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I Am Israel

Come Back – Nefesh B’Nefesh

The much acclaimed NBN video that brought so many people back home. Made by veteran filmmaker Daniel Remer founder of Remervision Video Productions. The simultainious arrival of three flights of new immigrants arriving in Israel on August 16th 2008. This video required a crew of 5 camermen; one on each of the three flights and two at the airport as the flights arrived.

It’s time to come home! Nefesh B’Nefesh: Live the Dream 1-866-4-ALIYAH

Nefesh B'Nefesh: Live the Dream 1-866-4-ALIYAH

Click the Banner for www. nbn.org.il

You Have Reached Your Destination

Part of a new campaign of the Jewish Agency in Britain to encourage Aliyah. The video was produced in London and Israel with a real family actually making Aliyah this coming July, and dozens of volunteers. Enjoy, and come to Israel!
Lead music track Lead Track ‘Summer Hi’ by www.groovalicious.co.uk

Heaven & Earth – BBC 1 – Aliyah

Many people consider emigrating to start a new life in a new country. Sometimes it’s for the weather, sometimes to be with family, but for one group of people, it’s for more spiritual reasons. Since it’s formation in 1948, Israel has had an open door policy for Jews from all over the world who want to settle in the land. The name for this act of returning is Aliyah. Lately there has been a worldwide decline in people taking up the offer, but immigrants from the UK have increased by 45%. Part of the reason for this is because an agency which helps cut through the red tape of immigration has started operating in the UK. Mark and Miriam Kaye are one young couple who have chosen to move from their home in London, to start a new life in Jerusalem.

2014 Mega Event Presentation Video

Aliyah to Israel (music by The Maccabeats)

A Rosh Hashanah Message 5775 תשע״ה

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Mother of Murdered Israeli Teen: A Rosh Hashanah Message

Happy Rosh Hashanah

A Rosh Hashana Song from Latma

For Rosh Hashanah Dream it. Do it. Technion New Year Message

I’m Bean good

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Bean joke

How to stop your eye from twitching

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Pet your Cat or Dog.

BDS = anti-Semitism and Lies against Israel

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From http://ngo-monitor.org http://ngo-monitor.org/articles/bds

Boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) are the tactics of political warfare used against Israel, based on the exploitation of human rights, double standards, comparisons to apartheid South Africa, and false accusations of “war crimes.”
  • Definitions:
    • Boycotts of products, culture, and academics – BDS activists lobby stores not to carry Israeli products and encourage others not to purchase them. They send letters to artists, musicians, authors, and academics, imploring them not to perform and appear in Israel or cooperate with Israeli institutions. Boycotts undermine liberal values, such as academic freedom and freedom of expression, by restricting openness and tolerance.
    • Divestment from companies that do business with Israel – Distorting the concept of ethical investing, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) accuse companies that conduct business in Israel of involvement in war crimes and violations of international law. The NGOs approach investors, primarily large banks and pension funds, and push for the exclusion of these companies.
    • Sanctions against self-defense measures – Anti-Israel activists demand that the international community enact comprehensive sanctions against Israel – treating Israel as a pariah state. The ultimate goal is legally enforced sanctions by the UN Security Council. Other forms of sanctions include arms embargoes, which are premised on baseless charges of war crimes. Similarly, legal proceedings are initiated against Israeli officials to punish Israel for defensive actions.
  • BDS is the main component of the “Durban strategy,” which was adopted by dozens of NGOs at the 2001 UN Conference Against Racism held in Durban, South Africa, which crystallized the strategy of delegitimizing Israel as “an apartheid regime” through international isolation.
    • Other tactics of the Durban Strategy include “lawfare” campaigns against Israeli officials in international courts; lobbying international bodies, including the UN, EU, US and criminal courts; publishing false reports and accusations of “war crimes,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “apartheid”; organizing provocations such as flotillas and violent demonstrations under the guise of humanitarian operations and human rights.
  • The campaign seeks to end the “occupation and colonization of all Arab lands” and promotes the right of “Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties.” These goals undermine the fundamental right of the Jewish people to self-determination.
  • This campaign is financed and supported extensively by foreign governments, as well as foundations and religious charities, which provide frameworks for anti-Israel political influence. *See funding chart below.
  • Most of this money comes from Europe, usually involving taxpayer funds funneled through secret processes to organizations that operate under the banners of promoting human rights, humanitarian aid, democracy and peace.
  • BDS seeks the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state.
    • Co-founder of Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) Omar Barghouti (2004): “The current phase has all the emblematic properties of what may be considered the final chapter of the Zionist project. We are witnessing the rapid demise of Zionism, and nothing can be done to save it, for Zionism is intent on killing itself. I, for one, support euthanasia.”
    • As’ad Abu Khalil, a central activist in the U.S. (2012): “Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the State of Israel.”
    • Pro-BDS author Ahmed Moor: “OK, fine. So BDS does mean the end of the Jewish state…. I view the BDS movement as a long-term project with radically transformative potential….In other words, BDS is not another step on the way to the final showdown; BDS is The Final Showdown.”
  • BDS is not an established organization or movement, but comprised of dozens of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and radical activists.
  • In practice, the BDS campaign has little success on the ground, but its effectiveness lies in its ability to penetrate the public and political discourse and blur the lines between legitimate criticism of Israel and the complete de-legitimization of Israel in the international arena.
  • BDS activists utilize the threat of political, economic, academic and cultural isolation as a means of pressuring Israel, and seek to have this idea penetrate the public and political discourse, as a means of influencing governments and businesses to adopt BDS tactics.

