Saturday, February 17, 2018

DAVID BEDEIN: LEADING THE FIGHT FOR THE UNRWA REFORM INITIATIVE.

For more than thirty years, David Bedein, social worker and investigative reporter, has worked to bring the scandal of UNRWA to public attention. Why call it a scandal?

For one good reason: Unlike any othe refugee agency in the world, UNRWA works to keep millions of refugees as refugees in perpetuity, instilling false hope in the lives
of five million descendents of Arab refugees from the 1948 that they would be repatriated to Arab villages that existed beore 1948.

Even worse, the school books used by 515,000 students who learn in UNRWA schools, translated in its entirety by professionals hired by Bedein, shows that the UNRWA curriculum indoctrinates every UNRWA school child to devote their lives to the “right of rerturn”- by force of arms.

What can be done to reform UNRWA?:

  1. ​​Cancel the UNRWA​ war​ curriculum, based on Jihad, martyrdom and the “right of return by force of arms”.
  2. ​Cease paramilitary training in all UNRWA schools. It is an absurdity that UNRWA, a UN agency with a purported commitment to “peace education”, allows such arms training on its premises.
  3. ​Insist that UNRWA dismiss employees affiliated with Hamas in accordance with laws on the books in western nations that forbid aid to any agency that employs members of a terrorist organization.
  4. ​Introduce UNHCR standards to UNRWA to advance the resettlement of ​fourth and fifth generation refugees​ from the 1948 war. These people have spent some seven decades relegated to refugee status. Current UNRWA policy is that any refugee resettlement would interfere with the “right of return” to pre-1948 Arab localities. By adopting the political stance of Palestinian maximalists, UNRWA flouts its own commitment to the welfare and future of Palestinian refugees
  5. Demand an audit of donor funds​ which emanate from 68 naitons​. This would address widespread documented reports of wasted resources, duplication of services and an undesired flow of cash to the Gaza-based terror groups that have controlled UNRWA operations there for the past 18 years.
  6. ​Since UNRWA recently hired a “youth ​idol,” Muhammad Assaf, to travel the world ​to encourage insurrection and violence. This would be an appropriate time to demand that UNRWA cancel its contract with such a promoter of ​violence, who has no role to play in UN education, whose theme is “Peace Begins Here”​

THE TIME HAS COME TO RENDER SUPPORT FOR THE UNRWA REFORM INITIATIVE, IN EVERY LEGISLATIVE BODY IN THE WORLD THAT FUNDS UNRWA​​

HOW SUPPORT CAN BE RENDERED:
http://israelbehindthenews.com/donations/

UNRWA UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

Our agency retains local professional journalists who cover UNRWA facilities in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and Gaza, who have worked with us for more than 20 years, producing stories about UNRWA, Hamas, the PA, many of which can be seen on our site,  www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com

These local journalists recently acquired the latest 2018 school books provided by the PA for UNRWA. From memos we examined from Holland, the US, Canada, Australia and the Israel Civil Administration we see that UNRWA gave assurances that the newest school books and the atmosphere in UNRWA would now reflect peace advocacy and be free of the indoctrination to violence which characterized UNRWA school books that our agency translated and the UNRWA students whom we have interviewed over the past few years.   We therefore commissioned a study of the 2018 UNRWA school books, and filmed tens of UNRWA students in Jerusalem.

We will share our new study of the UNRWA school books and two short films of  interviews with UNRWA students at the Jerusalem municipality on Thursday at 430 PM.

Yet except for two pages about peace in new PA/UNRWA school books, UNRWA indoctrination continues, in all UNRWA schools, UNRWA school books and the UNRWA public domain.

UNRWA facilities are seething.  Why? 68 donor nations continue to pour food, medicine and cash into all UNRWA camps. Yet the UNRWA workers union, under tight control of Hamas for the past 18 years, hoards all humanitarian supplies, while contracting foreign press to witness record the staged UNRWA humanitarian crisis.

The time has come to ask the foreign media to ask their stringers on the scene in UNRWA to file stories which will portray the stolen food and medical supplies which do not get to the people who need it the most.  Professionally speaking, our agency has interfaced with reps of all nations who donate to UNRWA, all of whom are concerned about   transparency. The questions remains:

Will one news agency assign their UNRWA based stringers to film what happens to humanitarian aid when it arrives to UNRWA? Will someone organize a tour OF UNRWA facilities for donor nations to examine allegations of disappearing humanitarian aid? Indeed, when you realize that UNRWA is an agency with a $1.2 billion budget, perhaps the time has come to pose the question:

Where has all the flour gone?

