Gaza Flotilla Organizer Puts Lie To “Humanitarian” Purpose

Gaza Flotilla Organizer Puts Lie To “Humanitarian” Purpose

Adam Shapiro, one of the organizers of flotillas to break the sea blockade of Gaza in 2009 and again in 2010, was interviewed on PBS. In the interview, Shapiro made clear that the primary purpose of the flotilla was political.

Only upon prompting by Gwen Ifill did Shapiro even mention a supposed humanitarian purpose:

see video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJoKlLOHPcY&feature=player_embedded#!

Shapiro was right to the extent that he recognizes the blockade as political, and the flotilla’s purpose primarily as political. The shipping of humanitarian supplies merely was the excuse and the tactic.

Much like the internationalists who have aligned themselves with Islamists on the West Bank to protest the barrier built by Israel to stop suicide bombers, the goal is the destruction of Israel.

Whatever it takes they will do, and it if means putting civilians in harms way to gain publicity and international condemnation of Israel, they will do that.

The “Humanitarian Relief” Wing of Hamas and Al-Qaeda

The “Humanitarian Relief” Wing of Hamas and Al-Qaeda

Posted By John Perazzo On June 2, 2010 @ 12:29 am In FrontPage | 11 Comments

The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedom and Humanitarian Relief (better known by its Turkish acronym, IHH) is the group that organized the six-ship flotilla which recently tried, without success, to sail all the way to Gaza. Established [1] in Turkey in 1992, the Foundation sends aid [2] to distressed areas throughout the Middle East – in the form of food, medicine, vocational education, and building supplies. A prime destination for this aid is Gaza, where – according to IHH – Palestinians are being oppressed by an unjustified Israeli naval blockade. (For the record, that blockade was put in place to prevent Hamas [3], which controls Gaza politically and has fired thousands of rockets into southern Israeli towns in recent years, from importing additional weaponry from Iran and other allies abroad.)

For several days last week, as the flotilla approached Gaza, Israel issued warnings that the ships would not be permitted to reach their destination without first submitting to an inspection of their cargoes – to ensure that no weaponry was being transported. But when the respective crews of the vessels refused to comply, Israeli commandos took action and intercepted the flotilla in the early morning hours of May 31. The IHH-affiliated activists responded with violence, instantly attacking the commandos with knives and clubs, and throwing one of them overboard. In the melee that ensued, ten activists were killed and seven Israeli soldiers were wounded. How could this be? How can we be expected to believe that a well-meaning “humanitarian relief” group would ever behave in a manner that might provoke violent reprisals from Israeli troops? A more thorough examination of IHH’s history and affiliations explains everything.

While IHH is indeed involved [4] in the aforementioned humanitarian endeavors, its overall objectives are much broader. Belying the dove of peace [2] whose image appears on its logo, IHH overtly supports Hamas [5], is sympathetic [4] to al Qaeda [6], and maintained regular contact with al Qaeda cells and the Sunni insurgency during the bloodiest stretches of the Iraq War. Moreover, IHH has supported jihadist terror networks [2]not only in Iraq, but also in Bosnia, Syria, Afghanistan, and Chechnya. According to [4] Carnegie Endowment analyst Henri Barkey, IHH is “an Islamist organization” that “has been deeply involved with Hamas for some time.” A 2006 report [7] by the Danish Institute for International Studies characterized IHH as one of many “charitable front groups that provide support to Al-Qaida” and the global jihad.

Is the IHH beginning to sound less and less like a “humanitarian relief” group? Let’s look a little deeper still.

According to a French intelligence report, in the mid-1990s [2] IHH leader Bülent Yildirim was directly involved in recruiting “veteran soldiers” to organize jihad activities, and in dispatching IHH operatives to war zones in Islamic countries to gain combat experience. The report also stated that IHH had transferred money as well as “caches of firearms, knives and pre-fabricated explosives” to Muslim fighters in those countries. Given this track record, can Israel’s concern about the contents of the IHH flotilla cargoes really be considered excessive or unwarranted?

In 1996, IHH continued to burnish its credentials as a “humanitarian relief” organization when an examination of its telephone records [2] showed that repeated calls had been made to an al Qaeda guest house in Milan and to Algerian terrorists operating in Europe. That same year, the U.S. government formally identified [1] IHH as having connections to extremist groups in Iran and Algeria.

In December 1997, Turkish authorities, acting on a tip from sources claiming that IHH leaders had purchased automatic weapons from other regional Islamic militant groups, initiated a domestic criminal investigation [8] of IHH. A thorough search of the organization’s Istanbul bureau uncovered a large assortment of firearms, explosives, bomb-making instructions, and a “jihad flag.” In addition, Turkish authorities seized a host of IHH documents whose contents ultimately led investigators to conclude that the group’s members “were going to fight in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Chechnya.”

Near the end of 2000, IHH organized protests [2] against proposals to overthrow that humanitarian icon, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein [9]; American and Israeli flags were burned at these rallies.

During the April 2001 trial [10] of would-be “millennium bomber” Ahmed Ressam, it was revealed that IHH had played an “important role” in the plot to blow up Los Angeles International Airport on December 31, 1999. Some reasonable observers might contend that to classify such a pursuit under the heading of “humanitarian relief” would require an unduly broad definition of that term.

In 2002, investigators found [8] correspondences from IHH in the offices of the Success Foundation [11], a Muslim Brotherhood [12]-affiliated organization whose Secretary was Abdul Rahman Alamoudi [13]. For the record: The Brotherhood was the ideological forebear of Hamas and al Qaeda; it supports jihad; and it seeks to impose shari’a law on the entire civilized world. Mr. Alamoudi, for his part, is currently serving a prison term of nearly a quarter-century for his role as a funder of international terrorism. He is best known for having proudly declared himself to be a passionate supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah [14]. The connections to “humanitarian relief” seem rather tenuous here.

According to [8] a report [15] issued by a website close to Israeli military intelligence: “[S]ince Hamas took over the Gaza Strip, IHH has supported Hamas’ propaganda campaigns by organizing public support conferences in Turkey.” The report also states that IHH continues to operate widely throughout Gaza and to funnel large sums of money to support the Hamas infrastructure.

In January 2008, an IHH delegation [2] met with Ahmed Bahar, chairman of Hamas’ council in the Gaza Strip. At the meeting, the delegation not only boasted about the large amount of financial support it had given Hamas during the preceding year, but also declared its intent to double that sum in the future. Once again, we are left to wonder how any of this falls under the rubric of “humanitarian relief.”

