By Joseph Puder
The Israeli security cabinet also known as “The Nine” recently met to decide on the next course of action to be taken in the Gaza war. At the same time, a string of foreign officials arrived in Israel, including the Foreign Ministers of France and Germany, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Tony Blair, special representative of the Quartet to the Middle East, as well as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. All of them carrying essentially the same message: Israel must avoid a ground operation in Gaza.
Among “The Nine” there is, however, sharp disagreement on the next steps. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are advocating restraint and are allowing the cease-fire negotiations to proceed with the hope of reaching a durable agreement. Deputy Prime Minister and former IDF Chief-of-Staff, Moshe Ya’alon, and Yuval Steinitz, Finance Minister and former Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, are calling for an immediate ground attack on Gaza.
U.S. President Barack Obama, while backing Israel’s right to defend itself, has sent Clinton to restrain Israel from waging a ground operation in Gaza. Netanyahu, seeking to maintain a semblance of “good relations with Obama,” is reluctantly leaning towards stopping short of a ground operation, albeit, having ordered the mobilization of 75,000 Israeli reservists, many of whom reside in southern Israel and are eager to deal Hamas a permanent blow so that Israeli’s, primarily those in the south, can live a normal and peaceful life.
The talk in the Israeli media about an imminent cease-fire with Hamas brought immediate reaction from both the political Right and Left. Chairman of the National Unity Party Knesset Member (MK) Uri Ariel said that, “Accepting a cease fire agreement will cause the citizens of Israel (JP-especially those living in the South.) to feel betrayed by the Netanyahu-Lieberman government. The consequences of such a shameful surrender would be felt in the next few years when our enemies from the outside and from within will have increased motivation
to hit Israel.”
Chairwoman of the far-left Meretz Party MK Zahava Gal’on stated that “After six unnecessary
days, it is better late than too late for a cease-fire agreement with Hamas. The Netanyahu-Barak government must do the inevitable. The cease fire will avoid a heavy price in blood should Israel engage in a ground operation. Meretz calls upon the government of Israel to open negotiations with Abu Mazen, and support the establishment of a Palestinian State at the UN. Without a political solution there will not be security for the Israeli citizens.”
The same sentiments of appeasement that drove the Left in 2005 to support the Sharon government’s unilateral withdrawal from Gush Katif (Jewish communities in Gaza) and uproot 9000 productive Israeli citizens from their homes, in an attempt “to buy peace and quiet,” is now driving the Left to push for a cease-fire that will not be long lasting, and would only delay the inevitable – a massive Israeli ground operation.
On the leveled grounds where flourishing Jewish communities had existed in Gaza, Hamas claimed victory as the Israelis departed. The evacuated areas immediately became launching pads for thousands of missiles as Hamas solidified its goal to drive Israelis not only from Gaza but from the rest of Israel as well. Increasingly, southern Israel has become hostage to Hamas and the other terrorist organizations operating in Gaza such as Islamic Jihad and al-Qaeda – all of which are sheltered by Hamas.
The cease-fire agreement that was to take effect Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 9 PM Israel time was violated even before it started and rockets from Gaza continue to hit Israel as of this writing. In positioning Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood chief and President of Egypt as the arbiter and judge regarding the observance of the cease-fire, Israel’s status has clearly been diminished. Hamas – a recognized terrorist organization – has emerged as Egypt’s partner in this cease-fire and achieved de facto recognition as a legitimate state. Thus Egypt and Hamas’ stature was promoted and Israel’s demoted.
Israel’s Cast Lead Operation into Gaza in Dec. 2008 – January 2009 was meant to bring an end to the indiscriminate firing of rockets and missiles by Hamas into Israel, but despite a cease-fire, the attacks never stopped. Based on that track record, where are the signs that this cease-fire agreement will stand? And, given that the situation in 2012 is vastly different from 2009, the odds become worse. Back in January 2009, President Mubarak ruled Egypt, and having little affection for Hamas’ ideology, kept them at bay. Mubark’s government sealed its border with Gaza and prevented the movement of arms to Hamas.
The so-called “Arab Spring” changed all of this. Mubarak was removed with President Obama’s blessings, and for a short while, the powerful head of Egypt’s armed forces Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi was Egypt’s strongman and interim leader. Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader was elected as President of Egypt in June 2012, and in August he ordered the retirement
of Tantawi. Morsi outmaneuvered Tantawi (following the “instruction book” of Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Erdogan) by asserting full presidential powers and canceling the previous constitutional curbs on presidential power.
In 2009, Iran had not yet supplied Hamas with its long range Fajr-5
missiles. Today however (11/21/12) the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Mohamed Ali Jafari, publicly admitted that Iran provided Hamas with the knowhow to produce the missiles. Speaking to young journalists he said, “We are honored to announce that we gave them the technology of how to make Fajr-5 missiles and now they have their hands on plenty of them.” The Fajr-5 missiles have a longer range than Katyushas or Grad missiles and have, in this latest conflict, hit the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem areas.