*David Bedein, head of the Israel Resource News Agency and the Center for Near East Policy Research in Jerusalem, is a community organization social work professional who has worked as an investigative journalist covering UNRWA for thirty years, producing studies and films shot on location, and is the author of   GENESIS OF THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY and UNRWA: ROADBLOCK TO PEACE.

Israel, Jews and Peace in the New PA Textbooks Used in UNRWA Schools Today – Final Study

Introduction

This paper is the final update of two former studies. The first one, titled “UNRWA’s Problematic Educational Role in the Middle East Conflict”, was issued in September 2017. It reviewed UNRWA’s role in perpetuating the Middle East conflict, having used for decades textbooks that delegitimize the State of Israel and the very presence of its Jewish citizens in the country, demonize both Israel and Jews in various contexts and advocate a violent struggle against it instead of peace and coexistence.

The said study covered the latest years of UNRWA activity and relied on some 150 textbooks in various school subjects mostly published by the Palestinian Authority (PA) between the years 2013 and 2017. In the meantime, the PA started in 2016 a new project of textbook publishing (and most of the 2016 books were republished – some with certain changes – in 2017), which necessitated an update. That was partially done by another study, issued in early December 2017 under the title “Israel, Jews and Peace in Textbooks Now Used in UNRWA Schools”. It was based on 102 books, mostly published in 2016 and 2017, with some 20 books having been published earlier, and reflected the situation in UNRWA schools during the first semester of 2017/18. With the accomplishment of the PA schoolbook republishing operation for grades 1-10 that same month, another update research was done, of which the result is the present study. It includes 118 books the vast majority of which were published in 2017 and replaced most books of 2016 (see the full list at the end of the study). As far as UNRWA is concerned, the present study is the last update. Further new books are expected to appear in the course of the 2018 school year but they are intended for grades 11 and 12 which are not included in UNRWA’s school system.

UNRWA – the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the refugees of the 1948 Palestine war – began its operations in 1950. Since then it has been present in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the territories of the West Bank (including Israeli East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. Unlike its parallel UNHCR organization that aims at resettling all other world refugees, UNRWA has extended the refugee status of the original refugees to include their descendants of three generations so far, while keeping them in makeshift camps under poor conditions and nourishing within them the false hope of their eventual return to their ancestors’ former places of residence in pre-1967 Israel. Thus, from a 700 thousand-strong population in 1948, the number of these so-called Palestinian refugees has by now exceeded 5 million.

ישראל, היהודים והשלום בספרי הלימוד החדשים של הרש”פ מחקר סופי –בשימוש בבתיה”ס של אונר”א היום

הקדמה

נייר זה הוא העידכון הסופי של שני מחקרים קודמים שפורסמו באנגלית. הראשון שבהם, תחת הכותרת בספטמבר יצא”, UNRWA’s Problematic Educational Role in the Middle East Conflict” 2017 .הוא סקר את תפקידה של אונר”א בהנצחת הסכסוך המזרח-תיכוני באמצעות השימוש מצידה במשך עשרות שנים בספרי לימוד שעושים דלגיטימציה למדינת ישראל ולעצם הנוכחות של אזרחיה היהודים בארץ, עושים דמוניזציה הן לישראל והן ליהודים בהקשרים שונים, ומטיפים למאבק אלים נגד ישראל במקום הטפה לשלום ולדו-קיום עימה. המחקר הנ”ל כיסה את פעילות אונר”א בשנים האחרונות והסתמך על כ-150 ספרי לימוד במקצועות שונים שרובם נדפסו ע”י הרשות הפלסטינית )רש”פ( בין השנים 2013 – 2017 .בינתיים, החלה הרש”פ ב-2016 בפרוייקט חדש של כתיבה מחדש של ספרי הלימוד )ורוב הספרים שהודפסו ב-2016 הודפסו שוב ב-2017 – רובם ללא שינוי ומיעוטם בשינויים קלים(, דבר שחייב עידכון. זה נעשה חלקית במחקר נוסף שפורסם בתחילת דצמבר 2017 תחת הכותרת “ישראל, יהודים ושלום בספרי הלימוד של הרש”פ בשימוש בבתיה”ס של אונר”א היום”. הוא התבסס על 102 ספרים שרובם הודפסו ב-2016 ו-2017 ,ומתוכם כ-20 ספרים שהודפסו בשנים שלפני כן, ושיקף את המצב בבתיה”ס של אונר”א במהלך הסמסטר הראשון של שנה”ל 18/2017 .עם השלמת מבצע ההדפסה מחדש של ספרי הלימוד של הרש”פ לכיתות א’-י’ באותו חודש עצמו, נעשה מחקר עדכני נוסף שהמחקר הנוכחי הוא פריו. הוא כולל 118 ספרים שרובם המכריע הודפסו ב-2017 והחליפו את רוב ספרי 2016( וראו הרשימה המלאה בסוף המחקר(. ככל שמדובר באונר”א, המחקר הנוכחי הוא העדכון הסופי. ספרים נוספים אמורים להופיע במהלך שנה”ל הנוכחית אך הם מיועדים לכיתות י”א וי”ב שאינן נכללות במערכת בתיה”ס של אונר”א.

