Every Jewish child now a target
The "Australian" headline (7 Jan. 09) should make it very clear. "Every Jewish child now a target". If that is not a monstrous statement then what is? If that is acceptable rhetoric in anyone's world view, or in any way justifiable, then the world has gone stark raving mad. again.
Will anyone speak out against this or is everyone so terrified and/or stupefied by terrorism that even such a statement will go unchallenged? Or has the Western world totally lost its moral compass, presenting therefore ripe pickings for the forces of evil to take control? The leaders of the free world need to make a strong statement against such threats to their citizenry.
The Israeli army does not target Palestinian children. It does everything in its power to avoid civilian casualties. It drops pamphlets warning Palestinian civilians out of harm's way, it sends sms messages warning Palestinian civilians of impending actions. It risks sending in ground troops when the air force could do the job with fewer Israeli casualties. Obscenely, the Hamas terrorists shelter amongst children, old people and the most vulnerable of civilians, in schools, mosques, churches and hospitals, because they are playing their media card, counting on the world's sympathy to pressure Israel, to prevent Israel from achieving her clearly stated objectives. Israel's objectives are to stop missiles being lobbed from Gaza into Israeli civilian populations, to stop the smuggling of arms through tunnels from Egypt and to put an end to terror.
"Every Jewish child is now a target" is a lie. Every Jewish child has always been a target for Hamas and the rest of the Islamofascist world. They fail to kill many Jewish children simply because Israeli children and indeed all Israeli civilians, are protected by warning sirens, bomb shelters and safe rooms. They and the adults around them are all trained to respond quickly (usually they have about 15 seconds ) to the sirens which herald the incoming missiles from Gaza. Outside Israel, Jewish schools centres and synagogues all over the world are forced to employ additional security. But these terrorists have tragically succeeded too.
Who can forget the Hatuel family, the mother, (8 months pregnant) driving her her 11 yr old, 9 yr old, 7 yr old and 2 yr old daughters from school, all of whom were shot dead at point blank range by Islamic terrorists? Point blank! Did anyone stop to ask what kind of human being could point a gun at a sweet and innocent, two year old baby girl and pull the trigger? What kind of grievances justify such an act of barbarity? Who can forget Kobi Mandell, 13 yrs old and his friend Yossi, 14, playing hooky from school who were murdered, stoned to death by Palestinian terrorists? Who can forget the massacre at the Sbarro Pizza restaurant in Jerusalem which killed 15 Jewish civilians mostly mothers and children and injured 130 others. And on and on it goes... Witness the celebrations in the Arab territories and throughout the Arab world, when Jewish people are murdered. What a sight to behold. Imagine a people celebrating the cold-blooded murder of women and children. Celebrating! Making heros and heroines of suicide bombers and childkillers! What kind of mentality does this suggest ?
When two soldiers accidentally strayed into Ramallah and were taken to the police station, a rioting mob of Palestinian youths came in and lynched them. They beat the soldiers to death, throwing their mutilated bodies into the street. From the window of the police station you can see, in photos taken at the time, the bloodied hands of one of the murderers, held up proudly at the window! What about the Passover massacre where families were gathered at the Park Hotel in Netanya for a Passover dinner when a suicide bomber detonated his bomb in the crowded dining room and murdered 30 people? Particularly present were elderly Jews who didn't have relatives, and other families with their children? Are these justifiable acts of an aggrieved people? But on and on it goes.
Many Israeli civilians have been killed, wounded and traumatised by terrorist actions over many years. Many Jews too, from Buenos Aires to the USA, Britain and Europe, the Near and Far East have been targeted along with non-Jews all over the world. We know this, we have ample tragic evidence, don't we?
What a deceptive statement to say that "Now" every Jewish child is a target. What about Mumbai, where but for the courage of a nanny, a two year old Jewish boy would be dead? He has been orphaned of course because the Islamic terrorists did succeed in torturing and murdering his mum and dad! And why? Not because they were Israeli. They were religious Jews and therefore, as the stated aim of Islamofascism, the most valued of targets. It's all the Jews they are after. Why? Well, of course because we Jews are all pigs and apes, non-believers, who by virtue of our faith are deserving of subjugation and death. What about all the other innocent victims of terrorist abominations? What is their crime?
The western media is entirely complicit in the lies and deception of Islamic terrorists, Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and in the Lebanon, Hezbollah under Nasrallah and then the countless Islamic terrorist groups all over the world. They therefore are responsible for encouraging and exacerbating the situation. They too have the blood of innocents on their hands. By their selective reporting, bias and lust for exciting, dramatic images and stories no matter how fictional, by their near total ignorance of the complexities of the ME conflict, they have misrepresented the facts and caused public opinion to turn against the true victims of the conflict, the Israeli people, the Jewish people all over the world, indeed all freedom loving people and they have also damaged the Palestinian people who are being held to ransom by terrorist Islamic gangsters.
