Thursday, August 21, 2014

Which is the forged death certificate?

There have been two photographs of the supposed death certificate of the Deif family being circulated. One of them shows Mohammed Deif being killed along with his wife and son, and the other one shows only the wife and son.

Clearly one is a forgery. But which?

Here, I placed parallel lines from each horizontal line on both of the photos. I am looking for inconsistencies in the photos.

Clearly the tops of the photos are identical. So the forgery must have occurred on the bottom half.

Assuming that the top half is legitimate, then we see that the first horizontal line is pretty much parallel with the top of the page. The dip from where the thumb is is fairly consistent with the dip on the top edge.

In the photo showing all three members of the family, the dip remains fairly consistent on all four horizontal lines. The photo showing only three is inconsistent, as each successive line ends up higher and higher.

If the photo was taken from a slight angle, it is possible that in perspective the lines would get closer together, as they do in the second photo. But one would also expect the same perspective effect between the top edge and the first horizontal line, which is not there.

If the second is the forged one, it seems unlikely it was done totally in Photoshop. It would have required someone creating a document in a word processor and then having a photo taken, and then Photoshopping that photo on top of the original. The inconsistencies are too hard to do digitally.

The monkey wrench is that the 2-person certificate was publicized first.

So I'm still on the fence. Based only on the photos alone I would tend to think Deif is dead, but given the timing I am not at all certain.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Algerian paper claims Jews are burning Algerian flags in France

Algerian newspaper El Chorouk is covering the Muslim attacks on Jews in France - but it is claiming that it is violence between the groups, not the one-sided would-be pogroms we have seen.

According to the paper, French Jews have been burning the Algerian flag in response to French Muslims burning the Israeli flag. According to the article, French Jews and Muslims have lived together in peace, but (Zionist) French TV coverage of Muslims burning Israeli flags, along with them carrying Algerian flags, has caused all the problems of Jews returning the favor.

"For the first time by the Jews of France protests are not against the Palestinians and against Hamas, but against Algeria and its symbols," the article says.

The article helpfully adds that Algerian Jews - who lived in Algeria for centuries - were colonialists who helped the French during the revolution and who were therefore expelled.

We are told that Algerians are afraid of the Jews in their midst, and that - get this - Jews in France are trying to gain the trust of French Tunisians, Moroccans and Turks in an attempt to isolate the Algerians.

Looking through photos and video, I could not find a single instance of a Jew burning an Algerian flag. Lots of videos of French burning the Algerian flag during the World Cup. And Egyptians burning the Algerian flag, also over football. And Wahhabis in Syria. And Moroccans (who helpfully changed the five pointed star in the flag to a six-pointed one.)

Yes, those aggressive French Jews, out for blood against a Muslim population that outnumbers them 10-1.

08/20 Links Pt2: UNRWA Completely Controlled by Hamas; No Ice, ALS Patients Live Longer in Israel

From Ian:

Report: UN Palestinian Refugee Body Under Complete Control of Hamas, Islamic Jihad
The Center For Near East Policy Research documented how the controlling union of UNRWA is led by Hamas jihadi Suheil Al Hindi. It also noted that eleven of fourteen positions in the UNRWA teachers’ union have been filled by Hamas members.
The report said of the UNRWA union leader, “Al Hindi, who in the past also headed the teachers’ sector at UNRWA, does not hide his affinity for the Hamas organization and takes part in overt political activities as its representative. In his capacity and as a supervisor of student summer camps, Al Hindi has a tremendous impact on the UNRWA education system and the contents taught in it. UNRWA’s management is well aware, at least since 2004, of the fact that Suheil Al Hindi, who headed the UNRWA teachers sector, is a senior Hamas activist who supports jihad against Israel and suicide bombings...”
“Hamas’ takeover of the UNRWA institutions and UNRWA staff should set off alarms regarding the possibility of funding given by donor countries – primarily the United States – finding its way to financing the salaries of Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists,” the report concluded.
100 years of failure: The Middle East since WWI
The outcome of the Arab Spring was to wash away the “nationalist” Arab regimes and replace them with chaos, extremism and death. What the West and other major powers must realize is that ISIS represents not an end self-cannibalizing of radical extremism; but a force that will continue to shape weakened regimes from Morocco to Pakistan; states such as Yemen and Afghanistan will continue to weaken.
To be sure, the West underwent similar catastrophes such as the Second World War. But the trajectory was towards quick rebuilding and economic integration, not more chaos. Iraq has spent more than a decade in total chaos, similarly Libya and Syria. Algeria never really recovered from the trauma of the 1960s and civil war of the 1990s. In many cases the best and brightest or secular moved to Europe, only be followed by Anatolian peasants and Islamists (ironically they were persecuted back home and offered ‘asylum’ in Europe). Their children growing up in the banlieues of Paris didn’t create a new generation of Arab and Muslim thinkers and reformers. The theory once heard in the West that “Islam needs a reformation like the Catholic Church went through,” never came to fruition.
The royal Arab regimes, meanwhile, have become the big winners of the Arab Spring. Considering the general trajectory of the world they should be anachronisms. But they are not. Qatar has won hosting of the World Cup, it runs Al-Jazeera. They import the Louvre and NYU and Western museums like the Guggenheim, while using a 19th century form of virtual slavery to run it all. It would be like if the Old South had not only won the US Civil War but prospered. That is another sign of the 100 years of failure; royal regimes relying on forms of Apartheid were supposed to go away, not flower with success.
The only lesson for policy makers in the Middle East is to prepare for another 100 years of chaos. Western policymakers have been looking for quick fixes to long term symptoms. A bombing here to keep ISIS out of Erbil, some weapons there, some medical supplies. But when one looks at the region one finds a lack of lasting vision among local leaders and a lack of interest in broad sweeping changes among local elites, as well as a deeply conservative society who will cooperate with any tyranny so long as their institutions are left intact. A hundred years of failure will likely be followed by 100 years of stagnation, war and implosion. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Israel, the scapegoat of a hostile, impotent UN
Operation Protective Edge put the United Nations into a time machine that screeched to a halt in the 1970s. It was a period scorched in the memory of Israel's diplomatic history as one of the hardest, most humiliating and painful periods the country ever experienced in the UN arena in New York. The signing of the first Oslo Accords softened hostility towards Israel, opening wide the cracks in the wall of isolation that surrounded it and started a new era of relative comfort and reconciliation in the organization’s attitude to Israel.
The war in Gaza will be remembered, however, as the event that triggered a significant shift in Israeli-UN relations. For Israel, it is a shift that does not promise good tides, to say the least. As far as the UN is concerned, the war shattered the barriers of diplomatic speech. When it comes to the war in Gaza and Israel's perceived blame for its results, all politeness and restraint has disappeared from the political jargon.
Official statements published recently by senior UNRWA officials, speeches delivered at the UN emergency session held two weeks and statements commonplace in private conversations with veteran diplomats, paint a picture of a UN that has returned to its old ways regarding its long-time member state, Israel. Resurfacing are patterns from the 1970s, where displays of hostility and alienation of Israel were at their peak.
The atmosphere at the UN in recent weeks recalls the days when the Israeli ambassador was a persona non grata and diplomats were careful not to be seen conversing with him in public. The mood towards Israel at the organization's headquarters brings to mind the celebratory mood in the time that Yasser Arafat was welcomed at the UN General Assembly as a hero, delivering a speech with a pistol holster on his hip; or the time the UN approved by majority the notorious decision that equated Zionism with racism.

Hamas takes responsibility for #EyalGiladNaftali kidnapping, murder (video)

From JPost:

A senior Hamas official admitted for the first time on Wednesday that the organization's armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, was behind the kidnapping and murder of Israeli teens Nafatli Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah in the West Bank in June.

The Hamas official, Salah al-Aruri made the comments during a conference of Islamic clerics in Turkey. He praised the "heroic action of the Qassam Brigades who kidnapped three settlers in Hebron."

Some Arabic media covered this story, but it has not yet been widely reported.