The combination of a friendly and ideologically allied Egypt, that looks the other way as heavy weapons enter Gaza from Egypt, and the existence of sophisticated long-range rockets in Hamas’ possession, have changed the rules of the game. Although Israel has been successful in using the Iron-Dome to intercept most of Hamas’ Fajr-5 rockets, several got by, resulting in damages and loss of life. The Iron Dome was effective nearly 90% of the time, taking out approximately 400 rockets.
This current cease-fire agreement does not fulfill the aims of the Israeli Pillar of Defense Operation – the most serious of which included the setting up a long-term mechanism to stop Hamas’ firing of missiles at Israel and, preventing Iran or other hostile Muslim states from resupplying Hamas with even more sophisticated weapons.
The Hamas Charter, replete with genocidal intentions towards Israel, states that it seeks to obliterate the Jewish state on religious Islamic grounds:
“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it
; just as it obliterated others before it…The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Resurrection Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up…There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”
The charter goes on to state, “After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.”
The Israeli government decided to avoid the inevitable – retaking Gaza and liquidating the Hamas and other terrorist group infrastructure, along with regaining full control over the Philadelphi corridor, which controls the border crossings with Egypt. Under the 1979 Camp David Peace Accords between Egypt and Israel, the two states committed to stem terrorism, arms smuggling, and other illegal cross-border activities. In September 2005, following Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, control of the Philadelphi corridor was given to the Palestinian Authority. Now that Hamas controls Gaza and Morsi is running Egypt, these provisions are effectively null and void. Only Israel can guarantee its own security, and the cease-fire is merely a bandage over a cancerous tumor.
"A good end cannot sanctify evil means; nor must we do evil, that good may come of it...To do evil that good may come of it is for bunglers in politics..."
-- William Penn
Via Red Tracy:
By David Green, the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn't much bigger than most people's living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God's word. From there, Hobby Lobby has become one of the nation's largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 locations in 41 states. Our children grew up into fine business leaders, and today we run Hobby Lobby together, as a family.
We're Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I've always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to run our business in harmony with God's laws, and (2) to focus on people more than money. And that's what we've tried to do. We close early so our employees can see their families at night. We keep our stores closed on Sundays, one of the week's biggest shopping days, so that our workers and their families can enjoy a day of rest. We believe that it is by God's grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. We've not only added jobs in a weak economy, we've raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage.
But now, our government threatens to change all of that. A new government health care mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don't pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don't cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs. It goes against the Biblical principles on which we have run this company since day one. If we refuse to comply, we could face $1.3 million PER DAY in government fines.
Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy. Our government threatens to fine a company that's raised wages four years running. Our government threatens to fine a family for running it’s business according to it’s beliefs. It's not right. I know people will say we ought to follow the rules; that it's the same for everybody. But that's not true. The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost. But it won't exempt them for reasons of religious belief.
So, Hobby Lobby and my family are forced to make a choice. With great reluctance, we filed a lawsuit today, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, asking a federal court to stop this mandate before it hurts our business. We don't like to go running into court, but we no longer have a choice. We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit.
My family has lived the American dream. We want to continue growing our company and providing great jobs for thousands of employees, but the government is going to make that much more difficult. The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law. I say that's a choice no American and no American business should have to make.
The government cannot force you to follow laws that go against your fundamental religious belief. They have exempted thousands of companies but will not except Christian organizations including the Catholic church.
Since you will not see this covered in any of the liberal media, pass this on to all your contacts.
David Green, CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
"Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of. Our enemies are numerous and powerful; but we have many friends, determining to be free, and heaven and earth will aid the resolution. On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question, on which rest the happiness and liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves."
--Joseph Warren, Boston Massacre Oration, 1775
"It must be felt that there is no national security but in the nation's humble, acknowledged dependence upon God and His overruling providence."
-- President Franklin Pierce, Inaugural, March 4, 1853
1 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
4 To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.
5 To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.
6 To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.
7 To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:
8 The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:
9 The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.
10 To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:
11 And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:
12 With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.
13 To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:
14 And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:
15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.
16 To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.
17 To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
18 And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
19 Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:
20 And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:
21 And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:
22 Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.
23 Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:
24 And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.
25 Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.
26 O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.
For those who question Israel’s right to defend itself against the sea of enemies which surrounds it, or who believes the Jewish State must bow its head and accept the barrage of rocket and mortar fire leveled by Hamas into its homes, schools and communities, consider the following Palestinian propaganda videos aired on Hamas’ al-Aqsa TV.
The videos were created to frighten Israelis and fuel the vitriol already raging in Gaza among members Hamas and its military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades. Palestinian Media Watch
brings us the videos and translations.
The first video is addressed Israeli soldiers and states:
“From the Al-Qassam Brigades to the Zionist soldiers: The Al-Qassam Brigades love death more than you love life.”
Watch the video and read this story at TheBlaze.com ...
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal judge Monday rejected Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.'s request to block part of the federal health care overhaul that requires the arts and craft supply company to provide insurance coverage for the morning-after and week-after birth control pills.
In a 28-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton denied a request by Hobby Lobby to prevent the government from enforcing portions of the health care law mandating insurance coverage for contraceptives the company's Christian owners consider objectionable.
