* Arab media and other reaction to the Jerusalem terror attack on 15-16 year olds
* European and American taxpayers subsidize newspaper welcoming the attack
* Kuwait clamps down on Mughniyeh mourning, while Iran issues stamp to honor him
* “This is what happens when the Security Council is infiltrated by terrorists”
1. Eight arrested in connection with “well-planned” attack
2. Arab media, including Fatah’s newspaper, welcomes the attack
3. Lebanese paper criticizes Jerusalem attack
4. Huffington Post turns off readers’ comments
5. “This is what happens when the Security Council is infiltrated by terrorists”
6. Why isn’t this footage being shown in America and Europe?
7. More pictures of what they were celebrating
8. Outrage in Israel as Hamas flags hoisted over home of Jerusalem murderer
9. Jordan prevents public mourning for terrorist
10. Kuwait clamps down on Mughniyeh mourning, while Iran issues stamp
11. Hamas exploitation of civilians as human shields: photographic evidence
12. IDF captures 70 liters of acid used to make explosives in W. Bank
13. “To the Westerner who ‘understands’ the terrorist” (Ha’aretz, March 7, 2008)
14. “Israel’s no-win strategy” (Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2008)
[Note by Tom Gross]
This dispatch contains various ongoing reaction to last Thursday’s murder of eight teenage students, and the wounding of many others, in the library of a Jewish religious school in Jerusalem.
EIGHT ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH “WELL-PLANNED” ATTACK
Jerusalem police have arrested eight people in connection with the massacre. No details on the eight suspects have been released yet, but Israeli investigators said it appeared the attack had been well planned.
Forensic experts said the gunman, Ala Abu Dhaim, fired between 500 and 600 bullets in the course of the massacre. Survivors said Abu Dhaim had methodologically executed injured students with shots to the head as they lay wounded on the floor, in order to “confirm the kill.” They said he chanted “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is great) as he did so.
According to the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, the terrorist and his associates conducted a month-long surveillance of the school and gathered details on the victims.
One of the 15-year-olds who died, Segev Avihail, was a French citizen; and one of the 16-year-olds who died, Avraham David Mozes, was an American citizen. Another of the murdered students was an Ethiopian-Israeli from the coastal city of Ashdod.
ARAB MEDIA, INCLUDING FATAH’S OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER, WELCOMES THE ATTACK
Many Arab media have explicitly or implicitly welcomed the massacre, or obscured the facts about it.
The IMEMC news agency called the Jerusalem teen victims “settlers” and said that the attack occurred in “East Jerusalem.” (It occurred in the western part of the city.)
The Ramattan Arabic News Agency called the victims “soldiers.”
Hamas issued a statement calling the mass-murders “heroic” and its loudspeakers in Gaza City blared the message “God is Great.”
And contrary to western news reports “moderate” European- and American-funded Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas refused to unreservedly condemn the attack. Instead he said: “We condemn all attacks against civilians, be they Palestinian or Israeli.” The literature of his Fatah party then denied the victims were “civilians,” sending a clear signal to his supporters in Arabic.
In a press statement sent on Sunday to Ma’an, a leading Palestinian news agency, a spokesman for Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades said the attack was a “Blessed martyrdom operation in occupied Jerusalem.”
The group, which derives much of its funding from EU and American taxpayers’ grants to Fatah, also called for the carrying out of more such attacks.
And Mahmoud Abbas’ official PA daily newspaper, Al Hayat Al Jadida, honored the killer of the eight students with the status of Shahid: “Holy Islamic Martyr.”
Al Hayat Al Jadida prominently placed his picture on its front page, with the caption, “The Shahid Alaa Abu Dhaim.” Its accompanying front-page story said his act was a “Shahada (martyrdom)-achieving” action. This newspaper is also indirectly subsidized by western taxpayers.
There has not been even one statement of criticism of these murders at an Israeli school from all those British and other western academics that have campaigned relentlessly to boycott Israeli schools.