In 2008 Israel banned [16] IHH from the country because of the organization’s membership in the “Union of Good” (UOG), a Hamas-founded umbrella coalition [17] comprised of more than 50 Islamic charities (most of which are associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood) that channel money and goods to Hamas-affiliated institutions. In December 2008, the U.S. government designated [18] UOG as a terrorist entity [8] that was guilty of “diverting” donations that were intended for “social welfare and other charitable services,” and using those funds “to strengthen Hamas’ political and military position.”

In January 2009, IHH head Bülent Yildirim met [2] with Khaled Mash’al [19], chairman of Hamas’ political bureau in Damascus, and Mash’al thanked Yildirim for the support of his organization.

In November 2009 [2] IHH activist Izzat Shahin transferred tens of thousands of American dollars from IHH to the Islamic Charitable Society (in Hebron) and Al-Tadhamun (in Nablus), two of Hamas’ most important front groups posing as “charitable societies.”

This, then, is the IHH: a pack of anti-Semitic supporters of terrorism, cloaking themselves in the vestments of victimhood, and bleating to the world about how unfairly they have been treated by the very nation whose extermination they have worked long and hard to bring about. It’s actually a story that has become quite familiar.

Harmful hints of a hand to Hamas

Harmful hints of a hand to Hamas

By BENNY AVNI

Last Updated: 5:01 AM, April 7, 2010

Posted: 1:38 AM, April 7, 2010

Some of President Obama’s friends are making quiet overtures to Hamas — the terrorists who control Gaza. Even if this doesn’t lead to an official dialogue, the administration’s failure to distance itself from such efforts undermines US allies and US alliances.

A seasoned former US ambassador to Israel, Thomas Pickering, and a key member of Bill Clinton’s team at the 2000 Camp David talks, Robert Malley, sat down in Zurich last summer with top Hamas politburo members, Osama Hamdan and Mahmud Zahar.

A classmate of Obama’s at Harvard, Malley has long argued that Middle East diplomacy should include Hamas and Syria. He was an Obama adviser on Arab-Israeli issues in 2008 — until the campaign had to sever ties in the wake of media attention to his regular meetings with Hamas leaders.

Plus, as the Wall Street Journal reported Friday, State Department official Rachel Schneller was on an Al Jazeera debate panel with Hamdan in Qatar last month — and shared coffee and a private chat with him later.

Schneller is on sabbatical, so State enjoys some deniability about her official role. But even weeks after the fact, State officials can’t say if top brass had sanctioned her participation in the Al Jazeera panel.

With the administration still slapping Israel and reaching out to Syria, all this raises fears that Obama might have one of his most drastic foreign-policy reversals yet in the offing. At the least, suspicion is strong that the president has blessed these contacts with a wink and a nod: Meet these folks, see what you can get, then we’ll talk.

America’s long-stated policy is it won’t talk until Hamas fulfills three conditions: recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce violence and abide by all agreements previously signed by Palestinians and Israelis.

Yet Hamas can’t meet those conditions without rejecting its defining goal, which is to assure that no part of Palestine is controlled by infidels — Jewish, Christian or atheist. The best it can promise — but not necessarily deliver — is a limited cease-fire.

State officials tell me that Pickering and Malley are “private citizens,” and that the policy is unchanged. And another Clinton-era Mideast negotiator, Aaron David Miller, insists there’s no reason to fear: “What good could possibly come from an officially-sanctioned meeting with Hamas? Nothing, just a headache,” Miller told me.

But in the region, very few people buy the administration’s line. Hamas officials say Obama is different from all his predecessors. As its deputy “foreign minister,” Ahmed Yussuf, told the Journal, “We believe Hamas’ message is reaching its destination” — the White House.

And Egypt’s main government mouthpiece, Al Ahram, last summer ran a story saying the Zurich meeting had been “coordinated with and promoted by” the State Department. (The Egyptian government considers Hamas a threat, since it’s an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood — which only recently renounced, semi-convincingly, plans for a violent takeover in Egypt.)

And Israelis view this in the context of their own troubles with Obama. “In a period when engagement with one’s enemy is the buzz word in Washington, one can’t rule out that Obama is testing the waters with Hamas,” a former Israeli UN ambassador, Dore Gold, told me.

Then there’s Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas — who relies on America and Israel for protection from Hamas. Any sign that Washington is courting his enemies reduces his already-failing street-cred.

Obama has tirelessly promoted “engagement” with the North Korean “rogue regime,” as well as the terror-sponsoring states of Iran and Syria; it doesn’t seem a stretch to think he will reach out to Hamas, too. Until the president himself convincingly condemns these efforts, much of the Middle East will suspect he’s about to fall into that trap

beavni@gmail.com

Children’s Cartoon on Hamas’ Al-Aqsa Incites to Hatred

Children’s Cartoon on Hamas’ Al-Aqsa Incites to Hatred  
 

‘The following is from a children’s cartoon which aired on Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV on March 12, 2010. The English subtitles are original, not by MEMRI.

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memri.org/clip/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/2413.htm.

To view the MEMRI page for Indoctrination of Children, visit http://www.memri.org/subject/en/814.htm.

To view the MEMRI TV page for Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV, visit http://www.memritv.org/content/en/tv_channel_indiv.htm?id=175

Narrator: “Gaza was an innocent child, beautiful and bold.

“She flies with both her wings, races the birds, soars over the clouds, sleeps between the flowers and herbs.

“Soars over the clouds, sleeps between the flowers and herbs.

“Suddenly, the day turns into a fearful night and the sky was shrouded with black smoke. The birds called her: ‘Gaza, run away as fast as you can. The enemy destroyed your home and killed your parents.’

“Gaza rose up with all its might, rejecting running away or defeat. Gaza rose up with all its might, rejecting running away or defeat.

“Carrying the scattered stones of her demolished home, she ran quickly after the murderer to throw stones with her tender hands on the vicious faces of the enemy.

“To throw stones with her tender hands on the vicious faces of the enemy. The enemy saw her.

“He hated her childhood. He hated her heroism. He aimed the gun, he shot.

“The bullet rested, the bullet rested on the chest of Gaza, penerting [sic] her.

