Stuck in time warp, fails to notice time lapse

July 30th, 2006

An update on the post below. You would think, while two BBC reporters are in Lebanon, that one or other could find the time to do a bit of research and discover what is happening. I mentioned Fergal Keane, who was a Catholic before he pupated and became a journalist. Keane is too busy composing sentimental and what he hopes are deeply moving pieces intended to make the viewers weep into their handkerchiefs and then become enraged with Israelis.

He has failed to notice this strange time lapse.

IDF: Qana building fell hours after strike. Not a squeak about it from the emotional Mr Keane. Not even preceded by the usual BBC phrase "Israel alleges..." said with a sneer and a hint of a laugh.

An IDF investigation has found that the building in Qana struck by the Air Force fell around eight hours after being hit by the IDF.

A mystery!

Eshel and the head of the IDF's Operational Branch, Major General Gadi Eisnkot said the structure was not being attacked when it collapsed, at around 8:00 in the morning.

The IDF believes that Hizbullah explosives in the building were behind the explosion that caused the collapse.

Eshel said that an additional attack took place at 7:30 in the morning, but added that other buildings were targeted. "This was an attack on three buildings 460 meters away from the structure we are talking about. Four bombs were dropped and all of them are documented by the planes' cameras.

Why Hizbollah are killing Lebanese civilians

July 30th, 2006

Hizbollah have plenty of bunkers where civilians could be protected. Instead they put the civilians on the upper floors above the bunkers while brave Hizbollah terrorists (oops I mean militants) sit protected below them with their missiles.

If Israel had not evacuated the northern half of the country sending civilians (mostly children) south, Hizbollah would now be decimating the Israeli population. Even in this senario our TV screens would not be filled with pictures of dead Israeli children. Jewish law does not allow the dead to be used in this way and the Israel government respects this.

The other day Hizbollah hit a hopsital, luckily the patients were in the bunkers underground. If it had been a hospital in Hizbollah controlled Lebanon hit by Israel, believe me there would have been many deaths and many pictures of the bodies in the international press. Thankfully Israel does not respond proportionatly and hit a lebanese hopsital in return.

Hizbollah wants the high death toll:

  • To prove that the civilians there "need them" to get revenge against Israel (for this war Hizbollah started)
  • To get international support for a cease fire that recognises Hizbollah has a right to exist... something NOT recognised by the security council, Israel and Lebanon before this conflict.

In June of this year (just before the current conflict) The Military Balance reported that "Hizbullah is under increasing pressure to disarm from international and, increasingly domestic groups".

This war was started by Hizbollah for political reasons and to prevent the realisation of the international communitys expectations that Lebanon would control ALL its teritory and not have a Syrian proxy controlling half the country. Had this not happened, and had Lebanon been able to dislodge the Hizbollah based Syrian occupation... perhaps we'd be hearing about peace treaties right now and not the Lebanese children Hizbollah are using as human shields as they fire at Israeli children.

Lebanon with an army of 72,000 isn't strong enough to tackle Hizbollah... people outside the middle east need to re-evalutate estimates of Hizbollah's strengths. Add in the Syrian officers who are assisting them and the Syrian missiles that have been given to them. Then remember that Syria's armed forced are the 3rd largest in the region (after Iran and Egypt) and that their budget is US$1.5 Billion. For Hizbollah they can always spare a little.

The Syrian connection to Hizbollah must be stopped (which Israel has done by cutting off roads preventing resuply), but to prevent more Lebonese dead, Lebanon with support from friends needs to take over the task over cleaning out Hizbollah... as the UN security council agreed in resolution 1559. Only when the Syrian backed Hizbollah is out of Lebanon can the Lebanese people be safe. Other wise we will get a short respite as Syria rearms Hizbollah, then Hizbollah will attack Israel again, hide beneath Lebanese children again, and wait for them to die - again. If we want a better future we must hope for a long term solution and stand united against terrorists who use children as human shields as they wish for their deaths in order to make more impressive statistics.

Related story: Photos that damn Hezbollah

And we're back...

July 30th, 2006

Over the last 3 weeks as a new war has emerged in the Middle East we've been silent. The silence is not for a lack of things to say, but rather due to a visit to the region. The visit saw us leave an Israeli village 20 minutes before a Kassam Rocket fired by Hamas landed there. It saw us visit the Egyptian border and have 50 soldiers assigned to the research station we were visiting as 500 people broke down and crossed the Israel-Egypt border.

In the last three weeks we've met with commentators, analysts, drafted reservists and large numbers of refugees from the north of Israel. We've spoken to Palestinians and Israelis who want peace, yet recognise and insist Israel not stand idlely by as the Syrian backed Hizbollah terrorist group fires more misles at Israeli civilians. Stay tuned as we bring you up to speed.

Let’s do the Time Warp again.

July 30th, 2006

I've criticised Vatican reactions to events in Lebanon, but two people make me appreciate how much the Catholic Church is moving away from its earlier anti-Semitism - even if it does sometimes seem to be at the same creeping speed as continental drift.

Here are two sons of the Church who embody the older prejudice and are caught in a Catholic time warp. Anyone who has been subjected to what passes for ‘news’ on the BBC these days will have heard Fergal Keane’s sentimental recital of Hezbollah propaganda against the Jewish State.

