to Charles Krauthammer to clear away the nonsense and lay bare the key difference between democratic Israel and the Hamas dictatorship in Gaza:

“Here’s the difference between us,” explains the Israeli prime minister. “We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”

Rarely does international politics present a moment of such moral clarity. Yet we routinely hear this Israel-Gaza fighting described as a morally equivalent “cycle of violence.” This is absurd. What possible interest can Israel have in cross-border fighting? Everyone knows Hamas set off this mini-war. And everyone knows the proudly self-declared raison d’etre of Hamas: the eradication of Israel and its Jews.

Apologists for Hamas attribute the blood lust to the Israeli occupation and blockade. Occupation? Does no one remember anything? It was less than 10 years ago that worldwide television showed the Israeli army pulling die-hard settlers off synagogue roofs in Gaza as Israel uprooted its settlements, expelled its citizens, withdrew its military and turned every inch of Gaza over to the Palestinians. There was not a soldier, not a settler, not a single Israeli left in Gaza.

And what happened after the Israelis left Gaza? Did the residents take the numerous greenhouses the Israelis left behind to grow food for their own people? Did they build roads and schools and a reasonable social safety net? Did they attract foreign investment to provide their people with productive jobs and a better life?

Oh, heavens no. That would be to imitate the Jews next door, and we can’t have that!

No, Hamas and their supporters destroyed the greenhouses and used all the aid and money the world (including Israel) gave them to instead dig tunnels, tunnels in which they hid weapons (and their leaders, for those times when Israel has had enough). They spent those millions buying rockets to fire at Israeli civilians (and at a nuclear reactor!), out of a religious need to fight and kill Jews.

Not “Zionists.” Jews. Because Allah tells them to.

And Hamas turns their own civilians into human shields not just to protect their precious missiles, but in the hope of getting some of their own civilians killed, because they want gory photos to wave before the world while shouting “See what those awful Jews did to us!” As for Gazans who get killed, well, it was Allah’s will and Allah will welcome them as martyrs. Whether they wanted to be one, or not.

That is the so-bright-it’s-almost-blinding difference the jihad-terror group Hamas, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the State of Israel, and any attempt to draw any equivalence between them is obscene.

Be sure to read the whole thing.

PS: Israel has launched a ground offensive into Gaza, and I hope they go all the way and destroy Hamas. I think this time they could do it, because Egypt, under President al-Sisi, who loathes the Muslim Brotherhood (along with many Egyptians), will do nothing to protect its Gazan branch.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

(Video) The Middle East problem explained

**Posted by Phineas

Radio host Dennis Prager cuts to the heart of the issue in this short lesson for his Prager University: the root of the Mideast problem is that one side wants the other side dead.

The one quibble I have with Prager’s lesson is that he leaves begging the question of why Arab Muslims want Israel destroyed. Why do they teach hatred of Jews in their media and their schools — even on children’s TV?

The answer is straightforward: Islam defines Jews as the mortal and eternal enemies of the Muslims. The Qur’an, Islam’s sacred book, is rife with antisemitism. And, indeed, a hadith in one of the most revered collections of the sayings and deeds of Muhammad informs the Muslims that Judgment Day cannot come until the Muslims fight and kill the Jews:

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.
–Sahih Muslim, Book 41, #6985

So, the root of the “Middle East problem” is that one side wants the other dead, and the reason for that is simple: Allah commands it. Think about it for a moment, and Hamas’ seemingly insane actions make perfect sense.

Thus I ask again: How can anyone be expected to negotiate with another party, when that other party’s is on a mission from God to kill the first party?

hat tip: JCinQC

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Things I thought I’d never see: Egyptians supporting Israel against Hamas

**Posted by Phineas

Seal of the Muslim Brotherhood

Seal of the Muslim Brotherhood

What’s next, lambs lying down with lions? Obama embracing the writings of Thomas Sowell?

While Egypt is a land rife with antisemitism (for example), it seems many Egyptians have found someone to hate even more than the Israelis — Hamas:

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi has thus far turned down appeals from Palestinians and other Arabs to work toward achieving a new ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas telephoned Sisi and urged him to intervene to achieve an “immediate ceasefire” between Israel and Hamas. Abbas later admitted that his appeal to Sisi and (other Arab leaders) had fallen on deaf ears.

Sisi’s decision not to intervene in the current crisis did not come as a surprise. In fact, Sisi and many Egyptians seem to be delighted that Hamas is being badly hurt.

Some Egyptians are even openly expressing hope that Israel will completely destroy Hamas, which they regard as the “armed branch of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization.”

Sisi’s Egypt has not forgiven Hamas for its alliance with Muslim Brotherhood and its involvement in terrorist attacks against Egyptian civilians and soldiers over the past year.

…and…

Egyptian ex-general Hamdi Bakhit was quoted as expressing hope that Israel would re-occupy the Gaza Strip. “This would be better than the Hamas rule,” he said.

…and…

[Egyptian TV presenter Amany al-Khayat’s] colleague, Azza Sami of the newspaper Al-Ahram, went as far as thanking Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for ordering the attack on Hamas. “Thank you Netanyahu and may God give us more [people] like you to destroy Hamas,” she wrote.

Emphases added. This is pretty amazing stuff, akin to us rooting for the Russians in a confrontation with the UK. But, on further thought, it’s not as surprising as one might think. Egyptians experienced a year or so under the thumb of the Muslim Brotherhood, which spawned Hamas, after Muhammad Morsi replaced Hosni Mubarak as president. To say it was a miserable year for Egypt would be an understatement. The economic mismanagement and social disorder finally resulted in a coup d’etat by the army, an act that had massive support from the people. After the coup, the Brotherhood did nothing to redeem itself with Egyptians, attacking the army, a popular institution in Egypt, in a guerrilla war that continues to this day, especially in Sinai. And Hamas supported their fellow Brothers in this.

In addition Egypt has been an economic basket case for years, unable to feed itself without massive and expensive imports. (Skip down to “Wheat prices 101.”) The situation is only getting worse. With such problems, many Egyptians are understandably reluctant to give aid to a Brotherhood offshoot. As the Egyptian paper El-Bayasher wrote:

“The standard of living for a Gazan citizen is much higher than that of an Egyptian citizen. The poor in Egypt are more in need than the poor in the Gaza Strip. Let Qatar spend as much as it wants on the Gaza Strip. We should not send anything that Egyptians are in need of.”

I doubt a majority of Egyptians feel this way, but that so many feel free to speak publicly what would have been unthinkable just a few years ago is a remarkable change. Egypt is Hamas’ lifeline in the region; this is indicative of how thoroughly they’ve screwed up.

Darn.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)