Something good might come …

Legal issues… from this?

Imagine a game of football† where instead of a rule book of specific do’s and don’ts many of the rules were relative to the judgement of the competitors and subject to the judgement of 3rd parties with greater, lesser and even no connection to the game. That is today’s state of International Law on the conduct of war.

My original question, Could something good come out of  the current war in Gaza? could be answered narrowly or on a wider scale. Israel has staved off a potentially devastating attack on a Mumbai scale. That has to be good. It was blunted a massive rocket attack. Iron Dome and the other defensive measures work. That has to be good, not just for Israel but for America and the West. Hundreds of terrorists and jihadis are dead and no matter how loudly Hamas proclaims victory that must put a dent in Hamas’s plans for a caliphate – good. Continue reading

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In the classroom shark pool

star-teacherA teacher who ‘drowned’ offers a new paradigm

In the classroom shark pool By DAVID GUY
Originally published in the Jerusalem Post 07/08/2009 20:46

Israel’s children are in their summer holidays and the teacher’s unions are threatening their traditional strike to delay the opening of the school year. I thought reprinting this op-ed I wrote almost exactly five years ago would be appropriate. We all know teachers recycle lessons.


We’ve all seen teacher dramas. From The Blackboard Jungle to Stand and Deliver, Dangerous Minds and even School of Rock, the inexperienced teacher wins over the impossibly difficult, rowdy class by dint of character, personality and instinctive teaching greatness.

So let me come clean. Without a competent Hollywood scriptwriter, most teachers fail to cope with the Israeli classroom, and their pupils fail with them. I put myself in that category. The following proposal does not claim to be a solution for all the problems in the Israeli education system – just one. It addresses the unacceptable turnover of new teachers by exchanging the present ‘Sink or Swim’ paradigm for one of apprenticeship. Continue reading

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Eating leather

Rocky statueLooking at the bigger picturestar-boxer

The five-in-a-star for this post probably needs some explanation. I’ve been looking for some graphic analogy to explain Hamas mentality, when I thought of boxing.

How many of you out there are boxing fans? If you are, you’ve seen this scene so many times. One fighter is bruised and bloodied; losing every round yet he is still on his feet and occasionally even lands a punch. As the bell sounds, each round, he raises his arms in victory. He might influence the judges – he might sway the spectators – who knows he might even convince himself. Continue reading

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BBC wipes Israel off the map

star-BBCA course in map reading V

The BBC has used variations of the following map (left) since the beginning of the war in Gaza: Operation Protective Edge†. Notice something missing?

I’ll give you a clue. ISRAEL!

Gaza is shown as an area with named settlements, roads, built up areas, etc. Israel is out of sight. Compare with MapQuest (right) at the same scale. Real, suffering, innocent civilian people live and die in Gaza. Israel apparently not.

The BBC has achieved what the Israel Haters only dream of. They have wiped Israel off the map. Continue reading

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7 things 2 consider

star-ali-rizvi-monAli A. Rizvi A Response to Ali A. Rizvi

At the risk of damning Ali Rizvi with faint praise I will say his 7 Things to Consider
Before Choosing Sides in the Middle East is a heroic effort to stay neutral, in an emotion-raising conflict. I, for one, am not accusing him of being either pro-Israel nor pro-Palestinian (is pro-Hamas the same thing?) although I can understand the charge. However I do feel he only sees part of the bigger picture; finds moral equivalence where there is little and spoils his argument towards the end by clichés which he previously challenged earlier. Continue reading

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Free Gaza graphics

star-Free-GazaFREE GAZA – from Hamas graphics for Facebook. that is.

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Criminals call for Court

Legal issuesInside Shuj'iyaIsrael charged with war crimes at International Criminal Court (ICC)

Will ICC will accept jurisdiction? I doubt it. It has refused in the past. Palestine is not a member state, neither is Israel, and only member states can raise charges. Apart from that the court will not take a case unless it is convinced the state where the individual accused resides is incapable or unwilling to deal properly with the charges domestically. Israel is fine – Gaza not so much. However, logic doesn’t always apply in a lynching.

Personally I don’t think they mean to go through with it. Rather this is, as with the UNHRC investigation, warfare by other means. Hamas clearly believes/hopes that sufficient public diplomacy pressure can successfully persuade Israel to withdraw.

Should the court accept, we should welcome it and counter sue both the plaintiff AND the Palestinian Authority. Use of the legal system cuts both ways and it is about time the Israeli case is heard. Continue reading

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Petitioning UNHRC

Action ItemsUrgently investigate serious violations of international humanitarian law by Hamas in Gaza

Here is an action item Five Minutes for Israel can wholeheartedly endorse. Please sign this petition to the United Nations Human Rights Council which has pointedly ignored multiple Hamas war crimes (See Criminals call for Court) while essentially demanding a guilty verdict on Israel without examination. The petition explanation lists 8 war crimes committed by Hamas.

Action Item:

Continue reading

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The Blame Game

star-alternative_logo_150X150There is a way to end the Gaza tragedy …
but playing the blame game is not it

Contributed by Ira Weiss

It is tempting for activists on both sides to cynically use the tragedy of this war to advance their political agendas. One example of that is an attempt by some anti-Israel activists to portray the civilian casualties as the result of some special Israeli malevolence. It is estimated that perhaps 70% of the deaths from Israeli attacks in Gaza are non-combatants. That is a tragic and lamentable reflection of how modern warfare is fought by all countries these days, not evidence of some especially egregious Israeli military practice. Continue reading

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Sympathy and cynicism

star-alternative_logo_150X150Anyone but the Jews

From Jack Cohen on ISBLOG
23 July 2014

There was a time when Jews generated a lot of sympathy amongst the liberal western elite, because of course they were defenceless and were being murdered at an alarming rate. But, it didn’t help, because the sympathy for those killed usually came too late, after they were dead. Now the sympathy is being expressed for the enemies of the Jews, the poor Palestinians because they are relatively defenceless, even though they seem to have an unlimited supply of missiles and plenty of guns. But, the Jews had enough of the sympathy of well-meaning people, and decided to take their destiny into their own hands. That is why we are now able to fight our enemies.

Let them have the sympathy, we’d rather have the Iron Dome and the IDF. Continue reading

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