Keane had a Catholic upbringing in Ireland, although he says "I was raised as a Catholic, and I kind of drifted away big time from religion".

He seems still to be carrying elements of prejudice from childhood, and uninfluenced by changes in Church attitudes to Jews.

At convent school, many years ago, we used to be entertained by an old Irish nun who tried to discourage us from sex before marriage by telling gory cautionary tales about people who had not heeded such advice and came to a sticky end. With dreary melodrama, she would describe one couple being struck by lightning in their bed and fried to a crisp, or another couple, through some extraordinary accident, falling through a glass conservatory roof and dying painfully, blood spurting from their severed arteries, etc.

I wonder whether Fergal Keane was taught by Irish nuns? Keane’s doleful and hammy delivery reminds me very much of the Sister, and, like her, one knows it is basically dishonest and cheap emotional melodrama intended to promote a propaganda, not to inform.

Another trapped in a time warp is ‘traditionalist’ Catholic Mel Gibson. After virtuously denying any anti-semitism, the truth emerged while he was detained by the police for drunk driving.

Once inside the car, a source directly connected with the case says Gibson began banging himself against the seat. The report says Gibson told the deputy, "You mother f****r. I'm going to f*** you." The report also says "Gibson almost continually [sic] threatened me saying he 'owns Malibu' and will spend all of his money to 'get even' with me."

The report says Gibson then launched into a barrage of anti-Semitic statements: "F*****g Jews... The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." Gibson then asked the deputy, "Are you a Jew?"

As Atlas Shrugs says, "It seems the apple does not fall far from the tree."

There is not much to be said for Gibson except that at least his anti-semitism is repulsively frank, at least when he is drunk. Keane’s is the sneaky, self-righteous sort, which masquerades as concern for those suffering - unless they are Jewish. He is sober and calculating while delivering material which demonises the Jewish State and its inhabitants.

Following the article, Pollard received a sympathetic letter from a BBC News staffer, who must remain anonymous in order to preserve his or her job at the BBC. That person wrote:

“Note how Sky does much of its work from Haifa and the BBC does it all from Beirut. Note how every piece done by the BBC’s Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen, questions whether or not Israel has carried out war crimes… The BBC have sent out Fergal Keane and Jeremy Bowen whose clear agenda is to… tell us Israel is a bastard state… There is no intelligence here, no in-depth questioning of why this conflict has erupted. No discussion of Syria, Iran and Middle East geopolitics. It’s a hammer with which to whack Israel.”

You can still hear criticism of the BBC and Fergal (“high on emotion, low on fact“) Keane on the most recent News Watch here.

Hizbollah and Israel - What Kofi Anan didn't tell us

July 30th, 2006


(Reposted article by Maurice Ostroff)

UNIFIL has confirmed that Hizbollah fires regularly on UN posts and draws Israeli fire by firing their missies at Israel from the vicinity of UN positions.

On July 26, the daily UNIFIL press release[i] reported the Israeli bomb that had destroyed a UN post the day before, leading to UN Secretary General Anan’s infamous accusation that Israel deliberately attacked the site.

What the secretary general did not consider worth mentioning was the highly relevant information that attacks on UN posts by Hezbollah have been occurring almost daily and that Hezbollah have been drawing Israeli fire by lobbing their rockets at Israel from the vicinity of UN positions. The same UNIFIL press release reported that another UN position in the western sector was directly hit by Hizbollah mortar fire the same evening and that Hezbollah fired at Israel from the vicinity of four UN positions at Alma ash Shab, Tibnin, Brashit, and At Tiri.

On July 24, UNIFIL reported that one unarmed UN member of Observer Group Lebanon (OGL), was seriously wounded by small arms the previous afternoon originating, from preliminary reports, from the Hezbollah side. The UN evacuated him to the Israeli side, from where he was taken by IDF helicopter to a hospital in Haifa. He was operated on, and his condition was reported as stable. Of course there was not a word of thanks from the secretary general.

The July 25 UNIFIL report stated “This morning, Hezbollah opened small arms fire at a UNIFIL convoy consisting of two APC’s on the road between Kunin and Bint Jubayl.”

On July 27 It was also reported that Hezbollah fired from the vicinity of four UN positions at Marwahin, Alma Ash Shab, Brashit, and At Tiri.

On July 28, UNIFIL reported that Hezbollah fired from the vicinity of five UN positions at Alma Ash Shab, At Tiri, Bayt Yahoun, Brashit, and Tibnin.

UNIFIL also reported that since the outbreak of hostilities, four military observers from the OGL and one UNIFIL international staff member and his wife had been killed. In addition four Ghanaian soldiers, one Indian soldier, and one OGL military observer had been wounded. The report did not indicate the source of the fire.

An examination of UNIFIL reports shows clearly that the recent kidnapping of two IDF soldiers was not the principal cause of the present conflagration. Rather it results from Hezbollah’s consistent and continuous attacks on Israel, mainly with rocket fire aimed at civilian populations, ever since Israel left Lebanon in 2000. (See Background to how it all started.)

[i] and