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“Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Archive for the ‘IDF’ Category

A Brief Review of the Israel-Hamas War

Posted by Atilla89 on January 19, 2009

As you can see I haven’t been blogging in the last few months, just put it down to laziness. The latest round of fighting in the Middle-East is of course nothing new, in fact, I expected it to happen much sooner then it did. The IDF did a great job that wasn’t helped by the illegal use of human shields (both willing and unwilling) by Hamas. However, the Israeli political leadership has left much to be desired. Now that the ceasefire is in place, Israeli finds itself in a similar situation as it was at the end of the Hezbollah war. Not only did they fail to stop the rockets from falling on the South, Hamas itself still exists as the main player in Gaza.

Indeed, many in the IDF feel that the political leadership was far too hasty in implementing the unilateral cease-fire:

Among many soldiers in the field, many of whom have been pulled out in the past several hours, Israel’s declared truce appears to constitute a missed opportunity to crush Hamas’ will to fire at Israeli civilians. Some reservists reported, though, that Hamas appeared weak.

“We could have done a lot more. There’s a feeling the operation ended too early,” one soldier told Ynet. He and his colleagues are staying alert in an attempt to block ceasefire violations – rocket fire – by Hamas or other Palestinian organizations.

These soldiers maintain that an operation such as Cast Lead should leave Hamas “devoid of desire” to continue aiming rockets at Israel. “We can continue without a problem, in urban Palestinian areas, in Gaza City or anywhere else. All they need to do is tell us to,” soldiers said.

However, for me, the issue that angers me most is the fact that Olmert should have foreseen such problems. Already we have Ismail Haniyeh declaring victory‘ over Israel.

“The enemy has failed to achieve its goals,” Ismail Haniyeh, the top Hamas leader in the territory, said in a speech broadcast on Hamas television.

Though he called the war, in which more than 1,300 Gazans and 13 Israelis died, a “popular victory” for Palestinians, Haniyeh said Hamas’ decision to declare a truce on Sunday was “wise and responsible”.

It is irrelevant whether he is right or not, the military causalities speak for themselves, the point is, he has just won a propaganda victory over Israel through ‘resistance’. Thus he will be able to ensure Hamas’s continued popularity in the Strip through his policy of ‘resistance’ for what may be a very long time judging by the current Israeli political leadership. I can only hope that Likud will be elected on Febuary 10 and take a much harder line with Hamas and indeed Iran.

Soldiers leaving Gaza (Photo: AP)

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Posted in Hamas, IDF, Israel, Middle-East, Palestine, War | Leave a Comment »

Myths of the Cycle of Violence

Posted by Atilla89 on November 3, 2008

One of the most prevailing views of the Israeli-Arab conflict and specifically between Israel and the Palestinians has been that of a cycle of violence. Basically this view opinions that one side launches an attack on the other forcing the other to attack and so on. Thus both parities are guilty of the violence. This has led to the naive opinion that if only they could just sit down with each other and work out their differences everything would be alright. At first glance this may seem to fit but after further analysis in this CAMERA article, things become a little more clearer.

‘The authors found “there is little evidence to suggest that both sides of the conflict react in a regular and predictable way to violence against them. Rather we find that the direction of causality…runs only from violence committed by Palestinians to violence committed by Israelis, and not vice versa.” They conclude “Overall we find strong evidence that the Israelis react in a significant and predictable way to Palestinian violence against them, but no evidence that the Palestinians react to Israeli violence. This stands in contrast to the popular notion that Israelis and Palestinians are engaged in a ‘tit-for-tat’ cycle of violence.”‘

Basically what this excerpt is trying to say that when the Palestinians commits acts of violence, it is almost certain that Israel will react in some sort of way. Whether it fits some people’s definition of proportionate is up for debate. However, like it says above, it is almost certain that Palestinians will not directly react to violence committed by Israel. This is a very important point because usually violence committed by Palestinians will be random. Examples of this include the recent set of attacks in Jerusalem. Most the reasons given were generic for example being against the ‘occupation’, there was nothing specific.

