Sunday, July 30

'Cry to those Using Babies as Shields'

Paramedics carry the body of Lebanese man from under a demolished building
that was struck by IAF missiles in the village of Qana. (Photo: AP)

From Israel Matzav:
The IAF targeted rocket launching sites in the Lebanese town of Qana this morning with deadly results. A three-story building hit by IAF missiles collapsed, several houses that were used to launch Katyusha rockets were destroyed, and depending upon which estimate you believe, as many as sixty people may have been killed.

Nearly half the victims were reported to be children whose parents decided to place them in the line of fire after they were warned to evacuate due to the impending strike on the Katyusha launchers.

...a Lebanese blog post... says that Hezbullah is not allowing people to be rescued from at least one of the collapsed buildings:
To Israelis: Before believing your IDF's bullshit about Hezbollah hiding in that building, try just for a minute to imagine yourself stuck under a ton of rubbles, alive, but not being able to move because the beasts next door refuse to allow cranes to come and remove the rubbles. I’m sure you’d rather die a much quicker death!
Novelist Naomi Ragen in an incandescent ripost to world condemnation of Israel over the civilian deaths:
My son is in the army. He is nt the type at all, believe me. Quiet, studious, a writer, a lover of Jewish history, Talmud, ethics. He spent two years in a pre-army program in the Galilee called Karmei Chayil. He made many good friends there from all over the country, and now he and all his friends are in the army.

One of them I know well. A bit chubby, with payot, and a great laugh. He and my son have become like brothers. While both of them tried out for the elite paratroopers unit, only he made it in. He and his unit are the ones in Lebanon. They were there over a week, fighting under horrific conditions, running out of food and water. Even though the Israeli airforce dropped tons of leaflets warning civilians to flee because they were in terrorist territory and likely to be injured, they still encountered civilians. My son spoke to his friend yesterday,and this is how he described it:

"The village looked empty, and then we heard noises coming
from one of the houses, so we opened fire. But when we
went inside, we found two women and a child huddled in the
corner of the room. We were so relieved we hadn't hurt

We took up base in one of the empty houses. And then
all of a sudden, we came under intense fire. Three rockets
were fired at the house we were in. Only one managed to
destroy a wall, which fell on one of us, covering him in
white dust, but otherwise not hurting him. I spent the
whole time feeding bullets to my friend who was shooting
non-stop. We managed to killed 26 terrorists. Not one of
us was hurt. Our commanding officer kept walking around,
touching everybody on the shoulder, smiling and encouraging
us: "We're are better than they are. Don't worry." It
calmed us all down.

And really, we were much better then them. They are a lousy army. They only win when they hidebehind baby carriages."

Please remember this when you hear about the "atrocity" of
the Israeli bomb dropped on Kfar Cana, killing many
civilians, a place from which Hezbollah has fired hundreds
of rockets at Israel. Unlike previous administrations, Mr.
Olmert has my respect when he says: "They were warned to
leave. It is the responsibility of Hezbollah for firing
rockets amidst civilians."

Terrorists and their supporters have lost the right to
complain about civilian casualties, since all they have done
this entire war is target civilians. Every single one of the
more than 2,500 rockets launched into Israel, is launched
into populated towns filled with women and children. Just
today, another suicide belt meant to kill civilians in
Israel was detonated harmlessly by our forces in Nablus. So
don't cry to me about civilian casualties. Cry to those
using your babies and wives and mothers; cry to those who
store weapons in mosques, ambulances, hospitals, and private
homes. Cry to those launching deadly rockets from the
backyards of your kindergartens and schools. Cry to the
heartless men who love death, and however many of their
troops or civilians die, consider themselves victorious as
long as they can keep on firing rockets at our women and

Save your sympathy for the mothers and sisters and
girlfriends of our young soldiers who would rather be
sitting in study halls learning Torah, but have no choice
but to risk their precious lives full of hope, goodness and
endless potential, to wipe out the cancerous terrorist cells
that threaten their people and all mankind. Make your
choice, and save your tears.