An Open Letter to Critics of Israel

From The algemeiner

Simon Wiesenthal Center Report: BDS “a Thinly-Veiled, Anti-Israel and Anti-Semitic ‘Poison Pill’”

19March2013 Author: Zach Pontz http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/03/19/simon-wiesenthal-center-report-bds-a-thinly-veiled-anti-israel-and-anti-semitic-poison-pill/
A new report issued by the Simon Wiesanthal Center has labelled the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement against Israel “a thinly-veiled, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic ‘poison pill,’ whose goal is the demonization, delegitimization, and ultimate demise of the Jewish State.”

The report, which was compiled by Dr. Harold Brackman, takes a comprehensive look at the origins of the movement dating back to 2001. Among its many conclusions is that BDS “is a movement that does not help better the life of a single Palestinian and which is oblivious to major human rights disasters erupting throughout the Middle East and beyond.”

As a determining factor of BDS’s illegitimacy, the report uses Natan Sharansky’s ‘three Ds test’ for when criticism crosses the line into anti-Semitism:

“FIRST: Double Standards – singling out Israel for criticism while ignoring the more egregious behavior of major human rights abusers in the Arab and Muslim world and beyond.

“SECOND: Demonization of Israel – distorting the Jewish State’s actions by means of insidious and false comparisons with the Nazis and/or South Africa’s Apartheid regime.

“THIRD: Delegitimization – when Israel’s fundamental right to exist is denied—alone among all nations in the world—this too is anti-Semitism.

  • “BDS claims to be peaceful or to favor “nonviolent punitive measures” (while refusing to denounce anti-Israel, anti-Jewish violence).
  • “BDS often downplays its programmatic commitment to the unlimited “right of return” of millions of Palestinians, not born in Israel but claiming refugee status that would spell the end of the Jewish State.
  • “BDS ostensibly wants to right the specific wrongs done to Palestinians, yet attacks the foundations of Israel’s entire economy and society: all (Jewish) Israelis are collectively guilty.
  • “BDS is fueled by and reinforces a one-sided historical narrative denying any responsibility of Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim “rejectionists” for destroying chances for peace and reconciliation—from before Israel’s establishment in 1948, to the 1980 Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty, to the 1993 Oslo Accords, to the 2000-2001 Camp David and Wye Summits, to the 2005 Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, and to this very day.
  • “BDS slanders Zionism and supporters of the Jewish State by falsifying the profound differences between Apartheid South Africa and democratic Israel.
  • “BDS utilizes—without admitting it—Christian “supersessionist” theological claims that Jews and Israel have lost divine favor because of the Jewish People’s alleged sins and as result Jews no longer have legitimate historic or moral claims to the Holy Land.”