“To the bosom of a small girl returned it to the eye of that ugly soldier and rooted it out. He retreated shouting. Gaza smiled, giving bye to life with dignity.

“Many and many children will follow her example, and every day Gaza will be born anew.”

 

Israeli report details Hamas inhumane behavior

Israeli report details Hamas inhumane behavior

Clarice Feldman

For all those who have a fit whenever Jews buy land in ‘the Hood” or try to build housing for their people, where are you, now?The Jerusalem Post contains the language of a report detailing Hamas’ inhuman behavior – behavior the rest of the world ignores:

Hamas gunmen used Palestinian children as human shields, and established command centers and Kassam launch pads in and near more than 100 mosques and hospitals during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip last year, according to a new Israeli report being released on Monday that aims to counter criticism of the IDF. The detailed 500-page report, obtained exclusively by The Jerusalem Post, was written by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (Malam), a small research group led by Col. (res.) Reuven Erlich, a former Military Intelligence officer who works closely with the army.

[snip]

The intelligence information is backed up by videos, including one declassified air force video from January 6, 2009, which shows a terrorist shooting at troops from the roof of a building. After spotting an Israeli aircraft, the terrorist goes to the building’s entrance and calls to nearby civilians to help him escape. A few moments later, a group of childrenarrive at the entrance to the home and the terrorist walks out.

Another video from January 13 shows a senior Hamas terrorist – spotted by an aircraft – walking by himself down a street. After spotting the aircraft, the senior terrorist runs over to an elderly woman walking nearby and continues walking next to her. Later, the IDF discovered that the “elderly woman” was really a Hamas operative in disguise.

 

Clarice Feldman

Hamas’ 54 Democratic Congressmen

Hamas’ 54 Democratic Congressmen

Keith Ellison, widely hailed as America’s first Muslim congressman, could more accurately be described as CAIR and Hamas’ man in Congress. Congressman Ellison has been a regular presence at CAIR fundraisers and at pro-Hamas rallies in the United States. As a former member of Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, Ellison has enough anti-semitic and Islamist credentials to satisfy anyone, and had expressed openly anti-semitic beliefs in the past.

Since Ellison got his start with CAIR , his attempt to provide support for Hamas is completely unsurprising. Both Hamas and CAIR are projects of the Muslim Brotherhood, which also helped birth Al Queda. Organizations like CAIR do the same work in America that Hamas does in Israel. The difference is that CAIR does its work on a political level, while Hamas functions on both a political and a military level. Like CAIR, Ellison is careful to cloak his pro-Hamas agenda, which he does by mentioning that all violence is wrong and that Israelis probably shouldn’t be shelled– but the thrust of his agenda is to force Israel to open its border with Hamas.

The entire “Free Gaza” movement is a Hamas propaganda project that allows it to demand that Israel open its borders, without actually using the P word, for peace, since Hamas doesn’t even believe in phony peace negotiations. So Pro-Hamas activists, whether it’s former Saddam supporter, George Galloway’s Viva Palestina or their American flavors talk only about “The People of Gaza”, deemphasize Hamas and emphasize the supposed “suffering” within Gaza.

But the call for Israel to open its borders is nothing more than a way of making it easier for terrorists to strike. Ellison’s letter buries its real agenda in paragraphs of prose about how everyone will be better off, except somehow Hamas, if Israel complies with their demand… that Israel ease the movement of people in and out of Gaza. This of course is a fancy way of saying, “Let my Suicide Bombers go”.

None of this is up till now is shocking. But what Congressman Keith Ellison accomplished was to convince 53 other Democratic congressmen to join him in this venture. It is not particularly surprising to find the House’s most radical anti-Israel voices signing their names onto Ellison’s letter. It would be inconceivable if a letter aiding Hamas did not carry the signatures of Barbara Lee, Jim Moran or Jim McDermott, who helped Ellison spearhead the whole campaign. It is essentially inconceivable that any letter circulated in congress opposing Israel would not get their signature.

Jim Moran had managed to blame even the Iraq War on the Jews and McDermott was actually named CAIR’s Public Official of the Year. Neither is West Virginia Arab Congressman, Nick Rahall, who is the Democratic party’s version of Darrel Issa, who is tied to CAIR as well, and previously voted against Israel’s right to defend itself. Rahall is also the top recipient of CAIR donations. The likes of Diane Watson or Pete Stark aren’t complete surprises either. Pete Stark has a history of being both anti-Israel and unstable. Neither is Carolyn Kilpatrick, who voted against Israel’s right to defend itself, and against condemning terrorist attacks on Israel. Kilpatrick, like virtually every Democrat on the list, is also tied to CAIR.

Then there’s William Delahunt, who all but openly expressed the hope that a former Cheney aide would be targeted by Al Queda. John Conyers signing on to this while awaiting prison is no real shocker either. The man has all but endorsed Sharia law in America. Or John Dingell who like many Detroit politicians has gone whole hog with the Islamist Follow Traveler thing.

Congresswoman Betty McCollum has been waging her own private war on Israel, right down to issuing an imperial demand that Israeli Ambassador Oren attend the national conference of the far left anti-Israel group, J Street. McCollum famously belittled Hamas’ shelling of Israel as nothing more than a drug gang’s drive by shooting and repeated the discredited white phosphorous smear. Again, no more surprising than Chaka Fattah’s presence on the list.

Then there’s Eric Massa, a former Republican turned turncoat Democrat, Massa has been consistently loudly anti-war and to the left. Like virtually every congressman on this list, he’s pushed for a phony ceasefire, that would naturally be one sided. Considering his increasingly unhinged radicalism, and that he has an election coming up soon, Massa must be pretty confident that the nutroots can get him reelected.

It is of course no surprise that this list weighs heavily toward Minnesota and Michigan, where CAIR is strong. But it also includes twelve congressmen from California, 3 from New Jersey, 4 from New York and 6 from Massachusetts. These numbers are not mere statistics, they define the rising influence of the Muslim Brotherhood on American politics, state by state.

And it is instructive to note how many of the congressmen and congresswomen on the list are funded by CAIR money. Keith Ellison, John Conyers, Loretta Sanchez, Betty McCollum, Lois Capps, Bill Pascrell, Elijah Cummings, Bob Filner, Mike Honda, Barbara Lee, John Dingell, James Moran, Nick Rahall, Andre Carson, Mary Jo Kilroy, Carolyn Kilpatrick and Jim McDermott are among the top receivers of CAIR money in congress.