The reason that this article gives for the randomness of these attacks, one that I happen to agree with, is that:

‘…the authors “suggest that the Palestinians may deliberately choose to randomize the timing of their response to Israeli violence…The effectiveness of terror attacks in disrupting day-to-day Israeli life is, almost by definition, greater if these attacks are unpredictable.”‘

Posted in Arab, Fatah, Hamas, IDF, Israel, Middle-East, Military, Palestine, Terrorism, War | Leave a Comment »

Waltz With Bashir Review

Posted by Atilla89 on September 28, 2008

I just came back from seeing this movie and was really blown away. Everything just fitted together, the animation, the soundtrack (mostly early 80s pop rock) and especially the way it ended. The way the animation suddenly gives way to graphic news archive footage just shocks the system in a really touching way. As you would have realised, I have little sympathy for the Palestinian situation then and now, however, seeing human suffering regardless of the context still affects me. I won’t bore you an outline of the plot, you can see it on wikipedia, however, the animation flips between the main character (Ari Folman), who is also the director of the film, trying to find out what happened to him in Lebanon and the events and experiences of the different interviewees in Lebanon. The film is quite violent but not in a Saving Private Ryan way, it is violent in the fact that yes there is lots of blood and dead bodies but there is a sort of unreality attached to it as well. It’s very easy to imagine that this is just a TV show for kids if it wasn’t for the subject being shown.

There has been some discussion on how the film portrays the Sabra and Shatila massacre. In my view it sticks fairly close to the truth, it doesn’t go on like some leftist film and point to Israel as being the only one to blame yet it doesn’t disregard that Israel, specifically Ariel Sharon played a part in allowing the Phalangists (Lebanese Maronite Christians) militiamen to enter two Palestinian refugee camps and ignoring the reports of mass killing that took place there. I personally would recommend people to go see this movie although make sure you do go in with an open mind and be prepared to have a whole lot more questions then answers.

Official website can be seen here.

https://i2.wp.com/livingincinema.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/waltz-with-bashir-001-433.jpg

Posted in Arabs, entertainment, IDF, Israel, Lebanon, Middle-East, Military, War | 1 Comment »

New Developments In Iran

Posted by Atilla89 on September 9, 2008

I was just sent a worrying article about Iran and the possible Israeli strike on its reactors. There are still a couple a problems that have to be addressed. Firstly, the shortest flight path to Iran from Israel is obviously across Iraq. My reaction to that was how is this a problem, America pretty much owns that airspace? Well, according to senior journalist Ben Caspit:

Instead of the needed overflight codes, Caspit claims, the U.S. is offering Israel defensive radar—“‘We’ll help you defend yourselves, but we’ll prevent you from attacking,’ say the Americans.”

This is a real problem, Israel (nor America really) can’t abide a nuclear Iran yet at the same the same time America is directly hindering the operation, I still don’t understand that. However later on in the article it becomes a little clearer.

A security source told Caspit that “the Americans have accepted a nuclear Iran and are trying to get us [Israel] to accept it.”

Personally, I don’t believe that. America must know that a nuclear Iran is bad news for everybody, not just Israel. However, moving on to a more a serious problem. Further on in the article a bombshell is dropped:

Britain’s Sunday Telegraph reports that both the U.S. and Israel now fear that Russia stands to supply the sophisticated S-300 air-defense system to Iran in retaliation for Washington supporting NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine.

More information from this article titled Israel’s Red Line: The S-300 Missile System:

Although on July 9 U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates denied the possibility of Iran acquiring the missile — known as the S-300PMU-1 by its Russian designers — “anytime soon,” defense reporters have speculated widely that the operational deployment of the S-300 air-defense system would represent a “red line” for an Israeli air strike on Iran. This is because the SA-20/S-300 represents a nearly insurmountable obstacle for conventional aircraft, according to air power experts.