Reader Gary Wolf points out that the headline of the attack in The Associated Press’s report, “7 die in shooting at Jerusalem seminary,” failed to mention that the victims were Jews or children, or who the perpetrator was. “I wonder whether the article would have looked any different if the ‘militant’ had shot up AP headquarters in New York, killing eight people and wounding many others,” Wolf asks.
LEBANESE PAPER CRITICIZES JERUSALEM ATTACK
One of the very few Arab papers that said it was wrong to murder Jewish students was the Beirut Daily Star (the senior staff of which subscribe to this email list).
“Slaughtering civilians does nothing to serve the Palestinian cause... The attack on a Jewish seminary... which killed eight young civilians will damage the interests of the Palestinian people,” the paper wrote.
The paper’s editors did, however, go on to say that “resistance... carried out in a disciplined and professional manner against genuine military personnel” was permitted.
One other Arab journalist who harshly criticized the terror attack is Abdallah al-Hadlak. Writing in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Watan, the author and journalist called the attack “an act of barbaric murder that expresses the extreme and inhumane ways of Hamas and Hizbullah.”
HUFFINGTON POST TURNS OFF READERS’ COMMENTS
The Huffington Post, one of America’s most successful Internet news sites, funded and run by millionairess Arianna Huffington, had to close down the comment box for their post on the mass murder in Jerusalem.
Within hours of the Jewish teenagers being shot dead, the site was inundated by anti-Semitic readers’ postings “partying and celebrating” the atrocity.
“THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE SECURITY COUNCIL IS INFILTRATED BY TERRORISTS”
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the shooting a “savage attack,” but the 15-nation UN Security Council failed to criticize it after Libya, backed by several other council members, blocked the statement of condemnation.
Dan Gillerman, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, said in response: “Unfortunately, this is what happens when the Security Council is infiltrated by terrorists.”
The UN Human Rights Council not only regularly admonishes Israel, but last Tuesday, at the request of Iran’s foreign minister, it held a moment of silence for what it called the Gaza “martyrs,” which included Hamas bombmakers and missile launching squads.
Meanwhile, the EU Commission announced last week that it has offered to bolster its relations with Libya following the memorandum or understanding signed between the parties last year.
WHY ISN’T THIS FOOTAGE BEING SHOWN IN AMERICA AND EUROPE?
[This item of mine was originally published on the morning of Friday, March 7, 2008 by the National Review. Please click here for pictures and video.]
After news reached Gaza yesterday evening that eight teenagers had been shot dead and many more injured in the library of a Jewish religious school in Jerusalem, thousands of Palestinians took to the streets to celebrate.
Here is the footage of “impoverished” Gazans handing out sweets and candies to passing motorists honking their horns in joy. I strongly suggest you watch it and ask why the footage is not being broadcast on major western TV networks. (The clip is from Israeli TV news taken from Palestinian TV news.) Might it spoil the sympathy for Palestinians that the BBC, CNN, and others are trying to ram down viewers’ throats all the time?
In mosques throughout Gaza, thousands of residents went to perform the prayers of thanksgiving. There were also similar celebrations on the streets of Tehran last night.
The bloodbath would have been even greater if it wasn’t for the brave actions of an off-duty Israeli soldier who happened to live next door to the school. He is reported to have climbed precariously on to the roof of his house, stood at the very edge, and then shot the terrorist through an open window.
One of the children who was severely injured in the attack is a 14-year-old who came to Jerusalem from Sderot to escape the Hamas missile attacks on his city.
[The above piece was also linked to in many other leading blogs, for example here.]
MORE PICTURES OF WHAT THEY WERE CELEBRATING
This is a slideshow of photos from the atrocity, showing what the above-mentioned mosques and crowds in Gaza were celebrating. Be advised, some of the pictures are graphic.
OUTRAGE IN ISRAEL AS HAMAS FLAGS HOISTED OVER HOME OF JERUSALEM MURDERER
For several days following the attack, Israeli police refused to remove several large Hamas and Hizbullah flags that the family of the dead terrorist raised up over their home following the attack. Despite a bombardment of criticism by international NGOs and media, Israel is in fact one of the most tolerant liberal democracies in the world.
