Friday, July 25, 2014

The essential EoZ articles from the war so far

Here are the notable articles I have written since the current fighting began, with lots of information and scoops that the mainstream media have been reluctant to report.

For anyone who donates over $180 to the blog over the next week, I'll send all of these articles formatted as an e-book (PDF).

7/8: WHAT REPORTERS NEED TO KNOW during Operation Protective Edge

7/9: Will the State Department condemn Abbas for his own group's rocket fire?

7/9: Who started the fighting?

7/10: A second Fatah terror group is now shooting rockets at Israelis

7/10: Hamas engages in nuclear terrorism as media yawns

7/10: Amazingly, Hamas has no "martyrs!"

7/10: Genocidal math and Mahmoud Abbas' Jew-hatred

7/11: On Thursday, over 150 Gaza rockets fell in Gaza. How many people did they kill?

7/13: Hamas hackers take over Israeli Domino's Pizza Facebook page, hilarity ensues

7/13: The sickness of the "Israelis lied to start a war" meme

7/14: Hamas' message is a bit different in English and Arabic

7/14: Arab writer justifies Palestinian terrorism as mere "anti-colonialist counter-discourse"

7/15: What "proportionality" means

7/16: The REAL statistics of those killed in Gaza

7/16: Media treats Gaza war as a sporting event

7/17: Why I think the IDF is undercounting rockets launched from Gaza

7/18: During the humanitarian truce, Gazans moved rockets into a mosque

7/18: Hamas instructs Gazans on propaganda, "Always call people 'innocent civilians'"

7/20: Did the UNRWA school rockets go to terrorists? Almost certainly - just like their cement

7/20: Dead child porn: Reporters allow emotions to override facts

7/21: Oh, by the way, Hamas' de facto headquarters is in Shifa Hospital

7/21: Media doesn't challenge Norwegian doctor's lies

7/22: HRW's Ken Roth proves his anti-Israel bias in tweet meant to do the opposite

7/22: If only the IDF had Mujahadeen Magical Munitions®

7/22: Half of the dead in Gaza are terrorists

7/23: How the UN counts terrorists as civilians

7/23: UNRWA praised the smuggling of cement into Gaza in 2011. What did they know then?

7/23: Hamas shells field hospital set up to help Gazans

7/24: Hamas Al Qassam offices are next to the emergency room at Shifa Hospital

7/24: Assuming that Israel is less moral than Hamas is pure bigotry

7/24: Poor Yaseen Al Kilani. Hamas says he was killed three times.

7/25: Human Rights Watch's Ken Roth goes to bat for Hamas war crimes

07/25 Links Pt2: Joan Rivers Defends Israel In Epic Rant; Himmelman's Maximum Restraint; #TeamIsrael

From Ian:

Jewish rocker sings Israel support
Los Angeles-based Jewish rocker Peter Himmelman has released a new song in support of Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas terror from Gaza. “Maximum Restraint” challenges claims Israel is responding disproportionately in the current conflict.
According to Himmelman, people “sitting in Santa Monica sipping lattes” are in no place to judge Israel’s response to Hamas rockets.
“It’s a disingenuous fantasy to think that Jews should just turn the other cheek. For Jews, turning the other cheek is a sin,” he says.
Maximum Restraint (written and performed by Peter Himmelman)

Joan Rivers -- GOES OFF on Epic Israel/Palestine Rant

Christians are being forced out of Bethlehem - by Muslims

You know how Israel haters love to claim that Israel's "occupation" is somehow targeting Christians and forcing them to leave Bethlehem, not explaining why Muslims keep moving into that town?

From Standpoint:

While Bethlehem remains the most populous Christian city in the West Bank, its Christian population, as in the West Bank generally, is shrinking dramatically. Only 50 years ago, Christians constituted 70 per cent of Bethlehem's population. Today they make up just 15 per cent. Christians number approximately 38,000 people in the West Bank, representing 2 per cent of the population.

"We used to be many. Now there are so few of us left. Everyone is trying to leave," says Samir, another salesman in a neighbouring shop selling Orthodox icons. Worrying about the consequences of complaining about the situation, Samir declined to use his real name.