The report also dismisses the BDS canard that Israel is as bad, if not worse, as Apartheid South Africa. “The truth is that the equation of Israel with South African Apartheid is both a false analogy and an historical libel at the center of the BDS campaign to isolate and ultimately destroy Israel,” it states, adding that “the end result [of the two-state solution] would be the creation—not of South African-style ‘Bantustans’ among the Palestinians—but of a sovereign Palestinian state on over 90 percent of the Arab territory Israel captured in the 1967 Six Day War. In the meantime, Israel stays out of Gaza except when it reacts against terrorist attacks.”

The report also slams the BDS movement for its glaring hypocrisy, noting that “BDS Crusaders” never refuse “to utilize the outsized contributions of Israelis to cellphone technologies, the digital revolution, or biotech breakthroughs that have transformed the quality of life for billions and saved countless lives,” and highlighting the glaring fact that “Qatar-born Omar Barghouti exploits the academic freedom offered by Tel Aviv University to pursue an advanced degree while comparing Israelis to ‘mad dogs,’” while viewing  “all Israeli academics as members of ‘occupation.’”

The report observes that BDS has had “a minimal impact on business” and has mostly failed in its objectives beyond the propaganda arena. Minor victories can be highlighted, but even those have been negligible and come with their own brand of controversy. A recent Brooklyn College event is a prime example: The school was unwilling to cancel a BDS event despite opposition from groups on both the left and right. Ultimately the event created a controversy when a group of Jewish students were evicted for “disturbing” the attendees.

Yet despite the minor PR victories, even supporters of BDS have acknowledged the insidious goals of the movement, with Lebanese American Palestinian Professor of Political Science, As’ad Abu Khalil saying in 2012: “The real aim of BDS is to bring down the State of Israel . . . That should be stated as an unambiguous goal. There should not be any equivocation on the subject. Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel.”

The report concludes, that BDS has no positive impact on peace in the Middle East: “Those truly committed to a ‘Two State Solution’ will never serve the cause of peace by embracing the anti-Semitic BDS. Honest people have a choice between two options only: a return to currently unfashionable, always difficult, peacemaking to forge two viable, peaceful states or the grim alternative, stripped bare of pretenses, of a deadly specter astride a Pale Horse.”

The Shot That Killed the Two-State Solution

The fighting in Gaza has largely been treated as a sideshow to the peace initiatives of John Kerry. The idea appears to be that once Israel withdraws its troops, the Secretary can resume his efforts to reach an agreement. If that truly is the thinking in the White House, the president will find himself frustrated and disappointed again. The rain of rockets from Gaza has only stiffened the resistance of the Israeli public and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to territorial compromise on the West Bank. And, one rocket, in particular, may have killed the two-state solution altogether.

From the beginning of his first term, and initial missteps in pushing for a quick end to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, President Obama and his foreign policy team failed to understand the implications of Israel’s 2005 disengagement from the Gaza Strip. When Israel evacuated every citizen and soldier, effectively ending the “occupation,” the expectation and hope was that the Palestinians would use this opportunity to build the infrastructure of a state and demonstrate that they could live in peace with Israel.

This was a true test of the mantra “land for peace” and the Palestinians failed. Almost immediately, Hamas escalated its terror attacks on Israel and began to launch barrages of rockets and mortars at Israel’s civilian population. By the start of the latest operation, Israel had absorbed more than 10,000 rockets, which had the range to put more than half of Israel’s population (Jews and Arabs) in danger. Depending on the proximity to Gaza, Israelis had from 15 to 30 seconds to find shelter after hearing the siren indicating an incoming rocket.

While the media tried to keep “score” of casualties to show a “disproportionate” number of Palestinian casualties compared to Israelis, the simplistic recitation of these figures completely misrepresented the impact of the conflict. First, Israelis had no obligation to allow themselves to be killed just to make the score more even. Second, the casualty figures in Israel would have been horrifying if not for their technological genius in developing the Iron Dome system, which shot down most of the rockets that were directed at major population centers such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Furthermore, the media simply accepted whatever information the Palestinian Health Ministry gave them, ignoring the fact that the ministry was an arm of Hamas and that, according to their data, not a single Hamas terrorist was killed, only civilians. Inexplicably, the press ignored this fact and portrayed the war as though Israel was fighting ghosts that only they could see.