The murderer, 25-year-old Ala Abu Dhaim, was going to be married soon. “His martyrdom is a great gift to his family and the family of his fiancée,” said one relative.
JORDAN PREVENTS PUBLIC MOURNING FOR TERRORIST
By contrast, Jordanian security forces have prevented relatives of Abu Dhaim from publicly mourning him.
On Friday, the Jordanian branch of his family, who live near Amman, tried to erect a large tent to receive visitors coming to congratulate them on the attack, but were ordered by Jordanian security officers to dismantle it on the signed orders of the governor of Amman. They were also instructed to remove Hamas and Hizbullah flags that were hanging on nearby rooftops and electricity poles. (Jordan, like Egypt and other moderate Arab countries, is very scared of Hamas and its sister Muslim Brotherhood organizations increasing their support there.)
The terrorist’s uncle, Mohammed Abu Dhaim, said he decided to erect a tent as soon as he heard that his nephew had been behind the attack. “We were hoping that people would come to congratulate us on the martyrdom of my nephew,” he told Jordanian journalists. “This is a heroic operation that must be celebrated by everyone. I don’t understand why the authorities won’t let us celebrate.”
Another family member said it was “ironic that the Jordanians had banned the public mourning while Israel was allowing Abu Dhaim’s family in Jerusalem to receive mourners and hoist Hizbullah and Hamas flags. We saw on TV that the family in Jerusalem was holding a public event. We didn’t see the Israeli police prevent people from arriving at the family house there.”
KUWAIT CLAMPS DOWN ON MUGHNIYEH MOURNING, WHILE IRAN ISSUES STAMP
Meanwhile, al-Watan reports that the Kuwaiti authorities last week announced they would be expelling from the country those Palestinian and Lebanese expats who had publicly mourned slain Hizbullah terror leader Imad Mughniyeh.
In addition to organizing the murders of hundreds of westerners, Mughniyeh had also hijacked a Kuwaiti airliner in 1988 and killed Kuwaiti nationals.
And in Iran, the regime has announced a postage stamp will be issued to honor Mughniyeh. Here is a picture of the stamp being prepared.
For more on Mughniyeh, see He’s not quite Osama Bin Laden... But he almost is.
HAMAS EXPLOITATION OF CIVILIANS AS HUMAN SHIELDS: PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE
It is worth watching this clip showing one of the many instances when Hamas uses human shields against Israel. It goes a long way to explaining why, although Israel does its utmost to avoid harming civilians, there are sometimes civilian casualties. For more clips, click here.
Israeli media also showed film of Hamas using children to collect weapons from dead gunmen as the IDF holds fire while Hamas rearmed.
Meanwhile more Israeli civilians have been injured in recent days as Hamas has continued to fire rockets into southern Israel. Three young Israeli soldiers also died after Hamas detonated a roadside bomb planted in a kibbutz on the Israeli side of the Gaza-Israel border. The soldiers had been patrolling to protect southern Israel from Hamas attack.
The funeral yesterday of one of the dead soldiers, Liran Banai, aged 20, was conducted in sign language as both his parents and many of his friends are deaf. Banai had lost both his legs in the explosion on Thursday, and he succumbed to his other wounds on Sunday.
IDF CAPTURES 70 LITERS OF ACID USED TO MAKE EXPLOSIVES IN W. BANK
The Israeli army on Sunday captured 70 liters of acidic materials which can be used to produce explosives.
40 liters of sulfuric acid and 30 liters of nitric acid were discovered in a Palestinian truck which was stopped at a checkpoint near Kalkilya near the Israel-West Bank border.
Last Thursday’s Jerusalem attack – which came as survivors were commemorating the 30th anniversary of the PLO attack on Israel’s coastal road in March 1978 which left 35 Israelis dead – caused great anger in Israel.
