Gaza Conflict Day 28: Israeli Cabinet Rules Out Truce Negotiations

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 9:50am

Today’s Top Stories

1. An IDF soldier, 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin, was kidnapped and declared dead by the army. during Friday’s ceasefire. The Jerusalem Post fills in details of the attack during Friday’s ceasefire that led to his demise. Goldin lived for some time in the UK, though it’s not yet clear if he has British citizenship. As this roundup went to press, Goldin’s funeral was scheduled for 5:30 p. m.  in Kfar Sava. Hamas denied having Goldin’s body, saying it lost contact with its goons in the area and presumed they were killed by the IDF.

2. The Israeli cabinet ruled out any negotiated withdrawal from Gaza, deciding unilaterally to remain in the strip until the IDF has re-established its deterrence.

Israel is adamant that Hamas cannot be trusted in any ceasefire deal, and that it has to be deterred. The US also understands this, the report went on, since the US also recognizes that the Hamas attack on Israeli troops in Rafah on Friday morning was a “spit in the eye” of the US and other mediators.

Chemi Shalev sums up what it means:

The ramifications of the decision, however, spread farther and wider: it disqualifies Hamas as a partner to the process and deprives it of any potential gains from its bloody Gaza campaign; it ejects Turkey and Qatar from the circle of countries with influence, as Israel had sought from the outset; and it relegates the United States, for the time being at least, to the sidelines.

3. Finnish TV confirmed Hamas fired rockets from the parking lot of Shifa Hospital. The Helsingen Sanomat reporter wasn’t identified in this video uploaded by Tundra Tabloids, but the YNet named her as Aishi Zidan. If you only take one action from this roundup to help Israel, share this video.

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4. New York Times Photos Only Tell Part of the Story: What does it say about Gaza coverage when the New York Times admits it can’t get any photos of Hamas gunmen?

5. The Unbearable Darkness of Australian Blood Libels: Many of Israel’s critics invert the truth by conveniently omitting or distorting vital facts.

6. UK Politician Abuses the Holocaust to Attack Israel: Writing in the Sunday Mirror, UK politician John Prescott abuses the Holocaust to attack Israel, describing Gaza as a “concentration camp” and a “ghetto.”

7. War in Gaza: 5 Tips for Sorting Through the News and Sharing Responsibly on Social Media: Back by popular demand — How do we sort through the info overload? And what’s our responsibility for what we choose to share?



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, see the Friday live-blog posts at the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Times of Israel, and i24 News.)

• Israel’s already preparing a legal defense against any UN investigation. Israel HaYom explains the technical difference between commissions of inquiry and investigation.

Senior Israeli officials are speaking of a legal challenge that would make the Goldstone report pale in comparison. The main concern stems from seemingly formal reasons: While the Goldstone report was labeled a “commission of inquiry,” the current committee appointed by the UNHRC is labeled a “commission of investigation.” The legal significance of the difference is disconcerting: While a commission of inquiry can produce nothing more than a declarative report, an investigative commission, if it arrives at any conclusions, can submit its findings to the ICC. In such a scenario, Israeli politicians and senior IDF officers involved in the fighting could be targeted, along with anyone involved in specific incidents categorized as “war crimes.”

Although Hamas is intentionally vague about its casualties — it never announces the names of its “martyrs” and every 17-25 year-old male is by default a civilian — the IDF says it has killed 800 terrorists since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge.

• Security forces foiled an attempt by Islamic Jihad prisoners  to tunnel out of an Israeli jail. Jerusalem Post coverage.

•  Soldiers searching for possible Hamas infiltration near Israeli town of Zikim.

• UN official condemns latest Israeli war crime: not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas. Everyone’s picking up on Breitbart, which quoted the UN’s top human rights official, Navi Pillay:

Among the UN’s long bill of particulars against the beleaguered Jewish state comes the almost unbelievable accusation that Israel’s refusal to share its Iron Dome ballistic missile defense shield with the “governing authority” of Gaza – i.e. Hamas, the terror group created to pursue the extermination of the Jewish state and now waging a terrorist war against it – constitutes a war crime against the civilians of Gaza.

• As a result of a critical investigation by The Independent, the British government is reviewing its arms sales to Israel.

• While everyone’s preoccupied with Hamas, the Islamic State is making gains in Gaza, says Jonathan Spyer.

• Martin Fletcher of NBC News got a first-hand look at one of the Hamas terror tunnels.

• Around the world: Israeli tourists evacuated from Maldives. A lady flying an Israeli flag on her Amsterdam home faces death threats and firebombs. An Israeli act was pulled from an Edinburgh art festival following pro-Palestinian protests.

• Did Israel tap John Kerry’s phone in the waning weeks of peace talks/?



Media Angles

• Must read: 40 Questions for the International Media in Gaza

• Daniel Schwammenthal: Journalists are terrified of telling the truth in Gaza.

• Fascinating: Israeli writer Amos Oz literally took over an interview with Deutsche Welle.

Amoz Oz: I would like to begin the interview in a very unusal way: by presenting one or two questions to your readers and listeners. May I do that?


Deutsche Welle: Go ahead!