This latest bombardment, especially with the introduction of longer range weapons, has reinforced the view following the disengagement that giving up territory in the West Bank without ironclad security guarantees was a risk that exceeded any hoped for benefits of peace. This is the attitude even of the Israeli left whose homes and families were also in the line of fire.

As dangerous as the overall barrage has been, it was one rocket in particular that may have completely changed the prospects for a two-state solution. That rocket did not kill anyone and caused little direct damage; however, the fact that it was within a mile of Israel’s international airport was enough to scare the United States and most other countries to cancel their flights in and out of Israel.

Fortunately, no rockets have come anywhere near a commercial airliner or hit the airport itself, but the mere possibility was sufficient to put Israel’s economy in potential jeopardy. At the height of the tourist season, flights were cancelled and Israel’s principal artery to the outside world was isolated.
Imagine if a rocket did hit the airport or was in the vicinity of an airplane, never mind the catastrophic implications of actually downing a jet. If Israel gives up strategic territory in the West Bank, one Palestinian with an animus toward Israel could smuggle or construct a crude weapon that could reach the airport and, because Iron Dome cannot hit rockets fired short distances, there would be no defense.

Israelis legitimately fear that the West Bank, less than 30 miles from Tel Aviv, 6 miles from Ben-Gurion Airport and a few feet from Jerusalem, will turn into Hamastan where the entire heart of Israel would be within easy rocket range.

How many Israelis will be willing to take this risk now? Would you?

Dr. Mitchell Bard is the Executive Director of the nonprofit AICE and author/editor of 23 books including After “Anatevka: Tevye in Palestine” and “Death to the Infidels: Radical Islam’s War Against the Jews.”

Why Israel is losing the information war

From Caroline Glick 20August2014 http://carolineglick.com/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.

 

This is why so many Israelis are up in arms about our government’s failure to impact the wall of lies that comprises the discourse on Israel in the Western world.

 

The knee-jerk reaction of many Israelis to the sight of UN officials, CNN anchors and New York Timesreporters accusing us of committing war crimes is to blame ourselves.

 

Our hasbara (public diplomacy) is a catastrophe, our defenders are incompetent idiots, we moan and scream.

 

But the truth is not so simple. Our speakers have gotten much better over the past several years. Some, like ambassadors Ron Dermer and Ron Prosor and IDF Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, are excellent.

 

Israel’s public diplomacy efforts have been unsuccessful in penetrating, let alone dismantling the edifice of lies that constitutes the Western narrative about the Palestinian war against us because our underlying strategy for contending with it is directed at the wrong goal.

 

Our PR gurus defined our hasbara goal as getting our story out effectively. To do so, Israel has operated on two parallel tracks. First, we have tried to adjust our policies to adhere to what we perceive as the West’s demands.

 

We have employed measures unprecedented in military history to protect the Palestinians from their elected leaders who use them as fodder in their propaganda war against Israel.

 

There is no precedent in the history of warfare to Israel’s practice of warning Palestinians when it is about to attack civilian installations that Hamas has unlawfully used to attack Israel.

 

Moreover, Israel has accepted interpretations of the laws of war – such as the specious assertion that Israel is required to provide free electricity to Gaza – that have no relationship whatsoever to international law.
The second component of getting out our story has been developing the sort of glitzy, media-friendly PR apparatus that everybody who is everybody says is the be all and end all of a successful media strategy. There is no foreign press corps more coddled than the foreign press corps in Israel. No government is more active on social media sites than Israel.
And yet, for all of our efforts, the UN Human Rights Committee appointed an open hater of Israel who doesn’t have a problem with Hamas to run a phony investigation of the IDF’s imaginary war crimes.