Salah al-Aruri has been a senior member of Hamas for decades. He was arrested in 1992 and imprisoned in Israel for 15 years. He lives in Ramallah but Israel destroyed his home on June 20 as they were searching for the teens.

If the Qassam Brigades were behind the kidnapping, that means that their leader Mohammed Deif - who may have been killed yesterday - was behind the kidnapping.

Once again, we see that the IDF is a far more reliable source of information than biased, agenda-driven journalists who swore up and down that Hamas had nothing to do with the murders.

(h/t Bob K)

Yaacov Lozowick's short defense of Israel at Mondoweiss

Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss was upset that Yaacov Lozowick tweeted this a couple of weeks ago:

Weiss responded:
This strikes me as a somewhat crude slogan– given that you’re an intellectual at the highest level.

And secondly, you omit me in your declaration of what “The Jews” do. I’m a Jew and I don’t want to be part of a collective that makes these types of determinations. And I feel great concern about having anyone — even the distinguished state archivist of a “warring nation” — announce to my non Jewish neighbors how many children I need to kill to keep my nation going. It’s actually a kind of blood libel– again from a distinguished state archivist.

Also: what does it mean to be a “warring nation”? Really, is that a category that any citizen would embrace? The history of “warring nations” doesn’t offer a lot of hope. It seems to me you are making Israel a Sparta [cribbing Hannah Arendt]. Or as my friend Golda once said to me in Rehavia, We’re going to have one war after another after another, till they accept us. It’s not a vision for a future. Yet 95 percent of Israeli Jews have embraced the Gaza onslaught out of this understanding. Which only increases the responsibility of American Jews to say, Not in my name!
Lozowick's reply (published in full at Mondoweiss, to that blog's credit) is a very good synopsis of how Israelis think about themselves and this war, and why.
1. The Jews: It is an objective and implacable fact that Zionism is the largest and most significant Jewish project in at least 2,000 years, probably more. There are non-Jews who are Israeli citizens, there are Jews who intensely dislike Zionism, there are even a handful of anti-Zionist Jews in Israel. None of these facts can change the fundamental truth: in Zionism the Jews set out to re-create a national existence on the political playing field, in their ancestral homeland, and Israel is its expression, or outcome, or whatever you wish to call it. The fact that about 50% of the world’s Jews live in Israel strengthens this, (the proportion will soon tip over to more than 50%), and the fact that a majority of self-identifying Jews among the non-Israelis are Zionists, bolsters its strength, but doesn’t change it. You can’t have Jews pining for Israel over millennia and then going there, and not have it be the most important development in all those millennia.

You can rail against this for every remaining day of your life (until 120, as we Jews say), and it still won’t make the slightest difference, not even if you gather around you thousands or tens of thousands of like-minded American Jews. I think it was Abe Lincoln who once said in court something about the strength of a fart in a blizzard or some such. Live with it, Phil, because there’s nothing you can do to change it. Nothing.

(Apropos numbers: there were more Jews at the funeral of Max Steinberg last month, which I blogged a bit about, than all the committed Mondoweiss Jews together, and it was just one funeral).

2. Will defend themselves: Look, I know you’re convinced Israel is the once and always, perpetual aggressor. Of course this doesn’t explain how if we’re such aggressors the Palestinians keep multiplying and acquiring new assets such as the PA, parts of WB, all of Gaza, international standing etc etc. We must be really really bad at getting our job done. But as we both know, you and I can’t agree on the basic facts of this point, so let’s leave it as I said: A majority of the Jews worldwide and a total majority in Israel know we’re defending ourselves from enemies who would eagerly destroy us if they had the power, just as happened in the past. (Lots of non-Jews agree with us, by the way, either because we’ve got them under our thumb as you see it, or because it’s a simple fact, as I see it).