This is the reality, unpalatable as it may be. So for those who are too intellectually lazy to bother with the facts, for those who believe every picture published in the press and every sad story about Palestinian suffering ever told to justify the horror and terror of our times, this is the message. For those who are too frightened and thus prefer a state of denial to facing the truth, it's time to wake up, to question and to realise that now is the time to stand up and be counted, now is the time to fight for the truth, for our freedom and for our very lives. Now before it's too late!
End the cant and hypocrisy
Anyone seeking a case study of the forces of good facing evil incarnate would not find a better template than our current confrontation with Hamas. And yet, having for years endured bias and the application of double standards from the amoral international community, we are pained that much of the global media continues relating to us in a malevolent and hypocritical manner. In lieu of being commended for defending ourselves against terrorists, we are portrayed as the heartless killers while the barbarians committed to murdering us are depicted as innocent victims.
Self-styled liberals refuse to face the brutal truth that that our Hamas neighbors have created a criminal society based on death and destruction. Like the Nazis, Hamas is committed to destroying the Jewish people and willing to transform its own citizens into martyrs to promote this goal. "A Palestinian who kills one Jew will be rewarded as if he killed 30 million," proclaimed Hamas legislator Fathi Hamad at a press conference. Whereas we grieve over the death of fellow Israelis and innocent Palestinians, Hamas celebrates the murder of both - the first as "apes and pigs," the latter as prized martyrs of Allah whom they gleefully exploit for propaganda purposes.
An independent state of Palestine is not Hamas's primary goal. Its charter unequivocally prioritizes the destruction of the Jewish state and killing as many Jews as possible: "The annihilation of the Jews in Palestine is one of the most splendid blessings for Palestine," said Palestinian cleric Muhsen Abu Ita recently on Al Aksa TV. Only last week on Hamas TV, masked women clad in explosive belts and holding rifles vowed to become "martyrs" and blow themselves up among the "apes and pigs." From kindergarten, their children are brainwashed to sanctify their lives by becoming martyrs to the cause of killing the hated Jews.
In our desperate quest for peace, we elected successive governments which tried to achieve "peace in our time" by appeasing these fanatical terrorists - even unilaterally dismantling Jewish settlements which were subsequently transformed into launching pads for intensified missile attacks on our civilians.
During the past year, our government entered into a truce with Hamas despite repeated proclamations by its leaders that they accepted a cease-fire only to regroup and obtain more sophisticated weapons from Iran to be employed at a time of their choosing. Even that "truce" was never honored and Hamas continued targeting Israelis.
When Hamas formally abrogated the "period of calm" and began intensifying missile attacks, Israel finally responded militarily. Despite unprecedented efforts to minimize civilian casualties, even warning Palestinian noncombatants in advance of an attack, civilian loss of life in war is inevitable. However, had the IDF, with its enormous firepower, been targeting civilians as the biased media alleges, tens of thousands would have fallen. Besides, in the midst of hostilities, would the truckloads of humanitarian aid to Gaza have been approved?
Most casualties could have been avoided had Hamas not deliberately located its missile launchers, weapons factories and arms caches in densely populated residential areas, schools, mosques, hospitals and homes, cynically utilizing women and children as human shields. Hamas representative Fathi Hamad openly told Al-Aksa TV: "Palestinians formed human shields of women, children, the elderly and the mujahedeen in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine. It was as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: We desire death like you desire life." Not surprisingly, those human rights groups continuously castigating Israel refuse to concede that such behavior would qualify as war crimes under international law.
NO COUNTRY whose citizens are continuously under missile attack from its neighbor would match the restraint displayed by Israel. I take no pride in this because I believe that the government's failure to respond earlier was unconscionable. It emboldened Hamas terrorists, accustomed the world to accepting that as long as many people were not killed, launching missiles against Israel was "tolerable" and effectively eliminated our deterrent capability. Moreover it doomed close to a million citizens in the South to becoming refugees in their own land as they took refuge from missile attacks which, by any benchmark, were acts of war.
Now, in a rare display of unity so far including even the most dovish Knesset parties, Israelis have affirmed that the outcome of this conflict must ensure that their citizens will never again be targeted by missiles. An imposed unilateral cease-fire with Hamas that fails to implement this would be akin to the US and its allies consummating an unconditional truce with a victorious Taliban in Afghanistan.