The Oklahoma City-based company and a sister company, Mardel Inc., sued the government in September, claiming the mandate violates the owners' religious beliefs. The owners contend the morning-after and week-after birth control pills are tantamount to abortion because they can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman's womb. They also object to providing coverage for certain kinds of intrauterine devices.
At a hearing earlier this month, a government lawyer said the drugs do not cause abortions and that the U.S. has a compelling interest in mandating insurance coverage for them.
In his ruling denying Hobby Lobby's request for an injunction, Heaton said that while churches and other religious organizations have been granted constitutional protection from the birth-control provisions, "Hobby Lobby and Mardel are not religious organizations."
"Plaintiffs have not cited, and the court has not found, any case concluding that secular, for-profit corporations such as Hobby Lobby and Mardel have a constitutional right to the free exercise of religion," the ruling said.Read this story at news.yahoo.com ...
The New American William F. Jasper
Get set for the Obama administration’s post-election tsunami of business-killing, job-killing, economy-killing federal regulations. It’s already begun. Take a look at www.regulations.gov, the administration’s regulatory website. The home page informs us that in the last 90 days, the administration has posted 5,934 new regulations.
Yes, our federal bureaucrats have been very diligent. The above-mentioned website informs us of their daily productivity of regulations over the past 90 days:
Last 3 Days (274)
Last 7 Days (371)
Last 15 Days (826)
Last 30 Days (1,915)
Last 90 Days (5,934)
How will these regulations affect you, your family, your job, business, ranch, or farm? You may not have federal SWAT teams descend upon you, as has happened to dairy farmers and natural food store operators who dared to sell raw milk products not approved by the federal Food & Drug Administration (see here
) or the hundreds of other Americans subjected to Gestapo-type treatment
for running afoul of the volumes of murky and convoluted regulations that fill the 169,301 pages
of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) published in the Federal Register
. However, even if your home, farm or business is not personally “visited” by agents of the FDA, EPA, OSHA, SEC, or any of the myriad other federal agencies, you will pay a huge price nonetheless, both in economic costs and in loss of freedoms.
A cost analysis by the Small Business Administration in 2008 found that the cost to our national economy of compliance with federal regulations was an astronomical $1.75 trillion
That was in 2008. The cost, of course, has escalated dramatically in the four years since that study was conducted. We should note also that the 169,301 pages of federal regulations referenced above covers only those promulgated through 2011; it does not include thousands of pages added in 2012. Nor does it include the thousands of pages that are expected to soon be dumped into the pipeline by bureaucrats who had been instructed to hold off until after the election.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2011 the Code of Federal Regulations increased by 11,327 pages — a 7.4-percent increase. The regulatory burden is now a crushing weight on the entire economy, a hidden tax which is equivalent to roughly half the current federal spending and equal to the entire federal budget of the late 1990s.
A study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce entitled Project No Project
found that a broad range of energy projects “are being stalled, stopped, or outright killed nationwide due to a broken permitting process and a system that allows nearly limitless opportunities for opponents of development to raise challenge after challenge.”
The impact has been truly mind-boggling. The Chamber of Commerce study reported:
In total, the 351 projects identified in the Project No Project inventory could have produced a $1.1-trillion boost to the economy and created 1.9 million jobs annually during the projected seven years of construction. Moreover, these facilities, once constructed, would have continued to generate jobs, because they would have operated for years or even decades.
That’s nearly two million jobs annually, just in the energy sector, that are being killed by the federal regulatory straitjacket.
In an op-ed in the Washington Post
on November 13, attorney Keith A. Ashmus noted
that the regulatory cliff rivals the fiscal cliff among small business owners’ biggest concerns. And it is almost certain to get worse, if Team Obama has its way.
“Following [Alleged] President Obama’s reelection and the continuation of the current majorities in the House and Senate, we can expect continued difficulty moving initiatives forward legislatively in Washington,” noted Mr. Ashmus. “That means more regulatory activity, unrestrained by the any concerns about the president’s reelection. The Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the National Labor Relations Board are likely to go after employers, large and small, with regulations that make it more difficult to manage workforces and obtain outside help understanding the legal requirements concerning unions.” Obama Regulatory Plan: Sly, Not Shy
Not that [Alleged] President Obama has been shy about using executive branch regulations to get the Big Government programs he has been unable to get passed legislatively. In fact, following the 2010 congressional elections, in which the Democrats suffered historic losses in the House of Representatives, the Obama White House indicated it was going to move ahead with its agenda by executive fiat. The New American
reported on this unconstitutional regulatory usurpation plan at the time. (See Obama Eyes "Executive Orders" to Circumvent Congress
However, with the economy imploding, unemployment skyrocketing, and with eyes fixed firmly on the 2012 presidential election, President Obama began a major effort, in 2011, to make it appear he was sensitive to the needs of job producers, especially stressing his administration’s commitment to easing the regulatory red tape that is so fatal to small and medium businesses that create most of our jobs.
Amid great fanfare, on January 18, 2011, [Alleged] President Obama signed “Executive Order 13563 — Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.”Read this story at thenewamerican.com ...