Politically Speaking – May 25, 2021

Politics
May 25, 2021

On Saturday, May 15, Israel destroyed a 12 story tower block in Gaza. The building housed the offices of Al-Jazeera, the Associated Press (AP) and other media organizations. Israel said the building also contained military assets belonging to the intelligence offices of the Hamas terrorist organization that’s backed by Iran. In my mind that means the site was the home of Hamas intelligence, and from alleged reports, the group was engaged in activity that actually would have undermined Israel’s ability to target effectively and also undermined their ability to intercept incoming rockets from Gaza. Sadly, the building also had residential apartments.

The air attack came about one hour after the Israeli military ordered people to evacuate the building.

The AP’s top editor, Sally Buzbee, did say just after the 12 story building was destroyed there was no evidence from Israeli officials to justify the bombing and added the organization wants an independent investigation into the attack.

My question at this point is why would the AP be housed in the same building (the al-Jalaa Building )with the terrorist group Hamas as well as Al-Jazeera?

Ron Dermer, a former Israeli ambassador to Washington and now advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told CNN that evidence had been provided to Washington, saying, “The evidence was provided to U.S. intelligence officials.”

Possibly, the AP and Al-Jazeera media network should take a closer look at Hamas as they call Israel responsible and call for accountability, saying the attacks were deliberately targeting journalists and the media institutions. That came from Dr. Mostefa Souag, acting director general of Al-Jazeera.

One of the few times I have agreed with Biden is when he said on Monday, May 17, he supports a ceasefire but reiterated that Israel has a right to defend itself.

So the question some are asking is why are Israel and Gaza fighting? The last conflict originated with the election of the Islamic political party Hamas in 2005 and 2006 in the Gaza Strip and escalated with the split of Palestinian Authority government into the Fatah government in the West Bank and the Hamas government in Gaza and the following violent ousting of Fatah after the fact.

Who attacked first, Hamas or Israel? Over a week ago Hamas began launching missiles into Israel, ostensibly in retaliation for Israeli police attacks on Palestinian worshippers in Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

So what’s happening now? Last Thursday, May 20, Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas agreed to a ceasefire. I pray that it remains intact. The truce was brokered by Egypt.

Sadly, the 11 day war left behind much bloodshed.

In my opinion, this has been nothing more than Hamas wanting to terrorize our longtime ally and friend, Israel, to gain power for itself and its Iranian backers.

On to our friend, Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review.


No, Israel Is Not an Apartheid State

By Rich Lowry, Editor of The National Review

The charge of apartheid is the new blood libel.

As Hamas rains rockets down on Israel, members of the Squad in Congress and other left-wing enemies are using the occasion to amplify their accusation that Israel is an “apartheid state.”

This is a transparent attempt to delegitimize — and isolate and ultimately destroy — the Jewish state by associating it with a racist regime that the world united to squeeze out of existence.

Rashida Tlaib, the Democratic congresswoman from Michigan, says that Israel is “promoting racism and dehumanization” under an “apartheid system,” and Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota refers to “Israel’s apartheid government.”

The charge is given a patina of legitimacy by Human Rights Watch, which recently issued a 213-page report devoted to the allegation, and other anti-Israel organizations that understand the accusation’s potential power to define Israel out of the circle of advanced democracies.

It doesn’t take much moral discernment to understand, even if one takes a harshly critical view of how Israel conducts itself, that it is nothing like an apartheid regime in South Africa that depended on a rigorously enforced system of racial repression.

The Arab minority in Israel (about 20% of the population) may face obstacles, but it is not treated like black South Africans.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and her ideological compatriots tweeted the other day, “Apartheid states aren’t democracies,” which nailed the point, just not the way they intended.

Israel is a democracy that affords its Arab citizens full rights. They vote in elections and Arab parties sit in parliament. These parties obviously have a profoundly different worldview than the Zionist parties, which has been a barrier preventing cooperation between them. But this year, in a first, Arab parties were part of the negotiations over forming a new government before they broke down.

Arab Israelis are full participants in Israeli society. There are Arab justices on the Supreme Court. About 20% of doctors in Israel and about half of pharmacists are Arab. Roughly 17% of students seeking an undergraduate degree are Arab, a number that has roughly doubled over the last decade.

As Steve Kramer of The Times of Israel puts it, “They arguably are the most free Arabs in the Middle East.”
Then, there are the Palestinian territories, where there is a marked lack of democracy courtesy of the Palestinians themselves.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, who is still serving a four-year term that began about 15 years ago, cancelled new elections scheduled for May 22. He found a way to blame Israel for this move, of course, but the bottom line is that his party, Fatah, feared Hamas would win, as it did in the last Palestinian election back in 2006.

The Palestinians have made postponing elections into a high political art, in keeping with the lack of democratic accountability in other neighboring Arab states.

How Israel should handle the threat of another terror state devoted to its destruction arising on its borders is, any fair-minded person should concede, an inherently difficult question.

It has offered the Palestinians a state twice, in 2000 and 2008, to no avail.

Israel evacuated the Gaza Strip entirely in 2005. It can’t be blamed for Hamas winning the elections in 2006, taking over Gaza in a coup against Fatah a year later, and misgoverning the territory ever since, with an emphasis on using it as a base from which to wage war against Israel.

Much is made of its border controls in Gaza and the West Bank, but a border isn’t a denial of citizenship rights, rather a demarcation between two societies. If the Palestinians would ever accept the right of Israel to exist and embrace a program of peaceful development, they’d get their own sovereign state.

Instead, they want to wipe Israel from the map, and are getting an assist from purveyors of the malicious lie that Israel is morally indistinguishable from the old, racist South Africa.

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