אונר”א – סוכנות הסעד והתעסוקה של האו”ם לפליטי מלחמת 1948 ( and Relief Nations United UNRWA – Agency Works – )החלה את פעולתה ב-1950 .מאז היא נוכחת בסוריה, לבנון, ירדן ושטחי הגדה המערבית )כולל מזרח-ירושלים הישראלית( ורצועת עזה. שלא כמו הארגון המקביל לה – הנציב העליון של האו”ם לפליטים ) – Refugees for Commissioner High Nations United UNHCR ,)אשר פועל ליישוב מחדש של כל שאר פליטי העולם, אונר”א הרחיבה את מעמד הפליט של הפליטים המקוריים באופן שהוא כולל את צאצאיהם לאורך שלושה דורות עד כה. היא מחזיקה אותם במחנות זמניים בתנאי מחיה עלובים ומטפחת בהם את תקוות השווא שבסופו של דבר ישובו למקומות מגוריהם הקודמים של אבותיהם בישראל שבגבולותיה מלפני 1967 .כך, מאוכלוסיה של 700 אלף איש ב-1948 צמח מספרם של המכונים “פליטים פלסטינים” והיום הוא עולה על 5 מיליון.

Statement on the new Polish law from RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

In all my various books and lectures I have been warning that with the passing of the Holocaust survivors, the revisionists will have a field day. This is what you are seeing in Poland.  When Israel vigorously protested a controversial Polish law outlawing accusing Poland of complicity in Nazi crimes, this was an anomaly in decades of willfully ignoring Eastern European Holocaust distortions, Efraim Zuroff, the world’s leading Nazi hunter, charged this week. There are many articles appearing with varying opinions, but what is important is that unless we keep Holocaust memory alive, the entire world will eventually deny the truth of the Holocaust. Genocide is not Holocaust and they should not be combined. In almost all Holocaust museums we are witnessing the uprooting of Holocaust memory with the replacement of Genocide memory. Many say this will not happen. Unless we include Holocaust memory in religious services eventually the Holocaust will become nothing more than a date in history.

The 20th Century Cleric Behind the 21st Century Hate

Against the backdrop of spiking anti-Semitism on both sides of the Atlantic, the Simon Wiesenthal Center released its annual Top Ten anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel list.

Beyond #1–the Nazi March in Charlottesville, which thrust the new generation of homegrown US extremists of the alt-Right into the living rooms of millions of Americans,most of the others trace their hate directly or indirectly to a man who died in 1974: Amin al-Husseini, aka the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

Until his appointment as Grand Mufti of Palestine by the British nearly 100 years ago, there were Palestinian Arabs who were open to a political compromise with their Jewish neighbors.

Beginning in 1921, al-Husseini put an end to any such talk.

He promoted a fanatical brand of Islamic nationalism that quickly turned a political dispute into an endless religious war.

He stirred bloody terrorist attacks against Jews by concocting the big lie that Jews were planning to invade and take over al Aqsa and the Temple Mount.

His brand of Islam demanded that the Arab masses not leave a single Jews in the Holy Land; that no compromise with the Jews was ever acceptable.

His was a genocidal hatred for the Jewish people that knew no geographical boundaries.

He stirred deadly riots against the Jews of Iraq in 1941, and in Egypt and Libya on November 2, 1945, the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

He was an enthusiastic ally of Hitler who spent WWII in Berlin and an eyewitness to the genocide perpetrated against European Jewry when he visited Auschwitz. He rallied thousands of Muslims to join the Nazi SS.