"My mother doesn't like to walk in the street at night because her hair is uncovered, and people come up behind her and make rude comments," he tells me. During Christmas celebrations last December, women in their twenties on a visit from London with their parents and siblings complained of being harassed by a gang of male youths as they stood watching a festive performance in Manger Square. The gang did not desist until some local women came to stand nearby and told the boys to stop.

Everyone agrees that economic hardship and the low birthrate of the Christian community are the primary causes for decline. Yet in recent years Christians in Bethlehem also complain of a growing climate of intimidation from Islamic extremists.

"We announce to the nation joyously that with the grace of God the ideology of global jihad has attained a foothold in the West Bank, after everyone had tried to abort every seed planted there," stated the message from the Mujahideen Shura Council, an al-Qaeda-linked group as it declared its presence in the West Bank last December. Three of its members were killed by the Israeli Shin Bet (security service) after they were suspected of planning a terror attack.

Members of the Salafi movement — an ultra-conservative current within the Sunni branch of Islam — have been based in the Gaza Strip for the past decade or so, but in recent months their presence has spread to the West Bank. While most Salafis are non-violent, the extremist fringes have a strong jihadist element that borrows from al-Qaeda's ideology, as can be witnessed in Gaza, Syria and the Sinai, where in recent years such groups have thrived. The stated endgame of the extremists is to establish an Islamic caliphate — and Christians, Jews and others are considered infidels.

In Bethlehem, residents talk about an increasingly antagonistic climate between faiths. Just weeks prior to the Pope's visit, a proselytising group of Muslims stood near the entrance of the Church of the Nativity, handing out copies of the Koran in multiple languages, and telling people on their way to the church to pray to Allah instead. "It was insulting. I feel like I don't live in a Christian place any more," says Samir, adding that such events are happening more and more often.

A few days after the incident outside the Church of the Nativity, he describes celebrating the feast of St George in another church a few miles outside Bethlehem when a violent brawl between Christian and Muslim worshippers broke out. Stones were thrown, and a video of the event shows people running away in fear. Samir said the event was terrifying. "They will throw us out of our own country."
The rest of the article is interesting, too, and the Israeli leadership doesn't get off scot free (gangs that intimidate Christians in Nazareth are reportedly ignored by Israeli police, for example) but it also deals with army service for Israeli Christians and how they are reacting to the idea, as well as a nascent movement to redefine themselves as Arameans and not Arab.

"Death to the Jews!" at The Hague (video), plus (UPDATE)

Apparently from Thursday at The Hague, Netherlands::

Here are some interesting parts:

At 1:35, a person shouts  "Those who do not jump are Jews!" followed by ten seconds of Muslims jumping to avoid being tagged with that horrible title.

At 2:27 a chant starts, "Al Maut, Al Maut, Al Maut al Yahud" - "Kill, Kill, Kill the Jews." That goes on for 30 seconds, and then comes the chant of "Beware, Oh Jews, the army of Mohammed is coming!"

According to a YouTube commenter, at one point there is a call to forcefully undress a female journalist/blogger who was recording the hatefest.

UPDATE: The authorities had a lukewarm reaction, saying that they needed to translate the Arabic to determine if any laws had been broken,

While we are at it, here's some bonus Jew-hatred from an Islamic Jihad spokesman, where the ever popular blood libel is thrown around:

(h/t Eugene)

07/25 Links Pt1: Israel and the Burden of Being Right; Depravity at the UN Human Rights Council

From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: UN probe of Israel will only encourage Hamas war crimes
There you go again," as Ronald Reagan said to Jimmy Carter. Once again the United Nations Human Rights Council has voted – with the United States dissenting – to conduct a so-called "investigation" of Israel's military responses to Hamas's double war crimes. Once again Israel will have to decide whether to feed the kangaroos that make up this court by cooperating with yet another phony investigation whose outcome is predetermined. Yet again Israel is presented with a Hobson's choice: If it refuses to cooperate, it will blamed for denying the investigatory commission relevant information; if it cooperates it will lend credibility to a conclusion that has already been reached.
This Hamas-inspired investigation is an important part of Hamas's double war crime strategy: By firing its rockets from civilian areas and buildings – even Ban Ki-moon acknowledges that it does – Hamas seeks to have Israel kill as many Palestinian civilians as possible. This Hamas-designed body count, and the accompanying photographs, inevitably leads to the kind of one-sided investigation in which the UNHRC specializes. The resulting one-sided condemnation, which Hamas can always count on, then helps it win support in Europe, South America and other parts of the world, as well as in the media and universities.
By joining in this Hamas strategy, indeed becoming a central part of it, the UNHRC encourages Hamas to repeat its rocket fire against Israeli civilians, its tunneling into Israel to kill and kidnap Israelis and its placement of rockets and tunnel entrances in civilian areas. The countries voting for this investigation are fully aware of what they are encouraging. They have the blood of future innocent Palestinians and Israelis on their hands.
Anne Bayefsky: Depravity at the UN Human Rights Council
The UN Human Rights Council held a special session in Geneva on July 23, 2014 to declare effectively that Israelis do not have human rights.
The session ended with a resolution that launched an "investigation" into what the Council decided in advance were Israel's violations of Palestinian rights. The vote was 29 in favor, 1 against and 17 abstentions.
The Obama administration voted against – after joining and legitimizing the virulently anti-Jewish Council for the past five years, and now feigning disappointment for American cameras.
The Europeans abstained because they did not want to upset their violent Muslim minorities, and with their sordid past, the resolution's message wasn't too foreign in any case. A few cowardly countries that Israelis have magnanimously befriended over the years also abstained.
Israel and the Burden of Being Right
Generally when someone says they “hate to say I told you so,” it’s fair to doubt they really hate saying it. But in Israel’s case it’s believable. The current conflict with Gaza is proving Israel correct about its various claims with regard to Hamas, and the result is the treacherous urban warfare the world is currently witnessing.
As Evelyn Gordon wrote earlier, the vast tunnel networks prove Israel was right about letting in dual-use items that Hamas would only appropriate for its terror war against Israeli civilians. The West should, in fact, be embarrassed by its enabling of those tunnels: pressuring Israel to let in those materials was the international community’s way of using Israeli civilians as guinea pigs in a grand experiment. They didn’t believe Israeli predictions, and wanted the premises tested. Now they have been, and innocents are paying the price.
Hamas Mega-Attack Planned through Gaza Terror Tunnels
Hamas had apparently been preparing a murderous assault on Israeli civilian targets for the coming Jewish New Year Holiday, Rosh Hashanah, which begins on September 24, according anonymous sources in the Israeli security services, as reported today by the Israeli daily Maariv.
The Hamas plan consisted of what was to be a surprise attack in which 200 fighters would be dispatched through each of dozens of tunnels dug by Hamas under the border from Gaza to Israel, and seize kibbutzim and other communities while killing and kidnapping Israeli civilians.
Israeli soldiers already frustrated a surprise assault by Hamas through one tunnel from Gaza into the Eshkol district of Israel on July 19. The Hamas fighters escaped back into the tunnel, but the clash cost the lives of two Israel Defense Force [IDF] troops.

Has Fatah officially declared a third intifada?

The Fatah Facebook page published this today:

The caption says "The decision came from Fatah for revolt, revolution, O free."

This comes after an announcement from the same group claiming that they carried out a shooting attack against the IDF south of Hebron last night.

And the Al Aqsa Brigades claimed that during the massive demonstration/riot at Kalandia yesterday that they shot weapons at the checkpoint.

Khaled Abu Toameh tweeted this:

Putting this all together, plus the march itself which was clearly organized and hardly "spontaneous," it appears that Fatah - not Hamas, but the "moderate" Fatah - is trying to start a third intifada. Explicitly.

Fatah, of course, has a leader, Mahmoud Abbas, the darling of the West for his peaceful ways. And he is not stopping his own people from declaring a new violent uprising.On the contrary - he is essentially supporting Hamas rockets, as we've seen.

I'd be surprised if Abbas explicitly lends support for a new uprising. More likely he is encouraging it more quietly to use as leverage to threaten Israel to get his demands.

That's what his hero Yasir Arafat would have done.

Human Rights Watch's Ken Roth goes to bat for Hamas war crimes

Is Human Rights Watch really biased against Israel, or is it merely that they are zealous about protecting everyone's human rights and Zionists are sensitive to their criticisms of Israel?

HRW chief Ken Roth clearly wants the world to believe that it is the latter. As he wrote a couple of days ago in this sarcastic tweet:

If what he says is true, then we would expect HRW to be just as energetic in uncovering human rights abuses from Gaza terror groups as it is for attacking Israel.

Yet here is what he tweeted last night:

Roth chooses to refer to a NYT article in order to defend Hamas.

What exactly did The New York Times write that Ken Roth finds so wonderful as to defend Hamas?

Nothing is ever so clear in the complex and often brutal calculus of urban warfare. There is no evidence that Hamas and other militants force civilians to stay in areas that are under attack — the legal definition of a human shield under international law. But it is indisputable that Gaza militants operate in civilian areas, draw return fire to civilian structures, and on some level benefit in the diplomatic arena from the rising casualties. They also have at times encouraged residents not to flee their homes when alerted by Israel to a pending strike and, having prepared extensively for war, did not build civilian bomb shelters.
Guess what? The New York Times is wrong.

The Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols do not use the words "human shields" anywhere. But the ICRC article on customary international humanitarian law has a fairly comprehensive description:
Rule 97. The use of human shields is prohibited.

State practice establishes this rule as a norm of customary international law applicable in both international and non-international armed conflicts.
International and non-international armed conflicts

In the context of international armed conflicts, this rule is set forth in the Third Geneva Convention (with respect to prisoners of war), the Fourth Geneva Convention (with respect to protected civilians) and Additional Protocol I (with respect to civilians in general).[1] Under the Statute of the International Criminal Court, “utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations” constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts.[2]

...The prohibition of using human shields in the Geneva Conventions, Additional Protocol I and the Statute of the International Criminal Court are couched in terms of using the presence (or movements) of civilians or other protected persons to render certain points or areas (or military forces) immune from military operations.[18]

...It can be concluded that the use of human shields requires an intentional co-location of military objectives and civilians or persons hors de combat with the specific intent of trying to prevent the targeting of those military objectives.
While various military manuals do have specific prohibitions against forcing civilians to act as human shields, international law considers any situation where military targets (weapons tunnels, caches, rockets launchers) are deliberately placed near civilians to be cases of human shielding.

Under international law, even if Hamas doesn't force civilians to be in a certain area, they are considered human shields according to the ICRC. Israel is right, and the NYT is wrong.

Ken Roth could have chosen to attack the New York Times for narrowing the definition in such a way as to downplay Hamas culpability for this war crime - which is what a zealous human rights defender would be expected to do. Instead, he went to bat for Hamas against the civilians of Gaza he supposedly cares so much about. Even the Times article says explicitly that "Experts in international law say that...Hamas is legally obligated to minimize its operations near civilians" yet Roth doesn't want to highlight how bad Hamas is, but to emphasize Hamas is not really that bad. Roth is giving a terror group the benefit of the doubt that Israel has never received.

The New York Times article was written before yesterday's events at the UNRWA school, but Roth's tweet was written after details already were being published. And already at that time it was known that Hamas did force civilians to stay in the UNRWA shelter even as Israel was trying to get the civilians evacuated. As Washington Free Beacon recounts the events:

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness had similarly accused the IDF of preventing a civilian evacuation.

“Over the course of the day UNRWA tried 2 coodinate [sic] with the Israeli Army a window for civilians 2 leave & it was never granted,” UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness tweeted, following the strike.

However, in an unusual move late Thursday, multiple IDF sources rejected UNRWA’s claims and characterized them as outright falsehoods when reached by the Washington Free Beacon.

“For two days we were trying to move people out of that school in particular and the Beit Hanoun area in general,” said an IDF official who was involved in the interactions between the IDF, UNRWA, and International Red Cross (ICRC) leading up to the incident.