Even Ha’aretz – a newspaper whose news reports and editorial pieces are often cited favorably by anti-Zionists – ran a column harshly condemning people in the west who tried to “explain” the terrorists. The piece is attached below.
The second article below, from The Wall Street Journal, is by Daniel Doron, a veteran Israeli commentator and a longtime subscriber to this email list.
-- Tom Gross
HA’ARETZ COLUMNIST: TO THE WESTERNER WHO “UNDERSTANDS” THE TERRORIST
To the Westerner who “understands” the terrorist
By Bradley Burston
March 7, 2008
Spare us the explanations.
Spare us the learned, sociology-drenched justifications.
Spare us the reasons why you “get” Palestinians when they gun Jews down in cold blood.
Spare us the chapter and verse on how the plight of the Palestinians is at the root of Islamic terrorism the world over, and if the Palestinians were to receive full justice, Islamic terrorism would pass from the world.
You may well believe, with the blind faith of the hopeful and the fear-stricken, that when these people are through with the Jews, they won’t come for you.
Spare us the post-modernism and the radical chic and the guff.
Open your eyes.
When a gunman walks into a Jewish religious seminary at the main entrance to that part of Jerusalem which has been Jewish since 1948, and which was stolen from no one, pay attention.
When he opens fire on religious students hunched over books in a library, firing and firing until blood soaks holy book bindings and open pages of Talmud and the whole of the floor, pay close attention to the reactions of the self-styled people of faith who run Hamas.
Spare us the conclusion that the only reason Hamas kills Jews, and that its underlying motive for encouraging others to do the same, is to force Israel to agree to a cease-fire.
Spare us the “Israel’s policies are responsible for the bloodshed” and “the seminary is, after all, an ideological bastion and symbol of the religious right” and all the other scholarly, arrogant, condescending and amoral ways of saying “they had it coming to them.”
Spare us the understanding for the motivations of the mass murderer who kills with God on his lips. Spare us the understanding of the words of the Hamas official who says that after all the Israeli killings of Palestinians, the Jerusalem killings are “our only joy.”
Spare us the sight of the thanksgiving prayers for the great victory, prayers that began in Gaza City mosques just after the slaughter of the Jews. Spare us the sight of the sweets being handed out by little children to motorists in passing cars in the Strip, sweets to celebrate the young Jews dead on the floor, the young Jews dead at their desks, the Jews killed for the crime of being Jews in that place of study and worship.
Spare us the righteousness of those who condemned Baruch Goldstein for entering a holy place with an assault rifle and murdering Palestinians, but who can understand why a Palestinian might do the very same thing,
Open your eyes.
Last week, when Israeli forces drove into Gaza, and some 120 Palestinians were killed, many of them were gunmen, but with children making up another sixth of the total, one grieving father spoke with quiet eloquence, saying “Other places in the world, when this happens, there is a great outcry. When this happens here, the world is silent. No one cares.”
He’s right. The world has grown content to let Palestinians die. The reason is not simple callousness. And it is not, as Hamas proclaims to its followers in Gaza, that the Jews control the world media and world finance, and thus Western government as well.
The reason is terrorism.
The world has grown weary of the Islamist’s creed, that only the armed struggle can resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that the only proper resolution is the end of Israel.
Even the Israeli left, which for decades championed the Palestinian with courage and determination, has, in large part, had it with the Palestinians. The reason is terrorism. The reason is murder. The reason is that the rulers of Gaza are people who see an intrinsic value in the killing of Jews for the sake of increasing the number of dead Jews in the world.
The rulers of Gaza cannot bring themselves to accept the concept of sharing the Holy Land with the Jews.
The best that the rulers of Gaza can do, is to bring an end to hope among their own people and ours as well.
They believe that the Jewish state is temporary, and that they Jews will soon abandon it to Islamic rule.
After all this time, you’d think they’d know the Jews a little better.