“Our fundamental condition for cooperating with Germany was a free hand to eradicate every last Jew from Palestine and the Arab world,” the Grand Mufti wrote. “I asked Hitler for an explicit undertaking to allow us to solve the Jewish problem in a manner befitting our national and racial aspirations and according to the scientific methods innovated by Germany in the handling of its Jews. The answer I got was ‘the Jews are yours.”

Apparently, an area near Nablus was selected for the creation of large crematoria to which all the Jews of the Middle East—as far away as Yemen would be brought to be exterminated, had the Nazis captured the region.

Rommel’s defeat at El Alamein put an end to the Grand Mufti’s dream of genocide but not his fanatical hatred of the Jewish people.

That fanaticism also targeted any Arab leader who dared talk about compromise or peace with the Jews: Crown Prince (later King) Hussein stood next to his grandfather, King Abdallah I as he was assassinated on the Temple Mount by fanatics to block any compromise with the Zionists. Those who embraced that brand of Islamist fanaticism would later assassinate Egyptian President Sadat for making peace with Israel.

In 2001, then -Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak-at the prodding of US President Bill Clinton, offered PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat 96% of the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and virtually the entire Old City, including the Temple Mount. Still, Arafat refused the deal, perhaps because he knew the fate of others who had dared to cross the red lines set down by the Grand Mufti in his war against the Jews.

The grand Mufti’s uncompromising genocidal hatred cloaked in theological garb, still hangs over the Holy Land like a cloud of nuclear waste.

Here we are in the 21st Century. Many Palestinians still revere the Mufti and follow his diktat of absolute rejectionism. Perhaps that is why Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority continues to name schools and town squares in “honor” of terrorists who massed-murdered Israelis. While touted as a moderate Abbas never hesitated to invoke the Grand Mufti’s canard about a non-existent threat to al Aqsa to inflame the Palestinian street and Muslims the world over against Jews. And the Mufti’s genocidal legacy is also reflected in the words and deeds of Hamas.

Were he around today, the Grand Mufti would take deep satisfaction from the anti-Semitic “Kaybar, Kaybar, Yahud… “We will shoot the Jews” chants echoing on streets of world class cities; of Muslim Imams in North America, invoking Islamic theology to call for violence against Jews; of football fans in Europe and Africa mocking Anne Frank or celebrating Hitler and the Holocaust; of University instructors repeating the canard that Israelis harvest and sell Palestinian organs

One thing is certain, unless and until the Palestinians bury the Grand Mufti’s dream of a Judenrein Holy Land, Israel cannot  negotiate with a “partner” still intent on the destruction of the Jewish nation. Israelis will guided by the warning of the late Israeli Minister, Pinchas Sapir who said during the 1967 6-Day War, “It’s hard to create a state but it’s easy to lose one.”

 

 

*Rabbi Marvin Hier is Founder and Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. 

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, is Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action for the Simon Wiesenthal Center

Just when you think you have heard it all

It seems there is no limit when it comes to covering news about Israel and Jews. This week in particular has served up yet more examples of the absurdities we face…writes Michael Kuttner.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day:

This annual event provides an opportunity for politicians and officials to demonstrate their empathy for the victims and ease the conscience of those whose silence for the remaining 364 days of the year lies dormant. At a time when Jew hatred is on the rise internationally this one day in the year provides an ideal opportunity for high-sounding declarations of solidarity and ringing denunciations of racism. If it is intended to make Jews feel more secure and hopeful then I suppose at least for 24 hours it might manage to spread an illusion that the fight against the longest surviving virus of hate is being waged successfully.

Australia’s Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition have been at the forefront of the battle against Judeophobia and their messages to the Jewish Community are indeed sincere and heartfelt. I am not sure how much of their message gets into the general media but there is no doubt about their determination.

In New Zealand the Race Relations Commissioner spoke movingly at the commemoration but I have been unable to ascertain whether the Prime Minister, her Foreign Minister or the Leader of the Opposition actually issued any public statements. If they did it was buried by the media and if they remained silent it speaks volumes about their concerns and priorities when it comes to the tsunami of hate against Jews which engulfs social media these days.

One of the most galling aspects of this annual event are the expressions of “friendship and solidarity” expressed by leaders of countries who miss no opportunity in condemning and censuring the Jewish State. It’s so easy to bash Israel while hiding behind the sanctimonious façade of concern for Jews elsewhere.