“For non-stealth aircraft, the SA-20 represents a virtual no-fly zone,” said retired United States Air Force General Richard E. Hawley.

Additionally, the SA-20 is much more resistant to electronic countermeasures that are typically used by strike aircraft to defeat such weapons and is capable of engaging targets with far smaller radar cross-sections.

Should Iran obtain Russian S-300 missiles along with their mobile launchers, such as this one bearing four S-300-capable missile tubes, the Israel Defense Forces may be unable to mount a successful attack against any Iranian military nuclear facility. Credit: Russian Federation Ministry of Defense [Source for image here]

This is a HUGE development if it is true because it means that Israel may be well and truly screwed in that sense. Their only hope is for an F-22 Raptor which is almost impossible to detect, expect the only country that has these is America and they are not allowed to export them. Israel may have to rely on America for this one.

However it’s not all bad news, first we have an awesome quote from former Deputy Defence Minister Ephraim Sneh (head of a new political party started by himself called Strong Israel)

Sneh told them [Switzerland and Austria – both of which have large invesments in the resource sector of Iran] it was “too bad” about their investments, “because Iddo’s going to set it all on fire”—referring to recently appointed Israeli air force chief Iddo Nehushtan. “‘Investing in Iran in 2008,’ Sneh told the Austrians, ‘is like investing in the Krupp steelworks in 1938, a high-risk investment.’ The Austrians, according to Sneh, turned pale.”

Now for some good news, Iran’s economy is supposedly down in the doldrums.

As Ahmadinejad increases subsidies and spending, inflation has become Iran’s chief domestic issue. While the government acknowledges an inflation rate of 18 percent, parliamentarians and central bank officials say the real rate is closer to 25 or 30 percent.

Privatization schemes have also languished. While announcements of impending factory privatizations are many, sales are few. The reformist daily Aftab-e Yazd observed, “The misguided policies of the government hit us harder than the sanctions of the foreigners.”

I’m no economist so I’m not going to comment directly on these issues, all I can say is that I hope this impacts on their foreign military spending, maybe that S-300 will remain just a rumour…

Posted in IDF, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Middle-East, Military, US, War | Leave a Comment »

Israel Then and Now: Hostages

Posted by Atilla89 on July 19, 2008

I found this aboslutely awesome article by Naomi Ragen about the Israel of 1976 and the Israel of today. The differences between the two would make you think that it is a completely different country, unbelievable!

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Thousands of people gathered at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport on 4 July 1976 to welcome the hostages home from Entebbe.

I was a new oleh when the PFLP and two Germans hijacked a plane full of Israelis to Entebbe. I remember well those nail-biting days, the moral dilemma of freeing dangerous terrorists for live hostages; the idea that negotiations would just lead to more hijackings. But what other choice did we have? After all, they were in Uganda, so far away.
We found a way.

I will never forget the morning of July 4, 1976, waking up to the news. Our soldiers had gone in, at great personal risk. They had saved almost everyone, and killed the terrorists. We were not helpless victims anymore, the Jews. No, we were clever, and resourceful and courageous. We showed the world how to behave. We led the way.
I wake up this morning of July 16, 2008 with quite another feeling. Our soldiers, kidnapped on our own land, not across any international border, are brought back to us in caskets after two years of sadistic playfulness with the hearts of their families by Hezbollah terrorists, who led us to believe they were alive. And in exchange for dead bodies, we turn over a despicable baby-killer, Sami Kuntar.

Oh, you will hear the boosters of the Israeli government sigh. What can we do? We are civilized and they are not. We care about our soldiers and their families.
No, I’m afraid you do not. If you cared, then you would have a death penalty for people like Kuntar, so that they too can be released in caskets. And if you cared, you would be intelligent enough, seeing our soldiers brought back to us dead, to have put a bullet through Kuntar and then turned him over to his friends.