That terrorists have been unsuccessful in killing more of
our women and children is due to our army, God and prayers,
not to any lack of motivation or intention on their part.
If you hide behind your baby to shoot at my baby, you are
responsible for getting children killed.

You and you alone.

Israel media analyst fears 1973 Yom Kippur War - type attack on Tisha B'av - August 3rd (Exclusive Podcast)

That's the apocalyptic fear of David Bedien, head of the Israel Behind the News investigative news agency.

Bedein, speaking with Israel At Level Ground at Jerusalem's bustling central bus, awash with IDF soldiers - many headed for the front line with Lebanon - said he fears a major Hizbullah attack on the fast day of Tisha B'Av - August 3rd, in a manner similar to the combined attack against Israel by Arab states on Yom Kippur, 1973, an attack still deeply etched in blood in the Israeli psyche.

Listen to it all here.

Summer camp in Israel: Shayna, Merav and life with Katyushas

Merav & Shayna

(Colleague Brian Blum and I have something in common far beyond mere blogging: we both have 13-year-old daughters who are best friends - Shayna and Merav. Brian, wife Jody, myself along with dozens of other excited parents clustered around the bus to camp Shluchot Friday morning in Jerusalem, doting over our progeny and their gear one last time before they were boarded for two weeks of carefree fun. For them. We, on the home front on the other hand were less sanguine about the "matsav - situation," as Brian so eloquently describes - DB.)
For weeks, 12-year-old Merav has been buzzing about summer camp. On Friday, she heads off for her first overnight camping experience - two weeks at the "Kayitz b'Kibbutz" program at Kibbutz Shluchot, just south of Beit Shean in the Jordan Valley.

Much of Merav's excitement has been about what to bring. She's spent hours and not an insignificant number of her parents' shekels buying new gear - pajamas and a new bathing suit, a better sleeping bag, two disposable cameras, bug spray, suntan lotion, snacks for the bus ride, and many more items I've long since lost count of.

She has busily consulted with her friend Shayna, who was a camper the year before, on everything from what to expect on Shabbat to the type of boys she might meet. Together they have looked at pictures posted by the camp on its Web site. By this point, she knows just about all she can before actually getting there.

Except for one thing, which we haven't had the heart to tell her. We're not sure she should go.

You see, her camp is a two-hour drive north of Jerusalem. Which puts it potentially in Katyusha range of southern Lebanon.

Read it all.

Merav with mom, Jody and Brian Blum

Shayna and Dave

'But Seriously, Folks:' France, Lebanon to patrol Israel's northern border

This Just In: Mel Brooks and the 'Art of War' (Video)

Abba Gav just plain nails it:

Hizballah's tactic of holding it's own people hostage as human shields is indeed working to an extent I haven't witnessed in years. It makes me think Nasrallah must have Mel Brooks, the master of this technique, on staff as a military consultant.

It worked for Cleavon Little in Mel Brooks' classic, Blazing Saddles. Sheik Nasrallah has clearly read, or rather watched Mel Brooks' version of "The Art of War" and thinks it will work again. Frankly, Kofi and the international community are reacting pretty much the same as the concerned lady in Brooks film, crying out: "Isn't anyone going to help that poor man?" The way they blame Israel for the deaths of civilians instead of Nasrallah, the one who intentionally imperils his own civilians and ours too, I'd have to say they might be proving Nasrallah right.

Watching the clip made me laugh before my morning coffee, as well. More bitterly than the coffee grounds, but still a laugh...

(Many links to useful analysis, as well)

Northern Exposure: R' Avi Weiss' solidarity visit to Israel

First thing in the morning from Daled Amos:

Rabbi Avi Weiss, the Senior Rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, returned this morning from a week long trip in Israel. While there, he kept a diary of his travels and experiences.

Day 1: Arrival in Tsfat
Day 2: Shabbat in Tsfat
Day 3: Haifa
Day 4: Tiberias and Nahariya
Day 5: Tsfat and Raanana
Day 6: Sderot, Kiryat Gat and Jerusalem
Day 7: Haifa and The Shomron

Rabbi Weiss is the founder and Dean of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School. He is also Senior Rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale and President of AMCHA: The Coalition for Jewish Concerns.


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