That is why international public opinion is so important. If the victims who defend themselves by killing Hamas terrorists and the perpetrators who target and kill innocent civilians are viewed as morally equivalent, that would represent a clear victory for the global jihadists.
Regrettably, there are sectors of the international community who once again are burying their heads. While the United States, Germany, the Czech Republic and Australia hold Hamas responsible, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned Israel for invading Gaza and employing "disproportionate" force and harming civilians.
Other Europeans, led by the retiring head of the European Union, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, also accused Israel of responding in a disproportionate manner. One can only speculate how Sarkozy would have reacted had neighboring Belgium been launching thousands of missiles targeting French civilians. Or the Russians, whose response to the Chechnya uprising and mauling of Georgia hardly qualifies them to preach to anyone about proportionality.
Hamas is not a terrorist splinter group. It is the controlling authority in Gaza and determines what happens. Were it to curtail missile attacks and come to terms with the existence of a Jewish state, a cease-fire would instantaneously come into effect. Until then, it is responsible for every single Palestinian casualty.
Besides, since when is proportionality determined as tit for tat? And how does that apply to an entity which proclaims that its objective is to destroy the Jewish state? Would the inadvertent death of noncombatants become "more justifiable" if only more targeted Israelis were killed? Does Israel have to experience a mega massacre before implementing deterrence? What sort of sick thinking is this? As Barack Obama said in June when he visited Sderot, "If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I would do everything to stop that, and would expect Israel to do the same thing."
Today, as never before, we need the international community to act in a responsible manner. We therefore appeal to our friends and people of goodwill everywhere. Raise your voices now and support our struggle to overcome terrorism. Hamas is not merely another brand of Taliban. It is also the surrogate of Iran. If Western governments appease this criminal organization at the expense of the security of Israel, they strengthen the forces of global jihad, signal moderate Muslims that it is futile to resist the fanatics and expose citizens in their own capitals to increased bombing attacks.
Yes, it's anti-Semitism
by Jeff Jacoby
CRITICIZING ISRAEL doesn't make you anti-Semitic: If it's been said once, it's been said a thousand times. Yet somehow that message doesn't seem to have reached the hundreds of anti-Israel demonstrators in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who turned out last week to protest Israel's military operation in Gaza. As their signs and chants made clear, it isn't only the Jewish state's policies they oppose. Their animus goes further.
Demonstrators chanted "Nuke, nuke Israel!" and carried placards accusing Israel of "ethnic cleansing" and bearing such messages as: "Did Israel take notes during the Holocaust? Happy Hanukkah." To the dozen or so supporters of Israel gathered across the street, one demonstrator shouted: "Murderers! Go back to the ovens! You need a big oven."
The Arab-Israeli conflict induces strong passions, and the line that separates legitimate disapproval of Israel from anti-Semitism may not always be obvious. But it's safe to assume the line has been crossed when you hear someone urging Jews "crossed when you hear someone urging Jewscrossed when you hear someone urging Jews "back to the ovens."
The Danish website Snaphanen posted a photo the other day of a pamphlet being distributed in Copenhagen's City Hall Square. On one side it proclaimed: "Never Peace With Israel!" and "Kill Israel's People!" On the other side: "Kill Jewish people evry where in ther world!" The leaflet's spelling left something to be desired, but its message of genocidal anti-Semitism couldn't have been clearer.
Likewise the message in Amsterdam on Saturday, where the crowd at an anti-Israel rally repeatedly chanted, "Hamas! Hamas! Jews to the gas." And the message in Belgium, where pro-Hamas demonstrators torched Israeli flags, burned a public menorah, and painted swastikas on Jewish-owned shops.
Only marginally less vile is the message that has been trumpeted at demonstrations from Boston to Los Angeles to Vancouver: "Palestine will be free/ From the river to the sea" -- a restatement in rhyme of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's call for Israel to be "wiped from the map."
Let's say it for the thousand-and-first time: Every negative comment about Israel is not an expression of bigotry. Israel is no more immune to criticism than any other country. But it takes willful blindness not to see that anti-Zionism today -- opposition to the existence of Israel, rejection of the idea that the Jewish people are entitled to a state -- is merely the old wine of anti-Semitism in its newest bottle.
The hatred of Jews has always been protean, readily revising itself to reflect the idiom of its age. At times, it targeted Jews for their religion, demonizing them as Christ-killers or enemies of the true faith. At other times, Jews have been damned as disloyal fifth columns to be suppressed or expelled, or as a racial malignancy to be physically exterminated.