Of the top 11 CAIR moneygetters in congress, Nick Rahall, James Moran, Darrel Issa, John Conyers, Dennis Kucinich, Jesse Jackson, Jr, John Dingell, Barbara Lee, Carolyn Kilpatrick, Shelia Jackson Lee and Jim McDerrmott– 7 out of 11 signed on to Ellison’s letter. That makes the Gaza letter a CAIR project. 5 on that list voted against condemning attacks on Israel.

And the letter is simply an opening shot as part of a broader campaign by the Muslim Brotherhood and its American proxies to attack Israel and promote its own Hamas wing. Its proxies can’t openly come out for Hamas, not in the United States anyway. Not from members of congress. But they can work toward a common goal. With this letter, Hamas’s masters in the Muslim Brotherhood demonstrated that they can use CAIR to gather 54 congressmen together to push its agenda. That is quite a leap for an organization that is the unindicted co-conspirator in funding Hamas terror It also demonstrates that Amerabia isn’t as far away as we have thought.

Update: The Full List of Congressmen who signed on to the letter, by State and District, and their current list of challengers in the upcoming elections

Arizona

* Raul Grijalva = AZ 7th Distict

California

* Lynn Woolsey – CA 6th District
* Lois Capps – CA 23rd District – Challenger John Davidson
* Sam Farr – CA 17th district
* Bob Filner – CA 51st district – challenger Nick Popaditch
* Barbara Lee – CA 9th District
* Loretta Sanchez – CA 47th District – challenger Van Tran
* Pete Stark – CA 13th District
* Michael Honda – CA 15th District
* Jackie Speier – CA 12th District
* Diane Watson – CA 33rd District
* George Miller – CA 7th District

Connecticut

* Jim Himes – 4th district – challenger Dan Debicella

Indiana

* Andre Carson – 7th district – challenger Carlos May and Marvin Bailey Scott

Iowa

* Bruce Braley – 1st district – challenger Rod Blum

Kentucky

* John Yarmuth – 3rd district – multiple challengers

Maryland

* Elijah Cummings – 7th district
* Donna Edwards – 4th district

Massachusetts

* Michael Capuano – 8th district
* William Delahunt – 10th district – multiple challengers
* Jim McGovern – 3rd district – challenger Marty Lamb
* John Tierney – 6th district – Challenger David Sukoff and Bill Hudak
* John Olver – 1st district – challenger Jeffrey Paul Donnelly
* Stephen Lynch – 9th district – challenger Vernon Harrison and Keith Lepor

Michigan

* John Conyers – 14th district
* John Dingell – 15th district
* Carolyn Kilpatrick – 13th district

Minnesota

* Keith Ellison – 5th district – challenger Barb Davis
* Betty McCollum – 4th district – challenger Ed Matthews
* James Oberstar – 8th district – multiple challengers

New Jersey

* Donald Payne – 10th district –
* Rush Holt – 12th district – challenger Mike Halfacre and Scott Sipprelle
* Bill Pascrell – 8th district – challenger Danielle Staub

New York

* Yvette Clarke – 11th district
* Maurice Hinchey – 22nd district – challenger George Philips
* Paul ‘taxin’ Tonko – 21st district – challenger Arthur Welser
* Eric Massa – 29th district – challenger Tom Reed (in a GOP district)

North Carolina

* David Price – 4th district – challengers George Hutchins, Lawson and Frank Roche

Ohio

* Mary Jo Kilroy – 15th district – challengers John Adams and Senator Stivers
* Marcy Kaptur – 9th district

Oregon

* Earl Blumenauer -3rd district
* Peter DeFazio – 4th district – challenger Sid Leiken

Pennsylvania

* Chaka Fattah – 2nd district
* Joe Sestak – 7th district – challenger Patrick Meehan and Dawn Steisland

Vermont

* Peter Welch – 1st district

Virginia

* Jim Moran – 8th district – challengers Matthew Berry , Mark Ellmore, J Patrick Murray

Washington

* Jim McDermott – 7th district
* Adam Smith – 9th district – challengers Dick Muri and James Postma
* Jay Inslee – 1st district – challenger James Watkins
* Brian Baird – 3rd district – challengers David Castillo, David Hedrick and Jon Russell

West Virginia

* Nick Rahall – 3rd district – challengers Lee Bias, Gary Gearheart and Conrad Lucas

Wisconsin

* Tammy Baldwin -2nd district – Tim Terenz
* Gwen Moore – 4th district – challenger Dan Sebring

Virginia

* Glenn Nye – 2nd district – challengers Ben Loyola, Ken Golden, Ed Maulbeck, Bert Misuzawa, Scott Rigell and Scott W Taylor

Hamas: The Terror Elite

Hamas: The Terror Elite
By: Steven Plaut
Friday, June 19, 2009

 


A new pamphlet the details the brutal history of Gaza’s jihadist rulers.

It is one of the oddities of the global war on terrorism that while al-Qaeda is almost universally condemned, its Sunni terrorist counterparts in Hamas continue to attract a devoted following. Former president Jimmy Carter annually sings Hamas’s praises, insisting to all who will listen that Western governments must reach out to Gaza’s jihadist rulers. At “peace” demonstrations and on college campuses, banners are waved in honor of the group openly sworn to the destruction of Israel and the extermination of Jews worldwide. All this and more is the subject of Steven Plaut’s devastating new pamphlet, “Hamas: The Terror Elite.”

 

In a sweeping survey of Hamas’s bloody history, Plaut reveals that the terror group remains unwaveringly committed to its goal of carrying out a new genocide against Jews. Plaut also describes the little-mentioned reality that the self-described “legitimate” representative of the Palestinian people is also their most brutal tormentor. Terrorizing its own, Hamas tortures Gaza’s residents, forces them to live under oppressive Islamic law, and dispatches “vice squads” to deal with those who dare to defy its fanatical rule. It’s little wonder that Hamas has found its firmest allies in the mullahs of Iran and Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist shock troops. As Plaut’s pamphlet shows beyond any doubt, “Hamas and al-Qaeda are basically two sides of the same Jihad.” To read “Hamas: The Terror Elite,” please click here.


Steven Plaut is a professor at the Graduate School of the Business Administration at the University of Haifa and is a columnist for the Jewish Press. A collection of his commentaries on the current events in Israel can be found on his “blog” at www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com.