For all our efforts, The New York Times, MSNBC, the European media, CNN and all the rest demonize our soldiers and leaders. They ignore the fact that everything Hamas and its allies in Fatah and Islamic Jihad do is a war crime – from calling for the annihilation of Israel to shooting rockets at civilian population centers, to shooting rockets at civilian population centers from hospitals and from outside the hotel where their reporters are staying in Gaza.
So desperate are we for any truth in reporting that we seize as a major victory the fact that a Wall Street Journal reporter was nice enough to Tweet the fact that he interviewed a Hamas leader in Shifa hospital.

A casual glance at the mountain of distorted and simply false stories reported about Israel and its enemies makes clear that at a minimum, most of the Western media don’t care about the truth. The fact that they sent reporters to Israel and Gaza doesn’t mean they wanted those reporters to publish what is going on.

The reporters knew what they were supposed to say before they even got on a plane to Israel. True, Hamas has openly acknowledged that it prohibited the foreign press from filming its terrorists and their war crimes. But with rare exceptions, the media had no problem with Hamas’s rules.

So too, the UN Human Rights Council didn’t decide to form a commission of inquiry to criminalize Israel because we weren’t good enough at showing the lengths we go to protect Gazans from their elected leaders. And the UNHRC didn’t appoint William Schabas, who has called for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to be tried for war crimes, to lead its star chamber because it didn’t get the press release proving that Israel acts in compliance with international law.

The media, the US State Department and the UN attack Israel for crimes that Hamas commits because they are wedded to a narrative in which Israel is to blame for its enemies’ desire to destroy it.

As the UN, The New York Times and President Barack Obama see it, Israel is to blame because it is inherently guilty by its nature.

The White House and State Department can accuse Israel of conducting a “totally indefensible” and “disgraceful” strike against an UNRWA school, when no such strike occurred, and if it had occurred it would have been totally defensible, because as far as they are concerned, as Martin Indyk claimed in May, Israel’s right to exist is conditional on our willingness to accept their belief that we are inherently morally deformed and in need of direction by our betters.

Netanyahu is Schabas’s “favorite [to be placed] in the dock of the International Criminal Court,” because Netanyahu is the elected leader of the morally deformed Jewish state.
Given this situation, it is clear that Israel’s public diplomacy efforts are directed toward the wrong goal.

The goal of hasbara cannot be to educate the likes of The New York Times’ bureau chief Jodi Rudoren about the truth because the problem isn’t one of ignorance. The problem is that they consider the truth an impediment to their goal of reporting the narrative of Israeli criminality.

Rather than striving to educate, we must work to manipulate the Rudorens of the world into covering the truth.

For instance, there is no reason to provide reporters clearly dedicated to hiding the truth with access to national leaders and military commanders. Let them find their own sources. Israel is a free country. There is no reason for The New York Times to be invited to a press briefing by IDF commanders.

Another critical element of a strategy for forcing hostile media and international agencies to contend with the truth is to create events that they can’t ignore.
For instance, the chief military prosecutor together with the state prosecution should indict Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah leaders on war crimes charges and the relevant Israeli courts should begin adjudicating the cases.

The Knesset should begin deliberations on a bill to strip UNRWA of its legal immunity as a first step towards bringing its personnel up on charges of providing material support for terrorism.

True, such actions will be met with howls of condemnation and hysterical reproaches from all the usual suspects.

But at least they will be talking about Palestinian war crimes. At least they will be forced to acknowledge that UNRWA is a force of destabilization and radicalization, not of stabilization and moderation in the Arab conflict with Israel.

Our leaders and spokespeople cannot win the information war by devoting themselves to pointing out the West’s hypocrisy and double standards, or the rank mendaciousness and bigotry that stands at the core of their approach to Israel. No one ever won a war by only playing defense. And we won’t win this one by explaining why we aren’t war criminals.

We will only begin to make progress when we define the goal of our hasbara as forcing an unwilling media and international community to discuss the truth by taking deliberate actions that will make it impossible for them to ignore it.

Examples of the Lies against Israel and the Real Truth

Click to download PDF fileGaza_Strip_Guardian

“Hamas was not forced into shooting their rockets from pads located in urban areas, thereby leading to unavoidable civilian deaths,” wrote Wechsler. “They were not shooting from some of the densest population centers anywhere because they had no other choice. No—the choice was there. Though not large, Gaza had ample space that was not densely populated—farm land, empty spaces where rockets could have been stored and shot from. Furthermore, the U.N. could easily have developed temporary quarters in these same spaces for the sheltering of civilian refugees, far away from the sites of battle.”