3. Even if it means killing: My PhD was about Nazis, and I know more about them than most people, so Godwin’s Law doesn’t apply to me. I can speak about Nazis as a scholar, not a demagogue. So here’s a thought experiment. Say that in order to end Nazism you had to kill 70,000 (not a few hundred) innocent, non-German civilians, Frenchmen, say. Would that be defensible? 70,000 dead French civilians, all innocent, many children, to end Nazism and as a by-product also end the Holocaust? Would that be moral? Permissible? Defendable in some later discussion? I ask because it’s not a thought experiment, it’s what the USA and UK did in 1944 as they went through France so as to destroy Nazism in Germany. Some goals, my friend, justify even horrible side effects, or collateral damage, or whatever you wish to call it. The reason being that the alternative, of allowing Nazism to stay in place, would have been far worse.

So If Israel has to chose between its own safety or refusing to kill any innocent bystanders whatsoever, we’ll choose to defend ourselves. You bet. Of course, we can seek shades of gray, alternatives of greater or lesser destruction, and we can argue about those and indeed, we must seek them and argue about them. But the basic framework remains solid. Our safety is to be assured even if there’s a price to it, even if some innocents die. As few as possible, hopefully, but the inevitably some, yes.

4. Just like every warring nation in history: Simple. Every single nation in human history, including in the 21st century, which finds itself at war, has one of two options regarding the moral dilemma in the preceding paragraph. Either it accepts that it will kill some inocents in order to protect ts goals, or it doesn’t care. The Syrian don’t care. ISIS certainly doesn’t care. The North Vietnamese probably didn’t care, so far as I can tell. I don’t think the North in your Civil War much cared. The US in WWII didn’t care at all when it came to German civilians in bombable towns. Hamas certainly doesn’t care – well, actually it does. It regrets it doesn’t manage to kill more Jews and Arabs who live among them.

Americans nowadays do care, as do the British, and a small handful of other mostly enlightened nations, Israel among them. Yet whenever they chose to go to war, they also accept they’ll be killing at least some innocent bystanders – and they then do. In Serbia in the 1990s, in Kuwait in the 1990s, in Afghanistan and Iraq in the 2000s, and yes, I’m sad to tell you, against ISIS in 2014 (and 2015? 2016? 2025?). No-one has existentially threatened the US since the 19th century, or maybe even ever. Which isn’t to say the US hasn’t fought just wars. But they were never about its very existence. And in every one of them they have killed civilians. Tragic, but true. And as long as the US continues to be at war, for whatever reasons, it will continue to kill civilians. As few as possible, one hopes, and one assumes they’ll take great efforts to limit the numbers, but to pretend you can go to war and not kill civilians is being willfully blind.

Israel, unlike the US, faces enemies who proudly broadcast their intention to destroy it, in the most basic meaning of the word “destroy”. So Israel must choose: will it defend itself even if thereby some number of innocent civilians die, or will it not defend itself, and thereby large numbers of its own civilians will die.

The answer is clear. Any other answer would be immoral.

So, that’s it. I know your methodology, and that of your fans. You’ll now turn to all sorts of other objections and whatabouttery. But I’ve responded to the questions as you posed them, and that’s enough. The whatabouttery is, by definition, about other matters.
The comments, of course, are exactly as Lozowick predicted.

(h/t NormanF)

Girl Glad She Put That 4th "!" In Her "Support The IDF" Facebook Status (PreOccupied Territory)

More from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

Please remember to support that site since Facebook took away their page - go, read and "Like" what you read!

