Today’s Top Stories
1. Hamas resumed rocket fire on Friday, injuring two Israelis. According to Reuters, the weekend rocket fire “has focused on kibbutzim, or collective farms, just across the border in what appeared to be a strategy of sapping Israel’s morale without triggering another ground invasion of the tiny Gaza Strip.” Or as the Los Angeles Times called it, “a war of attrition.” Later on Sunday, Hamas reportedly agreed to another 72-hour ceasefire, but Israel responded that it wouldn’t negotiate under fire and will continue military operations.
2. As the US begins airstrikes on Islamic State positions in Iraq, Chemi Shalev comments that this could change the world’s perceptions of Operation Protective Edge. Big Media’s saturation coverage of Gaza may have dire implications for the Yazidis, a Kurdish tribe in Iraq imperiled by the Islamic State. Thousands of Yazidis are stranded on Mount Sinjar, facing an Islamic State ultimatum: convert or die. Shalev writes:
While experts around the world were dissecting the personal rivalries inside the Israeli cabinet, the internal logic of the Hannibal procedure and the exact origin and/or destination of each and every Hamas rocket or IDF artillery shell, near the site of the great city of Nineveh a potential genocide that could wipe a proud and ancient tribe off the face of the earth was just getting under way.
3. Ayman Taha, one of the original founders of Hamas, who was intimately involved with the organization’s finances, was executed, ostensibly for collaborating with Egypt. More on the story at YNet.
4. Joe Hyamas at NY Rally: We Won’t Apologize for Not Bleeding More: HonestReporting’s CEO and other notables spoke out against the media’s handling of the Gaza crisis.
5. BBC and NYT Admit Gazan Civilian Casualty Stats Not Credible: Two of the most influential news services question the numbers.’
6. Hiroshima, Dresden, and . . . Gaza City???: Sky News makes a, uh, disproportionate comparison.
7. Video: How to Interview a Terrorist: Many journalists allow Hamas and its apologists evade tough questions. See what happens when one reporter remains persistent.
Operation Protective Edge
• For details on today’s developments, see live-blogs at the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Times of Israel, and i24 News. For more on the weekend, see the Friday live-blogs at the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Times of Israel, and i24 News.
• Jerusalem Post: Israel concerned that international forces in Gaza would set a precedent for the West Bank.
• Nearly all of the rockets fired at Israel were made in Gaza, according to the IDF. AFP adds:
The Gaza manufacturers of these rockets used “water pipes” of different diameters for the bodies of the rockets, filling them with explosives made from materials such as products used in agriculture, the official said.
It wouldn’t be the first time Hamas cannibalized Gaza’s own water system or took materials made in Israel and turned them into rockets for its Pipe Dreams.
• The Times of London found some Hamas fighters in an unlikely place:
Gaza’s most famous ice cream parlour seemed an unlikely place to bump into four war-weary Hamas fighters.
The young men grinned boyishly beneath neon streetlights as they slurped fluorescent green crushed-ice drinks, delighting in a taste they had almost forgotten after a month inside a concrete tunnel eating only dates and tuna.
Men crowded around them, shaking the fighters’ hands and kissing their cheeks.
For now, at least, they are hailed as heroes in Gaza — despite the scene of destruction around them . . .
• Obama to the New York Times: It’s hard to see Netanyahu “being able to make some very difficult compromises.”
• South African authorities put the Jewish community on notice that citizens who serve in the IDF could be prosecuted. The Mail & Guardian reports that the government has already opened a case against Dean Goodson, of Cape Town, who is reportedly now in the IDF. Pro-Palestinian activists are pushing for cases to be opened against four other unidentified individuals. More background at The Independent.
• Just to clarify some confusion and rumors: Rabbi Joseph Raksin, who was shot and killed on his way to synagogue
Friday night Saturday morning, was the victim of what involved told the Miami Herald was ” a robbery that went badly” and not a hate crime connected to the Gaza crisis.
• Jewish community feel betrayed as Palestinian flags fly over Glasgow City Council.
• Crossfire host S.E. Cupp’s taking shots at the Big Media’s handling of Hamas. It started with her commentary in the New York Daily News, then continued with an interview on CNN. Cupp made a Nazi analogy to explain to host Brooke Baldwin how the media unwittingly helps Hamas by treating it as “political” organization without talking about its overall goal of destroying Israel.
Imagine if we were doing a news report, you and I, on what Hitler wanted, and we said, “He very much wanted to annex Poland and parts of Russia.” You might say he also wanted to kill a lot of Jews. And so, to omit that in a report — and it should be stated every time you’re talking about Hamas’s demands and Hamas’s wants if we’re going to be honest — creates a moral equivalency between Israel and Hamas that doesn’t exist. The demands are not morally equal here.
• Reporter Christopher Stephens discussed the situation for journalists in Gaza with the Jerusalem Post.
• AFP acknowledges: Hamas is everywhere but nowhere in the Gaza war.
• The Mike Carlton fiasco Down Under refuses to die. Australia’s Daily Telegraph extended the controversy’s half-life by using an image from the Boston Marathon bombing to ridicule Carlton. The Telegraph was called out on Twitter for this, and editor Paul Whittaker apologized, telling Guardian Australia:
“The Photoshopped image was an amalgam of different images put together during the art production process,” he told Guardian Australia.
“I was unaware that that particular image had been partially used. It is an inadvertent but regrettable mistake for which the Daily Telegraph apologises unreservedly.”
• “Perhaps it’s time to accept that Facebook is a lousy medium for political debates,” says Tal Abbady, who lost a Facebook friend over an Israel-Gaza post.
• Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid calls on his people to overthrow Hamas:
Hamas has never been interested in liberating the Palestinian people from the occupation. And Israel could never destroy the infrastructure set up by Hamas. Only we, the Palestinian people, could dismantle it.
What could we have done? The residents of the Gaza Strip had the responsibility to rebel against Hamas rule. Yes, Hamas’ control is deadly and people have been afraid to express their dissatisfaction with its rule and mismanagement. And yet, we abdicated our own responsibility to ourselves.
We knew this. And we let it happen.
Will these deaths – nearly 1,800 to date, nearly 0.1% of the population of the Gaza Strip – teach us a lesson that we will never forget? The lesson is that we must rid ourselves of Hamas and completely demilitarize Gaza. Then we will open up the border crossings. I say this as a loyal Palestinian and because I care for my own people.
• Elliott Abrams on 18/14. What’s that?
18% of the rockets fired by Hamas (by IDF calculations), which is to say about 600 rockets, were fired from schools, hospitals, mosques, and cemeteries.
14% of the rockets fired by Hamas actually fell inside Gaza. That’s more than 450 rockets, and before Israel is blamed for every bit of damage done inside Gaza by rocket fire a calculation must be made of the damage inflicted by Hamas itself.
• The Tulsa World‘s Bruce Plante weighs in.
Nor should [Jews] be required to declare their distance from Israel as a condition for admission into polite society. We opposed such a question being put to all Muslims after 9/11 and, though the cases are not equivalent, the same logic applies here. This is a test for those who take a strong stance in support of the Palestinians, but in truth it is a test for all of us.
• For more commentary, see Avi Issacharoff (Hamas opts for attrition), Mordechai Kedar (What’s going to become of Gaza?), Amos Harel (Hamas: Heavy on the fire, light on cease), Avi Dichter (De-militarize Gaza, by force), Steve Huntley (Hamas’s absurd claim of victory), David Weinberg (The resurrection of Mahmoud Abbas), Roger Cohen (Will voices of conscience be heard?), and Raphael Ahren (The rocket that spelled the two-state solution’s end).
Rest O’ the Roundup
• The International Criminal Court received a formal complaint against settlements — a complaint against Turkish settlements in Cyprus. Has Turkey violated the Rome Statute by deporting or transferring Turkish civilians to occupied territory? Eugene Kontorovich looks at what this might mean for Israel and the Palestinians.