Civilized is a euphemism for weak and helpless. Civilized is not a moral value, because we all know what Western civilization is capable of. Concentration camps. Civilian round-ups, the gassing of children. All this under the banner of laws and policemen and governments. On the other hand, the moral thing to do to a triedand convicted murderer like Kuntar is to spill his blood, because he has spilled the blood of others. That may not fit in with current civilized niceties, but let no one say it is immoral.

When it comes to immoral, to release Kuntar to a hero’s welcome and the opportunity to murder others is on the top of the scale.

My government, the Israeli government, arranged this. They let it happen. They oversaw it and implemented it.

I am deeply ashamed to be an Israeli today. And I’m not very proud of being a Jew either, if this is how a Jewish country behaves. To lead the world in ever more despicable acts of appeasement is nothing to be proud of. The torch we always carried, the “light unto the nations” has been blown out by the hot-air of our politicians.

If we cared about our soldiers, we would not be showing our enemies that kidnapping and terrorism pay. We would not be setting the stage for the next murderous terrorist raid and hostage standoff. We would be passing laws with a mandatory death penalty for convicted terrorists with blood on their hands, as well as their accomplices. We would be making these laws retroactive. Then, we would be cutting off all water and electricity to Gaza until Gilad Shalit is released. If that didn’t work, we’d begin executions within one week, increasing the number of convicted terrorists facing firing squads with each passing day until Gilad is returned to us safe and sound. And if that didn’t work, we would begin daily bombings of Gaza, with the same number and frequency of attacks that our own city Sderot has suffered over the past three years from the Gazans. Not civilized? Perhaps. But moral. Extremely moral.

My fantasy is that Israelis will rise up and overturn the political system which has left them with the dregs of their nation as leaders- a bunch of self-serving crooks and syncophants who will do anything to stay in office; an electoral system in which a party like Kadima, with its collection of felons and moral imbeciles, who got only 23% of the vote, is allowed to rule us into the ground. We have Mr. Olmert, and Ms. Livni, and Mr. Peres, and Mr. Ramon (a convicted sex offender, who is now in line to take over from Olmert) and many, many others to thank, for creating this day of infamy.

May G-d redeem us from them.

Posted in Arabs, Hizbullah, IDF, Israel, Middle-East, Military, Palestine, Terrorism | 2 Comments »

The Prisoner Exchange Of Samir Kuntar

Posted by Atilla89 on July 16, 2008

Let me first start by saying that this move is absolutely disastrous both politically and morally. In effect what the Israeli government is doing is handing a political victory to Hezbollah, who, I have no doubt will be touting this as a victory over the evil Zionists, etc…

A man rolls a picture of...

A man rolls a picture of Samir Kantar at a printing shop in the southern port city of Tyre, Lebanon, on Monday. Photo: AP

During February of this year, I stated that:

‘Israel would never let someone like Barghouti free, a person, as it says above, who killed that many people. If Israel where to ever do that, I would have lost faith in the justice system of Israel.’

I stand by what I said then and have now lost a lot of respect for the justice system and especially President Shimon Peres.

‘President Shimon Peres signed the pardon of Lebanese prisoner Samir Kuntar late Tuesday evening, less than twelve hours before the swap with Hizbullah that will bring back to Israel MIAs Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.’

Not only does this have consequences in terms of helping bolster the popularity of Hezbollah, but it also has consequences in terms of future decisions regarding hostages. What about the next time a hostage is taken? Do we give up more prisoners? These kinds of actions start a precedent in which it is very hard to escape. Imagine the plight of the parents the next time a solider is taken. What if the Israeli government refuses to negotiate this time? There would be mass protest and calls of government hypocrisy.

As well as this, actions like these may make solider loose faith in their government to the degree that some may not be willing to carry out missions reasoning that the government is going to let these killers go free anyway so why bother?

I fully emphasise with the families of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser and their pain of not knowing what has happened to their sons; however, I can’t support this decision, especially since it involves scum like Samir Kuntar.