LikeElizabeth, NJ, August 20 - A local teen expressed gratification this morning after deciding to use four, instead of only three, exclamation points in a Facebook post admonishing her friends to show their support for the Israel Defense Forces in the ongoing confrontation with Hamas in and around the Gaza Strip.
Batsheva Sudwerts, 16, felt moved to type the words, "sho yr support 4 tzahal by liking this" into her iPhone's Facebook app after seeing news of renewed rocket fire at Israel's southern towns and the IDF response. The junior at the Frisch School in Paramus used the Hebrew acronym for the IDF, and then spent several seconds deliberating how many exclamation points were necessary to convey the level of forcefulness she wished to impart.
"It was obvious I had to use at least two, because even the typical 'Happy Birthday' or 'Mazel Tov' message uses that many, and often more," Sudwerts explained. "I needed to find the right balance between sounding too muted and too shriekingly desperate." Finally, she said, she settled on four exclamation points as the right blend of urgency and confidence in the rightness of the cause.
The response among Sudwerts's Facebook friends appears to support her decision. Among the thirteen users who saw the post within the first four minutes, nine immediately clicked "Like," and three of the other four instead clicked "Share," with the lone dissenter a male classmate who fancies Sudwerts but is maintaining an aloof appearance so as not to appear desperate. Sources among the incoming junior class at Frisch agree that support for the IDF runs strong, given the Modern Orthodox and Religious Zionist credentials of the institution and its target demographic in northern New Jersey.
"It's important for Batsheva to express herself properly on this issue, and I, for one, am proud that she chose that number of exclamation points," says principal Dr. Kalman Stein. "The crucial balance between modernity and tradition is exactly what we strive to impart to our students, and that skill of balancing competing ideals simply shines forth in Batsheva's Facebook status." Sudwerts and her classmates were seen to roll their eyes and stifle multiple giggles upon reading Stein's reaction on the school's Twitter feed.
The event marks the second time in less than a month that an Elizabeth-area teen has had to devote attention to the number of exclamation points in a Facebook post. Three weeks ago, a high school senior from Passaic nearly sabotaged her chances at romance with the object of her affections by failing to append any exclamation points at all after a comment on the photo of her prospective beau's baby nephew. The lack of emphatic terminal punctuation made her "2 cute" comment risk seeming sarcastic, but fortunately she was able to edit the comment to include six exclamation points before the boy saw it.

08/20 Links Pt1: Rockets shot toward Tel Aviv, airport; terror chief Deif believed killed

From Ian:

David Horovitz: Cynical, Israel-loathing Hamas cannot be easily deterred
Hamas is not seeking freedom for the people of Gaza when it demands the “lifting of the siege,” a seaport and an airport, and when it fires rockets because its demands are not being met. It is, rather, seeking the capacity to further its goal of wiping Israel out by getting all those irritating restrictions lifted on its capacity to build a still nastier war machine. The Israeli-Egyptian security blockade did not predate Hamas’s violent seizure of Gaza in 2007; it was imposed after the Islamists took control, and would be removed if Israel’s security was no longer threatened by Hamas and its fellow Islamist terror groups. Want to ease the suffering of ordinary Gazans and ordinary Israelis? Remove Hamas. The “siege” would instantly disappear, and there’d be no impediment to open border crossings, a seaport and an airport. Want to ensure increased suffering for ordinary Gazans and ordinary Israelis? Lift the blockade with Hamas still in control. Ongoing bloodshed would be guaranteed.
As of this writing, Netanyahu has called home his negotiators from Cairo — because Israel will not negotiate under fire — and the IDF is responding to the Hamas rocket fire with strikes on targets in Gaza. If the rocket fire continues, Israel will keep hitting back.
But only if Hamas believes its survival is in danger, its capacity to live to fight Israel another day in doubt, will it call a long-term halt to the fire — the kind of halt that would constitute the attainment of Netanyahu’s sought-after sustained calm. And that would require a far more significant military operation than the Israeli government, mindful of the likely consequent losses, has been prepared to authorize. It would also require a more astute assessment of the conflict from the international community than we have seen to date, providing more dependable support for Israel.
Caroline Glick: Why Israel is losing the information war
For most Israelis, the international discourse on Gaza is unintelligible.
Here we were going along, minding our own business.
Then on a clear night in June, apropos of nothing, Palestinian terrorists stole, murdered and hid the bodies of three of our children as they made their way home from school.
Before we could catch our breath from that atrocity, they began shelling our major population centers with thousands of rockets, missiles and mortars, and infiltrated our communities along the border with Gaza through underground tunnels to kidnap and murder us.
And as the Palestinians did all of these things, they used their civilian population and the foreign press corps as human sandbags. They ordered their own people not to evacuate their homes from which Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad terrorists launched their missiles, rockets and mortars at Israel. And they launched missiles at Israeli cities from outside the hotel where the foreign reporters were staying.
It doesn’t take a PhD to understand what the game is. And Israelis – even many with PhDs – understand what is happening.
Alan Dershowitz: Was Israel Justified in Going after Hamas Terrorist Tunnels?
The key question—both legally and morally—in evaluating Israel's recent military actions is whether the Israeli government was justified in ordering ground troops into Gaza to destroy the Hamas tunnels. This question is important because most of the deaths—among Palestinian civilians, Hamas terrorists and Israeli soldiers—came about after Israeli ground troops attacked the tunnels.
These tunnels went deep underground from Gaza to Israel and were designed to allow Hamas death squads to cross into Israel and to kill and kidnap Israeli citizens. No reasonable person can dispute that these terrorist tunnels were legitimate military targets. Nor could there be any dispute about their importance as military targets, since Hamas was planning to use them to murder and kidnap hundreds if not thousands of Israeli civilians and soldiers. And Israel had no way to discover from the air the exit points of these tunnels on the Israel side of the border, since they were hidden from view and known only to Hamas. The only way to disable them was through boots on the ground.
If Israel had the right to try to destroy the tunnels, then the resulting deaths of Palestinians must be deemed proportional to the military value of Israel's actions, since it is unlikely that the tunnels could have been destroyed without considerable loss of life, because their entrances had been deliberately placed by Hamas in densely populated areas.
Times of Israel Live Blog: Rockets shot toward Tel Aviv, airport; terror chief Deif believed killed
Israel targets Hamas commander in Gaza, still unclear if he was hit; thousands attend funeral of Deif’s wife, son, call for revenge; rocket hits home in Hof Ashkelon region; Egypt calls to resume ceasefire talks; military recalls 2,000 reservists