Editor of the Egyptian Government Daily Al-Gumhouriyya: Hamas, Syria, Iran – The New Axis of Evil

THE MIDDLE EAST MEDIA RESEARCH INSTITUTE

Special Dispatch – No. 2184

January 12, 2009 No. 2184

Editor of the Egyptian Government Daily Al-Gumhouriyya: Hamas, Syria, Iran – The New Axis of Evil

The editor of the Egyptian government daily Al-Gumhouriyya, Muhammad ‘Ali Ibrahim, who is also an Egyptian MP, wrote a series for the paper titled “Hamas, Damascus, Iran – The New Axis of Evil.” In the series, he criticized Hamas, Syria, and Iran for their position vis-à-vis Gaza and the opening of the Rafah crossing. Ibrahim stated that Iran and Syria had conspired to keep the Palestinian problem unresolved and to take advantage of it to promote their interests in the region, and argued that Hamas was a tyrannical religious movement which was, like the Nazis in mid-20th-century Europe, pushing its people towards catastrophe by preferring Syria’s and Iran’s interests to those of the Palestinians.

Also in his articles, Ibrahim came out against Qatar, accusing it of sympathizing with the Iran-Syria axis and of airing anti-Egyptian programs on the Qatari TV channel Al-Jazeera. A few days later, the editor of the Egyptian weekly Roz Al-Yousef, ‘Abdallah Kamal, wrote in a similar vein. Both editors called Qatar hypocritical for criticizing Egyptian policy while at the same time attempting to forge ties with Israel and the U.S.

Following are excerpts from the series by Muhammad ‘Ali Ibrahim, and from the article by ‘Abdallah Kamal:

Al-Gumhouriyya Editor: Hamas, Syria, and Iran Are Trying to Distort Egypt‘s Image

In the first article of his series, published December 22, 2008, Ibrahim wrote: “Since Damascus, Teheran, and Hamas are criticizing Egypt and accusing it of treason, [1] feel compelled to offer some clarification, in order to [help] the public understand the facts… which the Persians and the Syrians have been trying to distort…

“[When it was mediating the negotiations for a calm (tahdia)], Egypt believed that the tahdia was the top interest of the Gaza [residents]… However, [Hamas leaders, including] Khaled Mash’al, Isma’il Haniya, and other Hamas members, did not understand the [nature of the] tahdia that Egypt was working for… These heroes believed that the innocuous missiles that they were firing at Sderot would compel Israel [to agree to a tahdia]…

“When the [Palestinian national] dialogue failed, Egypt halted its mediation [between the Palestinian factions, thereby] destroying the hope of intra-Palestinian conciliation and exposing the political support that Hamas was getting [from Iran and Syria. However,] despite all Iran’s and Syria’s support [for Hamas], everyone must know that in Hamas’s [conflict] with Israel, it was Egypt that was providing it with the strongest political [leverage]. Therefore, when Cairo halted [its mediation,] the main political buttress for the tahdia was shaken – and as a result, [the tahdia] was never attained…

“One reason for the failure to achieve a hudna [ceasefire] was Hamas’s refusal to make peace with Fatah and its rejection of the two-state solution [to the Palestinian problem] for which the entire world had been hoping…” [1]

 

Syria and Iran Have Conspired to Exploit the Palestinian Cause for Their Own Interests

Ibrahim’s second article of the series, published December 23, 2008, stated: “When, in late January and early February 2008, Hamas began urging the Gaza residents to breach [the Egyptian border], it became clear that [Hamas] was hoping to establish an Islamic Emirate in Sinai… Hamas is well aware that Egypt would never agree to take it upon itself to govern Gaza – which is what Israel is trying to do; however, if Egypt is subjected to Arab and Islamic pressure to accommodate Hamas in the Sinai for humanitarian reasons – [that is,] in order to save [it] from starvation, siege, and repeated attacks – the international agreements [in control of the border crossing will be invalidated]…

“[The latter scenario was devised] jointly by Damascus and Teheran, for a number of reasons. Firstly, [they wanted] Egypt to be preoccupied with its national security. In this case, the Palestinian problem would not be resolved as desired by the largest Arab country [Egypt] and the international community – that is, by establishing two states, each with its own capital.

“Secondly, [Damascus and Teheran wanted] the Palestinian problem to be gradually removed from the hands of the Egyptian negotiator – who had become familiar with its minute details and whose reputation inspired Arab, regional, and international [circles] with respectful admiration – so that it would become a bargaining chip for Damascus and Teheran. At the same time, [Damascus] was trying to make [the Palestinian problem] part of a Golan Heights deal, meaning that the Palestinian people would be dependent not only on Lebanon’s wishes but on Syria’s as well. [The outcome] would be that Syria would bring the Palestinian problem back to its starting point…”

Ibrahim further stated: “It is in Iran’s interest to keep the Palestinian problem unresolved until the Iranian nuclear crisis is over, because Iran believes… that it can trade Hamas for political gain, while at the same time significantly improving its own image … We have before us a well-planned conspiracy, as well as an agenda, devised by Damascus and Teheran to pin the Palestinian problem to Iran’s and Syria’s interests, and for this purpose they have been using Hizbullah and Hamas to great effect…” [2]

 

“Religious Movements [Such As Hamas and Hizbullah] Contain Elements Similar to Nazism – As Do Many Tyrannical Parties That Brought Disaster Upon Their Respective Nations

In his third article, published December 24, 2008, Ibrahim wrote: “Hamas believes, as do the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Hizbullah, and other religious organizations, that everything it does is always right… Hamas, like any other ideological movement, believes that because it was elected by the people, the people no longer have a say, and that because it won the election, it can treat the people [as it sees fit]. Religious movements contain elements similar to Nazism, as do many tyrannical parties that brought disaster upon their respective nations…

“Hamas’s [statements] and actions are [characteristics of a group that is] trying to bring destruction upon its people… Egypt is concerned about the Palestinians, while Hamas is not – not one bit. Hamas is holding the entire Palestinian people hostage, saying: ‘We will live together, or die together.’ Hamas is imposing suicide [ideology] on the Palestinians, because it sees itself as their legitimate ruler.