“Hamas was not forced into shooting their rockets from pads located in urban areas, thereby leading to unavoidable civilian deaths,” wrote Wechsler. “They were not shooting from some of the densest population centers anywhere because they had no other choice. No—the choice was there. Though not large, Gaza had ample space that was not densely populated—farm land, empty spaces where rockets could have been stored and shot from. Furthermore, the U.N. could easily have developed temporary quarters in these same spaces for the sheltering of civilian refugees, far away from the sites of battle.”

Gaza Population-Density
From Elder of Ziyon 18August2014 http://elderofziyon.blogspot.co.il/2014/08/every-idf-officer-has-more-training-in.html#.U_K_hbuvgjg

Every IDF officer has more training in international law than practically every columnist and reporter

Yaacov Lozowick summarizes an important article from Yediot Acharonot (not available online and only in Hebrew) about the depth of commitment the IDF has to international law on all levels.
IDF-Law-review

The IDF takes international law very seriously. Over the past decade it has considerably expanded the part of the military prosecution which deals with the laws of war, and there is now an entire team of officers, many at the colonel level, whose entire profession is to ensure the IDF functions within the law. I’ll stray from the Yedioth article for a moment to add that I’ve come across these folks in recent years, in professional discussions, and they’re knowledgeable, committed and professional. I expect that they know more about the laws of war than just about any media type or pundit who pontificates on the matter, except of course the other professionals. It seems safe to me to say that if anyone who doesn’t have a full and updated education in the laws of war informs you about how what the IDF does is illegal etc, they are probably talking through their hat comfortable that you, too, don’t know enough to call them out. The laws of war, like any branch of law, is a professional field, and it takes training and practice to be good at it.

That’s the first stage.

The second stage is that these officers spend a significant chunk of their time training other IDF troops in the basics. Clearly a corporal in the infantry won’t go through a full course of training, but the higher the officer, the more exposure they will have had to the principles and concepts of the laws of war, and the more occasions on which they’ll have been required to think about applying them. The training of an IDF soldier includes the understanding that the IDF respects the laws of war; the training of an officer includes applying these laws.

The third stage is that the legal types participate in the planning of all operations. I’m not going to detai the many levels of preparation an IDF operation goes through from conception to execution, but there are lots of them; the legal experts are part of the process. According to Yedioth, this results in some operations never being authorized in the first place, and others are adapted to stay within the law.

The fourth stage of preparation is that there’s a legal expert in every division, and there are channels of communication down to at least the level of battalions; since companies and platoons don’t generally execute their own operations, that more or less covers everyone.

Fifth stage: Aeriel and artillery actions. Aeriel and artillery actions are not necessarily susceptible to heat of battle situations. Both pilots and artillery officers are less likely than infantry, tank or engineering soldiers to need to respond immediately to fire from an unidentified source in the confusion of a battlefield. The article in Yedioth claimed that every single shell shot by those two branches was thought about in advance, and targets were vetted in advance, after they were visually identified by one or more of the layers of eyes the IDF had over Gaza – drones, other drones, radar and other stuff.

Read the whole thing.

What this means is that every IDF officer has more formal training on international law than practically every reporter, every columnist and every pundit that screams “War crimes!”

So when a major New York Times columnist badly misstates international law, it is because he is ignorant. When the head of a major human rights organization justifies it, it is because he is malicious. (Even under the “just war” definition of proportionality, it applies to the decisions to embark on an operation, not to the death-count afterwards. And Ken Roth knows that.)

The IDF had an entire website dedicated to international law. Here is what goes into every single decision to drop a bomb, every single time:

Given the complexity, sensitivity and potential consequences of aerial strikes against terrorists, decisions in this regard are made through highly regulated operational processes. These operational processes are set out in clear orders and procedures, which are classified by nature. Among other things, these orders and procedures define the various stages of the process of planning an aerial strike, thus identifying the entities whose input the military commander must receive before conducting the attack.