Gaza terrorists again attack aid crossing. "Humanitarians" silent

Islamic Jihad took credit for at least four mortars targeting the Kerem Shalom crossing - from which Gazans get nearly all of their medicine, food, fuel and humanitarian aid.

There were additional rocket attacks against the crossing today.

Hundreds of truckloads of goods have been sent into Gaza daily through the crossing. Yesterday, 240 trucks carrying 4,303 tons of goods and supplies entered.

Usually, Kerem Shalom is forced to close when it gets attacked, depriving Gazans of food and medicine.

Yet I cannot find any condemnation of the rocket attacks on Kerem Shalom by any of the so-called "humanitarian" organizations - the ones that ship their aid through that crossing. The UN nor its agencies like UNRWA are condemning it. Oxfam is silent. "Free Gaza" and the mindless human drones protesting an Israeli container ship in Oakland have nothing to say.

You almost get the impression that they would prefer to have Gazans starve, so they have something else to blame on Israel.

Hamas issues fake outrage over "civilian" deaths - as it admits to targeting civilians

The initial reaction on the Al Qassam Brigades website on yesterday's IDF response to rocket fire is instructive.
The Martyr Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement "Hamas", challenged the Zionist enemy to announce the real reason behind this cowardly act in the bombing of a house belonging to the Dalou family.

The military battalions said the Zionist enemy was violating the truce and committing a massacre in the Dalou family home will open the gates of hell itself.

The group said: "...The enemy committed a massacre against our people, especially in the barbaric bombing of the Dalou family home in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood north of Gaza City." and added that their response is only an initial response, and that the enemy in this treacherous action may open the gates of hell on himself, and pay dearly, God willing. The Qassam Brigades defied the Zionist enemy to announce the real reason behind this cowardly act in the bombing of the Dalou house."
Funny, the Qassam Brigades never issued such a statement when any other houses were bombed over the past five weeks. Only this one seems to have caused such wrath (and, of course, nearly a hundred rockets.)

As we now know, the reason is that the IDF was targeting the leader of the Qassam Brigades, Mohammed Deif:
Hamas has neither confirmed nor denied on Wednesday that the commander of its military wing was killed in a Tuesday night attack which claimed the life of his wife and son.

Izzat al-Risheq, one the group's political leaders, said Wednesday morning that "we have no choice but to struggle and to win." The security cabinet is expected to meet around noon in Tel Aviv.