“For Hamas, it doesn’t matter that balance of forces is completely against them – they remain arrogant. The Palestinians did indeed elect [Hamas]; however, [Hamas] did not make Palestinian wellbeing [its top priority], but rather chose to join the axis that is opposed to the moderate Arab [countries] – the Syria-Iran axis, which is against Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

“Hamas’s position and Egypt’s position are diametrically opposed. Cairo believes that it is imperative to rescue the Palestinians from the catastrophe, while Hamas holds that there would be nothing wrong if [all] the Palestinians perished, because then they will be martyrs and enter Paradise. [Hamas also believes] that it is more important to strengthen the Syria-Iran axis of evil, which sponsors the religious movements in Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine…

“Hamas is pushing Gaza towards a massacre, while all the while shouting that the Arabs or the Egyptians have failed to come to their aid. The Palestinians must realize the truth – that [Hamas’s] actions are pushing [Gaza] towards a massacre…

“This shows that Hamas is part of Tel Aviv’s plan to eliminate the [Palestinian] problem. Hamas may not be aware of this; or possibly it is, but it considers Syria’s and Iran’s interests a hundred times more important than the interests of those who voted it [into power].” [3]

 

The Iranian-Syrian Axis Will Not Drag Egypt Into War with Israel In a January 1, 2009 article in Al-Gumhouriyya, Ibrahim wrote: “[Opening] the [Rafah] crossing is [only] one of the many objectives of this Iranian-Syrian conspiracy against Egypt. The Iranian-Syrian axis aims to rapidly drag Egypt into a confrontation with Israel. However, they [i.e. Iran and Syria] forget that Egypt long ago decided to embrace peace. Egypt has fought enough, and it will never [sacrifice] its life to defend others…

“If Hizbullah leader [Hassan Nasrallah] thinks that Egypt should join the front [against Israel], then we must ask [him]: Where are the funds that you are accumulating? Where are the Shihab 1, Shihab 2 and Shihab 5 missiles, and all the other missiles that Tehran test-fired in order to frighten the enemy of Allah and your enemy? Do you wage war only in front of the television cameras? Are Tehran’s missiles [only] for show? [While] the Israeli war machine attacks Gaza, you attack Egypt. Your heroes [sit] trembling in your hideouts -[yet] you ask, ‘Where is Egypt?’…

“[Hamas leader Khaled] Mash’al, in his folly, considers himself a hero, issuing orders from his hideout in Damascus or Tehran to his counterparts in Gaza to kill themselves.

“No resistance [movement] has its decisions made by others. Khaled Mash’al is not a free [agent], [for] his decisions are controlled by Tehran. He is not murdering the Palestinians to liberate Palestine – which he is completely incapable of doing [i.e. liberating Palestine] – but to prevent [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] ‘Abbas from negotiating with Israel. Can there be greater folly than this?…

“Egypt will never [let itself] be dragged into confrontation with Israel while Iran sits quietly [far away], issuing orders that are carried out by its lackeys. Our armed forces will never fight to defend Syria, whose army, as far as I know, has not fired a single bullet since 1973…

“Hamas has no future in Palestine. What it has done to the Palestinians, not even Israel has done. [The Hamas government] is the first [Muslim] government in the world to prevent its citizens from making the Hajj, and it the third [Arab] regime to massacre its own people, after Saddam Hussein’s and Hafez Al-Assad’s. Must the Egyptian army defend it? Must we defend lunatics who have butchered their own people, held the wounded hostage, prevented [their citizens] from making the Hajj, and, worse yet, murdered one of our sons [i.e. the Egyptian officer killed in a clash with Hamas at the Rafah crossing]?…”

Ibrahim also criticized Qatar, calling it hypocritical for attacking Arab countries while itself striving to establish relations with Israel and the U.S.: “Washington once had one protectorate in the Middle East – Israel – but now it has two: Doha and Tel-Aviv… Qatar is the Arab country with the most intensive trade relations with Israel… Qatar was the first country to sell Israel more [natural] gas than Egypt, and at lower prices – and nobody opposed this. Qatar’s prime minister and foreign minister, Hamad bin Jasim bin Jaber Aal Thani, is friendly with Israel’s foreign minister, Tsipi Livni. The letters and gifts he sent her on her birthday indicate a belated adolescent [crush on her]. He [even] preferred to buy a summer house in Nahariya to vacation with his Israeli friends, whom he likes more than the British…

“The U.S. military operations base [in the Middle East] is in Doha – and it is the largest U.S. military base outside the U.S. It was from there that [the U.S.] launched its artillery attack on Iraq prior to its 2003 invasion, and there that it conducted maneuvers in preparation for this [operation]… Qatar built this base for the Americans at its own expense… True, Qatar is occupied by the U.S. – but this is by [Qatar’s] its own consent and by the demand of [Qatar’s] masses. [This occupation] pleases [Qatar], and is based on its mutual interests [with the U.S.]… [Now] this occupied country is acting to convene an Arab summit, and is calling upon the large Arab countries to attend it. Sometimes it even goes so far as to think it can issue orders…” [4]

 

Roz Al-Yousef Editor: Iran, Syria, and Qatar Strive for Regional Hegemony – At Egypt‘s Expense

In a January 3, 2009 article, the editor of the Egyptian daily Roz Al-Yousef, ‘Abdallah Kamal, likewise attacked the Syrian-Iranian-Qatari axis: “Several years ago, and its longstanding alliance with Iran notwithstanding, Syria became the third member of the troika, that comprises the leading Arab [countries] and was formed in the wake of the Second Gulf War…

“The first member of this troika was Egypt; the second was Saudi Arabia. However, [since then], Syria has slowly… fallen into the embrace of Iran – whose [policies are blatantly] at odds with Arab interests because of its Persian ethnicity, its Shi’ite faith, and its political agenda – which is completely opposed to that of the Arabs.

“The main impediment to Iran’s influence in the region is Egypt’s political prominence. [This is why Iran] has been trying to remove Egypt from the arena for the past quarter century or more… [it is attempting] to push it into a military confrontation with Israel that will undermine its economic and political stability for the next 25 years at least, and will trap it into a no-exit security situation (by pushing the Palestinians into Sinai and making them a demographic time bomb for Egypt)…

“Iran is even trying to topple the Egyptian regime, or at least to [challenge its] moral [legitimacy], so as to exert every [possible] pressure on it, making it lose its political influence in the region… The optimal arena for accomplishing this goal has been Gaza…

“Iran has helped Hamas manufacture rockets, [for example] by smuggling warheads and [missile] guidance systems into Gaza – made in China, Korea, or wherever. Hamas manufactures the rockets with the gunpowder, pipes, and tail sections it receives.