The process whereby decisions on aerial strikes are made reflects the full implementation of relevant aspects of international law. First and foremost, the decision to strike is subject to criteria and conditions specified in the orders and procedures, which are designed to ensure that the attack will be consistent with international law. These criteria and conditions have been formulated on the basis of preliminary legal advice and they are implemented by the commanders in each and every aerial strike. Furthermore, although not legally required, in certain cases advice is provided in respect of the legality of a specific target. Obviously this type of advice is generally unfeasible during “real time” aerial strikes conducted in response to immediate threats, when the decision to attack a target is required to be reached in fractions of a second.

The implementation of principles of international law in procedures surrounding aerial strikes is also reflected in the intensive training that those involved in the decision-making process undergo. As an inseparable part of these training programmes, the relevant operational entities – from intelligence officers to operational commanders – learn and internalize the laws of armed conflict that apply to attacks, under the guidance of skilled legal advisers with expertise in the subject.

Within the decision-making process, significant emphasis is placed on the input from intelligence officers, which factor in all the relevant information available about the target, the anticipated military advantage and the collateral damage expected. For example, the intelligence input considers factors that may establish the legality of the target and the anticipated military advantage, such as the nature of the terrorist activity in which the terrorist target is involved (for example, participating in rocket attacks directed at Israeli civilians) and their role within the enemy’s military operations. The intelligence insight will also consider, to the extent possible in the given circumstances, information that can be used to assess the extent of the anticipated collateral damage to civilians or civilian objects.

Based on this information, along with the insight of additional professionals such as damage assessment experts, the military commander may properly apply the principles of distinction, proportionality and the obligation to undertake precautionary measures – both in deciding on the attack itself and the manner in which it will be conducted (for example, the timing of the attack, the type of munitions to be used, etc.)

Almost certainly, not a single international journalist who reported on Gaza ever heard of this website, or even ever consulted an expert on international law, before throwing around terms like “war crime” and “proportionality.”

Comments:

Not sure if this has been covered already, but does anyone have an overview of the legal requirements when faced with human shields?

From what I have been able to glean so far, it seems that this area has not been addressed in the relevant legal codes, i.e. no law says the attacking force must avoid harming human shields and no law says the attacking force may disregard human shields.

On more than one occasion I have heard media claim that Israel shoots human shields “anyway”, even though it is clear that Israel cancels attacks where there are obvious human shields. Naftali Bennett is one who was foolishly outflanked by this (and other) insinuations on sky news.

The short answer is yes, you can kill the human shield “anyway.” Combatants have been using human shields for a very long time, and it has been addressed many times in international law. As in any military action that might involve injury to civilians, the rule of proportionality applies. And of course the IDF takes into account factors other than international law, such as how much heat Israel will endure for taking an entirely legal action that would cause no comment whatsoever if done by any other country on earth.

Article 28 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV: “The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.”

Practice Relating to Rule 97. Human Shields http://www.icrc.org/customary-…

Israelis flood local market for top-class poultry rejected by european union boycott

Persecuted Jews from Europe are discovering the delights of international cuisine in the Jewish State.

By: Hana Levi Julian 17August2014 http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israelis-flood-local-market-for-top-class-poultry-rejected-by-european-union-boycott/2014/08/17/

A gourmet kosher chicken from Israel today cannot be had in many areas of the European Union.

Israeli poultry farmers are taking their export business elsewhere these days – and their chickens too.

European Union sanctions on business emanating from firms based in Judea, Samaria and other locations on the ‘wrong’ side of the 1949 Armistice Line have complicated Israel’s business dealings.

Chickens and poultry products from those areas have become part of the business casualties to fall by the wayside. But given the number of southern chicken coops that were struck by rocket fire during Operation Protective Edge, this may be a blessing in disguise for the local market, particularly with the upcoming Jewish holiday month of Tishrei looming on the horizon.

The process has gotten to the point that it’s no longer worth it for many business owners to bother with the Europeans. Instead, Israeli business owners are seeking other venues — closer to home — for their products.