The European Parliament which sheds crocodile tears on this day also invites an Iranian leader who is a Holocaust denier to engage in “dialogue.” This same hypocritical body believes the agreement enabling Iran to develop weapons of mass destructions is wonderful, that a country which declares its objective is the destruction of the Jewish State and which develops, tests and provides missiles to terror groups is a great business partner makes a mockery of the day when the murder of millions of Jews is commemorated. Accusing Israel of behaving like Nazis and giving comfort to those who promote such libels does not go unnoticed in Israel.

We also have to listen to the likes of the Swedish Foreign Minister who has accused Israel of crimes and then had the gall to blame us for the rise of anti Jew-hatred in her country which is making Jewish life in that country untenable. This year Ken Livingstone, a former Mayor of London, appeared on Iranian television to discuss “whether the Holocaust has been exploited to oppress others.”  You do not need much of an imagination to work out the conclusions.

The disgraceful fact is that almost all those who pillory and delegitimise Israel conveniently ignore real ongoing genocides elsewhere in the world. Whether one likes it or not the very existence of Israel today is a guarantee that what happened in the recent past cannot happen again. Sponsoring and voting for UN resolutions which deny any Jewish connections to Jerusalem and parts of our homeland make declarations of “never again” a hollow exercise.

Poles apart – DON’T MENTION THE WAR:

The Polish Government is passing a law which forbids asserting that Poland or Poles had anything to do with the systematic murder of Jews. It is important to remember that Nazi Germany viewed Poles as subhuman specimens of humanity although they were on a “higher” level than Slavs and of course Jews. It is also a fact that the major German death camps were situated in Poland, an ideal setting for such activities. Without a doubt there were Polish non-Jewish citizens who risked their lives in saving Jews at great risk to their own lives. However in the overall scheme of things these brave souls were a drop in the ocean compared to the overwhelming majority who were either willing partners in murdering Jews or who preferred to look the other way.

Centuries of Church (Roman Catholic) induced theological Jew-hatred provided very fertile ground for an insidious and virulent climate so that when the Germans eventually occupied Poland there was no lack of enthusiastic local willingness to participate in the mass murder of the country’s Jewish population. Even the Polish Government in London exile was not exactly a fervent supporter of Jewish rights. After the German defeat a few remnants of Jewish survivors returned to Poland and as though their horrific experiences had not been bad enough they were immediately faced with pogroms initiated by those Poles who were horrified that any Jews had survived and returned to claim their looted and stolen properties.

Taking all these factors into account it is not surprising that Israel has protested vigorously at a proposed law which exonerates Poland from any culpability. The shame and guilt of the past cannot and must not be washed away so easily. That all this is taking place at the same time as the world (or at least part of it) is commemorating the Shoah speaks volumes about the amnesia which afflicts many these days.

A SHOCKING REVELATION:

With impeccable timing it has been revealed this week that German automobile companies in 2014 tested exhaust emissions on animals and humans. Funding for these trials apparently were provided by Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler and Bosch.

One would have thought that with all the expertise German companies acquired during the Holocaust years that there would be no further need to conduct more experiments as to the effects of exhaust fumes on humans.

Needless to say the latest revelations have been an acute embarrassment to those concerned with all those named scrambling furiously to distance themselves and deny culpability. Perhaps it was another case of just “following orders.”

GERMANY’S FOREIGN MINISTER LECTURES US AGAIN:

On a visit to Israel this week the German Foreign Minister took the opportunity to offer gratuitous advice as to how we can best commit collective suicide. Instead of concentrating on combating the rising tide of Jew-hatred in his country he preferred instead to tell us what we were doing wrong. Basically ignoring the revisionist versions of Jewish history pouring out of Ramallah his solution is for us to appease those who advocate and work for our demise. He couldn’t have picked a more inappropriate week to promote this.

UN BLACKLIST:

Ignored by most speakers during this week of International Holocaust Remembrance was the fact that boycotts and blacklists were an essential part of the delegitimisation campaign against Jews in Germany from 1933 onwards. Perhaps this collective amnesia is why there has been no outcry from democratic countries (other than the USA) when the UN Human Rights Council released its report on companies doing business with links to Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. Thanks to pressure from the USA and Israel the publication of the blacklist has been postponed. However if past experience is anything to go by the names will soon leak and once again Jews will be the objects of further boycotts.

TRUST THE IRISH

The Irish Parliament has been considering a bill which would make it a criminal offence to import or consume any product sourced from Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem or the Golan. That means if enacted any Irish Jew drinking Kiddush wine produced in any of these parts of Israel would be liable to be arrested and charged for this heinous crime.