Following the late night attack in Gaza, Palestinian sources reported three casualties: Mohammed Deif's 28-year-old wife and his eight-month son, as well as 18-year-old Ahmed Rabah al-Daulo.

Hamas called on members of the public to attend the funeral procession of Deif's wife and baby son, which will leave from the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Strip.

Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzouk charged on Wednesday after Gaza truce talks collapsed in a spasm of violence that Israel had targeted the group's armed wing leader Mohammed Deif in one of its air strikes on Tuesday in the coastal territory.
Note that the Qassam Brigades didn't say a word about Deif, and indeed its website still doesn't say anything about him or his family, only the Dalou family house that they were hiding in. (Hamas denies that Deif was killed.)

In other words, for as long as possible, the Qassam Brigades is pretending that Israel was targeting civilians and not their terrorist mastermind.

At the same time, Hamas again admitted that it is targeting civilians:
The city of Tel Aviv which is the head of the economy, and the Zionist Ben Gurion airport, has become a strategic goal for the Qassam rockets.

B'Tselem's methodology even worse than previously reported

The Jerusalem Post reports:
Two organizations in Israel have cautioned against accepting casualty figures coming out of Gaza.

Both the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Center and NGO watchdog organization NGO Monitor this week criticized the verification methods of the left-wing human rights group B’Tselem – The Israel Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories - for its claims of Gaza casualty numbers that were recently released for Operation Protective Edge.

...In an email to the Post on Sunday, Roy Yellin, a spokesman for B’Tselem, sharply rejected the findings of the NGO Monitor report.

”B’Tselem is dedicated to provide accurate information, and therefore investigates and verifies any data independently, never relying solely on official sources neither in Israel or on the Palestinian side,” he said.

“B’Tselem does have field researchers on the ground in Gaza and has the professional capacity and evidence to support its publications.

For example, the difference in the death toll figures between B’Tselem and Palestinian Ministry of Health report is due to our strict verification measures,” he added.
I've reported on how B'Tselem determines whether people are civilian or terrorist by asking their families and trusting their answers, making the absurd assumption that Gazans who have been specifically instructed to lie to Western officials are telling the truth to B'Tselem.

B'Tselem itself admits that usually these questions are usually answered on the phone!
With the current military campaign ongoing, B’Tselem is taking testimony from Gaza residents, mainly by telephone. B’Tselem verifies, to the best of its ability, the reliability and precision of the information reported; nevertheless, in these circumstances, reports may be incomplete or contain errors. Given the urgency of informing the public about events in Gaza, B’Tselem has decided to publish the information now available. When the military campaign ends, B’Tselem will supplement these reports as needed.
Even B'Tselem admits that its verification measures aren't "strict" as its spokesperson falsely claimed. At the same time, it admits that it would prefer to release terrorist propaganda about civilian casualties (after a perfunctory "verification") rather than wait and do the job right.

Because vilifying the IDF is an urgent matter that simply cannot wait.

If and when B'Tselem finds out that their error rate approaches, say, 50%, they will bury it in a report nine months from now that would get no coverage. Because the truth isn't as "urgent" as publicizing the lies today. After all, B'Tselem's funding is dependent on generating headlines, and no Western organizations will fund B'Tselem if it insisted on taking the time necessary to do a proper verification..

(h/t NGO Monitor)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

08/19 Links Pt2: Chloe Valdary: It is not enough; Forget ice: Take the Hamas vs. hummus challenge

From Ian:

Chloe Valdary: It is not enough
We may think that it is sufficient to sit with folded hands and silent lips on our college campuses and ignore groups that claim we have no right to live in our land.
But it is not enough.
We may think that it is sufficient to overlook the mainstream media’s invectives spewed at us — both their subtle biases and overt accusations hurled at us — that these will eventually pass, and that since there is nothing new under the sun, disregarding such things will make them go away.
But it is not enough.
We may think that it is sufficient to refrain from challenging our professors who claim our state is a racist one, and who claim that Jews are not entitled to self-determination; that Jews are not allowed to defend themselves; that Jews are not allowed to live anywhere we desire — especially not in our heartland, Judea & Samaria.
But it is not enough.
Fear (of global anti-Semitism) and loathing (of Obama) in New York
When pro-Palestinian demonstrators took to the street in New York’s Diamond District on July 25, Kerri Lavine furiously ran outside the store where she works. She just couldn’t take it anymore.
Lavine wasn’t the only one to rush outside. Scores of people joined the spontaneous pro-Israel counterdemonstration, seeking to drown out chants of “Free Palestine” and “Free Gaza” with chants of “IDF.” Because the Diamond District, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, is home to many Jewish owned and operated stores, the pro-Palestinian march was seen as a march against them as much as against Israel.
“I am just so enraged about everything that’s going on. My heart is over there and I can’t stop watching the news,” Lavine said in a subsequent interview, speaking from behind a glass display case of twinkling diamond eternity bands and earrings. Fearing business repercussions, the 52-year-old asked the store not be named.
Across the city, from the Diamond District to the Upper West Side, from Murray Hill to the Lower East Side, New York Jews were quick to share their views on Israel, Operation Protective Edge and the Obama Administration’s handling of the crisis.
Palestinians: The Invented People.
“The history of the Palestinian people goes back as far as”… This is where Arab “historians” disagree.
Some say the “Palestinian people” have a proud 4000-year history; others say 10,000 years, 30,000 years, and even –don’t laugh- 200,000 years, which makes the Neanderthals pretty young people compared to the “mysterious Palestinians”. But although Arab historians do not agree on the “insignificant” details like the age of the “Palestinian people”, they do agree that this people is incredibly ancient-far more ancient than Jews, Romans or Greeks.
In the glorious history of the “Palestinian people”, there is only one “small” problem; nobody in history ever found them.

HRW's Ken Roth explicitly supports Hamas war crimes

Ken Roth, of Human Rights Watch, just tweeted this:

As I have pointed out before, the Geneva Conventions explicitly and without reservation considers hostage taking to be against international law. No distinction whatsoever between whether the victim is civilian or a soldier.

The ICRC elaborates:

Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions prohibits the taking of hostages.[ It is also prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention and is considered a grave breach thereof. ...[I]n addition to the provisions in the Geneva Conventions, practice since then shows that the prohibition of hostage-taking is now firmly entrenched in customary international law and is considered a war crime.

The prohibition of hostage-taking is recognized as a fundamental guarantee for civilians and persons hors de combat in Additional Protocols I and II. Under the Statute of the International Criminal Court, the “taking of hostages” constitutes a war crime in both international and non-international armed conflicts. Hostage-taking is also listed as a war crime under the Statutes of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda and of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Numerous military manuals prohibit the taking of hostages. This prohibition is also set forth in the legislation of numerous States.

The International Convention against the Taking of Hostages defines the offence as the seizure or detention of a person (the hostage), combined with threatening to kill, to injure or to continue to detain the hostage, in order to compel a third party to do or to abstain from doing any act as an explicit or implicit condition for the release of the hostage. The Elements of Crimes for the International Criminal Court uses the same definition but adds that the required behaviour of the third party could be a condition not only for the release of the hostage but also for the safety of the hostage. It is the specific intent that characterizes hostage-taking and distinguishes it from the deprivation of someone’s liberty as an administrative or judicial measure.

Although the prohibition of hostage-taking is specified in the Fourth Geneva Convention and is typically associated with the holding of civilians as hostages, there is no indication that the offence is limited to taking civilians hostage. Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, the Statute of the International Criminal Court and the International Convention against the Taking of Hostages do not limit the offence to the taking of civilians, but apply it to the taking of any person. Indeed, in the Elements of Crimes for the International Criminal Court, the definition applies to the taking of any person protected by the Geneva Conventions.

This is as clear as international law gets.

The very thought of a supposed human rights defender publicly renouncing international humanitarian law, defending a war crime and denying the human rights of Israelis is scandalous.

Ken Roth has proven, irrevocably, that he is unqualified for this position. He is actively campaigning against human rights. His stated position is simply immoral. His bias is clear to all. He has singlehandedly turned Human Rights Watch into a punchline.