Officials from Israel’s foreign and agricultural ministries say the dilemma has been solved by an increase in domestic demand which has risen, ironically, in part due to the European persecution of Jews abroad.

For the past two months, the premium-quality products have instead been diverted to local markets, where they much appreciated and in very high demand – particularly with the influx of new immigrants with discriminating palates from France and North America.

It is true the Jewish communities in Europe are sadly being deprived and missing out; but Israelis who normally are asked to make due with the export ‘leftovers’ are reaping the benefits of the ‘sanction bonanza’ as a result.

And happier, gourmet Israelis at home make for a far more popular government in times of crisis.

Bottom line: Palestinian Arab terrorism hasn’t gotten a toehold — let alone a snowball’s chance — with the Netanyahu administration in power.

There are no chickens in the Israeli government coalition this time around.

From The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Amb Prosor addresses special UN General Assembly session on Gaza

06August2014 http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/InternatlOrgs/Speeches/Pages/Amb-Prosor-addresses-special-UN-General-Assembly-session-on-Gaza-6-Aug-2014.aspx
Amb Prosor addresses special UN General Assembly session on Gaza
Mr. President,

Winston Churchill, one of the great architects of this institution, is remembered for his remarkable ability to perceive danger long before the rest of the world had woken up to the fact. In 1935, four years before World War II, Churchill criticized the international community for standing by as Germany rapidly rearmed. In his words: “The family of nations suffered from a want of foresight, an unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, and a lack of clear thinking and confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong.”

The international community is once again facing the severe lack of foresight and unwillingness to see. Every day we are confronted by stories of radical Islamic terrorism: ISIS is purging Iraq of Christians, Boko Haram has kidnapped school girls in Nigeria, Al-Shabab gunmen are raiding fishing villages on the Somali coast. And yet this Assembly does not utter a word. It can only muster its outrage when Israel acts to defend its citizens.

The double standards are absolutely appalling. In Iraq, over 1,600 people were killed in July. In Libya, clashes between rival militias killed 200 people last month. In Nigeria, Boko Haram has slaughtered nearly 3,000 people this year. It may just be me, but I didn’t hear the Arab group rally to condemn these atrocities. Instead, this group gangs up against the only democratic nation in the Middle East that is defending its citizens from the totalitarian forces threatening every enlightened country in this Assembly.

It might be too much to ask you to stand on our side in this battle between civilization and barbarism. But at least have the decency to swallow your selective outrage as Israel wages war against the extremist groups, seeking to eradicate the values that we all hold very dear.

Mr. President,

Israel is on the frontline of the war against radical extremism. The battle we fight today is the same battle that you all will fight tomorrow. Hamas, like ISIS and al-Qaeda, shares a disdain for democracy, a contempt for modernity, and a willingness to target innocent civilians.

And yet, some of you have abandoned the only democracy in the Middle East standing against the tide of terrorism. What does this say about your values? What does it mean for the next generation? This institution is being held hostage by some in this Assembly who are the worst human rights abusers.

The Arab nations, backed by some members of the non-aligned movement, may have the numbers, but they don’t have the morals. They use the majority to convene special sessions, issue condemnations, and push through resolutions demonizing Israel. In fact, I won’t be surprised if the Arab states pass a resolution saying that the terror tunnels were actually simply an irrigation system, and that the rockets were nothing more than shooting stars.

Few nations have the courage to admit that Hamas is committing a double war crime, targeting Israeli civilians while hiding behind Palestinian civilians. Fewer still have the courage to admit that Hamas is willing to see its own children killed so it can build sympathy for its cause. By not vocally and unequivocally condemning Hamas, you are condemning another generation of Israelis and Palestinians to further suffering.

There is only one way to achieve sustained quiet in Israel and build a peaceful and prosperous Gaza. Hamas must be disarmed, Gaza must be demilitarized. And the international community must divorce itself from the romantic notion of Hamas as ‘freedom fighters’.

Seventy years ago Winston Churchill bemoaned what he saw as the inability of mankind to act until the emergency comes. Today I am here to issue a warning: Stand with Israel and stand against terror before it is too late, before the danger lands on your doorstep and self-preservation strikes its jarring gong.

Thank you Mr. President.

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