“[Iran] also supplies $40 million a month in funds ($25 million for Hamas and $15 million for [Palestinian Islamic] Jihad)…” [5]


[1] Al-Gumhouriyya (Egypt), December 22, 2008.

[2] Al-Gumhouriyya (Egypt), December 23, 2008.

[3] Al-Gumhouriyya (Egypt), December 24, 2008.

[4] Al-Gumhouriyya (Egypt), January 1, 2009.

[5] Roz Al-Yousef (Egypt), January 3, 2009.

Playing to Win in Gaza

Playing to Win in Gaza

Created 2009-01-09 10:12

As the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip nears the end of its second week, two things are clear: first, that it will come to some sort of internationally brokered end; and second, that it will end thus because there is no other end that Israel will countenance. This is not to say that there is no other end Israel wants, but it cannot have what it wants — Hamas will neither be destroyed nor neutered — and so the question of the end is a question of what it may have. For all the vitriol the Jewish state receives every time it attacks those who attack it — be it a Vatican hierarch invoking the Holocaust(!), or the United Nations harrumphing about the sanctity of its property — the ground truth is that Israel lacks the bloody-mindedness to end things as it might, and as its enemies certainly would.

To illustrate this, we must look to the terrible numbers from the field of battle — or rather, the alleyways and gutted apartment blocks wherein Hamas chooses to fight. For all the grief and horror at the deaths of “civilians” in Gaza (and the word must be in quotes, not because there are none, but because apart from the young they are so tremendously difficult to definitively identify), the cold fact is that the IDF has done an admirable job of safeguarding the lives of the Gazan population. If, after nearly two weeks of modern war, only a few hundred out of just under 1.5 million, in a region with an average density of over ten thousand persons per square mile, are dead — and if the number of dead includes combatants — this is nothing short of extraordinary. To state this is not to belittle or dismiss the very real and legitimate horror of the dead, nor the grief that their loved ones endure. A keening mother in Gaza is comforted by the assiduousness of the IDF no more than the grieving mother in Colorado is soothed by America’s historically low casualties in Iraq. In acknowledging the commendably few deaths in Gaza, we must also acknowledge the lonely black pit of loss that renders the death of one indistinguishable from the end of the world.

The careful restraint of Israel at war is not a regrettable thing, except in the realm of amoral power politics: indeed, it is a signal reason we of the non-Jewish, non-Israeli world ought to prefer Israel to its neighbors in sentiment and policy. However much the Muslim population of Israel and Palestine might resent its fate under Jewish rule, it nonetheless enjoys a better existence than Jewish populations under Muslim rule — which is to say, it has a meaningful existence to speak of. Again, this is not to ignore the baleful realities of that existence, which is, after all, rife with petty humiliations ranging from the insensate bureaucracy of movement controls to the banal abuse of fanatic Zionists. Yet if the Xhosa have not exterminated the Afrikaners, nor the Southern blacks the Southern whites, why demand or expect less of the Palestinians? Are they not, to borrow a phrase, men and brothers? Why, then, the peculiar degradation of culture and impulse that compels a relentless violence? The notion, so fondly adhered to by so many, that both sides in this war are moral equals, or at least equally morally degraded, is a fiction that rests upon an invincible ignorance of history.

There are a thousand illustrative anecdotes to call upon, but one suffices: that of the Israeli conquest of Jerusalem’s center in 1967. For the preceding twenty years of Muslim rule, Jews were barred from their holy sites therein, and the majority of the Jewish graves in the millennia-old cemetery on the Mount of Olives were destroyed or paved over. By contrast, when the Israeli infantry drove the Jordanians from the medieval warren of the Old City, the conquering General Uzi Narkiss refused a clerical plea to reclaim the Muslim Dome of the Rock — and Moshe Dayan ordered its administration handed to the Muslim Waqf. To imagine that Israel’s enemies would treat it as well is to indulge in fantasy. We have little data on the fate of Jews and Jewish sites in Muslim hands after 1967, but what have seen — notably in the 2000 ransacking of Joseph’s Tomb — justifies no hope.

If we prefer Israel, then, it falls to us to ensure that its deficiencies in the amoral realm of power politics are not fatal. The long-term survival of the Jewish state is a factor neither of righteousness nor morality, except inasmuch as that survival is righteous or moral. We may forgive Israelis for believing this, but we ourselves need not. Rather, it befits Americans to enable Israel to survive and flourish without subsuming its behavior to those imperatives. Precisely because we do not wish for Israel to conclude, as it rationally might, that its survival depends upon the end of Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim habitation of old Palestine, we should conduct our policy now with an eye toward precluding that conclusion.

This is easier said than done, and it may not be do-able at all, but it has the virtue of being the moral course. We can do our best to make the coming ersatz peace something more than it will be; we can foster economic development for the great masses of idle Palestinian labor; we can cooperate in the strangling of fanatic movements like Hamas; and we can demand more of Palestine than it demands of itself.

The ultimate success of these efforts, though, is out of our hands. In the end, the Palestinian polity is the creation of Palestinians. This is simultaneously as it should be, and the most dreadful portent for the future. Yielding the great dream — of the end of Zionism, of the destruction of the Jews, of the ravaging of their holy places — makes sense only in the definitive demonstration of its unattainability. The enemies of Israel are unpersuaded, having seen the Zionist state yield mile upon mile in the past decade, having seen Israel lose a war in Lebanon, having compared the raw facts of demographics, and having seen the world weary of this Jewish statelet and its inconvenient struggles. They rightly believe they will be a majority in time. They rightly believe their material weakness is not perpetual. They rightly believe that Israel wants to stop playing this game: and so they play to win it.