Question 1: What would you do if your neighbor across the street sits down on the balcony, puts his little boy on his lap and starts shooting machine gun fire into your nursery?


Question 2: What would you do if your neighbor across the street digs a tunnel from his nursery to your nursery in order to blow up your home or in order to kidnap your family?


With these two questions I pass the interview to you.

• We got a shout out from Canadian Senataor Linda Frum:

• National Post columnist Jonathan Kay slams casualty count journalism, calling out one Globe & Mail correspondent in the process:

Western journalists obsessed with the “who is winning” narrative award “points” to Hamas every time that either an Israeli or Palestinian civilian dies. It is a lopsided scoring system that only encourage the group’s nihilistic tendencies. (Israel’s victories meanwhile, are more obscure — because the tunnels being blown up are underground, and Hamas gunmen killed by Israel usually are presented to the world as innocent bystanders.)


A perfect distillation of all this was contained in Patrick Martin’s July 25 Globe & Mail dispatch, “Why Hamas is winning the war” — a sort of point by point rundown on which side is lighting up the scoreboard and how.

• Hamas expelled a journalist — Harry Fear of Russia Today — for tweeting about rocket fire coming from civilian areas.

• The Jerusalem Post‘s Yaakov Lappin on Hamas desperation:

In recent days, Hamas members seized UN food coupons and prevented Gazan civilians from receiving the aid, in order to try and keep field cell members fed. The Islamist regime refuses to publish most of the names of its members who were killed fighting the IDF, and disposes of their bodies quickly, to avoid harming morale. It has tried to ban Gazan civilians from giving interviews to the foreign press during humanitarian truces.

See also Lee Smith (Kerry has Hamas’s back: so who has Israel’s?)

 Boaz Bismuth: Global media smells blood.

Caroline Marcus on the media war:

Have you shared a picture of a dying Palestinian child on your Facebook feed? Or perhaps you’ve leapt on the Twitter bandwagon and hashtagged “#FreeGaza”?


Well, congratulations. A terror organisation has officially got you eating out of the palm of its hand.

• Israeli government officials continued their media offensive. The Huffington Post profiled Mark Regev. Ambassador Ron Dermer appeared on France 24, while Yair Lapid spoke on BBC. Labor party leader Yitzhak Herzog discussed the conflict with Robert Peston of BBC Newsnight.



• The weekend’s best commentary was Col. Richard Kemp‘s look at the truth behind Gaza’s civilian casualty count.

With few exceptions, reporters, commentators and analysts unquestioningly accept the casualty statistics given by Gaza’s Hamas-controlled medical authorities, who ascribe all deaths to the IDF. Is anyone in Gaza dying of natural causes? Mass executions of “collaborators,” and civilians killed by malfunctioning Hamas rockets, are all attributed to IDF fire.


Are the “overwhelming majority” of the dead really civilians? It would seem so. We see a great deal of grotesque and heart-rending footage of dead and bleeding women and children but never so much as a glimpse of killed or wounded fighters. Nor do reporters question or comment on the complete absence of Gazan military casualties, an extraordinary phenomenon unique to this conflict. The reality of course is that Hamas make great efforts to segregate their military casualties to preserve the fiction that Israel is killing civilians only. There are also increasing indications that Hamas, through direct force or threat, are preventing journalists from filming their fighters, whether dead or alive. . We will not get to the truth until the battle is over.

• Quote of the day, by Amir Taheri:

Amazing though it might sound, hatred for Jews, thinly disguised as opposition to Israel, appeared to be more intense in Western capitals than anywhere in the Muslim world.

• Randy Bish, staff cartoonist at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review get s it. So does the Green Bay Press-Gazette‘s Joe Keller.

Proportionality? For whom?

• Peter Schwartz responds to Brian Eno‘s open-letter about the Israel-Gaza conflict.

How Gaza became one big suicide bomb.

• I wish Chris Riddell was referring to Palestinians locked in a  regime of religious  fanaticism, but anything published in The Observer can only can only be about bashing Israel.


• For more commentary, see Amos Harel (A well-mowed lawn), Jeffrey Goldberg (The most dangerous moment in Gaza), Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi (Qatar’s intervention in Gaza self-defeating), Charles Krauthammer (Clueless in Gaza), Michael Oren (In defense of Zionism), Khaled Abu Toameh (How PA regards Kerry’s diplomacy), Irwin Cotler (Down the UN’s anti-Israel rabbit hole), Mick Davis (Compassion for Palestinians shouldn’t translate into support for Hamas), and Alan Dershowitz (America’s “Allies,” Turkey and Qatar, are Accessories to War Crimes).

From opposite sides of the Atlantic, Roger Cohen and David Usborne compare US and European views of the war, David Blair (You learn quickly in Gaza . . .), See also Dore Gold (Israel’s doctrine of proportionality), David Bedein (Hamas’ UN schools), David Horovitz (The trouble with UNRWA), Chris Kenny, plus Tom Friedman‘s ruminations.

Last but not least, see staff-eds in USA Today, Brisbane Courier Mail, and the Toronto Star.


Featured image: CC BY flickr/Robert Couse-Baker


For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream and join the Israel Daily News Stream on Facebook.


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