In language reminiscent of the Nazi era the proponent of the legislation stated in the Irish Senate that “Jewish settlements were like measles and were breaking out everywhere.” Back in the 1930’s Jews were accused of being a bacillus.

The words of Albert Einstein come to mind:

“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.

Vanishing Peace: The Aftermath of Oslo

[David Bedein did the research for this film, VANISHING PEACE, which was produced in 1999]

1999 BBC documentary on the Israeli/Palestinian peace process. Produced by American Trademark Pictures (formerly AIM International). Host: David Aikman. Executive Producer: William Paul McKay. Website: www.americantrademarkpictures.com

The US has now posted a reward for information leading to our child’s killer’s arrest/conviction

[our Interview with the killer, before release from prison: can be viewed at 5:32
at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Pfe469k-Ps ]

The US has now posted a reward for information leading to our child’s killer’s arrest/conviction

Jordan, where she has lived since 2011, has stayed publicly silent about #Tamimi and its own refusal to comply with its obligations to its US treaty partner. Worth knowing this:

Waiting for disaster from Lebanon: Why?

The following thoughts were gleaned from an article published by the daily newspaper HaAretz on February 1, 2018:

“The quiet on Israel’s border with Lebanon is an illusion of those who prefer to bury their heads in the sand- and as it continues, Hezbollah stocks up on arms almost uninterrupted

The individuals who were responsible for the fiasco of the Second Lebanon War, together with most of the people who are evaluating its results today, make a claim that would appear to be unassailable: Israel’s military victory in 2006 may have been only partial, but time has shown that Israel achieved the primary goal of the war, many years of quiet on the northern border.

Anyone who is being honest with himself, however, knows that this is an illusion; it’s the quiet of those who prefer to bury their heads in the sand, and it came at a heavy price.

Israel allowed Hezbollah to smuggle in more than 150,000 missiles and rockets into Lebanon. These include thousands of precision-guided rockets that, at the stroke of Iran’s fancy, could hit hundreds of strategic targets throughout Israel. They could cause thousands of casualties, destroy civilian and military installations and significantly debilitate the nation’s economy and morale, to name just a few effects. Most of these projectiles were smuggled in under Likud governments, that is to say on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s watch. “Silence is filth” and “give up blood and soul,” wrote Ze’ev Jabotinsky — (“my teacher and mentor,” Netanyahu calls him) — about this kind of quiet.

This false quiet on Hezbollah’s part doesn’t stem (solely) from Israeli deterrence; it is aimed at allowing the organization to complete its mission undisturbed: that is, to place in Lebanon strategic weapons aimed at Israel’s inhabitants and wait for the order.

Hezbollah rightly assumes that Israel, unlike it, would never indiscriminately hit a civilian population, certainly not in Lebanon, and would never “send Lebanon back to the Stone Age.”

In addition to Israel’s natural reluctance to commit such acts, Lebanon has an international layer of defense that falsely distinguishes between the country of Lebanon, which is ostensibly innocent of malicious intent, and Hezbollah, before which the state is helpless.

Hezbollah’s assumption proved Israel’s policy of containment has turned its citizens into the hostages of a cruel, unconstrained terror organization that is operated by a power filled with hatred for Jews which openly threatens to destroy the Jewish state with impunity. The sporadic bombardments in Syria of Iranian convoys carrying rockets to Lebanon are just pyrotechnics. They destroy scores of rockets, while hundreds and thousands continue to reach Hezbollah.

Israeli army headquarters is ready for D-Day, but refuses to admit, even to itself, the consequences of restraint: The longer the decision is delayed, the higher and more painful the price will be. And if we also “grant” our enemy the “right” of first strike, as is our wont, the price will be unbearable. What would a counterstrike achieve? After all, Israel has still not recovered from the national trauma of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

The Israeli government, preferring a sit-and-do-nothing policy — apart from an occasional slap here and there — has not gotten any closer to peace. On the contrary, its containment policy has allowed Iran and Hezbollah to prepare for war.

The moderate, cautious and defensive general staff — which during the past three wars in the Gaza Strip did not even pursue a victory — is a partner to this historical and strategic failure. Only recently, after a critical delay, were there signs of a change in direction. Statesmen and military figures are beginning to realize that the price of “and the land had rest [supposedly]” could exact a bloody price that the nation cannot endure. In such circumstances, everyone among us who is trying to block the measures that are necessary to avoid another national trauma by calling such steps “a war of choice” is making a bitter mistake. If their opposition is accepted, they and those they influence are liable to cause the nation an eternal tragedy”