‘Kuntar burst into Haran’s apartment building in the dead of night, seizing Smadar Haran’s husband Danny and their daughter Einat, 4 years old. Desperate to save their two-year-old girl Yael, Smadar Haran huddled with her in a crawl space in the attic. “I will never forget the joy and the hatred in the voices [of Kuntar and his men] as they swaggered about hunting for us, firing their guns and throwing grenades,” she later recalled in the Washington Post.

“I knew that if Yael cried out, the terrorists would toss a grenade into the crawl space and we would be killed,” she wrote in 2003. “So I kept my hand over her mouth, hoping she could breathe. As I lay there, I remembered my mother telling me how she had hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust. ‘This is just like what happened to my mother,’ I thought.”

Smadar Haran’s personal torture had only begun. She would later learn that Kuntar had dragged her husband Danny and older daughter to the beach nearby, where he shot Danny execution style, making sure that her father’s death would be the last sight her little girl would ever see. Kuntar then took the butt of his assault rifle and brought in down on Einat’s head, crushing it against a rock. Smadar Haran would later recall, “By the time we were rescued from the crawl space, hours later, Yael, too, was dead. In trying to save all our lives, I had smothered her.”

After reading this I hope the decision of whether to support this move morally should be made easier.

Posted in Arabs, Hizbullah, IDF, Israel, Lebanon, Middle-East, Military, Terrorism, War | 2 Comments »

Terrorist Attack In Jerusalem

Posted by Atilla89 on July 3, 2008

Sorry for the long time between posts. I’ll be honest, its because nothing really noteworthy has happened, until now. As I’m sure you’ve all been aware now, there has been another terrorist attack in Israel, specifically Jerusalem. As you can see from this awesome clip below, the terrorist gets absolutely destroyed, enjoy.

Unfortunately, the terrorist managed to kill three people and wounded 45 people.

The driver rammed at least two buses, overturning one, and crushed several cars in a five-minute spree just after midday (7pm AEST) in west Jerusalem.

However this brings up some important issues; how was this guy allled to get into Israel? Quite easily actually.

He was identified as an Arab resident of East Jerusalem, whoheld an Israeli identification card, with full access to all parts of the country.

As well as this the guy was known to the police for raping a former girlfriend, he served two years. Hopefully, next time Israel will do a better job in not letting these people get citizenship. I really think that a citizenship test should be given to every Israeli citizen. Of course this begs another questions, why are we issueing Israeli ID cards to a possible fith element anyway?

The attack came at a highly sensitive time in intra-Palestinian politics, with Hamas struggling to hold together the truce with Israel, which has seen limited supplies allowed into the Gaza Strip in return for a stop to rocket fire on Israeli settlements.

Egypt immediately locked the Rafah crossing into the Strip, which had been due to open around the time of the attack. Hundreds of Palestinians on either side rioted in response.

Israeli security forces were last night interrogating the terrorist’s family, amid calls by enraged members of parliament for them to be deported en masse to Gaza.

More on this event here.

Posted in Arabs, IDF, Israel, Jews, Middle-East, Palestine, Terrorism | 5 Comments »

Gaza Truce Is At ‘Risk’

Posted by Atilla89 on June 25, 2008

This is was news yesterday but I thought I may as well add my 2 cents in just for fun. Yes, we nearly had a record. The truce only lasted 6, repeat 6 days! Guess who violated it? Was there even a hesitation when you said Hamas? Probably not. However that is strictly not correct, it came from Islamic Jihad which although:

did not agree to the truce but had vowed not to violate it.

However, it may as well be the same thing in my opinion. Now is the world starting to wake up about these people? They don’t keep their word, we knew that already. Hamas is the government in charge of the Gaza Strip, yet they can not even keep their allied terrorists (or as MSM says ‘militants’) under control. Never mind that Israel took down a terrorist (he was a senior in Islamic Jihad person which was the reason for the attack) in the West Bank, where there is no truce. Never mind Israel is completely in its right to target terrorists, Hamas replied that:

Hamas blamed Israel for yesterday’s violence, saying it had “provoked” Palestinian armed factions with the killing of the two men in Nablus.