The official continued: “This morning we sought a cease-fire in the area and a humanitarian evacuation of civilians, but Hamas refused—because they wanted to keep civilians in the area to protect their fighters who were firing on the IDF,” the source said. The claim by Gunness and UNRWA that the IDF did not respond to their request to evacuate civilians, the source said, is “a flat-out complete and total lie.”
Who is telling the truth? I see no reason to doubt the IDF version of events. But the issue is that Ken Roth, whose very job is to prevent war crimes against civilians, chooses to ignore any evidence of Hamas war crimes - in this case, of using human shields even according to the falsely restrictive definition in the New York Times!

If Roth's only bias was towards human rights, then why does he go out of his way to excuse and minimize Hamas war crimes - war crimes under any interpretation of the Geneva Conventions?

The only explanation is that Roth is biased, all right - but not for defending Gaza civilians' human rights from Hamas.

Which tells you volumes about Ken Roth.

(h/t Seth Miller)

This war may have prevented a huge planned terror attack

I've been seeing unsourced rumors like this one (via email):
From the 48 Hamas prisoners that have been captured, the intelligence have been interrogating them and the most terrifying, and horrific picture is being built.

They are being investigated about the many tunnels that have been found and dug under many kibbutzim that surround Gaza. The most terrifying detail is being uncovered that Hamas had a plan to attack all the settlements and kibbutzim in the area this year on Rosh Hashanah with an invasion of over 200 terrorists into almost all the settlements in the area. The tunnels went under the kibbutzim under the kindergartens and dining rooms and other areas within the kibbutz perimeters. They planned to occupy the whole area and kill as many Israelis as possible.

This could have been the worst terror attack in the history of terrorism. Thousands of people, including women and children would have been slaughtered in this planned attack.
Could this be true?

According to NRG, Bibi said something like this in a cabinet meeting yesterday, although without some of the more specific details like the "Rosh Hashahah" timeframe::

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed yesterday (Thursday) that the intent of the organization (Hamas) was to use dozens of tunnels simultaneously.

In the cabinet meeting, Netanyahu told ministers that "these tunnels were meant to allow the enemy to attack simultaneously and perform mass attacks on Israeli citizens."

Security sources stress that if the political leadership wants to eliminate the problem of the tunnels, the IDF needed more time because we are not even halfway done. They say this unplanned war with Hamas prevented a disaster on the order of the Yom Kippur War, which would reduce the State of Israel to its knees.
(UPDATE: A later article did mention the Rosh Hashanah scenario.)

Bibi also alluded to such a mass attack in a speech a few days ago:
"More tunnels were discovered during last night's action, tunnels that are added to the many others we have found, some of which had already reached Israeli territory. Hamas invested years of work and vast capital in them in order to perpetrate large-scale terrorist attacks and carry out abductions. We found handcuffs and sedatives. There is no question here. This was a strategic network for Hamas in which it had installed fortifications, electricity, cables, all in order to infiltrate, carry out large-scale attacks and kidnap [Israelis]."
We do know that there were several tunnels into Israel that were in close proximity to Israeli communities, or on their way, possibly with multiple exits on the Israel side that would facilitate such an attack:

The size (both length and height/width) and sophistication of the tunnels suggest a larger operation than just snatching a person.

The idea of simultaneous attacks by Islamists against civilians is not exactly novel.

(h/t Yerushalimey, YMedad, Josh Korn)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

As Gaza sends rockets to Israel, Israel sends food and fuel to Gaza

Major media still refers to Israel's "siege" of Gaza.

Yet not only hasn't there been any sort of "siege" by any definition, there isn't even a siege today during wartime. 

In the entire history of warfare, never has a nation given so much aid to the enemy as Israel does right now.

Israel, so vilified in so many demonstrations and articles and clueless newscasts, is providing food, fuel, medicines, setting up a field hospital, allowing patients to go to hospitals in Israel, and even helping fix the infrastructure that is being damaged by Hamas rockets!

The IDF's COGAT is even giving instructions on how people around the world can get their own humanitarian supplies into Gaza. 

Here is their summary as of Thursday morning:

Usually, the Kerem Shalom crossing is closed on Friday - but the IDF is opening it for industrial fuel, diesel and cooking gas.

This is, of course, all but ignored by the media intent to paint Israel as targeting children.

It's amazing how so many reporters in the region can miss so many stories.

Poor Yaseen Al Kilani. Hamas says he was killed three times.

Yesterday, Israellycool made the interesting discovery that many of the names of the Gaza casualties listed by Al Jazeera (which gets its names from the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry) were listed more than once.

He counted about 33 names that were listed twice, out of less than 600 listed with known names.

I just looked at the list myself, and I count even more - some 42 names out of 592 are listed more than once! They usually have different spellings but it is clear they are the same names.

Even worse, two people are listed as being killed three times! And by sheer coincidence - they are both children!

8 or 9 year old Yaseen Ibrahim Dib al-Kilani was also listed as Yaseen Ibrahim Dieb Alkilani and Yaser Ibrahim Dib al-Kilani.

13 or 14 year old Hiba Hamed Mohammed Alshiekh Khalil/Hiba Hamid Alsheikh Khalil was also listed three times, the second spelling done twice and noted as a duplicate in the list, but still there and counted separately.

This means 7% of the names being solemnly offered to the world media are double or triple counted.

By contrast, I only counted 5 duplicates in the PCHR list of the over 1400 names listed  after Cast Lead.

Of course, this list doesn't list the other lies - people who were killed by Hamas rockets, people who were executed as "collaborators" (reportedly 9 of those,) and those who may have died of natural causes that are being counted as casualties. Hamas doesn't exactly have a great track record of being honest.

My only question for the many reporters still using Hamas numbers: Once it is proven that a source is a liar, is it standard practice to continue to trust it?

You know, I'm not a professional journalist, only a mere blogger. Perhaps I don't understand the rules as well as the guys who get paid to do this. I'm willing to learn. After all, if I start loosening my standards, blogging the news will become a whole lot easier.

07/24 Links Pt2: A salute to lone soldiers; Col. Kemp: Hamas has commmitted War Crimes

From Ian:

Richard Kemp Analysis: The war crimes have been committed by Hamas
Hamas have learnt many lessons from their defeat in the two previous Israeli operations in Gaza. They are better at concealing their rocket launchers and have developed a vast complex of concrete lined underground tunnels using resources that could have been spent on alleviating the plight of their hapless civilian population.
These tunnels protect their munitions from air attack and allow rockets and launchers to be moved about the battlefield immune from air attack. Their commanders also skulk underground while their fighters and civilians die in the mayhem above.
Because of this, only so much can be achieved from the air. The current Israeli ground assault is restricted to locating, clearing and destroying attack tunnels that threaten civilians across the border. If Hamas do not agree to cease their rocket fire, the IDF may well have to expand the operation to take on the network of rocket launchers and command bunkers deep inside the Gaza Strip.
I have spent time in the last week speaking to IDF soldiers on the Gaza border. Their job is extremely dangerous and they know it. Yet, like their British counterparts whom they so closely resemble, every one was stoical, good-humoured and ready to close with the enemy to defend their families at home.
I pay tribute to the more than 30 soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. They have made the greatest contribution to their country that is possible. We owe them our support. Not just out of respect for their courage and sacrifice but because their war is our war, too. They are fighting the 21st century scourge of Islamist terrorism at democracy’s front line.
Col Richard Kemp was Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan (h/t Yoel)
'IDF does more than any other army to prevent civilian deaths'
INTERVIEW: Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, talks to Ynet about Israel's military and moral superiority over Hamas, and says Israel should hit Gaza harder and faster.
Israel's military makes more effort than any other army to prevent civilian casualties, but should be more aggressive in Gaza, says Colonel (ret.) Richard Kemp CBE, the former commander of the British armed forces in Afghanistan and fierce international advocate for the IDF.
"I would like to see the IDF operating much faster, going in perhaps harder and faster, that's what I would like to see," Kemp told Ynet on Wednesday.
"But having said that, I recognize - as you recognize - the pressures on Israel from all around the world to absolutely minimize the number of civilian casualties they're causing", he added. "I believe that on the basis of everything that I've seen, that everything the IDF does to protect civilians and to stop the death of innocent civilians is a great deal more than any other army, and it's more than the British and the American armies." (h/t Yoel)
JPost Editorial: A salute to lone soldiers
There has been an overwhelming outpouring of solidarity over the three lone soldiers (in Israel without close family) killed in clashes with Hamas in the Gaza Strip over the weekend.
Tens of thousands attended the Jerusalem funeral on Wednesday of St.-Sgt. Max Steinberg, 24, who grew up in California. On Tuesday night, there was a massive turnout for the funeral in Ashkelon of St.-Sgt. Jordan Bensemhoun (Ben-Simon), 22, who was born and raised in Lyon, France. And the previous night, a spontaneous social media campaign led to masses attending the Haifa funeral of Sgt. Sean (Nissim) Carmeli, 21, who was raised in Texas by Israeli parents.
All three young men were, by all accounts, exceptional human beings, Jews and Zionists who made aliya in the prime of their lives and joined the IDF’s elite Golani Brigade.
They excelled during their service and made the ultimate sacrifice during Operation Protective Edge. We offer heartfelt condolences to their families.
30,000 attend Mount Herzl funeral of US-born IDF soldier
Sgt. Max Steinberg, a U.S.-born Golani Brigade soldier who fell in battle in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, was laid to rest on Wednesday on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.
Around 30,000 Israelis attended Steinberg's funeral, making it one of the largest in the history of the Mount Herzl military cemetery.
Steinberg, 24 at the time of his death, was born and raised in Los Angeles. In June 2012, Steinberg, joined by his younger siblings Jake and Paige, visited Israel for the first time on a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip and fell in love with the country. After the trip was over, Steinberg decided he would move to Israel and enlist in the Israel Defense Forces.

Abbas chooses Hamas over peace. Again.

Who says there is no unity?

Mahmoud Abbas, faced with a decision to support or oppose Hamas terror, decided that terror is the way to go. He praised the Hamas "resistance" - which means he is praising rockets to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Here is the official announcement from the PA leadership (translation by MEMRI):
The Palestinian leadership, headed by Mahmoud 'Abbas, held an emergency meeting tonight to study the recent developments in the national activity, as part of its confrontation with the criminal terrorist aggression being carried out by Israel against our steadfast people in the brave Gaza Strip.

The leadership heard the announcement by President Abu Mazen at the beginning of the meeting, and expressed its appreciation for the efforts that he has made on the international and regional level and for [his efforts] to connect with the leaderships of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. [The leadership] stressed the importance of continuing these efforts, and of continuing the coordination and the joint activity on all levels. This comes as part of strengthening the Palestinian national unity under the flag of the PLO, our only legitimate representative.

[The leadership] praises the steadfastness of our people in its courageous resistance against the occupation army that is carrying out ongoing massacres and crimes.

The leadership has stressed that our entire people, both in and outside the homeland, stands assertively alongside Gaza and alongside its bleeding people, at every hour, in defense of the Palestinian homeland, the rights of the people, and the national Palestinian enterprise.

The heroic Gaza is today [our] defensive shield, because it heads the ranks to protect our land, our rights, and our steadfast and sacred goals of liberation, return, and independence.

The Palestinian leadership has called on our people to take the most extensive and ongoing popular action in order to express steadfastness alongside the heroic Gaza and its courageous resistance and against the army of aggression and its ongoing crimes. We are certain that Gaza will not break as long as it [enjoys] the cohesion of our entire people...

Likewise, the Palestinian leadership has called for expanding the campaign of international solidarity with the brave and steadfast Gaza, for calling on all the international organizations and bodies, for condemning the crimes of the occupiers, and for acting intensively to prosecute its leaders and senior officials in international courts for these crimes. Also, it calls on the entire world to reject the misleading propaganda being spread by the government of the occupation and the aggression."

Gaza's demands for a halt to the aggression and the removal of the siege, in all its forms, are the demands of the entire Palestinian people, and it is to the implementation of this goal that the Palestinian leadership is devoting all its capabilities."
Abba Eban famously said that Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. In this case, though, a different rule is in effect:

Arabs, no matter how much they hate each other, will always hate Israel more.

Nothing is going to change that.

Of course, Hamas has no love for Fatah and Abbas. Their idea of "unity" has always been imposing their own, Islamic supremacist worldview on the more "moderate" factions. Abbas happily goes along with this, because deep down there is no ideological difference between his party and Hamas, just he is more sensitive to Western pressure.