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The Day In Israel: Mon June 8th, 2009

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Over in neighboring Lebanon, the US-backed pro-Western coalition has declared victory over Hizbullah and the pro-Syria alliance in the parliamentary election, with a Hizbullah official acknowledging the loss.

Israeli officials had been concerned about gains by Hizbullah, which would boost the influence of Iran and Syria and further destabilize the Middle East.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

11:03PM: In Best of the Web Today, James Taranto notes something curious:

In a pre-election story datelined Beirut, the New York Times noted that if Hezbollah won, “there will be concern in Washington and Tel Aviv.” Huh? Presumably the Times is using the standard journalistic synecdoche of referring to a country’s government by the name of its capital–but Tel Aviv isn’t the capital of Israel. Jerusalem is.

True, the Ministry of Defense has its headquarters in Tel Aviv, so maybe the Times means to refer to the concerns of Israel’s military establishment. But the U.S. Defense Department is also located outside the national capital, so in that case the reference should have been to “Arlington and Tel Aviv.”

But hey, it’s the Age of Obama. Who needs facts when you’ve got hope?

9:48PM: Things are not looking good for the Blair Ditch Project, thanks to Israel’s (legitimate) concerns that Hamas will use supplies for their own weapons and bunkers.

8:10PM: Here’s an indication as to why I’m a big fan of the two Johnnies – Bolton and Howard.

“If I was asked by [US] President [Barack] Obama to give him advice, I would ask him to support an Israeli strike on Iran. The European Union has wasted six years on diplomacy to try to get the ayatollah to stop his nuclear enrichment program. The Arab Gulf states are wondering: why hasn’t Israel not already attacked Iran?”

So said former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, in the presence of Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Silvah Shalom, as part of a panel discussion on counter-terrorism at the Spirit of Hope Simon Wiesenthal Centre benefit event at Roy Thomson Hall on May 31.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper personally received from Simon Wiesenthal Centre spiritual leader Rabbi Marvin Hier the annual Simon Wiesenthal Centre Leadership Award to a long standing ovation. He then described how former Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day had protected Canadian synagogues from antisemitic crime, as well as recounting how Canada was the first nation to not attend the UN Durban II conference in Geneva, and cutting off relations with the Palestinian Authority after the Hamas terrorists took over Gaza.

During the panel discussion, former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, echoed Bolton’s sentiments.

“Any country that feels itself threatened has the right to defend itself without asking  permission to do so from another country.”

He was referring to a recent article by Jerusalem Post contributing editor Caroline Glick quoting Obama’s CIA director Leon Panetta asking Israel not only to refrain from attacking Iran but also asking the Jewish state to “shut its mouth” about Iran.

Obama’s policies towards global terrorism were also harshly criticized by former US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, quoting his Obama cabinet successor Janet Napolitano, who identifies the likes of Osama bin Laden and Khaled Sheikh Mohammed (the murderer of Daniel Pearl and the mastermind of 9/11) as perpetrators of “man-made disasters,” rather than as terrorists.

“These are terrorists,” exclaimed Chertoff. Chertoff defined K.S. Mohammed, now serving time in Guantanamo, as a vicious terrorist who beheaded Pearl (who advocated reconciliation with Islam) specifically because “he was an American Jew working for the Wall Street Journal.”

Bolton warned that such soft-pedalling of global Islamic terrorism under the Obama administration causes him to fear an upsurge in terrorism under the current US president. Chertoff warned that to shut down the US military prison at Guantanamo, as Obama initially wanted until he was stopped from doing so by the US Senate and to move the foreign terrorists into US jails, would only result in the terrorists running gangs within the US prison system who would extort, hold hostages and could possibly gain release from lenient judges into American street life.

Bolton said that “the US has nothing to apologize for” regarding global Islam. “We created democracy in Islamic Iraq; went to war to save Islamic Bosnia and are now fighting to protect Afghanistan from the Taliban.”

Howard stressed that the war on terror was not against Islam per se, praising what is now becoming a democratic Indonesia (the world’s largest Muslim country) in contrast to what was the left-wing dictatorship of Sukarno followed by the corrupt right-wing dictatorship of Suharto.

Tip of the hat goes to a third John.

3:48PM: Ma’an News on this morning’s killing of palestinian terrorists:

Initial reports said the fighters abducted an Israeli soldier before Israeli forces shelled them from the air. According to eyewitnesses, Israeli helicopters and artillery fired on the area.

While the aim of the terror attack may have included abducting soldiers, I somehow doubt they had already abducted one at the time, especially if we were returning heavy fire at the terrorists.

3:00PM: US envoy George Mitchell said US President Barack Obama wants “immediate” talks between the palestinians and Israel.

2:46PM: We already knew this morning’s attempted terror attack involved horses.

Now it seems that the horses were not just a mode of transport.

An Israel Defense Forces’ investigation into a major terror attack thwarted  Monday morning south of the Karni crossing in the Gaza Strip revealed that the gunmen, believed to be affiliated with al-Qaeda, arrived at the crossing with several trucks and at least five horses loaded with explosive devices and mines.

2:35PM: Via Palestinian Media Watch comes this example of well intended humanitarian assistance appropriated for palestinian terror purposes:

“The [Palestinian] Health Ministry stated yesterday that Hamas militias had raided 46 ambulances, donated by Arab states during the recent aggression on the Gaza Strip, of the medical equipment that they contained… and used them as military vehicles to arrest civilians, after painting [the ambulances] black.

The Ministry’s director of public relations and information, Dr. Omar Nasr… said that the medical equipment removed from the ambulances was expensive. He demanded that the Hamas militias declare, courageously and openly, what had become of the thousands of tons of medical equipment which had been brought into the Gaza Strip as assistance for the Palestinian people, and which had passed at its [Hamas’s] orders to private warehouses and its own medical centers, and was later sold to the helpless citizen…”

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 20, 2009]

9:22AM: The IDF has killed 4 terrorists after a group of about 10 of them fired on the IDF as they tried to cross into Israel to perpetrate a large-scale terror attack.

According to Ha’aretz:

At least four Palestinian militants were killed on Monday after a group of gunmen tried to cross into Israel near the Karni crossing into the Gaza Strip.

Just after 6 A.M at least ten militants, some on horseback, opened fire on an Israel Defense Forces patrol on the Israeli side of the fence, which returned fire. No injuries among the IDF troops were reported.

An IDF source said that the group was planning to launch an attack against an Israeli community bordering the Strip.

Residents said the Palestinian militants fired anti-tank weapons and set off explosives against the patrol.

No group took initial responsibility for the attack, the first of its kind to reportedly involve horses.

Paging Ingrid Newkirk.

9:12AM: Today’s Jerusalem Post blooper is in this report on the Lebanese election results.


Either that, or the Israeli government is much worse than we thought (hat tip: Shy Guy)

5:55AM: Charles Krauthammer articulating things well. As usual.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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