In our day, Jew-hatred expresses itself overwhelmingly in national terms: It is the Jewish state that the haters are obsessed with. "What anti-Semitism once did to Jews as people, it now does to Jews as a people," the British commentator Melanie Phillips has written. "First it wanted the Jewish religion, and then the Jews themselves, to disappear; now it wants the Jewish state to disappear."
The claim that anti-Zionism isn't bigotry would be preposterous in any other context. Imagine someone vehemently asserting that Ireland has no right to exist, that Irish nationalism is racism, and that those who murder Irishmen are actually victims deserving the world's sympathy. Who would take his fulminations for anything but anti-Irish bigotry? Or believe him if he said that he harbors no prejudice against the Irish?
By the same token, those who demonize and delegitimize Israel, who say the world would be better off without it, who hold it to standards of perfection no other country is held to, who extol or commiserate with its mortal enemies, who liken it to Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa, who make it the scapegoat not only for crimes it hasn't committed, but for those of which it is a victim -- yes, such people are anti-Semitic, whether they acknowledge it or not.
Criticize Israel? Certainly. But those who so loudly denounce Israel in its war against Hamas are siding with some of the most virulent Jew-haters on earth. They may tell themselves that that doesn't make them anti-Semites. But it does. "When people criticize Zionists," Martin Luther King said in 1968, "they mean Jews. You are talking anti-Semitism."
How 4,000 British civil servants are paid an estimated 133m pounds a year despite not actually having a job
Socialists treasure their bureaucrats
More than 4,000 civil servants are being kept on the Whitehall payroll despite having no work to do, it was revealed yesterday. They include nearly 3,000 tax inspectors who continue to be employed under the title 'presurplus staff'. Other terms used by Government departments to describe the thousands without work include 'people action teams', 'redeployment pools', 'priority movers' and 'career transition centres'. It means an estimated 133million of taxpayers' money was spent employing 4,634 'pre-surplus staff' assuming the average civil servant salary of 28,622. The figures, revealed by the Tories from parliamentary questions, are likely to deepen public resentment over the featherbedding of public employees.
It comes at a time when many thousands of private sector workers are facing the threat of redundancy or are struggling to find new jobs. State workers also benefit from guaranteed pensions - a privilege lost by millions in the private sector. Yesterday, Marks & Spencer employees were the latest to be told that their final salary pension benefits are to be scaled back as the company announced a wave of job cuts.
Francis Maude, Tory Cabinet Office spokesman, said yesterday: 'The New Year brings with it worrying uncertainty for millions in private sector jobs who are really concerned about what Gordon Brown's recession will mean for their families and the ability to pay their mortgage. 'Yet Labour ministers are treating Whitehall like a glorified job creation scheme. Mr Brown talks about creating 100,000 new jobs, but in reality public cash is being wasted on bureaucrats doing nothing. 'It is not fair to waste taxpayers' money in this way. Ministers should either scrap these non-jobs or get these civil servants back into productive work and restore their dignity.'
HM Revenue & Customs - the troubled department which, on top of its tax collection duties distributes benefits in the form of tax credits - employs 2,874 'pre-surplus staff', defined as 'individuals whose post or work is no longer being carried out in a particular location, no longer being done by that office or where such changes are planned in the future'.
At the Ministry of Defence - which has come under fire for endangering troops by cutting spending on vital equipment including body armour - 830 civilian staff are in its 'redeployment pool', while the Foreign Office has 212 staff in its 'corporate pool'. The Home Office has 62 'staff without posts', and Hazel Blears's Communities and Local Government Department has 56 employees allotted to 'people action teams'. Jack Straw's Ministry of Justice has 53 'priority movers' - a description given to staff 'without fixed posts' - while in Hilary Benn's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 89 employees have nothing to do.
The figures provide only a snapshot of how many staff do not have work at any one time and do not reveal how long employees were defined as 'pre-surplus'. Most of the numbers were disclosed during the summer, and include workers who were finishing jobs but had not been allocated new ones, and staff awaiting the start of a new posting. The figures for the Foreign Office, also include those on maternity leave. However, the data does provide a clear indication of the level of idleness in Whitehall at any one time. In addition, all departments failed to give details of employees' ranks - whether staff were from IT departments or in politically important Whitehall roles. And although the staff did go into the office, there were no details provided about the type of duties they performed there.
A spokesman for the Cabinet Office said last night: 'The number of civil servants has fallen in every quarter over the past four years. 'The figure for staff in non-permanent posts includes mothers returning from maternity leave and people returning from overseas postings waiting to be assigned a new role. 'It is ludicrous and offensive to suggest that these people are sitting around doing nothing.'
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.