Still what do you expect. I could now go into a rant about Olmert trying to save his political skin by destroying Israel’s chance to destroy Hamas, but if you’ve read the blog you already know my views on this.

On a lighter note, I am going to be seeing You Don’t Mess With the Zohan on Sunday. Review will follow. Oh and more good news, regular blogging will follow from this Friday as I will be on a break, so expect posts at least once every second day.

Posted in Arabs, Egypt, Hamas, IDF, Islamic Jihad, Israel, Middle-East, Military, Palestine, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

The ‘Truce’ With Hamas

Posted by Atilla89 on June 20, 2008

I must be crazy. That’s the only reason why I would be posting during an exam period about to take an exam that I will most likely only scrape a bare pass! However, when I see the amount of stupidity in the world I can’t help myself. Why, oh why, does Olmert think it will be actually beneficial to have a temporary peace (Tahdiya) with Hamas? It doesn’t make sense, they aren’t interested in permanent negotiations. Here’s a few reasons why from Jonathan Dahoah Halevi.

  • Hamas regards the temporary cease-fire as a tahdiya and not a hudna. A tahdiya – “a period of calm” – is used by Hamas to describe a simple cease-fire. A hudna implies recognition of the other party’s actual existence, without acknowledging its legitimacy.
  • In an interview with Al-Jazeera (April 26, 2008), Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal clarified that for Hamas, a tahdiya is “a tactic in conflict management.” He added that it “is not unusual for the resistance…to escalate sometimes and to retreat a bit sometimes as the tide does….The tahdiya creates a formulation that will force Israel…to remove the siege…and if it happens it will be a remarkable achievement.”
  • Official sources in Israel have explained that Hamas’ interest in a lull in the fighting is a result of its “distress.” But the organization did not experience “distress.” Hamas has introduced and maintained law and order in Gaza, strengthened its overall control, suppressed opposition, and achieved broad popular support for its policies.
  • One diplomatic consequence of the tahdiya will be increasing pressure on Israel to accept a future reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. That could lead to increasing demands on Israel to negotiate a permanent status arrangement with a joint Hamas-Fatah government, while Hamas remains committed to its political program of the elimination of Israel.
  • The cease-fire also grants Hamas a golden opportunity to expand its military build-up for the next round of terror and violence. Emulating Hizbullah’s strategy, Hamas is striving to acquire longer-range and more destructive missiles to be used for deterrence and as a sword on Israel’s neck.

To summarise, for some reason, Israel believe that by going along with this ‘ceasefire’, which by the way will not last the week (if it does I will be genuinely surprised), in order to get their captured troops back through further negotiations. What they don’t understand is this will aid Hamas, and as you can see above, was probably what they were hoping for. Now all Hamas has to do is sit tight and rearm baby! Instead of this piss-poor excuse for a truce, Israel should be in the Gaza Strip right now engaging Hamas, not in dialogue, but the traditional kind of engagement, the one that actually works with these people.

Posted in Hamas, IDF, Israel, Middle-East, Palestine, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

Daily Kos Hits Earth’s Core, Digs

Posted by Atilla89 on May 14, 2008

Sorry guys for the large break. I’ve had a lot of work to get through, but know the worst is over, yay! Israel has made it to her 60th birthday which is something to celebrate, even if there those who can’t appreciate it, here and here, hat tip to LGF.

My favourite of these links is the Daily Kos one, just read this and laugh.

It thus emerged as a major power and a formidable challenger of existing Arabic powers that will decide the fate of the world, coordinated assassination of President Kennedy which unnaturally led to the hasty re-evaluation of American foreign policy for adjustion that align with the interests of Israeli state for total compatibility in irreversibly entangled alliance.

Posted in Antisemitism, Arabs, Hamas, Hizbullah, IDF, Iran, Israel, Jews, Lebanon, Middle-East, Military, Palestine, Terrorism, U.S. Politics, UN, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »