From the category archives:

Israel

Whenever tensions rise in Israel, my stress level goes way up as a proxy war gets fought in social media channels. People I respect, colleagues and acquaintances and people I think of as friends, sometimes post things that make my blood boil.

So I’ve been not saying very much. Because I know that I wouldn’t be saying anything that most of you don’t already know, And, sadly, nothing I could say will convince anyone who has already made up their mind otherwise. I don’t think that inflammatory posts belong on my Facebook news feed — or on anyone else’s, for that matter. That’s why I have this separate blog page in the first place. I’ve had to unfollow some folks. I’ve even had to unfriend a few people.

But if I had to give a nutshell account of my thoughts, this comes pretty close:

I ask the enraged critics of Israel’s defensive responses to Hamas: Would you have us not respond to this monstrosity? Do you think it’s not worth losing the PR battle to retain our humanity and save as many lives as possible? What country would stand by when thousands of terrorist missiles assault its citizens?

[ . . . ]

We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else.

No more apologies.

(Hat tip: Richard.)

And, in case this isn’t enough, let me just recap the statement from the About page on this blog: “This blog is staunchly, unabashedly and wholeheartedly pro-Israel. Eretz Yisrael is in my heart and in my soul, and I will never hesitate to tell off anyone who would threaten its right to exist in peace and security. A broad spectrum of opinions are welcome here, and I will never shy away from a good debate. But if you’re here because you’re a hater, a terrorist apologist, or just a plain old-fashioned antisemite, please do everyone a favour and f#$% off.”

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Three coordinated attacks near Eilat and the Egyptian border have killed 7 people and injured 30:

In the first incident, Egged bus number 392, traveling from Beersheba to the southern resort city of Eilat, was ambushed by a three-man terror cell. Over a dozen people were wounded in the attack, which took place on Highway 12, about 30km north of Eilat, near the Ein Netafim junction.

Soon after that a second incident was reported, involving multiple roadside bombs and rocket fire at IDF forces patrolling the Israel Egypt border fence.

A third incident was reported at around 1pm, involving yet another shooting on a bus and a private vehicle traveling south. Five people reportedly suffered mortal wounds in the attack.

There’s no official word yet on whether lax security along the Egyptian border was responsible for the attacks, but carefully-worded statements seem to suggest as much:

“This was a grave terror attack at multiple scenes. It reflects Egypt’s failing hold on Sinai and the rise of terror elements,” Barak said. “This terror attack originated from Gaza. We will exhaust all measures against the terrorists.”

Israel has mostly been dancing on the head of a pin with respect to Egypt’s situation since Mubarak was outsted. On the one hand, nobody in Israel is going to come out publicly in support of an oppressive, dictatorial regime that the people clearly are glad to be rid of. On the other hand, there are legitimate concerns about what the next government will look like, and if terrorist elements hostile to Israel will gain control. Unfortunately, today’s attacks could only be a preview.

Update 8/20: Things go from bad to worse after what was apparently a suicide bombing that killed several Egyptian security forces members near the border. Egypt, of course, was quick to blame Israel, not terrorists, for the deaths, and now Egypt is withdrawing its ambassador to Israel and is accusing Israel of violating the ’79 peace treaty. The situation in Gaza is heating up, the UN – with Lebanon sitting on the Security Council – won’t condemn the terrorist attacks (who’s surprised?), and Hamas is threatening more attacks. With the 30+ years of cold peace with Egypt a hair’s breath from shattered — and without even mentioning what’s going on in Syria — there’s no word to describe the matzav right now other than “clusterfuck”.

Update #2: Meryl is, of course, all over the stories as they (d)evolve.

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Bibi addresses US Congress

05.25.2011

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a speech to US Congress yesterday. Among other things, he spoke about Iran, Bin Laden, Obama’s ill-advised comments on the ’67 borders, and Israel’s desires for – and obstacles to – a lasting peace with the Palestinians. The full speech is available to watch on video here. Or, you can [...]

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Palestinian unity government

04.27.2011

I give this a week. Ten days, tops. Rival Palestinian groups said they reached an agreement Wednesday on reuniting their governments in the West Bank and Gaza after years of bitter infighting that weakened them politically and caused the deaths of hundreds in violent clashes and crackdowns since. Even as the tentative agreement revived hopes [...]

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Abbas blinks first

09.22.2010

The Palestinian leadership has hinted that they may be open to continuing talks with Israel even if “settlement” building resumes: Speaking to a closed meeting of Jewish American leaders in New York late Tuesday, Abbas made clear that he wants to continue the dialogue with Israel and signaled that he was backing away from his [...]

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Israelis don’t care about peace?

09.06.2010

Phyllis Chesler takes on TIME Magazine in this column for Arutz Sheva: According to Vick, Israelis don’t care about peace, peace negotiations, or about the Palestinians because they are simply having too good a time: sunbathing, swimming, café-hopping, profiting from start-up companies, and, according to polls cited by Vick, utterly disconnected from “politics;” indeed Vick [...]

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Those darn Israelis, at it again

09.03.2010

Conducting breakthrough medical research, that is. This time, it’s a research team from Hebrew University that has developed a breakthrough in the fight against AIDS: a treatment that appears to kill HIV cells: A team of researchers from the Hebrew University has developed a treatment that completely destroys HIV-infected human cells in laboratory cultures, according [...]

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If you can’t blame Israel, it doesn’t count

08.15.2010

Good guest op-ed in the Gazette by Frida Ghitis: “No one much cares about what they endure, unless it can be blamed on Israel“: Palestinians are indeed victims of mistreatment. But you won’t hear much about what they endure, unless someone can pin the blame directly on Israel. Conditions in Gaza, for example, have made [...]

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Israeli-Lebanese border skirmish

08.05.2010

So what really happened in the game of “the tree was on my property” that broke out on the Israeli-Lebanese border yesterday, resulting in a lethal exchange of fire? Pajamas Media takes a crack at deciphering the finger-pointing and media spin games. And the Jerusalem Post has more on UNIFIL’s role in this mess.

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Are smokers dumber?

02.25.2010

A new Israeli study suggests that smokers have lower IQs than nonsmokers: According to the researchers, 28 percent of the study participants smoked at least one cigarette a day, around 3 percent said they were ex-smokers, and 68 percent had never smoked. The smokers had significantly lower intelligence test scores than non-smokers, and this remained [...]

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