“HISTORY HAS SHOWN TIME AND AGAIN THAT MILITARY CONFRONTATION DOES WORK”
Israel’s No-Win Strategy
By Daniel Doron
The Wall Street Journal
March 8, 2008
The massacre of rabbinical students Thursday at a Jerusalem seminary highlights the failure of the powerful Israeli military to stop the assaults of Palestinian terrorists. It also reveals serious deficiencies in Israel’s strategy and tactics.
These have cost Israel dearly. They also harm the world-wide war on terror, of which Israel is on the forefront.
You can’t stop every suicide bomber of course. But for seven years now, Hamas terrorists have been rocketing southern Israeli towns from Gaza. Israeli governments headed by Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert have all vowed to put an end to the attacks. Despite Israel’s overwhelming military superiority, its governments have failed to do so.
Israel has scored some impressive victories in its fight against terrorism, especially from attacks originating in the West Bank. Numerous attempts by Fatah and Hamas to dispatch bombers into Israel were frustrated by a combination of excellent intelligence, daring special operations, and the ability of the army to enter Palestinian-ruled areas in hot pursuit or for preemptive strikes. Not so in Gaza.
There, a radicalized population has elected a Hamas government determined to eliminate Israel. After Israel unconditionally retreated from the northern Gaza strip -- hoping that the Palestinians would concentrate on state building -- the territory was immediately used for attacks on Israel. Why has Israel failed to stop them?
Governments here -- behemoths whose budgets consume about a half the nation’s $160 billion GDP -- are generally dysfunctional. They are hamstrung by constant internal squabbles and Byzantine bureaucracies. As became evident as early as the 1973 Yom Kippur War, their dysfunction has infected the Israeli defense establishment. In that year, a totally surprised Israeli cabinet and military leadership reacted with confusion and ineptness that almost led to the country’s ruin. The recent Winograd Commission of Inquiry report on the Second Lebanon War indicates that these faults are endemic to the over-centralized yet disorganized Israeli system of governance.
More than in most countries, Israeli politicians are preoccupied with political machinations designed to buy support from powerful interest groups by distributing government largesse. This causes not only the factionalization of politics and growing corruption, but consumes time and energy that leadership should use to address life and death issues. As the Winograd Commission attested, Mr. Olmert’s government initiated the Second Lebanon War without proper discussion or preparation. During the relatively long war government and military leaders failed to define their objectives. They issued vague and contradictory directives, causing repeated failures and unnecessary loss of life. Only the exceptional bravery and tenacity of Israel’s soldiers and field commanders and of the rocketed Israeli population saved the day.
Israeli governments have done little to stop the massive rearmament of Hamas in Gaza with Iranian weapons, bought with Saudi money and transported into Gaza with the connivance of Egypt. Israel did not even press its great ally, the U.S., to lean on Egypt and put an end to this flagrant violation of its peace agreement with Israel -- a peace agreement for which Egypt is rewarded by billions in U.S. aid.
But the worst failures stem from adoption of a no-win strategy. Many in Israel’s top political and military echelons have convinced themselves that terrorism cannot be defeated by force, that to stop it one must compromise and accept some of its demands. But how do you “compromise” with a terrorist organization sworn to destroy you?
The Israeli leadership’s lack of determination to win, and its chronic political weakness, have prevented it from resisting pressure from Europe and certain American circles (mostly the State Department and the CIA) to accommodate Hamas and strengthen the allegedly peace-loving Palestinian Authority. Amazingly, Israel keeps supplying Hamas, for “humanitarian reasons,” with subsidized electricity and materiel including the steel and chemicals needed to produce the rockets that attack it. It keeps providing money and weapons to prop up the hopelessly corrupt Palestinian Authority.
So what is the one strategy that can win? History has shown time and again that military confrontation does work. Israel could achieve military victory by eliminating or incarcerating Hamas’s leadership, not two or three a month (so that they are replaceable) but a few hundred at once. By breaking its command structure and its logistical apparatus, Hamas can be rendered inoperative.
But for this to happen, Israel and Western democracies must treat the terrorists’ mortal challenge as a war for survival, not as a series of skirmishes. And in war, you must fight to win, by all traditional means.