Lies, Dammed Lies and CNN’s Mideast Reporting

Lies, Dammed Lies and CNN’s Mideast Reporting

Granted we are in a recession and all media outlets have trimmed staff, but CNN REALLY Needs a fact checker. Since Israel began the bombing of Gaza last week, the Cable Nonsense Network has been doing its best to spread misinformation about Gaza War. CNN’s Lies included blaming Israel for breaking the cease fire and accusing Israel of not letting necessary medical supplies into Gaza. But then again, CNN has never been big on the truth:

Who Broke the Ceasefire? CNN’s “Fact Check” Falls Short-CAMERA
by Alex Safian, PhD

In recent days CNN has been playing an interview with Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghouti in which he claims that Israel broke the ceasefire with Hamas by launching an attack in November, and that the current fighting is therefore the fault of Israel rather than the Palestinians. Barghouti also charged that Israel’s supposed blockade of Gaza was a further violation of the ceasefire agreement with Hamas.
Barghouti’s charges are nonsense and easily disproved – but apparently not easy enough for CNN to disprove.
On Dec. 31, perhaps in response to complaints about the Barghouti interview, anchor Rick Sanchez made a great show of supposedly “fact checking” the charges “fairly [and] honestly.” Here’s the clip:
CNN’s intrepid fact-checkers found a few online articles confirming that there was an Israeli attack in November, and were satisfied and looked no further? Does CNN really believe finding such articles proves that Israel broke the ceasefire? 
Might there have been prior serious violations by the Palestinians? In fact there were many such violations, including dozens of rockets and mortars fired into Israel during the so-called ceasefire. And there was also sniper fire against Israeli farmers, anti-tank rockets and rifle shots fired at soldiers in Israel, and not one but two attempts to abduct Israeli soldiers and bring them into Gaza.
All of this was missed by Rick Sanchez, his co-anchor Jim Clancy, and the CNN fact-checkers. Here are some of the details:
(most of this data is from The Six Months of the Lull Arrangement, a detailed report by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, an Israeli NGO)
From the start of the ceasefire at 6 AM on June 19 till the incident on November 4th cited by CNN, the following attacks were launched against Israel from Gaza in direct violation of the agreement:
  • 18 mortars were fired at Israel in this period, beginning on the night of June 23.
  • 20 rockets were fired, beginning on June 24, when 3 rockets hit the Israeli town of Sderot.
  • On July 6 farmers working in the fields of Nahal Oz were attacked by light arms fire from Gaza.
  • On the night of August 15 Palestinians fired across the border at Israeli soldiers near the Karni crossing.
  • On October 31 an IDF patrol spotted Palestinians planting an explosive device near the security fence in the area of the Sufa crossing. As the patrol approached the fence the Palestinians fired two anti-tank missiles.
There were two Palestinian attempts to infiltrate from Gaza into Israel apparently to abduct Israelis. Both were major violations of the ceasefire.
  • The first came to light on Sept. 28, when Israeli personnel arrested Jamal Atallah Sabah Abu Duabe. The 21-year-old Rafah resident had used a tunnel to enter Egypt and from there planned to slip across the border into Israel. Investigation revealed that Abu Duabe was a member of Hamas’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and that he planned to lure Israeli soldiers near the border by pretending to be a drug smuggler, capture them, and then sedate them with sleeping pills in order to abduct them directly into Gaza through a preexisting tunnel. For more details click here and here.
  • The second abduction plan was aborted on the night of Nov 4, thanks to a warning from Israeli Intelligence. Hamas had dug another tunnel into Israel and was apparently about to execute an abduction plan when IDF soldiers penetrated about 250 meters into Gaza to the entrance of the tunnel, hidden under a house. Inside the house were a number of armed Hamas members, who opened fire. The Israelis fired back and the house exploded – in total 6 or 7 Hamas operatives were killed and several were wounded. Among those killed were Mazen Sa’adeh, a Hamas brigade commander, and Mazen Nazimi Abbas, a commander in the Hamas special forces unit. For more details click here.
It was when Israel aborted this imminent Hamas attack that the group and other Palestinian groups in Gaza escalated their violations of the ceasefire by beginning to once again barrage Israel with rockets and mortars.
In light of these systematic and serious violations of the ceasefire by Hamas and other Palestinian groups in Gaza, it is absurd to claim that Israel broke the ceasefire in November or at any other time.
That CNN took Barghouti’s charges seriously and repeatedly aired them calls into serious question CNN’s competence as a news organization. It is also notable that while Sanchez said that Israelis denied Barghouti’s charges, he apparently did not see the need to have an actual Israeli appear to deny the charges in detail.
The Border Crossings  Open or Closed?
Barghouti also claimed that Israel violated the ceasefire agreement by allegedly refusing to open border crossings to allow food, fuel and other goods into Gaza. This charge is also false – Israel did open the crossings and allowed truckload after truckload of supplies to enter Gaza. Closures until November were short, and in direct response to Palestinian violations, some of which were detailed above.
To quote from the ITIC report on the “Lull Agreement” linked above:

On June 22, after four days of calm, Israel reopened the Karni and Sufa crossings to enable regular deliveries of consumer goods and fuel to the Gaza Strip. They were closed shortly thereafter, following the first violation of the arrangement, when rockets were fired at Sderot on June 24. However, when calm was restored, the crossings remained open for long periods of time. On August 17 the Kerem Shalom crossing was also opened for the delivery of goods, to a certain degree replacing the Sufa crossing, after repairs had been completed (the Kerem Shalom crossing was closed on April 19 when the IDF prevented a combined mass casualty attack in the region, as a result of which the crossing was almost completely demolished).

Before November 4, large quantities of food, fuel, construction material and other necessities for renewing the Gaza Strip’s economic activity were delivered through the Karni and Sufa crossings. A daily average of 80-90 trucks passed through the crossings, similar to the situation before they were closed following the April 19 attack on the Kerem Shalom crossing. Changes were made in the types of good which could be delivered, permitting the entry of iron, cement and other vital raw materials into the Gaza Strip. 

... Israel, before November 4, refrained from initiating action in the Gaza Strip but responded to rocket and mortar shell attacks by closing the crossings for short periods of time (hours to days). After November 4 the crossings were closed for long periods in response to the continued attacks against Israel. (Rearranged from p 11- 12)
Day to day details of the supplies delivered to Gaza and the numbers of trucks involved have been published by the Israeli Foreign Ministry and are available here. The figures confirm that the passages were indeed open and busy.
CNN conveyed uncritically – multiple times – Mustafa Barghouti’s charge that Israel violated the cease fire by not opening the crossings. Unfortunately this charge, like his charge that it was Israel that violated the ceasefire, is entirely bogus.
Too bad CNN anchors Rick Sanchez and Jim Clancy, along with the network’s fact checkers, didn’t bother to really fact check anything. Too bad CNN didn’t bother to actually interview an Israeli official or expert who could debunk Barghouti’s charges with the facts.
Judging by Rick Sanchez and Jim Clancy, viewers who want accurate, factual news from the Middle East should avoid CNN like the plague.